PETITION: Develop Vanilla NS2 separate from Competative Scene

It's Super Effective!It's Super Effective! Join Date: 2012-08-28 Member: 156625Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 518 Fully active user
edited July 2013 in NS2 General Discussion
Hello NS2 Community and UWE Dev's,

I would like to advocate the discussion of a very important topic that affects the future of NS2.

From two separate posts, I am consolidating the PRO's and CON's of Developing the Vanilla NS2 separate from the Competitive LEAGUE scene.

For reference, here are the two other posts: Topic #1 at the bottom and continues and Topic #2 Near the top half

There are compelling reasons on both sides, and I encourage that those views continue to discuss here in case I miss something, I will amend it to this post.

The goal of this post is to bring attention, and hopefully a "webbed" status so that we can find a happy middle ground for both audiences that hasn't been working out so well.

Simply sign FOR or AGAINST, and leave some thoughts, together we can make NS2 a game everyone enjoys :)!

Reasons FOR separate development:
    1 - It doesn't require UWE to remove or backtrack all that has been done as the change would be moving forward towards a better experience for pub scene. 2 - Comp scene can be developed by those evolved with it this freeing up time for Vanilla to be developed without restriction. 3 - Game play can be geared towards an average of 8 v 8 + which (according to official servers) is the intended game play and should be designed for fun, more forgiving game play. 4 - Slower game play lessens the steep learning curve for newer players, thus increasing player base. 5 - Increased player base eventually leads to more funding, and more players who may enter competitive scene on their own initiative. 6 - Development emphasis can be spent on performance to reach new players rather than using up so much time balancing the game. 7 - Pub play does not play the same as competitive play, and therefore should run with a st of rules/tweaks that makes for a fun experience. 8 - Many games including other asymmetrical game play like Left 4 Dead did this very thing, and it was successful, as most of the player base was not into competitive game play. 9 - Could free up time to make a proper interactive tutorial seen in many games (Half-Life 1 Crash Course Anyone?) that combines all the efforts made up until this point to train players.

Reasons AGAINST separate development:
    1 - The rule changes makes players have to re-learn the game 2 - Discourages people into going into competitive scene 3 - UWE or community would have to maintain the updates of a comp mod. Could lead to game breaking for complete mod. 4 - Separation of the community. 5 - It is highly dependent on actual growth of the community.
Post edited by It's Super Effective! on
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Comments

  • It's Super Effective!It's Super Effective! Join Date: 2012-08-28 Member: 156625Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 518 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    I'd like to add my counter-arguments that I've made in those respective posts:

    COUNTER 1 ) Rule changes have already forces people to re-learn the game, not just competitive players, but everyone, don't forget B250. Having a separate competitive scene narrows that "re-learning" to those who have the experience to adapt to it, and won't effect new players still learning the base game. The current competitive scene already plays with some different rules already, from non-close spawns to differently lit maps. I feel this argument doesn't hold much weight.

    COUNTER 2) Competitive play discouraging new players is in the nature of competitive play itself, for it would require player interested in competitive play in the first place. Having this discouragement happen even in a new player's learning phase will stop the player from playing NS2 entirely, which in turn hurts both scenes.
    Post edited by It's Super Effective! on
    Cheers,
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  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    AGAINST:

    Separation would mean that UWE has to update two separate versions, creating almost twice as much work (and playtesting). The alternative is if the comp scene is a community effort, but then it is unsupported by UWE and every update WILL break something as a result. Who will fix things when they break?


    I think your step from 4 to 5 is more wishful thinking than an cast-iron guarantee, tbh.
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  • It's Super Effective!It's Super Effective! Join Date: 2012-08-28 Member: 156625Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 518 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    Balance test was community made, and was absorbed into vanilla game play. The manpower is there, how much they want to support it is up to them and those interested.

    Also it depends on how a stark a change the company’s mod would be from vanilla, it could be as simple as a couple of tweaks to suit 6v6 to something extreme.

    Based on the current state of the game. There doesn't seem to be enough to warrent that much concern.

    Enlighten the community if you have any information of the current comp changes.
    Cheers,
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  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call? Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    Balance test was community made, and was absorbed into vanilla game play. The manpower is there, how much they want to support it is up to them.

    Not really, Sewlek has done lots of coding for UWE - just look through the files, you'll see his name smattered through them going back a looong way!

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  • It's Super Effective!It's Super Effective! Join Date: 2012-08-28 Member: 156625Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 518 Fully active user
    Did he come up with all those changes by himself? Or through community (of those who participated) feedback
    Cheers,
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  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Some more "against" points:

    - Separation of the community
    - Having to relearn the game, when players are interested in going from pub to comp
    - Patches will break it, if it isn't officially supported
    - It is highly dependent on actual growth of the community, otherwise it's just creating a split with ~1000 concurrent players
    - Most competitive games have the same pub and pro gameplay, NS2 has issues with pubstomping mostly and the fact that a new player has a VERY slim chance of doing anything against a good/pro player. To them it feels like they aren't contributing anything to the outcome of the game. That is the bit that leads to frustration/leaving...


    Perhaps a "for point:

    - It redirects the pro pubstompers (the unintentional ones) from the pub servers (if the player count allows for this)

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  • elodeaelodea Editlodea Join Date: 2009-06-20 Member: 67877Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,786 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    Did he come up with all those changes by himself? Or through community (of those who participated) feedback
    ~95% (if not more) of the new fundamental feature sets you see in b250 are sewlek's. He has been an important part of the UWE dev team for quite some time I believe.

    In terms of where community feedback came in, I think you have it wrong way around. BT/250 was not 'community made', but made for, and in consideration of the community.

    AGAINST
    - The interests of competitive and public gameplay do not diverge materially enough to warrant separate development. It's a common misconception that they do.
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  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Posts: 1,727
    This is a ridiculous proposition. Just stop.
    Balance test was community made
    No. The balance test was entirely made by Sewlek, who is employed by UWE as a game systems designer. The community provided input and suggestions, but the end result is Sewlek's work.
    Zefram
  • NeokenNeoken Bruges, Belgium Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27447Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Playtester Posts: 1,305 Advanced user
    edited July 2013
    @It's Super Effective!

    You're assuming though that splitting up development would somehow free up significantly more time for UWE. But I don't see how it would enable them to polish the game any faster than they can at the moment. It's not like they are all spending time on balance issues there. The balance mod was basically entirely Sewlek's work, no?

    Anyway, not saying I'm completely against it, not as long as the actual differences between comp and vanilla aren't too big, but it seems a lot of your "reasons for" are based on this presumption it would help NS2 progress faster in general, which is not that convincing to me.

    Overall, I'm leaning towards AGAINST.


    Post edited by Neoken on
  • godriflegodrifle Join Date: 2006-12-01 Member: 58815Members Posts: 188
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    against.
    having a easy thing like friendly fire is one thing, but even that can cause inbalance.
    I can not fathom how we want to balance and support to games on both community and uwe.
    Well I cant speak for uwe, but I cant imagine them doing it.
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  • It's Super Effective!It's Super Effective! Join Date: 2012-08-28 Member: 156625Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 518 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    CONFOGL for Left 4 Dead, as far as I know was not developed by the dev's but the community searching for a competitive scene. That went well for them even after subsequent updates of the base game.

    I retract my comment about Swelek's work on Balance Test, it certainty seemed that way and I apologize.

    I have added some of Kouji-san's points that were not duplicates of those already posted

    Just to clarify, my view of what the "competative mod" would be targeting would be for players seeking to get into high level competitive for things like NSL.

    We will always have players ranging from rookie to non-rookie. But non-rookie pool also separates in a gradient naturally to those who play to have fun with the skills that they have competitive league level.

    @elodea, can you elaborate on your point.

    @DC_Darkling, I don't think anyone mentioned friendly fire, even I agree that would be super unbalanced, but whatever changes to the comp scene need to be made to make comp play as fair as possible without having so much of it affect pub play.
    Cheers,
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  • Blarney_StoneBlarney_Stone Join Date: 2013-03-08 Member: 183808Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,037
    Against.

    With a community hovering around 1000 players it makes absolutely no sense to divide the community with two different rule sets. We saw this problem emerge a little bit already when the BT hadn't yet been released, there was a drastic divide between those who were playing the BT to get ready for its release and those who had no idea it was coming.
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  • KanehKaneh Join Date: 2012-12-11 Member: 174783Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 95 Fully active user
    you're trying to solve an entirely different problem.

    it's not comp vs pub balance. It's good players stomping bad players.

    please stop saying that rulesets and balance somehow will fix the stomping.
    frantixblindZefram
  • KanehKaneh Join Date: 2012-12-11 Member: 174783Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 95 Fully active user
    no seriously, can you come up with one good rule/balance that would be good for pub and bad for comp or vice-verse? or are you just trying to stop good fades from soloing bad teams?
    frantixTerranigmaVA_Chris
  • frantixfrantix Join Date: 2013-03-18 Member: 184063Members, WC 2013 - Supporter Posts: 98
    Another great idea. This is the solution for everything. NS2 will go mainstream and player numbers will explode!
    Seriously, I can't remember any other game where there are so many poorly conceived "improvement" suggestions. UWE should definately create a "suggestions"-board where only people can post that have over 200h of gameplay or something. But please... make it stop!
  • MaxAmusMaxAmus UK Join Date: 2003-12-26 Member: 24779Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 563 Advanced user
    Very much against this, i feel kaneh makes a great point that its not comp v pub. Even for a moment lets say this would happen, it dose not solve anything as whats to stop all these comp pro players still playing in pubs? Nothing, i feel your creating a whole new problem to an un-solved problem even if u would call it a problem, its that when new players get this game there is not alot of help to guide them through the game making it very hard for them to learn the game.
    I feel this is something that we can work on, making rookie only servers that only allow players with <50-100 hours played making mostly everyone on the same sort of level.

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  • rantologyrantology Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Posts: 1,493 Advanced user
    Question to OP - Is the goal of this thread aimed more toward

    A) the separation of skill levels in players (i.e. I don't want high skill level players playing in the same server as low skill level players)

    or

    B) to add more forgiving / casual ("foo strategy") mechanics into the game so that pub games can equalize in terms of skill (i.e. there are high skill players in my game but they are less effective because they can be negated easier by game mechanics)

    Suggestion in OP may have been made with good intentions, but the solution is questionable ...I personally am very against split rulesets/development. There are far too many cons than pros (and I think it would make a huge amount of work for UWE to design/balance two separate game modes). I do think there are some issues with player skill difference that can be highlighted though. For instance the game could really benefit from sabot (ingame scrim finder/ matchmaker) which would help funnel bored competitive players out of low skill pubs and into games or servers with other players of roughly similar (or at least higher than avg pub) skill. Currently it's a massive headache to find higher skill servers unless you have every single comp player on your steam friends (and even so you often still have to run the gauntlet of the absurd reserved slot system a lot of servers have adopted).
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  • TaneTane Join Date: 2004-10-25 Member: 32441Members, Constellation Posts: 123 Advanced user
    L4D is one the most popular FPS out there and it's competitive scene about the same size of NS2. That is mostly because Valve has never supported L4D competitive wise, they have actually done more harm than good for it. So no, it was not successful.
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  • SUPER_SARSSUPER_SARS Join Date: 2013-02-13 Member: 183039Members Posts: 274 Fully active user
    frantix wrote: »
    UWE should definately create a "suggestions"-board where only people can post that have over 200h of gameplay or something


    thats ridiculous
    RadmanBlarney_StoneGISP
  • BentRingBentRing Join Date: 2003-03-04 Member: 14318Members Posts: 397
    Although it's my post at the bottom of the page in the first link, I'm actually on the fence if it would be a good idea or not. And I never advocated the NS2 team developing an entirely different game mode.


    I'll withhold my vote (NS2 is a democracy, right :)) ) until I hear some better arguments concerning this post.
    BentRing wrote: »
    Quake III literally had a pro mod which was used by the CPL and became the de facto style in leagues. And feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't almost every video game that is/was team based and played competitively have a slightly (at least) different rule set than (what's considered) standard public play?

    Also, as Blarney_Stone mentioned, one has existed and overall highly endorsed for the last half year but it contains a bit more than just no random spawns... http://forums.unknownworlds.com/discussion/127235/nsl-comp-summit-tram-veil-descent


    But anyway, I'm honestly not concerned what the comp scene ends up doing since competitive league gaming always ends up feeling more like work rather than a hobby to me, even though I enjoy playing (and watching) competitive rounds of gaming. Regardless of the changes that do or don't get made I'll learn them and keep on playing but it would be kinda nice if there were distinct branches of pro (6v6) and pub/casual (8v8+) gametypes available so the two groups would have far less to argue about.


    But then, these forums might get kinda dull. :))



    Also, to pull a quick Devil's Advocate, although this was billed as to be designed as the most moddable game ever almost any mod that has been or will be created has the potential to break the game with patches (front page news: bouncing nades being the latest thing from everyones favorite stat tracking mod) as well as splitting the community (combat, NS1 remake, etc).


    And where was the outrage with other gameplay changing mods such as last stand?
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  • BentRingBentRing Join Date: 2003-03-04 Member: 14318Members Posts: 397
    fanatic wrote: »
    This is a ridiculous proposition. Just stop.
    Balance test was community made
    No. The balance test was entirely made by Sewlek, who is employed by UWE as a game systems designer. The community provided input and suggestions, but the end result is Sewlek's work.

    So you're saying if you had the final say on how the competitive game should be designed you would quietly bow out and play what we have?
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  • |DFA| Havoc|DFA| Havoc Join Date: 2009-08-07 Member: 68375Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 160
    I am absolutely in favor of separate rulesets for pub and comp play. I am sick of considerations made for competitive play ruining pub games, godmode fades most of all.

    The 'division of the community' everyone points out is a good thing in this case, because comp players should not be stomping around in the kiddie pools. Pubstomping has a severely negative effect on new player retention, and it turns off non-rookie casuals as well. I've seen many a server emptied by a single tier 1 player.

    Having to 'relearn' the game when ascending from pub to comp play is a non-issue as I see it, since this is already the case. Comp tactics and gameplay are very different from pub play, and the type of people who are interested in playing at the competitive level are by nature the sort that enjoy the extra challenge and already put more effort into research / theorycrafting / skill development / etc.

    Current balance / development is skewed in favor of competitive and high level play, as that's where most of the community feedback comes from. The most dedicated and proactive players are typically the ones involved in the competitive scene, and are also the most likely to be playtesters and forum posters. It is not in the nature of casual players to get involved at the higher level and argue about game mechanics and balance, they just want to jump on a server and play some enjoyable matches. If it's not fun, they just stop playing. It's rare for a casual player to come to the forums to try and give feedback to the developers about game balance, and their arguments are typically emotional, misinformed, anecdotal, and not very technically inclined or accurate. This makes it difficult to filter any kind of genuinely useful information from them, and they usually just get crapped on by the elitists and trolls anyway. I don't have a solution for getting more usable feedback from casual players, but I think having two versions of the game would allow for some more dialogue options than 'It's fine, learn to play'.
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  • JektJekt Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143714Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    It might be time to write a book.
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  • ExoskelettExoskelett Join Date: 2012-12-18 Member: 175509Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 136
    edited July 2013
    Ya lol forget it UWE cannot even manage to work with the ENSL well
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  • SUPER_SARSSUPER_SARS Join Date: 2013-02-13 Member: 183039Members Posts: 274 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    Exoskelett wrote: »
    Ya lol forget it UWE cannot even manage to work with the ENSL well - how should this work at all? the game will just last for some more months and then its over. what ive heard so far that its a single person inside UWE causing that much chaos and actually leading the game into death as long as this guy doesnt get fired out and even more as long as other devs think that this guy is "a good one" theres no future.

    and we all remember just hugh or whatever his name is just failing around at the last event in Köln - Germany while the entire stream was raging that they do not want to see him. UWE is doing pretty much wrong and there will not even a petition help - a better one is to fire 1 person out of UWE so the game can actually start to become better but who cares. UWE does not want to listen so dont waste your time in ideas and stuff and let them die.

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  • MestaritonttuMestaritonttu Join Date: 2004-07-29 Member: 30229Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Posts: 1,194
    Horribly silly idea. I don't even understand how it turns good in your head. Thinking about UWE, the devs, the player pool we have, and then suggesting you drop a "2nd game" with comp modifications ontop of that all? Just no. Not going to elaborate, sorry, tired. :P
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  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,466 Advanced user
    I didn't read the whole thread.

    I am against it. Too much work, imo. But the competetive scene can do it like in BF3, for example: Just add some rules (forbid some weapons, for example).
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