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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:32 am 


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Quote:
BareKnuckleRoo basically wrote:
Your post history is bad, therefore X...

Come on it's fine to disagree but can't we do better than these sorts of arguments?


Ha!
Well actually... The last time I had to make a new account on this board, pretty much the exact thing happened the first time someone disagreed with me (I'd almost want to say it was the same poster but I really don't remember).

So... no?

Anyways, I apologize in that I was going to respond to your post with possibly some semblance of intelligent discourse (or at least an object example, or at least arrogant). But, I rather just let BareKnuckleRoo "win" the thread with the above gem. Carry on...


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:26 am 


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The game this most reminds me of is Guardian Legend on the NES.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:59 pm 


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Monolith is currently on sale on Steam as a Halloween promo: https://twitter.com/team_d13/status/1188867707875274753

(but buy it on GOG cause DRM sucks)
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:59 am 


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Super excited for the DLC expansion next month, had no idea the team was still working on it!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1180 ... _the_Past/
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:20 am 


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Nice; wonder if they'll be putting it on itch too.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:07 pm 


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Really hope they fix that Linux AMD bug one of these days.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 7:45 pm 


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blackoak wrote:
Super excited for the DLC expansion next month, had no idea the team was still working on it!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1180 ... _the_Past/


This is out on Steam now. The devs say it'll be on GOG in a few days. They haven't responded when asked if it's coming to itch, but the youtube page says that on other stores it's 'Coming Later'.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:50 am 


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They were having issues with the Itch store as it doesn't support DLC style purchasing or something nicely.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:02 pm 



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TL;DR Buy it.

Happy to report that this feels like a proper expansion pack, like those you could get 20 years ago. There's something new to see at every turn.

I thought the original game was lacking for content, I just couldn't help but compare to Isaac or Gungeon. This version still doesn't quite reach that level, but does better justice to the rock solid gameplay. There is now a healthy dose of variety to each run -- not to be confused with Isaac's BS randomness. I like how the player's decisions and skills are still at the forefront. I won't go into more details for the time being; I'm rusty and can't survive shit, I've only seen maybe half of what's on offer.

On the downside, the new lore I just don't care for. There is a lot of it, it sounds deep and ominous, but it just doesn't make any sense.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:37 pm 


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Quick heads-up that the expansion is now on GOG. I'll have to try it out later on...
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:45 pm 


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I wish this was out on Mac. Anyone heard anything about that?
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:39 pm 



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One thing that's bugging me is that with the added ship upgrade options, it's a very real possibility that you won't ever see Teleport Dash in a run. Actually, I'm pretty sure I've done significantly more runs without it than with, it's a luxury to find Teleport. That makes later stages hell and leads to unfair damage, too. I wouldn't mind if they made Teleport the default dash.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:22 pm 


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I by far prefer the bullet patterns being designed to not require invincible dash (ie. require real dodging, and make the patterns fair). Sorta sick of games built around invincible dash like Furi and Nex Machina, they end up having the same bullet pattern archetypes where you need some wall flying at you constantly to reset cooldowns and actually force player to navigate through bullets.

In monolith that upgrade feels too strong to be a random upgrade. It's either a core mechanic or you randomly dont get it.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:25 pm 


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Yeah, totally agree, take it out.
I mean you can still jump into danger, it's not the massive get out of jail free card that it is in some other modern twin stick shooters, but it's bad enough.
Like you say, the game is designed well, it doesn't need it.

I always avoided it assuming that it was like the warp button on asteroids where you'd teleport to a random place on the screen then I took it one day when the other two upgrades were junk and I was like "well, this is pretty OP"


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:08 pm 


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Blink is clearly the best upgrade in the game, and the boss designs are such that everything is dodgeable without a teleport dash, which is the way it should be. However, some of the rooms feel like you can get rushed and cornered by enemies easily, which is where Blink really comes in handy. There's also just enough of a slide at the end to make it feel challenging and satisfying to learn and control.

I think it's a case of it being fun and useful simply because Monolith doesn't force you to use it exclusively to dodge stuff, as Enter the Gungeon does with its dodge roll. Monolith is a shmup that happens to have a dash for added mobility now and then, rather than a shmup built around its dash as a mandatory evasion technique.

I agree that it's way too strong of an upgrade to be random. As much as I like Blink, it should either be always active, or never active. Newer players avoid Blink because it's an upgrade whose usefulness entirely depends on player skill, but when you recognize how good it is, it makes it somewhat frustrating not to get it because it really changes your options for how you can move around a room.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:56 pm 


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Yeah, you're right actually, I agree with that, it's implemented well. I took it last night and like you say, it's really handy in some rooms when it gets hectic, I was just thinking about the bosses.
Maybe it could come with a downside like it halves your regular weapon damage or something or maybe it could be a perk of one of the ships you can choose.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:08 pm 


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The new DLC content's fun. Discovering new stuff keeps things fresh. Some elements I'm not thrilled about though; there's a lot of "gambles" that have been added where the player is offered various items sight-unseen or cartridges in exchange for max ammo. You don't get to make an informed choice about what you're actually trading for and in many cases the unique weapon I've gotten from weapon boxes has been objectively worse than whatever I was using before. The unique weapons all feel rather gimmicky and for fun, rather than practical than a customized 4-keyword weapon.

Keywords can now be purchased on a weapon, which means 2 keyword weapons can be effectively upgraded to be whatever you want. This makes the Artifact upgrade much less useful, as being able to get exactly the keywords you want on a weapon can be very powerful indeed.

However, ammo is now exceedingly limited. In the original, player skill directly affected their ability to retain a weapon. You could weapon swap frequently for the health bonus when overwriting a previous weapon with a new one, or if you found a good weapon, you could keep maxing out the ammo for it so long as you were able to clear minibosses at max health, thus causing them to drop a guaranteed max ammo item. In the DLC, minibosses always drop a 1 HP item and a 20% ammo refill, and you only get to pick one. This means that if you're using a weapon that eats ammo that you'll have extreme difficulties holding onto it for any extended period of time, not just encouraging weapon switching but outright forcing it. There's just no way to reliably build up the necessary max ammo buffs to keep a weapon for the length of time you could originally. Bosses of each floor also no longer drop their usual 1 HP, 1 Bomb, 20% ammo, which adds to your RNG dependencies for keeping yourself supplied. Instead, you either get 2 HP or +5% damage buff, further pushing players in the direction of mandatory frequent weapon swaps as opposed to being able to overcome the need for weapon swapping with sufficient skill.

The added Temple level pretty much seems to guarantee you'll lose your weapon, especially in its hardest version, as the minibosses do not drop 1 HP / 20% ammo items, instead giving you only unique passive upgrades. Without some serious lucky max ammo upgrade drops early in the run and a powerful weapon, you're almost assured of losing your weapon if you do Temple due to the sheer number of ammo sinks. Is it even possible to beat the hardest version of the Temple without losing a weapon at some point? I'm not sure.

My usual strategy was to beat a few minibosses with the basic weapon, grab their max ammo item for the permanent buff, and that would generally allow you to use whatever weapon you wanted without ammo issues down the line as long as you weren't taking serious damage. Doesn't seem to be an option any more.

The other major resource-related change is in regards to bombs. There's now "shortcut" rooms where you have to bomb them open normally. To S-Rank clear it looks like you have to enter all shortcuts. This means instead of being able to reserve your bombs for survival (aside from finding the secret rooms on each floor), you have to use bombs far more simply to explore the map. I rarely found myself running around with a full bomb stock, felt very Yagawa-like to have to use bombs in order to score essentially. The shortcuts themselves sometimes have impassable walls where entering it from the wrong way denies you getting items unless you use further items (a bomb that breaks blocks or a weapon that clears blocks, both of which are rare).

I'm hoping that there will be some better strategies I can find to use so I'm not constantly having my weapon run out of ammo and be forced to use the basic weapon for the majority of combat. Care package still exists and gives a decent max ammo buff early on, but it still isn't enough if you're going to do a Temple run where ammo refills are entirely RNG (if you get a shop, if the shop has a refill, etc).

-

edit: Played more Monolith. The additional content added is fun, not simply because it's new (most of the additional bosses are genuinely fun to fight) but I think some of the added content comes at the cost of the finely-tuned game balance that makes the original version so solid. The DLC makes Monolith very, very RNG heavy. The player is frequently forced to make decisions about ammo to spent on mystery items in boxes or trade max ammo capacity for unknown cartridges. Instead of the roguelike giving player choices and the player being forced to make meaningful decisions, a lot of the choices you have you're making blind with only limited information available.

The rebalancing makes it really heavily reliant on +damage items, which you will find very frequently compared to the original version. This results in some unfortunate balance issues; when you have a decent or genuinely good weapon you will easily wipe rooms and bosses with even higher average damage bonuses than the original, but you'll never actually have the ammo needed to retain a weapon for an extended length of time unless you're lucky with RNG and avoid the harder versions of the Temple.

For comparison, in Enter the Gungeon the player has the choice to reserve a cool weapon for use as they like, and Downwell allows you to ignore a weapon you're offered because you like your current one, you can still obtain rewards by doing 15 or 25 hit combos which will give you max ammo and health bonuses. You are not at the mercy of RNG as far as player choice goes, and when you develop enough skill you have some freedom in terms of your weapon options. The original Monolith is like this too; if you find a weapon you enjoy using, and you're skilled enough to keep beating minibosses at maximum health, it's possible to retain a weapon you're enjoying through a run and disregard the benefits (extra cash and HP) of constant weapon swapping.

Monolith's DLC update does not like this at all, and I'm not sure I like this change. I've gotten several cool, unique weapons I thought "hey it'd be fun to play the rest of the game with this" but player skill no longer factors into weapon choice. The hardest version of the Temple is nearly guaranteed to break your weapon by the time you hit the hardest portion of the extended boss fight there, which is now the longest boss fight in the entire game, in addition to being the longest potential floor with basically no ammo refills outside of what you're lucky enough for a shop to have. Not even the potential 4 minibosses you have to face drop ammo!

Shot types in a shmups are a large part of the fun. Being able to play freely with a wide variety of weapons is fun. The game and the new levels in particular are designed to yank your cool weapon out of your grasp at exactly the moments you'd like to hold onto them. There's no option to use your basic weapon to hold onto your ammo when you want to save ammo for the hardest portions of a boss, and there's no realistic way to ensure you have the ammo needed not to run out of ammo during some of the extended superbosses, so you're likely at the mercy of whatever is in ammo crates, picking those up right before boss fights, and hoping it doesn't run out.

Some keywords now reduce your ammo capacity; Phasing in particular halves your ammo count and is essentially a death sentence. I learned this the hard way when I added Phasing to a weapon; it was able to clear rooms easily, but the low ammo total meant I ran out of the weapon within about 10 rooms and was reduced to running around with the basic weapon. Phasing in effect is worthless unless you already plan on losing/switching the weapon soon after for one in a shop for instance. The basic weapon overstays its welcome constantly and is not fun to use when you have such a massive array of cool options at your disposal you have no skill-based means of retaining.

The ability to customize your weapon's keywords also feels wildly at odds with the ammo drought in the DLC. You can make whatever weapon you want as opposed to making use of whatever cool tools you run across, but it's almost guaranteed you won't be able to use that weapon forever. In the original, you have to make use of whatever RNG provides, but you'll eventually find something cool in the course of a run, and the game was balanced such that there are reliable ways with sufficient skill to retain that weapon for as long as you want.

I'm not crazy about the new ammo system. I don't even know if the game needs damage upgrades; +50% damage is vital if you're stuck with just your basic weapon, but is potentially a gamebreaker if you're running around with a weapon combo that does like triple the damage output of your base weapon. I think I liked the original because it felt like the weapon you had was what mattered more for both rooms and cool boss fights, rather than just buffing your damage stat for the fights where you will inevitably run out of ammo and be forced to use the base weapon. A mode where damage multiplier is hard-locked to 100% but you have infinite ammo would be nice. I think Monolith's game balance suffers because it's hard to balance such a wide variety of potentially powerful weapon combos around having a damage multiplier on top of that. At one point I was able to get 200% damage in a normal run, on top of a 20% conditional damage bonus. Great, I was powerful, but I was constantly losing weapons due to shortages in ammo refill items, so I was always running around with a peashooter in crucial fights where I wanted a cool weapon most of all to blast the superbosses.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:36 am 


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MathU wrote:
Really hope they fix that Linux AMD bug one of these days.

Really happy to report that this has finally been fixed. No more insta-crashing due to segmentation faults.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 5:09 pm 


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I appreciated your critique after having played more now, BareKnuckleRoo. While I have found myself able to retain my weapon perhaps a bit more often than you experience (every miniboss dropping ammo is the main help), I do agree that the game temple is a total ammo sink. Consequently, I often simply avoid it and move on to the next floor if I have a good weapon. Do you know how to control how many minibosses you fight and candles you can light in the central room? I find the game temple's mechanics very confusing. I also often find it very difficult to retain my current weapon over the long fights with the last two game bosses, seems like you have to get pretty lucky on a given playthrough to actually finish a Hard mode playthrough with a weapon equipped.

Would you or anyone else happen to have any idea what this new Buffer Overflow cartridge does? You always find it in a secret side room when it exists, and it's much harder to find than a floor's main secret room. I am quite perplexed on what this cartridge actually does.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 5:41 pm 


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The devs have said that they actually want to force players to constantly weapon swap, and that they thought there was too much ammo in the original version available. I disagree; I think having a skill-based mechanic where players can freely use any weapon they want as long as they have sufficient skill to keep their HP maxed for the refill on minibosses is a perfect design choice. Newer players will still be encouraged to swap frequently due to health gains and having difficulty recovering ammo, and more skilled players are not forced into weapon swapping if they want to (whether it's wanting to use an OP weapon combo the whole game, or an unorthodox combo for amusement, there's sufficient RNG in random weapons that appear I think). This was a case where the dev's balance was not as they intended in their original design document and it worked for the better as a happy little accident of brilliant, perfect game balance, where the player's ammo troubles are directly tied to their skill, thus reducing your reliance on RNG for weapons/ammoas skill in not getting hit improves. Roguelikes with skill-manageable forms of RNG, where more skill reduces how much you are at the mercy of RNG, are some of the best-designed I think.

You are right that I am exaggerating the weapon loss to some extent. The main spots where a weapon is most likely to break are Temple runs (particularly tier 4 Temple) and during the Overlord fight to the final floor, which is a lengthy ammo sink fight followed by a difficult, large floor where you may not find a miniboss immediately.

The DLC's current ammo balancing, particularly the Temple's ammo drought is badly designed I feel. The fights themselves are fun, new content, but the lack of ammo drops is a nuisance and I hate how I'm constantly running around praying to the RNG gods for ammo I know won't appear. I've tried playing with infinite ammo via cheat engine, and it's nice not to have to worry about weapon loss, but then I feel dirty, cause cheats. My biggest issue is that it feels a bit inevitable at times if you go for some of the bonus bosses that you'll be forced to fight them with an entirely RNG-given weapon, or with the base peashooter for some of the lengthier fights. An epic boss battle loses some of its cool factor when you're stuck using the peashooter (a shmup's shot types should feel exciting, and the peashooter originally felt like a penalty, which I was OK with).

Phasing also sucks now. You get half the max ammo if Phasing is on the weapon, meaning you get a weapon that lasts for a handful of rooms or a boss fight and then breaks unceremoniously after. If Phasing was too game-breaking, either take it out, tone down the damage it does, or just leave it in and give players the choice. I once picked up an artifact weapon only to immediately lose it on a boss because I underestimated just how little ammo the relatively poor weapon (Gungnir, a phasing spear) would have. If they feel it makes it too easy and they want a challenge they can simply not use Phasing weapons. Worth noting that in the DLC Drill has been buffed tremendously with access to Triple and Backshot, so not only is it a weapon with auto-phasing but it's also now even more ridiculously powerful than before and is a common high-tier weapon pick for room sweeping as well as boss clearing that is extremely ammo efficient.

I'm also not crazy on how much more you can pump up raw damage %. I'd rather have more reliable weapon choice rather than just being encouraged to pump up a damage multiplier so my peashooter sucks less.

I believe the # candles is determined by the floor you enter the Temple on (beat the floor boss with over 2.5 multiplier?). Floor 1 is 1 candle, floor 4 is 4 candles.

I think the first you get that weird cartridge it allows you to
Spoiler: show
unlock the secret new floor/boss and unlocks looping if you beat the game with it. Once you unlock looping I'm not sure if it serves a purpose.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 5:30 am 



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Yeah, I think being forced to switch guns in a game like metal slug with static weapon locations is fine because the difficulty of the game isn't dependent on rng, but it doesn't work as well in a game like this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 4:49 pm 


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Zaarock wrote:
I by far prefer the bullet patterns being designed to not require invincible dash (ie. require real dodging, and make the patterns fair). Sorta sick of games built around invincible dash like Furi and Nex Machina, they end up having the same bullet pattern archetypes where you need some wall flying at you constantly to reset cooldowns and actually force player to navigate through bullets.

In monolith that upgrade feels too strong to be a random upgrade. It's either a core mechanic or you randomly dont get it.


Really? I never take Blink, ever. The patterns in this game are by no means hard to learn and I find it easier just to dodge them normally than to use dash. I can deal with this game's patterns with just simple movement. Dashing seems insanely risky to me. The best use I've had with Blink is like BKR mentioned, dashing away/through enemies. But I haven't been playing these games for as long as most people have here, so maybe there is untapped potential here that I'm not seeing.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
The devs have said that they actually want to force players to constantly weapon swap, and that they thought there was too much ammo in the original version available. I disagree; I think having a skill-based mechanic where players can freely use any weapon they want as long as they have sufficient skill to keep their HP maxed for the refill on minibosses is a perfect design choice. Newer players will still be encouraged to swap frequently due to health gains and having difficulty recovering ammo, and more skilled players are not forced into weapon swapping if they want to (whether it's wanting to use an OP weapon combo the whole game, or an unorthodox combo for amusement, there's sufficient RNG in random weapons that appear I think). This was a case where the dev's balance was not as they intended in their original design document and it worked for the better as a happy little accident of brilliant, perfect game balance, where the player's ammo troubles are directly tied to their skill, thus reducing your reliance on RNG for weapons/ammoas skill in not getting hit improves. Roguelikes with skill-manageable forms of RNG, where more skill reduces how much you are at the mercy of RNG, are some of the best-designed I think.


When the update released I pretty much had the exact same reaction to the new ammo system. I didn't like it, AT ALL. What made the "original" so good was that I could find a weapon that I liked early on in the game and keep it for the rest of the run if I played well enough. But after having played with the DLC for quite some time now, I honestly don't think it's as bad as I originally thought. A downside to the original system is that you had to be at full HP the whole time, which made it a lot more stressful to play in my experience. Now I feel a lot more relaxed playing this game since my weapon will probably not last long anyway.

And maybe somewhat controversially I think there is more skill involved at winning the game now. Being able to adapt to bad situations is something you have to do a lot more now. The game is harder to consistently beat from my experience.

Here's something else that I noticed the first time I played this game, and I know everyone here would probably disagree with this, but the default weapon in this game is one of the best in any roguelike I've ever played. Like seriously, it doesn't have weird accuracy (looking at you gungeon) and the damage on it honestly is pretty good. Seriously, very often I will salvage newly obtained weapons since their damage output is a lot lower than the peashooter. This happens a lot with Charge, Thunderhead, Spear, Drill, Sword weapons and probably a bunch of other ones I can't remember. They need good keywords to be effective. I have done peashooter only runs for the achievement and it's... not hard at all imo. I don't mean this as a "get good"-comment, not at all, but I firmly believe the peashooter is better than most make it out to be.

That there are more base damage drops now makes the worse ammo drops a lot more forgivable. More damage -> killing enemies faster -> less ammo spent. And it makes the otherwise shit weapons more powerful.

Temple is indeed a complete waste of resources if that's all you care about. You really do it for the special cartridges or maybe the additional challenge of beating the superboss. Kinda in the middle about Temple. I like the extra challenge and the Warden boss, but the low payoff and meh enemy design could definitely be improved on.

I'll maybe get Cheat Engine going on my PC and try out that inf ammo system you mentioned. Would be fun to see how it changes the experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 1:32 pm 


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Quote:
Dashing seems insanely risky to me. The best use I've had with Blink is like BKR mentioned, dashing away/through enemies.


The main purpose of Blink is to use in rooms. It is, even in the DLC, one of the strongest upgrades you can pick, because it gives you escape options you wouldn't normally have. It also has a few potential options in boss fights, but those are generally limited.

Quote:
This happens a lot with Charge, Thunderhead, Spear, Drill, Sword weapons and probably a bunch of other ones I can't remember. They need good keywords to be effective.


Sword is objectively better than the default weapon, regardless of keywords. Even with 0 keywords on them, Sword and Drill are still wildly more effective than the default weapon due to their inherent enemy pierce properties, Sword's ability to cancel bullets, their ability to hit full-screen with projectiles, etc. Thunderhead and Spear have issues, but mainly it's due to them sucking at group combat due to slow firing speeds and single target damage.

Quote:
I firmly believe the peashooter is better than most make it out to be.


I've done default weapon runs such as this Sudden Death, no weapons, no upgrade terminal runs. I'm aware the default weapon is a decent weapon, but my complaint is that it simply isn't very fun to use. I'm a bit sick of doing Temple in particular, getting to the epic boss there, and seeing that once again I'm plinking at it with the default weapon because the game's forced me into it beating it down with the peashooter. Feels far less exciting than the original version where, with good dodging, I'm hanging onto a genuinely decent weapon for the final battle. This isn't something like Strania where your weapon gets a downgrade for a specific battle for cinematic reasons; it's just the game simply doesn't care to give you control over your weapon or ammo. If I'm going into an epic boss battle, having a visually satisfying weapon to fit the occasion is a major part of setting the mood. Would Dodonpachi's boss battles be as exciting with the peashooter instead of the intense laser? I don't think so.

The DLC's increased focus on +%damage items is actually a negative in my opinion, because it reflects the game's new focus on upgrading the default weapon for those lengthy, epic battles where you're almost inevitably going to run out of ammo and thus be forced to rely on it. Ditch the % damage items altogether and allow players to hang onto weakened, but more fun weapons longer.

In a good shmup, having fun and interesting shot types is an essential part of the experience. The devs teased on Twitter about tons of new artifact weapons for some time, but if you want to use one of them it's often difficult to hang onto for an extended period of time. Dragonbreath and Atomica are interesting for instance, but both are frankly impractical compared to standard keyword weapons you can obtain, and the new ammo system makes it harder to play with the weapons more freely. Despite the ammo rebalancing, the game actually encourages you to use the same weapon repeatedly with the add-a-keyword items, since you can repeatedly craft the same weapon over and over, multiple times in a run if need be by grabbing any base weapon with open slots. Very unusual.

What the DLC's rebalancing lost is some of the classic, essential shmup design choices. Its ammo being tied directly to player skill calls back to games like Gradius where your weapon was much more fun and interesting at max power, but player skill in not getting hit was tied directly to how long you could use it. Your skill in dodging affects your ability to retain your shot power. Also, no matter how powerful the weapons you have are, the weapon have to feel fun to use, and you can balance visually "cool" weapons not to be gamebreakers. The shot types in Batsugun, Armed Police Batrider, ChoRenSha68k all feel fun and satisfying as you power them up. In Monolith's DLC, instead of the availability of special weapons being tied to player skill, you're more at the mercy of RNG, with forced changes or loss of weapon being far more frequent, through no fault of the player. It's important I think when making a roguelike or any game with RNG elements to know when not to make elements reliant on RNG.

Gungeon's default weapon might not be as effective, but Gungeon allows you to freely use whatever weapons you want, and it also lets you save interesting weapons for difficult battles rather than using what you have immediately. Ammo is plentiful, and you can save the cool weapons for serious fights if you're running low on ammo for some weapons. In the original Monolith, the balancing was fine, as ammo was finely tuned as such that you could realistically use a cool weapon as long as you wanted if you had the skill to keep its ammo topped up, but now it just feels like you're being punished repeatedly through no fault of your own because you can't hold onto ammo while using the default weapon, and your weapon outright breaks if you run out of ammo instead of denying you the weapon until you get more ammo, meaning if you get something particularly cool, the DLC's limited guaranteed ammo and more RNG based ammo drops tend to cruelly yank weapons out of the player's grasp through no fault of their own now.
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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 3:49 pm 


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Meriscan wrote:
Zaarock wrote:
I by far prefer the bullet patterns being designed to not require invincible dash (ie. require real dodging, and make the patterns fair). Sorta sick of games built around invincible dash like Furi and Nex Machina, they end up having the same bullet pattern archetypes where you need some wall flying at you constantly to reset cooldowns and actually force player to navigate through bullets.

In monolith that upgrade feels too strong to be a random upgrade. It's either a core mechanic or you randomly dont get it.


Really? I never take Blink, ever. The patterns in this game are by no means hard to learn and I find it easier just to dodge them normally than to use dash. I can deal with this game's patterns with just simple movement. Dashing seems insanely risky to me. The best use I've had with Blink is like BKR mentioned, dashing away/through enemies. But I haven't been playing these games for as long as most people have here, so maybe there is untapped potential here that I'm not seeing.


What's risky about using blink unless player has trouble controlling it? You teleport to a point that's fully in your control. On keyboard/d-pad its a generic 8-way warp without any unpredictable angle. Patterns not being hard enough to be needed sure, but you're also assuming the player has enough trouble using blink that considering the option is risky. If not you can have an easier time to ignore patterns like dashing through clusters of bullets into openings or macro dodging basic spreads with no risk. Doesn't need to be used much to be effective, at a basic level you might just escape from a few bad situations by warping and save a couple bombs.
For those with less dodging ability than yourself & played shmups less (majority of players?) they dont need to learn proper dodging as much is my point. It's a major game mechanic change on the whim of the game if player decides to use it (pretty similar to various arena shooter or character action game dodge actions).

Agree about the peashooter, it's one of the most fun ways to play and gets rid of some of the broken balance. Most games like this are no fun with the base weapon. It being a fun choice shows there's a lot of solid shmup design here without touching most of the random elements.

Some experience regarding the DLC.. I remember clearing the 'Prisoner' with an absurdly lucky loadout which made it feel like I needed no skill at all to win :lol: I think I had halved damage, gain shield charges on hit, a ton of hp and double max charge. Could basically take a million hits with barely evasion required. I guess it's on me for using that ship type but it leaves a bit of a bad taste to get something that's supposed to be a hard earned victory just by complete cheese, unless I threw the run away.


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 Post subject: Re: Monolith
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 6:47 pm 


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Yeah, the first time I encountered
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Chaosgod
I had that upgrade where you only take 1 HP damage from red bullets. I was able to survive and soak way more hits than I would've been able to, would've otherwise murdered me easily. That upgrade cartridge is super useful.
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