CIU weapon balance program - Part 3: Plasma Rifle & Positron Stream

The weapon has a higher manual rate of fire (6.5/s) compared to automatic (5/s). This means that firing it manually gives a higher damage output, on top of overheating slower. The overheat time of 15s that @1galbatorix1 gave (and the one listed on the wiki) is for manual fire, which is how the weapon is used. This is also what he meant by “visual design of Plasma Rifle doesn’t match its gameplay”.

This only further encourages using manual fire over automatic.

I gotta be honest, I have no idea how you managed to miss this.


Again, I’m unclear.

Plasma was designed as continuous fire weapon, not manual (single-shot). Given the numbers, there is indeed a damage advantage to firing manually (originally unintentional, but tolerated the justification behind this is that manual firing requires more effort, so advantages like lower overhearing or feather pushing are a reasonable trade-off. I’m aware that the whole “requires more effort” argument is nullified by auto-clickers, but steps will be taken to limit their use).

If any change is going to be made at all, it will be to reduce the manual firing rate – it will not be to make the weapon function better as single-shot.


In that case, may I suggest simply swapping the manual and automatic firerates and turning the overheat down a bit to compensate for the additional 1.5/s?

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Reduce the manual fire rate to 3/s, but Increase the auto-fire rate to 6/s. That would work.
Perhaps reduce it’s overheat rate as well?

Or we could just keep it the same ol’ plasma firerate, otherwise people would say it’s too underpowered due to the lowered manual fire rate.


I wonder how many players even use it the intended way


If we want to increase the automatic firing rate, we need to buff the overheat time to like 15 seconds or something

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I don’t think that’s necessary, it’ll basically never overheat.


Then let’s just keep the current fire-rate. It’s probably better like that


Yeah, that’s the problem - nobody is going to use it like that so long as manual firing is better. People who don’t like manual fire as much are probably going to resort to simply using different weapons. That said:

If the manual fire rate was equalized with or made weaker than the automatic rate (essentially nullifying the difference) I’d be on board with that.
The changes GgWw and BoredCelestial proposed would also have a similar effect.

As for Positron…

This makes absolutely no sense to me yet.

I love it and want to use it.



Don’t you dislike that it overheats way too fast? And its automatic fire rate doesn’t compensate for that.


Yes, it’s very annoying.

Yeah, the thing is. Nobody will ever use this weapon as intended, as long as its stats are the way they are right now. IMO saying that manual firing requires more effort is kinda a stretch. The difference is negligible, because instead of holding the button, you simply spam it. On the other hand, manually fired Plasma Rifle does significantly more damage, but also almost never overheats.

In community of veteran/experienced players, PR is accepted as 100% manual weapon, because it’s used almost exclusively in this way. That’s why I used manual overheat time in my calculations. Automatic is kinda irrelevant right now. And thanks to huge overheat time when fired manually, unintentionally getting this weapon to overheat is something, that almost never happens.

That’s what I meant by “gameplay doesn’t match the visuals”. Plasma Rifle was intended to be an automatic weapon, but every single characteristic of it screams “manual”. The only exception is the visual design. So we basically have the weapon with identity crysis. Works like autoaim Laser Cannon, but looks like Positron Stream. My idea was basically “making manual Plasma Rifle official”, so it no longer looks like automatic weapon, but what it really is.

But if you want to keep it as automatic weapon (This would pretty much mean an entirely new weapon for majority of playerbase.), you really have to adress the gameplay design of this weapon in a way, that makes it worth to use this weapon automatically. As long as it works like it works right now, everyone will be using it as a manual one.


Well that’s a brand new sentence right there thanks for the giggle


I’d like to suggest something else. Manual firing on the following weapons can be done as fast or faster than automatic fire:

  • Ion Blaster
  • Neutron Gun
  • Laser Cannon
  • Lightning Fryer – this is a special case because chaining needs to be charged with auto-fire. Manual firing is still better on single targets.
  • Plasma Rifle
  • Utensil Poker
  • Photon Swarm (at low power)
  • Hypergun (at low power)
  • Riddler
  • Corn Shotgun

Normally this wouldn’t yield any advantage other than a potential increase in fire rate, but there is one other thing that is a huge incentive for clicking manually: the weapons overheat far less. Some of them don’t ever overheat at the maximum possible manual fire rate.

Why is it that a shot fired while holding down the trigger generates more heat than one fired from a single click? Decide on a single value for heat generation and keep it constant regardless of how the player fires the shot.

Plasma Rifle may be intended to be a fast overheat weapon but players are circumventing the design by using manual fire. If that would generate as much heat as automatic fire, the strategy becomes far less viable.

I take it that this heat mechanic was implemented due to an assumption that most players, especially new ones, will fire automatically and not manually? So the idea was to give players who put in the extra effort of spam-clicking an added benefit? I don’t know if that works the intended way, I’d need some statistics to see how many people actually fire automatically while using the aforementioned weapons, and if they are few, then it means nearly everyone takes advantage of this heat reduction.

It’s not something like a pro technique or a high-risk strategy, firing manually with the appropriate weapons is a basic skill that every player should acquire after their first few missions. It doesn’t make sense to give those that don’t know about that and just hold down the trigger every time a disadvantage in the form of faster overheat.


I’d prefer to see this myself, actually - especially with the “splitting” rework Positron is getting (although I still can’t quite grasp what that looks like) meaning that we no longer have an auto single-beam weapon.

But tbh the “Identity Crisis” description sums it up perfectly at the moment and needs to be addressed…


Perhaps we could do something like what Galbatorix did for machine guns – Hypergun is “the basic one”, Vulcan spreads as you overheat, Boron (if these changes are implemented) would get stronger as it overheats and Moron would be the newbie gun.

Plasma Rifle could simply remain the basic beam, Lightning Fryer - chaining weapon, Positron Stream - splitting weapon.


I’ve reduced the manual rate to match the automatic firing rate. We’ll re-evaluate from here.

Note that manual firing is still better in terms of heat – just not in terms of damage any more. I think the “manual firing generates less heat” is crucial for encouraging manual fire.


Well, it will certainly do that.

But that said, the change sounds like it may have done the trick and I am excited to play with it and share my thoughts.

Honestly, I find the slower manual rate quite awkward to use… Maybe give it it’s original fire rate when it hits max power?