Spawn-killing

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Cpl Foggy Dewhurst
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Spawn-killing

Post by Cpl Foggy Dewhurst » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:56 am

I thought of BZFlag as a very sportsmanlike game. I always play with etiquette in mind. If I see someone being still, turned the other way, or they're still and I've been in their sights and yet they haven't fired.. I could easily turn and take them out.. but I never do.

They could be a few seconds away from pausing, had a phone call, door knocked, having a drink/something to eat or anything.. so I leave them be.

One thing I refuse to do, too, on moral grounds is spawn-kill. A lot of veteran players I have seen spawn-kill don't seem to think there's anything wrong with it? I think it's a shame that BZFlag's long-term players and loyal activists have lost their etiquette and leave it to new people to be courteous and sportsmanlike.

What is your opinion on spawn-killing?

If I see someone spawning, I allow them to spawn, and then allow them a few seconds to see their radar and prepare themselves.

Sure, I put myself at danger, and sure, 90% of the time I end up dead.... but at least it was a fair fight and at the time I hope my opponent realizes and appreciates such a notion.

To me, fair is fair. Maybe it's just my old fashioned Britishness coming out in me!
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Post by joevano » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:27 pm

That is a very open question. I see three distinct possibilities:

1. Map feature
2. Long range spawn-killing
3. Short range spawn-killing

If it is easy to spawn-kill on a map, is it a design feature or flaw? On some CTF maps (Misslewars and Castle Warfare, come to mind) it seems to have been left that way on purpose, as an incentive to, now get this, Capture the Flag. ;) The map maker has many tools at his disposal to discourage and prevent spawn killing on capture, and if they choose not to use them, then it is open game in my book.

Long range spawn killing of players when there was no cap is a little less than respectful, but again there are ways to prevent it.

I have no qualms about killing a person who is spawning right in front of me though. I will spawn kill while on the enemy base, if I am there while passing through (usually grabbing the flag), but I will not camp on the base just to get those kills.
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Post by Cpl Foggy Dewhurst » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:26 pm

I'm not saying it's wrong per se, just wondering about the majority opinion. I'll always allow them to spawn, and then I'll open fire. For an average player those few precious seconds should be more than enough for them to prepare themselves for a fair fight, and I like the idea of them appreciating the good sportsmanship, win or lose.

From experience, though, I think I'm alone in this long-gone, dead & buried ideology of chivalry. I'm a curious type, so would like to have it confirmed in form of an open discussion.

Also, being new myself, I know how it feels to be spawn-killed all the time when you first install the game. It feels very unwelcoming, and then it just plain begins to feel like you're being bullied. Hunted down and spawn-killed simply because you're an easy target and someone wants their scores to go up, no skill is involved, no sportsmanship exists... somebody has to be the nice guy. Any new users I'd be more than happy to help as much as I can.

This is an amazing game, and in my opinion; "the more the merrier"
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Post by ducktape » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:19 pm

The only kind of spwn killing i hate is, "base-camping-flagsending-spwnkilling" its a real thing. :p
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Post by spitfiire » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:38 pm

I hate spawn killing to i try to stop them but the just keep firing the lasers and bullets

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Post by Yojimbo » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:26 pm

donny_baker wrote: 1. Map feature
2. Long range spawn-killing
3. Short range spawn-killing
To that'd I'd add "admin policy" for well-policed games. If the game messages say "no base camping" that makes the policy obvious, and will be referred to by admins/cops and registered players willing to start votes.

The map designer / server administrator can make spawn killing easy, as in Castle Warfare, where laser flags are placed in clear view of the enemy base, and SW is provided -- also see the BZ wiki entry, which explicitly states
http://my.bzflag.org/w/Castle_Warfare wrote: Camping (spawn-camping, base-camping, etc) like in Bloodbath, is a significant part of the game's strategy
Conversely, the designer can protect bases from long-range attack with a few walls, and by restricting the flags available.

In-play spawning can be protected too, by protecting the zones that spawns are allowed in; if you are allowed to spawn just anywhere on the map (the default) then you will end up being hit by shots-in-progress in a busy game, so I don't think you're doing the world a disfavour by shooting new spawners.

Basically, I'd argue that spawn-killing is the responsibility of the designer and administrator. It can be prevented, but admittedly that makes design more difficult.

The only thing that the designer cannot help with is the abandoned tank; often sitting there while the user is typing a pithy message or doing a real-world task. Shoot them. This is a combat game, and after all, it's only one point off their score. If they're busy they won't respawn. If they had a good flag, they shouldn't have gotten distracted ... :-)

Having said all that, there's nothing wrong with politeness and being playing to the level of your opponents -- if they are beginners that should be obvious by their score details, so you can choose to back off for a while. If the opposing team is unbalanced, just hunt the top player for a while so you know who to avoid by exception ...
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Post by joevano » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:56 pm

Well said
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The Geno question

Post by Yojimbo » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:08 am

Cpl Foggy Dewhurst wrote:Hunted down and spawn-killed simply because you're an easy target and someone wants their scores to go up, no skill is involved, no sportsmanship exists...
Ah, and that's what the Geno flag is for ... get the flag, identify the weakest member of the opposing team, and hunt them for as long as possible.

For this reason, Geno should be absent or strongly shot-limited on games where you expect a disorganised team of new players (i.e. a public game) to be present.
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Post by Triumph of the Soul » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:29 am

It's survival of the fittest within the limits of the game. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. I happen to agree with the assertion that spawn killing is within the control of the map maker.

What you have to remember is that there is really no such thing as "spawn-killing". There is only killing, and "spawn-killing" is killing in the right place at the right time.

Also, "spawn-killing" (camping), as with any other type of killing, forces the hunted player to adapt to a new situation by formulating new strategies to combat an aggressor. These strategies linger with a player over time, and come to be refined as the player gains more experience. If you take away the aggression by the "spawn-killer", you take away the need to adapt, and thus, take away the adaptation itself. If you don't "spawn-kill" a player, I guarantee someone else will, and what will they do then? They won't know how to react, and they may even complain. Unfortunately, the aggressor in that situation will likely not be as much of a gentleman as you.

So, what we should really do is encourage "spawn-killers" to "spawn-kill", and praise them when they do this. By allowing the hunted player to adapt, you are helping them to be stronger in the long run.
Cpl Foggy Dewhurst wrote:If I see someone spawning, I allow them to spawn, and then allow them a few seconds to see their radar and prepare themselves.
Doing this does more damage to the hunted player in the long run than the "spawn-killing" itself. It's exactly the same as if someone played on a map with only laser flags, but suddenly, they played at a map with laser and cloaking flags. You would be uncourteous and unsportsmanlike not to "spawn-kill".
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Post by Sky King » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:33 am

Spawn killing is pretty much a part of the deal on many FFA maps like MOFO where you can spawn pretty much anywhere, anytime. On some of the fast-bullet sniping maps, it's pretty much essential.

I think the real issue is specifically "spawn camping" in fortress-based team CTF maps, and not "spawn killing" in general.

On maps like Two Tanks, Boxy, etc., the spawn zones are very limited, so it's easy to get inside an opponent's base and just spawn camp over and over. On some maps, it's just part of game play, while on others, like all of Benfish's maps, Ben has specifically asked that players refrain from, and admins curtail spawn camping. It is an owner's decision, and in the case of Castle Wars and Two Tanks, the modifications needed to spawn-camp-proof the map would have a detrimental effect on play, so the owner has simply imposed a no-spawn-camp rule.

Post-CTF spawn-camping is sort of a separate issue. Some owners have placed world-weapons in the bases that sweep out nearby campers. But on some maps, like Castle Wars and the 2-team Missile Wars, world weapons can't really prevent post-CTF laser camping.

I think Benfish's rules are a step in the right direction. I do think map design can help, but it can't solve it. The only solution is that players have a sense of camaraderie and take joy in the spirit of competition.

At the end of the day it really comes down to that. Rules can help. Map design can help. But BZ is more than a game you install, it is a community you are joining. We, as a community have to do a better job of encouraging the spirit of the game. People all play for different motivations, and sadly, many play online games in the twisted belief that running up a big score by geno'ing noobs and spawn-camping will fix their sad, empty station in life and make them more interesting people.

Spawn camping is really a matter of exploiting a technical weakness in the game (the fact that tanks, somehow or another need to join the game in a moment of vulnerability) rather than exploiting your superior skill. Spawn-camping, and geno-camping, are methods to exploit the environment, and as such detract from the spirit of honest competition.

In BZ, you can't take the points with you, you can't trade them in for honor or prizes or status. Once you accept that the satisfaction of genuine, honest competition is the ONLY reward the game has to offer, then team stacking, over-strength CTF, spawn-camping, and geno-camping become valueless and stop being part of your game.

But those that come to online gaming as a way to anonymously dump their self-worth issues on others will always be an unavoidable part of public online gaming, and we'll have to live with it.
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Post by Acmex » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:44 pm

I think its one thing to camp on missile wars, where the spawn-camping is allowed, but another on the daniel jackson bloodbath.
Why?
Here: a person could get to the enemy base and with a sw and just sit on the base, killing the spawns.
Then when the servers figures this out it starts air-spawning the players, but when they hit the ground the just get SWed, and they air-spawn they get SWed again! This causes them to be killed over and over again, with no defenses, because in missile wars you can get out of the way of the lazers if you move fast enough.
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Post by MonsterMan++ » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:36 am

in some maps it's easy to spawn kill and it doesn't look like the map maker made an effort to stop it. Lasermania and hix it's nearly impossible to spawn kill after a cap. On Missilewar however it's easy so a lot of people do it and think that it's alright because by the looks of it the map creator didn't really mind.

I think it's just part of the game on some maps and on Missilewar I don't mind it if I get spawn killed.
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Post by Starski » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:02 pm

truthfully if it was a server like R3's gu dodge trainer in which you spawn in the same spot multiple times.i reapeatedly kill them they Would do the same thing if you were in thee position so what i have to say about spawn killing:"thumbs up" :wink:

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Post by Marines » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:56 pm

I do it a sometimes but it gets annoying after awhile

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Post by Abominable » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:16 am

It's all up to the map maker weather or not that there is going to be spawn killing/camping or not. I've played a lot of maps that spawn killing is actually made hard, others pretty pathetic. But as I said, it's all up to the map maker. In my mind, I think spawn killing is stupid and skill less, but if it helps you get points, hey what can ya do? ;)
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Spawn kills

Post by A Random Bastage » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:57 pm

Think this topic has been brought up before - with some prettin intense debate.

Find I can go with Donny on this one. If you are in the enemy's base, and someone spawns - fair game. If you can catch them multiple times - still - fair game. If I can keep a number of good players down with hitting them as they spawn, while a teammate is going after a flag - excellent. If you can get into the base with geno, and hit them spawning - even better.

I play most often on Misslewars, where a flag capture leads to being lasered as you spawn back in as a team from the opposite towers. Again, personal opinion it is just cheap score building. You are free to disagree with me on that, but I find it lazy and poor sportsmanship.

Everyone on Misslewars pretty much knows if I can get inside your base with GM - I will hit any target I can get, as fast as I can get them - spawns included. But then - your teammates let me in there. I consider it fair game, as you can take me out as soon as you are able.

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Post by Abominable » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:07 pm

ducktape wrote:The only kind of spwn killing i hate is, "base-camping-flagsending-spwnkilling" its a real thing. :p
I'm with ducktape, base camping is lame.
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Post by pooper » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:32 am

Spawnkilling, to me, is camping in a location where one can fire on the opposing team's spawnzones. However, when one is doing this with a flag with limited uses, like SW or GM on certain servers, or there are ways for the defending team to easily stop the spawnkiller if they know what they are doing, then the use of that flag for that purpose is part of the strategy of the map.

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Post by lord_of_the_fries » Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:30 am

Am I the only one that has spawn-killed himself? That really sucks.
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