Author Topic: Early gun balance  (Read 12023 times)

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #30 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.

Offline wsmithjr

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #31 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.

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #32 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. :)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #33 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).

Offline mumble

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #34 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.

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #35 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.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #36 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.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 09:46:56 pm by Eddie »

Offline bluberd

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #37 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 :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 10:31:09 pm by bluberd »

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #38 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... :)

Offline Eddie

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #39 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.

Offline The Think Tank

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #40 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.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #41 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.

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #42 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. :)

Offline HelmetHair

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #43 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. :)

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: Early gun balance
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2017, 12:45:16 pm »
Wrong, your European is showing. :)

wat