Today we bring you a sneak peek at the way we are handling weapons and modifications in the game. Our goal was to create a system that lets players individualize their items as much as they want but at the same time doesn’t create something that is burdening everyone with complicated crafting recipes it takes ages to assemble. We also wanted to have a system, where each weapon type makes sense according to your style and not just have one weapon be simply superior to another, which makes choosing weapons just a question of how quickly you can get the best weapon in the game.
So here is how we think of the weapon system in a step by step outline:
Our first move is to create a number of base weapon types – like you know them from your Tabletop. Now obviously there is a difference between your Light Pistol and your Panther Assault Cannon. But we are going one step further: We want your Ares Predator to feel slightly different from your Remington Roomsweeper and your Colt Manhunter, even though they may have the same damage code and share the same basic role. We do this by having slight differences between weapons – things like Range, Magazine Size, Aiming Bonus, Malfunction Chances, Noise etc. so they feel similar to the average gamer, but if you want to optimize your character, you can dig deeper.
Now we get to the next part – modding your weapon. In most games, you discard your starting weapons for superior models in the cause of your progression. Our basic system shifts this towards making the weapon you have better fit your playing style by allowing you to modify it. This is not to say there aren’t superior models around. Be it the improved craftsmanship or a rare and expensive prototype, there may be weapons worth getting your hands on. But these should be rare and special and hard to get.
Modding your weapon is a two-step process – each weapon will have a number of slots for improvement: barrel, sight, grip etc. Each slot can be filled with one upgrade item, for example a silencer or a laser sight. Now each of these will move some of the above mentioned attributes upwards. A silencer will reduce noise, but then you cannot put a range extending device in the same spot. Now each of these upgrades comes in different qualities – while run of the mill base quality upgrades may be available at your local stuffer shack, the better quality upgrades will be harder to obtain. This is where crafting comes in – given the right materials and skills, you can assemble your own upgrades in order to use them in your weapon modding. The idea here is again to allow the average Ork ganger to get a modded Uzi, but the real pros may just want to fiddle with their toys a little more, giving them a deciding edge without making them vastly superior. Of course getting your hands on the good stuff for crafting is in itself not an easy task…
Basically this allows you a couple of choices – you can play to the strength of your weapon and for example make sure your Roomsweeper gets bigger magazines and has an increased accuracy and just makes a lot of noise. Or you can try and build a silent version of it, maybe sacrificing the opportunity to have a prolonged firefight without a reload, since you reckon if you keep silent, you won’t even have one of those. Or you just get the right gun for each occasion and build two ‘types’. Of course on average a light pistol will always be quicker and less noisy than an average heavy pistol, but you can look for the mix that fits your tactics best.
Our goal here is bringing that Shadowrun feeling of any weapon being dangerous to anyone, but the difference between a rent-a-cop and a Shadowrunner lies in the amount of individualization and artisanship they bring to their weapons. It is a fine balance to find, but we hope with your help in the beta, we will get the mix right.
And since we're talking already, we'd like to comment on the survey that is currently running: Your feedback has been amazing and most of the surveys we sent out have been answered by now. If you are expecting one and haven't received it yet, please contact us about it. Evaluating the surveys will take some time, so please be patient if you asked for another survey via the survey you received (e.g. if you decided to upgrade your pledge in the last week) or, if you feel it is urgent, please make sure to contact us, too. Thanks again for your cooperation and as always:
See you in the Shadows…