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Jimieus

Time to Kill and the flow of play - A Discussion.

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Hey guys - don't often post but I haven't seen this (controversial) topic brought up and thought I might throw myself to the wolves in broaching this subject - so here it goes.

 

As I am sure most here are aware of, in designing an FPS, TTK is an important aspect when it comes to the flow of play and is a governing factor in the perceived 'fun-ness' of a shooter. With Too high of a TTK, and your shooter can be branded as a casual and unrealistic experience, too short, and your shooter can turn into a brutally unforgiving experience which can lead to frustration in users. It's a delicate balance, with swings in either direction forming a core part of the experience as well as defining the philosophy of the game.

 

So, why the hell do I bring this up? With December 15th just around the corner, Squad is about to be opened to a much wider audience through steam than it has previously been exposed to - both hardcore and casual alike and everything in between. I really want this game to succeed, but after playing now for the last few weeks I have begun to form the opinion that the current TTK and heal/revive mechanics can, in a lot of instances, hurt the flow of play and that this might translate to a smaller playerbase in the long run for Squad.

 

It's a rock and a hard place situation - go too soft and alienate the core, smaller 'realistic' fanbase, go too hard and lose out on the greater numbers that come with a more flowing experience.

 

Personally, I feel if the TTK was slightly increased and the heal/revive mechanics made easier/streamlined/quicker to facilitate we may just be onto something here that could appeal to a large audience. As much as I am a fan of true, realistic experiences, over the years I have come to the realisation that realistic doesn't always equate to 'fun' - the real reason most play games in the first place.

 

Just to clarify, I am not proposing we make the next battlefield here, only that this is an important subject and that if we want this game to go gangbusters this should be a topic on the table.

 

TLDR: What are your thoughts so far on Squad in regards to TTK and gameplay flow? Do you find the current TTK/heal/revive enjoyable? If not, what aspect would you look at to improve the flow of play? Should regular/veteran modes be introduced? Am I the bane of humanity for bringing this up?

 

Discuss :)

 

P.s - sorry for the wall of text guys.

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No, you are not the bane of humanity -- and my opinion on TTK is that it's somewhat of a silly way to label this sort of feature of a shooter like Squad; It has nothing to do with "time," I think "time" being related to shooting someone in game relates to how long you have to pull the trigger and just dump rounds into someone, which means the damage model is just silly.

 

I've seemingly killed people in Squad with a single round to the back, and it's happened enough to the point where I don't think it's only been on people who were wounded. Squad has the most balanced damage model i've seen in a game that tries for a balance of gameplay/realism, and I think it's fine.

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No, you are not the bane of humanity -- and my opinion on TTK is that it's somewhat of a silly way to label this sort of feature of a shooter like Squad; It has nothing to do with "time," I think "time" being related to shooting someone in game relates to how long you have to pull the trigger and just dump rounds into someone, which means the damage model is just silly.

 

I've seemingly killed people in Squad with a single round to the back, and it's happened enough to the point where I don't think it's only been on people who were wounded. Squad has the most balanced damage model i've seen in a game that tries for a balance of gameplay/realism, and I think it's fine.

 

I tend to agree with your assessment of TTK when applied in the strictest sense of the word, although it is probably a little broader defined these days and is a term still prevalent in both gamer and designer circles alike. I guess people are just familiar with it when discussing the whole 'ease of death' thing. Good point nonetheless - complex damage systems are hard to box into a simple 'time to kill' metric, but I digress.

 

Thanks! o7

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I find the game too fast at this stage of development, even with competant medics it's rare to have the time, wherever I go, no matter how far we flank bam enemy squad. It feels if the medic bag from incapacitated takes longer than v2?

But if we can keep a decent percentage of new players rather than boring them back to another game, we can always slow it down later when more of the map will be used.

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I'm happy with the current damage model but the one thing that annoys me currently is that bleeding is not stalled when you are bandaging yourself.

 

I've had many situations where I was in a safe spot and I begin to bandage myself only to die anyway, which is frustrating.

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I'm happy with the current damage model but the one thing that annoys me currently is that bleeding is not stalled when you are bandaging yourself.

 

I've had many situations where I was in a safe spot and I begin to bandage myself only to die anyway, which is frustrating.

I actually kind of like that. The sense of panic that you're bleeding out, and you're not sure when you're going to lose conciousness. Even though you're applying the bandage, the bleeding wouldn't stop until you applied enough pressure and secured the bandage. So it does make sense from a 'realism' point of view. Gameplay wise, it may annoy some people. Again, it's up to the developers on how they want to handle that mechanic.

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I actually kind of like that. The sense of panic that you're bleeding out, and you're not sure when you're going to lose conciousness. Even though you're applying the bandage, the bleeding wouldn't stop until you applied enough pressure and secured the bandage. So it does make sense from a 'realism' point of view. Gameplay wise, it may annoy some people. Again, it's up to the developers on how they want to handle that mechanic.

 

pepper....as pepper the youtuber??

 

 

on topic,

 

to slow down the game without increasing the damage it going to take some fine turning but i dont wish to increase the damage. From what i see from the video it feels right. you die fast enough but just enough to try and get away as well.

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I think this is a very worthwhile topic to dive into, and there is a good reason for it. I believe that the current state of the damage model is near precisely what I think is best.

As a medic, I've found that the effects of suppression (not effects as in a blurred screen, but effects as in my own psychological effect when I want to revive a guy but there's gunfire over his body; vise versa when my squad suppresses the target so that I can revive him, etc) are integral in this discussion, in that though suppression is not directly affecting the damage model, the sense of urgency (as Pepper mentioned) and teamwork is all the more encouraged because of its effects both in game and in our hesitant hands and microphones.

 

Honestly, this game will not be an easy one to pick up and play... and I don't think it should be. There's a balance, for sure, but synergy occurs when teamwork happens, and the difficulty of the realistic TTK to me only encourages collaboration to survive.

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Majority of the time I kill in 1 - 2 shots, sometimes I get those moments of 3+ rounds and I just put it down to my shit aim hitting limbs or latency issues, cause of NZ to EU connection if on a EU server lol

So far, I think its pretty well balanced in terms of how much rounds it takes to drop someone, a tweak here or there on hit points on limbs such as a slight raise of damage than we currently have when hitting a limb. To avoid situations on clearly hitting the target first then the guy turns around and drops you or the chance of silly trade kills.



 

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the damage are so far with M4/AK 74

 

1 headshot kill

2 chestshot

3,shots if one of the shots hits the limbs

 

the SVD kills in 1 headshot or 2 shots if hit anywhere except the head, so two leg shot and you're down.

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Not everyone has to like this game.

 

Its difficult and not everyone's cup of tea...If you make it harder to kill people, you make 90% (based on data collected & put into a detailed pie chart) of the current community unhappy.

 

War is brutal, lets keep the game that way.

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Not everyone has to like this game.

 

Its difficult and not everyone's cup of tea...If you make it harder to kill people, you make 90% (based on data collected & put into a detailed pie chart) of the current community unhappy.

 

War is brutal, lets keep the game that way.

yes, 2 - 3 bullets is just fine.

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I find the game too fast at this stage of development, even with competant medics it's rare to have the time, wherever I go, no matter how far we flank bam enemy squad. It feels if the medic bag from incapacitated takes longer than v2?

I agree. Ad for the second sentence, I am not sure.

 

I'm happy with the current damage model but the one thing that annoys me currently is that bleeding is not stalled when you are bandaging yourself.

Bleeding is totally stopped when you have bandaged yourself. There is currently a glitch, where the animation will loop again for a 2nd time and abruptly stop, and during low server performance, it's very noticeable.5

 

 

As for my opinion on this matter (note: I am extremely opinionated), I think a lot of the meta gameplay needs to be overhauled, and I'll list w/e in my opinion needs to be changed (disclaimer: I am not aware of future gameplay changes, and I'm sure gameplay will evolve once new features are added - big one being logistics).

 

 

Movement speeds:

I feel as this affects the pace of the battle quite a bit more than people seem to understand. Current solider movement speeds allows you to quickly get to a point without having to worry about the distance; to compare, in something like ArmA or PR, moving 400-500 Meters seems like an undertaking, and, at least for PR, you will have to routinely manage your sprint stamina, while in Squad, you're quick enough that you never have to concern yourself with stamina management as moving around objects or objectives seems like a gentle stroll in the park.

 

(A big part of this is related to the animation system, and will be addressed after EA Launch with the addition of vehicles)

 

 

Medics:

In the current system, medics are glorified babysitters. They chase after people and yell at them to stop, only to die trying, which makes the medic role frustrating. My suggestion, would be to revert back to where you will still slowly bleed after patching, and need medic assistance to bandage you back to full health or at least 90% to make bleeding stop.

 

Independent of the change above, inventory slots need to be separated. This goes for the bandage and the medic bag, as well as grenades and incendiaries. 

 

Bleed out timers needs to be increased, and should more independent of total damage taken. If a certain damage threshold is passed, it should take, at most, 15% of their total bleedout timer. The current system makes reviving a guessing game as you are unable to prioritize whom to revive first. A scenario: Person A and B go down at the same time. Person A is in good cover but a slight distance away from you, while Person B, is close enough to you, out of cover, but is able to get smoked and revived with relative ease. You logically prioritize the person in cover, but by the time you get to Person A's location, pull out your patch and click on him, he bleeds out. You curse the Devs, and run back to Person B, and as you return to your original location near Person B, he bleeds out. You are now frustrated and don't even bother reviving people not in proximity to you. (PS, this is a very likely scenario, not saying it happened, but it did)

 

Medics also need someway to get themselves revived. I understand the Developers stance on 'Kits', but seriously, this needs to be address as quickly as possible because it affects squad cohesion. If your SL and Medic go down, your squad is now ineffective. This reinforces the mentality of quick spawns, rather than waiting for a medic to get you up.

 

(Please keep in mind, that the current medical is extremely basic form of the full medical system that has not yet been introduced)

 

FOBs:

The current fob spawning mechanics give way for HARDCORE spawn camping and constant spamming where the objective of the game switches from trying to cap a flag to trying to destroy the fob on top the this hill. The retort of "Well stop spawning there" is asinine. Shit happens, you have bad SLs that don't properly communicate or are too thickheaded to listen to others and place fobs in indefensible potions, or in the middle of the map making it nigh improbable to get a fob close enough to the objective because of the current 400 meter limit, or the ever so possible, "it's the only spawn point available, next to main base". FOB build zones need to be scaled, with 300 meters being the lowest for 2km^2, 4km^2, and 16km^2, and scaling up 100 meters for everything after this.

 

Spawning on Fobs also needs to be disabled after at least 4 people enter the zone. Why is the attacking team being punished for surround the enemy Fob location (and in effect cutting their resupply lines), with enemy players still having the ability to spawn. With fob fortification and, now, incendiary grenades (which should also be giving in AAS to destroy fobs), the defensive team should be getting punished for not properly fortifying their FOB and not defending from enemy flank attacks.

 

(Again, keep in mind the Logistics system has not been implemented, things will drastically change)

 

Weapons & Mechanics:

I still feel as if guns are very spamming. It just so easy to full auto spam, and get easy kill. Marksmanship is not rewarded what so ever.

 

While messing around, I noticed that the animation for 'felt recoil' on Pistols vs Rifles (tested with MP443 and AK74M), is completely different. The MP443 has a quick hefty jerk where you can actually loose your front sight, while on the AK rifles; a slow smooth backwards slide which still lets the use keeps their eyes on the front sight post with relative ease. A new 'felt recoil' animation for rifles needs to be tested, as well as a minor increase in vertical recoil.

 

There is one crowd that says "Lower recoil, it's not like that in real life!" and the other crowd, that I'm in, want more recoil. My desires come from balancing gameplay, and requiring actual skill to use the weapons, not turn a corner and FA spam. At the moment, I'm confident in saying that CS:GO has a higher skill ceiling  on weapon control and recoil management than Squad, and for anyone that says, "but CS:GO follows a repeating template!", I challenge to you go lean that template for the AK47, M4, and M4A1-S and be effective in using in a real match (Hint: It'll take you longer than a few days).

 

For Scoped weapons, a possible way to to make them more of a challenge to use is to take away the permanent zoom from them, and have Focus to zoom, like other rifles. I really like Insurgency's mechanic on weapon handling while ADS, and feel something of the sorts could benefit Squad, even though I detest "dead zone aiming", I'm willing it give it a shot.

 

I would say something about suppression, but I feel as if it's not even in the game. While playing, I can't say I notice it. What I do notice although is the sound of bullet snaps around my soldiers body (GJ Anders :D).

 

That is the quick list of my grievances with Squad, whether you agree, or not, just remember that the game is still in development, a lot of new features will be added that are still in development, but I firmly believe that the above needs to be addressed in the near future for EA+ for positive player retention, and as well to ensure people play the game the right way the first time.

Edited by ComedyInK
minor grandma edits

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During all my matches I found that very long range engagements are alot less frequent in Squad compared to PR. This in turn makes gamplay alot less realistic as very long range engagements are almost the norm on the locations featured in the game.

 

I will try to guess what is causing long range engagements to be currently so impopular compared to CQC in Squad:

 

1) Walking and running speeds alot higher than PR

 

2) Walking and running on steep surfaces (like hills) do not have a negative effect on stamina and speed (and it should). In real life if you want to take a heavily defended position on top of a hill first you need so "soften the defenses" with long range engagements (mortars, machineguns, marksman etc) and then procede to assault since rushing in such contitions is pretty much suicidal (not in Squad where that strategy is the most employed).

 

3) Even with Scopes and vision zoom (shift), there is a noticeable blur/washout effect that makes it super hard to aim at a target at long range, not to mention identifing the target to tell if it is friendly or foe. (This might not be the case when playing on all settings on EPIC but honestly, how many people can do that?) Targets and objects should be just as clear to someone playing on medium as someone playing on EPIC. (And that is not currently happening).

 

Point 1 are 2 are probably going to be fixed with the introduction of vehicles since part of the higher running and walking speeds are because that is currently the only method to get to places on maps made with vehicles in mind. Also the Devs will have to implement a penalty to vehicles depending on the angle they are heading towards and that same limitation could be added to infantry to make it slower and more stamina consuming to run uphill.

 

Point 3 I am sure the devs will tacle at some point. It seems like an engine/settings limitations right now so I guess some experimentation is needed to get it right and consistent across all settings. 

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Walking and running speeds are going to change. They're the way they are due to the lack of transportation. I've also noticed that medics and squad leads give up and respawn because it gets them back in the fight faster. Squad leads and medics are almost better off respawning than waiting for a revive just so they can keep the squad up with rally points heals etc.

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Since when has a high TTK meant the game is casual? A higher TTK means you have to aim on target for longer and isn't just won by shooting someone in the back. The person has time to react, find cover, and is won by the better player who can track their target and control the fight consistently, so not just through luck. High TTK and high movement games have always required more skill than their lower version for this very reason, it's why Quake 3 was such a skill based game.

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Since when has a high TTK meant the game is casual? A higher TTK means you have to aim on target for longer and isn't just won by shooting someone in the back. The person has time to react, find cover, and is won by the better player who can track their target and control the fight consistently, so not just through luck. High TTK and high movement games have always required more skill than their lower version for this very reason, it's why Quake 3 was such a skill based game.

 not so much,  a different TTK is base around what game you want. a low TTK but a slow pace game tends to be for tactical games that needs a different set of skills. High TTK with fast pace also uses different types of skills.

 

now im going to guess you going to bring up COD but i say this...the issue with Cod its has a Low TTK with High Movement. a mix match that does not work. Add with the random/broken spawn system then you have a luck base system. 

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The TTK is just fine where it is, there is no forgiveness for people who are at a situational advantage, and I think that feels just nice where it is. The issue I see is the scale and speed, it's easier to spawn and run back to where you die than wait for your medic to attempt something (if he even cares to listen to your plea for first aid). I think a lot of the pacing of the game is out of whack because a lot of critical elements haven't made their way in-game yet. SLs being able to poop out a rally point without even needing the SL kit, and the ability to drop a FOB without any logistical cosiderations makes the medic system a lot less attractive to players who want to keep the pressure on the enemy and regain the ground they lost when they went down.

 

Let's have this conversation 5-6 months from now and see how the pacing feels when things are fleshed out much better.

 

Edit: I don't think high TTK takes more skill, just different skills. Low TTK games require faster reactions and better situational awareness/control, where as high TTK games forgive sloppy marksmenship and stupid choices and instead rewards consistant aim and unpredicatable movements. Different sets of tools at work here, and I believe both have their merit (I love DirtyBomb Q3 and UT 99 as well as the original Rainbowsix/Ghost Recon games and tacticool games like DF/OFP/Arma series).

Different strokes for different folks.

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Hello Disparu and welcome.

 

I think the high TTK = Casual game thinking comes from the fact that all arcade shooters what I know have these unrealistic "bunny jump when shot for epic survival run" mechanics because of the high ttk or what ever it is in even close range just out of CQB range (plus ie.BF damage bubble which is worth of own thread of lols).

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Why should stamina and speed be changed?

 

because right now they are set up for the lack of Transport. once they come into play then the Devs will slow the movement down/ stamina to make them meaningful/ slow down the gameplay a littler.  

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because right now they are set up for the lack of Transport. once they come into play then the Devs will slow the movement down/ stamina to make them meaningful/ slow down the gameplay a littler.  

hmmm. Ok thanks for the answer. Im pondering this thought, though.

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hmmm. Ok thanks for the answer. Im pondering this thought, though.

 

well dont forget that you have to create balance around game system. Or a better or more accurate of saying it a Unbalance to balance system outs. which would create contrast within the system and improving the gameplay. if done right of course  

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 With Too high of a TTK, and your shooter can be branded as a casual and unrealistic experience, too short, and your shooter can turn into a brutally unforgiving experience which can lead to frustration in users. 
 

 

I'd rather not see any change to the damage model, unless it's to make it even more deadly.

 

"A brutally unforgiving experience" is exactly what I was looking for when I bought this game, if I wanted something that wouldn't "lead to frustration in users", I would've bought what these guys usually play.

 

 

 

 
*snip*

 

That is the quick list of my grievances with Squad, whether you agree, or not, just remember that the game is still in development, a lot of new features will be added that are still in development, but I firmly believe that the above needs to be addressed in the near future for EA+ for positive player retention, and as well to ensure people play the game the right way the first time.

 

Should make this a separated thread.

I do like most if not all the suggestions/feedback, though.

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