Weapon Class Balance

Discussion in 'TLOPO Suggestions and Ideas' started by Ned Cabinmorgan, Aug 26, 2018.


Do you think that the game has bad balance, and do you think it needs to be fixed?

  1. Yes, the game has bad balance and it needs to be fixed.

    11 vote(s)
  2. No, the game is fine where it is

    10 vote(s)
  1. Ned Cabinmorgan

    Ned Cabinmorgan Pirate Apprentice

    Aug 24, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Let's agree on one thing, and one thing that you NEED to at least consider before you contribute to this post: POTCO has never had the best weapon balance, and some people might not mind seeing that change. While there was some philosophy behind how weapons were balanced, it's not surprising that we see some of the effects of that lack of balance to this very day. I wanted to inquire the community on this one while giving my own thoughts on the matter: What's one change you would make to one or more weapon class(es)?

    For me, the question would be; "What weapons are overpowered or too easy to use, and what weapons are criminally underpowered?" And for the sake of this list, I will be looking over these categories: Swords (cutlass, broadsword, sabre), Guns (blunderbuss, pistol, repeater, musket and bayonet), Voodoo Staves, Voodoo Dolls, Daggers and Throwing Knives, and Grenades.

    Voodoo Dolls
    Throwing Knives
    Voodoo Staves

    Now, before you comment or reply, please read my rationales for why these weapons are placed where they are, and some ideas that might be able to balance them out.

    Broadswords are the dominant sword. The reason is self-explanatory; their combos are barely slower than the Cutlass, its kit contains 3 AOE attacks that all do full damage to enemies, and it specializes in taking down mobs of enemies (a.k.a what you're mostly fighting). This is the problem; now let's try to fix it.

    Balancing: Make the Broadsword only do full damage on a direct hit (make full damage register similarly to the cutlass's standard hits), and cut its damage to 50% on hits registered to the side of the player, and cut damage by 66% on hits directly behind the player. This would encourage accuracy while still letting the player take out swaths of enemies fairly quickly. It would also encourage prioritizing the most threatening enemy facing you instead of just going in guns blazing.

    Where Broadswords are the most consistent AOE option, grenades are the best in raw damage. They have a near-ridiculous blast radius, frankly overpowered burst damage, and can work reasonably well at close distances. Even the recoil isn't too punishing. You can also speed up the normal throw animation by activating a quick long-volley, which cuts the time to throw and detonate Seige Charges by around 2 seconds if you're throwing it at standard distances.

    Balancing: There's so many changes that could tone down grenades, but there are particular tweaks that could be made to tone down the power of the grenade. First: Increase the recoil. For regular grenades, have it be 500. For Seige Charges, make it 1000. This would force the player to play safely and out of the radius of their own grenades, and take heavy punishment if they try to use their grenades as discount melee attacks. Second: Increase the charge requirement to throw a Seige Charge from around 5% to 50%. This means that Long Volley needs to be charged to 50% before the charge even leaves the player's hands. This would fix the problem of the Seige Charge's one downside of a slow, sluggish throw time being able to be pretty much be negated with a very simple trick. Third: Give Seige back its penalty of a slow walking speed.
    Honestly, just nerf Seige in general. That's the main reason why the Grenade is overpowered in the first place.

    Ridiculous charge time, ridiculous damage, hard to do anything against, and easy to aim. It's got high burst that takes out almost every enemy in the game, a low charge time that lets you obliterate anything in your path, and pierce damage. It's almost ridiculous how good this weapon is for the downsides.

    Balancing: Require a 50% charge to fire. Don't make the weapon have an aim assist. Keep the circle crosshair, but don't make it lock on like other guns. Have a small delay for firing that is telegraphed with a muzzle flash; lock the player into a position for 0.5 seconds wherein the gun glows in a very obvious way so that enemies can react. This seems appropriate for something that is so strong and so fierce with its damage, as even other weapons with similar burst damage do this (grenades). Finally, reduce the walking speed by 50% while reloading. Blunderbusses in-game are like miniature cannons; they have to be pretty heavy and hard to reload, right?

    Pistols are like mini Blunderbusses without many of the downsides. Compared to other guns of similar rank and damage, they're pretty strong.

    Balancing: They might be fine given their mobility compared to other guns were nerfed a little, so maybe a slight 20% slow effect after firing and a 1-second delay on their reload (or a slower reload in general) would work to let enemies and players close distance while the user's damage is down.

    Voodoo Dolls are diverse weapons that have a risk factor to them. They can buff, heal, debuff, damage, etc., but their main strength lies in Curse and Life Drain (two attacks that are slightly overpowered).

    Balancing: Toning down the duration of Curse should do the trick. Reduce the duration by 40 seconds, while keeping the damage buff the same. For Life Drain, reduce the healing from around 50% of damage dealt drained to 30%. Buff up the cost to 120 Voodoo.

    Throwing Knives are probably the most balanced weapons in the game; not too strong, not too weak. Decent ranged option. Doesn't need too many changes, besides maybe helping it become less reliant on the abilities it provides.

    Sabres are pretty powerful swords with fast attacks that specialize in quickly ripping through heavy health pools. However, they're slightly underpowered, lagging behind cutlasses and broadswords in damage consistency. What if we gave them a special skill?

    Balancing: Sabres could do less damage than other swords, but have slightly more mobility. They can use skills midair and run at about one fourth of their normal speed while performing the skills, but every skill is less effective. For example, Brawl would be activated midair or while moving, but would only stun for 1.5 seconds. Blade Storm would be able to be activated while running, but would only have 3 instances of damage instead of 5 while having the same uptime.

    Cutlasses are pretty balanced as well, not having any particular skills. Middle-of-the-road combo, decent speed, etc.. One of the few things wrong with the Cutlass is that Cleave is seen as widely useless and was often skipped on in the old game.

    Balancing: Increase the animation speed of Cleave to match the rhythm of the rest of the combos, or make it slightly faster for the payoff it provides.

    Repeaters are fairly balanced. Low damage, high firerate, and a low reload time.

    Balancing: The only way I can think of to balance out Repeaters more than they already are, I would make Take Aim act differently for the weapon (having less damage but a faster charge time).

    Voodoo Staves are almost criminally underpowered. They have sluggish charge times which lead to slow, lagging gameplay, require a full charge for every single one of their attacks, and are easily shut down.

    Balancing: Balancing for this weapon might be pretty hard, but the first thing to address is the charge time for skills and how it's interrupted. Maybe cut down the required charge to 50% and ramp up damage as you get to a full charge. Buff Wither, make Banish charge faster, and make Flaming Skull charge a bit faster with a 75% charge required to fire off a skull.

    Muskets suffer a problem similar to voodoo staves; low mobility, long charge times, complete loss of control of your character for a time, etc.. It's pretty underpowered, especially when it gives an enemy so much time to close distance on you (other weapons that have long ranges and powerful hits don't give these same openings, and if they do, it's not to the same degree).

    Balancing: Muskets should be able to move slightly while aiming, keep a slow charge time, but have a longer reload time. This lets enemies have a chance to close distance while letting the musket player keep some control of the situation.

    The Dagger is underpowered due to its low damage, low range, and honestly pretty bad combos. Compared to other melees, it's just bad and has nothing special going for it.

    Balancing: There doesn't seem to be an easy way to buff the Dagger. It's honestly just the runt of the litter for melees; it would need an entire rework of its combo system or some sort of speed boost while equipped to try and balance out its pretty bad damage and speed.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    Roger-Daniel and Jack Darkbones like this.
  2. Misha

    Forum Mod

    May 31, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Some points I disagree on here..:

    Muskets shouldn't be forced any longer a reload. Their charges are already vastly longer than any other class of gun in the game, and are ineffective once enemies have been able to close the distance anyway. If you sincerely think this weapon is underpowered, allowing enemies to engage it's weakness easier isn't going to help it.

    Dagger is a disputable subject for me, as I've figured ways around it's combos to make it a much better killer. For instance, did you know that Dagger is the only weapon in the game with an "Attack as fast as you click" mechanic? I do believe that the weapon in it's current stage could use some potential damage buffs to the combos themselves, or have an entirely different moveset for the melee recharge skills to the throwing knives to better save the weapon's gripes in CQC. There are tons of work arounds to metaphorically fix the dagger, but it's range will always be it's short looked side when comparing it to the other (and vastly superior) class of melee weapon.

    Staves: Yeah, I agree, they are criminally underpowered in the game's current meta, although if say they did buff the speed, the perk Spirit Lore would be useless, in which that would have to be changed out. As far as the interrupts to it's casting, I've always believed that it shouldn't reset the bar all the way, but by a margin depending on the attack used to interrupt.

    As for Doll, I think you are overall just wrong here. Not to say that tweaks to the doll wouldn't be a good idea, but the Doll is already practically underused already with it's mainstay abilities. If it were nerfed, I think it would just become even less prevelent than it is.

    Of course, this whole post is playing with numbers on the weapons, and that will always be the main point of balancing that needs to be touched upon, but you've also got to remember, that not everything needs to be tweaked.
    Jason O'Connell likes this.
  3. Ned Cabinmorgan

    Ned Cabinmorgan Pirate Apprentice

    Aug 24, 2018
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    Thank you for responding. I would like to explain my reasoning:

    1. Muskets have a reload similar to pistols currently. The problem isn't the reload time, it's the fact that the player loses all mobility when reloading. Letting Muskets move while they reload while making the reload a bit slower seemed like a fair change, since it allows Musket users to disengage easier.
    2. I didn't know that, but Dagger is outclassed by Sabre for a quick, health-shredding combo user.
    3. I think that it would just make Spirit Lore stronger by giving it more impact, were its charge requirement to fire be cut down. I can see your reasoning though.
    4. Life Drain on Voodoo Dolls currently drains 50% of the health you take away from the enemy. With the strength of the ability currently, high-level pirates can heal over half their health. I figured decreasing this by just over 15% could make it still viable, but not as strong as it is currently. Curse lasts for 60 seconds; that's a full 60 seconds of a 30% damage buff to every one of your weapons. I figured decreasing the time a bit would help to tone it down.
  4. soybeansoy3

    soybeansoy3 Honorable Pirate

    Jul 13, 2017
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  5. Reuven

    Reuven Dockworker

    Aug 29, 2014
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    What's funny to me is all the people who spend months looting these so called "legendary swords" when they're pretty much useless, only broadswords, grenades, guns, and dolls are viable in this game.
    But I think instead of nerfing these, all the other ones should be buffed
    but oh well, I guess we shouldn't expect balance (btw this also happens in sailing, copperhead then stormchaser is the best)
  6. Eric Sailcutter

    Eric Sailcutter Pirate Lord

    Jan 1, 2017
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    I'm abstaining from the vote but do mostly agree that your listing of general weapon power from most to least powerful by type is correct. I also feel that broadswords are by far the biggest offender, they are OP and never should have had the huge attacks that they have given their multi enemy attack capability. On top of that they are not a pirate's weapon in the first place and they should have a huge disadvantage in close quarters that makes them loose effectiveness as friends and enemies close on you, the very reason pirates didn't use them.
    Edward Stormbreaker likes this.
  7. squintz

    squintz Pirate Lord

    May 19, 2017
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    I'd thought I'd be preemptive before someone might say "I wonder when the jerk squintz will intrude" ...
    and just want to say hi.
    that is all-have fun.
  8. Jason O'Connell

    Forum Mod

    Jun 11, 2011
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    The only things I agree with on this list are buffs to staves and muskets. Everything else should stay pretty much the same. Nerfing doll would be terrible, as would nerfing nades and blunderbusses. Those two are meant to be OP.
  9. Ned Cabinmorgan

    Ned Cabinmorgan Pirate Apprentice

    Aug 24, 2018
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    Again, I appreciate the feedback on ideas. Thank you.
    I know that nerfing Doll would be terrible, but right now Drain Health is by far the biggest reason to use it. I agree that it needs buffs; it's just that I'm not sure what those buffs need to be. I've thought about suggesting buffs along the lines of decreasing the cooldown of Life Drain and curse, but buffing their effects on single targets (e.g curse would have 50% damage on single targets, drain health would heal 50% as usual), buffing heals to be AOE instead of attuned abilities, etc., just because as they are they're just not worth using (and there's a gigantic outlier in the form of life drain).
    I agree with Blunderbusses being left as they are, because honestly they're not a big problem. But Grenades, and Seige Charge specifically, are broken. Insane AOE damage, tons of glitches that offset the weapon's weaknesses, tricks that let players exploit them, etc.. In the same vein that Doll is only good because of Life Drain, Grenade is only broken because of Seige Charge.
    Most of the things I'm suggesting were here for the sole purpose of making weapon classes more equal and eliminating outliers in the form of Grenades, Broadswords, Blunderbusses, Staves, and Muskets. Most other weapons are fairly balanced and have their place in the game; I just suggested changes that I figured might make them more convenient.
  10. Eric Sailcutter

    Eric Sailcutter Pirate Lord

    Jan 1, 2017
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    The main things I use on dolls are heal and curse. Curse is much the same whether you spend 1 or 5 skill points on it and what doll you are using makes no difference , only the duration is affected by the skill points but 1 point is enough for most enemies to expire before the curse runs out.
  11. Crashalot

    Crashalot Pirate Lord

    Dec 24, 2016
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    The point of different weapons and buffs is that they're all different.
    Why balance them and make them all the same?
    Let people decide which ones they want to use and be done with it.
    Savor it!
  12. med

    med Swashbuckler

    Jan 15, 2016
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    Muskets? Underpowered? That's incredibly absurd.

    In PvE, the musket's monstrous range and high damager-per-shot allows for significant damage dealing before engaging the target in melee- if they even reach you in time. And since when have you not been able to move while reloading a musket? I don't know where youre getting this notion from. I remember how I got my blue-red party hat on potco was by killing a rage ghost with a musket before it could reach me. Furthermore, muskets are invaluable for fighting Jolly Roger, low-pop invasions, and a necessity for solo invasions.

    In PvP, the musket is the most OP weapon sub-type in the game with its mixture of high damage long range; I shouldn't even have to expand on this.

    As for staves, post-subweapons introduction they have found their niche as a group support weapon. It is viable to argue though that their aura buffs should be increased.

    Also, I'm almost certain repeaters have higher DPS than pistols.
  13. Beggar

    Beggar Wanted Pirate

    Sep 24, 2017
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    I agree that staffs need to be addressed. They should add in more famed ones with great stats to try and balance it out without messing with their power precedent as set by Disney.
    Eric Sailcutter likes this.
  14. Eric Sailcutter

    Eric Sailcutter Pirate Lord

    Jan 1, 2017
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    I'm against balancing the game by nerfing and buffing existing weapons, this would be unfair to the players. I also disagree with some of your assessments of weapons and additionally think that some weapon classes are and should be unbalanced by design. I do agree that some balancing would improve the game and hope that if it is done it will be by the addition of new weapons to either buff that class directly or nerf it by buffing other classes around it.