THE CURRENT SYSTEM
After reading the post on the math behind heat penalties, it's become apparent that the current system has two glaring flaws: player communication and lots of weapon combinations.
First, it's very difficult to understand and to communicate to players. HUD feedback will come eventually, but players won't be able to know easily how bad things will be. Even in the Mechlab, it will be very difficult to explain - particularly to new players.
There's this scale, and it has a coefficient for each number of weapons. You take your weapon's unique multiplier and multiply it with that. Times the number of weapons you're firing minus the number of weapons it's okay to fire. Or something? It's all a big, unintuitive pain in the ***.
I contend that this will only get worse because, let's face it: PGI is going to have to lump all the big-damage (and perhaps all) weapons together to prevent frankenbuilds from avoiding the penalties.
The PPC, ERPPC, AC/10, AC/20, Gauss Rifle, and possibly even (ER)LL and LPL will be thrown in together because players will continually shift builds around to avoid the issue. And what about the rest of the weapons? What about 6xML+1xAC/20? 7xML is bad, 2xAC/20 is bad, but 6xML+1xAC/20 avoids the penalty? My point is that it's all very inconsistent and difficult to arbitrarily link weapons together. Are we fixing boating in general, or is it fine to alpha 6xML+3xSRM6 something we want avoiding the penalty?
In addition, heat penalties are applied based on the hottest weapon, but how will that work when many different weapons are linked together? At the point where lots of weapons are linked together out of necessity, do you want to apply the ERPPC penalty to a large laser? Does a medium laser deserve the same treatment as an AC/20?
So, for those of you that have read my balance proposal, this is going to look super familiar.
A new scale like the heat scale would be implemented. Let's call it the Heat Buffer Level (thanks, Phaesphoros for the name). Each weapon would have an associated Heat Buffer value. When a weapon is fired, it would add its Heat Buffer value to the 'mech's Heat Buffer Level. Once a 'mech's Heat Buffer Level went over 100%, an exponential heat penalty would be applied. The Heat Buffer value would be displayed in the Mechlab just like heat.
PGI can do one of two things with this scale:
- Do it their way and hide it. Just like what's there now, you can hide it from the player. There's simply a half-second window (though I advocate making it one full second) where the heat penalties can be triggered.
- Try out my way and show it to the player. Make it dissipate at a rate of 100% per second, put some sort of Alpha bar on the HUD, and maybe even change the weapon group icon's colors based on what the heat penalty will be. I advocate transparency and showing the player everything, but I can understand not wanting to overwhelm the player with additional HUD information.
Keep in mind that these numbers are meant to demonstrate the spirit of what I’m going for. Don’t get caught up in the minutia - it’s just a starting point.
The Numbers I Think Are Right:
Numbers Closer to PGI's:
I'm totally not a fan of heat penalties, but if we're going to roll with them, let's do it right. This is surely a more thorough and intelligible method than coupling random weapons with each other and imposing a difficult-to-understand-let-alone-calculate heat penalty. Read The Proposal and glance over The Numbers.
Edited by Homeless Bill, 02 August 2013 - 12:28 AM.