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Make the "Classic mode" for the next patch!


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#1
Whiteshark

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Since we are waiting for team gameplay and variety to the gameplay, there is no point in touching the gameplay mechanics. So how to fix my and some of the fellow players' problems with the gameplay in a heartbeat, and why did this appear to me just now? Just include the classic mode, or what will become the classic mode in the next patch. It could be a game mode, which would make sense if you are anyways going to make customizable game modes in the future. The changes for now are plain and few. Here:

 

no afterburners, frag cannon, mega

lasers projectile speed halved (not less)

smart missile projectile speed halved (maybe a tad less)

concussions slightly slower?

only torch!

anarchy!

 

And that's it. Further tweaks can be added later (like quad spread).

More players would play the game and have fun. And no one would have to complain about the gameplay.


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#2
Vainiac

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I asked the devs when they were planning on making classic mode available and they responded probably not until release in one of the more recent wingman's hangars. As far as the changes that you suggest if the goal is to make it as close to D1 as possible, halving the laser speeds would probably make them too slow. I compared the weapon speeds from D1 and D:U valor in a previous post and about a 30% decrease would probably be closer. The smart and concussion missile speeds between D1 and D:U are actually pretty close already. A trichording pyro/torch can just keep up with both of them. Homing missiles are actually a little slower in D:U than in D1 though, you can actually overtake one by trichording in D:U but not in D1. As far as the mega missile goes, I personally hate it, but I know other people like it so I'd really like the option to disallow certain weapons so players can customize their games the way they see fit. If we also had the ability to double primary weapons I think it would help make gameplay more fair in levels like valor where things like plasma and quad lasers are limited.

 

The biggest things you're forgetting though is ship health, energy usage, and hitbox size. A torch spawns with 210 and a pyro spawns with 100 health. Seeing as how most of the weapons do very similar damage between the two games you need to score double the number of hits in D:U to get a kill than in D1. Energy usage is also much higher so you run out of juice faster. Hitboxes in D:U for the torch also feel much different than in D1, especially on the frontal y axis, but I can't really test that myself so a dev would have to chime in on that.

 

Seeing as how details on classic mode have been kind of sparse can a dev comment on any plans to revert the vulcan to a center mounted weapon and drastically increase firing speed? Also are there plans to bring back the spread for classic mode? 


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#3
Splotchie

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Don't forget Torch is specifically a kickstarter reward.  If that's the one ship for this mode they're going to have to change it later anyhow.


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#4
Vainiac

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thought the inferno or something like that was the kickstarter reward


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#5
Banditt

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My understanding of the Torch/Inferno difference is that when the body kits/decal mods are in place that everybody will have an Inferno and the people with the Torch kickstarter reward will be given a Torch body kit to customize the Inferno with.


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#6
Justintime

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This would make like 20 of the hard core old school people happy, and would be a waste of time for the devs as they balance the current game for the new audience.

If you want to play Anarchy on the originals, go play the originals.


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Kudos to the Devs for taking the risk and bringing a beloved old franchise back from the dead - ignore the whiners - stay the course, this game is awesome.


#7
Whiteshark

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@Vainiac I'm not forgetting anything. Smarts are notably faster in D:U, and lasers twice as fast, by feel, not by measurements which are still done by eye. Just bring the fights close and the hitbox will appear bigger! : ) It wouldn't be D1 gameplay quite, but something that feels like proper anarchy gameplay everyone wants.


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#8
Whiteshark

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I don't consider Classic mode a D1 emulator. It will be the ultimate anarchy mode, for everyone, since that's exactly what it's balanced for. As the developement continues it will be a container for the most refined gameplay elements with only few changes to the weaponary. At the point of release it will be tweaked to perfection. Don't think anyone wants the Classic mode be exactly like D1, if that's even achievable with our maps and ships.


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#9
raptur

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I think it might be a good idea to provide some match customization stuff before classic mode itself. We should play around with different settings to decide what we want classic mode to actually be. For example, I think the Typhoon, with its lower health and spherical hitbox, feels much more classic than the flat, heavily-shielded Torch.


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#10
Whiteshark

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Typhoon is yuge and will not allow proper bullet hell. Choosing to limit weaponary we are still cursed with the lasers being our primary. It won't be a good gameplay with them.


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#11
DarkwingDiva

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This would make like 20 of the hard core old school people happy, and would be a waste of time for the devs as they balance the current game for the new audience.

If you want to play Anarchy on the originals, go play the originals.

Well if 20 people suddenly started playing on a regular basis, it would be more activity then there is currently. Unless I just miss the times where 20 people are playing? Besides, you have no idea how many people this mode would satisfy, as a lot of people who are waiting to play this game aren't commenting on the forums. Do you really think a new audience will ONLY want to play team modes? As difficult as I imagine it to be, the devs have to balance the game between single player, anarchy players, and team players. 

 

Telling us to go play the originals will only serve to cause further divide between the player base. Also, you keep missing the point. The point is NOT to make it exactly like the originals, but to model the combat around a bullet hell type gameplay where it's easy for new comers to join but also gives something to master for veterans. You obviously don't want this type of mode, but many games have different game modes to serve the needs of different fans, and it doesn't make sense to try to drive one group out just because you don't like what they're asking. 

 

I would LOVE to have classic mode available prior to release, but I am also not expecting it. It might be easier to balance than team play, but it still needs balance, and I think releasing it prior to release would help give it some refinement prior to release when everyone is going to be jumping on and looking for it. I agree with a lot of whiteshark says (though I still like the afterburner, but maybe a couple tweaks are needed) and hope that moving forward EVERYONE can have a game and game mode that they can play and enjoy in the game. 


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#12
LotharBot

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Well if 20 people suddenly started playing on a regular basis, it would be more activity then there is currently. 

A while back I saw a thread that started out saying something along the lines of "if the old school players delivered the promised number of players" -- and my immediate thought was "everything I ever promised was based on "if" -- based on this game meeting certain conditions".  If the game captures certain key elements of classic Descent, people will play it.  If it doesn't, then who knows?  Right now it doesn't, and its player base may be smaller than the originals.

 

You're exactly right -- the point is not to make it identical to the originals.  But it is to model it around the same concepts, and then expand and build on top of that foundation.  You can do a lot of cool stuff with ship classes and roles and complex objectives, but if the underlying bullet-hell combat doesn't deliver, everything built on top of it will feel sloppy and unsatisfying.  I'm not adamant about building a better foundation because I want to stop with an identical foundation, but because I don't think the higher-level stuff will be good until the foundation is solid.


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#13
DarkwingDiva

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A while back I saw a thread that started out saying something along the lines of "if the old school players delivered the promised number of players" -- and my immediate thought was "everything I ever promised was based on "if" -- based on this game meeting certain conditions".  If the game captures certain key elements of classic Descent, people will play it.  If it doesn't, then who knows?  Right now it doesn't, and its player base may be smaller than the originals.

 

You're exactly right -- the point is not to make it identical to the originals.  But it is to model it around the same concepts, and then expand and build on top of that foundation.  You can do a lot of cool stuff with ship classes and roles and complex objectives, but if the underlying bullet-hell combat doesn't deliver, everything built on top of it will feel sloppy and unsatisfying.  I'm not adamant about building a better foundation because I want to stop with an identical foundation, but because I don't think the higher-level stuff will be good until the foundation is solid.

Well said, think you express this better than I ever could. 


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#14
Wingman

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We don't have the bandwidth to switch to classic mode, we are working on the SP stuff right now, Classic mode will be later, after the client side server app, for people to run their own servers - and set up their own settings etc, like limiting megas for instance which were part of the original games too.

So, expect it later, we have to stay the course on where we are - we are not concerned about the numbers of concurrent players, as we have a plan for that once we get closer to release, which includes a demo......for folks to try it a bit, but we need some SP experience in there as 4 to 1 prefer SP to MP.

 

This pops up from time to time, always with the exact same people chiming in, we are aware that there are some vocal players that really want this. We will get there.

WM


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#15
Vainiac

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Agreed with Lothar about the foundation not being there yet


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#16
Whiteshark

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Thanks for clearing up what the classic mode is going to be. Don't know what's the deal naming us certain people, since we don't share our ideals on the finished product. The one thing we seem to agree on, a good part of the players playing the game today (funny we do?), that something cannot stay the way it is for the game to be fun. Keep on doing the changes and I'll keep on speaking my opinion on how the game plays. It'll never be about making the game "classic".


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Wouldn't it be easier to read if this was on Comic Sans?

 


#17
defcon_x

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I think I have to agree with both Wingman and the suggestions here.

 

On the one hand, I am concerned that the game could be really catered to the pro-classic players and they would still not like it and not show up because of something else. So it would be a lot more developer effort for no reward to the devs. That makes me sad. We should be so thankful and proud of everything they have accomplished so far, but the pro-classic players are not showing the patience and resilience we need. We need more of the pro-classic players helping the game along: de-bugging, testing, just flying around and having fun and making suggestions, being a part of the community.

 

It's a difficult ask because nobody likes being told what to do. But I don't see it as a demand but an incredible invitation. You can be a part of the next Descent game! A prequel in the same universe! It's ... amazing!

 

On the other hand, if the devs don't try to do anything to help the pro-classic gameplay and ignore them, and just consider them hecklers instead of active community members, it doesn't make those players happy and it doesn't make it seem inviting for these people who are trying to inspire the devs.

 

The main problem I see is that "pragmatic" suggestions are actually not as pragmatic as we would all like. Not the devs, nor the current testers, nor people that want to be testers but are not enjoying the testing ... nobody.

 

We'd all like many of these suggestions to be tenable but it's looking like they're not. Mainly because the devs need inspiration about what's fun and sometimes it's not fun at all to be told "this is definitely guaranteed fun, just implement this fun thing".

 

They have to concentrate on the path they're on. They have to work on SP and get that out ASAP, which is what they're doing. That's why most players bought the game.

 

Of course, having a solid MP is critical to evolving those players from SP -> MP but actually there are two conflicting ideas about what is the solid base.

 

1. The originals' real solid base was because of very immersive 2D-friendly (non-VR) single player that was all tight, with MP thrown on with all lessons from the SP building experience added in

...but...

2. The new retroactive definition of that solid base is largely based on the fan community's ideas that happened after the confluence of many factors which gave the SP and MP of the originals such a strong memorable bite

 

We can all agree, even the devs, that their SP is not where they need it to be. That is the solid basis that needs to be in place. The MP should be based around that

 

But these devs are on their own journey and it looks like it's towards MP balance --> SP campaign "the meat" --> back to strengthen MP.

 

We cannot have a super strong awesome game unless we let the devs go on that journey toward making a great game in the SP area. Until they know what that game is going to be (it's not just the current MP experience re-tooled to SP, it's a fully fleshed out SP experience) they cannot come back to MP to make it spectacular while still matching the skills you build up in SP.

 

I don't think the devs have explained their position very well sometimes, as much as asking us all to just have faith like a normal game, but that's the blessing and curse of community involvement maybe? A single dev team with a proven track record can still release a dud, and a new group can release an incredible work of art, but by opening up strategic portions of their development model to the community, it exposes them to everyone's input about expectations.

 

It is also not as complex as all that.

 

On the one hand, they could emulate D1 much closer and it would be a blast and it might (though I'm skeptical of this) fail as hard as D3 PXO when it vanished leaving the Descent community high and dry and organizing games in their own way.

 

But is that really fun for them? They are developing a game, not making a clone. So without the fun and enjoyment and mirth and inspiration in their office(s) (or virtual offices) that inspires people to make games in the first place, the game might not be good.

 

My solution is very backwards, maybe, but I think if the devs can just maintain morale and inspiration they will get everyone a super fun experience that is like Descent but which is in an expanded universe. And as community members we should encourage that above all. Rather than "implement this or I'm out."

 

Because then that position looks "cool" and if it's cool to abandon the community and not help test, then that's like a weird popularity contest instead of a group effort like the devs are generously inviting it to be.

 

This morale and fun (and of course, real elbow grease) will help them and guide them to the right choices from the wide variety of suggestions here on the forum. There is a certain amount of "wow" that has to be revealed. And as Underground members we cannot spoil that, either. Even if we are impressed or inspired or excited by what they're doing. We have to clam up and be like the monks with secret knowledge that will be revealed. And with that behavior comes even more false expectations.

 

It's like we have to conspire together to make the game great. And if we are not communicating, it means abandonment.

 

Regardless of the greatness and practicality of a suggestion, it really has to match in enthusiasm and promise and so on.

 

So in conclusion, I would ask the devs (the speakers) to listen up more and the pro-classic players (the listeners) to speak up more. And vice versa.

 

Just more communication.

 

Plus just more thankfulness. This is an incredible and amazing project and it really couldn't have happened without the community ... and perhaps not in any other time! Let's seize this incredible opportunity! There are other 6dof games getting made that aren't asking for so much feedback, but this one thrives on it.

 

</rambling>


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#18
LotharBot

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the pro-classic players are not showing the patience and resilience we need. We need more of the pro-classic players helping the game along: de-bugging, testing, just flying around and having fun and making suggestions, being a part of the community.

To give a little bit of perspective: the pro-classic crew has been working with various Descent-like projects since at least 1996.  Quite a few of us have sunk thousands of dollars, thousands of hours, or both into projects trying to bring Descent into modern gaming for whatever year "modern" was being defined as.  It's not as though this is the first opportunity we've had and we barely even tried.  This is one of dozens of opportunities, and we've seen way too many of them either never make it to completion, or become something un-fun.  

 

We've also seen several promising projects that we're trying to keep going -- from Descent Rebirth/Retro (literally D1 running on modern systems) to Geocore (by Psion, an old D1 competitive pilot) to Overload (made by the original devs), and yes, Descent:Underground.  But personally, I feel like there's nothing productive I can do here until the team brings the focus toward those foundational things that have been sort of left in the lurch -- the hitboxes, weapon speeds, damage relative to starting shields, stuff like that.  Particularly with a newborn, I don't have extra hours to sink into flying around trying to evaluate if a new cosmetic-level change is cool when it's dependent on foundation-level mechanics that aren't yet where they need to be.  In the first few months I was spending probably 30 hours per week here, but right now it's really difficult to come up with that kind of time, and I can't justify it if we're not either fixing the foundation or building on top of an already-fixed foundation.

 

So for now I'm just waiting, poking my head in from time to time to see where we're at.  When the game is ready for a series of balance passes, you'll see us around a lot more.


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#19
DarkwingDiva

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On the one hand, I am concerned that the game could be really catered to the pro-classic players and they would still not like it and not show up because of something else. So it would be a lot more developer effort for no reward to the devs. That makes me sad. We should be so thankful and proud of everything they have accomplished so far, but the pro-classic players are not showing the patience and resilience we need. We need more of the pro-classic players helping the game along: de-bugging, testing, just flying around and having fun and making suggestions, being a part of the community.

 

Once again, it seems like you are dismissing "pro-classic" players simply because you don't agree with them. I for one backed D:U through kickstarter, I've played multiplayer games, I've made suggestions on the forums since the beginning, and even reported some bugs. I've had fun, especially in survival. I like to think I am part of the community. How is this not showing patience and resilience? I agree with Lotharbot, the foundation is not there yet. The "pro-classic" players are being active parts of the community by sharing their opinion. You are welcome to disagree, but don't dismiss us and don't insult us by saying we're not doing our part.  

 

Yes we should be thankful Descendent is making this game, and they have accomplished much, but that doesn't mean they are above reproach, and certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't ALL share our opinions. The great news is that they have acknowledged our concerns and for that am thankful. The more discussion we have though, the better the game will be for ALL of us.  


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#20
LotharBot

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let's be careful not to make this overly personal.  It's not us vs them.  It's us and more of us, with different ideas about what order things should be done in and what's going to ultimately work out well for this game.


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