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The Direction of Xonotic

#1
Greetings. I have been a long time, loyal player of Nexuiz since version 2.4 and have been relatively quiet in my disdain for what has happened to this game since. I suppose I should first make it clear who I am, so as to give my words more credibility: ProjektGhost or mit_ghost, a player since April of 2008, Nexuiz version 2.4. I would like to think I am a well-recognized player, given the time I have put into Nexuiz. Also, let me just say that the proceeding is not some tirade of nonsensical ranting or some attempt at stirring up controversy in hopes of spawning a flame war; I am simply just asking for a little understanding on my behalf, as well as those whom I know share my point of view.

As a self-proclaimed "veteran player," I have seen many changes - in categories of both things I like and dislike. Obviously, this can only come natural with change. Understanding that the only constant is change, there is not much I can do about that. At the same time, my suppressed opinions are somewhat of an embarrassment, because as much as I want to speak my mind, I know that the developers are only doing what they think is in the best interest of the project - and at the same time, it seems as though they are themselves sabotaging it.

In your attempts of appealing to more players and further popularizing Nexuiz, it seems as though you alienate those who have been loyal to the game for many years prior. I can only speak for myself, but I hope that those individuals that share my view will also rise up and make themselves heard.

What I am asking for is not some hierarchy of power or special treatment in favor of those who claim seniority, but rather some logical reasoning and fairness to those with true passion for this game. What I would like to see more of is some system in which the developers and the community have a say in what direction the game is headed in. Thus far, it seems as though three main contributors have the last say in what happens to Xonotic. The movement, physics, weapons, etc. all seem to be committed without much consent from the general community.

What also comes to mind is what exactly you, as developers are more concerned about: Popularity or playability(?) This is where the gameplay has, in my mind, gone from diversity between the well-seasoned players and the completely new player. It definitely does favor the new player, and leaves the experienced player(s) like myself feeling ignored and alienated. Specifically, among the changes I am addressing were the additions of pogostick, guided rockets, and now melee weapon, delays weapon switches, a completely different movement / physics system, and a lightning gun. Nexuiz has gone from being unique to being another quake clone, which to me is just an attempt to leech of the limelight Quake Live casts. I do not want another QL clone; quite the opposite - I want the unique gameplay and weapon array that Nexuiz brought to the table.

Avoid seeing this as a "If ya can't beat'em, join'em" situation. See this as a problem of hype in where Xonotic needs to be more public and popular without having to completely re-vamp the entire game. Although trying to bring some modern sense to Xonotic, bear in mind that Nexuiz was always noted for its oldschool gameplay. Among the things that should be changed that Nexuiz was lacking were more practical applications such as engine improvements, becoming as light as it was before, more awareness to lesser-played gamemodes (such as onslaught), and possibly the addition of vehicles - and even then, make most major changes mutators, and not default.

I am well aware that a closer relationship between the development team and the community is a main focus in the Xonotic project, but so far, it seems like the same old story (like the whole situation that started the fork of Nexuiz) - The elite few control the fate of the many. At this rate, I fear I will have to part with this game and move on once it passes. As hard as that may be after all these years, it will probably not be the same game, anyway.
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#2
Quote:What also comes to mind is what exactly you, as developers are more concerned about: Popularity or playability(?) This is where the gameplay has, in my mind, gone from diversity between the well-seasoned players and the completely new player. It definitely does favor the new player, and leaves the experienced player(s) like myself feeling ignored and alienated. Specifically, among the changes I am addressing were the additions of pogostick, guided rockets, and now melee weapon, delays weapon switches, a completely different movement / physics system, and a lightning gun. Nexuiz has gone from being unique to being another quake clone, which to me is just an attempt to leech of the limelight Quake Live casts. I do not want another QL clone; quite the opposite - I want the unique gameplay and weapon array that Nexuiz brought to the table.

First of all, the current balance is anything but finished. We just switched over because the previous balance (from Nexuiz 2.5 svn) was entirely unacceptable, to which you sure agree too.

What we need now is input on it. Did you take part in any of the balance testing sessions FruitieX organized (and posted about on the forum)?

Regarding the specific changes:
- pogostick - we can add a clientside option to turn it off when we have CSQC player prediction, but it generally just improves experience (less physics glitches)
- guided rockets - turned much weaker than in Nexuiz now, so that should appeal you
- melee weapon - I like the shotgun melee (and the SG secondary was a major balance nightmare all the time), but the laser melee IMHO is a bad idea. But let's see if it maybe can be improved. If not, laser secondary will have to revert back to "switch to previous weapon".
- weapon switch delay - this IS a controversial change of FruitieX's balance, and an attempt to balance out the Nex. There may be better ways to get the Nex in balance. Suggestions are welcome.
- different movement - yes, but it is more of an improvement. The goal was to get the physics of the different game modes to "get closer together", and to not cause a mess like Nexuiz and Nexrun caused. The general "how to move" is the same in both modes now, which does take some hours to really get used to (but in the end, the new movement style is a more wellknown one, given how similar it is to CPMA physics). Plus, there is an existing cheat allowing you to move on average about 50% faster in Nexuiz physics, and the new physics equations avoid that design flaw. Even then, I'd like to hear your specific complaints about the player movements (like, moves you could do previously that no longer can be done), and one can then think about fixing them.
- lightning gun - I generally see that as an improvement, given that the electro primary before was nothing more than a rocket launcher with blue LEDs

But how is this a QL clone? IMHO more changes went AWAY from "standard" Quake 3 gameplay, than moved TO it.

Also, Xonotic is NOT meant to be a 1:1 clone of Nexuiz. Never forget that. But one of the goals IS to get rid of bad legacies.

If you have any _constructive_ ideas (and by that I do not mean "just make it like in that old Nexuiz version"), feel free to post them and they will be considered.
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#3
BTW, I never played Quake Live. So I cannot judge if this is going towards or away from Quake Live. I only know standard Quake 3 gameplay, and this is going largely away from it, towards even more speed, even more variety between weapons.

Anyway, the biggest problem with Nexuiz and now Xonotic gameplay balance is not "deciding from the top", but lack of input from the bottom. It is a very great thing that you did voice your concerns. The only ones we developers can talk about change ideas are other developers. Asking before doing a big change is not going to help much, as nobody can try it out. In theory, one solution for this would be providing the settings in a git branch, and running a server with them, waiting for feedback from players, and posting about these two ways to try it out on the forum.

In fact, FruitieX did exactly that weeks before it got merged into mainline. So it WAS there for public review. Yet still, most people did not bother reviewing it...

so what can we do to make people ACTUALLY test changes, and give feedback? We tried very hard this time actually, yet still you seem to have not known about this. How CAN we reach you players?
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#4
And more importantly, if you have any concrete change ideas (ideally in the form of cvar changes), go ahead and post them.

I'll start:

g_balance_laser_secondary 0 // current melee secondary is still a bit weak, and looks ugly... the switchback seems to still be the more useful function
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#5
About nexgun, I can just repeat what I suggested a couple of times before:

The nexgun can be made weaker, but still allowing it to be used in fast-switching combos, as follows:

when switching to the gun, the gun will need to charge in order to get full damage. You are able to fire it right away, in which case the damage it does would be little. As a suggestion, the gun could charge fully within one second. A sound, similar to the one you hear in Q3 after shooting the railgun would indicate the charge status to the player.

While charging, the player can shoot at any time (depending on how much the gun charged, the more damage it does), but he could also be able to switch to any another gun (if he didn't fire it) right away.

The charging process could eat cells over time. That is, once switched to it, already 1 cell ammo would be taken immediately, and then every 0.25 seconds another cell ammo would be taken (so that after 1 second the gun is fully charged, using 5 cells, like the nexgun did in 2.5.2).

Keep in mind that this introduces many disadvantages to the player, as in, "nerfs" the nexgun, because:
- Player needs to wait for the nexgun to do good damage (although this could also just mean that the player needs to be aware when to use it, that is, switch to it while he has cover and is further away from the opponent)
- Player's position is compromised by the charging sound which can be heard by everyone

Variations to either reduce or increase the nerfing could come with the charging sustainability, such as:
- To nerf it further: if the charged nexgun is not used (fired), when switching away, the "charged" ammo is lost.
- To nerf it less: if the weapon has been (partially) charged but not used and then the player switched away from it, once the player switches back to the gun, the charge from the last time could be maintained so that the nexgun can be fired right away with the damage the gun would have done if the player had previously fired it. Or, if this "unnerfing" is too strong, instead a "faster" charge could be done, not consuming ammo but still affecting damage, and comprimising your position again by the sound.
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#6
Sounds actually not bad, but the charged ammo getting lost is bad. Some people scroll through the weapons with the mouse wheel, they would lose 1 cell every time they hit the Nex even if they want to use another gun.

I just am a bit worried about causing rapid-fire possibility with this...
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#7
What about starting the charging on +attack, with visual/auditive feedback when it actually starts charging? A short button-up/down would shoot at minimal power, so the default shooting method would lead to a minimal damage shot while a longer button press would charge the shot. The feedback when the charging starts would help timing the power.
(Edit: The charging would of course only start after the refire/switch delays, so no concern over rapid-fire)
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#8
Mr. Bougo, your suggestion goes against the problem GreEn`mArine was addressing which is: annoying weapon delay.
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#9
Wait, what kind of combo is GreEn talking about? X -> nexgun or nexgun -> X? The very long delay happens in the second case, and indeed my suggestion doesn't quite work there... I thought it out backwards.
I don't see how different from mine the other charging suggestion is, though.
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#10
rocket jumping/flyin should be there too , maybe not as default , but so i/we can have the option plz

:^
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#11
Um, rocket jumping isn't gone... You need to alter the rocket balance, that's all. You do have the option.
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#12
And as the delay before rockets are detonatable is a number, it is a cvar option (we don't like hardcoding such values in the QC code).

Can't put behaviour differences in cvars in all cases (like the melee shotgun, which uses a changed weapon animation), but value differences, sure.
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#13
Well, I have played Quake Live off an on since February 2009, so I'm pretty familiar with it. When comparing the two (Xonotic and Quake Live), similarities such as movement and weapon balance really stand out. I understand that Xonotic is nowhere near being considered finished, and even how Xonotic is bound to deviate from Nexuiz, but keeping in touch with it's roots would nice - especially when it's advertised as "...a fork of Nexuiz." Things like the physics are a good step, but not when it removes strafing from the game, or renders laser (one of the most notable things of Nexuiz) completely useless. It's changes such as that that discourage me from playing Xonotic.

I do "test" Xonotic time to time with a couple players, and I would gladly test it some more and offer my input. I would never complain or be blindly prejudiced against something I have never even tried. Hopefully, it really is a long way from being finished. And also, you reminded me of the laser melee. IMHO, it should really be a choice between SG secondary and laser secondary. Having both seems redundant somehow.
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#14
I think the best way to have the nex work is to not heavily modify it. Nex standard damage should be from 70-90, in short, little. However, if a player manages to score a headshot (not an easy thing to do), nex damage should be from 100-110, in short, considerable. There should be no switch delay or anything of that nature, if you do that, nex becomes significantly more useless in medium and close range situations but its effectiveness at long range (aka camping) does not change.

Oh, and merge rifle into nex. No need for several weapons that do similar things.
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

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#15
(08-12-2010, 09:47 AM)ProjektGhost Wrote: Well, I have played Quake Live off an on since February 2009, so I'm pretty familiar with it. When comparing the two (Xonotic and Quake Live), similarities such as movement and weapon balance really stand out. I understand that Xonotic is nowhere near being considered finished, and even how Xonotic is bound to deviate from Nexuiz, but keeping in touch with it's roots would nice - especially when it's advertised as "...a fork of Nexuiz." Things like the physics are a good step, but not when it removes strafing from the game, or renders laser (one of the most notable things of Nexuiz) completely useless. It's changes such as that that discourage me from playing Xonotic.

The movement is actually FARTHER away from Q3 (and probably QL too). Plus, strafing is still very useful, but to be used another way. To do a rapid left turn, hold the left strafe key while turning left with the mouse. The new physics give way more possibilities than the old ones - but it does take some hours to get used to them. Other things to try: holding forward and turning (CPMA air control), and rapid "braking" (backwards accelerate). With both strafe and forward, you do tricks like circle strafing (in combat).

As for laser - at first I thought the same, and found it too weak. But one can get used to it. The change comes from the 1on1 player crowd, who got annoyed by players lasering around ALL THE TIME. So a faster firing but weaker laser is an idea that is currently being tried. Personally, I am fine with this alser too, and got used to it. It is weaker, but you still can climb with it - sort of like it was in Nexuiz 1.5, where laser climbing was actually a challenge but doable.

Also, Nexuiz has no such "roots" one can stick to. Just compare Nexuiz 1.5 with 2.4 gameplay. Still, we aim to keep the fast paced gameplay of Nexuiz "mostly intact", although some changes just have to be.
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#16
If laser force will be lowered, damage should be lowered proportionally.
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

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#17
ProjektGhost, the balance thread has been there for atleast a few weeks, i'm sure you may have missed it, there were several threads beforehand about balance/movement also.

Probably the most frustrating thing is seeing the NA Tournament thread poll get more votes then balance thread poll. It's almost like people can't be bothered to give input then when something get's done, rather then take the time and effort and go through the thread and understand why and what has been changed and giving it a fair shot, just go, omg this isn't nexuiz this sucks. I'm not saying your doing that ofcourse, I'm more pointing to divVerent's comment's about how he says what more can the developers do to LET the player's know about such things. I don't really think they can do much more, at the end of the day it seems to be a lot of idleness although there is some people who haven't been able to try out stuff for various reasons, but also a lot who just purely haven't bothered.

As for merging the nex and the rifle, I would have no problem with that, but why not just make it faster firing and do less damage, then have the headshot in also Roanoke, and use the nexgun model..already have a trail then and it would work as both weapons but as one.
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#18
(08-12-2010, 01:54 AM)divVerent Wrote: BTW, I never played Quake Live. So I cannot judge if this is going towards or away from Quake Live. I only know standard Quake 3 gameplay, and this is going largely away from it, towards even more speed, even more variety between weapons.

QuakeLive is very very close to Q3, with only some minor damage changes (like a Rail nerf) and a couple of weapon additions as far as I know.
(08-12-2010, 02:19 AM)divVerent Wrote: And more importantly, if you have any concrete change ideas (ideally in the form of cvar changes), go ahead and post them.

I'll start:

g_balance_laser_secondary 0 // current melee secondary is still a bit weak, and looks ugly... the switchback seems to still be the more useful function

I thought I did this weeks ago in fruitiex/fruitbalance, no idea if it was yet merged. Smile
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#19
(08-12-2010, 01:45 PM)kojn^ Wrote: Probably the most frustrating thing is seeing the NA Tournament thread poll get more votes then balance thread poll. It's almost like people can't be bothered to give input then when something get's done, rather then take the time and effort and go through the thread and understand why and what has been changed and giving it a fair shot, just go, omg this isn't nexuiz this sucks. I'm not saying your doing that ofcourse, I'm more pointing to divVerent's comment's about how he says what more can the developers do to LET the player's know about such things. I don't really think they can do much more, at the end of the day it seems to be a lot of idleness although there is some people who haven't been able to try out stuff for various reasons, but also a lot who just purely haven't bothered.

Hmm.. Maybe publish official test days at the main page? Like a little box with dates or something like this.
Also I think that _a lot of_ people don't know how to 'get' and test Xonotic. I could not find information about that here after a quick search. If there is information - sticky it. And also sticky the balance topic.
I feel like here are always 1000 balance topics or 1 topic for any new song (but there is a topic for all songs?!) and thats just bad (in my opinion). Like you ask a question in a topic but you it get answered in another one. Can moderators maybe merge them? :|
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#20
Why can't every day be a test day?
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#21
Indeed div0 Smile

I will put a thread up tonight when I get back from work, there will be a testing 'day' this sunday coming up, I will put the details in the thread when I get back from work, to have another play around with the current balance, things to work on are the nex/sniper merge and getting some settings for that and tweaking and also we should really try implement something for the hagar if possible and then test that also, details to follow soon.

Good posts anyway divVerent and mirio, especially liked your explanation in your first or second post about getting rid of bad legacies.
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#22
First of all; Welcome (back), mit_ghost/ProjectGhost. i probably am a veteran, too, considering me playing since version 1.1 (in 2005, i think). Omg, i'm old.... anyway.... ah, yes, and that's the point: i will keep playing it, anyway, because i just want new things constantly, and the old Nexuiz versions are still available for download (those who haven't yet should try it, ASAP). i don't want to influence the game too much.... i like unbalanced weapons and other weird, unpopular stuff like that. And i think popularity will do the game good; fresh people=fresh gameplay, new developers, ideas.... whatever. Cool stuff. SERVERS not to forget!

i can only speak for myself. Well, those are the reasons i don't test-and-report anymore. i think the game is better off without my input.

(Off-topic: Somebody say, where is the turrets server? Or is it hidden now? Or is it about the version....)
4m038105 - Be the change.
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#23
(08-13-2010, 06:19 AM)kojn^ Wrote: I will put a thread up tonight when I get back from work, there will be a testing 'day' this sunday coming up

Count me in. I'll coordinate with the folks I know to join. As always, the more the merrier.
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#24
Personally, I don't think Nex and Rifle should be merged, but the Nex should certainly be "reoriented" in balance a bit.
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#25
Basically, what I mean is that we shouldn't have two sniper rifles (however, don't break maps that have nex as a sniper rifle if we will reorient it).
(07-18-2010, 10:59 AM)Flying Steel Wrote: How could anyone with ADHD tell its a high damage weapon if it wasn't a gigantic metal cock fucking the map whenever a player gets within 3 meters of a wall?

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