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Rabbit Chase Discussion

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:11 pm
by JeffM
There have been a lot of complaints and suggestions for the rabbit bestowment algorithm that is used in 1.10.2. To get it all straight I'm collecting the ideas and issues here so we can all have input on what we can do.

The current rabbit method is based on the bzflag score. This score uses total number of kills and deaths to get a number. In 1.10.2 the method was updated to make it have less anomalies, but it still has one core problem. The players with the highest score will always be the rabbits. This has the disadvantage of making it very hard for someone who has just joined the game to become the rabbit. 2 very good players who have been playing on the server for a while, could just bounce rabbit back and forth, not mater who kills the rabbit. This is very frustrating. This is the core reason to change the method.

Regarding the hunter 'team', presently the hunters are rouge colored ( black ), but act as a team. This is most confusing to new players. It seems that everyone agrees that the color should be changed to an existing team to ease confusion, red seems to make the most sense.

Before the rabbit method can be changed it is important to figure out what the point of the rabbit game is. Is the point to be the rabbit? Or is the point to hunt the rabbit. No mater what there are always aspects of both in the game. But the goal needs to be determined.

If being the rabbit is the goal. Then hunting rabbits is just a means to achieve that goal. And killing hunters when one is the rabbit is a means of keeping that goal. If this is the case then the best scoring solution would be to make the score based on time as rabbit. Something like 1 point every x seconds, say 30 seconds. Then he who kills the rabbit becomes rabbit. This seems to be the intended goal of the game.

If the point is hunting rabbits, then killing rabbits is a means to increase ones score. Killing hunters as a rabbit is then just a means to reduce other hunters score. In this mode points should be given for killing a rabbit, and points taken away for killing a team mate, and being killed by the rabbit. When a rabbit dies, then the assignment should be random, as no one really wants to be the rabbit since they are exempt from increasing there standing. This does not seem to be a popular goal.

Another option is to make the rabbit bestowment based on a flag. You have the rabbit flag, you are it. When you die, you drop the flag, and it's a scramble. In this mode, time as rabbit would be a good scoring metric.

On a note, hunters are a team, but they really don't have to work together. It is actually detrimental to help another hunter ( score wise ), in any game mode. But we don't want hunters to be killing each other ( that's just wrong ). So they are on a team to enforce the existing team killing mechanism. An option for a later version would be a Team Rabbit Chase mode, that used 4 teams, each with a group of hunters that could work together and had a common score. On a rabbit kill, the team member who did the killing would be made into a rabbit, and his team would then have to defend him from the other teams of hunters.

I personally feel that some change needs to be made for 1.10.4 in this area.

( note this was origonaly posted to the bzfalg -dev mailing list on SF, but I decided to post it here as well, for those that don't get the mailing list. )

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:39 pm
by vicious
Unfortunately a lot of this stuff breaks protocol so it'd have to wait for 1.11.

The rabbit selection is all done in the server so that's easy to do now (plus there's already a patch on sf to allow the multiple selection styles).

Making the team red is also probably pretty easy but it's a client change so it'll only apply to people who download a new client (but newbies are probably the ones that have the problems killing hunters anyways, so...)

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:42 pm
by JeffM
I say break it, it at least gets rid of the GM bug, and makes everyone upgrade.

1.10 showed that if you update the servers, people will update the clients.

And chaning the bestowment algo is just server side.

Re: Rabbit Chase Discussion

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 6:05 pm
by Homonculus
Patlabor221 wrote: Another option is to make the rabbit bestowment based on a flag. You have the rabbit flag, you are it. When you die, you drop the flag, and it's a scramble. In this mode, time as rabbit would be a good scoring metric.
Hmm, Smear-the-quere BZFlag. This would be interesting :D The flag would have to be colored so you would know what it looks like, and possibly the server, at the start of the game, could choose a special ability for the holder of the rabbit flag.

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 6:09 pm
by JeffM
"kill the guy with the ball" is a better term if you please.

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 6:18 pm
by Homonculus
Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone, but that's just what it's called. Hmmm...

Smear the rabbit :D

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 7:48 pm
by SGI
-The current rabbit method is based on the bzflag score. ......

No very good a new player want to be a Wabbit...we are kids

-Regarding the hunter 'team', presently the hunters are rouge colored.......

Green.....you are a hunter and using camouflage dresses :)
white for the rabbit

-Before the rabbit method can be changed it is important to figure out what the point of the rabbit game is. Is the point to be the rabbit? Or is the point to hunt the rabbit. No mater what there are always aspects of both in the game. But the goal needs to be determined.

-If being the rabbit is the goal. Then hunting rabbits is just a means to achieve that goal. And killing hunters when one is the rabbit is a means of keeping that goal. If this is the case then the best scoring solution would be to make the score based on time as rabbit. Something like 1 point every x seconds, say 30 seconds......

Nope

-If the point is hunting rabbits, then killing rabbits is a means to increase ones score. Killing hunters as .....

The score will be perfect....-1 if you kill your temmate +1 if you kill a Wabbit.
Or if you kill your temmate the +1 score go to the Wabbit
The Wabbit take +1 when kill the hunter

-Another option is to make the rabbit bestowment based on a flag..

Bad solution...think a 3~5 tanks around a flags.......or you are dead or you are dead (teammate too) who kill the Wabbit become a Wabbit

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 9:08 pm
by JeffM
if the goal is to hunt, making the hunter who kills the rabbit be the rabbit kinda sucks, cus then you can't make more rabbit kills till you die. You could not be "on a roll"

it should be random so it's fair.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 7:42 pm
by SGI
patlabor221 wrote:
it should be random so it's fair....
I hope in a good random :)....
Just kidding, yeah probably is better a random Wabbit.
You dont know who can be the next Wabbit, behind you, faraway in the corner

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:06 am
by Chikorita
i would like to c rabbithunt servers to have da option to make da rabbit have STealth all da time...
-or-
sum1 also mentioned dat da rabbit could have Tiny or Jumping , or both ..all da time
jus like a real rabbit :)

an maybee even da rabit can stil pick upz otha superflags an use dem too...?

i say... help da rabbit!! :D

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:46 pm
by oblomov
What about having the guy with the *lowest* score be the rabbit?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:40 am
by danimal
What about having the guy with the *lowest* score be the rabbit?
I think this would be a bad idea... It would specifically target new players and then drive them right into the ground, further lowering their score and possibly scaring them away.

Personally I like the killer becoming the rabbit thing.

Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:23 pm
by David
I think it'd always be best to be the rabbit, no matter what your skill level.

Sure. The other guys are out to get you, which can be tough if you're the new guy, but they're limited to only killing you, and you can kill any of them. Suppose there were 10 hunters. For them to average better than you, they'd have to kill you 10 times for every time you killed just one of them, not to mention that they lose points each time they kill each other. If one player was permanently the rabbit, and there were several hunters, I'd expect them to win almost regardless of their skill level.

Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:39 pm
by SGI
Random rabbit is the best....can be the good players and the newbies without preferences just
You are the rabbit now.....fight for your fur

Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:43 am
by oblomov
Rabbit bestowement should be random, and there should be some kind of score measure to see how much each player is able to *keep* his (or her) rabbit status: total rabbit time and longest rabbit period ?

Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 4:23 pm
by toaster
I am not in favor of the score built on time you hold the rabbit status. I've seen several instances where the rabbits get the only OO flag and go somewhere that no one can reach them. No SB or SW flags in the world. That generally puts a stop to the game for a while and a lot of people leave.

I also have seen a lot of users go hunting for flags that they want to have if/when they get assigned rabbit. (The most common being geno.) Then, they go someplace relatively safe and wait until they become rabbit, and they're ready to rack up lots of points. I've tried that a couple of times to see what it's like, and it's intensely boring.

Another intersting behaviour is that some people will follow people with high scores around and wait for them to become rabbit just to shoot them. Another boring tactic, IMHO.

I think team color of red or green is perfect, and I definitely support that (suggestion 1). It should have happened originally, probably, but that's hindsight. Hindsight is 20/20. Foresight is always less than perfect.

As long as scoring is part of the game and the rabbit gets points for kills, being the rabbit is going to be the preferred role for trying to score. If you want the goal to be a rabbit hunter, force the last killer to be the rabbit, but don't give him points for killing the hunters, and don't take away points for dying as a rabbit. (suggestion 2) This could be one of the rabbit game modes.

I personally like being the rabbit and trying to stay alive as long as possible with that many people after me. It's far more intense than being the hunter. Making points makes it all the more fun. So let this remain one play mode option, and call it "the killer rabbit" after the famous cast member of Monty Python's movie. :) But tweak it so that only the rabbit killer becomes rabbit. Then, it becomes more competitive, and those players that want to sit back and await for the fur to be bestowed upon them with little risk are out of luck. (suggestion 3)

I also think a multi-team play option for chasing the rabbit might be interesting. And probably hotter play than the CTF games. So perhaps a third play mode for multi-teams (no rogues) and: killing the rabbit raises your team score 1; killing an opposing team member raises your individual score 1; killing your teammate lowers your individual score 1 or more; when you're rabbit, killing someone in your own team lowers your team score 1; killing someone in the other team raises your individual score 1. (suggestion 4) In simpler chart format:

your status: ..... hunter .... rabbit
kill rabbit ......... +1 team ..... n/a
kill teammate .... -1 ind ....... -1 team
kill other team... +1 ind ....... +1 team
you die .............. -1 ind ....... no change (self-kill doesn't hurt anyone)

The rabbit has serious positive and negative advantages, and the individual team hunters have some balance, too. I can see some holes in this, but I think it would be interesting to try and we could analyze the results to even it out a little.

Just my thoughts :)