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Watcher-45

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 8:48am

Perception vs Performance

It's always been a long standing belief of mine that no matter how good a gun is on paper, if you shoot a lesser gun better then you should use that gun. Both in real life and in games.

I've seen people who can't hit shit with a Glock or M&P score well with a 1911, and vice-versa. In the case of the guy scoring well with a 1911 (which was a real experience of mine, shooter next to me was struggling to hit consistently and I ended up lending him my 1911 to try), he had a preconceived disposition to avoid it due to the .45 round as well as the small magazine compared to the plastic 9mms. But if you have 17 rounds to shoot and maybe can score 9/17 on the bullseye, or you have 8 rounds and can score 6/8, you are in reality more effective with the weapon that is physically at a disadvantage.

In real life this can be based on factors like grip angle and weapon ergonomics, the "feel" of recoil of one round vs another, sight picture, and definitely trigger feel. It can be trained around, but for the casual shooter I think you should go with what you can handle more naturally.
In the videogame world it's far less tangible, but the principle still remains.
At the same time, some weapons just feel incredible while other feel rather lackluster.


Recently I've been on a quest to try and get to 500 kills with each of my "go to" picks. I'm such a broad BF4 player, I play all kits, all weapon types, and several picks within types. So many weapons that I main only have a few hundred kills while many others have at least 100 and sometimes more. I have a loose feel for basically every weapon in the game and picked my "go-to" weapons on a combination of in game feel and hard stats.
But I recently resurrected an oddball that wasn't on my list out of a bit of boredom from using the same weapons game in and game out.


I've been running the M416 hard as a close-range AR. It has stats I like and feels great in game. Modest RPM that isn't too high and keeps it very controllable, but not too slow to make it outclassed up close, and the recoil is very manageable. The reload is the real winner, though, as I believe it's one of the fastest reloading ARs in the game and in my thinking "If I'm going to be up close kicking in doors with this thing I don't want to have to be switching to my sidearm all the time". So I've been using it with good success.

But I looked on my list and saw that I had an unusually high number of kills with the L85A2 compared to other weapons I discarded as "not for me". I picked it up for a game and fell in love with it!

Looking at the stats, it has the exact same ROF and damage profile as the M416, as close a velocity as makes no difference, slightly better hipfire, and a similar recoil pattern (slightly stronger individual impulses, slightly lower FSM). But being a bullpup it has an overall lower ADS accuracy, and has an atrocious reload cycle that's about 50% longer than the M416s.

So why do I feel like I'm so good with it? In practice it seems like I perform better with the L85A2 than the M416.
According to my in game stats, which admittedly is a rather low sample batch, with the L85 I have 510 kills (of which 109 are headshots or about 20%), an accuracy just under 14%, and a KPM of about 2.5. With the M416 I have 311 kills (59 headshots, just under 20%), an accuracy of 14%, and a KPM of 2.25.
The data I have shows that I perform essentially the same with both weapons. But the L85 is technically the worse of the two when considering that reload and the ADS accuracy. But for some reason the M416 feels rather... well, boring. It's a good middle road AR, and that's about it. It's not really unique in any way, it's just a reliable solid performer. It's exactly what I wanted in a CQB AR.
But when I use the L85 I feel like I am having a bit more fun. It's more interesting for some reason, and it feels like I can be more aggressive with it, but that aggressiveness often gets me running on empty and relying on my sidearm when I know with the M416 I would have just taken cover, speed reloaded, and popped back out. I know I am at a higher risk when I use the L85, but I don't seem to care.
I know the L85's slow reload is a major disadvantage, it's the second slowest reload of all the ARs, and I want to dislike it. But I just use it well.

So I did what any casual player would do, I bailed on my M416 half way through the 500 kill run and just got the L85 there instead.


Going through my list of weapons there aren't a whole lot more that intrigued me like the L85 did. Everything thing else I pretty much didn't get along with within the first 100 kills and I abandoned, or was on the fence and I stuck it out for a few more to try to unlock certain attachments. Some weapons I really wanted to like and kept at it for a majority of the attachments and just bailed after not being impressed with my performance.




So anyway, the point of this novella. There is often and will continue to be threads here from people asking about this gun vs that gun or looking for a recommendation. My best recommendation is to just try stuff. Stats can get you in an area you want to be in for things like ROF and FSMs and such, but when it comes down to it you need a handful of subjects on both sides of your statistical "fence" to play around with. One might just "click".
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Miffyli

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 11:20am

@3VerstsNorth
You know how to brain. Would you know how brain brains this?

I don't know about performance but I normally play with "stupid" weapons anyways (bow, bow with poison etc) and they are not unusable, just different.
Links to users' thread list who have made analytical/statistical/mathematical/cool posts on Symthic:
  • 3VerstsNorth - Analysis of game mechanics in BF4 (tickrates, effects of tickrate, etc)
  • InterimAegis - Weapon comparisons/scoring.
  • leptis - Analysis of shotguns, recoil, recoil control and air drag.
  • Veritable - Scoring of BF4/BF1 firearms in terms of usability, firing and other mechanics.
  • pmax - Statistical analysis of BF4 players/games.
  • Miffyli - Random statistical analysis of BF4 battlereports/players and kill-distances. (list is cluttered with other threads).
Sorry if your name wasn't on the list, I honestly can't recall all names : ( . Nudge me if you want to be included

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 12:51pm

JNG-90 / CS-LR4 has the fastest TTK in the game of the normal weapons so best weapon right? Well only if you can use it right (headshot), but if it doesn't fit your playstyle it's just shit.

So yeah, stats only go that far, in the end you have to have the right gun for the player. In your example your mindset seem to prefer higher mobility over reload, which would allow you to push hard from cover to cover, or simply win the situation and then reset etc. If you're mentally prepared and willing to have a slight break between each fight a slower reload doesn't mean anything.

Stats main use is to understand what is happening and why and to compare guns to keep them somewhat balanced. *shrugs* a lot of people seem to think that stats is everything and become arrogant, or like everyone who thinks people from Symthic are arrogant just because they know the stats and like to educate others... Humanity wouldn't have gotten anywhere if there wasn't people out there who analyzed things... Which is better, raw or cooked meat? Cooked meat. But how do you want it cooked? - Human choice.

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 1:27pm

L85A2 could "feel' better in CQC because you might be strafing while shooting and therefore kill more people who have a hard time shooting back.
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Friday, November 13th 2015, 1:50pm

L85A2 could "feel' better in CQC because you might be strafing while shooting and therefore kill more people who have a hard time shooting back.

yup, also the fsm, it's not "slightly lower" 1.7, especially paired up against a 2.2 which means a whoppin .5 difference, it's a huge difference in fsm, just look here:
BF4: L85A2 vs M416 | BF4 Multi-Weapon Comparison | Symthic

and yes, i too prefer the l85 over the m416 for these 2 reasons.
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bf4
on 13/05/2016
23rd M320FB user on pc(13/05/16)
rush mode score RANK:2794 TOP:2% OUT OF:215398
obliteration mode scoreRANK:994 TOP:1% OUT OF:159466
handgun medals RANK:2236 TOP:2% OUT OF:143874
longest headshot RANK:9512 TOP:4% OUT OF:257589
recon score RANK:10871 TOP:4% OUT OF:274899
general score per minute RANK:10016 TOP:4% OUT OF:294774

bf3
31/3/2012 4:58:

Headshot distance RANK:493* TOP:0%
Revives per assault minute RANK: 6019 TOP: 3%
Headshots / kill percentage RANK:25947 TOP:13%
MVP ribbons RANK:18824 TOP:11%

*= 6 if we not count the EOD BOT headshots

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 5:37pm

If you look at the way weapons are designed and balanced, a few oddities stand out. First of all, they are all best at the muzzle and decrease in effectiveness from there; they are not best at their intended ranges, but at the closest ranges. This is reflected in Miffyli's analysis of engagement ranges (~17m median, ~35m 75th percentile). Next, the differences in time to kill between weapons in the same weapon class are almost negligible (at 17m: 130 ms difference between SAR-21 and AEK-971, 52 ms difference between M416 and AEK-971). Lastly, most of them function in almost the same manner, only distinguished by variables, not by any mechanical differences, the AN-94 being an exception, and then only on 30 Hz servers. The BARs are perceived to be different because of the way they need to be used, but ultimately it's just perception with a mix of difficulty and lack of viability.

Overall, it's not difficult to understand why you got those results. I have often felt the same way. However, I also feel that the gunplay in Battlefield is lacking for this same reason - lack of uniqueness. It's all the same: point, shoot, control recoil, repeat. I really wish they would add something a little bit more unique like the G11 that MarbleDuck mentioned in his interview with the developer.
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Watcher-45

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Friday, November 13th 2015, 7:04pm


So yeah, stats only go that far, in the end you have to have the right gun for the player. In your example your mindset seem to prefer higher mobility over reload, which would allow you to push hard from cover to cover, or simply win the situation and then reset etc. If you're mentally prepared and willing to have a slight break between each fight a slower reload doesn't mean anything.


Having someone else say it just confirmed what I was thinking. I'm an incredibly aggressive player, I like being the guy kicking down the door or getting the incredible flank on the enemy squad that is the biggest pest. It's probably why my KDR and accuracy in general is so poor, I don't stop moving. I don't peek corners very often, I don't check my surroundings before moving on, I dash in, light up targets of opportunity, and dash out. I'll push the backed up hallway 10 times, die 9, get through once and take out a handful of people allowing my team to push through. I might be sitting at a nice 4/9 ratio at that point, but I don't care because I got results in the end. Could there have been a better, safer, more constructive method? Maybe, but I don't see anyone else making a difference, so if I want a room cleared out I have to clear it...


L85A2 could "feel' better in CQC because you might be strafing while shooting and therefore kill more people who have a hard time shooting back.

yup, also the fsm, it's not "slightly lower" 1.7, especially paired up against a 2.2 which means a whoppin .5 difference, it's a huge difference in fsm, just look here:
BF4: L85A2 vs M416 | BF4 Multi-Weapon Comparison | Symthic

and yes, i too prefer the l85 over the m416 for these 2 reasons.


Is a 0.5 difference in FSM really a factor when my average engagement range is <25m? It's not like the recoil impulse is anywhere near what the SCAR is, and I main the SCAR at ranges >25 <100m...

Yeah, the M416 does have a significantly higher jump between the first and second shot. But when I'm at what is essentially mag-dump range 70% of the time I don't really see that being a concern.
Well, either way, whether or not I can perceive the difference is rather irrelevant if the experience is better on the whole...
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Friday, November 13th 2015, 7:09pm

well it might make a difference regarding headshots, which iirc is the only difference you found between this and the m416 on your stats aside from the amount of kills, right?

and i too am that kind of player, but generally, once i see that i die too many times at the same guy, rather than perfectioning my engagement, i do the same engagement in another way(like, by trying a longshot with an m320fb) or just simply flank, but still maintaining my overall speed.
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bf4
on 13/05/2016
23rd M320FB user on pc(13/05/16)
rush mode score RANK:2794 TOP:2% OUT OF:215398
obliteration mode scoreRANK:994 TOP:1% OUT OF:159466
handgun medals RANK:2236 TOP:2% OUT OF:143874
longest headshot RANK:9512 TOP:4% OUT OF:257589
recon score RANK:10871 TOP:4% OUT OF:274899
general score per minute RANK:10016 TOP:4% OUT OF:294774

bf3
31/3/2012 4:58:

Headshot distance RANK:493* TOP:0%
Revives per assault minute RANK: 6019 TOP: 3%
Headshots / kill percentage RANK:25947 TOP:13%
MVP ribbons RANK:18824 TOP:11%

*= 6 if we not count the EOD BOT headshots

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ENEMY KILLED [REASON] JSLICE20 100


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Friday, November 13th 2015, 10:36pm

Have you used the same Attachments for both guns? If you compare them by performance you have to rule out how different attachments work on each gun.

I personally cant hit shit with ACE 21 CQB HB+Ergo. I have to use the compensator with it. Although it's <900 RPM
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Watcher-45

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Saturday, November 14th 2015, 12:09am

I almost exclusively run HB+VG+laser+HD33. So I did use the same attachments for both guns.

Although the compensator would probably fit me well I don't like the higher max spread as I tend to get trigger happy up close and just mag dump.
I'm also so not the most precise so the more accurate the gun the better off I am when it comes to tap firing.
I run stubby on guns that are either very high RPM or that I know I'll be using at ranges so close the moving spread bonus of a VG isn't really that useful. AS-VAL and MTAR for example.
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