Why do some of the stronger guns have a damage penalty?

Some guns, like the Barrett M107A1, have a negative base firearm damage (-5 in the this gun’s case). This is a trend with stronger, high end guns. Why is this? It doesn’t make any sense to me and I was hoping someone could explain it.

I think rifle_base has a range_damage: 5 that the barrett is removing since it’s copying core stats form that base item. I’ve been combing through the jsons last night and this morning looking for the base guns those are getting copied from for a different question but I think it might be something hard defined that’s getting copied.

It’s actually due to the base barrel length of the cartridge. See doc/GAME_BALANCE.md: https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/blob/master/doc/GAME_BALANCE.md


Ammo stats
The damage (Dmg) of ammunition is the square root of a round’s muzzle energy in joules (Energy, J) rounded to the nearest integer with an arbitrary increase or decrease to account for terminal ballistics. Damage of handloaded ammo is set to 92% (rounded down) of their factory counterparts. A similar system for calculating recoil is planned but not currently being worked on. The figures used to calculate stats and any other relevant information are presented in table below.
Each cartridge also has a Base Barrel Length (Base Brl) listed; this determines the damage for the connected guns. A firearm has its damage modifier determined by it’s real life barrel length; for every three inches between it and the listed baseline here, the gun takes a 1 point bonus or penalty, rounding to the nearest modifier. For example, a .45 ACP gun with a 7 inch barrel would get a +1 bonus (against a baseline of 5 inches).”

The .50 BMG has a base barrel length of 45 inches; The Barrett has a barrel length of 20-29 depending on the variant.

Also, homemade pipe guns are given arbitrary penalties to reflect their inferior quality.

There are a few items from before the GAME_BALANCE standard was implemented that don’t follow the guidelines, and some people don’t know or care that the standard exists.

That seems like an odd standard to have. It primarily penalizes sniper rifles, which already have their primary advantage stripped from them by the minimum dispersion stat.

It’s more about realism, and it’s a pretty small penalty, all things considered. Generally a round will pick up velocity based on the barrel length. This is why you get better performance from the same .357 load fired out of a lever-action carbine with a, say, sixteen-inch barrel over firing it out of a revolver with a four-inch barrel. The bullet has more time to pick up speed and that equates to better muzzle velocity, which also adds to energy imparted as the bullet impacts a target. With a high-powered rifle round, you lose some of that potential with shorter barrels as the bullet doesn’t have time to reach the velocity potential it could have.

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Sorry if I’m misunderstanding, but from what you’ve just described, if the penalty is about realism, then shouldn’t a longer barrel length equate to a damage BONUS rather than a penalty?

EDIT: Ah, I missed the part where the .50’s BASE barrel length seems to be based on the M2, so the Barret’s barrel is actually shorter than the base, despite having a fairly long barrel by most rifle’s standards.

That said, the Barret really, really ought to have more damage. It’s total damage with a .50 BMG Ball round is 61, just barely edging out the Heavy Crossbow by one point. In comparison, the M2010 with a .300 Winchester Magnum does 70. The Barret has a higher piercing stat, but still.

You can’t tell me that a rifle using the round on the far left should do less base damage than one using the round adjacent to it.

Hell, it’s even out-damaged by the M1903 Springfield using .270 Winchester! Let’s just do a comparison on those rounds, using the mid-range size listed on wikipedia for each round:

140 gr (9 g) SP 2,916 ft/s (889 m/s) 2,644 ft⋅lbf (3,585 J)

190 gr (12.3 g) BTSP 3,083 ft/s (940 m/s) 4,027 ft⋅lbf (5,460 J)

.50 BMG:
700 gr (45 g) Barnes 2,978 ft/s (908 m/s) 13,971 ft⋅lbf (18,942 J)

And somehow, the rifle using the bottom round does less damage than one using the other two.

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I proposed changing it but the idea was shot down. The .50 BMG is permanently underpowered because some people think it would be unbalanced if it followed the guidelines. It does tend to expose the flaws in the terrain damage system.

I think the rationale for keeping it weak was that nobody would use any other gun, because the .50 BMG is so absolutely better in every way.

Oh, and the OP critical system.

If you mean https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/19038, feel free to reopen it, mugling is long gone and that closure was beyond questionable.

In fact feel free to revisit any PRs or issues he closed.

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Ok. I’ve made a PR for the .50 https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/22680 and the .22 CB recoil change https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/22679

Awesome, thanks a lot for that Bork!

Looking back at that PR, I was an ass. That was the worst way for me to handle that situation.

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Learn from it if you can, but don’t beat yourself up over it, mugling was pushing a bunch of people’s buttons.

It’s the internet. Everyone pushes everyone’s buttons routinely. Actually, now that I think about, people push eachothers buttons a lot even in face to face conversation.