[BB5] Willpower abilities

So, enjoying BB5 so far - it’s looking good!

Have been making F12 bug reports and posted something about possible LOS / free aim issues but also wanted to give my two cents about Willpower abilities.

Having now levelled up many of my soldiers to have Willpowers around 15 or so, and noting that they seem to be able to go over their maximum Willpower limit when awarded Willpower from kills, it might be good to think about introducing a balancing mechanic… fun as it is to send one assault soldier zipping around the map using up their 20 points of Willpower to dash, dash, quick aim, quick aim, dash, quick aim, quick aim and take out 2 or 3 Pandorans in one go, it does feel a bit OP!

Recognise that the BBs are sandboxes for experimenting with various mechanics but hope the final game won’t let us exploit Willpower abilities quite as much as this as it does rather take some of the tension out of scenarios.


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Use “rapid clearance” to start the killing spree and you clean the map with a single assault (shotgun to kill nearly all in one shot, dual class to sniper for quick aim).
Rapid clearance, move close to target, kill (you get 2AP and some willpower for the kill), move, quick aim, kill, move, quick aim, kill, …

Yes, it feels so OP right now.
Truth to be told, I believe there should be limit usages(charges) per turn and CD on all abilities.

Dash could have 2 charges, so you can use it twice in a row.
In the same time, it also could have CD of 1 turn.

As an example - you can use 2 dashes in one turn, but next turn only one will be available.
This system with charges and cd prevent unstopable spam of such abilities, but in the same time could have big impact in the battle.

Same goes for sniper talent, when cost of shoot becomes 1.
I know it’s fun to shoot 4 times with shotgun, and then 4 more(because you had some kills along the road), but it’s so op.

To be honest the current system would need a complete revamp if they were to add charges and/or cooldowns. What’s the point of having 20 Willpower if you can’t ever really spend it all in one mission? It’s just wasted.

Using what’s already been mentioned here: Let’s say dash has 2 uses a turn, and a 1-turn cooldown. You have 20 Willpower. You burn a dash, maybe twice, kill an enemy, and make back part of the cost of the dash from the kill. Maybe next soldier moves into a blue zone to refill everyone’s Willpower by a small amount. You’re basically back up to 20. You use Quick Aim twice, same situation. At any given point you’re down to about 15 or so Willpower. There’s no reason to just sit on it, burn it if you got it. As long as Willpower > 5, you can basically do anything you want at any time, and every time you kill, you just get more Willpower.

It’s basically one or the other. Either we have Willpower and can burn abilities as much as we want, or they completely remove Willpower and we switch to the charge/CD style. I agree that something needs to change, as it gets really cheesy when you can take one guy and mop up half a map on turn one. I just don’t see how keeping Willpower AND giving abilities charges and cooldowns really accomplishes anything without feeling forced on just to stop the cheese.

Maybe the alternative is to drop the maximum that willpower can reach and/or increase the cost of using perks?

You could also remove the boosts to willpower from killing enemies, or from ally perks, but if doing that, how else would you get it? - Maybe killing an enemy leads to a chance for a will power boost rather than a definite?

I would lower willpower gained (for soldiers) and lost (in case of enemy) from alien kills. Secondly I would introduce number of per turn uses. If you can’t burn it with dash, then burn it with other skill which will not grant regaining WP.

Overall I would ballance things like that:

  • if you want to keep your guys resistant to sonic stunt, virus and mind control you don’t smash abilities that use WP and focus on slowly killing enemies with other abilities.
  • if you want risk that later in the battle you won’t have WP to spend on you may use WP costly abilities which will grant you significant advantage of the situation.

I feel will system lacking at this moment.

  1. Will generates will - there three abilities dash + low-cost-shoot + 2-ap-per-kill.
  2. Will doesn’t have a limit.
  3. Will stat quite meaningless - I do not see any reason why I should level it above 6-10.
  4. Low-level character could have a lot of will but no possibilities to spend it (got berserker, always with 20 will+ since armor shred not always required)
  5. Multiclass makes it hard to balance (check will generates will - it’s sniper+assult combo).

As for me, I feel like a good part of abilities questionable. I could spend two will and use a shotgun for 1 AP, so I can do four shots in one turn + some dashes if I kill some enemy(and with a shotgun will do so for sure). Or I can spend five will for +50% damage. I agree there could be fat enemies, but even Syren or big crabs die faster from shotgun + low-cost combo.

@endersblade I agree that CD/charges are questionable and have drawbacks; at the same time I feel like having the possibility to spam abilities destroys tactical part of the game.

I believe there should be two types of abilities - one that could be used by any soldier - for example, dash or low-cost shoot, but with reduced accuracy. Another type - restricted to the class. And when we pick the second class, we should have access to a limited amount of his skills. Because there is no difference between sniper-assault or assault-sniper at this point.

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I think that my solution will help with your first 2 points. Killing enemies should not grant so much WP. Thus there would not be will generating will and also will wouldn’t go to so much high values. Lack of limit is not a problem if you don’t generate too much of WP. :wink:

One of the reasons is that “will generating will”. If it wouldn’t be like that and we would want to use costly WP skills early, then we would lack protection against attacks on the will. Or we just be lacking source to power such skills at the end of the battle.

WP should become more like grenades in first backers builds, where we were holding them for later with a reason “maybe there will show up something nasty for which I will need that grenade”. :wink: And maybe there should be more attacks on will points in enemy arsenal then you will have a reason to increase it. :wink:

Many skills may have yet introduced WP cost. :wink: And having a good amount of WP may be beneficial.

I vote for that. :slight_smile:

Those are some good points, I think it’d be a lot better if will WP couldn’t be regenerated within a battle, that way you’d be putting the player into a position where they really had to make a hard choice on when or whether to use their soldiers’ WP.

OR maybe it could only be possible to regenerate will if will were below a certain level. So, by way of example, a soldier with 2 or lower will could be boosted back to 3 WP if they were inspired by a kill, or the will boosting perk of a colleague, but they wouldn’t be able to go beyond 3 WP.

Maybe action in battle could lead to a second hidden stat called will boost, and that stat could add to their starting amount of will in the subsequent battle that they play a part in, even then though I think I’d rather see it capped to a low amount.

It feels like there are two separate resources mixed together. On one hand, a willpower is controlling psy portion of the game and is responsible for your soldiers being mind controlled or panicking, the same for the enemy. On other side it’s a resource to be spent on abilities.
What it end up being is that the better you do overall in the mission the even better you can do, as more abilities are available to you. The worse you do, like not killing enemies or getting casualties, the less you can do to remedy it.
IMHO this is terrible system as it enforces a single strategy - kill everything as fast as possible by pushing enemy into a panic mode. You can argue that you need to keep pool of willpower to defend against Siren mind control. But why would you deny yourself using all your abilities for a simply risk of one of your soldier going temporary out of action? You can do exactly the reverse - use maximum of your abilities and just dispatch or panic the Siren. Loosing someone to mind control is not an issue either, they won’t use their abilities and more likely to just run and try heal one of the enemies.

I think psy portion of mechanics and abilities should be split. Psy can be controlled with an old idea of “bravery”, which is a stat that is given at some amount to recruit and it can grow as he progresses in ranks. Maybe you can add some bonus to it using perks. Bravery would be used as a defense factor against panic roll that is done on every negative event, like ally dying or getting shot. Simple system - the less experienced the soldier is the more likely he to get under negative influence of psy effects.
Abilities can be controlled using individual pool of “focus”, which is improvable stat for the soldier (as willpower now) and can be recovered in battle passively by 1 unit of focus per turn, or by using “recovery” ability where you spend all AP to get some amount of focus back.
This way even if you spec fully into “focus” you still won’t be able to use abilities again and again each turn and will have to stop to recover. This won’t change if you are doing good or bad and if things go south you could “retreat” and recover “focus” for counter attack.

got very simillar opinion