Encased Kickstarter Update #20: Firearms, Melee, Grenades, Oh My!
The history of the Dome began with a hazardous, solitary expedition comprised of military personnel and a handful of scientists. Since then, much has changed. CRONUS was formed, the number of permanent citizens of the Dome grew to 27,000, and the lifeless desert is now littered with settlements and outposts. One thing remains the same: the people in charge are scientists and military personnel.
CRONUS is a wealthy and influential organization, and many corporations vied to have them for a client. The firearms market under the Dome is divided among four competing firms: Horizon I&R, Vixen, Westminster Defense Solutions, and Forge Co.
Each of these manufacturers has its own lineup and own philosophy. Forge Co. are the most cynical, combining mass-marketing and mediocrity to appeal to a family audience. The only distinguishing feature of Forge Co. guns are average price and average quality. Forge Co.’s ideological opposite is Horizon Industries and Research (Horizon I&R), which fabricates high quality weaponry and distributes it via sales agents who travel the Dome, suitcases in hand. While these agents are now lost to the dunes, the Vixen shops are still standing. Vixen has outlets in every rundown village and town. Their second-rate SMGs can often be found at huge discounts. The last corporation in the weapons market is Westminster. Westminster specializes in older, but time-tested, rifles.
Products from different manufacturers vary not only in price and features: upgrade potential and firearms-related perks also differ.
Upgrades allow the player to improve the accuracy, rate of fire and magazine capacity of firearms. You won’t find two identical rifles in any one Encased walkthrough: two guns of the same model will differ at least slightly in their upgrades and degree of wear.
Firearms can be disassembled on a special workbench, creating some interesting game options: weapons stripped for parts can be sold piecemeal for better value. Or, having obtained a dozen identical rifles, disassemble them all and pick the best parts to create one superior weapon.
Aside from these considerations, each weapon has a scale of Familiarity. Regular use of one particular firearm leads to small but fun bonuses. At the same time, focusing on a particular type of weapon (from pistols to sniper rifles) increases your Proficiency in all weapons of that type.
If you’re not a fan of guns, Encased has still more to offer. The game arsenal includes dozens of melee weapons, many of which were suggested by our community. Several different companies are engaged in production and supply of these items, but the biggest player is Danny Reynolds Supplies. Reynolds produces a huge catalogue of bladed implements, ranging from kitchen knives and machetes to more exotic types, like the kukri.
Combat for a melee-spec’d character is risky and adrenaline-driven. While the shooter requires a high skill level and proper use of cover, the main catalyst for victory in melee combat is inventive juggling of abilities: you can backstab someone, block an incoming attack, or (with the rights skills) disarm your opponent.
In addition, the player who prefers melee will appreciate the ability to manage the distance between himself and his prey. Reynolds’ shops sometimes carry harpoon guns, the perfect tool to encourage distant enemies to get a little closer, and even jetpacks(!), allowing you to immediately access different height levels on the map.
Jetpacks and harpoon guns are very useful, but throwing weapons, including darts, knives, Molotov cocktails and, of course, grenades, have an even greater influence on tactics.
Who doesn’t love a nice, bloody explosion? Here come the grenades! There will be several grenade types in Encased. In addition to the classic frag grenade, the protagonist will have access to smoke, flashbangs, incendiary, and EMP grenades, which completely shut down the enemy's electronics.
With the right grenade, you can change the tactical situation on the battlefield in just one throw: cover your retreat with smoke (greatly reducing hit probability), or block aisles and chokepoints with incendiaries. And thanks to flashbangs, you can render even the strongest opponent helpless for the next couple of moves.
In designing weapons for Encased, our goal is to get away from the “war of numbers,” where the side with the biggest guns and thickest armor always prevails. Instead, we offer our players dynamic battles based on ingenuity, tactics, and competent use of many different equipment features.