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Author Topic: Challenge Modes  (Read 1702 times)

Kyzrati

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Challenge Modes
« on: February 03, 2017, 06:38:13 PM »

One of the new features coming in Alpha 14 is a framework within which I can add new "challenge modes" to Cogmind. Basically these are optional settings which change one or more aspect of the game/world, usually making a run more difficult in exchange for extra points.

I don't have a lot of time to be adding these now, but there could easily be more in the future so feel free to use this thread to drop any suggestions you have for these challenge modes. If a lot of people show support for a certain idea it's more likely to be added (as long as it makes sense and I think it will work in the context, and mechanically; also, I will prefer to stick with ideas that work thematically as well, rather than off-the-wall crazy stuff :P).


The first challenge mode I've added is called "Unstable Evolution," whereby you no longer have control over your slot evolution--they are selected at random!

Random slots chosen due to UNSTABLE status shown in the log:


Examples of random slot evolution from beginning to end:

The first there actually looks to be a fairly normal composition, although of course the order could be odd--not evolving what you need when you need it, forcing you to adapt; the second is kinda crazy due to that large number of power slots! This should lead to some interesting runs, and enable more types of replayability. (Note that selection is weighted towards what players most often want--e.g. not a ton of power slots, so it's not necessarily that terrible, but you could get unlucky and have to deal with it... Adapt or die, such is evolution!)

Active challenges listed in score sheet (and also appended to score history record):



To give another idea, possibly the second mode I'll be adding is called "Scavenger," wherein there are no part stockpiles and any solo randomly available items are damaged--everything else must be taken from other robots, or stolen from haulers! (Fabrication would be another option, but that has its own limits.)



Edit 170204: Okay, added that mode, too.




Edit 170420: Alrighty, challenge modes are fun, so I wanted to add some more for Alpha 15. I went through these posts to pick out some of the all-around best, considering implementation requirements and the challenge+fun potential, and ended up adding six more :D. We'll now have... (manual excerpts:)

Devolution: Start with 20 slots chosen randomly (from a weighted distribution), and lose 1, also randomly, at each new evolution. Base integrity never changes, always resetting to 800 with each evolution, and inherent heat dissipation (20) is also static throughout the run. If there are no free slots of the type that devolves, a random excess part is dropped to the ground. Bonus points are applied at each evolution: (500 * ([# slots you'd normally have at given depth] - [slots you actually have - 2])), meaning large negative modifiers in the early game and even larger positive modifiers in the late game. Incompatible with Inhibited Evolution and Unstable Evolution (Devolution takes precedence).

Sample devolution build starting out on -10/Materials :P


Gauntlet: All branch access is blocked, as are all main access points except the furthest from your entry location. Waste is still accessible, as are Garrisons, but both always bring you back to the same depth. Incompatible with Super Gauntlet. (Gauntlet takes precedence.)

Inhibited Evolution: Only evolve half as many slots as usual.

No Salvage: Destroyed robots leave no salvageable parts, only matter (and inventory items, for special events that include those).

Pure Core: No inventory slots for the entire run. Storage utilities are instead converted to matter when stepped on.


Super Gauntlet: All access points are locked, as are all but one garrison access. The only way to advance to the next depth is to find that one garrison and pass through it. Hacking open the entry is guaranteed, and leaving a garrison always takes you upward rather than back to the same map. Waste is still accessible. (I did one of these runs in Beta 1.2, with a full writeup here.)


Also, all active challenges will now be listed in the log at the start of your run, lest you forget what you've set yourself up to face :P


As usual, you can combine pretty much any number of challenges for mega points (and maximum pain!).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 07:03:59 AM by Kyzrati »
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 07:33:46 PM »

Looking great!

Scavenger sounds like a way to force me to play combat... Unstable evolution also encourages combat.

Other challenge suggestions (hope you can mix and match compatible challenges):

* Only utility slot evolutions
* Only propulsion
* Only weapon
* Only... power

* Pacifist mode
* Nudist mode
* Scrapyard leads directly to -3
* Melee only
* Every time you are spotted, a squad is dispatched
* No items from enemies (reverse of Scavenger)
* Fragile (items have 20% their usual integrity, and/or perhaps apply to core integrity)
* Start with 10% corruption (or gain corruption slowly over time). Corruption cannot be purged
* Hyper-sensitive alert (Alpha 11 but a bit meaner)
* Cored (Core has 100% coverage at all times), maybe apply to enemies as well
* Abandoned (complex has very few items or enemies, like the caves, everyone has fled, perhaps running away from some greater threat?)
* Inferno (ambient temperature gradually rises over time, needs new mechanic for bots to get refitted with extra heat sinks when ambient temperature rises) alternative: Cogmind is experiencing gradual core meltdown and only Cogmind's heat level is rising
* Trapped (5x more traps)
* Devolution: Start with max evolutions and with each floor you must lose 2 slots
* No inventory! Storage units do nothing, storage AA does nothing / doesn't generate
* Guarded (no patrols, but all exits have impressive defenses) (riffing on ideas from Dark below)

Will keep adding to this list with edits
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 11:46:46 PM by zxc »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 07:40:11 PM »

(hope you can mix and match compatible challenges):
Absolutely! Only outright incompatible options (if there even end up being any) wouldn't be allowed at the same time.
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DDarkray

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 10:23:19 PM »

I love the challenge mode idea! I better start thinking a few.

* All maps have no walls! Inspired by your debug post. :)

* All main complex maps (Materials, Factory, Research, Access) have only one exit. And that exit is always at the most opposite side of the map!

* You must enter the Garrison before taking the stairs... :P

* All weapons are explosives, for those not getting enough of it. :D

* All enemies are Behemoths! Now I'm really getting out of hand...  ;D

* More recyclers per floor! And their propulsions are upgraded to flight units! Raise the next bar of annoyance!!  Yeahhh!!! 8)

* Boss enemy per floor, guarding each of the stairs (extra powerful Sentry?). Must be destroyed before proceeding.

I know they're all off-the-wall crazy stuff, but I'm sure they can be fun!

* Every time you are spotted, a squad is dispatched
* No items from enemies (reverse of Scavenger)

Very thematic! The "no items from enemies" can also be thought of "dropped items from enemies are fried up immediately". Pair this one with Scavenger mode and you'll end up with *almost* nudist mode.


EDIT:

* Bigger map size, possibly 2x bigger or more.

* Programmers are dispatched more frequently. (Food clock ticks faster)

EDIT 2:

* A side-story about a war between your ally robots and enemies. The tile where you enter the map becomes an entry point for your allies to continuously spawn and attack. Hostile robots will also continuously spawn and attack as well, but toward the direction of the entry point. (Similar to how enemies spawn and attack in the Warlord map) Enemies will continually grow stronger over time, and if they manage to reach the entry point, it will be sealed and will no longer produce ally robots anymore (in other word, you're screwed).

EDIT 3:

* No inventory challenge! (perhaps no storage unit as well!) :P
Good-bye indestructible backpack with unlimited mass support!

* Every terminal contains an operator (perhaps also nerfing the chance of assimilating trojan and hackware drop)
Feel the pain of endless reinforcements!

EDIT 4:

* No hacking at any machine! (Or if that's too restrictive, then separate it into "No hacking at terminals" and "No hacking at non-terminals")

* All exits leading to the next floor are sealed off (unless that's the only kind of exit left)
a.k.a. You must go through branch exits whenever possible!

* You only gain 1 evolution point whenever you evolve.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 07:11:27 AM by DDarkray »
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Raine

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 06:02:10 PM »

Maybe a mode where your parts cannot be destroyed? I know this totally ruins the balance and a can't think of a good drawback to balance it out, but it might be a good "super easy casual mode". I guess maybe this kinda direction is gonna be covered in the difficulty levels you are implementing? (I think I heard something about easy mode parts having much more integrity)

Another idea would be some kind of mutations (dcss style) challenge mode where when it's active, there are consumable items or special terminals spawned that can be used to give you a mutation that can range from devastatingly bad to amazingly good and everywhere inbetween. If you think this is a possible good idea I can brainstorm up a mutation set that could be drawn from.

Some kind of mode that makes acquiring an army of allies much easier? Perhaps if you take out most of a squad the remaining bot would surrender? Or you're equipped with a permanent datajack that has a much higher chance of assimilation?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 06:08:57 PM by Raine »
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zxc

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 08:49:46 PM »

Maybe a mode where your parts cannot be destroyed? I know this totally ruins the balance and a can't think of a good drawback to balance it out, but it might be a good "super easy casual mode". I guess maybe this kinda direction is gonna be covered in the difficulty levels you are implementing? (I think I heard something about easy mode parts having much more integrity)

Yeah I don't think that by itself will work because it'd be impossible to lose. However, it relates to one of my suggestions:

* Cored (Core has 100% coverage at all times), maybe apply to enemies as well

With this, parts will never take damage. Your core will take it all. I suspect it would be more difficult rather than less difficult, though. Cores don't have much integrity.
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Raine

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 10:37:57 PM »

Oh yeah that's a much better way of implementing it  ;D

I also particularly like the idea of these
Quote
Melee only
Guarded (no patrols, but all exits have impressive defenses) (riffing on ideas from Dark below)
* All main complex maps (Materials, Factory, Research, Access) have only one exit. And that exit is always at the most opposite side of the map!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 10:40:44 PM by Raine »
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Amphouse

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 07:04:48 PM »

Personal thoughts:

I like the general idea but I prefer modifiers that are not strictly handicaps, but rather make you play differently. It's okay if they make the game overall harder, but they should do something good IMO.  For example, what if Unstable Evolution gave you an extra (randomly distributed, can get double something) evolution point every other level? (every level would make it too easy. you are still limited by max number of slots too) As for scavenger, what if you took it all the way: there are no floor drops at all(except on -11), but enemies always drop everything they have(damaged by the amount you damaged it though, and part frying would still be a thing). If that's too much, keep the current scavenger but give all weapons/the player an innate salvage boost.

Now, with that said, if you do want these to be strictly handicaps meant to challenge the best players, then at least have them give score boosts?

Also, I really like the "stair boss" challenge idea that darkray had. It should be possible since stair locking is already a thing in garrisons. (Or you could use the red locked branch stairs, not sure what's easier) It doesn't always have to be a sentry either, although it should scale in strength inversely with depth. (and if it drops good loot than it's not strictly a downside either :P)
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 07:34:37 PM »

I prefer modifiers that are not strictly handicaps, but rather make you play differently.
While yes these are handicaps, they do make you play differently, fairly significantly so with the two cases already given! That's certainly how I intend for them to be.

Now, with that said, if you do want these to be strictly handicaps meant to challenge the best players, then at least have them give score boosts?
Hm, I seem to have left that out of the OP, but yes, there is a rather significant score boost for each challenge you apply! That was part of the point, oops xD (okay, no, now that I look at it it's in the second sentence, I just didn't go into detail)

For example, as I have it now you get an extra +500 points each time you evolve when Unstable. Or +1000 in Scavenger mode alone.

(And note: I'm not really commenting on the other ideas at the moment because I'm not ready to implement more yet, but just wanted this to be a place where we could gather concepts for future discussion!)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 04:34:44 AM by Kyzrati »
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 08:00:37 PM »

Are the challenge modes unlocked at the very start (when you first play Cogmind), or are they unlocked after attaining certain achievements (like after reaching the surface)?
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 08:04:45 PM »

All can be used immediately (I don't see any real reason to gate access like that). For now they're not going to be accessible from within an in-game menu, though--you have to set them in the config. I wouldn't want to implement a menu until there are more of them and we know how they'll all work (and interact with one another), to avoid wasting effort on something that might change later.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 07:51:09 AM »

I've edited in a new batch of challenges to the OP. Check them out and keep adding any ideas to the thread and they might get picked up some day :)
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 11:07:34 AM »

XOM mode
(Or Chaos, something like that if you don't want to infringe on DCSS)
Absolutely everything is random.

Random items of all ratings appearing everywhere, an assassin digging out rooms with a gun, a recycler squad dispatched to investigate player activities...

Each bot would have different roles than normal. Crushers in place of recyclers? Alien Artifact stock pile? Anything goes!

The AI could react to different things differently. Send in death squads and increase alert level to max for things that are normally mundane.
Sounds chaotic.
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zxc

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 11:21:27 AM »

Collapse: Slowly, all of the complex is collapsing. Hallways, rooms, everything. You might suffer impact damage at any moment, or get trapped.

Another, similar one: Every time you evolve, you suffer an EMP which wipes out 20% of your items (including your inventory).
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DDarkray

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 11:43:00 AM »

Here are some more new Ideas:

Part Deterioration: Cogmind has a strange reaction with other parts. As a result, all of your parts take 1 damage per turn while they are equipped.

Edit: I'm starting to realize that this kind of challenge can be too difficult to do, especially since it's anti-processor, so I want to propose the following idea: 1) The deterioration rate occurs only 50% chance per turn. 2) Or the deterioration occurs only on X number of randomly selected items per turn, where X is based on the number of floors ascended. 3) Or the deterioration occurs only on propulsion parts, since it's universally important for all builds.

Slow Recovery: Cogmind finds little rest while ascending each floor. Everytime you ascend, you recover only 25% of your core health. Corruption is only partially removed, reducing by only half of its total percentage.

Unstable Reaction: Cogmind has a major bug in its system. Everytime you attach a part, there's 50% chance you'll gain 1% corruption.

Enhanced Extermination: The central AI is highly aware of Cogmind's presence and capability, and will relentlessly pursue to exterminate it. Whenever you're not being tracked by an enemy, the central AI will dispatch a random squad against you with perfect tracking. Fast robots like programmers and swarmers are preferred to take down fast-moving Cogmind.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 01:39:13 PM by DDarkray »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 05:52:40 PM »

Ooh these are some pretty good ideas, and easy to implement (my favorite :P), thanks.

Part Deterioration:
Because Cogmind's item destruction game is just not serious enough for some people ;). That mode would definitely be pretty hard in your base suggestion, but making the effect random and somewhat less often could definitely be interesting.

(I like lots of ideas from the last several posts, actually. Man we could add challenges forever...)
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2017, 05:36:28 PM »

Some possibly hard to implement challenges:

Golem: Play as a Golem. Every evolution, you get to pick from the list of golem parts that will generate. You cannot attach any of the complex parts.
Pursued: Instead of the regular extermination, you are tracked by a lone prototype programmer (or hunter) which has infinite tracking and will disengage at 50% core health by warping away and will restart the pursuit after healing. It evolves alongside the cogmind and gains new abilities every floor.
Berserk: Corruption doesn't heal across ascension. Weapons do +5 damage per corruption point.

 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 05:51:16 PM by Sherlockkat »
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DDarkray

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2017, 07:19:47 AM »

Challenge Mode.........reactivated!

The Key Hunter
Alert! Alert! Central A.I. has determined to lock down all the stairs in the main complex to slow down the derelict movement. Fortunately, you have discovered that a secret key is usually kept safe in one of the haulers "in case of emergency." Find this key, break open the haulers, and advance to the next stairs. Will you be able to escape on time?

This challenge can be modified to further increase difficulty. Here are some of my suggestions:
1) Increase the number of keys required per floor (perhaps incrementally after every few floors).
2) Increase the number of haulers on the map (perhaps with no item or very weak items stored) to dilute the chance of finding the right one.
3) Increase the number of escorts for each hauler.

Best played with the Gauntlet challenge!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 11:53:47 AM by DDarkray »
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zxc

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »

Quite like this key idea. Hunting haulers is fun.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2017, 07:38:57 PM »

That does sound good, even better than when first proposed on the chat--extra escorts! :D
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