Author Topic: Playing an assault rifle combatant  (Read 11020 times)

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2015, 04:09:31 PM »
The problem really is the diminishing returns on skills, but no diminishing influx of skill points.
I suppose you could do with 10 points of Perception just fine.
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SagaDC

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2015, 05:02:38 PM »
Well, the Gun skill also adds a small but steady increase to your gun damage as your skill increases, doesn't it? So there wouldn't really be a "max" where it stops being useful, and it would be one of the few skills that's worth perpetually keeping as high as possible. Or am I incorrect in this assumption?

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2015, 06:20:23 PM »
Well, the Gun skill also adds a small but steady increase to your gun damage as your skill increases, doesn't it? So there wouldn't really be a "max" where it stops being useful, and it would be one of the few skills that's worth perpetually keeping as high as possible. Or am I incorrect in this assumption?
If this is true, then Wildan is correct indeed and every extra point should be put into Perception and four extra points in perception are worth more than gun nut feat.

At level 25 you can max your base Guns skill at 135, but with 16 Perception the effective Guns skill is 272! Compared to 203 with Perception at level 10 or 180 at level 8.

Wiki says: "The formula for damage gained from Guns skill is Base Damage * (1 + 0.7 * Effective Guns Skill / 100)."

Lets do some maths. If you want to have Co:10 and Int:7 (for gun nut feat) you can raise your perception to 12. This gives maximum Effective guns skill 226
Damage multiplier = 2,582
Effective guns skill 272
Damage multiplier = 2,904

Let's take a weapon, which has a basic damage of 20.
With Gun Nut you can make it 24 and with Guns 226 multiplier added the damage is 61,968

Without Gun Nut, with Guns at 272. The damage is 20*2,904=58,08

Slightly less, but very slightly, since the accuracy bonus from Guns skill make difference at low levels.

So, if this holds true, I guess Wildan is right and all the extra points should indeed be put into Perception.

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2015, 06:30:03 PM »
Well. Let's take another calculation. Max damage for Chimera AR is 36 and critical damage bonus is 130%. So with zero skill it deals 79,2.
With Gun Nut, the max damage is 43 and critical damage (with zero skill) 98,9. Now let's add the multipliers
Guns 226 (with Gun Nut)
98.9*2.582=255
Guns 272 (without Gun Nut)
79.2*2.904=230

The difference is about 10% in this example and 7% in the previous with advantage to Gun Nut, but Perception has other benefits, plus Gun Nut takes a feat slot.

So. I guess I'll go with Wildan next time.

epeli

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2015, 09:21:31 PM »
Nice theorycrafting. :) I was going to post something similar but you did all the work! There was some discussion about Perception vs Gun Nut in RPGCodex Underrail thread just while ago... 2 forums are discussing the exact same thing at the same time, makes me wonder where to post.

- Indeed, weapon skills increase both damage and precision. There's no upper limit to their usefulness.
- Each point of Perception increases your skill damage bonus by 5.95%* whereas Gun Nut gives about +10% base damage on average (exact increase depends on weapon model).
- The damage bonus from Gun Nut is comparable to 3-4 points of Perception if you're going for at least 8 per. Less at high levels, more at low levels. So perception also gives you precision and wins in the damage race the end, but Gun Nut is a great boon at earlier levels when your Perception isn't maxed and you're getting less bonus from your lower Guns skill. Not to even mention being able to craft higher quality rifles (and other stuff) much earlier with the higher int.
* (base ability score increases related skills by 8.5% and weapon skills increase damage by 70% of their effective value)

Some things are slightly off in your calculations:
- assuming weapons always deal max damage skews the results in favor of Gun Nut
- a small mistake, but 36 plus 130% critbonus is 82.8, not 79.2. :p
- base damage numbers would actually be truncated to integers, so calculating with precise numbers gives slightly skewed results. It's simpler to just calculate the damage multipliers and assume base damage is 1 without gun nut, 1.1 with gun nut.


The problem really is the diminishing returns on skills
What diminishing returns? ??? Everything here has linear returns. AFAIK the only formula where Underrail uses diminishing returns is classic kill XP.
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Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2015, 02:02:42 AM »
I suppose you could do with 10 points of Perception just fine.

It's not only about damage. If you're using a build focused on mostly single shots or special attacks with no/little aim penalty, then yes - 10 perception will do. If you plan doing a lot of burst attacks and actually hit your target, then you'll want every bit of weapon skill you can possibly grab at any given level. Each stat point above 4 gives you 8,5% bonus to the corresponding skill. Endgame at level 25 when you max your weapon skill (135) you'll have 272 effective points. With 10 perception you'll have only 203 which is about 25% less. At lower levels that difference is smaller and matters less ofcourse, but that's true for every combat stat.

As the game progresses enemies generally brach out in two ways: Those with heavy armor and others with high dodge/evade skill. Chance to hit is calculated with your attack skill vs their defense skill (in case of ranged weapons - evade), but it doesn't stop here. The distance between you and the target gives you a penalty to hit for each tile and on top of that using burst fire significally lowers your chances as well. This is the main reason why I recommend Premeditation paired with Electrokinesis. Free stun in the first round can make a difference between hitting and missing most of the 7-9 burst shots. Stunned enemies have their whatever evade skill reduced to 0 - one major factor canceled out. You kill the enemy with the help of opportunist damage bonus, yay -> free commando burst. Another Electrokinesis for 30 AP --> stun, kill with the free burst, freeze another enemy for 10 AP, reload your gun.

Next round if there are more enemies around they usually try to get closer to hit. There is no need to waste AP for movement (unless one has to deal with psionics). Not only there are no MP but there is also to hit penalty in the same round if the character moves. As a heavy armor combatant you have no evade skill and want to be as far as possible from the enemy, just more the reason to bump up perception as high as possible.
Ofcourse one could take a whole different approach and make a mobile, sneaking, light armored character with both dodge/evade who relies less on perception but that's a completely different build which is better suited for SMGs.

It's actually possible to have an effective mediocre perception ranged character. My favorite pistol build right now uses 7 perception but can only get away with that because of good CC (Electroshock pistol + Electrokinesis/Cryostasis/Tranqility/Premeditation and high mobility.

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2015, 07:43:22 AM »
Sounds pretty effective. What is your choice of weapons Wildan? Low calibre Hornet paired with Chimera? Higher crits or more crits with extensions?

Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2015, 05:40:41 PM »
Yes, first slot for high precission and low AP cost: 7.62 Hornet with a scope and rapid reloader. If I have a bad/mediocre chance to hit then I use single shots. If I can burst realiably then it's the second slot Chimera with a smart module, high resolution digital scope (+10% critical chance) until I get the Critical Power feat, then it's an anatomically-aware scope (+50% critical damage bonus).

When there are many melee guys I might put a SMG in the first slot. Having 8 str is not much actually and NPCs love the Crippling Strike which has 1 round cooldown and can stack up to 3 times. 1 cripple stack does a -2 str debuff which gives you 13 AP penalty becase you can't meet the str requrement for the metal armor anymore. 2 stacks and you get AP AND precission penalty because ARs need min 6 str for propper use. As we discussed before, debuffs can't lower your AP below 35 but the aiming penalty seems severe enough even with high weapon skill and point blank range.

2+ stacks will give you a -15 AP penalty because of the armor alone. SMGs have no str requirement so you at least won't get any aim penalty when crippled. A 7.62 mm steelcat SMG with a rapid reloader can burst once despite the 2x crippled debuff, a 8.6 mm can't unless it's only 1 stack.

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2015, 11:57:41 AM »
Oh my. Got to test this build now. Rocks! Opportunist + Premeditation + Electrokinesis is a killer. Went to junkyard before gms quest and got some metal armor and huszar assault rifle. Condtioning + Lifting Belt + Metal Armor is great combo. Had to fetch Kohlmeier's knife for the credits. Bear traps did help a lot. I'm still a bit unsure about the optimal feat progression for this character. I did pick up Survival Instincts at level 1 or 2, but with low-level character I find it too dangerous to fight with 30% health, so that feat could have been picked later on. I postponed suppressive fire feat. I guess I'll pick it up once I encounter some smart goggles.
At Level 8 I have (in order): Conditioning, Survival Instincts, Recklessness, Opportunist, Premeditation. I'll pick up Concentrated fire on level 10, opportunist at level 12 and commando at level 14. Critical power at level 16, and maybe full auto at 18. (It's really waste of bullets early on). Thick skull is useful, but if you're not playing permadeth, you can usually practice some saveload scumming to plan your move so that you don't get stunned. But perhaps that's my level 20 feat. Then maybe juggernaut and, I don't know, rapid fire?

EDIT: It seems that Suppressive fire is not required for Smart Goggles to work, any special attack, including ordinary burst will do. I tihnk I'll postpone it a little more.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 03:32:31 PM by RailNomad »

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2015, 12:42:04 PM »
One further point to the Intelligence vs Perception debate: I finally got my hands on a top quality sturdy vest (135) and four super steel plates (145, 117, 93, 79). Skill level required to craft a metal armor from these is Mechanics 138, Tailoring 108. I'm currently at level 22, so I could put one extra point to Int (raising it to 4) when I reach level 24 and thus be able to put this armor together. However, if I stand at Int 3 and use junkyard suprise to rise it to 5, the theoretical maximum for this skill at level 25 is 135, which means the armor is beyond my reach.

I've also noticed that now as I have effective Guns skill at 222, my to-hit percentages are still pretty low. I don't know the formula and I don't know the level where increasing Guns skil doesn't help anymore, but I'd say that the bonus-to-hit from Guns skill is not such a strong argument here, as you in any case will have a high Guns skill.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 12:55:45 PM by RailNomad »

Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2015, 06:34:28 PM »
You get 8,5% skill bonus for every int point above 4, so with 5 you'd have a maximum of 147 points at level 25. If you can't meet the crafting skill requirements simply use slightly lower quality on additional plates, the loss won't be big. What matters is the quality of the vest and the basic plate you use for the first crafting slot. If armor penalty doesn't matter you can reach 95% mechanical resistance cap easily even without top quality plates with armor, boots and Conditioning alone. High crafting skill matter a lot more for light armored builds.

RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2015, 06:37:01 PM »
Oh. I thought you get penalties for everything below 5. I have to get some junkyard suprise and see if I can make it happen. It's promised to have 100% mechanical resistance by the way :-)

Wildan

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2015, 07:09:47 PM »
I hope not.  ;)
Last I remember Styg actually wanted to nerf heavy armor users who are pretty much invincible these days. I always make  sure to hoard Junkyard Suprise as much as I can. It can take alot of binge eating to actually get +2 int. I don't even try if I don't have 50+ hamstered in my shelf.

Btw. concerning the weapon skill and chance to hit. I did no tests myself but I guess you could simply use +1 perception goggles to check if the chance improves when you aim at any static character from far. You don't need to shoot, just check the numbers with burst. etc. If one has the nerves this test could be done at every level on the same character/gun and aiming from the very same tile and note the numbers. I'm pretty sure that once the NPCs are generated their skills stays the same on that playthrough.

Epeli wrote in the wiki but I don't know how he meant this exactly: "Precision is affected by many different modifiers, especially in ranged combat. Some precision penalties cannot be mitigated with weapon skill alone."
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 07:11:25 PM by Wildan »

epeli

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2015, 01:55:29 AM »
Precision stuff...

Because your guns skill is checked against enemy evasion, you can expect your hit chances to stay (very) roughly the same throughout the game rather than constantly increase as your skill increases. Of course you get somewhat better all the time as weapon skill helps counter environmental conditions and you also get ahead of enemy evasion - by how much depends on your perception. The system is finely balanced so that combat remains tactical throughout the game, even at high skill levels. It's not like Fallout where simply having high weapon skill guarantees 95% CTH in any situation. ;)

Epeli wrote in the wiki but I don't know how he meant this exactly: "Precision is affected by many different modifiers, especially in ranged combat. Some precision penalties cannot be mitigated with weapon skill alone."

Yeah, there's a myriad of things that can affect precision. At least all the ones listed on that page and probably something more, I haven't looked at it in a while.

Some of those modifiers are applied to the final hit chance, so they can't be countered with weapon skill. I don't remember which ones, but I think it's mostly the precision penalties on weapon stats.

In any case, weapon skill always helps precision. Every shot you take has a bunch of factors that are governed by it.
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RailNomad

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Re: Playing an assault rifle combatant
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2015, 08:23:53 AM »
I do like it that you don't get super precision because it makes most games very boring. One thing which I overlooked though is the night vision. I only tested it at the very last phase of the game. It does make a difference.