Deployable Varieties and Perceived Permanence


Jul 27, 2016
California, CA
Deployables can have modularity to them which would expand options and creativity for deployable abilities
+ Support stations could produce ammo/ammo, or ammo/cooldown reduction, or cooldown/double damage

Deployables could have more permanence on the field.
+ Often when deployables are re-summoned the oldest one is destroyed. Rather than destroying deployed assets they could actually move to the new location to make them appear more persistent
+ Gives a chess-like gameplay mechanic

Numerous games that are class based have some sort of class that can deploy stationary support equipment. Whether the deployable is a mini-turret, ammo station, or healing aura, the deployables are rarely customizable beyond the Either and OR. (turrets either fire bullets or flames. Healing stations either heal or reduce damage received).

Em8er has already confirmed that abilities will be customizable based on the resources used to craft them. For instance a med station will likely be crafted to have a bonus in healing per second or an increase in the total health the station has before it is destroyed by enemies. In general stationary deployables are tried and true mechanics of gameplay however a little more modularity control could vastly expand possibilities.

Engineers in Firefall for example were able to deploy a stationary supply station. The supply station generated ammo and health packs but was not much further customizable. Em8er could have improved player creativity if there was control over what such a supply station produced. Perhaps the station could produce ammo/ammo, or ammo/cooldown reduction, or cooldown/double damage. Though the versatility could make the class rise far above other support classes I think it would give players even more control of their characters.

Continually I would like to see deployables as not always stationary and have a little more persistence on the battlefield. I do not mean to say deployables should have the roaming movement freedom of a mmo pet but more to the extent that a deployable should not always be destroyed when a player re-positions it; some deployables should actually move to the new location. For instance in the game Paladins one of the newest champions named Io (eye-oh) has a mostly stationary deployable. Io alone can deal damage and heal with a healing beam to support her team. Her deployable "pet" named Luna is a stationary damage turret that can be enhanced to also emit a healing aura. When Io chooses to grant Luna the healing aura enhancement it allows Io to tactically push and assist her distant teammates with both damage and healing while still maintaining healing and damage at Luna's stationary position. The consequence however is by splitting up, Io and Luna are splitting up their combined damage and healing potential. The choice to leave Luna drastically expands the tactical decisions of the players.

Additionally Io can call upon Luna to reposition to her selected location. Rather than Luna being destroyed and re-summoned, Luna actually travels to the new location, albeit very quickly. This constant re-positioning and presence puts more value and a type of chess-like strategy to the battlefield. When Luna is defeated however there is an 18 second cooldown in which Io's healing and damage output is crippled. I believe if done properly, Em8er can give deployables more of a battlefield presence and better player interaction if deployables actually moved rather than be sacrificed. The choice to move the deployable would give a chess-like mechanic as well as more of a persistent connection to the player's equipment.


Aug 14, 2016
Personally I love the idea of orbital weapons in games. Not the orbital weapons as in the ones that orbit around a planet, star, or moon. But rather the orbital weapons they fly and orbit around the person, mecha, or ship. This types of weapons are linked to the person or object but can act independently from it based on it's use and design. There are many different types of orbital weapons although I don't see to many examples of them being used in games anymore. There are 4 mean types of orbital weapons and 4 basic commons that can be given to them. There are more to be sure they are all kind of variants of the basics. The key to make each one of them stand out is in how they are used, just any other tool.

The 4 basic commands are of orbital deployables after you deploy them are follow target, go to location, hold position, and autonomous mode.
  • Follow Target. By default orbital deployables follow and fly around their owner when deployed. But the owner can also order them to track and follow another target, by they friendly, enemy, or other. The type of deployable largely determines what happens next when they get into range of the target.
  • Go To Location. This tells the deployable to go to a location that the owner specified. If nothing of note happens the deployable will often go there scan the area for a few moments and return after not finding anything related to it's purpose. This can be used to scout out areas before going into them yourself. Although if it does find anything of note related to it's purpose it will do that before returning. What that thing is - is largely determined by what type of deployable it is.
  • Hold Position. This tells the deployable to stay at an location and not move from an given area until ordered otherwise. This can be used when you need your presence felt in more than one specific locations at once.
  • Autonomous Mode / Free Will. This mode will let the deployable act on it's own based on the priorities of it's purpose and programming. This allows it to act and react to things without needing input from the owner or other outside sources. Often times the problems with this mode has to do with speed and decision making. Do to often having limited internal logic guiding its actions it might be able to do simple tasks faster than humans but complex tasks slower if two or more priorities are in conflict with each other. The type of deployable largely determines what it's goals are when in autonomous mode.
The 4 basic types of orbital deployables are weapons, shields, direct support, and indirect support.
  • Orbital Weapons. These are weapons that can be used while separated from the owner. They can be ether melee weapons or ranged weapons or both at the same time. If there are multiple deployable weapons having different formations and attack patterns can have even normally weak and ineffective weapons doing devastating damage. Such as having them encircle the target(s) and attacking all at once. Or having them boost your attack by adding more power and/or speed to it.
  • Orbital Shields. These are shields that can be used while separated from the owner. They can be physical shields or energy shields or some mix of both. The effective of the shields often comes down to 3 main factors. How strong the shield is, how much of an area the shield covers, and how fast can the shield move. There are pros and cons in regards to the size of the shields. But be aware that a small faster moving shield can be just as effective as a large shield. And if multiple shields are used at once it can allow one to survive attacks they would not be able to normally by layering each shield on top of each other so even if the attack breaks one shield it would still have get past the shield(s) behind it before it can do damage to you and/or what you are protecting.
  • Direct Support. These are deployables that helps the owner and allies directly by doing things like healing them, resupplying them with ammo and given them extra energy. Things that directly effect the player and friends.
  • Indirect Support. These are deployables that helps the owner and allies by directly effecting the target / enemy to make them easier for the owner and allies to deal with. Things like flying around the enemy taunting them to draw aggro away from the owner / team, flying over to the enemy and disorienting them in a flash of light and sound (think of a homing flashbang grenade), or flying over to enemy to try and hold them in place or slow them down so it is easier to hit them or aim for weak points.
Most of the time in games, unless there is a class that is specifically designed to have powerful deployables or have the ability to boost the effectiveness of deployables. Like an engineers and hackers might use custom deployables or have the ability to boost and/or augment existing deployables with their abilities (Like how in games like Anarchy Online the Engineer class can use their tools to boss the abilities of the robots other classes use and not just their own.). Deployables tend not to be as good as the abilities the players if they can be used by everyone. This helps to balance the game because no matter how good the deployable is it will always rank like somewhere as average in terms of power (unless when used by a hackers and engineers) because to use them to their greatest effect the player has to be more tactical than say the run-and-gun class.