Feedback is meant to help the game not to rant at stuff.
Hello fellow marines and aliens.
Let me start by saying that NS2 is a great non conventional game and I just love it since the first moment I bought it. I want to make this thread in an attempt to give my honest opinion about how the game feels for a rookie and later on a veteran commander. This is a feedback and suggestion post that I hope you will welcome and discuss later on. I spent my time writing this feedback because I love this game and want to see it improved, and If my feedback can open some can of worms maybe I can help it get better.
Please take in mind the casual fan base that is essential for the life of a game. Elitist players should just be better at doing things, not do things better because they know stuff a rookie doesn't, like the fact that Armories give health and ammo and you don't need to spam your commander for any of those :D
I am ready to discuss further any of the below points, but to keep it a rather (lol) small post I just present you my suggestions. Gameplay Issues1) The level should start in the dark (not pitch dark, but the red light dark) .
Why is the colony/level powered up even thought the energy sockets have not been placed by the Marines? The game should start with everything in the dark (except for the starting base) to make for a plausible and better atmosphere. Witch leads to the second point.2) The Power Node is a broken mechanic.
Redesign the role of the power node to change it from being such a weak spot in a Marine base. Commanding Marines to power up rooms taken down by rogue Skulks all day long is not fun, and in public pubs this is frustrating since there is no coordination. The casual will get bored to repair power nodes all day long and this chaos in the team leads to a loss anyway.
The power node should power up the colony sectors/rooms only but not the Marine structures. Marines should fight in the dark, in an hostile environment if they don't power up the rooms but they should be bringing their own equipment to clear the colony of the Alien infestation. Powering the nodes should not require the commander to be (first time) repaired and should activate:
in the sector/room comforting the players;
in the all the vents connected to the room with the active Power Node, disabling the path for Aliens;
- the sector/room door switches
, that can allow the Marines to close doors. Aliens will have to chew the switch to destroy it in order to open the door and Marines will be able to fix the switches. Also closed doors will allow the Marines to weld them, closing them permanently until an Onos or Exo will break it. No second welding allowed.
- security cameras
from the powered room that will function as an Observatory for the Commander only. The Marines will not be able to see enemy units, only the Commander.
- different interesting animations
making the level feel alive, and maybe affecting the gameplay like moving platforms, elevators, lava spills, ETC.3) Marine structures should get power only from Batteries.
All Marine structures should get power from Commander build Batteries, placed anywhere in the level. Around the battery we will see the range it can spread its connecting cables. More batteries can be build per room, though maybe with a later restriction, but a structure will get power only from a single battery. The commander will be responsible of the wiring and once the aliens take down a battery he will be responsible of the rewiring to a new battery, otherwise the disconnected structures will be powerless. Batteries:
- 3 per room;
- can give power to a maximum of 3 structures only (3 sockets);
- have to be manually wired to the structures by the commander (click and connect);
- have a circular area where the wires can reach, so structures need to be in range;4) Sentries with a current Battery are redundant.
Why power up a sector if I need a battery that is AGAIN the weak point of a Marine defense? I suggest that Marines should be allowed to buy a new sentry that performs like the one in Team Fortress 2.Sentry:
- takes one full battery to power it (3 sockets from the Battery)
- costs 20 res;
- has no blind spot
- has low DPS, but can kill alone one Skulk, but not two;5) Alien attacks should not be so one dimensional.
There should be ceiling corridors (like in the movie Aliens), under the floor railing passages, making the Aliens a constant threat that can come from under the floor or hiding in the ceiling. Fighting the Aliens in a distant hallways is not fair for the Aliens. They need more places to jump and surprise a rookie Marine.
I am not saying that they can't jump from the ceiling as it is, but it is one dimensional. You look up, the Skulk is there or it isn't, but he has no place to hide bellow or above. Jumping you from the metal railing bellow you would make it walking on corridors alone even more terrifying.6) Allow the Marines to research Thermal Headset, Combat Shield, Grenades and Pulse Launcher.Thermal Headset:
- researched at the Armory;
- costs 10 Pres;
- change the Marine normal vision to heat detection;
- detects Alien units and structures, even cloaked;Combat Shield:
- researched at the Armory;
- costs 15 Pres;
- replaces the primary weapon of the Marine;
- is activated with the RMB and slows down the walk of the Marine when active. The shield is raised in front of the first person view of the player;
- when activated the Shield protects the Marine from ranged attacks and Onos charges;Grenades
(remove the Grenade Launcher):
- costs 15 Pres for 5 Grenades;
- thrown with the hand like any other grenades in any game;
- area damage;Pulse Launcher:
- costs 20 Pres;
- fires an energy pulse beam that immobilizes any hit unit by electroshocking it (attacks the muscles or something); the unit remains immobilized as long as the Marine keeps firing the weapon or until he remains out of energy in the weapon;
- doesn't do any actual damage;
- support weapon;7) Players should be encouraged to do things in the game, and rewarded for doing them.
At the moment Pres are just resources linked to the number of the extractors. It doesn't have to do anything with your personal value in the team. Why should a valuable player not gain extra resources if he is killing Skulks like Rambo, or another sneaky ninja Marine for solo destroying Alien extractors?
At the moment players don't waste enough their resources since once dead you lose your investment in a shotgun or a fancy flamethrower. I feel more resources should be dumped in the pool for both teams to make things play a lot more fun. I suggest that the game should offer resources for killing, repairing, constructing and destroying. This will encourage activity not inactivity of the fear to die and lose your investment.
Also there should be more fun ways to spend your Pres on. As a Marine sometimes I hang on on my first weapon until I get my exo because I feel that others investments will not pay off long enough to warrant their cost. 8) Let me customize my Marine.
Imagine that in the menu you could customize your Marine, with what skin color, body, tattoos, and everything you wish to add tp reflect your personality in the game. This kind of things are required for an AAA game. I know NS2 has a small team, but I needed to mention it. 9) Give me a medium to play competitive.
The game is fun but it doesn't take advantage of the competitive nature of the player. There is no ranked system, there is no way to get matched with better, and better players. You have to do research to get into a team or the competitive scene. The game has to sunk you in. There is no way to measure your personal skill. I have no idea if I am better then I was one week ago. What are my stats? What is my win ration, or kills/deaths ratio. Or how many team actions did I do in my career? How good of a commander I am? 10) Give me achievements and badges.
If the above things were not important most of the games would not have them for casual players. People like to collect things and brag with them. Look, I have the "500 Skulk heads" achievement. Isn't that cool?
We need personalized profiles where we can see the career of a player. Players poor hundred of hours into the game, it's important for them to see that they have something at the end. A career page is just that.11) Rookies hit a wall.
The experience you get from playing NS2 for the first time is of disorientation and somewhat frustration. All the shooters so far have sculpted this image of how a shooter should be. So once you enter NS2 and try to go Rambo you will think the game is stupid not that the game doesn't work that way. Also I didn't even know Armories heal and give ammo for free for a long time and I was spamming like hell my commander for ammo and health. Now keep in mind, what is obvious as a veteran is not for a first timer.
I suggest hints to guide you from time to time "Stick to your teammates", "Heal at the Armory" (when low in health) etc. At the moment there are some guidelines like this, but I suggest a lot more, if not a TUTORIAL.
Also loading screens need a LOT more hints. The first time I loaded the game I've read them all with great interest just to see that there are only a few.12) Finding a game and entering play needs some work.
Finding a game is pretty easy and straightforward at the moment. However in the server list I feel the bellow features would be a great addition:
- the ability to see how many minutes into a game the server is running (maybe I want to play from scratch not an already 30 minutes developed game)
- how many players are in each team (to see if you there is room for me for marines for example)
Now, once I enter a server I often get into this situation where I want to join a certain team but more people want the same thing also. We are all in line and waiting for someone to jump to the other team to make room for one more. This is bad design. It is no fun to micro your way into the game, and forcing you to join the team you don't want to is not good.
So I suggest that in the server search lobby you can check the team you want to play in and the game will list only games that have room available in the desired teams. Once you join you are automatically in the game in that team. No game lobby, no waiting, no nerves.
All the above could be fixed with a Match Making system.13) Make Aliens be more swarmy and feel like they infested the place.
Give the Alien commander the ability to build a special unit that is controlled by him. The unit would have low health, low attack damage, but can be massed by the commander and given orders by him to siege bases and attack players. This unit would only attack enemy units and has the role to give the feeling of the Aliens as a swarmy race, not fighting on same numbers as the marines. This would make attacks on Marine bases more epic and more slaughtery and would give the Marines a feeling that they are outnumbered. 14) The game tends to go to Exos vs Onos battles only.
Sure, there are many ways you can get to that point, and many other ways to lose till you get there but the point is that this is linear. Where are my choices? Where are my comeback solutions? Why do I have to have 2 Command Stations to buy a personal Exo of it's already researched? There should be more ways of playing the game not all small variations of the same strategy.
Some of the suggested weapons above would make a gameplay based on Marine coordination instead of based on Exo firepower.15) Aliens have a better base defense.
Cloak, gorges, whip, etc.
This should be the other way around. Marine bases should not be put in threat by a single Skulk making a whole squad get back to base to chase it away for a minute till he comes back. Why don't the Marines behave like an organized team? Why is the base of an Alien harder to take down or attacked by small groups of Marines? Marines should be in danger once they leave their comfort zone, their base. A Marine base should be taken down with some coordination from the Aliens. Now a single smart Skulk can cripple a whole team. and even win the game.
The gameplay now is that the Marines really need to work like a charm together. For casuals and public pubs this leads to frustrations. All the Marines run like drunk sheep trying to defend extractors, repair power nodes and chase away one skulk poking at an Infantry Portal or Phase Gate. Meanwhile the Alien Commander expands and gets Onos. GG.
Marines should be more organized by design. 16) Give the Marines the ability to build an Outpost, a defensive structure. Outpost:
- costs 25 res;
- doesn't require energy;
- costs Pres to give it ammo;
- defensive covers at the front of the structure and a mini-gun above;
- one Marine can enter the structure and use the min-gun at the cost of Pres for ammo used;
- has 180 degrees at the back blind spot;17) Commander orders should appear more important on the screen of the Marine.
A blue line on the floor sometimes just doesn't cut it to a lazy Marine that thinks the destination is too far away or doesn't understand where it leads or why. The Commander orders should appear more personal on the Marine screen like a text saying "The Commander orders you to defend Pipe Works" or something else that give the Marine a better understanding of why and when and that is important for him to cooperate.
17) Marine Commander needs some bug fixing and features.Bugs:
- sometimes it's hard to click on a structure that has an icon suggesting me what to build;
- things don't deselect easy enough and orders are given wrong from this;
- an upgrade finished or structure has a red circle around it to warn me about it but this confuses me to think the place is attacked;
- ARCs should fire as soon they have vision not after a while. I waste a scan and they fire only twice while the scan lasts instead of three times as it should if they would fire ASAP;
- the ability to drop ammo and health is so broken i can't believe it. Dropping health on to a Marine should be done with a small area circle not a click on a moving Marine. The closest unit to the center of the circle gets the ammo/health;
- let me cancel some uncancelable upgrades;
- Exos coming from the small ProtoLab structure just seem wrong;
- dragging never selects right, only double click;Features:
- this is only for the Commander interface, but make it that I have all my team lined up somewhere in the UI like in a strategy game. When one of them asks for ammo/health his icon just pulses. I click on it and will have some options there and personal information about him like Pres, current weapon, etc;
- as a Marine Commander I want to see the health of the enemy structures my Marines see, what weapons my Marines have on them and their Pres. I am their commander. I need to know if they can afford an exo or not to make better moment decisions.
- structures that I want constructed should remain a hologram until they are completed. Otherwise the current mechanic just pins down a Marine until the structure is completed and I have to hope that no skulk is near by the Marine working or both the Marine and the uncompleted structure will be lost;
- let me cancel structure holograms without losing res; Why am I punished for changing my mind if nothing has been constructed?
- I need better alerts when something is attacked. I have one alert and then I need to spam click to see if any building is actually attacked;
- let me research 70 clip rounds for Marines as a late game upgrade;