Analytics of U31 Loadouts

7 months ago

With Update 32: "Roughnecks at Work" right around the corner (Q3 Oct 8th Oct 22nd), I thought it might be interesting to do a comprehensive overview of how U31's weapon balances have shaken out before U32's new balance changes get deployed. To help you do as little scrolling as possible, I'll put the conclusions of the analysis up here at the top and the data down at the bottom so you can engage with the numbers as much or as little as you desire. Disclaimer: ~450 user submitted loadouts isn't really a big enough sample size to be representative of the community as a whole, but it might be big enough to be a good indicator of the bigger trends.

Part 1: Conclusions

The first and foremost thing that jumps out at me is that the weapons are pretty stale in terms of build variety. Breach Cutter is the biggest offender, but most of the weapons seem to have settled in on just a few mods and Overclocks (OCs) that are used far more than their counterparts. Most weapons have one or two tiers with variety, but "auto-picks" seem to be everywhere else. In an ideal world, every mod tier would have compelling choices and healthy variety of selection rates, and Overclocks wouldn't necessarily be equally picked but at the very least none would be used more than 40% of the time while others aren't used at all. However, in my opinion, I don't think that Ghost Ship Games (GSG) currently has the tools necessary to create that type of balance just by changing numbers of existing mods and OCs. More on that at a later date, but the summary is this: the mods will eventually need to be reordered to make tiers' choices more meaningful, and Overclocks should focus more on adding or altering weapon mechanics rather than being a "sixth mod tier" of stat changes.

Secondly, it seems that ammo is strongly valued on most weapons. I'm curious to do some research into whether or not there's enough killing power per resupply for these weapons without ammo upgrades, or if it's because the ammo values are balanced to be slightly lower than what players expect. That said, I'm hesitant to suggest adding more ammo to the base weapons because I want to avoid the "almighty power creep" that many video games fall victim to. For my preferences, I really enjoy the current difficulty of DRG's combat and I don't think that arbitrarily changing a part of that balance is a wise decision. To borrow a term from MOBAs, "mana tension" is a necessary part of game balance and making our "mana pools" bigger without sufficient cause is a troubling prospect.

The last thing I'll touch on in this post is how mods or Overclocks with "hidden" stat changes are widely underestimated or misunderstood, and that can lead to artificially low pick rates on some really strong effects. One of the best examples is Scout/GK2/Mod/5/B "Battle Cool". In game, all the description says is "Killing an enemy increases accuracy". What that doesn't tell you is that after the GK2 scores a killing blow on any enemy, its Spread Recovery Speed (SRS) gets multiplied by x12.5 for the next 1.5 seconds. For reference, that's boosting the SRS so high that it will take less than 0.042 seconds to bring the crosshair all the way from max value down to Base Spread. Even at its fastest Rate of Fire, 14 bullets/sec, there's still almost twice as much time between bullets as it takes to remove all Spread from the weapon! This mod has such a strong effect, but it's not chosen very often and I suspect it's because players just simply don't know what it actually does. Other examples off the top of my head are Scout/M1000/Mod/2/B "Better Weight Balance", Scout/M1000/Mod/5/C "Killing Machine", Gunner/Minigun/OC "Burning Hell", and more! In my opinion, if GSG were to provide much more detailed descriptions of what their mods and Overclocks are actually doing, we would see some of the lesser-picked options get used.

Part 2: Weapon Slots per Class

Of all the loadouts submitted, there were a few cases where certain primary or secondary weapons were preferred. The largest difference was Scout loadouts strongly preferring the Boomstick over the Zhukovs at a ratio of 3:1, in stark contrast to an almost even split between GK2 and M1000. Drillers seem to prefer Flamethrower over Cryo Cannon and Subata over Experimental Plasma Charger (EPC) by about a 3:2 ratio, Engineers prefer Shotgun over SMG and Breach Cutter over Personal Grenade Launcher (PGL) at 3:2, Gunner primaries are pretty even, and Revolver is more popular than BRT at about 8:5.

Part 3: Most Popular Loadout (per Tier and Overclock) per Weapon

  • Driller
    • Flamethrower: BABCA + Sticky Fuel
    • Cryo Cannon: CBACB + Perfectly Tuned Cooler
    • Subata: BACAA + Oversized Magazine
    • EPC: BBCBB + Heavy Hitter
  • Engineer
    • Shotgun: ABCBB + Mini Shells
    • SMG: BABBB + EM Refire Booster
    • PGL: BABBB + Clean Sweep
    • Breach Cutter: AABBC + Return to Sender
  • Gunner
    • Minigun: CBCAB + Lead Storm
    • Autocannon: CCBBA + Carpet Bomber
    • Revolver: BCCAB + Magic Bullets
    • BRT: ACBCA + Lead Spray
  • Scout
    • GK2: BBCAC + Bullets of Mercy
    • M1000: BAABA + Minimal Clips
    • Boomstick: ABCAC + Special Powder
    • Zhukovs: ACBAB + Gas Recycling

Part 4: Overused Options

Any mod used in >= 75% loadouts or OC used in >= 40% loadouts

  • Flamethrower T4.C "Extra Ammo"
  • Cryo Cannon OC "Perfectly Tuned Cooler"
  • Subata T2.A "Expanded Ammo Bags"
  • EPC T4.B "High Density Battery"
  • Shotgun T4.B "Bigger Pellets"
  • Shotgun T5.B "Miner Adjustments"
  • SMG OC "EM Refire Booster"
  • PGL T5.B "Spiky Grenade"
  • Breach Cutter T1.A "Prolonged Power Generation"
  • Breach Butter T2.A "Expanded Ammo Bags"
  • Breach Cutter OC "Return to Sender"
  • Autocannon T5.A "Feedback Loop"
  • Autocannon OC "Carpet Bomber"
  • BRT T3.B "Increased Caliber Rounds"
  • M1000 T2.A "Fast-Charging Coils"
  • M1000 OC "Minimal Clips"
  • Boomstick T4.A "Super Blowthrough Rounds"
  • Zhukovs T2.C "Quickfire Ejector"
  • Zhukovs OC "Gas Recycling"

Part 5: Underused Options

Any mod or OC that was used in 0-2 loadouts

  • Flamethrower T4.A "It Burns!"
  • Flamethrower OC "Compact Feed Valves"
  • Cryo Cannon OC "Flow Rate Expansion"
  • Cryo Cannon OC "Ice Spear"
  • Subata OC "Explosive Reload"
  • EPC OC "Magnetic Cooling Unit"
  • SMG OC "Well Oiled Machine"
  • SMG OC "Turret EM Discharge"
  • PGL T2.C "High Velocity Grenades"
  • PGL OC "Compact Rounds"
  • Breach Cutter T2.C "Loosened Node Cohesion"
  • Breach Cutter T5.A "Explosive Goodbye"
  • Breach Cutter OC "Roll Control"
  • Breach Cutter OC "Inferno"
  • Minigun T4.C "Magnetic Bearings"
  • Minigun OC "Thinned Drum Walls"
  • Minigun OC "Bullet Hell"
  • Autocannon OC "Composite Drums"
  • Autocannon OC "Combat Mobility"
  • Revolver T3.A "Super Blowthrough Rounds"
  • Revolver OC "Homebrew Powder"
  • BRT T1.C "Blowthrough Rounds"
  • BRT T4.A "Hardened Rounds"
  • BRT OC "Full Chamber Seal"
  • BRT OC "Electro Minelets"
  • BRT OC "Micro Flechettes"
  • GK2 OC "Homebrew Powder"
  • GK2 OC "Electrifying Reload"
  • M1000 T4.C "Hardened Rounds"
  • M1000 OC "Active Stability System"
  • Boomstick T3.A "Stun Duration"
  • Boomstick T4.B "Tungsten Coated Buckshot"
  • Boomstick OC "Shaped Shells"
  • Zhukovs T2.B "Supercharged Feed Mechanism"
  • Zhukovs OC "Embedded Detonators"

Part 6: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Number of builds per weapon

Class Weapon Name Number of Builds
Driller CRSPR Flamethrower 72
  Cryo Cannon 46
  Subata 120 61
  Experimental Plasma Charger 48
Engineer "Warthog" Auto 210 68
  "Stubby" Voltaic SMG 42
  Deepcore 40mm PGL 41
  Breach Cutter 61
Gunner "Lead Storm" Powered Minigun 54
  "Thunderhead" Heavy Autocannon 58
  "Bulldog" Heavy Revolver 55
  BRT7 Burst Fire Gun 34
Scout Deepcore GK2 48
  M1000 Classic 49
  Jury-Rigged Boomstick 60
  Zhukov NUK17 21

 

Tables of Mod and OC selection percentages, organized by class

Driller

CRSPR Flamethrower Cryo Cannon
High Capacity Tanks: 48.6% High Pressure Ejector: 51.4%  
Unfiltered Fuel: 60.9% Triple Filtered Fuel: 23.2% Sticky Flame Duration: 15.9%
Oversized Valves: 14.7% Sticky Flame Slowdown: 57.4% More Fuel: 27.9%
"It Burns!": 2.9% Sticky Flame Duration: 13.2% More Fuel: 83.8%
Heat Radiance: 68.7% Targets Explode: 31.3%  
  • Lighter Tanks: 31.25%
  • Sticky Additive: 10.94%
  • Compact Feed Valves: 1.56%
  • Fuel Stream Diffuser: 9.38%
  • Face Melter: 12.5%
  • Sticky Fuel: 34.38%
Larger Pressure Chamber: 10.9% Improved 2nd Stage Pump: 39.1% Stronger Cooling Unit: 50.0%
Larger Reserve Tank: 39.1% Overclocked Ejection Turbine: 50% Bypassed Integrity Check: 10.9%
Improved Pump: 50.0% Increased Flow Volume: 50.0%  
High Water Content: 13.0% Improved Mixture: 15.2% Larger Reserve Tank: 71.8%
Fragile: 39.1% Cold Radiance: 60.9%  
  • Improved Thermal Efficiency: 13.95%
  • Perfectly Tuned Cooler: 55.81%
  • Flow Rate Expansion: 4.65%
  • Ice Spear: 4.65%
  • Ice Stom: 11.63%
  • Snowball: 9.3%
Subata 120 Experimental Plasma Charger
Improved Alignment: 28.3% High Capacity Magazine: 58.3% Quickfire Ejector: 13.3%
Expanded Ammo Bags: 80.0% Increased Caliber Rounds: 20.0%  
Improved Propellant: 25.0% Recoil Compensator: 30.0% Expanded Ammo Bags: 45.0%
Hollow-Point Bullets: 63.3% High Velocity Rounds: 36.7%  
Volatile Bullets: 65.0% Mactera Neurotoxin Coating: 35.0%  
  • Chain Hit: 5.45%
  • Homebrew Powder: 12.73%
  • Oversized Magazine:  38.18%
  • Automatic Fire: 34.55%
  • Explosive Reload: 3.64%
  • Tranquilizer Rounds: 5.45%
Increased Particle Density: 42.5% Larger Battery: 51.1% Higher Charged Plasma Energy: 6.4%
Expanded Plasma Splash: 19.1% Overcharged Plasma Accelerator: 70.2% Reactive Shockwave: 10.6%
Improved Charge Efficiency: 34.0% Crystal Capacitors: 27.7% Tweaked Radiator: 38.3%
Heat Shield: 12.8% High Density Battery: 87.2%  
Flying Nightmare: 6.4% Thin Containment Field: 61.7% Plasma Burn: 31.9%
  • Energy Rerouting: 15.22%
  • Magnetic Cooling Unit: 2.17%
  • Heat Pipe: 30.43%
  • Heavy Hitter: 36.96%
  • Overcharger: 6.52%
  • Persistent Plasma: 8.7%

 

Engineer

"Warthog" Auto 210 "Stubby" Voltaic SMG
Supercharged Feed Mechanism: 71.2% Overstuffed Magazine: 28.8%  
Expanded Ammo Bags: 30.3% Loaded Shells: 59.1% Choke: 10.6%
Recoil Dampener: 13.6% Quickfire Ejector: 36.4% High Capacity Magazine: 50%
Tungsten Coated Buckshot: 10.6% Bigger Pellets: 86.4%  
Turret Whip: 10.6% Miner Adjustments: 86.4%  
  • Stunner: 11.48%
  • Light-Weight Magazines: 16.39%
  • Magnetic Pellet Alignment: 26.23%
  • Cycle Overload: 14.75%
  • Mini Shells: 31.15%
Increased Caliber Rounds: 33.3% Upgraded Capacitors: 57.1% Expanded Ammo Bags: 9.5%
High Capacity Magazine: 40.5% Recoil Compensator: 40.5% Improved Gas System: 19.0%
High Velocity Rounds: 40.5% Expanded Ammo Bags: 59.5%  
Hollow-Point Bullets: 38.1%

Conductive Bullets: 61.9%

 
Magazine Capacity Tweak: 33.3% Electric Arc: 66.7%  
  • Super-Slim Rounds: 13.16%
  • Well Oiled Machine: 2.63%
  • EM Refire Booster: 44.74%
  • Light-Weight Rounds: 21.05%
  • Turret Arc: 13.16%
  • Turret EM Discharge: 5.26%
Deepcore 40mm PGL Breach Cutter
Fragmentary Shell: 15.0% Expanded Ammo Bags: 62.5% HE Compound: 22.5%
Extra Ammo: 60.0% Larger Payload: 35.0% High Velocity Grenades: 5.0%
Incendiary Compound: 32.5% Pressure Wave: 67.5%  
Homebrew Explosive: 10.0% Nails + Tape: 67.5% Concussive Blast: 12.5%
Proximity Trigger: 20.0% Spiky Grenade: 80.0%  
  • Clean Sweep: 29.73%
  • Pack Rat: 18.92%
  • Compact Rounds: 2.7%
  • RJ250 Compound: 10.81%
  • Fat Boy: 21.62%
  • Hyper Propellant: 16.22
Prolonged Power Generation: 90.0% High Capacity Magazine: 10.0%  
Expanded Ammo Bags: 83.3% Condensed Plasma: 13.3% Loosened Node Cohesion: 3.3%
Quick Deploy: 28.3% Loosened Node Cohesion: 71.7%  
Armor Breaking: 45.0% Disruptive Frequency Tuning: 55.0%  
Explosive Goodbye: 3.3% Plasma Trail: 31.7% Triple Line Split: 65.0%
  • Light-Weight Cases: 20.69%
  • Roll Control: 0%
  • Stronger Plasma Current: 8.62%
  • Return to Sender: 43.1%
  • High Voltage Crossover: 17.24%
  • Spinning Death: 10.34%
  • Inferno: 0%

 

Gunner

"Lead Storm" Powered Minigun "Thunderhead" Heavy Autocannon
Magnetic Refrigeration: 7.4% Improved Motor: 37.0% Improved Platform Stability: 55.6%
Oversized Drum: 40.7% High Velocity Rounds: 59.3%  
Hardened Rounds: 22.2% Stun Duration: 13.0% Blowthrough Rounds: 64.8%
Variable Chamber Pressure: 61.1% Lighter Barrel Assembly: 35.2% Magnetic Bearings: 3.7%
Aggressive Venting: 11.1% Cold As The Grave: 70.4% Hot Bullets: 18.5%
  • "A Little More Oomph!": 11.32%
  • Thinned Drum Walls: 3.77%
  • Burning Hell: 24.53%
  • Compact Feed Mechanism: 7.55%
  • Exhaust Vectoring: 20.75%
  • Bullet Hell: 0%
  • Lead Storm: 32.08%
Increased Caliber Rounds: 12.1% High Capacity Magazine: 20.7% Expanded Ammo Bags: 67.2%
Tighter Barrel Alignment: 12.1% Improved Gas System: 31.0% Lighter Barrel Assembly: 56.9%
Supercharged Feed Mechanism: 36.2% Loaded Rounds: 37.9% High Velocity Rounds: 25.9%
Penetrating Rounds: 29.3% Shrapnel Rounds: 70.7%  
Feedback Loop: 78.9% Suppressive Fire: 12.3% Damage Resistance at Full RoF: 8.8%
  • Composite Drums: 3.64%
  • Splintering Shells: 18.18%
  • Carpet Bomber: 43.64%
  • Combat Mobility: 0%
  • Big Bertha: 21.82%
  • Neurotoxin Payload: 12.73%
"Bulldog" Heavy Revolver BRT7 Burst Fire Gun
Quickfire Ejector: 45.5% Perfect Weight Balance: 54.5%  
Increased Caliber Rounds: 27.8% Floating Barrel: 13.0% Expanded Ammo Bags: 59.2%
Super Blowthrough Rounds: 1.9% Explosive Rounds: 44.4%

Hollow-Point Bullets: 53.7%

Expanded Ammo Bags: 51.9% High Velocity Rounds: 48.1%  
Dead-Eye: 38.2% Glyphid Neurotoxin Coating: 61.8%  
  • Hombrew Powder: 3.7%
  • Chain Hit: 7.41%
  • Volatile Bullets: 14.81%
  • Six Shooter: 20.37%
  • Elephant Rounds: 18.52%
  • Magic Bullets: 35.19%
High Velocity Rounds: 55.9% Floating Barrel: 38.2% Blowthrough Rounds: 5.9%
Recoil Dampener: 23.5% Quickfire Ejector: 23.5% Disabled Safety: 52.9%
High Capacity Magazine: 14.7% Increased Caliber Rounds: 85.3%  
Hardened Rounds: 0.0% Expanded Ammo Bags: 35.3% Hollow-Point Bullets: 64.7%
Burst Stun: 64.7% Longer Burst: 35.3%  
  • Composite Casings: 23.53%
  • Full Chamber Seal: 5.88%
  • Compact Mags: 20.59%
  • Experimental Rounds: 17.65%
  • Electro Minelets: 2.94%
  • Micro Flechettes: 0%
  • Lead Spray: 29.41%

 

Scout

Deepcore GK2 M1000 Classic
Gyro Stabilisation: 31.3% Supercharged Feed Mechanism: 68.7%  
Increased Caliber Rounds: 31.3% Expanded Ammo Bags: 68.7%  
Floating Barrel: 20.8% Improved Propellant: 35.4% High Capacity Magazine: 43.8%
Hollow-Point Bullets: 66.7%

Hardened Rounds: 12.5%

Improved Gas System: 20.8%
Battle Frenzy: 31.2% Battle Cool: 16.7% Stun: 52.1%
  • Compact Ammo: 15.56%
  • Gas Rerouting: 17.78%
  • Homebrew Powder: 4.44%
  • Overclocked Firing Mechanism: 15.56%
  • Bullets of Mercy: 37.78%
  • AI Stability Engine: 6.67%
  • Electrifying Reload: 2.22%
Expanded Ammo Bags: 40.8% Increased Caliber Rounds: 59.2%  
Fast-Charging Coils: 81.6% Better Weight Balance: 18.4%  
Killer Focus: 59.2% Extended Clip: 40.8%  
Super Blowthrough Rounds: 30.6% Hollow-Point Bullets: 69.4% Hardened Rounds: 0.0%
Hitting Where it Hurts: 67.3% Precision Terror: 14.3% Killing Machine: 18.4%
  • Hoverclock: 12.77%
  • Minimal Clips: 48.94%
  • Active Stability System: 2.13%
  • Hipster: 8.51%
  • Electrocuting Focus Shots: 14.89%
  • Supercooling Chamber: 12.77%
Jury-Rigged Boomstick Zhukov NUK17
Expanded Ammo Bags: 61.7% Double-sized Buckshot: 38.3%  
Double Trigger: 43.3% Quickfire Ejector: 56.7%  
Stun Duration: 3.3% Expanded Ammo Bags: 36.7% High Capacity Shells: 60.0%
Super Blowthrough Rounds: 86.7% Tungsten Coated Buckshot: 0.0% Improved Blast Wave: 13.3%
Auto Reload: 21.6% Fear the Boomstick: 36.7% White Phosphorus Shells: 41.7%
  • Compact Shells: 14.04%
  • Double Barrel: 5.26%
  • Special Powder: 35.09%
  • Stuffed Shells: 12.28%
  • Shaped Shells: 0%
  • Jumbo Shells: 33.33%
Expanded Ammo Bags: 61.9% High Velocity Rounds: 38.1%  
High Capacity Magazine: 14.3% Supercharged Feed Mechanism: 4.8% Quickfire Ejector: 80.9%
Increased Caliber Rounds: 47.6% Better Weight Balance: 52.4%  
Blowthrough Rounds: 47.8% Hollow-Point Bullets: 13.0% Expanded Ammo Bags: 39.1%
Conductive Bullets: 42.9% Get In, Get Out: 57.1%  
  • Minimal Magazines: 9.52%
  • Custom Casings: 9.52%
  • Cryo Minelets: 33.33%
  • Embedded Detonators: 4.76%
  • Gas Recycling: 42.86%