Meter as Judge

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Meter as Judge

Postby Hadji|DP » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:13 am

Currently, the meter system is pretty simple. You get meter for doing things. Some things give you more meter than other things. Stunting gives you the most meter.

The system was conceived as a way to reward players who stunt in a more meaningful way than how The Specialist did it. But it seems that as an unintended consequence, the meter system also rewards specific playstyles, mainly a very fast-paced reflex-based arcade style. Players who play this way get an advantage as opposed to other styles simply because that's how they want to play.

if this philosophy should remain, we can embrace it even further and start using it to shape player behavior. if we can positively reinforce certain playstyles, we can use negative reinforcement to curb "cheap" or unwanted behavior such as camping, kill stealing, shooting people in the back by detracting meter.

If the last part sounds bad to anyone, i remind you that a player who is disadvantaged for her own actions is one thing. A player who is disadvantaged for things he didn't do is a whole different story.

The question is this:

Are we okay with the meter system giving preferential treatment to some players over others? If yes, should we extend it to curb unwanted behavior too? If no, what can be done to the meter that makes it more fair for all players?
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Antagonist » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:20 am

This is a really interesting topic. I instinctively want to say yes yes yes. Begone corner-huggers.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Vino » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:04 pm

Initially I'm doubtful of the idea of taking away meter. I don't see players responding well to it ("GD thing keeps taking away my METER!") and I'm not sure how to do it usability-wise. I'd be more willing do discuss just not giving any meter at all for doing non-stylish thing, like camping. But a lot of those things are subjective. Is kill stealing anti-stylish? Or is it just something that happens accidentally, fairly often actually. How would the game detect the player is camping? Can you really blame a player for shooting a guy in the back they get the drop on them?

But let me ask you a question, what styles of play do you feel are currently underprivileged and maybe we can add some meter bonuses for those styles.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Dementei » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:09 pm

Headshots.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Hadji|DP » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:00 pm

I want to give a well-written, short and concise answer to your question vino, but I haven't figured a way yet to do it without walls of text. i'll get back to you once that happens.

this is insufficient but these styles you see in other games:

players who engage at long ranges
players who use bullets to suppress
players who wait to engage until others reload
players who look for the weakest opponent in a fray
players who enjoy making every shot count
players who like "tanking"

the list could go on. I hate to use COD4 as an example, but the meter rewarding only one style of play is akin to giving players only one perk. but in COD4 perks sort of "officialize" play styles while leaving others out. by incentivizing other behaviors with meter the game rewards ALL playstyles and lets players decide which is best for themselves intuitively. it's a powerful feedback loop when a player is satisfied with their style AND the game rewards them for it.

i personally think though that no matter what, stunting style should afford the most meter, no matter what.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby ThinRedPaste » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:31 pm

Hadji|DP wrote:
players who use bullets to suppress
players who wait to engage until others reload
players who look for the weakest opponent in a fray


so you're saying that its some people's style to play as non-stylishly as possible. I don't think we want to reward that. we want to reward the ballsy risk-takers, not the cowering sissies that pick up the scraps after the real fight is over.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Vino » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Headshots as of the most recent version give a style bonus. Long range style bonuses are in the game.

Hadji|DP wrote:players who enjoy making every shot count


Accuracy is reasonably stylish, a style bonus for this might work.

Hadji|DP wrote:players who use bullets to suppress
players who wait to engage until others reload
players who look for the weakest opponent in a fray
players who like "tanking"


There are three problems with implementing style bonuses for play styles like this.

1) How do you specify exactly what behaviors amount to this style? For example, waiting players who use bullets to suppress, how is the game supposed to know those players from players who simply spam? Something like "Shooting at a player behind cover" is a bit vague. Does that mean shooting at a player who's on the other side of a wall? Who exactly is the "weakest" opponent in a fray? The one with the least amount of health or the least skill or the most vulnerable position?

2) How do you keep the game from registering false positives? That is, if I'm just shooting at an enemy and he happens to be reloading and I didn't necessarily wait for him to reload, the game would give me points even anyway. Or, the game could keep track of when I can see which player and whether I chose to shoot in this or that situation, which means your system for assigning style points is starting to get awful complicated. If it's a behavior that is hella stylish and we really want to reward them for doing it then it may be worth it, but otherwise, meh.

3) Shortness. You have two, maybe three words max that you can put on the style bar to tell the player what it is they did that got them the style points they just got. "Headshot!" is pretty clear about what happened. "Divepunch!" well yeah, you punched someone during a dive. "Long range!" Pretty self-evident. But "Tanking!" what's that tell me? What's tanking? Which part of my behavior just now was the tanking part? If I want to get the style bonus again, what do I have to do? And there's really no good way of writing, "Waited to engage while he was reloading!" in two or three words.

So there's the side effect of these constraints that playing in a very oblique style (eg, maybe focusing on stealth or honorably only shooting players if they know you're there) doesn't receive bonuses past the obvious. That's a penalty of the design that we implemented from the beginning I think, the ship has sailed. You can't make a game that does all things. You have to focus on a few things and make them very good.

Instead of allowing for more play styles by adding them to the stunt bar, I think I'd rather explore adding more stunt "verbs" to give the player more options on how to be stylish within the system that we've already set up for them. By that I just mean more kinds of stunts.
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Re: Meter as Judge

Postby Antagonist » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:29 am

I was playing with cods and I realized that a lot of kills happen on accident. Would there possibly be room for an "ACCIDENTAL" or "COLLATERAL" style bonus? Shit like if you shoot one man and he drops his primed grenade and takes out other people.
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