PrismaticPhoton

Photon's Modding Adventures

80 posts in this topic

30 minutes ago, SteelCrow said:

I like the concept of Golem, to break ice more efficiently with time between uses, but I have a problem with it scaling horribly.

I had this big long post I was gonna write with all these examples, BUUUUUT this is more succinct and to the point. With the time you spend waiting to get its cost down, there are several other programs that could be doing what it does (or close to it) more efficiently. Even if you save it until 0 PWR cost in its current incarnation... well, even Mercenary can give you more bang for the buck at that point (and doesn't require an upfront waiting time.)

I thought about making a version where the cost doesn't fully reset every use, where instead it only gains +2 PWR cost per use and caps out at the base cost. But waiting and subsequently having a 0 PWR, 2 firewall breaker every other turn could be a bit too extreme, not to mention it makes it even MORE similar to its counterpart Mercenary.

Though I think patience is the key strategy with Golem, I'm now thinking I might go for a condensed cost drop. My thought is to instead halve the power cost each turn (rounded down,) going from 4>3>2>1>0 cost progression to a 4>2>1>0 cost progression. Alas though, I'm not sure about this either, as I think even that makes it too powerful: you could use it twice per turn and still have the same costs as Lockpick 2.0.

I'm not sure, even the small tweaks seem to sway its balance pretty hard. Its not a bad program... its just sort of mediocre.

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Posted (edited)

The way I see it, Golem is the ideal starting program for Seed, because you can consistently break 2 firewalls per turn with it. Yes, Lockpick 2.0 does the same thing, but Lockpick 2.0 is more expensive and cannot be chosen as a starting program. And if you can find another program that costs a relatively high amount of power, like Wisp, Hammer or Oracle, you can use seed on them instead and you'll be able to take advantage of Golem's decreasing cost.

Mercenary on the other hand is great for any starting generator other than seed. You can break 8 firewalls per alarm level before it becomes worse value than Lockpick, something you are rarely able to do with another breaker, other than maybe Parasite or Golem, even taking into account that you'll sometimes have to hack a device with only 1 firewall.

True, both of them fall of in use late game, but I don't think it's a big deal. It's a roguelike, so it's understandable that there are things meant to be used early on and then replaced.

Edited by Cyberboy2000

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I'm looking towards pushing out the first version of my "starting loadout plus" mod soon. It'll probably only have the Power Drip and Faust changes to begin with, but I think that's fine. I also think I'm going to bump up Power Drip's bonus threshold from 14 to 15: being guaranteed +1 PWR per turn with no drawbacks is still pretty useful (even if its a bit vanilla and boring by itself,) so the bonus needs to require some significant effort to get and maintain. I hope this also balances it better in comparison to Dynamo and Faust, the other "+2" generators.

Once I've got that out, I may shift focus to adding a couple of new programs or modifying some agents (hence the title using "loadout" instead of "programs.") Like the default starting programs, I'm not so much looking to redo anybody so much as I want to enhance/tweak their abilities in line with how they already operate. The agents I've currently got on my radar are OnFile Decker, Archive Xu and Olivia.

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Looking forward to the mod, and I would like to hear your opinions about agents you mentioned.

On File Decker is regarded as bad agent by most of the players, mostly because of his augment (poor choice to rescue from prison). Starting with cloak is nice, but the cloak itself is nothing special, basically Cloaking Rig 2 with lower SPEED requirement. I tried to remedy that by giving player incentive to use his augment, with +2 PWR bonus in addition to usual functionality, and making his cloak unique with AOE effect, since there isn't one in vanilla game. With these changes, and with new daemons from ProgramExtended, I find him quite valuable team member, especially in daemon-heavy Plastech.

 

Olivia is a mixed bag for me. On one hand, Cry Baby is a tool to help you evade and distract guards for stealth, but her augment encourages agression, which is problematic to use frequently in Expert+ difficulties.

Didn't use Archive Xu yet, but he seems a good choice for PWR heavy builds, with both EMP and his augment.

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, wodzu_93 said:

Looking forward to the mod, and I would like to hear your opinions about agents you mentioned.

Sure.

OnFile Decker: I think his ability is a little underrated to be honest, but at the same time it isn't really the kind of thing you go out of your way for and dedicating an entire agent slot strictly to daemon sniffing is a bit underwhelming. I have several ideas: (1) To keep him in line with his security-circumvention mantra, I thought about buffing his augment so that he can pass through lasers without triggering them. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to do this with how laser.lua is set up. (2) Switch his item and augment: give him a special cloaking augment and make his starting item a scan chip. Not sure how I would work this, but it was an idea. (3) Change his daemon sniff to a daemon kick, so essentially he gets a local "Taurus" effect. This is probably the one I'm leaning towards most. Even though its technically a change in how he works, its still serves the counter-daemon purpose.

Archive Xu: His ability is actually good, but... I feel like it puts him in a weird spot, mainly because you can only get one bonus per turn. Want to cloak so you can melee a guard? You'll miss out on a PWR bonus for the disruptor. Hamstring yourself to one item per turn and you can end up with some awkward situations. Run item combos and you're potentially missing out on precious PWR, which at that point I might question why you aren't just running a good generator or OnFile Prism. Then, of course, you have the issue of trying to make sure you have enough items to use if you're running higher cooldown items (Cloaking rigs, EMPs, etc.,) so wasting bonuses can become even more problematic.
    My thought is to extend the max PWR bonus per turn to 3: get 2 PWR for the first item usage, and 1 PWR for the second should you choose to use it. This gives him a little more flexibility with item combos; it still isn't as efficient as waiting, but the "pick-your-poison" strategy might be a little better balanced.

Olivia: Its simple... Olivia's ability is the only one that is directly nerfed by playing on Expert or higher. With the universal -1 KO time for all agents, she goes from generating a base +3 PWR bonus to a base +2 PWR bonus. That's actually a pretty huge difference in my opinion, and when you consider how infrequently you can attack sometimes (guard numbers + cooldowns,) I again would argue there are better PWR generators out there. You could also argue that she scales horribly on Endless with all the KO resistance and potentially having to invest in piercing augments over KO augments, but I'm more looking at her early-game/campaign viability then that. If you can get Titanium Rods early she could get pretty busted?
    I'm not sure yet what I want to do with her. One thought I had was to make her PWR bonus based on the target's armor level.
    Or maybe she's not meant as a PWR generator so much as a unit who can offset her own Volt/Thermal Disruptor costs? Hmm.

Edit: What if I buffed Olivia's augment so that her melee attacks also ignore a guard's KO resistance? Its situational but it could make a nice "quality of life" improvement to her overall viability.

Edited by PrismaticPhoton

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