1. Server Optimization [Critical Priority]
The servers are under an extreme load. I have run multiple servers since the implementation of private servers in November 2018. Currently, a server needs to be restarted after 6-8 hours of running Sandstorm or it suffers from what I assume is a "slow memory leak". I'm not saying it's a memory leak it just looks like one. After 6-8 hours, a single CPU core on the server will spike to around 90-100% and the server will start to lag. This is across different providers, different server boxes, etc. A lot of us have reported this since January and it has not been addressed. The only fix for this is the server must be restarted every 6-8 hours.
Another issue that affects all of us. Many people do not turn on net stats, however if they did they would see the tick rate of the server fluctuates A LOT. You can see the tick rate of the server drop from 64 down to sometimes 15-20. This is an issue on every server, including the matchmaking ones. This manifests itself as bad hit registration, laggy animations, lag in general, and possibly stuttering (I know the last 3 are related). This problem is exacerbated when a server is running for a long time.
2. Game Optimization [Critical Priority]
The game is very spotty for optimization. Some high end rigs do fine, some don't. Many low end rigs don't get good performance, some do. This is something that has been worked on and I'm 100% sure NWI has it as a high priority. Just listing it here.
3. Matchmaking UX [Critical Priority]
Mikee has talked about this today on his stream but - shortly put, keep lobbies together, enable map voting. This was a staple for Insurgency 2014. It worked great for 5 years. Before this free weekend, it was very hard to find a game in your region during regular work/sleep hours. In Insurgency 2014, I can log on at 2 AM in my region and find 2-3 servers populated and instantly start playing.
NWI has stated they are looking into this but no date/time has been set and it honestly is a major issue.
The priority I listed as #1 (but not necessarily the #1 priority) is a priority for this priority. It has been stated that NWI is looking into keeping lobbies together for matchmaking. If that is the case, then servers will most likely be running for quite some time and it would be bad if the general population experiences laggy servers because servers have been online for several hours. Right now, I assume that when you get kicked back to lobby after every game that the server you started on is restarted. In other words, every game is played on a freshly restarted server so you never experience the laggy/hitching servers, but you do experience the tick rate fluctuation.
Mechanical Stuff - Gameplay Related
I think a lot of beginning users or casual users will not notice a lot of things that the "hardcore" players do. And when I say hardcore, I just mean the players who play all the time be it coop, push, firefight, etc.
4. The sway is random and makes the gunplay feel floaty and the aiming frustrating.
There is a lot of random sway in the game that makes aiming feel frustrating/lack luster. Your aim overtime will move far away from your original spot. Insurgency 2014 had sway but the TTK was one shot kill. Sandstorm is usually 2-3 shot kill with almost every gun except for the MK14/SVD/FAL. This means that you need to shoot multiple times at someone so anything messing randomly with your aim can be a frustrating experience.
I have 4000 hours in Insurgency Source and 850 hours in Insurgency Sandstorm. I run out of ammo probably 3-4 times more in Sandstorm compared to Source because the aiming is so RNG that you need to spray a lot against a team of good players (especially in 5v5).
I think that a lot casual users may not notice this, but a lot of hardcore players will. The sway greatly affects your accuracy at far ranges. As you run through the map, your sway increases. As you get shot at, your sway increases. As a nade goes off, your sway increases. The issue with this is that many of the game modes (aside from coop) revolve around running around and going to objectives. This means you are always under this RNG affect on your aim. It's not good. I don't think anyone in their right mind would go "I love how the game randomly affects my aim so I cannot counter it!". You need to play objectives. You need to rotate and move. That's what this game is all about. Having a random element punish you for moving is frustrating.
A lot of the time you are shooting at people from far away or who are barely sticking their head out. Having good aim is important. Vertical recoil is one thing, you can counter that with good mouse control. You can't counter sway unless you crab walk all over and even then, as soon as you get shot at or an explosive goes off near you, you have sway.
list itemI understand suppression and I understand many realism people like suppression. My suggestion is this:
list itemFix the sway algorithm so it is a standard pattern that we can memorize
list itemReduce sway by 50% for stamina drain and suppression
list itemIncrease visual suppression effects making it harder for a player to see on their peripheral
list itemIncrease audio suppression effects making it harder for a player to hear
5. Map design
First let me start off by saying this: the level designers at NWI are some of the nicest people I have ever talked to. They are extremely open to hearing constructive feedback and, while they cannot implement every idea/suggestion, they try their best to implement it as best they can.
I have drawn up a lot of stuff and posted it to NWI in regards to firefight layouts. I'm predominantly a firefight player in Sandstorm (I used to play a TON of push in source, but push in Sandstorm just isn't as good for me - a lot of this is aiming related and map related. I prefer CQC).
One of the best places to post level design feedback is on the Focus forums - https://forums.focus-home.com/category/129/insurgency-general-discussion
You can go to spectate in private/community servers and then take screenshots from above OR you can start a local game, open the admin console (you need to bind this key), freeze the bots, and then go into spectate and take screenshots. I usually draw over my screenshots with a combination of powerpoint and paint because after 16 years online I still can't use PS, AI, etc. lol.
In regards to map design, I miss CQC maps. Ministry is nice. Outskirts is decent. Hideout and Precinct are nice. But, what is really missing is that there is just a bit too much complexity to the maps. Too much rubble, too much clutter, and often times too manyopen lanes. It dilutes the combat. Push is cool because it focuses everyone on an objective. This makes the game feel intense, scary and raw. Coop also focuses you on a single objective. These are the saving graces for Sandstorm. The firefight maps are just a bit too open on the sides and that leads to some watered down gameplay. Too many options can be a bad thing. Skirmish is basically a dead mode now because of how watered down the gameplay is on the open maps. I know some people like it but imagine if things were just a little closer. It would create more chaos and feel so intense. This is a big reason why there are still 1-2k people playing Insurgency source (well... along with the fact source runs on a potato).
I miss Push on District (Ins2014), Embassy (Ins2014), and Market (Ins2014). The recipe for a great Insurgency map is 5-6 main lanes where you're forced to fight along with varied floor levels so you have support positions overlooking certain areas (District, Market, Embassy, Station, Ministry, and Heights).
6. Standing Recoil vs. Crouch Recoil
There is a lot of varied terrain in Sandstorm. Because of this, often times you need to stand to shoot. The Standing recoil vs. crouched recoil is frustrating. It favors someone defending too much, does not promote movement, and has created a crouch fire meta. The game has become a crouch fest in pvp. You're zooming around all over the map, making rotations, capping objectives as soon as you see someone CROUCH FIRE!!! I don't mind crouch recoil being different than standing recoil but right now the difference is too great. I would reduce the gap between crouch recoil and standing recoil by 50%. This would promote movement while still giving an advantage to the defender.
I think Sandstorm is a better game overall than Insurgency 2014 (Source) but is barely missing the mark on a lot. Don't get me wrong... I've been back to Ins2014 many times in the last year. I don't really miss Ins2014 that much. I don't crave to play it. I know some veteran players do but I'm caught in this weird limbo where I'm ready to move onto Sandstorm. I'm ready to crave to play it... and with 850 hours you may say "Well fuck man... what more do you want?" and I'd probably have to agree with ya there haha.
ALL CREDIT GOES TO LINKYPOO
I am just reposting it here so it gets more attention!