1. #1

    It Should Never Have Gotten To This Point

    Hi,

    This is a post directed at Ubisoft.

    It should never have gotten to this point. With respect to the direction of the game and the state it is currently in technically. Now, I've never played a beta before but in my opinion a month out from release there shouldn't be nearly the level of technical issues on display here.

    Now, before I go on - there is a good game in here. But it needs a LOT of work and an investment in time and effort and a willingness to take on board feedback.

    Ubi needs to take that away and think about it because somewhere along the line here internal processes have failed.

    There are three areas of concern here:

    Overall Game Direction
    This covers the overall management of the software development over the project lifecycle. I'll keep it short but for the state of the game to be as it is only a month out from release means that some pretty fundamental plan, time and quality management has gone awry. This hasn't been well managed and you are now a month out with a game where quite a lot is still broken, adding to that it's a completely different game to what you should have been building. You need to understand how this happened and learn lessons.

    Design Direction
    This covers the vision and design direction of the game. What we have ended up with is, simply put, not what the community asked for. There is a clear difference in terms of the design direction this game took, and what the community and customers asked for based on previous entries in the franchise, notably Wildlands which was an unexpected success.

    I mean, even the obvious fact that this should be a deep, gritty, realistic TACTICAL SHOOTER. Not an RPG Lite - that's now Assassins Creed. Not a looter shooter - that's the Division. You refined AC Odyssey and it did exceedingly well (even though it doesn't resemble AC any more). You improved on almost every aspect of The Division with The Division 2. You have turned Breakpoint into a hybrid of these two, diluted the aspects that made it unique and have failed to improve on Wildlands in almost every way.

    Ghost Recon has it's own unique selling point and audience.I won't labour the point because it's quite clearly all over these forums. There are questionable design decisions everywhere. Therefore I would recommend that you go and look at exactly what basis you are making your design decisions on and who is providing second opinions on these or providing checks and balances to ensure what is being made meets the target audience expectations.

    Honestly you could have reskinned a different map, reused the animations and models, come up with another generic real life scenario, refined the AI, deepened the gunsmith and improved the game world interactivity to make the players actions more meaningful - all of which you already had the foundations for - and you'd have a hit without a great deal of effort. You could have introduced awesome meta strategic components and emergent gameplay in a sandbox with the same throwaway story. That was more than possible in 2 years.

    The number one thing to have aimed for with Ghost Recon is the same thing that made wildlands a runaway success - IMMERSION. Immersion derived from realism, deep and accurate gunsmith and gunplay mechanics and a minimally intrusive UI. EVERY SINGLE design decision made for this game should have been tested against these criteria: is it immersive, is it realistic, is it accurate. Is the AI realistic? Is the gunsmith accurate. Is it immersive to have levelling and gear score? Anything that didn't satisfy that criteria should have been redesigned or removed. It's really not difficult. Two weeks of workshopping could have had the key designs nailed down with plenty of time for development.

    Internal Testing
    For some time now I have had serious concerns about exactly how much time in the development cycle is reserved for internal testing. Given where we are, the game either a) hasn't been extensively tested internally, b) hasn't been ready for testing, or c) has been tested but processes for dealing with test results and follow on actions aren't adequate. I suspect a combination of b and c at this time coupled with poor planning, time and resource management. I say that because it would only take an hour of playing with someone who has a basic grasp of gaming to see some of the problems here, so how and why they actually still exist defies explanation. It clearly needs much more time.
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  2. #2
    "adding to that it's a completely different game to what you should have been building"

    I cannot agree here.

    Something I will mention is that typically I see the comment "The developer made the game they wanted. If you want something different make it" comments on games people like and someone is criticizing. It is totally correct. The community is not how you design a game. Because if this had been a total Wildlands game a lot of people would be panning it for being too much of the same. It would not sell well. A vocal minority would be happy with some middling as well.

    Now, the game they made is fine in the sense they can go the direction they want. If the game has design flaws, major bugs, many bugs, and just overall problems that is one thing. Hell, I loved Wildlands. And I would have loved this if not for the problems it has. It is obvious they wanted to make another loot based shooter. I am fine with that. I am fine with the missions setup. And even the hub and co-op. I did everything I have done by myself anyway. But there are just glaring problems that will not be fixed anywhere near launch. They will be there for a while at least. I did not really want another looter shooter but I could have lived with it if everything else came together. But it did not. The loot is just part of it.

    I will give you that there is no way the leads of this are doing a good job. Or, if they are, then the ones above them are doing to much corporate and not enough listening to them. Either way this game needs the oven more. And it really does need the community. The community can help them fix what they are making. But asking them for a different game is not it. This, like just about any game, can be good with the right work. I would say fixing the looting and a few other things and smashing bugs would be a fantastic start. I am not a fan overall of early access. But it can work. Maybe a price reduced early access launch for repairs and work getting feedback from players on what is broken. Not sure but they have what could be a great game that needs months of work to be great. I guess they expect a certain group to buy and then just fix as they go.
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  3. #3
    Virtual-Chris's Avatar Senior Member
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    Dude, if you are not in Delta Force, please apply. You are one of the few here that really has an impartial view of the state of this game and what is needed to make it a success.

    I totally agree with everything youíve said. Iíve managed to find a few hours to play the game, and while thereís a good game lurking in here, it is maddening how itís missing the mark and actually shocking how rough it is given itís based on the same engine as itís predecessor.

    A delay may be in the best interest of this franchise. If it ships largely as is, itís very likely to turn off so many people that a recovery will be impossible, both in mindset and financially.

    Itís missing or deprecated almost everything that made Wildlands a 15 Million player success. It completely reinforces my view that key decision makers at Ubisoft donít have a clue what made Wildlands so successful.

    Iím very concerned with what I saw. It sounds like most other Ubisoft games that need a year to make whole, but this has such an identity crisis going on, Iím not sure it would survive one quarter.
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  4. #4
    MikeWeeks's Avatar Senior Member
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    There's no reason not to say "I hate to say this ..." when it comes to what's being shown currently in Breakpoint, as a delay I do believe is what this game needs.
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  5. #5
    Virtual-Chris's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by MikeWeeks Go to original post
    There's no reason not to say "I hate to say this ..." when it comes to what's being shown currently in Breakpoint, as a delay I do believe is what this game needs.
    Ha. Good point. Edited.
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  6. #6

    Beta keeps crashing

    Play about 5 min and the beta keeps crashing Guys needs serious work.

    Dont release a beta like this with such a low level or realism the original was better.
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  7. #7
    You know I've written a few of these lengthy posts and I always check myself afterwards because I feel like I'm ranting but it's entirely because I totally appreciate the work that has gone into this and I really want to love this game. As you say, there is a great game in there - there are glimmers of it.

    I've played 11 hours of the beta now and I wouldn't have done that if there wasn't something bringing me back and keeping me playing.

    There are moments where this game just looks absolutely gorgeous. At first I had issues getting it running well but it's running great now and I've pinned the graphical issues down entirely to the resolution of the terrain textures, the lods are too low, they need to be much higher res at distance so it doesn't look washed out. Fix that and it'll look stunning.

    I had a fight with a Behemoth tonight, and I won. It was exhilarating. It was a bit tankey - I'm gear level 20-odd and it was recommending 40. I launched a couple of rocket launcher shots at it to take off some armour and expose the innards. When you blow the armour off and blow up the blue battery things it blows up spectacularly and actually looks damaged and gets more angry, and then it starts going mad launching rockets everywhere and finality it blows up in spectacular fashion. I admit it was a rush. I had a great time. Then I fell down a slope, got stuck in the wall falling endlessly and had to quit the game before I could go pick up my rewards. When I restarted within 5 minutes I got stuck in the scenery again, after restart I got in a firefight and my gun stopped firing and wouldn't work in the middle of a firefight, a bird spawned inside a boulder having a panic attack, and the game crashed in the menu so I had to restart again. All that in about 30 mins.

    So yes the drone battles certainly aren't traditional ghost recon but I can appreciate there's a time and a place for them in this game if folks want to take them on, they are fun. Although I hate, HATE with a vengeance that drone thing that flies overhead and spots you NO MATTER WHAT unless you're prone camo. This happens pretty much every ten minutes and can happen regardless of what you're doing, honestly it's relentless. If it spots you, you might as well quit the game and restart. 2 attack drones will spawn pretty much on top of you. The drone thingie will stay overhead jamming your radar and drone capability AND half a dozen ghosts will spawn pretty much on top of you. You can't shoot down the drone thingie easily because it's too far up in the sky and really awkward to try and hit. You can't run away because the attack drones will stay 3 feet behind you at all times and the ghosts seem to be able to run like Usain Bolt. The attack drones whizz around making it really difficult to hit them, although they don't take too many shots. Problem is after fighting them for a few seconds the wolves are on you and you just get outgunned.

    So like I say, glimmers of greatness but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

    Anyway I was playing for hours tonight before I realised that I wasn't actually playing anything like I played GRW. I was running and gunning a LOT more. I know it's a clichť at this point but I really was playing it like I played the division, A cover based looter shooter without any thought of stealth. So I decided to go try and do good old fashioned stealth. I found an ex WW2 base with a tower, bunkers and a generator and a range of enemy types. Oh they've got loads of enemy types now: drone dudes, heavies, rocket gunners, snipers, dudes that will just charge you and lob grenades - on that front they've definitely got variety. So I settled in and gave stealth a go...

    This is when the systems really start to work against the game. Take heavies for example. You can't CQC them. At all. I realised that the hard way when I snuck up behind one and it said - unable to neutralise. So that's a thing. The only way to take these dudes out is by headshot (because don't even attempt anything else because you'll empty a mag on them if they're a decent gear score and they'll just mow you down whilst you take forever to reload). But not just one headshot. Because they've got a helmet on you need two headshots - 1 for the helmet and one for the head. You can't shoot them in the exposed part of their face. So that rules out sniper rifles, because the time it takes between shots the dude will have raised the alarm. So your only choice is to double tap them in the head with your assault rifle or primary which leaves very little room for error. And these dudes will normally be strolling around a base so you're trying to hit a moving target as well. Bear in mind this is just one enemy, there's usually about 20-30 in a base, all different types.

    So what happens is the first shot goes great, ping, the helmet flies off and then SHOT HEARD flashes up because in this game not only can enemies run like Usain Bolt they have superhuman levels of hearing. So some chap will hear the shot, and even though you're prone camo, that means they INSTANTLY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. You then have about 3-5 seconds, before the entire base also psychically knows exactly where you are. So you run away and hide. And wait for 5 minutes for them to cooldown. Then you creep back and take him out with the second shot. And someone HEARS YOUR SHOT. Only this time you get fed up repeating the same loop and take a couple of guys out. Then the HOMING MORTAR starts firing. Honestly you can be half a mile away from the base out of eyesight of everything in pitch black and this thing will keep dropping stuff on you. I think it's a drone mortar. You can disable them.

    So I run away and let the base cool down again. Although bearing in mind the immersion has been ruined and now I'm just frustrated with it but I regain composure and stealthily approach. Next I take out a lone dude wandering. Then I go and try to move the body out the way and it honestly takes at least 10 seconds to hoof the corpse onto your shoulders. It's an animation you cannot exit out of either, you need to go through with it once commited. Someone starts detecting me and there's nowt I can do but run around with this corpse on my shoulders. I'm presented with two options - drop the body or throw the body. Both seems to result in exactly the same thing, another 5-10 seconds where my character leisurely prepares then chucks the body off, and then casually reaches for his gun with absolutely no sense of urgency - all the while I'm getting shot at by the entire base. Finally if you try and take a base with drones in it - forget stealth. Unless you leave them to the end (and they have exceptionally good senses, better than humans so evasion is challenging) then don't bother trying stealth. Anything other than the small flying sentry drones will be a pitched battle. Can take a few mags, grenades, emps to take out even the medium sized land drones the size of wheelbarrows and they will chase you all over the base gunning you down. Everyone and everything will be alerted. You'll have mortars, rocket gunners, snipers, dudes calling in air drones, dudes calling in reinforcements driving up and piling in, helicopters attacking overhead, the wolves will turn up eventually as well, all the time you're trying to take out one mechanised drone. It turns into a warzone.

    So, on reflection the way the AI works with regards to stealth - at least from my observations - is still remarkably similar to Wildlands. Same hive mind - one gets alerted, the base gets alerted. They still have an uncanny ability to know exactly where you are when there should be no way for them to determine that. They can still hear shots when i'm 200m away with a suppressed sniper rifle. It's definitely improved don't get me wrong, but it's just a very incremental improvement - the underlying problems still seem to be there.

    Anyway after reflecting on my experiences thus far with the game I've come to the following conclusions. I know folks have been comparing this to the Division but I'm going to put a different spin on it: If you forget this is a Ghost Recon game. If you play this as if it is the division, ie stick it on arcade mode, run and gun, cause chaos, grab loot. In that mindset, it's actually a blast. I've had a whole lot more fun playing like that. It's nowhere near as spongey as that game, and you can crouch and stealth a bit - things the division never had but would have benefited from. Albeit it doesn't have the great armour shooting mechanic and feeling of taking back the city and seeing the impact you're making on the world etc. but for core gameplay, Breakpoint is a top notch arcade shooter. Very much feels like Just Cause but with less things to blow up and no grappling hook.

    However, if you play this as a Ghost Recon game, ie you want to roleplay as spec ops, get immersed, play on extreme, strip back the hud - then as it stands I promise you will ragequit in frustration. The systems as they stand and in the state they are, are simply not conducive to that form of gameplay in my humble opinion. I play this on arcade. With the way the game plays I couldn't even imagine turning the difficulty up on this. I played Tier 1 Extreme on Wildlands. Every time I was killed in that game it was almost always because I had messed up. It was harsh but fair. On this though, stealth is extremely tough - even on arcade. At least for bases anyway. Turning the difficulty up on this would just be painful.

    The final point I will make in support of my conclusions above : it has some of the most beautiful explosions I've ever seen in a game - they are magnificent and satisfying. When the chaos gets going in this game it really is a thing to behold.

    Regarding Delta Force - I've already applied and am having a call with them next week to have a chat so fingers crossed I get accepted. I'd love to get involved and help out where I can. I know it may sound like I'm moaning a lot but I do try to be as constructive as possible and it's only because I'm really passionate about the game and I honestly want it to do well and for the devs to get recognised for all their hard work and effort.
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  8. #8
    Originally Posted by vahndaar Go to original post
    Hi,

    This is a post directed at Ubisoft.

    It should never have gotten to this point. With respect to the direction of the game and the state it is currently in technically. Now, I've never played a beta before but in my opinion a month out from release there shouldn't be nearly the level of technical issues on display here.

    Now, before I go on - there is a good game in here. But it needs a LOT of work and an investment in time and effort and a willingness to take on board feedback.

    Ubi needs to take that away and think about it because somewhere along the line here internal processes have failed.

    There are three areas of concern here:

    Overall Game Direction
    This covers the overall management of the software development over the project lifecycle. I'll keep it short but for the state of the game to be as it is only a month out from release means that some pretty fundamental plan, time and quality management has gone awry. This hasn't been well managed and you are now a month out with a game where quite a lot is still broken, adding to that it's a completely different game to what you should have been building. You need to understand how this happened and learn lessons.

    Design Direction
    This covers the vision and design direction of the game. What we have ended up with is, simply put, not what the community asked for. There is a clear difference in terms of the design direction this game took, and what the community and customers asked for based on previous entries in the franchise, notably Wildlands which was an unexpected success.

    I mean, even the obvious fact that this should be a deep, gritty, realistic TACTICAL SHOOTER. Not an RPG Lite - that's now Assassins Creed. Not a looter shooter - that's the Division. You refined AC Odyssey and it did exceedingly well (even though it doesn't resemble AC any more). You improved on almost every aspect of The Division with The Division 2. You have turned Breakpoint into a hybrid of these two, diluted the aspects that made it unique and have failed to improve on Wildlands in almost every way.

    Ghost Recon has it's own unique selling point and audience.I won't labour the point because it's quite clearly all over these forums. There are questionable design decisions everywhere. Therefore I would recommend that you go and look at exactly what basis you are making your design decisions on and who is providing second opinions on these or providing checks and balances to ensure what is being made meets the target audience expectations.

    Honestly you could have reskinned a different map, reused the animations and models, come up with another generic real life scenario, refined the AI, deepened the gunsmith and improved the game world interactivity to make the players actions more meaningful - all of which you already had the foundations for - and you'd have a hit without a great deal of effort. You could have introduced awesome meta strategic components and emergent gameplay in a sandbox with the same throwaway story. That was more than possible in 2 years.

    The number one thing to have aimed for with Ghost Recon is the same thing that made wildlands a runaway success - IMMERSION. Immersion derived from realism, deep and accurate gunsmith and gunplay mechanics and a minimally intrusive UI. EVERY SINGLE design decision made for this game should have been tested against these criteria: is it immersive, is it realistic, is it accurate. Is the AI realistic? Is the gunsmith accurate. Is it immersive to have levelling and gear score? Anything that didn't satisfy that criteria should have been redesigned or removed. It's really not difficult. Two weeks of workshopping could have had the key designs nailed down with plenty of time for development.

    Internal Testing
    For some time now I have had serious concerns about exactly how much time in the development cycle is reserved for internal testing. Given where we are, the game either a) hasn't been extensively tested internally, b) hasn't been ready for testing, or c) has been tested but processes for dealing with test results and follow on actions aren't adequate. I suspect a combination of b and c at this time coupled with poor planning, time and resource management. I say that because it would only take an hour of playing with someone who has a basic grasp of gaming to see some of the problems here, so how and why they actually still exist defies explanation. It clearly needs much more time.
    I agree. Great post. This is the same reason I made a post with a list of issues and concerns I personally feel are wrong with the game in its current state. I also am deeply concerned with the current state the game is in especially with how close we are to official launch. With so many issues that are blatantly obvious if you play for a short amount of time, I feel they don't have enough time to iron them out.

    I came across another issue today during my game session that I just don't understand how something as minor as this got so far without being addressed. When I would come across items that were on tables/crates etc that you walk up to and interact with to gather intel , the clunkiness of the movement system made it so that I would literally have to right click and hold my aim and walk up to the item just to be able to interact with it. The way the character turns in circles or movement in general made it rather difficult to line up my reticle in such a way that I was able to interact with the intel item. I mean how does something as small as that get this far? Simple interaction with items on a table or crate or what not are difficult just because of the movement system in the game. That's not good design or implementation.

    I just encountered another new issue. Enemy NPC's shooting through walls, ceilings/floors. I literally just died by getting shot through an NPC who was warping through a building shooting me through walls and ceilings.

    Another thing I am disappointed in since you guys have been claiming about all the unique CQC animations, I keep seeing the same CQC animations time and time again with no variation. So it seems there's animations set to the straight blades and animations for the Kurambits and within each of those 2 weapons are a set of takedown animations. But, there is not many at all. With each weapon I think I have seen maybe a max of 3 different animations. I was excited for the stealth but after putting many hours into testing CQC, I've come to learn that there really isn't much, unless it expands as you get higher....it would be nice to hear anything on this....


    I really wish you guys at Ubi would take this seriously and communicate with us, your customers, your player base, your fans. Keeping quiet on these matters is only doing you guys harm. Communicate, it would only benefit you guys.
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  9. #9
    GAP_Computer's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Virtual-Chris Go to original post
    Dude, if you are not in Delta Force, please apply. You are one of the few here that really has an impartial view of the state of this game and what is needed to make it a success.
    To be honest, I will rather if vahndaar don't apply, We already lost 2 good posters, who actually also used to speak their minds, now are in Delta Company and the story is different. @vahndaar I really enjoy reading your posts ( and i not the only one). If you join we will probably be losing another good poster. Keep up the good work.
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  10. #10
    I am a Ghost Recon Wildlands fan, played well over 250 hours, and 100% completionist.

    On the Breakpoint Beta, about 25 hours, because I had the whole weekend free.

    English is my third language, so forgive any mistakes and Yipee for spell checker!

    I agree there are aspects of The Division 2, and that I was not very thrilled with the weapon leveling.

    The character leveling and perks I can live with as it is still somewhat similar to Wildlands.

    I need to mention that there are VET's that play Ghost Recon Wildlands, being one of them, I will state that there are many aspects of Breakpoint that felt a lot more realistic immersive.

    So reacting to some of what "vahndaar" said about "realism" and "immersiveness"...

    Ghost Recon Wildlands lacked a lot of "realism" that I found somewhat corrected in Breakpoint, for example:

    1. Vegetation cover was completely missing in Wildlands.

    2. In Wildlands, if you sniped at an enemy and missed, suddenly those on the other side of the base became aware of you at the same time and knew exactly where you were.

    I found in Breakpoint, there was a realistic delay in the same situation, allowing for a type of simulation as if the person you just shot at, to firstly regain his wits, and then call on the radio with anemy contact - shots fired. The other enemies would only then run for cover or sweep the base, unlike Wildlands where they would all suddely immediatley all at the same time run in your direction.

    3. Enemies could shoot out your tires in a chase, and you would realistically lose control over the vehicle, this was not in Wildlands.

    4. In Wildlands you could run over mountains like a super machine-human, but in Breakpoint, a clear effort was made to simulate fatigue, uphill VS downhill movement, and slippery terain. In playing the game finding myself in situations of hearing my charcahter breathing difficultly, and this brougt back real memories of being tired/fatigued during deployment.

    5. Sniping / Aiming with optics from the cover of foilage. It was one of the major issues I had with Wildlands. You get to a perfect vantage point to shoot from, and a damn leaf or blade of grass right where you are sitting blocks your sight picture.
    In Breakpoint, the foilage you use as cover go semi-transparent simulating you moving it out of the way for your sightline/optic.

    6. Shooting felt more real to me compared to Wildlands.

    7. Corner sweeping while moving was crap in Wildlands, a clear effort was made in Breakpoint, especially with character movement animations, even while standing at a safe corner distance, and not directly against the wall.

    8. Wildlands had all those conveniently located ammo supplies, Breakpoint forces you to pick up downed enemies ammo.

    __ __ __ __


    I could probably think of a few more things, but I don't like writing books.

    I found and reported a number of bugs that I could not find on the forums already mentioned.

    I do really dislike the weapon level idea in Breakpoint , and that you could NOT pick up any downed enemies weapons, except for a random weapon drop type mechanism.

    I agree that delaying the game for a couple of months and to listen to public feedback might be essential to get it right.

    Overall I did enjoy the beta and look forward to the game. To me it felt more "behind enemy lines" immersive then Wildlands.
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