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newborn

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I can tell you will be the first to turn on every pseudo-cheating feature under the sun once this is added. You will also vanish as soon as this game runs out of steam, and probably jump ship to another CPMA clone. Garbage in, garbage out.

 

 

 

LOL n1 M8...

 

Hey listen,,,  ,,,, , your hear that? It's the sound of no-one giving a shit about your "opinion", and it's deafening.

 

A. I can already hack the game with timers/bots/wh etal. I don't. Why, don't need to.

B. Wtf did daddy do to you????

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A post full of nothing but insults, with no substance at all. Get over yourself.

 

He also liked his own post :>

 

On topic tho, I'm really interested to see what these changes will bring, specially about HUDs being a hudmaker myself :)

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Figured there would be a lot of hate for in-game item timers.

 

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the developers aren't set to any specific mentality of "this is the way the game must be" - they just want to make it a good competitive platform that is fun in every mode of play.  If it turns out that item timers break the game's balance, I'm sure they will find a way to limit the impact or remove it.

 

That said, I'm of the opinion that timers will raise the skill floor without greatly affecting the skill ceiling.  Top end players already know what important items are available to them (99% of the time).  Players who are new to the genre are the most lost with respect to what they should be doing - this is something that will help them realize what is really going on.

 

I put this change in the same category as the fuss over QuakeLive's auto jump feature.  Doesn't impact pros, helps out newbs.  If we want Arena FPS games to grow, we should be willing to make concessions to help out the newer players.

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Figured there would be a lot of hate for in-game item timers.

 

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the developers aren't set to any specific mentality of "this is the way the game must be" - they just want to make it a good competitive platform that is fun in every mode of play.  If it turns out that item timers break the game's balance, I'm sure they will find a way to limit the impact or remove it.

 

That said, I'm of the opinion that timers will raise the skill floor without greatly affecting the skill ceiling.  Top end players already know what important items are available to them (99% of the time).  Players who are new to the genre are the most lost with respect to what they should be doing - this is something that will help them realize what is really going on.

 

I put this change in the same category as the fuss over QuakeLive's auto jump feature.  Doesn't impact pros, helps out newbs.  If we want Arena FPS games to grow, we should be willing to make concessions to help out the newer players.

 

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the first post is loaded with examples of negative results of this system, with a really weak disclaimer that amounts to "we don't know what to do and we don't care if we wreck the game along the way." Not giving me confidence in this game, and I really want to find reasons to like it.

 

What do you say to the argument that strictly knowing item timers makes timing-based strategies (like leaving items up or delaying pickups) much weaker? Surely a top level duel player such as yourself knows that there's more to timing than just cycling armors when you're in control.

 

To talk about things like skill floor, skill ceiling, who this helps or hinders.. you should probably make an argument or state a fact at some point. Otherwise it looks like you're relying on your reputation to get you by.

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ModicumAnalysis, being a developer and working for the dev team I would hope you look into the community a little more and ACTUALLY listen and talk to the community to get more insight, because so far with what you are saying I do not agree with.

 

This guy is NOT working for the dev team. He's just some random troll who's now enjoying the status of being banned.

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I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the first post is loaded with examples of negative results of this system, with a really weak disclaimer that amounts to "we don't know what to do and we don't care if we wreck the game along the way." Not giving me confidence in this game, and I really want to find reasons to like it.

 

What do you say to the argument that strictly knowing item timers makes timing-based strategies (like leaving items up or delaying pickups) much weaker? Surely a top level duel player such as yourself knows that there's more to timing than just cycling armors when you're in control.

 

To talk about things like skill floor, skill ceiling, who this helps or hinders.. you should probably make an argument or state a fact at some point. Otherwise it looks like you're relying on your reputation to get you by.

 

You really didn't address my biggest point in the least bit.  If the game sucks, they will fix it.  Maybe you're so used to id software putting games out and refusing to change anything (or making retarded changes like Q3's 1.25 PR), but I'm quite confident that the Reflex devs are going to continue making adjustments as they see fit.  Some changes might be good, some might be bad.

 

Still, It's far too early to make a call as to whether it positively or negative impacts gameplay.  How about we (all) wait until it's playable to determine if it was a good change or not?

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Figured there would be a lot of hate for in-game item timers.

 

I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that the developers aren't set to any specific mentality of "this is the way the game must be" - they just want to make it a good competitive platform that is fun in every mode of play.  If it turns out that item timers break the game's balance, I'm sure they will find a way to limit the impact or remove it.

 

That said, I'm of the opinion that timers will raise the skill floor without greatly affecting the skill ceiling.  Top end players already know what important items are available to them (99% of the time).  Players who are new to the genre are the most lost with respect to what they should be doing - this is something that will help them realize what is really going on.

 

I put this change in the same category as the fuss over QuakeLive's auto jump feature.  Doesn't impact pros, helps out newbs.  If we want Arena FPS games to grow, we should be willing to make concessions to help out the newer players.

 

The "lots of hate" amount to maybe three people replying with concerns and substance beyond the typical "can't wait for this feature" and congratulatory posts which line the first page, but either way of course a drastic change such as this with the timers will cause unsettling responses from those seasoned in duels who are well aware of the implications it has on the gametype. The way it's been presented to us is as an untested change strongly concluded because of the inability to prevent such occurrences with what they themselves are making for the UI system (aka the 'slippery slope' argument). All we're given are some "endless possibilities" to fawn over as the justification for removing a significant portion of duels.

 

My issue with your stance of saying it's just something they want to test out and "if it's shit we'll fix it" doesn't seem to hold water when Newborn stated in the original post that the way the system is designed would make this incredibly difficult to prevent and this is his initial justification for the timers in the first place.

 

I'm not sure how you were able to reach the conclusion that this doesn't impact "pros" who typically time only one item down to the second and use memory to then cycle through items. To imply that each and every player at a top level times every item down to the second is ridiculous. It's a simple fact that at higher levels one missed armor can be the difference between a multitude of frags causing you to lose the game, and at such high levels where aim and movement typically max out around equal levels between the two players timing and map knowledge become the heaviest factors influencing who wins a duel.

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You really didn't address my biggest point in the least bit.  If the game sucks, they will fix it.  Maybe you're so used to id software putting games out and refusing to change anything (or making retarded changes like Q3's 1.25 PR), but I'm quite confident that the Reflex devs are going to continue making adjustments as they see fit.  Some changes might be good, some might be bad.

 

Still, It's far too early to make a call as to whether it positively or negative impacts gameplay.  How about we (all) wait until it's playable to determine if it was a good change or not?

 

You didn't address anyone's point. You also tried to change the subject to something I don't even understand about quake 3? What.

I chose not to address your confidence in the developers, because there's nothing there to address. You have your opinion and I have mine. It's great to be confident in them and have faith and all that, but historically that attitude leads to bad games. Design by committee typically doesn't work, especially when no one on the committee is qualified.

 

So far what I've seen is that unless you post brainless gushing in this thread, you get shouted down with dumb memes from teenagers or really week spindoctoring.

 

So let's try again. What do you say to the argument that strictly knowing item timers makes timing-based strategies (like leaving items up or delaying pickups) much weaker?

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So far what I've seen is that unless you post brainless gushing in this thread, you get shouted down with dumb memes from teenagers or really week spindoctoring.

 

Dude, you came in with a post with no arguments at all and went out of your way to insult people. What do you expect?

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So let's try again. What do you say to the argument that strictly knowing item timers makes timing-based strategies (like leaving items up or delaying pickups) much weaker?

 

Don't the global pickup sounds we have right now kind of weaken those strategies anyway?

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To both yeast and Bold Huge Crunch:

 

Item pickup sounds are indeed global right now.  Whether or not that is intended is beyond my call (I know they are going to make a second pass at the sound system at some point, but it's a low priority compared to many things right now).  The fact that they are currently global means that when I play Reflex, I almost always know what armor I should be going to.  I might not know it to the second, but it doesn't make a big difference.

 

As far as leaving items up intentionally goes, I think it's largely an unchanged strategy.  I only do that when I'm close enough to beat my opponent to the item, and I'm trying to bait a fight.  A good enough player would know it's up without a HUD indication, and he'd stay away until I hurt myself to grab it.

 

Anything else?

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A good enough player would know...

 

I'm not an expert on Reflex, but isn't this just a 'no true scotsman'?

 

I guess if item sounds are global, that's just as awful as item timers being shown on the HUD (without getting into blindness/deafness concerns). What's one more mechanic giving you free information for no good reason, eh?

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To both yeast and Bold Huge Crunch:

 

Item pickup sounds are indeed global right now.  Whether or not that is intended is beyond my call (I know they are going to make a second pass at the sound system at some point, but it's a low priority compared to many things right now).  The fact that they are currently global means that when I play Reflex, I almost always know what armor I should be going to.  I might not know it to the second, but it doesn't make a big difference.

 

As far as leaving items up intentionally goes, I think it's largely an unchanged strategy.  I only do that when I'm close enough to beat my opponent to the item, and I'm trying to bait a fight.  A good enough player would know it's up without a HUD indication, and he'd stay away until I hurt myself to grab it.

 

Anything else?

 

Even taking into consideration PICKUP SOUNDS being global, the timing skill is still there as a requirement for you to make use of because when you hear the sound you need to check the time of when its going to spawn on the gameclock and then remember it or make a mental note and estimate it by feel. Having a timer which explicitly tells you when the item will spawn makes this process invalid entirely.

 

Apparently no one in Reflex is "good enough" by your definition considering I've seen the item-left-up strategy employed on quite a few of the more active players.

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All I'm seeing from both of your complaints boil down to "It won't be the same as I'm used to."  Obviously, having more information is going to change how the game is played, and some things you are used to will no longer apply.  For that matter, a lot of things I'm used to from QW don't apply to Reflex (I still dislike Railgun for 1on1 and think Rockets should have a larger blast radius).

 

But back on topic of what I think this change means for the game: While movement and aim will maintain their importance, people seem to be underplaying the aspect of reading your opponent.  With less mental effort needed for timing, I expect hard reads will be more common.  Picking out player tendencies, paths, and playing mind-games will be the skills that separate the mid-end players from the top-end.

 

And again, I could be wrong.  Maybe it will turn the game to crap.  Then newborn, shooter, and erectro have some work to do in figuring out how to fix the problem.  But right now is far too early for anyone to say if it's good or bad, so just leave it alone until you've played with it for a week or two.

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And again, I could be wrong.  Maybe it will turn the game to crap.  Then newborn, shooter, and erectro have some work to do in figuring out how to fix the problem.  But right now is far too early for anyone to say if it's good or bad, so just leave it alone until you've played with it for a week or two.

Does erectro have an electric perma-boner? ;)

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Cant you just deny usage of events such as do something every frame and do something within certain time interval?

 

You could distinguish your own UI scripts from custom UI scripts. Custom UI scripts would run on certain time interval which would be randomized to some point. Say that the interval would be randomly chosen between 1-4ms which would mean that its impossible to code any sort of scripts for timing stuff, because counters based on frame / time interval would always output data in a bit randomized manner? In addition to this you should just block the access from custom scripts to every variable that contains something that can be used in some custom function to estimate time passed. 

 

One "hardcoded" option would also just detect on fly if some function has a relation to time being passed or items being spawned and just detect that as "cheat" and block the usage.

 

There are definitely ways we could discourage the scripting of item timers but they're all a bit graceless. If some people's predictions are true and the addition of timers on HUD completely ruins the game and lowers the skill ceiling to be the same as Notepad, we'll definitely be looking into ways we can alter the UI scripting. In reality though, it's extremely unlikely to be an issue.

Really, if we wanted to be safe we could just completely lock away the scripts and tell people "nope, developer only". Instead, we're going to watch what people do and take a reactive approach -- if some family of scripts is having a significant and negative impact on gameplay, we'll start taking steps to prevent them. That's also what we'll be doing with the item timers being discussed -- if it makes the game measurably worse, we'll remove them and take steps to prevent them coming back.

 

I'm pretty sure for tourney play you could submit your UI to the organiser to prove you have no timers. Then create a hash from your current LUA UI script which gets sent to the server to the server at regular random intervals when playing. Then simply compare it against the UI you sent in prior to the cup to ensure that you're using a script that has no timers displayed. 

 

Not exactly an elegant solution but if your absolutely desperate to play in a competitive environment without timers it should work.

 

I thought about this before we said anything publicly about timers but I think it's the wrong way of looking at it. We are changing the meta to say that timers are okay to have, that they're part of the game. Running a tournament that prevents their use is like running a tournament that bans the Bolt Rifle because it's not what people are used to from QW -- altering comp rules to fit tradition, instead of accepting what the game is.

 

First of all let me say that this seems like an incredibly powerful system and I'd love to see what can be done with it.

 

But, I need to speak on the issue of how these on-HUD timers are going to be implemented.

 

1.) Will you be able to see the timers for all items on the map regardless of whether or not you picked up the item yourself?

2.) Will it be based on whether or not you had line-of-sight vision on the item being picked up which will trigger the HUD timer?

3.) Will it be a timer which trips only on items you have personally picked up yourself?

 

The issues I see with implementations 2 and 3 are that with this scripting capability it will be trivial to trigger your own timer to count-down for the item either when the game registers the pickup sound effect or by simply binding a key to each of the armors + mega which I can press when I hear the audio cue in game.

It'd be via the keybinds. The UI system won't have any knowledge of enemy actions or sounds being played for obvious reasons.

 

So, assuming we end up with the first option...

Essentially what is happening is exactly as you have described it, a "noobification" of the game mechanics by removing timing almost entirely.

It depends entirely on how you're going to measure the "noob level" of a game. "Not timing by subtracting 25 seconds from the 6ft high game clock on the screen makes it a noob game" seems like a random and overly simplistic way of viewing skill ceilings.

While yes, this method of timing will be hugely devalued by HUD timers, it also raises the value of intelligent positioning, area control and combat since the chances of there being "free", uncontested armors are much lower. Which means you can't just objectively say "game takes less skill now and is therefore noobified" -- it's far more accurate to say that the skill balance has changed.

It's even possible that this change will result in an overall higher skill demand. Unfortunately, "overall skill demand" is something that is extremely difficult to quantify, especially when you're 1) talking about small, skill rebalancing changes and 2) basing it off theory posted in forums instead of observing actual gameplay.

So, rather than just going "it's not how Quake does it so it must be worse", lets look at the timing skill rebalance in another game: DotA2. If you're unfamiliar with it, DotA2 has runes that award things like double damage and regeneration -- basically powerups. These initially spawn 30 seconds into the game (which is 0:00 on the game clock, before anything much is happening).

In most pub matches, despite the fact they have an exact spawn time, players generally head to these runes as early as possible. This is because positioning plays a big part in who will grab the rune, especially using heroes that are similarly matched for health/damage. If you arrive late and someone is already standing on it, there's a good chance you wont be able to push them off it in time to grab it yourself.

The next deciding factor is what heroes are actually contesting the rune. If you're a squishy, low health player, you'll be easily forced out of position by a tankier player. If you're a hero with a high base damage and can keep your range, you'll probably be able to force the tankier player off the rune. While Reflex doesn't have classes like this, we very definitely have the concept of a "weaker player", either through having a low stack from previous damage or just not having the aim skill to repel the attacker.

If it's 2v1, the team with the two players is definitely getting the rune. This is the "teamplay" skill that exists in high level Quake, can occasionally be spotted in pub games but is hugely less valuable than it is in other games (which we'd really like to address and woo, hud timers help with that).

Anyway, after that initial spawn, runes respawn every even minute, regardless of when (or even if) they were picked up. There's no Quake style timing involved with subtracting numbers or remembering timing offsets. It's just "look at the game clock. The rune will respawn at 2:00". While this isn't exactly timers on HUD (since you still need to know the respawn time for the strategy), at moderate level play its very close to identical.

And yet, you see runes missed by up to 30 seconds all the time. Even with such no-think timing, right there in front of you. This is because there is simply other shit going on. You might be in the middle of combat and lose track of the clock. You might know the rune is coming but decide there is higher value things you could be doing, like killing people.

 

I've witnessed similar systems in games do this with quad which results in players bombarding the item spawn as soon as the timer begins to count down from 10 and I think similar implications can be made for this timing change with the armors.

I'm not sure Quad damage is actually the best example to use for your point. In CPMA TDM, there was often players either using Quad timing scripts or calling out "Quad soon". The Quad timer you're talking about is basically an automated version of that. In games where both teams had someone calling Quad, some of the most interesting combat happened in the 15 second before Quad spawned. There was actual 3v3 and 4v4 engagement and a tangible reward for whichever team came out on top.

But if you had someone who was just timing it for themselves, it was often just a case of "walk in and pick up quad and walk out". If only one team had a player calling Quad, the entire match was usually a stomp. TDM is just more interesting when everyone has Quad timing, changing the skill from "subtract 90 seconds from the clock and remember it to get Quad" to "survive a 4v4 team fight to get quad".

 

Any experienced player will tell you that timing is painfully important as you increase in skill level and is a deciding factor in 1v1 between players with roughly the same movement and aiming capabilities. Removing this doesn't seem to introduce a new mechanic or strategy into the existing duel meta but merely subtract what has been built up as probably the most difficult core skill to master and one which is essentially what separates lower tier players from the middle tier ones (or at least this was the case when I began Quake Live).

There are actually some experimental changes we'll be testing privately at some point that *will* significantly expand the meta, far more than item timing does.

 

Consider a situation where the out-of-control player is avoiding an engagement with the in-control player who is stacked with the red armor and mega. You've managed to build up the 150 yellow armor and some additional health from health bubbles that you need to properly contest the next red armor, and you deliberately leave one of the yellow armors up so you can fall back on it after taking damage from contesting the red armor. With this system, the player controlling red armor will see that the armor is still up and can then anticipate this strategy and counter it effectively through no further thought of his own other than seeing that the HUD timer for it hasn't started counting down yet. This has removed the large amount of tactical forethought required to check the yellow armor spawn after not hearing the pick-up sound and observing the enemy positioning himself to retreat to that area of the map.

This example is a bit dodgy. With the current system, I know an armor is being delayed by sound alone and I know it's being used as a backup plan by positioning alone. Having the timing on the HUD makes no significant difference to this strategy and certainly doesn't remove it from the game. Where it could change things is thinking "Do I try to engage? Well, the the YA is up in 10 seconds so I can fall back to that" instead of "Do I try to engage? Well the YA is up in 10-ish seconds so I can fall back to that". Even that example assumes your timing by feel.

 

When this kind of a change is applied to duels the interesting effect is that you'll see vastly different outcomes depending on the skill of the participating players, where the lower to middle tier duelers may play slower in response to being able to know exactly when an item will be up and will position themselves for much longer amounts of time waiting for it, and contrarily middle to high tier players will use this level of exact timing to deal much more damage effectively by abusing the knowledge of knowing their opponent will be within the area of the major items when the timers reach zero, causing more emphasis to be placed on aim and movement rather than more advanced planning which this game in its current state already favours considerably.

 

Well, I'll be watching closely for these "vastly different outcomes" but my gut feeling is that this is hyperbole.

 

I have no problems with this being added as a separate server option to be tested and tried out for balance since this is the ultimate test of the concept anyway, but adding it in not as a balance experiment but a "necessary evil" because of the type of system you're designing makes doubling back on this almost impossible without wasting your own development time refactoring an entire UI system for what is as of now an untested and major gameplay change. Having the technological choices directly influence the game-design goals isn't a trend we should begin following in a game so early in its infancy.

  

The separate server option thing is a cop out. Its the "just make it votable" that crops up in every single discussion on gameplay and to be honest, if we actually DID make all this stuff votable, the game would be a mess.

Saying "Having the technological choices directly influence the game-design goals isn't a trend we should begin following in a game so early in its infancy." is misleading. We implemented the new UI system. We knew that it would make item timers trivial to make. We had 3 options. Option 1 was that we start gimping the UI system to prevent it. Option 2 was that we entirely locked down the HUD scripting for players and just provided a small amount of customization ourselves. Option 3 was that we embrace the change to the meta game (especially since theres a fair chance it will be the first of many) and not waste development time locking down the UI unless it was actually demonstrated to be necessary. We definitely *could* make armor timing scripts difficult to make, far better than we could ever enforce bans on external tools, but we've actively decided not to. This probably wasn't a point I communicated very well in the initial post but this change is very definitely an experimental gameplay change. It may have been prompted by technical changes but it's being made with a full awareness of the impact it will have on the meta. If we were uncomfortable with the gameplay results, we'd change the tech.

 

And a quick note to end off this wall of text: It's important during the Early Access stages of Reflex that you remember: Reflex is not Quake and Reflex is not CPMA. Until we've properly tested some of the proposed gameplay changes, there's no way to know how similar or different it will ultimately be. We *will* always be making a game that is an arena shooter at its core and we will be focusing on maintaining a good balance of movement, aim, speed, item control, team work, etc. But nothing is going to be sacred just because "it's how it was done in QW/Q2/Q3/QL/CPMA" -- we will be building gameplay based on what we feel works best, not based on what is traditional.

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Having the know-how of the way you're looking to add this into the game makes it much more clear what the purpose of the new timers will be and how it's going to change the game in general. As much as I adore the timing aspect of the game, major changes to the core parts of it are far more interesting and if you're offering tweaks to make sure that the removal of one aspect doesn't sacrifice any depth then I'm all for testing it out and giving it a shot.

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Wow look at that, calm, well worded rational behind an argument. It's almost like newborn isn't some monkey slapping his dick on the same keyboard he's had since he was 12.

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But back on topic of what I think this change means for the game: While movement and aim will maintain their importance, people seem to be underplaying the aspect of reading your opponent.  With less mental effort needed for timing, I expect hard reads will be more common.  Picking out player tendencies, paths, and playing mind-games will be the skills that separate the mid-end players from the top-end.

 

Completely agree. In my opinion, the skills in bold will be harder to acquire, and once acquired, players will need to make smarter plays.

  • Spectators will pick up on the meta sooner.
  • Commentators will be able to go into a bit more depth while keeping spectators on-board

Better for everyone!

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