Bringing to light the "balance" system that will be in place for Stalker Taint.
Posted by MeanderingBeing on Dec 29th, 2009
Alrighty then, I am back from christmas vacation and I am getting back to work. I am here, yet again, keeping you guys updated so you know that this mod isn't dead.
Progress is slow, as usual, but hey, I'm just one man with a dream...
Of gratuitus violence >:D Of Chaos, Orks, and noble Space Marines fighting for their right... to party! :P
Anyways, I came here to talk about some issues of balance that have been on my mind lately. For a long time now, I have come to see the term "balance" very negatively. Especially when it comes to "whack-a-mole" balancing like that found in games like World of Warcraft, Dawn of War II, and the Battlefield series. Often, the intelligent player who comes up with awesome ideas ends up being screwed because a dumb (alright, I'll be nice: a not-so-skilled) player complains until someone upstairs "balances" something. This has come to be called "nerfing" as I have been told. And, like many of you, I am sure, I have many occasions where a perfectly legitimate strategy that I, or a friend, came up with ends up being "nerfed."
Quite frankly, I have gotten so sick of nerfing, that I just say "SCREW BALANCE!" Now please hear me out here, I am sure you folks will be interested...
In STALKER Taint, I would like to make a game that is both ridiculously hard, and fun... but it is hard to reach this euphoria. Often, when such attempts are made, the focus ends up on balancing weapons, stats, items, etc. and they completely forget how ridiculously frustrating they are actually making the game. You'll find obvious examples of this when playing a game *cough cough call of duty cough cough* and you shoot someone in the head... but they somehow miraculousy run at you from 50 meters away and put a knife in your face. So, after thinking long about this, I have decided that weapons and such will NOT be balanced. Let's face it, in real life, SMGs don't do less damage because they have a higher rate of fire! In real life, things can get really hairy. And in real life, you can't whip out a Golden Desert Eagle and unload all 5 of those .50 AE rounds in 0.0813 seconds and still manage to get center mass with every shot.
So, what I am trying to say here is this:
The game will be ridiculously hard at times, and it will be ridiculously easy at times. For example, I will be making the Heavy Bolters a very powerful weapon. Considering the fact that they shoot .98 cal SPHEAP (Self Propelled High Explosive Armor Penetrating) rounds, being on the recieving end will not be pretty. That is why the game will be both hard and easy. If YOU have the Heavy Bolter, mowing down anything but Warbosses and Terminators will be a breeze... But if THEY have the Heavy Bolter, I highly suggest you find cover and think of a plan B before you're a wet, greasy smear on the grass.
That being said, when Taint is released, I encourage each and every player to quicksave often and use their noodles! If you see an entire squad of Devastator Marines with Heavy Bolters, DO NOT go rambo on them... or they will smoke you and say "Rambo... is a pussy." I do not want to hear people complaining that Heavy Bolters are unbalanced because they can't figure out that they can run to that outcropping over there and launch a couple grenades at em...
Oh, and this is all examples still... I'm just rambling a bit.
Now, I will be 100% honest. ALL weapons will be similarly un-nerfed. Just because you might start out with a Bolt Pistol, does not mean that it is a crappy weapon. With some determination, intelligence, and good aim, you could possibly play the entire game with just a Bolt Pistol if you wanted to. I want to make it so that EVERY weapon stands on its own two feet in this manner. There will be no "Oh, but that'll be too powerful and it might frustrate SOME players." But there will be alot of "Wow, this Blastmaster Sonic Cannon is delicious! I can't wait to try it out on those Ork Nobs that have been pissing me off so much!" No longer will you see grenades land within 10 feet of someone and watch them come out unscathed. The deathtoll in this game will be ridiculous, both for players and NPCs. So as I said before, quicksave often.
Now granted, this doesn't mean that as soon as you get that Heavy Bolter, Rocket Launcher, or Plasma Pistol will make you invincible. I would like to point out that there are plenty of foes that can shrug off hits from even the likes of such heavy weaponry. Obliterators, Terminators, many of the bigger Orks, just about any Daemon you encounter, and even some xenos species are some such examples. Also, each weapon, I think, will kinda fall into its own. While the Heavy Bolters may be able to shoot as far as those Scout Sniper Rifles, it doesn't have the accuracy you may need. And though that shotgun will work in a pinch at close to medium ranges (medium range, by the way, qualifies as 100 meters in my book, NOT 20 meters like in the CoD games), that ever so simple Bolter will speak for itself at any range.
You will also see some weapons fit different strategies. For example, Nurgle's worshippers are known for their Tenacity, so they will eat alot of firepower as if it were nothing, and knowing this, accuracy is not exactly chief among thier concerns. Meanwhile, Slaaneshi worshippers are known for their speed and brutallity, so you will see alot of weapons that kill fast among their ranks. And Orks are Orks. They'll pick up anything and shoot it in your general direction, making them VERY unpredictable at times. At one moment, a bunch of shoota boyz and flash gitz will be unloading at you, and the next a swarm of boyz led by nobz and rokkit boyz will be charging down your throat, ready to show you the meaning of "WAGH!"
Well, my time is up here, and I must get back to work on me mod, so I bid you folks goodnight! I hope you enjoyed this little read, and please feel free to comment, leave suggestions, criticize (just as long as its not stupid hate mail loaded with insults and holier than thou attitudes. We're all human, so lets all just get along and play violent video games!), post requests and ideas, or just do your thing in that little comment spot below!