View Full Version : weapon autobalance

27th Apr 2005, 05:47 PM
hm ok, i dunnoe if anyone has posted this already but ive been thinking of a weapon autobalance thing... first of all, all servers running envy should connect to a master server which collect stats to improve the game... not stats just to post on a website somewhere, but an epic-owned machine that looks at every stock weapon in the game , and sees everyone's average efficiency (killed while using vs killing using) on them...

well, maybe stats will only be collected if the server is running in a way that would be equal to making it show when you click on 'standard servers only' on the server browser in ut2k4....but this is not UTstats, this is for balancing weapons...

all the weapons would have some fixed attributes, like rate of fire, accuracy, and all the other things that make them what they are... what does change, is the damage that each weapon does per hit...this paramter is changed as neccessary to make all the weapons have equal efficiency .... the updated parameters are downloaded to servers in periodic updates, which then apply to the clients

how does that sound?game minutely changes these settings over time until all the weapons come into a balance

then, if someone manages to create a new weapon, which ive not seen happen to any real extent in ut2k3 or 2k4 , and the weapon is finalised, maybe when a server hosts it, the master weaponbalance server will remember it, and track player's performances using that weapon, and give out updated damage values to any server running that particular weapon mod

the weapon damages for the default weapons will not be averaged using any server that uses custom weapons, neither will count for superweapons (so they stay super) ... vehicle weapons probably should be counted in,except for tactical superweapon-style attacks like the levi blasts

27th Apr 2005, 06:44 PM
That would be a neat mutator for ut2k4 too. I think someone should test this idea out. It would make for a crazy DM experience :). Would take a lot of server CPU though.

27th Apr 2005, 07:09 PM
actually, i had hoped that it wouldnt make an unusual experience, instead it should be the standard, all-defining , official weaponbalance... it would once and for all quell distputes about weapon usage, and nerf requests, and weapon-based flamewars

27th Apr 2005, 07:23 PM
That would be cool. Only thing is the weapon bases on certain maps are there because the map author wanted it to be harder to get that weapon or easier to get that weapon based on what kindof usefulness it has on the map. It would be cool for a gamemode that didn't require you to pick up specific weapons or maybe had different weapon lockers situated on the map instead of specific weapons. It would allow for the game makers to be super creative in making different weapons, because they wouldn't have to worry about balance. This would be awesome for a mod, not saying it wouldn't be cool having an official weaponbalance, but it isn't likely that the majority of current ut fans would want this.

*edit* Maybe there could be map triggers so when a weapon becomes too efficient there is a movement in the map or something. That would be way crazy, in a great way. I'd play that mod over the retail anyday.

27th Apr 2005, 07:46 PM
ehh noo... if the weapon isnt available in a certain map,it simply wouldnt be changed on the master weaponbalance server... like, a weapon can neither be too efficient or inefficient, when it isnt even available on a map... the game simply compares all the games played on all the recording servers , and adjusts the weapon strengths to fix any balance issues automatically, based on any data it can gather from all the weapons in play

ideally, the average player would have an equal chance of getting killed and killing someone, and all weapon efficiencies would be 50% regardless of which weapon is used, and the game dynamically adjusts the damage 1 health at a time from the original value
but for different firemodes, i think it could be somewhat akward, like how people talk about the shock secondary... then the game should weight between the firemodes too, say if people are getting too many kills via a particular weapon's primary or secondary firemode, the damage on that firemode would be altered to balance its use... maybe as a fraction of the total weapon's effectiveness... and maybe, the same can go for any 'tertiary' modes like the shock combo...by the way if it works like this, it would put skilled players at an even greater advantage, as lots of people would suck at hitting someone with the shock rifle, and even more would suck even more on executing a shock combo, and so when anyone can pull these off then they will do alot of damage

this is only one degree of freedom (only changing one thing, which is the damage) , and it is the only way i can think of to properly balance the weapons... you'd totally be messing yourself up when you try to think of it in terms of projectile speed, splash radius, rate of fire, spread , etc etc....
maybe, something like splash radius can be related to damage,and applied to weapons which deal splash damage , rate of fire and spread can be related to balancing hits vs misses ,if the game knows when you are trying to shoot someone, maybe theres a cone in front of you which works like an avril lock , and applied to hitscan weapons since its impossible to tell if your trying to hit someone else ...

27th Apr 2005, 08:04 PM
ehh noo... if the weapon isnt available in a certain map,it simply wouldnt be changed on the master weaponbalance server... like, a weapon can neither be too efficient or inefficient, when it isnt even available on a map...I didn't write what I meant... let me clarify.Only thing is, the weapon bases on certain maps are there in the specific areas they are designated to :Dbecause the map author wanted it to be harder to get that weapon or easier to get that weapon based on what kindof usefulness it has on that specific map or that specific area. In other words, weapon bases aren't inanely placed around the map....the game simply compares all the games played on all the recording servers , and adjusts the weapon strengths to fix any balance issues automatically, based on any data it can gather from all the weapons in play.Do you mean use the recorded data coming off of other servers to balance a game currently being played? That would be silly. What if in this particular match we are playing someone is whoring the bio or link, but in other servers and other previous matches the bio efficiency was crap. In this mod :D the weapon adjustment should be specific to the particular server and match in progress.

27th Apr 2005, 08:08 PM
hm... then, on that particular level, everyone would have to worry about the bio rifle and link gun, and experienced players of that level would have an upper hand... for the sake of a global and absolute balance on weapons

and thats just one level... if someone happens to be good with a particular weapon, well, let them be!

and the weapon adjustment would also be permenant, and persistent... its literally part of the game, and each weapon would do as much damage as dictated by the balance

ok im not making much sense because i need sooo much sleep, but yeah i kinda get your point about specific areas etc etc... then that would best be a 'crazy' mutator that you have, or better yet, a mutator that can be engrained into a map just like the stunt mutator is embedded into ons-tricky... that way, the map author has absolute control

by the way with such a mutator running, the gameplay data would be excluded from being calculated, as a mod that is in play is affecting the weapon balance...

28th Apr 2005, 04:44 AM
So if i'm a shock h0 then my weapon would become more and more useless after time, as the game i bought changes - do i get a refund?

Nice idea but.. come on.. definitely just a mute idea.

28th Apr 2005, 09:13 AM
heheheh of course you wont get your refund... because your weapon wont become more and more useless over time just because YOU are being a shock whore, its only going to become useless if everyone else (on average) whores it too much, and to keep the balance between the weapons...

in fact, if you whore it and if your 1 in 100 able to do that, then it in turn gives you 100X average the score of other people if you use the shock rifle all the time...

28th Apr 2005, 10:52 AM
The problem with this approach is that weapon balance is most crucial in competitive games like TDM and 1-on-1, but the casual gamers will be more common than competitive gamers and hence affect the weapon balance more.

As an example, lets assume this existed for UT2004, and that UT2004 had a lot of new players playing it. What do you think would happen to flak? Within weeks, it would be virtually useless, since just about every new player uses it most of the time. And weapons like shock and LG would become stronger, since they arent used that much and are not the strongest weapons for new players.

I don't think this would improve the weapon balance, it would actually do the opposite. 1-on-1 for example would be even more focused on hitscan weapons, with increased ping dependencies.

However, the stats should be collected so that Epic can use them as guidelines if/when they tweak the weapons in patches.


28th Apr 2005, 10:57 AM
Another problem is - say you are in a raptor - you know you have over 200 armour - and are safr from anything excepta well aimed tank shell or a dammage amped avril.

Once you can't predict what payload is on that incoming avril - you can die when you'd be thinking "that shouldn't have had the power to kill me" - which is fustrating.

Being unable to have control of your environment; and feeling that a game is random and chaotic is really fustrating when playing games, and that's why I think this is a really bad idea.

28th Apr 2005, 09:21 PM
ah... ok... well, i have 2 things to say...

first of all, is like, the raptor's 200 life is alot compared to the less than 1 life at a time that the autobalance would slowly adjust on the avril over a long period of time... you'd only get surprised by a change in weapon strength, i.e. have a chaotic feeling, when you havent been playing a looong time and the balance has had time to shift, and that is if it shifts at all

secondly, whereas UT99 had classic, turbo and that other mode, similarly the autobalance can have ranks as described in another thread to account for the change in a player's playstyle as his or her skill improves... assuming that the very unlikely event that both the autobalance and the ranking system would be implemented, weapons would be balanced differently depending on different ranks... like , as the players aim get better, hitscan weapons lose their upper hand on the higher ranks while the flak cannon retains its power , umm much like what ut2k4 and 2k3 is now thereby negating any point in this thread seeing as all newbies eventually get better anyway... but, remember that time when they had to nerf the flak cannon secondary? that is the reason why i posted this thread at all... so that , whatever new weapons they come up with, they do not encounter any problems like that...

still, even if changes are to be done manually, instead of arbitiary and random changes in value, they will be computed and perfectly balanced, as in when they decide to change the weapon balance, a computer calculates the best values for them to change it to...

thinking about the flak cannon secondary again, well, theres alot more to weapons than just their damage... after all, the nerfage applied was on the rate of fire, and i think not on the damage... there are alot of dynamics that affect how the player uses the weapon, but i think these changes are best done at artistic discretion, and not at precision...

so yeah, the thought of the hordes of total novices out there dying while holding the shock rifle and completely botching the autobalance up , while consistently getting kills with weapons like the flak cannon and rocket launcher and botching the autobalance up even more, is kind of upsetting... there must be a better way to balance the weapons, other than to do it manually... this is all due to the differences in playingstyles , having different emphasises on different weapons

contrastingly, if the players are novices, hopefully the chances are (which is to say 'i dont know if' ) they will not have as much of an online presence compared to people who would have learnt how to aim with the shock rifle already, and pardon me if i do not grasp the scope of 1-on-1 matches but , if we count the total number of kills made by that weapon vs the number of times someone holding that weapon got killed, as opposed to averaging everybody's efficiency of that weapon, maybe skilled players ,whose kill counts alre multiple times those of an average player, will dominate the balance of weapons,and just like what edhe said, keep the power of hitscan weapons in check...