Author Topic: Starting Player Mech Weapons  (Read 5530 times)

Offline ptarth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,136
  • I'm probably joking.
Starting Player Mech Weapons
« on: February 10, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »
I'm hands down better with the Flame Tank mech than any others. Cinth is also able to easily destroy all my beautiful creations using the Flame Tank. So I've been wondering about weapon balance. I did some number crunching. Below is the table of data.

Code: [Select]
       Name Damage Reload Range Mult Speed Lifespan  dps maxdps EstRange
1    Flame    1.5   0.07   450    5   600     0.60 21.43 107.14 512
2    Basic   10.0   0.15   500    1  1200     0.42 66.67  66.67 640
3     Blue   25.0   0.30   550    1  1200     0.46 83.33  83.33 650
4     Fast    8.0   0.12   500    1  1200     0.42 66.67  66.67 640
5 LowRange   10.0   0.15   400    1  1200     0.33 66.67  66.67 512

  • Name, Damage, Reload, Range, and Speed should all be straightforward.
    • Name is the name of the weapon. Damage is the damage per shot. Reload is how fast the shots are fired. Range is the listed range on the weapon. Speed is the speed of the shot. The Flame weapon has variable speeds, but the effective speed is close to 750.
  • Actual Range
    • Range is tricky. First, all shots have a decay period of X seconds. During this time they fade away and lose hitbox. This adds to range based on the speed of a shot and shot_disintegration_speed_mult. All weapons have a shot_disintegration_speed_mult=2 value, but their speeds are different. The Flame Tank is even more troublesome because it uses a special shot pattern which somewhat ignores Range and has variables speeds for variable times. To supplement the actual listed in file Range, I rough measured EstRange. I shot with each mech and roughly estimated where the shot deteriorated. It is not exact (error is mostly systematic), but gives a general ordering of the different weapons max range. Blue>Standard=Fast>Flame=LowRange.
  • DPS
    • DPS is calculated by taking the damage per shot and dividing by fire_rate. The Flame tank is an exception again because it has 5 fire streams, potentially a 500% multiplier. On bosses you are virtually guaranteed this damage. Against regular enemies, odds are still pretty high. The maxDPS column is calculated with all 5 streams hitting.
  • Lifespan
    • Lifespan is how long a shot remains in game before the hitbox for the shot is removed. It was calculated based on range and does not include disintegration bonus time. Again, like the actual range, this is an estimate. Actual lifespan is this time plus the disintegration period.

Discussion
The Flame weapon and the Short ranged weapon do have about 100 pixels less range. The Flame weapon does about twice the damage as the others. The real story however is hidden. That is the effect of accuracy. Players have to aim their shots. If they have good aim, then their effective DPS approaches the calculated DPS above. If they have bad aim (i.e., me) then their DPS is a fraction of the above. However, not all mech weapons are equal in this regard. The Flame weapon gives you a massive AOE to work with, so even if you have bad aim the flame weapon's AOE helps you to achieve a proficient players level of accuracy. The Blue weapon suffers the opposite fate. It has the second highest DPS, but due to the low rate of fire, it requires the player to have good aim to achieve it. With my poor aim, the blue weapon is horrible, because I'm missing too many shots.

Against bosses the Flame weapon is especially effective because of the transition periods of bosses between phases. Because the boss is not launching shots, the flame weapon is able to use its dps to maximum effect.

The speed of shots do vary as well. The effective speed of the Flame weapon shots is around 62.5% of the other shots. However, the Flame weapon shots also stay around for around 50% longer, which effectively adds to your range when kiting an enemy (running away while shooting).

Who is the flame weapon strong against? Basically everything? Highly mobile enemies, enemies around corners, enemies with small hitboxes, enemies with hard to reach hitboxes, and enemies with slow attacks.

So who is the flame weapon weak against? Enemies that are at long range (due to the shorter range of the Flame weapon) and stationary (the lower accuracy of the other weapons would not matter). Enemies that have a per hit mechanic would be stronger against the Flame weapon (assuming the firing rate of these mechanics is high enough). If armor (reduction of damage per shot, currently not in game) was a mechanic that would also counter the Flame weapon.

Conclusion
The Flame weapon is the best for the low skill players and high skill players with daring close range strategies and good reaction times. Its main disadvantage is shooting at long range at stationary targets, for all other purposes it is generally better than the other weapons.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 05:23:46 PM »
I think this was sorta already known though...

Stuff like this though is why I've given HP boosts to the bosses and heavy enemies so many times (heck, both versions of Mirror just got another boost).  To give them a chance to set up their attacks, particularly during transitions.

Now, granted, there's other ways I could simply give them guaranteed time to do it... things that render them invincible while they initialize whatever they're going to do... but I'd really rather not do that.

I do tend to think the flame weapon though is a bit much.  It's kinda like the STG; it just causes all other weapons to become unappealing.   Ends up reminding me of Azazel's mini-brimstone attack in Isaac.  I end up finding the flame mech not all that interesting to use, same as Azazel.

I tend to stick with the weaker mechs (I use the basic one the most) because it's more interesting.  Dont like when things are easy, that's boring.

Offline crazyroosterman

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,558
  • Cluck.
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 05:28:10 PM »
so I think the question is should the weapon it self be nerfed or the mech? or perhaps the flame tanks weapon should be changed entirely and have the flamer be its energy weapon?.
c.r

Offline ptarth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,136
  • I'm probably joking.
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 06:11:41 PM »
I think this was sorta already known though...
That's true. I was curious about a quantitative measure of the advantage.

Quote
Stuff like this though is why I've given HP boosts to the bosses and heavy enemies so many times (heck, both versions of Mirror just got another boost).  To give them a chance to set up their attacks, particularly during transitions.

HP boosts don't solve the problem. If anything they make it worse. The Flame weapon does the most DPS, so any effect that just increases health is going to be least effective on him. Making enemies flame resistant would specifically target the flame weapon, but I'm not sure if that's an honest way to go about making a balance change. It feels cheap and unsatisfying.

I think I'd like it if the Orange mech relied on his flame for most enemies, but more on his energy weapon for bosses. However, since energy doesn't refill that's not an option. Unless the Orange mech gets a special effect of his energy regenerating.

Quote
I do tend to think the flame weapon though is a bit much.  It's kinda like the STG; it just causes all other weapons to become unappealing
My perspective is that energy weapons are unsatisfying in general (except for the STG). In the early game you don't have enough energy to do anything with them. In the late game you have the energy, but the effects are generally too short ranged and too little damage. Additionally, I've gotten used to not using them for the first few levels, so switching behaviors is awkward as well. However, I've never been a fan of the removal of energy regeneration from the game, so I'm biased in that regard. I'm also not good at the game, which is going to flavour my perceptions as well.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline ptarth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,136
  • I'm probably joking.
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 06:47:35 PM »
Thinking about it some more suggests that having an increased shot density at 550 pixels or less from the edge of the enemies hitbox would counter the flame weapons advantage, while not really impairing the other mechs (except the redblack).  For bosses some sort of additional close in pattern would suffice.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 06:52:04 PM »
Few comments, since I've been running on Hard with the Flame mech exclusively for the last few days.

1) His main weapon is far too strong / others are too weak. I feel -50 to -100 range and a slight dps nerf (reload 0.08 maybe?) would be best. Ideally, maybe give him -50 range, and all the other mechs +50 range?

2) Mirror Boss is kinda weak. Actually, really weak. Like almost stand still and kill it weak (on Hard). All I have to dodge is that one tiny aimed ")" shot, and maybe 2 of the orange shots coming in at angles. That's it. Seriously, test with Flame Mech on Hard Mirror, no damage upgrades. Really easy. Suggestions:

a) His bouncing shots need to move faster so they actually reach me before he dies. They just crawl right now.
b) Slow down the dps we can dish by giving him a bouncing wall in front that reflects shots (giant Pong paddle!). Then I couldn't put my damage on him constantly threw each stage.
c) For the same reason as b, he needs a push-back between stage 1 and 2. More thematic, but more work, what if his boss room was a mirror image left-to-right, and on stage 2 he teleported to the opposite side and started stage 2 from there?

3) Agree on energy weapons needing something. Still stand by my earlier proposal. If you hate that proposal because of shields, just make shields work as I propose on Hard+, and let them be as they currently are on Normal and below. Or have shield healing drops much more common so you can always recoup extra shields when you randomly run into traps on empty rooms.

4) Hilarious going against my own Green Aegis (not in game yet). His shield's spacing is close enough to block 80% of the flame tanks shots on Normal+. Ends up being much more interesting because I can't steamroll him immediately, but often I need to wait for his shield to timeout.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 09:37:49 PM »
Few comments, since I've been running on Hard with the Flame mech exclusively for the last few days.

1) His main weapon is far too strong / others are too weak. I feel -50 to -100 range and a slight dps nerf (reload 0.08 maybe?) would be best. Ideally, maybe give him -50 range, and all the other mechs +50 range?

2) Mirror Boss is kinda weak. Actually, really weak. Like almost stand still and kill it weak (on Hard). All I have to dodge is that one tiny aimed ")" shot, and maybe 2 of the orange shots coming in at angles. That's it. Seriously, test with Flame Mech on Hard Mirror, no damage upgrades. Really easy. Suggestions:

a) His bouncing shots need to move faster so they actually reach me before he dies. They just crawl right now.
b) Slow down the dps we can dish by giving him a bouncing wall in front that reflects shots (giant Pong paddle!). Then I couldn't put my damage on him constantly threw each stage.
c) For the same reason as b, he needs a push-back between stage 1 and 2. More thematic, but more work, what if his boss room was a mirror image left-to-right, and on stage 2 he teleported to the opposite side and started stage 2 from there?

3) Agree on energy weapons needing something. Still stand by my earlier proposal. If you hate that proposal because of shields, just make shields work as I propose on Hard+, and let them be as they currently are on Normal and below. Or have shield healing drops much more common so you can always recoup extra shields when you randomly run into traps on empty rooms.

4) Hilarious going against my own Green Aegis (not in game yet). His shield's spacing is close enough to block 80% of the flame tanks shots on Normal+. Ends up being much more interesting because I can't steamroll him immediately, but often I need to wait for his shield to timeout.

Mirror boss:  Had some sort of nuclear incident or... something, it's all mutated now and stronger.  Because that sounds less boring than "I buffed it".

Particularly on Hard it should be.... quite a bit tougher now.

That being said, Ptarth has given me an idea to add to boss transitions, which would stop forms being popped before their patterns fully form... so that's something I'm going to be experimenting with for bosses that have slow attacks (and Mirror's full pattern is very slow to form).  If the difficulty on a boss is low because it's being wrecked because of this (like taking out Battleswarm's second phase before it has the chance to spawn enough blue blocks to be a threat), that might change if this works the way I'm hoping.

But mostly, Mirror has a bit of extra HP right now (I'd had it quite a bit too low, actually) and it's attacks have been improved particularly on Hard.   Give it a go in the training room, if you'd like.  This applies to both the early-game version of Mirror and also the late-game version (they have different Hard mode patterns, too).  For proper testing, pretend that you cant deal damage to him for a bit to let the pattern form, so just dont fire for awhile, and THEN tell me how it is once the pattern is fully there, that'd help quite a bit.


Energy weapons:  This is just part of ongoing balancing.  Expect changes to a number of these soon.  Right now they're still in what I'm calling the "mad science experiments" phase.  The STG in particular has been nerfed quite a bit.  Dont expect that thing to be a game-winner anymore.   One thing that was odd about it.... somehow, it had INFINITE RANGE.  I... dont how how that was missed during testing.  Needless to say, it does not have this anymore.  Among other alterations.  But yeah, these are getting alot of changes overall, to knock down the very few OP ones, and just make all of them more interesting in a general sense.  I'll be asking for feedback on these things, probably with a seperate thread on the forums here, when it's time for some to be released into the full build.  So yeah, that's all being dealt with, it's just a slow process.

Flame weapon:  Yes, it really is too strong, isnt it?  Now, that being said, the Flame mech really is the Azazel of the game, and I think this is intentional.  It should still be a hard hitter, but somehow it needs SOMETHING toned down.  Do we reduce the power of the weapon itself?  Or do we give the mech itself some sort of downside to balance out that level of power?  Like how the Redshift is balanced by it's terrible HP and lack of shields.  What do you guys think?

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 10:07:27 PM »
Mirror feels MUCH better. Stage 1 on Hard is solid, but very reasonable for the difficulty setting. I'm getting hit 3-4 times after about 10 runs, and with a touch more practice I should have that down to 1-2. Stage 2 is much harder, but I'm just starting to get a feel for it. I think it feels right for Hard. Also, loving the smaller hitbox from a patch or two ago. Much cleaner feel.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 10:18:08 PM »
Have you tried both versions of this boss?

There's Mirror, the normal early-game boss, and then there's Mirror V2 that appears only on floor 6. It has a seperate test chamber of it's own.  A bit of feedback on that guy would be good too (feedback is always really great when there's big pattern changes!)

Good to see that the main one seems better though.


And yeah, that hitbox thing makes a HUGE difference, doesnt it?  My enjoyment of the game just plain multiplied as soon as that change was made.

Offline Cinth

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,527
  • Resident Zombie
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2016, 10:46:40 PM »
Flame tank already has the lowest effective range (disadvantage on most bosses), second lowest starting HP, and lowest damage per shot.

Advantages are it's coverage and rate of fire and missile capacity.  It benefits the least from raw attack power and greatly from crit.


Normal floor enemies should be left out of this discussion.  Most rooms are overcrowded in general and fodder dies as fodder should.

Against bosses, the only time it's really an issue is during transitions and there are ways of giving bosses time to work.  Invader has a good solution.  I'm sure we can find another one or two.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Misery

  • Global Moderator
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,099
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2016, 11:03:14 PM »
I dont really want to make too many boss alterations JUST for the flame mech.  A few very specific bosses (not all of them) might get the bit that protects during transitions, but not all of them would get anything out of that (only a few have patterns that are super slow to form).  I need to mess with it for awhile before making any decisions on that anyway.

Beyond that.... I have no ideas for that mech.  I'll leave that up to you guys actually.  I get bored with that mech, so I dont even use it.  One of the few things in the game that I just genuinely have no interest in as a result, so I'm not the best one to do anything on it.

I will say though that the range on it doesnt seem to affect anything.  It doesnt appear to give it any more trouble actually. It's still stupidly easy with it.  Is it even the range it's supposed to be?

And past that, I dont even know.

Offline Cinth

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,527
  • Resident Zombie
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2016, 11:22:19 PM »
I will say though that the range on it doesnt seem to affect anything.  It doesnt appear to give it any more trouble actually. It's still stupidly easy with it.  Is it even the range it's supposed to be?

Yes.  It's been that way since it was introduced. 

It's the only mech I use outside of testing (where I also use White Gloss).  I don't find it OP, just easier to use.  It fits the range of mechs we have from easy to use to this ain't gonna be easy (redshift).  As far as overall power available, Green Ivy gets that call with access to the most credits.

Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline ptarth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,136
  • I'm probably joking.
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 11:27:55 PM »
Flame tank already has the lowest effective range (disadvantage on most bosses), second lowest starting HP, and lowest damage per shot.

Advantages are it's coverage and rate of fire and missile capacity.  It benefits the least from raw attack power and greatly from crit.

The Flame Tank gains the same amount of attack power as the others. 20% of 1.5 is still 20%. Per shot, sure 1.8 isn't much more than 1.5. But he still gets so many shots on target that it doesn't matter. At the DPS level his DPS advantage is still going to be magnified. As for the critical hit, it just means his DPS variance is going to be smaller than the DPS variant of the others. So he still gains a benefit and become more consistent, which is desireable.

In regards to pattern distance range advantage, the catch is where is the weak spot. In many of the bullet-hell patterns there is generally only a few places you can be safely. If all of those spots are inside the 500ish range boundary, then the flame tank has no range disadvantage. One thing I did not earlier is that the hitbox of the flame shot is very large, which sometimes gets caught on shields or blocking shots an does not make it to the target. Another disadvantage is the amount of activity the flame tank makes with his shot, seeing through and around it is sometimes hard and enemy shots can sneak through in the torrid of flames.

re: Range of flame tank weapon
The effective range is very similar to the range in the file, so I believe it is performing as expected.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Cinth

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,527
  • Resident Zombie
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 12:44:43 AM »
Flame tank already has the lowest effective range (disadvantage on most bosses), second lowest starting HP, and lowest damage per shot.

Advantages are it's coverage and rate of fire and missile capacity.  It benefits the least from raw attack power and greatly from crit.

The Flame Tank gains the same amount of attack power as the others. 20% of 1.5 is still 20%. Per shot, sure 1.8 isn't much more than 1.5. But he still gets so many shots on target that it doesn't matter. At the DPS level his DPS advantage is still going to be magnified. As for the critical hit, it just means his DPS variance is going to be smaller than the DPS variant of the others. So he still gains a benefit and become more consistent, which is desireable.

In regards to pattern distance range advantage, the catch is where is the weak spot. In many of the bullet-hell patterns there is generally only a few places you can be safely. If all of those spots are inside the 500ish range boundary, then the flame tank has no range disadvantage. One thing I did not earlier is that the hitbox of the flame shot is very large, which sometimes gets caught on shields or blocking shots an does not make it to the target. Another disadvantage is the amount of activity the flame tank makes with his shot, seeing through and around it is sometimes hard and enemy shots can sneak through in the torrid of flames.

re: Range of flame tank weapon
The effective range is very similar to the range in the file, so I believe it is performing as expected.

Yes a 20% boost is a 20% boost is a 20% boost.  The absolute gains from it vary based on the base damage of the weapon. 
White Gloss will gain more per boost and be better off for it.  Flame tank needs several boosts to even see a difference.  It's very noticeable against a lot of bigger enemies.  Crit is a double damage roll.  You can also accumulate quite a bit of % chance to crit.  On the FT you can really feel crits (and roll off a screen full).  It effects how the weapon feels.

A lot of boss patterns have a very small zone at FT's max range.  Some bosses you can get close but it isn't advised for most players.  Mirror and Backfire you can play at point blank safely all match long.  FT only gets a DPS advantage if most of the streams connect.  Against bosses that's risk/ reward.  If I'm not mistaken, FT also can't use range upgrades on the Incinerator.  It's range is fixed.  Attack speed is another area, it's already a fast weapon, so it benefits less from AS upgrades (Blue gains the most from them).  Each mech should have a crossover point in power curves with the flame tank and pass it over.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: Starting Player Mech Weapons
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2016, 02:37:28 PM »
Do attack speed upgrades reduce reload by a fixed value or a percent? Because if it is a percent, no mech benefits more or less from attack speed, they all benefit identically in terms of DPS.