Splash DamageBlogCommunity Question: Powering Class Abilities

Splash Damage Blog

Community Question: Powering Class Abilities

Community, all of our games have featured special abilities that are usually tied to the combat role you've selected. Be it the Medic's health packs or the Lieutenant's airstrike marker, these abilities are usually limited in some fashion to prevent them being spammed. For example, we've had energy meters that would slowly replenish. Another popular approach is to have each ability on a separate cooldown timer, so using one ability doesn't preclude you from firing off another. What we'd like to know from you today is if you have a preferred approach for how abilities are powered in our games:

In a multiplayer shooter, how should your character's special / class abilities be powered?

Cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll and do let us know in the comments why you think your preferred approach is the way to go. We look forward to your replies!

67 Comments

Voted for shared, like it is in QW.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 15:49
shared like W:ET :)
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 17:04
Shared of course (Enemy Territory FTW).
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 17:15
W:ET Shared. As less special-spam as possible :P
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 17:22
I don't see why you would limit yourself to either one of them. A resource-cost, cool down, team-wide limit, diminishing returns etc they're all very important measures required to balance the game. These limits are what allows a developer to do more extreme and crazy things after all. What I would like to see more of however, is ways to replenish your resources. This only heightens the skill ceiling and the potential strength of a player. There can be all kinds of interesting ways to generate energy, it should be easy and it shouldn't be common, but if it's at least possible then players can start ramping up their power and become true monsters in the field. I'm thinking of replenishing energy through scoring killstreaks, through leeching it off corpses, leeching it off incapicated players, through supplies, through player auras, from vehicles etc. You can include numerous ways of replenishing energy if you make upgrades a prerequisite for them. That way you get some players using kill-streaks as a resource gathering while others garner it through corpses, depending on the way they decked out their player characters. It gives a lot of variation in specialisation as well. Some players may chose to start with a large maximum capacity of energy, some may chose a fast passive generation and some may search it in active generation while there may be others who go for a very energy-economic build and put their strength in other things like raw combat power, or stamina. If you allow for more ways to generate a whole new level of depth opens up. Plus there's just nothing more satisfying than ascending ordinary combat potency through stacking up your cards in your favour through clever play. All in all it's hugely rewarding the cerebral playstyle without impeding on more basic approaches.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 17:33
Keep it simple, shared. Unless you plan on having lots of abilities that is, which I hope you don't.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 19:48
Same as above.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 20:16
Shared....
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 21:10
Shared mana pool for simplicity of use unless you have very good balance reasons to also have cooldowns.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 21:51
Like in the mechanics - keep it separate. Will make the fine-tuning/balancing of the abilities easier/more flexible. That's not a feature where a little more innovation will kill the game. Needs to be thoroughly tested though first.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 21:54
Cooldowns. Whether global cooldowns or separate cooldowns for every ability would be dependent on the nature of the abilities.
Posted on 29 August, 2012 - 22:31
Really does depend on the ability, for example health kits are better on individual cooldowns whereas airstrikes need a team pool. What i would say, is dont make the mistake you made with brink and make grenades into some sort of "ability" where they have no set amount, just a cooldown, makes them so spammy. If someone only has one grenade in a life, then they wont waste it. If it recharges every 20 seconds then the world and its mother will throw it anywhere and everywhere, creating a grenade spam game that reduces the games depth.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 09:25
True. Then again, I wouldn't mind 'grenade regeneration' as an unlockable ability.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 10:28
whereas airstrikes need a team pool.
Totally forgot about this, yeah they need to be team pooled. Strange you mention the nade spam after saying that, Brink has no airstrikes or artillery but felt more spamy compared to ET.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 10:52
That's why you don't limit yourself to one restriction (that sounded weird). Take the Lazarus grenade. It wasn't used often but if the teams were larger then throwing a couple of them right after each other is extremely powerful.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 11:00
Just keep it as in ETQW please.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 12:09
Totally forgot about this, yeah they need to be team pooled. Strange you mention the nade spam after saying that, Brink has no airstrikes or artillery but felt more spamy compared to ET.
Limited grenades in ET meant they were used more cautiously. In ETQW there were that many deployables, turrets, AAT's etc. that grenades were wasted on those rather than in actual combat with other players which never sat well with me. In Brink yeah everyone just threw them for fun as they knew they were getting them back. I prefer the whole RtCW / ET way of handling nades, limited number and used for actual combat.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 12:15
Limited grenades in ET meant they were used more cautiously. In ETQW there were that many deployables, turrets, AAT's etc. that grenades were wasted on those rather than in actual combat with other players which never sat well with me. In Brink yeah everyone just threw them for fun as they knew they were getting them back. I prefer the whole RtCW / ET way of handling nades, limited number and used for actual combat.
I don't know why grenades on turrets or vehicles would be a waste in QW?
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 12:41
Because they were grenade sponges, you were forced to use your grenades to deal with turrets/vehicles if you want them disposed of in a timely manor else you'd end up using all of your ammo. It meant grenades weren't used as often as I'd have preferred in inf combat.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 13:21
Yeah, by time you got to the objective you may have used up all your grenades which would be needed to clear chokepoints of mines or to get some frags and push back a defense or something.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 13:32
So... any solution to that? It feels like the replenish-able grenades are a solution to ETQW's problem creating an entirely new problem in Brink. This is why I think players should have various means to recharge in the field. What annoyed me in Brink however, was not being able to throw several grenades at once. At the same time, you were almost forced to throw your free grenade every once in a while because otherwise you would be denying yourself an infinite resource of grenades. It was limiting as well as compulsive.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 14:20
I was never a fan of the massive amount of deployables in the 1st place in ETQW. Brink's replenish-able grenades solved an ETQW problem that didn't exist in Brink because there weren't a major amount of turrets... and even the ones that were there could be incapacitated easily.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 14:23
Oh alright. I was a fan of a massive amount of deployables. It allowed for a bigger scale of combat without requiring more players on the server.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 14:36
This is why I think players should have various means to recharge in the field.
Remember when supply crates and stroyent replenished grenades? It was an absolute mess.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 15:45
I'm not saying it should be easy, there's ample ways of regulating it. It only needs to be possible if that's what players want to turn into a specific tactic.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 15:56
It depends on the number of special abilities you will have, if is a reasonable amount like in W:ET then shared. If you go crazy and implement a sh** load of abilities class+team+weapons+etc something like WOW then we will need something like a priest class with a large polls of energy and a new Announcement from SD:"Unannounced game with more special abilities that your keyboard can handle!!!! :eek: "... let's put all of those 102 keys to use :D
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 15:58
Stealing Humate's line: ETQW did it best!
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 17:08
This is why I think players should have various means to recharge in the field.
The ammo stations in ET were fine for that, they were located out of the way so it didnt make sense to camp and spam from them, but close enough where you could pop to one to ammo up then get back into the action. The fact they had their own recharge rate as well meant that abusing them hurt the rest of the team.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 17:36
I like to see players chaining their (and that of team-mates) abilities together to go beyond what they would otherwise have. Once the proficiency resource becomes a reward for doing certain things players can make combos which can create a snowball effect. With just a hard limit there's a very low standard deviation in the matches. It's just constantly opposing players nullifying each other, Brink was especially tedious because of this. Once players get means to extend way beyond the average spectacular stuff starts to happen. And again, this shouldn't be the norm. There should be a lot of skill and planning tied to this. The first premise is that each player is only able to do it in the ways that he arranged his character in. Secondly, players need to have the option not to be bothered with this at all and pick perks with a simpler, less risky resource management or do away with resource management altogether and just have more basic useful stats (spread reduction, stamina etc). A medic could get a resource buff after every fifth revived member if he structured his ability tree like that. A more offensive oriented player could get a resource buff after every fifth kill or whatnot. A player who doesn't like any of this just picks a larger starting pool of resources, a player who doesn't want to be bothered with resources at all just sacrifices some of his starting resources for more ammo or better firepower. All it does is enable more different playstyles valid to each other. It creates more strengths and weaknesses in the field to be exploited and accounted for.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 18:23
Remember when supply crates and stroyent replenished grenades? It was an absolute mess.
Supply crates still do. And it's fine with me - they are easily destroyed. Wasting all grenades on deployables as DarkAngel said is silly - either use half of them and run through or wait when a teammate tosses one or two or uses RL in addition. That's why teamwork is needed in the end. Usually takes around 5-10 seconds before someone helps to damage an APT on more than 5v5. Below 5v5 none or very few deployables are played anyways. Deployables and vehicles are what diversified the gameplay and fun in ETQW, not robbed it from infantry fighting because both gamemodes are still available depending on map, amount of people and server settings. Hell, it even depends on a map stage. I almost always save a grenade for obj location whatevar the cost. Often even makes sense to be damaged almost to death, but save a nade and use it timely at the objective to make way for mates.
Posted on 30 August, 2012 - 18:27
Remember when supply crates and stroyent replenished grenades? It was an absolute mess.
No, Volcano main was kinda funny :D Good old spam times <3
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 14:02
I have to say I did love that bit. You really felt clever as a medic when you did that.
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 16:01
Below 5v5 none or very few deployables are played anyways.
...and when they are, the game goes to sht. The rock paper scissors elements of the non-infantry mechanics break down when you lack the players to fill all the roles. There's a lot in ETQW that isn't balanced for a small player count including most maps in campaign mode.
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 16:34
Is the problem of ETQW not being able to switch game mode to no deployable on the run without restarting the map as soon as the amount of players gets below a certain point. Doesn't mean it can't be implemented in next game. Anyone asked about innovations in gaming? That's one of the things that can be done next time. Actually I remember vaguely smth like this working either in W:Etpro or ETQWpro. Kinda heavy weapons being disabled in the middle of a game when players disconnect and server gets low on players. Why not having this for deployables/vehicles too? Another ways is to explain to players while on server to stop using deployables on low player count, that's how it's done nowadays.
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 22:04
ETQW was always designed for the larger teams, the removal of deployables/vehicles was a vain attempt at attracting comp play from the ET hardcore which was never going to work. ETQW was a fun, large team game and that's the way it should have stayed.
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 23:30
Is the problem of ETQW not being able to switch game mode to no deployable on the run without restarting the map as soon as the amount of players gets below a certain point. Doesn't mean it can't be implemented in next game. Anyone asked about innovations in gaming? That's one of the things that can be done next time. Actually I remember vaguely smth like this working either in W:Etpro or ETQWpro. Kinda heavy weapons being disabled in the middle of a game when players disconnect and server gets low on players. Why not having this for deployables/vehicles too? Another ways is to explain to players while on server to stop using deployables on low player count, that's how it's done nowadays.
Wow, really nice point. +1 for that! Btw I would call it: Dynamic balance
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 23:44
Yeah nothing wrong with dynamic limitations on certain abilities, deployables and vehicles. It can be done really gradually. First only basic equipment is available, more than five players and a deployable or two plus some light vehicles, 8 players and there's more deployables, medium vehicles, heavy weapons etc.
Posted on 31 August, 2012 - 23:50
ETQW was always designed for the larger teams, the removal of deployables/vehicles was a vain attempt at attracting comp play from the ET hardcore which was never going to work. ETQW was a fun, large team game and that's the way it should have stayed.
Even with max teams, on many maps the defending team can, if they so choose, bring up overwhelming numbers of heavy vehicles on early objectives and the attacking team can do the same on late objectives. In future, Splash Damage ought to be more dynamic in responding to the situation in the match if they include these resources.
Posted on 1 September, 2012 - 00:56
ETQW was always designed for the larger teams, the removal of deployables/vehicles was a vain attempt at attracting comp play from the ET hardcore which was never going to work. ETQW was a fun, large team game and that's the way it should have stayed.
Off topic for bit but will bring it back: I dunno, whilst it didn't attract the ET hardcore it did make the game so much better and to be honest they had already left before those restrictions (only radar and fliers were outright removed) were put in place through the means of modding, gentlemen's agreement style rules just didn't work prior to this. However did ET:QW really need to attract those ET fanatics? I think one (of many) problems with ET:QW was it had ET in the name, I do wonder if given a different name and marketing strategy (not being released 2 months before COD4 for example) it could have held out longer standing on it's own shoulders, the game shared similarities with ET but wasn't ET, too many people expected ET2 in same way people expected Wolfenstein to be RTCW2, still don't get why they did so with ET:QW, you'd think the vehicles and strogg in the trailers it would suggest otherwise, unlike another game that actually did try and suggest it was something it wasn't. Maps like Sewer, Salvage, Island and Volcano were perfectly fine for 6v6, 4v4 in ET:QW was pointless dont get me started on it ha but basically it wasn't ET:QW at all, I think some people wrong assume 6v6 did similar things to the game. 6v6 with restrictions still felt like ET:QW, still allowed for vehicle and infantry usage at the same time, deployables still played a role and one could argue they became more valued when restricted, having only 1 AVT meant you had to pick wisely were to use it rather than placing 6 of them where ever you liked, like what happened during the beta2 matches on valley... So coming back to powering abilities, if they bring back the likes of deployables and airstrikes/artillery then I think these abilities ought to be team pooled to limit spam along side a personal charge bar. I'm not sure how you'd convincingly pool deployables though, perhaps each faction only has a given power supply for which each deployable takes away from and capturing command posts provides extra power allowing an extra deployable to be placed down. Different deployables could have different energy usage rates depending on their fire power and/or importance and such, be better than simply saying, "You're not allowed to deploy because we say so".
Posted on 3 September, 2012 - 15:52
ETQW had diminishing returns on at least the artillery deployables. As for turrets, I don't think I've ever seen excessive use being annoying. Maybe for lower player numbers but then again, a maximum amount isn't going to do a whole lot either.
Posted on 3 September, 2012 - 15:59
I dunno, whilst it didn't attract the ET hardcore it did make the game so much better and to be honest they had already left before those restrictions (only radar and fliers were outright removed) were put in place through the means of modding, gentlemen's agreement style rules just didn't work prior to this. However did ET:QW really need to attract those ET fanatics?
ETQWpro was so much better than ETQW that when I think and say ETQW I actually mean ETQWpro. The game was usually faster, typically far less spammy, and you could tweak it to fit the number of players you had playing. It also added g_showsightedmodel (or whatever it was). The stuff added really should come as standard; it focussed ETQW into a really well-balanced game.
So coming back to powering abilities, if they bring back the likes of deployables and airstrikes/artillery then I think these abilities ought to be team pooled to limit spam along side a personal charge bar. I'm not sure how you'd convincingly pool deployables though, perhaps each faction only has a given power supply for which each deployable takes away from and capturing command posts provides extra power allowing an extra deployable to be placed down. Different deployables could have different energy usage rates depending on their fire power and/or importance and such, be better than simply saying, "You're not allowed to deploy because we say so".
Personal change bar & team energy pool attracts me the most. Hinders individual spam, and if the energy pool needs to be managed by controlling map resources, it might provide the multiple-objective thing that ETQW forward spawns and Brink command posts didn't quite pull off. I guess managing it with map assets forces a team to put more effort in if they want to dominate, so it also acts as a mild balancing system?
Posted on 3 September, 2012 - 17:36
What annoyed me in Brink however, was not being able to throw several grenades at once.
There are gren-classes in Brink actually: 3 grens for sold, 2 for operative. Other classes are limited to one at a time. Otherwise this grenade shooting would made insane number of instakills. One shared pull in QW? Oppressor has separate pool for shields and shares Vio/Mortars. It's always better to account for class specific.
Posted on 6 September, 2012 - 11:36
Yeah I don't mind seeing it as a speciality.
Posted on 6 September, 2012 - 11:47
I had to review this myself for ET.. Adrenaline, should have a deteriorating effect on the player, no limits (like 1 needle only); But it puts a high strain on your body, which should have some impact afterwards for some time. Like lower health and speed. Artillery/Airsrtikes, while teampool solves a few issues, it can make the game annoying, cause there can be one fops using it all. So its not really nice. Yet I have not any good idea for this. Making it dependent per map is no good idea either, unless the resources available are well communicated. Its an artificial thing, invisible plains which you can't shoot - dropping invisible bombs.. and yet it somehow fits almost perfectly into ET. It still needs skill for timing it correctly, something I still cannot. Grenade, just like it is in ET. While you can get more nades from a fops, he also has a limit to how many packs he can supply over time. So grenade spam is no problem in ET, unlike BF3. Dynamite, IMHO, the chargebar for dynamite and rifle could be separated, maybe even copy scheme from grenades. Have like 3 dynamites per spawn. PS: I played ET mostly on public servers with lots of peoples (12-40) - medium skilled, more fun oriented.
Posted on 7 September, 2012 - 18:23
I don't really like the idea of a team pool to manage deployable's I can just see that being a target of abuse, I mean who exactly decrees on the team what the points will be spent on? Personally I never really saw deployable's as spammy anyway, the 1 deployable per person dependant on class was more then enough of a limit for me. It was more vehicles and nades that drew the spam stick. I could easily see vehicles being tied to strategic points or whatever they will be in the new game and nade supplies being limited in the same manner too. For example "hold point A" and your team field ops can provide 1 nade per person or something like that. In that way your creating artificial supply lines that would require players to think about playing more as a team so they don't get spanked by more organised opponents.
Posted on 8 September, 2012 - 10:00
I don't really like the idea of a team pool to manage deployable's I can just see that being a target of abuse, I mean who exactly decrees on the team what the points will be spent on?
Valid point. Setting up a bunch of defense turrets in the spawn area so fewer can be placed anywhere else is very effective grieving.
Posted on 8 September, 2012 - 10:43
Adrenaline, should have a deteriorating effect on the player, no limits (like 1 needle only); But it puts a high strain on your body, which should have some impact afterwards for some time. Like lower health and speed.
I actually like this kind of idea even though I think medics were too powerful. Maybe their weapon shouldn't be the default gun which usually is the best. So in ET terms maybe give them Sten.
Artillery/Airsrtikes, while teampool solves a few issues, it can make the game annoying, cause there can be one fops using it all.
Yeah spamming needs to be very limited so that one artillery doesn't block the other team for 15 seconds or so. Although I don't think it's a fun mechanic if I can't play my class fully for example I can't call airstrikes or can't use rifle nades or panzer etc. Nerf the weapons and abilities more so we can play the game the way we want.
Grenade, just like it is in ET. While you can get more nades from a fops, he also has a limit to how many packs he can supply over time. So grenade spam is no problem in ET, unlike BF3. Dynamite, IMHO, the chargebar for dynamite and rifle could be separated, maybe even copy scheme from grenades. Have like 3 dynamites per spawn.
I actually think the grenade spam is a problem in ET too because fops could give them so much. I think that you shouldn't get more nades from anything except until you respawn. The dynamite thing is a tough one. Might be a good idea or not. I can see both sides of it.
Posted on 8 September, 2012 - 15:51
So happened I was thinking about this problem a few days ago, and I have come to conclusion I prefere shared one with different "cost" of each ability. It makes the game more about tactics and somehow... simplicity. The classical approach seems more fun, and should make less mess on the HUD, so the new players won't get confused, as well as experienced ones will not have to deal with this extra bar/whatever all the time. A game with both intuitive and simple interface that comes along with tactical complexity seems to meet some sort of perfection. The interface shall be simple, so the user can fall into the game forgetting about it totally, feeling natural. The game though shall be as complex as possible, thats what makes a good game perfect.
Posted on 9 September, 2012 - 21:38
I don't really like the idea of a team pool to manage deployable's I can just see that being a target of abuse, I mean who exactly decrees on the team what the points will be spent on?
Valid point. Setting up a bunch of defense turrets in the spawn area so fewer can be placed anywhere else is very effective grieving.
The proposal wouldn't work in ET:QW as it stands for sure, reduce the amount of deploy spots in a given area and you're half way there, also I never liked idea of deploy spots inside spawn walls either so get rid of those all together. I doubt it would lead to much grieving anyway, ET mines were team pooled, yet players generally knew where the best places to put them were, even in maps where mine spots were limited, over a few weeks players will learn to put an AVT on the corner of the main road leading to the objective or an APT facing a bottleneck near a forward spawn and such. A well thought out map layout will help aid this, the map should designed in such a way that you don't need 4 AVTs, 3 APTs, and crap load of field ops spam to defend an objective. Deployables if included again should complement the action not dominate it.
Posted on 10 September, 2012 - 09:43
I'm not feeling this community question :(
Posted on 10 September, 2012 - 15:35
They usually don't have any idea what they're really asking so rather than the question, take the subject and see if you have anything to add on that.
The proposal wouldn't work in ET:QW as it stands for sure, reduce the amount of deploy spots in a given area and you're half way there, also I never liked idea of deploy spots inside spawn walls either so get rid of those all together.
It would also solve any aircraft whoring.
Posted on 10 September, 2012 - 15:51
The same limitations are true with vehicles in etqw so presumably they are equally suspect? As with friendly fire, some good mechanics also come with the possibility of stupidity and griefing. However, rather than a team pool for deployables, I'd rather see them having a decent size radius around them which other deployables can't be placed in. It's got less behind the scenes metrics that need to be scaled with team size for balance.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 04:54
However, rather than a team pool for deployables, I'd rather see them having a decent size radius around them which other deployables can't be placed in. It's got less behind the scenes metrics that need to be scaled with team size for balance.
That's quite a nice idea actually. Combined with less deploy spots to begin with I could see that working well. However it only helps with the engineer's deployables, still potential for the defense to spawn back and place some fire support deployables and spam the crap out of the attack, you could perhaps only allow them on the active stage of the map but that can do harm in that the defense wouldn't be able to lay down their defense if they decide to fall back during the previous stage before it was completed. Wonder if they should make next question about deployables, not strictly on topic here.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 09:26
I found the turret combinations and artillery batteries combined with interceptors pretty interesting in ETQW. They were sometimes incredibly strong but they always had an Achilles heel and once you crashed down on that weak spot it was like a dam burst. And that's 12v12 of course. Though I don't really see how 'dispersing' the turrets by limiting the proximity to each other in smaller games helps. In smaller games the turrets are already more powerful when spread.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 09:59
I found the turret combinations and artillery batteries combined with interceptors pretty interesting in ETQW. They were sometimes incredibly strong but they always had an Achilles heel and once you crashed down on that weak spot it was like a dam burst.
How many times could you actually coordinate this on a public server though? Once a defense has a good set of deployables in place and a few good engineers repairing and redeploying them it becomes a real huge effort to take them all down long enough to achieve the objective, it could be done if players played as a team more and as you said it does feel like a great achievement when done but the times it has worked out that way for me personally are very few and far between, typically it descends into a game of lemmings. The MCP end goal on Valley was a pain in the arse to clear when there were multiple deployables of all types for example. Idealy you would having something along the lines of getting a covops to emp the anti-arty deplyables, whilst another does the same with their artillery around the back, time this with a hammer launch taking out their AVTs and APTs then repair the MCP and have your vehicle players keep their heavy vehicles busy during all of this. Obviously that's just a simplification of what is needed and there are other ways but trying achieve anything like this on a public server is pretty difficult. I like the idea of deployables but they were too much of an nuisance for me personally to deal with, I'd probably enjoyed public servers more if they were handled differently.
Though I don't really see how 'dispersing' the turrets by limiting the proximity to each other in smaller games helps. In smaller games the turrets are already more powerful when spread.
Think he meant for all games. It's quite easy for a small group of players who come across a single deployable on a side route to deal with it, couple of nades and its disabled, move on, but when you approach an area with a few of them they start becoming a major pain in the arse, especially if its an APT next to an AVT. I'd rather be spending my time fighting against other players not dicking around with deployables for majority of the time. Dispersing them through proximity would help somewhat I reckon though not a final solution, it may even 'force' players on both sides to explore the maps more whilst they look for another area they can deploy in, such as the oasis area on Slipgate that no one ever thinks to use and such. May have to look at the deploy masks for some of the maps and see what potential side effects would be of reducing them and/or dispersing them. I'm still leaning more towards the pooled energy resource idea that can be altered through command posts and the like.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 10:53
Well I think this is purely a matter of taste now. I loved the Valley part after the tunnel as the attacker. Maybe it's stopwatch players who hate it because such stages causes a really large deviation between both completion times?
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 10:57
The MCP end goal on Valley was a pain in the arse to clear when there were multiple deployables of all types for example.
Even in promod, with deployable limits that section of Valley can be a bit annoying. Have been part of matches where the attacking team had the MCP disabled 1cm away from completion, and because of how close the spawns are they couldnt get a repair no matter what they tried -lemming, airstrikes, sniper, split attacks, grouped attacks, rambo, decoys etc
Idealy you would having something along the lines of getting a covops to emp the anti-arty deplyables, whilst another does the same with their artillery around the back, time this with a hammer launch taking out their AVTs and APTs then repair the MCP and have your vehicle players keep their heavy vehicles busy during all of this.
I guess they expected the platypus route would be used a fair bit, but yeh not the most exciting map to attack on.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 14:44
Well I think this is purely a matter of taste now. I loved the Valley part after the tunnel as the attacker. Maybe it's stopwatch players who hate it because such stages causes a really large deviation between both completion times?
Erm kind of, for me it breaks the flow of the map, obviously any stage of a map can grind to a halt but generally these escort ones break down more often than not and almost always towards the end of the escort if they do, Valley, Canyon, Outskirts, Refinery and Slipgate all suffer the same problem and I think it's mainly down to deployables and the proximity of the defense's spawn. However other objectives also suffer thanks to deployables, Ark for example on the first stage, if the attack don't get a plant on quickly you're in for a bad time, once the defense has a good foothold in that area you have a mountain to climb in order to just achieve the first objective, doesn't leave long for the rest of the map.
Even in promod, with deployable limits that section of Valley can be a bit annoying.
Yeah, the map layout leaves a lot to be desired in that area, far too defensively biased in terms of cover and such as well as the spawn location, the Strogg spawn should have been pushed back once the MCP left the tunnel, might be too far away as it stands but that base spawn where tormentor spawns would have been ideal if brought bit closer in towards the lake.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 14:58
Ah I see. Yes that's just what I really really like. I like it when maps get stuck or progress even reverted. Those scenarios are the most compelling to play in. Just breaking your head over it and trying to find that weak spot (or sucking the momentum from the attackers) I see that it would be terrible for stopwatch mode because that would make the game very erratic down to chance. But for ordinary games I just hate it when the game is trying to force a certain outcome for the sake of making things run smoothly (especially WoW is guilty of this). I don't mind the subtle stuff. ETQW has dynamic spawn-timers depending on the team's performance and that's all great if handled elegantly.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 15:23
Don't think artillery in spawns a bad idea tbh. Else they get destroyed before you get a chance to use them due to cooldown. There simply should be a better cooldown balance, that's all. As another note, there probably need to be a certain deployable cell mask, that not only regulates where stuff can be deployed, but also what type. That would decrease the chance of multiple AVT's gathered around MCP route, but rather reserve place for smth else, e.g. APT, radar, artillery... Typical example mentioned above - Ark. On 1st stage it would allow then only 1 AVT to be deployed on the first stage area at all. At the same time AIT cell could be reserved somewhere not so hidden behind the house so that Strogg can actually succeed in damaging it.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 15:43
That sounds awfully restrictive. There's no way you can sell to a player that there are already too many AVT's standing in between the MCP and the objectives when he wants to add his.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 15:46
I just hate it when the game is trying to force a certain outcome for the sake of making things run smoothly
I could argue the same for making things not run smoothly, if a team has come up with a strategy to hold the attacking side and even pushed them back then yeah, great. However if things hit a stalemate because that section of the map heavily favors the defense and they have deployed as many turrets as humanly possible then things become rather dull. I think if handled well, limited team resources could result in players having a more considerate approach to the placement of deployables and defensive tactics in general on public matches, making a successful hold seem more 'real'. For attackers it would mean if they do find themselves stuck they know it's because the opposite side are playing better not because the game and map heavily favors that opposite side.
Don't think artillery in spawns a bad idea tbh. Else they get destroyed before you get a chance to use them due to cooldown.
They wouldn't but least now they could be destroyed bit more easily without someone hogging a flier and hovering above the the other side's spawn all map.
As another note, there probably need to be a certain deployable cell mask, that not only regulates where stuff can be deployed, but also what type. That would decrease the chance of multiple AVT's gathered around MCP route, but rather reserve place for smth else, e.g. APT, radar, artillery...
Nah, just a total limit would suffice I reckon, if a team places few AVTs and hit their limit then you've just left the whole area wide open to infantry and vice versa, just need to reduce the sheer number of deployables that are available, it was possible to have both turret types covering all major routes which felt bit cheap when you add in the fact you still have guns and vehicles to use in your defense.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 16:03
That's another thing. In TF2 the sentry is extremely powerful but the engineer himself isn't. So engineers are still not overly played because the static superiority doesn't easily outweigh the mobile superiority that comes with other classes. That's the best way to balance deployables. The classes that put them down really need to lack in other departments. A team that has lots of turrets should be comprised of lots of weak engineers that have trouble holding their own in a 1 on 1 fight.
Posted on 11 September, 2012 - 19:24
That's the best way to balance deployables. The classes that put them down really need to lack in other departments. A team that has lots of turrets should be comprised of lots of weak engineers that have trouble holding their own in a 1 on 1 fight.
Erm, not sure having not played TF2 beyond two rounds. It could work I guess but then you are relying even more on the other members of the team to protect engineers in other situations which sounds good on paper but as soon as you bring that into a regular public server it could break down quite easily, it's hard enough trying to get cover as things stand.
Posted on 12 September, 2012 - 09:32
A way around that and making classes easier to balance in general is to tie their class abilities to their loadout. Similar to Brink but in a broader sense and changeable during the match. Each class can have up to three class packages. A preset for a Covert ops would be 'Sabotage' 'Sniper' and 'Recognition' for example. A player can then load out the packages as they wish (or adapt the presets) and chose to include a turret in one of them (but forego other perks). The in-game result of this is that engineers are only thoroughly weakened if they're carrying a turret package around. This makes it more necessary for them to be on deployable maintenance duty rather than throwing a turret somewhere ad hoc to nail a few bonus kills while he does his own thing in the mean time.
Posted on 12 September, 2012 - 10:54
Not needed imo. Mass deployable spam isnt powerful, its only annoying.
Posted on 12 September, 2012 - 16:18
Shared. While balance is harder to maintain with a shared pool the added flexibility leads to more tactics that can be employed, so is much more beneficial in the long run to the development of strategies. Edited - In retrospect, hybrid would probably be better, as it's dependent on the class / ability effect / balance considerations where in some cases shared might not be ideal.
Posted on 13 September, 2012 - 00:47