Refer to https://docs.google.com/document/d/150pxFW1...L1js/edit?pli=1
As you can see, a bunch of the stated principles are simply not the direction the game is headed or the game shows little to no movement in that direction. I'll just address some of the places where the game does not play in the manner described.A. The game should be balanced at low as well as high player counts.
This is not the case because:
1: Marines need players to build, but the number of buildings you need to build in order to play as Marines do not scale up and down with player count. You will always need Extractors, Infantry Portals, an Armory, an Observatory, an Arms Lab, and so on and so forth. Just because it's 3v3 doesn't mean you need any fewer buildings than a 10v10, and the issue is that each Marine building is one less Marine fighting.
2: Aliens can spend P-Res to outpower the Marines with Onoses, making each late-game Alien player "worth" more than each Marine player. This means the game does not scale fairly upwards when each individual Alien player has P-Res dedicated solely to the acquisition of lifeforms, which are much more influential than players with a Jetpack and a non-Rifle weapon.
3: The three resource types in NS2 are T-Res, P-Res, and Energy. The properties of these resources are that T-Res scales with Node control, P-Res scales with Node control and player count, and Energy is static until Tech Points are taken. However, the current design of the game is that Aliens use Energy for speeding up Tech and for expanding with Cysts. They use T-Res for constructing and researching Tech. They use P-Res for obtaining lifeforms to get map control and to end the game. Whereas Marines use Energy to use assists, which allow Marines to push for map control and grab Nodes. T-Res goes into Tech, expansion, and the ARC game-ender. P-Res goes into Mines and weapons to gain map control.
The problem here is that this means the Aliens' ability to end the game scales with player count, while the Marines' ability to end the game scales with map control. The Aliens' ability to get map control scales with Res + player count, while the Marines' ability to get map control scales only with their Res Node count. The Marines' ability to upgrade scales with their Res Node count, but for Aliens' it scales... Well, NOTHING, because how fast Augmentation gets up depends on Energy, and it's the single most important thing in the game for Aliens. None of this assymetry makes sense from a design perspective. For example, why does Energy, a non-scaling resource until Tech Points get captured in mid-game, get expended for giving Medpacks and Ammopacks, which DOES scale with player count?B. The game wants all options to be viable at all points in the game such that, for example, no one weapon or lifeform ever completely eclipses another.
This is not the case because:
1. Grenade Launchers are a clear upgrade over Assault Rifles. The rifle butt is only effective against Skulks, whereas the Grenade Launcher attachment is useful against Skulks, Lerks, and buildings.
2. There's no reason not to get a Jetpack if you can get a Jetpack, as weak as it may be. It confers no particular disadvantage other than the loss of 10 res.
3. Mines, Sentries, and Skulks very much ARE eclipsed late-game just as they were in NS1.C. The game should be a shooter first and strive for fairness in the FPS concept before the RTS concept.
This is not the case because:
1. Any one Marine can suddenly become the God of War, at any time, anywhere on the battlefield, solely by the will of the Commander. No Alien can fight against a Nano-Shielded Marine standing in a puddle of Medpacks, it simply cannot be done unless you have an Onos. You can Ax down 3 Skulks while Shielded with Medpacks if you really felt like it. And if the Marine has a Shotgun, this becomes impossible for a Fade as well.
2. Back to the Alien lifeforms issue, the concentration of higher lifeforms is simply so significant late-game due to the irrelevance of Skulks except in destroying lone Extractors that every Skulk is worth less than a highly upgraded Marine while every Lerk, Fade, and Onos is worth far more than any single Marine. I.e. It is very unlikely that in a 1-to-1 ratio of Lerks or Fades or Onoses against Marines, that the Marines will win. This has been the case since NS1, that each Alien death meant so much late game while Marines' lives were generally worthless, especially since their weapons can be salvaged.
3. The Marines' advantage was supposed to be that only they had direct-damage ranged weapons. The ranged-versus-melee dynamic was a large part of what made NS1 good. Lerk, oddly, breaks this mechanic for NS2 by having a ranged primary weapon as well as a secondary that stops Marines from leveraging their ranged advantage. This isn't "disruption", it simply disables players. Disruption implies there's some reasonable thing you can do about it, but there isn't, short of being forced to run around the spores or having a Flamethrower. Similarly with the Onos' Stomp, except a more extreme case.D. The game should allow enemy teams to defend against a strategy if they know about it.
This isn't the case because:
1. There is no clear visual indicator that the Marine has opted for a particular strategy. Firstly, the difference between a Shotgun rush, early Phase Tech, and fast Grenade Launchers all look EXACTLY the same. It's not like the Marines will skip Observatory just because they aren't going Phase Tech, and it's also not like the presence of an Observatory proves there's going to be Phase Gates. Likewise, you can't see that an Armory is being upgraded, nor can you see that they're going Shotguns. And secondly, even if they are, how would you know? Are you going to keep running Skulks into their base to check whether their Armory is shaking around?
2. Aliens have no strategy to even counter. They're going to go Augmentation, that's a given, it's in fact a LINEAR progression from "Have only 2 abilities" to "Have 3 abilities now", and assumedly, "Have 4 abilities now." And as far as the chambers are concerned, it's a surprise maybe for the first few seconds when a Cloaked Skulk kills you. After that, it's nothing original. There's no depth to "They have Sensory, lets get Observatory." And if they went Carapace instead, well shucks, what's the counter to Carapace? Shoot MORE bullets?
I hope it's pretty clear where NS2 just doesn't fit the bill as far as where it's headed compared to where its aspirations lie. There are more design flaws than I can name so I'm sure I missed a few, but I feel like experimenting towards the direction of the ideal would be more meaningful than making random and unjustifiable changes that divorce NS2 from NS1. Because no matter how much you want to say "But NS2 is a different game!", it is still the case that NS2 is built on the dynamics of NS1, and as the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."