ONS-Halloween-C

Anything about UT2004 mapping, Uscripting & more
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Pegasus
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Re: ONS-Halloween-C

Postby Pegasus » Mon 9. Nov 2015, 01:56

Got the chance to check out the latest version in offline mode earlier today, and here's some thoughts on it:

- To start with a bundle of a few usability issues I noticed around the bases, for one thing, the way these rock st.meshes have been placed near the cores can obscure the presence of the right hand turret to players who just spawned, thus possibly depriving them of the opportunity to use that defensive resource at a crucial time; recommend a slight rearrangement around that area, perhaps by moving those rocks away from the cores' structures a bit. Additionally, right at those same spots, the right-hand batch of vehicles seems poorly lit to the point where players could likely mistake the EONS scorpion for a standard one and ignore it. Perhaps a torch like those placed around the southern village could be added to that side of the cores' structures (at a smaller scale, if necessary) to improve illumination? Lastly, and this one seems just weird to've never been spotted by anyone throughout all the map versions' playtesting, but the second step of both entrances leading to the core areas is slightly too high for pedestrians to be able to walk over and get inside, so some lowering/raising adjustment to the nearby BSP/terrain may be needed to fix that.
- Sticking with usability, but moving on to other areas now, seems like adding a few jumppads around to facilitate quicker foot-soldier transit was deemed too much, even with the teleporters gone; fair enough, but in that case, quick n' mass infantry deployment by way of multi-seat vehicles and manta sharing might be regarded as a higher priority for players to compensate, so don't forget to make sure the commute budget's numbers make sense (2 mantas, a raptor n' an EONS scorp I believe is the lot of the quick movers for each =<16p team) to prevent any avoidable dents on the edit's popularity.
- The other usability concern I'd been wondering about, even in previous versions, has to do with the castle's vehicles & node platforms; anybody else thinks their current elevation might make 'em liable to cause ppl access issues from time to time? If so, sink 'em bit further into the ground to ensure smooth transitions maybe?
- Speaking of the castle, but turning to more gameplay-oriented fare now, the damage amp near it looks like it favours the east-based team by a bit, offering the other side the less helpful (or versatile) use of a super shield. If breaking it right down the midsection was the root of the choice, did you consider any alternatives such as, say, placing it atop the big rock with a view to the castle right past the middle hill tree range or on the castle side of the river and in the nook between the two rocks forming the cliff face (or just near some placed small bit o' foliage)?
- Considering the castle interior pretty much constitutes the map's centerpiece and that it's also accessible from the roof, methinks it's kinda begging for a teleporter/jump pad setup to get peds up there for purposes of sneakier attacks/distractions that should keep its holders on their toes.
- Lastly about the castle, I'm ambivalent about whether some kinda pickup should be placed at the top of the castle's tower via teleporter access (or, even more impressively, via long jumppad launch from the far end of the northernmost rock bridge!), too. I mean, it'd be neat from a player-explorer perspective to get up there, enjoy the view and also be rewarded for it, but only as long as it couldn't be used in conjunction with the dragon (or raptor) afterwards to compound the threat for the defenders, and I haven't been able to come up with something fitting those specs :/. Any ideas? Speaking of the raptor, I've been giving the castle vehicular loadout some additional thought, and it's possible that keeping it around while also offering the dragon might be tipping the scales too much in the dominating team's favour, particularly if one were to assume they might also hold the village midsection node, which awards yet another powerful flyer. Perhaps busting the raptor down to something useful, but not as versatile might be a more prudent option to go with here - a manta perhaps?
- To wrap up with the [team] resources' allocation analysis, one other improvement that could be meaningful, but not too overpowering, might be to replace the village paladin with an aegis (say, from MagicIsle-V8's phoenix secondaries). I'm floating the idea mainly because that vec is typically left to carry out defensive duties all on its own once team mates have run off in their fancy cicada, and attackers could sneak up on it from almost all around, rooftops included, which, combined with the obstructive geometry right around the node, puts the slow mover at a considerable disadvantage, whereas the Aegis might fare a better due to its slightly improved stats. It's by no means a massive change, but it might just make combat around that node more challenging, at least in a 2 attackers vs 1 defender scenario. This would also work in conjunction with the next item on the list.
- Really nice idea there boosting the role of the village tower's different stories with the teleporters n' the mine layer combo :thumbup:. Still, instead of the teleporters working in a two-directional pairing, which would at most allow a sneaky attacker to grab the mines and maybe chuck a few through the window before getting pummeled by a pally shockball, what if the top teleporter didn't return you to the ground floor, but, instead, sent you above to the tower roof? Attackers up there could become a [s]nuisance[/s] problem of a whole different league, pinching the node, mining the nearby area with more ease and generally roof hopping around with reckless abandon, necessitating the node holders either scramble to snipe 'em out or lose respawn access.
- Lastly on the gameplay agenda, I still think the map could accommodate a few more goodies for exploring peds, current target painters notwithstanding.
- Right, moving on to the more aesthetic n' thematic aspects of the map now, the thing that still strikes me the most (and usually right off the bat, too) about it has to do with how bright it is, especially considering how it's supposed to look spooky and atmospheric. To my mind, the likelier culprit is the green sunlight actor, whose ambient illumination goes too much above n' beyond what's needed here with a LightBrightness of 150.0 (compare that to TropicNightfall's or Torlanights' for more fitting results). Reducing that down to, say, 48.0, in concert with halving ZoneInfo0's AmbientBrightness, seemed to work wonders towards allowing both raptors and peds to operate in far stealthier (and more enjoyable:)) conditions in a test I did. Funny thing here is, you don't even need to reel in the fog end distance to create a spooky effect either, cause the extensive drop-off gradient (from 3K UUs to 30K UUs) by itself means you can make out the castle and other prominent landmarks in the distance, but they'll look suitably gloomy. Of course it's possible I might've gone too far with my values, but the point here is, mess around with these things a bit yourself, if you can afford to, n' see if you can find some configuration that could work better than what's been there so far.
- If you feel like improving the map's spookiness in other ways as well, you could apply some transparency to the ghosts' tex (via combiner?) to easily create that effect (or even attach some soft, uncanny/otherworldly sound to their movers!). Not to be too ghoulish about this, but the various gravestones are rife for textual, projector-based shenanigans, too; take a look at TitanNecropolis should you find yourself in need of an inspirational kick-start, and let your worst black humour / pun talents run wild, if so inclined. Results could just be to die for, mwah-ah-ah-ah-aaaah :p. Ahem.
- For a final theme-building suggestion, but how about some slowly wafting mist/fog variant of the typical dust emitters be added near the central forest node, just to round out the package? Nothing too pronounced as to get in the way of being able to properly fight there, of course.
- As a last pair of fiddly fare observations, map terrain seems to be completely missing any grass decoration. If you're feeling extra generous with your time, consider sprinkling some around for, uhmmm, grazing purposes? Also, the CubeMaps.Antalus.AntPoolTexEnv cubemap applied as a skin to the myLeveled SquareGlass st.meshes typically placed on the walls of small houses 'round the primaries seems to be reflecting something completely unfitting and from an upward, daytime perspective, too :s.


Alright, that's all I got. Kudos on the progress so far, Cat, n' keep up the good editing work :).
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Cat1981England
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Re: ONS-Halloween-C

Postby Cat1981England » Mon 9. Nov 2015, 21:51

Thank you Peg, i'll try and get this all sorted for the next edit :thumbup: Just a couple of things,

The reason why the jumpads haven't been added yet is just to see how effective the teleporter from core is. I've only seen one match so far, but i'm fairly sure there will be jumpads in the next edit.

I don't know yet if i'll be able to add fog to the centre area of the map. I tried to do it around the bridges on Stonewall, when you looked from the side it was fine, but when you looked directly at the area where they were being emitted from they all added up and you ended up with a bright white light. I'll have another play...
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