Yet Another Alien Vision Thread: Can devs clarify if new AV was meant to balance?

IdlerayIdleray Join Date: 2012-10-04 Member: 161464Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 154 Advanced user
The new AV has been almost universally condemned and I agree with most complaints.

Given how "Alien Vision tweaked" is listed under 'improvements', why is it that basically every aspect of the new AV is strictly worse than before?

I have an answer, and forgive me for not taking the devs in good faith here, but the new AV amounts to a balance change
in disguise, a stealth nerf to Alien play that is in the vein of how the Skulk's teeth in its FOV has always been justified on balance grounds since the days of NS1 even though it makes little sense to have eyes in its mouth.

Now, given how much Aliens were dominating in the previous patch, I agree with the idea of nerfing Aliens to even up the win ratio, but using AV to do it seems just wrong.

It now has basically none of the functionality it did before and is actually completely useless outside of the few seconds of darkness when a power node is taken down. To say that it has lost 99% of its functionality would not be exaggerating.

What was its functionality? To heighten visual cues for Alien players and especially skulks who

1. Have a small FOV
2. Are constantly moving at high speeds
3. Are attacking marines that like to strafe around and act slippery in general

The highlighting of marines provided a kind of "hacking" that would be out of place and unfair in other shooters but uniquely fit the Aliens role-playing flavour AND served to even the odds of combat in light of their above handicaps

The difference between having and not having this highlighting is almost guaranteed to be a significant, statistical shift towards marine advantage during combat at all stages of the game. Granted this solves some balance issues, it's not a fun way of going about it.

I hope I have not gone way too ahead of myself. Perhaps it was not the Devs intention to make AV like this, but right now, it functions as probably the biggest single nerf to Aliens.


  • rantologyrantology Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Posts: 1,492 Advanced user

    It was meant to balance. key word 'was'.

    Previously it was pretty much an equivalent of white-walling, there was no decision really whether to use it or not. You just always turned it on when you spawn and that was that.

    New version: Basic vision now has some minor outlining, so that you do not need to turn it on every time you spawn. Now, the actual "flashlight mode" part is where it gets confusing. Initially (in 253) it was only meant for use in un-lit rooms. This was a balance change. It was later changed in 254 to accommodate feedback gotten in the short time period it was out (people didn't like it). So now what we have is toned down enough to use in lit rooms, however in my opinion this current iteration has an identity crisis on what it wants to be doing. It's an uglier version of the previous AV and accomplishes that same white-walling effect, so ultimately not much balancing was accomplished.

    I have a suspicion this is not going to be the final version of AV, though. I hope it gets refined a bit more.

    (the flashlight mode on the current AV still hurts my eyes, personally)
  • Enhance89Enhance89 Join Date: 2009-11-04 Member: 69261Members Posts: 96
    OP, as rantology mentioned, it basically all boils down to the fact that aliens were using AV all the time because it was a superior viewing option. That was not the intended use for AV. AV was supposed to be used exactly like the marine flashlight - useless in lit rooms and beneficial in the dark. UWE was undoubtedly going to change it because it wasn't serving the purpose they wanted. I don't blame them for that view point either.

    Now, they have made a couple of mistakes in how they reworked the AV, but they're obviously trying to give the player base what they want so I say just give em some time.
  • Blarney_StoneBlarney_Stone Join Date: 2013-03-08 Member: 183808Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,037
    Am I the only one who is perfectly fine with the new alien vision? I hated that green and orange crap, and it annoyed me how I was forced to play the game through that filter 100% of the time as aliens. The current alien "hive sight," which highlights important objects and keeps everything else the same color, is exactly what I had wanted alien vision to be.

    I never use the awful orange vision, but it's only intended for seeing in the dark and it's ok for that so I don't see the problem.
    if it keeps on raining the levee's going to break
  • VenatosVenatos Join Date: 2012-03-31 Member: 149762Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Posts: 217 Fully active user
    i think its perfect now, previously i had trouble tracking marines without AV so i had to activate it, but realy didnt like to have it active all the time.
    now i can track marines without AV and only use it in dark rooms or rooms without power. > as it was intended to be used.
  • Maxx11_v2.0Maxx11_v2.0 Join Date: 2012-11-18 Member: 172221Members Posts: 274
    I'm having issues with the current alien vision as well, tracking in battle is a lot harder now. I think the wiser solution would be to implement something closer to the modified alien vision, which only lit up certain things (like marines). Its not a pressing issue for me. It may become one if it turns out that I don't adapt as well as I think I will.
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