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My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312454] Sun, 25 November 2012 15:49 Go to next message
Mercury-FMJ

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2012
Okay, so whenever I play JA2 (or any game with good editors) I can't help myself but change pretty much everything in the game to my liking.

Since I've just upgraded to the new version of 1.13 (the one I've been playing still had single-digit AP's!), I have to go through this extremely lengthy process again. So I just wanted to see if anyone's interested in me uploading my modified XML files when I'm done.

One of the things that I do is to change the weapon damage to much more realistic values based on their real-world counterparts, so for example .45 no longer does only one more damage than 9mm, and pistol rounds once they get past about .357 in power actually do just as much or more damage than assault rifle rounds. The damage for each type of round is based on stats I looked up on the internet- muzzle velocity, calibre and length of the bullet, penetration, and, mostly, muzzle energy (with a medium-weight bullet). However, obviously, they pay for this with their AP cost. The other thing I do is sort of "standardize" AP and Ready AP costs- AP represents how quickly someone can place a follow-up shot (i.e. recoil) and Ready AP represents how quickly a weapon can be maneuvered, so it is based on the weapon's size (mostly length). Generally, Ready AP's for weapons are much higher, and AP's are lower than regular 1.13 because I just thought it took a bit too long to fire once you've got your aim ready, and the time it took to aim your weapon was too short. The amount of AP's it takes to ready and fire a weapon is about the same for some weapons, and often more than vanilla, but once you've got a target in your sights it takes less time to make follow-up shots. That's the basic ghist - if you're interested here are some more details:

Ready AP's for pistols and automatic pistols range from 10-14.
Ready AP's for tiny submachine guns (classed as machine pistols in-game) range from 15-18.
Ready AP's for full-sized submachine guns range from 18-22
Ready AP's for carbines range from 19-23
Ready AP's for full size assault rifles/normal size rifles range from 24-26
Ready AP's for long rifles/sniper rifles and most full-size MG's range from 26-30

AP cost is standardized and based on the round the weapon fires/damage, however it is also affected by the weapon's weight, as a heavier weapon absorbs more recoil. Therefore an SMG that fires 9mm costs very slightly less AP to fire than a pistol that fires 9mm (I love the 100AP system!) AP cost is worked out as a ratio of 1.4 of damage, so damage divided by AP cost = about 1.4.
Here are some examples of damage/basic AP costs for certain weapons. Since AP cost is modified very slightly for anything heavier than a pistol, and since I haven't gotten to the rifles yet, these are all pistol rounds. To give you an idea of what rifle rounds will be like, 5.56mm will do a similar amount of damage as .44, and will cost a point or two less AP's because it's being fired out of a heavier rifle. Heavier gun also = slightly lower Burst/Auto penalty

d=damage

9mm - 24d 16AP
.40 S&W - 25d 17AP
.45 ACP - 27d 19AP
.357 - 29d 21AP
.44 - 32d 23AP
10mm - 28d 20AP
.454 - 36d 25AP

So that's pretty much what I've got going on. Keep in mind that with this system, a lot of weapons end up being pretty much the same, even more so that in regular 1.13.
Now I'm also going to massively lower the ranges for rifles, and slightly raise the range of pistols, because I like doing that for gameplay reasons, so if you're interested in using my XML modifications, reply here or PM me soon, cause soon I will mess with the ranges too and you probably don't want that!


Edit: Another thing that affects damage sometimes is how the bullet is known to react inside the target. I've only taken this into account in some cases, as most of the time it is hard to find this information on the internet, unless the terminal ballistics of a certain bullet are extreme and therefore notable. This is easier with military rounds as they are studied a lot more and have standard, widely used bullets, whereas civilian, and to a lesser extent, police rounds have all kinds of bullets that react in all different ways depending on who they're made by and what model. For example I know that the 5.45 bullet is small, but tumbles like crazy, and (at least the current U.S Army) 5.56mm bullet fragments and spreads all over the place. The 7.62x39mm used to have a solid steel core and pretty crappy terminal ballistics - it would tend to go straight through people thus making a very small hole. Newer 7.62x39mm rounds are designed to tumble a bit more, but I can't find out how much...

[Updated on: Sun, 25 November 2012 16:38] by Moderator

Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312455] Sun, 25 November 2012 16:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sam Hotte

 
Messages:2031
Registered:March 2009
Location: Middle of Germany
About the damaga thingie: you might consider searching for "MAM" as this mod already deals with bullet tumble, damage according to calibre etc.
Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312456] Sun, 25 November 2012 17:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mercury-FMJ

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2012
I saw that just then actually! I might check it out, I'd definitely have to be able to see all the changes somewhere though to make sure I agree with them, and if the mod enables me to edit those values myself I'd be very interested. But I don't think it's exactly what I'm looking for as it modifies bullet damage, but it's still based on the weapon damage from 1.13, so I doubt it makes the damage is as fine-tuned as my modifications do. Thanks, though, Sam Hotte.
Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312457] Sun, 25 November 2012 18:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lamach_Head

 
Messages:426
Registered:November 2008
Location: Mars
All your points seem very reasonable and wise. I was waiting for similar AP/damage/range xml overhaul for like 457 years now. I am very interested, be sure I am going to try your mod out.

As Sam mentioned, you may use MAM as a reference in some cases. However your approach is better imo, as you look at it from the balance and gameplay perspective. But you can use it to compare some values.

EDIT: Btw. you didn't mention shotguns. Any ideas on how to make them viable asset?



Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312461] Sun, 25 November 2012 20:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mercury-FMJ

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2012
Sandro
All your points seem very reasonable and wise. I was waiting for similar AP/damage/range xml overhaul for like 457 years now. I am very interested, be sure I am going to try your mod out.

As Sam mentioned, you may use MAM as a reference in some cases. However your approach is better imo, as you look at it from the balance and gameplay perspective. But you can use it to compare some values.

EDIT: Btw. you didn't mention shotguns. Any ideas on how to make them viable asset?



Cool! I'll get to work then.

As for shotguns, what I usually do is raise their accuracy heaps (7-9), raise their range by a couple of tiles (17 tiles range for a full-length shotgun), and lower their AP - so that in my case their AP cost is disproportionately low for their damage. I haven't thought about the specifics a lot yet, but I guess I'll do something uh around 35-38 damage for about, say, 18-20 AP's? I did something similar to that in my old game, and shotguns were a decent alternative to SMG's at the start of the game if you used slugs for the range - I'd say SMG's were slightly more useful in quite a few situations still, but I did have a few guys with shotties at the start of the game and it did work well. And mid-late game one of the short shotguns with a laser sight made a good back-up short-range weapon for someone with a big rifle.

Oh, one thing I should mention is that I'm not changing anything to do with NCTH. There are certain things I can't change the way I'd like with NCTH, so unfortunately my modifications are meant to be used with OCTH. It won't make a difference with the damage/AP changes, but it will make a difference with some of the other stuff I'm going to talk about..

Now, you mentioned range... I will tell you what I usually do, and it dramatically changes the gameplay. I wasn't going to include this in the file I'm going to upload, but I will if you're interested. This is going to be very long... Just think about all these changes I'm about to describe, and you all can tell me what you want me to put in the file, or if you want me to keep something in, but tone it down, or something like that, that's okay too:

So anyways, I pretty much lower the range of rifles HEAPS. I also raise the range of pistols and SMG's slightly- the range of an average-length, average caliber pistol is 13, and I make more of the SMG's have 18-20 range. I just thought it would be fun to be able to shoot people with those things from farther away. The real big difference I make is in the rifles. As in, a short barreled carbine-style assault rifle (firing intermediate cartridges like 5.45, 5.56, 7.62x39 etc.) has a range between 22 (for the AKS-74U) up to 24. Longer assault rifles are from 25 to 27. High-powered battle rifles (7.62x51mm) range from about 25/26 for short weapons up to 30, and high-powered MG's and sniper rifles go up to about 34.
This is a huge change. A lot of other things I change for realism, but not this. I did it because I think it makes the battles more fun. I always really enjoyed the start of the game, particularly taking over chitzena and drassen and the small battles in between. Mostly because the weapons were short-ranged - you had to constantly move your mercs up and you'd have to fight your way across the whole map sometimes, and grenades at those times were so useful! I just had a lot more fun. I got disappointed once my mercs had assault rifles with ACOG's and sniper rifles, because most of the time all I would do is get my mercs into the nearest cover, shoot someone with one my snipers and raise the alarm and then sit there having a static shoot-out with the enemies that ran over to me. Sometimes I didn't move at all during the actual battle. So I lowered the range of everything.
It's not very realistic: an assault rifle can only shoot about 6 more tiles than an SMG, but I think it kinda makes sense in a way. As in, most battles happen at short-medium range. When people get in a gunfight with assault rifles, they're usually at a distance where an SMG would still be useful too, for example. Their guns are capable of shooting a lot further, but at that distance it's extremely difficult to actually see your target, and shooting a target that is very far away takes a lot of time spent aiming just right, and I think my changes to range reflect that.

Another thing I do is: You can no longer use a scope and a reflex sight at the same time (I change the ACOG Combo to just have the same stats as an ACOG 4x). I think it's absurd to be using two different sights at once (though it would be cool to still have the ACOG Combo if there were some way to switch between them). But I also dramatically lower the power of scopes, so it becomes actually worth it to choose between a scope and a reflex sight. The bonus to aimed shot is reduced, and all scopes except the 2x now have a penalty to AP's and/or Ready AP's.
It goes like this:
2x scope: +1 to aimed shot
4x scope: +2 to aimed shot, +1 ready AP
7x scope: +3 to aimed shot, +1 AP and +1 Ready AP
10x scope: +4 to aimed shot, +1 AP and +2 Ready AP's
- Oh I just realized that was in the old system. That would translate to... 1 old AP = about 6 AP's now.
That is not much added to aimed shot, so it might look like it's not worth it to use a scope with all those +AP's. But trust me, it still is very worth it to use a scope, and they are still very valuable and help you to shoot people when they are too far away to shoot you. It's just not absolutely necessary to have a scope as it is normally. Also, along with this I put a blanket +2 to aimed shot for every weapon. So shooting things far away without a scope is slightly easier. I did this because I have shot with iron sights and scopes and personally I prefer iron sights, you have a wider field of view and if you've practiced a lot you can shoot things that are very far away with them- so even though scopes do make it easier, in the regular game it just seemed like shooting something without a scope was impossible.
It's probably not very realistic- scopes have a narrower field of view so if you're shooting at something close it will take longer, but at optimum range it's probably actually faster to aim with a scope, because having less of the target obscured by the sights and a clearer picture (I assume this because it makes sense to me, but I was taking my time shooting targets with the scope, I wasn't exactly trying to kill someone as quickly as possible who had just popped up), but there's no way to differentiate this and I like to do it anyway, I think it works well in-game to have a penalty for using a scope. Obviously none of this works with NCTH - although I guess I could just lower the magnification of all the scopes, I'm not sure though and I'd have to play-test it to find out how much. Does anyone know if adding minus AP bonuses to scopes still works when using NCTH?

So, what all this adds up to in your game- obviously the afforementioned effects: closer-range battles, things like grenades, SMG's and shotguns are useful throughout the entire game... If you have an expert merc with a high-powered rifle and 7x or 10x scope, you can still hit people that are pretty far away. Just expect to have about a 50-60% chance to shoot someone who's halfway across the map, as opposed to having a 70% chance to shoot someone in the head who's all the way across the map.
Difficulty wise, I think in many cases it makes the game harder. It's harder to find cover at a place that is in range of your target, so your mercs won't always have something to hide behind. You move up farther towards your enemies, and it's often useful to go around something to flank them, so you're more likely to have someone turn a corner right in front of you, or get an interrupt on you. Things that make it easier sometimes, are less enemies shooting at you at once, because they're less likely to be all in range, and, the biggest difference that makes it easier is you no longer have your mercs getting their heads blown off from a sniper on the other side of the map.

Whew. So there you go. Just tell me what you want included and what you don't. If you would like me to still tone down the range, but not as much, or something, I can do that to. I can take out, leave in or change any of these things, just let me know!

Edit: The changes to scopes don't matter so much I guess, if someone wants that different, they can easily change it themselves. Changing every weapon in the game is not so easy.

[Updated on: Sun, 25 November 2012 20:43] by Moderator

Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312487] Mon, 26 November 2012 04:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
knightofni

 
Messages:101
Registered:August 2011
Mercury-FMJ
Does anyone know if adding minus AP bonuses to scopes still works when using NCTH?



Yes, but it works differently. You increase the number of aiming levels.
Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312495] Mon, 26 November 2012 14:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mercury-FMJ

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2012
knightofni
Mercury-FMJ
Does anyone know if adding minus AP bonuses to scopes still works when using NCTH?



Yes, but it works differently. You increase the number of aiming levels.


So, it increases the number of aiming levels you need to get the same effect? That's a bit odd. I'll definitely have to play test the new CTH before I mess with it.
Also it would help if someone could show me where to find a detailed explanation of how NCTH works as I can't find it anywhere.

I think I'll continue with OCTH - when I finish that, I may make a NCTH version if people are interested enough.

Edit: I forgot to ask another important question.. I don't actually know which file contains all the XML information that I'm editing. I need to make a backup. I copied DMLEditorSettings.xml, and XMLEditorInit.xml -both from the main folder- but I'm not sure either of these is the right file as they're both only 2kb...

[Updated on: Mon, 26 November 2012 14:21] by Moderator

Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312497] Mon, 26 November 2012 15:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lamach_Head

 
Messages:426
Registered:November 2008
Location: Mars
First of all, be sure you are using the latest development version of the game (5688>), not latest "stable" release (4780). There are couple of new features in there you definately want to count in, like scope modes. You can find one of the later here for example, or get it via SVN.
I hope you haven't started your work on the old xmls yet.

Now...

1) Reflex sights + scopes. Do not make that change of yours. Do not make them incompatible. The scope modes feature already took care of that, we ofc are able to mount both reflex sights and scopes on one gun, but we must switch from either using the scope, or using the reflex sights now (by pressing a key).
Nerfing ACOG is fine, but not that much, just reduce it's effectiveness a bit.
http://infideloptics.com/images/TripleThreatCombo.jpg

2) Shotguns. I would mind going to even higher damage range, but otherwise yes, that's what I meant. Their 1.13 vanilla slowness is ridiculous, reducing their APs to fire was needed most.

3) Weapon ranges. I like the increase in pistol ranges. You may look into skills_settings.ini and find the bonus range for pistols from gunslinger trait and remove it (set it to 0), as that was added in there exactly to compensate the low ranges of small guns.
I would have to test play your changes first to say if it feels better. It may be too much to lower the rifle ranges this big.

4) Power of scopes. Sounds good. Scopes making the shooting slower. Even more reasons to use scope modes, ignoring the scope, or even fire from hip. Besides this makes the scope being no longer the most important item in game. The changes may be too big, but I can't tell from paper. You say they are still viable like that, so I believe you.
Btw 1 AP in old system = 4 APs in new AP system.

5) NCTH. You can find its description here and here. The important thing to know is that aiming clicks are reversed - more aimclicks in NCTH = bad, while in OCTH it is good, you can reach better CtH. Your changes to APs and damage applies the same way to NCTH as OCTH, so don't worry too much about NCTH, it will come along itself.


Summary...
It pretty much sounds awesome! I may rather want the range changes tone down (as you anticipated). And maybe also reduce the nerfing of scopes a bit (only a bit). Otherwise all seems good, and I would personally want all of the changes (to ranges and scopes somewhat lesser maybe).

Take your time. And when/if you feel like it, post more of your points along the road.



Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312507] Mon, 26 November 2012 17:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mercury-FMJ

 
Messages:18
Registered:November 2012
Okay. I did start on the stable version. I just finished changing all pistols, SMG's, and shotguns so I can start playing the game. That's ok though I was pretty much going to re-work it all at some point to fine-tune. I will start again with new release at some point.

As for NCTH, this aim levels thing sounds possibly like a good alternative to simply using ready AP's. However if I used it, the difference in aiming levels will be very small. For example pistols seem to take a very small amount of time to aim from what I've heard. It sounds like an effort to make pistols a more viable weapon, which I am not particularly interested in per se, as to me, the game is fun when it plays out very similarly to real life. It sort of makes sense, as a one-handed weapon can be pointed from one direction to a completely different direction extremely quickly compared to two-handed weapons. I just hope there's a way to differentiate between aiming at a new target in a new direction and aiming once the gun is already pointed at the target. Because in that case, a pistol should probably take more time to aim - especially if a target isn't really close it takes a lot more effort to aim precisely with the simple notch and post on a pistol as it does with the peep sight or scope on a rifle. So in that way, I'm not sure that the NCTH really is a better system than OCTH for my ideas, but I'll see. In any case, my version of NCTH will feature much less difference in aiming levels between different weapon types. The size and pointability of a weapon can make a difference of a fraction of a second, which can be very important in a firefight, but as I said except for the occasion of aiming very quickly at close-up targets in very different directions, a big weapon isn't going to take twice as long to shoot as a small weapon, the difference is much smaller.

As for that change to the new skill/trait system.. I can do that, but if you want me to do anything else you'll have to tell me exactly what you want me to do. I just think that trait system is stupid and I've been ignoring it so I don't really want to go through it and balance everything.. but if you think anything else to do with that system needs changing, you can tell me what to do and I'll do it.

For the scopes; I'll double it.. so +2 to aimed shot for 2x scope, and you can see how that works.

And for range, I need a little more input on exactly what to set everything as. What do you think of this:
SMG's go up to 20 as before
Assault rifles firing intermediate cartridges start at 25/26? for carbines, and goes up to about 33 for full-length weapons
High caliber battle rifles (7.62x51) start at 28 for carbines, up to about 38.
Long rifles that fire rounds more powerful than 7.62NATO (M1 Garand, Kar98..) and sniper rifles from 38-43. For the sniper rifles this is very different from the original game, which had rifles firing the same round as the battle rifles shooting almost twice the range when the barrel was only about 7 inches longer. That is why I think it makes no sense. A highly accurized sniper rifle with a free floating barrel can shoot accurately at longer distances than another rifle of the same barrel length/caliber, but I think this is already mostly represented in the sniper rifle's extremely high accuracy, and I think there should be only about two or three pts on range added as well.
How does that sound? Do you want more range still or is that ok?
Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312509] Mon, 26 November 2012 17:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3767
Registered:July 2009
Telling the creator that his beloved trait system is stupid - always a good move Very Happy

As to the rifles:
Range is The single most important factor in OCTH. Accuracy is just a minor bonus that gets tacked on somewhere along the line. So if you want to show any significant difference between rifles and precision rifles under OCTH, you won't get around a sizable range advantage.


Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #312517] Mon, 26 November 2012 21:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lamach_Head

 
Messages:426
Registered:November 2008
Location: Mars
DepressivesBrot
Telling the creator that his beloved trait system is stupid - always a good move Very Happy
Yeah, that was rude... Nah, just kidding, I respect everyone's opinion, it's nothing personal.

Mercury-FMJ

As for that change to the new skill/trait system.. I can do that, but if you want me to do anything else you'll have to tell me exactly what you want me to do.
Nothing else is needed.

Mercury-FMJ
And for range, I need a little more input on exactly what to set everything as. What do you think of this:
...
How does that sound? Do you want more range still or is that ok?
That sounds goody.


Re: My weapon damage/AP cost mod[message #313224] Mon, 17 December 2012 15:22 Go to previous message
Lamach_Head

 
Messages:426
Registered:November 2008
Location: Mars
Any progress?


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