Commander dropped equipment and the Armory

IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Posts: 2,022Members, Constellation, NS2 Map Tester
Getting the best of both worlds to work together
As recently re-highlighted by a community video, there has been some notable overlap and issues in how marines acquire equipment. Causing balance concerns among other things.

In NS1, the commander had total control in what the team had access to, as he had to supply his team with dropping equipment using team resources.

This made every bit of equipment dropped an investment for the team and the commander's strategies. The downside with the system is that you could play many games and still not be given a shotgun by your commander, causing players to get impatient and leave or start begging.

In NS2, the marine equipment has taken the alien evolution and personal resource approach. Where the players would purchase their own equipment and the commander doesn't have much say on what they spend on.

Now instead of the commander spending team resources on a assault for his strategy, the commander needs to hope his team has enough personal resources to ask them to spend it for the assault. Even though the commander can spend his own personal resources to drop equipment for his team, the same resources goes to medpacks and ammo so it isn't worth it in the end as the team can easily supply themselves.

Ideas on giving the commander more control again.

QUOTE (Step 1. Armory Pricing)
Keep the ability for players to purchase equipment at the armory and prototype lab, however, make those purchases more of an personal investment or reward for playing.

This can be done by modifying the costs on the equipment they can purchase with personal resources. Taking a look at the alien evolution price scaling. (Based on the 100 p.res max model)

Support tier.
15 resources for a welder.
20 resources for a pack of mines.
25 resources for a jetpack.

Weapon tier.
30 resources for a flamethrower.
50 resources for a shotgun.
75 resources for a grenade launcher.

With this it would take the marine 35 p.res to support his team with by repairing structures and fortifying defenses with mines. Although it would take him 75 p.res(onos equivalent) so he can lone wolf it with a jetpack and shotgun if he wanted.

The increased weapon costs is balanced by being able to pick up and drop weapons. And their p.res is high as they are purchased for the marine themselves instead of for the team. And so the flow of oncoming p.res weapons and equipment are minimal at least in the early game.


QUOTE (Step 2. Commander drops using team res)
Have Commander dropped weapons and equipment cost t.res again. While keeping the pricing of the weapons and equipment based on the ns1 model.

This used to be avoided as when there were multiple commanders, a player could run in and waste all the team resources on weapons and equipment for himself. Now that the possibility is gone, this can work again. As it worked in ns1, and the armory pricing in step 1 would support this.

10 t.res for a shotgun, but also 50 p.res for a shotgun.

The t.res shotgun is an investment for the team by the commander to help his team survive for his plans. Like this the early shotgun rush would require sacrificing the base or potential resource advantages.
The p.res shotgun is an investment for the player's own plans, by the player. Given the high costs of weapons and the low income early game, the players wouldn't be able to repeatedly purchase shotguns to offset the early game balance.

The commander would moderately regain control and be able to drop weapons or equipment for any matters he sees fits, as it would be coming out of the team res pool.

And the players would be able to hold their resources so they can purchase something themselves later if they died, or if they never received anything, alleviating their frustration.


With that the Commander gains more control over the equipment his troops are supplied with, with more incentive for supplying them for his plans, and more incentive for them to follow his plans(free guns). The players won't have to grow impatient waiting for the commander to give them a specific item as they can treat themselves to it if they save up enough resources. But their p.res won't just fill up instantly as support equipment like welders and minepacks can still be purchased to support their base.

Pricing can be modified for balance concerns, and always open for input into making both systems work together.

Comments

  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited January 2012
    Another downside you haven't mentioned with the NS1 system is that it was necessarily balanced for only one team-size: 6v6.
    It was also disadvantageous for the alien team especially, since they often couldn't reach the required "floor" of the price. And this was especially dependent on team size.
    e.g. if an "item" costs 10 res: you have 8 res, someone else might have 8 res, someone else might have 9 res; none of you can get the "item".

    Also, NS2's system (for both teams) is significantly different from the NS1 alien evolution system. This is in part because of what is described above. More importantly, however, personal resources scale with the team size. 60/(number of players) res in NS1 is worth 60 personal res in NS2.

    Frankly, the ideal system would be for both teams to each have one resource pool, in which each team could somehow specify who gets what. Basically you build on the NS1 marine resource model. AND that somehow resources scaled with team sizes, so that everyone gets an opportunity.

    There are a few ways to approach this, with their own advantages and disadvantages:
    - Commander kind of decides who gets what; obviously leads to the problems you mentioned above, i.e. exclusivity.
    - Players get "credit" - every item has a credit AND a resource cost, credit is personal and resource is part of the team pool; it does lead to the problem of a "first come first serve" situation, including the commander not having enough res for an upgrade because some player just purchased a shotgun.
    - A combination of the above; commander "builds" x number of y unit, players with enough credit can purchase it; still "first come first serve" but only for the players not the commander.

    A couple ways to approach resource scaling with team size:
    - The most natural is having significant TRFK (team res from kill). The idea is that more players in the game = more targets (sources of TR) AND more hunters (collectors of TR). Ideally, RFT (res from tower) = average res required for base building and team upgrades; and RFK (res from kill) = average res required for individual support (medpacks, ammopacks) and personal "items" (lifeforms, equipment). Can lead to a team-level slippery slope though.
    - Teams get TRFT (team res from towers) directly proportional to the number of players they have. Not very natural, but less chance of leading to slippery slopes since it will be more dependent on how many resource nodes you hold.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 2,978Members, Constellation
    edited January 2012
    Ultimately I think the extra co-ordination required would cause this to hamper things on your average pub game, but it could certainly make sense in a more focused teamwork environment.

    The idea itself is a good idea, although I am not sure if it is necessary for the game. The biggest issues with your idea as presented would be the pricing system, not just your prices. 50 res for a shotgun? While that would make it much more like a 2nd hive tech, in reality, a shotgun is not worth a fade. A shotgun could be considered to be worth a Lerk, but 30 isn't much of a change to hamper the use of personally bought weapons as you'd like. Therein I see the biggest problem with the idea. Getting a pricing that would be fair and enable it to work. If the kharaa are 2nd hive, we don't have much res flow, I generally have to buy about 3 shotguns per fade life, thats already 60 res that is hard to get hold of at that stage of a game. If you put the price up, 2nd hive the team is going to be wiped out because they can't afford the personal defense. With so much res going on sentries, PG and everything else, to keep the team supplied in shotties at 2nd hive would be crazy.

    Also you have to consider Heavy Armour and the HMG which will be making an appearance soon, where do they fit in the pricing structure?

    I just think there are a lot of variables in the res system as it is, do we really want to add more and make it more complicated? I'm sure once the game gets a proper release, the players with ns1 experience will be in the minority, and this is already not your average COD :)

    I really think something could work, maybe if a NS pro mod or something was made, this would be a really good fit, but I think just a bit to much for the gamers likely to be coming in after launch. NS2 needs to be less complex than NS1, as it's the first commercial release, but I really do see something along these lines working in a organised scene.

    Also one of the biggest issues in NS1 was I never got a shottie because it was a waste of res, through your idea, i'd never get one in NS2 either :P :)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Posts: 2,022Members, Constellation, NS2 Map Tester
    edited January 2012
    Soul_Rider, did you read part 2?

    I specifically implied the commander would be the primary means of weapon distribution again, where the commander would be able to use 10 team res to distribute a gun that would otherwise cost you 50 personal resources. You may get the gun as the commander deems fit, but if the commander doesn't deliver, you can still save up for it. The increased armory prices are based on the investment the commander has to commit to when purchasing a gun instead of researching, making armory purchases infrequent instead of all the time. Putting the balance of power back in the command station.

    Essentially just boiling down the the ns1 system, but being able to save up some spare change for that gun you wanted.

    And the Exosuit and hmg weren't included as it's impossible to imagine the resource and balance costs at this time as it is unlike a heavy and there is sadly no hmg anymore, just a minigun for the exosuit.

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 16 2012, 01:27 AM) »
    Another downside you haven't mentioned with the NS1 system is that it was necessarily balanced for only one team-size: 6v6.
    It was also disadvantageous for the alien team especially, since they often couldn't reach the required "floor" of the price. And this was especially dependent on team size.
    e.g. if an "item" costs 10 res: you have 8 res, someone else might have 8 res, someone else might have 9 res; none of you can get the "item".


    Only possible solution would be to make the /giveres system official. Which would be awesome but would probably have terrible repercussions based on my lack of understanding of res systems.

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 16 2012, 01:27 AM) »
    Frankly, the ideal system would be for both teams to each have one resource pool, in which each team could somehow specify who gets what. Basically you build on the NS1 marine resource model. AND that somehow resources scaled with team sizes, so that everyone gets an opportunity.

    There are a few ways to approach this, with their own advantages and disadvantages:
    - Commander kind of decides who gets what; obviously leads to the problems you mentioned above, i.e. exclusivity.
    - Players get "credit" - every item has a credit AND a resource cost, credit is personal and resource is part of the team pool; it does lead to the problem of a "first come first serve" situation, including the commander not having enough res for an upgrade because some player just purchased a shotgun.
    - A combination of the above; commander "builds" x number of y unit, players with enough credit can purchase it; still "first come first serve" but only for the players not the commander.


    After thinking on it, I can get behind this idea. Although the first come first serve system would have to go. And the credits would have to be resources the player earned the right to use.

    Have the players actions gain them spending power. Where the supportive and active players would earn the ability to spend a slice out of the team's unified resource pool.

    Essentially showing the hud like 151 [10]. 151 is the team's total resources, but you have the ability to spend 10 of it on yourself. Which is equivalent to the ns1 shotgun price.

    The downside to the idea is what you said, the team could be screwed over because someone spent up their saved resources.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • DarkOmenDarkOmen Join Date: 2002-11-05 Member: 7148Posts: 600Members
    What if armories carried "stock" of each item, and once reaearched, armories would begin auto-regenerating those numbers. If there are no shotguns available at the time, then players must wait for them to become available again. Also, the commander could re-research any given weapon thus reducing the time it takes to produce that weapon. It would somewhat mimic building production structures in other RTS games. For a tres fee, the commander can also manually restock specific items. This would once again allow commanders the ability to produce weapons for players at a frontline armory whilst also granting the comm long-term control of the distribution of weapons among the team back at base. It would also punish the team as a whole via a new avenue should a player grab an uncommon new item and vanish into the wilderness only to be taken down by a patrolling skulk, as it would directly curve the rate at which new tech items can be deployed to the field.
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    "Spending power" is a great way to describe "credits".
    I think that credits should be gained with the following types, in order of decreasing credit income:
    1) Following orders, supporting players, etc.
    2) Killing or damaging enemy players and structures (like it is with PRFK)
    3) A minor trickle proportional to the number of towers you hold (like it is with PRFK)
    1 doesn't cause balance issues with self-generated resources, since it is only 'spending power' and not actual 'resources'.
    2 rewards players for doing well, but is less than 1 to encourage team-play over lonewolf-play.
    3 just gives everyone a starting point or a base-line.

    Naturally, in pubs without good communication and cooperation, there might be issues with someone spending res that the commander has been saving up. Perhaps there could be something like a reserve system - the commander could reserve and adjust a minimum amount of resources, for an upgrade or structure, or just permanently. Perhaps also allow the commander to stock weapons - which gives the commander more control when the team res is less than the reserve, and also field weapons when no one has enough credit.

    With regard to the giveres system (assuming income scales with playercount, and is split between players), you could streamline it and make it a bit simpler: rather than giving an individual player whatever res, you could just give up res to a team pool. You would spend res, first out of what is in your personal pool, and then out of what is in the team pool. Of course, there could be "vultures" in pubs, but you know...

    Pubs are basically outliers, though. We should build the game assuming a reasonable level of cooperation and communication (I'm hoping NS2 will at least have a matchmaking service), then add measures on top of that to discourage poor teamwork and griefing.
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
Sign In or Register to comment.