making grenade launchers more relevant

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Varbles, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Varbles

    Varbles Simply Maptastic. Staff Member

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    Concept: "Magnetic GL" - An early game GL that does reliable DPS against vehicles at close range. Replaces 2.7's new Static GL.
    The regular bouncing GLs are too unreliable against armor except in deadlocks, where the number of APCs spamming grenades is the deciding factor. To be a useful anti armor weapon it should launch sticky grenades: they rely on effective aim and maneuvering, are good against lone, aggressive vehicles instead of crowded choke points, and are a familiar mechanism useful in the hands of any player. Slow flight time and short range still leave it inferior to early game tanks but on the defensive it is enough of a match to be useful research. Building them en masse is still a good option if the enemy's tanks are overwhelming, but their effectiveness is greater as individuals than a large flock.
    Execution:
    Replace Static GL with Magnetic GL and cannibalize the sticky grenade code. Same range and timer as UGL, but a smaller mag and slower ROF leaves less tolerance for taking potshots. The damage should be high but not quite as high as rifleman stickies; a single sticky on a paper LT or AFV should be deadly (or almost) and two hits on an armored LT/AFV should be devastating. This is balanced by the ease of avoiding the short range, slow grenades, and the fact that the weapon is near useless against a fleeing tank. The delay on the grenade also means an enemy tank has a longer window to destroy the APC.








    Concept: "Impact GL" - A new three slot end game GL effective against vehicles, infantry, and walls, weaker than other 3 slots but great value for the cost of the APC. Research keeps it impractical until the post-heavy phase. Props up a losing team if they can't rely on heavies, but otherwise is an inferior choice.
    A hybrid cannon and grenade launcher, Impact GL would center on a fast rate of fire. Exploding on contact instead of bouncing, it gets a longer range with an arc like the mortar, but with mediocre accuracy a significant spread is always present. Very small AoE but little falloff requires direct hits on vehicles and near hits on infantry. High RoF and a mag size around 30 combine to give it competitive DPS in bursts but a very long reload time keeps overall DPS appropriate to the price of an APC.

    No modifiers against specific armors make it a neutral fallback research more than an active strategy, and it's too heavy for any secondary weapons. The high damage lets APCs fill in when the team's heavy tanks are outnumbered or outclassed, but the long, dead-end research is only rational if heavies have been fully outfitted or the team is losing badly. It's specialty high damage against walls can quickly finish off a turtling team. The cheaper chassis means a weak or lagging team spends more of the game fighting back, even if broke and losing ground, and it's mobile spawn point helps a losing team keep a better hold on it's territory without dragging the game out.​


    Execution:
    Since it's really closer to a cannon than a GL it would probably be easiest to base it on a cannon script with some cosmetic adjustments. True max range would require aiming up 45 degrees, reaching maybe 8000 units or 8 raxes. Effective range would be maybe 5000 units, where spread would fall in a 250 unit radius. Each grenade has a 25 unit AoE, a rough starting point for RoF might be 30 rounds at 6/second and reload of 15 seconds.

    • Against vehicles it should mirror the DPS of an average 3 slot weapon, for example railgun. The DPS is then heavily tempered by both the regular misses and dodges plus the shots required to adjust the arc, and then the reload. An entire magazine of direct hits on one armor side should be devastating, but extremely unlikely since the APC at that range would be dead before the volley finished. Whatever values the weapon is balanced with, it must be a credible threat. Three APCs with Impact GL should be able to take down a lone enemy heavy, two APCs working together should be outmatched but still a threat, and one APC should not be a guaranteed easy kill.
    • Against infantry it should be powerful but unreliable. Something like 45 damage on a direct hit, 75% strength for a hit at your feet and 30% at the edge of it's two foot radius; hypothetically 4-6 hits for a kill, but you'd be lucky if you killed two guys before reloading. Spread brings effective range down to 2000-3000 units, and anyone behind natural cover is untouchable, but it can take down short walls with just a few shots. The long reload is it's obvious vulnerability.
    • It should be possible to take down at least a single full health wall, even if it's being repaired. The long reload gives defenders a chance to rebuild, but being caught behind the wall as it's destroyed makes defending a challenge. Unbuilt walls would be broken through quickly up close but at long range their lower profile is an advantage. The ability to cut through walls is obviously a special mechanic that has a special role, however if it's to actually be used in the end game it needs to be piggybacked onto a more practical weapon to make it a justifiable choice.

    It's research branch should be impractical until the phase when heavies can be expected, and it's research item needs to be a lengthy one with relatively little utility. With the streamlined research tree this is a tricky balance but IMO the best place would be under "Advanced Chassis", listed as something appropriate like "Heavy APC Armament" with a 250 second time. Obviously a weapon is out of place in the chassis branch but it's the only place where the research can be kept out of the way until the end game. Rushing here would be a huge sacrifice for low payoff, but both teams will eventually make their way to advanced chassis and so it will always be a late game option.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  2. Tama

    Tama Developer Staff Member Web Developer

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    Cool. I think it would be better if the Magnetic GL was another research in Electric > Magnetic research tree, rather than just replacing the standard GL. The reason is that the commander's game is largely in deciding what researches to get, and some more choice would be good I think.

    Ehm, but it takes two rifleman stickies to kill a paper light, last I checked.
     
  3. Z100000M

    Z100000M Vithered Weteran

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    Partly the reason why they are so crap, yes
     
  4. Varbles

    Varbles Simply Maptastic. Staff Member

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    My thoughts were mostly in reference to the changes already present in 2.7, where static GL is a new grenade launcher already in electrical engineering that mainly does damage to vehicles, but otherwise is just like UGL. I don't think it will prove useful or interesting enough to be used very often, but we'll see as the testing goes on. I believe in 2.7 one rifleman sticky will kill a paper LT, what with the quicker tank fighting pace.
     
  5. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm popping in to say that there would be quite some code changes to make impact gl happen in the way you want it to. As far as I can remember for gls in the scripts you can't change the range, timer, gravity, speed, and simply making it explode on contact but that's an obvious code addition. It may look like you can, but they do nothing. Actually it would be neat to change when it explodes by how many bounces it does, but that's a slightly different topic.

    Now, because it is simply a cannon you could just shove a cannon slot on the apc, but then you have the issue of the apc being able to use cannons. You can certainly play with weight to make it so it could only use the unique apc weapon, but that's quite a hassle and mildly affects its use of some mgs.

    Also, 2 apcs with hmg du is effectively a dps of 100. It's something to think about when talking about apcs fighting tanks. It's a shame we can't get some simple cooperation sometimes ain't it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  6. Z100000M

    Z100000M Vithered Weteran

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    "grenadeLauncher"
    {
    "Name" "Grenade Launcher" //name given when selecting weapons
    "HUD Name" "GL" //name displayed in the weapon area of the vehicle HUD
    "Description" "A grenade launcher suited for urban combat with its ability of clearing out tight spaces." //description given when selecting weapons
    "Icon" "vehicles/gui/weapons/gl_std_sml" //icon drawn in the GUI
    "HUD Icon" "vehicles/gui/weapons/gl"
    "Size" "1" //number of slots required when selecting weapons
    "Type" "4" //0=machine gun, 1=tank cannon, 2=artillery cannon, 3=missile launcher, 4=grenade launcher, 5=aircraft bomb bay
    "Cost" "30"
    "Team" "ALL" //team that can use this "NF" or "IMP"
    "Research" "" //name of research item that must be researched before using
    "Sound Firing" "Vehicle_GL.Fire"
    "Sound Impact" "Vehicle_GL.Impact"
    "Sound Reloading" "Vehicle_Weapon.Reload"

    "Damage Type" "Explosive"
    "Ammo Type" "0" //for mguns only, 0 = nonarmor penetrating (no effect on armored vehicles), 1 = armor penetrating (hurts armored vehicles)
    "Damage" "80" //damage done by projectile
    "Speed" "800" //speed of projectile
    "Gravity" "1.0" //effects of gravity on the projectile, only for projectiles
    "Heat" "8" //heat added per shot fired (100 total heat added to vehicle puts it in an overheated status).
    "Weight" "50" //weight in terms of effects on engine and weight restrictions for chassis
    "Cycle Time" "3.0" //time between shots
    "Clip Size" "8" //ammo loaded per reloads
    "Total Ammo Clips" "2" //max ammo clips carried (0 is the same as not using clips)
    "Unlimited Ammo" "0"
    "Reload Time" "10.0" //time to load one clip
    "Projectile Spread" "0.001" //only applicable to machine guns at the moment
    "Heat to Target" "0" //heat added to target on hit (a small amount of heat is also added to the target based on damage, this is defined within the armor script)
    "Inertia" "1" //actually reverse to inertia, only applicable to cannons, artillery cannons, and grenades; affects how the speed of the vehicle affects the momentum of the projectile (higher inertia = vehicle speed will affect the trajectory of the projectile possibly causing it to veer off from a straight line or shoot farther or shorter)
    "Explosion Radius" "250" //radius of damage sphere to hurt surrounding entities
    "Explosion Force" "100" //force of explosion
    "Explosion Sprite" "1"
    "Muzzle Flash" "muzzle_std_cn"

    //only for missile launchers
    "Dumb Missile" "0" //'1' if missile flies straight ahead
    "Homing Missile" "0" //'1' if missile flies towards locked on target
    "Guided Missile" "0" //'1' if missile follows crosshairs after launch
    "Missile Range" "0" //max range in HL2 units (1 inch = 1) that the player can lock onto a target with a homing missile, or range from vehicle being fired from when a guided missile stops following the player's crosshairs
    "Lock On Time" "0" //time it takes for a homing missile to lock onto the target under the player crosshairs
    "Lock Range Modifier" "0" //modifies lock on time based on range (as range increases, lock on time increases based on the modifier: modifier * range to target + lock on time = total lock on time)
    }
     
  7. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    As I said, changing those do nothing.

    Oh, projectile spread has a value of .001, I don't think that can go lower then .01 either. Well, it's true for a few things at least.
     
  8. Z100000M

    Z100000M Vithered Weteran

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    i changed speed for the sgl and it flies much further
     
  9. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Wow really? I remember fiddling with a bunch of those stats and they didn't do anything.

    Now I'm extra miffed.
     
  10. ViroMan

    ViroMan Black Hole (*sniff*) Bully

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    Well as those two values suggest in the hints... projectiles. If the type isn't a projectile it will not be affected by either. I would assume missiles are not a projectile for example since, they are not effected by gravity. There is also the fact that those changes may work on a personal server but, once placed an a real server it will not work. There were many issues with steering scripts that worked on personal server but, when placed on a "real" server it did nothing. As in having one of your own computers be the server and join it with another computer. This was different for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  11. Catface

    Catface Member

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    I'll see if I can add sticky projectile support in the scripts.
     

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