Increase the difficulty?

General discussion about the game.
MoD1982
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:05 am

Increase the difficulty?

Postby MoD1982 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:26 am

This is intended to be a discussion topic more than anything, but it's recently come to my attention that FTL is possibly getting too easy to complete once people unlock certain ships, get used to certain events etc... I can't say as how this comes from personal experience as I've only ever played on Normal twice!

So my question, and apologies if this is covered elsewhere, is this: are there plans to increase a third tier of difficulty into the game, for those who have unlocked ships that make the game too easy or are looking for more of a challenge? If not, why not? Would the players out there welcome such an addition to the game? And I'm looking for something a bit more constructive than "Don't be an idiot, it's already hard enough as it is!" You think I don't know that already? XD There's nothing forcing anybody to play on higher difficulties after all.

Thoughts?
IConquer
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:24 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby IConquer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:28 am

even when you get used to events and use the "best" ships, there's still every possibility of running into one of those "you're effed" loadouts. I'd say that I have a 15-25% success rate with all ships unlocked.
cicobuff
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:20 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby cicobuff » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:37 am

MoD1982 wrote:This is intended to be a discussion topic more than anything, but it's recently come to my attention that FTL is possibly getting too easy to complete once people unlock certain ships, get used to certain events etc... I can't say as how this comes from personal experience as I've only ever played on Normal twice!

So my question, and apologies if this is covered elsewhere, is this: are there plans to increase a third tier of difficulty into the game, for those who have unlocked ships that make the game too easy or are looking for more of a challenge? If not, why not? Would the players out there welcome such an addition to the game? And I'm looking for something a bit more constructive than "Don't be an idiot, it's already hard enough as it is!" You think I don't know that already? XD There's nothing forcing anybody to play on higher difficulties after all.

Thoughts?


It may be possible to increase the difficulty but will introduce a whole lot of balancing needed.

1. Increasing the durability of enemies does not help as most games are decided once you know when and what to hit and follow up from there. So any number of hit points won't help the AI.

2. Increasing shields and invasion will dramatically increase the number of reroll (because most will abandon a run if the weapons cannot break the enemies shields anymore) without contributing to the challenge. You'll just reroll more.

3. Balancing any above increases in difficulty by weapons upgrade etc will only move us back to square one.

The problem now is that as it is, the game is almost perfectly balanced for challenge without introducing too much frustration if you learn to play with each death. Like learning to go for green jumps instead of reds when your weapons and shields are not up to par. Like avoiding zoltan if you don't have enough burst to take down the shields. Et. Etc.

If it were possible to easily introduce more challenges with the current game mechanics, the mods would have done it.

But I hope someone will try it though, just that I believe it's gonna be next to impossible to achieve. Just shows how well designed and thoughts the developers put into this gem.
BKT
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:17 am

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby BKT » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:06 am

I agree that enemy do not need any more defense. :)

Maybe some changes to enemy's weapon+etc? :

- Change all Basic laser to Dual laser *
- Change all BL1 to BL2 *
- Add Hull laser 1/2
- Add Pegasus launcher
- Bombs (and maybe other guns as well) only hit on system rooms (random)

* this could make early game quite annoying though... 50% chance instead of always, perhaps? :oops:

I wish there's a mod for this... :roll:
cicobuff
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:20 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby cicobuff » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:33 am

BKT wrote:I agree that enemy do not need any more defense. :)

Maybe some changes to enemy's weapon+etc? :

- Change all Basic laser to Dual laser *
- Change all BL1 to BL2 *
- Add Hull laser 1/2
- Add Pegasus launcher
- Bombs (and maybe other guns as well) only hit on system rooms (random)

* this could make early game quite annoying though... 50% chance instead of always, perhaps? :oops:

I wish there's a mod for this... :roll:


Judging by the amazing stuff they are doing with the mods. This seems that it can be done. But does the changes make it more challenging without increasing the already high frustration? Doubling the AI offensive power basically renders you shield upgrades 1/2 as useful. In my own experience, the AI seems to have enough firepower, it's just that they don't wait and sync their weapons like humans do.

Just making the AI time and synchronize their weapons in a burst will go a long way towards introducing more challenge without need for max-min tweaking.

Maybe the devs can release a patch to address this?

Edit: How about a "advanced ai mode" where if they judge that they can penetrate your shields, they ALWAYS aim for your weapons room first? And time their cloaks when your boarders are low on hps so you can't jump away.

Hmmm, I've changed my mind regarding to the question the OP posted. Just by making the AI adopt some of the tricks we use, the AI will become extremely challenging.
Last edited by cicobuff on Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
UltraMantis
Posts: 2141
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby UltraMantis » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:35 am

This is not exactly the answer to your question but my way of ramping up the difficulty is to play a weaker ship. Most B types are weaker and Stealth B and Slug B really play harder than the rest. I have also been playing Stealth A shieldless and had good fun doing so.
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BKT
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:17 am

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby BKT » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:40 am

cicobuff wrote:In my own experience, the AI seems to have enough firepower, it's just that they don't wait and sync their weapons like humans do.


Precisely. ;)

Obviously this would be a better option :

cicobuff wrote:Just making the AI time and synchronize their weapons in a burst will go a long way towards introducing more challenge without need for max-min tweaking.


But this is not a trivial thing to— a simple AI won't be that much different than some of the automate ship with cloak, a more complex AI that could 'timed' their shots effectively must be very sophisticated and most likely too complex/difficult to implement, and IMO it could also break the 'feel' of the game— that is, enemy always blind-fire, and there could be some unintended consequences if enemy can actually 'aim' ...

"Unintended Consequences" is precisely the reason why I didn't suggest to modify the enemy's weapon/system loadout:— like putting Def2 drone on more ships and not just the Rigger, Zoltan with max evade, etc... By disregarding the 'theme' of enemy ship, it's quite easy to make the game more difficult since usually these aren't 'optimal' setup. However this would also change the game's 'feel' as well, wish is a bad thing to do IMO.

The ideas I suggested would increase enemy firepower without changing anything else, and is quite easy to do I believe. :) ... I don't really ask for it to be implement though— just a wish. :oops:


BTW... Yes, you could try limiting yourself more or less instead to make things more challenging, which I did from time to time (if not all the time) ... Still, it will never be as fun as being able to do your best to overcome a truly formidable challenge. ;)
Last edited by BKT on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MoD1982
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:05 am

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby MoD1982 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:17 pm

Herein lies my point - people don't have that higher difficulty otherwise they'd be playing it. They're setting themselves challenges to make it.. well, a challenge. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a challenge but it remains that - in my opinion, at least - if the game had one more difficulty level, people wouldn't need to set themselves a challenge?

I'm not against challenges, far from it. They spice the gameplay up somewhat. But I hope y'all see where I'm coming from.
Teodor
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:59 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby Teodor » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:19 pm

Maybe just a hard mode where you get less scrap than normal. Forces you to do more with less.
But I like the idea someone had about introducing more play modes, maybe some kind of endless scenario where enemies get extremely challenging like death match.
Or a mode that focuses more on the economics. Maybe with some kind of trading quests or whatever. You travel back and forth and buy/steal stuff and then sell them of to finish quests. Though it's crucial to keep with permadeath and not loosing the nerve.
MC3craze
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:36 pm

Re: Increase the difficulty?

Postby MC3craze » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:55 pm

Teodor wrote:Maybe just a hard mode where you get less scrap than normal. Forces you to do more with less.
But I like the idea someone had about introducing more play modes, maybe some kind of endless scenario where enemies get extremely challenging like death match.
Or a mode that focuses more on the economics. Maybe with some kind of trading quests or whatever. You travel back and forth and buy/steal stuff and then sell them of to finish quests. Though it's crucial to keep with permadeath and not loosing the nerve.


Less scrap and possibly a limit on the amount of pause time you have? (i.e. 15 seconds total pause time, I guess a whole minute for the boss battle)

I think I'll mod a repair arm to not repair the hull and still take 15% of the scrap to try these limits out.

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