In Drox Operative, crew is an important part of your ship and as is usually true with people, they have their positives and negatives.
First off crew can sometimes be hard to come by. Unlike many things in the game, they can't be sold, bought, traded, or stored anywhere. They will only serve on your ship if you hire them, rescue them, or accomplish some kind of task for them.
They also expect to be treated and paid well. If they get unhappy enough they will refuse to work and eventually will even leave your sorry butt. So how does this work? Well first they expect to be paid every once in a while, so they slowly get upset between payments. They also really don't care for being hurt or killed, imagine that. Each individual is also from one of the races in the game. Do something bad to their race and they are going to get upset. Do something nice for their race and it will make them a bit happier. Actually paying them is the biggest positive contributor to their happiness of course. It is your choice when and how often to pay them.
Another one of the negatives is that they can be hurt and can even die. They do slowly heal over time and you can even pay to heal them. Be careful in hardcore though since death is permanent for the crew also.
The last negative is that each crew member takes up a slot in your ship. You can only have so many crew working at a time. They even compete with some of the smaller ship components.
So what do crew do for you? Well they are the main source of "attribute" points (tactical, helm, structural, engineering, and computers) which provide bonuses to your ships function and also limit the quality of the components you can install in your ship. If you have awesome crew at tactical, you will likely have great offensive capabilities. If you have bad crew at structural, you are likely navigating a card board box around that will get holes shot in it really quickly. To put it bluntly, this is really important.
Another really nice part is that they occasionally level up as they get experience. When this happens their stats will get better and make your ship even more powerful.
That's pretty much everything about the crew. None of this is really complicated, but I think the interactions and choices that players are going to need to make are going to be interesting. For example, do you have a mixed race crew or keep all of your crew from just one race? If you have a mixed race crew, you will have the freedom to keep the best crew you can find, but it will also be harder to keep them happy since you are bound to be pissing off their different races fairly often. If you only employ one race it will be easier to keep their race happy and thus your crew but then you will have much less selection and the overall quality of your crew will likely go down. You can have crew that overlap in their attributes, so do you focus more on one of them like tactical or do you take a more balanced approach? You will also need to decide whether or not a crew member is even as important as specific light ship components. You will even need to decide what to do with extra crew. You can't just stick them in a stash somewhere. Will you let them go or will keep them on the ship where they use an inventory slot?
Anyway, do you all have any thoughts?
Sounds pretty awesome -- like a mix of the crew from Pirates! with some elements of Jagged Alliance.
What I'd recommend is to consider taking more inspiration from Jagged Alliance and to give them some sort of personality. In Jagged Alliance, your life becomes complicated by the fact that each mercenary has a different personality. Some like partying, some are crazy and when you give them orders might decide to ignore you, and some don't get along. Using something similar to the personality randomization you have going in DC, you could have some crew members:
- be racist against other races
- be sexist
- want to get some R&R every couple of missions (stopping at bars and such)
- want a lot of money
- want a lot of space on your ship
Some would hate specific other members (past vendettas) and become steadily more unhappy as they're matched with them. Others will demand to work together with specific crew members, and quit if those other members quit or are killed.
Additionally, you could have your orientation affect crew member morale as in Baldur's Gate. If you're a good guy, trying to be honest, and you don't kill innocents, good crew members will stay with you. If you're evil and carry out shady deals, good crew members will become unhappy and bad guys will join you.
Thanks for this explanation :D
I don't understand how and where players can hire crew memebers? From planets? From missions?
I like also crews can generate personal missions and if player ignore that missions too much, they can leave.
I love also to see my old crew members as new allies or enemies, maybe as new Drox Operative ? This sounds cool !
I agree with randomization for crew members attributes, attitudes and story, but if I may ask you: there is a screen with all information about a crew member, or just stats? Are they just a "slot" in my inventory or part of the story ? For part of the story I mean interacting in dialogue with other npc (think nwn 1&2 or Baldur's Gate)
About leveling up of crew members. How this will happen? Automatic leveling up or player can choose specialization in different attributes?
Will be crew members part of micro-management of Drox ?
Thanks again :D
I haven't worked out where you will be able to actually hire crew, but it will most likely be at planets. You can rescue them from many places though.
Crew are integrated into the inventory screens so that it is easier to move them around and see their info. I'm not sure you will ever interact with them through dialog.
Crew leveling is automatic. Your choice is whether or not a specific crew member is good enough for your crew, not how they level up.
I *really* like the crew aspect of this game. This is likely to be one of my favorite parts. I like Bluddy's suggestions, except for the specific crew vs. specific crew. I'd change that so that:
a) Crew have particular kinds of missions they like. Certain kinds of missions will be opposites, likely (or close enough) so that they shouldn't both be liked by the same crew. But this I think gives you more flexibility than the "Good vs. Evil" axis.
b) Crew that have opposite preferences may come to dislike each other. Feuds among crew should be either i) a test of your leadership--how do you adjudicate as the captain? or ii) an encouragement to be consistent with kinds of missions, so that if you want diversity, you need to do more management.
Also, in addition to bigoted crew, maybe it'd be a good idea to have multicultural crew--crew who like serving with different races generally, crew who like to work with particular races in addition to their own. And of course like Bluddy was saying: Crew who are mission oriented. Crew who are money oriented. Maybe crew who favor particular parts of the galaxy (or maybe not--that might be too complicated).
Anyway, I really like where you're going with this.
One concern I have--I really like to be able to have my crew in games like this be loyal--as such, I feel compelled to treat them well as loyal members of my crew, and thus limit arbitrary firings just to optimize my crew. I know this contradicts the gameplay in Depths of Peril--which I could deal with, but didn't like. I'm hoping that in this game you can put effort into training and developing crew, so that you can build their loyalty, and not have to shuffle them around like engine parts. I'm fine with shuffling around tech. I want to have long-term relationships with crew.
Now, if it turns out that your mechanics require crew to be swapped out, I understand, but then can I request that you give me other options for getting rid of crew besides just firing them? Can I maybe send them off to a training school? Set them up with their own ship? Find them a new job with a friendly captain of another ship? Get them a cushy job on a space station or planet? Or something? I guess this would also suggest that airlocking problem crew (with appropriate effects on happiness, discipline, etc.), or abandoning them on remote planets should also be an option. For the "good" options, I don't mind if I have to pay some money to get rid of a crew member who I consider valuable. Another mechanism is that you could have a crew contract system, where you specify how long (missions? game time?) a crew has a contract with you, and then you can renew it when it expires, or just let it expire. This could be one mechanism for setting rates of pay, frequency of pay, etc.
I assume that the player is not the only Drox Operative at work in the game? And perhaps that Drox Operatives are not the only independent operators in the game?
Sorry if this has already been answered elsewhere, but how do you pay the crew? I click and there is a little hand with bills appearing. Then where do I click again to give the bills? Please help.
Still no name, that's why I couldn't understand. Thank you for the explanation.
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