Combat balance in 0.15

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Frightning
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Combat balance in 0.15

Post by Frightning » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:10 am

So I've been meaning to write this for a pretty long time now, but I wanted to wait until I had in game experience with at least most weapons systems in the game before doing so. At this point, I've used almost everything at least a little bit, so I think I'm ready to share my thoughts on it all.

First of all, relative to how things were in 0.14 and before, combat balance, on the whole, is MUCH better, so, props to the devs for achieving a marked improvement. That being said, there's still a number of small/medium importance level issues with how things are now that I'd like to get into. First of all, I wish to simply give my impressions of each weapon system and ammunition type.

Pistol: Had it's fire rate reduced from 6 to 4, but it's ammo types have higher base damage to compensate (and it now has access to Uranium ammo much later in the game, though by then it is long obsolete because of the Submachine gun being a direct upgrade). Overall, this means that it is less severely affected by flat physical armor than before (and it's base DPS went from 12 to 20 with the basic Firearm magazine, meaning it also a significant bit stronger than before). Notably, the 2 flat physical resistance of Spawners is no longer strong enough to realistically invalidate the Pistol's effectiveness with the basic Firearm magazine against it, meaning that assaulting a lone spawner or two very early in the game with just the Pistol is now feasible, whereas before, you could deal with the biters, but it could take upwards of 50 Firearm magazines to eventually kill the spawner, which is obviously very inefficient. The Pistol still meet obsolescence very early on when you research Military 1 and gain the ability to make yourself a Submachine gun, which continues to have 250% of the fire rate of the pistol (10 v 4, instead of former 15 v 6), but now also has a range advantage over the pistol as well (18 v 15, was 15 v 15 before). The fact that Uranium ammo exists means that the Pistol can actually still be used effectively even long after the better Submachine gun is available, though there is no real reason to do so.

Submachine gun: Had it's fire rate reduced from 15 to 10, but it's ammo types have higher base damage to compensate and it now has access to the extremely powerful Uranium ammo, which means the weapon now continues to be effective throughout the game (whereas before, it would become increasingly lacking due to high physical resistance and hit points of Big and especially Behemoth biters). It's range was also buffed from 15 to 18, but the same appears to have been done for the Small worm (so it does not offer the ability to attack Small worms from outside their range, same as before). The increased damage per shot from changes to its available ammunition types also increased its base DPS a bit, from 30 to 50 w/ Firearm magazines, and from 75 to 80 with Piercing magazines. Uranium ammo offers an astonishing 240 base DPS, but is much further down the (now larger and longer) tech tree. Firearm magazines are effect against Small biters, Spawners and Small worms without upgrades and with them can become usably effective against Medium biters and worms. The Piercing ammunition magazines are effective without upgrades against Medium biters and worms, and with significant upgrades become usable against Big biters and worms. Uranium ammo is already at least useable against even Behemoth biters and with enough upgrades can even be effective against them despite their massive hit points and physical resistance values.

Armored car - Vehicle machine gun: The car has a vehicle machine gun that is basically a better version of the player's Submachine gun. It still possess the 15 fire rate that the 0.14 and before versions of the Submachine gun had, and continues to have 20 range, which is still better than the Submachine gun's 18 range (was 15 range in 0.14 and before). The car has 450 hit points, but no resistances of at all, so it eventually becomes pretty fragile, but at least before Big biters and worms start to show regularly, it is reasonably durable it's also considerably faster than even Small biters and hence can kite hoards of biters and spitters that are too dangerous to assault directly. It is however out-ranged by Medium and Big worms and hence attack them without facing retribution, and the latter in particular can be quite deadly to the car. It's interaction with ammo types versus biter evolution is very similar to the player's Submachine gun, but with a 50% faster fire rate and hence 50% higher DPS.

Tank - Vehicle machine gun: Identical to the vehicle machine gun on the car except for one vital detail...it possess a +100% damage bonus, which means that it does twice the damage that the Vehicle machine gun on the car (and the player's Submachine gun and Pistol) would do with the same ammunition. This is a significant buff not only to its raw DPS, but even more so to its effective DPS versus enemies with flat physical resistance. I personally feel that this bonus is unnecessary and should be removed, it should perform well enough without it, especially since the Tank also has the Cannon and a Flamethrower to work with as well. At the moment the Flamethrower that it has is practically redundant given how ridiculously effect it's Vehicle machine gun is, thanks to that +100% damage bonus (also, said Flamethrower has a short range of 9 and can't light enemies on fire like the player Flamethrower can). The tank is also quite the sturdy behemoth, with 2000 health and significant resistances to all types of damage it's likely to receive. The tank is also surprisingly good and murdering things just by running them over.

Gun Turret: Continues to have it's 10 fire rate it had before, but no longer has a +100% damage bonus as it did before. Since ammunition damage values were increased, this means that Gun turrets are overall about the same strength they were before, but they now have a 3rd advanced ammo type, Uranium ammo with considerably higher damage per shot, and they possess their own damage upgrade line in addition to benefitting from the bullet damage research, with the two continuing to stack multiplicatively. Also, with the advent of infinite research, both gun turret and bullet damage research can be upgraded indefinitely, which gives Gun turrets unique access to quadratic growth in DPS in endgame. They also received a small range buff to 18 from 17, which means that it's no longer possible for a spitter to find a 'sweet spot' to attack double-wide walls with impunity from defending Gun turrets behind said walls. Gun turrets now have by far the highest DPS of all turrets in the game with Uranium ammo and two infinitely researchable damage upgrades stacking multiplicatively with each other, but they continue to have the lowest range by far and far less health than other types of turrets.

Shotgun: Had it's basic Shotgun shells damage upgraded from 4 per pellet to 5, but otherwise is unchanged from 0.14 days. In comparison to the Submachine gun, It no longer has nearly as much of a DPS advantage during early stages of the game, and hence is no longer a more effective weapon for spawner removal than the Submachine gun (and, as in the past, is an inferior personal defense weapon). As a result, there is currently relatively little to recommend the Shotgun over the Submachine gun, moreover, once Piercing ammunition magazines are available for the Submachine gun, the Shotgun will be thoroughly outclassed until you research Military 4 to unlock Piercing shotgun shells, but by then, Uranium ammo is just about as accessible (requiring it's own research which depends on Military 3 as pre-requisite), which will once again make the Submachine gun a better performer. Of course, Military 3 also unlocks the Combat shotgun which continues to be a direct upgrade to the Shotgun (with the same 2 v 1 fire rate advantage and extra +20% damage bonus over the Shotgun), so the more meaningful comparison by then is Uranium ammunition in Submachine gun versus Piercing shotgun shells in Combat shotgun. The Shotgun does continue to be more cost efficient as a source of raw damage than the Submachine gun, though realistically personal ammunition usage accounts for very little of your overall resource demand (which makes this advantage essentially a moot point).

Combat Shotgun: Requiring Military 3 (which is 123 science) to unlock, the Combat Shotgun is a direct upgrade over the basic Shotgun, with double the fire rate (2 v 1), and an extra +20% damage bonus as well. This makes it obvious superior to the Shotgun, but a more relevant comparison by then is versus the Submachine gun. At Military 3 level, the Submachine gun is still stuck with Piercing ammunition magazines, which have 8 base damage and the Combat shotgun is still stuck with regular Shotgun shells with 5*1.2=6 base damage (because of +20% damage bonus). In this case, the Submachine gun has a bit of an edge against flat physical resistances, but the Combat shotgun has a much higher volume of fire (12 pellets per shot*2 shots per second=24 pellets/s v 10 shots/sec of SMG) and thus base DPS (24*6=144 v 80=8*10). However, once you progress further down the tech tree, Uranium ammo and Piercing shotgun shells arrive at about the same level (both require Military 3 and 123MH science packs, but Uranium ammo costs 1000 versus Military 4 costing 150) at this level, the comparison starts to heavily favor the Submachine gun. The SMG now has 24 base damage, against the 8*1.2=9.6 of the Combat shotgun, though the combat shotgun's volume of fire has also gone up from 12*2=24 to 16*2=32. Despite this, the final base DPS comparison is 240 for SMG to 9.6*32=307.2 for Combat shotgun. This might make it seem like the Combat shotgun is still at an advantage, but this is because we are effectively ignoring the effects of flat physical resistance, which are relatively little on the SMG, but significant for the Combat shotgun. The only things which the Combat shotgun is comparative effective to the SMG at this point are those with almost no physical resistance. So Big and Behemoth biters certainly are much less threatened by Combat shotgun than by the SMG. Moreover, the SMG never misses, but the Combat shotgun can, and at range loses most of its effective DPS because of the spread of it's projectiles, hence yet again the SMG comes out ahead. The point of this analysis is that the Shotgun ammunitions do not, any more, compare well against their bullet counterparts. At the same time, just buffing their damage has the potential to once against invalidate the SMG by comparison because of the much higher volume of fire possessed by the Combat shotgun. There are two possible solutions: first is to lower the fire rate of both Shotguns, the 2nd is to lower the pellet counts of Shotgun shells. A mix of these two approaches could also be used. in order to bring their volume of fire values closer to the SMG (and Pistol) that way you can buff their damage and normalize the effect of flat physical resistance to both types of weapons to a degree (some variance here is OK, and could add to their distinct identities). With such changes, the extra +20% damage bonus on the Combat shotgun may very well because superfluous and could be safely removed from it.

Flamethrower: The Flamethrower has definitely been nerfed a bit since the 0.14 days (and even more so compared to the OPness that was the 0.13 Flamethrower). I think it might be a bit overnerfed now, but not greatly so. Mainly, I found it to really lack effectiveness against spawners and bigger worms. Big worms in particular felt unreasonably hard to kill with the Flamethrower compared to most other things (and, with the 15 range v Big worm's 25, this could prove dangerous or even fatal at 12 science level when you first have access to the Flamethrower). I think lowering the percentage on the Fire resistance for Big worms by a fair bit, and of spawners and medium worms by a smaller amount will make things feel a bit more consistent. It might also be worth experimenting with lowering the player Flamethrower's range (perhaps down to the same 9 range as the Tank's Flamethrower) as this would make hit-and-run tactics more dangerous by requiring the player to get much closer to the nest he/she wishes to burn and thus increasing exposure to worm damage in the process.

Tank - Flamethrower: Largely identical to the player Flamethrower except for two key differences... it only has 9 range, and cannot light enemies on fire. The former of these two seems entirely reasonable to me, and I might even wish to see the player's Flamethrower range lowered to this value. The latter however, was supposedly done to prevent it from making the Vehicle machine gun obsolete, but with Uranium ammo (and the unneeded +100% damage bonus), and nerfs to flamethrower...if anything, it is the tank's flamethrower that feels obsolete compared to the machine gun. I see no reason not to give the Tank flamethrower the ability to start fires like the player's flamethrower. Given how much of the damage output of the Flamethrower is now on the direct part of its damage output, the change likely won't have all the large of an effect on the Tank flamethrower performance.

Rocket launcher: Before 0.15, this weapon felt like a sad joke. Now it's honestly pretty powerful, and feels like it really fills a strategic niche as well (sufficive to say, it feels like the devs have balanced this weapon nicely overall with their changes to it in 0.15). It's long 22 range (66 with Atomic Bombs) means that it's one of the best tools for killing worms at low risk, especially since it only takes a few rockets at most to kill them (which makes their consider cost per shot seem justified). The basic rockets do more damage than the more advanced Explosive rockets, but lack any AoE damage, and hence are, in practice, generally less effective, though in some instances you can save a shot or 2 by using basic Rockets instead of Explosive rockets. Given that the later is higher tech and an upgrade path for the former, this seems pretty fair (also given the cost to upgrade is just 2 Explosives, the 'older' ammo type having more single target damage seems like a reasonable tradeoff for the value of the AoE damage). I do think the damage advantage of the basic Rockets could perhaps be a tad larger over their explosive counterparts, but they feel at least close to 'on the mark' to me. The Atomic bomb is an endgame weapon and really in a class of its own in that regard. Entirely appropriate given its high costs, especially U-235 cost (although with the current state of Kovarex enrichment, that U-235 cost doesn't feel that high). The Rocket launcher is still a poor personal defense weapon, but that is to be expected and a good offset to its strength in destroying biter bases with relative safety from the worms therein. It is easily the best base destroying weapon available to the player from when it is researched until you have either the Tank, Distractor capsules or Uranium ammo available, and continues to be useful even after those techs are acquired (and the Atomic bombs are the ultimate biter base killing weapon).

Tank - Cannon: The tank's cannon feels much better thanks to damage buffs and having it's own upgrade paths (damage, with infinite tech, and limited shooting speed techs) now. The new Uranium cannon shells give a nice late game upgrade to the cannon's baseline performance. The only real issue I have with their current state is that Cannon shells and Uranium cannon shells feel completely outclassed by their Explosive counterparts. They should, imo, have roughly 150% single target damage of their Explosive counterparts, perhaps a bit more in order to feel worth their relatively similar cost (same except 1 Explosives instead of 2).

Land mines: These things got a Massive buff in damage with 0.15 from 40 to 300 explosive damage. In addition, the mines now briefly stun enemies damaged by them. This honestly makes them a pretty potent addition to your base's defenses. Their stack size was also increased from 20 to 100, which makes storing them in quantity much easier. The only real issue with them in my opinion is that placing them is not locked to the tile-grid and there is no indicator for their size of their AoE, so you can't visually judge how close you can place them to your walls/other buildings without damaging them. If these two issues are resolved, I think people will start using Mines a lot more than they do now (they honestly might be OP from a #s perspective; though the logistics involved in using them as a major component of your defense are non-trivial). They also have no damage upgrade path, unlike every other weapon in the game, which imo should be remedied (I would suggest put them on the Grenade damage upgrade path; even if their base damage needs to come down to justify that).

Grenade: the basic Grenade had it's damage buffed from 20 to 35. Also has infinitely repeatable upgrades to its damage now. AoE radius remains 6.5, and range remains 15. These feel pretty good, their lack of range is the most limiting thing, followed by their damage falling off against higher health enemies later in the game (and the danger of the AoE to yourself). That said, they are perhaps the only weapon not requiring oil that can effectively damage Big worms, which makes them sometimes extremely valuable in clearing out problem Big worms on some maps (this problem probably shouldn't exist in the first place, since, imo, Big worms should not appear anywhere near your start area, whether as part of bases there from the start of the game or from expansions precisely because they are almost impervious to most early game weapons). Grenades are also now an ingredient for the new Military science packs, which makes them something players will automate fairly early on (many players like using them to clear forests quickly too since they have a nice AoE radius and with a few upgrade do enough damage to 1-shot trees).

Cluster grenade: Basically a supercharged endgame version regular Grenades, these badboys not only have 5 more range, but the release 7 more explosions around the first one after a short delay, each of which is equivalent to the explosion from a basic Grenade. Really great for clearing bases and hordes of biters/spitters at a distance (mind the AoE radius+cluster scattering). They are quite expensive though, and maybe aren't keeping up in performance with their cost and tech level requirements.

Poison capsule: Still one of the best ways to clear worms, their things have an enormous AoE radius and do 8 poison damage per second for 20 seconds (160 total). Given the increase in worm hit points and general increase in other weapon's damage output, poison capsule damage honestly feels a bit lacking nowadays. This perhaps could be solved by attaching Poison capsule damage to one of the existing upgrade paths (idk, maybe Flamethrower?). An alternative would be to just buff their damage, but they would still face damage obsolescence compared to infinitely upgradable weapons (like Cluster grenades).

Slowdown capsule: As far as I know, these are unchanged for 0.15. They still fill a handy niche: slowing biters (and spitters) so you can more easily kite them and kill them without taking too much damage.

Defender capsule: Defender bots are easier to use now that the early levels of robot follower count provide larger increases to the limit, however, their damage per shot seems to have been forgotten when the damage values for ammunition were adjusted. They used to do 5 per shot and built out of Piercing ammunition, which did 5 per shot at the time. Now Piercing ammunition does 8 per shot, but the Defender bots still only do 5. I think this was a simple oversight, and imo the change would really have a significant effect on their overall usefulness (it will make them perform much better against Medium biters and worms, and with enough upgrades, against Big biters and worms). Affected by the now infinite bullet damage research, so they continue to scale with appropriate endgame research.

Distractor capsule: Unchanged for 0.15, as a result their DPS maybe feels lacking compared to how it did before, but other than that, they're honestly fine. They still have the unique property of not following you and hence not interacting with your robot follower count limit in any way. Damage research is now infinitely repeatable as well.

Destroyer capsule: Also unchanged for 0.15 and likewise might not feel as worth the cost as before, but they still perform well enough, and robot follower count research is now infinite as well, so you can potentially have a very large number of them active at once (limited by throwing rate and duration). Damage research is now infinitely repeatable as well.

Player armors: I find that the longer tech tree has made the pacing on the player armor progression feel better. the basic Light armor is now available from the start instead of requiring a cheap 10 SP1 tech as it did in the past. Power armor and Power armor MK2 feel further away from Modular armor (which feels slightly more accessible than before), and from each other.

Equipment: The available equipment for the player also also has a more stratified progression that feels much nicer, though there is one glaring issue. Which is that the gap between the basic Portable solar panels and the Fusion reactor has been widened substantially. The reason this is a problem is that PSPs provide a very disappointingly small amount of power (they could honestly use at least a modest buff; especially if there is to be no intermediate power tech between them and the Fusion reactor). Their lacking power output isn't a huge problem when you're rocking Modular armor with some MK1 shields, nightvision, and some batteries to store power for them (the shield only draw power when recharging, and the nightvision drains only 10kW and only at night), but once you upgrade to Power armor (MK1) you would presumably like to run with all the nice new modules you can unlock at the same science requirements, such as MK2 shields and batteries, personal roboport (MK1), and exoskeletons, not to mention Personal laser defense and discharge device. Other than the shields and batteries, all of these things are significant more energy intensive than anything you would run in Modular armor. Back prior to 0.15, you had access to the Fusion reactor at this same teach level which can easily keep up, but now, all you got are those pathetic PSPs.... Something needs to change, either buff PSPs so that 16 of them produce almost as much peak power as a Fusion reactor (remember, solar is only on part time, and averages only 70% of peak power over a full day-night cycle) or give us something intermediate (maybe a 2x2 power source at 150kW, always on; perhaps a fission/breeder reactor requiring uranium stuff?) Once you get to Power armor MK2 levels, the Fusion reactor arrives and so does an improved MK2 personal roboport. The endgame armor setups really haven't changed and that's fine.

Speaking of the Personal Laser Defense (PLD) and Discharge device (DD). They both feel a lot better now thanks to the buffs they received. In fact, the PLD feels really strong thanks to having 75 dmg/shot and same shooting speed as Laser turrets (which only have 20 base Laser damage, but are upgradable through laser damage (and shooting speed) research. I feel like the PLD could stand to have it's base damage nerfed a bit, but be included in that upgrade path (both damage and speed paths). DD also has no upgrade path for it's damage (which is Electric, like Destroyer bots, so perhaps it should be a part of that path?)

So....tl;dr for those who don't want to read my wall of text, here's a summary of what I consider to be the main issues with combat as it stands in 0.15:
-Shotguns kind suck now, they need some adjustments to make their effective DPS in realistic gameplay more competitive with SMG particularly against Big and Behemoth biters in late game.
-Flamethrower struggles too much against really high % fire resistance on some enemies.
-Tank vehicle machine gun doesn't need +100% damage bonus (it's OP), it's flamethrower should be able to light things on fire.
-Tank non-explosive cannon shells are UP and should be buffed to about 150% of explosive counterpart's damage to directly hit targets.
-Capsules feel a bit left behind in damage output, and Defender capsule dmg was not adjusted to match new Piercing ammo dmg.
-Landmines need gridlocking and Aoe indicator (QoL stuff).
-PSPs need buff and/or intermediate power solution between them and Fusion for Power armor MK1.
-Uranium ammo might be too good at 24 base damage (but at the very least they should have 16+ base damage, imo).
-Some items don't have upgrade research that imo should: Land mines, Personal laser defense, Discharge defense, Poison capsules.
-Gun turret specific damage research line feels unneeded, and OP since it's infinitely repeatable, given existence of infinitely repeatable bullet damage research.

BlakeMW
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Re: Combat balance in 0.15

Post by BlakeMW » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:33 am

Wow, great post. I don't see anything I disagree with except slowdown capsules being handy - the vehicles can outrun enemies without slowing them and on foot you can just light them up with the flamethrower to make them slow and dead. I just don't see why slowdown capsules need to be in the game at all.

A few other thoughts:

Poison Capsule: I think they are fine as they are, they are exceptionally good on Deathworld as they scale great with enemy count. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing them benefit from upgrades. One possibility would be to replace the Tank Flamethrower with a Chemical Thrower and have them share upgrades. Altough one of the good things about the poison capsule is that you don't need to invest in upgrades to make it good. So I wouldn't mind if they remain as they are.

Shotgun: Add a stun/stagger effect to enemies struck by the pellets, this would make the shotgun more competitive with the flamethrower - which has a speed debuff and sentences anything it touches to death. Maybe also increase the damage per pellet but reduce the pellet count to make them deal with resists better. As it is I feel the Shotgun just can't compete with the SMG and Flamethrower, being basically outclassed by the flamethrower in what it's meant to be good at (blasting away crowds of mobs), and outclassed by the SMG at killing hard targets. Atm the only thing going for the shotgun is cheap ammo, but upgrade costs quickly erode the benefits of cheap ammo, I somehow wouldn't be surprised if in a normal game a player would only spend a tiny fraction on personal weapon ammo compared with what they spend on upgrading the ammo/weapon, meaning for upgradable weapons ammo cost quickly becomes irrelevant.

Tank Cannon: Agree on the piercing shells being sucky. The only reason I'd use them is they don't deal splash damage to the tank, the explosive versions can self-kill the Tank pretty fast in a "knife fight". I really think the piercing power should scale with damage upgrades, because as it has the shells piercing ability becomes increasingly irrelevant as enemy hitpoints become higher and it's not like it's a good weapon to begin with.
It would also be nice if the explosive shells detonate where you aim them instead of continuing on - it might make them even more OP but I figure that being OP is the theme of the personal weapons, so being able to deliver precision explosions would fit the theme.

Portable Solar Panel: I think I'm one of like two players who think they are fine as they are (actually maybe the devs agree...). If you devote about half of a Modular Armor or Power Armor to PSPs then you'll have enough power to run stuff in the other half - basically anything except personal laser (yes, even exo is fine in practise if you aren't running marathons). One thing though is I think they could do with a cost reduction for psychological reasons - the power output / cost as it is is technically fine, there's nothing wrong with spending 50 solar panels to make 10 PSPs in terms of the benefits you get, but clearly many players psychologically don't like having to spend 5 solar panels to make 1 PSP. So reduce the solar panel cost to just 1. Maybe increase the red circuit cost to compensate. In the end it doesn't really matter how much or little they cost because the real cost in using them is the large number of equipment slots so be kind and make them materially dirt cheap or at least look cheap to tempt players into making enough of them to get a meaningful amount of power. (or even crazier make a recipe like 1 Solar Panel + 20 Advanced Circuit -> 4 Portable Solar Panels to make it even more obvious you're meant to use lots of them)

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Re: Combat balance in 0.15

Post by Frightning » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:16 am

That reminds me, I forgot to point out how the behavior of turreted weapons is annoying where the Tank Cannon and Tank Flamethrower are concerned (namely that it doesn't track towards your mouse cursor unless you are actually trying to fire the weapon, and if you do engage the fire button, it will turn to aim in the direction of your mouse, then fire. The result is that you end up with some unexpected delays or missed/wasted shots. The ability to 'ground fire' Explosive cannon shells would be nice (as well as an accurate range indicator; currently turns nearby enemies under reticle green before you are actually in range; this problem isn't isolated to the tank cannon, I think the system overestimated the range/enemy size a bit as well for some reason).

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Re: Combat balance in 0.15

Post by bobucles » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:26 pm

-Tank vehicle machine gun doesn't need +100% damage bonus (it's OP), it's flamethrower should be able to light things on fire.

The +100% was very important before uranium ammo existed, when red ammo was the best and you stood no chance against endgame biters. Uranium ammo is so strong that the extra 100% isn't important anymore. Don't get me wrong! If the tank could autofire its gun turret while I used the cannon then you could put +0% damage on the gun and it'd still be awesome.
-Tank non-explosive cannon shells are UP and should be buffed to about 150% of explosive counterpart's damage to directly hit targets.
Tank shells are pretty good for sniping nests. Their biggest selling point is the piercing power which I think should scale (maybe at half rate?) with upgrades.
-PSPs need buff and/or intermediate power solution between them and Fusion for Power armor MK1.
PSPs generate 1/5th the power per tile compared to fusion (they don't work at night). It would be nice if they were say 50% stronger, but I think a lot of issues surrounding Psolar are due to user error more than anything else.
-Uranium ammo might be too good at 24 base damage (but at the very least they should have 16+ base damage, imo).
24 damage isn't too bad if the tank +100% boost gets cut down. But yeah 16-20 might be more appropriate because WOW for the easy cost of just one uranium it sure is strong.
-Some items don't have upgrade research that imo should: Land mines, Personal laser defense, Discharge defense, Poison capsules.
I've tried discharge defense and it's pretty disappointing, even when you use 3 or 4. Actually more modules only increase the fire rate, which is also annoying because it doesn't autofire like a real weapon or grenade. Maybe discharge should be like personal robos and just get more awesome as you stack them, but I really would like a more convenient way to use suit abilities.
PLDs are pretty great. They scale very well as you upgrade your suits and don't need any more firepower until 95%+ evolution. They should probably get a small bonus from unlimited research.
-Gun turret specific damage research line feels unneeded, and OP since it's infinitely repeatable, given existence of infinitely repeatable bullet damage research.
You need to stack turret research and bullet research to boost red ammo above the high defense of blue biters. Gun turrets have a hard competition against the EZ mode laser turrets and sweet ass flame turrets so I think they need the edge.
Tank turrets should follow the mouse
Yes! please. It's so frustrating to have shots delayed by a second because the turret wasn't there.

Anyway to my personal feedback:

- I think the BIGGEST issue with PSPs is so dumb and simple as them being 1x1 items. A player sees this brand new solar panel and thinks "well I'll try one or two and see how that works". Naturally their suit ends up with no energy and it is awful and useless. If the Psolar was simply a 2x2 recipe then new players would STILL build one or two, but it'd actually be enough energy to make their suit useful.

- 5x5 suit, 7x7suit. The odd dimensions lead to a lot of wasted space. You could argue "that space is for psolar!" buuuut when I see players trying it out for the first time the 1x1 causes more problems than it solves. If Psolar becomes a 2x2, then these suits should be changed as well. A 6x4 modular suit loses one tile, but can fit 6 modules instead of 4. The useful space increases. An 8x6 suit also loses one tile of raw space, but becomes massively buffed. It can fit 12 modules instead of 9, or it can fit twin fusion power instead of 1. Power armor2 can already fit 25 modules, which is so far ahead of everything else that I still prefer to skip armor tiers. This will help smooth the power armor curve from a sharp 4 => +125% => +180% to a smoother 6 => +100% => +110%.

- Nukes. I love them, they're super powerful, but once you get them cranking out of Kovarex then every other weapon kind of becomes obsolete. Fighting on the front lines with PLD tanks and capsule armadas and super powered cannon shells is fun. Putting biters on the edge of your screen and making them disappear is also fun, but the satisfaction isn't the same. It doesn't help that the effort between getting 1 nuke and getting 100 nukes seems so trivial (compared to that HUGE leap from 0 to 1). Please rethink their place and the best way to implement them.

- Autofire module for vehicles. Put it in the armor, jump in the vehicle and let 'er rip. Only one module for the smg would be the best, but variants for the flamer or cannon would also be okay.

- Explosive damage upgrades. Nukes don't need it and shouldn't have it; this upgrade belongs to classic rockets. If I really wanted a nuke upgrade I'd want it to be BIGGER (while firing from the safety of my bunker 10 miles away), the damage already flattens everything in the game. Tank explosive damage actually becomes dangerous because the friendly fire will eat up your tank and there's no way to mitigate it. Please look into some kind of solution for blowing up my tank with hiex ammo. The IRL answer is to put on safety fuses so the ammo doesn't pop until it reaches a safe distance, but a game-y solution like reducing the self damage would also work.

- Perhaps a hotkey to cycle through ammo types? It's great that high ex cannons and piercing cannons each have their own place. Switching between them isn't so great.

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Re: Combat balance in 0.15

Post by Frightning » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:01 am

"You need to stack turret research and bullet research to boost red ammo above the high defense of blue biters. Gun turrets have a hard competition against the EZ mode laser turrets and sweet ass flame turrets so I think they need the edge."
You don't now because Uranium ammo exists. In the past, you're absolutely right, the double research lines was exactly what kept Gun turrets with Piercing ammunition usable through endgame. But now that Uranium ammo is so awesome, there really isn't a need for it, without having even done Bullet damage 6 yet, my SMG already does 24+19.2=43.2 dmg per shot, without Gun turret upgrades my Gun turrets would do the same, 21 times per second (with current Bullet shooting speed research, which is 5 levels done), that's already about 900 dps per turret with high enough dmg per shot to not lose too much to physical resistances.

BlakeMW
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Re: Combat balance in 0.15

Post by BlakeMW » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:28 am

I don't mind that turret damage exists, because it helps keep up with the biter resists especially on harder settings (i.e. like Deathworld, where good luck getting uranium ammo before bigs evolve). But there's no real need for turret damage to be infinite research.

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