Latency, Hitboxes, And Bizzare Server Favoritism
I would hope most people can see the reason why NS2 has trouble keeping a population is because "good" players keep roflstomping "new" players with relative ease. Even when they are no longer green there are some players who just always stomp a server with a constant 40/1 K/D somehow. Now everyones first response is "OMG hack". (now this may or may not be true, ive seen my fair share of people who mysteriously gain latency issues when fleeing and survive what should have been a death sentence... but lets for sake of argument say no one cheats.) On closer observation you may notice some people just shoot at air, yet are racking up hit numbers. While most reasonable players would never get them. It would seem there are some very odd hit detection issues in NS2, both aliens and marines suffer from them and they almost seem to take favorites, (like some people can tell where the hitboxes actually are while others shoot straight but somehow miss). So (presuming no hackers) it can be said hitboxes and latency issues should deserve a good look. As I myself have been on a server where my misses are counted as hits and I dominate that one server when I really should not be. (and on many others suffer just the opposite). We are of course talking about >150 ping servers with 100 performance (however that number is measured....). It is a pretty serious issue for both pros and especially noobs, who will aim straight at targets but for some reason miss constantly. While Im not going to say this is the entire reason for the bizarrely frequent 40/1 K/D's seen in pubs it does deserve some attention IMO.