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Thourton
01.06.2012 , 10:47 AM | #1
I'm not here to bash but critique and hopefully see an interesting and varied concept become fun, because right now, the Colicoid War Games flashpoint is agonizing--but the concept is solid and really got me excited.

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The Turret Game
The intuition here is to have each player in a turret with their backs to each other defending their quadrant. Unfortunately, that doesn't work, because the turret mechanic is way too cumbersome to deal with the vast number of enemies.

The strategy here then becomes either:
  • Healer stays out of a turret and heals the other three players. This would seem sensible, but then why have four turrets and not just three, if this is intended?
  • Each player faces in toward each other and shoots bugs behind other players. This is not intuitive by any means. Why am I shooting through other players' turrets?

Both of these strategies turn a near-impossible mechanic into a near-laughable faceroll, and that disparity reeks of broken mechanics--not to mention, these strategies don't seem like what the developers intended for the group to do.

The recommendations I can think of would be:
  • Give the turret a unique ability hotbar with a long-cooldown single-target attack and a short-cooldown AOE attack that the player controls. The aim-and-sPRAY (emphasis on pray here) is just too cumbersome and finicky to be effective--unless you use one of these counter-intuitive strategies.
  • Reduce the amount of enemies. The overwhelmed sensation is exciting, and I'm not saying the enemies should trickle out, but maybe a few enemies attack all at once and then different quadrants get hit with a lot of enemies forcing the players to help each other.

The Maze Game
Okay, where the mechanics of The Turret Game are at least conquerable--and maybe even excusable--the mechanics of this maze are simply broken. This is bad to the point that it's miserable to complete.

Here's what I get and even appreciate:
  • Players have to split up to operate consoles to unlock force fields.
  • Elite Patrol Droids are easy to focus down but a little more daunting when the group is split up. They also have a mean reusable knockback that's avoidable but can still be tricky.

Those mechanics are great. Sure, the first Elite Patrol Droid my group attacked knocked off one of our members for an insta-kill. We learned immediately to not position ourselves with backs to edges. Before we split up, we cleared out the area. We understood the mechanics, and we were ready to knock it out.

Then things got ridiculous, and here's what I don't understand:
  • The Elite Patrol Droids respawn after a few minutes and use the mess out of that knockback ability.
  • The Elite Patrol Droids don't like to stand still. They move around making positioning yourself to not get knocked off more difficult.
  • These stupid droids seem to spawn right on top of me, a healer, as soon as I'm running to unlock the final gate. Okay, I'm probably exaggerating, but it did honestly seem like every time we split up to unlock gates, an Elite Patrol Droid would spawn near someone and knock them off an edge.

It just became overkill for the enemy to have so many ways to screw us over. It no longer felt like us versus challenge mechanics but us versus luck. Could we manage enough luck to clear out respawns, split up, and unlock force fields before another droid spawned and knocked someone off an edge?

The recommendations I can think of would be:
  • Get rid of the knockback ability on the respawning Elite Patrol Droids. Keep it on the enemies already there when the group arrives. It's a challenge; it's frustrating, but it's beatable. But when the group has to split up, it's already a challenge for a single player to face one of these droids without the thing having a reusable insta-kill ability. It's just overkill and turns a challenge into plain misery.

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The rest of the flashpoint was standard boss fights, and as frustrated as I was with the whole thing, I really did enjoy the variety of gameplay with the turrets and maze. It's just badly needing some tweaks and tinkering.