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Should Epic repeat the 2k3 -> 2k4 history again to save UT3?

Discussion in 'Unreal Tournament 3' started by Mircea, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Grobut

    Grobut Комиссар Гробут

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    Its simple really, it's just not what alot of people wanted.

    UT3 has a very uniformed look, gameplay and functionality, unlike past UT's that where alot more "open ended", with the old games there was pretty much something for everyone to enjoy, if you didn't like something it was easy to disable it or change it, they worked well both online and off, and the content was pretty varied, maps came in many sizes, there where lots of gametypes, different themes to both levels and player models, so really, just about anyone could play UT or 2K4 and find something they liked, and tweak the game to their preferences with the many options and mods, and thus, the UT community has allways been made up of alot of different gamers with different tastes, wants and needs.

    UT3 does not have that universal appeal, there is just one theme and all the maps and players conform to it, there's not a lot of options you can srew around with to customize it to your liking, all the maps seem to favour only one style of play, offline support is very lacking of any features and is very poor compared to past UT games so its only worth playing online, but with a much worse server browser, and it has dropped a bunch of gametypes and features that many people liked, UT3 is just not very varied and customizable like UT games used to be, they went with just one theme and one style, and if you don't like that then the game is not going to be fun for you, as there is very little you can do to change it, aside from hoping that a mod team will release something for it you do like.

    UT3 is a game that you have to like for what it is to enjoy it, but as you can tell from the lack of players online, it seems that the amount of people that like it is not all that many..

    And no, its not just lack of adverticement, some sales figures have actually been released when the game was new, and whilst it was not a blockbuster, there where more than enough sales allready back then to populate servers! alot of people actually own a copy of the game, but they are not playing it, because they do not enjoy it, it is not what they wanted, and it doesen't do what they wanted, and it offers little to no choice for players in what it does offer.
     
  2. neilthecellist

    neilthecellist Renegade.

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    Agreed, especially the part with the "one theme" in the all of the UT3 maps... I like grunge metal, but I don't want to see all of the maps metallic looking... Which is what UT3 does.

    Nonetheless, the editor lets you make massive changes to your custom maps so that you don't get that "grunge" look. THIS aspect of UT3's customization is something I like, something that was shown off at the GDC 2008 tech demo presentation of Unreal Engine 3.
     
  3. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    Most single gametype maps aren't "freaking awesome". And many don't even properly support their gametype.
    Look at this from the game rules and not from the prefix that someone has placed on a map file which is essentially meaningless except to the game scripts and loader.

    WAR and DOM are already almost identical game rules. Capture and hold control points on the map. The method and style of play is the same other than WAR forces moving through the link connections between points. In WAR you hold the control points long enough to (allow your team to blast) decrease the Core to 0, in DOM you hold the control points long enough for the timer to get to 0. That's it.

    Pull the Nodes out of a WAR map and replace the Cores with Flags, and many WAR layouts will play just as well as any "dedicated" VCTF map.

    But I won't argue...

    My feelings are that it is narrow-thinking that has kept the community fighting over "elite" design ideals and "UT as non-changeable virgin territory" when in reality neither of these actually exist. Each released title in the game universe hasn't retained or maintained this "golden ideal" of what UT is supposed to be and how it is supposed to play for each game type. Yet many in the community still believe and try to push this ideal. Only UT99 is the true UT... UT2004 is the better one... etc. We've seen where this has led to, haven't we.

    Much of the community can be summed up as:
    "yippee, Epic has announced a new UT game. I hope that it has lots of cool new stuff and isn't just UT2004 with fancy new graphics."
    - goes and buys new UT game...
    "wtf? they changed a bunch of stuff... this doesn't play like UT2004... I wanted it to be the same as UT2004 but with the new engine and better graphics."


    I disagree. Go look at all of the map screenshots again. Or open the editor packages.
    There are basically four theme sets in UT3: Asian, Humanoid, Necris (Turkish), and HiTech/Mech. As to whether the stock maps utilized them to a varying degree is personal taste.
    Basically all that UT2004 had over this for themes was Egyptian. UT2004 also added a lot more content and style variations with all of its bonus packs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  4. hal

    hal Dictator Staff Member

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    Re: Assault

    Don't forget that one of the major hurdles for Assault was the complexity of making a proper map versus other gametypes.
     
  5. Grobut

    Grobut Комиссар Гробут

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    There's not an appreciable difference between them though (ok, some of the Asian meshes stand out, granted), if you just look at it from a broad perspective, its all very dark and gloomy with gun-metal grey details and a minimum of vashed out colours, if you squinted your eyes it'd be hard to tell the difference between one map and the next.
    But this is generally speaking, ofcourse some meshes do stand out, as do a few maps, but on the whole, it's a very uniformed look.

    Same with the player models, sure there are the factions, but again, if you squinted your eyes all you'd see is people in similar bulky gladiator style armour and Megaman boots, its even hard to tell male from female from a distance since they are all located somewhere inside a friggen tank, with the Krall's beeing the only ones that stand out in this blurry vision, but still they go with the theme..


    But its about much more than graphics, infact the graphics are the least important here, just a minor detail, the effect on gameplay and utillity is much more important!

    Its how all the maps seem to play the exact same way, for DM and CTF maps its all very tight corridors, with similar flow, and similar connectivity, and similar size and playercounts, nothing really breaks from the mold in any big way (and no, i'm not counting gimmicks here, thouse are not hugely important to gameplay), all of them seem geared twords one particular play style, for War maps its also very samey, linear link setups, usually the same amount of nodes, and the same medium player count and basic gameplay, again, nothing really breaks from the mold here, it also goes for VCTF maps.

    Its not that thease maps are bad, they have their place, they should be there, its just that some variety would be very welcome! maps that invited different play styles, bigger ones that would be good for a full 32 player count, or even 64 now that they added that, more open ones, more cloused ones..

    But most of all its in the settings of the game, all the stuff that was removed, and well.. this has been talked to death on this forum, so why bother going into any details? suffice to say, since alot of options and customizabillity has been omitted, this just narrows down what you can do, how you can play, and what you can make it look like (even with extensive .ini editing), making UT3 a very uniformed game that's just ment to be launched and played "as-is", and not one that really lets the player play "as-i-feel-like".

    EDIT:
    Ahh yes, i actually ment to include that in my post about it, but amidst all the typing, i just plain forgot.

    It's not a problem that's going away, but its not all that bad either, if AS was given a fair shake and became more popular, more people would be willing to make maps for it, and their complexity is not much worse than current War maps, so it's actually not a huge hurdle any more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  6. neilthecellist

    neilthecellist Renegade.

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    Yes, I do know the four main sets. ASC, HU, NEC, and the mechnical stuff.

    But look at the HU, NEC, and Mechanical stuff. They're all metal! If you look in some of the HU packages, you'll find snippets of of green vegetation, sure. And the ASC packages are, like you said, Asian.

    The problem that I find with the assets in UT3 is that they're all mechnical, or if they're not, they're lacking in numbers. I don't want only 20 different kinds of green when there's 200000000* other "metal" assets to choose from.

    * Hyperbolic statement
     
  7. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    I'm not really disagreeing, although I don't agree that it is as bad as you have stated. If we look back on UT2004 stock content, how many maps were the Rankin-esque design style and coloring and same texture set? Lots. And to confirm some of the variety in UT3 just play one map: DM-Gateway.
    Don't be including all of the UT2004 bonus packs and community content in your comparison, UT3 hasn't gotten that far yet. It took years to get UT2004 to that point.

    UT3 has everything from hitech (Carbon Fire) to inner-city (Defiance) to modern city (Downtown) to space (Deimos) to asian (Rising Sun) to alien (Sanctuary) plus snowy (Avalanche) to sandy (Sandstorm) etc.

    While I personally see a wide degree of variety among all of the UT3 maps (when viewed as a whole), any perceived "lack" of overall variety isn't really the game's or asset's short-comings or fault, it is simply the method of execution.
    I don't mean this as self-promotion, but look at this map which is 100% stock content. Or this one also using only stock content... or this one using some custom content.
    Go over to the 3D Buzz Old School Unreal contest and have a look at what was created by community mappers using only 100% stock content. And this is only seven months into the new tech and new tools.


    I'm in total agreement here. I was expecting some Dawn- and Dria-esque or even larger style maps from UT3. I have no doubt that this is due in part to issues of large maps such as occlusion, triangle count, console-support, etc.

    With UT2004 it took a few years before we started seeing the massive 32-player more-detailed ONS maps showing up, because in its case the PC hardware had to catch up as well. This will be the same with UT3.

    There are larger and more varied WAR maps coming though (some from myself also).


    I see lots of concrete in there too... ;)

    Some of this is simply due to the time it takes to create next-gen content, which on average is 2x to 5x what it took for UT2004. So do we release a more diverse set but take years longer doing it?

    Some is also the fact that why include additional assets beyond those used in the shipped maps, it is just wasting space.
    They could have included a pile of the better UT2004 textures plus some new ones along with UT3, but that would be unused content that required more space. And something that any level designer can do themselves for their custom maps -- use the Import function if there is something that you personally want to add to your own map.

    Just looking at some of the stock maps and the packages in the browser doesn't show the entire capabilities though. To look at the browser thumbnails and think "is this it?" is short-sightedness by the level designer.
    Simply look at those links I gave before that are using only stock content for just a few examples.
    UT3 has a lot of capabilities to "twist and tweak" the stock content into providing a lot more variety than just simply choosing the drag-and-drop defaults for a specific asset. This is where some actual artistry, talent and knowledge is required from the level designer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  8. gregori

    gregori BUF Refugee

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    Weirdly enough, I totally agree.

    I liked that UTIII had 4 consistent themes (Necris, Metallic, Asian, Urban) and they are all fantastic looking, but It'd would be great if there was a greater variety of themes that are more fully developed. I'd hope that a UT3.5 or further bonus packs will expand the range of themes.

    (The Nakthi theme in UC2 was fantastically well developed)

    There is slightly too much metal.
     
  9. neilthecellist

    neilthecellist Renegade.

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    As a Unreal Championship II fan myself, I would have to agree! The gameplay of UC2 is something that I'd like to see someone implement into UT3 someday. I like the concept of jumping off a wall, then "phoosh" jumping into the air as if you had some sort of invisible propellers on your feet, and then phoosh your way down into your opponent for a bloody melee!

    That, and the fact that UC2 had a lot more themes in its maps than UT3 does.

    I like what that _N_ did with his BeachFront map. He really tries to push UT3 to a theme that isn't common with the stock maps in UT3.
     
  10. WHIPperSNAPper

    WHIPperSNAPper New Member

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    Did you play the original UT99 and UT 2004? (If not and you like UT3, I suggest that you get both of them. UT 2004 still has action on public servers and you'll get a chance to see what started all of this, anyway.)

    My biggest problem with UT3 isn't the game play itself though I agree that it is too dark and grungy. The movement and the game play itself feels pretty good and the movement is better than the floaty dodgeyness of UT 2004. (It's feels a little more like the original UT.) One problem is that you can't throw away weapons (which is retarded), the translocator still has a throwing limit (introduced with UT 2003), and a 6-rocket rocket launcher would be appreciated.

    Rather, my biggest problem with UT3 is everything that surrounds the game play, which wasn't an issue in UT99 and UT 2004, for the most part. I'm talking about the clunky and slow main user interface (wait to load a menu, wtf?), the server browser, the mapvote "menu", the way the game auto downloads and handles custom content, having to log into Gamespy, the inability to bind communication vocals to keys, the lack of video customization options, few player skins, awful taunts, etc.

    It might be hard to understand just how inferior UT3 is to UT 2004 and UT99 unless you've spent lots of time with them. Could you imagine buying a new model of your favorite car if it were far, far inferior to what you had before? What's maddening about it is that these things are straightforward and objective and not subjective like getting the game play chemistry right. If they had gotten this stuff right before why couldn't they get it right this time? (Answer--the game is either a port of the PS3 game or it was intentionally designed with the PS3 in mind.) Also, when the game was released it was released as a buggy Beta and the server browser itself barely worked. That may be one reason why the game has such low player counts today. It needed another 6 months in the development oven for polishing. (My theory is that Midway put a gun up to Epic's head and told them to get it done and release it or face legal action.)

    Here's a small example of what I'm talking about. So you're playing on a server and it's getting kinda lame. You don't like the map or the other players but you want to stay in the game while checking to see what else is out there. In UT99 or UT 2004 you could open up the server browser, refresh the servers and/or refresh your list of Favorites in a couple seconds while staying on the server. In UT3 you have to (1) leave the server, (2) load the Main Menu, (3) open the server browser and refresh the servers, and (4) rejoin the server you were on and wait for it to reload the map, all of which could take about two minutes.

    Here's another example. You're playing Capture-the-Flag and you see the enemy flag carrier at a certain spot on the map. You want to communicate this to your team. So you go to hit your keybind for "Enemy Flag Carrier is here" which gives your team the location ID tag for that area. But you can't do that in UT3. What if you want to taunt someone with your favorite taunt that's on a keybind? You can't do that in UT3.

    Basically, going from UT99 or UT 2004 to UT3 is like going from a new loaded Lexus to a stripped down new Kia. The cars' engines and whatnot are mostly fine--it's all the stuff that surrounds the Kia's drivetrain components that are the problem.
     
  11. neilthecellist

    neilthecellist Renegade.

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    Too right, mate!

    And I agree with the server browser thing, I hate having to go through 5 steps to check out other servers when back in UT99/2003/2004, I could just check out other servers while playing on my current server. Epic stoooooopid.

     
  12. G.Lecter

    G.Lecter Registered Tester

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    That's not a reason to encourage people to keep making non-freaking-awesome levels...
    You know I am not talking about map prefixes... don't make me look like a narrow-thinking guy or something! :p
    Game rules do not mean much from my point of view, it's level design what matters, the way everything is organised... In a single gametype, there are lots of ways to set things up in a level and that's the point of having multiple maps installed... Every level has (or should have) a different playstyle... Multiple-gametype mapping encourages clueless random mappping/laying out as an attempt to adapt all those gametypes, which might bring more maps to the table, but they'd be less entertaining IMO...
    Yeah, but the WAR map would still be the best-playing one, explained my view of that in the other post already... Played some games in the Downtown conversion that came with UT3DOM (which featured a few tweaks in addition to the node-dpoint replacement), and didn't enjoy it much. It may be just me, though... Anyway you keep saying 'replace the cores by flags and you have another map to play' but you don't give reasons for why is that a good thing, other than 'you have another map to play'... ;) [Edit: I reckon that's enough of a reason if you just want as many playable content as possible...]
    2k4 had over a hundred of maps and everyone played Rankin and Ironic (among others) most of the time. Why? People wants lots of maps, but at the end of the day they only play the greatest ones...

    Play a game in an asymmetric DOM map that was designed specifically for the gametype [DOM-FoT-Aeldron best dom map ever!!! :tup:], and then play a symmetrical DOM map which also has a CTF version... That would give you an idea of my view... :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  13. Leo(T.C.K.)

    Leo(T.C.K.) Well-Known Member

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    I guess you guys don't remember original UT, do you? That is without GOTY or all bonuspacks, it had very simmilar looking characters, much more than ut3 has IMO.
    And the maps were mostly industrial theme with few exceptions, so you totally fail with these statements, ut2004 had a lot of characters because of many other things and that it included old characters as well.
     
  14. Grobut

    Grobut Комиссар Гробут

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    As i said, the graphics are not that important, sure i would have enjoyed a little more variety here aswell, but i can live with it, the graphics are not the reason i haven't lauched UT3 in 2 months or more (i'm really not that dependant on graphics, i still play and enjoy games like Wolf3D, Dune2, Doom, Blood etc etc).

    Its all the other things about the game that have been streamlined and uniformed to death that prevents me from enjoying it, its the fact that this game is a "play as-is" and not "play as-i-want-to" game like past UT's, its the fact that i can't drag and drop bots into red and blue team, give them orders before and ingame, give them new voices, disable the incessant taunting, or thouse dreadfull team brightskins, setup voice commands to the wonderfull keys on my G15 keyboard, etc etc etc etc.. all i can do is choose X numbers of bots and start a game, and once that game is going i have no control over it.

    This is why i am still playing UT2004 and UT99, and why i am still modding for thouse instead of UT3, UT3 has just plain removed most of the features i enjoyed so much about the UT series, the very same features that has kept UT in my rotation for about 10 years now.
    Ofcourse not everyone will agree with that, but thats the whole point i'm making, UT3 is very "love it or hate it", unlike past UT's that had something for everyone to enjoy.

    Please don't think that i view the stock UT2004 maps as "the pinnacle of level design" or something.. i hardly ever play any of the DM maps it came with, and only some of the CTF ones, many of them really suffered from poor layouts and connectivity, and most where on the small side (though atleast they did offer some variety between open and confined spaces to some degree, if a bit lacking in the confined areas), maps where not its strong point at launch.
    ONS i never really played, i'm an offline player, and bots + vehicals = frustration! which is why i'm not playing War either, its useless offline, it just doesen't play well with bots.

    But on the whole, good maps and a few good mutators was all it took to make UT2004 great to me, even though i didn't like its nerf guns or the floaty players, that was all easilly fixed with the right mods and options enabled, but that wont save UT3 for me, it'll take much more, as it is, it offers me zero reason to play it over UT2004 or UT (and as i said, i am not really dependant on graphics to enjoy myself, so even that is not a good reason for me), and i don't think i ever will unless they bring back the functionallity and the gameplay options that i have allways depended on for Instant Action games, without thouse, anything else is pointless, i wont get any enjoyment out of it.


    UT3 has its problems for online play, but it is really the offline play that has suffered the most, its just a big fat downgrade when comming from 2K4, and worse, judging from WarTourists comments, it may seem that this might not be patched :(

    And i don't really get it to be honest, Epic themselves have often estimated that about 50% of their customers never venture online with the game, and in the pre-release hype, they where very keen on telling us that UT3 would be the very best UT yet for offline play, that they knew and understood that many of us where offline gamers and they wanted to improove the game for us, they made a big thing out of that, but here we are with an IA that just barely functions, and is utterly devoid of all the luxuries and creature comforts we used to know, hell you can't even communicate with the bots, and a laughable campaign that was just not worth their time, and would have been 20x better had it just been a tournament ladder, and apparently, even the lead designer doesen't seem to even notice the problem, am i the only one who see's the moon logic here?
     
  15. Draco73

    Draco73 New Member

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    i agree with all of this, and I too launch ut99 and ut2k4 so much more than ut3 is semi embarrassing on epics behalf...had ut3 been the game it could have been, i would prob would only be playing ut3 or atleast playing it 90% of the time...instead its the other way around.

    and quite honestly the only way anyone will ever get past all these "repeated problems, gamers who left because of the dislike for the game, and complaints on threads" is for epic to just go and actually take a few guys off their cash cow team for GOW, sit down for a year or so, totally redesign the whole UI, add it all the old tried and true features everyone is use to and clearly wants...create a few more maps for all game types which deviate from the "standard mold" they seem to be using, as well as actually making some maps which can handle more than 20 players...even though they release a patch to allow 64 players when they have no standard maps to use lol...as well as many other things which has been said to death before so its stupid to keep saying them, but you get my point. I would also recommend adding the old and popular game types back in as standard (DOM, AS, INV) all very popular game types, and all very much wanted...maybe even go as far as adding "tam" as a standard game type with how popular it has been for years and years in 2k4....either way, they need many many drastic updates and overhauls, and then take what they have and re release it as a "UT4" and make sure they advertise the cr4p out of it this time.

    if they dont, its quite obvious that BOTH ut99 and 2k4 with out live this game...which is a damn shame to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  16. Benfica

    Benfica European Redneck

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    What do you mean? You can give commands after pressing V
     
  17. B4NE

    B4NE Unregistered User

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    I think they should. After it's released on Tuesday for 360 they will have fully established their newest iteration of Unreal in the console world. Now that that's done with, it's time to focus back on the PC side of things and give Unreal's oldest and truest fans what they've been waiting for.
     
  18. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    I took one look at Grobut's wall of text and decided not to read it.
     
  19. FuLLBLeeD

    FuLLBLeeD fart

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    This. I honestly couldn't say it better myself.

    Gameplay wasn't the problem with UT3. Everything else was.
     
  20. gregori

    gregori BUF Refugee

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    Dudes, seriously - keep your posts shorter and I might actually read them!

    Bullet points if possible.

    (Those long ass posts remind me of how I used to post when I started out here. I soon learned that people just don't read them)
     

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