Author Topic: Are updates improving our favorite game?  (Read 4027 times)

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Offline Dizzy So 1337

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Are updates improving our favorite game?
« on: August 16, 2007, 04:57:20 am »
I started this essay as a specific response to the knife change, however it seems to have gotten control of me, and a few people have already responded to say that maybe this needs to be said.

Yeah... um, a lot of the gameplay changes lately, like in the last year or so seem to have been driven toward satisfying the needs of the uberSoldat players rather than us majority of general Joe Shmoes that just play the game for fun.  No offense to Michal or to the Beta Testers I appreciate their work very much and love the game.  However, I'm on the edge of suggesting that the Beta Test team needs some new blood in it, some people that don't know Soldat inside-and-out.

I haven't yet decided if I really want to make this suggestion, but this 1.4.2 knife thing seems like a case-in-point to me at the moment.  The number of Soldat players that were taking advantage of this were probably in the minority, affecting maybe the top .5 to .75% of Soldat players at a guess.  And maybe (most probably) this knife fix didn't hurt any of the code.

But sometimes I do wonder... it does seem like the Soldat updates are getting worse with time.  Yes, I know that Soldat people are the ultimate 'sky is falling!' kinda critics, but really.  More and more people seem to be saying this with every update. It took me a long time to come around to that idea but I am starting to take some of those "Soldat 1.3.1 forever!!!" posters, whom i used to regard as some kind of Al Qaueda splinter group, more seriously than I used to.   

I'm 9 years in software QA management and so I confess a certain... err... 'pride in my objectivity', let's call it, for lack of better term. Shall I risk a guess at what might be the problem (if there is one?).  I imagine all the Beta Testers are probably 1337 Soldat players, and I think that gameplay balances are being over-weighted by the 1337 and under-weighted by the majority.  Are Soldat updates suffering from an overabundance of whitebox over blackbox testing?  Possibly.  For my part, as a total outsider I haven't made my mind up on the subject.  But I think it might be worthy of discussion.

As a career QA Lead for games by Activision, EA etc.... one of the last parts of my process is to trade people from one team to another... get some 'fresh eyes' on the project, people who have never played that game before, onto my team, and see what they say.  Soldat being a 'continual work in progress' is one of its many strengths, however I wonder if the Beta-Tester team is as concerned with the new Soldat player, the guy that never played Soldat until... 5 minutes ago... as they are with balancing the game for the notoriously insular 1337 Soldat Community.

Hrmmm... looking back, when I started this post, I've said more than I meant to... I am still chewing on the subject, myself.  It's easy to criticize when you know nothing about the process, very difficult to criticize (correctly and productively) when you do...I do understand that.

Still, I spill it out for y'all cuz that is what Soldatforums is about.  Discuss?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 06:36:49 am by Dizzy So 1337 »
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Offline Boots

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 05:00:42 am »
Lovely read lol. But yet my brain is to small to relize what I just read xD
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Offline Will

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 05:04:51 am »
Well, I find the hardcore clanners a little bit uptight and overly egoistic. As I said in my other post, I see them as not having fun anymore and just playing as an obligation and something that will make thenn+m recognized in the internet community. I know Demonic will attack me now for saying this, but in atleast 50% of the more experienced clanners this is true...

So as I wqas saying, I think they have to much influence and have distorted the image of soldat that MM had in mind all those years ago. I have the feeling that beta testers just add +1 dmg to some weapon just to show that they actually did something, but in reality that +1 dmg doesn't have any difference and you have to think of ping and reaction times and all

Offline PaFel

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 05:21:02 am »
I seldom play Soldat. Most time I mod it etc. So I can say that I'm noob at playing it. But when I'm bored then I enter a server (doesn't metter what it is) and play for fun. Sometimes I'm at the top of point list and sometimes at the bottom. It depend of players. Imo there should be two beta-testers teams (normal and pro) and there should be two versions of weapons.ini (for normal players that would be run at nost of servers and pro what would be run at some pro servers).

Btw: I don't know if I took the main subject in good way but who cares :)

Offline ChromedGun

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 05:35:34 am »
Pro's usually play in their own servers; why can't they mod the weapons so they fit them? Why do they have to mess with the entire soldat community? Find something that works in every public game and then let the clanners do whatever they want, they have way too much influence.

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Offline Will

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2007, 05:57:00 am »
godless heathe... umm fellow soldat players UNITE!

Offline Demonic

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2007, 05:59:14 am »
This is funny, because the knife change was done by MM on his own, without any pressure from the beta team. It's not a lot worse than it was, the only thing it's achieved that flag carriers now have a better chance of escaping on small maps, and that the alive player has an advantage over the respawning enemy. Again, this was never a balance problem, so he just changed it because this was possible earlier to a bug. Laugh with me. Ha ha.

Offline ChromedGun

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2007, 06:01:11 am »
By the way, what knife change? I haven't noticed anything (Haven't really played much since 1.4.2 came out anyway)

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Offline Will

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2007, 06:29:54 am »
If you were laughing at me Demonic, I've never considered the knife thing to be anything that would make the difference, because any good player could avoid it. I was thinking of other weapons.ini specific changes...  ha ha bob, ha ha

Offline Demonic

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2007, 06:41:07 am »
That's the other thing. This time around, only realistic wm was changed. Ha ha. Ha. Ha. All changes we feel are due to the netcode-fixes I think.

Offline Dizzy So 1337

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2007, 06:42:01 am »
Err, before I pass out I had to change the name of the thread. .. PROTBTT sounded too silly and grandiose to me... (note to self cut it off at beer #14).
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Offline Devastated Mind

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Re: Public Referendum on the Beta Testing Team
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 07:00:50 am »
I am a clanner and I must say that I am against the change of the Knife in 1.4.2. I think most are.

Maybe it would be good for your purpose if you gave some examples of bad changes in the past that affected public (normal) players (as the knife argument has been disproved by Demonic). If you can't, I also can't understand what you are aiming at by changing beta testers. MM is as far as I know not the best soldat player and thus your representative among the developers. And also a mighty one when it comes to Soldat, so you should adress him and not the beta testers.

Your demand at the clanners to use their own balance is not very reasonable, too. This would only cause more trouble for MM, as for example concerning the knife, he would have to add an option to change the spawning propery in the server.ini. And other options for other weapons. And more for other aspects of the game, which public players aren't content with at the moment. Plus there would be more trouble for the clanners, because many use their public servers for clanwars. So for every clanwar they would have to change the ini and afterwards change it back. And even worse, clanners would not feel like playing the same game mode when they just want to warm up on a public server or have a little fun there (btw clanners play for having fun .. it's lack of social knowledge to judge about the feelings of others ._.). That would be like forcing people to play both realistic and normal mode although they don't want to. On the other side public players would think twice before joining a clan, as they would have to adjust.

Anyway, I think Soldat has not changed that much since 1.2.0, the version I started with and fascinated me. A really new players would not be able to feel much difference when changing to 1.4 from 1.2, so I can't see how the main idea of the game could have been possible affected during the years.

Offline Will

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2007, 07:19:35 am »
If you really played soldat from 1.2 then you'd know the difference. Maybe you skipped the 1.3.1 era. I myself have been playing since the early days, back when there was an m4  and not steyr aug. And the time when the only secondary was socom. Did you know that steyr aug still has the reload sound of the m4 :P

Anyway, I've been playing soldat for fun and not because an obligation towards a clan alto I've been in a couple. This version is actually fairly good, if not for the grenades not registering.

Here is the deal. I remember when someone suggested that there should be something done about click shooting. Because there's no point in bink then. The clanners were just over him because they claimed that click shooting took skill. Skill my ass. The clanners are dominating the weapon balance and there's no ordinary people who could do something about it.

Offline NinjaGimp369

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2007, 07:42:43 am »
By the way, what knife change? I haven't noticed anything (Haven't really played much since 1.4.2 came out anyway)

- Fixed knife could be thrown while invincible after respawn
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Offline xtishereb

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2007, 09:31:08 am »
Perhaps we could have some kind of additional team of beta testers cycled around every few months with a focus on weapon balance, stability and overall presentation. The qualifications for this proposed team would be having no involvement with Soldat's development and proving that you are fairly good at expressing ideas in English; i.e. you seem to at least try to write with correct grammar. Expressing how you found the problems is important so that those programming can fix them. Soldat playing experience would be another factor, the team could have several people who have been playing for years and several people who are fairly inexperienced.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that the more playtesters you have, the better the game usually turns out. STRAIN had an entire team of people devoted to playtesting, and as a result people keep talking about how awesome it is to play it.
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Offline truup

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 10:07:21 am »
cba to write much, but..
... because any good player could avoid it. ...
and ANY good player could take advantage of it. Specially if the spawning enemy is better, though this is not about being good or better, it's about being faster than the other player, and luck, since if you don't spawn near then you can't knife him.

Clanners can't start using their own stuff, like weapon mods or maps. Why? Because They would need TNL AND SCTFL to use them both. Well, why wouldn't they do that? Because SCTFL and TNL are 2 different leagues. Short example: in SCTFL you'd need to set healthcooldown to 2 and use weapon mod called sctfl. Then TNL has for example healthcooldown set to 6. Then you want to play sctfl match. You set all the settings to sctfl. Ok, nice match. Now you play another clanwar for tnl. You have to set again all the fucking settings in your server. That sucks. Well why wouldn't both of the leagues use same rules? Because they disagree almost on everything, though both leagues had healthcoooldown and minimap turned off.

Last season SCTFL's rules said that healthcooldown has to be set to 0, and minimap disabled. Easy to change isn't it? Well even if it is easy, it was almost NEVER set. So how the fuck could they use a weapon mod for example then, if they cant change a few settings?

Offline LtKillroy

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 11:33:10 am »
Soldat 1.3.1, bullcrap! SOLDAT 1.2.1 FOREVA! Anyway, I see what you mean, but 1.3.1 wasn't that great, I like 1.4.2 better. Most of the changes, like the knife, are so small casual players don't even notice it anyway. An essay this long is kinda overreacting, but if current trends keep up there will be a problem.
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Offline Ouchek

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 01:20:08 pm »
I'm another clanner.

I disagree with DevastatedMind... Soldat had changed a lot since then. I won't write an essay about it but since then there's been several "weapon eras" such as the barrett era (1.1.5 which was before and 1.2 itself was pretty much ruled by the barrett), then 1.2.1 came it was a radical change, beforehands no one really used autos etc etc... and now all weapons are pretty much dominating. I'm obviously talking generally, some weapons are more used than some others, but that's not the point. (At least a full team with autos can be beaten by semi autos now imo)
And I'm not talking about the game play changes such as the flag throwing, the black flip etc etc...
That was the offtopic part.

Now on the topic, demonic and truup pretty much summed it up but I would like to add another argument, which you may deny but that's my opinion..
I don't know how to call your kind people I'll just call you guys the forumers and we'll be the clanners.
Clanners play the game more than forumers... and I believe it is the best way to know well the game.. to play a lot, that's why many clanners are bet(ter)a testers, because they have (in my opinion) more knowledge on the game. That means they have a better insight and are more capable of improving the weapon balance.
My 2cents.

Offline BondJamesBond

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2007, 01:37:00 pm »
I believe Soldat is still too young to start catering to the lower leveled players. Soldat still has some fundamentals to secure and get down before picking the details.

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Offline truup

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2007, 01:42:02 pm »
Most of the clanners are also more 'reliable', since they're usually dedicating to this game more than.. 'forumers' and that's why they are usually chosen. I think clanners can also look at public's view, since we've seen it and some do still play there.

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Offline Will

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2007, 01:51:20 pm »
I believe Soldat is still too young to start catering to the lower leveled players. Soldat still has some fundamentals to secure and get down before picking the details.

Soldat is too young? It has survived now for what, 5-6 years or something? I think it's old and needs heavy improvements to compete with commercial products. It has smaller community than lets say UT, but rivals it in gameplay and sheer fun.

I agree with xtishereb on that beta tester teams should be changed once in a while. It needs casual gamers, pros and newbies.

Offline truup

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2007, 01:54:35 pm »
I believe Soldat is still too young to start catering to the lower leveled players. Soldat still has some fundamentals to secure and get down before picking the details.

Soldat is too young? It has survived now for what, 5-6 years or something? I think it's old and needs heavy improvements to compete with commercial products. It has smaller community than lets say UT, but rivals it in gameplay and sheer fun.

I agree with xtishereb on that beta tester teams should be changed once in a while. It needs casual gamers, pros and newbies.
Just a question, why should it compete with big companies? It's actually nothing compared to for your example, UT by it's perfomance, graphics etc. but it still has got more and more players. It's the community we have and Soldat's uniqueness that are better weapons than nice graphics or any shit like that.

Offline Eddy

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2007, 01:55:28 pm »
Simple: No.

Offline extreemer

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2007, 03:22:04 am »
1.3.1 is cool but rly 1.4.2 is the best ;D

Offline Clawbug

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2007, 04:11:08 am »
Soldat is so damn easy. All you need to do is play for 7 months against the best clans around and then you are one of the best players.

Orr.. 5 months with spraying, camping, general laming and such. Does not attract people. Soldat is 2D! Wtf, people play 3D games like CS and UT, who the fuck would even think of simple 2D? It is for noobs,

Notice that I am talking from the view of a regular CS/UT/ET/Quake player. Everyone knows Soldat. Just go to your school, ask people do they know CS. If they do, ask do they know Soldat. Be impressed, people know, people are not interested. "Too easy, for noobs"

Soldat is just a small game. People dont even know that you can actually play clanwars in Soldat.

Commercial games are known due to advertising. I'd say that if Soldat was made by Valve, sold by them for $10 and advertised on Steam and on websites, Soldat would be taken more seriously.
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Offline Doktor_Joint

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2007, 05:19:06 am »
Without reading others comments i want to say:

-I agree with 1st post.

-in MY opinion every changes in Soldat future versions should be ONLY and ONLY about  improving anti-hacks/bugs system. Every others changes are unnecessary, as the Soldat WAS perfect game in middle of versions - 1.3.2

thx for attention.


to all who don't agree - does ANY of new features from 14.x make your Soldat more fun/addicting/cool etc? not for me.

Offline mozzer

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2007, 05:37:25 am »
Dizzy, im not zomg uber1337 or whatever you wanna call it. When i play with the rest of the testers, i dont have a clue what some of them are on about half of the time, but i do what i can and contribute when i can.



Offline GluLm

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2007, 10:10:40 am »
I kind of agree with Doktor_Joint about the real improvements needed for Soldat. Graphic changes are just useless and even deteriorate the game IMHO.
The netcodes changes were needed anyway, too bad they affected the graphics so badly too (I'm mostly referring to the invisible bullets buh there)...
I feel kind of sad I'm still playing 1.3.1 as I feel like 1.4.2 is way too full of bugs, and some graphical changes were just not worth it. PITY.
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Offline JonWood007

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2007, 10:56:55 am »
Like society, this game is improving in some aspects, getting worse in others. My main concern with the new updates and all is the weapon balance. Some of the weapons in the current version pwn, maybe too much (M79, Steyr AUG, SOCOM) while other have been weakened and/or are horrible in general now (AK74, XM214). In the 1.4.3. or 1.5.0 versions, I would like to see improved weapon balance, in my experience the weapon balance has been going downhill. I started playing in 1.3.1. and I feel the balance is worse now. I didnt play in 1.2.1. but the balance is in our soldat folders, and I think it rocks and with a few tweaks couldve been the best balance.

The other changes, i like them. I like battleeye. I like getting rid of the knife thing. I do think bugs need to be worked on more though. O well, this game isnt going downhill as much as people claim to be. I keep comparing this game to another game I play, but some of the other games go downhill REALLY fast ( in a matter of weeks). Soldat is still awesome, evcen with its bugs and IMO uneven weapon balance.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 10:58:47 am by JonWood007 »

Offline Clawbug

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2007, 11:36:20 am »
again. 1.2.1 balance is for noobs. Fast killing, no skill really needed to become good. Thats why people say they were better in 1.2.1.

Anyway, balancing the game is not easy, not at all. Lack of time by beta testers, some inactive ones, hard to organize testing sessions multiple times a week and such. When I beome a tester, I played Soldat for over 15 hours in the 3 first days, and alot of it was just testing the balance. It gets frustrating. yet it is fun, but seeing the problems of the balance is quite hard. Then add like 10 different opinions how the balance should be, yarr, won't be easy.

Anyway, Soldat has been improving imo, slow progress, but improvements still. I don't personally want any new features, maybe some tweaking and bug fixing and such would be cool.
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Offline Dizzy So 1337

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2007, 02:29:09 pm »
I probably should have sat on the idea until I had a more concise version of it to post.  Still, it is fun and educational to see what has bounced back.  For the record, I never suggested that some people should use a different balance than others.  You're right that would be a stupid idea, and it's not suggested by me.
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Offline xtishereb

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2007, 03:41:02 pm »
Just a quick aside here:
...other have been weakened and/or are horrible in general now (AK74, XM214).
That's funny; last night someone said the AK-74 was too powerful in this version. Then again, me and a friend were basically killing everyone on Alpha in U13 INF with AK-74s. This supports my idea that the AK-74 is an excellent defensive long-range weapon, it will pin down or kill anyone who tries to advance. I also got several off-screen kills, despite the "nerfing" of spray, it still works in the right circumstances.

to all who don't agree - does ANY of new features from 14.x make your Soldat more fun/addicting/cool etc? not for me.
The minimap. Allows me to easily see where my teammates are and help choose where to defend. More helpful than the names along the side as well.
Being able to adjust text size is fun, too.
And the unicode support, though it's somewhat buggy. I ♥ unicode characters.
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Offline Doktor_Joint

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2007, 04:33:48 pm »
Quote
The minimap. Allows me to easily see where my teammates are and help choose where to defend. More helpful than the names along the side as well.
Being able to adjust text size is fun, too.
And the unicode support, though it's somewhat buggy. I ♥ unicode characters.

1. Does game without these things was more boring or gave you less excitement?
2. Helpfully mini map - yes for reg payers. Unicode - good, but who use it so much to take it as necessary change? Wasn't it needed previous?


I don't want argue or offend anybody and nothing.

When you look at it objective - you'll see that improving ideal (almost) thing will make it worst. Changes should focus on really important aspects and keep away from  improving gameplay, as it was best how it were.

And I don't thnik soldat 1.4.2 is much worst than before, i'm just scared that changes are going in wrong way.

cheers.


Offline LtKillroy

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2007, 04:50:21 pm »
I agree with xtishereb, I was 84 kills 40 deaths, no caps, at a U13 kampf match with AK. (30 points above the guy below me, who scored once) I think that soldat has changed mostly positively, with a few exceptions. The hardest problem is that some changes the auto users love, the semi autos hate, and vice versa. Same goes for r/s people and normal people, INF vs CTF or INF/CTF vs DM, etc. It is hard to compromise becuase of this.
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Offline NinjaGimp369

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2007, 09:22:31 pm »
Anyway, Soldat has been improving imo, slow progress, but improvements still. I don't personally want any new features, maybe some tweaking and bug fixing and such would be cool.

Yeah, Soldat has definately been making some slow improvements. The features are fine, its just the bugs that need working on.
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Offline Bunney

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2007, 08:07:36 am »
Well, i tottaly agree on u Dizzy. and Doktor_Joint. the updates since 1.3.2 hasent realy made my gameplay better.

Offline JonWood007

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Re: Are updates improving our favorite game?
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2007, 04:57:52 pm »
Err, you call it n00by, I call it fair. IMO the 1 hit kill weapons (particularly m79 and knife) are way too powerful. As I mentioned before, I spray these guys first, make every bullet, and I still die before I can finish the job. I dont think nerfing the weapons would work, but I would like an automatic firepower increase. Maybe its just my style, in 1.3.1. I played this one mod a lot that had superpowered weapons and liked it, so maybe its just my style. I just dont like how some weapons kill in 1 shot while the autos are left in the dust.

As for the AK being "overpowered" they were probably just complaining because they were losing. If you can pwn with the AK74, youre just good. I get kills with it, but I can get kills with any weapon, except minigun and chainsaw (minigun too weak, not good at maneuvering with chainsaw). The AUG is far more powerful than the AK this version.