What if we just got rid of credits?

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kharnov
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What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby kharnov » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:57 pm UTC

This might seem like a radical change, but bear with me. What I'm suggesting here is getting rid of credits and points entirely, and simply allowing for you to buy or morph into whatever your team has unlocked. The idea would be to balance all of the choices in a way that allows you to have a variety of options and allows you to experiment, while at the same time not punishing you severely for picking something you found interesting and wanted to try.

A few other games have examples of this. If you look at Urban Terror, you can spawn with any combination of weapons and equipment that you want to, but you're limited to only being able to pick your equipment at spawn time. People use all sorts of weapons, from assault rifles to machine guns and even a grenade launcher, but the game doesn't feel particularly imbalanced. Or, look at the variety of death match games out there, where you just pick up weapons as you jump across the map. If you know where a particular weapon spawns on the map, then it's functionally equivalent to the idea of not having to buy it. You can have competitive balance without limiting someone's choices.

Humans are already limited by having to return to base to restock on ammunition and heal. Aliens can only morph in one direction, but they can probably get some sort of delay between switching forms, during which they're temporarily vulnerable to attack. I don't think that what I'm proposing would necessarily lead into huge packs of battlesuits with lucifer cannons or roaming gangs of tyrants, but if it did, then I would suggest that the rate of momentum decay should increase heavily as it reaches the end of the bar. That way, you have to keep killing opponents if you want to keep access to the good stuff. Once the momentum bar goes down, you can't buy that thing or morph into that form until it fills back up again.

What do you all think? It probably sounds ridiculous from a Tremulous standpoint, but I'd really like some feedback here. One of the most irritating parts of Tremulous, to a new player, was losing the cool thing you got just after getting it. This would slightly tip the game over to having a more casual feel.
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Tom
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby Tom » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:04 am UTC

I don't know what to think about this. It would be a big change....
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Lemaki
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby Lemaki » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:32 am UTC

I remember you and someone else discussing this idea. It does sound ridiculous at first but when you think about it, it's not that far-fetched. One of the most frustrating things for me is coming in the middle of a match and not being able to do one kill because everyone around me is overstuffed. Sure, you enventually get some credits without doing anything but in the meantime you just feed the opposite team. Removing the credit system (and adjusting some constants in consequence) would both prevent some frustration AND simplify the gameplay mechanics, which might draw more newcomers when 1.0 is out.
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chris
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby chris » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:28 pm UTC

+1
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kharnov
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby kharnov » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:49 pm UTC

If credits were removed, you'd just have a sort of tug of war over momentum with the other team. Every time they kill someone from your team, you lose some momentum and they gain some, etc. So if you have a big rush of tyrants, and they all die, then it's a huge hit to your momentum and you can't do another huge tyrant rush immediately after. There's still some individual responsibility involved with not feeding the other team.
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norfenstein
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby norfenstein » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:10 pm UTC

I don't know why you'd think this is ridiculous, it's really more of evolutionary than revolutionary change. I think it sounds worthwhile, though I'm not sure if you're suggesting this change be only for humans -- that could possibly work but I'd lean toward not having the player upgrade process differ so much between teams.

So as not to repeat myself:
  • The mega-thread on resources (of which player funds are one type) that gives an overview of this topic.
  • The post I reference in that thread (all the links are broken) about what players do in competitive games.
  • The discussion on player funds in particular in which we validated something close to what Unvanquished currently uses.

Basically this suggestion (assuming it's for both teams) would be fully combining player and team upgrades. Consider these three possibilities for how upgrades work:

  1. Players earn points that they can spend to upgrade themselves. All upgrades are "unlocked" from the start and there's no concept of "team upgrading". (i.e. how Gloom did it)
  2. Players earn points from that they can spend to upgrade themselves. At the same time, teams earn a different kind of points that unlock better upgrades for individual players. (i.e. how Tremulous did it)
  3. Players do not earn points they can spend on upgrades. Teams do earn points to unlock free upgrades for individual players. (Kharnov's proposal)

Personally I prefer number 1 to number 2, but think 3 might be better than 2.
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kharnov
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby kharnov » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

It wouldn't just be for humans, it would be for both teams. Also, this would be made possible by our momentum system, which is different from the stage system found on Tremulous, because it's more fluid and works in both directions.
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krtv`
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby krtv` » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:29 pm UTC

i think the concept for the relationship of "currencies" and progression need some updating, but removing credits/evos would be detrimental towards the real time [strategy] part of the game that makes it unique.

this change would be great for just a deathmath type game (which all your examples you listed are, pretty much deathmatch type games), however, one of the core foundations of a real time strategy game is a power struggle between two or more opposing forces. mistakes should cost you, if you decide to get a lucifer, bsuit, grenade, and then run rush solo straight into two tyrants without second thought, you deserve to lose those credits, and this gives the aliens an opportunity to further punish for your mistake.

example, in starcraft 2, you're protoss vs zerg, it's still relatively early in the game but you have a slight economy lead, you know your opponent is making a forward and you want to stop it, but while you have a economic lead they have a unit lead on you, you decide to invest heavily dark templars (pretty expensive early on) and assume they haven't had the chance to get detection and decide not to waste time scouting. you go in for the stealth rush, turns out they have detection from an early overseer, you lose all your dark templars tragically in a mistake that could have been avoided, lose your economic lead and now you're wide open to attack from the zerg. // shit example, there's a reason im bronze in starcraft, but i needed a quick allusion. i could make other allusions to a bunch of other strategy games, but in the end, the moral of the story is if you're wreckless with your money, you're going to have a bad time. pretty much all good strategy games require you to be mindful with your resources.

yes, we don't want players to feel pressured to not lose their shiny new upgrades and just end up camping/being useless, however, if the risk of losing those upgrades outweight the possible benefit of putting them to proper use by attacking, then that is more of a flaw with the fundamental gameplay rather then the system of currencies in place.

not to say there isn't a problem with the system of currencies, there definitely is, but just getting rid of it, in my opinion, isn't really a solution.

and at the moment, the risk of losing the upgrades is not greater than the possible benefit, and here's why:
  • it takes too long to generate money
  • the upgrade use cases aren't clear enough/defined
  • the upgrades are in a awkward state for being powerful but to expensive to be considered worth losing
  • the game is too intimidating, the teamwork aspect isn't clear/defined, players don't like the idea of solo and "lock up" themselves when overwhelmed with confusion (do you want unv to be a teambased game? do you want players to be able to make major shifts in the game by themselves? what's the balance?)

some solutions:
  • constantly give players something to do that supplies them with a reliable source of income that isn't standing in base/avoiding conflict/being useless
  • tweak the prices of the upgrades, define clear use cases, EX: detail exactly WHY someone should spend 6(?) evos on an advanced mara instead of a 6 evos for a dragoon, why would that be better for this situation? what does the mara offer the dragoon doesn't? (this is just an example, i believe the adv mara needs some changes to be a viable alternative to the dragoon, but that's for another thread)
  • define a clear system of progression and make the currencies consistent with each other: why is the shotgun 150 credits but a mass driver is 350(450?) credits? why should a weapon be more expensive then the other?

closing statement: the game has a lot of fundamental problems, and inducing radical changes before fixing previous issues is going to exponentially cause more issues. i'm not saying not to have discussion of future plans/ideas, but take the gameplay you have now and focus on smoothing that out and reaching it's maximum potential, then once it's stable, solid, fun, FIRM, etc, begin adding new ideas/changes.
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lamefun
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby lamefun » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:05 pm UTC

krtv` wrote:mistakes should cost you, if you decide to get a lucifer, bsuit, grenade, and then run rush solo straight into two tyrants without second thought, you deserve to lose those credits, and this gives the aliens an opportunity to further punish for your mistake.


So you learn your lesson and bring a friend, run straight into four tyrants, get killed and find yourself with 0 credits, and then decide "screw that, I'm going to camp (or maybe I should go and play a well-designed PROprietary game from (Valve/Crytek/etc.) that I'll actually have fun playing)". BTW if the enemy team is more skilled than yours, you're probably going to lose credits anyway.

krtv` wrote:closing statement: the game has a lot of fundamental problems, and inducing radical changes before fixing previous issues is going to exponentially cause more issues. i'm not saying not to have discussion of future plans/ideas, but take the gameplay you have now and focus on smoothing that out and reaching it's maximum potential, then once it's stable, solid, fun, FIRM, etc, begin adding new ideas/changes.


Unvanquished isn't a PROprietary game with DRM, it's not like the developers get any money from it, it's silly to shy away from radical experiments even though they might scare some players away, especially given that the dev team doesn't seem to be concerned about retaining players at all (I guess that'll probably last until the beta), so why not use that time to actually see how would the absence of credits and morph points affect the game? If the changes don't work out, they can simply be reverted, that's what version control systems are for. It's Stockholm Syndrome with some pointless escalation of commitment mixed in that is holding Unvanquished back.
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norfenstein
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Re: What if we just got rid of credits?

Postby norfenstein » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:21 pm UTC

krtv` wrote:closing statement: the game has a lot of fundamental problems, and inducing radical changes before fixing previous issues is going to exponentially cause more issues. i'm not saying not to have discussion of future plans/ideas, but take the gameplay you have now and focus on smoothing that out and reaching it's maximum potential, then once it's stable, solid, fun, FIRM, etc, begin adding new ideas/changes.

Fundamental problems require radical changes, and (speaking from experience) it's better to do them before anyone has gotten the expectation of stability. And If you're afraid to make big changes then you'll never know if you're actually reaching "maximum potential" or just a local maxima.

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