About the snowball-effect and lame-ducks

.trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 797 Advanced user
edited October 2018 in Ideas and Suggestions
A recurring complaint about the current game flow is that the advantages obtained early game (statistically) determine the winner.
The other problem is when the game is already won (from an economy viewpoint), and the winning team is just boxing in the losers, but that takes quite a few minutes.

So here goes my half-cooked idea:

In the first 3 minutes, teams can build RTs, but the res flow is severely limited. Like a tenth of what is now (or choose your optimal fraction & time).
More engagements on low tier -> more chance that real skill difference is reflected in the outcome (wihtout snowballing).

After 10 minutes, the res flow doubles (or choose your optimal fraction & time).
This would hopefully embolden the leading team (economy wise) to keep throwing Pres at the enemy, and they can end the round quicker.

The obvious drawback is that this will potentially confuse new players.
Commanders will also have less to do in the first few minutes of the game.

(Sorry if these have already been suggested, I couldn't find any previous posts about this)

PS: I dedicate this post to @Nordic and @IronHorse :]
NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
NordicSantaClawsIronHorse

Comments

  • NintendowsNintendows Join Date: 2016-11-07 Member: 223716Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 330 Advanced user
    How exactly does this prevent snowballing? Doesn't this just give the stronger team more time to set up their map dominance before the losing team can start their tech upgrades?
  • The_Welsh_WizardThe_Welsh_Wizard Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188101Members, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 760 Advanced user
    Problem is, this system is simply unfair. Why should a team that holds the majority of RTs in the first ten minutes get much less Res than a team that holds the majority for the second ten minutes?
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,670 Advanced user
    .trixX. wrote: »
    PS: I dedicate this post to @Nordic and @IronHorse :smile:
    This gave me a good chuckle. I don't really have anything else of value to say at this time.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,080 Advanced user
    edited October 2018
    So to make back the investment of an RT, I need 100 ticks = 600s or 10 minutes... In other words, there's zero value in risking to build a single RT that you could potentially lose in the first 3 minutes in your scenario.

    So what you'll get, is teams basically rushing tech with their starting 50 tres, and hoping to win with that - and if it goes on for longer than 3 minutes, only THEN do you start worrying about map control.

    In other words, all you're causing is for every game to be a basetrade scenario. Because there won't be a single RT on the map for 3 minutes to contest with.

    Prepare for a lot of shotgun rushes.
    IronHorse
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,080 Advanced user
    edited October 2018
    I have a different proposal.

    This might be more feasible for a NS3 perhaps, but let me pitch it anyway.

    The idea is basically to introduce POWERUPS! So in Quake TDM (and other team game modes), you obviously have huge snowball effects as well. One way to deal with that, is quad damage. Quad damage can be a very good way for the losing team to completely take over or at least reset the item/map control.

    Many times I've had 2v2 games where we are dominating the item control, but the losing team goes to the powerup and setup early. They get powerup and for that duration they control the whole map and you have to try and regain the control. So quad damage is actually a very good example of a comeback mechanic.

    So how would I introduce this to NS2? Well what about taking something like what @.trixX. is propsing. Have a sort of "event" during the game, let's say for the sake of argument at the 5 minute mark, where whichever team controls a certain area during the event, gains 2x tres and pres.

    Now the losing team has options. They can try and contest the "powerup" - or they can trade it for map control or res towers or basetrades. Another scenario is of course that the winning team takes the powerup AND all the map control, in which case it's very helpful in the respect of ending the game quicker.

    A number of issues to consider here.
    1. Most maps are not built for this.

      You could perhaps use ns2_tram as a prototype and put the powerup in Hub. But other than that, it will feel awkward to force it on most of the maps in the current map pool. And even hub @tram might be a little too imba in marine favor without some tweaks. And if I had to give some mapmaking directions, I'd refrain from putting the powerup in the center of the map, where there's going to be action anyway. You want to place it in a somewhat neutral spot, where each team has to go out of their way to cap it. The whole point is that if the winning team wants to cap it, they must displace their forces from their other objectives.

      But it might actually be OK that most maps aren't built with powerups in mind. Maybe the powerups don't HAVE to be on every map. Even in Quake, a lot of players hate the railgun. But instead of removing the railgun from the game, they allow map makers to make *maps* where there is no railgun. In the same way, we can allow mapmakers to choose if they want powerups on their map or not. Map makers could even pick between different powerups. And players can choose to pick maps with them or not. The downside to this is of course, the map making process is *already* painfully slow in this game. Which is why this suggestion may be more relevant for a potential ns3.
    2. If the powerup increases pres flow, that can severely impact the lifeform timings in a potentially catastrophic way. It's not as big a deal on the marine side if they get a little more pres, but alien side can be very problematic balance wise.
    The_Welsh_Wizardskav2
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    edited October 2018
    I think the problem is more in the mid-game than the early game. Because the problem isn't that one team can get an advantage in the early game, it's that things tend to snowball in the mid-game. That's true for both advantages gained in the early game and advantages gained in the mid-game.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • skav2skav2 Join Date: 2007-05-28 Member: 61037Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 169 Advanced user
    What do people think about timed games? After x amount of minutes the round is a tie and/or the map blows up.
  • G_LockG_Lock Playtester_ FL Join Date: 2013-04-03 Member: 184624Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 123 Advanced user
    edited October 2018
    skav2 wrote: »
    What do people think about timed games? After x amount of minutes the round is a tie and/or the map blows up.

    For a long time i'v brainstormed ideas in my head to see if some type of timer could be put into the game like a Kharaa Infestation Bar but i never shared the concept with people, I just threw this together to give myself a better picture of what i was thinking about.
    xv20jp50noc1.png

    Post edited by G_Lock on
  • NintendowsNintendows Join Date: 2016-11-07 Member: 223716Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 330 Advanced user
    skav2 wrote: »
    What do people think about timed games? After x amount of minutes the round is a tie and/or the map blows up.

    For what it's worth, I tried that using my Victory Points mod. It felt very anti-climatic.
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,670 Advanced user
    skav2 wrote: »
    What do people think about timed games? After x amount of minutes the round is a tie and/or the map blows up.

    Essentially NS2 has a soft timer already. If aliens get to 3 hives, marines have lost, unless they can kill a hive quickly. I think going completely the other way to a hard timer like you suggest sounds unfun and anticlimactic. This is why I suggest making the soft timer we have already more firm. Let the winning team finish the game, but give them the tools to do it quickly. Rather than have a timer bar with infestation like G-Lock linked, I would like the timer to be tied to tech. If aliens get to third hive tech, let third hive tech be strong enough to mop up the marines and end the game. Marines should also have an equivalent power level in the late game, but marines have an easier time ending games than aliens do.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
    IronHorse
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    Nordic wrote: »
    Let the winning team finish the game, but give them the tools to do it quickly. Rather than have a timer bar with infestation like G-Lock linked, I would like the timer to be tied to tech. If aliens get to third hive tech, let third hive tech be strong enough to mop up the marines and end the game. Marines should also have an equivalent power level in the late game, but marines have an easier time ending games than aliens do.

    One thing that this armageddon style late game would need is an implicit count down. Where the other team knows that unless they make a big push within the next x minutes and interrupt research, they're screwed. For the aliens, one option would be to dramatically increase the damage output of xeno. The marines know that if they let the aliens get to bio 12, they're going to start dying very quickly.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,670 Advanced user
    Mouse wrote: »
    Nordic wrote: »
    Let the winning team finish the game, but give them the tools to do it quickly. Rather than have a timer bar with infestation like G-Lock linked, I would like the timer to be tied to tech. If aliens get to third hive tech, let third hive tech be strong enough to mop up the marines and end the game. Marines should also have an equivalent power level in the late game, but marines have an easier time ending games than aliens do.

    One thing that this armageddon style late game would need is an implicit count down. Where the other team knows that unless they make a big push within the next x minutes and interrupt research, they're screwed. For the aliens, one option would be to dramatically increase the damage output of xeno. The marines know that if they let the aliens get to bio 12, they're going to start dying very quickly.

    We kind of have this count down once aliens get a third hive. This isn't communicated to new players well, but veterans seem to understand that they need to do something to prevent the third hive.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws Denmark Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,080 Advanced user
    edited October 2018
    oops wrong thread
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,181 admin
    edited October 2018
    I'd like there to be no timer, personally. Especially one that is biased to a specific team.
    This just doesn't play well in scaling across skill levels.


    @trixX I like where your head is at, and I think the concept has more value to it than the approach, as others have pointed out. But I commend the brain storming!

    I've been looking at economical approaches to stabilize the early game for years, and have yet to come up with anything that is solid. I've tried "RT decay" and some other things to no avail. It's a delicate thing to address economically. (compared to just scaling dmg output and armor, at least)

    I am no longer convinced a change like this can be done economically.
    I personally feel it needs to be done by greater scaling of dmg output and eHP for both teams *


    @SantaClaws RE: Quad damage
    The key when looking at comebacks in general (to upset predictability) is to not worsen fragility elsewhere, which negates the upside to the change. This frustratingly happens ALL THE TIME when people design them for some reason. Example: keeping advanced metabolize even though you lost a hive.
    The change was aimed at increasing alien comebacks, but without considering that maybe it was the marines who were coming back by killing that hive, it now negates or at least severely diminishes said impact/fragility.

    So when we look at changes to achieve stability in the early game, we have to keep in mind how it impacts many scenarios.
    What if the winning team (the predicted winner) is the one who makes it to hub to grab said quad dmg?


    *
    Brainstorming time!:

    It's often been said that the powercurve of NS is too great, where you get these explosions in tech (A2, then fade, W3, then Onos etc) swinging advantages back and forth between the teams.
    If you were to remove all RTs from the game and both teams accrued res at exactly the same rate by default for the whole duration of the round... what would it look like?
    Would you still have predictable outcomes? (ignoring alien bias over time)
    Would said power curves be perfectly timed with their counters?
    Would said power curves work well with dmg and eHP levels?

    It's something I've thought a lot about, and I feel like you'd have to balance NS2 in this way first - in a vacuum, without external factors like who got the advantage first in resources. Otherwise we're just dealing with constant false positives. Sure, the time taken and ability to attack RTs are all part of the big picture and impact balance, but we're making sweeping assumptions in regards to tech, their power output, and their counters.

    I feel like we need to work backwards in a way, for any change in predictability, be it economical or otherwise.

    I feel like a longer TTK for both teams in the first 30 seconds of a round would help people learn more and reduce predictable outcomes early on.
    If dmg and eHP are scaled/ spread out wide enough, it's possible that you can diminish the impacts of said powercurves too. Hopefully..
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,557 mod
    Nordic wrote: »
    Mouse wrote: »
    Nordic wrote: »
    Let the winning team finish the game, but give them the tools to do it quickly. Rather than have a timer bar with infestation like G-Lock linked, I would like the timer to be tied to tech. If aliens get to third hive tech, let third hive tech be strong enough to mop up the marines and end the game. Marines should also have an equivalent power level in the late game, but marines have an easier time ending games than aliens do.

    One thing that this armageddon style late game would need is an implicit count down. Where the other team knows that unless they make a big push within the next x minutes and interrupt research, they're screwed. For the aliens, one option would be to dramatically increase the damage output of xeno. The marines know that if they let the aliens get to bio 12, they're going to start dying very quickly.

    We kind of have this count down once aliens get a third hive. This isn't communicated to new players well, but veterans seem to understand that they need to do something to prevent the third hive.

    Now all we need is an analogous tipping point for marines.
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
    Nordic
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,447 Advanced user
    Mouse wrote: »
    Nordic wrote: »
    Mouse wrote: »
    Nordic wrote: »
    Let the winning team finish the game, but give them the tools to do it quickly. Rather than have a timer bar with infestation like G-Lock linked, I would like the timer to be tied to tech. If aliens get to third hive tech, let third hive tech be strong enough to mop up the marines and end the game. Marines should also have an equivalent power level in the late game, but marines have an easier time ending games than aliens do.

    One thing that this armageddon style late game would need is an implicit count down. Where the other team knows that unless they make a big push within the next x minutes and interrupt research, they're screwed. For the aliens, one option would be to dramatically increase the damage output of xeno. The marines know that if they let the aliens get to bio 12, they're going to start dying very quickly.

    We kind of have this count down once aliens get a third hive. This isn't communicated to new players well, but veterans seem to understand that they need to do something to prevent the third hive.

    Now all we need is an analogous tipping point for marines.

    Exos sorta fit this criterium in my experience. In pubs alien victories tend to become a lot harder once exos come out, for the simple reason of how many there are (and how much damage each can output).

    Although usually this doesn't turn a game around, just makes it harder for aliens to finish the job. I'm not really with Exos at the moment, to be honest.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • skav2skav2 Join Date: 2007-05-28 Member: 61037Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 169 Advanced user
    Exos sorta fit this criterium in my experience. In pubs alien victories tend to become a lot harder once exos come out, for the simple reason of how many there are (and how much damage each can output).

    Although usually this doesn't turn a game around, just makes it harder for aliens to finish the job. I'm not really with Exos at the moment, to be honest.


    Tbh i find exos break pub marines most of the time. They are so expensive and what typically happens is they all die then have no res for any other upgrades. Otherwise with a decent enough team they do a rotation around the map and destroy the aliens. There really is no middle ground from what I have seen. I will very much agree that in pubs the amount of damage marines can do vs aliens is ridiculous the more players there are. There needs to be an alien buff in proportion to how many people are on the server.

    After thinking about it a timed match would seem unfun. I still like the idea of buffing existing alien abilities with later tier biomass upgrades.
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