Author Topic: Dump of first impressions  (Read 739 times)

Offline GrimerX

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Dump of first impressions
« on: September 13, 2013, 01:38:21 AM »
All this stuff is now in Mantis, but I'll include it here (Without any effort of formatting on my part  :P) in case anyone wants to discuss some of it in the forum.

These are my notes, in stream-of-consciousness form.  They cover my first 3 or 4 missions.


Music is great :)
Tooltip for exos shows over 'hot tips' window
Nice to have some way to disable voice overlay - I can read much faster than the speaker, and it's annoying to have it reading what I just read
Click on an exo -- get the 'hot tip' window.  Click close.  Click on 'Light Machine Gun;.  Get a window that's strangely blank in the middle (black bar).  Click 'Return to customization'
The 'hot tip' window opens again.  Probably shouldn't.  Then realize this one is different -- it's not '... and show me no others', but '.. don't show this one anymore'  Too subtle a difference?
Click on 'Shields'  It has some item in the black area.  Now I'm confused about the relationship between the boxes on exo screen, and the boxes on the equipment detail screen.
Initial equipment selection was confusing.  Too subtle difference in rectangle between 'Item equipped' and 'item available to equip'
Should I be able to put a capacitor in either the reactor or the computer?
Strange to have things related to me (credits,scavaging rate) mixed in with things about the enemy (manufacturing) and the environment (turns left)
I see a Client/Server box, even though I didn't select multiplayer (or don't think I did).  It says received:0,sent:0 (which makes sense) and then ERROR, which it probably shouldn't.

Select firefight mission because the other says 'very hard'.  Suprised to find one of two missions available that I am told not to do, but maybe that
 will make sense later.
Opening screen -- what are the purple crosshair/box icons for?
What does the pink circle mean when I hover over some circles?  Happens for 'cover', 'ammobot', 'batbot' but not 'mines'.
Why are all my exos in the same square?  Maybe I missed some text, but totally didn't expect that.  I expected a squad.
Laser Rifle says range '8', but I couldn't use it until I was 6 away.  Now I see the yellow circle and can take a guess at what the pink circle was.
Range is inclusive of source and target squares?
No, I don't get how range is calculated. Totally don't.  Tried different ways of counting squares and none of the theories worked.  Maybe diagonal is 1.4, rounded down?  If so, that's too much math to predict your range when deciding how to approach.
Now, I see some bots with sensors (in yellow).  When did they start showing up?  Bots don't really seem to move until you get close.  And these aren't moving.
Maybe it's a different exo -- no, all can see them.  Maybe it's sensor range?  No, moving back to the starting position and they're still there.  Are they now out of sensor range and I'm remembering them?  If so, need to differentiate between 'real' and 'fog of war/memory' bots.
[Forced to exit game due to presence of a 5 year old :)]
[New game]
General difficulty tooltip covers general difficulty dropdown
Ninja Exo - (Inherent) text overlays itself
Regen window text is a bit confusing -- my take is that the game tracks the turn on which damage occured, and then lets you heal a maximum amount over time limited by regen and window.  So it's important
whether you get Regen 5 Window 3 vs Regen 15 Window 1.  Phrasing it as a 'back in time' calculation is confusing, as is the term 'window' (though I understand it from a software-dev POV).
Something like:
Max regen/turn : 5
Turns before damage is permanant (nan-exos lengthen this? :)
Probably need a gamma adjustment slider.  For me the difference between 'can't see' and 'sensors only' (I think that is what it is), is minimal.  Is this what the purple crosses are for?  To indicate more map in that direction/end of sensor range?
If so, the shape is unexpected at first -- I assume that each square with cover in it attenuates the sensors more than a non-cover square?
When the 'esc' menu is open and I press w/a/s/d, the bot rotates but does not move.  I can rotate it in any direction.  Upon closing 'esc', the first command I gave it is executed (so if I press 'esc,a,d,esc', the UI will go 'menu,botleft,botright,closemenu+moveleft')
Okay, some experimentation with cover distruction and sensor range.  Doesn't seem to affect it.  But once my sensors sense an area, then I move back -- again can't distinguish between 'area I can sense now' and 'area I saw before, but can't sense now'. 
Some experimentation using 'whistle' and sensors.  Once I 'see' an area, I can always see the objects in it?  This mechanic feels very odd to me. 
Move around a bit -- all fine -- then a computer shows up, divorced from the area I can see/scan.  Why can I see the computer, but not the squares adjacent to it?
Some experimentation - diagonal range costs 2?
"Not like this" -- heh :)
Can I really shoot a computer?  UI says 'yes'.  Confirmed via experimentation.  Guess I'll have to be careful about blasting things :)  Now to find another computer...
Why can't I shoot mines?  Remembers something about ground firing.... oh yeah, the generic tooltip.  Cool, this shows me the range I can fire!  Would have been helpful earlier :)
Shoot a floor rune to see if it works as expected -- yup.
First robot to get close enough to me -- I assume the red line means 'you're targeted'?
Hmm -- ran into an 'x' of floor runes 5 x 5.  Shot the upper right one with my rocket launcher -- but the lower left 2 are still there?  Shouldn't they all have gone up?
Used the rocket launcher (fun!) to get a tight group of enemy bots.  Got my first loot.  Didn't expect it to just appear on me, I expected it to drop from the thing I killed.  And possibly be damaged by the rocket :)
Found a science station.  Move next to it... nothing.  Try to move on it... nope.  Shoot it?  Yes, but probably shouldn't.  Click the 'science station' button?  Nope.  Hmm....
Check keybindings to see what other keys I might press to get the science station -- no keybinding UI in 'settings', or otherwise in the 'esc' menu? 
Oh duh, under 'view edit controls'.  For some reason the 'view comic' button made me think there was nothing too useful in that group.
So... action.  Is that an 'S'?  No, WASD...  so 5?  No...  switch it to 'E'.  Still doesn't do anything.  Read text more carefully, go over to the loot container I saw to experiment with that.
Hmm, moving next to the container auto-loots it.
Having run over there, now I have a little bot problem.  Which of the exos wasn't out of ammo?  Damn, clicking on the exo to find out took a turn.  Would be nice to have gun/ammo info also in the tooltip summary of an exo right about now.
Hmm, use the rocket launcher to kill two of the 3 bots coming from the right -- the one on the left also explodes.  Text says 'attacked by mines' -- sure enough, some mines near there, and they're damaged.  But the explosion happened in the square the bot was in, not the mines square.  Unexpected.
Maybe was mistaken about the mine-killed bot earlier.  Another just walked into a mine, and exploded on top of the mine.  Though in that case, it took the mines along with it.  So maybe where the explosion happens depends on whether the mines survive or not?
Press 'w' for 'whistle'.  D'oh!
Not paying attention trying to get the last batbot to come around a corner and step on the warp pad.  Mission over, no warning, no option.  I could have lost loot if I didn't grab that container earlier.  I get 4 loot -- from the mission?  Did I get the science station?  Not sure I got anything from the science station.
Well, apparently a lot of those were computer parts.  So maybe the science station was just UI, not interactable.  Still don't know.
Customise exos -- fine.
Shop.... layaway.  Hmm, is it going to charge me 10% right away?  Per day?  Let's find out.  Just puts text there.  Hmm, what is the mechanic?  Every day things are randomized except for layaway items?  So more of a 'hold for me'?  Wonder how long I can keep something on layaway.
I now have 5 missions -- 2 hostage, 2 overdrive, 1 armory.  RNG yes... but maybe should guarentee some level of variety, so the player has more options.  Or have additional randomization on top of mission type, so the two 'hostage' would be different in some visible way.
I try the hostage, both to clear it and try something different.
As a polish thing, suggest having 3 layers of the mist that flows over the map, each at 1/3 density but moving at very slightly different rates.  Makes the motion less uniform.
Cryopods -- same thing.  Move next to it... now what?
Why did destroying the false wall not alert nearby bots?
Why could the bot walk through the false wall?  It clearly says 'until blown to bits'.  Seems the enemy bots get a free action here.
Another orphaned floor tile -- this time a false wall. 
Another orphaned area -- this time visible and multiple tiles.  Dang, those orphaned visible bots got alerted (I guess they can see me, too) and killed the cryopod near them.
Try to run for the warp pad -- doesn't trigger.  What are my mission objectives?  Says 'for every pod still alive at the end'...  hmm.  Guess I'll try and kill all the bots and see if that does it.
Can't select my siege exo for some reason.  Can select other exos.  Siege exo shows full green health.
Hmm, can't hack on an angle -- dang.  But text is confusing -- I can be rotated so I'm not NSEW?
Ctrl to show building names, U to show unit names.  Ctrl doesn't seem to do anything.  Is it for the non-mission map?  If so, why 2 keys?  Hmm.
Hostage rescue number is now at 2.  I see 6 on the map, 4 out of sight and 2 in sight.  What does the 2 mean?
Either visibility is bugged, or I really don't get it.
Found a door -- took me a bit to realize it wasn't a false wall.  At first I thought my pistol wasn't powerful enough to shoot through it.
Hostage rescue number -- I just had to 'see' all of them?  I note in the end summary it doesn't actually tell me how many were saved.
City map -- ctrl doesn't do anything.  Not sure what 'show building names' is for.
Try 'armory' mission
Play a bit -- still not clear to me what will cause a bot to alert.  In the specific sense.  Getting close enough, or shooting (exploding?) near it.. but specifics not clear.
First computer hack -- lost all stealth points.  Yeah, roguelike :)  It was in the way though.  For next time -- can I go through a terminal?  Probably.
When TigerBot goes into shutdown mode, I could use an indicator of how many turns until it is going to reactivate.  Similar to the switchplate (message log) or perhaps on the bot itself as an overlay?
Click on Meg for the first time -- I can customize during a mission!  Except only guns (others don't pop the equipment screen).  Except I can't change anything on the guns eqipment screen.  D'oh!  But at least now I figured out how to inspect my exos.  And the big 'Warp In' button tunes me into the '4 exos in one' mechanic after I try it to see what it does :)
"Cover" items say "Shields 11/11".  Probably 'Sheilds' is not the best word here.  (polish)
Can't walk through an unhacked computer terminal.  Which means the map should never generate one in a way that it can prevent progress, or force it to be used (cruel even for a roguelike)
Think I have the hang of it.
Seems there is no lasting impact to damage done to exos during a mission.  Haven't had equipment destroyed, or needed to pay to repair anything.  Would like to see a mechanic that makes it worthwhile to take care of the equipment, rather than get reckless near the end.


Tip on mission start "Try and escape with least amount of casualties -- you will be rewarded".  How?
Can we pick which Exo to start the mission with?  This would be the Science Exo almost all the time.  I guess put it in the first slot at game creation?
Also no cost to me using as many moves as I would like.  Definately un-roguelike :) 
   Example of how this effects play.
   1) Can be really cautious, scanning much of the map, then engaging
        2) Since you can't use loot that you find in the level, might as well leave all the hacking for the end so you know what your options are.
Hacking for loot -- didn't realize this would raise my scavaging level, as opposed to increasing the loot drop rate for the current level.  Might not have done it.
1 turn cost for switching exo means its really easy to scan using one high-powered scanning bot.
Reducing hacking/stealth/etc. to 0 shouldn't show as 'broken'.  Should just show as 0. 
Why have 'aim at floor' at all?  Why not just allow aiming anywhere within range?  Is there a mechanic where I would want to specifically target the floor but not the square (or vice-versa?)
Mk I Explosion Booster flavor text indicates it will do more damage in addition to increased area -- but the item may not provide a damage bonus.
Confirmation prompt when using 'recharge' stations.  Too easy to bump into them by accident.
Odd to see 'opt of ammo' when exploding a fuel tank.
Maps with long, thin corridors make whistling too easy a tactic.
What is the use of +2% Area of Effect?

Offline GrimerX

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Re: Dump of first impressions
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 01:41:06 AM »
I should add that this is all with .907.  I'm looking forward to trying with the balance improvements made since -- reading through the changelog, I agree with them.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Dump of first impressions
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 07:23:13 AM »
Seems there is no lasting impact to damage done to exos during a mission.  Haven't had equipment destroyed, or needed to pay to repair anything.  Would like to see a mechanic that makes it worthwhile to take care of the equipment, rather than get reckless near the end.

There is. On a typical mission, you get a piece of loot at the end for every exo that is still alive.

Offline GrimerX

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Re: Dump of first impressions
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 12:02:50 PM »
Seems there is no lasting impact to damage done to exos during a mission.  Haven't had equipment destroyed, or needed to pay to repair anything.  Would like to see a mechanic that makes it worthwhile to take care of the equipment, rather than get reckless near the end.

There is. On a typical mission, you get a piece of loot at the end for every exo that is still alive.

I had some suspicion that might be the case, given you receive 4 pieces of loot -- thanks for the confirmation.

I was more thinking that there is no difference between "Everyone survives with full shields, ammo and points" and "everyone survives with 1 shield, no ammo and all abilities consumed".  I don't think there should be a huge penalty -- but having some repair/reammo/recharge cost between missions would be a good thing, I think.