Personal opnion - explosions are overbuffed, with two examples (UPDATED - SEE NEW LONG POST BY ME)


#1

A lategame survivor explores 6th level of frozen labs. He is armored by heavy survivor armor and wears two electric thermal outfits underneath, so he is on medium encumbrance, but even now it is getting rather cold. Oh, and almost forgot, he has supperalloy torso bionic armor.
At the end of long coridor there is a turning to the right. Just about 2 tiles before it a wild grenadier appears! Our hero drops his pickaxe in panic, and draws his RMAutomagnum ASAP, luckily its modded to be as nimble as this weapon can get, and survivor has good pistol skills. First shot is a good hit, but zombie survives. Second shot finishes the job before grenadier can spawn any active manhack, but his posthumous skill activates. There is not a single place to take cover, only a long corridor, but survivor imidietly rushes backwards. With his current speed he managed to incrase the distance from 2 to 8 tiles, which is quite long. Bam, the explosion occurs, survivor is hit in torso for about 100 damage and dies.
Now, whats bad about it?
From gameplay perspective, it was a situation, when even very skilled and well prepared character was sentenced to death no matter what he did the moment he walked to the end of that mundane corriddor. Even imidiate reaction and (i bellive) best possible solution wasnt enough.
From ballance perspective - i know shrapnels are deadly IRL, but isnt armor supposed to be extra effective aganist them, especcially at relatively big distance? (8 tiles is about the throwing range of most explosives for some weaker characters).
In world War I, helmets were introduced to protect from shrapnels, not bullets, and these were usually able to completely negate damge, while being probably about 16b/16c armor in CDDA standard.
I understand granades should be dangerous, and if we want them be able to kill shocker brutes in one go and hulks in 1-3, then total damage potential should be high on point blank, but having pi*r^2 deathzone of ~201 squaretiles for everything that isnt heavy power armor seems too much.
Pardon my ignorance, i dont know if damage for shrapnels decrases with range, but if it does, then the difference is abysmal.

Another example: Similarly equipped lategame survivor goes hunting at night with Noctovisor googles and sweet new bow. After few hours of casual extermination of zeds, zombies triggered nearby minefield, that caused to lure an enormous ammount of them to reality bubble, includding one shocker brute - who surprised me, because he must have heard my steps or smelled me, and managed to zap my character, resulting in pain, decrased strenght - and in effect, unabillity to draw the bow! I was foolish enouht to leave all my other weapons at deathmobile except for trusty combatknife - which is conductive and is bad weapon to fight shockerB. I was too heavily armored to be able to outrun brute in long term, and light he made was enough for horde to see me. I had one last resort - my CBM flamethrower. I set S.B. ablaze, and the moment he died - so did I. Explosion hit me in torso for about ~100 DMG. I belive he was carrying stack of 50 9x19mm bullets. These bullets usually do zero damage to heavy S.S., when FIRED from a barreled gun. Even if they explode at the same time, and i was unlucky to be hit by 20/50 from them, they should have power of .22 each. And my armor should block damage 20x times, not once. And the pure explosive force of gunpowder shouldnt be lethal either (especially when shells absorb most of it), explosive force trauma is something that armor is bad at protecting, but it usually is not that damaging to soft human tissue, unless its a stick of dynamite in your backpack or directly under your feet.

TL,DR.:
IMHO armor should get a multiplayer when it tries to stop a shrapnell, or there should be 5x times more 5x times weaker shrapnels.
Shrapnels should loose way more DMG potential as they travel to the end of their max range.
I agree, explosins should be very deadly, but at point blank range or to unarmored targets at a little greater range. Right now one shrapnell is more deadly than .50 cal shot at your chest.
I hope my english language was enough ; p


#2

I don’t really know about whether explosions are too OP yet, but killing a grenadier at close range with no nearby cover is already a really grave mistake, so the situation doesn’t sound too unfair.


#3

I agree, but i think it is more a bug than a feature. My character was killed by an exploding grenadier under the same circumstances as yours. Got ~100 HP damage on the torso through the heavy survivor suit and some negligible damage on other limbs.

Some time ago it was possible to run away from its suicide explosion - so melee characters was not owned by default -, but it seems it is not possible anymore.


#4

Never tried killing them up close so I didn’t know you could run from the surprise bombing before. That does sound like OP got killed without committing any mistakes now, but it’s due a lack of communication about game changes more than the buff itself.


#5

Just to make it clear I’m not necessarily against an armor buff for shrapnel, just tested a grenade and the range itself doesn’t look that big, but damage is harder to judge.


#6

Well, i’m not 100% sure about the safe run away, most of the times i shot them with a barrett, but definitely i killed some of them with melee and i was able to run away, i think the armor protected my toon.

AFAIK there was an old explosion bug where all damage hit the torso and killed the player character. Maybe somehow it is back and with the buffed exposion damage it is deadly, even the heavy survivor suit can’t prevent dying.


#7

Oh, you would be surprised when https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/24171 lands in.


#8

If i didnt kill him when he showed up, he would spawn grendehacks, and these explode with the same force, but are even faster.
After little thinking, maybe, just maybe i could draw knife and destroy all 20 hacks he was carrying, making him run out of ammo, then run away and shoot him with rifle from distance. But RNG can be a bit.ch, especially when you need to perform like 50-60 succesfull stabs, with that big sample is almost guaranteed to have a few fails in a row.


#9

Yes, that’s too risky, just few unlucky miss and the hack explode in your face.


#10

Grenade hacks are slower than manhacks. If I’m not wrong, they were designed for the player to be able to outrun then. Also, did you try trowing the grenade away? That sounds a bit better than running from ti.


#11

CDDA item browser says standard manhack has 190 speed, all explosive hacks are 250, except for nukehack - 150 there. And, yes if that was a grenade, i could try throwing them away. But grenadier can drop a few of them, not one. And these arend grenades, these are hacke, which weight more aand i am not sure if i could throw them more than 8 tiles.
I belive in the past activated manhacks slowwed down so you could reach safe distance cinematic style, but that is no longer the case.


#12

Don’t know about the hack change, that sounds like a really bad design. Grenadiers drop grenades on death, not hacks, but they often drop more than one so sometimes there is no time to throw both - hence the question.


#13

Oh, so there is already a big change comming soon?
I am not used to this whole github thing, stil need to figure out what is it. So far when i wanted to get moore information about game i allways googled forum or wiki of said game.
Hope this update makes shrapnels deadly, but makes armor effective about them, and opposite about pure explosion force, armor does almost nothing but it issnt really very killy unless very big.

Now i wonder about that 15m range-thing. Is cataclysm tile 1x1m? because IRL running person can cover 15m in like 2 sec. If explosion blast gets 30m i diameter, we need to be able to run away from it faster than now.

But now i feel bat not knowing about github-thing and starting this converstion when it was probably all talked before : /


#14

Cata does tend to aim for realism when its not at expense of tedium. Realistic danger seems to be pretty accepted, and being in a closed hallway where a grenade just got dropped is the sort of thing that liquifies a person through their armor via pressure wave. But having things like concrete and cars between you and the explosion reduces the lethality of the pressure wave significantly.

The overhaul Kevins working on should hopefully shift a lot of the damage from the fireball model currently used, to the new fragmentation model, which armor should be effective against. But if your within a few meters of a grenade going off with nothing between you and it, that’s the sort of thing that does immediately rupture internal organs, shrapnel blocked or not. And I do think the game should model that, and use it as a risk to the player. Not being able to facetank a grenades lethal radius is a good thing in my book.

If anything, this sounds more like grounds for grenade hacks to be removed (The new near future timeline would indicate we probably don’t have widespread micro suicide drones by then) to make disengaging from grenade dropping enemies feasible, while keeping the lethality of the explosives they drop accurate. Maybe replace the hacks with them properly throwing grenades on a much longer cooldown. Grenadiers can force the player to stick to cover and engage from a distance that way. Or you can gamble it/use cover and hope to dodge the grenades while you close in.


#15

Right, that’s sort of the point of the grenadier’s right? And many of the special zombies for that matter. It changes the pace of the game. The Boomer, from Left 4 Dead, for instance, is important because the player falls into the pace of ‘shoot everything, shoot everything’. Adding a character that, in fact, punishes you for shooting everything, breaks up the monotony and adds a layer.

Cataclysm loves layers.

I get being frustrated by death by explosion. Even just injury by explosion. I once accidentally activated some dynamite and nearly killed my guy, despite throwing it as far as I could. It pissed me off. First Grenadier I met landed me dead after it’s death drops. First . . . well, big angry robot, led to 2000+ damage. These, ultimately, are lessons. Once they’re learned, they sting a lot less.

Or maybe they don’t. I just think that’s part of Cataclysm, and it makes things all the more rewarding when you dominate those enemies in the future. It forces you to adapt to given situations. I like all that.


#16

Personally, I’ve always thought the grenadier was a TERRIBLE fit for the game, flavor-wise. Zombies can’t open DOORS, but somehow, this one can activate grenade hacks and grenades?!? Meh.

That said, the best way to handle them in the situation you describe is to take out your pistol and run away as quickly as possible. The first few hacks are usually non-lethal (smoke, etc), but if a lethal one is coming at you, shoot it before it gets to you - they don’t have many HP.

As to ammo exploding… yeah, that’s been ridiculous for quite a while now. Ammo cooking off is MUCH MUCH MUCH more dangerous than ammo being shot at you! That’s… yeah, dumb.


#17

I understand what you say grenadiers being bad flavor-wise. However we already have (and had a lot longer than grenadiers iirc) other types of zombies that are able to do more complex stuff and are not completely mindless. Science zombies who can spawn manhacks are the obvious example. So if you wanted to remove grenadiers on the ground of “flavor” then they have to go as well. CataclysmDDA “lore” does not seem to assume that zombies must be all mindless. Some of them can retain some skills they had when alive, and some are capable of more complex actions. We are not talking about Romero’s zombies but CataDDA’s zombies and they’re not the same.
Personally I would prefer zombies to be all mindless and those few types that aren’t be replaced by non-zombie enemies but I doubt it will ever happen.


#18

What seems bad to me lore-wise are the explosive hacks. Having automated “security” bombs on facilities full of netherworld beings, chemical reagents, explosives and ammunition sounds like a recipe for disaster.


#19

There are only 4 “smart” zombies in the game, best I can tell.

  1. Masters. OK, that one actually makes sense… except they actually show no intelligence (they just rush you like everything else).
  2. Necromancers - smart enough to hang out and let other stuff attack you so they can bring it back to life. That’s it.
  3. Scientist zombies - they drop something breakable, “cough up strange dust”, crackle with electricity, moan softly, shoot a beam of radiation from their mouth, or “open their coat and a manhack flies out” (but only three times). Only one of those is even vaguely intelligent, and it’s very limited.
  4. Grenadiers - hang out as long as they have hacks to use, use LOTS of hacks, and activate human-tech explosives when they die. This is the ENTIRE “intelligence” of the necromancer, plus the ENTIRE intelligence of the scientist zombie (only a LOT more), PLUS knowing when it’s out of hacks, PLUS using non-automated human tech, on trigger when they die!

The grenadier zombie has more intelligence than every other zombie in the game PUT TOGETHER.

The grenadier slot in the game could be handled with bot and make MUCH MUCH MUCH more sense, and since all of those tricks go away the first time a grenadier zombie dies (after their first res, they are permanently out of hacks, so they are, essentially, a soldier zombie), it wouldn’t even change how they work in any meaningful sense.


#20

I guess spoilers don’t matter. So I’d point out that the bio-operator retains the ability to sweep your legs and execute a CQB slam, which means it possesses the intelligence to execute martial arts, as well as recognizing that tripping is a means to knock down an opponent.

Zombie technicians pull metal objects from your hands. This hints at some level of intellect, even if it’s extraordinarily basic. Whether this is a natural function or a CBM doesn’t really matter, as it’s obviously targeting (primarily) what would be used to attack it.

I don’t know what to say about this thread, I just don’t feel this is a very compelling argument beyond ‘I don’t like this thing and we should get rid of it’.