Effectively, the part of a projectile that can collide with a ship is equal to the distance it travels in one tick. Many of the new effects are many times as long as this, causing ships to frequently pass through their rearward parts without colliding. This is acceptable when the shot has a clear "tail" that isn't part of the main projectile, but confusing when it's a uniform beam. Shots that are too wide will also appear to pass through ships without colliding. So shots should be generally smaller than they are now, but can be made longer with obvious tails.
Part of the problem is that the size of the standard effects increases with damage tier. This makes some intuitive sense, but is problematic as average ship sizes (in real pixels) don't increase at the same rate. Following this pattern will only get more ridiculous in parts 2 and 3. Furthermore, I would argue that their size should reflect how dangerous they are to typical defenses when that damage tier is present, not absolute damage. For instance, a light ion cannon is about as dangerous late in part 1 as a laser cannon is at the start, so they should have similar size effects. Therefore, the standard effect sizes should be the same for each tier, or grow very slowly.
The minimum and maximum damages for scaling should be set so that essentially all weapons that use the standard effect fall in the range. That way, shots with significantly different damage don't appear the same. Weapons that are huge outliers for their damage type should use custom effects that make them look more impressive, preferably without being significantly larger (other than their tail).
Kinetic weapons use a different system from other types, with width scaling (slightly) with damage, while length scales with damage and speed. This is confusing. The width difference is subtle, and I wouldn't suggest making it more pronounced, due to the apparent collision issue. So low damage, high speed shots look similar to high damage, low speed shots. And in general, they're longer than corresponding shots of other types. This makes repeating weapons overlap a lot and ships pass through shots frequently. Conveying a projectile's speed with its size is unnecessary, since we're used to judging it from its movement. I'd suggest making kinetic weapons scale the same way as other types.
Some hit effects feel a bit too big and bright to me. They should generally not be bigger than a small gunship (probably no more than 12-15 pixels radius at maximum damage). This is true even for explosive types like blast and thermo! Otherwise, hit effects from shots that hit a single target are hard to tell apart from area-effect explosions. (See also Area-effect explosions shouldn't cause non-shield hit effects)
Also, some of them, like particle, last too long. They should generally not last longer than the typical refire time of weapons that produce them, or at least mostly fade away by that time.
I think these are mostly fine, but some players have complained about some of them being too bright, particularly kinetic. (And see also Weapon firing effects appear on top of ships, while shots appear underneath)
For reference: Weapon Effect Guidelines
the_shrike wrote:[Scolding me for making a ticket before discussing on the forum]
... I disagree about maximum sizes for hiteffects (explosions should be fairly large), but other than that I'm generally in agreement.
I have an objection to smaller starting sizes however: this prevents low-level 'exotic' weapons from using later damage types without looking silly. While reducing the size somewhat may be in order, the larger sizes for more advanced damage types makes sense on the basis that they're far more energetic when they turn up in 'normal' weapons.
assumedpseudonym wrote:I’m going to have to back Shrike up on just about all counts, here — especially the bit about forum discussion first.