Archive for November, 2017


Fortnite Battle Royale Shields and armor system mechanics

 

The fact that you can fight against shielded players and win, only to realize you have no shields to pick up off them really hurts the need to be aggressive or engage with shielded players. Full post here

Because you cannot tell if players are shielded that statement makes little sense. You cannot know if your opponent has shields, or in the vast majority of situations you cannot know until you engage. The outliers here are when you are in a house and hear your opponent drinking the potion. Beyond that it cannot even be inferred – to play “safe” you need to assume that every player you engage has 200hp. You cannot engage shielded players thinking you will gain anything from them because you cannot know they are shielded until you hit them.

Having said all that you don’t “only to realize you have no shields to pick up” because noone was ever thinking that.. because we know how shields work. They don’t drop.

I don’t think the tell should change because the benefit is not that large.

A player can find a SCAR but be outplayed by an enemy with a basic shotgun for example.

I disagree. If you land opening damage you can negate 50-100 shield before your opponent can react, either negating the shield and having a fight from an even (yet likely still in your favor) or outright killing them.

A basic shotgun is quite strong in relation to the health pool provided you setup correctly. A better comparison would be a grey AR vs SCAR – the AR can still win but toe to toe one is simply worse.

It adds massive gaps in player health

It does not add “massive” gaps. A single 50shield is negated with ~one bullet. Two shields are negated by two or a headshot. You are now fighting on even footing. You need to open the fight in a manner that allows you to give initial damage and remove any health advantage they have. You need to not commit to fights you cannot back out of if you are unsure of their stack.

The “solution” to shield is landing opening damage in a manner that allows you to kill the other player. If you are trading shots you are either 1) wasting shield or 2) dying because they had more stack/better aim.

To me, the entire shield system is flawed and the one in PUBG is much more fair and balanced.

It is different. PUBG is not “fair” as such either. My understanding is that it is a flat damage reduction on incoming damage depending on location hit. The quick google I did has lvl1 30%, lvl2 40%, lvl3 55%. I don’t know how the durability plays in here with how many hits you can take. Also I don’t know how many “fights” a piece can last durability wise.

For BR economy having armor drop makes a degree of sense as the game progresses. Fortnite br weapons accumulate to the end of the game and shields do not. Simple.

However from the perspective of “fair” the current shield make more sense. An equipable item with durability to last a decent number of fights is inherently more powerful than a single use item that is stripped through damage. Even for a single fight PUBG style leads to more uneven fights.

Lets explore this for comparisons sake. We will use 50% as the absorption for the PUBG style item.

100/100 is 200 health 100 + 50% absorption is 200 health for a full health bar

Both players have the same “starting” health.

In a fight with the current system when 100 shield damage is dealt we know that this damage (likely) does not need to be given again in this particular engagement. This is because the chance of my opponent having another shield pot in their inventory is relatively low. Particularly in squads where shield tends to be spread around. After shield is gone it is not coming back.

Under the PUBG system my opponent can take 100 damage, be on 50 health (100*/.5) and then heal and then make use of their armor again, extending their health pool further over the course of a single engagement.

From the perspective of “fair” and “balanced” the current setup is “better” because it cannot extend the health pool further after healing. If a player shoots you and removes your armor it is done. It is no longer a concern. With PUBG beyond needing to take the unknown factor of the armor into account (taking fights that you can close after dealing opening damage) as well as taking these fights in a manner where the player does not have time to heal up is making things even less “fair”. It forces close range encounters even more than the current setupid.

I agree that dropping armor/shields of some variety would be great. If absorption is lowered to 40% the whole shield would not be used on 100 health, leaving some in the pool. This would also weaken players health pool when full – 100/100@40% is ~170 health with ~30 shield dropped. This would have other interesting side effects like making shields that are used on lower health not impacting the players health as much. 50/50 would drop around 15 shield. Using shields on low health would not grant +100.

This would still suffer from bandaging in fight (to add more health to use shield) but it would not be as open ended as what PUBG durability seems to offer.


Fortnite Weapons and weapon ranges

Lets talk about ranges and what can be used at different ranges. Rather than quantifying what is best used we are going to look at what becomes ineffective.

 

  1. Everything.
  2. SMG ASMG Autopistol (maybe viable@low rof?). Somewhere between 2 and 3 the auto shotgun becomes useless
  3.  Pump shotgun
  4. Magnum, you could use at longer than this but it is starting to become very unreliable combined with low rof. So perhaps this could be considered an “opener”.
  5. ARs – also debateable and the better quality ones will perform better at longer range where as the grey M4 might stop working reliably between 3 and 4.

Beyond this range the scoped weapons are required as well as (potentially) your enemy being unaware you are aiming at them while sitting still.

Ranges are defined by a weapons placing in an effective range hierarchy. This means that if the “close range” weapon is effective to 50m (an exaggeration) and other weapons are balanced around this then the “close range” weapon is a weapon that is viable to 50m. This is a decision the devs can make in relation to the scale of the game. For example in fortnite, if we were to have a weapon whose effective range is 5m but the entire map is open fields the weapon is essentially useless. This is what we see in the SMG – besides its low damage its range is also very close for “high” DPS.

So close range is a mixture of weapon performance as well as the flavor of the rest of the game. The environments, player movement speed and other factors determin.

Comparatively speaking the pump shotgun range is close, compared to the scoped weapons or the better quality assault rifles. We are not interested in what the shotgun meme is here, but more the overall breakdown of ranges in the game and what niches different weapons can fill.

The above break down is rough, but it is to demonstrate weapon grouping. I am aware of the RNG aspects of the different levels of weapons as well as this changing their ranges, however we are looking at this from a “can I use this weapon at a given range” rather than “I am going to reliably kill my opponent at this range”.

At the first post every fortnite weapon is usable, except the snipers. Not every weapon is ideal but they can be used. This is essentially the problem with SMGs, they can be used at this range but are never (?) ideal. As range increases options decrease. While shotguns may be viable at longer than expected ranges if their effectiveness was to be nerfed via range we simply end up with more weapons clumped together at the closer ranges.

One interesting aspect of this and why the projectile sniper is good is that there is also a max range cap unless players are standing dead still. This is important otherwise the effective weapon mix is skewed further towards long range weapons.

I am not going to make an argument for the shotgun continuing to be effective at the range it is, more point out how if its effective range is lowered we simply end up with even more weapons clumped around the shorter ranges.

Most of this is quite cut and dried. Assault rifles out perform shot guns at longer ranges and snipers out perform assault rifles at still longer ranges. There are a few exceptions that add flavor. One example is the automatic pistol – this is a trade off with the auto shotgun at closer ranges. Missing one shot from the auto pistol is not super important, where as missing one from the auto shotgun can be. This would be similar to the auto vs pump shotguns if their effective ranges were the same with different damage amounts.

Coming from arenafps I feel that close range is lacking in flavor but this is mainly due to the lack of variety in the weapons. For example I would like to see a more traditional style rocket launcher, rather than the super low ROF, massive explosion weapon we have.