If’n I had a space game

For a while I thought Eve Online was going to be my space game of choice. And it may still turn out to be so. But not right now. And no, it’s not due to the ‘sociopath generator’ structure.

See, Eve Online is a great space game. And they’ve made a decent first-person shooter that’s nominally integrated. (Dust 514). And they tried, separately, to make it possible to ‘walk in stations’. To walk through the corridors and interact with bars and control rooms.

So your capsuleer (I’ll get to that) could fly into station with a troop carrier, then lead an assault to capture the station, after which he could drop by the bar… you get the idea.

Now there’s a conceit in Eve Online that works really well. See, your player is a “capsuleer”. He (or she, using old-style generic here) is one of the tiny number of individuals who can accept being augmented. In EO itself this allows you to fly the ship. Notionally it’s full of crew obeying your commands and doing maintenance and, well, all of that. Functionally it allows you to ‘fly the ship’ by yourself. There are a couple of bonuses to this ability of yours that the unseen NPCs do not have. You have access to clones. If you die in combat or other stupidity, your clone awakens. You lost any hardware you had with the original ‘you’, but ‘you’ are active. And yes, the game lets you set up distant clones so you can ‘switch’ from body to body. Yes, somehow you can do this even faster than the universe allows FTL to travel. “Because magic” and “because fun” and let it go at that.

Dust 514 follows the same conceit except you can also insert into battlesuits. Well, infantry and vehicle ‘suits’. Same principle as the ships whether frigate or titan, once you have all the basic skills you can run it, but there’s basic and then there’s raising the skills to higher levels.

Now the reason this came up in my mind again is that I was reading Sugar Kyle’s blog and caught her article of dealing with abandoned player owned stations. See, long-term structures like stations stay in game even if you log off. And as long as you’re fueling them every few days (30 days for these in particular) they’re pretty tough and keep running your mining or processing or whatever you set them up to do so you didn’t have to stay logged on 24/7. But players get bored or whatever and these stations get abandoned.

Right now the only way to get rid of them is to shoot them. I said tough. It takes a small group of ships a couple of days of constant shooting. It takes a small fleet a bit less time. In the meantime they’re nuisances and potential threats – with the exact details depending on where its located.

Now what some players want is the ability to capture the ship. See, if you abandon a ship somewhere (not by logging out, but there are ways and necessities) and I fly up to it, I can jump out of my ship and into yours and now it’s mine. (And my previous is an abandoned ship just sitting there for someone to capture. Or for me to put in my hold if the sizes are right.) They don’t really want it to be as easy as jumping in, but they want to be able to capture it. The suggestions are using various existing tools.

And I flashed on my “I want”. Jump in with my assault team, clear the automated defenses on the way to the control station, possibly hack my way through self-destruct timers, and capture the base – or die trying (and end up in my clone a few star systems away).

Not going to happen, but it was a bit of a dream.

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~ by Kirk on April 1, 2014.

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