Author Topic: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills  (Read 1833 times)

Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 02:54:02 AM »
Better ranged weapon skill improves:
  • Aim speed
  • Move cost of shooting
  • Reload speed
  • Recoil control

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 04:58:33 AM »
tl;dr I haven't seen anything here I consider an improvement on the current system.
If you really want to pursue it, we need to make skill handling more modular and put the new skill system in a mod.

8 ranged skills is way too many.
Speaking of arbitrary :/
The number of skills reflects how immediate and central the activity is to the game.  Few activities are more immediate or central to the game than gun handling.
Pigeonholing, like with the crossbows or miniguns, is more jarring than if the categories weren't so strict.
How do any of the alternatives improve it in any meaningful way?  If you merge shotguns and rifles, the minigun still won't fit in either.
Total separation of most firearm learning. Is hunting rifle all that different from a shotgun loaded with slugs?
Yes, it is, in the ways that matter to the shotgun and rifle skills.
Arbitrarily solved edge cases. Like that rivtech shotgun which is a pistol due to small size.
That's not arbitrary, it's a question of how it's handled, not what the ammunition is.  If it's fired like a pistol it uses the pistol skill, whether it's a laser or a shotgun or crossbow.
Weapon balance suffers. Some of the weapon types have only limited uses and simply can't compete for XP with the better ones.
This is a symptom of our disagreement about what game balance means, IMO "some skills are more valuable than others" is not just acceptable, it's a tautology.
e.g. bows are not balanced to compete with guns if you aren't in dire need of either conserving resources or silence, if you don't need eiher of those, guns are better in every way.
Weapon skill gain for some types is cheap (laser rifles/pistols, pneumatic rifle), while others are permanently kept low due to expensive ammo (shotguns).
Working as intended.
Heavily modded weapons retain their categories, even after the addition of stock and burst fire turns a pistol into SMG except by name and type.
This is an implementation detail, it has nothing to do with the system as a whole.

Caliber based: pistols and SMGs merged into small guns, rest of firearms into big guns, launchers merged with archery into misc guns. Sci-fi guns possibly as a new category.
Seriously? Making it arbitrary is somehow an improvement?
Total rework of ranged skills. Instead of weapon type, different skills cover: accuracy at perfect aim, starting accuracy before aiming, aiming speed, and recoil control.
This one actually has some potential, but good luck turning it into a consistent system the player can actually understand and interact with in a meaningful way.
The core of the skill system is that player actons trigger practice which improves skills, how are you going to map player decisions to those categories?
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Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 05:37:53 AM »
The over-dissection of weapon skills in RPGs has long been a pet peeve of mine, so I'm glad to see this. Just as a swordsman isn't suddenly clueless if you hand him a spear a marksman doesn't forget the fundamentals just because he swapped out his rifle for a sidearm.
That's why we have the marksmanship skill, it represents all the generic knowledge and muscle memory that DOES transfer between firearms.
Not that I love the current system but this is another case of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it...". Well in this case it is functional and not great, but not really terribly broken either.
Agreed, it does a pretty good job of allowing both general development and specialization, it's easy to understand what the divisions are, and it's obvious what you need to do to specialize more.

Crossbows do not shoot like standard bows, but is a reasonable coupling.
BTW, there's this: https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/21545

Buried in all that, he did kind of make a decent point: as it stands, the specific weapon skill isn't just used for pointing and shooting the thing -- it's also used for breaking down, modifying, and repairing each weapon type, a task where the internal differences are much more important.
There's something to this, but as Coolthulu points out it isn't a strong rationale.  It also covers handling, stances, grips, reloading, firing patterns, all of which are different for different types of guns and do present a much stronger rationale for how it's broken down.
The bonuses provided by specific weapon skills map to this kind of handling ability and tactical knowledge in a way that is unlikely to transfer well between different weapon groups.
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Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 06:23:58 AM »
Seriously? Making it arbitrary is somehow an improvement?

Yes
That would avoid the arbitrary huge concentration of detail that comes into splitting guns into categories - which is devoid from all the other skills - and thus make edge cases less jarring.
If detail can't be uniformly maintained, exceptions multiply and their severity grows.

We don't have this much detail for melee weapons, which are much more central to the game - for as long as using a gun requires consuming potentially expensive ammo, and as long as there are many weak targets that still pose danger, melee will always be the default.

Quote
good luck turning it into a consistent system the player can actually understand and interact with in a meaningful way.
The core of the skill system is that player actons trigger practice which improves skills, how are you going to map player decisions to those categories?

All of the skill type xp could be scaled by hit grade or at least by a check if a target was hit, to avoid tedious optimal grinding and encourage learning by doing.
As for the individual skills:
  • Recoil control is easiest: gained whenever recoil is gained by firing a gun. More xp for guns with more recoil and for bursts, less for perfectly aiming.
  • Accuracy at un-aimed shot gained whenever a shot is below certain aim percentage. More xp for shorter aiming.
  • Aim speed gained whenever an aimed shot is made. More xp for more aiming and also more xp for using guns that can be aimed fast.
  • Accuracy at perfect aim gained whenever a well aimed shot is executed properly. Starts at certain aim percentage and goes up from there. More xp for shots at long range and accurate weapons.

Aim speed and accuracy at perfect aim could optionally be merged into "aiming".

Unaimed shots would always only train recoil control and snapshot, shots made at sensible aim level (aiming against incoming hulk) would train mostly aim speed and recoil control, sniper shots would train aim speed and accuracy. Using sniper rifles would train less aim speed (due to slow aiming), but more accuracy (due to gun accuracy) and range.
So every action would give results according to what player needs to execute said action well.

To make snapshots more meaningful, some weapons could have naturally lower starting recoil. For example, pistol-grip-less rifles (as in IVAN CHESNOKOV copypasta). This would give a good reason not to slap every possible gunmod on the gun, without arbitrary restrictions like the volume penalty that was removed.
Snapshots/point shooting/instinctive firing is grossly underrepresented in the game at the moment, despite it fitting perfectly for close range gun use.

Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2017, 07:36:46 AM »
Seriously? Making it arbitrary is somehow an improvement?
Yes
Thnks for that, I can just ignore this now.  This is not a game with arbitrary mechanics, a core development tenent is that the game is reality based, mechanics strive to meaningfully represent how things really work.  I kow you're not on board with that, but that's how it is and it's not changing.

We don't have this much detail for melee weapons, which are much more central to the game - for as long as using a gun requires consuming potentially expensive ammo, and as long as there are many weak targets that still pose danger, melee will always be the default.
I agree, we need more melee skills.
Quote
good luck turning it into a consistent system the player can actually understand and interact with in a meaningful way.
The core of the skill system is that player actons trigger practice which improves skills, how are you going to map player decisions to those categories?

All of the skill type xp could be scaled by hit grade or at least by a check if a target was hit, to avoid tedious optimal grinding and encourage learning by doing.
etc...
That sounds vaguely workable, but it also sounds confusing, requires a lot of engine knowledge  to interact with, and requires frequently suboptimal play.

Snapshots/point shooting/instinctive firing is grossly underrepresented in the game at the moment, despite it fitting perfectly for close range gun use.
It's at the correct level of representation, which is almost none. Snap shots don't actually work except at point-blank range, as an intimidation technique, or something that extrordinarally well-practiced marksmen do to show off. 
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Offline Coolthulhu

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2017, 07:57:20 AM »
Thnks for that, I can just ignore this now.

Amazing fucking reply there. Is that the shittiest you've got or am I going to get even more disappointed in a moment?

Offline Alec White

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2017, 09:52:58 AM »
This is not a game with arbitrary mechanics, a core development tenent is that the game is reality based, mechanics strive to meaningfully represent how things really work.  I kow you're not on board with that, but that's how it is and it's not changing.


If it is that much reality based, why not make skills for each of the edge cases, and not so edge cases like cross bows?

I mean, I understand going either the abstract way of having everything in "small arms" and "heavy weapons", or going down defining new skill for each special subset of weapons because realism.
But for example crossbows and shotguns with a rifled barrel and/or slugs are very common in-game, and they are in skills that don't describe their usage in real life, but rather they are in the closest skill that you can compare them to.

Wouldn't we need to make new skills for each weapon if we strive for mechanics that meaningfully represent how things really work?

Edit:

Also reading this thread and Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction thread. I'm reading a lot that rifles shouldn't be accurate at close range. Why would rifles be bad at short ranges?

One of the reasons why assault rifles were and are so popular, is because they have very good range and still perform very well in close quarter combats while still being semi or automatic.

Plus you have battle rifles and carbines. And carbines were design exclusively with the idea of short range engagement while still retaining the high caliber size of a rifle.
"Rifle" only means a gun that has a rifling in their barrel. Handguns have rifling too and are not grouped under rifle in-game.

We would need more skills unless we want to still have dysfunction and un-realistic and counter-intuitive behavior.

Don't know if this should be in this thread or the other one as there is a lot of overlap, so I'm posting it in here.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 05:41:41 PM by Alec White »

Offline BorkBorkGoesTheCode

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2017, 04:40:42 PM »
Also reading this thread and Breaking the "more accurate weapons are always better" disfunction thread. I'm reading a lot that rifles shouldn't be accurate at close range. Why would rifles be bad at short ranges?

One of the reasons why assault rifles were and are so popular, is because they have very good range and still perform very well in close quarter combats while still being semi or automatic.

Plus you have battle rifles and carabines. And carabines were design exclusively with the idea of short range engagement while still retaining the high caliber size of a rifle.
"Rifle" only means a gun that has a rifling in their barrel. Handguns have rifling too and are not grouped under rifle in-game.

We would need more skills unless we want to still have dysfunction and un-realistic and counter-intuitive behavior.

Don't know if this should be in this thread or the other one as there is a lot of overlap, so I'm posting it in here.

I think when people refer to close-range rifle inaccuracy, they are referring to the physically long rifles which require two hands, which would be easier for zombies to grab/melee away, making aim near impossible.
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Offline Kevin Granade

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2017, 05:41:31 PM »
Thnks for that, I can just ignore this now.

Amazing fucking reply there. Is that the shittiest you've got or am I going to get even more disappointed in a moment?
I cant predict your reactions, no.  For example i cant fathom why you would think I'd be remotely ok with replacing a system that strives to represent how firearms are actually used with one based on arbitrary properties of the weapons.  Of course I'm not going to look into it any further, its precisely the kind of dumb over-abstraction that pisses me off to no end in other games.

If it is that much reality based, why not make skills for each of the edge cases, and not so edge cases like cross bows?
[/skill]
For practical reasons, proliferation of skills does have a cost in terms of gameplay, realism, and development effort. Its good enough right now, but further work would extend the system, not shrink it.
E.g. I wouldn't be opposed to adding another tier of stats specifically for weapons to represent familiarity with the specific weapon, it just hasn't been a priority.
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Offline TheKobold

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2017, 07:26:13 PM »
What are the differences in using one gun vs another?

From my own experience when we boil it down to its basics it comes down to loading, how it is held, and adjusting aiming to its range.

Seems like very small differences when it comes to splitting up their use that really have no bearing on the actual gun since holding and aiming a hunting rifle is different from holding and aiming a AK vs a shotgun, yet they are in the same category. But these differences are marginal at best even when you cross to another category. I can hold a P90 and an AR-15 the same way aim the same way and still be reasonably sure I will hit what I want. The same goes for something like an Uzi and any pistol.

So either the system needs to be expanded to ridiculous amounts of skills to represent the variety of weapons on a scale that not many categorize them as or combined to better represent the fact that the skill in using one gun crosses over to using another gun almost entirely.

No one that can use a rifle suddenly loses all ability to shoot because they started using a pistol for the first time when common sense is added to the equation.

These guns don't fire the same way but every skill in handling them is the same.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 07:27:54 PM by TheKobold »

Offline Someoneman

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2017, 09:08:31 PM »
No one that can use a rifle suddenly loses all ability to shoot because they started using a pistol for the first time when common sense is added to the equation.

That's what the marksmanship skill is for. I personally don't use guns often, so I can't say for sure if it works well enough. Maybe marksmanship could use a buff.

Offline TheKobold

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2017, 09:24:55 PM »
If marksmanship is for the basics then what are the non basic skills being emulated by the other skills?

Offline Adragis029

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2017, 10:30:58 PM »
If marksmanship is for the basics then what are the non basic skills being emulated by the other skills?

Stance, recoil management, et cetera that is specific to each weapon type. Managing a pistol's recoil and managing a rifle's recoil is very different not only because of the power, but the fact that (to name the most obvious bit) one is wielded braced against the shoulder. One might be very adept at managing recoil like that, but a pistol - which is wielded in two hands - has a different sort of recoil which requires different methods of reducing it.

Offline TheKobold

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2017, 10:58:40 PM »
But they aren't very different. It is merely a different stance. It seems like every one in this thread is exaggerating the difficulty of shooting a gun, this is usually endemic of people not actually having any experience with guns.

Guns became the weapon of choice because of their ease of use, just like crossbows when they came about.

Brace your stance, aim, and pull the trigger. There are only slight variations to this when it comes to each gun type. Hold it against your shoulder vs hold it in out in two hands is not a skill it is an action, an action the comes naturally to people. Only an idiot would try and hold a pistol to their shoulder to fire it and only an idiot would try and hold a rifle at arms length to fire it. So that isn't what the skill is denoting.

The point is that the skill to use a gun is minimal by design, the skill over laps with multiple different types of guns that are not accurately denoted by the current categories and will never be until we split it into a dozen+ skills. And if it does get split into the different gun types then it still doesn't accurately convey the overlap in skills with out some sort of synergy between them.

If marksmanship is supposed to be that over lap then we still have skills that don't represent any actual skill usage.

Recoil management sounds again like over complicating things. You don't manage recoil, you react to it, this is shown in the firing screen and again isn't specific to each weapon type. Here is the NRA's take on "managing recoil" https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/4/11/10-ways-to-manage-recoil/ , and none of it is skill based all of it is based on additions or changes to the gun and ammo.


Offline Adragis029

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Re: Getting rid of some of the ranged skills
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2017, 11:20:34 PM »
But they aren't very different. It is merely a different stance. It seems like every one in this thread is exaggerating the difficulty of shooting a gun, this is usually endemic of people not actually having any experience with guns.

Guns became the weapon of choice because of their ease of use, just like crossbows when they came about.

Brace your stance, aim, and pull the trigger. There are only slight variations to this when it comes to each gun type. Hold it against your shoulder vs hold it in out in two hands is not a skill it is an action, an action the comes naturally to people. Only an idiot would try and hold a pistol to their shoulder to fire it and only an idiot would try and hold a rifle at arms length to fire it. So that isn't what the skill is denoting.

The point is that the skill to use a gun is minimal by design, the skill over laps with multiple different types of guns that are not accurately denoted by the current categories and will never be until we split it into a dozen+ skills. And if it does get split into the different gun types then it still doesn't accurately convey the overlap in skills with out some sort of synergy between them.

If marksmanship is supposed to be that over lap then we still have skills that don't represent any actual skill usage.

Recoil management sounds again like over complicating things. You don't manage recoil, you react to it, this is shown in the firing screen and again isn't specific to each weapon type. Here is the NRA's take on "managing recoil" https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/4/11/10-ways-to-manage-recoil/ , and none of it is skill based all of it is based on additions or changes to the gun and ammo.




You miss the point.
I mean that someone who's used rifles for a while is going to develop a few tricks to using them - competition shooters, for instance, can reload and aim incredibly quickly and load four shotgun shells at a time because they've trained to do so for ages and prep accordingly. In this case (and I'd assume most other combat skills) I'd say the skill denotes familiarity and formed reflexes, from 'average joe' to 'trained marksman' to 'legendary gunslinger who can stick a guy in the forehead from half a continent away with a Colt Single Action Army'.

TL;DR - It's not 'skill' per se, but familiarity. Bear in mind that CDDA survivors pretty much eclipse regular human ability past level 10.