Archive for December, 2014


More ut4 1v1 stuff

Hey man, sorry I’ve been a bit slow replying.

[QUOTE=Stolid]
I was rereading your link about duel in ut99/ut4 and I was wondering some things.

At the start you say that spawn times being the same don’t really matter as they are the same in QL and players can’t run all the armors.

What prevents someone from doing this? Isn’t the Mega’s overlapping spawn time all that is interfering? I would think players don’t try to go after all the armors because they need the mega to build a full stack, not because of other reasons.
I’m not an expert on quake so this isn’t entirely clear to me.[/QUOTE]

[url]https://forums.unrealtournament.com/showthread.php?9084-Pickup-Timers&p=110415&viewfull=1#post110415[/url]

He implies that control is harder in ql because items are staggered (have different spawn times). He wants ut to adopt a similar setup. The spawn times in ql are similar to ut already. That is most armors on the same spawn, one item on separate timing. This being:

ql: armor (25) vs mega (35)
ut: armor (27) vs belt (55)

I disagree with his implication that adding more conflicting spawn times will fix ut like ql – It won’t because this is not the reason why in/out of contol plays differently in ql compared to ut. In fact his assertion that items have staggered spawn times in ql is flat out wrong.

It is true that the belt spawn is twice the armor spawn in ut and possibly changing this to be something different might help a little. But only marginally.

“You are looking at it the wrong way and this is the problem with duel in ut from a traditional sense. You are partially right with the comment about control being too easy, but it stems from a more complicated problem than simply times being the same. Times are the same in ql.. so a similar problem should exist there right? “

Control is strong in ut not because items can be cycled easily but largely due to the inability for the out of control player to stack to a meaningful amount in order to challenge for control. In addition the in control player has minimal pickups to worry about so can pressure the out of control player too easily.

In duel your stack and level of control (both are connected) should be dictated by how much free time you have available to pressure the out of control player.
Adding more items and making them harder to time (everything with different spawn times) would make some aspects easier. However at its core the ut out of control game is quite limited compared to ql. Control is not simply the in control players actions but also what the out of control player can do. This is the main theme of my post you were reading.

Now to your question of “why can’t they just run everything in ql”. In actuality ql players can run everything, its just fairly rare to see someone doing it. You are right when you say that the mega is the only item in ql that is different, on some maps this matters, on others it is not as important. For instance, ztn (bloodrun) has red and mega right next to each other and it is common for a player to have both, the split is not significant. On another map, T7 (furiousheights) mega and red are fairly split. Both items spawning at the same time is a common occurrence and out of control players can use this.

I like the idea of time being the currency in duel. In order to exert full control (all armors+mega) on the majority of the quakelive duel maps the in control player has no time to do anything else. They will never be able to chase or push the other player as all their time is taken up with pickups. When they do opt to chase the out of control player gaps in their cycle will appear.

It also rarely happens because the armors really need to be up to instigate the cycle. For example if a player gets mega + two of the three armors on ztn (commonly occurs) and the remaining YA is not up when they get to it they cannot add it to their cycle – they need to get position on the next spawn that is coming up. They can wait for a short time period then need to leave. I can only think of a few games on the larger maps where this has occurred over the past few years between good players.

I recall cooler doing it in a faceit final at one point on ztn – he had no time to do anything else and that includes pushing his opponent who has 11 shards (55 armor) to stack to 200 at will because of this. I believe cooler ended up losing anyway because he was two frags up when he started the cycle, kept it going for 5-6 minutes then ended up dying.

Out of control stacking is limited in ut. Thighpads are the extent of the armor the out of control player. Stack differential is important when looking at out of control vs in control. I see posters comment on “200 is too much armor” but the number itself is fairly meaningless. The potential stack difference and the opportunity for the out of control player to make these numbers more even (either through damage or pickups for himself) is important. The total number is only important when the game is the way ut is – no options to stack.

Finally the lack of player interaction forced by items hurts duel. This is also outlined in the post you were reading. The in control player is very predictable.

[QUOTE=Stolid]
You also talked about the belt in UT providing a full armor stack, but currently in UT4 it doesn’t. similar to UT3 you can combine it with other armor to build up to 200 armor. Two belts don’t give 200 however.

Do you reckon this is a good change because it forces the belt player to go after other armor or do you think this is a bad, change as it allows the in control player to get a larger 200 stack instead of the old 150?

I’m leaning towards the latter as belt players tend to go after other armor anyway so the main change in that view is there being a larger gap between full stack and new spawn health, but I’d like to know what you think.[/QUOTE]

Again the problem is not the amount of armor (150 vs 200) but rather the possible differential between the in and out of control players.

I feel you are correct in saying that the belt player tends to go after the jacket anyway.
This change initially this makes the belt player weaker but once control is established and one player has belt and jacket they will run both these items because they want to deny them. I don’t think small armor vs large armor difference has been a huge problem in any ut iteration.

I think its better but ultimately a band aid solution that does not address the lack of non-execution out of control play. If the out of control player could stack to 150 armor using thigh pads, the stack differential is much less.


Dropping weapons is bad in TDM


If dual enforcers are strong then two players together with enforces are strong, except it takes two players coordinating and playing together rather than just dropping the weapon*

Hijacking this thread because relevant.

Throw weapon should be disabled in TDM. Quite often cited as a way to “improve teamwork” I will argue it manages to achieve the inverse – less teamwork or team centric thinking is required. throwweapon gives players a team oriented ability, this in an of itself does not increase teamwork.

Consider the following:

With throwing enabled

1) Pickup a weapon
2) Optional : Communicate you have a weapon available
3) Dropping weapon when a weaponless teammate is nearby

With throwing disabled

1) See weapon available – decide you do not want it
2) Relay this information to the team
3) Guard/wait for team mate, ensure enemy players do not ninja it.
4) Optional : Take weapon even if not required because of enemy pressure / other items spawning needing your attention (can’t leave a weapon lying around)
5) Team mate arrives, takes weapon. yay

2 could be considered optional the same way communicating you have a weapon available for dropping in the first scenario. However this does not make a great deal of sense as the player at the weapon could be waiting a completely unknown duration.

This scenario plays out when a player already has a specific weapon and does not need more ammo. This means it would rarely occur and when it does it is not overly important.

Even at this cursory glance level there is more communication and “teamwork” involved when throwweapon is disabled.

Removing throwweapon also involves deeper thought/planning on a per weapon pickup basis. Do I really want to take that weapon? What do my team mates have? Could someone else utilise it better than me? Where are my team mates (will waiting for another player take us out of the game too long?) These decisions need to be made when the weapon is still on its spawn plate or from when an enemy/teamate is killed and drops a gun. Some of these decisions are the same when the player has the weapon with weapondrop on, however they are made when the player carrying the weapon sees other players – and by and large occur organically rather than the forced model of no weapondrop.

Removing throwweapon also allows weaker teams to punish teams with individually stronger players via more efficient denial. If an enemy player is a beast with weaponX in order to deny with traditional throwweapon on the weapon must be denied every single pickup otherwise the opposing team can simply give it to the better player. With throwweapon disabled players only need to deny to the specific player that wants it.

On the flip side the team with the beasty weaponX player can make it a priority for the team to make aggressive moves onto the weapon so the weaponX player can take it.

This becomes more interesting at a lower level with uneven teams where it may be a case of one player being significantly better than his three team mates. With throwweapon enabled this player can simply be fed weapons by his team mates. With it disabled they have to go around taking weapons together.

Of course the obvious work around is killing ones self to drop the weapon, however this is a “cost” and would not always be a good solution unless the player is naked with that weapon alone.

And because thinking about this would not be worth all that much without an existing example we can look at Quakeworld. The original TDM game that works with 1-2 “strong” ut4 weapons per map on longer than UT spawns. And it works perfectly without drop weapon. Of course there are differences faster quad/armor, backpacks and much slower team weapon stacking come to mind – but it still plays perfectly fine.

*Coming full circle. If two enforcers are considered strong then two fresh spawns playing together will be strong. In a team game this makes sense for players to play together. There is much more teamplay involved in playing together in this way than the weaker aimer dropping their spawn weapon for the stronger aimer.


Unreal GladiatorBy guarding a weapon you are likely hurting your team by not getting frags thus allowing the other team to get ahead, you are also abandoning your team to fight a man short, and you make yourself an easier target potentially feeding the other team and signaling to them that a weapon is available near your. If they frag you they then get 2 guns rather than one.[/QUOTE]


Time is currency in duel and to a lesser extent TDM. In duel your stack and level of control should be dictated by how much free time you have available to pressure the out of control player… which is not relevant right now. This is not really how ut4 duel currently works.

In TDM with no drop weapon you would be trading your time (and possible kills) for the present (you weapon – team mate no weapon) while guarding a weapon for the potential of increased kills in the future (you weapon – team mate weapon). Working out if you need to stay, team mates communicating when they need guns, communicating that there is a weapon available, team mate responding and so on are all important aspects here. All of these leverage aspects of team play more than the simple act of giving the other player a gun^.

More decisions and trade offs are good.

With current dynamics the team may be “down” a man but the game overall would play differently and this as a result what you say would probably not be the case.

Your downsides are aspects players need to deal with in order to get team mates weapons. They don’t sound insurmountable, or even unusual. Don’t die, don’t make a sitting duck of yourself. Situational awareness and common sense that players should apply most times during play.

dropweapon/nodropweapon isn’t better or worse, simply different. dropweapon has always been pushed as a feature that improves teamwork, but in reality I don’t feel it promotes playing as a team all that much. It does promote giving things to your team mates, but as for playing together it does nothing. My initial post exists because I doubt there will be a thread about dropweapon + TDM at any point and this looked like a good candidate for slotting it in.

^To take this point a little further. Irregardless of drop weapon or not, if two players meet and then play together team play is occurring. It does not matter if a player drops a weapon or not as you are still playing together assisting each other. This idea and decisions surrounding it is what teamplay is at its core. The simple act of dropping a gun? Not teamplay. The dropping of medpacks in other games? Not team play. The player with the enforcer should probably play near the other team mate anyway, regardless of what is dropped for them.

*this makes TDM sound very +forward and cessy as it implies that players must always be pressuring the opposing team. I don’t think that is a completely accurate representation of how any iteration of ut has played.


conX5since you won’t have the option of doubling its firepower through teammate interaction.

Of course you have this option. Two players can play together with enforcers. Double firepower? Check. Teammate interaction? Check, to a much higher degree than simply dropping it for someone else 🙂