(Currently) Final Feedback on BB4

Sooo, I think I’ve come to the end of my useful time with BB4 right now – at least until a major update fixes some of the bugs. For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts so far:

There are 2 of these, which is why I’m shelving BB4 at the mo:
• LAST CRABBIE HIDING: This is a serious gamebreaker. If I wasn’t playing it as a pre-Alpha to give feedback, I’d have given up long since and gone back to LW2 because of this bug. It’s not just that the last Crabbie is a pain in the ass to find – it’s that sometimes he’s impossible to find, because he’s spawned in a garbage dump/hidden in a wall/got trapped behind some debris. It seriously ruins the mood when you reach that stage of the mission where you’re: “Oh, ok guys, it’s time to trudge around the entire map again looking for Mr Cowardy Crabbie Custard…” “Oh, do we HAVE to….?” “Look, I know it’s a pain, but nobody goes home until we’ve fragged him.” “Awww…” Surely it’s not too hard to add an algorithm that says ‘If Crabbies = 1 then Banzai! = TRUE.’
• The only good thing about it, is it usually pre-empts Bug #2, which is Turrets disappearing from your inventory if you fail to recover them before the mission’s over. It feels like tidying up after school, when your Techhies are running around picking up turrets, while the rest of the Squad does a quick nervous to check that there are no Cabbies left in the corners. But that’s nowhere near as annoying as accidentally Overwatching the last Crabbie before you’ve managed to recover your turrets – the damn things are expensive!

This is another reason why I’m shelving BB4 until the next bug fix. So far, I’ve played 4 Base Defences – 2 had to be abandoned 'cos a Crabbie was hiding in the walls and I simply couldn’t find it, one crashed fatally when I missiled a Crabbie before he could hide in the walls, so of the 4, only 1 has completed properly and saved.
• From this, I discovered that it makes no odds whether the Base gets trashed or not, as it simply resets for the next assault. I’m assuming this is because you’re simply testing stuff out right now – or I hope that’s it, 'cos as it stands BD simply doesn’t work.
• I’ve outlined my main issues with the BDM in an earlier post – along with suggestions on how to fix them. What it basically boils down to is lack of player agency. I no longer bother to even try defending the areas I can’t get to in time. I simply set up a defensive perimeter in my core area and expand out from there – but I don’t even get much choice in that because I’m randomly spawned on the map, just like the Crabbies.
• Crabbies simply teleport in around the Spawn points, which means it’s not even worth setting Turrets and Overwatch traps against the breaches, as they don’t actually trigger them – I once had a Siren teleport into the middle of 5 Squaddies all covering the breach point, and not a single one of them reacted to her.
• Too many Spawn Points makes it meaningless to build your base defensively and makes it impossible to set up defensive holding areas. So it’s not so much a Base Defence as something that simply degenerates into a random skirmish in a bunker.
• Crabbies either spawn or run into the walls, where they can shoot at you, but you can’t touch them until they randomly decide to come out again. Sometimes they’re so well hidden you simply can’t find the buggers.
• It’s not difficult – in 4 BDMs, I’ve only lost one Squaddie because I overextended him – but that last tedious Crabbie hunt drains all the fun out of it, and the impossibility of defending all the spawn points takes any kind of meaningful decision making out of the player’s hands. You’re not trying to defend the base, you’re just trying to clear the Crabs without losing any of your Peeps.

• Flamethrower doesn’t always seem to work. I was convinced that Sirens were immune because I doused one in an early mission and she simply shrugged it off. It was only when Yokes told me they were vulnerable to fire that I tried flaming one again. Also, I had one Crabbie who was down to 1 hit and bleeding, with 4 Flame points against him, and he simply refused to die – I eventually had to do an Indiana Jones and shoot him with my pistol after 2 turns of waiting for him to croak.
• Mouse occasionally dislocates from the Squaddie you’ve selected and hangs mid-screen, not engaging with anything. It’s usually fixable by Tabbing to the next Squaddie, though.

• I LOVE Overwatch. For all those having problems in the BDM: Overwatch is your friend, especially if you line up your Sniper on a long killzone in one of those underground corridors.
• I’ve discovered the Load icon on the Primary Weapon you are using, which automatically puts newly built ammo into that Squaddie’s backpack. A little thing, but such a boon!
• Love the tactical flexibility that WP gives you. It occasionally feels OP, but the ability to scout a room, then react to what you see is brilliant – and chaining an Exertion Run against a string of Crabbies is sooo satisfying ;0)
• Also love the strategic flexibility of multi-classing and proficiency combos. Sniper/Assaults; Assault/Techs and my favourite Heavy Sniper gives you so many options with weapon loadouts and adjustments that are rally meaningful in the gameplay. It’s great.
• Small things, like pausing when you spot a new enemy, being able to keep going after you’ve fired, being able to equip outside your Squaddie’s class if you want to, all these really lift the game above its competition.
• Like the way Rockets and Grenade Launchers are now much more limited indoors.

So, despite my gripes, I’m a great fan of the game. I’m off back to LW2 now, but do please post when there’s a major upgrade and I’ll happily come back to test it some more.