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Old 05-28-2011, 01:17 PM
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Default Reporting from the beginnings of Beta

Well, we have visible progress this week. We distributed the beta succesfully, beat the stupid initial technical problems into submission - and got some scheduled games going! I didn't get a chance to jump in until Thursday, got a little time on the game with a fresh bunch of people, then jumped back in Friday afternoon/evening for a real, honest-to-god scheduled test session!

I wasn't counting, but I think we had over 50 people on, playing on Fallen Fighters and the map-currently-known-as "Apartments". I wasn't playing the whole time (some of us have to work too), but ran through some Countdown and Territory on Fallen Fighters, plus Firefight on Apartments.

We've actually been messing around with the dynamics of Countdown before the beta, adding in some extra touches, including a reinforcement wave mechanism for the attackers (as people got more experienced at CD, we'd been finding that defense outweighs attack too often - long story). It makes communication and timing important in CD, adds an extra dynamic, making for extra tension - and even more reason for the defenders to hang on, even when they are down to the last few men - can they force the attackers to use very limited reinforcements early in the round?

Anyway, I think the verdict on 50+ player Countdown was a resounding success. There'd been a nagging concern (in my mind at least) that it would turn into mass slaughter for the first 10 seconds, followed by a couple of mniutes of a few people creeping about. Might have happened the first couple of rounds, but I think I had underestimated the scale of our maps (and the skill of our level designers... [you owe me Krispy Kremes for that one, guys]). By the time I got to playing, the first 10-20 seconds largely involved 50 people vanishing into the terrain, followed by a couple of minutes of gripping combat. Every corner, hole, hiding spot, smoke grenade all house dangers that really matter. VOIP becomes very important, people supporting each other in small teams.

Those moments defending in the Univermag (I was lurking on the second floor) got classic. I was looking down over the railing/through the railing, trying to nail any enemy that got in to the ground floor. Had about 3 guys up there with me - Chapel was watching the side entrance, someone else was firing down as well and there was another one firing down/watching the main staircase. The enemy had broken in the side entrance and Chapel had his hands full, so I was having to switch my attention between the ground floor and the entrance to my left. I remember emptying a whole magazine through a shelving unit downstairs to take out a couple of Germans, think I added a grenade down there for good measure, got clipped from Germans attacking from the left side and had to duck to cover to bandage and reload.

Then I was taking suppressing fire from downstairs, while trying to help Chapel out on the side entrance. Decision time - risk the suppressing fire and try and take out the guys on the left, or cover and risk them breaking in? I went for the aggressive option and got away with it, Chapel and I dropping a series of attackers on the left side. I think a grenade dropped him and I used mine up retaliating. I think the Germans used a reinforcement wave to add to the stress - then I started taking fire from the left again, turned and put a burst into one guy - and the guy behind him. Happy days!

And Firefight in the Apartments: I think even us old hands are thoroughly enjoying Firefight. It reminded me of one of the first things I enjoyed about FPS's in the first place - the Stalingrad map on the MoH (or was it the CoD?) demo. But this is different (better, of course). Bigger, more space, the fight tending to move around the map (scale again). While it allows lazy, evil people like me to camp and lurk, the focus of the fight moves enough that I either have to wait for it to shift back to where I'm lurking - or I have to move. I think its' success comes from a combination of the map design and the core mechanics of the game. Just with a different objective (pun unintended) to Territory or Countdwon. Simpler task, different focus - raw fun.

I hope the new testers are enjoying it as much as we are!
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:25 PM
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Great update Alan, thoroughly enjoyed reading your battle report - it sounds like the Beta is off to a good start.

I love objective, single life game modes as they add a tension to play that you just don't feel when you know you can respawn in 15 seconds...and Countdown is sounding like the biggest, best and most epic single life game mode ever.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:39 PM
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yay yay yay! always great the hear how the game plays.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:41 PM
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Pics/movies or it didn't happen.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:13 PM
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now THAT was some good reading. At least we can get from you what our friends in the new beta testing can't tell us yet!
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for the update. I'm sure Countdown will be popular, but 2 minute rounds sound pretty fast for me. I think I'll probably be playing other modes with longer rounds.

Any pictures from the battles you can post?
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RO_fan View Post
Pics/movies or it didn't happen.
QFT.

Thanks for the update and the AAR!
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:37 PM
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At least fix steam so it doesnt taunt me by showing people in the beta as being in-game in my friends list.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [TW]Wilsonam View Post
It reminded me of one of the first things I enjoyed about FPS's in the first place - the Stalingrad map on the MoH (or was it the CoD?) demo.
At least MoHAA has a Stalingrad map and it's good public fun till this day
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:53 PM
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Wow. What a way to suck up a few reputation points.....

Thanks for the update.

Is server performance satisfactory at this point?
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:01 PM
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Sounding really great. Countdown sounds more and more interesting!
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:52 PM
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RO_fan
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Pics/movies or it didn't happen.

Like that - but without the smiley. I'm off for Barcelona vs. ManU



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Old 05-28-2011, 04:30 PM
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Sounds like you lot are having fun in the beta there.

Can't wait till us normal people get to join you in that fun.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:34 PM
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Pics/movies or it didn't happen.



... and I liked it.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [TW]Wilsonam View Post
And Firefight in the Apartments: I think even us old hands are thoroughly enjoying Firefight. It reminded me of one of the first things I enjoyed about FPS's in the first place - the Stalingrad map on the MoH (or was it the CoD?) demo. But this is different (better, of course). Bigger, more space, the fight tending to move around the map (scale again). While it allows lazy, evil people like me to camp and lurk, the focus of the fight moves enough that I either have to wait for it to shift back to where I'm lurking - or I have to move. I think its' success comes from a combination of the map design and the core mechanics of the game. Just with a different objective (pun unintended) to Territory or Countdwon. Simpler task, different focus - raw fun.

I hope the new testers are enjoying it as much as we are!
That was inded MOHAA and epic it was. TDM with essentially roaming enemy location. You tended to spawn near where the rest of your team where or the enemy wasn't. Avoided to many cases of spawn kills (as you were in an area occupied by your team) and gave the battle a nice dynamic. Nothing like pushing the enemy out of a building with a conserted push from the team. Then all spawns move and it starts again, best TDM i have ever played to this day, hopefully firefight can match!
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:44 PM
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Awesome.
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:01 PM
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This is torture :s and the worst part, is that we all enjoy reading this stuff.
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:07 PM
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Awesome! It seems HOS will be released soon. iI hope summer or early autumn release .
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
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this is torture :s and the worst part, is that we all enjoy reading this stuff.
I Second that
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:20 PM
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Whooo Beta!!!!
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