RTS direction

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VinWij
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Re: RTS direction

Post by VinWij » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:23 pm

Kind of like how one could enter the factories in Battlezone 2, to configure your units, and then enter the radar building, where you could control everything from above. Good part in that game was that enemy units were invisible when your units couldn't spot them, and this was a serious drawback.

So, where this will be heading is everything from fully customizable light recon drones to heavy, multi-weapon battlemechs, a complete combat dedicated resource and research-tree, artillery, nuclear strikes, amfibious warfare, radar cloaking, arial combat, space combat and so many other awesome aspects that are for instance already in TA:Spring (check it out, awesome RTS engine based on Total Annihilation).

The next step is renaming the game to 'Generic RTS X' and losing me as a player.

Factorio is about FACTORIES. That means producing rather than destroying. Factorio is about INTERACTION rather than warfare. Interaction with the environment, locals (being the biters), and maybe in the future traders to provide us with a new endless resource-sink. I already find combat tedious as it is, I don't need any more of it. The biters are great as a pressure-force on the player and his factory and provides an element that interacts with the pollution you create. But defending should always be hard, and offense even harder or maybe nearly impossible, since you are a factory-builder, not a one-man-general-army that vaporizes the enemy with a few shots of his photon-torpedo-battlemech.

I feel turrets should be the only weapon against biters, and combat should mainly be restricted to defending the factory and guarding supply lines. I'd rather see time and programming effort invested in expanding the resource-pool, finding new uses for it and fleshing out research into a useable research-tree. Also, since 'interaction' is more important than 'rts' for me, I'd rather see interaction with traders in orbit, like the way Startopia did it. A new production tree for export-only-products would also provide both a resource-sink and an excellent way to make factories even more complex. Things like 'food' would require lots of space, further pressurizing the natives and giving a bigger demand for proper defensive measurements. Think laser-fencing, more turrets, aerial-biters or resource-stealing biters. Finding creative ways to keep them at bay sounds more appealing than amassing some mech-army to just crush them. They should be uncrushable for a factory operator, which is what you essentially are in Factorio.

There, my two cents.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Adil » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:36 pm

VinWij wrote:not a one-man-general-army that vaporizes the enemy with a few shots of his photon-torpedo-battlemech.
Eh, what? That's exactly what you are now, it's only that shotgun and poison capsules are more resource efficient than photon torpedoes and six exoskeletons probably aren't enough to qualify as battlemech.
The game is indeed about factories, and weapon factories aren't unheard of.
VinWij wrote:I feel turrets should be the only weapon against biters, and combat should mainly be restricted to defending the factory and guarding supply lines.
But that's exactly what makes the combat tedious. Eventually, you just have to engage in combat be it because their settlement sits atop of the most promising oil deposit on a map or simply because wall repair costs start to weight you down.
And when you do it turns out that you're limited to a few exploit-like tactics if you want to achieve a victory there. What's the worst part is that all of them require your personal involvement.
There should be higher level solution to this. You're god-damn factory builder, why can't you build a separate production line for that? And if you were willing to transform your entire facility into a warmachine, why shouldn't that be unstoppable? You've paid the price after all.

Now speaking of actually rts. I wouldn't object to ability of micro controlling droids around the player, those of them that are advanced enough to understand direct orders. But on larger scales I wouldn't like to see factorio turning into a game about selection rectangles and flying camera.
What would look nice to me is army-based system: you assemble a bunch of common droids, you give them a command droid, you provide it with a set of sequentional orders (e.g. "move there1 - wait for x - move there2 - guard") and watch as they march past you into the unknown wilderness. Should you desire to give them orders and receive feedback (even see them on the map outside radars?) while they're out of your sight, you assign to them a communication droid or strap the appropriate module onto the commander if we actually get modular entities. That said, for the strategic view world-map should be used, not a freecam, unless some justification is put behind that.

And about the globulation2 mentioned here. The controls in that one and in majesty as well are extremelly unwieldy. If we had some biters fooled into servitude, such system would seem appropriate, but for a robots built by you for the sole purpose of following your orders it would result into too much of useless wandering and general silliness.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by Sander Buruma » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:11 pm

I would absolutely love this

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Drury » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:12 pm

VinWij wrote:Kind of like how one could enter the factories in Battlezone 2, to configure your units, and then enter the radar building, where you could control everything from above. Good part in that game was that enemy units were invisible when your units couldn't spot them, and this was a serious drawback.

So, where this will be heading is everything from fully customizable light recon drones to heavy, multi-weapon battlemechs, a complete combat dedicated resource and research-tree, artillery, nuclear strikes, amfibious warfare, radar cloaking, arial combat, space combat and so many other awesome aspects that are for instance already in TA:Spring (check it out, awesome RTS engine based on Total Annihilation).

The next step is renaming the game to 'Generic RTS X' and losing me as a player.

Factorio is about FACTORIES. That means producing rather than destroying. Factorio is about INTERACTION rather than warfare. Interaction with the environment, locals (being the biters), and maybe in the future traders to provide us with a new endless resource-sink. I already find combat tedious as it is, I don't need any more of it. The biters are great as a pressure-force on the player and his factory and provides an element that interacts with the pollution you create. But defending should always be hard, and offense even harder or maybe nearly impossible, since you are a factory-builder, not a one-man-general-army that vaporizes the enemy with a few shots of his photon-torpedo-battlemech.

I feel turrets should be the only weapon against biters, and combat should mainly be restricted to defending the factory and guarding supply lines. I'd rather see time and programming effort invested in expanding the resource-pool, finding new uses for it and fleshing out research into a useable research-tree. Also, since 'interaction' is more important than 'rts' for me, I'd rather see interaction with traders in orbit, like the way Startopia did it. A new production tree for export-only-products would also provide both a resource-sink and an excellent way to make factories even more complex. Things like 'food' would require lots of space, further pressurizing the natives and giving a bigger demand for proper defensive measurements. Think laser-fencing, more turrets, aerial-biters or resource-stealing biters. Finding creative ways to keep them at bay sounds more appealing than amassing some mech-army to just crush them. They should be uncrushable for a factory operator, which is what you essentially are in Factorio.

There, my two cents.
If Factorio were to ever become an RTS I assure you it would be very inappropriate to rename it to "'Generic RTS X" because the game is at the stage that it is impossible for it to be anything like any other RTS ever made, much less a generic one (what is a generic RTS anyway? RTS is probably the most diverse genre of all, every franchise feels and plays completely different). That does not mean it wouldn't benefit from RTS elements or that they wouldn't be consistent with the theme of the game. As I said a thousand times before, biters weren't implemented as a cosmetic feature, they were not implemented to force you to spam turrets and walls, they were implemented as an enemy to be defeated. Otherwise they wouldn't have fortified bases with spawners that have alien artifacts inside of them, they would spawn out of thin air instead, much like the mobs in Minecraft. In fact, the biters can be perceived as an AI-controlled RTS faction, they make bases, they fortify bases with worms, and they send out units to destroy your base - in this regard RTS elements are already in, in a primitive form. Battling them the same way they battle you is only natural, and the game has perfect underlying design for this purpose - you gather resources, you use them to build your base, you use your base to build your units out of gathered resources, everything is perfectly automated. Only a single link is missing.

By the way, how is interaction different from RTS? Do you mean you don't interact with RTS elements or what? If anything RTS elements would add more interaction to warfare, you would actively control your tanks to attack biters. Turtling your base isn't interactive, you don't even have to be present in any way, the turrets take care of everything.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by blueimpb » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:30 am

This would be a great late-game dynamic. Instead of robots, they could be the settlers that show up! You have to build barracks/housing for them, and farms to feed them, and medical supplies, etc etc. And in exchange you get armies you can send around.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by sTumPy » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:36 pm

how would it be if you can get something like automated task forces ? (Don't know if they are robots or colonists from earth) You can hire them in a special building.
Maybe you can choose from different troop sizes like small, medium, and large for the beginning.
And if you for example want a small force then you need to make 30 Iron Armor, 20 Pistols, 10 Rifles, and 5 Grenades and some ammo.
At the end a large group need Tanks and stuff to hire.

All they would do is go out and kill some biters/nests, and maybe bring you the alien artifacts, so you dont have to go everytime by yourself.
Maybe they only "hunt" in a specific area around the building. Until they get all killed :P
There should be a limit here how many troops from one building can be there at the same time.

I really like Factorio as it is right now in terms of building. So if you drive out of your base in search for a new mining site, you have to go by yourself and look how it is the best way to transport stuff / defend and everything else.
But it would really be a help to get alien artifacts.
Because i think you will need them for new end game content much more.

It makes a lot of Factorios charm that you can run over the planet all by yourself.
Also i think the building is well done with the blueprints already.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by bobingabout » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:10 am

Okay, I see a lot of the plans here have already been implemented, but I do have something that has been bugging me just a little that you could add.

We have the Logistic side: Roboports with Logistic zones and Logistic robots that carry items around as needed.
We have the Construction side, Those same Roboports also have a Construction zone and Construction robots that place entities of items you've already built where you tell them to, and even repair damaged buildings.

Then there's turrets, that defend the area they're placed.
And you also have an array of items at your personal disposal too, including some Robots.
Currently, Combat robots will either Follow the player, or defend the position they've been assigned, but don't live very long before they die.



What we need is an internal fussion of the Combat robot, the Logistic robot, and the Construction robot, just like you recently fused the Furnace and the Assembly Machine. (They might be merged internally already, I don't know for sure, but I do know their functionalities are different)

This would mean that some things that a combat robot can do, you can code a Logistic or Construction robot to do... Follow the player, have a finite time to live etc, these Logistic/Construction robot varients would essentially use the player as a roboport and chest. This would be useful for setting up a new base where you don't have power yet, without having to do everything by hand.

Also, and likely more importantly, it would mean you can code Combat robots to do some things that a Logistic or Construction robot can do, including living inside a roboport, living indefinitely(no time to live counter), and recharging. Some additional features would have to be added though such as a Combat zone, where these Combat robots will leave the roboport and go hunt down and kill any enemies inside the combat zone.
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Re: RTS direction

Post by xnmo » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:28 pm

What I would like would be walking robot mechs that you can order around freely that could perform various tasks including those that are outside of the roboport network. So you could automate destroying biter nests and putting the artifacts in storage, cut down forests without having to build dozens of roboports, as well as general mobile base defense.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Jythier » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:04 pm

So much in this thread!

I don't know about everyone else, but there are two things going on here. One, factory defense. Two, 'gathering alien tech' which actually is offensive movement in the current iteration, but might end up being something else - trading. Or something. Anyway, we'll call that offensive movement also for now, because what you're doing is getting them hooked on your stuff so that you can have their BABIES good grief what kind of people are we?

Anyway, there's only two ways to do anything in this game. You can either do it yourself, or you can automate it. There is a middle method where you do some yourself (usually seen as feeding coal to machines in the beginning of the game) but really that's doing it yourself.

So, currently, what I'm hearing is that combat is a totally do-it-yourself process. And this RTS thing where you command units around is simply another way of doing it yourself, which is the opposite of what the game is. It's wrong. It's totally silly to think that makes sense. You want to automate the collection of alien artifacts.

The answer is... already in the game. Roboports should also have a radius that controls military units. So, you have to get up real close to the enemy, build a base, build a roboport, and then put robots in it that will go destroy them. That you order from either the roboport or through some new way of controlling things. But, you have to BE THERE to order them.

So robots become a sort of mobile turret, but they can't just act on their own - they still need battery power. They need to recharge. They're not going to change from being a fallible builder to being an infallible killing machine, right? No way.

The point is, programming the robots should either be simple, but not robust, or complicated and robust, in the same way that you can build an amazing network with wires that does all kinds of things. It needs that sort of a system of control behind it. Creative. A system that inspires people to make awesome things that other people couldn't even imagine.

"Well, when I want my robot to attack, I load a wood into this chest, which triggers this wire and then the robots are switched to attack mode. When I want them to patrol, I..." etc.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Dracohouston » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:14 am

Combat bots that live in roboports was the first idea I had when I looked into modding and I was very disappointed that it didn't seem possible with existing prototypes. The tank has been a great addition to combat and really completes the mid game, the existing personal weapons in mil 1 and 2 are perfect tools for the early game, but the end game is still awful as hell. It was cool the first few times I ran around in near invincible power armour mk 2 and AP shotgun shells 2 shotting spawners but it is so tedious after a while. There is no incentive to expand your factory for war beyond making an assembler to feed you ammo when you return via bots, walling off things with laser turrets etc.

The construction bots being able to plop down 2 dozen turrets and a thick wall in seconds and the obscene amount of destroyers you can get help but I massacred giant bases without these things because the power armour and ap shell combat shotgun is so effective, and once done with the initial processor investment, a drop in the bucket compared to what you need for rocket defense, it is so cheap.
blueimpb wrote:This would be a great late-game dynamic. Instead of robots, they could be the settlers that show up! You have to build barracks/housing for them, and farms to feed them, and medical supplies, etc etc. And in exchange you get armies you can send around.
Yeah the more I look at the game the more it needs the actual colony to arrive and spice things up. I've seen the 'endgame' mods people have made and it is just more and more elaborate recipes for obscenely good stuff. I want a reason to do more logistics in the endgame and better factories just aren't exciting enough when the base game buildings scale up so well already
sTumPy wrote:how would it be if you can get something like automated task forces ? (Don't know if they are robots or colonists from earth) You can hire them in a special building.
Maybe you can choose from different troop sizes like small, medium, and large for the beginning.
And if you for example want a small force then you need to make 30 Iron Armor, 20 Pistols, 10 Rifles, and 5 Grenades and some ammo.
At the end a large group need Tanks and stuff to hire.

All they would do is go out and kill some biters/nests, and maybe bring you the alien artifacts, so you dont have to go everytime by yourself.
Maybe they only "hunt" in a specific area around the building. Until they get all killed :P
There should be a limit here how many troops from one building can be there at the same time.

I really like Factorio as it is right now in terms of building. So if you drive out of your base in search for a new mining site, you have to go by yourself and look how it is the best way to transport stuff / defend and everything else.
But it would really be a help to get alien artifacts.
Because i think you will need them for new end game content much more.

It makes a lot of Factorios charm that you can run over the planet all by yourself.
Also i think the building is well done with the blueprints already.
Supply the troops then move them with trains imo, it'd be so cool.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Sting_Auer » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:45 am

If you decide to go a more RTS route, I would like to see players be able to customize their drones, auto-tanks, or whatever, to an extreme degree. Different types of weapons, different types, materials, and calibers of bullets, different barrel lengths, magazine sizes, propulsion systems, energy storage (electric or fuel, for instance, or even hybrid), engine types, armor types and thicknesses, etc., all with different stats, advantages, and drawbacks.

This isn't particularly useful or interesting in PvE since you're dealing with AI that is, for the most part, always the same, and will react the same way to stimuli.

In PvP, however, this leaves things open for an endless stream of content creation. Arena-style "Eliminate the Enemy" servers could have players developing overarching strategies outside the game (called a "meta" in many circles), such as deciding "Thinner and lighter armor is better so your drones are faster and cheaper", which would shift and change as players developed counters to existing metas, such as creating a drone with heavier armor and an extremely fast-firing, low-caliber machine gun to shred the currently popular lightly-armored drones, causing the lightly armored drones to become obsolete in many contexts, prompting a counter to be made to the armored bullet-spewer, and so on and so forth.

In a more sandbox type of server where the game is not divided into rounds, and instead has a persistent world, you would see the current meta being augmented by the circumstances of that specific server. Automated defenses would see a heavy focus as a way to defend industrial centers while the owners aren't online to command the robots, and automated escorts and patrols would most likely be developed as a way to make sure trains keep feeding resources to places and your sphere of influence is maintained.


I have some other, more specific ideas, but I don't feel I have developed them enough to share them. Thank you for taking time to read this. I am more than welcoming to feedback.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Earendel » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:34 pm

Using the existing logic structure of the game, the next step would seem to be making combinations like:
Car + Drone CPU + Weapon + Ammo.
Train + Turret could be useful too.

[Edit] Because these vehicles would be persistent, they would need fuel and ammo, or would need recharging.

In terms of managing units, more automation is better. A good solution would be an area designation system. Select a 'Zone Blueprint', click an drag and area on the land or the map to define a 'zone'. Zone could be named or left as 'Zone 1'. Assign units to the zone (a bit like assigning stations to trains). Units move toward the zone, attack enemies, then patrol the zone. In this way you could use zones for rally points, defence and offence.

Vehicle deployment could be achieved with a 'Vehicle Assembly Machine' a 5x5 factory / garage style structure with a rotatable exit. If the building centre is not already occupied by a vehicle, a completed vehicle is placed and assign to the building's default zone so it will drive itself out.

You could then build on that system with things like customisable vehicle orders. Conditions like: if [vehicle of type] in [Zone] [<] [25] then continue...

It would be good if autonomous units could be switched to manual so you can still drive them (like trains). Also, it would be great to have some sort of inaccurate but long range mortar weapon, and artillery units.

I find the current ways of destroying enemy bases very tedious so it would be great to be able to focus more on managing the factory to produce units.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by Lukasecicek » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Managing "AI" units made by player could be done with railroad stop style - you could drop pole saying "defend area 20 tiles around me" or "roam to pole XY" (names as railroad stations). When using units to attack, you could just switch some poles to gather units defending them to one pole and then switch that pole to something like "attack south/west 100 tiles". AI would be programmed to battle by shooting, not maneuvering, so it would be mindless creepers against mindless robots/tanks/other attack units player can make.

Poles i imagine useful (and imo they should be kept simple, as for example belts, to make players think factorio way even when fighting):
Guard pole X - unit just stands near the pole (as near as it can get, if there are other units/buildings) and reacts to enemies up to X tiles away (X should be set by player)
Roam pole - unit gets to the pole and then roams to other pole set by this one (the unit is not programmed like a train, the pole just tells it the next stop)
Attack pole - only pole that sends units somewhere unknown - you can program a side to which you want to attack (8 sides should be more than enough) and how far the units should go. For example "Attack South, 40 tiles", the unit (upon touching that pole) will roam 40 tiles to south with aggro set the same as biters have. After the fight is done (or there is actually nothing to fight on the way), it just waits at this destination until the player switches the pole to some other command.
Recharge pole X - find nearest recharge point up to X tiles away from the pole - that could be just a simple standing platform to which you could add inserters to automatically load ammo and coal

With those poles we could have techs for simple green and red potions for automated cars with one weapon - machine gun (that gets better with player machine gun upgrades). In later game, cars or tanks with cannon could be possible aswell, all managed by poles.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by colonyan » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:19 am

How about conventional long range artillery cannon? Ground fixed ones and vehicle one?
Are they considered too good for game's theme.
They could just wipe off most of biter colonies around bases.

Add fire power to player side and add colony based alien enhancement bases for aliens in little distanced locations for military campaign(== resource sink)

For player side
Conventional artillery cannons as above.

For Alien side
Biter spawner carapace enhancer organ - They occasionally appears as soon as alien make first hostile contact with player.
All biter spawner will gradually gets more hit point with this enhancer alive.

Biter slow movement poison gland - This organ structure will allow biter's bite to slow down player's movement. As time passes more and more
it gets wide splayed among spawned biters and effects gets stronger. Player must destroy this to stop this.

Biter slow regeneration poison gland - Similar to above one, it will slow down player's regen speed.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by cptepicness » Wed May 06, 2015 12:06 am

RTS mode could be a possible function for the space stage of factorio.

Imagine this, you left that planet with enraged biters and spitters hammering at your factory. You will STILL need a viable amount of land to get the colonists on the planet. Since you(the player) are no longer on the planet, who is going to manage it? What is going to protect it? What is going to send you additional resources into space?

>Introduction to Radio Control(new technology/possibly before space stage)
This is to add extended communication to log/con robots. Say that you are pretty far off from the logistic systems range, using radio control you can directly command a single logistics robot to bring something to you.
This tech will lead to Satellite Control

>Introduction to Satellites (Seriously, if we have rockets we should have satellites too!)
Satellites can be used as a replacement to Radios and Radars. Satellites can give live-feed of the sector(s) it's viewing
>Satellites II
Satellites can now command all the robots within it's view.

>Introduction into Command & Control
This adds a control beacon that will connect an array of satellites( could be just one, but more adds to range and control). Construction robots can now be ordered to build specific items at specific places. This marks the beginning of RTS mode
>C&C II
This adds a new structure that will build defender drones. Defender drones could be ordered around like any kind of attack unit in an RTS.
>C&C III
This adds the defender module. The defender module can be fitted into tanks and cars to turn them into drones.
Defender units secure areas that will be designated for the colonists.
>Rocket Pods I
This adds a pod that can be filled with resources and set to space

RTS mode is really just Satellite control mode. The player can exit from the beacon and continue working on space, occasionally checking on the progress of his constructions and attacks.
I don't necessarily want Factorio to go full-on RTS style. During the very beginnings of the game your factory is barely getting off the ground with you hauling everything manually. Soon you progress in the game, and suddenly you got factories taking a heck of a lot of space. By the time you could send yourself off the planet your factory went from being that insignificant spot on the ground to this big huge complex on the planet.
RTS mode can be used to gain a much greater control of everything instead of hauling yourself halfway across the planet just to replace some inserters.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by wwdragon » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:41 pm

I like the idea of combat robots.

That said, the current implementation of them sucks!
The reasons for this is because they are very expensive/time consuming & worse, they are TEMPORARY!
All drones should be permanent until destroyed and simply require recharge.

Drone bays should be a modular addon for both high tier suits and vehicles, which will fight enemies nearby either in defence more or aggressive (set by user).
They should simply come back to the host vehicle/structure to recharge, much like the construction and logistics drones.

Combat drones could work in the construction area (green square) to automatically go and shoot any enemies within that area that are attacking your structures (including walls), then simply return to base and recharge/park.
Last edited by wwdragon on Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by GreenNuke » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:56 pm

Will there be various types of different fighting robots?

Like for instance there would be a humanoid robot armed with a weapon, or flying little swarms of robots? I'd love to produce my own army of Terminators

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Re: RTS direction

Post by wwdragon » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:52 pm

I've got to partially retract my earlier statement about combat drones.

Since the top tier ones put out 5 at a time, they are pretty effective. :-)

They should still be permanent until destroyed, just needing recharge!

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Re: RTS direction

Post by 0x000FF4 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:46 am

I would like to see an option to program your own AI to fight against other AIs.

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Re: RTS direction

Post by MalcolmCooks » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:26 am

I think that so long as the biters were given more evolution tiers, or a new more sophisticated enemy was added, then this would be a perfect addition. Once you have put satellites into orbit they need a purpose, and giving you RTS-style control of your factory is very fitting. Adding RTS-style fighting units would also make clearing out biter nests more interesting and viable; Currently you risk your life every time you want to clear out a nest, and if you die you have to reload and try again. But being able to automate attacks, and only risking resources would discourage save-scumming a little bit. I imagine something like Total Annihilation, with combat mechs or robotic tanks being produced in special factories. They would be an excellent resource sink. Now suppose your ultimate goal was to work in cooperation with the future colonists, clear enough space of biters for them to build a colony, like a huge space hundreds of chunks wide, and to supply them with the materials to build :)

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