I've stepped out for a bit. Are long-arms viable yet?

Honestly, this was the main thing that turned me off DDA. I wanted to get a good gun and go tactically operate like a tactical operator operating tactically, but longarms were a flaming garbage fire even with very good stats and skills. They couldn’t reliably hit anything at far enough range to kill them before they got into your face, and the aim speed made sure that the zed would be in your face chawing your bollocks off before you could bring the gun to bear again.

Has the dispersion floor been fixed, or should I check back again in a few more months?

1: No. Play with StatsThroughSkills and see if that makes a difference. Works for me. But the current STS packaged with the game needs a quick fix, though. I’ve been using a Laser Rifle to kill ants at range for a while now and it’s been working fine.

2: Just say Rifles, man.

3: The Dispersion floor won’t be “Fixed” because it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Kevin said so himself. Go complain (read: respectfully make a request/thread about it) to him about it. (Don’t actually nag Kevin about it, you won’t get anything done).

I never played without STS, and longarms (no I will not say “rifles,” because I’m including things like mounted LMGs and machine pistols with stocks; all rifles are long arms, but not all long arms are rifles,) were always very poor. They took forever to aim, and even at full stability your chances of actually hitting at any reasonable range were very poor because of the dispersion floor. If barely-trained arsehole me can drag an a very heavy rifle, out to a range after a decade of being out-of-practice and consistently put ~5 out of 8 on a stationary paper at 100 yards, a survivor with huge gun skills should damn well be able to reliably put one in a zombie across the street.

If that’s a feature, then longarms are not meant to be viable weapons in CDDA and should be removed.

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I’m also curious why the dispersion floor is a thing. I think it should either be much lower or removed entirely, since it seems to make most, if not all, ranged weapons terrible beyond short range. It also makes balancing weapons difficult, since basically everything is near or on the cap, so there’s nowhere to go for more accurate weapons.

This is an ugly false dichotomy. In a game with mostly melee enemies, rifles don’t need to be nearly as powerful as you desire to be viable.

I think his issue is with the fact that rifles are often too inaccurate to be useful at all, rather than an issue with power. Considering the game has a maximum range of 60 and most guns only reach 20ish, it doesn’t often show up, but guns are really bad accuracy wise. Pick up the Barret .50 cal (I forget the name) which does reach the 60 tile max range, and suddenly it you can’t hit anything beyond 30 tiles. They don’t have to be overly powerful, but they should at least do what they’re designed to do.

I can generally hit things at 20-30 tiles ranges if I’m using a properly modded rifle and aiming. I’m not sure why other people aren’t getting the same results.

Kevin said that the the Dispersion Floor was a thing because of realism or balance. Can’t remember which. To paraphrase, he said because “0 Dispersion is too accurate”.

Considering it’s now impossible to board a shopping cart because it is “Unbalanced”, I don’t know if realism has as much as a priority as it used too.

What defines a useful rifle, though? Most enemies have twelve range or less, so being able to shoot at all at range 20 is desirable even if you’re only scoring effective hits some small percentage of the time. And rifles with automatic fire are useful regardless of range, because they have big damage bullets thrown into big damage bursts.

Unboardable carts was clearly stated to be a semi-temporary measure put in place because carts were heavily used as an implausible weapon against zombies. The dispersion floor may not be perfectly tuned, but it was put in place because with 0 gun dispersion and enough stats you would never miss under any circumstances.

Because you shouldn’t only be hitting a small percentage of the time at your effective range. An assault rifle being accurate to 20 tiles is fine, but a sniper rifle should be able to shoot accurately at a much greater range. If the sniper rifle is no more accurate and has no other advantages, it’s not worth having. Which is stupid, because realism is a big part of Cataclysm.

What’s wrong with 0 dispersion and never missing under certain circumstances? A world class (level 10) marksman should be able to shoot a zombie in the head with a sniper rifle from across the street 100% of the time.

Here’s how I think it should work: Remove the minimum dispersion cap (or reduce it to 1-5), make it so that weapon mods reduce dispersion by a percantage/fraction rather than by a fixed amount. Inaccurate weapons stay inaccurate and can’t be made pin-point precise, and the weapons that should be amazingly accurate can be.

Just something I’d like to say is that Kevin said he was going to put the Dispersion Floor into item jsons at some point. No indication when, however.

I personally think that the Dispersion Floor is bad on the idea that far too many weapons are already at that point, or so close to that point that it doesn’t matter. That, and calculating out how all those mods will add up is a freaking crapshoot.

Another thing I’d like to bring up is that Burst Firing is not viable at all except with weapons like Nail Rifles. This is because it seems to be impossible for your character to keep the damn thing straight while he’s firing, regardless of strength. This also makes weapons like the Minigun completely useless because you’ll fire one and hit everything but what you were aiming at in the first place (the Minigun can only be fired while mounted, which I think is reasonable at human strength levels, but I feel there should be a point where having cybernetically/mutagenetically enhanced strength would let you fire such a weapon handheld).

EDIT: I feel the minigun is a bad example to use: Rather, I think having a high strength should at least be able to eliminate an amount of starting recoil from a gunshot, which is the real killer of burst-firing.

Well when he does that I guess I’ll stop complaining about that at least.


I think it should be made so that having one of the large mutations, having strength over say 15, or wearing power armor constantly counts as being on mounted terrain and gives a handling bonus regardless of whether or not you have a bipod. That way automatic and heavy weapons can all be used and still retain mobility under special circumstances.

Maybe replace this with a higher number. 15 kinda seems like you’re putting it small. A minigun has a lot of kickback from what I’ve read…

There’s also the idea of making it so Hydraulic Muscles makes it count as being mounted.

Well considering 8 is a normal person and, if I remember correctly, 12 is already superhuman or extremely athletic, 15 is probably okay. Maybe 16 or 17, but something low enough that it’s actually reachable. Hydraulic muscles would already bring you way above that, so two birds one stone. I was thinking more along the lines of the tripod mounted HMGs and launchers.

If I’m not mistaken, the minigun can’t be fired at all unless vehicle mounted, but I could be wrong. That said, it’s unlikely you’d even want to use it unmounted considering the overall weight and volume of the thing. Even if it was usable the recoil would still be pretty insane, so it’s not like it would be practical.

  1. 14 is considered human “max”. This is why it costs extra points to boost an Attribute above 14.

Exactly, so 15 would be “superhuman” and would be reasonable to fire something unmounted that a normal person needs a mount for.

See this issue for current status of ranged balance

Interesting read, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I think we’re basically just brainstorming here.

Dispersion Floor seems like a dirty hack to clamp possible values for testing, but I really don’t see the necessity since only a 20 Dexterity 20 Perception superhuman with a 0 dispersion gun with 0 dispersion ammo can actually hit 0 dispersion. Reading the git threads it does actually seem like the dispersion floor is in there so a 20 stat 10 skill character would good hit a 30 tile target 50% of the time, because that’s what the ranged tests call for. And putting a hack like that in there to force it to fit the test case instead of adjusting the progression so it fits the test case sort of defeat the purpose of the test.

My protip? The game is open source and has a compiling guide. Learn a bit of git, make your own branch and change whatever you like, and pull in changes from master whenever you want to update. As a bonus, learning to compile means you can always revert to non-broken versions, like when that poorly handled vehicle overhaul was on the release branch for like a month.

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You’re partially right, it’s a hack to reign in accuracy across the board, but it’s not targeting stats progression, it’s adjusting gun dispersion. The alternative was editing every gun item to apply it, not adjusting stats progression.