WEAPON BALANCE IN UPDATE 1.3
23/06/2016 05:00 PM
The weapon Meta has been a huge topic of discussion within the community. Using statistical data and community feedback, we looked at what needed to be changed to help bring more variety to weapons. As the release of Update 1.3 inches towards us we want to share some more details with you.
AN UNBALANCED META
Selecting a strong weapon loadout is crucial to your overall effectiveness when dealing with enemies. Currently, this often revolves around the combination of an SMG with a Marksman Rifle, specifically the Aug/Vector paired with an M1A. With SMGs yielding the highest DPS at close range, and the Marksman Rifle’s power at long range, this pairing has become a staple in the current Meta. As the only two weapon families with unique bonuses, they are the most sought-after and used weapons. This has led to an unequal spread of weapon usage among players.
From this you can see that SMGs, Marksman Rifles, and Assault Rifles are the clear favorites, with LMGs and Shotguns very far behind. Assault Rifles have a higher optimal range with higher base headshot damage, making them still effective. However it’s clear that LMGs and Shotguns need some love.
Within the SMG weapon family, we have also seen a large disparity in weapons used.
This difference stems from both availability and power. The AUG, Vector, and MP5 can be acquired through blueprints in the Dark Zone, making their availability much greater than others, which is one cause of the large difference. In addition, the AUG and Vector are simply the most powerful SMGs based on their stats. This is why this large descrepency exists.
To address the current domination of the SMGs and Marksman Rifles and bring a better balance between all the weapon families, we are going to make the following changes:
Add unique bonuses to each weapon family
Increase Shotgun damage output
Decrease the damage of the AUG and Vector
Make adjustments to the M1A
Introduce new weapons
Add the ability to reroll talents on weapons
Make changes to Special Ammo
Below we will detail exactly how we are going to achieve better weapon balance.
GIVING YOU MORE CHOICES
New Weapon Bonuses
Your choice of weapon has a huge impact on your playstyle. To bring more variety, we are adding unique bonuses to the weapon families that do not have them and changing the bonus on SMGs. The new bonuses are:
SMGs now have a crit hit damage bonus rather than crit hit chance. It is much harder to reach a higher critical hit chance now, and you will have to make more stat choices when selecting gear in order to take advantage of the new bonus.
LMGs receive a bonus that increases their damage to targets out of cover by about 25%. The design of LMGs is to force people into cover and control areas with their large magazine sizes.
Shotguns receive a stagger bonus against NPC. When shooting targets, you have a high chance of causing them to stumble and lose their balance. This will not affect other players, however. Shotguns are also receiving a buff to their base damage that scales with the weapon’s level and up to a maximum of 30%.
Assault Rifles receive a bonus to enemy armor damage. This allows Assault Rifles to be a powerful weapon in PVE situations.
No changes were made to the bonus on Marksman Rifles
Each bonus provides an impact in a variety of situations and playstyles. Additionally, bringing up the damage on Shotguns up allows them to reach a level that is more on par with other weapons while they are in their optimal range. These changes allow you to now select your weapon loadout around your preferred playstyle rather than their DPS value.
The AUG and Vector
It’s clear that the AUG and Vector are two of the most sought-after weapons in the game. With a higher max damage than Assault Rifles, this desire is understandable. To address their damage level we are making the following change:
Reduce the damage done by the AUG and Vector by 10%.
SMGs are meant to be close-quarter combat weapons that gain more from critical strikes and therefore rely on hitting the target with as many bullets as possible.
With the current Meta many players are using an M1A together with an SMG. Due to its power level and its usage level relative to other Marksman Rifles, we are making the following change:
Increase the minimum accuracy cap on the M1A. When you shoot consistently, the cross hair will grow to a much larger size than it previously did.
The change allows for a slower and more controlled playstyle that is better suited to how Marksman Rifles should be used.
With Underground we are also introducing a few new weapon types. Each one will have its own balancing relative to its weapon family as well as a unique talent. The new weapons and their talents are as following:
Named Shotgun: Showstopper (This is a fully automatic shotgun)