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Ask The Devs - 44 - Answers!


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#61 Chronojam

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:44 PM

View PostBaron von Mechthofen, on 08 August 2013 - 04:07 PM, said:

That's right, newcomers, the game was once not all about the long-range high-alpha nonsense you see today. It was like that without needless new bizarro-world heat systems. Belorion saw it, I saw it, the rest of the founders saw it. Several changes and updates combined made the game devolve into a snipefest. To believe that we need bizarro heat systems that punish "SRM2 boating" is incredibly dishonest because we've seen it work without such insanity.

Here's a quick-fix for dethroning the high-alpha long-range metagame. First, make mechs survivable enough to close the distance. Second, make close-range weaponry effective enough once you're there. Ta-da! PGI refuses to do that; they do the opposite even.

Adding heat penalties to SRM2 and SRM4 launchers, stripping their splash damage while making SSRM2 worthless, adding penalties to lasers, and screwing over twin AC/20 builds is going in the wrong direction and makes it harder for close range mechs to compete. Making mechs die faster via critical damage bonuses, and making mechs struggle to maneuvers up slopes, only makes it more likely for a mech to die to sniper fire before it enters weapons range. In short, the "balance changes" PGI have made simply continue to tip the scales towards the high-alpha long-range sniper meta by making other weapons less effective by comparison. You could balance the game without touching PPCs at all if you were willing to touch all the other weapons and adjust time-to-kill in order to make them competitive.

View PostBaron von Mechthofen, on 08 August 2013 - 11:21 PM, said:

PGI's balancing and mechanics changes, thus far, have done nothing to diminish the dominant strategy and the single most dominant build the game has seen. It's been seven months -- there is no time for it to "shake out" and it's not magically fading as you seem to believe. I argue that PGI's most recent balancing attempts have done nothing but reinforce this dominant strategy and its dominant build by decreasing the viability of once competitive builds, such as the twinned AC/20s on an XL-equipped large-torsoed heavy.

I further argue that the winning way to combat the dominant metagame and its dominant build does not necessarily lie in the way of unintuitive, arbitrary penalties ("ghost" mechanics). Never once should an attempt at balancing the past five, six, seven months of play have introduced a heat penalty to the SRM-2 launcher of all things. Boosting mech survivability across the board, increasing ammunition to compensate (ballistic weapons on the whole have long suffered usability problems, often due to low ammo per ton), and vying to make other weaponry actually useful is a good start.

Consider the LB-10X autocannon. PGI should immediately abandon all misguided attempts to ensure it does 10 damage per hit, first of all. What role is there for such a heavy weapon that, because of outdated decades-old tabletop guidelines, must do ten and only ten damage? Please, don't introduce bizarre critical-boost mechanics that reduce time-to-kill for all mechs just because of some misguided attempt to allow an LB-10X to do more than 10 damage without just changing the numbers to be greater-than-ten. The LB-10X currently has no role, in part due to being hamstrung like this; give it a role, make it worthwhile instead of worthless.


#62 Sharp Spikes

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:46 PM

View PostNiko Snow, on 12 August 2013 - 01:27 PM, said:

Greetings MechWarriors!
You asked and the Devs Answered!
Here's ATD 44!
...

Question from Solis Obscuri:[color=#959595] Why do you consider the 2xPPC+Gauss high-alpha build which nearly everyone has been using for the last three months a lesser balance problem than firing three Large Lasers or four SRM-4s at the same time?[/color]

Answer from Paul:[color=#959595] The assumption that we think the 2PPC+Gauss is a lesser problem than any of the other high alpha builds, is incorrect. We have looked at what we can do with the build in question and have come up with a plan to de-sync the firing times of PPC and Gauss and keeping the Gauss as a primary long-range weapon. More information on this will be made available as soon as we get the feature ready to test.[/color]


You must be joking, right? No, I mean, it CAN'T be serious... Can it?

My Ac/20 + dual PPC Victor laughs at you hard. So does my CTF-3D with 2 PPC and 2 UAC/5. So does any dual gauss build. What's next? De-sync firing time of 1st gauss rifle from the 2nd? Why do we need to add layer after layer of complexity over already not-too-simple BT rules? There are many ways to deal with weapons balance, why you always choose the worst?! The mind boggles...

#63 Homeless Bill

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostEast Indy, on 12 August 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

Ridiculing an extremely simple and reasonable change like cycle time is just another example of how biased and unthinking a large portion of posters can be.

It'll have a significant effect on alphas if a so-armed 'Mech is forced into direct exchanges, especially if the cycle results in 30- to 45-second delays before natural re-sync if PPCs and Gauss are fired continously (or lowered DPS if the player waits for alternate cooldowns).

But as you seem to have kind of picked up on, it preserves the value of sniping by only slightly affecting 'Mechs that fire, take cover and re-aim in intervals far longer than current cycles.

Different opinion = clearly biased and stupid. Great way to start your argument.

I'll agree that it will have an effect on maximum potential DPS, but that's not the problem and it's never been the problem. The problem is this: they need to put an alpha on target three or four times and it dies. DPS is irrelevant, particularly when they can turn away and mitigate most meaningful damage between shots.

The problem is looking at your damage profile and seeing yellow-orange armor everywhere but the one component that player was aiming for (CT for STD engines, LT/RT for XLs). DPS is irrelevant. Single-component DPS is king in this game, and that's what that weapon combo allows. I don't know a lot of top players that are taking shots just because they can - they wait for the right shot.

You say that sniping remains unaffected, but I'd argue that brawls are largely unaffected because of the ability to torso twist away to avoid damage to essential components. I've been doing pretty damn well in my LL Victors, but any time I come up against a 2xPPC+1xGR Victor, their ability to torso twist and wait it out to put the shot that matters on target gives them a leg up. If it's a pilot of equal skill, they will nearly always win.

#64 Wales Grey

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:50 PM

View PostDonnie Silveray, on 12 August 2013 - 02:18 PM, said:

Looks like the crunch to get the major features through is really putting a cap to whatever quick short term maintenance they can do. It's just as I thought, hit detection is making it impossible for PGI to reliably balance. Wish you guys luck on resolving that nagging issue.

The desyncing of the Gauss and PPC sounds more like adjusting cooldowns/projectile velocity than adding an artificial block. Maybe something to make alpha striking all at once slightly less reliable.


It's almost like this game is nowhere near ready for a "commercial launch", wouldn't you say? Perhaps PGI has been painted into a box by IGP and forced to sign to a release date?

Gotta keep those investors happy, amrite?

#65 ObsidianSpectre

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:52 PM

View PostLemming, on 12 August 2013 - 02:22 PM, said:

They did some pretty creative question dodging this time, so you have to give them some credit. Intentionally picking two similar questions, then answering one of them by saying "We're answering this question in an answer to another question" to reduce the number of questions you have to weasel out of giving real answers to was really smart. Good work PGI.


To be fair to them, they only promised to answer 5 questions, and I counted 11 that they answered not including the duplicate. They just didn't pick any of the hard questions.

#66 GaussDragon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:53 PM

I like the part where they didn't answer anything regarding #saveMWO

Ask the devs 44: Ghost answers.

#67 Overon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:57 PM

The question selection is very disappointing. When we had the the #savemwo Community Town Hall, it lasted 3 hours and there were Euros who were up at 4 A.M. and later. They gave a crap about this game to stay up so damn late (on a workday even!). I got up the next day half dead because I got 5 hours of sleep. But it was worth it, or so I thought. This Q&A does not even acknowledge that there was a #savemwo Community Town Hall meeting. People took 3 freaking hours out of their day, sacrificed sleep, time, on a workday because of their dedication to this game. I didn't expect PGI to acknowledge our concerns 100% but I never expected the Q&A to not even acknowledge our mere existence.

Edited by Overon, 12 August 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#68 East Indy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:00 PM

There was a reason why I placed my comment about the ERMG PGI UR DUMB crowd above my response to you and not as a part of it, Bill.

If the Gauss cycles at 5.25 or even 5.5 seconds, it means that a player can only manage three 35-point shots in 15 seconds instead of four — and it's a hard sell that players without cover, even with twisting, don't try to get a shot off every 4 seconds. More importantly, it seems likely that the majority of players (i.e., average or lesser skill, i.e., the meta bandwagon) won't have the discipline in a high-pressure situation to wait for the Gauss, and will get themselves out of sync, forfeiting almost all of the advantages of PPC/Gauss.

This may not be a complete solution, but at least now you've given Paul's statement more credit than "What the hell?".

Edited by East Indy, 12 August 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#69 Oderint dum Metuant

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:02 PM

View PostEast Indy, on 12 August 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

There was a reason why I placed my comment about the ERMG PGI UR DUMB crowd above my response to you, Bill.

If the Gauss cycles at 5.25 or even 5.5 seconds, it means that a player can only manage three 35-point shots in 15 seconds instead of four — and it's a hard sell that players without cover, even with twisting, don't try to get a shot off every 4 seconds. More importantly, it seems likely that the majority of players (i.e., average or lesser skill, i.e., the meta bandwagon) won't have the discipline in a high-pressure situation to wait for the Gauss, and will get themselves out of sync, forfeiting almost all of the advantages of PPC/Gauss.

This may not be a complete solution, but at least now you've given Paul's statement more credit than "What the hell?".


At this juncture...it's good that for most mechs, 3 shots is all you need.

#70 Squid von Torgar

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:03 PM

Actually de syncing gauss with PPCs is a major step in the right direction. Whilst AtD did not directly address #SaveMWO's direct questions, they information they put out essentially did. Yes they want all these things but it takes time to develop. Thats fine, provided its not another year. That said it would seem that some of these "fixes" will be forthcoming ASAP. I can wait, but my patience isn't infinite. However, in this case I think it should be worth the wait.

For those that disagree, try Star Citizen and take a look in a couple of months. If you hate it that much do something else. *Kong Cough*

Edited by Squid von Torgar, 12 August 2013 - 03:03 PM.


#71 Gwaihir

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:03 PM

I would be more inclined to believe that "Desynch" meant "radically changing rate of fire and projectile speed" if there was any past evidence to at all support that view of how they balance the game.

Instead, though, we get GHOST HEAT to get rid of 6PPC stalkers (Instead of balancing PPCs), complete with it's fallout on all sorts of other builds. Including some of the builds that countered poptart snipers, which are now back in vogue after poptarting was un-nerfed in the previous patch.

Given that, I'm going to continue to put my money on a silly lockout "You can't fire a PPC and Gauss rifle at the same time" mechanic. Yet another opaque, and unneeded change to get rid of what is perceived to be a simple "Problem build" instead of actually balanced the weapons in the first place.

Edited by Gwaihir, 12 August 2013 - 03:05 PM.


#72 Gwaihir

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:12 PM

^^^^ (Although there is so, so, so much deeper down that money hole to go than I did. I think the record holder for "Most insane goon" goes to someone that spent $3,385 on imaginary internet spaceships)

#73 TOGSolid

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:15 PM

[redacted]

View PostOveron, on 12 August 2013 - 02:57 PM, said:

The question selection is very disappointing. When we had the the #savemwo Community Town Hall, it lasted 3 hours and there were Euros who were up at 4 A.M. and later. They gave a crap about this game to stay up so damn late (on a workday even!). I got up the next day half dead because I got 5 hours of sleep. But it was worth it, or so I thought. This Q&A does not even acknowledge that there was a #savemwo Community Town Hall meeting. People took 3 freaking hours out of their day, sacrificed sleep, time, on a workday because of their dedication to this game. I didn't expect PGI to acknowledge our concerns 100% but I never expected the Q&A to not even acknowledge our mere existence.


The level of entitlement here is pretty funny. What exactly makes you think that your "townhall" would garner more attention than a really active forum thread?

Edited by miSs, 12 August 2013 - 03:29 PM.
quote clean up


#74 Lemming

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:24 PM

View PostTOGSolid, on 12 August 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

The level of entitlement here is pretty funny. What exactly makes you think that your "townhall" would garner more attention than a really active forum thread?


I agree, expecting any sort of developer response to a massive amount of player feedback in a beta is completely entitled and unreasonable.

#75 saq

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:29 PM

View PostLemming, on 12 August 2013 - 03:24 PM, said:


I agree, expecting any sort of developer response to a massive amount of player feedback in a beta is completely entitled and unreasonable.


I think PGI stopped pretending this was a "beta" and instead we were a crucial revenue stream (aka not a beta) long ago. If you realize this and analyze their attitudes towards us (ie complaining customers instead of crucial game testers) things make a lot more sense.

Edited by saq, 12 August 2013 - 03:30 PM.


#76 Mvrck

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostGwaihir, on 12 August 2013 - 03:19 PM, said:

Buying the $250 pack and adding on a $250 ship is totally better than buying the $500 pack! (Who am I kidding, it's all a bit nuts).

As to how many people? represented were somewhere between 3000 and 5000 folks going by unit numbers + just the people around individually.

I dunno, why would a company bother to address that many people that want to give your company money but have concerns over the direction of said company? I guess that's just sorta silly, yea.


If you want to break down why PGI isn't acknowledging you, it's because you guys have a terrible brand and terrible message. From the outside, the #savemwo theme implies to anyone even remotely interested that you think the game is a doomed failure. Right away any casual fans or new players to the game that happen upon your campaign are turned off to playing and will question their decision. On top of that, you're insulting the thousands of collective hours the developers have put into this game in an extremely negative manner. Couple that with annoying entitled attitudes on the forums here and you wonder why you were ignored?

The very first bullet point from the question via #savemwo is basically a whine about how you're just pissed PGI isn't listening to you. The reason they aren't listening to you is your message is entirely negative, it's bad press, and you're not actually working at all constructively with PGI in any way shape or form. Obviously that's probably not what you were aiming for, but you fell short and that's what you have.

Edit: In fairness to Gwaihir, I don't know if he's actually part of #savemwo. If you aren't then my apologies for lumping you in with them.

Edited by Mvrck, 12 August 2013 - 03:39 PM.


#77 Lemming

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:37 PM

View Postsaq, on 12 August 2013 - 03:29 PM, said:


I think PGI stopped pretending this was a "beta" and instead we were a crucial revenue stream (aka not a beta) long ago. If you realize this and analyze their attitudes towards us (ie complaining customers instead of crucial game testers) things make a lot more sense.


Oh yeah, it's incredibly obvious that open beta was actually release. It just means that if anything doesn't work they can use the defense of "oh it's just a beta!" But then also use none of the advantages of a beta, like being able to iterate rapidly and make large changes to try out different things without committing to them forever.

But if they're going to pretend, then I'm going to pretend too.

#78 Chronojam

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:39 PM

View PostTOGSolid, on 12 August 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

The level of entitlement here is pretty funny. What exactly makes you think that your "townhall" would garner more attention than a really active forum thread?


Probably the fact it took more effort than just this sort of drive-by crap you're pulling right now, had basically every remaining competitive team worth a damn invited/involved, and ended up with several thousands worth of players represented in a concise letter directly to PGI.

And you know what? A lot of refugees from teams that gave up, and solo players, also signed up. It's hard to not give up sometimes.

#79 Rashhaverak

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

Paul, please provide some amplification to what is meant by "desync the PPC and gauss rifle."

Does it mean pulling the trigger on both guns simultaneously results in one gun not firing, or does it just mean that the projectile speed and/or refire rates will be different? Or, does it mean something entirely different that we are misunderstanding?

Leaving that pregnant pause between the statement and what the statement actually means is going to generate a level of interest, rumor and wild speculation that is not healthy for the community.

Edited by Rashhaverak, 12 August 2013 - 03:56 PM.


#80 Vassago Rain

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

The past two weeks have most certainly been out of this world.





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