Boss battles and gate keeping.

Aug 14, 2016
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#1
This is a topic I'm bring up now because of games like Armored Core 6 as well as a few other games I've played in the past few years where there is this unlaying trend limiting player choices when it comes to bosses and forcing them to play in a given way in an otherwise game about player's freedom of choice. And it is these lack of choices in how you need to deal with those bosses that ruin the fun for people like me because it forces us to use META builds when just to clear them. Even through there is nothing wrong with our normal builds or playstyles. And even though I had no problem in having gimmick bosses, dungeons, levels, or maps within games. I feel that there needs to be a clear reason and logic for the gimmick to exist and that gimmick itself shouldn't be so restrictive that forces players to only play in one or two ways only. Being tough but fair doesn't mean forcing players to make META builds just to clear the boss. But rather saying that almost any can work even if it is not the META choice nor the META tactic. In my view the best games are the ones where a sound build, tactics, and player skill always trumps over gimmicks and META.

I say this a person who both loves to make non-META builds. As some of you know I love making things like melee-snipers as you might remember how I would use my Nighthawk's sniper rifle as if it was a shotgun in the days of FireFall before the great nurfing and anti-sniper game design toke over. But also as person who loves to make hit kill builds in game when at all possible. Which is why I favor things like playing assassins, snipers, berserkers. As well as using tactics like throwing healing and reviving magic or potions on enemies tagged as undead because in a few games using healing items or magic on undead things deal true damage to them and kills them. Do to the logic of how healing really works in those worlds and how it is the undead's greatest weakness outside of holy magic. Given rise to one of my most funny yet effective builds in a game. An assassin with maxed out throwing stats (because throwing daggers and needles was it's mean weapons) who just run around dungeons and other areas with a lot of undead rapid firing healing potions left and right to kill all the monsters. I'm not saying that any way those builds are the best nor the most effective, but in a fair game they work just as well as any other even if they seem silly to other people.

Level design and boss design tells a lot about the people who make them. As it is impossible to create something without putting a little bit of yourself into the creation. And it is always clear when someone makes an hard but fair challenge or fight in game where players are free to win in anyway they like. Versus game where the devs want to force players to only play in the styles they want them to using the builds that only why want, even if they say things or have things in game that point counter to this. For example, why even have snipers and other long range weapons or classes a game if you are going to force the whole game to and all the boss fights to be close range with nowhere to hide? And that is where notice how best some devs unknowing send out mixed messages with their game design. And at worst they are only add in those things to give players the illusion of choice while actively doing things to sabotage any class or builds they personally have problems with.

I'm not saying that Em-8er is doing this nor that is will ever do this. But I do know of a few people have been burned one too many times when trying new games. So when the time comes for this game to come out. What are some key game design philosophies about Em-8er that I can point out to them? As different people focus on different things. Like skill based game play vs gear based game play or open freeform game play vs scripted and choreographed game play. You get my point. That way I'll know which my friends to call out to knowing they'll like game before hand.
 

Dam13n

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2019
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#2
In a way i definitely agree that players should be able to play the game how they want but i also really liked the direction Firefall went in during 0.7, 0.8. Where every frame was OP in its own way. Bastions being the masters of AFK thumping, Firecat mobility and CC, Raptors being single target destroyers, etc.

I didn't mind that my personal frame wasn't the best at everything. As long as it was really good at one thing and could at least keep up with other things. Another thing i would then hope for bosses or harder encounters would be a high emphasis on teamwork. Where an engineer type could more so focus on providing buffs, medics healing, etc. That the frames can compensate for each other's weaknesses.

Dauntless kinda ran into this problem, where they had to homogenize the weapons to the point where hammers could break off tails or swords could do stagger damage, etc. Their proposed solution to it is pretty interesting, they plan on having players equip two weapons and the ability to swap between them, with an added mechanic of adding combos that automatically swap your weapon at the end.

Pretty clever on paper.

I think fun should definitely be prioritized over challenge. If the moment to moment gameplay is fun, it does not need to be particularly difficult to be enjoyable and having "heroic" versions of content could cover that gap imo.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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Jul 27, 2016
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#3
Their proposed solution to it is pretty interesting, they plan on having players equip two weapons and the ability to swap between them, with an added mechanic of adding combos that automatically swap your weapon at the end.

I think if the switch or evolution of something can be activated rather than automatically as an option be set in the menu perhaps.

Lets say you have a throwable weapon that is a javelin which can get air targets better and with the combo maxed you press a button to switch to a pulse hammer to weaken armored units. Some people would rather have this happen automatically or time it at the right situation to activate this.

What if this could be done for an individual frame class selected, with a surplus energy bonus built up this is either activated to be used for abilities or movement enhancement to switching a frames profile.

As an example if an engineer is setup more towards turret defense, if you build the surplus energy you can then use that energy surplus to switch profile to Dps bots engineer. This could help compliment the teams composition and be able to adapt to the encounter better.

I am not sure if changing frames is worth it otherwise the battle frame garage or other areas wouldn't be worth the use then!

I didn't mind that my personal frame wasn't the best at everything. As long as it was really good at one thing and could at least keep up with other things. Another thing i would then hope for bosses or harder encounters would be a high emphasis on teamwork. Where an engineer type could more so focus on providing buffs, medics healing, etc. That the frames can compensate for each other's weaknesses.
I like the idea of the jack of all trades kind of character although it was not the best could handle many situations well.

However it is more fun playing with a specific type and a good team to having goofy celebrations at the end :)

I think fun should definitely be prioritized over challenge. If the moment to moment gameplay is fun, it does not need to be particularly difficult to be enjoyable and having "heroic" versions of content could cover that gap imo.
Yes this reminded me of a mmo where the dungeons let you play at different difficulty the heroic one's offered the skilled / vet players a challenge and better rewards for the risk.

The most fun game to me is super mario kart i have said this 100s of times because it is simple and how easy you can just get in play and finish.

The idea of progressing to different cc and winning cups but what if you can upgrade or downgrade racing units as well as use it for faster transport to link up HQ's and other areas of interest to providing supplies.

Perhaps the different class types of trucks even from small truck to beast trucks with a beastly horn hmm

Yes mario kart is fun to me ever since playing that on the snes... i'll always go back to that just for the nostalgic fun and music to the annoyance of falling through a small hole in the creaky ghost valley track to having a moron bash you off rainbow track etc etc
 

Sy

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2018
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sya.li
#4
My way of coping with the meta problem is coming to the fight as a better generalist player, so that I pull my weight on average compared to other players. Others might have "the better build" but I have the positioning, timing, etc. as a better player. This doesn't work for tryhard groups, so I miss out on that community, for what that's worth. :/

I agree with the problem when boss mechanics fundamentally disfavor certain play styles, like having no cover (or patience) for snipers, too much aoe damage for stealth, too much rooting for melee, etc.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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#5
I agree with the problem when boss mechanics fundamentally disfavor certain play styles, like having no cover (or patience)
Would be good if we could have deployable walls as an example an engineer could put up a wall and if it gets damaged too much then it breaks.

This reminds me of how some grineer in warframe could deploy walls which come in very useful to buy some time.

To reinforce the wall you could have the tank using its shield as an extra layer with the engineer wall.

I am really intrigued to see how the play-style would defer compared to a pilot and it's frame such as
can we do rolls as a pilot but in a mech is that more of a dash?

Can we still be effective as a pilot alternatively to the mech all depending on the environment?

To be able to battle without the mech or with the mech is what appeals to me some might want to use vehicles instead or grapple down a building as a pilot to get to another position with less detection etc

Speaking of recon in a game called global agenda there were fun ways to play especially using bombs you stealth away place the bomb and hopefully make it out of the blast radius.

This was fun for mobs especially the venom bomb and there were a few others.
Sniper took much skill especially for the fast moving one so either an smg or a bomb spec made sense to me.

For snipers what if we could create our own platform e.g. in Deep rock galactic the engineer could create a platform. What if you could create attachment points just like they do in rock climbing so your grappler can hook on to it.

Perhaps this might not last for ever and breaks depending on the quality of the attachment point launched e.g. if its made from better resources type and it's percentage?

That way snipers could hang from strange points such as trees to edges of mountains etc
Although smarter A.I could detect it if they were firing too often in the same place or that their camouflage was not suitable for that surrounding if we are talking about skins.
 
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