# CIU weapon balance program - Part 4: Photon Swarm

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 23. The pre-max level gap starts at 13, meaning it gets no upgrades on 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 8 and 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 14 and maxes out at 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 4 where it increases by 200. On the BX series it only does so at 7, which is what makes it weaker on 5-10 compared to the standard version.

The way we can fix this is:

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

From left to right: 1-4. I made them asymmetrical just because why not.

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 (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.

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

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Based on what IA said, if your calculations are implemented, not just normal spaceship weapons have better and smooth linear damage growth, but also affects bomber’s linearly.

So keep going @1galbatorix

Update on WBP:

I see that my project is quite popular on the forum and that there is a solid demand for next parts. Because of that, and few conversations I had with some people, I decided to not cancel WBP. Heavy Bomber is still a serious problem, but for now I will finish the weapon balance for the fighters. After that, we can think about what to do with a bomber. I belive it may be easy to fix, once weapons are correctly balanced around the fighters.

Few hours ago I finished redesigining stats for two last weapons (Corn Shotgun and Lightning Fryer). This means, that I have all the numbers and graphs ready. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to post as frequently as I used to, because writing the posts itself is very time consuming and lately I don’t have that much free time. (I know that I didn’t post that often anyways, but writing WBP is much more time consuming that you might think.)

I also made a roadmap what to expect next.(This may change, but it’s what I have in mind now.)

• Part 6: Riddler
• Part 7: Hypergun & Vulcan Chaingun
• Part 8: Boron & Moron
• Part 9: Corn Shotgun
• Part 10: Lightning Fryer
• Part 11/ summary post in wich I talk about WBP and balance in general and about other gun features that should changed, but are not specific to any weapon.
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Cool to see!
(Sadly my favorite weapon is the last)
Did you considered popcorns on overheat for corn shotgun?

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Yes, I did

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Sounds like a plan to me

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Me: sees that topic was opened and that photon will probably be rebalanced
Also me:

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Or you could wait for IA to state the actual changes instead of speculating…

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IA: destroying weapon charts circa 2018-2020

All I want is to get more visibilty, otherwise my poor BX is gonna self-destruct. This rebalance is perhaps the most hype-inducing one for me lol (yes my favourite weapon is photon dont judge me pls)

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Speculating and essentially repeating what the original post says.

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I’m not sure if the firerate changes will be possible since the game treats this as “fire every 0.0X seconds”

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Photon Swarm might be my new favorite weapon after this…

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I’ve added a limited homing ability. This is something I’ve wanted to put in the game since CI3, but technical limitations prevented me from doing so. The main issues were that deforming is very expensive and that that homing projectiles require a lot of network bandwidth. Luckily, CIU doesn’t have multiplayer games (yet), so let’s sweep that problem under the rug for now.

The main problem was incorporating the strong projectiles mixed in with the weak projectiles, because combined with the increased fire rate made the DPS curve shoot way up for the last few levels. So I had to temper that by increasing the fire rate inverse-quadratically rather than linearly (so most of the increase happens in the earlier power levels, and less in the later ones because those are also helped by the strong projectile mix-in).

Anyway, this meant that most of the suggestions above aren’t applicable any longer and I eventually decided to work on a clean slate. Other points:

• It’s perfectly fine to have better manual performance at low power levels, but as the auto fire rate rises, auto takes over. This is intended.
• The problem with any auto-firing weapon is that it can’t be boosted by manual fire at high power levels (such as e.g. Utensil or Neutron can). So you have to give it some extra DPS to compensate, but without making it overwhelmingly better than auto Utensil/Neutron. In other words, trying to balance it against manual Utensil or Neutron will make it vastly superior to any other auto DPS. And, believe it or not, auto is how 90% of non-expert players play.
• I’m uncertain about how much homing ability “is worth” during actual gameplay (i.e., how much DPS players would be willing to sacrifice to have that ability). Try it out and let me know.

• Projectiles home-in on targets (strong projectile has greater homing ability).
• Heat generated and firing rate now follow inverse-quadratic rather than linear progression.
• Power level 3 is now equivalent between auto and manual fire.
• Overheat time @ power 10 increased to 10 s (from 3.8s)
• Projectile damage: 100/170
• Strong projectile appearance: 10% @ 6, 20% @ 7, 30% @ 8, 40% @ 9, 50% @ 10, 100% @ 20.
• 25% thinner weaker projectiles, 15% thinner strong projectiles
• Projectiles are now more translucent

Heat (0-10 power): 0.100 0.085 0.072 0.060 0.050 0.042 0.034 0.029 0.025 0.023 0.022 0.022
Firing (auto) period (in s): 0.250 0.212 0.178 0.147 0.121 0.099 0.081 0.067 0.057 0.051 0.049 0.049

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