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The Problem With Railguns & Why Nerfing Doesn't Help

#26
Not a big fan of gravity myself to be honest, but the only way I can see it being a problem is on HUGE insane distance maps, I mean the mg has it right or does it not? I know it did before and i'm sure the effect of it wasn't too bad..

I'm ok for a mag limit or no mag limit, as long as the mag size is something like 6 so the weapon can be used where you may be fighting multiple opponents...the thing with the rifle is it does less damage then the nex (in the current balance does 50 or 60), is probably slightly harder to use close range then the nex due to a lack of beam..but anyway I just much prefer it to the nex if i'm being honest.

By the way div0 was not saying to add a new ammo type of antimatter, he was purely saying to change the bullets to antimatter to fit more with the theme. Smile
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#27
There is already a +reload button or something along those lines.
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

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#28
Quote:So why not work on that point? Give the nex its own ammo. That's for sure easier than turning the rifle half way into a nexgun by replacing bullets with other stuff (antimatter or what div mentioned).

An extra ammo type just for the Nex - might actually work. But... my changes to the rifle actually were "null-changes": changes ONLY in the artistic department, no line of code change. Was just talking about how the guns should LOOK, as its look (traditional bullet weapon not fitting well in the game) is one of the major complaints about the rifle.

We DO have a map issue in Nexuiz CTF. All the mappers insist on huge open maps, which is something the gameplay simply is not made for.

The rifle "reductions" are normally no big deal, the only map where the trajectory is even noticeable is sierpinski. Otherwise, even headshots are still easy on e.g. facing worlds. Still, this DOES give it a range limit, and limits the use of zoom scripts to get factors more than 16x.

As for rifle reload: there is a cvar to turn off automatic reload-on-switch, and a reload button exists. Reload-on-switch originally was only there so the player can easier know how many bullets are left - with the crosshair magazine indicator, this is no longer necessary.
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#29
Ah ok, thanks for clearing these things up div0, thought I never had a problem shooting stuff with the old rifle anyay at distance Smile
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#30
I suppose if so many people actually bothered to read all that, I should read the responses.
Ok first, to address some things I maybe wasn't very clear on:

GreEn`mArine
By nerfing I meant ANY attempt to reduce the dominance of the nex. Usually by reducing the damage or refire rate but also anything else like ammo consumption.

When I talked about nerfing attempts giving the railwhore a bigger advantage, I meant that the changes have a greater impact on the railwhores' competitition while having less of an impact on the railwhore himself.

Rage_ATWM
Quote:I feel that this is a key-point in your argumentation, and I just don't get it.
For me, an additional argument is missing in your "while the cries that it's too powerful grow back to what they were before".
Why would this be inescapable?
It's not so much an argument as it is an observation. The majority of the post details a theory which explains the phenomenon observed and suggests (vaguely), what is needed to solve the problem. Hopefully a more detailed explanation of a solution I think would work, would make it clearer what I mean. *see 'solutions' below*

divVerent
I don't think an increase in the total effectiveness of the weapon needs to be avoided, for the same reason that reducing the effectiveness doesn't necessarily solve the problem. That's what I mean when I say that weapon effectiveness should not be seen as a one dimensional value. The nex is overpowered. Yet there are many players to whom the nex is useless because their aim simply isn't good enough. If something were to make the nex easier for them to use, but have no effect on the pros... that wouldn't make the problem worse, despite the fact that the nex would indeed be more effective a weapon overall.

Making the nex easier to use is not, in and of itself, my goal, but to solve the problem of nex dominance, you must recognize that any change will have greater or lesser impacts on the effectiveness of the weapon depending on who is using it. You must decrease the effectiveness of the nex most for those to whom it is most effective, less for those to whom it is less effective, and not at all for those to whom it is already too hard to use. Since even if you manage to have a greater nerfing effect on the railwhores, you're still likely to have some negative impact on lesser skilled players, that effect needs to be compensated for with things like tZork's beam thickness suggestion. Things which increase the effectiveness of the weapon more for less skilled players and less for those who have uncanny aim anyway.

I don't have a lot of experience with the CR, as I usually play on servers and maps without it. When I have used it, it's behavior seemed utterly random from firing single shots which didn't seem to land where I aimed, to barfing out all my ammo, to refusing to fire at all. Regardless, I don't know enough about it to honestly say Whether it's imbalanced in the first place let alone make suggestions pertaining to it. But I can comment on the things which you say 'balance' it. Specifically, most of them have something in common. They have a greater effect on those with less skill, and less effect on those with the most skill. If these functions are having any effect, it's to keep newb and intermediate players from competing with the experts. No I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but it's not keeping any railwhores at bay... I promise you that.

You said yourself The reload and burstfire timeout "puts you at a disadvantage if you miss" So the more you miss, the more of a disadvantage it is, if you practice your aim, and rarely miss, then these 'balancing' factors have little effect on you. Ammo consumption is also of little consequence to railwhores. A player who relies on one weapon can and will memorize the location of all ammo and timerun it. If there isn't enough ammo for a determined player to abuse a particular, weapon, then there is nowhere near enough ammo for other players to use that weapon at all. The gravity effect you mention is also only a problem for players who don't have enough experience with the weapon to predict where their shot will land. If the shot is not hitscan however, that does indeed impact the railwhores more than the average player. I actually don't know if the CR is a projectile or if it's some kind of arcing hitscan effect. Of all the CR traits you specifically mentioned, only the inaccuracy at extreme ranges is something which has any possibility of inhibiting the railwhore problem in the slightest.

Solutions
The first and most obvious solution is to simply remove the nex. Obviously a last resort, but worth mentioning because it actually would work. The game would NOT simply become dominated by grenades in the same way. (can't be too sure about the CR though.) There really is a problem specific to railgun type weapons.

Then there's the charge up solution. If the nex had to be charged to use, then the time between a railwhores deadly shots could be increased without forcing a player who misses to wait for a full recharge. They would be able to choose how much time and ammo they want to invest in each shot. The gauss-gun from half-life springs to mind. It has the same characteristics so problematic in railguns. The high damage, the long range, the instant hit, the high accuracy. But last I checked it never took over the game the way the nex has. I think it's clear this is because of its charge-up nature. But not so fast... The gauss-gun is very different from the nex. I think it's fair to say that changing the nex to a gauss-gun would be the same as removing the nex and then adding a gun with the same name to pretend you didn't remove it. It would solve the problem but, again, it should be a last resort.

So, if the gauss-gun has the same high damage, long range, instant hit, and high accuracy as the nex, yet is a completely different weapon... then just what is it, that makes it so different from the nex? ...and can it be changed to make it more like the nex without gaining the domination the nex has over other weapons?

1) The gauss-gun fires by releasing the trigger.
Here, I could not be more in agreement with divVerent. There's something just so sloppy and unintuitive about releasing the trigger to fire. Even when you get used to it so it doesn't screw up your timing and aim, it's still annoying. It's just wrong. If the nex worked this way, it wouldn't be the nex. Can this be corrected? Yes. Use one button to charge, and another to fire. Luckily the nex has a free firemode anyway (There's already a seperate zoom function, so I'd use 2ndary fire to charge it) I originally imagined that pressing the primary fire button when there is no charge should be a lightning-gun, but now that function seems to have been added to the electro (and I like it) so maybe something like a machinegun. The point is that primary fire would shoot a continuous stream at the rate the gun normally charges it, effectively emulating making tiny charges and shooting them very rapidly. Given the ability to charge to any level, some players will choose to do that anyway, I figured primary fire with no charge should just do that for them.

2) As a result of #1, when charging the gauss-gun, players must choose to fire or keep charging, and eventually they are simply forced to fire or take damage from it overloading. When a player charges the nex, they should not be forced to fire it. You should be able to behave exactly as if it were the current nex. Once it's ready to fire, you can fire immediately or keep it ready to fire when you want to. You should even be able to switch weapons and return to the nex without losing the charge. Fix #1 and this becomes no problem.

3) As a result of #2 The gauss-gun must be charged when it's needed. You can't charge it up ahead of time and then have it ready when you need it. Preserving nex characteristics in the cases of #1 and #2 would eliminate this, but here we have a problem. If you've been paying attention you should recognise this characteristic as something which hinders railwhores more than the average player and thus, we might need to keep it this way to keep railwhores from dominating. It's hard to say how much this one thing contributes to the balanced nature of the gauss-gun. If #1 and #2 are kept in line with the nex's characteristics, then #3 may need to be re-instituted in at least a limited fashion through other means.

So now we're talking about a weapon which can be used in almost exactly the same way as the nex can, only instead of firing, then waiting for it to be ready to fire again... you fire, then hold the 2ndary fire button to make it ready to fire again. (and those who loved the nex reload bug can hardly complain too much about that chore) Plus you have the option of firing a lower power shot whenever you need it. Fans of the nex will almost certainly use this weapon pretty much the same as they use the nex now, while those who before, would have missed and then been killed before they could fire again, can now fire lower power shots at whatever rate they feel like. The rate of charge can be tweaked for balance now without having to worry about leaving the majority of players holding a useless gun whenever they miss. You can even make the charge time non-linear. That is, make charging to twice the damage, take more than twice as long. And similarly, make twice the charge take more than twice the ammo. Since this has greater effect on the high damage shots which pay off more for railwhores, it can discourage railwhoring while retaining the usefullness of the nex to the average player.

Even with all of that however, I suspect it might not be enough without that 3rd gauss-gun characteristic, or at least something like it. So I further suggest that the charge in a nex should gradually decay. I admit, it would significantly change the function, and the 'feel' of the nex. It's a compromise between the current nex, where once it's ready to fire it'll always be ready, and the gauss-gun characteristic of having to charge right when you need it. The rate of decay should be proportional to the charge itself so that high charges decay quickly but then the decay slows so the nex can still deliver a significant blast even if it's been decaying for some time. This way, players can charge it up well ahead of time to use it like the nex, but the further they charge it up, and the longer the time before they use it, the less efficient it is, so in order to have the gun always charged to a lethal level, you have to keep topping up the charge, spending more time charging, and spending more ammo. This will have little effect on players who miss more frequently and who therefore are often charging in battle right when they need to shoot anyway.

On top of all of that, a thicker beam would certainly help too. I can't believe I didn't think of it myself... but then that's why I made this thread in the first place. Smile
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#31
If you make nex chargeable it will become more useful to pick off campers than to camp. Because you know where the enemy is and you can charge in advance. Camping Rifle becomes the camping... rifle and nex becomes the anti-camping gun. This is a good thing IMO.
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#32
Charge dart rifle like modification done to the nex. I like it.
ECKZBAWKZ HUGE LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS GOES HERE....


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#33
The camping rifle was just a name, can be called rifle, flux-rifle, sniper rifle..doesn't mean it is for camping naryl.

P.S. I played a 2on2 tdm last night and it was almost all, shotgun, mg, nex gun, I am SO glad the current balance allows better weapon usage then in nexuiz and much more balanced damage, and not charging in with the (Super)Shotgun.

In all honesty if you want to change the nex, just reduce it's damage to 80 or 90 in accordance to all of the other weapon changes that have currently been done for xonotic..don't evolve it around nexuiz's balance.

I'm still pro rifle anyway, much easier to balance and something new.
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#34
I have not installed xonotic yet, but I think the nex in nexuiz is fine just the way it is. though, I think it would be great if you could curve your nex shots like how you do with the rocket launcher, though im not sure how that would work 0_o
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#35
Just as a little update, recent nerf to the Nex:
Damage & force halflife is at 2000 units, starting at 0 units and ending at 4000 units. That means at really long ranges you'll be dealing like 15 damage. That's where the rifle comes in, it has no such falloff over distance.
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#36
I'm open to the idea of charging up the Nex, but please don't make us have to hold down secondary to charge. That's annoying. Having it auto-charge when armed still gives us most of the benefits without the annoying multiple-button pressing. Take note - I think it should charge only when armed. If it is allowed to charge when it isn't in use, the problem surfaces again, albeit to a lesser extent.
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#37
(08-29-2010, 05:20 PM)FruitieX Wrote: Just as a little update, recent nerf to the Nex:
Damage & force halflife is at 2000 units, starting at 0 units and ending at 4000 units. That means at really long ranges you'll be dealing like 15 damage. That's where the rifle comes in, it has no such falloff over distance.

"starting at 0 units and ending at 4000 units" ?? What does that mean?
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#38
4k qu is not that far, specially on ons/assault maps (those tend to be huge in other games at least). Long enough to make headshots preddy damn hard tough... I gave it a try with bots, sofar i loath it. In time i guess those who stick around will get used to it (ppl get used to anything really, just look at radiant ;-), but for me its "another nail in the coffin".
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#39
Maybe something to consider for a sniper weapon (nex or rifle, whatever, I'm just tossing out an idea that I haven't seen mentioned so far) would be to reduce its accuracy and damage drastically when a player moves. So you can't jump off a cliff and turn around and accurately vaporize a couple of enemies who are jumping and running around, but have to stop moving and wait a second to get a good shot off.
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#40
but an anti-camping solution wouldn't be rather to reduce drastically a nex shot damage when you're are standstill, regardless to your opponent speed?
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#41
(08-30-2010, 09:43 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote:
(08-29-2010, 05:20 PM)FruitieX Wrote: Just as a little update, recent nerf to the Nex:
Damage & force halflife is at 2000 units, starting at 0 units and ending at 4000 units. That means at really long ranges you'll be dealing like 15 damage. That's where the rifle comes in, it has no such falloff over distance.

"starting at 0 units and ending at 4000 units" ?? What does that mean?

That means it starts fading out as soon as the shot exits the weapon, and stops fading after 4000 units.
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#42
Ah, "halflife" confused me because I thought that implied exponentials, but I guess you meant something else.
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#43
What if there was some sort of damage cooldown after shot?

I mean, e.g. first shot is at full power, then goes ~5 sec cooldown, during which damage falls to 30% or around that and rises exponentially over these 5 secs. Consequential shots (regardless of whether they were fired during CD or shortly after) increase CD time by 1 sec each to a max of 10. Cooldown state can be visually represented with color of barrel texture (much like rail in q3 changed color between shots) or some sort of indicator or whatever.

All numbers are purely hypothetical, of course.
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#44
What do you think of the idea, that the nex isn't strong @ all ranges...
WE ALREADY HAVE THE CAMPING RIFLE!!!

We could make the Camping Rifle Powerful @ long ranges and the nex powerful @ normal ranges...
...but so we have to specify what's long and what's normal Wink
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#45
(08-25-2010, 03:20 AM)divVerent Wrote: We DO have a map issue in Nexuiz CTF. All the mappers insist on huge open maps, which is something the gameplay simply is not made for.

There is actually a good reason for this though, as can be expected with something so popular as large open maps in CTF. CTF simply can't be played at the insane speeds that DM players prefer and lobby for; it degrades into "Flag Race". You need time and visibility to coordinate and respond to carriers and large open spaces are what buy you this in a game where ordinary people run 100 kph.

Unfortunately both movement speed and openness don't counteract each other but boost each other when it comes to the relative effectiveness of the Nex.

So if Xonotic has even faster physics than Nex 2.5, then CTF maps will on average become even bigger, or the bigger maps more popular, to slow down the effective game speed to something playable in CTF. And then both the faster physics and wider spaces will combine to give the Nex an even more extreme advantage relative to the other weapons in CTF.

And the core reason why the Nex benefits from everything above is the core design of the weapon itself, comprised of the unholy trinity of the three features Contrarian failed to mention in his illogical "Paradox"--

SPREADLESS, INSTANTANEOUS, BURST

The Nex has zero spread, hitscan delivery and throws out its damage in bursts. Take away any one of these three features and you break the back of the beast. Real spread would make it only marginally effective at long range. Removing hitscan would too of course. Making the weapon fire a constant, steady no refire beam of limited damage like a nerfed electro primary with unlimited range, would allow victims to seek cover while denying the user the same option.

Nexwhores will of course complain that these three features are what make the Nex, the Nex, so you can't touch even one of them, at all. But that's why they are Nexwhores, exempt from human rights and soon to be test subjects for the next generation of ADHD prescriptions.

Either give the Nex spread like any normal hitscan weapon or take away it's burst damage so that campers must stand tall in the light of day like real men to wield it. Not retreat into the shadows after every strike or prey on the already wounded.
(04-01-2010, 11:21 AM)Roanoke Wrote: Yes, beveled edges are more futuristic. Like BSG and their beveled paper.
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