Shattered Rift

Turf War Feedback

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Note to future self: Reread this thread at game-end and consider addressing things much more point-by-point. (I'm referring to several things, and Rox's post in particular is sitting right above me as I type this.)

 

In the meanwhile, a few general (and a couple of specific) thoughts.

 

As I said at the start of the game, I was making a hefty assumption that actions would be equal between teams, that activity would be equally spread across a team even if some individuals were super-active and others were less active. In this game, it's been fairly close in that regard. The larger issue is that the complete absence of a player causes a much more significant disparity. And with the existing player base, there's no way we'll hit the 3 Team version of the game.

 

Unfortunately any suggestions I have would require a major rework of core mechanics and probably not an option. But a tl;dr version would be to have all actions have more obvious impact, make the winning objectives more clear and add more counterplay options. One possible thing you could do is make area control a more temporary thing and make it the key goal. Scrap the current point system and just rewards points every X time period where a team has a majority (non-disabled) presence in an area. This adds more obvious strategy and makes disabling a bigger deal.

Yeah, major reworks are out right now for reasons that I'll go into a bit more detail about near the end of the week.

 

The thought that occurred to me while reading this was to consider temporary control to work like tags: whichever team is currently controlling an Area gains a bonus, and conquest could still give a sizable (and permanent) bonus.

 

 

Re: Cooldown: This was something I debated quite a bit. I thought that a 4 hour cooldown would provide enough actions during the day to be satisfying and keep the game from disrupting individual players' schedules. Shortening it to 3 hours would have made Invent problematic as it would have required creating another item that's built for a 4x CD. I drafted up quite a few items, but a lot of them felt unsatisfying for various reasons.

 

I also considered 8 hour cooldowns, but those seemed like they would make gameplay too slow (as would 12 or 24 hour cooldowns).

 

Blacjak's already explained the issue with allowing multiple actions at once. Something like that could be done, but Avenge would need to be made more powerful to compensate, and I worry there are other issues that would crop up.

 

The obvious solution may be the one I have to take.

 

I must admit I am fairly well lost.  I've just been moving randomly.  The only action out of the base I've had listed that I could do (I thought) was shoot (or maybe other things were there and I missed it.

 

I am a little frustrated in that I don't really know what I should be doing.  I did read the guide, but it tells me (sort of) what I can do but doesn't tell me anything about what strategically works best.

 

Another factor is that I agree that it would be nice to have more feedback.  I know who is winning, but I don't know anything more.

 

In short, I am mostly lost about what I should be doing as I move around.

My approach in the past, such as with the Spark Game, has been to release things and to let people figure out how they work. I very much wanted to see how people would play Turf War if I gave them a certain amount of information and let them develop their own metagame. The confusion that's followed has made it clear I didn't say enough. And actually playing the game has made it clearer to me what kind of game I actually created.

 

There are a few ways to approach Turf War. At the two extremes of the spectrum, a team can either attempt to conquer Areas by building up their Fort(s), or a team can focus on gunning down the other team(s) via shoot/avenge/assault. In between these extremes is a balancing act where a team can build when an area's uncontested and perform the shoot-like actions if the area is contested. In those cases, the goal is usually to disable enemies quickly and efficiently. Less enemies means less interference, more reliable aiming with assault, and less threat of being hit by avenge shots.

 

In the case of smaller, more one-on-one or two-on-two battles, assault can semi-reliably hit the player you want and slow down the progress of the enemy fort. (Remember, assault randomly targets an opponent on that team. If there's only one opponent in the area, assault is usually the best choice as it's guaranteed to damage them and their fort.) If you're trying to track an opponent's spark count and you think they're low enough, you can shift to regular shoot actions to finish them off (ie disable them). Avenges play into this quite a bit, too, because avenges are a much more powerful shot.

 

In the case of larger, three-on-three or bigger battles, assault fails to reliably hit any one specific target. In these cases, targeting the same player with normal shoot actions can be preferred to disable them efficiently.

 

There's a bit more to it than this, specifically because of the role that avenges and movement play, but this is the basic idea. Conquering Areas grants a massive point bonus. However, if a high enough number of disables and assaults are taken in the process of building, that bonus fails to make up the difference. I don't plan to reveal what that balance is: suffice it to say that Rex and I are confident with the numbers we've chosen.

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So, further thoughts after longer spent playing. I am definitely enjoying things more as the battle has started to take shape and proper tactics have started to emerge and I actually feel you have the foundation for a great game. Warning: Probable essay incoming.

 

Point system

However, I think the current point system should simply be done away with and the winner is whoever builds the most forts. The current point system is pretty obscure and can be pretty demotivating. For example, I am yet to be disabled, am regulary active so have missed few turns...yet others have 25% more points contributed than me? Why? Is building not a valuable action?

 

Points also lead to an unclear objective. "Your team is winning"...well, that's good, but why? With fort completion it's obvious to tell who is winning and to know what exact actions you need to take to win. There is a very clear goal there that everybody can understand.

 

Disabling

Secondly to somewhat reiterate what I said before, making somebody miss one turn feels like nothing was really gained. Would it be possible to make it so that their only way of recovery was a teammate to carry them back? I feel this would add a LOT to the game even though it looks like a simple change. It would

A: Take two people out of an area temporarily which would be very useful for a suggestion that I'll get to soon.
B: Be a further level of teamwork.
C: Create mini-objectives.

 

C is very important. Currently, there is only really one long term goal and adding short term points of focus stops things from becoming monotonous.

Let's say for example there are 3 reds in GD that disable the only blue in the area. Both teams are faced with a choice. Red team can drag some people from other areas into GD. This would prevent blue team sending one person to the area and carrying the disabled person out as it'd just lead to themselves getting disabled.
Blue team could respond by either pushing into other areas which are now weakened, or by sending a larger force into GD. Red team could in turn respond by sending more into GD and you end up with a full scale fight going on rather than the current perpetual skirmishes.

Such a small change can make the game so much more interesting and opens up deeper levels of strategy.

 

New assault option

Third thought.
I have no idea if this is possible, but what are your thoughts on adding another assault-like option "Deal 20 damage to the enemy fort, but take 10 damage for every able enemy there"

 

I feel that there should be a reward for causing the entirety of the enemy team to abandon an area. This works well with the zone control aspect of the game.
Secondly, it fits better thematically than assault currently does. If you're targeting a fort full of people, you're just going to get shot to hell.
Thirdly, I believe that there should be a proper counter to building. The current assault doesn't really do that.

 

With the numbers I listed, it is an efficient action to take if a place is unmanned, it has average efficiency if there is one person there and becomes inefficient if there are more than that.

 

Last thoughts

Well, those are my main suggestions...but for completeness sake I'm just going to throw in a few more things I'd like to see but are less important IMO. Going to leave these short, but would explain my thoughts behind them more if you're interested at all. The general theme though is that they provide counters against certain actions. More possible counterplay results in more depth.

 

A "surpressing fire" action. Targets a person, uses 3 ammo but deals a large amount of damage if the target changes area within X time period. A bit of counterplay to the current prevalent hit and run tactic and also makes ammo count more of a thing to watch.

 

A paint grenade item, deals 5 damage to all enemies in an area. A bit of counterplay to just completely stacking people in one area. Although it might seem strong initially, it only becomes averagely efficient with four enemies. It's actually weaker than that though as it lacks the burst potential that comes with normal shooting.

 

Bandages. Heals self for 20? Not efficient in terms of turns used, but can be a bit of a boost to be used when something important is required.

 

Vest. Blocks first shot. A bit of a counter to big paintballs/avenge. Otherwise an inefficient use of a turn creating. (Edit: After further thought that seems pretty OP and would be basically a must have everytime you return to base)

 

 

I realise that there is a lot here that you may disagree with. Even so, I'd appreciate it if you (and anybody else) could add your thoughts to these ideas. This is especially true for the first three things (Remove points, carry disabled and assault thing)

 

I think at the end of the day, the best way to sum up my feelings is that it's currently kind of like playing pokemon without typings. There are never really any actions you can take which are super effective or not very effective. You're just there trading hits.

Edited by Sinical

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Today, 10:50 AM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 04:53 PM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 12:48 PM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 08:29 AM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

14 Dec 2014 - 19:58 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

14 Dec 2014 - 14:21 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

13 Dec 2014 - 20:47 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

13 Dec 2014 - 16:17 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

12 Dec 2014 - 17:42 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

12 Dec 2014 - 13:35 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

i feel like this game has deteriorated. there is no reason not to build up a fort.

shoot someone? if you shoot them six times they lose like three turns having to reset. Even if you use big paintballs/vbarrels/avenging (which you have to craft) you still only spend three turns to deny them three turns. Plus you can be avenged yourself.

tear down their fort? half as effective as building the fort as well

heal/clean? don't even see the point of these

craft? even with items, you only break even vs building the fort. and so add in the cost to build items and you're not breaking even.

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Before the game started I was pretty sure build was the best action. However, going full assault actually does prevent forts from being completed in time depending on the number of people. Building forts is the minigoal. The main goal is to have the most points at the end of the game, which is either when all areas are captured (something that is very unlikely to happen unless everyone starts building) or when 30 days are up. Capturing a fort grants a bunch of points, but it is possible, through super efficiency to gain enough of a point lead that capturing a fort will not place you in first in time for the month to end.

When you disable someone, they only lose one action. While shooting them 6 times, you get 6 points, and they either get 5 points if they act after you, or 6 points if before. But while disabled, they wouldn't be able to get another point while respawning, and the player that shot them would get one more.

Disabling is worth it in a perfect action economy, as you essentially gain a 1 point lead from it. However the idea that both teams would have perfect action participation is absurd, not to mention counting inactives. The shoot action is not really worth, but assault is due to pressure on fort construction time.

Removing the respawn action sounds like the perfect answer to balance, while the carry action should respawn the player carried.

Paint grenade seems too situational to be worth coding, requiring 4 people at a time to target efficiently while also requiring to be used to have the same effect on pressure as a shoot or assault. Being down 5 sparks means you still need to be hit an additional 6 times anyways. Having the Paint Grenade do 20 damage if there is only one target, 10 if there are two, and 5 if there are more is both more realistic and gives the item actual viability as a versatile item that can act as a big paintball, v-barrel, or the AoE grenade effect all of which are worth break even points except hitting 3 people with the grenade. This is paintball, and Paint Grenades use paint, so the less people there are, the more of the paint they'd be hit by since it wouldn't spread out over other allies. As opposed to damage from explosive force or piercing shrapnel.

For the same reason, a Vest is essentially cheating and unrealistic in paintball. Paintballs are not bullets, getting hit means you're tagged and have to be cleaned. Wearing a Vest wouldn't do anything but soften the pain from the hit sure, but has no functional purpose. If you remove the Vest after being hit, you're just cheating.

Bandages also make no sense and remove the cost of having to go back to base to clean which has a major purpose pointswise. White Paint removes more paint when cleaning, bandages wrap up your injured ego when your friends laughed at you for crying when hit after you took your vest off like the cheater you are. (Oh and those tiny scratches you got on a tree branch) Using them to heal sparks also completely negates all points you made about disabling not being worth, doesn't make sense thematically, and is just if not more inefficient than regular heal actions if the action grants no points. Being physically in an area doing no actions while low has no purpose and going back to base and full healing accomplishes the same thing and more without the chance to get hit again while healing, as movement can be done every turn. Healing is also identical to disabling yourself except for the purpose of choosing a more specific time to be so and making it easier for the enemy to get more disables out of you since you effectively decrease your total spark count accross lives by however many sparks you had left.

The Suppress action does sound super useful. 3 Paintballs to deal 10 damage, plus an additional 20 if the target leaves the area in the next 4 hours is both balanced, and has the chance for counter-play. The user of Suppress would also have to stay in the same area similar to Avenge markers for the effect to take place. The enemy Suppressing you could be bolded, similar to how team mates who have an Avenge mark are bolded.

Things that could be changed:

Rift already plans to reveal disabled enemies I believe. As well as possible leaderboards.

The Avenge mark would be much more useful if it only showed up on team mates when they could actually be Avenged.

This would also work much better with the addition of the Suppress action, which would force an enemy to stay in the area. Either way taking the extra 20 damage. This makes more sense for balance and gives a greater emphasis on teamwork and strength in numbers.

The suggested tweak to the versetile Paint Grenade would also be worth coding I think.

I have one more suggestion relating to paint levels. Currently they are purely cosmetic and it isn't worth cleaning as your mark can simply be removed at the very end of the game. Something like reducing your maximum spark count by 5 for each level of paint on you would add a new element to gameplay and make non build actions more viable, as well as synergizing with the suggested Paint Grenade as another 5 spark element in the game.

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So, further thoughts after longer spent playing. I am definitely enjoying things more as the battle has started to take shape and proper tactics have started to emerge and I actually feel you have the foundation for a great game.

I'm glad you're enjoying it and that you think it has potential. :)

 

The current point system is pretty obscure and can be pretty demotivating.

. . .

 

Points also lead to an unclear objective. "Your team is winning"...well, that's good, but why? With fort completion it's obvious to tell who is winning and to know what exact actions you need to take to win. There is a very clear goal there that everybody can understand.

I was definitely too vague about how gameplay worked (and functions beneath the surface), and the demotivational aspect (wondering how valuable your actions really are) is a definite problem, probably because it stems from not knowing which action is best in your current situation. I'm not sure yet how much I should reveal about the underlying mechanics, but I'm going to use about as deep an example as I can (without revealing any underlying mechanics) later in this post.

 

It's probably not the solution you'd want to see, but would you (and others) feel about current "control" being shown in Base (without CP numbers)? As in, having a list in the center that lists each Area and which Team currently has a higher CP count (but not what that CP count is)? The reason I want to keep this so restricted is that I don't want a player in-Base to just tell the rest of their team "here's the exact scenario in every Area" (albeit excluding which players are where and such). I still want to maintain the integrity that your viewpoint is your viewpoint. If you're out in the field, you get to know if your team is winning or losing. When you have a chance to recoup in Base, you gain additional information. That's where the idea is stemming from.

 

Disabling

Secondly to somewhat reiterate what I said before, making somebody miss one turn feels like nothing was really gained. Would it be possible to make it so that their only way of recovery was a teammate to carry them back? I feel this would add a LOT to the game even though it looks like a simple change. It would

A: Take two people out of an area temporarily which would be very useful for a suggestion that I'll get to soon.

B: Be a further level of teamwork.

C: Create mini-objectives.

 

C is very important. Currently, there is only really one long term goal and adding short term points of focus stops things from becoming monotonous.

Let's say for example there are 3 reds in GD that disable the only blue in the area. Both teams are faced with a choice. Red team can drag some people from other areas into GD. This would prevent blue team sending one person to the area and carrying the disabled person out as it'd just lead to themselves getting disabled.

Blue team could respond by either pushing into other areas which are now weakened, or by sending a larger force into GD. Red team could in turn respond by sending more into GD and you end up with a full scale fight going on rather than the current perpetual skirmishes.

Such a small change can make the game so much more interesting and opens up deeper levels of strategy.

First, I want to mention that Carry is going to be upgraded to ignore the movement CD of both the user and target in the next update. Right now, it requires both the user and target to have their movement available (and is virtually unusable as a result). (Respawning will receive the same upgrade.)

Secondly... no, I don't think I would ever seriously consider this. Even if the point system was drastically reworked in one way or another, and even if it became independent of actions, I don't want to have a player stuck in an Area disabled with literally nothing they can do. That would suck and be incredibly boring for the player involved.

 

I need to keep the thought of mini-goals in mind. Up until now I've been considering having additional action diversity. For example, if you're the only player in an Area, you're obviously going to Build. Even if your opponent is so far ahead in CP that you have no chance of conquering the Area. Thinking of mini-goals as well as action diversity should give me two perspectives on what is, in some cases, a very similar shortcoming in the game.

 

New assault option

Third thought.

I have no idea if this is possible, but what are your thoughts on adding another assault-like option "Deal 20 damage to the enemy fort, but take 10 damage for every able enemy there"

 

I feel that there should be a reward for causing the entirety of the enemy team to abandon an area. This works well with the zone control aspect of the game.

Secondly, it fits better thematically than assault currently does. If you're targeting a fort full of people, you're just going to get shot to hell.

Thirdly, I believe that there should be a proper counter to building. The current assault doesn't really do that.

 

With the numbers I listed, it is an efficient action to take if a place is unmanned, it has average efficiency if there is one person there and becomes inefficient if there are more than that.

Time to go in-depth with a few things...

Build gives 10 CP and Assault removes 5 CP specifically because I wanted to push the game towards an end point. That's why the two actions have that particular inequality. Build deals no damage to the enemy team but pushes your team towards the conquest bonus. Assault deals damage like Shoot, but it hits a random enemy on that Team so that Shoot can still be better if there's a group of enemies.

 

The Conquest Bonus is influenced by three factors: the required CP, the number of disables the Building team will probably take while building, and the assumed number of Assaults that will be incurred while Building. Anything that changes the damage taken in turn influences the number of disables and makes it more difficult to account for as a result. (Avenge is already an additional variable to the formula Rex and I are using to determine the Conquest Bonus.)

 

I want to do a couple of quick one-vs-one examples. It's something that a lot of you have probably already thought about, but hopefully it'll start to illustrate a deeper point.

 

Team B(uild) is Building, Team A(ssault) is Assaulting

 

B * 6: (60-30=)30 CP, 6 actions

A * 6: 0 CP, 6 actions

 

After six actions, Team B is up 30 CP but has been disabled. (Again, remember that one of the goals of the Build vs Assault balance is to push Areas towards completion.) At this point in time, the two Teams have an equal number of points (as they've performed an equal number of actions). On the following turn, Team B will lose an action to Respawn. Team A, uncontested, will Build. During the following turn, we'll say that Team B Cleans himself and Team A will Build again. On the following turn, both players will be in the Area, and the situation will be...

 

B: 30 CP, 7 actions

A: 20 CP, 8 actions

 

Team B is still ahead as far as conquest is concerned, but Team A is actually leading the game. ... I'll even go so far as to say that, in this scenario, Team A will win (as for every Build action by Team B, Team A is making an Assault and making it take that many more Build actions to conquer the Area and taking so many more disables along the way as a result).

 

However, as we know from experience, not every action can be an Assault when you have multiple players in an Area. The Builders can respond with Avenges, and Assault has such a random spread that disables aren't incurred as efficiently. It creates a balance between Shoot and Assault. Shoot is necessary to focus-fire down enemies and thereby limit the number of potential Assault targets, at which point Assault is necessary to slow the progress of the enemy Fort.

 

tl;dr: I'm reluctant to include a super-assault because it would make Areas take longer to conquer, which is counterproductive to forcing an end-game where Areas are conquered and thereby closed, herding the players into a smaller number of Areas. If I decided to include something like this, it would still probably only deal 10 CP damage.

 

Last thoughts

Well, those are my main suggestions...but for completeness sake I'm just going to throw in a few more things I'd like to see but are less important IMO. Going to leave these short, but would explain my thoughts behind them more if you're interested at all. The general theme though is that they provide counters against certain actions. More possible counterplay results in more depth.

 

A "surpressing fire" action. Targets a person, uses 3 ammo but deals a large amount of damage if the target changes area within X time period. A bit of counterplay to the current prevalent hit and run tactic and also makes ammo count more of a thing to watch.

 

A paint grenade item, deals 5 damage to all enemies in an area. A bit of counterplay to just completely stacking people in one area. Although it might seem strong initially, it only becomes averagely efficient with four enemies. It's actually weaker than that though as it lacks the burst potential that comes with normal shooting.

 

Bandages. Heals self for 20? Not efficient in terms of turns used, but can be a bit of a boost to be used when something important is required.

 

Vest. Blocks first shot. A bit of a counter to big paintballs/avenge. Otherwise an inefficient use of a turn creating. (Edit: After further thought that seems pretty OP and would be basically a must have everytime you return to base)

Suppressing Fire... would be difficult to code, I think. Unless I limited it to one player being able to suppress another at a time. Along similar lines, I want to double movement CD. I dislike strafing and feel that it breaks the game's deceit with players just hopping from Area to Area rather than being forced to commit to an Area. However, I haven't found the proper way to balance this against disables (as the penalty of having one extra action occur in Base is a pretty big deal).

 

Did I forget to mention the plan with Invent and Item design? V-Barrel is currently the exception to the rule, but I specifically want to have all future items modify existing actions, and I don't want them to add new ones. I went pretty back-and-forth on this point during development, but this is where my stance is currently. That said, something like a Paint Grenade could be balanced but would need to be limited to damaging n players. ... I feel like there are a couple of awkward nuances I'm overlooking.

 

The Medkit item was ultimately scrapped from the initial release of the game for... various reasons. If it existed, it would heal 30 sparks. Unless my balance numbers are still off on that. But I don't expect to add it.

 

Regarding the Vest, stay tuned for that other thread I've been meaning to get around to making. For now, anything along those lines wouldn't be nearly so powerful.

 

I think at the end of the day, the best way to sum up my feelings is that it's currently kind of like playing pokemon without typings. There are never really any actions you can take which are super effective or not very effective. You're just there trading hits.

I need to keep this quote in mind. It's something I forgot while balancing Spark Game v2 and is possibly the reason why the Main Store items were much more successful than the usergroup ones.

 

 

Today, 10:50 AM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 04:53 PM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 12:48 PM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

Yesterday, 08:29 AM Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

14 Dec 2014 - 19:58 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

14 Dec 2014 - 14:21 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

13 Dec 2014 - 20:47 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

13 Dec 2014 - 16:17 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

12 Dec 2014 - 17:42 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

12 Dec 2014 - 13:35 Random Chat Forum You built up the Fort!

i feel like this game has deteriorated. there is no reason not to build up a fort.

shoot someone? if you shoot them six times they lose like three turns having to reset. Even if you use big paintballs/vbarrels/avenging (which you have to craft) you still only spend three turns to deny them three turns. Plus you can be avenged yourself.

tear down their fort? half as effective as building the fort as well

heal/clean? don't even see the point of these

craft? even with items, you only break even vs building the fort. and so add in the cost to build items and you're not breaking even.

Do you still feel that way after reading my numbers example above with the Builder vs Assaulter?

 

Shoot can be used to tag the enemy team. Clean gains additional mileage for its ability to remove a tag.

 

Heal has surprised me quite a bit. Apparently some players (Rex included, who is aware of all the underlying game mechanics) are using it, whereas I had dismissed its value very early on. I still dislike it, but Rex thinks (or did think?) it's worth using to avoid suffering the extra in-Base action when disabled.

 

However the idea that both teams would have perfect action participation is absurd, not to mention counting inactives. The shoot action is not really worth, but assault is due to pressure on fort construction time.

You're still thinking about it the wrong way. The teams need to have an identical number of actions for the game to be perfectly balanced. If someone (say, a guy named Rift) is getting his 6 actions in around the clock, and two players on the opposing team are only getting in 3 each (or 1 and 5 or 2 and 4) the game is still balanced.

 

Interestingly, this game is operating within what I originally considered to be the acceptable range. However, I'm no longer convinced that this particular difference in actions is acceptable for an enjoyable game.

 

Paint grenade seems too situational to be worth coding, requiring 4 people at a time to target efficiently while also requiring to be used to have the same effect on pressure as a shoot or assault. Being down 5 sparks means you still need to be hit an additional 6 times anyways. Having the Paint Grenade do 20 damage if there is only one target, 10 if there are two, and 5 if there are more is both more realistic and gives the item actual viability as a versatile item that can act as a big paintball, v-barrel, or the AoE grenade effect all of which are worth break even points except hitting 3 people with the grenade. This is paintball, and Paint Grenades use paint, so the less people there are, the more of the paint they'd be hit by since it wouldn't spread out over other allies. As opposed to damage from explosive force or piercing shrapnel.

For the same reason, a Vest is essentially cheating and unrealistic in paintball. Paintballs are not bullets, getting hit means you're tagged and have to be cleaned. Wearing a Vest wouldn't do anything but soften the pain from the hit sure, but has no functional purpose. If you remove the Vest after being hit, you're just cheating.

Bandages also make no sense and remove the cost of having to go back to base to clean which has a major purpose pointswise. White Paint removes more paint when cleaning, bandages wrap up your injured ego when your friends laughed at you for crying when hit after you took your vest off like the cheater you are. (Oh and those tiny scratches you got on a tree branch) Using them to heal sparks also completely negates all points you made about disabling not being worth, doesn't make sense thematically, and is just if not more inefficient than regular heal actions if the action grants no points. Being physically in an area doing no actions while low has no purpose and going back to base and full healing accomplishes the same thing and more without the chance to get hit again while healing, as movement can be done every turn. Healing is also identical to disabling yourself except for the purpose of choosing a more specific time to be so and making it easier for the enemy to get more disables out of you since you effectively decrease your total spark count accross lives by however many sparks you had left.

The Suppress action does sound super useful. 3 Paintballs to deal 10 damage, plus an additional 20 if the target leaves the area in the next 4 hours is both balanced, and has the chance for counter-play. The user of Suppress would also have to stay in the same area similar to Avenge markers for the effect to take place. The enemy Suppressing you could be bolded, similar to how team mates who have an Avenge mark are bolded.

My first impression of this particular split was that it gave Paint Grenade far too much versatility. I'm not sure how I feel now that I've typed this far into that post. Suffice it to say that the item could be balanced, but that would already be creating a new action.

 

It's really a matter of how many points are earned while healing. Say you heal 30 sparks but only gain half an action's worth of points: that still works out on paper. Whether or not it works out in practice is another matter. Considering that Heal is currently seeing use, I'm reluctant to include this.

 

... wait a second. If I double the movement CD while in Areas but keep it the same while in Base, that would maintain the value of disables while forcing players to commit to an Area they move to. Note to self.

 

Hmm... I'm not sure if I would want a player to know that they're being suppressed. I suppose if I deducted the ammo from the suppressors, track the number of players suppressing a given player... the only problem there is providing a log entry to all the players that contributed to the disable if the player does move. Technically I just need to include an array in the Database, but I don't want to do that (mostly because I haven't done that before).</amateur programmer rambling>

 

Things that could be changed:

Rift already plans to reveal disabled enemies I believe. As well as possible leaderboards.

The Avenge mark would be much more useful if it only showed up on team mates when they could actually be Avenged.

This would also work much better with the addition of the Suppress action, which would force an enemy to stay in the area. Either way taking the extra 20 damage. This makes more sense for balance and gives a greater emphasis on teamwork and strength in numbers.

The suggested tweak to the versetile Paint Grenade would also be worth coding I think.

I have one more suggestion relating to paint levels. Currently they are purely cosmetic and it isn't worth cleaning as your mark can simply be removed at the very end of the game. Something like reducing your maximum spark count by 5 for each level of paint on you would add a new element to gameplay and make non build actions more viable, as well as synergizing with the suggested Paint Grenade as another 5 spark element in the game.

When did I say anything about leaderboards? Displaying enemy team members as disabled is a change that will be implemented.

 

Avenge will probably be updated in this manner.

 

Re: Strength in numbers: I did not intend for so few players to be in a given Area (as was common at the start of the game). I had thought that the proper balance would be to have three players from each team in a given Area at a given time. More or less is fine, but it's frequently been more or less. Rex disagrees with what I'm about to say, but only having two Areas in this game would have done a better job of fitting the vision I had in mind when I created Turf War.

 

As for reduced max sparks, no. Such a change would effectively force players to use the Clean action. I want to maintain action diversity and allow players to make the choice they feel is best for their situation.

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Clean is not worth unless it is the last day of the game, or you are using white paint another player invented. Inventing a big paintball while disabled is much more efficient generally.

 

Assault vs Build on a small scale of players does prevent capture. But past a certain number of builders, it is impossible to prevent capture. The ideal capture limit and capture bonus would be balanced such that at the point where the number of builders vs assaulters is expected (something like 1/4th-1/3rd of the players on a team assuming the team is split between areas and some are inactive) can both break even with each other in terms of bonus points=points lost through disable and capture points=the number of cp the expected builders vs assaulters produce in a time equal to 1/areas of the game time. (which allows for all the areas to be captured)

Edited by Blacjak

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Assault vs Build on a small scale of players does prevent capture. But past a certain number of builders, it is impossible to prevent capture.

I just explained why this is incorrect. It is impossible to prevent conquest unless the Building Team ceases to Build. Even if the Assaulting Team continues to Assault in the above example (rather than Build), the Building Team is still up 20 CP. During actual gameplay (where it's unlikely an assaulting player/team will be able to assault every action), the Building Team is likely to maintain a higher CP advantage per disable. This 20 difference is essentially the minimum. Balance comes from making the cost incurred not worth it to the Building team (as they suffer assaults and "lose" build actions from the CP loss incurred from assaults.

 

Edit: I should clarify, it it impossible to prevent progress towards conquest. The time limit on the game does create a tipping point at which conquest becomes impossible within the allotted time.

Edited by Shattered Rift

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Assault vs Build on a small scale of players does prevent capture. But past a certain number of builders, it is impossible to prevent capture.

I just explained why this is incorrect. It is impossible to prevent conquest unless the Building Team ceases to Build. Even if the Assaulting Team continues to Assault in the above example (rather than Build), the Building Team is still up 20 CP. During actual gameplay (where it's unlikely an assaulting player/team will be able to assault every action), the Building Team is likely to maintain a higher CP advantage per disable. This 20 difference is essentially the minimum. Balance comes from making the cost incurred not worth it to the Building team (as they suffer assaults and "lose" build actions from the CP loss incurred from assaults.

 

Edit: I should clarify, it it impossible to prevent progress towards conquest. The time limit on the game does create a tipping point at which conquest becomes impossible within the allotted time.

 

Your edit is exactly what I meant. Progress also does not matter unless you can capture.

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Next game should have more teams. I think part of what made the first game a little dry was that there was no difference between "hurt the other team" and "help your team". I think it would be far more interesting if we had say, Monkeys vs. Polar Bears vs. Ninjas. Ninjas too strong in a base? Monkeys and Polar Bears can work to tear it down. Now Polar Bears in the lead? Monkeys can switch to helping Ninjas to counter them. Monkeys winning? Good. It should stay that way.

Edited by Clucky

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I'm very eager to have three teams in the next game, if at all possible (and I'm considering a few possibilities). I won't be home for a few days yet to give a final review of this game, but I'm eager to hear any thoughts about this game.

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Rift I'm not sure if this is the place, but thank you for this game. Woth what I've been going through it's good to have some distraction. This game required enough attention to provided that while not requiring so much as to pull my focus from more important matters. So again thank you.

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That's good to hear, Stratus. I'm glad Turf War and I were able to help. :)

 

---

 

First, let's go with a few post-game numbers...

 

Final Score

Red Team - 12490
Blue Team - 11030

 

If Blue Team had successfully taken Werewolf, Red Team would have still won by 13 actions. (This is a straight-across comparison that ignores the necessary actions that would be gained/lost to cause a conquest shift.)

 

Action Tally

Red Team - 806 (80.6 avg/active player)

Blue Team - 721 (80.1 avg/active player)

 

When I created the game, I thought that a 10% difference in the number of actions would be acceptable. It now seems likely that that was too great a difference (but still in the right ballpark: I'd estimate something closer to 8% now). This game was effectively 10 v 9, and I feel that Blue Team still had a reasonable chance of winning. However, it's clear that from a player standpoint that much of Blue Team didn't feel like they had a fair chance of winning (especially after taking Random Chat didn't cause them to jump into the lead, which I attribute to how many V-Barrels were stockpiled in Blue Base: I didn't get an exact tally on this at the time, but I'm very certain this is correct).

 

A full account of the number of actions per player can be found in the spoiler below. There are a few noteworthy outliers: I missed about four(?) possible actions throughout the game, if I remember right. I was also waking up every 4 hours during most nights to get field actions in. Had I not been pushing so hard (ie, missing actions), the difference would have been at least 28 actions against Blue Team (comparing myself to Stratus). On the other hand, those 28 actions might have simply resulted in 14 White Paints instead. Blue Team's average actions per player would also lower to at, at most, 77 average actions per player. It's also worth noting that I've excluded Meta, Yoshi, and Dreamer from the active players to define the average actions per active player shown above. Meta performed only a single action; the others performed no actions.

 

StratusNova     116


Rexozord     106
Dyl     105
Roxeon     97
Nell     87
Sinical     84
Killerk239     80
Red     58
Steev     54
Kmeggs     18
Meta     1

Shattered Rift     144
Blacjak     102
TheLastStarMaker     100
Celairiel     92
Clucky     77
Kirby-oh     76
Lixyl     60
Neopetsmom     45
Code     25
Yoshi     0
thedreamcard     0

 

I think that's all I want to say in regard to numbers for the time being. I'm still feeling a little lagged from the drive home yesterday. I'm going to make a few definite changes in the next update.

 

Respawn will work independent of movement.

Carry will work independent of movement.

 

I'm seriously contemplating doubling movement CD outside of Base (but leaving it the same inside Base). In other words, players would need to commit to Areas for 8 hours (2 actions). But if you return to Base, you're only stuck there for a single action (which can be ignored by Action -> Move to Base, Move to Area -> Action). Being disabled would still result in the doubled movement CD (forcing 2 in-Base actions). I'm curious to hear thoughts on this. The main thing that bothered me during this game was how powerful strafing (Assault-> Move, Shoot-> Move) felt.

 

I'm also contemplating having "control" give a point bonus. This would encourage Building and provide immediate reward for being the team currently controlling an Area. Currently, if one team gains a significant CP lead in an Area, there's really no reason for other Teams to bother building in that Area. And I dislike that. (This may still be true even with this addition.)

 

I'm also contemplating swapping White Paint and V-Barrels as the 2 and 3 action CD invents (and consequently buffing White Paint and downgrading V-Barrels to 2 weight and 2 uses). V-Barrels were the go-to invent for Blue Team, and they're a pain to burn through (especially when you can't use Big Paintballs or White Paint).

 

I feel like there are one or two other things I'm giving serious thought to, but I can't recall what they are off-hand. (Maybe making points public knowledge. I've gone back-and-forth on that one.) As I've been saying for a while now, I very much want to shift to the three-team version of the game (and probably reveal a few underlying mechanics that matter much more in that version of the game). I have a thought for how to do this successfully, but... well, I'm reluctant to and want a few more days to think about it while I update Turf War.

 

I don't have an ETA on the next game yet. I'm tentatively hoping for the 13th, but it's going to depend on how long the update takes. I think I'm going to try to crank out some of the ACP stuff, and I want to update the skin and a few settings as well. The skin/settings are the real issue: there might be some problems bringing them over to the live site successfully due to the shoddy documentation IPS has me working with.

 

How did people feel about the three week to month long game?

 

I'm also curious to hear more about Red Team's strategy. Rex only gave me a few scant details. The one that really interested me was that he was apparently making use of Heal: I had dismissed it as a worthless action and instructed Blue Team to regard it as such from the beginning of the game.

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I think the only thing that really stuck out to me was that there were many stretches where I didn't have a lot of interaction with the other team.  I'd put that down to one thing only--there were too many areas.  I'd suggest that there be one fewer area to fight over than there are teams as a general rule.  That way, there's always likely to be some action where you are, provided it isn't base.  That might have to be complemented by a higher requirement to gain control over an area.

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The main culprit for that seemed to be how many players stuck with Base actions more frequently. I hadn't realized it going into the game, but Clean and Invent seem to be a bit inferior to other actions in that there's value in having players out in the field. (I'll discuss this problem more at a later date, because there's the precarious balance where some players need to perform Invent actions regularly to be able to participate fully.) As I recall, I commented early on to Rex that two Areas would have done better for this game, but Rex disagreed with me. I don't recall his logic (if he gave it to me at the time), but I like having an odd number of Areas or a number of Areas not divisible by the number of Teams. During this game, it meant that one Team could (and ultimately did) take two Areas to the other team's one. Including only two Areas in this game (which might have better suited gameplay) might have risked an even split (and thereby been boring or come down to which team performed more actions).

 

My thought process going into things was to have about three player per team per Area (ignoring Base). The ratio was present in this game but perhaps unsuccessful in that regard (due to the high number of players staying in Base). On the other hand, if players had consistently opted for moving into the field, I don't think this would have been as noticeable.

 

I'm curious to hear if others' thoughts line up with mine on this one. Lack of interaction is definitely a potential issue. I think Rex at one point commented to me that it's boring to have Build be literally the only action available if you enter an Area with no opposing players. (Though this might be mitigated slightly if a control bonus is added.)

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Yes, please change V-Barrels to 2 shots and 2 weight. I would be VERY much okay with this.

 
I don't think it'd change the problem you guys were having though. It's not about having too many V-Barrels specifically, it's about having too many ITEMS specifically. This happens because players don't think they'll be on for 12 hours and make the highest "cost" item available - in this case the V-Barrel. If white paint was the 3-action invent you'd see a lot of stray whites lying around instead of V-Barrels. I see two solutions to this - lower action CD or create a second 3-action invent (or even a 4-action invent?) so that players who won't check in for a while have a bit more diversity in their actions without feeling like they're wasting them.
 
I'm salty that big sis beat me by 3 actions

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The notifications on the front page. Could those be automated? Cause it still reads that blue team took Random. After Red took general, ww, and won with no updates.

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Yes, please change V-Barrels to 2 shots and 2 weight. I would be VERY much okay with this.

 
I don't think it'd change the problem you guys were having though. It's not about having too many V-Barrels specifically, it's about having too many ITEMS specifically. This happens because players don't think they'll be on for 12 hours and make the highest "cost" item available - in this case the V-Barrel. If white paint was the 3-action invent you'd see a lot of stray whites lying around instead of V-Barrels. I see two solutions to this - lower action CD or create a second 3-action invent (or even a 4-action invent?) so that players who won't check in for a while have a bit more diversity in their actions without feeling like they're wasting them.

I think it'll make a big difference that White Paint is used up in a single action whereas V-Barrels took three actions (while also limiting your item options).

 

Hm, I probably need to get around to that announcement. Or figure out if I'm going to make it a video announcement.

 

The notifications on the front page. Could those be automated? Cause it still reads that blue team took Random. After Red took general, ww, and won with no updates.

My bad. Those are all manually created. The ACP doesn't work properly via mobile, so I was never able to update it while I was visiting family. I'll do so now.

 

Oh, you might want to fix the "You healed Youyou!" message that pops up after self-healing.

Right. The same problem also occurs with self-cleaning.

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