Weapon Augments

Discussion in 'Gear and Items' started by DraikNova, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. DraikNova

    DraikNova Spaceman Spiff

    One of the most common complaints about Starbound is that combat is very same-y, with little room to choose an unique strategy. A probable cause, at least to me, seems to be the inability to customize weaponry. Every other game in the pixelated survival game genre allows for this to a lesser or greater extent. Even the crotchety granddad of the genre, Dwarf Fortress, allows you to add decorations to weapons.

    This is rather strange, since Starbound already has a system for customization integrated into it: augments.

    Simply put, weapons would get one, preferably two (since that changes the effect they have on gameplay from a mere curiosity to tactically useful) augment slots, and special augments for weapons would have a rare chance of spawning in chests. They'd range from such simple changes as "increased knockback" to "more attacks per click". A full suggested list is noted below.

    What they'd add to the game experience
    Simply put, they'd add combat variety and make it far more enjoyable, even allowing for a bit of a metagame. Players who prefer a defensive, keep-enemies-away-from-me sort of strategy could augment an Alien Worm Gun to have increased knockback and longer reach, while those would want raw damage could increase the attack speed and damage of their Protector's Broadsword. It'd give players a lot more to do if they had to search around the universe for the perfect augments to complete their strategy. Prefer one-hit KOs to more chances to shoot an enemy? Apply a damage augment rather than a fire rate augment.

    Not to put all too fine a point on it, it'd simultaneously give the hardcore gamers the complex combat they've been clamoring for, while making the game more accessible for casual players.

    Potential variety

    Standard augments (simple stat upgrades, range from strength I to III, applicable to all weapon types, perhaps slightly less rare than normal augments currently)
    - Increased damage per hit
    - Increased fire rate
    - Increased knockback
    - Decreased energy cost (lowers the cost of all energy-requiring weapon abilities, whether it'd be lowering the energy cost of a sword's special to making a staff's attack ability and its zone cheaper to use)

    Weapon class specific augments (modify weapon functionality slightly in ways only applicable to some weapon types, one version, slightly rarer than normal augments currently)
    - Homing projectiles (applicable to guns, makes their main fire automatically home in on enemies. Only one version. This one compensates for the multiattack augment (see below) being useless on shotguns by making them significantly less situational)
    - Increased zone duration (applicable to staffs, makes their zones last 10 seconds longer. Particularly useful for the Kluex staff, since the rage zone usually dissipates by the time you've charged up a full barrage of projectiles)
    - Attack protection (applicable to swords, gives a 5% chance that attacking will block incoming damage for two seconds, compensating for melee characters suffering far more damage than staff/gun users and having to expend far more healing items as a result.)

    Legendary augments (extra weird/useful capabilities, one version, applicable to all weapon types, super rare)
    - Multiattack (for melee weapons, this causes a glowing version of your weapon to rotate around your character for each attack, dealing 0.5x damage. For guns, this causes each second shot to fire an extra bullet, making it useful for pistols and the like, but downright underwhelming for shotguns. Staffs have a 50% chance to generate extra projectiles for each projectile they attack with. Throwables have a 50% chance per throw of another projectile being thrown at a random angle in a 15 degree radius).
    - Increased range (for melee weapons, this magnifies your weapon's hitbox (and possibly its sprite, if that wouldn't cause problems with weapons looking extremely awkward. For guns, it simply increases the distance your weapons can move. For staffs, it allows them to cast at a far greater distance)
    - [Status effect] (adds the status effect specified in the name to the weapon's attack. For example, the elemental status effects or the slowing status effect)

    How they could be added without making pre-update weapons useless

    Given that weapons from games pre-update would lack augment slots, this would be a concern. As far as I can see, there are three ways to fix this:
    • Make the only one-time-only weapon, the Protector's Broadsword/the Broken Broadsword, less so, in that it would have an extremely rare spawn chance in certain chests. To get augmentable versions of their outdated weapons, players would simply have to explore for them. Potentially very frustrating for players who have already collected all the uniques.
    • Give every pre-update character another broken broadsword, and make them search for new versions of the other uniques. Same issue as above.
    • Add a no-augment-slot-to-augmentable conversion station. Avoids issue noted above, requires no messing around with giving players broken broadswords.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  2. DerSocken

    DerSocken Void-Bound Voyager

    Nice Idea but some more auguments:

    -Snaring projectiles ( enemy hit cant move)
    -Lifeleech (melee attacks restore some Health)
    -"Name" (If you hit an enemy with a weapon it generates Adrenaline makes you attack faster)
    -Rage (if you get hit while blocking with a shield you generate rage which makes your next attack stronger)
    -Bleed (atacks with a melee weapon makes the enemy bleed (max 5 stacks) dealing DoT)
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  3. DraikNova

    DraikNova Spaceman Spiff

    You're probably right, augments that add status effects to weapons would probably be a good idea as well. Added to the main post.
  4. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    Not just weapons, I think armors too would benefit from them. The stats are so simplistic, it doesn't give much room for meaningful variation.
  5. DraikNova

    DraikNova Spaceman Spiff

    What would you suggest for armor customization? Just stuff like nova/thorns, or perhaps automatically inflicting debuffs on enemies when they hit you?
  6. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    The basics. Speed boosts, jump boosts, defence boosts, health boosts, energy boosts, elemental resistances. Those are all within the bounds of the game, but would basically allow for content beyond tier 6 without actually making new armor and weapons for it so you get a little bit more challenge there. You could augment entirely with one type of stat boost if you wished, so you could basically nullify an elemental effect like fire, but obviously that would only be fitting for specific conditions.

    In an ideal world, I would love to see a more robust system. I really liked how Mass Effect 2 did it. Enemies could have different types of "health bars". You would have your shields, armor, then your actual health, while like mechanized enemies would only have armor and maybe shields too. It really made having a diverse loadout and team composition important. But that is just a dream of mine. (**Nostalgia intensifies**)
  7. DraikNova

    DraikNova Spaceman Spiff

    First part of your post: I'd like it if each thing that can be augmented can be augmented in a different way. So I think at least some EPP augments shouldn't be applicable to armor. But elemental specialization augments, that, rather than making players immune to a status effect and then adding 25% resistance, add about 10% resistance and give your attacks of the same element 10% more power, seem like a nice idea for armor augments. Or augments that allow energy to regenerate quicker when drained, or reduce energy usage during combat. Those seem like reasonable armor augments as well.
    Second part of your post: I'm honestly half-convinced that most of the protection value provided by armor is some sort of shielding mechanism, since, besides that, there's no way that, say, the Synthesizer's set, with its exposed belly, has the same protection value as the Doom Lord's set. As for the multiple health bars, I kind of prefer the simplified system we have now. Much easier to work with, especially for modding. Adding what amounts to a copy of something we already have is kind of redundant; adding more mechanically different ways to defend oneself is what would be needed for a fun combat system overhaul. Pets that protect you, decoy systems to draw fire, stuff like that.

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