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The Gauss / Particle Projection Directive - Feedback


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#1 Kyle Polulak

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:53 AM

Greetings MechWarriors!

Please let us know which of Paul's ideas to balance PPC+Gauss you would prefer to see in-game!

View PostPaul Inouye, on 29 July 2014 - 10:58 AM, said:

Hey folks,

I'm going to pre-empt the concern that nothing has happened with the PPC/Gauss combination in the game and Russ mentioning work being done on it for this patch.

The new firing mechanic that Russ was mentioning is indeed in the game right now but it is set to off. The reason for this is that it's a very complex active system which is going to directly affect your weapon triggering. Yes we have complex systems in the game like Heat Scale but Heat Scale is passive. There's a big difference in a player's experience when the active triggering mechanism is changed, much like the Gauss Charge. The Gauss Charge however is a single stage active change, the Gauss/PPC system that is on hold right now is a 3 stage active change.

The Mechanic:
  • A Gauss Rifle is a charging weapon.
  • A PPC is a heavy energy draw weapon.
  • In the case of a 2+ PPC - 1 Gauss equipped 'Mech, the following will happen:
    • While the Gauss Rifle charges, the pilot can only fire 1 of the PPCs. Choice is the pilots.
    • While the Gauss Rifle charges, the pilot cannot fire both PPCs simultaneously.
    • If the pilot decides to fire 1 PPC, there is a 0.5 second period in which the 2nd PPC cannot be fired.
  • In the case of a 2+ PPC - 2 Gauss equipped 'Mech, the following will happen:
    • If the pilot charges 2 Gauss Rifles, no PPCs will be able to fire.
    • This PPC lockdown effect lasts for 1 second after the Gauss Rifles have fired or auto-discharged.
We are in constant talks about this and MIGHT bring it on-line on the Public Test Server for you to provide feedback and thoughts on the mechanic.

One of the other solutions I've been looking at is slowing down the PPC projectile. What this gains is the ability of a target 'Mech to spread incoming damage more effectively by twisting its torso out of the line of fire. The number I've been toying with is 750m/s for PPCs and 850m/s ERPPCs(IS and Clan). Now if you're wondering what the current speed is, it is 1500m/s. So yes... that is a 50% decrease in projectile speed for PPCs.

What this translated into is that at 1000m, the PPC projectile hits its target just under 1 second after a simultaneously fired Gauss round. At 500m, it is around 1/4 of a second. Optimal target distance for the PPC/Gauss combo falls into the 600-700m range which allows enemy 'Mechs to close the gap a little easier vs PPC equipped 'Mechs. This also means that the PPC/AC20/AC10 combinations will be affected as well. A 50% decrease in projectile speed seems overly excessive but it really does bring the feel of the PPC/Gauss combo back into alignment with the rest of the game.

I'd like to, at this time, ask that you give your thoughts on these two solutions in the feedback thread for this post. Please keep in mind that the numbers listed in this post are testing values only and not the final, to be put into game numbers.

I understand that that both of these mechanics seem fairly heavy handed but it's time to bring this weapon combo into alignment with the other combinations of weapons.


#2 Heffay

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

Would love to test it out. I think PPC speeds don't need to be changed that drastically. Maybe a bit slower, like 1200m/s? At 750, the ERPPC will take over a second to travel to max range, and it's "ER" label will be suspect at that point.

#3 Jabilo

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:36 PM

First thought: Too complicated.

#4 heimdelight

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:36 PM

I'm really disliking any more weapon combo restrictions. It continues to remove customization from the game, in the same way Ghost Heat did. Weapons affected by Ghost Heat are literally not viable. These mechanics seem to make them go down the same road.

Please, do not lockdown any weapons. That is a terrible idea.

Slowing down the projectile speed is the obvious way to go. I'm not sure about 750m/s, maybe like 950m/s. Anything else is very short of overly nerfing the weapons being used against any loadouts, period.

Edited by heimdelight, 29 July 2014 - 03:41 PM.


#5 Noober

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:37 PM

Good to see something solid being done with the PPC gauss issue. As for which mechanic is best, we probably need a couple of public tests to make an informed decision, but my gut says significantly slower PPCs may be the answer... but again, I definitely think this is a candidate for public test.

#6 mooky

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:38 PM

Don't mind the desynch stuff at all, though it will complicate life, but whatever.

Do mind the huge slowdown to ER/PPC's ... it will disproportionately affect PPC heavy mechs, like the Awesome should be. Small slowdown, like Heffay indicated, 1200 m/s .. sure, halfing it, heck NO!

#7 Homeless Bill

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

Bottom line: the weapon lock mechanic is awkward, and there's no way to make it not awkward. And the alternative of changing PPC speed will just make it synergize with higher-calibre autocannons better, so people will switch to that. Sure, it negates the range, but the problem is still ultimately 30+ pinpoint damage to a single location.

I'm begging you to consider something like this. A hurricane of bandaids has done half of what a serious effort to tackle front-loaded damage could do, and you'd have the added benefit of having another way to balance over/under-performing variants.

If you're going to go with weapon lock, at least combine it with that sort of scale so that all weapons can be balanced accordingly. One-off mechanics like what's being proposed are really awkward.

You could argue that it's complicated, but how is it any more so than the combination of this arbitrary mechanic, Ghost Heat, the Gauss charge, and all the other jumpjet and PPC adjustments it's taken to get even this close? Please go comprehensive and get this over with.

Edited by Homeless Bill, 29 July 2014 - 11:31 PM.


#8 Adiuvo

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

Speed changes would be a good idea, but without access to 2xPPC/Gauss CERLLs are just going to gain favor, and you DO NOT want that to be used heavily. It is by nature a campy weapon and without a long range counter (2xPPC/Gauss) there is no way to push against a team using them to get your brawlers into range.

#9 Milt

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

I really can't say I'm fond of either. I would rather see the PPC fire something like a "bolt" of energy with a defined length so that you could spread damage.

#10 LegoPirate

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:42 PM

and suddenly, everyone goes back to dual gauss.

this is completely missing the point. just up heat or lower damage on ppcs. how hard is it to realize that? enough with the complicated game mechanics.

#11 Skadi

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:43 PM

View Postheimdelight, on 29 July 2014 - 03:36 PM, said:

I'm really disliking any more weapon combo restrictions. It continues to remove customization from the game, in the same way Ghost Heat did. Weapons affected by Ghost Heat are literally not viable. These mechanics seem to make them go down the same road.

Please, do not lockdown any weapons. That is a terrible idea.

Slowing down the projectile speed is the obvious way to go. I'm not sure about 750m/s, maybe like 950m/s. Anything else is very short of overly nerfing the weapons being used against any loadouts, period.

I cant add anything to this. If you lockdown the ppc/gauss your just removing it, you're not making it more skillfull or interesting, your just making it complete ****.

#12 FupDup

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:45 PM

Heck no to the silly weapon cap. Firing that many guns at the same time wouldn't be an issue if they didn't all converge onto a single spot instantly...


Those projectile speed reductions also are bad ideas (albeit not as bad as the former idea). Put an individual PPC on any mech of your choice, either faction. Go out and tell me how overpowered it is(n't). Even using 2 PPCs or ERPPCs isn't overpowered, at least not by most peoples' standards. When is the last time that people complained about 2 PPC Catapult K2s?

PPCs only become an issue when you have 3+ of them and/or combine them with other pinpoint FLD weapons...the problem is multiple weapons combining to create "superweapons" that dump a lot of damage into a single pixel.

Edited by FupDup, 29 July 2014 - 03:46 PM.


#13 Unleashed3k

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:46 PM

View PostNikolai Lubkiewicz, on 29 July 2014 - 10:53 AM, said:

Greetings MechWarriors!

Please let us know which of Paul's ideas to balance PPC+Gauss you would prefer to see in-game!



the second option would be better, slow ppcs down is way better then another complicated system that screws of more noobs ;)

#14 Heffay

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:47 PM

Just fix convergence. Torsos/head have fixed (set by user) convergence, arms are variable. If you can get the enemy to the right distance and can time the shot speeds right, enjoy your 40 pt alpha. But that will only work at a very specific range and require really good timing to pull off.

#15 Clit Beastwood

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:47 PM

could you make the ppc "projectile" an oblong shape, so for all intents and purposes it hits like a clan UAC burst? Then you can keep the range, you can keep the speed, you can fire as many as you want at once, but it's still possible for proficient pilots to spread. Noobs are still going to die, because they don't spread. Maybe a duration of half what a LPL is? It'll still be a great weapon, but there's at least the *chance* to spread it.

#16 Adiuvo

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:48 PM

View PostFupDup, on 29 July 2014 - 03:45 PM, said:

Heck no to the silly weapon cap. Firing that many guns at the same time wouldn't be an issue if they didn't all converge onto a single spot instantly...

Those projectile speed reductions also are bad ideas (albeit not as bad as the former idea). Put an individual PPC on any mech of your choice, either faction. Go out and tell me how overpowered it is(n't). Even using 2 PPCs or ERPPCs isn't overpowered, at least not by most peoples' standards. When is the last time that people complained about 2 PPC Catapult K2s?

PPCs only become an issue when you have 3+ of them and/or combine them with other pinpoint FLD weapons...the problem is multiple weapons combining to create "superweapons."

The people whining about PPFLD do. MY SINGLE COMPONENT DAMAGE OMG WHY CANT I TORSO TWIST.

It's a shame that this idea is even being considered.

#17 Vanguard319

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

I guess Paul never got the lesson of Occam's Razor. Instead of creating these overly convoluted weapon nerfs that ultimately will only hurt the game, when the best solution can be found in the TT rules? Translate the to-hit mods into an fps-style bloom system. I would suggest that Paul consider actually reading this before he gives us another nerf we're all going to hate.

#18 CoffiNail

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

Posted Image

I think the slower PPC might ruin the man-made lightning aspect of the PPC if you slow it down too much.

I like the Gauss PPC energy drain mechanic.

1 PPC can be fired during the charge, 1 second later the second PPC can fire. 2 Gauss fired, no PPC fired until the Gauss is charged, fired and 1 second has passed.

#19 Asmudius Heng

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:52 PM

Overly complex system just like ghost heat.

I would be better if you had two systems in the game.

HEAT: This as it is limits high alpha high heat builds, but mostly also tends to limit DPS via heat as heat goes up for nearly every weapon and takes a long time to cool down. This works ok, but many would simply prefer a lower heat cap and higher dissipation. This was not done it seems due to heat neutral builds and 3 second jenners or something.

So instead, leave heat as it is but to encourage a mix of weapons ad stop the high pinpoint alpahs of large weapons or many smaller weapons bolted together you get RID of Ghost heat and other mechanics and add one new one.

ENERGY: Have a green or blue bar like heat that you draw into when firing. Energy is replenished VERY quickly, but every weapon now has an energy rating. Now when you fire a group of weapons you take energy to fire them, too much energy and your weapons do no fire until energy is replenished which happens within a second or so.
PPCs and Gauss rifles would be energy heavy and so would be hard to fire together, as would stacked energy weapons. ACs might have a lower draw because they rely of propellants not reactor energy.

This would function mu like ghost heat but it would simply stop people from firing too many weapons at the same time rather than punish them without much warning. It becomes visible an players can SEE how it effects the game when building a mech.

So now you have 2 systems for 2 different purposes.

HEAT - To limit DPS by heat buildup
ENERGY - To limit high alphas

Together a pilot must manage these systems and find a middle ground or be willing to ride one or the other or both if they can handle it.

Now we have an interesting mechanic when building a mech, and when on the battlefield that eliminates the need for ghost heat.

You can add modules and quirks to modify energy now should it remain balanced too.

#20 Jetfire

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:53 PM

View PostHomeless Bill, on 29 July 2014 - 03:42 PM, said:

Bottom line: the weapon lock mechanic awkward, and there's no way to make it not awkward. And the alternative of changing PPC speed will just make it synergize with higher-calibre autocannons better, so people will switch to that. Sure, it negates the range, but the problem is still ultimately 30+ pinpoint damage to a single location.

I'm begging you to consider something like this. A hurricane of bandaids has done half of what a serious effort to tackle front-loaded damage could do, and you'd have the added benefit of having another way to balance over/under-performing variants.

You could argue that it's complicated, but how it any more so than the combination of this arbitrary mechanic, Ghost Heat, the Gauss charge, and all the other jumpjet and PPC adjustments it's taken to get even this close? Please go comprehensive and get this over with.


Something like what HB has offered is a system that could be easily "grok"-able by players. You could add an energy gauge to easily display this rather than the current mystery ghost heat and adding more mystery. I agree with the reasons for limiting the PPC/gauss combo but it should be clear to the player what is going on in their mech. Too much hidden "go read the command post from a year ago" in the gameplay is going to kill new player interest.





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