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Underrail => Development Log => Topic started by: Styg on February 02, 2014, 11:27:55 PM

Title: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 02, 2014, 11:27:55 PM
This has been long overdue but I finally got around to implementing energy shields. The main purpose of energy shields is to provide the player with kind of a health buffer, particularly against ranged opponents, so they can get into the fight and survive long enough to establish the control over the battlefield.

(http://www.underrail.com/images/DevLog/EnergyShield1.jpg)

So the way the shields work is they block a certain amount of damage from each direct attack based on impact speed (very slow to very fast) rather than on damage type (mechanical, heat, etc). The amount of damage a shield can absorb in total is equal to its max energy times conversion rate. Shields also dissipate over time, so you won't want to keep them running unless they are needed to block damage. They cannot be recharged in combat.

The amount of damage blocked for each impact speed depends on the modulators used to craft/generate the shield emitter, but overall shield emitters are much more effective against higher impact speeds, so melee characters and, to a lesser extent crossbow users, will have an edge when fighting shielded enemies. Additionally, most types of melee weapons will ignore certain amount of shield (and some special attacks ignore it completely) so we can balance out their usefulness against the hard hitting sledgehammers - knives ignore 60% of energy shielding, fist weapons 80% and unarmed attacks 100%.

Concerning what attack has which impact speed - it's displayed for the weapons, but most other stuff (psi, grenades, etc) don't list it. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle this, because I don't want to clutter the descriptions so maybe a better solution would be to list it somewhere else or have an NPC educate the player about it. We'll see, I haven't made up my mind yet. But until the, here's how it works basically:

We still haven't done much balance testing regarding how effective shields are right now. I did some number crunching, but until we put it to test in a real playthrough and also have you the players have a go at it, it's hard to balance it out properly.

Also, characters skilled in electronics will be able to craft shield emitters and, with enough skill, they will be able to attach secondary modulators (which run at 50% efficiency) giving them a bit of an edge against character who have to purchase or find their own since those very rarely have the said secondary modulator.

* * * * *

In other news, here's the other stuff I've been working on:

Also, I re-balanced bunch of feats, mostly buffing those who were in need of a buff and maybe nerfing one or two overpowered ones. I tried to hit all the feats that needed love, but there are still a couple I'm not sure how to fix or just don't have the mechanics in place to do so yet. Anyway, here's the list of changes:

* * * * *

As far the content is concerned, we're working on new areas, quests and creatures. One of the goals is to add more side quests to SGS (and surrounding areas) and Rail Crossing which we feel are most in need of those. We'll also be adding a major new station with the next update, but more on that in some future dev log (won't be Core City just yet, though). ;)
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: LazyMonk on February 03, 2014, 12:13:52 AM
The shields sound very interestingly. I like the fact that you each shield only works against a specific kind of damage. I can see many interesting combos already.
"Lightning Punches - now works with fist weapons as well"
I am a fan of this change. But i am just curious what made it change your mind over this?
The stuff about lightning punches is intended. I still want to give little something to completely unarmed builds. :)

"Force User - now increases Telekinetic Punch damage by 100% (up from 20%) and Force Field duration by 2 turns (up from 1)"
I usually took this feat already but mostly for the extended Force Field duration. Seems much more appealing now.

Thanks for the update Styg.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: captainmeow on February 03, 2014, 12:33:01 AM
Finally! something to make low CON builds a little more viable. I'm curious to see what EMP grenades will do to shields though...

Electroshock primary target damage, pneumatic hit damage and force emission hit damage no longer remove incapacitation in order to better synergies with Cheap Shot feat

And I really want to see how well this synergises with shock sledgehammers :DD

I did some number crunching, but until we put it to test in a real playthrough and also have you the players have a go at it, it's hard to balance it out properly.

Can't wait!

Also sprint + Evasive Maneuvers is going to be a crazy combo now...
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: JohnyCrown on February 03, 2014, 12:38:04 AM
Nice update on this one.  I think you addressed quite a few things that needed addressed.  Energy Shields sound interesting and should make battles a little more balanced in most cases.  Allowing the merchants to buy a little more I think was a huge necessity and I'm glad you implemented it.  And adding more quests will help with game length and immersion.  Looking forward to the next playable version. 
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Elhazzared on February 03, 2014, 12:44:18 AM
This seams a good update to come. Everything I see there seams good though while I love Psi I have to wonder if force user won't become OP by giving +100% damage to the telekinetic punch, it was already a high damamge skill with a stun associated with... Then again it has a cooldown so it might not be as OP as I think... I guess it will merit some testing... Also hope the new merchant system takes a large buff, at least enough to get me playing.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 03, 2014, 12:58:30 AM
"Lightning Punches - now works with fist weapons as well"
I am a fan of this change. But i am just curious what made it change your mind over this?
The stuff about lightning punches is intended. I still want to give little something to completely unarmed builds. :)

Because fist weapons need all the help they can get and I feel I can't really make a fully unarmed character a thing without going into stuff that doesn't really fit into the context of the game. If I do decide to implement more stuff for unarmed, it will probably be through Psychokinesis and stuff like Force Emission.

I'm curious to see what EMP grenades will do to shields though...

Like with other powered items, they will drain all the energy from the emitter and deal 50% of it as electrical damage.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: LazyMonk on February 03, 2014, 01:26:55 AM
I assumed as much, because i was trying it. :-[
Thanks for the reply.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: epeli on February 03, 2014, 03:43:32 AM
Hmm, the next version is definitely going to be in favor of agile, low-con melee characters with the evasion fix, energy shields and some of the feat changes.

Two questions: Is dodge/evasion chance still capped at 65% and did you remember to implement trap dodging? ;)
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 03, 2014, 08:08:46 AM
Hmm, the next version is definitely going to be in favor of agile, low-con melee characters with the evasion fix, energy shields and some of the feat changes.

Two questions: Is dodge/evasion chance still capped at 65% and did you remember to implement trap dodging? ;)

Haven't implemented it yet. :P

Yes, dodge/evasion can reduce chance to hit by up to 60% (that's if your evasion/dodge rating is twice the attackers effective attack skill).
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Sakuragi on February 03, 2014, 08:35:33 AM

  • Doppelgangers should now properly ignore target's resistances with their attacks
OMG i never realised. So are you saying that now its gonna be stronger than before?

  • Premeditation - now also reduces AP cost of the next psi ability buy 100%
  • Psychosis - psi cost increment changed to 20% (up from 10%)
  • Tranquility - reworked: now reduces AP cost of all psi abilities by 10 while the invoker is at full health
  • Cerebral Trauma - reworked: now increases Neural Overload damage by 25% (up from 20%) and burns 15% of the target's max psi points when Neural Overload lands
  • Force User - now increases Telekinetic Punch damage by 100% (up from 20%) and Force Field duration by 2 turns (up from 1)
  • Premeditation - now also reduces AP cost of the next psi ability by 100%
Oh man with the reworked tranquility and psychosis, i do know which one to take now. Have a chance to do more burst damage or cast more spells while at full health. Psi points was never a limiting factor.

Cerebral trauma: Gonna be a pain when fighting psi users who has this feat and they start first and in that turn burn all my psi points.

Force User. Oh yea more damage with punch. Sweet.

Now for premeditation. Not sure gotta have to check if its gonna be OP with the full AP reduction
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 03, 2014, 09:04:33 AM

  • Doppelgangers should now properly ignore target's resistances with their attacks
OMG i never realised. So are you saying that now its gonna be stronger than before?

Yes, but this is how it's supposed to work. If it turns out to be overpowered, I'll just tone down their damage a bit.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Banggunner on February 03, 2014, 11:38:09 AM
  • Cerebral Trauma - reworked: now increases Neural Overload damage by 25% (up from 20%) and burns 15% of the target's max psi points when Neural Overload lands
One of my favorite psifeats! I only took it for the damage but this makes fighting against psi users more fun as you can see there purple bar shrink.  Also handy for fighting a Giant Azuridae IF it ever will be implemented haha.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Elhazzared on February 03, 2014, 12:25:17 PM
How far is the update that is going to bring all these updates Styg? I'm not asking for a specific date but some sort of guess estimate. I'd really like to check if the rebalance to economy would make the game more playable to me.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Prophet on February 03, 2014, 02:12:15 PM
  • Tranquility - reworked: now reduces AP cost of all psi abilities by 10 while the invoker is at full health
I'm wondering if you really meant 10 APs or 10%? Using Neural Overload 6 times during turn could be OP.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Elhazzared on February 03, 2014, 04:17:38 PM
  • Tranquility - reworked: now reduces AP cost of all psi abilities by 10 while the invoker is at full health
I'm wondering if you really meant 10 APs or 10%? Using Neural Overload 6 times during turn could be OP.

Fair point there. I thought telekinectic punch could become OP with 100% extra damage but neural overlaod 6 times in a turn can be very much OP. I rarelly used the spells in the past because it was the least damaging and didn't applied a debuff I cared much for on the enemy but it still deals a decent damage. But if you can cast it 6 times it's way too much damage. Especially if you add premeditation making you cast an extra spell for free, that's a potential opener of 7 spells... Rather painful.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 03, 2014, 07:15:02 PM
I've been very generous when buffing the old feats. My primary goal with this is to make these feats a valid choice again first and then we'll worry about toning them down if necessary, possibly even before the new version is released.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: MartinDown on February 04, 2014, 04:11:47 AM
I'm SO excited to use a shield and see how it can work with different builds! - But I do have one question... who sells them? or do I have to make one as the almighty Styg mentioned?
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Sakuragi on February 04, 2014, 07:21:27 AM

Fair point there. I thought telekinectic punch could become OP with 100% extra damage but neural overlaod 6 times in a turn can be very much OP. I rarelly used the spells in the past because it was the least damaging and didn't applied a debuff I cared much for on the enemy but it still deals a decent damage. But if you can cast it 6 times it's way too much damage. Especially if you add premeditation making you cast an extra spell for free, that's a potential opener of 7 spells... Rather painful.

On Crit my neural overload does 190+ damage. Normal 100+.
While buffed, on crit would reach 400+. normal 200+.
But bilocation would be a monster now if like Styg said resistance has been fixed. Right now its 22-44 damage for me. 66-136 damage (three attacks) per turn for 4 turns. Now double it when it is buffed and so 132-272 damage per turn for 4 turns (Humanoid boss killer).   

But yeah 6 times Neural overload would be way too much but Styg gotta have a look at them first or us.

Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Fenix on February 05, 2014, 04:44:29 AM
I have a couple of thoughts and suggestion about update and game. Don't know where should I post it, mayby "Suggestion"?
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: screeg on February 07, 2014, 04:47:21 PM
Energy shields sound rad, but I'm not crazy about the graphic since it completely obscures your character.  I personally would rather see just a glowing circle on the ground, or the same sphere but at 10% opacity, or best of all a sphere that becomes opaque when it's hit, then fades out again.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 07, 2014, 05:37:01 PM
Energy shields sound rad, but I'm not crazy about the graphic since it completely obscures your character.  I personally would rather see just a glowing circle on the ground, or the same sphere but at 10% opacity, or best of all a sphere that becomes opaque when it's hit, then fades out again.

It does become less transparent when it's hit.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Kadze on February 09, 2014, 12:01:49 PM
May be i missed this, but does shield on make  player less stelthy or not? Such an illumination must totally make visible.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on February 19, 2014, 07:51:56 AM
May be i missed this, but does shield on make  player less stelthy or not? Such an illumination must totally make visible.

It doesn't influence stealth.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Zephyros on April 20, 2014, 09:24:48 AM
Guys, I have a question regarding energy shields. I have a shield capacitor which brings the rate of dissipation down to 2% from 10%. Does this mean that, each turn, an energy shield with this upgrade will consume 1/5th the power a regular energy shield does?

I've been looking at the three types of enhancements available, and it seems like two are quite useful for different situations, but the third (circular wave amplifier) is gimped by the fact that any extra damage it can absorb is counteracted by the halved capacity. The other two enhancements grant a boon without a drawback.

Oh, and I remember reading somewhere that shields could not be charged in combat, however I am able to use a battery every turn to renew my shield.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: epeli on June 22, 2014, 12:53:28 PM
Guys, I have a question regarding energy shields. I have a shield capacitor which brings the rate of dissipation down to 2% from 10%. Does this mean that, each turn, an energy shield with this upgrade will consume 1/5th the power a regular energy shield does?

I've been looking at the three types of enhancements available, and it seems like two are quite useful for different situations, but the third (circular wave amplifier) is gimped by the fact that any extra damage it can absorb is counteracted by the halved capacity. The other two enhancements grant a boon without a drawback.

Oh, and I remember reading somewhere that shields could not be charged in combat, however I am able to use a battery every turn to renew my shield.

A few months late, but I finally got around working on the wiki :P I tried to explain the nomenclature of shield emitters in the Shield Emitter (http://www.underrail.com/wiki/index.php?title=Shield_Emitter) page. 2% dissipation rate means the shield loses 2% of its total capacity every turn it's active.

Circular wave amplifiers have their uses. They are good for characters that deal more burst damage and are more vulnerable to burst damage since they last for a shorter time, but can mitigate larger hits.

Recharging shields is combat is a bug. How did you do it? I can't seem to reproduce that.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Zephyros on June 23, 2014, 02:18:50 AM
Guys, I have a question regarding energy shields. I have a shield capacitor which brings the rate of dissipation down to 2% from 10%. Does this mean that, each turn, an energy shield with this upgrade will consume 1/5th the power a regular energy shield does?

I've been looking at the three types of enhancements available, and it seems like two are quite useful for different situations, but the third (circular wave amplifier) is gimped by the fact that any extra damage it can absorb is counteracted by the halved capacity. The other two enhancements grant a boon without a drawback.

Oh, and I remember reading somewhere that shields could not be charged in combat, however I am able to use a battery every turn to renew my shield.

A few months late, but I finally got around working on the wiki :P I tried to explain the nomenclature of shield emitters in the Shield Emitter (http://www.underrail.com/wiki/index.php?title=Shield_Emitter) page. 2% dissipation rate means the shield loses 2% of its total capacity every turn it's active.

Circular wave amplifiers have their uses. They are good for characters that deal more burst damage and are more vulnerable to burst damage since they last for a shorter time, but can mitigate larger hits.

Recharging shields is combat is a bug. How did you do it? I can't seem to reproduce that.

It's probably because I am using an old save.

Edit: Nope, it works on my current save as well. In combat, I can right click the battery, select the 'recharge item' icon and affix it to the shield generator.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: epeli on June 23, 2014, 07:53:22 AM
It's probably because I am using an old save.

Edit: Nope, it works on my current save as well. In combat, I can right click the battery, select the 'recharge item' icon and affix it to the shield generator.

Nope, cannot reproduce.

Does the shield actually have "Cannot be recharged in combat" property?
Are you playing version 0.1.11.0 rather than 0.1.11.1?
Are you sure you're actually In Combat (http://www.underrail.com/wiki/index.php?title=In_Combat)? You can recharge them in turn-based mode, but not in combat. You know, locked in turn-based mode with enemies around and that red crosshair icon on your portrait.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Styg on June 23, 2014, 08:24:03 AM
There was a bug where you could recharge the shield during combat. We fixed it and I think it works correctly in the live version.
Title: Re: Dev Log #28: Energy Shields
Post by: Zephyros on June 23, 2014, 02:12:12 PM
It's probably because I am using an old save.

Edit: Nope, it works on my current save as well. In combat, I can right click the battery, select the 'recharge item' icon and affix it to the shield generator.

Nope, cannot reproduce.

Does the shield actually have "Cannot be recharged in combat" property?
Are you playing version 0.1.11.0 rather than 0.1.11.1?
Are you sure you're actually In Combat (http://www.underrail.com/wiki/index.php?title=In_Combat)? You can recharge them in turn-based mode, but not in combat. You know, locked in turn-based mode with enemies around and that red crosshair icon on your portrait.

I made a new save and it does seem to be disabled. I guess the 'current' save I was using is actually an old one :X My mistake.