Rebuild the Protectorate / New Way of doing Quests

Discussion in 'Side Quests' started by Plasmataz, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Plasmataz

    Plasmataz Subatomic Cosmonaut

    There’s a TL;DR at the End if this post looks a bit too long.


    For a 5 century old essentially combat-peacekeeping force in the Universe, the Protectorate was rather easily and totally dismantled by a single attack on Earth. There is absolutely no reference to them whatsoever past their initial demise and Esther mentioning that you're essentially the last of the Protectorate (besides her being the former Grand-master of course). You would think that somewhere out there would be a planet-side outpost, or perhaps another ship which managed to escape Earth that was carrying a Protectorate or two. On another note, I know that Starbound isn't realistic, but it's rather funny how every random Joe who couldn't muster the courage to go talk to another colonist they want to be friends with is suddenly a full-fledged professional. They even had a Protectorate suit hidden in their closet for just such an occasion.


    The outpost also feels rather bland. I was excited when the devs said that the outpost would expand as you completed the story, and I was rather disappointed that the extent of this was just shops that had no reason to be closed would only open after completing certain missions. What I propose is setting aside a new area on the outpost (or potentially creating a new mission instance on a “hospitable planet” accessible through SAIL) dedicated to the construction of a new HQ.

    The mission could be started after fixing your FTL drive, where SAIL will randomly pick up a distress beacon from a prominent Protectorate commander stranded just as you were on a planet when his ship crashed. SAIL could mark out a nearby Star System and Planet, where you will have to explore the surface until you find him and assist him (maybe defending him, offering him a certain item, or helping him repair his ship with tungsten or what not). After collecting him, he would appear at the outpost and contact two veteran (maybe retired) Protectorate Engineers to assist in the construction of a new HQ. I’d love to see an actual sense of progression, that my actions are actually helping to create and rebuild something bigger than myself. I want to see this building go from a ram-shack military tent and a pile of construction materials surrounded by hired penguin workers to a full fledged HQ complete with a dormitory, a command center, training ground for all those new colonists who wanted to join your crew, etc.


    I feel as though this expansion would help that sense of progression, and serve as an area to send that extra crew you want to have on your ship but don’t have the space for right away. The amount of recruits you find OR certain missions such as constructing a mining facility on a planet with cerain ores (something or somehow establishing that the Protectorate still EXISTS) will most likely be the milestones for when the HQ expands, and these milestones will serve the player by giving him additional benefits. Say finding 2 recruits results in constructing the Training Grounds, which will allow the player to choose what profession they want a new recruit to be (rather than random choice). Reaching a milestone or doing a quest to build an Armory will give a selection of Bonuses you can swap out at will, such as X% damage boost, X% more HP/defense, or X% more energy to the player and crew member, things like that. There could even be an incentive reward at the end. If each Protectorate gets a matter manipulator, why wouldn’t the commander’s manipulator be a special upgraded variant of the default one? Maybe completing a certain percentage of the HQ would result in him awarding his special upgrade, boosting your Manipulator’s destructive power by a further 50%. Maybe a fully operation HQ could allow for special Protectorate events to occur. As for Radiant Quests the commander could contact your ship via SAIL and inform you of planets and colonies in need of assistance from bandit raids or such matters. You are meant to be a peacekeeping force after all. This would give both the added benefit of something to do (as long as its not taken to Preston Garvey levels) and getting the planetary locations of racial colonies that might help out in the main story when scanning for clues.


    As for the crew themselves, I think it would be nice to have three different ranks of crew members. Recruits would be the majority of people that want to join your crew from colony quests. They have basic training and will get the job done, but they don’t have much experience and offer no benefit. As an added representation of their Recruit statuses, they are not randomly assigned a job. You instead, as a Protectorate captain, see fit to which role they should serve. Protectorate-Qualified / Experienced Crew would be a small minority of colonists, those that have prior experience in a certain field. Say someone used to be a Doctor. As a colonist you can train them to be a medic, and they would then have X% better healing to you or X% faster HP regeneration for you. if you really want a different class of crewmate you could ignore their specialty and simply train them to be a Recruit in any other class and give up that potential bonus in favor of an extra Engineer. These experienced colonists would have to be relatively rare. The majority of these Experienced Crew members however would come from your exploration of planets, where you can run across Protectorate Outposts (allowing you to find those Protectorate blocks and furniture out in the wild) or distress beacon missions similar to how you found the Commander. These would be your main source of experienced crew, however unlike Colonists, their jobs would have to be randomized as they are already official Protectorates. The final class would be Veterans, and again they would be a minority only found the same way as the Experienced Protectorates are. These are the long-serving members of the Protectorate, few and far between, but they have the best buffs available to you for you and your ship.


    It would also be nice for the standard crew outfits to reflect their profession beyond just the color. A combat peacekeeping force has a standard uniform but not standard combat gear? Soldiers should have relatively heavy armor, bulky with armor plating, and access to the best weaponry (perhaps tie this in to the Armory milestone on the Protectorate HQ). Medics and Chemists are support classes. They should have lighter looking armor and pouches to store their medkits and stims. Outlaws would probably fit in as Soldiers except with the lighter looking armor, meaning they’re slightly worse than soldiers at combat but better than Medics and Chemists, or they would serve as a source Experienced Soldiers besides what’s stated above. Engineers, Mechanics, and Janitors are not meant to be combat focused at all, they can stay with the default uniforms, with utility belts added for aesthetics.


    This is my suggestion, sorry for the long post, but I would love to see something of this sort added in as something to be run alongside the main quest or modified a bit and run as a post-ending questline.


    tl;dr:

    1. Protectorate HQ that builds itself (prerendered of course) as you recruit more people, gives benefits as it builds.

    2. This HQ would allow you to swap out crew / send new recruits to the HQ when your ship is full to add them to your crew when you upgrade.

    3. Official Protectorate members can be found, give better buffs than colonist recruited crew members. (Protectorate Outposts could be a rare spawn on the surface of planets)

    4. Would result in radiant quests fitting to Protectorate lore (as peacekeepers). Respond to distress beacons / defend colonies.

    5. Crew members would have different aesthetics to fit their role besides colors.
     
  2. Plasmataz

    Plasmataz Subatomic Cosmonaut

    This falls under the title of new way of doing quests:

    In my opinion Starbound's infinite universe might be a step in the wrong direction in terms of a engaging, content packed universe that feels alive and changing. Currently, while there is much to explore and do, I can't help but feel like the universe around me is static and dead. Only the PC seems to have a ship, and almost every planet seems to be colonized by these incredibly low tech villages that don't interact with each other. IF the universe was limited to say, 200 star systems (randomized with each character), you could have 5 of those stars be "Home Systems" for all the various races (Humanity could maybe also have a random star where the Protectorate is trying to rebuild). Each race would have a surrounding area of influence and there could be multiple influences for some of the races. It could also be a new way to do the story quests, in a "smooth and natural way" that some of us want. For example, the current system has you randomly run across the surface of planets until you find enough green objects in a settlement to be able to locate the mission. While this DOES invoke a sense of exploration, it's not meaningful. All those towns don't do anything, they're just there. And once you scan all the clues, Esther just happens to perfectly pinpoint the location of the artifact is, then you do one instanced mission that has no effect on the universe.

    In terms of the Apex misson, you essentially made a huge change to an entire galactic civilization, and there's no way to show any reaction to it. It's also rather constricting since for an open universe role-playing game, you're being forced to play for what's considered the "good side", AKA the rebels. What if your character wants to sympathize with the Miniknog instead? In a more fluid, limited universe, you could have a Miniknog home star, and some of the surrounding star systems could have Rebel bases, hidden on asteroid fields and less hospitable planets (since they are hiding) that try to contact you when you jump in. "Hey, we're registering your ship as a Protectorate vessel, blah blah blah, help our cause, do some missions for us, we'll help you get what you need". You've discovered a mission questline (that you can do at your leisure in the order you locate the various races rather than in what order Esther tells you to) that builds up to the finale, which is taking on the Miniknog and removing their influence from the universe. Maybe Apex you find could now reflect that, speaking freely, replacing all the Miniknog guards in cities with Militia instead. Of course as I said, this needs to be a roleplaying game, where you choose what your character wants.

    Sympathize with the Miniknog? Why not be able to switch sides and become a spy at the behest of the Miniknog? Or instead of being contacted by the Rebels first you happen to jump straight into the Miniknog home system? You're a relatively unknown person, a Protectorate, maybe the Rebels would trust you? The Protectorate is dead anyways, you don't have to follow their ideals. Do a series of missions for the Miniknog, and they end up paying for your services with the artifact in exchange for a finale that involves destroying the Rebel leadership and instilling an iron rule over all the Apex. No more will you find rebel bases, or if you do they will be heavily under siege by Miniknog troopers that storm the place and kill everyone. Maybe you see them capturing the rebels, maybe you find that any Apex labs you found before now have many more captive test subjects. You could get rewarded with more than just the artifact. Maybe each side provides a different benefit, some incentive for helping them. Maybe you could even get a Unique crewmate from each side with buffs.

    With a limited universe you could also see if you could have the various races try to "push" their influences over other home systems or try and take over planets. Would be nice if planets you discovered before would "generate" a new structure if the world allows for it and the context makes sense. You could even have galactic trading, and potentially rare events where some stars would generate the remnants of a space battle between two races or opposing factions that you could loot for some goodies. City planets could also be a thing, 2000 block wide exploreable urban environments similar to that of the intro mission, with many skyscrapers offering different services like upgrades, new gear, etc, all connected by tubes.

    An infinite universe is a lovely IDEAL, but unless you can populate it with an engaging story and not just bland emptiness and repeated planets, it's a bit tedious and there's no reason for any racial differences as there's no cultures or lore to back them up anyways. Starbound should have two gamemodes in my opinion, a limited story-mode universe, and an open sandbox universe. Hell, if they want they could do a New Game+ where the limited universe suddenly expands and becomes randomly generated as far as you want to go (as long as the original universe is marked out of course for easy return, since that's where the content is packed). There's also many, MANY more lore friendly things they could place into the universe. That alien race that bestowed advancement onto the Avians? That could be the grounds for a Stargazers vs Grounded conflict. Maybe the Grounded want to shatter the idea of Kluex being a god and send you out in search of the alien ruins to find proof that Kluex was simply another Avian (though a very important one).
     
  3. Sharp(JQ)

    Sharp(JQ) Ketchup Robot

    I agree, too easily fell Protectorate. Where outposts? Where is embassies? Where are those who were on the ships?
     
  4. Lintton

    Lintton Supernova

    I would hope that while the protectorate may have some pockets of organization left to work with, The Human empire's loss of earth leads to some severe problems worthy of a plotline. perhaps the esrth's ruination gets blamed on "dirty xenos" who then join the cult's cause.
     
    zeptrio likes this.
  5. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    We could put the new area on that Planet in the background of the outpost!
     
    zeptrio likes this.
  6. Brockster17

    Brockster17 Subatomic Cosmonaut

    This is the best social media post ive seen in my entire life. 11/10.
     
    locketeerian, zeptrio and Jaxatron like this.
  7. zeptrio

    zeptrio Void-Bound Voyager

    we so much need this :DD
     
  8. Seradest

    Seradest Void-Bound Voyager

    I very like your idea.
     
  9. Jefsweatsgames

    Jefsweatsgames Void-Bound Voyager

    Great job making his, it is the kind of thing that'd attract many players too. If the developers could add this, my my, Starbound would become my favorite game. Fingers crossed. Will follow all your content from now :)
     
  10. Jim Witness

    Jim Witness Industrial Terraformer

    Some very nice ideas here. Perhaps your character's opinion of something you scan or look at, and what NPCs say to you, could change as you pass different events and defeat different bosses.
    I would also like to see Novakids be represented as a race and have their own story quest.
    I wish also that Asra Nox might say different things to you depending on your race at your first meeting.

    It would be nice to see, from my perspective, to see those things happen. But not everything (more likely nothing) that I put down on this post will get put into the game.

    Have a good night all!
    Jim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018

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