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  • #3898
    Luke Schneider
    Overload Team
    Topics: 10
    Replies: 115

    Triple-chording is a religious issue for 6-DOF games. It’s hard to talk about without getting into long arguments about philosiphy, the origins of it, and many other things. But I’ll talk about my/our thoughts on it as they stand now.

    Triple-chording was definitely unintentional (aka “is it a bug or feature”) in D1. However, that doesn’t mean the developers didn’t take advantage of the multi-direction speed boost. They knew how to beat the level 7 boss by sliding around the central pillar (dual-chording), but new players had a *much* harder time beating the level 7 boss than they anticipated because the optimal way to beat the boss involved a specific type of movement that gave a speed boost that was never explicitly stated/explained.

    The thing triple-chording does is that it gives a *significant* speed boost for flying in multiple directions at once. You lose some visibility in exchange for a speed, and it requires good dexterity to achieve.

    I’m ok with triple-chording existing as a skill, even though (and this is important) no ground-based first-person shooter (that I know of) gives a boost for moving forward and to the side at the same time. The closest they come to something like this is a jump, which speeds you up significantly. And lots of FPS games have players jumping around to gain an advantage (it also reduces splash damage), and it looks kind of stupid.

    The problem is that how significant the dual/triple-chording boost is should not be defined by math. It should be defined by balance. If we made triple-chording move 150% faster than normal speed (so 2.5x normal speed), we’d still have triple-chording in the game. But we would have to balance the game around that, and we’d be encouraging people to fly around not facing the direction they’re moving even more so than before. Every system interacts with everything else in a game. And if you are strongly requiring the player to fly at a weird angle to gain a *very* significant speed boost, then everything from boss difficulty to projectile speeds/homing to robot movement is affected by that.

    Plus, we’ve already got a system for flying faster where you can’t fire where you want (boost). Except you can stop boosting and fire quite quickly. So boost-fire-boost is a new skill that serves a very similar purpose. [It may be I need to reduce the refire time after boosting so that skill is more effective.]

    In Overload I’ve added a speed-drag system to speeds above the max forward movement speed (which is 1.07x the other directions). Currently this system makes dual-chording go about 20% faster than max speed, and triple-chording 30% faster. So you do get a speed boost, but it’s not a crazy amount. The only real argument for keeping it at 70% is because that’s the way it’s always been, but that’s not a good enough for for me.

    This doesn’t mean that balance is final, or that there won’t be a cheat code to change the drag system. But ask yourself this question: If there’s a cheat code to increase your speed, would you rather increase all speeds by 30%, or just multi-chording by 20-30%?

    PS. I won’t be looking too closely at mechanics for a while (working on fleshing out story/robots/weapons/upgrades/etc), but I’ll definitely keep track of the discussion here.

    EDIT: Removed D2 stuff.

    #3903
    CDN_MerlinCDN_Merlin
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 15
    Replies: 243

    Hi Luke,

    I agree with you on your explanation of chording. I think that we should get a boost but if you keep it at the level it was/is in D1/2 than anyone who isn’t capable of learning how to do it will be turned away from playing Multi because they will have a HUGE disadvantage over ones who do.

    I don’t particularly like not being able to fire when using the AB but that is a decision you have made to compensate and I respect that.

    Having played this game since day 1, I believe we have must keep bi and tri-chording in the game as it has been a staple to this day.

    I personally find that this has helped more in multiplayer than single player. I beat D1 Lvl 6 without chording by moving around the pillar (took me a long time, damn you 🙂 ). I didn’t learn about chording until I started D2 multi in 1997. That’s when I got my ass handed to me more times that I can count for 3 months until I figured it out and started using it.

    Which ever way you decide I will be happy with. You guys have (to me) made the best game ever and even though it was not a feature you initially intended, it worked out in your favour.

    #3910
    darthkarkidarthkarki
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 17
    Replies: 88

    THANK you for explaining this, Luke. I was literally about to do the same thing trying to explain about game balance in the other trichording thread, but obviously you can do a much better job. I totally agree, I think the current system is perfectly fine and is necessary to attract and keep more players. I much prefer just using the afterburner.

    #3911
    TwoCablesTwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    I will admit that I haven’t trichorded on purpose yet in Overload, but I have bichorded a lot. However, I also Boost a lot more! I Boost so much that you’d think that I believe it doesn’t consume any energy.

    Fortunately, the Boost’s energy consumption isn’t fast enough for me to care that it consumes energy, so I use it almost every time I want to quickly grab a powerup when there are 7 bots trying to kill me – or when there are 7 bots making their way to my location after I just ran away from all of them. I also use Boost to quickly dart away from danger and from Blades and for any other time I need to move super fast – LIKE NOW. I also use Boost to get from one part of a map to another as fast as possible. I use Boost a *LOT*.

    Thanks to the way Boost works in Overload, I have mapped it to an extremely easy-to-press key (it’s just as easy as my Forward key). In D2, I didn’t use the Afterburner much due to how much it cost to use it, so I had it mapped to a slightly more difficult-to-reach key because any time I DID use it, I wasn’t really doing much else anyway. In Overload, I’m often Boosting while fighting and Sliding and Strafing. Now you might ask, “TwoCables, doesn’t it bother you that you can’t fire while Boosting?” No. Not at all. I haven’t noticed a desire yet to fire and Boost at the same time because this game is designed too well for me to be wishing I could shoot and Boost at the same time – and I’ve already logged dozens of hours into this game (I’m sure of it).

    Getting back to my frequent bichording: I’m only doing it when I need to move quickly and I’m super low on energy (or when I have 0 energy). I am also *not* trichording because it’s not a significant enough boost in speed over bichording for me to even consider it being worth the reduced visibility. At least with bichording, I can still see where I’m going for the most part.

    So as of right now, Boosting is fine unless I’m low on energy or have 0 energy. When that happens, I’m very thankful that I can still do some bichording. If I couldn’t, then I’d be annoyed and dead. lol

    I don’t think that changing the refire rate is a good idea for that moment when you are just finished Boosting. This can be a very fast-paced game, and that can cause a person to die in some critical moments. It just doesn’t feel like Boosting should tax the ship THAT much.

    Prepare for Overload…

    #3915
    StatiCStatiC
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 89

    Boosting reveals your location to those close enough to hear it. Bi/Tri-chording doesn’t. This will make boosting not used as much in some multiplayer situations where letting your opponent know where you are is not a good idea. You will have to only use bi/tri-chording in those situations. So by moving some of that speed to boosting you are essentially removing some of the speed from the game from multiplayer in a lot of situations compared to d1 and d2 in multiplayer. I realize the immediate concern is single player though.

    Maybe the real answer to this is that bi/tri-chording speed could be a setting that people can choose when hosting a level. It could be adjustable from how it is now in Overload up to D1 speed. Let the users and competitors decide what is best for them. Balancing single player would then not be an issue as it can stay as you have set it… Or we just trust that the creators of the descent series know what they are doing and get used to it. 10% honestly doesn’t seem like much of a speed benefit going from bi to tri-chording though to me.

    #3921
    StrifeStrife
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 5

    I didn’t know anything about chording and was able to beat all my friends via modem games and destroy the game against bots. I didn’t care about chording because I didn’t know about it, or the potential the ship had be it at a sacrifice of direct sight.

    This all changed the first day I found Kali and multiplayer.

    I literally dropped into the mines and got my ass handed to me worse than I thought was possible. Keep in mind this was after being able to absolutely destroy the common person and game on insane. I had to re-evaluate what I was doing and ask questions about the game that I thought I had mastered already.

    Did this make me quit because I got beat?
    No. (If anything it fired me up more and gave me countless hours of playability.)

    Did I continue playing because I’m a gluten for punishment?
    No.

    I continued playing because I enjoyed the challenge of learning an additional skill that I didn’t even know existed that would help me in multiple situations. Dodging, being sneaky, challenging myself to get places faster than others which would force them to ask questions about how I was moving so fast.

    There is just one of the many reasons that the community has stayed together so long for multiplayer. We are talking over 20 years of re-playability due to an unintentional “bug”. We’ve all taught each other the ins and outs of the game. We’ve shared the moves, the weapons and the tactics proudly so everyone has the required skills to succeed.

    My opinion:
    I’m glad we are discussing where trichording should be balanced as opposed to if it should even be in the game. I should warn you, this is coming from mostly a multiplayer standpoint.

    If the afterburner gives you a 100% increase in speed, I would say that trichording should be at least 60% faster.

    The sacrifice in direct sight you make while trichording is too high for a 30% increase in speed for a reward.

    Stealth is such a huge part of the multiplayer and blasting your afterburner all over the place isn’t doing anyone any favors. We like scaring our opponents by being places we realistically shouldn’t and sounding like a monster truck all over the level isn’t going to help with that.

    #3931
    rapturraptur
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 29
    Replies: 134

    I can’t comment directly on the current state of trichording because there is no Linux build (yet? please? haha). I might very well be happy with a 30% increase.

    I would like to point out that the boost is not a replacement for trichording. You’re right that it prevents you from shooting and so in that sense involves a trade-off between speed and shooting where you’re going. However, it’s very different from trichording insofar as the “fast” direction is predictable and kind of boring: straight ahead. Whether in multiplayer or single player, the swooping roiling combat that effective trichording facilitates is much more fun, at least for me, than just boosting from A to B.

    The D1 level 7 boss took me at least two weeks to defeat (during which time I had literal nightmares about the boss). Those were the best two weeks of my single-player Descent experience. Similarly to Strife, multiplayer developed a whole new dimension once I learned about trichording.

    #3934
    ThrakaThraka
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 2
    Replies: 19

    In descent it never registered to me that moving in more than one direction gave me a boost in speed. I honestly just assumed you always moved the same speed unless you boosted, which made sense to me.

    #3940
    hypersonic
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 18
    Replies: 220

    There was at least one ground based shooter with un-normalized chording; the original Doom.

    I didn’t realize vertical in D2 was half speed, just like pitch is half speed of yaw. I wonder if this is due to the height of the viewport being roughly half that of the width.

    If there was a dedicated key for each of the 26 directions I believe most would think it quite bizarre to have some directions be faster than others. It almost seems like it’s viewed as a reward for having to press 3 keys at the same time. Perhaps instead of setting different speeds for various directions, making all directions have a faster speed might be worthwhile. Maybe even to the point where circle strafe speed is at least as fast as one can rotate for some interesting dogfighting.

    Some say they use a trichord boost to silently go faster. Maybe the aburn could be silent as well, at least to your opponents’ ears.

    #3942
    TwoCablesTwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    Well, Boost in Overload isn’t loud, so maybe others won’t really hear it at all unless they’re VERY close to you.

    Prepare for Overload…

    #3943
    LotharBot
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 133

    Descent 2’s triple-chording was neutered somewhat, because you only move up/down at 50% of the speed you move in other directions

    I just attempted to verify this, but it doesn’t appear to be true. Vertical speed seems to be identical to horizontal and forward speed in both D1 and D2, which are also identical to each other (as measured in D1x-Retro-1.3 and D2x-Retro-1.3a, moving across the long axis of the dog room in NYSA.) This does change if you’re burnerchording.

    Perhaps you’re thinking of D3? I don’t think anybody has ever come up with a good way to compare movement in D3 to D1/D2 because everything is on a different scale.

    no ground-based first-person shooter (that I know of) gives a boost for moving forward and to the side at the same time

    DooMII (measured in Zandronum v1.3 , Whispers of Satan campaign because that happens to currently be on my desktop.) Forward motion is slightly faster than sideways motion, so the net boost is only about 30% for dual chording, instead of 41%.

    It’s also in Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Battlezone, minecarts in Minecraft, and it turns out part of the reason people bunnyhop in Quake is that you can get the dual-chord boost while airborne! Half-life, TF2, and L4D (infected only) also have vertical ladder-chording.

    It should be defined by balance… everything from boss difficulty to projectile speeds/homing to robot movement is affected by that… The only real argument for keeping it at 70% is because that’s the way it’s always been

    You may want to ask people if they have a “real argument” prior to declaring that there is none 😉

    My argument in favor of ~70% is experiential: that it’s very close to balanced in ship-to-ship combat. Based on Drakona’s famous in-match image

    Trichording frequency

    it seems to be used about as much as each of the other options, or perhaps slightly more (and Drakona is a bit more aggressive about trichording than most.) Reducing the effectiveness means shifting the balance more in favor of single and dual chording and away from triple chording. Which might not be a bad choice — making trichording a 5% of the time option instead of a 35% of the time option is certainly a valid balance decision. But I personally like the current balance where all four options are split reasonably evenly.

    Fairly even usage splits are often a sign of rich gameplay, because it means that there’s a constant tug-of-war between options, with benefits and drawbacks changing from moment to moment, and with small changes tipping the balance from A to B to C and back to A. I suspect if the boost is reduced to 30%, trichording will be a much less viable option due to the reduced sight, and gameplay will be less rich as a result. If you want to reduce it, I’d try 50% tri / 30% dual as a first cut, and I’d expect those numbers to slowly climb towards 55/35 through playtesting.

    #3945
    d3jaked3jake
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 118

    Some say they use a trichord boost to silently go faster. Maybe the aburn could be silent as well, at least to your opponents’ ears.

    The AB should never be silent. It defeats half of the purpose of having the ability to boost in that it creates noise.

    If there was a dedicated key for each of the 26 directions I believe most would think it quite bizarre to have some directions be faster than others. It almost seems like it’s viewed as a reward for having to press 3 keys at the same time. Perhaps instead of setting different speeds for various directions, making all directions have a faster speed might be worthwhile. Maybe even to the point where circle strafe speed is at least as fast as one can rotate for some interesting dogfighting.

    We don’t have separate keys for each direction, so your statement about it is irrelevant. Also “I believe most would think it quite bizarre …” is speculation. It’s like arguing “If we had peaches already cut and ready for use, most people would find it bizarre to find a whole peach, with a pit.” You’re taking the mechanic out of context to try to vilify or marginalize it.

    We’ve already discussed (at length) in the other thread that “all directions have the same speed” has never been implemented in a way that doesn’t leave combat bland. We have players that have played Descent for many years, and tried games with tri-chording replacements. They’ve found that the combat suffers. Re-suggesting it here doesn’t change that. Remind me: How much SP have you played of which games? MP?

    More generally: The mechanic is in the game; arguing for replacements is an exercise in futility. I’m in favor of increasing the bonus to what we’re familiar with in Descent, and adjusting the balance of everything else. D1/2 and D3 showed its use in tight areas, and more open areas. D1 was rather slow overall, and it was shown to be useful, D3 was larger and more open, and it was still useful. This tells me that it’s more a matter of what the surrounding ecosystem of weapons and levels will furnish than worrying about this mechanic.

    I say this not because it’s “how we’ve always done it”. There’s a clear tradeoff and diminishing it in favor of balance will diminish gameplay, as it reduces a skill in favor of simplifying combat. We want new players, but we don’t want to drive away veterans, or flatten the learning curve.

    #3946
    TwoCablesTwoCables
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 118
    Replies: 1474

    but we don’t want to drive away veterans

    And I think the majority of the people who funded Revival Productions to make Overload are veterans (you know, like us old guys). I would hate to see Overload’s sales fail because Revival Productions refuses to give the majority what they are expecting to see.

    Prepare for Overload…

    #3950
    sushicw
    Kickstarter Backer
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 21

    The diehard Descent-multiplayer veterans are going to be a minority of players. A very vocal and not unimportant minority, but you guys are a niche of a niche. 🙂 The majority of the (potential) audience does not have and never *will* have the reflexes and experience to know or care whether trichording exists or not. Most of them probably won’t ever try the eventual multiplayer.

    I’ve said this in the other thread and I’ll say it again here because I want my voice heard too:

    – I don’t really care about multiplayer. I know I’m not the only one.
    – I don’t want multiplayer balance concerns to make my single-player experience worse.
    – (I respect that many of you feel the same way, but with single and multi inverted.)

    #3953
    tueidj
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 64

    and we’d be encouraging people to fly around not facing the direction they’re moving even more so than before

    I can’t really see this as an issue. The ship can move in 6 directions but it can only face one, so five out of six times they’re already facing the “wrong” way.

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