What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.

No game is perfect, Sandstorm is no exception and definitely needs some tweaks. I just want to take a moment to point out and appreciate the things it gets right.

  1. Powerful unforgiving weapon damage.

If you make a mistake, aren't situationally aware, or just aren't fast/skilled enough, you die.
This adds tension to every aspect of the game.

If you get ''one shot from across the map'' or an unexpected position, it's because you made the wrong move. NOT because the weapons are too powerful.

  1. The gunplay

It just feels natural to me. I've never played a game with such satisfying gun play. Why is this? Let's just glaze over the fact that the guns all look and sound amazing and get to the more important details.

All of the weapon handling is fast enough to keep you deadly but just slow enough to force you to think about your next move. With time being a valuable commodity in every situation you find yourself in this adds the perfect amount of tension every time you need to top up your gun, throw a grenade, or switch weapons.

  1. Pacing

I consistently find that every game mode keeps the game moving at a good pace, it never seems to get too slow because you NEED objectives if you want to win. There is a time limit and wave limit which contributes to the tension but also forces you to push when you normally wouldn't have. This really creates some intense heart pounding moments. There are a few exceptions to this, particularly on Push but it's nothing a few tweaks or smoke grenades can't fix.

  1. Maps

It's nice to see they kept aspects from Insurgency's maps but threw out the fact they were mirrored. The maps are extremely detailed and varied while still being relatively balanced. Even after 180 hours of playing, I'm still finding new unexpected angles and avenues of approach for different objectives. Some parts of the maps do feel unbalanced, but the only time I feel as if the situation can't be overcome is when my team isn't actually communicating or working as a team. The callouts help with this however.

  1. The callouts

Hearing your fellow teammates yell out when they are reloading allowing you to cover their angle. The screams of your character while the rounds from a DShK are tearing through the walls around you. Even the ones letting you know you're taking an objective.

They not only add to the immersion but they are super useful. Especially when playing with people who aren't using a mic.

@turyl said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

  1. Powerful unforgiving weapon damage.

If you make a mistake, aren't situationally aware, or just aren't fast/skilled enough, you die.
This adds tension to every aspect of the game.

If you get ''one shot from across the map'' or an unexpected position, it's because you made the wrong move. NOT because the weapons are too powerful.

Joking or serious?

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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wW1geM1qloEf0lqcM0H19RPVwddkRUUHx2lkHGRsah4/edit#gid=1691132008

I'm serious, but yea, i never use the ak or sks for that reason.

Or M4 or MK18 or anything which isn't a FAL, SVD or MG right?

This is something Sandstorm got extremely wrong.

Personally I would love to see 5.56 and 7.62 get a damage boost. I really like using them but I just don't because they aren't as powerful

Everything needs a damage boost. FAL and M14 used to kill with thigh shots once upon a time. Ins2014's gunplay was something they got right.

I feel pretty much the same way as Turyl. Sandstorm is rough yet, but damn cool otherwise.

I like the weapon damage and ballistics (I love being able to shoot through objects).

There is a decent amount of difference between using the Heavy Armor vs no Armor that could be more refined.
It would be interesting if the Light Armor was a law enforcement-type kevlar (SAPI) vest, and the Heavy vest was an IOTV style, military issue type vest.

Light Armor will be light, able to stop .45 ACP and 12 gauge.
Heavy Armor will be ~30% heavier, able to stop a 7.62 but not too many shots in the same area of the plate (if that makes sense)...shooting any armor plate, or a SAPI, enough times will weaken it enough to be ineffective.

Thoughts?

@dr-deep

This game is not served by abstract representations of armor effectiveness, where one type of armor is just 30% better because we decided it should be.

Armor should be modeled in game off real military options. And it's performance should be modeled to reflect reality.

Armor should only block shots where the armor actually exists.
You can choose whether you want side plates or not, ballistic helmets or not.

Certain ballistic plates can stop 9mm all day long without having it's integrity compromised.

Other plates shatter on impact but are lighter.

Some bullet types can't penetrate armor on the first round, but successive rounds will impair the integrity of the armor to the point where you can get through.

Armor piercing rounds start to mean something when you've modeled actual plates on the player model that can outright stop a bullet cold and do no damage to the enemy player.

Some bullets hit so hard and have so much mass behind them (like slugs) that they can do blunt force damage to the person wearing the armor, depending on the type of armor. It's not going to incapacitate them, but it may cause some wounding or temporarily impair their ability to return fire.

@gm29 said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

Armor should only block shots where the armor actually exists.
You can choose whether you want side plates or not, ballistic helmets or not.

^ Yes, this is a great idea.

Any and all numbers I wrote were arbitrary, used as an example to explain the armor, but thanks for furthering the point I was trying to make. 👍🏼

last edited by Dr Deep

@gm29 I agree with you but i also think that super effective armor doesn't work with the rest of the game.
Irl there are some pretty effective armor plates out there and no one wants to put a full mag of 7.62x39 into an opponents armor and see they are still up.

The only armor i see working would be ceramic plates that only protect from 1 extra shot from most calibers and 2 extra from pistols. Which is pretty much already the case.

The bigger problem Imo is most calibers under 7.62x51 feels like they need a buff.

Against unarmored opponents 5.56 and 7.62x39 should be buffed to a 1 shot kill at close range, 1-2 at long range depending on if the chest was hit or not. Tbh anything hitting unarmored vitals should be a 1 shot kill.

Basically, the current damage of 5.56 and 7.62x39 make them feel extremely situational when compared to the FAL, G3 or even the shotgun.

It's to the point where i simply don't use them. I find myself using the FAL, G3, and shotgun not because i want to, but because i have to to get a one shot kill.

Absolutely, the force behind slugs should be taken into account if they haven't already.

Atm i don't know why light armor is even in the game, it doesn't seem to work as a flak jacket either.
Youtube Video

last edited by Turyl

@turyl said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

@gm29 I agree with you but i also think that super effective armor doesn't work with the rest of the game.
Irl there are some pretty effective armor plates out there and no one wants to put a full mag of 7.62x39 into an opponents armor and see they are still up.

This isn't an arcade game where you arbitrarily decide what you do or don't want to happen in terms of weapon performance.

The reality is this is what happens in modern combat, and if you want to have a mil sim quality representation of gunplay behavior and ballistics, as Insurgency has always strove for, then you need to model how armor actually works.

It doesn't break the game because it doesn't break real life either. The fact is when you accurately model things according to real life then they have a way of balancing themselves out because real life military gear and weapons are always a compromise of competing factors. No one thing ever is able to dominate for that reason.

There's vastly more area on a soldier to aim for that isn't armored that will bring him down.
In fact, you'll never be accurate enough to put a full mag of AK rounds into a target the size of a plate, so by sheer accident you'll have long since killed your target even if you can't penetrate their chest plate.

And if you can't be bothered to change the way you aim, get a weapon with heavier rounds or get AP ammo. Which is exactly what real soldiers have to do to respond to enemies wearing body armor if they want easier kills.

Yes, it does force you to change what you're doing, but so does armor in real life force you to change what you're doing. That's why in a game striving for realistic authentic gunplay and modern infantry combat you want to simulate that aspect of it properly.

That's also, in some circles, known as making the game more interesting and varied.

last edited by GM29

@gm29 I understand. Though It wasn't an arbitrary decision, it was based of off 400 hrs of Insurgency and 190hrs of sandstorm. And based off of how it would effect the rest of the gameplay and pacing. It's quite obvious they were going for fast paced but tactical battles.

I absolutely think there is room for armor in Insurgency, but i also think we would have to be very careful of how its implemented as to not ruin the current pacing of the game. THIS is the reason why i think they made armor almost negligible.

I'm mainly bringing up the argument that ''realistic armor performance'' could easily mess with the entire games pacing or even create a situation where it never makes sence NOT to run armor.

A similar situation already seems to be happening with the weapon damage. It almost never makes sense to NOT run an FAL. In this case the question is how to go about ''fixing'' it. Leave it as is? buff other weps? make the FAL semi only? I dont know which direction the devs want to go, but i doubt they want to increase time to kill.

I'm just leaving my opinion of how i think it should be done in a way that goes with the rest of the game.

I'm sure you can agree with my concerns?

I think they should add a map mode that favor's slower play (a kill them all mode) without a timer, i think what is missing from this game is slower gameplay.

The guns aren't even close to too powerful. They're squirt guns compared to Source.

@dodger VIP mode would do the trick

@gm29 Insurgency Source, at least, doesn't strive to be a milsim. It's realistic, but it never sacrifices gameplay for the sake of realism.

@turyl said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

@gm29 I understand. Though It wasn't an arbitrary decision, it was based of off 400 hrs of Insurgency and 190hrs of sandstorm. And based off of how it would effect the rest of the gameplay and pacing. It's quite obvious they were going for fast paced but tactical battles.

You don't understand what arbitrary means in this context.
Arbitrary decisions about what to model and not model means you aren't thinking about what reality looks like and how to translate that into a game. Instead you are just making stuff up as you go without any concern for reality.

Insurgency is not the kind of game where you want to make arbitrary decisions about game design when everything else about the game strives to be a highly accurate model of real gunplay.

Saying you don't want to have to deal with armor blocking shots on the chest area is an arbitrary decision about what you prefer combat to play out like, and has nothing to do with simulating the reality of how combat actually plays out in modern warfare.

It would be like saying you want to get rid of fully automatic infantry rifles because you prefer the combat style of the second world war with bolt action rifles. What you prefer is irrelevant if your goal is to accurately replicate the gunplay of modern infantry weapons.

And having to deal with the reality of armor plates is as real a concern to the performance of various weapon systems as the reality of having to change magazines. To not model the changing of magazines, arbitrarily, because it annoys you to have to do so, is to create a fantasy model of combat that now no longer attempts to reflect the real constrictions of using these weapons in combat.

I absolutely think there is room for armor in Insurgency, but i also think we would have to be very careful of how its implemented as to not ruin the current pacing of the game.

You could say the same thing about any number of realistic restrictions on weapon behavior and performance that already exist in the game.

"I don't like magazine changes. They ruin the 'pacing' of the game".
"I don't like bullets penetrating walls. It screws up the 'balance' of defense".
"I don't like one shot kills, they ruin the 'balance' of the game".

The fundamental flaw of your entire premise is that when you use words like "pacing" or "balance" you are talking about words that only have a relevant place in fantasy game models where you make decisions about what you want combat to be like that have no reflection on what combat would be in reality. Those words don't exist in a realistically modeled weapon system because real life already has it's own balance, as long as you make an effort to properly simulate both the real upsides and downsides of a weapon as it exists in reality.

Even assuming plate armor would change the pacing of the game, you have no reason to complain about that because the current modeling of the game is a fantasy as far as weapon performance goes. The current pacing is wrong if adding proper armor would change the pace of the game. Why do you want to play a fantasy model of modern gunplay when the whole selling point of Insurgency has always been it's attempt to realistically model the effectiveness of characteristics of modern weapons and put you in the shoes of how they would actually be handled and used?

You either want a realistic game or you want a fantasy game. There's no middle ground there. Once you start making arbitrary decisions counter to reality based on your personal preferences then you end up eventually degrading the game down to the lowest common denominator of CoD. You need to adhere to an objective standard of what can this weapon actually do in real life, and how can we model that effectively in a game.

Part of modeling that is the armor the target will face. It's no different than modeling the types of environmental barriers the bullets will face and how those bullets either can or can't deal with obstructions.

I'm mainly bringing up the argument that ''realistic armor performance'' could easily mess with the entire games pacing or even create a situation where it never makes sence NOT to run armor.

This isn't a concern if you model the realistic downsides of wearing armor.
Any game that attempts to model realism has to model both the pluses and minuses because real life combat and military gear/weapons are always a compromise of trade offs.

There's a reason US soldiers don't actually want to wear more armor plating, even though the capability exists to produce it - They are concerned that the loss of speed and agility in combat that comes from wearing more armor would be more likely to get them shot in the first place. Nevermind the hit to overall long term endurance as you have to carry around more overall weight.

There's a reason why, in competition practical shooting, they need different divisions for those who want to wear armor and those who don't - because the armor is a significant enough disadvantage to your ability to clear a stage with maximum speed and accuracy that people would never want to wear the armor if they didn't have to.

This goes back to another suggestion I made in another thread about the need for this game to do a more realistic job of modeling the downsides of carrying a bunch of bulky or heavy gear, or heavy weapons and ammo, into combat. It's not a difficult thing to do, but once you do it you suddenly have a real choice between no armor or different types of armor. However, I don't subscribe to your expectation that players should even be running around without armor in the first place as US soldiers because doctrinally that's not what they would be doing unless they were in really specialized roles, such as maybe a sniper. Although I'm ok with giving players the option, I'm just saying you shouldn't act like it's some great downside to the game if everyone decides they are better off running with armor than not running armor (because that would actually reflect the conclusion reached in reality by real soldiers).

A similar situation already seems to be happening with the weapon damage. It almost never makes sense to NOT run an FAL. In this case the question is how to go about ''fixing'' it. Leave it as is? buff other weps? make the FAL semi only? I dont know which direction the devs want to go, but i doubt they want to increase time to kill.

Your game is improperly modeled, lacking the realistic downsides of a FAL, if you have given players no reason to run an intermediate carbine over a full sized battle rifle.

The solution is always to go back to the reality of why these weapons are NOT preferred for modern combat. There's a good reason NATO, Russia, and China have all moved to a lightweight high velocity carbine cartridge like the 5.56. Russia and China both created their own slightly different version of the 5.56 to replace the larger AK47 cartridge, and almost all NATO countries that use to use the FAL or G3 (7.62x51) eventually moved over to a new weapon chambered in 5.56 like the FAMAS or G36.

There's also a reason that, according to ancedotal evidence, the Germans universally preferred taking captured M1 carbines but never bothered taking captured M1 Garands if the Carbine was available. The M1 carbine was the WW2 equivalent of the M4, as an intermediate carbine cartridge in a lightweight compact platform. The M1 Garand was the equivalent today of the FAL/G3. Although the M1 Garand was superior to the M98, it had little advantage over the M1 Carbine considering that most infantry combat took place under 300m and therefore all that extra power of the Garand was being wasted and making the rifle more difficult to use for little gain.

If you know what those reasons are why full sized rifles aren't preferred in modern combat then you'll be able to incorporate those reasons into the modeling of your game.

I never felt like the the original Insurgency failed to properly model these differences.

Of course, there are also advantages to running a full sized battle rifle cartridge in combat as well, which is why the SCAR-H sees use in the US military amongst special forces. Being able to reliably drop targets in one shot and being able to penetrate barriers is a big deal in some contexts and that's the only real reason you'd ever want to use a 7.62 over a 5.56. Of course the full sized round has more effective range too if you need that, but that's not always an issue for typical engagement distances of infantry combat (which historically has mostly happened under 300m).

But for general issue, carbine cartridges are generally superior for most military contexts and are easier to use effectively. The are good enough for typical engagement distances.They allow for faster reaction time and more certainty of hitting your target when it presents itself for brief moments. You can start to fire without the best aim and then quickly and accurately readjust your aim while continuing to fire with the 5.56. This allows you to get away with taking more marginal shots or making quick adjustments to get the shot you otherwise would have missed. It also allows you to more rapidly engage multiple targets accurately. The full sized rounds generally can't do this because they take too long to recover from a shot and you lose your sight picture after firing. As a result, you actually take longer to get that first shot off because you have to take more time to make sure you're going to hit. The lower magazine capacities of the 7.62x51 and the heavier weight of the ammo (meaning you carry less overall) also means you need to make a greater effort to make sure every shot counts, which slows down your target aquisition and firing speed.

last edited by GM29

@gm29 Uh.. what... this isn't reality, it's a game. Let me say that again. IT IS A GAME. A game from an independent developer. A game that has to be playable. If it was a ''military simulation'' flachettes wouldn't be in the game. 5.56x45 to the vitals would kill you 9mm to the vitals would kill you.. You would have only a single life.. you wouldn't be able to run forever.. a knife would leave you leaking to death for hours. blah blah blah

I'm listing very valid concerns and very viable solutions which coincide with the gameplay. That isn't arbitrary. Not to mention that most of my suggestions are actually more realistic than they currently are in game.

If you really think this game needs to be as realistic as possible in every way, even in ways that sacrifice the gameplay itself then that's fine that's your opinion. Though you must realize by the time it was ''realistic'' it would be a completely different game.

If you want real combat go to war.

@cyoce said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

@gm29 Insurgency Source, at least, doesn't strive to be a milsim. It's realistic, but it never sacrifices gameplay for the sake of realism.

That's only half true.
Insurgency strove to be a milsim level representation of how weapons and ballistics handle, and what they are capable of. And to that end it did a great job for it's time.

It was never attempting to be a milsim in the sense of replicating real world map scenarios. The game win conditions and scenarios tended to be more gamey.

Yet, the reason I liked it (and Red Orchesra for that matter), is because they didn't sacrifice in their attempt to make the weapon modeling mil sim quality but they also delivered a fast and fun game experience as opposed to ARMA/WW2OL/SQUAD where half the time you're just running around a lot never actually seeing an enemy.

@turyl said in What I think Insurgency Sandstorm gets RIGHT.:

@gm29 Uh.. what... this isn't reality, it's a game.

Not a valid excuse in the context of this game.
Why not have your M4 shoot laser beams, have visual options where you encrust it with diamonds, and let US forces use chinese military weapons?

The fact is, because the developers are striving to, in their own words, create a "hard tactical shooter with meticulous attention to weapons and ballistics".

The original Insurgency also attempted to model weapon behavior, both upsides and downsides, as realistically as any game had up to that point.

A game that has to be playable.

Nothing I've suggested would make the game "unplayable".
Furthemore, in the past, naysayers like you could have just as easily prevented game development from advancing to be more realistic by saying things like "you can't force people to look down ironsights, that would make the game unplayable".
or "you don't have one shot kills, that would make the game unplayable". Both of which use to be what people actually said, and to some extent people still do believe that because you see those principles lived out in the design of more arcade military shooters where they are afraid to let rapid fire weapons do realistic levels of damage or they give players crutches like ironsights to hipfire from.

If it was a ''military simulation'' flachettes wouldn't be in the game.

They are real weapons and have been used in combat.

5.56x45 to the vitals would kill you 9mm to the vitals would kill you.

Vitals first have to be modeled for that to be possible. If you don't take the time to model vitals then you end up with an abstaction that tries to simulate how the 5.56 has unreliabe stopping power compared with the 7.62.

This is another instance where increasing the level of simulation and realism will actually help solve people's complaining about there being no reason to use the 5.56 over the 7.62x51.

I'm listing very valid concerns and very viable solutions which coincide with the gameplay.

Your concerns are no more "valid" than someone who says "we can't force players to have to change magazines, because I'm concerned that would ruin the pace of the game and lead to frustrating as people miss out on kills or die because they had to change a magazine".

You're making up fantasy criteria for what you think the game should play out like.

It's only a valid concern if you have already decided you don't care about replicating realistic weapon limitations and just have your own arbitrary idea in your mind of what you prefer combat to look like.

If your goal is to actually realistically model weapon behavior and ballistics, and therefore how that impacts our use of those weapons, then you will never have reason to be "concerned" about how realism will change the way you play because if you were using guns in a way that was unrealistic then you've failed at your goal.

If you really think this game needs to be as realistic as possible in every way, even in ways that sacrifice the gameplay itself then that's fine that's your opinion.

The fact is Insurgency was trying to be as realistic as possible in it's time, and people like you at the time would have scoffed at what they were trying to do and chortled about how Battlefeild 1942 was plenty realistic enough, it's just a game, so don't go ruining the gameplay by trying to do stupid things like force us to use ironsights, incorporating free aim, allowing belt fed machine guns to actually be properly powerful and accurate, etc, etc.

Objectively those people were wrong to say a more realistic gunplay modeling is not unworkable as a game design, but actually is funner for different reasons to different people.

You are objectively wrong to claim that Insurgency would become ruined or unplayable if armor were modeled realistically, or bullet ballistics were modeled realistic. It would be different, but not worse. It would be better if you actually value using weapons according to their realistic limitations, and don't value arbitrary gaming decisions about how the devs think combat "should" play out which is not based in reality but rather just based on expectations set by other existing games.

last edited by GM29

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