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Can the AFPS genre survive without classes or character progression?

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  • #61
    IMO ut players sameness should be considered a design constraint ie: an unmovable variable to work around. We don't need to have different capabilities/classes by default (maybe on special abilities on occasions similar to ultimate or ut2k4's adrenaline/etc). (Although we do need different looking characters and skins etc).

    In design there is always the potential to "solve" misidentified problems with new problems because the actual cause of an issue has't been addressed.

    What are the issues, at the most basic level?
    Last edited by the_hack; 05-18-2017, 11:49 PM.
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    • #62
      Read in full. Disagree that AFPS can't succeed with out classes. Toxxik/Reflex/UT4 all have major flaws which haven't helped them get off the ground, despite being great games in many aspects. UT4 has struggled for the past 3 years because it's simply taking too long to develop, and that's nothing against the hard working folks on the project, but it's true. There simply is not enough resources put into the game and I think also that there's been a sense of deflation from many who wanted it to be a farther along state right now than it is. There were a lot of hyped people in the beginning but many have left and stopped playing (just as I did myself for a long while). I think having it be open pre-alpha so early on probably contributed to that. If there were 3x resources put in, it would have been developed faster and it could have stayed in private pre-alpha until some point in beta and be ready for prime-time much sooner.

      I'm not opposed to having classes or your ideas as a possibility but it needs to be it's own separate game-type if so. I don't want what UT has stood for to be relegated to history instead of brought into a modern release. As long as the core game can find perfect weapon balance and movement mechanics, it should work out. UT4 is a low TTL bloodbath which I'm not particularly fond of and I don't think really works very well for new players mixed with skilled vets. Sure new players can get kills but they're also dying all the time.

      The innovation that I think will help the game is interesting new game-types - even one's with a class-based system. As long as it's enclosed and does not interfere with the classic gametypes, then that's fair and plenty doable.
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      • #63
        Hello, my name is Mr. Frosted Cake, I like FPS games, I’m a big fan of those games and I’ve played only those games for the past two decades. I love FPS games and would eat them all if I could. A friend of mine made me try UT4, I think it’s great. However, I can’t play it for long hours, it gets boring really fast simply because it doesn’t feel quite up to date in terms the gameplay, as if the UT franchise was still stuck in the 90s.

        The evolution of FPS game controls that the UT series ignored
        Games like Quake, Unreal 98 and Counter-Strike had weapons and items. But every time a player wanted to use an item or a melee weapon (ex: knife), the player would have to equip it before using it and then select another weapon to continue. That concept was slow and tedious. Fortunately in 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved was released and Bungie wisely introduced:
        • Quick melee button
        • Quick items (Grenades)
        • Vehicles. And note that the vehicles had a great physics and an interesting level of interactivity.
        • Power weapons
        Halo : Combat Evolved brought the FPS genre to the next level by improving game controls, combat interactivity and vehicles. Unfortunately, I cannot find similar gameplay improvements in UT 2K3, UT 2k4, UT3 and UT4. We cannot find them in the Unreal Championship games either. But the fact that we can find a quick melee button and a quick use item button in Gears of War (2006) shows that some people at Epic Games had played Halo before and took notes. Why the Unreal games couldn’t get the same treatment remains a mystery and missed opportunities.

        The evolution of multiplayer functionalities and missed opportunities
        With Halo 2 (2004), Bungie introduced a new generation of multiplayer functionalities, but those improvements could not be found in Gears of War (2006) or Unreal Tournament 3 (2007). Fortunately, UT4 seems to finally catch up with multiplayer functionalities. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a massive success, because Infinity Ward took many notes from the Halo series and brought their own twists to the table with unlocks, challenges and killstreaks.

        A lack of gameplay depth in UT
        More importantly, Halo 2 has also introduced a whole bunch of new gameplay mechanics, some of them of course, being happy accidents for the better or worst. Players could grab a flag, throw is and even grab it through a wall. Players could throw the flag down to a lower lever to make it bounce higher to a upper floor so a teammate could pick it up on the other side. Players could use the Reload button to cancel a Melee, so they could fake a melee attack or cancel it to do something else. That lead to a situation where the player could melee an opponent to destroy his energy shield, then press Reload to cancel the end animation of the melee to immediately shoot the opponent in the face (commonly known as BxR). A similar bug could be used to throw grenades farther. Players could use grenades and take advantage of the game physics to make a powerweapon fly and land right into their hands. A player could jump on the head of another to boost jump. There were grenade jumps, rocket jumps, etc. Players could melee a vehicle to flip it on its back and then jump on its tail to use it as a catapult. There were tons of things that players could do in Halo 2; an incredible amount of replay value.

        The items on the maps are out of date
        And now I have to talk about the items on the map in UT4. For those of us who have played other FPS games during the past 20 years we have seen as pickups, powerups and powerweapons:
        • Spartan Laser // Halo
        • Plasma Sword // Halo
        • Grenades // Halo & Gears of War
        • Armor Abilities // Halo
        • Gravity Hammer // Halo
        • Sticky Detonator // Halo
        • Rail Gun // Halo
        • Concussion rifle // Halo
        • Torque Bow // Gears of War
        • Hammer of Dawn // Gears of War
        • Boomshot // Gears of War
        • Boom Shield // Gears of War
        • Digger Launcher // Gears of War
        • Cleaver (giant sword) // Gears of War
        • Etc.
        After playing all those games, it’s going to be very difficult for players to get excited about UT4 when all it has are mainly passive items (health vials, uDamage, Belt, Vest armor, etc.) and a few ‘’oky’’ interactive items (jump boost & Redeemer). UT4 isn’t trying hard enough to keep players engaged, that formula from the 90s isn’t enough.

        The latest gameplay trends
        If we take a look at all the latest popular games that came out during the past years...

        Halo, Gears of War, Destiny, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Chivalry or Deadliest Warrior: Battlegrounds, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Quake Champions, Bulletstorm, Syndicate, Bioshock Infinite, Shadowrun (2007), Mass Effect, Borderlands, Lawbreakers, etc.

        We generally find the following gameplay themes...
        • Player movements; strafe, jump, dodge, slide, wallrun, etc.
        • Shoot
        • Melee
        • Items / Gadgets / Magic / Abilities / Whatever it is
        As an analogy, several years ago everyone knew about kung fu, but in recent years the whole world has been taken by a storm called ‘’UFC’’ or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It’s a different generation that is more difficult to statisfy and keep engaged, they experienced more and need more. Not that kung fu isn’t popular anymore, it’s just that the world population is currently more into MMA, they are looking for the full package, diversity, more variety, a more complete and grounded experience, etc.

        Cool dudes with guns were cool in the 90s. Right now, Epic Games has an opportunity now to finally modernize the game controls and gameplay of UT4. Epic Games has the opportunity to improve hte game controls, add more interesting items/power weapons to pickup on the maps, add melee attacks that can fit UT, add a new layer of attack that consists of items/gadgets/abilities and bring that FPS combat to the next level for a new generation of players.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by PayBack View Post
          If moddability was all that was needed to make people want to play a game
          That's not what I said. I said it definitely seems like the moddable arena shooters with a very solid gameplay base that do something different are the ones that really succeed and last. Although "gameplay base" should probably be redefined as simply the base game.

          Originally posted by Sir_Brizz View Post

          Name the last actually moddable arena shooter.
          This. Also UT3 had a bastardized console interface with little actual content on offer and a bad SP campaign, and the mod support, from what I hear as compared to the previous UTs, was horrible. Furthermore, the entire aesthetic was almost a straight rip from Gears of War which probably confused GoW fans and definitely alienated UT fans. Hell, even in terms of pure gameplay, the grittydark BS made it hard to see your opponent. And finally, although the engine itself was impressive, looks wise, at the time, it ran like **** on a PC which could play both UT2004 and UT99 great, which cut off even MORE UT fans. They did later fix some of these things and the performance woes went away naturally but it was literally too little too late, and some problems were never really fixed.
          Last edited by Arnox_BU; 05-19-2017, 03:58 AM.
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          http://i.imgur.com/87Zaa0g.png<- Waiting for weapon balance and engine optimization...

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          • #65
            I am in for an option of
            - DM / CTF as whatever fancy you want with classes and stuff
            - Legacy DM / Legacy CTF as old school

            This should work very nicely without dramatically splitting the community.

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            • #66
              For the record I agree the classes and abilities are a dumb idea and have no place in UT. My stance is that a character leveling and progression system that has very minimal impact on the UT experience would be enough to retain players and have UT4 viewed as a modern day arena fps by new generation of gamers.

              BTW really appreciate the candid responses and keeping this conversation civil and on track.
              Last edited by PayBack; 05-19-2017, 09:07 AM.
              PayBack
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              • #67
                There is no "Magic Bullet" single feature that will be a guarantee for success. Some of the ideas presented in this thread are good ones to try implementing, such as player customization and weapons customization. Yes, cosmetic features can help to get more people interested in the game, but then you have in-game functions that will need to be built to keep the interest of new players. Classes and abilities don't work in the overall game, as team deathmatch does not require of use the same kind of team work that a professional football team does, as one example. In contrast, flag based gametypes may benefit form some type of class and ability features. Maybe. My point is not that those two features not be included in UT, but that there has to be a definitive path for use of them, and they would only be enabled for those gametypes and be optional on any one server. I mean to say serverside optional, not player optional.

                Saying that "gameplay needs to be fun and engaging" is a blanket statement that means a lot of different things to different people. The real truth comes into play that once you get new players interested by all the cosmetic and other frilly changes that kids love today, gameplay can bee manipulated via mutators. I have really thought about how the various gameplay mechanics involved in DM, TDM and any Flagrun/Blitz type affect should be slightly different. By mechanics, I mean movement and player abilities. Team based objective gametypes requires a varied set of skills so much more than simple player-to-player combat. While DM gametypes (including TDM) are more about map control of assets such as weapons and pickups, where objective types focus more on player location and control of important zones within the map itself.

                Think of TDM as a relay run, where each team can strive to best the other by not only running faster, but also by better execution of the baton handoff. I liken this to map control where a team can circuit the map and grab vital pickups in order to best up the opposing team. The same pretty much goes for FFA, where you essentially have many teams comprised each of one individual player. American football requires running, but also blocking of various zones, much like CTF, Blitz or other objective gametypes, which means a wider or different range of movement skills are in order to make the game itself more palatable for a wider playerbase and audience. I believe this is worth exploring, even while the core movement itself is still very much in work. Gravity, weight and other factors should be uniform, but the featurs themselves applied can and should be distinct. Perhaps, as one example, you can have that slide thingy in DM types but add the Double Jump in Blitz.

                Bear with me, I am just winging this for argument's sake, not campaigning to add or remove anything. I do feel that having distinct movement features while maintaing the same mechanics is a plausible option, one that can make each one almost like its own game. After all, didn't we discuss way back when that if vehicles were ever added, it would be better to modify movement features instead of the mechanics? That way, it is still the same UT but in a way its own unique form.
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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Crotale View Post
                  There is no "Magic Bullet" single feature that will be a guarantee for success. Some of the ideas presented in this thread are good ones to try implementing, such as player customization and weapons customization. Yes, cosmetic features can help to get more people interested in the game, but then you have in-game functions that will need to be built to keep the interest of new players. Classes and abilities don't work in the overall game, as team deathmatch does not require of use the same kind of team work that a professional football team does, as one example. In contrast, flag based gametypes may benefit form some type of class and ability features. Maybe. My point is not that those two features not be included in UT, but that there has to be a definitive path for use of them, and they would only be enabled for those gametypes and be optional on any one server. I mean to say serverside optional, not player optional.
                  I think a character leveling system would be awesome to do for every game type. I would love to have like 5+ different character builds. One character is designed for my play style with DM/TDM, another for CTF offense running, one for ctf defense and maybe even one for elimination. Each character I would level and add stat points that assist my specific play style within those games. Maybe in TDM I build a character and focus on ammo stat so that I collect more ammo on pickups. For CTF offense I build a character that focuses on speed and movement, for defense I focus on a character with health/armor. Maybe I have a general build where everything is leveled pretty evenly for pub matches. The puzzle of building the perfectly balanced character for the game mode and my play style would be so intriguing. It would drastically increase the retention rate for gamers as they constantly have something to work on, improve and build.
                  PayBack
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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by PayBack View Post

                    I think a character leveling system would be awesome to do for every game type. I would love to have like 5+ different character builds. One character is designed for my play style with DM/TDM, another for CTF offense running, one for ctf defense and maybe even one for elimination. Each character I would level and add stat points that assist my specific play style within those games. Maybe in TDM I build a character and focus on ammo stat so that I collect more ammo on pickups. For CTF offense I build a character that focuses on speed and movement, for defense I focus on a character with health/armor. Maybe I have a general build where everything is leveled pretty evenly for pub matches. The puzzle of building the perfectly balanced character for the game mode and my play style would be so intriguing. It would drastically increase the retention rate for gamers as they constantly have something to work on, improve and build.
                    I really like this idea. We could have some points to adjust speed/health/armor. Or pre-set characters as in quake champion with their own characteristics.
                    Cunni, 37 years old, 16 years of UT, 90% CTF, 10% Duel
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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by PayBack View Post
                      Because they arent making Unreal Championship. Would be great if they were, but lets be honest they are barely making Unreal Tournament. Everyone is going to have different opinions on this game and this subject, me personally I would love to see UT be made as classic UT and be a huge success. I do however have doubts that UT in its current form will appeal to the new generation of gamers that are required for UT to be a success. I hope im wrong because I highly doubt this specific idea will be implemented, but I strongly feel this game needs something more to appeal to a new generation of gamers besides being a classic Arena FPS with a strong market place.
                      There is a very high chance that no matter what they do with this game it won't be successful.

                      If we are talking about "pie in the sky" then the best case scenario is that they realize that they should make UT into what they promised it would be (the best UT game ever, which isn't even what they have been working on for the past year+) and then work on making the most popular Unreal series game ever (which would make sense to be Unreal Championship 3 or a restart of the UC brand, because that series is already primed for the type of gameplay that is in every popular arena-style game these days).

                      That being said, without more serious resource allocation by Epic Games, it is pretty clear that this game is never even going to come out. So we won't get our minimum viable product for UT, and we won't get a good UC game, and we won't get a new Unreal single player game. Reality is not pie in the sky. That goal seems utterly unreachable at this point.
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                      • #71
                        Let's use car analogy. Engine is broken (poor performance, etc.), transmission is broken (shaky screen and weapons, dodge deceleration, waving hand, etc.) but doing the paint job (characters) will attract drivers. Definitely.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by PayBack

                          They are actually doing this right now. They deleted the Unreal Tournament Jira and rolled it all into the Epic Jira. They are drastically expanding the team and basically taking the game in house. Github is still public and updated, however the game is being treated as a full Epic project instead of the little side project its been for the last 3 years.
                          Ok ....from where did you got this news?
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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by TectPyh View Post
                            Let's use car analogy. Engine is broken (poor performance, etc.), transmission is broken (shaky screen and weapons, dodge deceleration, waving hand, etc.) but doing the paint job (characters) will attract drivers. Definitely.
                            You make my day.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by TectPyh View Post
                              Let's use car analogy. Engine is broken (poor performance, etc.), transmission is broken (shaky screen and weapons, dodge deceleration, waving hand, etc.) but doing the paint job (characters) will attract drivers. Definitely.
                              What a nonsensical analogy. You fail to acknowledge that the car's engine is still in the design phase, as is the rest of the car. You cannot sell a car to the general public if it has no paint, no seats or even a steering wheel.

                              As I said earlier, there is no single magic fix. It will take a combination of just the right parts to create that magic.
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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Crotale View Post

                                What a nonsensical analogy. You fail to acknowledge that the car's engine is still in the design phase, as is the rest of the car. You cannot sell a car to the general public if it has no paint, no seats or even a steering wheel.

                                As I said earlier, there is no single magic fix. It will take a combination of just the right parts to create that magic.
                                In this moment, we should all feel lucky that developers didn't choose aeronautical engineering career, especially design of passenger airplanes .

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