Aside from the insanely accurate molotov throws against moving targets, there's still some issues with the bots that I rarely see anyone discussing.
It's cool to see this mechanic crossing over from DOI,
It makes close enounters and sneaky assasinations really fun but the reason this wasn't a problem in DOI is that enemies usually bashed you up front in the torso area giving you a chance you punch or shoot them back and it felt nicely balanced.
With the new weapon drawing mechanic in sandstorm, an enemy bot can rush you, force your rifle down (which completely disables you from firing and unless you're using a pistol or anything shorter than the MP5) and instantly bash your head area resulting in an instant death with no time to counter bash or retaliate ( In most instances your weapon will face down but the bot doesnt seem to have that weapon draw feature applied to it so he can still force his mosin into your chest and kill you with ease)
Now suggestions to fix this would be to:
Either disable the weapon draw effect for both players and AI or apply it to AI the same way it affects players.
completely stop AI from head bashing in frontal head-on encounters and only do torso hits which already do plenty of damage
Make AI pull back when they bump into an enemy up close and or equip their melee weapon behind cover like they did in INS2 instead of ALWAYS charging the players
Nerf Head bashes by bots to inflict slightly more damage than chest hits rather than instant kills to fully healthy players.
They are meant to block off long routes and of course pick people off from afar.
But in Sandstorm they are probably the most effective close-quarters combatants you will ever have to face off in higher difficulties even more so than breachers with shotguns and SMG's
Many times I've seen the last man standing get "quickscoped" by a rushing sniper, I've seen an Insurgent clear out all remaining security defending an objective with an SVD in one mag and no missed shots.(Wish i could record the hundreds of times this sort of thing happens but the capture software I use right now is being a pain in the ass) and Ive seen a good number of complaints from people I play coop with the most common one being: "fuckin mosins man, GAHH!"
Suggestions for a fix:
Make marksmen only appear when the player team is attacking an objective
Make them less accurate in close quarters (obviously) to allow for more consistent miss-fires
Make them Equip their secondary when approaching an interior or objective building
this is really not that significant of a problem in the COOP community but it does feel a little unbalanced,
This game suffers the same wall-bang inconsistencies as the AI in Rainbow Six: Siege (which is a pretty low bar considering ins/doi games have AI leagues superior to R6 AI) both will fire in perfect straight line in the direction they saw a player moving to which is a bad practice because:
It does not reflect player behavior
simply moving in the other direction or changing stances and shooting back is the only counter measure making this very ineffective for bots as they only pose a threat to closest player they see to round a corner
make them hip fire at the wall or aim in a more erratic pattern so they may more likely pose a threat to other players in the room or floor and it depicts player behaviors quite accurately lol
Overall Checkpoint Behavior
When I saw early footage of the coop mode, I was very happy to see bots holing up inside of objectives and taking cover behind debris and furniture and watching doorways which in the final product brings some of the most exciting moments in COOP,
IMO this needs to be exercised more often, Some of the buildings and areas between objectives look very fun to assault especially on maps like summit and crossing.
In DOI most of the map was utilized with bots getting into defensive positions in each building covering most flanks and routes, this way all players have opportunity to be in combat no matter which route they take.
In Sandstorm If you don't rush or constantly push on the objective you won't see much action and you'll end up with a boring and uneventful match with very little kills and OBJ contribution unless you play on the "tactical/Milsim" or Hardcore Checkpoint servers.
My suggestions to improve the overall experience of casual Checkpoint:
- have a small group of the enemies you meet between objectives populate the larger buildings with a few firing from the windows
- Take the Extreme route and have most enemies populate all open buildings and take more defensive positions to make Checkpoint feel more like a full fledged siege. (possibly you could save this for a seperate game mode)
I know its very expensive and Tedious to improve AI/Coop modes but this game probably had the most enjoyable and most advanced COOP/AI mode I have ever seen in an FPS and It has very great potential but these issues continue to undermine everything and creates very negative and rage-inducing moments for players. I really hope NWI one day decides to atleast address these issues.