Author Topic: 0.905 out now.  (Read 2254 times)

Offline nas1m

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2013, 05:17:11 PM »
Silly question - what is the "vicinity" for EMP bot?
It seems that it's at least range of 5 which sounds more like large area around it not vicinity.
I think its 6, but yeah - that's understatement :D.
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Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 06:36:07 PM »
Most stuff is range 5 for the boosts or special effects.  In this case it's range 7, with an alert radius of 14.  That may be too much.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 01:51:03 AM »
Most stuff is range 5 for the boosts or special effects.  In this case it's range 7, with an alert radius of 14.  That may be too much.
If you needed any more confirmation, this recent confusion should be sufficient to justify adding the EMP pulse range of an EMPBot to its tooltip ;D (like advocated here).
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Offline Misery

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 06:54:04 AM »
This was a good patch.  I had thought you werent going to do the line-of-sight thing though?   But whatever the case, the game is quite a lot better as of this patch.  Not only the LoS bit, but also the fact that the bot wakeup was fixed.... things are much more interesting (chaotic) now.

I didn't find too much in the way of bugs today so there wasnt much for Mantis this time.

One thing I wanted to mention was the Lion's Den missions.   Too easy!  The one that was challenging was the very first one I did, which dropped me into a huge room (which was almos the entire level) with bots on all sides.... and I still almost won that, and that was BEFORE the health boost.  The ones I've done after that have all been simple to beat.  And it's not because of the health boost, as I took next to no damage in the last 2 of these that I did.   

Oh, and bosses maybe could use a boost.  Very easy to kill once you have Epic Exos.

I think the only current problem is that the mission loot doesnt match the mission type... not getting computer items from science lab missions, and such...  but I'm pretty sure you're already aware of that as I seem to recall you mentioning it somewhere. 

Other than that.... it's all even better than it was before :D

Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2013, 06:59:20 AM »
This was a good patch.  I had thought you werent going to do the line-of-sight thing though?   But whatever the case, the game is quite a lot better as of this patch.  Not only the LoS bit, but also the fact that the bot wakeup was fixed.... things are much more interesting (chaotic) now.

I didn't find too much in the way of bugs today so there wasnt much for Mantis this time.

Yay!  And yeah, I had second thoughts on the LOS thing: I remembered some mitigating factors, in essence.

One thing I wanted to mention was the Lion's Den missions.   Too easy!  The one that was challenging was the very first one I did, which dropped me into a huge room (which was almos the entire level) with bots on all sides.... and I still almost won that, and that was BEFORE the health boost.  The ones I've done after that have all been simple to beat.  And it's not because of the health boost, as I took next to no damage in the last 2 of these that I did.

Hmm.  Why do you think you are finding these easy?  Are they particularly easier than other missions?  If these are easy, it stands to reason the others are too easy also.  What difficulty are you on?

Oh, and bosses maybe could use a boost.  Very easy to kill once you have Epic Exos.

Interestingly, just am nerfing those in the next version because their health was indeed insane.  What sort of damage stats are you doing that makes them that easy?  I may need to adjust the enemy-level stat scaling on a per-difficulty-level basis rather than just having that be a global thing for all difficulties.  I play on Hard, and mostly things feel okay to me, but I've not been playing extended games with gear.

I think the only current problem is that the mission loot doesnt match the mission type... not getting computer items from science lab missions, and such...  but I'm pretty sure you're already aware of that as I seem to recall you mentioning it somewhere.

Thanks for the reminder, I'll check that out.

Other than that.... it's all even better than it was before :D

AWesome. :D
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Offline Misery

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2013, 07:19:43 AM »
You're right, most missions in general at the moment are indeed too easy for me;  it's not just the Lion's Den.   But as for the Lion's Den missions in particular, they end up being pretty much the same difficulty as the other ones because they're the same in most aspects.  The only true difference is that when you finish them, it affects the bot levels of the bots selected for the final battle.... but other than that, these are EXACTLY the same as any other mission.   There's nothing about them that makes them harder. 

I'm on Normal difficulty currently.  In my current game I have 29 days left.   As a rule, it doesnt matter overmuch what bot types I encounter, chances are they're going to get wrecked.   I have ALOT of shielding on every Exo, though alot of that is just the x4 bonus from Normal mode. Not actually using many shield-increasing items.  Even without that though, it wouldnt make too much difference as I dont take much damage during missions.   Part of it might be my playstyle;  I tend to take things slowly... or what passes as "slowly" for me anyway... and think through every move before I make it, and as I have so very many different available weapons and gizmos and things, I make use of all of them.   But I dont even need the stuff like sentries or mines or stealth much to get through these, unless I'm facing a huge ton of bots at once, as many rooms dont have that many bots in them, and the lower their shielding, the easier it is to pop them all before they can even come close to being in range of firing.

Some of it is sheer power as well.  I'm the sort that pokes at the customization stuff until it's as good as it can be based on current resources, so my Exos are strong as heck right now.  Which also affects the boss difficulty;  I've got multiple weapons that do well over 1000 damage per hit, things like the Kinetic Burst, Rocket Launcher, Shadow Torpedo, with the Plasma Cannon being the most absurd at over 4000 damage (though that one makes sense, since you get ONE shot and that's it).  Even the Science bot can dish out 1000+ damage between enemy bot turns with the mighty Chaingun, which hits for 500-ish right now.   Most of the time though I'm actually firing either the Light Machine Guns or the Laser Rifles, both of which hit within the 200-300 range;  enough to kill a great many bots in one hit.   I usually only pull out the other weapons when I see a need to.    Range for most weapons is anywhere from 8 to 12.  And the Rocket Launcher in particular got so absurd that I actually had to dampen it a bit because the giant explosion was so huge I couldnt fire it and NOT hit my own Siege guy. 

I'll upload the save with this, if you want to have a look at the equipment screens and such, for if that helps somehow.

Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2013, 07:56:57 AM »
You're right, most missions in general at the moment are indeed too easy for me;  it's not just the Lion's Den.   But as for the Lion's Den missions in particular, they end up being pretty much the same difficulty as the other ones because they're the same in most aspects.  The only true difference is that when you finish them, it affects the bot levels of the bots selected for the final battle.... but other than that, these are EXACTLY the same as any other mission.   There's nothing about them that makes them harder. 

The sight lines are much more open in those missions, and the bot density can be much greater, which should make a difference.  However, with bot ranges being as they are, I think that maybe it doesn't make as much of a difference as one might hope.  Bot ranges can't be increased too much, but perhaps making a few longer-ranged would be good.  Still, that then devalues the ninja and so forth almost to the point of uselessness, is my worry.

I'm on Normal difficulty currently.  In my current game I have 29 days left.   As a rule, it doesnt matter overmuch what bot types I encounter, chances are they're going to get wrecked.   I have ALOT of shielding on every Exo, though alot of that is just the x4 bonus from Normal mode. Not actually using many shield-increasing items.  Even without that though, it wouldnt make too much difference as I dont take much damage during missions.   Part of it might be my playstyle;  I tend to take things slowly... or what passes as "slowly" for me anyway... and think through every move before I make it, and as I have so very many different available weapons and gizmos and things, I make use of all of them.   But I dont even need the stuff like sentries or mines or stealth much to get through these, unless I'm facing a huge ton of bots at once, as many rooms dont have that many bots in them, and the lower their shielding, the easier it is to pop them all before they can even come close to being in range of firing.

Knowing you, Normal difficulty simply isn't going to be enough.  You probably want at least Hard, if not Expert.  Normal is pretty substantially buffed in terms of your health versus what the "real" balance of the game is supposed to be -- I think you have 4x the health, IIRC.  That makes an enormous difference at all levels, honestly.

I could make it so that there are some sort of range-buffing effects on bots in the Lion's Den missions to make that more unique, but frankly... well, I'm not sure about that.  You playing the game on Normal difficulty is definitely not something I should balance around, unless I want a lot of other people ragequitting.  So I'm going to have to kind of keep your current balance feedback in mind, but really can't act on that until I see what you think on higher difficulties, which I then can balance around.  Honestly I feel like if you're not playing on Expert, then the game should be too easy for you.  Again, knowing you.

I balance Hard around myself, I think I should balance Expert around you, Easy is around anyone new to the game and struggling, and Normal is around people who play it kind of casually but are not new to it.  It's just fun on normal, not getting into the stress modes.  I may need to add an Insane mode at some point, for people who are better than you, or for you once you graduate from Expert, I don't know.

As it stands right now, though, I feel like you're playing the kind of casual difficulty level while playing it in a hardcore intensive fashion, and... yeah, that's not going to be hard enough. :)

Some of it is sheer power as well.  I'm the sort that pokes at the customization stuff until it's as good as it can be based on current resources, so my Exos are strong as heck right now.  Which also affects the boss difficulty;  I've got multiple weapons that do well over 1000 damage per hit, things like the Kinetic Burst, Rocket Launcher, Shadow Torpedo, with the Plasma Cannon being the most absurd at over 4000 damage (though that one makes sense, since you get ONE shot and that's it).  Even the Science bot can dish out 1000+ damage between enemy bot turns with the mighty Chaingun, which hits for 500-ish right now.   Most of the time though I'm actually firing either the Light Machine Guns or the Laser Rifles, both of which hit within the 200-300 range;  enough to kill a great many bots in one hit.   I usually only pull out the other weapons when I see a need to.    Range for most weapons is anywhere from 8 to 12.  And the Rocket Launcher in particular got so absurd that I actually had to dampen it a bit because the giant explosion was so huge I couldnt fire it and NOT hit my own Siege guy.

I'm not claiming the parts balance is perfect by any stretch, either, don't get me wrong.  But your base shields are so high on Normal, and the overall bot severity and number of bots are so much lower, that I think you'd find it a different situation on Expert.  There you'd be facing roughly 30-50% more bots at all times, with the same amount of ammo, with 1/5.3th the shields.

Probably the range of some of the enemies still needs to be adjusted up a point or two here and there, though.  But I don't know if that should span all difficulties or not, honestly.  Maybe just on Hard and Expert.

Thoughts?
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Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2013, 08:01:28 AM »
Okay, one big thing your last post taught me was to add this:

* Added more to descriptions of the difficulty levels to make it clearer to players which they should choose:
** Easy: For people new to the game who want to ease into things without being slagged in the face by robots all the time.
** Normal: For people who want a bit more of a challenge, but still are playing without optimizing every last piece or loot or every last move they make.  You can definitely get slagged in the face, but it probably won't kill you most of the time.
** Hard: The baseline difficulty of serious play for the game.  Your health is much lower, the enemies are more numerous.  To live you must optimize your Exos and economize your moves.
** Expert: For, well, expert players.  Your health is even lower, the enemies are even more numerous.  You must play well, very well, to live.
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Offline Misery

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2013, 09:01:50 AM »
It is worth bearing in mind that to some degree what I mean by "too easy" isnt just the ease of finishing a mission, but the ease of getting through encounters in a mission (or the entire mission) without taking any damage.  I had figured from the start that the buffed health was going to mean an easy victory in every mission, so I've mostly been focusing on individual battles versus groups of bots, or even against single stronger bots.   AKA, how often do I actually take hits, regardless of the damage.  And how much effort and tactics do I have to use to avoid that damage.   On normal, at least, this number is very low, for hits taken.   The lower enemy bot count matters here for sure, but I do think that some enemy bots simply dont really DO much of anything, aside from get in the way of their buddies.   Now to some degree this is kinda intended, I know, similar to the often goofy AI in Skyward;  things like the ThunderBot blowing an entire room up in a rage against cover objects, I'm not really counting that stuff.   But quite alot of fights so far are me not moving much (or at all, sometimes) but simply firing once or twice as each new bot enters my range.  And this is often WITHOUT using things like sentries or whatever;  I only use those if I think some large threat is on the way.

My thoughts on the enemies are that their balance IS a bit skewed in some ways, which makes some of them not be much of a threat, or a threat at all.  Some could do with a range increase, some could do with a shield increase, and some could do with a damage increase.   I cant think of any that need to be nerfed.  Not that I've seen every bot yet, of course.    I dont think any of them would need like, really huge changes, like giving something +500 damage or anything like that.  Hard to say though.   The overall balance isnt perfect, but it's not super messed up either. I dont think that buffs on enemies are going to undo the value of any of the Exo types, though at the same time it depends on how people are using them.  I've been using the Ninja as the guy that flies over traps and has tons of stealth, able to dive right in the face of even enemies with lots of range, and whittle them down faster with the Welding Laser, and maybe a quick Virus or two, when I have viruses on him.  Been quite effective in that role.

You have good points about the difficulties though.   Too much optimization does seem to trivialize normal, and if Hard is pretty much where the game was before the health buff patch, then I'll indeed probably switch to Expert and see what happens there.  I'd mostly been playing on normal thinking it was the "average" difficulty, so I figured that a bit of testing was in order, particularly as I'm experienced with the genre (as opposed to others that are new to it; figured this might give some differing viewpoints on it). 


As for what you said about the Lion's Den missions, that was pretty much what I'd thought they were going to do, was generate more "openly" and have way more bots.   Only one of them seemed to do this though, which was that very first one I did.   The others had increased bot numbers, but the actual levels were laid out like "normal" levels, so alot of bots end up packed into rooms, just asking to be hit with rockets.  Though I used machine guns & lasers much of the time too.  But yeah, the layout didn't seem like it was coming out right at all.

I'll give some feedback later tonight from Hard or Expert!   Should be interesting.

Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2013, 09:12:24 AM »
It is worth bearing in mind that to some degree what I mean by "too easy" isnt just the ease of finishing a mission, but the ease of getting through encounters in a mission (or the entire mission) without taking any damage.  I had figured from the start that the buffed health was going to mean an easy victory in every mission, so I've mostly been focusing on individual battles versus groups of bots, or even against single stronger bots.   AKA, how often do I actually take hits, regardless of the damage.  And how much effort and tactics do I have to use to avoid that damage.   On normal, at least, this number is very low, for hits taken.   The lower enemy bot count matters here for sure, but I do think that some enemy bots simply dont really DO much of anything, aside from get in the way of their buddies.   Now to some degree this is kinda intended, I know, similar to the often goofy AI in Skyward;  things like the ThunderBot blowing an entire room up in a rage against cover objects, I'm not really counting that stuff.   But quite alot of fights so far are me not moving much (or at all, sometimes) but simply firing once or twice as each new bot enters my range.  And this is often WITHOUT using things like sentries or whatever;  I only use those if I think some large threat is on the way.

Right, I understand.  What I'm saying is, on Hard at least, what I find is that there are too many bots, and one or two get a hit in.  On Hard and particularly Expert, if you take one shot your Exo usually dies.  So not taking shots is pretty important to the game on those levels.

That said, I do agree with you on the range issues, as it becomes too easy to stand in nonoptimal places and not take shots; and on the easier difficulty levels you have the health to weather some mistakes.  So I did make a change in that direction in the new version:

* The following enemy attack ranges have been adjusted to make for a more interesting playing field:
** TigerBot: 5 to 5
** DoomBot: 6 to 7
** TethysBot: 5 to 7
** DumBot: 3 to 4.
** Invigorated DumBot: 4 to 5.
** BlasterBot: 4 to 5.
** BlasterMaster: 3 to 4.
** DragonBot: 5 to 7
** WyvernBot: 5 to 7
** ClawBot: 4 to 7
** ViperBot: 3 to 5
** The reasoning?  This makes being out in the open more dangerous than it was previously.  It also makes for more of a mixed field in terms of ranges, and makes the ranged assault bots (DumBot, BlasterBot, BlasterMaster) more distinct from the "melee" assault bots (BatBot, EagleBot, NinjaBot) in terms of range.
** For the bosses in particular, this also gives them all a quite-long engagement range, meaning that you'll want to resort to things like mines and sentry turrets for them in particular, since they hit hard and hit far.

My thoughts on the enemies are that their balance IS a bit skewed in some ways, which makes some of them not be much of a threat, or a threat at all.  Some could do with a range increase, some could do with a shield increase, and some could do with a damage increase.   I cant think of any that need to be nerfed.  Not that I've seen every bot yet, of course.    I dont think any of them would need like, really huge changes, like giving something +500 damage or anything like that.  Hard to say though.   The overall balance isnt perfect, but it's not super messed up either. I dont think that buffs on enemies are going to undo the value of any of the Exo types, though at the same time it depends on how people are using them.  I've been using the Ninja as the guy that flies over traps and has tons of stealth, able to dive right in the face of even enemies with lots of range, and whittle them down faster with the Welding Laser, and maybe a quick Virus or two, when I have viruses on him.  Been quite effective in that role.

I'm certainly all ears on specific suggestions in particular.  Also bear in mind, though, that the leveling of enemies is uneven and random: so an enemy that is pathetic in one game may be the terror of your next game.  It's something that makes evaluating balance harder.

As for what you said about the Lion's Den missions, that was pretty much what I'd thought they were going to do, was generate more "openly" and have way more bots.   Only one of them seemed to do this though, which was that very first one I did.   The others had increased bot numbers, but the actual levels were laid out like "normal" levels, so alot of bots end up packed into rooms, just asking to be hit with rockets.  Though I used machine guns & lasers much of the time too.  But yeah, the layout didn't seem like it was coming out right at all.

I'll give those a look at see what I can do.  They used to generate that way, but when I shrunk them down they may not have reacted well to that.

I'll give some feedback later tonight from Hard or Expert!   Should be interesting.

Thanks!  I'll have a new version out in a couple of hours which will majorly change the balance up as well for you there, so be sure to get that one. :)
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Offline Tridus

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2013, 09:22:32 AM »
** WyvernBot: 5 to 7

Ouch. Those hit really hard and are pretty tough. How do you kill them with that kind of range, aside from the rocket launcher?

Offline nas1m

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2013, 09:24:58 AM »
** WyvernBot: 5 to 7

Ouch. Those hit really hard and are pretty tough. How do you kill them with that kind of range, aside from the rocket launcher?
The laser rifle has range 8 by now ;D. And the grenade launcher range 9 - now that I think of it...
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Offline x4000

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2013, 09:25:35 AM »
Snipers, or upgraded-range stuff.  Grenades, mines, sentry turrets.  Volatizer or dissolver if your range is right.

That said, like one of the other bot types, I need to make these not appear until a certain number of days in -- thanks for the idea on that.

EDIT: Ninja'd ;)
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Offline Misery

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2013, 09:27:28 AM »
** WyvernBot: 5 to 7

Ouch. Those hit really hard and are pretty tough. How do you kill them with that kind of range, aside from the rocket launcher?


A quick hint for enemies like these when they're being a problem and your weapons arent enough: Stealth + Virus.   Suddenly you'll have one that is a benefit to you instead of a threat.   I found it was a good idea to have one Exo who had a ton of stealth (consecutive stealth stat, that is) and some viruses on hand;  the Ninja seems very good for this particularly as he's also got that wonderful Welding Laser.  It's easiest to do this (as in, requires the least stealth) if you try to catch them coming around a corner chasing you.  Just make sure to have enough stealth to then step away if there are other enemies in the area.  Big bots with lotsa health and damage are prime targets for this tactic.

Viruses, they're really quite useful if you can get used to using them.   .....and if you dont use them on really stupid things, as I have a few times, hah.

Stealth overall is super useful though.


EDIT:  DOUBLE NINJA ASSAULT
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 09:29:10 AM by Misery »

Offline Tridus

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Re: 0.905 out now.
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2013, 09:41:50 AM »
Cool I'll try that, thanks guys. :)

(And yeah, I thought the Wyvernbot on day 1 was pretty nasty!)