A new approach to superflags

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
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L4m3r
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A new approach to superflags

Post by L4m3r » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:42 am

This is one of a few ideas we've been playing with behind the scenes at Planet MoFo.

It's sort of a compromise between flags and no flags. The field is empty, but you are given a superflag on spawn. You can drop it, of course, but this is ill-advised since you won't get another one until you die and spawn again.

I see this as a benefit because it focuses the game directly on combat instead of getting a good flag, without losing the "fun factor" and variety of superflags. Plus, in CTF games, I think it emphasizes the CTF aspect over racking up an individual score.

Because of this mechanism, there are a few necessary restrictions for gameplay, IMO:
  • No bad flags.
  • No Useless flag.
  • No Identify flag.
  • Lower frequency of flags that are not normally helpful, like PZ, for instance.
  • Lower frequency of very powerful flags (GM, L, WG).
  • Intelligent selection- spawn some STs when there's a GM about, etc.
So, what do you think? Using a special plugin, I've got a demo working on my server. l4m3r.servegame.com:4200

The only major disadvantage I see is not being able to kill someone and take his/her flag. Any ideas on this would be appreciated.

Overall, though, I think that this could be a very useful thing for a lot of games. Plus, variation on this concept could lead to whole new "styles". Such variants are already in the planning stages for mofo servers. However, it will all take a lot of refinement to run smoothly and play well.
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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:11 am

sounds awsome. yea the only bad part is you cant take the persons flag you killed. but otherwize, i wish someone could of come out with this sooner

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Post by Scorch » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:55 pm

You should get the persons flag whom u killed regardless of if its better or worse than yours (goodbye camping) :)

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:59 pm

so when you kill someone you automatically get there flag. that would be a good idea. its like a rabit chase for the poeple with the good flags

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Post by Tanner » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:06 pm

Interesting, I like it. Would it be possible (or create another plugin) to allow the player to get 1 flag only (ex WG) when they spawn?

That map was odd; looked as if it was not square.... Or was it just me?

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:10 pm

thats what he said. when the player spawns, they get a superflag that they have to keep or drop (but then they dont get a flag untill they die and spawn again).

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Post by Tanner » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:12 pm

A Heart Attack wrote:thats what he said. when the player spawns, they get a superflag that they have to keep or drop (but then they dont get a flag untill they die and spawn again).
But to only get one and only one type of superflag. Or would one only have to put

Code: Select all

+f WG{50}
to do that?
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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:16 pm

to only get one superflag the whole game or just one type of superflag in the map?

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Post by Tanner » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:18 pm

A Heart Attack wrote:to only get one superflag the whole game or just one type of superflag in the map?
Errr... When you spawn you will always get x super flag.

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:19 pm

and will others get the same flag or will they always get one superflag when they spawn? :doh: i dont htink im understanding what your trying to say

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Post by Tanner » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:20 pm

A Heart Attack wrote:and will others get the same flag or will they always get one superflag when they spawn? :doh: i dont htink im understanding what your trying to say
Others will get the same super flag you got.

:D :D

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:22 pm

then theres no real point in this. hes saying that there is a place where you spawn and you get one superflag, diferent from what the others get. otherwize, there would just be wing mania for example.

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:46 pm

i found this that goes with your idea of when the tank kills another, you get there flag. :arrow: here

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Post by Spazzy McGee » Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:40 pm

i was thinking, with the whole PZ thing:

if there is one PZ about, spawn more of them, so you can get a battle in the zone ;)
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Post by ducatiwannabe » Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:46 pm

I don't know. It sound pretty cool, but I think it works well overall just to pick a flag up.

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:50 pm

ducatiwannabe wrote:I don't know. It sound pretty cool, but I think it works well overall just to pick a flag up.
hes saying that we should have a new server with this playing style so others can see if they like it. also, i like the idea of killing a tank and getting there flag.

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Post by ducatiwannabe » Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:49 pm

I guess it'd be interesting, but if you didn't want their flag you couldn't kill them without getting it. You could always drop it, of course. But what if you have GM and you don't want the TH flag that somebody else has?
Last edited by ducatiwannabe on Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Spazzy McGee » Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:49 pm

on killing a tank and getting thier flag:

how do new flags come into play?
what happens if you drop the flag?
what about thief?

i think the l4m3r's original almost-random idea would work out better....

hey, i just had a thought. using the glag give thing, you could make a plugin that gives you a range of different weapons to choose from:
whenever you pick up a flag, it is added to your arsenal, so if you 'drop' a flag, you can change back to it by doing a command - untill you die and your arsenal gets reset. thoughts?
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Post by L4m3r » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:07 pm

Tanner wrote:Interesting, I like it. Would it be possible (or create another plugin) to allow the player to get 1 flag only (ex WG) when they spawn?

That map was odd; looked as if it was not square.... Or was it just me?

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Yes. In fact, this is in practice at A-Delusion's reverse gravity wings map. Players recieve a wings flag on spawn, but if they wish they can drop it and grab something else. You just need to have more WG flags than players.

And yes, that map is a rhombus. :p it's a skewed version of the standard mofo map deisgned to enhance CTF.
Spazzy Mcgee wrote:on killing a tank and getting thier flag:

how do new flags come into play?
what happens if you drop the flag?
what about thief?

i think the l4m3r's original almost-random idea would work out better....

hey, i just had a thought. using the glag give thing, you could make a plugin that gives you a range of different weapons to choose from:
whenever you pick up a flag, it is added to your arsenal, so if you 'drop' a flag, you can change back to it by doing a command - untill you die and your arsenal gets reset. thoughts?
That's a tricky one... but it's a damn good idea.

The first obstacle to something like this is actually figuring out what flag a player had before he/she was killed. the death event only accounts for the killer's flag. Continuous flag tracking could be the answer, but that's never perfect.

Then, there would be no way to guarantee any flag on demand. There are only so many of each type if flag "on the field" (actually they're all hiding up high on a box in a corner when not in use :p), In the case of my server, there are three of them. Thus, if three people had WG flags and someone tried to select wings from their inventory, theew wouldn't be any available.

There are also big gameplay implications to consider. For instance, someone who's sitting in a corner with GM and has a SW in their inventory would be very hard to kill because anyone who gets close wnough would just be blasted with a shockwave. I would think that certain counter-measures may help to compensate (e.g. a delay between issuing a command and getting the flag). But even then, this will have a drastic effect on the strategy of the game.

A simpler version of this concept would allow players to issue a command and get the flag of the last player they killed.
Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

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Post by tw1sted » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:22 pm

to comment on the last thing you said, you would have the option of taking the just killed oponents flag, but lets say you have gm, you would want to keep that and wouldnt do the command. -----that would be awsome!!!

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Post by Para_Shooter » Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:48 am

One other idea that has probably been kicked around, but I haven't seen the discussion....

Cumulative flag collection. As it stands now, you can only have one flag at a time. This is cool, as far as it goes. But any old D&D players know that accumulating experience points, magical items, and powerful weapons also makes for excellent gameplay.

Imagine having WG and GM, or CL, Laser, and SH. Or, having multiple SH flags, so you could take more hits before dying? Or, having SH when you grab an OB flag, so you could survive being a huge target until you lost the OB flag.

I don't know what it would mean to get BL and SE, or SE and JM, some flags seem mutually exclusive. I suppose you could set your server so that "good flags trump bad flags", or vice-versa.

You could allow up to <n> flags to be in force for a player, on a per server basis, like shot count and speed are governed now (among many other parameters). So, somebody could make a world where you could have up to 10 flags, all operative (other than conflicts), and it would be an insane game, with players amassing ever more and ever more firepower, protective/defensive elements, etc. Or, for somewhat saner play, a server might allow a player to possess and use up to, say, two flags, or perhaps three.

I realize this would somewhat turn the game on its ear, but this whole thread is about switching things up a little, and doing things a little differently. So... this would be, well, different.

BTW, I do like the idea of being blessed with a flag upon spawning, with no other flags to be had. Like now, some intelligence would be needed to even things out... but the idea of CTF, where, when the losing team all spwan, they're armed to the teeth... very cool.

But NO SR FLAG when the whole team spawns... lol. That would be awful, for at least two of them. I was reading through the "BZF funniest moments" thread, and saw that lots of people have had the misfortune of vying for a flag with a teammate, only to find it to be either BU or SR... <BOOM>. I hate it when that happens, lol.

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Post by L4m3r » Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:10 am

Para_Shooter wrote:One other idea that has probably been kicked around, but I haven't seen the discussion....

Cumulative flag collection. As it stands now, you can only have one flag at a time. This is cool, as far as it goes. But any old D&D players know that accumulating experience points, magical items, and powerful weapons also makes for excellent gameplay.

Imagine having WG and GM, or CL, Laser, and SH. Or, having multiple SH flags, so you could take more hits before dying? Or, having SH when you grab an OB flag, so you could survive being a huge target until you lost the OB flag.

I don't know what it would mean to get BL and SE, or SE and JM, some flags seem mutually exclusive. I suppose you could set your server so that "good flags trump bad flags", or vice-versa.

You could allow up to <n> flags to be in force for a player, on a per server basis, like shot count and speed are governed now (among many other parameters). So, somebody could make a world where you could have up to 10 flags, all operative (other than conflicts), and it would be an insane game, with players amassing ever more and ever more firepower, protective/defensive elements, etc. Or, for somewhat saner play, a server might allow a player to possess and use up to, say, two flags, or perhaps three.

I realize this would somewhat turn the game on its ear, but this whole thread is about switching things up a little, and doing things a little differently. So... this would be, well, different.
Multiple flags have been pretty much forbidden as a design decision in the game. It will never happen. It's up to you to decide whether that's a good or a bad thing.
Para_Shooter wrote:BTW, I do like the idea of being blessed with a flag upon spawning, with no other flags to be had. Like now, some intelligence would be needed to even things out... but the idea of CTF, where, when the losing team all spwan, they're armed to the teeth... very cool.

But NO SR FLAG when the whole team spawns... lol. That would be awful, for at least two of them. I was reading through the "BZF funniest moments" thread, and saw that lots of people have had the misfortune of vying for a flag with a teammate, only to find it to be either BU or SR... <BOOM>. I hate it when that happens, lol.
Yes, we are having that problem in the Steal The Bacon game. :lol: It will be fixed shortly.
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Post by Para_Shooter » Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 am

Sure, NP. As to whether single flags are a good or bad thing, it's what it is, and it works very well as it is, for the most part. Still, I have several times imagined what it would be like to collect multiple flags, were that possible. It would be a very different game, that's for sure.

Still this is open source, so somebody might just run with the idea, and call the new game something else... I suggest "Schizophrenia", since you'd no doubt go nuts with all the choices, lol. It would clearly take a lot of recoding and so on, but probably not all that different than the flag changes this whole thread is about. When you start fiddling around with foundational levels of game reality, who knows where it will stop?

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Post by styx » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:14 pm

its sounds good, though i dont play on MoFo
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Post by optic delusion » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:57 pm

I have always disliked random flags. Accumulating more than one flag at a time will NEVER happen. L4M3R's "Steal the Bacon" server mod is an early application of an Idea I had long ago. What I'm hoping to do with this concept is create a new game mode, called "Progressive" (which is a stepping stone to yet another mode I call "Defender")
In progressive mode you EARN superflags by killing others. Each player would have a flag assigned by how well thay have done since their last death. So you'd have a flag "level" and with each kill you make, your level would go up, and you'd be assigned a better flag. Yhis is possible with the current server mod. Here's how it would play out.

There are no flags on the field, the only way to get a weapon, is to kill other players.
You spawn with no flag, level 0
You get a kill, now you're at level 1, and are given a sheild
Another kill, level 2, gets you a slightly better flag, say OO or QT
A third kill, level 3, gets you a Cloak or Stealth
... And so on
It takes more than one kill to get to the top level (GM or Laser), from the level directly below it.
A TK at any time, makes your level negative-1, and gets you a bad flag that is shakable only by making a kill, which puts you back at level 0.
Now Here's the key. No player may possess a GM or laser until there are at least six players on the server, and he has killed most of them in his current turn.

So that's "progressive mode." Not too complicated. I think we can do it with our current server mod.


Now, A full blown "Defender Mode" requires one or two more changes, that we can't do with the current setup. Any and all flags would also act as a sheild, so when shot, those flags pop out of the players tank, forcing other players to converge on the location of the kill, trying to pick up the flags. It would play like this.
A level three player is shot. Three flags pop out of his tank, but he's not dead (any flag acts as a sheild), so he can probably get at least one back. but he had better do it quick, because everybody else also wants those flags, and are converging on his location. If he gets one, he has a sheild again, but until he gets one, he's naked.
I think that would be a good game. What do you think?
Last edited by optic delusion on Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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