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Possibly bridging the gap between "Content Islands"!


(NSW)Gamer-Steve

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With the upcoming Empyrean update with the Corpus, etc., I wanted to make a thread to explain my take on a potential method for Railjack integration. I've posted these thoughts on a different thread in another category, but for those who'd like to know, here's where they were originally:

 

  • Briefly though, I just want to note that I wasn't sure at first where to post this thread. I thought of General Discussion, but the only sub-category I saw there was "Off Topic" (& I would like to hear what everyone else thinks about this actually), so I didn't think that would be ideal. I also don't feel as though the following details would be a "Fan Concept" either, since they entirely rely on things already existing in the game (Originally speaking), so Feedback seemed like the most accurate choice (I just wanted this to be in the right place :) ).

 

As it notes somewhat in the link above, I have heard of the phrase "content island" before, and I do see what people mean by it, since every open world so far is seperated from each other in some significant ways (There may be references to other places, but you can't travel from one to another directly, nor do NPCs (Not that they need to though)). That's one of the main reasons why I've been thinking everything over for the last couple of months, because I'd like to see that integration become a reality somehow. I copied & pasted the original details below for everyone to see :)

  • (I'm hoping that Feedback is the proper place for this (Especially considering this relates to missions & levels, coincidentally), since nowhere else made as much sense to me. General Discussion should probably have an "On Topic" or "Non- Fan Concepts" category for things like this, since off topic might not be accurate for some threads depending on how you look at it)

    • (To size ^ that text better, I copied & pasted it from the google docs, using one of the forum's colors as well for better visibility; This was because I couldn't find a way to make the color automatically change for text copied from the docs to white or black, based on if you view this in a light or dark website theme. Green seems to show up nicely on both!)

 

Original post's details:

I remember on one of the past Devstreams (If not the Railjack reveal), it was mentioned that Railjack would basically be a way to connect everything, so I'm not sure if this was specifically mentioned in detail or not. Very much like how you can go from mission to mission in the various Proxima from Earth to the Veil (& eventually Corpus Proxima too), I think that your Railjack should be able to access every Open World location from the standard star chart as well (Unless more stuff is visually / functionally added to when you visit each star chart node, it'll be hard to do that for non-open world areas). Accessing Tenno relays should also be possible (Especially considering how the Scarlet Spear Flotilla relay looked from the inside) as well!

 

So, some possible scenarios with Open World areas:     (This will appear for those who have constructed their own Railjack)

From the HUB area:

  • On the pause menu, similar to how you have a fast travel, you can call Cephalon Cy to basically auto-pilot (Unless you have an NPC aboard at the helm, whichever works) the vessel to where you are, at which time you will jump into the ship as if you were at the Dry Dock. At this point you can look out the windows and see the sights, etc. too. You can access your arsenal here too, since that's in the middle of the ship, and check the forge as needed!
     
    • The location of the Railjack would depend on the HUB that you're at. It could be just above the water off the coast of Cetus, and might be visible near Otak at the Necralisk. But I'm not sure if it'll be visible from underground at Fortuna. In that case (Unless there's a massive underground cavern / transportation network for the ship to fit into), the ships windows could just be blacked out, as though it's in an off-the-books / overtaken-by-Solaris parking garage, waiting to be deployed into the field.
       
      • However, if someone in your squad calls their Railjack, then you could either go into their Railjack at the same time they do, or watch theirs fly in (At Cetus or the Necralisk, not sure about Fortuna), and then run over there and enter it personally from the outside.  If a bounty is started by the squad leader, you'll probably jump right in automatically, similar to when a Space Team mission starts during the Scarlet Spear event.
         
    • While in the HUB area, none of the ship's weapons will be active (For safety of the locals of course!), but navigation will be accessible. Just like in-between Proxima missions, you can access the normal and Railjack star charts from here, and start off on a new mission elsewhere if you want! A small cutscene may play based on which HUB location you're leaving from.
       
      • If a bounty was started beforehand however, that will be canceled (However that works, unless it just does that anyway as if you're going to the orbiter), and a transmission will play from whoever you spoke with (I.E., Eudico saying something like: "Oh, well alright Sparky. We'll be ready when you get back.") as that cutscene plays out (It can be skipped a bit).
         
      • If for some reason you select the same HUB location that you're already at (To tie up all the loose ends), either nothing will happen, or your Operator could say "We're already here. (Thinking to themselves) What to do next...", etc.
         
  • If you have a bounty to do, you can get in the pilot's seat and start it from there. Considering the load times (Especially on the consoles before PS5 and the new XBOX consoles), I think it'd be best to have a loading screen that shows the Pilot moving the Railjack in-between cannon / other artillery barrages (Like those explosions in Dogfights) based on which faction is the occupying force, and you can move the ship a bit just like you could with the landing craft! Once the map is done loading, it'll black out, and fade back into the map.
     
    • The point of view would be a little similar to that camera's direction. In this case, it'll be a little ways outside of the cockpit, looking in. Not sure how far it should be zoomed out, but I figure that could segue into the Open World instance nicely!
       
    • The exact starting position of the Railjack would depend on which Open world you're at. For the Plains, I imagine you'll be above the gates of Cetus, and above Fortuna in the Orb Vallis. For Deimos, perhaps you'd be outside of the Necralisk, just off of the mainland of the Cambion Drift (That place would be a tad small for how fast the Railjack is though).

 

Now at the Open World landscape:

  • The Railjack can be piloted just the same as it could in a Proxima mission (Although perhaps it's speed could be toned down a tiny bit based on the size of the Open World), and the forge / weaponry can be used normally. The Archwing slingshot could be used the send Tenno into the fray quickly, and if aimed at the ground below or into a mountainside, it may cause a shockwave to ragdoll / knockdown nearby enemies (Including the Raknoids, considering how fast that would be)!
     
    • The unique Empyrean damage types may be a little difficult to handle however. I'm thinking that either they could just add to / be treated as overall damage against various enemy factions just like how secondary combined elements are in Empyrean, revert to their non-Empyrean damage types, or (This might need the most work) have certain new status effects implemented depending on the type of enemy targeted, for every Empyrean damage type. That'd be up to DE, I'm not sure what the new effects would be hypothetically.
       
      • But for option 2, Empyrean --> normal damage conversion:

        Ballistic goes back to Impact,

        Plasma goes back to Puncture,

        Particle goes back to Slash,

        Frost goes back to Cold,

        Ionic goes back to Electricity,

        Incendiary goes back to Heat,

        and Chem goes back to Toxin. It stands to reason that these now-normal damage types would inflict their regular status effects upon the enemy. This damage conversion could be a fair (& possibly logical) trade-off for using a Railjack for Open World missions, since for the other way around, these damage types become Empyrean instead.
         
      • Either way, standard foot soldiers for the Grineer & Corpus (& Infested enemies), etc. might only be able to suffer status procs similar to the Empyrean damage types (Unless it also just goes to normal status effects), and Open World bosses may or may not be able to take as much damage from Empyrean things as they would from non-Railjack weapons (Namely the Profit-Taker and Eidolons without their shield, as possible examples).
         
      • Considering how Archguns are powered-down during Empyrean missions (From what I read), I'm not sure if the Railjack's weapons should be powered-up by the same or slightly-lesser scale in return, while used outside of their usual area, or not. I think they'll need to be however, if used on the Steel Path (Due to the enemy levels being much higher than even Veil Proxima, in addition to the armor and health increases). The Tunguska Cannon (Forward Artillery) may not perform as well vs shielded Corpus enemies, but we'll have to see how that works in the Corpus' Empyrean Proxima missions.
         
  • Avionics and Flux Energy:

    The Railjack's avionics likely could function very similar (If not identically) to how they do in Empyrean missions (Apart from the damage-type thing above), but without being able to find Empyrean-specific resources, it could be hard to replenish the flux energy needed to unleash them. One way to fix that would be having it regenerate over time (Either on it's own or with an avionic, but on it's own would be much better to manage), and another solution could be that attacking enemies on the ground with the Railjack's weaponry could add to the flux energy, or drop pickups for the away crew to pick up that replenish the ship's energy (Like energy orbs for the Railjack!) immediately.
     
    • Some avionics might be really useful against certain enemies, such as Particle Ram vs a full horde of Corpus in front of the Temple of Profit (Like if you're trying to spawn a Jackal Eximus to scan, but can't handle the enemy's firepower), but in order for them to work, the size of some of them should be scaled down to cover the front of the ship (Like having a massive Facemask, something very close to shield the ship (In Particle Ram's case!). Void Hole might need to be scaled down by half (Or up by half, not sure how Archwing sizes work off the top of my head), but like all damaging avionics and weapons, it may need to be buffed in damage while in use on the planet's surface.
       
  • Navigation & the star chart from Open World landscapes:

    While a bounty mission is going, navigation probably cannot be used (That might cause a lot of issues, wouldn't want the ship to take off without you!), so wherever the standard extraction is, someone who needs to leave can wait there perhaps. Or if they can stay, maybe they can manage the Railjack while everyone stays ground-side. Either before a bounty is started, or after one is finished, you can use the Navigation to head back to the local HUB area (Starting another planetside Railjack loading screen!), or go off onto a new mission in the star chart. That and the HUB actions might be the cornerstone of connecting Empyrean and the Railjack with the most-visited places in the Star Chart!

    However, Extraction from a regular star chart mission will still need some fine-tuning (Not all tilesets are made to have a massive Railjack show up where the landing craft might be, aside from certain Earth (Not the Proxima) missions). However in those cases, like a Grineer Galleon, it could simply switch from the regular non-Empyrean tileset to the Empyrean version, which does have a proper Archwing extraction near the end of the ship!

     
  • Planet-side Hull Breaches:

    Depending on which Open World you're at, certain enemies may be able to fly up into the Railjack (Like an enemy's version of the ground team), in which case they could still cause a Hull Breach. But I'm not sure if that's as big of an issue considering that there's oxygen on the Plains of Eidolon and Orb Vallis. Not sure about the Cambion drift though, a Hull Breach could still leak oxygen there.
     
    • Perhaps shooting enemies with the Railjack's weaponry could still make them drop pickups for the away crew, that can be used to replenish Revolite to repair the breaches and put out fires, etc., considering the issue of Empyrean resources and whatnot. Alternatively, enemies that board the Railjack from the ground could double as sources of revolite, so that Tenno on-board can take them down with regular weapons without worry!

 

In the event all this was implemented, I think that could resolve the "content island" issue! At least by quite a bit. The only other way I thought it could work is if you could use an occupying force's escape pod or ship to fly off into another Open World HUB area, but I believe the Railjack would serve much better and then some. Not to mention it would be an interesting personal form of transport to and from places.

 

Well, I hope it was an interesting read! Any thoughts from other Tenno / DE staff? 

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2 hours ago, (NSW)Gamer-Steve said:

Well, I hope it was an interesting read! Any thoughts from other Tenno / DE staff?

Surely the best/only way to reduce the “content islands” issue is with a better resource system. I can already fly a ship between the open world areas, and AW works on them. This doesn’t make them feel less isolated. Maybe I am missing some critical information by not reading your linked post, but I am assuming that anything important would be in this one.

 

If new items encourage us to go to other open worlds to build them it may feel better integrated. And not just as independent islands.

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8 hours ago, krc473 said:

Surely the best/only way to reduce the “content islands” issue is with a better resource system. I can already fly a ship between the open world areas, and AW works on them. This doesn’t make them feel less isolated. Maybe I am missing some critical information by not reading your linked post, but I am assuming that anything important would be in this one.

 

If new items encourage us to go to other open worlds to build them it may feel better integrated. And not just as independent islands.

That makes sense. The only reason for the linked post was to show where I first posted my thoughts on it, in case anyone saw it there before this thread was made.

 

I can agree with that though, as long as certain things weren't locked behind too much of a grind (One of the resources for Xaku largely only obtainable after maxing out Solaris United) in a different open world, it would help connect things together a bit that way.

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