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Contest mode discussion

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Splinter
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Contest mode discussion

Post by Splinter » Sat May 25, 2019 5:36 pm

Since the new "Contest" script is now on the workshop, I thought I could give some feedback.

First of all, I really liked the concept and it's fun to play, so good job, @Gurt! I think this mode encourages the players to move around the map and, ironically, not camp. I've seen some people complain that it's a "campy" game mode, but I disagree. You can only camp in the zone for about 20 or 30 seconds at max until the zone changes place, plus you gotta deal with literally every player in the match charging at your zone. Sometimes it's a safer zone to defend, sometimes it's a more vulnerable area, that's a fun aspect for me. In this mode, you have to play aggressive more often, you can't waste time. Sometimes it's even beneficial to suicide after a zone disappears just so you can fully replenish your health.

Now, one thing that bothered me a lot was the fact that you keep gaining points when you're outside of the zone, if there's more than 1 enemy fighting inside it. For example, if I capture the zone and 3 people invade it and start fighting over it, I can simply walk away and get weapons while they clash to the death, while I keep gaining points. Or even worse, they can kill me and I still keep gaining points because nobody captured the area yet. In these 2 situations, I think the zone should become neutral so I stop gaining points.

One other thing you can do is leave the zone you captured to get a weapon then come back, if there's nobody around. You do gain points more slowly if you're outside the box, but still, that's not a very bad punishment. I think you should lose the "posession" of the zone as soon as you leave it. It still allows you to quickly leave the box to get an item, but you'd have to capture the area again. This would also make it harder to protect the zone. If you're in a 1v1 against the zone "leader" and you throw him out of the box, he can walk back in quickly enough and he doesn't lose the area. It's really hard sometimes.
3 x
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Post by Pricey » Sat May 25, 2019 7:33 pm

The death respawn cooldown of 10 seconds and increasing is far too long, especially in a gamemode where you’re meant to be consistently and constantly contesting the zone. The death cooldown discourages attacking gameplay altogether and prevents any real intense gameplay with any less than 7-8 players.
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Post by Gurt » Sun May 26, 2019 11:56 am

The problem with a too short cooldown is that there's no penalty of dying which means that you will just keep running towards the contest area without the need of critically thinking about strategy or consequences. With many players there's really no chance for anyone to capture the area if everyone respawns after 6 seconds and keeps running towards the area. This was a big problem in early tests where the cooldown was tweaked to fit for 2 players playing this mode. With more players the respawn cooldown is increased to give the remaining players fighting over the area some time to actually capture the area in case they manage to kill everyone else. If you kill someone and the cooldown is basically nothing when there's many players there's no incentive to fight over the area as it will be nearly impossible to capture it as the cooldown is shorter than the time it takes to kill someone. With a too short cooldown the area just becomes a glorified melee-brawl area where the time to kill someone is longer than the respawn time.

With fewer players (or only 2 players) it doesn't make sense that the respawn time is too long as that means that dying has too huge consequences. With many players if the respawn cooldown is too short there is no consequence at all as there will be a constant fighting over the area. For this contest area script to work at all there needs to be some sort of balance between the time it takes to respawn based on how many players are playing, how long time it takes to gain score and how long it takes to kill someone. Dying multiple times increases the respawn time and is a way to encourage players to stay alive rather than just die to reset their health.

If everyone in your team is dead it also stops you from gaining score even if you have the area captured.

This script also works better with fewer players overall. It still works with 6+ players but it gets easily crowded.

It's hard to explain without testing the pros/cons with different respawn times for yourself but anyone is free to tweak the script to their liking. This is just an experiment script and will stay as a script. Feel free to try it out or modify it to your liking. I feel that I'm done with it and will leave it as it is.
1 x
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Post by Pricey » Sun May 26, 2019 12:13 pm

Gurt wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 11:56 am
The problem with a too short cooldown is that there's no penalty of dying which means that you will just keep running towards the contest area without the need of critically thinking about strategy or consequences. With many players there's really no chance for anyone to capture the area if everyone respawns after 6 seconds and keeps running towards the area. This was a big problem in early tests where the cooldown was tweaked to fit for 2 players playing this mode. With more players the respawn cooldown is increased to give the remaining players fighting over the area some time to actually capture the area in case they manage to kill everyone else. If you kill someone and the cooldown is basically nothing when there's many players there's no incentive to fight over the area as it will be nearly impossible to capture it as the cooldown is shorter than the time it takes to kill someone. With a too short cooldown the area just becomes a glorified melee-brawl area where the time to kill someone is longer than the respawn time.

With fewer players (or only 2 players) it doesn't make sense that the respawn time is too long as that means that dying has too huge consequences. With many players if the respawn cooldown is too short there is no consequence at all as there will be a constant fighting over the area. For this contest area script to work at all there needs to be some sort of balance between the time it takes to respawn based on how many players are playing, how long time it takes to gain score and how long it takes to kill someone. Dying multiple times increases the respawn time and is a way to encourage players to stay alive rather than just die to reset their health.

If everyone in your team is dead it also stops you from gaining score even if you have the area captured.

It's hard to explain without testing the pros/cons with different respawn times for yourself but anyone is free to tweak the script to their liking. This is just an experiment script and will stay as a script. Feel free to try it out or modify it to your liking. I feel that I'm done with it and will leave it as it is.
I can always test, but I think 6 seconds is plenty of time for a death cooldown, and the fact that you spawn on a random place in the map is an adequate balance for the death cooldown. 6 seconds is also plenty of time to kill someone or rid them of the contest zone in most maps. Considering the contest zone is quite small, tactical fighting is not entirely possible aside from standing outside the contest zone and shooting down into the brawl below. As for resetting health, considering the aforementioned fact that you spawn in a random place on the map afterwards, with any more than half a server I don't see how that would be a viable option, especially on bigger maps like Chemical Plant or Plant 47.

I think that in contest (and most KoTH gamemodes) the main focus should be an intense fight in the zone, and the player with the most fighting prowess should be the victor. With the long cooldowns, intense fights are usually not possible because the amount of time it takes to kill someone is shorter than the time it takes for them to respawn, plus the time they need to gather weapons and make their way over to the contest zone. After all, bonus contest points are awarded for being in the zone and fighting, which is not possible when it takes upwards of 15 seconds to respawn after you've died a few times.

Perhaps you could introduce different cooldown times for different amounts of players? Longer cooldowns can be viable when there are a lot of players in the server, I'd suggest a base cooldown of 5 seconds for up to 3 players, increasing one second up to 10 seconds for 10 players. The seriatim cooldowns should also increase by one second per death.
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Post by Gurt » Sun May 26, 2019 2:58 pm

Pricey wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 12:13 pm
Perhaps you could introduce different cooldown times for different amounts of players? Longer cooldowns can be viable when there are a lot of players in the server, I'd suggest a base cooldown of 5 seconds for up to 3 players, increasing one second up to 10 seconds for 10 players. The seriatim cooldowns should also increase by one second per death.
Such a system is already in place. What I was trying to say is that there needs to be a balance between number of players and respawn time. The more players playing this contest script the respawn time will increase (both initial time and the increasingly longer cooldown). After testing this script from time to time the current timings I have feels OK based on the random nature of SFD. I have already tried shorter and longer cooldowns and found the current values to be where I want them to be based on what I'm trying to achieve.

This script is just a script. You can download it and tweak the values yourself if you're interested in playing with different tweaks and upload a different version of it to the workshop. This script is totally optional and no requirement to download it. It's just a test to try out a different combat mechanic than "last one to survive wins"-formula. I will leave the script as it is.

I won't personally make any further changes to the script but any suggestions shared here might inspire someone else to continue tweaking and improving the script. If you're giving me specific suggestions for this script I will just assume you're talking in a more general sense to anyone that might want to continue working on it :)
1 x
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