Saturday, September 24, 2011

Superpowers in Xenoforce

The question was raised on MODDB recently about what superpowers each side would have and how they would work. Traditionally in CNC3 the superpowers were the ultimate goal. These were what you were trying to get to so that you could damage your enemies stance in battle in such a way that their only way to defend against said attack was to attack you themselves. Because of the nature of these powers you could only ever get one of these at a time and even after you built one you would have to defend it least it was destroyed before getting a chance to fire. In most games one shot from these weapons were enough to tip the balance so that one side could win.

In the Xenoforce Reborn mod this poses a problem. Some "ultimate weapons" simply were not up to the proper classification to be considered such (I'm looking at you NOD. A nuke? Really? Thats the best you can come up with?) while others left much to the imagination (Yes the Scrins Black Hole Cannon was cool too look at but I imagine such a force as the Scrin would have many other options to persue in terms of nasty superweapons). So we modified certain forces and gave them new powers to really help show that, when at full power, these forces had some serious firepower to lay down and call upon.

The issue of course comes from the Gundam Universes, and to an extent the Robotech technology as well. In Gundam AW for example their super weapon would be considered the Gundam X and it's Sat Cannon. This Cannon is powerful enough to destroy a decent size island in one shot and yet is easy enough to produce that they put them on a mass production mobile suit. While it is true that you must be a newtype to fire the weapon the Earth Federation even finds a way around this limitation with the Gundam Double X. So how do we allow a player to have access to such power and yet honestly find a way to keep it balanced? Our answer was to base the weapon's ability to fire on an unseen timer that counts down. When the timer is about to expire the units able to fire their sat cannons will glow, and then when it is actually able to fire they will glow a different color. This is diffrent than normal though because unlike your normal super powers that count down and then you can fire when your ready these units will only be able to fire for a short ammount of time, say 60 seconds, before their window of oppertunity is gone and they must wait again. The idea here is to simulate the different positions of the moon like in the show.

As for AW's actual "powers" that they will have access to, we are trying to base all support powers again on the Newtypes from the show. Each power avalible to the AW player will be based off of what one of the different Newtypes in the show had. These will be mostly global powers with the exception of the BIT Reinformenet power.

UC on the other hand has a completly different way of doing things. UC's powers are more focused on reinforcing their basic mobile suits with additional fire support in the way of Gundams. Each Gundam as well as bring it's own firepower to the field will have a special "power" that brings added flavor to the field. But this does not mean that UC doesn't have a super weapon at it's disposal, it does. The final Defcon lvl of UC grants the player access to Nu Gundam (a powerful force in it's own right) and the Gryps Cannon. This Cannon works a lot like the GDI Ion Cannon in practice but has a few different side effects. The first being that the Gryps Cannon superheats the object it is firing at, causing a huge wave of heat to blast out from the target. This heat wave will do massive heat damage to anything around it's target.

Now that brings me to something else, the GDI Ion Cannon. As many of you have probably already played our Xenoforce : O3 mod I'm sure your all going "wow, you added a ton of powers to NOD and Scrin, gave GDI a bunch of new units, but their Ion Cannon is kind of weak in compairison to what the other 2 forces can do". And your right. We're currently working on a few different ideas behind this to help make the Ion Cannon more powerful. One option that we're really trying to come up with a way of producing is a "Carpet Bomb Ion Cannon Attack". Really what this means is instead of getting a single shot of you get 5 in a line going off. This hasn't worked out too well yet, but we're still working on it. Another option would be to have it fire of 3 or 4 shots in a given area, so the first shot hits were you targeted and then you get a few more scattered around that blast radius for added effect. It's an option. We're also looking at adding an EMP blast effect to the Ion Cannon. For GDI this is really their only super weapon they can fall back on and at the moment it pales in comparison of what the other forces can do.

So I hope this helps anyone out there who is wondering about the powers. Feel free to post questions if you have any.


Alan said...

one thing that I liked about SEED in the 9a alpha was that you could get the Archangel could you perhaps do something like that except with White Base or something for one of the new factions (Sorry for it being a little off topic personally I played SEED the most on that mod and considered the Archangel the super-power even though it probably was the Strike Freedom but the battle rarely progressed far enough for me to actually use the Strike Freedom)

Azuza K said...

The major issue with the capitol ships comes down to the actual size of the ships. They are simply so big that if you keep them after they "deploy" then it's very hard to actually see what's going on on the screen. We actually considered doing this for UC but decided against it for this reason. If we wanted the ships to be what they were in the show (a delivery and transport system for the Gundams) and not be overpowering then this was our solution. Seed may keep the Archangel as a deployable unit, but UC's ships will not be this way.

You'll see what I mean when you see the Ra Cailum ship that drops off Nu Gundam, this thing is twice as big as the white base. It's flipping huge! You see this thing comming at you and you go "oh hell, here comes Nu Gundam".