First and most important, I want to say thanks to everyone at NWI for making a great game - keep up the good work! I really like the original Insurgency and I love Sandstorm. Because I love this game so much I have to share my honest thoughts about it.
Yeah, I have to mention it. There is no point in denying that the performance is sh*t. Other Unreal 4 games I play I experience good performance on high settings, yet with Sandstorm I have to run everything on low and still get low FPS, drops and freezes.
From the last update the Foliage Quality seems to be the same no matter the setting (even if I change it from the config file) and always stays on High/Very High.
I've also experience huge FPS drops when any type of fire support is called (Effects quality on low by the way).
I know you are working on it, and really hope you guys resolve the performance problems ASAP.
I enjoy the tactical and hardcore environment Sandstorm has, but there a few slight problems that (may be realistic) break the gameplay IMO:
1) Wall-banging: I know that there is that one person that will argue that "real guns can penetrate X material, so its realistic!!!", but that is just a gameplay problem to me. I like the original Insurgency's bullet penetration, where you cant kill someone that is hiding behind a solid, stone wall with an AR!
2) Increased time to kill: I've noticed that some guns don't even one shot anymore? Especially the low cost ARs in the Rifleman's loadout take two body shots to kill someone. I could be wrong on that, and I would be happy to be corrected, but SMGs and most importantly PISTOLS deal mega low damage. SMGs kind of compensate with nice ROF, but the sidearms feel pathetic and useless, even at close range. To me personally it feels like it takes too much bullets to kill someone, especially with guns like the AK. What would be better is to make it either weapon type dependent or caliber dependent.
3) Maps: What I dont like about the new maps is that they ALWAYS require smoke/smoke artillery to take a point. That in my opinion is bad map design, and it forces the players to use a mechanic (which decreases performance) in order to win. What is worse is that I have to spend 2 points on smokes (I use mostly light carrier) in order to get to the objective and then I have no grenades to clear the rooms full of corner pooping campers. The maps are large enough to allow attacking from multiple fronts, dont restrict us with only one choke point which has to be passed with smokes...
Example of a good map is Buhriz from Insurgency: It has enough space to flank or attack directly, even if you dont throw a ton of smokes.
4) New Hardcore Checkpoint: movement speed is terrible! I feel like Im prone all the time! You wont slow down the game by making the players crawl around the map. What makes this game mode slower is the fact that its more dangerous that the other - the steaks are higher, players have to check their targets, be strategic and smart about their actions. If I dont know whats in the next room I wont go rushing in, even if I had the speed to do it. I have to take cover and check my map before heading to the next checkpoint. The slower movement speed only ruins the experience and makes it more frustrating to play (its like being on a highway with only first gear available).
Performance problems, high wall-banging, some rifles shoot rubber bullets, choking maps that require smoke and there is no other way of flanking and finally an unnecessary and frustrating slower speed for a cool game mode.
Its not much of a rant since I can live without those things, but I feel the state would be better if you address them. As I said, Sandstorm is my favorite shooter of all time and Im grateful for the hard work put into it.