Author Topic: Feedback?  (Read 2656 times)

Offline Misery

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2014, 09:16:18 PM »
I dont have time right now to say too much, but a quick suggestion before I forget:

If you're going to try out one of the high difficulties next, start with Expert; I think it's the one that's been the most focused on recently, and sure as heck gets waaaaayyyyy more testing than Misery (which I swear seems like it's only played by me).

Observations on expert difficulty can help with the lower ones too, as far as balance goes, probably.  With it all scaling and whatnot.

But yeah, that mode is feeling pretty good lately with alot of the recent changes that have been put in.  That's what I think, anyway.


Oh, and as for the Welder, I'm pretty sure the Ninja is totally immune to it, since it's technically an AoE. 

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2014, 03:42:33 PM »
Finally had a chance to win on Easy. Did 4 or 5 of the -5 day missions. Tried out Hostages, Lion's Den and Assassination. Did 2x Bahmat missions. Comments:

  • Why do bots sometimes flee when I'm stealthed, and sometimes stand still? Not just Boss bots (which it makes sense retreat). But I've had regular bots behave in both ways. The regular bot flee behavior was only in the final mission though.
  • Finally noticed the # indicator on the mission icon...Could definately stand out more, and add a X/Y on the title line of the mission tool tip.
  • I spent > 50% of my time equipping my bots. That, and 50 missions are the only reasons I'm taking a break for trying out Expert.
  • On the customization screen I'd like to see: +x% next to each skill group so I can tell how much it is boosted. I'd also like to see -X Pow next to each system with those components.
  • Why can't I pick the Exo to upgrade from a Bahmat mission? :(
  • Mines are really obnoxious to sweep with weapon fire, especially later in the game. I wish I could disarm them with Trap Skill.
  • If you go with fewer base health, just make all the reactors in the end mission level up a larger number of bots when destroyed that way you can leave a lot of reactors around.
  • Exiting the game is slow and I'd hazard to say crash-like. (v1.016) When I "Exit to Operating System" I get part of the main menu (the menu button block) sitting on the screen for 3-5 seconds before BD closes. When I won the game, the credits locked up and trying to exit took 60-90 seconds during which I couldn't alt-tab or open Task Manager (I think they opened and focus changed to apps when I alt-tabbed, but BD credit screen stayed in front). I can put this on mantis if you want.

    Very enjoyable game all around though. Excellent work.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2014, 03:54:27 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Why do bots sometimes flee when I'm stealthed, and sometimes stand still? Not just Boss bots (which it makes sense retreat). But I've had regular bots behave in both ways. The regular bot flee behavior was only in the final mission though.
Bots are supposed to move around basically-randomly when you're stealthed.  You're hiding, not freezing time, etc.


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  • I spent > 50% of my time equipping my bots. That, and 50 missions are the only reasons I'm taking a break for trying out Expert.
Yea, the number of slots is excessive.  Perhaps next week I'll start a new beta cycle with the idea I have to help that, but we'll see.


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  • On the customization screen I'd like to see: +x% next to each skill group so I can tell how much it is boosted. I'd also like to see -X Pow next to each system with those components.
Interesting, will note those down.


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  • Why can't I pick the Exo to upgrade from a Bahmat mission? :(
Each bahamut mission has a specific exo it upgrades, as noted in the image (and, iirc, tooltip) of the mission on the map.  So you basically pick the exo by picking the mission.


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  • Mines are really obnoxious to sweep with weapon fire, especially later in the game. I wish I could disarm them with Trap Skill.
So that your other lower-trap-skill exos didn't need to worry about the mines, basically?


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  • If you go with fewer base health, just make all the reactors in the end mission level up a larger number of bots when destroyed that way you can leave a lot of reactors around.
I'm not following; what do you mean "if you go with fewer base health"?  Do you mean if the player has less than the max base health, the end-game missions should seed more reactors and/or the reactors should give a bigger effect?


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  • Exiting the game is slow and I'd hazard to say crash-like. (v1.016) When I "Exit to Operating System" I get part of the main menu (the menu button block) sitting on the screen for 3-5 seconds before BD closes. When I won the game, the credits locked up and trying to exit took 60-90 seconds during which I couldn't alt-tab or open Task Manager (I think they opened and focus changed to apps when I alt-tabbed, but BD credit screen stayed in front). I can put this on mantis if you want.
Odd.  When I do exit-to-OS it does briefly shift back to the main menu before the window closes, but the whole process from click to close takes maybe 2 seconds.  If you can mantis with a save where I can see this that will help.  And especially the credits-lock-up thing.


Thanks for the feedback!
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2014, 05:07:58 PM »
For mines I just find them really annoying to sweep. I didn't hit a single mine my entire game. But 8+ shots seems excessive to clear. Maybe it is that I can't see their health. I'd be totally okay with them have League of Legends-style ward health (i.e., take X hits to kill, no matter how much dmg that hit does). I guess it just is too obscure how their health functions. It took me until the last few missions to realize AOE's apparently dmg each space of the large structures, allowing me to 1-shot 20k health objects with a single grenade. Also note even on easy, I never had a trap skill high enough to cross mines. Eventually I needed a 33 trap skill in the last few missions, which I finally got in the final mission on my NinjaExo.

As for gearing time it really is that every piece of gear can be anything. So I've got too many combinations and I need to check too many possible ways of equipping gear. When I can get +Power from a weapon upgrade, and +weapon dmg from a reactor upgrade, things start to get messy fast. Add in amazingly common gear that can be slotted in multiple slots and that's just too many options. And omni-tools...gah, I hate them (different stat for every slot they can be equipped in).

Part of it is there aren't enough gear modifiers so you can't afford to confine certain mods to certain slots. If each slot had a stat pool it used without much overlap (with only orange items pulling one stat from any pool) then it'd be much easier. But you'd want probably want 5-10 stats for each slot, which is far more then you have now.

As for Base Health I meant HQ Health. If there are (and I didn't count) 7 reactors in my base in the final battle because I had all 7 health left, then my earlier suggestion of much lower HQ Health would be bad because then you'd have only 3. So I'm suggesting leave the number of reactors high and just have them level up more bots to make them worth protecting. Again, that only really applies if you reduce HQ health.

On Stealth, I almost always have bots stop moving when I stealth. Unless they are a randomly moving bot or one that kills cover (basically, unless they have a secondary target). Otherwise they stand still and I walk up and virus them :) .

Just a thought, but have you considered pulling Mines and Sentries out of computer-skills? Into a Cargo or Payload "skill"? You could even add a "salvage" ability so Cargo has 3 abilities like each other group. Salvage space would be filled by credits earned from killing bots. So if a bot gives 7 credits on death, and I have 35 Salvage, when I kill I get 7 credits like normal PLUS another 7 (aka, double) toward my salvage until I've pulled an extra 35 credits (so 5 kills). This is per mission (and per Exo, but only the Exo active on a bot kill can pick up salvage). Also adds two more stat mods for gear then: +salvage and +% cargo/payload-skill :) .

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2014, 05:57:20 PM »
Ok, I lied. Tried my first mission on Expert (Rek w/Assault, Sniper, Ninja, Science). Man that is rough. BlunderBots, HunterBots, TreadBots...so many shields! Minor feedback:

  • Wow, no indications Rek's ability is happening. It apparently happened both times during the mission, but I only noticed it once. It is, however, a cool ability :) .
  • Why does my Sniper seem to get a free shot with his sniper gamma laser? I shoot, they "skip" their action, then I shoot again.
  • Was NinjaExo welding laser always range 3?
  • I've decided I want to work at Arcen. You guys make the coolest things :) .


Dinner calls.

Offline Misery

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2014, 09:06:32 PM »
The Sniper's death-beam causes a freeze effect when fired if it has an even number of shots left.  It basically gives the Sniper a special and very useful ability, and is great for dealing with high-priority targets.  There are a number of tactical tricks you can do with this effect that can help with unusually dangerous foes, but I'll let you figure those out for yourself rather than me making a confusing and not very well worded explanation.

The Science Exo also gains this ability when it gets it's chaingun, which actually is one of the best weapons in the game.  The problem of course is that it's the SCIENCE Exo, and is therefore risky to use.... you dont wanna lose your source of hacking/viruses/computer stuff.

And yeah, Expert is pretty tough to start with, isnt it?  The high HP that enemies have in that mode gives it a tough learning curve, but for the most part, right now the shield values are actually quite well balanced.  Though there are certain enemies with *alot* more shielding than that, such as BodyBots, that are not meant to be defeated in the normal way, so if you see something with really insane health, that's likely the case.  But yes, running into things with thousands of points in shielding is something that will not only be common, but will start in the early part of the game.

One major hint for starting out:  Get a couple of weapons to a damage value of over 600 (or even at 600).  Make this your number one priority over everything else.  Particularly for the Sniper's beam since you're using him.  Boosting the Assault's grenades is also a good idea.  Same for the Ninja's welder.  Sniper should come first though.  Try to boost the Assault's laser gun to a value over 9 range or higher as well. Not a bad idea to do this for the Science Exo also.  Do these things, and you're going to find the early game to be alot less dangerous.   And 300+ is a good range to shoot for with the lasers for those two Exos, but it's a low-priority task.  Dont worry too much about increasing ammo just yet.

Dont worry about shields at this point.  Ignore that.  You'll need them, but that can wait until later.  And getting the Science Bot some virus points is essential. 

And finally, using the enemy bot's quirks against them is also very important on this difficulty, since they have so many advantages.  Blunderbots can be made to destroy themselves, for instance.  And ShieldBots are absolutely amazing if you can get them virused.  They're not OP, as if you're not careful their shields are going to drop like crazy, and getting into position to virus them can be VERY dangerous since you cannot kill anything near them as long as they exist, so it's quite risky.  But they're still pretty darn good.


So yeah, some basic tips there.  This mode will require alot more careful thought when it comes to equipping stuff, too.  As well as when buying things.

Good luck though.  Let us know how it goes once you've really dived into it!


And yes.... Arcen does make the coolest things, dont they?  Haha.  There's very, very few games I spend as much time on as their stuff, which is really saying something considering the sheer absurd number of games that I buy all the time.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2014, 09:36:08 PM »
That explains the sniper laser. Nowhere does it say anything about that feature. I actually dislike the mechanic of basing it on "every other shot" with no indicator. Actually that's also true of the misses every other shot debuff. I'd like to see indicators for that (unless I just missed them). But yeah, the CommandBot givith, and the BlasterMaster taketh away.

Offline Misery

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2014, 11:50:44 PM »
That explains the sniper laser. Nowhere does it say anything about that feature. I actually dislike the mechanic of basing it on "every other shot" with no indicator. Actually that's also true of the misses every other shot debuff. I'd like to see indicators for that (unless I just missed them). But yeah, the CommandBot givith, and the BlasterMaster taketh away.

I'm pretty sure the sniper laser has it mentioned in it's tooltip when you hover over the button for the weapon.   At least it did the last time I looked.  The BlasterMaster's effect should also be explained in similar fashion, and debuffs are usually in the tooltip for individua robots that have been hit by them.  Typically though the tooltips explain every little thing in great detail. 

If this stuff isnt showing up, something is wrong.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2014, 12:09:01 AM »
I just checked and the tooltip does mention it. I think it was just a logical disconnect for me. A totally unexpected property of a sniper weapon. I find it really odd that it "freezes" all enemies, not just the target hit. So basically it is a free action on even numbered ammo shots. I almost wonder if pressing WAIT should activate the freeze property on the next shot, provided you don't do anything else in between. Makes it more thematic. Not as powerful in some ways, although with Stealth you could wait->gamma->laser for every ammo of your gamma instead of half of them.

As for the "misses every 2 shots" I wish I had an indicator that my next shot will auto-miss. I didn't see anything. I viruses a BlasterMaster and he debuffed my Exos, so I was missing every 2'nd shot for the whole mission. FYI, this is bad on Expert. But I never knew what shot would miss unless I really tracked it carefully. The fact that I had the debuff was clear (eventually, once I moused over my Exos).

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2014, 09:19:51 AM »
  • Wow, no indications Rek's ability is happening. It apparently happened both times during the mission, but I only noticed it once. It is, however, a cool ability :) .
Yea, like exo-death-in-general there needs to be more of a cue.


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  • Why does my Sniper seem to get a free shot with his sniper gamma laser? I shoot, they "skip" their action, then I shoot again.
As Misery explained, it's basically a really fast shot so they don't get a chance to react.  I agree that the "every X times" stuff could be much better indicated on the exo side.


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  • Was NinjaExo welding laser always range 3?
I don't recall changing it recently.  You mean how far away you can target, right, rather than the length of the line (which is also three originally, iirc)?


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  • I've decided I want to work at Arcen. You guys make the coolest things :) .
We've been a larger team (7 more-or-less full-time) and found that a smaller one (4 full-time, 1 permanent part-time, others as needed and as money is available) is really better suited to being able to make games without stressing out too much about how to bring in enough money.  Also, at this point the programming throughput is basically consuming all available design output, and design output is managing to utilize most of the programming throughput, so we're at a decent balance there.

That said, I've told Chris before that if he ever needs another programmer that you should be on the list of people to ask.

On the design side you practically already do work with us ;)  Like a number of other community members, you've had more design input into some of our games than programmers actually on the team in other studio's projects have had into their games.


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Dinner calls.
Iirc you're supposed to cook it until it stops calling, and then it's safe to eat.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2014, 10:05:49 AM »
For Rek you could play a little teleport animation and sound effect. Actually, that might be a nice thing to use at the start of a mission to convey that piece of lore. It would tie in the animation/sound so someone playing Rek is much more likely to realize what's happened.

Yeah, I was talking about Ninja range on the Welding Laser, not the linear AOE. I swear in my first few missions it was range 1. Now I in expert I see it starts at 3. I know in my easy game I got +range on it so that makes sense. But honestly, it is likely just something I misunderstood while I was learning the game. Likewise, I swear BlasterBots did a ton more damage (like 500+) and then suddenly there did much less. I'm guessing my shields just increased enough to survive them and I didn't realize.

That said, I've told Chris before that if he ever needs another programmer that you should be on the list of people to ask.
Aw, I'm flattered. You know I picked up C# a couple of years ago purely because of Chris's endorsement of it and it is my preferred language now. Heck, my personal "learn C#" project was implementing an IDictionary<> class optimized for AI Wars :) . You can make a lot of optimizations when you know keys will never be reused and always increment by one. Like eliminating rehashing and roughly doubling how big it can get before exhausting all of Mono's heap. Right now I'm porting XSpriter over to work with MonoGame so I can use art assets produced in Spriter. I've written an Entity Component System that pulls Components and Entities from XML data files (so I don't need to make classes in C# for each Component for example) and now I want to integrate Spriter assets. So I'm really enjoying C#.

If you ever need some one-off stuff though, drop me a line. Meanwhile I will continue providing feedback while thoroughly enjoying your titles :) .

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Feedback?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2014, 12:39:30 PM »
For Rek you could play a little teleport animation and sound effect. Actually, that might be a nice thing to use at the start of a mission to convey that piece of lore. It would tie in the animation/sound so someone playing Rek is much more likely to realize what's happened.
Yea, a warp-in and/or warp-out particle and sound would be good.  I'm not much good at making such things myself but perhaps one of TLF's effects would work.


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Likewise, I swear BlasterBots did a ton more damage (like 500+) and then suddenly there did much less. I'm guessing my shields just increased enough to survive them and I didn't realize.
Bear in mind that BlasterBots have two weapons: their main machine-gun or whatever it is, plus a one-shot long-range gamma ray laser.  I believe the latter hurts a fair bit, and is best to tank on something other than one's exos.

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You know I picked up C# a couple of years ago purely because of Chris's endorsement of it and it is my preferred language now.
Yea, C# is amazing in just how fun it is to use.  With C++ I feel like I'm fighting against incomprehensible code and how much it lets me do (pointers, etc).  With Java I feel like I'm fighting against how much it doesn't let me do.  C# feels like a good middle-ground.

And yea, custom "buzzsaw" data structures for special situations where one gets to make a ton of non-standard assumptions (but still constrained in a bunch of other areas) is a lot of fun.  I remember one collection I was writing for AIW years ago that needed to be as close to heap-static (no transient allocations) as possible to avoid tons of garbage collections, and also:

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/// Collection designed to provide:
/// 1.1) Iteration (low constant time per element, linear total)
/// 1.2) Random pattern removal (low constant time)
/// 1.3) Insert (low constant time if no resize, linear if resize)

and the key assumption that let me get away with it was:

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/// 2.1) iteration order NOT guarunteed to have any relation to order of insert, BUT you are guaranteed to not encounter an element twice in the same iteration

So if you estimated the size properly to avoid the need for resize-on-insert, every operation after construction was constant-time (where "low" meant "standard array indexing" for iteration).

That's used for the "aggregate targeting" system where multiple ships of the same type on the same side within a certain range of each other share target queues.

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If you ever need some one-off stuff though, drop me a line. Meanwhile I will continue providing feedback while thoroughly enjoying your titles :)
We'll certainly keep it in mind :)
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