Inconsistent Balancing of Piercing and Laser Weapons

The tradeoffs between using a piercing version or laser version of a given weapon type seems to have been applied inconsistently within the game depending on the weapon type. When applied to the assault rifles and sniper rifles, the piercing versions of those weapons have a higher net damage per attack against heavily armoured enemies, while the laser weapon equivalents have higher accuracy and range. These are clear and reasonable tradeoffs between selecting and using the piercing and laser versions of the assault rifles and sniper rifles.

However, in the case of the PDWs and automated turrets, the laser versions of these weapons are flat-out better than the piercing versions.

The Phoenix Gorgon Eye-A laser PDW has better stats in every way when compared to the NJ VDM Enforcer piercing PDW, even though both these weapons require a very similar amount of tech advancement and research time to unlock. If the VDM Enforcer could have its stats updated so that it has a higher net damage per attack (inclusive of piercing stat) against heavily armoured enemies, and if the Gorgon Eye-A Laser PDW could have its stats updated so that its damage is nerfed a bit and its accuracy increased, then these late-game PDWs would have clear and proper tradeoffs relative to each other.

The Phoenix Scorcher laser AT is also overall a flat-out better turret than the NJ Rattlesnake piercing AT in a similar way to the PDWs. While the Rattlesnake AT does have a slightly higher net damage per attack (inclusive of piercing stat) against extremely heavily armoured enemies, the Scorcher AT does so much more damage per attack against everything else. The 600 max damage that the Scorcher AT can do per attack, could use a nerf. If the Scorcher AT’s overly high damage per shot is nerfed and its accuracy increased instead, then it would be a more reasonable weapon when compared to the similar tech-level Rattlesnake AT. The Rattlesnake AT would have higher net damage per attack (inclusive of piercing) against heavily armoured enemies, while the Scorcher AT would have a higher net damage per attack against lightly armoured enemies (and armour-shredded enemies).

Consistently implementing these tradeoffs between using piercing and laser weapons would better reflect the more real-life pro/con characteristics of using hypervelocity Gauss coilguns that fire armour-piercing ammo and using high-energy pulse laser weapons, when compared to each other.

What are your thoughts and suggestions when it comes to balancing these weapons?


Armor is less an issue in lategame because there are 1000 ways to remove armor at all. For example the shotgun, that removes up to 64 armor.

But i think its more a lore thing. Watcher turret and Rattlesnake turret are New Jericho tech while the laser variant is a phoenix point tech based on new jericho tech. New Jericho commonly uses armor piercing weapons while Anu is focused more in using armor shreddering tech. Special purpose weapons use armor piercing like the stunning guns (melee/pistol) or virus weapons of any kind.

In general i think armor piercing weapon is not usefull in lategame because of the access to acid weapons and armor shreddering weapons.

It is based also on Synerion laser tech, you need NY Technician and Synedrions Laser weapons to research these advanced laser weapons.

Despite the variety of acid and armour-shredding weapons available in the game, it is often not practical to use them everytime on every single heavily-armoured enemy that is encountered in battle. The New Jericho piercing weapons can still be effective and useful against the more common and numerous well-armoured enemies, like the late-game highly evolved variants of Arthrons and Tritons, or the faction soldiers and vehicles.

To develop PP Laser weapon you need the technologies of two factions and make the research. With NJ piercing weapons no.
Is normal that “hybrid tech” will be better than “only faction tech” and (personally) I think this should be the way that Phoenix Point technology should go, mixing the best of each faction.

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I agree with you.
PP “actually” has a horizontal weapon and equipment advances. And I personally like this design very much, because it means that many weapons have a “meaning” for the whole game and thus do not become scrap, as in the classic “tiers” system. It’s one of the better differentiators over FiraXcom. Unfortunately, the DLC Bionics pushed the abandonment of horizontal progress a lot further. And that’s the reason for me to disable the DLC.

Even if technologies of two factions are necessary for this, Gorgon Eye-A laser PDW and Scorcher AT make other weapons of their kind obsolete and thus fall out of the design.

The opinion is close to the topic.
The more I look at the shots and damage from the Laser Sniper Rifle, the more it seems to me that it should be 2 shots of 60 damage and high accuracy, and so is the whole laser technology. Has this been discussed before?

This may justify too large laser clips.

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On the same token, both the laser and piercing assault rifles make the starter assault rifle obsolete, therefore they fall out of the design and should be reworked, right?

Almost all starter equipment are an exception. I talk about the value of the faction stuff. So faction equipment is an one time Vertical upgrade. But then it is almost all horizontal. I see it that way.

Edit: Would you say PP has a tier system?

Not that straight forward as in FXcom, but partially yes:

  • NJ intern from normal gauss to piercing gauss, getting better AR, SR and later PDW and turrets (NY tier 2?).
  • PP with advanced laser weapons (mix from NJ gauss and Syn laser), you get better turret, PDW and a mounted laser matrix.
  • PP with advanced shredder rocket launcher and grenade (mix from NJ RL and Anu shredding), the RL is a straight upgrade of the Fury RL, later topped by Thor RL from NJ (NJ tier 2 RL?)
  • PP with advanced acid weapons (AFAIK from Anu only, not an upgrade at all, more sidegrade).
  • PP with virophage SR and grenades, straight upgrades of SR and grenades, but only against pandorans.

So I think, in addition to the alternatives or ‘sidegrades’ of the factions, there are already ‘upgrades’ or ‘tiers’ in the game. But I wouldn’t it call a ‘tier system’, they are splitting unsorted around and not that … hmmm, searching the right words … ‘regular’(?).

But the second tech is not overwhelming better and not in every situation. So the first tech (I don’t want say „tier“ :wink: ) is not totally obsolete. Many Players have written, that they finished the whole game with for example Hell Canon II, because it was the best for there playstyle. It is the starting tech 0! And it works, because of the horizontal power design. Do you think I am wrong?

No, definitely not, especially for the Hell II and also the Goliath grenade launcher (if we can call this base PP tech, but you have to research it, maybe tech 0.5).
But I think there is not a general rule of horizontal power, some weapons are basically bad compared to others. For example the Ares AR, the Daimos is flat better in every point or the Mercy shotgun compared to the two from Anu.
Or what I mentioned, Bulldog gauss rifle compared to Piranha with piercing, there is no reason to stay on the Bulldog when you have access to the piercing tech from NJ. For me clearly somewhat like a tier system, but only for the NJ faction weapons.

There is, effectively, a tier system with four tiers of tech yes.
There’s Independent, which you can’t even make and is general trash.
There’s Phoenix, which is what you start with, and the otherwise worst gear you start with.
There’s Faction, one for each faction and they’re all horizontal yes.
There’s Hybrid, requiring you to reach high research tiers with two factions, they’re straight up better than the Faction tech.

What do we have in the Hybrid category? The engineer laser gear (NJ/Syn), The shredder rocket (NJ/Anu), I actually forget what the Anu/Syn hybrid tech is and if we lack it we absolutely have to get one too.

In general, I like that system. There’s sufficient horizontal progression to make it feel like you’ve got choice (I slightly disagree because of what the choices are but, then, one can see the intent), while also allowing for actual growth in power that makes you feel like you’ve earned something that also has the “humankind can only survive together” message baked in.

Edit: On and on your note about the Hel II, that’s because it’s good enough to do the job, not because the Deceptor isn’t better. Because it absolutely is better.


Again, NJ has their own little 2-tier system from normal gauss to piercing gauss weapons and also from Fury to Thor rocket launcher. And these are not horizontal, the second ‘tier’ are in all points better than the first one, straight forward.

You mean the Deceptor is absolutely better than the Hell II?
I would rather say that it depends on how you use them and in general the Deceptor suffers more than the Hell II from the fact that the armor increases over the course of the game.

The only instace where the Deceptor suffers at all in relation to the Hel is on the first volley against endgame Chirons and Scyllas. And you’re absolutely going to have more than one volley on a Scylla, so.

I’ve tried to crunch the numbers to see how much research is required to unlock the NJ piercing PDWs and turrets, and the Phoenix Laser PDWs and turrets.

To unlock the NJ VDM Enforcer piercing PDW and the NJ Rattlesnake AT piercing turret, a total of 6 NJ techs adding up to 3850 research time points, is required.

To unlock the Phoenix Gorgon Eye-A laser PDW and the Phoenix Scorcher AT laser turret, a total of 8 NJ/Syn/Phoenix techs adding up to 3800 research time points, is required.

I used Sheepy’s Phoenix Point Tech Tree as the source and basis of these calculations.

The amount of techs and research time required to unlock the piercing and laser PDWs and turrets is definitely similar. I think there is a case to be made that they are comparable weapons on the same tech level as each other, that should have different pros and cons relative to each other.

The Phoenix Project hybrid tech weapons deserve to be strong and very useful late-game choices, but the factions own late-game weapons should also be effective and viable choices by comparison as well.


Yeah, I also think that Phoenix Project tech (late hybrid design) should not be flat better than techs it is based on. It can be superior in lik 60% of cases, but the other 40% should be reserved for faction tech.

Ha someone has similar though of mine: :slight_smile:

Weapons can be designed around that too.

For 50 or more armor you need almost 2 Deceptor bursts to shred it completely, the first burst will deal no damage at all, the second will deal a bit damage and only the third kicks full in.
If you hit all bullets then you end up with around 450-550 damage with these 3 bursts on 50 armor.
Compared to Hell II: first shot 130, second 150, third 170 = 450 damage and because it is more accurate the chance to hit all 3 is higher then all shots from the Deceptor. But for sure, if you miss, then you ‘loose’ also even more damage for this missed shot, the Deceptor will mostly not miss ALL shots of one burst.

You like your absolutism? :wink:

It depends on the composition of your team. If I go with full Infiltrator mixed team then Chirons and even some weaker Scyllas will not survive the first volley from them thanks to double damage :sunglasses:

And at the end, the Hell II is the only gun that can easily shot through almost any obstacle.

For me it is still a viable choice even in the end game. It depends on the setup of the soldier, if he is already specialised in close quarter combat then the Deceptor is also my favourite choice but for all others more on midrange I take the Hell II because of its better accuracy.

I will put it very succinctly: at the moment all turrets are absolutely (yes @MadSkunky, total absolutism :wink:) OP, Scorcher a little more than others.

@etermes please show your videos :blush:

True, so true and here I’m absolute conform with absolutism :smiley: