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Orbs Discussion

SkyVu_BrianSkyVu_Brian Member, Administrator, Community Manager, Quality-Assurance, Community Representative Posts: 137 SkyVu Employee
Role: Botch (Assassin)
Problem: Community wants a Buff on Orbs
Solution: Query the community for suggestions, allow 7 days for feedback, discussion and suggested solutions.
Notes: Orbs is a rapid fire weapon with no range and near perfect accuracy. Prefeb 2018 had 90-110 DPS and 2.5-3.25 firing time. The problem being tackled through initial adjustments was the fact that it's DPS was => than the squishiest of the classes. A general rule of thumb for balancing suggestions is that primaries should not be capable of 1 sec kills. (80-85 with Damage 3 is cutting it close.)
Feel free to discuss here or on the discord.


  • AlphaAlpha Member Posts: 601 Corporal
    i too enjoy old oliver minigun stats
    assert Alpha
  • Cool_Uncle_SkeletonCool_Uncle_Skeleton Member Posts: 2 Recruit
    I have configurated a suggestion of stats. They may not be perfect, but we can use it as a starting point for trying to make them good. :)
  • FluttershyisbestponyFluttershyisbestpony Member, MVP Posts: 3,965 Exalted
    edited July 18
    Edit: reformatted into R-P-G-S format!

    Orbs is meant as a highly damaging automatic with perfect accuracy, bridging the gap between Soldier and Sniper while sticking to the Assassin's theme of high damage, long reload times.

    Lately, Orbs has felt more like a Soldier automatic than a weapon to suit what I believe the Assassin class needs in his arsenal (high DPS, long reload times).

    Restore Orbs to something similar to its prefeb state, but more closely conforming to Assassin's role. Force Orbs users to plan their attacks more carefully, since facing a Soldier head-on with a full clip should be about a 50/50 chance of victory. Orbs users should be primarily encouraged to gun for weakened/distracted opponents that are occupied with fighting teammates. To help cover their long reload time, specials like Flawless Disguise, Healing Tent, Iron Curtain, Cloaking, Caffeine Injection, and Tesla Shield would be useful in defensive roles, making Ball n Pain a viable option to provide extra special utility.

    I'll leave the debates over precise stats for others for the moment, but I propose an Orbs with a long reload time (6-8 seconds, perhaps) with roughly the power of a HASR/SFHASR without spread. This would give Orbs the edge over most automatics, but leave Botch very naked during his painful reload times.

    Basically, this change to a high DPS, long reload style would further distance Orbs from the existing automatics while conforming it to Botch's role. Any specific stat suggestions? I'll be back later tonight to post mine, hopefully.

  • AlphaAlpha Member Posts: 601 Corporal
    as i said above, this is essentially giving oliver's minigun to botch. perhaps lower rof and increase to a similar level? also what's weak about orbs right now? it's a long range automatic for botch, while botch has mostly close-mid range weapons with some longer range options. is orbs not pretty powerful for having range over other botch weapons?
    assert Alpha
  • Mysterious_KangarooMysterious_Kangaroo Member Posts: 3 Recruit
    Alright, finally I have ascended and am now an official contributor to the forums! Now, to get to the topic at hand, Orbs have lost their previous luster. In their original incarnation, they were widely considered OP due to their high damage output. However, there are a good many people who didn't agree with this. Uncle Skeleton's suggested stats (A revert to 2015 with damage reduced by 1, putting it at 3.5,) are a nice medium between their old glory and their current worthlessness. Botch's role as a glass cannon requires high damage after all, and 2.5 just isn't cutting it. Flutter seems to have the right idea about what Orbs are meant to be, and I think that Skelly's stats fit that idea perfectly.
  • Mysterious_KangarooMysterious_Kangaroo Member Posts: 3 Recruit
    Alpha wrote: »
    as i said above, this is essentially giving oliver's minigun to botch. perhaps lower rof and increase to a similar level? also what's weak about orbs right now? it's a long range automatic for botch, while botch has mostly close-mid range weapons with some longer range options. is orbs not pretty powerful for having range over other botch weapons?
    Oliver's minigun is nothing like Orbs.
    Perfect accuracy instead of a wide spread
    No explosive damage
    High Damage instead of low damage.
    The minigun is only like Orbs in the respect that both have a high rate of fire.
    And no, Orbs are not considered powerful in the slightest as of right now.

  • Hackey5Hackey5 Member, SkyVu Beta Tester Posts: 4,779 Fabled
    edited July 20
    The original problem was an extremely high DPS output on an accurate long range weapon. Combining both DPS and range can be problematic without appropriate penalties, and in such cases the penalties do need to be weighty since DPS and range are particularly effective together.
    A brief analysis, before, the main penalty was a short firing duration and a long reload. It was disadvantageous to the user, but did not in fact regulate the weapon's capacity while it was active. This meant that either the target would be subjected to a difficult-to-counter death ray, or the user would be subjected to extended vulnerability. In either case, it's a distortion to extremes on both ends.

    The current problem isn't a stat issue but an identity issue. 50 DPS at up to 3.75s at long range isn't terrible, but isn't too distinctive, and doesn't seem to suit the apparent role associated with the class.

    As I've mentioned several times in the past, I consider the Assassin class to have identity issues itself. These Orbs problems above are in fact symptoms of a larger root problem that stems from the class being among those designed as a means of content production rather than gameplay-innovating. To those who don't know, the Assassin only received its 'Assassin' title following the release of the class after testing concluded, during which time it was just 'Botch'. Many guessed what its class title would be, but I don't recall anyone calling it an assassin or even describing it as one. Why the class received a basic automatic weapon (which are already strongly associated with the Soldier and Heavy) to me boils down to a thought process of "we need content, how about this, it should do, let's do it". The type of weapon Orbs is doesn't fit the class's role, which is itself not particularly thought out.

    Trying to make Orbs fit to the burst damage design while it features extended range is counterintuitive from a balancing standpoint, since having limited range is normally a key regulator when it comes to higher levels of damage. Increasing reloads and reducing firing durations in my opinion is not desirable from a combat perspective or a fun perspective.

    I think to solve Orbs' immediate current role problem requires new properties to be implemented to pull it out of stat limbo. Otherwise, whatever stats are determined will probably amount to no more than a quick-fix. Even in a best case scenario, it will likely be inefficient compared to other automatics available for the Soldier and Heavy. It's certainly not a bad thing to try devise some stats, but I believe more can and should be done at some point to address the deeper issues.
  • FluttershyisbestponyFluttershyisbestpony Member, MVP Posts: 3,965 Exalted
    @Hackey5 Soooo... care to elaborate on these new properties? :confused:
  • Hackey5Hackey5 Member, SkyVu Beta Tester Posts: 4,779 Fabled
    What came up in a previous discussion was implementing what is basically a ‘rage meter’ as certain weapons like the Buff Banner have in TF2.

    So in the context of Orbs, it would do pretty low damage outright. Once the meter is filled by using the weapon (having long range is beneficial), some kind of effect is activated. One idea was that Botch can then unleash a highly damaging AoE around himself. So you start attacking from afar and slowly zone in on your target, and by the time the meter is filled, you are ready to deal a killing blow right up close. In combat this would be most effective against higher health targets.

    Technicalities people were interested in last time included noting that the meter would automatically deplete slowly over time, and faster by missing your shots.

    A ‘rage meter’ could be utilised by other kinds of weapons and providing different effects (eg. speed boosts) as well. But the goal remains making Orbs distinctly different to Soldier and Heavy automatics and uniquely specialised for the Assassin class (even if there are more fundamental issues at hand).
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