The absolute state of Phantom Forces



  • (lol i had to make a new account bc i got locked out of my old one)
    OPINION PIECE. DON'T GET MAD, TALK ABOUT IT. CHALLENGE IT. DEBATE IT.

    I've been wanting to talk about the current stance of PF for quite a while now, but I'm finally talking about it now because I've reached my absolute limit. This is more just laying out stuff rather than properly formatting it as an essay.

    First thing I wanna talk about is the overwhelming amount of choice in the game. The game has way too many guns based on the meta and I don't know it StyLis is aware of it. If they are, they aren't doing a very good job of handling it. There's a lot of guns that I don't get see used and as far as I'm aware, the meta isn't that broad; it currently has a big emphasis on flachette, high-recoil LMG's and a handful of assault rifles. From my understanding and experiences in PF, the meta hasn't had a big change since the HK variants were added, or maybe even the sniper revamp. I don't know if it's because of StyLis' lack of focus on balance since 2019 or if another reason is involved, so don't quote me on that. I find class balances in PF to be very interesting when considering that PF was intended to be the most realistic FPS in ROBLOX. Having Shotguns act closer to snipers than what shotguns typically are in FPS games whilst having an anti-material rifle that can feel like it's less consistent that shotguns.

    The recent maps that have been added more or less have aesthetics and nothing else. They don't work very well with PF's current state and I'm somewhat certain that a huge amount of people are disappointing with at least some of the new maps. The older maps are nothing special but they at least work, however they really started going downhill once maps like Blizzard, Rig and Mirage (although I kind of like Mirage) were added. Rig feels like you're forced to use LMG's and/or Shotguns on objective-based gamemodes because of it emphasis on enclosure and elevation whilst Blizzard is a complete mess that disadvantages virtually every kind of player. It was too big, the constant curves in the ground was very annoying and it overall felt like a refined baseplate. I don't care too much about the new aesthetic the devs want to take but it's both fallen flat on its face and is as far away as possible from what PF used to be whilst still not being its own game.

    The sniper revamp and bolt fix from late 2018-early 2019 was (and still is) seen as one of the worst changes in the game for a lot of people that I know, especially seeing that lots of people I've talked to agree that 2018 was the best time to play PF. Whilst it does have some logical weight to it, with it acting as a balance and nod to the dev's goals for the game, it was a very negative change to the game. The sniping community has been around for a very long time and it's already had a huge influence on what snipers were in PF. It feels like a rather foolish move for StyLis to have taken so long to fix what snipers were. And in the current stance of the game, it feels like they're even harder to get consistent at (I personally find snipers almost impossible to use in an aggressive playstyle, but some much more talented players do agree that snipers did become harder to use when those changes came around).

    Latency and engine performance is a god damn joke in PF, but I understand that it's less an issue with StyLis and more ROBLOX themselves. I wish that StyLis would maybe try and get ROBLOX to aknowledge and fix latency issues and perhaps put more of an emphasis on improving the ROBLOX engine (like allowing the player to use the GPU and getting rid of the 60FPS cas).
    Servers and team balancing I feel are worse than the were in 2018. I sometimes feel like there's more alt accounts than there are new players and finding a good bot server happens once in a blue moon in comparison to how frequently I would get them back in 2018 (could just be because the meta didn't really encourage that or maybe PF was more popular in that state, IDK).

    AxisAngle joined on a modded PF game and I have no idea why, it could've been him checking if the game was worth taking down or seeing how players interacted with it. I just hope that he and possibly a few other members could take that in to consideration not only with snipers but with the game as a whole.
    In fact, I would much rather them building on and tweaking what they have now and have them switch the game back to a 2018 stance, removing guns that barely get used and removing elements of the game that feel out of place (newer maps, some attachments, etc.). I feel like them doing stuff like adding straight pull bolt is more a lazy attempt to bring back old players and keep current ones, it feels like they don't understand what made snipers so good in the first place.

    Don't get angry at this post, I could've been a lot more aggressive and less formal than I am now. There's more stuff I could mention (like bullet paths and scuffed movement) but I don't want this post to be the length of a thesis.



  • I agree with most of what you said here. The maps tho, they aren't bad. Mirage sucks though, because its full of rank 25 BFG cancer.



  • exactly what I am frustrated and annoyed about.



  • All of those are fixable; and judging by the surge of recent test place changes it would appear that Stylis is becoming more active and become more receptive to playerbase opinion. Whether these changes will lead to an improvement of the game is uncertain at this stage, but there's still hope.

    Latency and engine performance is a god damn joke in PF, but I understand that it's less an issue with StyLis and more ROBLOX themselves. I wish that StyLis would maybe try and get ROBLOX to aknowledge and fix latency issues and perhaps put more of an emphasis on improving the ROBLOX engine (like allowing the player to use the GPU and getting rid of the 60FPS cas).

    You pretty much explained this issue yourself.



  • A few things:
    A thesis is a sentence or two. I don't know how it became synonymous with long length, but shouldn't a thesis be relatively short?

    I agree with the maps complaint. I really don't care for the newer maps, other than Bazaar. You also mentioned the performance issues, and although I don't
    think PF can really change that, as you said, it's more Roblox itself, I can't help
    but feel like I get really laggy while in Rig, with such a small map and the same
    amount of players.

    I also agree with the shotguns problem. I feel like one, the shotguns damage should have a much higher drop off (high close range, and extremely low damage far), and two, why can the spread be smaller if you aim in? I sometimes get that message saying that, and it makes absolutely no sense.

    If I were to disagree with anything you said, it would probably be about the too-many unused guns. I recently became rank 120, and even when I got over rank 80, I noticed how much slower progress is made, especially with new guns. To be honest, I just get bored using the most recently unlocked gun. I consistently go through various gun categories and try various guns that I haven't used in a while or completely forgot about, and I have fun doing it. Every gun allows a slightly different play-style, and with how my play-style is very fluid, it could change each time I play PF, or what map we play, it matches well. I always enjoyed having a few guns that I unlocked months ago or longer and never used, such as the Aug A3 PARA. I really didn't even know the gun existed to be honest. Soon after, I got really good with it and got hundreds of kills, but I believe it is a great example of my opinion here. The less guns you have, the quicker you can get bored of them, and right now, I like how many guns there are, and I'll go as far as welcoming new ones. That being said, I would not be opposed to rebalancing of various guns.



  • OPINIONS ARE MY OWN:

    • I agree, the meta has been very stagnant as of late, and I do personally wish for some drastic balancing to change that. But I'm worried that if the changes are too massive/drastic that the community gets upset and we end up having to tweak it (or worse, revert it) so that it remains the way they were.
    • Some of the map creators know what place their maps are in. Rig's creator is looking into a revamp, Blizzard is still being worked on, and I just released Mirage Prime into test place (and reception has been sufficiently positive, actually). I can represent the map creators to say that we do care lots about our maps.
    • I think aesthetics on our maps in general are also just as important as gameplay. It's really the best way to keep our maps from looking stale and outdated.
    • The bolt and sniper reticles fix were essential, if you ask me. It really tuned sniper rifles down to what they were intended. The reticle fix also made sure that your gun always hits in the center of the reticle, so your aim always stays true. This also reinforces my first point - change something too much, and people will hate it.
    • You can always use sniper rifles for aggro, it's just much riskier now, which again, puts sniper rifles to where they were. See Intervention and its 150 studs one-shot range.
    • I would ask that people instead just get used to the changes. Reticles has always had a fundamental problem before the fix as I stated, and you don't see people complain about it because they had gotten used to it.
    • I think and believe that the devs have tried contacting ROBLOX regarding the latency problems. People can say the devs don't care about the game anymore, but deep down I know they do. ROBLOX probably even KNOWS about the latency problems at this point, StyLiS can't be the only group that's talking about it.
    • You can always use your GPU for ROBLOX, it's just not as easy as you may expect it to be. Go look it up.
    • I personally always think that team balancing is just a myth in a ROBLOX game, and I feel that newer players don't actually care much about the game to want team balancing either - they're just feeling too casual for the game (which is good).
    • I have touched down on the smurfing problem a while back, and I'll say it again - trying to fight against smurfs is a fruitless endeavor. You'd have to do something as draconian as Ubisoft just did for Rainbow 6 Siege to really achieve that (go look up the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct changes they did a few days ago).
    • The conventional forms of countermeasures you can come up with to fight against that (matchmaking, dedicated servers, etc) will only serve to encourage or even incentivize smurfing as a whole in a platform as accessible as ROBLOX (you don't even need email accounts to create an account). It's a double edged sword that rarely if not never pierces what's opposite of you.
    • It's not easy to just remove/vault guns as the community wishes. People have paid for them either by unlocking it early or for its skins. Furthermore they all add content in a way or another - why remove them?
    • Why would you talk about SPB, how has that added relevant and relatable substance to what you said? I can see no link to your talk about sniper rifles and how they were back then, considering you still had to unscope to pull the bolt back then.

    Before anyone asks,
    no, I am not putting a TL;DR version of this. Read it or don't.



  • I forgot to mention when I first posted that even competition PF is getting bored of the current stance of the game and has stooped so low for their standards that there's now a competitive sniping league, so they're most likely gonna want the sniper revamp reverted so they can play more aggressively. (this is a reply because the edit cooldown doesn't work)



  • depressededitor

    Phantom Forces cannot be improved further. That's why Cor5 remastered is being developed.

    The guns were from a time period when they didn't know what to do, because the thing is... The Phantom Forces engine is delicate. If you make a change to it, you have to be very precise - it's based on some very old code, and changes are hard to make.

    The maps are bigger because there needs to be more spots to appeal to the younger kids playing the game - hence why you'll find more campers and more confusing spots.

    I hope the best for Cor5 Remastered, we can only focus on this for now.



  • depressededitor Again, aggressive sniping is still viable, just made a lot riskier because you can't skip the bolt chamber animation anymore.

    Also, I can't even call that so much a revamp as it is a fix. Because yes, shots not hitting the center of the reticle is a bug, and yes, being able to skip the animation is an unintended feature.



  • Guns that are barely used? Barely used by you I assume. Even if they are barely used by the community, others may have grinded the f*** out of those guns. Raspy said that removing guns was not his priority btw.