Poll Question 271 – Should modders give weapons or ammo first?

20th April 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I was playing a mod this morning and found ammo before I got any weapons.

My first thought was to go back and look again, which is exactly what I did.

I spent, or wasted!, 5 minutes retracing my steps.

Now, the whole “weapon and ammo location” issue is quite complex and really depends on the game and setting. Personally, all these shotguns and pistols laying around in Half-Life games is not very believable.

I think there should be a body next to each. Ammo should only be found in the gun itself – if that means that the modder must put more weapons lying around then so be it.

Anyway, if I get a weapon and ammo at the same time, I am okay with that, but I prefer to get the weapon first, as that encourages me to hunt for ammo.

As I said earlier, if I get the ammo first I always think I must have missed the weapon.

What about you?

Time to vote


  1. I personally suggest giving the player a weapon with limited munition first.
    There are some reasons for that.

    A) Giving the player munition first is making them confused, and like in the case mentioned above, making them waste time re-tracing the way and looking for weapons.

    B) When you get a shotgun, the ammo is maximal and you go out on a rampage.
    This means that when you get a weapon for the first time, you should use the ammo sparingly, and not get a full box of it and mindlessly shoot.

    C) It’s totaly not important.
    I mean really, why to prequel the munition when you can pack it straight with the gun.
    It might have a point that I’m ignoring, but I don’t see a point in “Weapon prequels”

    So my final vote will be Tier 1 weapons with limited munition.

  2. I think you make a good point here with the player being confused when getting ammo first, but here is a little counter argument:
    In HL2 you get ammo for the revolver (at that little basket physics puzzle) before you get the actual weapon (later at the entrance of the gate control station). This is a good method to motivate the player.
    Even though I think that Valve didn’t do a good job there because the ammo box isn’t all that noticable and the player will probably just think that it is ammo for a weapon he already has.
    But if done a bit better by putting the ammo more “in the spotlight” you can get the player excited.
    They know that they will probably get a cool, new weapon soon. This will keep them going and want them to explore and progress further to get their new item.
    Of course if you get them excited about the weapon but then never deliver or give it to them too late that would be really bad, leaving the player disappointed.

  3. Really not matter for me. At first I search HEV.

  4. zonbie

    for my mod, you will get a weapon and an enormous supply of ammo for it (think SMG with 900 rounds). Then immediately following that, you will be going through three or four maps without a single “easy” ammo resupply. so that means you will have to make 900 rounds last for a long time, and/or be exploratory enough and intrepid enough to actually locate the secret caches of ammo dotting the wasteland.

    using this method, I can regulate the type of weapon you will be likely to use from map to map and chapter to chapter. because let’s say that the next weapon you get is a revolver with 300 rounds. you might still have plenty of ammo for the SMG, but you might not. regardless, you will not be getting much SMG ammo after you get your next weapon. thus, I can reasonably change the nature of your combat experiences because I will reasonably predict your effective combat range (the revolver is a long-range weapon whether we would like it to be or not, lol).

  5. Yep ammo on bodies
    I quite enjoyed searching bodies in other games,,
    lots of interesting stuff turns up,,

    besides that,
    we have to ASSUME we are the first people ever through this area no?

  6. It never really mattered to me. I’ve always trusted that significant weapons would be in pretty obvious locations, and I can’t think of a time when one wasn’t. If I see ammo for something I don’t have, I just assume it’s a tease for a future weapon instead of something I have missed. I don’t even give it a second thought if I find said ammo in a secret.

  7. I gotta say I am an avid crate smasher and if modders didn’t leave them everywhere I’d have no crowbar fun at all! Thank heavens modders like to leave, very clichd, supply boxes in random piles here, there and everywhere!

    I like the idea of finding weapons and ammo on bodies, near gun emplacements or in ammo stores and airdrops for a more realistic experience. Very “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” like!

    I personally like the weapon before the ammo box, but rather the weapon is fully loaded.

  8. Hec

    A melle weapon first then pistol and then a combat to pick up a heavier weapon like a shootgun or a smg.

  9. it’s normally always a slow progression. You will find yourself with nothing more than a crowbar in your hands, then as things slowly progress you will pick up a pistol, until you eventually find the beefy stuff. it’s like a sort of guide; you know when things start to get serious. Pick up an RPG? Helicopter incoming!

    I see how people get confused and I also see how mappers try to make it believable in a way that, not every crate has ammo you’re able to use straight away. I don’t see Half-Life (example) being open so to speak, it’s always “take route A” or in some cases “Take route A or route B!” it’s always that sort of guidance and I don’t think ammo/weapon placement should be any different, unless it’s intended, multiplayer maps for example.

    I can’t bear it when you’re shooting/bashing stuff at a beginning of a mod and realise you don’t have your HEV suit on, yet you see yourself with one. It also feels weird when the first weapon you equip isn’t a crowbar… I’m not backtracking to that crate!

  10. I think both should be hard to get, and weapons must be earned as you go. That is part of the excitment of advancing.

  11. Error 404 Not Found

    I’ve never really thought about it before.
    Sometimes it’s good to go back and retrace your steps because even if you don’t find what you were looking for you might find something else you’ve missed.
    Also I noticed while playing Half-Life 2 the other day that you find the Magnum ammo before you find the Magnum, and I can’t remember ever thinking to look for the Magnum…
    I just noticed someone already mentioned the Magnum ammo 🙁

    As for the difficulty of finding ammo and weapons maybe it could depend on the difficulty setting or how good or crap you are, but then I suppose that sometimes if you’re not doing particularly well or you realise you’re firing off way too many shots that aren’t connecting it may force you rethink your strategy or take a different approach.

  12. Treviso

    I remember playing the Stalingrad level in Call of Duty 2 for the first time.
    You got ammo before getting a weapon, which you had to retrieve from a dead companion. That totally blew my mind, because I never experienced something like that before.

    If it’s done well, it is an interesting thing to do.

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