I would like to tell my suggestions and comments.
I agree to the players that think there should be much less lightning in the game to promote the use of flashlights, flares and subs lamps.
- the ocean should be completely dark, as well as unlit parts of the sub, ruins, etc.
- the player should have 1 meter vision around self anyway.
The idea: to give the player the sense of cold, dark embrace of the distant planet's ocean where lightning is as valuable as oxygen.
Omni, I cannot agree to your view on the weapons. As the game is set in the interplanetary colonial future, there is no place to 4 sec reload rifle and revolver, to my mind.
Look at this. Rework the harpoon gun. Let it be futuristic handheld railgun, with a flashlight and the ability to see biologicals through obstacles, in red light(only in the same beam as flashlight). Same spear capacity, battery powered. Let it light the area around with blue light when fired.
When implemented with the dark ocean, just imagine blue flashes coming from a "panic fire" of divers who try hard to catch the attacking swarm in the beam of light, standing back-to-back.
However, I agree that we need somekind of diver's knife for everyone. Other melee suggestions are good, but we should not overload the game with objects. Everything has to serve its purpose and avoid multiple items doing the same.
The idea: the harpoon gun should give you the sense of might, being capable to defeat or scare the small monsters away from you, as long as you have the batteries and ammo.
The humanity is able to produce weapons to counter the threat of monsters, isn't it?
The scarcity and expensivness of such advanced weapons should be very well empashised.
Beacons is the perfect idea! Let me suggest some technicals: Sonar should be able to see other active sonars, as in real life, however they really cannot provide identification. The sonar monitors should mark any other sonar(infrasound emitters). For this purpose, however we should add a real sonar transducer(the emitter) to the sub, connected to any onboard sonar monitor. For the purpose of the game another "machine" is enough.
Again, for the purpose of the game, let the handheld sonars provide identification. They may be thrown away enabled, with batteries. Add a checkbox "beacon" with a text option, to use handheld sonar as a beacon. Of course, batteries will drain faster with both "sonar" and "beacon" enabled. Ship identification may be set in transducer machine options.
Please, make the sonar monitor plain black, to see clearly the display. Many pilots have killed the crew hitting a moloch on full ahead because they didn't see it on display because of light background.
I think we need one more way to control the ship. Let the pilot use WASD to set the level of ballast water and the engine "force" output. Generally, I think the game has too much "drag-drop" interface.
Let the sonar operator set the range. 2-3 range scales will be enough. 50m, 100m, 200m for example. Please add one slim range ring on the monitor at half of range. These will greatly help the operator to estimate distances, by idicating the range scale in use and one or two fixed rings.
The turret railruns should be equipped with a searchlight, in case of implementing the true darkness. As it is a futuristic weapon, let it be provided with a line, that indicates the exact direction of shooting. The turrets with powerful searchlights will provide situational awarness and support to diving teams.
Furthermore, I suggest implementing somekind of long-range shooting ability. Let this be this way: the operator of the sonar can provide the shooter with the direction (in deegrees, clockwise, from 0 to 360) of the target. The railgun control has a text field to enter this direction, and a trigger to fire (hardcore af) or just a small reading near the sight line so the shooter can adjust exact direction with a mouse. The sonar, for game purposes, can register the sounds of explosions or big hits(such as target hit by shell).
Thank you for your attention, I would explain anything in other words, if anybody has problems understanding my poor English.
Btw, Barotrauma is a great game, many thanks to devs who put efforts to making it!