Really bad balancing


Would you provide some detail as to where to add (or alter) the ai_reaction_delay_alert/idle? Is this line supposed to be added to the skill.cfg file? If so, where in the file should the line go? Or does it matter? Thanks.



It does go in skill.cfg. Where it goes, it doesn’t matter, but I’d say put it under the stuff for the marine AI, so ya know where to look.



At yet here I am having played FPS games since the days of DOOM and I’m saying the marine reaction time is too damn high!

I feel their health is fine when their reaction time is lower since I have a chance to surprise kill 1 or 2 of them in packs. That’s how it should be, I’ve given them a more human like reaction time (I’ve been pretty generous but I still do like it hard.)



That might be the issue for some people, but not for me. I’ve beaten Half-Life on Hard. It was a bit of a chore in every level with Alien Controllers, but it was fun. In Black Mesa, I’m playing on Normal, and I’m having a much harder time keeping my health/suit charge/ammo up than I did in HL1.



-I agree with op-

-Crowbar animation is too slow

-gravity is too high (jump is too low)

AI is too quick
-soldiers do more damage with the same weapon than you can

-vortigaunts attack you too quickly, they need a delay before attacking, there is no way to dodge them unless you are lucky or in a distance.

-MP5A or M4A1 accuracy sucks, and feels like a peashooter, why is it burst fire who’s idea was this?

where did this press E on the ladder thing come from? i used to jump on a ladder climb up or down and jump in the direction i want to go or jump off the ladder before hitting the ground. now its just tedious and slow.

Black mesa is just a REALLY slow game. and forces you to play in that way weather you like it or not. i changed to gravity to 550 and acceleration to 15.



Actually, those values affect AI universally. The specifics are either hard-coded or you don’t have a clue what they do. If you look very carefully, you’ll notice that the headcrabs & zombies attack slightly less quickly.

Unfortunately… no, as far as I could see. The AI for that one’s hardcoded.

Fix is above.


Accuracy seems fine to me.

Introduced in Half-Life 2. It’s an engine feature, blame valve for that one.

bms_normal_jump_vertical_speed “160”
bms_normal_jump_crouch_vertical_speed “160”
bms_double_jump_vertical_speed “200”
bms_airboost_jump_vertical_speed “80”
bms_airboost_jump_forward_speed “360”
bms_airboost_jump_original_speed_mod “0.25”
bms_long_jump_vertical_speed “150”
bms_long_jump_horizontal_speed “460”
bms_long_jump_delay “1”

Tweek the normal jump vertical speeds and replace them in the skill.cfg in the proper directory.

– As an addition I’m going to put together some convar stuff to post in the Cafeteria and (hopefully) get it stickied, going to be a guide to properly install BM and address some minor non-hardcoded issues (like the AI)



Well, I just put it there because that’s all I knew it affected. And you’re right, I don’t know what these things do, beyond their description.



Aha! Excellent! The original values of 0.3 for idle and 0.1 for alert were definately too fast. An alert reaction time of 0.3 is still fast, the HECU will still seem like elite special forces, but they won’t seem superhuman. (Also I found the sentry guns were terrifyingly good as well… the fact that this AI reaction time thing will affect ALL enemies should make them a bit more forgiving.)

I won’t be modifying the weapon damage, or the headshot or limb damage multipliers, as I think the 2x head damage and 0.8 limb damage was an excellent choice on the part of the Black Mesa devs. But the reaction time of a tenth of a second (in combat) meant that there was essentially no reaction time at all. And surprising an idle enemy merely gets you an advantage of a third of a second. I think this may also explain the “Vortigaunts charge-up too fast” thing, its because the instant a vortigaunt is on your screen he is immediately charging, when in half-life 1 you’d have half a second before he’d start charging up.

I’ve recently been playing Wolfenstein (2009) by Raven Software, an extremely fun shooter with crazy sci-fi weapons in a WW2 setting, but I found the game rather easy compared to the previous game in the franchise, Return to Castle Wolfenstein. (Or Half-Life, for that matter.) I messed around in the game files and discovered that enemies had a reaction time of 1.5 seconds, and half as much health as they had in in RTCW - that explains why I was able to mow down enemies before they even had a chance to shoot! So I modified Wolfenstein 2009 so enemies had a half-second reaction time and twice their normal health, and I was very pleased with the results. (If anyone’s interested, the mod’s called “Retrostein”, you can google it.)

So learning that Black Mesa’s grunts had a reaction time of 0.1 seconds astonishes me, given the higher reaction times in other games. I wonder what the reaction time was in original Half-Life, or in Half-Life 2?



I agree, soldiers react way too fast (it’s completely unrealistic and just stupid) and their accuracy is too high. There’s no way to surprise them and they immediately know your location. The easy difficulty should be the normal difficulty. That iron sights thing however I find really awesome and useful and I would be glad to see it in other weapons as well.



Half-Life is hard to say, I can’t tell that one.

Half-Life 2 are the same values, although the AI was more forgiving in most cases… (it was much dumber). So kudos to Kane for really cleaning up the code.



It occurs to me that perhaps there is a seperate reaction time for attacking the player. I figure the 0.1 second reaction time thing is supposed to be how long it takes for the enemy to notice the player and decide to attack or move position or shout or whatever. But I’m pretty sure that in Half-Life 2 there would be at least a half second delay before an enemy would start shooting (which is perhaps coded into the AI of each specific type of enemy, rather than there being one global value). I think that’s what missing in Black Mesa - if an enemy sees the player his gun is throwing bullets towards you immediately.



While I agree that maybe the marines’ reaction time and accuracy need to be toned down just a tad, I actually rather like that they’re difficult to fight. They’re trained soldiers. They’re actually dangerous, and charging in spraying bullets is just asking for a chunk off your health bar.

It’s still somewhat annoying that I can’t seem to ever get the first shot off, even when catching them with their proverbial pants down, however.

Also, I agree that the vorts need a bit more of a charge-up time for their attacks.



I just stopped halfways through my second play through and desided to leave some feedback and bugs that I noticed.

This on the feedback, I have to say my first play through on normal I thought the game could use better balancing. But on my second play through I avoided damage that I took in the first play through. I will admit the Marines seem all knowing realizing your presence without even facing you. But I was still able to get the drop on many marines taking them out with one shot on normal by QE. The .357 Magnum works great at tearing through just about every enemy there is out there.

The only thing that part of me thinks needs to be worked on for better balance is the Gluon gun. It seems too powerful when I can click and send a beam for a instant gib. I was using that and getting kills on very little ammo consumed compared to the Tau cannon.

Like a poster posted on the first page these ladders needs to be fixed. Half of them I couldnt even climb up them in a rush while being pursued by marines then the other half that I could climb up I had to jump to get off the ladder resulting in my death or serious injury. I just wondering how much play testing was done cause surely this problem would have been reported in play testing.



Created a thread for fixing the marine AI issues (reaction time anyway), among a few other things I could see pretty readily.



The assassins were easy for me. I just laid out some trip mines and let them see me then went for cover letting them blow themselves up. The last three were idle atop the crates and I took them down with the .357 magnum.



I’ve only done the first Black Ops Assassins fight, but it was fun as hell. The thing is, it wasn’t really much harder than Half-Life was, it was just different (don’t really know how to explain it).

I love HL1’s level of difficulty, I think that it’s exhilarating without crossing the line to frustrating on Hard (except any level with Alien Controllers, fuck that noise). Black Mesa… It’s still a lot of fun, but yeah, I think it’s straying over that line quite a bit, to be honest.



Everyone completely missed my point about modern games dumbing people down. It doesn’t matter what your background experience is with shooters. The fact is, over the years, games have become easier and easier, so you are toned down.

Face it, you can’t run in like Leroy Jenkins and expect to remain at a decent HP. You have to play smarter…or you can dumb the game down with your own reaction variables.



It seems that the assassins are the most changing enemies between medium and hard, I’m playing in medium and I found them to be easier than the HECU, but every player that plays in hard seems to have a though battle against them, harder than the HECU.



Its possible theres differences between normal and hard. I stick with normal cause I play for fun and casual not to be frustrated with being killed every 2 seconds.

If I want to play for real and want a challenge well then I will load up RO2 and try some realistic WWII eastern front combat on for size.



Ahhh, I see what you mean now.

Having said that - I can’t speak for anyone else, but I haven’t tried running in to kill everything in sight (except once, on my first playthrough, which quickly taught me it was a bad idea). I haven’t been overly tactical (i.e. placing tripmines at any good location to kill enemies that might pass by), but other than a few instances where I got crowded (mainly due to Xen enemies teleporting in), I’m avoiding taking on enemies as a group.

To be honest, I think part of the reason I’m having trouble with it is because before BM came out, I played through Half-Life 2… And Half-Life 2’s AI is pretty much as dumb as a brick. It’s the only Source game (including the Episodes) I own with… “proper” soldier AI for enemies (CSS and CSGO both had bots, which aren’t quite the same, and L4D/2 had the horde AI). The difference between the AI in BM and HL2 is astonishing in a good way, BM’s AI is quite excellent. I just think it’s a bit too capable on Normal (I haven’t actually played on Easy or Hard for comparison here, so I can’t comment on that).