Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.
Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren’t very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don’t have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That’s why you don’t see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return.
The statistics NWI has from their surveys are heavily skewed in that they come from the folks who are still playing Sandstorm. Those people who stalwartly prioritise balance and good gameplay left long ago. Pretty much the entire Sandstorm community has left. Perhaps if the survey was restricted to those who left there'd be nearly opposing results.
Even having said that, much could be criticised about the wording of that question. I voted for optimisation. I have friends who still can't play, it's the elephant in the room. "Gameplay and balance improvements" is ambiguous as fuck. Does that even mean add lethality?
You're preaching like I've written a piece about how everyone at NWI is ugly and fat and smells bad because I'm upset. I'm just calling a spade a spade. The gameplay is shit compared to their two previous titles and the original mod. The customer service used to be amazing now it only seems to exist if you're a Youtuber. Why be tactful? Yet, I've made great effort to explain my position and remain objective. It's not like I'm name-calling is it?
"The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results."
Being constructive hasn't worked.
Trying something new. Trying being "realistic".
If you want to keep replying with this internet-moral-high-ground thing feel free. We don't have to condone eachother.
NWI, you've fucked up. Please become a good studio again.
Also, the commander needs to be able to put markers on locations everyone can see. Ideally by using the map.
"Assault this position." - Red rectangle on location for 120 seconds. Give everyone who passes through that red rectangle within the time some score points. Would be a great way to facilitate getting everyone to push a particular direction.
"Deploy smoke here." - Blue circle on location for 120 seconds." First two smoke grenades which go off within X distance of the blue circle net the thrower some score points.
"Call support on this location." - Yellow circle only visible to observer for 30 seconds.
What I'm saying is, why not give the commander the ability to command, and the observer the role of coordinating and observing for fire missions.
Personally I like the system as it is. It works in DoI because DoI is a better game. If Sandstorm gets unfucked and becomes a high lethality tactical shooter, people will stick together and work together naturally as it will become the way to win instead of the current zergy zoomfest.
Why not split the responsibility for fire support? Give the commander the choice of what to call and give the observer the choice of the location? Then extend the proximity range they need to be from eachother to roughly shouting distance (or just make it infinite and have the request over the local radio) and reduce the number of observers to one.
Commander uses a radial menu: "Call in a gunship!"
Commander's menu goes into a 10 second cooldown. Observer has 10 seconds in which to call that specific support.
Observer gets out the binoculars and mouse1's the location. No need to be exposed while fiddling with their own radial menu, then the voiceover plays to confirm.
All fire support cooldowns should be easily visible to both parties ideally too as it'll enable randoms to coordinate.
Not something I feel overly strong about, but the main complaint which gets reiterated a lot is the observer being the commander's pet. This splits the decisionmaking encouraging communication and justifiably extends the operational range of the two players increasing convenience.
Definitely frustrated, made these posts over a couple of days... today's a new one... looking back... nah. I still think I'm thinking clearly.
Case example: Back with Ins2014 I had an issue with a mod I was making. Contacted NWI, one of the developers actually picked through the bit of code I was having issues with, determined the error I was getting was an error in the code on their end, was fixed the following patch, never even made the changelog. I've never known any other game developer be so helpful. And it wasn't even like "game broke, plz fix", the only reason the bug was identified was because a programmer went out of his way to help a total stranger who happened to be a fan fidget with their theatre files.
Case example: When fire support was first put into DoI, there was a discussion with the developers about how to improve it. The radial menu and the way it works with the binoculars was my suggestion. I carefully thought through an idea and was ecstatic to see it got implemented exactly as I'd suggested about three weeks after talking it over with a developer.
I bought over 30 copies of DoI and Ins2014 and just handed them out to people, I'm happy to provide the receipts if anybody wants to call me out on it and say I'm talking bullshit. It wasn't just that the game was good, no matter who you spoke to, every third person had some anecdotal story unique to them about how NWI had listened to something said or in some way they'd personally witnessed gone above and beyond.
Let's snap to now.
They did an AMA on Reddit and NWI ignored all the questions and complaints about the gameplay. In particular, @Slazenger (I think it was) basically spammed the shit out of the question of why the guns don't do damage, why does the SCAR basically fire 5.56, etc. All of it was ignored.
After ignoring the casualisation of the brand and shit gunplay topic, they ignored this too. Took a couple of weeks spamming all the active devs on the forums before they responded. They didn't respond by informing us of their official position or reasoning, they did so by sending me a PM so I had to transpose their answer into the thread myself. And after all that, they basically skirted around the whole false advertising thing they're absolutely still doing trying to sell this CoD-like zoomy bullet sponge game masquerading as an Insurgency sequel.
It's been like a year.
They still haven't optimised it properly.
The gunplay is shit compared to Ins2014/DoI.
The AI is Ins2014 wasn't great but it wasn't bad. The AI in DoI (2017) was brilliant. The AI in Sandstorm is worse than their 2014 title. It's like a 2008 AI.
The gamemodes are shit and make zero use of otherwise amazing maps.
Their player count has obviously TANKED and done so for these reasons among others.
The devs never come on the forum and talk about features.
The devs never come on the forum and talk about balancing.
They're still pushing their failed competitive play and pandering to youtubers.
This isn't the NWI I knew. I bought every one of my friends who couldn't afford it, a Sandstorm alpha key. I defended the mess Sandstorm was in on the forums initially, my posts are still there. I argued NWI are an amazing studio and they won't stop perfecting the game until it's perfect. I argued this because they had in the past.
It's been a year. No trace of the studio which made Ins2014 and DoI.
We at least got an explanation of why not. You fucking nailed it.
But now, we get to sit here, tell them how to unfuck the mess they've made and they won't even tell us why they're doing dumb shit instead.
Click the link in my post. You'll remember it. That's constructive. That got nowhere.
This game has tonnes of content, just little of it is worthwhile. 80% of the weapons are directly inferior to another and 2/3rds of each map is fully fleshed out yet totally unused. (Hence lethality / that gamemode suggestion as this fixes both of the crippling issues and will bring people back and hook them like on Ins2014.)
This game doesn't need content, there's tonnes of content currently wasted. The developers need to wake up. What loss is it to me if they ban this account? Yet potentially, there's a small chance being not constructive might wake the devs up.
Why not give that a go? Being constructive demonstrably has not worked.