Post news RSS Devlog #114: The medical automaton

New devlog entry for Shardpunk. The second mechanical unit has made it into the game.

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The general gameplay goal in Shardpunk is to escape the sieged Capitol along with an experimental automaton unit, which is equipped with a powerful energy source. Depending on the type of automaton the player will choose at the beginning of a game, the combat tactics might be completely different.

The first automaton that I already wrote about in one of my previous entries was the support one.

It had some skills that were increasing the aim of characters, doing some weapon auto-reload stuff and it had some means of crowd control.

Now, the second automaton that I want to write about today is a medical unit.

It won't be a surprise for you if I mention that this unit has a healing ability. What is more, this healing effect affects multiple tiles and does not generate Stress for your characters. Also, this action does not require a stimpak, but it does have a cooldown timer.

Additionally, the automaton can be upgraded so that it can buff units in its area, increasing their movement range (and replenishing their Action Points, if the skill is fully upgraded).

Also, this is the only mechanical unit that can revive characters who are bleeding out.

As with any other automaton unit, this one also can spend Action Points to increase its movement range in the next turn. You can upgrade it so that it can self-heal itself, although this skill has a limited number of usages in combat - otherwise, it would be too powerful.

Now, there's a lot of playtesting and balancing that will need to be done now that such a powerful healer unit type is present in the game. I played a number of test runs with the new medical bot and I can see that its presence - and the availability of free mass healing actions - pushed me to a different approach in combat. I was able to become more aggressive and take more risks due to the fact that I knew I'd be able to heal my units more.

That being said, one must remember that Hit Points that become lost during combat need to be manually healed in the shelter phase anyway - so the "healing" done during combat is temporary (that's why I am rendering such "healed" HPs in a different color). This means that I cannot go full suicidal with my units.

That's it for this entry. I hope that you are all staying safe. Take care!

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