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Gunplay in W3D Games

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We've been talking about it internally for a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd bring this discussion to you guys to see what you think. @LiamGriever also mentioned it in his recent thread, so I figured it would be a good time to start the discussion.

The original post:

On 12/27/2018 at 5:45 PM, OWA said:

I've been having a think about gunplay in W3D recently. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the subject.

W3D has certain concepts nailed down like armor types, bullet velocity, bullet gravity, spray angle and location damage; with stance-based accuracy penalties that were also worked in later.

What are your opinions on certain gunplay concepts that we are missing? (To clarify, this is mainly affects infantry smallarms or any infantry weapon that fire bullets.)

For example:

  • Aim down sights (ADS)
  • Bullet damage dropoff based on distance (the longer a bullet travels, the less damage it deals, meaning that combat can be conducted over greater distances)
  • Weapon recoil (vertical and horizontal movement of the aimpoint due to sustained fire, kind of like a predetermined spread pattern)
  • Advanced reloading mechanics (partial reload sequences, e.g. firing off a partially reloaded shotgun)

If there's anything I've missed, feel free to add it. I'm interested to know you're opinions on these things.

Also, if anyone isn't familiar with concepts being talked about in this thread, I recommend that you go and read this article about how weapons are setup in Planetside 2. Whilst there are a lot more elements to Planetside's weapon implementation, the core concepts are nearly identical to Renegade's.

Take a read here: http://iridar.net/planetside2/weapons/weapon-mechanics/

I'm looking forward to the discussion and ideas! :) 

 

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In terms of gunplay, I've always felt most at home with Call of Duty. That series seems to always have the perfect settings for dropoff, recoil, TTA (time-to-aim), and reloading combined with the FOV. Taking a peek into the ini files for some of those games might give some inspiration.

If ADS is added, I'd love to see some additional scopes in future projects. Give me a RDS, a Holo, a 2x, 3x, 4x, etc.

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All of these things would be interesting (edit: interesting doesn't always mean good gameplay) to have, providing that they are optional and offer a lot of configuration possibilities (like different recoil patterns).

Something I'd NOT want: Leaning, also known as the ultimate peek-a-boo corner camping tactic. Let's keep the games as games and focus on fun gameplay. Just because you can do something in real life, doesn't mean it translates into fun gameplay.

Side note, there are other weapon-type things I personally requested from the code team. While not all of these would apply to GUN-play, they could nonetheless expand gameplay options for other usages.

Edit: Besides, leaning would require a whole new animation set supported by the engine, and adds a lot of artist work. If we ever needed engine-wide animation additions, it'd have to be support for diagonal movement with greater priority than something specific as leaning.

Edited by Raap

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I feel that W3D games (and renegade) have their own niche, and that niche should be catered to rather than making mechanics like most other games.  While it's true that sticking too close to the roots can be a bad thing, not honoring them is likewise a bad move IMO.  That means by default I'm skeptical of changes, but I'll also acknowledge there's probably room for improvement.

On the specific items on the table:

Aim down sights - fine, as long as it doesn't remove secondary fires.  Right click is kind of the "king" for both those functions, but assuming one or both features were rebindable there's really no problem.

Bullet damage dropoff - The current range system isn't perfect, but I think it's one of the things that make these games unique and I'd want it preserved.

Recoil - It's fine as long as it's not overdone.  Doing it too much would be changing things too much.

Advanced reload mechanics - Hard to comment without more specific examples.  Partial reload of a shotgun is probably fine.  If something's creative an ADDs to a weapon/unit, then sure, but I'd take it on a case by case basis.  Maybe something like the captain "double charging" the M60 by linking extra ammo with a second reload.  That could be fine. It really depends on the specifics though.

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Question is if we want to turn the games into battlefield/COD, but personally I prefer the arcade easy feeling we have.

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9 hours ago, OrangeP47 said:

I feel that W3D games (and renegade) have their own niche, and that niche should be catered to rather than making mechanics like most other games. (...)

Indeed. And this is why any new feature additions to core gameplay should come with various configuration options (including disable).

Perfect realism however, in my opinion, should not be the goal at any point, since there are plenty of game engines that already do this out there. But if a certain modern mechanic has a lot of positive feedback due to the fun-value merit it holds, then by all means I see no reason why it should not be considered for inclusion.

As it stands, I think recoil patterns might be the most sensible thing here (with the added option of auto-correction). It would allow the weapons for both infantry and vehicles to handle a little more modernly without changing the fundamental gameplay flow too much. W3D already supports movement based cone of fire bloom so it wouldn't be a far stretch of the imagination to see recoil working in these games (and this would include automatic fire mode cone of fire bloom as an optional thing to consider as well).

In my personal opinion, things like damage drop-off will just add another layer of needless complexity to the games without serving any gameplay value other than "realism for the sake of it". It will cause a lot of cases where people will get frustrated because of the damage fluctuations.

ADS is interesting as well because honestly it does very little. It typically just raises the first person weapon to be closer to your point of view, while lowering the field of view. Given that W3D already offers a toggle between 3rd and 1st person view modes, ADS might be redundant. It already does a field of view reduction in APB, for example. The only thing missing in APB is the weapon position being closer, but then we're talking significant rigging/animation changes for all character/weapon combinations. Something like recoil patterns would not come with such steep implementation costs.

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1 hour ago, Raap said:

Indeed. And this is why any new feature additions to core gameplay should come with various configuration options (including disable).

Perfect realism however, in my opinion, should not be the goal at any point, since there are plenty of game engines that already do this out there. But if a certain modern mechanic has a lot of positive feedback due to the fun-value merit it holds, then by all means I see no reason why it should not be considered for inclusion.

As it stands, I think recoil patterns might be the most sensible thing here (with the added option of auto-correction). It would allow the weapons for both infantry and vehicles to handle a little more modernly without changing the fundamental gameplay flow too much. W3D already supports movement based cone of fire bloom so it wouldn't be a far stretch of the imagination to see recoil working in these games (and this would include automatic fire mode cone of fire bloom as an optional thing to consider as well).

In my personal opinion, things like damage drop-off will just add another layer of needless complexity to the games without serving any gameplay value other than "realism for the sake of it". It will cause a lot of cases where people will get frustrated because of the damage fluctuations.

ADS is interesting as well because honestly it does very little. It typically just raises the first person weapon to be closer to your point of view, while lowering the field of view. Given that W3D already offers a toggle between 3rd and 1st person view modes, ADS might be redundant. It already does a field of view reduction in APB, for example. The only thing missing in APB is the weapon position being closer, but then we're talking significant rigging/animation changes for all character/weapon combinations. Something like recoil patterns would not come with such steep implementation costs.

I agree. It's important that if we implement any of the following logic into the engine, they should be toggle-able, so that projects can choose to retain the feel of Renegade's gunplay if the devs want that. Ultimately what these proposals aim to do is vary the gunplay across the projects, giving each one more of a unique feel.

Recoil patterns are definitely a good thing, as they should stop us from leaning on the rng cone spray mechanics so heavily, which makes weapons such as the AK47 in APB a bit more controllable.

Damage drop-off is an interesting one, as it allows players to engage each other at longer ranges, something that hasn't really been tried all that much in the engine. It could also potentially fix the age of issue of "I have a rocket launcher that only damages aircraft" by setting the damage drop-off to be quite steep for anything that isn't an air unit. This allows weapons such as the RedEye to be a lot more usable outside of their niche at closer ranges, without the problems they have experienced in the past (i.e. submarine sniping).

ADS is an interesting feature, but as you say, it would require quite a lot of rigging/animation overhead to implement. Also it makes things tricky with secondary fires, which was also mentioned previously. I think it's good to talk about such features though; getting them out on the discussion table is definitely worth it.

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2 hours ago, VERTi60 said:

Question is if we want to turn the games into battlefield/COD, but personally I prefer the arcade easy feeling we have.

Pretty much this. If you’re going to change the game in that focus, you might as well switch engines! :v

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3 hours ago, Coolrock said:

Pretty much this. If you’re going to change the game in that focus, you might as well switch engines! :v

Well, there is still an absolute truckload of gameplay logic W3D does that would need to be re-invented elsewhere, from scratch. 

Perhaps we should list all the things W3D can do right now compared to, say, a stock copy of Unreal 4. 

Do not get me wrong, in the past I asked the age-old question as well, "Why stick to W3D?". Asking the question lead me to being better informed about the subject.

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2 hours ago, Raap said:

Well, there is still an absolute truckload of gameplay logic W3D does that would need to be re-invented elsewhere, from scratch. 

Perhaps we should list all the things W3D can do right now compared to, say, a stock copy of Unreal 4. 

Do not get me wrong, in the past I asked the age-old question as well, "Why stick to W3D?". Asking the question lead me to being better informed about the subject.

Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to have heard most engine talks. The biggest issue being that you’d have to “re-invent” elsewhere. You could sit down and learn something new, or you could stay where you feel comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with either of the two. 

Sure the W3D engine does what we want right now, but look how long it’s taken our small community to achieve. While there’s only a handful of us here, UE4 for example, has tons of people using it and “re-inventing” new things. That’s just the way the industry works. Most games will always retain a group of people that are dedicated to sticking with what they love. 

At the end of the day, a lot of fans who have followed the games for years would want to see it remade with better graphics, gameplay, etc. It’s why remakes are so sought after these days. You can’t blame people for nagging about wanting the game to go somewhere that’ll draw in more attention. RenX proved that with the initial wave of people swarming to play. 

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I saw the forum title and got excited about some John Woo akimbo shiet and got slightly disappointed. :(
On the other hand, some more work on guns are always appreciated, as although an arcadey feel is important, I can see a few issues. Personally, I kinda feel that the weapons need more oomph to them. It needs to feel more like I'm firing, so perhaps the gun sounds need to be edited. Otherwise, I can only really refer to OWA's post above. He says it much better than I ever will.

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17 hours ago, Professor Lemur said:

I saw the forum title and got excited about some John Woo akimbo shiet and got slightly disappointed. :(
On the other hand, some more work on guns are always appreciated, as although an arcadey feel is important, I can see a few issues. Personally, I kinda feel that the weapons need more oomph to them. It needs to feel more like I'm firing, so perhaps the gun sounds need to be edited. Otherwise, I can only really refer to OWA's post above. He says it much better than I ever will.

Recoil will help with this as it gives weapon firing some "measurable weight", you'll be able to "feel" the impact of firing a heavy weapon, and notice the more subtle effect of a smaller sidearm.

As for audio, well this is a resource matter. Good sounds cost money, and for a lot of us non-US/Canada folks, recording firing sounds ourselves is not an option. :v

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8 minutes ago, Raap said:

...As for audio, well this is a resource matter. Good sounds cost money, and for a lot of us non-US/Canada folks, recording firing sounds ourselves is not an option. :v

Clearly we need to rely on our freedom-loving Anglophiles to bail us out on this one. Get SammyD on the line.

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21 hours ago, Professor Lemur said:

Clearly we need to rely on our freedom-loving Anglophiles to bail us out on this one. Get SammyD on the line.

Agreed, I might have to see if I have any redneck friends with both good sound recording equipment and a wide enough variety of weapons. (I don’t know why I have the feeling the former will be the challenging part).

Anyways,

-recoil: mostly eye candy, but it does explain weapon inaccuracies and why targets need to be lead when firing, and etc.

-ADS: I feel about this the same way I feel about sniper scopes; sometimes when sniping you want the scope, other times it’s more fun to shoot from the hip. This mechanic could be accomplishable through the sniper scope mechanic for weapons without a secondary.

-Bullet damage drop off: I was never much of a fan. Some games it works well, while others it either cheapens the skill it take hitting your opponent, or promotes attrition damage.

-partial reloading: considering the way a lot of weapons are designed it is not that beneficial. Like a partially reloaded rocket launcher? Or pistol? Or shock weapon? Or flame thrower? Shovel? C4? It mostly applies to machine guns or shotguns.

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Hmm, we need more players to hold more discussion. Renlist took down IA, and actually, I think IA might have taken all of our APB players. Though it has been the Holiday season, meaning people are busy. But still... APB is a ghost town now. It wasn't like this a few months ago1 What happened?

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Where does this narrative of "IA took all muh APB players" come from anyway? Every time I look at IA when it has people on, maybe 1 or 2 of the 20-30 people there are people who've played APB more than once or twice?

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40 minutes ago, Mezmerize said:

Hmm, we need more players to hold more discussion. Renlist took down IA, and actually, I think IA might have taken all of our APB players. Though it has been the Holiday season, meaning people are busy. But still... APB is a ghost town now. It wasn't like this a few months ago1 What happened?

Please stay on topic.

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IA was a new flavor of ice creme, I mean W3D which explains the boom and bust cycle. I’ve been too busy lately and dealing with personal stuff to be on. More people will comment in due time. 

As for the servers I’d say wait till closer to February. (In fact a lot of gaming companies don’t advertise much between New Years week and Valentine’s Day)

Edited by Raptor29aa

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