Really bad balancing


I dunno maybe there is some sort of bug… I’m on my second play through this time definitly on hard and I’m not really having any problems at all the only time I saved a game was when I wanted to because I was trying to stack shit to get into an area that i probably wouldn’t be able to get into (and turned out couldn’t anyways stupid invisible walls) I’m finding it definitly easier on the second play through. I think its a difference in game Dynamics alot of people are used to being able to kill people ala Call of Duty one or two bursts. I’ve found I’m able to take out 2 hecu units from 3/4’s of the way across the a larger open area with a single clip, I do a lot… ALOT of strafing, I don’t do so much cover unless its a full out retreat to regroup. 9 out of ten times I’m dying is because I’m falling from the stuuuuuuuuuuuupid crouch jump… that I’m totally not complaining about as it adds a new dimension but stuuuuuuupid crouch jump!

Either way maybe there is some sort of glitch that is making things pretty tough for some people but I do find it to be pretty straight forward.

Edit: STUUUUUPID crouch jump!!! In case i missed it



Some people really suck when it comes to understanding the difference between balance and difficulty. A game can be difficult, and still be balanced. If you enjoy having to reload a section 4-5 times per fight, then be my guest and go bang your head against a wall. But a difficult, well balanced game will reward the player for clever thinking and actions, and punish simple stupidity, WITHOUT requiring that the player know the in and out of every situation through trial and error. You should be able to beat the game without dying, and still feel challenged.

Also, I am a pretty fucking good FPS player, including online. My abilities are not in question, the fact that the game isn’t fun because of poor balance is.



I can understand people who miss some of the atmosphere due to marines reflexes but it is strange to hear complaints from some good FPS player.
I play for fun and I enjoy BM level design, and I don’t remember when I had to reload the fight in BM (normal mode).
Maybe you should train harder :wink:






Well, everyone has an opinion, so I’ll throw mine in.

There is definitely a problem with the soldier fights. They’re just not fun, and the dynamics of those fights stick out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the gameplay.

I think one moment cinched it for me in “we’ve got hostiles” when you’re in the underground bunker, and you’re going to escape via some shaft when a couple soldiers rappel down and shoot at you. I had 100% health and 30% hev armor, and just exposing myself to them long enough to unload a clip and kill them wasted my armor to zero and life down to 30%. We’re talking 1-2 seconds. Against two enemies. On medium difficulty.

Yes, the overwhelming suggestion in this thread is to just use your magnum and headshot them. But I think this just exposes the problem more: the soldiers are overpowered, and so is the magnum, so it’s the only weapon that reliably works on them. Also, I find this really tedious. An arsenal of weapons, and there’s only one tactic you can use against this enemy, over and over? That’s not very fun. I hear some soldiers around the corner, better pull out my magnum yet again and try to headshot them all! Let’s hope none come out to surprise me while I’m waiting a year for it to reload! Sure, I could try to mix it up with the machine gun or shotgun, but that’s just asking for my health to be drained to zero quicker than you can say “fuck this shit.” I’m not exactly running into the middle of a crowd, either – I’m talking 2 or 3 soldiers getting lucky bursts in at me while I’m running from one cover to another with full health and decent armor. Every single soldier confrontation is reload city generally ending in survival by complete luck or reverting to the hide-and-magnum-snipe tactic.

My point is, yes you can get by the soldiers (though sometimes this requires knowledge about where they are ahead of time – ie, from dying and reloading – and that’s not exactly good gameplay). But the tactics that work against the soldiers are work arounds for bad balancing. If that gameplay is fun for you, then more power to you, but it’s a problem for a lot of us.



btw, for those complaining about weapons being too powerfull / weak. Go to BMS/cfg and open skill.cfg. You can change power of your or AI weapons or ammount of ammo you can carry (but sadly not in mag. I would really like that 50 ammo mag back for mp5). Fights with soldiers are much more enjoyable if you reduce AI 9mm damage from 4 to 3, buckhot damage from 3 to 2 and increase damage of your 9mm from 6 to 7. The bad thing is, that when you decrese AI damage for 9mm weapons, it will automatically make security guards completely useless. It would be nice it there was separate option for glock and for mp5.

You can also do changes for every enemy in game. I’ve increased crowbar damage to 2x for barnacles so I can kill them before they bite me, reduced HP for Hassassins from 50 to 40, increased Headcrabs health from 10 to 15 and decreased spit ammount of Bullsquid from 9 to 1 and increased spit damage from 4 to 20 to make them more like in original HL, because well, they are really annoying in arease like these where you can’t evade that green sh*t because there is no room for that.

But you can’t change how fast Vortigaunts (Alien slave) and Houndeyes charge their attacks. That would be really nice if I could get them a little closer to original HL.

But anyway, these few changes made my Black Mesa a lot more enjoyable. Try tweaking it a bit and you can get a pretty well (ar at least better) balanced game.



Still seeing people confusing difficulty with balance here.

If I can make it through each encounter at about the right success/death rate (in my opinion) and still feel the game needs tweaking, I’m pretty sure the difficulty is not the problem. I’m not saying the game is too hard. I’m saying that having to fight marines that know where you are a split second after leaving cover (completely outside their line of sight in come cases) gets very draining.

Reiterating my earlier suggestion so more people can see it, I would suggest that the reaction time is tweaked for easy and normal while left as it is in hard mode, so that the people in here who are claiming they have no problems can carry on playing, or that Lightning-Reflexes is added as a checkbox in the game options menu so it can be easily tweaked without having to go find skill.cfg and mess with the game variables.



The “checkbox in the game options” is a really good idea imo. Should be named self-explanatory, though. Like “delayed enemy reaction time” or something like that.



I don’t think reaction time alone will fix the problem with soldiers. They also must be less accurate and a bit less aggressive. Also, in HL and HL2 the best counter weapon against them in medium range is mp5/mp7, but in Black Mesa the Mp5 is nerfed to the level, that it is almost completely useless in fights against more than two soldiers at a time. The main reason is 30 ammo mag instead of 50/45 in HL/HL2, which means that you can kill only one soldier with one mag instead of 2-3 soldiers in other HL games (same damage per bullet, but less ammo to kill them). I’ve started playing HLS today just to see the difference and it is really a HUGE difference in how much more fun the fights with soldiers are in HLS compared to BM.

Yes, they made soldiers AI in BM much better compared to first HL (which was probably the main goal for BM developers), but it’s not AI that is fun to play against. It should be tweaked a bit, so they will still be more inteligent than soldiers in original, but not good enough to make encounters with them so frustrating (on hard difficulty). Especially in those sections where you must fight a lot of them at the same time.

At least that is how I see it.



Keeping in mind that I don’t want to read a 12 page thread.

I’ve been playing on easy since I want to see what the mod team did rather than how much they can make the bullets hurt. So far the only ways that I’ve died have been on the platforming parts. Even if I did something stupid and dropped directly into a squad of soldiers I was able to get out of it without dying.

The only annoying issues I’ve had are the soldiers abilities to see a guy in an orange armoured suit at long range and their ability to hear a guy in a heavy armoured suit walk up behind them. I like to play sneaky.

And the jumping. With larger than needed collision boxes on cable hooks. That send you to the side randomly instead of stopping you.

I’ll probably end up playing on hard later and complain about how hard it is then.



I would like to hear the opinion of the developers. You know, with many people complaining…this has become relevant…



funny story - the HECU AI is based on the combine AI,
halfway through the development of black mesa we noticed a bug inside the original valve ai code:
breaking line of sight with the ai would mess with the ai’s ability to remember where you are and let them fall back to their default mode.

that is one reason why the combine would appear a bit stupid while chasing gordon in HL2.

we fixed that - and as a result the ai feels a lot more agressive then in HL2, combined with a lot of enhancements since goldsource and our own additions
makes the hecu ai in black mesa more deadly then in the original.



“Deadly” is ok, but if I go down a sewer and emerge in another spot, the shouldn’t be knowing before I get out that I’m there, but only after they spot me again, which means when I am again in their field of view… unless they have a crystal ball…

Or also, getting them in “surprise” with this AI configuration is impossible. It’s like they have eyes on the back of their heads. It just kills the stealth action, and even though I know that HL was not primarily a stealth game, it would have been so nice if this “touch” was made possible.

That would be a really intelligent AI.



That sounds pretty cool :slight_smile: But still, can we expect some changes to AI? At least making them less accurate?



I would say the Vortigaunts and Bullsquid attacks are way underpowered, on normal at least. You can take hits from them all day and walk away, no threat at all. I’d like to see the military grunts toned down, the Vortigaunts lightening damage waaay up (have to up the charge time on thier first strike to compensate) and have the Bullsquids attack do way more acid damage over time if you get hit.



we are aware that there are players out there who have issues with the games difficulty.
naturally we want the game to be as accessible as possible for every interested player out there.
if that means that we will have to tweak a variety of different aspects we will look into that.



I haven`t finished the game yet, but the two main balancing issues that I have faced so far are:

[b]1. Gordons SMG/MP5 seems to lack power, since like so many have already stated in this thread and elsewhere you basically need to shoot a whole clip to kill a single soldier.[/b] (I think that this is also affecting peoples opinions about soldier AI being too good.) Now I am not saying that the MP5 should be made super powerful, but that at the moment it just feels a little underpowered.

2. Why is nearly every jump a crouch jump? Why can`t you use just the regular jump to get on top of the smaller objects? To be completely honest, it just feels quite frustrating to have to use the crouch jump even to get on top of the smallest objects, like for example barrels lying sideways on the ground.



Thank you for having this attitude. I am looking forward to updates for this great mod.

Are you considering looking into the marines’ firing patterns? I think that is the major difference between the combat in Black Mesa and Half-Life. In Half-Life they sprint, stop, fire in short bursts, then repeat, while in Black Mesa they seem to move fairly slowly while firing continuously at the same time.



the MP5 I find much more powerful than the Half Life one, also more accurate
but, I really hate how the soldiers always have nearly perfect accuracy at long range, like in the beginning of Aprehension, the grunts can snipe you the MP5 from the tallest ledge!



Yes, vorts are doing only half the damage as they did in HL/S. But if they will make them more powerful, they should look into the amount of vorts in final mission, since there is a lot of them spawning at the same time. Giving them more damage would make that part of the game really difficult. But that slower charge time of primary attack is a must, since gordon moves a lot slower in BM (if you are using walking as a default movement speed).

Thanks! Looking forward to it :slight_smile:

No it’s not. Damage per bullet is almost the same as in HL (tested HLS yesterday), but you have only 30 ammo clip instead of 50, which makes it a lot less powerful. But accuracy is better.