Power-ups. Auto-use items that bestow some effect on the player.
What do they add? Excitement? Alternative play-style options? Nothing at all?
Up until very recently, Project Y4 had precisely two power-ups: ammunition and health. Now there are a few more…
What I liked about adding power-ups in This Wreckage was that you never quite knew what you were getting. All of them were just sparkly “Whale Figurines” that only revealed their true nature on use. Okay, none of them had a bad effect, but it certainly meant (to me) that it was always worth breaking off hitting things for a few seconds during a fight to pick them up.
That style doesn’t necessarily work for Project Y4. I’ve gone all out on attachment effects this time around, from weapons and shields on to undercarriage mods, artillery shell mods, and even a tinted windscreen (your reward for being a crim, when I get around to tying it in). All of these have unique item models that match their attachment models — so when you see an item, you know what it is just by looking at it.
So, there are auto-use power-ups that are sometimes dropped by enemy drones when they die. Let’s gloss over the fact that the drones either have no use for these, or should be using them to demolish you — hell, WC3 creeps all carry a collossal supply of gold and nobody ever stopped to wonder why.
- Ammunition: does ammo even count as a power-up? Although ammo can be bought from repair pads, you’ll pick most of it up off the ground.
- Repair drones: as with ammunition, you can buy repair at repair stations. Unlike ammunition, repair drones repair you over time (so you can use them to offset damage from Overdrive).
So far, so obvious.
- Credit chit: money money money; a randomised amount. The problem with this one is that a credit chit would be palm-sized, while you’re in a… four-metre tall? … mech. Trying to keep everything in perfect scale as much as possible, the solution I am currently swaying towards is making it an entire ATM unit that’s been pulled out of a wall.
- Spiderbot: I’m in two minds about this one. The spiderbot comes from the spiderbomb shell mod — it’s small, weak, and despite its tiddly little legs flailing wildly, it doesn’t go anywhere fast. This is fine when it’s being deposited by a shell mod — it’s already in the midst of the enemies it needs to tear into (unless you can’t aim), and its weakness is offset by their being stunned. The power-up, however, could be dropped anywhere, and you have to pick it up to activate it. If you’re up close, your blades are probably much more effective than the spiderbot.
Now we get into the territory of madness.
- Divine Shield: life is no fun without a bit of completely unrestricted carnage. I have yet to finalise the details, but the Disposable Single-Use Barrier clips onto your back and projects an impenetrable wall of orange from whence you can deal out destruction without fear of repercussion.
- Disposable Ammo Factory: I haven’t done anything with this yet, but I think it might just work. Basically, you spend your whole life limited by artillery shells — so why not have a power-up that, for a short period of time, gives you completely unlimited shells?
So that’s the line-up I’m currently going for. Unfortunately, like the weapon and shield roster, it seems a little short. I mean, This Wreckage had 7 different Whale Figurine power-ups, and that doesn’t including the big pile of gold variations and all the stackable consumables that could drop… Obviously I don’t want to force Y4 to have lots of options if they just don’t sit right, but I’m fairly certain there is still room for a few more.
I feel like I’m missing double damage, but I can’t think of a convincing way to make it fit the lore. I feel like Iam also missing movement speed, but that’s covered by Overdrive. A mad attack speed is another option (i.e. UT3 Berserk), but a small attack speed bonus has already been folded in as a purchasable permanent upgrade (let alone this also being covered by Overdrive).
Invisibility is not an option because you can’t just paint adaptive camouflage all over a mech and, despite crazy force-field technology and various forms of Unobtanium everywhere, there’s no nanotech in RDZ Industries to Deus Ex Machina this one.
Can you help me out?