3.23

Shadow Reaper

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Stuff to come:

—400 players/server
—New FPS weapons stats and qualities like recoil, out of scope picture blur, dedicated combat helmet targeting reticle
—lots of past claims reiterated

My take-always:

Servers will hold much more than we guessed or were told years ago. The game will be a shocking success in scope when it comes to size and performance. They ran their first 400 player tests this last weekend. If you’ll recall, years ago they were saying 50 players per instance and rocked the community about a year ago with 100. Now they’re at 400 as result of server meshing. That’s a serious breakthrough. Server meshing worked!

FPS continues to be changed by each new employee given that job with little or no reason for the changes. Expect yet more useless changes and no delivery on items like personal radar or shields. How many years are we waiting on recharging energy weapons’ batteries? CIG is falling down on FPS. It is particularly disappointing to me there is apparently no effort going into FPS radar and FPS stealth. Sucks. And still no shields so very little reason to make ballistics your first choice, apart from what’s easy to pick up. We really need to see these shields in game. It is too many years we’re waiting on this and instead they’re doing yet another recoil reset. Very disappointing.

Just to own my personal bias concerning the current FPS dynamic, the 3.22 doubling of the TTK from 0.5s to 1.0s is pointless and counterproductive. Six triple bursts from a Gallant to kill is ridiculous. Should be two, even with a suppressor mounted. Requiring 18 shots just makes the shooter more vulnerable, makes the whole system less realistic, and makes us go through magazines at a ridiculous rate, but let’s set all that aside for the rest of this analysis. My take from recoil reset is CIG is not making an authentic effort to improve FPS combat, but instead is distracting with empty show.

The sighting reticle for combat helmets is essentially a way to aim better without raising the weapon to your shoulder. In other words, CIG is embracing the Star Marine combat standard of sprinting and firing from the hip by giving players an aid for such. I’m a fan, so let me camp on this for a moment.

So far as I am aware, NPCs still cannot hit PC targets moving at 0.85 movement and above, and PCs have an extremely difficult time doing this as well. What this means is, moving quickly is still your best FPS defense. Do not carry a second weapon. I suggest you wear light armor on your legs, medium or light arms, heavy torso and whatever suits you best for your head, and be prepared to drop your backpack and RUN whenever flanked or otherwise threatened. You can always go back for it.

It is very well documented that the number one mistake getting players killed in FPS for several years is moving too slowly because they’re carrying too much. Take that to heart when you choose a weapons system.

CIG is going to mess with recoil despite it has been through at least five resets. This shows the current team is NOT focused nor familiar with where the game currently sits. The fact they want to aid firing from the hip does show conclusively that to win at FPS, you will need to run whenever you move outside cover and concealment, and you have to move at 0.85 or above which means your total carried and worn weight needs to be less than 35kgs. That means one weapon only.

Yeah and everyone is going to need to learn to fire from the hip using the new reticle. They’re baking in advantage here for players who try harder.

Obviously, when under cover or concealment you don’t need to run, but that’s not when players get shot. They get shot in hallways and open rooms when moving with their weapon on their shoulder. So don’t be that guy.
 
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BUTUZ

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I agree
 

FZD

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the 3.22 doubling of the TTK from 0.5s to 1.0s is pointless and counterproductive. Six triple bursts from a Gallant to kill is ridiculous. Should be two, even with a suppressor mounted. Requiring 18 shots just makes the shooter more vulnerable
I think that's the point. Unlike FPS games where you spawn right at where the action is, often even with respawns, Star Citizen is a game where you start by spending quite a bit of time just taking various elevators and monorails to a spaceport where you then spawn a ship, spend another good 10 to 15 minutes leaving the planet and jumping to a nearby destination. After spending all that time getting there, getting ambushed and dying with hardly any time to react doesn't really make for good gameplay.

Now, I think if you manage to ambush someone, sure you'll have the advantage, but it shouldn't be an automatic win. Not like in more tightly packed FPS games. So I think it's good you get some more time to react and reach cover, recover and fight back.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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If that’s the intention, it’s not working. When you get shot your ability to act and react is over. You just twitch and squirm, same as any NPC target. So from the first burst you’re gonna die unless the person shooting you is interrupted. The question therefore becomes is it reasonable to need to put six bursts—eighteen shots—into anyone to kill them? My contention is, even with a suppressor, two bursts ought to immediately disable and kill anyone regardless of how they’re armored, if indeed all the shots land on target.

Fact is most times you could skip the second, third, forth and fifth burst and maybe still put them down, but they take so damn long to go critical that you can’t tell and so have to keep shooting to keep them squirming so they don’t kill you back. Just ‘cause I’m killing you doesn’t mean you get to kill me back!

All jests aside, I don’t see it as enhanced gameplay. FPS was not broken. It is incomplete and damn, just how many times do we need the weapons stats refigured? What we need are radar, shields, stealth, recharging and yeah, gimme some monsters!

I’m still grumpy over the Gallant mag nerf. This just makes it worse. It is not normal to carry 20 ammo mags. It’s ridiculous. It’s so bad they’re adding in animations for pulling mags out of your backpack because you can’t carry enough ammo without. That makes no sense. We need to get rid of the unrealistic nonsense where PCs are running with 120lbs loads, not find reasons to make them 150lbs.

IMHO.

We were supposed to have personal radar, shields, stealth and recharging two years ago. So what is the urgency behind making people breakdance as they die?

Check out this short and tell me this is an improvement. This guy is good at FPS. I’ve been watching him for years. I’m glad he’s not a whiner, but he’s killing two targets per 45 shot mag. That’s ridiculous, IMHO. Note he isn’t using the Gallant’s 5 round burst, which is faster; because it was refactored in the last weapon reset such that the recoil makes the last two shots miss. That’s a stupid way to design a weapon and gives some insight as to the devs’ motivations. “Hey, let’s take the UEE Marines’ weapon of choice—the gold standard for FPS, and put a fire mode on it a six year old would know better than to use. That will make the game better.”

 
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Thalstan

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My take-always:

Just to own my personal bias concerning the current FPS dynamic, the 3.22 doubling of the TTK from 0.5s to 1.0s is pointless and counterproductive. Six triple bursts from a Gallant to kill is ridiculous. Should be two, even with a suppressor mounted. Requiring 18 shots just makes the shooter more vulnerable, makes the whole system less realistic, and makes us go through magazines at a ridiculous rate, but let’s set all that aside for the rest of this analysis. My take from recoil reset is CIG is not making an authentic effort to improve FPS combat, but instead is distracting with empty show.
Here is the thing. CIG has been going on and on about DoaS and how you are going to have serious consequences, yet they have very quick kill times (yes, a 1s kill time is still extremely quick). Those two don't jive with each other. You either have longer TTKs and higher penalties, or you have short TTK and few if any penalties. If you have lot TTK and high penalties, people just won't play.

I don't want this to be another SW-Battlefront with instant respawns and heavily combat focused, but neither do I want it to be a no-combat game either. I think some middleground will be needed.
 

FZD

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If that’s the intention, it’s not working. When you get shot your ability to act and react is over. You just twitch and squirm, same as any NPC target.
Are you quite sure there's perma stun in the game? I've never noticed anything of the sort... heck, even the NPCs in your vid just keep walking around while getting shot. Quite casually too. Bunker AI in a typical bunker AI fashion not reacting to the player at all.

Here's some recent Star Marine action as well. Right at the beginning, the other player doesn't stagger at all after getting shot, and just shoots back and kills this guy:
 

Shadow Reaper

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Here is the thing. CIG has been going on and on about DoaS and how you are going to have serious consequences, yet they have very quick kill times (yes, a 1s kill time is still extremely quick). Those two don't jive with each other. You either have longer TTKs and higher penalties, or you have short TTK and few if any penalties. If you have lot TTK and high penalties, people just won't play
I totally agree, but I would also note most players go into a bunker, cave, outdoor setting, etc. and never get shot. If you want to evaluate TTK for the full player experience, you have to note how often reasonably skilled players actually die. I doubt it’s less from doubling the TTK. Either you’re getting hit or you’re not.

I will however also agree the ancient DoaS doctrine of severe punishment for getting killed really needs to go. I don’t think that’s a manageable game dynamic. You’re right. Players would leave.

As to the vid above, I can’t say exactly what’s happening there. Could be shots were missing. Plasma rifles recoil so much follow up shots seldom hit. Could be a boss with Uber armor. Could be a crappy weapon not in range. Could be hits on arms and legs that do less than lethal damage. Could be several things. What I do know is hits to the core with weapons in range, usually disable and if you keep shooting, the target will go down. The recent change is it now takes twice as long and you’re treated to a Michael Jackson honorary that is really not necessary.

Lots of vids showcase players using SMGs out of range and the player shooting and posting has no idea they’re barely scratching their target, despite the whole mag is needed to kill. SMGs have much shorter range than most players realize. Also, the Demeco has always made more noise than put power on target. It actually kills slower than the Gallant, but it makes so much noise players don’t notice. There’s lots of that kind of stuff.

The Gallant is still the gold standard presuming your target does not have a personal shield, or the ability to slip behind a ship’s shield (like at Jumptown). It has been nerfed three times. The power per shot was reduced years ago. The recoil of its standard five shot burst was increased so it can’t be used past point blank range. The mag nerf dropped it from 60 to 45 shots. However, the main deficit remains that it is completely blocked by shields of any kind. Once the shields come in play I’m hoping someone will get a clue and reset the standard to what it was. It should outshoot the competition if it’s totally blocked when ballistics are not. Carrying a shield or not needs to be a complex choice, and energy weapons should offer benefits of low recoil and more shots. We need to keep in mind that the primary opponent of a UEE Star Marine is not a shield wielding bandit, but a Plasma Lance wielding Vanduul. Also we need to remember that when personal shields do come into play, so will the Behring EP-5 EMP grenades to disable them. Also, when personal radar arrives, stealth gameplay without a shield will become a thing. All of FPS is due to change as result of these two issues: shields and radar.

Hence back to my complaint. Why make balancing pass after pass before you put things like personal shields in game?
 
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Sky Captain

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Nice update, thanks! And great news on server meshing successes. But the FPS discussion makes me wonder: What's happening with UEE vs. Vanduul game play? I'm glad to see FPS and PVP gameplay advance. But the focus is always on human vs human hunting. Is everyone stuck playing a human for PVP? Or will factional game play (e.g., UEE vs Vanduul) be possible? i.e., will players be able to play a faction other than human for FPS gameplay, and will PVP involve player factions aligned with something other than humans?
 
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Lorddarthvik

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Agreed with @Shadow Reaper .
I think FPS needs work, just doesn't need balancing passes right now. Sure they can play around with it, but it will need to be reset once radar n shields come out.
Lag/desync is still a huge issue, NPCs still warp around, kill you without looking at at you and so on... Hit animations play 6 times on 3 hits and you have no clue if they are about drop dead or kill you back. It sucks and can't be used as a basis for balancing.
On the other hand a sec or half a sec of TTK is too little and too much of a punishment for the player being killed when you have to spend 10+ minutes just to get up and going after a login or death, and that's assuming you already have everything in storage to dress up again and an extra ship to go with...
But I also don't want spongy combat where it takes 20 headshots with a railgun to drop someone.
The middle ground might exist but it will be very hard to find and a constant issue of contention with it being subjective, and only possible when all the FPS mechanics are implemented like radar and shields.

Dropping DoaS fully... I don't think that's a great idea. There needs to be consequence for actions. The whole setup of "realistic life in the verse" with long travel times and bus rides and walking to shops and having real local storage and so on... It will make no sense to haev any of it. If you can respawn 50meters from where you got shot and get back into action in 20seconds, if you turn this game into CoD, all the setting around it breaks down. The "immersive" bits become a total time waste and annoyance instead of a living breathing world. But we still don't know what DoaS will be like, how serious they want to go with it. So we will have to wait and see.

Nerfing the Gallant is silly and counter productive to an MMO setting. They keep trying to ruin that gun until it loses all value and no one picks it. What's the point in that?
Keep it awesome, 60 mag cap, full auto like it used to be.
Just make it exclusively lootable from certain missions/locations, make it a military-only weapon in lore.
This way it gains value but stops it being the only choice. Something to try and get but also something that's worth killing another player for. I didn't like it when they moved guns around so that I couldn't buy a Gallant in every shop, cos I barely have time to play, but I do realize it was a step in the right direction. They should make good weapons less easily obtainable, and offset it by making them better at what they are meant for. Like they did with snipers and railgun. No, don't make the P4AR available everywhere.... Try to add value to the guns you get instead of nerfing them until all of em do a flat damage of zilch with a mag size of 2. That only leads to the community wanting a new weapon which is actually usable, which will be imba upon release and gets nerfed hard later. It' leads to an endless cycle of disappointment.
 

Talonsbane

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My personal theory, is that CIG is making these shifts to test out how to balance things for SQ42, since they are in the "polishing phase" of its development. More than likely, the shields & EMP grenades will be released to us once they've tweaked other things for SQ, so that we can help them tweak the balance with those as well before its release.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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All a work in progress, I would not be surprised if staggering came back in for something like a railgun direct hit where the gun doesn't have time to reload before the stagger is completed (that doesn't stop any ally of the railgun user taking shots at the incapacitated but then that'd be the point of group manoeuvres I suppose)
 
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