Monday, June 10, 2013

FPS 101: Reward Player Aim & Skill

Dust is a game that defies and rejects many of the cheaper, dated and bad mechanics of FPS past [hopefully murder taxis will join the list of past mechanics very soon] At the same time its core FPS mechanics could use some upgrading. While we anticipate this and framerate being resolved, A very worthy recent thread on the forums by C Saunders recently remarked on the way contact grenades are hurting gameplay. The thread had overwhelming support [29 likes as of press time] so why are people so up in arms regarding them? In our opinion its because Dust has set a hard line against easy, cheap kill mechanics. When these elements exist they stick out like a sore thumb.

Its essentially law in Dust that easy-to-use weapons that dont require as much skill are lower damage. High-damage, OHK weapons are saddled with low fire rates, ammo counts, low splash or require large amounts of coordination to prevent exploits. One look at sniper rifles, railguns, forge guns and remote explosives confirms this. Often discussion about missing weapons mentions the Dust 514 equivalent of Claymores. While we were of the 'claymores should be a one hit kill' group months ago, we realize it was only because that was familiar and the way it had always been done in FPS. Lower skill requirement, AOE and fire-and-forget weapons like the swarm launcher should always do wounding damage rather than reward users with cheap kills [except to militia LAVs of course] So with this line of thinking shouldn't contact grenades do less damage than their timed counterparts as they require less skill? We say yes. As a result shouldnt we should see their damage in the 200-300 range? Yes again. Giving higher damage to the easier to use grenades is a very, very bad idea and goes against the core of Dust.

Now the HTFU crowd will be quick to chime in with their patented catch phrase, but as usual it fails hard. Many issues are simply poor mechanics and need fixing, not adaptation from the playerbase. Imagine how poor a game Dust would be if the HTFU contingent had their way when swarms were OHKs on infantry, Tanks were Godly, Heavies were near-indestructible and Tactical ARs were the best weapon at close range and at 100m. Not a pretty picture is it?

In the interest of avoiding more cheap mechanics, The Mass Driver, Plasma Launcher and Flaylock pistol need to be added to this list. Let's reward player aim instead of shooting at the feet of a person or in their vicinity and depending on splash for Accuracy by Proximity. We're certainly not saying remove these weapons but lower their splash damage considerably. Some relevant comments on the thread we mentioned really hit home:

CPM member Cazaderon remarked: I Did the exact same thread maybe 2-3 months ago and it had a massive success. but those nades are still in the game. IMO, they dont belong in Dust. Hell, they dont belong in any FPS as they encourage petty "aim at the ground" gameplay.

Reiki Jubo said: AOE weapons should be low ammo, low rof and low damage from splash as a rule just like the forge. want full damage? hit the actual person.

Bendtner92 said: Good luck with this. We've been telling CCP to get rid of them ever since they introduced them.

 Doc Noah said: Weapon has no place in this game, either it needs to be removed or reworked.

These are all excellent well thought out points of view. We hope CCP considers them. Lastly, one of our writers did point out one glaring issue that Dust needs to correct in regards to its Aiming. To many it feels weighted, and poor hit detection adds to the problem. The final straw is that on some weapons the sights are more 'guides' than actual indicators of where our rounds will hit. This is not good. Sights should be close to 100% hit indicators on stationary targets. Especially with weapons like the Missile and Plasma Launcher and Mass Driver. Add arc if you must but have the weapon crosshairs account for this. This is the future, right? Screwing with player aim is never a good idea as its confusing and inconsistent. Many FPS mechanics need changing and we're happy CCP recognizes this, but sights that relay to the user where the rounds will hit isnt one of them.


  1. been saying this forever.

  2. agree +1 pretty basic that weapons that require less skill should do less damage.

  3. aim does need fixing!

  4. I support this 100% say no to accuracy by proximity

  5. I feel like the article did a 180 at the end. It started off by demanding powerful weapons require skill to use, and then asks for the cross hairs to account for the shots arc. Wouldn't this lower the skill required to use the weapon?

    Most people I know think the Plasma Cannon sucks, although I have seen a friend make great use of it. It is the kind of weapon that only works good in certain situations. I like that a lot of the weapons in DUST have situations they work great in, but then situations they are not very useful in.

  6. ur pretty perceptive. they are basically two different pieces. One of our writers wanted fixes regarding aim added at the end. we agree with him for the sole reason that FPS fans are trained to trust crosshairs and have been for so long. CCP is doing so many things different from other shooters eliminating bad mechanics like dolphin diving and quickscoping but not making sights reliable and lead to consistent accuracy may be too much.

  7. From what I have read, the flaylock pistol had a much wider splash readius in the beta that made it overpowered. I don't think 1 m splash radius in the released version is OP. To get any splash damage, you have to hit a quite small radius of area around the target's feet and unless players are practically spooning, you can't hit more than one target at a time. If the target is full shield and armor and an even somewhat leveled character and non militia gear, it takes 3 splash hits to take them down. Add to that only three ammo in the clip and I don't find it particularly overpowered; I actually find that I am having build up my skill for it to be of any use and use it tactically with other weapons like the flux grenade.

    If my opponent is doing any amount of dodging and weaving, I am more likely to kill them with my AR at close range. Where I find the flaylock pistol might be precieved as OP is when I get swarmed by 3-6 people in a tight pack. I frequently can kill at least 1-2 people in this situation. If I get to cover to reload, I can sometimes take out the pack, or if I can time a flux grenade and dodge/weave until I can unload all three rounds on my first clip, I can wipe a lot of people out. But skilled opponents would 1) have the tactical sense not to cluster so tightly together, 2) be able to dodge my timed flux grenade, and 3) have the aiming skill to collectively mow me down before I get the third shot off on my first clip. OP'ed? I just don't see it.

  8. i agree that splash damage should be a tiny fraction of what direct damage is.

  9. I'd be okay with reducing splash damage if the splash radius was increased accordingly.

    People complaining about tiny splash radius's doing almost as much damage as a direct hit is akin to complaining about there being grenades in the game.

  10. They(CCP)took away the arc for the Mass Driver,lowered its direct hit and splash damage, reduced the AOE, and there is still people QQing about it. While I agree with the writers in regards to the nades, the MD has been smashed by the nerf hammer so hard that if you actually get killed by one, you might wanna go back to CoD.

  11. I find DUST 514 no where near a shooter of 2013 caliber at all.
    Sniping is horrible, the Dot is A) to big, and B) theres no lead to the target.
    which makes Sniping horrible, you have to follow your target all the time,
    and get the big dot to go red to hit your opponent? Thats wrong.

    Iron sights Im fine with, but If I hit the Head more then the Chest, I should kill,
    SHOULD KILL faster not about the same if I hit him in the crest.
    Also your calibration for burst fire and quick left to right spray shouldnt
    be really really hard?

    The Scanner should work ALL THE TIME, otherwise its a useless, USELESS Feature.
    I should be able to see every one, to the exception to certain suits for
    a limited time(ie Halo 2 - Arbiters Armour), that also includes grenades and
    C4 planted, again add to the Skill tree invisible C4

    I was excited to Finally play DUST 514, now Im disappointed.
    Horrible game play doesnt make a good game, even if you had really good ideas.
    Which the Skill tree and the market place was a good idea.
    but Overall the Game play sucks and is more a horrible grind then anything.