This may look like a massive wall of text, but a lot of it is explaining why I think something should happen rather than just listing what it is.
I don’t mean to be belittling anyone’s requests or wish-lists, but honestly, some of them are pretty far-fetched. Firstly, we don’t have much info on the game, it’s way too early to know what Ubisoft is planning for various sections of the game like multiplayer and map editing. Secondly, we need to be thinking in the confines of the hardware and engine that FC3 will run on. AI in maps would be excellent, but I sincerely doubt it’ll happen. Likewise, unlimited brush use and the ability to import 3D models (at least on console) are impossible. Think what FC2 had, now think maybe 20 - 30% more. I don’t mean better, I just mean that Ubi will have optimized the engine better and we may get more budget and less framerate issues. So for what will likely turn into a massive wall of text regarding what I would like, I’ll be thinking as if we’re talking about changing FC2 instead of a whole new game with unknown possibilities.
I think I have a “decent” amount of experience with FC2 to know what I’m talking about, having beaten the story mode twice, made 40+ maps with more than 10k downloads, and having played ranked mode for around 300 hours.
First, the story. Probably the thing we’ll get the most amount of information on, pre-launch. Open world is fun, even FC2’s African setting was nice. It was a lengthy story mode with lots to do.
What I didn’t like.
Quickly respawning enemies.
Stealth was almost impossible.
The story’s absence throughout most of the game.
Malaria never gets cured.
Missions were repetitive.
I actually like the degrading weapons, vehicles, and illness. This all added to a sense of survival in the game. Scavenging for more ammo and weapons while hoping what you currently had wouldn’t give up the ghost during battle. The fast travel system was well balanced in my opinion. For a game like Oblivion or Fallout, fast travel was nearly unlimited and made the game world feel much smaller. You missed a lot of encounters (not just enemies) by fast traveling instead of walking. The only reason I didn’t like FC2’s fast travel was due to the respawning enemies. If I could clear or an area and it would stay clear for a while, I wouldn’t mind the limited fast travel. I’d get in dozens more gunfights just getting to the mission than I did while actually completing it. The environment was spectacular and I loved almost every area in the game.
I didn’t mind Malaria, but the fact that you never can get rid of it is bothersome. It gets old after a while and I tire of having to get more pills. Stealth needs to be more prominent. You could shoot one guy with a Dart Rifle from a mile away and suddenly 15 guys would know exactly where you are, hunt you down, and kill you. The AI was challenging and I liked it, but certain aspects were too overpowered. Missions were never anything more than kill al enemies, blow up something, or kill one specific guy. We need more variety. The save system wasn’t very forgiving but I liked it that way. Dying actually meant a penalty rather than simply trying again from thirty feet back. It could be made a little more forgiving for newbies, but don’t make it so there’s no reason to try and stay alive.
One thing that had potential were the buddy missions. These would be an excellent excuse to add co-operative play. This is just wishful thinking but you should know by now that co-op is a popular trend and adding it to the game will make it that much more attractive.
Now onto the multiplayer. This will tie into the map editor, but there are plenty of things that could have made it more enjoyable to begin with.
For one, the aiming and movement is clunky and bad. Aim acceleration is ridiculous and it’s not smooth. Switching to the machete for melee was stupid and time consuming. Shoot, I played the multiplayer demo for FC:IP and you could simply hit a button for melee, why this unnecessary step back? Getting on and of ladder was annoying, you need to be able to just walk onto them and be able to jump off in the middle. Weapon and class balance was actually pretty good by the time the last patch hit. With the exception of the AR-16 and maybe the SAW, I’d say that there was no be-all end-all gun that dominated everything. I still don’t like the class system, I’d rather have a weapon pick-up design.
This is a post about how I think weapons should be set up: This is more than likely not how it’ll end up, but this is how I would do it if it were up to me.
One thing is certain, we need, NEED to be able to pick up weapons from dead player, class system or not, this is a must. Weapon degradation in multiplayer should go. It’s cool in single player, but in multiplayer it’s annoying. Even more so since you couldn’t pick up weapons.
Vehicles need to be smoother and less prone to suddenly bursting into flames. They need to be able to drive over things and not get stuck on a milk carton. Player movement could be smoother as well. Things like reviving players and picking up the diamond shouldn’t be as hit-or-miss as they were. Jumping over objects needs to be smoother and getting out of water really was an issue, especially trying to actually climb out onto a ledge. Possibly let us fall from a higher distance without having a heart attack upon landing.
Going prone? Would be nice, but I can imagine a dozen guy laying in the tall grass of the jungle. Do we really want that? I don’t think I do.
Being able to do some form of attack while in the water should happen. Also, iron-sighting/scoping while jumping would be very nice to add. At least make the weapons more accurate while hip-firing.
More game modes and game options. This is a must, but it’s up to Ubi. I’m not from FC:IP so I never played any of the old modes. Uprising was neat and had a unique strategy, but people are stupid and never knew what to do. A mode like CoD’s domination would be more fitting. More modes, more mode options like damage, HUD, ammo, timers, etc should be added. We also need to have the ability to restrict weapons. Want to play with only machetes? Well it’s fun with friends, but then some random no-mic-er shows up with an SAW and ruins the party. No snipers? Ha! Good luck with that.
Now the most important thing, the network code. This needs to be worked on, big time. Player movement on screen was not only jerky, but very imprecise. It was very difficult to hit a moving target with a sniper rifle at any kind of odd angle. When someone jumped over a wall, their character would get stuck, running in place for a few seconds before teleporting to where they actually were. Players standing near and edge wood often look like they walked right off only to teleport right back up after a second. Healing animations would almost always have someone look as though they were on the other side of a wall. When you picked up ammo, it would occasionally vanish from your gun at a later time. Grenades thrown before death would disappear every time. Vehicles were never displayed properly, I’d get killed by someone who drove past me, then I’d push someone across the map with a truck only for them to teleport away and not die. Physic objects are laggy and buggy. Certain objects would only react if the host interacted with them, this cannot be allowed. Halo is a good example of how vehicles and physics objects can work fine on a network, even on sub-par connections. These aren’t features that I don’t like or weren’t implemented properly. They are horrifically bad excuses for what they are and are unacceptable. Not even an indie game on Xbox live had a network design this broken. If this isn’t remedied, the multiplayer will be no fun and people won’t play the game.
Lastly, the editor, the part of the game that stole away many hundreds of hours and provided endless enjoyment. In fact, had FC2 been actually fun to play, I’d still be making maps to this day.
Things that need to be changed. The dynamic weather and time of day in multiplayer is sweet and all, but it certainly must take up a significant chunk of performance. Thus, it should be removed or at least be made an option. If given the option of Dynamic versus static, I’d chose static every time, not only for performance reasons, but because if I made it night time, it’s because I want it night time, I don’t want it day time or morning or anything else.
More object or brush budget. I sure would like this. But FC2 gives you a huge budget and I think it’s fine. Perhaps, if possible, a simple change from 40k to 60k or more would be fine. I’ve found that I’ve maxed out the budget on a map and had no performance issues. It would be nice if I could add just a little bit more to it.
Performance meters and other options. I’d really love to have an FPS counter. A rather simple feature that would help greatly. I’ve occasionally had a map in the red runs smooth, while a map in the orange will stutter like our crumby weed-eater.
Delete grids from the map. Simple, there’s no need to render them if they’re not in use. Why not just let us take them out as needed? If we make an indoor map, there’s no need to render the terrain at all.
Scalable objects. And by that I mean objects that we can change the size and shape as we please. I’m not so much asking for actual objects like this as I am asking for utilities. Should this happen I’d like to see it in the form of occlusion blocks and boundaries. For one, it would be really, really cool to have occlusion in all objects anyway but occlusion blocks are still needed. An example would be a large wall made out of small blocks. It would only occlude what was behind each individual block. If you put one massive occlusion block in, it would occlude anything that can’t be seen behind the whole thing. The main reason for scalable occlusion blocks is that the ones we had were way too think and often were just longer or taller than we needed. One size down would reduce the effectiveness of the occlusion by around half so it would be better to size them up ourselves.
Boundaries. The ones in FC2 were limiting and bothersome. Halo: Reach has an excellent design by letting you change the size and shape of multiple areas that can act as kill boundaries. There are two types, hard and soft. Soft kill boundaries will give you the standard “return to battle” and a 10-second countdown. Hard kill boundaries will kill you instantly when you enter them. These are useful for deep pits. In FC2 you have to wait until you fall all the way down and die before you can respawn, a simple killzone would have the same effect except you’d die partway down and be able to respawn much faster.
Some other features I’d like are rotation by degrees and co-ordinate snap. Once again, Halo has these very useful features (though I think FC:IP had rotation by 45 degrees). Rotating by 90 – 45 – 30 -10 – etc degree increments will make things much more smooth and easy to build structures that have proper angles. Co-ordinate snap would be something new. Basically it’s a set of X,Y,Z co-ordinates and Pitch, roll, yaw co-ordinates that dictate where the object is in the map and what rotations it has. Being able to set these ourselves would make life so much easier.
Settings saving. In FC2 I’d turn on the grid, and turn off auto-scroll, snap to terrain, and a bunch of other settings. I love these options and hope to see them return, but please let us save them so we don’t have to go back and change them every time we exit the editor.
These alone would make the editor much more effective and easy to use without actually adding objects or anything. But we know we’re gonna get some new brushes and stuff so I’ll let you know what I’d be pleased to see.
FC2 had a massive selection of objects, the possibilities with these were near endless. If you went through five mappers on PS3 alone who had the most maps Karr2966, Sabotur, Maxpower, CaptainDEEZ, and myself you’d find upwards of 300 maps with very few of them looking anything like each other. This is how truly amazing the object selection in FC2 was. I say, good job Ubisoft, keep ‘em coming.
But we all would really like some of the more basic building blocks. Also more with more varied coloring. There are very few objects in the game other than trees that are green, there’s almost no blue at all, red and yellow or lacking as well despite being the main team colors and most other primaries don’t even exist. While it makes sense given that Africa really doesn’t have giant blocks laying around with bright primary colors painted on them, they would be very useful for map creation. Simple things like squares, cubes, rectangles and the like are what I’m talking about. You can make so much more with a bunch of Lego blocks than you can with all the special, neat looking objects. But don’t take this the wrong way, we want the detail objects too. Halo: Reach’s forge mode has all the blocks you could ever want but it lacks the unique pieces that help define a map.
Other nice things would be some more variety in the “fake” objects. The fake forests were useful for getting a good effect across with taking a dump on the performance. Maybe some more like bushes and different types of trees would help. Maybe even rocks, buildings, and mountains would be a blessing for population the background without devouring the budget or performance bar.
Object properties. Vehicles and explosives could be better balanced if we could adjust a respawn timer for them. Likewise the physic objects that were so kindly patched out, if we could simply adjust whether they were static or physic enabled would have solved many issues. An object properties option could work into my above requests for scalable objects. It may also work into the building blocks as we might be allowed to simply change the color/texture of the individual block. One could simply be made for each shape and the colors adjusted once placed.
Multiple water levels. If it’s possible, go right ahead. Not a big thing on my list as I think it’s a limitation of the engine. Likewise waterfalls, rivers, rapids and the like aren’t needed. Perhaps a simple particle generator for waterfalls would be nice for decoration.
Lights, damn right I want lights. They’ll chew up performance like Piranhas chew up a cow but unlike Piranhas, they’ll look pretty while doing it. They’re more needed for dark or nighttime maps as FC2’s lighting in the dark was very awkward an inconsistent. Would be nice overall but not necessary.
Maps could also use a small text box for description adding. This will allow people to give players more of an idea of what to expect.
I think that’s about it for now. FC2 had many wonderful things going for it. But it could be made far superior through small tweaks and a few pretty major additions. The gameplay in FC3 already looks much smoother and more fun. A lot of it is up to the way Ubi builds the game but a lot of info can be gathered from listening to the community. I hope that Ubisoft can read this thread without glazing over from all the other crazy threads at this time. I also hope that they will be more dedicated to supporting FC3, not only through patches and possibly DLC, but through simple support for the mapping community. The maps that were approved for ranked made a huge difference and ranked mode would have been a much more desirable mode if we had even more community offerings included. There are hundreds of good maps out there.
Thanks, I hope to see this game blossom into the amazing product that it has the potential to be.