The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

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The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC »

Kind of in an analytical mood, and the Companions So Far thread didn't get it out of my system. So, since they just overhauled weapons and weapon mods, I figure I'll give those a quick overview as well. Hopefully this will help some of the folks who are just dipping their toes in the beta for the first or second time.

Combat Skill - Assault Rifles
Tier 1: M1, M14
Tier 2: FAMAS, M4 Carbine
Tier 3: G3, M16

General Info: The solid workhorse of the Ranged Weapon family, most Ranger Squads will probably have at least one Ranger toting an Assault Rifle. These weapons strike a nice balance between powerful and versatile, with longer range and higher damage than most other ranged weapons (except for Sniper Rifles, of course). All Assault Rifles cost 5 AP to fire, meaning a character with Optimal AP (10) will be able to fire twice per round - and characters with less than Optimal AP can instead enjoy the burst function. Most (if not all) Assault Rifles have a Burst Fire option, allowing them to spray off a quick 3 to 5 shot burst of bullets at a single target - more damage at the cost of accuracy and ammo. The only real down sides to these fantastic weapons are; 1) Ammo is pricey (8-10 scrap per shot), and 2) At point blank range you suffer accuracy penalties (although not as heavy as the penalties that Snipers suffer from).

Mods: All the mods. Yes, that's right, Assault Rifles get to use all the coolest and most useful mods. Extended Barrels and Scopes for longer-range killing? Yup. Laser Sights for more accurate killing? Sure! A variety of specialized magazines, to increase clip size, decrease reloading time, or completely eliminate any chance of jamming? We've got those too. Really, the only Ranged Weapon mod that Assault Rifles DON'T get are Choke mods, but those kind of suck anyway.

Final Rating: 8 / 10

Combat Skill - Bladed Weapons
Tier 1: Knife, Sickle
Tier 2: Makeshift Cleaver, Pickaxe
Tier 3: Combat Knife, Hatchet

General Info: Blades are probably the most practical choice when it comes to melee weaponry. Sure they inflict a little less damage than Blunt weapons, but they're also lighter and faster. At only 3 AP a swing (or 2 AP, with Grip Tape!) you'll often be able to hack away at most opponents three to six times per turn, and every attack has a chance of inflicting a (trivial) bleeding injury. This lower attack cost also means rangers wielding Bladed weapons are more mobile, allowing them to dart in, take a few swings, and then use their last two or three AP to duck back into cover.

Mods: No question here, you'll want to put Grip Tape on every single Bladed weapon you ever use. With the AP discount that Grip Tape provides, you'll be able to attack 4 (with 8-9 AP), 5 (with 10-11 AP), or 6 (with 12+ AP) times in a single turn, which is absolutely crazy. There's also a Weights mod slot, but that's really a personal preference sort of thing. There are two types of weights, with one boosting accuracy and one boosting crit-rate - so just choose which one you like better.

Final Rating: 8 / 10

Combat Skill - Blunt Weapons
Tier 1: Nail Board, Stick, Wire Bat
Tier 2: Pipe
Tier 3: Crowbar, Nightstick
Unique: Ace's Wrench, Blood Staff, True Blood Staff

General Info: Blunt weapons are the slower but more damaging option, when it comes to melee combat. Clocking in at a relatively hefty 4 AP per swing, Blunt Weapons enjoy both higher damage than Bladed or Brawling weapons, as well as a significantly higher Armor-Piercing value. It's up to the individual player if they feel that this trade-off is worth it, but it's important to remember that the higher attack-cost ALSO means that the player needs to be more careful about how they spend their AP while moving around on the battlefield - more expensive attacks means more likelihood that you won't be able to both reach AND attack an opponent in a single turn. This can often be a problem, especially against deadlier enemies, so be sure to carry a backup weapon. It's worth noting that Blunt weapons can occasionally cause the "concussion" debuff on an enemy, but this is so rare that it's barely worth mentioning.

Mods: Mods are definitely a must for Blunt weapons, if only because of Grip Tape. Grip Tape is pretty much a must for any melee weapon that will allow it, because it grants a bonus of -1 AP Cost per attack - meaning you only spend 3 AP per swing instead of 4. This can mean the difference between attacking twice and three times, depending on your AP loadout. The Weights mod is more subjective, because it really comes down to simple personal preference. There are only two different types of Weights at the moment - so if you want to hit more often, use the Light Weights mod, and if you want to get more criticals, use the Heavy Weights mod. Simple.

Final Rating: 5 / 10

Combat Skill - Brawling
Tier 1: Fists!
Unique: Lexicanium's Bionic Arm

General Info: It's REALLY hard to get a good read on Brawling right now, because its still in its formative stage. It was introduced into the Beta relatively late, on the third or fourth pass (by fan demand), and it hasn't gotten a whole lot of attention since then. Unlike Brawling from the original game, which let you use any object as a deadly weapon, Brawling in the sequel is more akin to Pugilism - it focuses on letting you beat people to death with your fists. And, to be honest, it does it pretty well. The general idea at the moment seems to be that Brawling attacks are relatively fast (3 AP per swing), with low but consistent damage and a high crit-rate. On an individual basis you'll probably only see 10 or so damage per punch, but one out of every three or four punches will crit for two or three times normal damage. There are no brawling weapons enabled in the game right now (though earlier versions did see the elusive "Brass Knuckles" weapon), except for a unique one that's literally grafted to one of the NPC Companions. That one doles out 15 damage per swing, with crits regularly hitting the 40+ range. This probably isn't a good primary weapon skill, but it never hurts to use it as a secondary for any character that can't afford to carry the weight of a Bladed or Blunt weapon (snipers especially).

Mods: None. Its your fists. You can't mod them very well. But, uh, maybe later? Like... brass knuckles might have weights or spikes or something?

Final Rating: 6 / 10

Combat Skill - Energy Weapons
Tier 2: Laser Repeater (kind of)

General Notes: I'm not gonna lie to you, Energy Weapons are all borked up right now. They were relatively untouched and unchanged for the first five or six versions of the Beta, but apparently they're now being pulled back to the drawing board. In earlier versions they were low-damage weapons that had the primary benefit of slicing right through armor, but the general problem was that most heavily armored enemies ALSO had a huge pool of MAXCON to work with - meaning that the trivial damage would ignore armor, but still be... well... trivial. If the new Laser Repeater (under the wrong name in the current version) is any indication, however, they're buffing up the damage by about 50% but cutting the Armor Penetration values in half. Handy. But I'll have to wait and see how it continues to develop before passing serious judgement. Note, though, that in the current version of the Beta there is ONLY ONE energy weapon unless you're willing to cheat and edit your save files. You will get that ONE energy weapon in Darwin Village, roughly halfway through the Beta. Do NOT make a character who is entirely reliant on Energy Weapons, unless you're comfortable with them having nothing but a Stick for the first few hours.

Mods: The Laser Repeater has slots for a Scope Mod and Under Barrel Mod, so I can only assume that'll be the norm for most other Energy Weapons as well. Scopes are always handy for extending range, and the Under Barrel slot is currently only used for Laser Sights (+13% Accuracy). Pretty self-explanatory, there. Better range, better accuracy. Not a lot of choice.

Final Rating: 6 / 10

Combat Skill - Handguns
Tier 1: .38 Automatic, Ol' Navy Revolver
Tier 2: Marakov, Midnight Special
Tier 3: .38 Revolver, FFS Benetto
Unique: Gold-Plated Engraved Derringer, Rose's Thorn

General Info: At a glance, Handguns are easy to underestimate. From the raw numbers, they seem underwhelming - low damage and short range. In truth, though, they're very versatile and surprisingly effective in many combat situations. The average pistol costs 3 AP to fire, meaning you can pop off 2 shots a turn with most characters - or 3 shots, if you have 9+ AP. By the time you hit Tier 3, you'll be inflicting about 10-15 damage per shot (or 20-30 on a crit). With up to 3 shots a turn (or 4, if you save AP from one turn to the next), you can drop most weaker targets - or finish off several wounded ones. The fact that most pistol ammo only costs 2-3 scrap per shot is just a bonus. Note that at higher tiers, Handguns start using all sorts of different ammo types. They start off using .38 cal ammo, followed by 9mm ammo, and then finally .45 cal ammo. Unlike most other weapon types, these caliber changes come pretty regularly (about once per tier).

Mods: Mods are a pretty significant game-changer for handguns in general, because they help shore up the biggest limiting factor for the weapon category - range. Most handguns will have ranges hovering around 10 meters, but most handguns will ALSO have a slot for scopes. The two scopes currently in the game are the very common Tactical Scope (+4 Range) and the High Power Scope (+8 Range), both of which are fantastically useful on any serious sidearm. Now your weak doctor or badly wounded melee fighter can hide up to twice as far away while they plink low-caliber bullets at those pesky enemies! Almost all of the handguns have Under Barrel mod slots, too, but currently the only Under Barrel mod is the Laser Sight - and those are so rare and expensive that you'll probably want to save them for use on bigger and better weapons.

Final Rating: 7 / 10

Combat Skill - Heavy (Grenades)
Tier 1: Pipe Bomb
Tier 2: Grenade
Tier 3: Dirty Grenade

General Info: These are self-explanatory. You pull the pin and throw them, then watch some dudes blow up. At the moment they're crazy-accurate, never missing their intended target, and they can be precision-aimed to tag up to three or four tightly clustered targets at a time. With an absurd Armor-Penetration of 10 they will ALWAYS inflict full damage on any target, making their only real limiting factors availability and AP cost. AP cost isn't a huge deal - it costs 6 AP to huck a grenade at someone (though that does mean you'll usually only throw one per round). Availability is a bit trickier, though, since very few vendors carry them. They're relatively cheap ($50 apiece), but only normal Grenades can be found in abundance. At the moment, Pipe Bombs are very hard to come by (and they're inferior to Grenades anyway), while Dirty Bombs are almost impossible to find (I think you can get a maximum of 2 in the current Beta).

Mods: Nope.

Final Rating: 9 / 10

Combat Skill - Heavy (Machine Guns)
Tier 1: M2
Tier 2: Bren
Tier 3: BAR
Unique: Big Betty

General Info: Machine guns are... eh. They were somewhat useful in the last build, with their main limitations being low damage per shot and difficulty keeping them fed. These problems have only really been exacerbated with the new weapons update, especially at the lower tiers. Machine Guns only fire in five-round bursts, meaning that they will eat ammunition very quickly, and they tend to be both less accurate (they fire in a cone) and less damaging (average is about 10-15 damage per shot) than most other ranged weapons. The idea, I suppose, is to use them to spray down crowds of opponents - or to spray one big opponent with many, many bullets. Unfortunately, as of the latest patch these weapons all use 5.56mm rounds, which are the same bullets you'll probably be using for your Assault Rifles (which are much more efficient, but in accuracy and in damage). These rounds cost about 8-10 scrap PER SHOT, so its hard to fire off a burst with a Machine Gun and not think, "Gosh, I hope that 50 scrap I just shot at the enemy was worth it!" It's even worse with the bottom-tier M2, because THAT one only fires in 10-round bursts! How many players are going to be eager to blow 100 scrap with every burst, when they're still tooling around with first-tier weapons?

Mods: The Machine Guns use a whole slew of mods, including Choke, Magazine, Scope, and Under Barrel mods. It doesn't really help make up for the main limitation of these weapons, which is how expensive they are to feed, but it at least gives you a bit more versatility. You can boost range and/or accuracy pretty easily with all of these mods - but lets be honest. You're probably going to save your good mods for other, more practical weapons.

Final Rating: 3 / 10

Combat Skill - Heavy (Rockets)
Tier 1: RPG-7
Tier 2: LAW Rocket
Tier 3: Sabot Rocket

General Info: Basically bigger, heavier grenades. Rockets get pretty crazy pretty quickly, although (oddly) at Tier 1 they're basically worse than grenades in every way. The RPG-7 does less damage than a grenade, and weighs 15 pounds (making it the heaviest weapon currently in the game), with its only benefit being a slightly wider blast radius. This quickly reverses with the LAW Rocket (30-60 damage) and the Sabot Rocket (60-90), though, both of which do more damage AND are significantly lighter than their predecessor(s). Of course, those benefits come with a massive cost - and in this case, literally a massive cost. Rockets are tremendously expensive, to the point where its actually debatable as to whether there's ever a situation where using one is actually cost effective. A LAW costs $450, while a Sabot costs $900 - and neither can do enough damage to take down a Slicerdicer in a single shot. Short of turning a corner and finding yourself staring down a half-dozen tightly clustered robots, would you EVER feel comfortable burning a $900 rocket in combat?

Mods: Still no. Nope nope nope.

Final Rating: 6 / 10

Combat Skill - Shotguns
Tier 1: Pump Shotgun, Sawed Off Shotgun
Tier 2: Coach Gun, Lever Action Shotgun
Tier 3: M-37 Pump Action, SOSG
Unique: Mississippi Mule

General Info: Eh, Shotguns are... better than they used to be, but that's not saying much. As of one patch ago, they started using cone-templates for every shot (to represent the spread patterns for buckshot), and it was a definite improvement (because previously they were short-range, single-target weapons with garbage armor penetration values). They are now basically low-rent crowd control, allowing you to pepper multiple targets in an arc with low-damage, low-penetration attacks that have a chance to cause (trivial) bleeding injuries. They're still not very impressive, but they're not without their uses. At 5 AP per shot, a character with optimal AP will be able to pump two blasts of buckshot into a crowd in a single turn - but then he'd better be ready to switch to another weapon, because the shotgun is more or less useless once the enemies start mingling with the rest of your team.

Mods: Shotguns only get access to a single type of mod - the Choke. At the moment, there are only two types of Choke mods (and honestly, I can't THINK of more than two types of Choke mods). One of them narrows the weapon's cone template while extending the weapon's overall range (Full Choke), and the other does exactly the opposite (Open Choke). It comes down to personal preference as to which one you might want to use, but I personally tend toward using the Full Choke - I find the narrower spread makes it easier to precision-fire bursts of buckshot past my melee-centric allies without inadvertently perforating them.

Final Rating: 5 / 10

Combat Skill - Sniper Rifles
Tier 1: Hunting Rifle
Tier 2: G43-W
Tier 3: Bullpup Sniper Rifle
Tier 5(!): SVD

General Notes: Ah, Sniper Rifles. These are probably the most practical weapons on the list by far, and most ranger squads are going to have at LEAST one dedicated sniper - if not two. They have incredible range and incredible damage, coupled with a wide assortment of mod slots and the fact that they just look plain cool. There's a lot to be said for a weapon that will pop heads off at up to forty squares away (after mods). The only real drawbacks to these weapons are the obvious - they're a little expensive to feed (about 10 scrap per shot), and they're very hard to use if you're stuck at close range. At 7 AP per shot, make sure you have other rangers to run interference on melee-oriented enemies, because if someone is within two squares of you when you're trying to fire you're going to see a SERIOUS drop-off in accuracy (via the "Under Pressure" debuff). This is mitigated somewhat at higher tiers, because the AP cost drops off to 6 per shot at Tier 3 and above. The current beta is a little wonky, because it allows you to get your hands on a Tier 5(!) sniper rifle once you reach Valley of Titan. In fact, that's the only Tier 5 weapon in the current Beta! And yes, it is very broken (60-70 damage per shot). I'm assuming this will be fixed, later down the line. Judging from the SVD, higher-tier Sniper Rifles will use 7.62mm ammunition (instead of the .30-06 ammo used by the lower tiers).

Mods: Sniper Rifles get all the cool mods. Barrel mods? Check. Magazine mods? Check. Scope mods? Double-check! Between Long Barrels and Scopes, you'll probably end up with a 30+ range on any Sniper Rifle, and almost any Magazine mod is handy (although personally I use either Extended Mag or Sturdy Mag - jams on a Sniper Rifle are a pain in the ass because they waste two turns to clear). And heck, if you have a Laser Sight, slap that on too. This is probably the best weapon for that rare and expensive mod.

Final Rating: 9 / 10

Combat Skill - Submachine Guns
Tier 1: Greaser, Mark II Sven
Tier 2: PP-81, Skorpion
Tier 3: Mac 17, Uzi

General Info: Submachine Guns are... interesting. They're low-damage, low-penetration, and short-range, making them less than ideal as a primary weapon - but they're not bad for cheapo crowd control. While they're slightly less damaging on a shot-for-shot basis than most Handguns, they make up for this by ONLY firing in 3-round bursts. That is to say, every time you pull the trigger (for 4 AP) they shoot approximately three bullets at your target(s). Oh sure, these bullets are pretty weak, but all together they could inflict a possible total of 30+ damage per burst (at higher tiers)! And, since its only 4 AP per burst, even the slowest characters will probably be able to fire off two bursts per round, saturating enemies with many, many bullet wounds. All Submachine Guns also have a higher burst option, generally for 5 or 6 AP (instead of 4). These options generally allow you to fire 5 rounds in a single burst, instead of 3, although some individual SMGs seem to go even higher. Like Handguns, SMGs seem to quickly swap from one type of ammo to another as they go up in Tiers. At Tier 1, .38 cal is the norm, but then it quickly changes to 9mm and .45 cal - so plan accordingly.

Mods: SMGs get access to most of the cool mods, with the exception of Scopes. I suppose it makes sense, what with the weapon rattling all over the place while firing, but that loss of range does hurt a bit. Still, you can always slap a Long Barrel onto any SMG to bolster its Accuracy/Range a good bit - or you can do the exact opposite with a Short Barrel, sacrificing range for the security of knowing that every single bullet will absolutely hit its target (+15% accuracy per shot). The Laser Sight is always a good idea, if you can afford/find them, but the Magazine Mods are highly subjective. Most SMGs will have more than enough rounds, so the Extended Mag is generally a bad idea, but the Quick Mag is appealing for players who use/abuse the burst function heavily - although personally I stick with the Sturdy Mag (-15% Jam Chance), because firing more bullets means far more chances for those pesky weapon jams.

Final Rating: 6 / 10
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Re: The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by Crosmando »

Nice write-up.

An interesting thing imo is that both the strength and weakness of Shotgun is how situational they are, the spread sounds good at first but there's not enough actual encounters in the game where you can really use the spread to full effect, ie enemies do not bunch-up, especially ranged enemies, the only times I've ever got a decent use of them is when 3 or more melee enemies all pile up at point-blank range and I can let go a brutal shot, but this doesn't happen much even in the Ag Center, there's not enough low-hitpoint melee enemies about. Improving them probably requires increasing the spread even more.

I have to disagree on Blunt weapons though, I currently have a character with Blunt 9 and 10 Strength and 10 Speed, and he just kicks ass, it's true that he can only get off one attack a turn, BUT his crazy movement AP means he can run the length of half a soccer field before he uses that attack. Once he gets higher in skill the misses become extremely rare.

The main issue is that Bladed weapons, due to their awesome crit rate, are awesome at first when fighting "meat" enemies, but once you run into armored robots they are practically useless, they have terrible armor penetration. Granted Blunt isn't great against armor either but it's more well-rounded melee skill imo.

I really think InXile is falling into the trap of the most long-range weaponry (Assault & Sniper Rifles) becoming overpowered, due to the fact that well it just makes sense to take enemies out at long-range before they become a threat. It's possible in many encounters to set your Snipers to ambush and wait for enemies to run into your range in their turns. They have done some things, such as the "Under Pressure" mechanic, to reduce the power of AR/Snipers, but it needs more work I think, especially the god-awful ability to get off free shots in real-time before combat starts, with Snipers this ability is the most cheap exploit in the whole game, you can literally take out the most dangerous enemy in the group before combat even begins, it's ridiculous for a turn-based game where stats are supposed to be king. I suggest this over CenterCode but I think the "free attacks" should be removed, when you try to attack an enemy it should start combat and do an initiative roll as usual.

I think AR and Sniper should cost more in AP to fire perhaps, at the least something should be done about the AR burst-fire which is overpowered.

I think Snipers/AR should have a "two stage" pressure mechanic, where accuracy is severely reduced within 3 squares like "Under Severe Pressure", but within say 4-6 it should be "Under Pressure" and less of a penalty.
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Re: The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC »

Crosmando wrote:I have to disagree on Blunt weapons though, I currently have a character with Blunt 9 and 10 Strength and 10 Speed, and he just kicks ass, it's true that he can only get off one attack a turn, BUT his crazy movement AP means he can run the length of half a soccer field before he uses that attack. Once he gets higher in skill the misses become extremely rare.[/b]

True, but this is an example where the character in question is deliberately min-maxed to an extreme degree. Most players will only max one attribute at most, and they're more likely to max out Strength than Speed (I suspect, anyway). With more "average" characters such as Angela (10 AP, 6 Speed) or Ralphy (8 AP, 4 Speed) the player is generally lucky to get off even one attack in early rounds, let alone two or more.
Crosmando wrote:The main issue is that Bladed weapons, due to their awesome crit rate, are awesome at first when fighting "meat" enemies, but once you run into armored robots they are practically useless, they have terrible armor penetration. Granted Blunt isn't great against armor either but it's more well-rounded melee skill imo.
My own experience with bladed weapons was actually quite positive, although mostly due to the aforementioned ability to attack for just 2 AP per swing. My blade fighter (10 AP, 6 Strength, 6 Speed) doubled as my "pointman", and thus generally started combat very close to the triggering enemies. He could then leap onto them in just 2-3 AP, and shred them apart with a barrage of 3-4 melee attacks (or 5-6 if he had points left over from a previous turn). The Tier 3 Bladed weapons have a Penetration value of 3, which is sufficient to get through almost any (current) opponent's armor (SlicerDicers and bosses are the exception), and he would often drop weaker robots like Killers or Clawbots in just one or two attacks (in part due to a 20+ percent chance to crit per swing, coupled with a high volume of attacks).

Blunt weapons hit harder and punch through armor more readily, but I just have a hard time considering that an equal trade-off to the absurdity of my knife-wielding dervish. And I can't even imagine how well he might have done if I had given HIM a 10 in Strength and Speed.
Crosmando wrote:I really think InXile is falling into the trap of the most long-range weaponry (Assault & Sniper Rifles) becoming overpowered, due to the fact that well it just makes sense to take enemies out at long-range before they become a threat.
In part, I think this is exacerbated by the presence of large, open levels. With the recent introduction of areas like The Prison and Damonta, we're getting larger and larger arenas with less and less cover, which makes long-range weaponry like Assault Rifles or Sniper Rifles even more appealing. In Damonta, there were areas where I was using my snipers to kill enemies who were literally so far away that they were still concealed by the Fog of War!

I would say there do need to be some more claustrophobic areas, to encourage the use of close quarters weaponry from time to time, although I understand that cramped spaces can be problematic in an RPG such as this. An alternative is to introduce some enemies who are somehow more resistant to long-ranged attacks, possibly through the use of something like a stealth or distortion field - or even just through the clever usage of well-placed or mobile cover.

At the very least, the cost of ammunition does act as something of an obstacle during the early game. It makes it difficult to support more than one dedicated Sniper or Rifleman in a single squad, at least until the player has had several hours to stockpile loot and scrap.
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Re: The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by Onholyservicebound »

Last few times I played I thought blade was terrible compared to blunt, mostly because it seemed to do very little damage to robots and badgers. Still does pretty terrible against robots, but it's much better than before. The 2 ap per swing with mods makes it way viable, although I wouldn't say the difference between blade and blunt is that staggering. Blunt still wrecks robots like nothing else.

Unarmed feels ridiculously powerful , although it unfortunately can't be affected by mods the crit chance is crazy, 50%+ for me right now, and I haven't even maxed the skill.
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Re: The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by frozyx »

SagaDC wrote:
Combat Skill - Assault Rifles
Tier 1: M1, M14
Tier 2: FAMAS, M4 Carbine
Tier 3: G3, M16
Tier 4 (?): AK-97 - 44-54 dmg, 3 AP(single)/3 AP(burst), 35(!!!)m range

Note: Got if from a monk in the 2nd part of the valley - old patch version! But its still there with the above stats ...
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Re: The Weapons So Far (Spoilers!)

Post by SagaDC »

Yeah, they seem to have populated the Weapon Lists all the way up to Tier 6 (I'm going through them right now), but most if not all of those weapons are using place-holder values. According to the current Assault Rifle list, the AK-97 is a Tier 5 weapon - although it shouldn't be mistaken for the AK-47, which is a Tier 4 weapon.

Much like the SVD, the AK-97 is hugely better than almost any other weapon present in the Beta simply because its two tiers higher than anything else in the Beta. I suspect that once the game gets more polish on it, Tier 4+ weapons will be mostly exclusive to the California area. :)
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