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UT 4 -- My wants/hopes

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    UT 4 -- My wants/hopes

    My wants, in no particular order:

    1. Produce a bona-fide UT99-2. Allow a choice of UT99/UT3 movement or UT 2004 movement to server hosts. The feel of the default game play should be that of the tried and proven UT99 (no translocator limit, etc.).

    2. No consolization for the PC version whatsoever.

    3. No Gamespy ****. But do consider integration with STEAM.

    4. First rate User Interface and Server Browser that feels like it was designed for someone using a mouse and keyboard. The User Interface and Server Browser in UT3 were god-awful and offensive to UT fans.

    5. Release the game in a pristine polished condition. Don't release an alpha-stage stillborn that was rushed to market like UT3.

    6. Bring back the UT99/UT 2004 style looks/colors and drop the grungy Gears-of-Warrified looks.

    7. Make the player skins look more like the streamlined UT99 skins and not the silly cartoonish UT 2004 skins or the bulky UT3 skins. They also need to display team colors clearly.

    8. Game types: CTF, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, UT99 style Domination, Assault, Bombing Run, vehicle CTF, Invasion, and Onslaught/Warfare.

    9. Freedom. One of the reasons UT99 (and to a lesser extent UT 2004) was a hit was because the game was open and flexible and it wasn't onerously difficult to create custom maps and custom content.

    10. High Quality built-in voice comm with various features.

    11. Some sort of internal IRC browser/server. It doesn't have to access external IRC servers, but we need something with the same functionality where people can set up chat rooms. Also, it needs to offer a PUG match creation program (so people can pick teams for organized 5v5 capture-the-flag games, etc.)

    12. Seamless integration with Windows. Going from a full screen mode to a Windows mode should be easy, fast, and flawless.

    13. Allow people to pull up the server browser (and user interface and chat windows, etc.) while being connected to a server. This was one of the consolized flaws of UT3. (You could do that in UT99/UT 2004.) The same goes for settings/options windows. The server browser and user interface menu should appear instantly when summoned even if someone is connected to a game server. (In UT3 you had to disconnect.)

    14. Marketing. Market the game as an online multiplayer PvP cyber-bloodsport. Give it the aura of a game for adults and older teens looking to stroke their egos and e-penises through the act of fragging other players. Don't give it the aura of something that appeals to Gears of War type preteens or people who are more focused on eye candy graphics over game play.

    15. Do NOT waste time and resources creating a silly single player campaign (see #14 above) that probably won't be very good and that few people will care about, anyway. Just do what you did in UT99 where new players can work through and advance through the various maps and game types.

    16. First-rate Map-Vote / in-game map selection system. The built-in Map Vote for UT3 was atrocious. Look to the custom BDB MapVote mod that was used for UT99 or the Map Vote system that was used in UT 2004. This is an area where polish, user options, and attention to detail would be valued.

    16. Do NOT worry too much about spending a huge amount of time and resources on stock maps. Perhaps three or four stock maps for each game type would be sufficient. Let modders and mappers do the (free) work of creating maps for the game and build the engine so that custom content downloads easily and flawlessly (see UT99 and UT 2004). Instead, focus efforts and resources on the backbone of the game--the stuff mappers and modders won't (or shouldn't have to) work on.

    17. For server admins who do not want to use MapVote, create an optional algorithm that will the server to skip over maps that are too large or too small for the number of people on the server. (I once played on a UT99 server that had a custom program for that, and it was really great.) If only 8 people are on the server then you want a smaller map that's good for 8 people, and if 20 people are on the server then you'd want a larger map and not a small map.

    18. The game needs a Linux-based client, at least for server admins who want to use Linux servers.

    19. No translocator limits or cooldowns. Make it easy to set up a "throw weapons" bind or better yet, just allow someone to get the default amount of ammo if they are already carrying the weapon and run over the weapon pickup.

    Ah yes, yet another UT4 thread - this forum hasn't seen enough of them, apparently. And everyone asks from different things, some of them being diametrically opposite to each other.
    For example some ask for the full range of game modes, others want Epic to reduce the number of modes as much as possible.

    Oh well, I didn't really participate in any of these threads yet. Here goes:
    • Default movement should include the entire range UT2004 has to offer, but with code hooks to disable every individual aspect. A custom UT3-style mutator, for example, could disable the mid-air jumps after dodging moves, while a UT-style mutator could disable mid-air jumps entirely and also wall-dodges.
    • The main audience should be keyboard+mouse users. If the game also works with console controllers (or even on consoles), that's a nice-to-have feature, as long as it doesn't have any negative impact for keyboard+mouse input.
    • SteamOS support (or even generic Linux support) would be a good idea.
    • Steam integration belongs in the nice-to-have category. Some really like it, but if Steam or anything similar is mandatory, I definitely won't buy the game. (That's not a threat, just a fact. I make a point of not owning any Steam/ games that require me to be online at some point even if I never want to play them online at all.)
    • Modability at all costs. Being able to create additional content is probably the most important aspect of the UT series and the reason it stayed alive for this long. Ideally the game will developed with modability in mind at all stages. "Nobody would want to mod this" must not be implied in any feature at any time.
    • Game modes: Here I have the completely opposite opinion. DM, TDM, CTF and Onslaught including the Orb, though not necessarily on all maps. That's all for a start.
    • By CTF I mean a gametype that supports vehicles, but doesn't demand them. Basically it should support the map prefixes CTF and VCTF as hint to the player whether the map contains vehicular gameplay or not. The mapper should decide whether the map is suited for Translocator or Hoverboard. Maybe a system similar to that of UT3 Jailbreak could be used, where the mapper can specify a default "transportation device" in some way, but the admin can override that suggestion in some flexible way.
    • Modability also includes potential support for more than two teams. I don't want to see any two-element static arrays ever again! (Same goes for "Red~" and "Blue~" variable names.) Team-specific skins should rely on material constructions that allow setting a team color parameter. It would be nice if TDM could be set up for up to 4 teams like in UT1, but that's not really a requirement. UT2004 and UT3 have seen 4 team mods, so I expect the next UT (should there ever be one) to see such mods as well. I only hope the barrier for creating such mod won't be as high as it was in the previous two games. Aforementioned mods had to include custom team skins for all standard player models and vehicles. Obviously they have no chance of supporting custom player models or vehicles due to the lack of a standard team color parameter.
    • I agree on the sillyness of the UT3 SP campaign. UT and UT200x got it right. To quote the UT intro: "Liandri Mining Corporation [...] established a series of leages and bloody public exhibitions." That's what UT is about, not "FLaGs" and respawners in actual warfare.
    • While bots in the UT series have always been among the best (just compare UT bots and Quake 3 bots...), they could really need a bit more of a human-like touch. Ideally you don't immediately notice you're spectating a bots. Than means they shouldn't snap-aim at targets and otherwise gaze straight ahead. Also, while players want a challenge, they shouldn't have to pick between dumb/slow/"won't hit broad side of a barn" and "knows its way"/normal speed/"can pick out a fly's left eye from the other side of the map". An example is bots firing at incoming AVRiLs: This only starts happening at or above skill level 5.0 ("Masterful" in UT2004). At that level, bots already aim quite accurately and can take down AVRiLs far better than most humans do.
      I know bots already time powerups on higher skill levels, but how about this twist: I a bot notices the human also times powerups, it should consider timing the powerup not for pickup, but for setting up an ambush. Skilled players place prediction shots with powerful weapons near respawning powerups to either kill the opponent or scare him away. Good players may also intentionally delay picking up powerups to mess up the opponent's timing.
    • GUI - if a mouse is the primary input for playing, it should also be the primary input for the GUI. However, it may still be a good idea to set up control relations in a way that allows keyboard or gamepad navigation. That doesn't mean the GUI should always consist of lists, quite the opposite. There are not only up and down keys, but also left and right. For things like sliders and text boxes there could be a kind of activation needed before left and right affect these. For example, text boxes expect Enter or text input before capturing left/right to move the cursor. And in case this wasn't obvious yet: UT and UT2004 had a GUI that was superior to UT3's, in terms of usability.
    • Mutators. InstaGib is obviously mandatory, and it should be a mutator. Considering the number of custom InstaGib variations, this might deserve special treatment in the server browser, and not just for the CTF game mode. The mutator category system could need some refinement, though. For example, I don't really see a reason why the Titan mutator in UT3 shouldn't work with Weapon Replacement. What's even worse are the artificial mutator restrictions imposed by some game modes. I can see that certain mutators only make sense with specific game modes because they rely on that mode, but what's wrong about Low Grav in vehicle game modes or InstaGib Greed?
      Standard mutators: InstaGib, Weapon Respawn (default should be "weapon locker mode" as in UT3 v2), Low Grav (don't claim it won't work with vehicles, it can work somehow), Enable/Disable Translocator/Hoverboard, Remove Orb (if Onslaught includes it), Remove Super Weapons.
    • I think we can get along just fine without UT200x's adrenaline system, as it only awards additional advantages to the already better player. UT3's power-ups are the way to go, including being able to knock them off opponents using Shieldgun alt-fire.
    • UT2004 map voting was quite good, and so was UT3's webadmin interface. However, maybe it would be possible to design custom web pages for mutator/game mode configuration in a way that works for GUI and webadmin alike. UT2004 had a basic approach for that, but it lacked a bit of flexibility.
    • I can't really say anything about weapon balance, except this: Leave aiming gravity-affected projectiles to the player. Don't artificially add unreasonable amounts of upward velocity to them. Flak alt-fire in UT3 felt really awkward because of that.
    • Vehicles, hmm. VCTF and Onslaught obviously need them, but I think the "Axon" vehicle set should be enough for a start. They provide a good variety for the few (hopefully good) stock maps. Today's UT2004 Onslaught maps contain a wide range of custom vehicles. Leave it to the modders to provide additional vehicles.
    • Deployables - if they are included again, they should not be indestructible. Things like the Spider Mine Trap are far too powerful to stay around until all spiders did their job.


      ****, I meant to post this in General Chat, not UT 2004.


        I think it's important not to view UT99's gameplay (its movement in particular) through rose-tinted spectacles. Adding a default and preferring UT99 behaviour (which I understand was the behaviour of UT3 as well, where it didn't have the benefit of nostalgia) seems to me to defeat the purpose of having all options available. Be there a choice, it should be an explicit choice with no default.

        I also don't really see the problem with having lots of stock maps. For modders to make maps, assets are required and the more default assets that exist, the better. There are plenty of keen pro level designers out there, I'm sure, and it's not as if their talents can realistically be deployed elsewhere within the game.


          Now it's here in this subforum. The General Chat will probably get less attention than a UT subforum anyway.

          I agree with pretty much everything Wormbo and most of what you mentioned, Sourpuss. Except for the focus on getting a UT99-v2, as I think having all options (gameplay-wise) available and have a hybrid of UT and UT2004 gameplay as a base (as it was in UT3) is a much better solution.
          I especially disagree with this one part that you wrote:
          16. Do NOT worry too much about spending a huge amount of time and resources on stock maps. Perhaps three or four stock maps for each game type would be sufficient. Let modders and mappers do the (free) work of creating maps for the game and build the engine so that custom content downloads easily and flawlessly (see UT and UT2004). Instead, focus efforts and resources on the backbone of the game--the stuff mappers and modders won't (or shouldn't have to) work on.
          In my opinion, this was another reason why UT3 was less appealing to some. UT such as UT2004 had a fair amount of maps per gametype and a (especially for modern games-standards) huge variety of themes. Less maps and thus less themes restrict mappers. Epic won't make a bunch of content that isn't going to be used as that would be a waste of time and money/resources. They will only create what they need and eventually have some leftovers from a showcase trailer scattered in the game's content list (just like it was the case in UT3). If I want to make a map for UT3 and give it an individual look, I need to either spend a lot of time on arranging static meshes in such a way that it looks different than what the stock maps offer or create my own static meshes - and mind you, not every mapper is a modeller. Most mappers actually use default content and/or bonus pack content and arrage it in a way that gives the map an individual style. Personally, I was very disappointed to see the selection of UT3 maps and themes to choose from at first. At least the packages were nicely structured (this was something that really made me awe, I was not used to that) and luckily some more were added with the Titan Pack and I had the patience to search for nice custom maps. The first weeks after a release of "UT4", the amount of custom maps will be little anyway unless Epic releases the editor with the game's content before the game's release - which would probably make little sense as they might as well release the entire game. Thinking from this point of view, those first weeks might make a huge difference. That's when reviews will be made and people seem to trust reviews. Not everyone might have the patience to spend time on trying to find good maps to stock up the maplist directly after release - and you need to think about online play. Not everyone wants to download 10-20 custom maps from servers because the server owners had to put up a lot of custom maps to have a satisfying maplist for players and imagine you have to download maps with a sizes of about 50MB as an example. Especially since a sequel to the franchise would most likely be on Unreal Engine 4 already (which seems to have a different workflow compared to the previous Unreal Engine generations given the presentations), those new mappers must get used to the new engine and editor first (I remember how I had to get used to each change with each game) so good quality content might be rare at first as people will have to relearn to make stuff for it.
          Not to mention that I smell the rants of others about the poor selection of maps that would sound like this: "UT turned CoD! Look at the little selection of maps!"
          And what people read on the official forums about a game is considered to be a good reflection of what the fanbase thinks and considering how the majority of people in the UT communities dislike CoD, I would guess that it would do the game more harm than to wait a little more and get a fullfilling selection of maps with a nice variety of themes at release.
          If Epic actually made a fresh and clear statement they still care about the franchise and eventually drop some hints at a new UT, they should let people know about an existing project/UT-WIP only later on during the development process, when it has a solid shape and it's about polishing and releasing a beta, otherwise I fear people will push them too much resulting in a catastrophy. The impatience is pretty obvious. I'm not surprised, 6 years passed and no real news of any upcoming sequel or any new statement about the Unreal franchise.

          A small remark:
          After all these UT4 wishlist-threads, one can notice that there are certian wishes that everyone - no matter what UT the "main-UT" of the person is - seems to have. If someone at Epic actually reads those threads, it shouldn't be rocket science to get an overview to see which wishes the fanbase has. Having a solid fanbase means to have a solid support. People who like a game will recommend a game (I did so and still recommend good games to friends and usually they like the recommended games too) so that might reflect in the sales.

          So, Epic... UT4?


            I just want it to be very modder friendly. Then it won't matter much how the default game plays, it can be changed to everyone's whims, so UT99, UT2k, and UT3 fans can all be happy. Absolutely no paid DLC, UT was popular because of mods and great gameplay! There should be plenty of community content released in bonus packs, and stuff like maps, characters and mutators should be easy to install on all platforms. Single player should be minimal, just a basic ladder mode with bots. The focus should be on creating fun gametypes, vehicles and weapons to choose from. Classic modes like Invasion, Assault and Onslaught should return, along with new stuff to keep things fresh.


              i dont think steam should be part of it


                Don't mention "beta", please. Epic seems to stick with the original meaning of it - feature complete, but needs testing. Remember how they released "beta demos" for UT2003, UT2004 and UT3? They pretty much reflected the final game.UT2004 still got some minor stuff changed. (e.g. the demo features the UT2004-style double damage sound scheme, but with the UT2003 sounds)
                They should actually use the demo to get feedback that is reflected in the first retail version of the game.


                  Originally posted by unrealloco View Post
                  i dont think steam should be part of it
                  I disagree. I think it should have Steam Workshop.