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(Gun idea which turned into a game design essay)


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So I was in Fortuna and one of those NPCs has this huge gun thing, it got me thinking.

What about a mining/rock cutter tool, used as a heavy-hitting Primary weapon, but it's a niche use weapon?

Like the Amprex, except it has a thin cone AOE (Area of Effect), incredibly high base damage, and has a wind-up (0.7s) and then can shoot its magazine (3 shots) in sort-of-quick succession.

In The Division 1, before the public (open) beta, there was a closed beta, in which shotguns were originally designed to hit very hard, up close, at the cost of low fire rate and difficulty aiming at moving targets up close. (You don't have those concerns with rifles or snipers). In the end, the devs for that game nerfed shotguns heavily before open beta release. What did players do? They tried shotgun builds, but even getting headshots with the AA12 (a full auto shotgun) weapon was worse DPS than using ARs (Assault Rifles). Conclusion: giving shotguns a similar base DPS as rifles meant they were awful to use (extreme skill/effort for no benefit) and therefore totally useless. They were hot garbage. Therefore, nobody used them apart from a handful of players. Shotguns were trash and weren't a proper addition to the game. Because the game designers (one person in charge worked only on mobile games previously) were scared of giving players a bit of power (damage).

We still don't have enemies that show up like Stalker and jump around turning invisible at times and doing parkour to make them hard to shoot. Instead, we have a bullet sponge enemy game and artificial time gating (daily standing cap, quests, invulnerable bosses) to compensate how players easily kill everything in few different actual ways.

Good game design should punish or reward players for their skills and their equipment they bring to different types of missions. There should be meaning to their choices. For that, you need real differences in the function of the weapons or items or warframe abilities. It should make a difference what you choose, and the way you use that item. If using shotguns up close, manually aimed each time, gave a better DPS than from afar with rifles, then it would mean something that affects everything else in the game. Bringing shotguns to Plains of Eidolon should be something you did wrong, and for that you would need actual varied level design (even within the faction tilesets).

In the words of Tony Soprano.. "Every decision you make affects every facet of every other f—in’ thing."

Want a difference between cutting beam weapons and IPS (Impact, Puncture, Slash) damage weapons? You would have to make them split enemies in half or do something cool to "compensate". Want a difference between Cold element weapons and those with mixed element procs? Make it actually rewarding to use the Sibear (I noticed DE put the damage up to a sensible amount since I played WF on ps4 a year ago) by making cold procs slow enemies by 75% or more, not 25%. Or put some other mechanic in there if there's a worry of it being spammed. Then again, if you're not a noob, why would you fantasize about your awesome freeze-melee weapon when you kill things quickly?

See how something as fundamental as killing enemies, ties into everything else we evaluate as players? Minmaxing to get what we want?

But you have to think about all these things. In detail. You should really have a special team at DE for working out the game design (weapons, abilities, levels and cover placements, parkour, riven stats). And you should employ more INTP people for thinking tasks.

(On an unrelated note. Please DE, give out color pallettes or make them 12p, or buyable with ducats and cred, this is the one area of the game I felt ripped off in)

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