Hello! This is Mr. J from the Combat Arms Planning Team.
This week's topic is a sensitive one, and something that a lot of you are probably curious about. I'll be having a Q&A session with our Balance Designer, Desperado, on the topic of new Combat Arms weapons. I'll be asking plenty of questions from our users.
Mr. J: What is the process for creating a new Combat Arms weapon?
Desperado: The general process of producing a weapon is pretty similar to that of producing general game resources. The process can be broken up into 3 main parts.
- Collection of Materials and Selection From the beginning, Combat Arms has emphasized realism. That means the process of collecting data and material on real-world weapons is very important. We don't want inaccurate data or material to make it less realistic, so we go through various books, internet materials, videos, exhibits and more before selecting weapons to add to the game.
- Modeling the Weapon Once a weapon is selected, the 1st/3rd person modeling, animation, and FX production tasks are taken on by the graphics team. At the same time, the programming team works on weapon operation and resource allocation processes. This will create a 1st draft form of a weapon that can be used in the game. This still leaves the sound process to complete. Once a separate sound team gets the resources, they work on sound effect production and sound linking. By the way, in our background music, all the guitar music is played by a member of our team. I hope I can introduce him sometime!
- Weapon Balancing If the previous processes are finished, then it is time for the actual balancing. The basic balancing directions for the weapon have already been decided in the previous steps.
Balance data including perturb, firing rate, directional recoil, precision, weight, and modification effects can all make a minuscule or a large difference. About 100 of these values are determined at this point. Although the 1st objective at this step is to recreate the feeling of the actual weapon, this process also seeks compromise. This is due to the difference in operating the weapon in real life vs. in game. So this is a process of adjusting to the weapon operations in game while attempting to keep the feeling of the real weapon.
At this point, we would be about 90% done with the whole process. The other 10%, although not much compared to the other portions, is still a important step. It is the process of testing.
We perform multiple tests, checks, and revisions on previous process outputs. After we have everything tuned just right, the weapon is ready to be added to your arsenal.
Mr. J: What kind of weapon should I use to become better?
Desperado: That is probably the hardest and most sensitive question to answer.
If we take a look at the different types of Combat Arms weapons, they can be divided in the following categories: Low-level GP weapons, High-Level GP weapons, NX weapons from the Black Market, weapons from Cases, and Epic-level weapons.
Of course, the weapons listed above have differences in how they are balanced, depending on their category. The difficulty of obtaining a certain weapon is reflected in the balancing of that weapon.
The difficulty level of obtaining a certain weapon is reflected in the balancing of that weapon, such as: the time it takes for one to acquire enough EXP to get past the level restriction, the efforts to save enough GP, working to earn money in real life to charge NX, or completing surveys for free NX.
But it is not designed so that the higher difficulty balance equals much more damage or faster firing rate and such.
This is because I think that even though players should be rewarded for their efforts in obtaining the weapon, in the game everybody should be on a level playing field when competing.
So what would be the standards for establishing a level playing field? Why aren't I getting better even after purchasing expensive weapons?
Skill in FPS games is not decided by comparing the difference in damage between the enemy and myself. This is because everybody has different individual playing tendencies such as mastering certain weapons, using their own key control methods, and learning the maps.
These individual tendencies can be easily seen in internal tests.
When various testers test out the same weapon, some testers will be able to perform better than they usually do, while others will be looking at their corpses a lot.
This is the reason why the previously mentioned process of 100 data values adjustments are needed for one weapon balance design.
There are hundreds of guns in Combat Arms and they all are able to have their own individual characteristics by adjusting various values.
Finding a weapon that has characteristics that match your playing tendencies will be the key to choosing the right weapon for you in Combat Arms.
I hope that this process of finding the best weapon may become the most entertaining portion of Combat Arms.
Mr. J: What is the objective of the systems like Modification, Customization, and Forging that allow you to tune your weapon?
Desperado: These are processes that allow the individual traits of the weapon to become even more specialized.
Adding a suppressor will allow you to quietly subdue an enemy from behind. An additional scope will allow quick sniping without the need to haul around a heavy sniper rifle. And an extended magazine will allow you to continually harass your enemies.
Customization is the process of keeping the original characteristics of the weapon, but enhancing the weapon on what it lacks.
Say for example that you have a weapon where you like the damage it can cause, but don't like the recoil patterns. Or if the weapon would be the perfect weapon for you, only if the firing rate is improved. These would be instances where you can customize to adjust the weapon to better fit your playing tendencies.
Forging is a process where you can obtain weapons that you can only get from the Emporium.
To be consistent with the concept of Combat Arms, the weapons are mostly based off of modern weapons. But sometimes there are guns added due to their classical charm, such as the Boneyard Shotgun and its skull designs. Some guns are there to add familiarity too, like the Alien Gun or the Toy Gun.
Mr. J: Can you tell us what type of weapons you use, as a bonus?
Despite the fact that I have these weapons, my skills have not gotten better. This tells me that that working on this game and being good at it are two completely different things.
I barely keep a 1.1 KDR with these weapons. Sniff, sniff...
Oh, and one more thing! If this Dev Blog gets more than 1000 replies, through Facebook and the Forums, I'll pick the best comment and give the writer 3 of my 30-Day NX weapons. (Of course, I'm not saying this article is boring without a giveaway!)
I hope you liked this topic. I also hope that this was able to satisfy some of your curiosity. Now, until next time...
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