What's the NS2 dev org chart look like these days?

WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 920 mod
Saw this asked in another thread and was curious to know the contemporary answer, but the question was unanswered and I didn't want to further derail that thread by bumping the question.
bonage wrote: »
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?

And, really, I've lost sight of the larger NS2 dev organizational landscape these days and could use a refresher. Like, who's doing what these days? Ideally, the answer is short and authoritative (I'm not even sure who authoritatively answers such questions). I don't have any follow-up.
TGNS Portal | NS2 side-by-side game viewer
IronHorse wrote: »
TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.

Comments

  • ScatterScatter Join Date: 2012-09-02 Member: 157341Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 605 Advanced user
    edited August 2
    WasabiOne wrote: »

    As far as the balance discussion goes, we make those decisions as a committee. Some changes and ideas are driven by community input or by lack of functionality or player understanding of use. Although our focus is not on balance, our orders from the Powers that be (Max & Charlie) are to not focus on that but game features and retention. We do occasionally make some tweaks but with the time we are allotted it is not deemed a priority.

    Surely gameplay and balance are the drivers of fun and therefor a major factor in player retention?

    The_Welsh_WizardBestProfileName
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 611 Advanced user
    Scatter wrote: »
    WasabiOne wrote: »

    As far as the balance discussion goes, we make those decisions as a committee. Some changes and ideas are driven by community input or by lack of functionality or player understanding of use. Although our focus is not on balance, our orders from the Powers that be (Max & Charlie) are to not focus on that but game features and retention. We do occasionally make some tweaks but with the time we are allotted it is not deemed a priority.

    Surely gameplay and balance are the drivers of fun and therefor a major factor in player retention?

    Today many devs think the main drivers of fun in games would be achievements, unlocks and constant pop ups that tell you how great you are.
    Vetinari
  • 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: 2,710 admin
    Scatter wrote: »
    WasabiOne wrote: »

    As far as the balance discussion goes, we make those decisions as a committee. Some changes and ideas are driven by community input or by lack of functionality or player understanding of use. Although our focus is not on balance, our orders from the Powers that be (Max & Charlie) are to not focus on that but game features and retention. We do occasionally make some tweaks but with the time we are allotted it is not deemed a priority.

    Surely gameplay and balance are the drivers of fun and therefor a major factor in player retention?

    Today many devs think the main drivers of fun in games would be achievements, unlocks and constant pop ups that tell you how great you are.

    You'd be surprised how often we hear requests for more achievements and more badges and other stuff to earn/buy.
    devel
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,647 Advanced user
    I honestly think "new-player retention" is what is killing this game.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    Vetinari
  • 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: 4,339 Advanced user
    coolitic wrote: »
    I honestly think "new-player retention" is what is killing this game.

    Would you be willing to go into detail with this thought? I mean more detail than say "healthbars are bad."
    Please do not awesome anymore of my posts. I have 888 awesome's, and I would like to keep it that way. Shame on @Vetinari,
    @cooltic, and @.trixX. for ending it. Thank you @Foxy for fixing it.

    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.
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 611 Advanced user
    BeigeAlert wrote: »
    Scatter wrote: »
    WasabiOne wrote: »

    As far as the balance discussion goes, we make those decisions as a committee. Some changes and ideas are driven by community input or by lack of functionality or player understanding of use. Although our focus is not on balance, our orders from the Powers that be (Max & Charlie) are to not focus on that but game features and retention. We do occasionally make some tweaks but with the time we are allotted it is not deemed a priority.

    Surely gameplay and balance are the drivers of fun and therefor a major factor in player retention?

    Today many devs think the main drivers of fun in games would be achievements, unlocks and constant pop ups that tell you how great you are.

    You'd be surprised how often we hear requests for more achievements and more badges and other stuff to earn/buy.

    I was more talking in general, less about NS2 in specific. But no, I am not surprised, what makes it even more sad. I know there are a lot of people who wouldn't play a game only because they like playing the game. The question is if you want these people in your game.
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 573 Advanced user
    WasabiOne wrote: »
    Although our focus is not on balance...

    If this is the case may I suggest thinking through the balance changes you DO make a little more thoroughly.

    I mean seriously, the boneshield heal should have never made it into the game in the first place as it was CLEARLY overpowered as hell. Yet how long was it left untouched? (and how many things did you tweak to try to "balance" for it? - were ANY of them reverted alongside boneshield?)

    Then when you finally do fix it, you go overboard and nerf Onos health and speed...

    Maybe if the focus isn't balance, try smaller, less impactful changes (and less of them at once) so that when balance gets royally f***ed beyond belief (like it was with the boneshield heal, and still is now - such insanely long turtles!!) we aren't waiting months for a fix.

    Just a thought.
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,014 Advanced user
    edited August 4
    Nordic wrote: »
    coolitic wrote: »
    I honestly think "new-player retention" is what is killing this game.

    Would you be willing to go into detail with this thought? I mean more detail than say "healthbars are bad."

    If I may pick it up from here - not to speak for cooltic. I think the popularity of this game is hurting by the decline of the competitive scene.

    The game has a very steep learning curve and a very high skill ceiling. But as the competitive scene declines, it becomes increasingly more difficult to justify investing a lot of time and effort in to becoming good at this game, when you can compete in games like cstrike or quake instead.

    You might think "but it's only a tiny fraction of players that are even capable of competing anyway". That doesn't matter, because many players, that really don't have what it takes, still like to imagine that they do. They need something to look forward to or to strive for. Right now, the competitive scene is not really that attractive.

    I think to revive the competitive scene is to revive the playerbase. But a lot of key features have always lacked in ns2, wrt the healthiness of a competitive scene.

    Proper spectating for starters. Server and -clientside replays. Working first person spec. All of these are essential to foster a fragmovie community, which really helps advertise for the competitive scene. Fragmovies are almost non-existent for NS2, and the few that do, are of pub or gather games, never exciting tournament finals or anything like that.

    And could you imagine making something like Day9's dailys for NS2? How cool would that be, I'm sure a lot of players could benefit by learning some in depth strategy of the game. But how in the world do you first of all; find the games to analyse, and second of all record the game, when what you want to analyse can easily be missed while you're recording? You need replays for this, so you can rewind and watch things from several perspectives etc.

    Next there needs to be more competitions other than the nsl. Monthly or weekly cups to keep fans engaged. Showmatches. That sort of thing. <--This is on the community though, not UWE.<br>
    And of course performance is still an issue, however I have the impression that UWE are working the best they can on that, so I can't reasonably criticise them on that point.

    EDIT: And one more point. Less important than the others, but I still think it's worth mentioning. The game lacks projectile weapons. I'm a huge hitscan guy, I love the lightning gun in quake. But not everybody does love hitscan. Add relevant grenades and possibly a rocket launcher to the game; does two things. It removes the hitscan/shotgun monopoly. And it attracts arena fps players from quake, ut, tf2 etc. Remove railgun exo, replace it with Rocketlauncher exo!
    MephillesMoFo1Handschuh
  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 777 Advanced user
    @Nordic I do agree with @SantaClaws point but also not completely.
    The last time competitive had real worth was at the NS2WC 3 years ago. After that the competitive scene thrived and people had an amazing season at the NSL. Giving a badge for season winners is a nice start here tbh but I am not sure how many pub players saw a badge like that and thought "I want that!"

    "To revive the comp scene is to revive the playerbase" ... well... kind of... I guess. I would say making the experience that the NSL provides more accessible for anyplayer in the game is the key here.

    Like Santa said the game has a very steep learning curve and a high skill ceiling (even though compmod beta raises that ceiling by quite a bit atm). But also this game is very dependant on teamwork and with the ability to form a team and play against others you can get a grasp of the full awesomeness that ns2 can provide. However the steps for a rookie to get there are insane atm.
    1. Create an Account on ensl.org
    2. Create a team
    3. Get your friends to create an account aswell and join that team
    4. Get in contact with other active teams
    5. Schedule a time and date to play a couple of rounds

    And as I said before (and I know it's being worked on by the devs) a lobby system to group up with friends and queue up for a ranked game simultaneously with a marketing campaign to boost playernumbers so queuing times get reduced.

    Another thing this game should provide is the ability for each player to find an hone their own playstyle. That's why I do support the idea of projectile weapons (don't have to be rocket launchers though)
    return to zero
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,014 Advanced user
    @Mephiles uh, you don't have to sign up to ensl to organise a scrim. You have to sign up to compete in nsl sure - but really the main hurdles are 4. and 5.
  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 777 Advanced user
    true but if you sign up you can do gathers which skips the "get in contact with other teams" and thew much more difficult "have friends" part
    return to zero
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 611 Advanced user
    Mephilles wrote: »
    Another thing this game should provide is the ability for each player to find an hone their own playstyle. That's why I do support the idea of projectile weapons (don't have to be rocket launchers though)
    You don't find your own playstyle if your team only uses this weapon and the other team only another one. Different playstyles come from using everything the game has to offer you in the way you expect it to have the most impact on winning the match, and every team has different ideas. (At the moment this isn't true though, because everyone tries to learn and stick to meta without any interest in evolving it which is kinda sad).

    But generally, I would like more content and more marine marine weaponry. At the moment there is only Rifle, Shotgun and GL. And Exos sadly.
    The thing I am not sure about is: I would expect projectile weapons to be much more dependant on ping and lag... Not sure if this could play well.
  • MephillesMephilles Germany Join Date: 2013-08-07 Member: 186634Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 777 Advanced user
    Well atm the only projectile weapon we have is GL but I would also encourage different kind of LMGs, shotguns and pistols. They might differ in some areas like base damage, clip size, firerate or whatever but if they are somewhat balanced between each other they can also offer variety for each player
    return to zero
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,647 Advanced user
    edited August 4
    Nordic wrote: »
    coolitic wrote: »
    I honestly think "new-player retention" is what is killing this game.

    Would you be willing to go into detail with this thought? I mean more detail than say "healthbars are bad."

    Two reasons: 1. "New player retention" (TM) doesn't actually solve the main problems that prevent new player retention, largely too late now anyways. 2. Because many changes that were made for new players are doing so at the expense of veterans (aka, think they should simplify things, which comes at the cost of lasting appeal).

    These are both because UWE is misguided into thinking that "game is too hard! Waghh!" or "Waghh, not mainsteam enough!!!" is the problem (though the tutorials needed/still need improvement), instead of the game having lasting appeal. You want to know why the game lost all it's players at launch, UWE? Your performance was garbage, you had no decent tutorials, loading times were abysmal, and you didn't have matchmaking from the damn start. This is coming from a guy who prefers server browsers btw, and although most of these have gotten better over time, you lost the first few initial waves of players, and I doubt a relaunch would be effective.

    Now UWE is focusing on making the game more casual and simple (The new UI, healthbars, hitbox change, etc.) and keeping the rounds short and straightforward (rounds are too much on a timer, making them predictable/less interesting). It's a lot like watching DOTA 2 gradually become like HotS because they thought it was cool and trendy, despite leaving a lot of veterans and people who liked the unique, high-skill gameplay dissatisfied. The only thing that could possibly bring and keep new players is by offering a unique, lasting experience that people can invest into (requiring focus on high-skill ceiling), which obv isn't UWE's focus at this point.

    Veterans and enthusiasts are what keep a game together. They are the ones who will greet new players, introduce it to others, and advocate for it in general.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    jrgnDalin Seivewright
  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members Posts: 186 Advanced user
    If a rookie cant dodge spits or GL spam from high distances, you just think this game is garbage/laggy/buggy.. since you can do it in other games.. I don't know what is the source of it but in ns1 I could easily dodge 95% of every spit or GL if I focused on my enemy when he fires .. in ns2 it just feels random and as long as there is that issue adding a rocket launcher is a bad idea...

    Maybe it's the ping compensation that skulks with higher ping bite you from huge distances and it's the same with spits/ gls.. whatever the reason, this makes this game feel random
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NY Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Members, Constellation Posts: 1,415 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    coolitic wrote: »
    I honestly think "new-player retention" is what is killing this game.

    Would you be willing to go into detail with this thought? I mean more detail than say "healthbars are bad."

    Think he pretty much means that cysts and powernodes are an unncessary addition to the game which causes massive complications and consequences onto the game balance & flow in ways that never reward the players for their time or their individual contribution to their team's economy.
    mattji104
    coolitic
  • develdevel Join Date: 2014-09-13 Member: 198444Members Posts: 348 Advanced user
    BeigeAlert wrote: »
    Scatter wrote: »
    WasabiOne wrote: »

    As far as the balance discussion goes, we make those decisions as a committee. Some changes and ideas are driven by community input or by lack of functionality or player understanding of use. Although our focus is not on balance, our orders from the Powers that be (Max & Charlie) are to not focus on that but game features and retention. We do occasionally make some tweaks but with the time we are allotted it is not deemed a priority.

    Surely gameplay and balance are the drivers of fun and therefor a major factor in player retention?

    Today many devs think the main drivers of fun in games would be achievements, unlocks and constant pop ups that tell you how great you are.

    You'd be surprised how often we hear requests for more achievements and more badges and other stuff to earn/buy.

    I'll use this opportunity to remind everyone that NS2 still needs sellable hats. (I mean customizable everything: models/structures/units/abilities/map elements)
    The_Welsh_WizardantouBestProfileName
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,014 Advanced user
    You know, structure skins would be an interesting way to identify veteran commanders.
    The_Welsh_WizardVetinariResistorBestProfileName
  • 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: 4,339 Advanced user
    Thank you for giving complete thoughts rather than "new player retention is killing NS2." It isn't anything I haven't seen before, but I do appreciate complete thoughts
    Please do not awesome anymore of my posts. I have 888 awesome's, and I would like to keep it that way. Shame on @Vetinari,
    @cooltic, and @.trixX. for ending it. Thank you @Foxy for fixing it.

    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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