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Tender Peaches

The Point of Contention Thread

What are your usual availabilities for the timeslots below? (all times EST)  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. Weekdays Evenings : 7PM - 10PM (excluding Fridays)

    • Generally available
      13
    • Depends on the day
      5
    • Generally unavailable
      2
  2. 2. Saturday Mornings : 10AM - Noon

    • Generally available
      8
    • Sometimes available
      9
    • Generally unavailable
      3
  3. 3. Saturday Evenings : 8PM - 10PM

    • Generally available
      10
    • Sometimes available
      5
    • Generally unavailable
      5
  4. 4. Sunday Mornings : 10AM - Noon

    • Generally available
      9
    • Sometimes available
      6
    • Generally unavailable
      5
  5. 5. Sunday Nights : 8PM - 10PM

    • Generally available
      14
    • Sometimes available
      3
    • Generally unavailable
      3


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Brotherhood vs Terminus was only picked because we felt it best represented the peak of SG. Also a bit selfishly because I never experienced Term vs BH and had an opportunity to do it. We can start anew with two completely new factions, new colors and whatnot. In my mind, Terminus/BH could be used later as "powerhouse" factions in the story line, but ultimately that'll be up to whoever contributes to the lore to figure out.

 

Here's the plan. We've got a single map so the playerbase isn't diluted. If we want to introduce new maps, we have to replace the existing one. So when we feel like a new map would spice up the game, we drop it along with a substantial lore update to wrap everything up nicely. At that point, it's up to the writers' liberty to dictate the pace of the story. Factions could very well last for no more than a single patch, while others could have at it for multiple months, culminating into an epic finale or something equally charming.

 

Beta release will feature a new map but work on it hasn't begun yet, so if you come up with lore that leads to a battle in a certain environment, we can create the map with the tileset picked accordingly (within the available SC2 tilesets of course... they're pretty diverse though). I thought the first lore could be some kind of prologue? Maybe some smaller, early factions rather than quickly jumping in the massive interstellar warfare. If you want to use the SG storyline, sure. If you want to start completely anew, sure. It's a clean slate right now.

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Thanks D.

 

We're aiming for a session next weekend, but I don't want to hold it sunday night for various reasons. It seems like a good opportunity to include our friends in SEA. Something like late Saturday night would be ideal. If we want to hype it up (and release more features), we could delay it to the following weekend.

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I'd prefer something at the normal time/day tbh.  We need more than a few days notice especially to blast out info to other people

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A few days' notice is good enough for what we want to achieve with a session, which is testing shit. What we need to hype is Beta release because it's when people will actually be able to play at their leisure. The faster we get stuff tested, the faster we can roll out a quality Beta product.

 

I just finished an exam rush so I'm gonna have a bit of free time ahead of me this week. I think I can generate enough new content to warrant a session this weekend, but the official announcement will have to wait until tonight.

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Oh sorry, I thought you said that this session was going to be the beta release.

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Nope :P. There's so much content that we want released with Beta that it's completely unreasonable to test it all at once, so we're still going to be holding a couple of sessions until then. Shouldn't be more than 2-3 though.

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Kay fuck it. We're going to be playing POC this Sunday at Noon EST. There's so much stuff I want to test that I'll be thrilled with a 3v3. Spread the word to the masses. Motivated Singaporeans can even join us if they stay up late. It's been a while so I don't expect a big turnout, but we'll see.

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Hey folks,

 

Been lurking on this forum because of the POC updates, but I'm not otherwise involved. I'd love to help out this weekend if it's possible. Is there somewhere I can sign up, or would you prefer I wait to see it pop up on the Facebook group?

 

Cheers,

Scott

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There's no signing up per se, you pretty much just show up :P. We've never really been full so it's just been a matter of showing up, contacting Envy or me and we'll get you in the lobby. We usually run 2-3 games just to get stuff rolling regardless of how many people we get (the fewer we are the more we wait). If after 3 games we still can't get more than a 4v4, we'll generally call it a day. So that generally leaves you with a ~1h window after the announced time where you can just log on and probably play.

 

If you're looking for a place to say "I'll be there for sure" or "I'll be there if I can", then do it in this thread, I check it way too often. The Facebook group is mostly just to shout out the news to people who may potentially care. It may not seem like it right now, but this thread is where people can discuss anything about PoC. We haven't had steady sessions in a while so the influx of input has dried down a bit, but we're hoping Blake shows up Sunday so he can find a couple of issues he'd like to point out. Otherwise, feel free to ask anything about the game or where it's headed.

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Peaches#533, NvZero#988 are the two people you should add. I don't actually see your friend request though, so you have to send me a PM with your character code when you see me online (which is pretty much never except during sessions).

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Alright guys, we have an opportunity to take a game balance decision and we can't honestly figure out if there's a choice that's clearly above the rest. Hoping you well-versed folks can give us a hand.

 

You all know how chem mines were bugged in SG. I can't recall exactly if they just never expired or required someone to reinforce so that it expired, but regardless it was broken and they tried to balance around it. We obviously didn't reproduce the broken behavior, so we can make use of some of the finest tweaking tools Blizzard gave us in order to achieve the best possible result. Here are our 4 choices :

 

A : No Stacking, High Movement Speed Debuff, Medium duration

 

This is the standard option. Stepping on a chem mine tags you with a Slow behavior, which simply gets refreshed when stepping onto another chem mine.

 

B : Stacking, Stack Refresh, Low Movement Speed Debuff, Low duration

 

Stack refresh means that when the slow behavior is reapplied on the unit, the entire stack of that behavior gets refreshed. Meaning a unit crossing a chem minefield will keep the entire stack of slows with it until it stays duration seconds without stepping on another mine. Such a setup would require a low buff duration since refreshes are pretty OP.

 

C : Stacking, No Stack Refresh, High Movement Speed Debuff, Low Duration

 

Each buff has its own independant timer, so when you step on another mine you're not refreshing the entire stack of slows. This setup has a high movement speed debuff to compensate for its low duration. You can still physically stack mines to really bog down a chokepoint, but the slow won't last for very long.

 

D : Stacking, No Stack Refresh, Low Movement Speed Debuff, High Duration

 

Same as option C, although this time the duration is higher and the movement speed debuff is lower.

 

So A, B, C or D and why?

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How does slow stack on the engine? A percentage of your current speed?

 

The difference between stacking and non-stacking is basically whether or not continuously mining the same spot is a valid strategic option. This means that allowing stacks instead of simply refreshes open up 2 different strategies. I'd say go for it (more options, yay!), if you're willing to accept that it'll be harder to balance since you're balancing two strategies instead of one.

 

With this, it's probably easier to balance C over B; with C you'd probably like a huge stack at first and then spread out just to refresh the massive slows (in fact, this could end up being the ONLY way to mine with chem), and maybe do it in "capes" since then the other player could stop until the massive stacked slow is over. I don't know, it just feels easier for players and programmers to play around with individual timers for each mine. Also, there's player satisfaction, which I'll mention further on.

 

Between C and D, in numbers they're basically the same, but high slow with low duration probably benefits aoe like arbs and pigs more, since they remain cluttered for longer (especially on choke points) and react slower to the attack, but that's minimal. I think the issue here ends up being player satisfaction. If it's the same result, which would be less stressful for the player; a big slow for a low duration, or a low slow for a big duration? Again, it feels like the first is more effective while the second is more annoying. Going back to the last paragraph, I also find B much more annoying than C for the player. I don't think adding more options is a good idea when said options are more stressful than anything else; reminds me of why dodge was removed in LOL.

 

So, uh, C. I'd also be happy with A though.

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B in my opinion ( at least if I understand it correctly).  The more mines you step on, the stronger the slow until you are out of the minefield. Then the timer would decrease until zero or hit another mine.

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This is a mechanics question, not a balance one. I don't think any of these options are inherently unbalanced.

 

Anyway, my opinions:
A is bad, it reduces gameplay depth. If a couple of your units hit the max power chem mines, you're essentially committed to your squad moving at that speed for a significant amount of time. There is no reason you wouldn't just plow through the entire chem mine field. With any of the stacking options, especially the low duration ones, the player has a very viable choice of trying to go around the minefield. On top of that, Blake already mentioned how game depth is being reduced for the mine-layer in option A as well. We all like gameplay depth, right?

I don't like B. It's slightly unintuitive, but that's the only real reason I can muster.

Blake's rundown of C and D is fantastic. C is my choice.

 

As for other balance concerns, I think Chem Mines' main function in SG was to slow down units enough that they couldn't lag armor their way through a giant field of regular mines. This no longer applies, so Chem mines are left with only their secondary functions, to increase unit travel time (effectively removing a player from the game for x seconds) and to limit combat options (make it harder to run away or chase). Because of the reduction in functionality, I think chem mines should get a slight effectiveness boost from their SG stats. (Oh, and since removing a player from the game for x seconds is exactly what happens as a result of damage when your squad gets cleared out, you could theoretically create a formula that equates damage to slow duration*time. May not be worth the effort, though.)


I'd also like to submit another option, the Stun Mine:
E : 100% Movement Speed Debuff, Very Low Duration

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Thanks for the responses ladies.

 

I have to agree that A is the most shallow out of all 4. It provides absolutely no strategic depth and fails to adequately reward superior decision making on either the miner's or the minee's side. It's crossed off at this point.

 

B highly rewards experienced players because, as MZ pointed out, its not very intuitive. Crossing a minefield would take exponentially longer depending on its length, and I don't think that's a result we want to achieve. This could be counterbalanced with a very short duration to make chaining harder, but at this point that's going as far as possible away from the SG mechanics and the end doesn't really justify the means in this case. B is still on the table because maybe it could be tweaked to be workable, but it seems like the cons far outweigh the pros.

 

So it comes down to C vs D. I agree, C seems to be superior because, well, most people would rather be fucked hard for a couple of seconds rather than be fucked softly for what seems like an eternity. I still think there's room to balance D to ultimately feel more like SG Chem mines, but at this point what the hell. I like the idea of C allowing key mines to bog down units in a chokepoint only to be immediately shelled by ambushing arbalests. C seems to be the #1 contender, but I'll probably try different tweaks during the sessions we have until Beta.

 

As for E, it seems a bit too extreme for a chem mine design, but could be implemented in another type of mine. We're only doing HE/CHEM/EMP for now, but there really isn't any limit within reason to the number of different mines we could implement.

 

The actual slow is a Movement Speed % debuff on the target unit. Two stacks of a 5% slowing buff doesn't slow for 10%, it actually slows for slightly less (5%, then 5% of that value... the more stacks, the less effective additional stacks are). 

 

On top of the movement speed % debuff and the duration of the buff, there are a couple of other variables that can have a big effect on balance. The top two are the Stack Cap (max number of stacks on a unit at once) and the range of the actual mine. Right now the effectiveness for the top TL chem mine is a 45% slow (so 55% movement speed). Since we're likely going to go with C, what would the numbers look like? A 5 seconds duration seems fair although that's really on the low end. I don't think anything above 10 seconds is a good idea. As for the movement speed % debuff itself, we could go with something like 10% with no hard cap, or 20% with a ~8 mines hard cap. I guess the sessions will help us figure this out.

 

Also, I'm going to get started on EMP mines. They were very underwhelming in SG and I don't think they'd be any better in PoC's environment. For now the door is open to do something about it, but it can't be something too drastic - worst case scenario, it'll just be one of those things we balance once everything else is over with. Thoughts? Suggestions?

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I vote "C"

 

Stacking, No Stack Refresh, fair enough for mines sitting.

High Movement Speed Debuff, Low Duration I think this is more reasonable than other three options.

when units step on mine, it suddenly drop the movement speed but debuff time is short. Here is stats

 

one unit step on mine got debuff, debuff duration 5 sec, slow the speed to 30% of the original speed, assume original unit speed is 5m/s. Once activated, the unite speed drop to 5-3.5=1.5m/s in 5 sec. THAT'S REALLY SLOW to through, if you mined the whole path. 

 

x1..= mine

A=unit

   

A  x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 x9 

------->

assume each mine placed 0.5m distance.

when "A" touches mine, slow downed the speed. "A" still can move in 1.5m/s

so the total mine "A" will be hit if "A" keep moving are initial mine x1, then x2 after moved 0.5m, to 7.5m distance which is X8.

 

Pros: sapper owns, the chem mine really rocks in btl. No single poc will be ez. Makes poccer to develop other strategies to play. 

Con: might slow down whole game play if the mine all over the place. It give def poc harder to poc.

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Yes, 70% reduction is too much. SG's level felt right, but we can probably go a little higher due to my previous role balance explanation.

 

Should the cap be a number of stacks cap or total effectiveness cap? How do chem mines effects of different strengths stack? What's the easiest way to implement caps in the engine?

 

In a perfect world, I think I would want a total 60% speed reduction as the maximum any unit can suffer.

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The simplest implementation is a cap on the number of "Slow" behaviors that can be present on a unit at any given time. This will indirectly indicate what the maximum slow will be. Chem mines all have the same effect right now (highest TL chem is tl75 so everyone has it), but if we were to have two different Slow behaviors, it's my understanding that they would be each considered as separate buffs and calculated separately.

 

Say the slow is 5%, then here's what the unit's movement speed will be in relation to how many stacks of the behavior the unit has :

 

0: 100%

1: 95%

2: 90.25%

3: 85.74%

4: 81.45%

5: 77.37%

6: 73.5%

7: 69.83%

8: 66.34%

9: 63.02%

10: 59.87%

20: 35:85%

25: 27.74%

30: 21.46%

 

A 5% slow needs over 10 stacks to achieve the same efficiency as SG Chem mines, so we're definitely going to go with more than that.

 

A 10% slow will achieve 60% total slow with 5 stacks, which seems somewhat reasonable. 10 stacks of 10% slow brings the unit down to 35% speed.

 

A 15% slow requires only 3 stacks to reach 60%. 5 stacks brings it to 44%, 10 stacks to 20%.

 

A 20% requires 2 stacks to reach 64%, 4 stacks for 40%, 6 stacks for 25%.

 

Anything above 20% seems pretty absurd when stacking is allowed. Keep in mind mines in PoC can physically be stacked unlike mines in SG, so we have to expect situations where you can just run into 10 chem mines at once.

 

I like the 10% slow with a 10 stacks cap, it's easy to remember and seems balanced enough. The 15% slow with a 5 stacks cap also looks like a good alternative. We're probably going to try both at some point.

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Wait wait wait slow down.

 

You couldn't physically stack ground mines in SG?

 

Also, going by feeling, I think 5 seconds is also a bit on the high side. That's without looking at how many arbs shots you can get, or similar.

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