Ideas to Improve DRG's Weapon Balance

3 months ago

Hey everyone, MeatShield again. This will be a signifcantly shorter post than my previous ones because the vast majority of the content is in a downloadable PDF. Back in my blog post about mod and OC pickrates of Karl.gg loadouts from U31 I had mentioned that I would go into more depth about mods being impossible to balance without moving them around. Since then, I've spent a few weeks theorycrafting and balancing a bunch of ideas of what changes I would make to DRG's existing weapons, mods, and overclocks. The PDF goes into a fair bit of depth about these ideas (36 pages, 12k words) and what my goals were, but I'll provide a short summary in here so you can decide if you want to commit the time to read the whole thing:

  • Thesis: the weapons in DRG can't be balanced without moving most of the mods between tiers, and the OCs should be redesigned from a "6th tier" of mods into mechanic addition or alteration choices.
  • Most of the decisions were guided by the idea that all mods within a tier should either be incomparable or directly comparable and mathematically balanced using one metric, and that most of the weapon's balancing should be done via the five tiers of mods instead of the selected Overclock. The goal was that new players who haven't unlocked all of the Overclocks yet can still have a satisfying weapon to use while they wait for RNG to give them the OC they're looking for.
  • With the exception of Engineer's PGL and Breach Cutter, all of these suggestions should maintain the existing DPS and Total Damage values that the weapons currently have so there should be virtually no "power creep" if these changes get made
  • PGL got an ammo and damage buff, Breach Cutter got... well basically triple-nerfed... but now they're much more balanced against each other on-paper, and the new mod arrangements will let GSG nerf/buff them as necessary much easier going into the future.
  • I'm sure that these ideas are not perfectly balanced, but I would like to think that it's a big step in the right direction. If nothing else, I hope that these ideas can serve as "conversation starters" for the community and GSG devs, and start a productive discussion that leads to inspiration and eventual changes. This isn't "the DRG weapon balance bible", it's just a lot of ideas that have had some mathematical balancing done.

If you want to take a look at the numbers I've been using for these balance changes and see how they work out on-paper, there's a specially-compiled version of my DPS Calculator that you can download, install, and run.

I must admit, I drew some inspiration for the Guidelines I used for balancing from Reddit u/YeOldDrunkGoat and their post about Weapon Balance feedback from a few months ago. Reading that post sparked the idea for this project in my mind, so if you're reading this YeOldDrunkGoat: thanks for the inspiration! This has been a very fulfulling project for me to work on.

Rock and Stone!
-MeatShield