Best posts made by Virtual-Chris
Hey, I've had the privilege of helping test the Spartan Realism Mod for Breakpoint: (https://www.nexusmods.com/ghostreconbreakpoint/mods/4/) (on PC) over the last couple of weeks and it's transformed the game for me. If you're on PC and interested in addressing some of the many issues related to enemy detection, response, suppressed gun fire detection, ammo capacity, suppressor damage reduction, and much more, then be sure to check it out.
Below is my full review but if you don't want to read all that, I don't blame you... here's the TLDR...
TLDR: It’s awesome. I love it. This is not a mod for the casual gamer that wants to blow off steam taking out a base. If you’re on PC and want a more immersive, intense and realistic experience, it's fab! It’s the way Ghost Recon was meant to be in my opinion.
One of the key problems with the game is enemy detection and response time. Enemy detection is limited to about 60m under all conditions, day or night. This is pretty poor. In addition, enemy difficulty links both enemy responsiveness and lethality together, which makes it impossible to have responsive enemies and still enjoy the injury system as you die in a couple shots on higher difficulty. There was also no advantage to operating at night, as it only made it difficult for us to see, not the enemies. This is all addressed with the mod.
I have found myself being spotted at 300m by a Wolf Sniper if I stand out in the open in daylight. Enemies can sometimes spot me before I notice them… particularly if they are not talking which almost never happened before. It forces me to be more aware of my surroundings, and to be careful when moving across open ground or approaching a base or doing recon. It’s just more realistic. It also makes you easier to spot from helicopters so although I loathe the frequency of the fly overs (until I disable them through destabilzation missions) it’s realistic and you feel hunted. I now need to use the hide mechanic (screen gets a vignette) or prone camo for helicopters flying directly overhead during daylight. Be careful when on a surface which doesn't allow hiding or prone camo, if you happen to have a fly over occur, you will get spotted... which makes sense.
I now do recon from a distance with the drone and through binoculars or my optic during the day, and then run most of my operations at night to give me an advantage over the enemy. With night vision, I can now see them much better than they can see me and I can get closer without getting detected. Interestingly, the detection at night is based on actual darkness… you are much harder to detect in the shadows of a forest than under a flood light in a base. This whole darkness level detection mechanic is actually built into the game, but due to the extremely nerfed detection distances, it never plays a role… until now.
The mod also adjusts firearm noise signature and enemy detection of gunfire. There is a hard cap in the game so noise of any magnitude beyond about 200m will not be detected. Within that range, all unsuppressed gunfire will be detected now. Suppressed gunfire has also been made much more realistic. A supersonic high-velocity round (5.56 7.62, or .338) will generate real-world SPL of 150-160dB and suppressors will attenuate this by about 30dB which means even at 100m, the sound is still noticeable at about 90dB unless it’s a very noisy environment (train going by or something of that nature). So the mod also fixes this by making all supersonic firearm classes have appropriate suppressed fire detection out to 100-150m. SMGs, Handguns and Shotguns with suppressors generally fire subsonic ammunition and can avoid detection at much closer ranges as they should. This makes these firearms relevant for stealth, but the Hollywood style stealth infiltrations you may be use to are not going to work anymore.
There’s no longer any penalty for using suppressors… and there’s no longer a reason to NOT equip a suppressor on almost every firearm. In fact, player damage has been adjusted not only to overcome the suppressor penalty, but to better balance enemy sponge with player sponge. Alert Sentinel and Wolves normally require 5 and 7 shots respectively to take down. With the mod, they take 3 and 4 shots respectively which more closely aligns with Nomad’s survivability on Extreme or Advanced. And most enemies generally don’t have any ballistic armour or plate carriers (or if they do, they are head shots or sync shots only). Nomad should have a plate carrier giving him a slight advantage in survivability.
The whole visual and noise detection modifications makes firefights much more dynamic. For one, the engagement distances are more open, so your team mates and the enemy has more opportunity to move and use cover than just standing face to face or acting like lemmings. Also, the extended detection distance will draw others into combat from nearby, which can have a domino effect and make things very interesting. If you've played unsuppressed, you're already familiar with how this will play out. Firefights near roads are almost certainly not going to end well. Modest situations can easily get a lot more intense now. Picking fights in the wilderness just for the fun of it can be fun, but can also be much more dangerous than before, especially if you draw the attention of a nearby vehicle with a minigun.
Having realistic ammo load outs means you won’t run into issues if everything goes according to plan. But if you get caught in an extended fire fight, at some point, you will be trying to use whatever ammo you have left to break contact before you’re completely depleted. Fully automatic fire is now a waste of precious ammo. It’s a real risk going loud and taking on the whole base - do you have enough ammo to take on hoards of enemies and reinforcements? You might not. You need to prioritize targets and not just wing-it. Without the mod, this was never a consideration.
Health management is also very interesting now. I’m currently trying a scheme where my health regeneration is very quick, but I’m running with injuries set to “Always” on Advanced (so I can take 4-5 shots). This has an interesting effect… as you won’t go down due to depleted health bars until you are critically injured and unable to defend yourself effectively. So you effectively end up going down to multiple injuries instead, which seems more realistic and immersive to me than abstract health bars. For the first time in 2 years, I’ve witnessed a critical injury state where my head was ringing, I kept falling down, and could only use my handgun… all while playing on a harder difficulty with alert enemies. I’m sure you could reproduce this on easy or normal difficulty, but certainly not on harder difficulties. You would be dead from health bar depletion long before you had a chance to experience a critical injury. Note that if you get caught out of cover by a chain gun, you will be cut to pieces. It’s just a shame that enemies and your AI team doesn’t have the same injury system…. Now that would be immersive.
Drones are less spongy, and anti-material rifles like the TAC-50 and HTI do some real damage against hard-targets now making them relevant.
Those are the biggest changes for me. It makes the game hella more intense - and thus fun for me. In fact you might find it frustrating at first. You will absolutely need to use your team mates to sync shot and help in fire fights. You will need to pick the right load out for the mission, and do extensive recon. Engaging endless waves of reinforcements may be fun, but you won’t have the ammo for it and will die. Flying by the seat of your pants and picking off enemies like fence posts isn’t going to work with this mod.
As I said earlier, it’s the way Ghost Recon was meant to be, in my opinion.
For other game settings, I recommend playing with the Ballistic Advantage perk as per my recent testing. And make sure you have the skill that increases your ammo by 25% as that will give you one extra mag to give you 5 spare plus one in the gun. I would avoid using stealth perks as those increase enemy reaction time. If you’re using a ghillie suit, it would actually make sense to disable the mod’s added detection distance. Use a suppressor on all your weapons, it’s now essential and there are no penalties. Avoid using syringes, especially if they are set to heal injuries - although if you just want to power through a tough encounter after wiping several times, I guess they provide a good way to do that… or just turn off the mod temporarily.
I'll be very curious to hear others experiences.
Of course this would be better than what we were given
I gather this is just a thought exercise? After all, a lot of what you’re suggesting related to mechanics changes will never happen. Or is a part of you hoping Ubisoft takes this to heart and provides an update to implement it?
I’m also interested in rewriting the story mode portion but in a way we can actually play it with what we have - not dependent on Ubisoft. As that’s bound to disappoint.
I haven’t got very far with my thinking as to how it would all fit together, but ideally my version of Story Mode has minimal involvement with Erewhon, Jace Skell, Walker and drones.
I also think your survival mode concept is not far off of what Mike and I put together in the Ultra Immersive Guide, where all skill and class items are earned through missions or at enemy bases. Same could apply to all other gear and loot… no store… you only have what you can find. We don’t need Ubisoft for a lot of this… just some role playing and self discipline. The guide could easily be expanded to cover where you need to go to get certain gear. And rules could be added about getting gear from convoys… with a bit of role playing.
The best missions in my view are…
- Outcast story chapter missions and faction missions.
- Resistance Live Event missions
- A couple Paula Madeira missions but you need Jace to unlock those
- The Flycatcher, Rosebud and Silverback missions - locked behind all Jace missions.
- Episode 3
- The last mission in the Amber Gas series?
- A couple of side missions (one where a couple key enemy LTs are meeting comes to mind) but most are junk
- Daily faction missions (in small doses)
The best way to do this is using a character that’s already played through everything so you can pick and choose mission content.
On the subject of the studio and their position on the mod... I suspect they view the overall game as a creative work, much like a director or producer would view a movie they had made. They did things a certain way because that fit their creative vision. Aspects of this mod may deviate from their vision for how they feel the game should be played... and that's fair. However, we know that the studio didn't even agree with the vision for how the game was to be played at launch as they fairly quickly offered a way to play it in immersive mode vs gear score mode. What I would suggest to them is that the game should offer three modes...
- Gear Score Mode - The original vision for the game and how it should be played
- Immersive Mode - Their next vision for the game with more immersive options
- Realism Mode - Expanding on Immersive Mode to offer settings found in the mod, and others we would like to see
This way, they could say, we feel the game should be played in Mode 1 or 2 as that's how we designed it and if you wan't the "official" studio experience. However, we also offer Mode 3 for folks who want even more realism and less "game" from their Ghost Recon Experience.
Let’s say you could have Kelso or a totally custom agent of your choice accompany your character, would you use that option?
I definitely would. I think it would add a lot to solo play.
Every other Ubisoft game we've played doesn't respawn enemies until that portion of the world reloads either through fast-travel, the player respawning, or moving far enough away that the game engine needs to reload it. Why can't they use that same engine mechanic here? It's utterly bizarre and a show-stopper for me.
Here's a novel idea... when you put collectibles into a game... have someone actually test that they can be collected.
Well a few problems actually…
First, At Camp Tiger, I heard an explosion while I was doing recon of the base with the drone, I send the drone over there and some Bodark had stepped on a land mine LMAO. But then, the helicopters come, and they come right for me. [censored]?! (The land mine alerted the base - I was just minding my own business).
Second, you use to be able to use Prone Camo when a helicopter reinforcement was called… and you could wait it out and it would eventually fly off. Not anymore. Prone Camo isn’t an option anymore when a helicopter is over head… in fact, if you’re in prone Camo before it arrives, you will pop out. Cheap!
Third, of course we’re all familiar with this, the stupid snipers or gunners can’t miss, even when the helicopter is spiraling out of the air. Gimme a break!
Fourth, The helicopters move like they are 250g toy micro drones without any regard for mass, inertia, or other fundamentals of physics.
It all makes this mechanic complete [censored]! Why? Why do they need to cheat in 4 totally crazy ways… know where you are at all times, you can’t hide, they can’t miss, and they defy physics. FFS!
Why can’t it just be enough that getting hit by an aerial chain gun platform turns you into pink mist - so you strive to avoid it?
It is maddening. I really can’t think of a situation where I want them to run off. I want them on me at all times, unless I explicitly tell them to go somewhere or stay put. So why they programmed that… I just don’t understand. Maybe some lazy players just wants the team to clear the whole base for them? If so, you’re playing the wrong game. Maybe the devs don’t have a clue? I dunno.
If I clear them hot while driving a vehicle, they don’t bail out and run after enemies in the bush... So why the F do they do that when not in a vehicle?
JUST STAY BY MY SIDE!!!!
Please, just change the cleared hot command to have them engage but not move. That’s it.
I've been curious to compare the ballistics in game to real-world and see what the various buffs do, and what might be most realistic.
TLDR: My conclusion is that the Ballistics Advantage Perk is necessary to achieve close to real-world ballistics. While sniper rifle (.338/.50) ballistics are not terribly off (at least out to 300 yards), .308 and .223 rounds are falling off too quickly at 300 Yards without the perk. If using Gear Score, rolling range buffs on weapons achieves similar results to the Perk. Combining both range buffs and the perk offers no significant advantage.
I tested the TAC-50, MSR, SRS A1, M110, and 416 (with both short and standard barrel). I tested at 275m (300 Yards) at the Auroa airport. I equipped all rifles with T5Xi and the 416 with Eotech EXPS and magnifier. All long guns were equipped with bipods.
My target was a container on the airport runway, giving me a long straight shooting range. I used Nomad for scale. You can see where my point of aim (PoA) was and where real-world bullets would land at 300 yards. Depending on what ballistic calculator you use and what specific round attributes you use you will get a range that is anywhere from around 10" to 15" of drop which is all on the top portion of that top panel of that container.
Here's where the bullets landed... the descriptions should be clear as to what was being tested in each of the four panels. (I didn't have an MSR or 416 rolled for range so those are absent from that test).
Summary of Results:
Without the Perk - Sniper Rifles are in the ball-park but the M110 and 416 are way too low
With the Perk - The snipers are a bit higher than real world but the other two are in the ball park - this seems to be the most realistic to me as a set-and-forget option
Rolling for Range - This puts the long guns in the right ballpark and is another option vs using the perk
Rolling for Range and Using the Perk - this is overkill... best to use one or the other... I would suggest the perk.
Of course, YMMV as Ubisoft has not made all guns using the same cartridge consistent. I just picked the most popular or ones I use.
Also, testing at further ranges may reveal much different results... but I don't have time for that. 300 Yards seemed like a reasonable range to test. You certainly don't need to be any further away than that with enemy detection in this game being so poor.
Latest posts made by Virtual-Chris
@EN075 You are a master of your craft!!! This is absolutely awesome. Better than most Netflix content I've seen. :D. Love the reference to the Calgary Flames and the game overlay LOL.
And the other "The Bitters" background is awesome as well. Love it!!! Epic stuff... and so much work! Watching the rest now!
Eh Welcome back VC.
I actually went stomping around Gmoney's discord to see if someone could whip up a mod that eliminated the mortar / grenade / flashbang / div lure "splash zone" and in about 10 hours I got a working file from one of their magicians that did just that. It was really easy- maybe you're already in that discord?
With that said that one was pretty straightforward. Most of that talent in there is engaged with Breakpoint right now. The disappearing bodies is probably a pretty straightforward one to adjust too- probably just set on a timer that once passed it just deletes the body as soon as you look away.
We're dealing with a lot of server issues in the multiplayer domain but I think you were mostly a solo guy anyway. Oh and in case you're not recognizing my name that's okay... long story but we're "Indestructible!"
Wow. Great to hear from you.
Im not in that discord but should check it out.
I notice my “Preparing Session” takes a LOT longer than it use to when loading the game. I guess that’s also server related.
I recently fired up Wildlands for an immersive trip back in time, and I’m really enjoying it (surprise!)
What makes it especially interesting are all the mods. I encourage folks to check them out. Unfortunately, there’s no mod for the disappearing bodies (yet) but you can do some interesting things. There’s a mod to remove the detection sound and bullet hits which adds some difficulty and realism. There’s a mod to fast track through Tier Mode so you can turn tier mode off but essentially start the game with the tier mode rewards. There’s also a mod to remove one weapon like Ghost Mode, without playing Ghost Mode. It’s all breathed a bit of new life into the game for me.
Wildlands is by far, the most immersive tactical shooter I’ve ever played. And it’s now more immersive.
My next task is to reach out to Vandhaar for some mods. :). I would love for detection distance to improve, bullet drop to be less pronounced, head shots be an instant kills, and ideally solve the disappearing bodies.
Anyone else playing Wildlands with mods?
Not surprised… it became pretty clear soon after the launch of the Delta Program that it was going to be a botched experiment due to the culture of the company and host studio.
The best part of this franchise is the community. It transcends the games. The people I’ve met here and interacted with, shared ideas, laughs, and frustrations with are far dearer to me than the games themselves. A special thanks to you, Vandhaar, and all the other Delta members for your efforts over the last few years.
But I sincerely hope the Motley Crew of regulars here continues to check in now and then, as it’s a special comradeship we all share. Although I’ve never met any of you, I feel we all share a common bond and interest. Ubisoft can ignore us at their own peril.
Here’s to many more years of enjoying and b!tching about GR regardless of what they churn out.
@virtual-chris the Text Box that pops up when you're spotted etc can not be removed, or should I say wasn't removed because that text component is connected to other text UI elements, so deleting that actually deletes other things as well but the actual alarm status color around the mini-map and compass is now completely gone.
Thanks… that’s what I was hoping… that the alert status around the mini-map is gone. Nice!
Again, it’s hard to believe with all the hud options they provided, they ignored this rather important cheat. The most maddening thing about this game, is that all the options for offering a true GR hard core experience were there… they clearly just don’t care to offer the game we want.
Interesting. I may have to login again to try it out. Can you display the mini map without having the enemy alert status? That was my biggest HUD wish list item.
To me the shooting and ballistics are close enough (unlike Wildlands which really is like paint ball). You probably saw some testing I did a few months ago that showed the bullet drop for 5.56, 7.62 and .308 was in the ball park when using the perk. Maybe the muzzle velocities could improve. Certainly the suppressor damage penalty needs to go and damage adjusted to be more consistent amongst the same cartridge. We also recently discussed how scope sway could be improved. They could also cut down on the laser like tracers.
Other mechanics that desperately need work before stamina are anything enemy AI related… detection, response, movement, suppression and cover fire, reinforcements, realistic armour/sponge, a heat system, taking bases, defending, retaking etc.
Its actually very depressing when you start listing off all the systems that need work.
Good ideas but I think Stamina is more important in a setting/premise like Breakpoint where wilderness survival and traversing a lot of terrain etc is a key component of the game.
If you think about typical Tier 1 ops, you could probably put stamina on the back burner and assume the team has the necessary level of fitness and stamina to complete the mission and instead invest in other mechanics that are more relevant.
I would like them to nail a number of more important mechanics first… mag based ammo management, slings, trying to shoot an unsupported 50-cal while standing, smoke, helicopter insertions/extractions, fast roping, bipods, vehicle ammo boxes, etc. There’s just a lot of things in my wish list before a stamina system.
We'll see in the coming weeks and months how things pan out, but I see it as more likely that GR will improve if Ubisoft retains its independence. Hopefully Frontline went back to the drawing board and is being radically overhauled rather than tweaked and GR 'Over' will reflect the community feedback and response to Breakpoint.
I share the same hopes (and dreams)