New Suggestions for Improvement inspired by Ins14, DOI, and Squad

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Wassup gamers,

Been playing Sandstorm since the Alpha and recently revisited Insurgency 2014 and Day of Infamy to study how I enjoyed them compared to ~2 years of Sandstorm playing. My conclusion ultimately is that Sandstorm is already now the better game, but is overall less consistently fun than the Source engine games.

What is my primary reason for concluding Sandstorm is better? Because the Ministry and soon to come Sinjar ports are superior to the originals in game and graphical detail. A close second reason is that map votes and team continuity are coming in the next release, a feature I believe will finally put Sandstorm over the top.

What is my primary reason for thinking the originals are more fun to play? Without question, the maps. While the original Sandstorm maps have their appeal and are fun to play sometimes, they are too large and become tedious and fatiguing to play relatively quickly. Second reason would be the lack of a map vote and team continuity, a sucky decision that has crippled the fun and bonding factor thus far.

That said, the developers have been clear that they are going to listen to the community, as they did in the earlier games, and I am pretty excited about the recent community announcement (#6), which will bring in the much needed voting-continuity, visibility into currently populated game modes, as well as an intriguing new system that will spawn both more hardcore realistic scenarios as well as fun, wacky, and nostalgic situations. Can I get pistol only push on ministry please?

If you have read this far, thank you, and I invite you to share your thoughts, reflections and twists on what was shared above, as well as what is shared below, ideas for improvement based on the originals and the fantastic Squad.

Ideas for Developers of how to improve the gameplay

  • Import all original insurgency maps into the game, adding some new elements, and solving known spawn exploits of past.

  • Dedicate some developer resources to work with the community to import in all Day of Infamy maps. How neat would it be to play those with the new weapons?

  • Improve the original Peak map by making it more like the Manic map of Squad terrain wise, with lots of rock, tree, and crag cover, as well as bunkers and caves used as housong and caches by insurgents.

  • Develop new, smaller maps that do not involve as much running around, improving the pacing without sacrificing the tactical element.

  • Add in a mode similar to RAAS in Squad, with randomized capture points, which could apply to Push, Skirmish, Frontline, and Coop.

  • Improve the drone system by giving the Commander or Observer control over drone flight via an attached camera/tablet setup.

  • Develop new factions, with some unique and some overlapping weapon systems. Examples: Israeli Defense Forces, British/Canadian, Russian, German, Militia (similar to Squad). This of course includes new voiceovers.

  • Refine the female "Kurdish" voiceovers - include the famous battle cry that scared ISIS fighters, and add in more bad-assery in respect to those badass female warriors.

  • Give each faction, including the current Security/Insurgents more unique asymmetrical abilities. For example, along with drone control, insurgents get 2 motorbikes that can carry 2 passengers & allow the passenger to shoot while on the move with smg/pistol/grenades, security gets free light armor, IDF Advisors can have a CornerShot weapon, Militia can call in attack dogs, Russians can get the Spetznaz ballistic knife, etc.

  • Specialize the classes a bit further. Including the drone control, ideas could be adding a single use medic option for a class that can revive a body within 10-20 seconds, 2 or 3 point claymores for demos or snipers, rifleman can deploy sandbags/barriers, laser pointer option for airstrikes, commanders can mark map for team etc.

  • Give demolitions the option of carrying 4 HE grenades. Demo can already carry 2 HE and 2 rockets, so why not offer this as an alternate option of similar cost?

  • Introduce ability to call for supply crates like in DOI, perhaps limited to single use per player

  • Introduce a mode similar to DOI Commando Cooperative, with elite bot units using elite tactics mixed in with the regular bots, but without the slow movement of hardcore.

  • Refine the voice call out system to be more tactical, and more colorful/fun.

  • Add in some refinement towards destructible walls/furniture/items, as well as a limited yet tactical & realistic build system for unique cover.

I'm sure there are more ideas, but am excited to hear what you all think.

last edited by Aslan14

@chaton, are any of these ideas the developers are considering to your knowledge?

I think the ideas are interesting, I hope the developers will take them into consideration.

last edited by avensis

@avensis, which ones do you think would have most impact?

I like the motorbike idea, but the driving should be fixed before that.

Don't think there should be separate factions, if maps with real names are getting new ones (Hillside) factions will probably stay the same.

Positive about healing but not making it unrealistic, So no healing your friend that just took a 50. cal to the head.

The game should overall go in a more realistic direction, but with the primary focus on infantry and small arms, with some vehicles there and there.

maps should stay of this size, this is what makes sandstorm stand out and what makes is realistic.
smaller maps would just bring it close to faster paced games like COD CSGO you name it... not a good call

@el_cozon gunplay is what makes sandstorm realistic, not big maps, and people are whining for the old maps to come because they don't like how the new ones are big and too open

last edited by kotkreskowy460

@el_cozon, I agree with you that having some large maps and even new ones created makes this overall a better game (especially with map vote), that said, the pacing of modes in Sandstorm often feels too slow with more running around than feels right.

@kotkreskowy460, I agree the gunplay is a big factor in the realism, but also the damage model, the use of cover, and the teamplay and communication required to generate a solid win.

I thought more about the medic/healing and see how it would be difficult to implement, though a combat medic is definitely a realistic part of modern day battle. What do you think about a system whereby if you take damage, not only does your health lower and screen become darker, but also your movement gets slower, including vaulting, and maybe you make grunting sounds when you move that can give you away. Bandages would cost 1 supply p would be available only to a few classes, and to bandage someone means to spend 3-5 seconds working on them and restoring their full health. No picking up of dead people, but still very useful when you are in a fireteam close to the objective and far from a resupply point. Thoughts?

I agree with you that focusing on infantry and small arms is a good idea over vehicles. If you want realistic gameplay with vehicles, there's really no better option out there than Squad, and Sandstorm should not try to become Squad.

If the developers don't go the way of new factions, then definitely new voiceovers and cosmetics for factions like the British, Israeli, Chechnian, Australian would be a lot of fun.

You know what would also be kind of cool in the new custom mode designer? Security on Security or Insurgency on Insurgency options.

last edited by Aslan14

@kotkreskowy460 I agree this is a big factor too, as well as the quick time to kill, the well handled bullet penetration etc.
But the slower pace of the game that you can have in Push for example takes a big part too; closed quarters tend to get messy or too claustrophobic to feel real.
The feeling of scaled assaults on a big map, with several distances at which people are engaging at, is what for me makes the difference.

Hey @Aslan14,

Sorry for the late reply. To my knowledge, more maps are coming, but not sure if they are from the original Insurgency.
You can expect night version of all current maps, level editor, and more in 2019. I invite you to read our 2019 roadmap.

I'll also pass your suggestions on to the team, so they can have a look.

@chaton, thank you for passing it on! so far it seems the developers are doing their best to include the community voice, and I certainly appreciate that.

@avensis said in New Suggestions for Improvement inspired by Ins14, DOI, and Squad:

I think the ideas are interesting, I hope the developers will take them into consideration.

Yes the idea is very much interesting I am really fascinated with this thing. Really hope developers consider this.
Thank you!
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last edited by smithclarkson01



Good post. Ur develop small maps argument and reintroduce more ins2 maps would be great.

District and market have great tactical layouts without being tiresome - short way to objectives on pvp ff and not too many places to check on your way there with smart map design. That nice, arcadey, instantly close to your enemies just gave a great feel to ins2.

Introducing those kind of maps together with the new candy (graphics n sound in ss) will surely hook a lot of new gamers.

"That nice, arcadey, instantly close to your enemies just gave a great feel to ins2."

@pacalis, yes! You put into words really well what feels off about the larger maps - the time from spawn to intense firefight is too long.

I want to qualify this by saying that sometimes I like playing the large maps, taking my time to set up tactically, think through a complex set of decisions about where I need to focus my attention, where my teammates are, and how to time our movement. The problem I have encountered repeatedly is not that it feels like too much running in one specific round or map, it's that it feels like too much time spent running wave after wave, round after round, match after match. That time adds up and interest in the game is quickly lost.

I can honestly see how every single ins2 map would make SS a better game. As far as DOI maps, I can easily see how Sicily can be re purposed as the insurgent port city Aden in Yemen, Crete could be set in a Syrian farm/mosque setting, etc. - The reason I bring in DOI is because it is an amazing game which NWI put a lot of effort and polish into, and I think is the best WWII fps that is not in the Squad/Post Scriptum realm. It's a shame that so few people are playing DOI these days. It's still really fun, and the map design is excellent. Port them in NWI!

last edited by Aslan14

Thanx for sharing such informative article.