This afternoon, I suddenly had some ideas about the construction system that EM-8ER would have. This system would be one of the most important in EM8-ER, as(except for the starting point) every base will be player constructed, so a sloppy building system would probably drive away any (potential) players. To start, I think the system would have to be a grid based modular system. This is because a free placement system would have the obvious drawback that separate buildings and walls will always be slightly misaligned, causing holes and making it difficult to neatly place things next to each other. In the example below, using a grid(left) would make it easy to align the buildings(red and yellow) and the walls(blue), but in the free placement model(right) the buildings don't fit in the same space anymore with even the slightest misalignment and the gate(purple) would have a hole next to it if the walls are placed first. Using a grid would also facilitate joining nearby bases together when they grow, as the orientations would already be aligned. Of course, once the game starts, and for new players, you can't depend on player build bases and just dump everyone in the middle of a monster infested wasteland while they try to figure out how the game works, so there must be some pre-build starting base/city, which features all the necessary facilities to craft basic items/weapons/gear and to equip and modify frames and weapons and store your resources. This will also function as a permanent spawn place and have permanent protection from enemies. The rest of the map being nothing but a barren wasteland, players have to build bases here for themselves. This building system would allow anyone to start building anywhere, as long as they have the resources for it, and anything they build and the facilities there are accessible to everyone, but building is limited to the guild/faction of the player who started(or set to free build, but this is not recommended because of the trolls). This ownership is saved by a single building: the control room. This control room also features some terminals to control the base, like a list of structures of the base and the ability to upgrade/change/deconstruct them. It will also contain a terminal to enter build mode, a 3d flying mode that enables you to place foundations and structures. The control room also has its own foundations, allowing it to be build without entering build mode. The foundations are basically a ground-leveling tool, which increases the ground level of a square grid piece to the closest next grid level, and creates a slope on all sides next to it that don't have a foundation to create a smooth transition. Any holes in the foundation (for example because there was a small hole in the ground there before, or because a corner is a little lower can be filled up with single grid cube sized blocks, which behave similarly to walls except for being the size of only a single grid cube. EDIT2: Illustration: Next are the walls, which come in a variety of sizes and have a large health pool. Walls protect against low level enemies without losing durability and also offer some protection to higher level enemies. The walls are actually build out of 1x1 wall pieces which stick together when placed next to each other to create the image of a single wall. Gates and watchtowers can optionally be integrated into the walls to provide extra functionality. Inside the fortress, structure elements can be used like corridors, stairs and halls to cheaply shape the place without having to add any functional rooms. There will also be a number of functional buildings inside. Most of these functional buildings have a simple single room structure and can be stacked onto each other. - A power plant, which provides the energy for the systems inside the base. The control room and walls are the only parts that still function if there's a power shortage. Each power plant unit provides a fixed amount of power output, but this can be upgraded upon acquiring enough resources or using special resources. (optionally, the power plant could require a constant supply of fuel, but I'm not really sure this would be a good idea as players would have to continually mine stuff just to see it vanish inside the plant) - A storage unit, which stores any resources dropped off at the base by the THMPRs. The starting city has an (nearly) unlimited storage capacity, allowing you to safely store all resources, but it would be further away than the nearest player build base, so first dropping off resources at the player build base is faster and safer than bringing it all the way to the starting city. Each storage unit has a certain storage capacity per player, so building more allows players to bank more resources at the base. - A drop off zone/conveyor belt, which takes the resources from the THMPRs and sends it over to the storage. The drop off zone works both ways, so your THMPR can also get your resources out and move them somewhere else. - A radar. The radar is a free standing module that is placed on top of the base and detects large enemy units, invasions and bosses. - A communication relay, which connects the base to other bases, allowing the radar to work even if players are not near the base and allowing the base to show up on the map. Also allows players to request their resources to be shipped from base to base(more on that later). - A train station. The train station allows trains to stop at the base. These trains ride on fixed tracks/through special magnetic tubes/via some other futuristic method and are fully automatic. At the station, players can select any connected base on the map and will be transported there by train. Trains can also be used to transport resources to other bases. Players only need to give the command to ship their resources from the station or control room and the rest is automated, fast and efficient. Trains are extremely fast and can carry large loads, so constructing railroads is well worth the investment. Multiple trains stations can be constructed to allow multiple trains to stop at the base. - A dropship landing site. Located on top of walls or buildings, this allows dropships to land at the base. Dropships are flying vehicles with helicopter like abilities (just like in Firefall) and can carry resources and players like trains, but with a lower load capacity and lower speed. The dropships are fully automated just like the trains and transport to every other base with a dropship landing site. (sorry for putting you out of your job Oilspill ) The dropships have the advantage of having a lower initial investment than railroads, allowing them to be used for smaller or far away bases. - Turrets, which can be placed on watchtowers, on top of buildings or on the ground, allow automatic defence from low level enemies and help defending during larger attack, but aren't strong enough to fend off such attack. - Spawn point. Simply a spawn point. Allows you to respawn at the base if you die. Doors and stairs can be added between rooms and simply create a hole in the wall or floor of two connecting rooms, allowing you to connect them. The control room will come with a door in place to allow you to enter it and enable build mode. Any other types of building can also easily be added afterwards due to the modular nature of this system. There's also a number of things I have thought about which could become a problem in this design: - The resources: should there be separate resources for constructing bases and personal items? Will people still invest into bases if they could also use it for their own gear? - How cluttered will the world become if everyone can create their own base? How many invasions need to happen to destroy the abandoned bases? Should bases become unowned after the owner/guild remains inactive for some time? - What about the "nice" spots, like on top of mountains or next to a huge resource pile? Everyone would want those places for their guilds base(s). Also, sorry for the massive wall of text, I usually don't speak/type this much but today this just kind of happened. And sorry for any grammar/spelling mistakes. Also, remember that the final decision is with Mark, even if you or I would have liked it different. EDIT: These bases will also have specific buildings for terraforming. These should include buildings like an Air detoxifier, which cleans the toxic mists around the base and a greenhouse gas emitter, which produces greenhouse gases to heat up the planet (because it starts off as a frozen wasteland). These buildings will need a constant supply of a specific resource, which is different from the resources needed for building and crafting. The resource will automatically be used as soon as it's in the base's storage. This will also give the owner of the resources terraforming points, which will contribute to their terraforming score. The owner(s) of the base will also get some terraforming points, but far less than supplier of the resources. EDIT2: The poll is clearly not set up very well, so you don't have to bother with it. Just post your ideas/comments to keep the discussion going and we can come up with some awesome ideas for the game.