1. #1

    Default NST thoughts on current weapon balance


    I had some very interesting conversations with an array of players way more experienced than me.

    I was wondering if maybe somebody from NST could clarify what the finished weapon damage balance project would look like.

    Couple of bulletin points:

    - As there are no Bonuses in Hacknet many storebought Modules outperform the rare modules (is NST aware of this, and is this intended)

    - The players I conversed with would be in favour that Rares actually do perform better than storebought weapons, to justify how hard they are to get.

    -> Input here from me: Maybe lower TL Rare weapons would allow lower Mainskill Setups to be competitive as well?

    -> Input here from me: Isn't it valuable to have Rares as endgame content? Building a Rarepool, having Highslot weapons built, all of those are interesting mechanics and roadblockers to the one perfect weapon.

    - The PPU is currently hard pressed for a Role except buffing Tanks, Spies use Nanites, PE's selfbuff. Is it feasible to expand their role back to antibuffing?

    - Either the APU is too squishy or Hybrids do to much damage. There is very little reason to play a pure APU atm, as the defensive capabilities of the Hybrid outshine the offensive cababilities of an APU by a wide margin.

    - There are problems concering Hit registration with Gatling weapons, generally the Netcode seems a bit more sensible concerning hit registration

    - Meele weapons seem to have received a severe nerf, the new WoC weapon performs much, much better than any other weapons across the board, is this intended and what might be the reason for this happening?

    Maybe somebody of you could take some time out of your day to give us your point of view on these Question (what is intended, what isn't, what do you think deserves to be looked at, what is a sideshow from your point of view).

    I'm just wondering what NST's Vision is on some of these Questions, I don't care about timeframes at all!

    Regards and Thanks


    Edit: There are probably Question NST knows about and I don't, an Update on where the balance project will go next (just in terms of Vision and Philosophy concering Rares, WoC, Weapon Build Quality, etc. would be much appreciated). As I said timeframes dont matter.

  2. #2


    Some corrections:

    It isn't just gatlin it is automatic weapons as well ie pain easer, libby, anarchist, etc as well as beam weapons ie beam of hell, healing light, creed

    It is the Warbots Bane that out performs the rest by a decent amount, not the new woc (as that would be the claw of lizard, which is currently trash)

    Thanks and Regards


  3. #3


    Hi Odi,

    My thoughts regarding weapon balance are as follows;

    There are certainly weapons which seem to miss more then "should" (e.g. CS blobs, EoF, dissy are the ones that spring to mind for me). This is something I aim to look into.

    New MC weapons need their numbers looking at; not only to make them appealing and perhaps give MC something it doesn't yet have much access to (e.g. XRAY / differing rate of fire) but also to ensure they fit with the existing set as we do not want WoC to feel like a requirement.

    More broadly speaking; there are some weapons which under perform in general (e.g. healing light vs other similar TL rares) and some that over perform). I'd like to make more weapons truly viable and the choice of which weapon to use can be more influenced by range / dmg types available / own preference / etc). This will still mean that higher TL weapons will be stronger such as Freeman > Earp but those odd weapons which under perform for their TL will be brought inline.

    Rares vs non-rares lie on a fine line between viability of more builds vs glass cannons. I agree there are some instances in which they sit a little too closely together and this does devalue rares to some extent. There will be room for tweaking to make rares stronger however I don't foresee any drastic changes in this area and to get the most of a rare it will be take more points in that particular combat skill.

    Edit (Addition):
    Hybrids are very strong right now and do outshine APUs in most scenarios overall - although APUs do still have their place atm. I'm open to ideas on how to make APUs more attractive whilst not ruining hybrids in the process.

    Hope this clears things up a little.
    Last edited by Virtus; 02-04-19 at 18:38.
    Neocron Support Team
    N E O C R O N - G A M E . C O M

    »Drop that weapon!«


  4. #4


    Hey Virtus

    Thank you very much.

    I think everybody will agree that a wide array of viable weapons will be very good for the game.

    Couple of points on APU, PPU and Hybrids:

    Couple of builds to illustrate the current Situation:


    Balanced Hybrid

    123 APU / 122 PPU (or vice versa)

    Wearing underwear has access to:

    Blessed Absorber, Holy Protector, Holy Deflector

    Blessed Heal
    Holy PSI Attack

    Switching between APU 1 and PPU 1 PA allows access to every spell in the game.


    PPU Hybrid

    118 APU / 128 PPU

    Wearing Underwear has access to:

    Blessed Absorber, Holy Protector, Holy Deflector
    Holy Heal
    Holy Psi Attack

    Wearing PPU PA has access to:

    102 APU / 152 PPU

    Rare Shields
    Blessed PSI Attack

    If you get access to a PSI Combat Booster you get almost everything

    Wearing PPU PA:

    123 APU / 152 PPU

    Rare Shields
    Holy PSI Attack

    With PSI Combat Booster and APU PA switch: Has Access to every spell in the game.



    Through the Combination of PA's and the PSI Combat Booster, the Hybrid can be built without any major drawbacks compared to a pure APU or PPU.

    You can even even Switch roles midfight.


    - No PPU or APU PA's for Hybrids (Question is how to implement this, would allow the creation of a Hybrid PA with + Focus though)

    - The PSI Combat Booster has to be drastically changed

    Currently the aiming of PSI modules is to easy, if there would be another stat which would affect aiming accuracy of PSI spells (like PPW, it is never used anyway) the PSI combat booster could buff that one instead.

    These changes would also give the APU the highground on Anti Buffing. Coupled with Damage adjustments on High TL weaponry they would be much more attractive.


    I don't think this would ruin Hybrids the 118/128 Version would still be near unkillable with reasonable damage, while allowing pure AOU's and PPU's to shine at their chosen role.
    Last edited by Odimara Orca; 03-04-19 at 14:29.

  5. #5


    Thank you for the response Virtus.

    In reguards to melee. I don't see it anywhere in the patch notes, but the damage has been significantly lowered on all melee, except the Warbots Bane. The warbots bane currently does like 35 more damage per swing than any other melee it feels. This also made weapons like the PoB, Peacemaker (this one seems to have been gutted on damage now.. which was the main way of dealing with hybrids on a melee tank), etc feel undewelming. Maybe a slight buff to damage on these again?

    The new Claw of Lizard (at 311 melee) does literally 1 point of piercing damage more than the Paw of Bear. The issue is it hits energy (the highest resist in the game because of how strong armor is) vs poison.. and the damage isn't on par with the other WoC weapon if that is what was aimed for. Maybe giving this a damage buff to put in on par with Warbots bane, as well as switching the energy to X-ray would be amazing...

    In regards to APU, you can (with fine tuning) make a setup that is able to use blessed shields, while using every APU spell in the game (on a hybrid). Taking away their utility essentially. The only point where the APU still shines in that regard is the damage output is still higher for APU, but at the expense of being the squishiest character in the game.

    A thought for making APUS more appealing would be a rework on PSI Shield.. making it have APU requirements, and making it not stack with self casted shields (having the amount absorbed scale with APU, and with it not being able to stack with self casted shields it would make it not appealing to hybrids).. think of something like the mage shields from wow basically.. that will give APUs a buff to survivability (while still being squishier then their hybrid counterparts) and hopefully more viable.

    In regards to hybrids.. (and this fits in with blessed PEs as well) the shield value of blessed shields just seems rather strong.. their damage output is fine.

    Maybe another option would be to have a requirement on antibuffs about making them not usable if ppu is above X, this will make it so only APUs can use, causing APUs to have a place again in the game, as well as indirectly nerfing hybrids (keeping them still decent survivability wise, and having mediocre damage). APUs would still need help with survivability if this were the case though, as they would get hard focused even more then current.

  6. #6


    In regards to weapons, this is from a PvP standpoint, idk / idc about pve personally.

    Wyatt Earp - ok damage, weird aiming kind of.
    Libby - Poor damage, doesn't register right.
    Ionic Shotgun Pistol - Fine, good damage, used to chunk people but not spammed really.
    S.W.A.T Backup Pistol - Actually really good damage output, small clip with high rate of fire, so need to reload often, mission sucks
    The Anarchist - Doesn't register right, NEVER see people use.
    Sucker Punch - PvE rp weapon? Idk..
    HVAP-100 Freeman Pistol - Damage seems hit or miss, not seen often
    Craftman's Dream 6100 - Poor Damage
    Dreadfire Prototype 03 - Doesn't register
    Ceres Handgun BHG-9 - Seems to be fine, don't see pistol spies often atm though
    Juggernaut Crossbow Pistol - Shots are weird, doesn't seem bad, rifle counterpart seems stronger
    Judge - Not too sure, but last time I used didn't same bad
    Steiner F.P 1.0 - Forgot this even exists, NEVER see it
    Slasher - Weak damage, I miss when this was the highest tl pistol and just destroyed people..
    Beam Of Hell - Doesn't register right
    Ray of Last Hope - seems ok, not seen often, damage might be hit or miss
    Executioner - Hard weapon to aim, if you can aim with it, amazing damage output

    Terminator - Statistically lowest damage output rare in the game, slow rate of fire, consumes multiple ammo
    Pain Easer - Doesn't register right
    Ionic Shotgun Rifle - No statement, never really see it (I think it is rifle tanks go to weapon, but you never see those anymore)
    S.W.A.T Assault Rifle - Doesn't register right, mission sucks
    FAR-Reaper Assault Rifle - Doesn't register right
    Desperado - Actually not too bad, not sure why it gets overlooked, I guess just outclassed by ak
    Libra - Doesn't register
    Infiltration Assault Rifle IAR-47 - Seems fine, mission sucks
    Ceres Assault Rifle CAR-47 - In a decent state, feels weaker than 2.2 version, but still good
    HVSR-90 Ronin Sniper Rifle - Weak Damage
    Ray Of God - Used to be really strong, feels hit or miss now
    Juggernaut Crossbow Rifle - Actually really good, stronger than pistol counterpart
    Thunderstorm - Another never used in pvp weapon, freezers feel useless in pvp
    Redeemer - Feels weaker than in the past, not really much of a pvp weapon as you need range for it
    Second Love - Great weapon, Extremely strong, probably best rifle, you need to click fire though, if you hold fire it doesn't register
    Healing Light - Doesn't register right.
    Silent Hunter - Damage is ok,doesn't feel as impactful as it should, sometimes doesn't register.. almost feels like ionic pistol of rifle
    First Love - Blobs tend to not hit, Stam drain is horrible, weird weapon
    Disruptor - Absolutely horrible.This is "The rifle spy weapon" when you thought about rifle you thought of ak or Dissy, its bad atm.

  7. #7


    Heavy Weapons:
    Winding Argument - Damage is horrible in pvp, you will hurt yourself more than the enemy, used to be used to mark stealthers
    Ionic Shotgun Cannon - Damage is ok if you don't miss, High rate of fire, consumes 2 ammo instead of 1, always reloading (meh)
    Equilibrium of Forces - Doesn't register right
    Devourer - Amazing damage, hard to aim, sometimes (quiet often) you have full lock and it misses
    Moon Striker - aoe in pvp is bad, and this weapon is probably the worst of them
    MIRL-600 Warhammer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3181HLCwio
    Summer Leech - Freezers feel really bad in pvp
    Ravager - doesn't register right
    Cursed Soul - Damage is good, sometimes blobs fly off weird, probably best hc weapon atm
    Malediction - aoe is bad in pvp, unless you are trying to blind the enemy stay away from this
    Doom Beamer - aoe is bad in pvp, enough said
    Creed - doesn't register right

    Melee: (note - Damage has seemed to have been lowered across the board,first pointed out by brendan murph, seems they were)
    Paw of Tiger - Don't see melee PEs, no comment
    Perforator - Knuckles are horrible..
    Peacemaker - Used to be the monk killer, seems to have been gutted, horrible damage, poor rate of fire
    Vein Ripper - Never see, no comment
    Blade of Ceres - Not too bad, used to be great, amazing range
    Soligen's Finest - Never see, seems weak on damage
    The Dentists - Knuckles are horrible
    Blackmists Remorse - If you can get stacks going, great weapon, if you miss with it, feels bad
    Hurler King Knuckles - Knuckles are bad, you never get good stats on them, why can't it be all 120 stats like other missions?
    Zsusun - Used to be much better before nerf, but wasn't stand out (btw doesn't seem to drop in belt, nor does xbow pistol)
    Paw Of Bear - Higher Rate of fire, lower damage / range Blade of Ceres (used to be favorite melee)
    Thunderbolt - Surprisingly good damage (not on par with Warbots Bane, but 2nd highest damage stat wise)
    Claw of Lizard - A Paw of Bear that hits energy vs poison.. basically a weaker PoB that requires WOC
    Warbots Bane - Much stronger than other melee weapons atm

  8. #8


    APU Modules:
    Holy Caustic Rain - Great damage once you get stacking, seems to only stack to like 8 times or so before stacks start falling off
    Holy Lightning - Good Damage, good APU spell in pvp
    Holy Frostration - Horrible damage, just outperformed by all APU rares
    Holy Fire Apocalypse - Outclassed by HL / Caustic
    Crahn's Fist - The RARE / WOC apu module that doesn't exist, where are you my love?
    Holy Thunderstorm - Actually does ok damage kind of, aoe isn't good in pvp really
    Holy Firestorm - aoe isn't good in pvp really, psi spells are better than hc though
    Holy Pestilence - Actually doesn't good damage because of stacks.. if you could get like 2-3 APUS barreling a UG would stack up fast

    PPU Modules: (Shields will not be discussed)
    Holy Restoration - While it does have a place, can sometimes hurt you more than help
    Holy True Sight Sanctum - Great for dealing with stealthers, doesn't work half the time
    Holy Exorcist / Holy Catharsis - Don't really have much of a role, as stacking damage doesn't feel as strong as it used to back in 2.2, only antistack you might need would be poison, which you are better off just using store spell for it

    Don't See droners often in pvp, only comments will be revenge drones and raptor don't seem to register a lot

    Hacknet Software:
    store shields / heal are better because of overcapping / implants not working in hacknet
    store attack does more damage, but "rare" attack has higher rate of fire, making it just slightly better (store is still viable)

    you don't see hacknet pvp, because you don't really damage each other, nor is it a much liked place

  9. #9


    No need to make things more complicated than they need to be. Simply making rares do more damage and reducing miss chance of weapons with reticule targeting would solve virtually every issue people have brought up (including making APUs more unique and tuning down the power (and utility) of hybrids a smidge).

    As a side note, posting example builds is fine, but keep in mind that having access to an ability is not the same as capping it. Saying a hybrid has access to "every spell in the game" is pretty misleading, have an APU hit you with holy lightning and then have a hybrid with 160 apu do it. I have literally seen no-one using APU rares in pvp. For what it's worth, a hybrid with a psi buff is going to do 50-65 percent damage compared to a pure apu (depending on build). A hybrid will generally take between 2x and 3x more damage than a ppu (depending on build and damage type), and a hybrid's heal is going to be 50-60 percent of a PPU's heal. Not making any comment on those numbers, but just wanted to throw them out for some context (even with PA switching, which no one does in pvp, they are definitely not full APUs or PPUs... they are hybrids).

    The issue with antibuff spells is that frequency is so easy to cap (generally satisfying requirements to cast means you cap freq). If antibuff frequency were highly dependent on APU level and it took hybrids three times longer to antibuff than APUs... that would pretty much address all issues (you could give holy rezz the same treatment). I don't know if the Neocron engine supports this, but it would also be interesting to reduce casting cost of antibuff based on the damage stat (full APUs could cast several, it would entirely drain a hybrid's psi pool and take far longer to cast). APUs getting psi shield is also interesting.

    Don't do it all at once, but slowly and incrementally increase the damage (at/near cap only) of rare weapons and improve both reticule close times and chance/hit with a partially closed reticule. No need to go mucking about with major game systems that are going to have massive intertwined effects and require many more waves of balancing. Then if things still need tweaking, consider making frequency difficult to cap on non-damage psi modules (anti-buffs, anti-poisons, rezz).

    All that being said, we've been seeing a lot of classes be effective at OP fights with the exception of APUs (and I'm not convinced APUs don't have a place).

    Edit: Thanks for the thoughtful response Virtus. For whatever it's worth (likely not much), I think your current balance assessment is pretty good. Balance isn't in too bad of a place, some weapons miss a bit too much, some weapon lines need a bit of love, and APUs could use a slightly more unique role (see anti-buff and possibly apu-psi shield suggestions).
    Last edited by onero S; 03-04-19 at 17:22.

  10. #10


    Thank you all for your detailed responses, it's nice to get discussions going and I encourage everyone to get involved. I value everyone's opinions as different people play differently and everyone has their experiences with the game.

    I enjoy reading through your posts and I'm fine with crunching numbers with you guys. I'd actually love to get organised testing "events" going when changes are happening to get people involved and get feedback faster - this will speedup the overall delivery time of updates.

    I'll try to respond to the main topics that have been raised below;

    They certainly do less dmg then APUs and their shields are worse then PPUs. I feel their biggest strengths are in utility and toughness to bring down.

    I like the idea of making them slightly less efficient at anti-buffing and perhaps stopping the constant stream of anti's.
    PSI combat boost is certainly useful to a hybrid for opening up additional utility modules like full anti, that's something I've not settled on my stance on yet.

    Weapon Balance:
    @Arzon thanks for taking the time to detail all the major weapons. Whilst I won't comment on them individually I will say i agree with your thoughts, as they mostly align with the testing I've previously performed. I appreciate you taking the time to write them all down and welcome others to share their experiences of weapons too.

    I'll be keeping a close eye on here for responses and endeavour to respond to as much as I'm able.
    Neocron Support Team
    N E O C R O N - G A M E . C O M

    »Drop that weapon!«


  11. #11


    Cheers! I know the biggest thing I hear from folks I talk to is that they wish some of their old favorite weapons were still good. Things like slasher and disruptor. Making a few tweaks here and there to the underloved weapons would be an awesome place to begin!

    Personally, I'm in favor of "under-doing it", small little patches that nudge things in the right direction. Then wait for the dust to settle and if things need another boost... rinse and repeat until a good balance is achieved. It's so hard to achieve balance with huge "whiplash" patches that change a lot of values at once or make drastic changes to weapons. Again, just my two cents.

  12. #12


    Thanks for the great Discussion @ Everyone

    What I've gathered so far:

    - Everybody is in agreement that a wide array of viable weapons would be the best situation.

    I absolutely agree that a close baseline performance across all rares is reasonable. The difference between the weapons could be:

    Clip Sizes
    Reload Times
    Burst/Single Damage
    Few High Damage Shots
    Many Low Damage Shots
    Damage types

    to fit individual preferences. There should be an accounting for different Techlevels as well of course.

    - Nonrare and Rare damage seem a bit to close together (although there is a very fine line concerning this)

    - Hybrids, APU's and PPU's

    Adressing the frequency requirements of PSI modules seem like an excellent Idea to finetune the Monk class.

    - Which APU spells should this affect?
    - Which PPU spells should this affect?

    What are we aiming for in terms of result?

    How much if an advantage from pure APU's/PPU's over Hybrids (10/15/25/50/100)?

    How could this be implemented if we look at the math (There would to be an increasing benefit the higher you go and at around 160 to 170 APU/PPU it would need to become exponential i think?)

    Thanks and Regards



    I also agree on finetuning Blessed Shields (seem a bit too strong)

    And repurposing the PSI Shield for APU's

    I'd like to see the PSI Shield absorb a percentage of incoming Damage for its duration.

    Although there is a question how to design the requirements and effectiveness to only benefit APU's.

    (PSI Shield is only Selfcast and denies other Shields to be Cast on the user? Only real benefit shows from 160 to 170 APU upwards?)
    Last edited by Odimara Orca; 03-04-19 at 18:46.

  13. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by onero S View Post
    Personally, I'm in favor of "under-doing it", small little patches that nudge things in the right direction...
    I agree and it's the method I'll be using to update things - unless something it a long way out of place ofc
    Neocron Support Team
    N E O C R O N - G A M E . C O M

    »Drop that weapon!«


  14. #14


    The hardest part will be balancing hybrids to make APU more appealing..

    Increasing the frequency at higher apu levels will make apu more of a benefit but if you have 2+ hybrids it doesn't matter much, people will still get antibuffed often.

    Making the antibuffs (SINCE THEY ARE A PVP ONLY ITEM) 1 line (no regular/blessed/holy, as only difference is frequency) and making requirements something large like 170 apu or so would make it out of hybrid range. This in term make apus more viable but the issue there is APUs are the squishiest setup in the game (at least spies have stealth to get away) and will just get focused at the start and dying.

    Then let's say APUs are the only ones with antibuffs and they do get some defensive love, antibuffs aren't that effective in an APU only's hands. Reason being the strength of the antibuff isn't just removing the shield, it is casting a weaker shield on them prior to them replacing their own shield (which APUs can't do, and the PPU or Hybrid will just recast shield)

    What about hybrids now... Hybrids even ignoring antibuffs are the kings of 1v1 / survivability

    The only thing atm that can take down an (at least decent) hybrid is another hybrid (a blessed pe can stand toe to toe for a while, but will drop eventually).. taking away their ability to antibuff will make it so hybrids can't even kill each other, they will just stand around staring at each other.

    In a 1v1 situation (assuming played at a decent skill level)

    - Hybrid
    Only loses to another hybrid

    -Blessed PEs
    Only lose to Hybrids

    -Injector Spies
    Lose to Blessed PEs and Hybrids
    They have a skill based fight with PPU buffed PEs and Tanks

    -PPU buffed tanks
    Lose to Hybrids
    They have a skill match up with blessed PEs, Injector Spy
    They usually beat Unbuffed tanks, Unbuffed PEs, Unbuffed Spies

    Doesn't really have a good match against anything
    Might have even fights against non injector spy, maybe unbuffed PE and might be able to pull off a cheeky kill on a Tank if they get the jump.

    Even if Hybrids lost antibuff, they would need tuning still, None rare shields are just too strong (namely blessed / holy) as you can see by Hybrids and Blessed PEs

    At op fights, they seem to be more fair / balanced when there is no Hybrid. As soon as one side brings in a hybrid or 2, the opposite side needs to do the same to deal with them / handle the situation.. which is just not a fun play style
    Last edited by Arzon; 03-04-19 at 21:41.

  15. #15


    Imo hybrids feel strong in op fights largely because they bring the antibuff (a spy or perhaps can always be the noob buffer with an apu). Apus becoming antibuff kings will help a lot.

    I'd rather see rare weapon dps (ideally by tweaking reticule behavior) go up than nerfing shields. Hybrids and pes will die a bit faster and time to kill in normal fights will go down a bit. This would make hybrids and pes do comparatively less damage than other classes which will preserve their role but give pure classes more of a niche (and defensive classes will die faster since people will be hitting more consistently).
    Last edited by onero S; 04-04-19 at 06:45.

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