Before starting with anything else, I'm very, very sorry for not posting anything on my blog for so long (almost three months). Skyrim's gotten a hold on me, and I'm posting this in between bouts of Elder Scrolls awesomeness. Back to the subject: as said before, the Research Camera is awesome in its originality and usefulness, yet lacks any functionality after you're done researching. It has the potential to work as an unconventional weapon rather than a simple tool, able to combat enemies with cunning and inventiveness instead of bullets, and hopefully that's what the rest of this post will reflect.
- Clip Size: One round.
- Ammo Carry Capacity: ∞/∞/Variable
In terms of looks the Camera here could look like an instant camera, since those are very bulky to start with. The gameplay changes I'd like to have are the same as in my singleplayer iteration: the ability to research Security Devices by hacking them and not just damaging them, and the ability to research Little Sisters again. Also, since this is co-op mode, any attacks your partner performs on the enemy you're researching would net you research points. Lore-wise, since this Camera gets some pretty funky abilities, said powers could originate from an ADAM-based internal mechanism similar to The Thinker's, only directed towards Camera-based combat.
- Recorder Mode: Works like the Research Camera from BioShock 2. Part of the changes to it are listed above. In addition, instead of receiving a permanent research bonus you'd receive a temporary one instead, with the strength and duration of the bonus depending on the quality of your recording.
- Remote Panel: While accessing this mode your view shifts to a map of the level, showing you every friendly Turret and Security Camera within. You can then select one of these and control them for as long as you like, although your body would be immobile and defenseless while doing so. While controlling a Security Device it heals over time and benefits from a health and damage boost.
- Rewind Button: Rewinds every recent action, allowing you to return to a point back in time. However, doing so depletes a battery charge which gradually refills over time. If your partner also has the Rewind Button, you could both return to an even farther point in time, although your own battery wouldn't recharge until you'd both reached your point in time. You can't rewind past certain checkpoints (important storyline events and/or choices), and by the time you get to the point you started rewinding your battery still wouldn't be fully charged, that way there'd be no way to rewind time ad infinitum.
- Editor: Allows you to start a recording, similarly to Recorder Mode. However, while using the Editor your Camera would save three attacks set off by you or your partner (this can be weapon and Plasmid attacks, but also environmental and enemy-induced events), combining them into a single attack which it'd store. Upon using the Editor again you'd unleash the attack upon the target area. For example, an explosion, a Tri-Barrel Shotgun blast and Incinerate! could generate an explosion of flaming pellets, or a blast of explosive and incendiary ammo, or a gout of fire that could cause enemies to explosively release a burst of pellets towards the end of its effects, and so on.
- Instant Film: Would work like the Research Camera in the first BioShock, but wouldn't pause the game after taking the snapshot. Also, instead of granting you a research bonus, taking an enemy's picture would assign them a random debuff which'd grant you and your partner a permanent advantage over them in combat. Only a single debuff can be assigned to any given enemy. Can carry up to 50 units of this ammo type. The debuffs are as follows (Debuffs in red are exclusive to Splicers, those in blue are exclusive to machines and those in green can only occur on armored enemies):
- Weak Ankles: Shooting the Splicer's legs cripples them, reducing their movement speed and jump power.
- Brittle Arms: Shooting the Splicer's arms permanently reduces their accuracy, and severely diminishes the damage from their melee attacks.
- Fractured Cranium: Shooting the Splicer in the head deals additional critical damage.
- Processor Lag: The targeted Security Device has its reaction time delayed.
- Short-Circuit: The targeted Security Device occasionally deactivates for half a second before rebooting when in combat.
- Exposed Panel: The targeted Security Device is much easier to hack.
- Traumatized: The targeted armored enemy is more vulnerable to stuns: they stay stunned for longer and take extra damage while stunned.
- Leaky Tank: Shooting the targeted armored enemy's oxygen tank causes it to explode, dealing critical damage and a small amount of damage over time until the enemy dies.
- Slow: The targeted armored enemy has a reduced attack rate and reaction time.
- Flammable: The targeted enemy takes extra fire damage and stays in flames for longer when set on fire.
- Hypothermic: The targeted enemy takes extra ice damage and stays frozen for longer.
- Epileptic: The targeted enemy takes extra electrical damage and stays shocked for longer.
- Sickly: The targeted enemy's maximum health is reduced.
- Filthy Rich: The target enemy drops significantly better loot upon death (more money and ammunition, rarer U-Invent parts, etc).
- Short-Sighted: The target enemy's accuracy is reduced.
- Accident-Prone: The target enemy is more likely to run into traps and environmental hazards.
- Clumsy: The target enemy is likely to accidentally deal damage to themselves from their own attacks.
- Hits Like a Baby: The target enemy deals reduced melee damage.
- Unguarded: The target enemy takes extra damage from the player they're not attacking.
- Tunnel Vision: Your partner's attacks won't attract the enemy's attention while you're in their line of sight.
- Overwhelmed: The target enemy takes extra damage if attacked by both you and your partner simultaneously.
- Deployable Camera: Allows you to deploy a miniature Camera (Research Camera, not Security Camera) on the scenery, which would stay there until you pick it up again. During that time, the deployed Camera would assign one random vulnerability to every enemy that enters its line of sight, which can be a vulnerability to weaponry, Plasmids or the environment (hazards, other enemies, etc.). These debuffs are separate from Instant Film's and so an enemy could have one Deployable Camera and one Instant Film debuff. Zooming in while in this mode would also allow you to look through every Deployable Camera you've laid on the scenery. Can carry up to six Deployable Cameras at a time, and lay up to two of them.
- Duplicator Film: Taking a picture while in this mode would cause every attack, projectile and environmental hazard (excluding other enemies) in your line of sight to disappear and be stored in a frame. Can store up to three frames like this. Zooming in would allow you to choose which frame you'd want to select, and pressing the fire button would release everything you've stored in it into the scenery (barring events which would cause clipping issues, in which case the latter don't reappear at all). If any attacks were directed towards you, their direction would be inverted. Can hold up to ten units of this ammo type.
- Magnesium Flare: Quick-meleeing with the Camera and with this upgrade blinds all nearby enemies looking at you for a short moment (you can't hit enemies with the Research Camera in any case). Can only use this once every several seconds.
- Genetic Absorber: While using Recorder Mode on enemies, all damage you or your partner deal to the target enemy partially restores your health and EVE.
- Scrambler Module: Starting a snapshot or a recording of an enemy also causes any action they're performing to backfire: in the case of an offensive ability they deal it to themselves, in that of a buff it'll cancel and they'll be unable to activate it for a while, and in that of a movement-based ability they'll crash gracelessly onto whatever surface they were trying to reach.
- Photocopy: While recording in Recorder Mode, if you partner performs any sort of combat-related action, performing that same action in the next few moments will increase its potency. This applies to every action your partner performs during the recording.
- X-Ray Lens: While looking through the Camera in any mode every enemy in your line of sight becomes semi-transparent, causing all shots to pierce through them after dealing them damage. Every first layer of cover in your line of sight also becomes semi-transparent, allowing all shots to pass through it. Enemies can also shoot through semi-transparent entities, but in doing so their attacks lose some of their power.
- Camera Focus: While looking through the Camera everything in front of you (excluding your partner) is slowed down slightly, as if warped in time but to a lesser extent.
Whew. That took some time, but it's not nearly enough to catch up for all the time I spent posting nothing. Sorry again, guys. I have another weapon idea that's pretty much done now, which I'll post as soon as possible (if Skyrim'll let me).