There are too many threads about a stale subject.
Why does this combat debate even still go on?
NS2 is planned by the devs to be the most modded game ever. That means 100's or 1000's of mods if they are successful. All this talk of what combat did to ns is irrelevant. this game is designed to be modded. Get used to seeing hundreds of mods available for this game, like there was for HL1, and stop harping on about what is now an irrelevant topic.
Sure an alternative mode may or may not have had a negative effect on NS as a mod.
NS2 is a full retail game like HL1 & HL2, designed for modding. Debating whether or not a combat mod would harm NS2 is ridiculous, you are saying the very philosophy of UWE is flawed and if people mod their game, it will fail.
Wake up and smell the coffee. NS2 is not a mod, it is a full retail game, depending on the success of it's modding tools to encourage a huge additional influx of players to the game. It is highly likely many of these players won't even go near the main game, especially when they arrive and the game is already four or five years old.
Stop thinking small time, NS2 is out to try and grab sales figures and player figures akin to HL2, not NS1.
Mods will be the lifeblood of UWE and thus the Natural Selection universe. They are critical to the success of this game on a level UWE requires.
Mods may or may not have killed NS1, but NS2 won't be able to survive without them...
So please, let us put this old combat argument to bed and look to the future, not the past. If you have to look to the past, imagine NS2 as HL1, whose very success was because of mods. That is what they are trying to achieve, this level of success and longevity.