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Is UT too shallow to succeed? State of AFPS games in 2018.

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    Is UT too shallow to succeed? State of AFPS games in 2018.

    I've taken a long break from arena shooters, but started playing a bit of UT4 again a few months ago. After having much fun in the initial few weeks of un-rusting in dm/elim/duel, it quickly became apparent at how limited these games really are. Some quick observations:
    • raw fragpower ultimately decides the outcome of every game
    • very hitscan based
    • item play is very weak
    • new players with bad aim fail and eventually give up due to the lack of other supporting mechanics
    • can get away with very bad plays if your skill compensates for it
    • frequently its better to rush forward all day rather than actually think things through
    • decision making is very binary (engage/run)
    • not limited to UT4, previous UT games feel exactly the same, as do some other AFPS games
    • practically no planning involved
    If I was a new player and not someone playing for a long time, I wouldn't give this series a chance in the modern times. Especially given todays market, where many games have highly advanced mechanics/interactions/planning. It's fun every now and then but doesn't have any long term learning potential or player retention. There has to be more to a game than clicking on the right pixels as fast as possible, which is sadly all UT really is in its current state.

    Were most of us just looking through our nostalgia glasses that made these games look better than they actually are?

    #2
    The game play and feel of UT4 is inferior to the original UT99 (Unreal Tournament - the one released in 1999). UT99 held players' attention for years with a competitive capture-the-flag draft league lasting until just a few days ago and with organized 5v5 capture-the-flag PUG matches being organized on IRC up until several years ago. It wasn't just a disposable game, but a cybersport. I'm hoping that if the Developers work on it again, they'll just replicate the UT99 game play and feel and go with tried and proven winning formula.
    UT4 CTF Maps: CTF-Whiplash | CTF-Sidewinder | CTF-Highpoint | CTF-Hardcore | CTF-Tubes-Of-Spam

    UT99 CTF Maps: CTF-DagnysBigAssMap-V2 | CTF-Dagnys-P****WhIpPeD | CTF-Dagnys-Dark-Delight-LE102 | CTF-Dagnys-Tubes-Of-Spam

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      #3
      Replicate UT99 ? No thanks. There are quite a few of us who love UT2004. What do you say to those people?

      Comment


        #4
        I would ask those people why we would try to replicate the first failed attempt at replicating UT'99.
        Originally posted by Mysterial
        An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

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          #5
          FrankNg : The answer to your problem is CTF.
          DM/Elim/Duel will always be about skill and going forward (less present in Elim), but CTF gives you variaty, planning and feeling of success even for aim lacking players such as me.

          Comment


            #6
            Furthermore I think UT needs to be an evolution of all successful UT games. We know what works. We know what doesn't work. We know what people like. We know what people don't like. Aside from this.. the next UT needs to be asymmetric from what we know.

            Comment


              #7
              Let's try not to steer into the direction of another UT 99 vs 2004 thread. It's too common to put one of these games on a pedestal based on your personal preferences and avoid the flaws present in them. Plus, who really wants to play the same game they've already played for 10+ years? It's much more interesting for a new game to have a familiar core, but new mechanics that are balanced and well thought out.

              For example, UT4 has a very solid movement system. It's neither 99 or 2004 movement, but has a few elements from each, as well as brand new features. Every move is useful at navigating maps. It feels very fluid in chaining moves, and doesn't let you get away with too much like 2k4 did.

              More worryingly, most of the other existing gameplay mechanics were left untouched or made worse at a time where they needed to evolve. Some examples:
              • atrocious weapon balance until ProWeapons mutator
              • exact same poor armor/health pickup system from previous games (can't stack, belt over keg, messed up damage mitigation, pickup spawn times)
              • headshot being effectively a random "chance to deal double damage" mechanic without a serious way of avoidance; the helmet pickup negating the extra HS damage was a genius idea, and actually gave value to the item; (and ofc it was removed later)
              • Bio still in the core game when it serves no purpose
              • Shock still in the game when it has been proven many times that it's impossible to balance around (trust me this has been tried)
              • weapon modes that perform virtually identical functions kept just so there's 2 fire modes per weapon
              • no weapon to navigate the map faster at the cost of health (hammer is a joke for that)
              • ammunition pickups still don't matter due to the high max ammo values; no conscious resource management required
              • stock maps being super open hitscan monstrosities with few chokepoints
              • lack of intelligent portal placements around (stock) maps
              • hammer shield having infinite shots instead of limited with pickups (which would give more value to the weapon as you now have something your enemy doesn't)
              • ...
              Little by little, everything adds up into a game that retains most of the same flaws previous games had. It really makes me sad because this is the only genre where map movement benefits you over peeking corners all game. I think d33p_Sky makes a very good point, in that UT has to take the best aspects of each game and then further evolve it into a strong product, even if that means sacrificing mechanics from previous games. Really, the question is what could be done to improve it, give more playstyles a boost, and retain players over a longer period of time.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by FrankNg;
                • raw fragpower ultimately decides the outcome of every game
                • very hitscan based
                Originally posted by FrankNg
                Every move is useful at navigating maps.
                All this can be summed up in three words. High weapon efficacy.

                It's funny how even if subconsciously you basically out right state that movement is about "navigating maps." The current reality of the dodge is now that it's not about dodging. It's about lunging in a direction to move faster. Projectiles are almost all too fast to react too, and the hit scan weapons are still strong enough to dominate whilst lacking any real counter play that isn't "peeking corners all game."

                All the answers are right in front of us in black and white. It's called a "dodge." Make it so again. Make more projectile velocities such that they can be avoided reactively. Make "skill shots" a thing again. To address some bullet points.
                • atrocious play style balance (before and) after ProWeapons mutator -high weapon efficacy
                • Meaningful discussions about armor have been started, and ignored. -familiarity bias.
                • Headshots don't have to remain, and damage multiplier is scaleable. -familiarity bias.
                • Bio had a viable purpose, but has been nerfed into the ground title after title. A return to old numbers would make it very useful.
                • Shock has been unbalanced by it's own cool factor. See it's damage in Unreal™.
                • Weapon fire modes get much resistance to changes. -familiarity bias.


                I agree wholeheartedly on "the hammer needs love." Unfortunately, it seems to be falling victim to accessibility. They don't seem to want to make a useful tool that has a learning curve. Any defensive mechanics on the hammer have to be tuned after weapons for hopefully obvious reasons, and with the current weapons a return of the shield gun makes more sense. It literally couldn't make the game any more defensive. The weapons already got that on lock. Which ties into the play style balance. ProWeapons does a decent job of eliminating cheap kills, and leaving the only OP weapons the ones everyone things are "pure skill." ie: click on the right pixel and win, but does nothing to address how around the board high weapon efficacy punishes aggression (at least when you aren't an aim god, and even then still sometimes).

                Then you have a lot of familiarity bias. People got used to an OP Shock Rifle. The current ASMD has some of the lowest combo damage in the franchise, but why the AoE is so big, and why the stock damage is a minimum of 45 is beyond me, ridiculous. At least if you are going to make it a combo machine, drop beams and cores to their OG damage numbers, of 32/55. UT Bio did 60/112, the single glob damage would make it much more useful. Epic has shown us in blueprints and revisions that HS scaling and damage multiplier are up for debate. I don't think they feel any more random than any other shot in this netcode, but they can be scaled up if that opinion is an outlier. The damage can also be scaled down, if the amount of skill to achieve is too low, or randomness is too high. I think weapon fire modes should take on more personality. If we moved mini to fast projectiles (see FEAR, Tribes:Vengeance), then it would have personality standing next to pulse. Higher velocity, smaller collision, adjusted damage, etc. RL nades need to go, and flak bombs were originally a long range flak primary "extension." That, apparently, was too complicated even for this "hardcore" crowd, so it's [d]evolved "by popular demand" into a noob tube.

                Epic increased collisions sizes on rockets and chunk (two already top tier projectile weapons), when it would have made far more sense for plasma (pulse) and goo (two "falling into obscurity" projectile weapons). Paired with scans nerfed down closer to the efficacy of those top tier projectile weapons (like the projectile sniper they started with), and we'd be in a much better direction.

                This is what happens when even the most "hardcore" and "skilled" sections of your community get all bent out of shape when you try to reign in the ez frag weapons. I'm just glad they stuck to their guns with the 65 sniper damage. CoDScans are 2d and boring. Not sure if they, or the ping compensation designed for them is going to be more detrimental to this franchise/genre/title.

                The dodge is what separated Unreal™ and made it iconic. We need to Make the Dodge Great Again.
                Originally posted by Mysterial
                An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by d33p_Sky
                  Replicate UT99 ? No thanks. There are quite a few of us who love UT2004. What do you say to those people?
                  My vision for a UT99-2 includes the new UT 2004 game types - Bombing Run, Onslaught, and Invasion-RPG (which was a mod of Invasion) of course. If someone wants to release a mod for the UT 2004 floaty dodgey movement that emphasized hitscan and proved to be a failure for on foot games (resulting in empty servers for Capture-the-Flag and Bombing Run) that's fine.

                  Originally posted by FrankNg
                  Plus, who really wants to play the same game they've already played for 10+ years?
                  Probably most of the hardcore fans on this forum. Speaking for UT99 CTF, it was less of a disposable game and more of an online cybersport - in the same way that football, basketball, or hockey are sports. The basic rules haven't changed for decades but people still play those games year after year because they enjoy the challenge and its fun. UT99 CTF wasn't any different. That's why 5v5 CTF PUG matches organized on IRC and even the MLUT draft league were played up until a few years ago.
                  Last edited by WHIPperSNAPper; 05-18-2018, 04:45 AM.
                  UT4 CTF Maps: CTF-Whiplash | CTF-Sidewinder | CTF-Highpoint | CTF-Hardcore | CTF-Tubes-Of-Spam

                  UT99 CTF Maps: CTF-DagnysBigAssMap-V2 | CTF-Dagnys-P****WhIpPeD | CTF-Dagnys-Dark-Delight-LE102 | CTF-Dagnys-Tubes-Of-Spam

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