Arcen Games

Games => Bionic Dues => Topic started by: Pakuska on October 10, 2013, 08:44:01 PM

Title: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Pakuska on October 10, 2013, 08:44:01 PM
Which is awesome! But also not... Though I do like the customization. I feel really, really. REALLY. Overwhelmed and confused by the many parts and the stats that they have.

Right now its really bumming me out and making me not want to play the game anymore... I keep doubting myself whether I made the right decision, or whether this part is better on that bot. so I spend between every mission 10 to 30 minutes refitting my bots, looking at the store whether there is something better.  for the assault I try to focus on shields and damage, the siege, range, area of effect and damage, the ninja, damage and stealth actions, the science exo hacking and sensor range. and even with this focus, its very... I dont know, confusing and overwhelming I guess.

What do you guys do and how do you deal with it?
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Mick on October 10, 2013, 08:52:42 PM
I know the feeling. It is very easy to fall into a state of analysis paralysis on that customization screen. It doesn't help that you need to click all over the place to browse between what you have equipped, what is in your inventory, each exo, the shop...

I think the best way to go about it is to have some general idea of what you want to pump up for each exo and just concentrate on those stats only and don't worry so much about what "secondary stats" you are getting.

For example, my assault exo is pretty much the "main" in my team. I concentrate on maxing his shields/mitigation/regen for the most part, while making sure he has solid range and ammo on his weapons. Since he's out the most I need to make sure his damage is "decent".

Siege is all about the big boom, I feed him AoE range and ammo. He pretty much just swaps in to clear out a mess when I don't feel it's safe to pick them off one by one.

Ninja I upgrade traps and sentry. He just gets the hand me downs for anything weapon related. I use him to "lure" into sentries, evade traps I don't want to waste ammo on, and in some cases he will blow up barrels if there is no way to do so w/o being in range.

Science is pretty much hacking only at this point, but he gets hand me down trap and sentry stuff that the ninja doesn't need anymore.

If I reach a point where I'm just fiddling around with secondary/tertiary stats on an exo's equipment with no change to any of the primary stuff I care about.. I leave the customization screen immediately.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 10, 2013, 09:15:37 PM
I think it depends on what difficulty you're on.  If you're on Normal or so, then you dont have to worry about it all that much.  As Mick says, just pick a couple of important stats, focus on that, ignore the rest.

On the higher ones, you do need to concern yourself with the secondary stats and such to be effective.   But on the lower ones... feel free to just experiment.  Slap parts somewhere, and see how it affects your Exo's performance.

Eventually, you'll get the hang of it overall, and it wont be so overwhelming.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Pakuska on October 10, 2013, 09:19:58 PM
I like that word.. analysis paralysis. Try saying that three times in a row. lol. So I need to teach myself to not really care about the other three exo's and just pick a favorite... lol

@Misery Yea, I am jsut on normal, I was thinking about going to the hardest difficulty, I find it fun when they are games like dungeons of dredmor, but this is a whole.. differnt level lol, glad I did normal.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Tridus on October 10, 2013, 09:29:50 PM
On normal, every 2 or 3 levels I tend to use the remove equipment button to clear the exo and redo it with what I have now. Easier than trying to figure out if each part has an upgrade.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Winge on October 10, 2013, 09:40:34 PM
Mick's approach is the best place to start.  As Misery mentioned, on Normal, and even Hard, you don't really need perfect itemization.  Feel free to experiment some.

Another important tool to use is the 'part picker' (not sure if that's the right name).  In the dropdown box next to "Sort and Filter By," you can not only hide parts you aren't interested in, but also sort the remaining parts by the value of that stat they have.

It also helps to have a defined role for each bot.  Here are  some 'typical' roles I use, with priorities (note that I will add in other stats, but they are gravy--ie, I don't spend a lot of time on them):

Attacker:  offense really is the best offense!
1.  + Range, until my range is on par with the enemy*
2.  + % Damage on a strong weapon
3.  +% all Weapon damage
4.  +% AoE on AoE weapons, +% Ammo on single-target weapons
5.  + Range
Best exos:  Sniper, Brawler, Siege
*The Brawler and Siege can get around this to some extent

Defender:  beat enemies by letting them shoot you until they run out of ammo.  No, I am not kidding.
1.  Regen
2.  Damage Reduction
3.  +% all Shields
4.  + Shields
Best exos:  Assault.

Utility:  who says !!SCIENCE!! isn't fun?
1.  Hacking--a sad necessity
2.  Sentries, Mines, and Virus, as desired.  If using Virus, must be able to Virus at least one strong bot (DoomBot, Command Bot, Leader Bot, Shield Bot, etc)
3.  + Trap Skill Level
4.  +% all Propulsion
5.  +% all Computer
Note:  trap skill doesn't affect Virus, but you'll probably definitely want Sentries and Mines at higher difficulties, and Trap Skill is essential to those.  That is also why I (now) prefer Propulsion to Computer for the utility exo.
Best exos:  Science, Ninja

Warranty Violator:  not recommended for the faint of heart.
1.  Regen >= Overload/4
2.  Overload
3.  Damage Reduction
4.  +% all Propulsion or +% all Shields
5.  +Shields
Best exos:  Assault, Ninja (Ninja may not be able to mitigate enough of the Overload, though)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Pakuska on October 10, 2013, 11:31:51 PM
Thanks winged, thats really usefull actually. I had no idea there were multiple exo's I thought there wer eonly the default four lol. Can you really stack damage reduction that high  that they do significant less damage? most I could ahve done was around 30 ish? I have only played like 6 of the 50 days tho lol

And taht overload... Whats the use of that? I mean really, it seems so useless as it hurts you aswell, even if its 25%, I have no idea what range it has. But it seems like a skill that has no use except for clearing out enemies around you just when your best exo dies so your backup exo's dont got a hard time.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: PokerChen on October 11, 2013, 03:15:40 AM
You can still stack reduction so high so as to make your assault / brawler almost invulnerable to small-arms fire. Most mooks tend to do 20~100 damage, and maximum damage reduction is somewhere around 85~90%.

If you were playing, say, Emma, for her mechanical tweaking skills, you'll get access to higher DRs faster. Having 60 raw and +50% shield stats is usually possible by 10 days. Then you get some regen to repair the rest once the firefight is over. However, I think this is frankly unnecessary at that stage of the game on normal difficulty.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Rekka on October 11, 2013, 03:21:27 AM
Yeah you can stack Damage Reduction pretty high. 6 days into the game is not that much. You'll get much better parts as you progress. ;) As everyone said, just focus on a role for each of your exo and determine a couple of important stats to fulfill this role. It'll be much easier to pick your parts. :D
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Winge on October 11, 2013, 03:10:13 PM
Thanks winged, thats really usefull actually. I had no idea there were multiple exo's I thought there wer eonly the default four lol. Can you really stack damage reduction that high  that they do significant less damage? most I could ahve done was around 30 ish? I have only played like 6 of the 50 days tho lol

And taht overload... Whats the use of that? I mean really, it seems so useless as it hurts you aswell, even if its 25%, I have no idea what range it has. But it seems like a skill that has no use except for clearing out enemies around you just when your best exo dies so your backup exo's dont got a hard time.

Glad to help.  Remember, those aren't hard and fast rules, just recommendations for newer players.  There are plenty of ways to build Exos to blow up Bots  :)

Yes, you can stack Damage Reduction.  Note, however, that damage reduction caps at 90% of incoming damage (which is still huge; most games cap at 75%).  So, with 50 DR:
Incoming Damage / Damage Taken
40 / 4
50 / 5
60 / 10
100 / 50
2000 / 1950
Damage reduction provides an excellent bonus against weaker attackers, but will not help you when a Blunder Bot attack actually connects.


Part stats and enemy stats will go up as the days go by.  30 DR by day 6 isn't bad.  By comparison, on around day 30, my Assault Exo had over 200 damage reduction.  Note that +% all Shields stats multiplies your shields stats, including Damage Reduction.  Excellent when paired with Regen.


Overload is ammo-free damage.  You probably won't have much use for it until Hard+, when ammo becomes more of an issue.  Overload provides an active and a passive ability to an Exo:
1.  Active:  Deals the overload damage to all enemy bots within 4 tiles (mousing over the Overload Icon shows the effective range).  Deals 25% of the overload damage to the Exo using the ability, reduced by Damage Reduction.
2.  Passive:  On death, deals overload damage to all enemy bots within 8 tiles.  Sort of like the Final Attack materia, if you like FFVII.

Using overload well requires 3 stats:  Overload (obviously), Damage Reduction (reduce final overload damage), and Regen (make overload damage temporary).  Here is my Assault Exo in my current Expert game:

(http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=14047.0;attach=7932)


Using Overload immediately causes 3,174 damage to every enemy bot within range.  That's a LOT of damage without an ammo cost.  Meanwhile, my Assault Exo takes the damage:
(3174 / 4) - 220 = 574*

Since 574 is less than my Regen stat of 868, I can recover all of the damage as long as I don't get hit.  That is 3174 free AoE damage that doesn't require LoS--extremely valueable, albeit somewhat situational.  Since you're on normal, try it out on an Exo you don't feel is essential.  You don't need it for Normal, but it is helping out a lot in my Expert game.


*Note:  I'm assuming the damage rounds up.  It may not; I haven't looked THAT closely.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Penumbra on October 11, 2013, 03:37:21 PM
Would it be possible to have an "auto-equip" button like from Final Fantasy? It would just stupidly assign whatever maximizes a certain stat.

Would it be optimal? No. Would it probably work for Normal difficulty? Yeah.

Might smooth over the learning curve for some users.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 12, 2013, 12:48:45 AM
I agree with having a bit of an overloaded feeling when it comes to equipping bots. The gameplay of that part of the game just isn't clicking for me. And normally I do enjoy comparing loot and min-maxing things. But in this case, there's a bit too much to deal with. Most of the times I have decided to stop playing, it is because I am between missions and trying to re-outfit bots with new gear, and just get overwhelmed. I feel like I want to go on to the next mission, because that part of the gameplay is appealing, but I also fear that going in under-equipped is just asking to lose, so I get sort of disheartened and step back from the game entirely.

I would actually appreciate more limitations, or more clearly delineated upgrades. I've seen situations where, because of some of the % based upgrades, a rank I green item might still be better than a rank VII purple item. If I could almost always be sure that higher rank meant generally better, that would ease the process. And there's so much stat overlap between various things that comparing them becomes a real chore. Everything is +this -that. While I do like freedom to customize, I'm finding that I don't like quite so much freedom. Maybe I'd like it better if upgrades were actually class limited. Parts that only work in one or two types of bot? I don't know, I'm just sort of brainstorming. Something equivalent to the fantasy loot tropes of cloth for casters, plate for fighters, etc. Thus giving fewer options to sift through. Or maybe I'd like it better if there were only a single upgrade slot per system and the game were balanced around that. Or maybe if the upgrades were more specific, only one and rarely two stats per item.

I don't know what would help me out here, but I know that while I like trying to pick the best thing for a slot between choices A, B, and occasionally C, I definitely am not as pleased when the choices go A through Y, and I have almost the same number of choices for 20 slots multiplied by 4 bots. It's definitely bringing down the experience for me a tiny bit.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 12, 2013, 01:53:09 AM
@Bob: changes are coming on the customization front.  I agree with it feeling overwhelming, and I wrote it :)  Though a main reason for it feeling overwhelming for me is that I've been on sleep-dep for weeks with a newborn, so I didn't think that was representative, heh.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 12, 2013, 02:35:05 AM
@Bob: changes are coming on the customization front.  I agree with it feeling overwhelming, and I wrote it :)  Though a main reason for it feeling overwhelming for me is that I've been on sleep-dep for weeks with a newborn, so I didn't think that was representative, heh.

Oh, congratulations and all that! Don't stress out over it then. Focus on raising the next generation, don't worry about whining gamers. We'll always be here! And I mean always. :P
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 12, 2013, 04:20:34 AM
Focus on raising the next generation, don't worry about whining gamers. We'll always be here! And I mean always. :P
Haha, yea.  I guess if there ever were such a thing as the heat death of the universe, we could take comfort that somewhere in that uniform mass of decayed protons (or whatever), there would be certain decayed protons that were still whining about some game or another ;)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 12, 2013, 03:07:27 PM
Just poking around parts again, and I have to say I think one of the chief culprits here is percentage based upgrades. In a loot game, that tends to be something to shy away from, because it's so much more powerful than you think it is. If I have a stat called shootiness, and a piece of level 1 loot that gives me +10% shootiness, that one piece of loot is basically always going to remain better than anything else I find that increases my shootiness stat, save for something that gives a higher percentage increase. The problem being that if I ever go to replace it, even if I find some awesome item of +500 shootiness, I'm also losing a huge chunk of my existing stat due to the loss of that percentage based boost.

And since the percentages seem to be pretty heavily randomized, it makes loot comparison fairly tricky. I'd almost say it would be better to toss the whole idea of % based upgrades and make everything a straight numerical scale.  Or if they are kept in, I think it would work better if they were very clearly regulated instead of being so slap dash. Rank I items always give 3%, rank II 5%, rank III 7%, or whatever. I'm picking a scale out of the air. It just sucks to pick up an awesome rank XIII purple item of badassitude, and then find out that even with all the other goodies on it, it's still a downgrade from my rank I green of boringness because it only boosts a stat by 10% while the green boosts it by 30% or something.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 12, 2013, 03:44:13 PM
This game only has +% shootiness, no +X shootiness, btw.

But if there are parts with +% shields and +X shields (and there are), you actually have to find a good balance of the two to maximize the value.

At least in our model, where the +X is applied to the base first, and then the +%.  If you stack pure +% your overall shields will probably come out lower.

Also bear in mind that your base stats don't go up during the game (unlike in, say, Torchlight, where both your base character attack power and the base weapon attack power go up as you level up and find better weapons).  Except for when you get the epic upgrade for an exo, and that's one moment where some of the earlier +% gear can make a comeback against the +X stuff.

FWIW the percentages are not really randomized at all, they're directly determined by the number of item levels that item invests in that particular +% effect.  If you want to see the number of item levels in an effect press F3 to turn on debug info and then mouseover the item in question.  And the item levels available to an item are directly determined by the Mark Level (which is determined mainly by the day, +/- a small random amount) and the Rarity (the white/green/blue/purple/orange color, which is determined mainly by the source of the loot, with some random chance for better in most cases).

If you want to see the actual numbers of each effect by invested-level look at RuntimeData/BalanceInfo_ModuleEffectType.csv :)  It's updated every time you start the game, so it will reflect the latest update, etc.

Anyway, all the above is not to say there aren't problems, but in general I think the numeric balance issues have been MUCH more ironed out than the usability of the UI.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 12, 2013, 05:19:18 PM
Anyway, all the above is not to say there aren't problems, but in general I think the numeric balance issues have been MUCH more ironed out than the usability of the UI.

Probably so. I pretty much avoided this game until launch this time, so I could get the release experience for once instead of mashing my face into every alpha and beta release like I tend to do with you guys. It's interesting to see it from a different perspective. But that means I don't have any idea of how many previous problems have been cleaned up, I only know what I see now. I do also agree that the UI could be a lot friendlier, though!

I just know I usually enjoy poring over loot in games, but this one just isn't scratching that itch. I'm not getting the enjoyable feeling that comes with optimizing my build, it just feels like digging through a massive pile of trash and never knowing if you've pulled out something nice or not.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Mick on October 13, 2013, 08:42:39 AM
When I get the mission success screen, I don't feel "Yay! I won the mission!" I feel, "Oh crap, I have to muck with he customization screen again." I've learned one trick to help quell that feeling of doom.

I decided that the store no longer exists in my games.

Advantages:
- Completely removes a whole screen I have to flip through. A screen which is especially annoying because it doesn't let me compare with my current equipment and also changes every turn.
- Removes the need to hoover over each mission to kill every last bot (except for Lion's Den of course). No longer have to sigh because there is a cannon bot playing with himself in a corner somewhere on the complete opposite end of the level from the mission exit.
- Using loot you find feels more rewarding than loot you buy.
- It improves the lure of the missions that reward specific types of loot because you can't use the store to fill gaps.
- Removes the sell vs archive decision. You can use sell as "delete forever" if you want to clean things up though.
- It fits better thematically.

Disadvantages:
- Makes the game a bit harder.
- One of the pilot's abilities involves the store. Her special becomes pointless, and she is downgraded to a pilot that simply pushes the difficulty up by providing so special.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Cool_Roxas on October 13, 2013, 10:21:28 AM
Hi, I really enjoy this game and I agree that the numerous parts can be confusing during customization. There is one suggestion I come up with after reading Winge's post regarding specialization of an Exo.

Currently we can only apply 1 (one) filter at a time. Eg. when I am customizing the weapon, I look for the +ammo. I found what I thought I would use. But then I apply the +range filter and whoa, there are better parts with better +power. Hmm, now I need to compare the +power, so I apply a new filter.  Having to switch back and forth between different filters to compare individual parts are quite troublesome. It is fine during early levels when you only have 10-20 parts, but after playing several hours you are bound to have a lot of parts (especially if you don't sell, like me).

Therefore, what I would like to suggest is a multiple attributes filter system. Basically beside each filter is a tickbox where we can 'tick' to activate several filters at once. So if I ticked +ammo, +range, +power, any part with the attributes of at least 1 of the filters will be shown. Eg. part 1 has only +ammo, part 2 has +ammo and +range. And then if you would like to filter only parts with --all 3-- attributes inside, there is another tickbox at top/below specially for this. When we 'tick' this box, the game will only show parts with all attributes that we selected earlier. So now the game will show only parts with ALL of +ammo, +range, +power in single part(s). How many filters we can 'tick' is dependent upon the maximum number of attributes a part can have. As for the sorting of the parts, the game can take the first filter that we ticked and worked it out from there.

It is more on the UI front but it certainly will ease the customization part a lot. I really hope it can be implemented in the future if it is not too much of a hassle.

Thank you :)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 13, 2013, 10:54:53 AM
Anyway, all the above is not to say there aren't problems, but in general I think the numeric balance issues have been MUCH more ironed out than the usability of the UI.

Probably so. I pretty much avoided this game until launch this time, so I could get the release experience for once instead of mashing my face into every alpha and beta release like I tend to do with you guys. It's interesting to see it from a different perspective. But that means I don't have any idea of how many previous problems have been cleaned up, I only know what I see now. I do also agree that the UI could be a lot friendlier, though!

I just know I usually enjoy poring over loot in games, but this one just isn't scratching that itch. I'm not getting the enjoyable feeling that comes with optimizing my build, it just feels like digging through a massive pile of trash and never knowing if you've pulled out something nice or not.

Hmm, interesting.  I usually find it's the other way around, myself.  If I"m playing something like Diablo or Torchlight or whatever, it often seems like the vast majority of items that the game spits out are all utterly useless;  if it doesnt have a certain rarity level (AKA, very high rarity, in most games, is the only thing worth bothering with), it's useless, and there tends to be no point in selling things because the stores in those games usually stop being useful .000005 seconds into the game.

In this one though, I tend to look carefully over every part I get, because even the low-rarity ones can be good.  And the store is ALWAYS useful (and expensive).
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 13, 2013, 12:43:52 PM
Hmm, interesting.  I usually find it's the other way around, myself.  If I"m playing something like Diablo or Torchlight or whatever, it often seems like the vast majority of items that the game spits out are all utterly useless;  if it doesnt have a certain rarity level (AKA, very high rarity, in most games, is the only thing worth bothering with), it's useless, and there tends to be no point in selling things because the stores in those games usually stop being useful .000005 seconds into the game.

In this one though, I tend to look carefully over every part I get, because even the low-rarity ones can be good.  And the store is ALWAYS useful (and expensive).

Good point, although it's not quite what I was going for. The danger of metaphors and all that. The thing about something like Torchlight or Diablo or Titan's Quest or Path of Exile or whatever other loot-fest ARPG you might play, is that the upgrades are usually pretty obvious. You can separate the wheat from the chaff in about 5 seconds and be done. Indeed, some of those games allow you to sell filter based on rarity, at least selling all white items or whatever. Because the game knows as well as you that all those crap items are just that, crap.

Whereas in BD, it's hard to tell what's good and what's not. I've seen white items that have a whole bunch of % based upgrades to subsystems and thus end up being better than more specific higher tier items. (Which is what I was trying to get at in my last post, but picking the {I thought random enough} name shootiness made it sound like I just meant weapon damage. Whoops. I mean things like + to all propulsion stats, or + to all computer stats, to be specific) Again, that's the problem of having % based upgrades that affect a wide swath of other things. Unless you're guaranteed that every higher level item is going to have at least that same % number, if not higher, then you're forced to hold on to the old junk because of one stat. It's when you go to upgrade and see that, although this part maybe makes this one weapon shoot harder, it's going to decrease your overall damage boost, and shield, and hack points, and virus points, and trap skill, and number of turrets, and sensor range, and stealth actions, and and and... And then you don't upgrade to the weapon part that would make you hit harder because the old part is way too much of a generalist. We need a lot fewer generalist parts.

On the UI side of thing, I think a good start would be, instead of just showing the affected stats, to show ALL the stats at all times. It's hard to quick-compare when the line that means 'hack points' for this part might mean 'shield points' for the next part. If it was always in the same place, I can mentally learn to glance at the spots that I'm interested in watching. The customization screen is awfully cramped anyway, there's plenty of room out there. Just give me a big list of every single stat with the => ## lines just listed on the stats that change. (I'm guessing the current UI is a gesture to people still playing on a 640x480 toaster or something? Is it possible to only activate that UI when people pick a really tiny resolution like that and give the rest of us something from the last decade or so? :P )
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 13, 2013, 01:09:24 PM
UI and such improvements aside, this overall topic (here and elsewhere) has inspired another optional conduct on my for-expansion list:

- Unionized Maintenance Crews: game auto-equips your exos after each mission (or store purchase) and you're not allowed to change any of it.

;)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Winge on October 13, 2013, 04:09:15 PM
UI and such improvements aside, this overall topic (here and elsewhere) has inspired another optional conduct on my for-expansion list:

- Unionized Maintenance Crews: game auto-equips your exos after each mission (or store purchase) and you're not allowed to change any of it.

;)

You forgot to add in "or sometimes just takes a coffee break".   :P
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 13, 2013, 04:23:57 PM
The implication isn't so much incompetence, as control :)

Though depending on how well I wrote the choice logic, it could become an incompetence joke pretty fast.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 13, 2013, 06:54:16 PM
Joking aside, even the most rudimentary automated equipping system would go miles towards removing the blemish on what is otherwise proving to be my favorite Arcen title since AI War. All of my BD games so far always stop when I vapor lock on the equipment screen and decide to just quit and go play something else. The ideal fix would make the exo optimization mini-game also fun, but a stopgap solution of 'just do it for me automatically' definitely wouldn't go amiss.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 13, 2013, 07:27:50 PM
Yea, I'm with you on the "stare at equipment screen, sigh, just stop for now" reaction.  And I wrote the thing.

Cross-posting from the steam forum:
Quote
Just wanted to give you folks an update on the customization screen stuff.


My approach is basically:

- Until we iron out any bugs or whatever in the new layout, the old layout will remain the default. To use/test the new one you'll need to set a toggle in the Extras tab of the Settings window.

- The new layout has a minimum resolution of 1280x768. From the hardware survey it looks like 98+% of steam users have at least 768 high, and something like 94+% have at least 1280 wide. So I don't think we're squeezing out very many folks with that. And the old layout is still there for those on smaller screens. And if the new layout really does work out then the small-screen layout can have some of the changes made to it too. In theory everything might even fit, but it would be REALLY cramped :)


Anyway, here's a screenshot of the new layout in-game looking at the highest-density case I had laying around.


I haven't done the drag-and-drop part yet, but the inclusion of the Inventory and getting all the stats showing at once is basically there.


Feedback would be much appreciated. Would this help?

That's not all that's being done, but it's a significant chunk, so wanted to hear what y'all thought.


Edit: whoops, it'd help if I didn't rely on the copy-and-paste to include the tagged link:

http://arcengames.com/dl/Bionic_RevisedCustomizationScreenFor1280x768.jpg
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Logorouge on October 13, 2013, 07:52:42 PM
That new layout fixed the two issues I had with the customization screen. No more running around to check inventory and stats. Very nice.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Penumbra on October 13, 2013, 08:38:52 PM
This looks great! Can't wait to try it.

Will the "what stat are you optimizing" button just auto-equip whatever is "best" on that exo?
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Taikei no Yuurei on October 13, 2013, 09:08:55 PM
One thing the new UI seems to be missing is the total +% to various stats.  It'd be really easy to add +100% next to Shield-Related: or something similar, because a 10% bonus when you have no bonuses is very different from a 10% bonus when you already have a 200% bonus, since they stack additively.  And when you can have a couple dozen sources or so for stats, it's really hard to add up yourself.

Personally, I just look at the new gear after each mission, add it if it is good, ignore it if not.  Occasionally I'll find myself using an old piece of gear, but it is generally for one of two reasons: 1. I'm having to mess with power requirements for my exos or 2. I just unequipped it from an exo and another is getting it as a hand-me-down.  Personally I don't find all the parts to be so overwhelming, but I'm only playing on hard right now, and I have a good head for numbers in the first place.

That aside, I'll echo other people's advice.  You'll generally want to just focus on a couple of stats for each exo.  My assault is loaded up with bonuses to regen, damage reduction, and % all damage.  I'm well ahead of the damage curve of everything except a few 'one shot kill' type bots like the blunderbot with reduction/regen, so I just let most things run out of ammo while I whittle them down with weak weapons.  But, I do the +% damage so that if I do come across something strong, I can potentially destroy it before it gets a shot off, generally with a bit of stealth kiting involved.  My siege gets all my leftover +% damage and focuses on AoE/ammo for the room clearing rockets.  Ninja is a trapmaster with sentries and a bit of damage and stealth to take stuff out with his cutting laser.  And finally my science bot is a virus master with a fair bit of stealth.  Just walk up to troublesome bots under stealth, virus them, and let them take care of the level for me.

Of course, that's just me and my team.  You could do a sniper and set him up as an alpha striker, focusing on damage damage damage and more damage to destroy stuff before it can fire on you, but that can backfire (as can anything I suppose), just remember to get enough ammo to get through the level.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Cyborg on October 13, 2013, 09:15:25 PM
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 13, 2013, 10:18:18 PM
Advice

While appreciated, it's not really tips on how to play that I need. I am capable of figuring out how to optimize my crew of exos, the problem is that I don't find it enjoyable. It's like I'm saying that I don't enjoy putting my face on the belt sander, and you're suggesting techniques for holding my chin properly. Unfortunately, it's no fun either way!
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 14, 2013, 01:16:49 AM
One thing the new UI seems to be missing is the total +% to various stats.
The old UI doesn't show that either :)  In both cases, it shows the actual final numbers for the stats, and thus the +% secondary stats (the ones that only exist to boost other stats) do not need to be shown.

That said, yea, it's possible they could be shown on the section headers.  Though there's no readily apparent place to show the +%-to-all-weapon-attack one.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 14, 2013, 01:19:27 AM
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
Yea, in AIW one may need to use 1024-wide just to be able to read the stuff.  I think in Bionic the text size is generally larger, no?  Does it get illegible at 1280-wide, or is that size an issue for other reasons?
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: nas1m on October 14, 2013, 04:20:26 AM
Yea, I'm with you on the "stare at equipment screen, sigh, just stop for now" reaction.  And I wrote the thing.

Cross-posting from the steam forum:
Quote
Just wanted to give you folks an update on the customization screen stuff.


My approach is basically:

- Until we iron out any bugs or whatever in the new layout, the old layout will remain the default. To use/test the new one you'll need to set a toggle in the Extras tab of the Settings window.

- The new layout has a minimum resolution of 1280x768. From the hardware survey it looks like 98+% of steam users have at least 768 high, and something like 94+% have at least 1280 wide. So I don't think we're squeezing out very many folks with that. And the old layout is still there for those on smaller screens. And if the new layout really does work out then the small-screen layout can have some of the changes made to it too. In theory everything might even fit, but it would be REALLY cramped :)


Anyway, here's a screenshot of the new layout in-game looking at the highest-density case I had laying around.


I haven't done the drag-and-drop part yet, but the inclusion of the Inventory and getting all the stats showing at once is basically there.


Feedback would be much appreciated. Would this help?

That's not all that's being done, but it's a significant chunk, so wanted to hear what y'all thought.


Edit: whoops, it'd help if I didn't rely on the copy-and-paste to include the tagged link:

http://arcengames.com/dl/Bionic_RevisedCustomizationScreenFor1280x768.jpg
Definitely looks much better to me :D. Gets rid of the infamous screen switching of death, for sure!

One thing I would strongly advocate to be added if at all possible in terms of vertical screen estate is to add a secondary filter (or possibly a tertiary one if enough room is available).

The fact that there are so few parts that only give a single or two benefits (which is really cool by itself as it creates interesting tradeoffs during customization), in my games, leads to the fact that the filter mechanism is by far not as helpful as it could be as I have to take at least two, sometimes three stats into account to decide whether a given new part is a veritable replacement for a currently equipped part.

So the main gripe with customization that I have (aside from the screen switching issue, which you seem to have adressed just fine) is the the fact that it is just *too hard* too sift through the big number of parts that quickly accumulate in your inventory to find parts that are actually eligible to provide an improvement for a specific slot of a given exo.  This also includes identifying parts which are unlikely to provide any improvement at all and may therefore be "safely" sold (something which is easy as heck in games like torchlight etc. but insanely hard in Bionic due top the huge number of stats affected by each item).

Secondary (and possibly tertiary) would be able to remedy this issue I think.
Thoughts?
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: sradas on October 14, 2013, 09:54:34 AM
My problem with the loot currently is that is all so....boring.  A lot like The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot aka "The Expensive Quest for Boring Loot"s problem.

Greens, blues, purples, oranges.  I get all kinds of endless loot on missions but its all the same.  Stat stat stat.  I would LOVE there to be "Cool" and "Unique" loot that does more than just change numbers.  Theres a few things like get mines or get turrets but thats about it.  Different ammo types for LMG / Minigun.  Fire modes for lasers, maybe a mod that gives it burst mode, -% chance to hit but lets it shoot twice, AP bullets, Smoke grenades for grenade launcher, just DIFFERENT things.

I beat the game on normal ironman surprisingly easy, I had to fight 2 enemies in the final battle because I trashed them so easily with assassinations and lions dens,and now its feeling like almost a chore to play through a second time on ironman hard because I feel like after one win, I've seen it all now that I have epics of the 2 exos I didn't take the first time.  Same weapons every time, same number of slots, same enemies, same loot since all of it just changes numbers.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: chemical_art on October 14, 2013, 12:19:19 PM
My problem with the loot currently is that is all so....boring.  A lot like The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot aka "The Expensive Quest for Boring Loot"s problem.

Greens, blues, purples, oranges.  I get all kinds of endless loot on missions but its all the same.  Stat stat stat.  I would LOVE there to be "Cool" and "Unique" loot that does more than just change numbers.  Theres a few things like get mines or get turrets but thats about it.  Different ammo types for LMG / Minigun.  Fire modes for lasers, maybe a mod that gives it burst mode, -% chance to hit but lets it shoot twice, AP bullets, Smoke grenades for grenade launcher, just DIFFERENT things.

I beat the game on normal ironman surprisingly easy, I had to fight 2 enemies in the final battle because I trashed them so easily with assassinations and lions dens,and now its feeling like almost a chore to play through a second time on ironman hard because I feel like after one win, I've seen it all now that I have epics of the 2 exos I didn't take the first time.  Same weapons every time, same number of slots, same enemies, same loot since all of it just changes numbers.

This was a part of what I think. I don't have that "gotta get one more chest" mentality that I find essential for games which feature loot prominently. "Unique" loot is precisely because it is hand-craft to cause an interest set of tactics. I understand why BD didn't pursue this, but cookie-cutter loot does make it feel boring quickly.


Part of what makes filtering loot more essential then other games is that in general less stats to juggle within a single exo. However, BD you have to manage the loot of 4 characters, not one, so time spent trying to mentally sort loot increases exponentially.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Necro_Man_Ser on October 14, 2013, 03:30:07 PM
My first post, so hay there :)

I can only agree that unique loot would spice up the game alot. Maybe some loot that even adds a special ability, like (cheesy but just an example) reveal the whole mission map or something, or your weapons are able to shoot through walls but have 1/4 range... something that is unachievable by usual loot or usual abilities of exos.

I agree that the new UI would make customization more of a nice thing again instead of criss-cross clicking between several windows. Still, I'd welcome something like a context menu that opens on left click on an item, where you can select an exo and a system (like shields/reactor) so you can compare that item with already installed ones. That would make customization REALLY comfortable. Also, you could let us switch on the customization screen between that new little inventory window you have added in the new UI and the shop for example.

Besides that, I seem to be the first one who likes that number-crunching part of your loot system. I've always been a numbers freak. Yeah, sometimes it gets annoying to weight AOE with damage, range etc., but in the end it's fun because you can taylor your weapons the way you want them to be. For example, I made a sniper of my assault exo by boosting the range + dam on his laser AND a siege exo by giving him incredible range and AOE for his plasma rifle. It's incredibly fun to see the effect of your customization in how you just tweaked an exo to something that very much suits your play style. Getting where you want to be is always tiring, especially if you're a perfectionist, but where would be all the fun without it ^^
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 14, 2013, 08:19:31 PM
I'm leery about any specialized unique loot, actually. While it can be fun, I think it would only exacerbate the existing problem, which is endless loot comparison. The game's already overloaded on weighing one thing against 30 other things and 5 potential slots it could fit in on 4 different exos. We don't need even one more factor to consider. And in general, unique items are tricky because their abilities don't fit into quantifiable numbers. I know what 10 more damage and 10 less shields means. But how does that stack up to an item that reveals the whole map, or de-aggros enemies, or lets you dig through a wall, or whatever other unique tricks you could think of? Getting one of those would lock you in to using that part forever, if you want to keep that special magic thing. Or trading it out for an actual numeric stat boost, against which it's almost impossible to compare.

I'd say if some sort of super special unique things were added, it would need to be another (ack!) slot that would hold that item and only that item. One slot, one item, and it doesn't have any stat effects, only special unique abilities. Then you're only ever comparing intangibles vs. intangibles instead of vs. actual damage/shield/whatever numbers.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Cyborg on October 14, 2013, 10:14:30 PM
I use 1024x768.

I would probably complain louder if this was AI war.
Yea, in AIW one may need to use 1024-wide just to be able to read the stuff.  I think in Bionic the text size is generally larger, no?  Does it get illegible at 1280-wide, or is that size an issue for other reasons?

Mouse dpi and readability of not just this application, but others running in the background. If I'm forced to change mode all the time, it gets annoying really quick with the delay and desktop rearranging that goes on in the background.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Taikei no Yuurei on October 14, 2013, 10:24:34 PM
Advice

While appreciated, it's not really tips on how to play that I need. I am capable of figuring out how to optimize my crew of exos, the problem is that I don't find it enjoyable. It's like I'm saying that I don't enjoy putting my face on the belt sander, and you're suggesting techniques for holding my chin properly. Unfortunately, it's no fun either way!
You're right.  I and many others got sidetracked in our advice.  The way I go through loot is fairly quick and easy I think, while not being overly inefficient for higher difficulty games.  After a mission I go strait to my inventory screen, then look at all the new items one at a time.  If any of them have a stat that looks like it'd be useful for a particular exo, I switch to them and compare it real quick (possibly changing it out) before going back to look at the rest of the loot.  The only time I look at any old loot is when I run into a power crisis.  The shop can be done in a similar way.  Don't worry about trying to memorize every piece of loot you have, though as you go through the game you're likely to have an idea of if a new item with stats that line up for one of your exos is actually likely to really compete for any other slots or not.

That combined with focusing on only a couple of stats for each of your exos makes gearing up between missions a breeze.  Most of my time is spent in missions.  Try it out if that isn't already how you do it, might make it more enjoyable.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 14, 2013, 10:57:58 PM
I think a bit of my trouble may have been allowing myself to get a backlog of items built up. It makes the comparison process even more mind-numbing. I don't want to look at all the items, so I just do another mission, which only adds to the pile. It's like the late library book problem. I kept it one day late, and now I'm embarrassed to take it back, so I kept it another day, and now I'm fretting even more about it, so I kept it another day...
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 15, 2013, 12:13:05 AM
I would very definitely be against the idea of unique loot.   The lack of it is exactly WHY the item system in this game works whatsoever.  Unique loot is one of the things I most hate about Diablo-style games.  Why?   Because it becomes THE ONLY LOOT WORTH USING.  Players go after that sort, and ONLY that sort, and discard anything else, further exasperating problems like "stores are totally useless" that tend to pervade that genre.  Getting the player to actually THINK about loot choices and have to make real decisions is something this game does well.  Wheras whenever I play a Diablo-style game, it reminds me kinda of Final Fantasy games:  You dont really think too much about it, you simply grab whatever is the next level of "good" parts, and equip all of them, once you find out just what the list of "good parts" for your level is (which is usually very easy).  And then you find out what the next level of "good" parts specifically is from there, and go farm the hell outta things (which is phenomenally boring) until you get them.  And so on and so on.


It ALSO means that the vast majority of loot that you get from ANYWHERE will be utterly worthless, because most of the time, it wont be the unique stuff you're after.  In THIS game, when I get a purple or blue item, I think "hey, that's good, I got a purple/blue from that! It might be useful!".  And then there's actual decision-making to be done, on wether I use the part or not, which Exo I use it on, where I slot it, and which part is replaced by it.  Wheras when unique items exist.... you get the concept of "specific builds" thrown in too.  Where you just follow a list of specific, exact things, to get the most power, none of it unique at all compared to what other players have done.  The "unique" loot actually removes the "unique" aspect of builds that the current game has.  Very little, if any, thinking is involved here.  This idea is seen in damn near every RPG that ever existed in the history of ever, and it's just as bloody boring in all of them. 

And having to make actual decisions, often difficult ones, is one of the things that Arcen's games have always done best.


I think a bit of my trouble may have been allowing myself to get a backlog of items built up. It makes the comparison process even more mind-numbing. I don't want to look at all the items, so I just do another mission, which only adds to the pile. It's like the late library book problem. I kept it one day late, and now I'm embarrassed to take it back, so I kept it another day, and now I'm fretting even more about it, so I kept it another day...


Yep, this.  I suspect that those who are getting the "it takes forever" feeling from it are often doing exactly this thing.  I always look at the loot/store and do my equipping after every mission, and it seriously doesnt take long at all, so it never reaches the point of feeling like it takes too long and making me not want to do it.  And you get faster at it as you learn the game more.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 15, 2013, 01:20:17 AM
Yep, this.  I suspect that those who are getting the "it takes forever" feeling from it are often doing exactly this thing.  I always look at the loot/store and do my equipping after every mission, and it seriously doesnt take long at all, so it never reaches the point of feeling like it takes too long and making me not want to do it.  And you get faster at it as you learn the game more.

Well, to be fair, I don't think I'm too far out of the norm on that feeling. If the fix for a problem in the game is telling players to play a different way, then either the devs or the players are looking at it wrong. Now I'm open to the idea that I'm the point of failure here, but I kind of doubt it. I'm usually the type that is all about loot comparison. I'll whip out the spreadsheets and sit and autoattack the training dummy and then tweak things slightly and go at it again. I get plenty of enjoyment out of mindless kill > loot > kill bigger things > loot better things > repeat gameplay. I've got hundreds of hours across Torchlight 1/2, Titan Quest, Path of Exile, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, and plenty of other Diablo-likes. (Although not the original Diablos for various pointless reasons) And also plenty of other rogue-like loot driven games, or just RPGs with some loot and optimization component, or MMOs, or whatever. I say all that not to convince people the I am a gigantic nerd, because some things go without saying, but just to point out that loot overload is usually a pool into whose deep end I willingly dive.

That said, I don't think there's a single point of failure here that is bothering me. I think it's just too many little things taken all together. We've got just piles and piles of loot, we've got interchangeable loot (in that many pieces can go in different slots), we've got an overabundance of slots (3 or 4 per 'limb', across up to 9 'limbs'), we've got 4 different 'characters' to outfit all of which use the same gear, and we've got non-specific loot (while each piece will roughly have one main stat, sub-stats can be pretty much anything as far as I can tell).

The standard fixes for these things are already there in the long history of loot games. If you're going to have multiple characters to oufit, they all have different gear. The rogue wears leather and uses daggers, the mage wears cloth and has a staff, etc. etc. Obviously the fantasy tropes don't apply, but I'm just talking about the game mechanics. Somewhat arbitrary limits at least mean that when you ransack the dungeon you now only have to compare items specific to each class when you upgrade them. Likewise, the problem of too much interchangeable loot is narrowed down in standard games by things that naturally fit one slot. Gloves go on the hands, boots go on the feet. BD's equivalent is gloves that can go on hands, feet, ankles, elbows, and hang off your nose. And might possibly have different effects depending on where you put it! Again, the limitations help to make choices more clear.

The non-specific loot can be sharpened so that you always tend to get the same stats on the same things, avoiding the problem of upgrading your weapon but tanking your shields, so you have to change the shield but now you've killed your propulsion stats, so you upgrade that but now your hacking has dropped, etc. etc. Too many stats creeping in to too many areas makes for constant fiddling to get things right.

As far as just plain too many slots, that could be rectified by, (surprise) just having fewer slots. For balance purposes, the average 3 slots per thing could be reduced to 1, and items could just have 3x as much stat allocation as they do right now.

Now I'm not advocating for all of this together, that would be overkill. And the solution doesn't have to come from the standard loot-driven game checklist. Arcen is smart people. If the standard solutions don't look good, come up with some new ones! But I think it at least deserves a hard look. I usually get a kick out of being able to quickly sift the good from the bad loot and then comparing the good stuff together and picking an overall winner. That gives me that little nebulous feeling that we call 'fun' in my frazzled brain. BD is not flicking that switch, though, in the loot department. It feels more like filing my taxes. Endlessly poring over boring details while knowing that if I get something wrong an enraged robot will come blow me up. At least I think that's how the IRS works.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 15, 2013, 02:52:01 AM
If they were to make a change like that, my best suggestion would be to make a whole seperate mode out of it.   Wouldnt be a bad idea..... so long as it's not a part of the current mode.  I just cant do Diablo-style loot-fest games myself; if there's a better cure for insomnia, I've never found it.  Much too mindless.  I'll fire one up every now and then, but I usually end up doing about one level, or half of one level, before I lose interest and stop.

Even with the idea of different classes and different slots, or fewer or more slots, the way those games do it is still.... completely brainless.  Still just "get best build, equip best build".  Which of course leads to unending farming.  I dont think I've even once seen a game of that type that does not end up being this way.   Even MMOs tend to do this, and they usually have about a bazillion slots on a character, and loot is always VERY specific about which type it goes in.  But having a bazillion slots (or 20 classes, for that matter, or fewer slots, as some MMOs dont use that many) doesnt make the equipping any more complex or interesting;  there's usually zero choices to make. Simply take the new piece of equipment, compare it to the one in the needed slot, and if it's stronger, equp, if not, dont.  Honestly, if I play one of those, I always wonder why it cant just be levelling up, with simple skill tree selects instead of bothering with loot and equipment at all.

Not to mention.... I dont think BD was ever meant to fill the spot of a Diablo-esque game in the first place.  There's already about a squillion games on PC of that sort, since that subgenre has always been very popular.

But yeah, an extra mode with such changes for those that want it is not a bad move.  More modes for added gameplay diversity and appeal is never a bad thing and might serve to increase sales.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: ScrObot on October 15, 2013, 03:06:39 AM
Re: Unique Parts

I think some unique parts, particularly with quirky properties, would be great if they were few and far between. They don't have to be incredibly overpowered, but I could imagine some witty parts that had relevant AoE patterns (e.g. X pattern 4 squares in each direction, wavy S line, an every other space dotted line, a 3x3 checkerboard pattern), or other non-standard side effects (like the BlasterBot's(?) exhaust flame).

With the limited timespan of a game, there's not that much opportunity to "farm" as you would endlessly in a Diablo-like, so trying to get "THE build" every game isn't really applicable. They'd be a fun little treat you'd see once or twice a game, if at all. This is sounding like an expansion type addition to me.

Plus if there's only a handful of them, there could be an achievement for finding or equipping all of them (over the entire lifetime of your character, not in one game). Everyone loves achievements. ;)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Taikei no Yuurei on October 15, 2013, 08:28:59 AM
I have a feel the new additions they're making in how you can sort and compare gear will help some in how long it takes to look through your gear between missions.  It might also be nice to have a new->old sort option, so that you can potentially not go through your gear between every last mission, then go back and still be able to quickly figure out what gear is actually new and what isn't.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: sradas on October 15, 2013, 09:38:39 AM
To make unique loot interesting, I'd say take a look at ToME and how DarkGod does it.  Really great.  Are unique items better than non-unique? Eh, its debatable.  Unique items usually confer very SPECIFIC bonuses, and thats about it.  Whoa I found an AmmoBox of Doom and it gives +200% ammo and.....its only for pistols? WTF?  Situational.  My pistols usually only get used for those batteries that fit into any slot.

Also there are "rare" and "randarts" in ToME that balance out the mix nicely as well, they again come with nice bonuses, usually pretty interesting, but a lot of the time its not what I am looking for in my current situation.  Plenty of times will I junk a unique or randart or rare in ToME because it dosent fit by build and / or playstyle.

  Uniques dont have to be "+5000% damage!" and become the obvious choice, they can be "Your Assault Bots grenade launcher now shoots Smoke Grenades!  Who dosent love Smoke?  It blocks Line of Sight to save your butt.  Well, if you're the type of person who likes to do damage you probably don't like it. Smoke isnt exactly known for its prowess in inflicting damage": Grenades now make smoke, -80% damage.

See?  How "obvious" is that?  Its purely a panic button.  Cant shoot what you cant see, and you arent doing damage.  But if you are in trouble it will make a quick escape, OR maybe there's that pretty nasty DoomBot pack on one side of the room you don't want to deal with yet, so you smoke them and clear the rest of the room first.  Tactical choices galore!

"Spider Bots! You've manufactured some pretty specific servos, gryros, gears, and other pieces of techosorcery and, well, your turrets have legs now!  Unfortunately in order to make this even slightly effective you had to strip a lot of weight to get it to not collapse on itself, and shielding and firepower to power the legs movment.": Turrets can move.  Turrets have -50% shields, -35% ammo, -40% damage.

Again not very obvious as "better".  My turrets can move, oh joy, too bad I've gimped their offensive output.  But maybe they're good for scouting / taking a few shots, or just being a minor source of additional damage instead of the towers of death they currently are.

Alternate power source: "Stealth drains at twice the rate, but will add one round to a random Energy weapons current ammo"

Remarkably, Stealth isnt just for using Virus and opening doors.  Now it can replenish your precious ammo stores.  Suddenly Stealth becomes a lot more interesting because now you have more choices.  Do I burn it for power, or do I keep it for survivability?

Or even less specific: "+50% weapon damage, -40% weapon ammo due to increased ammo size"

"Unique" dosent have to mean "omgwtfzorz I kill everything in 1shot uber, lawl nubz aint got no 1337 lootz gon die"
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 15, 2013, 09:46:06 AM
If they were to make a change like that, my best suggestion would be to make a whole seperate mode out of it.

I don't know if I'm really bad at conveying a point or what, but that's totally the wrong takeaway from it. My point is that BD is already a game with a huge loot-and-upgrade component. It's not different from that genre, it is that genre. I'm suggesting ways to fix the fact that it's such a poor example of that genre. How could you think otherwise when you have 4 exos with 25-30 loot equip slots a piece? Arcen hasn't invented an entirely new genre here; this is well trodden territory.

If you wanted to take the loot out completely, though, that would be another fix. Again, not one I'd advocate. But as long as the loot and optimization is a part of the game, it is begging for improvements.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Necro_Man_Ser on October 15, 2013, 11:10:24 AM
@ Unique loot: I said my suggestions were cheesy, didn't I. I would expect the unique pieces to come at a price, like a drawback or huge power usage so you would have to let go of other high mark equipment. I still think it would be a good idea, since unique abilities, balanced well by drawbacks you have to accept when using them, could enhance the game through more possibilities to traverse the world in missions and more options when fighting enemies.

But I admit it's not high on my wishlist, and before any dev is going to consider it, there will be major fixes in other areas anyways.

EDIT: Just read what sradas wrote, that's exactly what I meant. I have no desire for epic loot which becomes the only worthwhile stuff to farm for, I'm thankful that Bionic dues is not that kind of game. I'm talking about specific bonuses which may only be useful for certain playstyles or in certain situations.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: nas1m on October 15, 2013, 11:41:29 AM
To make unique loot interesting, I'd say take a look at ToME and how DarkGod does it.  Really great.  Are unique items better than non-unique? Eh, its debatable.  Unique items usually confer very SPECIFIC bonuses, and thats about it.  Whoa I found an AmmoBox of Doom and it gives +200% ammo and.....its only for pistols? WTF?  Situational.  My pistols usually only get used for those batteries that fit into any slot.

Also there are "rare" and "randarts" in ToME that balance out the mix nicely as well, they again come with nice bonuses, usually pretty interesting, but a lot of the time its not what I am looking for in my current situation.  Plenty of times will I junk a unique or randart or rare in ToME because it dosent fit by build and / or playstyle.

  Uniques dont have to be "+5000% damage!" and become the obvious choice, they can be "Your Assault Bots grenade launcher now shoots Smoke Grenades!  Who dosent love Smoke?  It blocks Line of Sight to save your butt.  Well, if you're the type of person who likes to do damage you probably don't like it. Smoke isnt exactly known for its prowess in inflicting damage": Grenades now make smoke, -80% damage.

See?  How "obvious" is that?  Its purely a panic button.  Cant shoot what you cant see, and you arent doing damage.  But if you are in trouble it will make a quick escape, OR maybe there's that pretty nasty DoomBot pack on one side of the room you don't want to deal with yet, so you smoke them and clear the rest of the room first.  Tactical choices galore!

"Spider Bots! You've manufactured some pretty specific servos, gryros, gears, and other pieces of techosorcery and, well, your turrets have legs now!  Unfortunately in order to make this even slightly effective you had to strip a lot of weight to get it to not collapse on itself, and shielding and firepower to power the legs movment.": Turrets can move.  Turrets have -50% shields, -35% ammo, -40% damage.

Again not very obvious as "better".  My turrets can move, oh joy, too bad I've gimped their offensive output.  But maybe they're good for scouting / taking a few shots, or just being a minor source of additional damage instead of the towers of death they currently are.

Alternate power source: "Stealth drains at twice the rate, but will add one round to a random Energy weapons current ammo"

Remarkably, Stealth isnt just for using Virus and opening doors.  Now it can replenish your precious ammo stores.  Suddenly Stealth becomes a lot more interesting because now you have more choices.  Do I burn it for power, or do I keep it for survivability?

Or even less specific: "+50% weapon damage, -40% weapon ammo due to increased ammo size"

"Unique" dosent have to mean "omgwtfzorz I kill everything in 1shot uber, lawl nubz aint got no 1337 lootz gon die"
If adding unique loot ever becomes an option for Arcen I would like to see it implemented *exactly* like this. Cool stuff :D!
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 16, 2013, 07:42:36 AM
If they were to make a change like that, my best suggestion would be to make a whole seperate mode out of it.

I don't know if I'm really bad at conveying a point or what, but that's totally the wrong takeaway from it. My point is that BD is already a game with a huge loot-and-upgrade component. It's not different from that genre, it is that genre. I'm suggesting ways to fix the fact that it's such a poor example of that genre. How could you think otherwise when you have 4 exos with 25-30 loot equip slots a piece? Arcen hasn't invented an entirely new genre here; this is well trodden territory.

If you wanted to take the loot out completely, though, that would be another fix. Again, not one I'd advocate. But as long as the loot and optimization is a part of the game, it is begging for improvements.

Ehhh.  That one will be up to the individual to decide for themselves, wether it's a good part of the genre or not.

In my case.... I can get into this game BECAUSE of it's differences. If it had a loot/equip system more along the lines of the usual, I dont think I'd be touching it whatsoever.  Thus the mode suggestion.  Granted, that's a rather vague suggestion, but I'm lazy and randomly came up with it on the spot, so there you go.

As for being bad at conveying a point..... neh.  Much of it is likely just due to the fact that I can be kinda airheaded at times, haha.





To make unique loot interesting, I'd say take a look at ToME and how DarkGod does it.  Really great.  Are unique items better than non-unique? Eh, its debatable.  Unique items usually confer very SPECIFIC bonuses, and thats about it.  Whoa I found an AmmoBox of Doom and it gives +200% ammo and.....its only for pistols? WTF?  Situational.  My pistols usually only get used for those batteries that fit into any slot.

Also there are "rare" and "randarts" in ToME that balance out the mix nicely as well, they again come with nice bonuses, usually pretty interesting, but a lot of the time its not what I am looking for in my current situation.  Plenty of times will I junk a unique or randart or rare in ToME because it dosent fit by build and / or playstyle.

  Uniques dont have to be "+5000% damage!" and become the obvious choice, they can be "Your Assault Bots grenade launcher now shoots Smoke Grenades!  Who dosent love Smoke?  It blocks Line of Sight to save your butt.  Well, if you're the type of person who likes to do damage you probably don't like it. Smoke isnt exactly known for its prowess in inflicting damage": Grenades now make smoke, -80% damage.

See?  How "obvious" is that?  Its purely a panic button.  Cant shoot what you cant see, and you arent doing damage.  But if you are in trouble it will make a quick escape, OR maybe there's that pretty nasty DoomBot pack on one side of the room you don't want to deal with yet, so you smoke them and clear the rest of the room first.  Tactical choices galore!

"Spider Bots! You've manufactured some pretty specific servos, gryros, gears, and other pieces of techosorcery and, well, your turrets have legs now!  Unfortunately in order to make this even slightly effective you had to strip a lot of weight to get it to not collapse on itself, and shielding and firepower to power the legs movment.": Turrets can move.  Turrets have -50% shields, -35% ammo, -40% damage.

Again not very obvious as "better".  My turrets can move, oh joy, too bad I've gimped their offensive output.  But maybe they're good for scouting / taking a few shots, or just being a minor source of additional damage instead of the towers of death they currently are.

Alternate power source: "Stealth drains at twice the rate, but will add one round to a random Energy weapons current ammo"

Remarkably, Stealth isnt just for using Virus and opening doors.  Now it can replenish your precious ammo stores.  Suddenly Stealth becomes a lot more interesting because now you have more choices.  Do I burn it for power, or do I keep it for survivability?

Or even less specific: "+50% weapon damage, -40% weapon ammo due to increased ammo size"

"Unique" dosent have to mean "omgwtfzorz I kill everything in 1shot uber, lawl nubz aint got no 1337 lootz gon die"

That sounds like a more interesting way of doing it, definitely.

Though, definitely also something that'd have to wait for an expansion, since that'd be a pretty big addition.   

But it's a good set of suggestions.

Seems I need to try out this "Tome" as well, considering the sort of game it is, now that I look at it.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Oralordos on October 16, 2013, 10:03:18 AM
Tome is awesome since it has a global chat in-game. So you can easily get help or advise if you are stuck. The community is fairly friendly too.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: tigersfan on October 16, 2013, 10:51:35 AM
If you consider yourself a fan of the roguelike genre, you really need to try TOME. It's a fantastic iteration of the genre.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Necro_Man_Ser on October 17, 2013, 08:39:41 AM
If you consider yourself a fan of the roguelike genre, you really need to try TOME. It's a fantastic iteration of the genre.

Thx for the tip, I tried it and now my backlog grows even larger. It's all the wrong way: in my youth I had much time but too few games. Now, I have tons of games and even more I need to buy, but not enough time. Somebody go tell this to evolution's superior, whoever that might be.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: sradas on October 17, 2013, 09:22:19 AM
If you consider yourself a fan of the roguelike genre, you really need to try TOME. It's a fantastic iteration of the genre.

Thx for the tip, I tried it and now my backlog grows even larger. It's all the wrong way: in my youth I had much time but too few games. Now, I have tons of games and even more I need to buy, but not enough time. Somebody go tell this to evolution's superior, whoever that might be.

Irony, maybe?  ;)
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Misery on October 17, 2013, 09:37:53 AM
If you consider yourself a fan of the roguelike genre, you really need to try TOME. It's a fantastic iteration of the genre.

Thx for the tip, I tried it and now my backlog grows even larger. It's all the wrong way: in my youth I had much time but too few games. Now, I have tons of games and even more I need to buy, but not enough time. Somebody go tell this to evolution's superior, whoever that might be.

I found that extra time..... really doesnt help the situation, haha.   I have nothing BUT free time, and more damn games than I can count.  .....yet no way do I have enough time to play through many of them in the period of a month or so.  There's just THAT freaking many of them.  And then I sit there and stare at them for 30 minutes agonizing over which one to choose on a given night.  The backlog.... it clears so slowly...

Doesnt help that I'm a total impulse buyer.  Also, Steam sales.  GAH.  They may as well just have a specialized vaccum that sucks up your money and then sprays candy at you. 
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: keith.lamothe on October 17, 2013, 09:39:32 AM
They may as well just have a specialized vaccum that sucks up your money and then sprays candy at you.
That's basically it, yea.  With the spraying device being the Heavy's minigun.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Necro_Man_Ser on October 17, 2013, 10:21:44 AM
Lol :D That's exactly it. We're in a lucky position today, if one is able to accept certain trade-offs like less graphics and emotions (there are too many emotions anyways), the indie scene just keeps growing and evolving, supplying several games a month for unreasonable prices where many of them, especially rogue likes and strategic titles, can last you forever. It's actually a good thing which still needs to be managed by the gamer, because luck can turn to bad luck if you let the tide of interesting games overwhelm you. One at a time, I'd like to say, but that would be lying... I'm playing like 10 games at once in the course of weeks and months, the oldest ones often fading into darkness.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: Admiral on October 17, 2013, 12:21:02 PM
I think the best way to go about it is to have some general idea of what you want to pump up for each exo and just concentrate on those stats only and don't worry so much about what "secondary stats" you are getting.

As I read through Mick's focus for each mech I was surprised at how closely my use of each Exo was to his plan!

I guess it is clear to any gamer to play to each one's strength... And here I was thinking how clever I was.

Cheers!
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: PokerChen on October 17, 2013, 03:12:35 PM
They may as well just have a specialized vaccum that sucks up your money and then sprays candy at you.
That's basically it, yea.  With the spraying device being the Heavy's minigun.

Well, if only you had the time to actually unwrap the candy and eat it.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: orzelek on October 17, 2013, 04:19:25 PM
For me it works in a bit different way.
While at school and then university I had the time but didn't have the cash. And I think there were less games then.
Now that I'm working cash can be found but time is more limited.
Title: Re: So. Many. Parts.
Post by: BobTheJanitor on October 17, 2013, 08:27:18 PM
Throughout your entire existence, you will have some combination of two of the following: money, time, energy. But never all three at once. Welcome to life!