Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Chris

Burst Fire Update

120 posts in this topic

Will the reserve slider make it possible to cut a burst shot? or ill a burst fire always consume all AP even the reserved AP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way to have control over the burst without having different fire modes would be to use the reserve slider (which would need to be reworked) to limit the available AP for the burst.

The reason I want to be able to control the burst is that otherwise I would find it a bit odd I can:

move->fire small burst with AP left

But can't:

fire small burst-> move with AP left

Which I would want in some situations.

Using the reserve slider, if you want a full auto burst then don't reserve any AP. If you want a smaller burst then select how much AP you want for movement, etc. after.

Edited by Khall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having given some thought to the problem of laser and plasma animation, I'm reminded of the work that many previous animators have put into animating zap guns. For lasers, it might be worthwhile imitating japanese animators and represent auto fire by a continous beam which carves a random line. I don't know if you've ever heard of Xenon Megablast, but you might represent autofire with a plasma weapon as a much larger supercharged glob of blue plasma which decoheres and splits up as it passes over the appropriate tiles, in a similar way the big honkin' guns in X:MB threw out thick bars of deadly light.

EDIT: I think the best examples of how to animate autofire weapons are to be found in bullet hell games and the Metal Slug series. Perhaps watch a few Let's Plays, that would give the little grey cells a nudge or two in the right direction?

Edited by Max_Caine
refined concept and expanded thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest a change to how burst fire works out its shot trajectories while we are talking about a more robust system.

My suggestion is that the first shot is aimed as per a standard single shot.

The second shot generates an angle and deviates by that amount from the path of the first shot.

The third generates an angle of deviation from the second shot and follows that path and so on.

The maximum possible deviation can be set on the weapon as some will have less recoil (the heavy weapon flag may increase this when you move before firing).

There may also be a minimum deviation for balancing purposes.

The accuracy of the trooper will have a small effect on the chance of the shot deviating towards the initial shot path rather than away.

This to me would look more like a burst of machine gun fire (or a beam from a laser) in that each shot will be dependent on where the last one went rather than in potentially very different direction as now.

The more accurate troopers would probably be able to keep a full auto burst within a few tile radius of their target while Rookie McSpraynpray will hose down half the map, but still hopefully without one shot going 15 degrees left and the next going 15 degrees right.

Graphic wise you could calculate the angles when it works out how many shots you will take and then just display a line of bullets/stream of plasma/laser beam.

You may also be able to add the extra accuracy modes to full auto to keep them consistent with single shots.

They would allow you to aim your first shot slightly better to make your burst more likely to cover the right area.

After the first round it would have no effect.

This may also fix the AP reserve problem (for burst length alteration) as burst only weapons would now be able to reserve multiple AP levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guddlike wouldn't that mechanic make it impossible for repeated hits? If bullet X hits, then X+1 has 0% chance of hitting and X+2 has <50% (depending on deviations range) to hit regardless of accuracy of the soldier?

Am I thinking wrong/misunderstanding you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would depend on the deviation percentage.

Remember that any shot that passes through the tile has a good chance of hitting the object in that tile.

It is not only a 0% deviation that would hit.

Also any shots that deviated back to the target could also pass through the tile and damage the initial target.

At close range a lot of shots could pass through the target tile while at longer range the spread would be wider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were doing deviations like you suggest, it'd make much more sense to do individual accuracy checks for each bullet. The first would be a normal shot calculated normally.

Then the second would be another hit / miss, but with a penalty to accuracy defined by the weapon (and possibly modified slightly by the soldier strength). If it's a miss, then the bullet deviates a random amount (in a range defined by the weapon) but always sufficiently to miss the target.

Then the third shot would be another hit / miss calculation, but with an even larger penalty to accuracy. If it's a miss, the bullet deviates further from the target. If it's a hit, the bullet would deviate back towards the target to a degree. Perhaps it wouldn't be enough to force a hit, but even if it is not it'd move the aim closer so another "hit" in the fourth shot would cause a successful hit.

That would require some extensive testing to get it working right, but it would look fairly realistic and would take the soldier accuracy into account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Base Accuracy * Recoil ^ (Shot# - 1),

where Base Accuracy is the set accuracy of the burst, Recoil is the value of the recoil parameter, and Shot# is which shot in the burst it is.

So for a recoil < 1 you get an accuracy that constantly decreases the longer the burst is?

IRL, accuracy of the first shot is very high because a long and heavy weapon, typically with a bipod, gives you a very stable platform.

I did my most "accurate" shooting ever with a machine gun, using 2-3 round bursts.

With a long burst you get an initial big kick but then you get to walk the fire back onto your target so I think you should instead aim for something like this:

burst_accuracy.jpg

This is what the latest revision of JA2 v1.13 autofire looks like. (in principle)

Then the third shot would be another hit / miss calculation, but with an even larger penalty to accuracy. If it's a miss, the bullet deviates further from the target. If it's a hit, the bullet would deviate back towards the target to a degree. Perhaps it wouldn't be enough to force a hit, but even if it is not it'd move the aim closer so another "hit" in the fourth shot would cause a successful hit.

That's pretty much exactly how it's done in Ja2 v1.13.

There is no random distribution of hits around the target but the bullets actually describe a path that leads across / away / back to the target.

For each shot the weapon kicks a random amount in a vertical / horizontal direction and the gunner (depending on skill) walks it back towards the target by increasing amounts, depending on the burst length.

It's crazy hard to balance. They tinkered with that for like months.

Then again, that game has several hundred different automatic weapons, ammo types, skills, and whatnot. =P

IMO, "just" a simple function like the scribble above, with a random hit location per individual bullet, would be plenty realistic in the greater scheme of things.

For short 3 round bursts you'd get an increasing inaccuracy. For longer full-auto bursts the "walk back to target" part eventually kicks in.

The weapon role could then be adjusted by the number of rounds fired per burst and the weapon's magazine capacity.

Edited by Gazz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the every bullet has its own calculation sounds like a real pain on your end and a balance nightmare so far it is the one I like the most. I do like the idea of the chart Gazz put up. At some point you have so many bullets out there your chances to hit start to go up.

I think it adds a nice strategic choice. Do I have enough TU to go full auto or should I just single shot and hope my fire team can do the job. It would also change how I breach buildings/ships. With burst as it is it is usually safe enough to use next to the power core. Full auto would rule machine guns out as ship breaches. The focus would further shift that role to flash bangs, shotguns, ect.

I understand the desire to not want to add 3 types of full auto and making the machine guns a mess of options. But I still think the burst fire has a place in the game. So maybe the assault rifles could stay burst and the machine guns have the full auto?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would require some extensive testing to get it working right, but it would look fairly realistic and would take the soldier accuracy into account.

Pretty much what I was looking at.

Slightly different use of the accuracy stat but probably end up with a similar effect.

I like the idea of strength having an effect as well.

Maybe the strength should give a modifier to the deviation though?

A slight reduction to negative deviation and slight bonus to positive deviation maybe?

I would like to see any accuracy penalty get steadily smaller as the burst continues though to represent walking fire back onto the target.

It would only make a difference on longer bursts though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pretty much what I was looking at.

Slightly different use of the accuracy stat but probably end up with a similar effect.

I like the idea of strength having an effect as well.

Maybe the strength should give a modifier to the deviation though?

A slight reduction to negative deviation and slight bonus to positive deviation maybe?

I would like to see any accuracy penalty get steadily smaller as the burst continues though to represent walking fire back onto the target.

It would only make a difference on longer bursts though.

I could definitely see strength making a difference when a weapon is rated as "heavy". I'm still not convinced that anything needs to be done with auto fire in general. Short 3-6 round bursts are pretty much standard military training. Unless a unit goes berserk I doubt they'd fire longer bursts. Maybe against some super tough alien they'd dump a whole belt to something at close range...I'll have think about it some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be truely honest, why do we need to change it at all? I'm perfectly happy with the current system. Maybe just twead power on 50.cal.

Edited by Betuor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because Chris isn't happy with the current system?

Read the OP and suggest how you think the current burst fire can be made to fit the criteria he wants it to fulfil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also a quick question about suppression for burst firing.

It was mentioned earlier that the amount of suppression could be based on the number of rounds fired in a burst.

Would it be better if the actual amount of suppression generated was either static, or only increased by a small amount per round, but the area of effect increased?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply to Gazz:

Yes I am not modelling "walking back" the rounds after it starts jerking, because I am not trying to model reality exactly. Even if you want to make the reality argument, then the number of rounds that a Xenonaut could fire in a burst (even with the new waste your entire turn spraying bullets method) would not give you enough time to walk it back. With 60 TU, one could at most fire about 10 rounds in a turn (10 TU for the first + 5 TU/shot). In real life you might at the sixth round have an opportunity to start walking it back, but I didn't think that the additional effort of adding an additional parameter to each weapon (to make a third order polynomial which your squiggley represents) would be worth the time and effort. There is probably a way to add a constant that would be consistent across all weapons, but I would have to think about it a bit.

In reply to Agent Dark:

I agree in that I really do not want full auto for weapons other than the machine gun and maybe the carbine. In which case the addition of a mode of fire or two for burst is not unreasonable, because you don't need any of the single fire options for the machine gun and at most one or two for the carbines. So you end up with the same number of fire options as there are for any other weapon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be happier with fire walking back and forward across the target area rather than getting more accurate onto the specific target tile.

Rather than a burst aimed at one spot I think spraying down the area around the alien is a better use of the burst.

Think Blain in Predator taking down the forest because he saw something move in it, rather than precise controlled bursts from an AR.

That gives a far bigger difference between using single shot and burst fire.

Using the current burst fire round number to limit the maximum number of rounds in a burst does seem to cover all the bases though.

You can use the same actual mechanic for all weapons but some can have their burst limited, to three rounds for the assault rifle for example.

Hopefully then you will be able to alter their accuracy, deviation limits, and strength bonuses to give a unique feel to weapons.

AR bursts can be more tightly controlled than the longer full auto bursts of other weapons to fit them into a single target attack role.

SMG are much less accurate and controllable in full auto but engage closer up.

Pistols are trickier but I would give them a double tap shot in auto that is tightly controlled as they will have pretty poor range.

Machine guns will be powerful up close and dangerous at any range.

They will also have a property damage downside due to the limited control you have over your shots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the UI, the way I imagine it would work easiest is:

1) I choose auto fire mode with my weapon.

2) when aiming a colored cone will appear that shows the approximate spread of my bullets.

3) I can then cycle bullet spread (cone angle) by right-clicking. Now it behaves just like "aiming" for single shots.

Regarding the other meachanics, I am a bit unsure.

I did like the option to simply consume all ammo or all TU's, like Chris suggested.

The other option is of course to set some fixed number of bullets fired (modified by the cone angle?) and TU's. But then you'd have to decide all those numbers for each weapon...

I don't think we'd like to see every bullet fired if we are putting down suppressive fire. So for auto fire I agree that instead only the impacts should be shown. I suppose you could also show each projectile as a "tracer" or something, but not have the camera follow each.

I imagine using auto fire in two ways:

1) To suppress enemies by spraying a larger area. Preferably with a machine gun and not an assault rifle. The idea is not primarily to hit but to keep them down.

2) You enter a room and there are three aliens standing in close formation just a few meters from you, so you try to spray them down with automatic fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having played with the current burst fire implementation for a bit, it's actually more fun than I remembered. Perhaps I won't change it.

Or maybe I will. I just don't know any more.

Edited by Chris
now with added indecision! or is there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only suggestion Chris, is to make the AP and numbers of rounds in the burst related to the firing rate of the weapon and amount of ammo per clip. I think a slight increase in both might be in order. For example: the M-60 gunner with 50 rounds can afford 10 round bursts while the M-16 guy maybe 6 (kinda like you have it now.) Also, if we ever get sub-machineguns like the MP-5 they'd probably fire a little longer bursts. For the hi-tech weapons you'll have to play test and balance and see what makes sense. Of course, all this is moddable anyway.

I'd much rather see you tweaking the suppression model and markers. It's my opinion that the amount of suppression and how much recovery occurs should be very random (see the threads.)

Edited by StellarRat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely the AP cost per round would represent the firing speed of the weapon?

A weapon with higher AP cost per round means that it fires fewer shots in the same amount of time as a weapon with lower AP costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not necessarily. Some weapons are easier to use in an auto mode than others. Recoil, firing rate, size, how it's aimed all are factors, but I think the main limitation is ammo. When you have more you can afford to fire longer bursts. In reality the AP cost of holding down the trigger a little longer should is tiny in most weapons. Both the M-60 and M-16 fire about 700 rounds per minute in full auto mode. That's 11 rounds per second. So, you can see that the whole clip would be gone in 3 seconds for the M-16 and 5 seconds for the M-60. It takes longer to reload the weapon than to fire an entire clip. The main trick is keeping your rounds on target and conserving ammo. The M-60 is easier to use for longer bursts because it has a bi-pod mount to keep it aimed and, of course, you can afford longer bursts because you have more ammo available. The M-60 is also designed to be automatic all the time, so it can withstand more firing before it overheats. Although, in Xenonauts overheating isn't much of a consideration because the battles don't last that long. Historically, it has been a problem in big battles. That's why some machineguns are water cooled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, speaking as a player, drawing from my experience of every build that I have played (since 9.2), if I have the AP to burst fire and have a weapon that can burst fire as well as single-shot, it has always been a better bet to burst fire than single shot, regardless of whether I am burst firing at long range or short range. This I have found to be true of the ballistic weapons, and it is especialy true of the laser weapons. Fun burst fire may be, but I believe that with burst fire as it currently is, the Let's Plays of Xenonauts when it gets released will be full of burst firing goodness, just as it was in the first two Xcom games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's why some machineguns are water cooled.

Or they are built with the ability to change barrels.

You can change the barrel of an MG3 (nearly unchanged from the MG42, "Hitler's Buzzsaw") in way under 10 seconds.

Back then they had a higher rate of fire, too (hence the nickname), so it wouldn't have been nearly as scary if the soldiers had had to wait for the barrel to cool.

Oh, and when you have to carry the cursed thing you quickly realise that it's not an assault rifle. Only takes a few kilometers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not necessarily. Some weapons are easier to use in an auto mode than others. Recoil, firing rate, size, how it's aimed all are factors, but I think the main limitation is ammo. When you have more you can afford to fire longer bursts. In reality the AP cost of holding down the trigger a little longer should is tiny in most weapons. Both the M-60 and M-16 fire about 700 rounds per minute in full auto mode. That's 11 rounds per second. So, you can see that the whole clip would be gone in 3 seconds for the M-16 and 5 seconds for the M-60. It takes longer to reload the weapon than to fire an entire clip. The main trick is keeping your rounds on target and conserving ammo. The M-60 is easier to use for longer bursts because it has a bi-pod mount to keep it aimed and, of course, you can afford longer bursts because you have more ammo available. The M-60 is also designed to be automatic all the time, so it can withstand more firing before it overheats. Although, in Xenonauts overheating isn't much of a consideration because the battles don't last that long. Historically, it has been a problem in big battles. That's why some machineguns are water cooled.

Most of which has nothing to do with the representation of AP.

Most of that is covered under recoil or accuracy, or in the proposed new version accuracy and deviation.

As you say the firing rate is about rounds per minute, or as I put it the amount of AP per round as it is represented in game.

Faster weapons are less AP per round.

Weapons with better control of recoil would have less deviation.

Weapons with better inherent accuracy would have more accurate shots or longer effective range.

I don't use burst fire much at all in its current form.

I find that the inaccuracy of the shots leaves me unwilling to bother with it unless purely using it for suppression.

I don't do that very often because I prefer the chance of killing something.

The proposed model would change that I think because it would have a completely different purpose.

Single shots would be your choice for attacking single enemies while bursts would be good for saturating areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris is now talking about leaving burst fire alone. I don't think you get what I'm saying exactly in regards to AP. How many rounds you can put down range ACCURATELY in a given number of APs is not just about firing rate. Sure you can just hold a trigger down and spray everywhere if all you want to do is empty the magazine, but actually pretending to aim is another story and as I said conserving ammo is important. Also, based on the amount of time other actions take in the game, autofire is grossly too expensive in terms of points. Reloading should take longer than emptying your weapon, but instead it takes a lot less time than shooting. Now, if you count aiming, ID'ing and tracking your targets than it starts to make some sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0