(3 of 3) The Turned [mega-post] – Excursions, loot, and complications

Warning! Due to its length and comprehensiveness, this is a multi-topic discussion. Read the “Prologue” before entering the thick of the post, and take breaks between each of the three posts. I suggest listening to music while reading, in order to keep stimulated.
I highly recommend reading all of the parts to The Turned, in order, from top-to-bottom.

You are currently on part 3 of 3.

Mega-post Prologue

PART 3 OF 3 of this multi-topic post covers many of the gameplay elements for the mega-post. This includes the complications of such wild enemy designs, how Excursions would function, and the unique loot in the game (primarily coming from Excursions).

The ideas are intentionally “far out” as to best start discussions over many different gameplay elements related to The Turned.

Reading Goals

Nelson’s idea behind Excursions was that they would functionally replace the purpose of Horde Beacons. He has also not been against the idea of proper boss fights compared to previous games. Consider the following for part 3 of 3:

  1. Even with some of the complications of designing crazier enemies, do you support their inclusion irregardless?

  2. How do you feel about certain enemies having weak points, and armor that can be broken off to reveal even more weak points?

  3. The loot being suggested for Excursions is intentionally unique as to incentivize players to do them for that loot specifically, and as to better separate such loot from issues that can arise when certain items become too easily obtainable (e.g., LMGs for raiding). At one point do you feel that the loot become “too advanced”, or “too silly and gimmicky”?

  4. How important should Excursions be to the core game design and progression systems? How would you go about their implementation?

  5. What is your opinion on certain events (such as Excursions) being instanced and forcing PvE on the players, rather than allowing anyone to enter at any time and allowing random betrayal PvP during such events (at least during vanilla gameplay)?

  6. Should the end-game be with Excursions, or should something more challenging exist past Excursions? Would it be better for Excursions to be more “tiered”, so that players are almost always able to perform an Excursion, it just won’t always be for end-game loot?

  7. How should enemy progression be handled?

  8. Where do you draw the line and say something isn’t important enough for the game?

Enemy Progression

Zombies would always be the most common enemy type. Anomalies would function closer to mini-bosses for most players, and would only rarely spawn.

The chance for a player to encounter more advanced Turned increases the closer a player is to a high-end area, such as a spore-heavy Fastigium zone, rift gateway for Excursions, or deadzone.

Potentially Force a Timed Progression for Spawning

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On official servers and in singleplayer, more advanced Turned might not even spawn initially. Instead, their spawn rates would increase from 0 over time, and the areas they would be allowed to rarely spawn in would expand outward from rift gateways.

This potential timed progression shouldn’t be an issue for servers that never wipe, as it would just cap out and the enemies would still be “rare” irregardless. Additionally, while they’re “more advanced” Turned, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re impossible to kill without end-game gear.

Dynamic Enemies

  • Some enemies conceptualized become harder just based on the area they’re fought in (e.g., the Glaciopath, the Technopath, the Behemoth).

  • Some enemies have variance in their design that makes them harder (e.g., zombies with varying height/speed/damage/dexterity/health).

  • Some enemies make other enemies stronger when in their presence (e.g., the Apex, Overseers).

Excursion Zones

Excursions take players to an alternate reality, putting players at the forefront of long-ruined fortified complexes overrun by the Turned. Very dark and overgrown, it is impossible to survive in them for very long. The players’ objective is to get in, loot, and extract as quickly as possible.

Excursions are an important gameplay element to all players, regardless of whether or not they have reached end-game equipment.

Rift Gateways and Rift Complexes

Excursions take place in “rift complexes”.

Players can reach these rift complexes through “rift gateways” created by the Fastigium. Players must use an item to stabilize and activate these gateways when they are in a certain stage of their growing/decaying lifespan cycle.

Enforced PvE

When performing an Excursion, PvE is forced upon all the participants (unless altered by the server). PvP combat is not the objective of players during Excursions. All players are treated as a part of the same group.

Procedural Generation, and Instance Dungeons

Specific Excursions important to the story are manually created. Others are procedurally generated (during runtime) by connecting modular rooms together.

  • Procedural generation is important to Excursions in order to provide a unique and tense experience each time, as players may never true learn the layout of the complex and must not only prioritize looting but finding the escape.

an instance is a special area, typically a dungeon, that generates a new copy of the location for each group, or for a certain number of players, that enters the area.

  • Meaning that other players attempting their own Excursions wouldn’t be teleported into the same rift complex as the first group of players.

Tiered Excursions

Excursions are tiered, so that players have any progression stage may attempt to obtain better loot and enjoy the mechanic.

The tier of an Excursion could be decided in one of a few ways:

  1. The tier is manually chosen by the player when attempting to procedurally generate the instance.

  2. When a rift gateway forms, the gateway itself leads to a specific tier.

  3. There are multiple items that can be used to activate and stabilize rift gateways, with a different tier associated with each item

Selecting story/quest-based Excursions would just be a UI option while players are setting up their instance dungeon.

Excursion Setup and Wait Room

After stabilization of a rift gateway completes, players can enter for a limited amount of time before the Turned overrun the gateway and it shuts down.

For the players that make it through the gateway, they are put into a PvE-enforced “waiting room”. From here, players can create parties, start generating a rift complex, and select the Excursion tier (or story/quest-based Excursion).

Objectives

Once the rift complex is generated and the party is ready, they can enter into the rift complex that makes up the Excursion zone. This is effectively an instance dungeon.

The only required objective of the players is to escape the rift complex without dying. Their side objective is to loot the rift complex.

Looting can be achieved through:

  1. grabbing items off the ground from various rooms
  2. killing enemies and searching their corpses for loot
  3. destroying Assimilation Nodes in order to obtain additional loot after leaving the Excursion

Assimilation Nodes

Throughout the rift complex “Assimilation Nodes” spawn that players can destroy with substantial damage.

Destroying these nodes will reward players will additional loot upon leaving the Excursion. The more nodes the players destroy, the more plentiful and advanced the loot can be.

However, some players may choose to focus on looting through other methods due to the increased presence of more advanced Turned species (such as Anomalies).

Hazards

Players must be cautious while in an Excursion. Turned spawn endlessly, and more advanced Turned species (such as the Mega Zombie, Technopath, Behemoth, or Volatile Acid Zombie) are more commonplace at higher tiers.

Rift complexes are very overrun in Fastigium overgrowth. It is difficult to navigate, spores make breathing increasingly difficult for players, and Fastigium grapplers can easily immobilize players.

The Apex functions as the ultimate hazard in a rift complex. As time passes, the spore density increases and the Apex will begin to attack with its own Fastigium tentacles if players are entering rooms that don’t lead towards the exit. Turned will eventually become hyperactive, and zombie hordes will spawn behind players.

  • Perhaps a mechanic could exist to increase the length of time it is safe to perform Excursions, if not just outright make it indefinite as long as players have enough gas masks and filters.

Reward Room

Upon completion of an Excursion, surviving players are teleported to the “reward room”. This room is a buffer between the rift complex and the normal gameplay world.

In this room, players can manage their inventories. This is also the room where loot is rewarded for having destroyed Assimilation Nodes.

From this room, players can individually leave to head back into their own reality. Players would be able to choose from multiple exit locations, and immediately upon leaving the reward room players can initiate in PvP again (although in most cases the relevant participants would have been in the same group anyways).

Unique Loot

This post touches on a lot of unique concepts for damage, armor, enemies, and Excursions. This section helps to cover some of the corresponding loot that could potentially exist.

EMP Devices

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EMP devices could be throwables, or placeables, that allow players to deal substantial amounts of EMP damage in an instant.

Tasers and Stun Batons

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Tasers and Stun Batons would be effective at dealing substantial electrical damage to a living target.

Such items could also include a miniscule amount of EMP damage, so that someone with enough determination could use such items not necessarily for base raiding but instead for disabling environmental hazards at more “end-game” areas.

Modular Drones

Drone

Drones would be primarily obtainable through Excursions. They spawn as a part of a Technopath’s arsenal, and Excursions make Technopaths (and other advanced Turned) spawn more frequently.

The main gimmick behind drones would be their modularity. Players would be able to salvage drones from Technopath corpses in order to build their own.

Using the new modular attachment system, players would be able to substitute things like the chassis and rotors, attach wheels or buoys, and add on specialized equipment like:

  • cameras
  • simple weapons
  • explosive payloads
  • GPS trackers
  • small storage
  • noisemakers

Generally, I’m not worried about drones being deadly in combat because while they’re small and mobile, they’re something that’d be hard for people to easily control and they’re relatively fragile. Additionally, it wouldn’t necessarily be easy to aim the drone to face the gun at a player anyways.

Sentry Guns

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While players would be able to obtain sentry guns without encountering a Technopath, Technopaths also use them as a part of their defensive arsenal. Killing Technopaths would more easily allow for players to obtain sentry guns, especially more advanced (yet higher maintenance) sentry guns from Technopaths spawning during Excursions.

Flamethrowers, Molotov Cocktails, and Incendiary Bombs

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Flamethrower

Players can craft, research, or loot their own incendiary weapons. Thermal damage is effective against flesh, and the Fastigium is just a mass of flesh.

Fire can burn targets, but more importantly it can set things on fire and spread to other objects. It’s an effective raiding tool against wooden structures, and is highly effective against many enemies.

Depending on how the Fastigium overgrowth is designed, some areas could be locked off entirely unless fire is used to clear the path.

Fastigium Mass

Fastigium%20Mass

Fastigium Mass would be a resource component (crafting material) for various end-game items. It would be obtainable from various Fastigium and Anomaly enemies, but would be most plentiful from completing an Excursion after destroying Assimilation Nodes.

This could be one of several “end-game” or “advanced” crafting resources tied to enemies rather than scavenging through the debris of the old world, mining, farming, or cutting trees.

Fastigium Mass would be used for maintaining infested weapons, and maintaining player-built Fastigium structures (such as effigies). It would be used as a resource in researching more advanced Fastigium-based items.

Design Philosophy for Infested Weapons

Lore-wise, Infested Weapons are conventional weapons that have been sent through an Assimilation Node.

As far as the weapons actually implemented go, the examples I’ve conceptualized are based on assimilating “weaker” weapons and making them more useful even in the end-game, for players that enjoy using a bow or handgun more than an assault rifle.

These weapons are also unique in that they could have their own rail system. Rather than use the conventional rail systems (e.g., Picatinny) they could be unique in having a “Fastigium” rail system that accepts nearly anything.

Really, the weapons are just meant to be silly and gimmicky, while making traditionally less useful weapon types more useful and fun.

Fastigium Bow

Infested%20bow%20rotated

Making bows relevant in the end-game, the Fastigium Bow is obtained through high-tier Excursion Zones, which a higher chance of acquirement as you destroy Assimilation Nodes.

One of the gimmicks behind the bow would be that it could be used to fire specialized arrows (crafted from Fastigium Mass) that deal physical damage in addition to something like Viral damage (making it both a PvP viable weapon and also useful against Bandit NPCs).

  • An alternative gimmick would be to make the arrows it fires actual entities that attack the target for a brief period of time in addition to the initial damage of the actual arrow impact.

The main drawback would be the maintenance cost of needing Fastigium Mass to both repair the bow and to craft the arrows, which cannot be researched until having obtained the bow and arrows.

Fastigium Handgun

Infested%20pistol%20smaller

Making pistols relevant is the Fastigium Handgun. While it’d still have the poor range and low caliber of a typical pistol, it could have a gimmick of being more modular than normal handguns or functioning based on infinite but time-recharged ammunition.

Alternatively, it could have the effect of creating spore clouds, making it effective in PvP (or against Bandit NPCs) as a way to initiate fights.

Effigy

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Players can build an effigy out of Fastigium Mass that helps to repel zombie hordes. Zombies will still attempt to attack irregardless, and will attempt to avoid passing near the effigy directly, but are otherwise generally discouraged.

When an effigy is confronted by more intelligent Turned, the effigy is not as powerful.

Modular Powered Exoskeleton

Exoskeletons would be a modular system, with most of the pieces coming from performing Excursions. The “core” piece of the exoskeleton would be the Exoskeleton Harness, which would be obtainable in various tiers but offer the same “modular attachment” functionality. Could potentially take up the “backpack”, “vest”, or “overcoat” clothing slot.

From there, players can find other exoskeleton parts to attach at the cost of clothing slots. Exoskeletons are a gimmicky addition, in that they could provide a wider variety of stat bonuses to specific actions and situations, or boost the effect of certain skills via multiplier, rather than just outright make a player always better.

More advanced exoskeleton components may suffer from compatibility restrictions, forcing players to only use certain pieces together.

Examples of Exoskeleton Components

  • Vests meant to improve a user’s ability to lift heavy objects, at the cost of proper armor. Some exosuit components may take up multiple slots, such as using up the “vest”, “overcoat”, and “necklace” slots at the same time.

  • Strain-reducing soft exoskeletons, such as those used by skiers, which help maintain balance and improve skiing performance. Leg-based exoskeletons would take up the “belt” clothing slot.

  • Power loaders for increased weight tolerance and lifting strength, allow for car-based shenanigans and alternative methods for reorganizing bases at the cost of mobility and maneuverability.

  • Advanced visors interfaces that, when combined with other exosuit gear, increase their effectiveness. Rather useless without certain gear, and having a full set of exosuit gear could be a hindrance to the player due to providing more specific bonuses rather than general passive bonuses like physical armor.

  • Gauntlets that provide a multiplier bonus to punching-based skills. Arm-based exosuit components take up the “gloves” clothing slot.

  • Power supplies, as required for more advanced and integrated exoskeleton systems. Would likely take up the “backpack” or “sling” clothing slot.

Non-Excursion Acquirement

While I imagine that most pieces would be obtainable solely through Excursions, it’s possible that the Exoskeleton system could be expanded to have some weaker and even more niche components spawn at medical centers, firefighter stations, or industrial locations.

Perhaps these weaker variants would function without a harness, but be bulkier and not modular.

Rift Stabilizers

Used to stabilize rift gateways for Excursions. Could potentially be obtained from killing specific enemies (e.g., Riftweavers), or through crafting. Potentially available in different tiers or efficiencies, and impact the difficulty of an Excursion.

EMP Shields, Capacitor Dischargers, Signal Outputters, and Initiators

In order for bases to properly protect themselves from EMP damage, part of the addition of a more advanced electricity system in Unturned II would include devices to help against the EMP discharge mechanic.

  • EMP Shields could take the blunt of the damage and reroute it, frying itself but protecting the electronics for a set amount of time.

  • Capacitor Dischargers could safely prevent major energy discharges from occurring when a device is sufficiently EMP’d. Although the device would still become inoperable, very little energy is lost.

  • Signal Outputters would read information about an electronic and output it for other electronics to use (such as an Initiator). Information that it would read could potentially include when the device discharges, when a major discharge occurs, when a device shuts offline, when a device’s discharge meter gets too a certain number, or the energy reserves.

  • Initiators would initiate functions with other electronics (such as turning them online) when they receive a signal.

The Complications of Enemy Hitboxes and Unique Mechanics

Due to the wild nature of the concepts, there’s some things to consider with how they could actually be implemented (if even realistic or worth the time and effort).

Complications of the Zombies

The zombies that have been conceptualized are very traditional enemies, and within the realm of possibility for Unturned II. Mechanically, they are all things that we have seen in U3 with the exception of “generally more advanced AI”.

Something to note in particular is having AI that branches off from the pack to flank players, and AI that can effectively traverse more difficult terrain or even scale buildings.

Additionally, the ability for explosive zombies to knock players back or down, and the ability for blunt weapons to knock zombies back or down.

Complications of the Anomalies

Issues with the Anomalies arise from their more diverse combat mechanics and more unique designs. These issues were intentionally left in, as it’s a part of trying to understand how much development should actually go into the Turned.

The BEHEMOTH is a large enemy, which makes it easier to cheese. This is resolvable by improving other Turned AI by making them start to flank players when they hold up in a building against a Behemoth, or by adding more destructibility to the world.

The TECHNOPATH is a levitating enemy, and has a lot of physical contact-based attacks and abilities. It also has abilities that manipulate its environment based on proximity, and can move other objects.

The PHLOGOPATH spawns smaller enemies. PHLOGOCYTES explode, and make other specific enemies explode too.

The GLACIOPATH burrows underground, and could potentially have exposed weak spots. It attacks based on sound, rather than visually recognition.

The ETHEREAL fades in and out of invulnerability and existence.

Complications of the Fastigium

The Fastigium’s biggest issues stem from functioning a lot like an object or environmental hazard, rather than a traditional enemy with artificial intelligence. While this is often achievable by large game studios providing a linear single-player experience, Unturned is an open-world sandbox game with a support for mods (including custom maps).

OVERGROWTH would be most optimally implemented as something baked onto maps through the editor. Being able to paint an area, including onto objects, for Fastigium mass to appear on would make it so that any map can implement such a thing.

Alternatively, Fastigium mass (or even plantlike overgrowth like creepers and ivy) could be a part of the procedural generation that layers itself over buildings, and than any building could have overgrowth over enough in-game time.

Then, fire could be used to maintain overgrowth by letting players dynamically remove parts of it from the world (at least temporarily). However, the usage of fire against overgrowth could just be restricted to specific Fastigium “webbing” specifically meant to physically impede movement.

SPORE VENTS would best be done with manual placement however, being an environmental hazard meant to impede movement by restricting areas to those with better equipment. It could be an automatic system too, but the ability to lock off specific areas would be more guaranteeable as interactive than randomly having such hazards placed on an official map.

Larger spores function like actual enemies, while smaller spores are more of an aesthetic thing that could possibly be handled by just boxing an area off for the effect to occur in (or having it occur around Fastigium mass in general).

SESSILE ENEMIES such as grapplers and Overseers function like traditional enemies, but are sessile and hinge on spawning attached to preexisting Fastigium mass. Although, they could just spawn with a lump of mass around them and the mass could decay like how snow works (tessellation).

RIFT GATEWAYS are object-like, but are also dynamic and complex in that they are constantly growing and decaying over time in-game. They’re also responsible for a time-based event, which could be intentionally prevented (or ignored) by the actions (or inaction) of any random player on a server.

THE APEX is a bit like an object, an environmental hazard, and an enemy. It doesn’t actually need a proper model, because players would never fight/see it directly, but it’s something that would be difficult to allow modders to make use of without just baking it into Excursions.

Its ability to force players out of an area is an environmental hazard, but more of a timed event rather than something placed into the world. It could have Fastigium mass impeding physical movement, and function like an object. Then, there could be actual tentacle-like Fastigium masses that could attack players, functioning like a more “traditional enemy”.

  • In reality, the Apex would likely not be anything in the code beyond just the Fastigium tentacles that spawn.

However, making Excursions function with custom maps and other mods would be the most optimal. It might be best to just leave the Apex as official content, and then use a procedural generation (modular rooms, specifically) system for Excursions that any map (including custom maps) could use. This system could be kept modular enough for mods to add their own rooms into the vanilla generation runtime, and open enough that someone could potentially create their own “Apex” with an entirely custom Excursion dungeon if they really tried to.

NEOSPAGETOS is a more traditional enemy, but part of the idea for something like the Neospagetos is that it’s meant to provide a “full-on” boss fight. Part of that is having weak points that aren’t just the head, and armor bits that could be broken off to reach those weak points.

So, that raises the question of how much development effort should go into more complex and dynamic enemy design, and if such enemy design is even something people would enjoy in U4.

Complications of non-Turned

Although scarcely mentioned in this mega-post, some things should be considered for non-Turned entities.

Animals:

  • Animal packs (group and move together)
  • Pack hunting (hunt together, more advanced combat AI)
  • Hunting non-players (bandits, Turned, crops)
  • More diverse AI personalities (domesticated, hostile, passive, neutral)
  • More diverse AI expressions (growling, rearing, cowering, etc.)

Bandits:

  • Using cover (crouching behind objects, or standing behind corners)
  • Aiming, shooting, and missing (fine-tuning of bandit AI aimbot)
  • Combating non-players (other bandits, Turned, animals)
  • Bandit groups (pack of bandits that don’t attack each other, but still attack other bandits)
  • Potentially audible dialogue

Safezone NPCs:

  • Routines (NPCs move throughout the day)
  • Guards (some NPCs exist just to maintain order in a safezone, and kill Bandit NPCs or hostile Players that roam too close to the compound
  • Advanced vendor system that can handle experience, currency, or bartering
  • Potentially instanced quests
  • Interactive dialogue trees
  • Interaction with players’ gear directly, such as markers on a GPS

More discussions:

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Attachment System | Cartography | Configuration Menus | Steam Economy

23 Likes

I can only imagine a stealthy player sneaking his way into a rift gateway right after a group “activates” one or what not. This would just provide the player with essentially free loot for the duration they’re in the rift complex, until they exit and have to fight the other(s). This toxic (but rewarding) behavior, in my mind, would become sorta popular, maybe a meta if you will.

ayyy we got that proc gen dab

Although the layout of the structure would be randomized, the rooms themselves would be the same generic rooms. So to counter this, I’m hoping Nelson creates TONS of different room designs, layouts, and connections to rooms to provide a more repeat-able experience. Map design that wont get repetitive or boring even after a few hundred plays.

The only problem I see here is that a server would have to, on demand, create an entire Excursion dungeon (randomly) then proceed to make sure nothing is wrong with it (such as connected rooms clipping through eachother, making sure you can go from the beginning to the end, etc).

Opposingly to my idea of proc gen U4 maps in general, which would be generated when you first create a server (so theres nobody on to get lag) your idea would mean it would do all this generating while the server is active and running, which could possibly go bad.

I’m just bringing it up to bring it up. Personally I dont think it would be that bad, and for starters, the server could randomly generate up to a certain amount of Incursion maps every server boot to make sure the server doesn’t lag while players are on it.

Also, thinking about excursions as “dungeons” kinda makes it feel small. I wish they were gigantic “dungeons” and the only good image in my head is that one Halo Reach mission “the package”

But I’m sure it’d be better if it was as small as your typical dungeon, since the roof will be so much lower it’ll expand options for Turned being on the roof, or etc.

Maybe a “campaign” or non-proc Excursion level could be like that in the images.

I feel like all this wait room stuff could just be a way for players to avoid PvP. A sort of Safezone if you will. idk. Also, if players are spending a big portion of time getting to a rift gateway, opening it, sitting in a wait room, then going out and fighting, they’d better pack a ton of food/water and considering its supposed to be super dangerous, lots of medical supplies. I dont think that leaves much space for the loot they’re going to get.


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oh boy, here I fucking come.

Now I cant stop imagining a hillbilly make-shift exoskeleton out of wood and scrap metal.

2 Likes

please read this



more

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2 Likes

a few suggestions

  • Advanced technology was able to be made from the original portals that were made by people, before the turned escaped into our dimension (I say our for lack of a better word) This would give a reasonable explanation for the endgame tech you can make. Also you would need to find blueprints in highly contaminated areas.

  • An animation for your character pulling out the journal which documents turned. Also the ingame time continues on while you read it

  • Large clouds of gas that form in some cities. Whether they cause the character to turn or were an attempt by the military to kill off the infection could be your choice. (you did sorta suggest this in the lore, but I would like to think that they stay, and maybe even expand over time. Perhaps another endgame goal is to destroy the thing that makes these clouds)

  • Turned dimension has human made research bases (Which would be the forts you spoke of), and also doesnt really have any more oxygen left on the planet. Requiring you to bring something which allows you to take a breath every once in a while… Perhaps similar to what they use for climbing mount everest.

  • Permanent dimensional portals would open directly into a research stations made by people, and if you restore power to these bases you would have safezones of sorts temporarily. You would need the oxygen outside of the bases after that.

  • Perhaps outside the bases you would see large buildings covered in growths, which would hint at this being another dimension humans once lived in, but something went wrong… or even the same thing happened as ingame. (such as skyscrapers, vehicles, ect. It also would look rather old. As if it was a long time ago) Note: perhaps some of these would be considered bases that portals open up into themselves.

  • the one large creature that is the main antagonist you would probably see moving around in the distance outside the base. The longer you stay outside a base the closer it gets, until a large horde of turned arrives with it. Which basically means gtfo or die.

  • Turned dimension is like horde mode in the fact that larger and larger waves will come, until the inevitable massive wave.

  • If you do somehow manage to survive the massive wave and kill the creature (Endgame thing) then the area would be considered (relatively) safe, and over time you might be able to restore the general area to how it used to be (Perhaps when you explore the area you would come across some of the tech left behind, and perhaps you would find something that would start a restoration progress.

  • if restoration is started, even more hordes would start to attack you, and it would get harder and harder. Eventually it would end again, and that would probably be the end. I dunno.

  • restoration would mostly just include plants being planted or something. I dunno.

The wait room is where players party up. If you don’t want someone in your party, then whoever creates the party shouldn’t put them in your party.

3 Likes

I was two hours late to adding the rest of these replies, so they’re going in a separate post (sorry).

It’d be easier for the proc-gen if they weren’t like the images. Otherwise, I’d agree that the more quest/story-based Excursion zones should be a lot cooler and potentially even replayable with its own reasons to be played through.

Perhaps all high-tier Excursions would be manually created, and there’s just restrictions on how often you can replay them. Then low-tier Excursions are just always procedurally generated and more readily available.

Yeah. Really, the Bestiary should just be a small section of the journal. There’s a lot of info that can just be thrown into the inventory menu as the “Ability Stats” section, but a lot of info can just be put into a personal journal all players have.

This way players can:

  • collect storyline notes found while exploring
  • comprehend different Turned enemies
  • comprehend different plants and animals
  • recognize different NPC factions, and bandits

Potentially have it provide other tips that you may find on loading screens in games, or provide insight into the function of niche/complex items.

2 Likes

Since this is the last topic out of the 3, I’ll just use this reply as a reply to all 3 parts collectively. Nothing is really in order, and it’s mostly just my thoughts.

I know you mentioned potentially more Turned non-humans but I would really like to see a couple more forms than infected dogs. I think some that make sense include bears, sharks/whales/other big fish, birds, and other animal varieties depending on the map. These animal Turned should definitely differ from their non-turned in attacks, looks, and behavior.

Turned Birds

Turned birds would be larger than average, mutated and with some of the traditional bone spikes that some other Turned forms have. They would be fairly unique in that they would be one of the few, if only Turned forms that have proper aerial capabilities. Would not be super common.

Turned Bears

Turned Bears would serve as a buffer between the highest tier human infected (military, riot, police, etc) and threats like the Mega and Behemoth. They would feature increased aggression compared to regular bears and would show up in mid-tier locations occasionally. These Turned would be hard to stun, and more or less immune to knockback. Their roar would attract other Turned, and they would feature a charge mechanic. While normal bears would likely not charge you unless seriously injured, due to the nature of the infection and the resulting aggression it imposes on lifeforms, Turned bears would almost always charge blindly at their opponents. They’d be easier to dodge; afterall they are supposed to bridge the gap between the smaller infected and the larger, more end-tier infected. However, they would not struggle to enter most houses and would not give up easy on hunting down their prey.

Turned Aquatic Life

You mentioned that the Turned would be afraid of water almost entirely; while I do like this idea, and it does allow for certain areas of the world to be fairly undamaged, I don’t think it allows for underwater locations to have much progression or enemy types outside of the occasional shark in an ocean map.
I’m fine with Turned Aquatic Life lore-wise not being common, nor straying out into open ocean often, thus limiting the Turn’s expansion into the oceans, but still posing a threat to those on the coast of bodies of water, and often guarding high-risk locations that are underwater, such as shipwrecks.

I also want to see at least one or two more regular Turned variants; so far it seems you have focused on having a split between regular enemy types and then mini-boss enemy types with little to no enemy types that simply scale with difficulty but aren’t intended to be mini-bosses. This was my line of thinking for adding Bears since they aren’t designed to be a mini-boss, but bridge the gap between regular and mini-boss/actual boss type enemies.

Currently, you only have the regular zombie/crawler, acid zombie, leaper, and the flesh hound. While true, the acid zombie has a mid-late game variant, and the regular zombie definitely has room for mid and late game variants I can’t help but feel like 1-2 more “regular” enemy types designed specifically for mid-game play would not be a bad idea. They’d be common enemies, not meant to be special mini-bosses that show up rarely and as 1-offs. Ideally, the further you progress, the stronger the basic “cannon fodder” enemy should become.

More mid-tier Turned types

Sprinter: A variant of the regular Turned zombie which features a more sporadic behavior, and similar body shape to regular infected, but it’s special movements, both idle and in combat, and high speed combined with details such as blood/spit running from the mouth help set it apart. These Turned would be rare in low-tier locations, uncommon in mid-tier locations, and quite common in high-tier/excursion areas, often replacing regular zombie spawns. When under the effects of a Siren or Overseer, Sprinters would attack more quickly, become more aggressive, and use flanking often.

Siren: An uncommon, weaker but mobile version of the Overseer. Able to attract nearby Turned and amp up a target of their choosing, Sirens present an enemy type that forces early-mid-tier players to slow down and attempt stealth over rushing in, guns blazing. These Turned would have fairly weak health and defenses but decent movement speed. Unlike Overseers, Sirens are able to power up only a single target at a time, but they will often choose the strongest nearby Turned, if possible. When under the effects of an Overseer, Sirens can extend an Overseer’s range, allowing more Turned to be affected.

I’m on the fence about how you presented Excursions actually being entered. I don’t think people who aren’t in the same group should appear in the same Excursion.

Other than the above, I liked the vast majority of the topic. Well written and nicely formatted. Great work!

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On mobile atm, but I agree that at early-game zombies are important and imo Turned animals are decent at bridging the gap.

As far as Excursions go, the post was worded a bit poorly, so here’s a short recap:

  1. Find suitable rift gateway
  2. Survive long enough to stabilize gateway
  3. Any player can enter the gateway until a certain amount of time passes
  4. Players are put into a PvE “safezone” lobby
  5. Players can form their own parties/groups while in the lobby, with any players they choose (that are also in the lobby), without impacting their actual group in the normal game world
  6. That person is the party leader, and can kick/add players to the party while still in the lobby
  7. Party members “ready up”, and then party leader can begin the Excursion and everyone is teleported intp the complex
  8. All players are now a part of the same “group” while in the Excursion, so PvE is in effect (unless the server enables friendly-fire)
  9. Upon completing the Excursion, the party members begin to enter another lobby where they can distribute the loot
  10. Each player can choose to exit at one of several locations, and upon doing so they leave the Excursion “group”. PvE no longer applies unless they’re in the same group in the normal world too
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Also small thing. I never really understood what everyone meant by “Excursions” so this post really cleared it up on what it is, how players would get there, and what they would see/fight there beyond “A place you cant stay for long”.

Also lol what if someones raiding your base while you’re stuck in an Excursion.

Wow. All I can say is “Put all of this in the game, this is amazing, yes”

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After having read all of the posts, I can safely say that this mega-post is an amalgam of a lot of ideas originally found here. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, as they were all greatly expanded upon, but now it feels like you just made essentially what feels like 80% of a game’s design document, leaving little left for people to discuss.

Now I guess I understand how it feels like to try responding to my posts.

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The main reason these topics ended up covering so much and having to pull from complete originality (or at least as original as they could get, with similar suggestions already being made sometimes) is that the game is still in such early development.

Hard to really ground myself without trying to explain a bunch of main gameplay loops or whatever.

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This is quite complicated.

I don’t think exosuits/skeletons should be in the game. I feel like they would give an unfair speed/armor advantage that high skilled or end game players could abuse to get even more easy kills on less skilled players.

Unlike some users, I am not suggesting the Crysis nanosuit, nor did I suggest that the exosuit give unfair speed/armor.

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oh my god THIS POST IS AMAZING

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Excuse me, this was your third posts and I may have skipped some text :stuck_out_tongue:
As long as the exoskeletons only provide a minor stat boost and will be mainly focused on PVE rather then PVP, it seems like a good idea!

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Exoskeletons sound cool but I don’t think they fit in unturned.
Also motto dosent post his own idea much, then he lays this on us.

This is true, I usually put stuff I don’t necessarily agree with in the main post because it might appeal to a larger group than I personally think it should’ve, or because it helps get discussion on more random things going.

I wasn’t planning on doing too many self-replies like I normally do, mostly because of how long the original posts are, but I have time for it right now.


Everything surrounding EMPs is a nice idea, if refined a bit more. People want a better electricity mechanic, and I think EMPs tie into that well.

Modular drones/exosuits are both cool, but they’re also a bit jank to suggest. A lot of people imagine them as militarized weapons, and that’s fair enough to do, but I don’t like those ideas too much. I think it makes sense for them to be as rare as military gear, if not more rare, but they shouldn’t be better than standard military stuff (Military Vest, Maplestrike, etc.).

  • For exosuits specifically, a main trade-off should be that you’re losing armor and storage for rather niche perks.
  • For drones specifically, gunplay should be a very minor aspect of it as they could be better at reconnaissance, or perhaps just being salvaged for their cameras and other electrical parts.

Fastigium Bow/Handgun/etc. are interesting in that they’re kinda fundamentally silly. They do replace the idea of the Shadowstalker a bit, but are more practical. Bit gimmicky, but it’d be nice to keep some “silliness” in the game. They’re also just good for providing end-game versions of common weaker weapons.

Excursions are something that I’d support being fairly close to my own idea though. It’s good to keep the mechanic grounded in both the main gameplay reality, and the Excursion gameplay reality. Good to add ways to incentivize it, without making it a more complex Horde Beacon. Good to try and find ways to make PvE better.

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