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Is allowing the player to use the bowcaster too overpowered for the first level?


DT.

Is allowing the player to use the bowcaster too overpowered for the first level?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Is allowing the player to use the bowcaster too overpowered for the first level?

    • Yes
      21
    • No
      4


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That question would be much better asked following playtesting with a few people. If you want to keep the bowcaster in, it's a simple matter of iterating on the combat spaces and NPC's until it feels right. People aren't going to necessarily NOT play something because its too easy.

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I'd say test it out, but I feel that the bowcaster has always been way too overpowered. Perhaps if you slowed the fire rate and decreased the ammo via the weapons.dat, it may help, but I'd just not include it in the first level.

 

 

Again though, taking action to adjust mechanics which haven't been tested is a messy way to balance a level. You never ever want to do that. If the weapon creates too much of an advantage, there are a plethora of other easier things to change first. Which will lead to better, emergent gameplay.

therfiles likes this
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I always hated the bowcaster in JK2/JKA. I hate how it charges and shoots the 3 bullets. I always would use alt fire.

 

 

Would you find the charged shot more valuable if each of the shots it sprays in a row were linked with a line of crackling green energy, that when it hits an enemy does less less damage, but immobilizes or slows them down? Sort of like a closeline effect?

 

 

Little things like that can turn an almost useless feature into one to consider using to your advantage.

Omicron, Circa, Setlec and 2 others like this
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The original game only has E-11's on all bosses with a few thermal dets & fists. Probably should have asked a better question: Do players want more variety in enemies/weapons in the first level?

 

May need some more Gran & Rodian reskins so it doesn't look like the cloning facility on Kamino has been populating Nar Shaddaa so much. :P

Circa likes this
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I agree with @@Circa. I don't use the bowcaster normally. I only use it in two scenarios: 1. a full charged shot into a Reborn right was they are swinging at the player can kill the weaker two. Any other Reborn will survive the shot. 2. Sniping headshots on unaware npcs.

 

If it is in level 3 then two stages without it are ok. Or you could put it in as a secret, but not put any ammo in the stages. So the player has a limited use of it until they pick it up later. 

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The original game only has E-11's on all bosses with a few thermal dets & fists. Probably should have asked a better question: Do players want more variety in enemies/weapons in the first level?

 

Typically, no. Players tend to like to be introduced to mechanics gradually in a manner that teaches them how to use them, without actually explicitly teaching them. Granted, this is a really old series of games and most people get the idea by now, but giving players a lot of options in equipment right of the bat can come across as unelegant and cluttered if you catch my drift. If you can justify gaining a lot of weapons and facing enemies using those weapons early, then you should find a way to balance it.

 

Players have a lot of thought processes that they might not even be aware of :

 

- Okay, I'm in a bar, shit has gone down. I've got a blaster. it uses energy packs. Okay, that guy dropped a more powerful and less accurate blaster, but it uses the same ammo, so I'm not worried. But wait, this guy dropped a bowcaster and it uses a different resource. How can I use this weapon, is it better than the other two I just got? Should I not use those? Do I have to worry about maintaining resources for both? What am I supposed to do? Why do I have such a large arsenal already? Now I have grenades. I understand grenades, but should I have grenades all the time at the push of a button without switching weapons? Why do I have to switch to my grenades just to use them?! Is there any rhyme or reason to my equipment? What meaningful choices do I have to make when it comes to using this instead of this? Should I use this new weapon exclusively for the rest of the level?

therfiles likes this
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Why am I asking myself all these questions? I'm being shot at right now.

 

But really, you're right. The balance thing is kind of how JK2 and JKA handle the force powers. You gradually earn more and your current ones get more powerful to balance it out a little and let the player learn to use different strategies.

Omicron likes this
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Why am I asking myself all these questions? I'm being shot at right now.

 

But really, you're right. The balance thing is kind of how JK2 and JKA handle the force powers. You gradually earn more and your current ones get more powerful to balance it out a little and let the player learn to use different strategies.

 

These are thought processes that can happen while the action is occurring, and the player is coming to terms with acquiring a new mechanic. I'm not saying that's a conversation a player sits and has with themselves (unless they are into game development and trying to comprehend the choices of other developers to improve their own design skills ).

 

I'm not saying it's necessarily a terrible idea, or a no-no to provide a large amount of choices to a player immediately. But you need to do it in a way that is intuitive and adds value to the gameplay. When you are working on the same thing everyday, its really hard to know when you've achieved that, because you can't distance yourself from what you just created. It takes a bit of practice I think. Give your intuition a workout. What, intuitively, feels right to you from a design perspective? Do that. When you play it, if it doesn't feel right, change it. I think when you have a fully progressable first level that people can try out, you can get some pretty good opinions by having it played by a lot of different people. What players actually want, and what is fun are not the same things.

 

It's a crazy process, but you'll grow to love it.

Circa likes this
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I say yes. As I played the original game the first few levels consisted of fists,  byrar pistol, e-11 and thermal dets. what made the game really fun you usually ran out of ammo and had to use fists until you got some ammo. It was real challenging when meeting Gamorreans.

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