Archive for May, 2017

Do arenafps have classes?

PayBack; I really think Epic and this community need to take a good hard look at what makes a successful game in todays market. Quake added classes, for better or worse, I think its fair to say that giving players variety in their characters and play style is a very important piece of modern day video games. People want a tailored experience, they want to use characters and weapons that best suit their play style and needs. Back in the late 90s early 2000s, video games were all about skill.

Your argument is basically “well other franchises do it so ut should as well”. ut should do it if it creates a better game, not just because – perhaps in the case of flagrun classes make sense.

arenafps have “classes” and these are often harder counters than similar setups in class based games. Players have always had the ability to have variety in play style in arena shooters, quite often in a wider range than similar class based games. The main difference is that you do not spawn with the “class”, you need to pick it up AND you have access to other classes provided you spend time picking up those other weapons.

If you have sniper you are able to play in a way that a player without sniper can basically not counter without obtaining one of their own. This is a super hard counter.

If you have a close range weapon the same applies. In ut4 this somewhat comes undone because there are so many close range weapons.

A big part of the “problem” is that players do not “see” this as classes, while the sniper example, at least in ut, basically hard counters everything at long range. This is why loadouts in quakelive were not a huge “problem”. Players could not get rockets/lg/rail out of the gate and could only select one of the holy trinity. This meant they were only maximum effective at one range.

If we take this example to CTF and item layout we can change things in the following manner. Using the sniper as an example.

1) Put the sniper on the way to the enemy flag, where players will always go when attacking. The sniper is now a “fast” weapon as you can pick it up on the way to the enemy base without spending any time. The location of the shock on ctf-outside would be an example of this.

2) Put the sniper out of the way, possibly even away from spawn points. The sniper is now a “slow” weapon and if players wish to use it they must take time to obtain it, cutting into their attacking time. An example here would be placing the sniper up near the top rockets on ctf-outside, possibly extending the corridor further, while making sure to remove any spawns around here. See the image below, if the rifle was off frame where the green arrow is pointing.

Obviously this is not the same as having fast/slow characters like teamfortress does, however it does impact the game. If players need to spend X seconds each life obtaining a weapon rather than going straight for the enemy base, this will heavily cut into the amount of time they have to attack over the course of a game. This is also quite limited in ut4 because all many of the weapons fulfill the same role.

And yet if mappers did this with popular weapons, for example the ctf-outside example, it would be criticized by the player population for odd placement. “Sniper is too far away from the common thoroughfares” would probably be feedback.

The more skill you had the better you were at the game.

Epic should use gathered stats to give players a class(ification). If a player uses more sniper they are labelled that way. If a player dodges significantly more than average at their skill level they given another title. And so on. If the skill ceiling is high, and broad enough players themselves become “classes” based on how they play. The same way a player has a reputation for using shock, rockets, superior movement, timing, etc but everyone will get a “class” rather than a handful of the best players. On the flip side qualities that are low, like average speed, top speed, distance traveled could be taken into account and used to describe the player. If you aim well, but never time or pickup health packs you get a particular title that is less than flattering.

For example, when I was playing I had super high 100a/50a pickups compared to belt pickups compared to everyone I played, even when looking through other players from other regions.

This is not just to classify a player, but to also make them feel unique without giving them ability points to distribute.

 I dont want character progression that unlocks special abilities, just something to give a player a tiny little edge and something to work for. Maybe one player builds a character with 5% further dodge, this allows him to more easily make a trick jump that a non leveled player would have a more difficult time with. Those are the tiny leveling schemes im talking about. Not some major special ability unlock.[/QUOTE]

Movement should be designed so it is deep enough for differences between players to manifest themselves naturally. UT movement may not allow for enough differentiation between players and if that is the case then perhaps that would be excellent to look at.

Because quake movement uses mouse movement it tends to differentiate player skill much better. imo anyway.

Positioning in Overwatch

If you have played overwatch you might have seen guides relating to positioning. These are usually quite generic – stay backline if you are support – stay at the front if you are a tank – stay behind shields – etc. For defence they may be a little more specific – defend from these locations, tanks stand here, supports stand here. But overall the game is no where near as dynamic as duel. In my experience (high diamond/low master) full holds occurred most often in overwatch when attackers were unable to push defenders off their setup “position”. This leads players to believe that this in itself is strong positioning when in reality the defending team never had to adjust their positioning because of deaths or good pushing – the initial setup was good, but beyond that their positioning was never “tested”. On the flip side defence often lost points when they failed to adjust after 1-2 deaths, continuing to play pushed up when they should be “positioned” back more.

In reality positioning is very dynamic and constantly changing and if a team full holds with little to no moving around their positioning might be good, but positioning also takes into accounts adjustments for “other things” happening, which does not occur much at all in the example.

If you were to simply copy their positioning in this situation and then lose two players and stay locked in those same locations – you would lose because you did not change your positions accordingly.

The future of unreal tournament

Why does this game keep getting horribly worse with every update?

Because ut until now (this version/this versions development) has been an arena fps and Epic are now creating an “arena fps inspired shooter”, which sounds something blizzard would have said about overwatch. Epic are no longer making Unreal Tournament because they are no longer making an arena fps.

Our goal is for Blitz to become the primary 5v5 game mode for Unreal Tournament. We want to retain some of the core ideas of what make Arena Shooters fun, while at the same time modernizing aspects of the game that may be stuck in “legacy land” for no particularly strong reason. Source

So it has come to the point where they are no longer making ut. They are making a game that is potentially inspired by ut but is not an arena fps. Sounds a bit like this. If Epic had stated that they want to retain the arena fps core and modernise other aspects that would have been fine, however they want to keep some core ideas that make arena shooters fun. An example from overwatch. Widowmaker has a grapple, which is obviously inspired by quake 2 CTF and kept the core “idea” of the grapple. The grapple in q2 is fun and it is retained in a manner that makes it fun still, while essentially making it nothing like grapple in q2 at all. Given the hardon epic have for ow this is a direction that is reasonable to expect. The new LG is (or was) an almost direct rip of the ana gun – which is sad because it is such a garbage and uninspired weapon.

Unreal Tournament is an arena shooter, if these aspects are removed it is no longer unreal tournament. Things that make a game an arena shooter in my mind are – weapons, movement, lack of classes, fast respawns and pickups. These do not always apply, as CA/TAM have rounds and no pickups yet would not make a game not-arena fps. Weapons is a fairly broad concept but if you compare ut/quake to cs/cod one gets the point fairly quickly.

Maybe Epic are confused as to what constitutes an arenafps – perhaps Sid purely thinks of arenafps = gametype. You know.. there is an arena, there are pickups, etc. Deathmatch. If that is the case.. fine, but at the same time it is difficult to imagine Epic making that particular “mistake”.

The truth is they are making changes to core arenafps principals in order to make flagrun “better”. By the time they are finished the only thing ut about the new ut will be the name. It is not overly surprising that epic have gone the overwatch way. Their history is riddled with changes and copying other franchises without understanding – and luck. The Unreal franchise started as a magic carpet clone which then went on to become an FPS, probably due to iDs success with doom. From here there are amazing choices like shipping ut99 on “hardcore” instead of “normal” – basically a % modifier to many aspects of the game. It is hard to imagine that the game was designed with this in mind – create base game, apply across the board %s to make things faster and you are done? Is that next level design or straight up butchery. Likewise fast switch in 2k3, obviously taken from q3 with no understanding turned the game into shock primary -> lg -> shock primary -> lg, simply because the weapon switch negated the reload. This was addressed in 2k4, however why it was implemented in the first place boggles the mind – Epic don’t understand and given the complete lack of direction in the ut4 project this is unlikely to have changed.

Look at history.

Unreal – trash multiplayer, abysmal map list.
UT99 – decent multiplayer which is essentially a “fixed” version of Unreal with new gametypes
2k3 – trash multiplayer, abysmal map list.
2k4 – decent, the issues from 2k3 are addressed and the game is better. This is also because of more maps.
UT3 – trash multiplayer

UT3 never had a followup title. Epic iterated on their first two “titles” by releasing, polishing and re-releasing. This is not to say

Work on the future of Unreal Tournament begins today, and we’re happy to announce that we’re going to do this together, with you.

Work on a game that is called Unreal Tournament started that day. Epic have announced that it is no longer an arena fps so it is no longer ut.