First of all, credit where credit is due: compared to the last time that I played, the improvements made to the game by the devs have been plentyful and I am absolutetly amazed how much they have improved things in this extremely short time frame! I know how ridiculously hard gamedev is, and I would have thought it to be impossible, to improve the game so much in such a short timeframe! Kudos to the devteam, I'm very impressed by what you pulled off here! And I feel like you are actually listening and quite a few of the things that I criticized have been greatly improved! In terms of movement and aiming behaviour you have taken great strides in making old Insurgency veterans (I have over 500 h in the old one) feel at home again. It no longer feels like a Squad clone to me, that is a huge improvement!
Right now, the single biggest complaint that I have with the game is the very very high time to kill. I have played a fair number of shooters and old Insurgency always stood out as having both tight controls, impactful satisfying gunplay, and super high combat lethality. It made you feel absolutely badass when things went right, and when they didn't... you often didn't even see it coming.
It used to be that when I see an enemy before they see me, I shot them and they dropped dead. In Sandstorm so often I see and hear that I have hit them, but they turn around and land a lucky headshot with their spray and pray counterattack and kill me. It used to be in Insurgency 2 that every weapon felt powerful and usable - pistol-only-play was a viable option in pvp - and now I feel I have to pick the highest caliber gun, and even then I need waaaay too many hits to kill an enemy.
In the steam forum I was advised to just aim for headshots, but I would argue that for that to be the winning strategy, the weapons would all need to have way less sway and spread. CS:GO is a game that very much relies on players being able to make headshots, but it also has a way more precise and quick aiming system. Consider where in the gaming landscape Insurgency fits in, what do various shooters stand for? I want Sandstorm to be the game that Insurgency was: the only game with super low TTK that doesn't rely on headshots, provides gunplay that feels like every weapon is powerful and viable, and gameplay that rewards people with quick reflexes or good strategies more than players who exceed at recoil compensation and staying on target while full-auto firing, forcing 2v1 encounters through teamplay, or headshot precision. In some ways the skill ceiling of Insurgency was higher than in games like COD, but in others it actually was lower. It hat its very distinct identity, it felt like no other Shooter out there (and still does).
As a player I'm having much more fun when encounters where I land a good flank allow me to really capitalize on it, and on the receiving end when someone else flanks me, I'd be fine with just dropping dead at the first shot if they have good aim. It's unambiguous, either you did everything right or one thing wrong and you're dead. It keeps you on your toes and allows players to have a much greater number of "holy shit, did you see what I just did???"-moments, than is possible in any high-TTK game.
If I go around a corner in Sandstorm and see 3 guys standing there, now it's basically a given that I'm dead if I engage. It used to be that I could just drop 3 guys with 3 hits, I want those days back.
I've read that you want to get rid of the AP ammo system because "you had to have it". And I agree, that was kinda dumb - a non-choice basically. But the answer isn't that TTK gets higher, the TTK without AP must now be at least as high as it used to be in old Insurgency with AP ammo. Personally I would just get rid of armor too. Imho it made Day of Infamy a very satisfying experience back when I played it (shortly after realease, in case you've rebalanced it at some point). Or if you absolutely want to keep it, make armor help more against explosions and less against projectiles. I would generally find the choice between an anti shrapnell or anti projectile type of armor more interesting than the choice between light and heavy.
Right now, I find most matches frustrating, because of the amount of times that I hit people first and they don't die, even if I end up on the winning team and with a good K/D stat. The high-TTK gameplay is fundamentally frustrating to me. I think this is right now the biggest obstacle that will prevent Insurgency veterans from loving Sandstorm the same way they loved the previous game.
Consider it from a marketing perspective: you'll want your game to stand for something and have a clearly defined identity of its own in the minds of the players. Old Insurgency had this, Sandstorm is still too close to Battlefield in my humble opinion.
I understand very well that there may be considerations at play for rebalancing the game so that it "works" on console where everyone plays with gamepads. I see it very clearly in all mainstream AAA games like The Division, that to accomodate console gamers they gravitate towards higher TTK and full-auto weapons with just enough spread to give you good chances to land hits even if you can't aim as well as with a mouse. I suggest if you want to make balancing decisions to accomodate consoles, do it in a separate fork of the game. It is likely impossible to balance it so that both console gamers and PC gamers have the most possible fun. I think the key lies in making the PC version super hardcore low TTK (if I had my way, 1 shot kills from every weapon at any range, possibly with slightly reduced respawn delays to get you back out there quicker), and the console version as hardcore as still makes sense in that ecosystem. You have so little competition there, I think it will be much easier for Sandstorm to be recoginzed as its own brand of gameplay among the CODs and BFs.
If AP ammo gets reintroduced later, you'll just be back at the point where you feel "you gotta have it". If you want it to be the risk/reward decision for players to do a gamble on whether they might encounter enemies with AP/armor, like it was in old Insurgency, I could kind of understand and live with that, but as it is right now, I think the gameplay is flat out worse than it used to be, and could very easily be greatly improved by buffing all weapons and lowering the TTK.
I remain hopeful to see some improvements to this in future updates.
And let me close with something positive: I love the new local play mode that is designed for solo play! With some more maps added in the future, I think this alone can justify a purchase of the game. Very well done and much appreciated! Thanks for all your hard work, the passion you're putting into this really shows!
The devs pretty much confirmed yesterday on stream they are "happy" with the current TTK.
Thanks for the info...
I am very sad to hear this. It means I will likely refund the game at the end of beta. This is not the gameplay that I signed up for. I'm having much more fun with the old INS2 right now, so if Sandstorm stays as it is in regards to TTK, it's not the right game for me.
Hope at least all you (ex)Battlefield players enjoy the game!
Imho it's a step in the right direction. The next step would be to make all guns 1 hit kill on unarmored targets, to make the armor meaningful again. I think that would be a good compromise where you don't feel like you have to have armor to compete, because it's still pretty weak, but at least there are some situations where you might be happy if you bought the armor (namely all the time between the first hit you take and the next hit you take, because that's what you'd get in return for buying a vest).
I've played a few rounds now without armor, and I have had more than one engagement where I took a hit and then killed the attacker. Once that even was a situation where I was unaware of the other player. He snuck up on me with a pistol, shot at me and hit me once, and I turned around and killed him. If I had been wearing armor, ok. But without armor I think this is bad, and I'm sure the guy that I shot would agree. After all he had every advantage on his side. He made no tactical mistake, his aim just wasn't good enough to "out-dps-me". I think he was even wearing armor, but I didn't stop to check fo sure. Might have been a carrier vest.
Imho the only thing that could suite a broad playerbase are bots that are tweakable on more than one axis. E.g. inaccurate and slow but very smart bots to teach noobs to cover their flanks and gain some situational awareness, accurate aggressive bots that rush to give pros some aiming practice, or all cranked to max for the top 1% to still have a suitable challenge. Loadouts of the bots (armor etc.) should also be tweakable for a sort of damage scaling.
There is one more thing that I noticed while playing the local play mode against bots and trying out different pistols. In a game like this I need to know the number of hits that will definitely kill an enemy, because certain cqb situations against multiple opponents require you to react so fast, that you don't have the time to wait and see if you actually dropped the dude or not, you need to be able to double tap, and switch to the next target with the confidence that the first one is taken care of. I noticed once that I had done that out of habbit, but the enemy wasn't dead yet, in spite of 2 center of mass hits at less than 5 meter distance.
It also factors into my strategy how many bullets I have left in the mag and how many enemies I think I can still reliably take down with that. I think with an m1911 with a 7 shot mag I should be able to drop 3 dudes without reloading (and without requiring headshots).
I would like pistols to have more reserve mags, especially the low ammo cap ones. Right now they are worse value for the supply points than almost any rifle I feel. It would be fine if ammo count would factor into the number of spare mags you get, to balance out that e.g. the Glock already has double the ammo that an m1911 has.
On the plus side I appreciate the lowered recoil on the m1911, which makes the gun much more viable than in Insurgency 2, where imho it had so much recoil it was too hard to land a followup shot, and too weak to do reliable 1-shot kills. I would be fine with raising recoil on all weapons again, if you feel that is the price we must pay for 1-shot kills and we get buffed weapons back. It made for a powerful feeling gunplay in Insurgency 2. Iirc that was one of the things that a popular reviewer mentioned as a key strength of the game, and certainly was one of the things that drove me to try it for myself. There are not many other shooters that have as much recoil as Insurgency 2, I think that's a distinguishing characteristic that is worth leaning into a little more, if you feel like you need to counterbalance buffed weapons. It is one factor that contributes to guns feeling weaker than before, however I don't mind the current recoil on its own.
When friends of your playerbase ask "So how is Sandstorm like?" you don't want them saying "It's pretty much like Battlefield but with more sand", you want them to say something more intriguing like e.g. "It's totally different than all the CODs and BFs that you've played, you've never seen a shooter with such powerful gunplay! Everything kills with 1 or 2 hits and they kick like crazy on full auto!". I would much rather try out something presented as the later.
I wanted (1) with some quality of life improvements like loadout preset save slots, and I'm quite unhappy with how Sandstorm turned out gameplay-wise.
Also "realistic" is possibly the worst word to describe anything games-related. 9/10 time the better term to use is "immersive".
I just submitted a refund. It's quite clear the developers are trying to expand their audiences instead of focusing on their original formula and since it's already in Beta stage, I'm quite sure that this issue is not going to be changed. It's clearly not for my taste.
No one gets as sick of a game as its developers, that's just normal. I'm sure they have all the best intentions for every change they made and I hope on some of them they will still change their mind. I recommend you check back in a year or so. Till then it's probably clear in what direction it will go. I remain hopeful.
I am playing Insurgency now. The "old" one. Honest question. Which game do you enjoy playing the most?
Old one for PVP, new one for solo PVE. Haven't played much coop on either.
Feels so right, smooth, light and precise. Not much to piss you off except a bad day
I have 40 hours in Sandstorm now, and 639 hours INS:2. After I play Sandstorm I'm usually in a bad mood and I'm starting to wonder if the game shot itself in the knee and is - based on the available maps and mechanics - "frustrating by design" now? I only play skirmish currently and I always tried to blow up caches and had a lot of fun with that in the old game. The lanes in the old maps were designed so that you usually had to push through a lot of enemies till you got to the cache. There was often some kind of defense for it, even if the team didn't have any dedicated people to defend it. Now on some maps you can run to the fuel truck without even meeting anyone most of the time, because the maps are so huge. Flanking used to be a thrilling high risk move, and now it's much less interesting because the teams are so spread out over the maps. And on crossing, the damn trucks are placed in plain sight just waiting for a single RPG shot from next to C to take it out. That isn't fun, a moment of interesting challenge was removed and replaced with something that feels like pure cheesing.
The RPGs used to be high-risk-high-reward weapons that are inaccurate as fuck (I often couldn't even reliably fire them through a doorway or window at a distance), but if they hit, they cleared the fucking room like a boss. Now that we have all that helicopter crap they need to be laser-precise to give a fair chance of hitting the damn things and because they are so precise they also are perfect for blowing up trucks (boooring) and got nerfed hard against infantry. Another high-risk-high reward strategy becomes less interesting.
Then all the fire-support stuff. These are fun for 1 person at most, and even if I was the commander I'd feel bad calling in "easy kill support" because there is no challenge and no reason to feel good about yourself for using it. The team that caps the empty objective will feel bored because there's not much to shoot left, and all the people that died by the fire support will be super pissed too. For a rifle kill at least one player gets to have some fun at the expense of someone else being pissed off. I feel like the "net fun to be had in the game" was severely reduced. I'd limit them to smoke artillery only. The only thing the other stuff adds to the game are explosions to be shown in trailers and I feel like that was the main reason to add them in the first place...
I'm guessing microtransactions were mandated by the publisher, now all that cosmetic shit won't go anywhere ever, and the new meta is conceiling yourself in the environment buy using stuff that camouflages you, as if the lighting and cluttered visuals in the game weren't making it hard enough to spot people already. I have been shot numerous times by people that I have looked straight at and decided "that's some piece of rubble and belongs to the map" and boom, a muzzleflash appears and I'm dead. I'm using some kind of desert camo too and my K/D as security on the stats screen is much better than the one for playing Insurgents. And that's despite me always having preferred the AKM as a weapon in INS2...
The maps feel like zero effort has been put into blocking off points that are overpowered exploits for camping in super hard to see spots.
Overall the maps all feel way too "open and hard to conceptualize". It's mostly a clusterfuck of different buildings, often separated by too wide and open areas that invite the conceal-and-camp strategy. I miss the chokepoints that concentrated action. I feel like the percentage of duels compared to group engagements has been shifted a lot towards more 1v1 engagements happening. And because everything is so far apart it's soooo boring to run anywhere. Compared to the old game I feel like I'm spending much more time doing boring stuff and getting shot from behind, compared to being right in the action and winning/losing engagements. When you get shot from behind, it wasn't even a fight from your perspective. In the old game most of the time when I got shot I thought "ok, that guy was quicker or better", because the visuals were clearer and there were much clearer ways from where enemies could come (think of e.g. Ministry), here I feel like the map design is fucking you left and right...
Regarding aim, I can't put my finger on the reasons but it feels much harder to aim to me. Not the recoil, just aiming that first shot. I have mouse smoothing off, vsync off, fps usually higher than my monitor can handle, still feels like there is some kind of lag in the mouse movement. Does anyone else feel that way? The pro players maybe? I'm making so many hipfire kills like in almost no other FPS, something about that feels wrong. Overall shooting feels less satisfying to me in Sandstorm than in INS2.
My bottom-line thought for Sandstorm is "where has all the fun gone?". Because even if I have a good round with high KD, most kills, most objectives and top of the scoreboard, I feel like I've had less fun than in some INS2 matches that I lost.
I like the doors though... the doors are fun!
Look, if you love the game, more power to you! I wish I'd be happy with this game more than you can imagine, because all the other multiplayer shooters are unappealing to me. But right now the game feels so fundamentally flawed to me in ways that I don't expect to ever get fixed, because they are core design choices that you maybe can't even undo in a matter of a few months.
What I would like to hear is the point of view of someone who loved INS2 and thinks they are having even more fun in Sandstorm, and explain to me why exactly - what do you find more fun in Sandstorm? I'm sure there is someone, riiight? I feel like I don't "get" this game if you know what I mean, and it is frustrating.
I plan to play some more of the old INS2 till the next Sandstorm patch hits, to make sure I'm not just wearing rose-tinted-nostalgia-goggles in regards to INS2, but I doubt it. I would never play over 600 hours of a game that I don't absolutely love and I just don't see myself playing anywhere close to that amount of Sandstorm.
(if possible no TTK discussion please, I've left it out of my list because it has been done to death)
What style do you prefer Insurgency players?
The one where everyone can choose their own preference. This is purely a matter of taste with no right and wrong. One player might even like to switch it up regularly to keep it feeling fresh. I would like if there was an easy non-modding way to feed your own color grading LUTs into the game and have the devs provide a neutral one that can be used in tools like Photoshop, Speedgrade or Blender to author custom color grading LUTs that then can easily be shared in the community without needing to know anything about the UE4 modding toolchain.
I've used the local play mode with deactivated AI to try out how many hits on what location it takes and I've found that if I aim at the chest of an unarmored bot a pistol kills with 2 hits, but if I aim it so that I would hit the heart, but the arm of the bot is in the way, then it will take 3 hits. I think that is a bug, it should scan like 1 meter deep past the point of impact to see if there is another bodypart and then it should count as 1 hit, using the damage multiplier of the more vulnerable body part. It seemed to me, that for leg, hits where another leg is past the first one, it sometimes counts like 2 leg hits, but I didn't test that extensively. I think it would be best to always count 1 bullet for 1 hit, and take the most vulnerable bodypart on the line of trajectory to calculate damage. Arms (or weapons) blocking bullets only makes the damage-model/hitreg in a game feel inconsistent and frustrating, I think that really should be avoided.
Also I think an AKM hit to the chest without armor should be a 1-hit kill, but it seems to be a consistent 2 hit kill, which I find immersion breaking and not-fun. Leg damage multiplier could be higher as well imho. FAL/EBR on legs without AP ammo used to be 1-hit kills, AKM now needs 3 and pistol 4 iirc (didn't test legs too much). If armor is supposed to mean something in the game, imho the legs need to be one of the vulnerable zones, not "armored by default".
Literally nothing of that gets removed with a higher TTK. Just raises the skill ceiling. Apparently people playing ins2 like easy games.
You do realize the more skilled players get aiming-wise, the less aiming matters? That's literally how it works. Nothing you mentioned gets devalued.
We'll have to agree to disagree then. My fun, K/D, and winrate between INS2014 and literally every other multiplayer shooter is a night and day difference. TTK is the deciding factor and the only relevant difference between INS2014 and other shooters for me. I say you are wrong, and I don't understand why you argue so persistently for changes in a game, whose predecessor you according to your own statements never played for a long amount of time? I'm certain you'll understand my persistent arguing because INS2014 was the only multiplayer shooter that I liked, and if they change the balance, and the INS2014 community dies out/moves on there is no multiplayer shooter that I like on the market anymore. You could still play a considerable amount of multiplayer shooters with higher ttk and higher skill ceiling in the aiming mechanics. Why do you want Insurgency to change? Where does your investment come from? I have over 500 hours in the old game, which makes it my most played game by far. Iirc you said you played ~20 hours and moved on, so why do you even care su much? I don't understand you.
The developers have 2 choices =
Make this game "Teamwork + Map Strategy" focused Game => People who wanted "Solo Roaming + Aiming Skill" will move over to Call of Duty.
Make this game "Solo Roaming + Aiming Skill" focused Game => People who wanted "Teamwork + Map Strategy" will move over to Arma.
I'm in the "lower ttk is better" camp, but I still greatly prefer solo roaming and would rather trust myself than any teammates to cover my ass. So I don't think that generalization about lone wolf players holds up.
I've just had a wonderful flank where I snuck into an objective where 2 enemies where aiming out the windows and I could kill one and kill the other while he was trying to jump out the window into cover. If ttk had been longer, he might even have been able to turn around and headshot me with a lucky spray. I think the lower ttk is more about making offensive moves more rewarding and reducing the moments where you get shot at and feel like you might have lived if you had reacted just that tiny bit faster or better. I'd rather just drop dead instantly when someone got a drop on me if that means that my flanks are are also more successful.
Overall I'm quite happy with the progress this game is making, I'm starting to feel like I'm playing Insurgency again!
I think the next big thing after ttk might be discussing visibility issues. With everything being so busy with detail and low contrast in the shadow areas, I think that concealing yourself successfully in the environment and exploiting the appearance customization will play a huge role as soon as more people have figured out how much of a difference that can make. I don't really care either way, I love stealth games and I love run and gun games where I can see my enemies clearly, so I'm fine either way. But I could see this becoming a meta that many won't appreciate.
He made no tactical mistake, his aim just wasn't good enough to "out-dps-me".
....and you literally want to not punish bad aim?
Why do people want an easy game? I don't get it.
Yes, I've explained before why I want that particular skill ceiling among several skill ceilings in the game lowered, I won't do it again. It was in my long post that got ~30 upvotes, first page in the locked ttk thread. It's about Insurgency maintaining its identity and setting itself apart from all the other shooters. If you don't agree that's fine.
Well, I don't think a game that tries to be competitive should cater to those groups. People in here often are quite quick to say "bla bla this is casual COD".... in the end i think this game as casual af atm. I never played CoD and if its even more casual, fine...but rn ins:s is a casual game and the problem is: there are better casual games. If this truly wants to be a "hardcore" FPS it needs a higher skill ceiling. For me this isn't a hardcore FPS. Name it what you want. It's a casual camp fest. People spray you down with freaking Uzis at long range thanks to the low TTK. This is ridiculous. At least in comp the game is VASTLY more enjoyable.
(btw: i don't consider myself a good FPS player. Slightly above average. I'm just LEM in CSGO and i get rekt 100-0 in games like CPMA/Reflex... but i play ins:s and i feel like a god most of the time. And KNOWING i'm not a good FPS player... this is a bad sign to me)
Nah, don't sell yourself short mate, if you are Legendary Eagle Master then according to these stats ( https://www.esportstales.com/csgo/rank-distribution-and-percentage-of-players & https://csgo-stats.com/ranks ) you are at least in the top 5 to 10% of CS:GO players, and I always felt that as a whole that community has better aim than the one of Insurgency2014. So I wouldn't be surprised if you are top 3 to 5% or something in the Insurgency community in regards to aim. Stuff like Quake style arena shooters is designed to not make for "close matches". The other player doesn't need to be a lot better than you to beat you 100:0 and you don't need to be that much better than someone else to win 100:0 against them. You make the first kill, and the rest is resource control. You said yourself that highlevel play there is mostly strategy. At a LAN party I've once won a Q3 1v1 match playing without a mouse - keyboard only - against a guy that would absolutely crush me every time we played half-life 1 deathmatch.
You are going from a game that has ranked matchmaking (cs:go) to one that just throws people onto servers at random, of course you are gonna feel like Neo in the Matrix. That's both a blessing and a curse. I like it because it means I have mostly good matches as well and consistently place well on the scoreboard and can "feel" where I am on an absolute scale instead of always averaging out at ~1:1 kd and ~50% winrate, but it also means that team balance can be waaay off. I would argue that lowering the aiming skill ceiling is good to mitigate the issues that come from non-ranked play a little. Your clip of the low aim-skill dude hitting you and then getting head shotted by you is the perfect example. With lower TTK you had been dead. Higher bodyshot TTK with instakill headshots amplifies the skill-gap issues that come from unranked server-based play. The requirements of comp play and just-for-fun unranked play are sometimes opposed imho. Contrary to the comp players, I don't agree that good balancing for comp automatically is good balancing for fun on unranked servers. I would agree with you that INS2014 and INS:SS both are pretty casual. I never was into the milsim stuff like Arma or Squad. I think Insurgency got popular because it hit the sweetspot of "the most hardcore fps that casual players still can enjoy". I am fairly convinced that the winning strategy for the devs is to make a game that is fun for the casual crowd and ignore comp. Just like COD:MW2 is for many the most fondly remembered COD mp, but also widely agreed to be the one with the most broken balancing and exploitable unbalanced map-design.
Of course the devs can choose their focus as they want! I have worked on gamedev stuff and other creative endeavors, I have all the sympathy in the world for their role, if they want to make the best comp game that they can, then more power to them and I hope they succeed, but I might not be playing it. I think CS:GO is great for comp and to be honest I really doubt that INS:SS will ever get even close.
Good points. Imho one of the most fun (2 player) coop modes I've seen so far was the wave based survival mode in COD:MW3 because you moved around more based on your own strategy instead of objective markers. It felt like there was more agency and meaning in where you set up defenses, how you kite enemies through the area etc.. Now I don't say "clone this" because it wouldn't work, I'm saying look at what was fun there and see how Sandstorms Coop could be made more fun. I too feel it gets boring too quickly and usually doesn't create any kind of dynamic battle where the environment really matters. Feels very "artificial" for lack of a better word.