Author Topic: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now  (Read 8765 times)

Offline Breach

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2013, 02:24:44 PM »
Hey, I've not read many of the preceding posts in this thread since you emphasised so much the importance of first impressions, so forgive me for raising points that have undoubtedly been mentioned already by the fine people of this forum.

I'm assuming more music will be added on top of the intro theme type thing rather than it just being looped over again.
One thing I did see mentioned is that bot names in both the portraits and the drop down list would be useful - I agree. I also think that maybe the city picture at the top (which also has a drop down list - is this intended?) could do with a similar label. I start up a normal difficulty game. I imagine most people will be doing this.

On the map screen I'm immediately led towards customising the bots thanks to the arrow.

"Dmaage reduction" in the 'Overall stats' tooltip on the equipment customisation screen has a typo.

What's the difference between base equipment on the robots? E.g. Gamma-Ray Laser and Laser Rifle on the sniper bot. I don't know which one to put the laser scope on because I don't know which one needs it most. Ah, I see now that the base stats are given on the window that pops up when you change equipment. The numbers are pretty meaningless to me at this point though, is an attack range of 50 long or short? Given the scope only adds 1, I'm assuming it's very long. Maybe some actual description of what the weapons suited purpose is on a hover tool-tip over the weapon name would be good.

It took me a while to realise that equipment was shared between bots. Maybe a quick rundown of the workings of the equipment screen and the mechanics would be a good idea.

Going back to the city map, it seems apparent that the map is controlled by actions even when on another screen. (This is also made clear by the appearance of tooltips on the customisation and shop screens regarding buttons only visible on the map screen). As such the map has scrolled mostly off-screen. A hint that pops up explaining how to move the map might be good. The ability to pan using a mouse button might be good as well since the default speed is a bit slow. (Edit: now notice you can do it using MMB. Could swear that didn't work before. Good choice though, as long as it's made clear).

Holy bananas, just went to the training ground and got pancaked. There were at least 20 bots that homed in on me and destroyed each of mine one by one. Wasn't too clear exactly on what I should have done to avoid defeat due to sheer number.

Just went to a parts fab. Things were going ok until I ran into a.. plasma bot? I think? I look into the controls to see if there's actually a way to bring the console log back up again, fortunately there is, though I think there should probably be an option to make the log window in the top-right be permanent. It was a wyvern bot that destroyed my assault exo before I could kill it, then destroyed the remainder of my other bots the moment they came onto the field. Nothing I could do as far as I could see. Am I just not very good at this?

Nothing to do but move onto a blockade mission since I haven't actually won anything or gained any equipment yet... Oh good, hunter bots immediately start putting some serious hurt on to my assault bot and there's already two wyvern bots in sight. So much for the blockade being an easy mission! Managed to get the siege bot to wipe up a few, but the wyvern bots survived (and another one appeared to my left with about 10 other bots), got into range, and again one-shotted the rest of my bots. Another failure.

The Blockade hasn't locked itself after failure like the other missions have for some reason, but after that experience I think I'll just give up on the 'very easy' mission and move to the overdrive mission. Apparently all the bots will be 10x more powerful! Given they've been one-shotting basically everything but my assault bot anyway, this doesn't really mean much to me except that there is zero chance of success if I'm seen. I shift a stealth generator onto my sci bot so it has 27 stealth actions total. Let's see how this goes.

Par for the course! Immediately enemy bots have line of sight, and despite cloaking the scibot is destroyed instantly. Repeat for my other three bots. I'm assuming here by the way the choice of which bot appears first is determined by what you customised last? Or is that wrong? Anyway, only one more failure before this game is over, woohoo! Wait, this isn't good.

Time for an outrun mission. I like the mission variety anyway, even if I have only been able to explore about 5 tiles before being wiped out. My previous hypothesis is proved wrong, first bot out appears to be random, which isn't too helpful.

There's a fogged outline of a ship that's bright red/white. Is this the murderbot I'm supposed to be running from? No info given from left click.

I'm physically trapped by bots, so switch to the assault bot. Something explodes, maybe the mines triggered an ammo bot which detonated? Either way, the assault bot is immediately destroyed but the way is clear.

Come across a blockade, have to blow it up using a machine gun. I try to move past it but then stealth runs out and I get instantly killed by a panther bot, which destroys itself as well.

Just sniper bot left with no stealth generator as it was shifted to the science bot. Encounter a wyvernbot and a hunter bot. Attack the wyvern bot twice with the gamma-ray laser which still isn't enough and it destroys me with no effort.

And so ends a disappointing and frustrating experience. I can count the number of bots I destroyed on one hand throughout the entire campaign and felt utterly helpless the moment I stepped into battle. This isn't how a first game should be, even if it is a roguelike, in my opinion. Some fine-tuning or hand-holding is seriously required but I could see it being fun if I was able to actually do anything. Sorry if this has appeared as a bit of a rant, just describing my thoughts as I played.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 02:50:58 PM by Breach »

Offline Tridus

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2013, 03:14:22 PM »
Hi Breach. Your first game sounds a lot like mine. There's been some patch changes to try and alleviate that: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes

Playing with the new version, "easy" was in fact significantly easier. Just blindly charging around still got me in trouble, but there is a LOT more margin for error (and learning).


On that note - is system damage supposed to be permanent? My bots have been losing the ability to shoot temporarily due to systems damage or EMPs, except my Ninjabot. That one just lost the ability to fire, period.

I'm also noticing that the Sniper bot's rocket launcher doesn't do AoE damage if it hits an EMPBot. Seems like the EMP disables that. I actually killed a bot with bots around it taking no damage, it was pretty weird.

That said I'm actually in a mission now and doing stuff, thanks to the Easy buff. Game is a lot more fun when you're not being one shot. :)

Offline x4000

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2013, 03:23:53 PM »
Will respond more later, but in brief:

1. Glad the new difficulty stuff is helping at least, and that you're having more fun. :)
2. Yes, system damage is permanent until the end of the mission unless you run into an EMPBot.
3. In terms of the rocket launcher, I guess you mean the siege bot?  Rocket launcher damage falls off with distance from the source, but beyond that I can't think of why the AOE would be disabled there.
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Offline orzelek

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2013, 03:27:14 PM »
Hmm first impressions would be:
Nice game startup screen.. ohhh those are click-able and you can form a team. Thats good to know.
All that characters are a bit implanted.. guessing thats normal around here.

Getting to map screen.. reading all tooltips.. omg that army on the right is huge.
Poking equipment screen. Lots of spaces for lots of items.. coool :D
And everyone has a cloak - thats suspicious.

Time to go and die somewhere :D

PS I want more tracks like title one.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2013, 03:30:14 PM »
3. In terms of the rocket launcher, I guess you mean the siege bot?  Rocket launcher damage falls off with distance from the source, but beyond that I can't think of why the AOE would be disabled there.

Yes, I do mean the Siege Exo, sorry. I noticed it more than once. If I target an EMP Bot with the rocket launcher, nothing else takes damage. The other bot was adjacent to the EMP and should have. I also fired it with no EMP Bots nearby and int hat case AOE happened.

Offline x4000

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2013, 03:34:16 PM »
Okay, thanks -- added to my list to check out.
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Offline madcow

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2013, 03:48:07 PM »
I noticed similar behavior with the shotgun on a brawler exo now that you mention it. I think it was only hurting one at a time even though there was a cluster of about 4 under its AOE.

Offline orzelek

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2013, 04:13:04 PM »
Mission is fun.
I think that easy might be a tad to easy.. although I lost one bot already.

Question:
Explosive runes and ammo - am I supposed to go from 14 to -2 after one shot?

Offline x4000

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2013, 04:15:09 PM »
Definitely not on the explosive runes -- thanks, I'll look at that.
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Offline Breach

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2013, 04:25:33 PM »
Thanks Tridus. Looking back on the thread I see you had a similar experience to me, which gives me a bit of relief. These changes made seem like they should do some good, especially smoothing out the bot distribution early on - wyvern bots have just no place in early days for lower difficulties!

A suggestion though: when you remove the stealth generator from a bot, the stealth action is always overlaid by a cracked graphic, as if it's damaged instead of missing. Maybe if the bot has no stealth generator this icon should just be greyed out instead, or missing altogether?

Offline x4000

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2013, 04:27:59 PM »
A suggestion though: when you remove the stealth generator from a bot, the stealth action is always overlaid by a cracked graphic, as if it's damaged instead of missing. Maybe if the bot has no stealth generator this icon should just be greyed out instead, or missing altogether?

Yeah, it should already be doing that, so it sounds like a bug since it is not.  Thanks!
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Offline orzelek

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2013, 04:45:00 PM »
My comments in random order:

1. I have a bit of health/shield confusion. They are the same stat are they? If yes then.. why have two names for it.
Also health bonuses on items might use adding difficulty scaling to them. 26 health bonus is tiny bit on easy and will help on extreme a bit more. It would help to make health bonus of similar usefulness on any difficulty.

2. Also as someone noticed... auxiliary reactors can be mounted only on propulsion and not in reactor slots.. which is confusing. It gets more confusing when you get coolant part that states that in reactor subsystem it increases other parts power generation (in same subsystem) while you can't put anything that generates power there. It doesn't seem to affect the base power generation when mounted in reactor either. Same applies to magnetic containment part.

3. As for enemies... aren't ThunderBots a bit to quick at cleaning whole chamber of bots with their 2k explosions from cover objects?

4. Stealth generators:
Mk I you start with gets 10 actions per mission.
Mk IV you find gets only 3. That's a surprise.

5. Actually all stuff you find is Mk IV... is that an easy difficulty thing?

6. What is this Regen Window stat.. can't figure out what it helps with.

7. In bot overall stats there is a Dmaage reduction instead of Damage Reduction.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:57:56 PM by orzelek »

Offline Breach

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2013, 05:32:54 PM »
With the patch changes and playing on easy mode, I can now happily report that I am Having Fun™! I feel kinda bad that my first post about the game was so negative, but I suppose I just got some bad rolls. Regardless though, I'm enjoying the big range of equipment options I have and the thinking I have to do in preparation for each mission. 50 days seems a long way off though!

Offline x4000

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2013, 05:35:09 PM »
Awesome!  There is no better feeling for me than having someone have a bad feeling and then being able to turn it around, honestly.  I mean, when someone loves it immediately that is amazing too, but I guess you know what I mean. ;)

There are more changes coming that I think you'll appreciate, too.  In terms of the 50 days, bear in mind you could be doing as few as 30 if you go for their command stations.
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Offline Aeson

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Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2013, 06:17:32 PM »
"6. What is this Regen Window stat.. can't figure out what it helps with."
My guess is that it's the number of turns after you take damage that your regeneration can apply to the damage. That's a guess, though.


A couple of typos that I've noticed:
1. In the city screen, hovering over the Salvage mission brings up a mission description which says that it allows you to "restore ON health to the headquarters." I assume that "on" is supposed to be "one".

2. In the Customize Exo screen, in the tool-tip that pops up when you hover over the section that says "Hover here for more information", damage reduction is spelled "dmaage reduction".


A bug I've encountered - after a while, missions started to end as soon as I entered them, giving me either an automatic success or an automatic failure. Saving and reloading appears to correct the problem, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to come up with a save that can reproduce the issue. However, the first time it happened was for the mission to recover the advanced science exo, and the next few missions played normally, but after that it seemed to become every mission either succeeded or failed as soon as it began. I have only encountered this bug in one game so far, but then I've only really played one game so far. The bug appeared after ~1.5 hours of continuous playing, if it helps. If there are any debug files or error logs that I can provide, please tell me where to find them and I'll send them to you or put them somewhere you can find them.


Comments:
1. Some kind of tutorial would be helpful, whether it's extra tool-tips that can be disabled or a tutorial campaign map that gives more detailed mission objectives or whatever.

2. If shields and health are meant to be identical, please use only one name for it. If, on the other hand, shields are meant to be a restores-over-time health bank or something like that, please have the statistics distinguish between shields and health.

3. I have four different Mark I Stealth Generators that give different total and consecutive stealth actions per mission, ranging from +5/+3 to +15/+4 total/consecutive stealth actions. Could you make some way to distinguish between the generators (e.g. Mark I Basic Stealth Generator +5/+3, Mark I Super Ninja Stealth Generator +15/+4)?

4. I would like it a bit if more of the things which went into the "Reactor" section actually produced power rather than consuming it. Mostly because when I see "Reactor" I think that that's the section that should be powering most of my other stuff. However, until I started to find Slave Reactors, the only things I had that produced power were the couple of Power Adapters sitting wherever I happened to place them, and much of my power consumption was in the "Reactor" section.

5. The tool-tip describing the object you're installing in the customization screen tends to cover at least part of the area telling you its actual effect when installed in your vehicle. It would be nice if the description text from the tool-tip were moved over into a field either below the selection area or off to the side so that a) it would always be over there and b) it would never block any relevant information while you're trying to decide what to install on the vehicle.

6. It would be nice if the item shop carried a few more items, especially lower-tech items (which would presumably cost less). This could be done as a reward for successfully completing missions, too - since you're presumably securing more of the city (sort-of), the shop people have more area to scavenge in and therefore have a wider variety of stuff to sell you, though not all of it is necessarily an improvement on what you have.

7. It would be nice if in the customization screen I could filter for certain types of objects (e.g., show me only items with +hacking points that fit the selected slot).

8. It would be nice in the game set-up lobby if you could tell at a glance which exos and which character you'd chosen. While I understand that there are currently few enough of them that I'll learn what each of them looks like, it would be helpful if the name of the exos was displayed on or next to or under the icon for them.

9. It might be interesting if there were an "Upgrade Item" feature in the shop. Result being you'd lose access to the item being upgraded for a mission or three, but when it was returned to you it was improved in some way (higher mark, gains extra bonuses, something - but I don't think you should be able to choose how it's upgraded). It would be something you'd pay a bit for, and there could be a chance that it gets broken during the upgrade or something like that.

10. I don't know if there's something like this in the game already or not, but it might be nice if there were, say, a rechargeable powercell for energy weapons, which allowed you to pass turns to gain ammunition for the weapon it's installed in but reduces the total number of rounds available between recharges.