Overwatch?

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:54 am

Not even a few afternoons. Almost all of their shop content is kitbashes at the max of an hour or so of work. Probably less when you have some scripts that automate portions of the process (which they would). You don't need to be an artist for that stuff. You're not animating or modeling anything new.

Paid games should never have any kind of micro transactions associated with them and I strongly opposite monthly pay models from the start. At least with WoW and many other games you can buy game time with gold.

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Also,

https://us.battle.net/shop/en/product/g ... ries=helms

$15 USD for what is basically 5-10 minutes of work.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby mAc Chaos » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:15 am

Hercanic wrote:I played the open beta, and it's definitely got that old-school shooter vibe. I like it.

D'va was my go-to gal. The fighting game style of character roster is a good fit, as it is in MOBAs. Keeps designers and artists employed to continue making new characters, so that's cool. For a designer, there's a lot of flexibility in that design space. Since skill sets are self-contained they have firm control over its balance, and are therefore free to do more exciting things. For instance, in a normal FPS if you design a new weapon it has to balance against all existing weapons. With a skill, you can make it do something really cool, but then build weaknesses into the other skills or character itself (eg. HP, hitbox, movement) to balance out that advantage. TF2 does this with items having both pros and cons, but it doesn't have quite the same appeal or impact as a full-fledged character.

Ehhhh, this sounds kind of like how they handle fighting games, but fighting games are famously hard to balance. Even when the package of abilities is self contained, there's no predicting how they play out once "out in the wild" compared to other characters.

If anything I'd think just having the weapons out there by themselves is easier since then it just becomes a matter of getting the weapon yourself and map control, rather than being locked in to a character who has to be balanced against a roster.

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Hercanic » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:50 pm

mAc Chaos wrote:Ehhhh, this sounds kind of like how they handle fighting games, but fighting games are famously hard to balance. Even when the package of abilities is self contained, there's no predicting how they play out once "out in the wild" compared to other characters.

If anything I'd think just having the weapons out there by themselves is easier since then it just becomes a matter of getting the weapon yourself and map control, rather than being locked in to a character who has to be balanced against a roster.

Fighting game characters often have several dozen moves and, aside from those that use up some kind of charge/power bar, those moves can be used without limit. It just takes time to input the commands. MOBA and Overwatch characters tend to have an autoattack/main gun and around 4-5 abilities limited by cooldowns. These two factors change the dynamic considerably. Cooldowns mean you can't spam your best ability and ignore the weaker ones like a fighting game character can, and with only a few to use the interaction complexity is far more manageable.

Yes, it is true that a character must be balanced against the other characters, and an FPS weapon must be balanced against the other weapons. My example, however, was comparing FPS weapons to MOBA skills to illustrate a specific point about 'cool things'. Take Overwatch's Torbjorn, or TF2's Engineer, for instance. Their turret is extremely powerful, but their main gun is limited. If the turret were a pick-up weapon in a normal FPS, the turret would need new weaknesses built into the turret itself, rather than distributed across the character. This would significantly impact the feel of using the turret.

Keep in mind I never said it was 'easier'. I said 'flexibility' and 'control'.

When I talk about 'self-contained' offering more control over balance, a good comparison is League of Legend's item shop vs. Heroes of the Storm's talents. If Riot changes an item, it affects all characters who use it. If Blizzard changes a talent, it only affects that one character.


it just becomes a matter of getting the weapon yourself and map control, rather than being locked in to a character

This doesn't have anything to do with what I first said, but I'd still like to weigh in on this idea: that is, searching for weapons on a map. It is already important to know the layout of a map, but weapon spawns, particularly if certain weapons are notably more powerful and spawn slowly, give an explicit reward for map knowledge. This heavily shifts the advantage toward veteran players who have grappled the rote memorization of map routes. With larger disparity between players, you shrink the competitive pool. This becomes detrimental if your playerbase isn't large enough to sustain adequate challenge across all skill levels.

For me, I don't find map routines as interesting as 'adapting to the situation'. Weapon spawns put your first focus on navigation and racing to get your tools, while characters put it on what's in front of you since you already have your tools.

Weapon and powerup spawns were originally intended to move players forward and bring them into contact with each other. Map objectives have rendered this function of spawns redundant.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Mucky » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:10 pm

Hercanic wrote:Cooldowns mean you can't spam your best ability and ignore the weaker ones like a fighting game character can, and with only a few to use the interaction complexity is far more manageable.

Judging by your post, it's clear you don't play fighting games very much. Just because an ability has no cooldown doesn't mean spamming it is a good idea. If "spamming" is what you see in a fighting game, you're either looking at a lopsided match-up or the player on the receiving end isn't adapting.

Also, you say map knowledge is less interesting than 'adapting to the situation,' since players focus on grabbing weapons and powerups. Have you considered that weapon and powerup spawns create situations for players to adapt to? Besides that, memorizing a map takes a single afternoon. That's hardly enough to create huge disparity between player skill levels.

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Milldawg » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:15 pm

If you're comparing fighting games to team strategy games, don't forget that fighting games have to balance for every 1v1 matchup, whereas team games can have hard counters because you're just 1 of 5 or 6 players, and the team composition as a whole is what has to be balanced.

I'm not sure exactly how weapon-variance games like Unreal Tournament fit into that equation though.

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:40 am

Hercanic wrote:Cooldowns mean you can't spam your best ability and ignore the weaker ones like a fighting game character can



oooooh my goodness
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby wibod » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:50 am

IskatuMesk wrote:
Hercanic wrote:Cooldowns mean you can't spam your best ability and ignore the weaker ones like a fighting game character can



oooooh my goodness


Maybe he only watches MvC3 where people get wallraped by Zero spinning.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Hercanic » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:42 am

@Milldawg:
If you're comparing fighting games to team strategy games,

No, not really. The comparisons I introduced were meant to be limited to character selection and some high concepts about system balance, rather than inter-genre balance.


@Mucky:
Judging by your post, it's clear you don't play fighting games very much. Just because an ability has no cooldown doesn't mean spamming it is a good idea. If "spamming" is what you see in a fighting game, you're either looking at a lopsided match-up or the player on the receiving end isn't adapting.

I was brief because I didn't want to get too deep into a tangent about fighting game dynamics, but I'll clear up what I meant about spamming.

Fighting game movesets have rock-paper-scissors relationships, so yes, spamming one move (or a few) usually isn't strategically viable (but has tactical opportunities). Jump kick is countered by an uppercut, mid-punch by a leg sweep, guard by grappling, etc. This is an external balance, rather than a self-contained one. It relies on other characters having an answer, or it really will be spammed. In an effort to make characters stand out from one another, their movesets might shake up conventional counters, such as a jump kick that can transition into a ground slam to counter an uppercut. Then it becomes rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock as you add more and more differences, compounding the complexity. This is part of why fighting games can be so difficult to balance. Do all the other characters have a way to cancel their uppercut into a counter for the new ground slam? Each time you want to design a new move, the web of existing relationships tangles you up. Faced with timing, range, and power disparity, certain match-ups can become agonizing for the disadvantaged player.

Cooldowns create a self-containing balance. If you could spam a stun in League of Legends, you'd be doing it all day long because many characters wouldn't have an answer for it. A cooldown immediately puts a stop to that. Even if it is a very effective ability, you don't necessarily use it at the first chance, rather you hold off and use it when it will net the greatest impact.

In both fighting games and MOBAs, they have mechanics that make you think about how to use your abilities. In MOBAs, it's the cost (mana, cooldown) and by extension the potential to be left vulnerable or unable to secure a kill. In fighting games, it's the potential to be countered. They achieve similar results in different ways.

Now, to be fair to fighting games, I said you could spam your best ability and ignore your weaker ones: Say you have a Hadoken-type character who is strong at range, but in compensation his grapples are weak. You'll want to play in the space your character is strongest, and avoid where he is weakest, but your opponent will know this and move to counter.

This is like playing Rock-Paper-Scissors, but assigning differing rewards to the throws. If you win with Rock, you get $20; if you win with Paper, you get $10; and Scissors gives $5. You obviously want to win with Rock, but so does everyone else. If you judge them eager to use Rock, you could throw Paper and win out. But what if they're thinking the same thing? Then, do you take either of these gambles, or go for the weakest move that is also the least anticipated? By changing a zero-sum game to asymmetrical values, you create a mind game where each player tries to predict how the other will play based on what they've observed. Fighting games are a lot like this. Grappling for your Hadoken dude is like the Scissors move, an unexpected one that can catch your opponent off-guard. Use it enough, and when they expect to defend against a grapple, you throw Rock and win big.


Also, you say map knowledge is less interesting than 'adapting to the situation,' since players focus on grabbing weapons and powerups.

To be clear, I said: "For me".


Have you considered that weapon and powerup spawns create situations for players to adapt to?

The paragraph immediately after should have answered that, though?

"...spawns were originally intended to move players forward and bring them into contact with each other."

Once you are fighting over a weapon or objective, yes, it requires adaptation. But the binary of picking up a spawn or missing it makes those conflicts so much shorter and disproportionate, resulting in a larger ratio of time spent traveling and fretting over the minutia of route efficiency.


Besides that, memorizing a map takes a single afternoon. That's hardly enough to create huge disparity between player skill levels.

One map may not take a substantial amount of time to learn, depending on its complexity and nuances, but if we're talking about a typical FPS there could be dozens or more in the rotation, full of secret paths and hidden spawns.

Pro players memorize spawn timings down to the second. Put a numerically better weapon in the hands of someone already more skilled, and the chasm widens.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Zilla- » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:33 pm

what about warcraft map type of balance approach? if you take a guy like AXE and have him balance the alamo outland we all come out on top. why not just do that?

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Mucky » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:53 pm

@Hercanic:
No, you're still oversimplifying fighting game mechanics. Counters aren't dictated by abstract roles, it's all about frames and hitboxes. Jump-in attacks can beat anti-air attacks, provided they have a large enough hitbox to be spaced outside of the anti-air's hitbox. A sweep refers to any kick that knocks the opponent down when it connects. They don't beat mid-punches as a rule, especially if the mid-punch has a hitbox extending to crouching characters. What kind of punch are we talking about, anyway? Light punch? Medium punch? Heavy punch? Those all have significant differences, despite all generally being "mid."

"Grappling beats guarding" doesn't properly address the high/low mixup, which is the primary means of getting around someone's guard, since they can only block one way while leaving themselves open to the other way.

I mean, if you're trying to claim fighting games don't have a self-contained balancing factor, I'm going to disagree. That's the exact purpose frames and hitboxes serve. Character balance is adjusted and re-adjusted based on these.

To make an analogy to BW, lurkers are expected to counter marines, but it's hardly absolute, and the marines can win the engagement depending on how it goes down. The rock-paper-scissors relationship is circumstantial at best.

Also, fighting games don't distinguish themselves by tacking on extra effects to something as fundamental as an uppercut. Take BlazBlue, for example. In comparison to more standard fighting games, BlazBlue has:

A) Dashing, where the character does a full sprint as opposed to the hops/steps in Street Fighter.
B) Double jumps/air dashes. Most characters have one jump, then have a choice between another jump or an air dash, for a total of two air options.
c) Longer combos

I'm skipping over a lot, but those are all easily distinguished system-wide differences. Certain characters, such as Tager, are designed around not having these extra options as a balancing factor for his terrifying grapple game. Others, such as Bang and Taokaka, have three air options, making it difficult for other characters to engage them in the air.

On top of that, half of the characters in this game have an uppercut-type move. A few of them (Ragna, Makoto, Tsubaki) have followups that allow them to end with a knockdown, but that's for the purpose of combos, not mixups. Uppercuts in this game serve the same purpose as the ones in Street Fighter (i.e. reversals and anti-airs) with no fundamental deviations.

Hercanic wrote:If you could spam a stun in League of Legends, you'd be doing it all day long because many characters wouldn't have an answer for it. A cooldown immediately puts a stop to that.

This is a bit of a tangent, but I take issue with the point-and-click design of stuns in MOBAs. It was acceptable in WC3, where your hero was one component of what you control. In MOBAs, they become an all-or-nothing thing, which is potentially unhealthy for the game even when factoring its cooldown.

The paragraph immediately after should have answered that, though?

Yes, I saw that... But in the paragraph right before that one, you said:

For me, I don't find map routines as interesting as 'adapting to the situation'.

Implying weapon and powerup spawns is exclusive with adaptation, hence my question. I suppose I should be glad that you realize this is subjective, since it flies in the face of games like Halo and UT, which ran entirely off maps. Hell, replace "weapon and powerup spawns" with "resources," and you get BW's gameplay. Balance in that game was as much about the races as it was about the maps.

Once you are fighting over a weapon or objective, yes, it requires adaptation. But the binary of picking up a spawn or missing it makes those conflicts so much shorter and disproportionate, resulting in a larger ratio of time spent traveling and fretting over the minutia of route efficiency.

I'd imagine the same is true of other game modes, such as capture the flag, since it's in the flag carrier's interest to get back to his side as quickly as possible before the other team can counter-steal.

Pro players memorize spawn timings down to the second. Put a numerically better weapon in the hands of someone already more skilled, and the chasm widens.

Knowing the map better doesn't affect how skilled someone is with a certain weapon. Those two sentences have nothing to do with each other.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:33 pm

Hercanic wrote:Fighting game movesets have rock-paper-scissors relationships


Good ones don't. Sure, BB has some matchups I might perceive as difficult, but that's because I have limited experience. Extensive reading helped me change my mind.

Cooldowns create a self-containing balance.


Cooldowns are a shallow carpetbomb over underdeveloped mechanics that force you to play a certain way and punish creativity both on behalf of the developer and player. Good games never needed cooldowns, they are a more recent design popularized by games like Diablo 2 whose network and poor graphics engine couldn't handle FCR, and turn-based games with global limit use resources (D&D spell slots). Resources are good, arbitrary numbers are not. Overweight's ult thing is one of the worst implementations I've seen of such a thing, and to see it in a shooter is just... lame. Watching bill's stream, ults are just sort of a thing you "acquire" and then get thrown around, randomly wiping teams and shit... and it's just not very interesting at all. I'm not going to get into the whole weapon spawn thing because watching professional quake videos didn't exactly educate me on how exactly pro players played, and my playtime with Doomstalker (CAL UT2004 player) only showed he was a comparatively mechanically godlike player and didn't need map control to beat me, but on-demand map wiping AoE's in an environment largely dictated by twitch and precision sets Overweight apart from other shooters in a very negative way. Blizzard will never balance that game in a sensible manner and their map design is utterly abhorrent like it has always been. If the game was put under a competitive light as tight and blizzard-free as Brood War was, maybe it could be done. But this company has demonstrated they can't handle the task every possible opportunity given to them.

Before we get into the nut and shaft of the matter, if you take any of these games seriously you will become just as bitter and angry as every other player. You can enjoy them no matter what they have so long as you don't take them seriously. I ultimately took league seriously and the people I played with at every level from diamond to bronze took it seriously and all quit without exception. But if you want to talk exclusively about mechanics, we can do that.

If you could spam a stun in League of Legends, you'd be doing it all day long because many characters wouldn't have an answer for it.


Bronze bot games can be won in a variety of ways, yeah. I mean... DFG Taric was my baby. And AP pantheon was Shadowflare's. Actual familiarity with the game quickly demonstrates that yeah, you spam stuns (Nautilus, Thresh, Tahm Kench, Vi, Nunu etc. are all highly popular and have shown up in patch notes and tournaments nonstop for good reason...) and, yeah, you do it all day because that's how the game works. Remember, league is also the game where every second ability is a slow, many stuns have slow components. The game is built around taking control away from your enemy or outright one-shotting them or their entire team. Many games are decided off of the one pick that leads to a dogpile of CC and then a rush for the core, games otherwise that are super low kill because the teams are too afraid to get caught out of rotation and CC'd to death. League is a game where one death in lane can easily be game deciding, and junglers who CC are just the ticket to setting that up. It's a very different game once your enemy has those plat and diamond banners. You absolutely cannot ever be out of position because once a stun flies out it's GG. Heroes can be just like that, too. I can't speak about dota.

A cooldown immediately puts a stop to that.


A cooldown gives a developer an excuse to be lazy and pump power budget and functionality onto an on-demand button press tied behind an arbitrary number that very rarely makes a difference once the power budget is actuated. You can argue the decision making behind that power budget is a skill in itself, which is true, but you can make that system all the better by removing arbitrary restrictions that serve only to dumb the game down and make it turn-based like World of Warcraft with its GCD. Cooldown centric games are hiding behind a thinly veiled screen of appearing skill demanding in this manner while really being little more than watered down, sterile versions of their older and superior turn-based ancestors, since they often exchange player interaction for these restrictions. It's like turning a boss fight into a QTE. There is nothing interesting about following an optimal rotation or fitting a cooldown into a small subset of ideal circumstances. It becomes repetitive and has very little room for expression of skill. Let's not speak of being on the receiving end of this - the utility disparity in league is one of the most frustrating things you can play against in a game. It does not surprise me one bit the community is as over the top toxic as it is, that's the kind of mentality the game breeds. It itself I won't say it's a bad game, but it's an extremely taxing and unfun game at all but the best of times.

The very concept of a rotation is idiotic in itself. It is boring as hell. Every hero with forced ability synergy tied behind cooldowns like those League uses have ideal and optimal situations that all boil down to "put cursor here and push buttons in this order". That's all it is. That's literally the entire game. So long as you do it fast enough and identify those situations you will mechanically perform at a professional level. People don't get it because even if they understand the concept thirst and greed muddy it. That's why the first thing you learn about these games is to control your thirst and don't chase. That control alone catapults you from bronze to platinum. Problem is your game understanding doesn't need to evolve that much at this point, only matchup specific nuances because the game is so counter based especially in lane. If for some reason your team doesn't have the capacity to stunlock you basically will be throwing the game in champ select assuming equal skilled opponents.

In that note, Blizzard made the first positive patch I've ever seen them do where they started nerfing stun durations in heroes. Just between you and me, though, I think they can remove 100% of the stuns in their game and the quality - and enjoyment - of the gameplay can only improve. Waiting for 2-3 seconds to do anything just because one person put their cursor on you is quite possibly one of the most frustrating things Americans have become obsessed with other than QTE's. Loss of control is such an incredibly lazy blanket over "we don't know how to make this interaction interesting". At least it makes sense in a fighting game because the tiny bit of recovery has game mechanics built into it, like how you can turn your stun animation into navigational options like rolling into different directions, animation cancelling at different frames for different advantages... yeah, the entire concept of being "stunned" gets turned on its head.

In both fighting games and MOBAs, they have mechanics that make you think about how to use your abilities.


I'm going to take this out of context to flatly state that mobas are not really skill testing games mechanically. The entire point of a moba is to lower the skill barrier for people who can't play an RTS. It's not just that wc3 and sc2 were bad games and pushed players into dota and later dota 2/league, it's that the people who failed to see improvement in their RTS gameplay wanted easier access to competition and money. Half of that was from streaming and half of it was from sponsors like Curse. The skill ceiling for a moba is completely in the teamplay department and you quickly reach the skill ceiling mechanically with most heroes very quickly, a problem compounded by the fact only a tiny fraction of the game's heroes are competitively viable and, you guessed it, largely due to utility creep defined by abilities like stuns. "Accessibility", as Americans call it, is the process of removing skill from a game so they can milk casuals out of it. That's why mounts sell for $25. Because the kind of people who think mobas are hard games are the kind of people who think paying a full game's price for a kitbashed mount is a great idea. The same kind of people who gave Scam Citizen money. Like, $16k a pop.

I think the teamplay skill stuff is really interesting and I watched a truly massive amount of league, amounting to thousands of diamond/challenger games and a fair amount of LCS, studying player behaviors and playstyles and the differences between solos/duos/and teams. My goal was to assess areas for our teams to improve in and where they weren't improving in. Very rarely did I think of many of our players as being mechanically unskilled players, it almost always came down to greed/thirst and communication issues. But as a game? Dota clones will never even approach the shadow of what Melee, Brood War, and other games were like even in their early eras.

Fighting games, at least those I have watched a bit of (Melee and BlazBlue) stay niche because the players and developers value skill. It's also the difference between Japanese arcades and Western self-titled "AAA" developers. The former produce games, the latter produce products. If you want to get into a discussion comparing software built to challenge players and software built to sell, you're going to run right into that distinction as soon as you boil away surface gimmicks like this. I'm not saying you can't enjoy Western titles. I'm saying you can't compare apples to cacti. The mindsets that designed the mechanics that then govern them are night and day difference. A better comparison and more favorable is something like Castlevania to Souls, a comparison you can begin to draw relationships between things like utility.

On that note. Fighting games have very static expressions of utility regardless of hero diversity. Mobas and other games like mobas have much more varied and overbearing expressions of utility. I will just assume/hope you know what I mean by utility because my fingers hurt.

In MOBAs, it's the cost (mana, cooldown) and by extension the potential to be left vulnerable or unable to secure a kill.


Not nearly as much as you make it out to be. Also, resourceless heroes fuck with this a ton in ways I have no intentions of detailing on a forum post because it would take too long. These things are incomparable to fighting games, you can't compare the resources of the two games at all, not even stuff like heat bars.

Mana and cooldowns are both things you effectively nullify at several points in League, and Heroes has a mana buffer in the form of fountains and some abilities and supports. Running out of mana is rarely something you let happen to you at high levels of play, and most fights end before you expend a large portion of your mana anyways. If you ran out of mana you were already losing and/or lost or some other very extreme situation happened. In other words, you were outplayed at the least and in many ways, like missing 8-10 blitz hooks at level 4. Of course, in this context, one hook wins the game. So, make hook less powerful, get rid of cooldowns and mana, and suddenly you have something that is a bit more skill testing than fishing for the one time you actually hit. Mana management is an expression of skill, sure, but I would trade it in a heartbeat to see the 80% of a player's unused reflexes, mechanics, and most importantly psychology be tested against his opponent - something I often saw in competitive BB videos, even at my low level of understanding.

To me, mana seems like a drifting relic of an old RTS mindset tied to strong caster units like high templar and only exist in mobas because campaigns with heroes had them and no one wanted to explore alternative solutions. When they did explore you ended up with blatantly broken shit like perma reviving kerrigan in heat of the swarm. Because that's exciting and balanced. Also, rage bars and energy bars, both of which Blizzard tried in various ways in WoW and other games. They have problems as well, but problems in the implementation again. Riot is constantly messing with mana values on heroes that are years old because they have no idea what to do. They can't find the balance between cost and power because that balance is never going to exist. Exchanging 50 mana for an ability that easily has the potential to decide a 40 minute game is not something you can just quantify on a piece of paper. The whole thing has to be rethought from the ground up, but they've worked themselves so deep into the hole and their playerbase is so adverse to change that they can't help but mill around in the goat locker unto the end of time.

Long rant short, you can't objectively or subjectively compare fighting game frame balance to anything in mobas besides animation speeds. Since you don't seem to understand frames or animation speeds or allude to their value in your post I'll move along.

Now, to be fair to fighting games, I said you could spam your best ability and ignore your weaker ones:


If a game has a "best ability" it's badly designed. So everything else you said can just be swept under the rug of, "the developer didn't think this through." Zed. Thresh. Tahm Kench. Vi. Jungle Nidalee. Lucian. Gnar. I can go on, really. You know, the hyper utility heroes that show up in patch notes over and over because they are so insanely strong from utility creep. Riot has so many Blizzard employees and such an insane amount of money and resources they can pour into redesigning and fixing this shit but they don't because they can't admit they have a problem at the heart of the game's mechanics and design philosophy and for very much the same reasons fueling your argument - you're thinking in semantics. All of the issues you're talking about in regards to range vs grapples come down to design concepts at a fundamental level and not even necessarily balance differences between heroes. Those issues start at things like "reliable ranged attack" and "on-demand CC".

Rock-Paper-Scissors


... Is the poster child of bad game design. I summarized your paragraph. Also, everything mucky said.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Zilla- » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:07 am

.....
we're all salty now

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Re: Overwatch?

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:21 am

Why would I be salty?
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby Hercanic » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:33 am

What button do I push to tag in my other fighter? =oP


@Mucky:
Mucky wrote:No, you're still oversimplifying fighting game mechanics.

I did indicate that was my intention:

"... were meant to be limited to ... some high concepts about system balance..."

"I was brief because I didn't want to get too deep into a tangent..."


Counters aren't dictated by abstract roles,

I didn't say they were. I understand why you think that, though. I referred to Rock-Paper-Scissors, which is a game of hard counters. They beat one another because that is the rule, rather than a natural result. I'm sorry for not clarifying. I was using it as an example of design where every move has an appropriate answer (eg. counter, or soft counter), not to conflate fighting games with hard countering.


it's all about frames and hitboxes.

I was avoiding genre-specific terminology. Frames fall under my usage of 'timing', and hitboxes are a part of 'range'.


Jump-in attacks can beat anti-air attacks, provided they have a large enough hitbox to be spaced outside of the anti-air's hitbox. A sweep refers to any kick that knocks the opponent down when it connects. They don't beat mid-punches as a rule, especially if the mid-punch has a hitbox extending to crouching characters. What kind of punch are we talking about, anyway? Light punch? Medium punch? Heavy punch? Those all have significant differences, despite all generally being "mid."

Mid-punch was just a generic example of countering (dealing damage while taking none in return) through height and reach (your attack hitbox reaches their body hitbox, while your own body hitbox avoids their attack hitbox or is currently invulnerable where their attack connects). The type of punch isn't relevant in this case. In terms of human anatomy, the legs have more reach than the arms, and a punch aimed at chest-level misses someone low to the ground. Specific games will of course change this interaction, and characters with gorilla arms or the ability to stretch obviously defy standard human anatomy.


"Grappling beats guarding" doesn't properly address the high/low mixup, which is the primary means of getting around someone's guard, since they can only block one way while leaving themselves open to the other way.

Different games handle guarding in different ways, sometimes subtly or overtly. I didn't want to add unnecessary complexity to my argument.

You are focusing on what I said, rather than why. The details of the counters don't matter. I just needed readers to understand the concept for when I started talking about external balance.


I mean, if you're trying to claim fighting games don't have a self-contained balancing factor, I'm going to disagree. That's the exact purpose frames and hitboxes serve. Character balance is adjusted and re-adjusted based on these.

Let's say you have a fighting game with two boxers. One has a heavy punch, the other a light punch, and taking damage interrupts your action. That's it. The heavy punch takes longer for the character to draw back and strike, while the light punch is an immediate jab. Provided one player doesn't just stand there and do nothing, who would win? Every time, it would go to the light punch, because it hits first and interrupts the other boxer's attack. Despite doing much more damage, the heavy punch can never win.

You can't change the timing of the frames too much because it would ruin the identity of these two moves. You could alter the hitboxes, but they have to make sense with the visuals. These are two human boxers, so thematically you can't get too crazy. You could pad out the the number of buttons required to execute the attack, but that impacts game feel and isn't reliable in higher level play. If we introduce more fighters and light punch is in a good place against them, weakening light punch to help heavy punch would affect all other matchups.

What contains/limits the light punch? Nothing. So what's needed? A new move that can answer the light punch threat. We have to change our heavy punch guy in response to the design of the light punch guy.

This is external balancing. There's nothing wrong with it, just that it can be more complicated for the designer. My original argument was that the self-contained nature of Overwatch and MOBA characters offers more flexibility and control in its balance, because you have less dependencies.


To make an analogy to BW, lurkers are expected to counter marines, but it's hardly absolute, and the marines can win the engagement depending on how it goes down. The rock-paper-scissors relationship is circumstantial at best.

As I said earlier, this is what I've been referring to all along. For example, Archers, Cavalry, and Infantry form an RPS relationship, but it comes from their natural properties: Archers have range, Cavalry has speed, and Infantry has armor. Archers defeat Infantry before they reach the Archers. Cavalry closes the gap quickly and kills the Archers, who are weak in melee. Cavalry and Infantry are both melee, so speed doesn't matter and the heavily-armored Infantry beats Cavalry. Thus [Archers > Infantry > Cavalry > Archers]. We call this an RPS relationship, but it is not a purely hard counter relationship like the real Rock-Paper-Scissors. Terrain, vision, kiting, surrounding, and other factors and tactics can flip the advantage.


This is a bit of a tangent, but I take issue with the point-and-click design of stuns in MOBAs. It was acceptable in WC3, where your hero was one component of what you control. In MOBAs, they become an all-or-nothing thing, which is potentially unhealthy for the game even when factoring its cooldown.

Yeah, DOTA 2 has carried over much of its point-and-click roots, while LoL is reworking old champions to have "skill shots" as the new standard. Some, like Smite, had aiming as a core mechanic from the start.


Mucky wrote:
Hercanic wrote:For me, I don't find map routines as interesting as 'adapting to the situation'.

Implying weapon and powerup spawns is exclusive with adaptation, hence my question.

You must memorize the map route in order to even get to the weapon spawn and have your conflict. If you don't memorize the route, it takes longer to get there (if at all), and by then the weapon is gone so you may not have any conflict there at all. Conflicts become hit-and-miss.


I suppose I should be glad that you realize this is subjective, since it flies in the face of games like Halo and UT, which ran entirely off maps.

Of course, though that is the assumed default when anyone is speaking.

Halo, UT, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, they were all great fun. But I'd say they were fun in spite of map routes, rather than because of them.


Hell, replace "weapon and powerup spawns" with "resources," and you get BW's gameplay. Balance in that game was as much about the races as it was about the maps.

No, not quite. A powerup is instantly yours and makes you stronger instantly, while an expansion takes time and is a huge cost and vulnerability. It's also not exactly hard to find your natural expo. Hell, Starcraft 2 doesn't even hide the terrain in multiplayer. That decision was probably made for this very reason, to level off map familiarity.

Imagine if Starcraft maps had a hidden BFUltralisk spawn where the first player to tag it gained ownership of it.


Mucky wrote:
Hercanic wrote:
Mucky wrote:
Hercanic wrote:... weapon spawns, particularly if certain weapons are notably more powerful and spawn slowly, give an explicit reward for map knowledge. This heavily shifts the advantage toward veteran players who have grappled the rote memorization of map routes.

That's hardly enough to create huge disparity between player skill levels.

Pro players memorize spawn timings down to the second. Put a numerically better weapon in the hands of someone already more skilled, and the chasm widens.

Knowing the map better doesn't affect how skilled someone is with a certain weapon. Those two sentences have nothing to do with each other.

I didn't say "knowing the map makes someone more skilled with a weapon", though?

Between two players of equal skill, the player to first grab the Rocket Launcher, the BFG, the Redeemer, the Overshield, the Quad Damage, is going to be at an advantage.

It stands to reason that a good player will have also learned the map while becoming good. Bring in a lesser skilled player, who might win 3/10 engagements when the weapons are equal, will likely win no more than 1/20 of the time when the good player secures the better weapon. This is what I mean about an explicit reward widening the chasm between players of different skill levels. One player has more tools, more options, more power, and that tends to fall into the hands of the player who is already at a higher skill level. The greater the likelihood of blowout matches, the sooner the game becomes boring for both types of players.



@IskatuMesk:
I'll have to do yours next time. I try to answer as much as I can of what's addressed to me but, I gotta level with ya here, it took me a full day to finish my last message due to my daughter needing something every half-jotted sentence. There's certainly good discussion material in all that, but I hope you can understand it'll take me some time to respond, and why I'll need to limit myself to defending my original points.
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Re: Overwatch?

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:06 pm

I don't really care to "discuss", I just wanted to articulate certain points. Your daughter comes first!!!!!!
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