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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.

 

Well, the disclaimer only amounts to that if you want to be a dick about it -- and judging by how many of your posts in this thread have been reported by other users, you do. I've deleted the ones that were of absolutely no value. Before you cry censorship, reflect on the fact that you're not the only one who disagrees with the change but you *are* the only one being repeatedly reported by other users.

 

Anyway, we absolutely would know what to do if we actually believed for a second your catastrophic, sky-is-falling scenario of removing item timers will "wreck the game". It wouldn't even be a difficult decision. We would have locked the UI scripting so that it wasn't user editable and exposed some minor customizations through console variables -- you know, exactly like what we have right now.

 

But we *dont* believe that it will have any significant impact on the gameplay at high levels. So when we were weighing it up, the choice was between:

  • Allow extensive customization for players, spectators and streamers while significantly lowering the development drain of implementing a whole bunch of little features ourselves BUT there might be some minor gameplay impacts in extremely closely matched, high level games OR
  • Lock down the UI and the million features players could add using it because yeastiality might rage up on the forums about it and we're scared.

You seem to disagree but I'd personally be more worried about a developer that wasn't willing to take any risks and instead takes the path of least resistance every time and just goes with "whatever worked for other games".

 

Your entire argument revolves around the idea that "all players having item times will completely and irreversibly destroy the game forever" and if we actually agreed with that core point, we'd agree with most of your other posts. 

 

 

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.

This seems a bit alarmist to me. "The people who agree with me are right and everyone else doesn't know what they're talking about" and its a "drastic change" that will cause "unsettling responses" from vague figures of pro-gaming authority that you haven't actually spoken to (and the one who is active in this thread doesn't actually agree with you).

 

Like I said above, if it was actually a game breaking change we could just lock down the UI. But it's extremely unlikely it will have any significant impact at all. When was the last time you heard about someone rising to the top of the QL/CPMA ranks, all thanks to their cheaty external timer. In CPMA, where there are not even seconds on the clock, I've played against people I've known for a fact are using an external timer. And the only reason I knew they were is because they told me. Otherwise, I would have had no idea because it made zero difference to the match results.

 

Do you really think that HAL is suddenly going to be lost among 100s of other players because if everyone has timers, he just wont be that good any more?

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I found this thread by googleing "old men complaining like children"  

 

I for one cannot wait for these changes to be made. Regarding the item timing issue, I think this is a complete misunderstanding on the part of the people who think that it is a "skill" to time items. Being good at counting while playing a game only adds to the frustration I have had with duels. I simply cannot count due to several factors which I will not name here. To me, air rocketing somebody or getting a nasty rail is 100x more satisfying than grabbing all the armors and getting easy frags. I rather let people grab the armors so I can get a triple air-rocket frag on them and feature them in a youtube frag video. There are MANY professional sports that do not rely on timing, but rather skill. Table tennis is just one example that requires quick reflexes, strategy, but no timing of items. Nothing is wrong with this approach, as the top tier players will always find little techniques/tricks to gain an advantage over their rivals.

 

When the changes to the quake live steam release came out (loadouts), everyone was bitching. Guess what, the same players who bitched are still at the top. It changed nothing, they just complained.  

 

Here's the nice thing about the changes: If you dont like item timers, dont add an item timer to your HUD and pretend no one has them... I bet the people complaining will be the first ones to add the timers and shit that will benefit them. The elitist attitude of the arena community is sickening at times. Its clear some people arent even having fun anymore with these games, theyre just neckbeards who want to win at something in life. Grow the fuck up, enjoy something because you like it, not because you wont be as good anymore due to some minor changes. ADAPT to the new rules, dont complain. This game will be awesome regardless. Cant wait for multiple selection in map editor! Mad props to the Reflex team, great work so far. I hope you have a beer or two before you hop on the forum Newborn, some of these people are just unbelievable.

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Really, if we wanted to be safe we could just completely lock away the scripts and tell people "nope, developer only".

 

Have you thought about locking the UI system and having somekinda "sdk"-ish possibility to create custom huds so people could sell them via your shop?

 

Otherwise i feel like you are removing a great opportunity for the shop, because people will just pirate HUDs.

 

Just something one might wanna think about.

 

PERSONALLY i'm fine with both .... but i'd miss the option to sell my uber-custom-high-end-porno-hud to other people.

 

Regards

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meme

 

I love that meme, did you find it on r/adviceanimals? XD

You STILL haven't posted anything worth reading. Maybe produce an argument before spouting memes?

 

Either way, I don't think it's a big deal considering the update hasn't even been shipped yet. I have full faith in the dev team to fix any issues that arise from scripting introduced by this update.

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What if you used this to count enemy hp/armor? When spawn event occurs, start at the default value, and then track the damage you deal to that player and what items that player picks up, etc. You could probably track which weapons they have and how much ammo as well.

 

I don't know anything about lua but if the above is possible this seems like very dangerous territory of customization..

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People seem to forget they bought a pre-alpha game. This is the PERFECT time to go nuts with trying new features. If there's not a few blatantly broken things in the next update I might actually be a little disappointed.

 

Keep it up devs

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I for one cannot wait for these changes to be made. Regarding the item timing issue, I think this is a complete misunderstanding on the part of the people who think that it is a "skill" to time items.

 

It's because you're the one who is misunderstanding what 'skill' and 'timing' are. Skill is basically every little bit of abilities you have which allows you to gain edge over your opponent and i would argue that being aware simultaneously of many different elements that are available on the map is very important skill to be had. Timing is not as trivial as adding/subtracting numbers as many people trying to present it.

 

 

Being good at counting while playing a game only adds to the frustration I have had with duels. I simply cannot count due to several factors which I will not name here. To me, air rocketing somebody or getting a nasty rail is 100x more satisfying than grabbing all the armors and getting easy frags. I rather let people grab the armors so I can get a triple air-rocket frag on them and feature them in a youtube frag video.

 

Just because you can't do something due to your inabilities or shortcomings doesn't mean that it should be granted for everyone by default. Some other people who are very good at timing but being poor aimers could argue they want aim assistance tools to be introduced into the game to equalize the chances. That's just stupid.

 

Here's the nice thing about the changes: If you dont like item timers, dont add an item timer to your HUD and pretend no one has them... I bet the people complaining will be the first ones to add the timers and shit that will benefit them.

 

Sure, getting rid of obvious advantage in competitive game makes a lot of sense. It's pretty obvious that even people who don't like the idea will still use it to not handicap themselves in game and i don't see anything wrong with it.

 

 

There are MANY professional sports that do not rely on timing, but rather skill. Table tennis is just one example that requires quick reflexes, strategy, but no timing of items. Nothing is wrong with this approach, as the top tier players will always find little techniques/tricks to gain an advantage over their rivals.

 

I agree to an extend, but you need to remember that throughout all arena fps history there is certain model of duel that was developed and well accepted by many players. I think that dumbing one of the most important factors in duel and turning it into habit of glancing at your timers every few seconds is way too much. I'm not saying you should stick to 'standard duel model' just because it was always this way, but i feel at this point you need to think of other ways to make duel more complex by adding some other elements that matter during the match. Then again that would make massive changes to the way game is played. I get this weird feeling that devs don't have very clear picture of how gameplay should really look like. It all began with ripping cpma gameplay with many elements missing, which is understandable if their main concern was engine itself and after that you get some random changes like nerfing movement and introducing different mh timer which is weird decision if you're going to see now all the timers on hud. It feels like gameplay direction is not really clear and this is what i'm the most worried about.

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What if you used this to count enemy hp/armor? When spawn event occurs, start at the default value, and then track the damage you deal to that player and what items that player picks up, etc. You could probably track which weapons they have and how much ammo as well.

 

I don't know anything about lua but if the above is possible this seems like very dangerous territory of customization..

 

That's far easier to control, because we can simply not give players information about damage dealt -- not really something we can do with "you've picked up an armor" since armor values on the HUD are pretty important ;). Even if we do expose damage (for the damage numbers for example), I'm not sure how useful tracking it would really be. You'd need to set up binds for when your enemy picked up armors (and a different bind for each tier) and megahealth etc. You'd probably spend so much time hitting random binds to keep the tracking accurate that you'd be worse off than if you just paid attention.

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That's far easier to control, because we can simply not give players information about damage dealt -- not really something we can do with "you've picked up an armor" since armor values on the HUD are pretty important ;). Even if we do expose damage (for the damage numbers for example), I'm not sure how useful tracking it would really be. You'd need to set up binds for when your enemy picked up armors (and a different bind for each tier) and megahealth etc. You'd probably spend so much time hitting random binds to keep the tracking accurate that you'd be worse off than if you just paid attention.

 

Ah ok, I was under the impression it could be 100% automated based off of in-game events. Thanks for clearing that up.

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I agree to an extend, but you need to remember that throughout all arena fps history there is certain model of duel that was developed and well accepted by many players. I think that dumbing one of the most important factors in duel and turning it into habit of glancing at your timers every few seconds is way too much. I'm not saying you should stick to 'standard duel model' just because it was always this way, but i feel at this point you need to think of other ways to make duel more complex by adding some other elements that matter during the match. Then again that would make massive changes to the way game is played. I get this weird feeling that devs don't have very clear picture of how gameplay should really look like. It all began with ripping cpma gameplay with many elements missing, which is understandable if their main concern was engine itself and after that you get some random changes like nerfing movement and introducing different mh timer which is weird decision if you're going to see now all the timers on hud. It feels like gameplay direction is not really clear and this is what i'm the most worried about.

 

So to address this directly, because it's a fair point:

 

We definitely do have plans to stray from the standard model and these plans will easily replace any meta or complexity that is lost through exposing timers. For now though, most of those changes remain undeveloped and untested and until that changes, we're not going to be talking about them publicly. And this entire thread is a good example of why -- we've now got a group of people arguing over gameplay changes, two weeks before they're actually able to play with them, with levels of hostility ranging from "politely agree/disagree" to "I'm going to back away slowly now because you're becoming increasingly insane". But with UI being the last of the "big tasks that take months" coming together, we should hopefully have the time we need to start exploring gameplay changes properly and doing things like some love for the map and replay editors.

 

If the gameplay changes we've made so far seem a bit random and half-assed, it's because they are. For gameplay stuff right now, we're generally having to be reactive to the most critically fucked aspects of gameplay, all with the minimum amount of development time (which means generally, I can tweak existing values but we can't spend time on new systems). For example, the problems with the knockback system are not even a little bit of a surprise -- we were aware that they'd be there when we first implemented knockback, before we even hit Kickstarter. The proper solution to those problems is me and shooter spending a week on a new system that fixes all the outstanding issues with near vertical rocket pops, IC having no knockback because if we add knockback it causes awful feeling player cripple, the problems from CPMA where knockback does very little against players moving over 500ups etc. The proper solution to tweaking the movement and ground friction involves tools I don't have. The proper solution to balancing weapons requires accuracy stats that we don't have. All of the above requires time that we don't have, until we've got more of the core tech up and running.

 

It might be easy to say "Oh you don't need to do things like renderer/performance fixes and UI updates until you've nailed the gameplay" but the reality is, we do. Otherwise, we end up with art development being blocked because instead of doing the renderer update, we spent a month on gameplay. But hey, the gameplay itself might be awesome even if the art is blocked.. oh except a bunch of it is going to have to be rebalanced again because instead of doing the netcode update, we did more gameplay. There's also the amount of binned development work by doing things out of order -- we could (and might have to) implement a few crappy hacks to the existing knockback system in a few hours but those hours will be wasted when we do the system properly. We could try out some of the experimental gameplay things, but without the UI system, the HUD stuff would take 5x as long to write (and it would have to be done by shooter instead of me, which means he's wasted doing stuff like that instead of things only he can do).

 

For players, it may seem like gameplay is being neglected but really it effects everything. The map editor desperately needs multiple selections, prefabs and a bunch of other stuff to address how painful it is for Electro to build environments right now. The replay editor is broken to the point of being useless. I don't have the tools I need to properly study and test gameplay changes. The way configs work at the moment is horrible and it annoys everyone on the dev team 10x more than the players. This crapness has all had to be tolerated because we know that establishing the core tech is the most critical task for us right now.

 

But like I said, we are expecting all of this to change soon. Development is shifting from "month long tasks with a few hour long tasks slipped in when we should be sleeping" to "week long tasks with day long tasks slipped in while other stuff is being tested" and regardless of if we go for the far more unique gameplay plans or scrap them and focus on "like CPMA but better", we'll be able to start making better progress on these systems.

 

So anyway, you're right that the gameplay stuff has been weird. We started with the CPMA core because that's what we want to build on, but it does still have many broken and missing bits because we don't strictly need them right now (at least compared to the tech stuff we definitely do need). But I do have a clear "Plan A" for gameplay and a clear fallback if those plans don't test well. I am slowly tweaking the bits of gameplay that it makes sense to tweak now, but those tweaks are not yet at a point I'm happy with.

 

You'll just have to have faith that it will come together in time. And I think with things like the netcode, performance and UI updates, we've established a pretty good track record for "when we finally get to fix something, it gets fixed good".

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Personally I'm conflicted on this, on the positive note it follows some of the thinking behind other arena projects, reducing the advantage Quakers have over non-Quakers but still Quakers will always win(rule of thumb in similar games).

On the other hand though it'll change up the game a lot and depending on the way the game plays with timers, might will hopefully be good.

 

I personally feel that another solution should be sought(even though I don't time myself, CPM does that) such as having a green-lighted collection of huds for tournament play(IE you're given a choice of 100 huds to play tournaments and maybe ladders with and the huds would be all or mostly all community made+on steam workshop) but for normal play, there'll be no restrictions.

The reason I suggest the green-light method is mimicking CSGO's approach to matchmaking and actual tournament play, there are a few differences between them but are similar enough(still really similar) that the average CSGO player will understand what the teams are doing in CSGO; However the only problem is the magnitude of change will be greater in Reflex(mm->ladders/tournies) but who knows how it'll be received?

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I love that meme, did you find it on r/adviceanimals? XD

 

You STILL haven't posted anything worth reading. Maybe produce an argument before spouting memes?

 

Either way, I don't think it's a big deal considering the update hasn't even been shipped yet. I have full faith in the dev team to fix any issues that arise from scripting introduced by this update.

 

I just googled "haters gonna hate" and clicked images. :)

 

I originally responded before the menagerie and gave "some" input (mostly fluff and accolade).

 

I will expand.

 

I doubt the addition of the timers will dumb down the game, and agree that the "new meta" that will accompany them will be an interesting addition to the game. If Reflex is to be a marriage of the old and the new then changes need to be embraced and not shunned. To me, the issue kinda boils down to the "we are scared of new things we don't necessarily understand, so we back away from them" mentality, which is counterproductive if the game is to move forward as new, or new and improved, or completely un-matched in the genre. I said in IRC yesterday that the issue is really subjective to the people that have question due to their own personal gaming experience. For QW'rs the experience with be different than a CPM veteran, or QL convert. Each of these people will have their own "opinions" based on their respective skills wrought in-game.

 

I guess the funny thing to me is that; ok so we have new hud timers that we can "choose" to use. So, you have some subset of the community up in arms about timers. OK; turn the UI/hud timers off and continue as before. Did anything change?

 

Are these people ^ scared that the timers will give their opponents the advantage of timing that they weren't accustomed to before? If so, then their argument stems directly from a fear of being "less better" or getting beaten where they had been used to winning, and nothing more. 

 

And to these people ^ I say this. You have competition coming. LOL @ your timer argument.........

 

Gangmud FreudLand out.

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It's really late here and I don't have time for a big rant but there is a point that I haven't seen made yet.

 

Think very carefully about timing. Is timing good because the actual act of calculating and remembering the respawn times is inherently fun? Or is timing good because the strategic decisions you can make with that information are far more interesting than the ones you can make without it?

 

I can understand the "timing is fun" because timing can be fun -- your using your brain to calculate things under pressure. But is it the only fun thing in a 1v1? Is it even the most fun thing in a 1v1? Do you think it's unlikely that we'll ever be able to match that level of fun through other means?

 

And of course I can understand that timing can be more strategically interesting, but that doesn't really work as an argument against HUD timers. If anything, it should ensure that that improved strategy is present in a much higher percentage of games.

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I think the only real "fun" part about timings is the strategic part behind it. Having to calculate stuff is neither fun nor hard. Every 3rd grader could calculate item timings..i wouldn't call that a mechanic that requires a lot of skill/brain. The more interesting part about it is where you position yourself prior to the item spawn etc. etc. ..so..everything around it and not the pure act of calculating and picking up an item.

 

At least from my noobish point of view.

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I guess the funny thing to me is that; ok so we have new hud timers that we can "choose" to use. So, you have some subset of the community up in arms about timers. OK; turn the UI/hud timers off and continue as before. Did anything change?

 

Are these people ^ scared that the timers will give their opponents the advantage of timing that they weren't accustomed to before? If so, then their argument stems directly from a fear of being "less better" or getting beaten where they had been used to winning, and nothing more.

 

Timers give you information you did not have before. Turning them off would be handicapping yourself.

 

Think very carefully about timing. Is timing good because the actual act of calculating and remembering the respawn times is inherently fun? Or is timing good because the strategic decisions you can make with that information are far more interesting than the ones you can make without it?

 

Timing isn't adding 25 seconds to the clock, it's a lot more than that. And as such its good because it adds something to the game. One of the great things about games as opposed to something like chess or some sports is that we have imperfect information. You have to gather and process knowledge to make good decisions, and the better you are at one thing gives a knock-on effect to the other. If you want some examples of streamlining away micro and macro mechanics so the player can focus on the "meat" of the game turning the game into a more simplified, less skill-intensive, formulaic game, look at BW>SC2. That's what this smells like.

 

I can understand the "timing is fun" because timing can be fun -- your using your brain to calculate things under pressure. But is it the only fun thing in a 1v1? Is it even the most fun thing in a 1v1? Do you think it's unlikely that we'll ever be able to match that level of fun through other means?

If you're going to take something away you need to give something back. You just gave everyone perfect timing skills, they just have to glance at the UI instead of prioritising thoughts while doing a whole bunch of other things. I see nothing that this new system adds to the gameplay, however. You're just taking away a skill and justifying it with vague reasons like "people cheated it anyway" and "pros won't be affected".

Let me ask you this: Is rocketjumping fun? Does it add anything to the game, or is it a skill that exists just for itself? Would high level play be impacted if RJing was automated? Probably not. But you just removed yet another way a player can express their skillset in the game, removed another way the player can mess up or succeed. Timing is one the things you have to keep track of while doing other things. Timing isn't something a pro player just "gets". you see timing mistakes at the highest level of play very often. You say no one ever messing up timing will make strategy more interesting. I see it as making it more stale and predictable.

 

 

If anything, it should ensure that that improved strategy is present in a much higher percentage of games.

By eliminating the possibility to fail. By removing any uncertainty or deviation. You've reduced the skill required to play the game and lowered the skill discrepancy between players. You could also give everyone ESP because then no one would make tactical mistake and the level of play would increase even more.

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Timing isn't adding 25 seconds to the clock, it's a lot more than that. And as such its good because it adds something to the game. One of the great things about games as opposed to something like chess or some sports is that we have imperfect information. You have to gather and process knowledge to make good decisions, and the better you are at one thing gives a knock-on effect to the other. If you want some examples of streamlining away micro and macro mechanics so the player can focus on the "meat" of the game turning the game into a more simplified, less skill-intensive, formulaic game, look at BW>SC2. That's what this smells like.

sc2 is a massive step down in skill when compared to brood war, but there is a whole plethora of other reasons external to the simplification of the UI that the game is bad.

 

think about it this way - if streamlining the UI made your gameplay completely fall apart, the core gameplay probably wasn't that strong to begin with. bw's "skill ceiling" was masked behind layers of pseudo difficulty. obviously no one has tried item timers in-game yet, but I don't see the same parallel happening. Quake gameplay is extremely solid at its fundamentals and I see it adding to gameplay rather than subtracting from it.

 

Let me ask you this: Is rocketjumping fun? Does it add anything to the game, or is it a skill that exists just for itself? Would high level play be impacted if RJing was automated? Probably not. But you just removed yet another way a player can express their skillset in the game, removed another way the player can mess up or succeed. Timing is one the things you have to keep track of while doing other things. Timing isn't something a pro player just "gets". you see timing mistakes at the highest level of play very often.

not sure what you're getting at from this - no one is denying that timing takes skill and is definitely a skillset to master in any Quake game. that's not the question at hand. imagine if in dota people had to click individually on each item to purchase it and know all the recipes and item components. is there skill involved in doing this, and knowing all of the recipes? absolutely. will players who have "mastered" this skill have a definite advantage over those who haven't? another yes. however, is a limitation of UI really a "skill" that you want to have in your game? it looks like the devs have (for the time) said no

also rocketjumping is completely possible to automate using scripts in Quake and I'm sure plenty of people did it. it comes with enough shortcomings so that you don't want to do it all the time or even most of the time, i.e. that issue fixed itself from gameplay. there is no reason you would ever want to not know when an item spawns. (sorry that's an awful sentence)

 

You could also give everyone ESP because then no one would make tactical mistake and the level of play would increase even more.

that's a pretty half-assed argument and I'm sure you can work out the difference yourself between giving a player the ability to see another player through walls vs. making item respawn times available to both players.

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 This seems a bit alarmist to me. "The people who agree with me are right and everyone else doesn't know what they're talking about" and its a "drastic change" that will cause "unsettling responses" from vague figures of pro-gaming authority that you haven't actually spoken to (and the one who is active in this thread doesn't actually agree with you).

 

I think you're misinterpreting "seasoned" as having any skill level connotation associated with it. "Seasoned dueler" simply means you have a number of duels under your belt and understand all of the mechanics at work when dueling but has no implication on the players skill level. The people whom I've spoken to vary across skill levels but each of them (in favor or against the CONCEPT of this change) are all aware that this does change how duels will be played. I'm not even refrering to "pros" in this game specifically, just in AFPS in general because timing every map item down to the second as this change allows you to do isn't something that they are able to do as consistently as a change like this allows them to.

 

 

Like I said above, if it was actually a game breaking change we could just lock down the UI. But it's extremely unlikely it will have any significant impact at all. When was the last time you heard about someone rising to the top of the QL/CPMA ranks, all thanks to their cheaty external timer.

 

Never, because they'd be banned for using an external item timer when found out.

 

 

 

In CPMA, where there are not even seconds on the clock,

 

With to-the-second timings not even possible in CPMA save for the last minute of a match the argument won't even apply because item timing needs to be done by feel. This is the opposite of that where now people will most of the time be able to know to-the-second timings for a variety of items which had otherwise not been considered important enough to time frequently.

 

 

I've played against people I've known for a fact are using an external timer. And the only reason I knew they were is because they told me. Otherwise, I would have had no idea because it made zero difference to the match results.

 

Do you really think that HAL is suddenly going to be lost among 100s of other players because if everyone has timers, he just wont be that good any more?

 

Playing with people using external timers in CPMA would amount to just using a regular timer in a game like Reflex no? Otherwise if they were using timers which allowed them to count down the respawn of items like what has been suggested for the HUD here and "zero difference to the match results" were made, then they completely ignored the timer. There has to have been some difference made from using the item timer even if it was only one additional armor that they may not have obtained otherwise, EVEN if it was just a single point of rocket splash damage that they were able to land on your because they knew when red spawned and assumed you would be waiting for it a difference was still made.

 

HAL will not be lost among anyone in CPMA because to-the-second timings are not possible, and in Reflex he will not be lost among players because he has years of aim and movement skills from playing CPMA and timing items intuitively to help him transition to a game mimicking it without much obstruction.

 

Now, will HAL suddenly be an unstoppable force because instead of having to rely on intuitive decision making he'll have a concrete HUD timer telling him exactly when the next three armors are up? We'll see in two weeks I suppose.

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*Note: Portions of this post rely upon key conclusions drawn from QuakeWorld player [DP]BLooD_DoG's wildly popular statistical reasoning knowledge base built up on over a decade of raw duel metadata.

 

 

This seems a bit alarmist to me. "The people who agree with me are right and everyone else doesn't know what they're talking about" and its a "drastic change" that will cause "unsettling responses" from vague figures of pro-gaming authority that you haven't actually spoken to (and the one who is active in this thread doesn't actually agree with you).

 

Hah, I like being referred to as a vague figure of pro-gaming authority  :P Truth is a bunch of people on IRC were discussing the topic, Bold Huge Crunch wrote his reply independently, and I jokingly told him that it was missing a citation by yours truly to be credible. So he edited the post and added that note! I obviously don't have such statistical metadata. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now that'll be the end of it. Sorry, got carried away with Liam Neeson.

 

More seriously, I played qw ctf at the highest levels of competition in the 90's and 00's (shameless plug @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3G46VRKXFU), and for the last few years I've been playing qw deathmatch at high levels in the US and with high ping in EU as well (mostly 2on2 and 4on4, some duel but I consider myself a notch worse there).

 

I haven't given Reflex a fair shot yet (only played a handful of games), and it's impossible to judge the effect of one change without knowing how the final gameplay will look (plus I'm biased from years of qw), but I was pretty disappointed with the announcement at first. I'm in the camp that thinks timing is a skill that does affect gameplay and strategy. However, the clarification that the timers are key-based and not automated makes it a lot more tolerable. I think part of the blow back was because it felt like the change was an unintended side effect of an unrelated UI feature, but follow-up posts explained that it's an experiment and that things can be tweaked if necessary. Seems like a reasonable approach, at least to this vague figure of pro-gaming authority.

 

That said, most of the posts refer to the impact of timers on duels. I chatted with Kovaak on irc about this and he almost convinced me that it's no big deal for dueling. But what about team games like 2on2 or 4on4? In my experience in qw, communicating timing of certain items to your teammates is super important. It can be the difference between telling your partner to get RA before going to Quad or just rushing to Quad immediately instead. That decision can be the difference between gaining control of quad or not, and is made based on skillfully keeping track of several different timers at once, on top of knowing where the enemies are, stack levels, etc... That's why just "feeling the timing", as some people suggested, is vastly inferior to knowing the precise timing - in a fast game, every split second counts. Wasting 2 extra seconds twiddling your thumbs at Quad waiting for it to spawn, instead of using those 2 seconds to get RA before going to Quad can be a HUGE mistake.

 

Without trying the implementation, it feels like pushing a button to start a timer (and at most perhaps telling your teammate to push the same button) removes part of the quick decision making and communication/teamwork. QW is fast-paced (armors respawn every 20, weapons every 30, quad every 60) and even pros can't keep track of everything that is important at once, and telling or asking your partner for a precise time can be important even if you both witnessed when a particular item was taken. I think making timing easier for everyone will remove this important aspect of the game at high levels of play.

 

It's not 100% relevant but even after 15+ years, people discuss how to best coordinate/communicate item times in qw, see http://www.quakeworld.nu/forum/topic/6554/99579 (including my post) for some examples or how timing is a skill that affects teamwork (and another shameless plug: "I can't tell you how many times BLooD_DoG has stolen a dm2 quad because he knew it was at :14.5").

 

Anyway, I guess we have to wait and see how it all plays out. On a completely different note, I have a lot to rant about dropquad in non-FFA modes. QW typically does not have it enabled, but I do have competitive experience with it enabled because the european CTF tournaments had it on. In my opinion having seriously tried both ways, it very negatively affects matches. I was going to write my thoughts in a separate post but dustin told me it's already on the list of things to change. If that's not true, let me know and I'll rant  :D

 

Cheers,

BD

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Anyone who has risen to fame in an online context has already done so amongst automated timers:

 

"only a short step from the external tools and HUDs with big lists of numbers - 25 seconds that many players already use"

 

This is what people seem to be forgetting. Players have already been gaming the system for years, and it would be ignorant and naive to think otherwise. With a couple of minutes of googling you can find custom huds with sketchy timers for quakelive. Never mind that you could remove the mental arithmetic with physical clocks.

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Anyone who has risen to fame in an online context has already done so amongst automated timers:

 

 

Not everyone, I never did and maybe I'm naive but I'd like to think many other qw players don't either. I use the single built-in gameclock for everything, and I'm not sure managing ~3 external clocks (quad, RA, ya or weapon time) would be any easier?

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Has newborn confirmed that players would need to trigger the items timer with a button?

if the ui scripting is as powerful as i imagine, i'm pretty sure you could just compare health and armor values between two snapshots and easily make the itemtimer automatic for when you pick the items up yourself. mh timing after enemy pickup might also be possible with that soundfile playing at wearoff.

 

my opinion on hud item timers:

  • not very useful in duel. i dont consider myself a duel player, but i do play some duel. in ql, i can easily time 2 items. in cpm its not possible due to the way the timer works. in reflex, i dont do it either. im pretty sure, due to the way reflex gameplay works, compared to ql, that it is not that much an advantage.
  • in tdm, sure its useful. yeah new player will have it down quicker. but if you have atleast 3 guys on the same team who know how to do it in their head, you're going to know when the items are coming anyway. the only thing i can imagine going wrong with hud timers, is that both teams will just have a countdown list of which item to rush next. can't tell how that will play out tho.
  • i imagine a hud timer might be similar to the minimap in other games: 'its there, its useful, but i forgot to look again'. on the same note, i hope countdown timers are forbidden :). a single time, like :23 would atleast force the player to pay attention to gametime.
  • the scripting may be open now, but that might change. maybe at some point huds have to be approved. or the game has a public mode, similar to cs:go, where item timers are on, and a competitive mode, with stricter settings.

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