Been really busy over the past couple weeks so haven't had much of a chance to do anything except work. With the triple skill point week though, I've made an effort to try out the 1.2 patch with the time I do have to spare. There will possibly be another one after this going into more details, but here's some initial thoughts.
Framerate and Performance (tangent ahead)
Dust now runs at a solid 30 frames a second on the console side it seems. This is a huge improvement over previous implementations and the audio issue causing the problem has been fixed according to the CPM members I've talked to.
The downside to all this is the poor server side framerate/connectivity has been unmasked by this client side improvement. Before it wasn't as obvious because sometimes you weren't entirely sure if it was just your console lagging or the server, but now it's obvious that there is some game impacting problems. The thing is though, I don't think this is an issue that can actually be "solved". Dust matches are hosted on CCP servers and those have to be located somewhere on the planet. As long as people are playing together from different parts of the world, you'll have latency issues.
What this means in practice, is moving targets won't be exactly where the game tells you they are at times. With an issue like this, certain weapons and dropsuits benefit more than others. In Dust's case, area of effect weapons (mass drivers, flaylocks) remain at almost 100% power because they don't rely on direct hits. I'm hearing a lot of people having huge success with flaylocks right now (despite being nerfed in 1.2) and this is part of why. Automatic weapons such as the assault rifle and the submachine gun are still OK in this environment because they rely less on being 100% accurate and their natural spread of fire will allow shots to still hit their targets. The guns that really get hurt by this though are single fire weapons such as shotguns and pistols. Those rely on the enemy being exactly in the right place when you click to fire. I don't think I've died to a shotgun while I've been moving correctly to counter it since the update.
Anyway, that's enough of a tangent for one blog. Hopefully CCP can improve on this, but until the internet is powered by Quantum Entanglement Communicators, we'll just have to live with it.
Weapon Ranges and Falloff
This is one of the best changes to the game so far. Bullets now travel much further than they did pre-1.2 with a reduction in damage over distance. This changes the way many weapons operate as they are no longer limited to short range. The most notable cases seem to be the pistol and the submachine gun, which can actually be used effectively at range now.
The short end of the stick goes to the shotgun though. It only seems to be effective at short range against targets that aren't moving or are moving in a straight line. I used one for a few matches in 1.2, but it just doesn't have any range compared to the other options you get. Maybe scouts will still use this, but I can't see much of a reason to personally use one right now.
I wrote a blog a while back about this subject and I'm glad CCP didn't make any changes to LAVs yet. It's obvious at this point that something needs to be done, as their countermeasures seem to be struggling against the more expensive fits. Enough time has passed since their buff though, that CCP can gauge their relative power to everything else in the game and can start making adjustments based on that information.
Personally I'd like to see impact damage from running people over, more velocity required to kill people and Logistic LAVs made slower to differentiate them from their Scout counterparts.
Nanite injectors work most of the time now and people are shifting back into using them again. Being able to move straight away after being injected is really nice too.
Strafe sprinting is way too fast, not exactly sure what happened there to result in such a change. It makes me wonder if we'll see someone called CCP Krieger pop up on the forums soon.
New female avatar walk animation is better than the old one.
The radar changing depending on your speed is really annoying. I didn't get a chance to see if I could turn that off yet. If not, then I'd really like to be able to.
Uprising 1.2 is a good step forward and I'm enjoying the game a lot more now because of it. It's far from perfect, but the core gameplay is in a better place and the new direction from CCP Shanghai leaves me with high hopes for the future.
In the mean time, here's some fun I had with a drop uplink spawn.