Author Topic: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.  (Read 2175 times)

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 05:46:14 AM »
Current firearms are very high damage, but very unreliable. This is a big part of why rifles are the best: they are high burst damage incarnate.
Increased aim times = lower dps
I'm using rifles vs pistols as an example, but the entire system is fair game for adjustment.
A good way to refine it would be to not just make monsters increase aim time, but hard low-cap aiming recoil depending on their dodge score.
Hard low cap and not soft one provided by aim time increases, because the problem is huge damage headshots, not reliable good hits.
I don't follow what you mean by hard low-cap recoil.  It sounds like you mean high dodge prevents aiming recoil from reaching its minimum, which is effectivelyvwhat it does now, but without any player feedback.
Also about headshots: they currently have gigantic damage modifiers, while grazes are abysmal. This huge spread of ranged damage potential heavily favors high accuracy, high damage weapons being used at point blank.
I'm totally on board with shrinking headshot multipliers.  I don't think grades much matter from a balance pic, they're pretty much a consolation prize.
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Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 06:21:35 AM »
Increased aim times = lower dps
I'm using rifles vs pistols as an example, but the entire system is fair game for adjustment.

It's not directly about dps - more like "dps concentration".
For example, a typical use case of a rifle is aiming as much as possible until a hulk gets in range for a burst, bursting, then running around to reposition the hulk for another such burst.
Ammo is too expensive to use it for regular mobs where pure dps matters.

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It sounds like you mean high dodge prevents aiming recoil from reaching its minimum, which is effectivelyvwhat it does now, but without any player feedback.

Currently the effect of dodge on firearms is completely minuscule, negligible.
Player feedback is low in either case. Penalty to accuracy would be easy to notice against targets that suddenly notice the player or get stunned - in such a case there would be an immediate and noticeable drop in accuracy for dodgy targets.

Either way, it would be a good idea to include that info somewhere. For example, extended monster information, saying "This monster's erratic movement slows down your aiming with current weapon by 37% at 10 tile range, or by 78% at 5 tile range".

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I don't think grades much matter from a balance pic, they're pretty much a consolation prize.

Not necessarily headshots themselves, but the huge increase in damage with accuracy of the hit certainly does and massively so.
Grazes are barely above misses, for example.

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 07:34:47 AM »
Increased aim times = lower dps
I'm using rifles vs pistols as an example, but the entire system is fair game for adjustment.

It's not directly about dps - more like "dps concentration".
For example, a typical use case of a rifle is aiming as much as possible until a hulk gets in range for a burst, bursting, then running around to reposition the hulk for another such burst.
Ammo is too expensive to use it for regular mobs where pure dps matters.
If you're kiting hulks at will you've already won and nothing we can do about ranged balance is going to fix it.
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It sounds like you mean high dodge prevents aiming recoil from reaching its minimum, which is effectivelyvwhat it does now, but without any player feedback.

Currently the effect of dodge on firearms is completely minuscule, negligible.
Player feedback is low in either case. Penalty to accuracy would be easy to notice against targets that suddenly notice the player or get stunned - in such a case there would be an immediate and noticeable drop in accuracy for dodgy targets.
I'm not totally against it, you could basically think of the cap as a gap you can't close, you can never quite line it up perfectly.
Either way, it would be a good idea to include that info somewhere. For example, extended monster information, saying "This monster's erratic movement slows down your aiming with current weapon by 37% at 10 tile range, or by 78% at 5 tile range".
Feedback sure, but you already know how I feel about that kind of perfect information dump.
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I don't think grades much matter from a balance pic, they're pretty much a consolation prize.

Not necessarily headshots themselves, but the huge increase in damage with accuracy of the hit certainly does and massively so.
Grazes are barely above misses, for example.
My typo didn't help there (stupid autocorrect), i agree headshots and "good" damage bonuses could stand to be scaled down.  Its only the graze that i was calling out as being irrelevant with respect to balance.  Treat itvas a miss and its essentially the same outcome.
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Offline Tamior

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 11:07:52 AM »
Wait-wait-wait, but isn't aiming/recoil tracked "in general" for the PC, not versus each individual monster?

Offline End Transmission

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 04:39:15 PM »
I for one would definitely like it if grazes did a bit more damage.
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Offline tarburst98

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 04:53:35 PM »
you don't need to kite hulks to appreciate a good opener. as in, aim to max confidence with something big like a .50 and then wait until the hulk is nearly on top of you, then fire for a headshot, then drop the gun and pull out a melee weapon

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2017, 05:28:37 PM »
Wait-wait-wait, but isn't aiming/recoil tracked "in general" for the PC, not versus each individual monster?
Nope, if you shift your aim to a new target it resets.  Recoil is a misnomer at this point, I re-used it to represent, "intended aim isn't on target" when i added aiming instead of juggling two variables that do essentially th e same thing.
you don't need to kite hulks to appreciate a good opener. as in, aim to max confidence with something big like a .50 and then wait until the hulk is nearly on top of you, then fire for a headshot, then drop the gun and pull out a melee weapon
That's exactly the kind of thing we want to encourage, the only part of Coolthulu's scenario that was problematic was the part where the player kited away and repeated the process.

It's not directly about dps - more like "dps concentration".
The term your looking for is burst damage btw.

Not necessarily headshots themselves, but the huge increase in damage with accuracy of the hit certainly does and massively so.
My typo didn't help there (stupid autocorrect), i agree headshots and "good" damage bonuses could stand to be scaled down.
After more thought, I'd be happy to ditch headshots entirely, they're a game-ism.
Its like a fun family cookout, except your family is burning in flames while trying to eat you. -secretfire
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Offline Treah

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2017, 05:47:36 PM »
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After more thought, I'd be happy to ditch headshots entirely, they're a game-ism.
Headshots have pretty much been a part of the zombie experience in pretty much most if not all medium they are in. Most of the time a headshot was the only way to kill them.

Offline tarburst98

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2017, 06:50:57 PM »
i agree, aiming for the head with zombies is more of a trope of zombies then a game thing.

Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2017, 08:26:44 PM »
If you're kiting hulks at will you've already won and nothing we can do about ranged balance is going to fix it.

You don't need "infinite" kiting - just force it to go through a car or a shrub long enough to burst fire at it near point-blank range without eating a fist.
And regardless, this is an incredibly important - vital - even part of the ranged weapon balance: if the best way to use ranged weapons is one aimed burst fire, then drop the gun and draw a melee weapon, then assault rifles will inevitably overshadow all the other gun types.

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Feedback sure, but you already know how I feel about that kind of perfect information dump.

As long as the actual perfect info is available in some usable debug way and used for balancing, the info displayed to players can be somewhat butchered. For example, thresholded into categories that are (this is very important) described to players in objective terms ("about twice as long", not "very long, like, this long [------]").

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Nope, if you shift your aim to a new target it resets.

There may be a bug where this doesn't update (fast enough?) - if you switch to a next monster, it displays accuracy stats for the old one until you aim at least once.

Headshots have pretty much been a part of the zombie experience in pretty much most if not all medium they are in. Most of the time a headshot was the only way to kill them.

Could be given a gimmick like auto-pulping zeds of medium sizes if the killing shot is a headshot, auto-killing zeds (and only zeds) if they aren't hulks or brutes or something else like that.
As long as it doesn't work against the serious zeds where it really changes the balance of things.

Offline DeWolf

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2017, 10:50:14 PM »
To be honest I do not entirely understand what you are trying to do. However what it sounds like you are doing is making it so rifles are doing a job that shotguns and handguns SHOULD be doing. What it sounds like you want to do is make it so literally the BEST USE of a RIFLE that is meant for killing stuff from a fairly considerable distance being used as a one time "good" burst damage on something that sounds to be about the size of an average car near face to face then dropping said gun to pull out say a katana or something similar. Am I reading you right or could you please explain a bit better?

Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2017, 11:03:18 PM »
However what it sounds like you are doing is making it so rifles are doing a job that shotguns and handguns SHOULD be doing.

No, I'm stating that the problem is that rifles do that. That's the problem, not the direction of change.

Offline DeWolf

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2017, 11:07:49 PM »
However what it sounds like you are doing is making it so rifles are doing a job that shotguns and handguns SHOULD be doing.

No, I'm stating that the problem is that rifles do that. That's the problem, not the direction of change.
Thank you for clarifying.

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2017, 11:56:50 PM »
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After more thought, I'd be happy to ditch headshots entirely, they're a game-ism.
Headshots have pretty much been a part of the zombie experience in pretty much most if not all medium they are in. Most of the time a headshot was the only way to kill them.
We already don't follow this trope, so that part isn't really a change.
If you're kiting hulks at will you've already won and nothing we can do about ranged balance is going to fix it.

You don't need "infinite" kiting - just force it to go through a car or a shrub long enough to burst fire at it near point-blank range without eating a fist.
This sounds like it's working as intended, you're interacting wirh the environment to give you an advantage over a fast and tanky opponent, you're using strategy (interaction with obstacles) to mitigate a major weakness of rifles (slow aim time).
And regardless, this is an incredibly important - vital - even part of the ranged weapon balance: if the best way to use ranged weapons is one aimed burst fire, then drop the gun and draw a melee weapon, then assault rifles will inevitably overshadow all the other gun types.
If you have wide open lines of sight and are in control of your engagement range, rifles *should* overshadow all other guns, they're simply better in that scenario.
The goal of this proposal is to widen the niche for pistols, shotguns and smgs.  It does this by establishing a zone near the player where rifles become ineffective because they can't aim fast enough to keep up with most monsters, the more "dodgy" the monster, the larger that zone is.
Inside that zone, its beneficial to switch to a smg, shotgun or pistol because they can aim faster than the monster can dodge, and can reliably hit at that range.
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Feedback sure, but you already know how I feel about that kind of perfect information dump.

As long as the actual perfect info is available in some usable debug way and used for balancing
Certainly.
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Nope, if you shift your aim to a new target it resets.
There may be a bug where this doesn't update (fast enough?) - if you switch to a next monster, it displays accuracy stats for the old one until you aim at least once.
This is intentional, so you can use the aim interface to look around without resetting your aim.
Its like a fun family cookout, except your family is burning in flames while trying to eat you. -secretfire
I'm more excited than a survivor on meth and toast'ems. -Nighthawk
The the giant wasp is slammed through the zombie brute!

Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction.
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2017, 01:07:18 AM »
This sounds like it's working as intended, you're interacting wirh the environment to give you an advantage over a fast and tanky opponent, you're using strategy (interaction with obstacles) to mitigate a major weakness of rifles (slow aim time).

If you have wide open lines of sight and are in control of your engagement range, rifles *should* overshadow all other guns, they're simply better in that scenario.
The goal of this proposal is to widen the niche for pistols, shotguns and smgs.  It does this by establishing a zone near the player where rifles become ineffective because they can't aim fast enough to keep up with most monsters, the more "dodgy" the monster, the larger that zone is.
Inside that zone, its beneficial to switch to a smg, shotgun or pistol because they can aim faster than the monster can dodge, and can reliably hit at that range.

At the moment there are 5 ranges (more like modes) of engagement:
  • Sniping - this one is only available to very strong characters, who only really need it for turrets
  • Short range aimed burst damage - this one is dominated by rifles, as you only get one such burst if you can't kite a lot, due to very punishing dispersion mechanics. It is also only useful against targets strong enough to be worth the ammo and wielding the gun
  • Harassment (of hulks), wearing down acid and shock zeds - requires kiting
  • Assassination - this doesn't require anything from the gun, but benefits from it being completely silent
  • Too close for ranged, need to use melee

The problem here is that there is no real role for non-rifles. Well, they can fill in for when rifle is having a bad day, but that's not enough to warrant having them as separate skills (especially if you can just craft a pneumatic rifle).
  • Pistols fire single shots fast. But that's inferior to proper burst fire, except for ammo conservation. They lose all accuracy as soon as zombies get in melee and there is no way to counter that.
  • SMGs are mini-rifles with burst damage too low for hulks, but ammo too expensive to burst trash. Which turns them into long-range pistols. With most of the disadvantages of using pistols, but slower single fire.
  • Shotguns are short range, non-burst rifles. They do not have a role not shared by pistols.

Without giving those guns some new roles, rifles will still rule.
Problem with those roles is that using guns is expensive, so this role can't cover mopping up trash. And dangerous stuff requires you to kill it fast, hence burst damage. And burst damage at range is not very good because accuracy is a linear sum of angles rather than a natural, normal distribution. Not to mention that after the first burst, the whole zed city rushes in to contribute, so the more you delay it the better.

There is always the choice of melee against weaker stuff. This choice won't go away until armor values are nerfed enough that common zeds punch through cloth armor (buffing zed damage could be done too, but it wouldn't fix the primary cause, just the symptoms).

I'm not saying the idea is bad or not worth implementing, it's just that it's certainly not a panaceum for ranged weapon balance problems. And it should be generally more about buffing weak weapons than nerfing rifles.

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This is intentional, so you can use the aim interface to look around without resetting your aim.

Try this: spawn two monsters (preferably non-moving), aim for one fully, then switch aim and immediately fire.
Not only will the attack against the new monster be made with full aim, this full aim will also be retained (minus recoil) for further shots.
I didn't know if it would work like that, but now I checked and I'm certain it's a bug.