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Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:21 pm

Do you guys plan any further modifications to improve weapon balance after 1.1 release? There was nice work done with power reduction of pistols at longer distances but it's wasted because the step was too shy and it affects pistols at much too long distance. So, in result, there's completely no change in gameplay - rifles are still useless. And with Winchester shotgun that makes almost half of the weapons out of the game. The only reason to use these weapons is to give merciful handicup when playing against less skilful player.

You won't get so many various weapons as in the original Quake, it's wild west after all and no chance for rocket lauchners, lasers and simmilar fancy stuff. But you could still keep the weapons (and the gameplay as result) varied at least by definite division of range for weapons. With pistols shooting off your head from 1 kilometer it's impossible.
Without changing this, the system will be always poor no matter what price will be set for rifles. Because even if the price of rifle will be equal to peacmaker or schofield, skilful player will always buy the second pistol when playing against other skilful player.

To the point, my sugestion: player standing on the edge of the bank's roof in Durango map should be able to hit a man in red house with 100% damage but his pistol shouldn't touch a player standing behind fountain. Just two equal sections: first with 100% damage and second with linear decrease 100%-->50%-->0.

After all, when shootout comes to town, nobody goes on the roof with pistols, even in spaghetti western. It's rifle you need there for a certain reason :)
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Pardner » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:53 pm

I agree, in part.

First: changing the weapon balance will change gameplay. If you reduce the power and accuracy of the pistols, it will be more realistic and believable. But the akimbo pistols have been THE main weapon in SG. Akimbo pistols are the equivalent to Super Mario's fireball.

I feel that changing the pistols is not a solution as it would change the current gameplay too drastic.

Second: changing the rifles might be the best solution. I think the damage should be increased on all rifles. An arm shot with the Sharps should be a kill, and the Colt/Winchester should be just as powerful as a Peacemaker. Also, I would like to see an iron sight secondary fire, even if it is just the old fashion Q3 zoom. We are not talking the same zoom as the Sharps/scope, but enough to make those long distance shots. The Winchester and Colt rifles would receive this option as well as the Sharps without the scope.

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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:50 pm

That wouldn't change much, if anything. Colt/Winchester as powerful as a Peacemaker means: it's useless in the real competition - it's just a duplication of Peacemaker with more bullets that you can't use with akimbo mode. Slight zoom won't compensate it. Result: it's out of the game.

I'd not be so afraid of changing the gameplay. In fact, the only thing the change would do is adding another type of guns, making the game more varied. Currently the potential is limited, because, in fact, we have only shotguns and rifles - pistols are currently like rifles with akimbo available. It's unnecessarily limited potential the game should use, but for some strange reasons is left unused.

And, btw, akimbo is overrated, you'll hardly see it even in spaghetti westerns. Did Eastwood use it in any of the films? ;) And in SG you have only one cross to aim with two guns what makes it a little ridiculous ;) That's just a side note, because i'm far from being interested in realism in SG.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby torhu » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:39 pm

Someone should run a server where akimbo mode is not possible :twisted:
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Biondo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:06 pm

dowoshek ideas should be taken in great consideration. IMO his observations are really interesting and could open the way to a more fun and balanced game.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Pardner » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:18 pm

Biondo wrote:dowoshek ideas should be taken in great consideration. IMO his observations are really interesting and could open the way to a more fun and balanced game.

dowoshek wrote:To the point, my sugestion: player standing on the edge of the bank's roof in Durango map should be able to hit a man in red house with 100% damage but his pistol shouldn't touch a player standing behind fountain. Just two equal sections: first with 100% damage and second with linear decrease 100%-->50%-->0.

I do like the idea, it may take some tweaking. What it right for Durango might not be good for Dry Gultch (it would be silly if you couldn't shoot eachother from accross the street!)
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby iLag » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:33 am

Okay, here's my view.

In the immediate, perhaps for Smokin' Guns 1.2, I'm thinking we can try these things, at least in testing:
  • Change the algorithm used to reduce damage at a distance. [Credit: dowoshek]
  • Make akimbo guns as accurate as fanning [right-click], if not even less so.
    As it stands now, there is absolutely no point in using just one revolver if you're carrying two. With this change, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The advantage of carrying one is the ability to make accurate shots, while the advantage to carrying two is either extra shots before reloading or the possibility of a double-hit.
    Also, in real life, aiming just one gun is hard enough. Two of them? Hope you're within 20 feet, because beyond that you may as well be wearing a blindfold.
  • Add a simple zoom to rifles. No need for it to be all that complicated for right now.
  • Make the rifles more damaging.
    As it stands, the Winchester 66 and Colt Lightning both do 44 damage, which is only slightly more than the Peacemaker's 38 and less than double the Remington 56's 23 [46 double]. The Sharps, meanwhile, does 65 damage, which still isn't as effective as Dual Peacemakers except at extreme distance.

And for version 2.0, we can try these, at least in testing.
  • Eliminate the need to lead targets due to having a high ping.
    Two GPL-licensed open-source games also based on the Q3 engine have already done so: Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein: Enemy-Territory [though this is running a modified version of the engine]. This is done with the command g_antilag, and it may actually be possible to just drop in the g_antilag.c file and go with it. Heck, if it really is that easy, then maybe it could make 1.2, but I doubt it will be.
  • Add true ironsights to all weapons. As a corollary, make all weapons less accurate when not sighted.
    When sighted, guns are almost 100% accurate, but you are not. The sights sway, minutely, implemented by rotating the player's view, requiring the player to compensate for it in order to accurately shoot at range. Likewise, recoil does not make the gun randomly miss, but after shooting physically rotates the player without snapping back, allowing for players to compensate for it.
    The amount of zoom when sighted should vary depending on which weapon you're using. Pistols should have almost no zoom, while rifles have a noticeable amount. Sharps + scope should obviously have the most zoom.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:08 pm

Pardner wrote:I do like the idea, it may take some tweaking. What it right for Durango might not be good for Dry Gultch (it would be silly if you couldn't shoot eachother from accross the street!)

Durango is the most popular map at Jeuxlinux so i just used it as an example. The final lentgh of both sections could be discussed here with more experienced players, but it seems they just lost their patience and are not active on the forum anymore.
Imho, the lengths from my example are fine and even in Dry Gulch the street isn't so wide and you'll successfuly hit the target with 100% to 50%. If it's lower... you just need rifle, thats simple :) The point is: if the lenghts will be longer - the whole thing will be unnoticeable in the final result.
iLag wrote:[*]Make akimbo guns as accurate as fanning [right-click], if not even less so.
As it stands now, there is absolutely no point in using just one revolver if you're carrying two. With this change, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The advantage of carrying one is the ability to make accurate shots, while the advantage to carrying two is either extra shots before reloading or the possibility of a double-hit.
Also, in real life, aiming just one gun is hard enough. Two of them? Hope you're within 20 feet, because beyond that you may as well be wearing a blindfold.

To be honest, incresing randomness in this kind of game isn't a good idea. It should always be about skill not luck (when possible and not unnecessary). Let's leave the 'real life' factor for modern FPS and keep SG's old-school competition.

I like the rest of your suggestions concerning weapons.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby iLag » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:14 pm

dowoshek wrote:To be honest, incresing randomness in this kind of game isn't a good idea. It should always be about skill not luck (when possible and not unnecessary). Let's leave the 'real life' factor for modern FPS and keep SG's old-school competition.
I'd crack up right now, but I'm in class. Modern FPS games aren't even remotely close to as realistic as SG is; they just pretend like they are. When it comes to actual gameplay, the faux-realism of modern games sticks out like a shiny red shoot-me light, while SG holds strong with its accurate guns and high damage-per-shot.

I completely understand where you're coming from with not liking my idea. The main thing is, Akimbo guns overpower every weapon in the game for a simple reason: They have the same accuracy as a single pistol, with either twice the firerate or doubly-damaging shots. The only downside is the double reloading time, but if good cover is found then it's not much of a downside, especially when one double-shot can easily kill. Now, you can lower the damage of the pistols, or raise the damage of rifles, but those upset the balance in other ways. The only way to adjust the balance which only effects dual pistols is to decrease their accuracy to the point that they're still plenty good up-close, but you can't snipe with them.
Yes, this does add randomness into the game. Problem is, without a proper ballistic simulator and full ironsights on all guns, there's not much else anyone can do, other than switching to holding a single gun for long shots, which wouldn't be nerfed under my plan, and give the rifles a good use. Skill definitely plays in to making the decision as to whether to arm for close-quarters [akimbo] or for distance [one gun] and making the switches at the right time. Plus, there will actually be a use for fanning as an alternative to using two guns.
And as a final note, I'm not advocating this to be in SG 1.2 without it being fully tested to see how much the balance is changed. If setting it to fanning's accuracy is too much or too little, it should be adjusted to where it's fair.

As a code contributor, I may even be able to implement some of these changes myself and help test them. In fact, if I get bored enough while in class, I may just do that.

I like the rest of your suggestions concerning weapons.
Good, that means we're on to something here.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:07 pm

iLag wrote:
I like the rest of your suggestions concerning weapons.
Good, that means we're on to something here.

You need other dev-team members here, i'm only a player suggesting few things ;)

There could be another way of reducing the power akimbo and make it most efficient only at short-mid range. It's separated aim-points. I mean: every pistol has it's own cross, one a little left to the center of the screen and second a little right. The distance between them must be set (unchangeable) so the close range shot would hit 100% damage (both chest possible), at mid range 100% (two arms, or arm+chest; double chest rather impossible) and with long range only one hit from one of the pistols (or two hits on two different players). I don't know if i explained clear what i mean. It may sound messy but it's just two separate crosses - nothing else changes.
But i have no idea if that's even possible in ioquake. Anyway it'd work and look more like a real-life akimbo for sure - just imagine double headshots made at the same time on two cowboys ;)
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Pardner » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:51 pm

dowoshek wrote:You need other dev-team members here, i'm only a player suggesting few things ;)

Unfortunately, I am not entirely convinced that we need to change the gameplay. Yes the rifles are useless, yes akimbos are over powered, and yes this is un-realistic/un-spaghetti-western-like.

I feel that the gameplay is what attracts the small player base that we have. Removing the two hand cannon gameplay might have a bad effect on our oldtime gunslingers.

Tequila has 1.2 scheduled for release in about month. This weapon discussion has gone on a long time (ref1, ref2) and wont be resolved in a month. I would hate to see a new system be released without extensive testing.

iLag wrote:[list][*]Eliminate the need to lead targets due to having a high ping.
Two GPL-licensed open-source games also based on the Q3 engine have already done so: Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein: Enemy-Territory [though this is running a modified version of the engine]. This is done with the command g_antilag, and it may actually be possible to just drop in the g_antilag.c file and go with it. Heck, if it really is that easy, then maybe it could make 1.2, but I doubt it will be.

I think we have anilag implemented (or at least we did). Its hard to find that post as it was 5 years ago or so when it was implemented (WQ2.1)

EDIT: Found it Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:12 ,
torhu wrote:http://www.westernquake3.net/wq3private/downloads/code/current/unlag_test01.zip

I think we can start testing the unlagged upgrade 2.01 now, even if it's not complete. The part that's missing is the what the Unlagged guy calls 'attack prediction'. It means that the client calculates and shows hit effects without waiting for the server. Effects like blood sprays and bullets holes in walls. They're not that important to delag anyway. It's a bit more complicated than in vanilla q3, because of the locational damage etc. So it might use more cpu etc. Not sure if I'll consider it worth the trouble to make this work. Think I'll need to go somewhere I can print the relevant source code files in order to see how it's supposed to fit together.

This also means that one of the most important testing features doesn't work properly, namely cg_debugDelag. But testing might work out okay anyway. Here are the testing instructions. Here's the Unlagged 2.01 README file, the interesting parts of it anyway.

All of the stuff that's mentioned at those links should work in wq3 now. Except the part I mentioned, and the features that obviously make no sense in wq3. Check out the instructions on how to simulate extra lag.

The only other thing in this patch is g_noSpread, which you can enable to make the weapons perfectly accurate. It turns the pump-action shotgun into a rail gun, because all the pellets hit the same spot. 8)
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Biondo » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:31 pm

Pardner, you are not wrong.
It's since years that I'm reading discussions about different weapons power and the way to get a better balance.

But I remember my first times in SG. As a newbie, I thought that more expensive weapons could make more damage, could be more efficient while loading them, could shoot at a longer distance. That rifles should behave better than Colts in the long range.
Now I never (never!) use rifles. I use pistols, knives, sawed-off shotgun (other shotguns doesn't play well with me ... a matter of ping I suppose) and Gatlings when I want to joke. Rifles are nice, good sounds and good design, but useless. A waste of modellers time and a frustration for newbies.

On the other side, akimbo pistols (though not so realistic ... but think of the historic Jesse James, ambidextrous, and quite effective with both hands) should have a payoff. Though, not in long distances, I agree.

I don't like the idea that all guns, or all rifles should have a magnifying glass. Not at all. That would only play in favour of camping players, and would change SG's pecularity.

In conclusion: don't change too much of the gameplay. It's almost perfect the way it is today. But, IMO, give more power to rifles, less power to Colts, and clearly/officially/publicly explain the different weapons' damage/range/costs/reloading-times/dynamics (how to engage a Gatling, how to fire both akimbo guns with one mouse button) in SG guide or FAQs.

In my opinion dynamite is the main problem. In DM it's a fun killer. BallerBude solved the problem (when you buy dyna, you get only 2 sticks). JeuxLinux has not the problem, being BR server. But consider downgrading dyna at code level, not at server level.

A last thought. When you touch consolidated traditions, you'll face a popular rebellion. At that point you will have 2 possible reactions:

1-- "They don't like our innovations, so we have to switch back to past situation"
2-- "Every improvement need some time to be accepted. We have to go marching on closing our ears, whatever they say"

It will be an impasse, in both cases. Like if you had chosen to let things as they are, changing nothing, it will be an impasse. My advice is, while listening and answering to all critics (and 'listening' is the most important part of the duty), use your own experience and sensibility (considering both BR and DM gameplay).
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:54 pm

Nothing to add to Biondo's true entry but one thing only... 3 years ago there were usually at least 1 BR server full and 1 busy DM every day in the evening and usually no problem to play BR even during the day (European time). It was going slowly down and now, after 1.1 release that changed almost nothing to the gameplay (and yes, there were many topics whith many suggestins unanswered, indeed) it's hard to play busy game even in the evening... The question is: will you wait till the game dies slowly and there's even nobody to test new features or you'll try some changes.
If you have the will and time to spend and find it pleasant for you... there's really nothing to lose but try new things. The biggest disappointment (when you ask ppl playing on server) of 1.1 was both new and old bugs and that nothing changed.
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby Pardner » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:18 pm

I wont be able to work on anything for the next month, and I am not a coder. I have another fun SG project in mind. I don't know what Tequila has in mind for 1.2 fixes, but I have just a few map bug fixes (very minor).

I suppose we could get a start on 1.3 and the weapon balance could be a major focus.

Offtopic :
dowoshek wrote:The biggest disappointment (when you ask ppl playing on server) of 1.1 was both new and old bugs and that nothing changed.

I just want to point out that 1.1 was not necessarily to fix bugs. The difference between 1.0 and 1.1 was Tequila's engine port. We went from a independent build of the IDtech3 engine to IoQ3's engine. I became frustrated and disappeared for a year when the 1.1b4 servers were empty and nobody was interested in making the switch.

if there are bugs that you know about, please fill out a ticket: http://trac.smokin-guns.org/report/1
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Re: Weapon system after 1.1 release

Postby dowoshek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 pm

Pardner, i knew it was mainly the ioquake change, because i visit this forum quite often. I told you about disapointment of 1.1 by an average player who wasn't aware of that just to show you that many players would like improvements and it's worth trying. My intention was not criticizing in any way - i know it's not your job here and i can only appreciate you guys spend your free time on this kind of hobby :)
All the more you shouldn't be afraid of making definite decisions or even experimenting with the game. Imho, the longer you'll wait with that the more players will forget this game and more difficult it'll be to attract new ones.
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