Awesome write up and lots of great observations.
An additional thing that bothers me, which isn't exclusive to bots, is bullets coming out of a person's eyes instead of the barrel of their rifle. I've been killed too many times by an enemy that I can only see from the nose up.
It's fun to note that a few of your suggestions for fighting bots are strait out of infantry 101 in the real world. Being careful about how bulletproof your cover is, not emerging from cover when someone has a bead on you, and never emerging from cover at the same spot twice. In some cases, the bots are doing a good job fighting like real people. Except when they don't ...
I LOVE that you've added in a loadout customization from the main menu now! It's behaving a bit odd for me though.
It seems that my laser sights got removed from every saved preset. Mildly annoying, but now easily fixable.
So I select a game type and role, then an existing preset, then add my laser sight back on, and click Save Loadout. That kicks me back out to the select role screen, and does not save the loadout.
I can delete the loadout and save a new one, that seems to work alright.
I'm also not seeing equipment camos in the Loadout tab, though they show in the Appearance tab on the same character.
Maybe? I feel like this gets a bit too in depth. I could be neat if coupled with expanded gear selection which allowed you to select pouch placement more specifically and have control over how easy your reloads will be vs amount of mags being carried.
But, then you open the door to other problems. If I have plenty of time to safely reload, can I choose to reload out of a less easily reached pouch? Would there be a mechanism for moving mags from farther away pouches into my close by empty pouches? While all realistic, I feel like managing which mags are in which pouches is not the type of game Sandstorm wants to be.
This is just because it's the CTE. The interactions between the CTE and your normal game character are a bit weird. It seems the CTE wants to reset everyone back to level 0, but doesn't do it reliably. Sometimes you'll get reset mid game, which shows as a massive XP loss. Playing the normal game and then going back to the CTE can cause it to happen again. I've also seen weird things happen with unlocked cosmetics.
But it's just the CTE. I've never had any permanent effects on my character when I've gone back to the normal game.
It can let you get a very general idea of a player's amount of familiarity with the game.
If I see someone struggling with beginner mistakes and they're level 0 or 1, I feel pretty comfortable offering them some advice over chat or comms. I'm not going to start explaining game mechanics unprompted to someone who's level 200, regardless of how they're playing.
Maybe I need to stop taking this game so seriously but it’s tough when they brag about how realistic it is. Yet to me it would seem like it’s leaning much more towards being a silly, casual, shits and giggles kind of shooter.
This feature is actually a lot more realistic than people instantly falling to the ground stone dead. It's actually quite difficult to instantly kill a human: the only way to accomplish it is to destroy the brain or land a hit high on the spinal column (and the skull is a lot tougher than most give it credit for). Most combat casualties are caused by blood loss, which is not instant. It can take 30 seconds to several minutes to loose consciousness from severe bleeding. There's also a "zombie effect" where someone who's blood pressure has dropped from bleeding enough to cause them to pass out, then recovers as they regain blood pressure because they're now on the ground.
It's why military CQB teaches putting a bullet in downed bad guys as you overtake them, to make sure they stay down and won't later become a threat at your rear. It's called an "anchoring shot."
Part of the problem with the hybrid ballistics system is that within the hitscan rage the projectile trajectory is completely flat, and then beyond that it only drops. There are not two zero crossing points, and at no point will the projectile impact above point of aim. If you're paying attention to the ballistics, it's just doesn't feel right at all compared to the way bullets work in real life.
Most of the time it's a small difference, so I find it easy to ignore, so long as I don't think too hard about it.
@gsg_9_lightning My experience with bots and smoke has been seemingly really random. Sometimes they seem to be completely oblivious to my presence, other times I get mowed down with ease by bots I can't even see. I'd never made a connection to noise, but it makes sense. Maybe it's not as random as I thought. I'll need to pay attention to this now.
@gsg_9_lightning None of those are really what I would call a dive (not saying my definition is right, just clarifying terminology). They're all doing pretty standard knee-elbow-prone technique which isn't really painful at all - though it can be hard on the knees. The Army also used to teach a technique using the buttstock of the rifle to cushion a hard prone drop, though I've seen someone tear the pistol grip off an M-4 doing that before. I believe the currently favored technique is to do something that looks like a one-handed burpee with the support hand, kicking out to prone.
When I see people wanting to dive in a computer game, I tend to think of something more along the lines of this:
@planetcanada For me I think it's most infuriating because there are so many shooters out now that do it so much better. Prone didn't bother me much in the original Ghost Recon or Operation Flashpoint at the time, but 20 years later gameplay mechanics have moved on.
Ubisoft seems to have this figured out. Prone is fantastic in R6: Siege and Wildlands.
@planetcanada Concrete is the best for sliding, especially with knee pads. 10 feet is certainly plausible then. On grass and dirt the distance tends to be shorter. Sliding into cover, for me at least, has never been about covering lots of distance or moving more quickly (you don't). It's all about getting lower sooner so you are more concealed as you enter cover.
To me going prone rapidly is not a dive. When I think of diving I think of a forward jump, like doing a belly flop onto the ground. There are several ways to prone out in place very quickly without hurting yourself.
This game by far has the worst prone mechanic I have ever seen in my entire life.
I'm guessing you haven't been a gamer for a very long time then? There are dozens of other games with identical prone systems, many very popular ... and most are from the 90s.
Yah, this game needs a better prone system badly.