New and Improved Less Condescending Intro
Belt fed weapons are often poorly understood, and poorly implemented. Many games act as if they’re just higher capacity magazines that take longer to put in, which is a fairly accurate when a belt is being stored in a weapon mounted belt holder, but in a game like Unturned, I believe players should be free to choose not to use a belt holder.
Differences Between Belt Holders and Loose Belts
A loose belt, especially one of great length, greatly hampers the mobility of its user, but when packed into a belt holder, it makes moving with a belt of that length much easier. However, there are four main downsides to using a belt holder.
- Belt holders themselves add a bit of size and weight to the gun, regardless of how full they are.
- Belt holders add an additional thing to take on/off when reloading
- Belt holders can only hold so much.*
- Belt holders restrict access to the end of the belt.**
Without a belt holder, belt length would theoretically be infinite, and could be balanced by stat debuffs proportional to belt length, but I’ve dropped that idea, because it complicated the post, without actually causing any discussion of whether it would be better to have a cap on belt length, a cap on # of belt segments, or no cap, just stat debuffs.
This may sound unimportant, but is essential to what follows.
Ammunition belts, when not in a belt holder, can be lengthened by adding another segment onto the end. The amount of segments that can be added onto a belt should probably be limited to an amount that the player could actually move around with. It should be remembered that expending a segment either allows it to drop free or the segment has already disintegrated into individual links that have been ejected, which would allow another segment to be attached in its place.
Aside from the ammunition that is loaded into a belt, there are individual links, (which can be crafted into disintegrating segments or used to reload belt holders) belt segments, (which can be loaded directly into a weapon, attached to a belt that is already in a weapon, or used to reload belt holders) and belt holders (which are only used to attach to the weapon.)
Not all types of belts would be available for all weapons or calibers, and not every type of belt needs to be included, but some differences that would impact gameplay are what caliber(s) the belt can hold, what weapons the belt is compatible with, how many cartridges the belt can hold, whether or not other segments can be attached to it, and whether it disintegrates into links or stays together as sections. Non-disintegrating segments that don’t have attachment points on their ends are the simplest, so I’ll start with them.
Short segments of non-disintigrating belts without provision for attachment to other segments, would have the smallest capacity, but the least impact on mobility, possibly even better than the mobility of a belt in a belt holder.
Long segments of non-disintigrating belts without provision for attachment to other segments would have capacity and effects on mobility equal to other belts linked together, they trade the ability to quickly be extended for the convenience of having the the entire belt dropped as one reusable unit.
Standard length segments with provision for attaching to other segments. Come in two varieties; the more common type that eject spent links like spent cartridge cases and the type that drop whole refillable segments at a time.
Belt Holder Types
Belt holders can be made to hold a variety of belts, can come in varying capacities, and can be designed to mount onto a variety of weapons, although some belt boxes aren’t actually mounted on the weapon. These belt holders would take up one hand, leaving only one hand to carry the weapon. In order to use the weapon effectively, the player would need to first place the belt box. These belt boxes, while generally inconvenient, could hold a higher capacity belt than one could have hanging loose as they walked around.
I know this sounds complex for a suggestion about one type of weapon, but this really isn’t one suggestion about mechanics that are exclusive to belt fed weapons, it’s actually suggesting how multiple mechanics (that each apply to many weapons) should impact belt fed weapons in particular.
Stats being affected by the attachment system, as well as a plethora of more basic mechanics that aren’t even worth mentioning, are already implemented.
Feed devices automatically being ejected as they are emptied is also relevant to weapons fed with feed strips and en-bloc clips. (Insert Garand Ping here)
Mechanics for placing segments on belts*** are basically the same as mechanics for how many strips or clips can be placed in a hopper, (like those of the Perino Modello 1908, Fiat-Revelli Modello 1914, SMG 08/18, LMG type 11, and it’s higher capacity 7.7mm Arisaka derivatives,) how many half-moon clips can be placed in a M1917 revolver, (or most other revolvers that fire rimless ammo,) and how many magazines can fit in those weird tacticool things that try to feed from multiple magazines at the same time. These mechanics would also be similar to the mechanics of loading individual shells into a shotgun, but there are some notable differences.
especially if using a hard cap of how many segments can be placed, rather than limits based on the total number of links or replacing hard caps with more severe stat debuffs