Consolidating some more Gears 5 Horde final tuning info, this time regarding forge fortifications and smelting weapons. Yes, that numbing, drawn-out game feature is now a numbing, drawn-out post! What? Like you had something else to read here?
The forge fortification lets players interact with it to dismantle/smelt the weapon they’re currently holding (except for pistols and grenades), which destroys the weapon in exchange for (upgradable) amounts of energy given to every human player. A.I. players are not given any energy, nor is their share distributed to the team. The Power Drain modifier (or difficulty setting in general) doesn’t directly affect the amount of energy provided by smelting, nor does the amount of ammo left in the weapon.
Different weapons do provide different amounts of energy when smelted. These amounts are the same across all Horde modes. The base values fall into 3 categories of weapon type. From most to least valuable, those are: explosive weapons (not including Lancer GL), heavy (not including RL-4 Salvo since it’s considered explosive) or melee weapons, and finally everything else. The upgraded level of the forge also multiplies the base value by 2 for Level 2, x4 for Level 3, and x6 for Level 4. Jack’s Optimizer card at level 6 also applies its (correctly described) 150% smelting bonus on top of that (i.e., multiply by 2.5).
Here are the base smelting energy returns per player for the three weapon types at a given forge level:
|Weapon||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Explosive (Boomshot, Dropshot, RL-4 Salvo, Torque Bow)||40||80||160||240|
|Heavy or Melee (Breaker Mace, Buzzkill, Cryo Cannon, Mulcher, Tri-Shot, Pipe)||30||60||120||180|
|All other (Claw, Embar, Enforcer, Gnasher, Hammerburst, Lancer, Lancer GL, Longshot, Markza, Overkill, Retro Lancer, Scorcher)||20||40||80||120|
If you’re Jack and using the Optimizer card at level 6, the adjusted smelting returns per player are:
|Weapon||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Explosive (Boomshot, Dropshot, RL-4 Salvo, Torque Bow)||100||200||400||600|
|Heavy or Melee (Breaker Mace, Buzzkill, Cryo Cannon, Mulcher, Tri-Shot, Pipe)||75||150||300||450|
|All other (Claw, Embar, Enforcer, Gnasher, Hammerburst, Lancer, Lancer GL, Longshot, Markza, Overkill, Retro Lancer, Scorcher)||50||100||200||300|
For example, a 5 player team with a level 4 forge collectively earns 450 x 5 = 2,250 energy from Jack smelting a Buzzkill with L6 Optimizer – more than the cost of a Level 1 barrier for a Mechanic with Efficient Fabrication even with the Power Drain modifier (costs 2,060 energy).
I don’t currently know the actual HP for forges, but roughly eyeballing what controlled damage does to them at various levels, I’d say that Level 2 forges gain about 50% health over level 1, Level 3 forges gain another 50% of Level 2’s health, and Level 4 gains another 100% of Level 3’s health.
I also don’t know whether the Super Energy modifier bonus also applies to energy received from smelting weapons. Perhaps others can fill this in (or we’ll get it again soon).
EDIT: I confirmed once we got the Super Energy modifier that the amount of energy provided by smelting doesn’t get the bonus, unsurprisingly.
If you don’t have an engineer class passive bonus, a forge or forge upgrade (assuming it’s at 100% health) costs 10,000 energy without the Power Drain modifier, and 15,000 with the modifier. (Don’t even bother when it’s an Ultra Power Drain daily and its associated 10x ).
With the 15% engineer bonus, the forge/upgrade cost drops down to 8,500 without Power Drain, and 13,500 with (yes, the Power Drain 50% penalty applies to the original cost, not the discounted cost ). And with Mechanic’s Efficient Fabrication card at level 6, the 32% reduction brings it down further to 5,300 without Power Drain, or 10,300 with that modifier, however that card only helps with the initial purchase. Upgrades after that are still 8,500 / 13,500.
In table form, the cumulative total energy costs you’ll outlay for a forge plus undamaged upgrades are:
|Level||Base||Base with Power Drain||Engineer||Engineer with Power Drain||Efficient Fabrication||Efficient Fabrication with Power Drain|
Thus, best case in a 5 player Power Drain game, it takes smelting between 21 and 22 maximum value explosive weapons for a coordinated and disciplined team to collectively break even on the cost of a Mechanic’s efficiently fabricated level 4 forge if you (unrealistically) assume they’re all smelted at that highest level forge, and not before.
Here’s an alternative forge cost table instead measured in terms of the number of Jack + L6 Optimizer smelted weapons (rounded up to a whole weapon) it takes to pay for the preceding single forge purchase/upgrade, assuming there are 5 people pooling the resulting energy:
|Forge level||Weapon class||Base||Base with Power Drain||Engineer||Engineer with Power Drain||Efficient Fabrication||Efficient Fabrication with Power Drain|
|1||Explosive (100 x 5 = 500)||20||30||17||27||11||21|
|Heavy/melee (75 x 5 = 375)||27||40||23||36||15||28|
|Other (50 x 5 = 250)||40||60||34||54||22||42|
|2||Explosive (200 x 5 = 1,000)||10||15||9||14||9||14|
|Heavy/melee (150 x 5 = 750)||14||20||12||18||12||18|
|Other (100 x 5 = 500)||20||30||17||27||17||27|
|3||Explosive (400 x 5 = 2,000)||5||8||5||7||5||7|
|Heavy/melee (300 x 5 = 1,500)||7||10||6||9||6||9|
|Other (200 x 5 = 1,000)||10||15||9||14||9||14|
|4||Explosive (600 x 5 = 3,000)||4||5||3||5||3||5|
|Heavy/melee (450 x 5 = 2,250)||5||7||4||6||4||6|
|Other (300 x 5 = 1500)||7||10||6||9||6||9|
Note that that table is “pay as you go” for upgrades, whereas in real games, it’s probably more likely that you’d go into “debt” early in order to upgrade the forge faster. Therefore the total weapon counts might be high if you pay them off later but faster with higher forge levels.
On the other hand, this is also referring to the energy benefiting the entire team, whereas I think most might do their accounting by “feel” at the individual or engineer + Jack level, where it might underplay the weapon counts needed to locally afford a purchase.
Eyeballing that table roughly suggests to me that for a typical high level “forging Jack” game with an engineer you should probably be expecting to smelt upwards of 50 weapons (of typical enemy type distributions) on a quickly upgraded forge just to make back for the team what was spent.
It takes about 1 second to activate the forge in order to smelt a weapon.
Picking up a weapon takes about a half second for players, plus another half second of blocking animation AFAICT. Jack can actually still move while picking up weapons so let’s call it just .5. Let’s also assume an optimistic average of another 3.5 seconds to grab a weapon in order to make it an arbitrary 4 seconds spent per weapon. 50 * 4 = 200 seconds, or over 3 and 1/3 minutes, minimum, dedicated to the forge gameplay loop before it pays dividends.
I don’t come across many people playing “Roomba Jack” these days, but this was an arbitrary attempt to quantify it for them/me. It’s not a surprise it’s generally considered unnecessary in the quick & generous Horde Frenzy mode.
Do you use a forge on 50-waves? Do you appreciate others who use it in your game? Are there maps with challenging tap locations where you subjectively feel it’s still better to have energy coming in for the team from the forge?