Designing Blocks for Early Game

Rafs

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#1
Hey :)


In this thread I'll suggest some blocks for early game, GSO grade 1 and 2.

The early game is a very carefully crafted experience, worked on since the very beginning of TerraTech, years ago. Much was improved over the years based on player feedback.
Yet, here and there we still see negative reviews from early-quitting players, usually something related to difficulty, bully locked spawning and inability to recover lost progress.
For these issues I have no direct solution as of now. But I thought of ways of making the early game less "arid" of block options, specially weapons. And I knew these GSO grade 1 and 2 blocks would have to be very carefully designed to not break balance or replace other existing blocks; in TerraTech we want all blocks with some degree of usability, at least in accordance to when they appear in the game.
I'm sure adding more block options early on will keep players interested for longer, experimenting and having fun with these other blocks, and enabling the more "impatient" ones to progress and unlock more of the rich content this game has to offer.

The blocks I have for now to share in this original post are:

Construction Blocks

GSO Chassis Blocks

Weapon Blocks

GSO Mini Bomb
GSO Blowtorch
GSO Rocket Launcher

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Let's get into it:

GSO Chassis Blocks

GSO Chassis Blocks.png

"A weighted chassis for placement at the bottom of the tech, increasing stability and protecting against impacts. Comes with rubber bumpers."

GSO Small Chassis Block

Size: 2x1x1.........................................[small, and quite thin too]
Grade: 1.............................................[appears early]
Price: 144...........................................[low cost]
HP: 400...............................................[decent health]
Mass: 1...............................................[some weight for stability]
Fragility: 0...........................................[no random dropping]
DamageableType: 2..........................[rubber, halves impact damage]
Friction: 0...........................................[avoid terrain stuck]
Recipe:
- Rubber Jelly (1)
- Plumbite Ore (2)

___

GSO Medium Chassis Block

Size: 3x1x1
Grade: 2
Price: 216
HP: 600
Mass: 1.5
Fragility: 0, DamageableType: 2, Friction 0
Recipe:
- Rubber Brick (1)
- Plumbia Ingot (2)

___

GSO Large Chassis Block

Size: 4x1x1
Grade: 3
Price: 387
HP: 800
Mass: 2
Fragility: 0, DamageableType: 2, Friction 0
Recipe:
- Rubber Brick (1)
- Plumbia Ingot (3)
- Titania Ingot (1)

___

These blocks were already shared as modded blocks, available here. Design explanation also found there.
 

Rafs

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#2
GSO Mini Bomb

1575311982746.png

"A device that releases a mini bomb, which has a weak explosion due to the small size."

Size: 1x1x1
Grade: 1
Price: 387
HP: 200
Mass: 1
Recipe:
- Plumbite Ore (1)
- Titanite Ore (1)
- Oleite Jelly (1)

This simple explosive weapon drops a mini bomb that explodes on contact with enemy blocks, or stays of the floor for a while before exploding. It can roll with gravity, and lacks any homing habilities.
All this makes it an excellent first explosive weapon, a basic concept with highly intuitive use (much like playing Bomberman). Useful against chasing enemies, or as a close range weapon (risky, as the weapon itself can explode).
Explosion damage and radius should be similar to the 3-pound, or higher, if the weapon has a long cooldown.

GSO Rocket Launcher

1575311992883.png

"Launches small rockets that fly for a while before exploding. Don't aim where the enemy is, but where it is going to be."

Size: 1x1x1
Grade: 2
Price: 2112
HP: 200
Mass: 1.25
Recipe:
- Plumbia Ingot (2)
- Blast Caps (1)
- Fuel Injector (1)

This is a "dumbfire" rocket launcher, it lacks any homing. The barrel gimbal can aim up/down a little, at most. The rocket doesn't travel much fast, or too far, but does more damage than the 3-pound, with a larger blast radius.
All this would make this weapon a little more challenging to use against moving enemies, but also rewarding. I could see a lot of action going on, trying to predict enemy movement so that the rocket lands, or getting closer and risk getting hit, this weapon could be a really fun addition.

GSO Blowtorch

1575312001402.png

"Small blowtorch of pressurized Oleite, produces a high temperature flame."

Size: 1x1x1
Grade: 2
Price: 1452
HP: 200
Mass: 1
Recipe:
- Plumbia Ingot (2}
- Olastic Brick (1)
- Fuel Injector (1)

This small gimballed weapon works similar to plasma beams, however it deals fire type damage (which acts different than plasma; no damage to rocks for example, but great against rubber/wheels). The range is 2 to 3 blocks, dealing continuous damage wherever it lands.
A fun aspect of this weapon is that it can gimbal, so it can be mounted above front blocks and they will focus fire the nearest block of the enemy (if placed next to each other).
I thought of making it a frontal mounted weapon but it would compete with drills, and since it can't mine rocks, it would make it possibly frustrating and go under-used. Being a top mounted weapon, the height makes it clear trees with great efficiency (fire does doubled damage on wood).
The Blowtorch is one more melee option early on, which can be fun even though risky. Even more since this weapon blows up like a small fuel tank. You can't really go melee early on anyway with just drills and their very restricted range; this weapon adds a little more flexibility to this style.

___

I'd also suggest moving the GSO Shotgun for an earlier grade, it does not fit the moment it comes into the game (neither do all other corps shotguns, as many have commented repeatedly over the years).

___

These are all my suggestions for this original post, more may come later, and certainly these weapons will be released as mods.

What are your suggestions for early game improvement?
Any blocks that would certainly fit GSO Grade 1 and 2 while not breaking existing balance?


Thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:

Wassaup

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#3
I've always liked the blocks, that you design, and these are no exceptions, especially the chassis blocks. But I must say, you may be approaching the problem from the wrong angle.
The new weapons would only help, if they were exclusive to you, the player. Of course, that can't be done, cause your only source of new blocks in grade 1 is the enemies. So to give the players better weapons, you would have to give the enemies better weapons, which would only makes things even harder.
The difficulty of the early game comes from the fact, that you have next to no equipment. And what little you do have is bolted on to you. So if your tech is destroyed, you lose everything. At that point, you can choose resurrection (which, you cannot afford) or a GSO tech (which is even worse, than the tech you've just lost) or start a new game, which way faster, than trying to bounce back.
The solution imo would be to help survivability. I would make repair bubbles, shield bubbles and batteries drop more frequently from reward chests while you have only a level 2 GSO license. Once you hit level 3, the normal drop rates would kick in. By that time, you can get a foothold and play the campaign for real.

Stay creative! Stay awesome!
 

joseph racer

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#4
cool
the geo tech tracks should be moved from grade 4 to grade 2 because you already have hawkeye and better future at grade 4. So they are kind of useless at that point.
 
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joseph racer

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#5
I've always liked the blocks, that you design, and these are no exceptions, especially the chassis blocks. But I must say, you may be approaching the problem from the wrong angle.
The new weapons would only help, if they were exclusive to you, the player. Of course, that can't be done, cause your only source of new blocks in grade 1 is the enemies. So to give the players better weapons, you would have to give the enemies better weapons, which would only makes things even harder.
The difficulty of the early game comes from the fact, that you have next to no equipment. And what little you do have is bolted on to you. So if your tech is destroyed, you lose everything. At that point, you can choose resurrection (which, you cannot afford) or a GSO tech (which is even worse, than the tech you've just lost) or start a new game, which way faster, than trying to bounce back.
The solution imo would be to help survivability. I would make repair bubbles, shield bubbles and batteries drop more frequently from reward chests while you have only a level 2 GSO license. Once you hit level 3, the normal drop rates would kick in. By that time, you can get a foothold and play the campaign for real.

Stay creative! Stay awesome!
these weapons don't seam easy to use and sense the ai aren't very smart so they will probably miss. We will only have to worry about the blow torch.
 
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Rafs

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#7
Yes, the techa track comes rather late in the game, never used it. By that time even the most basic GeoCorp wheel is a better option I guess, if the thing is grip.
 
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xboi_one

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#8
Yes, the techa track comes rather late in the game, never used it. By that time even the most basic GeoCorp wheel is a better option I guess, if the thing is grip.
i like to use them in my mini helis personally cus you only need one