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...about the camping issue

I've seen a lot of talk recently about encouraging attacking and discouraging camping through all kinds of rewards/punishments.
I think this is wrongheaded, while it may help (and so far it hasn't done all that much in my opinion) it is really dealing with the symptom of camping rather than it's source.
What is needed in my opinion is a studying of the underlying dynamics of the game and fix those, rather than keep betting on behavorial fixes, which seem to be enervating players more than fixing the issue.
There's a lot to talk about, so I'll have to apologize for making such a huge post.

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Problem 1: Player Efficiency Spread
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I cannot help but notice the game usually enters a stage of slowdown in progress when both teams reach the maximum stage.
Why is this? I think it's because of the spread between strong and weak classes. What usually happens:

1. One team gets rants or battlesuits.
2. Others fight them, but keep losing (on average) because they are too hard to kill for their weak class/equipment.
3. They then decide to not attack the base (the requirement for winning) but focus on gaining enough creds/evo so you they too can be stronger.

Now something interesting happens, when one team gets pushed into the defensive, then because of this they go team up behind their base defenses.
Which in a twist of irony leads to...

4. The strong players/team now can no longer overwhelm the enemy, rather their base rushes are becoming less effective because of the heavy opposition.

We are now at a breaking point;
the strong team can do two things.

The first option is it can stop mounting attacks which appear too difficult. This effectively halts the game.
This means the strong team will start controlling the midfield and feed of the weak team or camp and thwart any possible succesful attack by the enemy.
Neither side gains much from this at the moment. The strong team is not creating a winning scenario but rather postpones it until SD.
The weak team does not have the resources to successfully attack against such a strong defense. So it is likely to do the alternative: camp for credits.

The second option is it will continue attacking. If the attacker makes a profit or break-even during it's attack, it can continue attacking.
What usually happens however is that in practice 'deep' base attacks are a credit losing strategy, and players need to make up for it by fragging.
So unless the attacker breaks even it will revert to the first option.

This is what is reffered to as a 'Nash Equilibrium' in game theory.

Now, this problem seems to increase later in the game. Assuming constant skill, when high credit players have access to better gear they become effectively more efficient.
It appears as if the spread of efficiency between different players makes the effect more pronounced. Not only can high efficiency players farm lower efficiency players,
It takes longer for low efficiency players to become strong enough to warrant attacking.
And when rants or battlesuits decide to camp this makes truly pointless for the lowest ranks to attack them.
From a gameplay point of view, it would be much better for strong players to constantly attack and weak players to constantly defend.

Of course, this example omits the role of building and map balance. If the strong team now manages to expand aggressively they are very likely to win the game because ot it.
It does show however, that there might be camping issues without excessive building as vanilla games show. They are just much easier to break for reasons discussed below.

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Problem 2: Building Speed
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This is a big problem in Edge, in my opinion it is not appreciated how much the high building speed contributes to camping.
This was driven home to me really strongly in a game I had on Cuboid which also had high building speed at the time.
The teams were 3 or 4 players, I played A and Meiselli was playing H, and arguably the humans were stacked.
On the whole, he probably destroyed the alien base like 4 times, but because of the high building speed all the buildings were simply rebuilt in between rushes.
The aliens actually ended up winning the game after SD, but the humans should have won, no one on the server would have questioned that.
Regardless of the refinery/colony system Edge has the same issue. When building can easily be rebuilt faster than attackers can destroy them...
When there is high speed building for 45 minutes this means attacking is relatively pointless unless victory is a reasonable expected outcome.
I feel slower building would help in making the game less campy and make attacking the more viable alternative, like it is in vanilla.
If low building speeds bother you, I have advocated in the past to inversely correlate building speed with total BP in use, this has never been tested afaik.

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Problem 3: Credit Slumps
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This is probably the most technical point, but perhaps the most insightful one.
I'll refer to the Tremulous point system as 'credit', this is kind of a misnomer as Tremulous doesn't use financial accounting at all.
In finance, credits have to be matched by debits, Tremulous merely increments points which can be used to buy thing.
But the analogy with a economic credit slump is useful.

In physics, there are two kinds of dynamic systems, "conservative" and "dissipative".
What convervative means, is that the total amount of energy in the system stays constant. The energy can only transition phase.
In a conservative credit system this would mean the total credit in the circuit is fixed. The credit can only change owner.

But this is not what Tremulous uses, the Tremulous circuit is dissipative.
What that means is that new credit can flow in and out of the system.

The exiting of 'credit' from the circuit is what interests me. Let's look at how 'money' or 'experience' gets created inside Tremulous.
I'll exclude the changes EDGE makes for now. In Tremulous a player spawns and carries with him a bounty for his life.
Whenever a player kills an enemy, this bounty is transferred into his account.
This is how new money gets created, as long as players respawn there is the potential for new credit to enter the system.
Now lets look at how credit can exit the circuit. First there is the bounty, if the bounty is lower than the sum of 'naked credit' + the assets (guns or evos used)
held by the victim then this will imply there is a loss of credit, even though the total credit might slightly grow (would need to do the math).
The second way is through suicide. If you buy a battlesuit and lucifer cannon and jump down a pit you'll remove credits from the circuit.
The third way is through hitting the credit limit. If a player has reached the credit limit and makes a frag, the credit has nowhere to go, it is simply removed.
The fourth way (and this is the kicker) is through death by defensive structures. Defensive structures drain credit from the circuit every time they make a kill.
Bases that are filled with hives or turrets can create credit slumps in the game, making the game grind to a halt.

The implications of this for high-BP gameplay are huge, and possible solutions to credit slumps should become obvious.

One way would be to turn the system into a conservative system, removing any kind of inputs and outputs.
Rather, the system would become like a price system, with every player having a value, depending on how well he is doing.
This is kind of tricky to explain without going into detail about the accounting and how to set up exchange rates between teams/players.
It could also imply the price of evolutions and weapons would be variable, depending on how the sytem is set up.

A less invasive approach would be to derive and store the total amount of credit in the system and increase/reduce it automatically somehow.
This could be done through varying prices of bounties or having a 'dynamic' hotdog show up at times -- essentially Friedman style monetarism with a funnier name... *shudder*

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I don't want to say 'this is how we should do things', but want to point out some important things which seem to be ignored in the discussions about camping.
Likewise, I don't think it's a case of players being assholes, I believe there are strong forces in the game itself leading to these outcomes and that understanding them will lead to superior solutions to the camping issues.
Not everyone starts camping when they are out of credits.
Some people camp to make people rage quit (EX:Mario),some people camp just so they can survive till 60 mins(EX:Ams),some people camp by nature because they don't know much about the game (EX:Winter).
Quote:The strong players/team now can no longer overwhelm the enemy, rather their base rushes are becoming less effective because of the heavy opposition.
That is why I proposed adding random "buffs" to players/teams like double damage/speed/armou or whatever to break the stalemate. Ie only agfter both teams hit S5 and only after SD.

Quote:The weak team does not have the resources to successfully attack against such a strong defense. So it is likely to do the alternative: camp for credits.
On average they are not "camping for credits" as you earn money proportionally to damage you dealt (so ret damage or actuall kills don't count, only the amount of hp taken from enemy) Instead they are camping to drain the enemy team from money (regardless of how much damage was dealt by them or by rets) - again - to drain enemy team from money. This is why Ams says "camp is a strategy". Rare situations like AmsMarioNoNode30minCamp is just trolling not caused by any game mechanics (unless you include admit in it).

Quote:What usually happens however is that in practice 'deep' base attacks are a credit losing strategy, and players need to make up for it by fragging.
Which isn't happening because of permacamp. There is an 1.1 idea floating here - earn money from killing base structures too. Perhaps ref/creep kills coluld reward entire team.

Building speed/buildtimes are lowered because when Yalt started YE we had access to literally hundreds (Nexus6 could fit what 7 refs in default? that was around 400+ bps) buildpoints. So in order to use then Yalt lowered buildtimers so more spam could be possible. OTOH during YE we had the combo of Basibomb+AdvBasibomb+Marasnipe+Goonsnipe+Rantflame that was devastating A LOT of crap in one pass.

Restoring longer buildtimers will make the few rets even more important. So in order to protect base until it is built properly players might start camping more. Sure, the rushes before SD might be more effective but then again - more permacamp.

Slower building made sense in vanilla because you had less bps (second arm was a luxury, so were 3 nodes) AND because vanilla=US1 and EU where skill was prevalent, rush was bread and butter and camp was frowned upon.


Credit's source is one thing, credits distribution is another. There was /share and it worked up to a point (give your spare to best player on team so he can whore enemy team constantly) but led to "lowering" the competitive part (if you can't get 600 for Luci yourself you probably won't make good use of it anyway).

with every player having a value, depending on how well he is doing.

Quote:This is kind of tricky to explain without going into detail about the accounting and how to set up exchange rates between teams/players.
Actually it's not hard to explain - you assign a "i pro" (lol) value to each player (based on average from time period, a week a day, whatever). Meiss has value of 10, Dinus has value of 1. On top of that you add the value of gear they are wearing (same as now). So if you manage to whore Meiss+Lucisuit tou get 1000 (Lucisuit) + 1000 (from value of 10 x100). IOW the better the enemy players are the more they are worth (reward=player+his gear).

This doesn't stop permacamp tho - if Ams in his infinite permacamping wisdom decides to permacamp behind  rets, stumps and mines using Chainsuit there is NOTHING you can do about it (with exception of reversing credits flow - permacamper dealing damage inside ret range "earns" money for alien he is shooting at).

PvP - player value and "pool of credits" is a good idea to play with IMO. Even if on paper first.

Quote:I don't think it's a case of players being assholes, I believe there are strong forces in the game itself leading to these outcomes and that understanding them will lead to superior solutions to the camping issues
Then perhaps you should read what Mario said to Dark - he permacamps to piss people off. The strong forces you are refering to exist - some people play to win, some people play to "not to lose and when I permacamp they will lose all evos so there will be no rants defending so I will win". Namely Ams and few others. Some people NEVER do anything else (Samir the LuciJet inside base every game).


BTW - very insightfull about the credit loss. There are already 4-6 ideas in it to stir things up a bit inside Trem economy. Even just for fun Smile
I almost missed the post because of the somewhat non-descriptive title Smile, but it's very interesting.

In general, I'd say that UBP has some conceptual flaws, compared to the vanilla Trem. The game economics and dynamics of the vanilla Trem revolves around killing players, there are just a few buildings that can't resist an attack on their own, without a defending team. And having just a limited number of spawns, a sufficiently strong attack can eliminate the defenders first and then quickly eradicate the buildings before the defenders are able to spawn again. This is what is missing in UBP.

Concerning building speed, I don't think this is a big issue. With the current system, if buildings get killed and BP<0, it's difficult to get out of this situation: First the team must free BPs to build a refinery/colony, and build it in such a way that it doesn't get killed by another rush, which is often very difficult. I know this very well, as lately I was just building exclusively Smile.

The original Refs/Colonies mod had settings 30BPs (IIRC) per ref/colony (now we have 50), less BPs per RC/OM, and higher distance between them. This meant that the bases were much sparse and easier to kill, and BPs were harder to get. Moreover, it had no SD and only a limited total number of BPs, so that if one team camped, the other could just build more refineries/colonies and get the other team rid of all BPs. Combined with the current mod, where buildings slowly die when BP<0, a camping team could be brought to its knees within a few minutes. And, splitting of BPs is non-linear so a team with more refs/ccs gets more BPs than if they were split linearly; this is configurable. Also refs/ccs gave only some BPs instantly, the rest was generated over time, so a killed ref/cc can't be replaced just so easily. I believe using this original system would make games more interesting and less campy.

Your analysis of the economy is very nice, thank you. I'd say that it's not so important if the system is conservative or dissipative, the more important part is how credits flow between the teams, and in particular, what value you can get for spending them properly, like making a suicide attack on the enemy base. In vanilla Trem if you sacrify credits to kill 5-8 buildings, you'll very likely win the game - unlike in UBP. This is why for UBP I'd prefer to have just one currency (for each team) and use it for both weapons and buildings (no BPs), and receive it also for killing enemy buildings.
You guys just take words and twist them into something else. Oh well, I can't stop you from doing anything, just like you can't stop me from my gameplay. Have you ever considered maybe I camp due to everything that you're saying?
This only shows that you have no understanding of a gameflow. And what's this crap about "twisting words" anyway?

You couldn't provide a reasonable argument for your permacamping, someone else did and you simply use it to draw attention away from you.

I'll give you one counter to this - how is it possible than that I don't camp. Kai doesnt' camp. Swizz. BT clan. Tremor. Microbe. Dragon. Bluefire.

Permacamp is YOUR choice not a "must do it" response to current game situation Your stupid bullshit isn't gonna fly here.


Quote:you can't stop me from my gameplay
We can and we will, it's just a matter of finding a solution. I'll tell you even more - Ams will support an idea that will end permacamp.


Quote:no SD and only a limited total number of BPs
So there is a set amount of bps that both teams take from? How would they compete for this? More refs = faster bps influx? What about typical situation on ATCS where you can fit 3 very campable refineries? I like this idea - they permacamp, we build bazzilion creep colonies and simply starve them out of bps.

Perhaps refinieries could "cancel" creeps? Initialy both teams have 100 bps (or whatever), building a creep colony would cause the buildpoints of humans to decrease at steady rate. To counter this they would have to build a refinery, that would stop the decrease of their bps. Building another creep would resume the bps drain from humans. When h bps pool reaches 0 they start losing buildings (same rate as bps drain).
Jesus, I got a headache reading all this. ._.
(10-25-2014, 04:33 PM)Mario Wrote: [ -> ]You guys just take words and twist them into something else. Oh well, I can't stop you from doing anything, just like you can't stop me from my gameplay. Have you ever considered maybe I camp due to everything that you're saying?

Mario maybe you should play devil's advocate once, as i've done. i have played 4 games straight not caring about killing the other team, i just didn't want to lose. I've made camping my love and my life for those games, and yes, not losing felt great, you wanna know what feels even better? WINNING!? (i dont mean winning as in: The other team admit defeated because of your chain and suit of boredom) Maybe you should play 4 games in a row not caring about your puny fucking base, about your fucking win or loss, but just to see if you COULD have fun rushing. You say you find camping enjoyable, i can't grasp that theory but i just want you to get out of your comfort zone for once and play another way, see if you like it. just plain saying "no" is, by the way, very childish as you're basically saying: "Nah i can't handle criticism, criticize ragers please, not me" *Huh was that actually a quote or did Dark just, ah nvm*

Devil's advocate is very important to understand general problems. If everyone is a camper, there is no game to be played. 
Google Devil's advocate if you don't know what it is btw :3
sparky the movie doesn't have much to do with the argument.
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