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psydev
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Why don't all races have point defense lasers?


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Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« on: September 18, 2008, 03:02:55 pm »

     The issue of ships being over- or under-valued (or generally useless) has been on our minds a lot on this message board. Intrinsic to the way we value ships is how combat work, namely: series of one-on-one matches. This is the only combat mode that exists in Star Control. However, playing games like XNA Melee and TimeWarp has showed me that when you are in 2vs2 (or 7vs7) combat, game dynamics change significantly and consequently ships' values change. Additionally, tactics that one uses in 1vs1 can be less effective in different game modes, either because you now have to worry about your flank, which potentially limits certain strategies, or because the pressure of having to protect your ally ship reduces the amount of time you have, making, for example, "sit and wait" tactics and tactics of avoidance and slowly wearing down your opponent less uesful to the overall objective (destroy enemy ships while protecting vulnerable ones on your team). In a different context, the value of a ship will change considerably.
     There are several ship combinations in SC2 that can be rather mind-numbingly boring due to their repetitive, drawn out nature. Some examples are Spathi vs. Yehat, Thraddash vs. most ships... you might be able to think of others. I generally dislike standoffs and these kinds of long, drawn out duels that go nowhere. As much as I love SC2 and the varying strategies, I think that I prefer the aspect of the game that is reflexes and reacting to unpredictable scenarios... some ship matchups can be pretty straightforward and uninteresting. What are some possibilities to make the game more flowing and exciting?

Some suggestions for alternative gametypes:
-Games with time limits
If a particular 1on1 matchup is taking too long and an arbitrary time limit expires (from 1 minute to 4 perhaps), a stalemate can be declared and one or both ships warp out and return to their fleet, forcing new ships to be selected. This can alleviate the problem of annoying ship combinations (as mentioned earlier) by having a fixed time to duke it out before switching it up, relieving players of boredom.
-> If desired, instead of both ships being forced to warp out, the ship that is not orbiting (or close to) the planet can be the one forced out, leaving the ship that is in orbit of the planet to be the one "in control" of the battlespace that they are fighting over.

-Games with objectives.
Player 1 has a starbase/mine/colony planet while Player 2 has a task force that is sent to destroy it. Since the defender has a vulnerable asset they must defend, as well as a time limit (how long it takes for the enemy to get within range to blast the asset to smithereens), boring and routine tactics will not work very well; the defender will be required to press hard against the attacker to force them out before they can deal damage to the target.

-2vs2 or 3vs3 games
While a 2- or 3-player limit is as arbitrary as 1vs1, it can make game dynamics more varied and reduce problems of bad ship match-ups. I have played XNA Melee (a 4-player SC2 game for PC) and interestingly I have found the Ur-Quan to be a very effective ship. Mind you, I've only played against noobs and AI, but the Ur-Quan can launch fighters at one enemy target while engaging another with its blaster. Since there are more than two ships flying around, it's harder for any one ship to engage an enemy while completely avoiding its team mate and conversely easier for a ship to seek and find an enemy. For this reason the Vux Intruder is good, because faster ships aren't as easily able to beat it by staying out of range. (Another reason the Vux is good is that there are 64 discrete ship angles instead of 16, making it easier to keep the laser on target and reduce enemy ships to slag very quickly)

     Seeing ships fight in different contexts will change people's perspectives of ship values and their abilities. It will also be more 'realistic' in the sense that you can imagine how a mega-battle between Hierarchy and Alliance forces over a piece of galactic real estate might actually pan out when it is not limited to merely sequences of 1on1 battles and instead has a diverse array of tactics from different ships used in combination. I also think that the time limit gametype could fix the "Thraddash Problem" pretty well, instead of requiring a re-valuing or ship balancing mod.
    I'd be interested to see what other alternative game type suggestions others might have.
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Shiver
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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 08:28:05 pm »

That's an awful lot of discussion coming out of someone I've never seen in #UQM-Arena, but you seem credible enough. 1 on 1 isn't nearly as problematic as you make it sound. Players have to reach pretty hard to cause a stalemate unless there's a Thraddash Torch involved. Every once in a while we get some dolt who insists that other players are required to chase their Spathi or walk into an Androsynth bubble trap, and they are rightly ridiculed for it.

We've talked about time limits before. They really don't help anything. If I have a Pkunk and you have a Chmmr out in the arena, I can run the clock down and then use a different ship, preventing a loss I really should have suffered. The idea I had instead was a little flashing light both players could turn on and off that allows them both simultaneously withdraw their ships and pick new ones, but it would only work if both players used it. This could be used to avoid Spathi vs Yehat, but wouldn't allow a countered ship to flee from something it can't beat.


Quote from: PsyDev
In a different context, the value of a ship will change considerably.

I agree. The SC2 ship values will probably be a poor fit for XNA melee, especially in 2v2, 3v3 and FFA.


Quote from: PsyDev
some ship matchups can be pretty straightforward and uninteresting.

Yes, but there are more good match-ups than bad ones. Most of the counters are rather fun to play actually. The least interesting usually end quickly, so you don't really have time to think "it's androsynth vs orz again, this crap is so lame".


Quote from: PsyDev
Another reason the Vux is good is that there are 64 discrete ship angles instead of 16, making it easier to keep the laser on target and reduce enemy ships to slag very quickly.

I'll have to see this myself. I wonder if I will still be able to flank VUX to death with Arilou without blind spots involved. The answer will likely be "no".
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Mr Brian
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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 10:04:21 pm »


-Games with objectives.
..
-2vs2 or 3vs3 games
..

     Seeing ships fight in different contexts will change people's perspectives of ship values and their abilities. It will also be more 'realistic' in the sense that you can imagine how a mega-battle between Hierarchy and Alliance forces over a piece of galactic real estate might actually pan out when it is not limited to merely sequences of 1on1 battles and instead has a diverse array of tactics from different ships used in combination. I also think that the time limit gametype could fix the "Thraddash Problem" pretty well, instead of requiring a re-valuing or ship balancing mod.
    I'd be interested to see what other alternative game type suggestions others might have.



I'm interested in seeing the SC2 ships in a 16 player  Battlefield type scenario- capturing different strategic points, turning them into spawn points, etc.  Kindof like Undertow  (a underwater 2d shooter, with the point capturing).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ2ie_FkIuU

There would be some super interesting strategies there, which ships are best for defense, offense and support..
A good place to try out using the Syreen as a medic class Smiley   (get the crew from enemies and use the syreen call on yourself to drop them by teammates)

Obviously, thats probably not something that will make it into UQM but just a thought  Smiley
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psydev
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Why don't all races have point defense lasers?


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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 06:21:55 am »

oh btw... im sure someone has suggested this before, but what's the consensus on allowing ships to "warp out" in the same way as in regular gameplay?
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Death 999
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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 05:13:11 pm »

There was no consensus.

There were some unanswered questions, and sufficient doubt that it would do any good that no one was willing to program it up so those questions could be answered definitively.
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Shiver
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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 08:17:10 pm »

Quote from: PsyDev
oh btw... im sure someone has suggested this before, but what's the consensus on allowing ships to "warp out" in the same way as in regular gameplay?

The consensus reached between people that have actually played net melee was that it was a bad idea.


Quote from: Death 999
There were some unanswered questions, and sufficient doubt that it would do any good that no one was willing to program it up so those questions could be answered definitively.

We got tired of arguing with you. To your credit, I didn't really understand much of what EP was posting either.
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Death 999
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Re: Playmodes avoiding borefests, useless ships
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 06:10:29 pm »

A consensus of two. Uh, yeah.

Enough to say that enough doubts were entertained that no one wanted to throw it together.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 09:50:44 pm by Death 999 » Logged
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