Comanche 4 Legacy Project

The History Of Comanche 4 and the C4 Community 

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No Counts a community divided

Authored by Reaper

The scoring in game version V1.0.1.15 used a very unpopular scoring system. The scoring only awarded points for a kill when the last stinger
to take a players health to 0 was a direct hit. When stingers exploded near the player reducing heath to 0 with out a direct hit striking the player there was no point awarded to the attacking player.

The term used to describe stingers exploding near the player and reducing their health was splash damage. If the player died from the damage it was a splash damage kill. While officially not considered a glitch, bug or programming error the splash damage kills (no counts) were the biggest problem and caused the most discontent the community faced. Splash damage kills were not considered a glitch, bug or programming error at the time as the programming seems to have been designed intentionally to score that way.

The number of no counts increased as more players adjusted the fire repeat rate of their stingers, in a effort to unload as fast as possible to kill other players. Those fast fire repeat rates had just the opposite effect, they killed the other player more often however they did not receive a point for the kill. 

As players became more proficient at strafing and evasion tactics no counts increased to the point it began to disrupt the community, feeding the problem were players who learned what caused them and actively used tactics to make it happen more often. Those players were called Forcers, the tactics they employed were strafing from an elevated position while firing down on the player, timing when to fire in an effort to strike more direct hits against a moving target. Typically the other player fired back, unloading all the stingers they had in a single burst or two. Often both players were killed the Forcer received the point and the other player received a no count.

There were a number of players ( Forcers ) who were actively training other players on how the no count was forced and how to use tactics to raise the percentage of direct hits in order to score more points. Many players did not understand why they were not scoring points for kills at the time and were sure the players who were scoring were cheating. A number of players started to train others on why it happened and how to avoid not scoring to show them they were not cheating. The training was so successful in one case a player was accused of cheating by his squad mates and kicked out of the squad after training for just a few evenings.

The issue would climax in a nasty name calling, cheat accusation filled flame war toward the end of 2003. The blowup stemmed from players angry other players were forcing no counts and showing other players how it worked, claimed it was cheating and called the forcers out on it. What many players do not know was what triggered the first thread that started the flame war.

One of the trainers was invited in to a text messaging session with one of the players he had trained in no counts. The player was representing the squad he was a member of and asked the trainer to stop training other pilots on how no counts were forced. Keep in mind the idea behind the training was to train position of attack, limiting the number of stingers fired and when to fire them. 

The discussion got nasty and both parties were angry when the discussion was over. Needless to say the trainer refused to stop training other players and the other squad member said their squad was going to stop it. So the thread was posted and the war started.

By that time game version V1.0.1.20 was available and it scored splash damage kills as a point, the problem was players could play 8h because Auto Explode didnít work on it. Inso the original creator of AE for V1.0.1.15 was asked to make AE for version V1.0.1.20. He was nice enough to do it and there was a 8h/EFAM anti-cheat so players could play a version  of Comanche 4 that scored splash damage kills as a point.
That was not the end of the story however, V1.0.1.20 had a problem with players losing points when they were killed and the scoring scored them as a crash.

Version V1.0.1.20 became populated with players using the fastest repeat fire micros they could use to take advantage of the splash damage kills. Camping became the prominent tactic for many players who took advantage of stingers tracking heat so players do not need to play using a aggressive attacking tactic, They could hide on the map and pop up then drop down with out worrying about players firing back at them.

The community was divided between the two game versions and many players got tired of players using juiced weapons (fast fire micros), forcing no counts and of the large number of players camping the maps. They lost interest and stopped playing the game. The Golden age of Comanche 4 was over, as the game aged fewer players stuck around and those that did had fewer players to play with.

While the game scoring played a part in the problem, player attitude was the biggest culprit. The fast fire stinger micros, hot guns, flying 8h, forcing no counts, camping, complaining and the do anything to win attitude were what drive most players away. Some return now and then play a few games and reminisce about the old days. The game is old now, has few players with little chance they will be many more. But it was a lot of fun even with all the BS at one time.    


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