Early Access 4 Feedback

Hello guys, I saw the Early Access 4 and played some matches and definitely could see the many improvements that happened after it. Serve was adjusted, the movement is much more fluid mainly during the rallies and the LT/RT mechanic is working much better now. I think the gameplay of baseline shots is almost ideal. I realized about the ball bounce tuning after a drop shot and the stamina system is an amazing addition too, so thank you for all the improvements you all brought us. The game in the current state is much more fun to play definitely. I will do now some new observations:

Serve:

  • About the zoom I realized it using the “Broadcast Dynamic” camera. If it’s possible to change, good.

  • We can direct the serve better now, but still I couldn’t get even a single ace serving many times with full power on the lines. I believe still is necessary a balance between the serve power and the capacity of the opponent to react to it. Playing many matches I could see that the serve isn’t fast enough to make the opponent feel difficult to return which makes it possible for the returner to do 1 or 2 steps, adjust the body and hit the ball back. Sometimes they don’t do any step, but do the lunge animation that has a very long range too. I believe that the players just would be able to adjust their bodies to hit the ball on the return if they are returning in very deep positions (like Medvedev do), but just when the ball comes a little closer to their bodies. When the players return usually they jump into the ball to be able to shoot because it’s too fast. I realized that on clay the returner does some steps and can even slide to return an wide serve which shouldn’t be possible because to slide players need to run, get speed and then break and during a serve there’s no time to do this. In AO 2 there is an animation during the serve return that the players do exactly what they should do.

  • Services need to be more risky. Our player and mainly the AI hit almost 100% of serves in.

  • During the serves specially I think it would be nice to have an aim mark that doesn’t show us exactly where the serve goes, but gives us an idea. It should be like AO 2, but improved.

I believe you could use this graphic from ATP as a basis for the adjustments on the AI behavior and our players’ serves.

AI:

  • I realized that now the under arm serve really happens less often. Now it happens if we go backward before the opponent’s serve or when we go deep behind the baseline to return, but even in these situations I think it shouldn’t happen because there are many players who return like this. Some examples are Nadal, Medvedev and Ruud. I prefer to return serves deep behind the baseline too when I am playing.

  • I think the movement on court and the net play still need some tuning. Sometimes the opponent still hit backhands instead of trying an inside out/in shot when they could (This point already was improved a lot as I can see). Maybe it is happening because they move a little bit fast to the other side instead of waiting for the opponent’s shot to make a decision.

  • Still it is necessary to continue improvements about the game difficulty because it becomes very easy even on expert level when we get used to it.

Shots:

  • When I’m returning serves deep behind the baseline I realized that when I can perform a shot that passes to the other side many times it goes too short even if I try to aim more deeply. Is it because of the power? Maybe should I try to load a little bit more?
  • The volleys were working good before Early Access 4, but now all volleys seem to result in a short and weak ball. Could you check it or explain to me if something changed about how to perform this type of shot?
  • Slices to me seem a little bit weak and short. I tried many times to see how it works, but I really believe that an adjustment is required.

Adrenaline Shots:

  • It’s not a necessary feature in a simulation game by the way it works right now, I think. Maybe it could be removed or changed to passive skills that work as players strengths, like perks.

Players movements when performing shots:

  • I think the players perform too many shots just blocking the ball or using slaps when we are trying to perform a topspin or flat shot on the run. There should be animations for running shots when we are moving laterally or going forward and not just have those shots like slaps. Also I believe these lunges as they work right now should be a variation of slice and should happen only if we are trying to perform slices.
  • These shots pushing the ball like slaps go too floaty when our player performs it. Currently they are almost a lob attempt. I guess it shouldn’t go so floaty always and should have a power control like the other shots where if we load more it goes more powerful. Another alternative is change this blocking shots to happen only if we really tap the button on the last second, otherwise it should perform weaker topspin/flat shots.
  • Lunges at the current state seem to be slices so I believe they should happen only after slices attempts when the ball is really too difficult to reach then it will be an intentional movement by the player and not something forced by the game. In fact I believe there should be different lunges for different types of shots and they barely should happen because most of the time they currently happen it should be possible to perform running shots.
  • For me these blocking shots should happen intentionally only when we tap the button on the last second which would result in many situations of players committing mistakes with shorter hits or very long balls but then they would need to understand which type of shot to use in each situation like slices on the run (current lunges) for defense.

About this part I will put some images of real players movements and animations already in the game for comparison to show you what I think should be in the game and what shouldn’t or should be atleast changed a little.

Real players movements:

Djokovic running shot using slide. This one should be a nice addition to happen when we are trying to perform a topspin or flat shot during the run. Currently the player always performs a lunge on these situations. Maybe this animation should be clay courts exclusive because only a few players slide on hard surfaces.

Same as the previous but on the forehand side. Currently the player always performs a lunge on these situations. Maybe this animation should be clay courts exclusive too for the same reason.

On hard courts the animation should be something like this.

On hard courts maybe the lunges should be like this movement that Serena Willians is doing when the lunge goes after a topspin or flat shot attempt.

Slice lunges on hard courts maybe could happen like this movement of Andy Murray.

I think if we want to slice and the player will lunge it should work as a slice and not be so floaty too. This movement by Djokovic seems to be the current lunge and I believe it should happen only after slices attempts as I said before.

I believe it is the same shot that Djokovic is performing in the first image. With these additions (forehand and backhand) the game will be more realistic and dynamic.

Animations in the game that I think should be replaced or changed:

This one on the baseline I believe shouldn’t happen. In this case I was trying to hit a topspin shot so the player should try a topspin shot. Sometimes really a block is necessary when the ball comes so fast in the player’s direction and we can just tap the button, but many times the player could perform the shot we want even if it needs to be weaker.

Overall, these animations seem a little bit strange to me because of the players’ stance I guess. Maybe the player’s upper body shouldn’t turn a lot and his legs shouldn’t be so close. Maybe it should be changed to a more open stance.

Again, thank you for all your effort. The game is becoming more and more interesting and fun after each patch and I believe it can be the best tennis game ever for sure.

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