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Hiden's Combat Test feedback

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Hello there.
Dear Dev-team, I announced this topic in my feedback forms as „Hiden’s CT Diary”, so here it is.
I really hope, you will take this topic seriously and maybe try to discuss it here, since after 90hrs of playing HMM I really love that game and want it to be great. I’ve got very, very engaged into it (I spent about 25 hours on modelling a prototype pilot for you, coming in few weeks) and I’m going to spend lot of time to give you a detailed feedback, in professional game-tester manner.
I hope that my knowledge obtained while working in game-dev studios will be helpful.

It will be probably veery long post, so I will divide it on four parts - gameplay/player's experience, physics pilots and audio-visual improvements.
I'm sorry in advance for my grammar/language mistakes, I write these posts in late night hours and English isn't my native language.

I played not really much matches, but after watching announcements and reading HMM Blog I was mentally prepared for the Test and focused on analytic record of my experience during the gameplay. I tried all four pilots and knowingly analysed every aspect of the gameplay I could hit on.
Probably I will play some matches more, but I think that at this point I know / I’m aware of everything I need to, to share my thoughts.

Let's start with the most important thing, which is gameplay.

The overall feeling of the game is just crushing awful (in comparison of regular version). The gameplay feels dumb, boring and unattractive... here are factors, which make the game comfortable or not:

The pace and lethality. - the feeling
Let’s tell this chronologically:

Start of the round. There’s nothing to do, no shop, no minigame. The greenlight countdown feels like have no sense in that situation. Everyone has equal chances and it makes the game boring. Yep, you can say, that now the chance to get to the bomb sooner than opponents depends only on your skills. But wait wait wait, on what did it base before? On player’s skill! In revving mini-game, in wise choice of using skills (the moment to activate secondary of FMJ or primary of Lotus), on driving skills. That was making the game more unpredictable and fun – more factors equals more scenarios equals more counting on your transporter’s game skills. If player (eg. transporter) is better in some game mechanics, he should be rewarded. Now there's no challenge in starting and physics are much simplified, making player's skills less important than possibility to bumping and being slowed down by other teammates who can't drive properly... Especially when you start as Stingray (so you're forced to start from last grid) and you are the only one who is competent to fight for the bomb on start of the round.

Okay, the bomb is grabbed. The slaughter begin.
If you’re Monster, you die in about 25 seconds, if Artificer – in 10. Okay, it was just generalisation, since I grabbed the bomb as Wildfire once (starting from third grid, as you forced me! It was hard, and our tansporter didn't try to catch the bomb!) and driven directly to the goal without giving a sweat. But probably I played against really skill-less opponents, idk.
The essence is that you even didn’t feel the rhytm of the battle and you are already dead. You even didn’t noticed, what killed you, because now all players just drive towards the bomb and shot like crazy trying to kill that freakin’ Monster ASAP!

The way to the goal.
As I said, it’s complete chaos. Cars feel like they’re faster. But tempo, in which you die is even faster, that you can’t get into any rhytm, any regular pace, you have no time to analyse situation, to plan a route and point in which you will strike. Don’t to mention, that if you even manage to fulfil any plan, in final effect you usually kill anybody but not your target and you even don’t know, how.
All players just obsessively try to kill the transporting player by impulsive spamming with their skills, without any plan, coordination. There’s no 1vs1 situations, no unique actions – just constant, chaotic, brainless slaughter spiced with respawn kills which, even if quite inventive, very often feel like the game kills you totally randomly without any reason. You have no time to think, that it was just your bad luck with opponent’s respawn.
The effect of that manner of gamestyle is, that I didn’t felt ANY contradistinction between good and weak opponents. I died so frequently or my opponents died so frequently, that I had no time to feel their playstyle, their manners. Every player felt like a generic bot to me.
During all matches while Combat Test I didn’t experience even just one situation, which would make me say „wow, that was good, well played”, either with my or enemy’s death.

You died. Quickly! Quicklyyy! You have to find good place to respawn!
Normally the first thing I do right after death is pushing a shop button. It allows me to get some psychic rest by thinking about something different than combat itself, gives me a time to take a deep breath, relax my muscles and get a new breath to go back to the action.
In Combat Test you have no time to take that breath. Even the scoreboard doesn’t offer you any shelter from exhausting action, because there’s no time to analyse it  – you have just few second to observe the development of action and foresee the best place to respawn. You’re constantly sticked to the combat and your brain gets overheated.

Okay, the bomb is near!
The last enemy interceptor is taken off, you will manage to carry the bomb to the goal already, ufff... oh, wait. Three enemies just respawned right behind you and killed in few seconds. Frustrating, isn’t it? You’ve got just 10 seconds of rest from your pursuers. The chaotic slaughter continues.

That's how I feel the flavour of gameplay now. All action-shaping factors were removed or vanished due to changes, making this all mindless and monotonous like Cookie Clicker web game. The effect is - no satisfaction from matches and high level of fatigue. Which lead to destruction of "just one more match and I go sleep" syndrome.
My whole team, after 4 matches in CT was like "i don't want to play it anymore. Let's wait till Combat Test ends".

Let’s quickly summarise it:
- exhausting pace - there’s no time to take a deep breath and cool down your brain which is constantly redlining like engine in youngster’s honda civic.
- monotonous gameplay - No there’s no time to observe and feel other players, because you die very often or they die very often. There’s also no situations to shell their behaviours, since all the gameplay feels just like zerg rush on the transporter.

To be continued...

Edited by Hiden

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The overtime

Well... it is very controversial and ambiguous decision. You listened to just one part of community. The other part didn’t say anything, because all was good.

As Ally said in one of the announcements, the Overtime is introduced in order to shorten matches which overrun. The whining (sorry, but it’s just my opinion) part of community was complaining, that long matches make them stressed. They do, obviously. Every hard-fought rivalry causes some stress and peak of adrenaline. I’m not hardcore gamer, but I believe that if someone get uncomfortable with stress caused by close-fought match should abandon the game and play Candy Crush Saga or other Farmville. Sorry.

Dear Dev-team! I know, that casual players are also important, but remember, that the best community is everlasting community – and it’s always consists of committed players who play your game on a regular basis. And it doesn’t mean, that they are hardcore players.

Long matches are sometimes too long. But long matches overall are somelike good phenomenon. They mean, that you stepped upon worthy opponent.

As I mentioned several times – I’m captain of, quite casual but talented (I think) team, [CW] Chaos Works. Let me tell you about our approach to short and long matches.
We play lot of matches (10 to 20) almost every evening. The great majority is trivial, and I don’t brag about it, it’s just fact. I wrote about that, I call, problem in other topic of mine (players assorting).
Usually, if the first goal (done by us) is trivial and even noone of our team die, in next two rounds we strike two own goals to make  it more challenging. We are in 2:1 situation with advantage to an enemy – if they do a goal – they win at instant, we have to strike two more. Usually the match ends with our victory, 3:2. We call it „5:0 for us”.
That manner came from boredom – we were bored of playing short, trivial matches. Usually during „5:0 matches” or transporter has about 80-90% of bomb possesion. We consider it as trolling and some kind of mentally humiliating sadism done to opponents, who aren't really opponents, but rather obstacles randomly driving around.
Sometimes we intentionally prevent ourselves to finish the match in 3 minutes just to make a pleasure from buing new upgrades in the shop and make some damage on enemies. To delight in destruction.
Short matches, for us, have just the same meaning as „challengeless match”, giving 0.00 satisfaction and feeling of wasted time (except situations when one of us has EXP/fame boost and want to raise it quickly for something).

Sometimes we step upon other good team or random yet talented four opponents. Up to now the longest match we played has duration of 54:50 minutes! Almost full hour! And you know what? That was freakin’ awesome to win it. We sweared on team chat, we screamed to our screens, we sweated our armpits and hands, but the taste of victory was just priceless!
If we lose a hard-fought match, it is like „okay, guys, congratulations. You’re better this time, GG, WP”.
40-55 minutes match is extremely long and exhausting for sure and I don’t think that it is optimal duration. However, neither 3-7 minutes duration is.

Back to Overtime. I don’t say it’s completely bad.

Well, let’s get a hypothetical, long-duration match (more than 10-15 minutes) under magnifying glass. What’s the first scenario of such match, or rather – such difficult round? One team goes with the bomb, come to about 70-99% of their way to delivery line aaand... the defenders catch the bomb in the last moment and come to counterstrike. They get to 70-99% of their way aaaand... the story comes full circle. And what does it mean? That both teams are nearly equally skilled.

In some situations (scenario no.2) the bomb stays on one side for a long time, oscillating between first and second section of hairpins on Metal God Arena... just to hit some point, when „losing” team strikes back and almost directly delivers bomb to enemies’ base.

In the first situation Overtime is unnecessary. Why? Because the match is already based just on teams’ skills. The delivery lines are moving quite fast and then the round is won by team, which was in charge just in the moment when Overtime started. It doesn’t mean, that they are more skilled – they had luck, that they were just on enemy’s side.
In the second scenario it’s more logical – the bomb stays on one side for a long time, which indicated some supremacy of one team. Overtime starts now. What’s the situation? The winning team is rewarded for good fight with facilitation of delivery. The losing team has ultimatum: „take the bomb off your side or you will be f*** up! Hurry!”

While writing this chapter of my review I came up with some idea.
In humble my opinion, the Overtime countdown should start not from the start of the round, but after coming into a side of the arena. If the bomb is staying on red side longer than, idk, 3 minutes, red delivery line (along with dropper area!!!) start to move towards centre of the arena (the blue delivery line stay in place).
After successful defence and counterattack the bomb comes to the blue side. After bomb leaving red side, the red delivery line start to move back with the same speed. After reaching the initial („zero”) position, the countdown of Overtime is resetted.
Both sides would have separate countdowns and delivery lines positions.

What would be the effect? Shortening long, close-fought matches, but doing it by rewarding good playstyle, not being luckily in right place in the right time.

That’s all for now about Overtime.
It’s 3:20 am here. I’m out, will be back, probably tommorow.
Take this as a sign of my dedication to HMM.

To be continued...


Edited by Hiden

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The removal of upgrades store

The lack of the store (which I will call „Shop” because it’s easier to type), as I mentioned, makes the game exhausting and doesn’t give any rest from action. However that’s just side effect, which occurs in connection with other changes such as new respawn or cars’ specs.

As far I remember, A'ly said somewhere, that except speeding up the pace, the shop removal is supposed to make newcomers less confused by this system.
What should say new LOL or Dota players?! The HMM Shop is really, really simple and it was one of the biggest pros, that spured me and my friends on playing the game! That was "wow, it's really simple, I like it, it's better than tons of stupid items in LOL".

The main problem with now is that the game has just no diversification. All matches feel like brainless zerg rush, as I wrote already. There’s no tactic, no strategy, no possibility to build a identifiable playstyle. By that change you said to players „just go and shot to all things that move!”. Is that the goal of moba game? Even if so different than „rpg mobas”? Where are the systems, which grew out of RTS genre, when Dota was just a mod?
The game feel just dumb and empty without it. Not to mention what consequences it gives to bad meta or having weak players as teammates in casual matches (again, vide my topic about players assorting).

There were several, very often situations: the last player in the team didn’t pick up a Support (is it toxic or what?...). Soo... the transporter has no support while rushing to the delivery area. Or Wildfire has no possibility to lenghten her lifespan by hugging the support. We have no support.
However, Monster has (had?...) Devouring Maw’s upgrade healing nearby enemies. The transporter turns into a support a little bit.
Wildfire has (had?...) an upgrade for Whirling Dragon which gives her a slight recovery.
Both of them can buy generic HP upgrade and repair rate upgrade.
"It will work out somehow"

And let’s see, how it looks now, in Combat Test. I start the match and our Artificer is, sorry, but totally lame (I will write about current pilots’ gamestyle later). I always say: „The team with good support is better, than team without a support. The team without support, but with good interceptors is better, than team with stupid, ineffectual support”. Playing with a player who’s totally bad at support role is like playing 3vs4. In that situation you have to get along and have completely no way to improve your situation, because there’s no Shop. You can’t overcompensate lack of in-combat repair by enlarging your HP. Just can’t. Period. You die even more often and your chances to win that match are much, much lower, because now lethality is the main factor intruding your delivery, not hard way to the goal.

Other thing, why we all love the Shop. You can play like no other player the same pilot.
For example:
Me and Ava (second interceptor in [CW] and my wife by the way) exchange Wildfire between each other, getting different effects. Or maybe – we play interceptors in different style supplementing each other.

I’m glass cannon, playing Wildfire or Killer J.  For the „Matchstick”, as we call her, I take longer Primary duration, accelerating Secondary with Whirling Dragon, generic Secondary cooldown acceleration and generic +10% of damage. I expand Spit’s explosion range and scorch the land to make mass destruction on several opponents at the same time.
I usually die fast and often, but if I don’t kill anyone, I leave them weak and ready to be killed by Ava.
She usually builds her for longer lifespan – self-repair, HP upgrade, and for offence: bigger range of fire – lenghtening the Whirling Dragon duration, scorching the ground and adding secondary Spit fireball or expanding the explosion range. The effect is she can’t reach as high dmg ratings as me, but is great in finishing off impaired enemies, making herself sure she will hit the target.

So we can play as range of different characters, but we are always able to set them up to play specified roles – I’m the Bane, Ava is the Punisher.
We don’t usually use the tactic to hinder enemy’s repair or make them weak, but the possibility of counter-support strategy is also pretty nice.

Why I describe this? It’s just to show you, that every character may be used for different purposes. And now, they can’t. They just deal damage and die sooner or later, depending on their HP number.

It’s sad, boring and unsatisfying.
It’s like a communism – everyone is equal, everyone is the same.
And this is why the game is so chaotic and mindless now. There’s no place for sublime tactics.

To be continued...

New respawn system:
coming today, for now I have no more  time  to write it down. I just point it to not forget.

Edited by Hiden

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Hey Hiden, 

Thank you for sharing your opinion with us. We'll make sure that all your comments reach our developers.

It's so rewarding to see a person engaged and willing to share feedbacks like you - we're very happy for your dedication. We hope you continue playing during our Combat Test - and of course, feel free to share any other ideas with us.


*I'm still reading your points*

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I want to share my opinion aswell. I have around 60 hours in the game now and I really liked the game so far. But, I have to agree with Hiden, the one who is leader of CW clan but lost to my clan :D ghehe. - game of 45 minutes which was the best game ever. Anyways, that was not what I wanted to say right here. The game is now totally chaos and feels more like a (good) internet browser game. It feels a bit like spamming abilities where no skill is needed. Of course, thats not totally the truth but the 'normal' version was based on nice teamwork, sometimes escaping with 10 hp left etc etc. Now its a mess. The ' focus guys / let's do this' factor has gone. I think Hiden wrote down all specs pretty clear in my opinion and I won't write down my opinion that specific but I want to say right here that the game how it is right now is no fun anymore and makes me quit (if it stays like this). So.... what I wanted to say: I agree with Hiden. Longer games are (more) intense but are usually the best ones! Oh, and last thing, something positive --> the community and game designers are awesome! They are trying to listen to the whole community which is fucking awesome and needs to be told to them aswell ;)

Oh and I forgot 1 little point I also want to mention: for me Artificer feels like a interceptor right now. All his abilities are damage-based. Yes, his Q can heal awell but thats the only thing he's doing as 'support'. His passive is also supportive but that feels not like actually playing support. It's more that u are doing some support work with your passive and for the rest of your abilities you are trying to take down enemies (thats how I feel it ;) ).

Edited by niels309
  • Upvote 1

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Hi Hiden!

Now I'll try to adress some of your points, I've read them carefully, and please, correct me if my interpretation is wrong somehow.

I can see that you care a lot about the game, and you want it to improve, with such a great feedback, pointing out your game experience as a member of a team and trying to give a thorough perspective. 

You value the points of a longer game, gave suggestions of a different type of overtime, which I actually enjoyed, and upgrade differences to develop a different gameplay style for each player and each different situation.

I understand you, and I can relate to some of the things you said, specially recognizing a team effort with different types of interceptors, one fully focused on damage and another who tries to be more sustainable, which is a great strategy development.

But I want to remind that the changes we are facing since February 14th is not set in stone. Overtime and Shop, that are your main concerns (correct me if I'm wrong), are important things that can be changed if the community so desires. We are open to changes and we are currently working really hard to gather every and each piece of feedback that our players are sending to us, and this includes all the concerns you have pointed so far on your feedback, with different possibilities pointed by the players.

I appreciate the effort you've put into this, and I wish to see what are the next points you're going to make haha.

Thank you!



Hi Niels309!

Glad that you shared your Artificer's impressions.

I will forward this to the developers

Thank you for the compliment, we're really trying our best to listen to you guys. :D

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Hi Sefirofe!
Nice to see your response and I'm glad that you appreciate my work.

In brief summary, what are my concerns included in above posts so far (from the most to least important to me and all my team):
1 - lack of shop - it made the game unsatisfying, monotonous, not interesting in the gameplay itself. Also, lack of Shop caused lack of certain strategies - as you complimented our strategy, you can see, that some players play in some actual style, fitted to the set of upgrades they buy in the Shop, which would help them to reach some desired goal (effective dpm, killing off effectiveness, long lifespan). Without the Shop you make players just try to aim successfully, which is not, the only aspect you should (in my humble opinion) base on. There's no space for diversity between players and team roles.
2 - tha pace and mortality rate... long lifespan = long and interesting "microstory" or your journey from start to the delivery. Short lifespan don't let player to catch a rhytm of the game and the speed of action makes the game more difficult, to frustrating point. Also, mortality rate makes the way from the middle of the arena to the delivery site feel like it was shredded. You don't feel it as whole "story" or "chapters" of going forward more or less efficiently. Now  the way you try to get to the goal feel like chaotic tussle.
The main factors which cause that phenomenon are too lethal weapons, different car physics and new respawn system, I think. These aspecs are to be described by me soon!
3 - overtime isn't that big problem for now, since points above make the game much, much, much less pleasant. What's the point in making match longer, while it just don't give you any satisfaction?

A lot of my friends are complaining about these aspects and some, which I didn't highlighted yet (but I will in few days).
I really love the game (that's the cause why I "waste" my time to write all the feedback here! ;) ), but when A'ly and Panda were announcing Combat Test (first time) I was like "oohh maan, really? why are you doing that?". When the CT started and I played the first match, I felt really lost, sad and frustrated. As people say "best is the enemy of good".
For now I veeery slowly get used to current mechanics, but I really don't like them (we all loved pre-CT gameplay). To be honest, me and lot of people expect, that after CT all things will come back to the old order. You call it "Test" and in some moments CT was called as an "experiment". So we understand, that it is some unusual state of the game, which is just a break of regular, normal order and when it will get to the end, all things will be like before update, and just then you will analyse gathered data, and yet after that you will build next update with well-thought changes in gameplay.

I don't want to press you to do something that way, I just say, how some people including me see it and what seems to be logical to us.

There's just one note I'd like to tell you. A'ly and Panda said in last stream, that you want to develop the community by allowing newcomers and casual players to come more easily.
Changes are kinda harmful (i mean, very hard to get used) to veterans.
Remember - casual player will come, play once, twice, and will quit the game to play CS:GO, and to play HMM next time in few weeks. Don't count on, that they will come to forum and get engaged.
On the other hand you have some old players, who love the gameplay (as it was before CT). They like to play the game, play it almost every day and invite new friends to play it. I am the one of them and I involved 4 of my friends to play HMM with me. And we all really like the game and cheer on it.
Don't expect, that "seasonal" players will do such things. They will just treat HMM as a short, casual break between stressing CS:GO or LoL matches... And it isn't a groundwork for engaged, cheerful community.
Think about it and about what group should be more important in considering some changes in the gameplay... :( And tbh, I don't see lot of good players who were owning around, since CT started. Looks like whole teams suspended their playing or just some players themself...
For last two days I have to amuse my wife, because after every session with HMM she almost cries "I was such good interceptor, why I'm totally lame now? I don't understand it". She has some e-sporty past and treats any game like that like real competition and gets really ambitious. CT mechanics feel foreign to her and she gets totally depressed about her performance, which she tries unvailingly improve... :( 

Some people enjoy changed, new mechanics. However, almost all folks over here loved old mechanics.

I have more feedback for you, however I'm busy in last days (wurkin wurkin) and have problem to find enough time to sit and write it down.
You can be sure, I will. ;)

Edited by Hiden

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Hiden, u are the best man!

You can really explain how I feel in the game.


Also, i want to call you and your team to enter in the HMM's Discord Server. We can talk more with the players who play more often, create some matches team versus team! (I hope they rollback to the old version, because now we cant play any matches and have fun)

Come here, we really like this game ! https://discord.gg/KXDkwV

Thank you again to give your time and write so perfect how i feel!

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I'd like to say to all people and to the dev-team (and community persons of Hoplon) - thank you very much for all warm words and signs of gratitude! I really, really appreciate this and it makes me sure that my effort is worth to be continued! :)

Currently I jumped to Pilots and Physics analysis, since I think that I already described the most important flaws about gameplay mechanics. However, have some problems with putting my thoughts together. I wrote something, but I need some more time for now.
Stay tuned ;)

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Bad and sad experience of playing frustrating matches along with my wife urged me to skip some part of my feedback for now and go to Pilots and Physics analysis, because these are two main factors causing the statements above.


Well, Combat Test turned the characters’ mechanics upside down.
The main thing is that now attacks mechanics are based primarily on aiming skills and one-shots. Is it equitable? It is... and it isn’t.
One one hand, as A’ly said, the change was meant to reward player’s skills rather than blind-shoting.
For now, the most noticeable changes summary looks to me like that:

- removing overheating weapons and putting one-shot skills in their place
- adding weapons’ triggers latency and emphasising one-shot weapons type
- disabling possibility of using two or three weapons at once

Let’s talk about overheating weapons. Old Artificer repair (don’t remember the name of skill), Whirling Dragon, Devouring Maw, Stingray’s blade... Are they really giving the player opportunity to attack without thinking, what is he/she doing?

Let me show you that it isn't quite true:
My first main character was Wildfire, ofc. On start, it was really hard to learn driving and keeping your machine next to your victim to fry them with Whirling Dragon. Really, it wasn’t so easy as it seemed, especially due to very minimal range of Whirling Dragon’s ring of fire (Johny Cash pun intended). You had to learn it.
The next step was to analyse and learn to foresee, when the attacked enemy will strike back and how to avoid their counter attack.
Not to mention these thrilling battles Wildfire vs Wildfire – who will die first?
Whirling Dragon duration seemed to be intended to have more control on when and who will you attack. Now you just click and pray for at least dabbing any enemy.

Another case – Devouring Maw. Is it really that easy? Short range was impeding aiming and reaching enemies just in front of you. Long duration of the Maw was intended to give you moderate repair over the time – the victim has a chance to flee from the light of the weapon. Moreover, that made it more difficult to effectively intercept any enemy. You had to navigate your vehicle well to make it to the end (death of enemy, I mean).

Well, look at some different aspect of the overheating. It was removed, while weapons lethality became (MUCH) higher. Well, sorry for maybe harsh words, but it makes totally no sense to me.
Is really waiting for reload and dealing monstrous amounts of dmg in one second better than thinking about managing your overheat time to be always ready for attack? When there was overheating mechanic, you had to think about how to save your weapon, to make sure that in the next moment you will need to use it, it will be ready to be used for at least 1.5 second.
If you have good skills, you may be able to attack almost constantly, without any break. But it needs some practice. And now it isn't possible.

Now you have to aim well now and just find two or three short moments to take off the enemy with full HP. Sometimes you do it by accident, hunting down another one. And you kill enemies just in few seconds. It is just like a hero of James Bond-like movie killing bazillions of clone-like enemies without any deliberation. Just mindless slaughter.

Before CT you had to take some effort to navigate your vehicle well, find good moment to avoid counterattack and take your time on one enemy. Even if the duel lasted 10-15 seconds, it has some plot twists, sidesteps, tension moments when you think „who will reload first” or „who’s weapon will overheat first?”.
Every, even shortest fight between two (especially) interceptors was a whole story.

Look at this link:


Here’s a 10-minute short animation. It’s very emotional and full of action. And you know, half of that is player’s imagination, but all these emotions, which you can find in this clip, included in these duels on Heavy Metal Machines arenas! Every few-seconds-short fight was like a whole story, very, very tight packed in this short time. But not now. I mean the old gameplay.

It has some more consequences. Bigger lethality causes less constant action of the delivery.
You died and your transporter left all alone, pursued by at least two interceptors.
You respawn and hurry to the action place. „Hold on, I’m on my way!” - every half of second in which your transporter will survive is important, because you have to get near to the bomb to take it while transporter’s last HPs will disappear to leave it loose.
Now, only if you play against a really weak team, you can go through whole route without being killed. Most of the cases end up with quite frequent deaths.
You died and your transporter left all alone, pursued by at least two interceptors.
You respawn and hurry to the action place. You aren’t eveny trying to type „Hold on” because you know that he will be dead in few seconds. You think „okay, don’t worry, enemy transporter will be dead in few seconds anyway.”

So... where are dramatics of the action? ;P

I don’t feel these emotions anymore, I just drive around and pray for hitting somebody with nearly randomly triggered weapon.


About weapons, let’s talk about the latency. I have not much to say about that.

I’ll tell you some story, to get some examples for weapons balance:
Have you ever hear about Soldat game? Very dynamic, side-view 2d shooter inspired by Liero, Worms and other similar games. At it’s golden era there were about two millions of players playing on hundreds of servers at the same time. Today the game is living-dead, but not due to gameplay.

I was Soldat’s veteran (and modder) for about 6-7 years. The main aspect of game development, which Soldat dev-team  was working on, was weapons balance. There were some sub- and heavy machine guns, grenade launcher and other. In total, 10 primary weapons to choose on on respawn and 4 secondaries. The game was very dynamic and there was some problem with one weapon – Barret M82A1. It was one-shot-one-kill sniper rifle, but due to 2d-nature of the game, it was also usable while running around. When you jumped out of bushes to kill other player with your AK-47 rifle, you standed no chance against his Barret.

That’s why Barret received startup latency of half a second. There were also two other weapons with latency – monstrous firepowered Minigun with 1-second run-up and, also one-shot-one-kill, secondary LAW bazooka, with half a second trigger latency. LAW was able to shot only while crouching or proning on the ground.
There was also one more weapon. M79 grenade launcher, but it has no trigger latency.

This weapons balance was outworked during almost 3 years of the game existence and it has some certain causes why it was like that.
Weak firepowered weapons, such like HK MP5, Steyr AUG or US SOCOM, had very fast bullet speed and reload speed, but quite short magazines.
Machine guns, like AK47 or FN Minimi had bigger fire range and longer cartridges, but lower rate of fire and accuracy.
On the other hand, powerful weapons such as Barret, Minigun, bazooka or M79 grenade launcher has some drawbacks of their power.
Barret has 5 seconds between shots and 10 second reload time, but the biggest bullet speed and almost no bullet flight parable.
M79 was one shot weapon – you had to reload it after every shot. It taken a lot of time, but also trajectory of the bullet was very demanding in learning.
LAW has quite straight bullet trajectory, very big range and monstrous damage, but it was able to be shot only on the ground, as I mentioned.


Well, sorry for that long digression, let’s get back to Heavy Metal Machines.

New weapons are mostly like that now: high damage, long reload (except ultimates, which I like), short range, and, afaik, almost every weapon has trigger latency.

Do every weapon deserve a start-up latency? And do every weapon with latency should be so ostentatiously warming up?
Well,  I see no point in giving it to the Artificer’s current primary weapon (which I honestly hate now), since it’s quite weak in whole game scale and hard to aim. It’s additional difficulty for the weapon which is already weak (as damage dealer) and hard to use.
On the other hand you have new Wildfire’s ultimate. It has VERY long run-up time and it’s very well visible, which makes it easier to dodge by enemies. Even easier, than with old version.
I like new primary and secondary weapons of Stingray, however I don’t think that secondary one need the latency. It has already short range and not so much big damage. I think that it doesn’t need subsidiary hindrance.

I have not much concrete, specific ideas for weapons balance for now. I will describe closely all pilots in next post, but for now I gave you some example, how to ratiocinate while designing weapons stats and mechanics balance. I hope it will be helpful to you.

See you in next post, about Pilots. I will touch the topic of allowing usage of just one weapon at once then.

To be continued... ;)

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Well, I suspend my testing / feedback action. I'm waiting for first changes announced yesterday. After the update I will test things out and provide more feedback, also continuing topics I did't write yet.

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