Let me first say that I know this will attract a lot of people who will just complain that want aimpunch entirely removed, which personally I think may be better than the current implementation for some reasons, but is bad for others but because we all know SD does not intend to completely remove aimpunch I feel that conversation is somewhat pointless and I would rather look at a compromise or a ‘best of both worlds’ between what SD wants the system for and what the community wants/dislikes about it.
Personally I think the main concern about aimpunch as it is in the game at the moment is that it’s a feeling of no control players get once they understand the mechanic. I also believe that the system as it is is just as unfriendly to more casual minded players as much as it is ‘punishing’ to more hardcore players. Mainly meaning that if a mechanic is to a degree RNG dependant, at a technical level aimpunch is not RNG but in combination with recoil and spread it usually feels at such, it punishes players who want to learn the mechanic(the high end) but also punishes newer casual players because the mechanic is essentially ‘unlearnable’. The system as of now widens the skillgap as much as it closes it, a newer or more casual player could improve a lot faster if he wasn’t held back by an unlearnable factor.
Now the pro’s for aimpunch, and I know a lot of people disagree here but realistically they are simply true and SD wanting them has valid reasons, are mainly forms of feedback. Mostly, what is hitting me and from where? And ‘uhh’ ;). There is also the question of allowing a player to react, but personally I think Dirty Bomb’s higher TTK(longer to kill) already does that. The strafing, walljumping etcetera allow you to react and adjust whereas in low TTK games you would already be dead. So this argument as a pro for aimpunch, I think, is a bit unfair.
In my opinion, aimpunch should be something that addresses mainly the things above: Something that still provides these forms of feedback in a form of aimpunch, but without creating a feeling of no control once a player wants to ‘invest’ or understand the system behind it.
A system that in a way is quite similar to Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, a game that a has a lot of similarities even at core gameplay to DB as DB was originally based on it. But taking a more DB fitting spin on it, as W:ET was very drastic with it’s viewkick implementation and I can see that being very disruptive, moreso than current DB, if just copied 1-to-1. Essentially a milder version that translates more information to the screen. Currently in DB your crosshair is where your bullets go(not considering spread for a moment), the change would be that the viewmodel, your camera, would move independent of your bullet trajectory. A visual guide below:
The red dot indicates crosshair placement, the blue dot indicates bullet trajectory.
This will allow to keep the pros SD wants for aimpunch, there will still be clear visual feedback. However this will allow players to learn to ‘ignore’ aimpunch because bullet trajectory is what really matters. Knowing 100% regardless of aimpunch where your bullets will be going, essentially giving you the control that removal of aimpunch would create.
The only counterargument that I have had when discussing this version of aimpunch would be that new players, or players not wanting/invested in trying to learn the system would not understand where their bullets are going. Whilst a reasonable argument I feel like this is just as true for the current implementation of aimpunch, simply because of that no-control feeling of where your bullets are going. A newer player has to learn things, regardless of what it is, with that in mind I would ‘vote’ for a system that is learnable and easy to understand opposed to something that is easy to understand but not learnable/uncontrollable. I might perceive this wrong(I haven’t been a new player/FPS player for along time :D), but my assumption would be that it is easier for a new player to be able to learn “my bullets will always go straight but my crosshair will be there” than “my bullets will always go where my crosshair is but I don’t know where my crosshair and bullets will go”.
An example of that is how the most recent aimpunch changes seem to have only increased the feeling of jerkiness and no control eventhough technically there is less aimpunch.
Also, on the topic of the forms of feedback, currently aimpunch is mostly impacted by RPM, this is why weapons like the hochfire can feel very disruptive to play versus even when it’s only doing 2/3 damage per bullet from very long range. I think this should also be changed to be more around feedback of range and weapon type. As in all the assault rifles will give say X% aimpunch, all the LMGs will give Y% of aimpunch, all the SMGs will give Z% of aimpunch etcetera. Merc design is limited by weapontypes and to a degree about what effective ranges they will have access too. I think communicating this in the aimpunch is more important than how fast a weapon shoots. Also since with the reworked idea stacking of aimpunch will be less relevant as bullet trajectory is independent.
I know that this is likely a much more intensive rework than just tweaking values, but I do think it is the best version of aimpunch for a game like Dirty Bomb without sacrificing either ‘sides’ pros and wantings, for the long term.
Long read maybe, but with how SD’s stance on this seems to be and the community feeling unheard/ignored I felt like posting my two cents. This idea has been brougth up by myself more often aswell as by other players but I wanted to put it down for, possible, more players to consider, I will be posting this on the Official DB forums and Reddit to see if opinions vary widely between these places, as some have claimed. Thanks for reading and feel free to discussion and give opinions :). Regards, ADETO.