As far I understand the principles of cooperative gameplay when it comes to shooters striving for authenticity, I've come to realise Insurgency: Sandstorm has a big problem with this game mode; despite how fun it is for me and my friends, it is also incredibly frustrating at times. Allow me explain.
The inherent idea behind coop is to finish the mission successfuly, as a unit, completing objectives as per mission plan. The problem comes when we add a scoring system to the mix, that as-is introduces competition on the individual level.
By doing this, you're essentially clashing cooperative objectives (completing the mission, getting KIA as seldom as possible, helping one another, working as a unit, etc) with individually competitive objectives (scoring the most points, getting the most kills, completing the most objectives, etc).
As we use our lizard brains for twitch shooting, we tend to subconciously lean towards competition within the team. The results of this in the Coop mode range from hilarious to outright enraging:
- team killing by throwing frags, incendiaries and molotovs at weapon caches to blow them up, while another team member is planting a bomb, just to score the points;
- not assisting your squad when taking down objectives, by just going for the kills, just to score the points;
- run and gun behaviour, where team position and status is ignored in favour of going for the next objective and some kills solo; again, just to score the points;
There are more examples I could come up, but instead of just pointing out the issue, I'd like to suggest a potential solution: rework the scoring system for coop.
Coop Scoring System
- Completing "capture" objective: 50pts for all team members (100pts for those in the objective area)
- Completing "destroy" objective: 50pts for all team members (100pts for those in the objective area)
- Competing "defend" objective: 50pts for all team members (100pts for those in the objective area)
- Enemy takedown: 10pts
- Enemy takedown assist: 5pts (regardless of damage inflicted)
- Players stop competing for individual objectives
- Players get equal share of points
- Players are rewarded for sticking together and team work, taking down enemies
- Players can enjoy an improved coop experience
Thoughts? Potential caveats with this approach? Something I missed? Feel free to share your feedback.
I hope admins can take notice and pass this suggestion to the team to consider and improve upon (by adding more coop-only features/scoring examples, perhaps?).