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Domslaught Concept.

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    Domslaught Concept.

    I've had a new gametype in my head the past few months, finally I've taken the time to write it up. First off I'm not happy with it and it's by no means set in stone; I'm interested in getting feedback and building it into something decent be it a UT gametype or a mod of its own. I'm also going to split this into two posts. One to outline the current idea, and the second to detail why it's broken.

    NB: Props to Henrik for the impromptu name (since it's kind of DOM mixed with ONS if you didn't get it)

    Elevator pitch
    A team game where the players access to resources is both limited, and related to capturing points across the map. Players work together to capture and defend points from the opponent, receiving resources for successfully doing so.

    Focus
    • Team play - Players are encouraged to work together in close proximity, while going it alone is beneficial at times the decision to do so should be tactical rather than the default.
    • Point capture - Players fight over resource nodes which provide resources at set time intervals. The controlling team receives resources for capturing/holding these nodes.
    • Long term mobility - Teams do not operate from fixed bases, instead are constantly moving from one resource location to the next.
    • Short term rigidity - Taking and holding map locations requires teams to stop and defend themselves. To assist, players may spend resources to aid in defence.
    • Play styles - Teams must employ both defensive and aggressive gameplay styles to succeed
    • Comeback Mechanic - This kind of gametype needs a strong comeback mechanic to help stop snowballing.
    • Information war - Knowing where the enemy is, and what they're doing is crucial for this style of gameplay. A minimap utilising a fog of war style vision system would be beneficial.

    Details
    Gameplay centers around a team's Factory. The Factory is a large backpack capable of converting resources into pickups, health, ammo, and even small deployable structures. It can be picked up and moved by any team member, and may be placed on the ground in any suitable location. The Factory is the heart of the team and it's destruction marks the end of the game, and that teams loss.

    The Factory has 4 main functions during normal gameplay;
    • Captures resource nodes
    • Provides a team spawn point.
    • Players within range are healed and rearmed.
    • Players within range may purchase items at cost to the teams resource pool.

    In order to capture resources the factory must be brought into range of a resource node and placed on the ground; it then begins to capture the resource node. This take a set time during which the Factory cannot be picked up, but otherwise functions normally.

    If there are no team members nearby the Factory will shut down. While shut down the Factory losses all its normal functions, but gains a strong shield and damage reduction to protect itself. The Factory will only restart once a team member picks it up. While the factory is shutdown team members spawn at the nearest inactive resource point. A damaged Factory will repair itself over time at cost of team resources, but otherwise function normally.

    Team members carrying the Factory receive a powerful shield along with increased health and ammo regeneration, but move slower.

    When apposing Factories are brought within a set radius of one another they lose some of their functionality.
    • Both in normal state - The rate of healing and rearming for both Factories is halved. Shield on carrier is doubled.
    • One capturing, one normal - The rate of healing and rearming for normal Factory is halved. Capture rate is halved.
    • One shut down, one normal - The rate of healing and rearming for normal Factory is recued to 1/3ed, it cannot produce items. Damage reduction and shield on shut down Factory is reduced by 1/3ed.

    Possible Factory products
    • Armour (all forms)
    • Shield belt
    • Jump boots
    • Damage Amp
    • Berserk
    • Possibly some new "pickups" including move speed increases
    • Drone - gives minimap coverage of the area it's deployed in.
    • Turret - Attacks nearby hostiles.
    • Shield - Provides an ablative shield wall.
    • Depot - Alternative respawn location and health regen.

    Resource nodes begin play inactive and activate over the course of the game, once a resource point has been captured it becomes inactive for a set time period before becoming active again. The particular timing of resource point activation depends on map scale and thus should be left to the level designer, however testing should reveal a preferred time scale.

    Level design
    To avoid slow gameplay maps should remain relatively small and have several resource nodes. Designers should avoid having nodes placed to closely together, or having large areas of their map without a node as they drive gameplay. In addition designers should take care when timing resource node activation to avoid having more than one resource point active at a time as this will stagnate gameplay. Designers should strive to force teams together at these crucial points rather than allow them to orbit one another indefinitely. Designers should also specify a starting point for each team, preferably teams start near an inactive resource node with a short initial spawn time relatively from the opponent allowing for some setup time. However a 1 resource point map would create an interesting, if unbalanced variant.

    #2
    Obvious problems
    UT movement - The big issue with ONS and WAR was how they slowed down the standard UT gameplay. It almost made it a different game. On one hand you have the fast pasted arena shooter where you're never 5 seconds from a fight; on the other a slower team game where it might take 30-40 seconds to get into a fight. This is not necessarily a bad thing, the point of gametypes is to modify how you play. That said you must be careful not to stray too far from the core engagement, which is fluid movement.

    I worry that this gametype might be too slow to maintain that core engagement. I've tried to minimise that by moving from a fixed base and keeping it mobile. Keeping the time required to capture a point low would allow for more fluid movement, but would decrease the interaction time between teams. At the end of the day I suspect this is just something you'd just have to test for.

    Comeback Mechanic
    This is the other big issue. I need a good, strong, comeback mechanic that only works for the losing team. I had some ideas about stealing resources from shutdown factories, which sounds fine if you assume the losing side both can and will take down the winning side once. However the more likely scenario is that the winning side will just keep killing and taking the resources of the losing side. Most of my idea for comeback mechanics have this issue.

    What I'd really like to avoid is the "You are losing, have a buff" concept as it opens the door to how do you define who is losing and by how much? A good implementation for this kind of thing are fighting games, where a player on low health can activate a powerful attack to level the combat. This is easy enough to assess; if player health <= VALUE then allow attack X. While it's simple enough to look at total resources collected it often doesn't tell the whole story with a team game across a map. You need to take into account things like map control and individual player state. You could come up with a system to calculate all of this and give one team a buff but it doesn't remove the ability to game the system, to receive the losing buff when it's not entirely appropriate.

    Map scale
    This really defines if this idea works. The maps layout has to be fair to both teams, allow for set up time, but be small enough to avoid stagnation and keep movement and combat fluid.

    The ever present looming point of vehicles
    Some would say this gametype calls for vehicles. You could have large scale battles with tanks and aircraft with a similar scale to ONS, and sure you could do that. But what I'm trying to avoid is "Hoverboard syndrome". In UT3 the hoverboard was added to give players who did not have a vehicle the ability to get into combat quicker than walking when playing on large maps, an issue that arose in 2k4 ONS. However while trying to solve one issue they created more. Maybe the solution was smaller ONS maps? More teleporters? faster vehicle respawn? I'm not sure, maybe adding the hoverboard was the best solution; but the addition of a new element created more issues and didn't really solve the initial issue of "I'm not shooting someone right now, why?".

    In short, vehicles require lager maps, larger maps make gameplay slower, slower isn't what I want; therefore no vehicles. If someone can make a decent argument as to why they should be in there, or why the maps should be big (and thus would benefit from the extra movement options vehicles add) then I'd be happy to work them in, but for now they're a distraction so I'm leaving them out.

    Anyway, please feel free to rip this idea apart. As long as you have constructive feedback I'll listen. Saying "I don't like it" without any context to reasoning isn't helpful unfortunately

    Comment


      #3
      Further issues that have been pointed out to me;

      Complexity
      And I understand that, as someone said "that isn't something you can sell to new players in a 30 second loading screen". This is true, but the same could be said for many other games. LoL and Dota are almost impossible to explain without experiencing them. I'm not saying A) that this idea is of that caliber or B) that that particular mindset is good, however I'd like to give the idea some room to breathe. My explanation may be lacking, and there might be some extraneous details in there. I'd like to get a prototype working before I make any grand changes or remove any elements. The big thing that stands out to me is my experience of Betrayal. It's a tricky gametype to get your head around when you're thrown into an insta server with random temporary teams, after playing it a few times I worked out the mechanics and ended up really enjoying it.

      tldr: yes it is complex, which sucks, but try to stick with it for now.

      Griefing
      "what do i do if a teammate just picks up the factory and walks into the enemy" - I don't have a good answer for this. But again the same could be said of (and the same applies here as above) LoL and Dota with teammates throwing themselves onto towers. Or CS with bomb carriers going AFK or, again, throwing themselves at the enemy. Unfortunately when you have multilayer games you get griefing, I don't have a working idea yet. Henrik suggested requiring two people to move it, or one places and one confirm. Or requiring a set number of players to be in the area before you can capture a point. So far the only one that works for me is the two player movement system. They might be linked by a cable (or energy stream) stopping them from moving too far apart. However if you are playing on a small map, with a limited number of players that locks up too many players.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm not really sure now that I've read it if "a mixture of domination and onslaught" is right either, it's a bit misleading. No existing gametype in UT has that kind of resource management aspect to it.

        Which isn't to say that the idea itself is bad. I like it and would look for such a gametype in the UT universe ideally to play again long term - one that emphasizes strategy over pure DM skills, and has enough depth to keep it interesting. Unfortunately "depth" also means a plethora of potential balance issues, many of which you've identified yourself already. It's possible that many people see that, and are hesitant to respond. But you should also give people time to let it soak in for sure.

        I think this sort of gametype is actually worthy of being its own product, rather than simply a gametype alternative to ONS, DOM or Assault. If it's done right, it could be sort of like a new XMP or the original plan of what Conquest was supposed to be, and earn a big following. That solution would also solve the issue of UT movement. Stay close to it I say, but bring back something more akin to 2k4's dodge jumping, or a permanent form of dodge boots (a la Sneh's prototype). Form a team and put it in the marketplace, the important thing is that you believe in it first. Whether or not what you end up with is this exact system, you're on to something with the direction anyway.
        Last edited by HenrikRyosa; 10-01-2014, 07:50 PM.

        UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
        Contrib Digest | UT2341 - Henrik's UT4 Dev Blog | Twitter

        Comment


          #5
          Re: "Domslaught" …


          As it happens, Warfare, which is UT3's extension/superset of UT2's ONS, is already very nearly a superset of DOM.

          That is, just plop some free (unlinked) Power Nodes in a TDM-ish sized map, hide the Power Cores behind a wall or something, and start the game in Overtime. It might also be wise to decrease the Nodes' Health property — but otherwise, at that point you've essentially got a rockin' game of DOM on your hands.

          And all of this is independent of things like map scale, or vehicles — indeed there were a good few no-vehicle/arena community maps in Warfare (and ONS too), and they usually played just as great as the traditional-type maps.



          The point being … with the introduction of things like factories and resources, IMO you're sketching out a gametype that isn't just a mashup of existing games, as the name would suggest, but one that's easily different and interesting enough to be considered it's own "thing" altogether.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by HenrikRyosa View Post
            I'm not really sure now that I've read it if "a mixture of domination and onslaught" is right either, it's a bit misleading. No existing gametype in UT has that kind of resource management aspect to it.
            I was kind of struggling for a name. I called it a mixture of DOM and ONS as you capture points across a map, and have to destroy an enemy "base".

            Originally posted by HenrikRyosa View Post
            I think this sort of gametype is actually worthy of being its own product, rather than simply a gametype alternative to ONS, DOM or Assault. If it's done right, it could be sort of like a new XMP or the original plan of what Conquest was supposed to be, and earn a big following. That solution would also solve the issue of UT movement. Stay close to it I say, but bring back something more akin to 2k4's dodge jumping, or a permanent form of dodge boots (a la Sneh's prototype). Form a team and put it in the marketplace, the important thing is that you believe in it first. Whether or not what you end up with is this exact system, you're on to something with the direction anyway.
            I'm glad you think it has potential. I'm going to leave it a few days, see if some more feedback comes in and then start building a prototype within UT. I should be able to modify the current UT character to make some small movement changes if needs be.

            Comment


              #7
              Unceremonious thread bump because I was just talking about this and I'd like to go back to it.

              Also yes, I should know better

              Comment


                #8
                Ceremonious thread bump because I like the idea - or at least what I understood it should look like. (I hope this won't be a double post now as I obviously need to get used to this board's interface)
                At the first glance I suspected it of becoming a mode where everyone's just thrown into one (two actually...) boiling pot of turrets'n'sh*t, one big bullet hell concentrated around these 'factories'. Maybe there actually *is* demand for such a gameplay but I think this could render any serious tactics futile. Thus, I'd like to encourage you to think about vehicles once again. This could tear the above described pot of bullets and players apart and give it some space and time to play a bit more tactically.

                Or maybe it could be possible to play this game mode in two sub-modes: with or without vehicles and appropriately sized/designed maps.

                Just some thougts... because I see a huge potential in this mode (and I'm already imagining such a battle..)

                Comment

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