Author Topic: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.  (Read 78976 times)

Offline GeoRmr

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Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:58:50 pm »
I've made this post to try to collate all the ideas I've had since the ‘Call for Gunner Ammo Ideas’ thread: https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,4079.0.html
All though the initial purpose of that thread was enticing, my main problem with it is that awkm intends the new ammunition types to be a solution to the ‘an engineer is more favourable than a gunner’ problem. I hope to address why the addition of more ammo-types to the game is not a viable solution to this ‘problem’, and then repost Captain Smollett’s initial solution and justify why it is viable. The first section on gunners vs engineers is extremely verbose in order to address the issue of paradigm in the later section.


The gunner vs engineer ‘problem’ and why it exists.

Firstly, one of the reasons why engineers tend to be more favoured than gunners is down to an imbalanced class overlap in what are intended polarised roles: The purpose of the engineer is to repair; engineers have access to 3 engineer tools in order to repair successfully. The purpose of the gunner is to shoot; gunners have access to 4 ammunition types in order to shoot successfully. Both of these classes possess the ability to perform secondary roles: The gunner is able to repair; gunners have access to 1 repair tool allowing them to repair suboptimally. The engineer is able to shoot; engineers have access to 2 ammunition types in order for them to shoot adequately.

The second and largest contributing factor is the role of the buff-hammer; buff hammers are an engineer tool that also increases damage output when shooting, and therefore to shoot more successfully. The equivalent ammunition type could be considered the damage increase of charged rounds. If we were to compare the buff hammer to charged rounds, charged rounds have a clear negative dps and clip size de-buff, the buff-hammer has no negatives. The buff-hammer is also able to be used simultaneously with an ammunition type while also being applicable to balloon, engines, and hull where charged rounds are not.

The gunners ‘buff-hammer’ equivalent could be considered heat-sink clip. Heat-sink clip can be compared to the engineer’s chem-spray; heat-sink clip allows gunners to repair more successfully by extinguishing and preventing fires. However, heat-sink clip does not ensure 100% fire protection (while chem-spray can) as it does not protect from fires while the gun is reloading, heat-sink clip cannot be used in conjunction with the equivalent engineer tool in order repair more effectively (the gunners only viable engineer tool is the pipewrench, engineers have access to two ammo types their choice + neutral ammo). Heat-sink also is unable to be applied to fires of more than eight stacks as the gunner is no longer able to mount the gun, where chem-spray can still be applied to the burning weapon. Chemical-spray is also capable of being applied to the balloon, engines, and hull, where heat-sink is not.

tl;dr

In short, the engineers ‘gunner tool’ is far better at gunning than the gunners ‘engineer tool’ is at repairing. Gunners also have access to 1 engineer tool, where engineers have access to 2 types of ammunition. Engineers can both repair and shoot more effectively than gunners.


 
Why the addition of more ammunition choices will not be an effective solution.

Any additional ammo you add to the game can still be taken by engineers, and adding more variety will not change that fact. Engineers can still perform the other Repair/Buff tasks that gunners cannot do effectively, while the gunners advantage is far more niche. An engineer can use 50% of the 'gunner' benefit (2 ammo types out of a possible 4), while a gunner can only use only 33.3% of the 'engineer' benefit (1 repair tool out of a possible 3). It is also worth noting that every single engineer tool can be used to benefit each component on the ship (except for using a buff hammer on a flame-thrower, which is arguably neutral), where currently different ammunition choices have the possibility of being detrimental to particular weapons. Every single gun can be operated effectively with 2 types of ammunition; no component can be maintained by only 1 repair tool.


 
The solution to the ‘problem’.

The first posed solution was to provide gunners with passive effects, however this would require a relatively large amount of game development and causes problems that awkm expressed concerning paradigm, the reload mechanic, and user interface.
My suggestion (inspired by Captain Smollet) is that instead of having literal 'passives' that are activated while mounted on a gun, to incorporate the effects into tools that would work in a similar manner to chem-spray and the buff hammer, being pre-applied before mounting the gun and requiring continuous re-application. This would not require a large developmental effort from muse (effects such as buff and fire resistance could be recycled and recolored along with tool animations) and would not cause problems with existing gameplay mechanics. It would also provide the gunner with more tasks to complete and by extension make gameplay as a gunner more interesting and dynamic. Another possibility (or beginning) would be to divide the existing engineer’s buff-hammer to be only effective on non-gun components and add a gunners buff-hammer that would only be effective on guns.

Quote
“Instead of making the engineers worse, make gunners more diverse.
Gunnery tools that stack effects would make gunners superior in so many instances.
A tool to make reloading go faster.
A tool to make the gun turn quicker and farther.
A tool to give longer zoom and range.
A tool to give an increase in rate of fire.

Giving a gunner the ability to stack effects would make them outclass engineers on guns.  While engineers could still stack their buff to a gun, gunners could stack multiple tools.  In very high team work related moments, perhaps the gunner could apply their tools to an engineers gun in the same way and engineer applies their tools to a gunners gun.”
~ Captain Smollet
 


Concerns about Paradigm.

So far the only counter to the addition of gunner tools is that of paradigm. By design, Muse considers that each class has a selection of specific tools that function consistently with each other. The gunner has a choice of ammunition, each type of ammunition can be loaded into a gun to shoot more effectively. The engineer has a choice of tools, each tool is applied to components on the ship externally to repair them. The pilot has a choice of tools that are used when on the helm of the ship, (with the exception of the spyglass, and range-finder) to allow them to manoeuvre more effectively.

awkm suggests that gunner tools, other than ammunition, should not be added to the game because they break this design paradigm, expressing a desire to not add any more exceptions such as the spyglass and range-finder.

I observe that this game does not actually follow this design paradigm intended by Muse in its current state. Including the previously mentioned pilot tool exceptions, please consider that:


The engineer has access to the buff hammer; the buff hammer is capable of altering the damage output of guns allowing them to shoot more effectively, the buff hammer is also capable of altering the force applied from the engines and balloon allowing the ship to manoeuvre more effectively. Two things that expand beyond the scope of the engineers polarised role and should be exclusive to gunners and pilots respectively.

The Pilot has access to impact bumpers and drogue chute, two tools that are intended to negate damage, negation of damage being the quintessential basis of the engineer’s role.

The Gunner has access to heat-sink clip which is capable of both fire prevention and extinguish, neither of these properties directly apply to the gunners role but they do to the engineer.

The captain of the ship decides on the guns, not the gunner, and the ship itself not necessarily the pilot or engineer and never both.


I believe that by extending the gunner class to include externally applicable gunnery tools you do not create exception to the existing paradigm, only redefine a more clear and obvious one while simultaneously balancing and improving gameplay.
 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 03:23:53 pm by GeoRmr »

Offline Caprontos

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 05:36:00 pm »
I agree.

I feel like it is a mistake to look at gunners more like pilots then like engineers..

Pilots stuff is helm focused, that makes sense because.. the pilot is flying in or out of combat... But a gunner is like an engineer in that, he has downtime.. that's currently not used for anything.

Offline Imagine

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 06:19:15 pm »
These round and round debates about gunners being worth it or not got old months ago :-\

Offline N-Sunderland

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 06:26:43 pm »
These round and round debates about gunners being worth it or not got old months ago :-\

That's not what this thread is for. It's about how to solve the problem, and not about whether it exists.

Offline Crafeksterty

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 06:44:56 pm »
I belive a gunner holding himself on a gun much like a pilot on a helm proves for a good design.
The gunner just needs tools he can play with that makes him being on a gun dangerous in comparesment to one gunner slot gunner.

I really want awkm and the rest to implement some new type of tool for the gunner to use while on a gun.
Ammo simply limits the choice as 1 every reload. But i can see the ammo being overhauled and changed to the point of having a gunner for a gun is very important.
Right now the ammo is balanced enough to be in prefrence (Which is detrimental to the gunner class), rather than a must.

Offline Imagine

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 06:56:24 pm »
These round and round debates about gunners being worth it or not got old months ago :-\

That's not what this thread is for. It's about how to solve the problem, and not about whether it exists.
Which assumes there's a problem in the first place.

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 07:03:29 pm »
These round and round debates about gunners being worth it or not got old months ago :-\

That's not what this thread is for. It's about how to solve the problem, and not about whether it exists.
Which assumes there's a problem in the first place.

Read the first post of the thread that my post is in response to, link is in the first paragraph. (so from an official stance, yes there is a problem)

Edit: This thread is not about the problem, its about how if muse considers it to be a problem adding new ammo types will not resolve it.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 07:07:52 pm by GeoRmr »

Offline macmacnick

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 07:08:32 pm »
Ah, geo, but one problem that would come from the solution would be the duration that these tools last, and how to incorporate it into the GUI when gunning. would it be a bar on the left side, that goes down, would there be a barometer-style gauge for duration, or what? Possible (very crude, would be stylized) Example:

(Ignore the achievements shown there, along with the snark.)

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 07:14:53 pm »
Ah, geo, but one problem that would come from the solution would be the duration that these tools last, and how to incorporate it into the GUI when gunning. would it be a bar on the left side, that goes down, would there be a barometer-style gauge for duration, or what? Possible (very crude, would be stylized) Example:

(Ignore the achievements shown there, along with the snark.)

I imagined they would look and work the same way as the buff hammer or chem-spray does currently. More UI would probably be better though, personally I'm more into clean UI.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 09:30:39 pm »
I think a solution to the problem would be to change the effect of the buff hammer on guns to increasing rotation speed and HP (like the armor) by quite a bit, and perhaps a small buff to recoil or range rather than damage. You are buffing the gun, not the ammo, so the effects should only be on the gun's mechanical abilities.

Buffgineer damage benefit gone. Still greatly useful for improving a ship's performance, including guns.

In addition, since the pipe wrench is middle of the road on repair and rebuild, how about adding a small buff ability to it as well? 25% the buff hammer ability, or some such.

Offline Milevan Faent

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 02:04:11 am »
I think a solution to the problem would be to change the effect of the buff hammer on guns to increasing rotation speed and HP (like the armor) by quite a bit, and perhaps a small buff to recoil or range rather than damage. You are buffing the gun, not the ammo, so the effects should only be on the gun's mechanical abilities.

Buffgineer damage benefit gone. Still greatly useful for improving a ship's performance, including guns.

In addition, since the pipe wrench is middle of the road on repair and rebuild, how about adding a small buff ability to it as well? 25% the buff hammer ability, or some such.

hmmm..... This inspires me. *opens GoIO to get stats for Pipe Wrench so he can do this right*

Okay, here's some ideas listed below.

Pipe Wrench 1: 100 HP (down from 120), 5 sec cd, 4 rebuild, gains 10 HP per second for 5 seconds, total healed: 150 (up from 120)

Pros: Slightly more healing than current Pipe Wrench in the long run, potentially could help while on the gun since you will be healing while you can be firing.
Cons: Still not really very impressive, and slightly lower burst healing than production.

Gunner vs Engineer: An engineer will always be able to do better than this with Mallet/Spanner, so they have no reason to take this. The regen is "nice", but not nice enough to warrant taking it.

Pipe Wrench 2: 80 HP (down from 120), 4 sec cd (down from 5), 4 rebuild, gains 5 HP per second for 10 seconds (Can stack up to twice for 10 per second, refreshes duration when used), total healed: 130-180 (up from 120)

Pros: Slightly better cd means the burst can happen a bit more often, but with the reduction in burst, it's not as useful. The heal itself is slightly better than option 1, and noticeably better than production. Other Pros are similar to Option 1.
Cons: This version requires using the Pipe Wrench twice within 10 seconds to maximize the healing potential. Not hard, but it's still better if you're more dedicated to one or two guns instead of just any gun. Other Cons are similar to Option 1.

Gunner vs Engineer: In this case, the reason to not take it as an Engineer is even stronger. You probably won't be by the same gun twice in 10 seconds when you're busy chem spraying and repairing everything else. As a gunner usually stays by one or two guns ANYWAY, this is perfect for them.

Pipe Wrench 3: 70 HP (down from 120), 4 sec cd (down from 5), 4 rebuild, gains 5 HP per second for 10 seconds (can stack up to four times for 20 per second, refreshes duration when used), total healed: 120-170-220-270

Pros: This heals significantly more the normal Pipe Wrench - if you fully stack it. Other pros are similar to the other options.
Cons: You obviously need to fully stack it to really get the maximum benefit. Until you get at least 2 stacks, this option is clearly inferior to production Pipe Wrench. At 4 stacks, it's comparable to a Mallet, but with how long it takes for that heal to happen, it will be more like just keeping the gun alive, and you have to remember to occasionally hop off to keep the buff up. If you miss the timing, you'll have to start over with a significantly weaker HP per 5.

Gunner vs Engineer: See option 2.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 02:36:18 am by Milevan Faent »

Offline macmacnick

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 02:22:40 am »
...You know what this means... Time for me to make a chart... To show the imbalance between Buffgineer/gungineer and Gunners...

Offline macmacnick

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 02:55:36 am »
Gunner Vs. Gungineer.

Offline Dementio

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 09:29:52 am »
Gunner Vs. Gungineer.


Give the gunner a second engineering slot.

Offline redria

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Re: Design Paradigm, Game balance, and Gunner vs Engineer.
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2014, 09:46:47 am »
Give the gunner a second engineering slot.


Wait. Hold up.
Wrench. Average.
Normal ammo. Average.

Second engineering slot? Or do you mean extra default engineering tool for everyone?

Take a moment and think about it.

(Remove wrenches as a selectable engineering tool, and everyone gets a wrench free, similar to normal ammo in guns)