Reducing combat "chaos"



  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    The game is already too slow. Definitely don't slow it down any further.

    Sound has huge issues. I'd almost go so far as to say it is broken. Filtering needs to be much reduced or eliminated all toghether; I feel like I'm under water sometimes.
  • rantologyrantology Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold
    For skulk vs marine in specific, as a skulk I feel like player collision is very strange. It feels like when I go to try and bite the marine, I am jumping into jello... I bounce into the marine, and then get pushed out of the marine via this wonky collision. It makes it hard to land bites and often leaves me confused and disoriented in the middle of battle because I get "pushed" out of the marine in weird places/angles. In NS1 player collision felt more solid, you ran into a marine to bite and it was like you hit something solid, you did not kind of sink into the marine and then get pushed back out. It was much easier to orient yourself while attacking and land bites.
  • Raza.Raza. Join Date: 2004-01-24 Member: 25663Members, Constellation
    I think the main problem is still performance, but it's not the only factor.
    - Movement animations seem less predictable to me than they were in NS1. Sometimes I could swear skulks don't move at a constant speed, but in a succession of mini-leaps (exaggerated, but that's how it appears to me).
    - When colliding with another player, you don't get blocked completely, but are pushed to the side. That means you can sort of pass through marines as skulk in close combat.
    - Players blend in with the environment due to lightning and effects.
    - The crosshairs are quite large and get in the way.
    - Things like spores, gorge spit, being low on health impair vision or hearing.
  • NecropsYNecropsY Join Date: 2012-01-23 Member: 141746Members
    I feel the main issues with this are -

    Sound - (the sound is terrible in NS 1 i could always hear Skulk steps and marine steps ) (NS2 your lucky to even heary our own steps more often your hearing someone half way across the map building or hitting a hive when its no where near you )

    the sound engine needs to be looked at -

    FPS - things get frantic at slide show , good luck tracking things when the map is full of structures that's dropping everyone's frames - and the maps have WAYYYY too many light sources
  • NecropsYNecropsY Join Date: 2012-01-23 Member: 141746Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1903096:date=Feb 14 2012, 11:48 AM:name=Raza.)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Raza. @ Feb 14 2012, 11:48 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1903096"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->- Things like spores, gorge spit, being low on health impair vision or hearing.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    That really pisses me off, tell me why anyone would want that in a FPS game

    that needs to be removed, first time i saw that i was like are you kidding me
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    <!--QuoteBegin-"Design log"+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE ("Design log")</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteEBegin-->Why wasn’t this a problem in NS1? I would say frame-rates but we’re quickly getting to the point where that’s not the issue.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I hope I'm misinterpreting, but if Flayra thinks this game is even close to to approaching decent performance...
  • JaweeseJaweese Join Date: 2006-11-04 Member: 58356Members
    I have to do r_mt false to reduce mouse lag, which lowers my (already low) fps. Mouse lag felt like it was fixed once and for all in B190, but then it came back in 191-192 or so.
  • RokiyoRokiyo A.K.A. .::FeX::. Revenge Join Date: 2002-10-10 Member: 1471Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1903086:date=Feb 15 2012, 03:15 AM:name=Techercizer)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 15 2012, 03:15 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1903086"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I know the comparison has been done to death, but I'd like to point to TF2 as an example that <b>fast, clustered, hectic combat can be easy to engage in and understand</b>. The key is to have clear sensory indicators (such as distinctive and directional noise cues, careful colour use, and clearly defined borders) to sort and convey the information.

    Most players are perfectly capable of understanding that three skulks are rushing their front while a lurk is sniping them from above; the factor that causes confusion is how well the game is able to notify them of this.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->These are some excellent points that deserve some extra attention. :)
  • oldassgamersoldassgamers Join Date: 2011-02-02 Member: 80033Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited February 2012
    <!--quoteo(post=1902941:date=Feb 14 2012, 11:23 AM:name=BearTaxi)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (BearTaxi @ Feb 14 2012, 11:23 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1902941"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I agree with this. Combat definately should NOT be slowed down. There just needs to be more feedback on what's happening around you. If a marine and a skulk spin around trying to kill eachother, so what? It's an FPS, there is bound to be some crazy situations amidst combat. Slowing down a player when they are hit just seems like it would be more frustrating, suddenly losing the momentum you had and potentially missing your chance to kill, dragging out the fight even longer.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    I agree, <b>NO slow down</b> please.

    One thing i loved about NS1 was the fast-phasing combat, the chaos. Feelt like an action game :) The faster you are the more skill you have. It was all about the skills :)
  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Members
    edited February 2012
    Sound inaccuracy really is the biggest source of confusion (at least for me), so I'm glad you've identified that.

    I think changing the core gameplay (by slowing players who took damage and stuff like that) is going in completely the wrong direction. Not only does it do things like "hurt lerk play", but it overcomplicates what should be a simple situation (2 guys shoot each other, one by moving fast in and out of melee range, and the other using ranged weapons). Layering more and more mechanics on top of the game won't fix the core problem, which is that when I run through a group of marines and bite them, I feel like I'm hearing other skulks beside/behind me as I get shot (not to mention the many other confusing improper sounds).

    Identify why combat feels chaotic (if it does) first, then look for solutions. Don't assume the reason for the 'chaotic' feeling is that players weren't moving sluggishly enough.
  • {LoC}Blue_Leader{LoC}Blue_Leader Join Date: 2012-02-06 Member: 144025Members, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow
    Sound is definitely an issue for me, most of the time I have no idea if I'm being hit or not, there's no real indicator aside from your health going down which I'm not always watching if there wasn't a loud gashing sound with Skulks it would appear I died out of the blue.
  • arualarual Join Date: 2005-03-12 Member: 44989Members
    Once the hit-reg is fixed on skulks and the server-client performance improves further I don't think chaotic combat will be a problem. Even now I feel like combat <i>should</i> be chaotic I just don't think it currently is that way for the right reasons.
  • TweadleTweadle Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39686Members, NS2 Map Tester
    Sound and the fact that its difficult to see skulks against surfaces is where I find most of my confusion.
  • comp_comp_ Join Date: 2011-06-27 Member: 106656Members
    Slowing things down never sounds like a good idea IMO. Like it has been said, I think fixing the fps issues and visual/sound feedback should be priority before modifying anything else. If after getting that done, people still believe there is too much "chaos" or whatever, then we can discuss the problem and further solutions...
  • BonesXBonesX Join Date: 2007-02-04 Member: 59883Members, Constellation
    i just went back to play NS1 a bit (vs bots for lack of anything better) and agree that the soundscape is HUGE. I also think that the FOV idea is on the right track- the visual field as a skulk was larger. I can be right up to a rine and see 1/2 of them while chewing. On NS2 it seems closer to 1/3 or 1/4- can anyone confirm or deny this? i think the rine FOV may be smaller also. This helps you to lose the enemy much faster. The very "busy" detail textures also contribute a great deal. It's easy to lose the location of a skulk as you spinning around firing. Larger aliens also have this issue to a degree but their larger size tends to offset it as the larger silhouette provides a bigger cross in the wall textures so the shadow is easier to differentiate.

    so my list of reasons for the Chaos:

    1. smaller visible FOV
    2. TEXTURES in the background camouflaging the skulks.
    3. FPS

    meh, just my 2c
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members
    edited February 2012
    Sound, marines being able to sneak up to you as a skulk. Not hearing skulks till they're biting your heels.

    Animations, being killed by fades when he is in front of me looking backwards, skulks "glitching" or warping all over the place irradicaly in unpredictable directions, just doesnt look normal. Partly contributed to low fps.

    FPS, and FPS is the one of the main issues why i mentioned animations and warping around, it just isnt smooth 10 fps you might as well just stand there you cant shoot with that, well you can shoot alien structures LOL.

    flash lights. The flash light is next to goddam useless, 5 metres infront of you is still pitch black, when team mates are near you, its even harder to see, with so many lights in a dark room you would think it would be easier? but its not, adds another layer to look through.

    these things are where my confusion and chaotic combat comes from. I wouldnt slow things down untill atleast the low FPS issues are fixed. gtx580 and sub 20fps is not good.
  • PricePrice Join Date: 2003-09-27 Member: 21247Members
    edited February 2012
    <!--quoteo(post=1902931:date=Feb 14 2012, 11:01 AM:name=Rokiyo)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Rokiyo @ Feb 14 2012, 11:01 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1902931"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->So Charlie put up a new note on the design log today: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

    I'm curious as to how many people here feel combat is chaotic, and if so: Why?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    The Terrible hit detection is the only reason, in one build, it was awesome i guess it was 193 or 192 but now its again "laggy".
    As a skulk it should be chaos, i always run up the wall and attack the marines from above, it works well.
    The only chaos thing is, if you aim at the marine bite and you don't hit them by what ever reason, so it can happend that 3 skulks run in a cylce with just one marine...only because they can not hit him.
    Also some marines jump around.
    For marines the same with hit detection, its hard to hit a skulk with that hit detection.
    Like i said, the only solution is not to slow players down (sorry but whats that for a solution???), but to fix the hit detection(lag with models and hitbox)!
    to bad i can not show you this situation but it happend so many times if try to kill a marine.
    Last situation like this, was in the hive, one marine attacks it, run in cycle a fade, lerk and skulk(me) try to kill him, after 5 seconds he was dead and no, we aren't noobs or un-skilled, its just hard to hit if 1) the hit detection is that weird again 2) you got not very high fps (feels like mouse lag)
  • GrissiGrissi Join Date: 2003-08-28 Member: 20314Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    It's quite simple why ns battles are so chaotic, its because the game isn't ready yet and players are still not used to the game. You have to remember ns1 has been played for years and most players playing ns1 now know the basics and positioning very well(even though its not on competitive level).

    If anyone remembers the old versions of ns1 the battles could get really chaotic, it was a mix of new players and a game that was not complete at the time. It's the same now, if we fix the frame rate and refine the weapons/movement this problem will be fixed, there no need to add another mechanic. Also adding clear sounds when you hit work as well, it was always good to hear clearly when you hit a marine as skulk or the sound of a fade getting hurt by a shotgun. I have seen many games fail in the sound part, it's a really important part of the game.

    You have to keep in mind that one of the key thing for a game is it's mechanics, it's usally better to refine the game mechanics you have than add more mechanics. Creating new solutions tend to create new problems, thats why you have to be really careful when you start adding something. The best games always have solid mechanics, it's the same for simpler games like super mario and bigger games like starcraft.
    My point here is adding slow mechanic is a really really bad idea and I'm not sure they relize how bad idea it is. Not only is it really annoying to get slowed every time you get hit but the game it self is build with alien mobility vs marine range in mind. If slow is added to the game you not only add something players won't like, you have to rebalance the game around it. This not the solution to ,,more chaotic battles".

    I would give it time, I'm sure the game will get more organized in time. Like I said earlier It's a new game and it will take time for all the players to get used to all it's mechanics.

    Also when the skulk hitbox bug is fixed and the frame rates are fixed then marines are probably going to win most 1v1 skulk situations, even though the skulk manage to ambush the marine. With the range advantage and a 35damage melee attack with the same range as skulk bite marines will be more powerful than in ns1. Sprint also gives marines more mobility. There will be no need to add a slow.
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Members
    Chaotic combat <- Chaotic visuals
  • _Thresh__Thresh_ Join Date: 2008-01-11 Member: 63385Members
    edited February 2012
    Not noticing a big difference between the spaciousness of summit and the old ns1 maps. It's vision. Grey scale models on grey scale walls.

    A decent alien flashlight for aliens, and glow/light on med drop (ala ns1) would help.
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited February 2012
    I hope the following is understood:

    The other day I was playing on a server, and it was something like 12v12...

    As an alien though, something like 9 of the players were dead and couldn't spawn because marines kept rushing into the hive room.

    Basically 9-10 players were always shown as 'DEAD' on the scoreboard, because our players couldn't spawn quickly enough to 'overwhelm' the marines who were just outside.

    I know this is sort of how it is supposed to work, but it did not feel right whatsoever.
  • DeityDeity Join Date: 2012-01-31 Member: 142843Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I agree with the majority of posters, please do not add slow on hit.

    The two biggest things that add unnecessarily to the chaotic combat are poor hit registration and poor framerate.

    Slightly off topic - I almost think that the issue with random spawns creating neighboring marine and alien start points thereby leading to a short game is a good thing. When NS2 games last to the point that all of the tech points are controlled by one team or the other there are so many structures that the servers crap themselves when a huge melee ensues. Hydras, whips, and turrets seem to be the most spammed, but I've noticed that tons of MACs, ARCs, and drones also cause problems. At least on the short games where the spawns are next to each other you get decent performance throughout the round.
  • 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, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts
    The size of the rooms is the biggest factor I think. In ns1, most of the difficulty as a skulk was managing to get close to the marines. Once you did that, then the battle proceeded much like a battle in ns2.

    Because you started out so far away, it meant you had to use the environment's barriers to your advantage to try to close the distance, and made for a lot of fun movement. Half of the battle was trying to keep something between you and the marine, and that was the most enjoyable part.
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    UWE, this is down to FPS issues.

    Anyone who has played FPS at a high level will tell you how important it is for reaction times and generally just aiming.

    I remember playing clan matches where on some days you just seemed to steam role the opposition because the server was great and we all had pings (on the scoreboard) of around 15, as opposed to 40/50.

    There was obviously a skill difference, but when everything is 'perfect' you can really feel it in online games. Especially with CS.
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation
    edited February 2012
    It sounds tome like a feedback problem; as in people aren't aware enough of the important things going on around them, or even of the actions they are performing. I'm fairly shocked that you'd go to the length to slow people down after taking damage; that's not a solution. Crowd control on such a large scale in a fast-paced FPS is a no-no for me: it's not what people sign up for.

    Bring someone into the office and FRAPS a game, or just FRAPS a few guys playing in a playtest. Then watch back the footage looking at it solely for how well you communicate feedback. When they deal or are dealt damage is there an appropriate sound effect and HUD indication? Does it play in sync with the animations? Is the experience connected?

    <i>The above was my hypothesis before checking it out just now, and it holds true.</i>

    My experience just now is not much different than a few months ago. There is a lot of missing UI and audio in terms of showing:
    - You are taking damage
    - How rapidly you are taking damage
    - Which direction you are taking damage from

    Example from NS1:
    - Clear audio to indicate when you landed a bite as a Skulk or when you got bitten by one, this is not the case in NS2. I'm not even aware of any audio playing when I am bitten by a Skulk, whether 'pain' or 'impact'.

    Some feedback is good:
    - Knowing you are hitting skulks with an LMG or Shotgun plays yellow blood effects consistently.

    Some feedback is bad:
    - I am only vaguely aware that I am taking damage from Skulk bites. I think the issue is that the screen colour change is marginally too subtle and the recovery from this new colour (fade) is too slow, meaning if you take another bite it's difficult to distinguish if the current screen colour is the result of the first bite or a second one. The screen needs to flash _briefly_ and recover quickly to let you differentiate individual Skulk bites. Rule of thumb should be that the 'flash' should last less time than the fastest Alien rate of fire (perhaps with the exception of Lerk spikes). I.e. if a Skulk can bite you 2 times per second, the on-screen 'flash' feedback should return your view to normal in <0.5 seconds so you can see the difference between "I've just been bitten" - "I'm not being bitten" - "I've been biteen again".

    Then there's network performance:
    - I would gauge myself at around about recommended, or at least acceptable specs (AMD Quad, Nvidia 460) and I have an actual up/down connection speed of 1/9 Mbit/s. Yet my framerate is very stuttery on a dedicated server I am pinging to at 50ms. Whenever I enter combat with Aliens, typically with multiple locomoting character models on-screen, my framerate drops significantly. Gameplay is lagging significantly in networked play, and the affect of that on people's perceptions of whether the combat is chaotic or not should not be underestimated.

    If you fix some of the feedback, which in some respects can be done by simply tweaking what's there, I am sure the gameplay will feel more fluid and responsive.

    This is just my experience from looking at it for 5 minutes and testing FPS games at various stages of completion. If you play for longer I'm sure there's more improvements that can be identified.

    P.S. I absolutely dismiss the notion that it's to do with the room size or that combat in NS1 worked like it does in NS2. NS1 had much better feedback UI and audio and it wasn't laggy. Those are the major differences.
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