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[SUGGESTION] Advanced Duel - A Concept

#1
Currently Xonotic Duel gameplay is quite raw and basic. It is very aim heavy and lacks tactical depth compared to the "big boys" quake and unreal. Take this video as an example of "brain-heavy" gameplay in duel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFWGZuvvKqM
While nexuiz/xonotic always has been and probably will be a fast, instinct-based shooter it could make a step towards tactical deepness. So how could one achieve that?

Let's start with a suggestion that has been brought up multiple times by kojn: increased delay between switching weapons. That would have multiple effects:
- Choosing the right weapon in the right situation becomes crucial. If player A rushes into a small room with a nexgun in his hands and meets player B who is equipped with a close range weapon, lets say the crylink, player A will get punished.
- This actually favors the current weapon balance where the focus is on balancing individual weapons instead of balancing combos.
- Combos will become less chaotic, you need to think ahead which combo you gonna pull else you might end up with the wrong weapon in your hands. I would expect people to discover new useful combos too.

Another problem is that it is very hard to predict the opponents health/armor stack. That's because you can stack up on everything, running the map like pacman. I suggest to limit health to a fixed value, like 100 or 110hp. To get to 200hp one has to get the megahealth or eventually the small 5hp pickups. This would have two interesting effects:
- It becomes easier to predict the opponents health, which is crucial when planning attacks/combos and making decisions in general.
- The megahealth gets valued heavier. Which leads to my next point.

Item timing is too simple. If every mega item takes 30s to spawn they never go out of sync if picked up at the same time. I suggest putting megaarmor on 25s respawn time, megahealth on 35s. Reasons:
- With the changed health system megahealth becomes very important.
- Putting one item on 25s and another on 35s prevents them from staying linked too easily. Currently, Item A could spawn at 0:35, 1:05, 1:35 etc while Item B could spawn at 0:40, 1:10, 1:40 etc. So the time between them stays constant. With the new system Item A would spawn at 0:30, 0:55, 1:20 etc while Item B would spawn at 0:40, 1:15, 1:50 etc. So if both players simply camp their side of the map, each controling an item, the player controlling item A would be double-stacked at 0:55 while at that time the player in control of item B only picked it up once. The other player could attack him after 0:55 for the second spawn at 1:15. This brings a whole new level of dynamics into duel gameplay.

Maps. Out of the current duel maps only stormkeep and darkzone qualify for advanced tactical gameplay (though I haven't tested fracture yet). This deserves a separate thread though.

So after reading this post you might wonder about why to do this. There are a couple of reasons:
- Top players need to be challenged, else they get bored and leave.
- Not everyone is an aim heavy player - playing with brain should be advantageous in duel.
- The "chess-like" gameplay in quake live duel is what makes it popular to most players (watch the video at the begin of this post, in case you haven't done it yet). I'm sure that many people would love stuff like that in xonotic too. It's a higher level of duel gameplay, and a higher level of gaming.
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#2
Great post.

I think the item timing one, would also be a positive effect for TDM, as well as what you said in regards too the weapons. The item timing shouldn't have any adverse effect on any other game-modes either.

"I would expect people to discover new useful combos too."

Didn't really consider this that much tbh!

Nothing more for me to add, since I agree with everthing in the thread practically.
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#3
As for maps, I think Xoylent is a very nice duel map

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#4
In one other thread I suggested that there might be tweaks that are good for specific game modes (like electro secondary in ctf). I think this is another illustration of this point, as (like I argued in many posts) crippling combos may not necessary be the way to follow for all kinds of game.play

"While nexuiz/xonotic always has been and probably will be a fast, instinct-based shooter it could make a step towards tactical deepness."

I would argue whether nexuiz lacks substantially in tactical depthnes, even though its fast and have fast weapon swtiches. Few examples, from one search:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIN7xoTdSCE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWRsH4TjsQ0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDcxmo009vg
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#5
Great post. I agree with about everything asy7um said and have myself suggested quite a bit of those things in the past (especially the health system part, had long discussions about it but from what I remember only kojn seemed to agree with me about max hp being 100 without megahealth).

For weapon switching delay I agree as well but some thought needs to go into it, imo some weapons should have longer delay than others, that might sound inconsistent and complicated but actually is simple and makes sense ie: A weapon that has strong damage per shot (ie: RL/nex) should have long delay, while a weapon with low damage per shot should have shorter delay. This would still allow some fast combos (and new ones, I might add). [EDIT] This might be a bad, but still a suggestion, in the end maybe it would be better to have same delay on all weapons.

I love fast combos and I've been against longer delay in the past, but lately, strangely enough without knowing there was discussions about it on the forums, I've started to find it a bit boring. Why? Because there never seem to be any sort of "timing" during fights, you get to your opponent's face and you're both spamming like crazy until one of you die. There is no timing shots and dodging, especially when when both players are around a corner and about to get into a fight, there's no waiting, usually it's just constant spam instead of trying to find the split second to go around the corner and land a direct shot inbetween your opponent's spam (ie: timing).
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#6
that could easily be explained by weight. a heavy weapon will take longer to pull out than a lighter one
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#7
I'm happy (even relieved i would say) that some players seem to agree on the fact that the game is heavily based on spammy fast combo stereotyped sequences.
To me, it's THE major flaw. I feel it sufficient to never be hooked by the game.

So yeah, asy7um's proposals sounds overall promising.
The part which draws my attention the most is when it comes to increase the weap switch time. This could work maybe, but will be necessarily frustrating at the really beginning because that would break with nexuiz roots. But why not. I'm far to be against.

As i wrote elsewhere, I do think that increase a bit the push force on a hit is also a first order parameter to limit frenetic pointless combos.
Please consider this.

(02-17-2012, 03:31 PM)nifrek Wrote: For weapon switching delay I agree as well but some thought needs to go into it, imo some weapons should have longer delay than others, that might sound inconsistent and complicated but actually is simple and makes sense ie: A weapon that has strong damage per shot (ie: RL/nex) should have long delay, while a weapon with low damage per shot should have shorter delay. This would still allow some fast combos (and new ones, I might add). [EDIT] This might be a bad, but still a suggestion, in the end maybe it would be better to have same delay on all weapons.
I'm agree. This could be rationaly done by making equivalent the damage power (i.e. damage point/second) of each weapons by also including the weapon switch time.
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#8
Oh actually I guess what I meant, is making the delay as long as current weapon's refire rate, that makes more sense for my explanation and easier to predict/time.
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#9
It should be noted that at one point, not that long ago, we did have lower caps for lesser health/armor pickups. Im not sure why it was removed, but i guess there was a shitstorm abt it, as usual.

I think the OP suggestions would make sense overall, and not just for duels. Currently i have a hard time enjoying 'vanilla' game-play, in part due to the pacman effect (eat all pickups and you win, yay). Another thing i would like to see is not being able to "pickup anyway" (right now you can run over any hp/ar pickup and pick it up, regardless if your already stacked 200/200) This just enforce the pacman/starvation gameplay even further. Oh and Xoylent IS a good duel map Tongue
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#10
In most games 5 HP pickups take you over 100, but not 25 HP ones. Not sure about 50 HP, as I have rarely ever seen them anywhere else.
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#11
That health system was in 0.1. And I didn't like it. Maybe it's good for duels, but I'm very happy with the current gameplay, and I wouldn't like the 0.1 hp system again.

In fact I liked the Nexuiz system more, just no healthcaps Smile
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#12
Actually its a little different. I played about 8 maps or so vs nifrek with the settings, it changes the concept a lot from current duels and was very fun, we had it so you can't pick up 50a on top of a 100a stack same for the 25a and same for 25h and 50h but vials can be picked up aswell as shards. Also weapon switch delay was tuned slightly not loads just a small increase. Was actually very fun, and was certainly no where as spammy chaotic. I have too admit it took me a few games too start too get used too the concept, duels actually felt like duels and required me too think about my actions a lot more. Oh because you can't pacman everything you need too be aware of the healthpacks and how too try not get dragged out of position.


I will do a self commentary and upload it from a map or two vs nifrek as it'll be much.easier too explain the changes and show how it changed the game dynamics.
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#13
Just to ask, would it be unreasonable to implement the old healthcap via mutator?
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#14
The changes have been merged into the XPM balance. The Default balance still has the old health cap.
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#15
Ok well after quite a few more games with these settings, it's become easier for me too adjust.

Some things I would note that I personally have experienced.

Able too dodge incoming projectiles, mainly rockets and electro primary as I am not getting pinned down with fast combo's all the time.
I am placing my shots much more, I use the rocket launcher a lot more as a keep away/at bay weapon, or when playing defensively or for spamming, with the settings people cannot 'pacman' everything and then charge in at you, therefore shot placement with this kind of weapon is a lot more effective.

Weapons generally seem stronger, or atleast you are able too feel like you know exactly how much damage you are doing because opponents are not picking up so much health and armour.

Overall the weapons have a greater sense of strength then before, this is an effect of players not being able too stack everything and sometime's the weapons feeling quite weak at times (ofcourse there not though in reality), I also have a much better time understanding how much health an opponent has. Toe-to-toe situations now result in less spammy combo's by far, and it is easier too use weapons like the hagar/crylink/machinegun with a good success rate, I have noticed a lot more mg vs mg trade-offs and the use of the hagar rather then firing combo's off as quick as possible = winner, Samual will confirm on darkzone vs nifrek I was making use of a variety of weapons.

Weapon switch delay is longer and takes some adjustment, but it isn't ridiculously slow, it feels nice once you get used too it - but it does require some time too adjust therefore people need too attempt too try and give this settings more then 10 minutes use, again make's combat when you are commiting yourself too a trade-off much more enjoyable (IMO).

Other area's of improvement - ability too deny area's from your opponent, opponent has too find a way around, too often before it is too easy for a pacman stacked player too just lunge in regardless of sitution a lot of the time. I find myself either having too hold a position, and wait for an armour then go get that and leave that position which my opponent can then come and collect potentially something, so it's like a trade-off, this gives it a greater level of player ability and skill and map'manship - e.g knowledge of the map and being able too predict where opponent will go too, cutting off area's of the map, this is important with cutting off health at times. Too often in the past, it is completely possible too get a 'bad' starting spawn and never even get into the match between 2 equal'ish opponents.

I can't think of too much else, it actually feels like one of the older nexuiz versions a little where the weapon switch rate was reduced, may have been 2.2.3/2.3?

Anyway, just some thoughts I can think of now at the moment. If anyone's interested in seeing the differences I recommend you give them a go, or watch some games on the XPM 1on1 server.
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#16
+1 for what asy7um proposes.
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#17
good job asy7um! +1 from myself. I had two matches today on that XPM 1v1 server and I enjoyed them!
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#18
Actually, makes sence, however I have to point out that the health system was something that made Nexuiz/Xonotic unique, so I'd be sad to see that go.
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#19
(02-21-2012, 06:27 PM)C.Brutail Wrote: Actually, makes sence, however I have to point out that the health system was something that made Nexuiz/Xonotic unique, so I'd be sad to see that go.

I can understand that, however the slow health regen is still there and I think that's what really makes the health system unique.
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#20
I don't think there is any plans to make this health system default, you guys shouldn't worry about that, Samual would be against it in any case and I think most people would be fine to have a competitive-style balance with minor differences and this fits right in there.

The changes are in balanceXPM.cfg, at the moment I think the only differences from default are the health system, newtoninan projectiles disabled (disables your own movement affecting projectiles, thus making them more precise) and projectile damage disabled (disables projectiles from exploding to your face which happens too randomly in our opinion). Basically, only the health/armor caps and a few things to reduce randomness in games.

Next step will be to play with mega armor and mega health respawn times so they are not always perfectly in sync (ie: megarmor 25sec, megahealth 35sec). This will require code changes so it's not possible for now. Personally I think it'd great if megahealth had something special that either affects it's respawn time (but nothing random) or makes it a bit more important, I just can't think of anything. Something like what QW does, but ideally something less confusing and original to this game. Keep in mind that megahealth is more "rare" in the sense that on most maps there is more than one armor (either megas or smaller ones) while generally only 1 megahealth so IMO it would be okay to give it a little something special for even more importance. Anyone got a brilliant idea?
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#21
(02-21-2012, 01:25 PM)Justin Wrote: good job asy7um! +1 from myself. I had two matches today on that XPM 1v1 server and I enjoyed them!

Same here.I played a few duels today(3 with the vanilla settings/2 with the xpm settings against Justin) so i kinda had the direct comparisation.The matches on xpm feelt alot more tactical.Especially the second map,with both players beeing used to the new settings,was quite exiting.+1 for xpm duels. Smile
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#22
I had a 10 min duel on the xpm balance yesterday and despite being somewhat reserved towards the concept in beforehand, I have to admit that the changes felt good for the duel gameplay. The most positive effect had imho the health/armor pickup restrictions that prevent you to take all health/armor powerups from your (weaker) opponent and allow you to restore back to 100/100 quicker if you happen to get out of a battle with a lot of scars.

However, I suspect the changes to be especially valuable for (competitive) duel gameplay rather than other game modes, but I won't be able to judge that properly before I have tried this on other game modes. I wouldn't like to have higher refire times in CA though, as I just love to throw all I've got towards my opponent as quickly as possible in that game mode.

And kojn, sorry to say but, for me, that "too"-mania is really annoying to read. If you want to make your posts distinguishable in RSS readers that don't display poster's name/signature, just sign them with ":]" or something similar that no one else does, or use a characteristic intro or something. I appreciate your input and opinion, but this deliberate typo really disrupts the flow of the text for me and is an annoyance each and every time. I kindly ask you to reconsider.
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#23
1)As for switching weapons: please do not increase delay between laser and any other weapon. It would hurt ability to accelerate yourself quickly. I'm all for increasing delay between other weapons.

2. How about setting HP/AP pickup limit somewhat higher, like, say, 150? I mean keeping equilibrium at 100/100, but making 25 HP/AP not possible to pickup, when 150 or higher. IMO this would be reasonable tradeoff between current interesting health system and idea to limit stacking up. I choose 150 specifically, because it would make more rationale for 50 HP/AP pieces - as in if you can no longer use 25 pieces to stack up fully, 5 pieces won't do that quick enough, but 50/100 ones are reasonably rare, so why not?
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