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View Full Version : A Dream for a better R6



Defuser
03-13-2006, 10:19 AM
This is not really a discussion of specific game mechanics (although there is some in there), but rather the philosophy of what the R6 games should be, looking at my own history of the games and what I enjoyed from them.

I remember when I first got my old workhorse PC back in the winter of '97 - up until that point I was a console man through and through. I'd played them all and up to that point had owned every major console at various points in time, from the 32X to the Game Gear to the Saturn, the NES to the N64, PSX and the rest. I was, and still am, an avid games player. But I got older, and on the purchase of my computer, a whole new world was opened up to me. A world of depth, of strategy and of intricately crafted labours of love from programmers really straining at the bit to put their work into motion. I'd come from platform games and paper-thin RPGs into dark, nasty FPSs and unbelievably complicated RPGs with their fair share of political intrigue and drama - strategy games with so much to process and understand going on at once that you had to be very well versed in their nuances to stand a chance against a trained foe. For a games player who always wanted to feel as though what they were doing was not some niche, childish pursuit where the learning curve involved was simply honing your reactions and memorising button sequences, the world of PC games was a revelation.

It was in late '98 when my brother came back with a demo of a game he'd be aching to get hold of ever since he saw one of the operators stood on the front of a demo disk of a magazine carrying the game. Memories of the Embassy siege of 1980 were flashing through our minds as we installed. The world of counter-terrorism? In first person? We get to choose the kit, plan, and execute the mission? Synchronising multiple teams? How could this be any better?! The first mission, the demo mission, was an embassy siege. It was as though the designers had been listening to our dreams. I remember now as how I watched my brother move into position outside of the door to the rear of the embassy, the opening, the punishing accuracy, the one shot kill - the revelation in gameplay and immersion... this was the first game where the deadliness of firearms was really highlighted. It felt vulnerable and what's more, real.

Back then, I looked upon the planning and kitting out phase as privileges, I still do. They are all part of the immersion, the enveloping of you into the counter-terrorists' world. Here we were pouring over the types of ammo, the decision to go with a certain SMG, silenced or unsilenced, the weight of armour to move in with, where to attack from, should we all go in at the ground floor or have one team work its way down from the top floor to the ground floor, while the others work up? Where were the terrorists likely to be? How were we going to get to the hostages as quickly as possible? A flash or a frag into this room? Do multiple teams storm this hall? From what doors? And so on and so forth. I poured over it. The planning was as much a part of the game as the shooting. The shooting was, for me, the part where you got to see all your hard work come to fruition and your foresight and strategy rewarded. It was immensely satisfying to get the hostages to the extraction zone with not so much as a scratch on any of your team. This was, and still is, the reason I play the R6 games - they reward strategy and quick thinking. It was the satisfaction of knowing you'd done the job well and applied some of the most fundamental principles of room clearing and hostage rescue.

After buying and completing the game MULTIPLE times due to its non-linear nature, different fireteams and different firearms, turning off the fail-objectives to try storming Yellow Knife, re-doing certain missions as stealth challenges... let's just say, I got my money's worth from the title. And Eagle Watch. Now I make no pretensions to say that R6 was the height of realism - it most certainly was not - but at that time, there was nothing like it at all. It was in a league of its own, and this did not contribute to its greatness, for it was brilliant all on its own. A truly great game.

Fast forward to '99. I'm watching a late-night TV show about games and guess what comes on? Rogue Spear. Some exclusive footage of the first mission. They talk about the improved ballistics and the addition of snipers. It looks fantastic. It seems somehow more real... It was an improvement. When it was released, I bought it. The winter-camo clad operative on the cover with the blacked out face... the memories of installing and starting the first mission. The planning and the kit selection had been expanded... this was the game I'd remembered playing, but improved, expanded and refined. This was a true sequel! I scanned through the new operatives, took in their back stories, chose the appropriate members... The sniper in the gardens to the rear, flashbanging the main entrance hall... It was all so visceral, so new, it felt like the game had come on lightyears. The situations felt, again, tense and realistic - the opera house, the water treatment plant, Zero Gambit... The dacha in snow, trapping the mob bosses... Brilliant. And Ebony Horse, my single most favourite mission of any R6 game, ever. It's fair to say I had a blast playing it.

What I identify the most about my enjoyment of R6 is that it offered you the choice - not only was there a robust and enjoyable shooter in there, but there was a complicated and intricate strategy game to play involving kit choices and where your operatives went in a mission. You could make a mission either unbelievably hard for yourself or, with good planning, run through with every tactical advantage available to you, hitting like a whirlwind. It was this choice - the game was unafraid to make you fail. It was HARD. You couldn't just get through with skillful aiming alone. You needed to know what it meant to do things tactically. The original set of R6 games had made the design decision to not just punish you for lazy, careless fire and movement on a mission (punishment with aiming) but also lazy and careless planning, that would result in casualties if you didn't do it right. From Raven Shield onwards, these punishments on the tactical side were diminished more and more. Raven Shield features some unbelievably punishing aiming (reticule bloom) and the addition of recoil makes it that much harder. But on the tactical side? That much more ineffective. As a combination of R6's downright devious and head-scratchingly bizarre enemy placement, as well as their superhuman attributes, the tactical advantage in any situation was completely diminished. Coming in through the backdoor? The tangoes there will already be waiting crouched behind the kitchen table ready to snap shoot you! Going in quiet? No matter - a tango can still snapshoot you if the initiative is in your favour. Tactical advantages were diminished to make way for better shooting - shooting that was highly punishing. Now, Raven Shield got the basics right - the planning was in depth and appropriately made, the kit selections and armament were expanded and detailed enough to warrant some concern over their choice, but the missions themselves were broken in terms of how the game mechanic operated. A combination of staggeringly poor AI (on both sides) and un-realistic shooting made the fundamental game feel decidedly odd. I also believe the missions were fundamentally unexciting - nothing wrong with how they were rendered - but we had nothing like the grandeur of the opera house, long sightlines of 747 (and it's resonance with much counter-terrorist activity) or the pure atmosphere of going to Kosovo.

Even the last mission lacked the finality of what should be expected of a R6 game. Huge mistakes were made on the side of immersion - whereas each mission in the previous games had it's own set of enemies, the guys in Raven Shield looked the same from mission to mission - even though they wore the same outfit, to see guys walking around in T-shirts, and all talking in the same strange accent (in English!) on the Alps missions was ridiculous and completely took you out of the moment. Ok, so you occasionally got guys in suits, some guys in Hawaiian shirts and sometimes even guys with what looked like the Combine symbol on armbands... you get the point. It was all so homogenous - you didn't get the feeling that each mission was a separate operation perpetrated against different targets of opportunity by different groups. It felt un-realistic in its portrayal. It felt like a shooting gallery of different sized-rooms in different themes.

Worse still, a lot of the feeling of participating in a counter-terrorist mission was lost as the game was slowed down to a crawl. Real counter-terrorism is lightening fast. The first R6 got this exactly right. The constraints on shooting made Raven Shield a game of lining up the shot rather than breaching rooms quickly and tactically - the hyper-sensitive AI of the enemy meant there wasn't much time for slicing and dominating the room. It was open door, shoot a couple, move in, secure, move on. Even the AI doesn’t storm as you would expect when you watch them - they too open the door and take shots. This is not how counter terrorism is conducted and standing in the doorway GETS YOU KILLED. This is how it happens. The broken game mechanic of RvS in this respect destroyed a lot of the speed and tension that the other games had and made them feel authentic. Tactics went out of the window. It was just about accurate shooting. And that's the trend R6 has been going in.

Without digging up the corpse that is Lockdown, we can safely say that Lockdown eliminated any tactical aspects the series once had. It destroyed the planning, eliminated much of the nuances of kit choice (no ammo choice? No armour choice?), no snipers, one team, no choice of insertion, no go codes, no co-ordination, pathetic AI... It was a travesty. Looked nice, but was a travesty. Although the game is nice and fast, the rest of it is so broken as to remove any feeling that room clearing is anywhere near as tactical as it should be. But we all know the faults with Lockdown. We don't need to go into depth on why it failed.

So what is the dream R6 game? It is one which recognises that the tactical aspect is the one that made the game so beloved AND successful. It is one which recognises the need for planning and an immersive atmosphere generated by authentic, detailed briefings and intel, with an over-arching plotline that fosters excitement and sense of finality. It positively requires kit choices that MAKE A DIFFERENCE to how the mission is carried out. It means intricate planning with go-codes and varied insertions, with multiple teams. It is one where once again, the tactics make a difference. When in a mission, the pace should be lightening fast if you're compromised - terrorists should not hang around waiting for you if they hear gunshots - it should be a race to the hostages once shots are fired. Diversionary charges, high explosives, dust, smoke, all kinds of debris should be flying around during an assault - it should be a sensory whorl, an attack on the eyes, and a loud and exciting trip through the eye of a storm. Operatives should bark out clearance, they should shout GO, at hostages, and at you. There should be an atmosphere of professionalism but also of absolute chaos. Assaults are loud and over within 15 minutes (in most cases). They are controlled chaos. When going in quiet, the atmosphere must be one of unbelievable tension, where up to the point the first shot is fired (you are compromised), then the whole scene erupts into the one described above. Ballistics should be as realistically modeled as possible without compromising gameplay (i.e. bullet dip, but no wind, but ALWAYS appropriate penetration - make that JHP count in hostage rescue!), they should be realistically deadly. It goes without saying that AI should be realistically competent, and understand room clearing. Hostages should react with FAR MORE unpredictability if not appropriately contained. Likewise, suspects should be wiley and always need to be watched if not secured (or finished off).

To prepare you for all this, there should be training. Not just training that runs you through the various controls, but one which trains you in the basics of room clearing, working with a team and firearms. You should not be able to just go into a mission without at least some idea of what to do when you run into a room with armed men inside. You should be always mindful of the tactics, to the point where they are ingrained in your mind. The punishment for not being hard and fast should be death. But hang on! I hear you cry. This all sounds so inaccessible to the newcomer! How do we get new people into the series like this? It will scare them off, be too complicated and difficult! I say, that's rubbish.

The previous R6s gave us the choice. Don't like the planning? Here are a few pre-made ones that are perfectly acceptable. The kit choice was all made. It gave you the choice of doing it - it did not arbitrarily take it away from you. What, can I ask, is the point in doing that? It benefits NOBODY to take it away. Those that didn't like it can go on with a pre-made one, those who liked the planning can make their own. It makes absolutely NO sense. Likewise, limiting kit choice as though the average player is a moron and can't tell the difference between weight/noise/protection is just grossly insulting. As a 5 year old I could have told you the difference between heavier armour and light armour... so what's the difference?! In terms of assaulting rooms, the tactics are NOT highbrow. You simply have to get used to them. You should not expect to be able to beat a game, or a mission, on your first try through. You NEED to learn the game mechanics, and in this case if they are realistic enough, the mechanics of room clearing. Which are SIMPLE but require practice to learn. Which is where the training comes in. At what point did FPSs, particularly tactical shooters, become the baby's choice of genre? At what point was the decision made to make games blithely simple in this genre as though everyone who plays them can't handle anything more complicated than run and shoot? How come strategy games, which sell HUGE amounts, don't have to make such concessions to their players? Is the assumption that FPS gamers are stupid somehow? Where did this come from? The huge sales of games such as Operation Flashpoint and other tactical games (not least the previous R6s) should put paid to that impression.

A dream R6 game would be one in which it is recognised that people who play tactical games find the combination of tactics and the authenticity of the atmosphere generated therein to be the most immersive and exciting environment. We don't need Hollywood back-chat. We don't need nicknames and dual-wielding. We don't need big bad guys with monobrows. We don't need clichéd personalities. We don't need outrageous accents and personalised armour with unique armpatches (in singleplayer) and we especially don't need ARGUING. There is no more an immersive atmosphere than when the APPROPRIATE and realistic military terms are used and also where the operators with you behave professionally and REALISTICALLY. It has always been the realism of the surroundings, the terrorists motives and their behaviour that made the R6s so involving and impressive to play.

If you've read all this, I'll give you a medal. At the end of the day, when all's said and done, we just want something that feels tactically sound, that feels somewhat realistic, and is immersive as a result of the other two factors. All 3 are interdependent on each other. Compromise one, it affects the other. It should be;

IMMERSION
REALISM
TACTICS

Those are the 3 things that made R6 the game it is, and so popular. Compromise immersion, the game no longer feels authentically realistic or tactically impressive. Compromise the realism (doesn't have to be ABSOLUTELY realistic, just feeling authentic enough) and the tactics seem ineffectual and the immersion flies out of the window to hollywoodsville. No tactics and you have game where the realism is ineffectual as you NEED tactics to survive and the immersion is gone as you no longer feel like counter-terrorists, instead just a run and gunning superhero.

Remember this.

Relenquish
03-13-2006, 10:41 AM
Nice post.

And yes, ill have a medal thank you.

Now arnt you glad you got that off your chest? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Defuser
03-13-2006, 10:49 AM
Aha, well, I never said when did I? You might have to wait a long time for the medal! Thanks for the compliment, anyway.

Still, I am glad I got this off my chest, as whenever a new R6 game is announced, or any tactical shooter, I follow its development obsessively, pouring over every little detail released. To be honest, I think that's a bad idea as inevitably I end up getting exasperated over certain aspects and I realised ultimately there's not much I can do to correct that. I think it's best to make a post in the early stages of development in an attempt to impress upon the developers what I think are the central concepts a R6 game should abide by. Individual design decisions such as how the recoil is handled are based upon decisions made MUCH earlier in the game's development.

captainlol
03-13-2006, 11:02 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/agreepost.gif except for the part about RvS. It wasn't as bad as you say it was, although people are entitled to their opinions.

DayGlow
03-13-2006, 11:08 AM
planning in RvS became an exercise if frustration as you couldn't trust the AI to storm a room without getting killed. It got to the point where I stopped planning as it was pointless. If I wanted to play a puzzle game I would buy one.

Defuser
03-13-2006, 11:21 AM
Very true Dayglow. The AI would bunch up in doorways, miss crucial shots, would NOT use anything other than bursts/full auto (if the weapon allowed it) unless you changed it yourself, at ANY range... 'recon' mode made no difference to 'assault' mode (i.e. in recon mode they would not use their silenced weapons a la previous games but instead just keep with their unsilenced primary), you couldn't get them to crouch-walk their way through an area (where the cover would be paramount) with any ROE... they were just walking bullet magnets that followed waypoints, tossed frags and flashes fairly well, but ultimately were not particularly tactical. My own personal frustrations were that you couldn't get a MGer to go prone and get the bipod down in the planning phase OR with controlling them yourself - as soon as you left them they'd return to a crouch. Very frustrating if you're trying to set up a killzone or to cover an area.

It speaks volumes for Raven Shield that EVEN with the most sound tactical planning, they would still end up getting killed. That is where the gameplay mechanic is broken, as with the advantage of suprise, the advantage of speed and with the advantage of accuracy, there is no way a special forces outfit can be beaten by tangoes.

AMC_MadMax
03-13-2006, 11:38 AM
you are right DayGlow, often it was very frustrating when your well prepared plans where
useless because u couldn't trust your AI teammates,
but is it the right solution to cut the planing phase because of that ?
because they aren't able/don't want to put more effort on a better AI ?

"If I wanted to play a puzzle game I would buy one."
Is that the opinion of the R6 council ?

DayGlow
03-13-2006, 11:50 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif it's my opinion, on RvS. The planning stage came down to trial and error until you hit that magical point of findind the 'solution' and the AI not screwing it up.

When I look at the planning stage, it's unrealistic to have a full blueprint of a building, then map out each waypoint for a team to move on, and have zero devation from. That's not how it works in RL and if that's what the planning stage is, IMHO I can do without it. I'd rather have better tactical AI and control in room clearing and splitting of a smaller squad for more dynamic events under my control.

My dream planning stage would be to basically tell team 2 to assualt from the NE corner and work towards an objective, wait for a go-code, then storm the objective area. Then the AI figure out the best way of doing it, where to go, etc. This won't happen as AI is not there yet.

Personally choicing between rigid lifeless planning vs expanded squad control, I'd pick expanded squad control. My dream would be to have at least 5 AI under your control, so it can be split into 2 teams with a cover man for yourself. From there you can split them for takedowns of rooms or to cover areas while you work another, etc. It would be more like RL in my opinion.

Defuser
03-13-2006, 12:34 PM
Well, inevitably you're going to need a more in-depth planning phase regardless of whether or not it's realistic - this is the disadvantage of having an AI who cannot adapt their plans to yours on the fly.

Take for example, you have the AI making its way into the building from the NE while you are assaulting from somewhere towards the SW. Obviously you're going to need go-codes to pinpoint where they stop and where they go upon the assault commencing. Perhaps they need to move into position silently before the assault commences? Despite you choosing their kit, they are going to need to be able to recognise when to go fully tactical - i.e., they need a go code, and they need be told where to be before the order is given.

Next, you get to the main hall where the hostages are held (hypothetically). This is a big open space to attack - you need multiple teams, and you need to tell them from which area you want them to assault so you don't attack from the same angles. In doing so, you inevitably have to give them waypoints, and also, points at which they are to wait for go-codes, and OH NO! You've got the need for in-depth planning. You need planning to allow for how the player is going to make his assault. Think of it as not telling the AI where to go, but how best they can assist with the assault in relation to yourself, who obviously knows where s/he's going to go.

What about snipers? Where are they to cover? When do they fire? How many are there? Until you have an AI who are THAT competant that they can deal with the majority of rooms with aplomb, then you're going to need to tell them where to go and what to do. What about if you want to do their part of the mission instead? You need plans, you need planning, and regardless of whether or not it's in-depth or not, you need to be able to tell people where to go, at what point they are to open fire, at what point they are to rush a room, and at what point they are to take the hostages and make for the extraction.

Now I agree that for assaults it would be better to have a more flexible squad system, however that does not mean we have to either abandon or somehow strip back the planning phase so that we're left with less than what we had before. Planning is half the fun. Planning is as much as a puzzle as finding what the best way to skin a cat is. Saying puzzle implies there's one set-in-stone solution. Raven Shield's dodgy AI inevitably made it an exercise in trial and error because you were trying to find a plan that didn't expose the AI's inadequacies - you were working around the broken AI and the broken game mechanics to complete the mission, rather than utilising REAL tactics. That's why Raven Shield broke the cardinal rule of not being tactical and everything else broke down as a result. In Raven Shield there was ONE solution, and that was the one that made sure that all your men didn't die (and even then it was touch and go).

TedSmith
03-13-2006, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by DayGlow:
My dream planning stage would be to basically tell team 2 to assualt from the NE corner and work towards an objective, wait for a go-code, then storm the objective area. Then the AI figure out the best way of doing it, where to go, etc. This won't happen as AI is not there yet.

I don't think we're far off from that really. The AI doesn't need to make every individual decision for something like that to work. Codewise, the computer just needs to come up with a suitable path from the entry point chosen, to the objective. The individual AI simply needs to follow that path on a room to room basis. That's really the key...

The AI just needs to know how to breach rooms properly. From there, it's just a matter of telling it what door to take out of that room.

I agree that the planning phase needs to be looked at again. Remember though that most times when Rainbow breaches a target, it's already been secured by the local police and some time has passed. It's not all that unlikely to have blueprints available for major buildings after several days.

What -I- would like to see are some missions with planning and others with just a SWAT 4 style, choose your entry point (or points in the case of multiple teams) and go, depending on how feasible it is to get blueprints for the target in question. I highly doubt we'd have detailed blueprints of the enemy terrorist organization's secret underground bunker, but if they took over the louvre, you can be damn certain they'd have blueprints and schematics available.

As for -how- the planning takes place, much of the way it worked in Rogue Spear and in RvS was silly. You would not tell a team that they had to breach this room, then run along the right side wall to the door, etc, etc... It should be more generalized in nature.

"Breach room A, clear, wedge the western door then stack up and proceed through the north door, clear..." Directing them on a room by room basis and letting the AI worry about HOW to go about moving through the room and clearing it. Your commands should be more about which doors to go through, which ones to block off (wedge, fuse, etc) and when to wait for a go-code before breaching.

Planning should be about the overall strategy and not mucking around in the details of the room-by-room tactics.

DayGlow
03-13-2006, 12:53 PM
That would be great, that's what I meant by a more organic planning stage. Tell the AI where to go in a macro level, not micro manage it's very step through the evironment. Critical points would need go-codes, etc. You could setup the AI in blocking positions for suspected reaction routes by the AI and have snipers cover key areas. Would be wonderful.

I just don't know if today's AI could pull it off without a lot of scripting, then you fall back into linear play.

KungFu_CIA
03-13-2006, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Defuser:
At what point did FPSs, particularly tactical shooters, become the baby's choice of genre? At what point was the decision made to make games blithely simple in this genre as though everyone who plays them can't handle anything more complicated than run and shoot? How come strategy games, which sell HUGE amounts, don't have to make such concessions to their players? Is the assumption that FPS gamers are stupid somehow? Where did this come from?

As much as some people are going to hate me for saying this...

One major cause is the rise of so-called E-Sports and Person vs. Person (Multiplayer) competitive video gaming.

The growth in this segment of gaming has all but simplified what games, especially, FPS, are all about in terms of their complexity because the emphasis is now on indiviual skill (DM), or team skill in games like Counter-Strike and BF2.

And actually, it was only a matter of time before this really took hold with mainstream audiences and game developers as the FPS is the most accessible genre there is because the core game mechanics are very easy to understand: Run around and shoot things from a first person perspective. Compare this to more complex games like RTS and MMORPGs which involve a lot of concepts which can't be visually seen when spectating a match, for example.

I don't know if it is a good analogy, but it would be like comparing competitive chess to Baseball from purely the spectator point of view.

Chess is a cerebral game of strategy which means most of the competition and "exciting" game breaking "action" is going on inside the player's heads...

As opposed to Baseball, if the batter hits a ball far into left field, it causes an immediate chain reaction which can easily be seen and understood and that is the left fielder scrambles for the ball as the batter then tries to run as many bases as he can while the ball is then passed to another player and so on and so forth in a frantic effort to stop the progress of the batter as he runs.

Again, this may not be the best analogy, but I think it addresses the issue you raised (even if it was a rhetorical question http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) because even if there were no such thing as E-Sports, again, the FPS is the most universal game genre there is because the core mechanics are very straight forward and simple and therefore, anyone can relate to and understad it compared to more complex genres like mentioned above.

It's almost like a Catch-22, blessing and curse all in one.

Defuser
03-13-2006, 01:38 PM
You've got a point. FPSs are the most accessible because outside of shooting and moving, you've got nothing else to learn. Where the tac shooters differ is that it is about more than just moving and shooting. This is the 'unseen' element that you spoke about, much as the 'unseen' element of strategy games are the decisions being made by the player to expose inadequacies in his opponent's defence, or to consolidate his own. Tactical shooters are just that - tactical. The tactics come from having to apply specific proceedures to get an advantage over your opponent provided the game is at least SOMEHOW realistic. By making these decisions and applying the tactics, you are immersed in the game. Immersion equals success!

Now, about E-sports like CS:S. CS:S CAN be very tactical. Not in any conventional sense. Certainly not in it's application of realistic tactics, most of which come unstuck. CS:S makes no concessions to realism despite being set in the 'real world'. Recoil does not equal realism. Realism, at an appropriate level, should affect all aspects of a game so that there is no incongruity between a gratuitous lack of realism in one instance and strict realism in another - it should feel complete. You should have a world with rules to be immersed in. Gross disparities break immersion by reminding you that this is a gameworld that is inadequately balanced - the best gameplay is one in which you don't detect specific design decisions because they fit in with the game's philosophy as a whole. Again, immersion, plus realism, equals tactics. Tactics, plus realism, equals immersion. Immersion plus tactics equals realism!

E-sports unfortunately seem to be based on corridor shooters with very little avenue for tactics outside of running and shooting. Painkiller, for example. I know somebody will tell you that there's a lot of poker-like psychological warfare involved in e-sports, along with split-second timing to collect power-ups and the such like as well as the need for pixel-accurate shooting. But that's Painkiller. It is one of a long line of corridor shooters designed to be played in DM, as a DM game, with it's own specific world and sets of rules and boundaries. It is not a tactical shooter because the tactics it concerns are not valid in a real sense. When we say tactical shooter we are making a concession that the tactics involved in such a game correspond to the ones that are in use in real life - not that the tactics involved in Painkiller are any less valid, but they are not the tactics people think of in terms of weapon handling and room clearing, like in real life.

What the designers need to be at pains to realise is that just because a game is situated in first person that does NOT mean that the game is subject to exactly the same considerations as your average 'shooter'. This is a game all of it's own. Tactical shooters should not even be in the same sentance as other shooters because there is so much under consideration IN ADDITION to accurate use of virtual firearms. Each stripping away of the opportunity to use realistic tactics results in the game becoming less and less tactical in a realistic sense (a tautology, but you get the point), and towards the unfortunate zone of bland grey mediocrity that cannot decide what it is - a shooter with realistic elements but the lack of ability to institute realistic tactics - Lockdown.

Any rhetorical questions in there? I do like to make use of the odd bit of rhetoric. I'm compulsive like that.

TedSmith
03-13-2006, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by DayGlow:
I just don't know if today's AI could pull it off without a lot of scripting, then you fall back into linear play.

If you look at the team AI from games like The Regiment and SWAT 4 and yes, even Lockdown, there have been vast improvements since the Rogue Spear and Raven-shield days on how AI handles clearing rooms.

The Regiment AI move fast, push corners and shoot to kill. The SWAT 4 AI do the same except they have the added restriction to call for compliance which I find often gets them killed. Lockdown's AI did fairly well in small rooms when they didn't flashbang themselves, but couldn't handle larger areas. Their largest problem in the larger areas was their refusal to move away from a few feet within the door. Instead of pushing forward and clearing the area piece by piece, they stopped and crouched behind cover just inside the large room and waited.

The biggest problem with SWAT and TR AI wasn't in successfully breaching a room they were ordered to, it was in what they did AFTER that. They often failed to watch the entrances to the room after they'd cleared it and that often got them shot in the back. That is not all that difficult to correct, really. All that's happened is that they had a priority, they breached the room, killed the enemies then called clear and.... ran out of priorities. After that, the default priority assigned to the AI should be to cover the doors/entrances from dominant positions until the go-code is given or their team leader calls for them to do something else according to the plan (fuse locks, secure hostages, stack/breach the next door, etc). It's not really a matter of scripting, just making their priority to secure and cover the room they're in when they have no immediate orders instead of standing around complaining like the Lockdown AI.

90% of the time with TR and SWAT 4, that was my biggest complaint about the AI. We would clear a room and then while I was moving towards one door, someone would walk in from another and just gun us all down. I found myself shouting all too often "Why weren't you watching the damn doors?!"

Additionally, speaking of SWAT 4, I would have liked to see them take some bloody initiative and secure weapons, suspects and civillians if they're left in a room with surrendered suspects and hostages and no orders for a period of time. I once told my team to breach a room, which they did nicely and had their suspect surrender, then I went around and completed the rest of the mission myself. When I came back to them, the suspect was still kneeling on the floor with his AK47 laying on the ground in front of him.

While having direct control when you want it is a good thing, you shouldn't have to babysit your team members and tell them every individual thing they're supposed to do. Granted we don't want them running off on their own, but part of properly clearing a room is ensuring that anyone IN that room is either dead or secured.

Brettzies
03-13-2006, 03:46 PM
Good read Defuser(and others). I'd like my medal in gold and navy blue please.

The two things I find so ironic about the R6 series is how the core gameplay has gotten worse in the modern graphics era, and that same gameplay is what made the series popular in the first place.

I'm starting to think that they focus too much on graphics and the limitations of whatever engine of the game and less on the actual gameplay. Granted, LD uses the GR engine, but even that is designed for a somewhat different game style, Ghost Recon style.

As cool and flexible as the unreal engine is for RvS and Swat4, it still makes them work within its parameters as opposed to doing what they want. Then they have to build on to it. If they were using their own engine, they could make it do the things they want first, like R6 and RS without restriction. Not saying graphics are not important, but these plug and play game engines are not so simple when it comes to TacFPS's. Swat4 seems to have done a good job with unreal tech, but I still think they are better off going from the ground up.

I know there is a seperate "engine" thread, I'm just saying this here because I think the overall engine has actually contributed to some limitations in what they wanted to do or could do with the games. Especially in the realm of optimizing it.

DayGlow
03-13-2006, 03:54 PM
There seems to be limitations with Unreal with SWAT4 as well. One of my biggest frustrations is that the AI does not reconize the difference between an open and closed door, and will always double stack, exposing them to fire as they cross the door.

Posting about this I found out that the map maker needs to setup stackpoints for every door. The AI is clueless on how to do it unless it's part of the map, thus the stack points are the same for an open door vs a closed door. Better solution than RvS where they just stand infront of the door, but still limiited.

KungFu_CIA
03-13-2006, 04:08 PM
TedSmith brings up what seems like an age-old conumdrum game developers still haven't gotten right in team-based/sqaud based shooters and that is balancing the Team AI to be independent enough to do their jobs competently, but not so independent the player can't control them.

A prime example is when Ghost Recon 2 for the Xbox came out.

I remember watching the Developer Diaries on Gamespot and they were talking about the improved AI of your Ghost team mates and I specifically remember one of the devs said during testing that they made the AI so good at eliminating targets, taking cover and acting like "real" soldiers (within the confines of the game) it didn't leave much else of the player to do other than just tell them where to move, or to hold, etc.

In a way, I kind of wish MORE games took this "extreme" approach because this is the level of AI where I think (*hope*) we are headed where the AI simulates being as alert and competent as a real human where we don't have to babysit them as much as we have to now... Especially, in CQB squad games where being alert and aware of your surroundings is sometimes even more crucial than in combat with large, open environments.

I also understand the counter-argument people play games to PLAY games and not just watch inhuman AI shoot other AI and leave them with nothing to do, either.

However, it is this balance which no game has ever truly reached in my personal opinion, and I am just hoping we eventually get there because as Ted said, it doesn't have to be some complex routine that sucks up CPU cycles and brings the game to a crawl like most devs think "realistic" AI has to entail. It is just a matter of implementing priorities to where they at least appear to be more "alive" (alert) and can make small decisions like the above example of securing suspects after a period of time passes and there is no input from the player.

Also, what I would like to see AI do is something I have only experienced in the console versions of R6 (R63; Black Arrow; Lockdown) and that is once they properly clear a room, they take up strategic positions around the room and do exactly what Ted said and that is cover potential threat areas.

For example, in R63, once Price, Weber and Loiselle take a room down and yell, "Clear!"... They all move to appropriate cover spots and take a knee. Price will move and kneel behind a desk if one is there and train his fire sector on anything in front of us. Loiselle will take a knee by the door we just came through and cover it in case a Tango sneaks up behind us. Weber will kneel and cover whatever angle is left depending on the room's configuration.

It is partially scripted, but also dynamic enough where whatever team member is nearest the door we just came through, for example, will immediately take that role and cover it when they move for cover. It isn't just Loiselle who covers the door every time and depends on who is nearest when the room take down is finished.

What I think the console versions use are some kind of "cover point nodes" the AI automatically reads once they finish the room clearing routine and they automatically head toward those nodes and it presents the illusion of covering different areas and fire sectors.

If this kind of system is what it takes to make the AI more "intelligent" I wouldn't mind it at this stage because at least the nodes are strategically placed to where they are in a position to mimic the jobs done by real fire teams and actually provide a real sense of security and not just the illusion of security...

And this is on a 1999-era PC (Xbox) with a Pentium III 733 MHz CPU and 64 MBs of RAM!

It still baffles me as to why they can't "port" the AI from R6 consoles to the PC because even as anti-console as people are... If you have played the R6 games on consoles the AI is the one aspect which actually SURPASSES the PC versions, hands down, and is basically one of the only reasons I even got the R6 games on Xbox, let alone just to have as part of my R6/Tom Clancy collection.

DayGlow
03-13-2006, 04:36 PM
I know the cover nodes are in LD, no idea if the map makers used them properly though.

From the NED editor documentation:

CoverPoint
CoverPoints are placed throughout a mission anywhere you want the AI to consider as valid cover during a firefight. When placed, it displays an adjustable arc. During gameplay, if an AI senses a threat within the angle of that arc, they use that location for cover. CoverPoints have a number of properties that allow them to be adjusted for different heights and angles. Due to the number of CoverPoints that need to be placed in a mission, you may find it easiest to open a mission included in the game that uses the map you’re scripting on and use the File menu bar options to export/import CoverPoints.

Maybe they were so rushed to get it out the door they didn't fully script all of the missions?

Vert22110
03-13-2006, 05:15 PM
@Defuser... that was a great read.

Yen Lo
03-13-2006, 05:26 PM
Great thread people wish I had these deep thoughts lol. Keep it up.

green_ant
03-13-2006, 06:10 PM
Now, Raven Shield............................................ .............
I also believe the missions were fundamentally unexciting - nothing wrong with how they were rendered - but we had nothing like the grandeur of the opera house, long sightlines of 747 (and it's resonance with much counter-terrorist activity) or the pure atmosphere of going to Kosovo.

That's one of the main things that ruined RvS for me because I found the maps were not that exciting where as R6/RS had far better mission locations and offered more replayability and inspired me to keep playing them if I failed. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
In RvS, if I failed a mission a number of times, it got to the point where I was sick of playing the map but continued to play for the satisfaction of finishing them and was glad I never had to do it again once completed, where as in R6/RS, I couldn't wait to try the maps again because they were that much better.

DreamMarine
03-14-2006, 03:34 AM
Very good thread! Thanks to Defuser! Let's all dream this dream together! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


I have a kind of philosophical question about team AI:

if, in this kind of dream R6, i take one of the given plans (which should work), and i make the operatives (which should have an effecient AI) do the whole job on THEIR OWN.

should this always result in a success???

if not, was it a bad plan? or was it because of bad team AI? or was it just bad luck? how much comes the efficiency of the player into account?


you got the point? how much should the success depend on these factors:


- planning
- team ai
- player efficiency
- luck



depending on the chosen model the gameplay changes. For example:

1)
planning: 50%
team ai: 20%
player efficiency: 20%
luck: 10%


-> you have a VERY tactical game with lot of weight on planning. (actually, it's more a kind of strategy instead of tactics)

2)
planning: 20%
team AI: 60%
player efficiency: 10%
luck: 10%

-> you have a very strong AI and a relatively unimportant planning phase. But maybe the AI is too strong, because they could do the job almost entirely on their own.

3)
planning: 0%
team AI: 10%
player efficiency: 70%
luck: 20%

-> you know this game: LD! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


i believe, these 4 factors model the kind and quality of SP gameplay of R6 pretty well.

of course, once it is decided about the composition of these 4 factors, there are a LOT of other questions which have to be decided on.

but at the end, you can check, what kind of gameplay the R5 game has.


BTW, I would approximately vote for:

planning: 30%
team AI: 30%
player efficiency: 30%
luck:10%


DreamMarine


p.s.:
for all, who are interested in, here is how you test, if the game fulfills the formula:

1) make the best assault plan you can think of. make the team AI do the assault entireliy on their own. repeat this several times. the rate of success should equal:

team AI / (team AI + luck)

2) now make the worst plan, you can think of, and repeat the above procedure. now, the rate of success should equal:

teamAI / (planning + team AI + luck)

3) you can do the same with different players (worst and best), and so on!


sorry for the mathematics! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

dave819831983
03-14-2006, 07:36 AM
Loved the first post - I too remember playing the embassy demo - just the loading screen made me wet my pants, once the game started id moved into heaven.

I agreed with almost all of it except some of the criticisms of RvS - yes the AI wasnt great but it wasnt a terrible game.

Also most people seem to think that real life CT teams moving "fast" is because they just run fast. This isnt the case (theres some videos on this forum, perhaps someone can find the link, of room clearing techniques). Now, while it may look quick, they are actually moving very slowly, no faster than a quick walk. The reason it looks quick is because of the efficiency of their movement.

therefore I dont think its realistic, or fun, to make the in game player be a ble to run really fast. In my opinion RvS's speed is about right. A balance of speed and realism.

Anyway thanks for a good read. Will PM you my address for the medal http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Defuser
03-14-2006, 09:05 AM
In my eyes, the AI should be competant to handle every task you throw at it. The assumption that the player somehow needs to have the AI crippled enough to necessitate their role in the proceedings is nonsensical. Hold on a second! Wouldn't this allow us to just sit back and watch the game, not participating in it at all? What if we just used the suggested plans and watched the game through to the end?

YES! But how then could you derive any enjoyment from it? And that's exactly the point. Don't cripple the game because some people won't get involved. As if anybody's going to say "This game is ****! I just sat and watched the AI!" when they could so easily get involved themselves? Don't cripple the AI just to make the lazy people put themselves into the assault. By all means, make the AI good enough to be able to follow a (sound) plan without player involvement. If you had any desire to PLAY the game in the first place, you'd take the role of one of the teams - for god's sake! You've payed money for this! If anything, watching a successful assault by the AI would make you WANT to get involved to the fullest extent if only to prove yourself competant! For those who want to watch the/their own plan unfold - LET THEM. That was the intention all along, was it not, with the obsever modes in the other R6s? It was just unfortunate that the AI was not competant enough to follow the plans to the letter, with any degree of skill.

IF the AI was capable enough, then it would make the game infinitely better on the planning side... Take a game like 'The Regiment', where even though there is no planning phase, you can instruct your AI squad to clear in a variety of different ways. They clear remarkably well - so well, in fact, that in the vast majority of situations you can rely on them to complete the tasks you were set. Does that mean somehow you don't get as much enjoyment from the mission? Does it hell! If you feel the need to get involved, you simply clear the next room yourself. You have THE OPTION to get the AI involved... The AI in 'The Regiment' will also come unstuck if they don't get the right tactical aid to clear the room. You have to toss the flash/frag/cs for them, if you choose to do a grenade assault. It doesn't have as much depth as the R6 games have, but it does illustrate that with a combination of tactics and good AI, they can overcome the vast majority of opposition forces. Is this any less enjoyable? For me, no. If 'The Regiment' had as much depth as the R6 games had in terms of kit choice and planning, then I would be in hog's heaven.

DayGlow
03-14-2006, 09:36 AM
I agree the AI should be compentent to do the job. The player's role is to know is job in the room and do it, the AI trusting the player would do it. If the player doesn't cover his arc, well a threat could hit the AI.

Also I think what is important is map and mission size. Lately the missions, esp with LD have become massive. I'd much rather see smaller maps, with 10 ro 15 tangos at most. A mission shouldn't last longer than 5 minutes, but have a lot more.

Relenquish
03-14-2006, 09:44 AM
The risk of 10-15 tangos is how to make it challenging.

The Enemy AI will need a huge boost to make 10-15 enemies a challenge. And making them super human, ie RVS ELITE, is not fun.

Swat 4 is probably the closest game to being able to make a few enemies challenging.

I would like to see a variety. Playing though a large map like meat packing plant I find fun. But mix in maps designed for dynamic, 3-4 minute assualts would also be great. Focusing on only a hand full of points where there are multiply threats and angle to cover.

You cant go wrong with variety :-D

Defuser
03-14-2006, 01:07 PM
Most hostage situations are over in a matter of minutes once the assault has begun, take a look at;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hostage_crises

And most of them involve less than 10 tangoes, typically 5 or 6. In situations where there were a large amount of tangoes, such as the Moscow theatre siege, upwards of 30 (42 I think), then the location where the siege is taking place is literally FLOODED with operators, and extreme tactical measures have to be taken to make an entry possible. For even 5 or 6, like the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege, there were at least 3 teams of 4 men storming the building. Realistically, you have to have EVERY avenue of the building closed off, contained, and ready for the attack.

Assaults against 30+ tangoes with only 2 teams of 4 men simply would not happen. It would be very dangerous and irresponsible to attempt it. Even with all the tactical advantages in the world, and the best team available, it would still be remarkably risky due to the sheer weight of numbers involved. Where R6 falls down is that tight groups of tangoes SHOULD present a challenge. They should represent danger. If they are communicable and trained, even more so. They should not be paper targets.

Some would argue that this would make the missions too short and unexciting, with only a handful of tangoes that were there once before. If the world of Rainbow is appropriately realistic, with the necessary considerations within the gameworld taken into account (such as the required speed of an assault), then you simply cannot have the assault without more than 8 men on a building containing more than 30 tangoes. If realism is adhered to, it would simply be highly irresponsible.

This is where the game mechanic gets broken to fit the lack of realism taking on masses of tangoes entails. The tangoes are either placed few and far between BUT strategically (i.e. when was the last time you saw two tangoes in the same room in a R6 game, who weren't placed in strategic locations?) or bunched together out in the open. To take on 40 men, they have to be spaced evenly and strategically for them to not overwhelm the player (as could well happen) but also ensure that there is a constant flow of action all through the mission.

DayGlow
03-14-2006, 01:44 PM
This is where you need to strike a balance between gameplay and realism. I found some of the larger maps in RvS were too loaded with tangos. I have a lot more fun in terrorist hunt looking for 5-10 on the large maps. Tension is not knowing what's behind every corner/room. Advancing down a street. The tension of looking is pretty good. LD is way over the top combined with the forced path is way too shooting gallery.

KungFu_CIA
03-14-2006, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Defuser:
In my eyes, the AI should be competant to handle every task you throw at it. The assumption that the player somehow needs to have the AI crippled enough to necessitate their role in the proceedings is nonsensical. Hold on a second! Wouldn't this allow us to just sit back and watch the game, not participating in it at all? What if we just used the suggested plans and watched the game through to the end?

YES! But how then could you derive any enjoyment from it? And that's exactly the point. Don't cripple the game because some people won't get involved. As if anybody's going to say "This game is ****! I just sat and watched the AI!" when they could so easily get involved themselves? Don't cripple the AI just to make the lazy people put themselves into the assault. By all means, make the AI good enough to be able to follow a (sound) plan without player involvement. If you had any desire to PLAY the game in the first place, you'd take the role of one of the teams - for god's sake! You've payed money for this! If anything, watching a successful assault by the AI would make you WANT to get involved to the fullest extent if only to prove yourself competant! For those who want to watch the/their own plan unfold - LET THEM. That was the intention all along, was it not, with the obsever modes in the other R6s? It was just unfortunate that the AI was not competant enough to follow the plans to the letter, with any degree of skill.

The practical counter-argument developers and publishers use is they work off the assumption a player who is already in a game WANTS to be there and wants to (already) be involved... Or else they wouldn't be playing the game in the first place.

The imbalance between player interaction and competent AI we are discussing arises when they scale back the AI to A) Accomodate the hardware constraints of low-end computers, or console systems, or B) to facilitate more action on part of the player because as much as we may not want to admit it... There will always be gamers who say, "Man. That game sucked because the AI did everything for me. If I wanted to watch AI, I'd rent Terminator III!", or something similar...

And it is this kind of feedback -- especially during beta testing -- Publishers and developers will always listen to more because it translates, in their minds, into potentially lost sales... Regardless of how flawed the initial comments are.

As I said earlier, I'd love it if AI team mates in squad based shooters actually DID a lot of the work for me... And when I say "work" I mean were competent and alert enough to watch not only my back, but their own back's as well, so I didn't have to babysit them like current squad and team-based AI forces players to do 90% of the time.

However, again, "doing the work for me" is always falsely translated into "turn the player into a passive spectator instead of an active participant" which again, while flawed, is the basis for why a lot of AI is dumbed down in the production phase as it is one the things they can easily check off their list of priorities as "done" and move onto the next order of business.

Relenquish
03-14-2006, 02:02 PM
I think the bad guys should really be placed in sensible statigic positions. Not just a few in that room a few in there.

Maybe a few central masses inside the building near the hostages. Then some patrols of a few badies going around. Certainly it should be a hunt, not a continuous firing range.

As for numbers. I think plenty and stupids getting a bit to old now. Swat 4 and TR as great fun becasue the tangos and x-rays react to you. Now when I play RVS it seems dull, like shooting cardboard cut outs.

Tactical shooters should have fewer, but more challenging.

Again like many things, how it can be done depends upon how good the AI is. If the ais not up to it the only way to make it challenging is to flood the map with bad guys and hope a few of them get lucky.

As for realism and numbers, the game needs to be challenging, and people want more than 1 or 2 kills. I would say most RS fans would be disappointed with less than 17 badies on a map.

DG idea of 5 minute short missions I feel could really work if the enemy ai is challenging and it makes you think in planning. It was never possible with previous AI, but maybe this next game could have it.

AS DG says, a good balance needs to be met. To put a sure figure on whats good atm is impossible as we have no idea of waht kind of maps there will be, the ability of the AI, and a million other factors.

Defuser
03-14-2006, 03:37 PM
I was absolutely not advocating the 'evenly spaced in strategic locations' 40 man tango missions, not by a long chalk, just in case anyone was confused as to my position. Due to the breaking of the game mechanic, it necessitated such an approach because by abandoning some of the more realistic aspects of room clearing and counter terrorism, the tangoes HAVE to be spread out in order for their pacification to be manageable.

I fully agree with Dayglow that tension resides in not only the threat of tangoes, but the random placement thereof. Tension should be Rainbow Six's middle name. Rainbow 'tension' Six, if you like. Having tangoes jump out repeatedly, or in huge numbers, means that they have to be weakened in order for them not to over power the player - they are weakened not only in the sense that they have sub-standard AI, but also they lack the realistic traits of tango behaviour (such as just fleeing and/or moving to a better and more consolidated position, detonation/suicide with grenades or otheer explosives, the murder of hostages, using hostages as shields, calling for support, surrendering and the such like). Weaken the tangoes... masses of them... behaving homogenously like paper targets... Sounds like Lockdown.

In effect, you become desensitised to tango combat in Lockdown, because not only are there so many of them, but they are ineffective and so predictable in their location and behaviour. Contrast with moving through the Fairfax residence in SWAT4, where the suspect could be in any number of locations (in fact, there's a random additional perp in there, too), where the tango could be anywhere. That was intense - but painfully slow. Now, while a counter-terrorist raid is a loud, fast, maelstrom of action, there is still always that frightening prospect of action. Flashbanging an empty room and storming it is just as tense as clearing a room with a tango in it because you don't know if he's there. Make the adrenaline pump, make the sweat pour down the foreheads, make the player realise that once that first breaching charge goes off, and when that first shot is fired, ANYTHING can happen and it's much as anyone can do to keep a handle on the situation. The professionalism of special forces in genuinely terrifying and chaotic environments is something R6 could really do well to impress upon the player. Again, immersion, through realistic portrayal of tactics, wins the day.

I have to admit, my preferred configuration of mission would be one where various support units could be called into action, such as a sniper (kitted out and placed by the player, of course, no 'Sierra 1' here), and a building containing 15 or so tangoes who have taken up residence, with hostages. The entry points would be multiple and at different levels, using a variety of methods, with the prospect of a stealthy approach AND a full balls to the wind assault. 90% of the tangoes would be randomly placed, the hostages in the same place roughly 70% of the time (depending on the quality of the mission's intel, of course. The less intel, the more random the placement), or even moving them around at different times, with terrorists performing patrol routines as well as doing other random tasks (such as toilet visits, that sort of thing - just an example, but smoking and the such like should feature equally). The mission would be executed with 3 teams, plus support units, all under various orders specified in planning BUT flexible enough to be scratched and modified should things go FUBAR - hard to implement, I know, but here's a suggestion.

In planning, we choose our teams and their kit. We look at a rough/detailed map of the mission (depending on intel) and choose insertion points AND METHODS for said teams (such as fast rope, rapelling, or just on foot). When it comes to breaching the building, we can choose a variety of methods, such as detonation of diversionary charges and breach, blowing out the doors/windows, picking the locks, sledghammering a window in, shotgunning the hinges out... you get the picture - all of course depending on the team in question's kit. From then on, the orders are simply 'clear the floor' in a variety of methods (with different ROEs and speed). The AI should be able to calculate when each tactical aid should NOT be used, such as a frag in a room full of hostages. On the map is an objective marker pointing out hostages. At that point, the next order is 'wait for go code' or simply assault (in a variety of methods, some outlined above). In addition to the regular orders there should 'escort hostages to extraction' taking the hostages through an appropriate exit route.

So what you have is a map with a series of 'hotspots' in which you can place teams and specify how they assault. Not only would this simplify planning to the extent that you wouldn't NEED to put down waypoints, as they already exist in a skeleton sense you just need to put teams to them, but the AI would eliminate the vast majority of tedious refinement needed to produce a decent plan. The plans should have a varying number of hotspots depending upon the complexity of the operation, further operations having more opportunity for technical but non-the-less easy to instantiate plans. It should ideally make the player have to think about tactics, but not have to spend tedious hours laying down waypoints in every room they want cleared.

The side effect of having random tango placement is that it necessitates not only caution but also the clearing of every room in a structure. In Rainbows of old, you simply clear the rooms you know to be tangoes in and move in as quick a line as possible to the hostages. In a game of random tango placement, the 'clear floor' order of the AI would be paramount as it wouldn't matter in what order the rooms were cleared (within reason) as you'd inevitably need to clear them all ANYWAY.

Steve_993
03-15-2006, 12:52 PM
That was a very interesting read bringing back fantastic memories. I feel i have to agree with
KungFu_CIA

quote:

One major cause is the rise of so-called E-Sports and Person vs. Person (Multiplayer) competitive video gaming.

I think this has resulted in a gradual removal of skill from the game, as a there are a smaller percentage of people who have the patience to successfully plan, prepare and execute a mission. I feel this fact is reflected by the current state of RvS servers, i.e plenty of adversarial servers as a pose to human cooperative efforts.

If you look at the recent releases Lockdown, Raven Shield (to a certain extent) and even Ghost Recon - Advanced Warfighter, they are all designed for a blast with no skill.

I long for the day Ubi soft will return to the original formula that made R6 so involving, but until then i will just have to make do with Rogue Spear - Black Thorn.

CWP_Omega_Man
03-16-2006, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by DayGlow:
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif it's my opinion, on RvS. The planning stage came down to trial and error until you hit that magical point of findind the 'solution' and the AI not screwing it up.

When I look at the planning stage, it's unrealistic to have a full blueprint of a building, then map out each waypoint for a team to move on, and have zero devation from. That's not how it works in RL and if that's what the planning stage is, IMHO I can do without it. I'd rather have better tactical AI and control in room clearing and splitting of a smaller squad for more dynamic events under my control.

My dream planning stage would be to basically tell team 2 to assualt from the NE corner and work towards an objective, wait for a go-code, then storm the objective area. Then the AI figure out the best way of doing it, where to go, etc. This won't happen as AI is not there yet.

Personally choicing between rigid lifeless planning vs expanded squad control, I'd pick expanded squad control. My dream would be to have at least 5 AI under your control, so it can be split into 2 teams with a cover man for yourself. From there you can split them for takedowns of rooms or to cover areas while you work another, etc. It would be more like RL in my opinion.

I agree. However, something as simple as the team control in Ghost Recon, where you click on the map and tell a team to go here or do that, or wait for an order, would work just fine. Include that with the current RVS "point to a door and tell the team to open it" type quick commands and all will be fine.

doubleTAP5.56mm
03-17-2006, 03:31 AM
A dream R6 game would be one in which it is recognised that people who play tactical games find the combination of tactics and the authenticity of the atmosphere generated therein to be the most immersive and exciting environment. We don't need Hollywood back-chat. We don't need nicknames and dual-wielding. We don't need big bad guys with monobrows. We don't need clichéd personalities. We don't need outrageous accents and personalised armour with unique armpatches (in singleplayer) and we especially don't need ARGUING.

There is no more an immersive atmosphere than when the APPROPRIATE and realistic military terms are used and also where the operators with you behave professionally and REALISTICALLY. It has always been the realism of the surroundings, the terrorists motives and their behaviour that made the R6s so involving and impressive to play.

Defuser that 1st post is the most insightful post I've read in any forum ever. From start to finish.
I copied the above paragraphs just for Ubisoft's sake. Here's a clue guys.
Sorry that's all I have to add to the discussion, it's 0530, I'm too tired and I type way too slow.
Great thread!!