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EchelonIII

Verified Tanker [NA]
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  1. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from cccdfern in What Truly Breaks Arty: Yet another case study of Border Break and TF2 mechanics   
    I'm in Japan again, this time in Okayama, and I've been playing more Border Break to see how the arty mechanics could be implemented.

    Since arty seems to be a major discussion point, I'm going to be writing on what makes arty frustrating to play against and difficult to play.

    Artillery in BB is an ability of the Heavy Weapons class. Heavies also carry heavy guns (think LMG or Minigun), and a rocket/grenade launcher (exactly as it says), and a complement weapon, which is usually an ECM grenade (read: Flashbang)
     
    http://www12.atwiki.jp/borderbreak/pages/108.html
    Tl;DR: Artillery units in BB have (usually) the best armor, the best medium-range firepower, an explosive weapon, and are still good at close or long ranges depending on their layout. They're generally still weak against assault players (think a ~40% chance of winning given equal skill), but nowhere near as arty is to a medium/light in WoT.

    Imagine if an SPG had a TD-grade gun with additional supporting roles. It'd STILL be broken as fuck even if all other classes were given a second gun or a splash damage weapon too.

    Arty in BB shares many similar points with Arty in world of tanks, a splash hit is basically a kill on most light mechs. A direct hit is effectively a kill on any medium mechs. Worse still, arty is called in through pressing the overhead map, it's literally set-up, touch, and you can fire as many or as few shots as you want onto the radar map. So basically, artillery is just as easy to call in as WoT, except that BB uses a radar map and be fired in volleys (depending on the arty).

    So how have they done arty right? Let's run through it

    1. Respawning
    Respawing is a HUGE way to deal with artillery, it makes artillery feel like part of the game rather than a game ender.

    Is getting artied when trying to capture a point frustrating? Yes, but that's what arty is MEANT TO DO, you respawn, try again, respawn, try again.
     
    Players don't have the time or reason to feel frustrated at artillery when you're back fighting in ten seconds. That's durs

    In WoT, you get artied out of the blue, there is no payback, there is no compensation, there's only a big repair bill to pay for absolutely no fault of your own. That's frustrating.
     
    The typical response of a border break team trying to take a key point under arty fire which is VERY likely to badly damage the whole group to hit them is to keep throwing more wrecks into the meat grinder until the point is captured.
     
    The typical response of a world of tanks team trying to take a hill under arty fire which can only hit ONE of them is for ALL of them hide like motherfuckers.

    That's the effect of respawning, when you allow players to respawn, you encourage risk taking and more aggressive play, this is probably the single-greatest reason we have the rock-humping playstyle of WoT.

    TL;DR Part 1: Respawning accomplishes three things which takes the frustration out of random sky-oneshots.
    1) It distracts players from frustration by getting them back into the fight
    2) It gives players a chance to generate counterplay against the artillery (read: hunting the heavy down);
    3) It lessens the opportunity cost of taking risks (therefore encouraging better and more dynamic play instead of static rock-humping).
    2. Limited range and the Impact on Skill
    This can be learned from WoT itself, low tier arty is balanced by its own range, high tier arty can be set up anywhere on any map and can generally hit anywhere (of course, firing lines are important to know, but are a minor issue).

    Limited range also encourages skilled play, Heavies are still vulnerable at close range to both support (shotguns and repair) and assault classes (SMG beats LMG). To play a heavy, a player needs to be able to do quite a bit more than SPGs do in WoT, they need to be able to read the flow of the game and position themselves in such a way that they're both effective as a support fire class and as an artillery class.

    The flaw with this in WoT is in making maneuvering in an SPG near-redundant. Range is one of the best ways you can introduce a huge amount of depth into artillery play (the gap between the top and bottom FV304 players is massive compared to most other arties).
     
    TL;DR Part 2: Maneuvering is a critical part of the game.  The fact that bads can still do somewhat well in TX arty simply by sitting and clicking needs to be changed.

    3. Spotting and arty "camouflage"
    In WoT, we have spotting, you're either lit or you aren't, if you fire, your camo can still remain intact, for arty, firing across the map allows them to essentially wreck a player's game at zero risk to themselves. It's a simplistic mechanic, and yet it's one of the biggest flaws with artillery, there is no risk for artillery not to fire.

    Border break doesn't have the retarded spotting mechanics of WoT, every enemy within line of sight is visible, but only enemies within scan range show up on the minimap . A heavy setting up and firing its howitzer remains unlit on the map, but shows up to anybody looking in its general direction (humongous fucking fireballs a being fired skywards is hard to miss). It's a game mechanic accomplished through clever design.

    This point synergizes with No. 2 to break artillery in WoT: You wind up with a class with little strategic depth, takes absolutely no risk to play, for a disproportionate reward, and fails to reward skill.

    TL;DR Part 3: High-Reward, Low Risk is just plain wrong, nothing else needs to be said.
     
    4. It's not "nothing's OP if everything's OP", it's whether skilled rock beats paper

    Another area where WoT has sort of cornered itself is in every tank having one weapon only, thus lending to little flexibility to balance tanks; whereas in border break (and almost any other class-based shooter) balancing a mediocre primary weapon with a great secondary ability (e.g. medics) is a viable option. This is mostly an issue of the fact that there's nothing you can really do to change SPGs dramatically because the mechanic itself is broken.

    BB isn't a case of "if everything is OP, nothing is", the time to kill in border break is low compared to WoT, but still much higher than a twitch-shooter (CS). What I've found is that lowering the time to kill increases the value of skill, but risks decreasing the depth of the game (i.e. turning it into twitch shooting).

    Let's start by considering the effect of classes by using TF2 as an intermediate example. These are traditional rock-paper-scissors mechanics

    - In WoT, a light versus a TD or SPG in close range has generally got a 90% chance of winning assuming equal skill, the time to kill is approximately 15 seconds
    - In BB, an assault has maybe 55-65% odds of beating a heavy, and maybe 70% against a sniper
    - In TF2, a scout has a very good chance of beating a sniper in close, the time to kill is perhaps about 3 to 4 seconds

    Now, let's consider the effect of skill in to how these matchups are changed, and whether it's possible for skilled rock to beat paper.

    - In WoT, a 70%er in an SPG or TD is still fucked against the average 50% light in close range
    - In BB, a great heavy or sniper player can and often does reverse the odds against the average assault player
    - In TF2 however, the best snipers will trash the average scout player

    Looking at this seems to reveal a telling issue: WoT is a game where the effect of skill is greatly diminished, and combat outcomes can be determined by the classes being played, it's almost like rock-paper-scissors, which kills player interaction and frustrates people.

    Let's consider the feelings of the loser when the favorite wins
    - In TF2, your sniper being beaten by a scout feels like "I missed the headshot! Shit!" (read: you feel like you could have won it)
    - In Border Break, an assault beating your heavy feels like "I should have spun up my minigun" or "I should have aimed my rocket better"
    - In WoT, your TD being killed by a light slowly is not appropriate to be typed here. It's just plain frustrating, and is an exercise in futility 90% of the time.

    And when you consider the reverse interactions of the underdog class winning, you see why there's so much rage in WoT
    - In TF2, a scout feels like he's been completely outskilled by the sniper.
    - In Border Break, an assault being beaten by a heavy can feel frustrating, but
    - In WoT, a light being beaten by an SPG can be summed up as "fuck RNG and all who play it"
     
    Only in world of tanks is the rock-paper-scissors system seemingly set in stone when it comes to SPGs
    This is compounded by the next factor...
     
    TL;DR Part 4: Rock-Paper-Scissors Mechanics are alright as long as they can be overturned reliably by skill, world of tanks fails in this
    5A. One dimensional maps (or... Maps should not dictate Mechanics)
    We've already established that WoT screws entire classes just through RNG, but random maps are just as bad.

    Entire classes of tanks can be screwed out of a game in WoT (e.g. lights and arty in a city map, heavies in prok), you wind up with a much better chance of everything going to hell.

    You don't feel like you've lost because you fucked up, you feel like you've lost because the random map selector god has cursed your tank because your tank can only really do a few things well, and yet entire maps can render you useless.
     
    TL;DR: Building a cool map with no regard to game mechanics is bad

    5B. .... Plus One Dimensional Classes... (Or... Mechanics should improve maps)

    In BB, there are indoor and covered areas (arty can be neither from nor hit such areas), in those areas my howitzer becomes useless but my ECM systems become effective. Conversely, assault mechs have an easier time closing in and meleeing or SMGing me.

    How do heavies cope in areas where fighting is closer-in or when enemies are in areas of arty cover? 1. Replace the howitzer with attack drones, 2. Airburst ammo, 3. Replacing the howitzer with an assault shield, 4. Replace the howitzer with a drone system. etc.

    This works with any other game: How do we get around outright fucking players? By allowing players the option to compensate for situations they would ordinarily be fucked in.

    More options don't always mean one is OP beyond all doubt, instead, the diversity of combat situations in border break means that you'll have the advantage in some fights on a certain match and not in others.

    Contrast WoT where you can be screwed all match just for being in the wrong tank, and you have an all-or-nothing system where your tank can often be rendered completely irrelevant no matter your skill level.
     
    TL;DR: Build your mechanics first, then build a map that suits it.
     
    5C. Equals RIP
    Maps in WoT on the other hand can completely fuck entire classes (e.g. himmels/ensk compared to something like prok). Why does this happen? Look at the abilities of each class: Arty in WoT has one trick - click on red from sky and watch things blow up.

    As much as we like to see arty tears when arty players get such maps, Wargaming's maps have removed the depth from artillery play. Wargaming giving each tank one gun and one "ability" to speak of have removed the depth of the game.

    Is it good for business? Hell yes. Is it a good gameplay decision? Fuck no.
     
    TL;DR Part 5: Each class in WoT having precisely one optimal playstyle means that it's a game of how closely the map conforms to that playstyle.

    6. "Fuck This Guy in Particular"

    We've already established a few things

    1. Artillery in border break is nowhere near as frustrating as WoT
    2. Artillery in border break is even more likely to randomly wipe you out (and the group you're with) in a barrage or even a single shot

    We've tackled how respawning solves the frustration, but here's another key aspect of it.

    The key is this: When I shoot an area in border break, I only see the classes of the units on my radar, I designate an aim point, and my howitzer starts shelling around that aim point. All on my radar screen

    When I use arty in World of Tanks, I decide WHO I want to shoot, I aim exclusively at him, I fire, and his game gets ruined.

    Dying to an arty in border break feels like dying to an enemy player who wants to win just as much as you do, there's literally nothing personal about it.

    Dying to an arty in WOT feels like dying to someone who just wants to grief your game. That's a huge difference.
     
    TL;DR Part 6: Unilateral interaction is bad for games, WoT arty is the pinnacle of unilateral interaction.

    7. Clearly Defined Mechanics

    In WoT, if I'm behind a rock, I'm immune to a 261 but fodder for an FV304 but can be splashed by a T92 but could be easily hit by a Bat arty which has moved.

    You might say that that number of options in world of tanks increases the stategic depth of the game, but this isn't.

    Do I take the route through the open field or go through town where it may be safer for arty? I don't know, because there's no way to weigh my options. Fuck all if I go town and their CGC can still hit me anyway.
     
    Depth is only depth when the mechanics are clear to all, without clear mechanics, arty cover becomes a lottery of "Pray their arty has no arc on me".

    In Border Break, your status with regard to artillery comes in one of three forms.
    1. You have a clear view of the sky and am susceptible to a direct hit
    2. You don't have a clear view of the sky and are therefore immune to arty
    3. You're on the thin border of a sheltered area and may be splashed for light damage (this is more of an exceptional case)
     
    Clear rules that everybody understands.

    "Do I take this sheltered route through the building or save time by rushing the field" is now a clear strategic decision. Everybody knows they WILL be arty safe in town, and they need to weigh it up against if they think they can make it through field
     
    TL;DR Part 7: One class should not get to break the rules that everybody else abides by, depth is only depth when it's understood by players
     
     
    TLDR Compilation
     
    1: Respawning accomplishes three things which takes the frustration out of random sky-oneshots. 
    - It distracts players from frustration by getting them back into the fight - t gives players a chance to generate counterplay against the artillery (read: hunting the heavy down);  - It lessens the opportunity cost of taking risks (therefore encouraging better and more dynamic play instead of static rock-humping).   2: Maneuvering is a critical part of the game. The fact that bads can still do somewhat well in TX arty simply by sitting and clicking needs to be changed.   3: High-Reward, Low Risk is just plain wrong, nothing else needs to be said.   4: Rock-Paper-Scissors Mechanics are alright as long as they can be overturned reliably by skill, world of tanks fails in this   5: Building a cool map with no regard to game mechanics is bad. Build your mechanics first, then build a map that suits it. The problem is that each class in WoT having precisely one optimal playstyle means that it's a game of how closely the map conforms to that playstyle   6: Unilateral interaction is bad for games, WoT arty is the pinnacle of unilateral interaction.   7: One class should not get to break the rules that everybody else abides by, depth is only depth when it's understood by players
  2. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Spyshadow01 in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  3. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Nekommando in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  4. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from ZXrage in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  5. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from FlaviFeels in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  6. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Flaksmith in The overly misused phrase "noob team"   
    An inability to learn from mistakes indicates an intellectual disability.
  7. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Haswell in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  8. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Flaksmith in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  9. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from SgtKnispel23 in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  10. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Luna in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  11. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Roku in 'Nother shit night - so many baddie teams   
    And the greentard, never flitting, still is shitting, still is shitting
    On the thread of the forum about his inability to whore
    And his stats have all the badness of a tomato that is ripening
    Ripening for a day in the pallid hope that he may be something more
    And his WR stays slow and as low 
    And as low as it was before.
    Quoth the purple.
    "Cry Sum Moar"
  12. Upvote
    EchelonIII reacted to Luna in Anyone know why so many Mongolians play on NA servers?   
    The SEA server is dead and full of shitters, and for some reason they don't like RU.
  13. Upvote
    EchelonIII reacted to lt_lolcat in Anyone know why so many Mongolians play on NA servers?   
    I've seen plenty of Mongoloids, but no Mongolians. 
  14. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from UnusualMedic in Red Alert 2   
    Still better than Red Alert 3.
  15. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from ForkUrEyes in Red Alert 2   
    Still better than Red Alert 3.
  16. Upvote
    EchelonIII reacted to Jesse_the_Scout in State of the game   
    I think part of the issue is in the earlier days the game was definitely crappier, but on a constant (if slow) upward trajectory. When I started I played less than a year and then shelved it because of the retarded MM that pitted tier 5s against tier 8s. Then they fixed that, which was a night and day improvement. They did a lot of things like increasing accuracy, new branches and tanks (back when that hadn't gotten so saturated), an attempt at nerfing arty (and the almost year of sweet arty reprieve which resulted). Gold ammo wasn't all good but at least it did make a lot of previously crap tanks playable and improved the plight of being low tier. Nerfs and buffs of tanks were a constant thing instead of WG being too scared of their own players to change shit. They really tried new ideas like sheltered MM, gold consumable for credits, and such.
    Basically the game sucked but they really were improving it, even if in typical WG 2 steps forward 1 step back manner. Lately they don't do shit any more. We generally get a single actual good change every patch, most of it is either things that don't need to be changed/changes so minor as to be trivial (HD models), crappy fail game modes (historical, encounter/assault, confrontation, steel hunt, ETC.), downright stupid tweaks (making the Super Pershing fucking invincible), or colossal fuck ups like the recent emblems and inscriptions. Players put up with all the bullshit because it was improving, but overall it hasn't improved for crap in over a year and arguably has even lost ground. They went from 2 steps forward 1 step back to 2 steps forward 2 back.
  17. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Flaksmith in What is one skill that pubbies critically lack?   
    Seeing how many single tanks push a platoon, the ability to count to three.
  18. Upvote
    EchelonIII reacted to AncientObliterator in What is one skill that pubbies critically lack?   
    Common Sense. 
  19. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from OnboardG1 in Tournament team names   
    I raise you this:
    AAA Insurance'); DROP TABLE Teams;--
  20. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Ebola_chan in E 75 improvement thread....   
    I finally got around to looking at the E75 replay...
     

    TL;DR: Stop talking, Start Playing, Start using common sense, it's like watching a special olympian try to swim





    RE: Positioning


    RE: Engaging Targets





    RE: Aiming





    RE: Awareness





    RE: Shit Talking



  21. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from Ebola_chan in E 75 improvement thread....   
    Let me sum up your problem in images, I only had a few minutes to cobble something together



    Armor use and Crew Skills





    Tunnelvisioning:



    Situational Awareness

  22. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from RC_Tank in Teamkilling, turning blue, getting banned, and everything terrible (except arty)   
    How I TK shittoons.

    1. TK shittard #1
    2. Drive back into cap
    3. Shittard #2 shoots me, turns blue
    4. Blow him away
  23. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from RC_Tank in A big GseriesARFCOM greetings to All.   
    I find it amazing that players that say they "don't care about winrate, clownwars, stronkholds, mods, XVM and basically taking this game far too seriously" care about fake internet points
  24. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from capt-jay in Repair Kits and Medkits: How to use them effectively?   
    Have you forgotten that these are world of tanks players we are discussing?
  25. Upvote
    EchelonIII got a reaction from TheEmptyLord in The Ankh-Morpork fire brigade, or why the WG MM is the best   
    I support skill-based MM in that players should only be placed in teams of players in their skill bracket against teams of other skill brackets, after all, if win rate is random, then a team of all 40%ers is equal to a team of all 60%ers, in fact, the team of 40%ers will win more because WG rigs the game to pull everyone back to 50%.
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