Spread on primary weapons, good or bad?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Serge, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Serge Apothecary

    I'm not exactly the most well versed in all of the aspects of shooters and their mechanics but i feel some of them don't mesh well with the kind of shooter that firefall is. Some of the mechanics seem counter intuitive to the design and one in particular constantly bugs me.
    Spread, recoil, RNG or whichever you prefer to call it is when the accuracy of a weapon is lowered so that bullets will travel in an ever increasing distance from the center of the reticle based on your range. Generally i think of this as a way to limit the distance that a weapon is effective but it also makes the weapon easier to use by increasing the area in which a person can land shots but overall decreasing a persons accuracy by means of skill.

    (an example of spread for those who prefer pictures)

    Now my questions is (in regards to the bio rifle, bio needler , and i do believe even the nighthawk has a small bit of spread but ill have to double check) why do a select few primary weapons need to have spread? For the mini gun i can understand because of the rate of fire at the very least but i still feel like spread overall is a very skill limiting mechanic in comparison to damage falloff where your skill is preserved but your range isn't.

    But i'm interested in the benefits of this mechanic which may be something i don't quite understand yet and i'de like to hear what the community thinks of this mechanic and if it is indeed skillful gameplay.
  2. #2
    Note: Spread does two things

    1). It makes the gun less accurate at a range, which allows the projectiles to travel extreme distances but not be a serious threat. Electron was nerfed heavily because it didn't have spread and it had extreme range. Spread prevents the need to nerf Dragonfly, Accord Biotech, Rhino, Accord Dread, ect. But allows them to deal damage from long distances with the primary weapon.

    2). It makes these weapons easier to use. A weapon with spread is a bit more forgiving than a weapon without, think old Biotech needler and compare it to the new dragonfly plasma cannon, which has spread and small aoe range. Much easier to use.

    I would suggest, specially for dragonfly, removing the graphical stuff before looking at spread, you cant even see what you're hitting.
  3. DarkByke Founder


    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM17s5Fxpx0

    "let headshots be headshots" "true shooter gameplay"
    The first 2 minutes of this video explain a little about balancing shooter games and mmo's, and their inherent flaws.

    I know it doesn't directly relate to weapon spread, but I feel that the weapon spread rips you off when you think you have a perfect shot lined up, and makes it really hard to progress your skills when everything is left to random numbers being generated for spread.

    I didn't mind spread in Battlefield 3 because it was manageable, and not enough of an annoyance to make me quit the game. It worked for that game I feel because of the bullet drop system tied into it.
  4. PhoenixFlame Commander

    Spread exists as an internal limitation based on your character's inability to remain accurate in non-optimal positions. It's a realism thing. By and large, guns don't have an inherent accuracy deviation, if they did, they wouldn't be accurate at long range. In 'realistic shooters' (Call of Duty et al), your spread reticule or 'cone of fire' is altered by your shooter's actions and positions. Default assumes you are standing and not aiming. Typically it gets modified something like-

    Things that improve CoF-

    Things that worsen it-
    Being shot
    Shooting repeatedly

    That. The idea is you shouldn't run around the corner with a sniper rifle, while bunnyhopping, and peg someone down the hall with perfect accuracy just because you have sufficient twitch skill, because that's just silly. (Quickscoping aside, that's the intent anyway.) In a game like Firefall, especially where there aren't methods to improve the spread on a gun by say, holding still (As ADS is still relatively inaccurate, crouching does nothing), it just seems like a tax on your ability to use certain weapons.
  5. #5
    Easier to use? What? Maybe for the dread because it's a cone of bullets, but spread on the dragonfly primary/needler/SNIPERS is not making them easier to use. All it's doing is adding an RNG to your shots, making you randomly miss. Also, what's great is even the dragonfly ALT FIRE [mini healing wave] has a spread (3x as much spread as the primary fire). If I have my crosshair directly centerofmass on someone 30 meters away, I shouldn't be having 2 feet of deviation to either side, resulting in a majority of the shots missing. That's not making anything "easier to use".

    Realism... firefall.... uh.... what?
  6. Serge Apothecary

    It should be noted that dragonfly also has damage falloff after about 50m give or take, a range at which the spread is to much for me to ever shoot anything to begin with
  7. #7
    Not only does it have falloff, the bullets just stop after ~125m instead of the usually 200+
  8. #8
    Actually a lot of frames got nerfed at long range. I think everything except recon and assault weapons have significant damage drop off at range now. I dont even know why Mammoth still have to deal with bullet dropoff, when they now get damage dropoff. If the plasma machine gun gets a straight up damage reduction at range, then it should at least shoot straight now. It should be one or the other, not both.

    Are they trying to make recons more appealing by nerfing every other frame? Terrible idea.
  9. #9
    Spread is terrible on these weapons, no point discussing it, just remove it.
  10. #10
    The spread is pointless and bad, and makes me want to stop playing these frames, which is sad as they are some of my favorites..

    There is absolutely no good reason to have a spread on these guns, there are far better ways to balance these if the need arises.
    • Like x 1
  11. Serge Apothecary

    The point of my post was to discover if there was originally a reason for the addition i honestly want to know what benefit it has and what it add`s to the game. Sort of a reason to help understand the thinking process of red 5 devs and discover things about games i didn't already know. Most all of us so far agree that its not fun, but i'm interested in why and if it has a benefit.
  12. #12
    Well you know the benefits. It's more noob friendly because it limits the skill ceiling and allows bad players to get hits when they should have missed. And it limits the effective range on a weapon, in a terrible way if I may say so myself. Then you have the realism argument, but I find that invalid in a shooter like this.

    What more is there to it? It's just a bad mechanic.
    • Like x 1
  13. Serge Apothecary

    I felt like i never saw anyone else talking about the mechanic in the forum and thought "hey i should bring it up and see what everyone thinks". so missions accomplished :D
  14. PhoenixFlame Commander

    Never said it fit firefall. I'm merely explaining why cone of fire mechanics came to exist in modern shooters that depict real-world combat. Why fantasy shooters adopted them is beyond my comprehension.

    Indeed, the bottom half of my post points that out.
    • Like x 1
  15. Atavax Founder

    You take something like the HMG and the dread. The concept is a huge powerful gun that shoots bullets. It doesn't fit that concept if it has a low rate of fire or if it deals very low damage per shot. So they introduce spread, which keeps a high rate of fire and allows you to do a lot of damage with individual bullets but relies on the inherent inaccuracy to limit its effectiveness. It also limits the effective range of a weapon with obviously the inaccuracy making you land less bullets the farther away the target is. Finally it drastically lowers the skill ceiling, minimizing the difference in accuracy between different skilled players. The default dread HMG is basically the poster boy for when to add spread to a shooter, unfortunately they didn't stop with it being the only gun with it.

    Shotgun/scattershot. There is absolutely no need for random spread other than to lower the skill ceiling of the weapons. NONE, ZIP, ZERO. You can limit the effective range and make the gun more forgiving for weaker players by having them shoot predictable patterns, such as 9 pellets in 3 rows of 3, or 9 pellets as a row of 1 then a row of 2 then a row of 3, then 2 then 1 again or 4 pellets 2 rows of 2, the possible configurations are endless; the farther they travel they more they spread out. Giving a wide area to deal a little damage, and being precise and predictable for higher skilled players. Having the pattern the pellets come out seemingly random just adds a dice role for no reason. Shooting in a pattern wouldn't make sense with the hmg because people could memorize the pattern and compensate for it, but when all the pellets effectively come out at one time, the only reason to randomize the spread is to lower the skill ceiling. People were asking for a predictable pattern was a common complaint going back well over a year.

    Then you have something like the mammoth primary which has a relatively slow projectile, a massive clip, spread, splash, and damage falloff.... Slow projectile is great, its a way to limit the effective range of the weapon, without putting a hard limit on its effective range, which is really asking good players to try to push the effective limits of the gun. Kind of like the inverse of snipers that can land headshots at close range. But then you put damage falloff on it, so they can't deal good damage at range. Why don't we just make recons deal half damage at ranges below 40 meters while we're at it? Then on top of the damage falloff, there is spread too, so even with perfect tracking and prediction, you're going to be missing a lot of ranged shots. Plus the gun has splash, so its not like the noobs need the spread to make the gun more forgiving...

    Really there are only two reasons for random spread, to balance a weapon concept that requires the weapon to have a high rate of fire, high velocity, high damage per projectile, and have a massive clip, or to lower the skill ceiling. It makes it into a COD. It allows bad players to kill good players because a good player could be perfectly accurate, and you just need to get lucky with your spread and him unlucky with his, and you killed him.

    In the Extra Credits video linked earlier, they mentioned how you line up your crosshair on an enemy's head you click fire, and it misses, and its very dissatisfying, and random spread does exactly that.
  16. #16
    You know what else limits the effective range of a weapon? Damage falloff and bullet falloff. Which the dragonfly and accord bio also have on top of spread.
  17. BittervetAnni Lieutenant

    i really wonder at which ranges you guys shoot at your targets.
    for most weapons i do not even notice any inaccuracy. Crafting also reduces spread of most weapons that have bigger ones (mostly secondarys though)

    sniper rifles got zero spread when zoomed in.
    • Like x 1
  18. #19
    The accord recon still has spread even when scoped.

    And there's no crafting in PvP, and fights tend to be a bit farther distance than in PvE.
  19. BittervetAnni Lieutenant

    the accord recon has an full automatic assault rifle. if you do not use it like an uzi, it has not much spread either.
    someone mentioned that the dragonfly's altfire has a spread - isnt that the spread of the AoE cone? so bigger is actually better?