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  #1  
Old 07-18-2013, 08:56 PM
Expanding Man Expanding Man is offline
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Default Suggestion: Dedicated Crew Slots

Hello all. First I feel I should pay the requisite homage to this rather obscure and wonderful game. In my experience, gems like this, which receive so little attention but are nonetheless so well made, are extremely rare, and it is a shame that the Steam community did not have the foresight to support it.

Now that that's through, I think I have an idea that would go a long way to improving things, let's see how many of you agree. The idea, perhaps it has been suggested before, would be to add a row of dedicated crew slots (in addition to the racial crew slot) so that crew members no longer require low slots.

The reason for this goes much beyond the desire simply to have more flexibility when fitting low slots. One interesting challenge that this game seems to present which is less of an issue in more traditional RPG's is the need to simultaneously contribute to multiple attributes. For example, you wouldn't really be able to neglect helm entirely, since as your ship becomes too massive low thrust would make navigation impractical. I find that this is true to a much greater extent in Drox than in most RPG's, especially because of the helm and engineering attributes, which really must get some love for the game to be playable, regardless of your specialization.

Having dedicated crew slots would alleviate this issue somewhat without, I think, greatly eroding the strategic decisions which come with it. Since crew members already gain there own experience and level, this would allow you to focus on, for instance, computers or structure, without diverting too many points to necessities like engineering, which you may or may not want to specialize in. Granted, such a change may require significant re-balancing.

One idea is to have dedicated crew stations, such as tactical, engineering etc. which perhaps give additional bonuses to specific attributes. Perhaps the crew stations would unlock as you get new ships. Perhaps it would also be nice to have crew utilities (the mid slot items which add to attributes, such as "gaming systems" and others) which also unlock on newer ships.

Another, somewhat more radical idea, would be to also have special components which require specific crew abilities. For example, you may be late in the game and have been neglecting engineering for a long time, and are starting to get into trouble because you no longer have the capacitor to support your fancy new overclocker, bomb, or other gizmo. Luckily, with a little bit of trolling for loot, or perhaps completing a special race mission, you can obtain a shiny new capacitor battery (or Scotch-drinking engineer), which would not be as good as the one you'd get if you had a high engineering skill, but would still allow you to use some of your new toys without radically re-purposing your vessel.

In my opinion, this sort of change would go a long way to reducing the staleness that this game seems to acquire at high levels, and allow different player ships to be more highly differentiated by allowing pilots to specialize more. It would also reduce the probability of running into "dead ends" because you no longer have the skills in a certain area needed for new items. On the other hand, I am not suggesting that this should give you the ability to use any item at any time, but merely give you the tools you need to specialize your vessel the way you like.

The implementation of this idea I'd imagine would be quite simple from a coding perspective, but I recognize that it may still be fantastically complicated to attempt because of re-balancing it may require.

Still, I think it would greatly increase the playability of the game at high levels. And, quite enjoyably, give us all more ship components to look out for.

Lastly, I think this may perhaps be the wrong forum for this suggestion, if so I apologize.

See what you think...
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2013, 12:41 PM
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Tuidjy Tuidjy is offline
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I do not quite understand what you are asking for, unless it is "More slots". We already have slots where crew members can fit. If you want more slots, we already have a skill (Command) that can give you more. The less specialized slots are, the more freedom you have in configuring your ship.

Now, if your point is that we need LESS freedom in configuring our ships, I actually agree. I find the most challenging runs in Drox/IotA ro be the ones where I attempt to get a Command 0 ship to level 100, and where you really have to use the racial slots to their full. (Note: I've yet to succeed. My best so far is level 82)

I guess I do not understand why you think that crew members and light components should not be able to share slots.

-------

By the way, do you know that you can (for example) set your mechanics to the task of installing an armor component with a high Structure requirement, and send them back to quarters once the task is done? With the exception of crew with Tactical and bonuses to criticals, crew should only take a slot if you want to level them.
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Last edited by Tuidjy : 07-19-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:51 PM
Expanding Man Expanding Man is offline
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Yes I agree, what I am saying is basically equivalent to adding more slots, but I do think that simply adding more generic low slots would allow more freedom than is needed.

What I was really trying to get at was a way to allow you to specialize strongly in particular attributes without sacrificing too much, and this feature is already partially implemented in the form of crew members.

Simply adding more low slots would be another alternative, but I don't really think the abilities that would add are needed, while partially overcoming the deficiencies of skills you have neglected at high levels is, in my opinion, badly needed.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:09 PM
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Tyrax Lightning Tyrax Lightning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expanding Man View Post
One idea is to have dedicated crew stations, such as tactical, engineering etc. which perhaps give additional bonuses to specific attributes. Perhaps the crew stations would unlock as you get new ships. Perhaps it would also be nice to have crew utilities (the mid slot items which add to attributes, such as "gaming systems" and others) which also unlock on newer ships.
There's already such a thing as 'Gaming System' Components in-game... they & a few other Components like them are Yellow Slot Components & give you +Stats when Equipped.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:10 PM
Expanding Man Expanding Man is offline
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Actually, in order to flush out the problem that I think needs fixing, let me suggest an equivalent (although I think less fun) alternative: There should be ways to acquire lower level items late in the game (without having to do something annoying like play a lower level sector). Perhaps there are already ways of doing this that I am not aware of.

This would allow you to specialize without getting into too much trouble. I find that Drox requires you to spread out your skill points far more than in more traditional RPG's, and, in my opinion, this takes some of the fun out of leveling because you are constantly having to divert resources from the things you want to things which you may have chosen to be secondary but simply have to get.

For example, I never choose ships which specialize in structure because the combined requirements of helm, tactical, computers and engineering force me to make my skill set basically even. Re-purposing crew so that they allow me to choose my attributes more to my liking, rather than simply using the crew to buff the one or two attributes I want (or perhaps in addition to that) might make things a bit more fun.

I really hate to draw comparisons to traditional fantasy RPG's, since I think Drox has many qualities which make it better (and I tend to be rather biased against fantasy), but if you have a mage, you want to have him specialize in magic, you don't want to pour tons of points into strength and dexterity. In other games you certainly have to do that a little bit, but it seems to me that the problem is far worse in Drox.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expanding Man View Post
There should be ways to acquire lower level items late in the game (without having to do something annoying like play a lower level sector).
Fly to a Scavenger planet. Using medium components like holo decks and neural interface, and light slot crew members, adjust the relevant skill on your ship to the requirement you wish your component to have.

Use the racial [Scavenge] ability, targeting a component of the desired type. The planet store will receive a component of the same general type at the level matching your ship's combined skill.

Voila!

Disclaimer: this is a brand new ability Shadow introduced in the last patch. It is a bit buggy, somewhat inconsistent and extremely exploitable. I have a thread in the Drox forum about the ways in which it does not quite work, and the ways to exploit it.
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Last edited by Tuidjy : 07-19-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:31 PM
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Double post, sorry.
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Last edited by Tuidjy : 07-19-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:20 PM
Expanding Man Expanding Man is offline
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Ah, I had no idea you could do anything like that. How do I do it? I don't see any options at the planet that say "scavenge" or anything like that at all.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expanding Man View Post
Ah, I had no idea you could do anything like that. How do I do it? I don't see any options at the planet that say "scavenge" or anything like that at all.
Only Scavenger planets can do it, the same way that only Fringe planets can reduce your power load, only Lithoisoid planets can improve your armor, etc...

Which is why you want to win every sector with an Alliance victory with Drake (crew), Scavenger (components), Fringe and Lithosoid (improvements), and finally Dryad (building and maintaining alliances).

The rest are just there for you to blow up, so that you can ingratiate yourself to the Top Five™. By the way, I usually give Cortex/Utopians a pass, because it's nice to browse computers at your leisure, and they are both easy to add to an alliance. But I always let them know they live at my sufferance.
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Last edited by Tuidjy : 07-20-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2013, 02:00 PM
Expanding Man Expanding Man is offline
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I'm confused, I'm not able to do any of those things. There is no option for doing it. Do you have to do it after you win or something?
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