Introducing Dex RPG Features: Implants
Many of you have asked about our planned RPG features for Dex – whether we will have character development, skill trees, abilities, etc. We will address these questions in a short series of updates regarding RPG features, starting today with the topic of implants.
Cybernetic implants form an integral part of gameplay and, in fact, are designed to be a gameplay-changing feature. Implants not only boost your abilities and make you stronger, but also offer new possibilities for exploration, combat, movement, and hacking. Each implant alters the parameters of some activity or enables some new ability.
Now, some examples of implants we have currently (mostly) decided on:
Hardware Firewall: Enables Firewall around Dex when in cyberspace. A necessity if you want to play the game “the hacker’s way” – it protects you from spam and viruses so you can concentrate on your Avatar and your infiltration work instead of on protecting the User (Dex).
Nanite Blood Infusion: Enables automatic health regeneration over time. Regeneration with this implant is rather slow (so it doesn’t beat fast-working Stimpacks in combat situations), but it happens automatically. Plus it works for free, without using any resources – a perfect choice for regenerating when hiding in a safe place, after combat, etc. This is a late-game implant, mostly replacing the need to use medikits and other healing methods. With this implant and a handful of combat-use Stimpacks, you’re ready for any action!
Mirrorshade: Enables invisibility to the human eye. Electronic devices can still detect you, as can trained combat dogs (they can smell, after all!); so Mirrorshade is not a “god device,” but rather a strong utility for specific types of situations.
Electrostatic Conductors: Grants EMP protection. This implant is suitable both for explorers (helps them reach areas with dangerous voltage, short-circuited objects, etc.) and combat players (offers full or partial protection against energy-based weapons and EMP grenades).
Retinal AR Implants: Enables user to see enemies through obstacles thanks to inherent AR detection. Very useful for any gameplay style, because you can plan ahead and avoid sudden surprises and ambushes.
Charged Hands (temporary name): Fists become electro-conducting, blasting targets with electricity. Charged Hands have several uses, especially: taking down larger enemies from behind (very strong enemies, heavily augmented ones, and robots are immune to normal takedown) and adding electric/stun damage to your hand-to-hand attacks.
Ballistic Dermal Layer: Subdermal, energized ballistic armor that greatly enhances protection against ballistic projectiles (the majority of ranged weapons). It does not help against melee damage or other damage types (gas, electric, AR), but is very effective against common enemy types. Expensive and cosmetic-unfriendly, though!
Artificial Limbs: Enables High Jump. Having this implant and employing “crouch + jump,” you can jump almost twice the height. This allows you to visit otherwise-inaccessible places, both in upcoming locations and previously visited ones (you spot a place too high to jump to, you note it and return to the location later, equipped with the implant). This implant is a true gem for explorers, enabling alternative routes, the ability to jump onto building rooftops, and much more!
Leg Enforcers: Enables Power Kick ability. As currently conceived, this allows the user to: break through doors, even those metallically enforced; knock back enemies (counters melee attacks); and crush enemy blocks through your kicks.
Implants first have to be acquired (bought, found, received as a mission reward, etc.). Then they need to be implanted (at an authorized clinic, black market clinic, or under home conditions, yuck). Lastly, all implants need energy to work.
You start with 2 energy cells (with a reachable maximum of 9). Each implant requires 1 to 3 energy cells to work. Implants do not consume energy over time, but do “occupy” a requisite number of energy cells. Think of it like an electrical plug: you have two sockets and must decide between using a radio, a hair dryer, and a toaster. Only two can be plugged in at a time, unless you upgrade your energy capacity.
Turning implants on and off is quite fast and can be done on the fly (though we may change this, based on playtesting and feedback). Need to pass behind several guards? Fine, activate silent movement and do your thing. Guards spotted you and started a firefight? Take cover and activate combat-suited implants such as Ballistic Dermal Layer and/or EMP protection.
The purpose of the implants is not to overcomplicate the game or force you to install as much hardware as possible to become the most bad-ass cyborg ever. The design purpose is to enable more alternative solutions to game obstacles through the use of specific tactics, which often means using the right combination of implants at the right time and place. Depending on your favored gameplay style, you can unlock new stealth, exploration, hacking, and combat possibilities by using the right implants.
Note: This feature set is currently in concept/design state. We are still iterating and experimenting with features.