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    A major problem with CTF

    Ok, so we probably all agree that the hardest part of CTF is getting that **** thing back to our base. And that is because the enemy team will always be alerted to your whereabouts and that you're an important target THE MOMENT you take the flag.

    So imagine you're playing a 5v5, 4 of your teammates are defending and you're the solo attacker! The enemy team, however, are all attacking and have only one defender. So if you manage to get the enemy's flag, while 4 of them are attacking and only 1 is defending, technically you only have to beat one guy to get the flag.

    But then that guy respawns, right at the base. So you have to kill him again. By the time you do that, those attackers are all back and trying to protect their flag. So even if you kill all of them in one life, the ones respawning are still probably going to be fast enough, using translocators and whatnot, to reach you AGAIN.

    And now, suppose that after your heroic efforts and 8+ kills alone in a single life, your team comes to protect you and the enemy engages them. If by some stretch of the imagination you die and one of the enemy team translocates to their flag (which really isn't that hard to do), their flag is instantly safe and all your efforts have been for absolutely nothing.



    The biggest problem I have with CTF is the fact that you have to manage where to get kills and even whether or not it is worth it to kill someone or not. Sometimes getting a kill on your way back from the enemy base is going to get in your way more than not killing your attacker, because they will come back with full health and a single pickup away from being a real threat in a 1v1 scenario (or not even the pickup, if they're really good with an enforcer). And sometimes, killing someone on the way to getting your flag is just giving them another chance at it with little time being wasted, since movement in UT is so fluid and you get from point A to B incredibly fast. And even killing someone going back to protect their flag can be a problem, because since they'll spawn right on their base, instantly after they die, that can mean you basically gave them a boost in their translocator and now they're closer to defending their flag than they once were. And on top of that, recovering lost flags is instant, which means some lucky nimrod can stumble upon his own fallen flag amidst 10 enemies and die INSTANTLY after - they're still in the clear.

    I propose 2 solutions to this:

    Make the area in which a team spawns farther away from the flag, as in more in the back of the map.
    Make the flag not return instantly; either make it a button press like destroying an orb or make it a little progress bar that fills as you stand close to it. Obviously it still needs to be a super fast mechanism, like 3 seconds, but "super fast" and "instant" are HUGELY different when you put it in practice on the game's design.

    #2
    Good maps have well placed/balanced spawns

    The variety of these spawns adds to the unique flow of that map, your idea about a return delay is interesting, but then again it's also useless as the defender could push and do whatever while he waits for something to defend, plus the attackers are likely to just camp the empty flagstand waiting for a return than do anything useful

    No offense friend, but you sound like a casual player with only general experience on this matter - i'd like to invite you to a popular and active UT iCTF pickup channel where your knowledge of such matters might be broadened

    http://webchat.globalgamers.net/?channels=iPug

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by tigerclaw View Post
      Good maps have well placed/balanced spawns The variety of these spawns adds to the unique flow of that map, your idea about a return delay is interesting, but then again it's also useless as the defender could push and do whatever while he waits for something to defend, plus the attackers are likely to just camp the empty flagstand waiting for a return than do anything useful No offense friend, but you sound like a casual player with only general experience on this matter - i'd like to invite you to a popular and active UT iCTF pickup channel where your knowledge of such matters might be broadened http://webchat.globalgamers.net/?channels=iPug
      There shouldn't BE good/bad maps. Taking a page from DICE's Battlefield series, where the defenders always spawn away from their defend points, but always much closer than the attackers do, this should basically be a feature of every map; when a defender is killed, they shouldn't spawn exactly at the place they should be defending or extremely close to it - that defeats the purpose of killing a defender entirely. I've actually had matches where I killed a defender in front of the flag and the next enemy I faced, seconds later, was the same player wielding an enforcer or worse, if they got lucky. I don't see how useless the return delay would be. No matter how long the delay is, for an attacker, it's always better to take a fallen flag than to wait for it to be returned and then take it again. The likelihood of them camping the flagstand would be just as significant as it is today. Just because I'm questioning a 15 year-old game's design doesn't mean I'm a casual player by any stretch of the imagination, if that's where you got that idea. I've been playing UT since it came out and have seen probably hundreds of different CTF maps suffer from this same problem. If I misunderstood anything you meant, I apologize and encourage you to correct me!

      Comment


        #4
        I like how in UT2k3/4 you can save up adrenaline and use it to get the flag, but it drains faster while you're carrying it, so you have to find a perfect moment to use it.
        Personally, I've always loved that feel, the moment when you just have "RUN, RUN!" in your head and often forget what was the plan to get it back to base - certain pathway, timing powerups, saving adrenaline, checking team mates, extra map defined features, etc. That's what teams are for - do you really expect one player should go against five without any backup or cover?
        Now of course that there are cases when the proccess could be harder, it depends on various factors, first being the map, then how paced game itself will be and other mechanics, and then come the players, each with different play style and tactics. The issue in your example is rather with the team, or to be specific, timing which depends on you, not the flag. If your team manages to back you up in time, get the flag again and run back, then good to you. But as it's your task to take the flag and bring it back, it is theirs to protect it - and vice versa.
        However, your suggestion is in place imo - it won't change gameplay very much, yet it may support the change in pace which will maybe differ in this UT from previous, where things were going on quite fast.
        I remember CTF mods where you actually have to pick up your dropped flag and take it back to your base like you do to bring enemy's flag and score (I believe it was CTF4, not sure).
        Personally, I like all these ideas. I'm not being the mutator person here, but seriously this all could be a option to support different preferences, especially pace based or to support various types of maps.
        And yes, local and online gameplay should be both considered in this, since we should focus on both type of players. Someone wants to let worries go with fast paced bot match, while other wants more tactical approach, possibly on server with other players.

        Comment


          #5
          you know who balances this "problem"? skill. it would be just boring if it was easy to capture a flag.
          i really would like to see ut dropping pants entirely not trying to balance the **** out of the game. the real problem is that the fixes caused more problems so far than solving. introducing new people to a game is one thing, trying to cut the tough parts is another.

          Comment


            #6
            I dont see why we shouldnt listen to all players experiences with the game, there is no less or more important players here and the moment that starts to happen personal agenda items start breaking game balance. Im not afraid of having to develop new strategies when gamemodes are adjusted, are the pros? You would think they wouldnt be but they are always so defensive of their crutches that give them that pwnin edge.
            Upon release, Unreal Tournament 2004 was met with widespread critical acclaim. Several critics praised the unique, fast-paced, fun and challenging nature of the game as its main selling points, while fans touted the post-release support and extensive modding capabilities.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by DECA1 View Post
              Ok, so we probably all agree that the hardest part of CTF is getting that **** thing back to our base. And that is because the enemy team will always be alerted to your whereabouts and that you're an important target THE MOMENT you take the flag.

              So imagine you're playing a 5v5, 4 of your teammates are defending and you're the solo attacker! The enemy team, however, are all attacking and have only one defender. So if you manage to get the enemy's flag, while 4 of them are attacking and only 1 is defending, technically you only have to beat one guy to get the flag.

              But then that guy respawns, right at the base. So you have to kill him again. By the time you do that, those attackers are all back and trying to protect their flag. So even if you kill all of them in one life, the ones respawning are still probably going to be fast enough, using translocators and whatnot, to reach you AGAIN.

              And now, suppose that after your heroic efforts and 8+ kills alone in a single life, your team comes to protect you and the enemy engages them. If by some stretch of the imagination you die and one of the enemy team translocates to their flag (which really isn't that hard to do), their flag is instantly safe and all your efforts have been for absolutely nothing.
              Weapons CTF is typically always a 3a/2d or in Europe 2a/1m/2d or 2a/3d positioning so this 4/1 vs 1/4 setup is highly unusual and I've never seen it played in high level competition so this whole complaint doesn't really fit the nature of the gametype to begin with. Nonetheless, I disagree even in this scenario. You do not necessarily need to kill a defender over and over once you have the flag (especially if you have proper cover). It is unlikely they are going to spawn in front of you each respawn and it is also more likely that you should be pistoning away with the flag or pretzeling around somewhere to evade them after you have killed them.

              Originally posted by DECA1 View Post
              The biggest problem I have with CTF is the fact that you have to manage where to get kills and even whether or not it is worth it to kill someone or not. Sometimes getting a kill on your way back from the enemy base is going to get in your way more than not killing your attacker, because they will come back with full health and a single pickup away from being a real threat in a 1v1 scenario (or not even the pickup, if they're really good with an enforcer). And sometimes, killing someone on the way to getting your flag is just giving them another chance at it with little time being wasted, since movement in UT is so fluid and you get from point A to B incredibly fast. And even killing someone going back to protect their flag can be a problem, because since they'll spawn right on their base, instantly after they die, that can mean you basically gave them a boost in their translocator and now they're closer to defending their flag than they once were. And on top of that, recovering lost flags is instant, which means some lucky nimrod can stumble upon his own fallen flag amid 10 enemies and die INSTANTLY after - they're still in the clear.
              I'm having a hard time following you here. Having to manage where and who you kill or put damage on should be viewed as a great challenge, just like in a game of chess. It is something that you learn and master over time with experience, depending on what specific position you are running, who you're playing, the map you're playing, and who you're playing with, etc. There's a lot of variable's in play and that is what makes it fun and interesting. In any case again, spawn's are randomized to an extent so the idea that killing someone in their base is an issue simply doesn't hold true.

              Originally posted by DECA1 View Post
              I propose 2 solutions to this:

              Make the area in which a team spawns farther away from the flag, as in more in the back of the map.
              Make the flag not return instantly; either make it a button press like destroying an orb or make it a little progress bar that fills as you stand close to it. Obviously it still needs to be a super fast mechanism, like 3 seconds, but "super fast" and "instant" are HUGELY different when you put it in practice on the game's design.
              Spawn location's are dependent on the map maker. So how well the spawns are placed all depends on the map and how well that was thought out. Ideally you want some spawn's which are farther away and some which are closer or behind the flag.
              Last edited by xios; 08-11-2014, 11:31 PM.
              irc.globalgamers.net | #2k4ctf |#ut4pugs | #unrealtournament | Ownedwell.com | UT2004 Grail

              Comment


                #8
                The spawn points are not really an issue. If you get used to it you can use that knowledge to your advantage both as an attacker as well as a defender, I'll explain:

                1. As an attacker the spawn points give you a reason to move. If you have the flag that means you want to move out of the base as fast as possible as soon as you grabbed the flag. Now, depending on the map, your team mates and your teams strategy, you usually have 3 options once you grab the flag.
                  • Either you try to kill the new spawning defenders immediately, because chances are that they are not equipped with the right weapon to kill you, which gives you as an attacker quite a bit of advantage.
                  • You try to run as fast as you can, for example by using the hammer-jump. You try to put as many distance between you and the defender so that you can dictate the place of the next combat. The farther the enemy is killed from it's own base the more that kill is usual worth.
                  • You try to stall, confuse your enemy. For example by hiding in their base, while you trick them in thinking that you're already halfway across the map.

                2. As a defender these spawn-points force you to be super effective in your own base, because having to leave your own base is extremely risky and would put you at a big disadvantage. Ideally you kill the attackers before they even grab the flag. As long as you control your flag point you have the advantage in combat. This base-advantage is so great indeed, that it is in your best interest to maintain or regain that advantage as soon as possible. Most defenders for example suicide as soon as the flag is returned, in order to be in their own base. Of course there are drawbacks to this, you lose all your pickups (weapons, shield), but just being able to be back in your own base, before an enemy can grab the flag is worth even a suicide.


                You see, the spawn points are not a "major problem" but it's a gameplay mechanic that gives very dynamic advantages and disadvantages to both attackers and defenders. Of course you need to get experience in when to kill an enemy. Learning where and why to kill an enemy in CTF is part of learning curve.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by xios View Post
                  Weapons CTF is typically always a 3a/2d or in Europe 2a/1m/2d or 2a/3d positioning so this 4/1 vs 1/4 setup is highly unusual and I've never seen it played in high level competition so this whole complaint doesn't really fit the nature of the gametype to begin with. Nonetheless, I disagree even in this scenario. You do not necessarily need to kill a defender over and over once you have the flag (especially if you have proper cover). It is unlikely they are going to spawn in front of you each respawn and it is also more likely that you should be pistoning away with the flag or pretzeling around somewhere to evade them after you have killed them.



                  I'm having a hard time following you here. Having to manage where and who you kill or put damage on should be viewed as a great challenge, just like in a game of chess. It is something that you learn and master over time with experience, depending on what specific position you are running, who you're playing, the map you're playing, and who you're playing with, etc. There's a lot of variable's in play and that is what makes it fun and interesting. In any case again, spawn's are randomized to an extent so the idea that killing someone in their base is an issue simply doesn't hold true.



                  Spawn location's are dependent on the map maker. So how well the spawns are placed all depends on the map and how well that was thought out. Ideally you want some spawn's which are farther away and some which are closer or behind the flag.
                  I see your points. I agree that the map design should generally reflect the gametype's nature, which just isn't the case. Most maps have respawning way too close to the flagstand and that is just unbalanced risk/reward.

                  Also, I should make it clear that I really am not and never have been a competitive player or have ever worried much about eSports in general. Not to say my skill or knowledge of the game is much different than someone that does live in that environment, I just never cared about it, dunno why. It never managed to hold my attention for long. Watching some tournament of a game I own just makes me want to play it.

                  Just because we've learned how to go around the game's design flaws over the years doesn't make them any less flawed. You mentioned the game of chess, and I agree to some extent - it really has a great deal of strategy involved. Though that is something I see as an issue, because that's not what you should be worrying about to begin with. The real concerns should be with mindgames over a firefight or positioning, and not considering whether to deal damage or not. Maybe it's a philosophically straightforward/simplistic way of looking at things, but if you're playing a skill-based, fast paced first person shooter, you have a gun in your hands and you see an enemy in your way, you shouldn't have to think much. You either fight and dedicate your attention to shooting, or run away and try to reposition or regain health. Worrying whether or not killing him is a good idea really isn't the best thing to have your players consider.

                  So, yeah. That's just my opinion. Maybe the more hardcore fanbase (even though I consider myself an avid UT fan/player) likes the gametype just the way it is, I dunno. It's just something I've always resented. I've always felt that other games' approach to CTF made much more sense than UT, where returning the flag is never instant and the spawn points for defending players are always far away from the point they have to defend.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by duffte View Post
                    you know who balances this "problem"? skill. it would be just boring if it was easy to capture a flag.
                    i really would like to see ut dropping pants entirely not trying to balance the **** out of the game. the real problem is that the fixes caused more problems so far than solving. introducing new people to a game is one thing, trying to cut the tough parts is another.
                    Oh c'mon. Basically any design flaw can be overcome/balanced by "skill". Going around those flaws and getting used to them in general generally requires skill, I agree, but that's not something that should be encouraging. It's basically like getting used to a technical problem in a game and using it to your advantage (like exploiting some rendering bugs in Call of Duty. I remember we could get to parts of the map we shouldn't be able to reach if we jumped on the right place at the right time in MW2) only instead of a bug or mesh that does or doesn't appear, it's a flaw in the general concept of the game.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by duffte View Post
                      you know who balances this "problem"? skill. it would be just boring if it was easy to capture a flag.
                      i really would like to see ut dropping pants entirely not trying to balance the **** out of the game. the real problem is that the fixes caused more problems so far than solving. introducing new people to a game is one thing, trying to cut the tough parts is another.
                      Another balance is people NOT PLAYING IT.

                      At least some people are trying to fix problems or think about problems and discuss about them.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Buffekerel View Post
                        Another balance is people NOT PLAYING IT.

                        At least some people are trying to fix problems or think about problems and discuss about them.
                        Well it all comes down to what type of game you want to see:

                        For an eSports game - and this UT is going to be one - I personally want a potentially very high skill ceiling. The game itself basically should be impossible to master and because there is always something you learn, always something you can improve on, it continually draws you in.

                        At the same time it should continually be attractive to new players! How do you do this? With a very sophisticated spectator/replay mode, that allows to show the rapid action of UT in a consumable way (think about football world cup - it's all about the camera). With matchmaking, so noobs will fight noobs and pros will fight pros. With tutorials, maybe a single player campaign, and last but not least with community content: Streams, videos, tournaments, forums, reddit, twitter, etc.

                        I believe that both are possible, and I persoanally wouldn't want to sacrifice one over the other.
                        Last edited by FliccC; 08-12-2014, 03:11 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The OP's perspective is understandable if you consider someone who is newer to CTF and playing in an unorganized manner (i.e. the majority of people who will be playing this game). Even high level players get frustrated trying to run solo offense in pubs; I don't think changing the gametype itself is the answer but the root problem is worth a look. In my experience most shooter games' CTF modes end up being 99% people just killing each other in mid. The translocator and emphasis on movement in UT helps stretch things out a bit, but I'm curious if this "forget the flag I'll just go kill people in mid" mentality is due to how frustrating it can be to try to actually run the flag without any coordination. Things like built-in voice chat and some of the other ideas being suggested around the forum could help a lot, but it's definitely something worth considering from a user experience perspective. In my experience organized offense is the hardest thing for people to grasp in pub style gameplay, so any way to encourage it would be helpful. In a more abstract sense, clever map design can sometimes help too. I always liked how CTF-Pistola puts armors and powerups in the key choke points where you typically want your teammates to be for cover or flag cutoffs. It might be my imagination (I wish we had heatmaps and whatnot at our disposal) but it seemed like that helped nudge people into helpful positions even if they didn't realize it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Alternative : Make the dropped flag unreturnable except by flag carrier, and have the defenders defend the flag for about 15 seconds before the flag returns on its' own. (idea from that UNF mod it UT99)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Honestly. I don't mind if the enemy team spawns next to the flag on a map while I am there to grab it. It is part of the challenge. All maps have their own challenges that needs to be mastered. As an iCTF player my self I have played quite a lot UT99 maps with some really bad players and some extremely good players. Each game it self have been fun most of the times no matter the difficulty.

                              Yes I have been angry many times because me, or my team are so bad, or that the teams have been uneven. But who cares? That is the reason UT99 is still my favourite game of all time! I had to fight my way to victory every single time. And when you run into the enemy base and grab that flag and you can feel how the heart is pumping a lot faster and you kind of get an adrenaline kick out of it because now it is all about survival. You have no idea what will happen to you and where the enemy is, just do what you can and run back to the base or if you are skilled enough search for the enemy flag carrier. ;D Ahh.. those awesome good old times!

                              Some maps have also had the enemy spawn point in your own base while you as a player spawn in the enemy base. This is also a fun challenge.


                              And hopefully CTF-andAction will have their spawn points rotated into the right direction in UT4.
                              ~{DW}McTerry~~>

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