New Onslaught round scoring?

UT2004 related discussions
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Re: New Onslaught round scoring?

Post by Wormbo » Wed 6. Aug 2014, 20:22

I'd argue that such a map should be removed from the server in the first place.

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Re: New Onslaught round scoring?

Post by Zon3r » Wed 6. Aug 2014, 20:52

Wormbo wrote:I'd argue that such a map should be removed from the server in the first place.
Same here, but heinz said this is the only real tank map on the server. well i would replace it with any TMU map


Re: New Onslaught round scoring?

Post by [P]etya » Thu 7. Aug 2014, 10:11

Well speaking of Ion Tanks and ONS maps the conclusion is always the same: Ion Tank is unfitting in ONS. While it is fun, it is ultimately hard to balance. Reasons:
-on narrow maps it is extremely hard to counter
-on open maps with flyers it is nearly useless

So Ion Tank is something, which can be OP and UP under certain circumstances. That's why it was mainly featured on AS maps.

And speaking of Tanks a Lot: It is the map, where ppl overestimate the Ion Tank. Without teamwork Ion Tank falls pretty quickly. Believe me, you have luck with the Ion Tank, imagine if it was replaced with a Leviathan. :D

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Re: New Onslaught round scoring?

Post by Pegasus » Thu 14. Aug 2014, 15:51

Hmm, shoulda remembered to swing by here earlier, thread seems to've gone off on a tangent. Ah well, suppose I might as well chip in with a few points myself before steering it back to its original subject.

Regarding the Ion in general and how it fits within the overall ONS picture, I'd say Petya's got the right of it for the most part. Just like its bigger, stationary equivalent, the Ion tank was never designed with vertical or symmetrical gameplay balance in mind; rather, it was supposed to be the setpiece in AS-Glacier that would pose an asymmetrical threat that its enemies were expected to die again n' again before taking down and thus setting the attackers back again. It was never meant to go up against enemy vecs, never mind deliver interesting or nuanced gameplay while doing so, and that readily explains its wild performance variance in encounters with different types of other stock vecs, as also observed above (will easily go down against enemy air and mantas, will most likely dominate against slower, land vecs and peds up to mid-distance and in concave geometry settings where it can bounce shots and take advantage of splash damage). Since it was stock content too though, it got thrown into the ONS mix as soon as community mappers started cranking out ONS content, so I think it's kind of a moot issue at this point discussing its original intent.
What's probably more useful to us right now is talking about where and how it might fit in the grand scheme of things, and that includes the haggard task of assessing its "balancing". Tbh, there's hardly any balance to be found with the Ion, not unless one subscribes to the "balancing through extremes" school of thought where something can still be considered to fit well within the overall game design even if each of its characteristics substantially alternate between extremely effective and abysmal, as long as the total average doesn't stray far from the norm (the wyvern is another example of that approach). More specifically, the Ion's role is obviously that of an artillery unit (long range, big splash damage, can't hold its own against faster/airborne threats without support), but that intent gets twisted immediately by the vec being given a linear firing mechanic, and, even worse, immunity to its own shots. That last bit is what, in my book, makes the vec egregiously imbalanced because one of the most commonplace practices when designing artillery vecs across games and genres is to make 'em vulnerable to close quarters attacks by forcing a tough choice on their user: either fire close to take out the enemy via splash damage and risk killing yourself too, or try to get away - and artillery units traditionally are also not known for their high speed too. Of course this is UT, an FPS game rather than an RTS, and dynamics of player agency work out differently here in terms of expectations of managing to survive any confrontation through skill instead of them all being deterministic in a rock-paper-scissors fashion, and that kinda explains the 2nd seat and minigun, as well as the paltry alt-fire blast, but even that needs to be acknowledged in context. All in all, I doubt many people disagree that the Ion is fundamentally imbalanced - as in falling in the overpowered side of the spectrum - compared to the rest of the game's stock loadout, but still, imbalanced doesn't necessarily mean unable to fit in. Aside from attempting to mod it back into something more reasonable, there's a few other options in a UT content creator's toolbox that can - and have - allowed the Ion to exist in ONS maps without its presence being unequivocally detrimental, and those include tailoring its availability (location, time, probability) and overall influence in a map's gameplay via geometry design (i.e. more exposed places where it can roam, more confined places where it won't be able to enter), instead of just giving both teams one and calling things fixed (also known as horizontal balancing). Getting that right can allow authors and editors to turn in maps that include the Ion, but where there's also room for ggs (MasterBath comes to mind). Alternatively, one can just go looking for a more fairly balanced artillery type vec, and, for my money, I've always held that the PPC is a far and away better candidate for that role: fires a projectile at a parabolic arc that places a higher skillcheck in achieving same levels of lethal results, doesn't do as much damage (tanks survive multiple shots), not immune to its own munitions, still iffy against close quarters peds.

Regarding Ions in Tanks-A-Lot specifically, thankfully, I needn't say as much to address the topic by now. Most salient points have already been made here and in other threads discussing this recently, so all I think remains to underscore here is that the Ion's spammy presence in Tanks has been well understood, calculated and factored into the map's general gameplay with enough attention so as to ensure there's enough room to fight and help your team while avoiding its fallout. And, really, it's not that hard to take it down either; for cryin' out loud, there's a core-proximal location where both badger players can stock up on dmg amps before attempting to raid the enemy ion just as one avenue of taking it down.

Now, I realize there's probably objections and counterpoints some of you might wish to raise to what I've said, but considering this thread was created to cover an entirely (and uniquely?) different topic, I'd like to ask everyone to redirect their responses to a more appropriate location for that debate, such as this one.

Wormbo wrote:Heh, made me chuckle:
GreatEmerald wrote:Hah, I just read that wall of text, and it was fun imagining him as someone with a top hat and a monocle, due to the writing style :D But yea, the tl;dr version would be "too confusing for new players; the real problem is match length, which should be around 35 minutes, else people get tired". Fair point!
Tea, Sir Pegasus?
No doubt the "tl;dr" option would certainly be a workable alternative, but what I've come to realize over the years is that when you offer a short summary of your position as an opener, no matter how elaborate it might be in full, what you're making essentially is a statement. When you begin to present the reasons behind said position, that's when it becomes an argument and meaningful debate can be had about it. Finally, when you include the facts that support those arguments in there too, what you end up with is a thesis, and that's a bit harder to knock down, or even ignore, compared to a 2-line blurb that would only sway the already like-minded. Given the amount of work and effort other participants were pouring into the subject, I felt that it merited some due attention.

Either way, even though other posters there were approaching the issue from a PoV all too foreign to our concerns here (spectator eSports at a pro level), and Veggie_D himself seemed disinclined to even acknowledge the potential behavioural/sportsmanship complication discussed about his proposal, your kind endorsement in that thread is still most appreciated; coming from you, that means a lot :).

Oh and I consider myself more of a fez & bow tie kinda person, btw :p.

Edit: I think there might also be a small, factual error regarding the DW's GoalScore, which, I believe, is set to 2, not 3.
Eyes in the skies.