Descent and competitive play...

ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
Have people been scrimming this map at all? I know my team played one round on it against 156, it was basically everyones first or second time seeing the map, and we had a great time playing on it. It seemed fairly well balanced, it's a larger map which is nice, and it's a change of pace from playing the same 3 maps over and over again.

I took a look at the ENSL website and noticed that currently the majority of people are voting no on descent being used in ENSL season 2. I personally don't understand why, but more importantly I'm left wondering if most teams have even played a match on it. Maybe another little weekend tournament is in order to see if people enjoy competing on this map?

I just feel like it would be such a shame to go into season 2 still stuck on the same 3 maps we've been playing on for forever now.

Admittedly, I'm still fairly new to the competitive scene compared to a lot of people. I most definitely don't know all there is to know about how map balance works in this game, so I could just be wrong or something. But it sure was a helluva lot more interesting than playing tram for the thousandth time.
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Comments

  • fourgorgestwoskulksfourgorgestwoskulks Members Join Date: 2013-03-02 Member: 183568Posts: 15
    edited March 2013
    blah blah blah blah blah
    Post edited by Insane on
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    Alright. I guess I should've specified that replies should be constructive... saying "ridiculous rooms" and "clusterfuck" doesn't really mean anything.
    rockypockyteriyaki
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983 mod
    I enjoyed our scrim against AtroX on descent and believe it to be both viable and desirable for competitive NS2. I think many of the "no" votes are because its new and ENSL S2 starts in only a week, giving teams little team to fully vet the map. However, tram, summit, and veil had problems when they first became part of the comp play map trifecta. Personally, I think the criteria shouldn't be whether its perfect, but the following:
    - Is the layout reasonably balanced (e.g. no starting tech node has a serious advantage or disadvantage than the others)?
    - Are the res node placements generally balanced for each side (e.g. res nodes are within reasonable distances of tech nodes and are more or less evenly distributed throughout the map)?
    - Are there a reasonable number of paths between each important location (e.g. between 2-3 paths in/out of each tech node, the number and location of important chokepoints, etc)?
    - Are there any seriously map-breaking bugs or exploits (e.g. impenetrable ARCing locations, marine inaccessible bilebombing spots of important areas, map holes, etc)?

    As far as I can tell, descent does no worse than the current competitive maps for all of these questions.
  • rantologyrantology Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Posts: 1,493 Advanced user
    Too big

    You are wrong on this, I don't know where people get this misconception from. The travel times on the map are comparable to Veil/Tram.
    image
  • WillzZzWillzZz Members Join Date: 2013-01-31 Member: 182667Posts: 86
    Played a gather on it. I enjoyed it. I think it has its flaws but it's a very different map to play because it isn't an easy to learn 3x3 grid (like say, summit or tram). Some of the rooms are uniquely designed (compared to other maps) and allow for all sorts of sneaky surprises. I will say the start at the bottom (docking? something like that?) is rather cramped. That means it can be very easy to mine, and is a bit of a headache to fight in.
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    Yeah, I think I was in the same gather as you Willz. That gather definitely highlighted some of the flaws of the map.. you can snipe the RT in monorail from pretty far away.. you can also stand on top of the TSF ship and shoot the RT through the window in Launch Control. Plaza can be sniped from crew quarters.. etc. We didn't really have a gorge to clog up the RT, so I don't know if that would have made much of a difference.. but you guys were just taking out our base RT over and over again and there really wasn't a thing we could do about it.

    I think drone bay (the tech point at the bottom) is one of the best rooms in the map, tbh. It's an open room, but it has just the right amount of cover.
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    The horribly abusable ARC spots have already put me off this map. Not to mention Monorail RT being snipable from almost out of view-range. If those things were fixed, I guess I wouldn't mind seeing it as a comp map, if nothing else just for more variety (STV package gets boring).
  • statikgstatikg Members Join Date: 2012-09-19 Member: 159978Posts: 427 Fully active user
    edited March 2013
    You can also kill plaza RT from miles away and down a tight hallway in club. With a mine or two the aliens have basically no chance.
  • FlipperFlipper Members Join Date: 2012-08-08 Member: 155120Posts: 188
    I think its just unrefined, and people don't want a new potenetially unbalanced map to upset the season balance for teams.

    Give the map some time and feedback and it will be around more.
    Dulce et demori est pro patria mori
    #Winning
    NS2 Shotty fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkw25TLkksQ
  • ShakerShaker Members, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2002-11-21 Member: 9582Posts: 405 Fully active user
    The RT in plaza is already being looked at.
    The horribly abusable ARC spots have already put me off this map. Not to mention Monorail RT being snipable from almost out of view-range. If those things were fixed, I guess I wouldn't mind seeing it as a comp map, if nothing else just for more variety (STV package gets boring).

    Which spots?
    My Stream! Usually playing NS2 or mapping for NS2. Sometimes other stuff.
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    aka nau
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    Club to Hydro, Shuttle Bay to Launch Control. Both seemingly a lot easier to defend than siege spots on any of the other 3 comp maps. Funnel everything into one hallway with a long sightline spells alien kamikaze to me.
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    Yeah, after playing on this map more against other competitive players I've pretty much changed my mind on wanting to play this in season 2. Something has to be done about the RT's.
  • FlipperFlipper Members Join Date: 2012-08-08 Member: 155120Posts: 188
    Dem map pts been duing good.
    Dulce et demori est pro patria mori
    #Winning
    NS2 Shotty fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkw25TLkksQ
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983 mod
    edited March 2013
    Long distance RT sniping is no better on summit, tram, or veil. Locations such as crevice, elevator transfer, and cargo all have vulnerable RT locations.

    I also agree that Shuttle Bay-Launch Control is problematic (since the shuttle only provides a limited amount of cover in an otherwise very open room), but its no worse than North Tunnel-Warehouse or Hub-Elevator Transfer on tram.

    Once again, I see people searching for perfection rather than whether its equal to or better than the current comp map selection.
    reh
  • FlipperFlipper Members Join Date: 2012-08-08 Member: 155120Posts: 188
    ScardyBob wrote: »
    Long distance RT sniping is no better on summit, tram, or veil. Locations such as crevice, elevator transfer, and cargo all have vulnerable RT locations.

    I also agree that Shuttle Bay-Launch Control is problematic (since the shuttle only provides a limited amount of cover in an otherwise very open room), but its no worse than North Tunnel-Warehouse or Hub-Elevator Transfer on tram.

    Once again, I see people searching for perfection rather than whether its equal to or better than the current comp map selection.

    I think the issue is the time its been around, people know tram summit veil and know they're relatively balanced. No one wants to worry about descent having op spawns and have matches tipped because of it only to have it changed halfway through the season. (If I make sense).
    Dulce et demori est pro patria mori
    #Winning
    NS2 Shotty fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkw25TLkksQ
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    Flipper wrote: »
    ScardyBob wrote: »
    Long distance RT sniping is no better on summit, tram, or veil. Locations such as crevice, elevator transfer, and cargo all have vulnerable RT locations.

    I also agree that Shuttle Bay-Launch Control is problematic (since the shuttle only provides a limited amount of cover in an otherwise very open room), but its no worse than North Tunnel-Warehouse or Hub-Elevator Transfer on tram.

    Once again, I see people searching for perfection rather than whether its equal to or better than the current comp map selection.

    I think the issue is the time its been around, people know tram summit veil and know they're relatively balanced. No one wants to worry about descent having op spawns and have matches tipped because of it only to have it changed halfway through the season. (If I make sense).

    Flipper hits the nail on the head. Tram, Summit and Veil at this point are fairly stable maps, we know all the potential exploits and how to deal with them. Descent is new territory, and losing a match (or several) because of some sneaky new spot where you can set up a PG or an ARC or whatever, is not something we're big fans of.

    @Scardybob
    As far as your point about Crevice, it's relatively easy to assault Summit so it ends up not being a huge problem. Elevator Transfer you need to step into the hive area itself to shoot the RT, again, easy to assault. It's not about distance, but safety. Cargo is difficult enough to get to already, I don't think the harvester there is too exposed. There's no long tunnel between you and the harvester, like in Club or Monorail.
    statikg
  • FrothybeverageFrothybeverage Members Join Date: 2003-02-15 Member: 13593Posts: 848
    People don't like change, which is why they're voting no.
    It's the same reason why in Halo 3/Reach/Presumably Halo 4 they kept remaking old Halo 2 maps for competitive play in MLG.
    MotherGoose
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    edited March 2013
    *snip*

    Competitive players have had to roll with the punches when movement mechanics on core classes change, for example, but yet there's an unwillingness to have some matches on a map where some issues might pop up and throw the game off a bit.

    Thanks.

    --Cory

    Is this something that we should be happy about Cory? Having a crucial mechanic changed without enough time to practice it for the biggest tournament so far? Referring to skulk movement changes (and other documented/undocumented changes in Gorgeous). According to IronHorse, stopping dead in your tracks when you hit the ground as a skulk was unintentional, on top of everything else.

    If anything, I'd be inclined to downvote Descent just in spite, given the frustration that releasing a patch before a tournament has caused on our end, several times.

    /offtopic

    As far as the map discussion goes, I'm inclined to vote for the inclusion of Descent. I just see from experience that the one that shouts the loudest is the one that gets his way, and there are some things that need to be looked at from my perspective for Descent, as mentioned above.

    Edit: Comment from IronHorse and wording.
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    edited March 2013
    I don't think you read my last post Dragon. As for the night cup idea, great. I'd be all for.
  • WasabiOneWasabiOne Co-Lead NS2 CDT Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2011-06-15 Member: 104623Posts: 758 Advanced user
    Chicken to call out UWE on that movement change is not fair game... ENSL could have held the events early instead of a custom map cup, the were just as aware as everyone else the patch was coming at the end of February and should have planned better. Did it suck for some of the games, sure but thats not UWE's fault. As far as this map goes Descent has been in production for a very long time and all we are asking is for people to really play it. Learn the map play multiple rounds, give constructive feedback and lets make necessary changes if they are needed. People that play one or two rounds should not be forming opinions on how balance the map is since that honestly is nowhere near enough time to evaluate and learn the map. I would rather have descent any day of the week over any of the three custom maps that could potentially get into season 2. (not meaning to be harsh in tone, but some of the posts in here are ridiculous)
    Angry ChildZenu
  • Vile | FriskyVile | Frisky Members Join Date: 2012-11-04 Member: 166873Posts: 18
    I don't understand how anyone could formulate a truthful and well thought competitive analysis of this map when it has been in rotation for less than a week. If after three weeks of consistently playing this map you can conclude that there are things wrong with Descent then by all means post it here and, as illustrated with the recent update, it's obvious UWE will fix it even if they have to redesign parts of the map. QQ less and play more.
  • xDragonxDragon Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-04-04 Member: 149948Posts: 1,954 Fully active user
    My post wasnt entirely directed at you Chicken, i understand about the arc spots and whatnot, but I think the map deserves a chance (would be nice to see a nightcup/something to get some real conclusive feedback).
  • WildChickenWildChicken Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-08-25 Member: 30891Posts: 146
    ENSL discussion is for another thread.

    All I've stated in this thread are things that should be fairly evident regarding poor gameplay in certain areas of Descent.

    I like Descent. I don't like horribly unbalanced gameplay. There's a reason you can no longer siege Elevator from Observation, Warehouse from Ore, Locker Rooms from Central Access. It's too easy to do.

    @WasabiOne Don't get me started on what it would take to fix the custom maps, aesthetically or play wise.

    I like Descent. I don't think that point made it across.
  • PaLaGiPaLaGi Members, Constellation Join Date: 2008-01-03 Member: 63331Posts: 185 Fully active user
    Personally I would vote yes and put it down for week 4 after the boring summit tram veil rotation. Would give everyone enough time to play it for a a month. To vote no right now after only a week and hardly any scrims/gathers isn't really giving it a chance.

    The gameplay seems very similar to summit, and if small changes to give RT's more cover need to be added, there is enough time that could prob be fixed in a competitve version (nsl_map) or even the official version.
  • wirywiry Members Join Date: 2009-05-25 Member: 67479Posts: 507 Advanced user
    We all want new maps to play. If this map is to be included in say week 4, and teams start practicing on the map right now I don't think there should be a problem. As long as if there is a problem with the map, we get the fix (or a rule to avoid using the exploit or whatever), whats the problem?

    "and losing a match (or several) because of some sneaky new spot where you can set up a PG or an ARC or whatever, is not something we're big fans of." - Wildchicken

    Having sneaky and well thought out strategies used against you on a new map can be infuriating, sure.. but only because you weren't the one to come up with it first. I remember when arc started using arcs to siege double, that was only a couple of weeks ago and no one really knew how to counter that the first time they saw it happening against them.

    I'm hoping for more of those kind of moments, because they help the game feeling fresh, instead of the same old stuff we see on every other map.

    -

    I would rather see this map included in season 3, but also that teams started playing it straight away to learn the maps well, and to squash out bugs and exploits. The problem is that if this map isn't included in season 2 I could think that a lot of teams wouldn't want to start playing it. Basically it all boils down to how fast problems can be solved I guess. By looks alone, I would rather have descent than any of the other custom maps. Except Honorguard of course.
    :0
    Jekt_Necro_halfofaheaven
  • blindblind Members, Squad Five Gold Join Date: 2010-04-17 Member: 71437Posts: 341 Advanced user
    First of all, the vote is by no means a decider whether we put the map into Season 2 or not. It was started to get a first impression of what people currently think - and we have many opinions gathered on this already. Fact is, we want as many playable maps in the season, and we can't allow horribly balance wise broken maps into the officials. But for new maps we also like to give them a chance to be played, tested and improved (see the custom map cup for example). If we would sort out the map right now and say "well, let's just wait to season 3" - no team would seriously practice it and the mapper doesn't get a fair chance for valuable input to fix it. It will be a decision we have to make which will undoubtedly result into one group of people not liking it. Nevertheless, we will have to make a call and I'll have to stand up for it.

    At the moment we are discussing a possibility to include the map into S2 but postpone the first official matches with it by 2 weeks, so we have more time to get input about it while the teams have to practice it since they have to expect playing on it on week 3. If possible, we might also host a fun cup event (Gather Night Cup for example) inbetween to play this map (and icarus) specifically and analyse the gameplay on more data available. So it would be still possible to a) give the mapper valuable feedback for hotfixes and b) in worst case remove the map from the pool before week 3 if it is horribly broken. But this is just an idea for now. We will come up with a decision on this matter soon.

    Right now, only one thing is sure - no team has serious experience in how this map actually plays out. And I'd love to see descent in S2 when it is playable for competitive.
    (E)NSL Head admin

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    Jekt
  • bizbiz Members Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167386Posts: 415 Fully active user
    edited March 2013
    it's hard to take this map seriously when they fail at basic things like room names covering up RT locations (not just once, but in three separate instances)
    when you load up a map and have to wonder "do the devs even play NS2?" it's very hard to imagine that enough thought was put into balance... (and this is the case with all the UWE patches lol... alien techs were completely broken for maybe an entire month or more)

    When I make RTS maps for more symmetrical games, I can iterate extremely rapidly just with expert game knowledge and looking at the map that gets generated. NS2 is a completely different beast. Testing is a pain and there's a lack of expert knowledge, especially when the game rules are changing behind the scenes. It's perfectly reasonable not to compete on maps that haven't been out very long...

    if UWE takes about a month to fix stuff, then 10 iterations is going to be about a year. and maps often need a lot more work than that.
    that said, NS2 isn't exaclty well-balanced so the standards for descent don't need to be so high, especially if you can get revelaed + mirror spawn locations and make each team play each race.

    anyways, you should move beyond minor balance concerns that can be fixed and primarily look at what the map can add to the gameplay and what skills it rewards. Some people want to compete over who has better execution of fairly fixed tactics. Others want a game where you have to make tough decisions about how to spend resources & adapt to change. And teams will be very biased based on the abilities of their own players.

    I view it from the perspective that NS2 kind of fails as an action game (compared to other FPS games), so it doesn't make sense to emphasize that aspect.
    But the resource management / scouting / adaptation aspects aren't completely outclassed by other titles, so that's what NS2 should be about.

    so what is a fixed version of descent actually about at a fundamental level? nobody knows...
    Whatever happens, I do hope decisions get made based on more than "played a gather" or "played a scrim"
  • ritualsacrificeritualsacrifice Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-14 Member: 171148Posts: 709 Advanced user
    youtu.be/jlNlnXG4fsk

    video of some problem spots for RT's
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