Survival: Credits, Cheese, & Difficulty

Discussion in 'NOTD Discussion' started by Lord NiteShade, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
    • Community Leader

    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    Something seriously needs to be done to address the current survival mode. It's been nerfed well and truly into the ground since early incarnations (until about wave 35, then all bets are off) and its becoming extremely problematic.

    1: Low Difficulty
    Survival is Easy. More accurately, low player count survival is piss easy. The spawns simply are so low they are completely non threatening. The few waves that are dangerous are moreso because of crap-shoot spawning (Thor on top of us, very fair) or because the enemies are ranged and share vision. Actually, excluding the GOTB, the single deadliest wave is arguably a glitch boss. Survival will eventually need a good hard look over as far as wave scaling. Currently its very erratic, and if you ranked wave by difficulty, it would be all over the board.

    2: Class Balance
    Because they are naturally stronger/better/more powerful, the Apollo classes naturally beat out the Easy co classes. Why would I want a slow, plodding assault tank when I can be a nigh indestructible Technician? Why would I be a commando whose limited to such mundane tasks as energy when I can be a Chem Expert and make my own.

    There needs to be some form of limiting factor on classes, hell maybe a "one of each" rule, to keep them in check. Currently, rolling massed Pathfinders is a surefire way to easy money and medals.

    Speaking of Pathfinder. He NEEDS to be finished, immediately. I'm talking top priority. Currently his "teleporting for free damage" jumps and bullshit speed T1 are completely overpowered. This should be higher priority than anything else, even mundane balance work in other areas. Simply put the class is FAR too strong for the current survival, mostly do to poor skill implementation.

    3: Small Team Runs
    There are numerous advantages to playing with a small 2-3 man team in Survival. Advantages that don't exist anywhere else. It's gotten so bad on NA, the great bulk of the organized games are just 2 Man survival credit/medal farming. Nevermind the fact it takes no skill to drag your way to Wave 20.

    Here's the basic issues, just so I'm clear.

    The Spawns are too Low
    It is far too advantageous to play Survival with few people. The spawns become laughably small, and players level faster because there's less people to split up the net pool of exp. This is compounded by very low boss health. I've had games where I had Seth/Ivax or 2 Cronus go down in moments, almost entirely due to low health from small player teams.

    Credit Gain Rate
    This has been an inherent flaw in the system since its launch. When a player is not present, ie, dead/leaves/never there they forfeit "their share" of credits to their allies. Because of this, playing in low man games means More credits AND easier difficulty. It should be the inverse of that. Currently I can easily hit the credit cap any time I commit to a Nightmare survival with only 2 men. It also takes a third the time, rewards 5x the credits, and requires 1/10th the skill of a Nightmare Apollo.

    4: How do we Fix this?
    In my most humble opinion, we do the following things, and we do them soon.

    1: Add a forced cap on each class in Survival.
    It seems a fair trade off to me. You have access to each and every class, but you only get one of each. This prevents a whole number of frankly overpowered scenarios like 8 engineers just walking loops around the map torching everything with Overdrive. If players complain "waaahh X took da class I wanted..." thats their fault for not having better teamwork and organizational skills.

    2: Do not scale survival to low teams.
    For example, balance the "minimum" difficulty in survival as it was a 4 player team. This means all the hordes health and number scales to a 4 player minimum. So if you only go with 2, it is effectively "twice as hard." Increase this minimum gap if need be. I understand fixing the issues with the way credits are shared is not immediately rectifiable, so this seems the easier course to take. Since its clear Survival will the "farming" gamemode, then it needs more risk versus reward. If you go with a small team, yes, you will earn significantly more credits than a larger team. But do not expect the map to scale accordingly, and you will face enemies far more numerous than you should be expected to fight. This will create the necessary risk vs reward system to keep survival in check.

    3: Remove the eggs in the Airlock during Normal Survival.
    They currently level a character up, hard. You can easily reach level 5 if you are allowed to kill them all. Getting T2s like Boom Headshot or Foresight that much earlier only imbalances survival even harder. Place the eggs in the airlock only in Nightmare survival as an extra "boost" to compensate with the overall increased difficulty, but at least remove them from normal survival. Entire strategies now result in banking on the eggs for massive early game exp.

    If no changes occur to survival, and soon, we end up with Massive amounts of ill gotten weapon mods. This begins to throw off core game balance as numerous weapon modded players becomes "normal." It also cheapens the entire system, why play many hard Nightmare games, when I can get more money in half the time playing survival?
  2. Kage

    Kage Member

    Well,I would much rather prefer we balance the classes separately for survival but that would be the long,tiresome solution though Im fine with this solution.
  3. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
    • Community Leader

    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    We all know making survival specific adjustments would be a mind numbingly tedious affair, and it still doesn't address the core concern of balance in low man games. I could just as easily be a SubMM, Crifle, or Demotank and cruise through a 2 man game (hell any two classes realistically can with almost no issues).
  4. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Just make it require 4 people to activate the mode?

    I'm not sure if class restrictions work given how people can click at the same time. I could only see it work if it relied on typing a text command to pick.

    I would like to go further though and say 1 max of each sec class and total 2 sec class.
  5. Ramses II
    • Donator

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

    One option would be to multiply the credit gain rate by different coefficients for each class chosen, for example .8 for every pathfinder, .85 for psi ops, .9 for technician, 1.2 for assault, etc, and .875 for each empty slot. A team of 2 pathfinders would get only .34 times that of a full game of 1.0 classes.
  6. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Any other thoughts on this?
  7. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Ill write my response here later once I have time, just a placeholder atm.
  8. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    My thoughts as a guy who generally dislikes survival, what it does, and how it's impacted the community:

    I think Nite is right that it needs quick, actionable plans that can be implemented in the very short term. Removing the bit of code that says "If players<X, Mobs spawn/boss HP" is not only a quick fix... I do agree with Nite that it contains a certain bit of logic. Making it so that the spawns are always at 8 man levels is actually where I'd set it myself. But I also dislike Survival. 4/5 might be a good base value.

    That should be the first priority. And I imagine it's something that would take maybe 5 minutes and the time it takes to update the map. Though considering Programming is not in my nature I might be wrong about it.

    Next priority after that should be looking at patching the Pathfinder and consideration for the Griefer Gun. The two of them seem to be responsible for 99% of the hinky stuff that goes on in Survival Mode. But considering the quick patch listed above, it should slow down the problem enought hat you can take the time to look at it and make sure it is done right instead of just knee jerk reactions.
  9. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Step 1: Implement Peerawatz's jumps so alternate terrain height cheese goes away and also change Full Throttle to what I've outlined.
    Step 2: Remove Gravity Gun from Survival.
    Step 3: Adjust spawns.
    Step 4: ?????
    Step 5: Balance!
  10. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Step 0: Unlock all gates at the start.
  11. Ramses II
    • Donator

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

    I thought they already did that?
  12. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Doesn't look like it :/

    I'll check later.
  13. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Well the changelog said "unlocked some" instead of "unlocked all". I haven't seen which ones are auto unlocked mostly because I tend to spend my early survival times running around item scouring along the Southern and Eastern edges typically instead of cracking into Apollo.
  14. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    The unopenable gates remain locked and the airlock main gates are locked.
  15. Lyanden

    Lyanden Well-Known Member

    Indeed, but Apollo's insides are now very much accessible to everything now.

    Not sure about the scrapyard gate portion however. Scrap gate as far as I remember remains closed. The 2 rocks which block ramps into Apollo I've no clue.

    If those debris remain intact and the gate starts off as closed, then that spot remains a cheese station.
  16. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Airlock outcrop where a nexus can spawn and the north apollo gate with debris blocking ramps as well.
  17. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Solution: break all of the rocks, open all of the gates. :|
  18. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    There's no reason not to. Hell, I spend a good portion of the early game smashing the debris myself so I don't accidentally click it while I'm running.
  19. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    The new higher difficulty for low players in survival isn't working I think.

    Reports from surv regulars on EU is that spawns remain pretty much the same (6 instead of 4 Lelantos), just eggs disappeared.
  20. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Upping the spawns will do little to deter people who do survival regulary. I still need to test it myself, but I'm guessing for my surv vets, the added spawns just make them level faster (more total exp in game overall) and still pose no threat. The fact that survival is wave based means once you sort out what comes when, you're basically set. We are pitting single typed units against combined arms. One of the hallmarks of unbalenced games is where a single unit type can win you the game, no strategy required. In that regard, Survival is balanced, single type zombies of each wave get wiped by combined arms of multi skilled marines. Short of featuring more combined arms waves (hugger + slashr, seekers + wraiths, etc), people will continually optimize their strategy to deal with whatever is at hand and roll through it. Consider the 2 waves where teams get annihlated, 33 (evil minis) and 37 (machines). Both feature ranged enemies that are fast moving and have mixed skill/abilities. Easily the 2 deadliest waves in survival. Increasing HP of enemies will probably not help, many enemies already have doubled HP.

    Also bluntly, people get VERY good at camping or kiting via survival. People understand exactly hwere to hold and how to kite from survival, and that to me is a good thing, people become better players teamwise and skill wise.

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