[align=center]The K Report: Weapons Corndogs are delicious and Dockers are comfortable shoes[/align] So I’ve been thoroughly examining weapons as of late, Soloing EC NM as an Arms Assault. In that case, you can hardly rely on kiting, and must rely entirely upon your weapon to get you through your troubles. Having literally no options other than “DPS it down” for an entire campaign tends to grant particular insight into weapon balance, and I’ll be putting those insights to good use. Now, there are two possible routes we can take. The most major point of contention is the Gauss Rifle (GPR to the newbies). To be blunt, the Gauss is a piece of shit. That’s not news to anyone. It’s crap damage with crap ammo consumption, barely excelling in precious few circumstances and being worthless in everything else. It says something when you’re better off using a sidearm rather than your rifle. But this is not to say that it’s a bad design decision. As shown in this video, having your main armament/starting weapon be clunky and slow can actually contribute very well to having a solid design because it encourages players to plan ahead, use different weapons to react to different situations, and generally lead to much more strategy. But the problem is that NOTD is not Castlevania. We don’t have a main weapon and a plethora of sub-weapons to pick up and cycle through. We’ve got a system that allows a single weapon to be equipped at a time, and making the default weapon a legendary piece of shit, well… you run into the Internet Explorer Syndrome; you only use it long enough to get to a better alternative. Considering that it’s called the General Purpose Rifle, I don’t really view this as a good thing. Modern assault rifles have more than enough power to punch through a wide variety of body armors, and yet the GPR (a weapon of the far future) struggles against the chitin armors of the slightly tougher enemies. Again, either direction is entirely valid; it’s just that we need to pick one or the other, so there’s a poll. Beyond the two general weapon balance proposals, there are suggested weapons and the (hopefully) triumphant return of the Shiva as a storyline-based weapon. Apollovania: General Worthless Rifle Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler This is focused around keeping the GPR as it is now and just making adjustments to the other weapons to make them more or less specialized in what they do, as the situation warrants. Keep in mind this proposal comes with a 10% reduction to ALL weapon switch times, as it is my personal opinion that if we are to focus the system around using the right weapon at the right time, we need to make weapon switching smoother. M5 Pulse Rifle Could use a higher splash. My suggestion is 1.25. UA420 Assault Rifle Needs a better armor penetration (0.5 at least) or higher base damage (a boost of 5 should do the trick). AER138 Laser Rifle Should drop the splash entirely and get a 10 point damage boost. P-45 Gauss Pistol Why does this have perfect splash? For that matter, why does it have splash at all? My suggestion is to remove both. Stinger Mk-3 Splash type changed from “perfect” (I.E., the same amount of damage to all units in the AOE) to “standard”, in which the damage falls off based on distance. Abilities, in my opinion, are the only things that need perfect splash. L3 Grenade Launcher Drop damage by 100 points OR increase ammo consumption by 3. Currently is EXTREMELY powerful, and outdoes the Stinger versus Ground targets by a very wide margin. The Process of Standardization: Re-tooling the Bullet Spitters Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler This is focused around making the GPR actually capable of being a general purpose weapon, I.E., capable of dealing more than a single point of damage to roughly half of Apollo’s interesting fauna. It also is focused on bringing the other rifles more in-line with some sort of consistency, and adjusting the other weapons as necessary to fit more appropriate roles rather than arbitrary distribution of bonuses (for instance, the current Pulse’s insane armor penetration despite having most of its bonuses regulated to Light and Psionic). UA GPR-12 Remove penalty to Psionic. Minis have gotten this treatment, and I question why the players haven’t. Increase armor penetration from 1 to 0.75. It’s not AMAZING, but it will at least make it not totally worthless against heavy enemies and several bosses. M5 Pulse Rifle I always thought the Pulse was the more SMG-ish of the rifles because of its energy-based nature and quieter soundset, along with bonuses to Light. I was honestly shocked when I saw the stats for the Pulse on the wiki, because as it stands, it’s leaps and bounds beyond the UA420. It’s amazing to me that the heavy rifle is currently better off at fighting light targets than the quieter, energy-based one with a bonus to light. Anyways. Increase splash radius to 2. Considering that it’s shooting straight-up energy rather than solid projectiles, I wonder why it doesn’t have a better splash radius. Reduce armor penetration to 0.65. I don’t know where the extreme armor penetration came from and, honestly, I don’t want to know. UA420 Assault Rifle Decrease splash radius to 1. More focused fire, less bullet spray. Increase armor penetration to 0.3. Getting the Pulse’s armor penetration to make it the rifle for heavily armored targets. MP9A2 Sub-Machine Gun Why does this have a +2 to Biological? Change it to an additional +4 to Light. AER138 Laser Rifle Should drop the splash entirely and get a 10 point damage boost. P-45 Gauss Pistol Why does this have perfect splash? For that matter, why does it have splash at all? My suggestion is to remove both. Stinger Mk-3 Splash type changed from “perfect” (I.E., the same amount of damage to all units in the AOE) to “standard”, in which the damage falls off based on distance. Abilities, in my opinion, are the only things that need perfect splash. L3 Grenade Launcher Drop damage by 100 points OR increase ammo consumption by 3. Currently is EXTREMELY powerful, and outdoes the Stinger versus Ground targets by a very wide margin. Expanding the Armory: Suggested Weapons Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler Because you can’t walk two steps without tripping over a suggested weapon. These are the ones that I think are worth something. Rejected general concepts are listed at the end, with reasoning as to why. Railgun Line artillery, simple stuff. I’m aware it’s already on the way, but here are some numbers of my own suggestion. UGC MP Railgun Model 5 Damage: 200 Modifiers: +50 to Armored, +50 to Massive Damage reduced per 1 armor: 0 Attack Speed: 2 Range: 22 Splash: 3 (linear from impacted unit, .22 splash width) Ammo Consumption: 5 Weight: 22 Equip time: 2.2 Unique Trait: Recoil effect similar to the Barrett A lighter, man-portable version of the Railgun. Often used as an anti-tank weapon, its raw power is capable of taking out entire groups of enemies in a single shot. “Now you see them, soon; you won’t.” ~ 1st Lt. Wotz Plasma Cannon Something that Niteshade pitched to me once, and I still, to this day, think that it’s a great concept and that it needs to be used. It’s a great opportunity to have another player-directed weapon with unique mechanics that’s genuinely fun to use and is much more skill reliant than the spam-friendly Grenade Launcher. AER188 Plasma Cannon Damage: 200 (50% damage reduction to allies) Modifiers: +50 to Biological Damage reduced per 1 armor: 0 Attack Speed: 2 Range: 18 Splash: 3 radius (“perfect” or “ability” splash) Ammo Consumption: 5 Weight: 16 Equip time: 2.2 Unique Traits: Can only attack ground, no autoattack Reduces targets’ movespeed by 30% Reduces targets’ armor by 2 Projectile has a low movespeed (2.5 or 3) The 188 projects globes of superheated plasma that detonate upon impact, flash-frying anything caught within the blast. “And that is how you make a crater that smokes AND glows.” ~ Sgt. Stephen “Starbuster” Townes KITH NOTE: These two are, at least by my design, supposed to replace the HMG and the Grenade Launcher in the Seth Drop Pool. The idea is that you get a “heavy artillery” weapon of some kind with the “epic” classification. All are capable of serving the same task (significant area damage), but they all accomplish it in a different way. I personally would then proceed to propose that the Stinger/Plasma Cannon/Railgun be removed from standard drop pools and be replaced by the HMG and/or the Grenade Launcher. Weapons powerful enough to be classified as “epic” should not be found through the mercy of the RNG and running around in circles looking for them. Arclite Hecate I’d much rather see this flamethrower be a flaming fluid projection weapon rather than a Hollywood-style, short range explosive type. So that’s what I’m suggesting, numbers-wise! Pour napalm on eeeeeeverythiiiiiiiiiiiing. Arclite Hecate Damage: 25 Modifiers: +10 to Biological, +10 to Light, -10 to Massive, -5 to Armored Damage reduced per 1 armor: 0 Attack Speed: 0.5 Range: 11 Splash: 0.35 (main), 1 (effect) Ammo Consumption: 2 Weight: 15 Equip time: 2.2 Unique Traits: Spreads Napalm upon attacking. Napalm slows enemy movement speed by 10% and deals 10 damage per second for 5 seconds. A flamethrower of an older design, relying on a burning stream of napalm rather than a burst of superheated plasma. The napalm sticks to enemies, damaging them and slowing them. “Burninating the countryside.” ~ Unknown Flamethrower Initiate INTERACTIONS WITH FLAMETHROWER ABILITIES: Assuming that we want them to happen, anyways. Helium-3 Igniter: 1 bonus range, 10% bonus attack speed, 0.25 bonus Napalm splash, increase Napalm duration by 1 second 2 bonus range, 20% bonus attack speed, 0.5 bonus Napalm splash, increase Napalm duration by 2 seconds 3 bonus range, 30% bonus attack speed, 0.75 bonus Napalm splash, increase Napalm duration by 3 seconds Burst Fire: +3 range, -30% cone width, apply the Napalm debuff to enemies. If possible, change the color of the effect to a more pinkish or reddish tone. Burn: Apply Napalm debuff to Burned enemies. If possible, change the color of the effect to a more pinkish or reddish tone. Assault Shotgun Something that I’ve wanted for a very long time, and it makes total sense for the UGC to employ one in addition to the pump-action variant. AA-22 Assault Shotgun Damage: 35 Modifiers: +5 to Light, +35 to Massive Damage reduced per 1 armor: 0.65 Attack Speed: 0.93 Range: 4.5 Splash: 1.3 Ammo Consumption: 1 Weight: 15 Equip time: 2.2 While it lacks the wider spread and raw impact of its pump-action cousin, the AA-22 features a fully automatic firing mode and higher armor penetration due to much higher concentration of pellets. “Everything in that general direction must DIE!” ~ Capt. Riggs Noted differences from the current Shotgun: 40% attack speed increase Increased armor penetration by 0.35 60% splash radius reduction No stun chance Ammo consumption halved Energy-based Weapons NNNGGGGFHHH. These are never, ever going to work. Why? Because they’ll only be good on the Rifleman, the Medic, or the Pathfinder, and even in those cases they’ll be bad because energy = ability use and ability use > shooting a gun. Utility Weapons The Gravity Gun was dropped because it essentially gave any class an entire additional moveset. Flare Guns and Medic Guns will never make the cut because they would make certain classes less necessary if found. Not totally useless, but a weapon that can act as two to three abilities in a class’s skillset is bad news. If that class ends up using that weapon, that leads to them becoming much, much more powerful. For instance, a Medic using a Heal Gun means that she’ll never have to use Heal again, and can ration her energy much more, making the team much more durable than they normally are. Bringing back the Gravity Gun The Gravity Gun was removed because NOTD was not designed around it. The Half Life 2 series can get away with a Physics Gun because it was designed around having a Physics Gun. There are always items to be manipulated and used as weaponry, or shields from incoming fire, or materials to construct a barricade, or materials to construct a bridge. In NOTD2, the Gravity Gun is indeed intended to return, and it will be much more at home. NOTD2 is not going to be designed around the Gravity Gun’s presence, but it will accommodate it adequately by having a wide variety of ways to interact with the environment and objects within said environment. Edit/update: I've been doing work in researching a way to bring back the Gravity Gun in a way that would A: make it much less script intensive and B: remove all of the cheese potential. So don't worry, this will be coming back eventually, and you won't have to wait for NOTD2. Alternative Religion: The Shiva Rework Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler I had originally intended this to go into the K Report on Storylines or perhaps Bosses for “when it would be appropriate,” but I decided to just put it here. So, the Shiva is iconic. It’s the “if all else fails, destroy everything on the map” weapon. A reference to :AM for the sake of it, the original implementation was clunky. It was a gift from the Gods of RNG, and it was a fantastic way to murder a boss, but then it got nerfed. A lot. And eventually it got to that point where it was certainly powerful, but not powerful enough to warrant risking blowing up a team. So my suggestion is to make it marginally safer, and also into something entirely different that doesn’t take up inventory space. UAV Drone Controller – Single use Inventory item Summons the UAV to the player’s location, equipped with an advanced cloaking field and a single Shiva-class Nuclear Missile. Shiva Drone Hitpoints: Invulnerable Movespeed: 3 (flying) Sight range: 4 Model: Small Wraith Timed Life: 5 minutes Abilities: “Boogeyman” Cloaking Mechanism – Passive The Shiva Drone is equipped with an advanced cloaking mechanism that, at this point in time, cannot be detected by any known means. KITH NOTE: This is the gameplay translation of the drone’s invulnerability. In all reality, it’s just Permanent Cloak. Fire Shiva – Active The Drone fires the Shiva at the target location. After firing the missile, the drone will self-destruct. The Shiva deals 40,000 damage in a radius of 30. KITH NOTE: This will have a targeting indicator so you can actually tell what you’re going to hit. Aaaand that’s it. A drone that can seek out what it’s supposed to be hitting now carries the Shiva. A command card slot is freed up, and it is now much less clunky to use, as it’s not blind-firing into the nothingness. I’m aware that blind-firing into the nothingness was part of what balanced the Shiva, but the bottom line is that people ended up killing themselves too fucking often. We have to take the sharp edges off of it or the stupid players are going to cut themselves. Now, as for storyline implementation: EASY COMPANY The controller is airdropped in a sealed, blast-proof case, along with two Special Ops guards (Standard mini Marine but with War Pig model and Black team color, in addition to being equipped with UA420 and Reactive Armor), during Black Ops. The guards set a flare at their location and radio the players for help. The objective is to reach the guards before Black Ops does or before they’re overrun by the Infested. If the guards are killed before the players can reach them, the case detonates and destroys the controller. If the players reach the case, it opens (supplying them with the controller) and the guards follow the players. ALPHA COMPANY General Koller informs the players that there’s a controller stashed within the Armory during the reinforcements segment, but the Armory has been taken over by a Tartarus in the advanced stages of mutation named Tisiphone. The players will have the option of retrieving it for use against Perses. Tisiphone (Boss) (a quick pixel doodle that I did detailing what I basically envisioned her looking like) Base Health: 10,000 Type: Biological, Armored, Massive, Heroic Armor: 5 Damage: 50, 90 vs Structures Damage reduced per 1 point of armor: 4 Attack Speed: 1.5 Range: 3 Movespeed: 1.75 Model: Dark-tinted Fatty with the Hardened Carapace doodads and a Spine Crawler coming out of its face (Spine Crawler replaces the acid spit attack). Team color of Black. Abilities: Hardened Carapace – Passive Tisiphone has the Hardened Carapace frontal damage reduction by default. Revenge – Passive The first player to attack Tisiphone will gain the “Revenge” buff. Tisiphone will exclusively target that player until they are killed, even if stunned. If the targeted player dies, Tisiphone will regain 50% of her lost hitpoints. Cruel Whip – Passive Tisiphone’s attack has a high chance of causing Open Wounds. Punishment – Active Every 30 seconds, Tisiphone will throw an egg at the highest concentration of enemy units. The egg has 1,000 hitpoints and will incubate for 10 seconds and then explode into 10 Parasites. If killed before that point, it will die harmlessly and spawn nothing, not unlike the rest of the eggs in NOTD. APOLLO SECURITY I have a huge rework planned for Hades, but for right now, when Koller starts talking to the Sec Team for the first time, he will tell them to secure the Comms Tower so he can transmit the codes necessary to activate the Drone Controller. All that is required of the players is to step on the Comms Tower hex to dispense the Controller.