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The Ghost Recon Future Soldier Q&A for the Ages


JohnTC02
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Q&A with Thaddeus Sasser lead game designer (multiplayer) at Ubisoft.

Yo, it’s Jay. I am stoked to present you alphas with a great detailed Q&A with our boy Thad Sasser who has been putting in his blood sweat and tears to bring OUR multi-player game back with a vengeance. In case you don’t know the Dean and I used to put a full work week ‘s worth of work into Recon ever since Ghost Recon 1. We live, breathe, sleep, and dream Recon. We dug a little deep with these questions. Thad stepped up to the plate and knocked them all out of the park. Check it out!

Q1. In Co-op, will there be multiple points of insertion like the previous build of Future Soldier from last year’s E3? (EX: One of your team members sniping high in buildings while you control close combat)

Q2. If the above answer is yes, will you be able to choose from which soldiers perspective you play from in the lobby

A1&2. We’ll send your questions along to the Campaign team, they’ll answer your questions about Co-Op!

Q3. Will last man standing make its triumphant return?

A3. We don’t have Last Man Standing, but we ARE bringing back the multiplayer mode Siege, which is a lot like Last Man Standing with the addition of a central objective that has to be defended. We find it focuses the match and creates a stronger sense of team play. (In case you don’t know/remember the rules of Siege, one team spawns in a central location and has to defend an objective. The attackers are deployed randomly around the outside of the map. You have only a single life, there are no respawns!)

Q4. In the build I played, the “confidence system” allowed your team to progress through hacking intel at a much faster rate, which is amazing. What will be other ways that you are encouraging team play or what are other situations where confidence will make a difference?

A4. In addition to speeding up the objective capture rate, Confidence also affects the hacking speed for Data Hacking — so if you have a teammate nearby when you stun someone it can be a big asset. (Data Hacking is the action of stealing the enemy team’s positional intel from a stunned enemy.) We have a number of other systems that encourage team play — we’ve got intel and suppression, for starters. Getting intel for your team makes it a lot easier to set up a shot, and tools like the UAV allow you to perform in a dedicated support role in this regard. Suppression allows a rifleman to keep a target pinned down, which gives his teammates time to flank the enemy. We’ve also got tools like the Coordination System which allows players to mark objectives, enemy targets, or call for support. Finally, items like ammo boxes and med kits can make a crucial difference for a well-organized team, especially in non-respawn game types.

Q5. Is there going to be a more sim or hardcore mode? Ghost Recon as it is does not feel really arcady, but maybe where the cover to cover run system’s is a bit slower or wounded soldiers moving slower and struggling to aim like in Recon 1.

A5. We don’t have a dedicated “hardcore” mode; the game has high lethality, and all components are carefully tuned to provide a great experience. We’re heavily focused on combat, intel, and teamwork, and the HUD plays a vital part in these game mechanics!

Q6. Will you be allowed to play multiplayer in 1st person, and if yes, will you be able to lock the entire lobby to 1st person?

A6. All guns have first person scope view for precise shooting — however, there is no dedicated first person view other than this.

Q7. Will there be a leveling up system to get be equipment or will you have access to all weapons and equipment from jump, like previous iterations.

A7. We’ve got both a rank progression system — where you can unlock equipment and weapons based on leveling up — and an “open” system, where everyone has access to everyone. You get the best of both worlds: unlocks in the Public matchmaking for those of you that like them, and access to everything in Private matches for those who don’t!

Q8. Many of the current gen shooters are going in a direction of kill perks. Will there be kill perks, and if yes, will you have the ability to turn them off.

A8. We don’t have a concept of rewards for “kill streaks” — that doesn’t really fit our Future Soldier experience. What we DO have is rewards for completing objectives — for example, if you hack into an enemy sensor network, you’ll be rewarded with positional intel on enemy forces, or if you capture enemy ammo crates, you’ll be able to resupply there. Our play tests show that the objectives really focus the game, creating intense firefights and awesome teamwork.

Q9. Ghost Recon is known for offering multiple custom options in multiplayer? Will this return, and if yes, what other options will be be offered in multiplayer?

A9. In terms of settings, we’ve got 4 game types, and 10 maps. Combine this with 2 factions, 3 roles, over fifty weapons, dozens of pieces of equipment, and a number of grenades and you’ve got a huge degree of flexibility in how you want to play the game. You’ve also got the ability to play in Public matches with the ranking system turned on, or play with all of the gear in Private or Local matches.

Q10. Will this game be amazing? What more should we be looking forward to? Describe what experience you want us to gather form all of your team’s hard work.

A10. Of course we feel the game is amazing! We’ve worked hard to provide a unique experience when compared to the other games out there. We’ve got the authenticity and high lethality of Ghost Recon, a fluid and responsive cover system, a deep and complex weapons customization system, and a lot of interesting and varied equipment. Our Intel features are a game changer — once you experience how the systems work you’ll miss the flexibility and depth they provide when playing without them. The maps are intuitive and beautiful, with various sizes and complexities. While the basic mechanics are simple to learn, the way they tie together creates a game that’s difficult to master, and one that genuinely rewards teamwork and thoughtful play.

Extra Credit Q: The third person in Recon has allowed people to hide behind objects and manipulate the camera around to see behind objects that would normally not seen. Is there going to be a way to counter this, like maybe areas that should not be seen from your soldiers perspective in gray? This prevents people from hiding and using the camera to see around objects and then popping up or out and shooting.

Extra Credit A: We’ve carefully balanced all aspects of cover to make a fun game. As you know, we CONSTANTLY run play tests with people from all over the world. (If you’re local to our studio in NC and interested in testing Ubisoft games, go to www.redstorm.com!)

In terms of “camera cheating”, popping out from cover isn’t the problem you expect, as there’s a short stabilization period whenever you move your weapon around, and the various equipment and weapons mean that you’ve got the tools you need to solve this problem.

To be honest, so far we haven’t seen one dominant strategy emerge. You’re not going to be able to just spam grenades or camp in cover for the win. You’re going to need tactics, teamwork, and good control of your weapon in order to dominate in this game!

Regards,

Thaddeus Sasser

Lead Game Designer, Multiplayer

Source.

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The following answer to question 3 is the best bit of news.

A3. We don’t have Last Man Standing, but we ARE bringing back the multiplayer mode Siege, which is a lot like Last Man Standing with the addition of a central objective that has to be defended. We find it focuses the match and creates a stronger sense of team play. (In case you don’t know/remember the rules of Siege, one team spawns in a central location and has to defend an objective. The attackers are deployed randomly around the outside of the map. You have only a single life, there are no respawns!)

I have been pestering RSE for years ( both Serellan and Geridak personally ) to implement GR2 style siege back into Ghost Recon and they are finally doing it with GRFS. I still think GRFS has some major flaws but even with the cover system this gametype negates camping and encourages flanking and advanced tactics. If the maps are open and the defenders don't know where the attackers are coming from then they have to spread out their forces to cover all available routes which means it is easier for the attackers and just more open. They key to winning this type of game for the defenders was spotting the direction the attackers were coming from. The key for the attackers was keeping your position secret until everyone was in place before the attack. Classic gametype. Brilliant piece of news.

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The following answer to question 3 is the best bit of news.

A3. We don’t have Last Man Standing, but we ARE bringing back the multiplayer mode Siege, which is a lot like Last Man Standing with the addition of a central objective that has to be defended. We find it focuses the match and creates a stronger sense of team play. (In case you don’t know/remember the rules of Siege, one team spawns in a central location and has to defend an objective. The attackers are deployed randomly around the outside of the map. You have only a single life, there are no respawns!)

I have been pestering RSE for years ( both Serellan and Geridak personally ) to implement GR2 style siege back into Ghost Recon and they are finally doing it with GRFS. I still think GRFS has some major flaws but even with the cover system this gametype negates camping and encourages flanking and advanced tactics. If the maps are open and the defenders don't know where the attackers are coming from then they have to spread out their forces to cover all available routes which means it is easier for the attackers and just more open. They key to winning this type of game for the defenders was spotting the direction the attackers were coming from. The key for the attackers was keeping your position secret until everyone was in place before the attack. Classic gametype. Brilliant piece of news.

Yeah I'm pretty excited about this piece of news myself.

GR2:SS Siege was my best game, loved the element of surprise, seriously can't wait for the beta!

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