Alternatives to bot bullet sponges?

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;

  1. Bot group dynamics (bots working as a team to flank etc).
  2. Faster cycling weapons of higher level opponents (up to a certain point.
  3. Thicker armour (less effected by AP ammo) but still same component ‘softness’. Destroy the armour and you can still easily blow the component.
  4. Self destruct suicide on heavy damage.
  5. A Repair unit in bigger bot groups.
  6. Bots retreating to get repaired.
  7. Bots covering retreating bots.
  8. Calling for backup (can be disabled by destroying a particular component maybe). Limited to maybe one reinforcement group rather than endless waves.
  9. Player weapons degrading / jamming (more general than scalable difficulty).
  10. 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 ?.

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  1. Yes (which I think they already do, to a certain degree)
  2. Elaborate on this one please
  3. Feels quite balanced as it is imho, if anything the apocalypse class could be toned down a bit, since they’re real bullet sponges
  4. Could be an interesting mechanic, sure!
  5. Yes!
  6. Unless the repair mechanic gets too powerful, yes
  7. Yes
  8. They sort of do, at least the seekers
  9. No!
  10. Making them invulnerable unless you hit certain spots? I think not, current system is fine as it is, since you take out the bots much faster if you blast them on the right spots. Could be an intersting option for a “mega tank raid target” though
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  1. Faster reload, more intensive firing, move firing maybe.

Not really seen anything noticable on 1. Having to fight 3 Hunters last night they just all come running at me. I run away and only one follows. I shoot it and get its attention and the other two just stay where they are. No real team work.

  1. is really aimed at combating the Apocalypse class. Hard shielding but still soft internals. Fighting the Hunters had me blowing the front grills and components out, center body component(s) and then having to empty a couple of 50 cal clips directly in to its head from fairly close range (whilst it just stood there). Only thing I can think of not blown was the fuel source on its back as it was always facing me and I was in a building. Point being killing a few components but having tough armour rather than having to completely decimate the entire bot would still be challenging but not an empty mag in its face and reload tedious cycle.

  2. Intended for non seekers, ie pack bots calling the other pack members. TBH I think the Hunters do this already.

  3. Nope, as hard to kill as normal but harder to get quick kills by hitting larger components. It would take more skill for the quick kills or you could just grind them down as normal.