Possibility of EMP mine for manageable vehicle obstacle and challenges?

So, I’ve seen people post about balancing vehicles, and late game having little to no challenge. At the same time, any challenge should not be an annoyance or impossibility to counter or manage.

So, thinking on those terms, would an EMP mine response, similar to the riot bot response work?

As it currently goes, a riot bot can cause a lot of problems, but it is an escalation and manageable gameplay mechanic. It is counterable, but can cause problems if the player makes poor choices. It has a risk reward balance of “get in quick, take loot, escape before bot gets me” vs “prepare and stop alarm/destroy bots”. With lots of options, and lots of obstacles and challenges. Hopefully this makes it “fun” with the exception of the first mistake being a “learning” experience. :wink:

So, to do the same with vehicles, how about a single EMP mine drop from said riot bots? This would mean, even late game vehicles, if on an unmanaged and unplanned rampage, could hit a single use power drain event (from the EMP mine).

This can be easily managed by recharging batteries via swapping, pedals, solars, cranks (are these in game?) or reactors etc. However, it would give the player reason to go slow around protected areas (same as current riot bot escalation rules). It would also mean a laser equipped unstoppable tank, could be slowed, though not entirely disabled.

I hope this would give the player a manageable, fun mechanic. Possibly even the chance to collect the mines, and use them back on tank/chicken/riot bots themselves?

What do people think? Would this be too much of a fun stopper, or would it add some dynamics to the current vehicle gameplay?

Hmm. Riot bots are the nonlethal ones, yeah? I’ve never had a problem with them, not ever. I’ve almost always had a shotgun handy in those encounters, though.So I’m not sure that I’ve had the same experience as you.

I’ve also never made it to ‘late game’, and I instead live perpetually in the middle game. So I also don’t know what it’s like to have a laser equipped unstoppable tank.

My questions are as follows. If it’s a riot control bot, is it a military or police bot? If it were military, it seems natural that it would have EMP capabilities, for bomb/vehicle disabling. If it were civilian, I’d think EMPs would be beyond their scope. That’s my impression.

Also, if a vehicle is disabled by an EMP is it permanently disabled or temporarily disabled? Does it drain batteries? If your intention is to get players to carry around extra batteries and the like for swapping – would an emp blast drain batteries/damage electronics that were not currently installed in the vehicle but stored in the trunk?

Overall I think it’s a neat idea, but again, I’m not the best one to judge, and my inexperience is showing in my questions.

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EMP our vehicles?

Crap idea. Mainly due to how dangerous the robots can be from the get go. Seriously. I get chicken walkers and mini tank robots blowing my ass up all the time! Having them poop an emp to stop the one 50/50 shot of ramming them with my death mobile is pretty bad of an idea. They shoot at you while in your armored vehicle and can still kill you with full body armor and vehicle armor.

GAH! the last thing we need to a insta kill on out vehicles =(

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Wait, I never suggested that. Tank drones and Walkers would be exactly the same. Only riot bots (or if suggested road blocks) would have such mines. It would not be an insta kill either. It would work like the EMP (nade/manhack) does on CMBs, just on vehicles instead. Easily countered, but a dynamic that means players cannot just “drive forever anywhere” with no repercussion.

PS, in your example (if we did add them ONLY to road blocks), if driving fast enough, you would still splatter the walker into the nearest building, but after coast to a stop or need to restart your engine. :joy:

Thanks. I would suggest a temporarily, and easily to code, simple solution of just turning all batteries installed in vehicle to zero charge. So “temporary” in the sense that it’s easy to swap out/recharge, but still an effect the player has to counter/make plans for, if they are on a “rampage”.

Restarting the vehicle engine would be fine. I mean, a bother and dangerous, but being the point. I was thinking of real EMP like to perma-kill a car.

Sorry if this was not the intent. I understood the thread as being a kill-a-car kind of addition.

Thanks. A, stronger, military EMP could be an option I guess. Something that would damage engines/alternators/batteries etc. However, that would only be if it was considered needed for balance.

Currently, I don’t see end game walkers or tank drones as a problem. Just the invincible “drive tank around city” gameplay being both tedious (though possible) and having no dynamics (other than avoiding walls).

A simple EMP response in some situations, with limited roll out/triggers/locations, would mean driving any vehicle carelessly would have interesting results that are not instant deconstruction/destruction and annoying to repair.

Another alternative would be lightning attacks stopping the engine. Again, it would only require a quick restart. But unlike an EMP item, would be a bit more annoying and harder to balance? It would again give the zeds/attacking forces something to dent the players defence. While not being impossible to mitigate.

I feel like it’s going to be of little to no consequence to anyone with a reactor/engine based car with a spare battery, and instantly debilitating to anyone with an electric vehicle. In terms of realism it’s questionable both in how EMPs work and the fact that it seems like an excessive solution to criminals in vehicles when spike strips are a thing.

Spike strips might be a more practical way to go about it, but you would have to make armoured wheels and tank tracks immune, which doesn’t actually solve the main issue.

I’d say the biggest issue with endgame vehicles is that you can mount a laser cannon with a bunch of batteries and mow down hordes and hordes without stopping or being in any kind of danger. However, that’s one of the few ways to deal with large hordes safely, and by that point you have plenty of ways to get around any kind of danger. I think the focus should be more on making endgame interesting rather than harder, since it’s always going to be easy, and for good reason.

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OK. As said, I was looking to make it interesting. But as you say, it may not in reality.

However, currently damage to a vehicle is fatal. A broken set of wheels, batteries/engine etc in any tile of the vehicle. Countered by having multiples of everything, or driving around and avoiding collisions. Breakages from collisions, turret fire (road blocks) or fire.

Would shocker brutes damaging vehicles with their attacks be a more manageable challenge to the player then? Something that would gradually wear down a tank/Humvee and need the player to retreat, or focus attacks to prevent damage?

That’s not a bad idea actually, but I’m not sure how easily doable it is. That said, considering the amount of damage most deathmobiles take from gunfire (usually little to none), which are going to do far more damage, it might not have much of an affect. Then again, if you implement the shocker attack damage as something that spreads through the vehicle like an impact, or even just temporarily disables controls, then it might have the desired effect.

I’m of the mind that vehicles are probably fine, just make them more resource intensive to run. Whatever formula is used to calculate fuel/energy cost based on the weight of the vehicle needs to be turned way up so that something big enough to be a mobile base takes a massive amount of power and resources to move. That way deathmobiles stop being such an “I win” button since you can’t drive them to every single building, and it makes it more practical to get out and scavenge on foot. You might even benefit from making fuel more rare, but that might be at the cost of realism.

New thought, the recent work on NPC bases might present some opportunities for balancing deathmobiles. If, for example, it was made so that building a vehicle on par with most deathmobiles took weeks of worktime, that would effectively restrict it to those with a shitload of skilled NPCs and the particularly driven. On top of that, you’re now tied to your NPC base, since you put all that effort into setting it up. If fuel is made to eventually degrade then lategame deathmobiles require a nearby base to produce biodiesel AND upgrade your vehicle.

This idea, as proposed, seems far more of an obstacle to mid-game than the late-game it is aimed at.

At mid-game, where your death mobile doesn’t have multiple power sources, minireactors or whatever, a mine would strand you for a while.

At late-game, the EMP would be a momentary annoyance, because you would build death-mobiles to task and have either a reactor, a backup battery, or pedals to jumpstart it + a diesel/gas engine. It’d be a minor irritant on gameplay at most.

So long as content remains manageable for a reasonable amount of resources to deal with, you’re always going to reach a point where you are too powerful for the existing content. You can delay this by appending content, more foes alongside more powerful loot, you can add some sort of ‘you win’ content so you always have something to do and you finish the game before it becomes tedious, but you aren’t going to eliminate it.

Fair enough. To me it would be another dynamic to vehicle use, as suppose to a problem/irritance. But if others don’t see any benefit to it, that’s fine. :slight_smile:

Roll on NPC vehicle battles. :wink:

In reality emp pulses cannoverload control circuitry, they don’t drain power.

It would be a very reasonable to apply an emp effect to an engine that prevents it from operating for a handful of turns. AFAICT this is going to do what you want without ANY persistent effect other than the risk of the vehicle being inoperable.

There are other anti-vehicle measures that can be taken as well, like spike strips (yes this won’t affect armored wheels, that’s fine) and anti-vehicle mines, which if deployed early enough will act mostly as a deterrent instead of as a vehicle destroying attack.

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I feel it would be a danger on the mid game, and it can be made interesting there, but as proposed, on the late game it would be more annoyance: the car stops, you ^, fire up the microreactor or switch on the pedals, wait a couple turns, then fire up the diesel engine with the trickle of charge you’ve achieved so far, and in a little bit more you’ll have enough energy to fire weapons as well. You’ll probably pull it off several turns before the vehicle looses control.

Basically, you either have the resources, and it’s just 5~10 key presses to bypass, or you don’t, and you get screwed for a while.

Kevin’s multi-turn shutdown presents a bigger threat of crashing, remaining a threat in late game, it also removes the ‘screwed’ effect on early vehicles if they don’t crash. A little care would be needed on the code to avoid shutting down bycicles or something, and I’m not sure if all future!brakes are electronic or not.

Oh, I totally agree Kevin. This was more a gameplay mechanic idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

If we are going realistic, then yes, I see no reason (in CDDA) “stingers” of the electrical type would not be used. Basically larger tasers on cars/bots (as CDDA already has bots, it would be the peaceful take down if a civilian tried to cause trouble with a purchased riot bot).

I just feel any item the fryed vehicle controls totally, would be annoying to players. Though giving riot bots (or the smaller rovers) the ability to gradually damage a control part would be interesting IMO.

And as you state, many other options are there. Spike strips and vehicle mines would be avoidable or defendable (tank treads, remote detonation with explosives/remote rovers/pushing cars) by the player. It’s a layer of combat in the vehicle, rather than just the vehicle plowing through the hand to hand based combat.

Actually, that totally made me remember, is blasting through walls a reasonable tactic currently? Going around just seem much simpler.

Can always make fuel expire, IRL fuel expires in 2-3 years IIRC, this would place an importance on biofuel/electric fuel sources. So at the start you can have fuel as normal but later on throughout your playthrough if you want to move that deathmobile your going to need to produce fuel for it.

I believe we’ve had that discussion before. Don’t really remember where they landed on it, but most people seemed like they liked the idea of gas rotting away. That would funnel most people towards electric energy, which is the way it is for most of us anyway. That would also make EMPs all the more frightening, I guess.

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Err… you can just farm and make biodiesel.

As for fuel degrading, don’t we have issues currently with non-rotten food still spawning regardless of how much time has passed? It’d be kinda silly to make fuel vanish if you’d still find some by driving far enough for new stuff to appear.

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I mean manhacks that function by clinging to your vehicle and exploding could help too, and just the ability for more monsters to ‘grab’ your vehicle, might make grapplers be scarier, that and hulks shouldn’t make even an armored vehicle escape without some serious dents.

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Can always make fuel expire, IRL fuel expires in 2-3 years IIRC, this would place an importance on biofuel/electric fuel sources. So at the start you can have fuel as normal but later on throughout your playthrough if you want to move that deathmobile your going to need to produce fuel for it.

Can still go on a boring rampage with little consequence. Fuel expiration/rarity does not make the driving more dynamic, just more tedious. The question is what can we do to make driving more dynamic, with more obstacles/combat or areas to drive and engage in.

I mean manhacks that function by clinging to your vehicle and exploding could help too, and just the ability for more monsters to ‘grab’ your vehicle, might make grapplers be scarier, that and hulks shouldn’t make even an armored vehicle escape without some serious dents.

Ideas like this! :smiley:
A limpet style manhack might be overpowered? But Zeds grappling a car as it moves sounds rather interesting a dynamic… it would start to make the vehicle slower (instead of halting it completely) and bulky so it no longer fits through narrow streets.

Fuel actually expires in less time. Closer to 2-4 months. You only see the red jerry cans for storage wwhen you add a stabilizer compound. Cheap enough and easy enough to find in any good auto parts store for around $4.

Even though Kevin ninja’d me to the emp thing. A little caveat about modern vehicles. The main reason why an EMP will work on all modern vehicles is because of the computer components inside them. The vehicle wouldn’t stop if you removed the computer. Analog vehicles wouldn’t stop at all. As in if it doesn’t have a computer you are all set.

The reason why computers control modern vehicles is because of smoother ride and smoother controls. Such as Power Steering.

If I were wealthy I’d go completely analog. Young people just assume you need to have all the gizmos in a vehicle. But you don’t.