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CITY 24 IS THE BIGGEST PIECE OF SHIT I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by shotcopper 9000, Dec 5, 2017.

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  1. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    I can't believe I actually need to make this thread, but apparently I do.

    I don't know who/what led to the choosing of C24 as the single-server city map, or whose brilliant idea it was to even put it on the box in the first place - but this is not a thread for recriminations. Much. Instead, it's a thread where we examine why this hulking pile of refuse is the worst of all possible bad choices to use as a roleplay map, let alone a HL2RP city map.

    Yes, that includes DarkRP maps.

    Let's start with the most obvious thing and just work from there, I guess. I'll let one item flow into the next rather than try and organise this.

    C24 is huge. It is far larger than it would need to be even if we still had a packed server, but we do not have a packed server. The map is far larger than it has any business in being, and its size leads to a number of enormous problems which harm roleplay.

    First of all, it's exceedingly difficult (near impossible, during low pop hours) to find anyone to roleplay with organically. You either wander around aimlessly for half an hour trying to find someone - only to end up intruding on a situation that's not really suitable for drop-in involvement, or to find the other person's AFK or fucking around OOC with their mates - or even if you do the thing where you organise RP with your mates, it can be difficult to figure out just where they are, because all the fucking buildings look the same, the layout makes no sense, and the map is so large.

    Because it's so hard to find people, new players and less, shall we say, "social" players are left to be bored out of their fucking skulls. Brilliant.

    Second, and to expand on a point above, everything looks the same. It's impossible to tell the CCH from the Palace of Versailles CA mansion from the Stadtschloss Civic Centre/Nexus/whatever, unless you walk right up to every door and read the door name. It also makes navigation far more difficult than it has any business being, because there are no architecturally distinct buildings or landmarks to reference. The next best thing are signs and posters, which are fucking useless as well, because the map also has loads of those and they also all look the same.

    Third, most of this space is wasted. The overwhelming majority of grid space on the map serves absolutely no gameplay purpose and exists purely for the sake of making the map look 'impressive'. This also extends to the miles upon miles of clearly copy-pasted sections of underground (again a labyrinthine mess, for the exact same reason - it all looks the same) and the random ruins. All this just serves to make things more visually confusing while also padding out the amount of map estate you have to cover in your ill-fated search for players.

    None of the housing is truly communal, and those flats which do branch off of common corridors and/or share street access are not ideal either. The B block has two separate flats in it. Two flats in the whole block. The A block is fucking atrocious, it's done up like studio apartments for inner-city hipsters, all self-contained and sharing nothing more than a common access route. The C block I'm not sure I've even ever been in (unless it's that ruined block by the waterfront that's usually turned into a hideout or drug lab, which is fair as it only has two flats in it, like B), and the D block is on the far side of the bridge from the main district and is also easy to miss if you don't know where to look. Why? Well, mainly because it looks exactly like the inaccessible building next to it. As a result, the 'lock yourself in a flat with one or two of your friends and never RP with anyone else' syndrome comes out in force, simply because there's no other option when it comes to housing.

    "But Ross," you say, "there are bars, restaurants even!" Yeah, there are. Three of them are on the far side of the bridge (two can only be accessed via the ruined district), I think a further two are tucked away down a back alley which is far seedier than it needs to be, and there's another underground somewhere from what I recall. There's also another small restaurant or two tucked into buildings around the CC and the one being used by Jules & co. currently. Of course, they all look like every other fucking building on the map, so short of the big sign at Q's, there's no real way of identifying them from a distance. You won't know they're there unless you walk right past them and know what to look for.

    Also, bars and restaurants should not be the sole hub of RP on a map. In fact, a map should still be able to get by without any, because that would signify competent level design and would help encourage interesting roleplay beyond all sitting in a bar gabbing about inane bullshit. TnB has a problem with bars (let's not even get into the way the rebels spawned bar props in every base they had for a long time, including inside drain pipes in the canals). We shouldn't be playing into this by forcing people to rely on them for any kind of interaction.

    Let's move onto the underground and the ruins. Why do they exist? I do not know. The CCA have built a doom fort blocking the ruins off and while they're still accessible through a side route that goes through a tunnel, they may as well not be. The end.

    More seriously, these areas are pretty obviously going to draw dodgy sorts, which in turn will draw CCA attention (or, as has happened, blockades). They're pretty useless for that reason - too obvious for any worthwhile rebel activity, too seedy for citizens, too easily cut off for rebels and citizens alike. They're gash. The CCA should've done everyone a favour and propblocked the side entrance too, or filled it with 9999 health headcrab NPCs. And fire.

    Bottlenecks like this are a serious problem with this map. A core tenet of good world design is that you should be able to get from A to B by more than a single, easily blocked route. This is not so important in railroady, linear games, like HL2... but we're not playing HL2, we're playing HL2RP. Having one bottleneck that can constrict all movement between areas is a fucking terrible idea, as it only takes one malicious or profoundly idiotic player to block the thing, and suddenly it's fucked everyone over. Due to the way the map is laid out and its chronic lack of alleys, a single well-placed blockage (checkpoint, naughty NPCs, ongoing firefight - whatever) can easily force players through a single path, which is then open to exploitation in turn. Having one street blocked and another checkpointed, so everyone passing from spawn to anywhere else on the map has to go through said checkpoint, is kind of really fucked.

    The bridge is, for those not quite on the same page yet, one of the above mentioned points. The bridge is a camera-backed checkpoint, and very exposed. The river is full of trigger_hurt. The causeway under the bridge is an alternate route in the same way as it would be to drive down a railway line to avoid being breath tested, it instantly makes you a target for anyone who sees you. In the real world, maybe there's a more covered crossing downstream. Maybe there's a less secure bridge two blocks over. Maybe there's a pedestrian tunnel somewhere. Ingame, we're stuck with what we've got and even if you try and roleplay a world outside of what exists in the BSP, you then have to try and convince the gaggle of recruits and 04s eager to collar A Big Rebel so they can Get Promoted to go along with it.

    Most of the interior design is also stupid: buildings seldom have a second exit, except perhaps from the foyer.

    There are no proper alleyways or 'grey' areas. There are only the streets and parks, which are huge, broad, well-lit things where it's impossible to try and roleplay anything questionable, or the absolute opposite: dingy rape dungeons which are tucked away in obscure places, badly-lit, and so on. The map only has three actual attempts at alleyways on it, as far as I've seen; two are in D1 (and are pointless, as they are totally, easily visible from the aforementioned broad avenues) and a further near the bar in the waterfront area, which is basically pointless as per my earlier comments on that area as a whole.

    Let's move onto technical issues. The map's unoptimised and unstable. It throws errors in console, which would be excusable for an objectively better map (such as T6v2) but is not for this mess. It gets crash-happy with dupes. The genius responsible used a transparent glass texture, intended for use on windows that only see into the skybox from inside or which do not look across visleafs, for every bit of glass on the map. As a result, you can see the skybox through buildings, and see other areas of the map through them as well. Nice. A significant portion of the underground piping to and from the riverbanks is made with individual pipe props, the same thing I called D47 out for ages ago, and a really fucking terrible idea from every standpoint - it causes wonky lighting, it pushes the map closer to the entity limit than it needs to be, and it's just sloppy in general.

    There are obnoxious soundscape entities in some areas of the map which loop repeatedly, are quite loud, and cannot be silenced (as 'stopsound' only shuts it up until the soundscape triggers again in 20 seconds). Where they play seems to be near random. I suspect they're coming from specific parts of the underground, but were so poorly designed that you get spammed with them up on the street and inside some buildings, too.

    Ah yes, sounds. The waiver sound is fucking obnoxious (and so is the accompanying camera shake). The announcements belong in Dishonoured - they sound stupid for a HL2RP setting and they're jarring. They're also easily abused by anyone who knows where/how to access them, as proven by the way they were being spammed the other day.

    Aesthetically, the map is a trainwreck. It looks like Hitler and Speer's dream of Germania as viewed through the lens of someone who lacks Speer's architectural talent and who also thinks oversaturated, highly contrasting colours are a good complement to stark white facades. The guy clearly has a thing for Dishonoured, and it bleeds badly into the map's visual language. On the other hand, Dishonoured was full of shitty, impoverished areas and back alleys. It also looked good. The posters and banners and so on are yet another headlong smash between the Lord Regent's propaganda and the fucking Triumph of the Will. It looks less like it might belong in the HL2 universe than C8 does, and C8 is pretty fucked, aesthetically speaking.

    Yes, before anyone starts, the visual language does matter. If you're trying to roleplay HL2 you're best off doing it on a map that shares common visual elements with the game. It helps put you into the right headspace, by evoking the right imagery and subtly reinforcing that world that's being built around you. TnB has a horrendous track record as far as this goes (I17 is not a HL2 map, it's a Raising the Bar map, they're totally different beasts and never the two should meet), but this map is probably the most dire example I've seen to date.

    What does this map do well? Uh... erm... I'll get back to you on that one, if I ever find something. From an aesthetic standpoint, a technical standpoint, and (most importantly) a gameplay standpoint - it's fucking terrible. It's bad. It's really bad. City 45? Old, maybe. Obsolete. Not great. But you know what? It's fucking brilliant compared to this.

    I'd even rate City 23 over this, and I abhor C23 and stand by my original assessment that it "looks like a city as interpreted by an alien life form who's never seen a human settlement before, but has been told in the vaguest sense what one is".

    Verdict? Get rid of this piece of shit and put something else on. I don't care what - just something else. My top picks pretty much all contain qualifiers ("propblock this", "be mindful of that", etc.) but really, just get the server on anything that fosters roleplay better than this does.

    I17 is in the complete wrong visual style and is not the best laid-out, but it works. C17b210 is too big and spread-out, but it works and looks more or less as it should - the worst problems can be solved by propblocking areas (which can't save C24, as essential map areas like CCH blocks are so scattered that you'd be blocking them, which you don't want). T6v2 has some optimisation/stability issues and the hostel needs to be set up in such a way as to prevent rebels from colonising it like they did C24's synagogue, but it's got good, centralised communal housing and alleys and vacant space and all the good shit you could ever want. Maybe if you could shift the spawn from the plaza's bus shelters to somewhere a bit less central - like an inter-district checkpoint down a side street - it'd be better. C45 and C18 are both very much showing their age, but the aesthetic is ~close enough~ and they're not too badly laid out, compared to most maps. C47 is bad, I listed every single reason why in a thread I can no longer access, but at least it's not quite as bad as this. C8 layout-wise is probably actually okay, just with a dumb aesthetic (disclaimer: I don't know the differences between the zillion C8 builds). C11 is good, even if small - perhaps that's even better given the pop isn't as high as it could be right now. Fuck, a decent build of Downtown with some Combine props sprinkled about the place would be an improvement.

    Seriously, just pick something else that's on the box and throw it on that, and then remove C24 from it.

    e: typos
     
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    #1 shotcopper 9000, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  2. bison

    bison Zealot

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    has anyone else tried rp_locality?

    it's a fun mess because it's a single city block but you can walk into almost every building and it has a pretty extensive underground, plus some interesting details and easter eggs. definitely a more low-tech take on combine rule but a little deprivation might be a nice change of pace.

    e: also, agree with the OP, map is too boring and too big, even for tnb
     
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  3. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    As I recall it, Locality was discussed about two years ago. I think it was even in the same thread as my post on D47 - I went through and commented on both, if I recall correctly?

    Can anyone confirm/deny the old dev boards got hard deleted rather than just hidden? I don't have any backups of the relevant post(s) but they'd be well handy.
     
  4. Ulala

    Ulala Sailor Soldier

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    I don't care what the devs (and potentially ross) say -

    Venetian will always be the God-tier HL2RP map.
     
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  5. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    I liked Venetian, actually. It's been about 9 years since I've played it, so it might just be nostalgia talking, but I remember it playing quite well. The aesthetic is a little bit of a stretch, but it's actually not too bad - with some careful scenebuilding I think it'd be fine.
     
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  6. Ulala

    Ulala Sailor Soldier

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    Also, I forgot how great City 11 was until I booted up GMod just to look around. There's plenty of ways from point A to B on the map, but the sewer/underground is pretty linear and only leads to that tiny resistance cove with the blast door. That's really the only flaw. I wouldn't mind taking a crack at it and making an update.

    Still, the high command office with the fish(?) tanks is my perfect aesthetic. I'm wet.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bennet Dyson

    Non-Roleplay Department Administrator

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    i like how this map will be the last map the server sees before it shuts down
     
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  8. _Vintricus

    _Vintricus Zealot

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    now all we need is evil sharks and this sly motherfucker

    [​IMG]
    and we got ourselves a goddamn blockbuster
     
  9. Symmetry

    Symmetry Kwisatz Haderach

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    Just change it to build 210 for awhile for a change of pace fuck.
     
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  10. Anri

    Anri stellar citizen
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    b210 but block the rebel bunker in the underground
     
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  11. nec

    nec rank 1 retard
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  12. ClearlyInvsible

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    Speaking from a CCA and neutral perspective; I hate this map.

    As a unit you're basically confined to half the map, not really able to march into D3 or the MASSIVE FUCK-OFF underground. It's bland as hell when you're supposed to spend 99% of your time above ground.

    Then there's normal citizenRP; shot hit it on the damned head. You can't find anyone. If you *try* to find anyone you're wandering into a place that would likely get you marked as a possible malignant. And it doesn't help that the shift from D1 to D2 to D3 is so visually and totally jarring that it makes me think I've switched RPs.

    For the love of the almighty, why don't we go back to that map with the bus-stop and the actually run-down looking civic center? Can't remember the name for the life of me but at least shit was concentrated.
     
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  13. Cato

    Cato Senior Member

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    I believe you're referring to this map.
     
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  14. Rabid

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    The problem with (almost all) other maps is that their sense of space is artificial. You're not actually able to get away (because most other districts in maps literally only have one way in or out via an alley or street) or your sole existence if you want to hide after doing something is in a secret base or accepting a sweep will capture you because, well, you're fucked. Or they're so small and compact you can't do anything.

    At least on C24 you have ways to outright outfox sweeps that isn't just "oh they're in a base" assuming you have a base at all. Hell, at least conflict is an option on this map.

    As much as I like T6v2, it's a prime example of a map that would see everyone killed the first time anyone decided to do anything other than 'plan conflict glumly' because there's nowhere to get away.

    You have more things to do in D1/D2 alone than you do on 99% of other maps put together. I don't think space is an issue, to be blunt.

    I'm not saying the map is perfect but the other argument one can make is most other maps either make people crash or people just won't play on them.
     
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  15. ClearlyInvsible

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    Rabid with all due respect I've never seen someone crash for using t6, unless they just never installed the map.

    And the fact of the matter is D1 and D2 are, for the most part, dead as doornails now. It's the end of the iteration, everyone's picking a side and going on the warpath. The first time in months I ever saw some honest-to-God population even in D2 was a few days ago during a shakedown run.
     
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  16. Rabid

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    When we were on T6 as a main map earlier this year, half the people either couldn't connect to it or it caused errors that crashed them. That's why we had to move off the map (that and as much as I love it it had no space for rebels at all that didn't let a patrol walk right into them).

    As for the D1/D2 being dead - they're full now, since The Resistance lost their primary base of operations and everyone has moved into D1/D2, above and below. I routinely see the entire map in these areas now and not D3. The most I saw when the server had 40+ people was a small group by the docks, ferrying supplies to D1.
     
  17. ClearlyInvsible

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    Hrm. Alright, fair enough.
     
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  18. RGB

    RGB I am not a bot
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    You don't like the map Ross? You should have said something before. This is the first I've heard of it.
     
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  19. Cato

    Cato Senior Member

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    I know a lot of the people at the head of FGC like @blubaugh? have been pushing for more of the resistance types to stop huddling up in corners of the map and hiding but frankly it seems that has started to happen again. If people are screwing around the docks of D3 I'd suggest a scanner spots them and a patrol comes by to kick them back into D1/D2 and hopefully they stay there and don't just go running back into the sewers again. Other then that most people have just been congregating around the bars which wouldn't be so bad if more stores and bars were ran, mostly it's just been Katkov's bar in D2 that's gotten people to come around. I can tell ya most of the units have still been very forgiving when people are trying to act sneaky, just don't try and slip into the nexus with a fake ID and a pistol like someone tried to pull last Saturday. CCH-A the largest one is rarely used and a good percentage of the apartments are almost always empty as well unless several people are just hiding in fuckin closets to avoid CCA patrols. My point is the map does have a factor for sure, but it really comes down to individual initiative to do things that aren't OH LOOK ITS THE REBELS BLAST EM OR SHIT CP'S *BLAM*, and that folks concludes pointless shootout #1000. Get creative, the staff will help you run shit or approve it as long as it isn't completely ridiculous, or just converse with other like minded people and see what you can come up with.
     
  20. Rabid

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    Only time I've seen folks in D3 was to get some supplies to bring to D1. Otherwise they've been in D1/D2 mixing topside with units.
     
  21. Cato

    Cato Senior Member

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    Yeah, maybe it's timezones or just bad timing. I remember even calling a ration distribution the other day and out of ten citizens only two showed up.
     
  22. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    Rabid, of all the people to defend this shitheap, I thought you'd have more sense than to be one of them.

    Yes, other maps do lack huge expanses - that's why they're better RP maps. If you need that much space to escape something, then find a way to work around it. Use the event server if it's a drawn-out chase; if it's just avoiding a sweep, fuck, I dunno, maybe use some initiative? Isn't that what everyone's been trying to convince the Resistance to do for donkey's years now? Find an existing space in the world, hide in it. Find a manhole cover, vanish down that. There are plenty of places that are hinted at and not all of them are places Civil Protection would necessarily think to look. If they're hot on your heels, say you've jumped down a manhole, then have those involved in the chase jump on the event server for a bit. Maybe even permaprop some areas underneath the brushwork, a la SRP, and teleport players there.

    If there's a group trying to go to ground after inciting a huge ruckus and there's not even a single admin on to help with this, then I begin to wonder how said ruckus got caused in the first place. It's not a huge deal, IMO.
     
  23. Snuggles

    Snuggles придурка, патриот

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    conflict is an option on most maps, but on most maps one faction normally always comes out on top against the other one, or one faction uses what they've got too well and people get mad about it.
     
  24. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    Also one of my first TnB experiences was avoiding a city-wide JW during peak hours on C18, by hiding in a skip bin. Don't give me the "you can't hide, you'll get caught, it forces the rebels to not do anything" - that's a load of garbage.
     
  25. Bennet Dyson

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    what's the better map that's gonna bring all the rp
     
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  26. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    "anything else", up to and including any of the ones i suggested in my post...............
     
  27. Bennet Dyson

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    yeah they all worked great ha ha
     
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  28. nec

    nec rank 1 retard
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    no map's perfect, and c24 definitely has its flaws, it just fits our current 1 server set up best to accommodate both the cca, citizen and resistance populace. everyone has plenty of space to rp (instead of literally no space at all) and OPTIONS as to where they wanna rp. if we swapped to 17build, i17, or literally anything else you guys would come up with the exact same complaints you always have so there's really no use changing maps. at least with c24 faction conflict can take place without the rebels ending up running away to secret bases every single time or just getting crammed into one end of the map where the transition to s2 used to be. conflict can actually take place without everything erupting within 2 seconds because the map's so small. it's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side but this map has done us really well to accompany both cca/fgc/whatever on one map

    complaining about the map is useless unless you have an actual solution, and there aren't any in this thread. at least any good ones

    iirc we're still having our map edit worked on so just chill for a bit, whilst we do that i vote for a switch to sb_gooniverse
     
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  29. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    Better than 24 has though, because for all their faults they weren't hard to find RP on without prearranging it beforehand and then still needing an admin to teleport you!
     
  30. Bennet Dyson

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    before the switch to this map the server was pulling in 15-20 players (at most) on all the maps we ran into the ground, i17, c23, d47, c11, that other garbage tier c17 one

    fact is they're all shit and they mostly all have the same problems. if you want a smaller map cause it'd be easier to find rp why not just advocate for precinct 13
     
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  31. RGB

    RGB I am not a bot
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    C24, bad as it is, is the hot new map on the scene right now
     
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  32. Cato

    Cato Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
    Forgive me for I could not resist.
     
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  33. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    P13 is a) too far on the small end of the spectrum, b) horribly broken (I don't know if it's because of engine updates or what, I never noticed it back in the day), and c) has no alternate paths besides the rooftops, which are a bit obvious. It's a good map for small-scale stuff, like when it was the old S2 map in 2008. It's too small now.

    Something about the size of the older S1 maps would be about right.

    As for population - there's no S2 or 3 for people to be drawn off by, there haven't been many big titles released recently, and SRP isn't up. Basewars has also lost its novelty, it seems. The increase in population is in spite of C24, not because of it, and you know that as well as I do.
     
  34. Rabid

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    My point is, a lot of other maps are limited by the routes you can take or even something as space. If you don't do something in/right near the slums you're liable to get cut off by dint of the maps design. God forbid if you try and do something in D1 that gets you BOL'd or wanted, on most maps you have no way to cut back to anywhere except running literally right through a controlled zone.

    T6v2, for example, is a great map. But you can't tell me there's many places to actually avoid cops or do anything that involves a response, because there isn't. The sewer system isn't usable, the slums consist of two buildings and even under the bridge isn't exactly ideal given you can look down from the Nexus roof and see who comes in and out. It's great for citizens, for cops, and for blending in all the time but doing anything other than that, but the second you have units out looking for you you're royally fucked unless you squirrel away at the very back of the map.

    Most maps are great for RP, but if you want any kind of conflict you either need secret bases or you need to bring up the event server every time conflict pops off.

    I can't name another map we've used on which it is possible to engage a PT in a deserted part of D1 to save two people then avoid the response by doubling back organically so the resulting sweep spends the time sniffing around in the slums when the rebels decided to just lay low in D1 because they have ways in and out. On most others you'd have to have run through D1 in a shootout just to get to the slums and get boxed in or shot up.
     
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  35. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

    Country:
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    Then get more innovative in how you do things. The "going in loaded for bear and trying to conduct a fighting retreat" thing is old hat anyway.

    I mean, really - you're making it sound like you don't have options, when it's more a case of the other options having already been binned simply because they don't fit the template of involving as many people as possible and kicking off a big factional punching match. We have admins telling people (rightly so) on one hand that they need to be more creative, stop hiding in bases, mix with citizens, etc. - then on the other hand we're told that if an armed force can't play Benny Hill around the map to lose Civil Protection, then it's stifling the ability for rebels to do anything, and trying more subtle means or having people split and then try to blend back into the population, find individual hidey holes, etc. is an unrealistic expectation or somehow not good enough.

    Also, to go back and expand on the population thing,

    [​IMG]

    Basewars drew players away, Basewars fell from favour, players came back to S1. Incredible.
     
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  36. Bennet Dyson

    Non-Roleplay Department Administrator

    Country:
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    i don't recall basewars being up when the other maps were in play

    maybe people just don't care about it as much as you do
     
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  37. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    I find it really, really hard to believe I'm the only person who finds it obnoxious to have to be teleported to people to get any kind of interaction with other characters.
     
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  38. Bennet Dyson

    Non-Roleplay Department Administrator

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    maybe if you were a little more enthusiastic about increasing those sprint stats it wouldn't be a problem
     
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  39. Fuzzy Wolfy

    Fuzzy Wolfy The 'good' cop
    HL2 Admin

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    “Can’t find Citizen RP when half the pop is underground.”

    That’s not going to change. Not on any map, unless by force. The map isn’t the issue with that, its the fact that, for a while up until now, we’ve had no citizens.

    You say D1 and D2 are huge, but they’re really not if you consider that most people usually amass in key locations like the Bar, the Civic Center or the CCH. The wide-as-fuck street may give you the impression that shit is spaced out, but its not. It’s just open and has a lot of fluff. The Civic Center and Bar are the distance apart here than the Clinic and Grizzlie’s was.

    Further, lest we forget that we’ve merged S1 and S2, even on low pop we’re still cattering to two wildly opposing demographics. Smushing them together will not end well if its not done willingly.
     
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  40. shotcopper 9000

    shotcopper 9000 Dead Soul

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    get tanknut to expand sprint stats to level 200 then, because i maxed them like a year ago
     
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