View Full Version : [Devblog] Explosive Dampening: Weapon Rebalancing in Uprising 1.3

July 23 2013, 04:00:00 PM
On the battlefield, different weapons have different roles. If you're engaged in close quarters fighting, you obviously don't want a Sniper Rifle, you want a Shotgun. The Assault Rifle is versatile and can be useful in a number of situations, but it's rarely the absolute best weapon in any circumstance. The design goal in DUST 514 is that all weapons have their roles where they excel and others where they are weak.
To these ends, we're constantly rebalancing and tweaking the different weapons in DUST based on both player feedback and our internal metrics. We take a close look at the posts you make on the Feedback & Ideas Discussion forum, as well as track things such as kill/death ratio of players using specific weapons and the like. From this, we've noticed several cases where certain weapons aren't just powerful within their envisioned role, but excel outside of it as well. Often, this makes them the undisputed best choice to bring to a fight, no matter what.
In Uprising 1.3, we're making changes to two of the weapons that have been the biggest outliers recently. I don't think many of you will be surprised by which two weapons these are: the Flaylock Pistol and Contact Grenades.

Flaylock Pistol
http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/flaylockgraph.png (http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/flaylockgraph.png)
When we originally designed the Flaylock, we wanted it to feel like a skillshot weapon. It should have been powerful, but tricky to use properly. However, we underestimated its potential with both the direct and splash damage. In the hands of a skilled player, it quickly proves itself to be superior to other sidearms and begins to rival other primary weapons. This is going to change and here's how.
Right now, we feel players are relying too heavily on the splash damage of the weapon to get kills. To that end, we're making two changes to encourage precision and reward player skill. First, we're reducing the base splash damage from 195 to 140. We're also reducing the blast radius on the Advanced (from 1.5m to 1.25m) and Prototype (from 2.0m to 1.5m) tiers.
http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/flaylock.jpg (http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/flaylock.jpg)
Of course, a direct shot from the Flaylock is still devastating in its current state, so we'll be reducing direct damage from 218 to 165. This is a rather large change, but it brings it in line with other sidearms and should help keep the Flaylock from being a replacement for a primary weapon.
In order to continue differentiating between the tiers of the weapons, we're also adjusting the ammo pools on them. Currently, the Flaylock has an ammo pool of 21 at all tiers. We're reducing this to 15 on Standard and 18 on the Advanced tiers, while the Prototype tier remains at 21. At the same time, we're modifying the Flaylock Ammo skill to give 1 missile per level instead of a 5% bonus per level. This makes the skill equally useful for all tiers and gives you an increased opportunity to score a direct hit with the larger ammo pool.
Finally, we're changing the fitting skill to make the bonus more useful. As the Flaylock currently uses very little power grid, the fitting skill's bonus to PG wasn't very helpful. As of Uprising 1.3, the skill will now give a CPU bonus instead.
Another thing worth mentioning is that we saw an across the board improvement in projectile weapons kill counts with the release of 1.2. This can in large part be attributed to improved performance and to the projectile system itself. We see a big spike in kills with the release of 1.2 which included a number of improvements to the systems that handle projectiles as well as general performance improvements. Almost all projectile weaponry experienced the similar performance spike.

Contact Grenades
http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/contactgraph.png (http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/contactgraph.png)
Despite regular Locus and AV grenades still outscoring contact grenades in terms of kill count they have become a bit too common. This is not ideal. We like the concept of these grenades, but we look at them as a situational, additional damage source that will let you take out targets during vital moments of close quarters combat. The changes to the grenades in 1.3 aren't as dramatic as the Flaylock, but they should help bring them into balance.
http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/contact.jpg (http://failheap-challenge.com//web.ccpgamescdn.com/dust/news.control/64942/1/contact.jpg)
First off, we are lowering the ammo count to 1 on contact grenades. Currently, they are too easy to throw quickly. This way, we're hoping they get used more situationally, when you definitely need them in a specific fight.
We're also homogenizing the grenades within their current tiers. Right now, there are differences between PG/CPU and blast damage and radius for contact grenades within the same tier. With Uprising 1.3, these differences will be removed and all contact grenades of the same tier will now have the same fitting requirements as well as damage/radius.
There is more work planned on the contact grenades which will see them becoming “sticky” with a time delay before detonation. This would make them more skill based and require you to hit your target directly instead of relying on the splash itself. Also, if you do hit your target, you might inflict additional damage to nearby enemies (or yourself!) due to their movement. We hope to include this in the 1.4 update.

We'll be closely watching your feedback on these changes as well as monitoring the data to see how they play out live after 1.3 rolls out. As we see Flaylocks and Contact Grenades being used more and more, we had to do something about it and quickly, so players start coming back to the other grenade and sidearm options we offer in game.
Finally, we're bringing more changes in the updates following 1.3. You should stay tuned for balancing changes not only in terms of weapons but vehicles as well – especially those darn LAVs that are being used a little bit too much like “murder taxis” right now.
Remember to post all feedback in this thread! We definitely read what you guys post and want to know your thoughts.

original link (http://dust514.com/news/blog/2013/07/explosive-dampening-weapon-rebalancing-in-uprising-1.3/)

Mike deVoid
July 23 2013, 04:01:25 PM
Not as big a nerf to Flaylock splash damage range as I'd like to have seen, but thank you!

Happy with the Contact Grenade changes - looking forward to the stick versions in 1.4!

July 23 2013, 11:28:29 PM
Am disappointed at the ratio between full hit and spash damage.

For a 'skill shot' weapon, it rewards you a lot of actually missing.