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The strive for achieving the "perfect weapon balance"

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    The strive for achieving the "perfect weapon balance"

    A lot of threads about weapon balance seem to start from the premise that every weapon should be equally powerful. As a result, stats showing that some weapons score more kills on average than others, are seen as a proof that the weapon balance needs fixing. However I strongly disagree with the idea that weapon balance means equally powerful weapons. If all the weapons would be equal, what's the point of even having weapon pickups? We could just spawn with all the weapons and use the one we happen to prefer.

    As I see it, the weapon balance in a classic arena shooter is about every weapon having some sort of purpose or role. The weapon you spawn with is weak so you need to find another one. Some other weapons are mediocre, but easier to find as they are away from the most contested areas of the map. Lastly we have a few "premium" weapons that are very strong but harder to get as a lot of people will flock around their spawn sites and also the ammo might be limited or harder to find. These guns are very powerful, but all of them have a weakness as well so you can't just use a single premium gun for every situation. Sniper/railgun should be very powerful in the open areas and at long distances, but easily gets countered in a close combat fight. Rockets are the king of close combat and tight corridors, but not so good when fighting on level/open spaces or against an opponent who has the higher ground than you. And then 1-2 more speciality weapons that are strong. In Quake it used to be shaft, which dominates on medium distance and against opponents on higher ground. In UT stinger and pulse share that function. UT also has Flak, which destroys at point blank and can shot behind corners and to some extent shock which is a nice jack of all trades but always loses if you fight against the strengths of the premium weapons.

    The effectiveness of weapons depends on map to map and basically every map has it's own meta of weapons, but still the premium weapons prevail. This has to be kept in mind when designing maps, so that going for the premium weapon pickups is risky, while the secondary weapons are easier to get. Some weapons need to be more sought after than others in every map, just like powerups are. It's easier to find the pads, but getting the belt has both a bigger risk and bigger reward. Timed weapon spawns and limited supply of ammo will ensure that everyone can't be running around with the best gun(s) all the time.

    I'm seeing so many threads about nerfing every other gun in the game. In my opinion that's the wrong way to go, and it will just end up making every gun lame and underpowered. In the perfect world, a lot of the guns would feel OP, because they can do some serious damage, but still every gun has a counter for it, at least in certain situations. If we keep nerfing everything, we end up with every weapon sucking equally as much. And what is the fun in that? Also, if you make every weapon totally equal, you remove a massive amount of strategy from the game.

    Just my 0.02$. And sorry for starting another thread, but I didn't want hijack any threads for this :P.

    #2
    Agree on most points you make there. I think when people say guns should be equally powerful, they mean that they should be powerful in the situation they were designed for.

    I also agree with putting a stop to the nerfing. I approve of the Blizzard way of doing things - "If everything is OP, nothing is OP." This was the most apparent when they nerfed the flak cannon's fire rate. It felt so clunky to use that I just avoided it entirely. Balanced or not, it wasn't fun anymore to wait an eternity for it to reload and the punish for missing was huge.

    A lot of these fire rate nerfs (flak, sniper, rox, shock...) slow down the game's pacing as well. Sure, base movement speed could be a bit faster as well, but what's really hammering down the overall pacing is the fire rate of the weapons.
    Last edited by InVader; 05-11-2016, 03:33 PM.
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      #3
      Originally posted by InVader View Post
      Agree on most points you make there. I think when people say guns should be equally powerful, they mean that they should be powerful in the situation they were designed for.

      I also agree with putting a stop to the nerfing. I approve of the Blizzard way of doing things - "If everything is OP, nothing is OP." This was the most apparent when they nerfed the flak cannon's fire rate. It felt so clunky to use that I just avoided it entirely. Balanced or not, it wasn't fun anymore to wait an eternity for it to reload and the punish for missing was huge.

      A lot of these fire rate nerfs (flak, sniper, rox, shock...) slow down the game's pacing as well. Sure, base movement speed could be a bit faster as well, but what's really hammering down the overall pacing is the fire rate of the weapons.
      Would rather have damage nerfs than fire-rate nerfs tbh, high damage just makes fights very short, if one person hits the lucky flak/rocket it's often instantly over. Fire-rate nerfs make the game feel slower and more clunky, like you said, along with the slow switch times.
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        #4
        Originally posted by Archer6621 View Post
        Would rather have damage nerfs than fire-rate nerfs tbh, high damage just makes fights very short, if one person hits the lucky flak/rocket it's often instantly over. Fire-rate nerfs make the game feel slower and more clunky, like you said, along with the slow switch times.
        I'd say that argument doesn't really hold with the flak, because the secondary has terribly small hitbox and AOE too. The primary's damage is fine I think. You should be punished for letting someone close with a flak.

        As for rockets, the only real problem is the pre-loading of the 3-pack, which is again easily solvable by converting it into a swarm-missile system like I suggested on another thread (loaded rockets split into tiny rockets doing less damage). I want to keep the 100+ damage for basic rockets, simply it feels so rewarding when you land the tasty direct hit rockets To make it harder to deal damage with it, I'd also suggest removing the 20dmg minimum on the AOE. Right now even at the far edge of the explosion you receive a guaranteed 20dmg.

        Having rockets at 100 dmg also encourages picking up items - 1 heal vial and you survive a direct hit!
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          #5
          Rate and damage are both essentially the same tweak: DPS. The only difference is with higher (burst) damages, one can still one shot targets with relative ease rewarding timing, where as lower damage and higher rates rewards consistent aim, almost exclusively.

          Velocity is primarily what determines how hard it is to hit with something. Either high damage, or high rate weapons (see UT flak, and UT Pulse respectively) won't necessarily insure low TTK if they are reasonably dodged. Lower velocity projectiles is what creates the margin for defensive movement. Not just erratic moment to become a less predictable target, but actually, actively dodging incoming fire.

          The weapons don't need to be "perfectly balanced," but one of the original draws of UT was the potential lethality of even the lower tier weapons, conjoined with the skill needed to make them lethal. Now, everything just feels like it's point, click, boom. Damage and frags are easy, so armor wins.
          Originally posted by Mysterial
          An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

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