I have to come up with a better name than active upgrades. So we are all on the same page, the command ship has a list of upgrades (have to come up with a better word for this as well) that can be activated, and a list of upgrades that are always on (aka passive upgrades). So this past week I’ve worked on abilities that need to be activated. These are fairly short in duration, and after being activated there is a recharge time before the upgrade can be used again. It is the same concept seen in MMOs like WoW (press 1 to shoot a firebolt, wait for it to recharge, then press 1 to shoot it again).
So far there are two abilities in early stages, the first is the “Command” ability which allows the player to take over control of enemy ships. The larger the ship the lesser the chance to override its controls, through further upgrades to this ability the chace improves. I still have to decide whether I want only one enemy ship to be under this effect at a time. This may be a bit too boring, since the player may always chose the biggest ship and skip the smaller ones. Still I haven’t decided on this yet.
The 2nd active upgrade is the “Energy Barrier” This upgrade allows the command ship to project an shield, the catch here is that the shield protects a single side only. Meaning that the player must position the command ship to take full advantage of the protection. However the shield is invulnerable to damage, the protection stops when the duration of the ability expires.
Hopefuly there will be many more of these abilities leading to interesting and strategic game play, making the command ship a unique and powerful vessel.
Here are some screen shots of the shield ability (placeholder graphics, the final result should be a fluid animated shield):
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