- United States of America
- 10 June 2013
I have talked to many people who are close to devs about the changes that have been made and are planned for ns2. I try to give feedback from the perspective of a pub player (vast majority of ns2 players)
The reaction is always the same. They tell me they "cannot comment" and must "support the devs decisions for 6v6 balance" and do not seem interested in feedback.
You guys are trying to force this game to be something most players do not want.
The fact is there are zero, or close to zero 6v6 public servers for a reason, they are not fun for most people.
In fact, if you join a pub server and it later drops to 12 players (your desired population) the players will consider the server "dead" and find another server to join.
I am all for having a separate "comp mod" for 6 v 6 but plz undo some of the drastic changes you have made that negatively affect 9v9 servers (by far most desired size)
I'm interested in having discussion on many of the changes that have been made and discussed at length in public servers in anyone from the dev team is interested in feedback.
Why does the smallest group in the ns2 community have a near monopoly on balance changes?
Could it be because its the people you hang out with?
Just to get a discussion going.
Which balance change exactly would you say was intended for 6v6, but harmful for 10v10?
In the latest balance patch from 09.12.2020 we got MAC buffs, cluster grenade nerfs and
slower fades to give average players a better chance to kill the neverdying fades Fades got half their speed back after the huge nerf of patch 335
- United States of America
- 10 June 2013
Thank you very much for the reply. I will give you a couple to chew on and many and they are not all recent changes, in fact most of them are cumulative from past patches as well.
1. Gorge tunnels- Making them commander dropped rather than gorge dropped was a huge change that really reduced the asymmetry of the two teams. I can understand if you want to keep this system however the current tunnel drop does not work well as implemented. The function is rather buggy and finding a location that will accept a tunnel is much harder than it should be ( phase gates are very easy and fast in comparison). Its frustrating enough being limited to infestation but there is nothin worse than after it spreads and finding out you cant find a spot by the cyst because of (over sensitive collision detection?)
Just way to much, the recent exo nerf was too drastic.
3. Supply caps too low, especially on aliens.... If you have a couple forward operating bases as aliens you can forget the old end game strat of contaminating and echoing whips into marine start. Supply cap doesn't allow for enough extra structures.
4. Arc cost increase to 15-
Reasonable tweak for 6-6 but arc usage will soon die on larger servers as they will rarely be worth the investment.
5. Thank you for the grenade nerf... clusters are still a bit too powerful in larger servers. Maybe another slight nerf?
6. Im concerned with the upcoming matchmaking system being set to 6v6 Please make this function customizable to include other size games so players can choose. If it is kept at 6v6 I beleive it wiill have an overall negative effect on total player population.
I have more but these are the ones that seem to get the most discussion (although number 3 is a personal pet peeve)F
Again thank you very much for taking the time to ask about my feedback. It means alot and I really hope the devs keep the 9v9 servers in mind (in fact Some of us even miss the old 12v12.
Gorges that can drop tunnels stemmed a problem with players sitting in vents and just dropping tunnels near the marine start to setup a cheese even when they are losing. What this in turn did was make marine commanders spam observatories everywhere across the map to save on scanning constantly.
Since the gorge tunnel change, less observatories have been used on the map and freed up the aliens to setup cheese's without the use of a fast travel option. It is still viable to rush marine start, just need to do pre-planning and more sneaky movement to get there. This is HUGE! The alien win-rate around this time was vastly higher than marine win rates across the board across all servers, including higher tier ones. This change, as much as people hated it helped balance the game more evenly. I'm all for gorges having tunnels but it needs to be balanced better, just haven't cared enough to think up a new way for gorges to do this.
Matchmaking is 8 years late, it should have been introduced many years ago along with an ELO system to compensate. Pubic servers then wouldn't feel the need to have ELO, but from what i hear, ELO is going to be shared across pub/ranked which is the most idiotic thing i've ever fucking heard in my life. In what universe would you tie pub ELO and ranked ELO in to the same system, fucking stupid. But the matchmaking system SHOULD be locked to a player count and not be different for everyone. I'm all for having custom match making systems, but then you need X amount of ELO systems for each and every one. Which isn't remotely ideal. WoW does this flawlessly in arena for 2v2, 5v5. Keep 6v6 as the standard and leave it at that.
The reason you may think the comp community is having such a large impact on balance is because it does have a large impact on balance. The best way to balance any FPS is to look at it from a top-down perspective, you never balance from the middle or even the lowest. Think about it, if Overwatch balanced widowmaker around the LOWEST elo players, then every shot she takes, even if they miss would be a headshot. It makes no sense to do that. The same goes for NS2. But heres the MAIN problem, you cannot balance 10v10 when people can leave and join at a whim. If a rookie player leaves a team and a Sanji joins, then the game is unbalanced. There is no penalty for leaving. On top of that, nothing scales on higher player counts. The hive has the same HP in a 10v10 as it does in 6v6. Absolutely no scaling is happening in higher player counts, this is a HUGE fucking problem. Especially if you look at the marine meta right now in pubs, cluster nade rushing hives with 9 marines; it's REALLY hard to counter that.
So what does this all mean? It means balancing 10v10 is virtually impossible to do with the way things go in public servers. However, balancing the game around matchmaking will be 10 times easier. If players are locked to a team, have penalties when leaving early and having a standard across the board, this alone will make balanced games and the game will be more enjoyable for all. I can see the disagreements already, but i'm telling you this is the best way to have a balanced game. On top of that, people keep bitching about unbalanced teams in pubs and frankly I don't care anymore. I've tried and tried to make suggestions but they just fall on deaf ears on people that actually have the means and power to change this game.
So I'll end this long post with 2 things to ponder:
1. Marine commander over-haul with tech trees
2. Alien lifeform specific upgrades (for shells, spurs and veils) that are unique to that lifeform
First of please realise we are not UWE. They do what they want for NS2, as it should be. Devs should take feedback but decide for themselves what their game should be.
But as Schu rightly points out, devs will & should not ignore higher skilled players, is because you can not balance on the lowest skilled ones.
So instead of repeating all that, lets take a history lesson NS2, servers and communities.
Back when server performance was abysmal, documentation was nonexistant & rumours where high, many servers were 'small'.
Performance was one reason, balance another. It was still very clear in the public part of the community that 6v6 was how to play NS2. But herein lies a problem, well.. several.
6v6 is ideal, but lower is bad. There's no matchmaking, barely a decent skill system. And pubs be pubs, when losing, people leave. So you have 6vs5 and... no, you cant really play. Sure you can F4 for the next round, but what next round? Wait till someone else (finally) joins?
Ok so we increase the teamsize a little bit. 7vs7, 14 slots. Still not to bad. Problem solved. Well, no. In many cases more then 1 person left when they lost.
Ok ok, 8vs8.. 16 slot. Now if some leave, we still got 6 and can still play. If they are all here 8vs8 is... acceptable.
But these servers are community driven. They are not official. Someone hosts their own server, runs a NS2 server, sometimes more then 1. That costs money. And the more slots one server has, the more often the other is empty. Ok so we remove the empty server. But now your community complaints they cant play right? (Before they were playing the server was half empty)
Ok ok.. spec slots perhaps? Needed reserved slots anyway for the admin or mods to get on the server. But the vanilla implementation is bad. Shine can do this quite nice, but the server browser doesnt really specify. Ok so the server is now 10v10. 20 slots, some spec.
Now to offset some cost on communities which stick around you will start to see donations. Custom badges, possibly reserved slots for those members. The bigger the community and the more stable the server, the bigger the chance they want to spec.
But dont forget the lack of documentation or understanding we mentioned earlier. Admins who would get shuffled from reserved/spec slots due to miss set immunity, folk slowly growing accustomed to bigger games. The march onwards to 10v10 + specs was well underway.
And most of this was all due to a lack of any matchmaking and proper official servers.
Remember no matchmaking > can leave > need more players to fill the gaps or the server died.
No proper official servers > custom servers > costs money > what servers the community > usually bigger servers.
9vs9 isnt the desired size because it was perfectly balanced. It just got to 9v9 because of anything but balance. People are now used to it yes, sadly. But this is why there are no 6v6 servers. And it has nothing to do with interest.
Just to add to this discussion that I only just saw;
ENSL or compmod only had influence in one of those changes you listed, supply cap, which only becomes a problem if you are hoarding res.
Gorge tunnels, exo nerfs, arc change and grenade nerfs were made with no influence from comp. Infact a lot of comp players disliked the gorge tunnel change especially and it was only made because in 10v10 there were too many gorges dropping tunnels outside marine base. Gorge tunnels were of no issue in comp. The arc change was also debated to be reverted in compmod.
And to add fuel to thought - maybe 9v9 is the perceived desired team size because the players that want a more competitive 6v6 experience are either too intimated by ENSL or simply unaware of it and end up quitting the game? So pubs are simply left with only the players that are fine with large team sizes and just jump on to casually play