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Author Topic: Weapons Guide  (Read 29357 times)

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Skitt

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Weapons Guide
« on: April 27, 2010, 12:40:35 PM »

A Guide to Anti-Mech Weaponry

I've been debating for a while whether I should write up a topic on this or not... Some information is better kept to yourself after all.  But I finally decided to because all the information is openly available to anyone else who wants to do the footwork to compare anyway.  From reading various posts by the MH Devs it's obvious that this will quickly become obsolete as new features are added, but it may be useful in balancing the current gameplay.  For now this guide will only cover ballistic and energy weapons, as rockets are much more tactical in use and should be avoided by beginners.

Weapon Stats

Damage - The amount of damage a weapon does to hull or a corresponding shield when it hits.  Higher is better.  The more damage done in a single attack, the higher the chance for destruction of the target's equipment.  The only difference between ballistic and energy damage is what kind of shield protects against it.
Accuracy - The base chance for a weapon to hit at its maximum range.  The closer you are to a target the higher your accuracy will be.  All weapons have 100% accuracy at range 0.
Range - The farthest distance a weapon can attack from.  Higher is always better, as being out of range means the weapon does nothing.
Weight - The amount of space the weapon takes up, both in storage and on a mech.  Contrary to what you might expect, higher is actually better as long as the rest of the stats follow.  This is because the chance for a weapon to be destroyed when a mech is hit is partially based on its weight.  Lighter weapons are destroyed much more easily than heavier weapons.
Reload Speed - The number of rounds between shots fired.  Higher and lower are better in different situations.  A higher number of rounds between shots generally comes with higher damage per shot, which means a higher chance to destroy equipment... however that also means a higher chance for extra damage to be wasted when finishing off a target.
Cell Usage - The amount of cells used per hour added to the Mech when equipped.  This does not apply to unequipped weapons in storage.
Tech Level - The number of research levels required to produce the weapon.  Higher tech level weapons are harder to produce, with the highest requiring an entire city devoted strictly to researching that weapon.


Weapons in order of Tech Level

Tech0 Light Machine Gun
10 ballistic damage every round. 70% accuracy at max range 50.  Weight 10.

What can I say about this starting weapon other than that it's average in all respects.  By no means a bad weapon, it's quite useful to fill in any empty space left on a Mech.  It's quite good at doing that as it's the lightest and cheapest weapon, and always available regardless of the tech researched in a city.  Being so light it does break easily, but it's extremely easy to replace.


Tech1 Assault Rifle
45 ballistic damage every other round.  50% accuracy at max range 20.  Weight 12.

The first very short range weapon available.  Any Mech equipped with this should be set to stick with the target as it's twice as effective at range 0 thanks to the increased accuracy.  The short range is a major drawback to consider though, as your Mech may be done for before it can even get a shot off if it's not fast enough or up against a very long range opponent.  It's a light weapon though, which means it may be destroyed too quickly to get much use out of it.


Tech2 Light Laser
14 energy damage every round.  80% accuracy at max range 60.  Weight 15.

This is the energy equivalent to the Light Machine Gun.  In exchange for requiring a little research first and being slightly more expensive to produce it does have a few advantages such as higher accuracy and a slightly longer range.  Being an energy weapon it's also harder to defend against early on as the force fields needed to defend against energy damage are much more expensive to research than armor.


Tech3 Long Range Rifle
24 ballistic damage every other round.  92% accuracy at max range 100.  Weight 22.

The first of two weapons suitable for snipers.  Best at its maximum range in order to stay out of range of other weapons.  This is the most effective weapon at long range for quite a while, doing much more damage than its energy counterpart in exchange for a shorter range.


Tech4 Precise Laser Rifle
8 energy damage every round.  85% accuracy at max range 120.  Weight 25.

The energy counterpart of the Long Range Rifle.  This weapon has the longest range among all ballistic and energy weapons and is only outranged by rockets.  Because of that this is often the sniper weapon of choice, especially on fast mechs like Pumas which can stay out of range for quite a while against slower opponents.  However the damage is extremely low and any other weapon will be better once in range.


Tech5 Plasma Grenade Launcher
135 energy damage every other round.  60% accuracy at max range 30.  Weight 32.

The first very short range energy weapon.  To put it bluntly, this weapon is better than the Assault Rifle, however it does require more research to produce and it's slightly more expensive.  However, unless your opponent is equipped with force fields and not armor it will always be a better choice.


Tech8 Ion Pulse Cannon
230 energy damage every 3rd round.  75% accuracy at max range 80.  Weight 80.

This weapon has some very interesting qualities...  The tech required is somewhere between low and medium, the weight is the highest of all weapons and the damage comes close.  It has above average range, decent accuracy... just about the only drawback at first sight is the slow reload time.  To be fair, once you take into account the reload time, the damage is roughly equivalent to the same weight amount of the basic medium range weapons.  The advantage is in delivering all that damage in the first round of 3 instead of over all 3 rounds, giving a much higher chance for destroying equipment or even the target Mech outright.  If you want to equip your Mech with a BFG this is the weapon of choice for quite a while, only outclassed by the highest tech weapon.  One limitation is that this weapon is too large to equip on Raptors, not that I'd recommend it even if you could.


Tech11 Mortar
145 ballistic damage every 3rd round.  40% accuracy at max range 110.  Weight 50.

Now this is some kind of Frankenstein-esque weapon which doesn't really fall into any one class.  It has the range of a sniper but not the accuracy to back it up, which means a very low average damage at maximum range.  However it doesn't shine at any other range either, being outclassed by almost all other weapons in their appropriate ranges.  The only advantage to this weapon is that it CAN fire at just about any range which makes it very versatile, but it's never the best choice.


Tech11 Plasma Flamethrower
70 energy damage every round.  50% accuracy at max range 20.  Weight 14.

This is flat out the best weapon at very short range.  Nothing else even comes close.  The flamethrower really shines at range 0 though, doing anywhere from 2 to 15 times as much damage as other weapons.  It even has a fairly low cell usage considering its power.  What are the downsides?  Other than being easily outranged like other short range weapons... ... nothing.  This is an incredible weapon if you can get in range, but that does make it nearly useless on slower Mechs.


Tech13 Advanced Machine Gun
14 ballistic damage every round.  80% accuracy at max range 62.  Weight 11.

Just like it sounds, this is basically just an upgraded Light Machine Gun.  It's better all around and still quite affordable for its level.  The range is slightly odd, being the only weapon with a range that isn't a multiple of 5.  Once you've researched it this makes a great bread-and-butter weapon, being the best medium range weapon until you start hitting the highest tech levels.


Tech14 Railgun I
36 ballistic damage every round.  75% accuracy at max range 75.  Weight 29.

This is a bigger Advanced Machine Gun.  It's basically equivalent to 2.5 AMGs.  While it has a slightly longer range, the only real advantage this weapon has over the AMG is that it's harder to destroy.  Not really terribly impressive.


Tech17 Tesla Gun
120 energy damage every round.  88% accuracy at max range 50.  Weight 65.

Now this is more like it... in exchange for a high tech level and very high cell usage, you get to play Zeus and zap your enemies.  This accurate and powerful weapon is nearly the best in its range, even comparing well with most short range weapons.  Only the Plasma Flamethrower and the two final weapons stand out as being significantly better.


Tech20 Railgun II
60 ballistic damage every round.  78% accuracy at max range 85.  Weight 36.

The final ballistic weapon.  While the damage isn't spectacular it is quite nice for the range, which is this weapon's main advantage.  It's somewhere inbetween a sniper weapon and a medium range weapon, with enough damage to beat both in most cases.  Better range than the Tesla Gun but with lower damage.


Tech25 EMP Bombs
260 energy damage every other round.  72% accuracy at max range 40.  Weight 42.

The final energy weapon.  Yes, that's right, the Tech Level is 25.  You have to devote an entire city Tech Lab strictly to researching the necessary tech for this weapon.  Trades range for very high damage.  The below average range makes the investment cost needed to get this weapon an iffy prospect, especially considering that the Plasma Flamethrower is even stronger once you reach point-blank range.  This weapon also has the highest cell usage by far.  All in all, slightly disappointing due to all the drawbacks.


Best Weapon by Range

Range 120+
Rockets only

Range 120-100
Precise Laser Rifle

Range 100-85
Long Range Rifle

Range 85-50
Railgun II

Range 50-40
Tesla Gun

Range 40-20
EMP Bombs

Range 20-0
Plasma Flamethrower
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 10:28:12 PM by adamsky »
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adamsky

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 01:29:17 PM »

Impressive!

Can we include this in manuals?

Don't you mind if I add images (as I did in Ligth Machine Gun)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 01:47:48 PM by adamsky »
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sponge

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 01:39:59 PM »

in a word

WOW! :o

that be huge help to a any beginner who finds guide page a little confusing
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Winters

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 02:35:33 PM »

Awesome post Skitt, pretty much exactly in-line with my research on the weapons!  :)

Quote from: Skitt
I've been debating for a while whether I should write up a topic on this or not... Some information is better kept to yourself after all.  But I finally decided to because all the information is openly available to anyone else who wants to do the footwork to compare anyway.

This was pretty much my exact thinking when I did some analysis on the various weapons.  But since someone else has posted now, I thought I'd offer up some of my thoughts.

Weapons stats
There are two other things that need to be taken into account for the weapon stats I think, which are what Labs are required to be built (Particle Accelerator and Force Field are rather expensive) and what level of Armory is required (going from level 8 to level 10 Armory required over 400k resources, or which two thirds are Gas).  Because of things like this, equipment like the Plasma Flamethrower (Tech 11) can be seen to be harder to research than the Advanced Machine Gun (Tech 13) or Railgun I (Tech 14) even.  I calculated that the costs to research each weapon from scratch would be (in 000's of resources required):

  • Light Machine Gun - 4.9
  • Assault Rifle - 15.4
  • Light Laser - 30.2
  • Long Range Rifle - 44.7
  • Precise Laser Rifle    - 73.5
  • Plasma Grenade Launcher - 279.3
  • Ion Pulse Cannon - 457.2
  • Mortar - 288.1
  • Plasma Flamethrower - 1,175.6
  • Advanced Machine Gun - 502.5
  • Railgun I - 765.2
  • Tesla - 1,737.7
  • Railgun II - 2,824.2
  • EMP Bombs - 7,161.1

Now, this includes costs for: Tech Lab, Armory, Research Labs and Weapon Research.  It does not include costs for raising storage capacity, but does not include synergies between weapons (ie. researching EMP Bombs will make available a number of other weapons also).  The main items that stand out are that the Ion Pulse Cannon and Plasma Flamethrower are expensive.  And it takes an insane seven million resources to research EMP Bombs!

In terms of weapon performance, I think there are two main measures: expected damage per round per cell consumption, and per weight usage.  Depending if you are constrained by how many cells you are using, or how much you can place on a mech will affect which is most important for you.

Long Range Weapons
Of the long range weapons (LRR, PLR, Mortar) the LRR deals the most expected damage per round at maximum range, almost twice as much as the PLR both per cell and per weight.  While it still outperforms the PLR at closer ranges (range 20), the Mortar far exceeds the performance of both as its accuracy increases, indeed it almost becomes as effective as a dedicated close range weapon such as the Assault Rifle.  So why is the PLR often the weapon of choice for snipers?  Simply because Basic Metal Plating is easier to research than Selective Forcefields, and so energy weapons tend to be preferable early on.  As research advances and e22 becomes available I'd expect LRR to the weapon of choice for snipers.

Close Range Weapons
For close range weapons, it's all about the Plasma Flamethrower.  No other weapon comes close to the performance offered by the Flamethrower for ranges less than 20 in terms of expected damage per round per cell, and the EMP bombs are only ever so slightly more effective in terms of per weight for ranges of 18.5 - 20.  At range 20, the expected damage per round per cell for close range weapons is:

  • Assault Rifle - 1.125
  • Plasma Grenade Launcher - 0.990
  • Plasma Flamethrower - 1.944
  • EMP Bombs - 1.398
  • (Mortar - 0.936)

For comparison, at maximum sniping range the LRR deals 0.460 expected damage per round per cell, and the PLR 0.243.  The Plasma Grenade Launcher is actually outperformed by even the Light Machine Gun at range 20, and only just outperforms it at point blank range.  The Plasma Flamethrower can be seen to be way ahead of any other weapon, and this continues to hold even at point blank range.  The Assault Rifle, somewhat surprisingly, is actually the second most effective weapon at point blank range for cell consumption.

Mid-Range Weapons
Of the mid-range weapons, there are few real surprises as it is almost exclusively the more expensive weapons which offer the best performance.  At its maximum range, the Tesla offers the best expected damage per round per cell, followed by the Advanced Machine Gun.  The Railgun II is a close third but has much superior range.  At point blank range, the Tesla comes second for expected damage per round per cell, narrowly beaten by the trusty Light Machine Gun!  For expected damage per round per weight usage, it is the Tesla the comes out on top at both maximum and point blank range, with the Railgun II coming in second.

I think the best weapons Skitt selected at each range bracket are pretty much spot on.  I do have a spreadsheet I made that shows all the various expected damages at different ranges so provides a way of quantifying just how much performance difference there is between the weapons, if I can get round to tidying it up I'll post it sometime!
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AndyMadas

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 11:38:06 PM »

Great work Skitt and Winters. I will make sure some extra credit will head your way ;)
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Skitt

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 02:31:39 AM »

Impressive!

Can we include this in manuals?

Don't you mind if I add images (as I did in Ligth Machine Gun)

Sure, why not?  It would probably get a lot more views there, and images will help polish it up a bit.  I do still have a little more work to do on it, but it's mostly minor stuff.


The main items that stand out are that the Ion Pulse Cannon and Plasma Flamethrower are expensive.  And it takes an insane seven million resources to research EMP Bombs!

In terms of weapon performance, I think there are two main measures: expected damage per round per cell consumption, and per weight usage.  Depending if you are constrained by how many cells you are using, or how much you can place on a mech will affect which is most important for you.

You're right that those two weapons are out of line as far as expense to research because the Ion Pulse Cannon requires a high Physics level and Plasma Flamethrower needs a high Particle Accelerator level, however I see the number of techs needed as much more important in the long run considering how limited you are with each city.

As far as weapon performance measurements, I meant to touch on that in the guide so I'll probably edit a section in later.  For the most part there won't be much difference between comparing based on weight or cell usage, but there are a few outliers because of the low cell usage of Light Machine Guns, Assault Rifles, and Mortars, or the high cell usage of the Tesla Gun and EMP Bombs.  Generally though when I'm referring to the best weapon it's by average damage per round per weight.

So why is the PLR often the weapon of choice for snipers?  Simply because Basic Metal Plating is easier to research than Selective Forcefields, and so energy weapons tend to be preferable early on.  As research advances and e22 becomes available I'd expect LRR to the weapon of choice for snipers.

Absolutely correct, and while I touched on the benefits of energy weapons in other places I forgot to mention that with the PLR.

I do have a spreadsheet I made that shows all the various expected damages at different ranges so provides a way of quantifying just how much performance difference there is between the weapons, if I can get round to tidying it up I'll post it sometime!

That's one of the first things I was planning to add to the guide, a link to a spreadsheet where you can see how all the stats of the weapons compare.  I may have it up later tonight.
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jaymez_11

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 10:49:23 PM »

You boys are absolute legends - if I ever meet you in "real life" - first beers are on me.
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Winters

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 01:36:54 AM »

Right, here's the spreadsheet I put together:



Column meanings:

Dmg. = Damage on hit
Rng. = Maximum range of the weapon
RoF = Rate of Fire, or how many turns it takes to reload (reload speed)
Acc. = Accuracy at maximum range (this increases linearly to 100% at zero range)
Wt. = Weight usage of the weapon

Tech. Req. = Laboratory levels required in the Tech Lab
Res. Cost (k) = Total research cost in 000's of resources, including Tech Lab level, Laboratory costs, Armoury costs and research costs

Prod. Cost (k) = Production cost in 000's of resources of one weapon, assuming no cost reduction
Prod. Time = Time taken to produce one weapon, not including armory reductions

DPR per weight = Expected damage per round per weight usage of the weapon.  Calculated by: ( damage x accuracy at given range ) / ( rate of fire x weight usage )
DPR per cell = as above but per cell usage of the weapon

Max. Range = Respective DPR at maximum range
Point Blank = Respective DPR at zero range
Range 20 = Respective DPR at range 20
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Skitt

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 05:20:45 AM »

Very nice Winters, couldn't have done better myself.  Now all that's left is a little polishing in a few places, possibly a few more best weapon by X sections, and a closing section on which weapons stand out and which are lacking in my opinion.
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marcin

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 08:53:30 AM »

good job.
Just one comment "rate of fire" might be a little missleading.
When RoF=3 it means weapon fires once per 3 rounds not 3 times per round which isnt obvious (at least for the first sight).
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schneider

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 04:45:56 AM »

I wanna ask.. about weapon....

let say that i wanted to buy equipment ofcouce a weapon.. and i buy a precise laser &
LR-86 Missile Pod...

can i used or equip this weapon on my mech "if" the technology for creating this weapon are not build yet in my city..

please2 reply... :)
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Barroom Hero

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2010, 05:00:18 AM »

I wanna ask.. about weapon....

let say that i wanted to buy equipment ofcouce a weapon.. and i buy a precise laser &
LR-86 Missile Pod...

can i used or equip this weapon on my mech "if" the technology for creating this weapon are not build yet in my city..

please2 reply... :)

If you can get it......you can equip/use it. Dont matter if you harvested it,bought it,it was given to you, or you made it yourself.
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Harsh Language > Dominator Missiles

schneider

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 05:40:51 AM »

how about rearming.. the LR-86 Missile Pod need to be rearmed.. but if the technology does not built yet.. how to armed the misile pod... ::)
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adamsky

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 09:42:27 AM »

how about rearming.. the LR-86 Missile Pod need to be rearmed.. but if the technology does not built yet.. how to armed the misile pod... ::)
If you use those missiles than you can't build new ones. You need to put some other weapon on your Mechs.

There is no ammo in Mech Hero so ballistic and energy weapons can be used until they get destroyed during the figth. Missiles and missile pods can be used only once.
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schneider

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Re: Weapons Guide
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 11:40:25 AM »

ok then... this means that weapon that only balistic and energy can be used continuous... so if i buy the weapon there will be no problem in using it.. even though the technology are still not develop yet... correct me if iam wrong
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