ZcRaider's Weapons Thoughts

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ZcRaider
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ZcRaider's Weapons Thoughts

Post by ZcRaider » 10 Nov 2015, 15:49

I have been seeing a few testers mentioning that the lasers either seem too powerful or too weak. Then the Ion is too weak, and Gatling's spin up is too slow, etc etc.

I was initially going to post to each of these posts, but I decided to make my own topic on the matter, seeing as I have not put forth my own thoughts on the weapon balancing of this game. :lol: So without further adieu...

My thoughts thus far:

Before I get started, I wish to share a model that I see replicated in many games. Quake 3 Arena! I have yet to find a more balanced set of unique and extremely fun weapons. At least in an old-school arena style game. Which is the vibe I am getting with this wonderful game! But upgraded to 6DOF, which really needs to be explored more now a days! And I think the Dev's nailed it! :D

So...I wish to share this first, so that I can give a good representation of how I feel about the weapons in this game. Maybe use it as a template, to help with the development of the weapons unique to this game. I played a lot of Quake 3 Arena Competitively, so I'll use this model as an example of what I'm talking about, with balance tailored.. by uniqueness. Which this game is getting very close to achieving...but not quite there yet in its weapons line up...in my opinion.



Machine Gun:
The Unique = Formidable pressure weapon at medium and Long, because of accuracy and moderate RoF.
The Balance = Weak up close.

Plasma Gun (My Fav):
The Unique = Consistent damage at all ranges. Shake down / finisher.
The Balance = Need to lead your shots, making it harder to use, than other weapons. Slight Self-Damage (pros could use this to climb walls a bit :-) ).

Shotgun:
The Unique = Devastating at close range. Area control at medium.
The Balance = Weak at Distance

Lighting Gun:
The Unique = Rapid Fire shake down / finisher. Pressure weapon. Good up to "close-medium-ish" range.
The Balance = Runs out of ammo fast. "Static" range up to "close-medium-ish" ONLY.

Rail Gun:
The Unique = Instant Hit, no lag at all, no charging, etc. Huge Burst Damage at any range. Best Accuracy. Perfect distance weapon.
The Balance = Slow RoF.

Rocket:
The Unique: = High Burst Splash Damage at close to medium. Area control as well, and can be achieved at long range with great practice.
The Balance: = Rof better than Rail, but not better than the other weapons. Need to lead shots slightly more than plasma. High Self-Damage.

BFG:
The Unique: = BFG....
The Balance: = BFG???!!!!



Basically, every last one of those weapons in Quake 3 arena are balanced for there respective uses. Each one can destroy well, when mastered. But shine in their respective uses. However, power wise, people generally gravitated to the Rocket / Rail, because of the generally high damage potential. Which means the creative use of the other weapons, to control the areas that spawned the Rocket / Rail / and of course...BFG :D

However, if someone specialized in ANY one of the "lesser" weapons, the game was tuned, so that you could actually “main” it. I found myself really good at the weaker machinegun on open space maps, just because I could pelt dudes, while they were trying to get to the Rail or Rocket. And the Plasma Gun (Descent Skills =p), because my aim was pretty good, allowing me to do the same thing as the Machine Gun, but at medium, and sometimes even long range. And then there was the Lighting Gun, which was beast, because I can be pretty relentless at times (not to pat myself on the back hahah). Lighting was my best "shake down" and "Finisher" gun.

With that said, here are my findings, in relation to this game thus far:

Laser: Feels a bit powerful, compared to the other weapons. Quad mode devastates at pretty much any range when mastered. The ability to switch to Rapid file is awesome! It makes it a bit easier to "shake down" peps, for the finishing blow. Now...if the lasers are to be given an upgrade system later on, I think the RoF should be “slightly” slower, and / or, make the bolts of energy travel “slightly” slower, upon upgrade. But overall, as it stands, lasers feel tuned pretty good as is.

Ion: I just can't use this gun effectively in this state. Needs to be more powerful, or (What I prefer...) faster RoF and fly straighter. However, I see the Tactical use for the delayed explosion. I think it would be better if it had a limit on its distance, instead of having to always make contact with the wall / floor to explode into mini black holes. That would be awesome, and maybe make the explosion effects linger for a little while, and can damage, while the distortion effects, bend the light in mid air! However... I personally would prefer a Rapid Fire, energy suppression gun instead. (Rapid Fire Plasma...opps I mean Energy Gun *wink *wink)

Gatling: I think its too accurate for the current flight mechanics of this game, at least from a "mouser's" perspective. This game does not allow, the pin point snap movements, necessary to really make this gun shine, in my opinion. And this is with my mouse settings at max! Or maybe I just plain old suck at it :lol: Whatever the case, my suggestion is to maybe add a “slight” spread to it? In my opinion, Lasers easily out DPS this gun. And each time I use the Gatling, I get blown up by laser users.

Dispersion (Shotgun): I love it as it. But I think if the grouping was tighter, it could be better used as a shake down gun, rather then simply waiting to surprise people with it. Also, it feels very weird that you cannot reload it manually, and are at the mercy of the game for the reload. I honestly think, adding a reload mechanic to both the Gatling and Shotgun, will add to the fun of this game. And make the sound super load, so people can hear when you initiate the reload, and will come at you! LOL.

Mac: Haven't used it much. But I think its ok. It just can't keep up with the hail of pressure that constant laser fire generates on a pilot. I have defeated many pilots using the Mac, by just getting in their face and unleashing laser. I have won more than I have failed...and I don't think its all in my skill. They would run to try to charge it, come back to try to hit with it, and if they miss, its over....they lost all their health charging it for the "big finish" while being pelted in the process. Maybe make it fire the full charge a bit quicker, and drain energy faster? Or make the less powerful low charge hits do more damage, in an effort to deter a shake down player. But within balance of course. Maybe the aforementioned is an intentional weakness, but I think it makes the Mac not practical in a heated dogfight, with many other players sprouting forth a hail of laser fire, and missiles.

Summary:

Whatever is decided, each weapon should be equally capable to defend with, and BALANCED. But at the same time, retain its own unique play style, so that people will gravitate to it. If its powerful, let it stay powerful, just less effect at RoF or maybe cause Self-Damage. If its weak, let it stay week, but increase RoF and Accuracy. Need to keep a base damage weapon good at everything, but master of none. I feel the lasers in its current state accomplish this. But all the other weapons just don't stick out to me as far as "wanting" to pick it up. I just happen to...

Player's Mind:

I know I need Dispersion for close quarters...I know I need Ion to stop someone from chasing me....I know I'll need Gatling if I intend on keeping the pressure at medium distance...and I know I can depend on my lasers. I will travel the map, and use each weapon accordingly...on may way to the Cerberus missile...on my way to Invul...on my way to Cloak...etc.

I can depend on Dispersion at close...I can depend on Ion at defending...I can depend on Gatling for pressure and distance..but need to be mindful of ammo...And my lasers shall not fail me...as long as I keep eye on energy...and lead my shots.....etc. However, I feel most comfortable with "insert fav gun"... because it fits my style and I can win with it in a Dog Fight.


That's why the weapons have to be unique, as well as balanced!

BUT too much averaging of damages between all of the weapons, in an attempt to balance...takes away from uniqueness, and thus becomes boring. The weapons have to have.. a "Feel" for excelling in a gameplay mechanic, otherwise you would have no reason to use anything but lasers...And this is what I feel when I play this game.

I think the Dev's are on to something spectacular here!!! This game is awesome, even as is! It is simply beautiful, fun and addictive. And with a bit more fine tuning, the weapons will get there! They almost already are in my opinion!

My 2 cents. Didn't really bother with the missiles. They feel just right to me. Only exception is Cerberus, which might be a bit too easy to avoid in opinion. Taking away a bit, from the urgency of securing one quickly, and its respect.

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DuderSeb
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Re: ZcRaider's Weapons Thoughts

Post by DuderSeb » 19 Nov 2015, 18:39

Thank you so much for this write up!
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