Posted: February 22
Storytime: The history of loadout, from my perspective
just when this game was starting out, I watched the promos for this game, it was the best thing since sliced bread for me, I was on a hype train with blutonium rockets. Hell, I attempted to make a minecraft recreation of the shipping dock. eventually I managed to win a beta key in early september 2012, loadout was fun, I was riding that hype train for all it was worth, I never minded the account wipes, because that meant something new to do for me. However loadout lost its charm over time when change after change to the combat formula brought it away from the fast paced arcade shooter and closer to the TF2 Clone it was shamed to be. It didn't have to end this way.
Beta : The golden year
beta was the testing day, shiz was fast, you died fast, you kill fast, it was fun as hell. what I find most fascinating about game development is how games evolve over time, needless to say I'm rather disappointed at how loadout turned out. but during the beta? just about everything worked, some weapons didn't kill as fast as others, but they had their own uses. Guns were fun, and you really weren't compelled to find the best and use it, you used what you liked and it was fine.
sadly this would never become the case as the system was changed over time.
First Variation : Broken balance from hell
with changes in accounts and progress, comes the introduction of the F2P system: spacebux were your resource for everything, guns parts, clothing, taunts, you name it. There were also contracts, mini-objectives for you to get ingame to upgrade your weapon parts, these would never last, but the removal of contracts is hardly a nail compared to the boards of what would eventually be the coffin for loadout's arena gaming premise. Midway into the f2p introduction however, things took a drastic change: weapon damage was globally reduced, completely throwing off the balance of the game and making it slower, the menace of Bolt-action sniper rifles was inadvertantly introduced through this, healing went from a useful buffer to a godly force of nature, juice became actually useful, Fire and tesla switched places in usefulness, rockets became commonplace, and many weapons that were fairly viable in the old version, had been inadvertantly nerfed into oblivion.
this balance shift still continues to this day, even with the minute changes over the year.
Second variation : Now - the grindfest, the slowdown.
eventually a second change in the system was immenent, but we were still teased with the prospect of new parts, particularly the cryo payload which instead of slowdown, would create obstacles, climbable obstacles, that shiz would change the game up so much, things would be insane!... no. Cryo never happened, and as far as I know the devs as is never intend for cryo to happen, even though it was hyped and tested for a year. so what about this second redesign in the system? well now you got a free resource called "blutes" which are used to purchase gun parts, yay! no pay for gun parts woo!... except now the game became a grindfest, and unless you have the time or interest to play loadout all day you were basically screwed. and then loadouts became a luxury instead of a feature, level reqs were steep, your max was three, and they weren't cheap. What happened to game balance? mostly it boiled down to "change it to please the scrubs complaining about that gun that killed them fast" instead of fixing everything else that didn't kill worth shiz. what about weapon parts? what about payloads? what about all the costmetic cool shiz we were promised? two years, and despite weaponcrafting being a main focus of the system, all we got were two scopes, one new gun barrel, and one new worthless rocket barrel.
The Future : 5.0 - aiming for the non-competitive
well, it seems that loadout is adding PvE to its next update... if it gets out. Arena shooter players seem to be left more and more in the cold as loadout gets pushed closer and closer into being a team game. A shame I must say. I preferred it as an arena shooter, now TF2 clone comparisons are being more apt instead of being "Looney Tunes if it was directed by Quentin Tarintino" as was the comparison in pre-beta days.
Parts that were consistent in being a piece of crap:
-scattering rocket exploder
-manually guided rockets
-juice in blitz
The unseen story behind the devs decisions : seriously?! what the hell is going on?
perhaps what confused me most about loadout is that it seemed like devs were leaving at an awfully frequent rate, not exactly what I would call fast, but at least one person a year, maybe two is still frequent for media that has dedicated workers in a studio. Also, why the drastic changes in direction of the game itself? usually you plan out for this kind of crap, and the game was planned out to be more like quake, less like TF2.
But why did all this happen?
in the words of Ren Hoek: "Maybe something bad, maybe something good, I guess will never know!"