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  • #15535
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    I felt like it was about time I gave some feedback and voice my opinions in hopes that some things get changed/tweaked about the current weapons in Overload. All criticism is welcome and I hope to spark some debate about general weapon balance in Overload with this topic. Please note that weapons withing tiers are in no particular order and are effectively considered to be on more or less even power-level. So let’s get started.

    PRIMARY WEAPONS

    Top-tier:

    The Thunderbolt Cannon – This is the most powerful primary weapon in the game with the capability to not only one-shot most robots, but to also destroy multiple robots with a single shot. These purple blasts of devastation and destruction are balanced by two things. first there is a considerable charge-up for each shot, making the weapon more difficult to use than your basic lasers and secondly the heavy energy cost of firing this weapon. An uncharged shot takes 2 energy while a fully charged one takes 5. It’s also worth pointing out that if you’re charging up your every shot, then the Thunderbolt has the slowest rate of fire. This means that while you have to make every shot count, you can usually conserve your secondaries. Final upgrades for the Thunderbolt are MX and RT. MX increases the speed at which you charge up the cannon, allowing for higher average DPS (damage per second), it also increases the projectile speed. The RT upgrade gives the projectile a light homing ability, thus increasing the overall connections with the enemies and making the weapon easier to use.

    The Driller Cannon – Essentially the Gauss Cannon from Descent 2, this weapon is the Jack of all trades and even master of one – accuracy which allows for very safe plays and sniping from a distance. This ammo based weapon while technically not a hitscan weapon (it just has very fast projectiles), is functionally a hitscan weapon with what is essentially pinpoint accuracy. This means that whatever you’re aiming at and provided that your aim is on point, you WILL be hitting what you’re aiming for. This becomes particularly important on higher difficulties where certain enemies move around at incredible speeds and conventional energy projectile weapons become less consistent at dealing damage. Since this is an ammo based weapon, it compliments the Thunderbolt wonderfully when you’re running low on energy. The final upgrades for the Driller are DX and M. the DX upgrade increases the damage, making this weapon really devastating and incredibly ammo efficient. The M upgrade increases the rate of fire and reduces the individual shot ammo cost from 2 to 1, this upgrade makes stun-locking robots a breeze.

    The Impulse Laser Cannon – The iconic, solid, all-around performer. This weapon is the Jack of all trades of energy weapons and yet again master of one. This time it’s energy efficiency. This weapon does solid damage, has virtually unlimited range and moderate rate of fire. The final upgrades for the Impulse are Q and RF. The Q or quad upgrade is the really sweet deal as it changes the dual fire into quad fire, effectively doubling your damage, the rate of fire is slightly slowed down and the energy consumption is increased. The RF upgrade increases the rate of fire and projectile speed, this means that it becomes easier to hit targets, because you can essentially pepper an area with impulse fire, the energy consumption is also slightly improved. It’s worth pointing out that with the final upgrades the Impulse rivals even the mighty Thunderbolt in overall effectiveness.

    Mid-Tier (useful in specific situations):

    The Reflex Cannon – This is the merge between the Plasma Cannon (with the projectile size from Descent 3 not 1 or 2) and the Phoenix cannon. The unique selling point of this weapon is the ricochet mechanic which also has an aim correcting mechanic in a 25 degree cone (as I understood it). Unlike the Phoenix in Descent 2, the Reflex in Overload doesn’t damage you if it bounces back in your face which is a big plus. However the weapon has a new crippling weakness, severely limited range. Even though this weapon has a high rate of fire, solid DPS and that neat and potentially powerful ricochet mechanic, it’s more or less unusable without the final L upgrade which substantially boost the range and aim correction of the weapon thus making it a very potent tool. The other upgrade is the RF which increases the rate of fire. That allows for some rather impressive DPS, but it also burns through your energy reserves at an alarming rate. Overall I would really like to see this weapons range to be increased to bring it more in line with other energy options, since its energy efficiency is lackluster as it is. Overall this weapon works quite well on maps with very tight corridors like Labyrinth or Caverns.

    The Flak Cannon – Very limited range weapon with incredible rate of fire and DPS. Essentially a “high risk, high reward” type weapon. You have to risk your hide to get really up-close and personal with the robots, but once you do, the Flak completely shreds through robots. It is worth pointing out that this weapon doesn’t really scale very well into higher difficulties as its very limited range becomes a serious liability, it still works fantastically for invulnerability rampages however. The final upgrades for the Flak Cannon are DX and VK. The DX is just a flat damage increase making the already impressive damage completely robot existence-erasing. The VK upgrade adds a short delay or wind-up for the weapon, but the Flak’s very limited range is significantly increased by almost 50%. Overall I think this weapon makes no sense in terms of realism, it does however make sense from a gameplay perspective and that’s a good thing. I think this weapon is fine balance-wise even though it’s a bit of a niche choice.

    Low Tier (needs buffing/reworking)

    The Crusher Cannon – The “shotgun” of Overload. This weapon does essentially what the Flak Cannon does, which is killing stuff up close. there is a problem however, this weapon is basically worse in every possible way. It has horrific ammo efficiency, it has a low rate of fire and manual which makes this weapon harder to aim and use overall and finally the damage is way more inconsistent due to the chaotic pellet pattern. The Crusher has one thing over the Flak and that is range, however that too is spoiled by the fact that we’re dealing with a video-game shotgun which basically stops doing damage if you move further away than 3 meters from your target. The final upgrades for the Crusher are DX and AF. the DX is a damage and impact power increase, it also reduces the firing angle. The AF upgrade makes it fully automatic and alternating fire, the overall ammo efficiency remains the same, but the firing angle is slightly reduced. So what we have are 2 weapons that both use ammo and have the same strengths/weaknesses, except one is significantly better. I do not really understand why this weapon is in the game. I think this weapon could use some serious reworking into something much more interesting.

    The Cyclone Cannon – The Spreadfire Cannon of Overload and that’s not a good thing. This weapon is pretty much outclassed by every other energy option. The damage is poor, the rate of fire is good, but the accuracy is poor. In fact it’s so poor that an unupgraded Cyclone can’t even hit smaller robots at medium distances when aiming right at the center-mass, since there is no accurate middle shot. This has created quite a few awkward situations where you’re forced to actually aim away from your targets in order to hit them, promoting a spray-n-pray style of play. Now on paper this idea of peppering an area with pellets is nice since some damage is guaranteed to stick, the problem is that those pellets are essentially flares, which means that yes you will be hitting, but the damage is so poor, it’s never worth the energy investment. This energy inefficiency problem becomes especially significant on higher difficulties where energy becomes a more scarce resource while ammo does not, one ammo pack is still worth 100 ammo while one energy globe on insane for example is worth 12, on hotshot it’s 18. The final upgrades for the Cyclone are X4 and F. The X4 upgrade adds an accurate fourth middle-shot, but it also widens the angle of the 3 other shots and the energy consumption is also increased. The F upgrade increases the rate of fire slightly, tightens the angle, increases projectile speed and finally boost energy efficiency, the F upgrade is a pretty clear winner here. So how do we fix the Cyclone? I propose we get an accurate fourth middle-shot from the start and then add power on top of that. The current X4 upgrade could become X5 or X6. Overall I would argue that the Spreadfire Cannon from descent was an under-powered weapon while the Helix Cannon was not, so I would recommend making the cyclone a much more of a heavy-hitter with a higher energy consumption.

    SECONDARY WEAPONS

    Overall I would argue that the secondary weapons do not need to be very delicately balanced, since specific secondaries are always a much more limited resource. I would however like to say that we would greatly benefit from a bomb deployable hotkey like we had in the previous Descent installments. In Descent 2 for example you had a hotkey which could quickly drop a proxy bomb without the need to change to it, there was also a key for changing between the Smart mine and proxy mine as a quick deployable. I think this could be a fantastic addition in overload for the Creeper bombs and Time bombs, as currently they are both very fiddly to use.

    If you read this all, thanks for taking the time.

    All the best,
    Yinut

    #15537
    PersonicusPersonicus
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 35

    Nice post Yinut !

    I especially share your sentiments with respect to the Crusher and the Cyclone. That said, the Crusher AF is something to be reckoned with and I think its range feels well beyond 3 metres, but I can see what you’re driving at in terms of its limitations. As for the Cyclone (aka “Farting Squirrel” – excuse the crude comedic comparison), I avoid the use of this weapon entirely by default. I’ve made some half-hearted attempts at trying to warm up to it, considering that others have provided glowing praise for its subtle nuances, but it simply feels far too underwhelming. I absolutely love your suggestion regarding a separate hotkey to deploy creepers and/or the time bomb, BUT…..that would in turn require additional key binds (and being a selfish lefty, I’ve basically exhausted my options). Fun aside, nice idea though !

    #15538
    DarkwingDivaDarkwingDiva
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 346

    Before the discussion gets TOO heavy, keep in mind we still have 1 more primary and 1 more secondary coming upon release.

    I disagree with some of what you say about the Reflex. I use the Reflex/Driller exclusively at this point. I don’t agree at all that it is unusable without the L upgrade. While I love the L upgrade, I do find it to be quite usable without any upgrades. Sure, it has a limited range, but it’s not the only weapon to have a limited range (Flak for example, or Cyclone). It’s used to offset how powerful the weapon is. Much like other weapons however, you have to adjust your gameplay to suit it.

    I don’t find the unupgraded Impulse as much of a utility as you do. I find that on Insane, the bots dodge Impulse fire at mid-large distances, forcing you to get into close range where you’re better off with any other weapon. It’s good as a starter but until you get an upgrade, I find it to be lackluster in performance. It doesn’t really have a niche where it performs better than other weapons.

    I felt the Flak was an interesting weapon and provided a nice way of dealing lots of damage, for the price of being up close. I liked it as an alternative to the general shotgun you see in most every other shooter. Then the Crusher was added. I’ve said it as soon as it did, the overlap of function between the 2 weapons is too much. Both use ammo, both are really only effective at close range, and I haven’t encountered a situation where I’d pick one over the other, just pick whichever one I had or was next on the scroll list. The only real difference is “style” and how you like to play. Crusher requires aim, Flak is spray and pray. Both are strong. I’d be perfectly fine with either one just going away and having a new weapon take it’s place (though it’s probably too late for that now).

    Oh the Cylcone. It may be the Spreadfire of Overload, but it didn’t use to be. It originally started life as a weapon called the Vortex. The Vortex was very much similar to the Helix from D2, and was a good balance between cool, powerful, but not OP. I actually used the Vortex. I think if you straight up brought that back it would fit in well and be a great “up close energy weapon” to provide a mirror of the Flak. The cyclone just falls short on a few different things as you have stated. Anyone out there use it as their go-to energy weapon?

    All this is just my opinion based on my own in-game experience.

    #15539
    CHILLYBUSCHILLYBUS
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 61
    Replies: 173

    The cyclone just falls short on a few different things as you have stated. Anyone out there use it as their go-to energy weapon?

    I generally stick with cyc, and even prefer -F to most other energy primaries — except quads and the occasional ref-L. Its hardpoint needs a shift upward and maybe a slight boost to damage, otherwise I don’t think it’s particularly terrible. I personally wouldn’t main it over the driller in infinite or flak/crush on countdown, but if you can keep your secondary economy chugging along, it’s an adequate option once you figure out how to place shots. The back 2/3 of this run is almost exclusively with cyc-f (major headphone warning): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/207018997

    #15541
    DarkwingDivaDarkwingDiva
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 346

    I don’t think it’s particularly terrible

    it’s an adequate option once you figure out how to place shots.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement 😉 Out of context sentences aside, I do feel the Cyclone could use some real love on the dev side, as I don’t feel it lives up to everything it could be. Or maybe I just miss the Vortex too much lol

    Good to see at least one person get some use out of it though.

    #15571
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    I generally stick with cyc, and even prefer -F to most other energy primaries — except quads and the occasional ref-L. Its hardpoint needs a shift upward and maybe a slight boost to damage, otherwise I don’t think it’s particularly terrible. I personally wouldn’t main it over the driller in infinite or flak/crush on countdown, but if you can keep your secondary economy chugging along, it’s an adequate option once you figure out how to place shots. The back 2/3 of this run is almost exclusively with cyc-f (major headphone warning): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/207018997

    Nice run! While I did not watch the whole run, I did skip to the end to see some stats and I will now proceed to try and demolish your view on the Cyclone.

    Total primary damage – 6487
    Cyclone – 3720
    Driller – 2766

    Total secondary damage – 23315

    It becomes immediately clear that you deal nearly four times more damage with your secondaries than with your primaries ~22% with primaries and ~78% with secondaries. All the primary damage was done with only 2 weapons, the Cyclone ~57% and Driller ~43% of total primary damage. You also claimed to have used the Cyclone for the later 2/3 (66%) of the game almost exclusively, which would mean that the Cyclone was already under-performing compared to the Driller. However you never said that you were using the Driller almost exclusively in the first 1/3 of the game, which leads me to believe that it’s not unreasonable to assume that you used the Cyclone for about 70-75% of the game and if we run with that assumption, then we can see that the Driller was vastly outperforming the Cyclone. In total you did ~12,5% of all the damage with the Cyclone, which is 1/8. Overall I would say your perception of the Cyclone is VERY optimistic, I do however agree with you that the F upgrade is clearly superior to the X4 one.

    I disagree with some of what you say about the Reflex. I use the Reflex/Driller exclusively at this point. I don’t agree at all that it is unusable without the L upgrade. While I love the L upgrade, I do find it to be quite usable without any upgrades. Sure, it has a limited range, but it’s not the only weapon to have a limited range (Flak for example, or Cyclone). It’s used to offset how powerful the weapon is. Much like other weapons however, you have to adjust your gameplay to suit it.

    I don’t find the unupgraded Impulse as much of a utility as you do. I find that on Insane, the bots dodge Impulse fire at mid-large distances, forcing you to get into close range where you’re better off with any other weapon. It’s good as a starter but until you get an upgrade, I find it to be lackluster in performance. It doesn’t really have a niche where it performs better than other weapons.

    About the Reflex, with the + which is standard in CM, it seems to be performing quite well on specific maps (centrifuge comes to mind) and while the DPS on the weapon is good, the energy efficiency is not exactly amazing, on larger open maps I would still argue that it requires the L upgrade to perform more or less on par with Impulse or Thunderbolt. Without the L upgrade the performance is really quite similar to that of the Impulse’s on more open maps. About the whole hitting robots on higher difficulties thing, well this is a general problem with energy weapons, certain heavier robots such as Krakens, Tritons and Guardians can be hit easily on harder difficulties as well, other smaller robots, particularly Hydras become so elusive on higher difficulties that I would say we are more or less forced to use the Driller in order to hit them with any consistency.

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