My nine suggestions
... and then I'm coming back when the HMG is liveI've been playing a lot of marine-sided action for the last while, and have some comments / suggestions / observations.
Though I miss the default ability of the welder to heal armour, I find it strange that Welders are "researched" by the commander despite the fact marines already have them. I'd suggest a small semantic change to "upgrade" welders to allow for marine and structure repair. Though how it is that the welder can build a structure but not repair it... nanites, I s'pose!
Next suggested fix is a bit more obvious - as has been mentioned before, I'm sure - the cycle you run into if you are pressing "E" to create a structure where there already exists a dropped weapon. You pick up weapons all day long as you build the structure. My suggestion would be to treat the welder as a separate weapon slot (5?) and use the fire key to have the welder do its thing. That way, you wouldn't lose the switchaxe when you upgrade the welder, too - that doesn't make sense to me either.
2. Fade / Onos power vs marines
I have no suggestion here other than a commentary. In the case of a fade, I'm not sure how anything less than a pack of 5-6 marines with assorted weaponry are meant to take these guys out. Rifles are useless, mines and sentries are useless against a teleporting fade, grenades are too slow to hit them, and flamethrowers don't seem to do enough damage. In the clear majority of the games I've been playing, even with supportive commanders and good team players, it seems as soon as the aliens go fade, it's game over for the marines. Am I just playing against good alien players? Could be. The only suggestion I could think of here would be that aliens in general do less damage to the marine player when attacking them from the front, and to counter, more when attacking from the rear. Even then, I wonder if it's going to take the HMG to be the great equalizer, 'cos it sure feels pretty lackluster playing as a marine right now against a fade.
I expect that it should be a pitched battle involving a horde of marines against an Onos; against a fade, I don't think it's fair that dozens of marines get picked off, even when working together.
3. Dying with unused mines, welder and jet pack
On the death of a marine, could these not drop as existing weapons do? Seems a waste of resources. Is this a game balance decision, akin to an evolved alien dying and losing the points spent on evolution?
4. Rifle ammunition from dropped rifles
Simple suggestion - when armed with a weapon, could picking up a dropped weapon of the same type just add a clip's worth of ammunition every time it's picked up? For instance, a dropped rifle has 150 rounds, and I'm fresh out on my rifle: every press of the E key on the dropped rifle picks up 50 rounds, until the dropped rifle goes to 0.
5. Sighting targets
A la Battlefield 3 - perhaps we could have a button which allows a player to sight an alien, and as long as that alien is in the player's line of sight, the alien will show up as a reticle on other player's displays, and on the map. This could also alleviate the issue of ARCs targetting cysts, as it could use the player's target as priority. Similarly, aliens should be able to do the same thing (slightly less powerful version than the Skulk's tagging attack).
6. Waypoint on map
Could we please have the commander's waypoint placed on the mini / expanded map?
7. Comm's voice priority
When three people are talking over each other, no one hears anything... I'm wondering if the comm's voice can automatically mute other players. And perhaps show up as a different colour on the screen.
8. Onos climbing ladders
I think it's one of the silliest things I've ever seen. :) That said, I appreciate the game mechanic that could be exploited, so I propose an alternative: give the Onos a super-jumping ability. Heck, give it to the Skulk, too. The more you hold down the space bar, the more you charge up your jumping distance. I think that could be pretty spectacular to watch an Onos leap so far, and a lot more believable than the Onos climbing a ladder.
9. Small graphics thing
The bullet ricochet visual effect seems to show two bullet impacts, even if you only shoot one bullet at a wall.
Thanks, enjoyed various aspects of the game, and look forward to the next version.