Tech based transformations

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Phararri
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Tech based transformations

Nothing is set int stone but there were rumblings of shape shifting maybe making it into the game.

All of my heroes in past games where tech based

DCUO, Batman was always my mentor.

CO I never played as the Grimoire or hexslinger.

I am a tech guy at heart. I like the brainy guys with gadgets, or the robotic cyborgs. Magic is so overdone in mmos, I get a break by playing sci-fi titles.

I talked about this in the travel power topic but did not want to derail it any further. My request is for alternate tech origins if shapeshifting were to make it at some point.

Something along the lines of the Transformers, they have the autobots, beastwars, dinobots, etc. Basically alternate skins. Maybe have travel powers associated with those who are able to transform? Jet people are flight, boat people are..swim fast? Car people are superspeed, a raptor would be acrobatic, etc.

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blacke4dawn
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I fully expect that at if

I fully expect that at if/when MWM implements some form transformation possibilities that they give us options for all major "origins" from the get go.

As for your Transformer examples, I'd say leave that mostly up to the player.

Halae
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I'm reminded of Cruise Chaser

I'm reminded of Cruise Chaser, from Final Fantasy 14, one of the two MMOs in the FF series.

He's basically a steam based Cybertron-style transformer (even right down to the name!), and a raid boss for the Alexander series of raids. His entire intro to the fight shows him transforming from an airship into a giant warrior robot, and at a phase transition point in the fight he transforms back into a jet, and you have to ride him to avoid getting the platform you're standing on destroyed.

The problem with these kinds of transformation sequences, and reason why Cruise Chaser's "transformers" design wasn't used more than once is one of technological limitations - not in-universe limitations, but clientside. FF14 is an extremely well optimized game - there's a large number of games my rig currently can't handle, and those that it can generally run at 20 FPS, feeling choppy and bad, but FF14 is designed in a way that I get an extra 10 FPS over most games, bringing me up to 30, and more than that because of their smooth frame pacing even when it drops it still feels rather smooth to play.

Cruise Chaser kills that. The problem is that he has about twice the number of polygons you're looking at for most creatures in the world, on top of the particle effects present in the rest of the zone, because he has to have two states with a variety of effects going on at any given time. That's not a huge problem when you only have one character (even a very large, complex one) on screen at a given time, but it becomes so much worse when you start making it available to numerous individuals, because it's an exponential increase to the complexity of the characters onscreen, rather than a linear one. It gets worse in the hands of players because it means they have to have twice as many save states, which will no doubt cause backend problems for the servers.

But even more than that, the technical design work needed to make a Tech based "transformer" character look good in a video game is much, much more than what's needed to make them look good in a TV show, whether that be a cartoon or live action show. In cartoons, you can take shortcuts on that - you don't need to have the developers constantly keep track of every piece of the character's design. In live action, you can make a system to control all the pieces of the robot you've made, and you can basically apply it with a special-effects supercomputer in order to have the delivery be smooth. By contrast, a video game needs to keep in mind the lowest common denominator for what it wants to be able to play its game, meaning that looking good has to take a serious backseat. Second, the design work that goes into making a transformer where you actually do have to account for where all the parts go is much more difficult, as you can't "cheat" by converting it into a different mesh smoothly using cinematography to hide the transition, and you can't just ignore the extra pieces like you can in a cartoon - it's much more difficult to design a structure that looks good in both transformed states than it is to design one thing that looks solid enough to ship.

The kind of work it'd take for a variety of different "Transformer" type costumes to be available is just too much for the small team of MWM devs, as I see it.

However! That's not to say that 'transforming' shouldn't be an option available to players. Werewolves, Demonic transformations, vampiric shifts to look a bit more monstrous, changes into a super form like the Hulk, all that good stuff is classic Superhero genre. I'm just sad to say that the "Transformers" style system would likely be too difficult to implement directly (though admittedly that may change in the future, as tech upgrades happen and teams expand. Just don't expect anything of the sort at launch).

Pharrari wrote:

I am a tech guy at heart. I like the brainy guys with gadgets, or the robotic cyborgs. Magic is so overdone in mmos, I get a break by playing sci-fi titles.

As an aside, I agree wholeheartedly with this. While I do like having a fair amount of magic in Superhero stuff, as it does have its place, I absolutely despised the fact that there was minimal tech stuff in a ton of CoH's stories. A big tech villain? His power reactor is a demon. Go to another dimension to deal with the dimensional invaders? Your big helpers are a magic circus, and the biggest antagonists after a while are literally the Furies; even the psychic stuff fell by the wayside there, despite being really cool. Getting to Cimerora through magical means, despite the big antagonist being technologically based. And then there was the Incarnate stuff, and well, I get that "divinity" was supposed to be different from magic, but when cultists are using divine magic, and the well you get the divine powers from is described as a magical intelligent well, it rings a tad hollow.

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Cobalt Azurean
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I'm also a sci-fi guy at

I'm also a sci-fi guy at heart, so I'd love to see more tech-based content. My original Cobalt started off as using a suit of power armor, which through story means got turned into more organic Guyver-style (thanks to the Terra Volta respec trial radiation!), and eventually evolved into a more magical being with a Heart of a Storm Elemental (via Cathedral of Pain Trial). Does that mean I don't enjoy tech content? Of course not, but I certainly didn't let the lack thereof in CoH/V deter me from playing my character(s) and evolving them over several issues.

Interdictor
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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

Second, the design work that goes into making a transformer where you actually do have to account for where all the parts go is much more difficult, as you can't "cheat" by converting it into a different mesh smoothly using cinematography to hide the transition, and you can't just ignore the extra pieces like you can in a cartoon - it's much more difficult to design a structure that looks good in both transformed states than it is to design one thing that looks solid enough to ship.

High Moon Studios did a good job of "faking it" with their transformers games:

And it shouldn't be any more hardware-intensive than a costume change emote or Kheld transformation. It just depends on if the costume change emote can morph the character's body in certain ways. How this would interact with the different costume parts could present further challenges as well.

Phararri
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You are probably right Black,

You are probably right Black, lol. I grew up on transformers, so those are the characters I relate to. Maybe others have their own ideal transformations. Transformations should probably be left to the player.

Shapeshifters seem more fauna oriented to me

Imo it would be neat to have a true robotic origin character. Something like the Automoton from CO, but more in-depth. Folks who can even transform their limbs, such as arms to weapons and so on. I think it would be cool to have a power set that does not even use weapons, but upgrades which can be built in such as hand cannons, cyber swords, etc. Metroid, Megaman X and so on. Champions Online had the chainsaw gauntlet, which was cool. Champions Online also had vehicles as means of travel and combat. Basically, these are variant travel powers and powers.

Maybe they could have some sort of edge against robots? Can hack or control non bosses, or copy their physical form. There are more complicated possibilities. Megaman could hack the powers of robots and use them against them, that would be a neat short-term ability.

Basically this is just a request for robotic transformation powers and travel powers. They would probably lead a trend of Optimus Prime and Megatron characters walking around, so I may be opening a can of worms because we already have to worry about copyrights in regards to marvel and dc characters. Autobots super group, etc, etc.

Just a random idea I was thinking about and decided to throw out there

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Phararri
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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:

Halae wrote:
Second, the design work that goes into making a transformer where you actually do have to account for where all the parts go is much more difficult, as you can't "cheat" by converting it into a different mesh smoothly using cinematography to hide the transition, and you can't just ignore the extra pieces like you can in a cartoon - it's much more difficult to design a structure that looks good in both transformed states than it is to design one thing that looks solid enough to ship.
High Moon Studios did a good job of "faking it" with their transformers games:
And it shouldn't be any more hardware-intensive than a costume change emote or Kheld transformation. It just depends on if the costume change emote can morph the character's body in certain ways. How this would interact with the different costume parts could present further challenges as well.

Your last sentence was a concern I have been pondering. I wonder if pre-set customization options for transformers would help alleviate that? Or no?

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Shapeshifting in a game like

Shapeshifting in a game like this is always going to a challenge and will probably be subject to various compromises.

One way would be the "Kheldian" solution where the game switches you between hardwired forms based on powerset powers. That solves the costume problem by just doing away with forms that can wear any costume items in the first place. I suppose the Devs could take that one step further and provide not only several hardwired "transformer" robot options but also make a subset collection of costume items that could be specifically used for each of those unique body models. But I'm guessing if any of these "transformer" shapes are radically different from a basic humanoid shape that it would take a huge amount of extra effort to produce costume items just for those unique models. Not impossible to do of course - just not likely to happen anytime soon.

Another idea for shapeshifting is maybe getting specially designed "costume suits" that look like whatever you want. These would function like the CoH Halloween costumes. The downside is that they would also likely have to be hardwired so that there wouldn't be any ability to customize them with costume items. On the plus side you could collect dozens of these suits while playing so that your only limitation to your shapeshifting is how large your suit collection is. Eventually there could even be hundreds of suits like these in the game.

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If I remember right,

If I remember right, alternate travel powers like vehicles were suggested at some point, and it was hand waved as a "Good idea, but not a launch thing". If vehicles happen, then one could easily make a costume that matches a vehicle's parts closely enough that a backflip and turning the power on could have a smoke and mirrors transformation kind of like the war for cybertron transform animations. Animal transformations on the other hand may have to be a bit anthropomorphic depending on how limited or diverse walking postures are. Champions has the feral running stance, and depending on proportions, that works for some animals... But a transforming -power- is definitely a "much later" thing.

I'm sure there are some Virtue players who could get REALLY detailed on which emotes spaced how with which power effects and particles best simulate a transformation. I delved into them for a short time, But I more often then not, didn't play full on RP, so I was fine with just /em backflip, and costume change :T

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Interdictor wrote:
Interdictor wrote:
Halae wrote:

Second, the design work that goes into making a transformer where you actually do have to account for where all the parts go is much more difficult, as you can't "cheat" by converting it into a different mesh smoothly using cinematography to hide the transition, and you can't just ignore the extra pieces like you can in a cartoon - it's much more difficult to design a structure that looks good in both transformed states than it is to design one thing that looks solid enough to ship.

High Moon Studios did a good job of "faking it" with their transformers games:

And it shouldn't be any more hardware-intensive than a costume change emote or Kheld transformation. It just depends on if the costume change emote can morph the character's body in certain ways. How this would interact with the different costume parts could present further challenges as well.

This Beat Wars did the same thing having 3 models Robot, Beast, and in-between. I believe all the 3D games and shows do something similar to keep the polygon counts down

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