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Old 07-02-2011, 06:32 PM   #1
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Idea on How to Keep New Players

From what I've noticed, the normal course of a new player is:

1. Join a ctf game.
2. Either go on blu and defend or go on red and cap.
3. Get bored.
4. Try defending, get destroyed by bhopping and concing.

People need to realize that ctf is not a good pub gamemode in FF and that AvD is much better for pubs.

In AvD, every class is useful in some way and the map is straightforward: Take the flag to the capture point. It would allow new players to adapt to fortress-forever while still being useful.

I think that there should be a server that runs ONLY AvD maps such as dustbowl, ksour, avanti, genesis, palermo, vertigo etc. This server should be made as beginner friendly as possible.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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Well yeah, this is a massive problem. Trouble is, AvD doesnt utilise concs and all the fun movement stuff that attracts players to CTF (AvD is largely a DM gamemode). We tried for a while to invent a gamemode which used concs and fun movement skills of CTF and the natural team based progression of AvD but we didn't really get it right.

I still think theres a gap which can be filled with a gamemode which bridges the gap, in particular something similar to payload whereby attackers can conc towards the payload and move it forwards by getting near to it, which avoids 1 guy simply capping on his own, and also allows DM based attackers to push forwards and be useful. Unfortunately no-one finished any payload maps.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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I disagree. Offense on AvD is all about jumping the flag. AvD maps would allow players to be effective on defense and offense no matter their skill level. If a new player sees a good player jump the flag they will probably wonder "how do I do that?". It still makes people want to learn all the movement skills while still being fun INITIALLY.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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It's not so much CTF that turns players off, it's CTF with nuisances; such as security, overly long battlements, and confusing routes. Good pub CTF maps would be 2fort and well.

Another CTF map with potential would be crossover, but the FF version has a battlements that isn't fun. The reason it's not fun is because there are 4 routes through the battlements. One path on each side, the water, and the top route. CTF maps should ALWAYS have 2 routes through the battlements, and 2 routes only. Then no more than 2 routes while inside a base to get to the enemy flag.

Look at the successful TFC pub server CTF maps for example: 2fort, well, crossover, casbah, and badlands. Each map had 2 routes through the battlements, then 2 routes in the bases themselves. The best thing about these maps is there were no nuisances, except badlands with a battlements a bit too long.

I do agree with oaties though with his AvD points. You don't want to force the movement down the new players throats. Let them ease into it in fun pub style maps where they don't have to play like it's a damn pickup game.

In my opinion the best pub maps are AvD, pub CTF, and avanti style maps (w/e that is).

Oh and also, directly ported maps from TFC are huge turn off to almost all new players, especially if they use the exact TFC textures. They just look like crap in this day and age, new players don't want that.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:53 PM   #5
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You make some very good points, oaties.

Imho, the worst map for pubs is dropdown. It has an incredibly confusing layout.

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In my opinion the best pub maps are AvD, pub CTF, and avanti style maps (w/e that is)..
Avanti is IvD.

I've got the impression that some TF2 players are confused by avanti (there's a TF2 remake of it), because they strongly associate AvD with cz2-like control points.

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Old 07-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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It's not so much CTF that turns players off, it's CTF with nuisances; such as security, overly long battlements, and confusing routes. Good pub CTF maps would be 2fort and well.

Another CTF map with potential would be crossover, but the FF version has a battlements that isn't fun. The reason it's not fun is because there are 4 routes through the battlements. One path on each side, the water, and the top route. CTF maps should ALWAYS have 2 routes through the battlements, and 2 routes only. Then no more than 2 routes while inside a base to get to the enemy flag.

Look at the successful TFC pub server CTF maps for example: 2fort, well, crossover, casbah, and badlands. Each map had 2 routes through the battlements, then 2 routes in the bases themselves. The best thing about these maps is there were no nuisances, except badlands with a battlements a bit too long.
I really have to disagree with some of this as a long time player of TFC and FF and who never really got into CTF. I'd say as a new player, what I would want from a game is ACTION and maybe some cool stuff to look at. If it's not an interesting experience getting to the flag, it's not going to be especially fun for new players. Also about 90% of pub CTF games with new players involve yard DM'ing, so how fun THAT aspect is also factors into it. Here's my evaluation of some of the CTF maps from someone not really into CTF:

2fort - not bad, especially with the visual improvements, you get to the yard very fast and a lot of fighting on the bridge can be fun.

aardvark - Good looking yard, but too big for a lot of fighting there. Can be fun if you're sniping or know how to get across the yard quickly. Side route can have some good espionage possibilities.

Badlands - visually awesome once you get outside. Corridors are a damn maze. Relatively fun if you can get outside your base to some fighting.

casbah - visually more interesting, though it usually feels like a hike before you get to any action.

congestus - very easy to get to the yard or other base and get to action fast, generally enjoy this one

crossover - hate everything about it, I always quit when this comes up. Concrete corridor city, changed from the desert theme in TFC to the cold snowy theme which I don't think works as well, bridge where all the fighting used to be seems to be missing from the FF version, somewhat confusing route, not much action.

destroy - pretty good, visually kind of drab, but very small map means you get to fighting quickly

dropdown - nice visuals on the yard, can get to fighting relatively quickly, but a total maze if you're actually going for the flag.

monkey - great visuals in the yard, fair amount of fighting, though not my favorite for some reason

openfire - nice lighting / yard, very easy to get to the action, generally good action and fun

shutdown2 - kind of a mix. Interiors are more concrete corridors, but yard looks nice and can have a decent amount of fighting

well - not that fun unless you're sniping. Visually not very engaging. Contains lots of plain, concrete corridors with a concrete yard to boot. I never especially liked this one in TFC either.

xpress - my favorite CTF map for someone not that into CTF. CONSTANT action, fun watching enemies fall off the edge, fun as hell blasting over as a demoman and raising hell.


If you want CTF to have more public appeal, I would host maps where you get to the action as fast as possible, not the ones that may have the best nuanced CTF games. The thing to remember is that successful TFC CTF severs had all-dustbowl or all avanti/warpath servers running 24/7 right next to them. FF doesn't have the same kinds of numbers, so if you want to cater to some of the would-be AvD crowd with CTF maps, they may not be the same maps.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chilledsanity View Post
If it's not an interesting experience getting to the flag, it's not going to be especially fun for new players.
You shouldn't need something like security to make an interesting experience. In fact I would say most newer players hate needing to press security since they will most likely die and the security will just reset making their task of getting the flag nearly impossible.


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If you want CTF to have more public appeal, I would host maps where you get to the action as fast as possible, not the ones that may have the best nuanced CTF games.
I agree with this 100% which was my reasoning for shorter battlements and fewer routes.



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2fort - not bad, especially with the visual improvements, you get to the yard very fast and a lot of fighting on the bridge can be fun.
Agreed.

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aardvark - Good looking yard, but too big for a lot of fighting there. Can be fun if you're sniping or know how to get across the yard quickly. Side route can have some good espionage possibilities.
Battlements are way too big and it sucks needing to press security. The map is just a chore to play on offence.

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Badlands - visually awesome once you get outside. Corridors are a damn maze. Relatively fun if you can get outside your base to some fighting.
I'm sure the map isn't THAT hard to learn...

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casbah - visually more interesting, though it usually feels like a hike before you get to any action.
I feel if the trip out of the spawn wasn't so long this map would be 200% better. You usually engage combat on the way out of your base.

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congestus - very easy to get to the yard or other base and get to action fast, generally enjoy this one
Not a good public server map. You pretty much need to be a master of concing on offense and it's a chore to go to the enemy base without concs.

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crossover - hate everything about it, I always quit when this comes up. Concrete corridor city, changed from the desert theme in TFC to the cold snowy theme which I don't think works as well, bridge where all the fighting used to be seems to be missing from the FF version, somewhat confusing route, not much action.
Did you like the TFC version? I agree and also hate the FF version.

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destroy - pretty good, visually kind of drab, but very small map means you get to fighting quickly
Another map that should stay in pickup server.

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dropdown - nice visuals on the yard, can get to fighting relatively quickly, but a total maze if you're actually going for the flag.
Yeah the routing on this map sucks.

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monkey - great visuals in the yard, fair amount of fighting, though not my favorite for some reason
I feel the same. I'm not sure what it is about the map that makes it boring for pub servers.

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openfire - nice lighting / yard, very easy to get to the action, generally good action and fun
The map needs retextured. Usually a pain for newer players to actually leave with the flag.

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shutdown2 - kind of a mix. Interiors are more concrete corridors, but yard looks nice and can have a decent amount of fighting
If this map would lose security I feel it would be awesome for a public server.

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well - not that fun unless you're sniping. Visually not very engaging. Contains lots of plain, concrete corridors with a concrete yard to boot. I never especially liked this one in TFC either.
It's not really my favorite map but I feel it is pretty good for a public server. I feel the map should be a bit lighter outside and some hallways needs widened in the FF version.

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xpress - my favorite CTF map for someone not that into CTF. CONSTANT action, fun watching enemies fall off the edge, fun as hell blasting over as a demoman and raising hell.
This map is fun for a while but gets boring fast since it's design is so simple. This is also like congestus where you are at a huge disadvantage if you can't conc well.

Last edited by hlstriker; 07-02-2011 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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the problem with ff right now is most maps can't handle the influx in players. the game isn't optimized enough to play with 22 players. (the lag my fps spikes up and down because of all the nades flying everywhere.) then once you get past 14 players on a server which i think is the best optimal number for a pub or competitive. anything more and its spam anything less and its feels empty.

part of the problem is that the maps aren't sized for large numbers of people and the ones that are, either not popular or garbage. i feel the best player count for the current maps we have are 14 it starts to feel crowded at 14 players once you go higher it gets worse very fast. nades become a problem (not there in-game quality's but,) the frame drop and the fact i can hear every nade that going on in the entire map whether im close to it or not.

to sum it up basically past 14 players on a server and it becomes spam-fest no matter what game mode your on. the only way i think to fix is add either a map vote system that picks a selection of maps that can handle the current player count. (which you might need to make a few more maps for.) or make ff alter map size (length, height, width of map and certain areas.) and maybe add/subtract a few routes depending on the player count.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlstriker
Not a good public server map. You pretty much need to be a master of concing on offense and it's a chore to go to the enemy base without concs.
I really disagree here. You can play as engineer or hwguy and have people come to you, play as soldier and DM some more, play demoman and set traps or else blast people at the bottom of O's ramp, play pyro and fly from one side to the other (not exactly a master of concing), play as sniper and snipe, go as spy and have all sorts of fun, scouts can even jump across wih the jump pad overtop without any concs at all. You can have fun and action pretty fast with this map.

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Did you like the TFC version? I agree and also hate the FF version.
I kind of did, I remember having some GREAT shootouts in that bridge area where everything would congest.

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The map needs retextured. Usually a pain for newer players to actually leave with the flag.
I find the flag more accessible to new people than most, plus you can have action almost immediately before the flag.

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I feel the map should be a bit lighter outside
Actually I believe the 1.1 or 1.11 (can't remember) version had it set at evening with a different skybox and brighter light_environment.

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This map is fun for a while but gets boring fast since it's design is so simple. This is also like congestus where you are at a huge disadvantage if you can't conc well.
Well what it means is you either have to conc, pipe jump (much easier to do than conc'ing and lets you travel farther), snipe, or play defensively.

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anything more and its spam anything less and its feels empty.
Emptiness I agree with you on, though I think a game can work with as few as about 7 or 8 people, but for me it's RARE that it feels like a map has too many people, even at 22. ff_vertigo sometimes gets that feel or anything that's super congested, but in general it feels like the more the merrier (though it obviously differs with you).

Last edited by chilledsanity; 07-02-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:34 AM   #10
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I'm gonna say it: I like TF2 more than FF.

Why do I stick around FF? Because it's stronger where TF2 is weaker, and that is CTF mode. In TF2, CTF is just team deathmatch with the occasional cap every now and again. It can be fun, but it's hard to find a good game in the pub environment (and TF2 lobby never plays CTF). Eventually I got frustrated with how shitty FF's defense is, but this is getting better with the latest versions.

While it is definitely be a good idea to cater to new people, keep in mind FF's strengths, that's all I'm sayin'.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:41 AM   #11
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the thing is, in order for FF to keep new players, it needs to be O friendly. we have a hard enough time getting people to play offense (myself included ) because it is arguable harder to be a good O player than a good D player. It takes more than being able to conc, you have to know exactly where to do it and which direction to strafe in.

While I think the changes in the new patch are all cool, I agree that offense has been nerfed a bit much.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:19 PM   #12
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the thing is, in order for FF to keep new players, it needs to be O friendly. we have a hard enough time getting people to play offense (myself included ) because it is arguable harder to be a good O player than a good D player. It takes more than being able to conc, you have to know exactly where to do it and which direction to strafe in.

While I think the changes in the new patch are all cool, I agree that offense has been nerfed a bit much.
i wouldn't say to much at all. (the O could use a few new tricks or something (the O might need a slight buff but not by nerfing D.), but O now requires more than just scout and a medic. which in my opinion just how it should be. for all those who say ff is a team game which it is. i think all classes (or most of them scout certainly is very offense orientated and can't really be d without ruining his O.) however a soldier, a demo, hwguy on offense are a good thing its more diverse different strategy's come into play. not just spam scout and medic which you can still do and still get the flag with.

also as a noob who played O all the time... *sounds of crickets*

tl;dr: for all those who say that i can't win on O any longer that simply isn't true. it just means you have to use more than just a scout and medic now.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:29 PM   #13
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tl;dr: for all those who say that i can't win on O any longer that simply isn't true. it just means you have to use more than just a scout and medic now.
Fucking blasphemy, man.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:52 PM   #14
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I guess I can understand why new people could be put off with pubs these days, I am a pub only player, so that's what I do almost every night.

I like Capture The Flag the most, but I like to play Capture The Flag, as in both teams going for the flag, and both teams with a defense and some offense. Which is usually hard to pull off on a pub, but now and again I get involved in a really fun CTF game, where both teams are trying to win, and the scores are so close.

I remember a game on Shutdown2, was 8 v 8 I think, and I was the main offense for blue, red were winning with 190, and blue had 180, and I was trying my arse off to get something out of the game after 20 odd minutes, and with less than a minute left at that point I went out as fast as I could, grabbed the flag and managed to make my escape being slowed by the defense, there was about 9 seconds left at that point when I entered the yard and people were already saying gg, and that I wasn't going to make it, so I quickly primed a conc and conced over the top and managed to drop through the top hole and cap with about 2 seconds left to make it 190 - 190. Which was good enough for me , and really satisfying.

But the mindset these days means when people join a game, all of the one-dimensional offensive players go Blue, and the one-dimensional defensive players go Red (and there's a lot of one dimensional defensive players). So it automatically changes to OvD, meaning when it's almost a full server, it's just a spamfest in the red base.

As you've probably guessed, I don't like OvD on CTF maps, I play games to win them, and the fun for me, is in the challenge, and in the winning through the means of teamwork, and to better the opposition. So OvD on CTF maps for me is just, Right, 25 minutes left, Blue Team Win, commence play.

People always say "play for fun, who cares about score", I play campaigns to beat them, I play RPG games to become the best, I play strategy games to outwit the enemy. Every single game I play, I play to get the win. I don't go on Counter Strike or Day of Defeat settling for a mid-team place before I even join, I try hard to win the rounds and be hard to kill. And it's the same in Fortress Forever...

And pickups suck.

I sometimes enjoy Warpath with enough players and fair teams, and certain AvD maps can be enjoyable, like Napoli among others.


Be moar competitive.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #15
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But that is the "issue" with pubs.... you can't force people to be competative. I enjoy pubs, because they can be chaos incarnate. I guess the only real thing you can do, if you know it's become an "ovd" mess, switch to the "d" team, and go "o". Some servers(I've seen this on several personally) enforce the "ovd" rule on CTF maps. Sometimes, this is due to the lack of players on the server. If it's full(or nearly so), just do it until they kick you, then find somewhere else to play.
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Old 07-04-2011, 02:39 PM   #16
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But that is the "issue" with pubs.... you can't force people to be competative. I enjoy pubs, because they can be chaos incarnate. I guess the only real thing you can do, if you know it's become an "ovd" mess, switch to the "d" team, and go "o". Some servers(I've seen this on several personally) enforce the "ovd" rule on CTF maps. Sometimes, this is due to the lack of players on the server. If it's full(or nearly so), just do it until they kick you, then find somewhere else to play.
Yeah , because some servers or admins of servers demand OvD on CTF maps, people almost accept it, even when it's 8 v 8 the red team is packed with all of the defensive only guys.. I sometimes try to go against the grain though and cap for the red team but usually it doesn't work well enough.

I guess I need to accept Fortress Forever pubs aren't always going to be very competitive, I'm used to games having many servers to choose from so I can find full games with proper teams completing the objectives and trying to win.

But the only way to get that in FF, is to play in the pickup community, which I'm not a fan of. And 4 v 4 is small, and always OvD.

There's been a few games in the past that have had fantastic Capture the Flag matches, like Soldier of Fortune 2, Tribes 2, Tribes Vengeance, Quake III, Unreal Tournament 1/2/2004 and a few others. I miss the intense gameplay of those pub games.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #17
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Well the problem is if you play OvD when the server has 8 people, then it gets a bit silly when you have 12+ people, then you need to switch to a full game in the middle of the game, which ends up being like 6v7, then 2 people on def and 5 offy, then 2 def is pointless because you can't cover both routes, e.g. on shutdown2 if you cover the ramp then offense can just go via plank.. etc.

So really its very hard to organise a proper pub CTF game with a balance of offense / defense on both teams, unless you have very good co-ordination amongst pretty much everyone on the server, which is unlikely to happen.

I think some AvD or IvD maps are still the most suitable for pub play, I need to play them on 2.43 some more to get a feeling as to anything thats wrong with them. Previously I felt it was pretty hard to set up a defensive line because 1 spy can just cloak past everyone and destroy or sab the sgs, i'm sure thats probably still the case.

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Old 07-04-2011, 03:34 PM   #18
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Problem is, the servers start off in low numbers then fill up. So people accept OvD style game when it's 5v5/6v6, but then when the server does fill up, what's the point of switching from D to O when the enemy has had free reign on O and made 10 caps already?

Any new player sees that score on a full server they don't want to start running O, it can be practically impossible to catch up.


SD2 is a perfect example of a good pubber's yard. It's large enough that people can play around in, can see everything while in it, is multi tiered, has multiple ways into the enemy base, but the most direct route is super easy to find, and it's really quick to get to. Actually out of all the ctf yards to just fool around in, it is by far my favorite. Snipers can be effective and annoying, but can be delt with atleast (unlike aardvark where you pretty much are just spamming respawn to deal with them).

A long time ago I suggested a map style that involved CTF but only 1 team had an actual flag, the other just had a spawn point and a cap point. Defense can gain points for different things, more points for longer periods of no flag touches, points for flag returns, and base amount of points per period of time. Any way to encourage them to play better defense.

People like repetitiveness, it's easier to learn and get good at (look at TFC's 24/7 servers), to play only O or D for 25 minutes provides them that, and the scenary never changes (ie: not advancing to another cap, different routes... etc)

The map in my mind to help me visualize it, would be some sort of castle that defenders defend and offense storms. The castle would scale depending on the number of people on defense, so it can support lower numbers 5v5, but as more people join D, more routes open up to defend so it doesn't become a clusterfuck of 11v11 in a small area, or it's not a cap fest on a 4v4 in a huge area.

New areas opening up depending on the number of people might sound confusing at first, but if it were a popular map people would learn it pretty quick, and that's the whole point of making it OvD CTF for 25 min, people have a chance to really learn the in's and outs.

Obviously I'm not a map designer though and this would be pretty complicated for someone like myself to even attempt.

Still I would love to see a map like this some day.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:15 PM   #19
FreaK367
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There are servers (or atleast used to be, zE's did I think) which have modded CTF so only one flag is touchable which is the red flag, and every 2 minutes or so where the offensive team have not capped, defense gains points.

Defense would score quite little if it was how long since the flag was touched, because an offensive team generally suicide run the flag and take it towards the exit a little at a time multiple times a minute

I think a good guide for 2.43 would be, every 3 minutes without a cap, defense gains 10 points. But it would need testing to get the right amount of time. Maybe 2 and a half minutes of defending. If it's 5 v 5, the 5 offensive players, if they are medics and scouts can bombard the enemy base on most maps 10+ times each in 3 minutes. So to defend that bombardment deserves 10 points. Maybe even 15 for a longer period of time, for less chance of a tied match.

I did enjoy it more with defensive scoring.. than just OvD on a CTF map. Gives defense a chance to win.

But it would be nice if it could be a toggled mode.. so if people want a full game, it can be voted or something.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hammock View Post
(unlike aardvark where you pretty much are just spamming respawn to deal with them)..
That's the most annoying aspect of aardvark. There's only one ladder for offense to attack the sniper deck. In my opinion the sniper deck should be removed and the yard should be made smaller. Or at least make the deck the perfect height for spamming grenades onto.
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