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 Post subject: Highlights from the combat rebalance post
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:50 am 

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For convenience, I cut out and reorganized the parts of Archon's chat transcript that talk about the combat changes.
Archon wrote:
I've done a ton of math on it . . . all guns should be pretty well within the same average damage for each size category. Yes, ammo has been adjusted and reduced overall so that it gets used up and then takes 3-5 seconds to reload. But it does reload for you. I intend to implement a reload button, but haven't gotten to it. guns now have different chances of critting. And, no damage reduction any more (for now)

All machine guns fire 10 shots/second. All have pretty good accuracy. All are very slightly weaker on average than the other guns of their class.

The Auto Cannon fires many, many shots. S: 40/sec, M: 60/sec, L: 80/sec. It's a rain of very tiny shots. With a pretty decent Crit chance boost! Oh, and p.s. because the autocannon fires soooo many tiny shots, it runs through a lot of ammo. The Large AC will use 60 ammo/second, the most of any gun.

Howitzers are SLOW. With the largest firing only 1 shot/sec. So, if it hits, KABOOM! If not, it'll be a bit before it fires again (but never more than a second).

Long Arms are still sniper rifles. Best accuracy boost of any gun. Fires about 2x/sec.

Now, Flak Cannons are weird. Well, they're the shotguns they were always meant to be. They fire as slowly as a howie, but they fire multiple shells every shot. Like 20, all of which, you should see. And they have the highest crit chance boost of any gun, but also the worst accuracy. Yes, each shell has a chance to hit which is calculated separately.

So, please, go out an buy different guns, and let me know what works. I'd also like to know how the ammo drain and reload feels. I like it, but I'd like to get some feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Highlights from the combat rebalance post
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:05 am 
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Archon wrote:
The Auto Cannon fires many, many shots. S: 40/sec, M: 60/sec, L: 80/sec. It's a rain of very tiny shots. With a pretty decent Crit chance boost! Oh, and p.s. because the autocannon fires soooo many tiny shots, it runs through a lot of ammo. The Large AC will use 60 ammo/second, the most of any gun.


I assume I'll just post here, but I got a complaint about the AC. I'm in a Valkyrie with one level in Precision Fire.

So I'm fighting a Thor and a patrol balloon right? The ammo that this thing uses is like a reverse vacuum shooting BB's at enemies. No doubt they're supposed to be weak, but I think that it should be a tad stronger. The crits mean almost nothing. If I can, I'll post the a picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Highlights from the combat rebalance post
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:07 am 
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Hyashi wrote:
Archon wrote:
The Auto Cannon fires many, many shots. S: 40/sec, M: 60/sec, L: 80/sec. It's a rain of very tiny shots. With a pretty decent Crit chance boost! Oh, and p.s. because the autocannon fires soooo many tiny shots, it runs through a lot of ammo. The Large AC will use 60 ammo/second, the most of any gun.


I assume I'll just post here, but I got a complaint about the AC. I'm in a Valkyrie with one level in Precision Fire.

So I'm fighting a Thor and a patrol balloon right? The ammo that this thing uses is like a reverse vacuum shooting BB's at enemies. No doubt they're supposed to be weak, but I think that it should be a tad stronger. The crits mean almost nothing. If I can, I'll post the a picture.


Seconded. That the autocannon is now a crithose is awesome, but that it's weaker than a kitten's headbutt is not. I went through my ammo stocks just under three times over, trying to kill a Phantom, a Nomad and a CR4P.

EDIT: Also, I was just in a fight with a Bullfrog, who apparently ran out of ammo (arcs vanished mid-fight) and never reloaded.

EDIT 2: Looks like ammo loadouts have dropped to a tenth (?) of the pre-change totals. I'm in a Marauder with a mere 200 ammo. Might be an idea for everyone to check their planes and update the 2.5 compendium.


Last edited by Mahmoth on Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:55 am 

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Howie is almost unusable for a high level combat fighter. The Howie can't stand up against a swarm anymore, only picking one target per second to have a chance at hitting.... I assume the Long Arm and Flak are similar situations, though the Flak may be able to pick more than one target?...

Edit: The above posts thirded... I just made 3 full-second passes on a Nomad with a Large AC and serious mods... crits all over, but it still slugged about afterwards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:04 am 

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All the weapons now have about the same damage, but if that's damage per second when firing then average DPS will be lower for weapons that have to reload often. Manual reloads and better reloading strategy will help this, but it still means some weapons require better reloading skills than others.

Different reloading speeds would solve this (AC runs out fast but reloads fast), and give weapons even more personality. It would get tricky once you have multiple arcs; here's an attempt at a solution: Each weapon has a multiplier that gives its reload time in relation to MG. The base reload time is the reload time for a plane with all machine guns. The total reload time would be base*(gun1 + gun2 + ... + gunN)/arcs.

For illustration, let's say the base reload time is 4 seconds, a small gatling has a reload multiplier of 0.75, and small missiles have a multiplier of 2.0:
— CR-4P with MG: 4*(1.0)/1 = 4 sec
— CR-4P with gatling: 4*(0.75)/1 = 3 sec
— Thor with 1 MG and 1 gatling: 4*(0.75 + 1.0)/2 = 3.5 sec
— Leviathan with 2 missles, 3 MG, and 5 gatlings: 4*(2*2.0 + 3*1.0 + 5*0.75)/10 = 4.3 sec


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:52 am 
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As a casual combat player, I like the spirit of the changes. Reloading could happen a little less often, sure, and the AC crits probably need to be boosted, but the guns have character and are fun to use.

I support Istatay's idea, as well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:10 am 

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Where on earth are you getting missiles from, Isa? :shock:

In any case, damage feels a bit too low right now, and player planes still have DR. Regardless of whether this is intentional or not, I can tell you it means I can be a lot more aggressive unless flaks are around, and even then...

Ed: Also, we still can't buy flaks!

Ed2: HE and AP round gun mods will need serious tweakage to flat modifiers (perhaps based on gun size) as they're absolutely useless now - AP doesn't boost damage enough to be worth the crit loss, and HE lowers damage by so little that it's worth the crit boost on anything.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:26 am 

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I've got a Valk with one howie, and my first combat was terrible under the new system... until I figured out what was happening. Second combat was great. I like that I no longer have a cone-of-death to aim at swarms of planes, but actually have to line up on them... and the first time I had a perfect shot ready but was still reloading and had to make another pass was infuriatingly fun.

Some changes - manual reloading, of course, and maybe a bit more ammo. Or faster reloading would work too.

Also, this is just with a single weapon on a plane... What happens with different ammo in different arcs? How well or poorly does reloading work there?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:28 am 

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The Howie definitely seems like it'd be tough to use, especially against some of the faster planes. I'm currently trying out a Machine Gun, and it seems decent. Reasonable rate of fire and reasonable damage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:41 am 
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Quick note - now that reloading actually happens, it'd be useful if my arcs disappeared while I'm reloading, just as an additional cue.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:43 am 

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I dislike the fact that my ammo gauge shows a sliver of ammo left, yet when I hit spacebar, nothing fires, but the reloading takes place. I'm sporting triple howitzers in the classic "howie crithose" style that was popular last round.

Something tells me it won't be popular long. :(

I miss 2.3 combat, where arcs were cool and Bismarcks were a terror of the sky...

Edit: I've replaced my outer two Howitzers with Folger's Crystals ... I mean, machine guns, and my performance in combat is much much better. Running over Goldfish and balloons without killing them or at least maiming them is depressing. But now they go poof again.

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Last edited by Caine on Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:59 am 

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If the howie is already going to be penalized with a slow reload time, it doesn't make sense for it to be loaded clip-style like the AC or MG.

For fast shooting guns, a clip makes sense, with a sizeable reload time once it's depleted. For slow shooting ones, the time between shots should incorporate reload and it should act as a bolt action rifle. This would further differentiate how the guns feel.

---

Also, I disagree, sohum. Perhaps make the arcs lighter, but it's useful to know that you're still keeping your enemy in your sights, even when reloading.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:15 am 

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And hopefully magazine upgrades come in.

LAs don't feel terribly different. They're very simple and reliable weapons. I'm liking the change to howitzers so far, they're quite a bit more difficult to use and less like the cheese cannons they'd been. Very fun.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:19 am 
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Talon Karrde wrote:
Also, I disagree, sohum. Perhaps make the arcs lighter, but it's useful to know that you're still keeping your enemy in your sights, even when reloading.


Eh, I don't really care what kind of cue it is. Lighter, or them turning purple, or whatever, all fine with me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:38 am 

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From "How we feel about the combat change" thread:

Dead Cloud wrote:
Phedre Spitfire wrote:
...don't like the new ammo reloads. ...it fails to make combat more difficult and instead makes it super tedious.


I agree with this assessment as currently implemented. But I think the ammo reload could be tweaked a little and become an interesting addition.

It also suggests a new upgrade: High Speed Auto Loader


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:45 am 
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By swapping and trying out all the guns it is soon evident that no weapon has an obvious advantage over another. Arc shape and length denote differences more clearly than damage done per unit of fire.

Crits with the auto-cannon are humorous and numerous, and virtual puff-balls of damage. Crits from a howie are few and far between, but deadly. Long-Arm is still a pick-and-snipe tool that can be used to keep your own aircraft out of harm's way and the Machine Gun can be used right out of the gate without feeling totally inferior to guns costing a $20k upgrade.

Combats are now much more tedious. Swarms that used to take 2-4 minutes now take 5-10.

Checking in with 20 minutes remaining on a two-hour flight is not really a viable option anymore. So much for sporadic combat playing strategy.

The re-load factor is just a matter of retraining one's trigger finger to fire -only- when hits are possible. I rather liked the ammo conservation aspect of it, but preferred the limited ammo load out from version 2.3, which made swapping an ammo magazine for cargo space a real choice.

Archon, thank you for all your hard work. You asked for input so here's my two-cents worth, cheers,

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:10 am 

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I've played around with a perf loaded with a howitzer for a few combats. The problem is that the howitzer uses so much ammo per shot, you can have quite a bit of white left in the gauge and still technically be out. (This is a problem with all guns, but it's much more obvious with high ammo/shot guns, and planes with low ammo capacity.) Hitting fire when there's still white won't fire a shot, it'll just start reloading. It's ugly and slightly annoying.

The howitzer and flak probably load one shell at a time, unlike the other guns which likely load an entire belt. It'd be completely realistic if for those guns, the firing delay was the whole reload... but I can see that'd cause issues when other guns are fitted to the plane. The howitzer and flak might not use the plane's ammo at all. Which would then lead to issues with ammo upgrades...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:13 am 

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Kanamdso wrote:
Combats are now much more tedious. Swarms that used to take 2-4 minutes now take 5-10.

Checking in with 20 minutes remaining on a two-hour flight is not really a viable option anymore. So much for sporadic combat playing strategy.

Boy oh boy do I agree with that.
I am literally immediately ceasing all further combat until things change. I don't have the time to be playing such excruciatingly long combats in a game that's supposed to be for logging in for a few minutes at a time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:39 am 

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I agree that combats now take too long. It's difficult for me to make a 20 minute time commitment for two combats. I'm really excited about the new gun behaviors but they all need to be about twice as lethal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:50 am 

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Narua Swala wrote:
Kanamdso wrote:
Combats are now much more tedious. Swarms that used to take 2-4 minutes now take 5-10.

Checking in with 20 minutes remaining on a two-hour flight is not really a viable option anymore. So much for sporadic combat playing strategy.

Boy oh boy do I agree with that.
I am literally immediately ceasing all further combat until things change. I don't have the time to be playing such excruciatingly long combats in a game that's supposed to be for logging in for a few minutes at a time.


I think you guys have put your fingers on the core of the problem: the tediousness, firstly, and, more importantly, the fact that this makes a player less able to sporadically participate in combats. I set a two hour hunt and came back with twenty minutes remaining, as Kana said, and I had to divert to Shriebeck and back to Fuseli to be certain I'd be able to get them all in. Swarms are definitely taking a long time, and encounters with single high-tier perf planes (Nova, Thunderbolt) are irritating as :gonk: because now not only do I have to chase the silly things around forever and a day, but I have to worry about reloading, which just drags it out longer.

I'm not quite at the point where I'm dreading the combat loading screen, but it's definitely gone a few ticks in that direction. Combat is probably my favourite thing in this game, so that's a bit distressing to me.

I, too, appreciate all the hard work that goes into this game, you devs, but I'm offering my opinion in the hopes the feedback will be useful to you as you continue to work and make adjustments. I also have some video I shot of a few combats to point out problems/issues/bugs, which I hope to have posted before the end of the day. Provided my day allows it. :remygrin:

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