Simplifying NS2 - Thoughts on Gameplay (feedback wanted!) - Natural Selection 2

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  • meowsmeows Members Join Date: 2008-10-14 Member: 65201Posts: 12 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    Game complexity is one side of the problem.

    The main problem for poor player retention is new players are pitched against players with 1-2000 hours.

    No matter how simple you go this problem will remain...

    It's almost like new players need a separate game-mode that they can get right into, and not have to wait 10 mins to flash their fade or lose their jp and shotgun in an instant, a game-mode where they can just understand the game.
    - Drunkenmeows

    Mew :3 Mew :3
  • Deck_Deck_ Members Join Date: 2014-07-20 Member: 197526Posts: 298 Advanced user
    meows wrote: »
    Game complexity is one side of the problem.

    The main problem for poor player retention is new players are pitched against players with 1-2000 hours.

    No matter how simple you go this problem will remain...

    It's almost like new players need a separate game-mode that they can get right into, and not have to wait 10 mins to flash their fade or lose their jp and shotgun in an instant, a game-mode where they can just understand the game.

    There does need to be a mode where you practice life forms through training exercises, and possibly servers that are high res servers to test out life forms.
    NS3Dream2cough
  • BensonBenson Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2012-03-07 Member: 148303Posts: 1,296 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    This thread has spawned so many walls of text that we can build a new and improved NS-themed house!

    Threw mine into spoilers to make it easier for everyone.

    Sound Cues:

    Love the idea, but only under specific circumstances, such as:

    End Game Tech:
    - 3rd hive complete: Map-Wide "Now We Dance" (best audio clip for aliens imo :)) audio cue, with a banner for all marine players stating that aliens have 3 hives.

    - W3/A3 and Proto-Tech researched: Map-Wide "Kill 'em all, its the only way to be sure", with banner for all alien players reporting advanced tech is complete.

    Other Enemy Tech Milestones:

    - Marines:
    When a higher life form gets spotted: "We've got a big one", with banner stating type of life form spotted.
    *Only when visually spotted, so we dont ruin surprises

    - Aliens:
    New weapons spotted, new armor or weapons level: "The Intruders Evolve", with banner reporting what new weapons/upgrade has been spotted.

    Removing restrictions on gameplay can only be good imo, so not needing power or cysts to build will open new strategies.

    Power Node/Cyst suggestions:
    Possible uses for powernodes (beyond lights):

    When active, the power node will slowy repair the armor only of all structures in the room.
    - Health damage on structures can only be repaired by a welder
    - Makes power node optional, and useful
    -- Add a cost to power nodes and rename to "Nanite Fabricator" to indicate function
    - Lights are locked "ON" while power node is active

    Possible use for Cysts:
    - Bring back player buffs while on infestation, based on hive type (minor hp regen, minor energy regen, muffled movement, )
    -- OR - Bring back hivesight
    - Buildings have no HP Regen if not cysted
    -- Buildings also get buffs based on hive type if connected (faster hp regen, passively cloaked, can be echoed to any location that is cysted)
    --- The above would require a change to echo and make it ties to cysted structures

    Allow cysts to be built on power node locations to "Lock" lights off (not red)


    Adjusting tech to be more user friendly and intuitive is also a great direction to go.

    Ability/Tech Changes:

    Aliens:

    +1 to ranged spores, they will be welcome and needed, but i feel that they would be more useful on hive 2, with a stronger umbra as hive 3 (for really making marines feel hopeless)

    Vortex: I may be alone, but phasing out buildings and players was awsome. Make vortex a ranged projectile, that can only affect 1 target.

    Stab: remove all movement penalties

    Make babblers free (uses energy), have their own weapon slot, and limited in number

    Marines:

    - Slightly reduced accuracy for rifle (from current), with an "advanced targeting" or "uranium rounds" upgrade for slightly higher accuracy (from current)

    - NS1 style hand grenades
    -- Marines spawn with a single "base" frag grenade
    -- Can purchase the current versions at current prices

    - The welder idea is great, most people will already assume the welder is better at building things, since it costs money.

    - Allow Exos to buy and equip welders


    New Player Improvements for specific "pain-points"

    Flash-Lifeforms:
    If a player dies as a lifeform, allow that player to evolve to that lifeform again for half cost, and consume all resources above that up to the full cost (basically locks a player into that life form)

    Misleading costs:
    Nordic's UI change to order of lifeforms seems great, order lifeforms and weapons by killing power, not cost

    Global/Regional chat accesable from the main menu and servers where players can interact and work to seed servers together, to reduce time to have an active server

    Scripted tutorial game or missions that allow players to see every lifeform and weapon in active and use it themselves.

    Changing default keybindings to have as much crossover as possible between the 2 teams will help reduce confusion (i.e. "buy" being B for both teams)

    my 2 cents
    If we are to be damned, let us be damned for what we really are. - Capt. Jean Luc Picard
  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Posts: 465 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    A couple of servers have done this but I'd also recommend making it more common: rookie only servers, veteran only servers, etc. This can be created by admins in some sense but official servers with varying rules would also help such as the following:

    - Rookie only servers, players with less than '50' hours or 'X' level in hive
    - Normal servers that anyone can join, have a disclaimer for people that have less than '50' hours/X level that rookie-only should be recommended, similar to the 24+ notice, might be some overlap between > 24 and rookie players though
    - Veteran servers, players who have 'X' level in hive
    - Elite servers, players with a certain skill rank or higher

    Doesn't matter how simple the game can get, if they're getting destroyed by average players in NS2 standards, they aren't gonna play the game for long. I wouldn't want to go against a masters protoss in SC2 as a bronze terran, it would suck. I feel that this might be a lot of work though but just a recommendation.

    Btw, with the above comments, how difficult would it be to implement a kill-cam similar to CoD? I imagine it would be a lot of work at this point but could be a big help for new players.
    NS2 ID: RaZDaZ
    Old School AvP2 Vet
    NS3Dream
  • GoldenGolden Members, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, WC 2013 - Silver, NS2 Community Developer Join Date: 2004-09-01 Member: 31169Posts: 426 Advanced user
    Thanks to everyone for the feedback and discussion, keep it up! I'll be helping @rantology collect and organize everything for the next little while. I'd also like to specially thank @navazka and @MrSedgewick for their responses. Cleanly organized and well thought out posts - especially from our newer players - really help us direct our efforts.

    Please keep the discussion going!
    SantaClawsMcGlaspieMe9a
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NYMembers, Constellation Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Posts: 1,481 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    @2cough

    Currently:

    You must cyst to drop a structure on the infestation.

    After removing the requirement:

    You may cyst to drop a structure on the infestation.


    Random new possibility this opens up because it's no longer restricted:
    Gorges are now more important since drifters can only build on infestation, but gorges can build off infestation

    What subtle difference will you miss? Kill cysts no longer decays structures? Was that subtle?
    mattji104
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributorMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 8,194 admin
    Nice feedback @navazka

    I agree with everything except Full sized maps (could just make transparent map mod the default), med spam (it's got costs associated with it, so it's an investment), and unrealistic movement mechanics.

    I agree that the movement mechanics could always be easier to learn, but I fear removing any depth that they provide or restricting the freedom of movement could diminish that "dance" that occurs in an engagement that is the heart and soul of the gameplay. Maybe just smooth out the animation transitions and then buff the lifeform to account for the fact that they'll be easier to shoot.. just don't limit the speed of change/movement on their screen. (it's already somewhat done like this anyways)
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributorMembers, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 8,194 admin
    Since the 3rd hive in it's current form is supposed to be a game ender even a marine 3/3 can't hold up against it(hence siege mode). That's why people would concede, because tying marine upgrades to techpoints kills marine survivability and prevents any reasonable chance of comebacks.
    It's supposed to be a game ender precisely because Marine tech is untied and therefore very strong even after being beat back to nothing but their base.

    Saying that tying tech kills survivability is ignoring how that's not the case for Aliens.
    Make the tech viable, then tie it. (Don't have to tie 3/3 either..)
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • 2cough2cough Rocky Mountain HighMembers, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2013-03-14 Member: 183952Posts: 1,025 Advanced user
    mattji104 wrote: »
    @2cough

    Currently:

    You must cyst to drop a structure on the infestation.

    After removing the requirement:

    You may cyst to drop a structure on the infestation.


    Random new possibility this opens up because it's no longer restricted:
    Gorges are now more important since drifters can only build on infestation, but gorges can build off infestation

    What subtle difference will you miss? Kill cysts no longer decays structures? Was that subtle?

    @mattji104 I don't hate it, but I'm still doubtful. Some Q's.

    So if gorges can build off of infest, how do they then drop structures which are normally only able to be dropped by the comm like whips, harvestors, crags, etc? How would this be dealt with?

    As far as things I'd miss, I'd say there's not as much I can think of w/ the cysts. But you're not saying remove the cysts entirely? I guess if they're not removed entirely that makes it different.

    For little things as power is concerned, the sounding of the alarm, or if a rine is welding it or anything that diminishes their hearing/sight and the opportunities and advantages those make in an ambush. It's not a huge thing, but a little thing. Yeah there will still be things to repair/build but killin power buys time. How much faster paced do we want the game? Or would there be other mechanics introduced to slow it back down?
    Deck_ wrote: »
    You seem to think it's easier for 2 gorges or something to sneak in your base and kill the power - yeah it is, but the power node is still in the marine base. Sometimes it's actually easier to hit the command station with a large alien team because you have more surface area to hit it. Those big onos can get in the way. Yes, it's easier to hit a power node on side of a wall than get all the way in the room and hit the command station. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Regarding attacking a 2nd marine base, I'm not sure what should be tied to the command station. Maybe ip's wouldn't work in that room but phase gates would still work...not sure.

    Power nodes are just 1 thing to hit in a room now. In NS1 - you had the command station (command chair as I still call it). There are still many ways to win on a base rush: rushing obs, phase gate, arms lab, ips, and command station can all be effective depending on the moment. You don't need to have a power function. Again, I'm more against cysts than removing power. I'm just trying to say removing power can also work.

    @deck_ So you end up agreeing that it's easier to attack the power node? Which proves my point that it's easier in terms of ending turtles, that's the point I was trying to make. For aliens, especially gorges to be able to hit/bile the chair, the need to expose themselves much more to be able to hit it. Which is why turtles can last so long unless they go for the power, where they don't have to expose themselves as much, and can shut down 3 ips at once instead of biling a group of ips/obs/chair and spreading the damage out over multiple objects, possibly not actually killing any.

    It wouldn't make sense IMO to transfer pwr in a room to another structure, especially the CC. Killing the power doesnt prevent the comm from comming, but killing the chair would, but it's a tougher feat to pull off during an end-game turtle. If there's going to even be the concept of power/powering things down as an alien, it makes the most sense to have it as it is - tied to a power node. You sacrifice that you're not costing them any money by not focusing on obs/ips/arms whatever for shutting it all down, though possibly only temporarily. If power goes down in an important room w/ a well defended gate, again you're buying time. Hit the power in base, kill their rts/pgs everywhere else.

    I don't know, power and it's functions as they are have been a part of the meta game so long that I would hate to see it removed/cant see what would replace these mechanics. And havent things like cysts and power been implemented to help slow the pace of the game? I hear new ppl and some vets complain enough that games are too fast paced for them to keep up.
  • SlorrinSlorrin Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2013-03-01 Member: 183517Posts: 20 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    You should read this, this is a very good idea.

    Short version: Create a much more robust "rookie mode" that actually simplifies the game immensely but only for rookies. Do not change gameplay at all, just how soon you can access full gameplay.

    Long version:
    I don't think you need to change cysts and power, as really all new players care about is shooting and biting. New players come at NS2 like a fancy version of Call of Duty. Their first few days are spent just learning to accurately bite something once, or hit a skulk on a wall. The last thing they care about is cysts and power nodes.

    Make it so no one can get into the com chair without 100 hours of game play. Period. Don't even get ideas like cysts and upgrades and whatever into the heads of rookies. Let them play a kind of variation where, in rookie mode, all that stuff is basically irrelevant to them. All they need to do is be soldiers for a while.

    Make rookie mode more than just "green name". Remove elements from the game for rookies. That's how you'll retain more players. Once you move out of rookie mode, you have access to more things. But for instance, in rookie mode, as a skulk you don't buy upgrades. When the com drops a spur you automatically get celerity. When a com drops a shell you automatically get carapace. When a com drops a veil you automatically get cloak or aura, whichever you think is best. It takes away the "what do I buy? this is so complicated? I hit B? I hit B to upgrade? What is this picture?" phase.

    Even using a graduation system, where you are Rookie 1, then Rookie 2, then Rookie 3, then normal player. Maybe at each level of experience you unlock a new lifeform for aliens, or a new technology for marines.

    As "Rookie 2" you can now pick which upgrade you get for spurs. "Commander has dropped a spur, you can now choose celerity, or adrenaline." At "Rookie 3" you can unlock regen and aura. Etc.

    Make it impossible for rookies to get exos, or jetpacks. Give them something to work towards. "Learn to aim and follow orders, and you will eventually get jetpacks" "Learn to bite power nodes and kill marines, you will eventually get Onos!"

    By the time you get to be an onos, you will have learned a lot more about the game. It will have become much more rich and complex because you'll know about things.

    This system makes "learning the game" a series of achievements to be unlocked. They are individual challenges you want to unlock because you see these big Onoses and are like "i want that!" But you have to learn the game to get it. And it makes learning the game easy, more fun, and more rewarding. When you graduate from Rookie 3 to full player mode, and you can get Exos and Onos, but you understand infestation, you understand power, you understand listening to the commander, you understand resources, now you're ready to roll.

    All kinds of complex game changes aren't really going to make the game more accessible, they're going to make the game dumber. Instead, focus on making the game APPEAR simple to rookies by alloweing them to focus exclusively on the simplest elements until they start to understand more complexity, and they are immersed gradually deeper and deeper into the game.

    IeptBarakat
  • RadimaXRadimaX Members Join Date: 2013-02-05 Member: 182840Posts: 587 Advanced user
    ALIEN ARMS LAB - that would simplify things even if its stupid :D
  • deathshrouddeathshroud Members Join Date: 2010-04-10 Member: 71291Posts: 1,193 Advanced user
    IronHorse wrote: »
    I do agree that a 5 TP map is ideal for that change, although we've seen this setup before on a map like veil and what happens is that 4th TP becomes a major source of contention between the teams, with ownership going back and forth - so it's not the end of the world. (there's a tournament match that demonstrates this perfectly, i'll see if i can find it)
    The game in it's current system is dependent on if the aliens can get the 3rd hive before being locked in by a marine 3/3, having a 2/2 vs hive 2 game will just be a deadlock, and then a landslide when one base finally breaks. Or in a 5techpoint map the marines would quickly lose any chance of a comeback because they'd be locked to 2/2 against a 3rd hive alien team. Since the 3rd hive in it's current form is supposed to be a game ender even a marine 3/3 can't hold up against it(hence siege mode). That's why people would concede, because tying marine upgrades to techpoints kills marine survivability and prevents any reasonable chance of comebacks.

    The format should stay and Hive 3 just should have better game ending opportunities, and make the arms lab more punishable by having it's research tied to the structure itself rather than just being unlocked for the rest of the round since aliens already have the equivalent with the upgrade chambers, armslab rushes were a real threat in ns1.

    But i do think marines should have a reason to hold more than 1 tech point. Ok dual exos but dual exos rarely come out anyway. Marines seem to act a tech point guardians preventing aliens from controlling them which is strange considering aliens dont use tech.

    Upsetting the current balance by switching current tech to multiple tech points would be a disaster, NS2 has proven very hard to balance and any major change like removing powernodes or cysts or shuffling the tech trees is going to be a nightmare to re-balance.

    But any future tech added to the game should certainly require multiple tech points.
    AQ-Brainfood
  • slutslut CaliforniaMembers Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209832Posts: 2
    Also, I agree with navazka and actually ask real rookies what is most difficult for them.

    I think the thing that bothered me most is that as marine, you only get to choose one gun. In most games you get to choose assault/engineer/medic/sniper, each with different weapons. As a rookie you die a lot and lose your shotgun instantly. Maybe an option to chose between and LMG and an SMG (lower damage, higher ammo) at the start of every spawn.
  • tuxatortuxator Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2010-01-07 Member: 69958Posts: 145 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Change the way wall-running works! Take a look at Tremoulus to figure out how it's done right.

    If you start crawling on a wall, you stick to it. Regardless of what way you look. It's far easier to navigate a map and it's much less annoying. In NS2 I'm always falling down because of a little bump in the ceiling there or not looking the correct way. Completely annoying and it has no purpose. It doesn't add to the game.

    Also reduce the power higher-level things have. Meaning the power/armor a mech-suit has or the ridicoulus big alien thing that can trample stuff in it's path. When I last played (half a year ago, roughly) a game was decided after the first 4 to 8 minutes (well at least if one team didn't make a ridicoulus mistake), because (at least for newbs) it's impossible to bring down an enemy when he is out-teched while you still have only 2 evo-points. And I've been on both sides of this equation.

    After the 8 minute mark it's just a slaughter-fest for which ever team has more advantages/tech.

    Take a look at games like Savage/Savage 2 if you want to see how this entire leveling/improved classes/items thing is done right (more or less). Even if the enemy team has a hellspawn and 3 Malphais, you can still beat them, it may take some time and they'll destroy half your base but you can beat them and you can still turn the game around.

    *edit*

    In the few matches I played in this game, it was never possible to turn a game around after it was decided.
    twiliteblue
  • HamletHamlet Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2008-08-17 Member: 64837Posts: 373 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    RadimaX wrote: »
    ALIEN ARMS LAB - that would simplify things even if its stupid :D
    It's called Evolution Chamber:
    evochamberb6uhn.jpg
    navazka wrote: »
    Another rookie confusion:
    • Change "RTV" vote label into "change map" label. I haven't met anybody who knew what RTV stands for (I asked many times), and rookies have a hard time finding vote change map button, even if they arrive into the right menu.
    True, but stop this "press M and then find some incredibly confusingly named voting option hidden somewhere in a submenu..."-thing, please.
    Rookies never connect "Scramble" to equal team vote or "RTV" to change map.
    Make it a simple F1=yes F2=no vote.
  • paskiainenjantunenpaskiainenjantunen Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2013-06-26 Member: 185704Posts: 29 Fully active user
    teaching rookies how to do the current skulk walljump is easy. Yes the jump is not intuitive but they pick it up fast.
    True bunnyhop like in ns1 took far longer to learn and was far more unintuitive.

    Please never ever make a speed gain like bunnyhop ever again. It was born from a exploit and it was far less intuitive then walljump.
    I mean only strafing and jumping to move forward, really? Intuitive?


    Bunnyhop in it's ns1 form is fine for intermediate to master level play, we have walljumping for the casual players and rookies but having something with a little more depth besides mashing jump alongside a wall's edge would be good to keep players around who want to 'go to the next level'.

    Goldsrc movement was just more satisfying overall.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kdAfLT0BXI
    this guy

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  • paskiainenjantunenpaskiainenjantunen Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2013-06-26 Member: 185704Posts: 29 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    R
    Anti94 wrote: »
    I have many things to says here but I don't have time right now so I'll just suggest the following.
    If you want to know what bothers a noob then just ask a noob !
    What UWE can do TODAY :
    -Grab some random people in the street
    -Ask them if they want to participate to a fun and exciting experiment. In exchange for their cooperation offer them coffee, chocolate, money, sex with Hugh, whatever...
    -Put them ALONE in front of a computer with a fresh copy of NS2 installed
    -Do not say or explain anything. Just ask them to play.
    - Film the screen and the player. Possibly ask the player to say out loud what he/she is thinking when playing.
    -Debrief. Ask what they liked, disliked, what they did not understand, etc.

    After the player left, watch the videos again.
    What the noob did IS the RIGHT thing to do. If what the noob did was inefficient then CHANGE THE GAME accordingly. What a noob does should be efficient (or at least somewhat efficient)
    For instance, if the noob runs in a straight line as a skulk and gets raped then change the game so that running in a straight line does not get you raped anymore. I am not saying that running in a straight line as a skulk should make you OP but as least you should not get killed so easily.

    Sorry for the bad english.

    I need to be nicer to my fellow community members

    rite post edited

    What im trying to say is That ibreally thiNk this guy is intelligenT and hes iea is great.
    Post edited by paskiainenjantunen on
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  • IntrepidHIntrepidH FloridaMembers Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209838Posts: 55 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    Hello my name is Ian I've played NS2 since it released in Oct 2012 and it has long been one of my favorite games and I was rejoiced to see some attention heading back its way since it could use some love to enhance the general experience for players. especially newer ones who don't understand the balance and suffer immensely from it, I've played mainly RTS games my whole life so my perspective will speak largely as someone who played alot of starcraft 1/2 until falling in love with this game :p

    The main point I would like to bring up that no one else has mentioned has to do with the economy of NS2, I feel this is the #1 balancing point of the game that uses mechanics unseen in other RTS based games. namely how RT count massively inflates income, and the unfair landslide effect this creates between the winning and losing team. In my spoiled post I would like to bring attention to how this affects everyone's Natural Selection experience and how it can be subtly changed to greatly improve the overall experience and yet maintain the tense competitive experience.
    *edit took out spoiler cuz no one read it lol*

    THE NS2 ECONOMY
    So rather than make giant sweeping changes, i think a general adjustment to the most important aspect of NS2 would make a huge, albeit subtle difference: The NS2 economy
    In my 1750 hours of NS2 time, the vast majority of my games look like this:
    -team sets off to intercept the opposing team
    -one side dominates the first 2-3 engagements then transitions into low tier tech that locks down the opposing team to 1-2 RTs and effectively corner the only 2 exits from their main
    -then maybe if they're lucky, survive long enough to concede and everyone rages/blames each other or claims STACKED,
    (and in many of these games, this is facilitated by 1-2 good rambo players that never needed help to begin with..)

    It's the reason i stopped playing vanilla as much because, no matter what I could do as comm, it just didn't matter ultimately or my hands are too tied to support the team and my time would be better spent biting/shooting and letting some noob push S for RT and maybe buy an upgrade a few minutes later

    when the team takes these kinds of engagements, their income boosts up by up to 5-6 Rts, whereas the losing team sits with their meager 1-2 Rts, this can be in some scenarios a THREE-FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT difference in income.

    and god forbid your team goes down to one Rt which happens far too frequently in this game which is EFFECTIVELY a death SENTENCE
    I come from a childhood of starcraft 1-2 and command and conquer, and when the enemy team is ahead of you economically with their extra base expansion or 2 they still at best only have around 200-250% more income, it's advantageous but not to the point i will be able to afford a grotesque amount of tech and units over what my opponent can put out.

    Why does no one discuss this point of the game? it's such a huge dealbreaker, When i comm, my apm is useless without income I can't afford to support the team with drifters, I cant med important engagements AND keep my team supplied with upgrades to
    scale with higher lifeforms and if they die as fade/onos (if they lived that long) or lose their shotgun it's almost 20-30minutes
    to replace that! that's not fun and it's extremely punishing.

    There is no other game where global map control in the first 5-7 minutes dictates its outcome.
    Map control is advantageous for scouting but not the game winner which is rather always the execution of strategy.

    THE SOLUTION is simple, subtle and doesn't require any relearning of the game

    -Allow created Techpoints to generate their own income on top of RTs
    -reduce extractor/harvester cost to build (by half) and
    -downplay the res that they generate perhaps combined with a reduction in build-times/HP

    more specifically: one base starts out equal to 2 RTs worth of income,
    the first claimed RT brings this to 3 RTs of income, the 2nd claimed maybe 3.5
    additional Hive/CC would be worth a normal RT amount, but the RTs themself are scaled down to disable them from giving an unfair immense advantage to one side
    so rapidly.

    THINK ABOUT IT
    This raises the skill FLOOR (not the ceiling) of both comms inherently.
    If a losing team is down to their main base within the 7-10minute mark, like they always are,
    (AND YES THEY ARE, the whole community can speak for that with our countless playtests) but Is generating income to at least to stay competitive with the enemy, then games can actually explore strategic comm supported pushes, and NOT be solely dependent upon 1-2 players ability to determine
    the games outcome be4 the Comms can even formulate and construct a strategy.

    alien Kham can actually afford to use their precious drifters after choosing their hive type and use enzyme/halluc/MM
    marine Comm can support a little better and still try to get those level 2's out
    this would also hopefully give the opposing side a leniency to counter players who can solo the game
    and bring back some emphasis into the RTS portion of this game which right now feels so bareboned and simply UNFUN.

    I hope this at least intrigues some thought into the #1 most important aspect of the game and its scaling.
    and to a lesser degree here are some other points on simplification that don't detract from the nature or depth of the game.

    Skulk description
    as many people have pointed out, the pivotal most played lifeform is arguable the hardest to master, In my opinion this is due to the hidden walljump mechanic, myself I never knew it had more to it than i orginally perceived. it wasn;t until 400-500 hours of gameplay and a fit of rage that i went online to learn how some people skulked so well and discovered walljumping. You know what might have helped me learn that?
    In the B evolve menu when you mouse over the skulk it should simply state something along the lines of
    "A simple lifeform that gains momentum by jumping from wall to wall" or surface to surface" I'm sure most of us hardly notice or read those things anymore, but when i was learning the game it would have been nice to have some sort of heads up

    Turrets and the Battery
    This one is simple,
    Untie turrets from the battery (does anyone actually see these in games other than rookie comms???) keep the 3 limit with the laughable dps and do something innovative with the sentry battery and make it into a.......BATTERY!
    and by this i mean when power goes out in a room, whatever structures you put next to the battery can remain powered so long as the battery remains alive. This way it is still a weak structure that dies easily with some focus, turrets aren't a non-immersive joke (all you have to do is get behind the turret as if the battery didn't make it counterable enough) , and the fragile strength of the battery keeps it vulnerable to bile and biting, yet when main is rushed, either a few IPs can remain powered or maybe the comm can have a few vital seconds to distress bacon during a rush

    Marine should either start with Welder or bring back armor healing
    This is a common sense one, no one wants to die in 2 hits, yet if you're playing with noobs, you aren't going to get welded,,,,ever GG
    either add a upgrade for individual armories to provide armor healing again, or equip people with the welder so they intuitively think hey I should probably be doing this.. It is the #1 pet peeve i have developed from this game and every time i die with my jetpack shotgun in 2 hits because i couldn't repair enough random structures in time and effortlessly pleaded for someone to heal me, it is so infuriating i have to walk away sometimes lol this is a very harsh mechanic to force on people that just want to shoot aliens. the welding of each other should be a mark of good players not to be enforced on the entire community especially newer player taking in so much all at once that welding their dying teammates is the furthest thing from their mind

    The Lighting changes thoughts
    as many have stated are vehemently opposed due to it being too different,
    HOWEVER, imo the lighting in NS2 is one of the best features in my opinion that rarely get to be experienced as intended, right now you only experience this when main is successfully rushed and marines are about to die or when engaging into a room that has just lost its RT if the aliens made the usually incorrect decision to attack power after getting the RT down.

    Fighting from room to room as some of you described sounds more fun and brings in the immersive tense moments I and i'm sure many others love about the game,
    I'd really love to see that feeling of engaging into a infested room with damaged power

    Vortex for 3 hive Comm
    Someone else mentioned this, and it's on siege right now, but all the code for Vortex right now is sadly wasted effort, apparantly people are having issues ending marine turtles? idk last time i had a game like that mineshaft operation/repair room was huge if you guys remember those days lol
    but bringing back vortex to infestation under Khammander control and making it cease function when infest is gone seems like a good fit for it. this would enable the comm to echo in his whips into position be4 being immediately arced down forcing the marines to focus fire taking some of the heat off of alien players so they can finish the job. I would suggest it to be a small aoe radius to achieve this, perhaps even only affecting structures/arcs rather than players. just some constructive food for thought since I'm sure whoever worked on vortex is sad to see it gone too.

    Double Duration Nanosheild for Structures
    idunno not much of a spoiler here lol, sounds like a good idea to me, way too short to be used effectively on structure in current form :p


    anyways if you read through all these ideas thank you very much for your time. regardless of what if any changes go into the game, I'm all for it if it encourages player retention, without crashes or forcing people to relearn the game as they've already invested into it.
    This is easily imo the best game I've ever played and I hope the community can further be conducive to positive and FUN changes for the game without needlessly adding to complexity.
    Post edited by IntrepidH on
    twiliteblue
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in KodiakMembers, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    navazka wrote: »
    Another rookie confusion:
    • Change "RTV" vote label into "change map" label. I haven't met anybody who knew what RTV stands for (I asked many times), and rookies have a hard time finding vote change map button, even if they arrive into the right menu.

    Funnily enough it is called change map in vanilla ns2. RTV is a shine thing. That does not make you any less wrong though.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
    Benson
  • DaphistoDaphisto Hive Janitor Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2002-11-16 Member: 8917Posts: 596 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    navazka wrote: »
    I am a newcomer with about 100 hours played. I remember many things that confused or annoyed me. I wanted to quit the game many times. I persisted and now I'm enjoying the game very much. You're right that in order to retain rookies, you really need to improve the newcomer experience.

    For only having 100 hours played, you've done a pretty amazing job summarizing the stuff that should be improved. I pretty much agree with every single point you posted.

    I hope UWE sees this list.
  • rantologyrantology Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Posts: 1,493 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    p.s. I want to add that I have already put the alien hive UI status element on my to-do list, so that's something I think that's worth mentioning and will hopefully become a reality at some point (gameplay theorizing aside).
    image
    Samdaman
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NYMembers, Constellation Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Posts: 1,481 Advanced user
    I think that what removing cysting requirements will do for mapmaking options will be unbelievably good. I'm so for this.

    I don't think cysts should be removed though, just optional, to allow bonewalls etc to still be created in more random places with no structures.
    mattji104
    RedSword
  • Deck_Deck_ Members Join Date: 2014-07-20 Member: 197526Posts: 298 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    rantology wrote: »
    For one of the first changes, what does everyone think about the possibility removing cysts? I want to try and push for one change as soon as the opportunity affords itself and I'm trying to think what might be the most interesting/rewarding to try in terms of positively changing the feel of the game.

    To go into detail: This would not remove infestation. Only the cyst structure itself and the tedious upkeep (from both teams) that goes into them during the course of a game.

    -You would no longer need infestation to drop structures as an alien commander.
    -Structures would not automatically grow if they are dropped off-infestation and you'd still require drifters and/or gorges to build them.
    -Infestation would spread automatically via an "invisible" cyst chain from the hive to nearby (1 room or so) structures - Infestation would also spread from structures themselves
    -Infestation-reliant abilities like Bonewall and Rupture would remain unchanged and usable

    This would eliminate:
    -The need to constantly fuss over your cyst chain as Kham (and for newer players to figure out the hows and whats of fussing over your cyst chain)
    -Having to constantly shoot cysts as marine (and especially in cases where aliens gain a lead and the alien commander starts cyst spamming the map)
    -The need for certain map design choices/limitations

    There would need to be some minor adjustments to alien RT cost and grow time to accommodate the removal of cysts.

    I really like the idea. I've wanted to see NS2 without cysts. I know some people have concerns about it, but you laid out plans to keep the game-play very similar. There would still be infestation, bone walls would still be effective. You just wouldn't have to worry about cysts on the ground. I think focusing on larger structures for both sides is beneficial. I have heard a concern that people like the idea that if you remove the cysts around a RT, the alien RT loses health. So there would need to be some adjustments like you mentioned.

    The alien RT health would have to be play tested to get it similar to how it is now when trying to shoot a couple cysts and then shooting an RT so alien res doesn't die too quickly. I'm not sure how you would keep the same game-play mechanic of alien RT losing health over time when it's de-cysted. I really think that's the only concern with the change, I would rather have cysts removed though. Perhaps you could make alien RT's not be able to regain health from a gorge after being damaged. So let's say a marine team gets an alien RT down to 10 % health. The alien res and health would remain, but could be shot more easily the next time. Or you allow gorges to heal alien RT's, but it takes them a very long time to do so.

    I disagree with making them optional. Just have the alien RT's infestation spread a certain distance in all directions of a map halfway to the next RT. I know you wouldn't be able to have infestation where there was no structures, but that's fine - that means aliens don't own that part of the map.
    Post edited by Deck_ on
    Soul_Rider
  • AeglosAeglos Members Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Posts: 644 Advanced user
    I'm in favour, but it needs to be balanced so it is not just a massive buff for aliens. Their upkeep cost just dropped drastically and the bleeding of structures is removed and I don't think minor adjustments will cover it. It also incentives a commander to get out of hive more often.

    You might want to start another thread for discussion so as to not clutter this up?
    IronHorseBlrgSoul_Rider
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