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  • [Suggestion] A investigation into supply crates.


    The supply crate system has been a topic of debate for a long time now. It underwent many changes, nerfs and improvements.

    I myself dislike it incredibly heavily, as I find that it only leads to scriptwhore attitudes and a lack of RP. A new player can get their hands on a ridiculous amount of items with no effort put in at all. They can receive hundreds of items without having to write a single /me.

    The past week or so, I kept finding medigel vials, cans of beans and boxes full of ammo on the ground all over Outlands, and I've also found ridiculous amounts of supplies by breaking supply crates myself.

    And so, I decided to do some research on my own, to see just how broken the current system is.

    The method;

    On the development server running the current version of the Outlands map, I created a new character and gave him 20 speed, 10 strength and a crowbar. With those tools and skills, I began an investigation to see how many items I could amass while utilizing resources that would be easily available to a new player that /just/ joined the server.

    I started each run in front of WF, and proceeded to run across the map to hit as many supply crates as I could in as little time as I could.

    (Rough sketch of the route I took each run).

    The results;

    (Keep in mind that much of this is RNG. It’s completely random whenether the supply crate is full of CCA grade rations, or empty.)

    1st run;

    Time taken; 29 minutes, 36 seconds.

    Crates destroyed; 23.

    Number of items received; 51.

    Items received;
    1x UU branded Cooked Rice
    4x Bandage Kit
    3x Medkit
    12x Medigel Vial
    3x Clean Water
    8x Rifle ammo box
    5x SMG ammo box
    2x UU-branded cooked beans
    2x Grenade
    6x Pistol ammo
    3x Biotic Grade Green
    2x Combine Medium Armour Battery

    /me’s performed; None.

    (Spoils of Run 1)

    2nd run;
    Time taken; 28 minutes, 29 seconds.

    Crates destroyed; 24.

    Number of items looted; 41.

    Items looted;

    6x Rifle ammo box
    5x Pistol ammo box
    9x Bandage kit
    5x UU-Branded cooked Beans
    7x SMG ammo box
    2x Grenade
    6x medigel vial
    1x medkit
    2x Clean water
    1x Breaching charge
    2x UU-Branded Cooked Rice

    /me’s performed; None.

    (Spoils of Run 2)

    3rd Run;

    Time taken; 27 minutes, 43 seconds.

    Crates destroyed; 25.

    Number of items looted; 58.

    Items looted;

    6x SMG ammo box
    2x SPAS-12 Magazine
    10x Bandage Kit
    3x Breaching Charge
    5x Clean water
    5x UU-Branded cooked Beans
    6x Rifle ammo box
    7x Medigel vial
    5x Combine Standard Armour
    1x Biotic Grade Green Ration
    3x Pistol Magazine
    2x Grey Ration
    1x Normal Grade Blue Ration
    1x Large Soda

    /me’s performed; None.

    (Spoils of Run 3)
    The conclusion;

    In conclusion, by dedicating just a little over an hour and a half, I was able to get a ridiculous amount of items (including grenades, combine standard armor batteries, breaching charges, all kinds of ammunitions and rations) without having to perform a single /me, or having to roleplay once.

    A great amount of the items I received were ammunition, food and medical equipment.

    The problems this causes;

    There’s two major problems that this obviously broken system causes.

    1st problem; The rarity of medication, ammunition and food, and how it impacts the setting.

    The HL2 setting is one of despair and decay. Death lurks around every corner. Alyx Vance herself, in Episode One states that “There are so many ways to die out here.” when the player comes across a dead rebel laying on the ground. Ammo, food and medicine is rare, and rebels need to act smart in order to survive.

    The supply crate system, and how it works currently, goes against the setting of HL2. In CC currently, everything that should be rare is incredibly common and easy to obtain.

    What’s the point of acting smart and conserving ammunition when fighting against zombies when you can get tons of free ammunition from the supply crates?

    What’s the point of acting smart and planning out your moves during a firefight when you can get tons of free medication from the supply crates and heal yourself?

    What’s the point of acting smart and roleplaying harvesting headcrabs for their meat, then cooking it when you can get tons of free food from the supply crates?

    There’s too many supplies in circulation, which makes these supplies nearly worthless in the current rebel economy.

    2nd problem; What this teaches players new to our server, or roleplay as a whole.

    The supply crate system teaches new players that they can receive items without putting any effort into it, and that they don’t need to put effort into their roleplay, because the amount of /me’s performed doesn’t impact the amount of items received at the end of a run.

    If they managed to get loads of items without roleplaying anything, why would they ever change their tactic? It worked last time, so it will probably work again.

    This leads to scriptwhore attitudes and poor roleplay down the line.

    The fix;

    I don’t think the crate system needs to be removed, just reworked significantly.

    Here are the changes that I suggest are implemented.

    Food, ammo and medicine should be made much less common.

    Some items should be removed from the supply crates as a whole (e.g. rations).

    Minor contraband, clothes and perhaps melee weapons should have a chance to be found inside supply crates.

    The way that crates work currently need to be changed. They shouldn’t spawn in the same spots every time. They shouldn’t spawn on their own at all, as a matter of fact. Staff members should instead create little scenarios that utilize the supply crates in some way (e.g. a abandoned house with a turret guarding three supply crates in the backroom). Scenarios like that actually require the player to roleplay before they are able to get their hands on the loot, and leave the character with something to talk about, and a pleasant RP memory.

    Those are just my findings and suggestions regarding the system. Feel free to post your thoughts.

    Pico likes this.

  • #2
    I should say that the types of crates aren't actually random. I ended up having to manually decide which crate types spawn where.

    I agree with most of this suggestion, however I'm a little afraid of losing the supply crates because I enjoy them as a concept. The reason why I pushed to have crates originally was because they felt like a memorable mechanic of Half-Life 2 for me.

    I initially tried to place crates manually throughout the outlands and canals, but like a lot of similar ideas on CC, these just don't work when you eventually get tired and stop doing them. We'd have to make it into a required chore for staff/event coords to place them, otherwise we're eventually going to stop and forget about them again.

    I do enjoy manually placed crates, though. Things like turrets guarding a crate are setups I've tried in the past and had success with, and if we could get people to do it more, that'd be great for exploration. However, while reading I did think about a potential simple fix so we wouldn't have to completely remove the semi-random crate spawns.
    If Chen can put a cap on the amount of random crates spawned at once, I think they'd be more balanced. If there's a maximum of two crates that can spawn on the map at any given time (and all the other spawns remain empty until a crate is found), this would prevent people from doing insanely hoard-y supply runs.
    I personally think we do need a fair amount of crates which aren't blocked off by a threat like turrets or something. A few fair crates like those you'd find in the White Forest Inn in Ep2 would be nice. With the cap in place, we'll leave the actual brunt of crates to the manually placed setpieces, while still allowing people to explore more quiet areas and find a handful of goods.

    Lastly, though, please don't add minor contraband to crates. Before the current rework, crates had an abundance of crap like lighters, batteries, and flashlights. This was extremely unsatisfying when you were looking for actual supplies and just kept getting useless tools. If anything, we should just add one melee weapon, like a knife.
    Concerning rations, sure, we should get those removed. It may be better if the food you find is all logical rebel food, not stolen rations.
    KontraxTcz2886 likes this.


    • #3
      I totally agree with this, the crate system is horrible in those conditions, i myself made another suggestion to rework them long ago.