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Mwo Is Dooooomed (With Regard To Weapon Balance). Part 2, Continued From Closed Beta.


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#1 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

On June 17, 2012, I posted a thread (http://mwomercs.com/...__fromsearch__1) stating that the Developer’s on-going attempts to balance weapons without some mechanism of weapon spread (cone of fire, convergence, etc) were doomed. And by extension, the game itself was likely doomed to suffer terrible weapon/armor balance.

During this thread the Devs indicated that a solution (weapon convergence, even if this is a non-optimal solution) would be implemented that would address this issue. They asked me to wait.

I promised I would wait.

I have waited more than six months.

The Devs are continuing to balance (or unbalance) weapons. But they haven’t bothered implementing their favored solution (weapon convergence) and as I predicted, we are seeing the predicted progression of cascading problems related to groups of weapons being pin-point accurate:
  • Significant deviations from BattleTech canon for weapons (ML, LL, ACs, LRMs, SRMs, etc) including damage/heat making individual weapons weak relative to armor
  • Armor doubled exacerbating the individual weapon weakness
  • Hardpoints significantly limiting customization (not ideal, but tolerable)
  • Large weapons are not powerful (Single AC20 = not dangerous)
  • Need groups of small weapons to be effective, single ML or SL is basically worthless vs. doubled armor, especially with heat nerf to MLs
  • Mechs are generally nerfed because small weapons are nerfed (MGs, SLs, MLs, etc) combined with hardpoints.
  • Grouped weapons dominate the field (2xGR, 2-4xPPC, 3-6xLL, 9xSL, 2xAC20, 4xAC2, 3xUAC5) because individual weapons are weak compared to groups of weapons and vs. double armor.
  • Constant struggles when implementing and balancing new ‘Mechs/variants/weapons (new ‘Mechs need to be hardpoint nerfed to prevent unbalanced grouped weapon configurations such as 3xGR mechs... though they’re coming via CBT canon). The Stalker with it’s 6LL/6PPC is just the most recent issue.
In brief, without weapon spread, BattleTech weapon, critical, internal structure, and armor models can not and will not be balanced in a MechWarrior game. This is not hyperbole. This is fact. If you have a system where you can add more than one weapon of a given type to a ‘Mech and shoot them with pinpoint accuracy, you have effectively created WeaponX2. Or WeaponX5. Or whatever multiplier is appropriate. If I can combine 8 Medium Lasers into a ‘super-laser’ that hits for 8-times the damage due to pin-point accuracy and convergence, the weapon/armor model will ALWAYS be broken. Doesn’t matter if it’s lasers, PPCs, Gauss, or ACs.

The only way to fix this is to modify the behavior of weapons fired in a group vs. those fired singly. Keep in mind here, I’m not asking for ‘dice-based’ gaming. I’m not asking for CBT or death. I’m asking for sanity. This is a pure mathematical argument on damage (D) from a number of weapons (n).

D < D*n where n > 1

Groups of weapons are ALWAYS more effective than a single weapon of that type. Always. This is why people boat weapons. It’s because it’s the smart thing to do.

However, this is a FIXABLE problem.

Therefore, I, again, call upon the Developers to fix this. Implement some version of weapon spread. Implement weapon convergence. (the current 2-target recticle thing doesn’t do anything). Implement SOMETHING before it is too late. If you move out of Open Beta without even trying this, you will have failed to adequately test and explore the game development space. This game deserves a chance to be tested with weapon spread for weapons fired in groups or in rapid succession. And if we go much further into Open Beta (or full launch), I very much doubt that there will be a chance to go back and try weapon spread in the future.

Beta is the time for this to happen. Please, give us a chance to test this. MechWarrior with a cone-of-fire could be an amazing game. You could balance heat effects on weapons (as is intended in classic BattleTech), you can balance groups of weapons, you can adjust for movement (walking vs. running vs. jumping), knock, and everything else we’ve wanted. You just have to give it a chance. There is a reason that most combat simulation games use cone-of-fire. It works. It simulates actual effects of combat. But even weapon convergence would help. Almost anything would help.

Except tweaking individual weapons.

Whack-a-mole balancing will always lead to the ‘next-best’ weapons/loadout/’Mech being made ‘best’. That’s what’s going to happen when they tweak the hardpoints on the K2 or adjust the Guass, or whatever. My guess is that LLs or PPCs will become the ‘next best’, but I guess we’ll see.

If weapon spread in some fashion isn’t implemented, all you’ve done is update the graphics on MW4 weapon balance. This is a fine thing, but it’s not the ‘best’ it can be.

I’ll be happy to answer questions and clarify anything that is unclear. Before responding, keep the following issues in mind:

1. While I would like CBT values, that’s not the point of this post. The proposed fix has the side-effect of allowing CBT values, but does not require them. It only allows you to balance single weapons vs. groups of weapons. The benefit of the fix is that it allows us to actually simulate CBT. Thus... MechWarrior.

2. Because single weapons fired sufficiently apart (subject to balance, probably 0.5-1 second gap to prevent macroing) are NOT subject to weapon spread (read the above carefully), this idea does NOT make the game into a random number generator. If you fire one weapon at a time, you are still pin-point accurate. Good gunnery still matters, the proposed solution just allows you to use big weapons to maximum effect. If you fire groups, then you suffer the consequences (as intended by the fix).

3. There are lots of other ways to implement a variation on weapon spread (e.g., MPBT:3025 dropped damage on weapons fired together). Cone of fire is my favorite, but I just want one of them implemented. Pick one.

Developers, I warned you in June 2012. I’m warning you again now. Add weapon spread or be prepared to suffer MW4-type grouped weapon balance problems indefinitely to the detriment of the game and its longevity.

Insanity

Edit: Fixed formatting.

Edited by HRR Insanity, 07 January 2013 - 05:20 PM.


#2 Grrzoot

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:20 PM

your colors arent showing up.

and seriously, if they make all weapons hit cone of fire all i will do is spray and pray all day and quit. Seriously, it takes all point of skill at shooting out of the game and instead becomes everyone boating largest damage weapons spraying at center torsos.

I don't understand either what this would accomplish, so now to be accurate i have to fire my LL or PPC's, one at a time, or they just spread damage.

At this point in time all that will do is slow down the game, create a completely different kind of weapon imbalance all together and make lights even more op. If i want spread damage weapons i will boat missles, if i want accuracy i will run lasers or ballistics.

suggestions are fine but they will not give you the result you think that they will.

#3 gavilatius

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

MWO isnt doomed, it's just lacking. they're still hiring people who have the skillsets they need,

it takes time, and for such a small company on such a big project, more time than expected

#4 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

View PostGrrzoot, on 07 January 2013 - 05:20 PM, said:

your colors arent showing up.


Fixed.

Quote

and seriously, if they make all weapons hit cone of fire all i will do is spray and pray all day and quit. Seriously, it takes all point of skill at shooting out of the game and instead becomes everyone boating largest damage weapons spraying at center torsos.


Read the post. Individual weapons would be PERFECTLY accurate. You would only be subject to the cone of fire IF you fired in groups OR if you fired in rapid succession (to avoid macros).

Quote

I don't understand either what this would accomplish, so now to be accurate i have to fire my LL or PPC's, one at a time, or they just spread damage.


Correct.

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At this point in time all that will do is slow down the game,


Which was the Devs stated intent of doubling armor which screwed up all of the weapon balance terribly.

Instead of doubling armor (making big weapons useless), you get the same weapon spread and the increased survivability.

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create a completely different kind of weapon imbalance all together


Yes, one that actually resembled BattleTech.

Quote

and make lights even more op.


Please explain this statement. In fact, it will make lights LESS powerful because they won't be able to run a ML30 (6xML).

Quote

If i want spread damage weapons i will boat missles, if i want accuracy i will run lasers or ballistics.


No, if you want to break the armor/damage model, you will run boated weapons. That's what everyone does. Because it's the smart way to play.

Quote

suggestions are fine but they will not give you the result you think that they will.


Yes, it will.

Edited by HRR Insanity, 07 January 2013 - 05:37 PM.


#5 Jetfire

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

There are 2 parts to this and with them included the game would have a lot more depth.

1. Only fully articulated arms can have adjustable to target convergence. Torso and Up/Down only arms should fire at a fixed convergence of the weapons maximum effective distance. The reason being that these items are not all mounted on individual articulated gimbals. This makes where you mount weapons important as it will affect the spread. Center of mass weapons on the torso like the Centurions lasers have no convergence issues as they are mounted dead center on the reticules.

2. Cone of Fire. Just because I point a reticule at something does not gaurantee a hit. There needs to be an inclusion of some inaccuracy due to simple slop in the system. The tech who lines up your weapons will not get it 100%. Try sighting in a real rifle. The faster you move the more vibration and uncertainty. The more heat, the slower your targeting computer can keep up.

That said, modules and equipment should be able to improve accuracy and heat proof the targeting computer.

Edited by Jetfire, 07 January 2013 - 05:38 PM.


#6 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

View PostSoy, on 07 January 2013 - 05:33 PM, said:

ROFLING AT THIS GUY


Perhaps you have a criticism that involves actually reading and responding to the post?

Or... perhaps not.

#7 Sug

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

I was on the cone of fire boat in closed beta and still am.

#8 MadcatX

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

View PostHRR Insanity, on 07 January 2013 - 05:12 PM, said:

  • Significant deviations from BattleTech canon for weapons (ML, LL, ACs, LRMs, SRMs, etc) including damage/heat making individual weapons weak relative to armor
  • Armor doubled exacerbating the individual weapon weakness
  • Hardpoints significantly limiting customization (not ideal, but tolerable)
  • Large weapons are not powerful (Single AC20 = not dangerous)
  • Need groups of small weapons to be effective, single ML or SL is basically worthless vs. doubled armor, especially with heat nerf to MLs
  • Mechs are generally nerfed because small weapons are nerfed (MGs, SLs, MLs, etc) combined with hardpoints.
  • Grouped weapons dominate the field (2xGR, 2-4xPPC, 3-6xLL, 9xSL, 2xAC20, 4xAC2, 3xUAC5) because individual weapons are weak compared to groups of weapons and vs. double armor.
  • Constant struggles when implementing and balancing new ‘Mechs/variants/weapons (new ‘Mechs need to be hardpoint nerfed to prevent unbalanced grouped weapon configurations such as 3xGR mechs... though they’re coming via CBT canon). The Stalker with it’s 6LL/6PPC is just the most recent issue.


I read up to this and noticed 2 patterns:
bolded: You seem to put a lot more emphasis on double armor then actual weapons
underline: You criticize the lack of hardpoint customization and then follow up by requesting a hardpoint nerf in the future.

As for "weapon spread"... feel free to load up on LB10X's....

#9 Solis Obscuri

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

View PostHRR Insanity, on 07 January 2013 - 05:12 PM, said:

  • Large weapons are not powerful (Single AC20 = not dangerous)

Posted Image

#10 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

View PostMadcatX, on 07 January 2013 - 05:46 PM, said:


I read up to this and noticed 2 patterns:
bolded: You seem to put a lot more emphasis on double armor then actual weapons
underline: You criticize the lack of hardpoint customization and then follow up by requesting a hardpoint nerf in the future.
As for "weapon spread"... feel free to load up on LB10X's....


You misunderstand.

The double armor was the developers solution to 'Mechs dying instantly due to pinpoint accurate massive combined fire.

The hardpoints were ANOTHER nerf to prevent people from boating 12+ MLs to create a ML70 that would rip off limbs or core people instantly.

The Devs have been forced to use hardpoints AND double armor to keep people alive long enough to play.

My comments indicate that all of these problems are due to the lack of an intelligent implementation of weapon spread.

They are entirely consistent.

View PostSolis Obscuri, on 07 January 2013 - 05:51 PM, said:

Dumb face pic...


Yes, the AC20 is a 'decent' weapon in that it will actually reduce armor on a 'Mech by 20-60% in a section. In the TT version, the AC20 was a devastating weapon that could cripple 'Mechs.

Currently it damages paint slightly better.

In MWO, the most effective use of an AC20 is in... a Pair of AC20s.

It is significantly worse than 4 MLs + sufficient sinks to fire them forever. For less tonnage.

Edited by HRR Insanity, 07 January 2013 - 05:58 PM.


#11 Davers

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

I think this quote from PC Gamer best sums up why I like double armor:


"Time to die

Central to the fun that arises from mech-slaying is how MechWarrior handles time. Mech combat (relative to Counter-Strike or Tribes, for instance) is slow and punctuated by many pauses. Waiting for heat to dissipate, waiting for weapons to cycle, waiting for a missile lock, waiting for your engine to catch up to your throttle command, waiting for your torso to rotate—these are purposeful delays. They create time to sweat, grit your teeth, iterate on tactics, or savor the gradual erosion of your opponent.


Without these delays, and without mechs’ durability, there wouldn’t be this temporal space for players’ emotions to swirl in. If you’ve taken swings at a piñata, you’ve experienced the same sort of anxiety, uncertainty, and sadistic pleasure.


Whack. Did I get it?
Miss. Dammit. I’ll choke up on bat this time.
Whack. Candy!


Laser blast. His left arm is orange. Good.
A missile barrage curls over a hill toward an unseen target. Did I get him?
Boom. His right torso is red. A couple more shots could do it.




It’s the player’s uncertainty and the durability of the target that makes piñata-crushing fun. MechWarrior grants you a sense of your enemy’s vulnerabilities, but the game never allows you absolute certainty about when their steel shell will crack open. Not knowing when an opponent will pop creates pleasant, see-sawing anticipation and anxiety—moments like sneaking up behind an Atlas, sitting in its blind spot, and carving at it with Medium Lasers until it… almost… so close… just one more shot… one more…drops dead. Mechs’ literal weight differences, too, also means it’s meaningful when a Jenner fells an Atlas, or a Catapult bullies a Cicada with LRM barrages.


A suite of interconnected mechanics are at work under mechs’ skin. As enemies, they’re as expressive objects as you’ll find in gaming, and their design presents problems that are inherently fun to solve."




#12 MadcatX

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

But wouldn't the implementation of weapon spread remove the element of aiming to an extent? As mentioned before it would become spray and pray. We've already had that implemented once in the streakpult to an extent.

#13 hashinshin

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:10 PM

The TT players strike back: The return of TT players!

#14 Grrzoot

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

and make lights even more op.



"Please explain this statement. In fact, it will make lights LESS powerful because they won't be able to run a ML30 (6xML)."
so normally i don't respond again because there is no point in arguing with someone who has thier mind made up, let me just say what you are looking for is a turn based game not a real time one. But i will respond to this one point.
Ecm and streaks, i saw nothing in your post hinting at streaks, lights under ecm feild allready chainfire thier streaks and so would not be subject to your arbitrarary proposed ruleset. being able to only pinpoint damage on them one weapon at a time increases thier allready great survivability even more and gives them the bonus advantage they allready have. While the other players, mediums,assaults and heavies have to painstakingly try to chase them around firing one weapon at a time trying to leg them while they run circles around us.

Edited by Grrzoot, 07 January 2013 - 06:12 PM.


#15 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

View PostDavers, on 07 January 2013 - 06:02 PM, said:

I think this quote from PC Gamer best sums up why I like double armor:


"Time to die

Central to the fun that arises from mech-slaying is how MechWarrior handles time. Mech combat (relative to Counter-Strike or Tribes, for instance) is slow and punctuated by many pauses. Waiting for heat to dissipate, waiting for weapons to cycle, waiting for a missile lock, waiting for your engine to catch up to your throttle command, waiting for your torso to rotate—these are purposeful delays. They create time to sweat, grit your teeth, iterate on tactics, or savor the gradual erosion of your opponent.

Without these delays, and without mechs’ durability, there wouldn’t be this temporal space for players’ emotions to swirl in. If you’ve taken swings at a piñata, you’ve experienced the same sort of anxiety, uncertainty, and sadistic pleasure.




Agree. But you can have that EXACT same effect and with more suspense if you make each weapon important. Rather than making each weapon a bare scratch on the enemy (as they are now), you can have people picking shots with that AC20.

Right now it's very much a lot of fire for not much effect. I'd rather have less fire, more skill, and careful gameplay with actual heat, armor, and weapons value that resemble BattleTech.

View PostMadcatX, on 07 January 2013 - 06:05 PM, said:

But wouldn't the implementation of weapon spread remove the element of aiming to an extent? As mentioned before it would become spray and pray. We've already had that implemented once in the streakpult to an extent.


Read the post.

ONLY weapons that are fired in groups would spread. Individual weapons would be perfectly accurate (so long as they weren't fired in rapid succession; avoids macros).

So no, it would not be all spray-and-pray. You could do that if you wish... but you would be much less effective than a skilled player who managed his weapons and carefully fired.

This also gives incentive for people to take bigger weapons instead of boating small weapons. This could remove the need for hardpoints substantially.

The alphastrike would still be there as a 'last resort' but unlike the present, it wouldn't be EVERY shot is an alphastrike.

Edited by HRR Insanity, 07 January 2013 - 06:20 PM.


#16 Jetfire

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

View PostGrrzoot, on 07 January 2013 - 06:11 PM, said:

and make lights even more op.



"Please explain this statement. In fact, it will make lights LESS powerful because they won't be able to run a ML30 (6xML)."
so normally i don't respond again because there is no point in arguing with someone who has thier mind made up, let me just say what you are looking for is a turn based game not a real time one. But i will respond to this one point.
Ecm and streaks, i saw nothing in your post hinting at streaks, lights under ecm feild allready chainfire thier streaks and so would not be subject to your arbitrarary proposed ruleset. being able to only pinpoint damage on them one weapon at a time increases thier allready great survivability even more and gives them the bonus advantage they allready have. While the other players, mediums,assaults and heavies have to painstakingly try to chase them around firing one weapon at a time trying to leg them while they run circles around us.


The 3rd point I forgot on my post should have been the streak miss mechanic. Streaks would need a lock-on followed by a firing solution per additional salvo. Maybe 75% of the original lock-on time. Streaks could fire after lock on before firing solution like they currently fire after lock, but there would be something like a 50% miss chance. Spamming streaks would then be counter productive as you would be throwing more ammo down range for less statistically likely damage.

#17 Draxtier

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

The things you're identifying as problems aren't problems, and the "fixes" you're suggesting would make the game a fair bit less interesting and less fun, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Game play in MWO is pretty balanced right now, and works just fine with group firing of accurate weapons. There is simply no need to radically alter something so fundamental as making group firing inaccurate.

#18 Daekar

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

I'm still enjoying the game, but I have experienced frustration which I believe is a symptom of the issue the OP brings up. TTK is simply too low with some weapons and mechs and too high in others. High alpha builds are far more effective than they should be at essentially taking a mech out of the fight in one shot. I don't hqve a solution, but that's not my job... my job as a tester is to ask that the devs find a solution... and I believe the pinpoint damage of stacked weapons is a problem that needs a solution.

But I'm not worried... they'll balance it "good enough" one way or another.... and if they don't there is always MW:T, where there are no convergence issues. :-)

#19 HRR Insanity

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:26 PM

View PostGrrzoot, on 07 January 2013 - 06:11 PM, said:

and make lights even more op.
"Please explain this statement. In fact, it will make lights LESS powerful because they won't be able to run a ML30 (6xML)."
so normally i don't respond again because there is no point in arguing with someone who has thier mind made up, let me just say what you are looking for is a turn based game not a real time one.


No, I want a MechWarrior that resembles BattleTech. As it should.

Quote

But i will respond to this one point.
Ecm and streaks, i saw nothing in your post hinting at streaks, lights under ecm feild allready chainfire thier streaks and so would not be subject to your arbitrarary proposed ruleset. being able to only pinpoint damage on them one weapon at a time increases thier allready great survivability even more and gives them the bonus advantage they allready have. While the other players, mediums,assaults and heavies have to painstakingly try to chase them around firing one weapon at a time trying to leg them while they run circles around us.


Streaks fired as a group will probably do a lot of damage. But that damage will be spread all over the 'Mech. Once they figure out how to make Streaks actually perform like they're supposed to. Until they do, they'll be just as overpowered as they are now... but...

Let's imagine what I've described. If we go back to standard armor values... suddenly, you don't have to hit the light more than maybe ONCE with a decent weapon to rip a leg off. As it should be. If a light gets in close and makes a piloting error, it should die.

And yes, I play lights, so I'm not a light hater.

View PostDraxtier, on 07 January 2013 - 06:20 PM, said:

The things you're identifying as problems aren't problems, and the "fixes" you're suggesting would make the game a fair bit less interesting and less fun, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Game play in MWO is pretty balanced right now, and works just fine with group firing of accurate weapons. There is simply no need to radically alter something so fundamental as making group firing inaccurate.


So you enjoy the fact that the best configurations are always going to be n*WeaponY?

You will not enjoy it when you run into a competitive team that is min/maxing boats.

#20 Kaboodle

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

I like how he calls the massively problematic 6xPPC stalker the overpowered flavor this month. Vdek would be proud. You realize it can only be fired once every 15s. Honestly I think adding such a HUGE luck based gameplay mechanic would be stupid. One of the best parts is that if I aim at something, I hit it.

Making it so there was a cone of fire would mean that "boating" as you so put it, would be utterly luck based. And since plenty of mechs were designed to at least partially boat, 4x MPulse on the atlas variant, multiple mechs have 3-4 MedLas as stock too, and they are MEANT to be fired together. If you don't want your own personal aim to be a factor in a match, go play WoT where %s to Penetrate and Cone of Fire have a larger effect on gameplay than ability to aim.

If you want TT based Mechwarrior, go get into the Mechwarrior Tactics beta, it's basically a cut and paste TT into a game.

Leave us people who like to aim and pinpoint direct attacks, be able to do it.





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