Onto the Splicers! Although an iconic enemy in the BioShock series, Thuggish Splicers are also the easiest enemies, and pose virtually no threat to the player except in large numbers. In the first game the developers made them immune to electricity after a while, which did make them slightly tougher. In the second, they simply disappeared after four levels. In a co-op setting they risk ascribing even more the the cannon fodder type, and need new ways to surprise the players. Hopefully, what you'll read below will work towards that.
Awarded at random:
- +Damage Against Thuggish Splicers
- Increased Melee and Quick-Melee Damage
- Increased Movement Speed
Changes: Stage One
A few, most of which I presented at length in my singleplayer iteration. In addition to giving Thuggish Splicers abilities specific to the weapons they wield, there could also be Super Thuggish Splicers, lumbering powerhouses each several times more powerful than their lesser brethren. Both types could mutate, further increasing their power. The following weapons are specific to normal-sized Thuggish Splicers:
- Plank with Nail: Spatters the player's screen with blood, partially obscuring their view.
- Lead Pipe/Sporting Weapon (golf club, baseball bat...): Shatters the player's bones, temporarily slowing them down.
- Flashlight: When idle, can detect the players at longer ranges. If the player has Natural Camouflage, the Splicer will be able to detect them at very close ranges.
- Knife: Attacks will cause the victim to bleed, dealing damage over time. Doesn't work on armored targets and machines.
- Stun Baton: Deals less damage, but stuns the victim for a short moment after every hit.
- Shovel: Each hit will jerk the player's camera to the side.
- Mallet: Each hit pushes the player back.
- Pickaxe: Splicer can throw the weapon at the target at close ranges, sticking it into their body and dealing damage. They will then proceed to rip it out, dealing more damage. You can also catch the weapon in mid-air with Telekinesis.
- Fists/Fisticuffs: Splicer deals less damage but hits faster.
- Frying Pan: Each hit temporarily deafens the player and slightly blurs their vision.
And the following are specific to Super Thuggish Splicers:
- Giant Sledgehammer: Hits send the victim flying back. If they hit a wall, they take damage.
- Metal Pole: Doubles the Splicer's attack range.
- Chainsaw: Deals continous damage to the victim.
- Makeshift Sword/Axe: Hits both slow the enemy down and cause them to bleed, dealing damage over time (the last one only works on organic targets).
- Furniture: Can hold the weapon in front of them to use as a shield while moving. The piece of furniture will shatter if it takes enough damage, however.
- Spear: If the target attempts to run away from the Splicer, they'll throw the spear at them, impaling them and sticking them to a wall or the floor for a short time. They will then move to pick up the spear. The spear can be caught and thrown back with the Heavy Mover version of Telekinesis 2.
- Splicer Corpse: If far away from the target, the Splicer will try to throw the corpse at them, dealing damage. Otherwise, it'll try to beat the victim to death with it.
- Fists/Barbed Wire Fisticuffs: Splicer deals less damage but hits faster.
- Hook and Chain: Allows the Splicer to pull the victim towards them from a distance.
- Fallen Big Sister's Syringe: Each hit drains a portion of the player's EVE.
Tier One Mutations
- Muscle Hypertrophy: Drastically increases the power as well as the speed of the Elite Thuggish Splicer's melee attacks.
- Exoskeleton: Drastically increases the Elite Thuggish Splicer's health and gives it a healing factor.
- Foot Claws: Drastically increases the Elite Thuggish Splicer's speed, and gives it the ability to dodge attacks better.
Evolution: Stage Two
Even with all these new abilities and mutations, it'd still be easy to One-Two Punch Thuggish Splicers, or at least engage them in melee combat. However, this can be remedied by giving them all the ability to explode upon death, via a hand grenade in the case of a typical Thuggish Splicer or a cluster of dynamite in the case of a Super. This could also work as a double-edged sword: by killing Thuggish Splicers in the middle of a group you could whittle down their collective health, and even set off chain reactions.
Tier Two Mutations
- Searing Skin: Elite Thuggish Splicer is immune to fire. In addition, its attacks set its victim on fire, dealing damage over time. If struck by a melee attack, will emit a burst of flame, igniting everything around it.
- Icy Flesh: Elite Thuggish Splicer is immune to ice. Its attacks chill enemies, slowing them down and increasing their vulnerability to damage, and will chill every enemy around it if struck by a melee attack.
- Static Field: Elite Thuggish Splicer is immune to electricity, and each of its attacks deal One-Two Punches, also rooting the victim in place and dealing further critical damage in water. Will electrify anything around it when struck by a melee attack.
Evolution: Final Stage
In the lore, Thuggish Splicers are among the biggest ADAM junkies of them all, splicing to the point of barely being able to hold a weapon in their hand. As a result they could be the most mutable enemy in the roster (kinda like a germ), and in addition to spawning more frequently with mutations Elite Thuggish Splicers could develop two mutations at once, each of a separate tier. That way they could truly become unpredictable, as you'd never fight a Thuggish Splicer with the same set of abilities twice. The last tier of mutations would allow them to wield some of your own tools, and would require you to work as a team to avoid having one of you two incapacitated.
Tier Three Mutations
- Jumper Cables: Elite Thuggish Splicer can throw a set of jumper cables at you like a lasso, temporarily rooting you in place, preventing you from using your weapons and periodically shocking you.
- Barbed Wire: Elite Thuggish Splicer can deploy a cord of barbed wire at a location, forming a line between the target area and itself. Anything that passes through the barbed wire takes damage over time. Enemy can move while deploying the cord.
- Shield: Elite Thuggish Splicer is immune to gunshots and projectiles that hit its shield, and takes reduced damage from melee and Plasmid attacks that hit it as well. Enemy can hold the shield in front of them and bash the victim with it, interrupting their attacks and pushing them back slightly.
That wraps it up for the Thuggish Splicers. More coming soon, and as per usual your comments and criticism are greatly appreciated. Hope you enjoyed reading this!