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  1. #141
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    Great tips, thanks!

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    You should never ask for ladders or lobbies (UGH), dedicated server communities have always been self organising and self regulating.
    You are supposed to make a number of servers your 'home servers' and find a regular crowd of returning players to play with. (community is so good in NS2 that pubbing isn't even a problem regardless)

    Any game not having lobbies or matchmaking is a massive plus, not a negative.
    I don't understand that sentiment, at all. I mean, I can understand that some players would like to have some servers they can go back to and find some of the same people, and that's cool and this type of game should definitely support that. But for me, as a brand new player who just wants to get into a game and figure out how to play, it presents a barrier to just playing the game. First I've got to find a server; I guess I should do a rookie friendly server? Why are some green and others yellow? Gotta make sure that the ping is low and the performance is high. Hey this one looks good - but wait, it's nearly empty. Oh hey, there's a good one - drat it filled up before I could join. And there's no guarantee that I'll actually get anything approaching balanced teams. The server claims it's rookie friendly, but I got one guy in a game that used a macro to fire his pistol at a superhuman rate, which doesn't sound very rookie friendly. I mean, for me, as a new player who doesn't know his way around, it's extremely intimidating. If there was matchmaking, I would jump straight in and be happy. Will I see those guys again? If seeing the same people frequently is positive, there's no reason that the matchmaking can't account for that. But if someone is massively better (or, god forbid, worse) than me (I'm terrible), I don't want to see them again. The game won't be as fun because there will be a skill imbalance, making someone feel useless, or worse, like they're the weak link causing a loss. I don't want to just randomly join a server and hope that I get good games with appropriately skilled people. I want to expect that I will get a good game 90% of the time, with other people of a similar skill level. I don't want to be horribly outmatched, and I don't want to horribly outmatch my opponent. This is supposed to be a competitive multiplayer game, but instead it's nothing but casual play. Casual play is great, at times, but there HAS to be a middle ground between completely casual play with 0 skill balancing, and full clan matches. Right now, there isn't. And that's a problem, for me at least. I'm a competitive gamer at heart (League being my current competitive game of choice) and I want to at least feel like I accomplished something by winning, and lost something by losing. And I want to be in an environment where I can be certain that my individual skill and teamwork was relevant. The only way that can consistently happen is some form of matchmaking. The servers right now aren't going to stop me from playing the game, but I definitely don't feel like the game will reward me for investing my time into learning the finer points of it's systems.

    Edit: This type of thing is the reason I stopped playing Tribes: Ascend after a few months, but I've been playing League for years. I'll play this game for a while, to be sure, but there's no way I'll still be playing a year from now. That's what matchmaking brings for me that servers don't.
    Last edited by Ritashi; 07-11-2012 at 07:21 AM.

  3. #143
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Quality post, finicky! Good stuff. I keep learning about this game.
    Some day I will try out commander. Very intimidated by it as I know nothing... but sometimes it's empty for too long and you can't win in this game without a commander.

  4. #144
    Network Hub Duckee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkasaurusmex View Post
    Quality post, finicky! Good stuff. I keep learning about this game.
    Some day I will try out commander. Very intimidated by it as I know nothing... but sometimes it's empty for too long and you can't win in this game without a commander.
    My first rule of commanding is that you must have a Microphone, or else I you are not allowed in :P That and you should have either played NS1 or at least tried out the Chair in explore mode.

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckee View Post
    My first rule of commanding is that you must have a Microphone, or else I you are not allowed in :P That and you should have either played NS1 or at least tried out the Chair in explore mode.
    I personally didn't find explore mode particularly helpful. The infinite resources and already having half the map really didn't give me much insight into how you play as com. It only lets you know where upgrades are located and the controls.

    I would much rather see you start with the actual things you will begin a real game with. Then have buildings take as long as they actual would take out in the wild. Then you will actually know what you can viably go for. As it is, Explore Mode gives you no info on early game, mid-game and late game focuses.

    It would also be good if you could spawn items and enemies, so you could test out weapons, such as seeing how many shots it takes for a grenade launcher to take down an Onos.

    Still not played Com yet, but I imagine the best way is to just jump in and try it. There are usually friendly people who are willing to give some direction if you ask for it.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritashi View Post
    snip.
    Uwe has provided rookie servers (green servers) for new players to do all the things you are asking for :)
    Any experienced players playing on rookie servers know and accept that they are going to have to be patient with new players and teach them and take thing slower.

    Green player = rookie
    Yellow player = the person in the command station/hive

    The game gives you filters to sort by low ping and high performance, that is a plus, not a negative.
    With a lobby system the game will just match you with whatever happens to have free slots and you can and would be regularly put in high ping matches (part of the reason for my hate towards lobbies, I only play on servers with less than 50 ping as one should).

    The other reason why I hate lobbies is it promotes anonimity (you rarely if ever end up playing with the same people), which promotes being a massive asshole. Good old dedicated server browsers enable the community to grow and bond, matchmaking does not.


    The bad players vs good players argument also doesn't have a foot to stand on.
    -you play on rookie servers, but in general you find those servers where the community that frequents them is around your skill level.
    This has always been very easy to do, I started out as a total newb with no eye hand coordination in ut and cs and I quickly found servers with people of my skill level.
    As ns2 progresses more and more clan servers will pop up, and you will be able to find a clanserver to play on with people who are around your skill level.
    -it is important that you regularly come in contact with better players, you learn from playing with good people, not by being rewarded for crappy play against other newbies. This game isn't about k/d ratios or even winning, it rewards you in spades for every bit of player coordination or smart moves you can make.

    Granted: 5 + years of babbys first matchmaking and console shooters have reared a generation that has never learned how to organise a community, but NS2 community is full of vets and oldschool players and it's a non issue there. It'll organise itself just fine.
    You can't throw a superior system under the bus because people need to be retaught how to be a community.
    I remember being overwhelmed the first time I was faced with server browsers, ip's , filters, pings and mods etc too (was a consolite mostly till the late 90s because I couldn't afford a gaming pc) but once you learn the ropes you can never ever go back (or regress in the case of lobbies).

    The total dingleberry fuckwit XBOX live community isn't just because it is a younger audience, it's because matchmaking does not enable communities to form outside of friends lists.
    Last edited by Finicky; 07-11-2012 at 06:35 PM.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    snip
    I don't see how it's supposed to be easy for me to find servers full of people at my skill level - there's no way to automate that, so instead I'm being asked to just guess and join random servers until I get lucky. The existence of rookie servers is cool, especially if there are some vets in there willing to work with new players to help teach them the ropes, but at the same time those on their own aren't enough. I've been in rookie servers where I felt like I was WAY below the skill level of everyone else present, and it was horrible. I didn't feel like I earned victory, nor like I could have done anything to stop our defeat. I've not played that many games thus far, but I've not yet found a good server that I'd enjoy revisiting (and I'd imagine rookie servers tend not to build static communities anyways). And I've seen at least one instance where someone joined a rookie server just to noobstomp with a mouse macro that fires a full pistol clip at superhuman speeds. I think this game is really cool, but I'm still not having fun playing it. I guess I'm just supposed to keep trying until it gets good? And when my skill level changes, I now have the task of finding a brand new set of servers that are appropriate.

    I guess my problem here, is that I don't understand why I'm being forced to pretend to be part of a community. Eventually will I want to be part of a community? Sure, maybe. I'll never stop wanting to be able to jump in and play with people of my skill level though, whether I know them or not. And right now, I'm just not interested in being part of some server community. Any community that's an appropriate skill level for me now won't be by the next week or two when I've actually learned to play the game.

    You talk like community is the highest aspiration this kind of game can hope for, but I disagree. Do you want to have communities form around the game? Definitely, and a lot of people will enjoy that. Playing with familiar faces is cool. But honestly, that's what a friends list is for. There's no reason you couldn't just hot join some guy that you met in a game yesterday. Communities are cool, but they add nothing to the game experience itself that you can't get through other means. Where communities shine is outside the game, where they belong.


    There's no reason whatsoever that you can't have the same ping and performance filters applied to matchmaking instead of to a server list. Matchmaking is not inherently going to give you worse average performance or ping unless it is designed to do so, and any sane implementation would give you all the same options for this kind of game.

    As to anonymity, NS2 lets you change your handle as often as you want from the main menu. You are 100% anonymous in NS2 when you want to be, unlike the vast majority of other online games where your handle is at least permanent even if you won't see the same people very often.

    Also, I've just noticed that NS2 has no friends list function. Seriously? So if I want to play with my friends we have to all individually select the same server? And we can only communicate from out of game (so no friends that I've met in game and want to keep up with)? A friends list will do far, far more for letting you play with people you like than servers will.


    As for people not knowing how to organize a community, I call bullshit. I know how to organize a community. I've done it before. I contributed a lot to a blood bowl mod site back in the day, and currently I'm helping form a community around a new ccg on a digital platform (I also helped form a community around the last digital ccg I played; in both cases I was in almost from the very start of testing). One of the most important parts of any community that wants to survive and grow is knowing how to welcome potential new members and make them feel comfortable that they are in the right place. The front page of every site that I've helped work with has included easy to spot links that are designed to be places for a new person to understand what's going on. Who are we, what do we do, what kind of community are we building (casual or hardcore? What are the rules? Are there organized events? etc.). Server lists offer none of that. One server might have a community that never uses mics, which isn't what you want if you like the constant communication, but you'll never know until you play a round or two on there. One server might tend to have highly skilled people that will be annoyed at you bumbling around or not understanding their lingo. Again, this comes back to my main point, which is that communities are and should be external to the game. Playing the game with a community should be a conscious choice you make. You should never accidentally end up playing with a community, because it cheapens the experience for everyone when you don't know anything about the group you stumbled upon. If you're looking for a very serious match and you end up playing with an RPS community, you'll be unhappy and you'll also make the experience less fun for the RPS guys. All because you saw a server with appropriate ping and performance and joined it. Communities have to be able to promote themselves appropriately to get appropriate players. Server lists can't do that.

  8. #148
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    you cannot view NS2 as some other shooter. because of the resource gathering and research and resource management, it is complete garbage unless the teams are almost perfectly even. because of the long games that happen even when teams are unfair and the even longer games that happen when teams are fair, the process of iterating towards good teams is problematic.

    every half-decent game works fine in a competitive setting. but the good ones for the people who aren't going to play at the highest tier either maximize the chances of the game being competitive (ratings / lobbies in strategy games) or don't require perfect teams for the game to be fun (shooters without resources and with quickly achievable victory conditions)

    NS2 would probably be good enough with 4 skill differentiators instead of 2 (rookie vs. non-rookie) and if there were good ways of choosing fair teams at the beginning of the match.

    1 year from now it will probably be fine because everyone still playing the game will be competent enough at it and there will probably be fewer morons who prolong games. Beta was probably fine for the same reason.

    But currently, the average NS2 player is some typical shooter newb that just doesn't understand strategy, and the game does nothing to separate those players from the rest. People aren't patient. They don't wait for everyone to upgrade before attacking. That's why games that "end" in 10 minutes take 1 hour to finish.

  9. #149
    Lesser Hivemind Node airtekh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandelay View Post
    I would much rather see you start with the actual things you will begin a real game with.
    You can do this.

    Go to Play > Start server. Then pick a map and type in a password (to stop others joining).

    Once the level's loaded, bring down the console (tilde key, to the left of '1' on the keyboard) and type in 'cheats 1'. This will start up a game that allows you to play as commander in single player from scratch, with no upgrades.

    That's what I've been doing to learn the upgrade paths anyway, not that I've dared to jump in the command chair yet!

  10. #150
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    Being a spectator in a game is also really interesting and entertaining. You can switch between a commander view, freecam, locked to player, etc. Really fun to watch the two teams go at it and if you're watching a good player you can learn all kinds of stuff.

  11. #151
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    Holding down 'C' opens the map. Very useful as Alien when you do not know the maps yet.

    I jumped into commander and learned as I went. Probably should have done it quick on solo and also Explore the maps. More fun to learn as I play. Took a game each to get familiar. A couple games to understand the upgrade paths (more so for Alien).

    Alien commander at the start you spread to 2-3 harvesters and get those planted. From there it depends how well the team is doing. I will drop the 2nd hive if its secure and we are doing well. Mostly I will get our first upgrade evolution before I plant the 2nd hive. All alien buildings mature, getting more hp the longer they are alive (to a cap). Mature Cysts can be a good ammo waster for impatient marines and not near an Armory. Does not hurt to have a few extra near the front.

    Team of 2-3 lerkers early can dominate, be very good harass. Once phase gates are up Marines tend to skip their extractors inbetween their bases (they skimp on Sentries). Always good to check up on them. Power nodes do not cost resources to remake but just add build time to get a new extractor up.

  12. #152
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Airtekh that's awesome, I'll have to try it.

    I miss the days of dedicated servers and in game server browsers. I'm really glad NS2 does it the way it does.

  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giaddon View Post
    Being a spectator in a game is also really interesting and entertaining. You can switch between a commander view, freecam, locked to player, etc. Really fun to watch the two teams go at it and if you're watching a good player you can learn all kinds of stuff.
    Yeah the spectator mode is amazing:D

    I had some awesome games again last night, ns2 is my game of the forever.

  14. #154
    Network Hub Outright Villainy's Avatar
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    Man, I'm really getting into this lark. I'm a complete noob at rts games, but I just had a great hour long match, beaconing marines all over the place to stop any onos, eventually spawning a big bunch of exos to push them back whilst keeping my engineers topped up on medpacks and nano-shields. The feeling of being a proper leader and managing things is amazing.

  15. #155
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    NS2 seems to be a success so far for Unknown Worlds.

    http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns2/new..._7_days_of_ns2

    144,000 copies. (including pre orders, release, gifts)

    Hopefully they recouped all the costs for the past 6 years and compensated everyone who kept it alive. Now...we just need more maps! And give onos back the ability to eat people again.

  16. #156
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Based on the quality of this game I would be disappointed with only selling 150k copies. They deserve to sell ten times that!

    (I might have to order a t-shirt or hat something... I think I'm becoming a fanboy)

  17. #157
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    Yeah I'm surprised it's only 144k copies so far.I think it'll keep selling for a loooooooooooooong time though due to word of mouth.
    There is supposed to be a free weekend coming on steam as a demo soon, that'll probably be a big boost to sales (and another big boost to word of mouth).

    Word of mouth will have to do the job because review outlets are ignoring the game (relatively unknown game that won't produce as many hits + no PR bribes will do that)

    It would be a crime if this game didn't sell at least 500k copies in the first year/
    Last edited by Finicky; 09-11-2012 at 04:32 PM.

  18. #158
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    So there's been some mild controversy regarding a Gamespot review, apparently.
    I'm not sure but Gamespot might have removed the review? 60/100 because the learning curve is too steep, graphics are dated and it took the reviewer 5 minutes to load maps....

    edit: apparently it has been removed.
    Hi GameSpot readers!Yesterday, we posted our review of Natural Selection 2--but unfortunately, it's come to our attention that the review contained several inaccuracies. We take our reviews seriously, and we stand by our reviewers' critical analyses and writing abilities. However, our greatest responsibility is to you, our readers and viewers. We own up to our mistakes, and in light of the errors in the Natural Selection 2 review, we have chosen to remove the review and assign it to another author.
    I apologize for the inaccuracies in the review. We look forward to publishing a replacement review once we have had a chance to fully explore Natural Selection 2.
    Sincerely,
    Kevin VanOrd, Senior Editor
    edit again: original's still up here
    http://www.gamespot.com/natural-sele...eview-6399575/
    Last edited by Sparkasaurusmex; 09-11-2012 at 05:16 PM.

  19. #159
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    Not like CoD has hours of grinding to learn maps and to simply have full access to the good stuff. Does it even match make?
    The review sounded like he played 2-3 maps and went to write about it.

    Editor posted yesterday they are going to redo it:
    http://www.gamespot.com/news/natural...pulled-6399748

  20. #160
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    Did skim that review earlier today, as I was shocked anybody could score a game of this quality anything below a 7, even if you weren't that fussed on it. I'm not sure which game the review was playing if he thought it had dated graphics and was rough around the edges, as this game looks just as good and is as polished as any triple-A title around.

    His other points though are kind of fair. It is not the easiest to get into if you know nothing and I've had quite long load times too. Vastly improved since even the day before release, but still lengthy compared to most titles (shorter than BF3 though.). Score is still wrong, but just shows how useless score systems are.

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