Post feature RSS A modder's thoughts on Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

It's been almost a year since Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 launched, and we've recently seen the release of the 1.7 update and multiplayer.

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After I updated the mod for the new version of the game, I decided to sit down and write some thoughts on the game. Particularly where it falls short and where mods like this one might potentially be able to help.

Firstly, I'd like to say that SGW3 is a good game. I like it a lot. But it's a game with design choices that are baffling and sometimes frustrating. While they've fixed an assortment of bugs, and the game is in a much better state than at release, it's mindboggling that stuff like the day/night cycle resetting hasn't been fixed. It screams "misplaced priorities". A failure to appreciate and prioritize where SGW3's design problems lie. Regardless, from what I've read, CI Games have some serious management problems and these issues are almost certainly not the fault of the hapless developers.

The following are some issues I would very much like to see fixed:

I would like to see the developers officially fix the spawn/despawn distance problems. My mod is an inelegant solution to a complex problem because I have to deal with hundreds of spawn zones without knowing where they're actually located and what NPCs they affect. The developers could implement a far more nuanced fix for the PC version if they chose to.

The game's day/night cycle implementation is absolutely baffling. The game resets the clock to midnight at the drop of a hat. Die? Midnight. Load last checkpoint? Midnight. Exit the game and come back? Midnight. Story missions have ToD overrides, so it's not like you spend the entire game at night, but I simply cannot comprehend WHY the game works this way. Why not take the current ToD and advance it by 6 hours every time the player loads a checkpoint? Why not advance the time by 6 hours every time they fast travel? Why not pick a random ToD whenever the player resumes their game? Why not allow the player to sleep outside of safe house beds? The game tries so very hard to be The Witcher 3, yet they didn't even bother copying its Meditation system.

-Partially fixed in 0.42, with the introduction of a ToD override.

The game's dynamic weather system basically doesn't work because rain is triggered on a cycle that basically never has a chance to get anywhere. It typically rains at 3am and 11am, usually after a full 24 hour cycle has passed. Few players ever see this because the clock resets or is overriden so often.

Fast travel is poorly implemented. The fast travel system is similar to The Witcher 3 in that you unlock sign posts. But the key to TW3's fast travel system was that you couldn't fast travel without a sign-post. So when the player was wandering around, out in the wilderness, they were pulled in the direction of general exploration. Oh, it's 300 meters to the nearest sign post, but there's a cave over there -- I'll check it out. SGW3 has a world full of points of interest, many of them quite lovingly crafted, but their exploratory appeal is undercut by the ease of fast travel. You simply open the map and select a sign-post or your safe house. Fast travel from the map menu should be removed, IMO.

The car radio is broken. The game has a charming assortment of Georgian music that plays on radios and in your car. The problem is that you have to press the radio button (K) twice to activate the radio in your car. The first press never works. The game doesn't remember that you had turned the radio on when you return to your car, either.

-Mostly fixed in 0.35

Your car explodes when shot. Trying to use your car, or any other car, as a bullet shield during firefights typically results in it killing you. This is just plain dumb for this style of game. (This is potentially reasonably easy to fix.)

Key rebinding is pretty borked. You can rebind "Use" for instance, but you can't rebind the plethora of functions that are "Use, but in a different context". For instance, disarming mines.

-Mostly fixed in 0.35-0.36

The game's gore system doesn't really seem to work. Enemies receive serious wounds in bullet cams that have vanished by the time you trot over to investigate their corpse. It's been suggested to me that perhaps the game's violence was nerfed to avoid classification problems in certain regions.

I can't promise that any of the above issues will be fixed. Modding CryEngine titles without the source files is very difficult. Prey mods that tried to restore some of the cut Hardcore Mode functionality ran into major difficulties. But these issues are on my radar, and I will prod and poke the game in my spare time. If you've got any experience with CryEngine modification and are interested in trying to improve SGW3, I welcome your input.

There are also issues with the MP, such as broken host migration and issues with cheaters. They fall outside the scope of a mod like this, and I'm pretty sure they will fix those issues ASAP. (Host migration, at least. They don't seem to have an actual plan for cheaters.)

Thank you very much for reading.

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