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Keepaway defaults - Printable Version

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Keepaway defaults - martin-t - 09-24-2019

I am once again touching defaults and got told to seek feedback.

BC advantage vs waypoint

Having the ball paints a massive target on your back due to the waypoint so this should be offset by giving the BC some advantage. WTWRP uses g_keepaway_ballcarrier_highspeed 1.5 which feels about right. It might be better to scale it with the number of players (start at 1 for 2 players and approach 1.5 or 2 for infinite players - the exact function would have to be worked out so the jump from 2 to 3 players is bigger than from 10 to 11) but for now a single value seems to be sufficient and works well on WTWRP with around 5 players on the rare occasion KA is played.

Not having a waypoint might be interesting too but wouldn't work well if we decide to give points for time spent holding  the ball - people would be encouraged to just hide.


The current 1 for BCK (Ball Carrier Kill), 1 for KAC (Kill As Carrier) together with a waypoint means it's usually better to just camp and kill BCs instead of taking the ball unless you have a very high stack and are likely to kill multiple people before they kill you (at which point you could still just kill multiple BCs without touching the ball for probably less risk).

If we keep the waypoint, points for staying alive while holding the ball (timepoints) seem reasonable given just staying alive requires effort. The most desirable ratio of timepoints vs BCKs+KACs should be discussed.

Points for BCK vs KAC is also interesting - higher BCK means camping and kiling BCs from a distance is encouraged. Higher KAC means BCs get a large number of points from killing noobs who keep DuMbrushing them without having to fight more experienced/stacked players.

Damage between nonBCs

Currently WTWRP doesn't allow it which seems reasonable given most people think everything teamless is DM. However it significantly alters the gameplay - with many players the BC is the only one who effectively takes damage as everyone converges on the waypoint and gets killed almost instantly. I like to say that the gamemode degenerates with the number of players (as does DM). With damage enabled the players are likely to hurt each other which will probably discourage forming large crowds. The disadvantage is that people playing it as DM are frustrating to have to deal with.

Given KA turns into a perpetual 1 vs way-too-many mess without damage enabled i am now inclined to keep it enabled. It also offers more elaborate strategies like fighting leading players even when they don't have the ball.


Timelimit should probably be reduced to at least 15 minutes (like DM), maybe 10. Pointlimit needs to be adjusted after deciding on scoring.

There seems to be a delay between killing the BC and being able to pick the ball up. This is incredibly frustrating and should be removed.

Might wanna increase g_keepawayball_respawntime - currently it's lower than CTF and it's somewhat disappointing to fight over something that just disappears before you can get to it. OTOH, might wanna respawn it faster if it's in lava/slime like the flag.

Additional discussion in the MR (click "toggle thread" to expand the discussions). Note that my opinions are not set in stone (except that some players are DuMb). I am particularly uncertain about damage between nonBCs.


Currently default KA is not particularly interesting to play nor popular. WTWRP is already testing some changes (use cvar_changes after voting KA). There are many options depending  what kind of gamemode we want it to be - e.g.:
  • Keep the waypoint - should probably give advantage to BC, should probably allow damage between nonBCs. The BC will have to try stay alive and keep moving, will have more chaotic gameplay.
  • No waypoint - probably no timepoints, might not need BC advantage, damage between nonBCs is probably not such an issue since there probably won't be large crowds and rushing. Likely to have slower, more tactical gameplay.

The current WTWRP settings are somewhat better than defaults but degenerate with too many players. Would be nice to come up with a config that supports a wider range of player counts. Please provide opinions and suggestions.

RE: Keepaway defaults - Turkey_shoot - 09-24-2019

I agree with much above.
My comments:
1) (slightly off scope) KA is interesting when you play 1v1, changes both players' tactics completely. Anything we can do to make it work well?
2) i agree points should be gained for time holding the ball.
3) i also agree with damage ON for player v player (non carriers).  i don't think here in Aus we've played it any other way Smile Kind of makes it like a pack of wolves fighting over the meat.. only the strongest survives.  Otherwise just too hard for ball carrier to survive.

4) Far and away the most frustrating thing about KA is the idle ball vaporising away inf front of your eyes (multiple times) after you fight your way across a map to get to it. Much easier to just wait for someone else to pick it up and then kill them. Make the ball sit there much longer or just don't move it at all unless it's clearly inaccessible (eg in the bottom of a lava pit)
But most of all:
restore enemy push using laser on instagib.
(yeah i know, off topic again)

RE: Keepaway defaults - Lightbringer - 09-25-2019

I support giving points for staying alive.
It might also be a good idea to prevent or reduce damage between non-carriers (at least while the ball is held), to encourage focusing on the ball carrier.

RE: Keepaway defaults - martin-t - 09-28-2019

Allowing damage between nonBCs only when nobody is holding the ball sounds interesting. It certainly should play better than never allowing it. I lack experience in the current default KA when damage is enabled all the time and (although I prefer it in theory) would like to try it out (with better scoring) before forming an opinion.

RE: Keepaway defaults - Wuzzy - 11-11-2019

Personally, I would hate it if you get time points just for staying alive with the ball. The result is that the ball carrier just runs like a madman through the level and doesn't try to fight at all.  I played on such a server once, I know what I'm talking about.
Simply speeding through the level will be much more rewarding and is a lot less risky than actually trying to frag people while holding the ball. Practically, the only effective way (at least at my skill level) to stop the ball carrier is with sniper guns or the machine gun because every other weapon is too slow and the shotgun is only good in close-range. Basically KA would become a game that is only for the best Race players … Which doesn't make sense.
I'm still fine with it if some special servers use this mechanic, but we're talking defaults here. Exclamation I know bunnyhopping and all that are still a key mechanic in Xonotic, but with this change, it would absolutely dominate KA, which I would really hate.

It also is not really related to your complaint about the +1 point for killing the ball carrier. The real answer to this is (if you think it's a problem) is, of course, removing the point for killing the ball carrier. Or the score could be nerfed. For example, if you kill the ball carrier, +1, but if you kill while keeping the ball, you get +2, so killing the ball carrier is only half as rewarding. This of course means the default frag limit needs to be doubled, obviously. But this needs experimentation.

I am currently happy with the waypoint thing. Smile Being the ball carrier is rewarding, but also a huge risk. Also, the waypoint is, I think, kind of important, even, because without the waypoint I think it's very hard to see who the real ball carrier actually is in a huge crowd. The only thing what makes the ball carrier look different is 1) (currently) the waypoint and 2) a strange glow. You don't even see the actual ball! Huh Therefore, the waypoint should NOT be removed before improving the graphics of the ball barrier. But even with waypoint, improving the graphics is kind of important for KA. KA is a hectic game, so it's important you can instantly make out the ball carrier in a large crowd.

I strongly disagree that damage should be disabled between non-ballcarriers. Angry I don't care if there are people who might just don't “get” KA. I'm not even sure if there really are so many players that falsely believe KA=DM. After every non-BC kill, you see a message that the kill didn't score points. I think people eventually should “get” the message. :-)
Not everyone who frags non-ballcarriers is automatically a n00b. There are many reasons to frag the non-ballcarriers: Keeping people away from the ball, keeping people away from the ballcarrier, someone is just in the way, etc. Or to prevent someone from being a danger to you (e.g. highest scoring player). Disabling damage to non-ballcarriers would take all that away and would surely a MASSIVE change.

But I think the message that shows when you frag a non-BC is not very good. Maybe the message should be shortened, as it's currently quite wordy. Currently, its TWO lines:
Quote:You fragged XXX
Killing players while you don't have the ball doesn't give you points!
That's not only a mouthful, but also incorrect, as currently you get also points for fragging the ball carrier. Confused It's bad that it's so long because KA is a HECTIC game, and there's not much time to read. So the messages must be as short as possible.
I suggest to shorten it down to a single line when you made a kill that scored no points:
Quote:You fragged XXX, but didn't score
Also the message color should be white instead of blue as a further visual aid. Tongue

Quote: Timelimit should probably be reduced to at least 15 minutes (like DM), maybe 10. Pointlimit needs to be adjusted after deciding on scoring.
I'm not sure about this, but 15min seems reasonable.

Quote:There seems to be a delay between killing the BC and being able to pick the ball up. This is incredibly frustrating and should be removed.
Really? I never noticed it. To me, it's instant. Huh

Might wanna increase g_keepawayball_respawntime - currently it's lower than CTF and it's somewhat disappointing to fight over something that just disappears before you can get to it. OTOH, might wanna respawn it faster if it's in lava/slime like the flag.
It's currently set to 10 seconds which is way too low. Undecided Especially on big maps like Oilrig I often saw it that the ball disappeared just in front of my nose … VERY annoying!
However, the ball spawning algorithm is still buggy. For example, it could spawn outside the map (seen in Darkzone, it spawned outside the window). So sadly, the automatic respawning is still neccessary.
And at game start, it could spawn right into your hands, giving you the ball for free. Ball spawning in KA definitely needs some fixing.
But I agree if the ball is a deathpit, lava, etc. it should respawn faster. But 10 seconds is already pretty fast.

But with increasing the timer alone it could still happen the ball disappears in front of your nose, so that's not a perfect solution. I would at least display a “timer bar” (like for Strength) when the ball is about to disappear (5 seconds or less) so it's at least not that terrible. Tongue