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You can't reload laser weapons. They are currently designed so they regenerate a set number of shots per turn. This varies on the weapon type. The cell in the current iteration for most laser weapons is 5, 10 for the LMG, which fires 5 shots. 

 

EDIT: This is why I am reluctant to comment on laser weapons - unlike starting ballistic weapons, their design may radically change. 

EDIT 2: I went back and looked at why I did what I did. 80 for accuracy sounds good on paper, but when you put those weapons in the field 3 zaps at burst is with a solider who has 80 accuracy (i.e. high end) has a 64% chance to hit, verses a 104% (uncapped) chance to hit with an aimed shot. It isn't the shots you miss with that do damage, and that bore out in my field tests. Soliders did more property damage than alien damage when firing off bursts from a laser gun, just as they did in Xcom 1994 when you could set the autofire to 99 shots. 

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Yeah, the laser weapons can't be reloaded (as Max has noted). I might consider dropping their ammo capacity lower. Dropping it to 3 on the Rifle and having it recharge 1 per turn might make it more interesting, because then firing a single shot means firing a full burst is no longer possible. There's potentially also an argument to make burst fire on the Laser (and perhaps Plasma) weapons more accurate than it is on the Ballistic equivalents because of the lack of recoil - which then makes ammo management more interesting because bursts are more effective than normal but you're only able to fire a burst once every three turns.

This dynamic is a little less interesting on the other weapons though. Snipers would probably have 1 ammo and recharge once per turn, shotguns probably 3 ammo but have short range, etc. But even that would make them act a bit more distinctly from the Ballistics compared to X1.

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Eh, I'd advise against making the cells any smaller. If a binary either/or situation (I can use a burst, or I can keep shooting) is forced then the "choice" is lost. I personally believe it's better to encourage people to think it's a good idea to drain the cell rather than force a binary choice on them. I can pretty much predict when X2 goes early access, if the cell is any smaller it will be modded to be made larger. 

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if we are talking about a single battery with a constant recharge, the way I would start thinking about the weapon system would be uptime/charge time

uptime is turns needed to drain the mag with the selected fire mode being used every turn.

charge time is the amount of turns being used to recharge the mag.

a big factor here is if the magazine recharges on the turn the weapon is firing, if this is the case any mode that has a uptime longer or equal then the chargetime can be used indefinitely, it also complicates the uptime formula's as you need to incorporate the amount of recharged shots (and turns firing those).

note that you can have a large uptime can be combined with a a huge charge time (basically a large mag with a very slow recharge, after spamming burst for many turns the battery is now nearly dry and neither firemodes will be very useful as the amount of charges replenished per turn would be like 1/4th a shot. "pacing" is more important, as the weapon doesn't maraton well, but is great for short engagements) waiting for recharges is a tedium here, but you have a meaningful choice as to use the burst or single shot option. (even though turn for turn wise, burst would still be optimal at 80% and 130% accuracy factors) as scraping the bottom of the energy capacity actually means something

you can also go for a fast charge time and low uptime, this generally favors the low drain shots as just using 1-2 of the high drain options mean that you can't use them anymore for the rest of the engagement, but the weapon promotes short "rests" between fights where the weapon recharges. (this seems to be the current desighn as I read solver and caine's comments) this makes the weapon well suited for long missions with many small fights. in this system however, draining the battery isn't that meaningful...as you can stall for a few turns to recharge and go back in the fight at full capacity.

that is just how I see it.  

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If you are going to reduce or limit the number of shots a weapon has, you would be well advise, to have a good secondary weapon, while waiting for recharge.

I think that most gamers would just avoid such weapons and go into combat with a weapon with better ammo capacity, as you could use a number of troopers to target the most dangerous alein! 

"Quantity over Quality" 

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5 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

Eh, I'd advise against making the cells any smaller. If a binary either/or situation (I can use a burst, or I can keep shooting) is forced then the "choice" is lost. I personally believe it's better to encourage people to think it's a good idea to drain the cell rather than force a binary choice on them. I can pretty much predict when X2 goes early access, if the cell is any smaller it will be modded to be made larger. 

I agree. The general recharging design is probably good, but a 3-shot cell isn't.

One more possibility is to delay the recharge - instead of recharging 1 shot per turn, make lasers only recharge if they were not fired in the preceding turn.

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5 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

Eh, I'd advise against making the cells any smaller. If a binary either/or situation (I can use a burst, or I can keep shooting) is forced then the "choice" is lost. I personally believe it's better to encourage people to think it's a good idea to drain the cell rather than force a binary choice on them. I can pretty much predict when X2 goes early access, if the cell is any smaller it will be modded to be made larger. 

^This ^

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You could go the Armored Core EO approach: Depending on the type, weapons recharge differently.  Like the light SMG version recharges constantly, the medium recharged in chunks, and the heavy one needs to sit and charge it all back in one chunk. 

So in this case, pistols and smgs could recharge 1 per round, rifles and shotguns could recharge every 3 or so, and heavier weapons could take 6 or so turns to recharge. 

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So that people are aware, recharge rates can be set on a per-weapon basis. Currently rifles regenerate 2 shots per turn, lmgs 3, snipers 1, shotguns 1 and pistols 1. This can be altered. The energy cell for laser weapons is almost universal - only lmgs have a larger cell. So everything except lmgs have 5 shots, lmgs have 10. 

EDIT: The pistol is a good example of draining the cell, but not in a good way. Snap shots are 10 TUs, aimed are 15. Because the accuracy is so crappy, it's easy to drain the cell trying to hit a target because the TU is so light, then you're left with 1 shot a turn and a whole lotta nuthin' if you're kitted out with a combat shield. I jacked up the accuracy of the pistol to compensate for that 

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24 minutes ago, Max_Caine said:

So that people are aware, recharge rates can be set on a per-weapon basis. Currently rifles regenerate 2 shots per turn, lmgs 3, snipers 1, shotguns 1 and pistols 1. This can be altered. The energy cell for laser weapons is almost universal - only lmgs have a larger cell. So everything except lmgs have 5 shots, lmgs have 10. 

EDIT: The pistol is a good example of draining the cell, but not in a good way. Snap shots are 10 TUs, aimed are 15. Because the accuracy is so crappy, it's easy to drain the cell trying to hit a target because the TU is so light, then you're left with 1 shot a turn and a whole lotta nuthin' if you're kitted out with a combat shield. I jacked up the accuracy of the pistol to compensate for that 

Sounds good to me. 

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How hard would it be to reduce the damage done by the laser per shot as the power cell is depleted? That would make the choice between bursts and aimed shots much more significant than 'will I run out of charge before I run out of enemy?'

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There is one awesome combined way about recharging any energy weapons, which is universal for all type of guns (pistol-smg) and technologies (from lasers to any plasmas).
1 - installed sun battery, light but requiring open place and sun (no roof and smoke around), and highly limited recharge per turn anyway (2-3 turns for one smg burst for example, or 1 snipershot);
2 - backpack generators mk1 mk2 mk3 etc... Requiring strenght, slots, advansed technologies and strictly recommended for powerful weapon.
So you just need to define power expense for all kind of shots for all kind of weapons, and define recharge rate for advanced generators :)
Imo, it's a great way to give more choice to player tactics and explain why it is not a good idea to take only laser-smg to night missions.
Never forget about good old bullets!

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I don't exactly think reducing the clip size of a laser rifle would remove any choices. If you fire a burst you can't fire any more shots that turn, but burst fire is TU expensive so you probably weren't going to anyway. If you've got TU spare then you can move the soldier or fire a secondary weapon instead. Next turn you can still take a single aimed shot at high accuracy, which is a little constraining - but that's the price you pay for burning through all the ammo at once in the previous turn. You can always not fire bursts stick to single shots if you'd prefer to be able to fire multiple shots for multiple turns.

If we're not going to constrain the ammo then we may as well set them just to have unlimited ammo. Being able to fire one shot per turn even when your battery is empty is not exactly much of a hardship imo.

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12 hours ago, Chris said:

I don't exactly think reducing the clip size of a laser rifle would remove any choices. If you fire a burst you can't fire any more shots that turn, but burst fire is TU expensive so you probably weren't going to anyway. If you've got TU spare then you can move the soldier or fire a secondary weapon instead. Next turn you can still take a single aimed shot at high accuracy, which is a little constraining - but that's the price you pay for burning through all the ammo at once in the previous turn. You can always not fire bursts stick to single shots if you'd prefer to be able to fire multiple shots for multiple turns.

If we're not going to constrain the ammo then we may as well set them just to have unlimited ammo. Being able to fire one shot per turn even when your battery is empty is not exactly much of a hardship imo.

I misunderstood the original version, that actually sounds pretty neat. 

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Coffee Potato and I have recently been collaborating on laser balance. He's made some amazing (unlisted) videos showing the effect of changes on the laser rifle, and I'd like to go through them with you.

The first video considers changing the laser rifle down to a 3-size cell - doing nothing more than that. At the same time, he;s got some great commentry on LMG proliferation. I think LMGs may have to be more TU expensive, as Coffee's video opened my eyes to how potent LMGs can be now. Also, I think in terms of solider balance, I think you're going to have to introduce a TU/stat cap as it's fairly easy yto break the game if you can take care of your troops. Changing the laser rifle to a 3-size cell didn't really make that much of a difference to the weapon. All that happend is the cell ran out sooner rather than later. We discussed the laser rifle, and discussed your comment on giving the laser rifle unlimed ammo. We thought what it would be like to try that, and it produced some interesting changes in the second video. If you Xcom 1994 the laser rifle, giving it snap, autofire and aimed and make autofire the primary method of shooting, then you have some interesting ammo management going on. You only have 3 shots a turn to use, and if you spned all that in a single burst then great, you might kill a bad guy but then you're stuffed the rest of the turn and any overwatch you want will be dependant on secondary weapons, making secondary weapons potentially more valuable, especially as laser weapons are lighter in comparison to their ammo0hungry ballistic brethern.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Max_Caine said:

Coffee Potato and I have recently been collaborating on laser balance. He's made some amazing (unlisted) videos showing the effect of changes on the laser rifle, and I'd like to go through them with you.

The first video considers changing the laser rifle down to a 3-size cell - doing nothing more than that. At the same time, he;s got some great commentry on LMG proliferation. I think LMGs may have to be more TU expensive, as Coffee's video opened my eyes to how potent LMGs can be now. Also, I think in terms of solider balance, I think you're going to have to introduce a TU/stat cap as it's fairly easy yto break the game if you can take care of your troops. Changing the laser rifle to a 3-size cell didn't really make that much of a difference to the weapon. All that happend is the cell ran out sooner rather than later. We discussed the laser rifle, and discussed your comment on giving the laser rifle unlimed ammo. We thought what it would be like to try that, and it produced some interesting changes in the second video. If you Xcom 1994 the laser rifle, giving it snap, autofire and aimed and make autofire the primary method of shooting, then you have some interesting ammo management going on. You only have 3 shots a turn to use, and if you spned all that in a single burst then great, you might kill a bad guy but then you're stuffed the rest of the turn and any overwatch you want will be dependant on secondary weapons, making secondary weapons potentially more valuable, especially as laser weapons are lighter in comparison to their ammo0hungry ballistic brethern.

 

 

 

Random thought here, but what about a Jam mechanic if a weapon is used too many times in a turn? Like there's an increasing risk of needing to unjam the thing from going full Rambo?

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Thanks guys, I'll give this stuff a watch in the next couple of days. By the way, if either of you want a quick explanation of how inheritance works in the game files (because you'll probably find a lot of "missing" data for certain items) then let me know, as it may make the modding process easier until we release our tools.

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Please do not limit the firing at the game. Let ppl fire more at a turn.. both us and aliens. Nobody will want a weapon which he can fire time to time.. nobody would wait for it.. 

Nothing will be charged in thin air. Laser weapon will recharge.. where? How? With what?.. I am a navy officer and if they bring a weapon to me which i need to charge at battlefield, i would kick that engineer. I need to fire something as much as i can in a shortest time period. The battle won't take days.. so i will fight for 1-2 hours and i will bring a weapon which needs to wait to fire.. come on guys...

The battery system is the most logical one. Don't try to change it to make it something different.. it's the right way.. but the weapon mechanic could change.. like the weapon will be more powerful as you use more charges and time. A laser rifle could be used as sniper rifle with more range and damage if you give "3" charge and half TU.. if you go single fire, just use one charge.. Maybe you want a powerful burst.. then give 10 charge for a full TU 5 fire autoshot... This could be used for all energy type weapons. Very logical.. very fun to use.. so with less weapon type, you can have multi-option guns. A pistol, a rifle and a heavy laser could give you at least 5-6 type of weapon.. it will need different game mechanic and maybe some UI changes too..

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Drages, if you want my adjustments so you can try it out for yourself and see how it works, I'm happy to paste them up here so you can try them out. I would suggest you try it out before making judgements. 

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This concept of waiting for your weapon to recharge, in the midis't  of a gun fight, may have some interesting outcomes, but who would go into battle with a weapon that only shots now and then!!.

I was not aware that the game, was creating suicide squads, as that is the sensation we get with these types of weapons.

If the weapon can be recharged, can't it do that in your back pack, as you load another charged battery pack, so as the continue the fight.

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Take another look at the videos. Especially the second one. You have a weapon that, each turn, refills the clip (or in this case, the cell). Let that sink in. The cell reloads to maximum at the start of each turn. Infinite ammo. The only break on that are the number of shots you can fire in a turn, so by altering the cell size you can put a break on how broken infinite ammo would be. Coffee shows how a burst of shots from one of his beast of a crew kills an alien, but then he's got no more shot that turn for that weapon. Oh, what's that? A secondary slot, you say? That you put other weapons in? And can use that until the weapon refills at the start of next turn? So you can kill more aliens with the primary weapon? 

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Had a quick look at the videos - a few thoughts:

  • I think it's going to be difficult to judge weapon balance from the situation you recorded, mostly because you've got some soldiers with insanely high TU numbers there. When we switch back to % based TU fire costs in the next patch (the code has been implemented now but I've not updated the weapons yet) soldiers and those ballistic LMGs in particular aren't going to be able to put out anywhere near so much firepower. I wasn't even aware you could get your soldiers over 100 TU so the weapon balance is clearly a bit broken right now; expect a 30 TU fire mode cost to be about 55%-60% TU cost when converted over :)
  • We can't implement right-click cancel for fire modes sadly (as it already cycles shot type), but you can just press Esc to deactive it.
  • Seems like there's a couple of visual issues there with the laser beams not being orientated correctly when the laser rifle fires, and the Sebillian Elites not crouching when they're suppressed. I'll test and see if that's affecting the dev version of the game.

One of the things I'm likely to implement is limiting soldiers to gaining 30 points over the starting value each attribute (starting values range from 40-60), as I want to make the starting stats of your soldiers more relevant and make soldiers with good starting stats more valuable. Right now even a soldier with terrible starting stats can still max out everything eventually, it just takes 5-10 more missions than a soldier with incredible starting stats ... which makes it a little meaningless.

I don't think this is going to massively affect gameplay - the lowest possible cap in an attribute is 70, which is still pretty good - but it does mean you won't be seeing any soldiers with above 90 in an attribute any more (except possibly through equipment bonuses).

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Posted (edited)

Same here, it would really fix a lot. You can reach 100+ by month 2 at the moment.

Speaking of laser visual jank, I've put in reports, but sometimes they originate from a couple tiles behind the unit when firing. Like I had a case where unit was crouching and firing hiding behind the helicopter wheel, but gunned down someone in the back seat of the chopper in their forward fire. 

Edited by Coffee Potato

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