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DUEL rules, is it time for an update?

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  • #91
    Originally posted by conX5 View Post
    Armors should certainly be delayed off initial spawn, but I don't think anything else should really be necessary.
    Realistically armors/mega should not be delayed. The "no armor" start of the game simply skews it in favor of weapons that are more efficient with lower health pools or weapons that are more suitable for the upcoming armor spawns, etc. The problem is still there, just shifted. Pretty sure this point has been discussed to death over the years.

    A better solution to this is giving mappers the ability to define spawns as initial starting points. These are used for the first spawn of the game. Spawn points not flagged as first spawn cannot be spawned on at the beginning of a match.

    More spawn points may make sense as the game progresses but disallowing some during the start of the game should cut down on dm6 pillar spawn type problems.

    This is how quakelive handles things and from the current pool of popular maps there are only a handful of "bad" starts. YA on aero for example - but even this is good compared to some examples mentioned around here for ut. Others like dm6 pillars have been ironed out. Sure there are still better/worse spawns but not quite as bad as getting belt/boots/jacket.

    Another thing that must be done is update maps. Maps are not "finished" when they are released. ZTN for example has had at least three spawn setups in recent memory. To my knowledge it was never updated in q3. That particular post is concerned with all spawns in general but the same can be applied to initial spawns easily enough. Basically the mapper cannot be expected to "see" every possible out come and problem that can arise - but they should be able to get it partially right and fix problems that do come about after lots of play time.

    That is one way to approach it. Disallow spawns that make no sense or are wildly imbalanced. There is no way to have "perfect" split system because in ut stacking/armor/health does not really lend itself to both players being even - one is always weaker. This “initial spawn” system is validated reasonably well by quakelive, provided maps are tweaked after being played on enough.

    However that might not be far enough? Players in ql still whine about some spawns and while the above cuts down problems heavily it does not remove it 100%. As an example high lower YA vs plasma on ZTN. This is more messy than anything else and turns the opening into a large dice roll (based on decisions) more than other spawns.

    Solutions? Have "pairs" of spawns setup in a way to give both players some pickups. Create 3-5 "pairs" per map and you have a solid set of not-unbalanced* starts. The previously suggested half time is not needed.

    *balancing this perfectly is not the goal. Aiming to remove 100/belt/mega vs nothing setups is the intended outcome.

    Sounds like a good solution right? Give players somewhat even splits and remove 100%stacked vs unstacked occurrences via forcing pairs of spawns. The unfortunate problem is this breaks part of the early game that is overlooked and is quite important. By having pairs of spawns players simply know the opening and this becomes very fixed. Some might be considered a good thing but personally I love the dynamic nature of duel and the decision making process at the start is interesting.

    If you have two spawns that are ALWAYS the same spawn A will have an optimum opening and aggressive opening. The aggressive option becomes less viable when the opposing spawn is fixed as they the experienced opponent knows where the aggression will come from.

    There are many ways to go about fixing things that are not as overboard as delaying initial item spawns or setting two spawn points in stone.



    One main difference in quake compared to ut is these problems are very specific (in ql) and players quite happy to point out the problem on the maps in question. In ut, at least on these forums so far, players tend to post very broad comments about opening spawns. eg "You can get all the armors on deck" or similar. Being specific when discussing this is key. Even if no changes to the initial spawn system are made can spawns XYZ on deck be dropped or moved and a better map result?

    It is important to not confuse things. A player making a bad call and not getting items is fine. When there are situations where one player can pillage all important pickups before the other can even show up needs fixing. This is a fine line to walk as getting no items ****** people off and makes them overlook their own mistakes and call problem when non-exists.
    Posts are about duel unless otherwise specified. ut duel shortcomings | What is timing? | dm-twentyseven

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    • #92
      What if the 1st spawn of Duel gametype gave each player every weapon with (with extremely low ammo) and had delayed armors/powerups? That might add more strategic variety to the opening minutes without diminishing the importance of establishing item control.

      I never dueled much in UT99 (and when I did it was on terrible maps that wouldn't be good litmus tests), but I don't recall any competition duel maps in UT2k4 where the initial spawn could be a huge disadvantage. They were designed so that weapon/armor/powerup types were spread out to help distribute the tactical importance of the different areas of the map, and this translates into spawns as well as general map flow. If you can grab everything of importance simply due to a better spawn then the map is objectively poorly designed.
      http://i.imgur.com/UtGecAN.png

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      • #93
        Originally posted by conX5 View Post
        I never dueled much in UT99 (and when I did it was on terrible maps that wouldn't be good litmus tests), but I don't recall any competition duel maps in UT2k4 where the initial spawn could be a huge disadvantage. They were designed so that weapon/armor/powerup types were spread out to help distribute the tactical importance of the different areas of the map, and this translates into spawns as well as general map flow. If you can grab everything of importance simply due to a better spawn then the map is objectively poorly designed.
        This new UT is definitely much worse with it than 2k4 ever was. Most 2k4 duel maps only have a 100 and a 50 armor with both spawning at the same time. That 100 also doesn't work like the extremely powerful 150 shield belt that absorbs 100% of the damage, at least not after picking up only 1 of them. That 100% shield allows you to barely win from an opponent who started with a lot less hp/armor than you did, pick up the shield and be back in the superior position again (low hp + 150 + weapons vs 100 with no weapons) despite getting schooled as far as damage being dealt. You're barely paying a price for that. 2k4 also allows one to stay away from combat more easily with dodgejump + shield. Spawns are still not very equal, but the problem of it is masked because of these things. The combat avoidance part is probably considered the worst part about 2k4 in general and won't return to that extent in this game so there will need to be even more options for the person not in control than there were in 2k4 to even approach the balance of that game. Something we are very far away from at the moment.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Stolid View Post
          This new UT is definitely much worse with it than 2k4 ever was. Most 2k4 duel maps only have a 100 and a 50 armor with both spawning at the same time. That 100 also doesn't work like the extremely powerful 150 shield belt that absorbs 100% of the damage, at least not after picking up only 1 of them. That 100% shield allows you to barely win from an opponent who started with a lot less hp/armor than you did, pick up the shield and be back in the superior position again (low hp + 150 + weapons vs 100 with no weapons) despite getting schooled as far as damage being dealt. You're barely paying a price for that. 2k4 also allows one to stay away from combat more easily with dodgejump + shield. Spawns are still not very equal, but the problem of it is masked because of these things. The combat avoidance part is probably considered the worst part about 2k4 in general and won't return to that extent in this game so there will need to be even more options for the person not in control than there were in 2k4 to even approach the balance of that game. Something we are very far away from at the moment.
          I believe duels in UT99 never used the belt. I never remember having either of those available when playing on the main duel servers or with the old "pros" and this is what Ut2k3/2k4 was based off. Interestingly ASDF seems to be designed around a polarity between the belt and the chest piece, and I think it's done well. Still I agree with you that the belt is overly important, but at this point rather than removing it I may still lean towards making players spawn with some armor. I'm not too sure which I prefer, deck with belt or deck without.
          Last edited by Neohuman; 12-04-2014, 04:07 AM.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Neohuman View Post
            I believe duels in UT99 never used the belt. I never remember having either of those available when playing on the main duel servers or with the old "pros" and this is what Ut2k3/2k4 was based off. Interestingly ASDF seems to be designed around a polarity between the belt and the chest piece, and I think it's done well. Still I agree with you that the belt is overly important, but at this point rather than removing it I may still lean towards making players spawn with some armor. I'm not too sure which I prefer, deck with belt or deck without.
            I have never heard of UT99 duels being played without the belt, but I was referring to the current UT4. I'm also not saying the belt necessarily shouldn't exist, just that the current belt compared to UT2k4 is way more powerful and makes spawns and control all that more powerful as well.

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            • #96
              Go watch zaccubus cast the 1v1 tournament on 2k4 to really learn how to play 1v1.

              Running around and not finding weapons is a novice duelers mistake. When you learn the map, the respawns, that situation rarely happens.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J2PkIrGRSM


              I personally find it irritating that weapons stay in other game types by default in 2k3 and onward. If you play default DM in UT99 no weapons stay.

              Say you want some ammo, but the ammo has been taken, the weapon is just sitting there.... i COULD get some ammo, but the game won't let me pick it up.....
              Last edited by nanthil; 12-23-2014, 05:15 AM.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by nanthil View Post
                Say you want some ammo, but the ammo has been taken, the weapon is just sitting there.... i COULD get some ammo, but the game won't let me pick it up.....
                Throw the nearly empty weapon away and pickup a new one with more ammo. That's an old tactic from way back (UT99 at least, probably Unreal too).

                I'm ok with Duel rules for the most part, what I'd like to see are mechanics changes that make control harder to get and easier to lose. One big problem that makes control easier is spawn rape / spawn prediction. It wasn't a big deal in UT99 because it was harder to do then and really only became a big problem starting with UT2k3.

                In UT99 after dying you re-spawned in a random location, which could be anywhere on the map, including right beside the guy who just killed you. A lot of people complained about that, especially FFA players. They wanted something more "fair".

                For 2k3 Epic changed it so when you respawn the game calculates "the best" possible respawn point for you. One that preferably is far away from any other player, isn't in direct line of sight of another player and so on. Of course it couldn't always meet all of the conditions but it'd find the 1 spawn point it considered "best" and that's where you'd spawn. That worked fine in FFA and other game types with more than 2 players. The problem was in 1 on 1 with only 2 players your killer could with 100% accuracy predict exactly where you'd spawn after every kill. All that mattered was where *he was when you re-spawned. The only real variable in the equation was where he was located. As long as he was in the same place (just being in the same general area was usually good enough) the game would pick the same playerstart every time. With a little practice you could easily memorize exactly which playerstarts your opponent would respawn after killing him in different parts of the map.

                I'm not sure about later iterations of the game but in 2k3/2k4 player respawn code made predicting where your opponent respawned too easy and perfect in 1 on 1. It had some effect on TDM too, I'm not sure how much you could influence where the other team's players spawned but you certainly could position your team to ensure the other team did *not spawn in certain locations.

                I'd like to see that change for UT4, no more perfect 100% accurate spawn prediction, add some random element(s) to the respawn code.
                Last edited by MoxNix; 01-15-2015, 11:20 PM.

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