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    #76
    Originally posted by LtC-Cynical View Post
    Given that "e-sports" is a synonym for "bad game propped up by expensive developer-funded tournaments", I sure hope we're not making an e-sport.
    Maybe that is your definition. Doesn't really seem like very many people agree with you that those games are "bad". At any rate, making a great e-sport game is something Epic has been talking about the whole time they've developed this game.
    It's an even stranger claim when you consider that UT99 and 2k4 are both from before e-sports even being a "thing" like they are today.
    I think you have to be joking, right? The only thing that has changed is the capability to be an e-sports fanatic. Sure, it was harder to stream games back when UT came out. But e-sports was definitely already a thing with massive tournaments for Starcraft and Counter-Strike already happening by the time UT came out. Even more so when 2k3 and then 2k4 came out. 2k3 was practically designed around being an e-sport. Heck, I played in Shoutcasted clan matches in UT and 2k3 and 2k4.

    And, really, these games are very watchable for a lot of different reasons. And many of the reasons previous UT games were watchable are also the reasons the UT4 is a boring slog to watch in comparison.
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      #77
      The StarCraft tournaments in Korea weren't that big in '99, and no one in the west knew about them until about 2004 or so. "E-sports" as a term wasn't used until a few years after that; in the early 2000s, the term "cyberathletics" got thrown around a bit to promote Pankiller and its multiplayer mode (as well as a bunch of sound cards that had Fatal1ty's picture on them), but was widely mocked by most videogame players.

      StarCraft and Warcraft 3 were designed by Blizz with the mentality of "let's make a fun videogame for nerds who are going to play the videogame". StarCraft 2 was designed as "let's make an e-sport"! It's not a coincidence that StarCraft 2 is widely considered the worst RTS that Blizz has ever made, with even paid shills like Day[9] privately disparaging the game when they don't think anyone is recording.

      We see the same thing with FPSs. Unreal Tournament, and Quake 3 are good videogames that were designed to be videogames not tournament vehicles. Overwatch and Quake Champions were designed from the ground up to be tournament vehicles, and both games are terrible. And then there's the DotA-likes, games that no sane person could possibly claim are "good videogames" (if you disagree with this, go play Herzog Zwei or Sacrifice or Supreme Commander and reconsider...), but are riding that "it's not a videogame, IT'S A COMPETITIVE SPORT!" gravy train.


      (Also, upthread, you guys were saying that classic UT was "mind numbing" to watch because it's so +back, now you're saying it's great for spectators... which is it?)
      Last edited by LtC-Cynical; 07-13-2017, 01:24 PM.

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        #78
        Well, this is the causal link that these developers are missing. They didn't make those games to be eSports, since eSports wasn't a thing. Had to start some where. After they realized the potential for eSport, they wanted to capitalize, and started (trying) to make eSport games that were more accessible to wider player bases. What they forgot (or chose to ignore) was the very games that spawned the concept of eSports were also not made with mass accessibility in mind. They were simply made to be fun.

        Every eSport since that has failed, has done so due to it's equal focus on accessibility. When you water something down to the point where anyone can do it, it's no longer very sporting.

        So is accessibility worth sacrificing fun?
        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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          #79
          I don't think that the eSports games are more accessible than the good games -- in fact, I think the opposite is true.

          Look at QC vs. QL. To play QC, you have to know what a bunch of heroes do (or else you get insta-gibbed by Sorlag, Scalebearer, and Ranger), at least three different movement systems (in duel, you have to play 3 different champions), and the weird way that armors have differing potential armor values based on your current armor (the YA could be anywhere from 1 to 25, the RA could be anywhere from 26 to 50), as well as all the things you'd need to know to play QL (item respawn timers, what weapons do, etc). The DotA-likes are infamous for their extreme knowledge barrier forcing players to spend several hours reading up on things before they try playing the game. StarCraft 2 is the one possible exception, being arguably less accessible than Brood War, but Blizzard still put in those macro mechanics that have no purpose other than forcing the players to remember more and click more in order to be able to build units properly -- compare that to Supreme Commander, which lets you automate the building of units entirely for no loss.

          Instead, the eSports games are designed to be able to shake up the metagame with patches in order to introduce infinite novelty. Look at Dota 2 or LoL -- just keep juggling which heroes are good and which ones are bad, and the game always feels "fresh" from a certain perspective. They also try to put a huge knowledge barrier in front of the new player, both in order to create an illusion of depth and to increase the sense of "investment" into the game.
          Last edited by LtC-Cynical; 07-13-2017, 02:41 PM.

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            #80
            All your examples revolve around knowledge barriers. We discussed dexterity earlier, remember? Is there any MOBA or RTS that you feel really challenges the players dexterity? If it does, is it in a way that is fun to watch?
            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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              #81
              The new macro mechanics in StarCraft 2 are a dexterity barrier, not a knowledge barrier. Irrelevant of whether it makes the game more fun to watch (I don't think it does, but I've never chosen to watch people play a videogame that I don't also enjoy playing, so whatever); it makes the game less fun to *play* than Supreme Commander (or, if you want a Blizz-style RTS for comparison, it also makes it less fun than Warcraft 3 with TFT, which has a much lower dexterity requirement than any other Blizz RTS).

              Mind you, SupCom also requires high APM to play at high levels, but that's because it has a 500 unit cap, harsh diminishing returns on adding more units to one particular fight fight, and an economic system that makes about 80% of the map worth fighting over, which in turn means that there's usually fights going on in two or three places at once throughout the whole game. Still, "dexterity lets you micro-manage more fronts at once" is obviously more accessible to the beginner than "dexterity is required to even build units".

              Being able to effectively use three different movement systems in QC is also secretly a dexterity requirement (doing Q4 slides properly requires practicing different movements than doing Q3 bunny-hopping requires practicing different movements than UT dodging requires practicing different movements than Painkiller bunny-hopping requires practicing different movements than CPMA air control -- the movement rules for each hero are entirely different, and you have to be proficient with at least 3 of them). Again, no idea if it makes things more fun to watch, but it certainly doesn't make it any more fun to play.

              EDIT: I'm curious now, what's you're thought on changes that make a game less fun for players in order to make it "more exciting" for spectators? For example, the recent Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat reboots have intentionally made zoning under-powered, because "viewers like rushdown and big combos". Are you for or against such changes?
              Last edited by LtC-Cynical; 07-13-2017, 04:18 PM.

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                #82
                Originally posted by LtC-Cynical View Post
                to know what a bunch of heroes do (or else you get insta-gibbed by Sorlag, Scalebearer, and Ranger), at least three different movement systems (in duel, you have to play 3 different champions), and the weird way that armors have differing potential armor values based on your current armor (the YA could be anywhere from 1 to 25, the RA could be anywhere from 26 to 50), as well as all the things you'd need to know to play QL (item respawn timers, what weapons do, etc).
                But in QC, benefit from armor and mega is much smaller, so your knowledge of map routes and general resource control skill isn't as crucial as in QL, and things revolve more around merely hitting your 1-2 rails before the other guy. All of this is further exasperated by the 3 life duel system which greatly diminishes the importance of long game strategy. The different movement styles also aren't as diverse or difficult to master as, for example, real Quake World movement. When you compare it to a mod like Generations Arena, which only has 5 classes, but each with a different, deeper movement system and entirely different set of weapons, there's a lot more class-based knowledge to learn, and I don't think even that's really so bad.

                After all, since you brought up fighting games, they have MUCH larger rosters than any FPS and going from character to character brings far more differences than in any FPS. Yet I don't think even that is too much "knowledge barrier".

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                  #83
                  Depends on the fighting game. KoF, for example, is very "system-oriented"; once you know the system for a KoF 13, you can learn basically any character's BnB's in just a few minutes (since it's nearly universally hit confirm -> command normal -> special -> drive cancel -> super/ex special).

                  QC is a great example of "more dexterity importance doesn't lead to a better game", I agree. It's also a great example of "designing with an e-sports mentality consistently leads to terrible games". For more examples, see LoL, Dota 2, Overwatch, Rocket League, StarCraft 2, Mortal Kombat games since 9, Killer Instinct reboot, (the originals were awful for unrelated reasons), Street Fighter games from 4 onwards (SFA3 and every version of SF3 were also terrible, but for unrelated reasons), or basically any other game where "e-sports" has featured prominently in the marketing.

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                    #84
                    Sure, once you understand any fighting game, you can learn a character's BnB quickly, but you still have a LOT more individual data points to learn... i.e. the range/hitbox/frames of each of the 4-6 buttons in standing/crouching/jumping stances, in addition to the specials, supers, EX's, combos, and so forth. By comparison in QC, every character uses identical guns, has just 1 unique ability, and moves at slightly different speeds.

                    QC has more dexterity importance in the sense that resource/map strategy is shallower, but I wouldn't say it has higher dexterity ceiling. QW and CPMA have deeper movement and more of the arsenal comes into play, which requires better knowledge of those niche weapons. For that matter even Q4 saw more use of non-trinity stuff in duel. I actually have no problem with the concept class choice in an AFPS, but the way QC has done it (at cost of depth everywhere) was the wrong one IMO.

                    A few people are starting to complain that QC's rockets are too good (1200ups, 132 splash) now that the delay issues have been channeled elsewhere. A lot of it still has to do with netcode (the victim suddenly sees in mid-air out of the blue, and has little-to-no time to dodge) but it'll be interesting to see how things shake out, as it would serve as a case study weighing in on the projectile speed vs. reaction time debate.

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                      #85
                      You don't need to generally know specific hitboxes, though; a rough idea of reach and priority is good enough -- and, in a well-designed game, you can generally get a sense of range just by looking at the sprites (without even playing it, you can see how long Ky's reach is on his pokes by the length of his sword, and also see how much longer it is relative to Sol's reach and his relatively shorter sword, and you can also see that they're both dwarfed by Faust and his 9-foot scalpel). Also, a lot of games do make use of shared move properties between characters. For instance, in Guilty Gear, every character's 6P is upper-body invincible other than Testament's, every character's 5D is an overhead that launches, every character's 2D is a sweep, almost every character's f.S is their main poke, etc. Likewise in Street Fighter -- 2HP and 5HK are almost always anti-air normals, 2HK is a ranged poke that knocks down, 2MK is a high priority poke that's good on block, 2MP is best frame advantage, 2LK is fastest low, 2LP is fastest normal in general and +frames on block, standing normals other than anti-airs are useless so you don't need to worry about them, j.MK is your crossup, j.MP leads to some sort of juggle, j.HK is your highest-priority jump-in, etc. Command grabs are almost always a 360, supers are almost always "special input done twice", fireballs are QCF or charge back -> forwad, DPs are the SRK motion or charge down -> up, "move forward" specials are QCB, light button on a special is less speed but better frames on block, heavy button is more speed but worse frames on block. Fighting games in general are highly reliant on being asymmetric, so there's some knowledge barrier, but developers generally work to keep it as low as they possibly can.

                      It's not really fair to say that everyone in QC has the same guns when Ranger has a translocator, Sarlag has a super-powered biorifle, Scalebound has a melee-charge, and BJ has double-wielded versions of all of them.

                      Re: Projectile speed vs. reaction time, that debate was solved in the Quake games years ago. "Undodgeable on reaction" is fine. By contrast, UT2K4 shows how worthless the weapon gets when "dodge on reaction" is easy and viable (UT99 isn't really a valid comparison point, six packs meant you could just fill an entire area to make taking some damage unavoidable).

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                        #86
                        Yes, buttons and inputs tend to follow conventions, but you still need to have some idea of the specific range and timing of each move, which is more than you need in an FPS. I wouldn't count Ranger's orb or Sorlag's spit as weapons; they all fall under the umbrella of the 1 ability, which is the 1 thing you need to learn besides the character's general movement speed. To begin to approach a fighting game character, they would need at least 3 abilities, mirroring a fighting character's ~3 special moves. And thankfully QC character's don't have Supers/Ultimates...

                        I agree UT2k4 projectile balance is bad, but I'd say "undodgeable on reaction" is a matter of degrees (or in-game units of range) and there are varying camps even within Quake. Some people still prefer 900ups, and probably some even miss Q2's 700 dps rockets, which are like UT99 rockets without the multiload. If QC rolls back rocket speed, it will have some effect on what ranges you can dodge in which situations.

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                          #87
                          Timing and range can be standardized. I don't need to know what your favorite character in KoF is to know that his close C is almost certainly 3F (and if it's not 3F, it's 4F) startup, definitely punishably minus on block, and always cancellable into his command normal or any special. Likewise, if you've never played a Guilty Gear character before, you can automatically know the range of their normals by looking at their limbs and their weapon -- 5P/2P are always half the length of their arms, 5K is half the length of their legs, 2K is the length of their legs, 2D is one and a half times the length of their legs, 5S/5H always the length of their weapon (or, in the case of a character that has no weapon, the length of their longest limb). Startup will always be 4-5 frames for 2K/5K, 5-6 frames for any S or P move, about 10 frames for 2H, close to 20 frames for 6H. Anyone can just jump in and play with no pre-knowledge and know roughly what any button is going to do. These started as arcade games, they had to be this way.

                          QC can't roll back rocket speed at all because "spam the valuable item with rockets" kinda doesn't work when items don't matter much, so it has to have an optimal range in a straight-up fight. I guarantee you, though, that no one would ever want to use a rocket that could be consistently dodged on reaction as soon as you leave self-damage range, and the shorter you make the reactable range, the more people are going to pull out their LGs or Rails (and if you nerf LG range to compensate, they'll pull out their machine guns or start using Rail at closer range).

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                            #88
                            Originally posted by LtC-Cynical View Post
                            The StarCraft tournaments in Korea weren't that big in '99, and no one in the west knew about them until about 2004 or so. "E-sports" as a term wasn't used until a few years after that; in the early 2000s, the term "cyberathletics" got thrown around a bit to promote Pankiller and its multiplayer mode (as well as a bunch of sound cards that had Fatal1ty's picture on them), but was widely mocked by most videogame players.
                            I think you overexaggerate how your attitude towards esports was reflected in the wider gaming community. fatal1ty was well known by the time Q3 came out, and a not small group of gamers were huge fans of his, which is the whole reason he had his own product lines coming out. I don't care if it wasn't specifically called "esports". That's literally what was happening.
                            StarCraft and Warcraft 3 were designed by Blizz with the mentality of "let's make a fun videogame for nerds who are going to play the videogame". StarCraft 2 was designed as "let's make an e-sport"! It's not a coincidence that StarCraft 2 is widely considered the worst RTS that Blizz has ever made, with even paid shills like Day[9] privately disparaging the game when they don't think anyone is recording.
                            I wasn't arguing game quality or not. Even if people think Starcraft 2 is a huge failure, it wasn't a financial failure by any stretch of the imagination and millions of people played it.
                            We see the same thing with FPSs. Unreal Tournament, and Quake 3 are good videogames that were designed to be videogames not tournament vehicles. Overwatch and Quake Champions were designed from the ground up to be tournament vehicles, and both games are terrible. And then there's the DotA-likes, games that no sane person could possibly claim are "good videogames" (if you disagree with this, go play Herzog Zwei or Sacrifice or Supreme Commander and reconsider...), but are riding that "it's not a videogame, IT'S A COMPETITIVE SPORT!" gravy train.
                            It's hard to comment on what affect QC will ultimately have, but you keep mentioning these games that, even though you think they are awful, have been played by literally millions of people and are constantly played by tens or hundreds of thousands of people at any given time. It doesn't do your point much good since clearly a lot of people disagree with you.

                            I'm not arguing whether esports makes a game fun at all. Of course making a game for "esports" won't change whether the game is good or fun whatsoever. But ignoring the watchability of a game in an age where games are livestreamed 24/7 would be foolish to say the least.
                            (Also, upthread, you guys were saying that classic UT was "mind numbing" to watch because it's so +back, now you're saying it's great for spectators... which is it?)
                            Who said that, specifically? It's not incorrect that UT has always been a very heavily defensive game which can lead to boring games for sure. Games that reward aggression are just more entertaining. Imagine paying to watch a wrestling match and 95% of it turned out to be two guys circling each other in the ring and neither of them every taking an opening or attacking because it's too risky. Yes, UT has always struggled with this (maybe less so in CTF, though).

                            It doesn't make any sense to make a supposedly Arena FPS that is even more +back heavy than any other UT game has ever been, though. It ruins watchability and it also doesn't make the game more fun.
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                              #89
                              Originally posted by LtC-Cynical View Post
                              QC can't roll back rocket speed at all because "spam the valuable item with rockets" kinda doesn't work when items don't matter much, so it has to have an optimal range in a straight-up fight. I guarantee you, though, that no one would ever want to use a rocket that could be consistently dodged on reaction as soon as you leave self-damage range, and the shorter you make the reactable range, the more people are going to pull out their LGs or Rails (and if you nerf LG range to compensate, they'll pull out their machine guns or start using Rail at closer range).
                              If this were true, then no one would ever use rockets in RA or CA. In reality rockets have always had some value in a straight fight, even when as slow as 700 ups, and up against 100dmg Rails in Q2. Without going into all the ways you could easily nerf hitscan across the board (especially that joke 80dps MG) this is obviously the simple result of map geometry.

                              Still though, it's all exemplary of how bad QC's balance is. I put a lot of the blame on visual character design coming before gameplay character design. They wanted to have large size differences between the characters because it's more aesthetically exciting, but that requires large hitbox differences which in turn requires large differences in starting stack which diminish the importance of armor/mega. I do think simply doubling the AP value of YA/RA would help, but that still won't be valuable to heavies unless you allow them to exceed 200/200 which no one particularly wants. If the character size/hitbox differences were smaller, then you could have a 125 upper ceiling and 85 lower floor on starting health. Then there's still room even for heavies to stack under the 200/200 max, and lights won't die to 1 rail.

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                                #90
                                Quake Champions is a lot of fun. E-Sports are totally a thing and they're huge. UT could definitely find a happy medium of being e-sports viable as well as easy to pick up and have fun with. It needs an armor re-work and a bunch of gun tweaks right now. Some new maps probably wouldn't hurt, especially for Duel and CTF. Competitive/Organized UT is pretty dead right now. I'm not really sure when it will pick back up, but I don't think it's in a state at the movement to be viable in the long term. It isn't at a point where it can really amass a strong core audience and grow. On the competitive side it comes and goes over time and no one really sticks around for too long.
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