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Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings 
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Sir Cameron McMackington III, Esq.
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Post Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
So, for quite a long time now, one of the major hurdles that we as a development team have faced is the idea that people should drop their weapons upon death. It's always been a staple of the mod, but it's getting to a point where balance and weapon design is becoming impossible. It's hard to argue against the idea that a Gatling Gun in the hands of a Gunman is more dangerous than one in the hands of a slower class, and any weapon in the hands of a Stealth Trooper becomes inherently more dangerous.

Talk of getting rid of weapon drops often ends with the singular argument that weapon drops is what can save a losing team. A team without their Barracks can turn the tide of battle with a Shock Rifle or a Gatling Gun, and that was gameplay that we wanted to preserve. I think, however, that we can solve two problems at once.

The second problem that we face is the knowledge that our design discourages people from joining a losing team. Why should half of our games end with 7v3 teams and 5+ spectators if we can fix the problems that cause it? Looking at a mostly red spawn room is just disheartening and feels more depressing than punishing.

My idea is that weapons no longer drop when the player holding them dies. In addition, losing the Barracks no longer loses you most of the available classes. Instead, you lose your two most-used Barracks classes. When you lose the Research Center, you lose your two most-used Research classes. This is determined by the average time spent by your team as any specific building-dependent class.

In addition, losing the Barracks will always remove a team's ability to become Commandos, and losing the Research Center will always remove Time Cops.

Barracks Classes:
Rocker Soldier
Grenade Soldier
Artillery Cannoneer
Tiberium Autorifleman
Flamethrower
Chemical Sprayer

Research Classes
Laser Chaingunner
Shock Rifle
Plasma Gunner
Sniper
Jumpjet Soldiers
Gauss Gunner

This means that losing a building is still punishing, but that losing one building won't make the rest of the game less fun to play. You lose some of your power, but it's not enough to absolutely break a game for your team. Players will still need to be vigilant in defending their bases, but the margin of error is significantly more fair than the system we have in place now.

In addition, this means that the development team is no longer tethered by limitations set on by the inherent differences between classes. We can make classes more individual, more diverse, and make individual weapons more fun to use without having to balance them for every imaginable situation.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:14 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
What if we keep some classes as fully dependent, like for example Commandos always need the Research Center, but there's only a chance you'll lose Snipers? That way it would keep a bit more strategy in targeting buildings.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:21 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Since we had this going on IRC for quite some time, I can't say that I'm against this. (In fact I'm completely with this.)

And while I'm going to miss weapon drops, it'd still be nice to be free from gatling stealths.
But yeah, that's an interesting idea Qent.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:23 am
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Sir Cameron McMackington III, Esq.
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Qent wrote:
What if we keep some classes as fully dependent, like for example Commandos always need the Research Center, but there's only a chance you'll lose Snipers?


The main post has been edited to incorporate this idea.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:25 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
You know, this sounds really reasonable. Maybe the Research Center's importance in comparison to the Barracks is a bit skewed in that case, in which case I'd say have the Barracks knock out three, and the Res Center knock out two? The Res is also necessary for C4 and Repairgun upgrades, and that's not even counting if it was knocked out before everything was researched. Things like knocking out the Flamethrower and Tibrifle classes really aren't going to have any impact whatsoever. However, maybe it should be that way.

I fully support this other than that. Honestly I believe nothing but good will come out of this in the long run. Games need to be less daunting when hit by a first blow.


Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:31 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Currently the least impacting building to lose is the warfactory, because you don't use mechs 24/7.

Otherwise, we have this choice (in the public release):

Refinery - Credit income goes to hell due to lack of harvesting.
Research center - Researches go to hell (if early), otherwise crippling lack of C4 power and a bunch of good classes. (GOOD LUCK tearing those terminals down by shooting.)
Barracks - Entire team is babies. Both RC and it's own classes go *poof*

And obelisks are so ragequit-inducing to lose because it means that any of those three are going to happen soon.
this is definitely not good ^


Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:37 pm
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the All Out War 2 pro

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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Blox wrote:
And while I'm going to miss weapon drops, it'd still be nice to be free from gatling stealths.


and suddenly, stealth commando/shockfag. bonus points if you were originally a tank class and got a stealth crate

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He's got diplomatic immunity.

Code:
[20:31] <Synert> so yeah thanks dusk
[20:31] <Synert> for accidentally setting him on my forums
[20:31] <Medicris> dying
[20:32] <Eric> we figure that's proper retribution for all the shit you do in-game :v
[20:32] <Dusk> hahaha
[20:33] <Eric> truly a fate worse than banning


Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:25 pm
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
While I do agree that the current building dependency is problematic - losing one throws the balance straight out of the window - I feel a little uncomfortable with losing random classes. We've come to a conclusion that randomness is not a very good game design aspect (powerup crate, hitscan RNG..), so I'd rather have a more systematic choice for the loss of classes. Maybe the enemy could pick the classes lost? :P


Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:25 pm
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Sir Cameron McMackington III, Esq.
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Dusk wrote:
While I do agree that the current building dependency is problematic - losing one throws the balance straight out of the window - I feel a little uncomfortable with losing random classes. We've come to a conclusion that randomness is not a very good game design aspect (powerup crate, hitscan RNG..), so I'd rather have a more systematic choice for the loss of classes. Maybe the enemy could pick the classes lost? :P


Could be fun, but what I don't want to see is the Barracks get destroyed and Rocket/Artillery soldiers are always the ones to go. The randomness gives a high chance that either one or the other will be preserved.

The key point here is that I don't want a team to lose all of their "fun" classes in one go. Rockets, Artillery Cannoneers, Laser Chainguns, Shock Rifles, amd Sprayers are basically the most fun/dynamic weapons to use. I wanted to encroach on "fun" as little as possible while still making the loss an impact on the team. Medicris was right; the RC is a lot more valuable in this instance than the Barracks. A simple solution would be to make the Barracks lose 3 classes at random (virtually guaranteeing that at least one explosive class gets removed), but I have a more ambitious idea...


Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:55 pm
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Various other ways to mess with it could be
  • Classes that require both the Barracks and RC (if either goes they're gone).
  • Classes that require either the Barracks or RC (they're only gone if both die).
  • Classes that can be lost if either Barracks or RC dies (in the original post they would be listed under both headings, so there are two chances to lose them).
  • Classes that can be lost if both the Barracks or RC dies (as long as one is alive there is no chance to lose them).

I don't think it would be very tidy to implement all of these, but they're some ways to remove some element of chance and/or make some classes more or less dependent on the Barracks and RC.


Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:54 pm
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inatay

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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
I presume it is interesting.

_______________
"Some guys are the type of people who bring brass knuckles site to a fight. I've always thought it prudent to bring some running shoes."


Last edited by Sheila Sanchez on Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:32 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
How about just enable weapon dropping and determine which class is allowed to pick what weapons, so, for an example, a stealth trooper won't be able to pick up the gattling gun (the stealth guy will just walk over it without anything happening).

If we count in the fact that a losing team should be able to pick a bigger variety of weapons (since they can no longer buy most of the weapons, so the only way to get them is to pick them up), then, for an example, a stealth trooper wouldn't be able to pick up a gattling gun in normal conditions, but would be able to if their team is losing.

To avoid confusion, players need to know which weapons they can pick up and which weapons they can't.
    There are 2 ways to do that:
  • Mark the weapons a player can't pick up with a red marker (circle, square, dick-shaped figure, whatever you can think of)
  • Make dropped weapons invisible for players that can't pick them up - for an example, if you're a stealth guy, and can't pick up a gattling gun, why would you be able to see it in the first place?

The second method is more powerful in avoiding confusion (can't see the weapon you can't pick up, it's like nothing is there), but the first method is more powerful in making plans (if, for an example, a stealth guy that can't pick up a gattling gun, sees the said gun with a red circle on it, they can alert one of their team mates to pick it up, especially if they can't buy it).

Of course, if you can pick up a weapon you couldn't pick up before (when your team is losing), in the first method, the dropped weapon will be visible on your screen, and, in the second method, it will no longer have a red mark on it.

To Qent (a bit off-topic):
Qent wrote:
  • Classes that require both the Barracks and RC [...]
    [...]
  • Classes that can be lost if either Barracks or RC dies [...]

These two are pretty much the same :v


Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Qent wrote:
  • Classes that require either the Barracks or RC
  • Classes that can be lost if both the Barracks or RC dies


These two are the same as well, but under the scheme outlined in the original post, there's no way to make some classes that "can be lost" with a higher probability than others.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:07 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Lol. Does anybody actually play this game? :shock:
Weapon drops is one of the things that make this game unpredictable/diverse.
Also ability of picking weapons makes Gunman a playable class, not just in 0 credits situations.



And stealthes with gatling/shock - it's not an every day situations and it doesn't affect the balance at all. Much more often you can see a fag coming from behind with a chainsaw. And I've never seen suggestions about that.

The main "weapon problem" now is that shock is still OP. When we have some scrimage at last, i will insist on "not buying gay-shock" rule.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:28 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
The problem with weapon drops is that balancing things becomes a huge task all of a sudden, because a strong weapon from a slow class is much more effective in the hands of a fast one.

And any close-quarters weapons (like the shockrifle, chainsaw and the sprayers) become much more effective in the hands of a stealth trooper.
Because unlike with their respective classes, which are usually slow - stealth troopers aren't only faster, they're also invisible.

Which actually makes the whole "close-quarters" thing disappear, since you can stealth up, get close to the enemy and just fire away.
Instead of the enemy actually knowing you're there, and playing accordingly because you definitely don't want to meet one of those in close combat.

While I myself quite like the weapon drops, if we're to make shit not totally broken, we'd at least have to limit them somehow. (Konda's idea sounds interesting.)


Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:40 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
And before someone mentions the fact that most maps are big which makes close-quarter weapons mostly useless, I'd like to sum that stuff up:

argh

TL;DR Number of maps where a gorup of weapons is useful/useless is not important. What is actually important is the number of weapons that can be used in a map. Most AOW maps have the same number of those weapons (short-ranged weapons are useless in big maps just as long ranged-weapons are useless in small maps), so different maps have use for different weapons, but in the end the number of those weapons for all maps are pretty much the same.


Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:39 am
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Post Re: Moving Forward - Weapon Drops and Buildings
Noting the above post, I must say AOW09 and AOW15 provide good examples of that. Both have high-traffic condensed areas for CQC, and long sideline for long-range weapons to shoot down. Not to mention, AOW15 has a helpful array of cover to allow flanking to be possible vs. camping long-range folks, like snipers near the Tiberium hill.

Just my two cents.


Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:28 am
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