I'm really anticipating some sort of theater file for us to make modifications to the Community Servers. It would address a lot of ongoing criticism across the message boards and breathe new life into the game while we wait for everything else.
Insurgency Source's theater file allowed us to change recoil values, bullet damage, coop and AI item loadout, molotov damage values (to address Intercontinental Ballistic Molotovs, which existed in the Source version, too!), add Primary/Secondary/Explosive slots, move primary SMGs to Secondary slots...
(Regarding coop checkpoint only) I've noticed this in both Insurgency (2014) and Sandstorm. During times with 6 players and below, the game's pace changes. Players usually slow down and work together more often.
In Sandstorm, comparing servers with 10-16 players vs 4-6 is very noticeable. I actually have my Sandstorm server limited to 6 players.
It typically takes 1 player to rush and a snowball effect occurs. Another player doesn't want to be left behind with fewer enemies to kill, so they catch up. Then the next player does it and so on.
If we're having 8 player default co-op checkpoint, having more things sound like a preferred direction given the running simulator pacing of the map design/game. A couple of mini-checkpoints that need to be unlocked in areas/buildings before the team proceeds to capture the next main (A, B C...) checkpoint to (optionally) split the teams and actually utilize the often uncharted buildings and areas might help.
Compared to Insurgency (2014), Sandstorm's map design is like asking a painter to paint a busy shot of a city on a giant canvas vs a smaller one in a specific amount of time. More attention and time and detail per square inch is given to the smaller canvas whereas the larger canvas is more thinly stretched and diluted in order to fill in the blank space. Also trying to make it multi-purpose for both co-op and PVP is going to be a bigger hurdle because of balancing each side's advantages and respawn areas.
This issue has been in every version I played since the open beta. It occurs on every map, and in nearly every location. It really hampers gameplay and adjusting the gamma in video settings don't resolve it.
Darker maps like Summit are really bad. I've experienced this in a variety of different video settings (all low/off, medium, max graphics), different Nvidia drivers--both 970 GTX and 2080 RTX graphics cards.
This eye adaptation issue is one of those things where if it's not done right, then it shouldn't be included because it really affects users' gameplay. Considering how the characters in this game aren't as easy to identify due to this game's artistic direction alongside the camouflage, it's especially a valid concern.
Some users have suggested an "ini" file edit to turn off this auto exposure off but the game looks too washed out. This is really apparent on Refinery.
Note: Based on 773 Hours in cooperative checkpoint only.
At some point, the ADS display goes wonky. I have experienced this with the optic shown and with the 4x optic on the MG3. This behavior started after I installed the patch this morning. Below is a video of what I'm talking ab
I saw this while I was spectating a teammate in co-op mode when he was using the holo 2x using the normal scope setting.
@jballou Would love to have "mini checkpoints"--checkpoints that need to be completed before going to each of the objectives we have now. Teams can split and breach these fortified buildings/mini checkpoints. I think it would alleviate the running simulator pacing of the current map design and utilize the buildings no one really goes into.
Side note: Insurgency 2014's dry_canal was good on pacing with checkpoint distance and enemy placement. Seemed like a good model for the core Sandstorm map design.
This happened to me a few times and a teammate as well.
I remember when they pushed an update to Insurgency 2 that was similar to this. There was a theater file I could edit on my server to remove the grenades from a lot of the bots. If they didn't cook it in this game, and kept it to maybe 10-15% equipped on bots, it wouldn't be as aggravating because we at least get to use the "throw back" mechanic and whittle down some players that aren't as reactive or aware of grenade sound cues to maintain challenging gameplay.
Similarly, I found out I can change the molotov damage modifiers. I changed the impact damage on the molotov to 0 in the theater file and decreased the "touching fire" damage a bit. This made the molotovs something that kept the players on their feet by obscuring our vision (since smoke in Insurgency 2 worked to our advantage), encouraging us to take a different route, and forcing us to move from our cozy setup positions during counter attacks--just adding chaos. Those simple changes caused the gameplay to become a lot more dynamic and refreshing.
I'm really hoping for some similar ways to make these changes in Sandstorm dedicated servers soon.
Do i just stand over the nade and look where i want to throw it and tap a button or do i have to fumble around on the ground and look DIRECTLY at the nade with my cursor before it will allow me to pick it up>?
Load up Local Play and throw your own grenade at the wall to test it out. You get plenty of time to test the mechanics. Holding the pick-up button so you can point in the right direction works, too, but don't do it too long because it's already ticking.
I had an error after updating, too. I didn't do a "verify integrity" but instead a complete reinstall, and I got a Windows User Account Control notification every time I loaded the game. After a system restart, it disappears and everything works fine.
i5-4690K OC to 4.38Ghz on SSD with GTX 970. I was getting up to 110-120 fps before the patch but now it's around 80-90 fps. It doesn't feel as smooth and like one of you mentioned, there seems to be some more weird input lag. The new "Low" setting for scopes on 2x+ scopes feels worse. Before the 4.20 patch, the "Low" setting felt like there wasn't mouse smoothing, but setting it to "High" did. Now after the patch, the "Low" scope setting feels like the mouse smoothing on a "High" pre-4.20 patch setting.
What's disappointing is the new patch notes that keeps the grass on in spite of the graphics settings, and this takes a significant performance hit as well as introducing some stuttering.
- "Fixed view distance and foliage density settings to enforce consistent gameplay when it comes to the visibility of various foliage and tree objects."
All items in this post pertain to coop mode only.
===EASY TO REPRODUCE / COMMON BUGS===
Reload bug: May occur most when fast reloading (double tap R) from 0; confirmed weapons: M870 (rare) and FAL (happens a lot).
--Note: I'm aware of two variations of this bug and that this game has interruptable reload mechanics.
--I’ll only be able to shoot the one round in chamber even though the bottom-right indicator shows a full mag. If you switch to secondary and back, it will reflect the real empty mag indicator.
--In the second variation, you can usually see when it occurs by looking at bottom-right mag indicator while reloading. It will show the empty underscore after you reload just before normally disappearing (I've seen this happen as last man standing, standing still, waiting a few seconds after the reload animation finishes with 2 spectating witnesses).
Edit (added): I think I found out how to reproduce it: This bug occurs with a single R to reload, double tap R, or spamming R. I've tried switching from grenade, but it didn't reproduce it. It works best with a fast equip on your pistol and switch to primary from pistol. I also couldn't get it to work on the MK18 CBR in offline mode. FAL doesn't work in offline either. I've only tested this in online coop. First, empty the nearly all rounds of the FAL. Switch to secondary. When I scroll my mouse wheel up to switch to primary, I tap or double tap, or spam R, the primary should queue that reload and make sure to watch the lower right corner. You will reload, but there might be an empty mag icon or a full one, if it's a full one, try emptying the entire mag to see that you actually reloaded; it will only shoot a few rounds even though the icon says otherwise; switching to something else and back changes the indicator to show the real mag size.
Sticking C4 can be canceled by switching to another item in inventory after pressing the stick C4 button (default: RMB). Causes buggy inventory with detonator but C4 still showing but cannot be accessed according to selected inventory item. Meanwhile, animation may show you holding the C4. Detonating causes C4 to be inaccessible and remains inaccessible in inventory.
Picking up teammate's IED causes you to not be able to switch to any other weapon or show what you're holding. There was a way to return to normal but I forgot how; I think you press F again or LMB to "toss" the invisible IED.
Cooking a grenade in your hand for underhand/lobbing doesn't work. The current workaround is to hold RMB, then hold LMB, let go of RMB and tap RMB and you'll hear the pin release, then hold RMB, release the LMB, and finally release RMB to lob the grenade.
Corpses clipping into level: You can shoot a corpse’s body part with a shotgun up close and it will clip into the wall/floor. This is most reproducible with “Dismemberment” video setting off.
Foreign object on weapon: FAL has a weird, tiny object that appears to the left side of the weapon just above the magazine if you equip a foregrip. It also moves during a reload.
Going from menu (loadout or esc default menu) to spectating a player, you have to press space twice to activate the third-person view.
Pickup vehicle's machine gunner firing sound located somewhere else—sounds like maybe it’s spawn point.
In the loadout screen, the idle animation with shotgun foregrip and the character’s hand isn’t synced and looks a bit oddly angled at the wrist.
Crouching mid door-kicking animation causes a weird effect that shows your leg kicking as if your leg was located on your forehead.
Pressing reload as machine gunner on technical will queue a reload when you leave the truck.
2x with laser misaligned with red dot. Laser is the precise location where your bullet will land.
I love the idle animations where our character looks at his/her weapon, but huge annoyance when you're aiming at a door or stairway waiting for an enemy and it changes where you're aiming.
Part of M16A2 missing (where the foregrip is attached to) in world view when dropped by a bot.
You can crouch while round starts in the carrier truck and it looks weird from first-person view and third-person view.
Pressing tab actually shows your score for a split second.
M870 pump sound doesn’t always trigger when firing fast or slow.
No world model for Holosight on enemy Security dropped weapons.
Characters standing with some space between them and the ground. Hideout as Security tested on bridge at the beginning of the level as well as the area around Crossing's Checkpoint B supply crate.
Doors can sever corpses.
I show up in the scoreboard and chat as dead even though I’m alive. Same goes for teammates sometimes.
Edit (added): I get the suppressed blur effect if the door is kicked open on the first floor of the last point on Hideout as Security if I'm upstairs in the room, crouching on top of the lamp on the floor.
Edit (added): When you watch another player use a bipod on a box near a wall, that player can aim in a direction where his body is partially clipping into the wall.
- Bots running through closed doors, and also treats them as non-existing when you’re in line of sight through door even though it is in tact and closed. You can test if it's bugged by running through them; you'll get stopped for a split second before pushing through. Unhinged doors can sometimes barely fall down and sit slightly angled in doorway.
Firing the gun creates flashes from the adjacent room and it leaks into the bathroom near the bathtub of the Crossing map as Security on final point.
Sometimes mid-game, when you fire your gun, it doesn’t make a sound. When this happens, it occurs for a while. A teammates’ weapon can also exhibit this bug.
Duplicate weapon appears in first person when vaulting over a obstacle while switching weapons.
Character voice command says something about mag when reloading a shotgun and RPG.
Going into any kind of menu and switching back to the game can sometimes make the entire game really dark.
Giant laser dot appears on screen occasionally for a frame when something is not even that close in front of you.
Truck van's 3D object spazzes out. You can also hear it when defending an objective and the bots are using it; suddenly the sound effect of a vehicle collision becomes frequent and loud and drowns out normal sounds (maybe because of the tinnitus effect of loud sounds?).
Picking up weapons/items don’t always work. Even though the indicator shows, I can’t pick it up until I get really close, whereas most of the times, I don’t have to get close.
Resupply box doesn’t open after completing an objective or is already open before completing its respective objective sometimes.
Quality of life request: Resupply crate can be improved if it was proximity based instead of wiggling and looking for the indicator to pop up. Holding F to buffer and walking up to it should automatically trigger it. It doesn't work when the indicator is up sometimes.
Vaulting is annoying to use: If I want to jump on top of a raised item, I hop over it and if it's a ledge, I die from the fall. I have to crouch-jump sideways or backwards so that I don't trigger the vaulting animation. I prefer using crouch-jump as it pretty much does exactly what I want it to do all the time and won't put me in a panic when I vault and a sudden enemy appears.
Some maps have houses with a raised doorway entrance and is difficult to jump over and into the place.
MK18 CQBR’s and FAL’s attention to detail on mag release's latch(?) is very nice when mag is pulled. Should it animate also when mag is inserted but just much faster?
Some weapons don't have as much recoil as Insurgency 2: Crouching reduces recoil too much.
Shooting flour or stacks of paper is nice attention to detail.
Edit (added): Add 1-frame communication menu appear and disappear. Having it fade in and out increases time spent for a "enemy spotted" shoutout. It sometimes gets stuck for a few hundred milliseconds when it's being used really fast in conjunction with turning, i.e spotting enemy at your right and turning back.
Edit (added): Blood decals desync: when viewing a player who has been shot in third-person view, the blood decal moves from its original spot on the body when the player model moves
Unsure if these are intended
Tapping F at resupply box to restores tossed mags
Security team can equip 3 C4 items in loadout.
Is coughing without the gas mask in white smoke detected by the coop bots in the current version?
Not showing any kind of point system in coop would be great. A simple "Mission Accomplished", "Choose Next Map" is all I'd really need. An early hardcore tactical shooter like Ghost Recon 1, if I remember correctly, was all about teamwork without any kind of point system and made for a lot of fun coop experiences. It was so long ago, but did it have a system to match you with other online players for coop? I actually prefer this rather than my own suggestions in regards to the point system, but I was (and still am) so very doubtful that the developers would do this since point progression systems are already established in this series and are such a norm in games nowadays--especially shooters. And even more so taking into account that shooters have gone the direction of fast-paced, constant and instant gratification, which usually mean being rewarded with points/exp with visual and audio indicators for securing a kill, so a point system is at the very least something the players probably expect from a modern FPS.
We also have the progression system to obtain skins. Their latest Q&A talked about the option to obtain cosmetics through grinding or buy them with real money. That would also be affected by removal of a point system.
I stand for my suggestions only if they ultimately want to keep a point system. Cause if we're playing to our egos, then it might as well push towards the mentality that team-oriented play is the major payoff for earning points.
Just a side note: I ran a strict no run-and-gun, no rushing, wait-for-everyone-before-capping, notify-firing-lane-crossing server in Insurgency 2, so regardless of the point system outcome, I'll be content with just the ability to run our own private servers for Sandstorm.
@thehappybub Thanks for the response. I was about to delete the entire part 2 section as those ideas sort of steals the focus of the overall feel of the game and makes things more complicated. I purposefully avoided improved AI as I figured good AI requires a lot of time, testing, and effort. It'd be a silver bullet outside of how we're rewarded with points now.
Definitely large radius. Cause then it's opening up for a bot to take out the entire team with an explosive. Not fun.
I would love to see better and more bot placement protecting the checkpoint/cache.
The best outcome for coop game is completing all objectives with nobody dying anywhere in the process. Personal skill and teamwork increase those chances. Change the point reward mechanics to encourage teamwork and discourage solo-suicide rush to objectives that devolves into a run and gun, tunnel vision spray and pray, blow up everything ahead for a race to the end. It's a journey, not the destination, and the journey is made better when cooperating with people. It can be a destination for those that choose to, so somehow keep options open for rushers who like to play that way.
The points here are to give an idea of what is rewarded in a relative sense. Give all players who complete a checkpoint 100 points. A regular bot kill gives 25 pts.
Staying near a teammate for a period of time constantly gives you, for example, 75 points. Additional teammates in the vicinity gives additional 25 points. Either it gives a fixed number of points or gives a bonus percentage of points applied for a certain period of time that fades if you suddenly decide to go lone wolf or with 1 buddy. Variations of this can be percentage bonus for 3 or more players in the vicinity and loses its effect if you go back to sticking around only 1 player. Give these hints on load screens to let the player know.
Similar to Overwatch, end of game votes on positive tags like "great team player", "battle buddy", "great sniper/overwatch support", "good comms", "good commander/team leader" "good cover fire". These can only be added once on each player by each player for each match, and probably has a drop down list below each player's name and show the array list of tags. Other players who stick around at the end of match sees a player getting a tag but won't know who provided it. Make it like a badge and rank like Overwatch does.
Make it attractive for the players to stick around at the end of the match with chat enabled and see what they did to gain points (the current system sort of does that by showing you the progress gained from "time played" for example), but its current implementation is only visible to you and only shows one after the other so you'd miss it if you somehow looked away for a few seconds (working off of memory here). And again like Overwatch, adding a "stay as team" for next game would be nice.
Tab Screen Changes
Move K/D ratio to somewhere the player can see on their own when the game is over. No need to look at it during a game or flaunt it at the end of the match to your teammates. Currently, we look to see who has the most points for capping objectives and blowing up caches. You are either #1 on the team or you're not, and you were rushing the entire way, racing against your team, annoying your teammates, encouraging the same rushing play style for your team. This change should give more players satisfaction for just being in 2nd, 3rd, 4th because they added to the teamplay experience even if just a little and at least tried to keep each other alive.
These points given for teamplay should show, in a summarized format with good UI here, in the Tab screen for each player based on what they did. This continues the Tab screen's utility since players already have a sense of familiarity with this screen and know the reason for all the nice points they are getting. Hopefully, this encourages a shift from how people are currently encouraged to play by telling them why they got points. Put this in the match summary screen at the end of the game for every player (good UI and sound effects here so we can look at who did the most teamwork). The intended effect is to still find the player with the most points but being the result of a team player, not a "first!" player.
Discourage solo-suicide rush to objective
I can't really think of much without changing a lot of the capture mechanic and pacing of the game to the point where it's much better to just coordinate with your team over the mic to solve it. Something should slow down the player's pacing when getting closer to the point. Although I actually like a checkpoint's corner-camping bots in its current state, it isn't enough. A skilled player or RPG/IEDing through a window before rushing into the cap area can still work. Having another layer would help. We want to make it so even a skilled player will feel cautious for rushing in doing quick "slice pies".
If UE4 can do this: allow the map designer allocate 3 areas where random mines can be placed since those are already in the game. If there are some barbed wire setup (like R6 Seige?--don't know much about that game) that require time to dismantle and thus cause a player to be vulnerable in that moment, it would be interesting and play into the teammate-covering point reward system.
Discourage solo-suicide rush to objective (Part 2: Three Wishful future add-ons)
This is getting into the old-school Rainbow Six/SWAT series' pacing, which slows the game down a lot, and probably not in the vision of the devs since choice in tactical play is something they usually go for (one example is the inclusion of peeking through a partially opened door)--not somewhat forced as I'm about to write, but it would be amazing for those who like to play tactically in private servers. This would be add great variety, randomness, and depth to the gameplay throughout just one match.
1: Alerted cap/cache areas with bots have a chance to use toxic gas grenades on the area, and they'll already have gas masks on. The security team will make the decision to invest in the gas mask. For servers that have unlimited supply points, taking the gas mask will be a no-brainer, but simply having this different scenario and vulnerability putting on the mask changes up the gameplay. Putting it on earlier means their sounds are muffled, putting them at a disadvantage.
2: This applies to the checkpoint camping bots: Certain movement speeds/run, or firing a shot without a suppressor really close to them causes 1 or 2 bots to say "they're here!", and go investigate the perimeter or flank the player.
3: Another thing to slow down the pace (maybe too much?) is have the bots trigger a small explosive at the perimeter/entry point of the cap area when they hear loud player movement. This can only be triggered by a specific-looking bot sort of like the suicide bomber's signature white striped shirt. These events shouldn't be at every single point but randomized maybe 2 out of every 8 capture points (includes cache points). They're also randomly placed in 2 out of 4 entry points to the objective; the frequency is just an example. This means a player can take out the bot with the trigger via stealth should they choose to or communicate to their team that they've taken care of the bot with the trigger. We get awesome replayability through some map randomness.
Big rewards for those that cover teammates
I don't know UE4 so I'm not sure if UE4 can allow these hooks into the game: If bot(s) investigates a player during a flank (which happens often in Insurgency 2) but the bot is then eliminated by another teammate. Give a large 250 pts to the player covering their teammate's back. I often do this with success in Insurgency 2's counter-attacks and find the teamwork productive and rewarding. The reward from points is large because you're often looking in the opposite direction of the action or entry point. In another scenario, if a bot is targeting and firing at player A and player B kills the enemy, then give player B 125 pts, and this would be reflected under the Tab indicator: something like "Savior". To keep the Tab screen simple, maybe only show the most recent points and respective label for each player. Add partial points if player A was originally shooting at the bot; less if player A was only suppressing bot with no hits; and equal split to both players if both hit the bot, known as an assist. These functions encourage players to not all run to the corner and bunch up like rabbits to be the first one to secure the kills which is another occurrence where players are competing against each other, and we want to foster sticking together and covering each other.
I think there should always be a counter-attack for each obj or default to 80% chance if not already (adjustable by server admin just like in Insurgency 2, and I think the Insurgency 2 default is 75%). You get the most out of the map by defending in each checkpoint location and figuring out with your team the best way to handle each point.
We change how the system rewards player points; discourage those who rush to the objectives to cover out bases for those who don't care or are stuck in the rushing mentality even with these implementations in place by making the checkpoint/cache dangerous for a rusher. They simply die and miss out on the defending aspect of the counter-attack, which itself should also be rewarded in points. Maybe label these bots as counter-attack bots that provide more points than a non-counter-attacking bot. And for snipers who take out/assist/suppress these counter-attack bots, they get more points the farther they are from the kill. Though, I can still see a scenario where players who are familiar with a map will bunch up and launch an RPG or go full-auto in a specific location where the bots will come out from around the corner from their spawn point, but I'll end it here.
Mikee talked about it in this recent youtube developer Q&A. I don't remember the time stamp, but IIRC, we will have the option to pay and get skins as a way to support them and not have to grind.