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  • On: Combat Skill

    I've been examining NS gameplay and frankly getting very disappointed with it.

    I love when a game has a high-enough skill cap as to allow players to match wits and reflexes instead of build methods and level grinding.

    But as I play NS more, it seems like there is no actual combat skill whatsoever.
    There's ambushing, and preplanning an attack, but when it comes down to actual combat, there's no blocking bullets. An aimbotting shotgun with auto-attack will always kill a skulk no matter what the skulk does about it at the time.

    So I asked myself this question and would like your thoughts on it:

    If all marines had aimbot, would aliens ever win?



    PS: Please, in replying, keep in mind I am speaking of combat skill, not forethought or map knowledge or anything of that nature. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: On: Combat Skill

    I don't see how any melee team could ever defeat a ranged team with flawless and instant aim.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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    • #3
      Re: On: Combat Skill

      Assuming the aliens do not outnumber the marines, don't get any handicap (in res or otherwise), and the map is a standard, and the marines have the most basic sense of coordination => the aliens would never grow to the point where they would be able to overcome the disadvantage.

      Any game like this would quickly boil down to what happens in the first 5 minutes. If my some miracle the aliens got enough res, established a hive, had life forms, it would be possible. Unfortunately, skulks will not cut it. After failing almost every skirmish across the map, the alien team will be crippled beyond hope within 5 minutes of game start.

      Hackers do get defeated, I have played on adminless servers and even killed a hacker or two in my time. Aimbot and auto attack do not give the marines infinite ammo in one clip, or the ability for one marine to shoot more than one thing at a time. Found alone (as hackers often are) they can be dispatched; usually at the expense of twice as many people as it would otherwise take. If it takes twice as many people do it it thats half of your people not doing something else they should be.

      If you managed to give the aliens something relatively equil to once again balance the combat aspect (unfortunately I don't know of any existing hacks nor can I think of a way this would be achieved) you would once again find the strategy playing a large role.

      In the game of Natural Selection you have an overall plan or strategy that you approach or distance yourself from after every combat that takes place in the game. Think of it from the perspective of sitting in a war room. You could take the overview and circle areas where large scale combats take place. Early in the game you see resnodes, later it becomes more hives and marine start. If one team fails the first few skirmishes they are at a greater disadvantage, and they have already shown they are incappable with the sides as they currently are.

      You want to see a game of aimbotting autoattacking marines where the marines lose? The whole team moves out in an inefficient one by one resnode capturing line, and the moment they are a decent distance from MS the entire alien team ambushes the structures, kills the com and comchair first, and wins due to the marines not having the needed supplies to win the game (ammo and medpacks). The commander will have lmg 50 bullets, it takes 10 to kill a skulk, and with five of you you should be able to get in the three bites before he empties the clip and kills you all if you were around the comchair before he got out.

      I have a tendancy to write longer posts than I feel is the average attention span for forums :(

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      • #4
        Re: On: Combat Skill

        There are days, when I am on fire, that it feels like I can't miss and i destroy the other team. There are many players out there that have this capability and I am not trying to toot my own horn here, but when everything works out right it can be worse than hacking because a good player understands movement and timing where a hacker just kind of runs in and leans on the trigger. If you are talking about aimbot only no speed or wall hacks then, then yes they can be defeated. Focus and a sense net will tear them apart. A good fade doesn't care about the aimbot(he should assume that noonne will miss when he runs in the room). There are players that if you ask me would you rather play a team of that player or a team of hackers, I'll take the hackers every time.

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        • #5
          Re: On: Combat Skill

          Ok "A good fade doesn't care about the aimbot. (He should assume that none of them will miss.)" This has been another part of the combat system that's been getting on my nerves.

          Two shotguns. 1-hive fade.

          Assuming no distractions, and assuming I don't catch them by surprise (which are, again, elements not being covered in the scope of this topic) and assuming the coridoor is longer than about 3 inches, this is what usually happens, from what I've seen:

          Blink in, get shot once from each while blinking. Blink out, get shot once from each. Die.

          Am I wrong about this? Is there some magical combat skill I'm missing? Because when I see a room full of heavy weapons, I do very much care about the aimbot. Perhaps that is a mistake?

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          • #6
            Re: On: Combat Skill

            If there is an aimbotter ruining your game, you simply tell the admin. I really don't understand the purpose of this post, you are saying that cheaters on the ranged side, will be legit people on the melee side. This pretty much goes without saying, as usually the ranged side will have initative for the most part, and with perfect aim you are screwed as an alien.

            Again, I am confused as to the purpose of this post.

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            • #7
              Re: On: Combat Skill

              The point I am trying to make is you can't rely on the marines to miss, if you are then you are probably dead soon anyways. Using doorways and corners such so that only one of the shotties can see you at a time is the best solution. Plus in most situations you can blink in and out with only one shot being fired. If you blink into a room full of shotguns and make it out alive it was pure luck. For some reason my mind wanders to a place where alot of fades die, and that is west core access on eclipse. When I die there its not cause the marines can't hit me its cause I messed up. I missed the doorway/got blocked ect.

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              • #8
                Re: On: Combat Skill

                I think the advice you may be looking for is "Don't blink into two shotties". There is a reason you will hear other players saying things like "shotguns down, be careful fade" You are trying to as a fade kill more than one shotgunner on your own. You are overlooking the main reason why it doesn't work. Teamwork. They are using it, you are not. Try blinking past them, getting shot twice, and having a skulk right behind you to get them while they are distracted. Try diverting attention to other areas of the map. Let the lerk gas them up so you can take them out in one swipe. You have many options available to you other than rush in and attack them, and keep in mind also, getting a good distance from them when they are shooting you will help, most of the cone won't hit you if you are far enough away. Think big rooms.

                Pretend every combat is resolved by a roll of the dice, and you are moving pieces on the board. You can engauge two shottgunners with a fade. The risk for you is greater than the risk for your opponent. The gain for you is less than the gain for your opponent. The chances are against you, not your opponent. (They get extra dice) It's not a good deal.

                Now look at all the other things you could be doing with that fade, or other ways to stack that scenario to your advantage.

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                • #9
                  Re: On: Combat Skill

                  I think the problem here is that you've simplified the NS combat system way down into a theory that is too distant from actual combat, which makes for discussion but otherwise unapplicable if anyone tries to really put this into practice.

                  Talking about aimbotters is one thing, talking about an aimbotter with skill (say hes a experienced player like nine hells) is something else. Ive seen many "cheaters" get taken down and die, and sometimes (more often than not) you'll meet a exceptional player in combat or normal games who destroy the other team but is not cheating. In this sense its practically the same thing, but to look at it as if its ranged vs melee, of course range wins. Thats how its been at least in the scope of historical events.

                  But to completely ignore things like baiting, and reloading, and other things like that besides say the skill involved to kill efficiently as a skulk or bunny hopping, is probably something to consider if teamwork means anything to the marines (as it does just as much to aliens). Most of the time you can rarely count on ambushing any marine (mostly because people just aren't creative enough to create a situation in which they can get away with it, or because the risk and rewards just are not acceptable) and people choose to bait or double team etc. You say there is no such thing as blocking bullets, but then what are those walls and regeneration, and healing for. Its free for aliens, but not for marines. So for the question of if all marines had aimbots would the aliens ever win? I think its already answered...why not? There are so many other complex factors that would be unecessary to debate on here that could factor into the way aliens can take on marines even if they had rediculously good reaction times or awareness that some players show in TGNS.

                  As for the fade against the two shotgunners, you can make them miss. But like nine hells, Id like to add you CAN assume they will not miss, but there are obviously situational things (which we could talk all day about) that could factor in reguardless. You could also make the shotgunners miss. You could also avoid the initial shots, ie dodge them. You could also approach from a different direction, or come in between shots. Etc. People depend on the fade often way too much when they are skulks, and often use the fade as a distraction instead of the other way around.

                  The risk vs a fade and shotgunners is never greater or lesser than anything at all. It all depends of course, what the objectives of the shotgunners are, what the fade is trying to do, and what not. If you wanted to pretend its a roll of a dice, why not pretend its a flip of the coin, either the fade dies or he doesnt. But of course simplifying it leaves something to be desired, so then, what really is the combat system of NS?

                  "I love when a game has a high-enough skill cap as to allow players to match wits and reflexes instead of build methods and level grinding."

                  You could think of it as the other way around. There is not enough skill so that the map becomes dominated by which highly skilled player on what team can overrun the other team, so that the people with crappy skills become increasingly important rather than transparent as the high level players will depend on them to back them up.

                  Ok so I probably deviated from talking about pure combat skill just a tad, but when considering it, personal strategy should be considered as well right? How do you consider two different players skill with shotguns and compare it to a single player's skill as a fade? Is that right to compare it? Adding players to one team or another can greatly change the pure combat skill you talked about in the beginning. And then there is the entire problem whether combat skill is just in ability to use lifeforms or aim depending on what team you are on, or if theres more to it than just that (which there is in my opinion).

                  Enough of that anyways, if NS isn't cutting it for you (a lot of people play NS for its gameplay which largely revolves around its combat systems), what games and what kinds of combat do? How are they different from NS? By the way, there are a few RTS/FPS games coming out under steam soon. And what about counterstrike as a comparison?

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                  • #10
                    Re: On: Combat Skill

                    Originally posted by Avs
                    As for the fade against the two shotgunners, you can make them miss.
                    I've never seen this, maybe you're more experienced, but it's never happened to me. Yes, you can influence them to miss, but if they're very skilled, it's highly unlikely that it will work for any significant period of time or in any way that actually counts (I'm with Nine on this).

                    Originally posted by Avs
                    There is not enough skill so that the map becomes dominated by which highly skilled player on what team can overrun the other team, so that the people with crappy skills become increasingly important rather than transparent as the high level players will depend on them to back them up.
                    So what you're saying is that if I want to spend an hour a day perfecting my hobby to extremely high levels, I should still be able to be killed by two players who play once a month and understand the elementary basics of the game.
                    -
                    I disagree with that from a design standpoint, but it well may be true of NS.

                    Originally posted by Avs
                    Ok so I probably deviated from talking about pure combat skill just a tad
                    Cough. =P

                    Originally posted by Avs
                    what about counterstrike as a comparison?
                    Ok well *choke* first let me get CS out of the way. I hate it. It has the skill I'm talking about in this topic (aside from the fact that I don't much care, personally, for aiming-based gun-based games) but, while CS does have the higher skill cap that I'm talking about, the game itself is ridiculously simple. I don't care how much complexity you think a colt has. A gun is a gun, and that's all the game has going for it.

                    Originally posted by Avs
                    Enough of that anyways, if NS isn't cutting it for you (a lot of people play NS for its gameplay which largely revolves around its combat systems), what games and what kinds of combat do? How are they different from NS?
                    Well, needless to say, if I knew of better games I'd be playing them. The game elements I'm thinking of come from things like fighting games. NS has a very nice tactical framework but its actual man to man combat seems... just... nonexistent. It's not even "bad". It just isn't there at all. There's no banter. There's no blocking or countering. There's distraction and hitpoint management, but that's a far cry from any real combat system involving combat-skill and knowhow on the part of both players in the engagement.
                    -
                    If those statements are wrong, feel free to correct me. Just please keep the "all tactical variables equal" standpoint I've started with. Yes, I know tactics are important; I'm limiting this topic for what I consider to be a good reason; I want to flesh out the combat virtues of Natural-Selection.

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                    • #11
                      Re: On: Combat Skill

                      I disagree totally with that last statement. NS is about movement. Period. A marine that has excellent movment and average aim will live much much longer than a marine with amazing aim that just stands there. A skulk that knows how to move lives much longer than one that just walks and maybe jumps a little. Ever jump to the side to avoid a fade swipe? Ever have that fade adjust and hit you anyways? I argue the most fun you will ever have in a co_ map is 1 marine and 2 skulks with no upgrades because the skill of the players really takes over there. Lerk/fade/ton of leaping skulks vs JP gets your blood pumping every time. Fading in and out over the top of siegecannons, dodging the marines that are moving in to block you. Knowing you are hidden with a shotgun the fade doesn't know exists then blocking him when he exits. You know I am waiting to ambush you, I know you are coming, can you dodge my bite and kill me or does sitting still and being patient pay off? Its what the game is about. Knowing how your enemies move, and moving to counter it. Aim is only a small portion of NS.

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                      • #12
                        Re: On: Combat Skill

                        Originally posted by nine hells
                        Ever jump to the side to avoid a fade swipe? Ever have that fade adjust and hit you anyways?
                        That's my point. You CAN try to jump, but there's no guarantee that it will work. It's amorphous as to whether your ability to dodge will actually prevent the damage. There is no certain "he will miss" point, and there is no way to generate it. Attacks will always resolve if the player plays correctly, (this is why I brought up aimbotting: it was a concrete way to illustrate this point) which leads me to believe there are no hard counters to such attacks in NS. That, if accurate, is a serious void of gameplay, and that's what's been discouraging to me in my examinations of NS.

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                        • #13
                          Re: On: Combat Skill

                          If there was a hard, discrete point where your dodge was always successful...then that would automatically eliminate the hard, discrete point where your AIM was always successful. You can't have both at the same time.

                          And with 2 players with perfect dodge skills and good aim skills, that then comes down to which one has more ammo, and nothing else. The marine runs out of ammo before the alien, because aliens dont have to reload, so you've just created a situation where ALIENS always win now.

                          Trust me, the game is better when things can be "damn hard to hit" without needing to go to the point of "impossible to hit".

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                          • #14
                            Re: On: Combat Skill

                            It doesn't come down to whoever has more ammo. The idea I'm talking about is that neither player will fall until one of them makes a mistake. Thereby changing the game into a battle between the minds and skills of the players, instead of usurping those skills with a cap on how effective defensive maneuvers can be.

                            You're right that not all attacks would succeed. There's no problem with that, as I see it. Your attack can be perfectly placed, and then countered by a skillful player. The idea is that whoever can play better will wind up winning, instead of just playing a numbers game with health, armor, and damage.

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                            • #15
                              Re: On: Combat Skill

                              If you want defensive moves that stop you from getting hit, play as a lerk. If you fly around the room well I promise you will dodge more than one bullet. Lerks have very little health and can be killed with one clip, but you never see a good lerk die to one clip of ammo. I would go so far to say with the internet connection being what it is, it's impossible to shoot at a lerk who flys well and land every bullet.

                              The only way you can make anything "definite" is if you eliminate all the variables that will effect the outcome. If all players have aimbot and autoattack you eliminate aiming. If you eliminate bullet spread and have everything land dead on (even shotguns *shiver*) that random variable will be gone. Before you know it you have something that is not quite completely unlike natural selection.

                              Determining which person wins strictly in a "who can deal the right abount of damage first" with the two of them standing there will lead to fixed outcomes. 1 bite, 7 bullets, 1 bite, 3 more bullets skulk dies. Forgive my horrible mistiming, but it doesn't happen like that.

                              Originally posted by Avs
                              The risk vs a fade and shotgunners is never greater or lesser than anything at all. It all depends of course, what the objectives of the shotgunners are, what the fade is trying to do, and what not. If you wanted to pretend its a roll of a dice, why not pretend its a flip of the coin, either the fade dies or he doesnt. But of course simplifying it leaves something to be desired, so then, what really is the combat system of NS?
                              One alien loses 50 res and gives 1-3 res to marine team vs marine team loses 20 res and give 2-6 res to alien fade. Tell me, which sounds worse to you? Aliens are putting a lot more on the line than the marines are.

                              In terms of who will win the fight, it depends greatly on the skill of the players. If the marines are working together and have aimbot I would say the odds are against you and that is the context of the example. This was under the "fades don't care about aimbot" thing. I mean, I didn't specify the damage level, armor level, and if the marines too any damage thus far. May I assume you are taking it no less than damage one, armor one, full health, and plenty of ammo vs a level 3 celerity fade?

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