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OTW 8/17 Balance changes

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ADMIN NOTE: This post wasn't supposed to go live till we updated OTW. It was in the middle of being edited when it was posted here, so we had to hide it to make sure it was accurate. In the end, nothing changed. So I'm going to leave it here and let people continue commenting.
-Matt

Seeing as @LO_Beastie has posted some changes in a currently inaccessible part of the forum.
I figured I would post them here in a cleaned up state until they open up the OTW feedback forum.
 

Quote

 

Hi Everyone.

Below are what we've changed in the current version of OTW.

One of our main goals with this balance pass is to try and get weapons focused more within their intended ranges. 
Shotguns are currently a bit overtuned and dominate close up (where as previously they were rarely used in favour of SMGs due to their relative inconsistency). 
Likewise Assault Rifles (particularly the NTEC, but also in general) tend to push a bit too much into the range of Rifles, making Rifles for the most part seen less often than other categories. 
A lot of the changes here are somewhat experimental, and in this case we expect a fair few of them to be reverted entirely, but it's worth playtesting them to see if they're viable.

We should also point out not to expect any of these changes to go live at any point soon, we want to do a lot of testing on these over the course of the next couple of weeks, and only release ones we are sure are ready. This new forum section should be used as a space to provide feedback on these changes. Assault Rifles In general. 

The standard-ranged ARS have received a 5m effective range reduction across the board.
Combined with an increase in the range of rifles, this allows rifles (and LMGs, to an extent) to shine at longer ranges where previously most players would just take an NTEC.
Min Damage Range stays the same, so you'll see a more gradual falloff of weapon performance over distance. 
This also promotes taking Rifling if you want to increase your range (more on this in a bit), at the cost of reducing your TTK at close range. 
This affects the following: AR-97, ATAC, COBRA FAR, Raptor, S1-FA, STAR, NTEC.

The NTEC is a fairly difficult challenge to tweak, as it's by far the most popular weapon in APB and thus any changes will affect near our entire playerbase, but it does need some changes.
There are two effective ways we can go about this without drastically changing the feel of the weapon, so we're investigating both simultaneously and we can compare side by side. 

Test A - Increase the fire-interval of the NTEC very slightly (from 0.14 to 0.145), adjusting accuracy stats so the accuracy over shots stays the same. This helps increase the perfect TTK slightly so it's closer to its contemporaries. 
At the same time we also reduce the Magazine capacity a little, to 30. It has a very high Kill to Magazine capacity as it is (and a relatively fast reload), so reducing this helps in a few ways: It makes missing slightly less forgiving, it makes the choice of blue mod more interesting, and gives players another comparison marker when choosing to use the weapon over the STAR (which now has more ammo than it).

Test B - Reduce the effective accuracy of the NTEC, making it a little worse in terms of pinpoint effectiveness than other ARs, giving space for weapons like the ISSR, LCR and AR97 to get a look in. This reduces the base accuracy of the weapon to 28cms at 10m (from 24) and the Marksmanship modifier to 40% (from 35%). 
It also decreases jumping accuracy to
18 (from 12) to see if we can reduce jumping spray at close ranges a little. Minimum accuracy is 'improved' to stay the same as in live (since it's a multiplier on base accuracy). 
With this test, we also reduced ammo in the weapon to
28.
Note: The Scoped variant is unchanged in testing. If we actually mak
e any changes to the NTEC, those changes will carry over. 

Rifles In the same vein, we've increased the effective range of non-carbine Rifles by 5m, giving them a bit more oomph at ranges where they'd previously fall off This affects the following:, FFA, CR-762, OBIR, SBSR.
This is also important as a lot of rifles were relying on Rifling to make them valid for long distance engagements, and we're moving Rifling to be more of a trade-off than it was. 

Shotguns - The range-reduction we made at the beginning of the week on Live for Shotguns was a stop-gap solution to help reduce the problem while we look at further reducing the power of shotguns. 
Their now very consistent kill- rates at close range allows us to change them in other areas to reduce their power while still making them the best choice at point-blank. 
We can also start dropping the effect of the pellet bonus damage in some cases where it's resulting in the weapons being too effective. 

Strife Test A - Effective Damage increased to 903, 2-shot pellet count improved to 8 from 9 (Reduces Pellet Scale to 0.926 from 0.933). 

CSG Test A - 2-shot pellet count reduced to 15 (from 13) (Damage 64 from 70, Scale 0.935 from 0.9). Fire Rate down to 0.8 (from 0.68). Effective Range changed to 1000/1750 (from 750/1750).
This gives the CSG a little bit of its range back, but requires better accuracy, and takes longer to kill, helping distinguish it more from the JG.

JG Test A - 2-shot pellet count reduced to 7 (from 6) (Damage 100 from 140, Scale 0.897 from 0.82).

Shredder - Increased fire interval to 0.42 (from 0.37). This is a revert of a buff from the previous patch. We buffed it in a number of ways, this one was maybe a step too far.
 
Rifling -  We reduced the effectiveness of Rifling on live while we made some mechanical changes behind the scenes to be able to change it on a percentage basis, and this is the first test of this.
Rifling (the OTW test variant) now increases range by 5, 10, 15%, followed by an absolute increase of 1 2, 3 metres. 
This means it works better on longer range weapons, but at least has some effect on close range weapons (where the absolute increase has more of an effect). 
On average, Rifling 3 increases Shotguns by 4.5m, SMGs by 7.5, Carbines by 8.25, ARS by 10.5 (9.75 in prototype), Rifles by 10.5 (11.25 in prototype), LMGs by 13.5 and Snipers by 16.5 (essentially removing max range for them). 

Cooling Jacket - We're also testing to see if adding the Cooling Jacket effect to Burst Interval as well makes sense. 
It provides an interesting counter-option to rifling for burst weapons, though notably right now Cooling Jacket is essentially all benefit for Burst weapons and no downside, so that'll need some thought before we go further with anything in this area. 

OCA - The OCA fire-rate buff a few years ago was a bit over the top, but it did need something at the time to make it viable (it was overshadowed at the time by every other SMG other than the Norsemen). As such, we want to pull back the buff, but not remove it entirely. 

Test A - 0.95 fire interval (from 0.92).
Test B - 0.98 fire interval (from 0.92, very close to its old 0.1 fire rate).

 

Edited by MattScott
Adding note
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Do i bother typing up why these N-TEC changes are bad now or later.

Downvote me more. You know deep down inside I am right.

Edited by NotZombieBiscuit
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1 minute ago, NotZombieBiscuit said:

Do i bother typing up why these N-TEC changes are bad now or later.

I was debating the same thing.
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3 minutes ago, Tobii said:

A lot of the changes here are somewhat experimental, and in this case we expect a fair few of them to be reverted entirely, but it's worth playtesting them to see if they're viable.

PEOPLE SHOULD PROB TAKE NOTE WITH THIS PART!
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Very interesting changes and I am looking forward to those OCA pull backs.

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Grabs popcorn and waits for the inevitable shitstorm of weeping cries from NTEC mains.
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These NTEC changes are only just being assembled for testing and already we got peeps callin em bad.

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Wish they'd put the changes on live weapon prototype districts instead of OTW...

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1 minute ago, swft said:

Wish they'd put the changes on live weapon prototype districts instead of OTW...

It would be the smarter thing to do. Which is funny, because they even stated that they would before the first round of the previous changes went to OTW.

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2 minutes ago, swft said:

Wish they'd put the changes on live weapon prototype districts instead of OTW...

Yeah. Been on OTW twice recently and it was twice ghost town. Not really viable to test while shooting walls.

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I cannot complain about these changes. The N-TEC Test A change might be a buff depending on the user, but increasing it's overall average ttk should help bring it in alignment with the other ARs in close combat, and indirectly buff SMGs.

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I just thought of something. If they're changing the OCA, they should also adjust the Obeya CAP40 so it's accuracy and ttk match the OCA like it was originally intended.

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My two cents about the N-TEC changes:

Test A does absolutely nothing.
2 rounds less per mag doesn't interest anyone in the slightest, and the fire interval is barely ever even used due to it requiring tap firing.

Test B sounds interesting, but I would need to try it in order to properly judge it.
Less accuracy seems like a fair change, yet I would rather change the accuracy recovery time so you can't spam it as fast on long ranges. 4 rounds less per magazine is barely noticeable either, so you could leave it at 32, or put it at 24/25 if you really want to adjust the magazine size.


I think rifling is a bit too extreme for ARs and upwards.
CJ doesn't really need a change imho, a slight burst interval could be a welcome change, but shouldn't be as fast or faster than ARs.

The OCA was the best SMG before the nerf, and no other SMG overshadowed it - it didn't need that buff and could be entirely removed - no need to adjust it in any way.


That being said, I think you should host two districts on the live servers instead of OTW, and re-purpose the Balanced Bundle Box A and B deployable to allow everyone to try the changed weapons.
OTW is usually a ghost town, it requires you to install APB a second time, and players outside of the US can't effectively test those weapons due to high ping.
 

Edited by GhosT
opinions about otw/testing
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3 minutes ago, MrsHappyPenguin said:

I just thought of something. If they're changing the OCA, they should also adjust the Obeya CAP40 so it's accuracy and ttk match the OCA like it was originally intended.

CAP40 was never intended to be an OCA reskin. Stop spreading this misinformation.
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11 minutes ago, Hexerin said:
15 minutes ago, MrsHappyPenguin said:

I just thought of something. If they're changing the OCA, they should also adjust the Obeya CAP40 so it's accuracy and ttk match the OCA like it was originally intended.

CAP40 was never intended to be an OCA reskin. Stop spreading this misinformation.

He never said that.

The CAP-40 was introduced as a slower SMG with the same time to kill as the OCA, to give people some alternative that's somewhat a mix of the PMG and the OCA.
Since the OCA buff, the CAP-40 is just overshadowed and lost its place.
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Say what you will about LO, they are clearly not afraid of change.
Testing this is gonna be fun, so lets all get on OTW to do our part.
Remember, if you dont join in the testing, YOU DONT GET TO COMPLAIN!

Anyhoo, if anyone sees me on, HMU.
Im happy to volunteer for data gathering ie: letting you kill me.

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37 minutes ago, GhosT said:

He never said that.

The CAP-40 was introduced as a slower SMG with the same time to kill as the OCA, to give people some alternative that's somewhat a mix of the PMG and the OCA.
Since the OCA buff, the CAP-40 is just overshadowed and lost its place.
That's what I meant. The CAP-40 always had a higher shot modifier cap, so I left that alone. It also means cooling jacket is better suited on the OCA, so they're not exactly the same in performance. Here's what the number should be adjusted to in order to match the current stats.

Live:
Fire Interval: 0.107 from 0.116
Accuracy 10M: 36cm from 37cm
Recovery Per Second: 4.884 from 4.44

Test A:
Fire Interval: 0.111 from 0.116

Test B:
Fire Interval: 0.114 from 0.116

Edit: recalculated values. Edited by MrsHappyPenguin

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1 hour ago, Tobii said:

Seeing as @LO_Beastie has posted some changes in a currently inaccessible part of the forum.
I figured I would post them here in a cleaned up state until they open up the OTW feedback forum.
 

 

  • Thank you for posting this Tobii
  • I understand that this is experimental and none of this is final
              

The standard-ranged ARS have received a 5m effective range reduction across the board.
Combined with an increase in the range of rifles, this allows rifles (and LMGs, to an extent) to shine at longer ranges where previously most players would just take an NTEC.
Min Damage Range stays the same, so you'll see a more gradual falloff of weapon performance over distance. 
This also promotes taking Rifling if you want to increase your range (more on this in a bit), at the cost of reducing your TTK at close range. 
This affects the following: AR-97, ATAC, COBRA FAR, Raptor, S1-FA, STAR, NTEC.
  • -^Absolutely pointless i don't think its necessary at all just seems like an unnecessary nerf for the NTEC or ARS in general with the upcoming IR changes-
  • -LMGs in their current state are already good trying to make them play a bigger part in every range is absurd-
--To emphasize the benefits of LMGs --
-Accurate? Yes
-Damage doesn't fall off until medium or long range? Yes 
-Low TTK? Yes
-Hard damage? Yes
-Mobility? Yes depends on the LMG though
-Large Magazine size? Yes



The NTEC is a fairly difficult challenge to tweak, as it's by far the most popular weapon in APB and thus any changes will affect near our entire playerbase, but it does need some changes.
There are two effective ways we can go about this without drastically changing the feel of the weapon, so we're investigating both simultaneously and we can compare side by side. 

Test A - Increase the fire-interval of the NTEC very slightly (from 0.14 to 0.145), adjusting accuracy stats so the accuracy over shots stays the same. This helps increase the perfect TTK slightly so it's closer to its contemporaries. 
At the same time we also reduce the Magazine capacity a little, to 30. It has a very high Kill to Magazine capacity as it is (and a relatively fast reload), so reducing this helps in a few ways: It makes missing slightly less forgiving, it makes the choice of blue mod more interesting, and gives players another comparison marker when choosing to use the weapon over the STAR (which now has more ammo than it).
  • -^ Unsure as to how i feel about this requires testing obviously regarding the fire interval it's probably mostly an irrelevant minor change though-

Test B - Reduce the effective accuracy of the NTEC, making it a little worse in terms of pinpoint effectiveness than other ARs, giving space for weapons like the ISSR, LCR and AR97 to get a look in. This reduces the base accuracy of the weapon to 28cms at 10m (from 24) and the Marksmanship modifier to 40% (from 35%). 
It also decreases jumping accuracy to 18 (from 12) to see if we can reduce jumping spray at close ranges a little. Minimum accuracy is 'improved' to stay the same as in live (since it's a multiplier on base accuracy). 
With this test, we also reduced ammo in the weapon to 28.
Note: The Scoped variant is unchanged in testing. If we actually make any changes to the NTEC, those changes will carry over. 
  • -^This essentially sounds like butchering the ntec but the accuracy changes might be subtle regardless i'm for decreasing accuracy for jumping and the modifier for moving while shooting in marksmanship mode-

Rifles In the same vein, we've increased the effective range of non-carbine Rifles by 5m, giving them a bit more oomph at ranges where they'd previously fall off This affects the following:, FFA, CR-762, OBIR, SBSR.
This is also important as a lot of rifles were relying on Rifling to make them valid for long distance engagements, and we're moving Rifling to be more of a trade-off than it was. 
  • -^This is a nice change-

Shotguns - The range-reduction we made at the beginning of the week on Live for Shotguns was a stop-gap solution to help reduce the problem while we look at further reducing the power of shotguns. 
Their now very consistent kill- rates at close range allows us to change them in other areas to reduce their power while still making them the best choice at point-blank. 
We can also start dropping the effect of the pellet bonus damage in some cases where it's resulting in the weapons being too effective. 

Strife Test A - Effective Damage increased to 903, 2-shot pellet count improved to 8 from 9 (Reduces Pellet Scale to 0.926 from 0.933). 
  • -^Why not just buff the range?-

CSG Test A - 2-shot pellet count reduced to 15 (from 13) (Damage 64 from 70, Scale 0.935 from 0.9). Fire Rate down to 0.8 (from 0.68). Effective Range changed to 1000/1750 (from 750/1750).
This gives the CSG a little bit of its range back, but requires better accuracy, and takes longer to kill, helping distinguish it more from the JG.
  • -^ As long as it's still a reliable 2 shot i don't see an issue-
  • -I don't see much of a point in the range increase considering its spread is already tight making it distinctly different from the JG i would guess you'd wanna make it relevant with IR3 and that's why you're pushing this change-
  • -If you're going to revert that change with range i don't see much of an issue with doing it with the JG aswell-



JG Test A - 2-shot pellet count reduced to 7 (from 6) (Damage 100 from 140, Scale 0.897 from 0.82).
  • -^ As long as it's still a reliable 2 shot i don't see an issue-

Shredder - Increased fire interval to 0.42 (from 0.37). This is a revert of a buff from the previous patch. We buffed it in a number of ways, this one was maybe a step too far.
  • -^Good change might be a sufficient change for the shredder to get it out of the op territory-
  • -I would also like to see a slight hard damage nerf on it though-
  • -There probably needs to be other changes for auto shotty like the DOW Thumper for instance-
Rifling -  We reduced the effectiveness of Rifling on live while we made some mechanical changes behind the scenes to be able to change it on a percentage basis, and this is the first test of this.
Rifling (the OTW test variant) now increases range by 5, 10, 15%, followed by an absolute increase of 1 2, 3 metres. 
This means it works better on longer range weapons, but at least has some effect on close range weapons (where the absolute increase has more of an effect). 
On average, Rifling 3 increases Shotguns by 4.5m, SMGs by 7.5, Carbines by 8.25, ARS by 10.5 (9.75 in prototype), Rifles by 10.5 (11.25 in prototype), LMGs by 13.5 and Snipers by 16.5 (essentially removing max range for them). 
  • -^A fantastic change-

Cooling Jacket - We're also testing to see if adding the Cooling Jacket effect to Burst Interval as well makes sense. 
It provides an interesting counter-option to rifling for burst weapons, though notably right now Cooling Jacket is essentially all benefit for Burst weapons and no downside, so that'll need some thought before we go further with anything in this area. 
  • -^No idea-

OCA - The OCA fire-rate buff a few years ago was a bit over the top, but it did need something at the time to make it viable (it was overshadowed at the time by every other SMG other than the Norsemen). As such, we want to pull back the buff, but not remove it entirely. 
  • -^I don't see much of an issue with it's fire rate atm its pretty subtle if you take the spread into account-
  • -^Besides that i don't care much either way but you might make the OCA irrelevant with this change unless you compensate in another aspect-

Test A - 0.95 fire interval (from 0.92).
Test B - 0.98 fire interval (from 0.92, very close to its old 0.1 fire rate). Edited by Spaghettio

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Hi everyone,

Since Tobii managed to discover LO_Beastie's build notes, I'm going to unhide this now. We initially had to hide it, because there was a possibility of changes.
However these changes are live on OTW now.

Thanks,
Matt

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9 minutes ago, MattScott said:


Since Tobii managed to discover LO_Beastie's build notes, I'm going to unhide this now. 
 

But I was the one that told him about it and made him get off the couch. 😞 I even posted and screened before him. Tobii always getting the praise, what is this bs. Pfft. Edited by NotZombieBiscuit
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31 minutes ago, NotZombieBiscuit said:
But I was the one that told him about it and made him get off the couch. 😞 I even posted and screened before him. Tobii always getting the praise, what is this bs. Pfft.
I will praise you. Thank you lord for giving us this total waist of space. Amen.
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Have to say a test like this would certainly be interesting to see at the very least. Not sure if a lot of these would work out. Just a solid opportunity to get a real chance to check out some of the "what if?" things people have been kicking around. 

Who the hell knows. Maybe something of use could come from all this. Can't wait to see how it plays out!

I'm not really including the shotgun tests in my opinion here. Those definitely needed work after they were buffed a tad too much.

Edited by Genobee

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10 hours ago, Tobii said:
The NTEC is a fairly difficult challenge to tweak, as it's by far the most popular weapon in APB and thus any changes will affect near our entire playerbase, but it does need some changes.
There are two effective ways we can go about this without drastically changing the feel of the weapon, so we're investigating both simultaneously and we can compare side by side. 

Test A - Increase the fire-interval of the NTEC very slightly (from 0.14 to 0.145), adjusting accuracy stats so the accuracy over shots stays the same. This helps increase the perfect TTK slightly so it's closer to its contemporaries. 
At the same time we also reduce the Magazine capacity a little, to 30. It has a very high Kill to Magazine capacity as it is (and a relatively fast reload), so reducing this helps in a few ways: It makes missing slightly less forgiving, it makes the choice of blue mod more interesting, and gives players another comparison marker when choosing to use the weapon over the STAR (which now has more ammo than it).

Test B - Reduce the effective accuracy of the NTEC, making it a little worse in terms of pinpoint effectiveness than other ARs, giving space for weapons like the ISSR, LCR and AR97 to get a look in. This reduces the base accuracy of the weapon to 28cms at 10m (from 24) and the Marksmanship modifier to 40% (from 35%). 
It also decreases jumping accuracy to
18 (from 12) to see if we can reduce jumping spray at close ranges a little. Minimum accuracy is 'improved' to stay the same as in live (since it's a multiplier on base accuracy). 
With this test, we also reduced ammo in the weapon to
28.
Note: The Scoped variant is unchanged in testing. If we actually mak
e any changes to the NTEC, those changes will carry over. 

It's really not hard to fix this N-tec and this certainly won't do the trick. The N-tec's range was never an issue, even back in the day, the N-tec was supposed to be the longer range AR compared to the STAR being the one for closer ranges. The main issue with the N-tec is how incredibly versatile it is and any of the top players in the game will tell you the exact same. You don't need to switch weapons for each spot, it doesn't matter if close or long range because the N-tec will do both incredibly well. If you make it less viable in close range it would fix the weapon and simply reducing the jumping accuracy is a good step but won't fix the main issue, even after that, the N-tec is still incredibly forgiving as it has a very low max bloom when full autoing and fast bloom recovery, increase the max spread and how fast it blooms and you'd make the gun much more balanced as you're taking away from its versatility and give players a reason to use the star for close to medium range spots.
 
10 hours ago, Tobii said:
Rifling -  We reduced the effectiveness of Rifling on live while we made some mechanical changes behind the scenes to be able to change it on a percentage basis, and this is the first test of this.
Rifling (the OTW test variant) now increases range by 5, 10, 15%, followed by an absolute increase of 1 2, 3 metres. 
This means it works better on longer range weapons, but at least has some effect on close range weapons (where the absolute increase has more of an effect). 
On average, Rifling 3 increases Shotguns by 4.5m, SMGs by 7.5, Carbines by 8.25, ARS by 10.5 (9.75 in prototype), Rifles by 10.5 (11.25 in prototype), LMGs by 13.5 and Snipers by 16.5 (essentially removing max range for them). 

This simply makes things confusing for new players, most people don't even know the effective range of a hand full of weapons so unless you're reworking the weapon stats tab in the game itself this just sounds like a horrible idea. Not to mention that this again will likely not make people use IR as any increase in TTK is not a downside most people want to take in APB because they'll just get Out-TTK'd. Please just revert IR to how it used to be and do something like how Cooling Jacket works with shotguns for certain weapons such as burst rifles as those seem to be the ones that are mostly unaffected by the original downside of IR, or just realize that you can't have it so all mods have a downside on all guns without making the mod undesirable. 


Also to note, I realize that these changes are EXPERIMENTAL, however, I am giving my feedback on where the changes are going nonetheless as from my PoV things are being pushed the wrong way. Edited by Frosi
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26 minutes ago, Frosi said:

It's really not hard to fix this N-tec and this certainly won't do the trick. The N-tec's range was never an issue, even back in the day, the N-tec was supposed to be the longer range AR compared to the STAR being the one for closer ranges. The main issue with the N-tec is how incredibly versatile it is and any of the top players in the game will tell you the exact same. You don't need to switch weapons for each spot, it doesn't matter if close or long range because the N-tec will do both incredibly well. If you make it less viable in close range it would fix the weapon and simply reducing the jumping accuracy is a good step but won't fix the main issue, even after that, the N-tec is still incredibly forgiving as it has a very low max bloom when full autoing and fast bloom recovery, increase the max spread and how fast it blooms and you'd make the gun much more balanced as you're taking away from its versatility and give players a reason to use the star for close to medium range spots.
 
 
I may as well play devils advocate for a moment here. It puts a serious hurt on weapons designed to be used in.. well.. everything in it's effective range to sometimes, a very substantial extent. Everything is what it excels at currently. It isn't the absolute king of course, but you can't deny that it's shadow looms over a swath of weapons. There is very, very good reason that it's one of the most common guns.

Technically a range reduction coupled with a slight tweak to the RoF would prevent it from being the end-all-be-all. Other guns would finally get a chance to get a chance to shine a bit more. Wouldn't the test changes resolve the issue without nuking the N-TEC from orbit? It would certainly feel better then tossing it's accuracy in the trash. Inaccurate guns typically feel awful in games unless they are designed with it from the start with a very specific goal in mind.

I'd rather they at least investigate the current idea before moving on to other changes.  Edited by Genobee

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