Misery Jul 31 @ 11:01pm
My thoughts on the problems with Rebel
Okay.

So. Time for some detailed feedback.

This is gonna get wordy. Really wordy. This is why I split this into a seperate topic.

I spent some time experimenting with Rebel after a bunch of discussion in the best/worst character thread....

.....and she's actually WORSE than I thought.

Why?

Because she's spending health to summon something that's almost more pathetic than the actual bandits you fight constantly. And considering that bandits are basically the Goombas of the game, this fact is.... sad.

Let's examine these allies a bit, and the utter lack of sense that they are made of.

1. They die over time. Repeating that: THEY DIE OVER TIME. ....WHY is this even there? There are very few things in this game that I think are genuinely idiotic.... but THIS is one of them, and it's SO blasted stupid that it may as well be 20 idiotic things. The allies are NOT powerful. If this mechanic was removed, they'd STILL be weak.... they'd NOT be overpowered, which is usually the reason for a mechanic like this, is to stop something from being constant and thus OP. And they dont just die over time.... they do it QUICKLY. This is in addition to all the other damage they take, which leads me to:

2. They are controlled by AI. Okay. Anyone that's ever done something like an escort mission in any game knows how unfathomably DUMB most forms of AI are. They make a potted plant look like some sort of super-charged robot Einstein. They are seriously one of the stupidest things in any game. Escort missions in games arent a bad concept, but the moment they move past the conceptual stage into actual execution, they fall totally apart. Heck, look at The Last of Us. I havent played it, but from what I hear, your sidekick there actually IGNORES certain game mechanics. Stealth doesnt apply to her, for instance. Why is this? Because nobody has the ability to create an AI that's capable of dealing with even simplistic situations without screwing up totally at random. There's a bazillion other examples of things that AI characters in general just cannot handle.

So here we go, into this game, with an AI character that's both weak AND really damn dumb AND one that dies over time for no logical reason.... in a very fast-paced game with 10 zillion bullets and angry fish things and big damn robots and such everywhere. And the AI has enough trouble just dodging attacks from rather small groups, let alone dealing with situations where the enemy is coming from multiple directions or where there's just alot of them. So in addition to all those other problems, we have an AI character that cannot dodge worth a crap. And that's on EARLY levels. Guess what happens if you try this in later levels like the Palace?

3. They are WEAK. Their attacks are slow and generally awful. Damage output? What damage output? Clearly the strategy used by the allies is to make the enemy giggle themselves to death from watching the explosion of stupid while slow, sad bullets fly in their vague direction. I can see how clearly effective this is. Throne Butt makes this less of a problem... but that also means that you're selecting something that ISNT absolutely crucial to Rebel's general survival, the sort of mutations she ACTUALLY needs. BECAUSE those are so necessary, most of the time, ally damage is super weak, because you cant afford to skip one for Throne Butt. Provided it even shows up in the first place. And even Throne Butt doesnt help much. It's a damage output increase.... but not much of one.

Which ALSO means that in later levels, you get an ally that A: dies really fast even without taking hits, B: takes alot of hits because it cannot dodge, C: has weak damage output, and finally D: never increases that output over the course of the game, unlike the player. An ally that has trouble with even a simple group of bandits or birds isnt going to be able to do anything resembling actual damage whatsoever to the enemies later in the game. I'd say, by the time you reach the crystal caves, allies can no longer affect the battle overall in any way. Enemies have started to really get more HP by this point, so it's like you're summoning a total blank spot.



AND. And. Look at the way the "synergy" between Rebel and the "good" mutations help. They dont ACTUALLY synergize with her ability much, aka, the actual ally. What they're synergizing with is the self-stabbing. You may as well be JUST stabbing yourself, without summoning anything, when considered in the context of the actual effects these mutations have. Damage all enemies on screen when you get hit? Your ally, AKA the actual focus of your ability, doesnt synergize with this. The fact that you STABBED YOURSELF is what did it. Pretty much every other example of synergistic mutations for Rebel have this issue. For other characters, this really isnt the case. Eyes, for example. He has a number of examples of true synergy between mutations, and his actual ability. Synergy with certain weapons, too. The rabbit foot one, for instance. Telepathy can make it easier to grab items that have fallen in very dangerous spots, or they can pull them near a corner, where you can pop out, grab them, and then dive back behind the wall, instead of having to run out and grab them. Or synergy with certain weapons: melee is great for him, because he can pull things towards walls or other advantageous positions, giving him a chance to strike without risk. This becomes even stronger with the melee-range mutation. There's examples like this for every character that isnt Rebel.



So, yeah... these are my observations about this character after a bunch of experimenting. Some may disagree with me of course, but these are my own opinions on the issue.
Last edited by Misery; Jul 31 @ 11:06pm
Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
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Rudie Jul 31 @ 11:19pm 
You didn't even mention her awful passive.
Misery Aug 1 @ 12:45am 
Originally posted by Rudie:
You didn't even mention her awful passive.

Aye, I'm mostly focusing on the allies with this one, since I think they're the real core of the problem. The passive is more just a side issue.
K. H. Aug 1 @ 2:57am 
1. Using the active again heals all the other allies. I'm not sure how far you've gotten with Rebel or how big of an army you've had, but if they didn't die over time they would be ridiculously strong.
2. They are dumb thats true, but if they made the allies AI better she would be far too overpowered. Someone once said they follow you like lost puppies. That person wasn't wrong. You have to help your allies dodge by moving away from the bullets yourself. That way your allies follow you away from the bullets. Also standing behind corners work.
3. Seeing how easy it is the further you get into the game to get a bigger army of allies per floor, if they did make the allies stronger Rebel would be the most overpowered Character in this game. You can already have 10+ allies following you on every lvl in the late game shooting bullets like the Throne Boss's Beam Phase.

I do wish Mutations synergizes more with the allies than the stabbing part, but i'm not sure how that would work or how good it would be with the current set of mutations. That being said, I do however enjoy Bloodlust working with the allies.

I also agree that her passive is pretty lackluster. Seems like the kind of thing they just slapped on her after thinking about the 2HP cost for the active. I believe Solid came up with a cool change that you'd regen 2HP at the start of every floor. That's pretty cool.

Rebel is kinda weird because the allies themselves are not really good at all, but the possibility of increasing the amount of allies following you by tenfold is what makes them so good. What you want and should strive to get with the allies is quantity, because there sure as hell is no quality in those little dudes. If there were quality, then getting a quantity of them would be very overpowered. I suppose there is some way of changing it so they are smarter, but you cannot summon as many of them, but I don't know how that would work. I guess that's personal preference tho. I like them the way they are now. Makes those moments where you have 20+ allies following you even better.

Edit: Maybe if its possible you could have the first few allies get a smarter AI, but the more allies you summon the worse the existing allies AI gets. That way you can choose if you want a few good AI's that don't do alot of dmg, but they are smart or if you want a dumb bulletstorm.
Last edited by K. H.; Aug 1 @ 3:08am
Misery Aug 1 @ 3:20am 
Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
1. Using the active again heals all the other allies. I'm not sure how far you've gotten with Rebel or how big of an army you've had, but if they didn't die over time they would be ridiculously strong.
2. They are dumb thats true, but if they made the allies AI better she would be far too overpowered. Someone once said they follow you like lost puppies. That person wasn't wrong. You have to help your allies dodge by moving away from the bullets yourself. That way your allies follow you away from the bullets. Also standing behind corners work.
3. Seeing how easy it is the further you get into the game to get a bigger army of allies per floor, if they did make the allies stronger Rebel would be the most overpowered Character in this game. You can already have 10+ allies following you on every lvl in the late game shooting bullets like the Throne Boss's Beam Phase.

I do wish Mutations synergizes more with the allies than the stabbing part, but i'm not sure how that would work or how good it would be with the current set of mutations. That being said, I do however enjoy Bloodlust working with the allies.

I also agree that her passive is pretty lackluster. Seems like the kind of thing they just slapped on her after thinking about the 2HP cost for the active. I believe Solid came up with a cool change that you'd regen 2HP at the start of every floor. That's pretty cool.



The problem with the bit about healing allies, or even just having more, is the sheer ridiculous speed at which they die.

Understand, the problem isnt them not having enough health at any given point. They die so fast that they may as well just start with 1 or 2, because chances are, they're running into big piles of things that are damaging them all at once; it's not like they're just gonna get hit by one bullet at a time every now and then, not with their utter lack of dodging. Heal them, and MAYBE you get a couple more seconds out of them... at the cost of stabbing yourself. And in return, they'll vaguely spray undamaging shots at the monstrous flaming chainsaws that they're about to waddle straight into. Oh, you do get another ally for doing this as well.... which is just as weak as the first. And heck, look at enemy health values as the game goes on! Hell, just in the crystal caves.... it'd take a pile of them just to kill ONE crystal.... and they'd be getting destroyed by spiders and the crystal beams the whole time. And that's with a GROUP of them, mind you. Their damage output is THAT low.

Paying 2 health to heal something that'll die 3 seconds later and which MIGHT maybe sorta almost hit an enemy or two with a few weak shots does not make for an effective strategy. And of course, this is assuming you havent been getting hit (and thus low on health yourself), and arent already in a tornado of bullets. It's an EXTREMELY impractical strategy. Already experimented with it. Allies die as fast as they ever did, yet it also at the same time just hastens Rebel's own upcoming demise.

And really, with their attacks being so weak, and them being so bloody dumb, you'd need ALOT of them, constantly, to do actual damage.... and Rebel hasnt enough health to keep up that many, even with Rhino skin. You'd nearly obliterate her to keep such a group going for ONE level. Just.... one. Blowing 2 health for that effect is bad enough. Blowing 4-10 is dramatically worse. You have VASTLY more survivability by NOT summoning them (and thus not taking damage), and simply playing it safe and not getting hit. Which is something that any character can do.... except that all of the ones that ARENT Rebel can do it while ALSO having an ability that wont wreck them in the process. Abilities they can use as much as they want.

And of course, keeping up an army with them ALSO is based on the mutations that Rebel needs.... which, I might add, are mutations that are COMPLETELY based on pure, undiluted RNG. Basing anything on pure RNG is a terrible strategy to begin with. The idea in a procedurally generated game, or roguelikes in general, is to do absolutely everything you can to LESSEN the effects the RNG has on you. Other characters can use strategies that make it so that regardless of the weapons the game is handing to you, and regardless of which mutations you take, you can STILL turn it into a winning build by using their strengths correctly, as their strengths dont rely on any RNG stuffs. But Rebel is ENTIRELY dependant on it, as is the nature of all of her necessary mutations.

And yes, I know they follow you. Or at least, that's what they're SUPPOSED to do. There are 2 problems with this:

1. They dont always do it right, and will sometimes waddle INTO stuff instead of away from it. They have the attention span of someone that is too spacey and impatient to finish this analogy.

But the major bit is 2: Dodging with them is basically like going into a bullet hell shmup, and trying to win with a gigantic hitbox of doom. You have to find a HUGE open spot, with NOTHING dangerous in or flying towards it, to guarantee their safety and your own at the same time. Most of the time, this just doesnt work. And yes, you can hide behind corners.... but that's bloody stupid too. Why? Because A: this means the ally isnt doing anything helpful, while they B: slowly die. And when you DO leave that spot, YOU will likely leave it with the correct timing to avoid certain doom, but THEY have no concept of this and will happily crash into anything that you might have just gotten out of the way of. While still slowly dying. Which either wastes the 2 HP you spent on it, or causes you to blow ANOTHER 2 HP to heal it briefly. Which you then get to hope the RNG happens to give you a chance to get back.



In other words.... there's just way, WAY too much luck involved with having a successful run with Rebel, while this ISNT the case with anyone else. And having luck trump skill in a game like this is never a good thing.
Last edited by Misery; Aug 1 @ 3:23am
Ganil Ganilder Aug 1 @ 3:26am 
Nah man... Rebel is good, I can reach the Throne with her 80% of the time. She just need a little tweaking.

Her best mutations are Bloodlust, Sharp Teeth, Extra Stomach, Rhino Skin and Rabbit Paw. I´ve seen Meow spawning 20 allies, and it was beautiful.



Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:

Hola compatriota!
K. H. Aug 1 @ 3:43am 
I guess I just don't have the same problems you do when playing Rebel. Her active is a risk and reward kinda thing. With certain mutations it allows you to lower the risk and just keep pumping out the reward.

Hola amigo!

I'm not really spanish and my spanish is terrible, but there you go :P
Last edited by K. H.; Aug 1 @ 3:44am
Ganil Ganilder Aug 1 @ 4:12am 
Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
I guess I just don't have the same problems you do when playing Rebel. Her active is a risk and reward kinda thing. With certain mutations it allows you to lower the risk and just keep pumping out the reward.

Yep, that is just what (I think) she is supposed to work. Is funny that everybody loves the weak Melting for that same reason but Rebel gets that much hate...

Oh ya veo, ¡entendido! jajaja ;D
Last edited by Ganil Ganilder; Aug 1 @ 4:13am
Misery Aug 1 @ 4:13am 
Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
I guess I just don't have the same problems you do when playing Rebel. Her active is a risk and reward kinda thing. With certain mutations it allows you to lower the risk and just keep pumping out the reward.

Hola amigo!

I'm not really spanish and my spanish is terrible, but there you go :P


"With certain mutations" is the whole problem though.

I believe that's what Solid was trying to point out in the other topic as well.




Originally posted by Ganil Ganilder:
Nah man... Rebel is good, I can reach the Throne with her 80% of the time. She just need a little tweaking.

Her best mutations are Bloodlust, Sharp Teeth, Extra Stomach, Rhino Skin and Rabbit Paw. I´ve seen Meow spawning 20 allies, and it was beautiful.

Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:

Hola compatriota!

Bloodlust, Extra Stomach, and Rabbit Paw are all RNG-based. Extra Stomach only works if the game happens to give you medkits. Rabbit Paw can increase the chances of this happening, but it's still very uncommon and not reliable; I use Rabbit Paw alot myself, but not for the medkits due to the unreliability (even with that you can go a LONG time without seeing even one). I use it for the additional ammo drops. And Bloodlust can allow you to regenerate.... really, REALLY slowly. AND based on RNG.

Frankly, I could reach the Throne with her too, but.... it wouldnt be because of her ability on any given run. Very careful, defensive play, and very specifically NOT using the ability would be what does it.


In all honesty, all this talk is fine and all, but the only real way Rebel's worth is ever to be proven would be with actual videos demonstrating RELIABLE playstyles and consistent progress with zero luck necessary. In other words, no reliance on RNG whatsoever.

Even then, there might still be flaws found in such a demonstration (such as getting far very specifically because the game decided to fart out medkits constantly, which again is pure RNG, and not skill-based). And I'd wonder what some people on the forum here might think after watching one, as to wether it truly is a workable thing or not.
Misery Aug 1 @ 4:14am 
Originally posted by Ganil Ganilder:
Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
I guess I just don't have the same problems you do when playing Rebel. Her active is a risk and reward kinda thing. With certain mutations it allows you to lower the risk and just keep pumping out the reward.

Yep, that is just what (I think) she is supposed to work. Is funny that everybody loves the weak Melting for that same reason but Rebel gets that much hate...

Oh ya veo, ¡entendido! jajaja ;D

Melting doesnt need RNG at all to consistently use his ability, is why.

The game will ALWAYS give you corpses. Lots of them. Lots and LOTS of them. Everywhere. He needs no mutations to consistently make effective and CONSTANT use of them.

As opposed to medkits, which it often DOESNT give. You're not guaranteed to find the medkits that Rebel needs so badly, whereas you ARE guaranteed to find corpses.
Last edited by Misery; Aug 1 @ 4:15am
Ganil Ganilder Aug 1 @ 4:19am 
Originally posted by Misery:
Very careful, defensive play, and very specifically NOT using the ability would be what does it.

This is your problem. Stop playing that way with her, she is meant to be played agressive. You will be rewarded with HP.

(this video is 17 updates ago)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6t0jM87FPc&index=67
Gieron Aug 1 @ 4:21am 
I'm gonna link you a streamer recording, being unstoppable with Rebel for like an hour.

http://www.twitch.tv/ster/c/4774986

After i saw this stream i completely changed my opinion on Rebel. Played her the next day and got to the Throne for the first time since like 2 weeks (i don't play often :P).

The most important part of her is a mutation combo you pretty much need to have: Throne Butt, Rabbit Paw, Second Stomach and SHARP TEETH (since it got buffed). What you do is spawn allies whenever theres a full screen of enemies, everything takes 4 damage, you do this until your 1/2 on HP, Since you have Rabbit Paw theres most likely a medkit on the ground by now and boom your back to full HP with Second Stomach.

Rhino Skin, Scarier Face, Boiling Vains make this even more powerful. All Rebel is about is the timing when and where to spawn an ally.

What i do agree tho she still needs the passive change and the new Throne Butt. A longer ally life spawn could also be a good idea.
Last edited by Gieron; Aug 1 @ 4:23am
Ganil Ganilder Aug 1 @ 4:23am 
Originally posted by Gieron:
I'm gonna link you a streamer recording, being unstoppable with Rebel for like an hour.
http://www.twitch.tv/ster/c/4774986
After i saw this stream i completely changed my opinion on Rebel. Played her the nest day and got to the Throne for the first time since like 2 weeks (i don't play often :P).

The most important part of her is a mutation combo you pretty much need to have: Throne Butt, Rabbit Paw, Second Stomach and SHARP TEETH (since it got buffed). What you do is spawn allies whenever theres a full screen of enemies, everything takes 4 damage, you do this until your 1/2 on HP, Since you have Rabbit Paw theres most likely a medkit on the ground by now and boom your back to full HP with Second Stomach.

Rhino Skin, Scarier Face, Boiling Vains make this even more powerful. All Rebel is about is the timing when and where to spawn an ally.

;D
K. H. Aug 1 @ 4:36am 
What I was saying that with certain mutations you can abuse her, making her more powerful, but it's not the way she is supposed to be played. I can't say that with certainty tho since I wasn't the one who designed Rebel and what intentions was discussed around her. If anything Rebel should be nerfed. Unlike other Characters the only thing that limits Rebel from going out of control is RNG, and that RNG is lessened by picking up certain mutations. I guess just having the option of doing that makes people think it's something you have to do. In fact, it's the most fun way of playing Rebel so I suppose that is why everyone picks up those mutations.

Chicken is sort of the same way in this way. You pick up alot of healing mutations so you can abuse Chicken's passive as much as possible. It's not forced it's just the most fun way of playing that character.

Melting has some similarities with mutations choices aswell, as discussed in another thread.

The fact that you feel that Rebel is a character that consistently should use her active to spawn allies tells me you're not really doing it right.

and this is how you break Rebel. I don't even have Second Stomach. If I had that I could've doubled the amount of allies, which is as you can see totally not nescessary. Not only does abusing Rebel helps you steamroll a level, it also gives your weapons full ammo when the level is finished, and sometimes full hp if RNG gods are with you, and since allies give rads when they drop, they increase the speed at which you level like crazy. It might be noteworthy that in this recording I have just finished the first lvl of Frozen City and i'm already level 8.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwbH3QeyKfE&list=UUDz5ig89QqY1H-Iz-g0foaw
Then again I do have Crown of Blood, which is another way of breaking Rebel to the point of it being ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ly overpowered.
Last edited by K. H.; Aug 1 @ 4:47am
Misery Aug 1 @ 5:29am 
Originally posted by Ganil Ganilder:
Originally posted by Misery:
Very careful, defensive play, and very specifically NOT using the ability would be what does it.

This is your problem. Stop playing that way with her, she is meant to be played agressive. You will be rewarded with HP.

(this video is 17 updates ago)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6t0jM87FPc&index=67


Actually, I DO play aggressively. I'm too impatient not to. This applies to any game in any genre. I've always been the berserker sort. "Defensively" for me means "not quite as chaotic as usual". I should really probably call it something else, come to think of it.

However, doing so has not gotten me anywhere..... as far as her ability goes. I can survive, but that's based on pure dodging and weapon use . Typically, her ability devolves into uselessness after a pretty short time, so I ignore it in the end. Also leads to her being no fun to use, really.

I do intend on more experimenting, I'll try going full bloody chaos mode with her and see what happens.

Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
What I was saying that with certain mutations you can abuse her, making her more powerful, but it's not the way she is supposed to be played. I can't say that with certainty tho since I wasn't the one who designed Rebel and what intentions was discussed around her. If anything Rebel should be nerfed. Unlike other Characters the only thing that limits Rebel from going out of control is RNG, and that RNG is lessened by picking up certain mutations. I guess just having the option of doing that makes people think it's something you have to do. In fact, it's the most fun way of playing Rebel so I suppose that is why everyone picks up those mutations.

Chicken is sort of the same way in this way. You pick up alot of healing mutations so you can abuse Chicken's passive as much as possible. It's not forced it's just the most fun way of playing that character.

Melting has some similarities with mutations choices aswell, as discussed in another thread.

The fact that you feel that Rebel is a character that consistently should use her active to spawn allies tells me you're not really doing it right.

and this is how you break Rebel. I don't even have Second Stomach. If I had that I could've doubled the amount of allies, which is as you can see totally not nescessary. Not only does abusing Rebel helps you steamroll a level, it also gives your weapons full ammo when the level is finished, and sometimes full hp if RNG gods are with you, and since allies give rads when they drop, they increase the speed at which you level like crazy. It might be noteworthy that in this recording I have just finished the first lvl of Frozen City and i'm already level 8.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwbH3QeyKfE&list=UUDz5ig89QqY1H-Iz-g0foaw
Then again I do have Crown of Blood, which is another way of breaking Rebel to the point of it being ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ly overpowered.

Actually, I DONT use her ability very often. This being because it just SOUNDS suicidal to begin with. I brought up the idea of using it constantly as an example of logic, that's all. My entire purpose for creating this thread has little to do with my own personal playstyle, and everything to do with general balance, as well as the simple fact that so very many players seem to think she's worthless. I'm sorry, but when you have THAT many with that opinion as that poll shows (and as Solid's ignored challenge also suggested), there's something not quite right.

Originally posted by Gieron:

The most important part of her is a mutation combo you pretty much need to have:


THIS BIT HERE.

THAT is my point, and I think it was something Solid was trying to point out as well. It is the entire reason I made this topic. There should not be a "pretty much need to have" in terms of mutations or whatever. Applies to weapons and crowns as well. None of the other characters have this issue. THIS is likely why so many find her useless.

I'll be interested to see what he has to say about all of it, if he feels like jumping into the thread here.


The big hour-long video I'll look at later. Dont have the time currently.
Last edited by Misery; Aug 1 @ 5:31am
Solid Aug 1 @ 5:39am 
Originally posted by Ganil Ganilder:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6t0jM87FPc&index=67
Originally posted by Gieron:
http://www.twitch.tv/ster/c/4774986
Originally posted by Spaniardsforlyfe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwbH3QeyKfE&list=UUDz5ig89QqY1H-Iz-g0foaw
These all show the point that Misery and I have actually been making. During all these runs players are making the same choices in relation to mutations. The idea of the game is that a variety of experiences should be supported, however when Rebel is brought up it is always in relation to health mutations. No matter if she is too powerful or too weak the core is that in a game like this there should not be a specific way to play certain characters.
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Date Posted: Jul 31 @ 11:01pm
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