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n00b Curbstomping Prevention - Handicapping

Suggestion Idea Handicap

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#1
OG Pyro Jockey

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Here is a crazy idea for you Developers to mull over smile.png

 

Typically, I play this game roughly 10 hours per week, and I find myself playing against folks with widely varying skills.  When playing Anarchy or Team Anarchy, new and less proficient players are at a huge disadvantage compared to more experienced / skilled players, and it gets worse as the match progresses.  The way the game currently works, everyone spawns in as invulnerable for a very short period of time.  What is it, 3 to 5 seconds?  What if a brand new player with zero kills, starts his/her first match with 30 seconds or one minute of invulnerability?  Then, as that player improves and achieves kills against other "human" opponents, the respawn invulnerability period gradually gets shorter and shorter.

 

For example:  Brand new player - zero kills.  Spawns in with 30 seconds of invulnerability.  

After first kill, spawns in with 29 seconds of invulnerability.

After 10 kills, spawns in with 20 seconds of invulnerability.

After 25 kills, spawns in with 5 seconds of invulnerability.  Etc., etc.

 

After 50 kills, the respawn invulnerability time could be determined by an algorithm based on his/her kill to death ratio.  

For example:  1:1 = 5 seconds, 1:2 = 6 seconds, 1:3 = 7 seconds, 1:4 = 8 seconds, and so on and so forth.  That way, regardless of how long you have been playing D: U, if you suck at Anarchy, perhaps the additional invulnerability time will at least give you enough time to recollect any weapons that you were carrying when you died. . .   

 

Obviously the times, numbers, ratios, etc. that I used above, were only for explanation purposes.  The concept of lengthening the respawn invulnerability time based on a persons skill against other players can be achieved any number of ways.

 

Thank you for reading this suggestion.

Best wishes to all!


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#2
Swingarm1032

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+1 to that Idea, I got to say that it is actually pretty decent as well.


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My Claws must need sharpening...

#3
dunkelza

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Gonna ping Designopotamus. He's working on matchmaking stuff.


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#4
Wingman

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Interesting.

WM


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#5
Vainiac

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I'm opposed to this, playing against an invulnerable ships is as uninteractive as it gets. All you can do is run away.

 

Plus, I feel like this will only encourage poor habits which will in turn keep low skill players at a lower baseline for longer.  


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#6
LotBlind

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Yeah, this isn't the way to go about it for the reason stated above: imagine the gameplay first please.

 

Noob armor is a thing in at least one game I know of: it shouldn't make you invulnerable for longer than it takes to get rid of spawn-fragging (if that's a thing in this game; that stuff is the antithesis of skill-based) but it COULD make you take reduced damage. It might become pretty tough to judge how much punishment a given opponent will need to take if the armor's strength is a function of the player's skill/performance. I don't have direct experience about playing like that though so sounds like some SCIENCE could be done on this in the Proving Grounds.

 

Another out of many ways to do this would be to simply give players the less health the stronger they are (or the more frags they've strung together) so as to rubberband everyone closer to a mid-ground without totally annihilating all possibility of dominating if you're just too damn evasive. That kinda has the same effect as the armor except now you know the normal spawn health is the top value that can have and anything less than that is just a pleasant surprise for you.


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#7
inspades

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This is an issue in virtually any competitive online game, and handicaps only go so far before they simply don't work.

 

Sure, if the disparity in skill is not that great, handicaps can help. However, there are the following issues

  • Balance needs to sustain at all levels of handicap
  • Handicaps "cheapening" the outcome of a game. ("You won because of handicap","Did I really deserve that win?")
  • You create inconsistency in the gameplay. (Wasp hull is now 60 instead of 120, because handicap - lasers do half damage - etc...)
  • players will adapt to the new meta ("need to let him kill me to avoid triggering handicap...wait, what?")
  • really good players can still be dangerous with 1 hull and starting weapons

The ultimate goal is for people to have a balance of fun and challenge, which is why a Matchmaking system like League of Legends.

You keep similar skill levels playing with eachother, and as a player grows, so to does the skill level of his average opponent.

 

The only issues is that the playerbase at the moment is too small for it to be effective, and it is a significant dev project.


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#8
defcon_x

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I think it could be okay strictly for the very first skill level, provided everyone has it evenly but only because matchmaking is also working well.

 

I'd rather have the devs develop the complex science of matchmaking (which is a bit more than just matching based on kill-death ratios) rather than this.

 

But if it's implemented, I would be in favor of it for different levels. Like, just as an example, no means accurate:

 

Trainee - 15 sec

Rookie - 5 sec

Ace - 3 sec

Insane - 0 sec

 

I would want a very clear announcement about invulny though, like having a cleanly integrated countdown.

 

But yeah, even then, what others said should be taken into consideration. Developing bad habits, etc.


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#9
LotBlind

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"Handicaps don't work" that's so much bullshit. It assumes everyone's playing to be competitive and care about getting good or about winning or losing, learning "good habits" and blah blah. Sure, you can take games seriously if you like, but please don't project that on everyone okay?


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#10
inspades

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"'Handicap doesnt work' is BS".
Actually, after reading about Quake Live's handicap system, that may be the case.
Basically, you can set your handicap from 50 to 100. 100 is effectively no handicap. 50 doubles the damage you take and halves the damage you inflict.
This is also optional, and not imposed by the game. If a player notices their opponent handicap themselves, and doesnt care for it, they can match their handicap.
It makes it all quite consensual. I would like to see a test of how this works in D:U. That being said, all the before-mentioned points are still an issue.
 
"It assumes everyone's playing to be competitive and care about getting good or about winning or losing, learning "good habits" and blah blah.
 Sure, you can take games seriously if you like, but please don't project that on everyone okay?"
 
While im sure theres many toxic "git gud scrub" types out there(not in D:U mind you), most people simply get enjoyment from improving at a game.
They are not looking to impose. However, said people read posts like this and feel imposed upon. They put in the time to improve, only for it to be nulled by stuff like this.
 
People play for different reasons, and the decision for how they want to derive enjoyment  should be made by those players in that moment instead of it being made for them.
 
Best.

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#11
LotharBot

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voluntary handicaps (like the Quake Live system, or Descent's original system) can work very well.  People don't want to fly badly just because there are new players in the game, but flying well while having significantly reduced shields, restrictions on the weapons you can pick up (laser 1's and concs only?), etc. can actually be a pretty fun challenge, as well as allowing new players to pick up more kills.


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#12
LotBlind

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"most people simply get enjoyment from improving at a game. They are not looking to impose. However, said people read posts like this and feel imposed upon. They put in the time to improve, only for it to be nulled by stuff like this."

 

What I don't agree with here is you assuming that about most players. The way the game is built will attract different players too I'm sure, so if the game currently has an emphasis on uncompromisingly level-grounded competition, then sure most players who stick around will be into that too. I don't know how it is with this game and I'm sure most are mature enough. The point is, there will ALWAYS be a part of the playerbase, just by sheer force of statistics, who simply don't think like that and that's why I don't like that kind of arguments. Also, as LotharBot points out, to think that your hugely important work (your fun) is being undone because others are being buffed is not necessarily even true. It does affect the way the game plays out, strategies etc. I'm sure, and I do appreciate that serious players want the rules to be stable. That's why there's always a reason to separate "pros" from "joes" and offer them e.g. ranked and unranked servers.

 

"People play for different reasons, and the decision for how they want to derive enjoyment  should be made by those players in that moment instead of it being made for them."

 

What does that even mean? How does it relate to the argument? It sounds like it could apply as well to those who like handicaps as those who don't.

 

The Quake Live system only serves players who'll take an even match over a "fair" one in case their more skilful opponent has set a handicap for themselves. Or if they're the more skilled player themselves. I feel you're not thinking this through...


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#13
inspades

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"What I don't agree with here is you assuming...."
 
Wow, my previous statement really diddn't reflect what I had in mind...let me try that again.

While I'm sure there's many toxic "git gud scrub" types out there(not in D:U mind you), most competitive types simply get enjoyment from improving at a game...
Thoughts?
 
"What does that even mean? How does it relate to the argument? It sounds like it could apply as well to those who like handicaps as those who don't."

In any game, there are competitive types who get enjoyment from competing, and people who play for the fun and hijinks only another world can offer. These two types of players can be at odds with each other when they have to share the same server. Hence, the players should decide how they want to play somehow, and not have it be forced on them by the game. Perhaps the quake live handicaps are the way, or maybe the person who starts the server can enable forced handicaps, or maybe another way altogether.

"The Quake Live system only serves players who'll take an even match over a "fair" one in case their more skillful opponent has set a handicap for themselves. Or if they're the more skilled player themselves. I feel you're not thinking this through..."
This is a definite issue. Perhaps a server flag that enables forced handicaps would help? Like this, if a non-competitor wants to play with handicaps enabled, they can do it on their own server. Competetive types can leave it off. This allows the game to cater to all types of players without wholly favoring one or the other.

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#14
LotharBot

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While I'm sure there's many toxic "git gud scrub" types out there(not in D:U mind you), most competitive types simply get enjoyment from improving at a game...
Thoughts?

There's a lot of variation among competitive types.  I know one guy who was the best of an era but would be happy being the worst as long as he was improving game to game.  I know another who was the best of an era, who came back to find he was not the best and just made excuses as to why he wouldn't compete on-the-record, because he cares a lot more about being the best than about improving.  Most are somewhere in between -- they want to improve, but they also get enjoyment from being recognized for being in the top X%.

 

Personally, I consider a handicap most valuable when an opponent is completely overmatched, to the point where they'd be easy to shut out.  At that point, the handicap gives the better pilot something to play for (since you can't play for an extra-shutout) and it gives the weaker pilot a chance to score some points.  Once an opponent is at a level where they should be able to score a few points (of whatever sort the current game is scoring -- kills, flags, core captures, etc.), I'm perfectly happy with both pilots playing for score without a handicap.  But in the event that someone wants an even match, I'm willing to play with a handicap (either way) to try to accommodate that.


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#15
LotBlind

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inspades: Yes, everything you say is true. Many devs seem to be hesitant to include too many optional server settings for fear of people not finding anyone wanting to play in their style at all and leaving. I feel it should be emphasized from the beginning how important it is to find others who view the game the same way as you. If you had a personalised profile in which you define stuff like whether you prefer unranked or ranked matches, in which gamemodes, w/ or w/o handicaps, suggesting servers based on this would help like-minded players find each other... provided there's any amount of flexibility on the players' part even a large amount of ruleset variation wouldn't be totally out of the question I hope.

 

Lothar: I think the best case scenario is, as you suggest, a handicap that makes the match more meaningful, and better practice, for BOTH players. Almost no-one wants to play that way in Quake Live I've found. They're completely stuck in the idea that they have to take all wins they can in as dominant way as they can (most of them are better than me for sure) cause it's the only thing they have. Whenever I've won against someone fairly convincingly, I'll always ask them if they'd like being given a handicap, or if it's a deathmatch, I'll play in a totally non-serious way in the next round. I really think I represent about 1% of the playerbase for that game...

 

Handicaps that people adopt as a normal thing (which they ARE in many other activities, and any form of competitive sports if it helps the athletes get better) make matchmaking much much easier when it's no longer critical how closely matched the players are. That's the dream. I feel we should have servers that enforce them just to force paranoid people to try it for a minute (or preferrably longer) even if they can ultimately also shut themselves off from it using those server filters.


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