Permanent VS Temporary Progression - Ship Component UPGRADING

GiraffasaurGiraffasaur Administrator, Moderator, Space Cat Posts: 1,110
edited May 2017 in GAMEPLAY (ES1)
Hello Everspace Community and Rockfish Games,

We're diving into a topic today that is at the heart and soul of a roguelike. Everspace uses progression in a powerful way, but I can't help but think there is a little bit more it can do. Through this post, I'm going to introduce a powerful new mechanic that will enhance the experience of Everspace as a whole.

Disclaimer: The game is THREE WEEKS away from it's launch date, and it's in a remarkable state as it is. That said, this is a bold suggestion that would require a bit of tinkering and balancing if it were to make it into the game, but I feel strongly about it being able to powerfully affect Everspace's overall experience. If you feel the same, PLEASE like this post and comment in order to generate some buzz about it.

Let's start from the top, first. There are two powerful types of progression regarding roguelikes.

PERMANENT PROGRESSION - These are the unlockables in the game that last through all successive runs. In Everspace v0.7, these are the perks, ships, ship colors, blueprints and enhancements. All of these things CARRY OVER and can be used in additional runs.

TEMPORARY PROGRESSION - These are collected DURING a run that give the player an upgrade or new ability on the fly that will only last until the end of that run. In Everspace 0.7, these are the resources, equipment, weapon mods and sectors. All of these things are LOST when the run ends.

I'd argue that temporary progression is far more important in roguelikes, because it supports the improvisation of gathered assets through a series of randomized challenges set before the player. This is what gives a lot of roguelikes their difficulty: Dealing with unique situations you're constantly trying to prepare for.

In the current version of the LATE-GAME, runs tend to start melding together, looking similar. This is largely because of the blueprints that are unlocked with the accessibility of resources, allowing players to craft whatever they want by the time they reach the mid-game. In fact, resources have been easily collectible as far back as the Alpha, and ideas have spawned regarding resources providing credits at the end of a run based on how many you've collected (so they aren't a waste of time to collect).

Weapons could probably be more rare to force players to improvise with what they have, and resources could be more scarce IN THE BEGINNING of a run and be found more frequently LATER to give players the customization they're looking for. Moreso, maybe resources should be converted to credit values when a player completes a run.

But I have something that might work more effectively. Instead, let's introduce a resource-sink that doesn't focus on specific equipment, but rather focuses on the SHIP'S OVERALL PERFORMANCE. Like Perks, but temporary for the run. These would not be low-costing upgrades, either. In fact, upgrading them would cost approximately 10x their repair value (except nanobots, which would be x5). Here are the details, and the suggested benefits:

If the player yields a large number of specific resources, they'll have access to upgrading the specific ship components (by going to the repair tab and clicking a flashing green plus sign next to it, or something of that nature) that allows it to be increased in functionality. The upgrade can only be purchased ONCE, but it lasts for the remainder of the run (unless the component gets damaged...more on that below).

Primary Weapons: +15% weapon damage increase, +2% weapon critical hit chance.
Resource cost: 10 nanobots, 80 scrap, 10 power cell, 50 crystal

Shield Generator: +20% shield cooldown reduction, +20% shield regeneration rate.
Resource cost: 10 nanobots, 40 scrap, 10 gel, 80 crystal

Engine: +20% increased cruise speed, +20% increased boost speed.
Resource cost: 5 nanobots, 70 scrap, 10 power cell, 70 gas

Secondary Weapons: +50% increased missile projectile range.
Resource cost: 10 nanobots, 90 scrap, 10 processor, 100 ore

Sensors: +30% sensor range. (Far more valuable if Scanning Probes weren't in the game)
Resource cost: 5 nanobots, 50 scrap, 20 crystal, 60 plasma

Life Support System: +80% energy regeneration rate (only when stationary).
Resource cost: 5 nanobots, 50 scrap, 20 compound, 50 gas

Inertia Dampeners: +100% dampening against outside sources (explosions, collisions, etc).
Resource cost: 10 nanobots, 80 scrap, 10 processor, 70 plasma

Simply put, resources become more valuable and runs become more unique. Perks provide a stark, costly permanent progression for every run, but these ship component upgrades provide a nice resource-sink to give the player benefits during their endeavors.

Additionally, this does not compete with the other upgrades because ship components don't take up a Device slot, nor do they hog energy reserves. Having these component upgrades available opens the doors of opportunity to the player, allowing them to spend a lot of resources on an overarching upgrade while still letting them choose to spend less resources on specific upgrades.

Something else to mention: When any of these upgraded components get damaged, the benefits are lost AS WELL AS the natural benefit of the component itself, until repaired. (So, if you had upgraded Primary Weapons, you would lose the +15% weapon damage and +2% critical hit chances AS WELL AS suffering a reduced fire rate and increased energy consumption. Upon repairing, you gain back both the original AND upgraded benefits).

Being able to upgrade the ship's components would enhance Everspace with a powerful temporary progression mechanic by granting players with a little more customization through a much needed resource-sink in the game.

I'm curious what the rest of you think. Is this the resource-sink we've been looking for? Do you like the idea of more temporary progression in the game? Or just leave it be and quit barraging the developers with suggestions this late in development?

Please share your thoughts below!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.



  • invenioinvenio Member Posts: 110
    I think this is interesting. I think the upgrade items you mention above could be an interesting play dynamic. However, I think it only works if there is a more active trading system in place where you can trade your resources for money or goods much more freely. I would be very hesitant to dispose of such large number of nanobots or individual components when I need those resources to repair my ship (and not die) or trying to upgrade other components (like shields).

    Those upgrades seem "expensive" without the ability to trade in the enormous amount of useless resources that you end up by the end of the game. I don't care about 80 crystals, because I can find those. Nanobots are in rare supply and I actually risk death without having an abundant reserve supply. I never died because I didn't have enough gas. That's not true of nanobots. Also, without the ability to sell and buy unique resources, the player often will find that they have 100's of one component but still not able to upgrade due to not finding something specific (like processors).

    Just my 2 cents.
  • GiraffasaurGiraffasaur Administrator, Moderator, Space Cat Posts: 1,110
    edited May 2017
    Your thoughts are appreciated @invenio !
    invenio said:

    I would be very hesitant to dispose of such large number of nanobots or individual components when I need those resources to repair my ship (and not die) or trying to upgrade other components (like shields).

    In truth, that's actually the point! The player should feel an impact in their decision, choosing between an expensive upgrade for the ship as a whole, or saving those resources for repairs and smaller, more specific upgrades.

    Using nanobots is key in this regard, as it creates a dynamic impact on the player's selection.
    invenio said:

    Also, without the ability to sell and buy unique resources, the player often will find that they have 100's of one component but still not able to upgrade due to not finding something specific (like processors).

    But having the ability to buy and sell resources at-will recreates one of the very issues I'm addressing in this post: easily accessible resources. The point of the expensive upgrades here is a resource-sink, IF the player seeks out and obtains those resources. It's not about fully upgrading your ship by the end of the run (though that would be an impressive feat), but about having an outlet for extra resources.

    I truly think adding in the ability to purchase whatever resources desired in the game would ruin the crafting system, since it is built off of the player's findings (though exploration and luck of randomization). But being able to sell any at will would be far less hazardous, and may be another solution to the overflow of resources currently in the late-game.
  • invenioinvenio Member Posts: 110
    I hear what you are saying but the upgrades listed above give a very minor upgrade. A 20% increase in shield cool down and regeneration has a rather minor influence on gameplay. Thus, I would be unwilling to sacrifice resources. I would get a much bigger boost by saving resources to build a shield MK3 than to spend on this upgrade.

    If you want players to sacrifice, the rewards need to be substantial. It's like those perks that only offer an extra 5% bonus. Never in a million years would I put one of those into one of the precious 3 spots available.
  • GiraffasaurGiraffasaur Administrator, Moderator, Space Cat Posts: 1,110
    edited May 2017
    I would argue the sacrifice of resources is quite substantial for the bonuses I've listed because these are passive. I should have mentioned this in the main article, but please remember that ship components don't take up a Device slot, nor do they hog energy reserves, like that of a MK3 Device. Or any Device other than Energy Core Extensions, really.

    That's what separates this upgrade from those currently within the crafting system: It's not "just another upgrade," but rather an overarching boon for the whole ship. This is why it has to cost more, but also provides the player with a decision they choose to make. (Expensive but overarching upgrade or cheap but specific upgrade.)

    You could stack that MK3 Shield with an upgraded Shield Component for some impressive damage mitigation. ;-)
  • invenioinvenio Member Posts: 110
    Yeah, I'm not saying it's bad. If the choice of having these upgrades or not, I would definitely choose yes. Not much to lose. I don't think any of them are "game changing" vs say the perks that will often completely change how I play the game. I'm all for more options/upgrades/perks/mods/etc.
  • PacketlossPacketloss Member Posts: 22
    I like it. It isn't uncommon to be leaving nanobots floating in space when I jump these days, and these passives could help tailor a build to be even more specialized. It makes you choose between upgrading a weapon or device vs upgrading your ship's capabilities. The costs would need to be finely tuned though, since "never chosen" and "always chosen" are probably within 10 items of certain resources from each other.

    Even if not at release, it would be an interesting future mechanic.
  • SteamBrainsSteamBrains Space Cat Posts: 72
    I definatley like these ideas! ESPECIALLY the resources more rare earlier and more abundant later. That way you can pick up whatever unfamiliar weapon and once you get resources you have to decided if you want to spend your resources to either upgrade or mod it, or to build new weapons that may not be able to be upgraded as much.
  • doobiesnaxdoobiesnax Member Posts: 21
    I'd agree, I'd certainly like to have something to aim for for the later parts of the game, and yes feel there is more use for the abundance of resources collected by this point!
  • NenacuNenacu Customer, Collector Beta Backer ES1 Posts: 69
    You know, I rather like the idea. Much like a lot of other players and, reading your post I suppose yourself @Giraffasaur , I've found that most of my runs now that I have all the things look very much the same near the end of it all. So much so, in fact, that I actively have to break away from my preferred method of play and find other kinds of runs to do or try to build out a completely different playstyle. Being able to upgrade your ship in this way as you go along in the game sounds like a rather fantastic option. See, some of us have a playstyle that lends itself to the stockpiling of nanobots (when Everspace feels like doling them out mind). I certainly wouldn't mind adding some danger and challenge for myself to push the ship past its limits temporarily.
  • NesefaceNeseface Member Posts: 27
    I'd like to see a large subset of non-craftable weapons and equipment of alien origin that drop near the end game, that would entice people to step away from their preferred playstyle.
    Also, the 'mk2/3' weapons are really... sub par :\ usually it's not worth to use them, but for the laser. the star and pro of course are useful, but... just more of the same.
  • SteamBrainsSteamBrains Space Cat Posts: 72
    edited May 2017
    I beg to differ. I love that the mk2 (now renamed) weapons are different. Their not necessarily better, their just different. Which I believe is why the rename was put out. I think that's always a cool idea. Instead of more powerful versions, just slightly different operating weapons.

    Also the mk2 thermo gun is AWESOME (the new v0.7 one)
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