Author Topic: Some balance concerns  (Read 2001 times)

Offline Monkooky

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Some balance concerns
« on: August 23, 2016, 03:47:12 AM »
Obviously some things are better than others. This is not a problem.
Some things are perhaps a bit too much better than others, and make the game easy.
This is a problem.

Basically I'm gonna whine in this thread whenever I run into something I think is too far to either end of the balance spectrum.
(Note: I play on Hard or Misery, depending on how much I hate myself atm)

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO
Grenade Launcher + Make it Rain = your target can't shoot.
With high enough attack speed, the grenade launcher can kill enemy shots as they are fired. This trivializes bosses and also everything else. I'm pretty sure this is stronger than intended.

Deep Blue+Leaky Battery+ High output energy weapon=poweroverwhelming
This is not super severe- it takes some doing, and isn't too broken with most weapons.
Having said that, I got the battery and the blood avenger one Hard run.
The game became easy, albeit gratifying.

Every Shot Counts=DOUBLE ENERGY EFFICIENCY????
Pretty sure this is how it works. Sure, the lower fire rate can hurt- but DOUBLE EFFICIENCY?

Shield Drone=I don't think this is worth buying?
The shield drone just... doesn't seem reliable enough to be worth 80 credits.
I mean, it's not detrimental, and maybe I'm just not good enough at maneuvering it where it needs to be, but 90% of the time it's not going to give you an escape route when you've run out of places to dodge to.

Most Sacrifice Items=Bad on high difficulty
Maybe this is intended. Likely this is acceptable. Quite possibly I'm wrong and this is a product of playstyle.
But most of the items that you need to sacrifice your precious health for are simply not worth it on Hard, let alone Misery. I whined earlier about the skeleton key- and thinking about it, it's no worse than the majority of sacrifice items. If it doesn't let you dodge bullets better or VASTLY reduce your time to kill of enemies, it's not worth the tradeoff.


I'm sure I will find more things to whine about soon

Offline Misery

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2016, 05:34:00 AM »
Hmm... some interesting feedback here.

For something like the shield drone, that actually got toned way down quite awhile ago.

The problem originally was that having more than one of those previously made you basically invincible.  If you've played Binding of Isaac, it's very similar to what happens if you have more than one Pretty Fly.  Only contact enemies are able to damage you in that case because basically every single bullet will be deflected.  That was happening in this game.   So the things were toned down.

Not to mention, defensive items in this game aren't meant to be a constant wall for you.  That drone that clears bullets with that flare effect, for instance.  It only fires off every now and then.  However, I still think it's a good item.   In a game like this, the difference between victory and defeat can often be just one or two bullets hitting you.

This will be the case much more whenever I happen to get Misery Mode done (which I can now get back to since the Humble thing is done).  What you've got in there right now is just a placeholder, and even the upgraded bosses aren't REALLY finished (I'm likely to make them worse, except for Centrifuge since the game will explode if that thing puts out any more bullets in misery mode than it already does).  That mode, when done, is going to be more than a little brutal, making Hard mode look pretty simple.  ANY extra defensive things like the shield drone are likely to be very welcome by the player, just due to how much death the game is spraying at you.  In addition, there's going to be a few new ideas stuck in there to make things a bit more interesting.   I wont give it away (and it's not ready yet in any case) but suffice it to say, power alone wont be enough anymore.  For instance, in Normal and Hard there are ways to take down bosses really, really fast, depending on what items you have. When Misery mode is done, no item combination in the game will allow you to do this anymore, not on that difficulty.  Various enemies are likely to have some unique tricks up their sleeves too.  Just focusing on flattening everything ultra-fast works in Normal and Hard (to some degree anyway), but I intend on seeing to it that it doesn't work in Misery.  That being the way it will be, the player is going to have to look for advantages elsewhere.  Granted, that wont be easy either.  But the point is, a much more "balanced" build is likely to be necessary to have a chance at that mode.

Some of this is also going to be dependant on the player's skill level and playstyle.

As it is, I'm curious:  What kind of playstyle are you generally using here?  Are you winning the game every time or most of the time?  Which mechs are you using most?



Let's see... what else....

Grenade launcher:  Yyyyep.  That one's a problem.  Spotted that myself on a recent run.  That can be dealt with later, not a huge deal at the moment.

Deep Blue + item combo:  One way or another, in this entire genre, this is going to happen from time to time.  Big item combos that make you a bit OP.  The question isn't wether or not it's happening, but how OFTEN it's happening.   If you're seeing this sort of thing occur frequently, THAT is a problem.  This isn't Isaac, after all....

Every Shot Counts: No bloody clue.  Maybe one of the others might have something to say about this one.

Sacrifice items on Hard+:   I'm still going with "don't need big changes here".  I never play on Normal or below myself, because there wouldn't even be any effort involved.  Hard mode is easy enough as it is, frankly.   Playing on Hard, I typically *always* take two (or sometimes three) sacrifice items during any given run.  I have yet to have a run where I don't grab a couple because "Well the game isn't giving me any good options here".  And I'm hardly going to buy something that I don't find to be worth the price in some way, wether it be from a sacrifice room or from a normal shop.

Of course, those with different playstyles might not find this a good tactic.

If anyone else is looking at this, perhaps you guys might have thoughts on this based on your own experiences with the game?  If there ARE sacrifice items that just aren't all that good, it'd be nice to spot them and change them.   

Monkooky, can you think of any particular specifics that just seem really bad to you?   Aside from that '10000 energy per second until hit" one.  If that's still there it needs to be removed.


Offline steelwing

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2016, 07:16:12 AM »
Skeleton key:  Only seen it pop up in two of the past 8 runs I've played since the Humble update.  The first time it appeared, though, was on floor 1, which might be a problem.  Skeleton key should probably not be an option to seed until floor 3 or so.
Sacrifice items in general:  I'm with Misery on this one.  I tend to play on Normal (the one time I tried Hard I got crushed on floor 1), and if I'm not low on health when I get to the sacrifice shop, I almost always find something worth buying.  My play style leans heavily towards boosting my health points almost every chance I get, though, so I've usually got some to spare.

Offline ptarth

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 11:08:19 AM »
EveryShotCounts does increase energy weapon damage by 100% (which does increase efficiency by 100% too). Is it that big of a deal? Maybe? I mean, is it that different than items that doubles your energy capacity, rewards you with energy every time you make a kill, or just give ongoing energy regeneration?

Grenade + high fire rate: That's hilarious.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Monkooky

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2016, 03:47:35 PM »
As it is, I'm curious:  What kind of playstyle are you generally using here?  Are you winning the game every time or most of the time?  Which mechs are you using most?
I don't win most of the time by any means. About half of my wins though seem to be getting some lucky combination of items.
I tend to play Deep Blue, Indigo Dipole, or Redshift.
Indigo Dipole is my most consistant mech (still a <15% winrate), and I tend to be very defensive with it. Sit behind mines and pewpew, when those are out start dodging shit and use missiles to save my bacon.
Deep Blue I do well with if I can swap out the Spine Ballista (still a <15% winrate.) This one I tend to go for killing shit fast- Ideally I get A Phasing Grace and/or Lorentz Shift and wreck everything in those first 10 seconds.
Redshift is my best mech if you discount the runs where I get cocky and die (all of them.) I play Redshift in stop motion. Take a step and shoot, take a step and shoot, take a step into an enemy bullet and die because I'm bad.


can you think of any particular specifics that just seem really bad to you?
The big deal with sacrifice items is that it puts me two or three shots from death, unless I get fairly lucky with defensive shops.
Granted, I still tend to take one or two on later floors, but never any of these ones.

Harmony: 100000 energy till hit
   Really bad unless it's really degenerate (try it with the repulsion mines sometime- still not werf early on of course)
Large and In Charge: +33% damage, +33% size -Some amount of MS
   Damage boost: fantastic.
   Inability to fit in safe spots AND less health? Nah man.
Revenge Rams: Spawn Rams on hit
   Assuming, for generosity's sake, that you have two shields and can fully heal each room; this item will spawn three rams early up to six rams later in the game.
   The rams are pretty derpy, and frequently never reach their target
   When they do reach their target, the result isn't impressive enough to warrant one less hit worth of health
Nanite Hull: Heal every room
   Attrition is almost never my problem. Not dying in particularly tough rooms/boss fights is my problem.
   This doesn't solve my problem. (Yeah this one is defs playstyle.)
Skeleton Key: Infinite keys
   So there are three problems with this one.
   First, it's only valuable in runs where I fail the bonuses i.e. runs I'm doing pretty shitty in anyways.
   Second, the +5 keys perk can more or less replace this guy, and -5 health is more than a perk's worth.
   Third, picking up the skeleton key basically guarentees no further locked chests will spawn. :P


EveryShotCounts does increase energy weapon damage by 100% (which does increase efficiency by 100% too). Is it that big of a deal? Maybe? I mean, is it that different than items that doubles your energy capacity, rewards you with energy every time you make a kill, or just give ongoing energy regeneration?
I mean, yeah it's exactly as good as a theoretical item that doubles your energy.
The closest you get is the Big Leaky Battery, an extremely good item of equal rarity. The Big Leaky Battery doesn't double other energy boosts you may gain, drains 5 energy/sec and doesn't come with a 10% damage boost.
The double damage/half fire rate- disregarding impact on energy weapons- isn't really a boon or bane and is certainly not enough of a downside to put BLB on par with ESC.

The other two items you alluded to are sacrifice shop items, and pretty difficult to compare. I'm gonna... just kind of ignore them unless the Big Leaky Battery isn't a sufficient argument.




Offline ptarth

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2016, 05:43:37 PM »
double damage/half fire rate items do a little more than just mess with your fire rate.
  • There are items that do per shot damage or apply per shot effects.
  • There is that additional 10% base damage bonus.
  • They affect fire rates of familiars.
  • There are weapons where fire rate modifiers make them much more useable (e.g., sniper rifles)
  • There are some items and combinations that utilize burst damage and not sustained damage. The firerate DPS neutral items still impact these quite heavily.
  • I think there are level up perks that also modify energy gains.

I've noticed your builds are very heavily influenced by energy, so I think you are more sensitive to players who use a primary weapon-based  (e.g., flame tank), mixed (e.g., white gloss), or sacrifice shop (e.g., white gloss) -based strategies. This doesn't invalidate your points, which I am thinking about, but does suggest you might be unduly influenced. Another point of interest is that unless your energy weapon is sufficiently powerful, it just isn't going to make an impact during boss battles, its damage contribution will be too low.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
Deep Blue+Leaky Battery+ High output energy weapon=poweroverwhelming
I think you've overcomplicated the formula there.
It could simply be: "Deep Blue = poweroverwhelming"  ;)

Most Sacrifice Items=Bad on high difficulty
Maybe this is intended. Likely this is acceptable. Quite possibly I'm wrong and this is a product of playstyle.
I would tend to say that most sac items are amazing on high difficulty, so you're probably right that it comes down to playstyle.

Offline Misery

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 08:47:45 PM »
Ah, I'd forgotten about Large & In Charge and Revenge Rams.

Those do need looking at.

For that first one, well... bullet-hell stuff + bloated hitbox is pretty much a no-no in any case.  That's an item that'd work on Normal at least, but would still make the game harder even then.

Revenge Rams is a good idea, but A: the rams don't do enough damage, and B: their pathfinding is glitchy.  Which is odd, as pathfinding in this game usually ISNT.   If those aspects could be fixed though, this could be a good item.


But that first one is just bad.


That Harmony one isn't even supposed to be there.  I thought that got pulled out of that pool.... feh.

Offline Misery

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 08:52:24 PM »
Deep Blue+Leaky Battery+ High output energy weapon=poweroverwhelming
I think you've overcomplicated the formula there.
It could simply be: "Deep Blue = poweroverwhelming"  ;)

Most Sacrifice Items=Bad on high difficulty
Maybe this is intended. Likely this is acceptable. Quite possibly I'm wrong and this is a product of playstyle.
I would tend to say that most sac items are amazing on high difficulty, so you're probably right that it comes down to playstyle.

I'm curious, are you guys really finding Deep Blue to be THAT good?

Mostly I say this as for me, it's the mech I use the least.  I dunno, never got along with that one very well.  I'd actually wondered a bit if it needed a boost.... now, I'm thinking that just may not be the case.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 09:46:57 PM »
I'm curious, are you guys really finding Deep Blue to be THAT good?

Mostly I say this as for me, it's the mech I use the least.  I dunno, never got along with that one very well.  I'd actually wondered a bit if it needed a boost.... now, I'm thinking that just may not be the case.
In my opinion, it's the most powerful mech in the game. By far.
I dislike his starting slow firerate and secondary, but that's nothing since his energy multiplier is so amazing.
If you focus entirely on it, things can get crazy.
Example: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=744051573 (Note the energy level and current floor)

Let's put it this way: I would argue against a buff for Deep Blue longer than I did in favor of the Acidic Maw.  :D
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 09:55:52 PM by logorouge »

Offline Monkooky

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2016, 10:50:24 PM »
Basically what logorouge said.

You've got a fairly poor start, but once you get new weapons Deep Blue is quite strong.
I mean, double energy. Three or four energy tanks (from shops or from perks) and your energy weapon will last through the entire room/boss.
980 energy is maybe a bit more than you could conceivably need, but hey more power to you.


Offline Misery

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2016, 11:24:52 PM »
Hmmm.... I see.

I think I'll have a few runs with this thing then and try an energy focused approach and see it for myself.

It may be that the thing actually could use a little bit of a nerf.  Hard to say.  But then other players will pick other mechs and claim that they're the best, so maybe not.


Here's another question for you guys:  What do you think of the Green Envy mech right now?  As I said on the Steam forums, and as someone else pointed out on there before I said anything, that mech may be a bit redundant now.  It's entire focus was on getting more money to buy things.  But the Humble mech now can also focus on buying things, but ALSO has the ability to pump extra money into a very powerful attack.  So we end up having two money-focused mechs here.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 12:01:07 AM »
Green Envy I think was the weakest of the original six.  Red Shift being a close second, only due to difficulty of controlling it.

But you're right, the humble mech has definitely stolen the money generator spotlight on that, and did it better.

Offline Monkooky

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 12:20:31 AM »
Yeah, Green Envy is easily my least favorite mech. 
It really doesn't seem to have anything the Humble mech doesn't, save a highly unreliable keycard chance.

Offline ptarth

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Re: Some balance concerns
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 01:13:41 AM »
  • IIRC Revenge Rams actually do some pretty crazy levels of damage. (but I might be thinking of the other Rams... I'd need to check.)
  • The problem is that the defensive line synergy isn't very good, but if you stack a few 50% damage reductions, you are suddenly looking at a much more viable route. When we finish up the perk redesign, we were going to try to increase the strength of the defense lines, so it should be better.
  • In general, the pathing is actually not very good. In the RR case, they don't have object avoidance.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.