Hey, I've decided to make my first and hopefully last post on these forums about NS2.
I don't want to sound like someone who doesn't appreciate the developers work, as Natural Selection is my favourite game, and one of the only 2 games I actually enjoy repetitively playing.
My biggest concern about NS2 is I'm worried the developers actually put thought into most of the completely stupid and ridiculous ideas on the forums which are visible in nearly every thread. I mean, the ideas are so bad that they are around 90% of the reason I wasted so long typing up this post.
I do not like the direction of NS2, don't get me wrong I accept the fact it has to be different from NS1, I just think you are limiting the game and that the idea's on these forums will cause damage to the potential of NS2.
Below is what I think sucks about NS2.
I think your map is too small, linear, symmetrical and is imbalanced (at least in NS1 standards). The rooms are too open, there isn't any real cover visible, there isn't many spots for skulks to ambush, the vents are all in dumb places and again, its too small.
Look at the good maps in NS1 compared to the bad maps. The best ns_ map in my opinion is ns_veil. The distances between marine start, all resource nodes, and hives is perfect. There are heaps of rooms and hallways that shape the map between RT's. Then there is say, ns_machina. This map isn't too terrible with RT/Hive/MS distances, but the walls and rooms are TERRIBLE (nearly as bad as co_kestral's MS, which is just like your tram maps MS). Aliens need corners, pillars, doorways, crates and other things to obstruct marine fire at long distances. All it looks like the creator of this map did was draw a few big squares in paint and connect them with zigzags...
I can see every game on this map being extremely similar, yet when I read news months ago about NS2, my idea of NS2 was playing on the same map could have a completely different feel to it every game, due to aspects like dynamic infestation. I'll put it like this for people who haven't noticed. THE MAP IS 100% SYMETRICAL. Is this game turning into StarCraft but your units are un-microable idiots who's aim you now rely on? NS1 had weird map shapes, yes maps had similarities (RT every hive room, one outside for each hive to claim as a 'natural', and two easily reachable from marine start), but the aliens could choose which side of the map they wanted to go for, and so could the marines.
This map makes it look like every round will be extremely similar. This is my guess to how it will play out anyway. Cap your half of the nodes on the map>take natural expansion>fight over third>winner wins. In NS1, the starting hive changed where all the key points on the map for each team are, eg. on ns_veil (http://hebus.aza.free.fr/ns_veil.jpg) sub hive means a phase gate at system way-pointing is a very aggressive move, but if their hive is pipe, its just a 'map control' phase gate. This map seems like the only fights will be an early skirmish deciding who caps double and who caps the bottom half of the map. On ns_veil, even if the aliens started in Cargo every game, aliens need a second hive, so they have to choose a side to focus on keeping safe safe therefore shaping the way the map will be played. Then there is marines getting to build a base where ever they want. Again reshaping the entire play-out of that round.
Also, the map size seems too small to me. Yes, it looks big in the screen shots, but the way I look at it is one elongated marine friendly zone room consumes most of the map other then the hives/MS.
tl;dr Dev's please tell us you're not listening to the stupid posters that plague your forums even though they probably barely played NS1 above a pub level.