I have a bunch of feedback for Grip but I will try to keep it all contained to specific threads.
I really feel like Grip has a much better concept than Rollcage games were, in look and feel I get excited for the potential of Grip but I still feel like Grip's mechanics of powerups is being held down by RC which could have been better in weapon balance imo. So here's some suggestions
*Pickups that are already fully charged
- Spoiler: show
- Regarding the Assassin Missile spam in the game, this being due to the low number of actual unique powers ala RC's low number of powerups. I would suggest that you start adding already charged upgrades to the pickups at random. This is like how MarioKart handles shells, you can either get 1 or 3 of a green/red shell. However not only MK does it this way, the ExtremeG games also gave pick ups of 1-5 missiles/mortars, ect. It's a good system that works, and it can definitely help reduce the spam of super-weapons like EMP, Warps or Assassins.
Pre-Charged weapons are practically a necessary part of balancing, and all in all make the game more enjoyable for everyone, especially people further back in the pack. Pre-Charged weapons can help balance auto-stacking and or stacking weapons as well. As they are not only favorable for the ones in the lead.
You can give players further behind more chance to pick up pre-charged weapons instead of just better lv1 weapons like Assassin spam to keep the pack together with a bigger punch. Because every time the player has to slowdown to charge the upgrade but this is totally unhelpful for last place. Playing in split-screen I often found no chance to catchup to my friend if he was in first and I was in last, and vise versa and I really feel no pre-charged weapons was a big part of this.
*Pickups that layer ontop of a duplicate
- Spoiler: show
- The XGRA system of auto-stacking weapons would work well for Grip, if you happen to have the chance of getting 2 of the same pickups it becomes the next level up version with no penalty (although there is no penalty strategy in XGRA). So you would weigh your options in Grip to charge it manually with a penalty or going by chance to get a double pickup that's automatically stacked.
Having multiple levels of weapons instead of A or B could open up more options for the devs to balance, like multiple levels of charges not just 2. Like with Queadah's suggested Satellite-Death-Beam (Assassin) being a Level-3 pickup. Depending on how you want to do it, Lv3 pickups could potentially be locked from being obtained by anything other than a lucky pickup grab, and you would only be able to autostack to Lv2. This would make the Lv3 powers, like the suggested Orbital Strike concept much more exciting to use and get because they would be much more rare. Otherwise I would imagine the fun would be diminished and spammy as people save up to Lv3 strikes via charges.
To make it more strategic check out the Swap Lock suggestion below
*Only being able have one charged pickup at a time
- Spoiler: show
- I like the current stacking up powers compared to RC's dual activation system but charging 2 at once might be overpowered and even though I had no problems with it some reviews found it cumbersome and if I viewed it from a QA perspective I would have to agree.
Going for a system of only being able to upgrade one at a time kind, like in Blur but as selecting which you charge instead of using only 1 at a time. I wouldn't want Grip to lose the ability to be able to use 2 items as that's part of the chaotic fun and aspect of Rollcage I dont think people would want to see go.
One charged pickup at a time instead of both at once will help reduce the OP spamming tremendously. You can still carry 2 pickups at once, and super-versions of weapons via charging is still available and faithful to RC games but you have to pick and decide which one it is you put your cards into. Well what about charging and cycling out to charge the other powerup? It could be locked into place in the charge-slot, and once fully charged it can not be cycled back out.
While this requires a new input to be in the game, I feel like it would definitely be worth it and I think this would bring much better balance to charged-weapon spam. Optionally you could have a different sort of powerup to go through that only upgrades whatever you have in the slot, instead of giving you a new item but that may over complicate things.
I have more ideas, but I think that's enough for now. Let me know what you guys think!