Bullet sponges are an easy way of upping the difficulty but come at a cost of game enjoyment, balance and have finite expansion possibilities (to move forwards you need more powerful weapons / ammo which leads to more spongy bots and so the cycle goes).
With the weapon tiers seemingly set and no easy way of adding new weapon power levels, it is hard to see how this power / spongyness cycle can continue in to more than the immediate future. At some point you are going to need more ammo than you can carry to defeat that pack of 4 Hunters.
So how can the game continue to account for more desired and difficult content for the future without ‘resetting’ the power levels or pushing on with the difficulty through more ammo to kill…
I have been an avid player of The Division (1 & 2) until recently and they had the same issue… a number of times… One thing I liked about this game was the openness of the dev community and being able feedback and to see what was tried and what worked and what did not. It certainly opened my eyes to the game development mechanics, more complex aspects of game balancing etc.
Their solution was more intelligent opponents (hunters), improved enemy group AI and in TCTD2, destroy-able armour on the tanks.
So with all that being said, what other alternatives may be appropriate to GZ ?.
I will try to get the ball rolling;
- Bot group dynamics (bots working as a team to flank etc).
- Faster cycling weapons of higher level opponents (up to a certain point.
- Thicker armour (less effected by AP ammo) but still same component ‘softness’. Destroy the armour and you can still easily blow the component.
- Self destruct suicide on heavy damage.
- A Repair unit in bigger bot groups.
- Bots retreating to get repaired.
- Bots covering retreating bots.
- Calling for backup (can be disabled by destroying a particular component maybe). Limited to maybe one reinforcement group rather than endless waves.
- Player weapons degrading / jamming (more general than scalable difficulty).
- Smaller components on higher level bots (eg. power source split in to two smaller components with both needing to be destroyed). More skill needed than just raining bullets.
Views, thoughts, other suggestions ?.