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What Is The Gap Between Clan And Inner Sphere Laser Vomit?


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#1 Y E O N N E

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 02:58 AM

This thread is in response to:

View PostPaul Inouye, on 07 August 2018 - 10:18 AM, said:

• Focused balance passes. Not global balance passes
• Current focus is on the 94 efficient alpha and the discrepancy between Clan and IS laser vomit performance against one another.

~snip~

• Lasers aren't being targeted because they are the considered the highest performers so much that there is a clear rift in viability of energy centric load-outs between the IS and the Clan side.

~snip~

• Will not be blindly balancing upwards to meet Clan Laser vomit without proper give/take and taking into consideration all other areas of balance.
• While upwards trajectories always sound good, there are consequences that would massively disrupt other states of play within the game. Such as massively buffing armor to compete against higher alphas out of heavy and assault 'Mechs, but then light on light mech gameplay would take forever to whittle through all of the armor with low weapon counts and high armor values.
• Any change that comes from PTS will not be a one sided change. We will be examining other attributes from both sides of the faction spectrum.


Gap summary (ongoing):
  • Clan builds possess, on average, 25.2% larger alpha strikes at 400-600 meters
  • Clan builds possess, on average, 4.3% larger alpha strikes at 300-450 meters
  • IS builds possess, on average, a 4.3% advantage in maximum DPS at 400-600 meters
  • Clan builds possess, on average, an 8.4% advantage in maximum DPS at 300-450 meters
  • Clan builds possess, on average, 24% superior sustained DPS at 400-600 meters
  • Clan builds possess, on average, 31% superior sustained DPS at 300-450 meters
  • Clan builds possess 10% more range (optimum and maximum) at the 400-600 meters
  • IS builds possess, on average, 8% to 12.5% more maximum range at 300-450 meters
  • Clan builds possess, on average, 25% more optimum range at 300-450 meters
  • Clan builds deal, on average, 92% of the damage of an IS build within the same duration as the IS build, and 100% within 0.1 seconds of that duration
TL;DR: Clan builds empirically run COLDER with BIGGER ALPHAS and LONGER RANGE.





So what is the gap between IS laser vomit and Clan laser vomit? The hypothesis is that Clan laser-vomit out-performs IS laser-vomit. That hypothesis is generally accepted as true, though the degree to which it is true is often a source of much debate. I am not comfortable with the broad brush PGI is currently painting the issue with, focusing too much on alpha size and not enough on DPS and cooling. What I want to accomplish with this thread is to demonstrate the ways in which Clan vomit is superior, ways in which it is not, and maybe submit some solutions to address the gaps without creating new ones. We will examine laser vomit by range bracket.

Assumptions
Spoiler


Moving on, I want to start by defining which lasers compete with each other as defined by the realities of the gameplay. That means how the weapons handle, where they handle, how hot they get, and how they combine with other weapons rather than what the developers intended them to align with:

Spoiler


Mid-range Analysis
Between 300 and 600 meters are contained the most powerful single-shot, non-ghosting firing solutions. It is also the source of the 94-point alpha boogeyman. Let’s examine performance deltas between some common IS and Clan options for Mediums, Heavies, and Assaults (classic “fast” Lights do not really participate in this bracket in any significant way).

Medium
Spoiler


Heavy
Spoiler


Assault
Spoiler


All of the previous looks have been for the medium-long bracket (400-600 m). Now let’s quickly examine what happens at the Medium-Short bracket (300-450 m).

Medium
Spoiler


Heavy
Spoiler


Assault:
Spoiler

Edited by Yeonne Greene, 12 August 2018 - 04:09 PM.


#2 Korz

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 06:25 AM

So it would seem to me to fix the issue would be to simply quirk IS laser mechs to cool a little more efficiently. They already tend to have more internals and armor so adding in some cooling efficiency for them would be easier then screwing up all lasers for every mech.

And would be far easier to tweak and fix then messing with lasers as a class.

Or did I miss something?

#3 Y E O N N E

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 11:02 AM

View PostKorz, on 12 August 2018 - 06:25 AM, said:

So it would seem to me to fix the issue would be to simply quirk IS laser mechs to cool a little more efficiently. They already tend to have more internals and armor so adding in some cooling efficiency for them would be easier then screwing up all lasers for every mech.

And would be far easier to tweak and fix then messing with lasers as a class.

Or did I miss something?


It depends entirely on what direction PGI wants the game to go in, and options include (but are not limited to):

1. Reducing damage, duration, and/or heat efficiency on Clan lasers so builds more closely align with IS,

2. Buffing the dissipation on IS DHS and then buffing some of the IS lasers in cooldown or damage (ERML CD to 3.5 seconds, LPL damage to 11, etc.) to allow the IS to use DPS as compensation for the lack of alpha power.

3. Buffing IS armor across the board instead of on a handful of 'Mechs, leaving the weapons hot and weak and having the IS rely on sheer tanking power to give their weapons enough time to work.

Lots of options.

Personally, I am a fan of Option 2, since I think TTK is getting too long and because that would feel the best to play for both sides. PGI's current stance seems to align more with Option No. 1, though, and they seem to be of the opinion that TTK is still too short.

I will also say that there is an elephant in the room regarding XL engines. You can see above that the most competitive IS chassis on paper remains the BLK-7-KNT with an XL engine equipped, but most 'Mechs cannot spread damage as well as a Black Knight and are thus severely disadvantaged when using an XL. I don't really mind XLs exploding, but something really ought to be done about having some durability perks associated with equipping an XL. Barring that, IS XL behaving like cXL would be a simple enough solution.

Edited by Yeonne Greene, 12 August 2018 - 11:12 AM.


#4 Nicodemus Rosse

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 12:55 AM

Been away from the game a bit due to life stuff, but I listened to the podcast yesterday and had a thought I'd like to hear feedback on from more experienced players.

What if, rather than quirking specific chassis or making global changes to weapon damage, range, or heat, something conceptually midway between ghost heat and energy draw were applied? Specifically, I'm thinking about something that downgrades the damage output on lasers, but only when a bunch are firing at the same time.

You'd get an alert in the MechLab like you do for ghost heat, but it'd be something like "Warning: This loadout may exceed your BattleMech's power transfer capacity. Firing multiple energy weapons and/or charging Gauss Rifles simultaneously will reduce the power output of the weapons overall."

Here's the logic:

Firing a PPC or laser, or charging a Gauss Rifle, pulls power from the engine and power management system, and less is available. Your 'Mech will still fire the lasers, but they won't get as much power and their damage output (and theoretically heat) will be lower. The power output of a laser directly correlates to the amount of energy in the beam; if you cut the power to a BattleMech laser it can be used to paint targets for artillery fire (happened in the novels). A PPC bolt would carry less energy as well. For the Gauss Rifle, technically it ought to prolong the charge-up time so that it sounds like it's charging but doesn't actually start until the end of the beam duration for lasers, OR lower the muzzle velocity a bit and therefore reduce the damage (because they're a kinetic weapon, so a slower round means less damage; in one of the novels firing one off reduced the energy in the 'Mech for a moment, like a mini-brownout).

The mechanic could literally work just like ghost heat, but instead of "firing X at once means +Y heat" it applies "firing X at once means -Y damage."

I know theoretically this was the idea behind energy draw, but the energy draw system as I understood it was just ghost heat: For each X damage your volley deals above Y, you get an extra half a heat point added to your heat for that volley. Also, it applied to autocannons and missiles which is...well, triggering those expends propellant, not megawatts of energy from the power plant.

Pros:

- Uses a mechanic similar to one already implemented, not hard to understand

- Makes sense for the fluff

- Allows devs to directly cap alpha damage output for boated weapons and weapon combinations, in a way that's a bit harder to minmax your way around; all you can really do is increase stare time and fire multiple groups or chain fire

- Keeps individual weapons viable when used in small enough groups

- If you apply it to the HGR such that two HGRs trigger the overload on each other, you can cap dual HGR pinpoint damage OR require a significantly longer charge-up ramp before they deal full damage.

- Decouples damage output from cooling measures, so cool shots don't bump up your alpha above the cap, and extra heat sinks don't counter the way they do for ghost heat

- Engine size doesn't mean an increase in capacity the way it does with heat sinks (you'd think it might, but it doesn't necessarily mean the overall power system changes—it's not like you can bump up the engine size to get more energy hardpoints currently)

- Could theoretically replace ghost heat entirely for energy & Gauss weapons

- Specific chassis could be quirked to get around it for certain signature weapons or loadouts

- Can be tailored to Clan or IS weapon platforms independently

- "Clan lasers are so powerful that warriors must take care to avoid overtaxing 'Mech power relays during sustained alpha strikes, a problem encountered less frequently in the Inner Sphere." sounds better than "we are nerfing your gunz" and isn't obviously counter to "Clan weapons are smaller, lighter, more powerful, longer-ranged, and run cooler" which is kind of what the Clans were for in lore.

Cons:

- Someone will just hate this idea so much

- ?

#5 Eisenhorne

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 07:23 AM

I agree with your conclusions, Yeonne. I just wish they'd go with Option 3 you listed... I like the idea of IS being tankier, with lower damage output. Keep the factions different.

#6 Viking Yelling

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 03:41 PM

Quote

TL;DR: Clan builds empirically run COLDER with BIGGER ALPHAS and LONGER RANGE

I've looked this up before. it's mostly because IS has the same damage to heat ratios and IS heatsinks take up more space, ie, cant mount more of them.


There's literally tons of options for changing Energy weapon competition, but I think PGI has a focus on exclusively reducing Clan laser Alpha. I don't like it, I don't think it particularly requires it as an incentive for the weapon systems value, and Alpha/DPS combos are technically better in most cases. I'm sure PGI is sincere in their concern for the game, but why with all this mulberry bush business.

#7 Y E O N N E

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 04:24 PM

View PostNicodemus Rosse, on 13 August 2018 - 12:55 AM, said:

Been away from the game a bit due to life stuff, but I listened to the podcast yesterday and had a thought I'd like to hear feedback on from more experienced players.

What if, rather than quirking specific chassis or making global changes to weapon damage, range, or heat, something conceptually midway between ghost heat and energy draw were applied? Specifically, I'm thinking about something that downgrades the damage output on lasers, but only when a bunch are firing at the same time.

You'd get an alert in the MechLab like you do for ghost heat, but it'd be something like "Warning: This loadout may exceed your BattleMech's power transfer capacity. Firing multiple energy weapons and/or charging Gauss Rifles simultaneously will reduce the power output of the weapons overall."

~snip~

Cons:

- Someone will just hate this idea so much

- ?


Speaking entirely for myself here:
  • I do not believe alpha strikes are a problem or need shrinking in the first place
  • Your solution does not resolve the primary issue I am raising in the OP, that the Clans have such dramatically superior cooling that they will out-DPS the IS even if you compel them to use smaller sized alpha strikes
  • If we are forced into a DPS meta (which we are already in, by the way), then the lasers just get cast off in favor of ballistics and missiles
  • BattleTech gets the fundamentals of powerplants all wrong; powerplants cannot spike generation well at all, which is why you need to bank it up in a capacitor; as such, what should really happen is all of your cooldowns are increased if you fire a volley whose total draw during recharge exceeds what the reactor can generate

View PostEisenhorne, on 13 August 2018 - 07:23 AM, said:

I agree with your conclusions, Yeonne. I just wish they'd go with Option 3 you listed... I like the idea of IS being tankier, with lower damage output. Keep the factions different.


The issue with that approach is that we end up with a system where the Clans have an advantage that is always there at all times at any point during a match where the IS have a finite advantage that requires teamwork (or bad teamwork on the other side) to actually use, lest the team run out of armor before it figures it out. It's not unlike AMS shielding from LRMs, where you have a finite amount time to take advantage of the shield before it runs out of ammunition.

View PostViking Yelling, on 13 August 2018 - 03:41 PM, said:

I've looked this up before. it's mostly because IS has the same damage to heat ratios and IS heatsinks take up more space, ie, cant mount more of them.


Yes. ER Mediums are identical, ER Smalls are a little over a tenth of a point stronger, ER Larges are about two-tenths of a point stronger. Mediums are almost identical to Clan Medium Pulse, and IS Medium Pulse are only one tenth of a point stronger.

The only ones that are much colder for the damage are Small, Small Pulse, and Large Pulse. The first two are pathetic in damage, the second is not good enough in damage for its weight and that weight is so much that it eats into the DHS capacity needed to get the DPS.

Quote

There's literally tons of options for changing Energy weapon competition, but I think PGI has a focus on exclusively reducing Clan laser Alpha. I don't like it, I don't think it particularly requires it as an incentive for the weapon systems value, and Alpha/DPS combos are technically better in most cases. I'm sure PGI is sincere in their concern for the game, but why with all this mulberry bush business.


No argument, here. We are currently in a more DPS-oriented meta; the laser-vomit builds are still strong, but they do not dominate. Dominating right now is the MCII-B with the UAC/30 spam, the ANH running similar, and HGauss with a side of MRM/ATM/LRM spam from lighter chassis. MGs for Lights.

Again speaking for myself, I do not think TTK needs to be further increased. At least, not the passive TTK (aka damage out vs. hitpoints). Instead, I think weapons need to be a little bit more lethal, and TTK should be increased by increasing players' options for mitigating or evading damage (AKA, more agility, more speed).

Edited by Yeonne Greene, 14 August 2018 - 11:46 AM.


#8 Eisenhorne

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 12:49 PM

View PostYeonne Greene, on 13 August 2018 - 04:24 PM, said:

The issue with that approach is that we end up with a system where the Clans have an advantage that is always there at all times at any point during a match where the IS have a finite advantage that requires teamwork (or bad teamwork on the other side) to actually use, lest the team run out of armor before it figures it out. It's not unlike AMS shielding from LRMs, where you have a finite amount time to take advantage of the shield before it runs out of ammunition.


True, and I do understand what you mean, but consider how good that advantage is at times when IS presses it correctly. Annihilators, Roughnecks, Victors, and other heavily quirked close range powerhouses are things that make the clanners crap themselves if they get close enough.

Mechs like the Top Dog, running laservomit with enough structure quirks so it can overheat itself and survive (unlike a hellbringer) give IS additional burst DPS through laservomit that clanners just can't emulate, because they'd die. Like, I can actually pull 4 50 pt alphas off in quick succession with a Top Dog if I'm willing to use a coolshot and eat some structure damage. Clanners cannot do that.

I just like how "different" they feel, even if armor and health is an advantage that can be "wasted" while extra range / damage is one that is always there.

#9 Viking Yelling

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 12:56 PM

View PostYeonne Greene, on 13 August 2018 - 04:24 PM, said:

Yes. ER Mediums are identical, ER Smalls are a little over a tenth of a point stronger, ER Larges are about two-tenths of a point stronger. Mediums are almost identical to Clan Medium Pulse, and IS Medium Pulse are only one tenth of a point stronger.

The only ones that are much colder for the damage are Small, Small Pulse, and Large Pulse. The first two are pathetic in damage, the second is not good enough in damage for its weight and that weight is so much that it eats into the DHS capacity needed to get the DPS.

so why these attempts at drastically changing Clan lasers? As with Tarogato's points, there was only initially a small change mentioned. I know PGI wants to reduce Clan laser alpha damage, but It really isn't the weapon system that's broken. Maybe in need of some small, purposeful maintenance, but the problem is more inherent with Mechs gulty of Hardpoint spam. This is true for every type of mech with a build that is above the power curve or over powered.

Quote

No argument, here. We are currently in a more DPS-oriented meta; the laser-vomit builds are still strong, but they do not dominate. Dominating right now is the MCII-B with the UAC/30 spam, the ANH running similar, and HGauss with a side of MRM/ATM/LRM spam from lighter chassis. MGs for Lights.

Ironically, This is the type of Chain-fire Meta that PGI says they want.(only with balistic weapons) Jagermech w/ AC2 spam, HBKIIC with 4 AC2/LB2 ect.

Quote

Again speaking for myself, I do not think TTK needs to be further increased. At least, not the passive TTK (aka damage out vs. hitpoints). Instead, I think weapons need to be a little bit more lethal, and TTK should be increased by increasing players' options for mitigating or evading damage (AKA, more agility, more speed).

Definitely not. Being in a Mech should feel like being in a mech. But that works both ways. Over buff mobility and we will be playing Call of Duty in less than a month. I havent played a Heavy IS assault in a while, only my Victor. My Clan assaults feel under mobile though. Making Mobility a problem for both factions.

#10 MechaBattler

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 10:45 AM

Seems like nerfing clan dubs would be the change to implement. Not internal engine dubs. So as to leave mechs with low tonnage/space less effected.

#11 Viking Yelling

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 03:36 PM

View PostMechaBattler, on 15 August 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

Seems like nerfing clan dubs would be the change to implement. Not internal engine dubs. So as to leave mechs with low tonnage/space less effected.

Under what relevancy? Clans are supposed to have better heat-sinks through available slots. Making them less efficient removes that entire purpose.

#12 Y E O N N E

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:31 PM

View PostViking Yelling, on 14 August 2018 - 12:56 PM, said:

so why these attempts at drastically changing Clan lasers? As with Tarogato's points, there was only initially a small change mentioned. I know PGI wants to reduce Clan laser alpha damage, but It really isn't the weapon system that's broken. Maybe in need of some small, purposeful maintenance, but the problem is more inherent with Mechs gulty of Hardpoint spam. This is true for every type of mech with a build that is above the power curve or over powered.


Well, I'm not the one changing the lasers, PGI is. And from what PGI has said, they think the Clan volleys are too efficient compared to the IS ones. They are technically right, I just don't agree that nerfing the Clan lasers is the way to go; I'd much rather increase the efficiency of the IS ones.

Quote

Definitely not. Being in a Mech should feel like being in a mech. But that works both ways. Over buff mobility and we will be playing Call of Duty in less than a month. I havent played a Heavy IS assault in a while, only my Victor. My Clan assaults feel under mobile though. Making Mobility a problem for both factions.


There is zero to no danger of this game feeling anything like CoD.

#13 MechaBattler

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 08:14 AM

So no balance then? Because making one side flat out better at a core mechanic of the game is imbalanced. I guess it's just better that PGI keep nerfing the weapons rather than the dubs. It's going down one way or another. I'm simply suggesting that nerfing the dubs might be the better way to address that.

#14 Y E O N N E

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 03:25 PM

View PostMechaBattler, on 16 August 2018 - 08:14 AM, said:

So no balance then? Because making one side flat out better at a core mechanic of the game is imbalanced. I guess it's just better that PGI keep nerfing the weapons rather than the dubs. It's going down one way or another. I'm simply suggesting that nerfing the dubs might be the better way to address that.


Or, like I suggested in the third post in this thread, they can buff IS dubs instead.





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