Automated Combat Assistance

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Kith, Apr 29, 2013.


At what point should ACA be disabled?

  1. 500 EXP, both Rifle and Medic get autocast help

  2. 1000 EXP, both Rifle and Medic get autocast help

  3. 500 EXP, only Rifle gets autocast help

  4. 1000 EXP, only Rifle gets autocast help

  5. I don't think ACA should be implemented (explain why or get destroyed)

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Something that came from this thread gets its very own thread because it's not possible to tack a poll on to an existing thread.

    The basic concept is putting Focus Fire and potentially Surgical Laser as well on Autocast for players under 500 EXP or potentially 1000 EXP. This is to aid newbies to integrate with the game so that they can better learn kiting and also to help newbies be more palatable to the veterans. It may also include "kite help" to prevent facetanking death (would be disabled on the Assault for obvious reasons).

    ACA has a history in NOTD, and was implemented in Aftermath (I'm unsure if it was in NOTD or NOTD 2, as I didn't play them). Private and Private First Class ranks had ACA enabled by default, and it forced characters to run away when attacked and sometimes autocast Shotguns (which were line damage nukes and not actual equippable weapons).

    ACA has enormous potential to aid in NOTD's popularity by making it easier to learn and easier for the hardass veterans to accept new players. I'm sure we all know multiple people that get angry at brand new players who don't know what's going on despite the fact that they're new.
  2. Ginger Gerald

    Ginger Gerald Well-Known Member

    Medic should receive no autocast anything in my mind, rifle however I could care less about (for some reason I see more new guys picking assault than rifleman anyway).

    Cripple doesn't show up incredibly often in pubs, and most new medics I see use SL on pretty much anybody who need healed. If a person has OW, the medic usually either heals them with SL and it goes away, or they don't notice it and the person either asks for the medic to use SL, or someone else tells them to use it.

    Someone mentioned in the other thread that vets often yelled at newbs to "do their damn jobs", and actually have only seen that maybe 5 times, max. And usually it was aimed at a recon who wasn't LDing or throwing down his SS. I did see one vet yell at a 0 XP to do his damn job after telling him to "SL" him twice. A problem that could have easily been averted by saying "Surgical Laser (SL) me", which is what I do when playing with new people, tell them their ability name and the abbreviated version.

    Edit: In most cases I see, the problem with newb/vet hate, lies with primarily with the vets, and them forgetting that they once too were a newb.
  3. Scorpione

    Scorpione Well-Known Member

    Not sure why you'd make a medic's job easier. When its their main purpose to heal xd.
  4. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Because they're learning.
  5. Ginger Gerald

    Ginger Gerald Well-Known Member

    Now wait. How is having the game do their work for them by autocasting an ability and curing an ailment better than them being informed of someone having the ailment, possibly mentioning the effects of it, and then curing it, or learning about it on their own?
  6. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Better than a battery of verbal abuse without any explanation, resulting in them rage quitting IMO.

    Have it such that in SL, it'll inform the Medic every time it is used to cure cripple / OW, probably for up to 3 times in a game. Once the player has passed whatever benchmark we set for the autocasts, the game informs the player.

    Really, I think AV would need this more than SL, as it isn't as obvious, due to it being in the secondary menu.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Thermidor

    Thermidor Well-Known Member

    Now that's something I'd prefer to see, especially because most, if not all games the newbie plays with this auto-cast will be in Recruit Mode so there won't be scenarios with mass venom stacks (like a trollworm) that will auto-rob the Medic of his/her energy (with the exception of killing Eos, but that doesn't count because it is at the end of the campaign).
  8. Yuey
    • Warden

    Yuey Warden

    Voted for Rofl only. I would say Medics need the assist more for Antivenom as well as a LARGE NEON SIGN when it does do the av, pointing out exactly where anti-venom is and what it does.
  9. Miracle
    • Development Team
    • Community Leader

    Miracle NOTD Staff: Assistant of many things

    Auto focus fire is quite a useful feature, but a few questions baffle me:
    1. Can people above the experience threshold (be it 500 or 1000) still choose to benefit from automated focus fire by turning on auto cast? If not, will you need two types of focus fire (one with auto cast, the other one manual like what we have now) implemented and NOTD gives focus fire to Rifleman depending on whether they are eligible for ACA or not?
    2. How well should surgical laser (and possibly anti venom) be automated? For example: only auto cast if nearby marines has ailments? Or, auto cast as soon as someone nearby (including Medic herself) has less than 100% health?
    3. Again for Medic, will there be priorities (auto cast on whoever has more ailments) or random target that has ailments?

    Speaking of ACA for Medic though, what about instead of worrying about auto casting ailment removal skills, make the game highlight marines in visible range if they have ailments, like if a Rifleman nearby got hit and has venom, he/she becomes dark green (until venom is gone) to all the Medics with ACA enabled? Or a less effective way, have everyone with ailments highlighted with that glowing red box? I also love to see the return of help messages (like press X + V to use anti venom on a friend with venom) that show up periodically for everyone with ACA that they can disable using "-help off".

    As for the experience threshold, I'd say it's better to remove ACA at 500 experience to keep it uniform with pet unlock on death, since it coincides with promotion to corporal also.
  10. HipHopDragon
    • Warden

    HipHopDragon Warden

    I dont think focus fire is even close to being important enough to warrant this. I doubt there was any pub game won/lost because a newbie spammed FF or not. There are a lot of other possibilitys that would actually help new players to get into the game (Which i wont list to not derail this thread) and get the know how instead trying to automate the game.

    For medic this is a different question but is still dont think automating the game is a step in the right direction.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Ginger Gerald

    Ginger Gerald Well-Known Member

    I would say the battery of verbal abuse is 70-100% the fault of the vets, who has I mentioned previously have forgotten that they were once a newb too. I've also never seen someone quit from "verbal abuse", but then again, that might be because in the pubs I play I tend not to be a complete asshole.

    I am however for the game tellin the medic that a person has an ailment and how to fix it if their XP is low enough... AV could really use it, since it is in the secondary menu, and for some reason "pressing X then V then clicking the person" appears to be a fairly hard concept to some players.

    Still, from the experiences I've gathered, it seems like the verbal abuse and hatred seems to come more from the vets than the new guys. I did have one guy who gave me some trouble, but to be fair, we got off on the wrong foot and it was my fault. We eventually got on the right foot, but thats not the point.

    An autocasting system for medics so they'll "do their damn job" sounds like more or less an illogical attempt at fixing the hate between vets and newbs. Not the right kind of fix, because its basically saying "We'll make the system do their jobs for them (the job they are most likely incredibly new to) so the asshole vets will be less inclined to be assholes."
    It draws a line similar to the way uniforms work in schools. Kids wear uniforms so the differences between wealth and social status are less apparent, thereby giving the assholes less ammunition. However, people who are assholes will find ways to be assholes until there are no more possible methods, and then, they'll use old shit even if it doesn't make sense.
  12. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Because they still have to learn about kiting, swapping weapons, focus firing, staying with the team, distributing items, calling Infestors, completing objectives, and staying alive in general.

    It's better because there's less of an information overload. It's better because it gives them a chance. It's better because we're more likely to get new players this way, and more new players means that NOTD is less likely to die.

    Part of why I'm restructuring the Medic.

    No. And no, we will not need to make two types of Focus Fire or two types of Riflemen. Validators/Behaviors are magic.

    Autocast when nearby players have ailments.

    It is entirely possible to make priorities based on stack count and/or health amount to prevent player death.

    It could be disabled by typing -ACA (same way it was in Aftermath) or we could just tie ACA behavior to the autocast routines and therefore make it so the player does not need to type anything, only disable the autocast.

    As for the experience threshold, I'd say it's better to remove ACA at 500 experience to keep it uniform with pet unlock on death, since it coincides with promotion to corporal also.[/quote]

    That's what I think as well.

    Sure it is. It improves ammo conservation and boosts DPS by considerable levels. Additional DPS serves to keep the player alive, which means a higher retention rate of players for endgame, which means more DPS to bear on the boss.

    NOTD has much that it forces our players to learn in a very short timeframe. ACA would lessen that load considerably, and I cannot imagine a reason to not want ACA other than contempt for new players.

    I'd say that vets only contribute about 50%. The other half consists of new players that don't like losing, so they blame the game and their teammates. I've often seen a 100 exp Rifleman (or some other similar player/character setup) die and claim the Medic is all sorts of interesting four letter words because "they weren't doing their job". Much of the verbal abuse stems from people who don't understand the game and think that having a Medic will save them automatically.

    There's no fixing some people, but if they're bound and determined to be an asshole, at least this way they'll have less to justify it with and therefore it will be easier for the new players to blow off. Just because something would not fix a problem entirely doesn't mean that it shouldn't be pursued to attempt to fix the problem partially.

    Claiming that no effort should be made because it wouldn't fix the whole problem is incredibly short-sighted. Even if it only impacted 1% of the players, we should still consider it because the result is a friendlier and more welcoming environment leading to more new players. As much as I love NOTD, it has a playerbase that is comparable in temperament to that of League of Legends.

    But I digress. As I've mentioned several times, this is not solely to prevent verbal abuse. This is to aid learning, so that new players have a better chance of surviving the trials of the game.
  13. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Focus Fire is not a core gameplay mechanic that makes or breaks games. ACA is not needed for it imo.

    For ACA on Medic (e.g. AV), it will make sense as a learning tool if it first warns Medics 3x (every 15 sec interval) if there's someone with Venom in team. If that doesn't happen, the game tells team that ACA is enabled for Medic X. Then, the autocast for AV takes over. That way, it's clear to new players that action needs to be taken, and that ACA isn't an automatic thing (it's a measure of last response). It also allows the Vets in the game to coach the new player and inform them whether it's the player or ACA that's casting AV.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ginger Gerald

    Ginger Gerald Well-Known Member

    I'd argue that they have a chance, albiet a small one, but a chance nonetheless. In most cases I see, the death of a newb results in their inability to follow simple instructions such as "move up the ramp that I pinged about 30 times", or not moving away from a boss after being told the boss's "range" and telling them to not get hit and move away. Actually, those, along with complete lack of XQ use, and having 50+ mags equipped and being so slow that they get murdered.

    NOTD will die, at some point in time, it will die. It's been dying for a while, I came back from a 2 year hiatus to find what was essentially a graveyard.

    In my experience, it's usually vets that instigate. The people who think that just because they have a Medic that they can do stupid things they don't have the skill to properly perform and will live in the end, deserve their death. The game is primarily about survival, it's listed as a survival game, survival is one of things that often requires you to take as little damage as possible, aka not getting hit.

    I would argue that's dependent on the problem.

    In a way, you may or may not realize, by implementing a system that is partially designed to prevent verbal abuse from intolerant assholes, you're enabling them. You are in some ways saying "Continue to be an asshole, we'll fix the things that 'make' you an asshole". It's incredibly similar to the video game industry, where a relatively small group of people (or a large group of stupid people) have much more power than they should because companies are catering to them, more or less in an attempt to get them to shut the fuck up. But by doing so, they're saying "We'll fix whatever you don't like, even if you're wrong, if you keep going on and on about it."

    I feel it's a solution not worth the effort because it affect such a small amount of people. I can't really remember the last time NOTD was described in any way "friendly and welcoming" to new players, and to be frank it never really needed to be, because people who played, played for a long time and were fairly loyal players. Now that so many people are gone, I can see it as an issue, but still. Has NOTD not been a "niche" game for a very long time? The kind where you either like it, or don't?

    I feel medic autocasting is unnecessary, it's not an incredibly hard class to learn in my mind. Unless you add some sort of explanation about the ailments with the autocast, or a way to make their effects more noticeable, it's not worth it in my mind. But that's not a decision my decision to make, and I've already stated my reasoning, and made my vote.
  15. Ramses II
    • Donator

    Ramses II Help, I can't change my title!

    I don't think sl and av should be autocast. I think instead, whenever anyone gets an ailment, they get a white circle around them (similar to Erebos's heal thing, visible only to the newbie medic) and a Tip shows up at the top saying "the indicated player has X ailment. Cure this ailment with X ability."

    Autocast focus fire should be de-activatable and should cost 1 more energy per cast.

    Both should last only until 500 xp or 10 games with the class, whichever comes first. (If you're interested in starting to track how many times a player has used medic/rifle)
  16. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Or we could forego tracking games because there's a pretty good chance that a game will fail early and the player will learn nothing.

    Autocast should not cost additional energy. We're trying to teach them and give them a break, not penalize them.
  17. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    How do you figure? It's DPS and ammo conservation, two of the four most basic principles NOTD is founded on: Teamwork, Inventory management, DPS, and Kiting. It also teaches newbies that Focus Fire is something they should use often.

    I'm not against the Medic's version of ACA helping pinpoint what allies need what help. The autocasting of SL and AV were, for the most part, examples. The point of it is to help them learn, just like it did in Aftermath.

    You are fighting against giving them a bigger chance.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't do a better job.

    And I would argue that if it's broke, we should attempt to fix it. Have a proverb.

    A lack of effort because it won't solve the whole problem is a really shitty excuse.

    You have successfully missed the point entirely. I am not attempting to cater to callous players. I am attempting to ease the strain on new players. I am attempting to make the learning curve less sharp. I am attempting to make NOTD more inviting so that it may grow, and so the lessons we learn here may be carried on to the sequel.

    Yes, because that attitude has allowed NOTD to blossom.

    ... Yes. That's the definition of a niche. All games fit a niche. NOTD is no different. People who frequent these niches tend to do so based on the quality of the experiences that they get. A good experience or an informative experience on the first time is more likely to make them want to come back.

    An "ailment marker" may be the better solution, I'll admit. The Medic autocast concept was just kind of thrown out there because, I'll be honest, I'm too busy pouring everything into the Rating Rework to put my full attention on something that was a byproduct of another idea.
  18. Shooz
    • Donator

    Shooz NOTD Staff: Killjoy

    I think this idea is good but only necessary for the first 100 exp and for medic.
  19. MissHumpz
    • Event Coordinator
    • Community Leader

    MissHumpz NOTD Staff: Event Coordinator & Amazing Amazer

    And what if they haven't had a chance to play medic yet during their first 100 exp?
    • I'll drink to that! I'll drink to that! x 1
  20. Miracle
    • Development Team
    • Community Leader

    Miracle NOTD Staff: Assistant of many things

    The problem is unless you have an experienced player mentoring you, first timers are unlikely to get all the Medic basics right in as little as two games (the unlikely 'two wins in a row' scenario). I still remember how thrilling it was to get my first Medic win after 15-20 games. If it really must be done, go with 500 exp, they have at least 7-8 games to decide if using Medic was a good idea for them.

    What Ability said gave me a new idea though, what about including a 'How to use Medic' section in the boot camp map and on the NOTD loading screen, have a message suggesting new players to try it out? So... Same class selection panel with just Rifleman and Medic, and Rifleman highlighted for new players because he's more useful for learning about generic skills.

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