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HoopleDoople
16th Feb 2015, 03:17
It is no secret that Humans are too good at high skill levels while Vampires excel at lower skill levels. This inherently makes for a difficult game to balance - nerf humans to improve veteran gameplay and you give beginners a worse experience. However, there is one simple way to reduce Human effectiveness at the one end without increasing Vampire effectiveness on the other. This is to improve upon map design to take away the unbalanced areas that Human pros constantly use and abuse.

I have identified three particular areas that could really use a rework similar to what was done on the Fane:

1) Sommerdamm - northeastern bridge
http://i.imgur.com/aTN7rR1b.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/aTN7rR1.jpg)

I believe the developers identified this as an area already being looked at for a rework back when they mentioned the Fane. However, it's been a while so I want to make sure it's still being looked at. This is simply an extremely open area that is also in a corner - there is really no way to not see the Vampires coming unless they bombard you with smoke. To make matters worse rolling off the bridge or the stairs allows Humans to easily dodge any main ability. The only real downside to this area is the lack of nearby health stations, but it isn't nearly enough to balance it out.


2) Valeholm - northern wall
http://i.imgur.com/mP3dj5cb.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/mP3dj5c.jpg)

This is a harder location to properly utilize but when you do so it is without a doubt THE best camp location in the game. If the Humans spread out along the wall they can see virtually the entire north half of the map. Only a couple tiny roof spots are out of view of the entire wall, but you have to reveal yourself to even reach most of them. To make matters worse the middle of the map is so open that the Vampires have to hug the edges to get in position to attack, which either results in the Vampires attack fragmenting or the game slowing down massively. And once again, simply rolling off the wall is an amazing way to dodge Vampire abilities.


3) Freeport - western Docks
http://i.imgur.com/5SZZGXxb.jpg (http://i.imgur.com/5SZZGXx.jpg)

This isn't quite up to the same level of the previous spots, but it is still plenty unbalanced. There is room to spread out and it is only overlooked by extremely low rooftops. What makes this especially difficult to attack is how easy it is for the Humans to establish sightlines on nearby out of sight areas. While Freeport in general is unfriendly to Sentinels the docks are pure hell. Not only is there no high buildings to launch off of or fly behind, but if you carry a Human over water you will instantly drop them; fly over water and you risk instant death to Warbow knockdown.


If and when the developers find the time to implement changes to these spots I believe high skill gameplay will be greatly improved. The diversity of play will increase as there is no longer one clear best camp spot for Humans. Vampires will be better able to compete at high skill levels without really seeing any significant boost to performance at lower skill levels.

PencileyePirate
16th Feb 2015, 03:53
I agree with everything here except your assessment of Freeport.

The problem with Freeport isn't the docks themselves, but how easy it is to watch the entire map from 2 spots: the palm tree outside of dock arch, and the main bridge off docks. I think Freeport needs less line-of-sight through the middle of the map and down the main boardwalk between caves & waterfront.

shinros
16th Feb 2015, 04:12
Yup I agree when playing the game I was thinking the main reason humans have such an advantage at high level is because of map balance it favor's the humans overall.

Ghosthree3
16th Feb 2015, 07:26
2 is my most hated right now.

-Konf-
16th Feb 2015, 08:00
Good post. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the maps will change, since we're so used to playing certain spots.

To be honest I was very shocked that The Fane was the first map to get addressed, since classic maps have had their problematic areas exposed for much, much longer.

Talespin
16th Feb 2015, 09:12
The wall on Valeholm is so ridiculously broken

--Ram--
16th Feb 2015, 11:11
+1

Agreed on the Valeholm wall being the worst area in the game hands down. When a good 4 stack gets into that position there is absolutely no fun to be had by the vamps. The best they can usually hope for is to suicide attack using the one or two smokes that are actually achievable without having your head blown off by charged shots, and then quickly follow it up and hope to win a second scrappy engagement and force them out.

I think the other way to help balance the game without actually buffing vamps is to encourage people not to play TDM exclusively. TDM basically allows humans to dictate the game and choose the broken locations to fight at. I don't know if Flashpoint is better or worse because I can't really play it, but I think eventually there will be a gamemode that doesn't always lead to humans fighting in their preferred area of the map. If vamps have some power to dictate the game they wouldn't need to traverse horrible open areas with bridges to drop off into volleys all the time.

To me the "Flashpoint Beta" as it stands is rather pointless because I can literally never get a game on Flashpoint. I would like it if for even just a weekend Flashpoint would have double XP or some other incentive. People seem to need this to break their habits, but I think if people were encouraged to play Flashy they might actually enjoy it enough to not only ever queue for TDM.

Vampmaster
16th Feb 2015, 11:31
The vampires don't necessarily need buffing, but they do need more options. It really feels like the Tyrant and the Sentinel rely heavily on the Reaver's smoke bomb or otherwise have a very narrow window of opportunity to get up close to the enemy. Sent needs at least one buff/debuff ability to use while he gets close and Tyrant needs some mid range attacks that don't require him to come out in the open quite as early as jump and charge. I mean their primary abilities both involve them sticking out like a sore thumb, if you want to take a more cautious approach, you're stuck between wasting those abilities or picking another class.

Razaiim
16th Feb 2015, 16:15
Sommerdamm Bridge: I've found that the little raised part in the corner is a good place to hide, and can be reached by 3/5 classes fairly easy, but it could stand to be raised a bit so that you can't be shot from the collapsed stairs. In all honesty I feel this is the weakest mention on the list.

Valeholm has been adjusted out the wazoo. The furnace has been raised once already, the deck area near the line of crumbling houses got a huge fence and shed stuck in the middle of it. The opposite corner had its health station moved. I feel like one of the best options for the walled area is extending the grassy rooftop further out, and maybe adding an awning or extension to the roofs on the opposite side.

Freeport docks can actually be quite easy to break with clever use of the crane, and the shanty that makes up the human border. You can leap off the crane onto the shack, and from there to the left dock or back off the shack out of sight. You can lurk there until forgotten about, and no one watches behind them in that area. Perhaps adding making the crate climbable and adding something like a small ship in the water for vampires top move to, or even a fog or most off the water, would be good.

For vampire mobility I still advocate adding a hold in place function to climbing, side to side motion, kick-off, and making the external boundaries climbable up to the map ceiling where the vampire may then hold or traverse to the sides or kick-off.

Ygdrasel
16th Feb 2015, 17:48
I always found that southwest section of Sommerdamm to be a more difficult camp to break than the bridge.

I wouldn't mind seeing map changes but I do think the humans should have some defensible areas. The wall at Valeholm makes sense as a camp spot, it's mostly just the line-of-sight making it ridiculous.

And as for Freeport, it'd just be great if the water wasn't some nonsensical magic that can't be flown over. I assume that's so no humans get dropped into the sea but in that case, they could just warp to shore upon contact with the water. It's still arguably nonsense but at least it's not ability-disrupting nonsense.

Other than that, I find the dock gets easily taken with even just some basic team coordination.

@Razaiim: Vampire parkour. 10/10 idea. Why isn't this a thread?

Jallford
16th Feb 2015, 18:25
And as for Freeport, it'd just be great if the water wasn't some nonsensical magic that can't be flown over. I assume that's so no humans get dropped into the sea but in that case, they could just warp to shore upon contact with the water. It's still arguably nonsense but at least it's not ability-disrupting nonsense.Agreed. You can flush people out away from the water with bombs, but in random groups that doesn't always happen. You usually wind up with 2 Scouts being un-grabbable as a Sentinel.

Three_Pies
16th Feb 2015, 18:34
Agreed to all. Surrounding buildings need to be taller in most cases (that Valeholm spot is especially crazy), and I think the developers need to acknowledge when they're balancing maps how much humans can generally dick about vampires by rolling off ledges. It's a sure way to avoid most abilities, vampires can't attack a target without first hitting the ground, and the human can get a few extra shots in while they fall. It's also really easy to juke a vampire by hitting the ground sprinting in an unexpected direction, or, for example, under the bridge in Sommerdamm.

--Ram--
16th Feb 2015, 18:36
Agreed. You can flush people out away from the water with bombs, but in random groups that doesn't always happen. You usually wind up with 2 Scouts being un-grabbable as a Sentinel.

You can grab them if you approach from the back of the pier/or over the water generally, it just becomes a risky exercise if they are running war bows :D

Ygdrasel
16th Feb 2015, 18:59
Agreed. You can flush people out away from the water with bombs, but in random groups that doesn't always happen. You usually wind up with 2 Scouts being un-grabbable as a Sentinel.

Plus humans tend to like the borders of the map, near the docks. Carrying them over the water is nearly a reflex while circling back around. Shouldn't kill the ability.