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Author Topic: Heavy Weapons feedback and ideas (v2.5)  (Read 1810 times)

Offline Rodmar

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Heavy Weapons feedback and ideas (v2.5)
« on: August 01, 2016, 08:03:46 pm »
Being now in the end of July, 2085, on difficult setting, I should have finished the last research (stopped at 98%), and know what late game looks like (I still need to phase my fleet, with only 1 Stingray and 3 Starchasers right now).

Some heavy weapons are obviously cumbersome, but most of them are still held with one hand only, Two hands are only needed to shoot.

.30 cal MG:
Such a hand-held, lightweight weapon should be called a LMG, given irl current LMGs (c. 50 ammo clips) weight between 7 and 10 kg (unloaded, and with a bipod and a light barrel), or a multipurpose MG, a SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), even an automatic rifle (US soldiers with M249 are called Automatic Riflemen).
For instance, current unloaded 5.56mm M249 SAW weights 6,8 kg, 7.62mm NATO MK48 (derived from M249) weights 8 kg, and the 1958 7.62mm French FN-MAG weighted 11 kg.
Above roughly 10 kg, and with greater capacity clips or bands, we have support MMG (fired with bipod, and with heavy barrels). Even heavier, we have HMG, weighting more than 20 kg with tripod and load. This would be the case of the UGV HMG. The difference between these weapons are the size and weight of the bi/tripod or mount, the capacity of the ammo clip, and the size and weight of the barrel (a heavier barrel sustaining more shots before having to cool down or to be changed).

Bolter Rifle:
It's more a gun than a rifle in shape, takes a full backpack to be carried on, has a penetration power of 2 (as compared to the advanced sniper rifle which has 3), and deals more raw damage than any other sniper weapon with AM ammo. Thus you could say that it's still useful in late game, against less armored foes.
- I'd have it even more different than the Coilgun by making it a two-handed held weapon, like the RPG and flamethrower, and by changing the way it is handled by the actor on the battlefield: rather like a flamethrower than a rifle. Why? We could say it's so bulky that it can't be held on the shoulder. It could feature a 45° visor at which the soldier would look down from a foot away, and be used from a "waist" firing position. An aiming laser and active stabilizers around the barrel would ensure the target in the scope is properly aimed at, providing the shooter takes times to do so (i.e. uses the aimed shot fire mode). I mean that it wouldn't be a matter of lining up the eye, the visor and the muzzle.

Particle Beam Canon:
- in order to keep variety on the battlefield, as well as specialized crews, they should be reserved to Ortnoks and very strong Humans. Shevaars would be impaired when trying and using it, and would keep on with the PB Rifle instead (that means modifying the way weapons are attributed to a team).
- this HMG counterpart would have an auto strafe fire mode on top of the actual single shot and short burst fire modes.
But this would be at the cost of beam caliber. Current design features a twin huge barrel, and research report tells it's able to disintegrate a fist-large section of metal (that means that a four beams burst would cut a man in two). I think about a Rifle-like beam (half an inch large?) that would be deviated by EM lenses inside the now over-calibrated barrels (quite the same way a Plasma Blaster gets a Plasma Rifle fire mode (although not a charged one)). Strafe patterns would come into a horizontal fan, a vertical fan, and  a conical shape. Given the reduced power of each individual beam, a shot at point blank would roughly deal the same damage than the current Burst mode, only it would take longer to proceed. Note that unlike the HMG and Flamethrower, no actual strafing would be required, as the beam deviation would be done electromagnetically. Strafe angle would be less than HMG, circa 10° (hence a 20° arch of fire). Possibly, range could be less than PB Rifle's. Number of shots would be, say 8, and firing speed would be greater than the Burst's.
- on the other hand, I would abandon the current Unrestricted Blast, which I don't even understand the underlying physics. The .ufo file looks like this mode is an attempt to replace the Plasma Bomb of old, dealing an area of effect damage around the first hit obstacle (or target) at a long range? How a beam can explode or diverge in such a way? Or is this an unknown quantum effect like focusing high speed particles to create an infinitesimal fusion reaction that would irradiate in turn the surrounding?
- like the Bolter Rifle, only a Walker (or an UGV) could handle a PB Canon single handedly. Powered Armour would be just enough to use it two handedly (both holding and firing it).

Heavy Needler:
By the late game, basic needler has disappeared from alien arsenal. Heavy needlers are handled by Shevaars and Ortnoks alike.
- heavy needlers could be reserved to Ortnoks only.
- only heavy needler would have the Needle Stream fire mode. Currently, given they share the same ammo clip, the only difference is the number of needles that are spit out in a given fire mode, not the damage per impact. Oddly enough, the firing sounds are not the same!
- both needlers could have an added demoralizing effect, based on the number of impacts and not only the resulting damage taken, although I have no idea as to how to have it through modding the .ufo file. This feature, and the fact that a basic needler keeps being handy against civilians and unarmored troops in terror missions, and is quite lethal at point blank, would ensure basic needlers are still interesting for the alien player.

Plasma Blaster:
- let's tell that the charged plasma technology is the only one that may reach a medium range (like the Plasma Pistol and Plasma Rifle); then Plasma Blaster would have a single, non aimed shot the power of a rifle's (a charged bolt, not a continuous beam).
- the single continuous plasma beam would have a reduced range (as compared to the Rifle's bolt), no aim, but more raw power. I'd have a three-beam shot (like the current Burst mode) to reflect the longer shooting time and the greater power, with less dispersion than the current three-beam shot. Each beam would deal the same damage as a rifle bolt.
- the Plasma Ball is fine as it is.
- I'd add a fourth fire mode called "Incineration" that would be used to burn anything inside a small room. Physically, a mist of plasma would be spitted in a large cone in front of the weapon's muzzle dealing a low intensity plasma damage, and a field fire. It would be the alien counterpart to the Flamethrower. As I don't know how to describe a conic energy spray, I'd like to test an attack consisting in several 4-range, 3-radius, highly dispersive, plasma balls (only needle/shotgun sprays seem to be enable?). The field of fire would last less than an incendiary grenade (say 2 turns). Visual effect would be that of a plasma grenade (given there are no sprays).

What are your thoughts about those heavy weapons?

Offline TallTroll

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Re: Heavy Weapons feedback and ideas (v2.5)
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 02:35:27 pm »
Right now, heavy weapons aren't really needed. So long as you keep up with research and building new items, although you get occasional lag when the aliens introduce new gear, your power level keeps up with them. When UGVs make it in, some sort of infantry AT might be required but that would probably be best done as part of a wider rebalancing exercise.