CIU weapon balance program - Part 8: Boron & Moron Railgun

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 Boron Railgun and its newbie counterpart, Moron Railgun.

Boron Railgun was first introduced in 4th episode of Chicken Invaders as a replacement for CI3’s Vulcan Chaingun. Just like other machine guns right now, it is severely underperforming in CIU. On top of insufficient damage output, Boron Railgun also has number of other problems. As always, in my post i am going to present my thoughts on how it could be fixed. The issues with Boron Railgun are:

  1. Its damage output is horribly low. Damage-wise Boron Railgun is outperformed by almost every other weapon in the game.

  2. On certain power levels Boron Railgun is actually worse than Moron Railgun, which is supposed to be weaker version of Boron for starters.

  3. Boron Railgun is the only weapon with additional power level on 11 :zap:. It serves no purpose, but makes Boron Railgun significantly harder to balance. Especially if more things similar to Heavy Bomber’s volley generation were added in the future.

  4. Boron Railgun is too similar to other machine guns in the game. Especially Hypergun that functions pretty much like Boron Railgun’s reskin. Gameplay difference between those two guns is hard to define right now.

As you see, there are some things regarding Boron Railgun, that need attention. However, Moron Railgun unlike his “stronger counterpart” serves its purpose pretty well as a weak starter weapon, so it doesn’t have to be changed. There are few cases in which some other weapons are even weaker than Moron Railgun, but it’s rather because those weapons are too weak, not that Moron Railgun is too strong. That said, I think that Moron Railgun can be changed a bit to prevent such things from happening in the future.

Let’s go back to the Boron Railgun and its issue nr 3: unnecesary additional power level at 11 :zap:. I suggest dealing with that in the following way:

  • Remove 11 power level completely.

  • Replace lvl 10 volley with lvl 11 volley.

Such simple change would basically move current power lvl 11 on lvl 10. It may seem unnecessary, or unimportant, but having all weapons follow the same structure of power progression can profit in the future. For example, if some new feature regarding weapons’ power levels is added, having one gun with more power levels than the others may break things a bit and of course we want to avoid that.

With issue nr 3 covered it’s time to deal with problems nr 1 & 4: Boron Railgun’s insufficient damage and the fact that it is unoriginal and too similar to other machine guns in the game. To deal with those two problems I have come up with a mini-rework for Boron Railgun that includes highly requested “overheat based damage modifier” feature. I suggest to do such mini-rework in a following way:

  • Increase medium projectile’s damage from 100 to 120.

  • Increase strong projectile’s damage from 150 to 160.

  • Change overheat time to 9 seconds on all power levels. (When fired atomatically)

  • Add overheat based damage modifier: Between 0% and 80% heat the closer Boron Railgun is to overheating, the more damage its projectiles do. Max damage modifier is 2,5 times the original value. Between 80% and 100% heat, damage doesn’t change and stays at 2,5 times the original value.

  • Add overheat based visual effect: At 0% heat, Boron Railgun’s projectiles are red. Between 0% and 80% heat the color slowly changes to bright yellow(similar to what current Boron’s color is). Between 80% and 100% heat color stays the same.

Below you can see how damage and projectile color would change:

Such mini-rework should make Boron Railgun a really powerful, but also skill requiring weapon. Being able to deal up to 20400 DPS, it would become the weapon with the highest firepower in the game. However to effectively use that insane firepower, player would have to watch heat meter very carefully to not let weapon heat reach 100% or drop below 80%. After such changes, Boron Railgun would be excellent for very skilled players that want to maximize their damage output by using wepon that is more difficult to use than others. However for more casual players, Boron Railgun would still be probably a viable choice. Keeping heat bar just above 50% should provide enough firepower for Boron Railgun to be useful all-purpose weapon. On top of that, such rework would make Boron Railgun more distinguishable from other machine guns, and a more unique weapon in general.

It is also worth to note, that thanks to heat based damage modifier, such rework would make Boron Railgun the first weapon that doesn’t benefit from reseting heat bar. So to prevent any unpleasant interactions with some game mechanics I suggest additional changes:

  • Picking up atomic powerup when using Boron Railgun, sets heat meter to 50% instead of 0%.

  • Picking up Boron Railgun’s gift when already using this weapon, sets heat meter to 50% instead of 0%.

  • When overheating Boron Railgun with Coolant Canister , heat meter is set to 50% instead of 0%.(Optional, but It would give some benefit from Coolant Canister for Boron Railgun’s users)

On top of preventing unpleasant interactions with other gameplay elements, such changes could also make it easier for new players to understand how this gun is supposed to be used. (In case they don’t read Boron’s description in the shop.)

All that should make a Boron Railgun objectively better weapon than Moron Railgun, so the problem 2 would probably fix itself. However, I think that we can change Moron Railgun in such way, that it will prevent this problem from ever emerging, even if Boron Railgun was significantly nerfed later. My suggestion is simple, but should be very effective. I think that Moron Railgun can be improved in the following way:

  • Make Moron Railgun the same thing as reworked Boron Railgun, except the color of projectiles and damage do not change as the heat level rises, there is no special power level at 20 :zap:, there is no gift and atomic powerup sets the overheat bar to 0%.

Making Moron Railgun literally a worse version of Boron Railgun isn’t really mandatory, but guarantees that no matter what happens to Boron Railgun, it will be always a better choice than its weaker counterpart for starters. And there is also a little bonus: After such change, Moron Railgun would perform identically to Boron Railgun used improperly, constantly around 0% heat. So basically it would be just as good as Boron Railgun used by a moron :wink:

Here you can see results of all proposed changes:

To summarize, I think that Boron Railgun could be improved by:

  • Removing its 11 power level completely and replacing lvl 10 volley with current lvl 11 volley.

  • Increasing damage of medium projectile from 100 to 120.

  • Increasing damage of strong projectile from 150 to 160.

  • Changing overheat time to 9 seconds on all power levels when fired automatically.

  • Adding heat based damage modifier: Between 0% and 80% heat the closer Boron Railgun is to overheating, the more damage its projectiles do. Max damage modifier is 2,5 times the original value. Between 80% and 100% heat, damage doesn’t change and stays at 2,5 times the original value.

  • Adding heat based visual effect: At 0% heat, Boron Railgun’s projectiles are red. Between 0% and 80% heat the color slowly changes to bright yellow(similar to what current Boron’s color is). Between 80% and 100% heat color stays the same.

  • Making atomic powerups set heat to 50% instead of 0% when using Boron Railgun.

  • Making Boron Railgun gifts set heat to 50% instead of 0% when using Boron Railgun.

  • Making Coolant Canister set heat to 50% instead of 0% when overheating Boron Railgun.(Optional, but worth discussing)

And Moron Railgun could be improved by:

  • Making it a copy of Boron Railgun without any heat realted features(damage increase, projectile color change, firepower & coolant canister setting heat to 50%) , without gift and without special power level at 20 :zap:.

Such changes would:

  • Remove Boron Railgun’s additional power level at 11 :zap:.(Problem nr 3 solved)

  • Make Boron Railgun a very powerful, but also skill requiring weapon, that is unique and different from other machine guns gameplay-wise. (Problems nr 1 & 4 solved)

  • Prevent Moron Railgun from being stronger than Boron Railgun on some power levels. (Problem nr 2 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 posts:

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PS: Overheat based damage increase was probably the most requested feature by the community since I started the WBP. People suggested it for many weapons, but at some point I said that I want to give it to Boron Railgun, because I have a big reason for this. The reason is the real-life heat colors and how well they fit both guns. Weak Moron Railgun being red and strong Boron Railgun being bright yellow ideally matches how real heated metal changes color.

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Heavy bomber never reaches even 10 power. It only goes as far as 2 pillars with 9 firepower at 26 firepower,so whether or not power level 11 gets moved to 10 or not doesn’t affect this ship,at all.
But everything else is fine. Great post,as always

I know, I meant things similar to Heavy Bomber’s volley generation that may come in the future. (I elaborated later on that.) I will edit that part to not cause any confusion.

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Yeah,sorry,I know I’m nitpicking on little details.

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Regarding the irregular amount of power levels, I remember iA saying that future weapons could also have more/less power levels than the standard 12

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No need to be sorry. Even small mistakes and problems should be fixed. I want my posts to be as quality as it’s possible, so if you find anything like this in the future, remember to let me know.

I know that and here I briefly explained why I think it is a bad idea. I think I will elaborate on that in my final post too.

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So the new Boron is the opposte of Universe Vulcan.I like it. In my opinion more weapons should have changes based on the heating mechanic. It gives more “usfulness” to one of the best features in the game!

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You spelled “most annoying” wrong.

Apparently opinions on that vary wildly XD

Don’t worry, someday you will see corn shotgun shoots popcorns as the heat increases, if my idea is implemented.

Based on @1galbatorix1’s idea to make boron railgun has special effect (in this case damage depends on heat level) while its noob version doesn’t, I think it would be great if more (if every is not possible) weapons have special effect too and have their noob counterparts that don’t have any.

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Hmmm idk about that. Don’t you think that having one “noob gun” is enough?

Though I don’t know,maybe a mechanic other than overheat could be introduced for other ships?https://forum.chickeninvaders.com/t/energy-based-weapons-only-spaceships/4689/8
(shameless self advertising)

You are litteraly saying that to the guy who suggested ship with abilites (like one that self explodes)

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Redirect me to that post please.

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This was the topic
I tought that I shared Hellburner (The kamikaze ship) there but not.
I have so much ideas for spacecraft with abilites. Maybe I will make a “topic series” with some maths like WBP or WHP

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Well,do me a favor and add mine to that list and expand on it,if you would please.
Will not come back to claim credit.

Update: It seems that I have less and less free time to work on WBP because of new school and other things. WBP is not cancelled in any way, but I have to inform you guys that time between my upcoming post may be even longer than previously. I am not able to tell how much time it will take me to make part 9, 10 and 11. It may be a week, but it may be 3 weeks aswell. I don’t know. I understand that many people are waiting for my new posts, but right now I have other RL things to do.

So yea, basically WBP is going on a hiatus.

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Take as much time as you need, real life is not negotiable.

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