The Problem With COOP

Video games have evolved. I am stating the obvious. But how?
In my opinion, the meta behind video games has always been the same; progression. Every game has it.

Campaigns have an clear objective and end point and are more like a 4D movie. They are very immersive and captivating. You find yourself developing emotional connections with the characters and what effects them.
But, they always come to an end, with the exception of DLC's.

On the more competitive side of the spectrum, is PvP. Players competing against eachother for ultimate victory. But the inner workings of this genre can be far more complex then what meets the eye.
There are different play styles, gamemodes, leaderboards, even competitive leagues with cash prizes of millions of dollars.
Daily jobs, grinding exp for cosmetics and upgrades, climbing the ladder of matchmaking to verse better and more skilled players, being able to boast about an achievement that you have completed, and much more make up the insensitive and motivation to devote hours upon hours of time into a game. And this can bring a very, very rewarding feeling.

As the gaming industry advances in technology and innovation, companies start experimenting and creating new ways to play and new experiences for the hundreds of millions of gamers all over the world.

Each genre, PvP and Campaign brings fulfilling experiences to the players and both excel in different areas.
But what happens when you combine these two genres? You delve into the realm of AI and more so, the human physiology of addiction.

Satisfaction is what immediately comes to mind when I think of this. And the game, CoD Zombies.
Communities, you could almost describe them as cults have formed around this game; and for a very good reason.
Having hundreds of mindless computer controlled bots line up in your line of fire only to be mowed down in seconds by OP weapons, like miniguns, laser guns, guns that shoot fully automatic rockets.
Just visualize it! Headshots, blood and gore, thousands of kills all to your name! And also, the unrealistic aspect of this.

Most AI based gamemodes are even far from comprehension in video game realism, let alone real life, and that is what makes them fun, and outright addictive.
The problem with Sandstorms take on AI warfare, is that it is trying to be something that it reallly can't. And that is realistic.
Yes, AI and deep learning are the closest we have come to making a Fully Autonomous Artificial Intelligent being, but it is expensive. And for too expensive for NWI.
If you think about it, AI in video games - with some outstanding exceptions - is reallly just long lines of code with different finite variables. And Sandstorms AI is far from an exception.

What COOP players are asking for is almost impossible. Bots will never have the same immersion or realism as an actual person will.
Getting noscope across the map, wallbanged, instakilled, dsync, inconsistent behavior. It is all superficial and it will never have thw same kind of satisfaction that other styles of games bring.

If the bots are too easy, the game gets stale. Bots are too hard, game is unplayable. There just aren't enough variables to code "AI" the way the Sandstorm COOP community wants them to behave. It is futile.

In retrospect, COOP is a stale gamemode with no insensitive to play, no satisfaction, and really nothing to offer at all.

I have been told/asked, "why can't you just enjoy the game for what it is?" And my answer to that is, The people saying that are the same people complaining about how broken COOP and it isn't what they envisioned, and it never will be. You simply can't enjoy something that does physiologically stimulate the brains thrist for satisfaction and progression. If you think about it, that is what LIFE is, a constant journey with new experiences. And when we stop experiencing new things, we develop a comfort zone.

I am going to leave you with a quote.

"Grass is sometimes greener on the other side because it is fake"

This means that some things that you want aren't always obtainable in the way you wanted them.

Thanks for reading!

Best Regards,
CatNipples

The reason I play COOP is because it helps me get use to the game, not just because of satisfaction. When I first got the original Insurgency I didn’t feel satisfaction when I kept getting killed in PVP. After playing COOP I was performing much better than when I first bought the game. Fixing COOP is not just for COOP players, but are also for inexperienced players. I still play COOP in DOI, INS, and INS:S and it’s a great tool to learn the game.

If you think perfect AI is unattainable you clearly haven't played Day of Infamy.

By the way, NWI made that game.

As for Sandstorm, yeah, total mess of a game. See my previous threads for specifics, I've been very vocal.

https://forums.focus-home.com/topic/37333/comparisons-with-day-of-infamy-and-thoughts-on-how-sandstorm-appears-to-have-failed

last edited by Whitby

@cptns It can be good for that. But it will only do so much, and if you play coop enough, it can potentially do more bad than good. If you want to get better at pvp, play pvp.

@Whitby

The COOP in DOI is probably the best out of the three games, the maps, game modes, and AI made it almost perfect. Hopefully, NWI has seen your post.

@CatNipples

Potentially do more bad than good? How so?

I'm not sure what the point of this is. Are you trying to rationalize why you like PvP more than co-op? Or are you trying to tell co-op players that their preferred game mode is doomed to inferiority?

Personally, I like co-op because I like the experience of everyone on the server playing on the same side against the game itself. It's a unified experience, it's not competitive, and it tends to be less hostile and toxic. There's no "us versus them" mentality, it's only "all of us versus the game." I like cooperative board games for many of the same reasons. Everyone comes together to complete a task, or die trying.

@CatNipples Actually, I think you do not realize a very basic thing, the players in the cooperative mode, it gives us exactly the same, kill an enemy 500 meters away, a shot in the head, we do not care that a enemy kills us with a grenade or an RPG in defense of the last objective, THE ONLY WE ARE LOOKING FOR IS TO HAVE FUN.
And if we win we laugh at those who do not appear in the final merits, and if we lose we laugh equally, and if they kill us in the dumbest way you can imagine, we do not laugh even more, because THE ONLY THING WE LOOK FOR IS TO HAVE FUN.
This is still a game, and the games were created for fun, those who wanted to make them your profession, I think it's fantastic, but many THE ONLY WE LOOK FOR IS TO HAVE FUN.
Some love to be able to change the clothes of the characters, others go crazy to put them together, but most, if not all, THE ONLY WE ARE LOOKING FOR IS TO HAVE FUN.
And we do not break our heads thinking if we are going to play with campers, fraggers or cheats, because we know that bots are.
I invite you to enter our server, any day in the afternoon, from 18:00 Spanish time.
Enter to have fun, and do crazy things, as we do others.
If you want to play tactically, do it too, but expect anything to happen.
Enter to relax for a while, and then you will play PVP.
Surely having played for a while with some brains like us, you realize that not everything is rivalry or competition to see who is the most handsome or pisses further.

This is our IP: 108.61.116.244:27025
Or search for TORO in the server browser

HAVE FUN, that life is already a daughter of a bitch to be serious all day.

I have translated all this with Google, so I hope you understand, because if I translate it with my English, you surely want me to die. 😜

@MAA_Bunny uh, no. I not trying to do either. I am trying to put into perspective why the coop in this game has a big flaw to it. And don't ask what the flaw is because I typed a whole post on it.

Look man, if you enjoy coop, good. Play the same thing over and over and over. Not my problem.

I don't know what you think you are going to accomplish commenting ridiculous questions.

@cptns Because. Playing coop gives you an inaccurate sense of urgency. When playing coop, the situational awareness required is way less. Coop has a more casual state of mind. PvP is way more competitive and requires much more critical thinking. If you play a lot of coop, your outlook on the game is much different and translates very poorly to pvp.

@CatNipples Mate, would you like me to buy you a copy of Day of Infamy? Coop lacks a sense of urgency? Lolwhat?

No, Sandstorm coop lacks pretty much everything because it's a pile of wank with really nice animations.

Coop has the demonstrated potential, as seen in previous NWI games, to be absolutely phenomenal. To directly refer back in the case of urgency, in DoI, you push as a TEAM, you do so IMMEDIATELY, or you lose DECISIVELY.

Completely different gameplay design and the model of how to do it right.

You've around 50/50 chance of winning in PvP. I think my coop winrate on DoI is about 24% (Commando servers with jacked up AI) and last time I played R6 siege I was hovering between gold and platinum.

Your elitism is misplaced in this community, though I'd likely agree with you elsewhere. There are coop players here who're more "hardcore" than most PvP folks. Though admittedly at this point I'm confident few of us are still playing the mess that is Sandstorm.

last edited by Whitby

The problem with coop in-game is best described by differences from earler NWI games as @Whitby describes, though I prefer Ins2 as comparison just because I mostly played pvp when playing doi while in ins2 a lot of pve on custom servers. NWI is also definitely aware of these differences (which makes it a bit futile to report those differences no matter how enthustiastically our moderators say they will forward the "revelations" found by Sandstorm players).

I believe the reason for the problem with coop is that either:
a) Source engine had provided most framework for ai already as NWI was building upon a lot of preexisting code from Half Life when making the Insurgency mod and could use that preexisting code when later releasing Ins 2, similar logic for Doi.

or

b) Some key personel left NWI and took with him the know-hows.

or

c) ai has low priority and will get some love when NWI feels it can prioritize that (the guy who works with ai is probably useful in most of their tasks also unrelated to ai)

d) other reason

Which reason would be speculation on my part, it could be a damn combination as well, on top of the pain of changing engine. Bottomline is that if its a or b, NWI might not bring out the coop they were known for earlier anytime soon.

last edited by Pacalis

@Chory teneis un buen servidor, es cierto. he pasado unos partidos agradables con vosotros y volvere sin la menor duda ..

@bahzooga When you want, here we are to have fun, if the server did not fall so much, it would be better, but ..., it is what there is.
@bahzooga Cuando quieras, aquí estamos para divertirnos, si el servidor no se cayese tanto, sería mejor, pero ..., es lo que hay.

I don't recall anyone asking for anything even remotely outlandish with bots...it's 2019: Unreal Tournament, F.E.A.R., and other FPS games with less budgets know how to develop bots with human-like thought patterns, intra-bot communication, realistic aiming/firing (and you can ask aimbot developers on how they go about doing that to avoid AI and human detection...), etc.

@Pacalis said in The Problem With COOP:

ai has low priority and will get some love when NWI feels it can prioritize that (the guy who works with ai is probably useful in most of their tasks also unrelated to ai)

Because snow maps and night vision are utterly required with the game in the state it currently is...right? Bots will see you in the dark (just like they did in old Insurgency...) if they keep the shit AI the way it is, and who the fk cares about snow maps? They add nothing to the game other than a different color pallet or esthetic....and pray to god they get the particles right or no one is going to play it running at 20 fps...

Truth be told I bet they're going full lazy on AI/CoOp in the hopes that a modder/team does it for them and they can slot it in themselves... don't forget that the game was supposed to have a full campaign, so AI, and it got cut, so they probably didn't know what the fk they were doing with the AI to begin with...

@xDark said in The Problem With COOP:

they probably didn't know what the fk they were doing with the AI to begin with...

Alternative [a] from my last post is a possibility yes, considering how hard it would be for some modder to elevate the game on their own initiative and without payment, I would say NWI would have very low expectations of modders fixing the bots if [a] was the case, but who knows, (any sane modder with those skills should cash in on a business of their own ey, unless NWI throw in some profitable share - After all that's how NWI was started from my understanding).

Snow maps, or just more maps in general is beyond doubt helping a game grow on the pvp side (if balanced and optimized), I agree it does little for coop if the bots are lackluster.

Game does look good though, so if NWI lack the right experience to fix the bots, they could still win market shares and profits in other areas right, and over time maybe spit some cash on fixing bots.

Gotta say its cool what NWI has managed already, its not an easy business they work in, switching engine would in the [a] case throw the earlier a.i. overboard, still it could have been a good choice as Valve might have taken a larger share than what NWI was comfortable with.

last edited by Pacalis