Unused feature #3: Nexus guardians

SsalissSsaliss Member Posts: 3,575 Transcendent
Been away for a few days, which is why I didn't create this thread sooner, but here's one dedicated to my pet peeve: Nexus guardians! I love the thought behind it, but the implementation is extremely clunky. I'm not going to post a log here, but I made a pastebin of a small testing session: http://pastebin.com/wZCw8njM

Some notable things:

- Doing anything at all, as long as it's not guard specific, will make you lose control of your guardian. This includes clan chats. Since clans are generally where the combat discussions happens mid-raid, this is... well... very bad.

- No feedback. The only reason I even noticed I was attacked was because I had masochism turned on.

- If you lose control of your guardian, when you next become the guardian, it's transported back to the Nexus, which means you'd have to get back to the group before being able to take part in the defence again.

- No looking when you move around. Sure, that can be coded around, but moving around blind is a bit odd.

- It only lasts for 100 IC days, or about 4 RL days. Raids don't happen often enough to warrant 200 power for that.

So... solutions. The easiest (conceptually, at least) is to make nexus guardians work the same as aetherships. You lock into the guardian, and then you can use it to move around while chatting on clans and whatnot. That'd mean you'd actually be in the room inside the guardian, and there'd be no cheap tricks to transport the guardian back to the nexus (by losing control and becoming the guardian again). It would also allow you to remove the binding between owner and user; if the construct is destroyed, whoever is in it dies.

When it comes to the power cost, I feel it'd be easier to not have the guardian drain power over time, or at least at a vastly reduced pace (like, one power per IC month or so). Instead, the power would be used to control the guardian; for instance, webbing the target would use one power.

The big issue here is, of course, that I'm not sure this would make them used more often. However, in the state they're in right now, they simply cannot be used without a lot of annoyance; changing them around would at least make them possible to be used.

So... thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
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Comments

  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    I think that guardians, by design, will always be a relatively useless mechanic.  Keep in mind that they have to fit the following requirements:
    1) They cost organization power, so they can only be summoned by people who have the privs to spend that power.
    2) They cannot be very strong, otherwise people would just pile into guardians instead.
    3) They are intentionally unwieldy, so as to discourage frivolous use as well.

    Now, the entire point of their design was to give non-PKers a way to defend without being instantly killed, but all the rest of their design just goes against that.  These people can't summon them, would still be more effective as an actual physical body than as a guardian, and if they can't figure out how to use a web enchantment / ability / attack as their actual character they sure as heck will not figure out how to make a guardian do those.

    I'm not sure that there really is a great solution to them.  The requirements will pretty much kill any re-design or overhaul, as long as they exist in their current form.
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  • SsalissSsaliss Member Posts: 3,575 Transcendent
    The big difference between going there as a guardian and going there as yourself can be summed up into one word, essentially: afflictions. As a guardian, you can't be afflicted, you can't be instakilled, you can't be hindered, etc. That alone makes them very palatable for those just starting out in combat; they can help defend while not being killed as soon as people notice them.

    As for the power issue, that could be solved by making guardians something available to all once created. Thus, security etc. will still have to create the guardian itself, but the use of guardians will be far more liberal (perhaps tied to CR or protectors or what-have-you).
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  • AlbanAlban Member Posts: 93 Apprentice
    edited June 2013
    What if programmatically it would be handled like a def that prevents afflictions/instas and doesn't let you use any abilities except the ones the guardian has. This would let you move using normal move commands, use look, who, etc. Seems simpler than having something like an aethership that you could actually move around inside of.

    Guardians should have all utility/support abilities (which looks to be the case), and perhaps the number per org should be restricted, but have a smaller power cost and an extended life?  Also let anyone with a certain city rank drive it instead of just security/protectors who are people who should know how to fight any way.

    I think it's a cool idea that could work. It's primary a defensive mechanism that lets someone contribute with supporty abilities. I personally like the idea in theory.
  • SsalissSsaliss Member Posts: 3,575 Transcendent
    Seems odd to me to have a def that works like that, but if that could be made to work/make sense, yeah, that'd always be an option. Also, I didn't mean an aethership specifically, I meant more the mechanic of locking in and getting the prompt of the guardian instead of your own.

    Come to think of it, how do colossi work? Could that be used as a base for it?
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  • AlbanAlban Member Posts: 93 Apprentice
    I think colossi also take special commands to move. That has always felt super clunky to me. I wish the game was context sensitive enough to realize you're setting in a ship/guardian/construct and let you move appropriately using the normal commands.

    And I don't mean a regular def, I just mean programmatically it would be handled like a status attached to your character. Flavor wise you would still see yourself getting side a mech and the prompt could be different as well. I could be totally wrong, it just seems easier to set a flag on a player as "isGuardian" or something, than to build a construct where a player gets inside and drives it.
  • SsalissSsaliss Member Posts: 3,575 Transcendent
    I don't mind the special commands as much as the lack of feedback and the fact you lose control of the guardian whenever you do something that isn't guard-based. That can always be coded around (although context-sensitive movement commands would also rock). It seems we're pretty much on the same page though, except implementation-wise (and frankly, I'm more than happy to leave that to the Powers That Be).
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  • RiviusRivius Your resident wolf puppy Member Posts: 1,624 Transcendent
    Eh, as far as I see it, if we remove it from the game entirely, it won't be missed. Not really sure reworking it is worth anyone's time.
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