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Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
03-23-2014, 02:13 AM
Post: #1
Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
I just won an arena match using the Annoy-o-Win strategy of killing a ship then retreating until the timer ended. It wasn't fun for me or for Roc. But I suspect people will abuse this.

I think the anti-cheater code is pretty good as-is.

But perhaps to get an actual "win", you need to pass another threshold.

And that would introduce the gray area of the "tie", where neither party wins or loses esteem points (or you get 10 points if you are below 450).

This would encourage people to fight it out. Technically, I had the advantage because Roc was down a ship. I shoulda been able to monopolize on that and win fair and square.

Also - it would be nice if the points showed when you had enough to win. Like Green to indicate that there were finally enough points out to call it a game.

Thoughts?
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03-23-2014, 02:40 AM (This post was last modified: 03-23-2014 02:40 AM by rocco.)
Post: #2
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
I don't like the concept of adding a tie; either your meet the victory conditions for the mission, or you don't. If you do, you win. If you don't, you lose.

I also don't like removing the ability to perform a "strategic retreat", as such is a valid tactic. Look at the French navy in this time period, their motto was the mission is everything, not defeating/capturing ships. So, the questions remains was it your "fault" for running away, or was it my "fault" for not outfitting a fleet that could catch you once you'd gained the upper hand? If I had mixed some faster ships with my Vanguards, it might have turned out differently.

All we might need to do is another victory condition for a "minimum number of victory points" required to win. Haven't thought about it enough yet, but maybe something like you need to have more than 70% of the total victory points in the game? I think that falls apart when you have 3 teams though.
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03-23-2014, 03:06 AM
Post: #3
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
There are currently three things that I can think of that makes for boring games: 1. People not playing their turn in big MP games; 2. People afraid to close in when just out of reach of an opponent; and 3. People running away after getting a single kill of something like a scout ship. "Slip" or "drift" would fix 2. A "tie" or different winning rules could discourage 3. Dunno what to do about 1 (other than have AI take over for skipped turns).

I thought about just increasing the victory conditions, and I think that isn't a bad plan. 70% or something. But then I thought about how many times people would play things out and both parties lose with that higher threshold... In an arena match, you both would lose 300 points unless the win was decisive. Very discouraging, especially considering how close many arena games are.

I think for some campaigns, a win is either yes or no (either you sink the pirate, or you don't, or either you get a merchant across, or you don't).

But I think a tie is also reasonable to consider. You start out with 4000 points, as does your opponent. After a huge fight, and turn 40, you each have 1 ship, but one costs 20 less than the other (but perhaps is at full health). Of course what constitutes a "win" is arbitrary.

I think the "tie" just allows better definition of what a "win" is, and more importantly would encourage more engagement/fun play. And that is what I am after more than realism - I want play to be fun. A tie could really encourage going all-out, because the risk of loss would be lowered.

I do think strategic retreat should be an option. Just not as soon as I did it. I've tried it in a couple other games too. It just isn't fun, but it is very effective. If I'd been forced to engage or tie (or lose), I probably would have engaged.

Dunno, just something to think about.
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03-23-2014, 03:25 AM (This post was last modified: 03-23-2014 03:26 AM by rocco.)
Post: #4
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
I dunno; adding a "tie" simply moves the line around. Instead of retreating to win, people will just retreat to break-even instead of staying and possibly losing.

I still think the answer lies with the victory conditions. Right now victory point is a combination of "things you defeated" and "ships you have left". The problem is the victory conditions do not currently favor the "things you defeated" half of the equation.

An additional victory condition that was "have earned more than 50% of mission config points by ship defeats in victory points" could help solve that.



Some other off-the-wall ideas i've had, but dismissed for one reason or another. Putting here as they may spark something:

1) Shrink the out-of-bounds/no victory point circle over time, resulting in a very small circle by turn 40

2) Reduce the amount of victory points a ship provides for "being alive" by some measure of how "involved" it is. I really don't like this one.
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03-23-2014, 06:36 AM
Post: #5
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
It's an interesting problem, for sure.

How do victory points work (except in pirate/merchant scenario)? Is the following how it currently works:

1. Ships alive. You get the production cost of all the ships in your fleet at the end of game.
2. Ships sunk. You get the production cost of the enemy ships that you personally sunk (if you sink your own ship through ramming or volatile powder, no one gets the points). Captured ships would only count as ships alive (if they were still alive at the end).

Take a 1000 point fleet, each person with 2 500-point ships. If one person sinks 1 opponent ship, they would have 1500 points, the opponent 500.

So there are a total of 2000 points (for 2 players). Three players would have 3000 points.

Ugh, I'm not sure where I am headed, but I know this isn't an easy problem. I'll think about it more - but is the above accurate for how victory points are assigned?

I would say that to win, you should have at least one ship living. I know that isn't how it currently is designed, but I think it makes sense. But this is a tangent to the above.

Here's an outside-the-box approach. Maybe if, after 5 or 10 turns without any damage being done, the wind changes 180 degrees direction? That should benefit pursuers. It would be artificial, but it is a game.

Another idea would be to provide victory points for damage done to a ship, with a bonus to the person that sinks it. You might still get victory points for hitting a fleeing ship, even if you don't do enough to sink it.

Another idea would be to not have a 40-turn time limit on games where a certain threshold of damage hasn't been reached. In a 2000 point (total) ship game, if 500 points worth of ships hasn't been sunk, then the game continues until that point is reached. It would give people time to trap each other on the edges.

Anyone else have any ideas?
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03-23-2014, 07:11 AM
Post: #6
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
(03-23-2014 06:36 AM)Diebo Wrote:  1. Ships alive. You get the production cost of all the ships in your fleet at the end of game.
2. Ships sunk. You get the production cost of the enemy ships that you personally sunk (if you sink your own ship through ramming or volatile powder, no one gets the points). Captured ships would only count as ships alive (if they were still alive at the end).

Close, but not quite.

1. Ships alive, the victory points is half of the production cost of each ship.

2. Ship sunk. When you get the "kill shot", your side if awarded the full production cost of the ship killed.

3. Ship captured. When you capture a ship -or- "kill" a ship through boarding combat, it counts as a "kill shot" (you are awarded full production cost of the ship). If you also capture the ship, that ship is then on your team so you are receive the half production cost for the ship being alive.



I don't think swapping wind like that would work; so long as we're on the same heading with same ships, I can never close distance. Although it would allow us to hit the edge of the bounds circle faster if we were traveling into the wind.

Another tweak could be to just drastically decrease the size of the "out of bounds" circle. Right now it is rather large; if it were to be just behind the starting positions, you would have run out of places to go in our game.
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03-23-2014, 07:54 AM (This post was last modified: 03-23-2014 07:55 AM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #7
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
Are you able to determine who's chasing whom? Maybe if the ships for both players have been on the same heading (so no turning) for X number of turns, the trailing ship(s) could get some kind of speed boost? Or maybe a speed penalty for the person running? It would give some way for the chaser to catch up, but wouldn't be immediate so you could still use strategic retreats. You could also get around it with some maneuvering, but again, that would serve to slow you down as well. Dunno what the explaination would be for why it happens, but...

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
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03-24-2014, 03:18 AM (This post was last modified: 03-24-2014 03:20 AM by rocco.)
Post: #8
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
What about this:

1) Each side starts with the same number of VP, perhaps equal to the fleet config value

2) Each turn your VP amount drops by a set rate

3) Defeating other ships increases your VPs

Example of (B)ritish vs the (F)rench, 2000 config point mission, decay rate of 100 VP per turn.

Turn 0: B=2000, F=2000

Turn 10 (first contact between fleets): B=1000, F=1000

Turn 12 (British sink a vanilla vanguard): B=1380, F=800

If the british disengage and run at this point, there are 28 turns left and the game would end two defeats with 0 VP each)

Turn 16 (French sink a vanilla vanguard): B=980, F=980

...


What would this do?

• It would eliminate the problem where two sides are starting with a different amount of VP

• As long as the reduction rates are set appropriately, it would fix the "kill one ship early game run away forever" tactic. But it would still allow for strategic retreat closer to end game (which i think is a good thing).

• It would be more confusing than the current system.
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03-24-2014, 07:04 AM
Post: #9
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
(03-24-2014 03:18 AM)rocco Wrote:  • It would eliminate the problem where two sides are starting with a different amount of VP

• As long as the reduction rates are set appropriately, it would fix the "kill one ship early game run away forever" tactic. But it would still allow for strategic retreat closer to end game (which i think is a good thing).

• It would be more confusing than the current system.

I kinda like it. I do think that the sides should start with the same victory points. But yes, it could be more confusing.
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03-25-2014, 02:33 AM (This post was last modified: 03-25-2014 02:36 AM by rocco.)
Post: #10
RE: Stopping Annoy-o-Wins
Ok, here are the changes we are going to try in this patch to alleviate this issue:

1) I've made the out-of-bounds ring about 40% smaller

2) After turn 20, any ship that has not fired its cannons in the past three turns is given the "Spoiling for a fight!" debuff; this debuff represents your crew's malcontent at not being a part of the fight! This will reduce your movement points to 1 along any heading which leads you away from the action. "The action" is a loose term, but currently is defined as the average position of all ships.

This change only applies to victory point missions.
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