Public Team Score Contribution Value

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tainn
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Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm

Currently, it is publicly visible how many kills/deaths each player on the map has individually, how many players of any team are currently online, what is the team score based on flag captures (ctf) or what is the team score based on the sum total of that team players' kill - death values (ffa). Privately, each player sees what their kill/death values are against other individual players, including oneself (self kills).

What I propose is another public value that would display the amount of team flag captures each player on the map has performed. If would function in a way that;
  • each capture of an opponent's flag would increase the value by 1
  • each capture of own flag would decrease the value by 1, going into the negative as well
There are a few reasons for this proposition.

One is that teamwork should be encouraged, and this helps in doing so; besides being able to show off how many other players they have killed, players could show off how many flags they had captured.

I am aware of a plugin that exists on a few maps (Fog of War comes to mind) where capturing a team flag results in the player being awarded kill points. While I appreciate such a plugin, I would still prefer a system where these two scores are kept strictly separate and where positive kill points are not generated out of nowhere, but where one positive always results in one negative.

Another is that there is a game mode called htf (hold the flag), where the goal is to bring your own flag over various obstacles and cap it in one other color's base, being the first to do so and by that essentially winning the race.

While there are plugins out there that record the htf scores, both from a single session and from all times, they have to either be pulled up via some sort of in-game command or spammed every 15 minutes via the server message, neither of which are really convenient. The requested value would help here as well, at least for individual sessions. As a potential additional level of complexity, having something like specific htf game mode acts would be nice, where the value increase/decrease could be flipped; capturing own flag would increase the value instead of decreasing it.

There could also be some moderation help for it all. Assuming an admin of that server comes to the map a bit late and one player is accused of 'running' the team flag (and assuming that player does not get poll kicked/banned), it could be publicly visible how many times they have captured the opponent's and how many times own flag, making the moderating decision easier.

I had posted this here because I believe that having this as a native feature to the game would make sense, not requiring external plugins for it, seeing how generally useful it could be. That said, though, if anyone were to create some sort of a plugin that would emulate the matter, it would definitely not be rejected :)

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:00 am

tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
Currently, it is publicly visible how many kills/deaths each player on the map has individually, how many players of any team are currently online, what is the team score based on flag captures (ctf) or what is the team score based on the sum total of that team players' kill - death values (ffa). Privately, each player sees what their kill/death values are against other individual players, including oneself (self kills).
I'm assuming you are referring to the HUD.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
What I propose is another public value that would display the amount of team flag captures each player on the map has performed. If would function in a way that;
  • each capture of an opponent's flag would increase the value by 1
  • each capture of own flag would decrease the value by 1, going into the negative as well
If it is for the HUD, it would be useful for some, but perhaps would make the console/HUD feel a bit cluttered.
I'm not sure how much of a benefit it would be overall, but I'm thinking it would become a niche feature that not that many would use.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
One is that teamwork should be encouraged, and this helps in doing so; besides being able to show off how many other players they have killed, players could show off how many flags they had captured.
I'm not sure that would even encourage teamwork.
We've tried awarding players points on captures and stopping campers, but even so, it does not tend to lead to teamwork.
An indicator would probably not do much to encourage teamwork.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
I am aware of a plugin that exists on a few maps (Fog of War comes to mind) where capturing a team flag results in the player being awarded kill points. While I appreciate such a plugin, I would still prefer a system where these two scores are kept strictly separate and where positive kill points are not generated out of nowhere, but where one positive always results in one negative.
A lot of players simply focus on their scores, and overall don't care too much of what is happening to the team.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
Another is that there is a game mode called htf (hold the flag), where the goal is to bring your own flag over various obstacles and cap it in one other color's base, being the first to do so and by that essentially winning the race.
I'm certain that in order to integrate HTF scores as a viable client option, the protocol would very likely have to be broken.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
While there are plugins out there that record the htf scores, both from a single session and from all times, they have to either be pulled up via some sort of in-game command or spammed every 15 minutes via the server message, neither of which are really convenient. The requested value would help here as well, at least for individual sessions.
It is not convenient, nor ideal, but it works mostly okay.
As for seeing it made into a convenient feature, we likely won't see any change like this in 2.4.x.
But perhaps in the next major version, we may see something happen, but this is a maybe.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
As a potential additional level of complexity, having something like specific htf game mode acts would be nice, where the value increase/decrease could be flipped; capturing own flag would increase the value instead of decreasing it.
A very simple plug-in could do that.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
There could also be some moderation help for it all. Assuming an admin of that server comes to the map a bit late and one player is accused of 'running' the team flag (and assuming that player does not get poll kicked/banned), it could be publicly visible how many times they have captured the opponent's and how many times own flag, making the moderating decision easier.
Not to discourage anyone, but this method would perhaps be effective for some time, but it wouldn't last overall.
Even some plug-ins which are used would counter that effect or prevent this concept from functioning properly.
tainn wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:03 pm
I had posted this here because I believe that having this as a native feature to the game would make sense, not requiring external plugins for it, seeing how generally useful it could be. That said, though, if anyone were to create some sort of a plugin that would emulate the matter, it would definitely not be rejected :)
Over the years, there has been a number of patches and requests for features to be made.
Some of them were rejected as they were simply better suited as plug-ins and I think the same case might apply here.
A bit of an example: CTF bonus points, 1vs1 - 2.0.4, add -lifes option for 1vs1 style, insults upon death of player [PATCH]

I'm sorry if I sound discouraging, but the idea you have is good, but I kind of doubt it would work in encouraging teamwork.
I also do hope a few plug-in authors take interest, so we may see some of the concepts come to life.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:57 am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I tend to disagree with most if not essentially everything that you had written in the response to the op, but that's totally cool!

If there is something that I will address specifically from your reply, is that none of the plugins you had linked actually relate to the idea, some of them I have actually also mentioned in the op. That said, if a plugin were to be released that would emulate what the op requests, it would be very appreciated, as stated in the last paragraph.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:47 am

I likely misunderstood a few things, as I kind of thought this was mostly an idea for something to be integrated into BZFlag.
I also didn't link any plug-ins as well, as the items linked are not plug-ins, but actually patches which were rejected as they were better suited to be written as plug-ins.
(My thoughts on 'Public Team Score Contribution Value' are similar to what was mentioned within the links, as I feel that it would do better as a plug-in and would probably be better suited as one too.)

I also might be willing to write the plug-in concept(s), but this would be after I complete all my current projects.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:31 pm

That is exactly one of the concepts that I disagree with. While it would be nice as a plugin, I do believe that it is such a general and useful display that it could be integrated into bzflag.

ctf and ffa are this game's most popular game modes. ctf in specific holds the essence of capturing the opponent's flag. I believe it would make sense for there to be a native display of the capture contribution by each player, considering it is initially meant to be the prime focus of a ctf map.

This suggestion also cannot really compare with the ones you had linked. Some of the ones you had linked actually alter the gameplay's functionality. This one doesn't. Literally the only thing it does is display information. And yes, if the kill/death values are essential, then you bet this info is essential as well, especially when it comes to ctf maps.

If you disagree, then that's fine and totally cool, as stated. But we are disagreeing based on our points of view as players of this game. I believe this display should already exist and be integrated into bzflag based on how much a capture of a flag actually means in ctf maps, and how harder it is usually to pull it off as it is killing some other player.

And yet again, having a plugin that would emulate this would be nice, but I think a display of this nature would deserve to actually be integrated in bzflag due to how general it is for the game and its game modes.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by kierra » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:02 am

Years ago, when mana ran servers, he had a link on his website that tracked several values: personal high score, # caps, team kills, etc - there was more, each in a separate category/heading.
Was interesting.
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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:23 am

Oh, interesting, I was only aware of strayer's and automatically connected mana with GU league; it's nice finding out these sort of things.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:57 pm

Besides the sites mentioned above, there is a few other sites which have been made as well.
From some which is a bit close to what has been suggested, the following two concepts may interest you:
Jumping Skillz Stat Website and General Ranking Between Registered Players.

The concepts listed would require some changes in order to adapt to your idea, but it could be done.
Some limitations would be present though, but they are not too bad, as most of them are due to the fact that we cannot as we can't query player flag captures and self captures.(If we did, it would be a rather simple modification to 'bzfquery.php'.)
Since we cannot do a query and get those results by default, a plug-in would have to be used, and due to that, it becomes an op-in feature.
(The plug-in could do one out of two things, send the results when they happen or wait for a query to happen.)

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:05 am

sigonasr2's website that you linked is down, for reasons I won't go into, but admins of these forums are well aware of them.

But yes, there were and are a few individuals that pull up stats externally. It doesn't have that much to do with the idea, though, as the core desire is to have the matter visible in-game, whether via plugin or not being irrelevant at the time being.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:35 am

I'm able to help next year with a plug-in, although if you are a programmer and would like to see it completed sooner, the following links might help.

* bzflag plugin starter
A few custom slash commands and capture data are pretty much needed for the template.
(Rest is mostly calling some BZFS API functions and scratch code.)

If writing mostly from scratch is not thing, it might be easier to simply modify the following items.
Plug-in and website/database combo:
* bz_playerdb_plugin
Tracks callsigns and IPs, shouldn't be too hard to modify into player scores.
* bz_playerdb_website
Similar modifications needed and if a website is wanted, front end would need to be scratch written though, I think.

Misc:
* CaptureBonus
Basically for handling the capture stuff and shouldn't be too difficult to integrate.
* UselessMine
It has some custom slash commands and loops and arrays, basically a good amount of the code can be reused or modified to work with it.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by macsforme » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:39 am

Before anyone jumps into implementing this, it may help to decide how far you should take this concept. You are talking about showing an additional player statistic on the scoreboard (although a simple score bonus was also mentioned, though this has already been seen in the past), so you are talking about a client + server + protocol modification, and not simply a plugin. So, you are looking at some more involved work.

A flag capture counter is a good start, but it only applies to the CTF game style. Then, CTF is a team effort. What if one player ran the flag 95% of the way, but then died right at the base, and a teammate captures it? What if an opponent gets ahold of it, but someone on your team kills them and prevents the flag return? What about killing the flag carrier, or kills made while carrying the flag (under pressure)?

All of these things further the objective of the game mode. You may want to rework this idea into a more generic "objective score," which could apply to modes other than CTF, and recognizes player contributions more comprehensively. This could also be set up so the value never goes below zero, which would be more rewarding for players who tend to dwell in the negative K - D, despite making significant contributions to the team effort. From what I've seen, this is how modern games are generally set up.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:19 am

Hey macs; thanks for the post, it brings up some meaningful arguments.

As far as development is concerned, I will admit that I was unaware of how much changes and/or manipulation would be required to bring this idea to life, and was only focusing on the ending result from the viewpoint of a player. As such, it is nice to have some illumination on that matter.

A point of view would be to say that the flag capture counter would apply only to ctf, but I'd prefer to say it doesn't apply to ffa, offa, and rabbit modes (which is essentially the same thing, I'm just being fancy and liking open possibilities ...)

Regarding ctf being a team effort, I agree and understand this factor wholeheartedly. It is something that has been bothering me as well, as it is also present on some of the plugins listed above; namely the score adjustment plugin per cap; there, it doesn't matter who carried the flag the furthest, just who capped. I agree that isn't right, and if a process could be done where, for example, air distance from enemy to home base is calculated to distribute reward between players capping the flag, I would be down for it. But a simple 'who capped' system would already manage to accomplish the factor of initiation, making people actually go for that team flag, which is what we want, plus the value actually be easily comprehensible mid-game. Those are, at the very least, my thoughts on the matter.

I do not quite understand your last paragraph. There is almost no player contribution in ffa and it is especially non-existent in offa and rabbit, so I don't see how one could be making an 'objective score' for modes other than ctf as well. Do note that the actual team score also changes per game mode; it displays caps on ctf and full-member kill/death values on ffa.

I also don't understand the argument of preventing people from dwelling into the negative in this specific score. You couldn't go into the negative, at least not on ctf, unless you 'run' your team flag, which is a bannable action on most ctf servers anyway. So in that regard, yes, maybe negative scores wouldn't make much of a difference if they are presented through team-destroying actions already, I just thought it would fit in the context, though it is true that self-kills also don't have a negative value :)

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:25 pm

The idea of a flag capture counter is nothing new, it even was suggested some months ago in the following thread:
Flag Cap Counter & League Team Chat

The only differences tainn's version has from the above thread is including 'self-captures' along with a detailed overview of why it should be included as a feature.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:46 pm

I wasn't aware of that thread; yes, a more simplified version of it, like the one that thread suggests, could go as well and would be very desirable. That thread's idea is essentially the core of this idea.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by macsforme » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:10 am

It seems reasonable to allow an “objective score” to go negative for gameplay abuse/sabotage, if it otherwise serves as a positive reinforcement even for new players who only contributed a little. Currently, having a negative score all the time can be discouraging to new players, in my view.

It sounds like we may be envisioning different solutions to this problem. A CTF capture counter would be fairly easy to implement, but I don’t know about adding an additional scoreboard column that only applies to one game mode out of several, to say nothing of custom game modes. This is why I was personally envisioning something more generic. However, there are many ways of doing it.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:26 am

So you are meaning to say that it is easier to have a scoreboard column at every game mode that simply displays something different per game mode, than it is to display something at one game mode and nothing at some other game mode?

An example that I had mentioned many times already is the team score; it shows capturing score of teams on ctf and the sum total of all kills and deaths by that color's team members, for as long as there is at least one team member of that color on the map on ffa. In all cases, rogue is not included, which comes handy in rabbit hunt mode where team score is unnecessary, and the rabbit and hunters are all seen as rogue at their base.

If it is true that it is easier to apply a column for all game modes but then simply use tricks like these to adapt it per game mode, then it might indeed be better to think of a way to go around it. Shouldn't be too hard since we know that the column can display different information all together depending on the game mode.

Update
Okay, if we would go with different information per game mode in the same column, something like this could apply;
  • ctf - amount of caps performed
  • ffa, offa - biggest kill streak
  • rabbit - sum total of kills performed as rabbit
Here's how it could work. This column could display single values that would show the positive side only, or it could display two values, the other one being in opposition to the first.

We have already gone through ctf; it could display caps only, but could also display the amount of self-caps that would count as opposition. ffa and offa could display the biggest kill streak and, in opposition, the biggest death streak. rabbit would make sense to hold the sum total of kills performed as rabbit and, in opposition, the sum total deaths as rabbit, as this way, there would be enough info present on the score board to check how many kills and deaths the player scored as rabbit and how many as hunter.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:18 pm

macsforme wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:10 am
It seems reasonable to allow an “objective score” to go negative for gameplay abuse/sabotage, if it otherwise serves as a positive reinforcement even for new players who only contributed a little. Currently, having a negative score all the time can be discouraging to new players, in my view.
I'd agree, new players having negative scores constantly would be pretty discouraging for new players.
Offering something which shows they have contributed to team efforts will likely encourage them a bit, the question is exactly how to implement it.
macsforme wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:10 am
It sounds like we may be envisioning different solutions to this problem. A CTF capture counter would be fairly easy to implement, but I don’t know about adding an additional scoreboard column that only applies to one game mode out of several, to say nothing of custom game modes. This is why I was personally envisioning something more generic. However, there are many ways of doing it.
This may sound like a bad idea, but what if a plug-in could register a custom scoreboard column?
Maybe there would only be one or two at max, but this would be from preventing it from flooding the scoreboard and could also be used for custom modes as well, not sure exactly if this would be approved or if this is a good idea, but it might prove to be useful.
tainn wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:26 am
So you are meaning to say that it is easier to have a scoreboard column at every game mode that simply displays something different per game mode, than it is to display something at one game mode and nothing at some other game mode?

An example that I had mentioned many times already is the team score; it shows capturing score of teams on ctf and the sum total of all kills and deaths by that color's team members, for as long as there is at least one team member of that color on the map on ffa. In all cases, rogue is not included, which comes handy in rabbit hunt mode where team score is unnecessary, and the rabbit and hunters are all seen as rogue at their base.
The game itself may be different, but I don't think players want the interface changing each mode.
tainn wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:26 am
If it is true that it is easier to apply a column for all game modes but then simply use tricks like these to adapt it per game mode, then it might indeed be better to think of a way to go around it. Shouldn't be too hard since we know that the column can display different information all together depending on the game mode.
We could do that and it would also make things easier to customize and update, but it would make it less consistent.
So overall, each solution presents some advantages and disadvantages.
Personally, I'm not so sure that this idea would work so well.
tainn wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:26 am
Update
Okay, if we would go with different information per game mode in the same column, something like this could apply;
  • ctf - amount of caps performed
  • ffa, offa - biggest kill streak
  • rabbit - sum total of kills performed as rabbit
Here's how it could work. This column could display single values that would show the positive side only, or it could display two values, the other one being in opposition to the first.

We have already gone through ctf; it could display caps only, but could also display the amount of self-caps that would count as opposition. ffa and offa could display the biggest kill streak and, in opposition, the biggest death streak. rabbit would make sense to hold the sum total of kills performed as rabbit and, in opposition, the sum total deaths as rabbit, as this way, there would be enough info present on the score board to check how many kills and deaths the player scored as rabbit and how many as hunter.
This will very likely confuse existing players to score.
Players might easily adjust to it, but the scoring system itself may not be the best.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:34 pm

I will agree that having a single column present different values at different game modes might be further confusing. What I disagree with, however, is that the playerbase might find it disturbing that the ctf game mode has an additional column in the score board that presents the cap counter for every individual player.

Going back to the start of this all, I want to keep it simple and simply have the column display only at ctf maps and show the desired info. I believe no one will be confused this way nor anyone disappointed, as the column would be pretty intuitive... unless there is some technical reason as to why this cannot be realized this way, I do not wish to complicate it and involve other game modes in it for no obvious reason. ctf is ctf. There is the aspect of team contribution that isn't elsewhere; perhaps making ctf a tad more complex than ffa, which is another reason why ctf could have an extra column that ffa wouldn't. This 'objective score' idea makes no sense.

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Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by Zehra » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:04 pm

It would be really helpful if more players would provide feedback on the subject.
The implementations and the concepts could be easily worked out and refined, hopefully leading to the best possible outcome.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

See where I've last been active at Strayers.

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tainn
Private First Class
Private First Class
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:25 pm
Location: zone of the phantoms

Re: Public Team Score Contribution Value

Post by tainn » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:34 pm

I had only talked about the matter via personal messaging with a few other players and all of them agreed, but I can't openly speak in their name. If they should ever drop by the forums and share their thoughts, that would be nice, but it would at the same token be a miracle to see them here in the first place ;)

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