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> 0.17 - 1.0f Style Flags, Faster Bullets, Egg-shaped Movement
Nathan Hale
post Jul 3 2006, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE(PostalDude @ Jul 3 2006, 01:57 AM) [snapback]22299[/snapback]

Well the idea behind some gun sound variations was to kind of simulate light powder and heavy powder since I'm sure some had to guestimate how much to pour. Voice comms is still experimental so if anyone knows historically how they should sound... just email me at kjh5786@aol.com. It's just the current ones are kind of old and I'm sure someone has a brit sounding voice out there. I want to get it right as everyone else does but help is always needed.




I've only one small gripe with the voices that I can find (other than that they seem fine to me).

One of the British and American Affirmatives sounds like "okay, Sir" and "okay". The expression "okay" supposedly didn't appear until the 1830s and 40s. When Van Buren was president he was known as "Old Kinderhook". When he would initial certain informal orders he would literally write OK on it as the acronym for the expression he was known by. After awhile "ok" caught on with others as an affirmative expression. We still have it today. Thing is it didn't exist in 1776-83 because that was long before the Van Buren term in office.

A VERY minor gripe, but easy to fix for sure too. I like the new voice coms on the whole.


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jackx
post Jul 3 2006, 05:02 PM
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If you could come to accept that skill is more than just clicking as fast and accurately as possible, maybe you could see how it has improved the game. Actually, that is "aim", which is just one of the many components of "skill", and the most basic one every player should acquire - if you can't hit any spot on your screen instantly and accurately, why are you even bothering to play a FPS?

Or maybe you couldn't, because you've never witnessed the extremely demanding and skill-based melee of bg, and just started off with the watered-down version in some earlier bg2 beta where shooting also had little impact whatsoever.

I'm not saying the movement values are perfect, and sidestepping could use a slight boost perhaps (as you apparently don't gain as much of a speed boost by moving obliquely as you do in the original bg), but I find your general argument to be fatally flawed. Realism aside, if it just got harder to achieve a certain result, how does that equal a decrease in the importance of player skill? In .16b and earlier, missing a melee attack was something that not only happened often (gg horrible prediction), but also was fairly inconsequential - you remained fairly safe from counterattacks.
Now, if you commit to a melee attack and miss, you'll most likely suffer a hit in return. There's a lot less leeway for imperfection on the player's side now, as even a slight mistake (doesn't even have to be a missed attack, just a rash step too much in a certain direction) puts you at a severe disadvantage, yet somehow you manage to claim that the game just got easier to play.
It's gotten slightly easier to shoot someone (faster balls), but that's really the only part of the game that has changed (but then, 99,9% of bg2 players should not even be allowed to complain about getting shot, as they lack even the most basic movement skills to avoid death from shooting), melee still offers the same possibilities as before, it just demands a different input from the player.

It is a compromise. Bg2, just as bg before it, is still an "arcade" game - if you want to compare it to another shooter, then, in WW2 terms, think DoD (3.1b-1.3), and not RO. It's not ET, but it's not a simulation either - it's a demanding and fun competitive teambased game that also manages to convey an atmosphere of authenticity.


This reminds me too much of the .14 to .15 change. First, people bitch and moan like nobody's business about the guns being too weak, then the guns become a little bit more than pea shooters with regard to their effectiveness, and suddenly (for the most part the same) people now bitch about how the game now sucks, on account of them being no longer able to "pwn" in melee with impunity. Hypocrisy at it's best, the more so as the argument, when broken down, hardly ever was about actual balancing of shooting and melee, but mainly about a personal desire to score as high as possible with the least possible effort.

However, I believe this entire "omg ze new gameplay sucks" discussion has so far been omitting a central issue - maps.
Most of the maps were made for .16b and earlier versions, many of the more popular ones have been around since .14, which is actually not one, but two major gameplay changes ago. If you take that into account, is the suboptimal result the new gameplay mechanics currently exhibit really that surprising, and, more importantly, is it the result of the mechanics being faulty, or of the maps no longer being suited to them?

Once again, I'm not saying the system is yet perfect, but as long as the map issue persists, there's little way of finding out what actually needs improvement. Most of the current complaints aren't helping with that at all, because all they are "I pwnt in the last version, but not in this, so this sucks" - it'd still be superficial garbage if it were "I pwnt in the last version, but not in this more demanding one, so I suck", but then it'd at least have the benefit of not being little more but hypocritical bullshit, and thus only annoying in one, and not two, ways.


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Nathan Hale
post Jul 3 2006, 05:47 PM
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The new melee seems good to me.

Anyway I took a brief look back through a book I'm finishing called "Washington's Crossing". Great book on the history of the 1776-77 campaign. In it I found that soldiers in general moved at a pace that varied between a slow walking march and what they called a "fresh trot". I tend to think then that the top of the speed scale in combat when moving in any numbers was to move at a jogger's pace. I saw no mention of using the wild side-stepping and back stepping. I'm sure they did some of that in a melee, but often the melees of a battle would become very cramped. And when soldiers moved in any numbers they turned and moved forward, rather than used sidesteps or the like.

That said, the game has always been a compromise between gameplay and realism- because it needs to be one. I agree with the new melee approach because with all that gear these soldiers had on, they had to be slowed quite a bit- especially when making strange moves like back stepping and side steps. People can still move about sideways and backwards, so this isn't a fatal compromise. Those who've carried a heavy sack or load on the back know it's MUCH easier to walk forward than to try to walk back (probably fall over) or sideways (trip). Many of the "regulars" carried quite a bit of gear with them and struggled under that weight.

As Jack said, the complaints tend to come from the folks who are the "melee pwners" who have to recalculate their approach now. If we always listened to these folks, we'd still be playing with original beta physics from HL1 (Oct 2001 release).


The new beta came to life the other nice in the 3D server. There was some decent teamplay in there and the beta showed how good it can be.


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Goatblower
post Jul 3 2006, 06:37 PM
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Well Im not sure who your last reply was aimed at jackx but you've used some phrases and claims in it which certainly didn't come from me eg "I pwnt in the last version, but not in this, so this sucks"? and I certainly don't recall anyone saying the game is easier because of it?

Personally my abilities appear to be pretty similar to the previous version, and despite the implied slagging off that this is about not being to be able to "pwn" in melee with impunity, this is not the issue (though people are obviously trying to make it such)

My point is still, I don't believe this change in anyway enhances the mod, either in realism of gameplay.

Your point seems to be its got harder so it must bet better? (why not make it impossible then it will be brilliant apparently)

Oh and jackx, check out the opening line of the fourth post in this topic.....;P

http://forums.bgmod.com//index.php?showtopic=2017
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gRanTeLbArT
post Jul 3 2006, 06:48 PM
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Goat, there is obviously something wrong when you can move backwards as fast as you can move forward, but that was not the issue in the discussion with caecar99. What jackx said there was a simplification. I could throw pages of text describing the current melee system at people, but that would make my explanations never get to the point and so I lose the ability to convince people. As far as the rest of what you say is concerned, I couldnt care less. You dont say what jackx put into quotation marks, but seen all of what you say together, this seems to be the main message you try to bring accross.

This post has been edited by gRanTeLbArT: Jul 3 2006, 06:48 PM


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jackx
post Jul 3 2006, 06:53 PM
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I wasn't trying to attack you, it's a general impression I got while playing .17 and reading some comments on the firstfrag site and such...

My two main points were:

- the game got harder, not easier
- don't blame game mechanics when outdated maps are the main culprit

as a result of that, I ultimately refrained from judging the change yet - if you were to do so now, it'd be like saying that a ship is useless in the middle of a desert...

The movement system and the melee system are closely intertwined and extremely dependant on each other, but there's a marked difference between the issue here and what ceacar99 suggested. This is about changes to the movement system that affect the situations in which melee attacks are delivered. Ceacar99 wanted to completely change the way melee attacks are delivered.

I just played snowlake, castle and then new_england in a row - snowlake was extremely enjoyable, despite the map still needing improvement, as it worked well with the new game mechanics. There were intense firefights, brutal melee combat, and lots of teamplay and (sneaky) tactics. Castle was meh, as always, and new_england was horrible. It was crowded, frantic, unbalanced, full of pb and certainly a lot less enjoyable than it was in .16b, because the slower movement speeds made the crampedness all the more noticeable.
Conclusion: It's (almost) all in the maps.


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Nathan Hale
post Jul 3 2006, 10:05 PM
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I heard the usual run of "wtf happened to melee?!" in a couple of servers in the past couple days. It's the usual sludge- usually players who run about trying to kill whole teams using strafe back and forth like a nut. I always take that sort of thing with a grain of salt anyway. heh

I've taken to the new beta and it seems fun enough to me. The maps do become a bit boggy if the player numbers get up there though. I actually sort of miss some of the older maps like valley and battlefield that were in the old BG1. They each had a different feel that was still pretty fun.


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Ram1
post Jul 3 2006, 11:27 PM
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i wont reply to this topic, since my last reply was simply deleted.
but i will re-post my question.

can you in .17 disable-enable flags?

Ram1.
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Hessian_Horseman
post Jul 3 2006, 11:50 PM
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I'm having trouble something about sound cache

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Popkov
post Jul 4 2006, 04:36 AM
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I noticed that aswell jackx about the maps, Since the Gameplay is more like BG1 now (As in flags), BG1 maps were more layed out in set directions. As in everyone knew where to go to, and which ways to expect the enemy from with also the possiblilty of them coming round the back or hiding round a corner and ambushing you.

BG2 maps are alot bigger now with mostly Large open areas between flags and so its harder for players to know which is the best way to run to, And really hard to know which way the enemy is coming from, just look at Bg_Newengland.
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Goatblower
post Jul 4 2006, 08:04 AM
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QUOTE(gRanTeLbArT @ Jul 3 2006, 07:48 PM) [snapback]22336[/snapback]

Goat, there is obviously something wrong when you can move backwards as fast as you can move forward, but that was not the issue in the discussion with caecar99. What jackx said there was a simplification. I could throw pages of text describing the current melee system at people, but that would make my explanations never get to the point and so I lose the ability to convince people. As far as the rest of what you say is concerned, I couldnt care less. You dont say what jackx put into quotation marks, but seen all of what you say together, this seems to be the main message you try to bring accross.


Aren't rearward and sideways movement a percentage of forward speed anyway?

Assuming the speed reduction has been applied equally to all classes, when two people are in melee their relative side-step speed has not changed, therefore the net effect is zero (i.e. a pointless change)

Which brings me back to my first post on this topic where I simply enquired if this was yet another change intended to reduce the effectiveness of melee v guns? It wasn't a rant or whine (or whatever derogatory term flamers use these days) about how I suddenly canít melee anymore (I assure you I can); I just wanted to know why it was felt necessary to make this change.
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Sgt Pepper
post Jul 4 2006, 08:35 AM
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QUOTE(Forlorn_Hope @ Jul 3 2006, 03:12 PM) [snapback]22320[/snapback]

I'm not sure how exactly I want to phrase this so I don't piss anyone off, but, here I go.

The Battle Grounds mod is supposed to be a Revolutionary War mod of Half-Life (2). Anyone who wants to see it actually be a Revolutionary War mod, recreating as much as possible the Revolutionary War within engine limitations, should applaud this release, as it is a step in the direction of a final goal.

Anyone who simply wants to run around shooting inaccurate weapons and stabing with differently lengthed armaments, I might suggest a game of paintball to you.

I honestly wonder about how people can bitch and moan about a mod that's supposed to be a Revolutionary War mod when it actually tries to fully realize the Revolutionary War, in all it's nitty-gritty action. When we decide to ignore historical accuracy, then things start becomming unimportant, such as uniforms, maps, firearms, weapons, until it becomes something that does not resemble the Revolutionary War at all. When you stop caring about historical accuracy, you then might start expecting things such as grenades, indians with bows and arrows, gatling guns, scopes, and numerous other things that would obviously detract from the game.

Obi-Wan has taught you well..

On the topic of OK(okay), I've heard several versions of where it came from, but the point remains, it didn't exist in the rev war. There is an article on reenacting the language of the time on the Colonial Williamsburg homepage somewhere, it's a good read.

How hard can it be to get a British person to do the voice commands?
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gRanTeLbArT
post Jul 4 2006, 11:49 AM
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QUOTE(Goatblower @ Jul 4 2006, 10:04 AM) [snapback]22361[/snapback]

Aren't rearward and sideways movement a percentage of forward speed anyway?


No, they were not before .17 and this now is the change

goat, the speed reduction very well affects melee because it gets harder to dodge the enemy bayonet by using diagonal backwards, sidewards, or even straight backwards movement. Which basically means, being good at melee becomes more difficult.

And please, never call a change pointless if you have not understood its consequences.
I hope this clarification helps you to reconsider your position.


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jackx
post Jul 4 2006, 12:10 PM
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Goat: From a historical POV the answer is simple: because you should hardly ever be bayonetting anyone - charging them every now and then perhaps, but actual melee combat should be extremely rare.

However, that is assuming it actually had a huge impact on the shooting vs melee balance, which it simply does not. Play .16b with people who can aim, and you'll get shot almost as often as you get in .17. The faster bullets and improved prediction make it easier for players with high latency, but if latencies were low enough in .16b, shooting was just as lethal as it is now. Also, your forward speed has remained virtually unchanged, so there's little to change the balancing here either.
The melee component of the game has been changed by the change to the movement system, but it remains just about where it was before in relation to the other components.

If guns got mroe dominant, that'd be because you can now lose flags by getting shot up badly.
That's about it, really - for the most part, balancing is the same as always:
Shooting is fairly safe and does a good job of killing enemies, but it takes considerable effort to use it effectively while advancing, and even then, such an advance is slow. Charging in with the bayonet is risky and requires excellent timing for optimum success, but it allows for rapid advances and taking of flags. Neither approach on its own is generally sufficient to win, and finding the "right" combination based on map, players, player count and other factors is where the challenge of the game lies on the team level.


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Goatblower
post Jul 4 2006, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE(gRanTeLbArT @ Jul 4 2006, 12:49 PM) [snapback]22364[/snapback]

QUOTE(Goatblower @ Jul 4 2006, 10:04 AM) [snapback]22361[/snapback]

Aren't rearward and sideways movement a percentage of forward speed anyway?


No, they were not before .17 and this now is the change

goat, the speed reduction very well affects melee because it gets harder to dodge the enemy bayonet by using diagonal backwards, sidewards, or even straight backwards movement. Which basically means, being good at melee becomes more difficult.

And please, never call a change pointless if you have not understood its consequences.
I hope this clarification helps you to reconsider your position.


Well I apologise for my lack of knowledge but I always believed (and felt) that since 0.15 backwards and sidestep speeds were slower than forward blush.gif

Then again, I suppose its because I'm not the retreating type.........
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Tjoppen
post Jul 4 2006, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE(Ram1 @ Jul 3 2006, 11:27 PM) [snapback]22345[/snapback]

i wont reply to this topic, since my last reply was simply deleted.
but i will re-post my question.

can you in .17 disable-enable flags?

Ram1.

Flags should still be able to disable and enable via inputs just as before.
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Nathan Hale
post Jul 4 2006, 05:52 PM
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Pepper- yeah like everything from this period there are many stories of how it appeared. But yes I think all the ones I've read suggest it is 19th century in origin and too late for the game. It should be pretty easy to replace voice comms though.

Melee:
Melee is a strange thing in these games. In the actual war melee was not the primary method of driving an army away into retreat. The most common method was concentrated fire. One side would keep up a volley of fire that was close and effective. One side's firing would usually become so withering that the other side would break in full flight, be forced to keep falling back until it quit the field, or was decimated into surrender. During (I think it was) the Second Battle of Trenton the fight at the Assunpink Bridge showed that concentrated fire was far more devastating than melee. So too at Bunker Hill- the bleeding was done by fire from the fortifications and not by melee once the British reached the top. But in the game you don't have that "1 life only" factor because of respawn, so you get some pretty hardcore melee attacks. I do still have hope though that if you get concentrated fire together, then the melee attackers could quite quickly be cut down once they come within range. A couple "melee pwners" (we've all played with a couple at some point) won't even get a chance to stab if they face withering fire when they try to close. Oh well... my 2 cents anyway.

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Jul 4 2006, 05:53 PM


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jackx
post Jul 4 2006, 07:07 PM
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Infantry fights tended to be resolved at bayonet point - that is by a charge (a charge being an advance in formation, not a mad run at the enemy), which usually drove the enemy back/off the field without ever making full contact.
Also, infantry fire, while certainly a decisive factor, especially when there was comparatively little artillery and cavalry around, wasn't much of a killer.

I think I elaborated a bit on that not too long ago on the TRR forums:

QUOTE
At such a close range, musket fire tended to be quite effective, with the majority of the shots actually hitting and causing some damage.
However, most of the shots "hitting their mark" does not equal most of them causing a casualty - for one, the men were arrayed in multiple ranks, meaning that there'd be more guns than targets, yet as many men as guns, and of course targets could be struck by multiple balls, and others spared completely.
Also, period tests revealed that as many as 25% of the shots fired at a close-order line might pass between the men without inflicting any damage whatsoever. All this makes a single "killer volley" a highly unlikely occurance (there is the battle of the plains of abraham, and then there's virtually nothing else, and it's not quite clear that the British really only fired one (double-shotted) volley), but a succession of volleys at close range could indeed incur very heavy casualties.
But even then, the French-Canadian force sustained only some 650 killed and wounded out of 7000 men, which were not all accounted for by that one volley, but also by artillery fire and by the fighting during the retreat...

A word more on casualties - it's the 18th century, and the most common cause of death in the armies of the period, regardless of whether they're at war or not, is disease. Overall combat casualties (excluding prisoners) would often be as low as 10% or less, and as the majority of the soldiers would actually be engaged in a battle at the same time (as opposed to modern combat, where only a small portion of them is fighting at the same time), these averages really are for a large portion the result of all engaged units sustaining some casualties, and not few units being nearly wiped out and others escaping virtually unscathed. They'd of course be higher for units that saw prolonged heavy fighting or were subjected to close-range artillery fire, but Torgau and Kunersdorf were exceptions, not the norm, as were Bunker Hill and Guilford Court House in the AWI.
The majority of "losses" that 18th century armies sustained "in battle" were prisoners and fleeing troops that could not be rallyed/rounded up following the battle.
Casualties often had a decisive impact on the war, but seldom on the battles themselves, as the way of fighting meant that it was virtually impossible for one side to really "butcher" the other without sustaining heavy losses themselves in the process, so that it was more a matter of resolve than who'd killed more


Taken from here, that thread also comes with a nice screenshot showing another player at a distance of 50m, just in case anyone was doubting that the fighting on most maps wasn't at extremely close quarters most of the time.


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Nathan Hale
post Jul 4 2006, 08:26 PM
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Yes, casualty numbers are low by comparison. Often the volley of fire itself had more force than direct hits. The problem with raw casualty numbers is that they are often underestimated. In both services men were pushed to serve on, despite wounds, by superior officers. This was especially true in the American service, where, short of a crushing wound, men served on with little or no medical attention or time away because limited troop numbers. This is especially true of times when disease cause a high number of "ineffectives" among the services.

The thing about a "charge" is that it's not exactly a pure bayonet attack. At any given time a charge would generally be comprised of a body of fire accompanied by a set of more-seasoned troops pressing down on the enemy. The idea there being to create both a field of fire to distract the enemy from the set of men pressing down with bayonet. The thing is that a "break" or retreat could be caused by either the fire or the bayonets, or (more often) a combination of the two. Then we also have to consider which army we're talking about.

The British used this charge method more often because they usually had the numbers and experience to do it (especially early in the war). The body of accounts from, say 1776-77, tends to show that the American tactic was to take a strong defensive position and then try to entice the British into their trademark charge tactics. We find this at Bunker Hill, a failed attempt at Fort Washington in New York, and during the second Battle of Trenton. The thing is that even the most bayonet-heavy charge still would require a portion of the advancing men to put down a field of fire, even if the attacker has greater numbers.

Case in point is the American Offensive at Trenton in December 1776. The Hessian Regiment under Co. Rall was based in Trenton and had posted several active outposts around the town. These men were not drunk the night of the attack, rather they were alert. As the Americans advanced in great numbers onto each post they effected what could be called a sort of battlefield charge. The thing is that the accounts on both sides detail a rolling firefight and not just a pure bayonet charge. It seems that attacking Americans were using a bayonet charge, but also seemed to rely very heavily on the volleys of fire put down at distance. These same accounts on both sides also detail that few casualties were taken. The Hessian writings do say, however, that it was primarily the heavy fire that drove them back from their outposts.

I do think that the bayonet chrage is the big shock-attack of the period. The thing is that the bayonets, alone, are actually somewhat ineffective because that approach allows the defender to concentrate full body of fire on the approaching troops. As these troops close they take incredible casualties (Bunker Hill is a good example of a bayonet-heavy charge). I think that the norm for the period, especially among more experienced officers, was to creating a rolling field of fire, even if it didn't hit much, to create duress and pressure. They would then throw the bayonet advance in to create dual long and close range pressures to create a break or retreat.


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Monkwarrior
post Jul 4 2006, 08:32 PM
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My compliments for the new version.
Just something I noticed: several guyz in here seem to think that BG2 should resemble the war of those days in a realistic way. Well, let's not deceive each other here: this game has almost nothing to do with reality, it's damn arcadish.
Movements, reloading while being able to walk, map styles, lack of proning, lack of sprinting: it's all directed at a somewhat arcadish style of gameplay. For many people big fun, but realistic: nah.
I don't mind, but what are we trying to achieve here ?
Many times the direction of BG2 is pushed towards the direction of BG1, at least that's what I see as a somewhat outsider considering BG1.

* Which direction should this game take ?
* What is it that sets us apart from other mods (tend to agree with goat here)

Key guestions, at the moment I feel the game is designed and thus played in an arcadish way.
Gamedesign is directed at fast melee-action.
Mapdesign is a long way from being realistic: most maps feel very narrow and gamish.

Some observations, I don't have the answers myself.
I liked version 0.14-0.16 a lot, but being good at melee tends to become boring after a few weeks.
I don't often play this game any more because it lacks a certain depth.
I don't have the answers, but for me it would mean a lot if this game would head into a more teamplay oriented direction. More powerfull gamedesign pointed at teamplay is needed IMO.

Greetingz, Monk.

This post has been edited by Monkwarrior: Jul 4 2006, 08:47 PM
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gRanTeLbArT
post Jul 4 2006, 08:58 PM
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aaaaaa | TRR scream team
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your honesty doesnt surprise me, I knew there was something going on. might find the time to discuss the one or other thing with you but not now. watching WC


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Monkwarrior
post Jul 4 2006, 09:19 PM
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QUOTE(gRanTeLbArT @ Jul 4 2006, 08:58 PM) [snapback]22418[/snapback]

your honesty doesnt surprise me, I knew there was something going on. might find the time to discuss the one or other thing with you but not now. watching WC

lol, "something going on" wink.gif
And yes, you should be watching the germans, they can win from those theaticral italians with penalties.
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Sgt Pepper
post Jul 5 2006, 08:11 AM
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Sgt Pepper - Just the wrong side of 'taste' since 1805
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Not sure if this is the place for a discussion on where BG should head. We're unlikely to come to a conclusion anyway, you'll find the old gameplay vs. realism schism. During my entire time on the team, I was working for a more historically accurate game, and I will keep on supporting that. I don't see, however, why you shouldn't be able to combine teamplay and history.
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Popkov
post Jul 5 2006, 02:42 PM
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Ive got used to the gameplay of 0.17 now and im changing my opinion, I think its better now than 0.16b was, its less BS in Melee also and it requires more skill.
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Nathan Hale
post Jul 5 2006, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE(Sgt Pepper @ Jul 5 2006, 04:11 AM) [snapback]22445[/snapback]

Not sure if this is the place for a discussion on where BG should head. We're unlikely to come to a conclusion anyway, you'll find the old gameplay vs. realism schism. During my entire time on the team, I was working for a more historically accurate game, and I will keep on supporting that. I don't see, however, why you shouldn't be able to combine teamplay and history.



Yeah- I think we just have to try to balance it as best we can and it will be fine. We've had to seek that balance since day 1 5 years ago and I think we're still looking. But we can have a good dose of both.


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