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Let's design human weapons!

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kharnov
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Let's design human weapons!

Postby kharnov » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:10 am UTC

Hello. So, as the title states, let's start considering some human weapons. I had a similar thread up on the old forums, but that's gone now. I'd like to get the discussion started again. In addition to this, I'd like to get some discussion started on story material for human weaponry.

Here are several things to consider when figuring out the stats of a weapon:

  • How much does the weapon do on each hit?
  • What's the rate of fire?
  • How much does the weapon cost, and which stage is it available at?
  • Does the weapon have some interesting gimmick to it?
  • What sort of ammunition does it use?
  • What range is it effective at?
Now, balance is going to be something hard to come by while figuring out a weapon. Try not to dwell too much on numbers, and don't attempt to balance it on the spot, because the idea will look silly. On a similar note, it's generally a bad idea to make something obviously overpowered and then attempt to balance it by countering it with a crippling weakness. Think in moderation. Remember that anything above 10 damage is going to be killing a dretch in just two or three hits. That's not very fun for the person playing the dretch, especially at lower stages.

In addition to giving something stats, try to think about the theme of your weapon, and how it fits into the broader arsenal of human weapons, as well as the game itself. Here are some things to think about:

  • Does the weapon contribute to the general sense of humans feeling isolated and lonely against an alien threat at lower stages?
  • What sort of technology is involved in the operation of the weapon?
  • Does the operation of the weapon make physical sense? Even if not possible today, can it be feasible in a few centuries?
  • Is this weapon going to be a nightmare to model and animate?

While you consider the mechanics and operation of your weapon, try to figure out if a weapon already exists with a similar function. Consider each weapon already available, and how your weapon performs alongside it. If it works about the same, then there's really no point in including it. It may be possible to alter the current weapons to provide slightly more differentiation, but this is less desirable than trying to think up of entirely new niches. With new niches for human weapons, there's more justification to add new alien classes with.

Remember that a weapon is more than just a quick idea on paper. A lot of thought has to be put into the formation of a good idea. To give the best possible chance for your idea to be considered, put in as much detail as possible. Could you sketch the weapon out, or perhaps provide some story material about it? In the case of the latter, even a single paragraph would suffice.

Now, for this thread to really take off, I'd like to give a suggestion. When you post an idea, try to give some honest criticism about the idea before your own. This wouldn't apply to the person posting the first idea or two, but afterwards, I'd like to see a discussion involved. Tell each other if your ideas are good or not, and if they suck, why they suck. It's fine to laugh, but don't flame each other.

Go!
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kharnov
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby kharnov » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:16 am UTC

In order to incite some discussion in regards to story material, here's the fluff I've written for all of the human weapons back in pre-alpha. Feel free to tell me if any of my ideas suck, or if things should be changed. I'm always open to altering things or incorporating new material.

Also, note that some of this stuff is hilariously outdated, and that I likely missed out changes that are now present in current models. Correct me where I'm wrong.

Blaster

A common sight among all members of the human military, from combat engineers to high-ranking officers, the single-shot blaster pistol is typically drawn from its holster in only in the most dire of circumstances. When power fails and the more potent weapons run out of ammunition, the blaster is always present for one last heroic charge or final stand. While the survival rate against multiple opponents is abysmally low, the possibility of taking out at least one injured alien with a few well-aimed shots is more than enough to justify continued production of the dirt-cheap weapon.

Each blaster draws power from multiple sources, ensuring that it can operate in a variety of environments. To recharge its internal battery, the pistol can absorb faint emissions of energy from a distant reactor, solar power from sunlight, and even thermal energy from open flame. Between shots, the battery charges a multitude of capacitors along the barrel of the gun, which release a short burst of energy after the trigger is pulled. Although each shot is potent in comparison to bullets, the recharging takes far too long to be useful in combat, and the energy burst travels too slowly to be accurate against quickly moving targets at anything more than point blank range. Even so, it is still considered better than nothing.


Construction kit

The frontier bases of humanity require the repetitive tasks of maintenance and construction, both of which are performed by the reliable construction kit. No actual building is performed by the kit itself, which instead is used to provide a teleportation beacon to offsite warehouses and manufacturing facilities located in non-combat zones. When the combat engineer chooses a structure from a holographic menu projected on the left side of the kit, the selected building materializes rapidly at the designated coordinates: first as a frame, and then the internal components. Two projectors mounted on either side of the kit display an image of the chosen structure, allowing the constructor to make informed decisions on its placement, such as whether it would physically fit or not. Each kit is powered by its own internal battery, allowing it to function even when the main base has been destroyed, a critical feature that allows the survivors of an alien attack to rebuild their infrastructure in another location, given a few minutes of safety.

Damaged structures may be repaired by the construction kit, which houses a small number of nanomachines; these may be regenerated by feeding in metals from the surroundings. Two small sensors mounted above the projector arms survey the state of the building in question, determining which components require repairing before ejecting a spray of the nanomachines onto the location. When the damage is repaired, the sensors examine the structure once again, continuing the nanomachine spray only if necessary, in order to conserve them. While slow, this process ensures that nothing is wasted, a crucial survival measure in the hostile environments the kit often sees action in.


Rifle

Having undergone relatively few design changes over the last century, the rifle is exceedingly cheap to manufacture, and is thus the weapon entrusted to the newest of recruits. With few moving parts and simplistic circuitry, they are easy to maintain and are unlikely to jam when needed most, making them reliable and a favorite of those that come to depend on its stability during combat. Just as historic rifles propelled a round down a rifled barrel, these weapons operate off the same principle, although with a rapid, magnetically-assisted feed system that allows for an incredible rate of fire while the trigger is held. A small display on the side of the rifle indicates how many rounds are left in the clip, eliminating any guesswork regarding appropriate times to duck into cover and reload.

By far the most common weapon in the human military, it is highly effective against the smaller forms of aliens, with the ability to dispatch most of them in a few seconds of well-aimed fire. As the weapon is configured to fire in bursts over a short distance, it is considerably less useful at ranges, where the highly accurate energy weapons are more appropriate.


Painsaw

Of all weapons in the human arsenal, the painsaw stands out as the most peculiar, for two reasons. The first is that the weapon does not have the same reach as any of the others, in fact working over extremely short distances, which result in considerable risk to the wielder. Secondly, the weapon does not possess a military origin, but is in fact a weaponized form of a common cutting implement used in construction and the processing of highly strengthened metal alloys. Two electrodes jut out from the handle of the weapon, each fed by a pair of miniaturized generators that can give off a considerable amount of power for their size. When a trigger in the handle is held down, current flows between the electrodes, with enough voltage to ionize the surrounding air into searing plasma. If the “blade” of the weapon does not make contact with another surface, such as the body of an alien, the current is cycled back into the generators, with relatively little loss of energy. This, along with efficient power storage, allows for the weapon to be used almost indefinitely.

The weapon is a common sight among starship crewmen, who favor it over the standard rifle for its inability to damage the ship’s infrastructure with stray rounds. Smaller aliens are butchered in a matter of seconds, making the painsaw an excellent choice for those that choose to venture into the poorly lit ventilation systems where they lurk. Even the largest aliens may be slaughtered by several humans wielding painsaws, although at such close ranges, going in without the protection of armor or teammates would be suicidal.


Shotgun

Designed with boarding actions and close combat in mind, the shotgun is a powerful weapon at point blank ranges, where its spray of pellets can tear through alien flesh in an instant. Each shell contains a number of lightweight pellets, which disperse upon firing to cover a larger area than a single bullet can. An automatic reloading system expels the used shells and quickly loads a new one from the clip, although a manual pump is mounted under the barrel in case the gun’s circuitry fails in any way, adding a level of redundancy. As the shells have a greater bulk than the ammunition used in other human weapons and must be discharged after use, there is an increased delay between shots.

Naturally, the shotgun’s pellet spray disperses significantly at more than several meters, making the weapon near-useless at greater distances. It is within that short distance that the weapon shines, being able to take down the lower alien forms in just one or two shots. The spray aids in hitting larger aliens, although the wielder must be careful to time each shot, allowing a few moments to dodge before the next shell can be fired.


Lasgun

Fulfilling a similar role to the more common rifle, the lasgun possesses several advantages of its own. Unlike its bullet-churning cousin, the weapon possesses a single large power cell, eliminating the need to reload and allowing its user to keep a constant rate of fire for as long as the cell is charged and the trigger is held. Each “shot” is a pinpoint accurate, coherent burst of high frequency electromagnetic radiation, invisible to human eyes but readily felt as a sudden shock of intense heat that burns flesh with ease. The amplifier must be cooled down between shots, and while this is accomplished in a fraction of a second, there is still an easily noticed delay in comparison to the rifle.

Although superior to the rifle in most regards, the lasgun’s components are far more expensive to manufacture, and thus it is typically entrusted to soldiers that show some degree of marksmanship and survivability above that of a new recruit. It may be connected to a battery pack, providing even more energy to the power cell. Although eclipsed by the other energy weapons in terms of damage output, it is highly regarded as the most efficient weapon in the human arsenal.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby kharnov » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:18 am UTC

Part 2 of the human weapon descriptions, due to the character limit:

Mass driver

Fulfilling the niche of a sniping weapon in the human arsenal, the mass driver performs its role with lethal efficiency. The barrel of the gun is a miniaturized linear accelerator, with coils of highly conductive electromagnets running down the length. A large power pack is mounted underneath the barrel, feeding into both the magnetic coils and the fragile cartridge in the rear of the weapon. Each cartridge contains a number of narrow metal slivers, which are expensive to manufacture due to the high precision required in their manufacture, as even the slightest imbalance in the projectile would lead to undesirable inaccuracy. When the trigger is pulled, current flows into the magnetic coil, producing a powerful field that propels one of the slivers out of the weapon in a fraction of a second. Damage is caused not by the shot penetrating flesh, but rather by the shot continuing through the unfortunate victim’s body, exiting the other side with a resulting disruption of the internal anatomy that often proves fatal. Each firing draws a large amount of energy from the power pack, which must be replaced every few shots.

With a painfully slow rate of fire, the mass driver is by no means intended to be used on the front lines. As a result, it comes equipped with a targeting scope, allowing its user to aim from a safe distance. Having a source of distraction for the aliens is often beneficial to its user, such as the presence of teammates or automated base defenses to keep the opponent occupied. Carrying a back-mounted battery pack grants the wielder more shots, feeding more electricity into the power packs before they blow out.


Chaingun

Engineered with the ability to deal with numerous opponents in mind, the chaingun excels at its assigned role. While it fires the same rounds used in the more common rifle, the chaingun dispenses with clips altogether, instead being fed by a long belt of ammunition that eliminates the need to reload. This, in addition with a rapid cycling system to eject spent rounds, allows for an impressive rate of fire that dwarfs those of all other weapons. A great degree of accuracy is lost as recoil jostles the heavy body of the weapon around in its wielder’s arms, but this may be somewhat remedied by taking a more stable position against the ground, or wearing a suit of powered armor. Needless to say, the chaingun is not a weapon that lends itself easily to subtlety or stealth, but where it lacks elegance it more than makes up for it with sheer firepower.

While the weapon is capable of slaughtering large numbers of smaller aliens at close ranges, it is equally useful against the larger forms, whose bulky bodies are easier to hit with the spray of bullets. It is equally suitable to both heavy assault and base defense roles, where in the latter the need for ammunition is nullified for as long as the armory is powered.


Flamer

Standing in stark contrast to the remainder of the human arsenal, the flamethrower, often referred to as simply the “flamer”, bears few hallmarks of high technology. Having retained the same basic design for many centuries, the continued use of the flamer is a testament to its highly effective, though crude method of dealing with alien threats. Two canisters are mounted onto the weapon, one below and one from behind. The lower canister contains highly compressed, non-flammable propellant, which, when mixed with the liquid fuel in the rear canister, is released down the barrel of the weapon at the pull of the trigger. An ignition system sets off a small spark before the gas leaves the weapon, causing a burst of flame to erupt for a considerable distance.

While its short effective range poses enormous risk to its user, few weapons are better suited to narrow passages and tight turns than the flamer. The heat and flame grills smaller aliens to a crisp, and the stream of fire is difficult for even the largest aliens to dodge effectively, leaving few unscathed. At the same time, the operator of the weapon is likely to be burned by their own flame, making its usage in tightly enclosed spaces hazardous at best. Its usage in human bases is equally likely to end in tragedy, as structures are not thermally shielded and sensitive electronic components are often melted, along with nearby squad members. The weapon is best utilized by lone wolves, or at least those that keep a safe distance from their allies.


Pulse rifle

The latest in a new line of plasma-based energy weapons, pulse rifles represent the pinnacle of human ingenuity in high-energy containment fields. Each cartridge contains a miniaturized tokamak, stabilizing a small quantity of searing plasma. When the trigger is held, some of the plasma is ejected down the barrel of the gun, which is surrounded by rapidly rotating magnetic fields. These fields create a sort of rifling effect that stabilizes the projectile, leading to the weapon’s name. Upon leaving the barrel, the superheated plasma gives off a great deal of light as it ionizes the air, imparting a glow as it travels along its path. The plasma chars flesh to a crisp in a small area upon contact, doing significantly more damage than conventional metal slugs can accomplish. However, some of this energy is lost as it travels through the air.

Having just left the experimental stage, the weapon is only beginning to make its presence known in the arsenals of humanity, typically being available to an assault team only after they have proven their worth with more typical weaponry. It is one of the pricier weapons, although in the right hands it can be very deadly. A battery pack imparts more power to the cartridges, allowing them to hold an increased amount of plasma safely.


Lucifer cannon

No weapon in the entire human arsenal is capable of the sheer carnage made possible by the lucifer cannon, a weapon so deadly that its usage is only authorized in the later stages of an alien invasion, where its potency far outweighs the high risk of collateral damage. Each cannon possesses a single large power pack mounted underneath the barrel, containing the same sort of magnetic plasma containment field present in pulse rifle cartridges. A second containment field is present in the rear of the gun, and when the trigger is held down to the first stop, plasma is quickly drawn into it. The trigger may be held down for some time, allowing an enormous amount of plasma to be prepared for a shot. When the desired amount is reached, a second pull of the trigger ejects the plasma down the wide barrel of the gun, releasing it in a blinding burst of super-heated gas that is capable of slaying nearly all aliens in just one shot.

Relatively few safety features are implemented into the weapon, making its usage troublesome for both the wielder and nearby squad members. Before the second containment field is overloaded with plasma, a loud alarm goes off, warning the soldier before it is too late. If this is ignored, the plasma is vented out the side of the cannon, preventing the weapon itself from exploding while heavily injuring the user and those in the area. As the lucifer cannon is capable of destroying human bases just as easily as those of aliens, it is the single most expensive weapon, used by only those that have proven themselves skilled with less explosive implements.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby danmal » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 am UTC

I'm going to keep this pretty simple. Generic handgun with ~9 bullet clip and relatively low damage. The handgun would replace the blaster as the secondary weapon (although you still spawn with the blaster). Pricing would be somewhere between the psaw and the shotgun. Damage would be somewhere around rifle (so 5 damage per bullet) with a sensible fire + reload rate.

The handgun would be aimed at builders. Currently builders need to be a lot more mobile then in 1.1 due to repeater changes. Having to run around the map without any sort of self defense is pretty sucky. Giving them the pistol allows builders to defend themselves vs small aliens and contribute in skirmishes.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby ViruS » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:40 am UTC

I think the current blaster is awsome but i guess we can add a pistol as well. Maybe make the pistol cost 0 credits as well. Somehow, maybe have a dual-spawn menu that players can choose their secondary from. Since theres probably only those two, probably make the psaw a secondary as well, or if not, just have a cg_spawnsecondary [secondary class] variable so people dont have to constantly choose to spawn.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby StalKermit » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

ViruS wrote:probably make the psaw a secondary as well


Most OP secondary weapon ever.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby Anomalous » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:11 am UTC

It would be better aimed at aliens… :p
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby ViruS » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:05 am UTC

StalKermit wrote:Most OP secondary weapon ever.


Yes, but in return, it replaces the pistol like in L4D. In other words, if you have a good marauder player vs a good dodging human with no ammo, he's kinda screwed. (Yes, i can kill easier with blaster againts marauders suprisingly. May not apply to others though.)
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby Ishq » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:31 am UTC

If you have no ammo, you're supposed to be screwed. The blaster is there to give you a sporting chance.
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Re: Let's design human weapons!

Postby ViruS » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:43 am UTC

Actually for most classes, im better off going blaster than psaw. Maybe its just my ping issue. I never tried it on aussie assault though... ah who cares.

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