Author Topic: Weapon Balance in 1.016  (Read 1731 times)

Offline ptarth

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Weapon Balance in 1.016
« on: May 13, 2014, 03:23:08 AM »
I wanted to think about and compare weapons and thought this might be of use to others as well.


Hydral Player Weapon Comparison Table
Weapon               Range   Shots per second      Accuracy      AOE      Type      DPS      Shield   Hull   Comment   
Armor-Piercing   1      2.5      Low      High      Piercing      9000      1      1   Penetrates targets   
Disruptor   0.7      7      Low      Low      Laser      21000      1      1   Shield Piercing, effectively x2 damage when shields are up   
Energy Blaster   1      5      Medium      Low      Energy      21000      4      1         
Gravity Lance   0.6      1      High      Medium      Gravity      13920      0.25      1         
Mass Driver   0.85      3.5      Medium      Low      Concussive      29400      0.1      1      Blocks shots   
Minigun      1      12      High      Medium      Ballistic      64800      1      1         
Spreadshot      0.6   13-14/1.05   Medium      Medium      Ballistic      34200      1      1      13 or 14 (center is overlap?) shots. DPS calcs show 19 shots per second.(34200/1800)   

Observations were made at 100% Weapon Power. Damage was calculated from a save game with 3 weapon technologies (no improved hulls). I don't know if this is base damage or not.  Weapon Range is proportion of range of Energy Blaster. Accuracy is opinion based and is a measure of how easy it is to hit a specific target. AOE is opinion-based as is a measure of how easy it is to hit multiple targets. Other columns should be self-explanatory. Some Racial ships comes with a passive weapon (e.g., Burlust missile), I don't list these.


Comparison of Hull Types that were readily available
Hull Type                       -100%      -90%      -85%      400%      Best   
Small: Interceptor, Pod      Tracking, Piercing            Concussive            Minigun, Energy Blaster, Disruptor, Spreadshot   
Small: Cutter            Laser      Concussive            Miniguns, Energy Blaster, Mass Driver, Armor-Piercing,   
Medium:Monitor      Ion      Laser      Energy, Gravity            Minigun, Spreadshot, Mass Driver, Disruptor, Armor-Piercing   
Medium:Turrets                  Ballistic, Gravity      Energy      Energy Blaster, Mass Driver, Disruptor, Armor-Piercing   
Flagship Model X      Ion            Energy, Ballistic            Energy Blaster, Minigun, Disruptor, Armor-Piercing, Gravity Lance   
-100%, -90%, -85%, 400% refer to the special damage bonus applied to the target hull. There are Racial bonuses to Hulls. Some small hulls have an unlisted 50% damage modifier to ballistics. Other hulls might also have unlisted modifiers. Best is a rough opinion-based measure of the best weapon to use against these Hulls. There are more types of hulls but these are ones I could find after loading a few battles. If you want to list some more, I'll add them.

Note: Anyone seen Ion damage? I faintly recall some sniper ships using Ion, but I might be mistaken. Apparently, it launches overpowered shots, otherwise I'm not sure why the Flagships and Medium ships are immune.

Prior to 1.016 I solely used spreadshot and energy blaster. Spreadshot was the easy answer to everything except ballistic resistant targets and targets with LOTS of shields. Against targets with relatively weak shields, spreadshot was preferred because it also dealt with squadrons at the same time. Spread shot had AOE damage, decent damage, and deals with hard to hit targets like the Hypersonic Pods. It also was useful for strafing, fleeing, charging, essentially everything except circle strafing high shield targets. However, with 1.016, spreadshot is now essentially dead to me. Its damage, range, and firing speed were all reduced to the point it just can't cut it. With the damage reduction, it isn't useful against big or medium ships. With the range and fire rate reductions it can't deal with little ships. Minigun has replaced it for the most part. I think spreadshot needs to be boosted to be useful for something again.

So, the question is, what weapons should be used for what?
Well, start with the easy ones and work our way up describing what they seem to work for now.
  • Energy Blaster - Against heavy shields and stationary turrets. Seems reasonable enough, I'm okay with it.
  • Gravity Lance - Against heavy hulls. Underpowered. Adding it to your ship uses up 1/3 of your slots with a subpar damage weapon that is useless against most ships. Damage could be boosted. Reload rate could be boosted.
  • Spreadshot - Hypothetically it should be useful against small ships. Nerfed too much 1.016.
  • Armor-Piercing - Hypothetically it is used against swarms of mediums. The DPS is underwhelming and getting any benefit out of the piercing ability is difficult. You'll need to hit 3-4 ships with every shot to catch up to the other weapons.
  • Disruptor - A gimmicky weapon where you are gambling that you can kill the hull of the target and avoid the shields faster than you could remove the shields and kill the hull another way. It is useless against many mediums, can't reliably hit smalls, so it is designed for large ships. I feel it is outperformed by Energy Blaster + Minigun, they kill it faster and with less danger.
  • Mass Driver - Another anti-hull weapon designed for medium & large hulls. It also has a destroys enemy fire ability. I find it gimmicky and unreliable. It isn't going to be blocking enough shots to make it useful for defense. It is useless against shields.
  • Minigun - With spreadshot nerfed, Minigun is the wave of the future. High reliable damage. It can hit fast and small targets. It has good damage.

I believe the problem is that I don't have enough weapon slots for various tasks. Against little ships I need Minigun. Against shields I need Energy Blaster. That leaves something to take out mediums, swarms, and large ship hulls. Mass Driver also blocks shots, so I tend to pick it. The other weapons don't do better enough for me to take them along. Mind you, I also don't typically buy more weapons (5k is expensive these days), so I tend to stick with the stock options. If we add another slot, then I'd have "a spare" to play around with. Further development will also get us better ways of making credits, so I'll be tempted to buy things more often too.

see also:
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15117
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15119
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 05:55:19 PM by ptarth »
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

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Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 08:22:10 PM »
Drak's Mantis Weapon proposal
       Weapon      Type      DPS      ROF      FlightTime      Range      Speed      Shield      Hull      Notes   
       Armor-Piercing      Ballistic      0.9      4      2.5      1      1.6      1      1      Penetrates   
       Disruptor      Energy      0.6      2      2.5      0.5      0.8      2      1      Shield & Hull damage   
       Energy Blaster      Energy      0.8      2      2.5      1      1.6      2      1         
       Gravity Lance      Explosive      2      1      0      0.25      -      0.5      1      Piercing   
       Mass Driver      Ballistic      1      2      1.25      2      6.4      1      1         
       Minigun      Explosive      0.5      4      0      0.5      -      0.5      1         
       Spreadshot      Ballistic      0.1      2      5      0.5      0.4      1      1      360 by 15 degrees   
       Flak      Explosive      0.2      8      0      0.25      -      0.5      1      Random 360 Blast, destroys all projectiles   
    Notes: Types have been redefined. Flak added.

    My thoughts on Drak's Proposal
    • I don't like losing the other damage types. It also means the hull traits have to be rebalanced.
    • Armor-Piercing dominates.
    • Disruptor gets double damage against shields, but you don't care about shields, you want to take out the hull.
    • Gravity Lance needs more DPS.
    • Mass Driver can hit things more reliably than Armor-Piercing, but Spreadshot is better at that. MD doesn't have much else going for it.
    • Minigun, Spreadshot, and Mass Driver all seem to be fighting for the same job.
    • Flak is too unreliable. If it gets too reliable, then it is as effective as using a Special every round.
    [/list]
    « Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 03:26:16 PM by ptarth »
    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

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 09:17:42 PM »
    I'll agree the weapons can be stale, but... to some degree at least it's still down to player preference.

    My 3 right now are:  Minigun, Mass Driver, Energy Blaster.

    Minigun kills the heck outta smaller ships... it might do with a nerf, actually, as far as attacking flagships go.  Killing flagships with it is like killing them with the spreadshot.  But aside from that one busted aspect, I like this one.

    Mass Driver is typically what I"ve always used to pop flagships, but it has it's own special unique uses as well.  Just because I"m firing it.... doesnt mean I'm actually aiming at a ship at all.  On the difficulty level I play at, and with my playstyle being what it is, I try not to get hit by ANYTHING, ever.  Heck, I almost never increase shield power, because if stuff is hitting me at all, I'm doing it wrong.  The Mass Driver can be used to pop those bullets that I can see are guaranteed to hit me regardless of maneuvering.  For smaller shots like interceptor bolts, it's not that big of a deal, but anything else.... yeah, it's worth me keeping it around for that.

    And energy blaster is just a good solid weapon for popping shields.

    Never used disruptor or flak.  didn't know they existed.  They dont sound like my sort of thing.

    Offline ptarth

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 09:49:28 PM »
    • What level do you play at Misery?
    • I've played most of my games on normal/normal. I played around with max/max for a while, but it got tedious much too quickly.
    • Flak is a weapon Drak invented, it isn't in the game.
    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

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 10:13:55 PM »
    Combat difficulty for me is always on Misery.  It's too easy otherwise.  Frankly I think even that difficulty could be harder, but that's just me.

    Strategic difficulty is for now just set to normal.  I'm a master when it comes to bullet-hell stuff, and am very good at tactical battles and such.... but the overall strategic stuff, not all that good at it.  I'm not very good at overall planning and tend to be spacey/airheaded.

    Offline ptarth

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 07:52:52 PM »
    Misery - Next time you play, can you record some mission types and how long it takes you finish them up?
    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

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 03:57:04 AM »
    Misery - Next time you play, can you record some mission types and how long it takes you finish them up?

    By record, do you mean a video?  I can do that if it helps somehow.

    As for time taken, it varies depending on the mission type.  If I have alot of allies, it's dramatically easier and faster, because few shots will actually be coming AT me.  Battles where it's me against many take much longer (but are alot more exciting) and require alot more caution, because every attack will be aimed at me, and I end up having to destroy many of the smaller ships, not just the flagships. 

    Depends on some degree on the amount of shields/hull that the enemies have, and other aspects.  I did a mission just now helping the Acutians defend against a pile of Burlust pirates, and while the Acutians did a good job of distracting them, it still took longer than usual since all of the enemy flagships were Ravens (which are relatively speedy, and require that I chase and stick to them).  8 of those bloody things.  Naturally the Acutians only actually destroyed ONE of them.... sigh.  With other types of flagships instead of ravens as enemies, it'd have taken probably half as long as it did.

    Offline Misery

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 05:07:38 AM »
    Also, some mission types still BADLY need some work.  Badly.

    Did one of those "joint invasion" ones, and the game decided to spawn 18 flagships.  Almost all of which had missiles as an extra weapon.  I'm probably going to write something up on Mantis about the missiles in general, because they add zero challenge.... but they can MASSIVELY extend a battle, because of constantly having to wait them out so they pop.  This of course wouldnt be a bloody problem if I had started with the damn Mass Driver, but.... that's a whole OTHER issue I already brought up.

    As it is, out of 18 flagships, almost entirely because missiles, it took 40 minutes.... to kill 6 of them.  Spent at least half of that time swerving idiotically and waiting for missiles to go away.

    Eventually just withdrew due to boredom.  And Monitors.... you make just ONE mistake with those things on this difficulty level, and regardless of your shields, 40% of your hull is gone. 3 hits from a Monitor *will* kill you.


    But the fact that it threw me against that many ships (and never mentioned this fact) is an issue in and of itself.  This was a quest, you see, I didn't exactly just decide "Hey! Let's attack the Thoraxian armadas!  All at once!".   One of those "joint invasion" quests.   Needs rebalancing.   The huge battle is fun, dont get me wrong, but it doesnt need that many flagships all at the same time... only about 6 or 7 of them are actually in position to attack at any given time anyway.

    So yeah, time spent on battles is just all over the place.  It'll be much less wacky on lower difficulties, I'm sure, because it doesnt get nearly as insane, but still.    On the flip side of it, pirate base battles can take just a couple of minutes.  It seriously depends on the number of things you have to pop, and wether or not you have allies there.

    Offline Drak

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 09:57:50 PM »
    Missiles are a wall that just makes you run away and needlessly extend battle: (Though it STARTED as something else, so you may want to make a seperate ticket.

    http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15088

    Offline Drak

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 11:04:36 PM »
    In response to ptath:

    First, thanks for the feedback!

    Second, you got the ranges a bit wrong.  :)

    =============================
    Range is listed in relative (to other weapons), not absolute, terms.
     + Short: As Current Gravity Lance
     + Medium: 2x short, As Current Disruptor
     + Long: 4x Short, As Current Energy Blaster
     + Very Long: 8x short, no current player equivalent (like some NPC weapons)
    =============================

    I realize I said "as current disruptor", but I don't mean distruptor's atual range, I meant that as a class category, not to imply the same range, sorry if that was unclear. so ranges would be 1, 2, 4, 8x whatever short range is found to work best. Very Long should be almost map distance.


    Now, to address your points:
    The other damage types aren't actually that different:

    Reflective Hulls reduce Energy and Laser, so they're already the same.
    Armored reduces Ballistic, and Piercing, and Concussive, so they're the same too.
    Not sure about Gravity.

    All I did was make their effects more clear and simplify something that was overly complicated. (Although, it was probably designed that way because each of the damage types had different impact profiles - ie laser pierced shields, energy did 4x to shields and 3x to buildings, piercing went through things, concussive did 1/10 to shields, etc) Basicallt, ebergy is best against shields, ballistic is even, and explosive is weak against shields.

    AP will dominate against clustered targets, but EB will do better until the shields come down (and disruptor better still if close enough), Mass Driver will be MUCH better if at range (where AP shots get more easily dodged/avoided or aren't even in range, and lack of return fire isn't destroying the MD bullets).

    Even in the current game Disruptor usually drops the shields before (or almost at the same time) it destroys the hull (except against the player), so the shield piercing is actaully a disadvantage, as it is doing less DPS to the shields than EB and leaving the shields up MAY hinder your earlier use of potentially better explossive damage, yet the shield piercing allows the overall DPS to be higher. I agree though, it could easily need tweaking. (Alot of these numbers are meant to be starting points).

    I started Gravity Lance low because it can fairly easily be used against multiple large ships (and structures), which is as I intended. But yeah, having a 3 or even 4 DPS  may not be out of line. (For instance, stalking a slower "carrier" type vessel, even at 2 base DPS, Grav Lance should EASILY hit an effective DPS of 6 or higher, as launching ships are getting hit along with the main. AP also does this, but at greater range, and with equal effect against shielded and non-shielded.

    Mass Driver is considerably more reliable at hitting faster moving things than AP, especially at range with high angular velocity targets and as long as there's no incoming/intervening fire. But what Mass Driver is REALLY good at is hitting fleeing ships. Its high bullet speed would also make it MUCH better at makeshift swatting than AP (which gets dodged). Also, nothing has anywhere near Mass Driver's range. So yeah, in groups and within AP's range, AP will dominate (as intended), but really close in (where mass driver gets an almost instant hit) and at really far ranges (outside AP's range, or against targets moving at high angular velocities to your ship) mass driver would lead, imo. Obviously adjustments after starting may be needed, but since I was overhauling everything at once, conservative starting points seemed preferable. And I'm not sure how spreadshot even got compared... Mass Driver has 4x the range, hits only 1 target and has bullets that travel 16x faster and do 10x the DPS to single targets... So yeah, spreadshot will more likely get a hit if the target is really close, but mass driver is going to be doing WAY more damage if there's only one target. So I'm not sure what you meant by spreadshot does that better?

    Minigun, massdriver, and spreadshot competing for the same job. This statement makes no sense to me, sorry, maybne I'm missing your point, but...
    Minigun is slow, reliable damage that excels in the swarm and against unshielded fast moving targets (like fighters), especially if they're likely to just briefly pass through its range.
    Massdriver is not good AT ALL against a swarm (low RoF and destructable bullets means a bullet hail renders it pretty ineffective) and has 4 times the range of the other two, and is equally effective against shields and hull - not sure how it's competing with minigun?
    Spreadshot: though it competes a little with Minigun (in that it "swats"), minigun has ZERO defensive abilities (can't intercept mass driver shots, can't clear scrap, does WAY less DPS than spreadshot when surrounded by many ships, but WAY more when only fighting a few targets...) and does half damage against shields, so spreadshot has a VERY different role - defense & HUGE swarm/cluster of large/scrap clearing.

    My target defense rate for Flak would be about 50% (more against atacks from multiple sides and less against attacks from a more limitted arc) compared to special's 100% - though I admit I wasn't clear on that point, so I should add that, thank you. Also it does almost no damage (compared to special's generally considerable offensive capabilities). The BIG difference is that you can MOVE while using Flak. That's its MAIN purpose, as a means of moving into position through things like missile walls, or when retrieving pilots, etc. Basically, you completely give up offense to drastically increase your ability to get though sticky situations. It's basically the "all-out defense" option, but it works better than full shields in that it can protect from disruptor bolts better, works better in very high density bullet spaces, and lets you maneuver much more freely. Currently if I want to pick up pilots, it's enough power to move, rest to shields and go for it, but that basically means you have to judge if your shields can survive the trip. Whereas Flak let's you forgo attack (pretty much) all together to shore up those defenses and make a go for it. ALSO, it can be used in conjuction with other defenders or operation specials to actually PROTECT something else (as opposed to shields that can only protect you), like an important building or vessel / etc.

    Thanks so much for the feedback though! Let me know if I misunderstood anything!
    « Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 11:32:12 PM by Drak »

    Offline Drak

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 11:08:51 PM »
    Also, I believe "Ion" refers to stunners. (like the player special, and stunner towers)

    Offline Drak

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 11:46:33 PM »
    Also, let me know if you discovered anything like http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15181 in your experiments.
    « Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 11:50:07 PM by Drak »

    Offline Misery

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 02:39:28 AM »
    Missiles are a wall that just makes you run away and needlessly extend battle: (Though it STARTED as something else, so you may want to make a seperate ticket.

    http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15088


    Agreed.

    I meant to put this ticket up yesterday, but whatever, here it is now:  http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15200

    Offline ptarth

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    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 04:35:21 PM »
    • Adjusted Ranges in your table.
    • I think that you are making too drastic of changes by eliminating the weapons types and drastically redesigning the weapons.
    • Current weapon types allow some range to expand. For example, it is a simple step forward to add "resistant" hull types to the Player Ship. Simplifying the weapon types will make things simplier, but I'm not convinced it should be done.
      • Current Hull Modifiers:
      • Armored Hull: -85% Ballistic DMG
      • Energy Absorbers: -85% Energy DMG, -100% Ion DMG
      • Energy-Vulnerable Field: +200% Energy DMG
      • Concussive-Vulnerable Hull: +200% Concussive DMG
      • Gravity Repulsor: -85% Gravity DMG
      • Laser Refractor: -90% Laser DMG
      • Blast Sheath: -85% Concussive DMG
      • Completely Dodges Piercing DMG
      • Missile Jamming: Tracking shots cannot lock on.


    • Disruptors are antiflagship weapons and are superior when (Shield/Energy Blaster DPS + Hull/Hull Weapon DPS) < (Hull/Disruptor). Currently, Energy Blaster is x8, Disruptor x2, Mass Driver x3, Gravity Lance x 1.4, and Armor Piercing x0.9. Assuming a -85% Ballistic Hull, then Mingun is x1, and spreadshot is x0.5. The best antihull weapon being the Mass Driver (per DPS only). Given this, if the shields are more than 30% higher than the hull, disruptors are the better choice (DPS only). However, since most medium and small ships are Disruptor resistant, you need to pack a Ballistic Weapon to deal with them. That being said, I perhaps undervalue the minigun, disruptor, and energy blaster combo. Given how spreadshot dominated and how minigun is usually, good enough, that is not surprising.
    • A weakness of Mass Driver that often isn't mentioned is that it is blocked by oncoming fire (although under some circumstances I seem to recall it isn't blocked.) So it is less useful against swarms.
    • Your version of Mass Driver, is essentially, a sniper weapon. An obvious weapon archetype, the absence is suggestive. It does energy gameplay where the player runs away all game and gradually whittles down the opposition. The addition of such a weapon might be counterproductive. However, your point that it is useful against fleeing ships, is a good point. Some thoughts, if we can kite the enemy, then isn't it fair that they can kite us? (Yes) If it is fair, is it fun? (No). How can we stop kiting? Long range accurate weapons (e.g., Drak's Mass Driver), increased player speed (afterburners), cloaking, allow enemies to retreat out of map, decreased enemy speed, remove fleeing logic from enemy ships. If we have a weapon that can hit a fleeing target, then the target shouldn't bother to flee (the ship will eventually die, so the best solution is to attack and hope it can kill you first.) Therefore, I think the best solution might be to get rid of the ship fleeing AI and actually make things more aggressive, or to work in packs better. Thus the situtation where the Raven runs away is gone. Should the Raven be able to kite you at its max optimal weapon range, like an overgrown Hypersonic Pod? Not sure.
    • Comments on Minigun, Mass Driver, and Spreadshot - Swarm experiences tend to just be a couple of ships. Sure you can have the rare occurence when you are amidst 3 squadrons just after launch, but they die so easily, it just isn't a problem. Most of the time, to me, I have to kill 2-5 ships and the biggest problem is that they dodge my shots. Hence these weapons are all "standard duty" weapons. I just need to hit a few targets a couple of times to get rid of them. Medium and Small ships are almost the same in terms of danger, I don't treat them that differently (except when they have damage modifiers).
    • Flak - Still up in the air. I could see it making the player virtually immortal and lowing the seriousness of being caught in a bad spot. Although, to be fair, combat isn't that hard, just tedious (see Misery for confirmation). I think that combat difficult would be better with even MORE ships rather than higher damage projectiles.
    • Weapon DPS Calculations. The last time I did the math, in most cases it was predictable. See my initial post for details and discrepancies. I'd suggest remeasuring and documenting what you were doing for replication.
    • Missiles are too slow is the main problem. The other problem is that missile salvos aren't working in some cases. Instead of firing a missile, reloading quickly and firing another missile, it just fires them all stacked up on top of each other. You see just one missile with 26k damage, but really its 20 missiles each doing 26k damage. Because we try to avoid them all the time, it isn't that noticeable.
    • I think a simpler approach to working on combat rather than a complete overhaul is in order first. Perhaps if that doesn't work, then a drastic change is in order.

    Problems with current system and simple solution.
    • Missiles are boring, too powerful and too slow. - Speed them up, fix the tracking, consider a "defensive fire" targeting option for the player, check the salvo logic.
    • Fleeing ships are tedious - Stop the fleeing ship logic, make all ships more aggressive, and try to get them to work in packs/formations.
    • Gravity Lance is too weak - x4 damage, limit firing arc to 45 degrees in front of ship. Consider widening the beam. Keep penetration. Add projectile destruction. Make it a short ranged, high damage, thrust. You are exposed from the sides, but head on are invincible (except is still doesn't do much versus shields).
    • Energy Blaster is misleading- Increase Energy Blaster damage by 400%. Add a -75% modifier to damage versus Hull. (Same actual damage, just more understandable.)
    • Spreadshot is too weak- Up range and reload speed. Perhaps increase the Arc. I don't think the 360 firing arc is fair.
    • Armor Piercing is underpowered - 200% damage
    • Minigun is overpowered - 50% damage
    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 Drak

    • Newbie Mark III
    • *
    • Posts: 28
    Re: Weapon Balance in 1.016
    « Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 02:02:02 AM »
    ok, the main reason I proposed an entire re-tool, is because the current weapons have either too much overlap (meaning it quickly becomes impossible to balance them without basically making them the same weapon) or too narrow a use (meaning they simply get discarded in favor of their nearly as powerful, but much more versatile counterpart). So, under the current system, I very much doubt weapon balnce is even possible - spreadshot and minigun will always compete, so every "rebalance" will look the same: "Minigun is OP, dropping SPread", or "Spread is OP, dropping Minigun", or "Meh, they're the same thing, just pick whichever".

    I realize that the different damage types and various hull defenses are meant to counter that. The PORBLEM with that approach (and why I simplifed the damage types) is that it's not very transparent, difficult to predict (and therefore chose an appropriate/effective load-out before combat), generally confusing and so significant as to overshadow the weapon's other propertiues.

    3 Damage Types and 3 dinstinct defenses is more than enough to give variety without being confusing. I would be completely ok with subtypes (Like: "Ballistic: Piercing") which describe unique traits of the bullet's behavior, but still clearly communicate the ramifications for the damage grid. The point was to create a simple defense and offense grid - similar to rock paper scissor. The problem I'm addressing is that the player is, often enough, surrounded by a huge variety of targets (in cases where there are only a few targets, it barely matters what weapons I chose, as there won't be any credible threat to my safety and I'm basically waiting for the target to die and having the wrong weapon for the job just increases the time taht takes - alla tedium... OR the taget profile is pre-known - like the burlust duels - and I just load the best weapons for that duel and again the variety doesn't matter). Since you can only bring 3 weapons to the fight the variety shows it means that many of the targets are likely to be VERY resistant, while others are basically naked to your weapon choices. Result: several of the targets die almost instantly, and the rest take forever (the vulnerable go right down, and the remains aren't a threat, but don't die quickly) - alla tedium again. To address this issue, I reduced the tactics grid to a simple game of rock paper scissor, and (more importantly) decreased the impact of this grid on overall weapon effect (thus reducing the tedium). Let's compare the grids:

    Current
    Armored
    Energy
    Absorb
    Energy
    Vulnerable
    Concussive
    Vulnerable
    Grav
    Repulsor
    Laser
    Refract
    Blast
    Sheath
    Dodge
    Pierce
    Missile
    Jam
    Armor Piercing
    0
    Disruptor
    0.1
    Energy Blaster
    0.15
    3
    Gravity Lance
    0.15
    Mass Driver
    3
    0.15
    Minigun
    0.15
    Spreadshot
    0.15
                                     

    Becomes:

    Proposed Grid
    Armored
    Reflective
    Shields
    Ballistic (AP, MD, SS)
    0.5
    Energy (Disruptor, EB)
    0.5
    2
    Explosive (Grav,Mini,Flak)
    0.5
                   

    Much simpler, and softer impact. The Strengths and weakness of each weapon/damage type become clear, their counters become clear. The whole thing gets simpler, easier to understand and use on the fly, and, while remaining influential, doesn't overpower the other traits of the weapons. (If I bring the worst possible damage type, combat length doubles at most, whereas in the current system, I could be doing 15% damage - meaning combat takes SIX times longer!)
    « Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 02:17:02 AM by Drak »