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The next weapon we take a look at is another in dire need of tuning. The Mass Drivers first incarnation was woefully inept, and so it certainly needed to be tuned upwards. But the current version has been tuned too powerfully, and now gameplay has been gifted with what FPS veterans affectionately refer to as a ‘noob tube’. It is now a high fire rate, high DPS weapon with a low accuracy requirement, and it also has something no other weapon in the game has: Suppression Effect. User skill will never be even, but with that said, weapons must be tuned with the skilled user in mind. Devs must consider the person who can wield a weapon and land 8 of 10 shots, not the one who cant hit the broad side of a barn. Because the skilled user breaks the game with a poorly balanced weapon.

To properly tune any weapon, first we must abolish this ridiculous notion that every weapon must do damage equal to the AR at its effective range. The Assault rifle has the benefit of balance & familiarity and will be popular because of it. Some weapons will do more damage [the forge gun, sniper rifles, grenades] some will do less. This line of thinking where every weapon should have similar damage over a certain time period in the pursuit of ‘fairness’ is folly. All weapons need to do is fit into their particular roles and be properly slotted. As long as they are in their effective ranges and used accurately, they should be effective killing weapons. No one can ask for more.

The MD is the second highest ranged damage weapon in the game after the forge gun. What baffles us is its common practice is for high damage weapons to trade mobility, low clip size and fire rate for damage. But the MD rejects that and is only limited by clip size. It can be fired without any movement penalties and the fire rate allows it to be spammed endlessly. Imagine if sniper rifles had a 10 round magazine or if you could fire the forge at 60 rpm. In addition, no other weapons save the mass driver and grenade have such a low standard for accuracy. With these weapons being ‘close’ is essentially good enough. People [including us] may complain about the damage of Tier 1 laser rifles, but atleast the user must keep the beam on target for damage to be inflicted. Weapons with area of effect damage are rewarded with hits even when their aim isnt true.

The advantages of the MD are high damage with direct hits, splash at range and suppression. The weapon outranges HMG users and doesnt have the accuracy requirements laser, AR and sniper users do. If rounds land within 4-6 meters of the target [an enormous area] it delivers damage. Only grenades have as much splash and they cant be spammed at one shot per second. The MD simply cant be allowed to outclass HMG and Shotgun users in close quarters [suppression effect] and have range and splash benefits. Its wheelhouse should be in the 20-50m range and its fire rate and self-damage should be its limitation in close quarters. In the feedback section its been confirmed the MD soon will have an option that will allow it to operate similar to a mortar. Without proper limitations now, it runs the legitimate risk of being the best weapon for all instances, which no weapon should ever be. The solution is easy, reduce this weapons fire rate to about 30 rpm. lower the clip size to 4 and increase the reload time to the 4.5 to 5 second range so that it has much better balance and a more defined role in gameplay.

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  1. new

    Welcome to the world of EVE, where stuff gets balanced with the newbie in mind…

    February 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm Reply
    1. abc123

      No that is incorrrect – It's Welcome to the World of EVE, where stuff gets hit with a nerf bat all the time because adults who want real world like video games cry like children when some who is smart employs a weapon to effective and kick you butt. So you stamp your feet cause you don't have any concept of teamwork to counter others. You cry in forums and cry like twats saying NO FAIR.

      Alot of the FPS games I have played when they first come out, the way weapons platforms work the way they should. It's the twat who can't adapt which cause all the adjustments. Splash – ROF – Reload time. In war and death of the enemy you learn to stay out of range and know when to strike. Sorry you can't run around like Call of Duty with sprint and knife and kill everyone.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm Reply
  2. Nova Knife

    The problem with the mass driver has nothing to do with the clip size. It's the relatively high splash damage and radius. Changing the clip size doesn't fix that.

    The mass driver used to be in a much better place when the splash radius was 2.5m instead of the 4m base we have now. It was what could be affectionally called a 'pro pipe' that required skill to aim, as opposed to the 'noob tube' it is now, where you can wildly spray and usally still inflict massive damage.

    The damage in itself is fine as it's ROF is already pretty slow, but combined with the larger splash radius (which only gets larger with increased skill investment) that is what makes the weapon broken. A balanced weapon simply cannot have large splash damage with a large area. You need to pick one or the other.

    February 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm Reply
  3. Anona-mouse

    Simple solution here. Stop trying to go 1v1 with people using mass drivers. Get a group of people to split up and while they're busy hammering one group's position have the other group shoot them in the side or back.

    February 23, 2013 at 6:57 am Reply
  4. o0m9

    In case anyone is wondering, this was met with pretty much unanimous face-palming by anyone who cared on the DUST forums.

    The blog this is from isn't exactly looked up to for its balance commentary.

    The fiction's not bad, though.

    February 25, 2013 at 2:25 am Reply
  5. Tidaen

    Please show us on the doll just where the mass driver touched you.
    Pretty sure that this article is based on the author getting killed by one of a very few number of skilled MD users in Dust right now. I would agree that its not perfectly balanced as it is, but the proposed changes in the article would make it less than utterly worthless in every single scenario. The fact that this incredibly shallow and undeveloped article is being reposted on evenews24 annoys me.

    February 25, 2013 at 5:50 am Reply
  6. Skihids

    DUST merc may have been mindlessly pontificating since day one, but don't mistake exposure for competent reporting. It's obvious to anyone with experience with the Mass Driver that the author hasn't used the weapon. The sum total of his research is getting killed by it a few times, so naturally he will come away with the feeling that it is over powered.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:26 am Reply
  7. Fira

    For playing mostly with, and sometimes against MD, I think you're somewhat exaggerating.
    I'm not gonna lie and say this is wrong, because it is certainly overpowered in a lot of situations – when i switched from AR to MD, I suddenly found myself able to kill heavies in CQ with initiative, when before they would before simply turn back and….

    Though, keep in mind that it has pretty serious drawbacks :
    – Ridiculous base ammo. You have 2.5 clips.. make em' count. Even running around with nanohives, it's not rare getting out of ammo mid combat.
    – ROF Isn't all that high, a skilled player with a good AR can out-DPS it.. Alpha strike is a far better asset, especially if you can land direct hits.
    – It is nigh impossible hitting anything higher than you, especially someone attacking from a hill. Guaranteed death..
    – Worthless at long range unless your targets are dumb, sitting idle, in a pack, or running straight and you have some experience with the drop and round leading (elevation helps too)
    – Someone side-stepping you in CQ can be more than a pain to get rid of — getting the kill is one thing, not suicid'ing at the same time in another. I still prefer to run off when possible.

    March 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm Reply
  8. Vandanthe

    I use the Mass Driver all the time and it is not the best out there as I get killed all the time while using it. However when you speak of the splash damage, it is not all that great of a threat. I have my skill maxed out and I dont have many 1 shot kills. Its rare. Plus the proto Mass Drivers cost alot and you cant afford to use them all the time.

    April 10, 2013 at 12:30 am Reply

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