Friday, December 11, 2015

My thoughts more on first person shooters

Yes - I wrote that some time ago. Obviously, that was when they were still trying to develop the game. This game has had a very rocky start in that they tried to heavily monetize this franchize.
In doing this, they removed much of the balance, diversity of play and skill needed to really play the game as it was meant to be played. One would think that as time marched on that games like this - strategic jet-pack first person shooters would enter the user more and more into an environment where skill, teamwork, communication and strategy were more and more required to play.
Tribes Ascend went to the other way (as well as other titles, it would seem). I can only guess they are trying to pull in players from the younger mindset but in doing so I think they catered to the stupid, the lazy, the trollish and the arrogant.
Here are some traits that ALL first person shooters should have:
1. NORMALIZED WEAPONS
Normalize weapons effects and damage. Always be trading something of limited supply (energy, time, ammo, even health) for something you can release in a burst of fire (damage, area of effect, cone of effect, ect.). In fact a GOOD first person shooter will have diverse weapons that are powerful - in their own way and have soft and hard counters to those strengths.
2. LIMITED HEALTH
Health does not automatically regenerate. This health regeneration tends to insult the skillful actions of a patient, trained player. If all you have to do is run away and come back to knife your opponent in the back - it's not a game I want to play.
3. REQUIRE PREDICTIVE AIMING
Make all ranged weapons need an element of predictive shooting.
Think skeet shooting with a shotgun.
 If you REALLY want to go with hitscan or very very very fast projectiles, then make it so you have to "spin up" or "lock on", thus trading TIME and ATTENTION for an easier or more powerful shot.
4. CONTROL RATE OF FIRE
Rate of fire is the most powerful element of any weapon in the game. Think about it.
If you miss with a slow firing weapon what are you left with? You are left with an opponent who is very aware of your presence who can then retaliate, dodge or run away before you can get off your next round.
If you miss with an automatic weapons, what are you left with? You are left with the ability to fire many many rounds after that with each bullet correcting your aim. After about 1-5 bullets (depending on your skill) the other 15-20 bullets are going to be right on target.
So, if that slow firing weapon does 100 damage and your automatic here does 5 damage per shot, which one does more damage, on average?
You miss with a slow moving weapon (like a spinfusor): 0% damage for the next 2 seconds.
You miss with a fast-firing weapon (like a SMG or autoRifle): 5 shots miss with 20 hitting, well, that's 100 damage!
How do you correct the automatic weapon problem? Make the weapon overheat after a few shots, make each shell wildly inaccurate past 20 meters and if the weapon DOES overheat and you STILL try to fire it - make it blow up in their hands, doing health damage!