Player Handicaps and Enemy Enhancements

Having difficult and (partially) new bosses is great for giving those really good players a bit of a challenge, but, let’s face it, the easiest and laziest way to put them in a situation that kills them is to give them handicaps. These have already been confirmed:

This topic attempts to centralize some ideas for possible difficulty-enhancing equipment. They will be mountable but non-perishable, like indicators. As for how much they would cost… yes, they are intended for elite players, who usually have a lot of keys, but if such a player starts a new account, I would want them to be able to ramp up the difficulty and progress quickly. I split them into two categories:
• Handicaps that affect the player. – These should increase the score multiplier.
• Advantages that affect the enemies. – These should increase the key multiplier.

The numbers I’m writing here are arbitrary, they’ll need to be fine-tuned to prevent players from never bothering with handicaps or from throwing their computers out the window if they turn the game into this:

Which affect the player:
• all damage decreased by 20% – +50% score
• all damage decreased by 50% – +100% score
• all damage is halved, like Veteran in previous games – +150% score
darkness modifier – +100% score – not needed since dedicated darkness missions already exist
• gravity is twice as strong – +50% score – it is twice as weak in the underwater CI5 chapter
• deaths always halve power – +150% score – like in original CI1/CI2
• charity is halved – +50% score
• charity is disabled – +100% score
• no pause between waves or stages – +50% score – or as short as it can be while still saving progress. Intended for Space Race
• HUD is disabled – +50% score
• weapons overheat 50% faster – +50% score
• weapons overheat twice as fast – +100% score
• invulnerability reduced to 1 second – +50% score
• most powerups disabled – +200% score – imported from CI5
• most weapon presents disabled – +150% score
• hitbox radius increased by 4 pixels – +100% score
• fighters and scouts have limited maneuverability, while bombers are even slower – +100% score
• satellites have less ammo – +50% score

Which affect the enemies:
• all enemy health increased by 20% – +20% keys
• all enemy health increased by 50% – +50% keys
• all enemy health is doubled – +100% keys
• enemy projectile speed increased by 15% – +20% keys
• enemy projectile speed increased by 30% – +50% keys
• enemy projectile speed increased by 50% – +100% keys
• enemy attack frequency increased by 15% – +20% keys
• enemy attack frequency increased by 30% – +50% keys
• enemy attack frequency increased by 50% – +100% keys
• enemies are promoted to their second or third highest possible rank – +50% keys
• enemies are promoted to their highest possible rank – +100% keys
• all enemy movement speed increased by 50% – +50% keys
• all enemy movement speed increased by 100% – +100% keys – intended for Space Race
• all enemies split like in Chicken Multiplicity or Exponentiality waves – +100% keys – only applies to chickens that can appear on those boss waves
• enemies have a 20% chance to become terminators when hit – +50% keys – only applies to chickens that can show up in Terminator waves or Yolk-Star
• all enemy weapon weaknesses and resistances are doubled – +20% keys
• time during which enemies cannot fire after entering the screen reduced to 1 second – +50% keys – cannot apply to Cowards and Slobs
• all enemies can start firing immediately after they enter the screen – +100% keys

I guess these would be one-time purchases, but some can also be stacked, so you could have enemies with +170% health and receive +170% keys.

I am against InterAction’s suggestion of starting with 0-power, since that already happens if you play with Moron Railgun or an unupgraded weapon, so it would simply nullify the keys you spend on upgrades. Food drop rates also don’t influence difficulty so they aren’t something that would make a difference.

Skill levels already cover part of these handicaps:

Ever since the first version of CIU I envisioned handicaps to be the primary way of scaling the difficulty of the game, as they offer more flexibility for the player. While skill levels would only serve as permanent damage amplifiers (SSH = +200% damage) that would allow you to still tackle difficult missions despite the enemies being much more powerful.


Hmm, what about the challenge missions? Should those handicaps be allowed there?

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I’d say that depends on InterAction whether they want Challenge missions to force every player on equal starts, so the first place can be taken by anyone regardless of the equipment they gathered in-game, or make it so that anything goes and by spending a lot of perishables you can give yourself a much better chance at the top of the leaderboard.

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