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Spectator6

Improving EFT's reload mechanics, as demonstrated by Papa Nikita

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Spectator6

In discussing reload mechanics in @Pongo115's excellent AK reload thread with @Alepap, the conversation moved to pesky programming/animation concerns regarding interruptible and non-interruptible actions. Specifically as they relate to speed vs retention reloads.

Currently in EFT, there is very little difference between the the length of time it takes to complete a speed vs retention reloads. The only major difference, then, is whether or not the player keeps the previously seated magazine. 

From a weapon handling perspective, both reload styles are carried out in a very inefficient manner. Given how knowledgeable and hands-on BSG is with this subject matter, I strongly suspect BSG is aware of this and has deliberately chosen to animate the player in this way to "mask" two central issues:

  1. Reloads are not able to be interrupted by a firing action...
  2. ...because both arms are treated "together" within the reload animation

In real-life, however, the reload procedure can be improved so that the shooter retains the ability to fire for as long as possible while his offhand retrieves/stows-away the magazine. the advantages of a speed reload are more pronounced due to how quickly the support hand can come back to the weapon.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so let's have Papa Nikita show us what I'm talking about:

rect1903.thumb.png.16ced400d5b43371a9b2b284d491e0da.png

Now, on the face of it, this sounds like it may be an "easy" fix on BSG's part, but as with most nerdyboi things, the reality is much more complicated. 

I imagine that in order to reflect this properly, the entire reload animation system would need to reworked so it allows the player's off-hand to act "independently" from the shooting hand. The firing animation itself would be driven by the primary hand regardless of whether or not the off-hand is gripping the weapon or not. And while I'm in now way a rocket scientist in this regard, I can only imagine how much of a nightmare that would be to "get right".

Now, that said, I realize that a whole new set of animations come into play for many weapons as the player reaches certain mastery levels. Unfortunately, even with these newfangled animation sets, the underlying issues remain.

To illustrate the computer nerdyboi conundrum, go into your shooting range and "Examine your weapon" so the player raises the gun and turns it around to admire it. Now, WHILE that animation is going on, left-click to fire. You'll see that the player insta-magically teleports into a firing position. Funky huh? That's the "reality" of animating meets programming and EVERY game must contend with this.

As a comparison, take out your compass. Once your compass is fully out and the player is in its "final" use position, then left-click to fire. You'll see here that, rather than immediately go into firing, that the character first quickly stows away the compass, brings his offhand back to the weapon, THEN carries out the firing action. (The same thing can be demonstrated with canceling a healing animation).

From a user experience perspective, the fly in the ointment is always trying to balance the responsiveness of the player's inputs against the "need" to complete animations (this also comes into play with movement mechanics and inertia, but that's a whole new can of worms). 

Long story short, if you go back and apply this understanding to reload animations, you'll find it's quite complicated indeed. The mockup I included intends to represent a sort of middle ground where certain "windows" of the animation do not accept player input in order to avoid this Behind the Scenes: Dueling Banjos Making Sausage situation.

Thoughts? Improvements?

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Spectator6

Also, in case it's not understood, this may have to be dependent upon the platform.

  • For pistols? Sure.
  • For SMG's? Sure, platform allowing.
  • For rifles? Ehh, still possible but we start getting into situations where some platforms are more cumbersome to deal with, plus the magazine sizes make them unwieldy to "double-up" a grip on, plus the heavier the weapon, the harder is it to hold up with one hand.
  • Etc etc
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Vortex_Bear

Absolutely amazing suggestion @Spectator6! I would love to see the reload animations reworked. What I want to add is that also there should be a function where you can check the remaining bullets inside a magazine with the character waiting for user input, for example being able to either put the same magazine back into the gun or choosing to put a different magazine into the gun, but never having the character put back the same magazine by default. This would allow to mag check and reload much quicker, as now the character always puts the current mag back into the gun straight away without giving an option to choose a different mag.

That and I think there should also be situations where a character, when severely hurt, does a panic reload animation where he struggles to put the magazine back into the gun or needs two attempts to get the magazine seated correctly into the gun.

I'm also thinking that most likely BSG would have to re-work a lot of the reloading animations with your suggestion. I have made a bunch of suggestions myself already, in my opinion BSG prides themselves in being super realistic all while several features are still fairly arcadey, and I'm hoping they will still be delivering on their promise by considering and implementing such suggestions.

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Spectator6
42 minutes ago, flempa said:

great idea!

Thank you @flempa!

And welcome to the forums brother! :)

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flempa
On 10/29/2020 at 1:30 AM, Spectator6 said:

Thank you @flempa!

And welcome to the forums brother! :)

Thanks homie!

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Spectator6

Uploaded a new version of the graphic, hopefully easier to read this time!

rect1905.thumb.png.0874111ff31665eabd344b5eb365ffbb.png

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Spectator6

Oops, a Papa Nikita got covered by the highlight box. 

Here she is again:

rect1906.thumb.png.abe8b0faef3c12618d41e3d07ac0a33a.png

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TarkovCitizen26490

Wasnt it like planned, with 3 levels of weapon handling? First you reload like a noob and then like an ultraIPSC chad

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Spectator6
On 11/1/2020 at 7:57 AM, TarkovCitizen26490 said:

Wasnt it like planned, with 3 levels of weapon handling? First you reload like a noob and then like an ultraIPSC chad

Hello @TarkovCitizen26490!

Yes. And IIRC, different "leveled-up" animations are actually implemented for certain weapons. 

Even among those animations, however, I don't think the player retains the ability to fire in the sections I highlighted in blue.

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