How is silence on shift hive still a thing?

VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,305 Advanced user
I played a few rounds on a server that doesn't run ghoul's balance mod lately, and I noticed that in vanilla, silence is still on shift. Why?

Of course this is just my opinion, but it seriously fucks with me, considering how shift is the overwhelmingly most popular first hive in pub and that every skulk worth a damn runs silence, completely negating my ability to locate them by sound.

In the balance mod, silence is back on shade, which does not only make sense lore wise, but also provides an actual drawback to using it, because you get neither celerity nor echo. But right now? Shift is the glorious catch all über hive, with echo, celerity and silence. Surely I'm not the only one who is seriously annoyed by this?
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  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 588 Advanced user
    But remember "celerity and silence together are too op" That's why it was moved in the first place.

    If silence goes back on shade then you can go celerity + silence again. Unless you move celerity to shade hive too, which would make even less sense than silence on shift.

    I personally think silence combined with aura or focus is far more deadly and "op" than silence + celerity could ever be. (Not to mention the all powerful rookie destroying combination of silence + vampirism)
    Resistor
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,305 Advanced user
    The overarching theme here seems to be that silence is very strong, especially when paired with other abilities. Maybe it should simply be nerfed or taken out of the game?
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  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 802 Advanced user
    edited July 22
    I think the silence nerf in ghouls balance mod (attack sounds still hearable) is a good one.
    return to zero
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  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 588 Advanced user
    edited July 22
    The theme I was trying to portray is that silence isn't nearly as strong as people (the devs included) make it out to be.. and it certainly doesn't need a nerf.



    I also find it strange that I've never once heard any casual/ rookie players complain about it.. Seems to only be the higher skilled vets with thousands of hours that complain when they die to a silent skulk...
    coolitic
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,305 Advanced user
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    The theme I was trying to portray is that silence isn't nearly as strong as people (the devs included) make it out to be.. and it certainly doesn't need a nerf.



    I also find it strange that I've never once heard any casual/ rookie players complain about it.. Seems to only be the higher skilled vets with thousands of hours that complain when they die to a silent skulk...

    Yes. Because someone who is not aware of his surroundings in the first place is not affected (as much) as someone who is.

    Plus I imagine if you die to pretty much everything all the time anyway, you don't care/notice if the thing that killed you made sounds.

    I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.
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  • bonagebonage Join Date: 2012-10-13 Member: 162230Members, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 115 Advanced user
    It doesn't work because:

    1. Shift hive is now the most powerful first hive upgrade further reducing the value of the other hives
    2. You can combo cele skulks with silence skulks which adds unnecessary cognitive load to marines early game (ie they have to constantly guess what upgrade aliens are using). Not great for newbies or vets alike

    What reasoning behind the move from shade to shift? I cant find it in the patch notes.
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  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Posts: 2,785 admin
    edited July 23
    bonage wrote: »

    [...]

    What reasoning behind the move from shade to shift? I cant find it in the patch notes.

    IIRC the change was done due to how efficient the combination of phantom (silence) and celerity was around that time. It should also be noted that most of the people who were in charge of the balance / comp mod around that time had kinda a "going back to the roots (ns1) " vibe (which included bringing back metabolize, hmg etc.), so moving silence to the shift (movement) hive made a lot of sense in that context because silence is a movement chamber upgrade in ns1.


    I personally think the issue with silence is caused by two things:
    1. The damage audio feedback is completely broken right now and we are about to fix it for the next build, which means that with silence you can basically land a hit before the marine is able to react based on the visual feedback (which is delayed compared to the audio feedback).
    2. Silence like some other upgrades has no trade off which causes it to synergize with other upgrades without limitations. Something that could be tried is for example a movement speed reduction as trade off for being silent.

    The above is my personal opinion on the matter and shouldn't be taken as statement what will be done balance wise in the future!
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
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  • bonagebonage Join Date: 2012-10-13 Member: 162230Members, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 115 Advanced user
    Which dev is currently in charge of balance changes for future patches ? Is it one person or are balance choices democratized within the whole team?
    Captain of Hello/Hungry Together, AusNS2 Caster and AusNS2 Admin
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 616 Advanced user
    bonage wrote: »
    It doesn't work because:

    1. Shift hive is now the most powerful first hive upgrade further reducing the value of the other hives
    2. You can combo cele skulks with silence skulks which adds unnecessary cognitive load to marines early game (ie they have to constantly guess what upgrade aliens are using). Not great for newbies or vets alike

    What reasoning behind the move from shade to shift? I cant find it in the patch notes.

    1. I disagree Shift Hive ist most powerful only because it is meta on Pubs. Every hive is valuable as starting hive.
    2. Yes, marines have to constantly guess what upgrades aliens are using. They have also to guess where aliens are on the map, where and when there are ambushs, where they are attcking, defending, rotating, laning, expanding, using PVE... The game is full of it and that is GOOD. Also, you have to guess if Aura, Focus or Vampirism... if Carapace, Crush or Regen.

    "Cognitive load" is not a valid argument imo.
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  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,305 Advanced user
    bonage wrote: »
    It doesn't work because:

    1. Shift hive is now the most powerful first hive upgrade further reducing the value of the other hives
    2. You can combo cele skulks with silence skulks which adds unnecessary cognitive load to marines early game (ie they have to constantly guess what upgrade aliens are using). Not great for newbies or vets alike

    What reasoning behind the move from shade to shift? I cant find it in the patch notes.

    1. I disagree Shift Hive ist most powerful only because it is meta on Pubs. Every hive is valuable as starting hive.

    Let's compare.
    Shift has celerity, which has always been a crutch for many; silence, which completely negates marines' ability to track you without seeing or scanning you, and echo, which allows the commander to teleport structures around, which is pretty useful early game. Oh, and adrenaline. Apparently some gorges like it. I don't remember seeing anyone use Adrenaline in ages. Celerity is just so much better.

    Shade has Aura - short ranged wallhack that is, a lot of the time, not much better than audio; Focus, which no one ever seems to use, ever; Vampirism, which is pretty neat, but not a major game changer, and Shade, which counters Arcs. (Not very useful early game.)

    Crag has Regen, which often isn't better than running back to the closest hive/crag and also gives your position a way (healing sound), Carapace, which is absolutely crucial in comp, but that pub skulks can generall do without, and crush, which is extremely niche. Also, healwave. Yay, healwave.

    My point is that shift is extremely useful to everyone, and the main drawback of the other hives right now is that you don't get shift hive's benefits.
    2. Yes, marines have to constantly guess what upgrades aliens are using. They have also to guess where aliens are on the map, where and when there are ambushs, where they are attcking, defending, rotating, laning, expanding, using PVE... The game is full of it and that is GOOD. Also, you have to guess if Aura, Focus or Vampirism... if Carapace, Crush or Regen.

    "Cognitive load" is not a valid argument imo.

    Yes, but the other upgrades don't make your ears unreliable. If the enemy has carapace or crush or focus I still shoot the skulk. If they have silence, I need to constantly check my back and lose track of them in fights much more easily.
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  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 588 Advanced user
    edited July 23
    If you didn't have to check your back and didn't lose track of them in fights then silence would become useless. Nerfing silence by having it make noise is dumbing the game down to make things easier for marines.

    Remember it was already nerfed by being split in two (phantom became silence and vampirism) and now requires you to sacrifice celerity/adren (as well as focus/aura if you want the full 'phantom' upgrade of silent cloaking)

    There's also other ways of countering it (scans, forward observatories, using teamwork and covering each other) They even added the hp bars to help marines keep track of aliens (they do nothing to help aliens track marines)


    When will it be enough?

    coolitic
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,170 Advanced user
    I think silence needs a bit of a Nerf. I love using it, but I think it makes the game less fun overall. When you can't use your ears to play, the game feels broken, and even more confusing than it already is.

    I'd like to see silence instead reduce the radius of the sounds you make to something very small, but have them play at half volume within that radius. This would retain its utility for getting around the map without detection, and getting within bite distance, but would negate it's effect once you are in close combat.

    I feel like half of the benefit of silence right now is that it makes combat so confusing for Marines, and I don't think that makes for very fun gameplay.
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  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,170 Advanced user
    moultano wrote: »
    I think silence needs a bit of a Nerf. I love using it, but I think it makes the game less fun overall. When you can't use your ears to play, the game feels broken, and even more confusing than it already is.

    I'd like to see silence instead reduce the radius of the sounds you make to something very small, but have them play at half volume within that radius. This would retain its utility for getting around the map without detection, and getting within bite distance, but would negate it's effect once you are in close combat.

    I feel like half of the benefit of silence right now is that it makes combat so confusing for Marines, and I don't think that makes for very fun gameplay.

    Alternatively, it could silence all movement sounds but keep attack sound intact, similar to cloaking.
  • ScatterScatter Join Date: 2012-09-02 Member: 157341Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 607 Advanced user
    moultano wrote: »
    moultano wrote: »
    I think silence needs a bit of a Nerf. I love using it, but I think it makes the game less fun overall. When you can't use your ears to play, the game feels broken, and even more confusing than it already is.

    I'd like to see silence instead reduce the radius of the sounds you make to something very small, but have them play at half volume within that radius. This would retain its utility for getting around the map without detection, and getting within bite distance, but would negate it's effect once you are in close combat.

    I feel like half of the benefit of silence right now is that it makes combat so confusing for Marines, and I don't think that makes for very fun gameplay.

    Alternatively, it could silence all movement sounds but keep attack sound intact, similar to cloaking.

    When the skulk is biting you it often is already too late especially considering interp and pings. Really have to have have a perfect reaction.
    Vetinari
  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 802 Advanced user
    @Vetinari I disagree with the "carapace is crucial in comp" thing. I love to go regen and heal myself behind the enemy lines while biting res. And since I am behind enemy lines biting res with a good amount of health I am also ready to flank pressure marines if my team calls for it.
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  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,663 Advanced user
    edited July 23
    How about having silence completely remove movement sounds, halving attack sound volume, and halving attack sound radius?

    And then move it back to the shade hive.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,305 Advanced user
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    Remember it was already nerfed by being split in two (phantom became silence and vampirism) and now requires you to sacrifice celerity/adren (as well as focus/aura if you want the full 'phantom' upgrade of silent cloaking)

    I would like to remind you that before phantom, we had silence and camo separate for a long time.
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    If you didn't have to check your back and didn't lose track of them in fights then silence would become useless.

    Then maybe we simply shouldn't have an upgrade like that, and replace it with something else. Although I disagree that it would become useless. An upgrade that makes your noise radius smaller so marines have a harder time spotting you behind their lines would still be super useful.

    Basically, everything that moultano said:
    moultano wrote: »
    I think silence needs a bit of a Nerf. I love using it, but I think it makes the game less fun overall. When you can't use your ears to play, the game feels broken, and even more confusing than it already is.

    I'd like to see silence instead reduce the radius of the sounds you make to something very small, but have them play at half volume within that radius. This would retain its utility for getting around the map without detection, and getting within bite distance, but would negate it's effect once you are in close combat.

    I feel like half of the benefit of silence right now is that it makes combat so confusing for Marines, and I don't think that makes for very fun gameplay.
    Mephilles wrote: »
    @Vetinari I disagree with the "carapace is crucial in comp" thing. I love to go regen and heal myself behind the enemy lines while biting res. And since I am behind enemy lines biting res with a good amount of health I am also ready to flank pressure marines if my team calls for it.

    That was based on my outside view on comp and what I've read on the forum over the years. I personally think crag upgrades are all that important compared to shift/shade, except on Onos (where you get a significant of health) and probably fades (which I play fairly rarely, so again, outside perspective). It was just my understanding that those 2/3 extra bullets can be crucial to surviving early engagements.
    coolitic wrote: »
    How about having silence completely remove movement sounds, halving attack sound volume, and halving attack sound radius?

    And then move it back to the shade hive.

    This is almost exactly what ghoul's balance mod does. (Minus the halving sound volume/radius.) And it is very helpful in crowded, messy engagements where it can be hard to locate a skulk that is chomping on your ankles. Being on shade means there's an actual drawback to getting it early game, but you can get it together with celerity, so that's probably still an issue. Still, it's imo the best implementation of silence we have right now.

    What if silence reduces your sound radius, but celerity increases it?
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  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Posts: 4,338 Advanced user
    I see no problem with silence tbh.
    Adapt and learn.

    Else, go complain about the lack of motion tracking? :D
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  • G_LockG_Lock Playtester_ FL Join Date: 2013-04-03 Member: 184624Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 91 Advanced user
    Leave silence alone, Skulks are already in a hard place for a majority of the player base to be utilized effectively (their weak, have skewed movement mechanics, are incredibly easy to kill while jumping or falling through the air, can be heard from 2+ rooms away and have huge hitboxes). You'v made the Skulk into a mostly sneaky, ambush attacker and now you want to make it even harder for them to played like that? Their becoming stationary traps that have to be initially holding a hiding place until someone (that isn't smart enough to check corners) passes by to get a kill or become a res bite bot, you cannot force people to use team work. Other playstyles for them are becoming more limited as time goes on. A large portion of players never Lerk or Fade, they just wait for Onos res because they feel hopeless playing them, don't let that feeling apply to Skulks as well.
  • barniebarnie Join Date: 2016-07-26 Member: 220695Members Posts: 46 Fully active user
    i have more problems with the invisibility buff.
    Moving skulks are too damn invisible they can run up to you in plain sight.
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  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members Posts: 221 Advanced user
    edited July 25
    Increasing silence-sound could be an overkill, since the radius you can hear stuff is already insane... but still, halving attacksounds is the appropiate thing to do, so you can bite rts in peace... and listen closely whether a marine is approaching
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,391 Advanced user
    Making attack or movement sounds made players turn up the volume so they could hear it.
    When you aim for perfect balance, you discover it's a moving target.
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  • HobbesonHobbeson New York Join Date: 2015-12-04 Member: 209723Members Posts: 37 Advanced user
    Separate some questions: is shift hive far stronger than the others? If so, is this a bad thing? If so, do we solve this by nerfing silence, by moving silence to another hive, or in some other way? If we move silence, where should it go?

    IMO shift hive is the obvious choice in pubs, that this is bad for gameplay, that we should put silence back on shade and make attack sounds audible. Sure, fast silent skulls suck, but no more than silent wall hacking skulls or silent focus skulls.
  • WobWob Join Date: 2005-04-08 Member: 47814Members, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 477 Advanced user
    Scatter wrote: »
    bonage wrote: »

    [...]

    What reasoning behind the move from shade to shift? I cant find it in the patch notes.

    IIRC the change was done due to how efficient the combination of phantom (silence) and celerity was around that time. It should also be noted that most of the people who were in charge of the balance / comp mod around that time had kinda a "going back to the roots (ns1) " vibe (which included bringing back metabolize, hmg etc.), so moving silence to the shift (movement) hive made a lot of sense in that context because silence is a movement chamber upgrade in ns1.


    I personally think the issue with silence is caused by two things:
    1. The damage audio feedback is completely broken right now and we are about to fix it for the next build, which means that with silence you can basically land a hit before the marine is able to react based on the visual feedback (which is delayed compared to the audio feedback).
    2. Silence like some other upgrades has no trade off which causes it to synergize with other upgrades without limitations. Something that could be tried is for example a movement speed reduction as trade off for being silent.

    The above is my personal opinion on the matter and shouldn't be taken as statement what will be done balance wise in the future!

    It would be good if any future changes to gameplay such as this could have a quick one liner explaining why it was done.


    Fat chance. Communication has always been UWEs Achilles heel. Forums are apparently read but rarely do devs engage in proper discussion. Discord is read if you ping people but rarely has any discussion, and even in the balance channel it's damn near impossible to ask for even an explanation. If you're lucky enough to even get a response, they won't actually answer your question or give an explanation.

    For a long time now I asked for silence back on shade, reduced base skulk sounds, reduced marine movement speed, increased gorge mobility.

    It took over 9 months just from being in discord (so excluding alternative efforts) to actually get the gorge mobility mechanics rolling and I know that I wasn't even the instigator or only person pushing for such changes.

    Remember when the big mods went down because the modders got dicked on with no communication from UWE? Remember when they turned around and promised better communication? Remember when that actually happened? I only remember the first two.

    There is *no* reasoned debate or room for ideas and suggestions. It is virtually all done based on the whims of the few people who code rather than the those with good ideas. The forums and discord channels are a facade.
    BestProfileNamemigalski
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,391 Advanced user
    Here is a relevant thread with statistics on alien first hive choice.
    https://forums.unknownworlds.com/discussion/148204/ns2-stats-first-hive-choice-preferences-discuss/p1
    When you aim for perfect balance, you discover it's a moving target.
    Perfect balance is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellent gameplay.
    NS2 is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfect balance is constant transformation.
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  • BeigeAlertBeigeAlert Texas Join Date: 2013-08-08 Member: 186657Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Posts: 2,742 admin
    moultano wrote: »
    I think silence needs a bit of a Nerf. I love using it, but I think it makes the game less fun overall. When you can't use your ears to play, the game feels broken, and even more confusing than it already is.

    I'd like to see silence instead reduce the radius of the sounds you make to something very small, but have them play at half volume within that radius. This would retain its utility for getting around the map without detection, and getting within bite distance, but would negate it's effect once you are in close combat.

    I feel like half of the benefit of silence right now is that it makes combat so confusing for Marines, and I don't think that makes for very fun gameplay.

    I've been saying this for a while, unfortunately our sound system doesn't make that easy. Volume, we can control easily for each sound, but changing the 3d distances is something static for each sound. So in order for this to work, we'd need to make 3 additional copies of every single sound affected by silence with the different ranges. :( It's certainly do-able... just not very much fun to work on. Then, if we ever wanted to change what those ranges are... ugh...
  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 802 Advanced user
    not sure how sound is handled in the code at all, guess it is not as easy to use multipliers as variable to change the (probably not existing?) sound range value right?
    return to zero
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