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thelawenforcer

Reflex is more and more feature complete, but what about the actual game?

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Now that reflex is becoming more and more feature complete and will start having the infrastructure to induct new players to the genre etc, I think that thought needs to be put into what game they will actually be playing. Let me be clear, this isnt another gameplay tweaking thread, this is more about the gametypes, specifically team oriented gametypes.

The first thing to say is that reflex is almost exclusively a 1v1 game at this stage - there are team gametypes, but they get 0 play time, and there is little to no interest in playing them, and this is very unlikely to change in the future.

Whats clear though is that the development team are clearly interested in pushing team gametypes, as evidenced by the 2v2 map making competition. Im guessing they have targetted 2v2 as its the most 'accessible' and caters to the modest player numbers best. Frankly though, its not been a very effective strategy as still there are almost no 2v2 games being played. 

So what should the plan for the future be? Invest everything into the existing strengths of the game (ie, 1v1) and build features around it (automated tourneys? more stat-tracking and leaderboards? other features i cant think of?)? Keep trying to revive the 'dead' gamemodes by continuing to promote them and dedicate development time to making content for them in the hope that one day people will play them? Or should it be to try and change up the formula (atleast when it comes to teamgames) to generate a bit of interest and build a player base for teamgames? Or should it be a combination of them and or others?

A vibrant teammode scene would be a massive boost to reflex and seems to be something people want (i know i do!) but its not going to happen on its own so what needs or is being done?

 

 

Pill_, lolograde and Sharqosity like this

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I absolutely do not want Reflex to be just 1v1. There's great potential in the teammodes and I think teammodes break the monotony of 1v1. Always fun to play a mixture of modes. Right now, I'm mostly 1v1 and Race, but I'd LOVE to play more 2v2, CTF, and TDM.

Before MM and the party system, people had to rely on Discord or IRC to organize team mode games and I think that was a barrier. It's very hard for a spontaneous team game to happen by people just randomly showing up on the server. Since MM and, more importantly, the party system, are now included, I think it's a matter of time and people getting familiar with the new MM features (especially the party system). 

What devs can do: If there is one small feature I'd add to help encourage people to queue up for teammodes, I'd say displaying how many people are queued for team mode games somewhere on the front menu or maybe in the Quick Play menu. So if I see 7/8 queued for CTF, I'd be rushing to add CTF MM. 

What we (community) can do: If you've got several friends online playing 1v1, try to organize a party and queue up for a team mode. Also, I think we need some more movie content. I know there's been some nice frag movies over the past year but we always need more. A nice frag movie with a lot of teammode frags would go a great way to encouraging people to play them.

EDIT: Also, encourage people to play Reflex in general! If you post on some other gaming forums or know people who play games but not Reflex, share the good news to them. Reflex is awesome!

EDIT x2: Buy a supporter melee weapon or more copies of Reflex to give to friends! B) Or learn to map or code Lua and contribute some content!

Edited by lolograde
Grybzt likes this

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There's this ongoing mantra about team modes being the future in gaming, but the fact is that arena FPS team games have never been popular. While it's true that it's never been the easiest to access aspect of aFPS, Clan arena for example manages to flourish on that same platform. Any aFPS team mode that has had any conceivable life duration has always been some kind of mutator, like rocket/clan arena, instagib, freeze tag, team fortress and so on - not the vanilla/competitive modes. Putting all of your efforts into something like that doesn't really inspire me with confidence. As much as I love 2v2, I still don't think that direction is reasonable. If a mode is not being played then maybe we oughta take the hint, instead of being gullible to our feelings.

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The changes in 2v2 activity from 47 to 48, and especially with 49 has been pretty huge tbh.I'm agreeing with most of lologrades points here. I think it will just take time and persistance. I've played more 2v2 since 48 than the 2 years before that, so I would say its coming along nicely (might be hyperbole, but the general activity is atleast vastly noticable)

Jaguar and lolograde like this

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I've played quite a bit of 2v2 games since the matchmaking update. Discord is a great place to hear about them being organized. uaedude also hosts CTF games every few days as well. I agree with lolo that knowing how many people are queuing at a time would change which game modes I queue for.

Team modes are hard too.

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10 hours ago, thelawenforcer said:

so what needs or is being done?

 

 

people need to actually play and there needs to be some teammode cups for people to play consistently

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I think there should be seperate queues for 1v1 and team gamemodes.. Because atm you never find any team games when you have duel checked aswell. I would also remove instagib, FFA and AFFA from matchmaking because again these gamemodes don't need queues and only make it hard to find enaugh players for team based modes in the queue. And I would like to get more clear information if I'm going to play a ranked or casual gamemode.

Edit: The game also needs more TDM maps like 'fools choice'.

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surprised to see so many "Keep trying to revive the 'dead' gamemodes by continuing to promote them and dedicate development time to making content for them in the hope that one day people will play them?" responses as im fairly convinced that this is not a strategy that will yield significant benefits to the community. like smilecythe says, at one point do you recognise the reality on the ground and move on? fuglaa suggest people actually play them more - but isnt this the whole problem? that people arent really that interested in playing TDM/CTF? Also, shouldnt there first be a player base before you organise competition? the 2v2 cup that was held was hardly a big success and there has been little to no interest since...

tbh, i thought the answer would be fairly clear - reflex doesnt really have anything to lose when it comes to tinkering with the parts of the formula that dont work. keep building features around 1v1, and look to reformat the team part of the game. The model I think that could stand the best chance of succeeding would be the Severity model - if some of you guys dont remember, the CPL was going to make an FPS game with 2 distinct modes, that featured a 1v1 mode and a 3v3/5v5 more objective based teammode in a bid to unify the two big FPS scenes at the time - Quake and Counterstrike. There are several reasons why this might be a good idea: 1. a well made teammode will be alot of fun and provide a real platform for developing strong teamplay. 2. a more accessible and enjoyable gamemode will attract and more importantly retain players. 3. from a marketing perspective, the dual offering of pure 1v1 mode and a 'modern' but still sort of purist teammode would let reflex credibly position itself as some sort of 'perfect/complete' competitive fps. 4. novelty alone would bring a certain degree of hype. 

Joe, gfield and Grybzt like this

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I think there is not much interesst in 2v2 because 1. I don't think there are team ranks and leaderboards 2. I never played in any cups because I don't understand how cup organisation works and there isn't enaugh advertisement for cups 3. People only talk about 1v1 and there are only very few good looking and polished TDM maps. I only remember Ironguard, Ashur, Gravesite and Phobos. All other maps are either not detailed or too big/small. Why not have less playlists in MM and concentrate players on maps and gamemodes that work. Maybe only 3 ranked playlists each with it's own queue: comp 1v1, comp 2v2, comp ctf --> less options but also less waiting.

Edit: It would be really nice if team modes were more systematic. They need features like weapondrop, Voip, Teamchat bindings or CS:GO style radio commands. It would also be really nice if you had team ranks and profiles with statistics (statistics could be more detailed in general.. For example detailed statistics per map and weapon, heatmaps for player deaths). Each team could also have a homemap and custom (or unlockable) team-banners which could be displayed on Deathscreens and on Flags in CTF. I think current 2v2 is fun already but it needs more features and support (maybe make a trailer which introduces competetive doubles).

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2 minutes ago, AwesomeAndy said:

I never thought TDM was an especially appealing mode. Historically it wasent even designed (in a game design sense). It was just a ffa-afterthought with blue/red team, and it didnt really change much  in the last almost 20 years. And it never really was popular in the past compared to other modes either.  Apart from the same usual 17 players noone is really interested to time items/PUs communicating with custom team chat binds or whatever. Expecting new players for this in 2017 is a pipedream. IMO the mode sucks, go make something new.

 

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I think there's a good reason upcoming new AFPS games like QC and Diabotical are creating new team-modes .... because they know the current ones are bad.

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Current modes aren't bad. People are just not used to play them because they aren't ideal for public play. I am a big fan of Half-Life 1 Team Deathmatch (played a lot of clanwars in TDM). In Half-Life it's not about timing QuadDamage but more about controlling key areas with great items (weapons, armors or Movement-Powerups). Ofc it's also about spawnkilling.. I think CTF is a good gamemode but it needs good matchmaking and more maps with nice artstyle (but it would be great if they looked better than CPMA maps..) and compfortable gameplay (would be nice to not fall into the void 90% of the time)

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I think Reflex insane speed is a bad thing when talking about larger public games. It requires larger maps for fewer players compared to other games. And Reflex can't handle large maps well (low performance, insane amount of work to make them look proper). 

For example in cs dust2 is designed for 5v5, but there are tons of servers that run it 15v15 and it's works just fine. In reflex it's becomes huge chaos much faster.

Also, it's hard to keep public game alive when it's max 5v5 and every single player leaving makes teams very imbalanced (compared to 10v11).

 

Currently only 4 modes are actually fun at the moment: 1v1, FFA, ATDM and RACE. And I think focus could be made to those 4.

While CTF could be popular in public play, I don't think that TDM has any chance to be succesful in pubs without remaking it from scratch. 

 

For teammodes to grow, it needs proper pub play, but that requires larger servers, that would make it easier to people rotate ( join/leave), but don't kill match.

And it's impossible to build competitive play before public play.

 

Edit: also, reason I think ATDM is better than CTF is scalability. 2v2 ATDM works way better than 2v2 CTF. ATDM could be played with any amount of players, while CTF requires specific amount before it's even playable.

And any chance for teammodes to succeed in any way is bots.

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20 minutes ago, Grybzt said:

While CTF could be popular in public play, I don't think that TDM has any chance to be succesful in pubs without remaking it from scratch.

Current TDM is entirely unintuitive for players that aren't used to the way it was played in the old 90's AFPS games, so I agree with you. That said I don't think it's doomed to forever be unpopular. A good start would be to not call it TDM, actually. Call it something like "Resource Control", because that's really what it's about. And additional features to make it super obvious for new players they need to control weapons/armour and maintain good positioning.

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