Hey folks, Toffee here. Over the last few weeks we’ve taken a deeper look into B.C.E.’s combat, thanks to the rapid testing capability of the Burnout game mode, and have come to the consensus that some changes need to be made. Today, I’ll be going over these changes, how we came to the choices we made, and how they will effect B.C.E. going forward.
As those who have been following our development are likely aware, the combat of B.C.E. is broken into three weapon types: Clubs, Spears, and Unarmed. Each weapon type has a primary and secondary attack option, and up until this point, all primaries had been melee, and all secondaries had been ranged. While this made sense on paper for the sake of uniformity and reducing learning curve complexity, in practice, it did not turn out the way we intended. In an effort to make each weapon type feel unique and effective, we have updated combat as follows.
Primary: The club primary attack will not be receiving any changes. The weapon slows movement speed significantly, and we feel this counterbalances the 1-hit kill potential of the weapon in melee range.
Secondary: The club secondary attack, however, will be receiving a major overhaul. Instead of being an aim-and-throw attack like the spear, the club’s secondary is now what we call a Quick Block. When performed, a Quick Block will place the club in a blocking position in front of the wielder, blocking attacks from the front. When an attack is blocked, the attacker will be momentarily dazed and the quick block will be canceled, giving the blocker a brief window for rebuttal. However, as damage can still be taken from behind or from the side, committing to a block can leave you exposed.
Quick Block also introduces a new mechanic: projectile reflection. Rock Throw, the secondary attack of the Unarmed weapon type, will briefly daze an enemy it hits, slowing their movement and preventing them from picking up weapons or performing attacks. But should the rock strike an enemy who is Quick Blocking, that rock will be reflected back, becoming a hostile projectile, and has the potential to daze or even kill the original thrower or his teammates.
Primary: The spear primary will also be receiving a rework. In it’s current form, the attack is a simple forward Jab, but we felt as though it does not offer anything of unique value to combat. Since the secondary attack, the Spear Throw, is a much stronger option (being a 1 hit kill), this primary attack is lackluster, and was rarely used during playtesting. To bring the spear into a more balanced and unique state, we have replaced Jab with Shove. Shove, when performed, will knock any enemies within melee range back a short distance. This is not a daze, but rather a spacing utility that puts some distance between the user and any would-be melee attacker. We feel that Shove works better in conjunction with the spears secondary attack, allowing players to better line up their throws and earn those impressive kills.
Secondary: The spear secondary attack will not be receiving any changes. We feel the skill required to land a long-range throw is counterbalanced by the weapon’s 1 hit-kill potential.
With these attack changes comes the concern of skill spamming and exploitation of these systems. Therefore, we will be applying the Stamina mechanic that already exists on Rock Throw to both Shove and Quick Block. The bar above each player’s head that denotes when a rock can be thrown again will now apply to the usage of these new skills as well. Exact cooldown times for each skill are still in flux, but suffice to say we’d like to keep them as short as possible.
While the changing of these attacks disrupts the level of standardization we had initially, we believe these modifications will improve the diversity of weaponry and add a bit more flavor to each type. Through upcoming playtests, we will iterate upon these changes and continue to polish and improve Burnout as a game mode, and B.C.E. as a whole.
Thanks for reading!