The Praedian Records

J.G. Phoenix

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2023 ended weirdly abruptly for me, but I got the shot in the arm I needed in order to hit the ground running in 2024. This year's going to be absolutely crazy, but for me personally, I feel my worst years are finally behind me. I'm ready to stop drowning in a sea of...

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M.A.S.S. Builder: 0.10.0 WIP Tentative Changes Discussion Roundup

by | May 14, 2023 | Blog, MASS Builder

Straight out of the gate I’m happy to hear that Hard and Very Hard aren’t getting touched in difficulty balancing. VD calls them ‘aspiring content.’ I just call them ‘pace makers’ because Very Hard is the only mode I’ve played where I need to monitor my ammo if I want to stick to pure gun builds. Bosses are an absolute pain to deal with, but that’s not to say it isn’t fun overall. I’d get bored fast if things were much easier than that.

  • Auto (Both BS and ES): Increase shooting speed, increase ceiling of ammo stock. This means player will have higher DPS, but also will require more investment into MAG Load and EN Cap to achieve those DPS.
  • Detonators: A small increase in damage. They stay clunky, but should be a bit more worthwhile to wield with their low ammo count.
  • Slash EN Launcher: Slash will receive more stamina damage. It’s what the weapon was designed for thus an aspect we’d like to buff it up slightly.
  • Ranged nodes: We’re adding a node that improves ranged DPS while players are within a certain range from enemies. This is to rewards ranged weapon users who can stick with their enemies.
  • HEAT damage: We’re lowering the damage multiplier from BURN slightly, but increasing its nodes percentage. Certain players have told us they wanted their investments into certain builds more powerful and others agree in sacrificing some no-investments power in exchange for this.
  • Baseline Freeze duration will be increased slightly, and further more through investments into its related nodes.
  • Baseline Shock chance will be increased slightly, and further more through investments into its related nodes.
  • Airblast Trigger will be very slightly buffed. It’s seeing play but not to an amount we wanted it to enable some trigger-based builds yet.
  • Some new nodes suggested by players will be replacing some of the nodes currently available. These are collected from our discord channel and we’ve seen players having interest in it.
  • Some nodes for ranged play that functions the same but are separated for ES and BS will be combined.

No disagreements from me on this list. Damage and spectacle will always trend upward in a system where only buffs and sidegrades are on the table, but that kind of is VD’s mission statement, so power to them.

Most enemies are just things that rush and throw their body against you with different flavor. Why isn’t there anything else?

  • Unique enemies (shielders / laser shooters / emp user) will be added back into the game once we’ve reworked them. Their current iterations are too frustrating to fight against in numbers.

Also sounds good.

Concerns about the speed of the game, how the game promotes DPS and speedy types only and players unable to play a defensive build efficiently.

  • We’ll repeat our words we used when discussing this in our discord for the sake of clarity here. The team would like players to also explore more about armor and defense building since not only speed/dodging is a viable defense, but investment into armor makes everything easier, at the highest tankiness we’ve played comfortably and still do enough damage to pass missions. Not fast, but not impossible, and extremely viable even in VH. Everything is not about DPS race and speed.

    We’ve never designed the game for that. We’ve already told players about armor calculation and what it does but our team would like to remind them again that armor just straight up flat minus damage PER HIT. We’ve adjusted many of the Quarks’ attacks to be multi-hit and armor will be mitigating each and every of those hit, resulting in players taking extremely low damage. Their SLAMS will still be hitting hard though, and that’s where we expect players to take some damage if not dodged.

Tanking in this context probably shouldn’t just be limited to your stats and blocking strategies. The “Don’t just do something, stand there!” school of tanking doesn’t apply in any mech game I’ve ever played, so I don’t see why it would in M.A.S.S. Builder. To some extent, mobility has to factor in, so VD’s probably looking at it from that perspective.

I don’t play low difficulties in M.A.S.S. Builder so we’ll skip the credit income bit.

tl;dr – Increasing weak enemies’ spawning

We wanted to provide more player power fantasy of mowing down groups of enemies through this change. Our players have stated that there are more concerns regarding that goal as the enemies in our game are sometimes somewhat frustrating to fight against. Below are the changes coming mainly to our enemies in the next update as per our discussion with our players.


Concerns on enemies being idle, melee feeling awful with requirement to chase enemies around the map, slowly searching for any stragglers, or bosses moving across the map with zero windows of attack available.

  • Almost every enemy will receive changes that make them “more engaging.” An example of these across the board changes is the “warping ball throwing” enemies will have a limit to its warp range and will always be in sight of players after they warp.
  • The “worm” boss will have its “rush” mechanic damage (the one where it rushes at you from underground) numbers lowered in NORMAL. VH remains the same.
  • The “worm” boss will also have some of its attacks’ damage lowered in NORMAL. VH remains the same.
  • New attacks have been added to enemies to allow them to chase players without awkwardly running up and slowly move around. These attacks have long range, but also wind-up time so players can dodge them.
  • Certain bosses that keep running away or have attacks that put them extremely far from players are provided with new close range attacks that also provide more window of opportunity for players to hit them in close proximity without the need to boost follow across the area.
  • Multiplayer missions will be receiving difficulty adjustments. Note, we’ve made these alpha-testing missions as hard as possible to test what would happen in end-game aspect and have received lots of feedback about it. We’ll see if we have time to add another version of it but adjusted for lower tuning level.
  • Shields regain after bosses’ stamina is refilled will be removed in NORMAL. VH remains the same. Bosses’ HP and Shields numbers will be adjusted accordingly, but it should feel much better to fight against a boss without regeneratinng HP.
  • Bosses’ Ultimate attacks cooldown will be increased thus they will enter into invulnerability phase less, but their Ultimate attacks will be more devastating.
  • Elite enemies’ (Ones with larger size and more aggresive behavior) HP will be slightly lowered in NORMAL. VH remains the same.

As someone who only plays this game on VH, I am every so slightly salty about Normal mode getting rid of that annoying shield regen, but I can (and have to) live with it. Boss fights are annoying, specifically because of that regen; you’re going to burn through tons of ammo lowering that shield, then even more getting in those few precious seconds of damage, so it makes things pretty tedious. At least Normal and below will be free of that nonsense.

Concerns about enemies moving really fast and lunge at you from afar. There’s no escaping them to recharge shields and it’s almost impossible to kite them. Any changes could be done with this?

  • They are designed that way to counter how fast players can be and how long players can boost/hover backwards/in circle and not engage in anything. We do not expect that to be the go-to method of play. In contrast, playing within a certain range will disable these “chase” mechanics.

Just shoot them. They can’t chase you if they’re dead.

Anyway, I’m working on a lot of things right now so I had to keep this brief, but it’s good to have summaries like this every once in a while. I’m looking forward to 0.10.0 more than ever. Once it drops I’ll start playing regularly again and try to reclaim some of my old builds. It’s going to take a while but I’ll get it done.


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