Progressive Comp Mod

Grissi
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6 December 2018 - 20:49 MST
#1
Hey everyone

Me, Dragon and Rantology came back together and discussed some future changes we want try out. Dragon is up for doing the programming for us while there is interest to move the game forward.
This is the same team that made the initial comp mod and we were very successful with what we made.

To go forward we will need the help of the competitive community. The new mod will make the game unbalanced and this will create tons of broken strategies that will be frustrating and somewhat hilarious to play against. But just as we have done before we will continue to make the improvements needed until the comp mod reaches a fun and balanced state.
What we need from you guys is to understand that each version will not be perfect and some changes made will not be something each individual wants. But even then keep believing that through all the work we will end up with a product that gives a better ns2 experience for all levels of play.
We will need help with testing and feedback, we want to know what you guys like and dislike to help us move into the right directions. In simple terms to make this work we all need to work together.
We are going to be really open with what changes we are going to make and jump right into making a test version. This version will include changes that will definitely make the game unbalanced but seeing how it plays out will help us decide on what next steps to take.

Goals
1. Make the game more fun
2. Make the game more accessible (not easier)
3. Streamline the gameplay, remove or fix all unnecessary mechanics
4. Make the game play faster; only equal games should be long, one sided games should be short.
5. Continuous improvements with regular changes.

Future changes and overview

Economy
The main core mechanic that makes ns2 a strategy game, not just a tactical shooter. As it stands the game does not tie pres and tres together enough, reducing the value of resources the longer the game is. This issue is highlighted in the late game where aliens don't have many ways to remove value from their opponent. Their passive upgrades allows the base marine with lmg to stay strong even against fully pres invested alien team. We would like to tackle these issues head on and tie the economy more to the flow of every stage in the game.
These changes will allow teams to both snowball faster and comeback faster as pres investments are more dominant in the game. This also means that uneven teams causes games to end quicker so players don't have to wait forever to lose a game, only even games will become long games.

With this in mind, here are some example of changes that can be expected in the future, these will take a few weeks to finish:

Aliens
We are looking at a full tech tree rework that will include change like:
*Lower alien lifeform PRES costs (IE: Lerk/Fade/Onos = 25/30/35)
*Adjust alien lifeforms to be more equal in effectiveness, but differing in roles.
*Alien commander has more upgrades that are lifeform focused.
*Alien passive chambers unlinked from hives, spur/shell/veil cost increases
*Biomass removed, alien upgrade researches tied directly to # of hives.

Marines
*All marine weapons unlocked from start and adjust marine PRES costs (IE: SG/MG/Flamer/GL = 25/30)
*Adjust weapons to have more specific roles (still able to fight everything)
*Each weapon will gain a utility upgrades (etc faster fire rate).
*Each arms labs can only have one upgrade, either ‘Armor’ or ‘Weapons’ Additional arms labs would *need to be built then upgraded to get higher levels. (4-6 arms labs in total)
*Marines gain 2 utility slots
**Mines, grenades, Welders, and other additionals would be selectable for these slots.
**You would then respawn selected utilities.

Changes we want to test next week.
*Remove Power nodes and Cysts.
Both power nodes and cysts slow down the early game and comebacks for little to no gain, they limit both teams strategy decisions, they create unnecessary timesync and targets for both teams, they don’t add anything fun to the game.

*Alien structures can be placed anywhere, they don’t autobuild off infestation.
We want to try this first before putting any limitations, this gives the most options.

*Hive spread infestation in bigger area.
This is so aliens can drop upgrades behind hive

*Alien structures spread infestation around them.
For alien abilities (Bone wall) and Echo.

*Increase base speed of Marines and remove sprint.
Sprint is a 0.8 speed increase today and creates unnecessary risk for marines when traveling. More speed will allow marines to maneuver before and in fights and higher chance of evading attacks.
*Increase alien base speed.
Alien travel speed will stay the same, this is so they can keep up with the new marine increase.

*Shotgun spread made tighter and given damage reduction.
This will make the shotgun feel better, it will make it so that when you hit you will deal full damage. The damage reduction will start at 4 meters and stops at 16 meters (with minimum of 1 damage per pellet).
Pellets are reduced from 17 to 10 pellets (17 damage per pellet). This makes it less efficient at longer ranges.

*Tweaks will be made as needed shortly after testing.

We are still bouncing tons of ideas around but this is the vision we are developing right now.
Now I want to hear from you guys, do you want this to go forward?
Do you like the ideas or do you want to do something differently?

Please comment or contact me with your thoughts and questions.

-Grissi
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6 December 2018 - 21:10 MST
#2
Bold, but you will need Server Operator support and a pretty dedicated team of testers to start. I'm sure you won't have trouble finding people willing to try it out, but people will still be playing the current version of Comp simultaneously.
BearJankins
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7 December 2018 - 06:06 MST
#3
not playing this if you dont revert hitboxes, bitecones and move speed values for aliens, AND meds
http://i.imgur.com/hr1ud2u.png
Mephilles
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7 December 2018 - 07:54 MST
#4
Sounds like you are more going for a class based design which requires teamwork and coordination which I am totally up for testing.

The only thing I am not quite sure about is tying upgrades to number of hives instead of biomass. It depends a bit on how you spread them over the hives but what I see is that some abilities are stronger than others on the same hive tech. So you either spread them in a way that each lifeforms gets 1 upgrade per hive and you choose whichlifeform you want to give the upgrades to or if you have multiple upgrades for 1 lifeform on 1 hive (for example spores and umbra) then the stronger one of those would need to take longer and/or cost more to research.

I am thinking about the time when people complained about bio 4 spores which made it impossible to push hives. However since all weapons ae available at the beginning you are free to bring an FT in that case.

EDIT: I assume some gathers could happen on the server that has the mod running to test it in that environment aswell. Other than that I am not sure how many teams are actually willing to test that so in case testing falls short we might be able to form a little testing group with players who want to test it that could scrim against each other.
Grissi
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7 December 2018 - 08:35 MST
#5

BearJankins says

not playing this if you dont revert hitboxes, bitecones and move speed values for aliens, AND meds



We will never promise specific changes, all changes we list can easily change depending on what happens on testing and what feedback we get.

This list you make is not the most helpful one. The first question that comes in mind is why do you want each individual change to be made?

Here is my feedback on your suggestions

Revert Hitboxes
I remember old hitboxes causing a lot of issues. During tests we could see bullets miss because how the spark engine handles interpolation, the low tickrate and bullets constantly going between skulk legs / between gaps in models giving the feel of horrible hit reg. A rule that successful competitive shooters have done is make the hitbox just slightly bigger than the model, this makes the hitreg feel really good.
I have yet to test/see how big the hitbox is compared to the player model but its definitely something we will look into. The bigger question is why you want this change;
*Is it because everything dies faster?
*Is it because it's to easy to hit opponents?
*Is it harder to avoid your opponent attacks?
These things might sound similar but each issue can be approached differently. For example health could be increased if players die to fast, attack cones and bullet size could be adjusted if its to easy to hit and mobility could be increased if it's to hard to avoid opponents.

Revert Bitecone
One of the first thing I noticed when I started playing again is that it was near possible to dodge skulk bites, I'm guessing that's the reason why you want to make this change. If that's your reason then I completely agree that is an issue that needs to be addressed.
We have already had some discussions about this but we want to start with some movement speed changes to see how much that affects marines ability to evade attacks in fight. After we find a speed that feels good then we will go into adjusting bitecone if Marines still have problems avoiding attacks.

Move speed values for Aliens
Alien move speed have been changed so often during ns2 development that I need you to clarify what speed changes you are talking about.
I do know that since gorge tunnels were moved from tier 2 to tier 1 that aliens got a big nerf in speed throughout the development cycle. This has made them overly dependent on gorge tunnels to be able to survive the early game.
If you are talking about aliens being slower then I agree that it needs to be adjusted, but at the same time we will have to make changes to gorge tunnels to compensate. This is also something we have started discussing.

Meds
Before I answer this question I would like to know what medpack iteration you want to revert back to and why, after that I will give you a detailed answer.


Feel free to give more feedback but I ask you to give detail when you do. When you want to revert something tell exactly what you want to revert it to and when you make a suggestion tell me what problem you want it to fix. That's information we can work with.

-Grissi
Grissi
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7 December 2018 - 09:01 MST
#6

Mephilles says

Sounds like you are more going for a class based design which requires teamwork and coordination which I am totally up for testing.



I guess you could say its a resource based class based system. Our goals is to tie the team res to the pres system and scaling and make it less punishing to lose each individual pres investment (you get stuff back quicker). This will allow us to scale pres invested further away from the base LMG and Skulk as the game goes on.


Mephilles says

The only thing I am not quite sure about is tying upgrades to number of hives instead of biomass. It depends a bit on how you spread them over the hives but what I see is that some abilities are stronger than others on the same hive tech. So you either spread them in a way that each lifeforms gets 1 upgrade per hive and you choose whichlifeform you want to give the upgrades to or if you have multiple upgrades for 1 lifeform on 1 hive (for example spores and umbra) then the stronger one of those would need to take longer and/or cost more to research.

I am thinking about the time when people complained about bio 4 spores which made it impossible to push hives. However since all weapons ae available at the beginning you are free to bring an FT in that case.



The battle for map dominance is one of the amazing things about aliens needing a second hive, this is one of the highlights that makes ns2 such a fun game. The marines that are slow and powerful try to deny map control while aliens who have high mobility try to keep it. Hive locations create a place of conflict outside the rt locations that I feel is very positive for the gameplay.
We have yet to decide how exactly the tech trees will look like, I'll post our ideas when we get closer to a final vision. We are always open for suggestions to help us in the right direction.[/quote]


Mephilles says

EDIT: I assume some gathers could happen on the server that has the mod running to test it in that environment aswell. Other than that I am not sure how many teams are actually willing to test that so in case testing falls short we might be able to form a little testing group with players who want to test it that could scrim against each other.




Dragon just released the first version, it can be found here: https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1584284799
That man just works amazingly fast!

I already got tons of messages from some old and current players that are interested in testing, I also heard that some teams are going to try out a scrim on it later today.
As Lome mentioned I have yet to have a chance to check with server operators about running the mod. It would great we could have at least 1 server for both scrims and gathers, players could then vote the comp mod server if they want to play it in a gather.
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7 December 2018 - 10:15 MST
#7
maybe keep hitboxes the same but reduce model size?

would function as a the same reduction in actual hitboxes but the hitreg would seem fine still
BearJankins
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7 December 2018 - 10:29 MST
#8
from what i've gathered about "hitreg issues due to smaller hitboxes", historically, the amount of ACTUAL noregs on smaller hitboxes pretty much equaled the amount of ACTUAL noregs you're getting with the current hitboxes.
i dont know if this is actually true, but it's the common opinion i've personally observed by high skill players.
the issue only was that people called bullshit noregs when they shoot between legs which can't happen anymore beacuse the hitboxes are stupidly BIG.

i'll maybe explain my other shit some other time not right now though, i bet someone else will do it anyway
http://i.imgur.com/hr1ud2u.png
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7 December 2018 - 11:07 MST
#9

BearJankins says

from what i've gathered about "hitreg issues due to smaller hitboxes", historically, the amount of ACTUAL noregs on smaller hitboxes pretty much equaled the amount of ACTUAL noregs you're getting with the current hitboxes.
i dont know if this is actually true, but it's the common opinion i've personally observed by high skill players.
the issue only was that people called bullshit noregs when they shoot between legs which can't happen anymore beacuse the hitboxes are stupidly BIG.

i'll maybe explain my other shit some other time not right now though, i bet someone else will do it anyway




shutup bauer
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7 December 2018 - 11:44 MST
#10
For hive upgrades, the tech tree could remain the same. Instead, increase T-res cost / research times of stronger upgrades, while keeping lower tier upgrades the same or lowering the cost (stab vs leap).

I loved the bite cone change that was tested a couple seasons ago. However, (in my opinion) this caused a huge snowball of issues for aliens:
- skulks had to follow the marine, they no longer had the option to outplay the marine because the moment they were a small distance away their bites could not reach,

- lerks had worse dodging during engagements due to the same reason as skulks, made them very squishy,

- fades got stuck in marines trying to swipe them because you had to get too close for swipes.

While this change is interesting and probably necessary to balance pvp fights between the two teams, something else on the alien arsenal needs a buff in order for them to stay relevant. An argument of 'get gud lul' isn't applicable here because then marines would be way easier to play compared to aliens.

An issue that worries me with these changes is how bone wall is going to work in engagements. Before, you had the magical outplay of using shades with cysts to turn the tides in numerous fights (shade in platform to hide cysts at mezzanine in ns2_tram comes to mind). How will the aliens be able to do the same thing now? Will the cyst spread through walls? Or do you have to place another structure (say, a crag) in mezzanine under the invisibility range of the shade in order to spread infestation? You could also make drifters spread infestation, turning them into true overlords.

Don't really have much to say about the other changes until tested, they look interesting.

EDIT: Regarding shades, I would prefer if shades didn't make structures/lifeforms in other rooms invisible at all. Currently, you have to accept the fact that there could be something invisible in a room and you can't do anything about it because the shade is in a completely different room. This gives aliens a big advantage in holding certain rooms and leaves marines with no counter play.
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7 December 2018 - 11:52 MST
#11
Very strong initiative and strong improvements suggested. I'm on board, how do I playtest?
Mephilles
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8 December 2018 - 08:41 MST
#12
Do you suggest shades should only hide infestation or what do you propose for a new passive ability of shades? (active is ink still)

Though that does bring up a question, how does the infestation spread behave when it comes to crags, shades, shifts and whips moving around?
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8 December 2018 - 10:22 MST
#13
An idea that I want to throw out there is perhaps removing all pve except whips (so crags/shades/shifts) and instead make them upgrades available on hives and RT's.
For example this could be done so once upgraded on a hive it will provide the full or nearly full effect of a crag/shift/shade depending on what you've upgraded whilst RT's with these upgrades will provide say 60% effectiveness of the pve.
This obviously adds large amounts of value to the RT's and hives you decide to upgrade and to balance it for late game I would suggest making each upgrade add to the supply cap so aliens cant have the crag/shift/shade effect on every single RT.
This could also be done with echo making it available to upgrade on any hive and allows the comm to echo any egg/RT/whip within the hive room.

I can see a concern being that it would make tunnel locations that are off any RT practically useless, if you compare this to the current meta of getting a crag and whip on a tunnel in a small choke location - but on the contrary this may be a nice change not having to deal with masses of pve in a small choke that completely blocks marines.
Also another concern I see being is the idea that aliens will always have the pve upgrades once upgraded and this may make hives or RT's very tough to push without a flamer that disables upgrades. The only ideas that come to mind currently to help combat this could be to have fall off effectiveness so fighting away from the hives would only provide down to 30% effectiveness and right next to the hive provides 100% effectiveness of crag/shift.
And of course since this beta comp wants to move in the direction of less or no passive upgrades then once the hive or RT is killed any pve upgrade on it will be lost too - just like if the marines kill the crag/shift for example.

Partially why I make this suggestion is because after playing on the new beta comp yesterday a massive bonus to removing cysts was the performance improvement and perhaps by removing pve this could further improve.
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8 December 2018 - 10:30 MST
#14
The games we got yesterday were great, thank you to everyone who played- hopefully everyone had fun!

Even though the mod is incomplete we've gotten some valuable feedback/data. some of the things that we'll look at right away based on yesterday's games:

Alien:
---initial RT drop health: Is probably a bit too high. This is due to the removal of maturity, the initial health of alien RTs will be lowered
---Alien RT cost: Will be increased to compensate for the removal of cysts
---Build rates and Drifters: Auto-building units are extremely effective, multiple drifters may be too strong early game. Considering tweaks here. Drifters also likely construct alien RTs too quickly, we'll look at lowering their build rate.

Marine:
---Shotgun: There was a lot of shock at the way the new SG works, I think people need more time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of it. We're looking to quicken the RoF so that mis-timing or missing the initial shot is less punishing. The weaknesses can most likely be over-exploited in the incomplete mod as it is intended that all marine weapons are available at the start so supporting weapons like the MG are a missing component at this time.
---RTs: build time is likely too quick now that powernodes are gone, will look at increasing.
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8 December 2018 - 11:06 MST
#15
this is neat
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8 December 2018 - 12:42 MST
#16
Dragon has pushed the following changes to the mod, should be live:

##### Marine Team Changes:
- Removed power node impulse and render effects from field players
- Removed power nodes from minimap
- Removed power nodes unit status tooltips
- Extractor build time increased to 15 from 11
- Increased SG rate of fire by ~6.5%
- Shotgun damage falloff starting range increased to 5m from 4m
- Fixed issue preventing extractors from being placed right after harvester was killed

##### Alien Team Changes:
- Drifters now build 35% slower (Increases harvester build time from ~38 seconds to ~60 seconds)
- Harvester cost increased to 10
- Harvester base armor lowered by 100 (200 less effective health)
- Harvester health when fully matured lowered by 100, armor lowered by 70 (240 less effective health)
Sam
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9 December 2018 - 16:01 MST
#17
Hey,

First off I think this is a great idea and could potentially infuse more interest back into the competitive community and bring back some of the older players. I for one will be trying it out.

Now, I did start writing up a big post about what I originally disliked about the game when I used to play comp and what eventually made me lose interest completely but it was a little bit much and after going back through the original proposed changes by the new comp mod I think it addresses quite a few of those.

There is one thing however I want to propose and at least be considered.

Increase Alien travel speed. This will go a long way to making the game more fun again. There was a point in time when Aliens were very fast and quite frankly this was immensely fun. The balance was skewered in Alien favour however but it didn't stop Marines being fun.
Once they nerfed Alien speed however and removed certain mechanics like (butt jumping skulks, floor blinking fades to name a couple) it became far less fun to play Aliens and actually felt quite like a chore. Lots of camping/ambushing waiting for Marines so you can actually win a fight.

Am not suggesting keep things how they were however. The increased mobility will obviously need to have some kind of trade off. Just an idea off the top of my head but lowering fade damage on players to make them more hit and run-ish would help quite a bit while perhaps giving them slightly more health to accomodate this. This would likely help both the horrible feeling of getting chunked by a marine on the first shot and having to run out of there instantly and also give the opportunity to engage against multiple marines without it being as risky.

The exact numbers would need to be discussed but this is the kind of direction I always felt the game needed to take. Aliens aren't fun when they are sluggish and easy to hit.

Skulks also shouldn't be the piece of shit that they are now. They feel horrible to play and I want to engage at speed as a solo skulk to be a viable thing again. Currently its too slow of a playstyle.

Give marines bunny hop back down ramps back also, and higher strafe speed. Also not sure if it is still in the game but allow Gorges to bunny hop with good speed again please. These things are fun.

Can't exactly say how I feel about all the changes until I try them but I like everything being fresh.
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9 December 2018 - 16:09 MST
#18
One other thing, would it be possible to make a list of current values such as damage, HP, speed, TTK, etc so we can do a comparison between both versions?

Could just be a google doc or a diffnow page or something similar.
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10 December 2018 - 16:12 MST
#19
One quick feedback: please remove healthbars. It makes it far too easy for marines to focus targets.
phonee
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10 December 2018 - 23:11 MST
#20
remove lerk egg drop, it's a busted strategy and ill continue to abuse it until it is fixed
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