I decided to test shootmania for a bit and to write up a small list of pro and contra and neutral assesments and a small conclusion. This because many people have a judgement ready without having been able to play it.
So here it is.
1) The movement is kinda too limited and you have to start off with a really slow jump before you can get some boost. This is however in neutral because if it would not be this dumbed down the weapon balance would turn to shit. You can still do fairly ok stuff on the movement though... ofcourse compared to quake there is hardly any skill needed to have good movement in shootmania.
2) the graphics aren't really 'up to current standards' many other engines can make nicer graphics. It's kinda texture only improvements when you up your graphical settings (so no lighting effects etc.). This is neutral cuz hey I like games for gameplay and not cuz they look good (quake).
3) Having multiple modes... on one hand it's nice that there are multiple modes so people can pick what they like but the idea that they will add more and more modes will just lead to fewer people playing each. Which then is 'bad' for competition (aka ctf players calling tdm players noobs cuz they lack tactics and visa versa).
4) People making their own maps. In general it's a pro but it does lead to unbalanced maps.
5) netcode (wouldn't make a post without mentioning this for my fans). The netcode itself feels pretty nice but it's mainly because 80pc of the game is based around projectiles. I do feel like the projectiles are also being 'unlagged' in some way though which is something that in general I hate (ql's lg/rail) but the advantage of shootmania is that rail kills in 1 shot (so as soon as you give any angle you're screwed) and that there is no lg.
1) it's really easy to get into as you only use 2 mouse buttons and the rest is the regular movement keys.
2) the 'rocketlauncher' actually feels pretty nice and can be used fairly decent as well. The usage is really dependant on the movement though as pretty much 80pc of the hits you make midrange are due to the nmy having to jump in order to gain speed after.
3) Players are getting more possitive incentive during the game than they do in quake.
This is a really important thing of the game I feel. Because the "health system is stupid" (according to many ppl here) you actually get points per hit and in ffa you get bonus points after kills. In FFA you even get points for 'surviving longer than your opponent'.
4) The same as 3 also holds for the overall rankings. Basicly the more you play the higher you get but then if you are skilled you gain points faster. Which is a good incentive for people to play it. Even though the ranking doesn't actually reflect the skill.
5) Actually the elite mode is pretty fun. It's, on defence, more about moving as a team in order to trap your opponent than individualistic skill. While on the attack it's all about you hitting the shots / not getting trapped/ambushed. Which is a nice mixture to have.
6) it's new... which always helps for stuff to be fun.
7) the support that it seems to have.
1) There is quite a large random factor in the game. Although it differs per mode what the random factor actually is.
- In FFA (=storm) the random factor in general is if you get hit by random stuff at the start and also who spawns next to you etc. (sometimes you spawn in between the best 2 players on the server right in a box of 3 spawns... so you're flanked right off the start etc.
- in the 3v3 (=elite) mode it's kinda random if the attacker hits some of his earlier shots. The opponents try to make it as hard as possible for the attacker to hit these but it's always like a 5-10% chance that the attacker hits... And as soon as he takes out 1 early on the rest of the round is pretty much a default win.
- in 1v1 (=joust) there is less of a random factor although some maps are just retardedly unbalanced.
If I was completely honest with myself I could put this under neutral as well.... because it also allows for the most interresting pro (3).
2) the 1v1 mode (joust) is kinda shit. The game mechanics force you to play hyper defensive and manage your ammo like crazy. And even when you do that the end result is often close because of the short limit on hits (you win after 6 hits although you have to be infront at least 2 aka a tennis match without a tiebreak although at 10-10 theres a winning hit). Problem here is that you can't really win games because you're better at movement / aim unless there is a huge skill gap. Anything remotely equal to you will end up in who can play most defensive and manage his ammo best.
3) Except for the elite mode you can't really show pure individual skill (as I wrote a few times above already). The gameplay that we like to see in quake produced by the likes of Cypher and Av3k doesn't seem to be possible in shootmania. Sure you can pull off some 'nice stuff under pressure' but any random noob could do the same with a large amount of luck on his side.
4) I'll assume that this is only because it's still in alpha fase.
- There are some seriously strange bugs going on which I think are because of strange programming errors made mainly because it's nadeo's first online fps shooter (I think?).
- The client server relation seems to be really strange as well (same as in trackmania) although I can't comment too deeply on this because I'm not 100% sure how this is done in the background.
- The FPS my machine gets is shit. In most elite / ffa maps I only have 30 - 45fps (ok ok my pc is old but it runs all quake maps on 125fps which is why I still use it :>).
- next to this there are some retarded programming things happening around there. For instance when I ready up in elite my pc just hangs for 5 seconds.
I think that people new to FPS or just not that good at them will have a good time with this. Especially the FFA mode is very playable even if you're not good.
For it to be a really good competitive game however I feel like they should add some more skill based aspects.... but I've been saying the same about counter strike for years...
The team mode itself is pretty decent. Although it lacks the individual choices people have to make and the tactics in it are not at all comparable to quake (completely different game in that aspect).
I guess that you could best say: Shootmania is to Quake as LoL is to Dota. However I think that LoL has a larger player base (not sure as I don't actively follow those scenes)
Edited by Demiurge at 18:24 BST, 26 June 2012 - 3770 Hits