Mortars: any good?

Started by Listy, July 05, 2017, 04:41:13 AM

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Quote from: b0rsuk on July 09, 2017, 02:40:01 AM
Suggestions that involve a spotter would make it play much like a variant of sniper rifle... and you literally brought a sniper rifle into that. This is odd, because no doubt a scope or binoculars is easier to obtain than a whole sniper rifle. For better or worse, having no visual contact with enemy is one of things that makes mortars distinct relative to other combat mechanics.

I was simply making use of what's already available (snipers tend to work in teams of 2: 1 spotter, 1 gunner). I'd like to have some sort of enhanced vision device other than PA helmets/bionic eyes available (eg scope, binos etc) as equipment rather than taking a slot for clothing/wep, but that's not currently available :(

QuoteMaybe if you could link more mortars to the same spotter. Otherwise, it would be terrifying to use more than 1 mortar at once. You would have to appoint volunteers to serve as spotters.
Any spotter, given comms (perhaps reduced during a solar flare event), should be able to link to any mortar/turret, or multiples thereof. Provided they don't give away their position by attacking the target(s) they should be fairly safe until detected..
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Honestly would you really even need a spotter? This is home turf we are talking about.. with any significant amount of time there it wouldn't be unheard of to have mapped out likely approach lanes and precalculated the math. This is why I still kind of like the zone targeting method. If we could lay down a grid it would open up a ton of options especially with things like incendiary rounds. To give a rough example instead of just mortaring the crap out of a raiding force you could draw a few 5x20 lines of fire in the raids path and force them into a more favorable position for your pawns. Just have the shell pick a random spot in the grid to land and have all skill checks relate to firing speed and risk of over/undershooting the grid.


Mortars, right now, don't feel terribly useful. It's a large investment of colony money or colony materials for a weapon that's only really useful against large bases. Given that, I haven't found enemy camps big or well fortified enough that a mortar attack was really justified. Also, incendiaries while potentially devastating have a pretty large chance to drift off course into a loot room.

Overall, I feel that colonists are better equip with sniper rifles. Not to say that sniper rifles are overpowered, but they're just cheaper and more practical and flexible in most situations when compared to a static, expensive-to-shoot artillery piece.

I'm not sure how to go about balancing that. IRL mortars were best used with huge stockpiles of ammo, but given the direction with farming, it seems RimWorld tends away from making it easy to have large stockpiles of valuable material (like mortar shells). This contrasts against the suppression/area destruction purpose of the mortar. An increase in damage, accuracy, area of effect, or other simple stuff like that doesn't feel like the right fix here.
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Sometimes I can have snapper spawning from location that is really close to my base. I only have enough time to fire a volley of mortar fire before they reach my line of defense. In cases like that it usually comes down to which side get to fire their doomsday rocket launcher first. It is kind of ridiculous that the raider can sometime brings in 5+ doomsday rocket launchers and triple rocket launchers.

Last time the raider decided to gang up on my thrumbo and it gets completely surrounded. I use my mortars on the raiders while they are busy meleeing my thrumbo. The one shot that landed right at the center of the group pretty much get them all. I patch up my thrumbo and he has a full recovery.


Mortars are in a weird place now.  For most of the game that's challenging, they're pretty crappy.  Despite the accuracy buff they hit too wildly to even reliably damage something you need damaged.  Stationary targets like mech ships and "prepare then attack" raids have other, less tech-expensive methods to handle them safely.  Similarly, early-mid game sappers can breach 2-3 layers of wall before mortars do anything significant, so the player needs other ways to handle those.

Their best mid-game use is vs sieges, which I see often carrying 1-3 snipers to cover them lately.  It is possible to break these with snipers + angling away from enemy snipers, or with bolt-action/AR and abusing cover --> shoot --> duck or pre-building random walls/doors near map edge, but mortars are a safe and effective option that don't need much accuracy to cause disruption.

As the game drags on, if the player doesn't launch a ship or migrate wealth accumulation allows for enormous raids.  Once there are dozens of raiders on the board, the odds of firing a mortar shell and not hitting some of them are pretty low, even if they attack immediately (assuming you loaded the mortars before the raid), and the blast radius means you'll do some real damage. 

Similarly, miniguns mulching down a corridor shine a lot better in mid-late game, where numbers entering the corridor allow them to get close to that "optimal" dps in the wiki (firing staggered with 6-10 miniguns into a crowd can cause 200+ DPS, I don't think any number of raiders can enter an area faster than that drops them, even with shields).


Quote from: Tynan on July 05, 2017, 05:54:32 AM
I am also interested in what people have to say about this.

We're also considering redesigning mortars so there's just one mortar building but different munitions for it. Just an idea right now.

I have mortar shell production down to a science: chemfuel on one stool, iron on the other.  Drop shells on floor, you can churn them out. 

They're really so inaccurate you have to use them en-masse to really do in a raid.  They're great for the raiders (they can't miss something useful in your colony so they do their job of making you leave the killbox and come find the raiders) but for the colony itself I really think they're borderline useless. 

I would make them slightly more accurate (less preferred) or up the explosion size a lot and add more fire to it (more preferred).  The latter would make mortars used against you a lot scarier. 


Incendiary mortar would be good if it actually spread flammable liquid that burn regardless of the tile it falls on - not just a flaming explosion that will set a tree on fire, but an actual flaming sea that persists for a while. A fire wall, if you will.


Last I check the game automatically start raining if you use multiple incendiary mortars in a single volley. Has this been fixed?


Something that needs to be kept in mind. Motors are a no risk weapon. Ill gladly spend the resources on mortor shells to kill ships if it means i dont lose some of my best people to 4+ centipedes. That said, i think one more slight* buff is necessary. Either another straight accuracy buff, or my personal favorite, the sustained fire buff. When shooting a ship whose targets include a hit box of around a 15x15 area, and still missing 6 or more shots in a row sucks. That said also keep in mind that buffs like this will also affect seigers. So! If it were my game, i would buff two things: sustained fire accuracy of mortors and seiges to make disrupting them with rifles a lot harder. Perhaps have them not onle build their sandbags defenses, but send a few men as a van against your people; that way as you approach, your forced to kill a few men before even stopping the actual people building and firing the mortars


Quote from: Tynan on July 05, 2017, 05:54:32 AM
I am also interested in what people have to say about this.

We're also considering redesigning mortars so there's just one mortar building but different munitions for it. Just an idea right now.
Oh, I would LOVE this.  Having to build three different mortars to have all three ammo types - and thus have three different mortars for every single mortar of firepower I want... ugh.

Just having a single mortar where, when manned, i choose the ammo type?  Way, way better.  You'd just research and build the appropriate ammo. 

Definitely on board with this idea.


in my personal opinion, mortars need a full rework, i find it very difficult to land a single deadly hit (tho majority of the time the raids are all brawlers with sheilds) however i wouldn't mind a more accurate mortar
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Quote from: ARiA1089 on July 12, 2017, 11:14:37 AM
in my personal opinion, mortars need a full rework, [...]however i wouldn't mind a more accurate mortar
About the rework, I agree, but I'd go totally otherwise. The Point of artillery(or mortar) is that they can dish heavy damage on a long range, but they don't have any precision on their own. I wouldn't take that away from them.
By now we try to work against the low accuracy with big volleys, which is  simply better hit-change at higher costs. With the last patch acc was buffed to prevent people stack too much mortars because of ..boring.

I would suggest to go vice versa:
First, split Mortar and Artillery:
It's confusing by its name and its values. A mortar should be a transportable weapon, with high, but limited range, like a rocket launcher but without projectile collisions, used for hit and run on entrenched targets.
The current Mortar should be named into artillery and defined as follow:

1. higher cost/maintain: Its a big umoveable machine, that should be something special as it is a powerful one
2. Reduce firing speed: I think 4-10x aim/reload time would be fine. By this its not aconstant fireing, but when the bullet flies, Pawns will hide. It also could make a siege take serveral days, which feels for me mich more authentic
3. Make ammo types more relevant:
a) The explosive thingy should do more damage (not bigger splat). So, when a explosive lands, there is a hole in whatever ever was below that ting
b) EMP should interrupt(maybe destroy?) electric wires and interrupt electric things effectively in common.
c) Fire should cause Fire. If there is a incenary bomb dropping in my base, there should be a fire. A real one, that could heat up a single room within a minute an burn for a while, so I need an extinguisher quickly or have to seal that room.
4. Scout(BONUS):
I'd Imagine it to be cool if a single pawn could use a tool, laser-pointer-weapon or throwable torch to mark a target. When artillery shoots on that target, precision ist raised be 500% or something. By this artillery can be countered, killing the scout.
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Quote from: Bolgfred on July 24, 2017, 06:25:16 AM
First, split Mortar and Artillery:

Quote from: Bolgfred on July 24, 2017, 06:25:16 AM
1. higher cost/maintain:
2. Reduce firing speed:
3. Make ammo types more relevant:
4. Scout(BONUS):

I agree to this, but nr.2 gives does not sit right with me, it sounds reasonable because of the greater strength that the artillerie pieces will gain, but i still think they are slow enough allready. What I could agree on would be making them half as fast but make them shoot salvos of 3. 

And while reading your suggestions I was thinking of how it could be modded allready.

This leaves me with a final question : does someone know if the forced miss radius is still hardcoded or if it can be reduced ?
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I realise mortars can be really overpower vs large tribals assaults

I have got 10 mortars, in a 3 years cassandra extrem game.

I easy destroy the tribals with it. If they don't attack immediately i destroy them so hard they retreat before reaching the base.
It's less efficient if they don't wait, but still helpfull.

It's not because of the mortar op on itself, but large tribes are packed when numerous. A good aim shell can hit 10 or 20 ennemies ...

They should spread a bit when many to rebalance the thing.