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Trends thread

#1
Most of you may have noticed that any thread containing the words "balance", "nexgun", "physics" … automatically converges toward a big, sometimes anarchic, discussion with many quotes and "as for me, I propose…".
Of course, these open dialogs are part of the whole community exchanges and thus are necessary.

Still, with this amount of noise on the line, I do think that it’s barely possible for a passive (= who hasn't compiled Xonotic) reader to catch:

- what were precisely the problematic aspects with nexuiz (mostly in term of balance and physics). I did write "precisely". Any statement containing: "everybody already knows the problem with balance, right?” should not be acceptable. These issues should be listed factually, synthetically and expressed with words (not c_var values).
If no one can produce this list, then… "Houston, we have a problem".

- what are the current trends to be expected in Xonotic to overcome the problems mentioned above. "current", because, of course everything is not frozen right now.


The idea is just to know/anticipate where Xonotic is going. There is a lot of expectation in Xonotic, and transparency could avoid/mitigate a possible "first impression" surprise/disappointment, by preparing everyone to play a new game with a possibly new balance and physics.

I’m quite convinced also that another benefit could be to clearly and officially stand the mainstreamed assumptions, even among active members.

Please, don’t answer me: "everything is here, just read the forum, you lazy", because:
- dedicated threads are nor all-reader oriented, nor synthetic,
- I guess that a lot of ideas are shared off-forum.

So, my suggestion is to create a read-only informative thread. This thread could be updated as new ideas are committed. It should be very concise, factual and all-users (who know Nexuiz 2.5.2) oriented.
Of course, this information should be delivered by someone belonging to the dev team AND being neutral. A mediator, in other words. He of course shouldn’t use terms like "imo" or "I like" or "I propose".
The idea is to have a snapshot of the current consensus up to now.
Fat.bot.Slim
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#2
Not only a thread, I'd say make it a news post on the front page.

As far as balance and physics are concerned, the two most important gameplay aspects, I can say that stuff definitely will be different.

Balance
----------
The point with the balance changes from my side was partly to give us something fresh and new that differs a bit from Nexuiz, and partly to make each weapon more unique. In Nexuiz you had e.g. the mortar secondary function similarly to the electro secondary, rocketlauncher similar to electro primary among others. You had other annoyances like grenades being able to detonate rockets right when they spawn, uzi doubling as a rapid fire sniper rifle, uninspired shotgun secondary, underpowered crylink that never really seemed to get powerful enough no matter what was done. At least _I_ felt like there was a problem, and many players with whom I've played Nexuiz for years agreed. (yes "imo" or "I like" or "I propose").

Thanks to the Nexrun project I became involved with editing the weapons so they would work on Q3 defrag maps, which formed whole new purposes/functions for many weapons of course. Later on we tried adapting this to DM, had some fun duels but that's it, of course a Q3 balance is (correctly) rejected by people, if you want Q3 you play Q3, or any other game for that matter!

So when Nexuiz was forked there was a chance, mostly inspired by everyone on the dev channels calling the balance from Nexuiz SVN terrible, worse than 2.5.2 (it had changed quite a bit afaik).

Out goes the Nexrun balance, but not the experience gathered from it Smile. Me and kojn start working on a new balance (actually we worked on physics first) based off of the Nexuiz SVN one, merging favorite parts from 2.5.2 balance, tZork's balance (fast firing uzi) and even some ideas from the Nexrun project (smaller rocketlauncher radius and lower forces).

We polled people on the way there, before starting out any serious work, with surprisingly positive results considering the negative attitude I had in that post: http://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=681 (iirc more people had answered yes during the first weeks, too bad you can't see a history of that) Tongue

Clearly something was wrong. Why would roughly 50% of the community vote yes on a poll worded like that?

After a lot of duels, random ideas and tweaking after feeling (not by staring ourselves blind at numbers!), the balance is eventually accepted as the defaults by both the active forum community (see poll: http://forums.xonotic.org/showthread.php?tid=725) and people on irc. Continuous tweaking and taking into account the community's opinion continued to take place, but obviously we can't make everyone happy.

After days (counting in total time!) of testing, we ended up with a balance that's more balanced, varying and interesting IMO (again, IMO) than the Nexuiz balance ever was.

Physics
---------
This is actually where I and kojn started tweaking gameplay after the fork. Here too we had a lot of help from what we learned when developing the Nexrun project. We however realized (with community pressure Big Grin) that CPM isn't the way to go, because strafejumping is really unnatural, difficult and weird for a game's defaults. Still, we wanted the strafe turning ability from CPM, which was "sort of" there in Nexuiz, it just behaved quite weird and unpredictable. We also added circlejumps (which are mostly pointless now due to massive acceleration after the first jump). IIRC at this point (or maybe after me and kojn?) divVerent had also started tweaking his set of strafebot-proof physics, that was similar to the Nexuiz physics set. These two sort of ended up getting merged IIRC (I have a terrible memory Tongue), resulting in this after probably one day of tweaking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6_OuuHhbA (containing my anti-laser propaganda, because that seemed like the easiest way to get rid of e.g. lasercaps. I'm for the (balanced) laser now, FYI! Tongue) The physics of course changed a lot after this, with divVerent probably making the most changes in the end to form what it is today.

So there we have it, CPM-like strafe-turning and forward-turning works, diagonal strafing from Nexuiz works, Accelerating by holding forward gives you the highest accel, similar to Nexuiz physics at higher speeds. However, one issue I think remained until now:

Just two days ago, responding to the community's (and my own) feeling of the physics being slow during the first jumps, I tweaked them again so the accel is way higher at first, and then gradually fades out when nearing 1000 units per second. This is very much like CPM strafing, because it too gets weaker the faster you go. 1000 might be too high of a value, this still needs testing. They feel excellent now anyway, turning and such wasn't affected in case someone's concerned.

p.s. feel free to use this if you're writing an article for the front page, you can also ask me questions in PM if you need to Smile
Links to my: SoundCloud and bandcamp accounts
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#3
Ok, thank you.
A note on the front page indeed would make sense.

(08-31-2010, 09:18 AM)FruitieX Wrote: After days (counting in total time!) of testing, we ended up with a balance that's more balanced, varying and interesting IMO (again, IMO) than the Nexuiz balance ever was.

Can you please describe/recall factually what is this balance for each weapon, as compared to Nexuiz 2.5.2? For each weapon, it could be interesting to recall the initial reason of the balance modification. Could be useful also to indicate the degree of definitiveness, and whether it still exists several assumptions of modification direction.

Again, please try to write it all-user oriented (without considering that obvious notions for active members are even known by the average reader).
Fat.bot.Slim
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#4
Insightful post FrutieX, I think this clears a lot of things up Smile
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#5
(09-02-2010, 07:51 AM)Antibody Wrote: In my opinion the largest issue in what we're calling the "old" balance is the dominance of the Nex.

I ask it friendly and politely: if you have only opinions, please don't post here.
Fat.bot.Slim
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#6
It is an entirely new gameplay balance, not based on the old Nexuiz balance numbers. So you can't compare it weapon by weapon.
BRLOGENSHFEGLE (core dumped)

The Bot Orchestra is back! | Xoylent Easter Egg | 5bots1piano
My music on Google Play and SoundCloud
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#7
Anyway, here some more statements on this:
  • The game balance changes are FAR from final, but fix some quite bad issues with Nexuiz balance (Nex overpowered, Electro prim == rocket, Electro sec == grenade, HLAC == MG, SG secondary either useless or dominating)
  • The physics changes may be unusual, but are for the better once you're used to them. You can still move SIMILAR to Nexuiz, but have extra abilities like in CPMA to be able to retain more speed in narrow areas: rapid turning by strafe key, smooth turning by just forward+turn. A tutorial video/demo on these is in the makings. Still, the general idea is quite final, but the values are open to change and suggestions are welcome (especially in the sense of slower/faster). Also, these movement physics plug a cheating/speedhack issue that has been discovered in the old ones.
  • If people complain that they want "everything just like in Nexuiz 2.5.2", then they are welcome to play Nexuiz 2.5.2. Each major release does balance changes - in fact, Xonotic is becoming what otherwise would have become Nexuiz 3.0, and not Nexuiz 2.5.3. Destructive criticism is not helpful for development. Be constructive, or don't be surprised that you are ignored.
  • There soon will be a public beta where exactly these things will be tried out with more people. Note that feedback from old Nexuiz players is NOT a top priority to us - Nexuiz always had the problem that quite a lot of people downloaded it, yet only few continued playing. Clearly there IS something wrong with the Nexuiz game. The changes (e.g. partially CPMA-like movement physics) are also geared to retain new players (who come from other games) longer to finally get them hooked. If we disgruntle half of the Nexuiz players, but gain just 350 new players, we have multiplied our player base by four! We do not WANT to disgruntle that many, of course, but you see what the situation is.
  • One issue here is not lack of, but too much, transparency. In a non-FOSS game, you'd have only had one single chance to complain: after release. Here you can try every day what is new in our git repositories. This is what is leading to us having to justify every change again every day! Obviously that is not the solution. If FOSS means that change is not possible because of having to spend more time justifying your changes to the public than you'd have to spend in closed source development on pointless meetings, then FOSS is a failed concept. I am trying to keep the transparency - we WANT people to try out what is "hot" in the repository, but we expect from you cooperation, not just destructive criticism. Tell us how we can do better! Send us patches of your proposed changes! It's best if you do that timely after a change, and not months after the fact. Closely watch the commit messages in the repository, and try out stuff that may be interesting or that you may oppose!
BRLOGENSHFEGLE (core dumped)

The Bot Orchestra is back! | Xoylent Easter Egg | 5bots1piano
My music on Google Play and SoundCloud
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#8
Well said divVerent.
Links to my: SoundCloud and bandcamp accounts
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#9
Thank you guys.
Fat.bot.Slim
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#10
(09-04-2010, 02:39 PM)divVerent Wrote: Closely watch the commit messages in the repository, and try out stuff that may be interesting or that you may oppose!
RSS feed for data pk3dir:
http://git.xonotic.org/?p=xonotic/xonoti....git;a=rss
(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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