Skill vs Luck

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Ability, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    How do we balance it?

    If things are too straightforward, while it's pure skill, its also too predictable. In ladder games, your enemy can do anything to you within a large set of variables and catch you off guard if the skill disparity is high. Even then, some people feel ladder can be rock-paper-scissors and there is a little luck involved.

    Any ideas on how to make the balance it becomes more like Chess where you should be able to anticipate the moves coming from the game if you are really intelligent, but the variety of possible options is still a lot. Basically, if the game throws something 'random' at you, I want players to feel 'oh yea, that really could have happened if we thought/planned about it' rather than 'where did that come from?'.
  2. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Scenario A:
    50 Slashers spawn within 15 radius of the players, randomly distributed when area is entered

    Scenario B:
    50 Slashers spawn at point X when area is entered

    Scenario C:
    50 Slashers spawn at one of 10 points when area is entered, minimum 5 distance from players

    Scenario D:
    50 Slashers spawn at up to 3 of 10 points when area is entered, minimum 5 distance from players

    I like scenarioes C and D.
    It is a bit like how Menoetes and Queen spawn or Nydus mission during EC. You know roughly where they can come from, but it is randomized and won't kill you because per chance it happens to be on top of you. So you can take certain risks (camp Hill, Fort, Airlock) and get screwed because they spawn close per chance, but still not on top of you so you can relocate or plan contingencies - or you get lucky and things go as planned.

    On the other hand, Lelantos in EC is a random spawn and sometimes spawns in a corner and appears together with Muta/Slasher wave while other times spawns right on top of players as the counter appears.

    Generally I feel it is a good thing to have things spawn in the fog of war and not be visible to players as opposed to events happening within full sight of players. I.e. parasite nydi popping up randomly across the map when chance is met and players moving about won't get auto-screwed because they were shooting something else, but it will still be a bit of a surprise and catch loners off guard.

    Also, the spore drops are very random and have no real reaction time. Brainbug or Broodmother spawns randomly across the entire screen and sometimes more than 1 and they attack immediately as opposed to kind of popping out of an egg or so. Actually....make spores drop eggs if something is to pop out of it.
  3. Peerawatz
    • Development Team

    Peerawatz NOTD Staff: Sound Mixer and NOTD Troll Chieftain

    Anything that has a potential to screw you up right when it appears is generally considered luck, aka if it cannot be avoided AT ALL by skills (Do not confuse this issue with PAY ATTENTION - It takes skill to avoid hits/killing bosses, it takes paying attention to avoid erebos bombs/menos nydus etc.)

    At the very least, the best option is to make sure that whatever is coming, it first needs to follow these basic rules

    1.Does not spawn or appear directly under someone's feet - Even if it doesn't kill, a stupid random gargoyle or ghoul can potentoally ruins your perfect 0 hits (or make your hits count higher annoyingly)

    2.Does not require a specific item,weapon or class in order to "effectively" destroy/achieve, some of this stupid scenarios is like Lasers from HAL during NM that you prolly going to have difficult time marathoning entire map if you don't have or lost Inceptious PO) - but this doesn't mean that it can be done cupcakes with anything

    A good example is like say

    A boss that has super super super high armor and damage that requires stinger or laser or whatever stuffs to kill , and these stuffs (the weaps) do not always spawn or has stupid spawn location), and would take 30,000 years to kill without them, is considered bad and takes luck to find 'em.

    Bah enough qqing, but it seems to me the best solution is to just make sure that no types of spawns will appear right where player is, and that the mission success possibility is not limited to requiring certain stuffs, that should be suffice.
  4. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Basically what Ghost is getting at. Anytime something spawns right on top of me (Excluding Mentos Nydii Bombs), it feels like luck. And I get annoyed because there is little I can do to avoid getting hit, beyond very narrow solutions like... Godfield Pet in play, or Survival Rifleman that Sonic Trapped everything (Presuming it's bounceable). Between some inherent lag in the map on some situations, lack of super Korean reflexes, and possibly the results of being on the lower end of the graphics settings (Which I think you'll find is by FAR the most common) and possibly it not giving the same visual cues (The only one I know of in particular is supposedly Ghoul spawns appear from corpses which don't appear on the settings I run).

    There are exceptions to the Spawn Rule listed above. This comes mostly from mission specific scenarios. For example no one really complains about the bulletproof zombies during the Delta Transport rescue in Easy Company. It's fairly predictable. People can prepare for it. Same applies for scenarios like the rescue truck during the Queen, or some of the Agron Placement during the Comms Tower.

    Outside of mission specific elements however it becomes either merely a "Huh... that was close!" moment (See: Nydus Worm pop up while running to objectives), or a instant game over, for example having a Devourer appear right under your feet while triggering the Reactor in Apollo Security Team.

    And generally you feel kinda shitty about a good run being ruined by a random troll spawn. Expected perhaps. But the problem is you feel MUCH more shitty about losing to a random spawn of that ilk than you feel good about managing to outmicro a troll spawn like that.
  5. Zuriel

    Zuriel Well-Known Member

    Have more random events trigger. However, after a while, players will adapt to the cue that the random event uses.

    For example, in left4dead, the music of the game tells players whether the game is throwing zombbies at them or whether its a lull.

    Players know they are expecting zombies, but don't know from where, how many, and how far they are. Those can be the variables that you should look at.
  6. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Unburrowing Agrons at Newbie Muta Hold out in Easy Co.

    Ruins your day, makes you lose Silver from Infested Rines, and does a bit of ravaging to your team.

    Its fine as long as they spawn a bit away from people. I've seen slashers unburrow next to / In the Rock's Fog of War Next to you, shouldn't ever have to happen. (None Recently)

    Newbie Mode games just get destroyed because of the Two Agrons at airlock entrance being unpredictable in their unburrowing. I would prefer it if it would unburrow when a certain amount of players enter the area. You have good luck when they go off before Tart, terrible luck when they go off during tart, and bad luck after tart when people breath a sigh of relief.

    Make a minimum unburrow distance from players, the worst thing that can happen is stuff comes from right underneath you to ruin your day while you try to shred hordes of infested marines.
  7. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    I have noticed that you've removed enemies on screen when cutscenes begin. This is good. There has been many a time I've been playing one of my beloved squishies and BOTH Agrons unburrow on either side of me just as the tartarus scene begins. =\
  8. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    To summarize some things we can agree on:
    - Ideally, spawns shouldn't be right on top/practically next to players. Exceptions would be pre-planned or scripted mechanics that players can anticipate (e.g. Security Cams mission or Menoetos worms)
    - Fights/sequences shouldn't be dependent on random item drops
    - We should give players proper ques and reaction time that is appropriate to the level of difficulty. That means, a NM game would expect faster times vs a pub game, but also not zero/instant.

    On the HAL laser example, I feel that this is something that is more skill based because the lasers follow a small set of possible trajectory and players in an organized team can manipulate it. Teams don't need a specific class to win the scripted sequence. Psi Ops inception does help it significantly though, and maybe it's more of a flaw of the talent itself (e.g. back when Perses' shield bubbles were still shrinking at regular rate at Inception). One method we can address this is to reduce the rate of Hex progress somewhat in-line with the motion slow.
  9. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Moving this thread to NOTD Discussion.
  10. poor_newb

    poor_newb Member

    Any randomness is fine as long as you stop spawning bane trains or slashers or titans right on top of the team and instant kill somebody in 0 seconds, and yes this happened too many times than I can count.

    The game is fair as long as you have more than 0 seconds to react to any situation. Even spawning stuff on top of the players is fine as long as there is time to react.
  11. Pyromaniac

    Pyromaniac Well-Known Member

    I dont want a slasher or devourer to spawn ON me ever. Agrons spawning ON me should be limited to comms, where having agrons spawn on you is part of the fun/difficulty
  12. EliteShadow

    EliteShadow New Member

    Not sure if this was intentional, but I feel like it belongs here. It was a pub that was doing perfectly and we went to the comms tower just to have the usual 3 agrons followed by 17 spawn right on top of us. Only the pathfinder survived
  13. CHENZ

    CHENZ New Member

    so there were... 20... agrons?
  14. Emperor

    Emperor New Member

    IMO if anything spawns on players it should come from air drops. That way people have appropriate time to react.

    More over people just lul at air drops unless it's Ere anyway.
  15. Archangel

    Archangel Well-Known Member

    i don't believe in luck, i believe in proper training to the situation.
  16. Annihilate

    Annihilate New Member

    I believe that ever since Seth can drop HMG or the Stinger, the HMG will always prevail.
    Then you would have to get lucky to find a stinger on the map, and if you still can't get one, it's even more unlucky for the person that has to pay for one.
  17. Yuey
    • Warden

    Yuey Warden

    Seth likes to keep the real goodies hidden in the mineshaft rather than bring it out and dropping it for the nice marines killing him.

    We should have a mini-game mission open up when Seth drops the HMG instead of the stinger: a third person view vomit cam mission where you have to locate the stinger before the millions of parasites inside the mineshaft chew you alive. That would make it more skill than luck. ^_^
  18. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I'm sure TTD Demo would have a field day there.
  19. TheSilenced

    TheSilenced New Member

    Skill is reliable and WILL save you...luck however is simply gambling, you could win but often times you get HMG trolled another thing that outweights both skill and luck is good communication...sure your motion sensor can see EVERYTHING in 40 radius but YOUR team cant...bad situations could be avoided with proper organization....but meh its a game JUSTWINGIT!!!!
  20. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Arms Assault would also have a blast, even moreso if he has the shotgun.

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