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An Argument Against Atm Minimum Ranges, Based On Testing

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#1 Reyyvin


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Posted 29 June 2017 - 04:16 PM

TL;DR: based on testing data, against stationary targets at optimal ATM range and without cover, ATMs perform worse than SRMs and equal to LRMs, in terms of ammo tonnage used. At long range, same number of missiles as LRMs, but that equates to much higher ammo tonnage used. You can also run a LRM-15 and SRM-6, both with Artemis, for same weight/slots as ATM-12, with faster cooldown and same (combined) heat, with better ammo efficiency.

I’ve been doing some testing with ATMs and here are my observations:

minimum range is around 185m. Even at 185, it seems that not all missiles are registering hits.
around 290m, the range color changes from white to yellow; I assume this is now medium range (2 damage); weapon description shows optimal range at 270m. For either number, this is a very narrow range for optimum damage (185m-270m or 185m-290m).

no indication is given for the third range increment, but based on damage, does seem around 540m-575m.

In the testing grounds, I compared LRM15 w/ Artemis, SRM6-Artemis, SRM 6 (non-Artemis), and ATM 9, in HPG in a Supernova-A. All missile nodes have been taken, so -5% spread, +15% crit damage, and extra ammo. With some range nodes, SRM max range was 283m

vs Cataphract CTF-1X at 270m, about 3/4 rear facing; most damage was to left rear side, and in all cases, by the time the CT was destroyed, there was still armor left on the side and center torso. LRM: 255 missiles, ATM: 135, SRM: 60, SRM-A: 48

vs Commando COM-1B at 270m, also about 3/4 rear facing, right side. similar to above. LRM: 180, ATM: 45, SRM: 96, SRM-A: 96

vs Awesome AWS-8Q at 214m, straight on to CT. LRM: 210, ATM: 72, SRM 120, SRM-A: 102

vs Centurion CN9-A at 192m, mostly left side, took out arm, then side torso, then center torso. ATM also destroyed leg. with LRM, ATM, it was easy to see many missiles actually missing the target; few SRMs missed (and none with Artemis, that I could see). SRM-Artemis didn't completely destroy front CT armor. LRM: 525, ATM 216, SRM 354, SRM-A: 276
*in cases of likely ammo explosions in LT, I reran tests.

LRM-15-A total: 1170 missiles, or 6.5 tons of ammo
ATM-9 total: 468 missiles, or 6.5 tons of ammo
SRM-6 total: 630, or 6.3 tons of ammo.
SRM-6-A total: 522, or 5.22 tons of ammo.

(as a side note, I did run streak-6s, but the results were laughable. It took 994 missiles - almost 10 tons of ammo - to destroy the above mechs, but in doing so, they were literally pieced apart. Cataphract lost both arms, right torso and a leg; other torso was yellow and other leg was cherry red before CT popped. Commando and Awesome literally had everything destroyed except CT; Centurion lost entire left side, but had 0 damage to any right side component. I didn’t retest, but due to nature of Streaks, all results will have high variation. Streaks may perform better than other missiles vs fast moving targets, where they are guaranteed to hit, but spead makes them almost useless IMO.)

I did run the tests a few times for each system; numbers were within 10%, so reasonably consistent for missiles. I also ran tests with ATM3, but numbers were similar to ATM9 (within 5%).

For all targets, I aimed at a midpoint between the shoulders, both attacker and target were stationary, with no cover. The ATMs have a slight arc and then a drop; against all mechs, the ATMs consistently hit low, causing considerably more damage to leg components than either LRMs or SRMs, despite having a similar base missile spread (5). This also means that against live targets, ATMs will be nearly useless against targets not fully exposed.

For short range, SRM-A is the winner in terms of ammo usage (SRM if you count in the weight from Artemis). That is before counting in that SRMs have lower weight, fewer slots, less heat, faster cooldown, and higher projectile speed than ATM.

I also did a long range test on open ground, with a clear LOS, using a Linebacker on Polar Highlands. Against the Awesome AWS-8Q at 922m, in order to get good range, shooting was at 3/4 front view

ATM-9s used 405 missiles, or 5.625 tons
LRM 15s also used 405 missiles, or 2.25 tons
LRM 15s with Artemis dropped it with 345 missiles, or 1.917 tons.

Overall, the ATMs fared slightly worse than SRMs at (long) short range. On open ground at long range, they were comparable to non-Artemis LRMs in terms of missiles used, but lagged greatly in terms of weight of ammo used.

In terms of TT, ATMs compared favorably with SRMs in terms of ammo usage vs damage at short range (without minimum ranges), with the ability to also hit targets at better than LRM range, albeit at a huge ammo vs damage penalty - not to mention the much smaller salvos that can be shot down more easily with AMS. To make up for the flexibility, the ATMs were heavier, bulkier, and generated more heat to comparable SRM or LRM launchers. Additionally, ATMs are coded with only 3.5 health, which means they are VERY prone to damage.

ATMs shouldn’t have a minimum range. At short range, they compare unfavorably to SRMs in terms of (observed) damage spread, cooldown, and velocity - with increased vulnerability to AMS. They also fire as a stream, rather than a cluster, which means fewer will hit moving targets. When compared to LRMs, they have minimal arc, can’t fire indirectly, and only have 40% of the damage potential per ton of ammo as an LRMs at max range. As it stands, ATMs only window of greater damage potential is under 100m, which disappears very quickly, and then, the weapon is useless. The slight arc of ATMs resulted in a large number of leg hits - which means any cover will significantly reduce their effectiveness.

As it currently stands, 1 LRM-15 + 1 SRM-6 (both with Artemis) have the same heat, weight and slot requirements, and a slightly faster cooldown, as compared to an ATM-12s. 1 ton of LRM ammo (72 missiles), unless used exclusively in the ‘optimal’ zone, has less damage potential - at all ranges, than ½ ton of LRMs and ½ ton of SRMs (90 and 50, respectively). ATMs should be worse than both LRMs and SRMs individually (this is mainly accomplished by higher weight and bulk, lower shots per ton, and lower missile count), but should not be worse when compared to both systems at the same time.

Edited by Reyyvin, 29 June 2017 - 04:22 PM.

#2 Ram71


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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:46 PM

That's truly helpfully thanks. I felt they weren't performing correctly but didn't have time to test it. Not a fan of missiles anyway except maybe srms for close quarters destruction.

#3 Jun Watarase


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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:33 PM

Even at 185m some missiles will miss because of spread, i noticed this too when shooting at stationery commandos in the testing grounds. 2x ATM-9s did aobut 37 damage. A fast moving mech would easily dodge most of them, but that appleis to SRMs too.

if you simply remove the min range, you basically remove most of the reason to use SRMs instead of ATMs. SRMs are very bad at anything above 200+m, getting hit by 50+ in the torso doesnt hurt you at all due to spread. ATMs allow you to engage targets at medium range which is a god send when most fights are longer range due to laser vomit + range skill nodes.

In practice, I find that the 120m range isnt THAT crippling if you max out on skill nodes, the main problems i find are :

-The extremely long cool down time, mechs can simply facetank you and run into your min range, no strategy needed. No need to use ECM, AMS, torso twisting, or anything.

-Lock on times + slow velocities mean that an enemy can easily move back into cover before you can fire, which is bad when the meta revolves around massive laser alphas at medium-long range.

-One AMS with both skill nodes basically shuts down 2x ATM-9s by itself. In other words, 1.5 tons shutting down 10+ tons of weapons + ammo.

#4 Daggett


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Posted 30 August 2017 - 01:02 PM

I like your effort to actually test things out, most players just stick to their subjective impressions and base their buff / nerf calls on that only.

The problem is that you use the wrong metric. Ammo efficiency is only important on lighter mechs like the Oxide. On heavier chassis you can afford to spend more tonnage on a weapon if it deals either more burst or more sustained damage.

And burst damage is the metric where ATMs shine but is not considered by your experiments. In optimal range each missile deals 3 dmg which means a burst of 72dmg with a typical 2xATM12 config. To do this with SRMs you would need 6 instead of 2 hardpoints, need to aim well and even with artemis you will also spread the damage quite well unless you hug your target (real enemies move and twist compared to testing ground targets).

Now take a Supernova with 4xATM12. Your burst damage is now 144(!). It's impossible to do this with SRMs or LRMs due to lack of hardpoints, weapon weight and/or heat. Whatever gets hit with such a staggered 2x2 salvo will be heavily damaged, two will kill or cripple most mechs. With such high damage, spread or misses by cover won't matter as much as with other missiles.

And the fact that they tend to hit legs is a huge advantage in my opinion. Legs are not in cover often enough and against lights and mediums a single hit can leg them which means they can't evade the second one which kills them. And if you consider the fact that many players skimp leg armor and often also store ammo in those legs, it makes their leg-hitting ability even more powerful. I caused quite some ammo explosions on heavies and assaults using ATMs. Posted Image

So in my opinion the minimum range is what keeps the ATMs from being OP. Without minimum range i would always use them instead of SRMs because they hit at least equally hard in brawls but are much more flexible and very useful on more open maps with extended long-range fights like Polar Highlands.

Edited by Daggett, 30 August 2017 - 01:10 PM.

#5 KageRyuu


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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:49 PM

The primary problem is that PGI doesn't want to make any tech obsolete, it's why SHS reduce heat by .12 and why DHS reduce heat by .15 outside of the first 10 engine mounted ones, despite the fact that Double should be twice as powerful as Single 100% of the time.

It's also why we don't have LBX slugs, or any specialty ammo, besides them being a thing in the TT, because in most cases the AC would be considered obsolete. Not to mention they probably don't believe the player base would be able to comprehend different ammo types and thus plan accordingly.

As for the ATM itself it should have three different missile types, HE for out to 270m dealing 3 damage a missile, Standard from between 120m to 450m dealing 2 damage a missile, then ER from 120m to 810m dealing 1 damage a missile. They are probably rightfully afraid of releasing the HE range bracket as most agreed on the test servers that it was flat out better than SSRMs, same with the Standard range of 450m.

Which why you currently have the ATM as it currently is, neutered because PGI neither thinks you capable of understanding multiple ammo types or willing to allow older technology to become obsolete in most situations.

#6 Khobai


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Posted 06 October 2017 - 02:00 PM

three different ammo types is impossible for PGI to code.

but ATMs should not have a min range. the whole point of ATMs is to be good at all ranges which they cant do if they have a min range.

ATM min range should be removed, their missile health should be increased so AMS doesnt pwn them, and their damage should be decreased because 3 damage per missile is too much damage, especially if the min range gets removed.


It's also why we don't have LBX slugs

we dont have ammo switching because the guy that did the original weapon code left PGI and they have no clue how to code in ammo switching.

Edited by Khobai, 06 October 2017 - 02:01 PM.

#7 Koniving

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:33 PM

View PostReyyvin, on 29 June 2017 - 04:16 PM, said:

If you are willing, if you used multiple launchers at once for each weapon set...
I would like you to pick just one of any test that you made which also had the Streak SRM-6 tested, and rerun it with the following condition on all weapon systems...

...use chain fire as opposed to firing all at once. Especially on Streak launchers.

You will find the results...extremely interesting. if a bit baffling.

#8 Crimson Fenris


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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:13 AM

The min range could be removed; with missiles doing 1 damage each from 0-120m ; this could counterbalance the long cooldown time, low velocity and low arc fire as well, without getting them better than srms.

We will have sort of cLRMs without real indirect fire, with damage bonus on optimal range.

That could be a good idea, especially considering the low damage output of ATM3-6 for example.

#9 Asriel Dreemur


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:38 AM

I would advocate for, as I stated on my thread, giving them a "climbing" range/damage ratio up to 120 meters, just like CLRM currently has. It'd be easy to implement, as it's already been done, and I believe it would be the most balanced method of removing ATM min range, so they're not just better SRM.

#10 Damnedtroll


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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:49 PM

Just put the ammo types has weapons and launcher has number in volley and you link the cooldown.

You will have tree weapons if you bring all ammo types for each launcher. No minimum range but you need the 3 ammo types to be effective. Don't know if they can do that...

Edited by Damnedtroll, 15 October 2017 - 02:51 PM.

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