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  • We're not talking about eliminating play styles, here. We're talking about reducing the efficacy of over powered play styles paving the way for more viable pay styles. On paper, this could double or triple your player base.

    I play this and not quake because with the average internet ping, UT and 2kx had movement that mattered. You could be aggressive when scans weren't "point and click." This, unfortunately fell apart on LAN pings. High level competition was Sniper/Lightning dominated, and most of the UT I played at weekly LAN events was only entertaining for as long as it was because most of us agreed to not abuse the scans. Also, CQC in Quake is shaft dominated, and rockets require less prediction. The CQC combat isn't nearly as diverse, even if it is more facilitated. It's also mostly facilitated by armor, not evasive movement. Quake weapon ceilings are lower, and movement is momentum based.

    Right now, aggro play styles get you killed. I don't want to eliminate +back (I wouldn't miss it, but I don't think it's even possible to rid the game of it). I just want to make other styles even possible, let alone viable.

    I never did clan competition in UT. I mostly played FFA pubs. At my peak, I decided to hunt ELO, and see how far up the ladder I could climb getting minimal powerups doing it. I got to number 7 with less than a dozen belts, and an aggressive play style. Winning with an armor advantage feels cheap to me. TAM saved 2kx for me, for similar reasons. I saw potential in UT's movement for it having equal efficacy with armor, if tooled properly. That's why I play UT. Armor wins in Quake. You should have more than one option for evading damage.

    Excuse me for not partaking in the armor discussion, is sounds like some of these ideas being thrown around are good, if not old. joellll l and I have gone back and forth about numerous armor systems that would work better than what we have, and generally agree the difficult part is getting mappers to use them properly, but the current armor changes, and path seem to be not of the "breaking new ground" variety. Maybe he'd like to chime in on this hijack, or reference another thread already on the subject.
    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


    • Oh, TAM. That explains a lot -- we're literally talking about two different games. Projectiles get a lot better when items are around to give shape to players' movement.

      Armor wins in UT even more than it does in Quake -- OOC has fewer stacking options. But, again, we're talking about entirely different games. Personally, I think that TAM and Elimination are only barely more fun than watching grass grow.

      (Also, good players have a shock/sniper hitrate of 30%-40%. It's not as automatic as you make out.)

      Comment


      • At the rates they fire, and damage they do, those percentages will keep TTL too low.

        The weapons are as good as they are regardless of what bait you have to psychologically entice your target to make a mistake. They really should have nearly no bearing on weapon efficacy. Doesn't matter if your running flag routes, or timing powerups, if a weapon is too easy to lock a corner down with, or too easy to hit on prediction or suppression spam, or get easier tracing a player running in a mostly predictable path, it's a problem with the weapon, not the game type.

        There is no reason we can't have a balanced set of weapons, movement, and armor that are independent of gametype. I would argue it to be a necessity, and have had serious doubts ever since the rumor started about them being "balanced around Flagrun."

        It's also not like I play TAM exclusively, I just started to lean that way after it became a thing because of the atrocious armor system that refuses to grow up in this game.
        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


        • Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
          The weapons are as good as they are regardless of what bait you have to psychologically entice your target to make a mistake.
          In some ways yes, but high value items are a stronger bait for rockets than lone map geometry.

          Weapon pickup economy has a way of strengthening weapons which might not always stack up so favorably against other weapons in the arsenal. Quake duel is all rocket/shaft/rail because it's so easy to get all the weapons you want with only 2 people on the map; there basically is no weapon economy. If you look at TDM, where players have to ration pickups with their mates, the rest of the arsenal becomes WAY more important and you see a lot more clutch kills with MG, SG, GL, and PG.

          And thus it turns out that RL/LG/RG aren't THAT overpowered, they're just a little more efficient than the rest, and that gap can easily be crossed with positioning and teamplay that duelers either can't do (cause no teammates) or can't be bothered with because having RL/LG/RG is too easy.

          UT's arsenal is certainly more diverse in some ways (mainly the shock combo), but lower tier stuff is just as useless, if not more so. Bio can make gimmick hail mary shots on stacked opponents, and do nothing else. Link balls and stinger shards aren't as good at pressuring the high tier weapons as Quake's PG. Compared to UT2k4, Quake is WAY less hitscan dominated... even in duel against a hitscan *****; RL, PG, and GL stand a better chance than UT's RL, flak, and bio.

          Both series could really use some tweaks to make some of the lower weapons a little more viable, but the tweaks Quake needs are more subtle than UT's (after all, the Bio Launcher basically reinvents bio as a Quake GL). Armor is a central part of AFPS gameplay and Quake simply does it in a way that's less one-sided.

          Comment


          • Pickups making projectiles stronger is more than just "mistake-bait" -- having time cues or sound cues for your opponent being in certain areas gives you opportunities to use projectiles in situations that they can't realistically react to. An example that comes to mind instantly is a combo from under the floor near the vest on Backspace; the person going for the vest will get a sound cue, but they'll have no idea where the shock core is coming from, and since it's coming from below them through a narrow slit in the floor, they're not going to see it until it's too late.

            Weapon balance isn't so important unless one weapon gets really, really, really dominant; Quake and UT have both been pretty explicit about the fact that their weapon system is "tiered" since the beginning, and they use that to create more important places on the map, and this is relevant in duel sometimes, not just TDM. To use an example from Quake, ztn creates the possibility that a player will have to use plasma or grenades to force a player away from the mega intersection, from where they can control rockets, rail, and lightning (the absence of the nades and their replacement with a worse version of the rocket launcher is sorely felt when playing QC's remake of this map); a UT4 example is how much IC players try to control shock on Erase or shock + sniper on ASDF, to the point that OOC can generally assume where IC is even during times when no armors are up.

            (Also, I feel like Link is getting sold short here. It's probably the most sure way of getting a kill on an opponent that isn't heavily stacked at close-to-medium range.)

            Comment


            • Which Link? In UT99 and 2k4, link projectiles are mostly spam. They are better in UT3, but still lack the precision of the Quake PG. They are strongest in UT4 solely due to the gigantic collision, but without that, they'd probably just be UT3 link balls with an overheat.

              Comment


              • I meant UT4 Link. I skipped UT3, so that comparison is lost on me, but ROF and bolt speed are higher on Link primary in UT4 than in 99 or 2kx.

                UT99 Pulse primary sucked, but the gun was still relevant because of the saw effect on the alt fire. 2k3/2k4 link was pretty much worthless outside of team modes.

                EDIT: Also, the alt-fire in UT4 does more DPS than in 99 (not counting the saw) or 2kx, and there's the pull functionality which happens about once every few hundred games.
                Last edited by LtC-Cynical; 07-18-2017, 02:08 PM.

                Comment


                • The weird thing about rate of fire is it seems to have the opposite effect between UT and Quake.

                  IMO the rate of fire of the Q3 PG is actually too high and lowers practical accuracy because it takes so much focus away from hitting individual shots. The overly-large, blurry graphic in Q3 and QL exacerbates this problem by misrepresenting its collision area and obscuring the shooter's vision so it's hard to make precise corrections in leading. If you roughly double the refire delay of the PG from 0.1 to 0.18 seconds like the UT Link balls, and raise damage accordingly to around 36 to keep the same DPS, you can shoot the PG a lot more precisely because you're focused on making every shot count rather than getting lost in the spam.

                  Conversely in UT, the slower 0.18 refire delay tends to give opponents more time to slip between the gaps in your stream of fire. You can raise the projectile speed to the same proportions as the Q3 PG (i.e. 2700 ups) with the same damage, but you'll still have opponents slipping through the gaps in your projectiles. Then as soon as your start shortening the Link projectile's refire delay towards the classic Quake 0.1 seconds, it gets exponentially more effective and demolishes everything in the general direction you point it.

                  So yeah, I think anywhere between .133 and .166 seconds is an ideal fire interval for the link primary, and the increased projectile speed in UT3 and 4 is a step in the right direction. However, I think even without the huge collision sphere and the overheat, it'd still need a bit more speed to hit the sweet spot.

                  Comment


                  • Again, when I say balanced, I don't mean each weapon should have equal efficacy. It's really about how weapon combinations bolster play styles, and that each play style has comparable efficacy. Tiered weapons is fine, hit scan TTL is still too low, or DPS too high, however you want to look at it. It's having a cascade of effects for the other weapons so they can keep up, pretty much lowering the ceiling on all weapons.

                    I'm not saying anything should change about any of the comparisons or dynamics you just listed. The problem is overall TTL.
                    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


                    • Hitscan DPS in UT4 is the lowest it's ever been in the series, though (it may be the lowest in arena FPS history; there's nothing in UT4 like a Quake lightning gun). You keep saying "but pings!", but we've seen competitive play on LAN or on sub-40 pings for almost 20 years, and we know it's fine (2k4 hitscan dominance had more to do with double-jump than relative DPS, as evidenced by shock combos still being useful and spawn grenades being widely complained about).

                      Comment


                      • Yeah, UT4 hitscan values are not much different from UT3, in which projectiles were decently useful without the training wheels collision we see in UT4. I don't doubt that hitscan damage could probably be lowered a bit, but if hitscan really is that bad I don't think it's the raw DPS because it's not that different from previous games. Hitscan DPS in UT1 was objectively MUCH higher, with around 30% higher shock beam damage and 100% extra sniper and minigun damage compared to every other game, plus the link saw effect.

                        Comment


                        • If people want to see more projectile play, the answer is in a faster weapon switch speed and maps with shorter sight lines. Maybe faster projectiles, as well.

                          People in UT4 tend to walk around with their shock-rifle out because it's the best prediction-spam weapon in the game (combo doesn't need a surface). They stick to it at mid-range because plinking with its beam beats switching to a more appropriate weapon. First contact in UT4 tends to happen at long range because of map designs with longer sight/shot lines. Rockets are less usable at long range than Q3/QL rockets (lower speed, no pre-step, dodge), so there's more of a range where hitscan just dominates rockets and rocket users have to run further and take more shots to get in.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by -AEnubis- View Post
                            Maybe he'd like to chime in on this hijack, or reference another thread already on the subject.
                            Spot on the mappers (and player acceptance) of anything beyond 1/1/1/1, even though the current setup is ripped off from a game that has many maps with differing allocation of armor.

                            There are two aspects to armor. Well more than two, but two I find interesting in relation to how the game plays and overall macro of duel currently. The first is the resource dynamic between in/out of control, I covered this heavily in that "post" about quake/ut. It is semi related to the second point.

                            The other aspect, which I am more interested after coming back from overwatch is how resources drives players to fight in duel - this is even more lacking in ut compare to quake. This is a mixture of stack self vs deny opponent and relative item sizes determining if pickups are worth contesting.

                            The current system "caps out" players needing to interact very quickly (yet not quickly enough to support super aggressive play like qw would), leading to situations where one player has 1xx/100a and the other has 1xx/150a and the only resource that sets up fights is the belt. An item that spawns once per minute is the only thing either needs to concern themselves with.

                            If scores are close the question I ask at that point is 1) does the out of control player even need the extra 50 from the belt, enough to contest and potentially "waste" the time they spent building to 100a - are they better off using their resources in a completely random trap? 2) If the in control player is ahead do they need to pressure the out of control player knowing they have 1xx/100a? The stack difference is close, they have little to gain if they are already ahead, would they not be better off biding their time and resources and not wasting resources?

                            By the same token with the new armor system does a fresh spawn who grabs the 50a make any dangerous moves on the 25a, the 100a or the 50a if their opponent is nearby? For a whopping 25a extra? If scores are close I would lean towards the side of caution on this as well.

                            To illustrate this the fight right here did not need to occur - Fjaru obv made a mistake and did not realise his opponent had not taken the 100a already, however his opponent already had 100a (capped out) meaning he had no benefit to taking the armor and does not need to be there at all. He has not damaged fjaru since he took the belt. In this situation the next big ticket item that is coming up is the belt, denial for fjaru and stacking for his opponent (provided no damage is take in the interim). This is the only large item both players can stack on.

                            This scenario occurred in the old system as well - if the out of control player obtained the 100a the requirement to fight for it was gone until either player took damage. The in control player could swap attention to the 50a as this is the only source of stacking for the previously out of control player. This may sound nit picky, but the armor that drives players to fight stops making players fight each other quite quickly in ut. You can still try to kill your opponent “for fun”, but the resource requirement is no longer there. Players are not going to fight for the small spattering of vials around the map, nor will they be predictable enough to setup for fights on these vials. The same applies to weapons, even in 2k4 where hitscan was potentially more dominant there were few demo examples of hard denial, let alone fights setup at shock/lg. This is where the single, large, pickup that is the mega comes in. The belt is attempting to replace it by being the only armor “overheal” available but by itself it is too small and insignificant to risk stack or time spend for.

                            The current system is an improvement from the perspective of "lets play some ut for fun" or for out the out of control player. Players can stack more and players can contest more, it even feels like quake to a degree if you ignore the above. At a lower level it is fine, but when you need to toss up the consequence of committing to a fight (ignoring the current abomination that is in fight movement), weapon damage and stack difference being ~50 it really begs the question of why you should commit. This leads to more defensive play in an attempt to conserve resources that have taken time to accumulate.

                            To be honest it has been interesting to test but needs to be put to bed. Armorware is not the solution either, but it might be an improvement over the current epic setup.

                            At this point you might be thinking “well ut has seemingly worked well in the past” to which I would straight up say it has not worked from this perspective of players needing to fight. Watching competitive games players contest the 100a at :30, die, then go on to contest the belt at :00 without stacking at all was common - is just poor play and giving away points. Players could trade off the belt for the 100a and be on a more even footing. HOWEVER the next point of conflict is still the next belt spawn. 30-60 seconds away. I believe part of the problem is the small community that continues to push memes like “must always contest belt” and similar things. Must always run belt+100a ad ad infinitum regardless of mine, or my opponent need. Potentially taking damage for no reason. If UT were large this would fall to the way side and the problems with the armor would become more readily apparent. edit: After posting realised that the older titles with belt+100a dynamic and control is why this did not occur as much in the past.

                            I use quake as a comparison only because it is convenient. This could be reworded as “ut does not foster an environment that causes players to fight”. Or something. I don’t want ut to become quake and I don’t think transplanting ql armor into ut has worked, probably because mega is missing; however without testing it there is possibility that it would still not work.

                            This forum and the ut community in general seems obsessed with tweaking a few values (usually in terms of limiting in control players stack while also keeping them buff enough to warrant getting items), thinking it will "fix" armor. Ut armor is flawed from the perspective of out of control play as well why players fight. The fix is actually reasonably simple - maps need more resources players care about for two reasons. To make them want to fight and to give them resources so they are not fighting naked. In the old system the 50a was not super important to deny because alone it could never amount to more than +50.

                            The important variables - the spawn times, the number of items and the number of resources that cause fights (armor in ut vs armor/mega in quake) are what need to be tweaked. This does not specifically mean a mega needs to be added.

                            One final aspect that needs to be put to bed is armor decay. This does not drive conflict - the in control player in quake will cap out their armor at 200 and need +25 every spawn seconds in order to keep this high - this is not making them take RA+YA each cycle. Armor decay is more time limiting to the out of control player stacking on a single 50a. In this scenario they can stack to 150a in three spawns with no penalty, however if they want to go to 200 they need to spend the next two spawns 150-25, 125+50, 175+50 to obtain it.

                            The flip side is that decay for mega makes a degree of sense. This is because it is a single item on a longer spawn - we want the in control player to want it for themselves as well as denial each spawn.

                            Originally posted by Gnalvl View Post
                            Yeah a lot of Quake maps have 2 YA because during their initial design in Q3 there was no GA, and then when GA was eventually added in CPMA and QL, no one bothered to change the maps. It's sorta lazy but in worked out for the better in many cases.
                            Overall newer, quake 3/live duel maps have more resources available than older q3 maps. If you compare t4 (2*YA, 2min mega, a few +5 bubbles, long spawn rail), t2 (2*YA.. no mega. I believe the only ql duel map missing it), dm6 (1*RA 1*YA 35s mega, +25 shards on RA side of the map).

                            Of course there were older, more heavily stacked maps (dm13, ztn, even areo in the closing years of q3) but recognising this simply lends weight to the case that the earlier, lighter loaded maps were not that great. Both were played reasonably early on, tested and one fell away. Plus shards were always available in place of the GA - which does not setup fights.

                            The popularity of dm6 took much longer to wane and there were many discussions on esr about how to “fix” the map. id revamped it in 2013 with an intel branded sponsor version for qcon - which essentially ignored most of the feedback beyond “add another armor”. A green was added to the main atrium, not really aiding the ooc player in a meaningful way because it was in a “dangerous” location.

                            Sinister, cure, toxicity, aero, battleforged, hektik all sport significantly much more resources than the older, lighter maps. They also have a varying array of pickups - different numbers of YA/GA/shards/+5hp. At most the difference between ut maps is omitting a pickup but until the 20s weapon respawn you could not even leave out a weapon because maps needed seven pickups otherwise full scale denial became too easy.

                            So.. how would I fix ut duel?

                            1. Roll back to the “old” setup with slotted items, no self stacking. Pads, vest, belt. Maybe helmet as an extra thing.

                            2. Max at 150 of “whatever”. Absorption between 60 and 85%. Not 50%. Change the belt back to 100%.

                            3. Change vest to 75a and pads to 75a.

                            4. Change belt spawn to 40s.

                            5. Remove delayed spawns, this is problematic old school solution has been solved with spawn picking.

                            Changing both items to 75a means the in control player needs to run all three pickups for full denial. It also means they need to be aware of their opponents stack and specifically which items they have taken in order to know what has been denied*. It gives more options to out of control play, it ties up much more time for the in control player and buffs a single pickup (75a vs 50a), making things potentially slightly easier for out of control with one pickup.

                            *This is a unique aspect of ut armor, the least talked about aspect, and probably the most interesting from the perspective of ut dna for armor - and it has existed in every game (I think) outside of 2k3. Someone can weigh in on 2k4. It should be looked at and used to create something interesting. It would be the first step for me if I was trying to create something to test. For me this is would be the starting place to build something as it is unique to ut. Perhaps a mega could be added. Perhaps +50 mega, meaning two pickups are required. One thing is for sure, the current setup is lacking for duel and duel is the gametype that needs it.

                            UT Denial
                            If I have belt + 100a under control I want to deny both of these - classically ut99/ut4 control.
                            If I lose 100a I then want to deny 50a as it is the only resource available to my opponent unless they take damage, which they should strive not to until the next belt spawn.

                            In reality picking the 50a in this manner rarely, if ever occurred because the in control player just continued playing like an automaton, picking up belt+100a even after the 100a has been taken (and no damage dealt) by the out of control player.

                            Lastly playing with the current system with 1*100a 2*50a 1*25a and a decent number of vials is quite fun, provided you ignore the capping out factor.
                            Last edited by joellll; 07-18-2017, 07:39 PM.
                            Posts are about duel unless otherwise specified. ut duel shortcomings | What is timing? | dm-twentyseven

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by LtC-Cynical View Post
                              Hitscan DPS in UT4 is the lowest it's ever been in the series
                              Funny thing is, I don't disagree with that. Still stand by my assertion. Lower.

                              You keep saying "but pings!", but we've seen competitive play on LAN or on sub-40 pings for almost 20 years, and we know it's fine (2k4 hitscan dominance had more to do with double-jump than relative DPS, as evidenced by shock combos still being useful and spawn grenades being widely complained about).
                              I disagree that it's fine. 2kx effectively died in 2 years. I certainly had no competitive interest in it. Skymines are ridiculous in terms of general efficacy, and spawn grenades were hard to track, and had inheritance. Both of those things had valid reasons despite being projectile, to be as efficient/problematic as they were.

                              I'm all for faster switch times too. Clicking on people should be more work than acquiring the weapon to do it with. I happen to reference that Epic seems to think to maintain some sort of statistical balance, that they are implementing a cascade of lowering skill ceilings on projectile weapons to keep up, but that doesn't mean I agree with it. I would even be okay with most projectiles remaining slightly inferior to scans (don't think it's avoidable). Honestly, I have always had a thing for underdogging, or being able to take the less efficient path in a game, and overcome it with skill. It really doesn't change the fact that even in a bubble, the raw array of skills needed to click on things is pretty low, the mechanic lacks counter play, and is essentially the go-to, bottom of the barrel, base shooting mechanic that you can use and still include any actual user contributed aim skill.

                              Lesser games have done completely without it, and better games have gone to much greater lengths to balance it. There's no good reason beyond lore continuity to keep using the mechanic. Shock and Shaft. Raise all skill ceilings.
                              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


                              • Spawn grenades were only "widely complained about" in TDM. Hitscan dominance in 2kx was due to a lot of factors.
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