Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can CCP Break the Cycle?

Much of what we've heard about Dust 514 has been music to the ears of fans of "shooters with depth." So many of us are tired of the same-old, same-old tired aspects, tactics and exploits when it comes to shooters. Many of the elements that current shooters contain are outdated, poorly done and only remain because many developers refuse to innovate. One of the real ways CCP can grab the attention of shooter fans is by eliminating many of the time-worn, sacred cows of first person shooters. We've decided to list some of these for your viewing pleasure.

1. The Combat Sniper - While everyone loves a good sniper on their team, the instances of people taking a stationary weapon and abusing game mechanics by using it like a shotgun or assault rifle need to come to a screeching halt. Many people will cry foul because this directly attacks their style of play but its for the betterment of the FPS community that quick-scoping with sniper rifles die a horrible death. While we don't advocate anything that will affect the sniper's ability to be effective, how about lowering mobility when a stationary weapon is equipped? MAG had a great mechanic for "urging" players not to walk around holding RPGs: You moved at a walking pace while it was equipped and couldn't jump or sprint--essentially making you a sitting duck. We'd like to see the same mechanic regarding weapons like sniper rifles and other heavy or bulky weaponry. Mobility is KING in shooters, and having it seriously hampered will dramatically lower the effectiveness of many timeless but outdated FPS tactics. Then we can see players equip their non-bulky weapons when they want to move, and pull out the sniper rifles when they've reached their sniper nest.

2. RocketMan - If a Red Dawn situation ever really occurs here in the U.S, while FPS will certainly give us a generation of combat-ready troops; sadly that same generation foolishly believes that RPGs are an anti-personnel weapon. In shooter after shooter we continue to see anti-vehicle weapons used like this. A fix is simple, require a lock-on with weapons like this, only give them the ability to fire after a lock-on is achieved and only allow lock-ons versus vehicles. Then, hopefully we can end the instances of the RPG-happy behavior God-awful COD has made so prevalent in so-called tactical shooters these days. Let's use these weapons as God intended: On Vehicles.

3. Knifer - As we've discussed before, the way knives have been depicted has long been in need of change. DICE, the developers of BF3 stepped up big-time and finally gave us a more realistic version of the knife that required both stealth, skill and common sense. No more knives winning gunfights. Now we simply can't go back to the single swipe of death that we've seen for so long. Please CCP, don't do it to us...

4. Grenade Fiend - From the first time we saw an M203 in action with its grenade launcher underbarrel attachment we were hooked. Two weapons in one? SOLD. The problem is the fact that too many shooters allow this weapon to be used at close range when it should also be lethal to the user. Firing at a target at 5m? NO WAY. This should mean death for the user and the target, and it'd be nice if more shooters displayed this.

5. The Griefer - We all know this player. Its his job to make life a living hell for everyone who plays with him. Team? you're kidding, right? He's on his own team. This guy jumps into games and shoots his own teammates because to him, its FUN. He also sees no need for the chat channels outside of screaming obscenities or playing loud music. God help you if you're about to destroy an objective or pick up a weapon or perk that he wants. While nothing can be done to prevent this player from buying or joining your game, steps have to be taken to prevent him from RUINING it. Several games have wonderful systems that allow victims of team-killing to Kick or Forgive their killer. Auto-Kick and balanced vote system FTW!

6. Lagger/Hacker - This guy thinks he's smarter than everyone else. He goes on the internet and finds out how to create devices or use hacks so he can cheat at videogames for crying out loud. LAME. Then this total loser goes on message boards and proclaims his psuedo-l33tdom for all to see. While we realize that combating "lag-switches" also means disallowing players with too-low bandwidth, its for the greater good. Keep these tools off our games and safe inside their mother's basement where they belong.

7. The Quitter - Another player we're all familiar with. This guy bolts when things aren't going the way he wants and if there are no consequences for doing it, game balance and game integrity is destroyed instantly. While we hope there is a way to differentiate between server kicks and an actual quit game, quitters must be punished with Deserter Ribbons, Timeout Penalties and any other manner of cruel punishment and ridicule you can devise for a Judas who'll leave his teammates in the lurch rather than go down swinging.

8. The Resuscitation - This isn't a player type as much as its a game mechanic specific to shooters. We all know how this works, your buddy goes down and you want to revive him. So you pull out your med-kit, your spray-gun, defibrillator or pixie dust and Ta-Da! He's back in the battle and ready for action. As much as it allows us to be heroic and quickly turn a mass of bodies into a squad of soldiers ready for action, this needs changing. How? We're not sure. While we agree that some injuries shouldn't be repairable, we really hope that revives shift away from the instantaneous now-you're-100%-in-an-instant phase. In the end, hopefully CCP will find a great way to balance this.

9. The Double Agent - This guy infiltrates your corp, gains your trust and like a thief in the night steals from you much of what you've taken countless hours to obtain, he betrays you in a crucial battle or gives your enemies a constant supply of valuable intel from within your ranks. While thieves and spies everywhere are eager to begin their shadow activities, all we ask is that not be so easy. Creating alternate profiles on Playstation has always been simple; players easily create another profile and it has no past or affiliation with their master account. Don't allow this, link accounts under a master if they are on the same PlayStation and don't allow your security to be fooled by alternate credit cards. Make things difficult (but not impossible) on spies and traitors.

10. The Faux-MVP - The mentality behind this was stated perfectly by former MAG player EnglishSnake a few days ago on the site. "Most games dont punish the player, you dont get minus points or achievement or trophies withheld, MAG trophies you could complete on your own easily just Rambo away, ignore the frago, hammer the burnoff tower for 30 min and come top in as a top MVP but yet you did fuck all to be honest to help, except be an idiot and run and die at the same place for 30 minutes." and while he stated it in the language of a MAG player frustrated by blue dots (incompetent players)..he's right. Could it be we're about to see a shift in what is considered a WIN or SUCCESSFUL? Hopefully so, because FPS needs it badly. Allowing players to ignore the game's real objectives and goals and still prosper and be rewarded for playing Deathmatch has been a critical flaw in FPS for some time. We're hopeful that CCP has the stones to properly differentiate between Winners and Losers in Dust 514. Sometimes real consequences are all people need to get their heads in the game.


  1. great article! love #5

  2. I think you should expect some 5s and many 9s - this is the Eve universe after all.

    Also, be prepared to be disappointed by nearly all of these - CCP have stated that they don't intend to make an innovative FPS, just attach a competent FPS to persistance and Eve.

  3. 1_ AGREE. I don't want quickscopers ruining my game, but somehow I don't think it will be much of a problem. What worries me is the damage of sniper rifles compared to other weapons, on the Dust demo of that fanfest thing, the assault rifle took lots of shots to kill (which is good). I like low bullet damage, but I don't think its fair to have the main kind of weapon so weak if another weapon (sniper rifles) will be very powerful. For this reason, I am against sniper rifles capable of 1-hit kills, except maybe the strongest sniper rifle being able to do a 1-hit-kill headshot. Equally important is the sniper's usefulness to the team. I want snipers to have an ability built into their scopes to spot/paint targets for their team, so they'll be more than just camping killers.

    2_ DISAGREE. While I agree rocket launchers are meant for vehicles, but if your in a pinch and out of ammo or whatever, it should be an option. Just don't make it necessarily a 1-hit kill on players, and give it very low splash damage.

    3_ AGREE. I would rather have a knife that kills in 2 or 1 (if from behind) hits with very limited range, then some overpowered always 1-hit-kill long lightsaber.

    4_ The real issue with grenade launchers to me is splash damage, and damage in general.

    5_ AGREE. I really like the kick or forgive idea, though it should be 2 kicks votes from 2 different team-killing occasions that should get someone kicked. I don't want to be kicked just because I accidentally TKed someone who already hates me, and who's just looking for an excuse to kick me out.

    6_ AGREE.

    7_ DISAGREE. You can't always know why someone leaves a battle, so to punish them under the assumption that they're just being a pussy is unfair. Someone might leave because of being no longer having fun (the whole point of games is fun), or a family member needs them, or their corporation wants them in a different game.

    8_ AGREE. Resurrection should not be instant, it needs some kind of animation, and the player being revived needs an option to accept or decline it, so he won't be revived right into gun fire.
    9_ DISAGREE. CCP will not do anything against double agent spies, the EVE universe is supposed to be a brutal place where you aren't sure who to trust. Scammers and spies are perfectly fitted for such a world.

    10_ AGREE. There needs to be rewards that exclusively rewards team players, and punishes "false MVP's".

  4. great article guys

  5. @kagehoshi - no way! allowing quit outs ruined mag totally. not going through that again. hopefully they can tell between quits and server kicks. they need a ISK penalty too.

  6. i agree with you drew. if the MAG community could have done that vote over there's no way we would have let people quit out.

  7. i hate quitters but they need to make server kicks a non-issue.

    lol @ laggers in their moms basement.

  8. no quit outs. #9 scares the hell out of me.

  9. stopping quit-outs is job #1 in my opinion. yeah Alts have me worried too.

  10. Nice. Good write.

    Personally, I think the battle should be slowed down more. Friendly fire on all the time, except for in practice matches where designated. This alone will slow things down.

    Fits into the medic thing - actually have to drag a guy (or some other soldier to you) behind cover (I recommend this), and then start a 'mini game.' Think Mass Effect where you have to hit a certain set of buttons in a timely order for your guy to open a door. Apply this to an emergency medical situation - worse the wound, longer the time you have to hit buttons in a timed, certain order. Also could include elements from Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater - use the appropriate medical equipment to get up and going. Do this and a medical will become HIGHLY valued - especially good ones. I don't want a game that's pick up and play instants - I can play any game for that. I want something that takes skill. Plus people might learn something a la the US Army game that teaches some very limited medical training.

  11. good points on the medic thing.

    friendly fire is a must.

  12. Great Post! Standing ovation for items #1-7, and #10. The other two I agree with and would welcome innovative change, but they are less of a concern to me.

    That was kind of cathartic... Thanks!

  13. I can definitely tell you have never played EVE. Spies are a fact of life, yet, you can boot people from your corp. As fights are corp based, I imagine that griefers/team killers will be less of an issue than one would imagine. 7,9, & 10 are a minor to non issue, with proper vetting of corp-mates.

    As for the rest of it, in terms of game play, you & I will just have to see. Expect it to be as different a FPS from any other as EVE is to other MMORPGs. "Persistence" and "sandbox" are the watchwords here, not "mashing buttons in a timed, certain order." They had that game in the 80's, it was called a Simon.