Grand Theft Auto Online (GTA V 5): Megalodon Shark. Here is the Global Ops patch version 2.0 that includes a good number of fixes for the online team based FPS.
Hey loud people!
I wanna broker peace.
I have no appreciation for the way things are going right now, nor did I ever.
I only started lambasting you because I was unduly provoked. But I'm a man of peace. Also I appreciate the existing macrocosm around supcom. yes that means loud too. I think it's healthy.
If you can be convinced, here are the things I'd like to see stop. (ideally) :
miss-characterizing faf or loud : https://www.reddit.com/supremecommandecomments/ha0vcf/hey_guys_new_here_are_there_still_people_playing/
(faf features both single player and multiplayer and you can play with both "friends" or "strangers" on either loud or faf)
not responding to the question and instead plugging : https://www.reddit.com/supremecommandecomments/h9wioz/trying_to_find_an_old_forged_alliance_mod_i_know/
(he's obviously looking for total veterancy
) but instead he gets a loud recommendation)
These are general random examples I put very little effort into finding. I'm not here to make a list of grievances, so they'll have to suffice.
Once and for all here's the three flavors of supcom/ supcom FA as they are available today :
- Vanilla : you launch the game directly from steam, gog, gameranger, CD copy. you get : - separate executables for supcom / supcom fa and, as such, both experiences - both supcom & supcom fa campaigns, with cutscenes - tutorial - skirmish with & against AI (12 different variants) - LAN skirmish with or vs others - in the case of steam, gog and gameranger only : online skirmish with or vs others - opening replay files (& storing your last replay by default) - primitive maps support - primitive mod support - runs on linux and mac (maps & mods have to be downloaded and installed/ configured manually) (total mayhem, Brew Lan and etcetera are not entries here since they exist in Vanilla and Faf flavors, in the case of Brew Lan they exist for all three)
- Loud : you download loud and and run the launcheupdater which patches the FA game files and allows you to run the loud mod. you get : - skirmishes vs loud AI with precise gradient on the difficulty multiplier ranging from 1.0 to 2.0 - LAN skirmish with or vs others - online skirmish with or vs others - opening replay files - optimization for the very long games (example : 3+ hours) - bugfixes - 82 predownloaded & preinstalled custom maps - 22 predownloaded & preinstalled mods (made to work with loud) ( in both the case of the maps and the mods, what you've got is what you're settled with, pending updates from Loud devs, this is because both maps and mods have to be edited in particular ways to work with Loud. That that is the case for maps might seem like it comes out of left field, but the mass point are spaced out way further and the AI is built around that specific spacing, also it requires it's own map markers)
- Faf : you download faf and and run faf. it runs FA on the FA game files but modifications are not made directly to that folder, also none of the modifications are downloaded until it is about to be used. you get : - both supcom & supcom fa campaigns as well as an additional seraphim campaign and an additional nomads campaign - the ability to play all of these campaign in co-op (4p) - new & up-to-speed interactive tutorials from the tutorials tab - skirmish with & against AI (7 different kinds, 43 total variants) - LAN skirmish with or vs others (it does bear mentioning that in this case without an up connection to the internet to at least set up the match, it is not possible) - online skirmish with or vs others (on skirmish : here you get a bunch of additional features: rating, cpu score, balance percentage, auto-teams (4 modes), hidden spawn with autobalance (7 modes), full share option (4 modes), 8 AI further tweaks (each of which have on average 8 modes) ) - fully revamped netcode : Ice Adapter for FA - map vault hosting 8709 maps - mod vault hosting 1306 mods (on maps & mods : they are of course all 100% compatible since they are made off of the faf base, on top of this they go through vetting by the maps councilor and mods councilor, multiple versions are deleted in order to favor the latest. for reference, unfiltered maps & unfiltered mods totals, as you can see the numbers alone indicate there is quite a bit of curation) - map & mod auto download & install & enable upon joining skirmish - featured game modes (mods that radically change the game and that require additional faf code or simply require being promoted above other mods : the fith faction, equilibrium, phatom X, murder party...) - new shaders - new FX - new UI - online replay vault - live replay vault - local replay vault - replay linking (on replays : assuming you never delete faf, those account for from the day you installed till the end of time) - auto matchmaking based on rating for 1v1 (with a different map pool per rating bracket that also rotates) - 1v1 rating leaderboard - global rating leaderboard - unique code that makes certain modded maps that amount to whole new mods/ game modes work such as the risk map Linus from LTT mentioned or zone control or crazy rush or wave of death - bugfixes - exploit patches - a linux build (solutions exist for mac and mac is currently being brought to par with linux) - Tournaments tab that is active - achievements - a full feature set for player reports; for example any instance of griefing that the game can auto-detect (tml ally commander) prompts the griefed player in-game on if he wishes to report this. a pseudonym history checking service and multiple mechanisms preventing the creation of smurf accounts and actively detecting and banning them, along with a staff of moderators.
This is the clinical approach and of course it doesn't cover the more spiritual side of things which I'm about to get into, however it does serve incredibly well to rule out a couple of misnomers that have been thrown around, right out of the gate:
FAF isn't multiplayer-only or PvP only.
or some unfactual claims:
FAF's AI isn't trash (it's AIs plural and that plurality makes the broad stroke of that brush wrong, not to mention faf ships with vanilla AI as well)
with that out of the way let's get into the three as they exist as a philosophy
, because that matters alot to people here and I respect that :
- Vanilla : there's a fair bit of assumption around here that this playerbase is entirely composed of players simply unawares of the existence of either Loud or Faf let alone a huge & thriving modding and mapping community around supcom as a whole, that in a sense is not wholly misplaced when statistically, this often does turn out to be the case and into a tale of players discovering either Loud or Faf and being very happy for it. However that's not the whole picture. Some of these players are also people who have played alot of vanilla, tried either loud or faf or both and found them to be lacking and returned to vanilla and want to be respected as such. In these cases we are talking about players for whom the vanilla balance is as good as it's going to get and for whom the international connection issues, bugs, desyncs, exploits and etcetera are nothing when measured against the whole.
- Loud : Players who were pleased with vs AI/PvE in particular, who played a lot of (for example) no rush, no navy no air, no nuke, no tp. and/or survival maps. We're talking giant turtle fire-bases shields galore and the economy to go with. There's an entire playstyle and meta and a specific itch that we're trying to scratch here and this, thanks to Loud has been metastasized into it's ultimate form with heavy modifications to the maps, the gameplay, the unit stats/balance and the interaction with the AI. As vs AI (and in particular singleplayer) is a core focus of Loud, Loud does not need to implement any netcode. There is also a heavy preference for late game and very long-winded matches. The goal here isn't to achieve victory as fast as possible, it's to get a long lasting challenge. There's a big performance implication when it comes to long games with supreme commander so optimization became priority number one. And optimization was achieved the results are truly impressive. So this mod attracts players for whom the AI on vanilla just doesn't cut it anymore in terms of late-game firebasing fights and, on some occasion also for who the Faf AIs can't quite be set up to not kill you early on so you can get to the late game firebasing fights still with a decent challenge (and less sim slowdown).
- Faf : This mod draws in players who like supcom ...alot, to the point of liking each and every flavor of gameplay under the sun that it can offer and could potentially offer, accent on the could, this translates to faf looking ahead at how balance can be improved further, at what mechanics can be introduced, at all the possible gameplay improvements and decide whether they are worthwile. To be honest it's a mish-mash of a big community with varying wants and needs so it is hard to blanket/generalize. statistics indicate to us that 60% of the games player on faf are played in single player, so at this point me saying the core playerbase of faf is the multiplayer players or that the focus of faf devs is on multiplayer features would be disingenuous. Faf has the biggest playerbase of the three by far so it rejoices from contributions of all sorts adding all sorts of features to the whole. It really does bear mentioning that all Faf players disagree with the idea of pirating supcom. While this is left open ended on both Vanilla and Loud, Faf does not allow you to play without first proving you own a steam copy. I was going to put this down in Vanilla & Loud as a philosophy but didn't, I can see how that would disagree with some people. So I did the reverse, I mention it on the Faf part, of course, deduction implies pirates are necessarily playing either vanilla or Loud. As the elder brother of the three communities, Faf feels it's incumbent upon itself to be the responsible one and shun piracy in order to remain in the good graces of our current overlord: Square Enix, who has the capacity to shut all three down. (on steam version only: this is a undesired sad state of things, Faf reached out to GOG upon the 2020 release who replied very favorably but instead of putting out the GOG link api asked square enix to simply vindicate Faf and other mods, square enix has not responded).
what does that whole philosophical side add to the picture?
well a whole lot. With this information we can also denounce a lot of mischaracterizations.
There's on last angle I want to tackle and then I'll get into my personal views, the historical
hah! funny & interesting new angle huh? maybe only for me....
A common misconception I see nowadays is that these three kinda exist as separate entities, which of course is bolloni:
each is derived from the other and owes it's existence to the last. 2007
: Originally Vanilla
had it's own multiplayer, before GPG (author studio) and THQ (publisher) shut down, supreme commander and supreme commander forged alliance weren't on steam (and as you well know GOG only happened in 2020), they were distributed by CD and they had a multiplayer app called GPGnet.
GPGnet was great in many ways but also had two major flaws : it was incredibly slow to boot up (like painstakingly long) and it limited it's online statuses and global chat to 100 people. It was also average at managing mods and maps.
one year later, in 2008
: the last patch to supcom arrives
one year later, in 2009
: the last patch to FA arrives 2009
is also around the time that Faf
appeared! (yes! while GPGnet was still very much alive and kicking, Zepilot was like, fuck this, I'm rolling up my sleeves and doing something about this mediocre client!). Faf was mediocre itself at first.
It's early adoption was slow considering the existing official solution but the featured game modes plus the easiness of a one-click map and mod adding, plus instant boot up time amounted to a slew of positive arguments that were hard to argue with.
two years later, in 2011
: supcom and supcom FA are now available on steam.
two years later, in 2012
: GPGnet shut down
all supcom and supcom fa keys CD were turned over to steam who upgraded them to gold editions.
most or all of the GPGnet community flocked to Faf as they were too used to the feature set by then and weren't willing to take a time machine back to a previous level of quality of life, not to mention the steam version was several patches behind the last FA patch released by GPG.
four years later, in 2017
, a new vanilla mod was initiated and announced on FAF : https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=14136
: gog release) as I understand it, Loud had been initiated in the context of vanilla (perhaps without knowledge of Faf?) and as such had not made efforts to be compliant with Faf by not modifying vanilla files directly.
As you can see IceDreamer explains that it should be possible to make loud compliant and integrate it to Faf.
to this day that remains a possibility and an interest : https://forum.faforever.com/topic/63/simspeed-what-performance-improvements-could-be-ported-from-loud-mod
My personal take:
It would have to be in the form of a featured game mod. for one, upon creating a new skirmish, on the the create skirmish window, instead of listing your installed maps it would run a query to list but the full set of remade loud maps I talked about above queried from Faf's map vault (these would of course be hidden by default in the map vault with and option to reveal them, also in non-loud game mode the skirmish window would have to hide loud maps from your list of installed maps, or maybe not that could be a plus), likewise for mods, it would load a different list of sim mods : those that are remade to work with loud.
I believe it's doable.
Loud being outside of faf bears the piracy advantage (if that's the way you want to see it) and also the full-blown, no-internet, LAN advantage.
maintaining Loud on both Faf and standalone is too much work (I dare to presume)
so realistically one of the two is the only option.
but I ask sincerely, is LAN & piracy enough of a reason?
the true answer is no, of course not!
From what I gathepresume those don't even factor.
It's the workload of combining Loud and Faf code plus the possible implication of loosing the performance that comes with direct file edit. (although I suspect the latter is sufficiently minor so as to be forgone).
So I reiterate: I am for a holy matrimony of Loud and Faf.