Aliens should feel agile and fast
I have personally always favoured the playstyle of aliens, especially the flexibility of the skulk (be it stealth ambushes or fast strikes). I am a firm believer that aliens should feel
agile and fast for their size (other than perhaps the gorge). Not only does this instill a good gameplay style to aliens as a whole but it also acts as a direct counter to the marine's low maneuverability and ranged attacks.
For the last 5 or so patches there have been several frustrating aspects to alien movement, yet it was bareable. With patch b199 is has become unreasonably bad in my opinion and I would like to try and break down why.What is the overall problem?
Aliens do not feel (or play) fast and agile.What causes this problem?Collision Detection
- When moving around the NS2 world, I do not feel like a lifeform. I feel like a giant square/rectangle that is constantly blundering into things and getting stuck. It is geniunely bad for gameplay, not just because it doesnt fit/complement the alien style but because it actively causes frustration while playing.Micro Stutters
- I have a excellent spec PC (i7 @ 4.2ghz) yet I still get many annoying performance issues. Mostly these are experienced when in close combat as an alien, the game literally feels like it slows down with micro stuttering as im biting away as a skulk.Wall Walking Mechanics
- I realise there are a lot of changes being made here, but it really should not be this difficult. Before this patch I would jump at walls and simply hit them and slide down. Not exactly fast and agile behavior. Now I seem to stick to everything I touch, frequently the ceiling or roof which is incredibly frustrating. Yet if I run into a wall while on the floor it takes a second or so to decide to grip the wall making wall jumping difficult.Close Quarters Speed
- Collision Detection makes close combat difficult to consistently control my movement, as sometimes I run straight through marines and sometimes clip them and come to a complete stop. This means that I am often moving at a close to identical speed to the marine (it takes a short period to gain momentum upto maximum speed). Either marine jumping movement (the ability to instantly change direction between jumps makes marines incredibly difficult to hit) needs to be reduced or skulk movement needs to be adjusted (or fixed).Animation System
- I am not sure if this is partially the fact that there are light years between server updates (so the client doesnt have a clue what is actually happening half the time) or if there is a serious fault with the animation system. I constantly see people jerking and warping (even with my game running at 70fps). Infact the better client performance has become the worse NS2 looks as despite my client performance the game I actually see seems to be running at 30 fps, stuttering and jerking.Server Performance
- I am sure we all understand the general implications of the terrible server performance currently. The low tickrate makes any sort of fast paced and agile gameplay difficult. I am not entirely sure if server performance is responsible for this next issue, but it seems relevant. Since b199 I have found that not only do others appear to move in a jerky/warpy fashion, so do I. When I actually warp back to a wall, or slightly back in mid air something is very wrong with the game. My connection is excellent, my PC runs the game easily for NS2 and I have been on HBZ #1 with stable 30ticks. It doesn't happen very often but it is incredibly frustrating when it does happen. It ruins the feeling of the game and leaves me slightly annoyed.Conclusion
Aliens are very reliant on Skulks through lots of the game, for which movement is the most important aspect of the game. Fades take over from this and they too currently suffer from incredibly awkward and cumbersome movement. Aliens as a team are totally reliant on movement as a mechanic for their success. These are integral issues to the game as a whole (for balance and fun).