Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

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playabot
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Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby playabot » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:32 pm

So I may not be up to speed on the direction that is being pursued for the weapons in GRIP (I’m stealthfuly in the forum while at work and dudes! There are pages on the subject and sporadic opinions)… so here’s mine

Disclosure first up - I’m not a huge fan of weapon stacking so the solution?

I would like to see a weapon loadout screen connected to the vehicle customisation section...

Weapon availability and function will be limited for players when they first load up the game but as they rank up things will progressively be unlocked and added.

To begin with the racer has limited access to weapons. Weapons are added at particular levels. And more than this, weapons will also have their own upgrade paths. Weapons will upgrade in line with the usual exp gained during races and more exp will be accumulated for that weapon based on its usage in race. Features and the option to 'mod' the weapon and change its effects are added as you progress.

For example – shield

1st lvl rear facing standard shield

2nd lvl upgrade durability by a percentage

3rd lvl shield becomes flipable to front of vehicle

4th lvl upgrade durability by a percentage

5th lvl shield becomes stackable front and back

6th lvl unlock mod one ‘absorb fire’ if shield activation is timed with weapon impact energy is absorbed (players can choose a mod i.e. absorb health, absorb boost) perhaps there could be a mod to ‘deflect fire' so if shield activation is timed with weapon impact the weapon i.e. rocket, flys off and targets nearest track side target or mine.

Style and colour options can also be unlocked along the way – possibly push for 10 lvls for each weapon.

(Happy to discuss my thoughts on upgrade paths for other weapons if the community likes this idea)

I like this appraoch because features are upgraded as you progress, demonstrating that you are making progres, and mods are unlocked letting you customise how a weapon functions based on your preference.

RC2’s stacking made weapons unpredictable for the user and at times less effective. The user has no real control over what they’re getting and how it works as the secondary effect isn't always a logical progression of the prior – the whole thing comes off messy in look (hud complexity) and function (the stacked version of the weapon is less effective/too different/secondary ability tacked on or not properly thought out).
Last edited by playabot on Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

twisted
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby twisted » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:17 am

I really like your ideas and contribution to this forum. Keep 'em coming! ;)

playabot
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby playabot » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:54 am

Thanks man :)


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Queadah
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby Queadah » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:43 am

Honest curiosity here too, if you could elaborate playabot :)

playabot
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby playabot » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:04 pm

The answer to your question Broscar and Queadah is – ‘elegantly’ :) and frankly dudes, I don’t think the game should release without it…

I’m sure that your main concern relates to balance, ‘how does a lvl1 compete with a lvl10’

There are a few things that I think mitigate this concern;

Firstly in multiplayer races/battles the player has two available weapon slots only. Regardless of the strength or breadth of your firepower, at any one time, you can only hold two weapons. Further, you need to collect a power up to hold or carry weapons. So naturally, the game applies a level of balancing, as weapon turnover during the race is effectively the same between lvl1 and lvl10. It's not attached to a cool down or some other mechanic.

Secondly, sure the lvl10 might have a bigger potential loadout with weapons that are broadly more capable and featured but lvl1’s are already holding 80% of that power. By this I mean that upgrading and progression is intended to account for only that final 20% gap in weapon power and function (as I see it). So your starting load out of 4 to 6 weapons will still be very capable. The upgrade component applies nuance, cosmetic options, relatively small and incremental increases in power/durability/speed and personality i.e. the mod system.

Thirdly, at the outset, there is a not only a 'feature-set-deficit' (I see this as a somewhat superficial or percieved gap, I know it’s actual, but anyway…) there is also a 'player-skill-deficit' (to me this is real, unavoidable and arguably, more important). By this I mean that regardless, a noob getting into the ring with a pro is going to get owned. And regardless of the full feature set available, a noob is going to need to learn how to use that feature set and ultimately they are going to need to learn in incremental stages (speed of learning is going to be different from player to player but we all have to go through it). And I don’t say this in reference to the weapons only but everything, so, stage 1 - press x to accelerate and r1 to fire weapon – stage 2, breaking and drifting – stage 3 track layout… stage 'x' vehicle handling, weapons, jump and in amongst it all, ‘holy crap this game is really fast,’ and ‘sh%$!, I’m driving on the ceiling!’) and so on...

The risk, and dudes, I’m really concerned about this, is when everything is available at the outset players are going to be overwhelmed. Say you plan to have 10 weapons, with 3 stacked versions – realistically, you’re asking your player base to instantly be familiar with 30 weapon types. Opportunities for learning also become few and far between as they will be collecting individual weapons less frequently (i.e. a 1 out of 30 chance as opposed to 1 out of 4/6 chance). Additionally, stacking means that the weapon I’m holding becomes drastically different in an instant further complicating things…

*A quick note - By being part of this early access, all of us have had the ability to learn in very, very incremental stages – to us, we seek out knowledge regarding new content and features, test them exhaustively; to us new features stick out. Your audience is going to be hit with it all at once.*

So back to my point, weapon upgrading lends itself to this learning/teaching and Caged can use this to educate the player. You know like, ‘I have 6 weapons available in my loadout at the outset, but realistically 6 is all I need at a base lvl; all I understand and will use effectively. This still represents an effective arsenal and one that I know is going to build and grow as my knowledge and skill builds and grows.'

Fourthly – one weapons upgrade path is the counter to another weapons upgrade path i.e. the forward facing shield is countered by the leader missile turning back on the leader or a double mine drop counters forward facing shield.

Fifthly - unlocking stuff is addictive and gratifying :)

Sixthly – Depth! …and Deathmatch particularly needs depth. It needs player customisation and personality (my arguments above are possibly 10x as important in this mode).

Sure everything comes down to implementation but I think your chances of overwhelming and frustrating players is significantly higher with a stacking system as opposed to a levelling system.

playabot
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby playabot » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:42 pm

The simpler answer would be, ‘have open and ranked events’, but after considering all the above I think the argument for that becomes incongruous, possibly even entirely unnecessary.

Ad a bit of an intro to the competition in the opening of a race or event to show who you’re up against and their stand-out-stats i.e. a leader board of some type identifying player name, vehicle, lvl, most effective weapon usage and least effective weapon usage (if this isn’t too hard to work into things I think it would be a great addition i.e. this is my strength and this is my weakness beyond loadout, and everyone can see it)... At a glance this lets you know, ‘look out for the Juggernaut or Dominator for reason x’. Of course the dudes driving those vehicles would be like, ‘yeah, I know you’re looking at my stats’ haha

It ads to the systems mentioned above.

The game broadens and becomes deaper as you play more - vets aren't ignored because weapon upgrades present nuance and skill options.

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Chris_CE
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Re: Weapon loadout and weapon upgrading - an alternative to weapon stacking

Postby Chris_CE » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:14 pm

I think this system works in singple player but creates too much chaos in MP, and development challenges for us, especially balancing.

Something to look into a bit later, either way!

RE: Arena
It's barely been touched gameplay-wise, so expect this to improve drastically
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