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Modding => Released Mods => The X-Com Files => Topic started by: Slaughter on January 14, 2017, 09:09:58 am

Title: Early gun balance
Post by: Slaughter on January 14, 2017, 09:09:58 am
Thread made to help Solarius with gun balance, althrough so far it seems good.

I'm going to use spoilers not to spoil people. I'm almost finishing November 1997 - more like Nightmare November.

Glock: The very definition of "pop gun". Makes one appreciate the starting pistol in X-COM. The main advantage is that this is your first "burst" gun - well its more of a double tap. Good for cultist killing at close range.

.45 Pistol: Didn't like it very much, don't remember making much or any killing with it. I think its the aim shot cap that kills it. Once I got the Magnum, I never looked back even through the .45 shoots faster.

Beretta: Good little gun. Hits reliably, shoots fasts, decent-ish power. The Magnum is the "Sniper Rifle" of pistols, the Beretta is more like a very precise assault rifle. I used to use it in a Beretta/Tazer combo, and later on a Beretta/Uzi or Beretta/Small Shotgun combo. Starts to show obsolesce when you fight zombies.

Small Shotgun: At first sight it sucks at distance combat. But when zombies and other creatures starting getting on your face, you will realize its true role is a close-quarters combat weapon. I obsoleted it after I got the normal shotgun, but started using it again once I realized its a fantastic anti-zombie weapon. It can be used one-handed no prob. I use it as a side-arm for a lot of soldiers in zombie infestation missions.

Pump-Action: Will get obsolete fast, but does ok in early cultist missions. When I got a better one, discarded this entirely.

Magnum: A Divine Weapon. With it, a agent can finally hit reliably with stopping power. Closest thing to a sniper rifle you can get for a while. Until you get the Hunting Rifle and then the Nitro Express, keep using this on your most accurate agent.

Shotgun: Good weapon, decently precise, sadly not fast enough to be shot thrice. Great vs zombies.

Uzi: Good if the enemy gets point blank and lacks armor, otherwise I found it too imprecise. Obsoleted by the MP5.

Hunting Rifle: Light, precise, decently powerful. Became my sniper weapon. Nice snap shot.

HKMP5: So, this is a mini-rifle. Decent-ish accurate, burst has crap precision but I never had opportunity to use it in close-range. Good. It made Uzi and Beretta obsolete for me. Needs more testing, I want to see it vs zombies or werewolves.

Nitro Express Rifle: Used it in a few missions so far. Great gun! Cultists in my experience usually get one-shotted, werewolves survive it barely. Sadly had no chance to test on Yeti.

Guns I didn't use (yet): Flare Gun (seems like a crapshot), Minebea (I researched it just after MP5. Seems obsolete, but that x6 round burst seems to rock in CQC), AK47 (researched, got a few in storage but not enough bullets).

Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on January 14, 2017, 01:07:04 pm
Thanks for the feedback! For now I'll withhold comments, maybe there will be more. ;)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: ajnunezr on January 14, 2017, 07:09:12 pm
I´m almost in December, and have to say that the Magnun is a life saver. I´m playing in Veteran. For the Strange Life form missions, guns are total crap, but I think this is really ok. I use Hunting Rifles + Shotguns. But it gets tricky to capture animals alive. I have been very lucky though, normally I get a bleeding one alive in the last turn. In the cultist activity missions, guns rules, normally I have a fast firing one (Glock, low damage, but against unarmoured folks rules, or to give the final blow) and the Magnun or if I´m in close combat, the small shotgun. I don´t see very useful the Pump action shotgun. Will test now the normal Shotgun, but the small one have a place in my squad hearth XD.

Oh, and BTW, I spam in a cultist mission just in the side of a house, total carnage, luckily I happen to have a grenade I got from another mission. Only one agent live to tell the story.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: ohartenstein23 on January 17, 2017, 03:17:39 pm
My thoughts on the early firearms:
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 19, 2017, 12:08:56 am
Just started a new game, so haven't used that many guns yet.

When I was thinking about aimed shot performance, I noticed that the glock outperforms pretty much everything, including early rifles.
The glock has aimrange 30, which makes it way better than the other pistols at range. The other pistols have 20 and the mp5 has 25. Also the glock (and pistols in general) shoot very fast in aimed mode.
I think about long range performance, and because of these two things (aimrange, fast shooting) the glock is superior to the early rifles. The glock can do 4-5 aimed shots per round, at about 40-50% actual accuracy. That means roughly 2 hits per round. Rifles do 1 shot per round, and not at 100% accuracy.
The missions I played so far seldom had me shooting at things farther than 30 tiles distance, where the glock still has full accuracy. So right now I'm thinking: why the hell would I bring hunting rifles when I got glocks?

And while I was thinking about that, I also thought: Why would a pistol fire faster aimed shots than a rifle? Or an SMG? SMG is probably the right comparison.

My suggestion would be to have aimed shot speed of pistols in the same range as SMG's, which is 2 shots per round. And of course the aimrange of the glock needs to be lowered. Something lower than the 25 of the mp5 seems appropriate.

Alright, now I need to playtest that.

(Oh, and great mod Solarius, I'm having lots of fun playing it!)

Edit: now that i upgraded to 0.6.1, I see the glock has aimrange 20 which makes half of my post moot.
Edit2: looked again. The glock has two aim range entries, one for 30 and one for 20. Game uses the 30 value.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Dr.Crowley on March 19, 2017, 09:56:16 am
As far as I remember I used Glock, Colt and Beretta when I started the game. But later I dropped all pistols in a favor to HKMP5 (the best gun for the first 2 years - for Beginner Difficulty at least). As for Small Shotgun - yep, it was nice CQC weapon for the beginning but it becomes obsolete when you get Pump-Action Shotgun at least (or Shotgun). Dunno about hunting rifle and most SMGs - haven't used 'em at all. Anyway all of this becomes outmatched by BlackOps weapons. Well, except Arasaka - surprisingly nice rifle btw. Thank god the first enemy I got Arasaka from couldn't use properly :D

Sometimes I wonder if my "the harder it hits, the better it is" philosophy is actually adequate 8) I prefer to hit hard from afar, that's why aimed shot accuracy is critical for me. But sometimes even my rookie medic can hit the enemy with BlackOps SMG snap shot FROM ANOTHER CORNER OF MAP so I dunno.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 19, 2017, 12:50:48 pm
"The harder it hits, the better" is the best strategy for agent safety, because if your one bullet or auto-burst can down the enemy, they can't shoot back :-)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 19, 2017, 01:37:39 pm
The glock has aimrange 30

Yep, as you discovered yourself (good job!), it was a bug. It had aimRange defined twice, once as 30, once as 20.

And while I was thinking about that, I also thought: Why would a pistol fire faster aimed shots than a rifle? Or an SMG? SMG is probably the right comparison.

Well... It's a design decision. The smaller the weapon, the faster it is to aim.

I guess you could argue otherwise, but I don't think it's inherently wrong.

My suggestion would be to have aimed shot speed of pistols in the same range as SMG's, which is 2 shots per round.

But they're much less accurate, compared to SMGs (as long as the SMGs have an Aimed Shot in the first place).

And no, not making them shoot so slow... That would kill their concept. :P Besides, I just can't see the reason behind it.

(Oh, and great mod Solarius, I'm having lots of fun playing it!)

Thanks!
It'll get even better when I remove all these bugs. :P

Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 20, 2017, 02:21:17 am
Of course everything is a design decision. And I have no problem with that with alien or futuristic weapons. It's just for guns that are well known, I have a certain expectation of what they can and cannot do, and if things are different it bugs me.

This feeling is also influenced by other games I'm playing. Right now I play also DayZ and this game has supposedly quite accurate gun representations (I've never fired a gun in my life so no idea if that is correct). There SMG's are basically pistols with some addons to make autofire more controllable. And historically this is how SMG's developed. See for example:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Arty08.jpg)

This is a Luger that can do full auto. It has a lengthened barrel, an optional drum magazin and attachable shoulder stock. To actually make the full auto mode usable. But it can also be used as a normal pistol.

With that in mind, an SMG is basically a pistol with autofire. If you don't use autofire but do aimed shots at distant targets, there would be not much difference between the two. Maybe the SMG is a bit easier to aim if it has better sights. Performance at range is mostly determined by the bullet. Since an SMG by definition is an atomatic gun that fires pistol bullets, the performance at range is roughly the same.
So when I think for example about the difference between the glock 18 and the mp5 (both use 9 mm), I would expect that their snap and aimed fire is similar, with equal speeds but the mp5 a bit more accurate. The difference is mainly the autofire capabilities.

I have a vague picture in my head that is under development how I would balance all the guns. Let's see if I can satisfy my critical self ;-). Once it's finished and I have playtested it enough, I will post the results. Then you can decide if you want to try it or not and decide if you like it or not.
In the meantime, don't mind my ranting about gun balance Solarius. You can focus on creating content.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: mumble on March 20, 2017, 05:52:05 am
I think a big part is the general obtuseness of the weapon : pistols, smgs, melee weapons, ect, are very ergonomic, small, light, and easy to point and fire, and these factors are abstracted into this : TU's is an approximation of what a person can do for an entire turn : running, opening doors, turning, grabbing things, moving equipment, ect, and pistols and SMGS handle better. Because of this, its not so much "a pistols fire rate" compared to "a rifles fire rate" but rather how easy it would be to fire a weapon, particularly in the middle of other tasks. Aiming a pistol and firing, while running around, opening doors, ect, is a LOT faster than aiming with a rifle while doing it, due to the fact you only need a 1 hand grip, its lighter, shorter, ect, thus, lower TU's

....Granted, it would be nice to get a separate stat to say, dictate the fire rate of different guns seperate from just "how much TU's", enabling factors such as having "true automatics" have a better ability to spit more rounds than a pistol per round, being able to move and fire without either one taking TU's away from other tasks.. (as well as making akimbo guns a pheasable technique) But this is a tall task, and kinda off topic.

TL;DR : TU cost isn't just about fire rate, its about how the gun handles too.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Dr.Crowley on March 20, 2017, 06:25:06 am
I have a vague picture in my head that is under development how I would balance all the guns. Let's see if I can satisfy my critical self ;-). Once it's finished and I have playtested it enough, I will post the results. Then you can decide if you want to try it or not and decide if you like it or not.
In the meantime, don't mind my ranting about gun balance Solarius. You can focus on creating content.
By the way we have Juku121's still unused thread for various ideas to test.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 20, 2017, 10:54:51 am
Yes, Mumble's post is spot on: it's not about fire rate, it's about what you can do with a given item. Pistols are quick to use, for instance.

Of course it's fairly abstract, but such is reality of turn-based games.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 24, 2017, 01:57:36 am
A (rough) method to compare weapons is to calculate accuracy*damage*#shots/Tu%

For the Beretta snap this number is 0,7*23/0,16 = 100
For the MP5 snap 0,6*25/0,24 = 62
For the MP5 auto 0,5*25*3/0,32 = 117

So you should only pick the MP5 over the Beretta when you can use autoshot. Otherwise the Beretta is *a lot* better. The increased snapshot range of the MP5 can't close the gap.

It's hard to get a feel for weapon effectiveness just by playing normally, as with the 0-200% damage range weapon output has a *really* high variance.
This "damage per tu" number did not mean that much in vanilla when most things died in 1-2 shots. In xCom Files most things can take more hits, so this number actually means something. Damage output is especially important on monster hunts.

I did a spreadsheet calculating this number for various weapons. Pistols have the highest snapshot effectiveness by far. As most combat in xCom files is at ranges where snapshot is useful (at least I play this way), I would conclude that pistols are a bit too powerful.

I was experimenting with giving pistols accuracy dropoff 3, but somehow it is not working. Crossbow has dropoff 3, which is working fine. Using the same line for a pistol changes nothing. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Juku121 on March 24, 2017, 05:14:49 pm
By the way we have Juku121's still unused thread for various ideas to test.

Well, if you want to see a first approximation of what an effort like that would look like, just download the now depreciated version and see. I am in the process of updating it to 0.6, but the essence is there. As far as gun balance goes, it's pretty complex and my unpublished WIP version is perhaps twice as complex now. I'll probably make a release at some point, but it's more so that Solarius and other modders can take my resources.

If I've learned anything, such rebalancing is largely an individual thing and your best bet is to make a minor 'rebalance' submod of the current XCF iteration and see if it generates any interest. But a dedicated thread for new game mechanics is a good idea. Maybe my thread is not necessarily the best place for that, but I'm not against it either.

...I would conclude that pistols are a bit too powerful.

Remember that pistols and other low-damage weapons also suffer the worst from armor, so it evens out somewhat.

Personally, I think you're right, but it's rather because of how long-ranged pistols are. I think aimed shots outrange machine gun fire (not 100% sure how this actually translates to gameplay, since I've never played a 'vanilla' game of XCF).

I was experimenting with giving pistols accuracy dropoff 3, but somehow it is not working. Crossbow has dropoff 3, which is working fine. Using the same line for a pistol changes nothing. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Are you sure you've also set all the relevant ranges (aimRange, snapRange, autoRange)?
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 24, 2017, 06:22:55 pm
Most pistols have aimRange 20, good ones 25... Really, saying they are more accurate than machine guns is just making a fool of oneself, and not even worth discussing.

Sure, in some situations pistols are better. In X-Com reality, more often than in many other combat environments. So? Otherwise pistols wouldn't be in the mod. And if someone really thinks they are better than rifles, what's stopping you from using only pistols? Certainly not me. But I don't really think it's a wise idea.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Juku121 on March 24, 2017, 08:42:17 pm
Most pistols have aimRange 20, good ones 25... Really, saying they are more accurate than machine guns is just making a fool of oneself, and not even worth discussing.

If I'm making such blatantly foolish claims, it's surely easy to refute them and tell me e.g. the exact range at which an LMG matches or exceeds the aimed fire from a M1911 in terms of accuracy. Come on, inquiring minds want to know!

AimRange is not the beginning and end of accuracy calculations.

Otherwise, I agree that pistols have their uses and pitfalls, and sometimes it's good to promote gameplay over excessive realism. Pistols in battlefield situations is certainly an iconic example and as long as they inflict less damage, they already have a handicap that's really easy to ignore in DPS calculations.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 25, 2017, 12:43:23 pm
You need to clarify if you are talking about accuracy or efficiency. Rifles are more accurate at long rang, that is true. But if a rifle can do one shot at 80% accuracy, while a pistol can do four shots at 60% accuracy in the same time, the pistol is still the better weapon at range.

"Long range" is also not exactly defined. Is it 30 tiles? Or 40 tiles? Or something else?
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 25, 2017, 12:55:24 pm
Well, if it's not aimRange, then I honestly have no idea what the problem is.

I don't even know who advocates what any more... Clearly everyone has their own model of what weapons should be like. That's fine, but 1) I also have one, 2) I don't get what some of you don't like about it (apart from pistols possibly having too fast aimed shots).
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Juku121 on March 25, 2017, 01:23:10 pm
It's about effective accuracy, i.e. the final numbers you see ingame (which aren't entirely... accurate ;) , but that's not the issue here).

To be clear, I'm not pushing for any concrete changes. I just find some of the current accuracy values rather baffling. But I've not played using them, so this is largely theorycrafting, anyway.

I think the other posters' issue is that pistols can provide almost machine-gun-level volume of fire at quite practical ranges, which are probably in the 20-40 range.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 25, 2017, 08:43:20 pm
Ah, yeah, pistols fire fast. I agree it can get close to machine guns. But it's way less effective because of many reasons, so I think it's an accurate representation, more or less.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 25, 2017, 09:40:10 pm
I will post specific suggestions for better balance once I playtested them.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: khade on March 25, 2017, 10:15:28 pm
Pistols are generally limited by their ammo, though I recall there is at least one machine pistol in this mod, which do have a decent amount of ammo.  Those could possibly have more limited range in general, they look unwieldy to me, at least.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 26, 2017, 05:44:48 am
Allright, here is my take on balancing the early guns. Item file attached, so you can give it a try.
I used Accuracy*damage/Tu as a benchmark.

Pistols:
Generally, all pistols have dropoff 3. Keeps their effectiveness at range low.
Overall a reduction in efficency of about 25%. All accuracies above 50 reduced by 5. Cost slightly more tu to fire. At snap range, Glock & Beretta about as good as MP5.

SMG:
Generally have autofire range 11. I felt they needed that. Autofire is what SMG are for.
Snap accuracy increased by 5 for weaker guns. Snap efficiency of SMG now comparable to pistols of same caliber.
Minebea rework: similar efficiency like glock, but slightly better. A direct replacement of the glock. Increased accuracy, but two handed. Only 10% penalty for 1 handed use. It looks like it is two handed, so the change is like it having a 10% bonus for using it with two hands.

Precision rifles:
Hunting rifle and bolt action have snap range 20. Snapshot speed of hunting rifle same as bolt action. I figuered a hunting rifle would be a bolt action, so thats why same speed. Efficiency at range unchanged though, because of snaprange increase.
Nitro express: aimrange 25. It's not a sniper rifle. Now sniper rifles are not compleately obsoleted by that thing.
QBU-88: fires slightly faster so that you can do aimed + snap + a bit turning in one round.
SKS: snaprange 18.


Example for weapon selection: Glock vs. Hunting rifle
Range below 25 glock is better, for longer range Hunting rifle.

Hunting rifle vs. bolt action:
Hunting rifle for low accuracy agents, bolt action for high accuracy agents.

Colt .45 vs Uzi/Rak/Minebea:
SMG is better at range below ~14 tiles. Above that Colt is better. Minebea then again better at range above 25.

I have just changed a few weapons so far. I first wanted to change the ones I have encountered in game, so I can playtest.

List of weapons that I have changed so far:
Glock
Beretta
Colt
Magnum
Makarov
Tokarev
Snubnose
Light Pistol
Enfield Revolver
Minebea
Skorpion
Uzi
Rak
Sten
Hunting Rifle
Bolt action
SKS
QBU-88
Nitro Express
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 26, 2017, 11:20:48 am
Thanks, I'll sit down and analyse it ASAP.

One thing that worries me is dropoff 3 on pistols. Sure, it's coherent, but remember the AI is using the same weapons, and pistols need to remain a threat.  The AI is not very bright, so I'm not sure it'd work out.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 26, 2017, 02:14:45 pm
I tried to consider enemy weapons. The weaker guns that only the enemy uses got less of a debuff than the top guns that you would use. Attached is the spreadsheet I used, so you have an easier time analysing.

Yes, pistol wielding enemies are less of a threat at long range. If you keep your distance, you can reduce their danger. If you have rifles, you can use that to your advantage and fight at long range.

You also have to consider that now a rifle wielding enemy is more of a threat to you (depending on your range). I think that is a good thing.

I guess it comes down to playtesting. If enemys can't hit shit, you can always increase their accuracy stat.


Edit: some explanation to the spreadsheet.
Damge is grouped as raw, per tu and per round. XCom rounds down, so Per tu is to see how much this rounding changes. Per round is useful to compare performance of aimed shot.
The shortrange bonus variable I used to simulate that you hit more the closer you are. For example at point blank nearly all shots hit. Put a negative value, and you can simulate dropoff by range.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 26, 2017, 05:56:10 pm
Thanks.

For now I:
- Nerfed the Nitro Express by giving it aimRange: 33.
- Gave autoRange: 11 to all baseline SMGs. It was an error from the very beginning.

Currently thinking about adding dropoff to pistols, but it's a pile of problems, as I'd have to do the same for SMGs.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on March 26, 2017, 06:10:05 pm
I thought about the dropoff 3 for SMG too. They don't need it, because they have generally lower accuracy. Dropoff is absolute, not a multiplier.

A pistol with accuracy 60 looses 30 points from dropoff and is at 30, so it got it's accuracy halved.
A SMG with accuracy 40 looses the same 30 points from dropoff, but is now at 10. So the SMG looses way more.

A dropoff of 3 for high accuracy pistols, while leaving it at 2 for SMG makes this comparison more fair.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: mumble on March 30, 2017, 05:43:40 am
I'm kinda worried that the black ops pistol is the mediore pick of the line : The rifle, assault rifle, sniper, auto sniper, shotgun, caws, and smg all are great, especially compared to their counterparts, but the black ops pistol has less damage than say, a colt 45, or some of the other bigger, non magnum pistols. Infact it only has 1 damage more than the SMG, while the smg has a much better DPS, capacity, and handles reasonably well.

I think maybe raising the power of the pistol up to 28 might be reasonable, to reflect the power its supposed to have, and make it more of an upgrade to pretty much all pistols (as blackops is supposed to be) since I feel like the smg is more worth having as a side weapon almost entirely
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on March 30, 2017, 06:26:44 pm
I think maybe raising the power of the pistol up to 28 might be reasonable, to reflect the power its supposed to have, and make it more of an upgrade to pretty much all pistols (as blackops is supposed to be) since I feel like the smg is more worth having as a side weapon almost entirely

I had similar ideas, but was hesitating because of vanilla... Maybe it'd be a good idea, since now we have a wide selection of pistols.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on April 06, 2017, 07:28:30 pm
So Solarius, do you plan any further changes to balance?
I've did some more ruleset digging and found some examples that demonstrate the current state of things:

Pistol vs Rifle, example 1
QBU-88: snapshot - 63% acc, 30% tu, 29 dmg, snaprange 20
.45 Colt: aimed shot - 80% acc, 32% tu, 30 dmg, aimrange 20
The point of the QBU-88 is the fast and accurate snapshot capability. But on closer look, the aimed shot of the .45 colt does something very similar, but a lot more accurate. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Pistol vs Rifle, example 2
Famas: snapshot - 60% acc, 20% tu, 26 dmg, snaprange 15
Snubnose pistol: snapshot - 60% acc, 20% tu, 26 dmg, snaprange 15
The Famas has the exact same snapshot as the Snubnose. Does that make sense?


Now we can argue if pistols are way too strong or rifles way too weak. Solarius, what do you consider "standard" guns that you use to balance the others against? What is your standard pistol, your standard assault rifle, standard sniper rifle?
If I want to come up with some values that you approve, I would like to know what your idea for balance is. Like which gun should be worse than that gun, which gun should be an upgrade.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 06, 2017, 09:04:02 pm
Thanks Eddie, much appreciated.

Unfortunately I can't respond right away, since it's a complex question. I'll try to consider it over the weekend.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: wsmithjr on April 06, 2017, 09:21:35 pm
Obviously, you would have your own ideas on what you're trying to achieve.  That said, just looking at those stats, the first thing I thought was that the pistol range was very high in relation to a rifle.  Perhaps greatly lowering the pistol range would help define the role of the weapons.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 06, 2017, 09:25:06 pm
Yes, but pistol ranges were already limited. I don't want to get into Gettysburg iconography, where charge distance greatly exceeds pistol range. :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on April 07, 2017, 03:48:34 am
It is indeed a comlex question. That is why I would start with defining a "standard" gun for each cathegory (pistol, sniper/precision rifle, assault rifle, smg, shotgun). Then balance these towards each other. Then compare weapons of the same cathegory and see what should be better or worse than the "standard".

The range question can be approached in several ways. For example, assault rifles could have a higher snap range than pistols. Sniper rifles already have snaprange 20 (good idea that). Then there is the option to give pistols (and maybe smg) a higher dropoff. A third option is to use damage dropoff (works like accuracy dropoff). The nice thing of damage dropoff is that it is not modified by the user. The accuracy dropoff is a bit tricky as a balance tool, because the higher the accuracy of the shooter, the less of a penalty it is. This is best observed in shotguns, where good shooters can use them at quite long ranges.
The problem with damage dropoff is that the AI does not account for it. But then, the AI also happily fires shotguns at long ranges instead of getting closer.

Some example: AK vs AKu
The AKu is the short variant, better suited for close quarter combat. Right now the AKu has a higher snap range than the AK. I would do it the other way around. Give the AKu a shorter snap range, that fires slightly faster and slightly more accurate (it's already like that). The AK has the longer snap range (say, 20), that is long enough that at greater distance it is equal or better than the AKu snap. That would also solve the problem that the AKu can do two aimed shots, while the AK can only do one. The two aimed shots of the AKu make it the better ranged weapon in my opinion (unless you want to shoot across the whole map).
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: mumble on April 08, 2017, 02:13:49 am
heh, as much as I agree to some of the changes for the AK, its going to make the red dawn all the more terrifying : They are already really nasty early on.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 08, 2017, 01:52:35 pm
finally found the time to respond!

Pistol vs Rifle, example 1
QBU-88: snapshot - 63% acc, 30% tu, 29 dmg, snaprange 20
.45 Colt: aimed shot - 80% acc, 32% tu, 30 dmg, aimrange 20
The point of the QBU-88 is the fast and accurate snapshot capability. But on closer look, the aimed shot of the .45 colt does something very similar, but a lot more accurate. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Except no reactions from Colt, at least not on this level, which is a complete game changer.
Also obviously QBU has its aimed shot on top of it.

Pistol vs Rifle, example 2
Famas: snapshot - 60% acc, 20% tu, 26 dmg, snaprange 15
Snubnose pistol: snapshot - 60% acc, 20% tu, 26 dmg, snaprange 15
The Famas has the exact same snapshot as the Snubnose. Does that make sense?

I don't think it doesn't make sense, or violates any principle. FAMAS just has good snapshots.

Solarius, what do you consider "standard" guns that you use to balance the others against? What is your standard pistol, your standard assault rifle, standard sniper rifle?

None. I do not think like this. There is no standard X. Sorry, can't answer this question. Weapons aren't tiered, they are different on many levels.

The range question can be approached in several ways. For example, assault rifles could have a higher snap range than pistols. Sniper rifles already have snaprange 20 (good idea that). Then there is the option to give pistols (and maybe smg) a higher dropoff. A third option is to use damage dropoff (works like accuracy dropoff). The nice thing of damage dropoff is that it is not modified by the user. The accuracy dropoff is a bit tricky as a balance tool, because the higher the accuracy of the shooter, the less of a penalty it is. This is best observed in shotguns, where good shooters can use them at quite long ranges.

OK, but TBH I still don't know what the purposu should be. Is it that pistols are better than rifles, or at least too good? Well if so, I disagree, end of story. :P

Some example: AK vs AKu
The AKu is the short variant, better suited for close quarter combat. Right now the AKu has a higher snap range than the AK. I would do it the other way around. Give the AKu a shorter snap range, that fires slightly faster and slightly more accurate (it's already like that). The AK has the longer snap range (say, 20), that is long enough that at greater distance it is equal or better than the AKu snap. That would also solve the problem that the AKu can do two aimed shots, while the AK can only do one. The two aimed shots of the AKu make it the better ranged weapon in my opinion (unless you want to shoot across the whole map).

Of course it's better, because it's a higher tier weapon. Also, it is better suited for the kind of combat X-Com does. Remember it's not a wargame, it's a skirmish game, which gives the pistols their role. If it was a wargame, pistols would indeed be sort of useless (due to bigger maps, more troops, bigger vision ranges etc.), but it is not.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on April 08, 2017, 09:44:01 pm
Remember it's not a wargame, it's a skirmish game, which gives the pistols their role. If it was a wargame, pistols would indeed be sort of useless (due to bigger maps, more troops, bigger vision ranges etc.), but it is not.

- Agent: "What's with these assault rifles you got us? Is that a joke? I'll stick to my pistol."  Feels kinda weird...

I would rather have it like: "Well folks, we've managed to get these british SMGs they used in WWII. They ain't state of the art, but they still pack more punch than your pistols."

- Pistols are civilian weapons. Full auto weapons are restricted to police and military. There is a reason for that.
 
- XCOM is special forces. Special forces use mostly carbine versions of the standard assault rifle. Or SMGs to avoid overpenetration. I would like to give my agents what feels natural.

- XCOM gets tanks eventually. And RPGs and machine guns. Are you sure this ain't a war game? I mean, the events of UFO: Enemy Unknown are called the first alien war...

- Gameguide: Starting pistols. Mix in shotguns when needed. Then get magnum and nitro express. Forget the other guns, they take up more space and are less effective. Wasted research, like vanilla heavy laser.

What makes the xFiles idea fun for me is the equipment scavenging of an underfunded organization. If your starting equipment is so good that 90% of what you can find/research in the early game is the equivalent of the vanilla heavy laser... I would call that wasted potential.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: bluberd on April 08, 2017, 09:45:10 pm
"Weapons aren't tiered, they are different on many levels."

"Of course it's better, because it's a higher tier weapon."

Also, it is better suited for the kind of combat X-Com does. Remember it's not a wargame, it's a skirmish game, which gives the pistols their role. If it was a wargame, pistols would indeed be sort of useless (due to bigger maps, more troops, bigger vision ranges etc.), but it is not.

Hi Solarius, so are there any tiers or no? Because in the same post you write there are no tiers and 2 lines below there are...
I'm not an expert on firearms, no part of my professional training focused on those, but in RL pistols are crap.
Seriously, if you want to hit something above 20m meters, you need to be good at shooting. Anything around 50m is a roulette.
Moving target makes it way harder since you need to make sure you are moving your arm along with the target and not just your wrist.
Shoulder weapons at 50m are easy, even with minimal training you can hit the target size of a body.
Pistols have 2 advantages - they are small and easy to hide (and comfortable to carry) and you can shoot them with one hand. That is it. They are not faster to shoot and accuracy is just a fraction of what you get with a shoulder weapon. And body armour? Pistols are useless even more with those.
There is a reason you never see SWAT/FBI FRT with pistols in their hands. They always have short AR, SMG or shotguns. When you know you might be actually shooting, you never rely on pistol. Pistols are crappy at shooting, they are good at carrying around and hiding. Even standard FBI agents have a qualification in shoulder weapon. Every single patrol car in US has a shoulder weapon in the trunk or on the dashboard (shotgun or M4).
As for XCOM operations - well, only about <5% of my deployments went without shooting - seriously, only those troubled farmers are the ones you do not shoot. Maybe there are missions, where you need to be covert (like mansions in Piratez) and the pistols would make great sense in there. For CQB SMG's are as good as pistols, but easier to aim and have more power (higher velocity due to longer barrel).
If you just want to make pistols cool and worth of using it's ok with me, but it has nothing to do with RL.
PS: Happy birthday Solarius :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 09, 2017, 01:58:14 pm
- Agent: "What's with these assault rifles you got us? Is that a joke? I'll stick to my pistol."  Feels kinda weird...

I would rather have it like: "Well folks, we've managed to get these british SMGs they used in WWII. They ain't state of the art, but they still pack more punch than your pistols."

If you want to play like that, go ahead. But I consider it masochism. Pistos are good in very early game, but rifles are still way better in most situations - except in CQC (whre shotguns and SMGs are best).

- Pistols are civilian weapons. Full auto weapons are restricted to police and military. There is a reason for that.

... Yeah, I know? It's in the mod? :P

Pistols have good DPS against unarmoured targets on short to medium distance. That's basically their only main advantage. If you say it's all you need, well, I have no reason to doubt you, but I can't help but think you haven't played that much beyond initial cults and such. And even against them long barrels are very useful.
 
- XCOM is special forces. Special forces use mostly carbine versions of the standard assault rifle. Or SMGs to avoid overpenetration. I would like to give my agents what feels natural.

Which is why these weapons are so prevalent in XCF (also shotguns). But this is not the only tactical niche, and focusing solely on them is IMO a very bad idea.

- XCOM gets tanks eventually. And RPGs and machine guns. Are you sure this ain't a war game? I mean, the events of UFO: Enemy Unknown are called the first alien war...

Of course it's a skirmish game. Warhammer 40000 is also a skirmish game, despite featuring heavy weapons, walkers and goddamn tanks. This is not a war game, because it is still from simulating an actual battle. Compare it with Epic, where you consider groups of tanks as the smallest unit to move around - now that's closer. Or in terms of computer games, Steel Panthers at the very least.

Even Necromunda has rocket launchers and such, and it's a game about street gangs shooting each other. XCF is a bit bigger, but it's still the same category.

- Gameguide: Starting pistols. Mix in shotguns when needed. Then get magnum and nitro express. Forget the other guns, they take up more space and are less effective. Wasted research, like vanilla heavy laser.

I really don't want to be hostile or anything, but all I can think of saying is: I'd like to see that. Like, literally sitting down with some popcorn and watching you winning with pistols and the Nitro Express. (Which is great for killing civilians, but not real soldiers, especially augmented ones.)

What makes the xFiles idea fun for me is the equipment scavenging of an underfunded organization. If your starting equipment is so good that 90% of what you can find/research in the early game is the equivalent of the vanilla heavy laser... I would call that wasted potential.

I call it lunacy. Or, more likely, little experience with the game beyond initial stage.

Hi Solarius, so are there any tiers or no? Because in the same post you write there are no tiers and 2 lines below there are...

I should have known this would require a footnote.
What I meant was that there are no +0 weapons, +1 weapons and so on... But also you don't think a plama pistol and a six shooter are the same tier, right? Geez.

I'm not an expert on firearms, no part of my professional training focused on those, but in RL pistols are crap.
Seriously, if you want to hit something above 20m meters, you need to be good at shooting. Anything around 50m is a roulette.

How far is 1 tile in X-Com? 2 metres, from the looks of it? Or maybe we should think more abstract and assume 10 metres? But then it would mean that a soldier could cover incredibly long distances within a turn. So it can't be too far. Therefore yes, pistols have poor range, but often it's good enough.

Moving target makes it way harder since you need to make sure you are moving your arm along with the target and not just your wrist.
Shoulder weapons at 50m are easy, even with minimal training you can hit the target size of a body.
Pistols have 2 advantages - they are small and easy to hide (and comfortable to carry) and you can shoot them with one hand. That is it. They are not faster to shoot and accuracy is just a fraction of what you get with a shoulder weapon. And body armour? Pistols are useless even more with those.
There is a reason you never see SWAT/FBI FRT with pistols in their hands. They always have short AR, SMG or shotguns. When you know you might be actually shooting, you never rely on pistol. Pistols are crappy at shooting, they are good at carrying around and hiding. Even standard FBI agents have a qualification in shoulder weapon. Every single patrol car in US has a shoulder weapon in the trunk or on the dashboard (shotgun or M4).

I agree with most of these points, except the not using pistols by security agencies - the exception being the US in the latest years, when the arming up skyrocketed so much that any police station must have a tank, and therefore a special agent needs at least a tactical nuke. But it's not a real tactical issue, since any normal, practical agents from around the world still use pistols most of the time.

As for XCOM operations - well, only about <5% of my deployments went without shooting - seriously, only those troubled farmers are the ones you do not shoot. Maybe there are missions, where you need to be covert (like mansions in Piratez) and the pistols would make great sense in there. For CQB SMG's are as good as pistols, but easier to aim and have more power (higher velocity due to longer barrel).

Thank you for supporting the idea that pistols aren't the only, or even best, option. ;)

If you just want to make pistols cool and worth of using it's ok with me, but it has nothing to do with RL.

That much is debatable. And I do no agree.

PS: Happy birthday Solarius :)

But- but my birthday is a month from now... :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on April 10, 2017, 12:14:11 am
I have indeed not gotten past the first cult stage. I will heed your advice and play some more.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: The Think Tank on April 19, 2017, 10:46:51 pm

I would rather have it like: "Well folks, we've managed to get these british SMGs they used in WWII. They ain't state of the art, but they still pack more punch than your pistols."

And indeed it does in game, with the exception of single shots and fire control, which is something that pistols do indeed have an advantage in real life.

- XCOM gets tanks eventually. And RPGs and machine guns. Are you sure this ain't a war game? I mean, the events of UFO: Enemy Unknown are called the first alien war...
All sorts of organizations get access to these weapons, yes, including agents. Generally the stereotype of their stylized suits and small pistols is only relevant for inconspicuous operations, when you start to have an identified, credible threat, you are not going to solely be using small arms anymore.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Eddie on April 22, 2017, 06:54:16 pm
One more suggestion for pistol balance.
We talked about dropoff 3 for pistols, but you didn't like that because what about SMGs?
Answer: any one handed weapon gets dropoff 3, two handed gets dropoff 2. The SMGs you want to exclude from dropoff 3, make them two handed. The small shotgun is also two handed.

Also: kneel bonus.
Piratez has reduced kneel bonus for pistols (10% vs regular 15%). Why not have that as well? (for any one handed weapon)

Most of my gripe with pistol balance comes from the strong starting pistols (glock, beretta, colt). Make just them slightly less accurate, slightly slower to fire, and already you have more appreciation for the guns you unlock with research.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 22, 2017, 10:56:07 pm
One more suggestion for pistol balance.
We talked about dropoff 3 for pistols, but you didn't like that because what about SMGs?
Answer: any one handed weapon gets dropoff 3, two handed gets dropoff 2. The SMGs you want to exclude from dropoff 3, make them two handed. The small shotgun is also two handed.

It makes sense. I'll seriously consider it.

Also: kneel bonus.
Piratez has reduced kneel bonus for pistols (10% vs regular 15%). Why not have that as well? (for any one handed weapon)

Yeah, I intend to do so.

Most of my gripe with pistol balance comes from the strong starting pistols (glock, beretta, colt). Make just them slightly less accurate, slightly slower to fire, and already you have more appreciation for the guns you unlock with research.

OK, the system evolves, the struggle continues. :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: HelmetHair on April 27, 2017, 06:18:27 am

I agree with most of these points, except the not using pistols by security agencies - the exception being the US in the latest years, when the arming up skyrocketed so much that any police station must have a tank, and therefore a special agent needs at least a tactical nuke. But it's not a real tactical issue, since any normal, practical agents from around the world still use pistols most of the time.


Wrong, your European is showing. :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 27, 2017, 12:45:16 pm
Wrong, your European is showing. :)

wat
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Martin on May 04, 2017, 10:49:05 pm
Wrong, your European is showing. :)

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/05/economist-explains-22

But I suspect we don’t have as many Swat teams merely because my country’s military industrial complex consists of truck manufacturer, cheap pistol/sporting rifle factory and used military hardware mafia, so they don’t have much pull in the goverment.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on September 22, 2017, 10:43:20 pm
I'm a bit late to the thread but here's my one cent:

All the guns are a little overwhelming early on. I see use for having a nice lineup, and the saving grace was availability: there were only a few to choose from at first so I could compare them with each other. It seemed really silly to me to research basic firearms, so instead I would have liked it better if the UFOPedia shows only the very small selection you start with plus maybe a small number of more advanced weapons to give you some sneak peeks, then your UFOPedia just automatically fills out as you stumble across more weapons, if that's possible. Generic gun stats should be available to the public, I don't see why these agents can't immediately identify the gun and collect info on its specs.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: niculinux on September 22, 2017, 10:49:18 pm
I agree: researching weapons to make them avaiable  does not make sense, would be nice instead to unlock these by researching proper topics like "non standard weapons" topic.

But on the other hand it is vital for gameplay to encourage player to engage enemies hoping to recober better weaponry so in the end it may be fone as it is, provised that the unlocking by research is morr realistic. ☺
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on September 23, 2017, 02:24:30 am
then your UFOPedia just automatically fills out as you stumble across more weapons, if that's possible.

No, that's completely impossible, and I don't think it's even doable without serious code rewriting. That's why it works as it does.

Generic gun stats should be available to the public, I don't see why these agents can't immediately identify the gun and collect info on its specs.

Nobody said otherwise.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: ohartenstein23 on September 23, 2017, 04:20:04 am
Agents are busy with other things, that's the researchers' work to spend a day collecting the info and turning it into the pedia format for you :)
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: AsukaLangleyfag on April 22, 2018, 02:28:04 am
A little bit of gun-nut stuff here:
why is 9x19 guns are so underpowered? because if they all use 9x19, they should have the same damage value, even the hk mp5 (it's 25 damage makes literally any other 9x19 gun worthless). And 9x18 is actually worse in any way (lighter bullet, lower energy), even russian switched to the 9x19.
next, BlackOps SMG listed to use 5.8mm while it's clearly an MP7 that uses 4.6x30
next, mosin and bolt action rifle are both 30 damage, while they are clearly 7.62x54R (at least mosin is, because bolt action rifle is probably something british .303 or .30-06 Springfield) and that is a real rifle round like 7.62 Nato, that is also used in PKM, while for some reason SKS, Groza, AKSU-74 (why 74, they have AKM with folded stock (AKMS) that also uses 7.62x39 unlike AKSU-74 that fits because AKM is modernized version of AK-47) and AK-47 have the same damage value, while 7.62x39 is a much less powerful cartridge (it's an intermidiate one, so it's intended). Nato guns have magical 10% armor penetration while the real 5.56 nato is less powerful compared to the 7.62x39 and even 7.62x54R with 7.62 NATO. Same with SVD as it uses 7.62x54R.
as for groza, current description is so bullshit (also the fact that it's AIMS BETTER is not really accurate, it was found to have harder aim, but it should have better aim/less time units in auto due of balance created by bull-pup scheme and the later can be the same with all bull-pup weapons) i think you should start it with "this AKS-74U-based weapon", because it's not really an AK replacement (also it's a variant of OTs-12 Tiss), it's a gun for Spetsnaz, in 7.62x39 configuration.
As for nato guns, they kinda look weirdly balanced (m16 has the best aimed accuracy while having only aperture while it should have the best auto (x3) bursts (that's what stoner wanted it to be, really), FAMAS has the same timeunits for bursts as other rifles while having better handling due of being a bull-pup and having a higher rate of fire and also the same thing as with m16, it has aperture sights), same thing about aperture sights and optics could be said about rifles as well. Also older rifles should have less accuracy on aim due of them not having more advanced optics and the og optics are probably gone bad too due of age.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: HumanTraitor on April 22, 2018, 11:57:20 am
Honestly, Solarius had to do compromises to balance these guns, seeing that 100% realism is not necessary when most of the early guns will be thrown away and forgotten and soon as you get access to Black Ops stuff and beyond.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on April 22, 2018, 05:09:38 pm
Human Traitor is right, but this is not everything.

"why is 9x19 guns are so underpowered?" - Why are Kalashnikovs shit in every American game? :P

"BlackOps SMG listed to use 5.8mm while it's clearly an MP7" - it's not an MP7 (whatever that is).

"mosin and bolt action rifle are both 30 damage" - check again. You clearly don't know the mechanics. Check again the INFO section.

"while for some reason SKS, Groza, AKSU-74 (why 74, they have AKM with folded stock (AKMS) that also uses 7.62x39 unlike AKSU-74 that fits because AKM is modernized version of AK-47) and AK-47 have the same damage value, while 7.62x39 is a much less powerful cartridge (it's an intermidiate one, so it's intended). Nato guns have magical 10% armor penetration while the real 5.56 nato is less powerful compared to the 7.62x39 and even 7.62x54R with 7.62 NATO. Same with SVD as it uses 7.62x54R." - These are never clear cut in games, but I ran it against many qualified nitpickers and the consensus was it was good enough. Also remember that many weapon types have a broad range of ammo types, so I had to pick something that worked well.

"as for groza, current description is so bullshit (also the fact that it's AIMS BETTER is not really accurate, it was found to have harder aim, but it should have better aim/less time units in auto due of balance created by bull-pup scheme and the later can be the same with all bull-pup weapons) i think you should start it with "this AKS-74U-based weapon", because it's not really an AK replacement (also it's a variant of OTs-12 Tiss), it's a gun for Spetsnaz, in 7.62x39 configuration." - I based it on Groza in ACM Mod (for UFO Aftershock). Sorry but I trust Okim more.

"As for nato guns, they kinda look weirdly balanced (m16 has the best aimed accuracy while having only aperture while it should have the best auto (x3) bursts (that's what stoner wanted it to be, really), FAMAS has the same timeunits for bursts as other rifles while having better handling due of being a bull-pup and having a higher rate of fire and also the same thing as with m16, it has aperture sights), same thing about aperture sights and optics could be said about rifles as well. Also older rifles should have less accuracy on aim due of them not having more advanced optics and the og optics are probably gone bad too due of age." - I've heard bazillion of opinions, often radically different, so I stopped giving a shit.

The truth is, I don't know much about real life weapons (or care), so my ambitions here are limited to not be blatantly stupid. Which works fairly well by now.

Also, gotta say, putting this in a bug thread was pretty cheeky...
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: mumble on June 28, 2018, 12:11:12 am
I do think the blackops rifle accuracy could be higher than 80 : not a single rifle, except possibly a few obscure nato rifles, have such low aimed shot accuracy (80).

Magnums, hunting rifles, and most other rifles are at LEAST 90 aimed, and blackops is supposed to the pinnacle of engineering, yet its accuracy isn't any better than an MP5?.... Something around 90 or 95 would make sense, would still have a miss chance (even 120 can miss especially with low skill).

I understand its a more compact, and less built for accuracy, but its still a rifle, and in skilled hands, should hit on point.

I'd even be ok with 95 accuracy and a 20 tile drop off, but currently it feels like more of a heavy SMG than a rifle, but, currently its performance just doesn't match the oh so "prestigious" blackops name..
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on June 28, 2018, 11:06:07 am
I have already buffed snap accuracy on the BlackOps Rifle for the next release, so don't worry.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on June 28, 2018, 11:26:31 am
then your UFOPedia just automatically fills out as you stumble across more weapons, if that's possible.
No, that's completely impossible, and I don't think it's even doable without serious code rewriting. That's why it works as it does.
I was doing some modding and I toyed with a solution that I am liking so far: you can hide multiple items away from the UFOPedia, purchase, sell, and manufacture lists by wrapping them together into one research project. But if it's a thing you shouldn't have to "research", you can disguise it by calling it "operative work" and give it a small cost, basically indicating that the work performed by the scientists on the job is more logistical than inventive. As an example, in my upcoming mod there is a research project called 'Soldier Screening', and there is a UFOPedia entry (in my new section titled Research Project Information) which you can read before researching it, that indicates what you get from it and why the job must be done to get this access. In terms of gameplay, the player can opt to leave it in the research list to prevent purchase list bloat in the number of types of soldiers they can hire, and the UFOPedia entry is non-intrusive but serves to help the player commander decide if it is worth allocating scientists to unlock.


As a working example for what you could do in X-Com Files:
Every gun recovered can be researched instantly: you can allocate one scientist to have it done that night, or you can sell the guns to get them off your research list. Alternatively, there could be an innocuous-looking item hiding way down at the bottom of the purchase list which you can buy for very cheap, which can be researched to unlock access to all of the guns--for those commanders who do not wish to wait for them to appear in missions. This item could be described in a UFOPedia entry in that section that gives introductions to the commander.

I wish to credit some mod authors for inspiring me to come up with these ideas: Robin, Dioxine, Solarius Scorch, and possibly others


A little bit of gun-nut stuff here:
why is 9x19 guns are so underpowered? because if they all use 9x19, they should have the same damage value,
Bullet striking power is a factor of bullet mass, powder mass, and barrel length (in addition to trajectory factors which do not vary by much between guns). You should know this, gun nut.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: mumble on June 29, 2018, 06:08:46 am
Its not snap shot, its aimed shot : aimed shot is pitiful in all but the hands of the elite.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: The Reaver of Darkness on June 29, 2018, 09:32:42 am
Its not snap shot, its aimed shot : aimed shot is pitiful in all but the hands of the elite.
Are you using it with UFOExtender Accuracy? I noticed that most of the weapons had a very small difference in accuracy between snap and aimed shots. The purpose of this is to make snap shots pretty accurate at close range, while aimed shots primarily shine at long range. If you don't use UFOExtender Accuracy, then the aimed shots are pretty underpowered.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Sarissofoi on August 03, 2018, 05:10:06 am
Hello Guys
I am new here so please don't be too rough with me. I just started playing with this great mod and have a tons of fun.
But things were bothering me:
-mostly pistols being really really great compared to anything else early.
OK. I admit that my only game is on veteran and I just reached Promotion II after stalling game as long as I can so maybe I am playing it wrong but pistols - especially Colt but Beretta/Glock also are really great  not only on close distance but are much better on mid/long that most off the submachine guns and rifles. To be honest I was using Colt mainly and then replaced it with Socom pistol. Its very efficient at shooting and hitting anything at close and mid range(and mid range is really good).
I switched to MP5 but its worse and to Groza but its not really better outside of auto. MP5 is actually worse at distance.
I was tried some other guns but outside of amazing Mosin and Nitro most early rifles suck(they have low damage and can barely hit something at longer range).
I was wondering why?
So I checked items_XCOMFILES.rul. Your mod also have this amazing option to check weapons stats for nerds in ufopedia.
It looks like most(if not all) pistols have only aimRange. Other guns usually get aim/snap/autoRange if they have it. Shotguns also get dropoff stat. Some rifles or sniper rifles do not have aimRange or snapRange. So I am not a specialist in modding or anything and maybe its handled somewhere else but doesn't that mean that if there is no Range stat for a weapon that its Range=infinite? Or at last equal to Aim?
That would explain why pistols are so accurate and better at hitting things. Not only because you can shoot it more often and their base accuracy is great but also because their snapRange is equall to aimRange or infinite?

I am talking about efficiency of the snap shots mainly.

Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: ohartenstein23 on August 03, 2018, 05:54:00 am
Hi and welcome to the forums Sarissofoi! While it's great that you r first instinct was to dive deeper for information, you were missing a crucial bit of information on these values in the rulesets; each of these values, aimRange, snapRange, an autoRange, has a default value hard-coded into the engine. Actually every possible thing you can write in the ruleset has a default value, but until recently with Stats for Nerds you'd only know these defaults if you read the source code. In Stats for Nerds, there's a 'Default' button that will show you all of these values that are usually hidden because the ruleset didn't change them.  For example, if the ruleset doesn't change it, snapRange is 15; most of the rifles/SMGs you saw that changed this in ruleset were actually an increase in effective snap shot range. Aimed shot range is usually assumed to be 'infinite,' but really this just has to be larger than any map in the game. The default for aimRange is 200, so the pistols are limited in their maximum effective range compared to most rifles with an aimed shot. Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: legionof1 on August 03, 2018, 06:02:11 am
If something is not listed in the info screen that means its the vanilla defaults. For example default auto is 7 and snap is 15, falloff is 2 per tile. You can see these defaults by pressing the default button on the info screen

MP5 actually has better then average auto and snap at 11 and 18. So longer effective range in all fire modes, only slightly less accurate snap then most pistols, and 24 rounds to a clip. Downsides less punch per bullet and slower snap then pistols. Not bad for an SMG.

Groza on the other hand is a full rifle so it should be better at longer range. The MP5 has it beat for snap and auto accuracy and speed. Smg vs full rifle so nothing out of place here.

Yeah there are some standout early rifles, mostly for stopping power(nitro), or accuracy in untrained hands(Mosin and .308). Downside is low volume of fire so each low roll on dmg or missed shot is felt that much more when you only fire once a turn. Pick your poison.

Edit:bugger half ninjaed
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Sarissofoi on August 03, 2018, 06:23:04 am
Thanks for fast reply and for answering my questions. I was modding some minor stuff on my own but it was old ago and well I was never really proficient at it.
I checked my soldiers stats and two my most killer soldiers with 50+ kills have 40+ with colt and socom but two other best soldiers have similar stats but with mp5 and groza. So maybe its just a personal bias.
Thanks again for info.
Cheers
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: legionof1 on August 03, 2018, 12:51:50 pm
Yeah stats like those are fairly common, crappy agents(like the starting roster) do far better with semi accurate high volume of fire then anything else, cause Firing skill only grows if you hit something. if your accuracy is shit more chances are more important then what the hits actually do. Pistols excel at volume of fire without being utterly inaccurate like a minigun.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Sarissofoi on August 03, 2018, 06:23:33 pm
I would say that the difference in ranges are rather small but difference in rates of fire and accuracy enormous. Especially that early rifles barely offer anything that hit harder than pistols.
But that is fine.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: khade on August 04, 2018, 10:02:42 am
Rifles are the workhorse of militaries everywhere, but at the start your guys barely qualify as police.  They're allowed handguns and cheap weak shotguns because Murica! (X-files is set in the US of A and we seem to be going for that vibe) But police don't generally have access to rifles or bigger guns.  Ideally they should have Kevlar and smoke bombs or flashbangs at the start, but nobody thinks they're actually necessary or useful, and everything useful is delayed.

Given that we're going for an X-files/police procedural style in the early game, I think it makes sense that the handgun is king for so long. 

Maybe this isn't the place to suggest this, but what about early missions where you have to find some item or evidence and get it back to the point of extraction before a certain turn passes, everything not on a green tile is lost, enemy reinforcements are inbound and you don't have the manpower or the mandate to do more.  Thought of that due to the police procedural sentence.  Alternately, if we ever get the ability to have reinforcements actually show up, a secure the location and defend against enemies coming at turn 15 or whatever could be fun.  Still not the place for suggesting it, but whatever.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on August 04, 2018, 12:59:01 pm
Rifles are the workhorse of militaries everywhere, but at the start your guys barely qualify as police.  They're allowed handguns and cheap weak shotguns because Murica! (X-files is set in the US of A and we seem to be going for that vibe)

Definitely not the US of A, as attested by many US users who just can't understand why you can't have tanks and machine guns from the beginning when a backwater US police station can. But gameplay has its privileges.
Remember that you are still kinda MiBs, despite your extremely restricted procedures at game start. Getting shotguns is way harder than in the US, but also easier than it would be for regular police. It's a compromise between various countries and playstyles.

But police don't generally have access to rifles or bigger guns.  Ideally they should have Kevlar and smoke bombs or flashbangs at the start, but nobody thinks they're actually necessary or useful, and everything useful is delayed.

Yes, smoke grenades are too useful to be available early on. And flashbangs can't be represent well enough.

Maybe this isn't the place to suggest this, but what about early missions where you have to find some item or evidence and get it back to the point of extraction before a certain turn passes, everything not on a green tile is lost, enemy reinforcements are inbound and you don't have the manpower or the mandate to do more.  Thought of that due to the police procedural sentence.  Alternately, if we ever get the ability to have reinforcements actually show up, a secure the location and defend against enemies coming at turn 15 or whatever could be fun.  Still not the place for suggesting it, but whatever.

I'm not against such ideas, but I'll wait for the reinforcement feature.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Bobwolf on August 06, 2018, 05:44:04 am
The more I play this mod the more I enjoy it. I always felt that in the OG, you were getting new stuff too fast. In this mod, the lack of really strong gun (at least as far as I know) force you to play differently than in the OG. Once you start to change your tactic of auto shot heavy plasma to a more careful approach, you start to enjoy the mod. I like the fact that you need to use your brain. You need to be patient, when you can of course. You can retreat without too much penalty most of the time.

I only got one surf mission so far and I had to punch to get weapons. It was great but it took a lot of turns.

I think the early gun balance is good.

Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Toothless Shark on October 25, 2018, 06:50:34 pm
I just want to say that i love the balance and variety of weapons in this mod. It's great.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on October 25, 2018, 07:31:29 pm
I just want to say that i love the balance and variety of weapons in this mod. It's great.

Yay!
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: HinterDemGlas on December 13, 2018, 12:02:31 am
Huge fan of the Hunting Rifle in early game: great damage early on, still decent damage later, accurate even with rookies and a full sniper weapon in skilled hands.

My best loadout is precision rifles (Arisaka now, mostly) plus a pistol for close combat. Decimating enemies from beyond their effective range is just that effective, and pistols are devastating up close.

Now in the early midgame(?) I really like Xeno Shield + Mauser. The Wildey is probably better but I love the Mauser aesthetics and it's ludicrously accurate even at mid range. The shield turns small arms fire into a nuissance. With careful positioning and a constant supply of stimulans you can safely knock out most of a cult base, picking off serious threats with highly accurate pistol fire. Then sell your prisoners for profit! I'm losing good men to grenades, though.

Basically skipped over SMGs (except the Calico to quickly execute downed Zs). Automatic rifles feel a bit too chancy for me.

Edit: Adjusted my assertments about the game's length, jeez
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Abyss on January 21, 2019, 08:25:22 pm
Been lurking around this thread and thought it is a correct place to question the balance of pistols and rifles.
Whereas rifles are considered much more accurate than pistols, there is a number of pistols that have a snap accuracy better than a rifle.
Just to make an example: Magnum-AK
Snap acc: 70% vs 55% equal 15 tiles range

What would you say if someone will suggest stats-increase for the common rifles or nerfing accuracy for the pistols?

 

 
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on January 22, 2019, 02:58:04 pm
Been lurking around this thread and thought it is a correct place to question the balance of pistols and rifles.
Whereas rifles are considered much more accurate than pistols, there is a number of pistols that have a snap accuracy better than a rifle.
Just to make an example: Magnum-AK
Snap acc: 70% vs 55% equal 15 tiles range

What would you say if someone will suggest stats-increase for the common rifles or nerfing accuracy for the pistols?

Well, you compared a pistol which is very good with snaps against an old rifle which is very poor with snaps and presented it as typical. Frankly this stinks of data manipulation, though I have no idea what you could gain from this besides the paperthin illusion that you outsmarted the game design. :)

Apart from that, pistols have their strengths. Otherwise, who'd use them? It goes hand in hand with some other gamey decisions which made it through despite some attempts at realism; for example, shotguns work like in many/typical other games, but unlike in real life. And in gaming convention, the Kalashnikov usually has poor accuracy when you're not sniping it. Other rifles are generally better at snap shots.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Abyss on January 22, 2019, 03:09:46 pm
Frankly this stinks of data manipulation, though I have no idea what you could gain from this besides the paperthin illusion that you outsmarted the game design. :)

Yes I do understand some of the mechanics with like 600 hours of the gameplay otherwise I would be not putting these questions. For your mode it's almost 150 hours. That's a period when a full-fledged child starts to ask the questions. Thanks
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Solarius Scorch on January 22, 2019, 03:13:28 pm
Read my answer again: you compared a shitty rifle with a high-end pistol.
Also read the rest.
Title: Re: Early gun balance
Post by: Abyss on January 22, 2019, 03:17:18 pm
Read my answer again: you compared a shitty rifle with a high-end pistol.
Also read the rest.

Pardon me, was rewriting the answer. Yep I've got it in the concept.