Showdown – a new round based ut4 gametype

Takes duel and flips it on its head. Where in duel its about controlling various objects in the world as they spawn, here all objects spawn, everything is live in the world. Including powerups and you can only pick things up once.

As a fan of hoonymode and FPS that lack resources this gametype struck a chord. Round based gametypes are probably more palatable for many gamers these days but keeping the game item driven is awesome. It was interesting seeing it on stream and hope it becomes the staple for non-flag/objective type game.

Thoughts after playing some and watching some.

Showdown Pros

Showdown Cons

The defensive aspect could possibly be addressed using smaller maps for 1v1 – something like Rocket Arena 1v1 arenas. However with the current map options it turns into a huge +back fest if anyone takes it seriously.

Please add a team option (or even ffa) as I think showdown would shine even more in this format. 4v4 on the 1v1 maps would probably be ok. Possibly with team spawning on one point rather than all over the map, with the same spawn selection. Allows teams to do things like “2 go belt, X grab flak and go sniper, Y go to pads scout for them…”. Pinata or backpack drops may be required – or not, perhaps swapping off weapons to not give them to the other team is interesting.

Here are some comments from the stream where showdown was introduced. These are not 100% word for word as I was in a rush transposing. I feel most of these apply to current duel or duel could be made to have these features without massive changes.

Ties and Player Interaction.

+back play is/will be a problem. There is little reason to push the opponent after pickups.

Currently the winner is decided by remaining health. This benefits the player who gets pickups more than their opponent and forces the less stacked player to be offensive. Having the weaker player attack is not ideal in a game that is already skewed towards the defensive. Rather than this my suggestion would be to tie break based on damage given. This decouples the outcome from pickups and +backing onto health cannot win a game – that would be somewhat lame. A last second attack to deal a more damage to push over the line would be more showy.

With this in mind a “player is in the lead” indicator (1 or 0, not damage dealt) should be added to the hud for the current round. This way stack estimation is not required and players know exactly what is going on while keeping estimation important when pushing to kill.

This also has other ramifications – one player is essentially assigned offense and one defence, but this will switch during the course of a round. Randomly assign first round, then from round two onwards the “advantage” is given to the player that lost the previous round, the assumption being that the lower skilled player lost. Or it could alternate – but the idea is that someone always has the “advantage”.

Even if a player has less stack they have the option to go offensive, deal some damage and then make the higher stacked opponent come to them. This could create some dynamic situations where the leader swaps and strat change as the round progresses.

Finally change ties to +1 point and kills to +3 points. This also pushes the player who perceives themselves to have an advantage to be aggressive rather than being defensive due to greater rewards.

It would be hard to say if this would fix the overall defensive nature of the game but it would be a step in the right direction.

Overall a good start!

Some quotes from Epic stream

Make bee line to things you can make plays with, things you can make stuff happen.

The mechanic is now rather than players fighting around two places in the map its more about figuring out what your critical path is from where you spawn and how to defend after that.

Its also about conservation of ammo, conservation of health

One of the things I like about it is that it makes the game feel closer with players that are much better. Lowers humiliation factor. Getting destroyed makes me not want to play.

What you often see where one guy gets ahead and its hard or impossible to dethrone him. Learn how your opponent is playing and “counteract” his opening sequence.

Implies duel is over once a player has control of belt and jacket.

Fun when you are playing with someone better than you, awesome playing someone about the same skill.

Not about two armors and how to fight over them. This is more about he spawned X and I need to go Y, how to do this, etc.

Archer6621: I like the sound of this, could have something like a coin-toss on who gets to pick the very first spawn (first round), and then in the second round it will be inverted, third round the other person will pick first, fourth round inverted again, and goes on like that until it’s over.

Round 1: Pick from map (only know your spawn)
Round 2: Invert spawns (both players now have 100% spawn knowledge).

Potential problem is both players selecting the same spawn. Random off to two nearby spawns?

Aggressive play relies on a degree of uncertainty which is in large part facilitated by not knowing your opponent’s location. This is potentially problematic when the gametype has a limited window for smart aggressive play (during item collection) after which the difficulty is increased. Knowing your opponents spawn removes element of surprise almost entirely. In addition some spawn mash ups – lower rocket vs upper rocket (corner near link) on ASDF for example would never occur. At this spawn the rocket players (probably) best move is to rocket -> lift dodge to shock, take shock. The upper spawn has less options, however this is one of few that can beat the rocket player to shock and escape. With the knowledge that the player is spawning above the rocket player can simply change the lift dodge into a hammer jump for faster movement at cost of health, deny shock then also deny flak. Obviously this is possible regardless of where the other player spawns, however it is a much more gambling move (spending health for uncertain out come) rather than almost foregone conclusion.

Perhaps a less confusing option would be to give players the option for the game to “pick for me” rather than pick from the map. So you have the benefit of stealth but you cannot select where you start.

The first wave is the “resource rush” wave. In this wave, if players spawn far from each other, they will rush to first get a powerful weapon followed by the best armor in their area, or vice versa depending on what is closer. Any immediate altercation is going to more than likely be defensive. Players are rushing for resources and if they happen to see the enemy while doing so they may only throw a few shots and leave to keep on collecting.

The second wave is the “aggression” wave. Here is the most exciting* spectator part of the match. Both players are stacked with armor/health and their assortment of weapons.[/QUOTE]

Nice overview in general. I disagree with where the aggression phase starts however. Once players have their pickups there is no incentive to push each other, outside of guessing stack. Aggression from a logical stand point occurs as soon as a player has a weapon. The viability of this varies between maps of course, ASDF is pretty small and possible well on but maybe solo not so much due to being more spread out.

With the current spawn setup reading where your opponent starts and attempting fast damage with what you have available is much more exciting (compared to your example, which is also exciting but has less riding on executing it well) than waiting and has potentially bigger pay offs – killing before armor pickups, driving off armor pickups, denying weapons, damaging them then forcing them to spend time going for health rather than weapons early. This last point has further repercussions as your opponent now has no fall back point if you play between him and other health resources as the round progresses.

Think of it like denial in duel when a player has control, except you need to deny things quickly off spawn. And you can contest anything as having an extra weapon is huge.

Players have a limited window for playing aggressively using items as the main way of doing so (he is going for X, I will shoot him)/reason to do so (I’m going to stop him taking it or I want it) is the initial item pick ups. Compared to regular duel there is more urgency to obtain resources since you cannot wait out the respawns for weapons you failed to get initially.

If you play it as you would “normal” duel with armor spawning (collect items, +back to avoid being killed early, stack up for next spawns) you potentially put yourself on the back foot for the defensive phase. Having an extra weapon pickup is a fairly big deal when the game progresses to the +back stage. If your opponent runs out of ammo before you do. And because of 200 health another valid option is to ignore the armors and push for more weapons.

For example, if you spawn at lower rockets on ASDF an option other than rockets -> Armor/Belt would be rockets -> hammer to shock (if they did not spawn directly above you near the shock ammo) then listen for flak or helmet pickup. Depending on their spawn you then have the option to deny flak. At no point have you been near either armors.

The belt is significantly better than the jacket+pads, purely because (ignoring the map) it takes less time to obtain the same benefit, freeing up the belt player to do more. Also belt can deny pads.

Sure, if you are playing for fun or just to play the aggressive phase probably occurs after most pickups. Not to say that you have to play aggressively at the start, of course players can play the way you have described as well, going for pickups, then fighting.

Mysterial: Another option that has been discussed is to change the scoring so that wins by kill are 3 points and wins by timelimit are 2 and 1, so there’s more reward attached to being offensive… but I’m skeptical that would have a substantial impact

Players knowing they have an advantage (stack or weapons) would be key for this to work. It essentially makes one player the “control point” other posters are keen to implement. The current setup of “highest stack wins” is asking players to read damage output exceptionally well. This is probably one of the highest level skills. Please add an indicator – perhaps update it every ~10? Or 5 seconds after last damage dealt. Delay to avoid it swapping back and forth and allowing players to back off as soon as they take the lead.

Perhaps stopping healing over 100 using normal health packs would also help. Unless heavy damage is landed players tend to go to 200, to close to, twice per round. Is much more dangerous backing off to heal with sub 50 health compared to doing it at 150.

luauDesign: Anyway, something else:if rounds ends and noone is dead, why not just respawn [B]everything[/B] at once as the countdown reaches zero (you don’t even have to “time” things)? In that case, up the score-worth of the round cumulatively. Noone got the +1 from the round? Respawn everything, and now the round is worth +2. Noone dies yet? Respawn everything, and now it’s worth +3… +4… (there’s a bit of a similarity with betrayal gametype here, for those who didn’t notice) This whole thing would work better with 1min rounds, this way there’s less down time.

+1 This is a nice idea, it keeps the game item driven while removing the “annoying timing” aspect duel gets hammered for. Could allow interesting setups where players try to get additional items they missed the first time round. However this would need to be combined with no normal health packs over 100. Also maybe no ammo respawns?

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