Version 0.994 test build is available!

Wed 02 Dec 2015, 21:01 by bencelot



Exciting news dudes! Today I will be releasing a test build of v0.994. This is 3 months worth of work so I'm very excited to share it with you all! I'll post up the download link and server details shortly. This is the complete v0.994 version to date. There are just a few restrictions, like you cannot search for other servers in the lobby. You can join by direct IP though and I'll be putting up a US server for us to all play on soon. Exciting!!

This is a test build because I'm sure there are a few bugs and I haven't had a chance to playtest coop yet. Also I'd love to get some feedback from you guys on the campaign. Too easy? Too difficulty? Any and all feedback is welcome. I reckon I'll have this test version up for a week or so as we vets get a chance to play through everything and I'll make the necessary changes.

I also welcome map makers to have a play with the map editor and maybe make a few of their own puzzles. If you do I'll see if I can put it up on this test server to see how they go in coop. Just remember though that this is a test version and so the map format is likely to change before the full v0.994 release. So make backups of any of your existing maps.

While we're all having fun playtesting this new content I'm going to look into music and try get some groovy tunes to be included in the full release. Apart from the music though I'm pretty much done with these first 3 stages of the campaign. After that only 7 more to go!

Anyway I'll let you know when the game is ready :D


22 Comments


bencelot says:

Wed 02 Dec 2015, 21:18


Mutant Factions v0.994 Test Build 01

Ok, it's up! You can use the download link and play through the entire campaign on all 4 difficulties if you like. You can also fool around in the map editor. You can also join a special online US server I've set up to play some coop together. You won't be able to find this through the regular lobby however, you'll need to enter in a direct IP/Port combination to find it. Here are all the details you need:

Full Download (updated): http://mutantfactions.net/downloads/pla ... TEST02.zip

Here are the server settings to join/admin the online server:
Server Address: 64.74.97.48
Server Port: 11111
Admin Password: fun

And that's it! Let me know what you think. Please provide as much feedback as possible! And let me know when you're online and ready for some coop. I'm very curious to see how it plays. Have fun!

EDIT: Updated with the new test build.


Maximilian says:

Wed 02 Dec 2015, 22:23


whining:

-your campaign maps are placeholders. need lot of work and playtesting to make something out of it
-theres no guarantee you can make something out of it, im still not entirely convinced it can be actually fun
-i think core idea doesnt work in first place

constructive:

-regarding scaling: x2 hp should only happen when theres large amount of players, like 4. rely on increasing number of bots too.
-ur custom maps for campaign way too large

possible solution:

Design the level to be completed in 4-8 minutes max by a noob, and 1-2 by pro. With very few deaths expected, not tens. So it stays fast and fun. Bots might be squishier for this. Otherwise i dont feel like somebody will ever play it.


bencelot says:

Wed 02 Dec 2015, 22:34


Hey man, thanks for the feedback. I definitely agree that the maps and each of the stages/puzzles within them will need lots of tweaking. That's what this playtest version is for afterall. Making that laser tripwire more obvious would be a good start. I can see that stage being quite annoying if you just keep dying on it without realising why. So I'll be sure to fix that up.

The hp scaling in coop might also need tweaking, but I'll do some more playtesting before deciding on that. I agree that a mix of extra guards and less health overall would be ideal, but there are technical limitations. Will have to keep on testing to truly see. From first glance it works, but only when both players coordinate, which is hard without voip. If you coordinate your shots it seems to play about the same as singleplayer, which is good. If players don't coordinate though it's a lot more difficulty.

It should be noted though that coop is not the main purpose of all this. It's a fun side benefit, but it definitely plays differently to the main campaign and the main campaign is what really matters here. With coop bots have 2x health and that explains why they were no where near as squishy as you'd like. In the campaign it's a lot faster and crisper. Furthermore you're not playing with any network lag either, which makes a difference.

Anyway thanks for the feedback so far! I'd love to get feedback on both the campaign and the coop, as they're very different. Keep it coming :D


bencelot says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 06:13


Just did some 3 player coop with Aster and STM and had a jolly good time. Got a shitload of feedback written down, but hopefully STM and Aster will leave their own opinions on coop and also campaign mode. Overall I'm quite glad with how it's all working out, though it's clearly too difficulty (maybe 80% damage fix will solve that). Also the scaling of damage/health works fairly well, but some puzzles become way too easy, and others way too hard. These are the puzzles that usually rely on a specific amount of damage/health to work. So I'll have to tweak them manually.

Also I've put a quick bug-fixing exe in the first post. You might wanna download the zip and then replace the exe with that new one I've uploaded. Tomorrow I'll put all of this feedback into effect and provide a brand new zip with everything in it, but I'll let you know when.

Anyway thanks for all the feedback so far guys! Have a go at the singleplayer campaign and pretend you're a newbe and let me know what you think :D

EDIT: I've just updated the entire zip file with the new changes. Or you can download the new exectutable and the 3 map files and replace them manually. This is not all the feedback, just a few bug fixes and most importantly guards now deal 20% less damage, which I think should get the difficulty into line a bit better. If possible please provide feedback from these updated files. Thanks!


Asterparity says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 07:52


I'm going to bed, and such will not have a chance to play these updates for a while.

As for feedback, in singleplayer things were pretty alright. On map 1 I saw little point to use shield over the radioactive stuff as bunny hopping negates some of the damage. The guards were also really easy to just knife everywhere, why bother with any guns at all. the only exception is the bridge where a flashbang is super useful.

In map 2, I got stuck at the first Ruger part for a while. All kinds of complications kept me from figuring out the simple facts. I suggest that after the first zombie bomb, remove the tripwire from down there, since you can just backtrack from where you came in and not trigger any in the first place. The second middle section is quite clever and imo the most enjoyable part of the campaign so far.

In map 3, I felt extremely limited in what I could do. Albeit it was no more than in the other missions, this one i could just feel it. Despite having all this landscape to explore, only a 'chunk' of it was active at a time, and going from one place to the next just didn't feel very fluent half the time.

Overall, there were a few bugs like the car despawning and the team auto switching... I feel there's two things that really make it feel like you're fighting mindless AI. 1. When you can throw a flashbang behind a wall, and EVERY bot on the map manages to see it. 2. You can stick a single arm out of cover and shoot, while the bots won't shoot back.

I would like to see more 'movement' in the bots when they're chasing you, like not just suddenly stopping when they reach a defined range--welcome exception for snipers. And I'd like to see more 'options' created through +1 mutation vials and buy zones.

EDIT: As for coop... The health AND damage multiplier seems unfair to me, especially since a clumsy partner can instantly ruin those tougher areas by blocking ally shots, hitting a trip wire, being spotted, dying, etc... At least keep the multiplier total of them under x[player count]. Yes, 2 players effectively doubles health and damage output, but this is the same lack of fun that happened in outbreak. Coop is fun though, at least with as many mess ups as I did alone, adding STM and ben to the mix was a stream worthy series of fails and heroic successes. Even with the health bonus, I found a way to still stealth kill by myself. In a gun fight though, it was suicide to even 1v1.


STM1993 says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 11:01


Feedback of this post was typed while playing.

Standard Difficulty
LaboratoryS01
Took a while to load the lights in the map. Let's do this! Ooh, that darkness effect at the start.
Aww, the walls are collision.
USP with 8/12 ammo? OCD... ah, its to teach reloading as mentioned in the text box. Noticed that the reserve ammo doesn't change UNTIL the gun is fully loaded.
I managed to get past without Barrier by just jumping across. Why Barrier?
Went down, grabbed the extra USP ammo and also grabbed the flashbang.
Died because I tried to mess around in the chemicals, have to start all the way in the beginning. I now realize its because I won't get a health pickup.
This time I used Ctrl+Jump to get across properly the 1st part. It woulda been nice if you told me that you have more mana pickups than health pickups, Mr Guard.
Took about 28HP to get onto the box of the 2nd radioactive part via jumping.
I think you should make the 2nd guy come down the stairs once you've picked up the Self Repair. Grabbed the next mana orb.
Checkpoint! Haha, fashionable.
"You shall not pass" doesn't trigger until you already get shot at apparently. Also, using the Uzi secret, I could get across and bypass all the dialogue.
Curse the 360 vision on getting spotted. Lost the flashbang, oh well.
Knifed the next few guards, went down to the barrier, then up. Can't stealth past these guards because I lost the flashbang from earlier.
Shot them down with Uzi. One of them responded and fired 10 damage, the other just looked up dumbly while I killed him. Knifed the next one.
Checkpont!
==at this point I left the game as Bencelot let me have a campaign progress reset, I did it properly and keep the flashbang==
Might have been possible to get a x8 stealth kill after crossing the broken bridge, but I guess I was too obsessed with walking, so its x6, then x2.
Killed the next 2 guards, x4. Flashbanged the next two, x4. Last one can't be reached, so x2. Checkpoint!
Coulda done a x6 here, but I was a bit too conservative.
Grabbed the shotgun. Can I keep my Uzi instead is one of my thoughts.
Aww, not possible to stealth the next part, cost me a lot of health. I went back to take my Uzi, thank you.
Jumped onto box, took about 1-2hp damage. Listened to NPC, jumped across boxes safely.
Checkpoint.
Holy shit that guard spontaneously turned behind by timer, almost got caught.
Attempting to stealth kill them all. That medkit placement is awkward; players may get caught because they think they can just run across and pick it up, only to find a popup box appearing and killing the momentum.
Stealth killed all the guards except the one looking at the control panel; he had more than 100hp so that took me by surprise. The last 3 guards in the center I had to use flashbang which I grabbed. From a previous playthrough, I was caught while trying to get to the flashbang when the guards changed direction. I did trip a laser later, but none of the 3 center guards responded as I was still on top of the ledge.
Cleared Outbreak, proceeding.
Aww, he died. Also, that explains that missing guard, I wonder if he could've been killed and change the dialogue.
OF ALL THE PLACES, YOU DIDN'T PUT A COLLISION ON THAT LAST LEDGE WHERE THAT NPC STOOD?!!
I heard the "Objective Collected" sound after the victory trumpet played, looks like SubwayS02's first bomb is activated automatically in singleplayer.

SubwayS02
Mentioned in feedback, but initially I went right instead of north.
Hmm that's odd, no NPCs this time compared to the 2-3 player playthrough earlier today. WAIT A MINUTE, MY CHARACTER'S PROGRESS SKIPPED TO BOMB#3 while starting in Bomb #1!!! Restarting didn't fix this issue. My progress in Subway is NOT recorded.
Okay picked up the Ruger. That pipe in the way is annoying, but I suppose its there to prevent pushback.
Cleared the first half of the guards, but I had to trip the wire to lure the next guard out. After that I got onto the train itself and tried to snipe the next 2 guards, but couldn't see them. I hit one of them and killed him, he fired back once. The other one I went close, and then killed the last 2(stealth one).
Checkpoint! Bouncing Bullets. Out of ammo, so I scavenged the M3 Supers. Collected the HP/MP without tripping off the guard. 3 BB hits, 89HP. Grabbed the flashbang.
Another 3 BBs for the next guard. 74HP. Another 3 BBs, 64HP. Grabbed HP. BB'd the Ruger guard, but screwed up the shogun guard. 40HP. Went back to grab mana via boxes. Healed. BB'd last guard. [EDIT: I managed to get a x8 stealth kill for the last 4 guards on my next run via the secret subway method, then I used Ruger.]
Checkpoint! Healed up; I was low on MP. I'm aware of the charge and FF explosion method, but I decided to take the slow route. I died at the last 2 guards.
Can't go back to pickup the flashbang again or the HP/MP pickup. LAME.
Tried again. Wow, this section is definitely too hard, especially since BB is inconsistent and I actually got shot by the rightmost guard just as I went down the stairs at full sprint. I'm at 9hp 89MP. Healed with SR -> 98 58. [EDIT: I managed to Ruger a few of the guards, one of them was even considered a stealth kill!]
Went up the secret zombie spawn to check for stuff, nothing in there. Aww. Triggered bomb and killed zombies. The tripwire ended up being annoying because the zombies keep spawning through it.
Rode the bomb to the Tasers(I knew it beforehand). If I didn't ride the bomb, I could instead buy 2 Loafers and blow it up with the Spas. I can see newbies potentially rebuying a Spas instead of picking it up if they died in this section. Shoulda bought a Flashbang before I proceeded but oh well.
Killed the next 4 guards with Spas; two via the tripwire, the remaining I don't think they were notified. Then Rugered three more. Deliberately tripped the wire, no response from the center guards. I bruteforced the remaining guards with Ruger instead of Spas, turns out the Grenade didn't work as I had hoped. The yellow guards talked about masks with mics, but it would be nice if they made it even more clear they can alert other guards. Apparently the checkpoint was already triggered before I got there. [EDIT: The first 4 guards were all alerted.]
Picked up my Spas before going to Bomb #6, and noticed a guard who said he'd help but he hurt his back lifting test tubes haha.
Screwed up bomb #6 because I tried to find a pattern, only to realize the initial guards were too tight, shoulda used my Tasers & nades instead.
2nd or 3rd try. Wow, this section is way too hard and it doesn't look like I can bounce the nade off the wall I want. And why would you give me a Ruger in this section?! That's the worst weapon you can give me in there! Cleared it with BB and a lot of Barriering.
Cleared the bomb. I can jump my way back.
Additional note: I completely didn't notice the NPCs when they talked during the Outbreak bomb sections.
Issue: I have a 15 ammo Uzi. I pick up another 15 ammo. I reload. I still have 15 ammo but 0 in reserve. With this kind of ammo system this is something a lot of players would complain about.

DowntownS03
Image
THIS IS A COFFEE SHOP?! That neon "XXX" suggests a strip club!
==I restarted here because I thought I missed some dialogue, I'm back in Stage 2. What the hell?!==
Nice Buggy. It would be a lot better if the NPC were further to the right closer to the parking lot. Jumped off ramp at top of base.
I found out its better to just knife all the NPCs instead of driving the buggy around to run them over. Checkpoint, got Vampirism.
Died trying the grenade distraction from the left alleyway. I decided to bruteforce with MP5 and then USP.
I went around the house to clear the guards, and only then did I notice the SAW.
House section is too tough unless you knew Aster's stealth trick of firing one shot to distract the two 150hp guards. Newbies won't figure it out and are liekyl to rush in, and I can tell you that the SAW won't help at all, I think an MP5 would actually work better or if the player had more Vampirism healing...
2nd part of house section. 1st time I took my time, so I got cornered. I activated frenzy, thinking I'd immediately get spotted, then I got killed since I got hit in multiple angles. 3rd time I used the Buggy and went around to the back. I expected the guards to appear infront of me on my way so I activated Frenzy after grabbing the SAW, but no one appeared, so I guessed they'd come from behind like in my 2nd attempt. I stood near the entrance and sure enough, all the guards followed me into the alley. I stood perfectly still and fired at them, and I was left with 32hp after killing all the guards. Way too difficult.
Next part. Sigh. I'm really bored at this point and its getting way too tough even for newbies, so I went through the secret alley from bottom of map instead and grabbed Clip Magnet, then I died because guard suddenly appeared.
Distracted the Karen guards by firing on top of the first guy and he turned all the way, then I went in and knifed them both. Got spotted by one of the guards up top while climbing onto Loafer, then load of other guards on my 2nd attempt. The other yellow guards on the right can ALL apparently see me even though they don't have 360 vision according to the lines. 3rd-4th attempt, I snuck through the back again, this time I successfully stealthed all the yellow line guards(WHY ARE THEY ALL YELLOW?!!). I stood to the far right of the house entrance, fired my shotgun to gain rightmost guard's attention, snuck in and knifed the two entrance guards. From the house, I jumped down and knifed that guard. Died again to the other 2 shotgun guards because I made a mistake in the top guard.
REALLY bored and WOULD HAVE QUIT BY NOW if not for promising to finish this(6th attempt). 15th attempt.
Btw, why is this spot collision?
Finally cleared it with the secret alleyway method(I know its a secret, but why is it so dark?), all stealth(because bruteforce won't work, especially with the M3 or even the shitty SAW that spawns INSIDE the place I need to infiltrate and its full of yellow guards!), but at this point I'm extremely fed up. Grabbed the minigun before proceeding.
As mentioned, bad dialogue placement, I only notice the "wait sir" but not the Rebel above.
I shot the Loafers on the right, though newbies might not realize they can do so. I got shot from 100 100 to 67 0 just from jumping up and shooting the rightmost Loafer with a minigun, what makes you think newbies can survive that with a SAW? Its only after I blew up the cars that the NPC helpfully told me to shoot the cars.
Did a bit better at the beginning at shooting cars. Died because I thought I'd use MP5 instead, lost the minigun forever. FUCKING HELL.
Died again, but this time I tried to lob a grenade over cars with 11hp, forgetting that's not possible. Realized I forgot to level up Vampirism to 3.
4th attempt. I slowed down this time; instead of rushing, I returned to take health, then went inside the Buggy to shoot at the gangsters. Gathered the MP5s, picked up SAW, grabbed nade, triggered bomb.
Tch, I can't refill the MP5. Forget it, I'll just buy a new Uzi and NOT use the SAW. Just noticed I have 3 skillpoints, bought Force Fields, synergized Vampirism because why not.
Got into Torpedo. Went all the way back, left click, then boost through. I almost died because I screwed up my Force Fields use. NPC died though. Two more guards? Where? As I walked left after going right, I noticed a Bazooka fired in from the house, then I went in and again, almost died. If only I had Self Repair or a health pack, but hey, synergized Vampirism. Checkpoint!
My mood is better now. Now gonna torpedo my way out, using MP5 again. Killed the 3 Ruger yellows with Torpedo offscreen, the two shotgunners with run & gun. Decided to drive a Loafer through the gap since the leftmost yellow guard isn't dead(it was from a previous mission). Then I died as the Loafer quickly caught fire; didn't realize there were so many behind.
Grabbed the old SAW from a previous mission. Torpedo again. Died again as there were fewer behind than I thought. SAW is now gone, can no longer bruteforce unless I buy.
I had 121k, I bought a minigun. Torpedo'd the front yellow guards, got out and bruteforced with Minigun Frenzy and did so very easily. Checkpoint!
A blue helmet dude? Hmm. I drove up, didn't expect enemies, but the NPC shot them through the window without alerting them, but he couldn't kill the last guy, apparently he ran out of ammo. Suddenly 3 Rugers. I ran them over as I wanted to save ammo, but in the end I had to come out and knife them. Then I grabbed the unused HP/MP orbs above. Used the Ruger to scout ahead. Jumped onto green box and sniped. They backed away, then I realized they came out to the east. Grabbed the MP5s (15 90, reloaded to 30 60), dropped them below, then grabbed minigun and went down. Killed the rest with MP5. The blue guy had a lot of HP but he didn't even hit me once and was easy. 50 ammo M60, nice.
Triggered bomb. Cleared it with using all M60 & MP5 ammo, then finished with Minigun at 165 ammo.
Nice beta dialogue, now to end this.
...Its offmap. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!
Blew up the Loafer there to get over and surprised that it works.

I really lost my mood because of Downtown. I'll try Playful next, then Hardcore -> Insane. But my sanity is slipping at this point.

Standard Overall:
Lab is okay but can be polished.
Subway has a few overly difficult sections.
Downtown is BULLSHIT. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if Vampirism weren't so weak and players have access to better autos.
Coop is too difficult unless you have a mic, but even then I think its too much. There are a few puzzles, like the Buggy house Downtown one where the HP of the car is crucial for surviving and so damage shouldn't ramp up.
NPC dialogue locations can be improved.
Many campaign item pickups are locked out even if you died. This is VERY bad considering the difficulty; die even once and everything is ruined. For some reason coop allows you to, but its a good thing.
In general, the campaign levels simply take way too long to complete and are too difficult.

EDIT:
Qwertybeef wrote:
Checkpoints should save weapons/hp at the time... I know that if you have low HP you basically get fucked, but in the last mission I got fucked because I started off with no weapon and had to speed off and get a weapon before fighting the hordes of snipers who could shoot a nickel from 2000km

Forgot this point. I strongly agree with this.

==============================================================================================================

Feedback of this post was typed while playing.

Playful Difficulty
LaboratoryS01
Exactly the same as Standard, but the Stealth Kills I realized its possible to get x12(Bridge guard, the 2 nerds, 1 guard, 2 guards); once you get to the bridge where you are forced to not stealth or use flashbang, the combo has to end. x6'd the part where you get the M3.
Killed the extra guard at the end. End dialogue NPC still says he's been shot in the knee. I healed him with SR, he says to let him die lol. And then I realize the secret - NPC is standing on a hurt tile.

SubwayS02
Uh oh, my Subway is still bugged. Bomb #3 again.
A few of the guards are only ever shootable after tripping the laser(same applies to Standard), but at least now you can 1-shot the guards with Ruger for stealth kills.
I just realized: the guard just before bomb #4 will always spot you the moment you get up on the box. And people tend to notice this box.
Bypassed Bouncing Bullets guards with Ruger 1-shot kills, x10 stealth.
The zombies spawn awfully slow, but its good rate for newbies. They might take a while to figure out how to jump across though, the NPC should tell them if they remain stuck.
BUG DISCOVERED: Holding Alt while walking over a collectable item = Cannot pick up.
Noticed bomb #5 checkpoint seems to be skipped but the guards still spawn. I attempted to bruteforce bomb #5 with Spas and it worked, but I'm left with only 19hp and had to collect the HP pickup to fully refill for bomb #6.
Apparently grenade doesn't work well. One of the yellow guards somehow magically looked towards where I was lobbing the grenade from.
Hmm, a lot more zombies spawn at the last bomb this time, same as Standard.

DowntownS03
The first wave of guards at bomb #3 is easy, I'm actually have to tank through properly despite my screwup.
Forgot to bruteforce bomb #4, instead I stealthed it.
69hp for bruteforcing bomb #5, using MP5.
Died getting to bomb #6 in secret alley (made a mistake at the Karen guards). Bruteforce again with SAW via secret alley, and left with 15hp about 70mp. That's how terribly ridiculous getting caught is in this portion.
What the hell. I merely climbed onto the box and didn't jump over yet, and I immediately get spiked by multiple Rugers, nearly died(then again I was already quite low on HP).
Bruteforced my way to bomb #8 & 9 too easily.
Died at zombies because I didn't drop souls lol. Cleared it next, took forever to gather souls, but I realized that HP/MP orbs were mysteriously bugged; I couldn't pick them up at all. (EDIT: Turns out disabling auto-pickup guns also disabled auto-pickup items, pfft. Re-enabled it).


Playful Overall:
You know, I would much rather a newbie play this. A few sections are too easy, but otherwise this difficulty level is one I'd recommend to newbies over Standard difficulty.

Now for the dreaded Hardcore & Insane...

==============================================================================================================

Feedback of this post was typed while playing.

Hardcore Difficulty
LaboratoryS01
Huh, new dialogue. Neat. The guy who appeared to tel you to jump over boxes is gone and the radiation guy doesn't talk at all.
Derp, no Barrier recharge, and turns out the NPC talks only when you're halfway across. How annoying.
No diff to fashionable guards.
Oops, forgot to read dialogue for the hackers. Skipped the bridge "you shall not pass" dialogue. Died anyway.
6 ammo for deagle each? What the hell?
Apparently have to rush in for the 2 hackers, can't let them finish talking. Can't even shoot to distract.
What, the "new masks" guards are actually even easier in Hardcore?!
Text subject guard was more interesting, easy enough.
Good thing I saved my M60 for the first tripwire.
I just realized it doesn't make sense for the guard to be bleeding with footsteps when he first appears. That blood should only appear later.
I also realize that the ledge isn't collision because Outbreak exploit, but in that case why not just make it such that you cannot backtrack?
OH MY GOD AUTOPICKUP. LET ME KEEP USING MY CURRENTLY EQUIPPED WEAPON.
Didn't 100% stealth it, but I tried. Got bloody gains. The new ammo system once again proves to be really horrible - why can't the ammo directly refill my clip when I have zero in reserve, or at the very least to prevent exploits, let me reload the extras without discarding?
My god, the hardcore zombies have a ridiculous spawn rate in such a cramped place on top of the increased difficulty.

SubwayS02
Bugged again.
Insane game logic where you can knife someone and they don't immediately attack you, instead slowly turning around, allowing you to knife them again by circle strafing.
81hp->42hp from the first BB victim I kill. That's not a good sign. 92->62->42. Died because of the other guard.
...Can you give those guards something with more consistent damage than a Ruger? Aaaand I'm out of mana, I'm screwed for the last 3 guards; flashbanged but then screwed up, and then the last guard at 42hp 9mp with no weapons? This is ridiculous.
The BB section. The leftmost guard has a Bazooka and I have no weapons. WHAT THE FUCK. Died because BB helpfully seeked the next guard when I wanted to retreat.
100->71->50->21, 40mp. The health pickups don't respawn. This time I tried to maximize FF use to 2 guards per cast 100->50->36(1guard), then died because I hugged too close to the pillar and the FF didn't reflect properly. Used up too much MP trying to SR and I'm stuck; I must kill myself.
I realized there's a skillpoint pickup below. I grabbed it and leveled 1 point Vampirism. Killed one of the guards along the way. Used Aster's method this time, leaving 20mp to kill the rightmost guard I failed to kill, using BB. I also noted that the guards' rate of fire is inconsistent. You know, maybe you should get level 1 BB instead and lower the guards' health accordingly, but in the first place there's too many of those guards and the HP/MP doesn't respawn upon death and YOU HAVE NO WEAPONS.
Went from behind, with Spas & SAW and... HOLY SHIT THERE ARE 360 VISION RUGER GUARDS. At least I can kill them at the exact edge so they don't fight back. Then tossed a grenade down, the guards get distracted, and then somehow MAGICALLY one of the supposedly distracted guards turned behind and shot me from WAY ahead of him!
Now I'm dead with only a Spas. And then I realized I can skip ahead to the next bomb but not be able to trigger it, and then I have to go one big round away to get back.
Dialogue for the center yellow guards are bugged. The guards along the road can see onto the platform now. Killed all the guards, nabbed the Deagle, left with 62mp 100hp. Dropped the Ruger over, then grabbed my Spas and went to next bomb. I didn't even touch the checkpoint, but bomb #5 is cleared as soon as I got near it while when I'm south of the place, the bomb showed just 1 white dot indicating it can be captured.
OKAY CONFIRMED - GRENADE WILL CAUSE GUARDS TO COME AFTER YOU IF YOU MANAGE TO HIT THEM WITH IT. So much for using it as a distraction.
Barely just able to make it to the zombie bomb with 4 Vamp 3 FF 2 BB 1 FZ 1 CM (48hp 12mp, but I came very close to death) SAW.
I know its nice to have alternate dialogue, but this is a difficult bomb without grenades and they spawn level 3 zombies, and I don't have the time to read what the NPC says!
Didn't read the last NPC dialogue.

DowntownS03
Sigh, time for a nightmare.
Now that XXX is a hair salon?!
Wow. This time there's no way to sneak around the guards without firing a shot. I did get to the bomb itself, but uhh, you get the idea. Failed to sneak attack. I'll jsut die and run them over with a Buggy.... which takes forever and I still need to get out of the car. Used all my ammo & grenade in the end, with 40hp left.
Can't even pick up that grenade anymore, they'd see me instantly. Oh you gotta be shitting me, completely zero holes and no movement and YELLOW lines, and I can't buy any ammo and only 2 Vampirism. Grabbed a Buggy, lured them out, and then drove laps around the map to eventually run all of them over, then picked up the grenade and their MP5s.
32 HP left, house section. Same as standard except the 2 extra strong guys have Bazookas.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME NO BUGGY!!! And then the grenade collided against the wall I wanted to throw it out of and I died. The Frenzy syringe is a trap! If you don't get out immediately you die! AND THEY DEAL SO MUCH DAMAGE!!! After many tries, I finally succeeded... by exploiting the fact that guards don't shoot until they see your body but not your arm. I ran out, drove the Buggy to the right, quickly got out, grabbed the SAW and ran into the alley, but positioned myself at an angle that can properly exploit that. Managed to survive by barrier-tanking with 26 ammo on SAW left. Oh god, the Karen guards section.
The Karen guards take forever to have an opening, very annoying if you keep failing this section.
I notice a distinct lack of generosity with medpacks and not even allowing me to get SR. Stealthed it a lot more successfully than last time, only a few tries.
WHAT THE FUCK THE CARPARK GUARDS VISION IS RIDICULOUS! I DIED JUST AS I BLEW UP THE DAMNED LOAFERS ON THE RIGHT! I'm going another way... oh found it. Might as well get the minigun while I'm at it... okay I still get spotted, but at least now I'm in a safe position to fire the minigun by explotiing again, THE ARM TRICK. Not really, the MP5 dude at the front can still shoot at me once provoked. Surprise Bazooka, but cleared the guards(forgot one because no laser, but off'd him too). Now onto the zombies.
Cleared. Car jumped for the M60. Also noticed that the gangster can actually enter cars on his own. Tried to shoot the guards below from the high spot, but turns out they have far better height vision than suggested. 2nd try, I killed all the normal guards on the right, then went down to stealth. Realized the purple guards at the entrance will not budge at all. Couldn't see inside the house and the yellow guard behind finally took notice so I screwed up. 3rd try. Vamp up to 4, BG 1, FF 2. Successful stealth until I realize the inside of the house is impenetrable. Realize I shoulda bought a flashbang, did my best anyway. Tried again with flashbang, succeeded without even using the torpedo.
Next bomb. Flashbang and then snipe down. Killed most of the guards, drove out the torpedo. Realize alley is 1-way only. Flashbang and frenzy last guards at the bomb. Failed because panick. Did the same thing twice again except I torpedo'd the bomb. Nearly died at the last guard because didn't expect the guard to jump over the box to shoot me. Checkpoint.
Killed the nearby guards via driveby. Ruger guards alerted and some came to flank. Dealt with them by blowing up the Torpedo, then getting into the Buggy. Then I noticed gangsters on the south roof - their pathfinding is overpowered. Ran out of ammo, but refilled and killed the M60 blue helmet. Then suddenly Bazooka from BEYOND RUGER RANGE OVER THE SLOPE NORTH OF SCI BASE, 30hp left, car blew up, ran to Rebel fountain to heal and grabbed the last mana orb and grab a new Buggy and a flashbang. Then I realized there were 3 more MP5 guards on top of that Barrett-Bazooka guard. 9hp 16mp left. The fountain is there to heal, but that's too risky, I go back to rebel fountain to heal because I didn't notice the ones at the initial bomb #1, but I made the right choice anyway because there was only 1 medkit to heal from when I have 140 max hp.
Trigger bomb. Cleared zombies. Win.


Hardcore Overall:
The guards can detect you from across the map, especially once the yellows have be alarmed and everyone gains 360 degree vision with no lasers, and you don't know how many enemies are left, so you can get SURPRISE MP5'D. Not very much harder than Standard to finish - that's really saying something. For Downtown it actually ends up feeling slightly easier overall since I unlocked Bloody Gains & M60 - really needed them to survive.

Now for insane... *groan*

==============================================================================================================

Feedback of this post was typed while playing.

Insane Difficulty
LaboratoryS01
New dialogue... the new skill syringe is at the "you shall not pass". I'm not risking losing my flashbang again, so skipping dialogue again. Black helmets? Not gonna stop me from circle knifing them.
Assault Armor 1. Found out how to deal with the dumb ammo system. Pickup a gun. Grab ammo from gun #2. Drop gun. Pickup gun #2, walk over to collect gun #1's ammo. Fully reloaded with no waste. Again, have to rush through the now black helmet hackers or else you'll have to shoot the one at the top due to his peripheral vision.
Sigh, have to flashbang this time. Stealthed the M60 guy, USP'd the far guy. New skillpoint, didn't level yet until I see what's going on.
Didn't wait for the dialogue on the twin guards who talk about the masks. Same as Hardcore basically.
Tch, the releasing zombies guards are tougher this time, and the yellow red helmet guy even alerts those who are supposed to come from the tripwire. Lost my M60 too. GODDAMMIT AUTOPICKUP YOU SCREWED ME UP AGAIN.
Cleared the tripwire section with only 3hp left and no health to pickup. This is bullshit. I got hit by the radiation to 2hp. Regained 50mp at next checkpoint, but I don't see how this will help. Finally decided to spend my skillpoint on Vampirism.
Slowly knifed the last bomb guards. The one at the exit I managed to stealth by shooting to his left, then running up the stairs and knifing him twice. Grabbed flashbang. Flashed, killed some of the guards, left the north patroller and one who always looks north, 9hp left 0 ammo. Grabbed medpack to 59hp. Noticed a blindspot. Killed the last 2 guards, grabbed the Bloody Gains. Leveled FF. Grabbed the MP5 and triggered zombies, immediately bought a flashbang and a grenade ($8100). Died and had to restart the guards all over again. Sigh.

Disconnected because now I have a friend wanting to play something else, its a rare opportunity. Plus I'm getting really irritated.

SubwayS02
-nil-

DowntownS03
-nil-

Insane Overall:
Sigh. (EDIT: I'm told there is nothing to unlock after Assault Armor and Bence suggested against playing further at this point, so I'll stop here)


STM1993 says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 15:09


//DELETED because this was used for Insane before Bence posted.//


bencelot says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 15:47


Amazing feedback, thanks! I'll write up a big reply in a bit. But I just quickly wanted to let you know that I've patched that bug with subway. I've uploaded a fixed version. I accidentally left it on testing mode :/ Will reply properly after I finish breakfast. Had a quick read through though and you've got some amazing points. Clearly need to change things a lot. Thanks!





Feedback Fixes Round 1
I'm going to put in any changes I make based on the feedback you guys provide. Kinda like a mini changelog for this test version. Here's what I've done so far:

1) Made the lasers far more obvious in Subway as Max didn't notice it. Also added a little bit of text to draw attention to them.

Image

2) Fixed a bug where the guards view lasers wouldn't turn red until you shot them. They now go red when you stand inside the cone as well.

3) Made it so AFK players are switched to spectator in stealth mode after 60s if there is a dead player waiting to respawn. Just to stop afk players infinitely holding up the game by never reaching the next checkpoint.

4) Made all guards deal 20% less damage. In standard it's now 20% instead of 25% damage, and hardcore/insane are now 40% instead of 50%.

5) Removed a bunch of guards in the 2nd bomb stage on Subway. There used to be 10, now only 6. Still the full amount in hardcore though which is nice as it makes the puzzle behave differently when you play it the 2nd time.

6) Took Max's suggestion and made guard health only scale up by 50% instead of 100%. So now 2 players = 150hp instead of 200hp.



Feedback Fixes Round 2

General Changes
1) Huuuuge rescaling of difficulty. Guards in standard and hardcore now deal HALF as much damage as before. Insane guards now have 100hp instead of 150hp making them 1-shottable with knife. These are very quick fixes that will HUGELY improve the difficulty curve.

2) Zombies have been made easier on hardcore and insane levels by not moving as fast.

3) Health, mana, cash and mutation vials will now automatically pickup even if auto-pickup is disabled in the menu. Vets can now disable this setting to go back to the old system and still get the convenience of auto picking up health and mana stuff.

4) Certain objects will now respawn when you die even if you've used them before. These items will display with a golden plate instead of the standard silver one. These will be reserved for hidden items like super weapons and stuff.

5) Fixed an "exploit" where you could hide around a corner and shoot down guards by sticking your arm out to the side. They'll now try shoot at your arm. Still a good strategy as you cover half your body, but not completely exploitable anymore.

6) Reduce the explosion radius of grenade and flashbang against guards to 75% and 50% respectively (now 6m grenades, 20m flash). Flash was too essential and OP before and now requires better aiming. Grenades were too tricky to use for noise distractions as the large explosion range ended up hitting the guard and pissing him off.


LaboratoryS01 Changes
1) Added an extra checkpoint right before the second lava pit near the start.

2) Added an extra mana orb right before the final lava pit.

3) Added a couple more guards who you have to directly shoot out to get a bit more action.

4) Fewer guards in standard mode in the final bomb.
5) Moved the health kit to before the guard final bomb confrontation so it's not distracting mid-combat. Also perfect time to teach you how to shift walk.
6) Dude who shoots in the knee now drops an MP5 with lots of ammo as a reward.



SubwayS02 Changes
1) Moved the starting guard to the top of the steps to lure you down to the Force Fields.

2) Halved the health of the 5 Bouncing Bullet guards on the 1st bomb and made more weapons and mana available (don't forget all guards have also got half damage too).
3) Put an extra box on the first bomb so you can just brute force it with a shotgun if you want to (not shotty provided in Insane though).
4) Made the alarm noise less annoying as zombies won't trigger it.

5) Fixed a few inconsistencies with the trip wires alerting guards in the centre.

6) Fixed a bug where you'd spawn at the 3rd stage.

7) Tasers now respawn forever.


DowntownS03 Changes
1) Made the stage 1 guards super squishy for vehicle splattering.

2) Made stage 2 guards easier in Hardcore, the front 2 aren't alerting guards plus you get a free USP off to the side.

3) escaping the house in standard is much easier now as you are given a SAW inside the house. No need to do the buggie escape trick.

4) Give you a SAW out the front of the karen guards in standard and playful mode. Also made the guards inside have a more forgiving alerting range that doesn't alert the other alerting guards.
5) Removed one of the alerting guards near the bomb and made another non-alerting.

6) Removed collision on top wall.

7) Removed the "wait sir" message.
8) Made a message hinting to blow up the cars from the box near him.

9) Tweaked the loafer chain reaction puzzle to be easier in standard due to a shorter ruger view range.

10) Minigun now respawns forever.


Bug Fixes
1) Fixed a bug with spectators switching and messages.

2) Fixed a bug with vehicles not respawning properly on a new round.

3) Fixed a few bug where the AI would target the wrong player even if they couldn't shoot at them.

4) Fixed a bug where skills would appear to stay on you when they weren't on the server after restarting a stealth stage.

5) Fixed a bug where text messages wouldn't always show in coop.

6) Fixed a bug where guards would sometimes run out of ammo.


bencelot says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 18:03


Ok so I've had time to go through everyone's feedback and boy there is a lot of good stuff to work with here. 6 pages of notes ready to go! I'll try get this feedback implemented as fast as possible and rerelease a whole new zip soon which I think will play a LOT better.

Now the number 1 complaint from everyone is very simple and clear - too fucking difficult! This was kind of inevitable I think. As I developed the puzzles and kept replaying them over and over I eventually figured out all the little tricks and solved them easy enough. When I did my final playthrough on standard I only died 7 times in the whole time, which would be fine, but I kinda ignored the hundreds of times I died beforehand figuring it all out :D Seeing you guys, the veterans and best players in the community die so frequently proves that the puzzles are just unrealistically hard. For a newbie almost impossible. Not good! But fortunately fairly easy to fix.

It seems that difficulty comes in 2 main ways. General systemic difficulty and then specific puzzles. I'll write up my thoughts on both of these areas:

System Changes
1) Saving your weapons/ammo on each checkpoint. While I have designed all puzzles to work starting with only a knife - it's clearly too difficult. Also as STM and Qwerty mentioned, if you die the first time when you DO have a gun, you're almost certainly going to die the 2nd time when you don't. So keeping these weapons would be nice. It's a nice rubber band effect where you get extra health/mana. However it does feel like it makes death kinda pointless and/or exploitable. You coulld just suicide to get back full hp/mana. I guess the solution here is to always provide you with plenty of health/mana orbs at the end of each stage to remove this incentive.

2) Tweak the ammo sytem so you don't discard your current bullets when reloading? This is a fundamental change and has PvP implications. It's really chnging the whole ammo system. Is it for the better? Does this change need to be made?

3) Should guards keep their red lasers even after being alerted? I removed this because once they "wake up" they don't need them anymore and it just makes the screen messy. But mabye this needs to be more intuitive somehow.

4) Some stages are just too "puzzly" I think. A few stages are very easy once you know how to do it, but if you don't get the puzzle and try brute force it you'll just die over and over, and this is no good. Maybe in standard mode I should just tweak stuff so that no matter what brute forcing is an option, but players will be rewarded with extra speed and stealth cash if they figure out hte puzzles. Hardcore and Insane can be reserved for the true puzzles which simply MUST be solved to complete. Maybe only Insane for this. Gotta rework all the standard/hardcore puzzles so they can just be bruteforced action style. This is how players like to play shooters in the first place.

5) Flashbangs are too OP or essential? Grenades should have a smaller explosion range vs guards so you can use them for noise tricks more effectively?

6) The hiding around a corner with 1-arm shooting exploit needs to be fixed. This is going to make hardcore and insane EVEN HARDER if you can no longer use this trick, so they'll have to be nerfed doubly.

7) Should all previous items respawn when you die? Interesting idea to be sure but I feel this is a huge and probably game breaking change. I mean I need to keep new healthpacks coming as you go through the puzzles. But this means that by the end of the round there might be 40+ health/mana/weapons lying around the map everytime you respawn. This can't be the case surely. Firstly it would make buying weaposn from the bomb almost pointless when there are thousands of rounds of ammo/nades lying all over the place. And you'd never really die as you could just backtrack to get more health and mana.

I think the current system works better as long as the puzzles themselves aren't crazy difficulty. As long as the difficulty is reasonalbe you should never need to backtrack anyway because you'll be provided everything you need. And this way you don't feel the need to exploit the system in a slow and tedious way of backtracking through the map. Key point is to make puzzles way easier.Then again, vehicles are already all respawning, so maybe other items should too. Needs more thinking this one.

8) Gotta look into auto-switching of weapons. I think I'll make health/mana/cash/xp auto-pickup regardless of the setting in the options menu. Then people can turn this off to grab their weapons/skills/chemicals/vehicles manually.

9) Coop health/damage scaling might be a bit too aggressive even despite nerfing it already. However seeing as I'm going to be making the entire campaign more easy anyway this will probably solve the coop too. So I'll hold off on any changes here and focus on making the entire campaign easier. There are a few puzzles which are an exception though. These will need to be addressed manually.

10) There are quite a few bugs still in the updated version which need fixing as well, which should make things play nicer.


Specific Puzzles
So making the changes above will make things play nicer and be somewhat easier, but I still think each of the individual sections needs looking into. Some are too easy, some are too hard. I welcome any specific suggestions on how to tweak these puzzles. But here are the big troublesome ones from what I've read/observed from you guys:

LaboratoryS01:
Pretty much all good in terms of difficulty here as expected. Might make it a bit less stealth focussed and a bit more gun focussed for more action. But in hardcore and insane the zombies at the final stage (and maybe the final stage itself) are too hard. There are a few other bits of polish not related to difficulty but I'll just keep this post to the gameplay.

SubwayS02:
The first real map and we're getting into some ridiculously hard siutations already. The first Ruger stage WAS way too hard with 10 guards. Since nerfing it to 6 maybe it's ok now? The bouncing bullets puzzle directly above the 1st bomb is way too hard. I wonder if this could be solved by simply giving each of those guards 20hp or something, so they get 1-shot killed by a single bounced bullet.

This is the tricky thing about level design. Because when I play that stage KNOWING the trick it's easy as hell already. Making it even easier would make the whole stage seem pointless. But I need to remember that things are NOT easy for newbies or even vets on their first time playing through. Now we have a problem with the puzzle. If I make it too hard then it's awfully frustrating on the first playthrough in the campaign. But if I make it too easy then if people wanna get together to play some coop but they both know how to solve the puzzle already, then it become a boring waste of time. This is the tricky with the more "puzzle-based" stages. They're all or nothing. Either super hard and then once you get the puzzle super easy. Maybe the best solution is to design standard mode for a first impression campaign experience and make it super easy. Then rework Hardcore into the default co-op mode, where it's ExPECTED that everyone knows the puzzles already and then they can just get a good challenge. Tricky one. Thoughts welcome here!

The big shootout sequence after the bomb seems pretty good, but again probably too hard. And the very final stage again is too "puzzly". It's possible to 100% stealth combo all 6 guards which is why I left it as it is. But it's just not apparent to anyone who didn't actually design the puzzle. Thus players end up missing the stealth puzzle and going into full-on brute force mode, which always results in death.

How to get the best of both worlds here? Again it's gotta be the cash system. Reward you for figuring out the puzzle by giving you bonus stealth cash which is very handy against zombies, but if players wanna just brute force it they can do that too.


DowntownS03:
Again way too hard. Completely unrealistic. STM is one of the best players in the game, infinitely better than any new player will ever be AND he had the advantage of being able to watch me and Asterparity play parts of Downtown beforehand. And despite this still dies 28 times. Totally unrealistic! My bad! Major reworks are needed here.

Stage 1 guards should have like 20hp to be insta-squished by the buggie. The next sections are all generally way too hard and all the guards deal too much damage. There are already rewards for being able to stealth kill these sections, but again newbies won't figure it out. Gotta change stuff a lot here.

The Karen stage is clearly too difficult. The idea of all those yellow laer guards was to make a shootout unavoidable and let you have some fun with vamp and Frenzy. But the values are way off and it's very easy to just get shot to pieces due to a single misstep. I also admit that when I was playtesting this particular stage I was making very heavy use of the arm around a corner trick, which was very silly. No newbie can be expected to do that. The stage cannot be balanced around that trick. Gotta MASSIVELY tweak the values here.

The loafer chain reaciton stage is yet another "puzzle-heavy" stage. ONce you figure it out (stand on the boxes to the side and blow all the guards to bits 100% untouched) it's easy. But if you don't realise that then you're going to bang you head against a wall over and over getting auto-sniped by the Ruger dudes. How to fix?

Pretty much the whoel rest of the Downtown stage is again way too hard and neesd to have a brute force option. For example the 2nd last stage the "puzzle" is to go around the long way to the scientist spawn and shoot all the dudes from behind. But I just don't think I can rely on players doing this.


Summary
Ok I think that's my main understanding of the feedback so far in regards to difficulty. I'll get started on this right away but I'd love as much help and ideas as possible! Main thing though is make the game WAAAAAAAAAAY easier! Good thing I released this test version, not only for the bugs but also for the feedback and playtesting. You guys have been very helpful so far. I'll try release a fixed up version later today. Keep the feedback coming. Thanks!


STM1993 says:

Thu 03 Dec 2015, 20:10


Some suggestions. Assume standard.

LaboratoryS01:
Image
1) That long stretch of walking is tiresome even if you died only once, likely from the 2nd radioactive walking. Add a bomb around region after that tiresome part to minimize travel time. Actually maybe the first enemy can be placed around the tiresome walk instead and the USP near the beginning.
2) You could add another extra-weak enemy at the top right before you get to the NPC who told you to cross the radioactive waste.
3) That 2nd stretch is the part where players are most likely to die. I personally just sprint jumped all the way across(onto box too), but I don't know if newbies may just hold barrier all the way.
4) The 2nd NPC on top of the stairs talking about Self Repair should come down the stairs and talk just a little bit after the 1st guy tells you to cast.
Image
1) Expand the textbox range for "You shall not pass". That dialogue is too good to be skipped, but veterans have to skip it if they want to play it properly.
2) The 2 hacker dudes immediately after have to be sprinted past asap in Hardcore/Insane to avoid direct combat. You can't know that the first time and die as a result, leading to quite a long walk. At least let the guy above move his vision once in a while. Maybe you could even place a bomb where the hackers are; this section is too long for an early puzzle.
3) There isn't really a way to slip through those guards in Hardcore without the Flashbang from WAY WAY back, and they'd even jump over the box to shoot at you with insane timing, which can be really surprising to a player who'd expect the guards to walk around the box.
4) Those guys. In hardcore you can just let them walk past and then knife them in the back, but out of fear of them turning behind, I always kill them before their dialogue finishes. In Easy/Standard, they stand right before the entrance, forcing direct combat unless you have the Flashbang.
Image
1) Tripwire should be made a lot more explicit. Players don't notice it nor understand what it does. Maybe add an NPC in hiding who warns you as you go down the stair.
2) That asshole has yellow lasers in Hardcore/Insane. If he finds you, all the enemies behind the 1st tripwire will come after you! Tripwire & yellow line range is way too inconsistent.
3) Those tripwire guys are supposed to be gunned down with the shotgun from the boxes or behind that wall. However, those guys will inevitably jump over the box to shoot at you, and shoot you faster than you can, and they make zero mistakes while you are likely to miss quite a bit. Fucking aimbot, give them some aiming delay so people have a chance to hit & run properly.
4) Add a medpack before that radiation. I find it very common to lose 1-2hp trying to make the 1st jump. The other reason is for the final stage...
5) Heh, that NPC. He should walk down as he talks, makes you proceed. Also, blood before he even gets shot.
6) That ledge where the NPC is on is evil. Collision it so people don't try to be geniuses and attempt to jump off after clearing the level, and for consistency's sake with the rest of this map. Regardless of collision or not, hiding in that hurt tile area is going to be an exploit anyway.
Image
1) This annoying guy. Must kill him to get a weapon and he tends to look behind him periodically and causing autopickup, making him extra annoying. Remove him.
2) There are too many guards in this final bomb. Just 2 patrolling the outer ring is enough, and then 1 guy in the center excluding the boss. Its possible to sneak through yes, but its too tedious.
3) When the center patrol goes about, iirc the one who is above, he will look up when he shifts position, and will thus catch you trying to get the flashbang. Just mentioning it out of the way.
4) That medkit at the bottom right would've been an absolutely terrible place for your first medkit. You run over because you need health... and then you get a popup just as the guard is on your tail, and because of it you lose momentum and you get shot in the butt the moment you exit the popup text. Way to go.
5) You should get a bonus weapon or item if you manage to kill that extra guard who supposedly shoots the friendly NPC in the knee(but in reality goes to kill himself). $500 isn't very obvious at all.

More tomorrow. Its too late here.


bencelot says:

Fri 04 Dec 2015, 05:57


Ok I've just uploaded today's awesome changes. You can either redownload the entire zip, or you'll need to get the 4 files (exe and 3 maps) and replace them. Make sure you do this before trying to connect to the online server of you'll probably crash it. Links are still in the first post.

This is just one day's worth of fixing but I think it plays a LOT better. The biggest fix was simply halving the damage value of all the guards. This is massive. Then there are plenty of bug fixes and other quality of life improvements. Then the map files have got a few specific changes on certain troublesome puzzles. I have just gone for difficulty related stuff today. Plenty of your awesome suggestions for Laboratory I'll do in a bit STM, but for now I really just wanna get this difficulty issue fixed. Difficulty is such a quick fix with a few value changes, and yet it can completely make or break the gameplay if not done right. I think it's in the right ballpark now. Let me know what y'all think!

Here is the changelog for today. More feedback is welcomed and will be acted upon, but I think this is a good chunk of fixing for 1 day's work!


Quote:
General Changes
1) Huuuuge rescaling of difficulty. Guards in standard and hardcore now deal HALF as much damage as before. Insane guards now have 100hp instead of 150hp making them 1-shottable with knife. These are very quick fixes that will HUGELY improve the difficulty curve.

2) Zombies have been made easier on hardcore and insane levels by not moving as fast.

3) Health, mana, cash and mutation vials will now automatically pickup even if auto-pickup is disabled in the menu. Vets can now disable this setting to go back to the old system and still get the convenience of auto picking up health and mana stuff.

4) Certain objects will now respawn when you die even if you've used them before. These items will display with a golden plate instead of the standard silver one. These will be reserved for hidden items like super weapons and stuff.

5) Fixed an "exploit" where you could hide around a corner and shoot down guards by sticking your arm out to the side. They'll now try shoot at your arm. Still a good strategy as you cover half your body, but not completely exploitable anymore.

6) Reduce the explosion radius of grenade and flashbang against guards to 75% and 50% respectively (now 6m grenades, 20m flash). Flash was too essential and OP before and now requires better aiming. Grenades were too tricky to use for noise distractions as the large explosion range ended up hitting the guard and pissing him off.


LaboratoryS01 Changes
1) Added an extra checkpoint right before the second lava pit near the start.

2) Added an extra mana orb right before the final lava pit.

3) Added a couple more guards who you have to directly shoot out to get a bit more action.

4) Fewer guards in standard mode in the final bomb.
5) Moved the health kit to before the guard final bomb confrontation so it's not distracting mid-combat. Also perfect time to teach you how to shift walk.
6) Dude who shoots in the knee now drops an MP5 with lots of ammo as a reward.


SubwayS02 Changes
1) Moved the starting guard to the top of the steps to lure you down to the Force Fields.

2) Halved the health of the 5 Bouncing Bullet guards on the 1st bomb and made more weapons and mana available (don't forget all guards have also got half damage too).
3) Put an extra box on the first bomb so you can just brute force it with a shotgun if you want to (not shotty provided in Insane though).
4) Made the alarm noise less annoying as zombies won't trigger it.

5) Fixed a few inconsistencies with the trip wires alerting guards in the centre.

6) Fixed a bug where you'd spawn at the 3rd stage.

7) Tasers now respawn forever.


DowntownS03 Changes
1) Made the stage 1 guards super squishy for vehicle splattering.

2) Made stage 2 guards easier in Hardcore, the front 2 aren't alerting guards plus you get a free USP off to the side.

3) escaping the house in standard is much easier now as you are given a SAW inside the house. No need to do the buggie escape trick.

4) Give you a SAW out the front of the karen guards in standard and playful mode. Also made the guards inside have a more forgiving alerting range that doesn't alert the other alerting guards.
5) Removed one of the alerting guards near the bomb and made another non-alerting.

6) Removed collision on top wall.

7) Removed the "wait sir" message.
8) Made a message hinting to blow up the cars from the box near him.

9) Tweaked the loafer chain reaction puzzle to be easier in standard due to a shorter ruger view range.

10) Minigun now respawns forever.


Bug Fixes
1) Fixed a bug with spectators switching and messages.

2) Fixed a bug with vehicles not respawning properly on a new round.

3) Fixed a few bug where the AI would target the wrong player even if they couldn't shoot at them.

4) Fixed a bug where skills would appear to stay on you when they weren't on the server after restarting a stealth stage.

5) Fixed a bug where text messages wouldn't always show in coop.

6) Fixed a bug where guards would sometimes run out of ammo.


STM1993 says:

Fri 04 Dec 2015, 10:05


Okay. New map runthrough. Didn't bother to do Insane. Most negative feedback refer to Hardcore; Standard is generally fine.

General
* Ammo System - either keep it as clips or make it strictly ammo without loss. Currently Refilling from 0 doesn't even refill all 10 clips, only 9 clips. Players also have to deliberately use gun #1 to steal all of gun #2's ammo, then drop gun #1, pickup gun #2, then steal gun #1 ammo to have zero loss. Very annoying.
* Sprint option - Allow classic controls option (ie: hold Shift to sprint, default walk). Many of us are much more used to that. Also allow disabling of double-tap to toggle.
* Dying from zombies, forcing player to clear the whole puzzle again. This is particularly annoying; I cleared the (very long) puzzle, let me redo the zombies alone. This is the reason why I took much longer to clear Hardcore Downtown than I should've.
* Why must I kill every single guard? Can also differentiate required guards and optional guards using blonde/brunette hair - Qwertybeef. I'd also like to add that it'd be nice to tell players how many guards are left on the HUD directly instead of on the bomb; it gets annoying when you have that 1 guard you can't find.
* Arm Exploit is still possible for stealth. Try it on the Subway Hardcore guards at the very top during Subway Center #2 (on the way to Bomb 5). Also its necessary to make the guards come at you in a row through a corner if you want to maximize your survival.
* Guards shouldn't lose their laser vision when alerted, or at least reflect their new visual range.
* Map Editor: Radar truck doesn't switch to player's team when obtained. Also can't seem to add waypoints?
* Map Editor: Using mouse to scroll down the spawn skills list will also automatically drag the skill level car to 5. Have to use mousewheel to avoid this.
* Guards & friendly NPCs seem to have an issue where they occasionally jitter. Maybe its a bug with target acquisition relating to shooting other guards?
* Practice Mode still assumes campaign item lock. Map editors need to test their map to make sure it cannot be broken by stuff that may have been unlocked in the future or to see if certain skills work best without having to put down a million items. Worry not; items that are plopped down in a custom map do not count as a proper campaign unlock.


LaboratoryS01
* New 2nd bomb placement is bad; players likely to follow the arrow to the bomb and miss the Mana orb. Either place it at the cross section, at the Mana Orb area itself, or even just before the 1st radioactive waste (so if people die they can still get the flashbang back). Circled areas.
* The 2nd NPC who talks about Self Repair should talk in a few moments after the 1st NPC tells you to right click to cast after collecting the syringe.
* Expand "You shall not pass" text area to beyond the bridge and the left path from the Uzi.
* Add an NPC before the 1st tripwire that explains it, people would be really surprised. Also, the accuracy of the tripwire is pretty bad; you need to fully cross the tile for it to trigger unlike what the particle effect suggests.
* NPC on last corridor should walk downwards automatically after "Sir, is that you?". Expand text zone 27 upwards onto the smaller boxes above. That ledge should also be collisioned for consistency, and its not like its a good place to be when dealing with the zombies.
* Its a little hard to see where to jump across to meet the NPC at the end. I know its meant to keep the player from skipping ahead for the final bomb, but still.


SubwayS02
* Players might still jump ahead of the boxes and end up missing the dialogue on the right when they led to go down. Make that 1st NPC appear just ahead of the bomb, not at the cross-junction. You could also reinforce by making it difficult to slip through the boxes.
* Exactly 5 guards to deal with using Force Fields, exactly 100 mana. I don't know why the mana orb after the 3rd guard has to be removed from Hardcore/Insane. This section also feels quite long because the player has to wait for his Force Fields cooldown, and at this point I think even the most hardheaded newbie would think "enough already, I get it". You can also add some variety with the guards' weapons instead of just a Ruger; an auto would be nice to teach newbies to use FF to absorb damage with FF until they hear the guard reload.
* Subway Center #1. The number of shots to kill guards should be lowered across the difficulties further; currently its 1-1/2-3/3-4/?-?. I would recommend changing it to 1-1/1-2/2-3/3-4. This will make it VERY clear that snipers do more damage as range goes up, and rewards long shots with a stealth kill (for higher difficulties, you simply don't get stealth kill for doing this though). Also, as a note, some of those guards will inevitably be triggered by the tripwire, far away from where you can possibly see them.
* Bouncing Bullets #1 - denial of resources for the last 3 guards. If you didn't have 80mp at the start and failed to pick up the Flashbang, you may very well be screwed. High possibility of not being healed to 100% before the 2nd BB section.
* Bouncing Bullets #2 - just a note that Self Repair might be essential here. I also note that I managed to stealth kill a few of them by grabbing a Ruger from the previous section.
* Subway Center #2 - I'm beginning to question WHY you'd put tripwires on the left and right in the first place. They don't do anything useful for Center #1 except an obligatory getting chased on the right, while the left is easily avoided by jumping and players who NEED the HP/MP in the first place would likely be dead trying to pick them up; in other words a trap. Also, the tripwire all the way south tips off too many guards at once. This is a really drawn-out sequence and the top part of it is ultimately the same as Center #1, so it feels like players have already solved this before.
* Final Bomb - This section is still too difficult; I'm often near death or outright dead depending on whether I used the turn below the bomb. Its also incredibly difficult to size up the situation, and I find that even after distracting the guards with a grenade, the ones above will continue to follow his patrol waypoint. I seem to be spotted every single time. Should probably also add a secret collectible in the zombie tunnel. Also, I never notice the gold pile until AFTER the bomb has exploded. No one is going to look or go south unless its to get that HP/MP which only comes out in Playful/Standard.
* Didn't even notice the NPC talking during zombies. Also, his text zone needs to be a lot larger; I rode the bomb to his position and he doesn't talk.


DowntownS03
* Every section of this stage feels overly long and too heavily puzzle-focused.
* I know the alley is secret, but its so dark its impossible to navigate; looks fine on map editor, but not ingame.
* One of my worries about giving players M249 SAW for the tutorial is that newbies may be tempted to move & shoot at the same time while under fire when doing exactly that would ruin the SAW's accuracy to an unmanageable level, yet the floor is littered with MP5s and it hasn't been introduced properly?
* Car Section - You're supposed to run the Buggy over the guards, or just stay out of the car and knife them. In Hardcore/Insane, there is no way you can distract the guards without alerting them, especially when you have only 1 grenade to spare and the gunfire alert is too close-ranged to draw their attention, which means in the end you'll just take a long time to run them over with the Buggy.
* Alley #1 - This section is just doable with a grenade and the USP. A quick look at the Insane settings via map editor outright denies you any weapons at all, at most getting a Flatbed but no weapons.
* House #1 - Simple section once you know the gunfire trick and guard pattern.
* House #2 - Better to just bruteforce by sitting by the entrance, activating Frenzy, and then waiting for all the guards to enter one by one. For Insane, it seems to be the exact thing I did for the old version of Hardcore, which wasn't fun to pull off and there's a lot of paranoia as to whether all the guards are dead or not. At the end of it, I have to run all the way left, only to have to go all the way right.
* Karen Section - Very long section. Waiting for the Karen guards to stealth kill takes forever. Could you make them either NOT talk, or talk without turning their heads from facing left? After that, you're supposed to sneak in via the Karen guards, and slowly stealth your way through, but a single mistake and you're basically dead at higher difficulties. Also, the Loafer you are introduced to will no longer glow after the first time, so given the darkness it becomes incredibly easy to miss.
* Carpark #1 - You're supposed to jump onto the boxes on the left to safely shoot at the Loafers, unlikely a player would figure that safe spot out, but thankfully the Ruger dudes' range has been cut short in case you didn't notice it and only have to deal with the MP5 guy in the center, who has too much HP in Hardcore/Insane; he should be dead from the Loafers regardless. This section it can be a bit annoying to find out there's a missing guard the player has yet to kill.
* Carpark #2 - Clearing the entrance with Torpedo is fine. Its the rest of the stage where I was only able to just bruteforce the right side thanks to AA, although can kill the bottom-right guards by sniping of the roof where the M60 is to reduce the difficulty. After that its just the house.
* Southside - Jump onto box, then ledge (I would go for ledge directly if jumping onto it weren't so awkward, should lower by 0.25m). Flashbang, look away, then shoot with M60. If you screwed up, you can only just be able to bruteforce Hardcore. North guys can be easily knifed before going further south.
* Final Bomb - Worst section ever. No, I do not want to wait for the NPC to finish talking so he'd follow me in the Torpedo. Wow, I don't even have a decent gun. The NPC's damage is complete rubbish to expect him to work for a driveby. Catherine guards - the one at the bottom will ALWAYS shoot at you no matter where you come out from; he has 360 degree vision (0 view Range). These portions are easy but they drag the round on. Then you come to the Ruger guards and you will inevitably alert them(EDIT: I just realized after calming down that Flashbang is essential here, but there's no point trying to use the Ruger to snipe anyone since you'd be immediately alerted), and due to the NPC's pathetic damage you have to come out and knife them personally. Thankfully, they alerted everyone else below, and they should come out of the place in a line. Then if you have a decent gun like an M60 you can hide behind that little bit of wall to the southeast and shoot down the incoming enemies, maybe use the Torpedo on them. Heal from the Rebel fountain before proceeding because the medkits are a trap. If you go down into the starting place, you had best make use of that corner between the tree and the house south of the "XXX location", else you'd get shoot to death from all angles by the remaining guards who didn't try to flank you earlier. No, I'm not going to wait for the boss dude to finish talking and I'm not gonna pay attention to what he says and he will die before he finishes. And why does that Bazooka gangster have the range of a Barrett? And finally, if I die from the zombies, I have to do this whole thing all over again. Fuck that.

Not gonna bother with Insane after that last Hardcore bomb in Downtown. Plus, its essentially just the same puzzle that I've done a million times already; campaign will lose its charm quickly after the first time you play it.


bencelot says:

Fri 04 Dec 2015, 16:11


Awesome feedback again STM, thanks a tonne. I'm gunna spend another day implementing as much of this stuff as I can. There are a few section where I feel you're missing a few tricks to solve the puzzles, but they're clearly too obscure. I really need to find a balance and figure out exactly what level of "puzzleness" each difficulty should have. I'm leaning more and more towards having absolutely zero puzzle elements in standard, and just a few in hardcore but still allowing for bruteforcing. Insane can be full of puzzles to provide a different experience, but I need to further nerf the guards damage. Insane should be difficult to figure out the puzzle, but once you do the execution should be easy.

I'll write up stuff as I make the changes to address the specifics of your post. I'd also love to try some coop with the recent changes to see how that difficulty has improved. Will update soon. Thanks again!

EDIT: The puzzles in insane are quite different. But they ARE puzzles unlike in standard/hardcore. If you're gunna do insane you have to change your expectations for what it should be (or I need to make it clear somehow in the game). Brute forcing isn't an option and isn't meant to be. Insane will be available for those players who want a challenge of a different nature. But I understand that solving puzzles isn't the standard way of playing MF or a shooter, and therefore standard and hardcore need to be straight up run&gun action.

EDIT2: The reason I went with SAW over MP5 in the end was because I felt that the frequent reloading of MP5 kinda screws over the Frenzy. But you are right that newbs so early in the game are going to run and gun a lot and this will cause more harm than good. I'll see how it plays with MP5 instead of SAW provided.


bencelot says:

Fri 04 Dec 2015, 17:08


HELLLLLLLLLO!


bencelot says:

Sat 05 Dec 2015, 00:50


So after some good discussions with STM and a complete playthrough we came up with a shitload of ideas to fix things. I think coop itself scales nicely now with one very important exception - knife stops 1-shot killing. This is a huge blow on puzzles designed with knife in mind. So I'll simply be scaling knife damage with guard health to maintain the 1 shot kills and this should make coop play a million times better.

Apart from that I'm going to make all sorts of coding tweaks to the rules. A few big ones are respawning humans as zombies during the bomb stage, tweaking the AI movement to stop jumping on boxes, adding ping beacons into the the map itself to help with communication and coordination, reworking the guard vision so they only see you if you actually step inside their lasers. All good stuff.

Then we have the maps, puzzles and difficulty levels. The 60% damage reduction I've done so far has helped tremendously, but it's stlll not enough. I've decided I'm going to go through all stages again and balance each difficulty with a specific target player in mind. Each difficulty level will assume a certain set of skills and must be completable WITHOUT DYING using only those skills.

This is a huge shift in thinking and will take me a few days to do, but worth it. For example when I did my Insane run I died 57 times and originally thought that was fine. Afterall it IS insane difficulty, of course I should be dying a lot right? Wrong! If a noob plays insane difficulty straight away 57 deaths is acceptable, but 57 deaths for the person who actually created the map itself? That makes no sense. As I made the maps I know the puzzles and solutions, and using this knowledge should be able to complete even insane diffficult without a single death. Clearly some huge reworks will be needed to take Insane from 57 deaths down to 0, so expect this to take a few days.

What I'd like to do is establish some "target players" and think up a skill set for each of them. Then when I play through these maps I can limit myself to just this knowledge and ensure it can still be completed on their target difficulty without dying. Let me see...


Playful - the grandma
Playful needs to be RIDICULOUSLY easy. It needs to be designed for someone who hasn't ever played a shooter before. Like your grandma. Or more likely a gamer who normally plays games like Farmville or Civilization or Final Fantasy and never plays shooters. These are the people who haven't even heard of concepts such as "recoil control" or "taking cover". This is who Playful is for. Therefore on Playful mode I need to be able to go all the way through without dying once using the following skills:

1) Move into firing range.
2) Point cursor in general direction of any random bad guy.
3) Hold down the trigger until all bad guys are dead.
4) Collect health kits and repeat.

If doing those incredibly easy steps fails to win every stage, Playful needs to be made EVEN MORE easy. Playful is not for gamers and not the default starting option. It's not expected that anyone plays it, but it's just there. It's just an option for those who truly need it.


Standard - the noob
This will be the primary audience and the default game mode for new players. The sorta person who downloads MF is the sorta person who plays CS, CoD, DOTA, BF2 etc. They know what recoil is, they're familiar with strafing and taking cover and usually the idea of crouch to shoot (barrier). They're you standard 18-25 male who plays shooting games. However they are still new to Mutant Factions and so while they have a general idea of how shooters work, they have no idea about the specifics of MF. No idea about skills, vehicles, certain weapon traits like snipers doing more damage at range, etc.

Standard mode needs to teach these Mutant Factions' specific details through the course of the campaign by constantly introducing new content in the form of unlocks. However in terms of difficulty every puzzle must be solvable WITHOUT DYING using just the basic skills they know:

1) Basic run and gun, using barrier, controlling recoil and taking cover. General online shooter stuff everyone knows.
2) Everything should be solvable with just sheer brute force shooting your way through the map. Sneaky stealth patterns can award extra cash but are absolutely not needed. They didn't download MF to be sneaky, the downloaded it to shoot stuff like they see in the youtube trailer.
3) Make use of the skills/vehicles/chemicals given to you but only in the most obvious way. It's ok to have puzzles that require the use of bouncing bullets, but only because the skill description tells you this and because you can very easily see it visually. Also these more "puzzly" stages need to be super easy to exectute. Once you know what to do (activate FF and bounce the bullets back to the bad guy) it should be almost impossible to fail.

Basically new players are the future of this game and the sorta players we want to slowly entertain and edcuate to prepare them for advanced MF PvP combat. But they wanna feel a healthy challenge based on their general shooting abilities. If they play Playful mode they should be bored. They should say "this is silly, I just stand here and hold down the button? Where's the fun in that?" So the puzzles should remain purely about gunplay but just difficulty enough so that you're expected to take cover, be accurate, play in a smart shooter way by applying you skills from Counter Strike. No more than that though.


Hardcore - the vet
This is you guys hooray! Hardcore should be balanced so that veterans can play all the way through without a single death. But only if you actually make use of what you as veterans reasonably should know. This difficulty level will require a good use of EXISTING Mutant Factions knowledge. You need to know about box jumps, you need to know how all the skills work, you need to know about bazooka buggy, and you need to know how to get onto the rooftops in Downtown. These are things no noob should need to know but veterans do. Ideally once hardcore is rebalanced I could ask any one of you veterans to play hardcore for the very first time and you'd make it all the way through without dying. You'd survive purely on your existing knowledge from PvP combat.

Note that even in Hardcore you will not be expected to know any new "stealth" related information. Only stuff from PvP and stuff that is told to you ahead of time (eg, that grenades make them look at sound). Once you read that then it's expected that you know this, but after that we're back to good ol' gunplay, just applying the more advanced tips and tricks that you dudes already know. This should be the most fun mode for a veteran's first experience.


Insane - the puzzle master
Insane will be the only mode that actually relies heavily on all the new stealth mechanics i'm introducing. Playful/Standard/Hardcore can all be completed in a brute force kinda way just with varying levels of PvP combat experience. But Insane will truly make use of the Stealth mode. This is the mode where you have to look at the guards, watch their movement patterns, sneak behind guard A to take his Ruger and bounce the bullet to kill guard B just before he turns to look at guard C so you can swoop behind guard D to reach unlock X. That kinda thing is what Insane will be all about. No one is expected to complete insane without dying on the first try, because unlike the other 3 difficulties it is puzzle specific. You can't just take your existing PvP knowledge and apply it with immediate success. You need to learn all the tips and trick in Stealth mode. Stuff like shooting your gun to make guards turn their heads, using flashes and nades, observing movment patterns and figuring out the right way to enter the area, etc. These are all brand new skills which you won't know yet. But after completing Standard and Hardcore you should know this stuff and Insane should then be easy enough to figure out.

Even a good player who knows all the new rules of Stealth will probably die a few times in Insane due to trail and error. But it's important to note that once you DO figure out the puzzle, once you master the puzzle and become as they say... the puzzle master.. THEN you can complete the puzzle 100% of the time no sweat. This is the problem with insane at the moment, because even I as the creator of the puzzles still died 57 times. I knew what to do but the execution was so damn finnicky and tricky that it was still too hard. So that will all be fixed and improved for next test version. Even in Insane mode, puzzles are hard, execution is easy. Veterans should enjoy playing Insane mode once I make these changes due to the unique puzzle experience without getting frustrated due to ridiculously high damage guards.

So yeah I think these are much better goals than what I had before, and far more realistic. I'd love some thoughts on this and which puzzles already meet the criteria and which don't. Will take me a few days to sort out but hopefully not too long.


STM1993 says:

Sat 05 Dec 2015, 03:44


Here's a quick outline draft by me of what the 10 campaign stages can be overall.

Quote:
Assume Standard.
//Lab: Basics
Teach - Basic Movement
Wpns - Knife, USP, M3 Super
Cars - nil
Secret - Uzi, Flash
Extra - MP5
Skills: SR

//Subway: Phys1
Teach - Casting, Weapons
Wpns - Ruger, Uzi, Flash, Nade
Cars - nil
Secret - Tasers
Extra - nil
Skills: SR, FF+BB

//Downtown: Phys2
Teach - Frenzy, Cars
Wpns - MP5, SAW
Cars - Buggy, Loafer, Torpedo
Secret - Focus, Minigun
Extra - M60
Skills: Vamp,Frenzy+Clip
(Comment: I liked the idea of using a car explosion jump to exit from Downtown)

//Inferno: Phys3
Teach - Use Rad against ring of enemies, use AA to get into ring, managing 3 skills.
Wpns - Deagle, Uzi, MP5, Spas12
Cars - Gallant, Radar?
Secret - Stag
Extra - ???
Skills: Vamp,BGains,AA,Rad,FF

//Residence: Cyb1
Teach - Sniper & Phasic
Wpns - MP5, Barrett, Nailgun (in that order)
Cars - Pickup
Secret - Flatbed(merc house secret), Photon Beam(spire)
Extra - ???
Skills: SR, Nrg+Phasic, Plasma+Firestorm

//Filtration: Cyb2
Teach - Barrier & Shock
Wpns - AK47, M60
Cars - Gallant
Secret - Camper
Extra - ???
Skills: SR, SC, Lasing, SW+MV

//Barn: Cyb3
Teach - Plasma+Shock, Bullet Time
Wpns - M4A1
Cars - Roadster
Secret - Seek Rifle, Hornet
Extra - ???
Skills: SR, SW+MV, Plasma, BT+SSeek

//Asylum: Men1
Teach - DOT + Invisibility
Wpns - Molotov, Flare, M3, Spas
Cars - nil
Secret - Dash, Flamethrower
Extra - ???
Skills: Regen, Invis, Venom
Chemicals?

//Pump: Men2
Teach - Disabling + Chemicals
Wpns - ???
Cars - nil
Secret - Blast Cannon
Extra - ???
Skills: DD, BH+Darkness, BF+ST

//Turbine: Men3
Teach - Final stage, use everything you know. Reinforce CHEMICALS!
Secret - Teleportation


I am also going to draft out a one map 15-min express tutorial; I believe players should be able to hop into PvP as soon as possible if they don't want to take the long campaign approach.


STM1993 says:

Sat 05 Dec 2015, 06:01


Okay, I came up with a format for a 15-min express tutorial as well.
Code:
//15min Tutorial
Welcome to 15-min Express Tutorial.
I am STM93, I'll be your guide.
Use [WASD] to move. [SPACEBAR] to jump over that box.
   //Checkpoint #1

Hold [CTRL] to Barrier, use it to cross the lava...
...because he'll kill you if you don't.
   //Taser Guard with 99999s firedelay dealing 98(49*2) damage, 1hp.
   //Knife him, full heal, then Checkpoint #2

Good. Pick up this AK47. Press [E].
Most guns have considerable recoil, especially when moving.
Don't shoot like this idiot over here.
   //Guard runs while firing his AK at you full-auto, LEROOOY JENKINS!!!... then walks into a death tile.
Here's the enemy ahead. [CTRL] & shoot him in 2-shot bursts.
   //Guard comes out. He'll shoot once you cross a line; need barrier to survive.
There's an enemy behind inside that box. Use these grenades to lob over the wall (Blue Cursor).
You can carry only one of each type of grenade.
   //Guard behind a collision wall.
   //Checkpoint #3

As you can see, when you hit an enemy, you can see him for 1s even if he is behind a wall.
Now let's move on. Take this vaccine.
   //Self Repair get. Enemy guard shoots you with a Ruger for 50 damage.
Sonuva-
   //STM93 shoots the enemy guard with his own Photon Beam.
...okay. Press [Right-Click] to heal.
   //delay timer
That's enough. [Right-Click] again to toggle OFF.
   //Checkpoint #4

Okay, now I'll show you some cars. You'll get to drive a truck later.
Here's a Gallant. Press [E] to get in.
Now, move your MOUSE south of the car, then press [E] again...
...because if you don't, you'll fall into the lava.
Moving on, this is a Torpedo. Get out of the car after pressing [Left Click].
This is a Radar Truck. It lets you see distant enemies behind walls.
Take this molotov and burn that sucker who thinks you can't see him.
   //Checkpoint #5

And now, this is the party truck! Get in it!
   //On entering Flatbed, 4 additional NPCs will follow you to do a driveby.
You can change seats with the numbers [1] to [5].
Feel free to drive around. Hold [Right-Click] to boost.
Meet me at the other side when you're done!
   //Enemy guards will spawn, but your NPCs will driveby them
   //Checkpoint #6

Welcome back. Here we have a chemical. Pick it up.
Now, press [C] anywhere you want. After that, press [B] to buy equipment.
Kill this guard with a grenade, then jump across to proceed.
   //Checkpoint #7 (Buy Ammo)

Okay, pay attention now!
Chemicals are like INVISIBLE buildings with various tactical benefits.
They are INVISIBLE to enemies. Only you & your allies can see them.
Pick up this other chemical here.
You must guess where the enemy's chemical is by watching his movements.
Once you find a suspicious location, use this Neutralizer to destroy it.
For this tutorial, there is nothing to neutralize, so just press [C] to clear it.
Now, go back to the yellow checkpoint, press [B] for grenade, kill the guard.
   //Checkpoint #8

You're almost there!
In the next room, you'll get a taste of 3 of the game's most common playstyles.
Pick the one that you feel suits you best...
...You can reset by holding [ALT] & selecting [Kill Self] at the top right. Good luck!
   //Checkpoint #9

#NPC1
Left = Tank,
Middle = Rogue,
Right = Mage.
#NPC2
Hold [ALT] + [Kill Self] to restart.
   //The room splits into 3 one-way roads, then converges back into a single room with enemy guards.
   //Guards are all equipped with Uzis.
* Choice 1:
   You've chosen the Physical Frenzy tank!
   Take these vaccines & that MP5.
   Turn on Frenzy, and charge head-on!
   You can also cast skills by using [1] to [5], or cycle with [Z]. Good luck!
      //Skills: Vamp 3, BG 1, Focus 3, Frenzy+CM 3, Force Fields 3, AA 1, Radiate 3.
* Choice 2:
   You've chosen the Mental Invis rogue!
   Take these vaccines & that Shotgun.
   Toggle ON/OFF Invisibility & silently kill the guards.
   You can also cast skills by using [1] to [5], or cycle with [Z]. Good luck!
      //Skills: Rgn 2, Inv 3 + Dash 1, BH+DK 3, BF+ST 3, Teleport 1.
* Choice 3:
   You've chosen the Cybernetic Barrier mage!
   Take these vaccines & that M60.
   Summon Lasing Orb, then hold Ctrl & shoot them down.
   You can also cast skills by using [1] to [5], or cycle with [Z]. Good luck!
      //Skills: SC 3, LOrb 3, Plasma 2, SW 2+MV 1, BT2+SSeek3.
   //OUTBREAK BOMB

Zombies are coming! Collect their souls & bring them to the bomb! Good luck!
   //Endgame
You did it! Now let's get out of here!

This is for playful/standard difficulty. Damage is 100% unless otherwise specified. Forgot to include a section that tells you to use Shift to control sprint/walk to get behind a guard. Should probably include a line that says you can re-arrange the skill order. Probably should replace Teleport with Venom Shot.
For Hardcore, if there is enough time, it can be converted into a proper stealth map by letting you teleport to another part of the map. Actually nvm, I just remembered there's only one set of checkpoints no matter the difficulty.


chross says:

Sat 05 Dec 2015, 14:22


Hey guys,
just played through the singleplayer and I am impressed.
Ben, you just did add so much stuff to the game, I can't believe it. Great work and definitely the right direction.

Single player is nice as an introductory story mode, quite the tutorial that was missing. I can see much more potential here that goes beyond simple tutorial levels.

Some levels/stages from the tutorial are a bit too hard though. Especially when you die short before a hard situation and loose all weapons. Maybe carried weapons should be reimbursed as cash in single player so you could easily rebuy them for the next iteration (or maybe I am missing something here, haven't had time in ages to play mf).


Cheers,
chross


PS: An option is missing where you can toggle if you want to Auto switch to picked up weapons.


bencelot says:

Sat 05 Dec 2015, 18:07


Awesome tutorial idea STM. Something like this if done well and polished up would be fantastic. You can really get through a lot of good stuff when you directly teach the player rather than the indirect method taken in the campaign. From the looks of it it can all be achieved with the current map editor features too. I would love to have something like this included with the game. If properly polished I could even just have a hardcoded link to load just that one map available on the main page. I gotta finish campaign first but if someone wants to make this that'd be awesome. Otherwise maybe I can have a go when the campaign is done.

And thanks chross, much appreciated! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D I definitely agree it's still too difficult though, so I'm going to be making some big changes before this is properly released as version 0.994. I would ideally get it to a difficulty level where you or I as experienced players could go through the entire standard campaign without a single death. It's not at that point yet but will be when released. Also there is an option to disable the new auto-pickup of weapons feature.


bencelot says:

Wed 09 Dec 2015, 00:07


Ok after a week of reworking I present the second awesome build! A number of files have changed so it's easier to just download the new zip. You can switch your config and profile files if you'd like. I've also included a changelog of all the tweaks made since the last test build. Much nicer to play, much easier and a lot more action-oriented. Thanks for the feedback so far and please keep it coming!

Full Download
http://mutantfactions.net/downloads/pla ... TEST02.zip


Online Server Details
Server Address: 64.74.97.48
Server Port: 11111
Admin Password: fun


General Changes
Insane damage multiplier is now x0.3 instead of x0.4.

Zombie base rate of fire is now 30 instead of 60rpm. Effectively half as much damage.

Speedruns are now enabled for all 4 difficulty levels.

Knifes now scale their damage against guards in coop, maintaining the same 1-shot ability despite guards having more health.

Head colours no longer show hitpoints but how many knife hits they can take. 1 = yellow, 2 = silver, 3 = black, 4 = blue, 5 = purple, 6+ = red.

Boss guards (guards with different head types) now award 50% extra cash per boss level. They are also slightly larger.

Slowed the turning speed of guards after you attack them.

Max guard hitpoints is now 10,000 instead of 500.

Bomb zones now require 100/150 souls instead of 100/200 souls.

Pings now show in the actual map, making it easier to coordinate with hommies.

Guard vision is now 2D and will only spot you if you're standing in, above or below the guards view lasers. But if you're standing on a box above their lasers then you'll no longer be seen. Should be a lot easier to tell if you'll be spotted now.

Fixed a bug where dropped weapons fell too high in the sky.

Tweaked the logic for when stealth kills occur. You can now stealth kill guards even if you've been spotted by other guards. As long as your victim isn't alerted it's all good.

Fixed a bug with selecting skill levels in the map editor.

Fixed a bug with radar truck now showing shiiiiiiiiit.

All skills and items are available in practice mode.

Dying during the zombie stage no longer restarts you all the way back before the guards. Instead you will respawn in the zombie bomb and just fight the zombies again.

When starting a zombie stage any dead players will be respawned as if you'd just hit another checkpoint.

Players who die during the zombie phase come back as zombies as long as there are other living scientists alive.

Reloading weapons no longer discards ammo. Big PvP gameplay change!

The number of guards and souls remaining per stage is shown in the HUD. This works in Outbreak too which is nice. Easier to tell exactly how many souls are remaining.

Added a menu option to enable/disable double tap walk toggling.

Reworked the leaderboards to now show your best guard cash value alongside your best time. Players can now play a map once to go through it as quickly as possible, but another time to earn as much cash as possible, and now both of your best values will be shown off in the leaderboards.

Improved the guard AI so they don't stay up on top of boxes making them annoying to shoot at.

Added a subtle indicator to show how much longer the stealth combo will last for.

Guards that can see you will always look at you now, to make it extra clear that you have indeed been spotted.

Added a new "inaccuracy" option on the guards.

Damage from Parasite Swarm and Microvolt no longer alerts guards (as they're uncontrollable).

Vampirism damage penalty now correclty works on guards.

Made the guard's laser lines animate a bit sexier.

Laser lines now get blocked by 1.5m tall boxes rather than 2m tall boxes.


Map Changes
I've made too many tweaks to list them all here. But I've made all 3 maps significantly easier, faster and more action oriented. I've also incorporated a lot of specific ideas from all of your posts above. To give you an idea of how the difficulty has changed, the Insane campaign killed me 57 times before and now it kills me 0. Big difference. Standard and Hardcore have obviously been nerfed significantly as well.

All the stages have been tweaked with a fundamental change in focus. When I made them before each stage was designed as a puzzle. You HAD to use Bouncing Bullets to get past these guards, you HAD to blow up this loafer, you HAD to escape with that Buggie. I was making puzzles, not action sequences. Puzzles are fine for variety in Insane mode, but not what newbies need in a standard campaign. Lesson learned! So now it all plays differently and you can just run & gun your way to victory.

The stages are still mostly the same and the "puzzles" are still there but not they're not NEEDED anymore. If you figure them out then good for you, you can complete the stage a little faster, earn a little more cash or save yourself some health/ammo. But if you just wanna sprint forward and shoot dudes you can do that too. More ammo is provided, more health is provided. Easier and more action friendly. Much better for noobs I think. Insane mode retains most of it's puzzle nature, because hey.. it is insane. But the key difference now is that when you DO figure out the puzzles in Insane you can execute them reliably and easily - not dying 57 times. Should be good!


bencelot says:

Thu 10 Dec 2015, 03:02


Just uploaded a new version to the coop server to stop the team switching bug. Should be able to play speedruns perfectly now. I've also updated the maps with awesome new ability to jump over trip wires. You can download the updated files, or just connect to the coop server and download them from there:

http://mutantfactions.net/downloads/pla ... ctions.exe
http://mutantfactions.net/downloads/pla ... oryS01.sub
http://mutantfactions.net/downloads/pla ... wayS02.sub


bencelot says:

Sun 27 Dec 2015, 20:26


Hey guys, just letting you know not to use these test files anymore. I've changed some database stuff and if you use these files you'll send wonky data to the DB and might overwrite some of your account info. Normally using old versions is fine, but because these test versions have a version number of 994 (no more resolution left) the main server doesn't know the difference.

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