Is tweaking armor values the only option to balance unreal tournament duel?

Dr.ToxicVenom: The better player will get the shield belt 9 times out of 10 anyway, so why not worry more about balance and leveling the playing field for the losing player?

Does anyone have a better solution to the issue with the shield belt being broken/overpowered?

Add meaningful out of control stacking allowing the out of control player to reduce stack differential without damage allowing them to then challenge for larger items. This has the added benefit of forcing the in control player to take the out of control players stack into consideration more rather than just playing belt+jacket. This spreads importance across more items, adds more options for both players and overall creates a more dynamic game – it allows a player to have as a similar amount of effective health without taking the belt, the cost being time spent doing it.

Alternatively disallow pickups of lower value armor items when stronger armors are equipped. This means a player cannot deny jacket while wearing full belt, they need to take damage or self damage to deny. This helps lower stack differential as the non-belt player either has access to the jacket or the belt player takes the jacket after damaging themselves. Belt spawn could also be lowered at the same time, forcing the belt player to revisit it more often. Sound strange? CPMA and Quakeworld use a similar system. The obvious reply to this is that it removes strategy/skill as the belted player cannot deny the jacket. I would argue that it creates a potentially deeper item game by virtue of having to play around the jacket, being aware of your opponents location and yours in relation to the jacket.

Those are just two ways you could give out of control players an easier time, which seems to be what you are after. All the traditional +damage methods that ut has always had still apply as well! 🙂

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