Back 4 Blood Catch All

Gumbie wrote:

Devs confirmed on discord they have no plans to do a campaign versus mode meanwhile Gumbie confirms he has no plans to purchase this game anymore.

Yeah that’s disappointing that it won’t be included. All about the replayability.

Seems like more of the same which is t necessarily a bad thing. Can you remind me of what campaign versus is?

chooka1 wrote:

Can you remind me of what campaign versus is?

Start with cooperative campaign mode.

Add a second team of four players to the game.

Instead of the AI Director placing and controlling the special infected, that team does.

Teams take turns controlling survivors or special infected for each map, through the entire campaign.

Earn points by progressing further or completing the map with more survivors; tiebreaker to whichever team performed more damage as special infecteds.

Pro: simple mechanics combined with human minds and teamwork make for sometimes incredibly complex and demanding pace and strategy which has made this literally the multiplayer game to play for many of us for more than ten years including ranked ladders and tournaments. But also great fun just for beer-and-pretzels silly play with friends.

Cons: long matches create a significant ragequit incentive, vanilla servers’ too-long SI respawn times produce “red light, green light” gameplay, and (most headache-inducing for me) there never was implemented a good matchmaking system so it’s challenging to just get a friend or three together and get a good match going.

Years ago we had a GWJ group that would play VS every night

Wow. Sounds fun! Thank you for explaining.

Played some tonight, and yeah, Bot is supremely useless.

Part of me feels like they did things that make the game "different" just to make the game different from Left 4 Dead rather than an improvement. Simultaneously, you can just tell that the Valve spit-shine is not present. I was unable to decipher the sound of regular "ridden" from special "ridden" as clearly and obviously as the original Left 4 Dead games manage, and was often left uncertain how to identify some of the smaller ones visually. I'm also not certain if I'm as on board with this card mechanic, or each character being somewhat of their own class.

It's still fun, but I feel like the "purity" of Left 4 Dead is part of what makes it great. We'll play more of it but I'm honestly glad it's on Game Pass.

I dabbled in L4d beach in the day. To revisit, is there a definitive version such as l4d2 with all the dlc? I believe the old maps were released as dlc?

Thanks,
Chad

chooka1 wrote:

is there a definitive version such as l4d2 with all the dlc? I believe the old maps were released as dlc?

The Steam/PC edition of L4D2 has been the gold standard ever since they added the L4D1 characters and maps to it. Most updates for the last many years have just been for stability and security but late 2020 Valve approved a community-built update that added The Last Stand, which had never been officially ported over, in all modes, as well as new achievements and many bug fixes.

I had been predominantly an Xbox 360 player of L4Ds, 2008-2013, but those servers went to crap around 2012-2013 and I stopped paying attention. Apparently people talk about playing it on Xbox One and the Series X/S but it won’t include that update and I can’t speak to whether it works well or whether there is a decent playerbase.

Gumbie wrote:

Devs confirmed on discord they have no plans to do a campaign versus mode meanwhile Gumbie confirms he has no plans to purchase this game anymore.

I would be with you on this, but since it's on GamePass, I don't have to pay anything extra to get access. That being said, the fact that there is no plan for campaign VS, I don't see me playing for any extended period of time as that is what kept on L4D and L4D2 for so long.

There is a VS mode where one side plays monsters and the other plays humans and then they swap. But I think it's on a smaller map where the goal is to just survive longer than the other side. Believe it also has a shrinking health radius a la PUBG to force people closer together.

A couple months ago, I said:

*Legion* wrote:

Everything about this game reminds me of being a SOCOM fan and trying to love SOCOM: Confrontation.

You know, an indirect follow-up where it *seems* to have the elements of that game you loved so much, but everything is slightly off, and there's an "it" factor from the original that's missing.

Having played the beta… I think I nailed it. My thoughts so far:

* The game is definitely missing L4D’s “it” factor. It doesn’t sell the horror theme like L4D did. It doesn’t have the same polish. But more importantly, it really doesn’t offer much reason to play it instead of L4D. It lacks a hook of its own. The minor deviations from the L4D formula seem to be perfunctory rather than any real progression.

* Shooting mechanics are pleasantly satisfying. Watching videos really had me worried and, well, a bit bored, but the guns felt better to use than they did to watch.

* My living room PC (Ryzen 3600X, RTX 3070) maxes out the game at [email protected] on Epic preset and with TAA. I noticed DLSS was enabled by default, but it was not necessary for my 3070 to stay pretty solidly locked at 120fps. Not sure how high it would go without the frame cap, as I cap frame rate in order to keep G-Sync enabled.

* The visuals aren’t especially impressive. I mean, if you talked to me when Left 4 Dead 2 came out and asked, “hey, imagine what this kind of game will look like in 12 years”, I would have imagined something a lot more visually dynamic than B4B. Especially in the HDR era, the “dark blue sky = night” stuff is disappointing. Give me some darkness and serious dynamic lighting and actually scare me. It’s got too much of that esports, “everything must be VERY EASILY VISIBLE” approach.

* There’s too much UI. Every corner of the screen has crap in it. That’s part of what makes the horror theme fail to stick. It too readily reminds you that it’s a video game. And nothing takes the teeth out of scary zombies quite like bright red “kill confirmed” hit markers.

* The blood splatter is so overdone. Everyone comes out of it looking like Ash from Evil Dead 2. When everyone gets covered in red stuff every time, it loses all effect.

* I haven’t played enough to have much opinion on the characters yet. I really liked the banter of the characters in Evolve, and was hoping to see some of that here. Especially since I think the characters were the biggest failure of L4D2, compared to the original game’s quartet. I doubt this game will touch L4D’s crew, but I would like some of the character development from Evolve’s pre-mission chatter.

* Bots are trash. HOLY F**K ARE THE BOTS TRASH. When all players besides me eventually dropped out of my campaign, I noticed just how much the bots were shooting me in the back. I thought it was my human teammates being careless the whole time. I was playing on scrub difficulty so friendly fire was off, but I cannot imagine playing with friendly fire on and having bots behind you, plinking your health down the whole damn time.

* There’s not a $60 game’s worth of content here. I feel for the L4D fans bemoaning this game’s lack of campaign PVP. This is definitely going to be in wait-for-deep-sale territory for me. I honestly don’t know how they can justify selling $80 and $100 editions of this. I don’t see anything here justifying AAA level pricing.

* The “rogue-lite card system” is better than I expected, but I would still prefer to throw the deck-building aspect of it out entirely. It’s clearly there for future monetization purposes more so than serving the game design. The currency system can go too.

* I wish the equipment was handled in more of a PUBG style. If I put a holo sight on one rifle, I want to just move that sight over to my next rifle when I find one. Everyone has played one battle royale or another that has weapon attachment pickups, it’s a solved problem. It feels like a limitation added in order to force me to engage with the store/currency system more.

*Legion* wrote:

* My living room PC (Ryzen 3600X, RTX 3070) maxes out the game at [email protected] on Epic preset and with TAA. I noticed DLSS was enabled by default, but it was not necessary for my 3070 to stay pretty solidly locked at 120fps. Not sure how high it would go without the frame cap, as I cap frame rate in order to keep G-Sync enabled.

3600 and RTX 3060 here and it was like 250fps+ according to Steam, in 1080p epic.

But to your other point it doesn't look that good anyway. I'm sure if I loaded up L4D2 side by side I'd be more impressed but after some recent PS5 games I was like eh whatever.

mrwynd wrote:

Years ago we had a GWJ group that would play VS every night

Those matches were so much fun. I’ve not a huge pvp game player, but the L4D vs hooked me hard. People would fight to get into the game.

looks like i didn't get into this beta, but i should keep an eye out for next weekend?

Next weekend's beta should be open for everyone.

I didn't really get much of a horror vibe from Left 4 Dead, but I guess that's because the horror tone I got from it was more ...I dunno if I want to say emergent, but far more panic or based around knowing there's a Witch around rather than the tune of the Witch itself.

But that itself, I think, is indicative of some of what Back 4 Blood is missing. It very clearly wants to be a successor to Left 4 Dead, but it makes the wrong kind of deviations to set itself apart. It's almost like the game is self-conscious of not living up or not differentiating itself, like it's afraid of people saying "Oh, it's just Left 4 Dead with a new visual polish".

Granted, I've only played on the easiest difficulty so far as my buddies and I are learning the new maps, but even on lower difficulties it feels like the special infected of Left 4 Dead are more prevalent and, most importantly, have more of an identity. It's interesting how the special infected in L4D both blend in while simultaneously standing out in some fashion. There's clear audio cues when one is around, both in the sound effects the special makes and the soundtrack. It feels like the game is just far better at informing the player, which is funny because the characters in Back 4 Blood do not shut up.

I don't mean to say anything regarding the writing, but they certainly are more vocal, talking with one another and themselves and it feels irrelevant to the gameplay more often than it feels relevant.

I'm glad the game is coming to Game Pass because I'll gladly play it, but I have a feeling I'll go back to Left 4 Dead anyway just because of the purity of its design where it matters.

See that's the thing. It's not a bad game by any stretch. It's just not separating itself from other games in a similar genre, let alone L4D.. In my opinion, it's the replayability that concerns me as that's where I kept dipping back into other games of similar nature. Admittedly, I haven't dived that deep into the card system yet though.

whispa wrote:

It's not a bad game by any stretch.

Time to weight in.

In its current state, yes, it’s a bad game.

Coop mode: has potential, is close to “a game” but the weapon-attachment system does nothing but frustrate everyone. How come in something like PUBG you can just move a scope from gun to gun but here that extended magazine is now trash if I change from M16 to M4 carbine? The bots are way way dumber than in L4D and won’t even free you from a hocker harpoon, etc. I don’t really play coop so I’ll leave it to those of you who do to discuss it more.

Swarm PvP: currently broken. The gameplay is a bit fun, yes, and it’s a nice thrill to figure out the mode and how to play all the specials. But right now it’s next to impossible to get a 4v4 match going: I’ve been trying for days and way way too often have we been stuck despite being in a party of 3 often in being in 4v2s, 3v1s, 4v3s, etc. Only like 10-20% of new matches start as 4v4. And people quit out after losing one round, and bots (ha) don’t fill up the empty space. So before too long it’s 4v0, 3v0, or 2v0, and guess what happens? Does it say congratulations and ask you to find a new match? Nope, it plays as if the game were still alive, with a completely empty team somehow surviving longer than you did as cleaners. Maybe you’ll win at the end, maybe you’ll lose, and that what you need to do to earn any supply points to unlock more cards and things, but since supply points and progress is being wiped at the end of the beta period, it’s just better to leave the game, reform your party, start matchmaking again, and cross your fingers that there will be four players on the other team and that they stay. I’ve had 4v4s keep all their players to the end only a few times out of many, many tries. The one good upside to the game not ending when all opposing players are gone, though, is that because the devs are dummies and forgot to add a ridden-testing area (which it needs!) similar to Ft. Hope’s rifle range (which is nice but really, does anyone playing FPSs really need them at this point, in comparison to a ridden-testing range?), being in a #v0 game means you have plenty of time to try out a ridden and see how the controls and its attacks work.

Even if Swarm has its matchmaking and game-end problems fixed, it’s still highly questionable whether it can support any kind of long lasting multiplayer community. It feels more than anything like Aliens Colonial Marines multiplayer to me: a cool, asymmetric mode…that is dead after three to six months because the play and strategy is just too limiting, and the game too buggy overall. The maps are small, the circle never requires you to move around through the arena like it could, and the specials don’t often combine in interesting ways with the maps to bring about awesome well-played gg moments like in L4D. It’s just a matter of whittling down hp most of the time, though occasionally you can get a good hocker harpoon or exploder boom that knocks someone low health clear into the Swarm. That type of move seems to be the only place for a Swarm metagame to move toward focusing on.

I’m not ready to cancel my preorder yet. It’s still possible for them to get things together by October.

So... who's up for some 4v4 friday 9pm pdt on aug 13?

Emmes wrote:

So... who's up for some 4v4 friday 9pm pdt on aug 13?

I'd like to give it a shot.

I just posted screen captures of all the nine playable Ridden classes and their upgrades and of that of the commons on Imgur:

https://imgur.com/gallery/x57HSvN

There's 9? From playing the campaign I thought there were maybe 3.

Stele wrote:

There's 9?

There are several boss-type specials and a few others that only appear in coop mode: snitcher, sleeper, breaker, hag, ogre, work ridden, and giant ridden.

For Swarm mode, you choose from among nine (six for the beta) playable types which are divided equally between three families:

Stinger-family (Hocker • Stalker • Stinger)
Reeker-family (Retch • Exploder • Reeker)
Tallboy-family (Bruiser • Crusher • Tallboy)

Hocker shoots harpoons that paralyze cleaners.
(Not in beta) Stalker is pretty much a Left 4 Dead hunter
Stinger shoots damaging projectiles.

Retch vomits damaging acid, explodes with acid that attracts common ridden.
Exploder detonates on command for damage and acid.
(Not in beta) Reeker shoves cleaners, explodes with acid.

Bruiser does AOE slamming the ground.
Crusher grabs and crushes cleaners.
(Not in beta) Tallboy rushes forward and uses smash attack, dunno if that’s single target or AOE.

Those three families are a form of palette swap in which the weak spots are moved around from type to type and also have minor coloration and model-shape differences. Hitting a weak spot does something like 3-5x more hp loss than hitting elsewhere, so it very much encourages precision aiming. The palette swap nature is getting a lot of calls online as being lazy budget game development, but it’s at least possible that it has been done deliberately to make target identification more challenging.

Apparently a couple of the zombie growls in this game, when layered together, sound like a no-no word.

So, I'll try to be online at the old weekly l4d time tomorrow, but I don't know how to solve the following:
* If we get 8 people together, how would we actually play together? AFAIK you gather your group of 4 and then hit the matchmaking button.
* the campaign is a lot better than the vs right now. Maybe it's lack of familiarity, but I felt awkward and clunky playing ridden, and the 3rd person camera angles don't work well on an ultrawide monitor. The moment I walked inside a building, I was fighting blind with a view of the roof. Also, there's no map to run through with a safe room at the end, it's only survival vs. mode. You're on a small playing field and you're just running up the clock.

If we only get 4 and we run through the campaign instead, I probably won't be sad about it.

8 players: we could use Discord to synchronize two parties of four to hit the matchmaking button and hope for the best.

Sorry to hear that the ultrawide monitor thing does work well. I use a standard-ratio monitor so indoor third-person Ridden controlling works fine. Please make sure to write about that frustration in the web-browser feedback questionnaire that opens when you close the game. The developers have said many times in Discord and probably elsewhere that that data path is the best way to get improvements made (they also have a bug-reporting website but that doesn’t seem applicable here).

The “survival versus with battle-royale circle” scope is quite limiting yes. They see the collective negative feedback, but at this point after hearing many discussions, it seems they just don’t care much about PvP players. The coop here is a far better coop experience than the PvP is a good PvP experience.

I'm down to do coop tonight if anyone is around and wants to just ping my on Steam.

Yeah playing with people would certainly be better than bots. No chance I'm buying this right now but could have a co-op game or two for fun with friends this weekend

Yep, was going to try to get a screenshot of the camera issues before I submitted feedback on it. It was pretty prevalent and should be easy to reproduce.

I asked on reddit, and there's no in-game mechanism for organizing an 8 person match. I would say let's meet on gwj discord and see if we get a group of 4 or two for pvp and/or coop, but not try to force a match between two of them.

Go to https://discord.gg/gwj , scroll down to "On-Demand Voice", and then create and/or join a back 4 blood channel. If there's 4 people in it, join anyway.

Well, beta wrapped up a couple days ago. We'll see how it goes between now and launch.

I am 75% certain to keep rather than cancel my preorder. I know the game is in an ugly state especially for us PvPers, but I am still a big fan of Turtle Rock for inventing the modern coop genre and asymmetric FPS PvP, and all the cool ideas in Evolve even though the game didn’t survive.

The other 25% of me wants to cancel my preorder now because the PvP is so phoned in. I logged 43 hours into the beta, of which 39-40 must have been Swarm. It's fine, fun, not a buggy mess, just....not great. It shows great promise. The instant-matchmaking alone is a godsend alone compared to kill-me-now needing to find a Versus match in L4D using lobbies or the server browser. But they do need to find a way to enable you to play your group of four against some specific set of four (friends) ready to play you, if not just for all-friends' nights. An optional L4D-like lobby system would be great but even some kind of party-code system could at least work.

In the meantime, for those looking to keep contact with the game, in addition or instead of Turtle Rock's Discord server which I find to be pretty good, I just created a PvP group. Looks like there are some private coop-oriented groups too for those interested.

Update:

Yesterday the studio co-head talked for the first time about two new modes not mentioned before:

Classic: very few cards, more pick up and play

Survival: probably just like L4D survival mode

Also to summarize prior developments: they’ll have upgraded the bots a bunch since the beta when they were awful awful, and they should have the crossplay matchmaking working a lot better so people don’t queue and start and then get dropped, ruining the PvP match. No word if dropped folks get replaced by bots there yet. Lastly, I’m tracking but haven’t yet seen if they’ll address loading into a (coop) game in progress and being unable to select your cards.