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FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #232823] Wed, 09 September 2009 07:18 Go to next message
smiling assassin

Registered:May 2006
Hello Everybody

Some of you may know about this project FFF-Multiplayer. The originl thread is here http://forum.jaggedalliance.de/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17328
As you guessed, i-m the author of that thread too.

Previous discussions, when we were testing the mod, were usually held in chat clients. The ideas were thus only temporarily available. Thus i decided to open a thread where the ideas and discussions can be stored for longer and for easy access.

As the Multiplayer exes get more advanced all the time, this gives us new options, too.

My time at internet is limited these days, but i will be posting some of my notes during the next session. Those of you that have already tested FFF-MP, thank you guys very much.
Everybody feel free to add your toughts as well.

Okay, we basicly have three major topics, FFF-MP in general, FFF-MP COOP and FFF-MP deathmatch

Let's start with COOP, as this is the mode we've been testing the most so far. here the main questions revolve around detail questions like balancing, team compositions, item balance. etc

i'll add a list of my notes particularly about team composition later on
As our coder has externalised the previously hardcoded teams, it seems a matter of time until we can have a number of additional teams to the existing four teams in order to increase replayability even if playing the same maps as we used to.

Now FFF-MP deathmatch is a very different story. It bears with it the isue that ja2 wasn't designed with fighting a human intelligence in mind. And it shows, as the combat is often made difficult and tedious due to the way ja2 rewards stationary playing. In COOP, where you face a large and aggressive crowd of AI, it's crucial to the game as such to use cover. In fact, it is the key to understanding ja2.
Now for deatmatch, we'll be looking for ways to make gameplay less stationary, reward so called rushing more than so called camping and try to make it fun while still tactical. Often the game plays like a hide/seek. I'll add a list of suggestions shortly. the list will hold ideas to achieve a differen deatmatch game balance. We'll then see what options we want to test and how it turns out once we start focuing on deathmatch mode. Right now, COOP is still the main concern, as we have to flesh out the details.

FFF-MP in general, as the third major topic, would cover all kinds of ideas that wold affect both game modes or even FFF's singleplayer mode equally and would probably rotate around design decisions, suggestions of whatever kind and provenience.
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #233000] Fri, 11 September 2009 14:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smiling assassin

Registered:May 2006
Bearing in mind that the issues connected to COOP are detail questions soon to be dealt with in more depth, i'd change the order of topics adn immediately put down some notes about Deathmatch

1. Things already adressed by previous FFF releases:
- Instant action. Away with tedious micromanagement before the actual gameplay
- Map design fitting to the gameplay (cover and such)
- Interrupt issues minimised by flattened level discrepancies and minimised ready-weapon cheat

2. Things previously complained about MP deatmatch (MP DM generally or FFF)

- game often comes down to hide and seek, camping wins the game

possible approaches to counter this issue:

+ spotting range, using binoculars but no scopes, or increasing vision range while keeping smalle weapon ranges. This would make the win of initiative not so crucial as it is right now, because the client that get sthe turn would have to move closer first
+ weapon ranges, we should really run a testgame with only shorter ranged weapons so that initiative or an interrupt doesn't mean insta-death. This approach is also to be considered in connection with the first (and others)
+ team sizes. Large team sizes mean the loss of a single merc is not necessarily a masive infringement of your team's tactical options
+ movement speed and stealth AP usage could be tweaked to make movement less risky. using stealth movement costs a lot of AP right now. Reducing this cost could make the use of stealt in MP-DM an option to sneak up or evade campers. Using APBP constants.ini, movement could be made to cost less AP and thus be less risky in DM game and also still possible when injured. Also energy boosters could be handed out to the teams. This not only easens rushing, it also speeds up a game and can save mercs in problems due to injury.
+gun balance would have to be changed such that drawing costs are minimised and shooting generally is simplified. This would reduce the camper's advantage of a readied gun (partially)
+This could go as far as to limit FOV for most longer range guns to keep players on their toes or at least pay AP's for camping
+Another idea of mine was to mix COOP and DM such that in adition to the two player teams, AI is also on he map. This would lessen the hiding part of the game and put more focus on the actual fighting.

that's a brief rundown of possible approaches. We'll have to find the best combo of things in future testings, where we can also fleh out these points.
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #233298] Wed, 16 September 2009 09:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smiling assassin

Registered:May 2006
So i got word the coders are working on more than 4 possible teams for "random mercs" mode, and externalised into an xml too.

For FFF, we'll have to design teams that check out with FFF/MP's WW2 setting, and i'd like to make and hear suggestions

1. Team Resitance would consist of Mercs from occupied territory. Gaston, Steroid, Buns, Flo (all skills and stats will be adjusted for instant action gameply) and maybe some of the rebels as well

2. Team Commonwealth would be for the bunch of canadians, aussies, irish, scottish maybe, so Trevor, slay, malice, danny, devin, red, Cliff... something like that

3. additional american teams, ideally themed, so maybe the "brutha's in arms" like Gus, Magic, len, Ice, Blood in a team and the "wildcats" with Buzz, Raven, Meltdown, Spider, maybe Vicky too, then a great team would be team Hillbilly featuring Razor, Haywire, Maddog, Gasket, Bubba, darrell. Either way, quite some room for cool teams here as well

4. using more or additional mercs from different mods to fill more themed teams, like german speaking mercs from german mods, maybe Gromov from night ops, etc. What seems currently unavailable, but desirable, would be japanese mercs

5. A secondary commie team might be possible as well, but this depends on how team resistance would look like

Also, some shuffeling around of the existing teams might make a lot of sense. I'm not really perfectly happy with al the teams and their member's respective roles, even though the teams are quite well balanced and even IMHO
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #235270] Fri, 16 October 2009 09:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:October 2009
Location: Germany

Maybe it helps if i post this here. We had some trouble when starting a mp game with 4 ppl, for the 3 others it worked fine but i always crashed after putting my merchs on the edges and waiting for the others to finish. I not only needed to forward the used port (6000) in my router, i also needed to disable my [color:#FF0000]ROUTER firewall[/color] temporarily during playtime. My Windows Firewall was still enabled. Without disabling the router firewall the mod keeped crashing
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #240543] Fri, 25 December 2009 13:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
so i was contemplating a public christmas release the other day, but there's just so much we can still do that christmas wasn't the right date yet.

This means the christmas release will, as previous releases, be a semi-private one.

Maps are largely finished except for finetuning
6th-man Team design is currently halted with Team deidranna and team kingpin as the latest new entries. This allowed to reduce the number of teams to 16.
16 times 6 means 96 playable characters, this is evidently more than what you can currently get anywhere (except for DoM, but that's a different story)
If playing with smaller teams, a bigger randomteams.xml file can be used that still allows access to a huge number of character.
Team equipping with explosives and other details is largely finished
garrisoning is catching up (there used to be a limit of 100 garrisons, since this is gone, we can use specific garrisons for the entire map)
Various balancing elements were added and tested

to-do: map design testing and finetuning
Item slot management. Even though largely improved, there's still some annoyances

other considerations: In lieu of making different COOP/ DM install configs, i'm currently contemplating different campaign looks through the use of VFS. So before starting the game, you can use the .INI to decide which campaign to chose. Obvious would be three campaigns, western allies/ axis/ soviets. But this will have to wait and this will require to get hold of some extra data stuff for which to scavange my harddrive :-/
actually, only two campaigns would make more sense. and be more convenient to boot.
Also, all the players would have to chose the same campaign... technically they might not really need to, but it would make the most sense, at least in COOP. Duh, this is getting me confused.

Then of course, once all the maps are there, special map designs can be used just for DM or just for COOP purposes using existing ini structures, but these maps would have to be designed first too. Is anybody working on MP-specific maps? Now that explosives work, there's tons of options...

Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244295] Mon, 15 February 2010 20:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Yeah i'm tempted to release the 0.99 version publicly as a milestone release rather than updating FFF-MP every few days. Version 0.99 is full of throroughly tested custom content and plays very nicely overall.

0.99 has the core "burning grass" feature, it has several new additions in terms of weaponry (e.g. rifle grenades, more launchers)
A new overview map replaces the previous "threat-level" strategic map so map choice is more intuitive and as usual.
it has tileset fixes and additions and some alternative team configuration files for hosts to have a broader or narrower selection of available teams. Note that trenches have become even harder to overcome, but they may also prove to be a deathtrap sometimes Smile
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244300] Mon, 15 February 2010 21:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:April 2009
Location: E.U.


who made those new merc body types???


Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244303] Mon, 15 February 2010 21:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
myself. A few years ago. And the mAN fixed them i think Smile

they're in RR for example. And i also released them standalone. Gotta look for this anyway...
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244345] Tue, 16 February 2010 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:April 2009
Location: E.U.

I think you were the only person to ever have released a new merc.

Would you ever consider looking into making a modern looking cool replacement like this guy tried?

Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244351] Tue, 16 February 2010 13:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

Registered:September 2004
Location: CH

I think you were the only person to ever have released a new merc.

For good reasons. It's actual work Sad

I think night ops (?) had changed some of the sprites to have sleeved arms and there were a few other attempts too.


Would you ever consider looking into making a modern looking cool replacement like this guy tried?


I've used these anims for a while. Didn't he state at some point that he was releasing the framework with which these anims were made?

Either way i don't think i could do this. Neither artisticly nor stylisticly. Let alone all the higher priority projects that i have going.
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #244394] Wed, 17 February 2010 00:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
the scorpion

Registered:September 2004
Location: CH
Back on topic, as a little prelude to the public version, i'd like to share some gameplay screenshot like i always do with my mods

Whereas the original FFF-MP only allowed four teams, the team number seem pretty much unlimited now, so a few more teams are added to the list. There will be a few different configuration files for adding more experimental teams like the infamous grey panthers to the list or to strongly limit the teams to a few really cool ones that check out with the setting.


The screen above also shows the scout's role, using camo and binoculars to spot enemies and direct sniper, machinegun and heavy weapons fire on them


here for example, grunty has no direct shot an enemy spotted by another merc, so rather than the sniper rifle, he uses a panzerfaust to blow the enemy elite out of cover

This is actually one way to work together nicely in MP, blowing enemies out of cover so your buddy can see and/ or target them


Another nice way is to give artillery support when needed, like this here rifle grenade. Most of them teams now have access to a few of them. As opposed to rocket launchers, these can be fired at a high angle (albeit short range) but detonate on impact rather than bouncing off trees or such.


The interactiviy of the maps has also been increased. Dense high grass can be set on fire and thus increase the range of molotovs or grenades thrown or launched


The objectvies and gameplay strongly vary, a wilderness map plays very differently than this snowy POW camp. And here, the high grass doesn't burn as opposed to on "dry" maps.

And then of course there's also Player vs. Player gameplay, which is again aother whole new story
Re: FFF-Multiplayer Discussion[message #330146] Wed, 29 January 2014 05:49 Go to previous message

Registered:August 2012
who wants to play???
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