WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

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Peanut
 
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WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#1

Post by Peanut » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:24 pm

Hello everybody. I'd like to take a moment to address a couple of things. Back in February of this year I release a single map in a gameplay test for a megawad that I am currently working on for the original Doom. Since then, I've become single and things have been fairly rocky for me. As of now, everything is water under the bridge and I can get back to what I used to really enjoy doing. One of the things I want to address and get out of the way is what I am currently working on. Since the release of Zan 3.0, the more recent releases of GZDoom 3.2 and my current status IRL, my itch to leap back into the modding scene has never been stronger. On my plate currently are three items with a fourth in the works since my discovery of the shadowmaps in GZDoom, but any real work on that is way down the line. The first being my Heretic Deathmatch episode that I started like... two years ago that I'm aiming to have have pushed out the door at least by the end of next month. The second being my megawad for the original Doom. I'd really like to have a release set for it's next birthday, but I doubt I'll be able to make a deadline like that. Save for introducing it as a community map project to help it build up momentum, but I still haven't come to a conclusion on that yet. The third being the remaining WDI maps that have been collecting virtual dust on my harddrive now since I had planned to make a mappack way back when, but before I can do that there are a few things with WDI's gameplay that'd I'd like to improve upon before I can make any actual headway. In this post I'll be focusing one two of the more glaring issues with this mod. That being the risk/reward within the teamkilling aspects of the mod and the actual mapset as a whole.

As we all know, the current penalty system in WDI is less than optimal. It only promotes retarded haberdashery among the victims and can make it an irritating experience for anyone actually trying to play and enjoy the game. I propose instead of a system that leans more toward the other victims, a system that directly rewards the murderer for the failings of other players would be far more suitable and can help cultivate a more stable sense of teamwork among the players without impacting the paranoia factor. Be that a buff to the murderer or simply marking the offending party with a tracker 'X'. It could also scale in proportion to the playercount within he game to help preserve the balance. The only problem with this is that I have little to no coding experience and I'm not sure if Theshooter7 or even Conflag would like to pick up another overhaul of this gamemode. However, if any of the original design team would have any interest in this, I'd love to collaborate again and help flesh these ideas out further. Alongside the Zan 3.0 release, I think that reviving this mod with an overhaul could help this little stagnation issue this community has been having.

Now, while I may be lacking in coding ability, I believe I can do something about the second issue which would be the level design. While the atmosphere within some of the maps suits it perfectly (Clocktown hits the nail on the head in this regard), on average the anatomy of the base levels in the gamemode tend to lean more towards a deathmatch style. It becomes more apparent if you remove the murderer tunnels out of the equation. This isn't a jab at the level designers ability so much as it is a reflection on the fact that the chemistry between the style of the gamemode and the levels that they are played on don't seem to be in sync. A good example of what not to do would have to be Echo Ridge. It's big, it's clunky and frankly, it's just shite. This is one of the maps I intend on revamping along with the other incomplete ones in hopes of ironing out this issue. Now, for a good example of map that lends itself to the gameplay of this mod would be WDI04. While it does need a lot of tweaking, the prison aesthetic helps lend a claustrophobic unease while it also has pockets of reasonably sized areas for movement, or breathing room in the case. Unfortunately with the previously mentioned issues with the penalty system, this tends to knock things out of balance and it can go either one of two ways. A fun match or a complete waste of time.

This brings me to the conclusion of my post. If there are any gripes or frustrations that can be addressed about these maps and how well they play, I'd really like to take them into consideration for future reference.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#2

Post by nax » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:41 pm

Kaminsky and I have talked at length about a punishment system. My own proposal has been a slight revamp that actually gives Innocents their own "sanity" meter that fills whenever you're attacking someone which I call "Pulse". The meter gain would be enough for an innocent to solo kill a murd so long as they're not attacking anyone else in the meantime. Your pulse would gradually slow down over time. Upon incurring additional pulse beyond the meter's max (your pulse would indicate "DANGER" at a dangerous level) would cause a Heart Attack and you would die and drop all of your gear. Additionally, a TK would very rapidly increase your pulse rate, maybe even permanently cause an elevated pulse.

a) This system is meant to encourage immersion (it consistently provides feedback to the player that you should not be attacking people all the time, or "checking" constantly)
b) This system only harshly impacts very aggressive players (in which it should - you're an innocent, not rambo. The more you Rambo around, the higher you'll raise your pulse and the less useful you'll be in a Murd fight)
c) This system is meant to reduce "game" terms such as TK and work with the whole immersion aspect of a)
d) This system helps murds who are less aggressive but more tricky. Currently, tricky murds who attempt to hide and fool people generally have a worse win percentage because there is always a group of people who will just smack someone in the face with a shovel.
e) This system also discourages Innocent vs Innocent fights that happen due to shit talk or other things, as you are far likelier to suffer a heart attack trying to kill another innocent.

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Conflagrated
 
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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#3

Post by Conflagrated » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am

First, I'd like to make sure folks know I am working on an anniversary update to overhaul, and have detailed my changes so far in this handy-dandy change log

I do favor a scaling penalty system, preferably something to help enforce the social contract players have to "sign" to really enjoy the game.

"Find who the antag is, and try not to kill the wrong person if you can help it"

The old system was put in place because we didn't really have a whole lot of information on how players would behave with this kind of game - after five years, I think it's safe to say we can make some changes.
The system Nax has proposed is a bit harsh - I'm not a fan of seemingly random penalties or hard meter-management. However I am a fan of the scalar.

I talked to Shooter and I'm going to try a system that doesn't touch items, damage resistances, or kill the player - instead, it displays the halo based on how aggressive they are. Aggression builds from attacking players, as the original suggestion pitches, and it ticks down over time; but rather than offing the player, it instead displays the yellow and red halo at certain thresholds, alerting other players that this person might be a problem, and will receive less (not zero!) aggression points for attacking or even killing the marked.

This aggression system is something we really wanted for Project Caligula anyway, although this implementation is less persistent - I may look at making the effect persist across rounds, so next round jitters are a thing.

I'll attempt to balance this in a way that won't penalize players for kills via glancing damage or accidental kills, or for pinning the antagonist and brutalizing them, but failing to kill them. Should be fun.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#4

Post by nax » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:08 am

The issue we've run into, Conflagrated, is essentially WDI can often be a magnet to bad actors. The core of the gameplay when everyone follows certain behaviors (such as you're actually trying to figure out who it is and analyzing how players behave, etc) is extremely rewarding, but bad actors fundamentally end up changing the game flow irreparably without very active staff management. During my period of hosting and managing WDI for the past years I notice when I and my team actively manage the server it often blossoms and activity spikes significantly. This versus other servers that are not managed, and players end up feeling like the game takes a turn into an area that is not as fun.

When Kaminsky, myself, Prepper, and others began thinking of tweaks and balancing, the TK system was probably the thing we all discussed most of all. Details on my personal plan were up for grabs, but the underlying system was meant to dissuade bad actors and actively encourage the type of gameplay that was leading to WDI's resurgence without the constant need of management. It is a bit harsh, but then again so was our server management toward people who were either continuously TK'ing or intentionally just barely avoiding tk'ing by hitting someone enough to cripple them but not actually kill them. So this system came out of those two concepts - something that handles TK'ing in a non binary fashion, and something that handles overly aggressive players (i hate to use the term griefing, but its basically what it was) while preserving the type of methodical WDI gameplay we had seriously begun enjoying.

Also I had intended such a system to be customizable - whereas the effect of overfilling your meter could be nonlethal, or could be some kind of signal (At one point we had even jokingly suggested that filling the meter would turn you into a helpless rat or cockroach :P ), that sort of thing. I personally go for the more harsh one because it ends up requiring thought on how to approach situations and a bit more detective work, as failing to do so can be punitive (actions have greater consequences), but it seems at its core our ideas are actually very similar.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#5

Post by Peanut » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:58 pm

Conflagrated wrote:First, I'd like to make sure folks know I am working on an anniversary update to overhaul, and have detailed my changes so far in this handy-dandy change log
This is good. I hadn't even thought of a stamina system and already I can see it making a huge improvement, especially toward slap checking. Were you and Shooter making any plans on revising/adding to the level set?
nax wrote:The issue we've run into, Conflagrated, is essentially WDI can often be a magnet to bad actors. The core of the gameplay when everyone follows certain behaviors (such as you're actually trying to figure out who it is and analyzing how players behave, etc) is extremely rewarding, but bad actors fundamentally end up changing the game flow irreparably without very active staff management. During my period of hosting and managing WDI for the past years I notice when I and my team actively manage the server it often blossoms and activity spikes significantly. This versus other servers that are not managed, and players end up feeling like the game takes a turn into an area that is not as fun.

When Kaminsky, myself, Prepper, and others began thinking of tweaks and balancing, the TK system was probably the thing we all discussed most of all. Details on my personal plan were up for grabs, but the underlying system was meant to dissuade bad actors and actively encourage the type of gameplay that was leading to WDI's resurgence without the constant need of management. It is a bit harsh, but then again so was our server management toward people who were either continuously TK'ing or intentionally just barely avoiding tk'ing by hitting someone enough to cripple them but not actually kill them. So this system came out of those two concepts - something that handles TK'ing in a non binary fashion, and something that handles overly aggressive players (i hate to use the term griefing, but its basically what it was) while preserving the type of methodical WDI gameplay we had seriously begun enjoying.

Also I had intended such a system to be customizable - whereas the effect of overfilling your meter could be nonlethal, or could be some kind of signal (At one point we had even jokingly suggested that filling the meter would turn you into a helpless rat or cockroach :P ), that sort of thing. I personally go for the more harsh one because it ends up requiring thought on how to approach situations and a bit more detective work, as failing to do so can be punitive (actions have greater consequences), but it seems at its core our ideas are actually very similar.
The thing about this is that you have to be very careful with how you implement a penalty system. I haven't really had a chance to play your proposed system through my head so I can't really say whether I agree or not, but what I can say on this note is finding an effective middle ground is the best way to approach this issue. If you have too harsh of a penalty system you risk damaging one of the core game mechanics and in turn hurting the game as a whole, but if there's too much slack then it just becomes a clusterfuck as we've seen over the years. I think this new stamina system is a good answer to this. Make every action have some kind of cost. That way you can put a damper on overly aggressive play and more subtly direct players toward team focused tactics.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#6

Post by nax » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:53 am

Peanut wrote: The thing about this is that you have to be very careful with how you implement a penalty system. I haven't really had a chance to play your proposed system through my head so I can't really say whether I agree or not, but what I can say on this note is finding an effective middle ground is the best way to approach this issue. If you have too harsh of a penalty system you risk damaging one of the core game mechanics and in turn hurting the game as a whole, but if there's too much slack then it just becomes a clusterfuck as we've seen over the years. I think this new stamina system is a good answer to this. Make every action have some kind of cost. That way you can put a damper on overly aggressive play and more subtly direct players toward team focused tactics.
Well originally the idea was that the actual penalty part of the equation could be customizable so that server operators can decide how strict or lenient they want gameplay to run. There are pros and cons to all penalty options - I've just found through experience that strict moderation was able to pull out the best of WDI and allow murds to play in different play styles. Murds have more options when players are dissuaded from constantly hitting others, which as the game went on became a huge part of the metagame as players got better at guesstimating HP counts and got better at their respective weapons. But overall, a flexible system is a good idea since you can eventually land on something that ends up working best for you and your server.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#7

Post by Catastrophe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:50 am

If you want an effective penalty system you need to implement an auto-ban; that's what every other game does and it's effective.
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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#8

Post by Conflagrated » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:42 pm

nax wrote: Well originally the idea was that the actual penalty part of the equation could be customizable so that server operators can decide how strict or lenient they want gameplay to run. There are pros and cons to all penalty options - I've just found through experience that strict moderation was able to pull out the best of WDI and allow murds to play in different play styles. Murds have more options when players are dissuaded from constantly hitting others, which as the game went on became a huge part of the metagame as players got better at guesstimating HP counts and got better at their respective weapons. But overall, a flexible system is a good idea since you can eventually land on something that ends up working best for you and your server.
There's no reason I can't implement the aggression system with sever variables, similar to what we already have with the countdown timer and madmeter decay.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#9

Post by nax » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:08 pm

Catastrophe wrote:If you want an effective penalty system you need to implement an auto-ban; that's what every other game does and it's effective.
The idea was that if the system itself sufficiently dissuades bad actors from playing in ways that very much harms the game flow then there's not really much need for them to be banned anymore. In my system for instance they end up causing themselves more grief than they do to the people around them, and in Conflagration's system there are more reasons to not be aggressive toward people. I'd rather not have to ban people if it can be fixed through gameplay mechanics. Now in certain cases you'll still need admins present for people who do things like go "Out of Bounds" or abuse glitches, but overall as for TK'ing / friendly fire aggression, i firmly believe this can be fixed in a way that encourages a healthy game flow without tying too many hands. And such a thing as conflagration just noted is something that can be done for people who want more / less restrictive styles.

Overall I think this is a pretty constructive discussion - Conflagration, any chance you can visit irc or Discord more? or have a place that myself and others who've been maintaining WDI in you and shooters' absence can spitball ideas and our thoughts / tweaks over the years etc?

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#10

Post by TMD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:23 pm

Just mark the X on the Teamkiller and refresh the murderers sanity as if he had gotten the kill. through his own murderous machinations, somebody has died. Bloodlust satisfied. Boom.

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Re: WhoDunIt talk and what is to come.

#11

Post by Marcaek » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:47 pm

Refreshing murd sanity would be a good way to disrupt games intentionally, but marking TKers permanenty to the murd seems like a good idea.

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