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Charging Offline Towers


RadicalEdward2
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I think I suggested this a year or maybe two years ago but, I figured I'd try pitching the idea again.

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It always baffled me that players would attempt to preserve AGTs and Obelisks ever after their Power Plant was destroyed. I know the tower defense exists after the fact because its still a base structure but, it really has no value once the power is lost. I always thought the 'Weapons Offline' message could have had more to it which brings me to my idea...

What if the AGTs and Obelisks could be reactivated to a less efficient capacity as long as 1 Engineer (or 2 infantry repair guns) repairs the MCT?

Similar to how 2 Tesla Troopers could power offline Tesla Coils in Red Alert 2.

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For balancing reasons, the 're-activated' tower shouldn't regain its full efficiency but, maybe have a 50% slower reaction time when targeting enemies.

I'll elaborate on the lower level of efficiency:

Spoiler

 

Advanced Guard Towers have a small window where enemies can hide behind cover.

They could either have a delayed reaction time or fire at half the rate they would at full working capacity or both.

Its unlikely that an Engineer or 2 infantry repair guns would deliver the same amount of power as a power plant so the fraction of the necessary input should produce a fraction of the the available output in fire power.

The Obelisk of Light can't fire continuous volleys of bullets and missiles like the AGT and instead relies entirely on its charged beams of energy.

With that in-mind, the Obelisk really shouldn't have a weakened beam (since it only fires once before recharging).

Instead, the Obelisk could take twice as long to charge its beam. (it takes 5 seconds to charge at full base power)

It won't be too effective at catching infantry around but, you'll definitely appreciate that 8-10 second charge when its your last line of defense against a vehicle rush.

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I'm also not saying that the towers should ever become capable of overcharging (like Red Alert 2) because that would be OP.

The intention of this proposal is to give offline defense towers use after their power supply is cut off.

When it comes to in-game practicality, it would temporarily reinstate the tower but, at the price of having 1 or 2 (if infantry repair guns are being used) players manning the MCT instead of helping on the battlefield. So, if there's no one charging that MCT, they're as just useless piles of concrete for you to change your loadout inside of.

In a way, it could serve as a last ditch effort to fend off the inevitable final rush without relying almost entirely on grenadiers and flamethrowers.

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Commanders could have an 'emergency powerup' power that gets available once the pp is dead. When used powers up the agt/obi and reinstates normal pricing on stuff for duration. It could either be an toggle that drains command points while active or simply an timed global faction buff.

Another thing is to try installing backup generators into agt/obi that continue providing power for the first 10-20(needs test) sec after pp destruction, that will ensure the tower not suddenly becoming useless in middle of rush, assuming attackers properly coordinated and timed their efforts an wave would be rolling in the moment pp falls.

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6 minutes ago, Eagle XI said:

Commanders could have an 'emergency powerup' power that gets available once the pp is dead. When used powers up the agt/obi and reinstates normal pricing on stuff for duration. It could either be an toggle that drains command points while active or simply an timed global faction buff.

Another thing is to try installing backup generators into agt/obi that continue providing power for the first 10-20(needs test) sec after pp destruction, that will ensure the tower not suddenly becoming useless in middle of rush, assuming attackers properly coordinated and timed their efforts an wave would be rolling in the moment pp falls.

While that would be interesting, I think it would go too much against the grain to have any sort of power available once PP is out. Plus, it would rely on having a competent commander available. That being said, tacking on the ability to restore towers to half capacity to Engineers would give them more use beyond repairing vehicles once of the power is out. If a commander could just flip the switch back on, it would subtract from how dire the situation truly is as opposed to needing to have someone on AGT/Obelisk duty when a vehicle rush comes.

In a way, the team without a Power Plant would learn a hard lesson in coordinating their defense better.

Edited by RadicalEdward2
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Hmm, that made me think, what about an seperate purchasable gadget, 'power tool' that can be used for this purpose. Or better yet give that extra function to rep tool with double ammo drain mechanic as repair gun of engineers has infinite ammo. Building staying on indefinitely due to people constantly repairing inside would be annoying, via rep tool can limit that a bit.

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20 minutes ago, Eagle XI said:

Hmm, that made me think, what about an seperate purchasable gadget, 'power tool' that can be used for this purpose. Or better yet give that extra function to rep tool with double ammo drain mechanic as repair gun of engineers has infinite ammo. Building staying on indefinitely due to people constantly repairing inside would be annoying, via rep tool can limit that a bit.

That's why I said it would require two infantry repair tools to power if one engineer isn't present.

The other alternative is making the tower a privilege by requiring two engineers to keep it online (-2 manpower on the battlefield) just like the offline Tesla Coils in Red Alert 2.

Think of it this way, the more people trying to keep the tower online just makes them (and the rest of their remaining structures) more vulnerable as the enemy closes in around them so it could potentially become a juggling act like the power management mission in C&C3.

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Edited by RadicalEdward2
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1 hour ago, vandal33 said:

There is nothing wrong preserving the powerless AGT/Obelisk, especially in unlimited timed games.

Except for the fact that even partially active ones would keep the game interesting?

Personally, I feel like matches fall apart once either side loses electricity. Not that there's much wrong with that since it means that one side is winning but, at the same time, I think the ability to reactivate the towers (even partially out of pure desperation) could make the game even more interesting since there's literally no reason to preserve the AGT/Obelisks once the power is offline.

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would be cool if you could use cp to power the defences to half strength for x amount of time (or could eat into the cp points till its at 0).

or maybe commander could take other buildings offline to power the AGT/Obi.

I would be worried it could drag out games that have already gone on for too long thou.

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While having the ability to power a useless building to give at least half of its strength back I don't think it would be a great idea, or if it would even be possible but this does bring up a problem with adv base defenses and power.

While losing a power plant or adv base defense by themselves can be detrimental to the team: 1. Being the loss of base defenses(obv) or 2. The increase in price of all units/vehicles by %50. Losing the Power Plant when there are adv base defenses means not only the increase in prices but also the loss of defenses which means you are being punished 2x for the loss of one building.

Simply letting the offline building be destroyed isn't really an option either as it would  give the other team an even larger vp lead and more credits, which means your team has to divert manpower to keep a useless building alive or risk being overpowered. One solution is to simply make the offline buildings give half the vp/credits from damage taken and from destruction, this way it makes the building less of a target and the other team cant just farm resources from it as easily which could help balance things out a bit.

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15 hours ago, voltex said:

While having the ability to power a useless building to give at least half of its strength back I don't think it would be a great idea, or if it would even be possible but this does bring up a problem with adv base defenses and power.

While losing a power plant or adv base defense by themselves can be detrimental to the team: 1. Being the loss of base defenses(obv) or 2. The increase in price of all units/vehicles by %50. Losing the Power Plant when there are adv base defenses means not only the increase in prices but also the loss of defenses which means you are being punished 2x for the loss of one building.

Simply letting the offline building be destroyed isn't really an option either as it would  give the other team an even larger vp lead and more credits, which means your team has to divert manpower to keep a useless building alive or risk being overpowered. One solution is to simply make the offline buildings give half the vp/credits from damage taken and from destruction, this way it makes the building less of a target and the other team cant just farm resources from it as easily which could help balance things out a bit.

I mean...if we're going to opt to keep the tower useless after the power plant is lost, maybe something could be added to make it impossible to repair the tower when it takes damage? There really isn't a point to repair it once its offline anyway which is why I'm pushing for restoring some functionality by introducing a mechanic from a previous C&C game (Red Alert 2).

I get that points and credits are cool and all but, I feel like it doesn't really factor into the issue I'm trying to address since we'll still have a useless building.

By making engineers able to partially restore towers, it would at the very least give the losing team a chance to fend off small attacks (since the increased unit prices will already leave them too crippled to recover immediately).

At the same time, it can help with player retention by offering a small opportunity to salvage the dumpster fire they got themselves into. I can't recall a match where there wasn't mass rage-quits once the defenses went offline. Virtually every match that requires defending of a power supply is pretty much an end-game once the PP is lost.

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In the long run, here's some of the prospects behind implementing the feature:

  • Two engineers can work together to keep the tower online while their teammates call in new vehicles to perform a counter-attack.
  • The players maintaining the tower could rank up by keeping the tower online so they can eventually increase their effectiveness for a potential counter-attack (assuming that tower maintenance offers more VP than simply repairing).
  • Knowing that the towers could still be even marginally usefully after the Power Plant is lost would give players incentive to keep it maintained (and to keep playing).
  • With all unit prices being doubled, having a half-powered tower could offer the base just enough time to recover if the 'winning' team doesn't execute their second wave fast enough.
  • An AGT/Obelisk at half-power could hold off small attacks (1 or 2 tanks) as opposed to having 2 tanks driving around the base spawn camping everyone.
  • Addendum: A fully powered Obelisk takes about 4-5 seconds to fire a fully charged beam. A half powered Obelisk takes 8-10 seconds to fire a fully charged beam. A fully functioning Obelisk takes 4 shots to destroy a Mammoth but a half powered Oblelisk would probably take 5 or 6 shots to destroy a Mammoth.
  • Addendum 2: A fully powered AGT fires a rocket every 2-3 seconds (I don't remember the fire rate of the MG). If Nod was to steal a Mammoth, it would take 30-37 second for the AGT to take out the tank but probably a full minute with half power.
  • In the end, if the 'losing' team commits to maintaining the tower, the final quarter of the battle won't always end with a surrender.
Edited by RadicalEdward2
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The AGT/Obby would need a secondary node with a 'power up' bar for this to even work, but it should require more than just "two engineers"

In-theory it doesn't even make sense for the Obby/AGT to only be able to fire at half-power if enough Engi/AdvEngi's are in there, depends how the 'power up' meter works to be honest.

I can't even imagine how much of a pain in the ass this would be for a coder to deliver

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Repairing low power AGT and obelisks can give points, VP and money while denying the enemy from getting them (aside from farming points/credits/vp by attacking the tower) and you won't lose as long as the building is intact. I don't see that being pointless just because its primary function is disabled.

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