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

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  • meatmachinemeatmachine South EnglandMembers, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Posts: 1,551 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    Ixian wrote: »
    Managing player expectations hasnt been done very well. I've seen green players ragequit because the "shadow things" just insta-kills them when they are 0/1 marines. 0/1 marines are not supposed to kill fades really. Highlighting the asymetrical nature, and the fact that some combats cannot be won, could have a positive effect.
    This is an important observation.
    Kinda makes me feel like there should be better feedback to manage expectations of engagements.

    FOR EG-
    When lerks pop, or when a player first damages a lerk, trigger a global alert for marines- "They have evolved lerks, we're gonna need stronger weapons upgrades or some shotguns to deal with these things..."
    or when fades are first encountered and marines A<2 "These fades are ripping us to shreds, we need more armor! Dont try to engage alone!"
    Or similarly for aliens when someone first dies to shotgun, "they have BOOMsticks! Be wary of them *incoherant gurgling*"

    I would say just in rookie mode, but frankly this kind of thing would be useful at most pub skill levels, keeping players in check and reducing the need for players to be listening/ paying attention when someone quietly whispers "lerks popped" over voice chat.

    It also would give players not-so-subtle hints as to the marine upgrade meta which is something I see even longer-term players struggling with.
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
    FearlessJamesWobLuchs
  • elodeaelodea Editlodea Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-06-20 Member: 67877Posts: 1,786 Fully active user
    edited December 2015
    dePARA wrote: »
    Today i saw a player going Lerk the 1st time.

    How did he play?
    He was running most of the time and flapping sometimes only to end in a wall.
    I told him to hold space to glide.
    So far so good.
    After a break i joined another server 2 hrs later and saw the same player playing Lerk.
    What should i say.
    He was still running and flapping a bit.
    He learned nothing during these 2 hrs.

    THATS the problem of the game. Hidden mechanics like to hold space.
    Is this explained somewhere? Dont think so.
    A different lifeform order wouldnt help this Lerk in any way.
    And im sure, this player didnt feel stronger with his lerk bouncing from walls and dying all day long.
    I'm not sure how easier you can make lerk though? You just press spacebar and turn your mouse

    It would be better if you asked him if he was having fun roleplaying a walker lerk. Sometimes you don't need to be a master of a class to have fun i think.
    Post edited by elodea on
    Gorge bilebomb forever.
    bonage
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    For me the most terrible thing is what the rookies learn is the most difficult to remove. Especially when it's crap.

    Follow for a sec.

    Starting a game with 3 potent players and the rest are rookies (>5). I'm commander.
    Same players (3+5) on the marine side. Alien starts at Server.

    I clearly say : I don't want any gorge right now.
    I still have 2 rookies who evolve to gorge right away.
    I still go with my Shift + Echo tactic.
    The 3 honey badgers maintain a pressure close to the Marine start so we have a relative peace on the field.

    I ask these gorges to do some tunnel at Warehouse. It's safer when you have so many rookies.
    -One of them fortify the east door instead of the west door close to the south entrance of Warehouse. They could go up to Hub if they wanted, but... nope.
    -The other one tried to make a tunnel at Repair RT (memorize this). It would have been good (and bold) if it was well protected (lots of rookies) and if the whole Marine team didn't go to Repair by preference. Repair it always preferred versus Observation.

    At some point these gorges died. Shortly after that, bile bomb completed.

    Then one of the gorge guy complains (At this precise moment I echo a RT in front of his eyes.). He still goes about I upgraded bile bomb while I didn't wanted gorges in the first place.
    I was thinking: dude; I just echo'ed a RT in front of your eyes..."

    I kindly said : "I didn't needed gorges at the beginning and that bile bomb is always useful, why not have it when we can afford it plus a hive ?", Of course when I started a new hive there was absolutely no gorge to heal it. The tunnel at warehouse was up after the second hive.

    On a side note I upgraded bile bomb because I was hoping they could do something with that. So I decide on a strategy and make the proper announcements, they do the opposite, I try to help them, I get the blame anyway...

    My analysis is:
    The tunnel to Repair looks like a reflex to me. The drone was programmed, he followed the program. Of course a tunnel to Repair can be useful. But it's better when you have Warehouse as first hive instead of Server for proximity matter in case bad things happen. I would at least preferred Ore processing for protection is easier there (high ground), and it gives access to both hives in a matter of seconds. Or eventually create a tunnel in the alley between hub and repair, not on the RT spot.

    A lot of rookies believe blindly what they learned ignoring that there is another way. With Shift you don't need a gorge, until the team is ready for a hive. You eventually need a gorge at hive (which is safer) for growing things faster. And when he's ready he can create a tunnel. But these people will gorge no matter what, go front and die. It's especially wrong when they know nothing about the chosen strategy.

    I see more and more Crag then Shade and Shift hive sequence. Again, it looks like somebody watched a pro game and follow the same path without understanding it. Of course you can do that when the alien team doesn't need speed so much. But rookies do. Especially when Leap comes way later than expected...
    ChubbChubbs ???

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  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    Times change. Many rookies just do not listen.

    I bet many forgot that if you are new these days, you get in game help and even videos? They explain a lot.
    But many rookies do not care. They disable that right away. Then go and die in a corner a lot.

    We can only try to explain, but they truly have to make step 1.
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  • WakeWake Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-03-05 Member: 14351Posts: 723 Advanced user
    IF you want to simplify things, don't make complex discussion with everything.

    => Organize the discussion

    Make a dedicated forum
    HAve a thread that allow suggest opening of thread
    Only admin shoud be able to start other threads in there
    Admin should be able to erase or minimise out of subject comments

    So anyone can focus on a subject that he think does matter and ignore the rest

    Here we have a 19 page thread that no one is going to read enterely before commenting this or that.
    Freak out
    Bensonydy
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NYMembers, Constellation Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Posts: 1,481 Advanced user
    Can we have a fade obstacle course tutorial with leaderboards
    mattji104
    cooliticFearlessJames
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, EnglandMembers, Forum Admins, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Posts: 700 mod
    edited December 2015
    Wake wrote: »
    IF you want to simplify things, don't make complex discussion with everything.

    => Organize the discussion

    Make a dedicated forum
    HAve a thread that allow suggest opening of thread
    Only admin shoud be able to start other threads in there
    Admin should be able to erase or minimise out of subject comments

    So anyone can focus on a subject that he think does matter and ignore the rest

    Here we have a 19 page thread that no one is going to read enterely before commenting this or that.

    So you want something more like this then? https://feedback.userreport.com/19e981d4-394e-46de-997e-8913cc04aff2/#ideas/popular

    Anyone thats been keeping an eye on the forums properly would know that this thread is one of 3 open discussion areas that are available.

    1. This forum thread (the one we're currently talking in) is for all ideas to be lumped in together so that the people being paid to keep an eye on these things can keep track and take notes.

    2. The Discord group - https://discordapp.com/invite/0TKQwZWu7JDk5Lm8 ... which is intended for realtime discussion and general community fun, which is also being tracked and has people taking notes off of.

    3. And then there is the post I linked above ( here it is a again for you - https://feedback.userreport.com/19e981d4-394e-46de-997e-8913cc04aff2/#ideas/popular ) which is for individual ideas to gain support and discussions can be had in the comments section.

    And for those that are interested in the development in general you can go here - https://trello.com/b/uFv64kH6/ns2-development-team to see whats planned, done, being done etc.
    Lambo wrote: »
    but wakeSWAGGER, it's -transparent- development.

    pls

    Feel free to check out the links above and let the dev team know what else they can do to be more transparent if you have ideas :)

    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    Times change. Many rookies just do not listen.

    I bet many forgot that if you are new these days, you get in game help and even videos? They explain a lot.
    But many rookies do not care. They disable that right away. Then go and die in a corner a lot.

    We can only try to explain, but they truly have to make step 1.

    Yup, we should create a care-meter that would be included in the stats.
    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
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  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    Show the upgrade modification with something like VU meters.

    Ex: When the player selects Celerity the speed bar (at default level) goes up to 120%. Same for carapace and other upgrades.

    We can't make 6 bars as it would be a little ugly. Say we keep : Speed & Armor

    Then for effects like Camouflage, make the lifeform look like the same as in the game. I mean by that to show (visually speaking) as much as possible the evolution.

    There will be difficulties with things like Aura, Regen (still possible as it has a dedicated effect in game) and Adrenaline.

    Anyone played Fallout? Same kind of things.

    It would require some change in the menu but it's 2d so... not that big either.
    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
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    FearlessJamessoccerguy243
  • FearlessJamesFearlessJames Members Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209849Posts: 88 Advanced user
    What if we had freaky-cool pictures next to the upgrade menu showing the upgrades in action? Like in dossiers?

    Example!: A Rookie chooses Camouflage,and a cool artwork picture pops up on the side with a skulk slowly transitioning from transparent to visible,about to bite a marine from behind.

    Another example could be be celerity,where it shows a group of skulks running down a hall with a blur effect to show their speed!


    I think this would not only help rookies get the jist of upgrades,but it would just be cool in general! I LOVE the artwork for the game :blush:


    Plus,if they DID add that in-game encyclopedia,we could have artwork for things like upgrades,traits,and even the lifeforms in action!


    It'd be neat huh?
    "Humans evolve within millions of years,but I.....evolve within seconds......"
  • BensonBenson Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2012-03-07 Member: 148303Posts: 1,296 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    Honestly, i feel like most of the problems new players have with aliens can be resolved by somehow getting it across to them that Kharraa != Zerg

    If players were aware that ALL alien lifeforms are hit-and-run lifeforms, "behavioral" problems would diminish drastically.

    The real question is, how do we do this?


    The obvious answer is scripted scenarios.

    Make a player kill a marine bot with every lifeform in this manner (sneaky/hit and run/conservative)

    Reinforce the idea by giving the marine bot(s) a shotgun.

    My simple suggestions for alien sneak/hit-run scenarios:
    Skulk:
    Hide in a corner on the ceiling and wait for the marine to walk through a door, shift walk behind marine. If skulk makes a sound (drops from ceiling or does not shift-walk, shotgun to the face)

    Lerk:
    Use SPIKES to kill the shotgun marine from the distance, MAYBE use bite after X damage has been done.

    Fade:
    2 shotgun marines in a room. Blink in, hit ONCE from behind and blink out, if player stays for more than one swipe, 2 shotguns to the face

    Onos:
    Make player go in against 3 rifle marines to demonstrate that an onos cannot take an entire team at once. Notify that 6 more are comming into the room and have the player leave, if they stay, they die.

    Make the player wait for a gorge and several skulks, then once healed, go in as a pack to reinforce that the onos is a huge meatshield, but needs allies to be a meat-shield for
    Post edited by Benson on
    If we are to be damned, let us be damned for what we really are. - Capt. Jean Luc Picard
    videoPFearlessJamesYojimbo
  • WakeWake Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-03-05 Member: 14351Posts: 723 Advanced user
    At this point:

    1) I strongly support the idea to make things more intuitive which is the best way to improve learning curve without supressing game features.
    2) Don't do anything that favor individual skill because there is far enough to empty servers from casuals players right now when they are confronted to comptetitive hyper-skilled player
    3) Or /AND in order to not deprive players who favor personnal skills and FPS godness, make it a server variable

    So we can have competitive servers (full features up), causal (less individual features)

    May I add a RTS oriented configuration without being lynched ? : implement aimbot with forced probability hits so we can favor the RTS side providing the team is in the right place (FPS)


    Freak out
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, EnglandMembers, Forum Admins, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Posts: 700 mod
    edited December 2015
    Wake wrote: »
    May I add a RTS oriented configuration without being lynched ? : implement aimbot with forced probability hits so we can favor the RTS side providing the team is in the right place (FPS)

    I'd get ready to hide if I were you :P
    People don't like the word "Aimbot" in these here forums.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
    FearlessJames
  • dePARAdePARA Members, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2011-04-29 Member: 96321Posts: 1,351 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    And again:
    By evlovling into an Lerk you are not stronger automatic.
    In an hand of an rookie even a fade is not better than a skulk.
    So telling them thats these higher lifeforms are upgrades is wrong.

    Every lifeform has a role:
    Skulk-Scouting/Resbiting/base attack unit
    Lerk-Area deny/support/resbiting (depend on situation)
    Fade-Marine hunter
    Gorge-Builder/healer/Structure Damage
    Onos-Structure damage/Tank

    While experiences players can own rookies with every of these Lifeforms, for rookies every of them except the onos is not much better than a skulk as long they dont have understanded the role and how to play each class.
    image
    meatmachineSoul_Rider
  • deathshrouddeathshroud Members Join Date: 2010-04-10 Member: 71291Posts: 1,193 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    Benson wrote: »
    Benson wrote: »
    @FearlessJames

    What you describe seems like a res-for-kill system, which would be EXTREMELY bad if we are trying to address the heavy snowballing (sometimes it feel more like an instant avalanche)


    It gives the winners of a fight even more of an advantage than already get by having won the fight.

    Think about the 50-0 God-Fades. Imagine FINALLY killing the fade that has murdered your team 3 times, just to have him immediately re-fade and do it all again. Its a very frustrating, hollow victory sort of feeling that just makes you want to give up even more.


    ...On the other hand, if an RFK gave different amounts of resources based on K/D or kills/life (its different), that could be an interesting way to balance things out.

    Example:

    Simple:

    A player is worth their K/D in pres to their killer. So a 50-0 god-fade would be worth 50 pres*, and a 1/50 nublet would be worth next to nothing
    *(Pres divided among all players that assisted in the kill)

    The actual ammount of res the player is worth can be shows on the scoreboard for simplicity, and maybe even with a skill icon over high value targets player model.

    -OR-

    Dynamic:

    A player becomes worth more depending on the amount of kills they get during their current life, meaning that if that 50-0 God-Fade dies while spawning due to a hive push, he does not grant 2 huge rewards so fast.

    This is like a "Bounty" system that helps out players who cant go 50-0 against those that can by letting them earn more tech*.
    *(Pres divided among all players that assisted in the kill)

    I know we already give out points based on %Damage done, this system could translate into how Pres would be divided.


    so killing the commander, or a gorge player would = very little pres even though the kills might win you the game

    Well....I didn't think of commanders :neutral:

    Maybe if the bounty was based on score (points) instead? That way the bounty is based on the impact that player had on the overall game?

    you bring up a good point though, commanders SHOULD be high value targets.

    Also, in terms of helping new players understand whats important, adjusting the score system (which would be required for this idea) would be a very easy way for players to understand what is more important than what. (give players more points for actions that have a higher impact on the game, like building/repairing resource towers)

    personally i think this kind of reward would force ns2 into even more of a niche, were good players are rewarded and bad players are punished. This is the issue with ns2 combat and ns2 should not inherit that design flaw.

    Currently pres is shared throughout the team no matter how good you are or what path you take within the team. I think this is the right way to do it.
    AQ-Brainfood
  • 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
    ... good players are rewarded and bad players are punished. This is the issue with ns2 combat and ns2 should not inherit that design flaw....

    As I understand what Benson has been talking about, I don't know how it would benefit the good players. The people on the top of the scoreboard won't see any rewards and the people at the bottom will get rewarded for managing to get a kill on good players.
    Post edited by Nordic on
    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
  • BensonBenson Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2012-03-07 Member: 148303Posts: 1,296 Advanced user
    edited December 2015
    Nordic is correct, a bounty system is the opposite of RFK, and the only rewards are given to those who cannot have a high score/kill per life ratio.

    The other point was that the bounty would be shared among all of the players who helped in any way by landing a bullet or welding a teammate.

    To make it less personally rewarding, the bounty could either be added to Tres or split among the entire team.

    I think its something that should be tested as it could help solve one of the problems relating to player retention (heavy snowballing leading to frustration or rookie stomping)

    But i think anything that can be said about it, has been said. I'd make a mod to test it, but I neither know how to write Lua or any server mods that I could convince to test it.

    edit: P.S. I'd love to see an update and more in-depth modding tutorial!
    If we are to be damned, let us be damned for what we really are. - Capt. Jean Luc Picard
    FearlessJamesIronHorsetwilitebluemeatmachine
  • CCTEECCTEE Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2013-06-20 Member: 185634Posts: 772 Advanced user
    I get horrible visions of compplayers dragging my gorge to a room where some rookie (the butcher123) is going to finish me off.
    grrrr im beast
  • FearlessJamesFearlessJames Members Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209849Posts: 88 Advanced user
    Wow,no one has commented here since last year!........i'll go now :blush:

    "Humans evolve within millions of years,but I.....evolve within seconds......"
  • radforChristradforChrist USAMembers, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Subnautica Playtester Join Date: 2002-11-04 Member: 6871Posts: 538 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    Nordic pointed me to this thread, as I was discussing the use of Power Nodes in another place. Here's what we came up with in another discussion.

    The key points:

    Power Node Changes:
    Power nodes now work in three modes: Low, Full, and None. Low is an unsocketed or destroyed power node. Full is a built Power node. None is a 12 second phase immediately following a PN destruction. When a PN is destroyed, all services and lighting go dark. At 4 seconds, emergency lighting turns on along with PHASE 1 structures. At 8 seconds, LP lighting returns and PHASE 2 abilities/structures come online.

    Lighting Changes:
    Initial lighting should be changed to have intermittent flashes and/or red fading lights to indicate low power mode. When PN is destroyed, darkness for 4 seconds, emergency (red) lighting for 4 seconds, then red lighting fade into low power lighting until full power is restored. Pulsating alarm light on Power node is flashing in Low power at all times, even round start. By adjust this to take effect at round start, better immersion and understanding of power mode will be attained.

    When in low power mode, attached document shows there is a 75% slowdown and limited traits. See attached for details.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16lR8QJmu6xL_QugQ8BapsUZWMUQYrgUWJugIwvzM48E/edit?usp=sharing
    FearlessJames
  • FearlessJamesFearlessJames Members Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209849Posts: 88 Advanced user
    I like the idea of different stages of lighting. Seems very dynamic!
    "Humans evolve within millions of years,but I.....evolve within seconds......"
  • FearlessJamesFearlessJames Members Join Date: 2015-12-09 Member: 209849Posts: 88 Advanced user
    Wow,the commenting here has really slowed down....like.....alot. :worried:
    "Humans evolve within millions of years,but I.....evolve within seconds......"
  • meatmachinemeatmachine South EnglandMembers, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Posts: 1,551 Advanced user
    I just htink its funny how most NS2 players idea of "SIMPLIFYING NS2" is to introduce more complex mechanics
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
    coolitic
  • MaxAmusMaxAmus UKMembers, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2003-12-26 Member: 24779Posts: 564 Advanced user
    Game should not be changed to dumb it down / make it simple. Thats why there is alot still playing this game, because its harder than others, its not simple and its a challenge.

    For getting "new" players to get the game and stick around, i think all the ideas are out there, and we know what needs to be done, better TUT, better "Evolve" menu with descriptions on what there abilites are and "how" they should be played.

    An Alien Lifeform Spicefic TUT - Like said, give the player a chance to learn the roll, make engagemeants - Best practice. Hit and run?

    Again, i dont think "simplifying" is the way to go as such, maybe there is some things that could be "dumbed" down more, but at what cost?

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  • KasharicKasharic Hull, EnglandMembers, Forum Admins, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Posts: 700 mod
    MaxAmus wrote: »
    Game should not be changed to dumb it down / make it simple. Thats why there is alot still playing this game, because its harder than others, its not simple and its a challenge.

    For getting "new" players to get the game and stick around, i think all the ideas are out there, and we know what needs to be done, better TUT, better "Evolve" menu with descriptions on what there abilites are and "how" they should be played.

    An Alien Lifeform Spicefic TUT - Like said, give the player a chance to learn the roll, make engagemeants - Best practice. Hit and run?

    Again, i dont think "simplifying" is the way to go as such, maybe there is some things that could be "dumbed" down more, but at what cost?

    Its been explained a few times that "simplifying NS2" isn't what it sounds like... the idea isn't to "dumb down" the game... the idea is to keep the game as it is, but remove background mechanics that are overly complex for no real reason, and/or alter mechanics so that they remain the same in functionality, but are easier to understand.

    The simplification process shouldn't reduce the skill ceiling, it shouldn't lift the skill floor, it shouldn't alter the game beyond recognition etc... its just making the game as it is, easier for new people to understand.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
    NordiccooliticmoultanoNominous
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