Timelimit Reward/Penalty Plugin

Expand and mod your server.
Post Reply
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:07 am
Location: CA

Timelimit Reward/Penalty Plugin

Post by djpenguin » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:44 am

Timelimit Plugin

I've thought of an idea for a plugin that could be implemented and make a new style of play in the game. The concept of a survival time.

Say that on the server, this time is set to 1 minute. You must get a kill within a minute or you will be killed by the server. Say you get this kill. It could be designed that you're back to 1 minute. Or maybe 1 minute plus X time you had left over. It could also be made that once you get the kill, or required number of kills (could be multiple) within the designated time limit (which could be sent to each individual player by a server PM), there would be some other reward. This could be in terms of spawn positions... this could be a superflag. It's very open-ended.

This type of play would be based on survival. You must survive and kill within the time limit or you will not stay alive. At respawn the timelimit for you personally would reset, obviously.

There are many ways this could be interpreted, and many ways that this sort of idea could apply to maps (either ones to be created or ones already available in the community).

Also, another complexity could be added to make it dynamic. I thought of this when I pictured scenario #1. If there are fewer players, a player would need to travel farther, taking up more time. Therefore, the time limit could be automatically adjusted by the server to account for the number of players on each team.


1) A basic ducati-style map with time-limit kill. No superflags.

2) Same as #1 but with superflags (shield?)

3) Sort of like sig's jumping maps, but with an added difficulty. It's not based on kills in this scenario, it'd be based on caps. Although theoretically no extra work would need to be done. It'd be removing parts of the concept. Say you're at a jumping map. You have 5 minutes to make it to the top and cap. If you don't you die. This would obviously apply to much smaller versions of the map, as no one would want to play and get near the top and run out of time. There also used to be race-type maps. It could apply there as well

4) Any basic map (jumping or no-jumping, depends on how gameplay turns out) that offers rewards for the kills. Superflags that are more powerful, maybe.

5) A dodging/surviving/killing based ground map where your kills earn you a new spawn position that offers some advantage, or maybe makes things more competitive? Possibly different arena's. The idea of bots might be used here as well.

6) This is the last one I thought of in the 10 minutes I spent on this idea. The same idea as above where your spawn position would be changed. This time, however, it would be as a penalty for not getting a kill. The basic idea I had was if someone didn't earn their kill in the time limit, they would be sent to some sort of jail. This could be done possibly be relocating their spawn position and having the player be destroyed.

Lastly, this just popped into my mind. As well as the time changing for the # of players, perhaps it could change based on the players score. A sort of handicap given to the weaker players, they're given more time. This may be much more effective as far as keeping the map/server popular. Noobs wouldn't be taking a beating from players AND the server, instead they would be given more leniency while everyone else has their own requirement that would be more difficult.

Gameplay with this could swing in both directions. It depends on what is implemented, and obviously adjusting the correct time. It would also depend on the map and how user/noob-friendly this all would be. The idea is to provide a new more competitive environment to the user with a concept that hasn't been touched on yet. It could alter gameplay a lot and be good fun. Also, this could be added to maps and ideas already created. One that just popped into my head was the single-shot sniping map within a city. The name escapes me. Time limit rewards/penalties could change gameplay, or just add a little more excitement to it all.

Anyway, it's something to think about. Let me know what you all think! My mind was just bouncing around, but I think it could be some good fun if implemented properly (would take adjusting to know what that is). All opinions are welcome... speak up.


Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:08 am

Re: Timelimit Reward/Penalty Plugin

Post by An SQUERRILz » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:51 am

Firstly, this topic might better under Plug-in Development rather than Release.

I think the idea of respawning without being killed by another player as punishment is slightly harsh by itself. I can agree with the aim of increasing competitiveness, but that part alone is a little depressing for the weaker players. If you introduce rewards such as better opportunities (by map), or superflags, it starts to boil down to "the rich get richer, the poor get poorer" - which is generally undesirable as normal play has enough of that. If the reward is bonus points, it is rather superficial but at least it is just "the rich get richer".

The timelimit is worth something, but I simply can't imagine it as a standalone playing style that is satisfying for all levels of players. Where I can see it is in last tank standing (no longer standing if linger around) and my own SPOONS (well, I already have a different form of timelimit) to prevent counterproductive cooperation in FFA styles.

Sorry if my opinion disappoints, but it honestly appears to me like your descriptions are just dressing up the idea of limited time in game styles largely sustained by a more characteristic idea.

#1: I can't say if this would or wouldn't be popular, but it occurs to me that if you were playing for kills (which enough of the general public does on a CTF map), the timelimit is just a dissuasion from enjoyment/(playing at all). Usually, you can't convince someone to want to cap by killing them, especially if they originally cared more about score in the first place. Besides that, timelimit could make trying to cap more interesting, although any time a clever and coordinated team tries to exploit the system, it's down to lucky spawns. Another problem is that with 2 shots and hiding, a timelimit doesn't fit the circumstances well.

#2: Rich get rampages.

#3: Sure, the idea works, but it's hardly independent. Anyone who creates an obstacle course thinks about how to make things more difficult. Timelimit is not really a new thing.
djpenguin wrote:"Although theoretically no extra work would need to be done."
- talk about this later

#4: Similar to #2

#5, #6: Advantage makes it similar to #2. If a different arena, it is largely a ladder tournament (a standalone FFA system). The timelimit idea is simply a means of measuring performance, not a style in itself. A ladder tournament only works with enough players. Of plugins, takes a bit of work to implement.
djpenguin wrote:"This could be done possibly be relocating their spawn position and having the player be destroyed.
- talk about this later

#7: Handicap games are... dubious. Firstly they have never been particularly popular on bzflag, and secondly how fair they are is proportional to work^2.

I think having a timelimit reward/penalty is generally not a system, it is a potential part of a system; a way of judging players.

You have mentioned a few varying styles, but can one plugin really do all this?
Simple timelimit respawning... easy
Automatic timelimit adjusting... easy-ish though if enemy team has more people, is this good or bad?
Superflag integration... medium (requires map handler)
Timelimit notification... easy but potentially annoying depending on design
Timelimit for capping... medium but handling players joining and leaving but any design has flaws
Multiple spawn zones depending on level of reward... hard (requires map handler, a lot more testing, documentation, custom spawn strategy)
Variety of bonuses... easy
Handicap... depends, not likely to be worth it

Add it up and it's a lot of work. This is just my take, and someone might come along and call me an idiot for thinking it's so hard, but I believe "theoretically no extra work" is a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge misunderstanding (at least on bzflag). People could spend hours writing and testing this package and make it work, but on sig's obstacle course he could implement the timelimit idea independently in 10 minutes. Your version would not be highly customizable either.

Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:07 am
Location: CA

Re: Timelimit Reward/Penalty Plugin

Post by djpenguin » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:13 am

Thanks for the in-depth response. I agree and disagree on different points. For me, I think it's hard to tell how this would affect the play. It could be designed with settings by the server to keep it fun for the less experienced players. It'd all be based on how well the idea fits in with the play-type and the map, as well as the settings of the plugin itself (would need to be a good fit prepped specifically for that server/map). I definitely thought of it with the more experienced players in mind, and it's an added motivation to end hiding/camping and fight to stay alive. These were just multiple scenarios I thought up.

#3 As for the "theoretically no extra work" part, that was in reference to the plugin already being created. It would be the basic idea of the plugin, with nothing special added. A timelimit counts down and kills you. Your goal is to reach the base and cap past the obstacle course before you're killed. I'm sure sig could implement this faster than building everything else along with it, as rewards/penalties would make it more complex.

Hopefully others could give some thoughts as well. Maybe with more input, the idea could shift to something more realistic and less idealistic. I just put out as many examples that jumped in my mind as possible. Thanks for addressing some of the flaws, very good input.

Post Reply