Author Topic: Current difficulty balance?  (Read 2365 times)

Offline Pepisolo

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Current difficulty balance?
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:50:19 AM »
Hey guys

So, I thought I'd start a thread requesting feedback about the current difficulty of the game. Overall, I think there is a much nicer progression in this latest build. When you get to Terminus, you now actually have a fight on your hands. However, it also seems like early game might be a bit too difficult, and the game is perhaps generally a bit too much of a slog, with too many tanky enemies. Any thoughts? We might look to pushing a more refined build sooner rather than later, depending on the feedback. Cheers!

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 11:47:25 AM »
From my point of view, the current Normal is somewhere between a normal and hard difficulty. For a veteran of the game I think it's relaxing yet still interesting to play (Windless would probably like it), but it's definitely not recommended for a new player. At the moment, I would recommend any new player (regardless of experience with the genre) to start on Easy, which is not what was intended as far as I know.

As for tanky enemies, it's only a select few that stick out and could use a slight reduction in HP (around 1/3 less would probably do the trick in most cases). Once that's adjusted and some of the overcrowded rooms are fixed, I'm not even sure the damage perks current unreliability will be much of an issue. If worse comes to worst, adding some occasional static levels including a minor damage perk would prevent the player from being ever completely screwed by RNG. (+10% damage, +2HP, +25 energy?)

That's my take on things currently.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 11:53:55 AM »
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From my point of view, the current Normal is somewhere between a normal and hard difficulty. For a veteran of the game I think it's relaxing yet still interesting to play (Windless would probably like it), but it's definitely not recommended for a new player. At the moment, I would recommend any new player (regardless of experience with the genre) to start on Easy, which is not what was intended as far as I know.

This doesn't sound too bad, then. If we tone the difficulty a little that should suffice.

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As for tanky enemies, it's only a select few that stick out and could use a slight reduction in HP (around 1/3 less would probably do the trick in most cases).

Do you have a list of enemies that you think are a bit too tanky? Thanks!

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If worse comes to worst, adding some occasional static levels including a minor damage perk would prevent the player from being ever completely screwed by RNG. (+10% damage, +2HP, +25 energy?)

I see, you mean a level with only 3 choices. That's possible, although toning enemy HP down a bit should also hopefully do the job.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 11:57:01 AM »
Things are definitely more difficult than they were.  Normal was already giving me occasional trouble (but I was usually making it to the Warden, if not Terminus).  But I've been getting my face bashed in on levels 1 and 2 a lot more now.  A good run will get me to level 4.

It's probably due to the slight tankiness and loss of huge damage perks (down to almost none).  And probably the fact that I like Indigo Dipole which uses a defensive energy weapon, rather than purely offensive.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 12:30:52 PM »
Do you have a list of enemies that you think are a bit too tanky? Thanks!
I do. Flak Launcher, Rusted Lumiflare, Larvas (mostly because of their size and speed), Core thingies (Terminus helpers with varying Core names).

My main issue with the Core helpers is that they come in pairs, twice during the Terminus fight, but they each have as much HP as a major boss phase, extending an already long fight with a sequence that amounts to "Ugh, just die already." I think it drags down an otherwise epic boss encounter.

Offline Frumple

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 01:25:46 PM »
Well, I had mentioned here about maybe doing a low/no damage boost redshift run just to see if the experience replicated. So I, uh. Did. 1.506. I'll spoil it 'cause it's fairly lengthy, but hopefully the writeup/pseudo-text-LP thing helps someone or another. General thought was it went a bit smoother, but even with some better items some stuff just took freakishly long to kill. Overall time was less, and the warden killed me, but still approaching the same ballpark. Regret not swapping missiles out earlier, because there were sod all for block shards and I ended up with the torp cannon, bleh. Also, trap master is bugged, apparently (I've actually got a save for this, though I don't know where to put it for it to be useful). And good gods does magnetic offense screw the sky-hammer sniper rifle. Just, sideways, upside down, on the ceiling. The power up pretty much ruins the weapon.

... also it's a bit inconsistent between floors in formatting/order of observations, et al. I had a headache by the time the run ended, heh.

Spoiler for Hidden:
Redshift no damage perk run, floor 1: Time, 7:58 AM

Shops, weapon, robot, cheap, keycards: 1 (2) (Indicates in shop) Floor's total credits: 22. Shops might as well not be there, pick up a shard and keycard from cheap shop.

Immediate thought: Let us know somewhere what our max missile count is.

Minibosses: Loco (three shots of precision railgun), time negligible. Drops triple missile launcher -- good damage, bad utility. Functionally worthless without another means of getting shards. Paragon (All four shots of railgun plus maybe a half dozen LR minigun shots brings down to somewhere between a third and half), takes somewhere in the 30-60 second range to kill after railgun shots are expended, fire uptime probably around 90, 93%. Drops shard. No damage from either.

Levels: 2: Savings Interest, Wishing for More, Shard Splitter. I take wishing; hard I would probably take splitter.

Blue Guard Flea benchmark: 1 precision shot. Eat a shot checking the name, heh. Only time hit this floor.

Other notes: Replaced minigun with sky-hammer after paragon.

Boss: Sunder. Full railgun (4 shots) takes off about a fifth of the health bar. Check time at 8:12, health bar right in line with the right side of the d. 8:13, fight finished. No damage, missed maybe... 3 shots, otherwise was firing hammer on CD. Gave 20/20 vision. This run, at least, I'll take crit chance, if not overcritical or base damage.

Total time for full clear with maybe 30-45 seconds on typing, 7:58-8:13, 15 minutes.

====

Floor 2, start time 8:17, start credits 8

shops: health (shield transfer... I take it), defense, cheap, main item (more munitions, door wasn't locked) . Keycards [1] [Indicates inside trap net thing], I don't try for it. Sac shop found (don't think there was one on floor 1), keycard, overcrit (;_;), blood avenger. I got the health but they're either unnecessary, against the run's conduct, or just not useful enough to take, particular with -1 shields, ehehe.

Level 3, Brute, Small Energy Tank, Small Missile Pack. I take the tank.

Challenge thing, no damage.

Items seen: Beaming probe (take), mini black hole (I actually remember to go back for it after miniboss fight). // End of run note: I never end up using it, and replace it two or three floors later, never to see it again

Blue Flea benchmark: Still 1 shot.

Level 4, Rally, Resupply, Map Master. There's, uh. I take the third.

Miniboss: Bastille. I use the probe, my weapon setup is kinda' bad for this 'un. Take a couple hits here... one time too close when it let out the exploding bullet thing, other time just forgetting to toggle off sprint and moving a bit too far. Would be dead if I hadn't found a health upgrade, though even a single shard upgrade would have managed it. Fight ends at 8:30, didn't check when it started. Bast had just entered 3rd cycle; as seems oddly common, ended up killing it with a missile against the inner layer as it was forming in the 3rd cycle. It drops... 2 missiles.

Sprint over caltrops going to the boss, heh. 9 health going in after bast fight brought me to seven and health pickups back to 10.

Boss: Wallmaster, start 8:34-ish. Full railgun (90 energy, so 6 shots) and one hammer hit brings health down to right at the right of the B. Fight ends 8:36, maybe 30 seconds after railgun empties. Wallmaster is probably the easiest normal redshift boss, tbh. Drops Every Shot Counts. Crying inside, I leave it. Give it two minutes on typing this time, call it 17 minutes for full clear.

Level 5 off XP orb in boss room. Bloodlust, Missile Salvager, Critter. I take Critter.

Total credits at end: 19. Floor dropped... 11. I don't bother opening the defense shop. Buy dilithium power cell and shard from cheap. Tiny Damage boost tempts me terribly. I now have 2 credits going into floor 3.

End-level summary says it took 5:51.

=====

Floor 3, start time 8:44, start credits 2.

Shops: Consumable, cheap (keycard, 4 rocket pack, tiny damage boost (;_;)), health (hardened field emitter. After some thought, I take, after hunter fight. Energy now back down to 95, 6 HK shots, health back to 11), main item (Locked, +5 missile capacity, I take). Keycards 1 (1). Sac shop has magnetic offense. I take it. Max health now 6. Actually kinda' bad for this weapon setup -- it seems to screw with the sky-hammer somewhat, makes its damage somewhat inconsistent even if you land the shot directly on something -- but eh. Choice room there, has hunter killer. I... take it, after some deliberation. Damage is notably better than railgun.

Miniboss: Green Hunter. Full HK shots plus 1 or 2 hammer hits takes it down to just to the left of the M. I use a couple missiles just to speed things up. Drops homing multi mini missile launcher. Major damage upgrade, major utility downgrade. See statement on triple.

First +max health from shard collection.

General floor note: Let me reiterate: Magnetic offense when I have this main gun was a bad idea. Shots regularly pass through smaller enemies doing no damage, or spaz out on top of them, again doing no damage. Enemies in general, really. I just watched three direct hits in a row on a sparkler dance a jig on top of the enemy and do nothing of worth.

Level 6, Second Chance, Time Apprentice, Trap Master. I take trap master -- it's without doubt one of the absolute strongest perks in the game, imo. //End of run note, well, it would be if it worked consistently <insert string of vulgarities>

Boss: Invader. Start time 9:06. HK shots empty around 1/6th health missing. Maybe... 3 actually landed on the boss. Magnetic offense is royally screwed up levels of bad in this fight with this weapon. End up taking a few hits this fight, some due to inattention, more due to things just not ruddy dying when I shoot them because that powerup screws the sky-hammer to hell. It takes two shots of damage to kill the smaller centipede enemy. At one point my bullet overlaps with one about seven times before it actually dies. Second/third phase (when the reflecting bullets come out) takes a while real time -- there's definite slow down from too much crap being in the room. The crap wouldn't be there if I didn't have MO, heh. Or if it just worked consistently; when it actually registers hit the pierce+home will kill like four or five centipede things in one shot. When. Fight finally gorram ends at 9:22.

End credits: 70. Total credits on floor, 68. I buy a keycard, don't bother to open the consumable shop.

Some fiddling around (shopping, picking up heals -- I end up with 10/11), I leave the floor at 9:25. Game says total time was 13:31. Say five-ish total minutes typing. Floor took ~36 minutes, a bit shy of half that just on the boss.

====

Floor 4, start time 9:27, start credits 63, 1 keycard.

Slide out of room before checking the challenge... again. Did that last floor, too. Sprint+moment of inattention = whoops.

Shops: Cheap (two keycards, heal.* I take 'em all. 122->105), weapon (has torpedo cannon, rest irrelevant. Give me money, game.), robot, main item (hardening module. Eh. Had TK repulsor from floor... 2, I think. If it did anything I couldn't tell.). Keycards 2 {2} (2) {Indicates behind missile-break barrier}. Only sac shop (Compact molecules, large and in charge. Down to 4/12 health when I get there, so I take the 7 cost molecules. Health now 4/5. I am magnificently tiny.).

Blue Flea benchmark: No railgun anymore. 1 hk kills, as does 1 crit hammer shot.

Level 7: Medium Energy, Enhance Warheads, Medium Missile Pack. I take the energy, lamenting my decision to not take the warheads. 9 HK shots now.

Condemned: Maze bomb, central space variant. Dead easy with redshift, ha. Drops anger protocol. It installs in my brain as I leave it on the floor :V

Shot passes through a green flea about ten times before it gets hit a second time and dies. Another, I put eight shots into one of the smallest pieces of that floating debris stuff from the block whatsits before one actually registers. ... a second one in the room has 22 shots phase through it before it gets destroyed.

Tiny transport nets me my second shard HP boost. I haven't been missing shards.

... I take a hit from caltrops. What.

Miniboss: Arcoris x2. Full HK shots bring the bar to the :. Both still alive, though. Drops hornet nest. I... I take it. Bloody magnetic offense. Bloody sky-hammer.

Level 8: Power Orbital, Energy Orbital, Fight or Flight. This. This level is complete trash. I take fight or flight. // End run note, I'm pretty sure that actually ended up getting me hit once or twice, from the speed boost throwing me off and ending up with me in another shot when the I frames wore off, ha. Energy orbital would have been a better choice.

2nd miniboss: Toxic Reaper. Full HK shots take maybe a 5th of its health. Fight starts ~10:05. Ends 10:11. Felt like double that, boss is entirely too monotonous for how much health it has. I take one hit stepping on the slime, bleh. It drops the turbo blaster! I don't want it, but I take it anyway.

Enough money for torp, after cheap shop. 105-15. I go back and get those keycards hiding behind explodable barriers.

Boss: Lady Staccato. Start 10:16. Full torp barrage (7 shots) and however much main gun fire was involved leaves health at something between 3/4ths and 4/5ths full. Take one hit from being a bit too stationary and getting caught in a net. Fight ends 10:24. Eight minutes. Drops recovery module. I shrug and replace the hardening.

Floor ends 10:25. Summary total time says 21:29. Say five minutes for typing. Total time: ... about 57 minutes. End credits, 22. Total floor credits... 66, if I'm mathing right.

*Just to make sure, since that gets me full health, I check on trap master again. I don't know what's happened, but it's not working anymore.

======

Floor 5, start time 10:30. Start credits, 22. 5 keycards. 10 spent on xp

Disarmament challenge! I have no missiles at the moment, and a torpedo cannon. Hrm.

Shops: Cheap (2 health, worthless spire knowledge), defense, consumable (orbiting station, lighter alloys circuit, wormhole journey), main item (main gun railgun. I cry a little inside some more and leave it.). Sacrifice room. Keycards: 3 [1] I actually get the [] one, mostly by spamming torps at the turrets.

1st condemned: Hunter. Fortunately without hard mode's increased bullet speed, I just run circles around the room until they explode. Looks like it dropped the corrosive module, but unfortunately I have no shields, 5 health, and trap master is acting wonky. I don't actually check to make sure. Or pick up the item, heh.

Level 9: Missile Salvager, Bloodlust, Energize. Got negative shields, got no interest in missiles, so I take bloodlust because it's all that's left.

Discover torp cannon can't one shot least krill spitters. Only half-kills the gold ones. Bleh. Same room gives 3rd shard health up.

Blue Guard Whiteblue can take three torps to the face, and still need some helping along with the main gun to die.

2nd condemned: Mission. Thank you, rng. Drops Supercharged. Fire rate up is fine.

I find out a room or two later Blue Guard Whiteblues are harder to kill than inferno cannons. They die in just three torps, no excess. Imperial tab in same room, awesome.

Oh bloody hell. Intent on testing if the imperial tab works in sac shops (Yes, awesome), I forget what I was doing and pick up glassbreaker. Damage boost is now at 20% ;_;

Miniboss: Arcoris x3. Five torps(missed a shot) and some incidental main gun bring it to right on the i in arcoris. None of them dead. Take a hit from not paying attention to how far I was sliding, otherwise uneventful. Drops repulsive hornet mines (yeah, no).

Level 10: Large Missile Pack (No.), Brutal Deluxe (;_;), Large Energy Tank. Process of elimination. I now have 11 torp shots.

Remnant Mark I: 6 torps, one of them a crit.
Rusted Lumiflare: With about a 6th or 7th of bar missing to main gun: 9 torps. Didn't count crits. Had a bit of health left over. Probably would have taken 10 and a bit without the main gun fire. I swear these bloody things are my most hated enemy by a couple orders of magnitude. Please stop existing, rusted lumiflare's freakish tankiness. Or at least put less crap on my screen ;_; Also trap master didn't work on this room. The long twisty spike with lasers, caltrop surrounded loot box, and small-ish enemies on both sides. Without the teleporter. There were three rusted lumiflares in this room. I didn't have 30 torps.

Note to self: Don't use trap master until someone fixes it.

Level 11: Major Shield, Time Master, Heavyweight. First, no immediate help. Third, glassbreaker. Hrm.

Find guide to the galaxy in a locked loot chest. How magnificently useless.

Warden ti-- freaking non-functioning trap master. Maybe just have that perk explode every caltrop and applicable trap on the map when you enter the floor or somethin'? Back I go to get full health.

Alright. Warden time. 20% damage boost, turbo blaster, torpedo cannons, no robots, one tac nuke, full (15) missiles. Start, 11:29. Hrm. Let's count, corner thingy with just main gun. Pretty much non-stop, 23 seconds. Rets dead, using torp cannon one shot down. All shots gone, maybe 1/5th HP gone. Wavey laser phase seems to be causing a little slowdown. Not really bad, though. Bleh. End up dying at 11:37, not quite half way through, maybe a minute of that typing, probably less. Didn't move quite far enough to the south. Apparently actually forgot to pick up the recovery module, heh. Would have lived through that hit if I hadn't been stubborn about the no-missile challenge until after something clipped me. Only times I stopped hitting the blighter or the rets were when I was moving between rets and couldn't hit one, or the shield popped up and I had to reposition a bit. Actually remembered to drop the nuke on the warden, too! Oh well.

Floor apparently took about an hour all its own. I'm not sure how. Call it maybe six, seven minutes for typing, would leave a near dead on 60 minutes from start of floor 'till death. Forgot to check credit total. Eh.

Total time according to game... 69:<somethingorother>. It's now 20 minutes 'till noon. I started at eight. Not doing this again, heh. Now for the vulgarity/spelling passover.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 03:09:17 PM »
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Well, I had mentioned here about maybe doing a low/no damage boost redshift run just to see if the experience replicated. So I, uh. Did. 1.506. I'll spoil it 'cause it's fairly lengthy, but hopefully the writeup/pseudo-text-LP thing helps someone or another. General thought was it went a bit smoother, but even with some better items some stuff just took freakishly long to kill. Overall time was less, and the warden killed me, but still approaching the same ballpark. Regret not swapping missiles out earlier, because there were sod all for block shards and I ended up with the torp cannon, bleh. Also, trap master is bugged, apparently (I've actually got a save for this, though I don't know where to put it for it to be useful). And good gods does magnetic offense screw the sky-hammer sniper rifle. Just, sideways, upside down, on the ceiling. The power up pretty much ruins the weapon.

... also it's a bit inconsistent between floors in formatting/order of observations, et al. I had a headache by the time the run ended, heh.

Wow, thanks for going into that much detail about your run. That is extremely helpful, thanks! :)

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Immediate thought: Let us know somewhere what our max missile count is.

For some reason I thought that the max missile count was visible -- I guess not! :) Perhaps some text on the bar similar to that of the energy weapon might work. 8/8 for example.

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Drops triple missile launcher -- good damage, bad utility.

Yeah, I was thinking that having some launchers that were more damage focused would be a good thing. I do enjoy picking these style launchers up and then stacking missile damage boosts and capacity.

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Beaming probe (take), mini black hole (I actually remember to go back for it after miniboss fight). // End of run note: I never end up using it, and replace it two or three floors later, never to see it again

Those two aren't the greatest consumables, the probe especially.

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Magnetic offense when I have this main gun was a bad idea. Shots regularly pass through smaller enemies doing no damage, or spaz out on top of them, again doing no damage. Enemies in general, really. I just watched three direct hits in a row on a sparkler dance a jig on top of the enemy and do nothing of worth.

Yeah, I'll have to take a look at that interaction, thanks!

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Had TK repulsor from floor... 2, I think. If it did anything I couldn't tell.

Yeah, that module needs a bit more work, I think.

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Level 8: Power Orbital, Energy Orbital, Fight or Flight. This. This level is complete trash. I take fight or flight. // End run note, I'm pretty sure that actually ended up getting me hit once or twice, from the speed boost throwing me off and ending up with me in another shot when the I frames wore off, ha. Energy orbital would have been a better choice.

The orbitals should be fine as they give you pretty big bonuses. x10% damage multiplier per orbital for the Power Orbitals, for example. Fight or Flight could probably do with some work, in most other games that would be fantastic, but in a bullet-hell the movement speed is actually probably very bad. I thought that the movement speed combined with invincibility would perhaps work, but it probably doesn't. I may have to remove the movement speed on that perk.

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Just to make sure, since that gets me full health, I check on trap master again. I don't know what's happened, but it's not working anymore.

Yeah, I'm not sure what's up with that. I'll have to investigate.

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Total time according to game... 69:<somethingorother>. It's now 20 minutes 'till noon. I started at eight. Not doing this again, heh. Now for the vulgarity/spelling passover.
69 minutes according to the game? Sounds like the run took a lot longer than that. I think at the moment, generally runs still take way too long. You're probably looking at 4 to 5 hours for a full clear 7 floor run unless you get pretty lucky with damage drops. I think we should be looking for full clear runs through to Terminus to take on average more like 3 hours. That's something we need to work towards, I think. Ptarth should find all your pickups, credit drops and shopping habits data very interesting. Great feedback, thanks!

Offline Frumple

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 05:36:08 PM »
Wow, thanks for going into that much detail about your run. That is extremely helpful, thanks! :)
Happy to do it, heh. Mostly. If I'm going to do something like that to myself I might as well make it useful, ha.

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Yeah, I was thinking that having some launchers that were more damage focused would be a good thing. I do enjoy picking these style launchers up and then stacking missile damage boosts and capacity.
Oh yeah, they're pretty great... when you're not redshift, or have another means of cracking open shard blocks. I've had a few other runs, either with other mechs or just one of the cheat ones, where I had enough give (either didn't really need more health, or had in the wrist or the torp cannon, stuff like that) to stack up warhead damage and whatnot... then found the large homing missile thingjigger. Or the five-shot one. Those were fun. Lots of things lived for not very long at all, ehehe.

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Those two aren't the greatest consumables, the probe especially.
Oddly enough, I've actually been finding that specific probe to be one of the more useful consumables in the game, heh. It helps to a pretty significant degree with the Bastille fight, which is both more annoying than dangerous and apparently pretty likely to show up. I usually get at least one in every run, and I've seen three different ones in a single run at one point, iirc. The beaming probe's ability to fire through the bullet walls without issue speeds the fight along pretty well, which is quite nice.

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The orbitals should be fine as they give you pretty big bonuses. x10% damage multiplier per orbital for the Power Orbitals, for example. Fight or Flight could probably do with some work, in most other games that would be fantastic, but in a bullet-hell the movement speed is actually probably very bad. I thought that the movement speed combined with invincibility would perhaps work, but it probably doesn't. I may have to remove the movement speed on that perk.
Yeh, if I hadn't been doing a no damage attempt, I probably would have taken the damage one. This particular case, though, I had pretty good energy, an aversion to damage, and the third was all that was left. That said, I pretty seriously devalue most of the perks that only trigger when you get hit, especially when I'm playing redshift. When you're in a state you can't take many (or any) hits, something that only activates when you get hit isn't the most helpful thing in the world :V

Though with FoF, another thought other than just removing the movement boost is to have the boost not last as long as the invincibility. That way you're not coming back into vulnerability at the same time your movement rate is shifting around.

Offline carldong

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2017, 07:18:55 PM »
I typically play on the Very Easy/Easy difficulties. I too find Rusted Lumiflare and Larvis very tanky. The former just has lots of HP, and the latter is also hard to hit. Also I feel that Floor 6 is a sudden jump in difficulty. The enemies are suddenly very hard to kill, and gets much more bullets in the air, even Very Easy. Feeling like, on a VEasy run, I can get incredibly OP up to clearing 5F with all the dmg bonus possible, then suddenly nerfed to ground(maybe not that serious) by facing way more powerful enemies.

I am not sure how other feels, but it took me a long time after the unlock of 7 floors to see Terminus, a long time before beating him, and another long time to see him again and beat him. I beat Terminus for the first time in 1.502, but the second time in 1.506. On Easy/Normal I'd usually die on Floor 6, but on VEasy I usually lost patience at that time or so and restart on a harder difficulty(and die). Sometimes I wish I can revert to a 5-floor run because then I can at least clear the game a few more times.

Offline Misery

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 10:20:33 PM »
Hmm, the jump in HP in floor 6 is probably my fault.  One issue is that there was ZERO feedback for floors 6 or 7 for the longest bloody time... and until THIS update, player power-creep was so utterly broken that the last two floors were totally irrelevant.

This is actually a pretty easy fix since the floor 6/7 foes are specifically set and dont really mingle with lower floors.

I'll have a look at it ASAP.


However.... actual DIFFICULTY of enemy patterns and attacks is a whole other story.  Floor 6 is an intended spike in terms of enemy threat.  Overpopulation of some rooms though may be inflating this beyond where it's supposed to be.  Too many heavy-congestion foes in one room is ALWAYS going to exaggerate problems, after all.  Though I'm still going to have a look at the different patterns and nerf any that might be a bit much.   Good ol' trusty nerf bat...

Offline Frumple

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2017, 10:54:21 PM »
Will say, re: that TK repulse module, I've played with another mech using it, just now, and what it does is a lot more obvious.

Well, what it's intended to do. What it also does is kill the hell out of you. It's actually pretty nasty to have that module in a room with something like the shred guardians or that buzzsaw thing and get hit, because the bloody thing will very very happily ricochet those giant projectiles around the room at hyper speed and slam them right back into your face.

It took me a couple times to figure out exactly why those shred projectiles were suddenly accelerating and making bloody weird curves. General issue with the module and any projectile that's particularly long lasting and/or bounces, really.

Suggestions for it, if it's possible. Add some kind of graphic effect when it triggers, white-ish circle emanating from your mech or somethin'.* And make any projectiles it effects not hurt you. Either that or force 'em to dissipate when it they hit a wall or whatev'. Right now that module is a bit of a death trap.

Though re: pattern difficulty, tbh I don't really notice much of a spike in that in the six+ floors. Stuff sticks around longer so they fill more of the room, and I'm still pants at bullet hell so if I'm not playing redshift I often can't navigate the things even if I can see what I'm supposed to do, but the patterns themselves are... not that bad? At least to me, and again, I'm terrible at this sort of thing.

... that said, hard's patterns aren't really that troublesome from a comprehension standpoint to me, either. Doing anything about them when the bullet speed has something like doubled is a different issue, but knowing what's killing me and how it would be dodged if I wasn't aging rather ungracefully hasn't been a source of frustration or anything.

Still, as specific points of maybe concern, stuff that accelerates really freaking quickly is maybe something to be looked at. Immediate ones that come to mind are the rear fire turret things (after they hit the wall is okay-ish, but that first shot is just *internal screaming*) and whatever that front firing red death bullet the remnant mark 1s fire, that crosses half the screen in between frames or some nonsense like that. Ideal for making that less of a concern would probably be much, much more obvious tells. There's sound for some of 'em, but some (more) visual feedback would be wonderful. If it's possible in the engine, some kind of no-damage tracer fire type effect would be amazing for some of the nastier attacks. It'd require less incredibly split second reacting from players if there was a line of gtfo preceding the speeding death bullet, heh.

*E: Actually, I just now noticed it seems to actually have that, it's just inconsistently triggering or something and fairly tiny regardless. It could stand to be bigger. The plasma punisher, ferex, is incredibly obvious when it triggers. It doesn't have to be that showy but a bit larger and more attention getting would be nice.

E2: Sweet mother of zeus the reaction when a bulldog rams you when you have the TK repulse module. That is an interaction that needs to be looked at and stopped, because suddenly finding your mech being hurled across the room at speeds exceeding a charging bulldog is something that seriously should not be happening.

E3:... actually actually, has there been much discussion on how all the defensive modules seem to want to kill you? This run is making it more and more obvious I should never pick up a substantially active/reactive defense module again. I get the TK repulse, it bounces things off walls (including me) and tries to kill me. I replace it with the cyrofreeze module, and by the time I'm a room away from the warden it's tried to kill me in like five different rooms, by exploding mines in my face or unleashing debris hell upon a room filled with those oversized blocks. A previous run I actually use the plasma punisher, and while it's much less overtly ~I want you to die~, it still fills like half the screen with incandescent white noise and got me hit more than once because I couldn't see incoming bullets anymore in the mess. It actually reached the point this run, on the floor 5 sac room I've decided spending 9 health to replace the freeze module with a deadeye is worth it, just so my own kit stops trying to do me in. Not so sure how much that's intended, but it doesn't make the items in question particularly appealing. Tradeoffs are one thing, this seems like it might be something else, heh.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 12:04:13 AM by Frumple »

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 01:50:34 AM »
I'm gonna add some detailed analyzation on the game when I'm done testing the new patch. At the moment I cannot say much about it.

What I can say is, that I LOVE it. Holy shit, this thing is so awesome, I don't care if the balancing is off right now, everything is so much better.
Some minor examples: Cryo module finally got a much needed buff, actually time dilation/stunning in general. The effect is now visual appearent on enemies, making it better to spot stunned enemies and notice when the effect wears off. Extremly helpful in crowd control tactics.
I notice some weapon changes, Boomerang needler seems to be buffed or at least it works now different. For me it looks like a buff. The thing was strong before already but a little akward to use, the new spinnign animation and soudn make it easier to spot and aim the return damage better.
You still missed the opportunity to make a visual idnication when a weapon is fully charged (like shotgun). I don't liek guessing, that's why I skip these weapons and I can guess that other would do the same.
It appears the game IS harder now, it could be because I didn't play a long time but I die at floor 1 or 2.

Some enemies attack from angles and ranges they didn't do before. bomber isa good example, it's hard to figth an enemy that you cannot see or reach with your range but they can.

New perks are hell of a fun to use and experiment with. The variation these provide is INSANE. You can do now even MORE different builds with different specializations. How crazy is this?!


Anyway, more details on this later.

Offline Misery

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2017, 02:44:57 AM »
Quote
Still, as specific points of maybe concern, stuff that accelerates really freaking quickly is maybe something to be looked at. Immediate ones that come to mind are the rear fire turret things (after they hit the wall is okay-ish, but that first shot is just *internal screaming*) and whatever that front firing red death bullet the remnant mark 1s fire, that crosses half the screen in between frames or some nonsense like that. Ideal for making that less of a concern would probably be much, much more obvious tells. There's sound for some of 'em, but some (more) visual feedback would be wonderful. If it's possible in the engine, some kind of no-damage tracer fire type effect would be amazing for some of the nastier attacks. It'd require less incredibly split second reacting from players if there was a line of gtfo preceding the speeding death bullet, heh.

So basically, those enemies are working as intended :D

They're not supposed to have big obvious tells; you guage the amount of time in-between shots, and zoom past when it's safe to do so.  They dont react to your presence in line of sight; they just repeatedly fire at your position.   Rooms that use these enemies (sniper class, named so for a reason) are always structured with available cover.

Quote
What I can say is, that I LOVE it.

Quote
but I die at floor 1 or 2.

So basically it's okay for me to add in more murder like that, yes?


Offline NickAragua

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2017, 02:51:54 AM »
Caveat: I play on normal, and I haven't read the patch notes.

The good:

 It's now a lot less obvious which perks to pick when leveling up. So, good job on making that choice meaningful. Before, I would always go for +shields > +damage > other stuff, but now... well, I still go for that, but since the good stuff is much more rare, I pick the other stuff more often.

 More enemy types is always welcome.

I really like that perk that makes your standard gun destroy bricks and such. Makes it so I can actually use my missile launcher for something other than breaking bricks.

The not so good:

Starward Rogue was one of my go-to games for zoning out. Now I can't zone out on normal (because of the difficulty spike), which is kind of disappointing. Difficulty meaning, among other things, lack of damage powerups, relatively high enemy health and the new lopsided damage/healing ratio. So I always have to be on edge and any minor mistake with the magnitude of a pixel is rewarded with a "bzzt" and two health down. Maybe I'll crank the difficulty down next time.

Offline Frumple

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Re: Current difficulty balance?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2017, 10:07:14 AM »

So basically, those enemies are working as intended :D

They're not supposed to have big obvious tells; you guage the amount of time in-between shots, and zoom past when it's safe to do so.  They dont react to your presence in line of sight; they just repeatedly fire at your position.   Rooms that use these enemies (sniper class, named so for a reason) are always structured with available cover.
... y'know, I've killed probably a couple dozen of the remnants at this point, and I don't think I would have known they were a sniper if you hadn't just told me. I've been hit by it more than once (though I've only become aware of it in hindsight), but I've only actually seen that red bullet in close range, where it slams into my face and that's about that, and that like... once. Thought they were just something like the larger spiders so far as behavior goes, and didn't even realize they had the attack until the last few runs. Was under the impression until now it was some kind of defensive response or a "screw you" shot of some sort. If it's intended to be identified as a sniper I'm not sure it's working as intended :P

Half the potential issue there may actually be the rearfire whatsits. They do have pretty obvious tells (glowing, that noise, the very visual impact, which is about what's good, I just wish I had a bit more of a window to actually take advantage of cover when they're lobbing shots at me from outside my field of view or a better indicator of which direction the shot's coming from before it splatters itself across my windshield), and they show up much earlier and a lot more often. In other words, they're what's training the player on how snipers work. If the remnants have anything like that, I haven't noticed at all. Maybe at least make the bullet brighter or somethin'? Having it be like those... arsenal? Spinning triangle shield things, might be neat, too. Shot orbits a bit (just a bit, maybe even just one orbit, no more than two or three), accelerating up to speed, then fires out. Could let it randomize the angle of the shot a bit, little less predictability on that front would be worth the indicator it's actually happening.

Don't mind having to time movement between shots, it'd just be really nice if it was easier to tell I need to be doing it, ehehe.