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View Full Version : Questions about Competitve Design @Psyonix



lBiteyl
7th Dec 2014, 08:12
So I've been wondering for some time now, what exactly is the future of Nosgoths "e-sports" dreams. From a high-level player standpoint we haven't been getting much news on what's in the pipeline or what goals you're looking forward to when the game starts gaining more traction. I ask this mostly to hear from a developer/Game director viewpoint of what's coming up for their opinions on the matter. So I've compiled a few questions that can hopefully be answered at some point. If anything of the questions can't be answered due to development cycle magic or corporate press cycles feel free to note that on the questions. Here are a few questions that I've been wanting to know about:

1. TDM is rough when it comes to hosting matches, events, and general competitive play. When TDM is a format in other games there are power-ups, weapons, or other events that the teams deal with. With Nosgoth the ESL had to create rules to force vampires into the aggressors. A problem emerged that without those rules, vampires would typically want to sit-back with any major advantage they could muster.

Knowing this information, what's the future competitive gamemodes looking like? Is TDM still going to be one of the major competitive gametypes? If so, is there any plan to overhaul some of maps where the vampires struggle to initiate attack? I ask mainly about Bridge(Sommerdamm), DInningHall(The Fane), Docks(Freeport), and Wall(Provance).

2. Game balance is a touchy subject and everyone is usually has a vision of how they think the game should play out. From a developer standpoint of mappers, game directors, and everyone on the team what are your thoughts on how things should play out? When it comes to designing abilities, weapons, and perks what kind of ideas do you create? Are there any cool ideas that were thrown out due to technical limitations or other difficulties?

A personal question I always wondered was something I touched on in my feedback post. Was there any particular reason for Pounce-Savagepounce, Charge-Marathon, and Kidnap-Abduct being nearly duplicates of each other?

Also when it comes competitive matches do you have have any thoughts or opinions on the gameplay you've seen so far? Have any of the development team members participated in any pugs and scrims in Nosgoth yet? Have they ever participated in a competitive scene in any title?

When it comes to designing a map, do you take into account what kind of gamemodes their being designed for? What's the process that you utilize for creating the arenas in this game? I'm curious on this topic since some development teams have different processes towards creating those pieces of art, gameplay, and balance.

3. Finally I've always loved to hear what a developers grand dreams are for their game say of 4 year down the road. What does that look like to you? What would you want to see it blossom into? Lets say the game exploded into a massive audience, what major things would you want to add down the road besides having the basic PvP elements?


I look forward to hearing deep answers with highly stimulating thought when you have the time to answer :D

RazielWarmonic
8th Dec 2014, 17:27
Bumping as I have the same questions.
When are we seeing things like spectator mode?
New game mode?

Anything at all?

HappinessIsAWarmGun
8th Dec 2014, 21:11
Bumping as I have the same questions.
When are we seeing things like spectator mode?
New game mode?

Anything at all?

^^ this. all of this.

uNborn-
8th Dec 2014, 21:12
Bumping this as well. Important to have some of these questions answered as nosgoth currently seems to be in decline. NA especially.

injiau
8th Dec 2014, 23:04
bump bump bump, same with me would love to hear from devs aswell.

Psyonix_Corey
8th Dec 2014, 23:06
Not going to have time to answer this for a few days at least with Matchmaking/Beta stuff, but acknowledging that I see it.

CynnicalScout
8th Dec 2014, 23:44
Not going to have time to answer this for a few days at least with Matchmaking/Beta stuff, but acknowledging that I see it.

I hope you know how much we appreciate this! :D

RazielWarmonic
9th Dec 2014, 01:34
Not going to have time to answer this for a few days at least with Matchmaking/Beta stuff, but acknowledging that I see it.

Thanks Corey! Really appreciated!

HexMee
9th Dec 2014, 13:30
1. TDM is rough when it comes to hosting matches, events, and general competitive play. When TDM is a format in other games there are power-ups, weapons, or other events that the teams deal with. With Nosgoth the ESL had to create rules to force vampires into the aggressors. A problem emerged that without those rules, vampires would typically want to sit-back with any major advantage they could muster.

I've always had the idea that vampires NEED the blood to survive (perhaps this isn't the fact in the lore for the game, I only know of Nosgoth and not any other games about Kain and whatnot).

When I playd the game for the first time I thought that you as a vampire would start losing health after a while of not feasting on a human, when I discovered that you did not I still felt like that would be a good game mechanic.

Think: after x seconds of not drinking blood you start losing health at say a rate of 5 * (seconds that you have been "starving") each second. So say you had 1000 health before you started needing blood and 4 seconds have passed, this means that you will have lost 5*1 + 5*2 + 5*3 + 5*4 = 50 health. And after 10 seconds you would have lost 275 health, so the need for blood increases quickly but still steadily.

This idea would (with some number tweaking) solve all the issues with vampires camping rooftops as they would bleed out and die giving the human points if they don't eat.

I do understand that as it is now vamps are the less favored side on many maps and this would be a serious nerf to them overall, but once again this is something that can be overcome by making tweaks on both this mechanic and in other places.

BR0sephStalin
9th Dec 2014, 20:35
I've always had the idea that vampires NEED the blood to survive (perhaps this isn't the fact in the lore for the game, I only know of Nosgoth and not any other games about Kain and whatnot).

When I playd the game for the first time I thought that you as a vampire would start losing health after a while of not feasting on a human, when I discovered that you did not I still felt like that would be a good game mechanic.

Think: after x seconds of not drinking blood you start losing health at say a rate of 5 * (seconds that you have been "starving") each second. So say you had 1000 health before you started needing blood and 4 seconds have passed, this means that you will have lost 5*1 + 5*2 + 5*3 + 5*4 = 50 health. And after 10 seconds you would have lost 275 health, so the need for blood increases quickly but still steadily.

This idea would (with some number tweaking) solve all the issues with vampires camping rooftops as they would bleed out and die giving the human points if they don't eat.

I do understand that as it is now vamps are the less favored side on many maps and this would be a serious nerf to them overall, but once again this is something that can be overcome by making tweaks on both this mechanic and in other places.

This fix is at least 1/2 a year off (if it is even going to happen at all) as dev's have other priorities. My scoring system (but slightly simplified) could be implemented immediately for competitive play and even be implememnted by psyonix easily if they chose to do so.

Glitchfull
9th Dec 2014, 22:23
Just wanted to put my two cents in, from a "highish?" end player with two friends that are about mid range and low range.

From my perspective it's hard to see this game going competitive at all till some overhauls occur in the shape of a new game mode or a enormous change to TDM. The main problem is the human faction is so incredibly strong at bunkering while the vampire strategy that is very hit and miss is to just bum rush them. From a player stand point this is extremely uneventful and from a viewer standpoint it is just outright boring.

I think there needs to be a game mode the forces the humans to move and forces the vampires to be much more active. 1 flag is the simplest mode that could accomplish those two things. Vampires defend and humans try to cap the flag. This forces the humans to stay on the move, has the vampires need to take a much more active roll in the game, and might possibly be much more enjoyable to watch as a spectator. The only issue with this is I don't really see the maps currently (Too small) working out for this mode.

Also, from having lower end friends I have to tell you that you must absolutely listen to your competitive players over your low end players if you are trying to make this game competitive. Lower end players don't understand most of the time why things are a certain way in terms of balancing. The sad thing is that they are also the most vocal people. This is just something you have to deal with as a developer, sorting out that of which isn't knowledgeable and those of who are. Just because tons of people ***** about stealth in WoW doesn't mean it would be even close to a smart idea to nerf any of it. I've seen first hand a game ignore the competitive players input in favor of the casual/low end players input even though they were trying to become a competitive game. It was also a game that had enough hype to work if it had just listened to them. Oh the woe of Guild Wars 2.

Psyonix_Corey
9th Dec 2014, 23:42
1. TDM is rough when it comes to hosting matches, events, and general competitive play. When TDM is a format in other games there are power-ups, weapons, or other events that the teams deal with. With Nosgoth the ESL had to create rules to force vampires into the aggressors. A problem emerged that without those rules, vampires would typically want to sit-back with any major advantage they could muster.

Knowing this information, what's the future competitive gamemodes looking like? Is TDM still going to be one of the major competitive gametypes? If so, is there any plan to overhaul some of maps where the vampires struggle to initiate attack? I ask mainly about Bridge(Sommerdamm), DInningHall(The Fane), Docks(Freeport), and Wall(Provance).

First, we'd like to specifically address TDM competitive issues with mechanics that force the vampires to engage. These changes require very careful thought, though, which is why you haven't seen anything roll out yet - just slapping a "blood timer" on vampires in TDM that makes them engage or die could have really severe unintended consequences.

That said, I totally get the drive for a more viable, objective-focused gamemode than Siege (which is getting reworked already). Ultimately I don't think we should dictate what the "major competitive gametypes" are, but we should provide you guys with enough options that you can settle on what works best and we can balance around that.

Getting into vampire vs. human offense/defense is a whole can of worms that would require a separate post. For now, suffice it to say that Siege is the way it is (human capturing) for specific reasons. It's very tough to make the inverse work due to how good the vampires are at covering ground.

We definitely want to revisit problem areas in maps like the Sommerdamm bridge and initial investigation has already started on that, but I don't have a timeframe yet.


2. Game balance is a touchy subject and everyone is usually has a vision of how they think the game should play out. From a developer standpoint of mappers, game directors, and everyone on the team what are your thoughts on how things should play out? When it comes to designing abilities, weapons, and perks what kind of ideas do you create? Are there any cool ideas that were thrown out due to technical limitations or other difficulties?

This is a little too open ended of a question to answer here in the time I have right now, so let's shelve it for another post. I can say the early stages were much more "character" based e.g. "Let's make a flying character" where now we approach things more from a role standpoint, e.g. what's missing from the human team, or what could we add to X character to mix up their gameplay.

That said, I think a fair criticism of some of our ability releases is that they have been somewhat random - this is largely due to some of them being old ideas that didn't make initial closed beta or class launch windows, but they were close enough to releasable that we were able to just finish them and put them out to see how they were received. Stuff like Sweeping Kick or Immolation probably wouldn't have been designed today from scratch for instance, but we felt they were interesting enough to release and iterate on with player feedback rather than them never seeing the light of day.


A personal question I always wondered was something I touched on in my feedback post. Was there any particular reason for Pounce-Savagepounce, Charge-Marathon, and Kidnap-Abduct being nearly duplicates of each other?

Purely a time and resource consideration. We wanted playstyle options but did not have the time before initial launch of those classes to do significant gameplay exploration of major variations, much less balancing. Also, it's free to play, so more stuff to buy makes the publishers with money that keep our lights on happy.

There's also an important tension between everything being unique vs. readability. There's a risk in class-based games where the more you vary what a single character is capable of, the harder it gets for new players to pick up the game, and the harder it gets for anyone to anticipate what a given enemy can do. While some ambiguity is always good - complete predictability is dull - if any given Reaver can do 40 different things with unique gameplay mechanics, it becomes impossible to have any counterplay or intelligent tactical decisionmaking. You see a Reaver and all it tells you is how much HP he has at that point.

I do think there's a balance to be struck and some of the ideas you and others have proposed to make the differences between ability variants more meaningful are totally worth exploring further. I don't know how soon that can happen - any time spent reworking the Reaver is time that could be spent on Summoner, or a NEW Reaver ability, or a game mode. So it's a tough call to make.


Also when it comes competitive matches do you have have any thoughts or opinions on the gameplay you've seen so far? Have any of the development team members participated in any pugs and scrims in Nosgoth yet? Have they ever participated in a competitive scene in any title?

I haven't condensed my thoughts on the subject (or, frankly, watched enough tournament play due to our Open Beta schedule) to comment conclusively. I am very aware of how dominant certain classes and abilities are and would like to make adjustments to encourage more variety. But I'm also very cognizant that there will always be a FOTM/meta that players gravitate towards. I think our biggest challenge right now is continuing to iterate on vampire gameplay and skill curve such that low level players can win matches as humans, but high level vampires have the tools and mobility they need to counter extremely accurate and coordinated human teams.


When it comes to designing a map, do you take into account what kind of gamemodes their being designed for? What's the process that you utilize for creating the arenas in this game? I'm curious on this topic since some development teams have different processes towards creating those pieces of art, gameplay, and balance.

I'll have to leave this one for today. I have input on the level design process but it's constantly evolving for Nosgoth and it's usually handled by other people for the most part. I just chime in with problem areas and try to make sure we keep in mind what's worked in previous maps and what didn't. Obviously stuff is still slipping past us like the Sommerdamm bridge.


3. Finally I've always loved to hear what a developers grand dreams are for their game say of 4 year down the road. What does that look like to you? What would you want to see it blossom into? Lets say the game exploded into a massive audience, what major things would you want to add down the road besides having the basic PvP elements?

Stuff I would love to see in list format:
Traversal Revamp with Wallrun and other new tricks
Online Bot Matches for players who want to practice or improve against teams of AI
Full Crafting design (it's in a document!) implemented with Player Trading
User Generated Content combined with a revamp of character armor so you could equip Helmets, Armor, Gauntlets, Boots, etc. that could all be "official" or made by players and sold in the store like DOTA
Enough ability variety per class that you have 3-4 options per slot minimum that are viable in most matches, even if they aren't all "tournament viable"


There's other stuff I either can't talk about because it's planned and unannounced, or is already in the works (league system, etc.)

Glitchfull
9th Dec 2014, 23:52
I very much appreciate you guys replying to Bitey's post. It really does mean a whole lot, possibly even more than you can think. Silence and saying "We can't say anything (On everything)" is the most irritating thing and you avoided both. Thank you.

Vampmaster
10th Dec 2014, 00:40
Online Bot Matches for players who want to practice or improve against teams of AI

^^For the love of the Elder God, please do this! I'm so sick of not being able to practice due to being raged for not having practiced enough.

If (don't panic, I'm being hypothetical) the user generated content happens, try to include some face/hair stuff. The vampires never evolved all in one go, so there would be further half way stages primarilly showing in their faces, such as the Turelim's ears which based on SR1 intro Turel, came before their bodies got all huge. Facial features can just be stuck on top of their existing models the same as the other stuff you mentioned, can't they?