I think there are a few ways to make this better:
- Randomize points and switch between cache/capture each playthrough
- Increase number of bots, but have them spawn further back so that we can't just run into the points
- Instead of a 5 minute timer to cap point, have a 10 minute timer with bot waves spawned in every few minutes.
- Have bots set up actual defenses, where one machinegunner will lock down a lane with riflemen covering his flanks. Right now, they all just stand up and run around like idiots until they get an instant headshot on me.
- Allow players to go back to last objective/spawn to be able to respawn dead teammates. Only allow once per objective, and call in extra enemy reinforcements to create a penalty for needing the respawn.
The way I handled this in the Source version was to increase the amount of points given based on certain actions.
If a kill was suppressed or assisted by another player, each received double points.
On a capture, every tick was given a multiplier based on how many players were on point, up to 100% bonus if at least 80% of the remaining living players were on point.
For demolition, all players received the same amount of points regardless of who blew it up.
I wasn't able to account for things like overwatch and defense, because I sort of gave up on the mod given that player behavior was already baked from playing on non-modified servers. But I think that structuring point rewards to encourage team coordination is a good start, and focusing on that should give us some better incentives to make players want to work as a unit.
I see both sides here.
Honestly I'm pretty peeved too, back during the Ins 2014 and DoI days, people in the community asked for stuff and we usually got it, or at least got an explanation of why it wouldn't be done.
NWI was really good about communicating their plans, and while a lot of the updates were game-breaking, the hotfixes came shortly after and usually ended up being a net positive for the games.
Now, we have had a lot less community engagement, most of it entails people saying "we'll pass the feedback on", and even the latest update with "hardcore checkpoint" is implemented in a way that literally nobody asked for.
It's hard to stay positive and not grouse, when we're not being treated with respect, especially when we're doing our best to give actionable feedback that can improve the game.
I still think it's best to continue to suggest things and stay positive, but I can't really fault players for being frustrated, especially since the latest communications do indeed seem to imply that we're getting maps and weapon skins as the extent of mod support.
So, I've played a couple hours on the CTE, and I'm liking a lot of the new changes. I've got a couple items that I wanted to address and/or call attention to.
As a radio operator, I can be inside radio distance to my commander, and not see his icon. I have to be nearly on top of him to see it.
It's not a huge deal when playing other classes, but I think it should be a little less drastic of a change here. Either make the commander visible at longer distances to observer, or maybe have it so once a player identifies a friendly, they see that icon until the other player is out of line of sight?
In real life, I can see my friend and know who he is based on a lot of visual and audio clues that the game lacks, so the removal of the HUD here doesn't add challenge as much as add confusion to a situation where we should be encouraging better teamplay.
I just don't like this, for a lot of reasons. I think the limited gear until resupply is actually a good idea, but the way it's currently done makes it a chore.
- If I join a game in progress, or I don't pick my loadout before the first spawn, then my very first spawn in game has no kit. This is bad, and should be pretty non-controversial to fix.
- As security, with the limited icons and number of enemies, I had a couple times where I shot a friendly rounding a corner because I saw the insurgent weapon and reflexively expected an insurgent to be holding it. At least giving security an M24 might help with this, but even better would be...
- The respawn kit should either be the default loadout for that class, or just an AKM/M16 and a couple mags. I like the idea that there's an additional long-term cost to dying, but especially for the gunner and demolitions class, that death also has a huge cost to the rest of the team in overall combat effectiveness. Even just spawning with limited ammo, no armor, or other less drastic but persistent debuffs would make this a lot better at adding difficulty without annoyance.
Bot counts and positioning
This is pretty good, I played about ten games and everyone seemed to agree that the number of bots, and their initial positioning, was good. I've still seen a lot of conga lines of bots running into the beaten path of my M249 getting stacked like cordwood though, and while some bots break contact and flank, a lot are still just state flipping between laser beam and brain damaged.
I think I'd rather see the number of roles reduced, than to just have 1 player for each slot. I think that it would be nice to have 1 commander, 2 observer, 2 gunner, 2 demo, and 1 marksman/advisor. The lack of resupply coupled with increased enemy presence means that we need to have more firepower to make it through, so having the ability to double machine guns and explosives would make that a lot more fair. Especially on the long range maps, we don't need to have dedicated CQC guys, and the importance of support means we really should have an extra radio man.
There should be additional places on the map to grab magazines, or limit equipment so that magazines can be easily shared among squad mates. I've played several matches through with 40+ kills and 0 deaths, and I run out of demo after one point and spend the rest of the map thirsting for a dang resupply. This could also be offset by giving grenadiers 12 rounds for the 40mm, or having all members of the squad carry a box of ammo for the machine gun. Making this harder on people who die is reasonable, making it an experience where the player has to ration ammo on weapons that should be firing to protect the team isn't as much.
nope, it's pretty good actually
I think that rather than doing another contrived "Elite" mode like the last game, which just exacerbated the worst qualities of the AI, there should be 1 or 2 officially sanctioned modified rulesets for greater challenge.
For example, the old game had bots that required more shots, disabled HUD, and made the aimbot even more extreme, which I think was the wrong tack.
I'd rather see things like bots taking cover more often, bots engaging and then breaking off to keep harassing the players, and better coordination between AI fireteams to fix and destroy teams that can't stick together.
The challenge should be a natural increase in difficulty, that exposes easy to understand mechanics that players can play around, rather than just increasing the chance of a random cross-map headshot.
Things like giving the bots more explosives, having devices planted on point that need to be disabled, using the vehicles to drop an AI fire team behind the players quickly, all could be accounted for and skills developed to deal with them.
The biggest takeaway here is that when one loses, the player should think "I could have done X" to have avoided death, rather than "oh some random number generator just decided I should die".
If the challenge comes with an attendant lesson for the player to take away so that they don't get caught by the same mistake if they learn it, it's a lot more positive for the player than just losing more arbitrarily.
I'm honestly happier without the option.
My opinion has always been that there is a huge amount of customization that doesn't really offer players choice.
AP ammo was always better, so there was never a reason to use anything else.
If the customization doesn't offer any significant differences, or one is so overpowered that it becomes meta, then it stops being an option and becomes another thing one has to click when setting up loadouts.
I'm having a couple issues in coop that I think we can address easily, with practically no downside compared to the way these things are now.
Wait until everyone is loaded in and has a loadout screen. Wait 20 seconds, then spawn everyone.
Spawn in all players on first point as soon as they're ready, even if they miss the wave. There is no reason to punish players for slow network or complex loadout management.
The whole "ride in the truck" gimmick just wastes 12 seconds of my time. I don't like it.
XP for losing is basically a quarter of winning, even if I'm 140:3 with 16 objectives. Why should I finish a game if I'm losing XP, when leaving and finding a new match is almost guaranteed to be a better option?
Running ahead and capping/blowing objectives like a lone wolf is a problem. I've already posted myriad ways to make this better.
Parties should be able to stick together at the end of the match and continue queuing together.
Voice chat needs to show player name. In real life, I know the names and voices of my squad mates, and can see them talking. In game has no such cues.
Also voice should be full map and loud. The radio mechanic from DoI isn't a good fit here.
Counter-attack should never "re-capture" the point, I end up C9'ing so often because I need to retreat and reload. Make it contest, and require clearing it.
Final point should have some sort of respawn in support for dead teammates. I've had matches where ten seconds into a 3:00 counter, an IED guy kills three teammates. Be nice if they could respawn at 2:00 or 1:00 so they could help relieve us.
I was talking about the upcoming release and reset on a stream recently, and we realized the experience reset is going to cause a problem I've not heard mentioned yet.
I don't care about having any sort of carry over for cosmetics sake, but we need to have a way to show who has experience from the beta, versus new players.
As an example, if we all are level 1, it's hard to tell what player knows the maps and mechanics well enough to follow.
So, that player can explain himself on voice comms, but there's no way for new players to be able to see who might have an idea what to do, versus the mass of new post-release players who just started at the same time.
Maybe some sort of "brevet" rank or something just to show "this person was in alpha/beta" during the first months of release, so that we can have a better idea who knows the game and which players may need more guidance?
Bots need to slow down, suppress more, react to you killing their teammates, and have less wallhack/aimbot powers. I'm tired of getting killed by a bot tracking me through the wall, it's absurd.
If a knife kill isn't instant, a door shouldn't be either.
Or, add a tiny melee door as an unlockable 1 hit kill weapon.
bots could be fixed pretty easily.
- make them spawn far from players, in small fire teams, and have them move in from there
- drop their accuracy, but increase their firing to increase suppression
- make their grenade/explosive accuracy reduced to reasonable levels
- have bots take longer term debuffs from suppression and having teammates killed
- keep the bots in smaller groups that work together, with a mechanic to split and run if players are routing them
this would solve most of the problems, and make the game more challenging as a tactical shooter, and reduce the random punishment difficulty that makes coop so frustrating.
this game is 75% of the way to being awesome as a coop shooter, if we just had bots that made the game fun and challenging instead of glitchy and making me rage quit for days at a time.
It's not on purpose, or I hope it isn't.
The two extremes are "so dumb that they can't shoot someone in front of them" or "instant headshots through walls", and neither of those are fun to play against.
The problem is that it's way more effective to just run around, hip firing and quick-scoping bots on the run, than it is to move slowly and tactically.
I'd rather the difficulty make it harder for me to play based on increasing challenge, and not just be "increase chance of a wall hack headshot by 40%".
Sandstorm has been out barely 4 months. Give it some time, more will come. Right now they're still trying to get the bugs out and nail down the gameplay, plus adding mod support, all of which is more important in my opinion.
Yeah, but, 4 months past the point where a lot of this stuff was already promised and missed.
I think that mod support is the top priority as I see it, a lot of the bugs are simply bad design decisions that can hopefully be remedied as SourceMod allowed in the last game.
You probably heard about LEAN production and the principles about asking "why?" until you expose root causes of problems.
This is pretty spot on. It seems like the focus is on features that are fun to add, rather than addressing the long-running problems that continue to degrade the gameplay experience for the core player population.
I loved the last Insurgency, and I'm pretty sure this one could be even better, but these major problems need to be addressed in earnest so that it can shine.
Well, I always saw things like explosives (esp. RPG/AT4 and artillery) as something to punish players who are not in hard cover.
It wouldn't be a big deal if artillery went through buildings though, so long as it was consistent.
Sometimes I'll be right next to a window, barely shielded from the shell exploding ten feet away, and nothing happens.
Sometimes I'm in a stairway, away from the walls, behind tons of hard cover, and get killed through a wall.
My personal take is that artillery should be something to force players to take cover or get punished, but that a player in hard cover should survive.
Maybe if the mechanic as implemented was better explained, and we knew what the "right kind" of cover and positioning was to survive it consistently, it would be OK.
But as it is, most of the time I'm just irritated that another random inescapable death has put me into spectate mode for 5 minutes
Well, at the end of the day, it's a video game, and it's nowhere near realistic in many cases, so choosing to be pedantic about certain things like terminal ballistics is not really helpful to the overall experience.
All other factors aside, the FAL is head and shoulders above most other guns, and that means that players choose to either take the good gun, or take a less good gun because it looks cool.
This is not a good situation for a tactical shooter, having 20 guns is meaningless if one is dominating the others as far as utility.
I miss the tension and immersion of Ins 2014, where even an M16 direct hit on an unarmored target can kill in one hit, it made everything feel important and made mistakes something that had an immediate penalty for me.
Now, I basically run around quick scoping everyone, on burst or just dumping rounds on semi, to get the effect necessary.
It's watered down what made Insurgency good, without really improving the accessibility or reducing the skill barrier to new players getting used to the game.
Can't wait to mod the damage back up to lethal levels and see how it plays.