A7.0 Experimental - FAQ & Feedback: Weapon Balancing

Discussion in 'Experimental Features Discussion' started by EleonGameStudios, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. EleonGameStudios

    EleonGameStudios Developer
    Staff Member

    • Developer
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    7,024
    I. General

    For the first time, we are balancing the hand weapons in the game. The settings you experienced so far were a first attempt of how they could work but weren’t based on the limits of the game like view distance of objects etc. Some weapons (like the T2 or Epic Pistol) had a damage output which was far over the top and not in a meaningful relation to all other weapons yet.

    Our goal of this re-balance is to give each weapon a better identity and role. We want players to make a meaningful decision which tool to pick for the task they intend to do. Keep in mind that these updates do not attempt to simulate features of similar real-world weapons.

    One change is the reduction of weapon ranges. Some of the prior ranges made little sense: You had long-range weapons up with 600m range - but the graphic engine currently shows spawned creatures, like wildlife, only up to 120m. You had no benefit of using a long range weapon at all unless floating in space shooting drones. A place where you are always better off sitting in a spaceship anyway.

    [​IMG]

    We also intend to reduce the sitting duck problem: Some weapons allowed you take out drones before they were even able to react to you on a planet. This made taking out drones a shooting gallery without challenge. Now you must approach them with most weapons or have a proper long range weapon to get an advantage.

    Here are some ranges which we took into consideration:
    2m - reach of some critters
    30m- length a typical small POI
    40-45m - height drones or the PV might hover above you
    50-60m - Length of a typical large POI like the Abandoned Mine
    30/80/120m - Maximum range of Zirax weapons
    120m - Spawned creatures will no longer be visible beyond this range
    300m - Range when regular drones will notice you and engage in an attack
    300m to 800m - Maximum shooting range of POI turrets depending on planetary atmosphere density
    360m - The distance drones are rendered as a 3D object instead of a dot on your screen when you are not using a rifle scope
    500m - Drones and POIs will be marked in your HUD on planets
    1000m - Visibility of drones and POIs on planets

    Ignore atmospheric density:
    A new feature we enabled for plasma and laser weapons is the possibility to ignore the atmospheric density (AD). As you might know, the effective range your weapon can deal damage is altered by the AD of the planet. The AD on Akua is 1.05 thus reducing your effective range to about 75% of the range it would have in space. An assault rifle with a range of 150m can only deal damage up to 115m on this planet. On Omicron and Masperon the density is even higher thus further reducing the weapon’s range. To make some weapons a better choice on certain planets, plasma and laser hand weapons are not affected by AD anymore. We are certain this will make the survival experience on starter planets like Omicron, especially in the Early game with limited weapon options, much more challenging and interesting.

    Bullet spread:
    We activated bullet spread to simulate different accuracies weapons can have. While a Minigun can also shoot up to 150m like an Assault Rifle, it is much more imprecise for instance, making it a less optimal choice to fight distant enemies. If your weapon has a scope you will increase your accuracy when using it.

    Weapon kits no longer needed:
    To make sure players can access and build most weapons they unlock in the tech tree right away, you no longer need weapon kits anymore, which drop randomly in POIs, to craft them.

    Role of epic weapons:
    We were also unhappy about the role of epic weapons in the current game. Once you got you preferred weapon as an epic version, there was basically no looking back to other weapon options and finding more epic weapons wasn’t very rewarding at all. Epic versions should act as temporary better versions of T2 weapons only - like a buff you can enjoy for a short time. You can enjoy increased reload times, higher ammunition capacity and of course higher damage with them. And with the weapon kits, you can still find, you can even build your own epic weapons now without having to wait to find an ultra rare container. However, to make this a proper “short-term” buff you are not able to repair epic weapons any longer.
    Also while we still call them “Epic” weapons they now called “Enhanced weapon (T2)”. This will also open the option for us to possibly introduce (repairable) T3 weapons at some point if it makes sense in the right context.
    Remember that you can still control how severe durability loss affects your scenario at the game start. If you want all your epic weapons to stay with you forever, set “Degradation Speed” to “off”. Up to you.

    Here’s a quick summary of all weapon changes. More details below:
    - Range of all weapons have been reduced or equalized.
    - Plasma and laser weapons now ignore atmospheric density.
    - Activated bullet spread except for laser weapons
    - Damage of all close-range weapons has been increased.
    - The damage for the shotgun has been altered so it’s devastating at very short range but much less effective at its max range
    - Damage for long-range weapons have been reduced. Their range is already their benefit. The headshot multiplier for the sniper rifle has been increased.
    - All weapon versions of the same kind (no matter if they are T1, T2 or epic) now have identical weapon ranges to ease up making a choice which weapon to use.
    - You can build your own epic weapons by upgrading a T2 weapon with a weapon kit; you have a choice now if you want to stick with your T2 weapon, which can be repaired, or upgrade it with another kit to an epic version, which is more powerful but won’t last forever. A Large or Advanced Constructor is required for crafting it. Additionally epic weapons can still be found in ultra rare containers as usual.
    - Epic weapons can no longer be repaired
    - Epic weapons and weapon kits can now be recycled in the Blue Print Factory


    II. The Handheld Weapons and their Roles

    Chainsaw
    The increased damage can help you in dire situations when you get in contact with nasty critters. While the damage is far better than a regular standard pistol, you have to deal with a creature already attempting to eat you.

    Pistol

    Your pistol remains as your handy starter weapon. You have to be far closer to drones than you are used to take them out. With a weapon range of 90m, you are only able to take down the drones hovering above your base on Akua within 69m. A T2 pistol version deals similar damage to the T1 Assault Rifle but has to deal with the far shorter range of course.

    Laser Pistol
    The Laser Pistol is similar to the pistol but an upgrade to damage and accuracy. It is a solid choice when entering POIs or taking out drones behind cover. As it’s ignoring atmospheric density you can rely on its 90m range on every planet. The damage of a regular T1 Laser Pistol version is much better than and regular Pistol. And the T2 Laser Pistol (unlocking at level 25) is a valid alternative to rifles when it comes to dealing damage. Also being a Laser weapon it has no accuracy problems at all.

    Shotgun
    The task for this weapon is clear: If a creature is standing right in front of you, it should die when you pull the trigger once or twice with this weapon. It’s rather unreliable at its maximum range of 60m (or 46m on Akua). This will make it also extremely hard to take down far away drones if you can’t bridge the distance. Better take cover and wait until they are really really close before you fight them with a shotgun.

    Minigun
    This is the weapon deals a lot of damage already early on in the game. It has a similar range of about 150m on the moon (115m on Akua) but is extremely unreliable at this distance as it has a wide bullet spread. This weapon is devastating in small rooms and a menace to all aliens inside POIs. But don’t rely on it to take out drones outside unless they are rather close.

    Assault Rifle
    The Assault Rifle is best allrounder weapon early on for taking POIs and dealing with critters at a distance approaching you. It’s a solid choice for taking down patrolling drones.With its 150m range and high fire rate, you can rely on dealing with all creatures in POIs on Akua up to 115m no matter what POI base size you are in. Its bullet spread can be a bit rough when using a T1 version though. Make sure to use the scope when you can as this increases your accuracy. Like all rifles also has the second best headshot multiplier after the sniper rifles, making it a good choice for surprise attacks.

    Pulse Rifle
    The next best upgrade (starting at level 10) to the Assault rifle is the Pulse Rifle. Its damage and range are better than the Assault rifle and its accuracy is also increased. But it also suffers from atmospheric density range loss. While in space and on moons you can enjoy up to 170m range distance, on planets you only have about 103m to 131m. This is still very good and the best choice for storming POIs on high atmospheric density planets.

    Laser Rifle
    The Laser Rifle is a high damage output weapon, similar to the Minigun. But this weapon, unlocking at level 15, especially shines when it comes to its solid 150m range no matter what planet you are on - and this with perfect accuracy. 150m means: If you see a Zirax, you can kill him. 150m is great for taking out drones, too. This weapon is perfect for approaching a base with patrolling guards since their weapons can’t shoot at you without approaching. But you need Erestrum Gel to keep up with your ammo needs.

    Sniper Rifle
    The reduced amount of damage for the Sniper Rifle doesn’t make it a good option to clear rooms inside of a POI. However, this weapon has the highest bonus to dealing headshots (or similar vulnerable parts of an enemy). Its 400m range (308m on Akua) lets you take aim against all land creatures and drones you can see. Make sure to aim properly at their vulnerable spots so you can one-shot some enemies. If you miss and the creature storms into your direction you better switch to a weapon with more punch.

    Rocket Launcher
    The basic 1 rocket per reload version, unlocking on level 10, has a range of 200m only (which would be around 154m on Akua). This is still good to stir up a group of guards waiting outside of a base for you. While the basic weapon will stay a solid choice to use inside POIs to deal area damage and potentially affect targets behind corners, the T2 version will be equipped with homing missiles. The T2 version has, as an exception, a range of 360m. Other than higher damage it shines against moving targets like far away drones. After you take aim and fire (you don’t have to wait for a lock-on mechanism) the missile will home in on the target with slight corrections to its flight path as long as the target isn't moving too fast. The epic version deals the same damage as it fires the same missile. But it’s higher reload time allows you to deal more damage faster.

    Plasma Cannon
    This is like a beefed-up version of a Rocket Launcher unlocking at level 25. At 360m range ignoring any atmospheric density, it’s perfect to take out any turrets on an enemy base or patrolling drones. But keep reminding yourself that 360m is no safe distance… the base turrets will fire back! It has the slowest reload time of all weapons, therefore, it shouldn’t be the first choice to storm a base with. The damage is about equal to the regular T2 rocket launcher but the Plasma Cannon’s higher fire rate allows you to deal a lot more damage in a shorter time. This makes it more useful when you fight with hardly any cover.

    III. Terminology Updates
    We thought it’s weird that aliens of a different galaxy use the exact same bullet size standards in millimeter and inch like we do on Earth. So we updated the ammunition names into something a bit more generic. This update and avoiding abbreviations should also make it easier for new players to associate ammunition they find in the Early Game with the correct hand weapons. It removes the requirement to cross reference weapon and its bullet type and helps to find the correct ammunition and weapon at the same time quickly when using the search function.

    Ammo Renaming:
    “5.8mm Bullet” is now “Projectile Rifle Round”
    “.50Cal” is now “Pistol Round”
    “8.3mm Bullet” is now “Minigun Round”
    “12Ga Shell” is now “Shotgun Shell”
    “12.7mm Bullet” is now “Sniper Rifle Round”
    “120mm MSL” is now “Rocket Launcher Missile”
    “120mm H-MSL” is now “Rocket Launcher Homing Missile”
    “Pl.Charge Cannon” is now “Plasma Cannon Cell”
    “LsP Charge” is now “Laser Pistol Cell”
    “LsR Charge” is now “Laser Rifle Cell”

    Epic weapon name updates:
    “Epic Pistol” is now “Enhanced Projectile Pistol (T2)”
    “Epic Minigun” is now “Enhanced Minigun”
    “Epic Shotgun” is now “Enhanced Shotgun (T2)”
    “Epic Pulse Rifle” is now “Enhanced Pulse Rifle (T2)”
    “Epic Laser Rifle” is now “Enhanced Laser Rifle”
    “Epic Rocket Launcher” is now “Enhanced Rocket Launcher (T2)”
    “Epic Plasma Cannon” is now “Enhanced Plasma Cannon”
    “Epic Sniper” is now “Enhanced Sniper Rifle (T2)”
    “Epic Assault Rifle” is now “Enhanced Assault Rifle (T2)”

    IV. Known issues / work in progress:
    - All Ion, Plasma and Laser turrets for both the ship and base are still affected by atmospheric density.
    - All land creature weapon ranges are not affected by atmospheric density (not planned to be changed soon)
    - Ammunition names for base and ship turrets have not been updated yet.
    - In your regular HUD the ammunition name might show up very tiny in the lower right-hand corner; the ammo name will be removed from this spot soon since you can only have one kind of ammunition per weapon anyway at the moment
    the loot tables have not been updated yet to reflect the new balancing
     
    #1
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. burnout1620

    burnout1620 Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    50
    LOL!
    Love all the changes. The T2/Epic shotty is my favorite weapon. Love the idea of right tool for the right job.
     
    #2
    XeroTerragoth and Kogami like this.
  3. medicineman

    medicineman Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    857
    I really hate what your doing with the epic weapons. You are pointlessly making them more of a grind by not letting us repair them. Also this is case where logic is being broken to satisfy some dim vision of game mechanics that I bet your players don't even want. There is simply no reason on earth why any piece of equipment cannot be fully repaired. Especially if you have the power to create the very components themselves from the nano tech assembler.

    How is something Epic if it is inferior to something else? Not being repairbale (because der why exactly? I mean what reason other than gameplay nerf?) inherently makes the epic version of the gun inferior and less useful than a lower level gun.

    I wish you guys would find something else to make as a the carrot for us to go around searching stuff for. Not being able to repair stuff and in general the degradation of stuff that we repair is just crappy. It's clearly you guys being lazy and uncreative just pushing more hurdles into a players way as a time sink.

    You need to come up with better reasons for players to search around than nerfing supposedly epic items. Essentially after this patch "epic" will now always have to be placed inside sarcasm quotes.
     
    #3
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    GoldDragon, ldog, ion_storm and 2 others like this.
  4. rucky

    rucky Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,649
    Likes Received:
    2,840
    that's wrong. or your picture is. :p:p:p
    look at rocket launcher... ;)
    yes I'm pedantic.

    edit:

     
    #4
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  5. zztong

    zztong Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    647
    You WILL respect the Zirax with a shotgun!

    He takes chunks out of your health, and perhaps your armor too.
     
    #5
    XeroTerragoth likes this.
  6. Jᴧgᴧ

    Jᴧgᴧ Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    870
    Yeah, it was a mistaken statement. Per the above text:

     
    #6
    rucky likes this.
  7. rucky

    rucky Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,649
    Likes Received:
    2,840
    yes I'm pedantic. :p
     
    #7
    Jᴧgᴧ likes this.
  8. Uncle Benny

    Uncle Benny Commander

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    136
    What might help is explain how to craft these enhanced weapons, because I'm not seeing an option for it in my advanced constructor (t2 projectile pistol + pistol upgrade kit would be what lets me upgrade things, right?).
     
    #8
  9. Lardi

    Lardi Ensign

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    16
    Is this some kind of morbid joke, now epics are unrepairable for some reason so you use them a bit then you lose them forever? What kind of logic is that? Im just gonna stick to T2 weapons now that epics are more like, 1 use weapons that you enjoy for 1 round. What a boring system.
     
    #9
  10. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    4,363
    Think of them more as temporary buffs now - buffs that rotate as you can acquire new epics with missions, looting, etc. It is kind of like the Diamond weapons in minecraft or a direct buff in something like wow or rpgs. It is not a perfect analogy, but the effect is still the same - the "best stuff" in games, never lasts(it is supposed to be hard to get) and the excitement around pursuing utilizing the equipment will be almost palpable.

    The durability will still allow for them to last quite a while. :)
     
    #10
  11. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    1,976
    There could have been more "realistic" ways of balancing this, but I guess at some performance cost.

    Firstly, projectiles don't vanish in thin air upon reaching their maximum effective range, so it could have been made that damage drops incrementally after max effective range. This would make a sniper less effective against armored targets at distance, but still effective against "soft" targets at same range, instead of being useless past max range (which is still pretty short given the open world nature of the game).

    I understand that the game cannot render everything at long distances, but it could allow distant rendering when player zoom-in with a weapon; and if players could already shoot drones from a distance, drones had to be "rendered" so I don't understand why "rendering distances" comes into play here...

    As for drones, why not simply extend their detection & weapons range, and change their behavior / speed when they detect players, instead of "nerfing the player capacities" ?

    Edit : the "sitting duck" problem is not that players can shoot it, it is the drone that acts like a sitting duck... :cool:
     
    #11
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Keith Hovey, Chris98, rucky and 5 others like this.
  12. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    4,363
    Give Akua a try. It is a very cool experience. :)
     
    #12
  13. Lardi

    Lardi Ensign

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    16

    Diamond weapons don't break after 1 round of killing, we are getting a grindier system in lieu of a ilusion that making them unrepairable makes them better when its just making them worthless, it's like if you have the best tech weapon in a game but it breaks and can't be repaired because the devs want you to grind for more of them in a logicless RNG system where you can repair T2 weapons but not epics, making them something of a novelty more than, oh I found an epic! Awesome!
     
    #13
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    rucky, medicineman, ldog and 2 others like this.
  14. Fractalite

    Fractalite Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    4,363
    Haha! Its not THAT bad... :) I just went through several drones and some nightmares and the gauge barely budged - and I play on maximum durability loss. Just give it time. I suspect you will change your mind. ;)
     
    #14
    Hicks42 and Dietrich like this.
  15. Lardi

    Lardi Ensign

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    16
    Look I don't see any logic that we can repair everithing but the best weapons and I can make plasma turrets and rocket launchers, if I want an upgrade I don't expect it to break after all my hard work, if it's an upgrade, I expect it to be better, not worse than the actual weapons. This change seems arbitral and lack of creativity by the devs part to make exploration something you want to do always because they break rather than rewarding exploration itself.
     
    #15
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  16. kanys

    kanys Ensign

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    12
    I find the weapon DMG distribution ridiculous. The rocket launcher has the lowest DMG? Seriously? That should be the anti-armor weapon with super expensive amunition that takes lots of resources to craft that one uses to blast through hardened steel with, not a tickle nerf cherry bomb thrower. Same goes for the sniper rifle. I really like this game, and you guys are amazing at how devoted you are to the development, but ridiculous stuff like this is what breaks the immersion.

    And this:

    Amen. Why can't repaiting just consume resources? More resources for epic weapons? Why can't we build everything from scratch, as we used to in alpha 4? Why the autominer cores, and weapon upgrade kits? I would sleep more easy if this was just a precursor to a "learning blueprints" mechanic, where one would only be able to unlock certain items in the constructor by finding and "using/learning" a blueprint, at which point these "uncraftable rare components" would be rendered obsolete and would dissapear. But is it? Why spend time and resources on balancing a game in Alpha, when there are so many things on the road map everyone seems to be asking for. More automation, conveyors, buildable drones; skill trees, research mechanics; larger planets with poles, without the border forcefields; moveable blocks; solar panels. More resource types?

    A modding API would be AWESOME. Let the players come up with their own ideas and features and balances, make it a true Minecraft in space.

    I like some aspects of Alpha 7, mainly the build tools, but these re-balances seem pointless. At least when looking at what's there down the road. Unless there is no longer much down the road and you're looking to move away from all the features promised years ago and are starting to close the game down. THAT would be sad. Very sad.

    EDIT: And why was the renaming of everything neccessary? Pipes to nanotubes makes no sense. Reactor core is ALREADY a good sounding sci-fi name. And now that the SV actually replaces the CV for starter planets, it would be nice if I could use it to bring my HV with me, rather than having to craft a new one wherever I land. HV to SV docking? Please? Please? Pretty please?
     
    #16
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    1,976
    Honestly, I'm getting a bit tired of the same dish with different amounts of potatoes... It was a "cool experience" first time I played, second start, third... now I lost count. All those "very well known things" aren't fresh, I'm not excited the least bit about another "fresh start" just to try something I will not even notice in 80% of the game time. After a few adjustments, the same issues will eventually come back to the surface: lack of proper AI, small playfields, pole barriers, etc.

    It is also easy to see that many players who used to keep the forums alive just a few months ago saying to everyone "be patient, it's just in Alpha" had their enthusiasm worn out and are not there anymore. Others came and went away in a shorter time too. Nothing new here, but you may get the point why I'm not jumping all over the place with tears of joy. I'm patient though.
     
    #17
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  18. paddster7

    paddster7 Ensign

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    I disagree with Lardi. I think how you are limiting the "Epic" weapons is right on. There are all sorts of games that have limited-time buffs. And, once they are used up, you have to find more. The Devs are on the right track.
     
    #18
    Dietrich and amurayiwestgate like this.
  19. medicineman

    medicineman Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    857
    Why? This is a terrible argument. "Just give it time." What are you some old sitcom grandpa?

    "Well kids.. just listen to ol gramps.. I've been around.. I knows some things I does."

    This is the worst argument I've ever heard of for anything ever.

    By the way I'm still waiting for the magical time when I will like durability loss. I still think it sucks, is pointless and immersion breaking. I can see things getting damaged and having to repair them. But they degrade over time even with my cool future technology? Nuh uh. The whole thing with how you have to switch armors but can't name them or differentiate them is looney tunes. And having to use a special box to change armors is not an improvement either.

    Man I could go on..
     
    #19
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    ion_storm likes this.
  20. medicineman

    medicineman Captain

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    857
    Seriously! This game needs a lot of stuff still. What it didn't need was nerfing epic weapons. What a waste of time.
     
    #20
    Mr. Bits and ion_storm like this.

Share This Page