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First of all I'd like to say how much I enjoy this game. I really love the concept and design and the resulting dramatic tension that comes with gameplay. Thank you!

 

Because I love that tension, I have to ask the question though, is the Net Downlink augmentation overpowered?

 

+2 AP per complete hack is already very good by itself. I am already required to hack my way through problems as it is, so taking something that rewards me for something I'm already doing is a no-brainer. Over the course of a run, I estimate I'm generating in the area of 30-40 or more AP with this single aug! This bonus also tends to get frontloaded to the beginning of the mission when the run is still pulling punches, which enables me to hack more in less time and at less cost. Even by itself, this already makes it generally more useful than the other +AP augs, Chameleon Movement and Predictive Brawling, which are far more situational to use.

 

What is already a good aug becomes an insane aug when you stack it though. Apparently you can take multiple Net Downlinks and receive its benefit multiple times. While sort of neat to ultimately generate a couple hundred AP on an agent and zip around and complete an entire map in a single turn, I think this comes at the cost of what makes the game truly fun. It trivializes the alarm tracker among many other things. Rapier becomes the obvious breaker of choice because you'll complete the mission while your alarm tracker is still 0. Dramatic tension is lost as your agent becomes a little god who darts like lightning around the corporate schmoes.

 

Sure, I could challenge myself by not taking this aug anymore, but I have to wonder if it should even exist in its current form. Maybe it shouldn't stack with other instances of itself? Maybe it should only trigger its benefit on the first hack per turn? Maybe both or something else entirely? It is not for me to decide what is best. But as it stands, I am of the opinion that it's really too good in its current form.

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Sorry, I am a noob. I just realized there's an entire forum section dedicated for posts like these.

 

My apologies if someone has already reported this concern there. If a moderator could move this post to the appropriate section or delete the post, that would be cool.

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I think there is a lot of fun in exactly what you describe, speedrunning levels.  I am currently on Day 10 of Normal Endless, and while some levels are definitely still a challenge, some are just a matter of how quickly and cleanly I can clear the level out.  That being said I do think the stacking effect of Net Downlink is perhaps a bit too much, as being able to cloak up and run an entire level in a few turns, hacking and popping consoles as you go, is perhaps not what the devs intended.  Or maybe it is, it certainly is fun!

 

Let's think about the ways they could nerf it...

 

Reduce benefit to 1 AP per hack

Remove ability to stack modules

Increase $$$ cost and rarity of Net Downlink augment itself

Cap the effect per turn

Introduce some type of downside, perhaps if you trigger too much downlink in a single turn you are KO'd from "overload" the next turn

Other ideas?

 

Torque Injectors and Chameleon Movement are also quite effective when stacked, although they don't quite match the current potential of late-game Net Downlink.  Whatever they do, I hope the spirit of the augment is kept, because it does add an interesting layer of planning and options to the game.  And I think that the real lasting potential of this game lies even more in late-game Endless challenges than in Story Mode.  I am having a blast with multiple agents that I have built up to be real badasses in different specialties, and perhaps in the future the devs will add even larger levels with more challenges, which would make strategies such as stacking Net Downlink almost a requirement.

 

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Or they could just make it restore AP up to your Agent max.

That wouldn't hurt anything really because you could just run around, then hack, then run around, then hack, and repeat.

I do that a lot now when I'm playing. I realize too late that I can't get behind that console, so I hack a sound bug. I love those things. They're little free stims for my entire squad if I'm lucky enough.

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That wouldn't hurt anything really because you could just run around, then hack, then run around, then hack, and repeat.

I do that a lot now when I'm playing. I realize too late that I can't get behind that console, so I hack a sound bug. I love those things. They're little free stims for my entire squad if I'm lucky enough.

 

The point is with the upcoming changes to non-stacking modules you won't be able to deal with stuff as you can now when you can have a Nika with no cooldown on shock trap III, Biogenic Dart, Neural Disruptor III, whatever pistol you fancy and paralizer III (seriously you can on same turn take out all enemies and paralyze them for infinite number of turns).

 

So you won't be actually able to move around like you can now because: you can't hack stuff non stop without triggering daemons to get access on map (laser barriers, cameras, turrets etc) and triggering daemons will only further hurt your ability to navigate the map (+power cost, lock down etc). Also you won't be able to deal with the guards / robots patrolling the rooms that will investigate events.

 

Using EMP sure let's you do stuff, but it's still a turn you have to wait for it to activate - tho it's counter-intuitive depending on objective (freeing prisoner, accessing nano-fabs, stealing site plans, upgrades for Incognita, Cyberlink for implant upgrades etc).

 

I don't use net downlink on any of my agents as I said in other threads, and I can still complete any map by alarm level 2 TOP, usually it's level 1 (including full map exploration, looting / checking everything / incapacitating every guard etc). But this will also be fixed with the prevention of mod stacking (Nika with 5 mods that reduce CD by 1 is pretty much unstoppable).

 

And this style of play really isn't a lasting one when no matter of what mission you do there is:

 

a) no sense of progression (past initial missions when you upgrade gear / incognita / mods / fill up the squad, there is nothing you will ever need to loot or that you can do - maybe recharge packs but that's it)

b) no real danger sense anymore and no map navigation limitation (Banks - no need to get a pass to open every locked door for shortcuts / objectives) - you can always deal with any amount of guards by simply luring them into a small room and planting shock trap III and then just go by your business while 1 agent keeps renewing the trap on the door(s).

 

Am not sure how everything can be fixed - you can still use 4 paralyzer III on 4 agents which means - even without any mods - that you can take out 2 guards that will never wake up before you finish the mission, and then you can do it again 5 or 6 turns later. Then you just put shock trap III and you get another 4-5 turns of everyone sleeping. Same with EMP III on everyone, you just rotate and keep all electronics shut down, you don't really need to fire a single bullet / dart.

 

While it makes sense from a point of view that you have a team of bad-@$$ agents that go in invisible and clear everything without a sound or complication - and it feels cool for couple missions - then it gets dull, compared to the very first missions when you don't have anything but 2 agents and hope that you can complete a mission without too many events hehe :)

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