There’s a big problem IMO with Link-Dead as it is now. I feel it is too complicated and it requires to read an extensive manual or I need to explain everyone what is happening every time we play. For example the alpha testers complain the Ubers automatic guns aiming is too wobbly and it takes too much time to have it steady so it needs to be changed. But this is not just an issue of balancing this factor. The weapon aim is currently a complicated mechanism and it is up to the player to determine the steadiness of his gun. Let me explain what affects the aim and you’ll see how much options there are:
The aiming in Link-Dead is done based on two cursors
– one which is your mouse aim cursor
– second cursor which is your actual gun aim.
Think of this as the mouse cursor being were your eyes are fixed at and the gun cursor where you are actually aiming with your hands and gun.
The mouse is of course always steady but the gun aim has several factors that determine were its position is currently:
– gun heaviness – the heavier the gun the slower the movement of the gun cursor is, because it is harder to move the gun around
– gun maneuverability – the higher the value the more wobbly the gun is during walking and such; this also affects bink – so if you get hit by a bullet the gun cursor jumps more
– gun recoil & recoil dissipation rate – how much kick the gun has after fire and how fast the gun can recover after fire
– this factor is also heavily dependent on gun fire rate, it’s not so easy to predict the guns recoil when it fires fast
– gun breath sway – as you know breathing affects your aiming, the more tired you are the more your gun wobbles with your breath – this factor decides how much the gun is affected by your breathing; guns carried against the hip are affected less then guns aimed against the chest
– gun steadiness – which is how fast the gun cursor merges with the aim cursor, so that the gun points were your mouse points at
This factor is broken down and has other factors that affect the steadiness:
– how far the mouse aim is from the player; this is an attempt to simulate in 2D the fact that when you aim at an object farther away it is harder to keep your gun aim at the target; so the farther you aim from your soldier the less steady the aim is; to make the gun super steady you can put the mouse cursor just a couple pixels from your soldier, but then you don’t really know what you are aiming at – you have to feel it – exactly like in RL
– fatigue/shock – the more tired or shocked the player is the harder it is to control the steadiness of the gun. Every kind of movement especially running and jumping adds a lot of fatigue; when you get hit by a bullet it adds fatigue/shock (which is the same thing as fatigue to make it simpler); furthermore firing for a long time especially automatic weapons adds fatigue (firing a big gun is hard work!)
– fatigue also heavily affects breath speed and its effect on gun breath sway (after a long run you have to wait a moment to calm down)
– wounds – if your upper body parts especially arms are wounded it might become practically impossible to hold your aim steady
– holding your gun against your shoulder; this is done with the secondary fire (mouse2) button; this makes the gun a lot more steady but is available only for guns with stocks (like an assault rifle)
To add to this there are also gun attachments like scopes and silencers. Typically every attachment you add weights something and adds to the heaviness of the weapon. Every attachment decreases the steadiness of the weapon because it lowers the natural balance of the weapons weight. For example adding an ACOG increases your aiming distance but having it on the gun makes the gun a bit harder to control. There are also attachments which combat the guns low points, like you can attach to the SMG a folding stock so that it is as steady as an assault rifle when pressed against your shoulder. But of course the folding stock also adds weight so when the gun is not pressed its performance is worse than without the stock.
This is just the stuff that is in the game right now. But there will be more attachments and even more variables. I will also implement prone position which is the best way to reduce recoil. Also adding an attachable bipod and possibility to put it on something like a window sill will reduce recoil practically to zero.
Now how do I tell a new player that the game is balanced and there is no need to increase the steadiness of weapons. He is just wounded, tired from running, has too much attachments on his gun and isn’t really aiming properly? Of course I can’t explain this to everyone so I need some good way for people to learn this without coming into the game the first day and getting frustrated at it.