I have several observations and questions about them. My biggest question is:
Why aren't the plasma turrets firing on the sand worms when they appear on the desert maps? Isn't that one of the reasons we set them up in the first place when in the desert? To defend the colony from biological threats? (They do come in handy for ice-shard storms too).
The way they attack is rather odd. The acidic vomit is not unexpected, but I thought the worms would also be have like the Aehallh (ay-HALL-uh) worms from Star Trek Online and bash their heads on buildings too. (Well, Aehallh worms don't actually destroy buildings, they're much smaller than the ones on Aven Prime, but still, they too spit acid at people). It seems kind of unrealistic that these things would just wiggle and wave their heads around, projectile vomit a bit, and then go back underground.
You'd think part of the reason they would emerge at all was because all the human activity on the surface above was causing vibrations in the ground that irritated or ticked them off. Either that, or it's mating season. I'm not sure how these creatures' biology and behavior is going to be written, so it's not entirely clear why they would attack at all, much less come out of the same holes in the ground. It's possible they are literally creatures of habit. Oh well, this game is still in Beta, so there's probably more that will be added to the worms later.
The design is kind of cool. Even the Sand Worms of Arakkis can't boast head sails like that. I do doubt, however, that Aven Prime's worms produce Spice. The one reason I even heard about Aven Prime at all was because I was looking for pictures of aliens on DeviantArt and found a concept art picture of the sand worms. The artist mentioned the game in the caption, so I went looking and found this beta.
Activating Alien Artifact > Spice
My first thoughts though about the pathetic Cannon VS Shai-Hulud.. NOOOOO!!!! but more specifically the cannons versus air or land targets (which there sadly aren't any yet.. thinking active fences and mine fields to combat real land threats like Zerg or Arachnid rushes (StarCraft and Star Ship Troopers respectively)), but "bio-targets"? The cannons are anti-air threats. It would be cool if they had different weapons for each type of air target. Given nothing in the game presents much of a threat though I never bother building them.
Just passively contemplating this game as a primitive StarCraft (we didn't send them out prepared to fight anything anyway) though.. hmm. Humans are still fat, they have managed to find ways to look fit but their appetites are still incredible. They don't fight wars and so multiple and have become so great in number that they felt compelled to set out for the stars like a plague of locust.
If the worms only surfaced for some need of their own (assuming they don't consider the colony a threat) as part of their molting process say, opening their head fins out to create a stable arch/anchor to hang the husk after the worm wriggles free and falls into a pit below.. the husk could still work as a breeding chamber for a new generation of wrigglers that could sense and attack the base, or as a still breathing water concentrator that would fill the hole below with water for the growing worms?
Also only Worms and Lightning are about the only things that consistently destroy things so I don't bother with lightning towers either.
Something instinctual tells me if you even bother trying to shoot at or otherwise antagonize Shai-Hulud.. a creature so massive it just needs to pop out of the ground, and roll over your base a few times then game over. Just be happy all it does in tacit retaliation for your depredations into its territory.. is barf a little acid. OR it is blind and is just semi-surfacing to poop randomly. Where those droppings land.. some surface creature(s) should set up shop to process it like wondering dung beetles, or like the Arachnids from Star Ship Troopers.
Can't imagine what a modern game like this game would be like in a game engine that allowed for pooling and flowing water, terrain deformation (think water cycle where rain deposits water somewhere high and it flows down to the lowest point or pools and evaporates) and had erosion such that the worms could make dynamic tunnel systems tied to available resources and what kinds of energy or materials you could harvest or are exploiting to keep your base going and research centers busy (maybe they really hate Zorium and would attack your base in increasing numbers to destroy the threat).. such that they'd open up sink holes randomly, that could swallow parts of your base, which you'd have to divert your transportation network to re-fill with dirt, or you could divert water to flood them out if you had to make flood channels and flood plains as part of normal game play to enable farming in arid zones).. oh wait..
I still build the lightning towers and cannons. It got very tiresome to have my various tunnels destroyed during winter, and plus, they add a little boost when my electrical grid is in "Winter Mode," as I call it. In fact, you can't build a lightning tower unless you have at least 1 battery first, so it all comes together. It's especially fun watching the turrets shoot the ice shards out of the sky during shard storms. Can you imagine what kind of lightning-speed calculations the AI would have to do to be able to precisely blast such an object out of the sky like that? It's amazing.
The few humans I've seen in the game, both the talking pictures and the little virtual people, don't appear to be fat. They look physically fit and probably value good diet and exercise. Plus, despite the accommodations (such as pressurized buildings, oxygen, and food) life is still sometimes hard on Aven Prime. Almost everyone has to rely on the shoe-leather express to get anywhere, they have to eat a vegetarian diet, and they work long hours at the various jobs around the colony.
I'm guessing the Developers are still working on the worms. But you did bring up a very scary thought, one that I neglected to include in my earlier post: giving the worms the ability to come up anywhere out of the soil (usually in the desert) and destroying buildings as they do so before going back into their tunnels. So far, the sand worms are predictable, though that might not always be the case.
I think that might require too much animation to show the worms molting, though that might be interesting seeing baby worms wriggle out of eggs or come out of the soil briefly.
Hehe, you make these worms sound like they could act like the Horta from Star Trek, tunneling out holes naturally and revealing valuable ores and minerals in the openings they leave behind. It's an interesting idea, though the game seems to make only minerals on the planet's surface available for mining, not down in the nearby tunnels in the desert. Not sure how they could work such a serendipity into the game.
Wait a minute! You just gave me an idea to float to the devs! Thanks 😀
I actually had a building and several sections of tunnels destroyed by Creeper Spores. It was an accident, because I had not build scrubber drones in that one area yet, and guess which building the floating ugly jellyfish wanta hit? That building! At the time, it took me forever to manufacture enough nanites to finally get some scrubber drones in there, but they were almost too late, and both the building and two sections of tunnel imploded. It was not a pretty sight.
In relation to Creeper Spores, I mentioned in another thread that if you have enough turrets on the side of the city they attack the most often, you can actually blast them out of the sky before they ever hit any of your buildings. Same goes for plague spores. For now, both threats are predictable, though I think that won't always be the case as the game is developed. Still, I would keep the lightning towers and plasma turrets.
There is also one other threat the game has not addressed, but the possibility is always out there: Space Pirates.
they have to eat a vegetarian diet, and they work long hours at the various jobs around the colony.
No-meat diet is stupid. But everyone looking fit because they have a drug addicted super metabolism isn't to far fetched.
Can you imagine what kind of lightning-speed calculations the AI would have to do to be able to precisely blast such an object out of the sky like that? It's amazing.
In practice no. I'd like a colonist in the gun. We have land based laser systems and conventional anti-air systems that already to knock fast projectiles out of the sky. And I mean if you're descending onto a planet that has crazy storms.. build underground or under domes. Relying on anti-air systems seems silly. That and if there's a Mothership in orbit, it could monitor those storms too and provide targeting data.
Personally I don't understand how people do it (skeet shooting). But it isn't a lightning quick process as these things form in the upper atmosphere in storm clouds and can be tracked by ground based systems for a long time or satellites* and have a reasonably long time before they hit the ground.
*Which is a reminder of the lack of satellites in this game compared to older games (from the 90s) like Fragile Allegiance. (which is what I mean by 90s style game but without nearly as many features)
There are at least two types of storms the game could be trying to represent. Hail or cometary infall.
Since Paul mentions that shards at one point could have provided water (the cometary option), but for whatever reason they decided against it.. ignoring that almost any meaningful infall of shards would obviate a desert climate.. I don't figure its cometary because that would assume the planet flies through a field in a fast orbit around it's star where I'd further assume the Star is 'Aven'.
In the case that its super hail, lets say car sized and larger, they'd take a really long time to form and still would take a while to hit the ground. Having the cannons shoot more targets and show the process of aiming and shooting would be cool. Say if you saw the cannon paint an inbound shard with a laser beam and then fire at it. Or the lasers and cannons could be separate.
Hehe, you make these worms sound like they could act like the Horta from Star Trek, tunneling out holes naturally and revealing valuable ores and minerals in the openings they leave behind. It's an interesting idea, though the game seems to make only minerals on the planet's surface available for mining, not down in the nearby tunnels in the desert. Not sure how they could work such a serendipity into the game
It would be sweet to see the worms coming up and leaving mineral rich deposits in their poo. I mean hopefully they don't crush half the base while topside.
It's been a while since I've posted, but what happened to me last night is relevant to this thread. We discussed earlier how scary it would be if the sand worms could pop up anywhere, right? Well, that happened to me in the Valley of Death. It's like, I hear a worm making a visit, but guess where it popped up? It wasn't a hole in the ground, it was one of my farm fields! :O Talk about a nasty surprise. Strange part was, the worm did not damage the farm itself, whereas in real life, its head and body coming out of the ground would have damaged or even destroyed the farm and the field next to it. So it's scary and odd at the same time.
There is also one other threat the game has not addressed, but the possibility is always out there: Space Pirates.
We're too busy working on the Space Zombies and Space Ninjas! 😛 😀
BTW, having Plasma Turrets shoot the sandworms has been on our list for a while now. We'd love to get that working. Not sure if it will happen before launch, but we'll see!
Wait, you're launching this game before you finish developing it? That makes no sense.
Why? I encounter this statement a lot in a lot of games I have played. The obvious counter to it is that if they kept developing and fixing every little detail they would never release the game because it would never be finished. There would always be something needing to be worked on. I mean don't misunderstand I am not saying rush it out in form that is going to be perceived has half finished. However, the game looks pretty stable already. There are things to change for quality of life and such but the game is definitely playable and doesn't feel, to me, unfinished.