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  • My suggestion. (v.long)

    Thievery is a complex game, with many 'crooks and crannies'. Due to the complexity of the game, most changes end up being far reaching, and tend to change the game in unexpected ways. Before I explain my suggestions, I think I should point out the concept in Thievery that are significative to it's balance. (IMHO, of course)
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    The first concept I'd like to point out is the synergy between map designs and game rules.
    I've played many games in my life, and in most of them the map design had little impact on gameplay.
    Then you have games like TUT where the maps impact on gameplay is huge. While this is good because it allows to get different gameplay on different maps, it bring a nasty perverse effect to the game: Map design and game rules have an hammerlock effect on each other.
    Game rules can't be adjusted much because otherwise it'll make the game unplayable on current maps.
    Map design cannot change much because that's the only thing the game rules currently supports.
    .
    The current map/rule hammerlock effect in thievery I would describe as this:
    - Map are small, cramped and hard to sneak through, the result is that thieves need strong DMing power, otherwise guards could just rush the shadows and easily dispatch thieves who wouldn't be able defend themselves.
    - Game rules make thieves have a strong DMing powers, the result is that guards need small, cramped and hard to sneak through maps (or at least objectives) so that they can defend without being easily overpowered by the thieves' DMing.
    .
    Maps and rules must be changed at the same time in a game like this, otherwise most changes will end up in disasters.
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    A second concept I'd like to point out is the quasi-unique AI appearance in a multiplayer game.
    In normal gameplay, where the thieves are not specificaly trying to eliminate the guards, AIs can actually hold their ground. But AIs aren't designed to avoid beind BJed or killed.
    Originally posted by (AI) Brunar
    My name (AI) Brunar. I like, walking slowly, all alone, in predictable paterns, through complete darkness. When I hear a sound I investigate by going to the shadow, without any light source, then I start walking short distances in random directions. If I get sniped, I just stick around trying to spot the aggressor until a human player comes to support me.
    The AIs are so easy to eliminate that it's not even funny.
    It's quite obvious that they weren't designed with DM in mind. And anyway, what's the point of DMing a lone AI if you want to play a multiplayer game? Want to kill/BJ AIs? Play single player/coop.
    .
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    The third concept is about the deathmatching capabilities of the thieves.
    In any game where some player able to become invisible played against others that couldn't, the invisible players always had some major combat disadvantages to compensate for the stealth advantages.
    In Thief/Thievery thought, there is one problem, thieves have a blackjack, and the only way the blackjack can be functional is if it can KO in one hit. That mean we are stuck with players with stealth advantages AND one hit 'kill' weapons. There's so many way the blackjack can be used, that it's virtually impossible to balance. AI KO, Flash KO, Crack KO, Invis KO, Speed KO, Surprise KO, Lag/Netcode KO, Circle KO, Group KO. There's just too many way to KO, that the difficulty of the act itself is beyond balance, only it's effect can be adjusted to bring any balance to the weapon.
    .
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    The fourth, and last, concept is about the thieve's sword balance.
    The problem with the sword balance is simple:
    The thief sword must kill much more slowly than the guard melee weapons. Otherwise thief sword, combined with stealth, would be overpowered.
    But since, currently, the blackjack 'kills' in one hit, while guard melee weapons kill in several hits. It's not possible to bring thief sword killing speed close to blackjack 'killing' speed, without making the thief sword overpowered compared to guard melee weapons.
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    ------
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    Here are my suggestions.
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    To stop the easy elimination of AI:
    - AI one shot killing must be removed from the game altogether.
    - AI should have infinite Health Potions (like everything else), and use them automaticaly when wounded. (Still slow healing though)
    - AI should use flares (and learn to throw them) when sniped. And run for cover more quickly and efficiently. (Well, ok, this one might be hard to implement)
    .
    This will make AI harder but not impossible to kill. More in line with the difficulty of killing human guards. And it will give more time for human guards to react to the sniping of AIs.
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    To stop the elimination by blackjacking:
    - Change the effect of blackjack to be more similar to the DISABLING effect of flash/crack, and less similar to a kill. The KOed guard still drop on the ground. But, they wake up in 40-60 seconds. The wake up could be accelerated by frobbing, in a similar way to lockpicking. Hold down frob to wake up the guard faster.
    - Human guards will not jump in AI bodies when KOed. Preventing guards from getting free loadouts. The guards is paralized/blinded/deafened while KOed. (No spinning KOed guard bodies please.)
    - While KOed, the human guards can't whisper, but can still shout, at the condition that shouting isn't used to communicate with other guards. (Maybe make it so the KOed guard's shouts aren't heard by other guards.)
    - Bodies (dead or KOed) can be carried, can be dropped at the feets, but CANNOT be thrown (to prevent the disposal of corpses in sea, fireplaces, etc.).
    - When waking up, guards make a distinctive sound (moan), are crouched, blinded, cracked, paralyzed and immune to blackjacking (and probably damage too), after a delay they are no longer blinded and can start to walk, but can't run, wield a weapon or use an item, after another delay they are no longer cracked and can run & use weapons/items, after another delay they can be blackjacked/killed again. All those delays should be shorts with a total effect time of max 10 seconds. (This is definitely going to need some fine tuning)
    .
    This will make blackjacking more useful against human guards, less useful against AI guards, and alot less usefull to eliminate the guard team.
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    To prevent 'shadow rushing':
    - Increase melee weapon overall killing power (for both guard AND thieves), but lower their attack speed.
    Guard weapons should kill in one full hit, and do 50% damage per small hit. (it must kill in two hits unless the thief uses a potion)
    Thief sword should do 50 damage on a full hit, and 20-25 on a small hit. (maybe less damage on frontal hits, but more on backstab hits)
    - We need larger maps / maps with more shadows, so that randomly testing shadows is alot less efficient.
    - Maps need safezones for thieves, generaly, near thief spawn and away from loot. Those safe zone need to be large, quiet, full dark and with many exits.
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    I know that most of those ideas are probably not original, but I still think they are good and that they would diversify and improve TUT's gameplay.
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    Phoebus

  • #2
    In response to the first few paragraphs of this multipage essay:

    You do know that there are also Human guards along with the AI, right? And that there are 90% of the time less thieves than guards? And that guards wake up after KO? Saying its easy to "DM" AI is in a word, dumb after that. Human guards have a responsiblity for looking after the bots to an extent. No one complains about the Spys in TFC "DMing". They have weapons. They use them. Even a one hit kill weapon.
    (AKA Dresden)
    Despite all my rage, I am still just a dwarf in a cage.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hooo, a flame! How nice! :roll:

      Did you even read all of my post?
      There's only more guards than thieves if the guards are camping all in one spot, and that sucks gameplay wise.
      A sniped AI doesn't wake up. Knocked out bodies in the ocean or in bottomless pits don't wake up ether. Frobbing is virtually useless in non-rush/camp scenarios because a decent thief will hide body. 10 minutes is a LONG time to wait in Thievery standards, and that's just for the AI to pop up and be easy picking for a KO again.
      Unless you completely suck, blackjacking or sniping an AI is -very- easy.
      This is Thievery, not 'Saving (AI) Brunar', AIs should be able to survive decently on their own.
      Spies in TFC can't become invisible. And the fighting classes have one shot kill long range weapons. The spy's backstabbing weapon is in no way an uber weapon.

      Hmm, did you just compare TFC to Thievery?

      Comment


      • #4
        That was far from a flame, phoeb. Anyway, the use of AI is a big part of guarding tactics; if you leave them the way they are, then you deserved to be chewed up by a team of thieves. If you play often with the top players used to communication, team-work, and map-based tactics, this will be plain. You've got some good concepts, but IMO, some bad ideas.

        Making guards capable of killing thieves in one or two blows is a TERRIBLE IDEA, I'm sorry to tell you. Especially in a lag-heavy game.

        Some of the other ideas are quite good.
        Nightmaster,
        .:Mockers Thievery Guild:.
        - "until the cat is skinned"

        Comment


        • #5
          It wasn't a flame, but Shug sums what I think nicely. AI are a resource that you (guard) must use wisely.
          (AKA Dresden)
          Despite all my rage, I am still just a dwarf in a cage.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NeoPendragon
            AI are a resource that you (guard) must use wisely.
            That'll be true if guards had time to setup before the game, but as it is now, on most maps some AIs can be rushed by thieves before a human guard can get to babysit them.

            The change I propose for AIs is to make their KO less significative elimination wise, and giving them better defense against sniping.
            Harder to kill AIs, and shorter KOs will not win a game for the guards. It'll just mean that AI will need less babysitting. Hence that the human guards will have more time/flexibility to do other things.

            ----

            Shug, several TUT players have strong opinion against fast kills. Yet, except for some camping scenarios, I don't see how that would be bad. Could you verbose a bit on why it's such a 'terrible idea'?
            (Lag works both way btw.)

            Thanks
            Phoebus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phoebus
              Shug, several TUT players have strong opinion against fast kills. Yet, except for some camping scenarios, I don't see how that would be bad. Could you verbose a bit on why it's such a 'terrible idea'?
              (Lag works both way btw.)

              Thanks
              Phoebus
              Some camping scenarios? You just summed up half the role of a good guarding team. If a charged hit kills you, all it takes is for a guard to get within half a step and you're dead - remember, you can't see if a guard has a charged weapon ready.
              4 mace hits, 6 sword hits - this is a good setting, in my opinion. Thieves must be able to cop a little bit of punishment in order to win a map, otherwise you nullify any variation of gameplay and just have a bunch of pansies tip-toing around so the big bad guards don't see them. Let's face it, at some point you're going to be spotted and I don't think the game should be such observation is a death sentence.

              And I don't see how me sitting in a dark corner on aquatone with 1500 ping works "both ways". Yeah, yeah, the omg-client-side-KOs argument... anyone with a ping over 400 will find themselves suddenly dead from a 5-metre distance at some stage if guards are made more powerful.

              To conclude: it's a skill of any good thief to squeeze out of a tight situation sustaining only a couple of sword hits. Your plan will eliminate that.
              Nightmaster,
              .:Mockers Thievery Guild:.
              - "until the cat is skinned"

              Comment


              • #8
                I've read the whole post and I think it's all.... dumb! :twisted:

                That things will make the game worse then it already is...
                hehe.... this is a sig no?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree. Maps should be more spacious...

                  On the other hand, they should not be large...
                  Ah, to be a hero. Keeping such company...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    - AI should have infinite Health Potions (like everything else), and use them automaticaly when wounded. (Still slow healing though)
                    I like... alot... i think.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Shug - Point taken about increased damage being bad.

                      Kain - Why/how would it make the game worst?

                      -----

                      I knew I forgot some things in my post.

                      Thieves should be more silent:
                      - Silent potion quaffing
                      - Quieter lockpicking
                      - Quiet/Silent rope/ladder climbing (it's currently loud)
                      - Quieter door opening (that's more map based than code based)

                      Firebolts, pick one of:
                      - Guards shouldn't catch on fire if they can't take damage from the said fire.
                      - Guards shouldn't catch on fire at all.
                      - Firebolt flames shouldn't give off light. (That'll greatly help players with old video cards)

                      Whistlers shouldn't be able to detect thieves through walls, line of sight required. (or maybe that's just a map bug)

                      Phoebus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The main problem as I see it, is not all the minor details, but the fact that there can be more than one thief playing. It might have worked if guards and thieves had similar tasks (IE team elimination), as guards could team up just like thieves do. But as it is, guards have to both kill thieves and protect objectives and loot. So guards have to choose between running off to help their fellows or guarding the area they were assigned. If they run off, they might be able to kill thie thief, but run the risk of the place they were supposed to guard being looted. If they stay and guard, they might be the next to be taken out one by one by the DMer.

                        The easiest way IMO to balance it would be to only allow one thief to play at a time. This would only work if there are more than 2 players tho. If we want this to work with an equal amount of human thieves and guards, AI has to be made much smarter and capable of defending your back without running off to chase guardbaits while you get KOed.

                        I think it could work quite well if one made it much more similar to Thief. Only one thief with one life, but with Uber-tools like gas arrows. One might also consider no traps for guards. Guards should have other things to keep them entertained tho, so people might actually want to be a guard. And also, guards that have a waketime should be excluded from the game as long as their body is KOed, but give them something fun to do as well (like rats with miniature UT weapons that can only hurt other rats (and rats and all could even be made invisible to all guards and thieves)). Guards that don't have a waketime should be out for a fixed period, then spawn as an AI.

                        If nothing else, one could at least make it a new gametype.
                        ]V[]V[

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          MortalMonkey, that game design has some serious flaws:
                          - Being there's only one thief, the thief will have more individual power than individual guards. The result will be that most players will want to be thief over guard even more than they currently do.
                          - With only one thief per game, players won't thieve very often. It'll be very frustrating, and some players will get very unlucky and be unable to thieve for 20+ games.
                          - Being that there is only one thief. Once the thief is spotted somewhere, all the guards will know that there can't be thieves anywhere else, so they will all rush/surround the single thief. Forcing the thief into ghosting gameplay, while at the same time making guards fearless.


                          I beleive that it's enough to just make it harder for thieves to do permanent damage to the guard team through their AIs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just a comment about one inaccurate observation: KO'd AI thrown in sea/fire/other killzones DO wake up. They respawn at the nearest pathnode.

                            I'm still thinking about the rest of it. The 1-2 hit kills on thieves I thought was a bad idea, but that seems to have been resolved.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Phoebus
                              Whistlers shouldn't be able to detect thieves through walls, line of sight required. (or maybe that's just a map bug)
                              That is in no way a bug. Whistlers are designed to be a proximity detection tool.
                              It's not my fault everything you like is terrible.

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