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Thread: An elegant solution to class stacking

An elegant solution to class stacking

  1. #1

    An elegant solution to class stacking

    Hello everyone,

    Some of the guys of dead sun have come up with an idea which should help to resolve some of the issues inside of the competitive scene. What we will be focusing on in this suggestion is class stacking.

    There has been a lot of back and forth debate about this subject but before we argue whether this is actually an issue or not, remember that for a competitive game to grow and prosper it needs an audience, a viewership. Spectators interested in the game means ad revenue, ad revenue means more financial choices such as recycling the income into bigger events with bigger prize pools, this in turn gets more people interested in both the game itself and its competitive side, helping out all parties involved.

    One of the current gripes of most teams is the lack of class variety, with most teams running 2+ reavers and 2+ hunters, and usually a stack of 3 or 4. As a spectator this is downright boring to watch and it brings the game into a bad light, where people start wondering if the game is unbalanced because despite of all the choices available, the best players are sticking to a selected few.

    I also think that a it would help casters provide entertaining analysis of the game at hand if there are distinct variations in classes played, for example worst case scenario you’d have 4 hunters against 4 reavers. As a caster you would have pretty much 3 things to say during an engagement:
    The reavers are kicking & clawing the hunters!
    The hunters are shooting & using bolas!
    The ____ won the fight!
    I know this is over exaggerating things by quite a margin but I hope my view comes across and you see my concerns.

    So to counter, what we are proposing is as follows.
    And please read the entire proposal before contributing to this post, so that the feedback given is as accurate as possible.

    We are suggesting “global perks” that only apply to classes other than themselves, so for example if a tyrant is picked into a team composition he will improve the max health of all his teammates that are NOT tyrants themselves. More specifically if he has a reaver accompanying him this reaver would get a max health of 1050 instead of 1000, while the tyrant himself would still remain at his base 1350 health and so will any other tyrant next to him.
    They also don’t stack with each other so running 2 tyrants would for example not give the remaining 2 team members 10% extra health, they only receive the bonus from 1 tyrant, meaning: 5% extra health.

    We present a list of “global perks” that make sense and seem reasonable for the different classes in Nosgoth below (obviously, numbers can be tweaked):

    Hunter -- Recoil Reduction (10%)

    Scout -- Spread Reduction (10%)

    Prophet -- Cooldown Reduction (5%)

    Alchemist -- More Ammo (5% clip, 10% max)

    Vanguard -- Max Health (5%)

    Tyrant -- Max Health (5%)

    Reaver -- Attack Speed (5%)

    Deceiver -- Attack/Movement Speed Upon killing (5%)

    Sentinel -- Improved Regen Speed (10%)

    Summoner -- Cooldown Reduction (5%)

    Keep in mind that the normal perks that each player picks individually are still there and this whole idea can be considered a straight up bonus/buff for all the classes in the game but at the end of the day I think it’s a good change, it gives incentive to pick many different classes instead of stacking as many of the most all-round and powerful classes as you possibly can. It also opens up new ways of tweaking numbers for the developers incase some classes feel a bit more powerful than others.

    This encourages (but does not enforce) rainbow comps, and also adds a small layer of strategy to picking team compositions, knowing there will be advantages and disadvantages to weigh up when picking the composition.

    This can also be applied to public lobbies as it does not restrict people’s class choices, it does however help address the issue of class stacking. Feel free to post your thoughts/idea's and iterations to this, hopefully we can get other top teams to post and agree, this is something that could add to the games skill cap/strategy and overall enjoyment!

  2. #2
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    Very interesting idea, I quite like it!

  3. #3
    I also like this idea, first real solution ive read, maybe introduce new perk types for this
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  4. #4
    I like this idea quite a lot. The only problem I have with it would be the "power" that these perks provide. They should ALL match the same as a single positive stat on a mysterious weapon. So 5% spread, 8% recoil, 2% Attack Speed. The only one of these I'd consider putting over the top would be the attack speed simply because vampires could use some love. Speaking of which, maybe replacing the regen speed on Sentinel with 8% damage below 33% would be better to help vampires get the love they need, too.

    That all being said, I think in ESL there should be hard class limits regardless. These extra perks aren't going to discourage class stacking in its entirety, and for the sake of competitive play class stacking beyond 2 of the same classes should be prohibited in my opinion. I posted a poll with a large margin of support for this on the ESL forums. We can only hope the ESL admins do their jobs and get that moving, along with Double Elimination. It feels like it takes ages for the ESL admins to get anything done.

  5. #5
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    You Got My Vote!

  6. #6
    It's a neat idea but it would work extremely poorly in practice. From the perspective of public games this would introduce significant toxicity. I can guarantee players would frequently end up fighting over sole access to their preferred class and (threaten to) rage quit should they not get it. An additional downside is that premades would have an even greater edge than they do now, being able to quickly select unique classes (while also ensuring each player has a class they are effective with).

    There are two massive problems that need to be addressed to stop class stacking. The first, and most obvious, is poor balance. Prophet stacks were wide spread when Prophets were overpowered, and they quickly disappeared after the nerf. The definite outlier right now is the Hunter, which could be significantly alleviated by toning down his weaponry.

    The second problem is the existence of generalist classes when most classes have a clear counter. If a Human does too well with the Alchemist a Vampire can switch to Sentinel; if the Sentinel causes too much problems the Alchemist can switch to Scout, which in turn may cause the Vampire to go Deceiver. Or the players could avoid the entire dance by just starting as Hunter and Reaver, who have a reasonable chance against every class.

    Finally, some minor issues are the dominance of Humans at high skill levels and the lack of good Vampire initiation abilities. Both have been somewhat addressed lately, but are still issues. The Reaver is prized because he can help create an entrance with his smoke and Shadowstep out of combat if things go badly.
    Last edited by HoopleDoople; 20th May 2015 at 16:53.

  7. #7
    How about making the perks stack logistically? So with everyone picking the same class the bonus increase is lowered.

    In example numbers:
    1 Hunter = 10%
    2 Hunters = 14%
    3 Hunters = 16%
    4 Hunters = 17.5%

    Someone picking the same class wouldnt render his choice useless, but still less effective concerning the other possible boni that could have come with taking another class. Means less fighting over who-picks-which-class but still embraces the core idea.

    Max Values and the steps in between could be changed accordingly.

  8. #8
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    I'd like to offer an alternative setup to your idea. Instead of directly buffing based on what your team chooses to play, you and your team are buffed based on what the enemy team plays.

    Let's explain this as conditioning based on overwhelming exposure.

    Examples
    The vampire team wishes to play all Sentinel then fine, for every extra Sentinel (not counting if it is just 1 Sentinel) the human team is buffed with reduced suseptability to fall damage.

    The human team wishes to run all Alchemists then fine, for every extra Alchemist (again, not counting if it is just 1 Alchemist) the vampire team gets buffed with reduced ability cooldown.

    Its indirectly promoting class diversity by punishing uniformity through buffing the enemy as a consequence.

  9. #9
    An interesting idea. Gen's version may even encourage challenge. Teams deliberately stack to see if they can handle a buffed enemy force, that sort of thing. Anyway, some ideas (lore tooltips followed by effects denoted in parenthesis).

    Working off the original idea (team-based buffs):

    Tyrant: The presence of the mighty Turelim boosts fighter morale. (Max Health increased.)
    Reaver: The strategists of the Dumahim clan turn the tides of battle. (Speed increased.)
    Sentinel: Life in a vault has taught the Razielim to conserve and ration energy. (Ability cooldown reduced.)
    Deceiver: The Zephonim train their allies in the art of stealth. (Sound levels reduced.)
    Summoner: The Melchahim utilize spectral energies to empower Kain's army. (Regen speed increased.)

    Hunter: The Ironguard forge bolts as strong as their resolve. (Damage increased.)
    Scout: The Watchers train their eyes to pinpoint a target from the highest mountain. (Recoil reduced.)
    Alchemist: The Red Sisters use alchemical potions to stave off fatigue. (Ability cooldown reduced.)
    Prophet: The Lost Seers have perfected malicious curses to ward off the undead. (Stopping power increased.)
    Vanguard: The Vanguard lead the frontlines against the vampire menace. (Max Health increased.)

    ----

    Working off Gen's idea (enemy-based buffs):

    Tyrant: The humans strengthen their resolve in the face of shock troops. (Human health increased.)
    Reaver: The swift tactics of the Dumahim clan are matched at every turn. (Human speed increased.)
    Sentinel: The enemy has trained their aim well in preparation for aerial assaults. (Human recoil reduced.)
    Deceiver: Powerful units are deployed to tear apart the frail Zephonim. (Human stopping power increased.)
    Summoner: The failing bodies of the Melchahim give hope to the enemy armies. (Human damage increased.)

    Hunter: The Ironguard are met by strict militants on the battlefield. (Vampire health increased.)
    Scout: The vampires' inhuman quickness avoids the Watchers' careful eyes. (Vampire speed increased.)
    Alchemist: The Red Sisters' alchemical techniques are plundered by the enemy. (Vamp regen time reduced.)
    Prophet: The vampires prioritize the elimination of these cursed blood users. (Vamp cooldown reduced.)
    Vanguard: The Vanguard shields are no match for vampiric brutality. (Vampire damage increased.)

  10. #10
    Class stacking is bad for the meta sure, but it isn't the real problem, its a symptom. The problem with class stacking is and always has been due to two specific design choices:

    • Hit-scan on human weapons. Hunter stacking has always been an issue, and both Scout and Prophet stacking were an issue at some time or another. The prevalence and strength of hit-scan has dictated how the meta of each faction plays out, at times rendering certain classes near obsolete. Alchemist stacks have never been a thing, and Vanguard stacks were only prevalent at release mainly due to bugs that made them OP. Vampires stacks on the other hand have only existed to counter the human stacks.
    • A focus on TDM (Flashpoint has issues, and CTB is still in production). Only having TDM for competitive play means damage and accuracy are the most important aspects when choosing classes for competitive play. Since securing kills is how you win the match, support roles are less valuable than they should be for a "team based" game. An argument could be made for using support roles to deny kills, which is also important, but unfortunately the best way to deny a kill is to kill the opponent that is attacking your teammate.


    Also, while I would be inclined to believe that this could have a positive impact on high level competitive play; I strongly believe that this would definitely have a negative impact on PUB play (mainly in parties vs randoms), as stated by HoopleDoople. Look at it this way:

    • One side, the organized party, already has the advantage of communication; on top of that this system would allow for them to enhance their advantage by complementing each others class and buff each other.
    • Now the other side, the randoms, could theoretically help each other out by picking complementary classes, but most likely wouldn't. In my experience, most people who play solo are more concerned with leveling classes or Mysterious items than playing to win the match.

  11. #11
    Oh I love this idea, sadly, everyone else is too busy picking it apart when they honestly have no idea how it would actually effect gameplay. it is a TEAM game, so teams changing their comps to utilize the buffs to the maximum will be a thing, even in PUGs.

  12. #12
    I won't pretend to have given it too much thought or read it too carefully. But I feel like if a team composition that involved stacking 3 of one class was good then 5-10% stat perks are not going to change the players' minds.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Ghosthree3
    I won't pretend to have given it too much thought or read it too carefully. But I feel like if a team composition that involved stacking 3 of one class was good then 5-10% stat perks are not going to change the players' minds.
    Precisely. This is why I believe there needs to be a HARD class limit in ESL [as is the consensus], and maybe ranked play. This idea however is pretty cool, and adds an extra element to the game that helps promote diversity, as well. I see no reason why this shouldn't be implemented, as overall it would make the game much more enjoyable.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Ghosthree3
    I won't pretend to have given it too much thought or read it too carefully. But I feel like if a team composition that involved stacking 3 of one class was good then 5-10% stat perks are not going to change the players' minds.
    At top level play, you take any advantage you can get, it can make all the difference, if stacking hunters is still viable, nerf the hunter or buff the other perks, keep going at it slowly until more balanced compositions come forth.

    in regards to public play and it being unfair vs premade... well its its premade vs pub, the game is already won. (assuming the premade has some skill) so it wont actually affect pub vs pub or premade vs premade.

    @hoople, you are right, generalist classes are bad, but this option helps to produce specialist classes..... so it actually takes your premise and works to resolve the concluded effect!

    People will rage anyway, they are going to * and moan at one another to pick other classes to what they are playing already, it already happens.

  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by SilentVirtue
    People will rage anyway, they are going to * and moan at one another to pick other classes to what they are playing already, it already happens.
    I can attest to that, can't tell you how many times someone blamed the team for a bad round because they didn't play the "proper" classes.

  16. #16
    I still don't remember the devs agreeing that there was a rock paper scissors setup where each class completely owned another. I thought the intention was that any class could stand up against any other if played well. As long as the latter is the case, then players should be able to play whatever class they want without being raged at by their teammates.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  17. #17
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    I don't believe rock, paper, scissors is what is intended; but there is no denying that some classes can counters certain opposition better than others. Hunter and Reaver seem best suited to handle everything; but I don't think I'm alone here in saying that I shine best in classes other than those two, Scout is my best (9/10 I can easily hit 20,000 damage dealt) and I feel equally proficient in all current vampire classes. That said, I do get slightly intimidated when facing stacked Hunters (same with Reavers before they were nerfed). Any vampire seems proficient enough to take down a Vanguard (I suspect this will change once he gets an offensive secondary ability, which will allow him to 1, 2 his way out of facing multiple vampires at once like you can with the other human classes); but by and far the Sentinel is his greatest threat, as well as the greatest threat for the Alchemist.

  18. #18
    Yep I like this idea. Can't think of any reasons not to do this - the bonuses likely wouldn't be enough to sway a public match so there'd be no real compulsion for random players to follow it, it wouldn't be a negative thing for everyday players.

    There'd be no real incentive to pick 'weaker' bonuses though. Why waste a slot on Sentinel (which I think is less picked overall in ESL matches as it is?) for regen speed, when you could have two Reavers using smoke bombs.
    Last edited by Jallford; 20th May 2015 at 20:25.
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  19. #19
    Originally Posted by GenFeelGood
    I don't believe rock, paper, scissors is what is intended; but there is no denying that some classes can counters certain opposition better than others. Hunter and Reaver seem best suited to handle everything; but I don't think I'm alone here in saying that I shine best in classes other than those two, Scout is my best (9/10 I can easily hit 20,000 damage dealt) and I feel equally proficient in all current vampire classes. That said, I do get slightly intimidated when facing stacked Hunters (same with Reavers before they were nerfed). Any vampire seems proficient enough to take down a Vanguard (I suspect this will change once he gets an offensive secondary ability, which will allow him to 1, 2 his way out of facing multiple vampires at once like you can with the other human classes); but by and far the Sentinel is his greatest threat, as well as the greatest threat for the Alchemist.
    I think it should work more like if I wanted to play as a sentinel and there was a scout or two on the other team, that rather than being forced to play as a different class, I could give him a loadout that makes him a bit less vulnerable to scouts and more vulnerable to some other class. That means even if the enemy team stack all the same class, you still have a few options within the class of your choosing.

    IMO, dealing with stacked classes is just one of the skills you should have to learn, but ***only if the game provides viable ways to do that without forcing you to play as a specific counter class***.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  20. #20
    I am 100% on board with this thread!! Silent, and the guys at Dead Sun brought a solid idea in. I will continue to watch this thread and see where it goes. I'll probably add some of my own feedback later when I can read everyone else's comments.

  21. #21
    then you see alch, hunter, prophet, scout vs. reaver, tyrant, sent, deceiver/summoner every game. class-stacking isnt even a problem in competitive.

  22. #22
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    Would we want this to extend into New Recruit? I only ask because variety in a team isn't really an option at least until level 15, unless you buy the unlock bundle.

  23. #23
    Obviously not... I really don't like the idea of class limitations at all but putting restrictions on new players is one of the fastest ways to make them hate the game. They should feel like they can check out whatever they want to.

  24. #24
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    I hate this idea. I didn't even want to read all of it since I think the problem of stack classing shouldn't be solved this way.
    Class stacking means 2 things:

    1) The class is just stronger then the others and should be nerved.
    2) The class is the strongest against the enemies line up.

    There shouldn't be a restriction to class stacking because that would just break the meta. Every class has his weakness (or should have), if it gets stacked you can easily countre it.

  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by Zurtonn
    I hate this idea. I didn't even want to read all of it since I think the problem of stack classing shouldn't be solved this way.
    Class stacking means 2 things:

    1) The class is just stronger then the others and should be nerved.
    2) The class is the strongest against the enemies line up.

    There shouldn't be a restriction to class stacking because that would just break the meta. Every class has his weakness (or should have), if it gets stacked you can easily countre it.
    This isn't restricting stacking, it's rewarding diversity with buffs. Teams can still stack the same class with this set up, they just won't get the buffs.

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