How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

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How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Top Gun » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:13 pm

For the past year or so, I've been playing Team Fortress 2 on a fairly regular basis, and one of its mechanics made me think about how the Mass Driver works in D3. We could go back and forth all day about which elements in which games did or didn't work, but I think a lot of people would agree that having an insta-scan weapon that caused significant damage and severely disoriented the target was a bit of a game-breaker. It's certainly almost always the weapon of choice at long distances, because of these advantages. To get back to the TF2 comparison, that game features the Sniper as one of its classes, and his primary weapon is (oddly enough) a sniper rifle. Right-clicking zooms the rifle in, and a little meter under the crosshair fills up over a second or so, indicating the power of the current shot; it isn't until the meter is completely charged that a shot connects with full power. The rifle can be fired without use of the scope, but doing so delivers only a minimal amount of damage, far from the one-hit kill that a charged scope shot can deliver.

So my question is, if the Mass Driver worked in a similar fashion, would you consider it an improvement to D3's gameplay? We can even forget the charge meter: just have an unzoomed shot dish out minimal damage with little to no knock-back, while a zoomed shot would act about the same as any shot does now. It prevents the sort of twitch-fest that levels like Varicose Veins turn into, while still allowing someone who's willing to take the risk of sitting still for a second the ability to land a devastating shot.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by flip » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:29 pm

Only good thing about D3 is the one-shot kill from an instareap MD game.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Krom » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:03 am

Or just keep the MD pretty much as it is, but make it a secondary weapon with secondary weapon like ammo amounts. Basically bring back the Merc Missile. :P
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Terminal Error » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:34 pm

I personally like this idea a lot, it probably balances it out a bit more, but it's still simple. I also like it when the MD is really short in supply (comes with 4 rounds, ammo only gives you 1), like it is in Bill The Cat if I recall correctly. It makes what you have seem so much more valuable, and it sorta gives it a "secondary" feel.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Top Gun » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:52 pm

Yeah, I'm a big fan of that ammo mod myself. Without it, you're always swimming in ammo, and it's usually the only primary anyone uses in more wide-open levels that feature it.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Ferno » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:53 pm

the best way to fix the MD?

remove it. It has no part in the game.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:39 am

Krom wrote:Or just keep the MD pretty much as it is, but make it a secondary weapon with secondary weapon like ammo amounts. Basically bring back the Merc Missile. :P
Doesn't it only carry 30 rounds anyway (on the pyro)? That's pretty much the average for secondary weapons (at least in the game where you have the merc missile :P).

Also, I remember reading this exact thread years ago, but I look and it's only been here since Sunday... bizzare. I guess it was another one like it.

I would say do something like the Rail Driver in Red Faction, and make it genuinely challenging to aim the MD if you're not zoomed in. At least enough so that most (current!) players wouldn't use it in a dogfight because their opponent would likely kill them before they landed a hit.
Playing through RF, my first thought about the rail driver was that they took the MD and actually made it work -- and most of the multiplayer games I've played (still a noob lol), most of the shots fired from rail drivers were misses (even against me!).
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Sirius » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:32 am

Mercs are 20, 40 if you have an ammo rack. They do tend to hit less often as well, since the player has a bit of time to dodge it. Maybe if you lead it well you can get a good hit rate though.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Krom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:27 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:
Krom wrote:Or just keep the MD pretty much as it is, but make it a secondary weapon with secondary weapon like ammo amounts. Basically bring back the Merc Missile. :P
Doesn't it only carry 30 rounds anyway (on the pyro)? That's pretty much the average for secondary weapons (at least in the game where you have the merc missile :P).
Key difference being that when you pick up a merc missile, you have ONE shot in your inventory; when you pick up the MD, you have 10 shots to work with and an ammo powerup gives you 5 more. The most you could get for mercs was a 4 pack.

Solutions to fixing the MD that involve making it suck will never work. Much like the fix that was applied to EMD; now hardly anyone ever uses it and most levels don't even include it.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Alter-Fox » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:53 pm

EMD fix?
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Krom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:43 pm

It used to have unlimited range which let it track a little better (the longer EMD has to travel the wider its arc is at the end). Especially in CTF and Entropy there were a fair amount of players that would sit there endlessly lobbing EMD down long corridors towards the other teams base. It made no difference to the rest of us because avoiding it was trivial, but the noobs who couldn't dodge a proximity mine from halfway across a level complained endlessly and it got nerfed. EMD was never that useful to begin with, but it went from mostly useless to completely useless; especially when compared to dominant weapons like Fusion and MD.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by snoopy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:17 pm

Krom wrote:It used to have unlimited range which let it track a little better (the longer EMD has to travel the wider its arc is at the end). Especially in CTF and Entropy there were a fair amount of players that would sit there endlessly lobbing EMD down long corridors towards the other teams base. It made no difference to the rest of us because avoiding it was trivial, but the noobs who couldn't dodge a proximity mine from halfway across a level complained endlessly and it got nerfed. EMD was never that useful to begin with, but it went from mostly useless to completely useless; especially when compared to dominant weapons like Fusion and MD.
It could pack quite a punch if someone unwittingly went down a turbo shaft that had EMD coming up the other way, though.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Krom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:08 pm

snoopy wrote:It could pack quite a punch if someone unwittingly went down a turbo shaft that had EMD coming up the other way, though.
Only if that someone was the host of the game, the network code in D3 never was good about wind tunnels that sped ships along. Most of the time a ship going through a shaft like that would warp through weapons without taking any damage. :P
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Duper » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:32 pm

EMD had it's uses but they were limited. It was good to use from behind on an unsuspecting player normally at long range. Like you pointed out Krom, they tracked in wide arcs over long distances and were good for a couple of hits until the player went "WTH?" and changed their vector.

Also, if you've noticed, the EMD is the same weapon that Tailbots use only blue instead of orange.

The MD as Descent's answer to the Rail gun that had become so popular with the Quake2 crowd. I find it rather ironic that Descent started mimicing a game that it set out to taunt. .. well sorta. that was Doom irrc.

But yeah, bring back the merc missles.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Enzo-03 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:21 pm

Levels without MD sometimes feel like they have something missing - fusion and missile spamming tend to happen (indika).

Levels with regular MD readily available make everything else near-useless (VVeins, many, many other levels).

I do prefer how the MD was in Bill The Cat than in pretty much any other MP level I've played. It still packs all its punch but there's not MD rounds being slugged around everywhere at everyone.

Yet I feel that it is a little too scarce in BTC. It could just be due to being used to be able to find a MD readily at my disposal and waiting to be used (if it gets used at all because I still tend to be shot first, just not so much as of late), but I don't know for sure.

What I do know for sure is that when everyone has the most powerful gun, it ceases to be the most powerful gun and becomes the *only* gun.. well ok so technically that still makes it the most powerful but..

edit: I could live with D2's Merc missiles, but I'm not fond of them outright replacing the MD... as far as D3 goes.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:46 pm

There are modded levels where you can get mercs -- Disintegration is a good one. (A lot of fun games there I've had).
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Burlyman » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:51 pm

I like to use the EMD Cannon a lot especially when I get tired of using the same old, same old D3 weapons :3
Ferno wrote:the best way to fix the MD?

remove it. It has no part in the game.
That's the easiest fix. >^..^<
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Fiend » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:42 pm

I don't know about the MD charging like fusion but I do like the MD in BTC, esp the way single-shot ammo just appears all over after awhile. as for EMD, nothing is more humiliating than being killed w/ EMD. I think of it as the embarrassment cannon.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Blackvertigo1 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:27 pm

Every single one of you guys have no idea what your talking about. You can't comprehend anything that is made out of material except me.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Grendel » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:44 pm

Damage has the reduced MD ammo mod as well. Probably all of Otherones levels have it. That's partially why those levels are on top of my favorites list. He is one of the best (if not the best) D3 level designers.
Fiend wrote:as for EMD, nothing is more humiliating than being killed w/ EMD. I think of it as the embarrassment cannon.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Ferno » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:31 pm

Burlyman wrote:I like to use the EMD Cannon a lot especially when I get tired of using the same old, same old D3 weapons :3
Ferno wrote:the best way to fix the MD?

remove it. It has no part in the game.
That's the easiest fix. >^..^<

the best ones usually are. :)
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Sergeant Thorne » Sat May 05, 2012 5:42 am

IMO EMD got a bad rap. You don't get to play with it often, but an EMD cannon used correctly can put your shot accuracy right up near 90%. At that efficiency it doesn't matter if it's a low-damage weapon. You just have to lead well and account for changes in your opponents movement. The EMD's weakness is that there is a tendency to rely too heavily on its homing ability, which can be dodged easily enough if it's just coming straight at you.

The mass driver only got to be a game changer when people generally got to be pretty good at using it, so I think the best solution for the weapon as it is--without significantly changing it's place in Descent--is limited ammo. Maybe even a cool-down period for the cannon itself--1st shot - 1sec wait (reload time), 2nd shot - 1.5sec, 3rd shot - 3sec, 4th shot - 15sec (overheated). Better yet! Don't restrict the timing or the ammo--bring in heat-damage from an overfired MD cannon! (kind of like Fusion's overcharge damage).
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Burlyman » Mon May 28, 2012 6:25 pm

I don't think fixing the mass driver would do much for the actual game, regardless of how many people play
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by SilverWolf » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:26 pm

This is actually something I was looking at while designing the Wolf-GX. While making changes in my weapon system (to include the addition of GAU-8 Avengers, and the return of the Mercury and Earthshaker missiles,) was considering changing the mass driver to model an M-102 howitzer with 105 mm APFSDS. That would mean high damage, long range, but low speed. Slower than concussion, actually; only 482 m/s. the rate of fire? 1 shell/6 seconds. The low muzzle velocity is ultimately why I didn't implement this option. Let me know what you guys think. What I'm hearing clearly though is, "No more ray tracers."
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Behemoth » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:54 pm

A weapon like Mass Driver has no place in a game like Descent, the game is at it's best when you have to think about your next move and how you'll accomplish those moves, But MD takes that option basically out of the equation since it's just point and click, instant hitting in a game that was designed to allow you to be able to dodge what's being shot at you.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by SilverWolf » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:04 pm

I'll go ahead and start working on this, then. An M102 howitzer to replace the mass driver (similar to what's found on the AC-130 Spectre.) Like I said earlier, here's the preliminary details:

Muzzle Velocity: 482 m/s
Range: 11,500 m
Damage: You guys tell me.
Rate of fire: 1 round/6 seconds

Finally, what kind of visual model does everyone want the weapon to have? Just a 105mm projectile? Or something more fancy? Do you want the projectiles to be affected by gravity like my Avengers are? Eight firing masks are available for every weapon. Do you want me to increase the rate of fire dramatically for the first seven masks, followed by a high-delay final mask? What kind of damage do you want? What other suggestions or design features do you want me to consider?

Please get the word out. If the community wants this, I'll make it happen.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by BUBBALOU » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:56 pm

best way to fix the MD - euthanize the wankers, who obviously can not aim... nor seem count out a reload dodge

I seem to have a better workout dodging your stupidity than attempting to grasp the weight of your intelligence.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Behemoth » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:05 pm

There is no "fixing" that can be done for a weapon like that.. :)
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Burlyman » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:05 am

BUBBALOU wrote:best way to fix the MD - euthanize the wankers, who obviously can not aim... nor seem count out a reload dodge
You always do that with your Mass Driver anyway. :P Besides... I see several people here who have proven they can aim and still know the Mass is a noooby weapon

Funny... your sig applies to maybe 80% of the human population. Although intelligence isn't everything. ^_^ Ninety percent of people who are intelligent are swayed by fallacy.

Anyway, I think the Mass Driver could still be good; the best fix would be to remove the momentum it transfers to the target. The lazy fix is just to remove it.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Behemoth » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:17 am

I don't hate the MD, even when i'm rusty i usually hit about 7/10 shots unless i spend a few weeks playing regularly.
It's just the mechanics of Descent never really included something for a weapons like MD, the closest thing was vulcan, and even that wasn't exactly instant if i remember correctly.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by flip » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:57 pm

MD instareap is the only good thing about D3.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Behemoth » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:45 pm

I didn't know you could be sarcastic at times, flip.
;)
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Money! » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:54 pm

MD shots do 20 damage, don't knock the other ship around, and you start with 5.

And make the shaking from fusion set in sooner and be more extreme
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Burlyman » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:26 am

I don't hate the MD, I just know it's a n00by weapon.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Sergeant Thorne » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:29 pm

So how does one define a "n00b" weapon? Is it the weapon that allows a n00b to get one up on you (obviously more than one, literally)? Or the weapon that plateaus sooner, perhaps? Even the weapons that arguably plateau at an earlier stage in a pilot's development can be taken further by a good pilot. Ever been on the receiving end of Barry's MD, or {ROX}Netrino? That was no n00b weapon. (don't feel bad if you're not in my brief elite list, there were a lot of people who were very good with MD in my eyes)

I think some folks' butts just still hurt from being hit by n00bs with MD. I realize that for the sake of the game, or any future game, the proper way to handle that situation is to quit whining, suck it up, and then start a game with a banned weapon or two in order to change the balance to better suit the game-play you're looking for.

The MD is not a "n00b" weapon. Henceforth it is a "dominating"/"dominant" weapon, accessible even to rookies, but perfected only by the elite (that includes evasion)! Thorne says so. :P
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Krom » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:14 pm

How many of the same players who were very good with MD could also handle themselves with Lasers/Plasma/Microwave/Fusion? If you think about it that way, it is going to be a much shorter list. MD is a noob weapon because a lot of lazy players ended up dependent on it to even be able to compete at all, take most of them out of MD dominated levels and they would get promptly annihilated. The way to tell a noob weapon from a non-noob weapon is to check and see if there is an entire class of players that won't, and often can't put up a fight without it.

And just for the record, Fusion would probably be more towards the noob weapon side if it weren't for MD being there to skew the graph. Although the only really noob friendly aspect of Fusion is randomly lobbing it down a hallway, and generally the people that depended on that for Fusion kills were the only type to regularly catch randomly lobbed Fusion shots so that evened out in the end, otherwise Fusion is considerably harder to dominate with than MD in an open space dogfight.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Ferno » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:56 pm

I think the biggest problem with MD is that it was not the great equalizer like the Fusion cannon or the Plasma cannon. It just didn't take a high amount of skill to tip the balance.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Sergeant Thorne » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:26 pm

Lies! Thorne has spoken. :P
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Sirius » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:56 am

Back before I moved I used to abuse Fusion because it was nearly the only primary I could hit with on a 250 ping... which makes me suspicious about it but only to a point - you still had to actually lead people, just not necessarily very well.

(The others were Vauss because you could rake with it even if you had no idea what to shoot at - not overly effective but can tag people with low shields - and quad lasers on the Pyro/Phoenix because they had such huge coverage it could make it difficult to avoid them anyway.)

MD I gave up trying with. It killed me a lot though... was only a little I could do about it.
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Re: How the Mass Driver could have been "fixed"

Post by Top Gun » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:42 am

My biggest problem when I played D3 was that the level environments tended to be on the larger side, but most of the weapons were just so damn slow. You really had to be good at predicting your enemy's movement, but when that movement was in full 6DOF, it became a difficult task. I never really got good enough at "dancing" like that, so I had to mainly rely on tunnel-ratting in smaller areas of levels. I don't think everything should have gone full-hitscan like the Vauss or MD, but it would have been nice for Lasers/Plasma to get a bit of a speed boost.
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