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Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

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admanb
Posts: 35

Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#1 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:26 pm

I think everyone except the people clamoring for 24/7 2x XP understand that Thunder Valley’s XP/time ratio is off and the scenario needs tweaking. However, overall there’s a much bigger problem with scenarios in the other direction: many of them last too long in every circumstance.

Most players would agree that Nordenwatch is the ideal baseline for a scenario. The three-point King of the Hill scenario is a classic, both in MMOs and elsewhere, and Nordenwatch has a solid design with interesting geometry and variety in play. If anything in WAR can be called iconic, it’s Nordenwatch. It’s also a rewarding scenario: points are scored continuously, so the longest a game will realistically take is when a healer and tank heavy fight on Fortress stalls the cap, but even assuming a full zero-kill stall where no one back caps the longest Nordenwatch will take is 12.5 minutes. On the flip side, consistent victory for one side will end in under five minutes, while complete dominance can be over in less than two.

Unfortunately, Nordenwatch is the exception, not the rule. Most scenarios stall easily or simply do not score points quickly enough to match Nordenwatch. For example, the tug-of-war maps: Battle for Praag and Gromril Crossing, require a 3-second action to capture the flag and take an additional minute to actually flip. Compounded by the fact that they’re 18 and 24 player scenarios makes it much more likely to stall in the center, and even if one team does manage to capture their payoff is fewer points than controlling two flags on Nordenwatch. Due to the map design and heavy player count it’s even harder to push deep -- I’ve only seen a 4-cap on Praag once, and that was a stomping -- so the win still takes forever, and the losing side is scoring zero points the whole time. A standard game of Praag will last 10-15 minutes.

The single point missions, like Doomfist Crater, have a similar issue with stalls scoring no points, but at least when one side captures they score as much or more than a two-cap on Nordenwatch. However, like the tug-of-war these have the issue of frequent 0-100 point losses that take much longer than a similar loss on Nordenwatch. Tor Arnoc and Mourkain’s Temple fall into this category as well, but made even worse by being able to carry the “point” out of the middle. The inevitable death of its carrier has little effect when they’re standing near their own respawn point, surrounded by allies. The losing team is left with the option of idling in their spawn and waiting out the very slow ticks, or feeding kills to end it as quickly as possible.

Lastly, the capture-the-flag/bombing run scenarios. Also prone to stalls where neither side can grab the objective, but these often lead to the dominant side spawn-camping the others while no one does the objective. From the dominant side’s perspective this is rational, because if they split off to take the flag they may lose their advantage and be pushed back, but as a consequence it takes far longer to reach 500 and both sides suffer. Blood of the Black Cairn also suffers from this: taking the side points requires splitting off and can result in the middle point being overrun, so the winning side just camps the spawn and wins very slowly.

Nearly all of these take longer in every case than Nordenwatch and reward the same or less. In some cases, the payoff for kills will be higher, but that’s not guaranteed at higher ranks where durability goes up and slogs become more common. Either way, kills don’t scale compared to the bonus. A game that takes 10 minutes where each side gets 50 kills will earn significantly less XP/time than a game that takes 5 minutes where each side gets 25 kills. So the non-Nordenwatch/Reikland Hills/Factory scenarios are just worse. Sometimes a little worse, sometimes a lot worse.

Now, I don’t think most of these designs need to change drastically. I’m happy to blacklist Mourkain’s Temple forever -- it’s broken in myriad ways -- but to encourage diversity, and reward diversity, I think most of the scenarios should have their scoring increased. Add passive scoring to locked tug-of-war points, increase the scoring for single-point king-of-the-hill, objectives, flag caps, and bombing runs, and increase scoring for kills for any scenario that doesn’t have a continuous push towards the game ending. There will still be plenty of scenarios that can be easily dominated by a premade or lucky well-formed PUG, but at least they’ll be dominated quicker and the loser can take their 1k XP and get on to the next round.

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Detangler
Posts: 328

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#2 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:37 pm

Easy fix to the problem scenarios: add more explosion mechanics. EXPLOSIONS!!!!!
Detangler - 40 DoK armor talisman farmer
Deetangler - 40/80 Chosen tankbot/murdermachine
Deeetangler - 40/6x Zealot healbot/talisman factory
Detanglerr - 40/xx Witch Elf boredom killer
Deetsquiggy - 40/x Squig butcherbot
Tangler - baby Slayer

admanb
Posts: 35

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#3 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:45 am

Some specific thoughts on potential changes to various scenarios.

Battle for Praag/Gromril Crossing (Tug of War)
  • 3 points/kill
  • 1/tick for each locked point
  • 3/tick for holding mid
  • Reduce cap time to 3s action and reduce cap delay to 30s.

Blood of the Black Cairn
  • 1/tick for your own points
Straightforward changes to this set. Add a constant point flow so the game won’t stall out and the losing side gets something. Reduce the miserable cap time for the tug-of-war points. Make it so back-capping in Blood of the Black Cairn actually accomplishes something in a losing game.

Mourkain’s Temple/Tor Anroc
  • remove damage from holding the orb, but increase damage taken by the entire team that has the orb by 10%.
The damage to the orb carrier just isn’t a big enough penalty when you can just stand near your own spawn and force the other team (who’s already behind since they lost a team fight) to fight at a disadvantage. Increased damage could level things out and create an actual tug of war.

Black Fire Basin/Serpent’s Passage/Talabec Dam/Howling Gorge (Capture the Flag/Bombing Run)
  • double points for successful cap/bombing (75>150)
  • double points for kills scored by the team not holding the flag/bomb
For the most part these are just too slow. The double points for kills punishes holding onto the flag/bomb and means the team not capping should at least get something. Another option would be for the team without the flag to get 2/tick until the flag is capped, but that might be too generous.

Highpass Cemetary/Logrin’s Forge/Khaine’s Embrace
  • 5/kill (I think this only effects Logrin’s?)
  • 2/tick for holding one point
  • double points for double capping
Less punishing stalls and speed up rounds. Pretty simple.

Doomfist Crater/Lost Temple of Isha
  • 5/tick for holding the Isha’s Will. 2/tick for holding a Doomfist Ore.
Single capture point is just not a good mechanic, period. Adding points to the carryables spreads out the objective.

Phoenix Gate
  • 6 points per kill
  • 2/tick for holding a flag. Don't stop scoring points when both flags are held.
  • 100 points for turning in at bridge
Just speed it up. Stopping the points when both flags are held is unnecessary if bridge cap is worth more.

courtsdad1
Posts: 113

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#4 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:24 pm

Or just get people to learn the mechanics and profit. Aside from extremely lopsided group make up ( rare) the biggest problem is people not taking 10 seconds to read or ask about objectives and then not bothering to watch chat. The beauty of the array of scenarios is that you don't always have to have the most did or healing to win but playing smart has fantastic rewards.

navis
Posts: 699

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#5 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:31 pm

I think don't the scenario mechanics are a big issue, they were designed properly and with variety.
If anything I think the queue system is in dire need of adjusting, but it's not a easy task to try and make all the different rank of players able to queue and also enjoy scenarios with matched ranks/renown.

-no official support for 12+scenarios, still not sure if it's a bug or not but 18 and 24 scens are some of the best content in my opinion
-ranked solo not working for months now
-mid-tier slow as usual
-t4 imbalance from fresh rank 40's and highly experienced rr80's but that is normal
-quitter buff too penalizing artificially slows scenario popping
-all the fortress and city sieges drain players from scenario queues

admanb
Posts: 35

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#6 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:23 pm

courtsdad1 wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:24 pm
Or just get people to learn the mechanics and profit. Aside from extremely lopsided group make up ( rare) the biggest problem is people not taking 10 seconds to read or ask about objectives and then not bothering to watch chat. The beauty of the array of scenarios is that you don't always have to have the most did or healing to win but playing smart has fantastic rewards.
I agree that the array of scenarios is a good thing -- that's why I want them adjusted so the expected XP/time ratios are the same. If you queue into Nordenwatch you're going to get better XP than if you queue into Tor Anroc, because both crushing someone 500-50 and a tight 500-450 win takes longer in Tor than it does in Nordenwatch. Battle for Praag will take even longer. I think it'd be ideal if we could level characters efficiently and play a wide variety of scenarios, but it doesn't work that way right now.

Sulorie
Posts: 4706

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#7 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:53 pm

admanb wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:23 pm


I agree that the array of scenarios is a good thing -- that's why I want them adjusted so the expected XP/time ratios are the same. If you queue into Nordenwatch you're going to get better XP than if you queue into Tor Anroc, because both crushing someone 500-50 and a tight 500-450 win takes longer in Tor than it does in Nordenwatch. Battle for Praag will take even longer. I think it'd be ideal if we could level characters efficiently and play a wide variety of scenarios, but it doesn't work that way right now.
No you don't have better xp ratio, because you will get much less sc pops. There are things for devs to worry about than xp-ratios, when you already level too fast with sc. In a fun sc it doesn't matter, how long it takes. :) Different objectives require different amounts of time. One could argue as well, that some sc end too fast. :P
Dying is no option.

istvar
Posts: 59

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#8 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:42 pm

Increase points from kills to how it was on live, problem solved

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Aetas
Posts: 9

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#9 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:41 am

I can't help but feel like the coming Thunder Valley nerf will just increase queue times for people. If someone is on a losing streak, what is the advantage for them to queue more scenario? Next to nothing. At least I know that I will not be queuing for it unless on destruction and the destruction queues are long enough with the population imbalance.

This seems like a solution in search of a problem.

admanb
Posts: 35

Re: Adjusting Scenarios for Fun and Profit

Post#10 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:18 am

Aetas wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:41 am
I can't help but feel like the coming Thunder Valley nerf will just increase queue times for people. If someone is on a losing streak, what is the advantage for them to queue more scenario? Next to nothing. At least I know that I will not be queuing for it unless on destruction and the destruction queues are long enough with the population imbalance.

This seems like a solution in search of a problem.
The Thunder Valley nerf seems inevitable, which is why I think it's important for the less valuable scenarios to be buffed.

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