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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 02:55 
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bencelot wrote:
Once doing this though, are we happen to keep the 3s respawn + 3s spawn shield? I quite like it. Less down-time, less vision exploitation and you have a full 3s to position yourself as you please. Thoughts? I don't really see a need to go back to 5s respawn and 2s shield.

I don't like the 3s respawn + 3s spawnshield.
1) Casting during spawnshield. I understand you'd be fixing this by removing all casting, but a few things to consider:
* Energize is a buff. Players will always cast that the moment they are ready to move. Forcing players to only cast it when they have already spent 3s moving and thus having become an active participant feels VERY awkward.
* Invisibility is a good skill for buffering the inherent problems spawning itself has. It lets the the person who just spawned an opportunity to get away from a locked down position. In a way, it is its own spawn shield, and has its own downside of mana drain and reduced weapon damage to boot! Teleport also fits into this category.
* Blade Fury, like Energize, is considered a buff. However, it does actively deal damage. So a possible compromise is to allow BF to be cast early, but delay the appearance of the blades and spike trap until spawnshield is removed.
* Frenzy is also a buff and already has a 1s delay. Players can't fire for the spawnshield duration, but they should be allowed to be properly buffed when the moment their spawnshield breaks. Plus, there is the tradeoff of telling the enemy you've already spawned and are going to kick ass.
It is not so much about consistency as it is about gamer intuition.

2) You are forgetting that "Vision exploitation" goes both ways. In exchange for having 2s less vision on the battlefield where you died, you now have 2s faster vision of your base on death. That would mean players are a LOT less able to take advantage of the enemy's downtime(spawning and reorienting to vision) to sneak near their base area, be it as an ambush, a daring chemical placing attempt or to grab the objective that is often placed right in the enemy's spawn zone. Why not just code in a proper loss of vision of enemies/objects/cars on death instead of relying on this?

3) It feels like crap. I spawn into the game in 3s which is very fast for a downtime, but I'm not officially in action until 3s after I move? Objectively the 3s respawn and the 3s invulnerability are the same time, but in terms of how a player feels, the 3s respawn feels a lot faster because he would use this time to take a deep breath and reset his own flow, but the 3s for him to get back into action feels way too long because he has already spawned into the game and is considered an active participant. The end result is that a player feels he has no time to breathe between spawns because he is expected to immediately move out to get rid of the spawnshield asap and thrown into action he cannot yet truly participate - the relatively fast spawn time and relatively slow spawnshield time gives conflicting feelings. This feeling persists regardless whether I'm playing a large game or a small game.

4) I'm not truly invincible during spawnshield. Enemy skills can still affect me even if I didn't take damage; I can still be slowed by Stagnation/Blackhole/Lasing, blinded by flashbangs (this is fine), even gain Plasma seek without having taken the damage.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 09:34 
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From the beginning of the mention of chemicals i was always under the impression they would be shareable. Me and STM had some discussion on this and its getting late and so ill try & remember everything talked about. ill leave it to STM to cover anything i forget to mention.

Now the current issue here is that you can switch to spectator and see everyones chemicals. This ruins the whole game play element of chems as your suppose to keep them secrete from the enemy. Maybe a way we can prevent this is by limiting the sight of chemicals of a spectator to only the last team joined, and put a 2min cool down for switching teams aswell. we are here to discuss, so discuss on.

As for sharing chems what i suggest is we use a system where you actually "select" which players on your team can use and see your chems. This prevents alot of abuse from players who will switch teams to see where chemicals are placed. Having control over who sees and uses your base also allows you to protect it, The last thing you want is cashing out 10k in the heat of a game only for a (sorry to say it) newb to come along and give away the location to your precious chems! I also feel itd add more teamwork overall!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 09:50 
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If spectators can see chems during ranked games that should be fixed. When it comes to casual play, I feel as if the whole chem spying thing wont be that much of an issue once the player base picks up, but being able to choose who see/can use your chemicals can be pretty damn interesting.

It would be really, really cool (and supr dupr tacticool, something Bencelot wants) if you can become a merc and share your bases with other mercs you trust, or with different players on each team that you trust. Would come in handy with the whole contract thing you mentioned in an earlier thread. Someone can give a merc money (or permission to use their chemicals) to use their chems... Maybe if it's a contract, it can't be taken back until certain requirements are met..

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 12:13 
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No, spectators cannot outright see chemicals Spec. At best you can only see someone planting it due to the green smoke.

Anyway, the entire reason why for all the chemical restrictions is due to a fear of spying as mentioned since the very first time the idea of chemicals is brought up, as well as another issue where due to team balancing a person's chemical remains in his former ally's base. After some months, it is pretty clear that this thing is no longer as huge an issue we thought it would be, although players should not be encouraged to constantly switch teams just to find out a chemical location and then switching back immediately.

Therefore, I think this would be a workable compromise:
1) Teammates may now share chemicals. No need to insulate to do so. This will greatly increase teamwork, allowing players to play support with chemicals.
2) Currently, your kill reward is penalized on switching teams and you cannot buy a neutralizer for 1 minute I think. An addition would be to have a 1 minute buffer before you can see/use chemicals made by teammates. Eventually when player base gets bigger all of these limitations can be removed.
3) The proposed move chemical will solve all other problems. If you think someone has spied on your chemicals, you can simply buy the move chemical and move it out of the way.

For Speculation's idea of being to choose who can see your chemicals, I think it is an excellent idea. This would be great for two things: preventing griefers/newbies from giving away your chemical location (also double as a natural layer of protection against players who constantly spy), and as Qwerty mentioned, you can also use it to encourage mercenaries to share chemicals and stuff as they work together to fulfill a contract in say, the future War gamemode.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 15:32 
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I love the sharing chemicals idea. Not by default though, but by specifically choosing which chemicals are to be shared and which aren't (and for a small fee like $1000 for the sharing potion). This adds all sorts of tactics and rewards teams that trust eachother and invest for mutual gain. Really plays up the teamwork angle which is great. As for choosing specific players to be able to use the chemicals that's also a cool idea (especially amongst mercenaries) but we need to think of a very fast and intuitive interface to allow this. It would slow the gameplay down too much if you have to go through some sort of menu system. Needs thinking on how this would work, especially in huge game where you have 15 allies to choose from.

As for chemical visibility it is this way for 3 main reasons:
1) To prevent team switching exploits
2) For performance reasons, having that many chemicals rendered on the screen can actually slow things down a bit. In a big game with 16 allies this would be unsustainable.
3) But most importantly, it's just cleaner if you can only see the chemicals that you can use. The map would be absolutley chaotic and confusing if you saw all of your allies chemicals too. The spawn zones and central battle areas would be a mess filled with bases and alchemic acid. It's much faster and more intuitive if you can only see what you can use, so you don't have to think if it's usable or search around trying to find your chemicals. This could be solved if we made other chemicals look radically different perhaps.. like a simple circular outline of the area, or even just a dot at the center maybe. But I don't think it's even necessary once we implement Spec's sharing chemicals idea. If someone shares a chemical with you then of course you can use it and it will display for you. Keeps things nice and simple.

As for sharing again, it shouldn't be by default because:
1) For the reasons above we'd have team switching issues and performance issues.
2) I think it's more tactically interesting if you have to CHOOSE (and pay) to switch. Make that decision intersting.
3) It would scale too crazily. The prices of chemicals are set the way they are so that you start with a small base and finish a round (on war mode at least) with a reasonably sized chemical empire. A few well placed acids, a few well placed warp fields, etc.. if instead you could just use EVERYONE'S chemicals it would be too much. Acid everywhere, 40 warp fields to choose from.. yeah that sounds like fun but it wouldn't be. Not by default. All of a sudden it doesn't matter where you place your chemicals because you'll have more than enough from everhone else too. Instead of masterfully crafting the location and positioning of your chemicals you'll just spam them down or not even bother because someone's already put a chemical close enough. Plus people will be warping everywhere, the cash system will go haywire with so much acid.. too many sonar cells will make the entire line of sight system redundant, etc... in short, chemicals are awesome because they give you these special advantages if you EARN the cash to pay for them. But if everyone gets them by default then the entire game would break down, and there's nothing special or unique about your empire.
4) Furthermore, cash is used to advance yourself personally and increase your score. You can use it to buy better weapons to give you more kills, and of course to buy compounders to get points in chemical warfare. Players are currently rewarded for killing well, staying alive well, and earning cash effectively, and this works great and is how it should be. As a result players must make the choice between expanding their chemical empire as a long-term investment, or for buying weapons/compounders for the immediate score increase. If players suddenly lose their incentive to buy chemicals because someone else will do it for them, then they'll just spend everything on superweapons and compounders trying to get the biggest score they can and relying on their teammates to do all the base building. We can't have this.

So basically I think the sharing idea has a very interesting dynamic to it and like it, but it needs to be done right. Not by default. If you want to use someone elses chemical then you need to EARN it. Otherwise the game falls apart from too many chemicals, cash losing all meaning, and people losing the incentive and the rewards for buildling their own personal, unique and awesome base structure. Thus I propose my awesome idea:

Access Chemical
What we could do is instead of you sharing your own chemical with others, we let your allies buy access to yours. So by default everything is hidden, but if I want to share my warp field with Speculation I'll say "hey Spec, buy an access chemical and follow me. My warp field is right over here." Then I'll take Spec to the place and he plants his access chemical where I tell him my warp field is. Works just like a neutralizer, but instead of destroying my chemical he will gain vision and access to it instead. Could cost $2000 or something (slightly cheaper than a sonar cell). It could also stack like a Neutralizer does so it can hit and aquire access to multiple chemicals at the same time (giving me an interesting choice between stacking my chemicals for my allies, but risking the neutralizer from enemies. best bet is to overlap them just a tiny bit which you can show to your ally but an enemy is unlikely to hit). Here are some awesome benefits of this system:
1) Most importantly, you have to EARN access to other chemicals. You need to pay the $2000 for the access chemical, not get it for free. Furthermore you need to earn the trust of your ally so he actually bothers to show you where it is. Finally you earn the chemical by actually making the dangerous mission from your Base to your allies chemical to actually plant it. You don't just get it by default. You actually feel like you're building your base by earning the cash and making the trip out to where the chemical is located to access it. Same dynamic as buying and placing a chemical from scratch, just it's cheaper and is earned through cooperation and the trust of your allies.
2) We now have a way to pick and choose who accesses your chemicals. No messy interface to work with. If you only want STM to be able to use your Acid, then you only show STM where your acid is located. We could have an additional chemical that the original owner needs to place down to enable sharing in the first place.. so we have a sharing chemical and then an access chemical. This requires a bit of an investment from the sharer to further encourage reciprocation and teamwork, and also by default will prevent allies from randomly using your chemicals. Not sure about this yet.
3) Very interesting dynamics of what would happen if you were to place this on an enemy chemical.. could you use that too without them knowing? Or would it be more interesting if they knew? Maybe to access an enemy chemical you need to place 2 of these down. First one prepares it, second accesses it. Then if you know where an enemy chemical is you can choose between spending only $1000 for the neutralization, destroying the enemy chemical and gaining some profit.. OR spending $4000 for 2 access chemicals to capture it, gaining access to the chemical (worth it for a Base, as a neutralizer gives you $4000 profit but 2 access chemicals gives you the equivalent of $6000 profit). Insulators could add an extra level of protection against these though, just like against neutralizers.
4) Players can take on supporting roles by setting up awesome chemicals all over the place and then pinging their locations to their team. The team dynamics in general could be really good here. The more cooperation the better. Imagine we have 2 players on a team willing to work together and communicate. Instead of us both buying 2 warp fields, 2 acids and 2 sonar cells (total of $26,000 each) we could each buy 1 warp, 1 acid, 1 sonar and 3 access chemicals (only $19,000 each). We then communicate and coordinate where to place our 3 chemicals, keeping in mind where the other guy is placing so that they don't overlap and are placed in good locations. Then we simply share the locations with eachother and voila! We've both saved ourselves $7000!! This is a good balance I think. With good teamwork you can save money and gain a cash advantage that will ultimately let you buy more superweapons/compounders to win the game. But it requires trust, coordination and communication to pull it off right and get the timing and positioning done correctly, plus share the locations without enemies seeing you do so. You get teamwork, awesome tactics and a gameplay advantage for doing so, but you still feel that you've earned it.

A few considerations:
1) Probably some sort of player-specific chat will be needed so you can communicate with just 1 person, not the whole team/server.
2) Maybe to access a chemical you have to stand in the very center of it, with like a 2m radius or something. This way you'll only access a chemical if you're shown EXACTLY where the center is located, rather than being able to just randomly spam access chemicals down and pick up stuff by accident.
3) You will still need to buy this chemical from the base, just as everything else (except neutralizer). If your base gets destroyed then you can't just buy an access chemical from spawn to go use one of your allies bases. Bases are important and must be protected, not cost a mere $2000 to trivially access from your allies. Their importance and cost makes them exciting to position and exciting to destroy. However once you've earned a base of your own and you're able to buy an access chemical, it might be a good idea to go access someone elses base as a backup just incase your one gets destroyed. Needs more thinking here though for how this would work with upgraded bases. Too powerful maybe? Maybe 2 access chemicals are required, 1 for the base, another for the upgrade. Could provide another layer of teamwork where 1 guy buys the toxic base in the back for the team to buy weapons from, and another guy builds a bionic base up front that the whole team protects with their life and uses as a stronghold.

SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!! Lots of fun stuff to do here. I really love these "meta" chemicals, along with the moving chemical. Makes for some really advanced, strategic gameplay! Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 17:28 
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Well, I personally don't think having a whole other chemical to be able to use a chemical is that good of an idea. To me, that seems like more of a hassle than fun, having to take time out of combat to follow someone with a chemical, just so that you can use ONE of their chemicals at a time. What if someone already has a network set up and his newb friend joins the game who doesn't know how to use chemicals that well, he would be able to jump right into the combat as if he's been there the entire time, and even see how chemicals are supposed to be placed.
I think it should just be a simple menu that one can bring up, or even use the scoreboard as the menu. CS:GO's scoreboard has an option to "right click to enable cursor" when it comes to the scoreboard, and that allows you to do certain things, such as commend/report/muting a player. You could just make it so that there is a small button next to each person's name that toggles whether or not they can use your chemicals...

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 17:32 
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My idea kinda just got butchered and thrown in a completely different direction.. no chems should not be shared by default. Why cant we just share with certain players? why cant we just build completely together? why does it have to be extra complicated for no reason?

Really, it's to hard to press and hold alt and make a tab or something by the skills and select which TEAMMATES can use chems? how is that to complicated or in the way? Paying to access chemicals why?

It over complicates things. its pointless. and a waste of time imo. you should kust be able to toggle which players can and cannot use chems. This prevents from nubs exposing your base and i feel is more of a logical modern approach players will be looking for. Theres no need to over complicate things for an already overly complicated game. This prevents spying, and a whole lot of other issues.

I STRONGLY dislike the idea of having to buy something to share chems, Chems should not be shared to team by default. You should select players individually.

and as stm said
Quote:
This would be great for two things: preventing griefers/newbies from giving away your chemical location (also double as a natural layer of protection against players who constantly spy), and as Qwerty mentioned, you can also use it to encourage mercenaries to share chemicals and stuff as they work together to fulfill a contract in say, the future War gamemode.


and Qwert:
Quote:
What if someone already has a network set up and his newb friend joins the game who doesn't know how to use chemicals that well, he would be able to jump right into the combat as if he's been there the entire time, and even see how chemicals are supposed to be placed.




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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 19:07 
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100% agree with qwerty and spec...
Chems should not be automatically shared with anyone. If you hold tab you see a little "share chemical" icon near every player, similar to the mute icon in League or the thing in CS:GO that was also mentioned. A simple toggle that can be done and undone instantly. Sure, some players will share their chems with everyone, but others will only share with a few select allies. That's what I would do. If I'm playing TDM with STM on my team and then five newbies, I'll share my chems with STM because I know he won't accidentally or on purpose reveal their location and will be able to use them well, and he'd share his with me (I hope, right man? :P), but I wouldn't with the random newbies, because they might reveal my warp network totally by accident. Imagine in ranked, too. You're stuck on your team. It's a risk to toggle your chems to others because they might accidentally reveal them but it could benefit them and your team. But giving them more points means less for you, so it's a risk.
As a mercenary, I don't want to spend half the game following someone around so I can use their chemicals. Now not only do I spend 1/10th of my time placing chems but 1/10th of my time acquiring access to one of my allies. And say I have a few allies, then its even worse, and you have so little time to actually play the game. If you're a mercenary, you might have a partner who you share your chemicals with. Without voice chat, it's nearly impossible to show people where your chems are. Bence, your system isn't fun, it's just a hassle. Chemicals are really fun and I've grown to like them, but the best way to improve them is make them usable for others.
Further, in a sufficiently long game, bases are often destroyed. Even your most well thought out base and defense will eventually fall. You may think that by sharing everything at once, it's a huge risk, but chemicals themselves are a huge risk. Just last night, when we played TG tdm, me and STM vs Qwert and Spec, both teams placed a ton of chemicals. I had a sonar in a good position and was able to see where they were. But had STM been able to see that too, we could have made some nice, tactical, fun gameplay.
Having chemicals shared means destroying them is worth more, as you deny multiple people. And it opens up new tactical ideas. Perhaps you have someone get a base with quickpouring and is playing an assassin. They rush across the whole map invisible, drop down a warp field, and then your whole team is able to teleport in and capture the flag. Sure, the enemy will immediately neutralize it, but that'd be a great use of teamwork and tactics. If you have to have everyone else also gain access to it, it'd take too long in team games, and in FFA, where it's all about the kills and competing, it's not worth the time to share my chems with someone if we're both going to spend five minutes capturing each others points. I'd rather just instantly switch on my sharing with an ally so they can easily follow me up. Or say things are auto shared. Some supportive player gets a base with toxic bullets and and then lets his whole team buy from it. Or does he? Because if not, then he has an edge on his teammates. And what happens if the ally you let capture your chemicals to use betrays you? Do you pick it up in the flask chemical? In that case how do you move it normally without it losing that shared property. Or do you buy a new chemical with a "remove sharing" property, but in that case, how do you determine who is taken off sharing? Everyone? That's literally no fun at all.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 21:24 
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I understand your guys concerns about usability and I'll get to that in a second, but I first need to make something clear..

Sharing is great and I love the idea, but it HAS to cost something. Even if it's not enabled by default it simply cannot be for free. Just think about it for a second. Imagine we're playing a 16 player, 8v8 ranked game. There's no team switching and you're not ranked against your allies so you have every incentive to share with all allies always. You'd be foolish not to do this. If all it takes is to hold TAB and rightclick "share chemicals" next to your 7 allies then we're in for a huge mess of a game. It will seriously break the game if acquiring chemicals is this easy. Like I said, chemicals are great in moderation. They give you an advantage if you earn them and place them well.. but that advantage is meaningless if everyone in the server has 8x the number of chemicals. Hell, what about in a 16v16 game? It's simply not sustainable.

I know it SOUNDS like heaps of fun to have millions of chemicals.. but it wouldn't be. It's the equivalent of playing on practice mode where everyone starts at level 100. You don't earn your skills, you don't earn your chemicals.. it's just a big boring deathmatch where strategy and tactics go out the window and the whole game breaks. A few examples:

1) 20+ Warp Fields: Never buy a car ever again. Never secure an area ever again. Don't even worry about general map-layout, chokepoints, attack paths or anything. It's all meaningless because you will literally be able to warp anywhere in the map from anywhere in under 5s. Map makers might as well just make a big flat square to run around in because walls, pathways, chokepoints, and sniper points are meaningless when you (and your enemy) have over 20 warping options. It would be way too chaotic and makes huge sections of the game like vehicles and map layout completely redundant.

2) 20+ Sonar Cells: Goodbye Invisiblity. Goodbye the revealing benefits of Venom, Shockwave, Radar Trucks and everything else. Hello Frenzy!! In fact, the entire concept of spying on people, gaining information, hiding behind walls etc is basically gone. There are no more view shadows! The entire central combat area would be so covered in sonar cells everyone would see everything always. Basically we've just removed the line of sight system. Again, Sonar Cells in their current form are fine and balanced because they're rare and you have to EARN them. You must make a strategic decision to spend that $3000 on a sonar cell, knowing that you'll sacrifice the ability to buy something else. As a result you have a controlled amount and you only place them in really good areas that justify the cost. Also, in the current version when someone kills you when you're invisible or they seem to have super-human reflexes you can think to yourself "aha!! that sneaky bugger has a sonar cells there. I'm either going to destroy it or avoid it. Take note brain!" But with 8x the number of sonar cells around the place you're just going to think "yeah.. no shit he can see me."

3) 20+ Alchemic Acids: Everyone would have so much money coming in from every gun that's dropped that the whole cash system breaks down and again, it's like playing on deathmatch.

It is simply not going to work if you can share chemicals for free. It's unsustainable, game-breaking and only gets worse as the server size increases. And in a ranked game everyone WILL share with everyone. You have to, you are going to lose if you don't, because the enemy team will and they will destroy you. Remember in ranked games you are not compared against your allies in terms of score. You're not competing with your allies at all. You WANT your allies to succeed because whenever they capture a flag, checkpoint or compound you gain points. Even when they kill an enemy in battle they set that enemy back and give you a relative advantage. The ranked system was designed to encourage and reward teamwork, and with free sharing of chemicals the correct and only decision is to share all chemicals will all allies at the very start of the game. Always. Basically chemicals in MF are the equivalent of buildings in Starcraft.. and there's a reason why in Starcraft you can't use your allies buildings..

Again, sharing chemicals is great and it has so much tactical potential.. but you need to pay for it. You need to earn it somehow. Just trust me ok :p It will all fall to pieces with free sharing of chemicals. The whole game revolves around EARNING money to place chemicals in tactical positions around the map. It revolves around deciding if it's better to spend $5000 on a new warp field, a new alchemic acid or a new weapon. With free sharing of chemicals it's all broken.. horribly horribly broken!!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 22:12 
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There's a better system than a long, boring, tedious process of leading every ally to every chemical you want to share. As a top player and longtime community member, I guarantee you that we'd never bother doing this to make it worth at all. You run a huge risk of an enemy killing you both while you're standing still, or just neutralizing it, or wasting both your time to show them where it is. Sure, you're helping your teammate get more kills, and then maybe he shows you his chemicals, but by now you've spent 5K and 5 minutes and are both behind even that newbie xX_prosniper420noscop69_Xx who has spent all game running in a straight line with an USP and wondering why he keeps dying. You say that we'll have so many chemicals on the map, but keep in mind that since chemicals have been added the playerbase has all but disappeared, so we haven't seen big games in action and have no idea what big games with chemicals will even look like. With everyone placing all their own chemicals and not sharing them, we end up with MORE chemicals than otherwise. By giving the option to share them easily, it means less overall chemicals because players will be content with their ally's vision and placed chemicals.
I have reason to believe out 2v2 match last night had the most chemicals ever placed in an individual game. It was not chaotic and even with smart spending by us, there were not excessive chemicals at all. We'd neutralize chemicals so often, and keep in mind that once neutralizers can be bought from spawn rather than only from bases, it's even easier to neutralize than before, so maybe your team pulls of a nice play, but when you try it again, you find that your warp field is gone. Also keep in mind that saving up for a base is often out of reach for newer players, or too complicated for them as they're still picking up the game itself, and many players make a conscious decision to forgo chemicals entirely. So potentially, if everyone on a map were placing as many chemicals as they would normally, you'd have 50 warp zones, but why would you bother placing one ten feet from your ally's if you can use his?
And I personally wouldn't share my chemicals with everyone. There's too much risk of players revealing your chemicals inadvertently. In a normal (non-ranked) game, there exists the risk of them team switching and neutralizing yours, and besides, you are competing with them for kills. In ranked, sure you aren't directly competing, but you care about your own score more than the team, and would only share with those who wouldn't screw their position over by being non-stealthy.
And forcing us to lead allies to chemicals to share them makes no sense in ranked game, especially if the game gets a competitive team based scene. The moment you have coms, there's no reason to share the location your sonars if you can just ping and tell your friend/teammates where the enemy is. It's so awkward when that sonar you placed can't be seen my your allies, or your awesome base can't be defended by allies because they can't see it. And if you have a team based TDM, we'd just buy each other toxic guns from our base, and its stupid to not see your teammates chemicals in a ranked, team based game. Imagine pro esport players not being able to see an ally's position on the map and constantly having to tell each other where they are. That's what this is like in a team based gamemode. And in a mercenary based gamemode, it's equally awkward, as you waste both your and your partner's time.
There's no reason to not allow for us to turn on chemical sharing. If you're worried about too many chemicals, keep in mind that pros are generally the only ones who buy chemicals, and often go mercenary for more kills, and we're competing against each other and aren't exactly going to share each others chemicals. So you have teams with a handful of chemicals because mostly newbies are on them, and a few veterans who all have their own network, maybe temporarily shared but probably not. Or limit the number of people we can share with if it's that concerning. And as newbies often don't use chemicals, think how awesome it'd be to easily share it with them. No newbie is going to go through this arduous process to gain access to just ONE of your chemicals when all they want to do is save up enough money to buy that super cool super fast car. But turn on sharing with them and they see the potential of those super cool chemicals AND get that super fast car.
If you're super concerned about the power of many chemicals (even though I previously explained why there wouldn't be that many) nerf chemicals if they're shared (but this is a dumb idea meaning it'll probably become official. :P) For example if only you have a sonar on, it reveals invisibility, but if its shared with anyone, it doesn't, and only grants vision, not true sight (alternatively have it shrink in area stacking based on how many people you have it shared with.) And obviously alchemical acid wouldn't work for everyone on a team. Warp fields might make cars less useful, but for rushing someone down, they're still amazing, plus provide armor. Or put teleport's penalty on warp field (Increased based on distance???) and cars are definatley still viable. Or make chemicals decay the more used.
In fact, I really like that idea. Similarly to wards in Mobas, chemicals could time out. It's not like they don't get neutralized fairly quickly. It could be use based. So warp fields can only be used, say, a dozen times. Share it with your whole team and awesome, you can all get someone. But you can't get back or use it again because you used up all of its charges. I think this is it, bence. Let chemicals decay based on use. Is it worth letting that new guy "420smokeweedeveryday" use your well placed warp field? Probably not because he's using your valuable charges and might reveal it. But is it worth sharing with Qwertybeef who you're skyping with and planning your attack with? Most definitely.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Thu 04 Jun 2015, 23:31 
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No matter how you look at it the sheer mathematics of scale show that this will result in a shitload of chemicals. It doesn't matter if the current playerbase is small, or newbies don't use chemicals much, or some players are selfish and like to compete against their allies for score.. the system of free chemical sharing is and always will be fundamentally broken if it scales with server size. A 32 player game is going to be total chaos no matter how many newbies are playing in it. The only way it wouldn't be is if each player only bought a single chemical to contribute to the team, and I think that would be damn boring and a waste of an amazing chemical system.

More importantly, once the game is released on Steam and everyone knows what's up, competitive ranked games will always have this issue. Newbies will learn quick smart and start using chemicals, and they'll also learn that their best chance of ranking up is to share all their chemicals so their team (and thus themselves) earn as many points as possible and they beat their enemies. It simply breaks the game and it doesn't have to... again ask yourself why you can't use allied buildings in RTS games. It ruins so many things.

I don't understand why you guys don't like the idea of simply paying for access to allied chemicals? It's so simple, elegant and consistent with everything else. You have to buy everything else in the game, why not this? This one simple fix suddenly makes all of these issues of scale disappear instantly, and leaves us with a whole bunch of awesome tactical options that we get with chemical sharing. Hell, the very decision to buy the allied chemical or not is another interesting decision. As long as you have to PAY for the chemical, the game still works. Because now the limiting factor is your steady stream of income, rather than how many people are in the server (which scales out of control and is totally game-breaking). Just make it cost $2000 to buy a chemical from an ally and everything works out fine. The number of chemicals remains linked to your cash flow and thus will remain under control. You also get to tactically pick and choose which chemicals you want to spend your valuable money one, and your base remains unique, secret and your own.

Furthermore it seems that you guys have an issue with having to follow your ally to figure out where his chemical is. To this I say:

1) You're massively overestimating how difficult and/or "tedious" this will be. It can be as simple as a ping on the map "Ping! Placed an alchemic acid here if anyone wants it". Next, you're often running with allies around the map anyway and it's very easy to casually say to any nearby ally who's interested "oh btw, I'm standing on my sonar cell right now if you wanna use it". It's NOT going to take 5 minutes to walk out to every single chemical on the map.. what size maps are you playing on? Most chemicals are in frequently visited areas anyway and you can casually just point them out to allies if you want to. And of course pinging the location is instant.

2) The actual process of aquiring the chemical is not "tedious". In fact it is EXACTLY the same as planting a chemical of your own. You buy the pot from your base, transport it to the location, and place it down. EXACCCCCTLY the same!! Only difference is you're only paying $2000 instead of $5000. The process of acquiring an allied chemical is exactly the same as planting your own one in the same spot, it's just cheaper and requires a ping or a bit of communication from your teammate to know where to put it. Heaven forbid we actually encourage communication and teamwork in the game.. Speaking of which:

3) This ping/communication that is required from your ally is a GOOD thing and should be encouraged.. with free-sharing there is none of this. We should be encouraging and rewarding teams that communicate quickly, frequently and effectively. If you guys have played counterstrike you'll know that half of the skill and fun of the game comes from communicating with your allies. The game doesn't just give you this information for free, or let you see what your allies see.. no. You have to COMMUNICATE to your teammates this information to win the game, and this is great. It's a huge skill to be able to do this right. Likewise in MF imagine ranked clan battles. TG communcates well, takes the time to show/ping where the chemicals are and are rewarded because of it. Instead of the teamspeak channel being quiet, people are talking and actively sharing information 24/7 because there is actually information to share! Furthermore if you use your imagination a bit, imagine a good clan decides that they're going to start coming up with predetermined chemical locations and use codes to say exactly where they are. So on Asylum they could say "placed a warp at lower box" and their allies will immediately know exactly where to stand to capture it. So much potential here.. but the point is, we should be ENCOURAGING systems and mechanics that REQUIRE and REWARD communication. It's not tedious, it's yet another level of skill and gameplay to be mastered. It increases the skill ceiling and makes the game more masterful - especially for clan battles.

4) Next up, you won't be doing this all that often anyway. Yes I can see this being tedious if you had to do this for every allied chemical becaues they were FREE.. but they're not going to be free as that breaks the game. So because the process requires cash in the first place you won't be doing it too often anyway.. only when it's tactically worthwhile to spend the $2000 and make the trip. You won't do it often.. but you WILL do it.. especially in a ranked game. As I explained in my example above a little bit of teamwork and communication can save you and your allies thousands of dollars. The risk you take to travel out to acquire the chemical will be worth it for the cost. Remember, it's the exact same risk you'd take to place your own chemical - just cheaper.

5) Finally... this whole process of walking out to acquire the chemical will actually be FUN - not tedious (shock, horror!). How do I know? Because as I said in point 2 it's exactly the same process as placing your own chemical. Only this time you get to have an ally come along with you for the ride, communicate with you, and show you where it is. You have all the existing strategic money management choices and all the existing tactical excitement of actually making the trip and successfully placing the chemical down without being killed. Honestly, would the current system be fun if you could place chemicals instantly, for free, or if you could just click on the minimap and pop it down instantly? No, it wouldn't. It would feel cheap and lame. The actual process of going on your special mission and placing the chemical in the first place is immersive and part of the fun of the game. You guys say "but it will take time away from combat!!" Well so what? Combat isn't the only part of the game. Stop living in the past!! This isn't just a hum-drum deathmatch anymore.. you're an actual mutant with an empire to build! Combat is definitely fun yes, but the actual process of placing, sharing, discovering and destroying chemicals is fun too!

Anyway this acquring allied chemicals system is just the same as placing your own ones down, just you have additional good feelings of teamwork and reciprocation as you help eachother out. You are also rewarded financially (only paying $2000 instead of $5000) for communicating with your allies and planning a good base. You can start a game on Asylum and say "hey Nightfall, I'll put my warp on upper-bridge and you put yours on lower-box ok?" Boom, easy and effective communicaiton for players who have the skills to do so. Then you each save money cause you know exactly where to get the chemical after you ally says "ok, the warp on lower-bridge is placed!". Then you get a good feeling when it actually works and you both have 2 warp fields for cheap while the enemy team doesn't know how to communicate correctly and is either wasting time showing eachother or worse still, not sharing at all.

6) Super finally.. if such an acquire chemical exists, there's the whole dynamic of being able to acquire ENEMY chemicals too, which has all sorts of awesome potential. Just use your imagination!

Now, what we can do is combine both systems. So in order to acquire a chemical you have to pay the $2000 and make the trip out to get it (which is exactly the same as placing your own chemical just it is cheaper and rewards you for having good communication. Win-win). But additionally players can have a checkbox in the scorechart next to each ally which determines if that player is allowed to acquire your chemical or not. Enemies will always be able to acquire, but you have the option to disable certain allies from doing so if you wish (basically if you suspect their going to switch teams). Btw, the real beauty of this system is even if someone DOES acquire one of your chemicals and switch teams.. they're not going to want to destroy it anyway! Because it's now their chemical too.

Ahh god damn there is so much potential here. Just know that:
1) Having a shitload of chemicals from free sharing is massively game breaking and doesn't scale well at all.
2) Instead, acquiring these chemicals by paying $2000 solves the above scaling issue, plus rewards teamwork and communication in all sorts of interesting ways. Plus, the actual process of buying, traveling and placing the acquire chemical is just the same as if you were to place your own Warp Field there instead, just it's cheaper and encourages teamwork and advanced communication between allies.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 04:10 
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Some counter-points:
1) Buying access means you can't restrict unwanted teammates
I buy a chemical and place it somewhere. My teammate sees me doing this, no harm right? Nope. I don't want this teammate to use my chemical because he's an asshole who drags down the team, but because he saw me planting the chemical or observed me constantly going to the same spot, he can easily know where the center is. I'm supposed to be hiding only from my enemies, why do I have to hide from a bad teammate as well? And I can't communicate to one specific player either. The fact that you said that you understand this and consider also including the player toggle list shows that buying access is an unnecessary complexity. It is honestly not that hard to just open the scoreboard and right click the names of the few friends I want to share my chemicals with, and even have a box at the side that says "Allow all teammates" that is off by default. The mess about not being able to distinguish between chemicals is a very minor point because it won't matter since all chemicals are equally usable, and even then its not that hard to add a smaller marker in the center that indicates a chemical is yours not unlike Lasing Orb, and in the first place you're not sharing them with anyone so no one's screen is going to be filled with chemicals.


2) Vast over-estimation of player cooperation & scaling
Large games only happen in pubs, competitive matches are often 6v6 at most. From experience, pub players never trust each other and would act very selfishly, helping only if there is 100% no cost to themselves and even then it is a really far stretch to say that they would even bother doing so. By default, they'd never share their chemicals to anyone except friends, not mere strangers over the internet who they'd assume are all 12-yo trolls who supposedly fucked everyone's mums, much less communicate. If I'm working with friends, I would already aim to have advanced communication with them, but why should I care about strangers? Don't force me to work together with people I dislike in a game. Let's not forget that placing chemicals is a risky move where if you need to stand still for a moment, during which you are vulnerable and your chemical position would be given away, the odds of which vastly increase with the number of enemies in the game increasing. Now, should there by a 16v16 game where all the pubbers are miraculously cooperative and share their chemicals, these players would also be smart enough to hunt for the enemy's chemicals with neutralizers. More players, more chemicals but largely in friendly areas as hostile areas become increasing difficult to access, very significantly more aggressive neutralizing made a little easier since locations become more predictable, which naturally cancels out the chemical boom. Expensive purchases could be more frequent yes, but more likely it ends up less frequent because with more players, it is a lot easier to get ganged and killed with your stuff stolen, thus expensive purchases become incredibly risky.

In the end, the fears of an overwhelmingly large chemical empire with massive cash inflation are unfounded because everything scales and even then, it is very unlikely for pub players to share for this empire to succeed and you can always easily tone down the money reward via the server cash rate and balance the cash earned from neutralizing/alchemic. You can save up a lot of money, but what good is the money if its not spent to advance your goals or wasted because it isn't used to its full extent such as due to death? The only thing I can see as a problem is Insulators since they are far too easily spammed to protect a chemical, so the new move chemical can replace the insulator and all would be well.


3) Bad Example - RTS Genre
Your RTS example is not a good one since the genre is completely different. You don't share buildings in RTS games because 2 people micromanaging the same building is just going to be a mess, nothing to do with sharing something like chemicals that doesn't need such active micromanagement. TF2 serves as a much better example; the engineers can build teleporters and dispensers(basically Bionic Gas) and in that game, you do share those buildings, and they do frequently get destroyed and rebuilt. Their main limitation is that they can only place 1 of each building type per engineer, but they do also need to get metal to build/upgrade structures the same way you need to spend money. If a large chemical empire is really such a big deal, you could just limit the number of chemicals a player may place and thus put a hard cap on the number of chemicals based on server size even if they are rolling in cash and also force players to really give thought on where to place their chemical instead of just spamming it whenever they can.


In summary,
* Large games unlikely to scale because pubbers don't trust each other. A scoreboard toggle isn't inconvenient at all.
* Teamwork is born from trust. A mechanic is not enough to encourage advanced teamwork.
* Everything scales; benefits, risks, costs. Even if the benefits are indeed overwhelming, they can be easily balanced out by simple value tweaks or adding a hard cap on number of chemicals a player can place.
* TF2, being a teamwork-based shooter, is a better study example than RTS genres where the dynamics are completely different.

(EDIT: Added one more line to point 2.)

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Last edited by STM1993 on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 07:16, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 06:08 
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I will not be sharing my chemicals with my whole team. There. I said it. I'm not going to give permission to MonkeyLazerz69 or xxangelofdeathxx or any number of other players I don't know. The risk of them revealing my chems is too great. And they aren't going to be getting any chems for me to use because they don't even understand how to buy guns.
Imagine how much fun (and that's why people play games, right?) it is to be like, "Yo stm, ima let you use my chems if you let you use mine!" and you share chems, and now you're both more powerful. This facilitates teamwork because sharing is easy rather than tedious (And yes, it is tedious, because that's what placing chemicals is. It's a total change of pace from the regular combat heavy nature, and while this is actually quite fun and stealthy, too much of a good thing is, well, not a good thing.
To further counter this...
3. Based on playing with coms before on teams, there is quite a bit of chat even with just two people. Info on where enemies are, plans, who to focus, etc. Without chemical sharing toggle, I imagine coms in a ranked TDM being:

Garde: Just got a nice warp zone near their base. Let's go!
Nightfall: Wait Garde, none of us can follow you!
STM: Guys the enemy team is coming!
Spec: What? I don't see anything.
Qwerty: You forgot to share that sonar with us. Ping them out STM!
STM: They're that ahhhh I'm shot!
Garde: I'll warp away!
Spec: We STILL can't follow you!
Nightfall: Wait guys I can get us toxic guns when we respawn but you have to buy the sharing chemical.
Qwerty: But my base is at the other end of the map, and I can't get the sharing chemical to use Garde's warp field!
Spec: I STILL don't see anyone.
STM: They're right there neutralizing my chemical! GARDE YOU'RE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL BUT YOU CAN'T SEE THEM SAVE MY CHEMICAL!!!
Garde: Omg, STM confirmed noob, won't share chemicals, GG noob team.

Obviously this is a humorous take on it, but the issues raised will exist. Without coms, communication with rudimentary pings is nearly impossible. Even with them and proper planning, not being able to see and defend teammates chemicals is stupid.

4.
Quote:
"but they're not going to be free as that breaks the game."

This is so... wrong. Let's do the math folks. The more players, the more chemicals, but the more vision on where they're placed and ability to clear. With this, any truly useful chemicals that aren't literally in your base will be risky and possibly quickly cleared by the enemy. So you end up with only a few of your friends shared chemicals mostly on the same side of the map. I cannot stress enough how people WILL NOT share chemicals with everyone. I know I won't and discussing with other vets none of us are looking to do so. So you have maybe three peoples chems (who are all sharing with each other, and no need to buy what your team has, so you bought toxic, your friend got a few warps to get around your side of the map, another guy bought a couple sonars to protect your flanks, and that wacky friend of yours managed to somehow placed a warp field next to the enemy's base. This is hardly too many chemicals. Why the hell would we end up with fifty warp zones? Even on Raze that would be excessive and annoying to everyone. People are smart and like performing well themselves. Even if you and your friends manage to get some good chems on the opponent's side of the map after gearing up, they were probably seen by someone with good sonar coverage or one of the many players on the enemy team. You won't end up with excessive chemicals. People won't share with everyone, only their friends, and people aren't stupid and won't buy what everyone else already did. And again, people like carrying and being the best on their team. So if I invest 20K in toxic bullets, I'm not sharing that with everyone. I'd only share with Spec, who coordinated with me to get a quickpouring upgrade. We both reap the benefits. But say his base is destroyed and now I'm not gaining anything from this. So I toggle him off (Sorry spec. :P). With sharing before, you end up keeping the people you trust, and it becomes a long term commitment. Far from the short contracts you were envisioning with war mode, bence.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 16:35 
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Haha ok we're clearly not going to agree here. But still this is a good discussion. Can I make a few suggestions though to help us streamline our discussion and avoid us going off onto irrelevant tangents:

Keeping this discussion focused
1) Let's stop talking about the game in its current state. It does not matter that we have a small playerbase NOW. We have to design a game that will be as successful and as fun as possible when it's actually released on Steam. In other words, assume that we have full servers always.
2) Let's stop talking about newbies. Yes NOW we have lots of newbies.. but once the game is estabilished they will be the small minority like they are in all other established games. Furthermore limiting amazing game mechanics because they're too advanced for newbies is horrible game design. That's how you create a generic facebook game. If you want to make a game like DOTA or LoL (ie, the most popular games of all time) you need to make a game interesting and fun, even if it takes newbies a bit longer to learn. And for the record DOTA and LoL are far more punishing to newbies that MF is. MF just needs a proper tutorial system which I'll add eventually. But to help newbs I will make a good tutorial system.. NOT dumb down potentially awesome mechanics.
3) Let's stop talking about casual games. I'm not going to create 2 different systems for ranked vs casual as that's very confusing. So whatever we do HAS to work for both ranked and casual, and as ranked games are more important and require players to actually utilize the new game mechanics to win, it's more important to focus upon. Yes I know ranked games are very rare NOW, but that's once again because it's difficult to start a game with the small playerbase. I have no reason to doubt that once MF becomes big, ranked games will become the primary game-mode, just as competitive is the primary game-mode in games like Counterstrike and DOTA. Players of PvP games are inherently competitive and like to win and be rewarded for it, which is why they play the ranked equivalents of DOTA and CS, same as MF once we have enough players to actually support it. But whether they do or they don't, the stakes are higher in ranked and whatever mechanics we introduce will be exploited to the maximum in ranked to ensure victory. So it's better to balance the game around that.
4) Let's stop talking about the past, and start talking about the future. I know you guys have played for years and are very used to how things USED to be.. but don't resist change! The chemical system was a massive change from the old gameplay but you have both admitted to loving it (of course you do, it's fucking brilliant!!). Mutant Factions was never meant to be a simple run and gun shooter. If I propose a new gameplay mechanic try to view it in a new light. Don't just compare it to the old gameplay and think about how much combat it involves. Combat isn't everything. All that matters is fun, and fun can come in many different forms. If MF is going to be a success we're going to want to introduce unique gameplay mechanics anyway, and seeing as every other shooter game revolves around combat, finding gameplay mechanics to add to MF that DON'T revolve around combat is a good way to make the game unique and memorable. When I eventually start marketing this game you can be sure I'm going to be talking about the chemical system a LOT because it's something never done before. The whole mechanic of spying on enemies, hiding from enemies, discovering and destroying hidden chemicals etc is very fun and unique and will sell this game for us. This isn't combat, but it is fun. And fun is all that matters in the end.


Our target scenario
In short, try to ignore the current state of the game, because it doesn't reflect where we're headed. Imagine the game is on Steam and is being played by thousands of regular, experienced players everyday. Many of them playing nothing but ranked games, trying their hardest to win and rank up, and using every trick in the book available to them. Every server is full, there are only a few newbs around (most of whom you won't even see because of some future newb-only server I'll add), and in general most players have a pretty good idea of how the game works. Everyone understands the game and the mechanics, but are competing to see who can actually use them the best. Basically, imagine MF is just like any other established PvP shooter and is an actual proper game :p Let's just try talk about this scenario because that's where the game is eventually going to be. And if the chemical sharing doesn't work in this scenario, then it's not going to work at all.

P.S Try to keep this in mind whenever talking about any other balancing or gameplay mechanic too. Too often I see you guys mention the small servers or the dominance of newbies in the game as some sort of justification for a gameplay change. We can't think like that as it's simply short-sighted and we'll end up shooting ourselves in the foot. If we want to have a large, active and advanced playerbase we need to design game mechanics that actually work with a large, active and advanced playerbase. I am very aware that the game is complex for newbs, but the solution to that is a tutorial system, instructive you-tube videos, in-game help system, etc... NOT limiting amazing and advanced gameplay mechanics. So having said all of that, a few counter points :D


Why buying access isn't tedious
Nightfall wrote:
This facilitates teamwork because sharing is easy rather than tedious (And yes, it is tedious, because that's what placing chemicals is. It's a total change of pace from the regular combat heavy nature, and while this is actually quite fun and stealthy, too much of a good thing is, well, not a good thing.


Ok good, so you agree that buying access is exactly the same as placing chemicals (which it is). You then say that placing chemicals is a total change of pace from the combat of the game. But so what? Combat isn't everything.. all that matters is fun. And is placing chemicals fun? Well you say that yes, it is! It's unique and it's fun to be stealthy, go on your special mission to hide the chemical when no one sees. Spy on enemies and collect information about where their chemicals are located. Discovering STMs base and the sweet satisfaction you get when you actually Neutralize it and see that big beautiful fireball. None of this is combat, but it's all fun.

Now of course at the end you qualify this by saying that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. But now that we're in agreement that the process of buying access to chemicals is indeed a good thing.. the question simply becomes "how much is too much?" And to that I would say that it WOULD be too much if it was free to do this (because you'd feel like you had to do this all the time). But seeing as it's not free and you need to pay for it, the amount of times you'll actually be doing this in each game is going to be limited, thus not too much of a good thing. Just more of a good thing, and this time a good thing with the added good feelings of teamwork and cooperation.


STM1993 wrote:
1) Buying access means you can't restrict unwanted teammates

STM1993 wrote:
The fact that you said that you understand this and consider also including the player toggle list shows that buying access is an unnecessary complexity. It is honestly not that hard to just open the scoreboard and right click the names of the few friends I want to share my chemicals with, and even have a box at the side that says "Allow all teammates" that is off by default.


So in short, yes you can restrict unwanted teammates through the scoretab. And while you call it an "unnecessary complexity", in the very next sentence you describe just how quick, easy and painless the process is. Simply hold tab and rightclick whoever you trust at the start of the round, and you're done. Not complex. It has the EXACT same level of complexity as the free sharing system that you guys are proposing. And if we do end up going for this buying access approach it is necessary for the reasons you explained. And I think we probably will have to go for the buying access approach because:


Why free sharing doesn't scale well at all and breaks the game
STM1993 wrote:
* Everything scales; benefits, risks, costs. Even if the benefits are indeed overwhelming, they can be easily balanced out by simple value tweaks or adding a hard cap on number of chemicals a player can place.

Nightfall wrote:
Why the hell would we end up with fifty warp zones?


We don't seem to be agreeing on this scaling issue at all. Remember we need to consider the game when it's actually released and thus has regular 16 player servers going. In fact in my previous post I was being generous and capping the server size at 16. As we've seen in the past when we do get a big influx of players we often see people joining 32 player games simply because it's bigger and more fun. Hell, MF would be crazy fun to play a 64 player game on a map like Raze. Battlefield supports 64 players and MF should technically be able to support the same. I think it would be amazing fun to have such huge servers and there's no way I'm going to introduce a system that would make such huge, awesome fun servers not work. Whatever system we introduce HAS to work under these conditions. Even a 64 player server needs to work perfectly fine.

Now, without actually trying it none of us actually KNOW how people will behave in such big servers, but we can use logic to predict at least 2 inevitable outcomes. Both of which are bad results of the way this free-sharing system would scale. Remember this has to work for ALL server sizes including a 64 player game (or hell, why not 128??). We have to consider the worst case scenario or we'll be in big trouble in the future. The 2 options are this:

1) The number of chemicals scales up massively because the benefits outweigh the penalties. As a result we DO end up with 20+ warp fields, sonar cells, alchemic acids and the game literally falls apart. For all the reasons I mentioned in my previous post, the game is actually broken. No more vehicles, no more line of sight system meaning half the skills don't work anymore, way too much cash to deal with, etc.. it'd be total chaos. Look, I like your idea and it does seem quick and easy and fun. And in some magical world where the laws of mathematics don't apply it might work.. but it simply won't because of this scaling issue. Now, it might not work out this way and scale up so much.. but the fact that this is even POSSIBLE should rule this free-sharing out entirely. We can't introduce a system that works for the 2v2 games we're having at the moment, only to realise "holy shit, the entire game is fucked" the very day that we release on Steam.
2) The other option is what you guys are suggesting, which is that everything will be ok and the number of chemicals won't scale up because there's no need to place a Warp Field right next to your allies one, etc. You suggest that as the server size increases, everyone will buy fewer chemicals because we don't need so many for the team as a whole. And this might happen! But this introduces a whole new problem and still doesn't scale well. Because in a 64 player game, assuming the total number of chemicals remains the same.. how many chemicals is each individual going to actually buy then? With 32 people on a team, if every player buys only ONE chemical each (not including the base), that's already 32 chemicals in play which is way too many. We already then have something like 10 warp fields, 10 acids and 12 sonar cells. And this only allows players to buy ONE chemical each!! That's not fun. Players should be able to buy lots of chemicals and build their empire. The whole point of the chemical system was so that you can spend your time killing dudes, earning money, building your own awesome empire. You get to place a few chemicals down throughout the game and this is a good fun thing to do. It's fun to place chemicals, earn the cash, build your base the way you like it, etc.. But if the server size is so damn huge and you've got 32 allies sharing with you then you can't do this anymore. Either you build a nice base as you can do currently (so we end up with something like 6*32 = 192 chemicals in the map which is game-breaking and retarded) or you are restricted to buying only 1 chemical and missing out on all the fun of base building (which btw is still 1*32 = 32 chemicals in the map, which is still too many).

In short, either there are going to be WAY too many chemicals and the game will break, or people will balance out by only buying a single chemical each, but I think this is a massive waste of the chemical system and basically breaks it. Now with all this extra cash we're back to buying superficial superweapons, rather than making real strategic choices about where to position your next chemical.

You might suggest an option 3:
3) Players continue to build a healthy number of chemicals on their own AND the game doesn't become overcrowded with chemicals because of Neutralizers! Neutralizers will save the day. The number of enemies will scale up the number of neutralizations and everything will balance out nicely. But this still doesn't scale well because now everyone is neutralizing everything like crazy! With that many players chemicals will be neutralized every couple of seconds. Maybe it does balance out, but at what cost? It's way too chaotic, and the bigger the server the more chaotic it gets. You can't keep track of where anything is anymore.. there's no more "aha, I've discovered one of Qwerty's warp fields. I'm going to go destroy it". Because it's probalby already been destroyed by the time you get there. With so many people using so many chemicals there will be no element of mystery, no point spying on people, no use acquring information and knowledge. Instead of these epic battles to see who can destroy the other dudes base first, it's just a HUGE mess of a game where chemicals are constantly being destroyed and rebuild every 5 seconds, and no one knows anything. As a result all this high-level strategic thinking goes out the window and we're back to a crazy deathmatch.

No matter how you look at it, when you throw this many players into the game with a system that scales with serversize you're going to have troubles. Either there are too many chemicals, too many neutralizations, or individuals don't actually buy anything and ignore the whole chemical system completely. Again, stop imagining the 2v2 game you guys played the other day.. imagine the 8v8 ranked game, or the 32v32 casual game. The numbers just don't work. The scaling just gets out of control, game-breaking or at the very least unpredictable. And I don't want to introduce such an unpredictable and POTENTIALLY game breaking system right before we release on Steam.


Why people WILL (and strategically should) share with everyone besides obvious griefers
Nightfall wrote:
I will not be sharing my chemicals with my whole team. There. I said it. I'm not going to give permission to MonkeyLazerz69 or xxangelofdeathxx or any number of other players I don't know. The risk of them revealing my chems is too great.

STM1993 wrote:
From experience, pub players never trust each other and would act very selfishly, helping only if there is 100% no cost to themselves and even then it is a really far stretch to say that they would even bother doing so. By default, they'd never share their chemicals to anyone except friends


You guys might be thinking, "that's all well and good Ben, but it won't scale that dramatically because people won't share with everyone in the server. Just their friends". But to this I say:
1) You don't know that, and we simply can't take that risk.. and
2) Yes they will share with everyone, because they should. Again remember the target scenario I outlined at the start of this epic post. This is what we want to develop the game for. An big, advanced and competitive community playing this game daily constantly analyzing and trying to improve their game. People playing ranked servers and looking for every advantage they can get to win. People using teamwork as much as possible because that's what the ranked system rewards. In this situation, players WILL trust eachother and they WILL share with eachother because it is mutually beneficial to do so and results in them winning more games.

You guys seem to be basing your thoughts on how this system will work on the CURRENT system. Ie, a few members of TG running around and then a bunch of complete noobs who hardly even count as teammates. If this was how the game was to remain then sure your system might work, but that's not how things will remain. Once the game is released on Steam not only will we have huge servers, but we'll also have the majority of players being competent and knowing what they're doing - just like in any other established multiplayer game.

Now imagine we've got lots of players and a good matchmaking system going. You join an 8v8 ranked game and you're a Mafioso playing with 15 other Mafiosos. How is that game going to work out? There's no team switching. All of your allies know what they're doing and you all have a common goal to win. Whenever your allies capture a compound you get points, and whenever you capture a compound they get points. You're playing this ranked game because you want to rank up to Mafioso Elite. You all know how the system works. You're not ranked against the scores of your allies at all - only against your enemies. The system rewards teamwork as it should, and as a result you do everything you can to maximise that teamwork and absolutely demolish the other team as soon as possible. You want your team to capture all 10 compounds before the enemy team catches one. That way you and all of your allies gain as much respect as possible. So how will it work out then?

Assuming 2 equally balanced teams, if one team completely shares and the other team doesn't, which team is going to win. The sharing team will win hands down. Every. Single. Time. It's mutually beneficial for everyone to enable sharing with all allies as soon as the game starts. Now you have 8x the number of chemicals to use, or alternatively you only need to spend 1/8th as much of your cash on chemicals, leaving the rest of your money for superweapons. Meanwhile, the enemy team isn't sharing chemicals for some reason, or is only sharing with their friends. They have fewer chemicals and need to spend more of their hard earned cash to keep up. They simply can't. The team that shares with everyone has more money, more chemicals to use, and wins every time. It's not going to take long for anyone who plays ranked games to realise this obvious meta-strategy and share instantly at the start. If they don't they not only hurt themselves but they hurt their allies too, and as a result lose more games. Yes people are selfish, but the selfish thing to do in this situation is to share because when your team wins, you win.

There's no way this isn't happening. Who cares if they're random strangers over the internet. Multiplayer games are FUN when they reward teamwork and cooperation, and that's what the ranked system does. You share points together, you're not ranked against eachother in the slightest. You are rewarded for teamwork as you should be!


In conclusion..
With the system that I have proposed players will cooperate and communicate to share chemicals as much as they possibly can because it's mutually beneficial and it saves you both money. Instead of buying 2 warp fields each (costing $10,000) you buy 1 warp field and 1 acquiring chemical each and it only costs $7000. You both benefit, you both spend that extra cash on more chemicals or better guns, and as a result your team wins because you cooperated. Things don't scale out of control because you're still limited by your cash supply, and we have a new awesome dynamic that rewards teamwork in the game. It's not "tedious" because it's the exact same fun dynamic as placing your own chemicals, and it doesn't happen too often because it's limited by cash. It's simply the exact same system that's been proven to work, but now players can save themselves a little bit of cash by acquiring an allied chemical rather than building their own, and this rewards players who cooperate and communiate in a unique, immersive and fun way. It's a great addition to the currently awesome chemical gameplay!

Now with the system you guys have proposed, in an 8v8 ranked game full of Mafiosos all the incentives will make players share instantly at the very start of the game. You WILL lose if you don't do this. We're not talking about 2 TG members and a bunch of random noobs like it is now, we're talking about the game after it's released on Steam and has a thriving and advanced playerbase. You win when your alllies win and so everyone shares, and now we have all the scaling issues mentioned before. Either too many chemicals causing all sorts of game-breaking side effects, too many neutralizers going on which is just crazy chaotic and removes any incentive to spy on enemies or keep track of their chemicals as it's going to be gone in a minute or so anyway.. or simply no one buys any more than a single chemical each, which is a real shame and waste of an amazingly unique and fun system. Instead of adding a new subtle dynamic of teamwork to the chemical system, we completely destroy it.

Again, your system sounds like heaps of fun with the CURRENT playerbase. Share with your friends, no hassle, all good baby! But it WILL fail once the game goes to Steam and that's not a risk I'm willing to take. Especially when the system I've proposed works so well, involves MORE tactical choices about which chemicals are worth acquiring, and has the extra fun element of being able to capture enemy chemicals too which could be all sorts of awesome. Think about it!!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 17:41 
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Again let me just emphasis that I think your system of free sharing would work with the CURRENT playerbase, but I simply cannot see it working once we get to Steam because of the scaling issues. It needs to work for ALL server sizes, even a 64 player game. As crazy and unlikely as that sounds now, they will happen once the game is released and I can't have them be broken because a 64 player game of MF would be fucking awesome! It's a shame but it's just how it's going to work out, and I simply cannot take the risk.

Fortunately though I still think we can get all of the awesome gameplay benefits of team sharing by using my system. But let me paint a picture for you of how it's going to work out, because I feel like you guys haven't imagined it right. You're getting all hung up on this "tedious" aspect even though it's exactly the same as the current system, just better. Allow me to explain:

Suppose you join a chemical warfare game and based on the map and server size you decide you want to build this sort of a base:
1) Buy a base
2) Put down 2 alchemic acids on either side of the main combat zone
3) Put down 2 warp fields, 1 near your spawn and 1 behind enemy lines
4) Put down 2 sonar cells in a high combat area protecting your bases flank
5) Upgrade your base to get toxic bullets
6) Buy compounders for the win

Total cost: $46000 (not including compounders)
Total placement trips to make: 7 in the game (not including compounders)

Now this is your plan. You figure that for this particular map and server this is the optimum chemical build. No more, no less. You've decided where to place them all and what order to do it in. You've used your brain to assess the situation and feel that the investment of this $46000 is going to turn a profit before the end of the game due to the extra income from the acid and the other benefits your other chemicals provide. Hooray! You are strategizing and really enjoying some unique MF chemical gameplay.

Now in v1.08 you would have to build all of this yourself. Not bad, still plenty of fun to come up with the plan and execute it correctly. But with my proposed system in v1.09 you now have an extra awesome option. Get one of your friends to help you! With good communication and cooperation you can achieve this exact same build for a fraction of the cost. You will still be making the exact same number of trips (7 in total) to place all these chemicals. So it's not any more tedious in any way at all. The EXACT same number of trips. The only difference is that now you can do it for cheaper as long as you can communicate and cooperate effectively. So what you do now is say to your buddy over chat or teamspeak:

"ok I reckon we place 2 warps here and here (or if you're advanced use code terms like lower-box and upper-bridge). 2 sonars here and 2 acids here. I'll do these 3 and you do those 3 ok? Just let me know when it's done.. you sexy.. sweet, teammate of mine"

Now you play the game just as before, building up half of the proposed base while your ally is building up the other half. But now all you have to do is buy 3 acquiring chemicals, quickly get your ally to show you exactly where the other 3 are located, and go acquire them. It's the exact same number of trips as before, but now you and your ally have both saved yourselves $7000 in cash (instead of 1 extra warp, sonar and acid for $13000 you only buy 3 acquiring chemicals for $6000).

See how simple and beautiful this is? It's not tedious at all as it is the EXACT same number of trips to build the base you want. You don't need to make any more trips because you're already feeling satisfied with the base layout and figure the rest of your money will now be better spent on Compounders and/or superweapons. But now we introduce this subtle new variation where you can save yourself a bit of cash if you use teamwork. It's a great way to encourage teamwork in the game, as it has feelings of reciprocation, strategizing together, helping eachother out for mutual gain. You win and he wins. It's marvellous and simple and doesn't break the game or completely change how chemicals work. It's just an extra little option to save some cash for those players who want it.

Not everyone will bother doing this. Some people will just build their own base and that's fine. But the option is there now. The option to actually work as a team. The option to mutually benefit and save yourself some cash. All you need to do is communicate correctly. The better you communicate to organise a base structure that makes sense the better you do. For example, you should agree where to place the 2 warp fields so they're on opposite sides of the map, not right next to eachother. We now have a mechanic that takes the exact existing system, but lets you improve upon it through teamwork and cooperation.

Now you might say that it's a hassle to go show your ally where you've placed your chemical. But is it? I don't think so at all. Infact I think it's fun! For starters you'll probably only have to do this 3 times in the entire round based on my example above. Secondly you can just use calls, code-names or just a good description "I've placed it directly ontop of the Radio extraction point here: PING" to tell them where it is. And thirdly you have the option to simply escort them there yourself, which is fun in itself. Remember combat isn't everything. You only have to do this 3 times a round and you get to work together to cooperate. It will only take 10s to get there by car, then you get the nice gooy good feeling when your ally hops out, successfully acquires your chemical and thanks you for being such a bro. Not only do you get a nice warm personalized feeling for escorting and helping out your buddy but you also get a very real and tangible gameplay advantage of having both saved cash. It's fucking brilliant!!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 18:58 
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bencelot wrote:
STM1993 wrote:
1) Buying access means you can't restrict unwanted teammates
...
The fact that you said that you understand this and consider also including the player toggle list shows that buying access is an unnecessary complexity. It is honestly not that hard to just open the scoreboard and right click the names of the few friends I want to share my chemicals with, and even have a box at the side that says "Allow all teammates" that is off by default.

So in short, yes you can restrict unwanted teammates through the scoretab. And while you call it an "unnecessary complexity", in the very next sentence you describe just how quick, easy and painless the process is.

Just to clear this out of the way first, I referred to the buying access as the unnecessary complexity, not the scoreboard toggle.

bencelot wrote:
1) Let's stop talking about the game in its current state.
2) Let's stop talking about newbies.
3) Let's stop talking about casual games.
4) Let's stop talking about the past, and start talking about the future.
...
We don't seem to be agreeing on this scaling issue at all. Remember we need to consider the game when it's actually released and thus has regular 16 player servers going. In fact in my previous post I was being generous and capping the server size at 16. As we've seen in the past when we do get a big influx of players we often see people joining 32 player games simply because it's bigger and more fun. Hell, MF would be crazy fun to play a 64 player game on a map like Raze. Battlefield supports 64 players and MF should technically be able to support the same. I think it would be amazing fun to have such huge servers and there's no way I'm going to introduce a system that would make such huge, awesome fun servers not work. Whatever system we introduce HAS to work under these conditions. Even a 64 player server needs to work perfectly fine.

Yes, that's our scope, I believe we've been trying to avoid these.

However, I think rule #3 needs to be re-examined. Who exactly is your target audience? Look, I don't support having actual in-game distinctions between casual & competitive play either since it would unnecessarily divide the community, but the fact of the matter is that the average gamer who plays for fun is not going to behave the same way as a truly competitive tournament player who plays to win with even the most boring tactics. Furthermore, if you look at actual tournament scenes with prizes and such in a multitude of other games, you rarely see teams exceeding the size of 10 players each; in fact its usually 5 per team even for a game like Battlefield which you usually use as your example for a massive war game, and even then you certainly don't see Battlefield touted as an actual balanced competitive game. Yes, we've heard of 40 player WOW raids, but that is on a completely different genre and level and certainly isn't designed for competitive PvP in mind. You say you want the game to be balanced for competitive play, but you also want it to be a massive 32v32 war game. So who exactly are you catering to? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

In fact, this is the biggest root of all the problems we have in so many of our discussions - we have no idea what exactly you're going for. You seem to want a game that can do everything, but we don't know what the standards are. Who are the players we should focus on? What is the map size : player ratio? Does it have to be 100% consistent(outbreak mp regen comes to mind)? Without a scale, all we can do is rely on our past knowledge (including other games) and assume status quo, and looking to the future does require hindsight to predict the outcome.

bencelot wrote:
Now without actually trying it none of us actually KNOW how people will behave in such big servers, but we can use logic to predict at least 2 inevitable outcomes. Both of which are bad results of the way this free-sharing system would scale. Remember this has to work for ALL server sizes including a 64 player game (or hell, why not 128??).

1) The number of chemicals scales up massively because the benefits outweigh the penalties.
...
2) The other option is what you guys are suggesting, which is that everything will be ok and the number of chemicals won't scale up because there's no need to place a Warp Field right next to your allies one, etc. You suggest that as the server size increases, everyone will buy fewer chemicals because we don't need so many for the team as a whole. And this might happen! But this introduces a whole new problem and still doesn't scale well. Because in a 64 player game, assuming the total number of chemicals remains the same.. how many chemicals is each individual going to actually buy then?
...
3) Players continue to build a healthy number of chemicals on their own AND the game doesn't become overcrowded with chemicals because of Neutralizers! Neutralizers will save the day. The number of enemies will scale up the number of neutralizations and everything will balance out nicely. But this still doesn't scale well because now everyone is neutralizing everything like crazy!
...

The Reddit swarm was a good learning experience despite being many versions ago, because it showed how crowded the game would be and how the general dynamics of the game would go. It was utterly chaotic even in the biggest maps then; players would die instantly because so many people were shooting, and you couldn't go anywhere without being shot at. It was a giant frontline pushing game. How can you expect a clever mental game of chemicals if the whole dynamic is to just keep pushing the frontline since it becomes impossible to sneak around? In fact, I think that chemicals would be the least of your concerns because the entire game up to this point has never been balanced for more than a specific player size, say about the scale of 6 players in Tower, 10 in Asylum, 16 in Supply?

Again, we need to know what scale you're going for. I dare say having tonnes of chemicals in Raze in a 32v32 game isn't the problem, because those chemicals need to be spread out over a very wide area anyway, but if you told me the same number of chemicals are in Tower, then of course that is utterly ridiculous!

bencelot wrote:
You guys might be thinking, "that's all well and good Ben, but it won't scale that dramatically because people won't share with everyone in the server. Just their friends". But to this I say:
1) You don't know that, and we simply can't take that risk.. and
2) Yes they will share with everyone, because they should. Again remember the target scenario I outlined at the start of this epic post. This is what we want to develop the game for. An big, advanced and competitive community playing this game daily constantly analyzing and trying to improve their game. People playing ranked servers and looking for every advantage they can get to win. People using teamwork as much as possible because that's what the ranked system rewards. In this situation, players WILL trust eachother and they WILL share with eachother because it is mutually beneficial to do so and results in them winning more games.

Actually, I based my judgement on how players behaved in many games, not just in Subvein, and the complaints people had. Have you noticed that in a LoL/Dota game, even in their permanently ranked state, you'd often hear cries of people saying "my teammate is an idiot who won't ward" or "doesn't help the carry" and stuff like that? They should work together, yet they utterly fail to do so and focus on themselves out of the assumption that they are the ones doing it right unless they explicitly play with people they know or are very fortunate to meet players who have decent chemistry. In the same way as in real life, people always complain that someone else is a shitty driver... but never themselves? The selfishness is very strong in human nature to people who aren't in your monkeysphere, like it or not.

Again, this is a problem of who your target audience is and what the scale is, and you even acknowledged that sharing without having to buy access is in fact preferable for a smaller game. Don't get me wrong, teamwork is always fun and rewarding, but even the most clever mechanics or adding "ranked" in the name of the server won't magically make players work together like you seem to believe (in the latter case, it does NOW because we are a small closely knit community, but if we get a decent playerbase, what makes you think it won't go the way of all the other popular games?).

(Note: I have read the 2nd post you made.)

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 20:25 
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Thanks for the feedback. My replies:

STM1993 wrote:
Just to clear this out of the way first, I referred to the buying access as the unnecessary complexity, not the scoreboard toggle.


Ok fair enough. Still I disagree that it's an unnecessary complexity because it's the exact same process as placing a chemical on your own. Buy the pot, travel to destination, place it down. Only difference is that it costs $2000 instead of $5000 and requires a bit of communication and coordination. But this extra teamwork element is a good thing to be encouraged and rewarded, not an unnecessary complexity imho.

STM1993 wrote:
You say you want the game to be balanced for competitive play, but you also want it to be a massive 32v32 war game. So who exactly are you catering to? You can't have your cake and eat it too.


Well quite simply I want it to work for both. And it CAN work for both as long as we only implement gameplay mechanics that actually support both. For the most part everything in the game currently does support both. You can play a 5v5 ranked game and have all sorts of strategic and tactical depth. Ranked servers in their current form truely do provide a highly competitive environment for where competitive players can thrive and work to improve their skills. The fact that you and anyone else from TG can demolish a game consistently is proof that Mutant Factions has a huge skill ceiling and plenty of room for mastery. In short, ranked servers work.

And at the same time, so do massive 32v32 war games. Yes granted the reddit swarm was chaotic but we simply need bigger maps to accomodate that many players. Despite this though it was still incredibly fun and therfore, casual games work too. Basically I want both to work and I think they currently do. But adding in a free-sharing chemical system which simply scales with the number of players is reckless and uncontrolled with fairly predictable and game-breaking outcomes.

5x more chemicals (or 1/5th the cash investment) is still too much for a 5v5 ranked game where everyone shares with everyone. And likewise 10x the chemicals (or 1/10th the cash investment) is still too much for a 32v32 casual game where everyone shares with only a third of their allies. Eitherway the system scales too out of control in either situation and it doesn't need to. Furthermore the very fact that a 16v16 player ranked game COULD happen means we can't do it. I've been looking forward to trying out these epic games for over 6 years now. The last thing I'm going to do is implement a system which I know will break down as soon as I actually get to play one right before the Steam release. Again, either too many chemicals, too many neutralizations or no one using chemicals in the first place.

STM1993 wrote:
In fact, this is the biggest root of all the problems we have in so many of our discussions - we have no idea what exactly you're going for. You seem to want a game that can do everything, but we don't know what the standards are. Who are the players we should focus on? What is the map size : player ratio? Without a scale, all we can do is rely on our past knowledge (including other games) and assume status quo.


This is fair enough, and I probably should make it more clear. I know that for years and years all you guys have experienced is small games usually filled with noobs and maybe 1 TG ally. In this situation it's completely understandable why you would want the free-sharing system and don't think it would scale out of control. But I have a vision for something much bigger.. I have quit my job, moved to Peru and am going to spend the rest of my life savings ENSURING that Mutant Factions is a huge success on Steam. I'm counting on it. So when I think of MF I imagine how it'll be when it's released. I imagine all the 5v5 ranked games of CS and DOTA I've played over the years, just with MF gameplay instead. I imagine how super sweet it'll be to see a ten thousand person strong community discuss, master and enjoy all of these unique gameplay mechanics. So that's what I'm aiming for. And just to clarify, I am aiming more towards the 5v5 ranked games than the 32v32 casual games.. but the game should and will be able to support both.


STM1993 wrote:
Have you noticed that in a LoL/Dota game, even in their permanently ranked state, you'd often hear cries of people saying "my teammate is an idiot who won't ward" or "doesn't help the carry" and stuff like that? They should work together, yet they utterly fail to do


Yes this is true. There will always be players who don't work as a team. And you know what? They're going to be the ones with low ranks. Of course you find them at all levels of gameplay but the worse they work as a team the lower their rank is. But just because some people don't work as a team, plenty of others do. And the reason why these team games are so successful is BECAUSE they provide mechanics which at least give players the OPTION to work together and be rewarded for it. This is exactly what my buying access system does. Not everyone has to use it, just like not everyone has to use skills. But if you do and you do it well you'll be rewarded and have a whole lot of cooperative fun in the process.

Also for the record, wards are notoriously bad for this because to help out the team it takes away from YOUR money. Why spend YOUR money to help out the team? Notice that this would be the same dynamic with free-sharing chemicals. Why should I spend $10000 on 2 warp fields to help out the team when someone else can do it for me? I'll just not cooperate and buy a Nailgun instead. But with my system, the person who's spending the money is the person who gains the benefit. The incentives are aligned and so selfishness works. All that your teammate has to do is tell you where it is, and that's not so hard to do and doesn't cost anything. Toss in the factor of reciprocation and they know that they'll be able to use your chemicals if they show you theirs. I think the incentives and basic human selfishness align with my buying access system much better than wards in DOTA or free-sharing of chemicals.


STM1993 wrote:
and you even acknowledged that sharing without having to buy access is in fact preferable for a smaller game.


Just to clarify I don't think it's preferable, I just acknowledge that the scaling system isn't such an issue for these temporary small games. I still prefer the buying access method for the following reasons:
1) It still scales better despite the small server size.
2) You feel that you've earned the chemical, rather than just getting it for free.
3) You get to choose WHICH chemicals to use and keep your empire personal and customized, rather than just inheriting them by default. Your base is your own creation and is determined by YOUR strategy and tactics as you have the final say over whether to acquire the chemical or not. In a huge game with so many chemicals you'd have chemicals in your empire that you didn't even know about. Not personal, not unique, not fun.
4) It incentivizes and rewards teamwork better. Anyone can just toggle a button, but to be able to coordinate the base arrangement and communicate it effectively takes skill. The better this skill of communication and the more effort put into it, the more you can benefit from the cash savings. In short, it gives a higher skill ceiling where to reap the benefits you have to earn them through teamwork, not just click a button.
5) It's more consistent with existing gameplay. If you want to get a chemical, you need to make the trip and place something on the ground. Doesn't matter if it's your own or acquiring someone elses, that intense and immersive mechanic of buying, traveling and placing the chemical remains consistent. Whereas with instant free sharing it's just like "poof" all of a sudden I have new chemicals I can use, yet don't feel that I've earned them. Again, this process is not tedious as it's the exact same mechanic, it simply replaces some of the chemicals that you'd have placed on your own.
6) It introdues extra tactical decisions about which chemicals to access and when. With buying access you have to decide between: A) Do I buy my own chemical for complete control over it? or.. B) Do I use an ally's chemical to save myself some cash but not get 100% control over the location. if so.. C) Which of all my allied chemicals best suits my needs? Do I want to use STMs warp over here or Nightfalls warp over there? also D) Is it worth paying the extra cash just to ensure someone else isn't constantly using it all the time, risking revealing it's location. You don't have to make these decisions with free sharing.
7) I think the actual process of escorting your buddy and showing him the location is actually fun. Remember the mercenary buddy idea was talked about because it was so much fun to team up with another mercenary and work together. Sticking together as a team. It's personal, cooperative and fun. It's not the anonymous click of a button, it's an actual immersive mission that the two of you share to travel out and show eachother your chemical locations. Furthermore it gives you yet another thing to do in the game apart from just mindless combat.
8) Finally, this acquiring chemical can very elegantly can be used on enemy chemicals too, which you guys haven't addressed at all yet but I think is a brilliant mechanic. There are all sorts of interesting decisions here, especially when deciding between neutralizing or acquring an enemy chemical. I will write about this in my next post to keep things clean..

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Fri 05 Jun 2015, 20:50 
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Pros and Cons of Neutralizing vs Acquring an Enemy Chemical
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding between neturalizing or acquring an enemy chemical, and there is no obvious right answer. They are quite balanced and require a keen strategic mind to know which option is best for which situation. Let me explain some of the factors to consider when dealing with an enemy Warp Field (costing $5000):

Financial loss if you miss the location:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because you only waste $1000, not $2000.

Financial gain if you hit the location:
Acquiring wins. With acquiring you spend $2000, but then gain $5000 worth of Warp Field. In total you gain the equivalent of $3000. With Neutralizer you spend $1000 and then gain $2500 in cash for a total profit of $1500. So you get more from acquring the enemy Warp Field.

Financial gain relative to your enemy:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because as shown above you gain $1500, but now you enemy also loses $5000 for a total swing of $6500. In comparison with acquiring you gain $3000 but your enemy remains untouched for a total swing of $3000.

Financial gain relative to the entire enemy team:
Depends on the number of enemies, but as the scale gets bigger Acquiring wins. Why? Because you gain a $3000 advantage relative to EVERY enemy player. Whereas with Neutralizing you gain your $6500 swing against just the dude who you screwed over. Against everyone else your relative gain is merely $1500, and the more players in the server the less significant the loss of that 1 enemy becomes.

Form of financial gain:
Neutralizer wins. Why? Because the financial gain you get from the Neutralizer is in cold hard cash. Even though it's not as much as the $3000 from acquring the warp field, the money is liquidated and can be spent on whatever you want. Maybe you don't need another warp field but desperately need extra cash towards your final Compounder. The liquid cash Neutralizer gives is more versatile in this situation.

Potential for tactical gain:
Acquring wins. Why? Because acquring gives the ability to get chemicals in locations that you simply couldn't get otherwise. Say a warp field behind the enemies base. If you manage to acquire one of these it might be worth significantly more than the $3000 financial gain you got out of it, because of the unique tactical position it's in. It might simply not be possible to transport your own Warp Field behind enemy lines, but by using an Acquirer (which won't display the green smoke) you might be able to get a chemical in a highly valuable position.

Anyway as you can see there are all sorts of considerations to make here. There is no obvious right answer and it's extremely situation. Lots of reasons for and against both of them and this results in well balanced and interesting gameplay. This is just for a Warp Field mind you, you'll have a whole new level of decision making for other chemicals like Bases and Sonar Cells.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 01:27 
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If you can't auto share chemicals, at the very least, for competitive matches, there MUST be the ability to see your ally's chemicals. Keeping track of numerous ally's chemicals is simply too much to ask of players. If you know that STM has a sonar in that chokepoint, you can tell that his ping means enemies coming rather than he's warping there or alchemical acid there or something else entirely. Plus it lets you defend your teammates chemicals better and plan flanks, etc. The ability to SEE your teammates chemicals is absolutely necessary if you hope to have any type of competitive scene at all.

On a somewhat related note, I played a nearly hour long game on chemical capture mode. A few thoughts.
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I've had so much trouble getting money for chemicals, as I've been playing with Qwerty, STM, and Spec, who are all as good as or better than me. It means I spend much of my cash getting guns. Whereas against weak opponents, I keep my guns. And chemicals are so hilariously snowbally. Once you get alchemical acid in a good place (and let's be real, when you can 1v3 an entire team, its easy to get chemicals down.) And that provides such a stream of income. And then outposts with good bases and bionic and a base with toxic (could have bought one with quick pouring too but it wasn't necessary). And sonars and warps and it's hilarious because I can see everyone and get anywhere within ten seconds. Only one of my chemicals was ever neutralized (I guess one guy bought a base and a chemical but I don't think anyone else ever had much in the way of chemicals that game). This leads to the point that you must be able to buy neutralizer from spawn to make chems less snowbally.
There should also be the ability to buy multiple base upgrades. It provides a nice risk/reward system. Put all your eggs in one basket or spread it out? The map in that game was asylum and I discovered a cocky tactic that can be used: carry a warp field 24/7 and place it to establish new territory as your own. Super cocky thought xD, so only use if you're as arrogant as I am. :P Sonar is pretty much a requirement with warp field so just warp to a base, then get sonar, then place that, is a good combo (more trick/tip than balance lol).
I did have difficulty destroying deathtrucks and hornets though. Like asdf, even with toxic bullets bazooka it was such a pain. And imo, PARKED radars should be one shot by bazooka, (Not ones with people in them, just makes them less of a hassle to destroy) and parked vehicles should be destroyed faster. So few thoughts on this: 1) vehicles with no one in them should take 50% bonus damage from all sources, so it's easier to destroy that annoying vehicle you found and 2) a garage or vehicle destroyer chemical. Like drive a vehicle into it and it goes into a space pocket thing you can get it out of next time you access a garage chemical (or that on specifically) or it just self destructs at a massive rate for 50% of the cost. Or hell just make alchemical acid destroy vehicles but imo more chemical options provides more strategic diversity which is good.
I wish hornet missiles had a counter of sorts, or some way to avoid their damage. The car is strong, but for the cost, not too much so. I'd also love a chemical that grants any car you buy from it a small buff, again like a garage or something. (Brings up the question how you buff the loafer though? Maybe more explosion damage cuz that's all they do, die? :P) Would be cool and maybe make cars more than something vets joke about. :P

Some thoughts from a game I played with coms, basically FFA, with STM and Qwerty yesterday:
Neutralizer needs to be bought fro base. Can I stress this enough?
Chemicals are super snowbally lol. Fun if you're "reking n00bz" but not if you're the noob being rekt. ;p
Mental builds are op in small games, but the more people online, the worse they are. I basically 1v2'd STM and Qwerty with one and a good bionic gas base for half a round on ClsDowntown, which shows how strong it is as they're both better players than me. But like I said, in larger games its pretty weak as the whole point is burst one or two people down instantly but now you have no hp (thanks to high regen) or mana due to skill spamming.
Frenzy seems so weird now. Idk if it's good or bad but it's so different than the old always on effectively passive skill.
BG high level is hilarious. Not sure if its op. Low level BG is super snowbally though.
Rad+Stag may have reached op levels. Qwerty played it one game on farm with bionic and high level BG and was pretty much unkillable. But it's true annoyingness is its height. When it reaches from the ground floor of a building to the roof, that's a problem. Old version of Rad felt weird with its no height, but now it's simply annoying to play against. Also a theoretical idea is Rad 1 Stag 15 with permanent 50% slow. Also in larger game brawls, Rad+vamp could do crazy damage. Just random thoughts on its future, its height should be nerfed, but nothing else atm. Or not even height nerfed, just reworked so it doesn't go so high.
BH should have a pull maybe? Would be cool if it could pull people off edges. from higher up. What is its height anyways this and rad/stag should be made consistent as they're both slows.
AA1 op, AA15 trash tier.

Lots of random observations sorry for being so weird in organization xD!

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 Post subject: Re: 1.08 Balance Thread
PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun 2015, 02:27 
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Nightfall wrote:
Mental builds are op in small games, but the more people online, the worse they are. I basically 1v2'd STM and Qwerty with one and a good bionic gas base for half a round on ClsDowntown, which shows how strong it is as they're both better players than me.

I was running a retarded build, and not exactly trying that hard.

Nightfall wrote:
Rad+Stag may have reached op levels. Qwerty played it one game on farm with bionic and high level BG and was pretty much unkillable.

I didn't have Bionic. I literally had one base with toxic along the side of the large merc building, no other chems. I just built straight tankiness, and that's why I was unkillable.

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