3089 Update: Better Quests & More!

Hey all,

This is a pretty big update — I’ve made lots of changes to the quest system. First, I got rid of the poorly rated “masskill” quest task & replaced it with 4 other quest task types. 2 of the new quest task types get unlocked when you unlock the enemy type it uses. I’ve also tweaked the waypoint system so it will show a “?” when you are just to approach an area — it will change (and move) to a new “Q” location when an exact spot is found. This should make quests more fun & easier to follow.

I finally got in some new sound effects for energy weapons & made charged shots sound different. Also try out followers again — they should teleport near you if they get hopelessly lost πŸ™‚

My son has been sick with a stomach bug, so I haven’t gotten as much time to work on 3089 as I hoped in the past few days, but I did manage to get these updates put together! Once our little man is feeling better (and ourselves if we end up sick too), I want to work on a new trailer showing off some of the latest features in one video.

Once I get a new trailer, I want to expand on the story and get those “Unknown Entities” talking! πŸ™‚

– Phr00t

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10 responses to “3089 Update: Better Quests & More!

  1. Oh good.. I tried out followers recently and found that I was spending more time just trying to get them to keep up and not get stuck on things (like getting stuck on the top of steep slopes) than actually playing the game..

  2. Good update: Quests are so much better now. I like that it now specifically says if it’s going to want me to attack something particularly dangerous, like the Spider bots or the Xan ghosts. The quest marker change makes alot more sense as well.

    Now, a couple of things I’ve noticed: Firstly, it’s possible to get health and energy over 100%; simply switching your currently held weapon/whatever can do this, particularly if you heal and refill energy completely while holding the item that gives you the lowest numbers. The most extreme numbers I’ve seen so far are around 170%.

    Also, the consumable stat: Totally useless. Havent had to put points into this at all. I’m right around the point of using level 6/7 items currently, so some of my stats are around 60 or so, but Consumables is only at 2, and there’s no reason to increase it. 1 or 2 uses of a health/energy refil item will generally get me to 100%, and my max health/energy arent particularly low or anything.

    Finally, enemy beams, it might be an intended effect, but if you’re getting struck by one, it can become very hard to see where you’re going (or to see much of anything), and being a beam weapon, I cant really outrun them and such. Ideally if you’re getting hit by one of those, you want to dive behind something to make the beam lose it’s lock on you, but that’s hard to do if you cant see much…. Considering how powerful enemy beam attacks tend to be, I figured I should bring this up.

    All in all, the game is shaping up really well so far!

    Two suggestions I wanted to make though: For consumables, have there be like a number next to the icon on the items screen, to make it easier to see how many uses it has left; having to open it’s info screen every time is kinda annoying. And for the quests, have the next objective appear briefly on the screen after you clear the previous one, just to save having to open the quest screen every time.

    • Thank you for the feedback.

      The 170% thing is kinda intended… if you have a high stamina stat item, then spend resources to get your health up, it would kinda suck to have that health just disappear because you swapped to another held item.

      What do you suggest I do to fix the consumable stat? I could make health/energy items provide less amounts & have them rely more on your consumable stats — this sounds like the most straight-forward change. Or, I could replace that skill with something else entirely… curious on what you think.

      Yes, I will make energy beams less blinding. I’ll make the beam become transparent when you are getting hit & reduce the screen “flash effect” to not cover the screen so much.

      The number idea is a pretty good one — I’ll put it on the to-do list.

      I had the quest task being displayed at the bottom of the screen, but some lines are too long to properly fit. I would have to split the quest task description into multiple lines, which I can do, but it isn’t a simple fix…. I’ll figure something out.

      • I thought about the consumable thing while playing the game earlier, and…. yeah, I honestly just cant think of any good way to alter or balance it so that it works out very well. For example, you could always weaken the items themselves… but this would have side effects, in that a player could simply increase their Agility stat that much further, and simply carry more of the things…. but without doing that, they’d be forced to put points into consumables all the time to keep them useful without having to weigh themselves down with too many of them. Neither seems like a good thing, so that option to me doesnt work.

        It really seems like it might just be a better idea to simply replace it with something else, and leave the amount of recharge to the level and rarity values of the consumables. It makes sense, and I dont think it’d have any negative impact on the game’s balance, or force any decisions on the player.

        As for what to replace it with…. I dont know. There’s probably tons of different ideas that’d work, for an extra stat to give the player yet more options, but I dont have any specific suggestions on that one, at least not yet.

        Oh, one other thing I wanted to point out though before I forget: Spiderbots, they tend to get stuck on top of things pretty often. Like on top of tall buildings, or on the sort of funky floating bits of geometry that the generator puts out at times, or similar areas. Oddly, nothing else ever seems to spawn in such places, but the spiderbots do this pretty often; has the side effect of making them very easy to take down at times, if they cant move towards you.

        Also, nice trailer, I thought that did a pretty good job showing off some of the game’s features.

      • Thank you for your help.

        I’ve been spending a bit of time marketing (which is never as fun as developing, but it is necessary, hehe) — now I want to get back to the good stuff πŸ™‚

        I could replace the consumables skill with a “construction” skill that would be used to determine how good turrets & vehicles are that you build, but I can already determine that based on the level of the construction tool you use…

        I was thinking of adding a new mechanic completely, though. I was thinking of two things to start:

        1) “Disable” skill, which would be useful for stealthy missions: a charged up melee attack would temporarily knock-out a robot, making it unable to see or attack, if your “Disable” skill was high enough for the robot involved.

        2) “Critical Hit” skill: The better the skill, the more likely you will do a “critical” hit that would do extra damage to a target. I know other games have skills like this, but I like reducing “chance” in battles, so I’m not sure how much I like this idea…

        There also could be more cool ideas out there.. if we don’t think of anything else, I’ll probably start work on #1 — what do you think?

        I’ll look into the spider bot placement stuffs…

  3. Well, I thought about possible new mechanics, which does sound like a good idea… but what about the possibility of expanding a mechanic that’s already partially there?

    Basically, the idea I had would be something like a “specials” stat. Not related to the movement items like the grapple thing or the locator gizmo, I’m thinking more along the line of the Timewarp device. I’ve found that that particular gizmo is really lots of fun to use (although situational), and it can provide a very powerful effect in battle that can really make a difference. But…. it’s the only item of it’s kind. Why not create more such items? Things that debuff enemies or lock them in place or mess with their aim or all sorts of other effects, or effects that buff the player for a short time, increasing speed or maybe giving them a superjump for a time…. there’s a ton of ideas that could work here and be very interesting. And offering the player even more options when it comes to combat (or whatever) in a game like this is never a bad thing. And it’s not the sort of thing that the player would HAVE to use…. they could simply go for a tanky, brute-force strategy if they wanted and ignore this stat.

    Effects like that have the potential to be very powerful though. Just like the Timewarp, which can utterly shut down foes at close range, and it only costs energy. The thing is so powerful that it’s almost abuseable, which is what inspired this idea. That, and just that it’s really fun to use, and having more items that produce special effects like that would be pretty neat. Having a stat related to them would make it so that there’s a bit of a “cost” to using such items (which right now, there kinda isnt, as energy is easily replaced, and money is easy to get) in that you’d have to put points into it to keep the things being effective as you go further into the game. You could also have the “specials” stat have a bit of influence on the movement items, perhaps giving them a bit of extra range, just so the stat has a bit more versatility.

    As new mechanics go….

    The other idea I’d had was sort of a “build/repair” stat, it’d be alot like what you mentioned above, but with added ability to repair things. If you have enough skill… and the resources… you could repair turrets or vehicles or whatever, regardless of wether you made them yourself, or you could even repair (heal) friendly NPCs, which could have some definite tactical advantages. It’d be a more versatile stat than just “construction” by itself. You could have it so that different NPC types take more skill or resources to heal (like Spiderbots would be tough to fix up), and stuff like that.

    The idea you’d had about a “critical” stat isnt too bad either… I’m not usually fond of too much random chance when it comes to battle mechanics, but it’s not a bad idea; you could go further with it too, and make just a general “luck” stat, that could affect various things, such as item drop or rarity values, or whatever else it seems like it could apply to.

    The disable one I’m not too sure of, since I’m usually not the stealthy type and havent messed around with that aspect of the game as much, so I dont feel I can comment on that one while still making sense. The one thought I did have though was that an attack like that might almost be too much of a “win button” in a fight, since you could then just switch to some horrible explosive doom gun and obliterate the not-moving target. Considering that many enemies tend to charge at you and get in your face, it wouldnt be too hard to make that happen in many fights. Using the Timewarp beforehand would make it even easier to hit with. You COULD have it so that it can only be used in stealth, but that has the side effect of making it so that you cannot use it without constantly increasing TWO stats.

    That’s my thoughts on the whole thing for now!

    • Interesting discussion…

      I am interested in creating more “special” items, but I don’t want those special abilities to overlap with other items & abilities in the game… for example, providing speed & jump increases may overlap with other, almost crowded, movement options like the grappling hook, vehicles & telelocator. The “lock in place” ability is kinda like the “disable” idea I was considering, but I suppose a robot that is “locked in place” could still see & shoot. There is the other option of having a “statis” ability, like in Starcraft, where a robot is frozen in time (and can’t either attack nor receive damage).

      I am planning on having a “booster” constructed device, that when near, would give you some skill boosts. This spreads out the desired effects to other areas of the game, instead of everything behind a handheld item you “shoot”…

      The Timewarp is a pretty powerful tool… I will probably increase the energy use required to use it. This would make it more likely to need to use energy consumables to recharge..

      The repair idea is decent, but I really want to improve the stealth features of 3089. You are usually not the stealthy type, which I understand… but I loved the stealth features of games like Crysis, Dishonored, Thief, Aliens vs. Predator (as the Predator) & Fallout 3, and I want people to really enjoy the stealth features in 3089. If I had more stealth-related goodies, maybe people would use it (and enjoy it) more. This is why I’d like the new skill to be related to stealth, somehow… considering there are quest types that require you to be stealthy, I think it could benefit from some improvement.

      I’m not sure how often people use melee weapons… do you use them at all? Having a “disable” feature might make melee weapons used more. I could balance out the “disable” feature by making the robot come back to life when hit again (unless it is another charged melee hit that successfully disables). This would make it useful for temporarily disabling a robot in a stealthy fashion to complete a quest… I could make stealing from a disabled robot a bit easier, too…

      Fallout 3 has a “luck” stat… but meh, it’d be such a passive stat that wouldn’t really change the way a player plays the game.

      I’m not so much against requiring a player to improve two stats at a time… for instance, a “tank” player will be increasing both Stamina & Defense. A stealthy player may decide to put lots of their skill points into melee & stealth… a melee player (but not stealthy player) could put stats into “disable” and melee…

      What other “special” item ideas did you have in mind? I was thinking of having a powerful weapon that shoots a vortex, sucking enemies in… or how about a beam-based weapon, like the NPCs?

      OK, back to work πŸ˜›

  4. As special items go, having more of them would definitely be a good idea indeed, however they work. It’s a good point that player-buff specials would likely be a little redundant. Stuff like the vortex idea or a beam-based weapon are really great ideas. The beam one was one I was going to suggest as well, I think if something like that WASNT in the game, players would wonder why, haha. Since the beams tend to be pretty awesome, it’d be fun to be able to use one yourself at times. The vortex idea sounds great as well. Particularly if it can affect aerial things as well…. I’d absolutely love to be able to just yank some of the more annoying aerial enemies down closer to the ground to make them easier to deal with, that would be pretty satisfying, even if it doesnt do any damage on it’s own. The stasis one is another very good idea; it could be used in group fights, to lock out a member of the enemy group to reduce their numbers. Could be good for escapes and such too. I like that one alot.

    Hm, as for further special-weapon ideas… one that occurred to me is something like a wind gun; does no damage but simply shoves objects forward in a cone in front of you. Could have it so that the closer you are, the harder it shoves them. Could be used to knock enemies off of cliffs to reduce the number of nearby threats, or perhaps to launch crates at things, which would be pretty fun, like in Gentrieve. A defensive item might be nice too, perhaps something that simply raises a temporary wall directly in front of you. Something like that would be great for handling beam-based enemies, but would still be situational (and of course, temporary). Another idea is something that perhaps electrifies the floor/area within a certain radius, doing constant damage to anything inside it, the catch being that it would damage the player as well, so you’d have to be careful using it. I can see alot of interesting uses for something like that. Or something that basically “charms” a foe (like in many RPGs), causing it to attack it’s allies for a time.

    Those are the ones that I’ve thought up for now, likely more ideas will come to me. Stuff like that would take a good deal of testing/balancing, but would definitely make for alot of interesting combat options.

    Now, melee weapons, I dont use them all that much currently myself. My current character focuses most heavily on guns, piloting, and programming. Have some melee skill, and a decent sword, but it’s main use is in conjunction with the Timewarp, as I can hit an enemy with that, and run up and just bash them over and over with the sword. Pretty fun to do, actually. Without the Timewarp, I have alot of trouble hitting anything with it. One problem is that it’s very hard to tell just where it’s effective range is, like how far in front of you the blade reaches. There’s plenty of times where I THINK I’m close enough, but it simply doesnt hit. Not to mention that the sorts of foes I’d use this against are the normal robots that tend to charge at me, and they can be bloody hard to hit when they get close enough. All in all, I think the melee system is decent, but I do think it could use some improvements…. I dont have any specific suggestions though. I might try doing a seperate world file where I focus alot on melee weapons and see how that goes. The one thing that occurs to me is that some enemies would be very difficult to defeat with any sort of blade…. tanks and spiders, for one thing, not to mention aerial foes are going to be pretty tough for any melee-focused player (all the more reason why something like a vortex to yank them out of the sky is an appealing idea, hah). Of course there’s still ways of dealing with such enemies, such as piloting ships with weapons, but the gun-users seem to have alot of advantages over melee-users right now. Stealth might change some of that, but I havent experimented with it.

    Also, more things to do with crates would be nice; the things are everywhere, but it seems rare that I interact with them much, aside from occaisionally breaking one to see if there’s items in it. There’s probably lots of creative ideas that could use those and the physics engine, or something like that.

    There was something else I was going to point out, but now I cant remember what it was, bah.

    • I think I will make the grappling hook yank enemies in, and add a “gravity gun” that will pick up boxes that you can throw. If you don’t have a box held, and fire it, it will act like the “wind gun” you describe — push things back (based on their difficulty & the gravity gun’s level).

      I’ll double-check the range on melee weapons.. it might be a bit too short.

      I’m thinking guys in the air can be pulled down with the grappling hook, and spiderbots you can jump on to do melee damage. I understand gun users do have an advantage, and I’d like to balance it out a bit…

      Aieet, got to get some work done — keep the ideas coming & thank you!

      – Phr00t

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