Author Topic: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying  (Read 1437 times)

Valor

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LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« on: November 14, 2023, 09:18:06 am »
I will preface this by saying everyone has their own preference, so what I dint not appealing might be the best for someone else. This is just my feeling about the new weapon type.

Lets start with Pros:
- Best AP to damage ratio in whole game, bar none. You can get 80+ damage per non-crit bullet at lvl 10, and shoot 11-13 of them at lvl 10. With 80%+ accuracy. For 25 AP. This means you can deal 2K damage per turn, without any AP boosts at lvl 10. No other weapon type can match that. And you scale well from that as well in the end game.
- LMG sound is satisfying.

And now the cons:
- Burst feels unreliable as AoE weapon. Its has similar mechanics as shotgun but shotgun felt way more reliable in its AoE cone capabilities. LMG should honestly feel way more controlled compared to shotgun, but that might be not doable in current engine.
- There are no active feats useable with LMG. Each other weapon type has at least one (often 3-4) active feats useable. This makes gameplay feel bland as you lack tactical options and it diminishes "Fun factor" greatly.
- You are shoehorned into metal armour (or heavy tact vest) due to heavy metal feat. You might argue lightning punches or heavyweight does similar thing, but the bonus damage from heavy metal is so significant that you would be crippling yourself on purpose not taking it. It also means you cant have AR/pistol as sidearm leading to next point
- Lack of possible sidearm and ability to shoot fewer bullets meant in mid game (and even in late game as bullets rarely become plentiful), you either use sledge (skill points issue), or have minigun as "sidearm" as it actually shoots way less ammo when used from time to time to finish off wounded enemies.

Overall they feel too close to shotguns, but lack the finese shotguns can provide, while pushing you into singular playstyle.

harperfan7

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2023, 03:01:30 pm »
You can also wear snake leathers. 

Str vers with a hammer is a legit option.
*eurobeat intensifies*

Fins

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2023, 03:42:46 pm »
...
- Best AP to damage ratio in whole game, bar none. You can get 80+ damage per non-crit bullet at lvl 10, and shoot 11-13 of them at lvl 10. With 80%+ accuracy. For 25 AP. This means you can deal 2K damage per turn, without any AP boosts at lvl 10. No other weapon type can match that. And you scale well from that as well in the end game.
...
This is not true. Best AP to non-crit damage ratio was, and still is, an SMG build (while best AP to crit damage is, of course, crafted energy pistols with their insane crit damage bonus when min-maxed for it). An SMG would go like this:

- Dex 12 (by level 8 ): 7.62 mm Steel Cat is ~8 AP base cost (with Rapid Reloader, which LMGs can't use);
- Spec Ops feat (level 8 feat): 200% burst cost (only works for SMGs), hence ~16 AP burst cost;
- same +2 bullets per burst from Muzzle Brake LMGs use;
- same Full-Auto feat for +2 bullets more, Str allowing, which LMGs also can use;
- Commando feat: an extra free burst every turn provided something dies after initial 3 bursts. Doesn't work for LMGs - AR/SMG only feat.

The latter is level 14 feat, though obviously it's just too good not to mention.

Result being, 4 bursts per turn without any AP bonuses (16x3 = 48 AP, plus a free one from Commando feat) - in any fight where such firepower would be desired (multiple enemies). Base damage is not too hugely different, too: q158 7.62mm Steel Cat SMG - deals 16-49 base damage (before any Per damage increase), while q159 9mm Grudge LMG - deals 38-47 base damage, i.e. even lower maximum damage than said SMG. Reload costs for lower SMG ammo capacity - can and should be trivialized with corresponding belt and/or feat. Also, Rapid Reloader proc practically guarantees some extra AP for an extra reload every turn - again, something LMGs don't get.

And then, with further +Dexterity increases (as it should be for an all-out SMG build), base and burst AP costs will further decrease at higher levels: 7 AP base / 14 AP burst at level 20 (with 15 Dex), and even 6 AP / 12 AP burst at level 26. The latter allowing to do 5 bursts per turn (with Commando), before any AP bonuses.

Bottom line: 4...5 9-bullet bursts per turn, with barely lower base damage (SMGs) - vs just 2 13-bullet bursts per turn (LMGs). That's 36...45 bullets spit out (SMGs) vs 26 bullets (LMGs). And more flexibility - shorter but more numerous bursts allow to better control overkill and multiple directions, as needed. Clear winner, to me, is SMGs - and by far. Damage-wise for non-crit, that is.

Where LMGs get ahead - is not damage, but range, if to compare with SMGs. Thus it much depends on playstyle: is long-range burst fire much desired? Then go LMGs and/or ARs. That's when these truly shine. But if sheer AP-to-damage is the goal, then go SMGs (and no heavy armor - high mobility is king whenever playing mid-range SMG builds). And it's quite right things are so - in real world, a good SMG is also usually better at close/mid range sheer firepower, outta sheer fire rate (Uzis and such) and compactness of ammo (P-90 and such). That's why SMGs exist to beging with - a crapton of firepower in a compact package.

P.S. Oh and as for Heavy Metal feat - replace it with Expertise for SMG non-crit damage, which most likely won't be as potent as Heavy Metal, but given how many bullets per turn SMGs can dish out - is nothing to sneeze at either, especially at higher levels. It's up to 900 damage per turn from Expertise alone per every 5-burst turn by level 20 - almost half of said 2k LMGs can spit out. With times more damage outta SMG itself and all relevant damage bonuses, of course. So 2k total damage per turn - is quite low, see... ;)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 04:15:52 pm by Fins »
our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr

ShoggothWhisperer

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2023, 07:00:41 pm »
...
- Best AP to damage ratio in whole game, bar none. You can get 80+ damage per non-crit bullet at lvl 10, and shoot 11-13 of them at lvl 10. With 80%+ accuracy. For 25 AP. This means you can deal 2K damage per turn, without any AP boosts at lvl 10. No other weapon type can match that. And you scale well from that as well in the end game.
...
This is not true. Best AP to non-crit damage ratio was, and still is, an SMG build (while best AP to crit damage is, of course, crafted energy pistols with their insane crit damage bonus when min-maxed for it).

LMGs have better damage than SMGs. A Muzzled Ratchet cost 25 ap to fire and shoots 15 9mm bullets per burst with Full auto, Mag Dump, and Mag Dump Spec. With Specced Heavy metal you turn 75% of armor penalty into damage, the max armor penalty you can get is 173, so you get a ~130% damage increase for your heavy guns. You will generally kill the majority of enemies in 1-2 bullets with that much damage, but against tanker foes like dreadnoughts or nagas you have concentrated fire for an even larger damage boost. Specced Bullet trance damage gives a 10% damage boost per kill up to a max of a 50% damage boost after 5 kills. You get less bursts and less bullets than an SMG, but in exchange each bullet deals tremendously more damage. You’re both wrong in what the best ap to damage ratio is though, Fusion cannon beats both LMGs and SMGs because it benefits from extremely high base damage, heavy metal, high technicalities, tricky trajectory, and deals damage types that are rarely resisted.

Vagabond

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2023, 12:13:58 am »
the max armor penalty you can get is 173, so you get a ~130% damage increase for your heavy guns.

Wait, what? I always thought armor penalty capped at 95% making heavy metal a 47.5% boost. I mean, that is still a lot, but still, if this is true, then Heavy Metal is way more powerful than I thought, shame we can't reliably get Tungsten 180Q plates for a Juggernaut build I had in mind.

Also, in response to OP topic, LMGs don't need extra uniqueness, they are almost perfect where they are. The two limitations of ammo guzzling and burst fire only is more than enough. 9mm and 7.62 may not be a problem to get even on DOM, but 12.7 and 44, especially their unique versions, that's a money and time sink right there. Not to mention the repair kits necessary for maintenance.

In one of my posts for Infusion, one suggestion for LMGs was to have the option to immobilize yourself and fire at any enemy that crosses your line of fire at a set fire angle (something like an MG nest), making it an area denial feature (this is something the enemy can use too), but that was way before Heavy Duty was announced and I honestly wasn't expecting another DLC. Now, seeing LMGs in action, I think this idea would make them OP beyond reason, even with balance to AP costs, ammo count etc.

The idea was to make a risk reward choice, you sacrifice a good portion of your AP, ammo and make yourself vulnerable to ranged attacks, but you get to attack approaching enemies on their turn in a specific area and have spare AP to use meds, and combat utility.

I am running a mobile tin can build without heavy metal and the damage with Standard Ammo is more than enough for 90% of enemies. Nagas get one-two burst killed with W2C. With that kind of damage the idea above is way too OP to be a feature, unless countermeasures or similar features are added to other weapons, which means more work. But being able to attack on an enemies turn in turned base combat is OP in of itself, hence it's always weaker than normal attacks in terms of either alpha damage or DPS. Other than that, there ain't much an LMG can do more to differentiate itself from ARs/SMGs.

Also, also, sorry for topic jumping, I just don't want to spam posts, Shoggoth, thx for the reply and confirmation on the build thread about the secret encounter.

harperfan7

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2023, 12:47:30 am »
With heavyweight, it adds up the total armor penalty of all the items you wear.  Heavymetal probably works the same but I don't know if its proven yet.
*eurobeat intensifies*

Fins

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2023, 12:56:14 am »
LMGs have better damage than SMGs. A Muzzled Ratchet cost 25 ap to fire and shoots 15 9mm bullets per burst with Full auto, Mag Dump, and Mag Dump Spec. With Specced Heavy metal you turn 75% of armor penalty into damage, the max armor penalty you can get is 173, so you get a ~130% damage increase for your heavy guns. You will generally kill the majority of enemies in 1-2 bullets with that much damage, but against tanker foes like dreadnoughts or nagas you have concentrated fire for an even larger damage boost. Specced Bullet trance damage gives a 10% damage boost per kill up to a max of a 50% damage boost after 5 kills. You get less bursts and less bullets than an SMG, but in exchange each bullet deals tremendously more damage. You’re both wrong in what the best ap to damage ratio is though, Fusion cannon beats both LMGs and SMGs because it benefits from extremely high base damage, heavy metal, high technicalities, tricky trajectory, and deals damage types that are rarely resisted.
Good arguments, but still disputable. Heavy Metal itself - i already mentioned how ~twice more bullets translate into twice more potency of Expertise, which at least reduces the edge LMGs get outta Heavy Metal. Now we're talking specialization - well then, what about Critical Power fully specced for a Steel Cat SMG build with properly potent (read - 100% crit chance) Ambush on top? What good huge damage per bullet does, if SMGs can similarly kill most enemies with 1-2 bullets whenever bursting vs ambushed foes? And you can illuminate wide areas with Telekinetic Proxy, incendiaries and even 8.6mm incendiary ammo, which Steel Cats can fire (unlike all but one LMGs).

I.e., don't think LMGs get uniquely much extra damage potential outta all sorts of feats and features - SMGs get along rather swell too. My post above was more or less "non-crit base damage comparison" only...
our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. (c) William R. Catton, Jr

apollounderrail

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2023, 03:59:33 pm »
While I did find LMGs fun to use at first, I became extremely bored halfway through the game and had to make a new character (chempistol grenade launcher). The reason is it felt too similar to my playthroughs with SMGs and assault rifles. As you noted, specific skills for the new weapon classes would go a long way towards differentiating them.

LMG skill ideas:
spray’n’pray - triple the firing arc and double the amount of bullets fired, once every 2-3 turns
(Don’t have a name idea) Half AP cost for firing LMGs for two turns, cooldown is 10 turns

Grenade launcher - edit: loving them so far.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2023, 07:04:04 am by apollounderrail »

Hawk

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2023, 08:08:10 pm »
I am completely agree with the author of the topic.
I found myself in the situation alike. I made a new run of the game, just to test this new class of weapons.
Conclusions: LMG and miniguns way less (if not say useless) effective than SMG and AR. I've posted a whole topic about it in General section.  And grenade launchers way less effective than simple Grenadier, because projectile nades have far wider area of the effect and there are EMP nades, which can immediatly turn off the shields of a whole group of enemies. Also, the new grenade launchers cannot shoot plasma or flashbangs/gaz (etc.) nades... And the MOST important difference is the AP cost, 15 AP (!!!) (for projectile) and 25 (25>15) for the 25mm grenade launcher. Not even to mention the 40mm shots AP cost (which is even higher)... Considering that one can have up to 4 different (projectile) nades at the hand, without switching ammo or any manipulations... The only drawback is the CD (2 turns with Grenadier perk), for the projectiles, but it's largely covered up by the advantages of this class of weapons (throwing nades).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2023, 08:30:15 pm by Hawk »

Hammer

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2023, 07:53:49 pm »
I'm going to wade in here and say that I've found the LMG/minigun gameplay satisfying. Burst-only feels like a fine trade-off, I like how expensive it is considering how much lead you're throwing downrange, and there's a lot of entertaining number-crunching you can do with any combination of a huge number of feats.

ARs will let you stick or twist and you don't have to commit to a full 14 STR, that's true. But unusual synergy on the level miniguns and supporting feats bring hasn't been seen in this game since Corporeal Projection and I'm enjoying what Heavy Duty has brought to the table.

For grenade launchers, I have 3 Dex. Being able to use Guns and not Throwing is a godsend.

JustAHatTrynaChill

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2024, 02:37:49 pm »
I definitely find my current LMG character very satisfying, but I am going from a 10 Agility, Tranquility, Quad-Psi to a Tungsten Juggernaut, so it's probably just because I don't have to be scared of paper cuts anymore :^).

I agree that the gameplay of LMG's is very samey, and suffers from the lack of Active Feats such as Aimed Shot, Kneecap, or Pummel. If some active feats were added, I think it would greatly enhance the playstyle. I have to say though, it's hard to come up with some that fit the theme LMG's have, but don't just end up being "more damage" for the high damage weapon class.

I liked the idea of one that functioned like Thermodynamacity, but with LMG's and Sledgehammers. Burst for the full AP cost, smash them for 15~AP, then on the next turn, Burst them for 15~ AP, and smash them for the full cost, but as cool as it sounds (at least I think so) it just results in more damage for the weapon that doesn't need it.
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peet

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Re: LMG gameplay feels unsatisfying
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2024, 03:33:19 pm »
Also, the new grenade launchers cannot shoot plasma or flashbangs/gaz (etc.) nades... And the MOST important difference is the AP cost, 15 AP (!!!) (for projectile) and 25 (25>15) for the 25mm grenade launcher. Not even to mention the 40mm shots AP cost (which is even higher)... Considering that one can have up to 4 different (projectile) nades at the hand, without switching ammo or any manipulations... The only drawback is the CD (2 turns with Grenadier perk), for the projectiles, but it's largely covered up by the advantages of this class of weapons (throwing nades).

Try playing a GL build. Turns out the 15 AP that you can spend throwing a grenade is a waste of AP. GL's absolutely thrash throwing grenades IMO. Their damage gets absolutely ridiculous, can get "thrown" farther, multiple times per turn, for way more damage. I tried a GL build with some throwing skill, and I never had to throw anything, in fact the only use for combat utilities that I found with a GL build is to trigger the Master Demolitionist belt to self-buff with the Demolition Man feat. Check my build: https://stygiansoftware.com/forums/index.php?topic=10502.0