Author Topic: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type  (Read 4922 times)

Offline Richard LeMoon

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The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« on: November 15, 2015, 12:00:20 pm »
The guns in this game are terrifying in power and range. If every shot hit every time, the damage would be insane. This brings in a certain problem we are all very familiar with. In order to 'balance' the high damage, they have made the guns hard to hit with. The guns with the most damage potential have been given such a high amount of spread that no amount of skill can compensate. Heavy clip broke this, and had to be nerfed to compensate.

This removes much of the fun factor, especially for new players that don't understand why they are missing. It is also irritating for those of us that know exactly why we are missing.

This proposal seeks to solve this issue by revisiting falloff damage, as well as introducing a third damage type on each gun. It would also allow the reintroduction of 100% jitter reduction Heavy clip for all your lazer Hwatch needs.

So, lets start with the obvious question. Why a third damage type? As of now, we have two damage types: Primary and Secondary. Secondary has both burst (Area of Effect) and Arming (activates after n range). This adds the ability to make guns devastating at range, but not very dangerous up close. This adds a lot of countering abilities. Get close and don't worry. My initial idea was to add falloff time to secondary to reduce the effective range of a gun, but that does not make a lot of sense to guns that are already disadvantaged by Arming Time. After some thought, I wondered how it would work to put the falloff on the Primary. Again, this did not make much sense, would be seen as a nerf, and would not add any improvements to the game. Finally, I wondered about simply adding in a third damage type that would be effected by the falloff damage. Suddenly, interesting possibilities started presenting themselves. Let's explore those possibilities.

For starters, reducing the damage of a gun at range allows the removal of some spread, increased velocity, causing higher hit rates. In other words, more fun. It is never fun to not hit your target. It is much more fun to hit your target, even if you are not causing as much damage. This was the basic benefit I was looking for when proposing Falloff. Putting it on a third, independent damage adds extra benefits well beyond that initial goal. In some cases, it could turn the meta game on its head.

Some examples are in order.

We can start with the black sheep of close range heavy guns: The Typhon Heavy Flak. Close range, this gun is a joke. Flakfish are seen as the weakest Goldfish build. Direct damage, 150 Explosive. Burst damage, 180 Explosive with crippling arming time of 300 meters. What happens when you add in a third damage type? Falloff: 100 Piercing (just as an example), falloff range of 290m. Before the shell arms, it is just a big, heavy bullet. This would give it different properties than an exploding shell, closer to a Merc or Gatling. Suddenly, a flak on a Goldfish is much more dangerous, but still requires strategy and skill to fly other than just trying to run away.

Moving on to another gun, this time one that suffered a spate of range and spread nerfs: Hellhound Heavy Carronade. The idea here is to remove a lot of the spread (and bring back heavy clip), increase the range substantially, and split the primary flechette between Direct and Falloff with a falloff range of 300-400meters. Starting to drool yet? Let's continue.

Manticore Heavy Hwatcha. How can this gun be improved through falloff? A primary improvement would be the reintroduction of Heavy clip providing laser missiles, but with the trade off of shifting some damage to falloff. The further a rocket flies, the less fuel it has, and the less boom it makes. Arguments could be made on whether the Explosive direct or Shatter burst damage should be divided. Personally, I would cut the Shatter and move 25% or so to falloff. I would also add arming time to Burst of 100 meters or less.

Whirwind Gatling: I pondered giving this the same treatment as the Hellhound, but thought we could mix it up a bit. Leave the other damage types alone, and put Fire damage on Falloff with a range of 30meters or less. The reasoning is that hot bullets, muzzle flash, and fresh tracers would cause fires at very close range.

Flamethrower would receive much needed balance, splitting the damage and causing much more fire damage close up than further away. I would set the falloff to 75 meters.

An interesting thing that could be done to the Lumberjack would be to add a small amount of Impact damage and a small push like mines and the Minotaur.

Speaking of the Minotaur, add a good deal of Impact damage up close.

Each gun can find a new balance between ease of use and damage, or interesting strategies based on new abilities. The downside, of course, is finding the right balance. Though I don't think that would as large an issue as trying to balance the guns with just the two damage types.

Finally, old and new ammo types can be designed to effect falloff damage, extending, reducing, or eliminating it. Lochnagar, for example, would reduce the range or remove falloff damage completely. Other ammos could remove Burst and reduce Direct damage while removing the falloff limit, turning the Hflak into a possible long range piercing gun. That would be pretty hard to balance, though, and great care should be taken.

Thoughts? Ideas on other ways Falloff could be used?

Offline BlackenedPies

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2015, 12:55:45 pm »
It would certainly make it more interesting but complicated. I don't think every gun would need falloff or a third damage as it would be confusing and overwhelming for new and returning players. Flamethrower is the perfect candidate for this mechanic.

Heavy flak shouldn't be balanced to the flak fish because it has no use. Any buff to flak fish would be a bigger buff to flak spire. There's no balanced way for it to work.

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2015, 01:31:04 pm »
I don't think it would buff a flak Spire much, since you would have to get close to benefit from the falloff damage. If you use loch at close range (as you should be doing), you lose the falloff damage. Really, though, there are far better guns you should be on if they are that close to your Spire. Goldfish are adept at closing distance and manipulation positions as well as rams, so would benefit much more than the other two ships. It would still be risky business getting close with a Flakfish.

You are right that all guns would not need it. I could not think of a good reason to give the Hades, mines, harpoon, flare, or Banshee falloff, for example. Did not put too much thought into it, though.

As for confusing new players, I think arming time is more confusing. This would bridge the gap, giving armed guns some use up close, so even the nub that brings a ramming Flakfish would still be of use to your team.

Offline Caprontos

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2015, 07:09:27 pm »
A long time ago when Muse was talking about new ammo types, I realized the biggest issue with gunner value was gun ranges... The gunner class is more useful on longer range guns then short ones because of ammo giving variable ranges.. (long mid and short).. But lots of guns don't actually have this use because the ranges they work at, don't have a lot of situational value (or just good at one specific thing like the merc).. One ammo is basically sufficient.. In other words more ammo doesn't really change that..

This idea, could possibly create that value on more guns that lack longer range options(like guns that are mid-short range) because "closer" range would have a different value then just close range(if that makes sense)... If so more ammos would be useful on various guns (depending what you wanted to do).. and maybe open more possibilities on what loadouts to bring even for full engi ships..

I can't make suggestions on use though because I don't really understand it enough to..  But your ideas sound fine to me..

Offline BlackenedPies

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2015, 07:16:51 pm »
The point is that everything can out dps a flak fish and it has no ability to 1v1. It would buff spire because with an added 100 piercing at 290 meters for example, an in-arm buffed charged flak would deal 248 armor damage per shot. Similar for meta galleon where you have an engi with charged. Anyways it's not hard to stay out of arm range with buffed flak spire. It's the one spire I bring moonshine on and with buffs is more maneuverable than squid. There's little reason to bring a gunner when buffed regular does 99% of the dps of charged.

The value would have to be a percent of arm time in order to account for both velocity and arm reduction ammos. So yeah the mechanic would have a place in the game but I don't think it's necessary with the existing arm time guns. But again it's impossible to make flak fish viable or at least comparable to double mortar pyra.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 07:24:43 pm by BlackenedPies »

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 07:41:28 pm »
I have said this about 50 times now, so I will shout it this time.

GET RID OF BUFF DAMAGE!

It is so damned game breaking. It needs to go. Literally (and yes, I mean the literally, not virtually) everything I have suggested lately has had the response of "Ya, but buff guns...". Get rid of it. There is a SERIOUS problem when people are continuously saying "Why bring special ammo for a gun when you can just buff?" What is wrong with people that think this is OK? I get that they are ingrained so deep in their playstyle that they just can't stand the thought of change. But take a moment to see what things HAVE CHANGED due to buff damage. Guns have been nerfed to oblivion. They added an entire stamina system JUST TO TRY TO MAKE GUNNERS MORE VALID. Not only that, most people don't stick around that long, so who are we not changing this for?

Let it go. Lose the damage buff. Find a more creative way to apply a buff to guns.

Finally, the 100 piercing was a number I made up without 2 seconds of thought. It was an example that did not take into account any numbers. It is an n or x, not a solid suggestion.

Offline BlackenedPies

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 08:15:09 pm »
As I've said before +20% damage is too much, but damage is the only way to balance gun buffs equally across the guns. There's no alternative to damage for gun buffs. With +10% a gunner could out-dps a buff engi.

So yeah make gun buffs +10% (maybe tweak buff time/duration), slightly increase gunner stamina passive regen, and reduce/remove the 20 meter mine detonation range because that's the one OP thing. It's a common complaint by new players that they didn't even hit the mine but it still does incredible damage. 20 meters is almost 2/3 the length of squid. It makes mines too easy and less skillful.

But anyways Richard this has a place but it's hard to agree with each individual change. The flamethrower is a great candidate along with the Apollo if it's introduced. I'm not so sure about the third damage type in Skirmish but it's not my call.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 08:33:28 pm by BlackenedPies »

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2015, 06:34:48 am »
If we can get the original HF back minus the range and projectile speed, I'm all for removing the buff. Yes I concur, Buff is the single biggest problem with balancing right now. Both guns and ships have to be nerfed enough to allow Buff to make them viable. That is shit, utter, steaming, runny, filled with corn bits, horse shit.

If we're going to do Buff then do it like it originally was, where the ships were usable as is and then adding buff just made them OP for a brief time. You could say,"well wouldn't that make buffers meta?" Nope. Buffers back then were brought mostly only for gunning or say long range bombardment Galleon battles where they'd need that extra hull armor. People just didn't really ever need buffers that much outside of that because lets face it, the ships moved well enough. Sometimes you'd see one on a Pyra or Fish when they wanted to catch a Squid but it wasn't a build that was needed in every match. Few times it was to fight Flakfish because the buffed armor would mean the Flakfish couldn't crack the armor in two hits as easily.

Or perhaps change it so that damage causes the buff time to be reduced rapidly. So say instead of 90 seconds, combat reduces it to 30 seconds or just plain causes the buff to expire within a very short time...say base it on % damage the part takes. If it takes 100% then yeah the buff is gone instantly but say it takes 25% damage from a hit, lets knock a solid 25% out of the buff timer.

Think about it, how often does a crew use buff hammer mid combat? Rare if ever. They are too busy keeping parts alive. Chem is a prebattle tool, why not make Buff more prebattle friendly?

Offline Atruejedi

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 03:26:56 am »
I have nothing to add as of now, but this is my post expressing support for Richard's above ideas.

Okay, nevermind, I started fantasizing about this. A third ammo type could...

1. ...Adequately balance the hwatcha (able to hit at long range for negligible damage, solid at medium range, but not overpowered at close range, especially with burst ammo).

2. ...Make the flamer more fun, allowing gentle licks ( ;) ) at long range and swirling infernos at close range.

3. ...Make gatlings more interesting, especially about the above-suggested fire-starting at close range. I dig it!

4. ...Make the heavy flak not boring by allowing (negligible?) piercing damage.

5. ...Make the lumberjack more interesting by adding an ever-so-slight nudge (and remove the point of the minotaur ;D )

It would also, most interestingly to me...

6. ...Nerf point-blank mortar. I assume mortars at point-blank range "in real life" wouldn't have had time to arm, considering there's no self-damage, and would just bounce off the enemy? As it is now, you should have to take self-damage when nuking an enemy with mortar at point-blank! After all, mines cause self-damage... Be consistent, Muse :P . Make them like the Demoman's pipebomb launcher from Team Fortress 2... problem solved, ha! MORTAR SELF-DAMAGE OR MORTAR ARMING TIME! I'm going to start a picket line!

7. ...Give light flak cannons negligible piercing damage, which I would love. Arming time kills the flak as of now... having the ability to pierce at close range would make it much more used and versatile. The old meta for Pyra was gat-flak, famously replaced by gat-mortar in more recent history... with the above two changes, now both could be flown! PEACE IN OUR TIME! GOD, I WANT THIS NOW!

And yeah, you've got me wondering how the Apollo lens array is gonna actually work... in the dev app, its animation "charges up" to presumably do more damage, but it's range is currently insane. I've only shot at dummies, but I know I am hitting scenery a kilometer out. I realize the lenses (lenses?) are focused... and my knowledge of light physics is limited... but I feel like the laser should do less and less damage the further away the target is. The idea is great; I just hope the execution is just as good.

And yeah, get rid of the mines' proximity. It's insane. I'm a skilled navigator; if I am dodging mines physically, don't let them blow me up  :'(

Fingers crossed, prayers asked. Here's hoping.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 03:43:10 am by Atruejedi »

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 04:30:26 am »

4. ...Make the heavy flak not boring....

7. ... Arming time kills the flak as of now...



Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 05:40:50 pm »
Just a note. This thread (as well as all of my idea threads) are not addressed to the devs. I use email for that. This is for us to hash out the idea with pros and cons, trying to patch the later, before I send them the fully thought out idea.

I had previously (pre-heavy nerf) sent them an email touching on falloff damage just on secondary while proposing the Maelstrom Quad Heavy Machine Gun. A third damage type with falloff would allow that gun to exist.

As far as Flak with some close range piercing, I can see new strategies being developed to rock in and out of arming and falloff range to take advantage of both. That may actually give the rangefinder a use...........

Nah. Who am I kidding. xD

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 08:17:24 pm »
After some amount of consideration (yes, months), I feel it is time to present this feature to the devs. They seem amiable to more drastic changes to the game at this time. I'll copy'paste my post and link them to this thread for the further discussion.

Offline DrTentacles

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 08:18:54 pm »
It would really help with noob-friendlyness, and balance.

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 10:18:40 pm »
10/10 post richard, I really like the idea of falloff damage as a mechanic.

I noticed you made the remove buff damage argument, and I'd like to re state my old idea to it- when you remove buff damage from the buff hammer, give the gunner a different buff tool that takes up an ammo slot to buff guns and increase their damage.

Muse will then argue to this - but that's not an ammo type it's paradigm breaking
And then I'll argue - lol spyglass and range finder don't affect the ship either
And then muse will go - w/e we don't care lol

Offline DJ Logicalia

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Re: The Case for Falloff Damage and a Third Damage Type
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 02:48:53 pm »
I'd sign a petition for this