CIU weapon balance program - Part 4: Photon Swarm

Yeah, fair. And to be honeſt, I’ve been treating it in the ſame manner.

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I am sorry that this part turned out this way. I really wanted to avoid getting into all this RNG stuff, but since it was brought up I felt obligated to explain everything step by step. About lack of pictures… well, it’s basically math and math is kinda hard to depict. Especially in case of the probabilities.

I think it’s high time to end this discussion, because you guys are starting to get annoyed by this. I’ve already said more than I initially wanted to. At least I have some good news. Next parts aren’t going to include any similar mechanics, so this “assignment from school” shouldn’t happen again.

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Nah, I’m not annoyed; there aren’t penalties for not finiſhing the project (or ſtarting it, as the caſe may be).

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If we must go with visual change in Photon Swarm I would rather prefer pre-made pattern. It seems more stable for some reason. But yeah, would be good to test it in the game.

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Yeah, about that.

I just had to post this.

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At least with Heavy Bomber it actually has kinda viable damage XD

About Heavy Bomber tho… The release of this spacecraft makes my older calculations kinda pointless, because of how its volleys are generated. I cannot see any pattern between different weapons. It is a killing machine with certain guns (Vulcan Chaingun , Plasma Rifle), but other guns (Lightning Fryer) are as useless as they were before.

If it stays as it is right now, there will be no point in continuing WBP to be honest, so I am concidering cancelation of the project. My older posts just became obsolete, and I don’t have enough time to redesign everything once again. I will wait and see how things evolve (how community responds to the Bomber etc.), but for now WBP goes on hiatus until further notice.

Tbh, utensil poker pisses me more, because of eggs.

Weapon balancing should only be done on ‘standard’ single-weapon spacecraft. The heavy bombers should be ignored. Their algorithm of splitting/assigning firepower to their weapon banks may or may not change in the future. Either way, their firepower advantage comes at a heavy price, so it’s mostly a gamestyle choice rather than a weapon choice.

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It’s not the firepower advantage with a cost of worse manouverability that is a problem. I see an issue with the fact that this advantage is very unequal amongst various weapons. For example, plasma rifle gets huge boost with what feels like almost 2 two times the original damage. Lightning Fryer on the other hands feels like it didn’t get any boost whatsoever. In fact, on some power levels it is actually worse. On heavy bomber lvl 12, lighting fryer has less damage than on standard lvl 10. On levels 7 and 8 it is also weaker than normal(I didn’t test other levels).

Various weapons react differently to the heavy bomber so I can’t really predict what will happen if I balance the weapons for standard spaceship. If weapons were balanced ONLY for standard spaceship, we would end up with the same situation, but on the Heavy Bomber. That’s why I am going to wait and see what is going to happen with new spaceship.

If every weapon reacted the same way when used in Heavy Bomber, there wouldn’t be any problem. (+50% dmg buff, or doubling the volleys for all guns wouldn’t break anything.) Right now some weapons get huge advantage, while others get very little, balancing everything only for the standard spaceship would make the guns that get huge advantage completely overpowered compared to others on Heavy Bomber. So yeaa, in such scenario balancing everything only for the standard ship is kinda pointless.

I actually just finished making a spreadsheet that shows normal :zap:10 damage per volley compared with :zap:10 on the BX-9. Not a lot of information, but I think it’s enough to point out at least a part of the problem.
To sum it up:

  • Ion Blaster has the same damage output
  • Riddler has a slight boost in damage but it’s so inaccurate that it’s actually heavily nerfed
  • Neutron Gun, Laser Cannon and Lightning Fryer deal less damage on the BX-9 than on the fighters

Bare in mind that this only takes :zap:10 into account.
I could try to figure out all other power levels but I honestly can’t be bothered. Especially if each bomber has different power levels.

Actually, does each bomber have different patterns, or is the max power level just higher on the heavier ones?

Not gonna lie, the way Heavy Bomber generates volleys is a total mess.

Why not simple +% damage boost or simply doubling the volleys? Such solutions would affect all guns in the same way and would be probably even easier to implement.

But would alſo be leſs intereſting from a gameplay point of veiw.

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Don’t stop, and it is NOT pointless.

About heavy bomber, can we just ignore it first? It’s a new problem, but that would be even worse if the older problems haven’t been fixed (weapons).

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Here’s an idea,

  • Heavy bomber will follow the same attack in firepower 0-10 as the normal soaceships have.
  • Then it starts having its own unique firepower from 12, 14, 16, 18, and so on.
  • You got more charity if using heavy bomber
  • Extended starting firepower for heavy bomber (12 instead of 8)

Ouch.

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That is stupid.

What’s wrong? I just tried to simplify those things.

It’s pretty hard to balance, except you just multiply their firing rate, bullet per volley, damage or whatsoever. But that will double or even more the gaps among them.

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Any form of multiplier would indeed double the gaps, but only if we take absolute damage value into account. But the relative difference between two weapons is still the same. Let’s say that we have 2 guns. one deals 2000 dps, other deals 3000, so the dps gap is 1000, second gun is 50% stonger than the first one. Now if we multiply the damage 2 times, we get 4000(2000 times 2) dps and 6000(3000 times 2) dps. In such scenario, absolute damage gap is indeed doubled. (6000-4000=2000), but the relative difference is still 50% (2000 x 150% = 3000 | 4000 x 150% = 6000), so the balance is still intact.

It’s worth to note, that relative % difference is much more important than how big the absolute damage gap between two weapons is.

Anyways, I am thinking about how the Bomber problem could be solved, but right now, every solution I come up with involves either having the same power levels on 0-10, or some form of damage multiplier(direct or indirect) that leaves 10 and 20 as two highest power levels. Anything else leads me back to the “volleys of every weapon must be designed for a bomber from a scratch”. Idk what to think about it.

I totally agree with this. It’s nice to finally see new bullet patterns for all the weapons after constantly using the same ones over and over again.

I think that, first of all, we should talk about the way the bombers currently handle the additional power levels and whether or not this part of the system needs changing.

The BX-6’s max power level is :zap:23. The pre-max level gap starts at :zap:13, meaning it gets no upgrades on :zap:14-22.

I tested the power levels on the BX-6 and the BX-9 with the Laser Cannon and I think I figured out how the firepower increases between the ships.

The power levels follow a linear progression until they reach the pre-max level gap. In case of the Laser Cannon, the increases usually involve adding/upgrading two beams, to which I’ll refer as a single step. This means that, for example, the difference in DPV between :zap:8 and :zap:9 is 200 damage. When max power is reached, one step is skipped, increasing the gap to 400 damage.

The difference between the bombers is that the heavier ones start their pre-max level gap one power level later. So the BX-7 starts it at :zap:14 and maxes out at :zap:24. And so on.

If we decide that the current power level progression system is okay, then we can get on to the balancing.


This is the current power progression of the Laser Cannon. On the standard fighters the Laser Cannon’s DPV increases by 100 damage until :zap:4 where it increases by 200. On the BX series it only does so at :zap:7, which is what makes it weaker on :zap:5-10 compared to the standard version.

The way we can fix this is:

  1. Move levels from :zap:6 onwards one level back to introduce the 200 damage jump on :zap:5.
  2. Generate new penultimate and ultimate power levels based on the same pattern of steps.
  3. Rework levels :zap:1-4 by adding a single beam in the middle of the :zap:0 pattern and increasing its power (DPV stays the same, but I think it transitions better into the new :zap:5).

From left to right: :zap:1-4. I made them asymmetrical just because why not.
laserzap1 laserzap2 laserzap3 laserzap4

So now we fixed the issue of it being too weak on some power levels. If we’d now apply the damage changes proposed in CIU weapon balance program - Part 5: Laser Cannon we’d get this:

It’s not perfect (:zap:4-10 stays the same as on the fighters despite every other power level being stronger), but it sure as hell is better than what we’re dealing with now.

Feedback would be highly appreciated.

[edit] Actually, introducing the 200 damage jump on :zap:4 instead of :zap:5 would fix the last issue (maybe), but I’m really sick of looking at spreadsheets for today.

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