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Author Topic: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.  (Read 2469 times)

bolt_thundara

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Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« on: May 30, 2016, 02:29 »

Pistol users really do get the shaft compared to other weapon types. I mean, for one thing, they have pretty much the most restrictive Trait selection short of MAD. Bullet Dance stops you from getting Hellrunner, so if you want survivability you HAVE to tech into TaN and the other two Pistol masters block TaN. Not to mention Bullet Dance blocks Eagle Eye, something most pistol users need pretty bad due to the drop off in accuracy via range.

However, we can overlook all that. Sometimes not even taking a Master trait can be the best path, letting you spec as you want on basic and advanced traits. Son Of A Gun, Eagle Eye, and Son Of A Bitch seem to build well together. +6 minimum damage, +6 accuracy, 60% faster firing? Seems legit.

The other thing pistols really fail at tho is having decent gear. Compared to every other weapon type, it really falls apart FAST. Obviously the basic pistol is not supposed to be super useful, pretty much existing to last exactly one floor and then be retired forever. The problem is, pistol users likely NEVER get a better gun. Every other weapon type has a guaranteed drop for a higher quality piece of gear before the Anomaly (Chain gun and Rocket Launcher in the Arena, Chainsaw in the Chained Court, Combat Shotgun in the Military Base) AND every other weapon type (except rocket launcher, which instead has a free replacement at The Wall) has at least one extremely useful basic assembly that is fairly simple to find (Gatling Gun, Chainsword, Piercing Blade on that free Chainsaw, Elephant Gun as long as you have Shottyman, and the omnipresent Tactical Shotgun).

Meanwhile, pistols NEVER have an improved weapon drop, and their two basic assemblies are basically crap. Speedloaders look good on paper, and are decent if you are dual wielding, but with a single pistol you can simply equip an 10mm chain to accomplish the same thing without mods. This falls apart even further with Gun Kata, since you should never need to manually reload in any case (and Sharpshooter specifically blocks Dualgunner). Likewise, HP pistols are pretty bad since they take the biggest problem pistols have (frequent reloading) and make it worse by LOWERING your clips size (never understood using a Bulk mod to lower your clip size anyway). It's not until you can take a level of Whizkid and make yourself a Stormbolter that pistols finally get a weapon capable of keeping up with the other classes.

I'm not just ranting without reason. I'm aware KK is looking at ideas to work on in the next iteration of the game and I thought this specific issue needed to be addressed. Anyway, I can think of a couple of relatively simple fixes that might help ease the pain of trying to do an only pistols game.

First, what about making the Combat Pistol a guaranteed drop in Hell's Armory? It'd be simple enough to replace one of the weapons there with a guaranteed Combat Pistol, giving pistol users access to a better weapon right around the time they hit their Mastery and start looking for a good weapon to mod.

Second, maybe ease up on the trait requirements a bit for some of the Pistol masteries? Not the blocked stuff, I understand that is a balance issue. Instead, what if for instance Sharpshooter only required 3 SoG 2 EE and one additional trait? It would allow Technicians to either pick up some early defensive traits (Hellrunner or Ironman) OR start on their late game traits (also Hellrunner, but Whizkid if they want to mod stuff, Finesse if they want Juggler, or Intuition since they're taking Eagle Eye anyway). Not sure if you can really lighten up the other two, but being able to dual wield makes their early game a bit stronger before their Master trait anyway.

Last idea would be to improve the selection of basic Pistol assemblies. This could be as simple as changing how HP weapons effect clip size (isn't sacrificing two mods enough of an offset cost for this?) or as complicated as adding a few more basic assemblies that would be on par with the other basic assemblies. Specifically, if the Combat Pistol now always drops on Hell's Armory, an assembly that takes a Combat Pistol and two mods could be done, similar to the Tactical Shotgun. Maybe:

Tactical Pistol
Combat Pistol + AP

Damage:    4d3/4-12
Average Damage: 8.5
Damage Type:    Bullet
Accuracy:    +7
Base Fire Time:    1.0 second
Base Reload Time:    1.4 seconds
Clip Size:    15
Ammunition:    10mm ammo
Alternate Fire:    Aimed shot
Alternate Reload:    Dual reload
How to get it:    Combat Pistol +AP
Quote on pickup: Time to start a WAR

The result is slightly higher average damage, accuracy, and reload speed than a standard Combat pistol. The buff in stats is *slightly* more than if you'd simply AP modded a combat pistol (4d3 instead of 3d4 and .4 faster reload). The main problem would be it might be broken if further modded with a P mod, but I think that would still be less powerful than most modded shotguns.

Anyway, just thought I'd bounce some ideas around out here for whatever they're worth. I know I'm not super experienced at this game, but I've read thru the board extensively and these are common gripes. Hopefully something I've came up with here is helpful
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ZicherCZ

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 06:05 »

While you are right with the items, pistol guys are finely compensated with their traits. There is no better trait in terms of pure-DPS improvement that Son of a Gun - even with a basic pistol and SoG3, you get an average damage improvement from 5 to 8, while simultaneously firing time is reduced to 0.40s, i.e. two and a half faster shots. Average DPS is then increased from 5 to 20 - by the end of Hell Arena, you deal four times as much damage. And if you're a Technician, you start with a T-mod to reduce firing time even further (0.32s firing fime at SoG3).

The key to successful Sharpshooter is playing it smart and cautiously. As much as possible, stay out of situations where more then a single enemy can fire at you (obviously, level starts are generally the most dangerous situations). In an ideal case, you find a cornershooting camping spot and never leave it until all monsters on the level come to you. Sure, you will take some if a demon/HK/HB manages to get to melee range, but this doesn't happen all that often. In any case, a backup shotgun (preferably tactical or assault) is a very nice fallback weapon.

I do not have too much experience with either Bullet Dance or Gun Kata, but Sharpshooter is another matter. You'll have a hard time before you reach level 7, especially if you're unlucky with loot. But when Sharpshooter kicks in, you're in for a great lot of fun. The best thing about Sharpshooter is predictability - if you need three shots to kill one demon, you can be perfectly certain that you need three shots for another one. The only thing that makes a difference is armor - a hell baron with a duelist armor is a massive pain in the ass.

In my experience, When I played on UV and was lucky enough to find the Military Base rather then Phobos Lab, I had a near guarantee of grabbing MSs right in the Military Base. You'll also find a guaranteed power mod there, which further helps to improve damage.

And don't worry, even if the game is stingy with loot, even a basic pistol with the right mods can be powerful enough to carry you through the game. If you survive to get SoG5 on level 13, then even the most basic pistol deals 78 damage in half a second - enough to kill anything but the toughest bastards without need to reload.

And on the other side of the scale, there's what I call "White Death" - a P3B2 modded combat pistol. It's 3d6 [26/26] - in the hand of a Sharpshooter with SoG5 this means 230 DPS, or nearly 600 damage in two and a half seconds before you need to reload. If you're lucky enough to have UV Cybie generated right in your sight at the start of the level, he will not even have a chance to act - utterly priceless :).
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bolt_thundara

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 13:49 »



The key to successful Sharpshooter is playing it smart and cautiously. As much as possible, stay out of situations where more then a single enemy can fire at you (obviously, level starts are generally the most dangerous situations). In an ideal case, you find a cornershooting camping spot and never leave it until all monsters on the level come to you. Sure, you will take some if a demon/HK/HB manages to get to melee range, but this doesn't happen all that often. In any case, a backup shotgun (preferably tactical or assault) is a very nice fallback weapon.


That's actually another thing I'd like to talk about. Like, I'm not trying to criticize you, this game, or KK but this is a DOOM based game. Doom was all about kicking ass and chewing bubblegum, and Doomguy ran out of bubblegum on Phobos Base Entry. So why is it that the smart play for a Doom based game is to find a choke point and spend 48583568948928 ingame minutes for every former and demon to wander into LOS? I mean, I'm perfectly happy to keep being a sneaky ninja with a shotgun but it seems out of flavor for a Doom game.


And don't worry, even if the game is stingy with loot, even a basic pistol with the right mods can be powerful enough to carry you through the game. If you survive to get SoG5 on level 13, then even the most basic pistol deals 78 damage in half a second - enough to kill anything but the toughest bastards without need to reload.

And on the other side of the scale, there's what I call "White Death" - a P3B2 modded combat pistol. It's 3d6 [26/26] - in the hand of a Sharpshooter with SoG5 this means 230 DPS, or nearly 600 damage in two and a half seconds before you need to reload. If you're lucky enough to have UV Cybie generated right in your sight at the start of the level, he will not even have a chance to act - utterly priceless :).

This is a different issue with pistols. Pistols basically become the one-shot-everything-except-bosses combat style late game, but until late game they're kinda lackluster. Your win condition is "Survive over half the game and supermod a weapon". Compare that to the other styles, which hit their win conditions waaaaaaay sooner. For Shotguns it "survive until I get a Combat Shotgun and then never do anything stupid". For chain weapons its "clear two rounds of Hell Arena and don't run out of ammo". I mean, variety is the spice of life and all, but why should it be THAT MUCH HARDER with Pistols than with the other two ranged options? Of course, simply increasing the variety of pistol type weapons might be enough to fix that.
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 15:12 »

I agree with you about pistols.  Having terrible weapons and an insane related trait looks like a very bad solution, since it means both the trait and the weapons are useless when not used together.  I just hope JH will have that fixed.

About your bubblegum chewing runs... well, you can play gun kata (or even shottyhead xD) for that, but the real problem lies in the fact that fighting in the open just doesn't work (it's possible... to some extend, in lesser difficulties, but using covers is part of the game, and the problem is that combo'ed with waiting, it surpasses everything else.)
If you think this is boring, well.. first, you are right :D  Second... play AoRA !  (or N!, but personally, playing N! just makes me wait <in front of a door or fluid>, so it doesn't fix the cornershooting abuse at all.)
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bolt_thundara

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 15:59 »

Well, one thing for sure, I don't want the difficulty tuned down. This is a Rogue-like. You're SUPPOSED to die. Alot. Over and over. It just feels out of flavor for a Doom game to be so "sit and wait". Idk, I'm just bitching. I love the game just fine as it is as far as pacing.
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ZicherCZ

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2016, 01:37 »

Well, it's Doom the Roguelike. Playing a camping sniper surely is out of flavour for the "Doom" part - but not as much for the "Roguelike" part. Run and gun playstyle simply doesn't work really well with turn-based roguelikes.

Note that for the most part I only talked about Sharpshooter, which I simply envision as a sniper, who takes his spot and if something sticks its head out, it gets blown off. And it works like wonder - see here and here.

If you wish more of "Doom" feeling, Bullet Dance and Gun Kata are much more straightforward builds, and even as a Technician you still can go masterless and pick whatever you want.
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bolt_thundara

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 03:46 »

Yeah, I finished my MAD run in my other topic and am now trying to set up a Sharpshooter run, before eventually doing *some* sort of Scout run for the first time (maybe a Cateye run to complete the Trifecta). I'd love to hear some good advice over there, since I am CONSISTENTLY getting my ass handed to me sometime right after Anomaly (assuming the run doesn't end in the first 10 minutes, of course). I'd rather keep this topic for discussion on fixing pistols rather than strategy tho.

I, in fact, tried Bullet Dance quite a bit several years ago but was never able to get that type of run going successfully. I intend to eventually try all three weapon mastery types with each class. Gunrunner, Fire Angel, and Ammochain all three look interesting in different ways. I'm holding off on melee builds until I suck less.
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Shadowfury333

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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 17:41 »

I'm still of the opinion that having a flinching mechanic when hitting enemies would go a long way to improving the viability of run and gun, but overall I figure I'll just re-iterate that if you want to use pistols in a run-and-gun style, go for Gun Kata. The trick I've found with it is to run (as in hit Tab to enter run state) a lot, especially early on, since that often lets you get the jump on enemies so that SoG3+DG DPS can really work its magic (I typically go SoG-SoG-SoG-DG-HR-HR-DM-MGK). I don't know how viable it is in UV, and from what I've heard it isn't (too many enemies to effectively dodge, thus my flinch-on-hit suggestion), though in my own experience it is quite viable in HMP and below. Also, speedloader pistols are better than they seem, since while reload on kill is a thing, it's not a thing until you get MGK, and even then its only a thing if you kill in one clip, and you aren't going to be doing that in a boss battle or against lone tanky enemies.

I'm really not sure what Bullet Dance gets you other than a lot of reloading, and while Sharpshooter is considered the best pistol trait, you are going to be popping from cover to shoot a lot.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 17:44 by Shadowfury333 »
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Re: Man, pistols really are hard mode for this game.
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 03:52 »

My comments in no particular order:

I agree that a guaranteed Combat Pistol could be a welcome addition to the game and Hell's Armory/Deimos Lab would be a good place to put it.

I really like the idea of a flinching mechanic to improve the player's ability to fight in the open.  (That could be the game mechanic that replaces corner-shooting!)  :D  Of course, play-balancing this new mechanic would be a nightmare, so I doubt we'd see it introduced in a new version of DoomRL...  Hmm...  Jupiter Hell, maybe?  :)

Gun Kata is a fun build that I think is underrated.  (In some ways, I prefer it over Sharpshooter)  Bullet Dance, however, is total crap IMO.  You use up your bullets faster, which means more frequent reloading, (and frequent reloading is already a big drawback for pistol builds) and the fact that Eagle Eye is blocked means that more of those shots are going to miss.  (And the fact that HR and Brute are blocked hinders a lot of alternative strategies)  I wouldn't make any changes to Gun Kata or Sharpshooter, but I think Bullet Dance needs some adjustment.

As for new assemblies, the makers of the ZDoom mod, DoomRL Arsenal (seen here) had some neat ideas for new weapons and assemblies.  It's been a while since I played, but a couple that stand out in my memory are the Revolver, basic assembly for the pistol that has slower firing speed and reloading, but higher damage and accuracy, and the Mini-Missle Pistol, an advanced assembly for the Handcannon weapon that is sort of a pistol version of the Micro Launcher.
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