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Bluddy
06-25-2012, 05:51 PM
The 4x parts of Drox currently feel more like a toy to me than a game. Why is that? The easiest way to illustrate it is by referring to DC and DoP. Imagine you were playing DC, but the losing condition was removed. If you lost the town (or the 3 major quest givers, to be precise), you could just wait around until new quest-givers showed up, and you could always win, even with an empty town. What would this little change do? I would cause you not to care about the quests anymore. You could play around and try to have the Bosses demolish the town, see what happens when a town is destroyed (ie. experiment), but you wouldn't care about it, and it would quickly stop to be as engaging.

In DoP's case, imagine that losing your covenant didn't cause you to lose the game -- you'd just switch into the role of another one of the playing covenants. You could play to your heart's content with the system with no danger of losing. It would become a sandbox, but your level of engagement would decrease dramatically.

And that's what's happening in Drox. Both the victory and loss conditions, as minor as they seem, create a game where experimentation rules, but engagement is much lower than in the previous games. In a game, each layer or mechanic (or game atom, in Raph Koster (http://www.raphkoster.com/2012/01/24/an-atomic-theory-of-fun-game-design/)'s theory) needs to challenge the player. The more game atoms you have in parallel, the 'deeper' a game seems. Drox has the fighting atom of ARGPS, it has the loot atom, but the 4x atom from DoP, albeit more developed, is currently oriented not so much towards challenging the player as much as giving the player a free area in which to experiment. It doesn't matter which faction wins and which loses, or what exactly the quest system generates. All of this stuff is just a playground for your experimentation (and it's also a playground that tends to drag on for too long given the victory conditions). The only time you need to worry is if you have no allies, and that's a situation that's rare and generally easy to rectify.

While there's nothing wrong with allowing experimentation, I really feel more could be done to make the 4x more of a challenge (and a game) rather than a toy. The main idea I've though of so far is to make some kind of Drox base -- perhaps one which moves automatically (to mine asteroids or for whatever reason). You'd be tasked with defending this base, and you'd be dependent on the races currently in the sector to help you protect it. Loyalty to your most important clients would also be a good way to make the 4x and quest system have more 'teeth'.

Valgor
06-25-2012, 07:28 PM
I don't really like the idea of having a tangible base. Instead, what about having the player's progress towards stable conditions within a sector evaluated by their superiors in regular intervals,
similar to the monthly council reports in X-Com? They'd look at a player's achievements, their standing with all active races and the general state of affairs (unrest, emergencies, wars, etc.)
and then give a rating. If the player's performance doesn't meet their expectations, they'd issue a warning. Should the player fail to improve, the sector is lost.

Flim
06-25-2012, 08:53 PM
I find that I lack any drive in this game as well. Both in development of ship and in victory condition. I don't have much sense of gaining power or strength/progress because my success is so wrapped up in farming relation. If the game is not centered around me and is instead around hinging on how an AI or multiple AI's perceive me the game can only be as engaging as the complexity of the AI. Not necessarily well explained but I don't feel like I'm playing for myself.

Along what you two were saying, instead of a tangible and fixed asset to defend or report card I have another idea.

In the relations screen and similar to DoP there are faction strength meters representing regional power balance. Drox currently is not on there for obvious reasons. Giving us one could be the non fixed yet perceivable quantification of success and relative strength or bargaining power within the sector.

Call it our Reputation or leave it as "power" or whatever it is labelled now. For Drox is represents the regions faction's view and respect for Drox Operatives power and influence. There are a number of ways it could be tied in and or explained. The more times a faction declares "war" on you or comes after you without repercussion could reduce your standing. Every quest and faction job you do could reinforce the sectors awareness that yes, the Drox Operatives are a player within this sector etc..

Again not really well flushed out explanation but I don't have time atm. As it stands I hope there are a couple fundamental changes coming and this is something that I agree should be rethought.

Bluddy
06-25-2012, 09:20 PM
I find that I lack any drive in this game as well. Both in development of ship and in victory condition. I don't have much sense of gaining power or strength/progress because my success is so wrapped up in farming relation. If the game is not centered around me and is instead around hinging on how an AI or multiple AI's perceive me the game can only be as engaging as the complexity of the AI. Not necessarily well explained but I don't feel like I'm playing for myself.

Along what you two were saying, instead of a tangible and fixed asset to defend or report card I have another idea.

In the relations screen and similar to DoP there are faction strength meters representing regional power balance. Drox currently is not on there for obvious reasons. Giving us one could be the non fixed yet perceivable quantification of success and relative strength or bargaining power within the sector.

Call it our Reputation or leave it as "power" or whatever it is labelled now. For Drox is represents the regions faction's view and respect for Drox Operatives power and influence. There are a number of ways it could be tied in and or explained. The more times a faction declares "war" on you or comes after you without repercussion could reduce your standing. Every quest and faction job you do could reinforce the sectors awareness that yes, the Drox Operatives are a player within this sector etc..

Again not really well flushed out explanation but I don't have time atm. As it stands I hope there are a couple fundamental changes coming and this is something that I agree should be rethought.

Interestingly, I was going to post something along the same lines.

I keep coming back to the point that the Drox are mercenaries. What matters to mercenaries? Money and... their reputation. If you don't have your reputation, you have nothing. I've struggled with various ideas of how to handle this concept of reputation, and I think I'm coming up with some ideas that are converging. This would be, as you say, a global reputation in the sector. The Drox live and die by their reputation. High reputation allows them to be offered the most exclusive contracts -- races will trust them with anything, including espionage and their own welfare (defend against attacks). Low reputation is the end of the Drox. They'd be offered only menial jobs and races will start declaring war on them since they seem so weak -- even allied races.

So how should this reputation be gained/lost? The model of quests from DC and DoP doesn't really allow for this to work. In DC, all quests are optional. Failing a quest is not a huge deal from a 'contract' point of view, because failing a quest in itself has severe repercussions. Fail to kill the boss, and he'll spawn uprisings etc. But the natural consequences of failing quests doesn't have much impact on a mercenary who's not involved in the action. At the same time, if you fail a quest in DC, there's often a reputation penalty, because you failed to uphold your duty towards the town. That's not really fair to do in Drox -- there are too many quests to handle them all in time, and you're not really tasked with the protection of any particular race.

So what we need instead is for quests to be non-optional. This would really be breaking away from the previous games and going for a different experience. When you take a quest upon yourself, you really take it upon yourself. You're committing to finish that quest. If you fail, your global reputation, as well as your relationship with the race you disappointed, suffers, not to mention the fact that you don't get paid.

This changes the dynamic of the game significantly. You have to filter through the quests for those you're certain you can do, or for the most profitable quests (that also earn you the most reputation). If you mess up, it's on your head. This is much more like what being a mercenary would be like.

Additionally, once you have an alliance, it has real meaning. If your ally has a big job for you, he doesn't expect you to say no. Alliances mean forging a strong bond with another race, and as part of that bond, you don't get to say no. So if the ally tells you that you need to destroy a boss -- you better destroy that boss, or your relation and reputation will suffer severely.

What this means is that maintaining more than one alliance is really difficult for the Drox. Alliance is something the Drox love to have, because they get the best, most lucrative jobs, but it's also a commitment.

This setup suggests different losing and victory conditions. A victory would be reaching a certain reputation level (say 10) or reaching level 9 with one alliance, or reaching level 7 with two alliances or more. Loss is now very simple: it's the result of reaching reputation level 0, or being at war with every race. Mess up enough times, and you'll reach that reputation level pretty quickly.

Waffles
06-25-2012, 10:27 PM
I've been heavily contemplating the directionless feel that the game tends to have myself. I think the reputation thing is a great idea. Also that making you stick to your guns with quests is a great idea too (A complication is: do you/how much do you reward players for completing quests that they did not accept? I would think somewhere in the neighborhood of 'half to none'). Also, with high reputation, races wouldn't screw with you unless you hit them first, and would try to make peace. Have them treat it as your overall power in the sector.

Something that I have been thinking could make each sector much more interesting and add a clear sense of purpose would be to have a superboss monster in each sector with minions and a doomsday device. If you don't disrupt his plans/stop his recon/kill his minions, he will destroy star systems (and make them uncolonizable) one by one. This would devastate races/relation/reputation. He would be strong enough that you'd have to enlist the help of at least one race with a halfway decent military to defeat him. Strong victories would be having high enough reputation/leading the charge against the superboss, weak victories would be the boss defeated but you are wimpy and unhelpful, and losses would be loss of reputation/at war with everyone/everybody died.

Something else that would go hand in hand with this, is user initiated quests. Races that trust you would let you initiate research for them, colonize planets, make systems safer, deliver supplies, wage wars, etc. This would allow a player to play a very active hand in helping one race grow and become more powerful. It would be mighty satisfying to make a strong alliance with the Drakk, help them to research and build a powerful fleet, and marshal it to victory over all the hippies of the universe.

An additional feature I would like to see is allowing players to commission components from their allies - This would help you to get equipment that you need that isn't dropping randomly/showing up in trade. This would initiate a questline, of do research/gather parts/supplies/whatever, and finally give you approximately the part of your choosing with some rarity. Races that like you somewhat would commision normals and commons, whereas for a trusted ally they would go so far as to make rares/very rares, albeit as extended quests. Menu would go through something like "Rarity -> Weapons -> Missiles -> Missile Type -> Tier" It would near a crafting system but within the constraints of the game. Races could only build components for you that they have the technology for - unless you helped them research that technology.

Something else that I would really enjoy is a persistent sense of 'what have i done for the galaxy'. As you complete/abandon sectors, it would add them to a galaxy map, and you could hover over/click on them for some statistics. "Sector won, accomplishments, quests, most powerful race, reputation", as well as have overall statistics, like "domination of the galaxy by race", "grand total player reputation", "sector win/loss/abandon rate". I know I would be more likely to complete sectors if there was a statistic that would mock me for not doing so, as well as seeing a bunch of uncompleted sectors on the galaxy map. (Maybe these sectors could be revisited? They would be generated from scratch again).

Maybe not all of these are great, but I know I would enjoy every one of them.

longshot
06-26-2012, 07:46 AM
I think that the directionless feel comes mostly just from having an ambiguous winning condition. In DQ, the winning condition was very concrete. You have to save the town. Either the town is left standing, or it isn't.

In DO, you just need to be allied with all the races, doesn't matter who, doesn't matter how many races are left, and it is easy enough to exterminate races, that it doesn't really matter if they declare war on you.

I think one avenue that might work, would be to have bonus winning conditions. You still win even if there only one race left and you are allied, but there could be added incentives, like ensuring race X survives, or race X is destroyed, or have galactic peace between 3 or more races. Optional, but with corresponding rewards if you manage to pull the conditions off.

Bluddy
06-26-2012, 09:30 AM
Waffles, I think all of your ideas here are good and worthy of discussion. I'll just focus on the ones that I feel suit this thread the most. Feel free to copy the others into another thread.

A complication is: do you/how much do you reward players for completing quests that they did not accept? I would think somewhere in the neighborhood of 'half to none'

This is an excellent point. I think that if you do quests accidentally, the reward should be almost nothing. From the race's point of view, they got a 'freebie'. Perhaps it would change your relationship with them, without giving you either XP or reputation. Otherwise, you're setting up a strong incentive for players not to commit to quests -- even if you gain only half the rewards, you'd still have no negative consequences from not finishing the quest, so it'd be worth not committing to anything. This is why the rewards for accidental quests should be close to zero.


Something that I have been thinking could make each sector much more interesting and add a clear sense of purpose would be to have a superboss monster in each sector with minions and a doomsday device. If you don't disrupt his plans/stop his recon/kill his minions, he will destroy star systems (and make them uncolonizable) one by one. This would devastate races/relation/reputation. He would be strong enough that you'd have to enlist the help of at least one race with a halfway decent military to defeat him. Strong victories would be having high enough reputation/leading the charge against the superboss, weak victories would be the boss defeated but you are wimpy and unhelpful, and losses would be loss of reputation/at war with everyone/everybody died.

Bringing in an imminent threat (even if it's only once in a while) is definitely something that can spice things up, but it's also a way to have independent goals. If you need to prepare each sector for taking on the big boss, then that really changes the dynamics of gameplay and it also gives you victory/loss conditions. This is why Space Rangers 2, a very open-ended game, had the invasion of the Dominators -- it gave the game direction and victory/loss conditions. I just think this would reduce the focus a lot from helping factions fight each other. You'd want to unite the factions as soon as you can, which would make for more repetitive gameplay IMO.

Bluddy
06-26-2012, 09:34 AM
I think that the directionless feel comes mostly just from having an ambiguous winning condition. In DQ, the winning condition was very concrete. You have to save the town. Either the town is left standing, or it isn't.

Right. Notice that it's really a duality though: you had both victory AND loss conditions.


In DO, you just need to be allied with all the races, doesn't matter who, doesn't matter how many races are left, and it is easy enough to exterminate races, that it doesn't really matter if they declare war on you.

Yep. This thread is basically a rewording of the 'wanted...better victory conditions' thread. I just wanted to give some more justification for it.


I think one avenue that might work, would be to have bonus winning conditions. You still win even if there only one race left and you are allied, but there could be added incentives, like ensuring race X survives, or race X is destroyed, or have galactic peace between 3 or more races. Optional, but with corresponding rewards if you manage to pull the conditions off.

The thing about optional victory conditions is that they don't suggest themselves to loss conditions. I would prefer that you had random conditions per sector where, if your mission is to ensure X's survival and you fail, you lose.

Anyway, random victory conditions are my 2nd favorite option. My favorite is still reputation = everything and committing in advance to quests for reputation effects as mentioned above.

spacehog
06-26-2012, 12:20 PM
You guys have some neat ideas and have done a great job staying within the space-merc theme, but I figured I'd add my pennies. Not losing is a pretty big incentive for me to finnish the sectors. I've lost a couple times, and the little loss blurb makes me feel pretty wimpy as a Drox Operative. It is far harsher than Din telling me I'm incompetent. Much better to win than to feel like a dweeb of a space pilot. :) Anyway, keep the ideas flowing 'cause there are some great ones.

DeathKnight1728
06-26-2012, 03:53 PM
-Bluddy

You've hit the nail on the head. I find the game to play just as good as dop for the reason of the end game decision. Losing favor with one side, war, need to make a new ally, quest. Its what you can do in do and get away with in the major quests that make it so wickedly fun.

Kruztee
06-26-2012, 08:42 PM
-Bluddy

You've hit the nail on the head. I find the game to play just as good as dop for the reason of the end game decision. Losing favor with one side, war, need to make a new ally, quest. Its what you can do in do and get away with in the major quests that make it so wickedly fun.

Umm, unless I've completely missed the gist of the thread, Bluddy was actually lamenting the lack of meaningful ways (in terms of gameplay expereinces and outcomes) of engaging with the 4x elements of the game. In comparison to DoP and DC especially, I find the game to be far less engaging for exactly the reasons he cites.

I honestly can't agree with the original post more. It's a really insightful post that cuts to the point of why the Drox beta failed to keep me interested past a brief curiousity. I think that the reason that Drox fails to engage me on a fundamental level is because the player seems to have little to no control over what's going on in the galaxy, and no real advantage to pick sides early in the game. It's like betting on a fight where there's no penalty for getting your money out after one guy has already been knocked down in the second round. In Din's, the player felt like a hero who was the driving force behind the pace of the world events and the outcomes therein. In Drox, I feel like an onlooker with no allegiance and no incentive other than to get behind the team that's going to win the fight.

fotan
06-27-2012, 03:21 AM
One very simple solution to this is, there could be an option where if you're one type of alien, you could be stuck with defending them no matter what. So you feel the meaningfulness of all your actions, trying to help out your colonies etc. It's like playing for 1 team the entire time, it makes you care about the team and whether it wins or loses.


It doesn't mean you can't make alliances but you're doing it for the greater cause of your 1 team that you have to fight for no matter how bad the odds are.


Also if you could pay or command some people to go and fight with you to take a planet or whatever that would help give you the same control the other AI races have.

fotan
06-27-2012, 03:52 AM
I'm saying, I like the game the way it is just fine for the flexibility, but this option I bring up is a good way to appeal to those who want a certain type of traditional strategy game. A game option slightly more like your average 4X but it's still dynamic based on you being the active participant at all points.

Wanderer
06-27-2012, 06:12 AM
I'm saying, I like the game the way it is just fine for the flexibility, but this option I bring up is a good way to appeal to those who want a certain type of traditional strategy game. A game option slightly more like your average 4X but it's still dynamic based on you being the active participant at all points.

Personally I don't know if I'd want to be forced to defend a particular base that I didn't chose to do so. I agree more with Bluddy's idea of Reputation and involvement, but that would depend on quests not ending up obsolete quite so easily. I've taken on a number of quests that before I even had mapped my route were completed for me one way or another.

One of the feelings for me, in Drox, is that I'm more 'along for the ride' than having any significant influence in the game. You can tell you're influencing things, sure, because the one you're completing quests for is usually ahead by some margin. I posted most of my thoughts on that here for anyone who's that interested:
http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5212

That said, I'm wondering if it's simply a matter of improving the influence and methods of influence of the operative that will make a significant dent in the problem. Right now it seems the Operative really has little chance of deciding who will win after the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game. It's pretty much on a runaway course and you need to pick the right side. Which basically ends up as non-aggression with everyone you can and then ally with whoever's got the biggest alliance already setup.

In the end, I think a combination of a few things will actually make the operative more of a 'balancing point' for the sector than the ant-like being they currently are.


Slow down the 4x events so the Operative has a chance to see what the sector looks like before war has broken out killing off entire races of people they've never even heard of.
Increase the effectiveness of rumors started by the operative.
Make technological gains more decisive and less likely to be researched by most races. Make the bonuses seriously count to give each race personality, and lower everything else.
Lower the impact of planetary defender ships so that an operative has a chance at actually defeating them in a time of war.
Sub-item to the above, running weapons to a planet that is at war with you is nearly impossible, this needs to be adjusted so you can actually get planets to 'turn'.
Make Terraforming and Drox Colonization have more impact, so that the Drox has more effect on which races can expand faster. Nothing says 'Why did I care?' as much as a colonization quest that's obsolete before you can even pick up the component.
Have the races actually help you in return by giving you the location of where they'd like your assistance. It's rather annoying that they want you to scan a planet they found but you have no idea where it is until you've mowed the lawn in a system.
Increase the number of options for the Drox to invest into a particular culture. Examples would be: Building/donating a defensive station for them. Able to directly purchase technology sold directly to a culture eventually. Refitting their warships directly with found/stolen goods.
Allow the Drox to assist in leading 'campaigns' against a particular enemy. In this example, the Drox would be part of, or possibly leading, a small fleet of a particular race in war time. Trade Convoys could have a similar mechanic.
Lengthen the time in a sector so you actually care about who you've been building up for a while. As it stands you usually barely have it half to 2/3s mapped before the sector's completed on anything but tiny.


Increase the effect a Drox Operative can have on any particular race, lower the 4x 'wave' that carries you along for the ride feeling like nothing but an observer, and involve the Drox more directly into the different races and I think you'll find that you end up involving yourself more directly into any particular race than you would otherwise.

Hm, guess that's 4 cents worth, rambled a hair there.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 08:15 AM
One very simple solution to this is, there could be an option where if you're one type of alien, you could be stuck with defending them no matter what. So you feel the meaningfulness of all your actions, trying to help out your colonies etc. It's like playing for 1 team the entire time, it makes you care about the team and whether it wins or loses.


It doesn't mean you can't make alliances but you're doing it for the greater cause of your 1 team that you have to fight for no matter how bad the odds are.
.

That's definitely an option. The main problem I can see with that is you only choose your ship type once per character, which means that character will ALWAYS be concerned with one particular race for 100 levels. I think this could be done to a lesser degree -- your race could have expectations for you to be allied with them. This would mean that they're more sensitive to reputation changes. Do stuff for them, and they immediately think you're their friend. Go against them a couple of times, and they'll immediately think you're a traitor.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 08:44 AM
One of the feelings for me, in Drox, is that I'm more 'along for the ride' than having any significant influence in the game. You can tell you're influencing things, sure, because the one you're completing quests for is usually ahead by some margin. I posted most of my thoughts on that here for anyone who's that interested:
http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5212

That said, I'm wondering if it's simply a matter of improving the influence and methods of influence of the operative that will make a significant dent in the problem. Right now it seems the Operative really has little chance of deciding who will win after the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game. It's pretty much on a runaway course and you need to pick the right side. Which basically ends up as non-aggression with everyone you can and then ally with whoever's got the biggest alliance already setup.


Your suggestions are good. Some have been already mentioned by others (political quests of fighting wars are definitely missing in the game) and some are new.

Getting back to DC as an example, though, in DC you have full control of whether the town will be won or lost. And yet, take away the victory/loss conditions, and the game becomes bland.

The question you're addressing is how much of an influence should the player have on the shape of the game, and it's related to the question in this thread, though it's not identical. In DC, the game is your adversary and it's a zero-sum game: either you win or the game beats you. The result is that it's much easier to feel your impact on the game world: if you don't do anything, you lose. In DoP we already see more complicated conditions: you may do really well, but it doesn't automatically guarantee victory for your covenant. In reality, it usually does since the game translates quest completion to influence, but you could potentially have a stronger covenant trail you for the whole game, or even defeat you with a surprise attack. On the other hand, doing nothing in DoP doesn't automatically mean you'll lose -- you could just be a weak covenant that gets lucky.

Drox takes those complicated conditions a step further. Because you're an assistant to the races, it's not clear what should happen when you don't do anything vs when you do act. This is a tough act to balance. You want to give feedback to the player that he's making a difference without automatically changing the strategic game just because the player did something -- it seems like helping a minor race through some quests shouldn't automatically make that race dominant.

I think perhaps the most helpful thing in this regard is to increase feedback as much as possible. 4x games traditionally have specialized screens displaying the productivity of each planet, the number of ships each ally has, or the state of war against enemies. Such screens would show you if a planet is lagging behind in production or doing badly, or how much the mission you carried out helped advance the cause. Feedback is the most important thing here, and there needs to be a way to see what your influence is in the big scheme of things. There's just no way to understand your role in the game by looking only at the space surrounding your ship. In DoP, you could get a complete picture of how a covenant is doing by looking at their influence level and their covenant members. Here, you need a much more detailed examination of a faction. This is also where spying can come into the picture btw.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 11:27 AM
Some more thoughts on the reputation system:

To make it such that you can't just wait around and do nothing, your reputation would slowly drain. I'll switch to a point scale to make things easier to handle. Suppose you start with 200 reputation and need to reach 1000 to beat the sector. Every 5 minutes of inactivity, you'd lose 10 reputation. The effect of time is that you get forgotten about. If you don't do things to increase your reputation, your reputation drains away. This introduces an element of time into the game and makes the losing condition more palpable.

fotan
06-27-2012, 01:55 PM
Your responses were basically "Well I don't like that kind of mode" and my point was that this particular game mode would be for a specific type of player that wants that, while leaving the more mercenary drox operative type mode untouched.


As I said I like the normal mercenary mode fine, but some people want to feel more like every action of theirs is life or death and is important because of their connection to their people. Much like the feeling you get protecting your town in Din's Curse for instance.

Wanderer
06-27-2012, 02:23 PM
The question you're addressing is how much of an influence should the player have on the shape of the game, and it's related to the question in this thread, though it's not identical. In DC, the game is your adversary and it's a zero-sum game: either you win or the game beats you. The result is that it's much easier to feel your impact on the game world: if you don't do anything, you lose.

Hm, that's not originally how I'd read it, but you're right when I look at it again. Sorry about that. I'll blame that it was a bit late when I wrote that. However, the lack of being able to win could easily be tied back into these mechanics have more effect. Once you've decided to help out a single race it could... errr... nevermind, that's a bad idea.

Thanks for the clarification, Bluddy... I'll think on that particular aspect a bit more.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 03:06 PM
Hm, that's not originally how I'd read it, but you're right when I look at it again. Sorry about that. I'll blame that it was a bit late when I wrote that. However, the lack of being able to win could easily be tied back into these mechanics have more effect. Once you've decided to help out a single race it could... errr... nevermind, that's a bad idea.

Thanks for the clarification, Bluddy... I'll think on that particular aspect a bit more.

No problem. It's a good point and it got me thinking in that direction as well, which is why I opened a new thread for it (I hope you don't mind).

LostSoul
06-27-2012, 05:03 PM
Some more thoughts on the reputation system:

To make it such that you can't just wait around and do nothing, your reputation would slowly drain. I'll switch to a point scale to make things easier to handle. Suppose you start with 200 reputation and need to reach 1000 to beat the sector. Every 5 minutes of inactivity, you'd lose 10 reputation. The effect of time is that you get forgotten about. If you don't do things to increase your reputation, your reputation drains away. This introduces an element of time into the game and makes the losing condition more palpable.

Reputation decay is already in the game. Set your sector speed to very fast and watch it leak like a sunken ship.

Wanderer
06-27-2012, 05:07 PM
Reputation decay is already in the game. Set your sector speed to very fast and watch it leak like a sunken ship.

Oh, is THAT what that selection does? I couldn't figure it out.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 05:18 PM
Reputation decay is already in the game. Set your sector speed to very fast and watch it leak like a sunken ship.

OK that's 'reputation' as in your relationship with specific factions -- not what I've been referring to as reputation, and it's a holdover from DoP. I'm not sure it even makes sense in Drox. Should waiting around cause races to like me less? Why?

robmack
06-27-2012, 05:40 PM
OK that's 'reputation' as in your relationship with specific factions -- not what I've been referring to as reputation, and it's a holdover from DoP. I'm not sure it even makes sense in Drox. Should waiting around cause races to like me less? Why?

It's all about, "What have you done for me, lately."

LostSoul
06-27-2012, 07:06 PM
Oh, is THAT what that selection does? I couldn't figure it out.

It relates to the speed that the 4x game plays at in the background. I tend to play on "slow" after my first few rounds on Normal. But I think Shadow tweaked some of the settings a bit since then. Most of the races now seem perpetually credit starved.

Flim
06-27-2012, 10:08 PM
I think that the directionless feel comes mostly just from having an ambiguous winning condition. In DQ, the winning condition was very concrete. You have to save the town. Either the town is left standing, or it isn't.

In DO, you just need to be allied with all the races, doesn't matter who, doesn't matter how many races are left, and it is easy enough to exterminate races, that it doesn't really matter if they declare war on you.

I think one avenue that might work, would be to have bonus winning conditions. You still win even if there only one race left and you are allied, but there could be added incentives, like ensuring race X survives, or race X is destroyed, or have galactic peace between 3 or more races. Optional, but with corresponding rewards if you manage to pull the conditions off.


I think that is a great idea (more in depth goals set per sector). There really is no reason not to have additionally more in depth per sector start objectives. If the worry is to keep the game a little more Open feeling or Less Linear one just has to make them optional. Provide added bonus item chests or loot for the more and more difficult route taken. Makes grinding relation less of a grind when there is a carrot there for doing it in that fashion instead of just because its optimal.

Great idea.

P.S. !!! It gives a payoff for those people who spend all the time playing whoring themselves out for reputation without running around looting and farming. This should totally happen. After all one of the primary foundations the game is made with is the intention of making tones of items available for the player.