So! We’ve all been playing SDNL for round about a week, and I have to say:
It’s extremely fun.
That being said, however, across my playing of SDNL, I took notice of some things that I felt needed improving on. This may also encompass some issues that people have already reported or discussed so prepare for a bit of overlap. (If you made a suggestion related to one of mine, lemme know and I’ll add it into this post as a reference.)
SDNL started out with 4 Rounds by Default, and quickly went down to 2. Frankly, I think, it needs to vary. Some gamemodes are better with multiple rounds (Arcade probably being the most notable one, and maybe CTF), and some are better as Single-round affairs (Arena and Gun Game are some good examples). The opinions on this can vary, ofc, but the most ideal solution I have is this:
Let the Host set the number of rounds for each Gamemode.
This way, if you wanna have a Best of 3 of Gun Game with friends, you can, or if you wanna just do a quick, 1-round arcade match, you can also do that too. I’d say limit it with Public Lobbies to a max of 5, as you don’t wanna end up people making like 20-round Grav Gun games on Hindrance where no props ever respawn and life is pain.
2.) NETWORKING AND THE GRAV-GLOVE:
SDNL has some pretty decent networking, and the hit registration is ok, but there’s a small issue in regards to some weapons, the most notable being the Grav Glove.
Sometimes when a round begins, especially on Frostbite, the crate props that sit neatly in stacks suddenly explode everywhere. This causes issues between the host and client where the host can see and pick up every crate they see, but a Client cannot, because the appearance of the crate on their screen is in a different location. They’re still affected by the physics of the crate, but it cannot be Grav-Gloved in any way, not even punting it forces it to move.
Another large problem is that a lot of props, save the wooden crates and any explosive barrel, are not breakable ones, meaning players can just carry something like a red crate or a stone tile and chuck it for easy kills repeatedly. I’d suggest making any interactive prop breakable if possible, that way it would force players to play smart and not try to continually spam the same tile at spawn points.
It’s also sometimes hard to find objects that you can chuck at people, so if a highlight could be added while the Glove is active, it could help identify what can/can’t be used.
3.) WEAPON IMPROVEMENTS:*
Let’s cut to the chase. Some weapons honestly kinda suck, because they offer little to no variety or gimmick to the table compared to others. A lot of Melee weapons suffer from this issue, but some super-weapons and normal weapons do too.
First off, most Melees need a significant damage boost. The only ones I’ll exclude from the list are the Chainsaw and Laser Saber bc those are multi-hitters and can make up for their low damage with their gimmicks.
The Katana needs a serious damage boost because I feel like I’m swinging a large butter knife. Trying to get a kill with this thing is way more of a pain than it needs to be, and it’s alt-fire ability is honestly really poor bc it sends you flying and it’s hard to control. If that could be replaced with a more traditional flash-step attack, where a player just blitzes across the ground, or a Deflecting attack, that could be a good use of the Alt-fire.
Squeaky Hammer needs to be an insta-kill, because it has literally no other gimmick.
Sword and Shield is good, but the fact that you can’t hardly see through the shield, let alone swing the sword while you have your shield up is a significant pain. If it could be changed where swinging while shielding does a large downslash on someone, I think it’d be handy. You can increase the damage much more for such an attack.
The Hatchet is honestly pitiful and I weep for it. It doesn’t do good damage in any capacity and being forced to retrieve it constantly is frustrating. It would be nice, and also quite hilarious, if you could recall the hatchet to you, akin to the Leviathan Axe from God of War. It could also have a wider, more curved blade with some scratches in it, to further pay homage.
The Super Shotgun, despite having enough kick to literally launch you, cannot secure kills enough to be of use in many situations. It just needs a damage buff, honestly.
The Laser Magnum’s Alt-fire is really honestly too good, so maybe perhaps tweak it a bit to make it slower, or you could change it to where the player still has to fire it to shoot at an enemy and then lock won’t break until that target is dead or the targeting is reset by hitting alt-fire again.
Crossbows tend to feel extremely clunky, and the fact that the arrow only does 90 at max can often be a problem. A slight damage increase to top it off at 100 and a small increase of projectile speed would be nice. Also if we could pin people to walls with it, it’d be funny as hell.
The Laser Rifle should have it’s sights moved to the zoom button while Alt-fire could fire a charged shot that uses 1 whole clip of ammo. It just doesn’t feel interesting enough.
Bug Blaster’s Grenades need a slight damage boost. I find myself having a hard time securing kills using this weapon since it has low damage. Also, idk if it’s a bug, but reloading a Bug Blaster after getting an ammo pickup does not refill your grenades. It’s very problematic.
For Super Weapons:
The only thing the Decimator invokes it’s namesake in is when it decimates my hopes and dreams while using it. The fact that this weapon has no splash damage for how strong it is is something I find ridiculous. Even a small splash damage radius would be good, or the ability to charge a shot for a bigger blast would be nice as well.
The Minigun, in my experience, has not as much Ammo as you’d hope, and the ability to surf it’s kickback, while fun, doesn’t mean much when you blow through half your ammo capacity just to make it across a small gap. If it could have an increase of ammo, that’d be handy.
I think the fact that the Soul Camera doesn’t have a Frank West-style “Fantastic!” Line play when you get a kill with it is a crime within itself.
The Cannon, while fun, also can be a pain as you can’t see all too well with a giant barrel in your face. The fact that the cannonballs also have such a pitiful arc and that it can also kill you as well makes it frustrating sometimes. It shares this issue with the Bowling Ball Shotgun and the grenade launcher, the former of which can happen mainly when you accidentally run into a bowling ball rolling on the ground that you shot.
Rpg should straight up just let you rocket jump. It’d be extremely funny and frankly I would love to slap on a TF2 Soldier playermodel just to do it.
4.) FINAL THOUGHTS:
SDNL is really honestly fun. No other Gamemode has me coming back in full force to the ports like this, and it was well worth the wait. I can only hope that more gets added, and that it pulls more attention into TU as a whole. It’s quite addicting after all!