Robocraft: A Gift Received

September 6, 2016

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I have had some fun building in Robocraft, and I could not help but enjoy some combat in Battle Arena playmode. Well, sure enough, after mentioning getting a special support system after the recent Robocraft special event, I did indeed receive a utility block. And it hasn’t even been particularly nerfed yet. What a pleasant surprise!

The block I received was a particularly interesting addition to the game. It is the shield projector. I am not exactly sure how to integrate it into my existing design, so I will need to continue working on “Build” Play mode. I hope it is as powerful as I expect. The mechanic of the device is that it throws a projected shield through which you and your teammates can fire, but the enemy cannot. This could be a game changer. I am pleased.

In the meantime, shield plates seem to be just too hard to build around. They don’t adhere to standard shapes, and on the rare occasion when they do, they seem to be in a location that prevents that standard shape from being placed, absolutely forcing you to waste empty space behind the plates. This waste of space wouldn’t be so bad if the plates weren’t so big. However, since they are so big, you have to make massive changes to the way your robot is designed, in order to accommodate the plate, before even putting it on. It leaves very little room for exploratory building, and that’s a problem.

However, shield plating’s greatest sin? It’s just not strong enough to qualify for inclusion when there’s this much trouble just getting it put on. Who are we serving with these shield plates? They seem to be designed like the “head” decorative pieces: very specific designs that were given away in special giveaways a long time ago. The physical durability of shield plates are miniscule, so a powerful volley strips the shield and the plate right off, never to be useful again until the robot regenerates. (How that is supposed to happen without paying more money, I have no idea.) The shields use up valuable CPU, and for that amount of CPU, you are better off just placing regular blocks to force your enemy to chew through at roughly the same damage cost. At least with regular blocks, you have additional “connections” to allow parts to remain attached, where otherwise, perhaps with shield blocks, those extra parts might be sheared off along with the shield plate. So using armor blocks has all the upsides. The only upside to shield plates is that they supposedly regenerate, but that utility is rarely useful because of how volleys take the whole plate off, completely removing its ability to regenerate.

It would help if they would offer the option to convert these weird, bendy shield plates with smaller, straighter plates that can be used in more simple builds by someone with less experience in shaping around the bendy shield plates. It’s just a lost cause. Shield plates are a losing proposition, like equipping your robot with low-level weaponry. It’s too weak. Use building blocks instead, especially designing spaced armor. That is my final verdict.

 

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