Author Topic: Making the Pistol more interesting  (Read 2960 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Making the Pistol more interesting
« on: October 25, 2013, 01:59:33 PM »
Just wondering if you guys have any ideas on making the pistol (on the Science and Brawler) more interesting.  We don't really want it to be all that powerful as the idea is that the Science guy is not a great combatant (he doesn't specifically have to be _bad_, just not in the same league as the others, at least until the chaingun spins up), and for the Brawler it's just a sidearm.  That said, right now it's just a "weapon for stuff you only nominally need a weapon for" in the eyes of many, and I wonder if we can't do better.

The first idea I had was to have it disable the movement ability of any bot it hits (MurderBot being immune to that), but knowing y'all that would be a limburger factory.

Another idea is to have it have a chance of applying a randomly selected debuff like can't-move, can't-attack, etc.  Then you wouldn't necessarily be able to rely on it to shut stuff down, but you might try taking several potshots at something to see if it would do what you needed.  Possibly still too "why would I bother?".

Anyway, thoughts? :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline ScrObot

  • Newbie Mark III
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 02:28:56 PM »
Typically I only use the pistol to conserve ammo for my "real" weapons -- shooting tiger bots, bots that have run out of ammo, cover objects and doors -- and doing most of those things takes a ton of shots. I use the pistol slots for exo-wide bonuses, rather than anything directly helpful to the pistol itself.

How about allowing it to destroy cover object, doors, terminals, empty loot chests, etc. with one shot regardless of their health levels? It doesn't really jive with the "idea" of what a small pistol is but that would make it somewhat useful, at least to me.

The random debuff is an interesting route too, and would at least give a reason to up the range on it. Maybe it would apply a weak debuff of some sort on every shot (rather than "nothing" happening 66% of the time), such as halving the bot's attack power for one turn -- something that is pretty weak and not easily exploitable, but still an indicator that "something" has happened. Other debuffs would be possible but the "default" would be this weak 1 turn debuff that doesn't really help you much.

Another idea may be the chance to "regen" or not spend a bullet when you hit something (or maybe just bots). I haven't gotten to the point where all my weapons are out of ammo, but if that were the case, this could be a last ditch tactic to stay alive. *shrug*

Offline doctorfrog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 03:50:35 PM »
I'm only about 3 hours into my BD play, but the pistol is mostly OK being a boring weapon with me. I do tend to switch to Sci whenever I need to wide-scan an area or clear an object, so that does get kind of old after a bit.

A 'dispersion pistol' that can destroy cover/doors might be more accurate to the character of the Scibot, would explain why it's less effective against the heavy metal of the bots. It could have a high ammo cap or regenerate.

Better yet, make "object dispersion" a regenerating ability of all bots so I don't have to switch all the time, and grant the Scibot a new ability/weapon. Maybe something having to do with scanning and locating goodies, but something 'fuzzy,' like being able to detect that a terminal or exit is somewhere in a 6X6 area, but not giving its exact location.

Or the Sci weapon can have effects that other 'weak' weapons tend to in FPSs and RPGs: stun (reboot), push (displace), confuse, enrage, poison, teleport enemy to random location, etc. with a ammo cap appropriate for the amount of cheese possible with the mechanic.

Offline zharmad

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,075
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 07:47:47 PM »
Random effects might be interesting. You could just go with the crowd and slap on a description like the following:

"The Jury Rigger: This ranged spanner packs a miniature software delivering mechanism, originally intended for repairs at a safe distance. Each customisation part will grant it a 30% chance to judiciusly re-wire your target. The particular parts you install might affect what comes out at the other end...
If it doesn't go, shoot it."

(The part stats are seeded and RNG'd into an effect, or weight it in the selection process)
Effects:
- Berserk
- Tigerbot effect (3-turn)
- Blunderbot effect (3-turn)
- EMP-stun (3-turn)
- Fire once at random bot/cover/exo in range.
- Screw up movement and firing (in the opposite direction)
- Land shots in adjacent square.
- Triples AP and Hates everybody.
- Turns bot into singing Bard.
- etc.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 07:50:46 PM by zharmad »

Offline muttala

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2013, 03:49:44 AM »
I'm more towards fix effect for better strategy planning, I like the can't move effect feel like a hi tech weapon

-you know many times it is just kill or being killed in this game, I 'm really hesitate to use if it is RNG based effect...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 07:53:29 AM by muttala »

Offline nas1m

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,256
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 05:08:32 AM »
I'm more towards fix effect for better strategy planning, I like the can't move effect feel like a hi tech weapon
I am tending in this direction as well. A trait with an effect whose success cannot be gauged might not be an improvement at all (as it violates the puzzle aspect of the game) - especially on higher difficulties. I am in two minds about this, though, zharmad's proposal sounds neat as well...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 05:10:13 AM by nas1m »
Craving some more color and variety in your next Bionic run? Grab a boost and a couple of custom floors!

Offline jonasan

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 97
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 05:19:19 AM »
hey folks,

first off... picked up bionic a couple of days ago and its a brilliant game! without a doubt the most polished 1.0 i have ever seen from you guys... really hoping sales pick up and you can keep up the dev on this one. I'm 24 hours in now and thoroughly hooked :)

on the pistol question... one possible buff that might give the weapon a tactical edge and also make upgrading the weapon itself worthwhile (rather than simply applying system wide buff parts) is to make firing the pistol a 'free action' - that is, firing the pistol once allows you to make another move/fire another weapon before the enemy gets a turn...

(note - the pistol would have to go on 'cooldown' util the next action was selected to avoid the possibility of endlessly spamming a 'free action' weapon, also swapping to another mech would probably have to be disabled aswell - until the next real turn - to stop too much cheesy use of this when opening doors)

this would give the brawler a nice way of opening doors/clearing cover from close up while still retaining the action point to unload its shotgun at the bot waiting behind the door/cover. the science bot would get the extra turn to move out the line of fire having scanned the area behind the door, drop a sentry gun where the door/cover was, quickly apply a virus to the waiting bot, etc...

would also give the two exos in question a nice way of boosting damage on a single target by combining the pistol damage first with another attack to follow.... you'd be limited by the range on the pistol for that kind of boost though.

seems like this might be genuinely useful while at the same time not playing too much into RNG randomness - thereby maintaining the very well thought out tactical ruleset of the game.... and hopefully not too OP/cheesy?! thoughts?

also... while I personally dislike the random effect idea others have posted (too much risk of a terrible backfire would mean i would almost never use it) i think that perhaps it might be possible to implement a new type of upgrade part which can only be installed on pistols and would give the weapon one of a selection of buffs/special effects... i.e. disable movement for x turns, reduce attack by % for x turns, nano-repair ammo (repair % of damage to virus infected ally), nano-disease ammo (apply damage over time effect to targeted robot, which would stack on repeateded applications) etc...   you would use an upgrade slot on the weapon for adding this ability to your pistol thereby adding a 'cost' to such a choice, perhaps depending on the effect other things could be capped (i.e. with effect X the max range for the pistol is capped at Y)... but i think that maybe such an upgrade could also remove the 'free action' status of the pistol... so if you have your pistol loaded with 'disabling' ammo you loose the free action bonus but gain a different tactical advantage... more options, more tactical choice.

i think these ideas together would make the pistol a much more interesting side arm and would really bring it into play much more... what do you all think? :)

Offline nas1m

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,256
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 06:06:31 AM »
on the pistol question... one possible buff that might give the weapon a tactical edge and also make upgrading the weapon itself worthwhile (rather than simply applying system wide buff parts) is to make firing the pistol a 'free action' - that is, firing the pistol once allows you to make another move/fire another weapon before the enemy gets a turn...

(note - the pistol would have to go on 'cooldown' util the next action was selected to avoid the possibility of endlessly spamming a 'free action' weapon, also swapping to another mech would probably have to be disabled aswell - until the next real turn - to stop too much cheesy use of this when opening doors)

this would give the brawler a nice way of opening doors/clearing cover from close up while still retaining the action point to unload its shotgun at the bot waiting behind the door/cover. the science bot would get the extra turn to move out the line of fire having scanned the area behind the door, drop a sentry gun where the door/cover was, quickly apply a virus to the waiting bot, etc...

would also give the two exos in question a nice way of boosting damage on a single target by combining the pistol damage first with another attack to follow.... you'd be limited by the range on the pistol for that kind of boost though.

seems like this might be genuinely useful while at the same time not playing too much into RNG randomness - thereby maintaining the very well thought out tactical ruleset of the game.... and hopefully not too OP/cheesy?! thoughts?

also... while I personally dislike the random effect idea others have posted (too much risk of a terrible backfire would mean i would almost never use it) i think that perhaps it might be possible to implement a new type of upgrade part which can only be installed on pistols and would give the weapon one of a selection of buffs/special effects...  [...]  you would use an upgrade slot on the weapon for adding this ability to your pistol thereby adding a 'cost' to such a choice, perhaps depending on the effect other things could be capped (i.e. with effect X the max range for the pistol is capped at Y)... but i think that maybe such an upgrade could also remove the 'free action' status of the pistol... so if you have your pistol loaded with 'disabling' ammo you loose the free action bonus but gain a different tactical advantage... more options, more tactical choice.
[...]
I greatly like both ideas. Seems like the best of both worlds to me (i.e. for those liking the idea of a random effect and for those who dislike it). Let's do this :D!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:09:23 AM by nas1m »
Craving some more color and variety in your next Bionic run? Grab a boost and a couple of custom floors!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 01:52:49 PM »
The idea of weapon-type-specific parts that change what the weapon does is great, but more of an expansion thing since new part types need new art, etc.

But the idea of having the pistol be a free action and have a cooldown is great :)

So here's what I'm thinking:
- make firing the pistol a free action
- make the pistol cause the can't-move debuff on what it hits (murderbot being immune to this)
- give the pistol a 3-action cooldown; that is, you have to take 3 actions that the bots get a move in response to (with that exo) before that pistol can be fired again

So it's not going to mow down swarms for you, but it could be used during a kiting retreat to thin down herds, etc.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline nas1m

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,256
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 02:54:22 PM »
The idea of weapon-type-specific parts that change what the weapon does is great, but more of an expansion thing since new part types need new art, etc.

But the idea of having the pistol be a free action and have a cooldown is great :)

So here's what I'm thinking:
- make firing the pistol a free action
- make the pistol cause the can't-move debuff on what it hits (murderbot being immune to this)
- give the pistol a 3-action cooldown; that is, you have to take 3 actions that the bots get a move in response to (with that exo) before that pistol can be fired again

So it's not going to mow down swarms for you, but it could be used during a kiting retreat to thin down herds, etc.
Sounds good to me! If art is the only hindrance for the new part type idea: How about using a monochrome/recolored variant of an existing asset? Would be better than having nothing imho ;)...
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 03:05:42 PM by nas1m »
Craving some more color and variety in your next Bionic run? Grab a boost and a couple of custom floors!

Offline Shrugging Khan

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,217
  • Neinzul Y PzKpfw Tiger!
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 04:28:16 PM »
You could also flip art upside-down, mirror it, or resize it and put multiple copies (perhaps at odd angles) into the image.
The beatings shall continue
until morale improves!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 07:26:56 PM »
Just in for 1.005:

Quote
* The Pistol is now not quite so usefulness-challenged; as per the new description:
** Short Story: free action, disables enemy movement, 3-turn cooldown.
** Long Story:
*** The old MurTech MkVI "PebbleProjector" Pistol was the worst weapon in the galaxy.  Customer feedback was torrential.  Mainly from next-of-kin.
*** In fact, the MurTech Complaints Department received so many letters that a counter deep within the Inefficiency Engine overflowed into negative numbers.  The explosion atomized many Complaints executives and led to a truly remarkable event: the first, and last, documented case of MurTech efficiency.
*** The resulting "KneeSeeker" model has the invaluable benefit of disabling the movement of any bot it hits.  Further, firing the weapon is a "free action" because the other bots are too surprised to respond.  The weapon itself is so astonished that it EMP's itself for 3 turns.

:)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Winge

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 601
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 10:01:41 PM »
LOL, nice description.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline jonasan

  • Jr. Member Mark III
  • **
  • Posts: 97
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 04:13:44 AM »
Excellent ;)

I imagine i'm going to get some serious use out of the new pistol in my next playthrough - beat the game for the first time last night (on ironman with a flawless victory), looking forward to the update and diving into the pain of misery with this rather useful pistol in hand!! Cheers :)

Offline nas1m

  • Master Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,256
Re: Making the Pistol more interesting
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 03:03:33 PM »
LOL, nice description.
+1 :D.
I literally laughed out loud when I read this...
Craving some more color and variety in your next Bionic run? Grab a boost and a couple of custom floors!