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Discussion: a new style of play?

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:38 pm
by Sky King
I'm curious if this has been discussed, I'm assuming it's not trivial from a client development standpoint, but perhaps it is.

As a combat vet, I love maps/servers that more closely mimic real battle dynamics. There are no flags on the battlefield, what you pack when you leave home is what you fight with while you're there. As a commander, my job was to make sure soldiers went to the field with the right mix of weapons and capabilities for the mission ahead.

So, what if there was team-style play wherein you had to join with one weapon, and use that weapon throughout, with no flags.

For instance, a 4 on 4 team room where each team gets one laser, one shockwave, one rapid fire, and one machine gun. You decide which weapon suits which player, and then you go in, having only that weapon.

Some rooms could involve one wing, which just like in real life could be used for attack or reconnaissance.

Such a setup requires a little thinking, more teamwork, and better tactics.

Thoughts? has this been discussed? Too difficult technically? already been done?

It could be loosely approximated by having 4 flags back at each base, and they only reconstitute there, and you can only spawn there... the difference in that case would be that players could still drop flags and revert to deault tank behavior, and also change flags with others... maybe that's close enough?

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:01 am
by MonsterMan++
That's already been done except I think it goes: RED=SW, GREEN=LASER, BLUE=WINGS and PURPLE=GENO. It was done quite a while ago actually but I think it wouldn't hurt to do it again.

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:41 am
by Spazzy McGee
the one MosterMan tallks about was not very good, because the whole team had to chose one flag.

i think SkyKing's version sound a lot more team based and fun, and i would like to see it done. It could possibly be done with a plugin i think, but i'm no great shakes at c++ so you'll have to find someonewho is.

iit also has potential to be a league. prehaps a spinoff of GU?

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:49 am
by MonsterMan++
Anyway that sound really good and I think that would work, but what do you mean by you decide which weapon suits which player, and then you go in, having only that weapon? Isn't that a bit hard to do?

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:58 pm
by Sky King
It might be better suited for match style play where you have an assigned team that plays together...

But still, the idea is that each team gets one of each super weapon, and only one, and it is up to the team how they are distributed... If your team has a good sniper, he/she gets the laser... if you have a good sneaker, maybe he/she gets the shockwave...

The idea is that each weapon complements other weapons and you have to work as a team to really get the benefits and offset the disadvantages of each.

If I had to build a team to go into a real war with, I'd want a li'l snipers, a li'l tanks, a l'il helicopters, a li'l artillery... Not all of one or a random mix. And I'd want the guy on my team who is more predisposed to sniper play to have the laser, etc...

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:28 pm
by Winterberry
I very much like this idea. The fact that each flag - even laser - has some definite disadvantages would *require* teamwork in order to be functioning as a team - or to even have any chance at all of winning.

I think this could easily be done without writing new plugin. The "Boxy War" map already does something similar, at least with flag control. Have only those four flags drop on the map, and define where they drop (ie only on certain parts of the base). When you spawn, pick your flag, and you're ready to roll. Maybe Boxy War uses plugins to control where the flag drops, I don't know - but it's at least doable.

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:39 pm
by DJ Atomica
You determine where the flag drops with zones. Not a plugin. And I do like Sky Kings' idea.

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:52 am
by dartman
I think it's a nice idea, but...

1) I know this is an idea for a play mode, but Tim Riker and the other devs have repeatedly said they want BZFlag to remain simple. Easy to learn, devilishly hard to master.

2) How would you be able to choose what flag each player gets? What if other people sign on?

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:24 am
by MonsterMan++
That's what I think, how do you choose flags?

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:10 pm
by Sky King
Well, I'm thinking that it's like has been suggested... you are always spawned in your base, and that base has one of each flag, and perhaps the wall textures even have signs that say what each is. (I'd leave it to Louman to design a weapons rack that has an image of what each weapon would look like if they were bolt-ons like in some games, and you just drive up to the desired weapon.)

Anyhoo, if three people are already out "gettin 'er done" and you spawn in, there will only be one flag there, take ot or leave it. In a perfect world, you'd have the flag until death, can't drop it... and when you die, both you and the flag are recreated back in the base.

I would probably have the bases elevated. you are safe inside the base, so your foe can't just sit outside your base with SW and kill your whole team off over and over. Otherwise, the base would have to be larger than the SW burst radius to allow safe spawning. It would also have to allow egress from several, or all sides.

The challenge of only spawning in a base is that it requires some complexity (like the boxy bases) to allow any hope of escaping a good laser sniper.

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:00 pm
by sussi
the idea of bzflag is to have flags. Flags are underline the already existing tactical capabilities of tanks. Counterwise every tank without a flag is by definition a normal tank. Your idea break the bzflag idea.

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:54 am
by Hannibal
I know of some that would prefer to play without flags(Ducati, GU, anyone?). Flags are a part of the game, and yes, BZFlag would not be the same without flags. But what Sky King is proposing does not eliminate flags, it is simply a way of encouraging teamwork and communication, while adding another element to this game. Yes, it would require a bit of work coding, making the map, textures, and other various things, but if someone were to do it, I for one would very much enjoy it. I believe that it would do very well to be put in place in a league.

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:06 am
by Sky King
sussi wrote:the idea of bzflag is to have flags.
I disagree... I believe the "Flag" in BZFlag refers to CTF (Capture The Flag), not notion that tanks can be enhanced by flags. If you define what does, or does not compromise the essence of BZFlags purely on this kind of semantic razor, then FFA (Free For All) would be what "breaks" BZFlags--and clearly it doesn't.

Even in the original arcade version of the Battle Zone, flags were collected to progress through levels, and most of the battle was fought without enhancements.
sussi wrote:Counterwise every tank without a flag is by definition a normal tank.
You are correct. In the absence of flags, every tank is just a tank, leaving skill and teamwork as the only differentiators.

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:04 pm
by sussi
thats not my point, even every clean tank has some tactical posibilities, perhaps drive forward faster than bakward, flags are modify a special capability/posibility. In our case the flag hight speed makes you faster, what give you the same speed abckwards than a forwarddriving SW. So u learn fast how to kill SW and SW leran quick to jump. If a flag underline a special passibility than people starts to like that flag. That is the reason why u normaly server dont use random flags. I didnt start from the name, it was a very lucky thing that the first devs intoduced flags and ctf.

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 6:54 am
by Mostly Harmless!
Isn't lasermaina more or less this? You grab a flag from your side and use it. There are practically no flags in the battlefield.

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:54 am
by TD-Linux
This would be easy to do. Have flags sorted nicely in zones. A plugin would keep track of who had what flag. On spawn, automatically give them their flag unless they haven't chosen one yet. The flag-tracking for that tank would be erased on disconnect.

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:52 pm
by Sky King
Mostly Harmless! wrote:Isn't lasermaina more or less this? You grab a flag from your side and use it. There are practically no flags in the battlefield.
Sorta yes, sorta no... I mean, Boxy is kind of the same way, in that you know right where the laser, SW, CL, ST, OO, etc. are located.

But in lasermania, and in boxy, you can have all lasers, etc... I'd like to see something where you simply have to work more as a team to survive.

Here's my case for anything that promotes teamwork: If you've ever been in boxy, or lasermania, and you've been on a team that was just singin'... things just had an unspoken "flow"... then it just doesn't get any better. Conversely, when you're caught on the fractured "shoot em up" team that is plagued by enemy genos, and frequent TKs... it doesn't get any worse. The other day on boxy, I got the enemy flag six times in a row... and 3 of those 6 trips home, I was TKed, and not by stray ricos, nor by intentional TKers... just by people that are just there for a MOFO-style shoot-em-up and don't really care what the situation is. But another time, I had OO, and without a word being said, I had a laser and an SW stay with me and cover me while I went in and out of the enemy base, racking up 10 or 15 kills, and ultimately grabbing the flag... Nothin' better. CTF is a blast when it works, and sucks when it doesn't.

In boxy, for instance, I know that my team's CL, SW, and OO can rack up some serious damage if their vulnerabilities are protected... so when I have L, I see whose position and weapon are likely to change the momentum of the battle, and I position myself wherever I think I can get the best shots in support of them.

What I am proposing is a map where that kind of teamwork is the essence of that map.

Personally, I NEVER play for score (and my scores prove that!) I play for effect... if I die 5 times but I get the one crtical shot that enables a capture, or saves an enemy capture... I'm happy as a clam. I wish I could get that point across to others, that the points are meaningless and can't be saved up to buy a car, or grow hair, or pick up chicks... Ask ANY athlete and they'll tell you they'd rather be on the winning team than be the MVP. In CTF, all that matters to me is did my team have a winning, or losing record while I was in that map.