Some Balance Feedback on special spaces (spoilers)

Have a current late-game character stomping about poking into some of the darker corners of the world. Just wanted to provide a bit of feedback on them:

The labs are feeling kind of old. Really good loot in them, and a decent variety of hazards, but the procedural nature of the space feels much more old fashioned than all the work that’s gone into the over-world or other more recently developed spaces.

In terms of straight up balance, they do feel a bit easy for the loot they provide, assuming you enter with a key card so that there aren’t turrets around every corner, they also don’t feel like they scale much with depth, except for the killing cold that some (but not all?) labs seem to feature.

Oh, they also don’t have a roof on the external bunker if you’re playing with z-levels - a fact for which my current lab-escapee character is greatful, as she didn’t have any other way past the turret and locked external door.

‘Training’ your computer skill in a lab feels like endlessly sticking your fingers into a really boring light socket. There’s got to be a better way. Would love to see hacking take a LOT more time and perhaps more significant risk, but generate a lot more skill, and mostly or completely forgo the repeat use of terminals.

Along the same lines, the number of messages you can uncover through hacking the lab terminals seems very limited and gets repetitive very quickly. Would be nice to see more real clues and character or story elements uncovered there (and elsewhere in the game, for that matter) through hacking.

The other space I have feedback on is the Vault, which is a really interestingly designed space in terms of generation and layout - but it has a number of rough edges game-play wise.

  1. The sheer number of irradiated zombies in there is lag inducing. Even just driving into town above I immediately felt that there was something wrong as my turns slowed to a crawl. The vast number of zombies down here poses no real threat either, save to your CPU - you can kill literally thousands of them with a handful of caltrops and a modicum of patience with almost no danger to yourself.

I killed more irradiated zombies in one vault clearance than I fought in the entire rest of the game up to that point, which included complete clears of several substantial towns. I think it came to somewhere on the order of 2500 irradiated zombies in that one vault.

  1. Irradiated zombies aren’t irradiated. In fact there appears to be no radiation hazard whatsoever in the vault, so I don’t know how all these poor bastards got irradiated, but in the entire time down there my Geiger counter never blipped once. Just seemed weird.

  2. Vault needs more variety of enemies, with more variation of threat. The crawly things are a bit more dangerous, but really they’re just another thing that walks up and gets stabbed a lot or dies on caltrops.

  3. Vault hazard goes from 1->10 really fast. After literally wading through level zero zeds for several trips, I turn a corner and I’m facing 2 milspec turrets and an entire triad of chicken walkers. Da’fuq. Some buildup or middle ground would be nice. Luckily I had a full suite of heavy power armor up in the van for just such an occasion…

  4. Loot is mostly pretty bad. Much less attractive than a lab, for vastly more effort (but little threat unless you reach the robotics lab or maintenance bay). Though I did come out with something like 5000+ 9mm JHP and a collective 10k batteries… Those might be a little TOO liberal, but only because there are so many basic zeds in there.

  5. Every single breakable object in the entire vault was broken. Don’t know what the zombie’s issue is, but I could hear a literal endless crescendo of things being broken underground for the first week I was there. By the time I cleared some of the surface town and found the entrance to the vault, virtually every single breakable object down there had been thoroughly smashed by bored zeds. Kinda ruins a lot of the effort the designer put into decoing and theming the rooms. I would have no idea what most of those rooms were supposed to be if they weren’t labeled on the map because they were all uniformly reduced to piles of scrap metal, rags, and wood splinters.

This included almost every door winch in the place, which necessitated me taking a jackhammer with me ever-where I went in the vault. :stuck_out_tongue:

So my suggestions for the Vault in short:

  1. WAY fewer zeds, with more variety of type and hazard.
  2. More interesting/varied loot.
  3. Find some way to keep the Z AI from systematically obliterating the entire place so that it looks cooler.
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Zombies be polite and smash the metal doors too so I don’t have to.

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