How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Ideas and suggestions for how to improve the Warzone 2100 base game only. Ideas for mods go in Mapping/Modding instead. Read sticky posts first!
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MIH-XTC
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How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Post by MIH-XTC » 22 Jul 2019, 14:56

In the campaign, research items become available from collecting artifacts.

In multiplayer, research starts off with a few items and everything else eventually becomes available.

What do you think about the idea of having a button on the hosting menu to allow for an "artifact mode" in multiplayer/skirmish?

Basically this mode would enforce certain items such as research module, power module etc... only becoming available from artifacts and players have to find the artifacts on the map.

The artifacts would just be randomly placed around the map each time exactly how oil barrels are.

Programming wise this seems easy, just re-use the oil barrel placement code and feed it a list of items that should be artifacts... then enforce the keyTopic flag.

Should we have artifact mode in multiplayer?

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Berg
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Re: How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Post by Berg » 22 Jul 2019, 22:56

I don't think it would be a good idea to have research upgrades and similar.
Its not going to enhance the game and you would need to make it perfectly balanced.
Adding things is good but this seems dangerous. More it seems it might make balance out the window.
Someone with insane amount of sensor bugs running around finds all there is to find.
That would mean the game is total unbalanced.
I know you can say good for that player but from the game point of view the game will totally change.
I see this as not good.

Forgon
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Re: How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Post by Forgon » 23 Jul 2019, 09:04

Collecting artifacts to enable research items works for the campaign
because of its duration: Multiple small enemy bases must be conquered
one after the other, spread out over several missions that take at least
a dozen hours to complete. Research is slowed down by showing artifacts
only after finishing tasks, since otherwise players might get bored,
having researched all technologies long before reaching the final
mission.

In contrast, multiplayer games allow researching all important items
within approximately 1 hour. Tying technological advancement to the
destruction of enemy buildings makes little sense because at that point
the enemy is usually already beaten. Players also tend to focus on
specific kinds of weapons, and capturing research items from someone who
uses a different research strategy (e.g. by researching rockets instead
of cannons) is of little use.

Distributing artifacts randomly on maps as an incentive to collect them
has several drawbacks:
  • it might greatly change the nature and balance of this game (I agree
    with Berg, who has already written that)
  • it is unsuitable for small maps, e.g. Atom
  • skirmish AIs contain no routines to search for artifacts effectively
  • randomness has no memory, and people who are ignorant of this fact
    may feel cheated if it puts them at a disadvantage

Cyp
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Re: How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Post by Cyp » 23 Jul 2019, 14:05

Forgon wrote:
23 Jul 2019, 09:04
… Players also tend to focus on
specific kinds of weapons, and capturing research items from someone who
uses a different research strategy (e.g. by researching rockets instead
of cannons) is of little use. …
Except when researching just MG up to twin AG in a FFA, being pushed back by a deadly cannon army, and then somehow managing to pick up the needle gun artefact from one of the players before it's too late.

MIH-XTC
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Re: How to make artifacts useful and relevant in multiplayer

Post by MIH-XTC » 23 Jul 2019, 14:34

haha about the unbalance, that's kind of the point is to make things randomly unbalanced within reason so that players don't know what advantages their opponent may have. It's about increasing replayability of the same maps or scenarios. Otherwise, the same map will produce the same strategies and tactics every time. I think it should be a mode that can be disabled with a button on the hosting menu.

The artifact array would be specific to each tech level T1, T2, T3 and it should accept a parameter for the number of copies. For example, for T1 we can specify about 8-10 artifacts, specify 1-10 copies of each artifact and then just randomly place them in the middle of the map.

You guys are talking, one person accidentally gets gauss cannon artifact in their base and the other person gets mg. Naw, that's way too unbalanced.

And it doesn't have to be base modules. It could be like all of the damage, ROF or accuracy upgrades for all weapon lines or something like that.

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