// Concerning peoples suggestions about changes to weapon balance in particular that shotgun should be the spawn weapon:
I think the shotgun is probably more powerful than the stakegun 7 times out of 10 except in the hands of the best players who could likely do about equal damage with either in the same period of time (i.e. hit 1 stake shot or hit 3 SG shots with a good spread in the same time space).
I think rather than just the shotgun as the default spawn weapon, an idea might be a shotgun with a reduced damage stakegun as the secondary fire:
The stake would have to have reduced damage <150, and a slow reload time, even slower than the current stake (something up to 3s reload, rather than 1.5s how it currently is). However, it should operate similar to how the current shotgun/freeze whereby you can fire the freeze, then fire the SG a few times while the freeze reloads - i.e. you could fire a couple shots of SG, switch to stake and fire one shot, then switch back to SG while it reloads. Some will remember this concept from the earliest betas of CPM which had TRUE instant weapon switching, and one could fire a rail, switch to RL fire a rocket, switch to SG and fire then switch back to RL which had by then reloaded and fire it and then switch to rail which had by then reloaded and repeat the cycle again.
This would minimize the current lucky stake kills off the spawn, while providing the opportunity for skill with the spawnweapon (i.e. divine stake aim can still do serious damage). Perhaps even the shotgun could have a slightly reduced damage & increased rate of fire making it more like a boomstick.
Importantly, the secondary fire (reduced stake), should not be fireable in the first 3 seconds (or however long the reload time is set out - would need testing) after spawn (i.e. as if it were reloading), to prevent those annoying times when someone spawns directly behind you and is tapping fire and gibs you before you can turn around - pure luck and no skill.
However, it means that when the freshly spawned player is fighting a dominating player (RL/CG + Armour) with good aim they can still do some degree of damage (with the SG/Stakegun spawn weapon that is) and with great aim can kill them (i.e. connecting with 2 or 3 good SG shots and then immediately a stake - anything more is NEVER going to happen against a good player with RL/CG).
I think then, that the stakegun as it is now (200 dmg / 1.5s reload), should be a pickup weapon only (maybe super-stakegun or some shit). And the Shotgun should be as it is now (i.e. a pickup weapon), but with a tigher spread (i.e. the spread that you get when you have the weapon modifier powerup) – the spawn shotgun could have the random spread (like the current shotgun) or be reduced to a single barrel with tight spread.
As for other balance issues: I think the chaingun needs the knockback removed (to make it easier to get away from when youre being hit from the other side of the map), and it should be added to the LG (and increased to QW levels, i.e. pinning people in the air). Perhaps reducing the damage of the chaingun, but this might reduce the dominance of the RL too much changing the whole gameplay so perhaps not (testing required). Perhaps something like decreased damage over distance, so when chaingunning someone who is across the other side of the map is just like a machinegun (placing more emphasis on close combat), but up close the chaingun stays as it is and really rips people apart.
Thinking about it some more, I think there should maybe still be some degree of knockback up close with the chaingun or it just wouldnt be quite the same, but from the other side of the map it shouldnt have any (with the reduced damage).
I think that,and the knock-back changes would create reasons to use both the CG and LG in certain situations e.g. close range chaingun does more damage in skillfull hands, mid-range LG does same damage as chaingun but has significant knock-back and at long range CG can be used as a weak finishing off weapon.
Introducing more reasons to use different weapons in specific situations means increasing combos etc which is not only skillfull but alot more fun. As it currently is, there is never any need to switch from RL/Chain, you always have the weapon(s) for EVERY situation.
With the suggestions Ive put forward, youd see things like rocket fights up close then switching to shaft as the distance increases to close/mid level then switching to RL to fire 1 rocket as the other player is pushed back then switching to CG as they are now at the other side of the room then switching to LG as youve now closed the distance towards them etc…
And with the pickup version of the stakegun (identical to the current spawn weapon), you could see things like the player whos trying to fight his way back into the match bouncing the dominating player (stacked with 100+/200) into the air with RL then gibbing them with a mid-air stake – difficult to do and justly rewarding. Obviously there are endless combinations… bounce them with RL shaft them upwards then stake them or whatever….as it is now though, the game becomes fairly repetitive, because you just use the RL/CG for everything and never have a reason to switch, so the game is just an effort to get all the quads and a bunnyhopping (which doesnt even require much mastery) exercise around the map to try and hoover up RLs/armour.
// Concerning suggested item placement changes (e.g. those in zr0/zafs PK review on ESR) :
Its too early to determine whether maps need changing or not, I mean noone has probably even played a proper 4v4 yet? Or maybe a few, but theres definitely not been enough play to determine whether or not the maps are suitable for TP. I mean, give some credit to the designers, I mean after all, thye didnt just randomly drump items wherever they felt like, they must have put thought into it, so if theyve designed the map(s) with TP in mind then they will probably work (to an extent at least). I mean look at the maps in iD games, some worked straight out of the box and turned out great for tp (DM3/q2dm1/q3dm7). Also others, not designed for TP worked great for TP (e1m2 in QW), and then of course, others needed totally changing (q3dm14), while others needed moderate changes which only came about after playing the original for a significant length of time (q3dm6).
Basically: its not even possible to PROPERLY determine how maps will play when the gameplay in PK has not even been finalised yet. I think a little time is needed… the more pressing issues need to be dealt with first, i.e. netcode/bug issues and weapon balance so people can actually play the game properly.
// About the suggestion for an ingame timer and the suggestion that it would make PK more tactical:
Thats debatable – it could be argued either way. Game timers are a relatively recent thing remember, and yes they do add an extra element to it, definitely a good thing in TP with timing items, but in 1v1 its more questionable and has a significant impact on changing the game. If you watch good players in games without timers, they still manage to be there when the armour/weaps spawn – why? Because they have a good instinctive timer in their brain, its another part of their talent/skill, and requires more in-game awareness than looking at a timer on your screen whenever you pickup an item and doing some quick mental arithmetic to determine when you need to be back. Like I said though its debateable, I can definitely see a place for it in TDM games, but in 1v1 perhaps it could end up reducing strategy rather than increasing it…
// Concerning the movement:
A lot of people have issues with the movement, and I would say that this is one of, if not the biggest things preventing more people from switching from their current game to PK.
In the period leading up to the release of the game, PCF/DC made claims as to the nature of the multiplayer gameplay being similar to the advanced nature of QW. This caused significant interest in a LOT of people. Some examples:
(03:09:44) [ @EventServices ] there is alot of controversay on the bunnyhopping in the single player demo, what will be changed if anything in multiplayer bunny hopping ?
(03:11:00) [ @PCF-Adrian ] Yes, we do realize b.h. should require “m@d skillz”, not just pressing the Jump button like a drunken monkey. SP b.h. will stay as it is, simple version, MP b.h. will be more advanced. Were working on that issue atm.
As well as:
How much will the speed of the Mutilplayer mode change as compared with the Single Player demo, and then finally compared with the Quake series of games.
PCF-Adrian: We want to have a very fast MP, insanity, carnage, mayhem, ownage, you name it. Comparable to QuakeWorld, one of the fastest and most adrenaline rushing games ever. Its hard to compare that to the Single Player part, both things are really different. generally everything in MP, incl. running speed etc., is faster than in SP.This can most definitely be seen as a positive thing. Many players were complaining about the bunny hopping in the SP demo being too easy, and it is good to hear straight from the developer that the MP movement will be different and even faster (SP demo movement was quite fast already when bunny hopping).
Now, (for totally understandable reasons) the multi-player gameplay hasnt turned out completely as described (particularly in the minds of a lot of people who were interested in the game) – they are particularly dissapointed with the movement, which, while slightly more advanced than any other game out there bar QW/CPM, still isnt what it could/should be.
I love PK, I think its a good multiplayer game with a lot more potential, to be a GREAT multiplayer game, better than I ever imagined would come out for a long time, and I think this is how a lot of other people feel as well. I think for once in the whole history of gaming the developers and the players are on the same page and something truly special could potentially happen (i.e. the “second coming” of hardcore DM).
However, no matter how good everything else is, the game will never be fully embraced by the hardcore community without SOME kind of change. Not necessarily a direct copy of QWs movement (although there was a QW physics variable in the demo/beta), afterall what would be the point – PK has some nice innovations which should be capitalised on.
For instance, the sideways bunnyhop is a great innovation, taking a mediocre element from UT (the dodge) and incorporating it into the quake-series style bunnyhopping to create something unique, and most of all, both useful AND skillfull. Having identical movement physics to QW I imagine would mean getting rid of that, and I dont see that as being the ideal situation. Thus I would propose the following movement system:
Most importantly, strafe jumping (holding forward+strafe) should be added, however, it should be limited to the initial jump only (i.e. starting off the bunnyhop or just single jumps) – this would mean that the sideways bunnyhopping could be kept as is, while enabling an initial skill-based jump (and shorter acceleration time into the bunnyhop).
On top of this, Standard air control (directional keys while in mid-air) should be added. As well as adding significant more options and skill to the movement, this would fix the problem when getting stuck on a jumppad.
The directional keys being pressed in mid-air would offer additional air control, but are not required to steer in mid-air (like you currently can using the mouse).
– If you are moving in one direction and you press the opposite direction you will stop dead (which is what currently happens).
– If you are moving forwards and press strafe right while in the air you will jeer to the right slightly in the air while still looking forwards.
– If you are moving forwards and do a 180 and then press backwards (which would now be forwards in terms of your momentum) while still in midair you would continue moving forwards (and bunnyhopping) at the same speed.
– If you were moving forwards and then curving to the right (less than 45 degrees) in mid air and you pressed the left directional key you would continue moving more-or-less forward (and possibly gain a tiny bit of speed – it seems that currently curving in the air increases speed/acceleration slightly – so being able to constantly curve & counter the change of direction with direction key could mean skillfull players could maintain an increased speed from normal).
– If you were curving more sharply than 45 degrees to the right and you pressed your left directional key, you would inhibit your momentum.
If however you still had a directional key pressed when you landed and then jumped, you would veer off in that direction (provided it was not counter to your momentum), as is what happens right now in PK (the sideways bunnyhop / dodge-type thing).
Dont know if thats all explained well enough, I know what I mean in my head though.
Apologies for the incoherence of this post, Id been up all night working.