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Question by the Devs #2 - District Drawbacks

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6 months ago
Jan 30, 2024, 4:46:57 PM

Hello everyone!

On today's question by the devs, the team wanted to know your thoughts regarding the District Drawbacks.

The question by the devs are dedicated thread to talk about specific topics with you, the community. This is a perfect moment for you to share specific concerns, crazy ideas, some balancing suggestions, etc.

In case you missed it, last week we started the section by asking you about the Station Cards, in case you have additional thoughts 


Here are some "open" questions that we think could be nice as an starting point and to help people some guidelines or starting points

  • What do you like or dislike about district drawbacks ?
  • Does the District Drawbacks have an impact on your district choices ?
  • What do you think about the different effects? Are they too strong or too weak ?
  • What are the effects you prefer ?
  • Do you think the numbers of effects are big enough? (or do you see too often the same ones)
  • Do you have any ideas for new effects?

As I mentioned, those are some questions as example, but please do not hesitate to share any additional feedback you have about the Station Cards.

We will be having around some members of the team reading all your feedback :)

Updated 6 months ago.
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6 months ago
Feb 2, 2024, 11:20:22 PM

I already replied on the Steam forums regarding drawbacks but I want to reiterate and rephrase my thoughts here:

The Wild Cards update is an obvious improvement to the flow and replayability of the game, and while District Drawbacks are an important part of the update and do some things right, they have a couple frustrating problems that kill my desire to play. Let me explain:

There's not enough drawbacks right now. After a handful of runs, even if you haven't used them all you have very likely seen every drawback in the game. You'll be seeing the same effects a lot, sometimes even getting the same drawback multiple times in a run. I had a run where I got the same exact drawback from floor 1 to floor 3, and let me tell you that one-in-a-million chance was boring by floor 2.

Drawbacks have some duplicate effects found from other sources. I'm talking about previously unique effects like:
-50 HP on turrets at every attack 

-30% damage when heroes in the same room

-40% Attack Damage  -40 defense on heroes in Crystal room

At bestthese drawbacks feel like filler. At worst, they stack with the original source making unlucky circumstances that are frustrating, unfixable, and potentially unplayable for certain strategies. If Security Vault or Hive Mind rolls a second, unmitigatable layer of Tight Spaces you're taxed an obscene amount of dust and/or industry. On Pepper Punch runs you have to dodge any district that rolls additional turret self-damage, or ignore turrets as much as possible. If Core rolls a second, unmitigatable layer of Core Defenses (especially before you have deactivated the last defense) you are forced to spend additional industry to avoid fighting alongside the crystal.

Drawbacks feel tacked on, partly cause they have no in-game presence. If you ever forget what drawback is currently active, (such as when loading a save,) one might expect to see this information in the pause menu where the only other long-term modifier (drinks) is found. But it's not there, it's only available on the hoist and the map screen of all places. When you're not in the process of picking drawbacks, the only place you can read about them is on a screen otherwise used for real-time decision making? With how important drawbacks are their info should be plastered everywhere, but at least in the pause menu by drinks. (Also could we please see stele information on the map screen? At least the names of active steles?)

Adding to the tacked on feeling but far more frustrating, is the fact Drawbacks lack meaningful counterplay. When you don't like a given drawback, you can only respond to it by picking a card that hopefully offsets it or entirely avoiding the district it's attached to. To reiterate, the only universal counterplay to drawbacks is avoiding them, which ruins pre-planned routes (like for quests!) and isn't even possible for Core. If drawbacks weren't as potent this wouldn't be quite so bad, but right now their effects are strong enough to nullify your gameplan for an entire district; accepting the wrong drawback WILL end your run so you must choose carefully.

And as previously mentioned, I think drawbacks are a little bit too strong right now, (especially on hard,) but I might be the only one who thinks so.

With that all said, here's my 4-item wishlist for drawbacks:

  1. More drawbacks in general to improve the variety of runs.
  2. Delete the drawbacks that duplicate negative steles, or restrict their ability to appear alongside said steles and stack the effect.
  3. Put active drawback information in the pause screen, ideally by drink info, and anywhere else that might fit.
  4. Make drawbacks a physical (diegetic) part of districts as a stele, so that players can read and reference them outside of menus. Drawbacks as steles also opens the possibility of disabling them to reduce the impact of unlucky RNG, either with dust or maybe even permanently with the currently unused leftover crypto keys (akin to Core Defenses).

Thanks for reading, I don't hope your next run gets "Per zone, turret cost increases of 1 each time this turret type is built" three times in a row.

Updated 6 months ago.
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6 months ago
Feb 6, 2024, 5:17:13 PM

The district drawbacks are another fun addition to the game. They shake up your runs so you have something a little different each round. I approve of this addition.

As for does the drawbacks effect my district choices. It depends. Slightly yes. Ill try to avoid headquarters in general to start lol. After that between devotion and astral i pick the one that i can deal with the best. Second choice ill typically go labor colony. But If the drawback is too extreme i might change my mind. 3rd choice is purely based on which one is the least bad drawback.

I think the effects are good. They arent too extreme. Some like the crystal bot decreased health and increases when doors are opened should maybe be disabled when the fine crystal drink is on. It really removes the challenge of that one. Draw backs that are preferred -2 ones arent too bad ill try and take those over turrets damaging themselves. the max 3 turrets per room is maybe a bit too weak. Ill always pick that one if i can get it. I hardly ever build more then that per room anyways. heros in the same room isnt too bad either and can be managed.

The variety of effects are solid. Maybe some extreme options like can't research anything on that floor would be something interesting to have. Lost power some waves turrets will become depowered and have to be reactivated.

Generally the variety is pretty good though. 

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