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    Flag Run Feedback

    There wasn't an existing thread for this and [MENTION=6338]JoeWilcox[/MENTION] requested some feedback so just rolling this out there to hopefully get some discussion going.

    I've played about 9 or 10 fully populated matches of Flag Run since it was included a few builds ago. It feels fresh and when we're able to get enough people together to play it it's very enjoyable. It feels like a much more focused and simplified version of Assault at the core and definitely benefits from having a consistent win condition across maps which is something that seems to prohibit Assault from being an easy to pick up gametype for either new players or convey to spectators.

    Main issues I've experienced and my thoughts on them:

    I've seen some confused players play Flag Run as if it's CTF, picking up the attacking team's flag from the defending team's base and attempting to 'cap' it back at the start of the map. I think the thinking here is that they see the Flag is an objective and assume it's CTF, the HUD guides them to it and the instinctive thing would seem to be to try and escape with it rather than push forward for people not aware of the the way the mode works or the map layout. Also the mode is griefing prone for the same reason, someone can pick up the flag and retreat with it undoing potentially several minutes of progress the team has made in just a few seconds. There could be plenty of situations where attackers would want to retreat and rally or juke the defense so this seems like a difficult thing to protect against, having some kind capture point / checkpoint where the flag can't go backwards from could help immensely but would have to be designed very carefully to not be prohibitive to the way the attackers play.

    The attacking team frequently 'forgets' to bring the flag with them, it seems like usually one person on the team needs to take responsibility for taking the initiative of sticking with the flag base until it spawns and bringing it to the fight, it's just when they don't do this the team can easily charge ahead unaware that nobody has picked it up. Largely the spawn delay on it seems to be at fault, people just want to get into the action and not wait for it to spawn. - I can think of a few potential fixes for this but none that don't have an impact on the gameplay. For instance keeping the attacking base exit doors locked shut until the flag is picked up, or having the attacking flag spawn further along in the map in a specifically designed focal area where it's harder to 'miss'. The latter of these is probably a bad idea as it doesn't delay the attackers at all.

    If the defending team is juked and passed by the flag carrier at the first defending spots of a round it's very hard for the team to react to it in time and often it's realized when it's too late. This is fun for the flag carrier but basically un-enjoyable and confusing for everybody else. I do like the fact that this can be done and I think it can add some very enjoyable clutch moments to a match where a losing team can pull back by doing such a thing. But I think ultimately the defenders need to know by some kind of very clear warning that the initial defensable perimeter (in Blackstone's case the main gate and broken wall) has been breached. Even if unprepared for, so long as they get notified clearly and instantly of this when it happens rather than it being something that someone has to notice and then react to I think this will solve the problem - that is if it is to be considered a problem. Like I say I don't hate this at all but it seems like a disorganized or inexperienced team can very easily get steamrolled doing this and that there's basically no risk or downside to trying to do it so the flag carrier should always try to juke the flag past defenders in the early-game. Whether this should be a level design consideration or something the mode accounts for isn't clear.

    Good stuff:

    Rallying is great. In the previous build the lack of anything like it made me want to have a translocator to get back in the action quicker even though it would be totally unsuitable to the gametype. Messaging on this is reasonably good on this so far and once you get in the habit of using it it's a solid feature. Definitely not the easiest thing to convey to inexperienced players though.

    Repulsion shield! I go with this most of the time as it really seems to be the best powerup overall, more so on defense. Good fun to use.

    Redeemer as part of Flag Run's meta is a really good use of it though I can see if this is a standard feature of the mode it could be prohibitive on level design so that nuking the defender's flag area at a last stand is made challenging and not turn into basically a guaranteed win in the late game. Not a concern at this point though.

    __

    I don't have many suggestions at this point but as far as activatable powerups go I think that one that serve as temporary area denial or an obstacle could go a long way. I'm reminded very much of the stasis volumes that could be deployed in vehicle modes in UT3 which blocked hitscan and slowed projectiles. A smaller person-deployable version of this could be an interesting way of soft-obstructing certain choke points or forcing attackers another another way. Or even just a simple visibility blocker like a smokebomb could have some really interesting gameplay implications.

    That's most of what I have to say on the mode so far with the one map currently, definitely looking forward to having more maps for it.
    Last edited by Mangley; 07-24-2016, 10:22 PM.

    #2
    For instance keeping the attacking base exit doors locked shut until the flag is picked up
    We do this in the latest build. Personally, I dislike it! I feel most of the flag confusion is (A) because we used flags as the place holders (final game mode won't be with flags) which cause people to try and relate the game to CTF and (B) the initial spawn of the flag being delayed many people miss the ghost flag sitting there. (A) will go away on it's own after as people get comfortable with the game mode. (B) is just, in my opinion, fix for what is really a map issue.

    If the defending team is juked and passed by the flag carrier at the first defending spots of a round it's very hard for the team to react to it in time and often it's realized when it's too late. This is fun for the flag carrier but basically un-enjoyable and confusing for everybody else. I do like the fact that this can be done and I think it can add some very enjoyable clutch moments to a match where a losing team can pull back by doing such a thing. But I think ultimately the defenders need to know by some kind of very clear warning that the initial defensable perimeter
    This is one of Steve's big phobias re: the game mode because while yea, it was cool early on when I could cap the flag in < 30 seconds without taking any damage, it really sucked for everyone else. And there are alarms that trigger when the flag passes fixed points (look for cameras in the world). Not only does the alarm sound but it also pings the FC on the radar.

    But I still think we should try small pause points at the two Ingress points. Maybe have two gates that raise quickly, but not so fast than someone can sneak in. We have talked about points like this but we really want to avoid the stand and die **** Assault had. We also tried defensive rally's but that had it's own large set of annoyances. The overall goal is to have a defined front for combat and it does get crappy when that front breaks down. You still want the ability to feint but the lone speed-runner sucks.

    Comment


      #3
      I have two main ideas for flagrun:

      I know this will get violently rejected with maximum prejudice, but I really feel the gametype needs translocators.

      I just hate having to run for 25 seconds to get back to the front lines only to sometimes immediately die again. It's the worst part of overwatch repeated in UT4. Maybe if there were checkpoints that have people spawn at certain points along the map that get pushed back the further the flag gets like the assault mode in the UT series, or even in the Enemy Territory seires, that might make it okay. But otherwise its the most criminally boring part of the gametype by far. What gets me even more is that it doesn't need to be that way, we HAVE translocators.

      I know RZE went on this philosophical rant about denying geometry and whatever, so I know a high-rankin dev is already against it. My idea would be that they were on a charge like in UT2004. You would start out with 4-5 charges, and they would only load up a new one every 15 seconds or so. It would make the gametype less hectic than fast-and-furious high level CTF, but still allow players some kind of option other than killing themselves if the flag slips by them somehow and theyre stuck playing an impossible game of catch up. Right now, if the flag carrier gets past the front line, the defending team is SOL unless they have one guy coming from the spawn point. Translocators (if used wisely and sparingly) would allow the defending team at least SOME option to get back in the game otherwise its just GG no RE, and thats not a mark of a good gametype.


      My second idea for the gametype is a little more "out there", but hear me out. I think to help give the gametype a little more identity, perhaps you could do something special with the flag carrier: give them a UT2004 style shield gun that also does zero damage with self-shield jumps.

      This idea takes a little bit from not only a contemporary game like Overwatch with how Reinhardt has a mobile shield, but also classic UT with bombing run that would force your teammates to work together since the carrier was forced to have nothing in their hands but the objective. If you also allowed for players to charge up the shield and jump around off of stuff, it would make maximum use of one of the features that make UT as good as it is: the movement possibilities.


      I think adding these two features would make the gametype POP much more than things like killstreak powerups would. I know RZE told us hes basically flat out refused to put translocators in for some.... bizarre reasons that would take a dictionary to decipher, but hey... #prealpha, right? I also understand that y'all tried it in internal playtests, but maybe just let the players try out another version with translocators (and even the 2k4 shield gun), and hopefully we wont have to force ourselves to really get in to it, but instead ACTUALLY get in to it.
      ChimmiChunga leads from the front, and DieHard UT holds the crown!!
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      Come find people to play with in IRC! All skill levels welcome!!

      Comment


        #4
        the thing is, without using the translocator, the existing maps/assets are unusable
        which means the dev team will need to build entirely new assets, or modify the existing ones with jump pads, for example.

        Comment


          #5
          Well for starters, Rally removes the hike and once you learn it, it becomes second nature. It's also a great advancement in the genre as it allows you to setup what are essentially plays to attack. We almost never take the hike unless tactically needed to control the SB, Amp or Deemer. And in 2 of those cases we often time a Rally directly after accquistion. FR is a game of push the front forward, hold to rally then push again. Understandably with the game type so new these tactics haven't really filted out yet but I think they will.

          But regardless to the hike, the Translocator would absolutely, 100% without a doubt wreck the game type. Flag Run is all about a defined front for combat and the TL by it's very nature removes any defined front. Everything that made UT CTF great because of the TL would kill Flag Run because of the same TL. And nothing would fix it. Rally removes the need to slog back to combat forcing you to only do it in most cases because it's tactical smart to.

          he thing is, without using the translocator, the existing maps/assets are unusable
          The only map made for Flag Run right now is BlackStone. It's playable on Bigrock and playable'ish on Lance, Volcano and Crashsite but I don't suggest it. In the next build it won't use CTF maps at all. Right now is just a hold over of evolving from CTF. But it's very different and current maps don't really apply.

          Comment


            #6
            Okay so this "rally" feature.... explain it to me/us? I was playing the other night, and out of the 5 or so games that finished, I think I saw instructions to "rally" a grand total of maybe three times. How do you get it to come up? Sit in one place for a while? It needs to be better explained @_@ I still think y'all are crazy for refusing the translocator, but I'll give it another shot with this "rally" business when I or anyone else figures out how to do it reliably.

            That being said, I still think giving the flag carrier a shield gun would be maximum fun.
            ChimmiChunga leads from the front, and DieHard UT holds the crown!!
            Frag video featuring Rookie
            Frag video featuring Phantaci
            Come find people to play with in IRC! All skill levels welcome!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JoeWilcox View Post
              But regardless to the hike, the Translocator would absolutely, 100% without a doubt wreck the game type. Flag Run is all about a defined front for combat and the TL by it's very nature removes any defined front. Everything that made UT CTF great because of the TL would kill Flag Run because of the same TL. And nothing would fix it. Rally removes the need to slog back to combat forcing you to only do it in most cases because it's tactical smart to.
              doesn't it give the ability for someone to get behind enemy lines, especially if there is just no way forward with the flag? i think that it could only add to the gametype, not detract from it.

              Originally posted by JoeWilcox View Post
              The only map made for Flag Run right now is BlackStone. It's playable on Bigrock and playable'ish on Lance, Volcano and Crashsite but I don't suggest it. In the next build it won't use CTF maps at all. Right now is just a hold over of evolving from CTF. But it's very different and current maps don't really apply.
              so are you building new maps for this gametype?
              will they be compatible with 'legacy' gametypes?
              Last edited by bacon buster; 07-26-2016, 01:56 AM.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by BigFatErik View Post
                Okay so this "rally" feature.... explain it to me/us? I was playing the other night, and out of the 5 or so games that finished, I think I saw instructions to "rally" a grand total of maybe three times. How do you get it to come up? Sit in one place for a while? It needs to be better explained @_@ I still think y'all are crazy for refusing the translocator, but I'll give it another shot with this "rally" business when I or anyone else figures out how to do it reliably.
                If the attacking flag carrier is out of combat, teammates can 'rally' by pressing Enter to teleport to the flag carrier's location. It requires a little co-ordination but the flag carrier can also prompt teammates to do it by pressing enter when out of combat.

                Defenders can also 'rally' to teleport to their flag stand but they can only activate this once per round.

                Comment


                  #9
                  ^^ thanks for the explanation there mangley.

                  that idea is....... like..... way unnecessarily complicated. So much so that its making my head hurt. If You guys (epic) want to do everything in your power to avoid adding the translocator for some bizarre reason like "denying geometry" and "creating battle lines", then fine, good ol' legacy CTF will continue to be the gametype of choice for normal players.

                  I still say having a "flag run" translocator that works on charges like in UT2004, and only recharges once every 15 seconds or so would be the answer.

                  The "rally" concept seems about as good as "nerfing" the rockets by having everyone spawn with 50 armor in every gametype instead of just lowering the damage.
                  ChimmiChunga leads from the front, and DieHard UT holds the crown!!
                  Frag video featuring Rookie
                  Frag video featuring Phantaci
                  Come find people to play with in IRC! All skill levels welcome!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by BigFatErik View Post
                    ^^ thanks for the explanation there mangley.

                    that idea is....... like..... way unnecessarily complicated. So much so that its making my head hurt. If You guys (epic) want to do everything in your power to avoid adding the translocator for some bizarre reason like "denying geometry" and "creating battle lines", then fine, good ol' legacy CTF will continue to be the gametype of choice for normal players.

                    I still say having a "flag run" translocator that works on charges like in UT2004, and only recharges once every 15 seconds or so would be the answer.

                    The "rally" concept seems about as good as "nerfing" the rockets by having everyone spawn with 50 armor in every gametype instead of just lowering the damage.
                    I agree that a Rally button is unnecessarily complicated and makes the gametype much harder to pick up after a first play. I made a suggestion in the latest build thread to replace the Rally button with a revamped spawn system taking advantage of the 2d overhead map. Like in showdown, a player would be able to pick a spawn point preferably at a weapon or other power-up around the current disputed flag radius for both the offensive and defensive team. Just to be clear spawns outside this spawn radius would be disabled.

                    I don't think its necessary to have the translator to make this a good popular gametype for UT. I've seen enough demand from UT CTF players to have a non-translocator version of CTF which I believe FlagRun could become without sacrificing the excitement of a normal CTF translocator match with proper map development specific for FR maps.

                    While on that topic, I also don't like seeing maps which are developed for TSD or FR without a TSD- or FR- prefix. This shows just how "generic" the maps are made for a gametype which didn't really take much thought from the side of the mappers. It's almost a disgrace to think that this entire blueprint system has been made for mappers to take advantage of learning how to program but we somehow can't still escape the generic DM- prefix? I don't mean to put the mappers down because I know its still early development in regards to the maps for the gametypes, but I can't say TSD was mis-handled really well after seeing how popular Elimination is in comparison.
                    Last edited by Quadj130; 07-26-2016, 04:00 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Let me clarify exactly how Rally works right now (it will most like change, evolve, etc). When the flag carrier hasn't been in combat for a short period of time, 2 things happen. The Flag Carrier gets the ability to issue a call to Rally and the other players get the ability to Rally. The FC's call to Rally does nothing but remain players they can rally with a text and audio que. The player doesn't have to wait for the call. He can rally any time they are not in combat if Rally is available or never rally. They have control. Right now the messaging is temp/hacked in but eventually I expect it to the be a nice call out on the HUD, probably like a ALT of some form with an effect to draw attention to it.

                      I forget if defensive rally's are in the current build. If they are expect them to be removed. A lot of work is ongoing in terms of Rally so keep that in mind.

                      still say having a "flag run" translocator that works on charges like in UT2004, and only recharges once every 15 seconds or so would be the answer.
                      The TL would allow both offense and defense to instant nullify any type of front much like it does in UT CTF where especially in public server play, defense is about running down the FC and returning the flag VS stopping a player from grabbing the flag. It's a great change up of the CTF formula and works great in CTF but not here.

                      I made a suggestion in the latest build thread to replace the Rally button with a revamped spawn system taking advantage of the 2d overhead map. Like in showdown, a player would be able to pick a spawn point preferably at a weapon or other power-up around the current disputed flag radius for both the offensive and defensive team. Just to be clear spawns outside this spawn radius would be disabled.
                      Using the 2D overhead map would slow the game down far too much however we are prototyping the idea of fixed activatable Rally points to see how it plays out.

                      The "rally" concept seems about as good as "nerfing" the rockets by having everyone spawn with 50 armor in every gametype instead of just lowering the damage.
                      The extra armor on spawn isn't about the rockets per se, it's about making sure the player survives his first hit (be it rockets, flak, sniper or most combos) but not being a complete tank/bullet sponge. It's an evolution of the helment on Face which was added to make sure a fresh spawn could survive a headshot. The idea here is that first hit shouldn't be able to kill a fresh spawn but someone who is in combat shouldn't be able to tank back up without finding needed armor pickups. In other words, slightly less lethal against new spawns. FWIW: I do not agree with this direction but so far I'm in the minority.

                      I don't think its necessary to have the translator to make this a good popular gametype for UT. I've seen enough demand from UT CTF players to have a non-translocator version of CTF which I believe FlagRun could become without sacrificing the excitement of a normal CTF translocator match with proper map development specific for FR maps.
                      The TL is a huge barrier to entry item that also has a ability to absolutely nullify level design and tactics. It's well worth it in CTF where I think it gives the game a really fresh angle on traditional CTF rules. But it shouldn't be everywhere.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ^^ thanks Joe, I actually appreciate the write-up (no troll), but ****..... like I said before, some of these "solutions" are like complex algorithm matrixes to things that arent even problems in the first place. It's like If I'm trying to get to the 2nd floor of a house, I try to build up a shaky tower from a cardboard box so I can grab on to a water drain and monkey climb up a wall to get into a window, instead of walking in through the front door and taking the stairs.

                        It's kind of funny you guys mention the need for fronts and battle lines, but also include alternate paths that would allow someone to just walk behind enemy lines if they felt like it. The only difference is that it would be more slow and boring.

                        Well in any case, maybe consider my shield gun idea. Jumping around with a shield gun would make it more "Unreal Tournament". Also check out my genius ideas for Showdown in the other thread. I actually DO appreciate the effort it took to write that stuff up though.

                        Originally posted by JoeWilcox View Post
                        FWIW: I do not agree with this direction but so far I'm in the minority.
                        Oh yeah, and youre NOT in the minority. Try doing some more straw-polls in the future, I think you'll find that the community is a good (and under-utilized) resource for ideas on what to do.
                        Last edited by BigFatErik; 07-26-2016, 02:01 PM.
                        ChimmiChunga leads from the front, and DieHard UT holds the crown!!
                        Frag video featuring Rookie
                        Frag video featuring Phantaci
                        Come find people to play with in IRC! All skill levels welcome!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by JoeWilcox View Post
                          The extra armor on spawn isn't about the rockets per se, it's about making sure the player survives his first hit (be it rockets, flak, sniper or most combos) but not being a complete tank/bullet sponge. It's an evolution of the helment on Face which was added to make sure a fresh spawn could survive a headshot. The idea here is that first hit shouldn't be able to kill a fresh spawn but someone who is in combat shouldn't be able to tank back up without finding needed armor pickups. In other words, slightly less lethal against new spawns. FWIW: I do not agree with this direction but so far I'm in the minority.
                          You are talking about Spawn-Protection ...a very common mod on UT99 server.
                          A fresh spawned player gets a protection for some seconds (2 or 3)...mostly time enough to get a weapon.
                          opponents can see the red or blue shield effect and know instantly why they can't kill this guy, and can safe the ammo.
                          Sometimes it can get really annoying ...especially when the spawned player is using his temporary invulnerability to pester the others with the Enforcer or rushes with the Impact-Hammer into them.
                          An extra armour on spawn sounds more favourable.
                          ,,|,.............................................................................................coffee addicted !!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It's not spawn protection per se as there is no timed component to it. It's a slight buff at spawn to lessen the blow of first encounter without reducing the lethally of the weapons afterwards.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              there already is spawn protection anyway?
                              until you pickup a weapon, or shoot, or 2-3 seconds elapses

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