Hello Developers. First, I would like to say great job. You guys are doing gods work. Insurgency Sandstorm looks and sounds - immaculate. I only play coop. My problem is that the game play does not match the feel of the environment. I will do my best to explain. In the first game, there was (is) a culture of non-tactical play. It was frequent that players would race to be in front of each other in order to get the kills first. Reasons for this would include the following. First and foremost, the bots were not warrior enough to make us pay for it even with max bot count and Brutal difficulty when gunning against experienced humanoid shooters. Considering this, one person could race ahead and horde all of the kills. This prompts the majority of a server to do the same thing in order to see action. This type of behavior got embedded into the culture of online play of the game. A low kill count usually meant either you arrived late, were bad, or moved at a normal pace behind the horde of friendly runners that didn't die off. Steering the focus towards Sandstorm, I am noticing the same behavior. From a tactical perspective, the Sandstorm maps are very dynamic. On any map at any point in time it feels like there is an infinite amount of angles you can be shot from. The majority of the time, users are not paying for not checking every angle and corner as you would in real life - like your health depended on it. Players are running around the maps to get kills and capture points for what feels like the need to obtain the most points by the end of the game. There is no urgent need to try not to die or at least keep your head on a swivel. The lack of difficulty in coop makes playing feel less realistic (when comparing to the sound/look/feel of the environment) especially when witnessing the headless chicken game play from behind. I find myself launching the game specifically to enjoy just the look and feel of the game and not the game play aspect of coop (which hurts to be honest.) Beyond killing a technical or driver + shooter friendlies, there really isn't much 'cooperative' game play. It feels more like eight 1-man armies racing to see who can get to the eagles nest first. I want to pay for my own stupidity and I want other users to pay for theirs. To be clear, I'm not bashing anyone. Its just - if I hold a live grenade in my hand long enough, I would have committed suicide. The same would apply if I blindly race from one end of a battlefield to the other while ignoring caution and everything else but the sight of my enemy - but the game does not accurately represent this currently. As for the good about the bot difficulty, I will say this. For a short period of time after the 1.1.2 patch, the bots turned up so to speak. They felt far more hungry to kill us. There were several times where I found myself at the top of the leader board and last alive because the bots were harder and immune to the run and horde play style. Being quick, checking every angle and room clearing with intent on survival was the only way to survive. Finally the game play matched the sound look and feel of the game. Sadly, this level of difficulty did not last long. I assume other players will die often after a permanent difficulty change similar to the one I seen post patch 1.1.2. I am confidant they will adjust appropriately as playing any new game or difficulty is just a matter of experience and adjustment.
If you made it to the end of my novel, thank you for your time and hard work.