[color=#C2B280]Alexis has just published a big, detailed update on Steel: where we are now, how the mechanics will work, and when you can expect it. (There may also be a bunch of new island screenshots at the bottom.)
As always, we’d love to hear your feedback – it’s the reason Steel is happening, after all.[/color]
[li]instead of just stills, would you be able to post video of actual combat events? it’s hard to get a feel for the system without seeing it in action or having a turn at the wheel.
but - what impact would it have on the game dynamics if the light on the prow was made into a true searchlight? one that swivels independent of the ship’s heading? so you can illuminate (and reveal your own location) without being straightjacked into run-forward-run-backward type of battle? player wouldn’t even have to run the light; it could "auto-target" the nearest threat, toggle between threats, toggle to forward-fixed, or click go off.
and if critters are going to submerge "off-screen" into the briny deep during combat rounds, would we see similar tricks while simply floating through the zee? that is, crabs that don’t just amble along the surface in plain open view, but lurk juuuust below the surface, waiting for something tasty to pass by? in Emerald, combat only ever really occurred by consent of the opposing parties. player almost always had the option of forcing battle or denying the enemy any hope of contact.
one last off-the-cuff item: what happens to Terror during all this rough-and-tumble? can’t help but notice that the ‘freak-out’ lights are ON in the combat stills. if Terror accrual doesn’t pause during combat rounds, even a simple fight could turn into a total bust on Terror points. all that cat-and-mouse can’t happen in the shallows or in the cast of a friendly buoy.[/li][li]
edited by Psst! on 9/4/2014
Looks promising ( especially the new islands ) ! Take your time and keep up the good work , delicious developers.
edited by Mr Pillows on 9/4/2014
>would you be able to post video of actual combat events? it’s hard to get a feel for the system
[color=#009900]The feel changes so quickly at the moment that we’d give a misleading impression (and video takes significantly longer to do in a way that doesn’t look rubbish)[/color]
>but - what impact would it have on the game dynamics if the light on the prow was made into a true searchlight? one that swivels independent of the ship’s heading?
[color=#009900]We talked about that, and we agreed that the problem of managing two orientations simultaneously, esp with mouse and keyboard rather than a gamepad, and especially with the goal of keeping the combat accessible to people who aren’t twitch gamers, was just too hard.[/color]
and if critters are going to submerge "off-screen" into the briny deep during combat rounds, would we see similar tricks while simply floating through the zee?
[color=#009900]Possibly. We’ve talked about it, but it’s a balance challenge, we’d need to add countermeasures, and it’s all extra complexity when our time available is short. We’ll see.[/color]
one last off-the-cuff item: what happens to Terror during all this rough-and-tumble?
[color=#009900]This has been a concern for us, too. Depending on final balance, we’re likely doing one or both of (i) reducing Terror rate increase a little (ii) providing a Terror reduction reward for defeating beasties.[/color]
Love the look of the new islands. I hope the Gant Pole means there will be another source for that item on the Curator’s list.
Not sure about the combat system I will have to wait and see now it works. I hope that beast spawning will be slightly different as in some places I have been attacked from 2 or 3 sides by Lifebergs or Angler Crabs. So needing to keep them all in my headlight would be impossible with the new system.
edit - forgot to mention the bats, they tend to come in swarms as well.
edited by reveurciel on 9/4/2014
that’s what i figured, which is why a toggle-function that auto-tracks the target for the player provides the benefit of use without the burden of engineering a complex interface. … in theory.
it might not have to be anything drastic, just a momentary reduction in profile, like the difference that exists now between sharks (subtle) and crabs (neon Vegas). change the sprite of the beast to better blend with the zee when it decides to play hide-and-go-stabbie. still visible to the player, but forcing them to pay greater attention to What Lies Beneath … and giving true reason to fear those quiet waters lapping at the hull; the ‘counter’ are your eyes and attention span. standard horror-genre stuff; in the best of them, you can’t trust anything, and SS seems geared in that direction - mystery, suspense, the unknown, all spiced with more than a pickle of danger …
don’t kill yourselves. easiest work-around is to halt accrual when combat triggers and re-activate when the sequence ends. effectively what the game did pre-Steel. from a thematic perspective, the crew ain’t carin’ about what nightmares MIGHT be out there when one living John of 'em is right there in the glare of the lights, actively trying to death them.
I really want to cheer the devs that implemented such a big (and, I get, unplanned) change at this point of the development of the game. Not easy at all!
The general idea seems interesting, I will say more after I will see it applied in the game with the next update and tried some combats. I suppose it will need some tweaking here and there. I don’t really want to give any indication or suggestion before I get a clear hold on the mechanics. I’m a turn-person but I liked Sid Meier’s Pirates, so I suppose I’ll get along well with this change too :)
Suspended judgement for now.
Oh you are the most glorious of tigers.
Looking good! Are you going to do any big changes to either scale (how far apart islands are spaced) or ship maneuverability? Because as it stands, it seems like just trying to outflank an opponent once would take the battle from the Iron Republic to halfway to Polythreme, and the Zee might end up seeming a bit crowded as a result.
[li]oh hell - forget space, think fuel, food, and time, dude. if battle doesn’t ‘scale’ then a hard fight (or even a brief one) could cost players all their fuel, food supplies, jack up their Terror, and advance Time in the 'neath to days down the calendar road, which might trigger other ancillary consequences.
[li]that ain’t gonna work.
[li]regular operations will have to scale-down to "battlefield" in order for any of this to work. again, borrowing from Sid’s Pirates!, you fix the battlemap as a mini-pond where the regular rules are temporarily suspended. basically, contact on the main map trips a zoom-in to a smaller map. winning the battle or running off the map (a successful flight / evasion) re-asserts the main map and re-institutes standard travel rules. if you don’t do that, then all the internal dynamics and balancing of the entire game will have to be massively re-engineered to accommodate the expectations of heavy loss in battle, whether you win or not.
[li]i’ll bet Sid had exactly the same issue, and that’s what led to the mini-map device.
[color=#009900]An arena approach was the most frequently discussed compromise solution to a non-cards approach. There are a number of reasons why not, but the top reason for why the main map is that we want this to plug into the existing economics, for a richer set of interactions among a smaller number of mechanics. It does require some tuning, but that’s one reason we’re taking the time.[/color][color=#009900]
[color=#009900]In terms of scale, it works very nicely - and because both enemies tend to turn towards each other (cf the WALTZ OF DEATH) battles don’t move around much. Which is kind of a shame, because it’s cool when they do.[/color]
[color=#009900]And yes, there’ll generally be fewer beasts on the map! :)[/color]
edited by Alexis on 9/5/2014
At the moment beasts have boundaries, it can be quite amusing watching them butting up against that invisible line :) but with the new combat system will they be able to cross that line during combat or could you get to the other side of it and use it to keep safe.
Could it be made that when you enter within the action range of an enemy the time clock changes pace becoming slower, so that the terror, food, fuel etc. decrease at a significantly slower rhythm?
Time would start flowing normally again once the ship goes out of the enemy range.
[color=#009900]In terms of scale, it works very nicely - and because both enemies tend to turn towards each other (cf the WALTZ OF DEATH) battles don’t move around much. Which is kind of a shame, because it’s cool when they do.[/color][/quote]
That raises the possibility of certain unusual encounters that play out as running battles, sailing from island to island to use special features of the island to do damage, or luring a monster into a trap.
>with the new combat system will they be able to cross that line during combat
[color=#009900]They can. Once an enemy can’t see you, it will keep looking for you for a while, and then give up and go home. Territories play into this ‘while’, IIRC - they’ll give up sooner as they get farther from home.[/color]
>pace becomes slower
[color=#009900]We could, and it’s an option we’re keeping as a Plan C, but we’d rather not change conditions in combat where we can avoid it: (i) to avoid balancing twice (ii) to avoid pushing players to abuse the system. If you’re running low on food and you realise that you can slow down food consumption by encouraging a crab to chase you back to port, it leads to weird behaviour :)[/color]
>raises the possibility of certain unusual encounters
[color=#009900]It does! This probably won’t happen, or won’t happen much, because we are being very fierce about scope creep now, but it would be nice.[/color]
Well I wrote an in-depth multiple points post about how combat will work better in it’s own arena (Pirates style) than on the main map. But you guys already addressed much of what I would have posted. But some points are still relevant so I might as well throw it there.
-1 Gaider Mourn: how are we supposed to fight the pirates there now? Will the pillars of rocks affect salvos in any way, or is that too complicated (would look weird having salvos clip through rocks) and how can we navigate and fight in such small passages? The second point is tied to this problem.
-2 Scale: all island are scaled down, which is fine when you are navigating around the sea merrily, and fighting in a separate "space", but will force a certain suspension of disbelief when fighting ships normally sized around little cute "chibi" island.
-3 Resources burned waltzing around enemies will make all fights not worth the trouble. That’s what a separate arena would be most useful for.
Unless the fight are so short to even mutter much. Which would be a bummer.
-4 Less beasts around doesn’t sound like a good thing, it would make the Sea feel much too devoid of anything. There are already not enough ships and stuff floating around the Zee.
Well, that’s my two cents, I know you guys are not rushing things but you asked for feedback and here it is.
Also approve the idea of winning fights helping with terror. I mean it should give you some confidence surviving with flying colors. Hopefully you can implement a system that gives better terror reduction rewards if you win quickly/without losses/under a certain damage threshold.
Will you rework the reward system related to the fragments awarded for observation, and how, if at all, will those work now?
With even less bests around fragments awarded needs to be seriously buffed to matter.
Still I appreciate a lot the time you take answering questions around the forum, it shows a certain transparency the bigger developers often can’t/don’t express.
Is range going to be a factor in combat now? Obviously combat has gotten way more complicated, but to me it’s kind of even more important now since range is something we can tangibly see in front of us.
Sounds and looks very very awesome so far, just two things; first, let’s say I run into some pirate frigatte and while my brave zailors innocently put holes in the buggers a caged shark sneaks up on me from behind and devouers them, bloody unlikely or just a new terror to get used to?
And secondly; the Tree of Ages, that Tree of Ages from the lonely light buoy? Really, just when I got a grip on my raging, sorrowspider induced, arachnophobia you have to throw this abominal spider council made of spider councils unnaturally fused to an octomaran in my way? Why?
Please. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top, don’t use green and red.
Think of your poor fellows who roams the zee and are colorblind.
[quote=Frenzgyn]Please. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top, don’t use green and red.
Think of your poor fellows who roams the zee and are colorblind.
Or have a colorblind setting! I’ve seen games with them before, if the color is important.