Guardian
A mod for Descent 3

The Rules

Orbs:1-1. Guardian is a team mod for Descent 3, to be played by up to four teams.
1-2. Each team has an Orb, color-coded, which spawns at that team's goal room. Any player on the team may pick up the Orb. Once they do, they become that team's Guardian and carry the Orb with them until they die.
1-3. Each team has a Scoring Bonus, which consists of two factors: whether or not your team has a Guardian currently (worth 1 bonus point) and also how many Repair Rooms your team controls (worth 1 bonus point each). Your total bonus is added to EACH score your team makes.
1-4. You score by killing opposing players (called Drones) -- worth your Bonus for each Drone killed. You score more by killing opposing Guardians -- worth 4 points PLUS your Bonus. You score the most for capturing enemy Orbs -- worth 8 points PLUS your Bonus.
1-5. Guardians receive double points on all scoring, including Bonuses.
1-6. Opponents do not have to carry your Orb back to their own Goal, as they do in CTF. Orbs are captured merely by touching them. This is why a Guardian is needed: only a Guardian can protect your team's Orb.
1-7. If your team's Guardian is killed, it does not automatically mean the Orb will be captured. It is spewed like any other powerup, and if someone from your team grabs it first, they become the new Guardian.
1-8. Guardians may score by Taking Over enemy repair rooms. This is done just like in Entropy: sit still inside the room for 3 seconds. Guardians may also Violate enemy Goal Rooms in the same way, however this results only in points, not a takeover of the room. Bonus Points are not added when a score involves a room. Taking Over or Violating a room uses up your team's Orb, and a new one is spawned in your goal room.
1-9. Newly spawned Orbs have a 15-second invulnerability, during which only players belonging to that team may pick up the Orb. When the 15 seconds expire, opponents will be able to Capture the Orb. Theoretically, if a team fails to pick up its Orb and guard it, opponents could sit at the goal room and capture the Orb over and over, every 15 seconds.
1-A. Orbs that are free-floating, from the death of a Guardian or his removal from play, will return themselves to their goal rooms after two minutes, if not picked up or Captured.

Rooms:2-1. There are four types of special rooms: Goal Rooms, Repair Rooms, Guardian Rooms, Cloaking Bays.
2-2. Goal Rooms are where the Orbs spawn. Players take damage while inside opposing Goal Rooms. If you are Guardian for your team, you may attempt to score by Violating the enemy goal (sitting still inside it for three seconds). A Violation is worth 16 Points.
2-3. Repair Rooms are color-coded by team, and function ONLY for that team's Drones, repairing their shields up to a maximum of 100. Players take damage while inside opposing Repair Rooms. If you are Guardian for your team, you may attempt to score by taking over an opposing Repair Room (sitting still inside it for three seconds). A Takeover is worth 8 Points, plus a boost to your Bonus.
2-4. Guardian Rooms are marked with white, and cannot be controlled or owned. They function ONLY for Guardians (of all teams), repairing their shields up to a maximum of 75. All Drones take damage while inside Guardian Rooms.
2-5. Cloaking Bays are marked with purple, and cannot be controlled or owned. They function ONLY for Guardians (of all teams). If a Guardian of any team sits still inside a Cloaking Bay for three seconds, he will receive a temporary advanced cloak which hides not only his ship, but the glow of the Orb as well -- better than a cloak powerup, which does not hide the Orb. ALL players lose ENERGY while inside Cloaking Bays. Guardians will stop losing energy once cloaked, Drones will be drained dry if they stay inside, but could still use ammunition-based weaponry.

Display:3-1. The scoring summary on the right shows the number of players on each team, the team name, the current Bonus for the team, and the team score.
3-2. Individual statistics are reported to PXO, for games played on PXO -- for those interested in such things while playing team games. Stats will NOT be reported when Friendly Fire is in effect (see below) because Descent 3 cannot distinguish between killing opponents and killing teammates: therefore, to remove stat-based temptation to "cheat" and kill teammates on purpose (for the stat boost), all stat reporting is DISABLED when Friendly Fire is in effect.
3-3. The Orb Display in the upper right shows the status of each team's Orb: guarded or not. The Orb display shows invulnerability time remaining on any recently respawned Orbs (15 seconds and counting down). If a Guardian is killed, there is a timer showing remaining time before the Orb will return itself to its goal room (2 minutes and counting down).
3-4. If you are your team's Guardian, an Orb icon will be displayed below the scoring summary, and your item list in the upper left will include an Orb.
3-5. The Guardian Display in the upper right shows the status of your team's Guardian, including their name (G), their health (H) and whether or not they are Bay-cloaked (C). Health ranges from Critical (25 or less) to Poor (26-50) to Fair (51-75) to Good (76-125) to Excellent (above 125). An alert siren will sound for your team only whenever your Guardian drops to critical.
3-6. Pressing F7 will identify all players, show their scores and stats, and indicate which players (if any) are currently guarding their team's Orb.

Gameplay:4-1. Players may not switch teams while they are guarding an Orb.
4-2. Suicide incurs a penalty for EACH instance. Drones who suicide (intentionally or not) cost their teams 2 points per infraction, plus Bonus. Guardians who suicide cost their team 8 points plus 2xBonus. There may still be times when it would be tactically wise to suicide, but these will be greatly reduced compared to most other team mods. Being killed by a room that is damaging you, is considered the same as a suicide for Drones, but not for Guardians.
4-3. Included in the Guardian Mod is the option to turn on FRIENDLY FIRE, which means players can and will damage their own teammates. This is a server setting, and there is a clear notification to players entering the game if the option is turned on. Default is OFF. NOTE: Killing a teammate incurs a penalty comparable to if they suicided. This requires much more situational awareness and cooperation among teammates, when in effect. Drones killing friendly drones incur 1 point penalty plus Bonus. Guardians killing drones incur double penalty. Drones killing their Guardian cost their team 8 points plus Bonus.
4-4. A Guardian who Takes Over a Repair or Violates a Goal, receives a 50 point bonus to his shield (up to 200 maximum). However, the Orb is used up and the player becomes a Drone again.
4-5. Games can end by way of timer or of Goal Limits. If a Goal Limit is selected, the number should be high: in the hundreds if not thousands. We could have kept scoring lower, by using fractions, but decided not to. The small amounts of scoring that come from killing enemy Drones might, in some games, provide the bulk of the scoring! With all the different types of scoring possible, the intent is to offer players a wide range of strategic choices and dilemmas. Players and server ops will have to gain experience with the mod to figure out appropriate goal limits.
4-6. Players may use $$room in their text macros to identify their current location. Make sure the macro begins with Team: so that only teammates will receive the message. This macro will only function properly in levels in which all the rooms have been named. NOTE: if you put any punctuation immediately after $$room such as commas or periods, the macro will not function.
4-7. Players may use $$ship in their text macros to identify their current ship type. $$prim and $$scnd will identify current primary weapon or current secondary weapon. $$pamm will identify current ammo (if applicable) for your gun, while $$samm will identify your ammo for currently selected secondary weapon. These macros only function as part of a text macro, so plan accordingly. You can change the answers reported when using these macros, by editing your Guardian.cfg file (which is created the first time you play the mod). Also remember $$e reports your current energy, and $$s reports current shields.

Strategy:5-1. The number of Repair Rooms in the game will have an impact on the scoring balance. More repairs means higher Bonuses, and this adds emphasis to killing and to Capturing Orbs. In games like this, Guardians must exercise more caution. Having no repair rooms at all adds emphasis to Violating the enemy goal room, which is always worth the same (16 points).
5-2. Repair rooms that are close to a team's goal room will be difficult to take over and impossible to keep -- better off, in most cases, to Violate the Goal Room or stay away entirely. Levels with repair rooms located more remotely, will more likely revolve around Takeovers and pack hunting.
5-3. Protecting your Goal Room is a top priority -- almost as important as protecting your Orb and your team's Guardian. Unlike CTF, the opposition can score without chasing down your Guardian, merely by Violating your Goal Room over and over. This allows for a great many strategic possibilities.



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