Streamlining Unturned Part 1: Unsatisfactory Gun Balance

This is an extensive view of what (in my eyes) Unturned 3.0 did wrong while offering possible solutions that could be implemented in Unturned II.
I don’t want to make it too long, so this series will be covering topic by topic instead of off-loading all of them at once.

Most of these solutions will be streamlined versions of what they are now, but I deem it necessary because Unturned 3.0 focuses on quantity rather than quality.

Unsatisfactory Gun Balance

Some might point out that this is for progression, but I think it hurts the game more in the end than it helps it. It adds more unnecessary complexity to the game and rewards players who get to the best Guns first (Spawn Points factor into this) by giving them Military/Ranger Guns, while the people who get organised first in Civilian locations just don’t stand a chance when they do range to locations that contain better Items because their gear is designed to be worse.

Solution:

Remove the Civilian > Ranger > Military hierarchy, the Barrel, Grip and Tactical Attachment Slots on Guns and the Sharpshooter Skill.

The current system is far too complicated for 1 developer to properly balance and vary.
Many games with many more developers have tried this and still failed.

Instead, replace them with a system that offers FAR fewer, but unique weapons that don’t have 100s of extra factors (like attachments and Skills) to hold their variety down.

They can spawn wherever the map is suited for them to spawn because there’s no lore restrictions to prevent that.

What do I mean with unique and varied? Well, get creative. Unturned isn’t and will never be a realistic game because it’s Unturned.

Want some examples?

The Eaglefire: A Suppressed Medium Caliber Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle that fires Fragmentation Rounds out of a 20-round Magazine.

You’ll need to master the Ballistic Drop and Ballistic Travel, but once you get it down, it can be very effective at taking out enemies at medium ranges without them noticing because they’ll be hearing the explosions of the fragmentation rounds rather than your gunshots aslong as you keep yourself at a suitable range. If you sit too far, they’ll hear the gunshot before the shot lands, giving you away. Attentive players might also be able to spot your rough muzzle flash.

Am I being a hypocrite because that sounds like a pretty complicated gun?

Well tell me this: What’s more complicated to balance, a weapon that has SET statistics that can’t be changed or a system where every weapon can have significant statistical changes in multiple ways by swapping out Attachments with only ONE developer to balance it all out while he also has to focus on making new content?

I hoped you enjoyed reading this and I’ll be glad to hear what you have to say, I’m a passionate Unturned fan who really wants the game to be great by giving feedback as best I can.
Nelson, I admire how dedicated and committed you are to making games.

Sincerely, Winged_Hunter256 (aka Henry on the Unturned Official Discord)

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…so basically Borderlands guns?

No offense, but having set attachments and modifiers on guns ruins them in my opinion, like in Borderlands 2. For example, imagine you get a excellent machine pistol with an extended magazine, suppressor, the works, but you’re stuck with a 16x scope.

Having attachments is just better in my opinion due to how you can choose what attachments you have instead of being stuck with something that restricts how well you can play with a gun, as well as leaving attachment loadouts to pure RNG. By doing this, you’re not only encouraging people to kill others for better weapons, but also making the game more grindier by forcing players to farm or savescum in order to obtain a good drop.

You’ve also failed to take into account craftable weapons and attachments unless the randomizer system also applies to these. In this case, you’d either have completely inferior makeshift weapons that cannot have any attachments or completely broken weapons that can just happen to have a scope, fragmentation rounds, etc, unless, of course, you restrict certain attachments to certain guns.

At this point it almost sounds better to just stick with the attachment system.

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What is the point of looting if you don’t get any upgrades from looting?

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I could cast the question right back at you: Why do you need loot and then even better loot?
I’ve explained this to you many times, but you may have forgotten so allow me to say again:

It’s a PvP game, you can’t have loot be better than other loot because that would open up plain balance issues. Nothing prevents the players with better loot to just annihilate the players with worse loot even if they’re worse players.

In a PvE game? Sure, a loot progression system works fine.
But in PvP games it just doesn’t work.

While I agree with the abolishment of a straight armament hierarchy (which is already likely the plan for Unturned II), I strongly disagree with removing the vast majority of attachments, simply because it’s counterintuitive and makes no sense.

“Cool, you found a hunting rifle you like? Well, guess you can’t put a reflex sight on it because we said so, even though the rail systems are perfectly compatible!”

Weapons can be balanced without becoming straight upgrades of each other. This is basic design. It does not mean that we should literally kill the variety of weaponry and items just to make things more linear.

In addition, while PvP is almost certainly going to remain the main focus of the community, Unturned II is shifting towards survival centricism and realism, so having set attachments for weapons would really dumb down gameplay to a catastrophic level.

I really cannot support this suggestion. It’s a valid concern, but not a valid solution.

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“…so basically Borderlands guns?”

Borderlands is far from the only game doing this, but it did popularize it.

" No offense, but having set attachments and modifiers on guns ruins them in my opinion, like in Borderlands 2. For example, imagine you get a excellent machine pistol with an extended magazine, suppressor, the works, but you’re stuck with a 16x scope ."

The sight being locked to the 16x scope is indeed a problem. That’s why I didn’t add Sights as one of the things to be stripped.

“Having attachments is just better in my opinion due to how you can choose what attachments you have instead of being stuck with something that restricts how well you can play with a gun”

If you don’t like how the gun handles, you pick a gun you do like. It would be up to the user to get skilled with it or replace it.
Sure, you’ll get a weapon you don’t like very much every now and then. But they won’t be objectively less effective with this system, unlike Unturned 3.0 as of now.

“as well as leaving attachment loadouts to pure RNG”

I never said the attachments were to be randomized.

“By doing this, you’re not only encouraging people to kill others for better weapons, but also making the game more grindier by forcing players to farm or savescum in order to obtain a good drop.”

If the weapons are balanced, this issue doesn’t exist because they’re all just as lethal. That’s the whole point of balance.

“You’ve also failed to take into account craftable weapons and attachments unless the randomizer system also applies to these. In this case, you’d either have completely inferior makeshift weapons that cannot have any attachments.”

I did forget about those so I’ll mention it now: Craftable weapons shouldn’t exist because it allows you to turn materials into weapons, which removes the need for you to prioritize your tasks intelligently.

““Cool, you found a hunting rifle you like? Well, guess you can’t put a reflex sight on it because we said so, even though the rail systems are perfectly compatible!””

Like I said, I never stated that Sights are part of the attachments that I think need to be stripped. Why do people keep reading over this?

“Weapons can be balanced without becoming straight upgrades of each other. This is basic design. It does not mean that we should literally kill the variety of weaponry and items just to make things more linear.”

That first sentence didn’t make sense to me. Weapons can be balanced without becoming straight upgrades of each other… Yeah that’s what balance is, and it is indeed basic. And effective. The system I propose would be various AND balanced, If you allow weapons to have quirks like the Eaglefire I mentioned, it would contradict exactly what you stated and actually INCREASE the variety because it has much more open-ended possibilities, it doesn’t rely on you GETTING these attachments.

“In addition, while PvP is almost certainly going to remain the main focus of the community, Unturned II is shifting towards survival centricism and realism, so having set attachments for weapons would really dumb down gameplay to a catastrophic level.”

It’s been established for decades that realism does not equal good game design. This is commonly known among designers. Feel free to ask them. It wouldn’t dumb down gameplay at all, it would be the opposite. It would dumb down CUSTIMIZATION. Yes. But feel free to ask around, what system is overal better received, CS:GO’s weapons or Escape From Tarkov? It’s the former. It lacks customization, but it doesn’t sacrifice fairness (balance) for player customization. If you want such a system, you do you, but I don’t want it. I get the appeal, but I highly doubt it would work successfully.

You can highlight people’s replies and there will be a quote button, I suggest you use it

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Yeah apolagies, I’m new here, I know it’s annoying, I’m trying to work on it as I go

Now how would that remove any need for good task priorities.

For example if you have a weapon warehouse and an industrial complex, you could just go to the industrial complex, get materials and then just build a weapon. There wouldn’t be a dire need to go to the weapon warehouse to arm yourself for defense and/or offense

Makeshift weaponry certainly won’t be the best stuff around in the game. Choosing to go straight for manufactured weaponry or sticking with crafted equipment would be a logical decision based on your situation. Survival should be one of the highest priorities there are in my opinion.

Looking at how 3.0 is right now, most people are eventually going to want a high-end weapon that fits their playstyle. A makeshift weapon may satisfy the self-defense role for small encounters but it won’t work for everything there is. At some point the player will want to switch that makeshift weapon for something that is much better. Some people may ignore makeshift weaponry if they have easy access to normal guns though. The biggest point in makeshift stuff that I see is the fact that it can be used as a basic tool when nothing else is available.

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Yeah, this is with the 3.0 logic. What I meant was the logic with my idea. Makeshift wouldn’t exist because they couldn’t be properly streamlined without causing issues. I should’ve cleared that up, apolagies

Nowhere in your post does it mention stripping attachments.

What happens when a weapon with high vertical recoil gets a compensator that reduces horizontal recoil then? If your system were to be implemented, there would be no good way of reducing that recoil through the use of muzzle attachments and grips.

Well, craftable weapons have been on the menu for a long time now. It’s also a good way for players to make alternatives to other firearms that are cheaper or have certain advantages. Craftable attachments such as stocks and suppressors that can be used to stabilize guns, as well as conversion kits that change calibers and turn pistols into carbines are now noot as well.

You’re skipping out on a lot of potential here.

If it’s open-ended possibilities you want, wouldn’t having attachment slots facilitate that more instead of what you’re proposing?

I know you intended for this question to be rhetorical, but…poll time.

  • Randomized and fixed attachment system
  • Attachment slots and attachable/detachable attachments
  • Weapons that may spawn with attachments, but these can also be taken off and new ones equipped
  • Null option

0 voters

The critical flaw with your “attachments” argument is that attachments have arbitrary effects on the way weapons behave. A vertical grip has the same affect on a maplestrike as it does a zubeknakov. But most people agree that the maplestrike is better because it’s base stats are more preferable. Removing most of the attachments won’t make the best weapons suddenly worse, it’ll just be a net-decrease for all weapons. The assault rifles would still be on top.

Removing sharpshooter would change that, but that in of it self would cause even more balance issues rendering full-auto impractical and ushering in a 2.0-like meta with semi-autos. It would probably make guns like the sabertooth and snayperska the meta. (Whatever equivalent they have in UII)

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The hierarchy is pretty bad in 3.0 because it feels artificial and forced, but I think there should be some direct upgrades in UII. As an example, a civilian starter pistol should be worse in every category than a military pistol, with the exception of ammo availability.

In most good survival games there is a relationship between time, danger, and reward. By going to a military base you are expending time and danger of dying in order to get a better reward. This equation works well and is an effective balancing mechanic, but falls flat in 3.0 due to lack of player funneling, as geared players have no reason to stay in high loot locations once they are fully geared, so they go back to starter towns for PvP. This is a drastic map making failure and would be ailed by larger maps, more loot progression, and almost all notable end game locations being on one side/in one area of the map, making it so that there is less inequality in loot.

Also for attatchements there will most likely be a weight system which will make ergonomics important, so just piling on attatchements won’t be the perfect set up.

Ignoring everything else going on for a moment, what sense is there in your idea? I’m not going to say that Unturned II will be the most realistic game around, but the current weapon system fits in with it much better than what you’ve proposed. In real life, nothing is fair, so why make everything “fair” in a game that’s using more realistic ideas for its weaponry and some other mechanics.

Actual weapons are designed to be different; civilian weapons face legal restrictions and are made more for things like hunting while military weapons are designed specifically for purposes such as taking out enemy targets. Many weapons are designed with consideration for modular components. Having a ton of attachments for a certain weapon doesn’t mean that it’ll be the best all-around thing you can use but it specializes it for a more specific role.

Even with a civilian weapon that may have no support whatsoever for attachments, in many cases, it can beat a much superior military or ranger weapon. In the end, skill should be the determining factor in how well fights go, not something intentionally done by the developer to restrict people and take away the purpose in looting. Players should be rewarded at least a small amount for putting time into the game. I’m not going to say that you’re idea is absolutely horrible, but for the kind of game that Unturned II will be, it’s pointless. Here’s a suggestion for you also, go sell your idea to Epic, they’ll love it.

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Attachment SLOTS but yeah I coulc’'ve cleared that up, apolagies

It wouldn’t have a significant vertical recoil BECAUSE it would have the visual representation of something at the end of the barrel. These attachments don’t actually IMPACT the stats like they do in 3.0, they would just be the weapon’s statistics with a visual representation except when it has a use like a laser, or a rotating barrels, suppressor, grenade launcher, etc.

No indeed, if a weapon were to have a lot of vertical recoil, it would have a + in a different statistic to compensate for the recoil.

That system is doomed to be an unbalanced and chaotic mess which is my whole point. If big development teams can’t even get this right, Nelson sure as HELL can’t get it right on his own. If he can’t balance the system that 3.0 has right now, he would fall flat on his face with something FAR more complicated.

I know it has potential and I know it’s appealing. I get the appeal. It just won’t work and never has properly.

No because they would be interchangable with other weapons. If you find a Vertical Grip, you can slap it on any gun that has a Grip Slot, which HAS lead to incredibly overpowered combinations. Boom goes the balance.

Oh it is rhetorical, you can get as many votes as you like here and it wouldn’t change a thing. The reviews, forum posts, discussions on THOSE games. THAT is how you properly research this. Not some 4-option poll.

I see a lot of references to “other games”, but I don’t think you’ve mentioned them. You’ve mentioned CS:GO and Tarkov, but those games aren’t exactly the same genre as each other nor Unturned. What other games are you referencing?

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It does fit Unturned better, you’re completely right. It will also just continue this cycle of badly balanced games because it never swaps out a system that doesn’ work for omething that has worked since the dawn of shooters and still works to this day. Which is non-customizable weapons except for sights.

Because it’s an unbalanced mess and will continue to be so until it either swaps its system for something else or the game dies out. Balance makes things fair.

Yeah, there you go. You just created an inherently badly balanced system. Realism does not equate to good game design.

Yeah no. Look me in the eyes and tell me the Sportshot can compete with the Sabertooth if both of them don’t have attachments.

What does that have to do with my idea, exactly?

Maybe you just don’t understand the idea then if you prefer a system that has failed up to this point. I’m not being butthurt, I genuinely think you aren’t understanding the idea here to who-ever’s fault.

“I’m not going to say you’re idea is absolutely terrible”
I’m not going to play the PC card here with you, you know exactly what you meant with that final line, but its not of relevance so it doesn’t matter in the end