Weapon Balance

September 11, 2020 | PC

Weapon Balance

The 9/16 patch includes many important improvements to the game. Yesterday we talked about changes to clothing and bundles. Today we will dive into weapons and weapon balance. Before getting into specific details, it is important to stress that what you see here is part of an ongoing effort to dial weapons in to a healthy place. We are committed to cultivating a dynamic meta where each weapon style has a use. We've missed some weapons in the past when we've tackled this issue. It is likely you will see some weapons that aren't addressed this time around either. This is a process we will continue to iterate on, and your feedback is an important part of that process. Please be sure to read our explanations behind each change, try them out, and let us know what you think so that together we can create an improved meta that players can return to with the Engine Upgrade.


N-TEC 7 'Ursus'
N-TEC 7 Ursus

N-TEC 7 'Ursus' is a widely used gun which offers top of the line efficiency at all ranges. Because it currently suffers from few drawbacks, it is crowding out other viable gun choices. For these reasons, we are making the following changes.

Instead of modelling the Ursus after the N-TEC 5, we decided to focus its attention on long range engagements by modelling it after the Scoped N-TEC 5. We did this by decreasing its mobility by making it more inaccurate when moving.

In addition, we reduced the effectiveness of spraying by making the gun more inaccurate after the first few bullets. It will still be functional in close to medium range, but its time to kill will be drastically increased as spraying is now more inaccurate.

  • Delay before bloom begins to recover: 0.075 -> 0.085 (Nerf)
  • Maximum Bloom: 2.4 -> 2.8 (Nerf)
  • Marksman accuracy while moving: 1.2 -> 1.6 (Nerf)
OCA-EW 626
OCA EW 626

We decided it was necessary to revamp the close-range SMGs starting with the base OCA because of its drastic reduction in usage after previous nerfs. The nerfs to its fire interval and bloom from the previous patch have been completely reverted.

We have also given the OCA additional accuracy when crouched, which permits it to have slightly more range at the cost of mobility. We have decreased the fire interval to give it a better chance of combatting shotguns in close quarters.

  • Fire interval: 0.1 -> 0.096 (Buff)
  • Recovery per second: 5.15 -> 5.35 (Buff)
  • Maximum Bloom: 0.7 -> 0.66 (Buff)
  • Accuracy when crouched: 1.0 -> 0.8 (Buff)
OCA-EW 626 'Whisper'
OCA EW 626 Whisper

With the OCA changes also affecting the OCA-EW 626 'Whisper' variety, it was important to ensure that this gun still had a special function that made it feel distinct from the base model.

Since Cooling Jacket (a common choice for close range weapons) can't be used on this weapon, we've increased the accuracy of the gun significantly. This allows it to function as a more accurate yet slower variety of the OCA.

In order to not give it too much of an edge, we reduced its effective range to compensate. In combination with the boosted accuracy, this should feel much more consistent compared to the existing Whisper that you know and love.

  • Effective Range: 50 -> 30 (Nerf)
  • Min damage Range: 55 -> 35 (Nerf)
  • Accuracy at 10m: 36 -> 33 (Buff)
Colby PMG
Colby PMG

Before going into the changes, it is important to establish the role of the PMG. This gun is meant to be a close-range SMG which may reach into the medium-range at a stretch, but its performance there should be held back by its bloom. This is a role we wish to respect.

To accomplish this, we slightly decreased the PMG's base accuracy and removed the ability to gain additional accuracy when crouched. Because the gun is balanced around its bloom, we felt these were necessary first steps.

Next, we looked at revamping its effective range. Beyond 20 meters, the PMG is now 6 shots to kill, which increases its time to kill. It will continue to drop in damage until 35 meters where it reaches its minimum damage.

The last change is a nerf to the PMG's combination with Cooling Jacket's downside. Because there is a slight nerf to the gun's bloom recovery rate, users will now see a more significant decrease in accuracy when using this modification.

  • Accuracy when crouched: 0.8 -> 1.0 (Nerf)
  • Accuracy at 10m: 33 -> 34 (Nerf)
  • Effective Range: 35 -> 20 (Nerf)
  • Min damage Range: 50 -> 35 (Nerf)
  • Recovery per second: 7.2 -> 6.9 (Nerf)
Obeya CAP40 'Sergeant'
Obeya CAP40 Sergeant

The Obeya CAP40 'Sergeant' is supposed to be a blend between OCA and PMG. Since we are changing both guns in this patch, we naturally had to change the CAP40 as well.

We found that the gun was punished too hard for utilizing red modifications. To combat this, we slightly increased its accuracy and bloom recovery rate.

  • Recovery per second: 4.44 -> 4.5 (Buff)
  • Radius at 10m: 37 -> 36 (Buff)

The major thing we changed about the N-TEC was its close-range spraying accuracy, which was significantly nerfed. We gave FAR the same treatment, nerfing its spraying accuracy to keep it between the STAR 556 and the N-TEC 5.

  • Maximum Bloom: 1.45 -> 1.65 (Nerf)
ATAC 424
ATAC 424

ATAC is meant to be a gun that is easily accessible which focuses on medium-range engagements but will also function quite well in closer ranged fights. The issue is the effectiveness of its semi long-range sprays in combination with its very short time to kill. Considering this weapon's ease of use, we felt that this gun needed a nerf to its range. The ATAC will now bloom more when spraying to help solidify its identity.

  • Effective Range: 50 -> 40 (Nerf)
  • Maximum Bloom: 0.5 -> 0.7 (Nerf)

We previously nerfed the spraying accuracy of the N-TEC 5. When doing weapon balancing, it's important to look back at past changes and consider how they have developed over time.

In reviewing the gun's performance after the change, we have seen a lot more variety in weapon picks, which is a great outcome. We still want there to be some overlap in terms of close-range efficiency, just not to the degree where secondary weapons become irrelevant or close-range weapons are completely matched. To better accomplish this goal, we decided to slightly rollback the N-TEC 5 spraying accuracy change by 50% to give it a bit more leverage in close-range engagements.

  • Maximum Bloom: 2.4 -> 2.0 (Buff)
Colby SNR 850
Colby SNR 850

Switching back and forth between JG and the Colby Snub-Nose Revolver is a problem in close quarters. You can see this frequently come up in Asylum. We are addressing this issue by increasing the equip time to 0.5. This change will keep the timer low while hopefully discouraging this playstyle.

  • Equip time: 0.1 -> 0.5 (Nerf)

When looking at guns which are effective in all ranges, the OBIR automatically springs to mind. While the gun is meant to be focused on long-range engagements, it is also very capable of being used in close range by "quick switching" between the OBIR and a secondary to finish off the enemy. This is an issue because it allows the OBIR to suddenly compete with dedicated close-range weapons.

Because we want to preserve areas where each of our weapon types can excel, we are implementing the bolt timer, which is used on guns like the N-HVR to prevent switching weapons until it's able to fire again, on the OBIR. On top of this change, we are also decreasing the ammo pool of the OBIR to match the magazines of the Obeya CR762.

  • Bolt timer: false -> true (Nerf)
  • Reserve ammo: 240 -> 144 (Nerf)
Stabba - PIG
Stabba - PIG

The combination of Percussion Grenades and the PIG can be oppressive. By lowering the stamina damage of the PIG from 950 to 675, we are forcing users to hit their percussion grenade more accurately and follow up the throw with a shot from the PIG faster. This should preserver the strategy but make the combination require more skill to pull off.

  • Stamina damage: 950 -> 675 (Nerf)
N-HVR 243 'Scout'
N-HVR 243 Scout

N-HVR 243 'Scout' is a rare sight due to its high time to kill and low damage. If the second shot misses, or if it takes a while to follow up the first one, the enemy will have regenerated enough health to avoid death.

To facilitate more usage of the Scout, we have increased its damage from 550 to 600. With the new damage increase, we've included a corresponding increase in the equip time to avoid "quick switching" from becoming an issue.

  • Damage per shot: 550 -> 600 (Buff)
  • Equip time: 0.6 -> 0.8 (Nerf)
N-HVR 762
N-HVR 762

The ability to force the enemy player out of the match with a single shot doesn't make for a good experience.

To help combat this, we have lowered the damage of the HVR to 800. While this might seem like a small change, our testing showed that this keeps the gun relevant while allowing damaged players to rejoin the fight faster and with less fear of immediate follow up.

  • Damage per shot: 850 -> 800 (Nerf)
S1-NA 'Manic'
S1-NA Manic

The Manic functions as a highly mobile close-range gun which is capable of reaching into mid-range by controlling the recoil. With its low fire interval and high damage, the Manic is able to kill players in a lower than average time to kill.

To bring it more in-line with other options, we've decreased the accuracy of the Manic while jumping to hinder its close-range capabilities a small amount. Its damage has also been decreased, which results in a slightly higher time to kill. Finally, we've also increased the maximum bloom to mitigate its long-range effectiveness.

  • Accuracy while jumping: 2.2 -> 4.4 (Nerf)
  • Damage per shot: 115 -> 110 (Nerf)
  • Maximum Bloom: 0.6 -> 0.725 (Nerf)
Joker SR-15 Carbine
Joker SR-15 Carbine

The Joker SR-15 Carbine used to be an extremely popular pick a few years back. Later patches decreased its efficiency by nerfing its base accuracy and how quickly it would regain accuracy. This led to the gun being a rare sight compared to alternatives like the OSCAR.

We decided to bring the Carbine back into the spotlight again by decreasing the inaccuracy per shot. This should make the gun a lot more viable for skilled marksmen and should allow it to compete with the OSCAR once again. We've also added 2 more magazines to the ammo capacity to keep it in the game for longer.

  • Bloom per shot: 0.23 -> 0.20 (Buff)
  • Reserve ammo: 100 -> 140 (Buff)
ACT 44
ACT 44

Since we made changes to long-range secondary weapons, we've observed much more balanced play, but with less variety in picks. This means that we are on the right track, but need to now do more specific tweaks to increase the pool of viable options.

By decreasing the range of the ACT 44 by 10 meters, we are solidifying the identity of both the ACT 44 and the RSA. The ACT 44 will now shine as the more swift and mobile alternative in the long-range secondary category. To help accomplish this, we have increased the ACT 44's equip time to make it equal to the RSA.

  • Effective range: 70 -> 60 (Nerf)
  • Equip time: 0.6 -> 0.9 (Nerf)
Colby RSA
Colby RSA

In contrast to the ACT 44, the RSA trades mobility for a much longer range. To help better define the role of the RSA as a less mobile option, we have also decreased the accuracy of the weapon while moving. In this role, the RSA was held back by its very large bloom recovery delay which made subsequent shots after the first much harder to land. We have reduced the bloom recovery delay to allow for faster repeat shots down range. This decrease in bloom recovery was enough of a buff that we also needed to reduce the fire interval slightly to keep both guns competitive with each other.

  • Fire interval: 0.85 -> 0.9 (Nerf)
  • Delay before bloom begins to recover: 0.5 -> 0.3 (Buff)
  • Accuracy while walking: 1.2 -> 1.75 (Nerf)
  • Accuracy while running (not sprint): 2 -> 2.5 (Nerf)

In the Mission Impossible patch, we nerfed the N-ISSR-B's hard damage to make it less effective against vehicles. The mixture between mobility and hard damage was simply too much for one gun. This change resulted in more variety of anti-vehicle weapons seeing use.

While we're happy with the direction of the original change, the ISSR-B should still be able to pose some threat to vehicles. We've decided to scale back the nerf by slightly increasing the hard damage.

  • Hard damage per shot: 0.17 -> 0.19 (Buff)
Jump Shooting Changes

A few months back we nerfed the jump shooting capability of the N-TEC 5. This was met with some resistance due to the fact that this gun in particular now suffered a significant disadvantage compared to other assault rifles such as the FAR.

Assault rifles should work in close range - with a lot of effort and a bit of luck.

Accurate jump shooting allows assault rifles to have too much overlap in close range, where secondaries should be used instead. We are applying the same jump shooting nerf to all assault rifles depending on the functionality of the gun.

  • STAR: (10->25) (Nerf)
  • FAR: (10->25) (Nerf)
  • ATAC: (6.5->18) (Nerf)
  • COBR-A: (7->12) (Nerf)
Ammo Capacity Changes

We've done a pass on the ammo capacity of weapons and matched the values to the sizes of their magazines. This won't be a groundbreaking change, but it will make it so guns have full magazines in reserve.

  • Obeya CR762: 100 -> 105 (Buff)
  • Colby M-1922: 280 -> 300 (Buff)
  • R-2 Harbinger: 25 -> 28 (Buff)
  • NFAS True Ogre: 84 -> 90 (Buff)
  • RHD LS1 Corsair: 32 -> 35 (Buff)
  • SBSR Rifle: 35 -> 32 (Nerf)
  • SBSR Sniper: 35 -> 32 (Nerf)
  • FAR Reserve ammo: 128 -> 120 (Nerf)

We hope you appreciate this in-depth dive on these upcoming weapons changes and our reasoning. Try them out and let us know how they work for you. Be sure to leave your feedback in a polite manner on our forums or the new official Little Orbit discord. We look forward to hearing from you!

Got any questions? Want to chat with other players? Then discuss this article in our Forums! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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