Anachrony

2009-09-09

Weapons Balance and Scarcity in a Post-Scarcity Economy

Filed under: Rants, Reviews — Chrome Dragon @ 06:30

“For the first time, society is producing enough that none need to go hungry.”

Yeah, none save my lovely pulse rifle in Half-Life 2.

the Shotgun is… marginally okay.  If there’s zombies about, you had a 50% chance of having a pocketful of shells, if not a full bandolier, and shotgun shells are big.

And I’m sorry they didn’t give you Annabelle instead of just the crossbow.  It had too much arc and travel time for sniping, as it was nominally intended for.  Combat optics on it would be much more useful.  To quote a friend, “[the] Crossbow was just overall useless except for lulz.”  He was mostly right, but it was unintentionally useful – if you could reliably hit with it at snap-shots, it was how you took the first grunt out of the fight to stack the odds.  But that’s basically it.  Anything “good” was nerfed into the ground. You use the SMG, or the pulse rifle/shotgun, whichever the game drops ammo for at the moment. If it’s neither, you use the SMG until it’s out, then the USP – which somehow morphed into your main long-ranged weapon. (?!)

Everything else was in so short and so unreliable supply that you either hoarded it or wasted it.

Sometimes, both at once.

Also in bad form was allowing you to carry no superweapons – the Gauss was welded to the dune buggy, and the Pulse Cannon to the boat – and not enough ammunition for your one heavy weapon, the rocket launcher.  You only carry a few rounds for a modern ATGM, but a modern ATGM can turn a hundred-ton assault tank into modern art in one  incredibly awesome moment.  Never mind the helicopter gunship that takes three or more rockets on Easy to kill – these are not Javelins we’re talking about here.  More akin would be the M202 FLASH (for FLame ASsault SHoulder-fired) rocket launcher.  This one carried four in the tube, and allowed them to be fired semi-automatically in series, or launched as a salvo to really mess up someone’s day.

2009-08-13

Spyro on Game Design

Bah, if your hero is a flying purple dragon, there should be no “So deep you fall and die” traps in the game.

And if your hero is a melee fighter, it’s poor form to put someone with a freeze-mortar attack in level 1 guarding a narrow, un-railed bridge which gives you no side-to-side space to dodge…

…When said enemies usually run in packs of 2-3, and have to be beaten to death three cunt gargling times, and are immune to damage while twitching on the floor on their backs to the point of introducing clipping bugs to shield them from your razor-toothed affections…

…It’s in even worse form for the unstoppable superweapon to only count as one beatdown of three, or to ignore helpless, prone enemies when the weapon consists of 360° homing fireballs the size of a Volkswagen Beetle…

…Which don’t even go far enough to take out the fire-support bastard lurking on the ledge you need to jump to…

(Oh, don’t forget that your basic melee attack winds up over about .2 dangerously vulnerable seconds, and is fairly frequently hit-cancelled.  And even bullet-time isn’t reliably fast enough to stop hitcancels.)

Also, it’s in poor form to put big pieces of terrain that look like platforms in a disappearing-platform jumping puzzle.

Because jumping puzzles are only ever more fun while taking fire.

With net-rays.

And ice bombs.

That have splash damage.

And sometimes inexplicably airburst.

Over spikes.

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