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Claymation

Tiered Armor re-balance?

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i think that QL being played at Dreamhack without tiered armour is enough proof that it's an unnecessary gimmick. also, i don't think you understand the game if you think "stalemate" is something that could happen; it takes two seconds to go down 240hp with 3 rail shots, which is not that uncommon of an occurrence. stacking 100 armour on top of some shard is still better than stacking 50, so there's still a point to getting the RA instead of the YA.

 

but again, since this is a gamemode i will not be playing, my opinions don't matter too much. i'm just giving you my 2c.

 

It's honestly kind of hilarious that you have the balls to say I don't understand the game when you won't take the probably 30 seconds to go check something that should be common knowledge. Maybe you're just a better player than me and can get around the unavoidable 1500ms reload time of the rail gun and somehow shoot 3 in 2 seconds opposed to the normal 4.5 seconds. Further more Quake Live and QW/CPM are completely different games and you comparing them is beyond stupid. Maybe we should remove other gimmicks like airstrafing too because they didn't need that at Dreamhack!

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First of all, I came here to complain about something that I thought was imba, but actually just feels strong due to a sound system that is not finished yet. Second, I now realize that I made the mistake of posting a complaint first, instead of starting a discussion on armor and general balance, and then asking how it is balanced(perhaps even a poll would have been appropriate). Third, you're assuming I'm completely new, which is far from the truth(in reflex/CPM, at least). While I'm not the best player on the planet, I can play relatively competently. I just felt like the armor was way too strong because of the fact that the only way I could tell how much damage I'm doing, if any, was making it sound as if I was only doing 25 damage with direct rockets or bolts.

If you aren't completely new why you didn't know how the armor system even works? And if you are somewhat good you probably would have a sense how many hits with certain weapons you need to deal against an opponent with YA or RA.  Just pointing that out.

And yeah I was just reacting to that people come complaining and wanting balance changes when they don't have enough information about the game and they lack experience in the game in general.

 

But yeah, armor system is fine.

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I don't exactly know how much damage the different armor tiers block, but red armor is way too strong in my opinion. When I'm shooting at someone who just picked up RA, with any weapon, I feel like I'm trying to shoot a tank with a BB gun. Shards and Green armor are pretty weak, but they provide at least some protection. YA protects just the perfect amount IMO, making its wearer protected but still kill-able. Red Armor just kind of makes you invulnerable, I feel. Having RA makes steamrolling as a player in control much easier, while at the same time making it extraordinarily difficult to come back as a player who is not in control. This imbalance makes duels significantly less fun to play, as matches are usually totally one-sided, and are decided within the first two minutes. I'm not trying to blame the snowball-y nature of the game entirely on the way that armor is balanced, but it is one of the factors that cause it. I also understand that gaps in skill can cause this, but if a player is even somewhat good at locking down the map, it's almost impossible to knock a dent in their impenetrable fortress of armor and health, causing the score ratio to get blown into proportions where the losing player has absolutely no chance to make anything even resembling a comeback.

TL;DR red armor op pls nerf

EDIT: Tiered armor is fine. The hitsounds are broken though. They are not a good representation of how much damage you're doing to your opponent. Just wanted to clear that up.

 

This thread seems to have gone many places already without the original author clarifying his intent in posting. I'll address both the first and the second intents put forward.

 

 

Duel is not a mode where you can run around like a headless chicken. Everything is very balanced in duel, especially when you are basing it off of the already optimized system of CPM.

 

Red armour is not OP in it's absorbtion. Instead of blaming the system for your own failures, turn it around. You need to always know position, see if you are able to get a long-range weapon, and deal consistent damage without starting an engagement where your opponent deals more initial damage.

 

Also, for god's sake time the YA's/occasionally the GA's on maps when out of control, since the tiered armour prevents your opponent from picking up the YA if they still have the RA (i.e. haven't taken enough damage to bring them down to YA status). Noob players often forget about this, run around with starting stack and then whine. There are very few duel maps that don't have a lower tier armour than the RA, and those that don't suck ass, sooo

 

Hitsounds need to be louder, yeah. CPM/QW mega time will also feel much better with this, when it is added.

 

There is no way, if you do these things and your aim is consistent, that you will have no chances to get back into control, especially in CPM, the melee of quake where you can deal 200 damage in 5 seconds.

 

An RA/MH steal will usually lead to a kill and followup, like Melee, where a good read will lead into a combo and a kill. In a similar vein, QL = brawl, where an RA/MH steal can lead to contested control for 2/3 minutes straight and a good read will lead to 23% damage.

 

 

edit - I, need to, work on, my sentence structure.

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Alright, so a quick guide about how the armors work for people who are not familiar with it from CPMA (which actually includes a fraction of CPMA players).

 

Each colored armor in Reflex offers a different amount of damage absorption. Green armor is 1:1, so if you get hit in the face with a rocket, you'll lose 50 health. Yellow protects 1:2, so you'd lose 33 health. Red protects 1:3 so you'd lose 25 health.

 

These tiers are actually balanced so there is about one good rockets difference between them. No armor, you'll be dead with a single rocket. Green armor will let you survive about 2. Yellow armor will let you survive about 3. Red armor will let you survive about 4. Combining any of those with megahealth will give you another rocket worth of not-being-dead.

 

The cant-downgrade system is also designed so that you can't just pacman armors unless you're 1) willing to do a bit of damage to yourself 2) so thoroughly in control that you're running YA / YA / RA in order and engaging in enough fights between to keep the run going (although the easy counter to this is to lay low for 25 seconds).

 

Anyway, that's why our 1v1 maps are usually based on a 1 RA / 2 YA / 1 MH loadout. Ideally, the up player controls the RA and the down player takes the YA and MH. Depending on stacks, there is either 1 or 0 rockets difference between those loadouts -- a single good shot can even things up. Which is what the down player should be looking for -- that perfect, patient, predicted moment (not a lucky zerg).

 

I agree it's not the most obvious armor system but it does work extremely well in balanced 1v1 games. If anything about the system changes, it will be aimed at making the system more obvious while keeping all of the existing balances and behaviors. Now is not the time to be making changes like that though as there is too much of the game that is yet to be implemented, tweaked and polished.

 

Where the system does start to suck in my opinion is in team games. Particularly FFA and overcrowded TDM (you know, those two modes that are 90% of the game right now). I'll be testing some minor changes to help improve that, but they probably won't be making an appearance for another few versions yet. 

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If you aren't completely new why you didn't know how the armor system even works? And if you are somewhat good you probably would have a sense how many hits with certain weapons you need to deal against an opponent with YA or RA.  Just pointing that out.

And yeah I was just reacting to that people come complaining and wanting balance changes when they don't have enough information about the game and they lack experience in the game in general.

 

But yeah, armor system is fine.

Well, as newborn said, the armor system is not the most obvious thing in the world. It is my fault for not finding information on how armor worked before posting this thread(I actually didn't know that the different armors protected you by different amounts before Reflex, tbh). Although I do have a sense of how many hits with rocket/rail/stakes you would need to take down a stacked opponent, it feels like you need significantly more without proper hitsounds and finished netcode. When I played CPMA I found it pretty easy to streamroll/get steamrolled, even when playing against people that I wouldn't consider to be that much better or worse than me. Although this isn't necessarily because of the way armor is balanced, it could also be a countless number of other factors(difference in game sense, reaction time, aim, timing skill, etc.). 

 

Now that I've sat down and thought about it, I completely agree that the armor system itself is fine. Thanks to everyone who replied to the thread to help me change my opinion without making me feel like a complete idiot. You guys certainly know your stuff.  ^_^

 

 

Where the system does start to suck in my opinion is in team games. Particularly FFA and overcrowded TDM (you know, those two modes that are 90% of the game right now). I'll be testing some minor changes to help improve that, but they probably won't be making an appearance for another few versions yet. 

Really? I thought that FFA/TDM was where the armor system worked best. Contesting for such a big item that allows you to take on multiple people at once seems like a large part of FFA, at least in the matches that I play.

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To elaborate further on how the tiered system works:

 

Each armour has a cap of how high it can possibly take you.

shards: +5, cap 200

GA: +50, cap 100

YA: +100, cap 150

RA: +150, cap 200

 

 

Furthermore, the armour you last pick up sets your armour "status", seen as the colour of the armour bar on your HUD:

 

if you pick up a GA:

 - you can pick up all other armours, except another GA which you cannot pick up if you have hit the cap of 100 armour

 

if you pick up a YA:

- you can pick up RA

- you cannot pick up another YA unless you are below 150 armour

- you cannot pick up a GA until you are below 75 armour

 

if you pick up an RA:

- you cannot pick up another RA unless you are below 200 armour, the max cap

- you cannot pick up a YA unless you are below 133 armour

- you cannot pick up a GA unless you are below 75 armour

 

You can pick up shards at all times below 200.

 

That might have all been useless, so here's a graphic from promode.ru to help better visualize armour status:

Armour_desc2.png

 

For even more info check the CPM masterpost in my sig. Glad that could be cleared up.

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Where the system does start to suck in my opinion is in team games. Particularly FFA and overcrowded TDM (you know, those two modes that are 90% of the game right now). I'll be testing some minor changes to help improve that, but they probably won't be making an appearance for another few versions yet. 

I think you should wait till there are options for organized teamgames to check it out, as tiered armors worked great in quakeworld and quake 2 ffa- and tdm-games.

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i think that QL being played at Dreamhack without tiered armour is enough proof that it's an unnecessary gimmick. also......

 

....but again, since this is a gamemode i will not be playing, my opinions don't matter too much. i'm just giving you my 2c.

first of all, dreamhack dropped quake live in 2013, but is supporting casual-games like hearthstone, lol and dota 2 and is presenting them as "e-sports". so your argument: "look what dreamhack does, so it must be right!" is completely wrong, as they are supporting a casual-playerbase, because that's where the money is. next point is, they played vanilla quake live, which is an even more dumbed down version of quake 3. quake and quake 2 both had tiered armors, less starthealth, weak spawnweapon etc.. for quake 3 they dumbed down the game and made it newb-friendly by giving 125 hp starthealth, increasing damage of the spawnweapon(which made ffa and tdm a complete cess-mess), using dumbed down armor system etc...

for quake live they nerfed for example rail and lg, nerfed quad(read: 4x)-damage to 3x etc pp.. all to prevent newbs getting spawnkilled and whine about it in forums

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So to elaborate on some of the designs suggested in this thread, just to show why we don't do them:

 

If we entirely remove the armor tiering, armors become massively devalued. If all armors protect 1:1, you'll always die to 2 direct rockets, regardless of how much armor you have. The only advantage of having more armor would be that if you take a single rocket hit, you only need to grab more health (instead of more armor too).

 

So, getting rid of tiers doesn't really work unless you also get rid of the split entirely and just make it "armor first, then health". This would bring back the "more armor means more survivability" but in the process, massively devalues health pickups (including mega health). Functionally, this would be like having a red armor giving you +300 health (that doesn't tick down) so even on 1HP, you're only one clutch armor pickup away from being tanked. Megahealth would be pretty low value since it would only start doing something useful after all your armor is gone and under this system.

 

The part of the system that could possibly go is the stacking -- the whole "first RA gives 150, second gives 200" thing. This would have a noticeable effect on the way the game works though. It would no longer be a case of "up player has RA, down player has 2xYA". You'd have "up player has RA, down player has YA and there's a spare YA for whoever needs to fall back to it first". This would make MH the only way to close the gap between RA and YA protection. It would also change the thought process of positioning a little -- do you position yourself so you can fall back to the spare YA or do you push for the RA when it respawns? This system could actually work and if I run the numbers and they look okay, will probably sneak into a experimental build so we can see what happens.

 

The other thing that will end up in an experimental build is sharing armor pickups in team modes -- one player picks up an armor and all players on that team receive that armor. For random pickup and low skill games, this will greatly reduce the number of players running around with no armor. At a higher level, it changes the roles in team games. For example with 5 players, you could ideally hold/contest all 3 armors while 2 players roamed the map and ganked. There would be a much higher risk in pulling all your players for powerups as you may find the other team getting a surprise 150RA stack just before it spawns etc. Holding all 3 armors though means 1 player per armor, which means they're likely to die to a 2 person gank or if the player holding the armor needs to go off in search of weapons / ammo, losing that pickup could dramatically alter how the game plays out. You could camp 5 people on the RA, but you wont have a huge advantage doing so with 2xYA being left for the other team and if they grab a powerup, you're going to get destroyed. Ideally, the game comes down to "the more you can deny armor and capitalize on players not having any, the better you will do". 

 

Anyway, that's probably enough armor rants for now.

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The other thing that will end up in an experimental build is sharing armor pickups in team modes -- one player picks up an armor and all players on that team receive that armor. For random pickup and low skill games, this will greatly reduce the number of players running around with no armor. At a higher level, it changes the roles in team games. For example with 5 players, you could ideally hold/contest all 3 armors while 2 players roamed the map and ganked. There would be a much higher risk in pulling all your players for powerups as you may find the other team getting a surprise 150RA stack just before it spawns etc. Holding all 3 armors though means 1 player per armor, which means they're likely to die to a 2 person gank or if the player holding the armor needs to go off in search of weapons / ammo, losing that pickup could dramatically alter how the game plays out. You could camp 5 people on the RA, but you wont have a huge advantage doing so with 2xYA being left for the other team and if they grab a powerup, you're going to get destroyed. Ideally, the game comes down to "the more you can deny armor and capitalize on players not having any, the better you will do". 

 

please no, would like to see tdm going back to it's roots with getting weaponcontrol etc like in qw..

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The other thing that will end up in an experimental build is sharing armor pickups in team modes -- one player picks up an armor and all players on that team receive that armor. For random pickup and low skill games, this will greatly reduce the number of players running around with no armor.

 

I'm pretty sure this would provide massive imbalance.

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How so?

 

Because if a member of one team picked up a red armour then their whole team would be tanked.  Also, what if you've read the situation right and you know you can kill an opponent due to better stack and better positioning, suddenly one of his team mates picks up red so your target gets insta-buffed and you end up dying because the balance suddenly changed, that could really suck.  That's what testing is for I guess, there's no reason not to give it a go, it's just at this moment in time I really don't think it would work.

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Because if a member of one team picked up a red armour then their whole team would be tanked.  

Then don't let enemy pickup the RA.

 

I'm all for this idea; would make games interesting and fun for everyone on the team of the player that picked up the RA.

 

 

 

I'm imagining a loud global chime sound be played when the RA is picked up, and all players on that team get a temporary shiny red flare that flows through their character models that is noticeable.  Kinda like that flare effect your character gets when you leveled up, in an MMO.

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Uh oh that global armor idea sounds quite problematic. I Don't want to stop people enjoying new systems, but this would be something even I would want to avoid.

 

Spawnpoints near RA would need to be changed from maps that have close spawns because one lucky spawn could turn entire game around. Who would want to increase the lottery chance of already random spawning? RA would have to be harder to obtain.

 

As mentioned above that sudden chance of getting RA shifting situations or saving someone from easy spawnfrag at the right moment.

 

If it applied to all armors it could have some sense in it. Someone picks up GA while someone has YA it would discard it for that player, but give it to others. Plus if weapon damages were tweaked more to fit in to this change, but it needs a lot of testing for sure. Limitation to amount of armor others will receive would be an option too(like 25%, 50%...), but that doesn't change the fact that someone could survive a direct rocket fresh from a new spawn.

 

But seriously this sounds pretty bad as far as mechanics go. What next? Global Carnage powerup? :P

 

EDIT: Overally *trying* to think from casual point of view. This makes it even harder to turn control in your favor when losing. When system like additional starting armor or something similar to aid losing team would be better idea for random/casual/new players. Given that this system is aimed for these players. Unless the point of it is whoever gets RA first wins a round.

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You guys missed the most important point of newborn's post: "For random pickup and low skill games"

 

 

Actually no, that phrase was used when talking about its effect, not its inclusion, and is in a different sentence, so the implication is that it would be introduced across the board if it was included at all, if not then it was a poor example of grammar.

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I'm imagining a loud global chime sound be played when the RA is picked up, and all players on that team get a temporary shiny red flare that flows through their character models that is noticeable.  Kinda like that flare effect your character gets when you leveled up, in an MMO.

 

Yes

 

 

Because if a member of one team picked up a red armour then their whole team would be tanked.  Also, what if you've read the situation right and you know you can kill an opponent due to better stack and better positioning, suddenly one of his team mates picks up red so your target gets insta-buffed and you end up dying because the balance suddenly changed, that could really suck.  That's what testing is for I guess, there's no reason not to give it a go, it's just at this moment in time I really don't think it would work.

 

That's not really an "imbalance" but it is something I've thought about. 
 
Anyway, lets expand your scenario. You were going to get a frag, then the enemy got a RA.
 
In high level play, you should have been expecting this because you should have been aware of when the RA was respawning and who was in control of it. So your fight wasn't very intelligently picked. If the armor pickup was enough to let them win the fight against you, they deserve the frag. That was the risk vs reward you weighed up.
 
Relying on that knowledge is also relying on team mates to do their job. After all, they might have only been stalling you for a few seconds because they knew the pickup was coming. If the RA was properly contested by your team, that pickup may have been delayed while the players controlling it fought and you would have (still) come out on top.
 
You should also have been aware of when to expect to gain the armors your team is in control of. Once that pickup happens, things are back to a similar balance as they were before since if you were winning a fight, they should still be on reasonably low health. 
 
So all that RA really bought them in that case was a slightly better chance to escape. Which is going to be a good move for them because if the only armor their team controls is the RA, they'll be running around for 25 seconds (assuming the same respawn times) with no armor and no weapons.

 

This is all academic though. Big, holistic changes are extremely difficult to work out on paper alone and always need to be tested.

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Yes

 

 

 

That's not really an "imbalance" but it is something I've thought about. 
 
Anyway, lets expand your scenario. You were going to get a frag, then the enemy got a RA.
 
In high level play, you should have been expecting this because you should have been aware of when the RA was respawning and who was in control of it. So your fight wasn't very intelligently picked. If the armor pickup was enough to let them win the fight against you, they deserve the frag. That was the risk vs reward you weighed up.
 
Relying on that knowledge is also relying on team mates to do their job. After all, they might have only been stalling you for a few seconds because they knew the pickup was coming. If the RA was properly contested by your team, that pickup may have been delayed while the players controlling it fought and you would have (still) come out on top.
 
You should also have been aware of when to expect to gain the armors your team is in control of. Once that pickup happens, things are back to a similar balance as they were before since if you were winning a fight, they should still be on reasonably low health. 
 
So all that RA really bought them in that case was a slightly better chance to escape. Which is going to be a good move for them because if the only armor their team controls is the RA, they'll be running around for 25 seconds (assuming the same respawn times) with no armor and no weapons.

 

This is all academic though. Big, holistic changes are extremely difficult to work out on paper alone and always need to be tested.

 

It is unbalanced in my view if it ends up giving the first team to grab red the ability to bust into any room and take over. 

 

The problem with your counter argument to the fights chosen, although I understand what you are saying and agree with the logic, is that only a relatively small subset of any game, especially new ones, are high level players, and if rulesets are set according to the perspective of this minority then the game quickly gains a state in which this minority becomes pretty much the only playerbase the game has, because the vast majority of the other players have left.  I don't believe however that a game needs to be dumbed down to counter this, I just think that game designers need to ensure that high level play is not an absolute requirement for situations such as this, that could appear to the non-adept as pure BS, to not happen on a regular basis.

 

I could be wrong of course, and like you said things need to be tested before proper implementation, so I'm not against it fundamentally and would eagerly try it out with a clean slate.  I just can't see it working, looking at it on paper in this moment.

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Spawnpoints near RA would need to be changed from maps that have close spawns because one lucky spawn could turn entire game around. Who would want to increase the lottery chance of already random spawning? 

 

Why is your RA left so unguarded that a fresh spawn could take it, especially if it's enough to turn the entire game around?

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In many ways i like the tiered armor system, if you cant get a yellow when out of control at all then you are doing it wrong. At the same time i like to read peoples pov's of a more balanced duel, cpma has always been very fast and snowballing to one direction.

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Why is your RA left so unguarded that a fresh spawn could take it, especially if it's enough to turn the entire game around?

 

I find this alarming because even in a game like QuakeWorld where the movement system is far more restricted and fresh spawners will die three times more quickly than they will in Reflex, having powerups stolen by fresh spawners riding rocket splash or using well-placed jumps isn't an uncommon occurence and happens with RA/Quad in 2v2 all the time.

 

With the much easier/faster movement in Reflex it isn't really hard to imagine a fresh spawner running in at 650+ u/ps and snatching an RA then dying while the rest of his team is now stacked as fuck.

 

I don't nessicarily think this is a bad idea, but giving the team mates who didn't actually pick up the item the full armor buff doesn't even work academically.

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I find this alarming because even in a game like QuakeWorld where the movement system is far more restricted and fresh spawners will die three times more quickly than they will in Reflex, having powerups stolen by fresh spawners riding rocket splash or using well-placed jumps isn't an uncommon occurence and happens with RA/Quad in 2v2 all the time.

 

With the much easier/faster movement in Reflex it isn't really hard to imagine a fresh spawner running in at 650+ u/ps and snatching an RA then dying while the rest of his team is now stacked as fuck.

 

I don't nessicarily think this is a bad idea, but giving the team mates who didn't actually pick up the item the full armor buff doesn't even work academically.

If the enemy team isn't capable of just killing you if you come rushing down with 100 hp then your team definitely deserves the snatched armor. I don't see a problem there.

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