Post news RSS Coming Soon: Major Overhaul + Lite/Standard Versions

The next version of the SGW3: Improvement Project is transitioning from a glorified fan patch into a more comprehensive overhaul mod. But (relative) purists need not fear!

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This mod began with the goal of fixing design problems that are irrefutably a problem. The NPC spawn distance issue in particular. Or the broken key rebinding. I made minor adjustments on top of that, but nothing particularly glaring. It was still the same experience, more or less.

However, with the upcoming release, this mod is becoming a bona fide overhaul mod designed to improve and expand upon the base gameplay experience.

What is wrong with SGW3?

It's my belief, based on what I've seen in the script files and statements by former developers, that CI Games originally wanted to make a game influenced by such titles as Far Cry 2 and STALKER, but executive meddling resulted in a game some derided as "Poor man's Far Cry" that is both too hardcore for many casual players but too casualized for many hardcore fans. I can't magically turn this game into STALKER, especially since I can't modify the source code, but I can reshape it into something that is less like Far Cry 3, less generic. SGW3 was always blatantly influenced by STALKER. But it lacked STALKER's bite. It was like STALKER's feeble cousin. What made the likes of STALKER so compelling was crouching behind a tree as bullets cracked around you, as you peered out attempting to take some pot shots at the approaching squad. SGW3 vanilla evaporates that tense situation by helpfully filling the screen with icons showing you the relative position of every single NPC that is looking in your direction.

I don't want to turn SGW3 into some tryhard "hardcore" game like the MISERY mod for instance. I simply want SGW3 to feel like the kind of 2007-era FPS game I believe it wants to be, underneath all that fat and compromise. I want to make it as sharp and compelling and thrilling to play as possible.

SGW3 is a really good game. Super hammy in places, but good overall. I want to make it as close to a GREAT game as I can.

Here's what you can expect in SGW3 IP 0.44:

ADS Responsiveness:

In vanilla game, all weapons have a 300ms delay between sprinting and aiming down sights. This has been reduced to 100ms for all weapons except sniper rifles. I don't want the sniper rifles to be too OP, and I'm currently considering ways of making them less exploitable.

Silencers:

In the vanilla game, silencers are extremely overpowered. Their only limiting factor is the silencer repair kit, and you can carry five of those. When using some silenced weapons, the AI has extreme difficulty following your movements because you literally make more noise running that shooting your guns. My solution is a fundamental reworking of silencers.

  • Silencers can now be toggled on/off at will by pressing Z. (Restored an orphaned function I found.)
  • Silencers no longer degrade.
  • Silencers moderately reduce weapon loudness, by a factor such as 50%, instead of doing stuff like capping the noise at 5 meters.
  • Unsuppressed weapon loudness for some weapons has been significantly increased. For instance, the 1911 pistol by default has a loudness value of 25. An AK47 has a loudness value of 80, to compare. In the vanilla game, you can fire a 1911 26 meters away from a soldier and he won't hear anything, which is patently ludicrous.

What am I trying to achieve with these changes? In the real world, silencers have basically no downsides. They make guns moderately quieter. Nothing more. There's little reason NOT to use them unless you wanna go loud. As a side effect, this makes the bow a far more viable weapon. Previously, there was no reason to use the bow because it had no advantages over the ridiculously quiet silenced pistols.

Damage Multipliers:

The vanilla game has a peculiar behavior where default body types have a damage multiplier of 10x for torso shots, which is why merely winging some enemies in the ribs is enough to make them immediately die. I have reduced this to 1x, which is similar to other enemy types. (Some adjustment might be needed.) Basically this means that you'll need 2-3 shots to the chest from the AK47 to kill previously fragile enemies instead of a single bullet. This makes those enemies more resilient without making them spongy.

Reworked Difficulty:

  • The generic Ubisoft-style directional alert ring has been removed. It's a bad piece of design that telegraphs the AI's position to you at all times trivializing tactic and situational awareness. Now you have to use your eyes and ears, and enemy radio chatter alerts you to the fact you've been spotted and not a bunch of arrows and a whining sound.
  • Minimap has been removed on Hard and Challenge difficulty. It is enabled by default on Normal, but can be disabled.
  • Advanced tagging has been removed on all difficulties. (No more seeing enemies through walls at all times.)
  • Red dot sniping assist has been disabled by default on Normal and is not available on higher difficulties.
  • The previously mentioned silencer/weapon noise changes have significant impacts on the AI's ability to engage you effectively.

Some of the Challenge Difficulty adjustable settings are nonsensical and have been removed. For instance, there is no point being able to disable the ability to see how much ammo you have, since there's no non-visual means to tell how much ammo you have.

Reworked Progression System:

The vanilla game gives you extreme amounts of XP for random tasks such as... simply shooting people, to the point you can acquire extremely OP abilities very early in the game. I have significantly scaled back the amount of XP you earn. Killing an enemy with a pistol would give you 60XP. It now gives you 5XP. Destroying a vehicle would give you 120XP. It now gives you 12XP. This significantly slows down ability progression. You no longer level up just because you got into a gun battle in a car park.

Multiplayer:

Disable access to the game's multiplayer while using the mod, since it now tinkers with weapon values among other things. Am undecided whether to add it back for Lite version.

ADS Toggle:

This unfortunately breaks the game's cover leaning system, and has been disabled and removed.

Chromatic Aberration:

I considered this carefully. SGW3 is an example of a game that doesn't benefit from chromatic aberration in any way. Motion blur has a role. (Illusion of motion.) The noise filter has a role. (Masking colour banding.) Chromatic aberration, particularly SGW3's unusually strong implementation, makes the game look just plain worse. It is disabled now and removed from the graphics option menu.

Lite Version:

Because these changes go far beyond previous versions of the mod, the mod will now be split into two versions. The 0.44 Lite version will feature a smaller range of changes. Changes to the difficulty, progression system, and weapon loudness/silencers will not be included. The recommended "normal" version will include all changes.

Future Plans:

I have a number of planned changes in the works, but one of the more important ones is trying to fit stuff like ToD override and silencer toggle into the gamepad control schemes. I think a majority of people playing the game are doing so with a M+KB, but I know some people do want to use a controller, and I want them to have as good an experience as possible.

I don't have a firm release date for 0.44, but you can expect it within the next few weeks. Some of the changes require extensive testing to ensure the mod is balanced and I haven't broken anything.

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