Author Topic: The Tunneling Pool  (Read 253 times)


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The Tunneling Pool
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:40:29 AM »
It was conceived to emulate underground movement occasionally seen in comics; either digging a path or walking through things while out-of-phase.  It was based off of teleport, where the player uses a reticule to specify a location and click, the character would dig a hole and a furrow tracks cross the ground to the target point where the character digs out.  The player base was enthusiastic in the forums.  Many suggestions for alternate animations – such as turning into smoke, a lightning bolt, puddle of water, dropping down into a manhole. The players also re-dubbed it ‘Combat Teleport’. 
The thinking was a fast activation short ranged teleportation.  But a 40’ range with a 2 second activation – not including the user’s point and click – proved to be slower than basic jogging speed.  Other problems became apparent in closed beta; so it was removed just before open release.  After a rethink, it reappeared for the following issue.  In the new design it had little to do with teleportation and was more akin to intangibility.   

Tunneling Powers
The tunneling pool is an effective means of travelling short distances through solid objects.  While travelling, it is difficult to harm or even target you.
Notes: I’ve previously posted about pool customization and enhancement.  In this discussion, I’ve used brackets when referring to the old 4 power pools.

toggle pbaoe • level 4[6] • enhancements: distance, endurance, recharge
You can create portals through solid objects, allowing you and your teammates to move through things such as walls and boulders. 
When facing any vertical surface within 10 feet, activate the power.  If the obstacle is 8’ or less thick (which distance enhancement alters) the surface will begin to shimmer.  If not, nothing happens.  You and your allies can then click on the shimmer to reappear on the other side.  This does not work next to a ‘door’ as you still need to enter the mission/zone map first.  Note that the obstacle does not go away – you are not creating a window that anyone can see (or attack) through.  This power is one way and untoggles whenever you ‘step through’.
This power uses the game’s door (zone to zone) mechanism, in the manner of elevators on mission maps.  Temporary doors are placed directly in front of you at the near and far sides of the obstacle.  You and your teammates then click and travel.

Click self • level 4[6] • enhancements: endurance, intangibility, recharge
You surprise your foes by travelling a short distance through solid objects or out-of-phase with reality.
The mechanics of the power are a brief (0.8 second) interrupt segment as your transformation animation plays (opening a manhole cover, digging a hole, stepping/dropping into a portal, becoming a wisp of smoke, ball of lightning, a crow, etc.).  Then you gain Stealth and Intangibility for 4 second.  This gives you a short window to reposition yourself without risk before returning to your usual self.  It is the Untouchable effect of Intangibility that makes this power valuable in PVP.  Unwary opponents will waste the endurance and start the recharge cycle of high end powers to no effect.  You can also pass though AOE and slow fields without hindrance.

Team Tunnel
toggle aoe • level 14[14] +1 other power • enhancements: endurance, range, recharge
You can create hidden passageways that you and your allies can travel through.
This also uses the ‘elevator’ mechanism.  Use a reticule to set the target point.  When you click, doors appear next to you and at the target point (up to 60’).  You and your teammates can then click on either door to teleport to the other.  The power will untoggle if both doors are outside your range.  These doors only connect to each other but work in either direction.

click aoe • level 14[20] +2 other powers • enhancements: damage, endurance, knockback, recharge
You move through the ground and re-emerge explosively with a chance to damage and knock down foes nearby. 
This is a variant of the Spring Attack from the Leaping pool.

click aoe • level 14[not available] +2 other powers • enhancements: endurance, immobilize, recharge
You cause the ground to become unstable, immobilizing foes within the affected area.
A low magnitude point and click immobilize power.

Impact on Teleportation
Because the original concept was going to use the Teleport mechanics, the devs spent some time on those whole routines.  While the teleport based version of Tunneling never happened, these quality of life improvements could still be applied to the original Teleportation Pool.

Time is Distance
The animation time and distance for a single use are shortened.  The interruption segment became a click and hold.  Once the reticule is set on a target point and the user clicks the mouse, he/she holds it as a green dot moves from the bottom center of the screen to the reticule’s location. 
This means you can target a spot one thousand feet away.  If your teleport range is 100’, you’d simply have to hold the mouse for 20.5 seconds, calculated at 2 seconds per ‘use’ all of which is interruptible as the green dot approaches the reticule.  Plus a 0.5 second animation. Of course you can release early, and arrive wherever the green dot is.  Teleport powers can now slot Interrupt Reduction to reduce this time as well as Range to enhance the distance per use.  With 2 range and 2 interrupt SO enhancements, the same thousand foot scenario requires six ‘uses' and the interruption time is 2.4 seconds.
Note that if your power’s maximum distance is 100’ and you select a point only 50’ away, the click and hold time only needs to be 1 second.  But you can hold longer if you want/need to (once the green dots hits the reticule center, it's just waiting on you to release).  The shorter you’re willing to go, the faster the power now works.

Distance is Energy
The example above would also cost you 10 times the normal endurance – shown as a red dot climbing up your endurance bar.  If the dot passes your current endurance the power deactivates, the reticule disappears, and nothing happens.  Actually, endurance use is split into 2 parts.  The first (unenhanceable) represents the minimum endurance to use the power.  The second (enhanceable) represents the endurance cost based on the actual distance divided by the range of the power.  Which may be further modified by the number of characters affected.

Surprise Factor
All Teleportation powers can now slot To Hit Debuff.  This only lasts the same period of time as your post-teleport hover.  This represents the confusion effect on foes until they reorient to your new position.

An arrow is added to the reticule.  While you are holding the mouse key down, you can move it as if rotating a dial, which causes the reticule to spin.  When you release the button, you teleport to your target point facing the direction of the arrow.

Ignore Teleportation Pushpin
When a player having any team powers joins your team there will be a small thumbs-down icon on the right side.  If you wish to allow these powers to affect you, click the icon so that it turns thumbs-up.  For the teleport player, teammates who agree to use your powers will have their green border turn blue. 
If you are thumbs-down, you ignore all such powers from this player and will never see an activation window.  If you are thumps-up, each time your ally activates such a power you will see the activation window explaining the power, character using, and buttons to accept or decline.  There is now a graphic control that makes this window smaller and less busy: the left half has a red background (decline) and the right has a gray background (accept) with the character and power names superimposed over them.  This is meant for experienced teams.

Power Changes

Recall (Self)
click self • level 4[6] • enhancements: distance, endurance, recharge
You spend a moment to memorize a safe place that you can teleport back to at any time.
This is a click power that you get along with your first pick in the Teleportation Pool (some call it a tier 0 power).  You have as many recall beacons as you have powers from the pool (excluding this one).  As you explore, you can click this power to set a beacon wherever you are.  This will place an exclamation point on your mini-map at your location and also places a hovering exclamation point on the main map visible only to you. If you are within 5’ of an existing beacon, clicking this power will remove it.  As long as a beacon is within this power’s range, you can click the ‘!’ on your mini-map to teleport to that spot.  When you change maps, all beacons are reset.

All of the above elements were included to make Teleportation easier to use and more PVP viable.  Which was the original purpose of the Tunneling pool.  A tactic labeled the two-step – teleporting twice quickly, throwing in direction and facing changes – easily out maneuvers players using normal movement modes and/or gets you in their blind spots.  Combined with the use of recall beacons, opponents facing a teleporter now turn fights into running battles, looking for fresh ground where the teleporter has (hopefully) not been.

Recall Friend/Tag Team
When selecting this power you choose which mode to use*.  In the classic Recall Friend mode, you teleport a friend to your location.  In the new Tag Team mode, you and your teammate trade places.  Even though the range of Recall Friend was reduced, thanks to Time is Distance, there is now no city zone where you cannot reach a teammate (if you have full endurance).  Tag Team has a significantly shorter range than Recall Friend. 

Teleport Foe/Switch
When selecting this power you choose which mode to use*. In the classic Teleport Foe mode, you teleport a foe to your location.  In the new Switch mode, you and your foe trade places.  This is the only power in the pool that does not use Time is Distance.

Team Teleport/Recall Team
When selecting this power you choose which mode to use*. In the classic Team Teleport mode, you teleport yourself and nearby teammates to a targeted location.  In the new Recall Team mode, you teleport your teammates to your location. Recall Team has a longer range than Team Teleport but is nowhere close to Recall Friend.
The endurance cost is based on the number of teammates currently thumbs-up (even if they decline to use).  You can slot Endurance Modification.  This increases the overall range of the power based on the number of teammates who are thumbs-down.  This is always calculated from a full team of 8; if you are on a team of three you have at least 5 thumbs-downs.
This makes Team Teleport much more useful for teleporting one or two members of the team than everybody.  In PVP, an experienced team with multiple teleporters can cause a whole lot of confusion by alternating pairings as often as locations.

* Basically, after picking the power option, you pick which of the two powers you want.  You can never have both at the same time.  You can only alter this decision by doing a respecification, but you can pick differently for each build.


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Re: The Tunneling Pool
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 04:13:30 AM »
There's two checks that the game needs to make in which these powers fail. 

Wrong Turn at Albuquerque -- Team Tunnel needs a 14% chance to place the player and team mates at a random exit on the same map.  Even if one is on the ground and the other is on the side of a building.  (Thanks Korbian!)

The Wile E. Coyote Effect -- At permanent SPECIFIC points on the City/Zone maps (not all of the places, and not random, it's the same spot each time), if a player uses Tunneling abilities, they fall down a vertical shaft.  If in Paragon City, they land in either Sewer Network or Oranbega.  If Rogue Isles, an Arachnos base.  All outcomes are essentially Radio Missions.

Great writeup, though.  Makes you think of the possibilities of it.
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