Author Topic: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues  (Read 1994 times)

Offline Elcs

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Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« on: October 13, 2013, 07:10:15 AM »
***SPOILER WARNING*** There should be no spoilers here but I have mentioned opinions, tactics and advice which may be construed as spoilerish or may be discussed upon by other forum posters later on in this thread, hence the spoiler warning to be careful :)



I first started Bionic Dues on Normal. Had a bit of a random fiddle around, got myself used to some of the good things to do, the dumb things to do and the mechanics of the game but once I started to play properly and get into it, I had to start again on Hard mode for some fun, and that's what I completed it on (Meg, Assault/Ninja/Science/Sniper, Hard difficulty, completed around day 31 iirc).  Now that that's over with I have had a few little testers in the water with the next difficulty mode up, some bits of different exos and other Heroes. Currently I am going for an Ironman Hard Mode playthrough with Emma and the Siege/Ninja/Brawler/Sniper combination, which is proving to be a challenge in itself.

Thought I would pop in with some thoughts and feelings about Bionic Dues and how it's all worked out for me.

Synopsis: Worth every penny I paid, love the soundtrack and would like an expansion/more content with some tweaks/balancing made.

Graphically BD was never going to bowl anyone over but it looks suitably good and the art direction matches in with the sound, the humour and the setting. It feels right.
Sounds are not something which I've ever been able to comment much on. There's nothing which stands out as awesome or awful, except the music and especially the title screen music. Take a bow, Pablo Vega.
Gameplay... addictive. I spend half my time in the customisation screen trying to piece together battleworthy exos to combat some of those ultra nasty enemies that spring up around the place. The city map is a fun tactical addition which adds some randomness and takes away a feeling of linearity. Variety of bots keeps combat interesting and often thoroughly frustrating in a good way (Damn those Mission 2 Blunderbots/Gaffebots making an appearance and ruining my day).
Humour... "Why was I programmmmed to feel paaaiinn?!" ... I won't spoil any further but if Bionic Dues fails to make you grin, groan or laugh your socks off then I don't quite see how not. Your life and the lives of 11 million people might be counting on you to stop these rampaging robots but remember this carefully, even robots have feelings too!

Exos: Plenty of variety here to keep you swapping, changing and fiddling around with what exos you use, what weapons you choose to employ and how you choose to modify their skillsets as well as how you will combat the various scenarious the RNG throws at you.

Assault: A nice, well rounded fighter. Decent shields, decent array of weapons capable of knocking out multiple bots at once. Not a fan of the Volatiler on the Epic because of the way +%AoE works on it but if that can be avoided, it has an array of useful weapons throughout the game. I tend to use this for the Grenade Launcher early on for firing around corners or softening up multiple enemies.

Siege: Soft, easy to kill but handiest when you need something to deal out a big punch at range. A real pig when it comes to ammo I find but the Rocket Launcher is great early on and later on, sticking a lot of +%AoE and any bonuses to +%Attack Power can really make the Epic version's Plasma Cannon shine in it's ability to deal a large amount of damage over a very wide area. Bit of a niche bot for me.

Science: My Hacker, my minelayer, my turret dropper, my sensor-head and whistler. Drop mines/turrets in tactical areas, use large sensor range to whistle and lure lots of enemies into the waiting ordnance or switch to a combat-orientated exo to mop them up. I love this for loot earning and the luring into killzones abilities primarily. Even with the Epic it's not much of a combat exo though the Laser Rifle and Chaingun when boosted make up ideal mopper uppers of the little, weaker bots when you're conserving the ammo on bigger guns for your more potent enemies

Ninja: A quirky bot for me. I'll use it primarily for turrets and assassination-style kills with it's proclavity to have a lot of stealth moves and attack out of stealth without being revealed ability. This makes it also quite nice for using the Virus skill to convert a bot to your side without taking a spot of damage. As a Hacker, it's competent if you have not taken the Science bot and it takes no damage from AoE so I believe it will always survive those "explode" type consoles. Weapon-wise, everything is close range so it's quite a specialised thing which I'm only mildly proficient at.

Brawler: Packing short/medium range weapons, this is a bot which is often outranged unless +range parts are used. That said, the Dissolver is a weapon which I use from Mission One.I tend to attach +range to the Shotgun early on to make use of it's high'ish damage and the Dissolver throughout the game for it's "around the corner" removal/softening up on those bots which have long range or like to blow you up in 1-hit.

Sniper: With the Gamma-Ray laser which allows it to fire twice per turn at long range for high damage if the ammo count starts that round with an even number makes this a very nice early-on weapon for nailing those tough enemies from afar in a ruthless and efficient manner and with some minor +range modifications to the Laser Rifle, it tends to be my most killy exo very early on, simply because it packs good range with good damage and keeps me alive. Later on the Gamma-Ray laser can be a bit weaker but still useful and both the Plasma Rifle and Railgun will see their fair share of uses along the way.

I enjoy the map mechanic with the variety of different choices you can make, depending on how missions go and what bots you walk into. I would love to see even more variety (can't exactly think of what else to shoehorn in) and perhaps the map changing dynamically as the bots react to your threat or something along those lines. There could also be a way that allows the bots to attack your up to a certain number of times prior to the full blown invasion to reflect the fact that they know you're trying something and want to stall you/hurt you to some degree. This, coupled with the current end-game could influence some sort of base building mechanic or base improvement mechanic. No details from me yet but it's a sort of idea that could fit in somewhere, just how or why elude me for now.

The variety of bots you encounter is great. Many of them are very easy 1v1 but walk into a horde or a mixture of the two wrong bots at the wrong time (or even as simple as targeting the wrong bot first) can lead you into a world of trouble. Whilst the game reflects that the bots in this game are definitely not the smartest pieces of AI wandering the universe, it does make a point of you having to play smart to be successful, especially if you wish to maximise loot and minimise losses. Doombots spawning with the Boss Clawbots are possibly my most hated enemy pairing, after the really early showing of Blunderbots which often nuke their own friends when I'm not all that bothered and nuke me at the most inopportune times. The turn-based aspect of the game becomes a tactical platform for the player whom can rush through trash bots then slow down, predict AI moves and plot their own course of action in their own time to circumvent a difficult pairing of foes or drain a fierce bot with low ammo of it's ability to deal damage against one of your exos with high shields and solid regen (great way for getting around lone Teslabots which seem to have 3-4 ammo at extreme range then do nothing but wait to die :)

Hacking is a simple affair which is usually ideal for loot. The buffings of your own bots seem rare in comparison to the buffs provided by these consoles to the enemy. I feel like more could be done with this area of the game. Same with Virus. Yes, it has it's own uses and can turn the tide of a battle with a single action but it's only used to take over bots. Why not have another option to stun/disable a bot for x% of the takeover cost or some other uses for Virus points (turn Consoles into proximity mines or something?)

Mines... I'd like to like them and bots are always walking over them but I just cannot love them when we have Turrets, which I'll post about in another, existing thread. Mines just do not appear have a role in the game that isn't done much better by something else, even if you boost your Trap stats through the roof to make them more effective.

Arcen Games, you and your Dev team should be proud of what they have created here and I sincerely hope that Bionic Dues does well enough to warrant extra content (free or paid, for a reasonable price) being created to further evolve this game. I am a on old stalwart veteran of Roguelikes (Or just ADOM which I have played for ~18 years including the current Crowd Funding phase), and new Roguelite/Roguelike games like FTL, Dungeons of Dredmor and several Android alternatives and I find Bionic Dues ranks quite highly.

If anyone has survived this wall of text, please find a random white item to stick in your own computers (your brain, memory section) :)

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 07:52:34 AM »
Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.  :D

Offline Misery

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Re: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 11:06:21 AM »
Turrets are definitely getting nerfed.  The reason they are the way they are right now is that for quite awhile during the alpha, they were utterly useless. 130 damage isnt much when it's the higher end of damage for each turret, near the endgame!  Particularly when you're getting bots with 10000+ shields....

So they got buffed, AND the traps stat got changed, and so it created uber-turrets.   I'm just avoiding using them much until they get changed.

As for mines.... you'd be surprised at what these can do.   There ARE situations, generally on the highest difficulties only, where turrets actually either will not help you, or will get you killed faster.  Depends on the situation and the enemies;  in particular, turrets can have major trouble with super-long-range foes, particularly when there's just no good locations to drop them in.  They end up getting blown up, and not helping at all.

Mines though.... the enemy cant do ANYTHING about these. And you get alot of them, usually.   They can do tremendous damage, though of course unlike turrets they're one hit only, but... it's usually a very strong hit.  They're often one of the best ways to deal with bots that have super high shield levels, or are abnormally dangerous.  Lots of tricks you can use with those, they're worth experimenting with.  Just make sure you dont step on them yourself with an Exo that has low trap-skill.

Offline Winge

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Re: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 04:27:52 PM »
Yeah, turrets do need a bit of a nerf.  I believe last Misery and I were going back in forth, we mentioned Range as the biggest offender of turret OP stats.  Trap skill potency may need to go down a bit for both turrets and mines; having mines deal thousands of damage is a bit too strong.  Still 'testing' that out, though  ;)

As for Exos...well, they pretty much are what you make them.  I wouldn't call the Gamma-Ray Laser weak by any stretch of the imagination; then again, I have almost 5000 damage on mine.  Enough to vaporize anything I really need to except for enemies with boss-level HP (the Railgun eats those).  By contrast, my Assault Bot's main uses are soaking damage and overloading on enemies.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 06:38:53 PM »
On the bright side you can't one shot entire missions with the plasma cannon anymore? I ruined that for everyone. :D

Offline ScrObot

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Re: Some thoughts on Bionic Dues
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 10:14:24 PM »
I enjoy the map mechanic with the variety of different choices you can make, depending on how missions go and what bots you walk into. I would love to see even more variety (can't exactly think of what else to shoehorn in) and perhaps the map changing dynamically as the bots react to your threat or something along those lines. There could also be a way that allows the bots to attack your up to a certain number of times prior to the full blown invasion to reflect the fact that they know you're trying something and want to stall you/hurt you to some degree. This, coupled with the current end-game could influence some sort of base building mechanic or base improvement mechanic. No details from me yet but it's a sort of idea that could fit in somewhere, just how or why elude me for now.

I was thinking that every now and then a timer would pop up on an uncleared mission (say, 3 days) that was either unlocked or one mission away from being unlocked, and if that mission isn't completed in that time period, the bots "take it over" and you could no longer complete it, perhaps blocking that path as well. That mission would have an elevated number of bots or another buff to them. It could be done on existing mission types, ones that have a clear benefit to you (weapon, reactor, science, etc type missions), or perhaps it would boost the mission rewards somehow too to make it worth the additional risk.

I think that would add an occasional bit of optional stress to the otherwise stress-free city map. :)