PR: https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/2803 (Merged! Yay)
I’ve gotten into DDA somewhat recently after a long hiatus from roguelikes, and I’ve been playing a lot with energy and high-tech/non-ballistic weapons. I feel that a lot of them are lacking something so I made a little mod to fix that.
THIS MOD IS NOT MAY NOT BE BALANCED YET. I’ve kept all the numbers the same whenever possible, and a good chunk of the changes are cosmetic, but certain mechanical changes (namely: laser weapons now consume no ammo and are powered by UPS only) have not been thoroughly playtested and may be very, very overpowered.
I’m going to show some pics first, and then drop a big ol’ wall of text. There’s a tl;dr featurelist at the end, though.
in the dark:
in the dark:
[size=14pt]Wall of Text[/size]
These are more or less the issues with energy weapons I’ve tried to address with this mod. In general I’m going to use the term “energy weapon” to describe all high-tech and/or non-ballistic weapons - the V29, fusion rifle, plasma rifle, laser rifle, railgun, and their home-made/bionic variants.
Problem 1: Energy weapons do not have a close relationship between ammunition and projectile effect like ballistic weapons do
An FMJ bullet is better for armor and an incendiary bullet sets things on fire regardless of what gun it comes out of. However, a laser pistol and a “fusion gun” (whatever that is) presumably have very different effects even if they both use fusion packs as ammo, as energy weapons don’t always use their ammunition as projectiles.
Weapons now have an “ammo_effects” field in the JSON. When a weapon is fired, its “ammo_effects” are added to the ammo’s “effects”. So if you e.g. add “ammo_effects”: [“EXPLOSIVE”,“LIGHTNING”] to the Glock 19, every round fired out of a Glock will now have a nifty lightning trail and explode, regardless of if you’re using 9mm +P or 9mm FMJ or 9mm extra-soft nerf darts. This way, all laser-based weapons can have “laser” effects (goes through glass, etc), all plasma-based weapons can have “plasma” effects, etc, even if they share the same ammo type.
Problem 2: Energy weapons lack cosmetic polish
The cosmetics around energy weapons are somewhat lacking, since most of the weapon effects are designed with gunpowder weapons in mind. Laser and plasma weapons don’t generate any light, despite the fact that the former is supposed to literally shoot beams of light, and the latter more or less shoots bolts of burning gas. The plasma rifle and railgun both actually go “Blam!” when they fire, even though presumably neither of them use the types of chemical propellants which produce that sound. Fusion-pack-based weapons all go “Fzzt” and generate 12 noise, even though the fusion gun does more than five times (52!) as much damage as the V29 (10).
The “LASER” ammo effect now makes cute little glowy beams, and the newly-added “PLASMA” ammo effect makes bursty crackly plasma, both of which act as very short-lived light sources. I’ve also changed the sound effects a little bit - weapons with those flags now have their own noise sets ranging from the good ol’ “Fzzt” all the up through ear-rending "KRA-KOW"s. Unfortunately, my ability to make up good lasergun onomatopoeia is pretty poor, so help with these would be great.
Problem 3: Fusion packs are lore-inconsistent
UPS-based weapons is a mechanic that makes a lot of sense for energy guns, but the “older” weapons use fusion packs (v29, fusion gun, fusion blaster arm). Considering the in-game description of the fusion pack (designed to shoot super-heated gas), it’s an odd choice of ammunition for the laser-based weapons, unless we ignore said in-game description and pretend they’re just general-purpose power cells, and in that case they’re more or less equivalent to using UPS.
The laser weapons and fusion gun now all use UPS. The v29 and laser rifle no longer use fusion packs, although the fusion gun still uses them as ammunition, hence making their description consistent with their use. A new flag, “NO_AMMO”, has been introduced for weapons (like the new laser weapons) that do not consume ammunition. Unfortunately, since weapons cannot have an innate pierce statistic, all the laser weapons no longer have any AP properties :/. Weapons now also have an innate pierce statistic, so lasers once again have their old armor-piercing properties. I also haven’t edited the descriptions to mention UPS or changed the item spawns yet, so the v29/fusion gun lab finale (do we still call them “lab finales”? it’s been a while) still only contains fusion packs. The energy weapons lab finale now also gives a UPS, but fewer fusion packs.
[ul][li]Weapons can now augment fired ammo with additional effects[/li]
[li]Energy weapons have some new visual effects and “sounds”[/li]
[li]All “laser” guns now no longer use fusion packs and use UPS exclusively instead. Fusion gun uses UPS but also fusion packs.[/li][/ul]
I’m playing with a lot of ideas right now w.r.t energy weapons that I might look into implementing depending on feedback here. Some of them:
[ul][li]A “capacitor charge” system for UPS-based weapons, wherein those weapons have a charge reservoir that depletes when fired, but is recharged at a fixed rate from UPS (at a rate slower than firing depletes it). Weapon mods could also be added that e.g. use batteries/plutonium cells/fusion packs to recharge a weapon in the absence of or in addition to a UPS[/li]
[li]Reworked weaponfire noise. Currently firing noise is the base damage of the ammunition used, which makes a lot of sense when your gun uses propellant-containing cartridges as ammunition, but makes somewhat less sense with energy guns.[/li]
[li]Energy-weapon versions of “big guns” and explosives - antimatter cannons? plasma grenades? who knows?[/li][/ul]
[size=8pt] Based on the description for the fusion pack - “… the standard fusion pack, capable of delivering bolts of superheated gas at near light speed with no recoil.” The implication seems to be that the fusion gun is supposed to fire superheated gas.[/size]