RE Weapons

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RE Weapons

Postby shirepirate » 19 Nov 2017 03:09

Back when I had logged well over 1000+ hours in this game, I tried my best to balance the weapons well for version 1.5 and make them all viable and prevent any from being overpowered. In current stable it's safe to say this is pretty close to the case. In 1.4 we had issues with the flamer secondary and the prevailing shotgun/rifle combo.

I think people like to play shotgun/rifle as these weapons are the closest thing to standard hitscan found in most popular first person shooters. They just perform when you need them to, and perform exponentially better if you can aim very well. But it was important for the other weapons in RE's loadout to have viability as well, as the same old matches on the same old maps with the same old weapons can get tedious even if you love arena shooters.

I dont have any intentions of changing anything up myself now, but ill give some thoughts on how i see the balance and what might be valuable to have moving forward (new content-wise). I've logged ~1200 hours in the hero shooter Overwatch since I became more inactive in RE. I play on a very low mouse sensitivity in shooter games now, and am used to a ping of 15-20 ms. My skills are at least 3x what they were 2 years ago. This has allowed me to see things in some different ways, maybe.

I make these comments here so any who wish to discuss game balance might have a chance before the next major release to share their input. Please be respectful of other's opinions or we'll have to close that discussion.

The sword is just a very unfortunate weapon for RE to have. it is quite fun to use but latency ruins the experience for 2 players to have a proper sword battle (or any 1v1 battle interaction involving 1 player with a sword). With a ping in excess of 250-300 there is just no counter to someone skilled with the sword. Don't think there's much that can be done about that, which is why I say unfortunate.

The zapper is a little overpowered in stable, and a little un-fun to play against. I wouldn't go as to say it's mechanics are not fitting for a game like RE, but the shock residual is a very powerful effect and for a good aimer the zapper can just be devastating. It could use a rework. I'd change it like this:

drastically increase primary fire rays, decrease primary damage, increase primary speed, increase primary spread, drastically decrease primary projectile life time, double primary particle size, decrease primary fire rate, remove primary and secondary explode, remove zapper headshots

/zapperrays1 1 --> /zapperrays1 10
/zapperdamage1 5 --> /zapperdamage1 1
/zapperspeed1 10000 --> /zapperspeed1 25000
/zapperspread1 2.5 --> /zapperspread1 5.0
/zappertime1 100 --> /zappertime1 10
/zapperpartsize1 2.0 --> /zapperpartsize1 4.0
/zapperflakpartsize1 3.0 --> /zapperflakpartsize1 6.0
/zapperdelayattack1 90 --> /zapperdelayattack1 200
/zapperexplode1 3.0 --> /zapperexplode1 0
/zapperexplode2 6.0 --> /zapperexplode2 0
/zapperflakexplode1 3.0 --> /zapperflakexplode1 0
/zapperflakexplode2 6.0 --> /zapperflakexplode2 0
/zapperdamagehead1 1.0 --> /zapperdamagehead1 0.5
/zapperdamagehead2 1.0 --> /zapperdamagehead2 0.5

this effectively makes the zapper a close range weapon and at most an annoyance at longer ranges. the playstyle would be to get in close and hit someone with several primary fires, then land a secondary and finish them off with more primaries. the zapper secondary is still able to stun and inflict shock at it's old range, but without explode it is far less lethal and more an annoyance.

i think the plasma projectile speed up makes it very difficult to land hits on anyone. with this particular weapon, the slower the projectile travels the more effective the weapon will be at medium range as you will land more shots (because of how collision works? i don't know, but i find this to be the case). I would decrease the primary projectile speed from 1250 to 850-900.

the shotgun/rifle nerfs seem to hold very true still in stable. shotgun is far less deadly at range but still a massive damage dealer at close range (and you actually have to aim correctly at the target). it's in a very good place. when i increased the attack delay on rifle secondary, however, should have added a little more ammo. I would make it 8 shots now instead of 6 shots.

the smg is also in a very good place, if you learn how to alternate spamming the secondary and shooting primary it is extremely effective. landing exploding flak onto the actual player model deals more damage as well, but not an overpowered amount. it makes smg the most effective/powerful mid range weapon as i think it should be.

the flamer will always be seen as a little cheesey because of the residual effect it comes with, however, it also seems to be pretty well balanced right now. it is not devastating close range (it takes a good while to kill an enemy) but it is very effective at finishing off low enemies / kill stealing. also for applying a residual and switching to another weapon that deals more damage, or going for the ultimate flamer/zapper cheese loadout. it's secondary was a very good addition to the game and quite innovative, if a little overpowered at first (especially in CTF), but it's at a good level now.

i'll now direct your attention at this old thread:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=681

it would be good to also discuss future weapons or additional items for the game. has claw been well received? do many use it? personally i try to stay away from the sidearms (and explosive items) just to provide more of a challenge for myself. will there be more of these secondary items added to the game, or would a new main loadout weapon be a good idea for the next major release?
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby qreeves » 19 Nov 2017 03:57

All sounds very reasonable.

As v2.0 is, overall, an improvement effort, I probably won't be looking to add any new items until v2.1. I think we've reached a peak with regard to weapons, which is why I would probably pursue the utility item idea in order for players to build their own "character class" based on loadout and utility selected.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby molexted » 19 Nov 2017 06:09

If we're gonna look at weapon balance, then let's look at the statistics we've amassed over the past year.

Weapons by dpm average:
Plasma-178
Rifle-156
SMG-145
Flamer-145
SG-143
Sword-135
Zapper-123

Weapons by wield %:
SG-25
Rifle-19
Plasma-13
SMG-13
Flamer-5
Sword-4
Zapper-4

Weapons by damage% total:
SG-29%
Rifle-24%
Plasma-18%
SMG-15%
Flamer-6%
Sword-4%
Zapper-4%

Weapons by frag% total:
SG-32%
Rifle-22%
Plasma-19%
SMG-14%
Flamer-6%
Sword-5%
Zapper-3%

Looking at this, a few things are appearent:
  • Plasma has become the "noob" weapon of choice, having the highest overall DPM and deals more damage than flamer and zapper combined over an average match.
  • Zapper isn't OP. It isn't average. It's dead last, being the least used, least damaging, and least effective weapon to deal frags.
  • Shotgun, despite being nerfed already, is still the most popular weapon.
  • SMG is the definition of an average weapon, which is great since nobody seems to complain about it.
  • Rifle is still only second to the shotgun in usage and total damage dealt- a long range weapon should ideally deal less DPM than its closer-range brethren, though nerfing the rifle is not a plausible solution for several reasons (read: all rifle user's heads will implode)
  • The dreaded flamer/zapper noober is nearly a myth: if, say, half of flamer users are also zapper users (reality is lower), the incidence of such players is somewhere around 2%.and is roughly equal to (SniperGoth)/(size of entire community)

Some thoughts:

  • Zapper doesn't belong into the smörgåsbord of short range weapons we already have; what we need is a long range weapon which can act as a counter and alternative to the rifle (which is what the zapper was intended to be the first time, but has failed at). As it is, it's a terrible weapon, cursed to be the more annoying and less effective version of the SMG.
  • Plasma is rather powerful for what it is and should be weakened in comparison to the other weapons. Slowing it down might make it less effective, but the primary annoyance with the plasma is its bindingness at long range (projectile fills FOV and makes it hard to see) and that would not be fixed by a slower projectile.
  • Flamer isn't overpowered and isn't particularly underpowered, it's just boring, annoying, and "nooby". To be accepted as a non-noob weapon it probably has to be made more effective at the cost of increased difficulty of use (possibly more arc and less speed with the bonus of somewhat longer range)
  • SMG is fine, sitting right in the middle of every metric. It doesn't need to change.
  • Sword is going to be tough to fix, because if it's buffed any more, an expert will demolish everyone else at close range whilst still being useless to noob players. It's probably best to leave this one alone since it's bound to be a specialist weapon or a totally overpowered one.
  • Rifle is the only way to be "good" at RE. The other weapons are fine for FFA or munching through bots, but rifle absolutely dominates duel gameplay, which is somewhat the nature of such a weapon. Another weapon capable of countering the rifle (zapper?) is necessary to avoid total rifle domination in competetive gameplay.
  • SG is still popular and effective despite its significant nerf. Buffing it isn't a great idea, since it clearly isn't hurting for usage.
  • In DM, claw is a toy, being way too low damage to be worth the risk of getting right in somebody else's face. It's pretty much exclusively used for race.
  • Pistol is a relatively decent weapon and pretty much is more useful than claw in every way in terms of trying to hurt opponents.

  • Red Eclipse is by its nature going to be very, very difficult to balance. In Quake, weapons are in the arena and as such can be reduced or removed to better accommodate the limitations of the map (so everyone doesn't use rifles in an open map, etc). Likewise, weapons have a cost to attain; there is a certain amount of risk required to attain a more effective weapon; there is a cost and reward for attempting to pick it up. In RE, weapons are free to choose; given the choice, all players would pick the two best weapons in the game to use; if another option is, say, 5% less effective at getting frags, there's no reason to bother since there was no reason to pick a less effective weapon.
  • Red Eclipse generally has the DPM characteristics of an arena shooter; the weapons do relatively little damage and it often takes several hits to kill. However, it lacks the map control aspect of an arena shooter, with pickups to control player movements facilitated by the inability to deal heavy damage quickly. Additionally, RE lacks the explosive weapons characteristic of an arena shooter, which makes it easier to deal damage with low-dps weapons. What it seems to me is that Red Eclipse is really a twitch shooter with the movement and damage characteristics of an arena shooter. Red Eclipse's defining feature is its movement, so the simplest way to make the game closer to a distinct catagory of shooter (twitch) would be to increase damage where it could hopefully find a wider audience than being trapped in between genres. Continuing to call RE an arena shooter is rather inaccurate given the lack of the single most important aspect of an arena shooter (pickups), and no such addition is forthcoming.

The Rifle Rant
The (sniper) rifle is a specialist tool. It should be useful only in the vast minority of circumstances, and should be clearly and painfully weak at doing anything other than its job: dispatching enemies at ranges longer than any other weapon is effective at. But in Red Eclipse, it is much more than that; it is the cornerstone of gameplay. The rifle is strong enough and can be used quickly enough that a skilled user can easily counter others at nearly any range beyond point-blank and even counter multiple adversaries before they can be killed. By keeping the rifle elevated to the status of a main battle weapon, it has become impossible to balance due to it being a very useful weapon for a large swath of the community because it requires nothing more and nothing less than pure aiming skill. Other weapons have to use strategy in order to awnser to the rifle's general lack of weaknesses; the rifle user simply has to be able to aim well. This kind of gameplay is antithetical to how properly balanced weapons should play: each and every weapon should have another weapon for which it cannot counter, for which the user is required to switch weapons. The rifle alone, with its high fire rate and high damage potential, is capable of transcending that rock-paper-scissors balance with relative ease in the hands of a skilled user. No weapon, no matter how much aim skill required to use, should be able to unequivocally able to defeat the best efforts of every other weapon. The rifle should not alone be placed upon a pedestal for other weapons to look up upon and weep.

These are just my personal opinions, don't get too wrapped up in them.

For those blissfully unaware, I play the polar opposite setup as shire: I have my sensitivity set to extremely high levels, about 2cm/rotation, and play almost exlcusively with flamer. I normally play matches at least 150ms away and often up to 300ms away from me and nearly always play without audio. I find using the rifle boring and almost always use one of the "noob" loadouts (TheAssassin has kicked me in the past for being a "noob"). Being first and foremost a layout designer, I grapple constantly with how RE's weapon balance is constructed due to its inherent importance in designing a level which is well-balanced for every weapon.
Full disclaimer: I own an Opteron.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby shirepirate » 19 Nov 2017 20:19

surprised to see that plasma usage and effectiveness is that high, this might make the change i suggested a little overpowered as generally it makes it easier to land shots. i don't think the blinding aspect of the particles is all that difficult to fix, but it was always just the vast minority that complained about it and it was left in because it made the plasma look cooler and have a more unique aesthetic. plus considering it's secondary, the primary is almost nothing.

to fix rifle in the way you're suggesting the primary fire would have to be changed to something far less accurate and powerful, don't know if that is the correct route to go (im guessing no). at one point it might have dealt less damage, but without headshots i believe it still takes 3 bodyshots to kill someone. just because the rifle is popular doesn't mean it dominates the mid-range damage dealers. smg should be more effective here, especially considering it's hitpush makes it difficult for the enemy to land accurate shots.

as for zapper, it's true this was intended as a rifle counter of sorts with it's current stats, and sort of true that it fails at that in general (in that it will probably fail if 2 players of equal skill match up zapper vs rifle long range). zapper vs anything else long range is very unsatisfying on the receiving end, however. it's secondary is so powerful if you land multiple rays with the explosion you almost don't even need to use the primary, though the primary is extremely easy to hit shots with and very forgiving with extremely long range. this is why the weapon really needs to be changed in some way.

looking in other games for examples, the best way to counter a sniper is either with your own sniper or with direct, close and effective combat. while each map may contain a great deal of open space and camping spots, there is smg flak to ward them away from their spot and challenge them better once you reach mid-range, or rifle them yourself and simply outplay the sniper. with zapper being at the bottom of the list for damage dealing yet still feeling so terrible to play against, this was why i suggested a rework. if the community feels that another rifle counter is more important than the zapper feeling overbearing, however, maybe that is not the correct route. might be worth discussing some more. keep in mind that the zapper is very infrequently used, however, and the cases in which you might have gone up against an opponent of great skill wielding the zapper were likely few and far between.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby Bobbo » 20 Nov 2017 01:48

Regarding weapon effectiveness/stats
Judging weapon effectiveness by the average stats is a bit misleading. Consider sword, which is the second to worse weapon on that list. However, if you then look at myself or zaquest, that goes up to 250~/330~ respectively for skilled players. It's also worth noting that while zaquest's dpm is a lot more than mine, I have my sword out nearly three times as much.

Regarding zapper
That said, the DPS players are doing with weapons aren't the sole indications of power. As shire pointed out, zapper is very dissatisfying to be on the receiving end of, and while it's damage (apparently) isn't that high, it's stun and shock make it overpowered and a detested weapon in the community. I suspect more players would use it if it wasn't seen as such a "noob" weapon to use like flamer2 was in 1.4. Bots with zapper are extremely annoying because of this behaviour (combined with their aimbot style aiming). I've been saying this should've been a long ranged weapon (probably with zooming, otherwise it's hard to make it effective), as an alternative choice to rifle The proposed changes to zapper are, imo, in the wrong direction. It turns zapper1 into an electric shotgun1 (something we don't need) and doesn't address the actual issue that's causing the stigma around the weapon; stun/shock.

Regarding rifle
Tbh, I wouldn't really do anything. While rifle is rather popular, it's not insanely popular. It is a very powerful weapon in skilled hands, but also has counters that people don't take much advantage of (e.g., tunnel vision, slow response time (charging up, scoping out delay and longer (est?) delayattack of any weapon), high visibility). Some of these we could make worse without really effecting the power of the weapon in a way that's met with heavy resistance. Remember it's high popularity will be down to the size of some of REs maps, combined with the ability to move to remote distances quickly (via parkour and pushers) and the fact that it is the only weapon with an effective range greater than 40m~).

Regarding shotgun
Shotgun has probably had enough nerfing, but I find it rather unsatisfactory to use because of it's spray n pray nature. Shots from sg1 often only do a few points of damage (4-12) and the relatively long delay makes it feel meh. I'd reduce the damage and spread on shotgun1. The problem of it doing "too much" damage at close range isn't going to go away by increasing the spread, and doing that and reducing damage is just reducing it's usefulness too much.
shotgun2 has become very spray n pray also (often used in survivor now as a way of attempting to cover a small area with damage without exposing yourself). I'd move a point or two from the flag/frag (or reduce the amount) and put that damage into the main projectile, keeping the weapon damage neutral while discouraging this spray-n-pray style of game play.
Also remember that shotgun's main competition is flamer and sword. Sword is a very tricky weapon to use effectively and flamer has much shorter range.

Regarding sword
As I pointed out at the start, when in the hands of a skilled player, sword is very effective. My only comments really is that the strong may be a bit strong (particularly on sword1 for it's delayattack) and it's a bit buggy (hitscan/animation issues, base:issue:219, base:issue:435 and others unreported). While it'd be nice to fix those issues, fixing them may mean changing the behaviour of the sword, which'll probably upset players who'll need to relearn it. If the animations/behaviour is changing in RE 2.0 then that is the time to fix it, don't delay it, you'll annoy sword users. sword1 may be underused (generally only newer players who don't understand that sword2 does more damage use it), but I do occasionally use it because it's faster than sword2 if I know my target is on low health.

I do have thoughts on the rest of the weapons, however I generally feel they're not as important (and much less, about to get changed). I'd also like to say that not much attention should be paid to the loadout percentages of weapons. While in theory they should each be around 14% each, that'll never happen. Some weapons are too specialised (e.g., sword) and it'll depend on the player's play style. There's also the fact that we're allowed to pick two weapons and how the weapons are split into short (sword, shotgun, flamer, zapper (kinda)), medium (plasma, smg, zapper (kinda)) and long range (rifle).
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby Dziq » 20 Nov 2017 15:07

problem is not like only with that you guys see. projectiles are way too slow in certain weapons (shotgun, smg), and balancing all these is not a hard task as you think... , but whatever I'm curious how do you guys resolve that problem.. players see current vars and think: -"omg what wrong with these weapons" , "why I cant hit someone!" -"why half of the weapons is weak" and other blabla. but again, you guys know better looking at stats that are not reflect players thoughts
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby SniperGoth » 22 Nov 2017 11:43

Personally i'd make the zapper a medium-range beam-weapon type (see Quake 3's lightning gun as a example, VERY accurate/useful, but extremelly hard to master), because right now, even if zapper1 is accurate, most of the time im barelly able to hit enemies, as i think that happens because it's not hitscan, and instead, a projectile.
I did try yesterday changing the speed to 200000, yet even with it that way, was barely able to hit others, and changing the collision to hitscan on the variable menu makes the shot not really "get out of the gun", if you know what i mean.
I'd also remove the explosion it has, as it makes the player just get stuck on place when getting hit.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby qreeves » 22 Nov 2017 12:44

The "hitscan" bit is for the sword/melee which runs a constant trace between the "weapon" and "muzzle" tags. Everything else is a projectile, there are no hitscan weapons in the conventional sense. This is a design decision, but there are ways around it (see the mine2 detonation).

That being said, I do want to revamp the Zapper to be more like the lightning gun from Quake, which was the original intention. Coming up with a decent alternate fire mode is the question though.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby Bobbo » 22 Nov 2017 12:56

I imagine you were struggling with it because it's a small projectile and hitting at range (without scope) isn't so easy. Even smg is pretty spray n pray (particularly when the target isn't shooting back at you). plasma isn't so bad because the projectiles are large and have explode.

Zapper2 should be an alternative to rifle2, we need another long ranged, scoped weapon.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby shirepirate » 23 Nov 2017 06:23

i haven't played any of the quakes, but from what i can see this is like a constant energy beam? that's very interesting, think i like that approach even more.

this is a little farfetched, but perhaps it might be fun to code: the alternative fire could be a long ranged attack that inflicts shock not unlike what it currently is (it needs to be toned down though, the current iteration is too overpowered) that acts as a charge level for the zapper, which slowly depletes. the more rays hit with the alternate fire, the more damage the primary fire will do per second, ramping up from a base value.

might be too complicated though.

worth noting the alternate fire could also be nerfed from it's current iteration by changing the shock residual it causes to something unique from mines, making it cause less stun and not last for as long.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby Bobbo » 23 Nov 2017 07:22

If zapper2 is scoped, it doesn't stand to good reason that you'd be able hit effectively with zapper1 unless you closed the distance.

The mechanic also seems a little complicated for an arena fps, newbs have a lot to learn as it is.

I feel shock (and residue at range in general) should be left to the pickups. Even if it's reduced on zapper2, the only way for it to not be op is to have 0 stun.
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Re: RE Weapons

Postby Dziq » 23 Nov 2017 15:47

,, 0 stun? or make it a less agrressive maybe? less shock time??
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