Dear developers. This thread aims to share some feedback for local play and co-op matches. My time in Beta 2 has solely been spent on these two match types, thus I am unable to tell if it is applicable to other game modes. I understand that these points raised may not be of priority currently, but I would regardless like to share my views. Please do grab a drink as this might be a bit lengthy (and maybe ranty).
In my opinion, the bots are quite fun to play against. They are a challenge in that they would seek cover and in my experience, even concealment in the middle of a firefight. Some of my in-game deaths have been attributed to carelessness, as the bots would go prone when taking fire, leading to my mistaking that they are dead. This is compounded by how the bots would attempt flanks at times. That the bots would call in support during their push against objectives was something I suspected would be absent from matches, led to my pleasant surprise. The single life per objective style coupled with the bot behaviour makes playing slower a good pay off, something I thoroughly enjoy. I would love if this feeling can be furthered in any other ways. Also, how the bots would attempt to flush someone out by spraying fire while on a technical's MG is pretty awesome.
The not-so-fun portion is when the bots stick to odd or identical positions when defending objectives. An example of bots picking identical spots, as follows, is that there would almost always be an Insurgent bot behind the ground level cabinet in Crossing's objective A. This is by no means a poor choice, but players would know to look for that particular bot when playing the map as Security forces. As for odd positions the bots pick, I have witnessed a bot crouching in the middle of another objective room. Sadly, I can't recall which map this has happened on.
Another odd behaviour I have noticed regarding bots is that they sort of track players as they walk behind walls. This is telling as I have seen a Security bot track a teammate going up a flight of stairs. 'Realistically', the bot wouldn't have known that the flight of stairs existed, and should probably fire horizontally in an attempt to hit the player, if at all. Somehow, this particular bot took precedence of focusing on my teammate over me. Understandably, it might be too complex or 'unrewarding' to resolve this, so perhaps an alternative should be considered. For instance, if a player gets out of the sight of the AI behind a wall, they can decide to wait out, rush (if in close proximity and using appropriate weapons), or check their surroundings. In short, I'm saying that the bots shouldn't really have map knowledge / player position awareness. By the way, if the fix compromises the MG spray from the bots on a technical, I would rather this minor point remain.
There have also been instances where I found bots to be suddenly super accurate. These occurrences have thus far been observed when the bots are around 50-70m away from me. The bots would be firing on their first target, before abruptly switching to and instantly killing me in one shot. Pretty jarring and scary. Perhaps a 'fix' could be to force the bot to artificially miss their first shot at targets a fair distance away?
Beyond these small observations, the bots are quite fun to both play with and against! It was also a really nice touch that the bots randomise their appearances every respawn.
Co-op / Local Play Wishlist
I'm listing these down in hopes that they can be fulfilled someday (maybe post-launch?), as I feel that they could be improvements to the co-op / local play experience.
Option for more bots, please! I must admit I'm not cognisant whether there is an option to add more bots. It would be totally cool if implemented without implications! A menu (with pretty buttons) allowing exact numbers of bots a team would be rad. Would be double cool if priority for combat roles are given to players (e.g. if a bot selects the Marksman role, a player should still be able to select it and force the bot into a different role).
In addition, perhaps an option for bot difficulty, too? Maybe it could affect the effectiveness of both friendly and enemy bots? From my understanding, the current friendly bots are given a crutch, no? Perhaps the easier difficulties could allow for more such aid, going inverse with higher difficulties.
More bots roaming outside of objective rooms would be really great! Or maybe bots roaming inside the objective room, too? Right now, they are all just hunkered down in (mostly) corners and scaring players when they enter the room. I'm not certain if this is already in place, but perhaps bots with different roles can be assigned different levels of aggressiveness.
Another suggestion is that bots should run away from the direction a grenade was thrown. Logically, if an enemy throws a live grenade at you, you likely would run away from the grenade as well as from the enemy, in effort to preserve yourself. What I encountered was a bot running towards me (and naturally, gunfire), after noticing a grenade land nearby.
Earning XP in local play would be welcome. 'Cause fashion in single player matters.
More game modes with bots, just as in Insurgency 2014, please!
Other Minor Points (likely not worth separate threads)
My game experience in local play was relatively smooth. There were slight hitches when entering and exiting rooms, with quite obvious graphical pop-ins, when parts of the game world loads and renders. I feel that it might not exactly be an issue with GPU processing power, but rather simply with how much mesh and geometry has to be suddenly rendered when entering / exiting rooms. Perhaps rather contradictory to increasing FPS, more of the game world could be loaded in at one time to reduce hiccups. Maybe further sectioning of the map could be looked at, while maintaining appropriate LODs?
Finally, please take a look below. I'll definitely request for a refund if left unfixed
The reason why I have input a lengthy post is because I predominantly play matches with bots, something carried over from my time in Insurgency 2014. Solo matches was the deciding factor in that purchase, and it might very well be the case for other players when it comes to this game. I am hoping that my faith would not be unfounded.
Thank you for your time reading through this!
P.S. Very much yes to campaign