Enemy Spawn Rate Modifiers

Falchoin

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#1
I propose a couple anchored blocks for creative/campaign which change enemy spawn rates (and maybe difficulty?). This way players can tailor their experience on the fly depending on what they feel like doing at that time.

Signal Jammer: when placed the signal jammer makes it more difficulty for enemy techs to get a lock on your location, effectively lowering the spawn rate of enemies in its radius.

Beacon: when anchored the beacon alerts friend and foe alike to your location so long as your actively controlled tech is in the beacon radius. Increases enemy spawn rate, but also increases sale price of resources by X% (some small non-stacking number) due to less time spent finding the bits blasted off into orbit.
 

ZeroGravitas

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#2
Certainly this type of thing has been quite directly suggested before. For good reason.:)

I'm not so sure about reducing spawns, as even if you cut the rate by a half (or 1/10th, etc) you'd still get enemies acumulate around your base when sitting there for half an hour build/crafting. I guess you'd reduce the total cap of 4 enemies, too...?

But *increasing* spawn rate, now that's something I *way* more interested in. Especially in creative mode, when I want to test battle capable techs against many opponents. Or just drive about mindlessly wrecking stuff. Having to wait a fixed 40s and then getting some trash spawn with no defences that lasts less than a second is very disappointing.

Of course I'd like to see a greater sample of the enemy population pool too. And so far, in my time recently spent with hard/medium enemies, that variation's not been that great. I've seen a lot of repetition. Some of my own techs appearing 2 to 3 to 4 times, over the last several days of dossing about for several hours a day.
 
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#3
Welp, if this will get added, its time to "creatively use game mechanics". Place some turrets around you, at the border where enemies start spawning, but not far enough so the enemies wont spawn on top of the turrets. Now place some GeoCorp SCUs on these turrets. And the final step is to kill all the enemies too far away, and activate the new Beacon in the middle of this turret circle. Now, you got youself a block generator. You can leave your computer running while you do other stuff (like sleep, you can just leave it there over night), just make sure the invador is already in the world, so another one doesnt spawn! Or you can just do all this nonsense in the starting biome, invadors dont spawn there. Also, if you were not full level licence, dont worry, you will be, since enemies also give XP when killed.
 
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Falchoin

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#4
Agreed that the “Hard” enemy pool is usually anything but. Most enemies don’t have bubbles of any kind and easily targetable cabs. I would love to see more difficult enemies. Maybe the beacon could also set it so that enemies spawned are closer to the relative cost of the tech you are controlling?

What I am wary of is having a number of enemies with missiles, especially cruise missiles... at least without countermeasures. I’ve have had very expensive techs popped in Hawkeye missions because of relatively cheap techs that are little more than cruise missile beds. What makes it worse is, you cannot recoup the losses easily since the rest of the enemy tech is made of inexpensive blocks or explosive.
 

ZeroGravitas

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#5
if this will get added, its time to "creatively use game mechanics".
Yeah, you can already build auto-farms, although they need to be a little more convoluted than you describe (I've tried it) because enemies don't spawn within 100m of an anchored tech and even GeoCorp SCUs don't reach that far. You could now use a air anchor for a (slow) orbiting enemy harvester (and build dynamos in, why not).

just make sure the invador is already in the world
They also don't spawn when you are near an anchored allied tech, I believe, so no problem here.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#6
Most enemies don’t have bubbles of any kind
I *think* this is because the spawn requirements are relaxed in creative, compared to campaign, where techs of a certain level (or value?) have to have shields (of some description). I've not ground campaign late game (lately) enough for a full comparison. I guess the idea is to enable the purely creative builds, which is great, but in practice it means we predominantly get the trash...

relatively cheap techs that are little more than cruise missile beds.
Again, I think this is a product of the simplistic spawn selection algorithm - I believe it limits quite naively based on total tech value. It has a ฿ ฿ 1M hard cap, but also seems to make techs close to that value vanishingly unlikely. So the only time you get cruise missiles is on super-tiny techs with them.

I'm not personally opposed to these little terrors appearing in campaign, but I think it would be better if mostly it was bigger, more interesting looking techs that appear with (a reasonable number of) missiles. As you say, you don't get any reward for taking them out, as the missiles always explode. Also it's hard to tell they might be dangerous, from a distance, or even see them. So it feels bad if you do get sucker punched, or you just have to kill *everything* from such a distance that you never get to appreciate the enemy builds.

All this is relevant for @zanzistar, in particular.:)
 

Saelem Black

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#7
Personally, I'd like to see the spawn rate cut down dramatically. Campaign end game frequently just becomes hours of "sweeping up" your otherwise beautiful salt flats. It's also deeply deeply obnoxious when you're building away in campaign and some little suicide megaton venture thing comes hurtling into your base and starts blowing up your idle techs/autominers before you or your turrets can stop it.

I have a couple suggestions to improve this. First, make spawns a random chance per distance traveled, such as 0.25% per meter traveled, or perhaps 75% per km or something like that. That way when you're not moving much (like messing around in your base, or sitting in the build beam), enemies aren't likely. However, in addition to this, there should be periodic hotspots of enemies, the same as the bully missions, just hanging out semi-permanently on the map, who will antagonize you if you wander too close.

The fundamental gameplay loop of TerraTech is about building creations which help you move through the world better; by increasing your tech's arms/armor, speed, harvesting ability, or all of the above. By tying combat to movement, you're reinforcing that feedback loop rather than making it an obstacle. My two cents.