How to fix Dirty Bomb, or at least, how to start fixing Dirty Bomb!

(Meetrock) #1

TL;DR: Dirty Bomb needs a mod to make all the players feel like they are playing for fun, and not for objective, to eliminate the tension between good players and bad players, since balancing might put one good player with 6 bad players vs 7 good players. Deathmatch(-like) is my suggestion to fix the problem.


We should all agree, that the most annoying problem with Dirty Bomb and the most problem we talk about outside of the game and during a match in the game is BALANCE. Starting a game with noobs(I know they’re learning, but they are still noobs, I’ll explain why…) is always frustrating, trying to at least fix this “minor” issue will surely be appreciated by all players.

As a Computer Science student, I am familiarized with the term UX (User Experience), which is a role SD is offering as a job. To explain what is UX to those who don’t understand in the simplest way, image this scenario:
-You own a small restaurant in a small town, many travelers go through this town in their journey.
-You have almost all qualities to offer the best service and food in your restaurant.
-Among the travelers, there are people who like fish, and people who like beer.
-You must attract and satisfy the highest amount of these travelers.

What are you going to do? The simplest answer is, offer everything you can in your restaurant, starting from fish to beer. This is only part of UX, which is what I only need to explain for my idea.

This scenario fits with what is happening with Dirty Bomb. SD is the restaurant owner, the restaurant is Dirty Bomb, the town is the gaming realm, the travelers are us the gamers, the travelers (us)’ preferences are our skills and capabilities in games (can also be seen as mere preferences in games). The only thing different, which makes it a lot simpler, is the preferences and what we actually need, travelers going into a restaurant means the owner must think of the taste buds coming in, satisfying all would be hard but not impossible. In a video game such as Dirty Bomb, you can consider 2 preferences: playing with pro players and playing with noob players (let’s exclude all the levels in between, to make it simpler). What the game needs to do, is offer seamless experience to both of these categories. How? The next paragraph will explain how.

The reason why there is balance problem, is because the game style requires people to be skilled in order for the team to win. Dirty Bomb is built upon the idea of a team must work together to win an objective, but if %90 of team is not skilled, the remaining %10 will be frustrated. Even when you’re just playing for fun, you will always find yourself trying to do the objective unintentionally, and when you fail to do so, you will get sad, and you only wanted to play for fun. I’m not gonna say change the game style or anything, it can’t be undone now, and furthermore, the style of the game is perfect and is what makes the game so special. What SD actually needs to do, is simply, and suggested many times before, add new mods other than stopwatch and objective( OR BRING BACK EXECUTION, I’ll explain why execution is not really a good option here, just something helpful, and actually doable since it was actually in the game so reimplementing won’t be hard), heck you can add one more mod and things will be fixed like magic. My idea for a simple mod (an old concept in gaming), is actually Deathmatch(-like). As explained before, the gap between players (pros and noobs) is what creates the tension in both these players categories, and the nature of the DB existent mods adds more depth to the problem. A Deathmatch(-like) mod will make all the players play for fun, play for kills or play for skills, they will not be stressed by the fact that they need to defend an objective or do an objective in a certain amount of time, they won’t even think that players in their team are not helping. Every player will be playing for themselves and will not care if they don’t succeed, and their victory or failure won’t affect anyone else at all. You can also understand this idea in another way, DB needs a mod that pros and noobs as categories of players, start to fade, and a mod to actually teach the noobs how to get better. Deathmatch (-like) is a perfect fit, and should be really considered by the dev team.

P.S 1: The reason Execution isn’t a perfect fit, but only a good thing to start with, is because it still has the objective stress, to help balance the game and fix the problem, players need to feel like they’re not obliged to do something but only play for fun or for developing their skills.

P.S 2: Notice how I used (-like) when I say Deathmatch, the reason is because a traditional Deathmatch might not fit with DB, but taking the concept and implementing in the game with changing some stuff could work too, the concept is what we need, not the real game play.

P.S 3: This does not bring the question of where is ranked, ranked is also a problem for balance, an even worse condition for the balance problem.

I apologise for the long thread, I’m also a bad writer and a bad explainer, if you understand my point and agree please comment. If you don’t understand, just ask.

(henki000) #2


I just hope they bring execution back. Perhaps there could be story mode as player and/or co-op vs enviroment. But the way you presented deathmatch didnt appeal me. Solo deathmatch wont bring balance back, because mercs cost credits and maps are too linear. People who drop in the middle are in disadvantage and people teaming in this enviroment would cause catastrophical balance issues.

Best way to fix balance is private servers and people actually playing on them. UI that support claning and scrimming. It will clear most high level key-players on public servers and give new players their space and time. Problem is, Dirty Bomb needs to find enough players to support polarization. It was their reason to remove execution, and I believe their reasoning but dont second their procedure. It didnt impact that hard to playerbase than I expected. But it sure did leave some bleeding wounds to community, as it really wasnt a invigorating decision. Community wanted experiments and godspeed development. Whats left, is here.


Creating separate modes for casual and hardcore players seems noble, but idk why objectives are the problem though. It’s not like any of them are difficult, all they basically boil down to is “don’t let the badguys here, press F over there”.
I guess you could argue that playing against a stacked team or whatever makes pushing an objective frustrating, but that doesn’t change in a free for all deathmatch. Your team is there to support you after all, they can help a new player get used to the game, whereas deathmatch just throws you in there alone, possibly still against the same very competitive players.
It’s also worth noting DB isn’t built as a deathmatch game, it’s built as a team based objective game. There are a lot of mercs who are far better suited to supporting a team than they are fending for themselves. Mercs like sparks, aura, turtle, etc would all be impractical. Plus mercs aren’t free either, so a new player wouldn’t have a lot of options. And since your deathmatch is targeted towards new players, it’s not really practical.
On top of all that, maps aren’t built for deathmatch like @henki000 said, so in order to actually implement this you’d need to create a lot of new maps, effort that’s probably better used on one of the other bazillion problems in DB.

I’m all for more gamemodes and things to do in DB, but completely changing up the entire game really isn’t practical, nor will it really solve any of the issues.

(Kirays) #4

You are suggesting something which essentially already exists. Up until you can feel confident in pushing for the objective killing is a crucial and major aspect of the game; there are plenty of targets to practise your aim on, hence why a seperate mode isn’t required for that. New players’ aim won’t magically improve from one second to the other because they don’t have to worry about the objective anymore.

(ThunderZsolt) #5

If I understand correctly, you are suggesting a free for all game mode, right?
If so, I 100% support the idea.

@henki000 Execution was fun, but when you got sniped you had to wait until the next round, which was the main downside of the mode imo.
And it still has an objective, and you still depend on your teammates, so in the end it’s not that different from the core game mode as it looks like at first.

@STARRYSOCK @Kirays The objective is only a problem because it requires team coordination, you can’t do everything yourself. And even if it is TDM, your teammates might die a lot.

To be honest, DB is one of the better games when it comes to be on the losing teams, but having a FFA gamemode wouldn’t hurt unless it takes away too much resources from the other stuff.

(Meetrock) #6

Yes, you sort of understand my idea. We need a mod where people won’t have to wait for a respawn when they die (at least not like Execution where you wait until the round ends) or be frustrated by doing the objective, or even wait for your team to aid you. A Deathmatch (and I again, insist on adding -like to it, which people didn’t even read the P.S about) will make people play for themselves, they won’t wait for respawns, they won’t think about doing objectives and they won’t wait for teammates to help them, everyone is their own, and what makes it even better, is the mercs system (yes, some mercs will be useless like medics, especially aura). People will get to play any merc they want, not for team play or doing the objective, but to develop their skills using that merc, without HAVING to think about other things.

(SM83 Power Operative ) #7

This game has not been the same to me since Execution was removed. I play far less than I did previously and I took a break from this game for a few months recently - something I never thought I’d do because DB has really been the only game I’ve played for the past 2+ years. I come back to Ranked being removed and the biggest ‘change’ we got are some stupid weapon skins as a money-grab implementation. Our playerbase is dry and matchmaking systems struggle when restricted so I understand why certain things had to go and why they feel splitting the community across multiple modes is a bad idea. But to put it bluntly, that is NOT my problem. It only becomes my problem once certain aspects of the game have been removed because the folks in charge have failed on multiple fronts with regard to broadening the appeal of this game. The removal of any game modes and user options, regardless of how substantial they are, is not enjoyable for me as the consumer/player; as a person who has thrown chunks of money towards bullshit cosmetic events not because I support the store model itself, but rather because I had high hopes for the development team and wanted to support them and Dirty Bomb.

With all of that said, I support any form of new game modes. I don’t care if it’s unpolished and has a few kinks to work out until (if) we get a larger playerbase. Dirty Bomb is not, and never was, just a casual OBJ pub to me with nothing else. It was forgivable when the game was new, fresh, and exciting, but it’s sad that years later we’re limited to doing the same damn thing over and over.

(bgyoshi) #8

Doesn’t sound like a mode that works with the game in any way. There will be no balance for an FFA mode and attempting to balance an FFA mode would ruin balance for Obj and Stopwatch modes. Similarly, the dev team already said they aren’t interested in maintaining two realms of balance at the same time so it’s unlikely that an FFA mode will catch on in any way. It’s also been suggested before!

P.S. PS stands for post-script, ergo…
P.P.S. Consecutive second, third, fourth PS’ are created by adding another P, post-post-script
P.P.P.S. Like this

(B_Montiel) #9

Problems that I see about the “frustration” people can get when playing DB :

  • Maps are proper funnels that only lead to the meatgrinder. A newcomer, who aims badly but copes with teamwork and objectives will always fall against a well placed enemy. Pretty much every single objective of this game can be put on total lock down by two well-aware players on public 6vs6. The big difference between DB and older SD opuses mostly holds there in my view : in W:ET, a noob sneaking its way through could still unlock some objectives, while here its pretty much impossible unless the defense do a massive mistake. No back routes, no sneaking side objectives, and we all saw what happened to old dome even though this was a good map philosophy - badly put in place though -

  • Mercs that are straight game breaker in good hands. Fragger, no matter his 130 hp, can still clusterfuck a public server balance played by a decent (not even good) player right now. It’s just an example. As subsequent issue, merc that have a straight advantage in duels : any 120+ hp merc has more chances of winning a gunfight no matter what (gunfight implying with the main weapon and not ability, set Rhino aside). I.E. Proxy should have a 50/50 win/loss ratio in gun duels with most mercs, she currently does not.

  • No incentive to take the appropriate class for your team. 80% of the balance issues comes from those two retards who also picked vassili on attack because you did three kills earlier with that merc. More seriously, I’ve seen so many times teams with 1 single medic or 3 engineer stack, that should never happen.

  • Rules such as one merc rule that are not applied / applicable with the current public format, although they’re admitted mandatory to have a fair game by SD

  • Goddamn 8vs8 habit which does not reflect how DB should be played on such small maps

But yes, I see the meaning through your post : the game lacks an early entry point. As an answer, I have clearly no clue how you can end in DB as your first FPS or even first fast FPS. That’s bad, and SD should even advertise that the learning curve coming from COD / BF / CS is awfully steep.

The thing is, no one will carry more than 10 games in a deathmatch mode on DB. Even some points I mention above are good reason to not carry on that mode for longer.

Just tell every potatoe coming here to do DOOM 2016 in second to last difficulty before even thinking about joining a DB server.

Last but not least, people are just selfish turds nowadays. You can promote teamwork as hard as you’d want, 80% of the playerbase put its KDr above everything else, even if they’re incredibly bad at it. I’ve noticed it very recently on older battlefield games, but the general behaviour on fps definitely changed. The average amount of teamwork decreased on every game I played.


Not really. I mean, it’s pretty rare to play a public match with any sort of proper communication on either side, and yet objectives still get done. Sure you have some people so clueless they just run off, but considering objectives are literally the only thing to push for in a match, most people will try to do them anyways.

When neither side is coordinated it all still works out, which is more often than not the case

(HadronZodiac) #11

Oooouuu i once tried to “help improve it” too and lololol i got more salt than the mediterranean sea

(ThunderZsolt) #12

I realized that my post has bad wording :neutral_face:

I’ve meant “the only problem with objective” instead of “The objective is only a problem because”.

Sure, you can do objectives when the enemy team equally doesn’t care, but when they have a medic and your team doesn’t, and you can’t switch because you are the only obj. specialist in EV attacking, you are almost 100% determined to lose and can’t really do much.
Same applies when your teammates are actively trying to fill the missing roles but fail.

You can see how this scenario can get frustrating, especially when it happens multiple times in a row, (I did quit playing Paladins because of the same reason) and I think this is why the OP said a deathmatch like game mode would fix that.

@bgyoshi it is clear that a FFA wouldn’t be balanced EVER in any game, for many reasons:

  • Most games have FFA as a “side” game mode, played on maps designed for other modes.
  • Random spawn locations mean you can get shot from behind right after you spawn.
  • Or you find a low HP enemy right after spawning.
  • If you join late, it is unlikely to finish 1st place.
  • The most effective tactic is to search for duels and killsteal them instead of dueling.

And the DB specific issues:

  • Engineers would have a useless passive.
  • Medics would lose a lot of usefulness without revive.
  • Proxy mine spam for free points.

And you know what?
It is easy to accept that a user-requested game mode is unbalanced, because everyone understands that the devs don’t put much effort into it.
For example in Quake Champions the most popular game mode is instagib, which is FFA deathmatch with only railguns (like bolt action snipers in DB but 100% accurate hipfire) and melee, and if you get hit you insta die. It is like the definition of ****ed balance. (The tournaments have 1v1 or 2v2 format)

(n-x) #13

Could you explain what you exactly mean with deathmatch-like and how it is different from just deathmatch?

(K1X455) #14


STOP right there, you’re playing the wrong game.

Go play candy crush or tetris.

(Meetrock) #15

Since you asked and I feel obliged to answer, I’ll re-explain my idea after I clarify what I mean by a Deathmatch-like mod (Thank you very much for noticing the -like word, some people didn’t notice it at all).

A traditional Deathmatch game in most of FPS games, as we know; is simply doing nothing but killing people, there are no teams, there are no objectives, just the player and his skills. The concept itself is perfect to solve a minor problem (which I have also mentioned between the lines in the original post). This problem is the gap between players, new players find it hard to play against old players, since there are a shit ton of things to learn at once, like how should they use their first merc (I see new people not reviving with Aura), or how to tell an objective is done, or must be done etc…, they are usually carried away with the killing aspect of the game, which is not what DB is about. Old players, they kill, they do objectives. New players, they only “TRY” to kill, and rarely do their objectives or even attempt to. This problem can be solved by first introducing new players to a mod where they can be free, they won’t think about objective until they feel like they can actually do the objective (REMEMBER PLEASE, THE CORE PROBLEM HERE IS BALANCE. NOT NEW PLAYERS, THEY ARE JUST A PART OF THE PROBLEM). Another minor problem is the merc system (I won’t dig too deep into that, since it’s a bigger problem), new players are introduced to one free merc which is Aura at first, then they start unlocking other mercs by either spending money on them or stacking credits to buy the one they prefer, not everyone can be good with aura, so the new players should be able to play any merc they want with this mod to know what they really need to pay for. Therefore, the “Deathmatch-like” mod should have these characteristics:

  • First of all, all mercs must be free to use in this mod, so the new players can choose the mercs they want, and in the same time train their skills.

  • The mod will have the main concept of Deathmatch, which is no teams and the only thing to do is kill. But DB has mercs with certain abilities, some are defensive, some are offensive and some are inbetween . So the killing part will be unfair, this is where SD must decide to either introduce the mod to only offensive mercs and leave defensive mercs unlocked. Or, do the following:

    • For defensive mercs such as Aura, players who play her can’t be killed (I know it sounds crazy at first, but bear with me). Because her main use is healing and reviving players, thus other than being immortal in this mod, she also must be stripped from her weapons(only leaving her with her defib and knife). So players who use her, will get to only MEDIC, they will only use her for medic purposes, they can heal or revive whomever they want, it’s a good idea, so people actually get to learn how to medic (Something SD really wants people to do, since they have a 23k Support XP contract and the first free merc is actually Aura).
    • For Defensive and Offensive mercs such as Sawbonez or Pheonix they should get extra health and better weapons only. They are perfect for a Deathmatch.
    • For Offensive mercs that have artillery or can throw projectiles (You know who). They should suffer extra cooldown for their abilities so it feels fair for other mercs.
    • For Recon mercs, let them be, they are already perfect for a deathmatch since they can camp somewhere
    • For proxy, bushwhacker and turtle, still thinking what to do with these ones.
  • An alternative to al this, could be giving the same health and same speed to all mercs, and let people rumble.

(Meetrock) #16

You are one of the people who make DB look so bad, because you probably play Sawbonez and only heal yourself.

(K1X455) #17

You don’t know half my story m8.

If you can’t handle objective gameplay, then you definitely are losing the whole point of DB.

Here: Add this to your XP so you post more sensible things.

(Meetrock) #18

Again, you’re making wrong implications. Learn to read between the lines and learn to understand where things are going.

(K1X455) #19

When you start of with the wrong thing about not being objective, the rest does not matter.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Please… it’s 2018.

EDIT: If you want a TDM, there are other games that cater to that.

I don’t need to tell you what they are… or unless you’re really that misinformed.

(Meetrock) #20

Here you are again, making the WRONG implications.