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  Balancing Weapons  (Read 5968 times)
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Offline kpars
« Posted 2013-06-10 23:45:56 »

Hello! I'm in the middle of making my own little doom clone, and I'm going to be adding a few of my own weapons.
How should weapons be balanced? Should I just have each weapon have a different damage value on mobs, or should they just all have dis-advantages and keep the same damage value? For example, should a shotgun kill a monster in 5 hits while a pistol would kill a monster in 10, or should a shotgun kill a monster in 5 hits while the pistol can do the same but faster?

It seems like something pretty simple, but I want to get it done first before I start adding over 9000 weapons to the game.
What would be more fun, and what would be more logical?

All help is appreciated  Wink
Offline wessles
« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-06-11 01:05:55 »

Wouldn't suggest adding 9000 guns  Wink.

In all seriousness, believe it or not, this is a huge subject. If you get this wrong, you could screw up the entire gameplay. As far as actually setting the values and all, it is thankfully quite easy.

Start by making a few guns, and playing around with values, like shotguns, and pistols. You need to have the 'checks and balances', if you will: damage, range, and fire rate. For damage, just choose what seems right, for instance, a pistol shoots with low damage relative to the shotgun. But then you have an issue: then why even have a pistol if the shotgun is clearly better? That is where range comes in. The pistol will still do damage quite a distance away, but the shotgun will not shoot enemies to far away. The fire rate also helps. The fire rate will determine how much time is between shots at maximum. For example, if you are being approached by a zombie, who is far away, you will think. The shotgun will give much damage, but only when it is close. But the zombie will take a few shots, meaning you need to fire faster. The zombie is getting closer, so you think to the pistol. It will do the same damage far away. So you bring out your pistol, blam, blam, blam, and its head is gone.

Also, there is a formula to use, if you want:
a + b = c
A could mean damage, range, or rate, as would b and c. This, in my experience, has balanced the gun's, so no 1 gun is better than the others in all aspects, and so that each gun will have a specialty, aka. c.

This is not limited to pistols and shotguns. Think about, say an ak47. It will do little damage, but at a fast fire rate. Think to a sniper rifle. It will go a long way and give tons of damage, but will fire extremely slow. This is my system, it has worked, with fun results, but you don't need to use this system.
Offline kpars
« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-06-11 01:24:50 »

Thank you so much! This really helped me.

I guess another thing to focus on is making each weapon great for a certain situation:
Let's say my pistol over here makes me run faster when it's equipped, but it has very little ammo:
I can use it to reach enemies quickly, hurt them with a melee attack, finish them off with the one little bit of the pistols ammo, and bam, 5 points! Grin This would be great in really tight situations. If there are a ton of monsters coming into one room, you can use every weapon for every situation you would run into with those monsters.

So many ideas coming in. Again, thanks a lot  Wink
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Offline sproingie

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-06-11 17:42:09 »

Make it fun.  Make a hugely OP gun if you want, just make it really rare and/or have very little ammo.  But in the end, there's no substitute for playtesting, and just keep in mind you may eventually have to nerf some equipment after the fact, especially if your equipment has synergies (ask any Borderlands 2 player about shotguns + the Bee shield).  
Offline kpars
« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-06-11 17:50:37 »

Ya know, right as you were saying that I was in the middle of adding the 'BFG 9000' to my game, which is the best weapon you can get in Doom.
Man, I love perfect timing.
Offline nerb
« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-06-12 01:45:27 »

Just a thought (not sure if it's any good), you could set your weapons' damage as a percentage of a max damage value.

Say max damage is 200pts, your pistol might have a 10% damage value, hence 20pts. An assault rifle 50%, hence 100pts, and so on. This means you could easily nerf or strengthen all weapons by changing the max damage value, whilst maintaining their power relative to each other.

As for making weapons 'great for a certain situation', there is a fair bit you could do. As you've already mentioned, make heavier and larger weapons more cumbersome. You could also have different draw speeds (meaning the time it takes to change to and pull out another weapon). For example, make sidearms a quick-draw weapon, so that you can rip them out fast if you run out of ammo or need to reload a larger weapon during a fight. Reload speeds could be another consideration; belt fed MG's and the like take quite some time to reload, whilst weapons fed from a straight magazine are relatively quick.

Offline Nate

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2013-06-12 03:47:33 »

Do some best guesses to get it somewhat close to how you want, then use a binary search to adjust anything you don't feel works well. Eg, if a gun feels too weak, don't mess around adding 10%, 15%, etc to it's power, just double it until it is too powerful, then weaken it by half the amount you last increased it, etc. This gives you a wider range of testing and you converge on a good value much more quickly than constantly fiddling with the numbers. Smiley

Offline kpars
« Reply #7 - Posted 2013-06-12 09:42:37 »

I've decided that the damage is ACTUALLY based on how well you aim.
Really, I somehow bugged up my game, and when you aim dead in the center of mobs, you somehow deal more damage.
This is great, weapons have their own random range of how much damage they can do.

I actually didn't want to at first, I felt like I should add more irrelevant disadvantages and advantages to weapons.
What I mean by that: A pistol will make you walk faster, but you only have 15 ammo on it. The shotgun has a shorter range, but it will have a bit of a spread when you shoot it. The super shotgun has a delay for reloading, but it can make a "Critical Hit" when aiming correctly on a mob.

What do ya all think?     
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