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Custom Weapon Balance - Live on /v/ server

#1
This custom weapon balance aims to expand the current weapon combo trinity of Mortar, Vortex, and Devastator, to ideally include Machine Gun, Electro, and Hagar. Has been an option alongside standard balance, on the server for a while by now. List of changes:
  • Hagar primary spread removed.
  • Crylink primary fire no longer effects the velocity on the target.
  • Machine Gun reload removed (the reload sound will still play).
  • Machine Gun spread diminished.

  • Machine Gun primary damage increased to 12 (from 10 per bullet).
  • Vortex charged damage reduced to 70 (from 80).
  • Vortex immediate refire damage reduced to 50 (from 74).
  • Electro primary direct hit damage increased to 70 (from 40).
  • Electro blast radius decreased to 40 (from 100).
Feedback will be collected both in and out of game and forum. If you played it, let us know what you think.

Additionally, if you have balance ideas that you want to be tested out, let us know too. There is a preference for changes that encourage improving skills like weapon swapping, movement (e.g XDF), map control. Suggestions like 'add grappling hook' or instagib are less likely to be considered.
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#2
you know the MG will be removed, right?
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#3
Yes, I know about the plan to have Arc be in its stead.
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#4
Nice that you are playing with the weapon balance! It needs a lot of testing before people get fully satisfied. (if that is even possible..)

I would like to point out that Electro primary does the same damage as Vortex (fully charged) and that might be a bit off. Remember that Vortex-spawn location is often at a way more crucial location than Electro. I am not saying this will happen, but I have a feeling that the meta-game will change drastically and people will abuse Electro since it will be easier to pick up, high damage output and Electro also fire way more rapidly than Vortex. Changing weapon-locations on current maps will also maybe be a fact here.

If your idea is to include other weapons into the current trinity combo I would maybe try to look at it this way: What is too OP with the current trinity-combo? I assume nearly everyone would say RL/Devastator due to mid-air detonations.

However, don't misunderstand me. We have a lot of players in the current scene that prefer to use those guns (crylink & hagar) instead of mortar/vortex when needed.
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#5
The rationale behind Electro's primary damage buff is that it is much harder to land a direct hit with it than the Vortex as it can be dodged (as opposed to the hitscan of Vortex). The splash damage of the Electro primary still remains as 25, and with it the blast radius is also drastically reduced.

So far on the matches with the balance enabled, Mortar still is popular for close-mid range encounters.
Weapon spawn locations could be an important consideration.
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#6
Yes, indeed Electro primary is harder to hit than the Vortex. Imagine how you could start to use Electro primary in the meta if a direct hit landed 70dmg.. If your timing is good and you have good map knowledge you should be able to use it in certain situations where you normally would use Devastator and maybe Mortar. For example pre-fire on straight angles.

I am not saying this is necessarily a bad weapon balance. It just seems to cover more than maybe intended.

Edit: I do like the "Hagar no spread" - plasmagun feeling 8-)
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#7
For reference, there are few balance/weapon ideas we've tested with Mario that you might be interested in:

- Hagar removed
- Machinegun removed
- Arc with LG like primary (intents to replace machinegun) and old Hagar primary (with no spread)
- Electro secondary balls stick to surfaces and don't bounce around, can now make electro combos on ceilings or walls also.
- No spread for electro balls, can use more reliably for direct hits now.
- Vortex charge removed, does consistent damage at around 60-70dmg (forgot exact number)

Other ideas that haven't been implemented yet, or wasn't last time I checked:

- Shotgun secondary (melee) moved to Blaster secondary.
- Old hagar secondary moved to shotgun secondary.
- Shotgun removed from spawn weapons and made slightly stronger to give it pickup value (chances are this one is not happening though).
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#8
(09-17-2016, 04:51 AM)Smilecythe Wrote: For reference, there are few balance/weapon ideas we've tested with Mario that you might be interested in:

- Hagar removed
- Machinegun removed
- Arc with LG like primary (intents to replace machinegun) and old Hagar primary (with no spread)
- Electro secondary balls stick to surfaces and don't bounce around, can now make electro combos on ceilings or walls also.
- No spread for electro balls, can use more reliably for direct hits now.
- Vortex charge removed, does consistent damage at around 60-70dmg (forgot exact number)

Other ideas that haven't been implemented yet, or wasn't last time I checked:

- Shotgun secondary (melee) moved to Blaster secondary.
- Old hagar secondary moved to shotgun secondary.
- Shotgun removed from spawn weapons and made slightly stronger to give it pickup value (chances are this one is not happening though).

Didn't you also test those balance changes with a higher knockup when you're getting hit by a rocket?
I tested those balance changes with Freddy a few weeks ago and I remember the rocket launcher to have a ridiculous knockup now.
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#9
Yeah the rocket knockout was ridiculous and my opinion on it was just a flat out noooope. Such juggling power should be applied only when you're using multiple weapons on a combo, otherwise you're putting too much value into single weapons making weapon comboing a more redundant element. I think the point of it was to make it easier to recover from pits with air rocket jumps, but I don't think such mechanic improves the gameplay. You can still do it with the default rocket, but only to certain point. Aiding that with additional knockout has more impact on overall gameplay than it has on that one type of trick which you can't or even need to do in quite a many maps to begin with.
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#10
The RL is already powerful enough as it stands. It definitely doesn't need an increase in knockback. Gameplay would suffer negatively. I don't mind the nex gun nerf however.

I still have much love for the hagar and MG even though devs want to remove these weapons and replace them with the arc.
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#11
I can imagine it wouldn't work so well in duels (where there aren't many space maps), so the competitive balance can revert to the default (lack of) rocket jumping, but nerfing it to the point of uselessness was one of the worst balance decisions made in Xonotic.
Rocket flying was a big part of Nexuiz (although, it was slightly overpowered there, like all the other weapons), and the balance is severely lacking without it.

As for the original topic; The machine gun changes really show off why we need to remove this weapon from core balance... Without spread or reload, it's basically an overpowered Arc.
The other changes (maybe minus Electro) look acceptable, an alternative take on the Vortex nerf (charging has been a complaint central feature since it was introduced, nerfed to the point of only losing 7 damage on quick refires, hence being removed completely in experimental balance).
[Image: 230.png]
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#12
I disagree with calling the MG with this balance an overpowered Arc. The MG in this balance does not seem as powerful as the Arc (as whatever versions appears in FT, LMS, CA), etc for the matches played with it so far. Verily it's become a more popular pick than it was, but still not a go-to like Mortar/Vortex/Devastator still.

The charge being accentuated (by the immediate refire nerf) is intentional for making mid-fight Vortex shots more deliberate (or requiring more deliberation).
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#13
The machinegun still has spread. If you manage to land every shot, it would do something like 94 damage per second. This isn't an unreasonable dps for a weapon that has a high skill requirement. The spread guarantees you cannot use it at long range unless they're running from a fight they lost.

I've never seen anyone use the electro primary outside of first weapon pickup situations. This was my absolute favourite weapon from Nexuiz, and I don't ever use it. The combo is the only reason people pull the weapon out. With this change, the weapon has 5 more damage than Nexuiz, but 10 less than a third of the radius. I feel the radius is too much of a nerf, and would like it to have a 70 unit radius or maybe more, but Antares was concerned it would replace the mortar. In Nexuiz, the mortar did 70 with a radius of 140, the electro did 65 with a radius of 150. With this in mind (a damage for splash radius trade off) I made the electro 70 with significantly less splash since Xonotic devs seemed to want to emphasize using the combo in Xonotic to cover a larger area.

The Nex/Vortex/Rail I feel is an easy to use, little risk, high reward weapon. The more it's nerfed, the more I enjoy playing; Antares indicated that he didn't mind my bias against high upfront damage, perfect accuracy, hitscan weapons. Perhaps the weapon will be rebuffed after the community complains a bit, but I personally liked the idea of a significant charge you have to worry about and a weaker rail. I haven't noticed a decreased usage of the nex during experimental matches. Even doing only 50 damage, it's still a powerful tool.

The lack of a spread on the hagar makes sense; I wanted the randomness gone before I even considered buffing or nerfing it. It's not a heavily used weapon as it is, though at close range it can be very effective. During experimental matches, my choice between machinegun or hagar depended on range. If the range was medium (more than a circle jump away) I would prefer the machinegun; if the range was short (within a full circle jump or so) I would prefer the hagar. I don't like the secondary 144 damage shotgun, but I didn't want to nerf a possibly weak weapon. I like the hagar, especially the primary.

Crylink is my least favourite weapon, I actually have a hard time stomaching playing against people who use it. I hate that it influences other players' movement. It doesn't just jostle them around like other splash weapons, I have been nearly skyboxed by it while jumping around on the floor of finalrage. Removing the pull of the primary still leaves it doing an incredible amount of damage, but without a redesign on the secondary, there's nothing I can do to it that doesn't make it useless or redundant.
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#14
(09-18-2016, 08:30 AM)SPLAT Wrote: The RL is already powerful enough as it stands. It definitely doesn't need an increase in knockback. Gameplay would suffer negatively. I don't mind the nex gun nerf however.

I still have much love for the hagar and MG even though devs want to remove these weapons and replace them with the arc.

Never said it would be good. I just mentioned it as Smilecythe forgot to say they tested it. I found it to be ridiculous aswell, the damage is good but the knockback already is pretty heavy as it is.
[Image: 9214.png]
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#15
(09-19-2016, 01:03 AM)Komier Wrote: I've never seen anyone use the electro primary outside of first weapon pickup situations. This was my absolute favourite weapon from Nexuiz, and I don't ever use it. The combo is the only reason people pull the weapon out. With this change, the weapon has 5 more damage than Nexuiz, but 10 less than a third of the radius. I feel the radius is too much of a nerf, and would like it to have a 70 unit radius or maybe more, but Antares was concerned it would replace the mortar. In Nexuiz, the mortar did 70 with a radius of 140, the electro did 65 with a radius of 150. With this in mind (a damage for splash radius trade off) I made the electro 70 with significantly less splash since Xonotic devs seemed to want to emphasize using the combo in Xonotic to cover a larger area.

Electro emphasizing on the trapping/combo aspect is a logical decision imo. Otherwise it would just walk over the role of Rocket and Mortar too much. The gameplay doesn't benefit from multiple weapons doing essentially the same thing ever so slightly differently. You might wanna check our experiment on sticky secondary, it alone improved it's usefulness as a trapping/combo weapon to the point of people accusing it of being OP.

(09-19-2016, 01:03 AM)Komier Wrote: Crylink is my least favourite weapon, I actually have a hard time stomaching playing against people who use it. I hate that it influences other players' movement. It doesn't just jostle them around like other splash weapons, I have been nearly skyboxed by it while jumping around on the floor of finalrage. Removing the pull of the primary still leaves it doing an incredible amount of damage, but without a redesign on the secondary, there's nothing I can do to it that doesn't make it useless or redundant.

I agree on you with Crylink being obnoxious, but individual opinions aren't a rational reason to get rid of it. We had a decent compromise on Crylink on our test balance: Primary projectiles no longer detonate simultaneously when just one of them lands on a player. This means less guaranteed max dmg or max movement influence. You will have to use the spread mechanic more deliberately to get more out of it. We also made Crylink secondary to have a single projectile instead of a pile of many. This to decreases it's ease of hitting in long distance and increase it's consistency in negative splash. In other words, it's still somewhat as obnoxious as before, but harder to use in full effect and more consistent.

(09-18-2016, 05:12 PM)Mario Wrote: Rocket flying was a big part of Nexuiz (although, it was slightly overpowered there, like all the other weapons), and the balance is severely lacking without it.

You can rocket fly in Xonotic, the difference though is that you can't reach infinite distances with it and not in every conceivable circumstance, like for example when you're 1cm away from the kill zone in a void and miraculously recovering from +1000 ups falling speed. Infinite possibilities is clearly a game breaker in modes that have no self damage, ie. clan arena and I'm sure the way it's adjusted in Xonotic now, works better across different game modes, competitive or not - than it would with your tweaks.

Back in Nexuiz, I also don't remember a single map that depended on the rocket flying mechanic, it was merely a gimmick that you could do in open maps. Essentially enabling you to fly from base to base, underneath or above the space floater structure that was the map. Did people love the mechanic? Sure. Was it important to the gameplay? Nope. Did it improve map layouts and dynamics? Nope, instead I think it cheapened them. Last, but not the least: Xonotic is not Nexuiz.
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#16
You make out like rocket flying was super cheap and easy to fly around the maps with, ignoring the fact that it dealt 60-80 damage each jump. Only players highly stacked really used it often, it was normally a bridge crossing tool and of course good for saving from falls into the void.
Also, the default Xonotic balance has been nerfed too many times over the years, it simply isn't a viable rocket jumping tool, even to recover from close drops. It's almost as worthless as the current Vortex charge, to the point that nobody would notice if it were removed.

Clan arena is the only mode with no self damage, that makes it an odd case, not a standard across all modes. Sure, rocket flying wasn't a vital gameplay mechanic, but neither is crylink's secondary pull in Xonotic's balance, or even Blaster jumping in those tight duel maps.
The force is still a bit too strong in the experimental balance, but that's why it's experimental... we still need to figure out acceptable values.

You're right about Xonotic not being Nexuiz... if it were any more different, there wouldn't be a public vanilla scene at all.
The casual experience is severely lacking thanks to years of input by those who only play duel or organized competitive matches, we see many threads complaining about this from beginners and even long time casual players, most of which have stopped playing now.
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#17
Regarding that last part of your post, Mario, I've actually found the opposite to be true. We've had a number of people in the thread for the /v/ server suggest that the game is too dumbed down for them to want to play it. On the flip side, we've had people RQ over skill differential, but I'd expect that of any AFPS worth its salt.

I don't doubt that casual players have left, but I've found that the issue for new players coming in so far has been that Vanilla teaches bad habits when you look at the overall scope of the game

Take armour for instance. In vanilla you can stack HP and armour to 200 using 25s and 50s. Not only does this make mismatched fights worse (I can take the MA and pacman the 50s) but it lets people get fully stacked without having mega timings incentivizing. We have a number of players who don't even fight for the mega because it's easier to snag 50+ health fr lesser spawns

Similarly, a lot of people look at +fwd bhop and autohop and assume that's all there is to the game. This leads to people writing the game off as dumbed down, and in some cases actually lengthens the learning curve because people don't get that sharp feedback on strafejump that they would in something like CPM. What has actually counteracted that process (and has helped my movement as well, for that matter) has been spectating Komier, Dizzy, Splat, Fetus etc and mimicking them. If there was a training mode that would first person demo the movement and then ask you to do it, I think that would ease a lot of people into the process

That is, providing it gets used, which unfortunately is hardly a guarantee

Regarding the changes themselves, I've noticed more MG usage but it still feels pretty bad compared to burst options, or compared to something like the Quake 3/CPM LG. I don't know that I support a flat dmg increase without seeing sort of range cap, and personally I'd prefer that said cap not be randomized spread. I love the lack of slow on the Crylink primary. It still feels useful so far with the bounce, large spread, spread reset and good burst, but now it's not supremely annoying when you get hit with any singular particle of that.

My instinctive and initial reaction to the electo damage increase is to dislike it, but I'd like to use it more first. Id rather the electro fill a more Q3 GL role, considering the travel time of mortar shots.

Hagar not having spread is nice, but I still don't find many reasons to use it, again, time will tell
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#18
Well maybe we need a casual and pro filter for server list with two balances available for Xonotic selected through a cvar.
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#19
(09-20-2016, 02:26 PM)Beemann Wrote: Similarly, a lot of people look at +fwd bhop and autohop and assume that's all there is to the game. This leads to people writing the game off as dumbed down, and in some cases actually lengthens the learning curve because people don't get that sharp feedback on strafejump that they would in something like CPM. What has actually counteracted that process (and has helped my movement as well, for that matter) has been spectating Komier, Dizzy, Splat, Fetus etc and mimicking them. If there was a training mode that would first person demo the movement and then ask you to do it, I think that would ease a lot of people into the process
If you're interested, here's my config attempt at a revisited XPM (xonotic promode) physics: http://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=6215

It still has a little bit of +fwd accel, but it's not the dominating movement technique. It's a mixture of defrag and default xonotic without speedcap essentially.
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#20
(09-20-2016, 07:34 AM)Mario Wrote: The force is still a bit too strong in the experimental balance, but that's why it's experimental... we still need to figure out acceptable values.
Default Xonotic seems acceptable to me.. You can still fly with the rocket and at the same time it's not a clusterfuck in regular combat. You can't recover from a void if you fall too fast and I think that's fine. Recovering from a void doesn't improve the gameplay one bit in my opinion - you're not supposed to fall to voids in first place.
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#21
Personally, I'd prefer to at least have a chance of recovery after getting knocked off the lower platforms on xoylent, for example.
Default most certainly does not allow this at all, we confirmed this while testing the new balance settings. By the time you switch weapons, it's too late, you're as good as dead.

As for not being supposed to fall into the void in the first place - this isn't duel we're talking about here, there are space maps and the blaster allows knocking players easily off platforms. It's nice to have a counter measure against such an easy and somewhat cheap trick.
[Image: 230.png]
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#22
(09-22-2016, 06:15 AM)Mario Wrote: Personally, I'd prefer to at least have a chance of recovery after getting knocked off the lower platforms on xoylent, for example.
So for you position shouldn't matter, you should have the option to recover from a void regardless the part of the map you're at and regardless the actions you did to lead you to that situation. I'm not seeing how this would enrich the gameplay in either casual or competitive format. EDIT: Maybe instead of worrying about recovery methods for strong weapon knockouts, why not nerf the weapon knockout itself? Vortex for example is way too ridiculous and way too easy. Xoylent and that jump pad.. you know what I'm talking about. That's how most people fall off in that map anyway.

(09-22-2016, 06:15 AM)Mario Wrote: As for not being supposed to fall into the void in the first place - this isn't duel we're talking about here, there are space maps and the blaster allows knocking players easily off platforms.
Yes, there are space maps where you can be pushed off of the map easily, but this is a fraction of what casual game modes and maps provide. They do not define the entirety of "casual" and your concerns affect more than just this small fraction.
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#23
Position matters, but being able to counter such moves adds more strategy, if anything. Guaranteeing a kill because you were able to bounce someone off the edge seems less enriching to me. At least this way, the player has a small chance of recovery (health is often low by the time you're near an edge, the rocket might just finish you off, as it often does).
The pusher is also able to finish them off with a second shot if they catch them trying to do so, so both sides have counter measures.

Space maps are more of an example here than a strict case, as they're more common in casual gameplay (especially CTF), which is what the original topic is for; a balance for the casual players of the /v/ server.
Vortex force has been nerfed a few times in the past too, dealing 200 less knockback than the alpha builds. The jumppad on xoylent is just poor map design...

For the topic's sake, it is up to their server's admin to choose what they prefer here, and of course to experiment. I feel my case has been stated well enough, master's standard balance can be discussed in a future thread.
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#24
(09-23-2016, 09:05 AM)Mario Wrote: Position matters, but being able to counter such moves adds more strategy, if anything. Guaranteeing a kill because you were able to bounce someone off the edge seems less enriching to me. At least this way, the player has a small chance of recovery (health is often low by the time you're near an edge, the rocket might just finish you off, as it often does).
The pusher is also able to finish them off with a second shot if they catch them trying to do so, so both sides have counter measures.

Space maps are more of an example here than a strict case, as they're more common in casual gameplay (especially CTF), which is what the original topic is for; a balance for the casual players of the /v/ server.
Vortex force has been nerfed a few times in the past too, dealing 200 less knockback than the alpha builds. The jumppad on xoylent is just poor map design...

For the topic's sake, it is up to their server's admin to choose what they prefer here, and of course to experiment. I feel my case has been stated well enough, master's standard balance can be discussed in a future thread.
Re: the /v/ server
I don't generally find that space maps get all that much play, and when they do, people don't ring out super excessively. It happens, of course, but I think it's also why people vote for space maps in the first place (that and the movement limiting capabilities of jumppad centric traversal). On the flip side, people get immensely frustrated by being bounced around and combo'd to death

I might be wrong though (I'm obviously not around for every match), and it's ultimately Ant's call as to whether or not he wants to try those changes out

Regarding our current experimental changes, I've played a few more matches with them and the electro is definitely much better in straight fights, which leads to me sometimes stomping on people who would have won otherwise. Still love the no slow and the Hagar being 100% accurate would be great if you couldn't just be floated into a corner on it. It's not necessarily bad from a balance perspective, just annoying, and much easier to do now. I feel like it leads to a scenario where the Hagar has to be weaker than other options because once you get floated you have to out damage them or die
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#25
(09-23-2016, 10:06 AM)Beemann Wrote: Regarding our current experimental changes, I've played a few more matches with them and the electro is definitely much better in straight fights, which leads to me sometimes stomping on people who would have won otherwise.

Match i.d on XonStats or give me the map name, date, and time, and I'll give it a look.
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