Nestrpljenje je na vrhuncu….2.5 je blizu

Za sve vas koji prozivljavate iskustva, koja su za opisati najbliza nervnom slomu, evo jedna bacena kost u vasem pravcu pa glodjite.

[Submitted by LittleCannon]

Posto je ocito da patch izlazi vrlo brzo i da ce donijeti mnogo promjena u samom nacinu igranja, koji ce neki pozdraviti, dok ce sigurno neki i popljuvati. Neke od najsvjezijih potvrda su i izasle TWL-u iz kojeg i prenosim ovaj clanak. Dakle dok cekate patch eto nesto za razmisljanje:

It’s the eve of 2.5. Most AA players are looking to the new patch to bring some new features to the game. People are anxious and excited about the impending and in process release, most notably the fixes of the 2.4 bugs. However, 2.5 also signals major changes in AAO and the top gamers are looking to these changes with a mixture of hope and dread. The major changes in 2.5 are not just a matter of bug fixes, but a matter of realism. The question is, does 2.5 take AAO too far?
AAO has two major lures. It is both realistic and free. While the low cost aspect of this game remains unchanged, the gameplay has changed dramatically from its inception. Sniper combat, Special Forces, randomized objectives, the addition of medical aid, and the most recent (albiet less popular) CEM changes are all examples of how the game has grown. 2.4 left us with major bugs that crippled competitive play. The focus and rush on 2.5 has had everyone looking at the fixes that would allow us to reopen ladders. What most people don’t know is that 2.5 is also supposed to revamp the realism factor of the game in the same trend that the CEM changes did.
The single largest concern is the level of realism in AA. 2.5 is supposed to include the following changes as well as the bug fixes.

# Increased grenade range
# Decreased grenade damage
# Increased effect of bleeding
# Inability to jump while reloading
# Inability to reload while jumping
# Major CEM drop when hit
# Major movement penalties when hit
# Loss of weapon use when hit with a grenade
# Jumping and rejumping restrictions

Many of the top players see this as taking the realism of the game too far making AAO less enjoyable. With each patch AAO changes drastically, and many of the more skilled players consider the changes in gaming style to so severe that they have to “relearn” the game. This has been driving some of the skilled players away from AAO. I talked to a couple of team IoG:

[IoG|Purge-3p] “In the latest versions of AA, it seems to me the game changes more and more with each patch; more so in 2.4 and now in 2.5 even more. They managed to fix the hitboxes, now they need to make a decision with the CEM and recoil, and leave it alone, so people dont have to adjust their playing style every patch.”

[Imp!|TWL] “How much do you think these constant gameplay changes hurt the longevity of the game?”

[IoG|Purge-3p] “Well, I don’t currently play with the IoG AA team anymore, but I did when 2.4 was first released. I think we were all glad the hitboxes were fixed, but I know it was hard at first to adjust for some of us. I went to play for the BF2 team. A big part of my leaving AA was due to 2.4…I felt that the game had changed too much.”

[Imp!|TWL] “So you aren’t looking forward to 2.5 really? Are you done with AA?”

[IoG|Purge-3p] “Well I always look foward to a new aa patch, as does everyone…to be honest though, if 2.4 made me dislike the game like it did, 2.5 sounds like it will make it worse. I like the realism factor the game had, but now I think its overboard”

This isn’t limited to players that have moved on. Even players that have stuck with the game have expressed worry bout the imminent changes. I decided to go more in depth with an active IoG member about the continued trend toward realism in AAO.

[Imp!|TWL] “Having to adjust play style as drastically as we all did is not fun by any means. But it can’t be all bad, what about 2.5? What gameplay changes are y’all HOPING for in 2.5?”

[IoG|FainT] “Well consistency is something we really wish would stick with AA. It is stressful when players have to keep adjusting. Personally, I hope that the nades go back to the way they were pre 2.4, and that the first few shots with each gun are more accurate. But over all, consistency is key.”

[Imp!|TWL] “Do you plan on staying in AAO if the game continues to change significantly?”

[IoG|FainT] “It depends on the changes and the community…but if the game becomes less about skill…if the changes are rediculous, I won’t continue to play”

[Imp!|TWL] “What about the charge that aiming in real life is not anywhere near as accurate as it is in game, and that the point of changing the aiming is to promote soldier tactics over soldier skills?”

[IoG|FainT] “I think devs have to realize that this is a game and it isn’t the best idea to have everyone lie prone with sights up. Use of sights are important but there needs to be a balance between realism and the game”

You have probably heard rumors about [cX]. I wanted to know how much of it had to do with AA’s continued evolution and was fortunate enough to catch up with Trodden to ask him about [cX] and AAO.

[Imp!|TWL] “2.5 is on the way soon, what is your opinion of the upcoming patch and what are you hoping for to get fixed”

[crucialX|troddEN] “I hope they fix the bugs that are killing competition as evidenced by the decision made today by my own team and the gameplay that is killing the competition, which I have heard they are ruining more by making the game slower.”

[Imp!|TWL] “What decision was that made by your team?”

[crucialX|troddEN] “Well as of right now it looks like we’re done with AA and probably going to CoD2”

[Imp!|TWL] “Wow, what specifically about 2.5 really kills it for you?”

[crucialX|troddEN] “I’m not looking forward to having cqb fights turn into slow crouch iron sighting and even more camping and the game becoming even more unbalanced in favor of defense. That’s the main thing; they can’t make the game too realistic. Everybody loves a realistic game but there’s a point where it’s not enjoyable. If you are constantly bleeding to death and everything like I’m hearing you will now, you can’t get an exciting 1v3 clutch while red anymore…that’s what makes a game fun. Especially competition! AA had a great balance for several years with realism, strategy, mixed with good ole gunfights and action. Devs need to realize what to do to encourage gameplay with rounds under 3-5 minutes. Until then AA’s future is growing dimmer. Right now the number of quality players left in the game is diminishing.”

The two reoccuring themes in each of these interviews has been the mention of the decline in competition and the concern of an over-realistic game. Not everyone sees the coming changes as a bad thing. Individual player skill is a significant factor in AAO right now, and some are supportive of a move to a more pure teamwork based game. I got abs0cold, one of the first members of i9, to sit down and tell me what he thought of the changes:

[Imp!|TWL] “What do you think the increase in realism is going to do to competitive play?”

“If I understand right cqb’s may include more of the luck factor than before. I see this as good. While on the whole, I still believe the skilled players will come out winning, but it adds that darkhorse element”

[Imp!|TWL] “What about the speed of the game? The game is expected to seriously slow down. Do you think this is going to kill competitive play or do you think competition will remain vibrant?”

“Honestly I think we may see an evolution of the upper level teams. The top teams now seem to favor a very fast pace; this may change. It’s kinda funny, but the Euro’s may have a leg up finally lol (being that the euros are know for slow play.) But it really comes down to who is commited to the game. Personally, I’ll keep playing.”

[Imp!|TWL] “What about getting new players to fall in love with the game? Do you think a far slower game will turn on or off the new additions to the AAO community?”

I don’t think that the gameplay is going to slow down that much. We’ll still see rambos in the pubs. (Anyway) getting new people to fall in love is hard. This game has gone far into its developement cycle and I think is carving a definate niche in the FPS world that will attract new gamers. It basically offers something that isn’t offered elsewhere.”

[Imp!|TWL] “What about large-scale implementation of tactics? How are they going to change?”

“(As an example of this)…my biggest asset to the team is scouting. I’m not the best shot by far in my squad, but can spot targets fairly well. The role of spotting can be greatly increased in the slower gameplay. (Game Intel will become more prominent) Plus, laying down fire from multiple positions will get you more kills…the more people shooting at a target, the better chance of hitting it and all that. From the sounds of things, long range shooting may be more tactical now.”

[Imp!|TWL] “What about individual player skill? Some have charged that the changes will remove player skill from the game to the point that there will be no satisfaction at being good or doing well.”

I disagree with that. Skill will always be a factor but it still takes skill to hit the opponent, land a good grenade, airburst a flash, etc. There is also the new incentive of a good first strike. If you hit your opponent first their ability to retaliate is greatly reduced.”

The changes being made to the game are almost unilaterally limitations to the soldier physics to force players to act more like a soldier would in a real combat situation. Most of these limitations are also ones that exist in the real world; the increased effect of bleeding is a good example. These changes point towards the devs having a “team only” concept for AA.

Imp|TWL: “Do you think that the impending changes will create more teamwork on all levels of the game? And why?”
i9|abs0cold: “Yes. Basically I see the patch as getting people to be more dependant on their teammates. There are more opportunities of vulnerability in this new version than ever before.” Imp!TWL: “Some say that the game is more individual soldier skill than teamwork as it is currently. What about the charge that the point of changing the realism is to promote soldier tactics over soldier skills?”
IoG|FainT: “Individual skill is important to a team’s success, but no one wins without teamwork. Changes and limitations to the player to FORCE more concerted teamwork are unneccessary as teamwork is as essential in this version as it was in any previous versions.”

This is a concept where individual player skill is important, but falls far behind teamwork and team tactics. In this model, theoretically, an organized team that plays their individual parts of a solid game plan can have mediocre players and beat the tar out of a team of skilled players that don’t work together very much. Despite the stygma of the Rambo, it is not uncommon in small match competitive play to see one very good player end up engaging 1, 2, or even 3 opfor successfully and reducing the opposing team’s numbers by half. The reoccuring “1v3 red clutch” mentioned in the above interview with troddEN is a testement to how much an individual soldier’s natural talent can affect a match.

With the “official” (Dev endorsed) view of AAO being a game that promotes teamwork over individual skill, the continued changes in realism are not surprising. For that we turn to the public servers. All high end teams are composed of people that were initially public server players that fell in love with the game. The lure of the game has to be felt there. On a public server, teamwork is not in the forefront by any means. Finding 2 or 3 players that will work together is rare, much less a whole team. The continued slide toward’s realism has the potential to enforce more team effort on the public servers among the casual gamers as well as deeper and more involved tactics among the invite level players.

However, it is argued that this is the case in AAO now, and that enforced limitations of soldiers towards the goal of ‘virtual realism’ are unnecessary and detrimental to the game. AAO is a game so the question is, can there be too much realism? Furthermore this portents major changes in the balance of maps. With 2.4 defense got an edge. In 2.5 getting the jump on your opponent (as in a real combat situation) will provide a major advantage. With this in mind, maps that have a “defense” are expected to become thoroughly unbalanced. With the inevitable rise of camping and slow gameplay the potential to turn players off as they wait for full round time limits to end is there as well. How much fun will the game maintain?

The general feeling is that 2.5 is very close. TWL has already got the reopening of ladder announcements ready to post. With such significant changes in gameplay, the exact effect on the general gaming community as well as competitive play may be hard to gauge for a while. The balance is shifting, and the only thing that all the AA fans out there can do is hope.



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