Splash DamageBlogCommunity Question: Campaign Rewards and Unlocks

Splash Damage Blog

Community Question: Campaign Rewards and Unlocks

Over the years our games have featured a variety of ways your character could level up and gain new abilities. For example, Enemy Territory featured temporary rewards that would reset at the end of the three-map campagn, while Brink allowed you to permanently unlock abilities as your character gained levels. With this week's Community Question, we want to find out which of various progression systems tickles you the most:

Which unlocking mechanic for gameplay-affecting rewards do you prefer?

Please cast your vote in this week's poll and do let us know in the comments why your chosen system works best for you. We look forward to your replies!

140 Comments

I prefer no gameplay affecting unlocks - RtCW did it best \o/
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 18:27
Mmh, I don't really like permanent unlocks, as they reward people for playing more instead of rewarding skill. Unfortunately many people need some sort of grind to keep their interest. voted map-lasting rewards.
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 18:36
Voted for campaign set awards. Personally, there's no fun in permanently unlocking an award which can make game-play easier (such as reduced weapon spread in ET:QW). I find it more fun if i have to keep working at it.
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 20:25
Console game expectation (read: how many units you'll sell) aside. Campaign length rewards seemed a good compromise in ETQW but they're not without issues. Specifically a rush to grind for upgrades faster and they can deter people joining mid campaign. Personally, for pub games, I'd prefer an AI driven upgrade system which would balance out any skill differences and avoid the wanton grinding to upgrade faster. I'm sure there would be cries of "unfair" though, after all the strong should get stronger, this always makes for a fun pub experience. :rolleyes: Of course for the Comp mode (because there will be one out of the box this time ) this should just be configurable in many ways. Failing that, I'll agree with DA. RTCW, Q3, CoD etc all worked fine without such upgrades. Again, if the game is there then it shouldn't be necessary to add spice or strategy through upgrades. And no, no permanent upgrades. Again, if you want a persistent kudos generator, link it to how people interact with their team then let the team be the judge. Give people the ability to vote for their man of the match, grant currency to each play to pay out to their team and the opposition and then award medals and graphical unlocks that way. I can't see that being any worse than having people piss around in game rather than actually play the game.
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 20:46
Rewards are unlocked over the course of a campaign / several maps and reset afterwards
I think that this one unbalance the game itself. Useally some players of the losing team leave during the campaign, which means new players without unlocks will fill up the empty slots. When you join the last game of the campaign you need to fight against players who already unlocked the game affecting rewards e.g. reduced weapon spread, flak jacket, faster sprint, health regeneration etc.
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 21:18
ET / ETQW method for me - no permanent upgrades. The thing I liked the way it worked in etqw was that it didnt matter that I joined a campaign on the third map. The unlocks gave slight advantages, made the game interesting, but didnt overshadow skill. The only real improvement I would make, and BF3 does a good job of this - is the delivery in notifying the player they unlocked something. As for the ET/ETQW unlock mechanic itself; for the average player I think it keeps them playing on the server. And once they learn they lose those unlocks they come back to experience the grind again. Whereas these other games that have persistent unlocks, end up losing the player's respect because they believe they "clocked" the game. For competition obviously you want everything equal, so that aspect of the game always gets disabled.
Posted on 16 March, 2012 - 21:25
I voted no gameplay affecting rewards at all. I think everyone should have equal chances. If you play good you don't need rewards, you will win the game and that is already rewarding enough. With ET you have adrenaline, skilled players get them as first making them even better. I always disconnect when I see that a server has adrenaline enabled. Brink has the cod method, which basically means the longer you play the bigger the advantage, although with brink you could unlock everything in a couple of hours. I disagree with humate. I think that the average player wants persisting unlocks, most populated servers with et have xpsave( 17 from the top 20 servers in W:ET have xpsave, and with xpsave you have everything unlocked).
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 01:15
When I say "average player" - im talking about the typical pub player that only cares about grinding. Those players dont want to have everything, like XP save players do. They enjoy the process of climbing the mountain, but the problem is they think the game has ended once they are at the top of the mountain. Its why COD has a prestige system. The XP save players, care about playing on an even level with everyone else, because they dont have the skill to beat players when they have no unlocks. When most players are roughly at their level, when someone has an unlock it has a greater effect over someone that doesnt. Where as when a top player joins a server, it doesnt matter what unlocks they have - it doesnt have an influence on the outcome; skill differential supersedes it.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 02:19
No gameplay-affecting rewards at all. Gameplay-affecting rewards don't necessarily have to compromise the integrity of skill-based shooter gameplay but I haven't seen them hit that balance while remaining significant. If you want rewards, non-gameplay rewards can be effective without taking that risk. In ET:QW, the upgrade system had a number of negative hits on gameplay. Because upgrade progression shadowed what the player was doing and reset at campaign conclusion, the system discouraged player adaptation and playstyle experimentation over the course of the campaign. For instance, if a player focused on the medic class, their healing abilities were improved for the duration of the campaign. That discourages the medic from switching to any other class, regardless of if the current objective and team loadout called for another class. The system also rewarded better players with better stats like reduced weapon spread. I'm no great font of aiming skills but I can see reduced weapon spread stacking my firefights by the second or third map. Finally, xp allocation was imperfect with fairly useless activities like deployable farming rewarding large amounts of points. That damages the goal of using the point system to encourage player cohesion. Brink's upgrade system takes a largely different form but fails to improve on the flaws of its predecessor. Again, we can sum up the goals of this system as character progression and individuality as well as encouraging team cohesion via experience point allocation. Same problem with point allocation. Player base (size and/or pc servers) didn't go along with segmentation via player level which gives clear advantage to high level players (time>skill). When every player is high/max level, the goal of individuality is broken because there was so many upgrade points to allocate and such a clear distinction between average and great abilities that players have the same abilities. This system also shares the problem from ET:QW of sticking players to certain classes they've upgraded. If you want to use this sort of system, first balance them and then limit the number of active (activated or passive) abilities per class, dramatically, so that players who have played longer don't have more abilities but more choices. Obviously, that is not balanced, just not as unbalanced and has more player differentiation.
Personally, for pub games, I'd prefer an AI driven upgrade system which would balance out any skill differences and avoid the wanton grinding to upgrade faster.
Could you clarify what you mean here?
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 03:19
No gameplay-affecting rewards at all (PC) A combination of permanent rewards and campaign-length rewards (PS3/xbox360 - i finished some games on the console only for the rewards and achievements) The only good side of rewards i see it as a way to make the new players learn how to play a class, weapon, map ,obj, teamplay, etc. As the others said, if your game will have a top of the class competition mode, i will not mind if your pub mode have all the cod+bf+ta rewards and grind all together.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 09:48
Could you clarify what you mean here?
In essence remove the need to generate a score or play over time to get rewards. Instead adopt a system similar to L4D where you have a governing AI that can drop upgrades for either team based on how they are performing. It's a total head flip concept which I'm sure many people would deem unfair as the lesser team would ultimately gain "better" upgrades (despite the better team ultimately being in a far greater position to win). Yet, I believe it would end up making each map more balanced rather than the current systems which just further the gap. For me the goal of a good pub game is a close match which everyone can enjoy. I just don't see the current systems helping with that or addressing the issue of skill differences in team composition. If your concern is for soundly beating whatever random team you're up against then the simple option is to just switch off the upgrades altogether (ie a comp mode).
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 14:11
I would say from ETQW pov, leave all unlocks for all 12 maps. I usually play 2-3 campaigns, but it's interesting to have in Canyon icarus, husky drops. Ofcoz, maps may be will need some rebalance.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 16:36
You need three layers. - Permanent layer: This allows you to put xp-multipliers and unlock skill-caps on certain skill trees you find important. Instead of improving the player from the get-go the permanent player only improves the way a player develops throughout the campaign. The permanent layer may have some growth (if that's what the mainstream really wants) but it's mainly about balancing weights. In other words, the points you gather can be spent on changing your character and if you want to put the emphasis on other ways of growing then you will spent more points to forfeit your current growth schedule and switch to something else. - Campaign layer: This is where the actual rewards are collected. Think ETQW but now it can be more elaborate because of the under-current of the permanent layer. Class-specific rewards can only be obtained through playing a particular class. The interaction between these two layers means that players can have a preferred class but when the situation forces them they're free to develop another class albeit with a more stunted growth than how they set up their specialisation. - Killstreaks. Yeah I love them. They reward players for staying alive as well as keeping their team-mates alive. It discourages lemminging. In COD they're definitely too powerful and they can be made way more subtle (think TF2's eyelander). Killstreaks can be amplified or more exotic ones can be unlocked through rewards in the campaign layer. And as a general comment. Brink's character development was terrible. There amount of options was way too close to the amount of rewards allowed to be active at one particular time and therefore there was no real distinction between players.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 18:40
Seems this is just accepting/ignoring the repercussions to yet again shoehorn in an RPG. Why can't the game just be an FPS and stand on it's own merits instead of hiding behind the appeal of not only unnecessary features but ones that damage the core FPS gameplay. Criticise SD's poor implementation if you want (I think it would be a lame excuse to do so though) but Brink is a striking example of a game strangled by features that just didn't fit. SD needs to stop putting jam on their salmon and just trust they make a pretty wicked salmon or give up and make a frigging jam sandwich like the rest of the CoD wannabes
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 19:50
Please no killstreak rewards etc. The accolades in Tribes are more than satisfying enough for me.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 21:19
I prefer no gameplay affecting unlocks - RtCW did it best \o/
this RtCW ftw
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 23:23
Any streaks not just killstreaks. A campaign reward could be the medic getting an accumulating health buff on every revive. So first revive is 100% health, second is 105%, third is 110%, etc up to some reasonable limit.
Seems this is just accepting/ignoring the repercussions to yet again shoehorn in an RPG. Why can't the game just be an FPS and stand on it's own merits instead of hiding behind the appeal of not only unnecessary features but ones that damage the core FPS gameplay.
Sometimes I wonder why you would even hang out in this place. If you want a classic shooter stripped to it's bare essence then there's already countless of them available. Nobody is depriving you of any access to any of such games and frankly I don't see why we would need even more of them, there's only so many variations on this 'pure arcade' theme. SD doesn't make these and strives to push on the genre with mechanics that create a playing field that can suck players in for years like they did with their ET's.
Posted on 17 March, 2012 - 23:28
So one game out of 3 sucked gamers in for years, that's a 33.3% success rate (from a free game), suggestions geared towards long standing games aren't welcomed here... what? Can you name a similar styled game that has a long standing fan base as much as ET that inherits the same unlock style and has held a substantial player base? Seems like you have the idea that he wants to ruin the company...
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 00:45
Sometimes I wonder why you would even hang out in this place. If you want a classic shooter stripped to it's bare essence then there's already countless of them available. Nobody is depriving you of any access to any of such games and frankly I don't see why we would need even more of them, there's only so many variations on this 'pure arcade' theme. SD doesn't make these and strives to push on the genre with mechanics that create a playing field that can suck players in for years like they did with their ET's.
I could likewise ask why you consistently insist that a non persistent 20 minute match FPS game needs to emulate a persistent MMORPG despite abundant proof that the more it does, the greater it imbalances the game. If you read up a few posts you'll see that I have no issue with implementing elements that can alter gameplay or innovation of the genre, my grudge is the mechanism to which SD have used in the past and one you promote without regard for the consequences. Its also a tad disingenuous of you to make out like I want Quake3 from SD. There is plenty there to enjoy with the class system and objective style of play that doesn't involve leveling up characters or a convoluted XP system to drive a 5% increase here or there. IMO SD would do far better by going back to basics and doing that well, make a solid game with solid features and good balance rather than constantly chasing this airy idea that you can hide an RPG inside the game and nobody will notice it or the impact.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 01:35
I voted for none at all. I like for everything to be available at the start. However, I am fine with unlocks that reset with each map or campaign...they just need to be implemented well.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 03:57
Please no killstreak rewards etc. The accolades in Tribes are more than satisfying enough for me.
++ somechars
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 04:28
I voted for none at all. I like for everything to be available at the start. However, I am fine with unlocks that reset with each map or campaign...they just need to be implemented well.
^^^ Most unlocks in a campaign reset system are enhanced versions of stuff you already have. In the event that there is something new that is introduced - they make up for this by making them Level1 or Level2.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 04:34
You said RPG features damage the core FPS mechanics whilst class system and objective style aren't intrinsic futures of an FPS and originate from RPG's. There's your issue, you keep moaning about going back to basics while clinging on to things that aren't basic at all. I say that, because we're talking about a game that already has considerable depth we might as well include the other aspects from other genres that make interaction between classes in accordance to reach a specific objective run so smoothly, namely xp-rewards and character development.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 07:51
Maybe it't not the best way but I think it's better to reward players with points, medals etc. or we need weapons that are already available to counter the unlocks. The (gameplay effecting) unlocks still give a advantage over players (equal skills) without them, even if it's not that much. I voted for this one: No gameplay-affecting rewards at all
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 08:30
You said RPG features damage the core FPS mechanics whilst class system and objective style aren't intrinsic futures of an FPS and originate from RPG's. There's your issue, you keep moaning about going back to basics while clinging on to things that aren't basic at all. I say that, because we're talking about a game that already has considerable depth we might as well include the other aspects from other genres that make interaction between classes in accordance to reach a specific objective run so smoothly, namely xp-rewards and character development.
I think once it gets into creating builds and such, it starts getting a bit silly. I do however understand the attraction though, because it allows players to 'manufacture' their value, as opposed to earning it through a bit of practice. Plus a well thought out creative build gets the benefit of surprise.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 12:34
You said RPG features damage the core FPS mechanics whilst class system and objective style aren't intrinsic futures of an FPS and originate from RPG's. There's your issue, you keep moaning about going back to basics while clinging on to things that aren't basic at all. I say that, because we're talking about a game that already has considerable depth we might as well include the other aspects from other genres that make interaction between classes in accordance to reach a specific objective run so smoothly, namely xp-rewards and character development.
I never said anything of the sort, you're putting words into my mouth to help paint a picture of me being some deluded Q3 fan and avoiding any discussion about the impacts of what you propose. So, how about less semantics on what a core FPS is, because you know full well I'm not walking Quake 3, and more discussion of the points I've raised.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 17:21
Always kicking up some soap opera whenever someone calls you out on your tripe. Either you want TFclassic all over again or I do not know what the hell you're on about.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 19:13
I don't agree that persistent progression rewards are less legitimate than any other rewards if players perceive them as rewarding. I also wouldn't have any problem with a pvp RPG FPS so long as the cost to parity of competition was counterbalanced by the added depth or variety of the experience. This is all a legitimate topic of discussion, however. It's certainly one I hope all contemporary pvp FPS developers are discussing internally. You seem to be associating a number of tangential desires with sockdog's rejection of one (RPG/progression) feature as a way of setting up an extremist straw man.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 20:37
Oh it's legitimate. The merits of an elaborate yet elegant system of mechanics to enrich the shooter environment has got to be my favourite topic to discuss. Call me a freak if you will but I can think for hours on end on this. What Sockdog does however is to suggest some magic fairy as a substitute for what's supposed to be a masterfully fine-tuned clockwork. It's the magic wizard or nothing and that just spoils the entire discourse.
Posted on 18 March, 2012 - 20:53
I voted neither of the above. I liked what Brink did with the challenges, though. Players are granted a wider range of weapons when they take the time to master these "tutorial" missions. It's not a grind and if the challenges are good, people might learn a thing or two. I didn't really mind the permanent upgrades in Brink as they usually aren't game changers anyway. What I didn't like is that you'd have to have at least two characters to really get all the unlocks that can come in handy. I love what TF2 does, though. Sure, who plays more gets more loot - but the weapons are so well balanced that I never feel like a sucker for only using default weapons.
Posted on 19 March, 2012 - 20:08
The challenges were fun to do but that they were linked to multiplayer relevant rewards was just downright bull**** and a missed opportunity to integrate the reward system better with the actual in-game action of the player.
Posted on 19 March, 2012 - 21:05
Would you mind elaborating the integration opportunities a little? I thought about tieing some unlocks to certain in-game actions- roughly the way achievements work. But before you know it, you'll have "unlock-farming"-servers if your game is popular. That's what I liked about the challenges. If someone wanted to be a dick about completing all of these, at least they don't mess with the other players on their team - because there are none.
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 08:50
Didn't read everything so sorry if there is double stuff: watch out with player awards. In most cases, it will unbalance the game (the better player gets rewarded, and the worse player has a hard time catching up). My suggestion would be to promote team play. (For instance: you are a medic and want to self heal? You can get 1 medpack giving you 20 health back. If you use it to help teammates, you can use more (even for yourself)). So you have to help your team instead of wondering off alone. (A bit like ET style, just no awards that help only the player, but the team) I don't know how often you should reset. Just keep in mind that it shouldn't be the team that won the first round, that wins all other campaign maps & that half-joiners don't leave because they get their $!*!?* kicked ;)
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 09:46
But before you know it, you'll have "unlock-farming"-servers if your game is popular. That's what I liked about the challenges. If someone wanted to be a dick about completing all of these, at least they don't mess with the other players on their team - because there are none.
I agree, if the unlock system is separated from the multiplayer matches people can unlock and learn the basics before going online. I also prefer equipment unlocks/customization opposed to stat improvements like reduced spread or higher damage/health,... Adding a customization doesn't or shouldn't change the overall balance of a weapon/equipment. Unless we're talking noob-tube or shotgun attachments the overall balance of the weapon would be the same. If ALL the items are balanced enough, it shouldn't matter which one you use. I would also suggest that the tactically more advanced options are unlocked at a later point or in the later challenges. (For example snipers would be unlocked later) The same can be said for the vehicles, they should only be available for those who completed a challenge or tutorial. ([SIZE=1]HOW NOT: e.g. BF3 -> people mess around to get a vehicle, but when they actually get it they can't control it properly or use it the way it was designed.[/SIZE]) Also the harder to control or use them approprietly, they are the later they should be unlocked.
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 11:34
I prefer the Et style unlocks for the following reasons. On large 50 plus spot servers the unlocks have very little effect on the oucome of the match. Obviously for competition all players start at the the same level, for those who like the grind there is always the !resetmyxp command. The biggest complaint in my ET experience when it comes to xp is shuffling by xp because xp has no connection to skill although for ET there are new mods such as SiLenT that shuffle using K/D ratio.
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 13:26
Would you mind elaborating the integration opportunities a little? I thought about tieing some unlocks to certain in-game actions- roughly the way achievements work. But before you know it, you'll have "unlock-farming"-servers if your game is popular. That's what I liked about the challenges. If someone wanted to be a dick about completing all of these, at least they don't mess with the other players on their team - because there are none.
The challenge correspond to in-game actions but aren't directly connected. As for unlock-farming servers, see my first post on how the permanent layer should be treated. The permanent layer should only affect the way a player develops himself throughout a game. Under that system unlock-farming would be neigh pointless.
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 13:44
Like E.T. i just wish there were better more interesting upgrades like the ability to smoke a ciggy. short lasting shield. big ears to hear enemies. also negative upgrades. err or downgrade lol ie slower, hurting, deafness for short periods. lol im rambling. i still dream of Mr Do! Multiplayer in 3D. everygame should have cherries in it. remember fun < realism.
Posted on 20 March, 2012 - 19:29
Didn't read everything so sorry if there is double stuff: watch out with player awards. In most cases, it will unbalance the game (the better player gets rewarded, and the worse player has a hard time catching up).
This is actually incorrect as stated earlier in the thread. :) The better player is always going to beat the lesser player, regardless of unlocks. They only effect players that are of the same skill level.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 02:24
I'm able to beat players with better aim in ET:QW if I have reduced spread. I also don't think further stratifying a skill difference between players and, by extension, between teams, is ever a good idea.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 04:42
I'm able to beat players with better aim in ET:QW if I have reduced spread. I also don't think further stratifying a skill difference between players and, by extension, between teams, is ever a good idea.
If that is consistent, then they arent that much better than you in aim. Their skill doesnt compensate for the unlock. :)
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 05:20
Regardless, a portion of the skill gap is still closed by the addition of player unlocks that aid in its closure. Would he beat the better enemy as much without the reduced spread? Probably not. Would he beat the better enemy as much if they both had the reduced spread? Probably not. By the fact that there's an outcome variance due to these player awards in the first place means that the skill balance has been upset, regardless if that upset means it's making the outcome come closer to a 50/50 split.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 07:34
So now there's two arguments being used against unlocks. - Unlocks widen the skill-difference between players because skilled players are able to obtain more unlocks faster - Unlocks bridge the kill-gap between players because less skilful players are able to enjoy advantage on a particular area in which better skilled players ought to excel. These two are mutually exclusive so please pick just one. I think neither apply because developing your character in the way that best suits you is a skill in and of itself that grows as the player comes to grips with the game and the particular way he plays it. For instance, a player with poor-aim can either chose to avoid situations where aim is relevant so he doesn't have to spent any resources on covering his weakness. Or he finds that for his role in the game he's going to need some shooting so he compensates with higher accuracy. You'll find that the player that avoids his weakness will get more resources to spent on his strength and be a more effective albeit more specialistic player. And then we haven't even entered in on the fact that higher accuracy on your weapon is only amplified with better aiming skills. A player with good aiming skills will benefit way more from a lower spread than a player with poor aiming skills. All in all I think you guys are just clinging to some phony nostalgia. Developing a more inclusive system is hard but just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's impossible and it certainly doesn't mean we need to throw everything out and go back to basics.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 12:06
text
I think you're confused dude, my reply was directly related to BioSnarks example, but since you mention it, the flux is constant. If the better player has the unlock and the standard player doesn't, then the skill gap is increased. If the better player doesn't have it and the standard player does, then it's reduced... would've thought that was obvious.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 12:22
It wasn't specifically addressed at you.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 13:14
- Unlocks widen the skill-difference between players (and teams) because skilled players are able to obtain more unlocks faster - Unlocks bridge the kill-gap between players because less skilful players are able to enjoy advantage on a particular area in which better skilled players ought to excel. These two are mutually exclusive so please pick just one.
These are absolutely not exclusive which is why I mentioned teams. The winning team will have more unlocks via xp distribution and opposing team player attrition/replacement. This doesn't mean every player on the winning team is more skilled than every player on the loosing team. The skill difference can be reversed via player replacement and the winning team will still have an artificial advantage.
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 13:18
So... does your issue lie with the skill difference widening or narrowing?
Posted on 21 March, 2012 - 19:45
Neither. I think I already said that in ET:QW's campaign system the upgrades usually widen skill difference. In most persistent systems they don't scale to skill but playing time. Different upgrade system distribution may not be equally harmful but that's all still missing the point. I'll be repeating what I said in previous posts in this thread, again: Upgrade systems damage the integrity of a skill based shooter by introducing an artificial handicap. There may be less harmful ways of implementing and distributing this handicap but, again, it is still harmful. In any game and as with any other feature, if the implementation or distribution of upgrades doesn't add more than it damages then it should be removed or somehow reconfigured to be, on balance, a net benefit to the playing experience. I do not think SD's implementation of upgrades achieved a net positive result in the past. If they were a different developer, I might have a different vote to cast and opinion on what I think they should do.
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 00:32
So... it's narrowing?
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 08:06
As I just said, doesn't matter if it has no correlation to skill, whatsoever.
that's all still missing the point. [...] Upgrade systems damage the integrity of a skill based shooter by introducing an artificial handicap. [...] I do not think SD's implementation of upgrades achieved a net positive result in the past.
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 12:31
Then colour me confused.
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 15:32
Pretty much what I was getting from your posts, yes.
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 16:10
ET / ETQW method for me - no permanent upgrades.
Now there's a surprise... Although admittedly I agree, no permanent unlocks. I do have to say it was pretty fun leveling up in Brink, and it's been interesting in MW3 (I conned a friend into gifting it to me), but I prefer the level playing field and rewards for sticking through campaigns.
Posted on 22 March, 2012 - 20:20
I actually prefer zero unlocks, just not for pub play. The skill spectrum is so wide on pubs that the chance of an unlock actually having any significant impact, is pretty small.
Posted on 23 March, 2012 - 13:29
The true value these rewards off is the implementation of long therm path-dependant choices. You could compare it to an RTS like Starcraft. It's perfectly possible to start the game where both players have all the technology and all units available from the start. It would still be a decent game. But what keeping these things under wraps and making players spent their resources on uncovering them does is that it creates an incredibly deep game where you truly need to weigh the decisions you're making. Limitation creates depth. It amplifies the gap between strengths and weaknesses and it means a player can't just keep on making up his mind on the spot without any consequences.
Posted on 23 March, 2012 - 13:35
I doubt that counts quite towards shooters. Reduced recoil, greater clip size, increased damage... choices generally go down the same route but the outcome is then changed due to what ever unlock the player is flaunting at the time. Those unlocks aren't quite as decision dependant in a shooter as they are in a RTS.
Posted on 23 March, 2012 - 14:31
Then that's what needs to change. The reward system needs to be more responsive. Light weapon combat is very prominent in the game and therefore exceptional efforts within this part need to be rewarded far more than the average joe. A player choosing to specialise in assault would have to forego a lot of other perks in order to excel in this.
Posted on 23 March, 2012 - 20:11
Sorry been away with work.
Always kicking up some soap opera whenever someone calls you out on your tripe. Either you want TFclassic all over again or I do not know what the hell you're on about.
I'm calling you out on your tripe and you're ignoring any pertinent points to focus on misinterpretation, exaggeration or just being a plain old pedant to do anything but respond.
What Sockdog does however is to suggest some magic fairy as a substitute for what's supposed to be a masterfully fine-tuned clockwork. It's the magic wizard or nothing and that just spoils the entire discourse.
Sorry for not banging my head again the wall over and over and over again. I make no wild claims that "my idea" is better or even workable (not that you've offered any discussion to suggest either way, "your way or no way", apparently) . All I am suggesting is that the path SD has chosen of using RPGish elements, XP, short and long progression, persistent and non-persistent upgrades has always without question brought with it baggage. Something you've always been very quick to lay at their feet as being due to their ineptitude because in your eyes a perfect system is quite easy to achieve. By comparison all I am saying is that maybe a step back is necessary. Maybe look at what makes the game fun in the first place, that I think would be the multiplayer FPS and the objective class gameplay. Then see if there isn't another way to add onto it instead of just trying to band-aid over and over again. And lets be clear here. You're the one mentally masturbating over what you want in the next SD game then stomping and name calling around the forum to prove it. I'm simply suggesting a shift in focus given a tangible issue. If you want to avoid the drama, perhaps stop being such a smart arse and so defensive and simply discuss things openly.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 03:19
Also have to say it's very interesting to see the difference in poll results between here and facebook. Clearly some very different demographics taking part over practically the same voting sample.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 03:29
And once again throwing a tantrum and restating your vacuous assertions. We know you don't like it, we know you don't think it's fun. Now tell us why.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 10:48
Sigh, more deflection. In essence the RPG elements break the game each and every time, as I stated in my first posts, even ETQW suffered to some degree due to the upgrade path such as deterring new players joining a final campaign or losing team due to upgrade imbalance. I'm not the only person which has said so in this thread. To be quite clear. I have no problem adding more complexity to the game but IMO it shouldn't be done at the expense of the core game working. This is exactly why I threw out an alternative method to do it which addressed several of the issues. I have no vested interest in that method, tear it apart by all means but just stop acting like the existing method is without faults and that any suggestions against it are as such without merit. I'd honestly love to see you step outside your box and find a way yourself to have some sort of progress path or upgrade system without the hangups.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 12:42
Is that it? A disadvantage when joining late in a campaign that can't last more than an hour? Say you enter in the last match, then you'll have to endure people who had 40 minutes to build up an advantage for a whole 20 minutes. I already have a hard time seeing the issue with that as I enjoy the challenge of being the underdog myself but even if you don't like it then I say though, be patient and make of it what you can. In a way that's also what my permanent layer tends to solve. By letting players shift the weights before they start playing you can afford to be handing out rewards at a faster rate as character development is more focussed and it would be impossible to have powerful masters of everything running around in the end.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 15:06
I said the impacts in ETQW were minimal, they are however still there as much as you want to view them as personally challenging. It's quite simple that joining a campaign halfway through is going to leave you less well off than those who have been there from the start and you'll be less capable to support your team. The other factors are encouraging grind to upgrade faster and rewarding players who perform better (or grind well) over those who don't, which further expands on any skill/knowledge gap between the players. That doesn't induce an environment for fun it's playing on the old brain crack tactic. Now Brink did as you said, sped through the upgrades pretty fast. Seems many people felt that squandered the whole value of the system. I believe even you wanted SD to continue adding value to the upgrades for fear that an end to it signaled an end to it's value. I do wonder in part if the steep drop off of players wasn't due in part to this system being either imposed in the first place or compromised to the point that when everyone got to the top level they saw no more value in the game. Again, if SD's game is now making a character building RPG around an FPS then that's fine but we do need to stop with the bull**** of pretending it's primarily an MP Class based objective FPS. As for shifting weights before playing, I still fail to see how this isn't just going further to randomise the experience once you start playing and by that I mean some games you'll have and advantage and in others you won't depending on the opposing team. You remove the need for personal skill and replace it with a roll of the dice. Yet I understand your view may lean more towards the abilities enhancing actual skill so really it's just a magnifying affect, yet I often see upgrades that impact the team (extra pips, quick revives etc), those choices and their impact are random when you've got a small 8v8. Ultimately the goal should be for you to make the best contribution to your team so that they can win, building on individual strengths via upgrades is counter-intuitive to this as you're then expecting the team to conform, IMO that's just backwards thinking. It's like having a football player wearing clown shoes because it makes him +1 Happy and then expecting the team to always pass him headers. Again. I have no problem with adding depth or an upgrade tree during a campaign or map. But do it based on the team so that anyone joining late has access to the upgrades and that any imbalance in the teams can be tweaked to some small degree. My gripe is that placing emphasis on the individual, single player RPG type stuff, in a multiplayer TEAM game is just plain damaging to the team and the experience. I would applaud SD to take a step back at look long and hard at that for their next game. Also, what is your opinion on the many F2P FPS games on Steam? They seem to offer much of what you're looking for in a SD game.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 16:33
@tok So make unlocks an inconvenience and a chore that need to be dealt with to get the same level as everyone else, you think that's the 'better' solution? Brink having challenges for unlocks were an inconvenience for me, I didn't want to do the challenges, but was forced to to get the weapon unlocks. Regardless of advantages or disadvantages, the chore was added because I couldn't kit out the way I wanted unless I had the unlocks. When I play CoD, it's an inconvenience to be forced to go through weapon challenges to get to the loadout I want... and at the end of the day, he who plays the most has the most, which is the worst way to handle unlocks I have ever seen. It requires 0 skill, just the time dedicated to getting to that point. You also seem to have this imaginary scenario in your head that gamers run around with this sub-conscious desire to have a mental mini-game running in the background that has to be dealt with while playing the actual game as well... when really it is just that, in your head. Yes gamers have a mind-set of how they want to play, for me I prefer the faster, silent movement, silencers etc and willing to take the lower HP. Once I get those unlocks I'm done, there's no mental play running in my head for each map or what team I'm against... the only thing that happened was, instead of being allowed to play how I want to play from the beginning, the game made it a chore to get to that point.. the mine-game in your head was actually forced upon me when it was never asked for. I've seen it through numerous games, and on the players I'm playing with or against... they have their set loadout and nothing changes, no little mini-game, no strategic loadouts per map, nothing... the hurdle was vaulted and it was plain running from there. You need to come out of your head and be realistic, do you think games are being dumbed down as they are because those playing it thrive on complexity? Where are you getting that they want this subtle loadout/unlock, scenario based mini-game happening? What evidence do you have that this is required/desired/needed? Where has your conclusion come from?
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 16:39
+1 @DA To expand a little further on my post, the ability to change and adapt on the fly within a game hold far more scope for the player's skills to shine than it would to lock them into a single configuration. You may feel most comfortable with a heavy weapon and high level armour but in a situation where the team or specific objective calls for something else the ability to shift to a different configuration and leveraging your skill and flexibility is what makes you a good player. It seems to me that you'd like to adopt a real world loadout, one made out of physical practicalities. I'm sure if the army had a way of kitting soldiers with every weapon and support equipment they'd prefer it over making a balanced squad. Yet still that decision is made given a good deal of intelligence about the situation they will be in. Ultimately we're playing a game and the focus, "core", should be an environment of fun and if there is any meddling to be done it should be in the pursuit of making that fun more consistent. If I want restrictions, assumptions and gambles I'll open my front door. I'll also repeat that in L4D2 I've found the AI director to give a good balance to the play. It works well within the confines of the difficulty level you're playing in and provides pace changes to keep the game engaging.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 17:11
Did you guys even read my first post or any previous post? I hate weapon challenges! Anything outside the multiplayer should be purely cosmetic. I'm not talking about making things a chore, I'm talking about the option to pre-focus the way you're going to develop over the course of a campaign. To carve out a path in which you want to specialise yourself. Because players can put a focus on a particular style before the game has even started the reward distribution can be more generous as there's no danger of a player obtaining everything. There also wouldn't be any issue with arriving later on in a game because your preset allows you to obtain your favourite upgrades as fast as possible.
You also seem to have this imaginary scenario in your head that gamers run around with this sub-conscious desire to have a mental mini-game running in the background that has to be dealt with while playing the actual game as well..
No player should feel forced to take part in this. If you don't want to put any thought in to this you just take a well-balanced built and be on your way. Players that want to be unique and try new things should be rewarded for this however. They demonstrated the willingness to specialise and sacrifice all-roundership and that's something that should be encouraged. A game filled with uniquely talented individuals is way more interesting and has way more replay value than a shoot-out between clones that have access to everything at any time.
the ability to change and adapt on the fly within a game hold far more scope for the player's skills to shine than it would to lock them into a single configuration.
Approaching every situation with the right gear is a trivial skillset that can be summarised in an infographic. What takes real skill is approaching a situation for which you haven't been ideally equipped. That's when players will have to draw upon their resourcefulness in order to play the cards they've been dealt in the best way possible.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 20:14
What takes real skill is approaching a situation for which you haven't been ideally equipped. That's when players will have to draw upon their resourcefulness in order to play the cards they've been dealt in the best way possible.
This happens all the time even without rewards and unlocks. Being low on ammo or health puts you in a situation you're not ideally equipped to handle, forcing you to think carefully about the approach you are going to take, with some clever play you can get the drop on an enemy with minimal risk to yourself. Coming up against a group of soldiers with heavy weapons is another example The body types in Brink should have made this sort of thing happen all the time but the darn maps didn't allow it to happen, oh there's a few heavies spamming heavy weapons on that chokepoint we are escorting the VIP through, I'm a light body type so I'll just flank them, erm seems the other route is back where I came from, ok it may take longer but least I can get the jump on those campers, *minute later* oh so this is where the enemy spawns, great... (Aquarium when the VIP reaches that ramp) Anyway, kind of agree with some what you're trying to say though yet agree with DA and sock on other points, the view from this fence is nice.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 20:44
This happens all the time even without rewards and unlocks.
Only to a very superficial level. This can be far deeper than it already is. And I agree that the medium and heavy bodytypes were only there to show how fast and flashy the light bodytype was. The point is, even if you don't like this kind of stuff, even if you just want to play the damn game without committing to anything then still it's fun having to deal with team-mates as well as opponents that come up with all sorts of wacky ideas.
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 21:04
Did you guys even read my first post or any previous post? I hate weapon challenges! Anything outside the multiplayer should be purely cosmetic. I'm not talking about making things a chore, I'm talking about the option to pre-focus the way you're going to develop over the course of a campaign. To carve out a path in which you want to specialise yourself. Because players can put a focus on a particular style before the game has even started the reward distribution can be more generous as there's no danger of a player obtaining everything. There also wouldn't be any issue with arriving later on in a game because your preset allows you to obtain your favourite upgrades as fast as possible.
What pre-focus do you speak of? You're still not getting it, there's no DESIRE for this, there's no need nor want for an unlock system to become more complex because in essence, it's a chore in the 1st place. The way you're suggesting over the course of a campaign just means it will become even more annoying as you'll have to start all over again once the campaign ends... if it's not wanted in the 1st place, why would players want to repeat the process over and over? Because it's a 'thoughtful' thing to do? Do they need a sense of self gratification because they managed to choose some options and become better people for it? Do you want to place yourself upon a false pedestal and tell yourself "I'm a more sophisticated gamer because I thought!"? They'll choose the same options, the same loadouts, the same unlocks to drive for and become the same pissed off gamers due to the fact they need to do this over and over again. Forcing a player into doing something they don't want to do is a sure fire way to crush a game, regardless of how many strokes your ego gets for it.
No player should feel forced to take part in this. If you don't want to put any thought in to this you just take a well-balanced built and be on your way. Players that want to be unique and try new things should be rewarded for this however. They demonstrated the willingness to specialise and sacrifice all-roundership and that's something that should be encouraged. A game filled with uniquely talented individuals is way more interesting and has way more replay value than a shoot-out between clones that have access to everything at any time.
Have everything unlocked at the beginning but only allow certain combinations of loadouts, remove the chore and the inconvenience and let the player play how he wants. The games that are currently played the most work off that premise and don't need a satirical mini-game latched onto it to consider the player 'talented'. Forcing a player to have to unlock stuff just so they can try something unique is the complete opposite of what you want, this discourages them. As for the shoot-out between clones, got an example of this? I have 1, Clan Arena in Quake Live and that was a mod... got any more that aren't still standing the test of time and being the most played games just now?
Approaching every situation with the right gear is a trivial skillset that can be summarised in an infographic. What takes real skill is approaching a situation for which you haven't been ideally equipped. That's when players will have to draw upon their resourcefulness in order to play the cards they've been dealt in the best way possible.
Being the underdog and paying for it is what causes frustration and attrition within a game, forcing them into that position just so they can feel better about winning in that situation won't work, again this is something that seems to exist within your head that people yearn for this, where are you garnering this conclusion from?
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 22:01
Approaching every situation with the right gear is a trivial skillset that can be summarised in an infographic. What takes real skill is approaching a situation for which you haven't been ideally equipped. That's when players will have to draw upon their resourcefulness in order to play the cards they've been dealt in the best way possible.
You're leaping to an assumption that you have the ability to apply useful resourcefulness. In every situation where that is not appropriate or possible you're back to, as you put it, "to play the cards they've been dealt", a random situation more appropriate for a turn based RPG not one where shooting someone in the head is the ultimate goal. This is entirely my point in regards to making the FPS secondary to this RPGesque dice roller. And by appropriate and possible I mean that the game world needs to allow such possibilities. What use is a speed boost ability if the game world allows people to strafe jump at the same or greater speed, the maps are open enough to allow long distance sniping or intricate enough to allow short cuts. Ultimately you're undermining the ability or limiting it's counter. Additionally for each item you balance* you end up designing maps with an ever more influence on balance rather than playability. What it seems to come down to is having a Q3 style experience where a player shows their strengths and preferences through their actual skills. How well can they apply movement, what is their knowledge of the maps, which weapon are they strongest with. Compared to an RPG where your skills are limited by some selection of your perceived skills, the outcome of which is a random boost or detraction in skill. Frankly, it seems to be yet another overly complicated, unnecessary and ultimately flawed in implementation addition to the game that does more damage than good. To repeat myself, I'd rather play a trivial fun and engaging game than a unique yet flawed one, focus on the core and if you must add stuff then do not compromise the core game to do so. Lesson in point, Brink. *to be clear I mean balancing the additions/upgrades to validate their use, not general balancing of the map
Posted on 24 March, 2012 - 23:44
Its manufacturing one's in-game value through a build over developing it through practice and experience. Thats fine for RTS. Its also fine for FPS games that want to end up in the $10 bin after the first 3 months.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 06:49
Boy is this rich!
What it seems to come down to is having a Q3 style experience where a player shows their strengths and preferences through their actual skills. How well can they apply movement, what is their knowledge of the maps, which weapon are they strongest with.
Its also a tad disingenuous of you to make out like I want Quake3 from SD.
DaUK, I'll get back to you, first some studying after I'm done laughing.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 13:30
DaUK, I'll get back to you, first some studying after I'm done laughing.
No problem, i'll prepare my face for palm placement.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 16:45
Boy is this rich! DaUK, I'll get back to you, first some studying after I'm done laughing.
Back to the petty baiting I see, very mature. Nothing in my several posts you could respond to other than a cheap shot based on your conveniently poor reading skills? Using Q3 as an example of players differentiating themselves through skill is nothing like wanting SD to make Q3. It illustrates that if you don't cripple the game world to fit in upgrades, ie make it more open, then you don't need to start a steady string of compromises, balances and restrictions to make it all work. Again, case in point, Brink.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 16:59
What pre-focus do you speak of?
Jasus man, at least read my ideas before commenting. First post on the first page.
You're still not getting it, there's no DESIRE for this, there's no need nor want for an unlock system to become more complex because in essence, it's a chore in the 1st place.
Nonsense it got whole hordes of people addicted to W:ET
The way you're suggesting over the course of a campaign just means it will become even more annoying as you'll have to start all over again once the campaign ends...
It really sucks that you spent twenty minutes building an entire Protoss base, tech to the best units and then lose it all once the match ends :(
if it's not wanted in the 1st place, why would players want to repeat the process over and over? Because it's a 'thoughtful' thing to do? Do they need a sense of self gratification because they managed to choose some options and become better people for it? Do you want to place yourself upon a false pedestal and tell yourself "I'm a more sophisticated gamer because I thought!"?
They're better people for having put thought into a TACTICAL shooter yeah. If you don't like the idea that thinking people might get an advantage over by all means stick to Q3 like Sock Dog.
They'll choose the same options, the same loadouts, the same unlocks to drive for and become the same pissed off gamers due to the fact they need to do this over and over again.
It's the job of the developer to make sure there are as many viable builds as possible.
Forcing a player into doing something they don't want to do is a sure fire way to crush a game, regardless of how many strokes your ego gets for it.
I already entered in on this but you ignore it once again. If someone doesn't like thinking about these builds then he can just opt for a generic one and grow in that direction over the course of a campaign. Not everyone needs to be a specialist.
Have everything unlocked at the beginning but only allow certain combinations of loadouts,
Removes any sense of creativity and personal input. It doesn't make any sense at all.
remove the chore and the inconvenience and let the player play how he wants.
There's nothing wrong with inconvenience. Not knowing who exactly Keyser Soze at the start of the movie is an inconvenience but it makes for a fascinating plot drawing the viewer in from the get go. Where you see inconvenience I see path-dependency and resource-management. It creates an arms-race where a player needs to think wisely about how he's going to spent every second of the game. It makes players work vigorously at being the most value to their team as well as growing themselves.
The games that are currently played the most work off that premise and don't need a satirical mini-game latched onto it to consider the player 'talented'. Forcing a player to have to unlock stuff just so they can try something unique is the complete opposite of what you want, this discourages them.
Attaching a cost to it makes them careful about how they're going to spent their time with that item and truly commit to it. That said, I don't see any issue with creating an item-testing simulator mini-game if that takes away your concerns.
As for the shoot-out between clones, got an example of this? I have 1, Clan Arena in Quake Live and that was a mod... got any more that aren't still standing the test of time and being the most played games just now?
Any shooter that gives away the entire inventory from the get-go. No diversity between players as they all have access to the same thing.
Being the underdog and paying for it is what causes frustration and attrition within a game, forcing them into that position just so they can feel better about winning in that situation won't work, again this is something that seems to exist within your head that people yearn for this, where are you garnering this conclusion from?
A being the underdog doesn't last long, campaigns don't last that long, the later you drop in the sooner it's over. Every game has this problem because even if the game has a level playing field, late players will always appear low on the final score charts, and that's what these bodycount games are all about.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 20:15
Have everything unlocked at the beginning but only allow certain combinations of loadouts, remove the chore and the inconvenience and let the player play how he wants.
Dystopia had the most broad example of that I've seen in a shooter. Body type, skill tree and weapon choice were used to define and mix a 'class' role and could be changed in game. Opened up the class roles to creative hybrids without any unlocking work.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 20:41
Jasus man, at least read my ideas before commenting. First post on the first page.
I did, you basically threw some fancy rhetorics at the CoD unlock system and called it your own... worst method ever.
Nonsense it got whole hordes of people addicted to W:ET
lol yeah, everyone stayed for the unlocks and nothing at all to do with the fact that it was a decent class based shooter... and free.
It really sucks that you spent twenty minutes building an entire Protoss base, tech to the best units and then lose it all once the match ends :(
What works for one genre doesn't work for another, though this seems to be your fallback... and complete lack of correlation but it sounds good in your head (we're spending a lot of time if there it seems)
They're better people for having put thought into a TACTICAL shooter yeah. If you don't like the idea that thinking people might get an advantage over by all means stick to Q3 like Sock Dog.
Which once again doesn't actually exist except in your little solipsistic world. But thanks for opening that can of worms, are you saying there's no thought involved Q3 duelling? I'd LOVE to hear this one. Which shooter out there takes 'thinking' to new heights in your eyes and goes beyond simple shooting? Ah yes, the 'who can get to the choke point 1st' shooters like Ravenshield... lol @ tactical thinking.
It's the job of the developer to make sure there are as many viable builds as possible.
You can throw a million builds into the fray, the player will still stick with what they want and know best, another mythical belief that the player sub-consciously desires a constant flux of builds... if that were the case then "Whats your favourite class/build" threads would yield the same general result.. but they don't... cos players have a set play style they want to play and stick to (oh my). Ever play ETQW or W:ET and the map requires a certain class and your team doesn't have it and there's constant shouting for that class?
I already entered in on this but you ignore it once again. If someone doesn't like thinking about these builds then he can just opt for a generic one and grow in that direction over the course of a campaign. Not everyone needs to be a specialist.
That's not entering it all, that's throwing a personal ignorant denominator at it. We're back to chores and inconveniences towards the masses to cater for your niche.
Removes any sense of creativity and personal input. It doesn't make any sense at all.
Not allowing a player to play how he wants without making them jump through hoops and be forced into the mini-game makes no sense at all.
There's nothing wrong with inconvenience. Not knowing who exactly Keyser Soze at the start of the movie is an inconvenience but it makes for a fascinating plot drawing the viewer in from the get go.
Hey look, throwing analogies around to suit your point, that's always the path of a poor sided debate. You go to see a crime/drama/mystery movie then that's what you expect to get, i'd say the fact it lived up to it's classification means there was no inconvenience at all. You go to play a class-based shooter and want to specialise the way you like but can't unless you jump through said hoops, THAT'S an inconvenience.
Where you see inconvenience I see path-dependency and resource-management. It creates an arms-race where a player needs to think wisely about how he's going to spent every second of the game. It makes players work vigorously at being the most value to their team as well as growing themselves.
I guess all the "****ing noob tuber!" "Sorry m8, need the kills so I can unlock the next gun" were just 'resource management'. Do you actually play the genre you preach to know a lot about? A progressional unlock game forces the player into a 'path of least resistance' mindset (there's a new one for you). They'll use the shortest route possible to get to where they want to be, if that means spamming the grenade launcher, switching to the next gun as soon as kill goal has been met, camping the spawn then they'll do it. If the path of least resistance means they have to be an ass-hat to get there, then they will be.
Attaching a cost to it makes them careful about how they're going to spent their time with that item and truly commit to it. That said, I don't see any issue with creating an item-testing simulator mini-game if that takes away your concerns.
The casual player doesn't have the time to risk making a poor choice, so they won't... they'll go the safe route and not venture anywhere else. Those that can dedicate the time to risking a poor choice lands right into the category of 'he who plays the most, has the most'... the whole reason this method is a bad idea. Lose/lose.
Any shooter that gives away the entire inventory from the get-go. No diversity between players as they all have access to the same thing.
That's a generic statement, try again.
A being the underdog doesn't last long, campaigns don't last that long, the later you drop in the sooner it's over. Every game has this problem because even if the game has a level playing field, late players will always appear low on the final score charts, and that's what these bodycount games are all about.
Did you just help my argument there by agreeing that being the underdog sucks in any game? If so, why would you force a player into that position then??
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 20:56
Dystopia had the most broad example of that I've seen in a shooter. Body type, skill tree and weapon choice were used to define and mix a 'class' role and could be changed in game. Opened up the class roles to creative hybrids without any unlocking work.
And that's how I think it should be. Those that want to go with their play style can, those that want to experiment and hone their abilities in other areas can as well... no hoops to jump through and no being forced to play a style/class/gun that you don't want to just because the game thinks you should.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 21:08
absolutely. Unlocking and progression systems as they are used in first person shooters are artificial and contrived IMO. Games like League of Legends only get away with it because the unlocking is tied directly to the learning curve and high level play is not restricted to permanent choices. It never feels like you are being limited.
Posted on 25 March, 2012 - 21:53
management'. Do you actually play the genre you preach to know a lot about? A progressional unlock game forces the player into a 'path of least resistance' mindset (there's a new one for you). They'll use the shortest route possible to get to where they want to be, if that means spamming the grenade launcher, switching to the next gun as soon as kill goal has been met, camping the spawn then they'll do it. If the path of least resistance means they have to be an ass-hat to get there, then they will be.
Under the old xp distribution it might. But when you allow players to predesignate their own paths of least resistance (thanks for that, that's less words than the whole 'carving your own path' stuff I've been talking about) . Then they're already sacrificing a load of perks in favour of getting their favourites as fast as possible. Under such a system it's not a grind, it's a big cost under the permanent management resulting in a small cost during the campaign. I think ad hoc gameplay is very detrimental to a game. Any game. The ability to turn your strategy at any moment means is like playing rock paper scissors with the ability to change your hand whenever you want (try it, it makes for a pretty boring game). It doesn't take any skill to figure out which action counters what other action, that's supposed to be common knowledge within any game. The skill lies in anticipating how your opponent will think and do and respond to that. The skill lies in being unpredictable and surprising, giving you a window of enormous advantage until the opponent manages to adapt. It doesn't mean the entire mechanic has to be deterministic, far from it, but opportunity cost needs to be a big factor in the tactical shooter genre, otherwise you might as well stick to it being a shooter. Nothing wrong with that, arcade shooters are loads of fun, but if you want depth, you need that path dependency and opportunity cost. They're not chores, they're inherent to the genre.
Posted on 31 March, 2012 - 18:01
Here is where the skill lies in counters: Lets take etqw for example - i decide to play medic, theres a sniper on the hill who is preventing me from doing what I want to do. I can run away like a bitch, or I can switch to sniper and smash him that way. If I opt to smash him via sniper, I also need to impact the game to the same degree that I was a medic. If I dont have the capacity to impact a game to the same degree that I do in a medic role, then the sniper successfully won the battle for his team - regardless of whether I can counter snipe him or not. Therefore the cost for switching to a different role, is being taken away from a strength. The real skill in etqw is to be equally strong in all roles, so that it completely mitigates the cost.
Posted on 31 March, 2012 - 19:09
That's indeed how it works in a game where everything was available from the get go. In the same scenario with character progression however, it would be likely that you're not ideally suited to deal with the thread. It's still possible but chances are there's someone in your team that is better equipped for that role. In other words, either you're the best suited in the team for this specific task, or you're not. If you are, then the team relies on you to deal with this thread and if not, then you and your team rely on someone else to deal with it. By not letting everyone have everything whenever they want, you create specialists. You create a diverse set of players that need to communicate and know the strengths and weaknesses in each other's builds to come up with the most effective solutions. This mechanic is completely absent in a team of all-rounders. Sure you could argue that it would then come down to implicit strengths and weaknesses but these are far weaker (and far less pronounced and obvious) than the explicit strengths and weaknesses the game offers (at least, that's what you all have been concerned about in the first place). Not only does character progression offer the players who're capable of anticipating the match in the long therm a way to utilise this capacity, it also compels players to see their actions within their team by making them more dependant on their team-mates.
Posted on 31 March, 2012 - 22:32
By not letting everyone have everything whenever they want, you create specialists. You create a diverse set of players that need to communicate and know the strengths and weaknesses in each other's builds to come up with the most effective solutions. This mechanic is completely absent in a team of all-rounders. Sure you could argue that it would then come down to implicit strengths and weaknesses but these are far weaker (and far less pronounced and obvious) than the explicit strengths and weaknesses the game offers (at least, that's what you all have been concerned about in the first place).
LOL what SD games are you playing? As I've said 100 times before what you're asking for isn't dumb in of itself, it's just plain stupid in the context of a 20min 8v8 (soak up that 8 player diversity) FPS game. Jesus there are enough issues of communication as it is, you're now proposing you add stuff that implies a necessary tea party every time there is a tactically challenging situation? Hahahahaa. Players should know where they can effect most the impact within the team, this is a sign of a good player with team wide awareness. The improvement needs to be in allowing the team to communicate their needs more clearly. By limiting a team's ability to effect change to some random configuration set before the game even begins is plain annoying, rips control out from under the players and also limits a maps ability to demand different compositions of skills throughout the objectives (again dumbing down the game to add "depth"!). Hell what you'd end up with is a specific configuration of player picking one or two maps that favours their build, or maps being designed so that even the most inappropriate build had something useful to do (read: limiting variety). Brink took a step in your direction and it tasted bad. Lets just get back to playing a class based objective shoot and forget the need to play barbie or satisfy our WoW fantasies/braincrack.
Posted on 31 March, 2012 - 23:05
Under the old xp distribution it might. But when you allow players to predesignate their own paths of least resistance (thanks for that, that's less words than the whole 'carving your own path' stuff I've been talking about) . Then they're already sacrificing a load of perks in favour of getting their favourites as fast as possible.
Well you see that's the thing, when the path of least resistance has been reached, then the exploratory path takes over. If you remove the chore of reaching your desired position in the 1st place, then exploring possibilities takes presidence. Creating a resistance path in effect locks a player into his desire, and when they reach that goal then they're stuck stead fast because in their head that was their end point all along. Remove the end point and you open up a path of discovery that doesn't have a plateau, that's when you uncover a players abilities.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 03:20
That's the field of tension between short therm gains and long therm gains. Very welcome in a tactical game.
Players should know where they can effect most the impact within the team, this is a sign of a good player with team wide awareness.
Exactly! And this skill only really pays off when the rest of your team isn't able to change at will. Explicit strengths and weaknesses create a varied scape of asssets in which a player needs to orient themselves rather than fill in the obvious blanks the second they become available. If the team needs a soldier to blow something up then the straight forward choice is to become the soldier, equip him with all the useful attributes and go straight at it. However, in a system where you can't immediately obtain these perks you may have to weigh your options, perhaps it's best to switch to soldier but it might be that there's already a player present that already has a suitable soldier 'grown' through the campaign and then you can opt to take your own gathered inventory and see how you can compliment that. That's a far deeper gameplay experience than getting to make these obvious, and therefore superficial choices all the time.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 15:32
But the stark difference is that for your system to work not only does a team of players need to be aware of a need, be in the right place for the need they also need to be fully aware of who is best suited to address that need and wait on them. It's a situation that screams 9 out of 10 times being an absolute failure in pub games. Unless as I've said that the needs or abilities are so smoothed off that practically anyone can do them, which kind of defeats the point you're trying to make about it adding something to the game. Now, as a competitive mode, Team vs Team, I could see some potential for what you are saying. Each team would be aware of their composition and as such should have strategies to cope throughout maps. But in a pub game, and lets face it, it needs rampant pub support, the focus needs to be on creating an accessible and enjoyable experience. SD shouldn't cram themselves further into a niche, as I keep saying, they should get a solid game out there that is fun to play, that limits frustration and obstacles, yet that is open enough to allow players to exploit the world in a good sense. Once they have that, then add these niche modes, or just include enough support in game for others to do it via a mod.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 15:47
But the stark difference is that for your system to work not only does a team of players need to be aware of a need, be in the right place for the need they also need to be fully aware of who is best suited to address that need and wait on them.
Enter your magical AI wizard that magically indicates which guys would be best suited for the job. Solved.
Now, as a competitive mode, Team vs Team, I could see some potential for what you are saying. Each team would be aware of their composition and as such should have strategies to cope throughout maps.
Not only that, in a competitive mode you also know where your team-mates are heading. My above reply may be facetious but it's not entirely impossible. What IS impossible is predict how the players will be equipped at the end of the campaign and that uncertainty is indeed an issue in pubs.
SD shouldn't cram themselves further into a niche, as I keep saying, they should get a solid game out there that is fun to play, that limits frustration and obstacles
I just vehemently disagree with this attitude. For any other software, any user application or professional production software it would be essential to round off all the corners and smooth out any obstacles and chores, to make it as user friendly as possible. But you can't apply this same idea to games. Blizzard did this with WoW. It started off as a robust and rough mmo where players had to put a lot of themselves into it to get things done. Granted it may have been too much work and it obscured a lot of gameplay from the more casual gamers, but Blizzard went so far into polishing their game that they cut away the very essence of a MMO. They went through such lengths to facilitate ease of use to the player by automatic groupings, lobbies, indicators and teleports that the entire game experience of a player was no more than hanging out in a capital city waiting in a queue for dungeons and battlegrounds, there was no need to traverse the world any more. The WoW community deflated rapidly because of this and Blizzard has acknowledged it. They're making amendments in their new expansion by taking out a lot of the shortcuts they once implemented. In other words, they're putting some friction back into the game to make it more stimulating to play pardon the wording. I know using other genres as examples isn't popular here but these analogies are justified. You tie my ideas to Brink and how it ruined the game (and I still think they're barely stick) but I could just as easily point to all the attempts to simplify the game and make things easier for the player and ruin important parts of what makes a tactical shooter.Everything was rendered semi-automatic. Running around randomly pressing 'f' and firing at everything that moved would get you very far even if you had no idea what exactly you were doing. Brink was a project about making a deep tactical shooter accessible to the casual player and it failed not only that but also because of that.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 16:04
By not letting everyone have everything whenever they want, you create specialists.
Youre missing the point. The specialist IS the player that can play all roles equally at a high level.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 16:28
Except my AI idea bases the performance of the teams and rewards/detriments them to give some weighting or handicapping. What you'd need is an AI mission selector, something which I think we've seen already in Brink and something which would still fail to address poor team composition and negate the need to strategise and work together which I think are your key wants out of the system. I said smoothing in regards to making abilities/upgrades fit and to keep players relevant regardless of their chosen composition. To not do this would be less frictional and more sitting on a saw blade. It's not something I'd want to see but would, IMO, be something I feel necessary to make your idea work. To be clear, limiting frustrations and obstacles is not the same as making the game bland and one button friendly. The point there is to address issues without needing to compromise the actual game. Like making a Mute button easily accessible and known rather than removing VOIP by default. Yes but that is exactly my point. Brink's maps were by necessity designed to cope with three body types and balanced so it favoured none. Why? Well because instead of making movement a learned skill it was based on a body type. As each body was largely available at the same time it became necessary to ensure one didn't over power the other. Multiply this by the many other abilities and you'll see how they require the game to be designed and balanced into this melange of compromises. Now, if we ignore just basing it on skill and gave instead people access to each body type on the fly then the maps and objectives could at least allow some freedom there for people to make the right decision at that time. As I said way back, the concept is limiting, you gain a meta game at the cost of the core game accomodating it. Better IMO to promote more open play, give people tools to distinguish themselves through learned skills and knowledge rather than a faux system based on time played or some other metric.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 16:46
Except my AI idea bases the performance of the teams and rewards/detriments them to give some weighting or handicapping. What you'd need is an AI mission selector, something which I think we've seen already in Brink and something which would still fail to address poor team composition and negate the need to strategise and work together which I think are your key wants out of the system.
What I'd need for the indicators to be clear is a scoring system that quickly shows how competent the build of specific players are towards a job. Could be as simple as a colour chart. Red: unsuitable (player clearly focuses somewhere else), Yellow: Mediocre (player has a balanced build) Green: The expert (player has sunk his resources in the relevant spec) And of course it's limiting. Limits create variation. Limits allow players to distinguish themselves. Like you said, they can already do that through personal training, but a meta game on top of that changes nothing about that. There's still personal expertise to be honed whether you 'grow' your inventory or have it available from the get go.
The specialist IS the player that can play all roles equally at a high level.
Just read what you're saying and let it sink in for a moment.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 20:11
And of course it's limiting. Limits create variation. Limits allow players to distinguish themselves. Like you said, they can already do that through personal training, but a meta game on top of that changes nothing about that. There's still personal expertise to be honed whether you 'grow' your inventory or have it available from the get go.
Limits create invisible walls, demand compromises in gameplay and design to exist. Any personal expertise is ground down under this, instead of being a master of 15 weapons you're now a master of one. Instead of learning deft timing to perform a tricky jump or move you're now a selection box away from exploiting such things in specific places. What you keep describing just strikes me as a single player game. Something where you're in control. Problem is this is a multiplayer game, it doesn't pause for reflection and study, it doesn't have the opportunity draw consensus from all players. You're creating an environment of chaos built on the assumption that your desires represent everyone elses and they'll play along. It's like asking for an objective to involve solving an astrophysics equation or playing a game of chess. They'd add a massive amount to the game but honestly, they don't really fit with what the game is trying to achieve, that, IMO, is to be a more varied in pace and tactics team based shooter, something achieved quite well with RTCW - ETQW.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 20:44
You've got a very valid point that limits are detrimental if players can't see -and therefore account for- them. That's why I definitely welcome the idea of making that more intuitive, I didn't consider that myself.
Problem is this is a multiplayer game, it doesn't pause for reflection and study, it doesn't have the opportunity draw consensus from all players.
Hey I never said people can consider their choices indefinitely. The fact that it's a multiplayer means split second decisions. That you're then need to make decisions within these (soft) constraints only adds to the challenge and only increases the skill ceiling.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 20:54
Just read what you're saying and let it sink in for a moment.
Actually read the sentence. hint: one class wonder
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 21:18
generalist a person who has knowledge, aptitude, or skill in a variety of areas, as contrasted with a specialist. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/generalism
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 21:29
You've got a very valid point that limits are detrimental if players can't see -and therefore account for- them. That's why I definitely welcome the idea of making that more intuitive, I didn't consider that myself.
Multiple times I've stated the necessary limits go beyond those of communication between players although that is a large one. Those limits are ones that reinvent the wheel where players use skill and experience and instead give you a square wheel and then demand everyone rides down a rutted road.
Hey I never said people can consider their choices indefinitely. The fact that it's a multiplayer means split second decisions. That you're then need to make decisions within these (soft) constraints only adds to the challenge and only increases the skill ceiling.
I never meant to imply you did, it was my observation that the process you are promoting seems a lot more fitting for such a situation (single player, tactical builds and choices). Now if SD created a proper single player campaign, allowed you to build a squad (or Co-Op team) which then worked through challenges I'd think that was an awesome idea. I just don't buy this as adding anything to what is ultimately a fast paced turducken FPS experience.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 21:52
generalist a person who has knowledge, aptitude, or skill in a variety of areas, as contrasted with a specialist. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/generalism
hint - master of all trades, not jack of all trades.
specialist: a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field.
When a player in etqw, is master of all trades they are the specialist. The ability to play everything at the highest level is the asset here, because it means teams that value 'one class wonders' can be exploited by forcing undesirable class compositions.
Posted on 1 April, 2012 - 23:39
If a player gets to be master of everything then that's a clear sign the skill-ceiling is too low.
Posted on 2 April, 2012 - 10:07
I dont find etqw's skill ceiling too low... The thing is, you guys wont ever agree because toka wants more mmo into FPS and Humate wants more solid oldschool FPS into FPS... I would tend with the second option too, and then add mod or stuffs once the game is a big hit
Posted on 2 April, 2012 - 13:58
"Mod or stuffs" you're the third or fourth person who proposes this as a viable solution. "Mod or stuffs" seriously.
Posted on 2 April, 2012 - 16:56
What shooters are standing the test of time and holding their replay value that don't have 'mods or stuff's' or originated from one?
Posted on 2 April, 2012 - 17:48
If a player gets to be master of everything then that's a clear sign the skill-ceiling is too low.
The player has the opportunity but I'd argue few would ever achieve it. Ultimately you have exactly what you've been wanting, a team comprised of people with different skills, the exception of course is that those skills are really learned rather than awarded in some faux grading system. What exactly is it you want, a nice set of graphs next to a player or a game that allows players to build up real actual skills and experience. If you want more differentiation then by all means make things like advanced weapons harder to handle, movement akin to Q3 where there is a lot more to it than simply bunny hopping. Let the game world be a platform for people to play in not some obstacle course to puzzle around.
"Mod or stuffs" you're the third or fourth person who proposes this as a viable solution. "Mod or stuffs" seriously.
I suggested better mod support at release because frankly you seem to want a niche game of a niche game. That isn't something SD can afford to make but they could (and should) include enough support behind the curtains so that people can build on the game from the get go. And I'm totally with you on the mods creating a inconsistent experience but that is perhaps another subject to be addressed outside of this thread.
Posted on 2 April, 2012 - 19:04