Really bad balancing


There’s being agressive, and then there’s being clairvoyant. I do appreciate most of the changes you guys made in terms of the “what to do and where to do it”, but I think the main issue is that it’s still based on the combine soldier AI. It’s a system I think is fundamentally flawed. I’d almost rather they behave like Locust Drones from gears/soldiers from F.E.A.R, using cover as their main A/B points in terms of movement and blindfiring to keep you down instead of the combine soldier storm-troopering around out in the open while taking pot shots at you.


Glad to hear, :slight_smile:
Many people touched the skill.cfg. Giving them a slower reaction time works fine. Maybe less accuracy. And less psychic powers.
That and the goddamned jump.
And the tentacles…


After playing Black Mesa, I set about replaying all the original games I owned through Steam. Playing Blue Shift was a rude wake-up call on the nature of difficulty, specifically of encounters with the Marines as well as the balancing between Marines and Aliens. Here’s an encounter I ran into about mid-game.

I come into an area and immediately walk into line of sight of FIVE Marines. A battle ensues, I win. I speak with a scientist, the a door opens and FOUR marines walk into the map. I kill them, and as I do I’m getting shot. Turn around, FOUR MORE Marines are running into the map. Save the scientist, kill the Marines, I’m just about spent when I’m getting shot. Turn around, FOUR MORE Marines are running into the map, rinse, repeat. That’s one fight, one location, and the Marines aren’t bunching up for me to kill with explosives - they run in and keep running for cover, rather than standing together.

And again, that’s one fight. I ran through dozens of fights against three, four, five Marines and more. The whole game, I saw a grand total of it can’t have been more than four or five alien Grunts. Most of what I saw from Xen was a Vorts all over the place and Bullsquids here and there.

I guess my comments on the balance between Marines and Aliens, both numerically and in terms of conceptual presentation, isn’t as out-of-whack as I originally thought. Many people have so far told me that I should be playing this game like Counter-Strike or like I would Half-Life 2, but if Black Mesa plays like anything at all, I have to say it plays like Blue Shift. And honestly… That’s not a bad thing. Blue Shift was a lot of fun.


That may be true (I don’t remember Blue Shift that good since I didn’t like it that much), but soldiers in BM are simply too accurate, which makes encounters with them a bit too annoying. Worse accuracy replaced with higher weapon damage will make them a lot more enjoyable opponent.


I had to ragequit the game because of the marines. It is not about difficulty. It its about fun. I can take cover and snipe them one by one - but this not fun. Half-life has never been sniping-stealth game, always more on the heavy-trigger side. I am very sorry, because the rest of the game - leveldesign, sound, easter-eggs, dialogues - it is a MARVEL! Trully amazing! The HECU fights ruin it for me though. This and crouch-jumping everything, but I already fixed that in skill.cfg (which saddly cannot apply for hecu_reaction_time and hecu_accuracy)

Waiting for steam mod with more options… until then, thank you for your great work so far, please continue, this is really only a minor glitch on an otherwise perfect game!


i though i’d second this. i don’t remember there being so many crouch jumps required in the original. maybe to get into hvac tunnels, but never to get up on boxes.

it’s not that it’s a problem for me, it just seems like a strange departure from hl.


ITT people not hardcore enough

Only thing I think is OP in bms is the helicopters. I mean in hard mode 10 rockets really? You can still kill them easily enough, but you HAVE to use tau.

Tbh, everything else, especially aliens dies way too easily. Ichy dies to 9mm in under a second. 1 double blast kills bullsquids at medium range.

Basically they balanced it by making all the guns really powerful, and you can’t rambo everywhere. Have to be accurate and have a strategy.

Then again I’m used to hl1 hard mode where you had to 357 face shot soldiers, double blast point blank, get headshots with xbow, stuff like that. I think too many of you haven’t played hl1 in a while to remember how hard it was.

EDIT: Oh and the only other thing I dislike about BMS is how the battles are ramped, the way I play is I kill everything as quickly as possible so I can have a period of time to reload, and the battles in bms are paced to take longer so they have everything spawn in based off when you kill certain enemies or how many enemies you kill, like the lambda battle. I kill the first alien controllers within 10 seconds, so the next round of spawns comes in already and it gets overwhelming pretty quickly. It’s not a bad thing, it just makes the game a bit harder.


Ten rockets to take down the Helicopter?

I used four rockets, the Helicopter are still in heaven, what the … I switch to the tau cannon, charge it up an blown this flying turtle away, hell yah. :]

The end of QE was really hard, at the beginning, but after a few tries, I figured out were they came down and then it was easy to handle the situation with enough health.

One quetion, in the BM-wiki, it says the assassins were cloaking on normal and hard difficulty, but I saw the babes on normal and shoot one of them with my .357. Haha!

Sry for my bad grammer. :confused:


I played on hard.


Helicopters - You need more than 10 rocket to kill it on hard. I think it’s 11-13 rockets. The worst thing about that fight isn’t it’s HP but how it shoot’s at the late stage of the fight. First run on the box with rockets is very easy, but second is completely insane since it is shooting rocket’s in a different time than machinegun, which means that it is shooting practically non stop so player can’t even peek from cover without taking a lot of damage.

Aliens - yes, Ichy is a joke, bullsquid should have more HP and use melee attack like it does in original. But I find Houndeye, Vorts and Barnacle much more lethal in Black Mesa (which is a good thing).

Soldiers are harder in BM. I’ve started playing HLS after finishing BM twice, and it is quite a big difference when it comes to soldier fights.


I’m not disputing that, not at all. I still feel AI response times need to be delayed significantly and their accuracy vs. damage tweaked. It seems like an attempt was made to make the whole game faster by making soldiers trigger-happy and aliens charge everything much faster, but the result is that now the game simply plays far too fast for a lot of people, myself included.

As I said, I’ve been replaying Half-Life, Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and they are all much more methodical, slower-paced games. You still need good aim and quick thinking, but you’re not expected to have Quake 3 reflexes, is what I’m saying. Soldiers take their time and often don’t rush out of cover, aliens take a while to charge, or else they shoot attacks that can be dodged. You have time to think and time to react.

Not in Black Mesa. You stick your head out of cover, you’re eating enemy fire before you can even spot where it’s coming from.

People have been talking about AI response time console commands, as well as AI shot biass commands, and I know for a fact that critter damage is in the skills.cfg file, so that can be tweaked even on the player side. Trouble is, I don’t really know what all of the settings mean and what the numbers for them represent.


The Grunts could use a more varied reaction time and the Vorts seem too weak for hard difficulty, those are the only balance problems i have with the mod.

and yeah, the end of QE was HARD, i pretty much had to use the crossbow and tau to kill the grunts that fast rope in followed by a quicksave and then MP5 grenade the group that comes in from the right to finish them off quickly. it was the only part i really had trouble with.


Oh yeah vorts are terrible too. In HL1 they would get headshots most of the time with their electricity and totally ruin you in a few shots, but now they can hardly kill a single barney by themselves.


I may be wrong, but I think there is a design flaw in their player-detection code. Back in the day, I wrote a Quake mod. I was striving to improve realism. One of the improvements was that monsters could see you if they could draw from their head box a line to your feet, middle or head. I was playing BM two nights ago, I came around a corner, where there was a box of some kind on the wall at head height. I could see two Marines, but not their heads - and they were not reacting. When I moved out a little more, and my head became visible, they woke.

I think possibly part of the problem here is that if there is a line of sight, regardless of the direction the soldier is facing, he will wake. He should in fact only be able to see in front of him, and should be range limited, too (I don’t know if this has been done).


I’m glad I’m not the only one…


Barney can take a lot more hits from everything compared to original, not just from vorts. I like it that way since they were weak as sh.t in HL and completely useles in late part of the game.


Agree with op about the fast overpowered marines and about the vorts I think theyre pretty much balanced but in a bad way since they shoot way too fast but nearly do no damage.
As a lot of people told here the combat rifles feels like shit (but it did too on original HL) but if I remember well we were able to carry more grenades for it WHY 3 MISERABLE GRENADES when they’re so fun to play with?


I honestly think the mp5 is a lot better than what most people give it credit for. it fits nicely between the glock and the shotgun in terms of it’s range and primary attack damage.
Of course youre not going to be able to mow through a group of 6 or 7 heavily armoured marines holding the same weapon, it wouldnt make sense if you could.

As for the grenades, spamming them was just a cheap way of skipping most fights you didnt want to take part in. im kinda glad they lowered the carry limit.


This isn’t a bug report or anything, but I was wondering why we can pick up a dead headcrab but not anything else that we shot.


It’s funny how people are complaining about difficulty, I played through on Normal and Hard, it was challenging, I’ll give you that, but it’s not impossible, you people really need to just deal with it or play on easy.