Soldak Home   Drox Operative   Din's Curse   Depths of Peril   Zombasite  

Go Back   Soldak Entertainment Forums > Drox Operative > Drox Operative game
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-23-2013, 11:46 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,055
Default End Goals

I haven't been on the forums in a while, and what brought me back is the new Din's Curse patch. While I was at it, I checked out the new patch for Drox. Not having played for a long while, I found the game much more polished than it was earlier, but it's still lacking a strong end goal. This is something that has been a problem since the beta: Drox is more a sandbox than a game, and some of the reviews even latched onto that (while still giving Drox a generally positive score). In my opinion, a sandbox will always be weaker than a game -- sandboxes lack challenge and focus, and in general interest me a lot less than games. Some sandboxes make it big (Terraria and Minecraft are good examples), but those generally allow for a huge degree of creativity, which Drox, by its nature, cannot allow for.

The thing is, the ingredients to make Drox focused are already in the game as far as I can tell. Currently, the main objectives to each sector are open ended: economic win, fear, alliance etc. These were added due to requests by the fans, but really they just make Drox even more open-ended and less focused. However, since the game has missions from Drox high command, I suggest those become the main objectives for the game. Furthermore, these missions could be played with to make them even more interesting and tense. The Drox high command could set one goal or start with no goal, then change their mind and replace a goal or add another goal. These things would happen gradually during a play session and would be randomly generated. Some possible missions:

- Destroy faction X
- Protect all of X's planets (really hard one)
- Ensure peace between X and Y (both have to exist, and you'll have to guard the diplomats of both sides)
- Ensure constant war between X and Y.
- Protect X
- Protect X, followed by protect Y (when Y is X's mortal enemy. It would be randomly chosen of course).
- Explore the entire sector (replaces a current victory condition)
- Reinforce the mighty image of the Drox (replaces the current fear victory condition)
- Ensure the survival of 3 races.
- Help X colonize 20 planets.
- Destroy 5 bosses.
- Reach system X within 10 minutes.
- etc

There is so much room for creativity with these random goals, and these are the kinds of things that will create stories and elevate this game to the level of DC and DoP IMO. Can you imagine the tension of getting one of these goals when your situation makes them so very difficult? Sometimes you'll have to protect the 'empire', which will be a cakewalk, and sometimes you'll have to fight with the 'rebels' against the empire. But the key thing is that if you fail the mission(s), you lose the sector. This brings up the tension several notches.

Now, I know the original game is fully formed, but an expansion is the perfect place to make this kind of change. And before I get a whole bunch of replies saying "I love the game as is, don't you change anything about it", let me just suggest that the current game mode can be preserved as a checkbox marked 'sandbox mode' before starting a game.

Yes, there will be fans of this game, as there are for any game, and for good reason: Drox does a lot of things really well -- several of which have never been done before, and it's certainly Soldak's most polished game. But in my opinion, it's currently missing the special something to make it take off. DC had the ingredients to make it huge but was unfortunately too unpolished in its graphics, animations and some of its basic ARPG mechanics (not to mention that it reached Steam late, something that will apparently happen with Drox as well). Drox has polish, its basic ARPG mechanics are pretty good, and it innovates by taking ARPGs to where they've never been before (space). But it loses the excellent advantages DC and DoP had with the dynamic quest system and competitive races (DoP specifically) by squandering it on an essentially aimless game. The thing is, the ingredients to make it work and bring back the tension are almost in the game already, they just need to be tweaked a little.
__________________
Mods: DC Balance UI | DoP UI | Drox Guild Time Silence | DL Texture | Join our Discord!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-23-2013, 03:53 PM
Castruccio's Avatar
Castruccio Castruccio is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 550
Default

Complete agreement with this post. It's the reason I play DC still even though Drox has been out a long while. I'd love to see concrete goals incorporated somehow.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:48 PM
PixelLord's Avatar
PixelLord PixelLord is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 635
Default

This has created quite a stir.
__________________
Stephen A. Hornback
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-23-2013, 10:24 PM
Tuidjy's Avatar
Tuidjy Tuidjy is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: La La Land (California)
Posts: 847
Default

I actually like sandboxes, and obviously enjoy Drox, but also agree that it could be improved by giving us a bit more of a reason to love and hate the different races.

Right now, the races are barely distinguishable by their ships' qualities and technology levels and not different enough in their approach to diplomacy. And the worse part is, they feel completely interchangeable, apart from the services they offer.

Having a persistent galaxy is definite step in the right direction. But it did not go far enough. Races that finish five sectors in a row in an alliance (with each other and the Drox) still start the new one barely at 66% relationship. A race that has been wiped out in every single sector still greets me with "A Drox Operative is good to find." In a sector 15 levels above mine, I can still decide who live and dies, blow up a race's home planet guardians in a matter of seconds, and bribe mortal enemies into peace for 1/20th of my cash reserves...

But the worst part is, the races in my eyes are nothing but the services that they offer. They do not talk to me (or rather, all planets say the same thing) they offer more or less the same kinds of quests, and they do are not really different in their loyalty or back stabbing. Sure there are some modifiers, but they do not go far enough, and which is worse, they do not slide up or down as the galaxy matures.

With my current ship, I must have gone through 15 sectors or so. I have ALWAYS supported the Scavengers, the Lithosoid, the Fringe and the Drakk. The failed to keep the Drakk alive once, but everyone else has always ended the sector safe and allied to me. I do not go out of my way to exterminate the Dryad and the Cortex, and everyone else dies. Well, 13 (I just checked) sectors in, only Human has been extinguished, and in every new sector, I still feel that I can buddy up to anyone, except the monsters races which I try to wipe before they fight anyone else but me.

So I definitely agree with the original thread starter that Drox needs to get the player more emotionally invested. I actually think that it would be not only easier, but also more effective to do so not by changing what happens in sectors, but adding stuff that happens BETWEEN sectors. Have a short, procedurally generated description of an event, throw in a few still pictures (a landscape with something happenings, the diplomacy mug shot of a race, the appropriate race theme, and a few sentences describing the event) and start the sector with a theme... a bit like the challenge sectors, but strung together with a story that makes a few races into bastards, a few races sympathetic, and as the galaxy matures, strengthen the monsters, and keep throwing more and more Ancients into the mix.

Oh, and give everyone some useful services. Right now the Lithosoids, Scavengers and Fringe have services that can increase a ship's strength threefold, Drakk is a never-ending supply of crew members, and no one else has anything that makes me want to protect them.

=====

That said, I understand that Soldak is a small outfit, and I have no idea about the number of their customers, or the direction they want to go. They have done damn well by me. I have played Din's Cruse and Drox for longer than I have played anything that's not a Total War or a true ASCII roguelike, so I definitely like what Soldak is doing. It's just that I think that the game would be tremendously improved if it could engage the players a bit more with the races. Right now, I play the game to build a crew that can keep together the most powerful or challenging ship I can think of. I would not mind to play the game so that I can eradicate those backstabbing Xs, or save the poor Ys from the hordes of the Zs.
__________________
No good deed goes unpunished...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-24-2013, 01:24 PM
Tyrax Lightning's Avatar
Tyrax Lightning Tyrax Lightning is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WA
Posts: 459
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuidjy View Post
Right now, the races are barely distinguishable by their ships' qualities and technology levels and not different enough in their approach to diplomacy. And the worse part is, they feel completely interchangeable, apart from the services they offer.
I've pondered on this too & can agree. I've also pondered on how the Scrounger Components got changed to Scavenger only.

I've pondered on having ALL Racial Slot Components become Race only Equips like the Scrounger Components, but that could cause an awful lotta grief for builds... for example, Fighter Bays only equipable by Drakk would be awfully selfish, & Power Plants equipable only by Fringe Ships would be an outright disaster.

So, a refined version of the above idea... Race Exclusive Versions of the Racial Slot Components that are perhaps x1.2ish stronger than non-Race Exclusive versions of the Components, equipable by both the PC & NPC Races. Examples: Drakk Fighter Bay Ships that are 1.2x stronger than the other Ship Models but only Drakk Players/NPCs can equip, (My Pulse Wings & Lightning Tyrax Mod Fighter Ships could handle this position if I could ever get them finished... RL keeps getting in the way of me even getting to work on the Mod... let alone my still needing to power up my Code Literacy... >_< ) 1.2x stronger Power Plants only Fringe Players/NPCs can equip... 1.2x stronger Armor & Shield Regen Components Dryad PC/NPC Ship Exclusive, etc. This could give the Races more identity without causing grief in options for Ship Speccing.

This could also mean that the Scroungers could regain accessibility for the non-Scavengers, but the current ones could be the Scavenger Racial Version of the Component & the other Races could only be allowed access to 1.2x less powerful versions of this Component.

This might entail a bit of Balance Testing, but nonetheless, how's this idea sound?

Oh, & I've always found it odd that some Races don't use their Race's Racial Slot Components... for example, why the buggers don't NPC Drakks ever use any Fighter Bays?

My 1 1/2 cents.

Last edited by Tyrax Lightning : 08-24-2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Fixed Post.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-24-2013, 07:42 PM
norari1977 norari1977 is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Japan
Posts: 18
Default

- Destroy faction X
- Protect all of X's planets (really hard one)
- Ensure peace between X and Y (both have to exist, and you'll have to guard the diplomats of both sides)
- Ensure constant war between X and Y.
- Protect X
- Protect X, followed by protect Y (when Y is X's mortal enemy. It would be randomly chosen of course).
- Explore the entire sector (replaces a current victory condition)
- Reinforce the mighty image of the Drox (replaces the current fear victory condition)
- Ensure the survival of 3 races.
- Help X colonize 20 planets.
- Destroy 5 bosses.
- Reach system X within 10 minutes.
- etc

these random goal mission from Drox High Command will be interesting. i feel Drox Highcommand should have more importance on this game. i still love this sandbox style gaming though, it'll be nice to see another game mode too( it should call ranger mode or drox highcommand mode) like what you suggested.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-25-2013, 01:40 PM
Tyrax Lightning's Avatar
Tyrax Lightning Tyrax Lightning is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WA
Posts: 459
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by norari1977 View Post
- Destroy faction X
- Protect all of X's planets (really hard one)
- Ensure peace between X and Y (both have to exist, and you'll have to guard the diplomats of both sides)
- Ensure constant war between X and Y.
- Protect X
- Protect X, followed by protect Y (when Y is X's mortal enemy. It would be randomly chosen of course).
- Explore the entire sector (replaces a current victory condition)
- Reinforce the mighty image of the Drox (replaces the current fear victory condition)
- Ensure the survival of 3 races.
- Help X colonize 20 planets.
- Destroy 5 bosses.
- Reach system X within 10 minutes.
- etc

these random goal mission from Drox High Command will be interesting. i feel Drox High Command should have more importance on this game. i still love this sandbox style gaming though, it'll be nice to see another game mode too (it should call ranger mode or Drox High Command mode) like what you suggested.
Destroy 5 Bosses is typically ludicrously easy. The rest of them... do ya think we're all Sun Tzu!? O_0 We aren't all tactical gods... I'll never stand a chance at this game with those kinda objectives being in the game & being game over to fail...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-25-2013, 03:27 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,055
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrax Lightning View Post
Destroy 5 Bosses is typically ludicrously easy. The rest of them... do ya think we're all Sun Tzu!? O_0 We aren't all tactical gods... I'll never stand a chance at this game with those kinda objectives being in the game & being game over to fail...
The basic goal in DC was 'protect the town', or specifically, 'protect the main leaders of the town'. That was enough to create incredible tension, and it was certainly doable -- sometimes. Sometimes circumstances made it impossible, but you gave it your best shot and perhaps you even won against all odds. This kind of randomness made DC very re-playable.

Drox has a huge latent advantage in that there isn't one set of goals - there are potentially many. This means it supports much more variety. But these goals have to be fail conditions or they aren't real goals. As an aside, I would only expect 1 or 2 (or maximum 3) to be active at any one time.

Imagine this scenario: you arrive at a galaxy. Initially, you have no goals from Drox command. So right now, you just wander around, trying to learn as much about your surroundings as possible. You meet the humans and the Shadow, start doing a few quests for them, when suddenly, the Drox reveal their goal for this sector: make sure the Brunt win (which means they either remain the only race or they are allied with every other race and are sufficiently powerful to survive). You haven't even met the Brunt yet! Now it's a race through multiple star systems to find the Brunt. You scout as much as you can, but simply cannot locate them. Out of desperation, you check on the humans. Turns out they've met the Brunt and have their contact information, but they want an arm and a leg for it. Since it's essential that you find the Brunt, you pay up. You now realize that the Brunt are the smallest, most hated race in the sector, and that they're being picked on by the Lithosoids, the bully of the sector. You consider your options. You're not going to help the Brunt beat the Lithosoids right away, but if you help them make treaties with some of their enemies, you might be able to get the Lithosoids to reconsider their war. In the meantime, it's worthwhile finding and stealing some tech for the Brunt to help them have some kind of advantage, in case the Lithosoid won't stop their onslaught.

After much plotting and fighting against the Lithosoid, you get a message that a rebellion has occurred in the Brunt worlds, causing them to be summarily controlled and then destroyed by robots. You got too caught up in the fight against the Lithosoid and lost sight of the discontent brewing on too many Brunt planets. You failed, but you got a really cool, extremely tense story out of it, and you've learned something for next time.

This is the kind of experience that was commonplace with DC, except with Drox it can be much richer, if the right goals are emphasized.

Building on the concept of goals, think about the possibilities with regard to multiplayer. DC was limited to players with the same goal of saving the town. In Drox, imagine a sector with 5 players, each with possibly different and conflicting goals. You know that somewhere in the sector, your friends are moving things in the direction possibly exactly opposite to yours. So when you get a message that 'someone made the Humans dislike the Shadow' you know that could actually be another Drox agent working in the background. This multiplayer mode would of course require more work and is not part of my suggestion, but it's the kind of thing that becomes possible once you take the gameplay in DC and extend it, the way Drox has the potential to do.
__________________
Mods: DC Balance UI | DoP UI | Drox Guild Time Silence | DL Texture | Join our Discord!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:23 PM
PixelLord's Avatar
PixelLord PixelLord is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 635
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrax Lightning View Post
Destroy 5 Bosses is typically ludicrously easy. The rest of them... do ya think we're all Sun Tzu!? O_0 We aren't all tactical gods... I'll never stand a chance at this game with those kinda objectives being in the game & being game over to fail...
Thank you Trax. I'm amazed at how incredibly proficient are some of Soldak's players. I wish I was that good... but I'm not. If changes along these lines occur, Soldak will need to make sure everyone can enjoy the game, not just the incredibly talented players.
__________________
Stephen A. Hornback
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-26-2013, 12:00 AM
Tyrax Lightning's Avatar
Tyrax Lightning Tyrax Lightning is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WA
Posts: 459
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelLord View Post
Thank you Trax. I'm amazed at how incredibly proficient are some of Soldak's players. I wish I was that good... but I'm not. If changes along these lines occur, Soldak will need to make sure everyone can enjoy the game, not just the incredibly talented players.
heheh well, I never finish a sector without lots of Bosses being annihilated, but I didn't mean to suggest beating 5 Bosses simultaneously.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - 2019 Soldak Entertainment, Inc.