Roll the game back.

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Empty, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Empty

    Empty Member

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    This is going to sound like a rant, and it is to be honest. I'd make separate threads for each sub-topic but I don't have the patience or the time. So prepare for a dump.

    I logged in today to chat with extrems, and I played a little bit, literally 10 minutes. What I saw and heard was fucking appalling.

    The current dev team should really take a moment to reconsider what the fuck they're doing. It's one thing to have no idea how to do your job, but it's another entirely to completely trash a fine piece of work with your ignorance and incapability.

    I'm going to sound very harsh towards certain developers (and honestly I don't even know who did what) and I'd like to give feedback in a civil and reasonable manner, but honestly I'm fucking seething so don't expect me to hold back.

    There's been a trend of late, for unpolished and frankly poorly done work to be published into the game. My first warning was the new NF barracks and radar. While serving gameplay well, these models are frankly significantly less good looking than the original models, I let it slide because they served their function and our buildings on the whole aren't that nice, but it seems that it opened the door for a cascade of shit, the final product of which is now live on the steam servers somehow.

    But if the buildings were a poor but acceptable change for practical reasons, the UI changes are anything but. I know the phrase 'anything is better than the current hud' was thrown around a lot before this change, but for the love of god have you people heard of hyperbole? We've had multiple contenders for an improved hud, but we moved to this atrocity? What the fuck am I looking at? The hud is an ugly mess of oversized fonts, horrific icons and all around ugly design. It looks as though it was designed by a 15 year old for a class assignment, instead of a clean, consistent (but definitely dated) UI, we have this abomination with ugly outlines, terrible sprite choices and incredibly strange design choices. Why do UI elements terminate before the edge of the screen? Why does the concussion grenade have the most generic lens flare visual on top of it? Why why why WHY!? Now I don't blame whoever made it, it could definitely be worse but it's a significant downgrade to the original UI. The blame doesn't lie in the artists (shoddy) work, it lies in whoever the fuck decided this was good enough to make official. There is a term called quality control, something that's clearly been completely thrown out here.

    But the shitshow doesn't end at that point, next up is the audio experience.
    My lord. What the fuck happened. Whoever signed off on these ought to be shot.
    Empires had a good soundscape. If anything, one of the best parts of Empires WAS the sounds. Our game had a polished set of foley, more than passable infantry weapon sounds, and some really really great sound work put in for the tank engines.

    And now it sounds horrendous. Absolutely unbearable. I drove an NF Heavy and the engine sounded somewhere between a 50cc moped and a guy making engine sounds with his mouth. What the fuck have you done to the tanks? On top of that the infantry weapons are just anemic, to say the least. Every gun I heard sounded cringeworthy or just inappropriate. None of the weapons felt good to use and some felt horrendous (what the fuck is the shotgun firing sound? jesus christ) But on top of destroying the firing noises, whoever did these sounds thought it wise to redo the weapon foley. I'll admit our weapons weren't great on the foley side, but at least the sounds matched the animations and weren't too bad, now all of the foley sounds have been replaced by short, poorly done clips that don't sync properly, and don't even have their volumes equalized properly. I'd love to say that's where it ends, but I also noticed infantry damage and death sounds. These are cheesy as fuck and sound terrible, where have you played an FPS where characters make stock sound library death screams? I swear some of these sounds came from command and conquer 95.

    I'd comment on scripts and gameplay too but the visceral experience of the game was so appalling I literally had to stop, so sadly I don't have any feedback for those, but if every other part of the game is a litmus I'd say they're likely garbage too.

    The level of quality control shown by the developers is frankly nonexistent. When you rip out someone else's hard work, make sure your work is an improvement and for gods sake make some kind of attempt to be consistent, the entire game now feels unprofessional, unpolished and all over the place. If I came fresh into empires now I'd walk straight back out. When I installed empires all those years ago I was impressed not just by the scale and depth, but the consistency of art, sound and design. Empires used to be a mod with an incredible quality standard. Yes, it looked like 2005 source engine but it also looked and felt like a nearly professional piece of work.

    The next time you work on a piece of art, take a step back. Show some humility. Put it next to what you're replacing and look into yourself and ask yourself 'is this what the game needs?', 'is this the best I can do?', 'is this going to make the game better?'. Because I think for the grand majority of changes the answer to all 3 is a definitive 'no'. This isn't your hobby, this isn't your personal project, this is a longstanding piece of art and honestly history you're working on, treat it as such..

    The current situation of the mod is an insult the the days, weeks and months of effort previous developers and artists have poured into it. To take their impressive works and replace them with this crap is honestly offensive. And I'm personally insulted that you've disgraced something I hold so dear. You have taken one of my fondest memories and tarnished it.
     
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  2. Xyaminou

    Xyaminou Member

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    Agree with everything except the "new" NF barracks looks just the same as the old as far as quality is concerned.
     
  3. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    Basicly what happend is that developers that arent really developers started doing work.
    Its take what you can get instead ot take whats best.
     
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  4. CRITAWAKETS

    CRITAWAKETS Member

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    I agree for everything here. When i beta tested the sound update i had only one thing in mind. "Who the fuck was thinking this was a good idea?" The guns all sound like farts now and the vehicle engine sounds dont stop when you brake or slow down!

    Atleast 3 slot is useful now. Thats the only good thing, everything else has been thrown down in the trash.

    Armors now work better or worse based on the player's playstyle. If the comm decides to research only one armor, theres a huge chance its an armor you are not good with. Back in the day, armors were better or worse depending on the team's strategy.

    The infantry side is just completely unbalanced. SMG2 has more accuracy than SMG1 and has better DPS and NF Assault Rifle is way better than any BE weapon. Seriously, i once played on a server on District and BE was heavily stacked but they still lost.

    Heat is no longer a game mechanic worth caring about unless you use nukes. Just slap advanced coolant as an engine and you dont have to worry about heat anymore.

    Since jeeps no longer can have other engines than standard they actually have similar speeds to tanks sometimes.

    I have to be drunk, high and just be taking every drug ever to understand some of the changes.
     
  5. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    i dont think the nf rax does fit the general nf style much, but its also no that easy to follow an artstyle without any guidlines. for me here the gain in balance outweights it, ofc it would be nice to have a perfectly fitting artstyle, but i fear that would require a complete remake of all buildings.
    i really dont understand whats supposed to be wrong with the radar, yes it no longer is octagonal, but aside of that it even looks a bit better imo. but thats an opinion, you cant argue looks.

    i do agree with that the new sounds for the biggest portion are indeed weird. the icons are so-so.

    but yes, all in all, empires does not look (and sound) like "from the same mould" anymore, that critique is totally justified. for that matter, the nf jeep, a quite high quality asset in comparison, also looks completely out of this world. or also the be-heavy tank texture.

    btw is it just coincidence that two quite similar threads popped up in rapid succession?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  6. Snarkeh

    Snarkeh Member

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    To be fair, my thread was kinda sunk by a inter dev pissing contest. Plus this is much better and more constructive critique than my thread.

    I agree we shouldn't have to seperate threads though, can a mod delete my prior thread since it was trashed?
     
  7. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    its too early to assume that :P

    also dont dare to delete threads where smithy posted nice artwork!
     
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  8. Smithy

    Smithy Developer Staff Member Administrator

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    @flasche ❤️️
    It's technically 'Fan art', since I didn't (and don't) have intentions on getting them into the game any time soon. The reason being that it's demotivating af when you see how shit things look in our version of source.

    I have voiced my concerns in the past regarding the sounds but this is a new thread so I'll reply again.
    I don't think the new sounds are an improvement and actually can't think of a single replacement sound that I think is better than what we already had. It was always a bad idea to replace such a large volume of the sounds in one go. To me there was no quality control on them, sure they were tested; but testing that they work shouldn't have guaranteed that they should make it in.
    I know Angry went through a lot of effort to accomplish the set of sounds that we were using before these; and I for one think it's a shame to let them go. I agree with the foley critique Empty; the weapons just seem very strange now. (Shotguns especially)

    The NF barracks and radar arguably function better than the old set. Empires just doesn't have the same appeal that it once did. Maybe if it were ported to something more attractive than the Source engine.
    Developers just don't want to work on source games, why would you when there are better alternatives. This is why things have turned into an anyone can contribute kind of project as of late.

    Anyway, I have a steak dinner to go eat so:
    [​IMG]
    PS: Smithy for Lead Dev 2017

    Make Empires, Empires again.
     
  9. complete_

    complete_ lamer

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    i wish i could've gotten some backup on how the hud changes didn't look better in the actual feedback topic. we could've not had it if a couple people just posted that it didn't look like a visual improvement over the old hud
    i'd say the same for sounds but enough people talked about it not sounding good but they were ignored (which was the wrong thing to do)

    but yes, revert
     
  10. vipervicki

    vipervicki Member

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    In my opinion the 'quality control' for the game has gone down hill considerably, I think that is more in part due to the lack of direction this game has received has which only subtracts from it's 'professional quality' that we all saw in Empires long ago. It's not enough to test changes put forth by community members as they also have to fit within a vision that someone has of the game and without that we are left with a miss match of changes made by anyone that comes along that is semi-competent with using x tool.

    It seems to me the devs are not in touch with what empires should sound like or should be. I also don't understand why they spend their time trying to get more servers going and plugins for them when all the servers, and there are several, sit empty except for 1 and the player base is not enough to fill even 1 server 99.99% of the time. It is rare if a server gets full. weekdays its so poor I see under 20 people playing and thats being generous, all week long. In all the years I have been part of empires dev=coding not community and server management.

    I was shocked when those new sounds were implemented, I find it hard to believe that they are thought of good enough to be part of the official version of empires.
    There is a saying if ain't broke, don't fix it. New doesn't always =better and the fact this passed through as better really leaves me wondering what criteria they are using to improve Empires.

    We had several different devs as long as I have been with empires and each one made positive additions to the game, until now. I agree with empty, its not the devs personal project or hobby to do with what they want and ignore the history and the effort previous developers and artists have put into it.
     
  11. TheCreeper

    TheCreeper Member

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    While I've not previously made my opinion of the new sounds known, I have to say that I preferred the old set of sounds much more than what we have now. It's not an issue of whether people are simply more accustomed to what they've listened to while playing the game for many years or one where they for whatever reason "hate change" but rather that they in a lot of ways feel like this is a downgrade from what we previously had.

    I can't say that I like many of the changes to the UI either and there is still unresolved issues that otherwise make it less readable than what we had previously which is a bad thing given that it only serves to make the game less user friendly to new players. Readability is extremely important to me.

    I also don't like that I feel the need to state that 'I don't hate change' or whatever but it seems necessary given recent events and the hostility towards people with a differing opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  12. A-z-K

    A-z-K Member

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    I dunno, I like the icons and I don't think the Nf buildings make any difference, they fit well enough and are more functional I think they are a step in the right direction.
     
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  13. flasche

    flasche Member Staff Member Moderator

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    refering to "our version of source", are there any news on source 2? last thing i heard is that it will be free, that was a couple of months after dota 2 moved to source 2 with the reborn patch in december 2015. since then basically nothing (but i admit i didnt exactly look for it)
     
  14. vipervicki

    vipervicki Member

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    You got my vote Smithy!
     
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  15. VulcanStorm

    VulcanStorm Developer Staff Member Moderator

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    Source2... Well, it's nowhere on the horizon. Maybe it will appear with hl3 :P

    There is surprisingly little info about source2 online. But the last major thing was an unofficial reddit post I think? Which basically said "don't hold your breath".
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  16. Grantrithor

    Grantrithor Member

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    If there was anything that didn't need changing, it was the sound. Lordy, the reload sound of NF 9mm sounds like it was recorded in a cave and the switching sound for the shot pistol and smg3 sounds like someone hitting a wooden log. The inventory icons are horrendous, for a second I thought I was on some geocities fanpage for Empires but no I was playing the game itself. And changing the mortar sounds is just heresy, but thank the lord no one changed the calculator sounds because that would've been iconoclasm.

    Obviously the dev team is using some kind of VCS (though I now wouldn't be surprised if they're running this shit through dropbox), so they have the ease in being able to rollback to a version where the assets weren't garbage.
     
  17. Avatarix

    Avatarix Member

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    That's what happens when you put a single man in charge of a giant overhaul of sounds, and he uses random stock sounds found over the web.
    And after long critique of many sounds (be_pistol_1 and shotguns, APCs, etc) nothing has been changed and he started working on maps!
    @Kidpaler @Donald Trump
     
  18. Paradox

    Paradox I am a gigantic asshole who loses people's hard wo

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    This thread should be stickied as a reminder that you need to do better. Also get your shit together on the fixed or unfixed tank destroyer. Also just put a publuc vote cause if you decide to follow security and it geta backlash dont expect him to take the hit.
     
  19. Thexa4

    Thexa4 Developer Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sorry you feel that we are not doing enough quality control on the things we release.
    Quite some of my time is going towards streamlining the workflow of the development team but it appears the results are not good enough yet. Therefore we are going to do the following:
    • Go through the sounds on a case-by-case basis to see which ones need a replacement / revert. (Would be great if you could write down things you don't like here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1StcgsCaQFMKS00jUFFx1wNqj6TqeW3SIx3iUi3h1c9Y/edit )
    • We're giving one team member the responsibility of checking art changes before merging them just like we do for code changes. We hope that this will give more of a direction to the changes we make.
    • We're going to try to do more gradual rollout of bigger features.
    To help us achieve a higher quality of work I have a couple of requests to you as a community:
    • Please help us test beta releases, we try to do public tests before releasing new features but we have a lot of problems getting enough players to actually help test it. It's during that time that we can easily revert / fix any problems that occur.
    • The person doing GUI work has been gone for a few months now, we really want to fix the issues so we're actively looking for someone that wants to help with VGUI work.
    If there's more I can do, please contact me on discord or through forum DM.
     
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  20. urethra franklin

    urethra franklin Member

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    I would offer to attempt to do the gui shit but I have no experience on a real code base
     

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