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  • #16260
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    Time for some CM score feedback in the latest drop (version 0.9 build 120).
    Long story short I am incredibly happy that we got a point-based scoring system and even a combo system. I believe this is a leap in the right direction. And now comes the avalanche of criticism, hopefully constructive.
    So currently we have a very narrow robot score-spectrum if you will, meaning that the weakest robot is worth 500 and the strongest 2000, this is combined with a flat score bonus from the combo meter. this means that currently a Reaver is worth 4 times a goblin. With the combo meter filled the proportions get distorted, so with max combo a goblin becomes worth 1000 points and a Reaver will be 2500 points, bringing the reaver down to only 2.5 times the worth of a goblin.
    So here comes my first suggestion, a combo multiplier rather than a flat score amount. This would keep the proportional values of the robots the same. The stages could be: 1->1.25->1.5->1.75->2->2.25->2.5->2.75->3.

    Secondly I’d like to see the combo bar decay faster, but with a longer delay. For example when you score a kill, the bar would retain it’s value for 1 second and then would decay at double the rate it decays now. If the meter maxes out all the way to multiplier 3, then it retains this value for 2 seconds (a special case for max combo)

    Thirdly the combo bar should be harder to fill, I would tie this to the value of robots. For example you would need to kill 10000 points worth of robots to fill it all the way, for example with the current system it would take 20 goblin kills, but 5 reaver kills to fill the bar.

    And the final big one is the reworking of robot point values. I’ve taken the time to write up what is essentially a bestiary for all the robots we currently have in the game and my recommended point values I’d like them to have. I have worked these figures out with 3 things in mind: hard stats, the newly implemented combo/multiplier mechanic and the time element it introduces (this makes the armour levels of all the robots important), and finally gut feeling.

    The challenge mode score rebalance proposal.

    Goblin – 500 pts
    Armour – very low
    Weapon – small orange energy projectile
    Basically the weakest robot and is also used as a reference point for the low end of the difficulty spectrum.

    Goblin Variant – 1250
    Armour – low
    Weapon – Impulse laser cannon (Bright blue laser projectiles)
    Considerably more dangerous than vanilla goblins, the variant is much more dangerous across the board, with a better weapon, armour and a more aggressive ai.

    Golem – 1500
    Armour – low
    Weapon – Suicide charge / shrapnel when blown up (similar to the Devastator missile)
    A fairly easy robot to deal with, but one that packs a very serious punch should you make a mistake. it’s very mobile with a small profile. It’s also worth mentioning that the golem’s armour is just thick enough to whitstand a hunter salvo (hunter W is a oneshot), making this robot surprisingly tricky on higher difficulties and when facing multiple at a time.

    Gorgon – 850
    Armour – low
    Weapon – Medium orange energy projectile
    Another fairly easy one to deal with, slightly more dangerous than a goblin, but overall a very low threat. It’s worth mentioning that while it’s slightly more nimble, aggressive, better armoured and armed with a better weapon, it’s also a bigger target.

    Gorgon Variant – 1500
    Armour – low
    Weapon – Missile pods (micro rockets)
    A considerably more dangerous version of the Gorgon. The explosive projectiles make this robot a lot more dangerous especially in tight, confined spaces.

    Guardian – 5000
    Armour – Very high
    Weapon – Driller cannon x2 (with armour-piercing depleted uranium rounds laced with pain, suffering and hatred)
    This robot and the Reaver are the most dangerous robots. The guardian has a pseudo-hitscan weapon that can be dodged from a certain distance onwards, however consistent counter-play appears to be very difficult/impossible. This robot is also the only robot in the game that also tries to snipe its targets from afar. The Guardian along with the Reaver serves as the reference point for the high end of the difficulty spectrum.

    Harpy – 1000
    Armour – Very low
    Weapon – Reflex cannon (bouncing green projectiles)
    This fragile robot becomes surprisingly dangerous in numbers and in tight spaces, but nothing a few explosives can’t handle.

    Harpy Variant – 500
    Armour – Very low
    Weapon – Small orange energy projectile (multishot configuration)
    This robot along with the goblin is the easiest to deal with. Same weapon, same weak armour, same fairly passive ai and a slightly different fairly small profile. Overall a breeze.

    Hydra – 2250
    Armour – Medium
    Weapon – Cyclone Cannon (fast yellow energy projectiles)
    This robot is seemingly fairly harmless, but ends up being surprisingly challenging. It’s small and very agile which means taking it out can be quite the challenge, it’s also worth mentioning that this little guy can dodge hunters on higher difficulties. The Cyclone it uses is pinpoint accurate and surprisingly damaging. A challenging, but fair robot design.

    Kraken – 2500
    Armour – Medium-high
    Weapon – Impulse Laser Cannon (bright blue laser projectiles)
    This robot has some pretty serious amour on it, which means it can take a while to destroy one, giving the score multiplier time to decay. Overall while this robot isn’t particularly dangerous, it is tanky, which means you’ll be using up your precious missiles to take down this thing fast.

    Kraken Variant – 2500
    Armour – Medium-high
    Weapon – Reflex cannon (bouncing green projectiles)
    Like the vanilla Kraken, the variant is also a tanky one. The weapon appears to be less dangerous in open areas, but more dangerous in confined ones due to the bouncing mechanic.

    Ogre – 1500
    Armour – Low
    Weapon – Rapid-fire short-range pseudo-hitscan gatling guns
    This robot is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand the weapon is hitscan, which can lead to frustrating gameplay, the range however is very limited, so this robot can very easily be outplayed in open areas. On very tight maps however, this robot can be quite the nightmare.

    Ogre Variant – 1250
    Armour – Low
    Weapon – Rapid-fire long-range gatling guns
    Unlike the vanilla ogre, the variant has weapons that fire clearly visible projectiles, that also have a lower velocity, which allows for consistent counter-play through good maneuvering. It is worth pointing out that the variant opens fire at a much greater distance.

    Phantom (cloaked Scorpion) – 3500
    Armour – High
    Weapon – 4 claws to ruin the beautiful paint-job.
    This robot is very sneaky and almost invisible, which often allows it to sneak up on you. It’s also very agile and heavily armoured, making it quite the challenge to take down. The flipside however is that it has a high change to drop cloaking powerups and that is the reason why the point reward is not higher.

    Reaver – 5000
    Armour – High
    Weapon – Driller M Cannon (rapid fire pseudo-hitscan gatling gun). Self-destruct suicide ram (similar to the Golem)
    This thing is what you get when you take the Class I driller from Descent, combine it with the Omega defense spawn from Descent II and then heavily armour the thing. A truly unholy combination of powerful attributes. This thing is VERY aggressive, has a powerful pseudo-hitscan weapon that’s basically impossible to consistently counter-play and to top it all off it will blow itself up should you touch it. Oh and did I mention the armour? Yeah this thing can take some punishment, none of that glass cannon crap. So basically this thing kills you and then rams into you as you’re blowing up, thus destroying itself, so that THERE ARE NO WINNERS.

    Scorpion – 2500
    Armour – High
    Weapon – 4 claws for enhanced hugs
    The Scorpion is basically the advanced lifter from Descent. It’s almost completely silent and thus fairly sneaky, does very respectable damage, has very respectable armour, is quite dodgy and is just an all-around nuisance. Since it’s a melee bot, it’s not terribly difficult to deal with.

    Scourge – 1750
    Armour – Low-Medium
    Weapon – Creeper bombs
    Scourge is fairly large, slow and lightly armoured. The creeper bombs are also fairly easily avoided especially in open areas. The Creepers do hit very heavily however.

    Scourge Variant – 2750
    Armour – Low-Medium
    Weapon – Falcon Missile launching system
    Definitely an upgraded version of the vanilla scourge. The main difficulty of this robot comes from the weaponry, those falcons can be quite incredibly devastating.

    Shredder (Blades) – 2500
    Armour – High
    Weapon – Dual sawblades for cutting all those pesky trees in the Cronus Frontier mines that have a tendency to get in the way.
    Jokes aside, this is probably my favourite robot design. It’s very unique and just fun to play against. I feel like a matador every time I fight one of these and it just never seems to get old. It is worth mentioning that on higher difficulties the Shredder is fairly dangerous robot and seems to lock on to the player and track them very well even when bouncing on walls. In confined spaces if you get caught off-guard you can go from hero to zero in a single shredder charge. A fun unique design.

    Triton – 3000
    Armour – High-Very High
    Weapon – Falcon missile launching system
    While not an extreme danger, the Triton is heavily armoured and has simple but effective falcon missiles. The heavy armour means that it costs considerable amount of resources to destroy these big guys fast. Without considerable help from secondary weapons, destroying these guys gives ample time for your combo meter to decay.

    Triton Variant – 2500
    Armour – High-Very high
    Weapon – Large orange energy projectile
    Sporting much less dangerous weaponry than the vanilla counterpart, this Triton Variant still has heavy armour.

    Wyvern – 1750
    Armour – Low-Medium
    Weapon – Missile pods (Micro rockets)
    A fairly small, agile and moderately armoured robot. The missile pods for weapons are not very hard hitting, but just enough to set the wyvern apart from the lower end robots.

    Super Goblin – 4000
    Armour – Medium
    Weapon – Rapid-fire dual missile pods (micro rockets)
    The Super Goblin truly is the supercharged version of the goblin. While nothing really stands out about this robot, there is one thing, the tremendous potential damage output. This badboy can pepper an area with micro rockets in what seems like a blink of an eye. Should the Super Goblin blind-side you, it can end your run faster that you can say BS. This robot can be counter-played pretty consistently however.

    Super Gorgon – 3750
    Armour – Medium
    Weapon – Falcon missile launching system
    The Super Gorgon is essentially just a juiced up version of the regular Gorgon. The main thing about this robot is the weaponry, the Falcon missiles can be fairly devastating and difficult to dodge compared to the energy projectiles.

    Super Harpy – 2750
    Armour – Low-medium
    Weapon – Cyclone cannon (triple-shot player version)
    The weakest of the Super robots, this thing still boasts a fairly devastating damage output potential. The Cyclone it has allows it to pepper an area with yellow projectiles at incredible rates.

    Super Hydra – 3500
    Armour – Medium-high
    Weapon – Reflex cannon
    This small, agile and well armoured bundle of love will dart around the mines while peppering reflex all over the place. Quite the nuisance and a dangerous one in confined spaces.

    Super Ogre – 3250
    Armour – Medium
    Weapon – Nova missile’s green homing projectile bomblet launcher
    This robot is again nothing too special, but the weapon is unique and interesting with devastating damage if it hits. Super ogres are very easy to counter-play in open areas, however in tight tunnels these homing projectiles can quickly fry you.

    Super Triton – 4500
    Armour – Very high
    Weapon – Hunter missile launching system
    This robot is essentially the red heavy hulk from Descent and it’s dangerous. Very well armoured, with a powerful weapon, that turns you inside out should you stand still for a second. In open areas this robot can be counter-played consistently, but it’s certainly a force to be reckoned with.

    Super Wyvern – 4250
    Armour – Medium-high
    Weapon – Driller M (rapid-fire pseudo-hitscan)
    This robot is agile, well armoured, fairly small and well armed. An all-around well performing package of destruction.

    Please everyone that read this if you feel like I got something wrong or messed something up, or you think I’m just an idiot, don’t be a stranger and let me know. Criticism is always welcome.

    #16267
    sfischersfischer
    Overload Team
    Topics: 4
    Replies: 105

    This is a fairly comprehensive read… some comments:

    1. I like the thought behind this and ideas. Luke & Mike were talking a little about maybe making some tweaks (I missed the conversation, and they’re in the middle of stuff, so not sure where they’re at on it, but there was talking 😉 ).

    2. You’re going to get different ‘best’ values depending on playstyle, map, and difficulty. I looked at some data from a little while ago, and robots generally did more damage in Hotshot & Ace than in Insane & Rookie. It was pretty consistent across different robot types. And while all robots get ‘harder’ at higher difficulties, some do so to a higher degree. So how do you weight the different ‘options’ when scoring? I don’t like the idea of values being different in different difficulties/maps at all.

    3. Different robots have different drops – you mentioned this in your phantom feedback, but this also affects their overall difficulty. What is dropped is also affected by the player’s current situation (Armor, current dropped items, etc), so this is a little harder to track/rely on.

    4. Super robots are their own category. Regardless of the enemy loadout, you should get the same amount of Supers – it’s kind of a separate thing. So having them scale the same with other enemies isn’t necessarily needed, though they should scale ideally with each other, if that makes sense.

    This isn’t meant as a criticism or an indicator of any changes we might make…mostly just more information/things that we are keeping in mind that I thought I’d add to the conversation. Right now we’re mostly focused on MP & bug fixes, but balance is definitely still in our view. Really didn’t think I’d be using so many words in my response…

    #16272
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    2. You’re going to get different ‘best’ values depending on playstyle, map, and difficulty. I looked at some data from a little while ago, and robots generally did more damage in Hotshot & Ace than in Insane & Rookie. It was pretty consistent across different robot types. And while all robots get ‘harder’ at higher difficulties, some do so to a higher degree. So how do you weight the different ‘options’ when scoring? I don’t like the idea of values being different in different difficulties/maps at all.

    The values I proposed are mostly fairly “middle of the road” values. Realisticly the extremes are actually further apart, for example 1 guardian being more difficult that 10 goblins. this of course is difficulty dependent, but across all difficulties these disparities appear to be present.

    4. Super robots are their own category. Regardless of the enemy loadout, you should get the same amount of Supers – it’s kind of a separate thing. So having them scale the same with other enemies isn’t necessarily needed, though they should scale ideally with each other, if that makes sense.

    I believe that me comparing all the robots together is the way to go in this case, since this way there is at least and attempt to balance everything proportionally. But by all means since the amount of supers you get is fixed they could all be worth 50x the normal robots, it just seems pointless seeing as they appear and fight along with normals anyway.

    Overall the small score variety puts us almost back to square one. Robot loadout fishing is still a thing and scores vary wildly depending which robots you get. Lighter robots are better than ever especially now with the combo meter that has a time factor. Whatever dies the fastest basically helps you get a very high score. Right now killing 40 goblins is miles ahead of killing 10 Reavers. Heck, with max combo meter at all times, the goblin kills would net you 40k points, while the Reaver kills would net you 25k. Also there is no way you guys have stats on your hands that suggests that the difference between a goblin’s threat level and reaver’s is 4 times.

    I looked at some data from a little while ago, and robots generally did more damage in Hotshot & Ace than in Insane & Rookie.

    I don’t understand this part, what did you mean robots on insane did less damage?
    EDIT: I accidentally deleted the part where I addressed the cloak drops. Basically while the drops do vary depending on your current situation, no other robot actually drops powerups and Cloak drops are by far the best drops currently in CM. That’s why Phantoms got the special treatment.

    #16273
    sfischersfischer
    Overload Team
    Topics: 4
    Replies: 105

    Re:Re:2 – Sorry – I wasn’t evaluating your numbers, just pointing out that coming up with the numbers will be pretty complex, and won’t be ideal in every situation. You may have come up with the best overall numbers (they at least don’t look bad at a quick glance), I just don’t have good data (and time right now) to look into it :).

    Re:Re:4 – Supers *can* be in the same boat, I just meant to say that they *could* also be separate because they’re effectively a different spawn type. Again, just pointing out an extra level of complexity/thought.

    Re:Re:Damage – This is just an example, but from one data set (385 games with Reavers in it and 25+ kills, 3355 total Reaver kills, across all maps/difficulties) Ave damage received/kill for Reavers was:

    Trainee: 8.879075426
    Rookie: 14.69334204
    Hotshot: 20.68289474
    Ace: 18.93902439
    Insane: 12.05502347
    Ave All: 13.55669151

    This was gathered from player data over about a week around a month ago. *Most* of the data we got showed similar results (though not all of the robots fell this way). I would want larger numbers to make a more conclusive statement (but honestly, this data is kind of a pain to deal with – just *loading* the info takes way too long, not to mention evaluating it).

    What does this info tell me? I’m not sure, but it *feels* like people that play at Rookie & Insane are generally strong for the difficulty, while people on Hotshot & Ace tend to struggle a little more (as an average – obviously not on an individual level). I was not expecting these results, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger, more recent data set (this was before Insane+) changes these results.

    Re::Re:Drops – I agree that Phantoms get special treatment there…but how much should drops tweak other scores? Not as much as them, clearly, but it should affect how ‘strong’ enemies are.

    …Once again, I typed too much…

    #16274
    DurandalDurandal
    Participant
    Topics: 2
    Replies: 10

    Bah, I was just typing up a thread to advocate for score multipliers in CM as well. Let’s see what I can salvage…

    …while the new combo bonus system does encourage aggression, it doesn’t do so for every situation. For example, Super ops have fairly high point values (around 1500-4000 points) whereas the combo bonus caps out at only 500 points and decreases in increments of 50. Given how dangerous Super ops can be, most times it’s preferable to disregard the combo bonus for your own safety since you’re only talking about losing 50 or 200 points by not immediately prioritizing them or killing another bot before taking on the Super op with a maximum combo bonus active.

    However, with a score multiplier, killing a Super op in the very small timeframe that your score multiplier is at its maximum would result in a MASSIVE score bonus. Prioritizing other ops to fill up your score multiplier in order to benefit the most from a Super ops high base point value would be incredibly risky, but that’s pretty much the point and should be aptly rewarded.

    This would also carry over to combat as a whole, where you would want to fill up your score multiplier by targeting weaker enemies first which are worth less, like Hydras and Goblins, and then ‘cash in’ by taking it all out on the heavier enemies when your score multiplier is at its fullest. With the current system, players probably don’t have enough incentive to directly hunt down Supers in the middle of an ongoing killstreak. For a scoring system, you want to give EXCELLENT players the avenue to stand out from just GOOD players.

    #16284
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    Trainee: 8.879075426
    Rookie: 14.69334204
    Hotshot: 20.68289474
    Ace: 18.93902439
    Insane: 12.05502347
    Ave All: 13.55669151

    What does this info tell me? I’m not sure, but it *feels* like people that play at Rookie & Insane are generally strong for the difficulty, while people on Hotshot & Ace tend to struggle a little more (as an average – obviously not on an individual level). I was not expecting these results, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger, more recent data set (this was before Insane+) changes these results.

    Ok I’m assuming that this data was gathered from all the players. Your are dead on the money with what you think this data tells you, unfortunately not much more more. Also data from across the board won’t help you much if you want to balance the game. What you want is data from very strong players, as those are the results you can expect as people get better at the game, which will happen over time. If you balance the game with data from all the players and balance the game that way, this balance will first be obsolete for the high end players, but will also very quickly become out-dated for new-average players as they will improve quite rapidly.

    …while the new combo bonus system does encourage aggression, it doesn’t do so for every situation. For example, Super ops have fairly high point values (around 1500-4000 points) whereas the combo bonus caps out at only 500 points and decreases in increments of 50. Given how dangerous Super ops can be, most times it’s preferable to disregard the combo bonus for your own safety since you’re only talking about losing 50 or 200 points by not immediately prioritizing them or killing another bot before taking on the Super op with a maximum combo bonus active.

    However, with a score multiplier, killing a Super op in the very small timeframe that your score multiplier is at its maximum would result in a MASSIVE score bonus. Prioritizing other ops to fill up your score multiplier in order to benefit the most from a Super ops high base point value would be incredibly risky, but that’s pretty much the point and should be aptly rewarded.

    This would also carry over to combat as a whole, where you would want to fill up your score multiplier by targeting weaker enemies first which are worth less, like Hydras and Goblins, and then ‘cash in’ by taking it all out on the heavier enemies when your score multiplier is at its fullest. With the current system, players probably don’t have enough incentive to directly hunt down Supers in the middle of an ongoing killstreak. For a scoring system, you want to give EXCELLENT players the avenue to stand out from just GOOD players.

    I agree with everything you said.

    #16305
    birdseyebirdseye
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 45

    …while the new combo bonus system does encourage aggression, it doesn’t do so for every situation. For example, Super ops have fairly high point values (around 1500-4000 points) whereas the combo bonus caps out at only 500 points and decreases in increments of 50. Given how dangerous Super ops can be, most times it’s preferable to disregard the combo bonus for your own safety since you’re only talking about losing 50 or 200 points by not immediately prioritizing them or killing another bot before taking on the Super op with a maximum combo bonus active.

    The super robots already have increased point values, so to me not having a big bonus on them seems fine — you’re already being compensated well.

    However, with a score multiplier, killing a Super op in the very small timeframe that your score multiplier is at its maximum would result in a MASSIVE score bonus. Prioritizing other ops to fill up your score multiplier in order to benefit the most from a Super ops high base point value would be incredibly risky, but that’s pretty much the point and should be aptly rewarded.

    I think there are too many negatives for this to be good; there will be a lot more luck involved than you realize — there are soooo many times when a SR just spawns near me, or I turn a corner and there they are. I didn’t save the SR, I didn’t avoid killing him, but suddenly I’d get some massive unwarranted bonus. Or other times there is a huge sea of enemies at a distance and I’m basically just holding down the missile button while shooting and I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly skillfill and at times you’d definitely get the massive multiplier there.

    This would also carry over to combat as a whole, where you would want to fill up your score multiplier by targeting weaker enemies first which are worth less, like Hydras and Goblins, and then ‘cash in’ by taking it all out on the heavier enemies when your score multiplier is at its fullest. With the current system, players probably don’t have enough incentive to directly hunt down Supers in the middle of an ongoing killstreak. For a scoring system, you want to give EXCELLENT players the avenue to stand out from just GOOD players.

    Yeah I really don’t like being herded into playing this way — having to build and cash in on big bonuses doesn’t sound fun to me, it sounds more like something that luck will play a lot in. You’ll get a lot of credit for times you happen upon SR and high value bots after slaying a bunch of small ones. Everyones best run will include lots of times where they happened upon SRs after smashing a bunch of other regular robots.

    Also, I could easily heavily abuse such a feature. Leaving a SR alive for a long time is not really that skillful. There are tons of scenarios where I could avoid SRs easily, not taking skill just turning around and leaving and shooting another robot and then coming back to collect a big bonus. I don’t like having to think about systems like this, it seems a bit anti-fun to me. I just like killing robots, and I think the current system gives us enough bonuses.

    As far as giving “Excellent” players the avenue to stand out, I believe the current system already does that. Do you feel your skill isn’t being properly evaluated by the current system? Insane+ is hard enough very few are posting high scores, that seems to be a good filter already.

    #16311
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    Durandal wrote:

    …while the new combo bonus system does encourage aggression, it doesn’t do so for every situation. For example, Super ops have fairly high point values (around 1500-4000 points) whereas the combo bonus caps out at only 500 points and decreases in increments of 50. Given how dangerous Super ops can be, most times it’s preferable to disregard the combo bonus for your own safety since you’re only talking about losing 50 or 200 points by not immediately prioritizing them or killing another bot before taking on the Super op with a maximum combo bonus active.

    However, with a score multiplier, killing a Super op in the very small timeframe that your score multiplier is at its maximum would result in a MASSIVE score bonus. Prioritizing other ops to fill up your score multiplier in order to benefit the most from a Super ops high base point value would be incredibly risky, but that’s pretty much the point and should be aptly rewarded.

    This would also carry over to combat as a whole, where you would want to fill up your score multiplier by targeting weaker enemies first which are worth less, like Hydras and Goblins, and then ‘cash in’ by taking it all out on the heavier enemies when your score multiplier is at its fullest. With the current system, players probably don’t have enough incentive to directly hunt down Supers in the middle of an ongoing killstreak. For a scoring system, you want to give EXCELLENT players the avenue to stand out from just GOOD players.

    I agree with everything you said.

    Having re-read this topic I realised I misinterpreted some points and thus do not agree with everything, serves me right for making posts with a sleepy head. So a few points.

    The new system does encourage aggression, but doesn’t really reward it very meaningfully at the moment. The problem is two-fold. First the robot values are way off and secondly the current flat point bonus you get from chaining kills also messes up the robot value proportions.

    Super robots aren’t exactly the highest threat at the moment and do not really need special treatment. What we really need is more dangerous robots being significantly worth more than less dangerous robots. We are essentially in kills+ mode right now. Also if robots have values that are fairly balanced in terms of how difficult they are to deal with, it won’t really matter which robots you prioritise killing first. Making the combo meter a multiplier and increasing the rate of decay would go a pretty long way to set apart the slower from the faster players.

    As far as giving “Excellent” players the avenue to stand out, I believe the current system already does that. Do you feel your skill isn’t being properly evaluated by the current system? Insane+ is hard enough very few are posting high scores, that seems to be a good filter already.

    The current system does that more or less, but somewhat inconsistently. Luck is definitely a significant factor at this time, be it favourable robot composition or just a bunch of invulnerability spawns.
    I actually tried out insane+, did ~15-20 games on it, already got my fill. It’s not particularly compelling competitively. It’s pretty clear that it’s intended as a joke by the developers and I’m perfectly fine with that. The amount of luck involved is ridiculous.
    For example I was ~50 kills into the match, I had barely taken any damage, had picked up some armor, was on ~130-140 armour and then I got straight up executed from an ambush. I was afterburning when a golem spawned in point blank range, actually no chance to dodge and then some hit-scanners around me opened fire from various angles and gone I was. This all took around a second.
    Second simple example would be the invulnerability power-up. you get lucky and have one of those spawn in? Congratulations, your score is now 10-20% higher. Pure skill.

    You can just get a bad unlucky robot ambush and the damage it deals is so devastating you can’t really recover from that. At least on insane you can for the most part recover until you’re like 200 kills in and armour becomes worth like 5 points. The lower you go in difficulties, the more consistent the game becomes.

    #16384
    DurandalDurandal
    Participant
    Topics: 2
    Replies: 10

    I didn’t mean to include only Supers in my aforementioned suggestion, just enemies with higher point values in general (and thus enemies too dangerous to keep alive for too long).

    The current heavily RNG-reliant enemy- and power-up-spawning system does make it hard for any kind of scoring system to work consistently or for two scores to be really equal in terms of performance and effort involved. For that matter I’d prefer a more handcrafted approach for Challenge Mode much like in Devil Daggers, a game all about surviving in an arena for as long as possible.

    In Devil Daggers the first 400-500 seconds or so would consist of handcrafted enemy spawns. The enemy types spawned would be the same no matter what, but their spawning positions would be randomized depending on the player position and aiming direction so enemies are less likely to spawn at the same place or in the player’s face, with the aim of keeping the player constantly on his toes. There’d be enemy types designed to lurk at the edges of the arena, while others would slowly gravitate towards the center and clutter the center if not taken care of. After killing a boss-type enemy the game would spawn several more difficult waves over and over with increasing intensity, since it’s technically impossible to handcraft waves for something which can technically go on forever. RNG in this case can’t be avoided, but it can be at least postponed to give starting players a more consistent experience.

    I think having static enemy types be spawned per wave but in pseudo-random positions (depending on player position) and maybe on top of static spawning positions for some enemies like Supers for the first five minutes or so in Infinite would go a long way to have Challenge Mode be a lot more consistent and less luck-reliant. On top of that, having power-ups spawn at set times (but in random positions) would also prevent the player from getting higher scores by virtue of getting lucky with spawns.

    In any case, there is a trade-off to be made here. Make spawning more consistent so scores can be more equal in value and skill represented, in exchange for making the early game somewhat more predictable and eligible for optimizing scoring routes until late-game largely revolves around surviving what the RNG throws at you. I think this is more suitable for Countdown than Infinite for obvious reasons, but at the very least having enemy waves tailor-made for each arena might provide some more unique situations per arena. More static and deterministic power-up spawning should be a must regardless of modes anyways.

    To my knowledge, item drop chance for items such as ammo and shields is still largely based on chance (with higher chances depending on how high your combo bar is), which is something I’ve never been a fan of, not even in Descent, because I’d rather not that my survival rests on how lucky I am to get shield drops. I’d rather prefer you get an item drop for every X of enemies killed and the item in question to be dropped cycling through a fixed drop order (or one where an unpicked element is picked at random, until all elements have been picked and the list resets), a system similarly used in Battle Garegga.

    Obviously this would have to be changed around a bit to be facilitated properly in Overload, such as keeping track of a separate item drop order on top of the basic one which gives you more drops for each X amount of points you get from the combo bar bonus instead of regular points, and having multiple drops on enemy kill when the player is at critical health.

    (It’d be nice if this was also done for singleplayer and that the scoring system would also be integrated in singleplayer as a separate Arcade Mode at the very least, which would give you a letter-ranking at the end of each level for your total score, time taken to complete the level, and damage taken, though that’s something for another thread)

    tl;dr the idea for a healthy competitive scoring scene is to keep things consistent where possible and have RNG only affect the difficulty of staying alive rather than scoring potential. If the strategy for a good score is to keep retrying and throwing away runs until you get lucky with enemy spawns and item drops, then that’s no fun. It’d be silly if you achieve a high-scoring run with a high combo all-around, only for someone else to achieve a score somewhat close to yours because he got a lucky invulnerability drop.

    #16389
    MiasmicMiasmic
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 59

    Edit for the sane.
    TL:DR
    I think CM is a lot less luck dependent than people make it out to be and I feel too much emphasis is placed on power ups.

    My two cents: I do not like the idea of standardizing bot spawns or item drops for any duration of CM. I like not knowing exactly what I’m getting into each run. The idea of a *virtually* samey experience, even down to sequential item spawns (gross), run to run in CM sounds incredibly dull. The word predictability gets thrown around a lot in these conversations. I don’t want my Challenge Mode runs to be alike. I enjoy the variety that CM brings to the game. Single Player, and to a lesser extent MP, are where I expect predictability and consistency.

    I also feel like many people seem to place far too much emphasis on the power ups, particularly Invuln. Sure, they help, but plenty of my PB’s are in total absence of power up drops for entire runs. Plenty are from pure Cloak drop only runs. Some Overdrive only. Some with multiple invuln drops and every combination between. I’ve also had runs with multiple invuln drops that ended much sooner than my PB’s.

    Having a tough bot pool or low power up drops bring with them a determination to make it anyway. To show yourself – “I don’t need it!”. It feels even better getting your spot on the Leaderboard knowing you persevered when the odds were against you. Getting my ass kicked one round doesn’t make me turn away. It’s exactly what gets me to hit that restart button and do another run. I don’t think I’d enjoy Challenge Mode nearly as much if it were standardized and my runs resulted in nearly identical scores every time. That all being said, I’ve noticed a bit of consistency coming into place in CM with the latest drop. For instance, Reavers, if not in play at the beginning of a run, will typically begin to spawn >100-120 on pretty much every map.

    I understand peoples desires for predictability, I just don’t think CM is necessarily the place for it. It’s not a traditional wave-based survival mode. I’ve never quit a run due to not having power ups or getting a tough bot pool. I think that’s a “fear” people have that lacks a foundation (or evidence). I rarely quit a run, but when I do its typically due to spawn rate not being high enough – I play a lot of Countdown. It’s got nothing to do with bot variety or power ups. How would you even know whether or not to quit if there were no power ups at the start? They could drop within minutes, especially with the combo system. I view all this as even less of an issue in Infinite mode. I popped 2 Invulns from a group of bots during my last session 12-15 minutes into an Infinite run (*come to think of it one may have already been there). There is so much time and so many opportunities for drops that restarting just doesn’t make much sense.

    I am speaking from a position of heavy bias (obviously lol). I love Challenge Mode, and I think this last patch really nailed it. I never expected to like it, because I typically don’t the wave based stuff like COD Zombies (which is what I thought it was). I bought Overload purely for the story mode, which I’ve played maybe an hour of (out of 80+).

    One thing I’d like to see tweaked mentioned here is the decay time for the combo meter. I do think that it can decrease faster than it does currently. As it is, you can still keep it maxed out while taking it pretty easy – especially at Hotshot and below. At Ace it feels just about ok, but still could decrease a bit faster.

    Anywhoosles, I’m done blabbering.

    #16404
    YoshimitsuYoshimitsu
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 57
    Replies: 421

    Yeah I really don’t like being herded into playing this way

    I’m with Birdseye on this one. I really don’t like the idea of the score bonus being a multiplier. A small bonus for chained together kills like we have now doesn’t seem too bad since it rewards a riskier playstyle with a slightly higher score but any more than that and it feels like the games is punishing more tactical and cautious players for making the smarter choices. Myself, I like a mix of intense, in the fray combat, and a tactical retreat to regroup/resupply.

    On the other hand I do agree that the bot values need tweaking. I took my run data from the previous build (about 135 runs on 5 maps) and did some calculating using average damage to player to set the scale and percentage of bots to set the magnitude of the scale, aiming to get 100 kills to approximately 100K points.
    Bot values
    Based on my numbers these are what the bots should be worth:

    300: Goblin
    300: Golem
    400: Harpy Varient
    600: Triton Varient
    700: Gorgon
    700: Scorpion
    800: Ogre
    800: Harpy
    800: Shredder
    900: Ogre Varient
    900: Kraken
    900: Gorgon Varient
    900: Goblin Varient
    900: Kraken Varient
    900: Scourge
    1100: Wyvern
    1400: Hydra
    1500: Scourge Varient
    1500: Super Ogre
    1500: Super Wyvern
    1500: Super Gorgon
    1700: Super Hydra
    1800: Triton
    1900: Super Harpy
    2300: Super Goblin
    2500: Super Triton
    2700: Reaver
    3100: Guardian
    3500: Phantom

    I know that my sample size is too small and other players get different results. That’s why we need data from as many people as possible.

    #16413
    YinutYinut
    Participant
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 55

    I’m with Birdseye on this one. I really don’t like the idea of the score bonus being a multiplier. A small bonus for chained together kills like we have now doesn’t seem too bad since it rewards a riskier playstyle with a slightly higher score but any more than that and it feels like the games is punishing more tactical and cautious players for making the smarter choices. Myself, I like a mix of intense, in the fray combat, and a tactical retreat to regroup/resupply.

    I’m pretty sure Birdseye opposed the idea of making the super ops disproportionately worth more points just to incentivize killing robots in a particular order, which I oppose along with him, since it would make the game more luck-based.
    The reason the combo meter needs to be a multiplier is because with a multiplier the robots retain their proportional point values. Currently with max combo a goblin doubles in value, while a reaver increases 25%. This means that getting a robot makeup with a lot of weak robots is very favourable. It is true that the changes I proposed do incentivize a specific playstyle, which is aggression and combat. I would argue killing a lot of stuff fast non-stop would be the best test of skill. Ultimately 6dof combat is what this game is about, no?

    Based on my numbers these are what the bots should be worth:

    300: Goblin
    300: Golem
    400: Harpy Varient
    600: Triton Varient
    700: Gorgon
    700: Scorpion
    800: Ogre
    800: Harpy
    800: Shredder
    900: Ogre Varient
    900: Kraken
    900: Gorgon Varient
    900: Goblin Varient
    900: Kraken Varient
    900: Scourge
    1100: Wyvern
    1400: Hydra
    1500: Scourge Varient
    1500: Super Ogre
    1500: Super Wyvern
    1500: Super Gorgon
    1700: Super Hydra
    1800: Triton
    1900: Super Harpy
    2300: Super Goblin
    2500: Super Triton
    2700: Reaver
    3100: Guardian
    3500: Phantom

    These values while valid with the old system, are no longer as simple to determine as just taking the average damage per bot. We now have a time-sensitive element, the combo system. This essentially means that all robots that take longer to kill (high health/very agile) need to be taken into account at least to some extent. Overall I mostly agree with these values, mine are proposed in the OP anyway and a lot of the proportional values do overlap more or less.

    #16414
    YoshimitsuYoshimitsu
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 57
    Replies: 421

    It is true that the changes I proposed do incentivize a specific playstyle, which is aggression and combat. I would argue killing a lot of stuff fast non-stop would be the best test of skill. Ultimately 6dof combat is what this game is about, no?

    To me that sounds like countdown mode, and yes a great test of skill. I have seen too many games though which offer multiple play-styles and then through one mechanic or another make all but one unappealing, or unviable. I hate this. I do take your point about our current bonus skewing the relative value of one bot to another. I think the compromise I would want is for the multiplier to be tiny, maybe maxing out at 1.5x. this would give a real bonus without making slightly slower, more tactical gameplay a no-go.

    If I want non-stop aggression I’ll play countdown.

    #16416
    birdseyebirdseye
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 45

    Yinut:

    I think you do a good job trying to think about this but I honestly think the devs are basically done tweaking CM unless we ask for something simple. I can see the merit to some of your arguments but I don’t think we need to tweak the bonus system further. What you propose would benefit me as I do play about as aggro as anyone.

    I completely agree about Invulns being worth way too much in insane+ — but it is a problem in all of the difficulties. I think to solve this it would be best to have Invulns appear at fixed intervals in the game and not go higher. It removes some of the fun of ‘omg an invuln yay!’ but invulns really do affect runs a lot.

    To me invulns are the biggest form of luck, and its definitely true they have a higher value on Insane+. Sure not all my high scores have invulns but I’m pretty sure any of my 200+ kill totals in Insane+ all involved invluns. This means you do have to right now play and hope you get invuln orbs, which really really sucks.

    Tweaking the invuln system to me is a simple thing that could be done to create more even play across all CM difficulties. The other option is just to eliminate invulns from Insane+, as they’re clearly worth much more than in Insane or lower. I’d be fine with either option I presented.

    I think if we ask for too much we’ll likely get none of it, but when there is a conensus on one simple idea the devs seem to integrate it. Can we all agree at least that Invulns need tweaking on Insane+? I don’t want to have to do 5 runs just try to optimize my # of invulns when shooting for a high score.

    #16417
    Luke Schneider
    Overload Team
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 115

    Just a couple quick responses: We are pretty much done tweaking score values. There have been a few tweaks since 0.9 to a few bots, and to the combo meter. Power level of the bots matters more in increasing the combo meter now. But it’s not a multiplier.

    Keep in mind score is not supposed to be directly related to the damage they cause, it’s just a way to make it more fair if you get harder bots, and to reward aggression a bit more. If something is way out of whack, we’ll change it, but robots are more than just the amount of damage they did to you.

    On invulnerability: We’ll do something. Not sure what, but we’ll make it more consistent somehow. Most likely is different powerups will last a different amount of time, possibly only in CM/MP. We’ll see.

    Thanks,
    Luke

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