Gameplay mechanic update: grenades
Alright then. Let's talk about explosives.
Everyone like area of effect attacks - they help you in crowd control, and allow the player to feel awesome after clearing out a bunch of enemies with one hit (explosion?).
So the idea was that grenades will be available as inventory items. Players will be able to equip their Survivors with grenades during raid preparation phase. What is more, Survivors will be able to find grenades on the battlefield.
And here's where gameplay mechanic problems started to appear.
Firstly, as each survivor has a fixed number of inventory slots present (it is six slots as for now) players could simply fill in all of the slots with grenades before the mission. That would cause the game to become a grenade throwing festival, as each Survivor would have five grenades - which gives fifteen (!) grenades for a three people squad.
And, as the grenades would be used, the inventory slots would be freed and the player would be able to collect loot normally.
As I didn't want the player to be only using grenades, I had to change this stuff somehow:
Option 1: make sure that grenades are hard to find/create
Making grenades very rare (and making sure that they cost a lot of resources to craf) would kinda solve the problem - however, players could then start saving up grenades for future missions, and - in later game - again start spamming the map with squad hoding 15+ grenades. That would make grenades's usage very unbalanced.
Option 2: get rid of this nasty thing
Removing grenades completely was a great idea. Not only I wouldn't have to worry about the abovementioned issues, but I'd save up money on grenade throwing and explosion animations! Sadly, not having grenades at all seemed even less fun, so I dropped this idea.
Option 3: follow the xcom way
Sigh, it simply feels that xcom did nail it in the first place. In xcom, each character can carry a single grenade (some of the classes allow for more) - meaning that there's simply a limit of number of grenades that one can carry. However, characters in xcom do not have any inventory slots (well, not the same as in my game, where characters can actually pick stuff up in the battlefield).
Anyways, this is how I solved it in the end:
- Grenades are not a part of inventory. Inventory is purely for collectibles from the battlefield.
- Characters can carry a different number of grenades, based on their class (Mechanic can carry three, other classes: one)
- (major difference from original xcom approach) each instance of grenade needs to be manufactured. If you run out of grenades, you will be unable to take them on a mission (in xcom, grenades were auto-replenishing after each mission, no matter whether you used them or not)
It seems that it works very well! Grenades spamming ceased to exist, but the players will still have to pay attention to global grenades' count.
And here's a gif with the new grenade action display - note the number of grenades is displayed on the bottom, in the action buttons list.
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