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    #16
    A well designed ONS map didn't need the orb. We have the redeemer which works well as a one-shot kill weapon that can be used to sneak behind enemy lines and take down a node without the enemy team suspecting anything until it was too late.

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      #17
      Originally posted by tarnationsauce2 View Post
      Here's another Idea that could make comebacks more possible:
      Orb cannot lock or cap enemy prime. Otherwise the same as it is (your own team CAN lock or cap your own prime).
      Hmm. That's pretty good … the only problem I see is the extent to which this would further complicate the rule set of the game (not by much, but some), which many folks, not unreasonably, feel is rather complicated already.

      But I do like the intent … so, if I can spin off yet another derivative: — What if individual Orb Spawners could be set to work either for both teams (as usual) or only one team (i.e., relative to the team-identity of a particular Power Core)?

      This way, the level designer could enable an Orb spawner at a Prime Node only when the defending team controls Prime, and disable it when the attacking team controls that same Node (as Enemy Prime).

      This would be less of an exceptional "wtf?" for a new player's intuition, I think … and would achieve at least part of the same goal.



      And I'll mention again, some WAR maps already get the EP-Orb balance about right (e.g. Floodgate, Serenity, even Torlan), just by virtue of the fact that it takes far less time/distance to run the Orb to Prime than it does to run the Orb to Enemy Prime … which, as I think we'd all prefer, gives the losing team more "windows of opportunity" with which to mount a comeback than the winning team has to clamp down and finish.

      (Whereas this is usually more of a problem in maps where EP spawns an Orb directly, such as Downtown … another example is Onyx, but there the lack of vehicles at the Primes helps redress the balance quite a bit.)

      ………… but I repeat myself.

      Comment


        #18
        [
        Originally posted by Veggie_D View Post
        And I'll mention again, some WAR maps already get the EP-Orb balance about right (e.g. Floodgate, Serenity, even Torlan), just by virtue of the fact that it takes far less time/distance to run the Orb to Prime than it does to run the Orb to Enemy Prime … which, as I think we'd all prefer, gives the losing team more "windows of opportunity" with which to mount a comeback than the winning team has to clamp down and finish.
        I completely agree there needs to be better counter measures against winners momentum which allow a team to truly comeback.

        I completely disagree that the current orb mechanic succeeds at this task. The orb mechanic needs to allow for a real comeback, not a comeback for 10 seconds (i.e. until the opposing team gets their orb in position). As long as there are two opposing orbs, all you're talking about is a time differential, and that's not good enough.


        Originally posted by tarnationsauce2 View Post
        Here's another Idea that could make comebacks more possible:
        Orb cannot lock or cap enemy prime. Otherwise the same as it is (your own team CAN lock or cap your own prime).
        After losing team caps their prime, when they go to attack then they will have to deal with an opposing orb. This is only a displacement of where the orb is used. I admit that a time differential is something, but it's not a powerful enough mechanic to truly let a team that is down have a realistic chance of coming back.

        (Far) More importantly, the problem is linear-ish type node paths and the concept of "prime nodes" altogether. People keep discussing the orb in context of this . . . it's like people are trying to polish a piece of *****.


        Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
        Defending against the orb without the orb is usually an exercise in frustration, as the turn around is so instant.
        More admission that the orb is broke. If the fundamental purpose of the orb is to allow for a viable comeback, how does it get to a state where it becomes a necessity to even stay in the game?


        There should be one orb in the center of the map people can fight over it. It spawns X minutes and your team can hold multiple orbs, but a person can only hold one. You can pass the orb and tow the orb behind a vehicle. When you die it drops to the ground and anyone can pick it up, including the enemy. Orbs don't ever disappear until they are used. It should be a longer term tactical item (that has the potential to increase in power) that the person holding is under constant pressure for doing so, but gets rewarded for doing so. The losing team must gain an advantage in orb control the more they are down, even to the point of getting the orb outright "given" to them. (My whole breakdown is in the ONS suggestions thread)

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by 8thGradeDropout View Post
          There should be one orb in the center of the map people can fight over it. It spawns X minutes and your team can hold multiple orbs, but a person can only hold one. You can pass the orb and tow the orb behind a vehicle. When you die it drops to the ground and anyone can pick it up, including the enemy. Orbs don't ever disappear until they are used. It should be a longer term tactical item (that has the potential to increase in power) that the person holding is under constant pressure for doing so, but gets rewarded for doing so. The losing team must gain an advantage in orb control the more they are down, even to the point of getting the orb outright "given" to them. (My whole breakdown is in the ONS suggestions thread)
          This would make it a positive feed back loop, benefiting the winning team more, and hence not a "comeback tool" at all.

          If Orbs only spawned at the Prime nodes, that would help, though I still feel the best solution is just cutting them in half. Have them build, or destroy a node, not both, while still retaining their healing, and locking capabilities.
          Originally posted by Mysterial
          An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
            This would make it a positive feed back loop, benefiting the winning team more, and hence not a "comeback tool" at all.
            There are some parts that lead to a positive feedback loop, yes. Such as having the orb never disappear, meaning the team that kills the most gets the orbs. Also, having the orb powerup if you're able to hold on to it and destroy/build nodes (ONS suggestion thread). But there's also the suggestion to have a single orb automatically go to the losing team (more or less), which is a direct counter to winners momentum, and serious comeback tool. But this can only happen when there is one orb.

            However, the fact is positive feedback loops are used in games and enjoyed by many because they can help end a game swiftly, which is another way to approach the Stalemate issue - to make death quick so you can get on to the next round. My primary objective is to resolve the Prime-Stalemate issue, it's not to necessarily allow the losing team to be able to come back. The worst outcome is the winning team gets to the enemies primary node and can't finish the game because of a bottleneck, but the losing team isn't good enough to come back, leading to a situation that just drags on for both sides.

            There are two ways to approach it; either design the game so that death is swift, or design the game so there is real comeback potential (or both). In positive feedback loops the people who benefit probably would of won regardless, so it accelerates the game to the next round, and gets past the Stalemate condition from one direction. In my design I also have a powerful direct momentum shifter by giving the losing team the orb, which gets past the Stalemate condition from the other direction (although in my full design its only a one time deal). But all games must come to an end, so the losing team shouldn't be able to get legitimate shots at coming back continuously - they need to make something happen, or receive the defeat they deserve.

            Positive feedback loops can be fun because then single players can really impact a game. I imagine making PUGs in the lobby and making fairly even teams, that way when someone does get on a roll it means something. That way it's actually possible to have that legitimate moment of ownage. It's human nature to remember good moments and not bad moments. Positive feedback loops allow for potential great memories/moments of ownage where the stars align and you completely take over a round. They also allow for you to get owned, but at least it ends fast, and hey, we're not going to remember the bad stuff anyway, so let's make the good memories as good as we can.

            Taken in context of solely a "comeback tool", I agree there are parts of my suggestion which are contradictory. But that's not my objective. The objective is to resolve the Prime Stalemate issue. The objective is to let games end when they should end, but give the team that is down one or two legitimate chances at coming back, then that's it, game over. But not this long, painful dragged out late game where the winning team can't finish the deal.


            Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
            If Orbs only spawned at the Prime nodes, that would help, though I still feel the best solution is just cutting them in half. Have them build, or destroy a node, not both, while still retaining their healing, and locking capabilities.
            You still have two opposing orbs. You haven't addressed people sitting at location XYZ waiting for the orb to spawn, nor the fact they cancel each other out. Having two orbs is not tactical, its "sitting at location XYZ and smashing to orbs head to head". Having two orbs does not resolve the issue it was designed to fix. I don't consider this a solution; you are completely avoiding the concept that having two orbs contradicts the entire premise that it could resolve a stalemate (both sides receive one of the same thing, how does this resolve a stalemate?). It doesn't matter where they spawn, or how powerful they are - if both teams get the same thing, it just cancels out.

            Hey look, if people think the orb adds depth, you're entitled to your opinion (and I honestly respect that). But for me, it's just fluff. It's not some amazing tactical element of the game that actually added anything, it's just this back and forth ********* which kills map flow, it doesn't improve it. I'm actually trying to think up ways to accommodate WAR fans and bridge communities by presenting a full design that uses an orb (in the ONS suggestion thread), but I'm fine with removing the whole thing.

            The problem with that, for WAR fans at least, is that little fact I keep mentioning: the orb didn't actually fulfill it's intended objective . . . which means I'm justified in saying it should be removed. This is the part where WAR fans come in and give a strong rebuttal explaining how having two orbs actually helps resolve the Prime-Stalemate issue. I have yet to see anything even close.

            Comment


              #21
              It addresses itself. Sitting at the orb spawn removes you from the action, and handicaps your team. Keeping the orbs at the prime nodes increases the distance you have to move the node, the further ahead you get. Since you can't carry the orb in a vehicle or teleport with the orb, getting it to deeper nodes is a chore, especially with the hover board knock down mechanic (though that may be a thing of the past).

              If the orb efficacy is reduced, then sitting at it and taking yourself out of the action becomes even less viable, and people should learn to stop doing it.

              The prime stalemate issue can be addressed through good map design. Either having a central spawning redeemer, and or vehicle distribution that favors the team with more nodes controlled.

              I'm not necessarily against removing the orb, but I did like how it focused the action, which I do think was it's intended objective. If anything, I feel mechanics like the avalanche node clear are worse for the stalemate problem, than any orb use I've seen.
              Originally posted by Mysterial
              An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                Sitting at the orb spawn removes you from the action, and handicaps your team.
                So, you start your rebuttal by admitting that the orb removes people from action and promotes loitering at orb spawn. Thanks for making my points for me; these aren't good mechanics. Note: this only happens when there are two opposing orb spawns.

                Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                Keeping the orbs at the prime nodes increases the distance you have to move the node, the further ahead you get. Since you can't carry the orb in a vehicle or teleport with the orb, getting it to deeper nodes is a chore, especially with the hover board knock down mechanic (though that may be a thing of the past).
                Man, you sure are dancing around the fact an orb carrier can be towed by a vehicle. Regardless, I have no problem admitting that a time differential is indeed created based on travel distance, I just seriously question the assumption it solves Stalemate conditions. I do so by asking: If both teams receive one of exactly the same type of item, how does this resolve a stalemate? Let's get into it:

                What you're suggesting is that once a losing team uses orb on their prime, that they can then travel to ALL connecting nodes and destroy them, without orbs, before the winning team can tow the orb carrier to their prime node. But herein is where it gets interesting, because I don't doubt this may be true if prime only has one connecting node (linear node path) - but what if prime has 2+ connecting nodes? Each additional connecting node to prime, and really any node, makes it that more difficult to "seal off" that node, thereby preventing an orb attack.

                Thus, the potential ability of dual orbs to resolve the Prime-Stalemate condition is inversely proportional to the number of nodes connected to prime. This really shines light on the emphasis on linear node-paths and single free standing nodes in UT3; it's because the dual orb mechanic really works best, and makes the most sense, with a linear node-path. "Increased node interconnectivity" and "dual orb mechanic" are opposing forces which created limitations on viable map design in UT3; a big problem here is that the node interconnectivity, e.g. how you battled around ONS-Dawn's middle nodes, was a huge selling point for the ONS fan base.

                Concerning the time differential (you framed it in distances) when you do have a linear node path, a person could say "I could easily show that the time differential does indeed allow the losing team to take their prime for at least a limited time, which allows them to comeback". The rebuttal is simple:

                It's just a displacement of where the stalemate now occurs. Conceptually, as time progresses and this mechanic repeats (all else being equal), the clash of orbs would eventually end up exactly in the middle of the map. Each time it repeats, the effectiveness is reduced for the losing team. What one person calls a "comeback", I call a "displacement of the stalemate".

                If a team is down to their last node, on a linear node path, that likely means they're the lesser-skilled team. This alone has big implications. In ONS, you could actually have the "better" team get down to their prime just because of the "node race". But I'd argue the more linear the node-path, the more likely the losing team really is the lesser-skilled team. Even if you do give this team a "free node forward", they will likely need 2-3 more to truly comeback. Does this team really have a chance, or is the game just being prolonged in yet another Stalemate condition (albeit admittedly a less painful one)?

                To summarize: The dual orb mechanic does little to nothing for the Prime-Stalemate scenario on maps with high node interconnectivity, which is exactly part of the reason UT3 WAR maps are largely lacking in it. Even on linear-node paths, I'd argue the orb is not powerful enough to truly allow for comeback and/or may even prolong games that probably should end. At best, I'm sure someone could convince me the orb is a "neutralizing agent" in that it draws the "center of gravity" of the battle towards map middle, but conceptually for me this debatably isn't a "comeback" mechanic, and less-debatably does not resolve Stalemate conditions.

                Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                If the orb efficacy is reduced, then sitting at it and taking yourself out of the action becomes even less viable, and people should learn to stop doing it.
                It appears you're suggesting to fix the mechanic by nerfing it so that no one wants to use it? Do you really believe this is good game design?


                Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                The prime stalemate issue can be addressed through good map design. Either having a central spawning redeemer, and or vehicle distribution that favors the team with more nodes controlled.
                It can definitely be helped by good map design, the issue is linear node-paths and single standing nodes are the opposite of good map design; but, the only place a dual orb mechanic even remotely begins to make sense is with linear node-paths and single standing nodes. Furthermore, people tried to solve it with good map design in 2k4 with limited success; I'd rather not take any chances this time and just re-design the game from the ground up (based on ONS/WAR) to root it out completely.

                Central spawning deemer of course has similarities to what I proposed, but isn't exactly the same. Remember, this just goes back 10 years to ONS-Torlan (which has a central spawning deemer), and people eventually didn't even bother with it, or just became annoyed by it. Plus, the deemer is admittedly not as fun/cool as the orb has the potential to be - if we're going to have the mechanic, let's try to make it special.

                Vehicle distribution favoring the team with more nodes controlled sounds like positive feedback loop? Or did you mean the team with less nodes controlled (which then promotes a stalemate, just like dual orbs)?

                Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                I'm not necessarily against removing the orb, but I did like how it focused the action, which I do think was it's intended objective.
                The intended objective was to resolve the Prime-Stalemate situation (and by association give the losing team a chance to comeback). Considering this was discussed in depth by the ONS community towards the end of ONS, until the person from Epic who designed it wants to show up and set us all straight as to what the real objective was, I maintain the aforementioned as objective fact.

                Your suggested objective doesn't even make sense. The action was already focused at nodes, and then became solely focused in the Prime-Stalemate situation at a single node. The fact the action tended to become focused at a singular (prime) node was the problem. If anything, it needed to unfocus the action.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Within those parameters, it sounds like a fundamental flaw in the game type, unless you include multiple prime nodes, which will have it's own set of problems.

                  If ONS had a prime stalemate problem because of how it auto-focused the losing team on the prime node, then an equivalent mechanic like the orb is a non-solution. They should have increased vehicle efficacy to buff the existing positive feed back from node control. Either that, or the problem seems like it has more to do with players not understanding the game logic than it does by the game design itself, which from an informed analytical stand point, shouldn't be a problem.

                  From a pub play stand point, one also has to wonder if prime node stalemates were a problem, whether or not it had to do with coordination, player skill disparity, or just dumb luck. With multiple path nodes, maybe it was just a fortunate luck of the draw that got one pub team across a map quicker than the other, but the stale mate occurs because the team with the better players had worse coordination until the game mechanics forced them to. Then the better players, now forced to coordinate are able to hold off the other team, even against a positive feed back loop (more vehicles).

                  Assuming for the sake of argument (and the fact that I wasn't really heavily involved in the ONS community) that it was designed as a comeback mechanic, then it was poorly executed. The distance will be a difference, but the execution of use is the real issue. More connecting nodes doesn't necessarily decrease the efficacy of the orb, as much as it changes it's function. If I was taking my prime node with the orb, and had to deal with multiple connecting nodes, I would lock prime with the orb and not attack with it beyond, then focusing any non orb attacks on the lesser defended node, until things started to actually look like a "come back." The idea of locking a node and defending with the orb will be seen as a more viable strat if the offensive capabilities of the orb seem more equivalent, hence decreasing it's offensive efficacy will help.

                  Really the big issue with this game type seems to be what's good for pubs and comp is even further separated than the core game types.

                  This seems to be a repeating issue with games of this complexity, is that without tutorial, or a more analytical approach to the game, even a well designed game will run into problems when it's players simply fail to understand it's dynamics. This is probably why game popularity is shifting to either simpler games, or games that fill the niche of doing a good job of teaching themselves through game play.

                  It appears you're suggesting to fix the mechanic by nerfing it so that no one wants to use it? Do you really believe this is good game design?
                  Can we discuss this without blatant hyperbole?
                  Originally posted by Mysterial
                  An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    Within those parameters, it sounds like a fundamental flaw in the game type, unless you include multiple prime nodes, which will have it's own set of problems.
                    Totally agreed. Yes, it was the primary flaw with the game type. And yes, although including 2+ prime nodes could help improve the situation (e.g. ONS-Dawn), it still doesn't address the root cause. In short, I believe the root cause is choke nodes (bottlenecks) at first examination, but ultimately the base itself (having it be a singular last objective). I've written much more on this here: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...l=1#post115392

                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    If ONS had a prime stalemate problem because of how it auto-focused the losing team on the prime node, then an equivalent mechanic like the orb is a non-solution. They should have increased vehicle efficacy to buff the existing positive feed back from node control.
                    I agree a dual (opposing) orb mechanic doesn't appear to resolve the root cause, and therefore isn't a solution (ONS perspective). I also don't consider transitioning the map design to primarily linear node paths and free standing nodes, so that a dual orb mechanic can "be the best it can be", a solution either (WAR perspective).

                    It's not that I dismiss the idea of creating vehicle efficacy positive feedback from node control, but this topic is a tricky one. Besides the complexity in programming/executing different vehicle loadouts/strength based on # of nodes controlled, it could of potentially impacted the ONS mid-game negatively. Furthermore, it could lead to an end game that is just a "swarm of vehicles", and while that may end games quicker, I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be for either side in the long run (but that's admittedly pretty subjective). But most importantly, and yet again, it doesn't resolve the root cause problem.

                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    The problem seems like it has more to do with players not understanding the game logic than it does by the game design itself, which from an informed analytical stand point, shouldn't be a problem. From a pub play stand point, one also has to wonder if prime node stalemates were a problem, whether or not it had to do with coordination, player skill disparity, or just dumb luck. With multiple path nodes, maybe it was just a fortunate luck of the draw that got one pub team across a map quicker than the other, but the stale mate occurs because the team with the better players had worse coordination until the game mechanics forced them to. Then the better players, now forced to coordinate are able to hold off the other team, even against a positive feed back loop (more vehicles).
                    This has incorrect assumptions, but it's also sprinkled with nuggets of truth.

                    The players understood the game fine. In fact, you could say that was the problem, because the objective was really all about the "prime node race", i.e. who downed the enemies primary first. Since the majority of stock ONS maps had a single node connected to base, this became a huge focus of the strategy to win. To put it in perspective, by the end of ONS I had made literally hundreds of strategies across the all the stock maps (for 6v6 comp), and they almost all were ultimately targeted at downing the enemies prime; the ones that weren't were on Dawn et. al. (i.e. any map with 2 connecting nodes). Taking down the base may either be a formality or a grind, but either way once that prime node was down you could breath a sign of relief because you knew your chance of winning was almost guaranteed (95-99%). For the stock maps, I found this to be true for both pub and comp play.

                    Dumb luck could happen in the form of a "newb" getting the manta on Torlan and instantly taking off to middle node (point being, no passengers and not to prime). Even if that team has the better players it can be impossible to recover if the other team goes straight up the middle and bum-rushes prime (which was the name of the game). There's some irony here in that I think they may of got rid of the ability to ride on vehicles partly because of such situations, but I've heard people complain a similar kind of thing then happened with the orb (i.e. having a "newb" get it and basically screw your team and/or grief you).

                    Although there was multiple node paths, they were usually symmetrical and limited in number (2-3). There were distance differences between certain routes to prime, but both teams had to go through the same limited paths, and thus almost always met head-on. I wouldn't frame this as "fortunate luck of the draw", but one example I can think of in defense would be a small number of players playing a map where there just simply wasn't enough people to cover every route and someone managed to get a "free pass" straight to prime (e.g. Arctic Stronghold / Red Planet with low player count).

                    The point on player skill disparity is big one. Even if one team is better as a whole, if the opposing team has 1-2 individual players that can "make a play" that's all it took. It was all about the prime node race, if you had a person in a manta with the anticipation to hit prime node at exactly the right time (and could clear it out before hand) that could end the game. In the early days a knowledgeable person with the deemer would take out prime as soon as a connected node was built - people didn't like it because the prime node race became even faster (e.g. early days ONS-Severence), meaning you just enter the Prime-Stalemate scenario quicker (although on Severence the base was so far from prime, it could just end the game, making it a 2 minute deemer race).

                    There's also this example: consider a node race at the corner nodes on ONS-Torlan where both teams are trying to get it down before the other. The losing team (in the node race) will find themselves on the other side of the map, and by the time they get back the enemy will have built corner and already be attacking their prime. It could come down to a split second difference, but the penalty for losing the node race could be devastating. It's not fair to frame this as a lack of coordination by either team, but rather the result of the game design itself.

                    --------------------

                    While ONS could enter into a Prime-Stalemate situation in numerous ways, whether it be luck or skill related, for me it's not really about how it gets there, as much about what happens when it gets there. The biggest factor in the end-game Prime-Stalemate problem was simply this:

                    The losing team finds themselves all spawning from one point (the base) with a strong need to get to one place (prime). The losing team became concentrated and applied constant pressure at prime due to how close the base usually was (within firing range). It was a never ending swarm of people coming out of base towards prime, making it exceedingly difficult to hold (Also could make for some good spawn killing).

                    The winning team finds themselves spread out all over the map. Depending on where they spawned and how much time they spent looking for a fresh vehicle and traveling across the map, they will "trickle in" to the node at different rates, largely due to travel distance. This, combined with moments of good play, allowed the losing team little windows where they could potentially have a chance to get their prime up.

                    But when the losing team does manage to get their prime node up, they go from having to focus on one node, to having to focus on three nodes (usually), two of which are far away. They go from a concentrated position close to the spawn point of last resort, to attacking two distant nodes with limited vehicles while trying to maintain enough defense at prime. Thing is, the winning team only needs to down prime again to stop the attack, meaning they usually can create a numbers advantage at prime, which allows them to destroy it before the losing team can take out both of their connecting nodes.

                    When the "better" team is losing, they may be able to get their prime up, but it becomes almost impossible (in both coordinated comp play and unorganized pub play) to take out the two connecting nodes before the prime gets crashed. When the "better" team is winning, they may be able to get the enemies prime up, but in unorganized pub play it can become almost impossible to fight through the never ending waves of people spawning/coming from base (which lead to spawn killing), and in coordinated comp play it was usually the opposite where the game would be over in 30 seconds and destroying the core was a formality. The game gets "stuck in rut" where there is resistance on both sides to either finish the game or break out of prime (except for comp play where the game is basically over when prime drops).

                    The ability of a team to viably comeback is inversely proportional to the number of nodes connected to prime. Sound familiar? The reason I don't have any problem admitting a distance/time differential exists is because the same exact thing already existed in ONS. The orb only amplified the effect because, on average, it creates a slighty larger concentration of players on the winning team in their base (across the map). I don't consider this a good thing or a "balancing mechanic". If anything in the design of UT3 WAR, it wouldn't be the orb that allows for more comeback potential, it would be the linear node paths in conjunction with distance/time differentials.

                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    Assuming for the sake of argument (and the fact that I wasn't really heavily involved in the ONS community) that it was designed as a comeback mechanic, then it was poorly executed. The distance will be a difference, but the execution of use is the real issue. More connecting nodes doesn't necessarily decrease the efficacy of the orb, as much as it changes it's function. If I was taking my prime node with the orb, and had to deal with multiple connecting nodes, I would lock prime with the orb and not attack with it beyond, then focusing any non orb attacks on the lesser defended node, until things started to actually look like a "come back." The idea of locking a node and defending with the orb will be seen as a more viable strat if the offensive capabilities of the orb seem more equivalent, hence decreasing it's offensive efficacy will help.
                    Assuming two connecting nodes, the winning team could use orb to protect one of the connecting nodes, waiting for you to move. If losing team caps the other connecting node, the "winning" team (would be even at this point) can "wait" for their prime/nest node to be attacked knowing they can just transfer their orb to the connecting node they just lost and cap it as a last resort. If at any time losing team tries to move their orb forward, the winning team can bum-rush the node and take it out.

                    This really only makes sense for 2 connecting nodes as well. In other words, as the number of prime connecting nodes increases, there is less chance that things will ever look like a comeback, and the orb will permanently be stuck at prime. It's the same line of reasoning that leads back to why dual opposing orbs work so well with linear node paths. Also, this game design promotes "stalled" gameplay where orbs are used as defensive mechanisms, which I feel is somewhat against the theme of the UT franchise.

                    However, there are overtones of this I actually agree with quite a bit, such as the "orbs function". Obviously, I'm arguing that the orb did not accomplish it's intended function of resolving the Prime-Stalemate situation; however, that doesn't mean the orb could not function in another way. In other words, rest easy WAR fans, I'm not on a crusade to get the orb removed . . . but, I am on a crusade to get the Prime-Stalemate situation truly rooted out because I firmly believe that it will improve the gameplay for WAR and ONS fans alike.

                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    Really the big issue with this game type seems to be what's good for pubs and comp is even further separated than the core game types.
                    Fantastic point, and one that can be discussed from many angles.

                    Obviously there wasn't a 16v16 comp scene, otherwise it would of likely experienced all the same problems as the 32 player pub scene. The smallest populated pubs were still usually at least 20/24 people large. On the other hand, there was even 3v3 ONS on TWL at one point (wasn't a fan). Compared to all other game types, ONS easily had the largest difference in the number of players that could be used to make a comp vs. pub game, examples (1) extreme: 6 vs. 32 (2) conservative 12 vs. 22. Even in the conservative example, that's roughly twice as many. It can become extremely difficult to make a map, and even a game design, that caters to both.

                    Another factor was player diversity. There were ONS players who wanted more of a "tank-me-up" style; some people played the game type solely for the vehicles, and thus probably wanted/expected to get a vehicle all the time. Some people just want more maps, more vehicles, more everything in lieu of finely tuned balance and tactical in-depth game play (of course they want that too, but it's hard/impossible to do when you keep adding stuff). It's just personal preference/opinion (I've offered more thoughts on this in the ONS Suggestion thread). The 32 player communities naturally gave way to bigger maps, more nodes in the configuration, more vehicles on the map, and a greater diversity of vehicles - all of these are debatably bad for the comp community.

                    But an obvious observation on stock maps on 32 player servers was that the Prime-Stalemate issue was a serious problem. I remember a time on Cains server I literally saw half the team on the losing end of a ONS-Dria Prime-Stalemate leave the server within 5 seconds of their prime dropping (unrelated people from what I could tell). It happened all the time in lesser degrees. Almost all the stock maps on 32 player servers could result in Stalemates at the prime nodes that eventually became extremely monotonous and were, IMO, a big reason the 32 player communities shifted away from stock maps. The maps where this was the worst had 3 nodes connected to prime, e.g. Arctic Stronghold/Red Planet, and were the first of the stock maps to get dropped from almost every type of pub server.

                    In comp play, it was usually the opposite - when the prime went down the core would quickly follow. It was anti-climatic, and the battle was really for the enemies prime. The obvious exception was Dawn, and even though dual connecting nodes were tried again (Urban/Ascendacy IIRC), it didn't exactly work out as well (which is testament to how well ONS-Dawn was designed and the fact that map has a lot more good stuff going on besides just the dual base links). The "Prime-Stalemate" issue still exists, but it's not really a "Stalemate" but the fact that every thing gets funneled down to one node that connects to the base.

                    Both ONS and WAR are broke. I understand the temptation to shift to linear node paths / free standing nodes while introducing the orb, but that removes the interconnectivity of nodes that made ONS so special/great (the best action in ONS was in-between the prime nodes, and it made the game). I feel going to a free-flowing node path (thus removing, or at least greatly reducing, "choke" nodes) will help both sides of the pub/comp coin tremendously, and feel it may go a long ways toward being able to make maps that work over a wider player count.

                    Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                    This seems to be a repeating issue with games of this complexity, is that without tutorial, or a more analytical approach to the game, even a well designed game will run into problems when it's players simply fail to understand it's dynamics. This is probably why game popularity is shifting to either simpler games, or games that fill the niche of doing a good job of teaching themselves through game play.
                    Tutorials are great, so all agreement there.

                    I don't feel that ONS was complex - there was only one type of node, 5 vehicles, and the objective of destroying/building connected nodes to get to the base was consistent and straightforward. I felt WAR was far more complex with it's different nodes and the orb (I also feel my proposed design is less complex than WAR as well, as it only has one type of node and there's no need to destroy a base). The players understood the dynamics, the game design is just broken (once you get to a certain point . . . the action in-between primes was fabulous).

                    I've seen others say they feel that popularity is shifting to simpler games, and I'm not sure I agree. Most people consider League of Legends fairly complex, with all the hero builds, items to buy, lanes & grouping, etc., but it's the most played game right now. MMOs are played a lot, and are usually fairly complex.

                    Have you seen the game Smite? It's a semi-FPS MOBA, and it's being played quite a bit lately (not sure people would consider this non-complex):
                    http://caas.raptr.com/most-played-pc-games-september-2014-back-to-school-slump-edition/

                    If people want to try and bring up something like Angry Birds, then that's an entirely different argument for me. Simply, I'm not sure how convinced I am when people say that they think PC gamers don't like complex games.

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                      #25
                      Sounds like the crux of your issue is indeed inherent to the games design. I would personally be more inclined to shape the game around smaller player counts, or make a different game type for vehicle play. The problem with "node paths" is that requiring connecting nodes inherently limits the number of nodes that have activity. The rest becomes equipment bases, and just require long distance travel to take advantage of. In essence, both linear node paths and the orb are taking what otherwise seems to be a "large scale vehicle based game" and focusing the action enough to have competition with similar numbers that are playable in TDM/CTF, which are the go to arena formats.

                      If you truly wanted to design a game for 32 player servers, linear node paths isn't the way to go. BF2142's Titan mode, was a much better solution for that type of game. The issue, of course, then becomes needed a certain amount of players for the game type to work. BF2142 was capable of bridging that gap with intel via the commander function, but was hit or miss in pubs, as would be expected. In full servers it was great. There was always at least 5 points of interest on the map, and a potential direct base attack scenario to end matches in a definitive fashion.

                      Obviously UT really couldn't "copy" Titan, as the weapons and vehicles really don't fit, but a more "capture and hold" type variant of ONS might be in order. Or maybe if all maps kept odd numbers of nodes, and majority node control was needed instead of linear node paths? Maybe player count could switch the map rules, so when players exceeded 10, then node paths were no longer required, and it switched to majority nodes. This way you could attack any node, and back door the enemy, but would still require defense to assault the base. It would significantly change certaine dynamics, but would get rid of the bottle neck.

                      This is the same problem I always had with ONS, and why I prefer WAR. The orb helped focus action so lower player counts were still playable on larger maps. Another thing the BF franchise had always done well with is scaling maps. Maps would slim down to less flags to accommodate smaller player counts, and even limit vehicles putting more infantry focus on smaller games, which was fitting. UT has lacked some form of scaling for their larger mapped game types. Makes seeding servers very difficult.
                      Originally posted by Mysterial
                      An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

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                        #26
                        I very much like the idea about orb not being able to lock down a enemy prime node to allow for easier comebacks. It's one of those major annoyances once the enemy team has succeeded to lock it down and everyone spawning at it, makes it for nearly impossible comeback unless you get lucky. At times it feels almost as if it's just better wait and hope for the next round.

                        By not being able to shield it, the chances to make a comeback increases significantly mostly for the reasons: it's relatively easy to cap it then, especially if manta or viper or something taxis you. Enemy team will stop spawning at that node so they also have to travel to get there again. The enemy team gets busier getting up the node again while your team starts easier advancing to the node. It leads to more dynamic gameplay as a result.

                        I really like that idea TBH, if it makes the rules more complicated I couldn't care less about, I think it would have such a large positive effect on gameplay that the pros easily outweighs the cons. It shouldn't be such a large issue for newcomers either, newcomers just tend to play to get into the game, score a few frags, see what the game is about. When you get more experienced is when you start thinking about the rules & tactics etc. Also you could always have visual guidelines as optional setting for newcomers like there already was in UT3.
                        Last edited by RPGWiZ4RD; 10-29-2014, 03:29 AM.

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                          #27
                          Without making the prime nodes different some how, like a base extension, it becomes a continuity break, and is bad. The idea is currently to avoid the need for tutorial, because generally people don't use them, and continuity breaks like that require them more.

                          Making them some form of base extension, however, might be good, especially to give players an optional more forward spawn early in the game. It would stress the importance of them inherently if the game started with said prime nodes controlled. It would also clue the player in as to why they can't be taken with the orb.
                          Originally posted by Mysterial
                          An instant hit, accurate, instant kill weapon is overpowered. There's no skill ceiling. It's limited only by the shooter's accuracy. It also severely impairs the defensive side of the game - ignoring ping, it is nearly irrelevant what your opponent does - click the right pixel and you win. Even non-instant kill instant hit weapons are often problematic - the Shock Rifle example is obvious before even getting to other games.

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                            #28
                            We bounced this topic around pretty well in THIS THREAD. Here are maybe my two most relevant replies:

                            05-20-2014
                            Originally posted by JZL View Post
                            I can't say I've re-read the entire thread, but the extent it deals with the Orb, I realize it was mostly intended to counter the EPSR (enemy prime stalemate redundancy) .

                            I don't know if this was intended or not, but the Orb increased TEAMPLAY. It's not JUST that people were towing and flinging the orbcarrier (in and of itself a reason to keep it), people were returning to the prime in their Mantas and Raptors to go get the orbcarrier. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything like that in any game I've played.

                            Plus, on the individual side, there's a knack to being the orbcarrier, the way that some running backs in football are better at getting first downs and touchdowns (Marcus Allen immediately comes to mind). There's a knack for knowing when to release from the tow, there's a knack for waiting for an opening or dashing right in, a knack for sneaking around the backside or what I like to call, "walking in the front door." There's a knack for knowing when to immediately cap the node or to hang back and let it be built in order to save the orb for the next node down the line. There's a knack for being a footie near the orb, both offensively and defensively.

                            IMHO, it has added a whole other dimension to the game and should stay. Maybe it doesn't need to be on every map, but most.
                            Originally posted by JZL View Post
                            OK having read the earlier comments . . .

                            I think EPSR was more of an issue than you're recalling, Wail. It was an issue on all the big maps like Red Planet, Dria, and Sovereign (?), and Dria even had a secondary prime.

                            I like the idea of making the orb not an instant node swap. Maybe if the node is open or partially built, the orb will cap the node. When the node belongs to the other side, the orb merely knocks it down, making it open. Thus the orbcarrier can either wait for the node to be knocked down by fire, and then cap it, or knock it down with the orb and only then build it up with link(s).

                            On the idea of protecting the prime node, why can't we sometimes have turrets that have a Paladin-like force-field?

                            I'm totally against the idea of having more experienced or higher-scoring players taking the orb and/or power-ups from noobs or lower scoring players. That's just asking for noobs to get ****** and never play again.

                            I'm not sure what to think about sanchez' idea of a non-linear countdown node (Battlefield ticket) structure (I think Titanfall Hardpoint does this,too). Without giving it a lot of thought it seems like some maps should be and are designed for bottlenecks and others aren't. Maybe a lot of those types of issues would be solved by having more than one prime on more maps.

                            Dr. Strangelove: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love teh orb!

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                              Assuming for the sake of argument (and the fact that I wasn't really heavily involved in the ONS community) that it was designed as a comeback mechanic, then it was poorly executed. The distance will be a difference, but the execution of use is the real issue. More connecting nodes doesn't necessarily decrease the efficacy of the orb, as much as it changes it's function. If I was taking my prime node with the orb, and had to deal with multiple connecting nodes, I would lock prime with the orb and not attack with it beyond, then focusing any non orb attacks on the lesser defended node, until things started to actually look like a "come back." The idea of locking a node and defending with the orb will be seen as a more viable strat if the offensive capabilities of the orb seem more equivalent, hence decreasing it's offensive efficacy will help.
                              Defending a node with the Orb already frequently does happen. This is yet another strategic dimension the Orb creates-- deciding when to cover a node defensively with the Orb and when to go over onto the offensive-- and if so, where. (Does one go to the next connected node, or to one of the stand-alone nodes, i.e., the Tank node in Downtown, the Lev a/k/a Mine node in Serenity, or the Flood node in Floodgate?)

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