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NAC: Weaponry

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:55 am
by PacifyerGrey
This thread is a part of series which I call "New Age Combat (NAC)" and I want to post them all hoping that 0.16 will be a patch dedicated to reworking combat and endgame.

I will differentiate 3 major types of weaponry: handheld, close range turrets and artillery.

1. Handheld.
Currently there is a huge imbalance regarding handheld weapons. The way I see it:
a. Bullet weaponry progress: Pistol - SMG - LMG. This weapon's selling point is that it always hits target making use of automatic [Space button] firing from a medium range. This weapon allows you to keep enemies at a distance and keep yourself safe while engaging a small to medium number of enemies.
b. Shotgun progress: Shotgun - Combat shotgun. A really destructive in close range it puts yourself in danger of close range combat however the dps you give out is much higher. This weapon should really have high impact like oneshot a biter at close range. In its current state early game shotgun is absolutely useless. Also there is mostly no sense as common shotgun should have 2 shots and reload and combat shotgun should have 12 and consume much more ammo which is not the case.
c. Flamethrower. IMO has too much range currently. Should be close range AOE damage.
d. Rocket launcher. Should be really long range, low rate of fire but extreme damage per hit with a moderate AOE effect. Used to snipe stationary targets like nests or worms from a safe range.

2. Close range turrets.
I am trying to give every turret a unique role to prevent spamming a single turret type.
a. Machine gun turret. Has a high rate of fire, medium range, low damage per hit. Its main goal is to kill or finish single targets. Prioritizes smaller targets.
b. Laser turret (shifted much later in the game). Low rate of fire, high range, high damage. Prioritizes big targets. Can be overrun by a big number of smaller targets.
c. Flamethrower turret. Medium range, medium damage AOE turret which ignites enemies.
d. Electric discharge turret (lategame). Medium range low rate of fire AOE turret which acts like a templar in StarCraft.

3. Artillery.
Artillery cannons can not automaticly target biters as they are too slow for that. They can attack biter nests and worms. They need a decent time to aim at their target.
Artillery as a new weapon class is designed to keep biters from nesting near your base. If biters are kept far then they will have much less overall agression on your perimeter.
a. Cannon artillery turret. Extreme range, extremely low rate of fire. The damage is compared to a current tank cannon do it 2-3 shots a biter nest. Requires cannon shells which tank currently uses.
b. Rocket artillery turret. Higher range compared to cannon and also a decent sized explosion. Requires rockets to fire.
c. Ion Cannon. Super late game satellite which can fire ion bursts from orbit. It is already implemented in Ion Cannon mod.

Re: NAC: Weaponry

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:08 pm
by Deadly-Bagel
Rockets are pathetic at the moment. The way I see it they need to be able to one-shot a spawner and any directly nearby, explosive rockets do so with greater AoE. Should outrange big worms. To make them relevant early, I'd recommend they start at extremely high damage and then the rocket damage research is replaced with rocket range and AoE. The high cost per rocket makes up for their power. Also if you try to shoot anything near you, you die so I don't see why firing speed would need to be modified, biters are fast and replaced even faster, and they'll attack you the moment the first rocket lands.

For the shotgun I'd recommend two ammo types, pellet spread which it has now, and a slug. Slugs would be extremely effective at killing big and behemoth biters, perhaps with a high armour piercing component, while pellets are used to mop up.

SMG ammo needs tweaking, even with the addition of a LMG you'd need 30x the attack speed to have any effect later game. I think armour piercing rounds should actually be armour piercing, ignoring half of the target's armour. This would keep it relevant late as a high-accuracy weapon for cleaning up or defending your base with minimal damage, but without making it too strong early. It also would give a pretty good damage boost to turrets so you have more incentive to deal with the ammo logistics and mix them with your lasers.

I see where you're going with the flamethrower but the mechanics don't work that way, as far as I've seen it only affects biters where the flames land. Any flames passing through biters have no effect. This behaviour would need to be changed if it's becoming a close range weapon. The way I see it once other weapons are brought in to line it will be fairly balanced.

To encourage carrying multiple types of weapons I suggested having spawner resistances tweaked to heavily resist laser and physical damage, but be very weak to fire and explosive. We have grenades early in the game for clearing out nests before oil.

Never played StarCraft so have no idea what that templar is but sounds interesting. Prioritising is a good idea and means the strategy of surrounding outposts with laser towers remains viable, as they're already supplied with power but you'd need to set up an ammo supply. However I'm not sure how much deviance there is late game, isn't everything mostly big with the occasional behemoth? It might be a better idea to have laser towers prioritise spitters, while gun towers prioritise biters. With armour piercing ammo they would be better equipped to deal with them, while lasers have the range to pick off spitters before they can destroy towers. Resistances could be tweaked to exacerbate the advantages of prioritising, so my pure-laser strategy has more tradeoffs.

Actually I'd quite like to see a laser turret that does damage to everything in a line with a slow rate of fire, but converting the current laser towers would completely remove the all-laser strategy viability.

Long range artillery should be pretty endgame stuff. Maybe it starts with a range of 300 and can be increased infinitely by research along with accuracy. You want a small advantage for driving the tank out than just using the cannon so having every other shot miss is a good place to start, perhaps mostly at the edge of its range. Of course attacking a spawner would trigger an attack on your base so it's not a complete defence.

But would you want this option AND combat robots you can send out on "missions"? There are always mods if you want to add more options to the game, and you need to consider developer time.

Re: NAC: Weaponry

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:43 pm
by PacifyerGrey
Actually most of changes in this thread do not require too much developer time. It is more balancing than developing. Artillery however requires new models, yes. But it seams to me that it is really missing from the game and I have seen quite a lot of requests to add it.

Re: NAC: Weaponry

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:10 pm
by Deadly-Bagel
But it's not just a case of adding stuff, they need to ensure it's balanced and does exactly what they want it to. We don't want to be adding another Combat Shotgun to the game do we? The actual work to do this stuff is relatively simple, the calculations, consideration and testing is not.

I agree something more is required to help deal with the biters endgame but I would be happy with any one of good vehicle modules, artillery, or robot patrols.

Re: NAC: Weaponry

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:50 pm
by ssilk
Added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=14640 New Weapons / New Defenses & Armor / Combat / Turrets

I would like you to search before making repeating suggestions of already suggested stuff. :)