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Author Topic: Gameplay Preview Phase 7 Results  (Read 76947 times)
Norfenstein

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« on: April 05, 2011, 02:10:44 AM »

Time for another update! This time with: two gameplay bug fixes, two minor balance tweaks, and an adjustment to stage thresholds in response to the change from last phase. See below for details, including why a few things weren't changed. Thanks to Dracone, kevlarman, Lakitu7, Meisseli, and Yarou for finding and/or testing the gameplay bugs fixed this phase.

Reading the graphs: Each cross is one game, the distance from 0 on the vertical axis indicates how close a game was to the mean duration for all games on the graph. The numbers in the bottom right are the min/median/max/standard deviation for stage up times and game duration.

Both servers combined


Euro server


US server


Stage thresholds
The graphs are comparable to last phase, but a little worse for humans. It looks like fixing the stage counter bug in phase seven has made both teams stage up about 40-50% faster, but with practically no change in how fast games end overall. I'd say it's inconclusive whether the moderate dip in balance can really be attributed to this or not. In the interest of making that more conclusive, and in making the first two stages a more significant part of the game we're increasing the default stage thresholds by 50%. This is still a server setting though, so other servers can still make the thresholds whatever they like.

Armour and locational damage regions
We've adjusted the values for human locational damage and armour coverage so that the armour regions actually line up with the body regions, since it was previously possible to get helmet protection on top of the body modifier for a small region in which they overlapped. The change was to extend the "head" region lower (from 0.9 to 0.8 standing, 0.86 to 0.7 crouching), so as a side effect this should make getting headshots slightly easier. I'm not sure how a big an effect this will have on gameplay, or if it will even be noticeable, but at least armour coverage won't be severely counterintuitive.

Trample
The trample previously interacted rather poorly with structures: on the first hit to any structure you would immediately lose your entire charge, even for structures that you could walk over. This also meant that a human standing on a telenode or medistation could never be hit by a trample. Now the trample can hit any number of structures without abruptly stopping, so you can rampage over multiple telenodes without interruption. Structures still only take damage once per trample, however (so no spinning on top of a tele to kill it). I don't expect this to affect balance.

Flamer
I think it'll be pretty uncontroversial to say the flamer is very underused; players on the EU server actually got more blaster kills than flamer kills this phase. As a defensive weapon it's relatively fine, but the usefulness of a purely defensive weapon is pretty low so I decided that the best thing for it was to increase its projectile speed (from 300 to 500). This effectively increases its range and will make it a little easier to attack with (not to mention be less dangerous to the wielder). I guessed at how much to change this value though, so we'll see how big an impact it has.

Shotgun
Probably a little more controversial is the usefulness of the shotgun. Like the flamer, its damage output is respectably high, but its range just makes it too defensive and too dangerous to use. I've come to agree that, given the cost of the shotgun, the rifle is almost always a better choice. The best remedy for this that I can think of is to increase the effective range of the shotgun by reducing its spread. So I took it from 900 (the same spread as the chaingun) to 700.

Things not being changed (this phase)
  • Basilisk - I've honestly been surprised (and pleased!) to hear people suggesting the basilisk is overpowered, since I've personally been worried about it becoming little more than a mobile medistation for aliens. It really hasn't been my experience that the basilisk is a more effective killer than the marauder or dragoon, or even that it's more powerful than its cost warrants, but I'll pay closer to attention to it in playtesting this phase. And I'll be interested to see if the shotgun buff makes any difference for the people frustrated by the basilisk.
  • Dragoon - There's been a variety of complaints about the goon, the most legitimate of which I feel is that the bite is not useful enough in comparison to the pounce. I think the pounce should in fact be useful more often than the chomp -- since it's really what makes the goon fun and interesting -- but I'd rather it not be too imbalanced. In phase seven the ratio of player kills by pounce versus dragoon bite was about 2:1, which I think is just at the threshold of acceptable. I'm mostly reluctant to make changes with this because the goon is very clearly not underedpowered (and aliens in general are winning more), and I'd rather not weaken the pounce much from where it is. I haven't ruled anything out yet though.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 12:17:58 AM by Norfenstein » Logged
Norfenstein

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 02:27:56 AM »

Player kills by MOD, EU server
Code:
31102 MACHINEGUN
14539 CHAINGUN
11716 LASGUN
10769 LCANNON_SPLASH
10649 MDRIVER
8977 SHOTGUN
8800 LCANNON
5540 PRIFLE
3350 PAINSAW
3070 GRENADE
1838 BLASTER
1231 FLAMER
261 FLAMER_SPLASH

15485 MGTURRET
1971 TESLAGEN
1101 REACTOR
591 HSPAWN

25838 LEVEL0_BITE
13427 LEVEL3_POUNCE
8717 LEVEL2_CLAW
7999 LEVEL4_CLAW
7037 LEVEL3_CLAW
5168 LEVEL4_TRAMPLE
4500 LEVEL1_CLAW
4177 LEVEL2_ZAP
3489 POISON
2069 LEVEL3_BOUNCEBALL
296 ABUILDER_CLAW
222 LEVEL4_CRUSH
12 SLOWBLOB

1605 ATUBE
803 SWARM
278 OVERMIND
55 ASPAWN

289 FALLING
208 SUICIDE
157 TRIGGER_HURT
53 TELEFRAG
51 CRUSH
14 LAVA

Player kills by MOD, US server
Code:
243460 MACHINEGUN
116834 CHAINGUN
108309 LASGUN
107533 MDRIVER
89504 LCANNON_SPLASH
75074 LCANNON
71034 SHOTGUN
40891 PRIFLE
31423 GRENADE
24502 PAINSAW
12917 FLAMER
7828 BLASTER
2545 FLAMER_SPLASH

84986 MGTURRET
16973 TESLAGEN
6661 REACTOR
3786 HSPAWN

204617 LEVEL0_BITE
104749 LEVEL3_POUNCE
73145 LEVEL4_CLAW
56147 LEVEL3_CLAW
54107 LEVEL2_CLAW
45162 LEVEL4_TRAMPLE
30933 LEVEL2_ZAP
28409 POISON
27232 LEVEL1_CLAW
14578 LEVEL3_BOUNCEBALL
2027 LEVEL4_CRUSH
1391 ABUILDER_CLAW
85 SLOWBLOB

7186 ATUBE
6894 SWARM
1555 OVERMIND
307 ASPAWN

5637 TRIGGER_HURT
2971 FALLING
1644 SUICIDE
1542 CRUSH
1072 TELEFRAG
631 LAVA
119 WATER

Structure kills by MOD, EU server
Code:
5259 MACHINEGUN
5239 LCANNON
4306 GRENADE
3204 PAINSAW
2672 LASGUN
2213 PRIFLE
1681 CHAINGUN
1531 BLASTER
1061 LCANNON_SPLASH
920 MDRIVER
811 SHOTGUN
295 FLAMER
20 FLAMER_SPLASH

6464 LEVEL2_CLAW
4936 LEVEL3_CLAW
4421 LEVEL3_BOUNCEBALL
3992 LEVEL2_ZAP
3325 LEVEL4_CLAW
1890 LEVEL1_CLAW
1384 LEVEL3_POUNCE
1079 LEVEL0_BITE
720 ABUILDER_CLAW
180 LEVEL4_TRAMPLE
9 LEVEL4_CRUSH

8513 NOCREEP
532 DECONSTRUCT

Structure kills by MOD, US server
Code:
27192 LCANNON
26470 GRENADE
22124 MACHINEGUN
13793 PAINSAW
13176 LASGUN
9843 PRIFLE
8063 CHAINGUN
6592 LCANNON_SPLASH
4351 MDRIVER
3807 SHOTGUN
3573 BLASTER
1790 FLAMER
137 FLAMER_SPLASH

29212 LEVEL2_CLAW
23562 LEVEL3_CLAW
23049 LEVEL2_ZAP
22490 LEVEL3_BOUNCEBALL
18838 LEVEL4_CLAW
12221 LEVEL3_POUNCE
8035 LEVEL1_CLAW
6097 LEVEL0_BITE
2834 ABUILDER_CLAW
1140 LEVEL4_TRAMPLE
40 LEVEL4_CRUSH

31977 NOCREEP
3174 DECONSTRUCT
Logged
Lakitu7
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 03:16:44 AM »

Non-gameplay changes that happened to go live at the same time:

* Fix timestamps in games.log not resetting after a map_restart (thanks kharnov)
This was creating small bugs in tremstats where incorrectly long game lengths were given


(that's it; it hasn't been that long since I did the last non-phase-change update)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 03:26:24 AM by Lakitu7 » Logged
Lakitu7
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 03:35:21 AM »

Hey folks, just to clarify something with the damage regions:

Prior to this fix, aliens were not getting full headshot damage unless you were aiming well above a human's head. If you aimed at the head, instead you were getting cheated by about 1/3rd of the damage, as the game applied a mix of headshot and bodyshot modifiers to the damage. This bug was corrected.

This should affect the goon pounce vs swipe balance as well, since headshots with swipe are now stronger (or easier to achieve, depending on where you are aiming), while pounce is nonlocational and has no such thing as a headshot.
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F50


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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 03:52:23 AM »

I think the pounce should in fact be useful more often than the chomp -- since it's really what makes the goon fun and interesting.

Alas. This is not the place for an in-depth discussion of that statement, but I figured I may as well draw some attention to it.
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Anonymoose


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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 05:10:09 AM »

Is the disappearance of the aiming reticule for aliens a part of this latest change?
How was this ever seen as a good idea?

It is not such an issue if you're playing tremulous on a small 1024x768 screen but some of us have quite high resolutions and large monitors where the absence of a reticule is disastrous.
I don't want to have to draw on a dot in the center with a whiteboard marker like old times =).
Please don't take away my reticule!
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Tremulant
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 05:34:43 AM »

What exactly did you do to the flamer, it feels extremely strange, i was just starting to get the hang of the previous stage's version and this one's thrown me, i guess it may appear relatively ineffective due to increased chomp strength of the goons i'm chasing. On the up side, it's much better for taking apart the alien base.
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Lakitu7
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 05:45:44 AM »

Changes to the aiming crosshair, the sound of the granger swipe, and other cosmetic things like that were unintentional and are now fixed. I messed something up while making the pk3s; my bad.
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Anonymoose


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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 07:59:07 AM »

Changes to the aiming crosshair, the sound of the granger swipe, and other cosmetic things like that were unintentional and are now fixed. I messed something up while making the pk3s; my bad.
Yay! That is a relief.
Thank you.
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GeneralScott


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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 11:34:15 AM »

I honestly thought the shotgun was a good bang for the buck.... It was a cheap weapon that was VERY effecting at gooning. I guess the reduced spread might help it against marauders.
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Nux


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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 12:42:06 PM »

All good changes.

I'd still like to know how bias is calculated.

Quote
Each cross is one game, the distance from 0 on the vertical axis indicates how close a game was to the mean duration for all games on the graph.

That only tells me half the story and doesn't explain why sudden death crosses are dotted all round rather than at and beyond some fixed distance from 'average duration' like it should be. If you could just post the code used to calculate it that would be fine.
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Asvarox


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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2011, 12:54:33 PM »

The problem with shotgun is that it feels completely different than any other weapon - you can get all the bullets into a dretch (that means, no marks on the surface, just a lot of "alien blood") and in fact you didn't hit it at all. IIRC you need to aim slightly behind it (or predict where it will go, can't tell when I'm not playing Tongue ) to actually deal the damage. Basically it feels like it isn't affected by unlagged.
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Dracone


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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 01:12:34 PM »

Imo the shotgun was fine, I was able to kill anything besides overminds and alien structures at distances with it. You just had to time your shots better than you had to in 1.1. Dretches definitely had to be closer to get one shot kills though. With a spread reduction I can see myself killing everything with shotty, but we'll see. Haven't tried it yet.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 01:30:21 PM by Dracone » Logged

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GeneralScott


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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 01:20:23 PM »

I tried it all out. I don't even see a difference in the flamer, really. The flamer will never be a good weapon until it is good at range... the fact is, the cheaper weapons (Shotgun, Lasgun, MD) are almost as good or better at dretching, and they are also good against the higher classes. Because of the range, it will always be completely useless againt rants and adv goons, who can stand the fire long enough to deliver a killing blow.

The only way to make the flamer good is to lessen the damage and increase the range. It's all in the range. However, then it's not good against buildings. Hmph.

IRL flamers don't really have big range limitations, they would be able to fire from one end of the ATCs hall to the other. What the flamer should be is an arc range like the granger spit, except do lots of damage, the closer the flamer the more the damage. Just saying, the only thing a close range high damage flamer will ever be good for is dretchwhoring.

The shotty is more powerful by a bit, due to the spread being better for shooting maras.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 01:28:43 PM by GeneralScott » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 02:33:14 PM »

IRL flamers don't really have big range limitations, they would be able to fire from one end of the ATCs hall to the other.
I don't even.

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GeneralScott


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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2011, 02:43:00 PM »

No, just one segment, silly.
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Dracone


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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2011, 04:02:37 PM »

IT HAS BEEN SPOKEN.

The flamer shall be altered so as to have a range of "ATCS hallway." If obstacles get in the way, the flames shall seek the quickest possible route around said obstacles.
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Menace13


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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2011, 10:32:53 PM »

I decided that the best thing for [the Flamer] was to increase its projectile speed (from 300 to 500). This effectively increases its range and will make it a little easier to attack with (not to mention be less dangerous to the wielder).

If it effectively increases the range does that mean it will overreach the flame model itself? I played a server (X? I can't recall...) where Flamer range was extremely large, and it overreached the model by about 3x its length. Will that be a problem now? Undecided

Edit: Checked it, and I'm right. It does indeed overreach its model. It should go more or less 2/3 of the model (from where it comes out of the flamer to when it disappears) further than the model. Simply, it is 5/3 longer, but the model wasn't edited to show this.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 10:51:53 PM by Menace13 » Logged


but a small twisty barrel will have small pew pew's, and small pew pew's can hurt mr.tyrant.
GeneralScott


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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2011, 11:02:22 PM »

Did you guys increase the size of the tyrant or something?
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jm82792


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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2011, 02:12:44 AM »

Like the new flamer, it actually keeps stuff away from me instead of having a goon pounce me or roasting myself.
Shotgun is more offensive, I like it. I can go out with it and not have to be 2 inches from something to kill it.
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Menace13


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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2011, 02:32:26 AM »

Also, when will the Phase 7 results include kills, deaths, and efficiencies, if ever?
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but a small twisty barrel will have small pew pew's, and small pew pew's can hurt mr.tyrant.
ziplocpeople


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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2011, 03:12:22 AM »

Shotty is the new MD.
Flamer is the new /god.
Basi is still op.
Goon still needs tweaking.
but finally, thank god, bsuits can actually die for the first time in 1.2 history.

Note: These are only my feelings after like 6 games of this phase.
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Tremulant
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2011, 03:16:43 AM »

but finally, thank god, bsuits can actually die for the first time in 1.2 history.
Huh?
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Celestial_Rage


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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2011, 03:37:43 AM »

Note: These are only my feelings after like 6 games of this phase.

Were you playing drunk?
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NotYarou


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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2011, 04:42:43 AM »

For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed playing GPP.
I really feel that these balance changes are excellent; GPP no longer feels as slow as it used to.
You've managed to capture the deathmatch style I loved in 1.1, while still keeping the greater focus on teamwork introduced in GPP.
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Nux


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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2011, 09:53:53 AM »

It does indeed overreach its model.

Yes, and then they had the audacity to apply the change to real life as well.  Wink

Misunderstood.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 11:05:34 PM by Nux » Logged

ziplocpeople


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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2011, 07:20:45 PM »

For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed playing GPP.
I really feel that these balance changes are excellent; GPP no longer feels as slow as it used to.
You've managed to capture the deathmatch style I loved in 1.1, while still keeping the greater focus on teamwork introduced in GPP.

I agree with this statement (Except I liked the gpp beforehand as well.)

Though, I think that the flamer is really easy to abuse (Especially with the model not matching the particle.) Upon further play, the shotgun is not as strong as I thought it was, though I haven't played enough to really see if the spread is too little.

As for my bsuits comment, I was referring to the fact that I can actually kill chainsuits with a Mara now, like I could in 1.1. I couldn't in earlier phases (for the most part.)
EDIT: Cool, thanks for the update Lak (and thanks for looking at it Norf)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:27:08 PM by ziplocpeople » Logged

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Lakitu7
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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2011, 07:27:38 PM »

The mismatch between flamer range appearance and the new change is known and Norfenstein said he would look at it later today.
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Menace13


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« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2011, 10:11:52 PM »

The mismatch between flamer range appearance and the new change is known and Norfenstein said he would look at it later today.

Thanks! It's annoying not being able to tell how far flamer will shoot :3 I accidentally bled teammates a bunch due to it.
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but a small twisty barrel will have small pew pew's, and small pew pew's can hurt mr.tyrant.
Norfenstein

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« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2011, 12:39:08 AM »

Sorry about the flamer glitch (and for taking two days to fix it), Lakitu has the fix up on the servers now.

Imo the shotgun was fine
I agree, if you ignore its cost (which is easy to do for such a cheap weapon). My opinion was that it was no better than the rifle (and that there was room to make it better without needing to change anything else).

Because of the range, it will always be completely useless againt rants and adv goons, who can stand the fire long enough to deliver a killing blow.
Not every weapon is supposed to be equally good for all purposes. The flamer's niche is intended to be clearcutting lower-level aliens. If you want to attack structures or kill tyrants or goons (instead of just defending yourself from them) I suggest you travel with a teammate that has a different weapon.

For the first time ever, I actually enjoyed playing GPP.
I really feel that these balance changes are excellent; GPP no longer feels as slow as it used to.
You've managed to capture the deathmatch style I loved in 1.1, while still keeping the greater focus on teamwork introduced in GPP.
Have you not played in a while, or were these relatively small changes enough to make the difference? Either way, <3
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