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Author Topic: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes  (Read 7241 times)

Malek Deneith

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Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« on: September 01, 2011, 16:24 »

DISCLAIMER: This post was originally made in a beta thread, as a suggestion but nothing was done with it due to upcoming deadline for 0.9.9.4 release. It has been split unchanged and moved to this forum for a wider discussion.

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Posting some ideas for modifying shotguns since the recent changes sparked a discussion on these on irc:

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Of shotguns and pellets

Let's face it - the current situation where shotguns cover an area in a semi-hitscan kind of way seems to be getting more and more troublesome, especially considering that each and every other weapon rolls for hit. Yes, it's nice to have it on our side, but it's not so nice when you get face to face with a bunch of sergeants and know for sure you won't be able to dodge out of the way, now is it? Hence my proposal is to make shotguns shoot a number of pellets instead of what they do now. How that is supposed to work? Well the AoE cone would still be here, but instead of everything in it getting hit automatically, creatures would be the target of a number of d3 damage "pellets" (so for example combat shotgun would shoot seven of such d3 hits), which would follow the normal to-hit procedure starting with the nearest target... BUT any pellets that would miss the first target would get to try to hit targets further on, until either pellets or targets run out. Some bonuses to hit at close range and penalties at longe would probably make sense also.

One problem with this idea (aside from coding hell for Kornel :P) is the armor. Obviously shrapnel = armor x 2 thing would have to go no matter what, but with individual pellets being d3, maybe d4 for some exotics some monsters would get immune to shotguns. I see two ways around it:
1) Have damage be applied for all pellets that hit in a single go (so if three pellets hit BoH it gets hurt by 3d3 not 3 x d3)
2) Increase the damage on pellets to something like d6 or even d8. This might seem imbalanced at first but remember that: a) with to hit being rolled a monster is unlikely to get hit with full blow and b) right now shotguns due their 'hit everything in cone' way of dealing damage can deal *much* more than the number on the weapon would suggest

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Of shotguns, combat shotguns and sergeants

Okay, this one is likely to be unpopular, but I think it deserves to be presented anyway. In current beta Combat Shotguns were pushed to level 6, and "vanilla" shotguns got their reload time halved to make them more notable. The result was, from what I hear (yet have to download the RC3 myself) were pretty devastating, especially for people who play AoB. Here is where my most likely to be unpopular suggestion comes in - remove "vanilla" shotguns. Flag them as monster-only weapon and move CShotty where it was before the RC to fill in the gap. Really, though some may argue - since times eternal shotgun was just a bridge to CShotty, and at best got it's five minutes of glory if somebody ammassed several of them and decided to brave the (back then easier I believe) Hell's Arena. I sincerly believe that no amount of pushing CShotty back will make shotguns a notable weapon - it's only delaying the inevitable swap-out, and as shown above any attempts to buff it are likely to result in unforseen problems with sergeants who appear early, aplenty and wield it.

Should that idea prove to be no-go, and people really, really insist on keeping the vanilla shotgun then at least do another thing and make the sergeant-shotgun unbuffed mob-only version of vanilla shotgun.

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Of sergeants and shells

This is a minor thing compared to the two others but... Well I've recently thought about shell drops and noticed something: the floor-appearing shells come in packs of 8 which is usually pretty ignorable amount all things considered. On the other hands sergeants carry around enormous amount of 30 shells each. This leads to situation where early game shotty players have more ammo than they need and can carry (due to plentiful sergeants), while on later levels when sergeants start to appear sparingly they suddenly have troubles to supply their weapons of choice, since most of the time they only find amounts that are a drop in the sea of need when faced with much hardier and more armored mobs that appear on later levels. I think some rebalance is in order, not sure what numbeers would be good though.
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Matt_S

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 21:28 »

Shotguns always did seem weird to me.  I assume this plan would kill the damage percent dropoff since the pellets would already be spread out at larger distances?  I can't really speak intelligently about armor changes because I'm not familiar enough with the balance involved in that, but the larger dice seems like a nicer solution.  I think the shotguns would need a few more pellets though, considering that at anything but point blank, some pellets won't even have a chance to hit a single target because of spread (but I guess that'd make them even more devastating at close range).

I've been ditching regular shotguns for combat shotguns for a long time now.  I agree that shotguns are pretty squarely outclassed by combat shotguns (and the faster reload time was a real pain when I tried an AoB run and that sergeant was just sitting on the staircase).  However, eliminating it just doesn't feel right.  I think with the first change, there may be room to work with, perhaps giving the regular shotgun a d8 for hit dice and only d6 for the combat shotgun.
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Dorten

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 00:40 »

For the first sugestion:
What about accuracy? In my view this way of implementing shotgun blast should be as follows:
1) NO accuracy bonus from traits modding and so on (you can't control where each pellet go with your telekinesis powers, can you?)
2) but some accuracy bonus stil needs to be, cause shooting shotgun at point blank and having 50% of pellets miss the target would be ridiculous,
3) NO dodge chance, or ability to dodge one pellet max.

Ny two (three) cents.
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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 01:28 »

I strongly oppose the no vanilla shotgun part. Also, I like shotguns the way they are. Sargents probably need to be edited a bit, though.
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gunofdis

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 02:32 »

Modeling buckshot sounds both overcomplicated and likely to cripple the area effect uses of shotguns.  What's next, modeling a conical spray out of the burst fire weapons, rendering them near identical to the shotguns?

I think a better idea for improving the shotguns would be to give the break action guns (normal shotty, double shotty and derivatives) an alt reload that switches them to firing slugs, giving them single target kill power in exchange for their area effect.  Slugs should be accurate (say +5 or +6, +3 or +4 for the double models) bullets that do lots of damage, perhaps half again to double the damage of a normal shell (remember, both the rocket launcher and normal shells have massive splash damage that we're giving up here).  This can potentially help alleviate ammunition issues, since you won't be wasting lots of ammo plinking away at single targets at medium to long ranges.  In any case, switching ammo would have the same cost as a normal reload but cannot be done on the move. 

Combat shotty derivatives both already have their alt reload taken up by the full reload option and can be said to have a more delicate action not capable of surviving the heavy hunting loads used for slugs.  This helps differentiate the 2 types, as the combat shotty gets rapid fire capabilities through pumping while the single shot models get versatility and the power to deal with larger demons relatively quickly.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 02:39 by gunofdis »
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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 08:13 »

Modeling buckshot sounds both overcomplicated and likely to cripple the area effect uses of shotguns.  What's next, modeling a conical spray out of the burst fire weapons, rendering them near identical to the shotguns?
I think you are missing the point.  The current shotgun mechanism basically strikes everything within the conical arc, which is ridiculous.  Have you tried smacking down 3-deep lost souls surrounding you with a double shotgun?  Almost everything just gets blown away, which is not quite right -- there really isn't that many shots to crush all the lost souls that way.  I think the theory of conservation of damage should be preserved: if a weapon is said to do nds damage with projectiles, then I expect the total direct projectile damage done by that weapon at any one time be bounded by [s,ns], which is violated by the current shotgun rules (splash damage is a secondary effect that is counted a little differently).  The modelling of buckshot is just to ensure that we limit the reach of the shotgun and make it more doom-ish, as opposed to the current really overly powerful form.  In fact, this will make the Agility mods more useful for the shotgun.  Shotguns were and are designed to be close to medium range weapons, but there has to be a limit on how much area dominance it can do.  The traits for shotgunners will make up for the shortcomings of the shotgun and make it a viable end-game weapon of choice.
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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 08:43 »

I don't think it matters if the weapons are unrealistic. All that really matters is that they work in-game as effective weapons. It seems to me that shotguns work fine as they are, and both the proposed solutions seem over-complicated. As long as it works well as a game mechanic, I see no reason to change it.

I do think the shotgun's lack of usefulness is a problem, though. Moving the combat shotty to dlevel 6 as made people use the shotgun more, but it's still a placeholder. As soon as you get the combat shotgun, pretty much everyone dumps their regular one. How about instead of an alt-reload option, an alt-fire option? My idea: the face shot.

When wielding a shotgun, if you press alt-fire, you will then be able to target an adjacent square, similar to the rocket jump. If there is an enemy there, you get a message like "you shoot the demon right in the face!" and the attack will have a bonus of +1 (like having a power mod) and do piercing damage. So a regular, unmodified shotgun would do 9d3 damage, and a power-modded elephant gun would do 13d3! This attack would have a 75% damage dropoff rate, making it to a little collateral damage to adjacent enemies but only truly effective as the equivalent of a melee attack. I think this would make the regular shotgun a valuable weapon to have even until the endgame.

It might sound overpowered, but remember that you have to be right next to an enemy for it to work--it's basically a melee attack costing one shell that is stronger than the chainsaw but weaker than a double chainsaw or artifact melee weapon, and is unaffected by berserk, brute, etc. So I think overall it's pretty well-balanced.
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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 10:54 »

There are a couple of ways that one could potentially go about changing shotties from the conical, drop-off effect we have now to the more inspired projectiles-within-cone weapon it tends to be (as displayed both as the real weapon and as the weapon in Doom). The first is essentially what Malek said: turning the Xd3 attack into a 1d3xX one, keeping spread the same. For combat shotguns this wouldn't be much of a problem, since the spread is quite tight, but for shotguns and double shotguns you'd likely end up with a very scattered attack. Ultimately this would cause FURTHER reliance on the combat shotgun in most situations (ie, those that have one or two enemies), with the shotgun and double shotgun used either for very close quarters or hordes of enemies. Naturally we can change around the spread and such (perhaps designing each weapon specially so they definitely have their own unique uses) although the overall sparseness of the weapons might make them quite difficult to balance. That is, unless the spread itself is constant, with every pellet always going at a particular angle, the accuracy itself will widly fluctuate, making the weapons unreliable (which is roughly the opposite of what they are now).

The other possibility is to take pellets to a more extreme level, such that there are many more pellets than normal but always deal one damage. As a matter of resistance/protection, pellets would have to work differently (for instance, protection could prevent NxP pellets from causing damage, where P is the reduction value and N is a scalar multiple), but this would effectively make the shotguns what they are now, the big difference being that the damage is dicrete rather than continuous-linear. It's something I would find quite interesting as a weapon, and it certainly keeps the shotguns in their current position.

However, I don't really expect this kind of change in DRL and hope to see it in DRL2 instead. It's a DRASTIC change to the game's balance, and it could take a very long time before the weapons and projectiles are at the right place so that we aren't seeing underpowered/overpowered result. Still, if there's enough support for it then I wouldn't mind the possibility. (As a matter of fact, if one of the devs could work on a generalized scatter flag that works for any spread/shots, we could very well begin testing in a modding environment.)
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MaiZure

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 16:37 »

The current shotgun mechanism basically strikes everything within the conical arc, which is ridiculous.  Have you tried smacking down 3-deep lost souls surrounding you with a double shotgun?  Almost everything just gets blown away, which is not quite right

Ever open a door in doom2 to find 15 formers packed in behind it? Notice how the double shotty kills them ALL in one blast? Maybe not realistic, but certainly Doomish! More importantly...

However, I don't really expect this kind of change in DRL and hope to see it in DRL2 instead. It's a DRASTIC change to the game's balance, and it could take a very long time before the weapons and projectiles are at the right place so that we aren't seeing underpowered/overpowered result.

Gotta back up this point. There are probably a dozen other directions we could devote our effort to the improvement of the game. Changing shottys would be both time consuming and I feel the result would only be a tweak at best.
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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 18:17 »

If hits are calculated before damage (i.e. the game tracks which targets are nearer or at least records them in order of distance from the player...) then why not have a drop off of a single die per unit hit by the blast? So the first target takes full, the second takes 1d3 less and so on.

Maybe an alt fire for the single- and double-shotty for a slug which drops off at a rate of 1/2 of the dice instead of 1 die per target and does bullet (single) or piercing (double). So that only three targets in a row could be hit for full, 2/3, and then 1/3 damage max.

I do think shotguns are pretty perfect the way they are, but if they were to get a little modification I'd prefer something less drastic to more drastic. I think there should at least be an assembly that creates a "slug" firing weapon out of one of the shotguns.

[Can we get a new mod like Duct Tape pack? Quadruple shotgun anybody?]
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gunofdis

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 19:34 »

New unique: a quarter gauge punt gun.  Wielding it slows you down, firing it takes multiple seconds but it does Biggest Fucking Gun damage with a spread wider than a double shotty.  Consumes 20 shells per shot.

Comedy option: model that bitch as firing 00 buckshot, requiring some 512 bullets.

Comedier option: #6 birdshot for killin all the ducks all the time.  Only 11,400 projectiles...
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 23:04 by gunofdis »
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Matt_S

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2011, 21:50 »

I've given some more thought to this.  Here's some things that make shotgun blast cones different from most of the other stuff:
1. Guaranteed to hit
2. Damage dropoff with distance
3. Shots aren't obstructed by enemies

100% accuracy is interesting, because it is nice to use, but it's also really different from everything else.  If shotguns fire a cloud of shrapnel, 100% accuracy would make sense, and hey, that's fine, I don't see why DoomRL shotguns can't be different from real life.  If shotguns were subject to accuracy, I don't see why a dodge bonus for the pellets would be unreasonable, at least any more so than dodging bullets. An accuracy bonus might make sense for things directly in the line of fire, but that would probably be pretty awkward.  So the 50% accuracy would be pretty terrible, unless there were a ton of pellets.  The thing that bugs me the most about guaranteed hits is that it makes Eagle Eye and agility mods worthless, and it removes the penalty for running.

Damage dropoff makes sense, but it's also pretty strange compared to the way all the other normal weapons work.  The most awkward thing is how the damage dropoff occurs even at point blank range from what I've read.  Why?  If a weapon says 8d3 then there should be a chance for it to do 24 damage.
I don't really think damage dropoff should be removed without the other changes going along with it, but if a pellet-based system were to supercede it, I think it would be a good thing.

Shooting through enemies is what really makes shotguns awesome.  But then we have to believe that shotgun pellets are not very good at penetrating armor, while also being good at hitting things behind the armored opponent.  This one could be changed separately from the rest of the parts; I for one would be willing to give the enemy piercing in exchange for another damage die or two.  However, the pellet system would of course take care of this.

---

I really like the shotgun, so I'd hate to see it simply be replaced by the combat shotgun, but it can't really be buffed without making the former sergeants more of a pain.  One thing I was thinking about regarding the slower reload time, who says the enemies have to reload as fast as our marine?  Maybe the bloodlust of the former soldiers makes them clumsy and slow with things like reloading (applied to all former foos, but it would come up more with sergeants since they have to reload more often).  Of course, it doesn't solve the problem of the combat shotgun dominating the regular shotgun, but it keeps the shotgun reload buff from being turned against us so painfully.

Since I mentioned agility mods, I think they should have some effect on shotguns (I was thinking they did in a previous version, but my memory's kind of bad).  Perhaps decreased damage dropoff, or increased knockback.  I don't know why something that increases the accuracy of guns would do something like that, but I don't know why they would make you move faster in your boots either :)
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Malek Deneith

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 14:13 »

Oh wow. Finally some replies here and I totally missed it. Just to make myself clear - I did not post the "pellets" suggestion to make shotguns more realistic. It's a game about going to hell and kicking demons up the ass, I couldn't care less about "realistic". I made it because my feeling is that the current way the game handles shotguns is a major pain in the ass. Really it causes various problems some of which were already mentioned - shotguns deal disproportional damage to what is listed, shotguns don't work with agility mod or in fact anything that affects accuracy. Playing AoB? From my limited experience with the mode sergeants were the most dangerous enemy on lower floors. Near a barrel and a sergeant appears in sight? Yeah, expect the barrel to blow up in your face unles he's at the edge of vision.

Some might see this as interesting, but myself I feel it's problematic and annoying. And as much as I love shotguns I'd really like to see this state changed... even though I'm aware it might not happen in DRL1 as GH said :/
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gunofdis

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 21:08 »

Well, the biggest drawback of modelling pellets is that it starts getting hard to differentiate shotguns from chain guns when both spit out some number of projectiles when you hit the button.

As for agility mods not working on shotties, simply make a use for them.  Something like reducing the range dropoff, perhaps by 1% per square per mod or  15-25% of the total per mod.
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rchandra

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Re: Suggestion for some shotgun-related changes
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 23:15 »

Hmm.  units count as one square closer per agility mod?
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