PvP improvements, fun for both the attacker and the defender

Udrakan Morturim shared this feedback 2 years ago


Over the past few years, I have played tons of PvP on survival servers and while it brought some cool moments for me, I think it requires an update. I have thought for a long time about a system that would be fun for both the attacker and the defender. A system where players need to use ENGINEERING instead of sitting 1 meter beyond turret range sniping with direct weaponry or enabling ejectors 2km above enemy base. A system, where the best defense isn't sitting 2 light years away from spawn, playing "Singleplayer with chat". At the same time, the system cannot be too complicated and require too many new things or change the game too much.


-The Shield

Every proper base would have a shield very similiar to the Safe zone spherical area. More energy would allow you to increase the radius. Players from different factions cannot get through the shield by ramming or using standard weapons, neither could they walk through it, just like safezone they are pushed back. This shield can only be on static grid. Engineer would have the option to increase the power input to strenghten it's HP during the attack (more about that later), meaning the more energy you have, more time you will get before it breaks.

-The base turrets

A simple improvement. Turrets on all grids that are connected to voxels get +200m range (200 seems like a good buff to me) to counter gatling chair turret sniping from 1m beyond turret range.


-"The Cannon"

In order to capture or destroy a base, the attacker has to get rid of it's Shield. The only weapon that can do that is The Cannon (name suggestions are welcome) . It would be very expensive, large, heavy and require extraordinary amounts of power to shoot, requiring engineering move it to the destination and having enough electricity there to power it, while providing it with defense against defender counterattacks while it charges. It would always broadcast a signal at for example 10km, while having a range of 2km (all values are just a suggestion, proper ballancing would be needed). Depleting the Shield's HP would break it and allow the attacker to attack freely for x amount of time, before the shield regenerates. Targeting energy supply would be the key.

Now would be the time for orbital strikes, torpedos, warheads and classical weaponry, except you can't just snipe the turrets now, you have to distract them too because of the longer range.

-The thermal scanner

No more hiding in a void, playing singleplayer on a multiplayer survival server. The bigger your production and activity, the more prominent energy signature you will give off. You can still have a stealthy battery powered medical room with interior turret, however building many refineries, assemblers, having large reactor or jumpdrive will give your position away to a thermal scanner. Superfactories WILL get noticed as well as jumps with jumpdrive. Small ships, small large-grid ships will not be picked up by the scanner.

As for the scanner it self, I don't know how it would look when you use it. Would it be a block? A monitor that you would enter like control station and rotate it around, seeing energy signatures looking like thermal images? Im not really sure, please post some suggestions in the comment.

The shield could be easily modified for some kind of fair offline protection, but I don't know how that would be implemented. Suggestions welcome. This PvP would also make short distance base vs base scenarios much more fun.

I think this system would be a lot of fun and bring some end-game content to the game. Even singleplayer would benefit, where large pirate headquarters and pirate Raiding stations would have shields around them, so player would have to build the cannon, transport it and power it up, while protecting it from enemy drone attacks. Attacker still has the opportunity to find and attack bases, while the defender always has an advantage because of the turret range and shield, having to mobilize and attack the incoming cannon.

What do you think? What is B.S. and what might work?

Comments (6)


I don't believe shields are within the scope of the game. That is a technology not likely to be developed to the scale you have described by 2077. I'm not even happy with "safe zones", but I understand why they need to exist.

The usual fix for having immensely powerful shields and the counter-weapon needed to break it is making them "expensive". Generally speaking, players tend to reach a stage where resources are not an issue fairly quickly. These shields and cannons would tend to appear and proliferate fairly quickly and it wouldn't be long before both become irrelevant. Not much "engineering" in building a big-assed shield and/or a big-assed cannon to break it with. At best this would add a few hours to any particular session


I see what you mean, maybe I suggested too many things. Simple increase in base turret range would do a lot of change. I know this because in original Escape from Mars base turrets had range of about 1100m (longer than my weaps) and it was a blast figuring out solution on how to destroy the base. You had to think about turret agro, damage sectors on your grid and focus on destroying the turrets in the short window these 2 things provide you. What do you think about simple base turret range increase?


We already have gravity generators and jumpdrives so shields shouldn't break technology consistency that much (tbh I sort of dislike all of them ;p). Well designed shield system could really help with pvp and with solving some of annoying 'offline raiding' situations.

I like idea of shield HP and power usage. I'd add to that some more stuf and maybe change a bit Idea of 'shield'

  1. Shield don't have to be visible sphere, It can just make all blocks on grid way more resistant, especially armor blocks. If we keep it 'sphere force field' then players should be able to cross it but not ships.
  2. Shield should have some startup delay (like jumpdrive but longer) so defender can't enable it right away, if he had his guard down he should have to deal with consequences and keep enemy off.
  3. When shield is up NOONE can add/remove/grind blocks to grid (maybe even weld them). Only doors should be grindable and all blocks damageable with weapons to force enemy to follow corridors of base/ship instead of grinding trough thinnest wall. Using explosives to blast trough walls should be possible but still time consuming.
  4. Find a way to keep at least part of shield generator block exposed to make it impossible to hide it completely under layers of armor ( two ways I can think of could be: hydrogen usage - needed conveyors, access to air of pressurized room - if this feature makes it way out of experimental ).

With some proper brainstorming shield idea this could become really good feature creating fun PvP scenarios. All of these are just quick ideas not really thought trough so probably some things are plain wrong ;p


Typical. This whooooole post is just super typical and wouldn't actually solve the issue. I see almost these exact words typed every time people suggest pvp improvements. No one seems to get it.

No amount of super-shield protective area will work if people can damage it. No cannon could ever be expensive enough (in power or resources) to make it balanced, even if it's just an ion cannon type thing that only kills the shield, which kind of makes this whole effort redundant and breaks the very thing you're trying to fix.

Here's the two problems currently:

1) players build base, take a break, then come back to a big crater and everything's destroyed. It is NOT FUN logging into your server and finding that all your hard work is utterly destroyed. The absolute worst part is not even being there to fight back. If players are still capable of busting through any artificial defense while the other guys are sleeping, it WILL happen and it WILL still be a problem.

The real solution to offline raiding would be to instead have scheduled pvp times per server, along with an indestructible shield. Every player can have up to ONE shield active, can only be active while on a static grid, and prevents all damage and other things from getting in. But during 5pm to 11pm (prime time, and configurable if you want), all player shields go down. This way offline raiding becomes completely impossible, yet pvp and still happen without having to implement a ridiculous cannon or try to balance such ridiculous shield hitpoints or the like.

And also, I like the idea of longer-range turrets for static grids! Also also, to prevent players from throwing junk at the shield in an effort to waste the base's ammo, turrets inside the shield shouldn't use up ammo while it's active.

and finally: 2) Smart players hide multiple thousands of km in space and never interact with anyone, and no one can find them. - Instead of thermal scanners or radar, why don't we starve players that try to hide in space? Space could be rich in platinum, but what if certain other important resources just didn't spawn in asteroids? Players would NEED to have a presence on some planet or other to get the valuable resources they need to keep going.


"The shield could be easily modified for some kind of fair offline protection, but I don't know how that would be implemented."

I didn't discuss offline protection in this post, it was getting quite long and it's a big deal. Also, starving players long distance away doesn't work. Some servers have this exact thing (sometimes using Scarce Resources mod, sometimes lone asteroid field). It has never prevented 10 jumps to be the best defense, it only made starting more difficult (which I like). Said player just made 1 or 2 trips for the desired resource and he was set for weeks.

Logging in to a destroyed base should be prevented by the shield of course. Attacks should only be possible between 2 online groups for most fun.

Reason for the cannon being expensive is that a player can't spawn and build it the first day (which you can do with jump drives, which is kind of annoying). I know it's a weird idea, but it's something you can criticize and propose a better solution. I don't have any hopes of them adding this, I just hope PvP will get improved, as it has in Medieval Engineers (I am still waiting for better sieging though).


IMHO, this suggestion doesn't change a simple problem which makes SE not as toxic as it is right now - Offline raiding (and seal clubbing in general, but the former is worse and often works with the latter).

One of the reasons why player-detecting devices weren't, aren't and will never be a thing, unless it's a beacon broadcast, is the fact that SE doesn't have offline protection or something similar, and it doesn't protect weaker players that are struggling to develop. Except thermal scanners are worse than simply "pinging" players as they also give out information such as how many power consumers/generators are there, and hence you can estimate how strong the enemy would be, which would lead to......well, seal clubbing. Maybe you can set it to something like it cannot detect a single/few refineries, but somewhere in the middle ground there are players that hasn't develop a lot of military force, but is still a blimp that is shown on the radar.

The most simplistic way that doesn't involve a ton of input from the admins other than something like asteroid clusters that will basically be the only source of stuff, is basically offline protection which will stop players from damaging anything from an offline player's grids. But that will also cause other issues like spawn camping by putting a lot of turrets/warheads that will decimate the respawning player.

Problems about the idea of yours that I could think of right off the bat:

- Shields

Instead of purely an HP shield, might as well just make it completely impervious to any sorts of attack if the owner is offline, and requires time (~5 minutes) to spur up. Not too long, since that will make the base/ship too invulnerable, as well as if the owner so happened to just have a major PC crash he/she wouldn't be too happy about it.

You can't make it consume a truck load of power, as what if the owner is also refining stuff, or he/she is just starting up and doesn't have a lot of resource in the form of energy? The owner will face the problem of being either be unable to respawn in the base (since the base is now depraved of power), or it will be so power-consuming the player has to head for an Uranium source again. And not everyone has a truck load of time to play a game.

- Base turret buff

It sounds good in hindsight, except now small grid weapons are becoming unwieldy to use. Any small fighters that come by, or in a fighter-squad based base attack is gonna be no-selled by gatling guns, even if the owner is online. At best, the turrets must at most be as good as their fixed guns counterpart except probably nerfed in overall firepower, or otherwise small grid fighters can get completely useless as they are already now.

- CannonA massive, hulking cannon that requires a metric ton of power to run and broadcasts its signal, basically throws all all "light attack frigate" and stealth attack craft to the curbs, and is literally the only way one can play a game against a base. The problem isn't about bases being raided, is the base being raided offline when the owner isn't even there. Attacking a player when he is online is fair game. Offline is not and this add-on doesn't solve that

And if it is really powerful and still effective against other ships that doesn't have (strong) shields.....so long for respawn ships and small bases then.

-Heat scanners

The problem has been discussed above, with an additional issue; People will just hide even farther from each other.

If the heat scanner is like 5km maximum, while it is not a short distance, it isn't far either as with that range you might as well use visual recognition.

If the heat scanner is something a bit more, people will just hide even deeper and scatter further so the detector would be useless or very inconvenient to detect others.

If the heat scanner is straight up massive, sure people can't hide, but at that point nothing can even hide and build up their stuff, and you can easily expect somebody boring enough will spawn-camp or newbie hunt.


Shields make for boring combat since ship design is no longer a factor, players simply equip this magic bubble that keeps them safe....

Space Engineers is already too much of a PVE game with little fighting to be seen on servers with everyone hiding in space, does it really need more stuff that discourages combat?


Finding players or bases in any way other than chance should be restricted to big factions. This way you take it out of the griefer's hands.