CIU weapon balance program - Part 2: Neutron Gun & Utensil Poker

Hi, I am galbatorix and this is my CIU weapon balance program in which I talk about current issues with weapon balance and I propose solutions for them. More info about what my deal is you can find in my original post: CIU weapon balance program by galbatorix I strongly suggest checking it out, if you haven’t seen it yet, so you will fully understand what my goal is. Today I want to talk about two weapons: Neutron Gun and Utensil Poker.

At the moment Utensil Poker and Neutron Gun are unarguably the best weapons for hard+ difficulty missions. It is mainly because they are far ahead of any other gun in the game in terms of dps. In fact, they are the only weapons that are viable to use on elite missions. (Only other weapons that can kinda be used on elite are Vulcan Chaingun and Corn Shotgun, but they are signigicantly worse than Neutron and Utensil) Because of that, Neutron Gun and Utensil Poker are my “standard weapon model” for the balance changes. I want to buff other guns to compete with NG and UP, not nerf those 2(on high power levels). But even though at the moment those 2 weapons are the best in the game, they still have a number of issues that should be adressed in my opinion. Let’s start with Neutron Gun.

  1. Despite being 2nd best weapon in the game in terms of dps, Neutron Gun is still inferior to Utensil Poker. Especially on the lower power levels.

  2. Neutron Gun has very weird power transitions on levels 0-4. Some transitions are huge (2->3 has 1950 dps difference) Some are so small that they are barely an improvement (1->2 has 325 dps difference)

As you see, Neutron Gun is pretty fine and it doesn’t require drastic changes. However, it is worth to note, that even small “quality of life” fixes and improvements can do a really big difference in the player experience. With NG’s issues adressed, let’s go to the Utensil Poker.

  1. Just like Ion Blaster, Utensil Poker has a useless power transition on levels 2->3.

  2. It is the best weapon on all power levels. As I have already stated, high power performance of Utensil is not a problem, in this case problem lays in underperformance of other weapons. However, Utensil Poker is insanely strong on low power levels too, what makes it the best, easiest to use and most forgiving weapon for all situations possible. (For examlpe: UP power level 5 has a higher dmg output than Max powered Ion Blaster) This is also a cause of huge gap between Neutron Gun and Utensil before level 9.

So let’s start with Neutron Gun and issues number 1 and 2. In order to fix them I suggest the following steps:

  • Buff medium projectile dmg from 300 to 350.

  • Buff strong projectile dmg from 500 to 550.

  • Add 1 more weak projectile to the lvl 2 volley of Neutron Gun.

Such changes would even out dps transitions on low power levels and it would give Neutron Gun little more firepower in general to make gap between it and Utensil Poker a bit smaller and to make it deal significantly more dmg than Ion Blaster rework I talked about in my latest post.

With Neutron Gun changes out of the way, it’s time to adress Utensil Poker and issues number 3 & 4. To fix those I suggest following steps:

  • Nerf weak projectile dmg from 300 to 200.

  • Nerf strong projectile dmg from 450 to 400.

  • Increase time to overheat from 9s to 10s. (To give it different advantage over Neutron Gun, when DPS gap is smaller)

  • Remove current power level 3 volley.

  • Move volleys of power levels 4-max on power levels 3-10.

  • Replace weak projectiles of current max power volley with strong projectiles.


Such changes would fix the useless power upgrade and nerf Utensil Poker’s low power levels, while leaving its high power levels untouched. (Volleys change but dps difference is unnoticable on 9, 10 and max) After such changes, UP would still be very good weapon on lower power levels, just not as insanely strong as it is now. Dps gap between it and Neutron Gun would also be smaller. In general, it would leave Utensil Poker as the best weapon for Elite missions, but it would make it less forgiving when player dies a lot. (Just as forgiving as other guns are atm) Here You can see the end result of proposed changes:




To summarize, I think that Neutron Gun and Utensil Poker can be improved by:

  • Buffing Neutron Gun’s medium projectile dmg from 300 to 350.

  • Buffing Neutron Gun’s strong projectile dmg from 500 to 550.

  • Adding 1 more weak projectile to the lvl 2 volley of Neutron Gun.

  • Nerfing Utensil Poker’s weak projectile dmg from 300 to 200.

  • Nerfing Utensil Poker’s strong projectile dmg from 450 to 400.

  • Buffing Utensil Poker’s time to overheat from 9 seconds to 10 seconds.

  • Removing current power level 3 volley of Utensil Poker. Moving volleys of power levels 4-max on power levels 3-10 and replacing weak projectiles of current max power volley with strong projectiles.

Such changes would:

  • Remove Utensil Poker’s useless power up from lvl 2 to lvl 3. (Problem nr 3 solved)

  • Even out Neutron Gun’s power transitions on levels 0-4.(Problem nr 2 solved)

  • Make dps gap between Neutron Gun and Utensil Poker smaller. (Problem nr 1 solved)

  • Make Utensil Poker less powerful on low power levels, while leaving its high power performance untouched. (Problem nr 4 solved)

So yea, that’s it for now. Remember to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you think, that I forgot about something, or you have a different idea, feel free to tell me. I am interested in all kinds of feedback. Soon I will make a post about next weapon, so stay tuned.
You can also check out my previous post, in which i talk about Ion Blaster. CIU weapon balance program - Part 1: Ion Blaster

13 Likes

Can I contact you when I’ll be developing my game (not that it will happen fast)? I love reading your weapon balance posts.

2 Likes

Of course. If you have discord, you can add me there. 1galbatorix1 #3704

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Well… No comment
Is a very good balancement
Nothing to say more

I would like to see on part 3 your vew on the lasers (lighting fryer, plasma rifle and position steam)

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This is really nice, the propopsed change made those damage smoothly increase

I think I will include beam weapons in the part 4. Auto-locking beam weapons are pretty difficult to balance properly. I have an idea what to do with plasma rifle, but have to work a bit more on the other two. Lightning Fryer is so broken atm that I will have to redesign it from a scratch, and unfortunately it takes a lot of time. And right now I am not sure what exactly I want to do with Positron Stream… Part 3 is probably going to be about Laser Cannon, maybe I will add Plasma Rifle to it, since Plasma Rifle has more in common with Laser Cannon than with other auto-locking beams. What I can say for sure is that post about beams will be made before Photon Swarm, Riddler, machine guns and Corn Shotgun.

Anyways, if anyone has some ideas how to make Positron Stream more interesting to use, let me know. I have a hard time figuring out what to do with this particular gun… One thing is sure tho, its horrible now xD

That was one of my goals. It actually didn’t take long to figure out how to get this result for Neutron Gun. In case of Utensil Poker it almost came as a “side effect” when balancing dps and useless power upgrade.

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