Okay, look. I know some of you think this new weapon system is great and how awesomely incredible it is at getting everything balanced etc etc, and I respect that. Yep, I’m not going to start yelling at you for something you like this time. This doesn’t mean I’m going understand how in the flaming heck you actually do like it, though, so that hasn’t changed.
I’ll cut to the chase. Most of you will have taken note of my opinion of patch 0.9.0. For those who didn’t:
Hate is an understatement. Loathe is an understatement. Despise with all my being is a gross understatement. I feel like the developers went and took everything I liked about this game and screwed it over. Big time. They snapped all of it over one knee, tossed it into the back of a van and sent it off to God knows where so I can never see it again. The old SCon I knew and loved is now just a memory. A fast-fading one as well, now I’ve quit the game entirely and decided to waste my time on something where I know my hopes won’t be dashed, like XCOM.
But the one thing that really went and ruined it above everything else? The weapon system overhaul. Devs said they had this in the works. I loved how the old one functioned, though. I could put any ship in any firing distance I wanted and use it, even if not completely efficiently. I could use pulse lasers on frigates (the new ones are a joke, btw), hail plasma cannons on an interceptor (positron cannons are also horrible. Slow barrels are not for the hail plasma) to deal some serious damage at any range, and then put absolutely anything I wanted depending on my mood on a fighter. If I wanted assault plasma cannons, I used them. If I wanted rapid fire railguns, I used them. I used anything I wanted.
0.9.0 destroyed this. Customisation is - for me - a must. It precedes everything. Functionality, usability and graphics don’t matter when I have very limited options. 4 guns per class? All but one made for a specific range? You have to be kidding me. The old system gave me a plethora of choices - 12 to be exact - and I loved that. 3 short-ranged, 6 mid-range, and 3 long-range. I say 6 mid-range as the Heavy varieties essentially had the same range as their assault counterparts, about 3-4km, but that’s besides the point. This massive choker on weapons is just the worst change made in the entire patch.
…Except for the modifier changes. I hate this change even more, if that’s even possible. Just… Why? One question mark isn’t sufficient. WHY???
Did anyone find these lacking in any way?
Cause I didn’t.
Weapon modifiers were meant to help us respond to changes on the battlefield by switching them out when we needed them. Now we’re stuck with a piece-of-crap ammunition slot that has hardly any use. Why would I spend 2000 hard-earned credits on something that lasts one match?
Damage changers were not that bad either. At least it gives you a penalty to your damage when you switch types. I got about an extra 50 or so damage from the needle system. Not a big boost, but it’s there. Plus, it becomes kind of useless in T3 against hull-tankers who stick reactive armour on their ships. Better off using EM damage, so I’d swap it out for a booster circuit, maybe. Then I could have a supernova deflector and a booster circuit. One to kill faster ships, the other to obliterate the ones that dare sit still for even a second.
So, I still do call for a rollback on the weapons and modifiers system. That will not change. But, this is in the suggestions subforum, correct? And the old system still had quite a few kinks to iron out.
I’ll try and offer my advice here.
Let’s begin with going over those roles. Yes, I understand the concept of Frigate = Long, Fighter = Mid, Interceptor = Short. However, this still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get the chance to use long range weapons on an interceptor. They don’t have to be up-close dog fighters, they can strafe from a little further away. And even though stabilised rails and hail plasma cannons lose a little efficiency up close, they can still be very deadly in the right hands. In 3 seconds, you could deal - with RFPs - about 800 damage. I could hit you for 1500 (both are heavily rounded values done through testing). That’s 700 additional damage. But, I need to be accurate. It’s up to player choice. I would, personally, prefer rapid plasma cannons, but that’s me.
Now, if you want people to use certain kinds of weapons, then give us a reason. The meta was stabilised railguns, back then. Frigates using them? That’s fine. Everything but interceptors using them (and even they used rapid fire railguns)? No. You need to persuade us to use certain kinds of weapons.
Here’s some general information. The meta in T3?
Why? Because people hull tanked. What’s the best thing vs hull? Kinetic.
Now here’s the thing. At the time, Jericho Guards were not often used. Again, why? Because shield tanking was not viable. It was very hard to do and you had to expend pretty much all of your passive slots, but then again, you have to do the same for hull tanking. But that’s besides the point.
Here are some little nuggets I unearthed when making a shield tank:
Using 2 Thermal Modulators, 2 EM Diffusors, Phase Shield set to Kinetic, and an Adaptive Shield (all Mark 3):
Thermal: 102 > 49.5% damage taken
EM: 72 > 58.1% damage taken
Kinetic: 130 > 43.4% damage taken
Those are some big reductions.
Using 3 EM Diffusors, 1 Thermal Modulator, and above:
Thermal: 64 > 60.9% damage taken
EM: 110 > 47.6% damage taken
Kinetic: 130 > 43.4% damage taken
Sacrificing Thermal for EM. Not an attractive prospect, considering nukes, anomaly generators, plasma arcs, etc.
Those 2 are interesting, because they both cut 2 damage types below 50% and drop another to about 60. Hull tanking gives you only 2 below 50%. The other is still quite vulnerable. Normally EM. So firing plasma blast after plasma blast at a Styx is actually more efficient than putting stabilised rounds into its hull. These are a few things quite a lot of people miss.
And, to be completely honest, Jericho really should have their shield regeneration buffed by about 30%. They’re shield specialists, for Pete’s sake!
Anyway, the actual weapon tweaks themselves.
There’s a valuable word here:
There has to be something that will _ persuade _ us to use other weapons besides the rail meta. I’ll just skim over some nerfs/buffs that wouldn’t exactly reduce the railgun family’s efficiency, merely make the others stand out slightly.
Rapid Fire Railgun
The problem I see with this is that the alpha strike ability it carries is just too powerful. Barely any time passes and you have a triple-charged shotgun with a good degree of accuracy ready to go again.
Increase the charge time and spread so that the first charge level has about the same spread as the Shrapnel Cannon. You can spam shotgun charges, but they’ll be nowhere near as effective and will force you to get in very close. This also allows for a plasma arc follow up on Covert Ops. But, to compensate, allow the shotgun of spehss more range the higher the charge level is. You now have two options - either stay at about 3000m and use the additional range to maximum effect, or get in very close and spam bullets everywhere so you have a decent chance to hit per shot. Give it overheat as well. No weapon should have no overheat. There is science behind that but we’ll leave that for now.
This was used on damn near every ship imaginable. Good range, excellent damage, and pretty much hitscan capabilities left it a very good weapon in the hands of experienced pilots. Don’t even get me started on the spread on first shot…
It should fire slower. A LOT slower. Overdrive will not get as much out of it due to the slower speed, and cranking up the damage per shot would help counter that to keep it balanced.
There are others I have yet to discuss, but I’m still working on them. Give it time, and this will be complete.