Streets of Rogue

Streets of Rogue

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Park Balance Analysis
So the new Park area was just added, and it's a big departure from the previous areas. Industrial feels like a natural extension of Slums, just with some new equipment and more dangerous hazards around. But Park really mixes things up, and I feel like this has some balance implications with how the game is set up.

There's no cops, and there's no gangs, so Cop and Crepe/Blahds sort of lose out on their class features.
There's little to hack, so nerdy classes like Hacker and Scientist miss out.
There's also way fewer guns available from Goons/Cops/Gang members, and fewer vending machines to buy more ammo at.
Buildings in the area are small and have outward-facing windows, so it's really hard to sneak up on them without the Cannibals inside seeing. And Cannibals also like to hide in the grass and ambush you with axes, which can be really dangerous with low health.

Scientist in particular has a very hard time with all the Gorillas hanging around, while on the opposite end if you're playing Gorilla you straight-up get a free ride. I was playing a Gorilla with the Friend Of the Common Folk trait and between my army of apes and hobos I didn't even need to lift a finger. Wrestler can also pick up individual shrubs, giving him a massive amount of things to throw.

Basically it feels like it's set up to be really rough on stealthy/nerdy classes.
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Parlias May 14 @ 1:34pm 
I agree, although I do like the change from the 'city' feel from slums/industrial. I think there does need to be a more diverse range of NPCs besides Cannibals/Vampires/Gorillas.
Madguy  [developer] May 14 @ 5:34pm 
Fair points, kind of what I expected. The park is intended to be a bigger wide open area, but one where you have to be constantly wary of lurking and unexpected dangers. But as of now I feel like some of the new building types don't afford you the range of options that was previously possible. Some of the new objects and buildings I have in the works should help to remedy this. But the caves for example, right now those feel a little bare in terms of potential ways to deal with them, given that there are no air vents, walls are thick and unbreakable, etc.

There are some new strategies that can be employed, such as luring cannibals toward military bases where a battle will ensue, and poisoning lakes and tricking enemies into jumping in. Not to mention punching bear traps into advantageous positions... But there's room for much more of that sort of thing.
I get what you're saying, but I like the idea of some classes having a harder time on some levels then others. Like how the Gorilla is not as useful as the Hacker or Thief in the Slums/Industrial areas with being unable to buddy up with humans, buy from shops, and having to deal with all the guys with guns. But he does great in the Park, with most most NPCs only having melee and plenty of Gorillas to build into a posse. But changes to make it more doable with all classes would be good.
I'm with Miniature Bigfoot on this - I think classes need to be balanced across the game rather than across each individual zone. If Hackers have a really tough time in the park that's alright, so long as they also get an easier ride through tech heavy areas in other parts of the game.

After all it's a game with a lot of one shot items, so you can burn resources to get through a tough area. If you've been able to hack the computer in every objective room to kill all of your enemies with poison gas for two zones then you should've been able to save up enough grenades, drugs and other "fire and forget" goodies to push through a few levels of no tech.

It forces people to vary up their approach depending on where they are, which makes the game more varied. I'd love it if each class had one area that was really tough for that class.

I felt that Hacker was one of the strongest classes in slums and industrial so I'm okay with them having a hard time in park. The gangs didn't feel particularly great though, so they either need a zone later that does well for them or to get a bit more out of park. Perhaps making it common for cannibals to have larders full of prisoners that contains gang members to rescue and recruit or something like that? Or making them get more advantage out of their gang when it's around (say an extra mission offer with a tangible reward in each slums level).
I would add that Doctors also have a huge amount of trouble in the Park, because it's very hard to get behind anyone. In fact, they have it even worse than Hackers - a good Hacker can easily have built up a bunch of guns and ammo over the first two zones, whereas a Doctor has nothing to rely on but their knockout, which is nearly useless in such an open area.

(I haven't tried it with a Cop yet, but I imagine it would be painful for them. Are the auto-aggroing cannibals considered guilty?)

I think it's all right for levels to differ a bit in difficulty for different classes - but I think Doctors in the Park in particular need some attention, because their inability to use weapons means their options are severely limited when they can't sneak up on people. I'm fine with different difficulties, but every class should always be fun, and Doctors in the park are so circumscribed that it's hard to call them fun.
Last edited by Aquillion; May 15 @ 9:37pm
FAVelour May 16 @ 1:33am 
Originally posted by Aquillion:
II haven't tried it with a Cop yet, but I imagine it would be painful for them. Are the auto-aggroing cannibals considered guilty?

they are, I just did a cop run and while you can't really take advantage of your class' unique abilities as much as in previous zones he's still able to do stand up fighting just fine, especially with the endless axe drops.
Originally posted by FAVelour:
they are, I just did a cop run and while you can't really take advantage of your class' unique abilities as much as in previous zones he's still able to do stand up fighting just fine, especially with the endless axe drops.
Ah, that's good.

But that reminds me of something else I meant to say - while it's all right for some levels to be harder or easier for specific classes, a big problem with the park right now is that, with a few exceptions, everyone plays the same (except for the Doctor, who just sucks there). Hackers, Cops, gang members, etc. all mostly lose access to their special class features. That's not as catastrophic for them as it is for Doctors, since they can still generally do the same things everyone else does... but it means that the Park is mostly the same for a large number of classes right now. Playing through it with a Cop is almost like playing through it with a Gang Member, which is almost like playing through it with a Hacker. That's boring.

Of course, some classes are still fine - the Assassin has slightly more trouble finding a spot where nobody sees them to vanish, but they still can do it, and can use it to set up backstabs even in an environment where nobody else can.

And even though the scientist has trouble there, it's interesting trouble, and you still have all the guns you started with, so if you're careful with ammo you'll be all right. I mean... I think scientists are a bit boring at the moment in general due to lacking anything really unique beyond being hated by gorillas, but they work as well in the Park as they do anywhere, even if it's harder for them.

My problem is that the Doctor has problems there that are so severe that they make it not-fun, while several of the other listed classes pretty much just have to play it as if they were a soldier or slum dweller. I'm all for different levels offering unique challenges (even to specific classes, like the Scientist trying to grapple with a level with a lot of gorillas), but I don't think "none of your cool unique powers work here" is a good way to create difficulty.

So I feel that the Park should eg. have some things the Hacker can hack. I'm fine with it being harder for a hacker; I'm not fine with having absolutely no ways to use my hacking abilities at all. If I'm playing a Hacker, I want to actually have unique challenges and options related to that rather than having to switch to playing like a Slum Dweller for 1/5th of the game.

(It's a bit harder to figure out what could be done to help the Doctor, who needs it more.)
Last edited by Aquillion; May 16 @ 2:45am
nedas51 May 16 @ 8:50pm 
+1 for running into people hiding in the bushes with an axe. The weapon has a pretty decent range and I typically find those people when I am at ~10hp lol.
Sir Soap May 16 @ 8:52pm 
Ran into an issue where I was supposed to rescue someone on an island in the park, they refused to swim more than a quarter of the way before they stood in the water.... Ended up having to kill them to progress. Not sure how water works with the AI.
Madguy  [developer] May 16 @ 9:03pm 
Yea I fixed that issue for the next build.
I just cleared park with the hacker.

On floor one, my first mission was completed by blowing up a tv that a cannibal I needed to get rid of was watching. My second was a rescue mission, I still had the TNT from the start of the game and placed it to blow a hole in the fence and wall off the house so that the rescuee could abscond without the military people catching us (they tried) The third I used a rage inducer I'g got as a quest reward to start a civil war among cannibals in a hedge maze so I could bolt past and steal their thingy.

The second floor had a ammo dispenser, so I hacked it for cheap ammo (and had ALL of the money in the world from hacking every slot machine in the first six areas). I had a rocket launcher so with effectively infinite reloads I became death destroyer of worlds and killed almost every living thing.

The third floor had nothing useful to hack and I was out of sneaky items so I pretty much played it as a crappy soldier (I still had a pistol, machinegun, shotgun and rocket launcher all with full ammo from the ammo dispenser the level before).

My experience was that there were enough hackables that I was getting something out of being a hacker, but since it's RNG it would be easy to get three floors like my third floor with no meaningful hackable.

I didn't see anything that'd make it more playable as doctor though ;)
Maybe adding some sort of "pharmacologist" perk that allowed a character with it to turn every Xth bush they destroyed into a drug or healing item and then adding that to the doctor by default would help buff that class a bit and provide an interesting choice for other classes that might struggle with the park.
Hart May 18 @ 8:02pm 
Doctor is fine -if- you get a tranq gun on the way to the park... so I tend to spend all my money as doc on the mystery item machines, sell off whatever I get, and keep at it until I manage tranq gun + ammo recycling device.
Originally posted by Madguy:
Yea I fixed that issue for the next build.
when?today is Thursday
Aquillion May 19 @ 12:27am 
Originally posted by Hart:
Doctor is fine -if- you get a tranq gun on the way to the park... so I tend to spend all my money as doc on the mystery item machines, sell off whatever I get, and keep at it until I manage tranq gun + ammo recycling device.
Huh, doctors can use tranq guns? I wasn't aware.

I've used the mystery-item / sell trick to get stuff before, but even then, hackers are strictly better at it than doctors, since they can hack both to improve their margins.
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