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Author Topic: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...  (Read 9713 times)

Madtrixr

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[2010-04-10 14:51:29] <Madtrixr> So...
[2010-04-10 14:51:32] * Madtrixr decides to stir up discussion.
[2010-04-10 14:51:36] <Madtrixr> Ammochain: How fix it?
[2010-04-10 14:51:42] <Gargulec> Don't/
[2010-04-10 14:51:48] <Madtrixr> ...
[2010-04-10 14:52:08] <DaveC> More important is Berserker.
[2010-04-10 14:52:10] <Gargulec> Why? Cause any fixing would probably make it totally not worth it.
[2010-04-10 14:52:49] <Gargulec> Only one I can partially agree is Thomas one that guns still need reloading, and ammochain generates ammo only after there is no left in inv
[2010-04-10 14:53:21] * Madtrixr still likes no reloading but takes ammo from backpack
[2010-04-10 14:53:30] <Gargulec> To weak.
[2010-04-10 14:53:35] <Gargulec> Too*
[2010-04-10 14:53:37] <Madtrixr> One whole chain.
[2010-04-10 14:53:44] <Gargulec> I would not take it...
[2010-04-10 14:53:57] <Gargulec> Build would just not be worth it, Cat is better anyday
[2010-04-10 14:54:16] <Madtrixr> But it's borken right now.
[2010-04-10 14:54:22] * DaveC doesn't really use rapid-fire builds
[2010-04-10 14:54:23] <Madtrixr> I can have NO ammo.
[2010-04-10 14:54:28] <Madtrixr> in my gun or pack.
[2010-04-10 14:54:32] <Madtrixr> and still fire.
[2010-04-10 14:54:50] <Madtrixr> *borked. damn it, that typo will work for me.
[2010-04-10 14:55:15] <Gargulec> And with Mad you do not even care whether an enemy is wearing no armor or full body ultra mega duper suit of phlebotium
[2010-04-10 14:55:23] <Gargulec> With shotguns.
[2010-04-10 14:55:31] <Madtrixr> Right,.
[2010-04-10 14:55:32] <Madtrixr> I know.
[2010-04-10 14:55:53] <Madtrixr> Even though I die halfway to MAD...
[2010-04-10 14:55:59] <Madtrixr> Half of the time,.
[2010-04-10 14:56:21] <Gargulec> And 99% of my AoB runs end on dlevel 2
[2010-04-10 14:57:30] <Gargulec> So what? Ammochain is tad broken, but sadly there is no good way to fix it.
[2010-04-10 14:57:54] <Gargulec> Cateye was DISABLED due to being overpowered, and now it is scarcely used.
[2010-04-10 14:58:15] <Gargulec> Should Ammochain lose it's paw, everyone would switch to Cat, and MAc would not be used.
[2010-04-10 14:58:31] * Madtrixr sighs...
[2010-04-10 14:58:37] <Madtrixr> Some people...
[2010-04-10 14:58:47] <Gargulec> ?
[2010-04-10 14:59:07] <Madtrixr> Well, cause you're right.
[2010-04-10 14:59:23] <Madtrixr> A mojority of the people want to win, so they go ammo chain; now.
[2010-04-10 14:59:39] <Madtrixr> if it was nerfed, they would all switch to cateye.
[2010-04-10 14:59:46] <Madtrixr> then something else...
[2010-04-10 15:00:01] * Madtrixr just sticks with Shotguns.
[2010-04-10 15:00:04] <Gargulec> There is one sure way to solve it- buff all other master traits... AND then add some nasty, nasty things that make game harder.
[2010-04-10 15:00:26] <Gargulec> So all master traits are more or less on par with Ammochain, but game itself gets much harder.
[2010-04-10 15:01:06] <Gargulec> This would, sadly, totally remove non master traited runs, but this is an unavoidable, sadly.
[2010-04-10 15:01:37] <Madtrixr> I'm always shooting for master traits, TBH.
[2010-04-10 15:01:46] * Gargulec as well
[2010-04-10 15:01:50] <Gargulec> Apart from AoMr
[2010-04-10 15:01:51] <Madtrixr> The one time I didn't was when I was looking for the DS...
[2010-04-10 15:02:18] <Gargulec> Where I go SoG-SoG-DG-SoG-Fin-Fin-WK-SoB-Sob-SoB
[2010-04-10 15:02:32] <Gargulec> This is just more fun that wa
[2010-04-10 15:02:34] <Gargulec> y
[2010-04-10 15:03:21] <Gargulec> And removing Ammochain would simply annoy people.
[2010-04-10 15:03:26] <Madtrixr> Yeah.
[2010-04-10 15:03:39] <Madtrixr> He would never hear the end of it if Ac was removed...
[2010-04-10 15:03:47] <Gargulec> And, truth be told, IIRC, rapid fire builds were always the strongest ones.
[2010-04-10 15:04:08] <Gargulec> First Intuition being broken, then Cateye, now MAc...
[2010-04-10 15:04:53] <Gargulec> The problem appears to be much deeper than just MAc... It is rapid fire being overpowered.
[2010-04-10 15:05:30] <Madtrixr> hmm
[2010-04-10 15:05:39] <Gargulec> And I am against nerfs per se, I'd rather see game getting harder and other traits getting stronger
[2010-04-10 15:05:57] <Madtrixr> That i could get behind
[2010-04-10 15:06:03] <Gargulec> Nerfs tend to cause rage, while buffs do bring rejoice 
[2010-04-10 15:06:08] <Madtrixr> Yeah.
[2010-04-10 15:06:18] * Madtrixr remembers the famous WoW thing
[2010-04-10 15:06:48] <Gargulec> So, what I'd suggest, as I said, every master trait gets a massive boost, MAc is left as it is and game is made harder
[2010-04-10 15:07:11] <Madtrixr> That would do it, but how to power up the other Master traits...
[2010-04-10 15:07:36] <Gargulec> Okay... Cat- sight radius +2, autohit with missile weapons
[2010-04-10 15:07:51] <Gargulec> For example.
[2010-04-10 15:07:54] <DaveC> Blademaster?
[2010-04-10 15:08:24] <Madtrixr> MAD: Increased Knockback, extra damage to non armor?
[2010-04-10 15:08:32] <Gargulec> You automatically melee everything in range.
[2010-04-10 15:09:12] <Gargulec> Or better yet, automatic free action AFTER any melee hit
[2010-04-10 15:09:33] <Gargulec>  MAD: Vastly decreased shotgun damage dropoff
[2010-04-10 15:09:53] <Madtrixr> Oh, yeah, that would work.
[2010-04-10 15:10:28] <Gargulec> Fireangle- all weapons now deal fire damage
[2010-04-10 15:11:28] <Madtrixr> MGK...
[2010-04-10 15:11:36] <Gargulec> GK- free shot after dodge, apart from that, no idea
[2010-04-10 15:11:49] * DaveC will be back later
[2010-04-10 15:11:50] *** DaveC changed nick to DaveC|away
[2010-04-10 15:11:50] <Gargulec> Truth be told, pistol builds would still be fine with that
[2010-04-10 15:12:16] <Gargulec> Vampyre- no changes. Power of that build is impressive enough
[2010-04-10 15:12:32] <Madtrixr> 2 shots for the Price of 1, but that might be hard to do, and almost too over powered...
[2010-04-10 15:12:47] <Gargulec> And now about making the game harder...
[2010-04-10 15:13:25] * Gargulec hopes that Mad will gather those thoughts and post them. He himself is not feeling like posting today.
[2010-04-10 15:13:54] <Madtrixr> *sigh*...Oh alright...
[2010-04-10 15:13:54] <ParaSaitLaptop> loooooooool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBWAv8zFLL4
[2010-04-10 15:13:58] <ParaSaitLaptop> Can't stop loling :D
[2010-04-10 15:14:47] <Gargulec> The game, the game...
[2010-04-10 15:14:57] <Gargulec> All that comes into my mind are new monsters
[2010-04-10 15:15:16] * Gargulec thinks that powered up versions of monsters already would do.
[2010-04-10 15:16:02] <Gargulec> Like hellish revenants, firing at 2x the speed of normal ones.
[2010-04-10 15:16:33] <Gargulec> Or arachs that fire burst 1.4x longer
[2010-04-10 15:16:59] <Gargulec> Or old cacos... those with attack better than HK's, better Acc and bigger splash
[2010-04-10 15:21:27] <Gargulec> ??
[2010-04-10 15:22:16] <Madtrixr> Whut? It's good.
[2010-04-10 15:22:18] <Madtrixr> I like.
[2010-04-10 15:22:48] <Gargulec> Then go to posting. I real want to see it said by somebody who operates english with ease
[2010-04-10 15:22:53] <Gargulec> Please.
[2010-04-10 15:23:14] <Madtrixr> Oy...FINE.
[2010-04-10 15:23:23] <Gargulec> Sorry for being rude etc., but I am feeling angry today, sorry
[2010-04-10 15:30:20] <Madtrixr> G: What should I post exactly?
[2010-04-10 15:30:48] <Gargulec> The argument. Mine, your opinion on it and suggested solutions, by both of us, I think
[2010-04-10 15:31:13] * Madtrixr will probably logdump.
[2010-04-10 15:31:20] <Gargulec> Yhm.
[2010-04-10 15:31:28] <Madtrixr> That fine?
[2010-04-10 15:31:33] <Gargulec> Yeah
[2010-04-10 15:31:37] <Madtrixr> K.

This is a conversation Me and Gargulec had on IRC earlier. I put this here to hopefully stimulate some discussion about how to go about balancing the game better, in our (differing) opinions.

I did this cause G's lazy :P.
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ChaoticJosh

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 17:09 »

I'm gonna have to ask Garg to come here personally and recite what his stance on the issue is again, as I think it'd be rude to just take your word for it.

I'll just quote what I said in a very similar thread which is occurring as of this moment, regarding my stance on the issue:

I think it's a universal agreement that ammochain is overpowered....

It's simple, simply require that automatic weapons require no reloading. What I mean: instead of having to reload, ammochain simply does what it's name implies, that is it "chains" your ammo together. So, put simply, when your gun hits zero ammo, it doesn't need to be reloaded, it'll simply start shooting ammo straight from your inventory. This would help it retain value as a master trait, and would improve the lasting power of the chainfire ability. You wouldn't need to worry about the long reloading times of chainguns or plasma rifles, but you'd have to especially conscious of how much ammo you might be blasting recklessly. Also, it wouldn't negate the ammo collecting or conservation aspects, and you'd still need to reload after the battle's over in order to conserve inventory space. I think that would make it excellently balanced.

Now, I can't take credit for this idea, as I remember hearing about it in a similar discussion. I just can't remember who said it or where. It deserves mentioning though.

So in other words, I'm in agreement with you Trixr. There seems to be some disagreement regarding the actual usefulness of this, that this change would make it not worth it, but I've yet to hear an even semi-plausible reason of why this nerf would be too much. To me, it seems just perfect.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 17:12 »

Because this is weaker than current Cateye. And since the way to Ammochain is paved with not-so-useful-rapid-fire-traits, people would stop using Ammochain in favour of Cateye, which, at one point was taken off the game due to being overpowered, and it has much better requirements than Ammochain.
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ChaoticJosh

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 17:53 »

So wait, you tolerate the overpowered Mac because then people would just hop over to the overpowered cateye? How is having two overpowered abilities better than having one?

Though, for the sake of accuracy in this discussion, since I've only ever played around with catye like once, can you elaborate on what cateye does that makes it overpowered and would inspire this very meta argument of yours?
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Gargulec

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 18:03 »

So wait, you tolerate the overpowered Mac because then people would just hop over to the overpowered cateye? How is having two overpowered abilities better than having one?

Though, for the sake of accuracy in this discussion, since I've only ever played around with catye like once, can you elaborate on what cateye does that makes it overpowered and would inspire this very meta argument of yours?

Why two overpowered traits of the same build are better than one overpowered? Since if only one is overpowered, the second becomes unnecessary, since nobody use it. So why it is in game, even? And if two are overpowered, both are equally useful. You also seem to ignore the part of my idea about making every other master trait on par with Ammochain, and then making the late game much more difficult to balance things out.

Cateye usefulness comes from two things: It allows you snipe enemies from outside their LOS, thus killing them without even being attacked. Second is the thing that due to enemies AI, they do not react properly to begin shot from outside LOS, making them easy targets.
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ChaoticJosh

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 18:32 »

I don't know, this seems to run on flawed assumptions. This is assuming that everyone ranks these traits similiarly, and that everyone has the same playstyle to accommodate this. In my opinion, Cateye doesn't seem useful enough to warrant the level of caution you're treating it with. Yeah, it increases LOS, and allows sniping, but that's it, and it blocks TaN (a very useful trait), and it doesn't seem to be even half as gamebreaking as Mac is. So I'm thinking that saying everyone will jump over to it seems exaggerated.

I didn't mention the 'make everything else more powerful to be on par with Ammochain' idea was because it seems like a bloated and unnecessary suggestion. It'd be much easier to nerf ammochain, see how the community's strategies develop, and then make any changes if further problems develop rather than attempting to preemptively anticipate and fix meta problems.

And even if you're right, and cateye is as powerful as you claim it to be, couldn't you level that out by modifying monster AI to respond better to being shot at?
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BEEF

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 21:32 »

Cateye usefulness comes from two things: It allows you snipe enemies from outside their LOS, thus killing them without even being attacked. Second is the thing that due to enemies AI, they do not react properly to begin shot from outside LOS, making them easy targets.
For what it's worth, I like to play Cateye a lot and monsters seem to react just fine to being hit from out of LOS, and they even seem to start heading towards you when they enter your LOS without being shot at. So its main advantage is that you get extra shots while they approach you, not that you get unlimited extra shots at them. That's what inuition 2 is for.

Intuition 2 is probably more broken than Cateye. Knowing exactly where every enemy is lets you shoot into the dark until everybody is dead, and if anybody gets upset you can just run away until they get bored. At least with Cateye you generally have to get close enough that there's a danger of them noticing you and getting close enough to shoot at you.

My quick fix for intuition 2: Have it only show the general locations of monsters, sticking their dots randomly in a 3x3 (or 5x5) square centered on the monster. You'll still know what corners have monsters lurking behind them, but you can't reliably snipe them to death without having a really good idea of where they are already. Alternately or additionally, it can fail for weaker monsters; your spidey sense doesn't tingle for imps when it's being throttled by arachnotrons.


As for Ammochain, my big complaint is that it's boring. You're running around with a plasma rifle 95% of the time because there's no reason to use anything else, and that "bloink!" sound gets irritating pretty fast.
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Fanta Hege

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2010, 02:11 »

To be honest, making everything else as powerful as Ammochain and then buffing up the rest of the game doesn't seem that much of fun. =/

If you ask me, Ammochain should receive nerf of a type that would effect the traits it blocks.
Now tell me, does soag really hurt you that much about beeing blocked? No? Great! lets change it to hellrunner or ironman and bam! You lose even more defense. Now only problem might be finding grammaton cleric beretta and using it with ammochain but still...

Ammochain is somewhat OP right now, but you really don't need that drastic measures for it.

Also even though I've been an ammochain fan in the past, the latest fast monsters buff has made imps sucha a gigantic pain in the ass in N! I nowdays use Fireangel due of the reloader and shotguns going so well hand to hand and soab or fin just doesn't cut the cake in early game anymore to provide enough damage input against them.


Int 2 could use some fixing aswell, but considering if you do not have a rocket launcher and don't know where the wall and items are.. You're just basicly hurting yourself with the paranoia when using it.

Cateye is okay as it is right now due of the regruitments and the trait blockings.

Also about those imps I mentioned earlier and N!? Imps could really do with an accuracy reduction of 1 or 2, seriously, they seem to snipe and hit no matter how much I try dodge and with the fast monster buff, they are basicly now worse then caco's and hellknights IMO with that darn fast rate of fire and the masses they appear in. N! could also look into the resurrection rate a bit more, I swear it has fastened up in this version..
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Melon

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2010, 03:37 »

Leave the ammochain as it is now. You cannot use Eagle Eye, to before you actually hit a monster, a lot of bullets will just hit the wall. You have to find accuracy mods and use hide and shoot tactics. It block TaN, so this is auto-kill when you meet arachnotrons or former commandos.

Leave it be!
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Game Hunter

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2010, 03:53 »

Rapid-fire builds, sans Ammochain, are only viable because of one key trait: Son of a Bitch.  Having the extra damage negates problems against armor, kills things in general faster, and conserves your ammo when you can kill in one round instead of two (or two instead of three, more often than not).  Ammochain, technically, does not NEED this trait, for two reasons:

- No worries about ammo
- Plasma cuts through armor like no tomorrow

Perhaps changing the requirements of Ammochain will nerf it enough without doing too much damage.  Specifically, I was thinking something like WK (1), SoaB (1), Rel (2).  This forces a couple of points into something that, in most cases, won't even be considered during a rapid-fire run: however, it STILL has uses for explosive weapons, not to mention it "makes sense" that you'd have to learn how to reload to be able to chain ammo like that (it's not like we're saying the ammo comes from thin air after all).  Naturally there are plenty of different possibilities here, and I'm here we could figure out something good.  Unfortunately, it's hard to argue against the current requirements, especially with the blocked EE trait.

While I do like the idea of MAc turning all your stacks into a single bunch, this would throw away any usefulness in obtaining the Backpack.  This isn't so much bad as it is unprecedented: traits narrow your options and what you want to get but never obsolete equipment entirely.  And when you consider that (again, looking over MAc) rapid-fire builds basically depend on having as much ammo as possible, the Backpack is one of those things you plan on...removing the strategy of preparation for The Wall would diminish some enjoyment.

Alternatively, Ammochain could just instantly reload your rapid-fire gun whenever it runs out of ammo ala Madtrixr.  This really isn't all that bad, either: you still have to carry ammo but you never have to worry if the clip runs out (compounded that you never had to put a point into Reloader!).  However, the problem with THIS change comes from the inherent (albeit weak) balancing that Melon brought up: no EE.  The biggest flaw in a rapid-fire weapon lies in the inability to hit anything past a couple tiles.  Without modding, the only reason Ammochain is even viable is BECAUSE you never run out of ammo...you'll barely hit anything with that infinite chain going.  What tends to break the MAc build, ultimately, is achieving A2 on your weapon of choice, upping the chance to hit to that of a pistol...easily enough to hit most of the time, which begs the question why you need infinite ammo anymore.

Maybe what we should fix, then, is the A2 that is easily attainable with explosives (or careful strategy) in the Chained Court, which is 1) always generated and, 2) rather early in the game.  (The exception, A100, sees so many mods that it doesn't matter all that much anyway.)  Possibilities:

- Randomize the mod type.  Quick fix, probably no changes in balancing other than the aforementioned issue, still worth checking out (what I wouldn't give for some early power mods in a shotty run).
- Only one mod is an agility type.  This still provides the much-desired agility on boots for other games, and A1 isn't QUITE enough to be game-breaking.  You'll have to wait until at least Armory (if it even shows up) to attain that glorious pistol accuracy.  The other mod can be whatever, but I'd suggest tech (if only because it's the only mod not guaranteed in some special level).
- Replace the mods altogether with other equipment.  Maybe put an early plasma rifle in there, or some protective boots, or red armor, or even with the small chance of an exotic piece.  It's less favorable to MAc and more favorable to any build at all, which is certainly part of the purpose of special levels (I'm looking at you, four Berserk Packs and Chainsaw).

Anyway, plenty of options to think about.  I would dispute strongly that rebalancing the entire game for the sake of a single POSSIBLE build is overdoing things, and Kornel (I'm sure) is looking for something a lot easier to implement.

Cateye is a great build, too, although it does tend to pare in comparison to an A2 Ammochain run.  It has the benefit of stacking with Int (2), although a lot would argue that these are redundant and would happily choose the one that doesn't block TaN.  The practicality of MCe lies in long-distance shooting (EE tends to be useless after a single point) which, due to the dimensions of the game, doesn't really come up all that often.  A lot of levels throw you into a herd of nasty monsters, or a cave, or an arena, or a bunch of small rooms, or a maze that lacks big areas.  Cateye just doesn't tend to matter in those situations, ending up rusty by the time it is guaranteed useful (Phobos Arena, MAYBE Mortuary if you're ready).  Ammochain, on the other hand, is useful 100% of the time, and is used 100% of the time (unless, for some reason, you need to pull out an explosive weapon), so there is no rust.

As for the rest...

- MGK really loses its spark on harder difficulties.  More monsters mean more bullets mean less ammo overall.  With SoaB locked out, you WILL run out of bullets unless you start floor diving and, to me, a build that advocates avoiding combat isn't a very persuasive one.  Compare MFa, which still has combat uses (such as fighting up against walls, or Arch-viles, or Revs half of the time) while still being defensive.  Check out the Second Pistol Master Trait topic in Requests for Features on ideas for something more offensive: so long as there is a pistol master that can do something against the ever-increasing hordes, I'm happy.
- I'll be frank: do people really use MBm or MVm outside of AoB?  Is it REALLY necessary to have two master traits for a build that is only used a very small fraction of the time?  Based on the mortems, MVm is much preferred over MBm, so I'd tend to leave that one and just keep Cleaver as the remains of Blademaster.
- MAD is fine.  It MIGHT be overpowered, except Fin and HR are both blocked which tends to prevent freedom of battle options.  You are either going to take advantage of armor-piercing shells and radar-shoot the hell out of everything, or you are going to be in a lot of pain.
- Intuition on the second level is pretty ridiculous, except you are basically paying two points to get it (the first level is marginally useful at best, and only once you have the second level) so I think that one's balanced out.  It also makes you get two EE which is, again, rather overkill on accuracy.

I'll post some ideas for the rest in terms of actual changes later, kinda sleepy right now.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2010, 05:19 »

For what it's worth, I like to play Cateye a lot and monsters seem to react just fine to being hit from out of LOS, and they even seem to start heading towards you when they enter your LOS without being shot at. So its main advantage is that you get extra shots while they approach you, not that you get unlimited extra shots at them. That's what inuition 2 is for.
Hmpf, it may be that KK fixed this LOS issue some time ago. I should have remembered.

As for Ammochain, my big complaint is that it's boring. You're running around with a plasma rifle 95% of the time because there's no reason to use anything else, and that "bloink!" sound gets irritating pretty fast.
Can't agree on that- I have very fond memories of playing with Ammochain, and it did not appear to be boring

To be honest, making everything else as powerful as Ammochain and then buffing up the rest of the game doesn't seem that much of fun. =/
Whyso? Acquiring power beyond measure (hey MAc!) is the very essence of fun in game for me. And then being presented with situation that DO require such power to solve could be even more fun.

If you ask me, Ammochain should receive nerf of a type that would effect the traits it blocks.
Now tell me, does soag really hurt you that much about beeing blocked? No? Great! lets change it to hellrunner or ironman and bam! You lose even more defense. Now only problem might be finding grammaton cleric beretta and using it with ammochain but still...
Now that is more or less reasonable suggestion, though I don't know whether it would be enough.

Ammochain is somewhat OP right now, but you really don't need that drastic measures for it.

Also even though I've been an ammochain fan in the past, the latest fast monsters buff has made imps sucha a gigantic pain in the ass in N! I nowdays use Fireangel due of the reloader and shotguns going so well hand to hand and soab or fin just doesn't cut the cake in early game anymore to provide enough damage input against them.
Of N!, I wont speak, because I do not have any experience with it. And you're probably right on that subject anyway.

Rapid-fire builds, sans Ammochain, are only viable because of one key trait: Son of a Bitch.  Having the extra damage negates problems against armor, kills things in general faster, and conserves your ammo when you can kill in one round instead of two (or two instead of three, more often than not).  Ammochain, technically, does not NEED this trait, for two reasons:

- No worries about ammo
- Plasma cuts through armor like no tomorrow

Perhaps changing the requirements of Ammochain will nerf it enough without doing too much damage.  Specifically, I was thinking something like WK (1), SoaB (1), Rel (2).  This forces a couple of points into something that, in most cases, won't even be considered during a rapid-fire run: however, it STILL has uses for explosive weapons, not to mention it "makes sense" that you'd have to learn how to reload to be able to chain ammo like that (it's not like we're saying the ammo comes from thin air after all).  Naturally there are plenty of different possibilities here, and I'm here we could figure out something good.  Unfortunately, it's hard to argue against the current requirements, especially with the blocked EE trait.
The problem is that SoaB-less MAc run will not only suffer greatly in early game, but also may not have the necessary stopping power in the deeper dungeons.

According to wiki, average damage from chaingun is 14.5 (3.5*4=14) and from plasma (4*6=24). This is, of course, assuming all shots hit, which is unlikely. Now, how SoB and Tri alter this? Chaingun with SoB2 and Tri1 will deal  22.5 damage on average (3.5*5=17.5+5), and plasma with SoB1 would deal 30 damage (4*6=24). But assuming that all shots hit. Now... The chaingun in cateye EE 2, which makes it +6 in acc, thus giving it chance of hitting of about 80-90%, so it does not reduce the damage greatly, while your MAc plasma with acc+2 will hit 50% of times, reducing the damage by HALF. This is, of course, not counting plasma armor reduction quality and chainfire, but those factors cannot change the outcome.
 
While I do like the idea of MAc turning all your stacks into a single bunch, this would throw away any usefulness in obtaining the Backpack.  This isn't so much bad as it is unprecedented: traits narrow your options and what you want to get but never obsolete equipment entirely.  And when you consider that (again, looking over MAc) rapid-fire builds basically depend on having as much ammo as possible, the Backpack is one of those things you plan on...removing the strategy of preparation for The Wall would diminish some enjoyment.
Again, can't agree on that. The Wall is a rather difficult special level, and I do not do it unless I am really armed to the teeth. And backpack is not necessary (useful, yes) in any type of run. So it would not dimnish my enjoyment.

Alternatively, Ammochain could just instantly reload your rapid-fire gun whenever it runs out of ammo ala Madtrixr.  This really isn't all that bad, either: you still have to carry ammo but you never have to worry if the clip runs out (compounded that you never had to put a point into Reloader!).  However, the problem with THIS change comes from the inherent (albeit weak) balancing that Melon brought up: no EE.  The biggest flaw in a rapid-fire weapon lies in the inability to hit anything past a couple tiles.  Without modding, the only reason Ammochain is even viable is BECAUSE you never run out of ammo...you'll barely hit anything with that infinite chain going.  What tends to break the MAc build, ultimately, is achieving A2 on your weapon of choice, upping the chance to hit to that of a pistol...easily enough to hit most of the time, which begs the question why you need infinite ammo anymore.
More or less agree- this variant of MAc would not be powerful enough to be used.

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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2010, 13:26 »

Quote from: Gargulec
The problem is that SoaB-less MAc run will not only suffer greatly in early game, but also may not have the necessary stopping power in the deeper dungeons.
The problem is quickly resolved after a couple more levels, which will almost certainly be directed toward the remaining SoaBs (and quite likely TH for more shots after).  The purpose of this kind of nerf is to dedicate yourself more to the Ammochain, which is done by adding superfluous traits (ie, Reloader) into the core requirements.  Whether or not it's too problematic, I'm not sure...that's the kind of thing testing is for.

Quote from: Gargulec
Quote from: Fanta Hege
    To be honest, making everything else as powerful as Ammochain and then buffing up the rest of the game doesn't seem that much of fun. =/
Whyso? Acquiring power beyond measure (hey MAc!) is the very essence of fun in game for me. And then being presented with situation that DO require such power to solve could be even more fun.
Sure, this could be something to work on right now.  On the other hand, there are a lot of other ways to improve the game that don't involve spiking the difficulty curve: other special levels, a second "dungeon" (I was thinking Deimos: fewer formers, faster scaling of equipment, and with the Spiderdemon at the end instead of ol' Cybie), fixing the projectile pathing, and so on and so forth.

What is different about the power that comes from, say, acquiring Jackhammer or Railgun or double Blasters from the power of MAc is that it is absolutely guaranteed if you can survive the first bit (which, relative to any other build, isn't hard...we're only talking about Clvl 7).   Afterwards, all ammo concerns are thrown out the window and, in a typical run, you'll already have the blessed A2 to make your shots pretty accurate.  So long as you don't run into something that would kill ANYONE, it's a pretty straightforward rest of the game.

Anyway.  Of the options I mentioned I would definitely pick the revision of Chained Court such that A2 is no longer guaranteed.  Without accuracy, Ammochain is limited in its scope such that it would not be OP, and so reaching that status would require some luck.  Just like any other build.  (MAD needs shells later on, MGK superbly benefits from a special pistol, MCe wants open levels, et cetera.)
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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2010, 13:50 »

blademaster should let you dual wield in melee
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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2010, 14:45 »

blademaster should let you dual wield in melee

Totally, completely useless. Damage output is not an issue in melee, so why the hell would one want to dual-wield. Also, dual wield what? Chainsaw and LS?
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Re: Ruminating about MAc balance and Game Balance in general...
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2010, 15:52 »

2 knives. or put in swords or something.

Two knives are still worse than one chainsaw. Or LS. Or BC. Or DS.
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