Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

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optic delusion
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

It's when you transfer back and forth from the large platform (with the base on it) to the new bridge. Right?
The problem is that the large platform is a mesh object, and the new bridge is an BZ-defined object. Way back when, I had a hell of a time putting the base (which is BZ-Defined) on the large mesh platform, and almost gave up, it would work fine for some people but not for others. I almost gave up, then just got lucky and it worked for everybody.
It's the floating point bug. It has more to do with your processor's floating point unit (FPU) than your client version. Even when a BZ-defined object looks like a cube, it's really a six-sided sphere (or would "arc" be more accurate to say?). That means pi is used to compute it. One processor uses a slightly different path to compute decimals than another processor, and when you drive from a defined mesh onto a BZ-object you end up 0.0001 inside the object. or something like that. That's why it only happens for some people. Adjusting _maxBumpHeight does not help.

i know how to fix it. Turn the bridge into a mesh so the top plane of the bridge is a defined point and there's no pi in the computation.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sub[FR] »

Ah, I understand. For information the cpu is an Intel Core 2 duo 1.86 Ghz (one of the first). I know that float compute is not exact but with an error margin (plus the bugs...).I's an old computer mainly used for BZ now, I have 4 others (one WIN 7 and three linux) but none works so well than the old one (having a good Nvidia card, a Geforce 9500 GT). The WIN 7 has also a Nvidia but I use a virtual lan bridge for an emulated Alpha system and it probably introduces latency. The other boxes are two HP microververs with a Radeon card each (but not high end) and the last one is a NUC gen 6 (with intel gfx) used for musical trancription with a neural net.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sub[FR] »

The new version of the bridge is OK, I'm no more glued. Thank you Optic.
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Re: Neutral Zone

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optic delusion wrote: Sat Oct 21, 2023 11:41 amThe platform connecting the bases is a gigantic change and I have been very surprised that there has been zero backlash against it. Not a single complaint. [...] I would really like to hear your opinions on this, especially as I am attempting a complete map rebuild. What I plan to do is expand the neutral zone back from the base, so you cannot get the team flag off of the platform until you've reached the Hole of Justice. You'll have to run it back to the hole before you can drop it to the ground. This will work for both teams, in both directions. So when you grab the other team's flag, it will be harder to get it away from their base... and when a team is attempting to save their flag from being captured, they will have to work harder to pull it away from the opposing team's base. I think that leaving your own flag on your base will be the best place to hide it. So please let me know what you think.
I've seen plenty of complaints with these changes (though I don't necessarily agree with all of them myself; generally, I am all for changes per-se, because they make for interesting novelty).

The main effect of the bridge seems to be that the center WG flag isn't so strategic anymore. Enemy tanks can easily travel from one base to the other without it—and travel en masse at that—which mainly means it's far more difficult to cap, especially 1v1 or 1v2. I can't imagine that effect being desirable, but nor is it terrible.

When there's a bridge between bases, you of course do need a neutral zone on it. However, I think the "cheese" of "walking" the flag, flag-drop by flag-drop across, recently patched, was a feature, not a bug. It's useful for 1v1 / 1v2 play, while also being infeasible for larger team games. That should be unpatched, you ask me.

The large neutral zone beside the bases has drawn lots of (well-deserved) criticism, and that's the main thing you should fix. There's no reason it should be there, and it's unexpected that it is. It's not a "no man's land" visually, for example, and there's no undesirable tactic having it prevents. It's also the usual direction to save your flag, and on several occasions I've seen a would-be savior jump off that edge, only to have their flag teleport back into danger. Sure, people could learn they should not do that with practice, but that shows how counterintuitive it actually is. [EDIT: Perhaps most importantly and worst of all, an unintended consequence of the zones is that you can jump up onto a ledge below the base, and then jump into the side zone. This then teleports the flag right next to the base above, where it can be easily captured.]

TL;DR: the bridge is okay, but please re-enable walking flags across, and remove the pointless and bad side neutral zones.
Last edited by Agatha on Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

These are all valid criticisms, Agatha, Thank You for your thoughts. I really need this kind of feedback. However, I am going to do the exact opposite of what you advocate. The bridge is going away, and I am adding more neutral zones.
When I first got the neutral zone plugin working, I realized that adding a base-to-base bridge was possible. It seemed a pretty far out idea, so I had to at least try it. It was definitely a valid experiment, I think at least some people like it. It did not really FAIL, but it's also not RIGHT.... I'm thinking maybe I put back a thin tightrope style bridge with no room to maneuver while on it? Remember when people could jump from base to base? Another possibility is to nudge the bases closer together, enabling that jump (through the neutral zone so team flags drop).
I am going to go back to what I originally planned for the neutral zones, which is that team flags cannot be taken off the forward portion of the base platforms.You have to carry team flags from the base all the way back to the Hole of Justice before they can be removed from the platform.The neutral zones will not be invisible (which i think is the biggest problem with them now). I also have a bugfix with the teleporter.

In other news... Neutral zones can be used to remove from a player any single type of flag, or all flags, but I don't have a plan for using that function.
We also played with making a Phantom Zone Zone, any shot that enters the zone becomes a phantom zoned shot, nonlethal to all except phantom zoned tanks. That one didn't go far.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Agatha »

optic delusion wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:10 am I am going to go back to what I originally planned for the neutral zones, which is that team flags cannot be taken off the forward portion of the base platforms.You have to carry team flags from the base all the way back to the Hole of Justice before they can be removed from the platform.
Well, you can of course do what you want, but I advise against this. What's even the point? How does this do anything except make flag caps more annoying? I suppose it makes the path longer . . .
I'm thinking maybe I put back a thin tightrope style bridge with no room to maneuver while on it? [...] Another possibility is to nudge the bases closer together, enabling that jump (through the neutral zone so team flags drop).
The philosophy of Apoc (AFAICT; forgive me if I am wrong) is that chaos should outshine skill (witness: the prevalence of tons of SW weapons, the systematic removal of tricky jumps up from pyramids and ledges when discovered, ultra-lethal F/GM/etc. available randomly, adjusting various surfaces to reflect unpredictably, etc.). One always has at least one tank width for maneuvering on any bridge, no matter how thin, and jumps will always be easier for different players, meaning skilled players benefit disproportionately. So, while I myself personally support and like those changes from my own (aspiration to!) skill, I'm not sure they're "in character" for the map.
The neutral zones will not be invisible
Yes; that would help a lot with the current situation, and it's a good idea for any incarnation involving such zones.
In other news... Neutral zones can be used to remove from a player any single type of flag, or all flags, but I don't have a plan for using that function.
We also played with making a Phantom Zone Zone, any shot that enters the zone becomes a phantom zoned shot, nonlethal to all except phantom zoned tanks. That one didn't go far.
Interesting possibilities! Additional ideas: for dropping flags, perhaps make TH drop when someone camps on base to steal from the other side (not sure if that behavior is to be discouraged). Re "Phantom Zone Zone": perhaps should just convert to SB instead of zoning them—that way, bullets remain lethal to normal tanks, but gives means to fight against 1-shot PZ instead of just running away. More conservative idea: make teleporters (at least those over the holes) convert bullets. It would be thematic because that's where PZ comes from, and it's a significant, interesting, but also not large, gameplay change.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Rotten Pineapple »

The neutral zones will not be invisible
Good idea! Good UX suggests there should be warning markings of some kind. Alternatively the zone could have a deadly physical barrier like scarwall.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Rotten Pineapple »

I note that this morning (19 Nov 2023) the Apoc server seems to be reverted so that the new bridge is completely gone.

I also liked Agatha's idea about having the teleporters convert ordinary shots fired into them to PZ shots and PZ shots fired into them into ordinary shots.
More conservative idea: make teleporters (at least those over the holes) convert bullets. It would be thematic because that's where PZ comes from, and it's a significant, interesting, but also not large, gameplay change.
But it isn't clear where this could be used effectively, since one simply could not fire a PZ shot into the raised teleporter in back of the base to emerge as a regular shot from the cave output. The PZ'd tank would instead fall through the back of the base. Maybe the teleporter relationships (inputs, outputs) need to be changed too?

Perhaps the transformation should be bullets to super-bullets and super-bullets to regular ?
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Agatha »

Rotten Pineapple wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 4:27 pm I also liked Agatha's idea about having the teleporters convert ordinary shots fired into them to PZ shots and PZ shots fired into them into ordinary shots.
Agatha wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 6:40 amMore conservative idea: make teleporters (at least those over the holes) convert bullets. It would be thematic because that's where PZ comes from, and it's a significant, interesting, but also not large, gameplay change.
Clarification: I meant that as a continuation of my prior sentence, that the conversion would be from regular bullets to SB. The idea being that you could engage PZ by firing through a teleporter (or, from the prior sentence, a magic zone).

On reflection, I think a teleporter that converts maybe is not such a good idea—there would be non-obvious interactions with e.g. L or geno, and it would mess with common situations where people grab the 1-shot PZ to escape or pass through the tele. On the other hand, a magic zone that converts bullets to SB (e.g. for fleeing into to be able to fire back at a pursuing 1-shot PZ) would surely be interesting (albeit perhaps too gimmicky or special-cased).
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Zehra »

Agatha wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:06 pm On the other hand, a magic zone that converts bullets to SB (e.g. for fleeing into to be able to fire back at a pursuing 1-shot PZ) would surely be interesting (albeit perhaps too gimmicky or special-cased).
Edit: Updated post with additional details/background on 2023-11-23

The concept of Powerup zones exists at that point. Velocity Drivers is the first thing which comes to mind, as very easily zones could be made to speed up/slow down players or give per-player boosts depending on region. (Unrelated: Actually, come to think of it, you could get some very unique/interesting game play mechanics by per-zone var manipulation. Examples: "Towers" with extended radar ranges on short range radars, mountains with fog, water regions with reduced gravity/jump velocity for slower movement, per-zone weather vars [rain/snow/fog/clear skies] in/outside of buildings/zones..etc)

Interpolating with what you've said and to the idea of powerup zones. Perhaps the "turret plug-in" may come more closely to what you're looking for, as it the following advantages over simply shot changing may be found:
  • Avoids issues with shot changing/modifying.
  • Counter to it can be easily specified. (Simply a zone for a player to drive into to counter the turret.)
  • Provides visual feedback when "active" compare to simply shot changing.
  • Adjustable rate of fire/control
  • Does not mess/interfere with currently held/used flags.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

After I activated the new neutral zones on Monday 12/18, I have played using nom-de-guere a few times and it seems that players are somewhat accepting of the new zones. At least that's the feeling I get.

The current zones were the original plan for the NeutralZone plugin. The base-to-base bridge was done on a whim.
I had spent years trying to disallow any possibility of players jumping from base to base, and they kept finding new ways to do it, so to now have a bridge directly across the bases was a paradigm shift... once I had the thought to do it, I JUST HAD TO DO IT, there was no other option. It was a valid experiment, but it was not well thought out so it had to go away. Still, the bridge did serve as excellent training for the new more complex neutral zones. As a result, when players saw the new zones they instantly "got it". So that worked out good.

I'm going to leave it as it is for a couple weeks and see what happens. But it's not written in stone. There are several possibilities I'm considering.
1. Years ago, to stop players jumping base-to-base I had simply moved the bases farther apart. I could now move them closer together, re-enabling the base-to-base jump. Team flags would not be transportable on the jump. A bit of a hassle for me to move everything, but you can bet on this jump being enabled at some point in the future. This also restores about 5 units of room in the tower corners that had been adjusted away years ago. (It's now too tight against the side fence)
2. I can make it so only the red flag or only the green flag is stopped by a zone. This will definitely be used, and soon.
3. Neutral Zone plugin can stop ANY flag from entering an area. Infinite possibilities with that. Howabout a zone that allows no flags except team flags? A spot that shockwave can't cross? i could go on and on.

Like I said before, I find your opinions valuable, even when I don't take your advice, so please tell me what you think.


P.S. been a long time since i've played using any other callsign than Optic Delusion, 2 or 3 years.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by gaboot »

re: neutral zones; they work, fairly subtle gameplay change. However, they are very faint and should be more visible in radar and on screen if at all possible.

re: 2024 pillar rework. I like the physics trick (especially the increased drop-down speed which makes you feel less stuck on the platforms) but the smaller pillars have some downsides. The new pillars don't provide enough cover and make the middle of the map into a shooting gallery for F. The pillars are also too small to get useful ricos off of and so ricos feel very random. Also, the pass through on the platforms removes the fun short jump trick for avoiding ground bullets.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

A little discussion about terminology. You know what a flag "drop" is. A flag "toss" is something else. When you drop a flag over a pyramid, and it flies to center or a safety zone, that is a flag "toss". Every time you enter a neutral zone with the team flag, a toss to the nearest safety zone is the result. Each neutral zone needs an accompanying safety zone. I counted 22 invisible safety zones currently, a few more are on the way.

The old pillars were ugly but I wanted them to be a last-ditch escape hatch. Maneuvers were difficult and I wanted it that way. We will see over time if the new pillars become a position dominant of the center for GM. Neutral zones can work for any flag, I may end up prohibiting GM on the pillars.
Not immediately apparent, the pillars are ovals, not round. Combined with them being very small, it makes it very hard to get ricochet off of them which bounces straight back at you. But you're right, they are too small, at least on the floor.
The gravity physics are a workaround because I'm having problems getting the neutral zones to do exactly what i want them to, and it was easy to toss team flag up to the base. I think I have the fix for that, but ran out of time to implement it. If the fix works, the gravity will go away. I do not like physics drivers and want very much to eliminate them.

The visibility on the Neutral Zones is having a red riding hood moment... first it was too much, now it's too little.
Actually, at first it was nothing at all.

So the pillars are not finished.... and oh man, if you knew the amount of time I spent on them already.....
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by ennui »

i don't want to discourage active development. but...

1) can you make the neutral zone only at the front of the base. most of my interaction is accidentally running into them on the long part and then watching the flag get tossed somewhere random. if it were my server, i'd say running the flag off the front or not is a not-bad game decision to have players be making. funnelling players into the "hole of justice" to camp is a less-good decision. either way, having the neutral zone trigger while you are still on the base (instead of off the base) seems just annoying.

it seems like the ultimate result for gameplay is that with the neutral zones it's a lot harder to "save" your flag, which seems less-good to me. that was less true with the bridge. is it possible to have it trigger only for same-base-same-team flags?

2) hate to say it but the pillar base is still too small. only the hix radar fetishists can hide behind them. what i like about the pillars is that i don't fps-bounce off of them as much, which is bizzarre.

also, the physics change made me feel like I was going crazy. lol.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sub[FR] »

I see the reflectors are gone, it's a bit sad, they gave some interesting gameplay (and I even managed to cap even with them lol ;-)).

They aslo authorized some protection againts GM the pillars don't give (however I love the new pillars) and some rico work.

May be a smaller version will be more appropriate ? Less longer neutral zones may also be interesting, it is effectively less difficult to save a team flag with them.

But thanks for the hard work, I do appreciate.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

Sub, The reflectors are coming back, in a new form.
Ennui, you are going to get at least some of what you want. Team flag defense against capture will get easier.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by WorldOfTanks23 »

Are the Planet Mofo servers down indefinitely?
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

We run on Alejo's server machine. It is getting both drives replaced. Then it will take awhile to get all our wheels spinning again.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sub[FR] »

I noticed an interesting (?) feature on the last APO version. The two big blocks near the towers (the Sacrifice Stones ?) sometimes eat your bullets (with a noise) and no ricos are available. To disable that, you need to jump a bit before shooting at the block. It seems you can enable the feature shooting at the block near the darker zone. The up side color is also modified, it seems it had some washed blood (red or green) ;-)

I wonder if the bullets are teleported on the other side ...
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Re: Sacrifice Stones!!!

Post by optic delusion »

Not very long ago bullets would ricochet off of that block in weird directions. (and you could get your tank hung up on the corners.)

_squishFactor or jumping will allow ricochet off of the sacrifice stone.
_muzzleHeight is 1.57 and that is where the bullet eating edge is. Above or below that height will allow rico.

Sacrifice Stone is a really good name for it. Thank you Sub[FR], I'm definitely going to use that
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Sub[FR] »

Yes, I thought Sacrifice Stone was appropriate. Maya Gods will be pleased ;-)
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Rotten Pineapple »

This is a sign it's hollow. And if it's hollow a little it can be exploited!

Yesterday I freed a rf in that block. I did geno someone with it first, though, from relative safety inside the block. It might be possible to get normal bullets into that spot but not predictably.

Sub[FR] wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 1:49 pm I noticed an interesting (?) feature on the last APO version. The two big blocks near the towers (the Sacrifice Stones ?) sometimes eat your bullets (with a noise) and no ricos are available. To disable that, you need to jump a bit before shooting at the block. It seems you can enable the feature shooting at the block near the darker zone. The up side color is also modified, it seems it had some washed blood (red or green) ;-)

I wonder if the bullets are teleported on the other side ...
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by optic delusion »

It is not hollow. It's actually four separate structures. A bottom, a middle, and a top, with a gap between the bottom and middle just large enough to allow bullets into an inside structure that sacrifices the bullets.
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Re: Apocalypse In Action :: Planet MoFo

Post by Rotten Pineapple »

NEGATIVE SCORE -- Spawn zones or other restrictions?

I'm hearing complaints about 20-20 flag new behavior. Apparently, if you fail to shoot anyone, you lose 20 score points. Fine with me, I've never really cared about score. Scores are mostly ego hits.

I was thinking that instead a negative score could be a useful indicator that a player is not ready (or currently able) to play unprotected. Geno-chasing noobs, for instance, tend to ruin a good game and have a nice negative score.

Perhaps there could be a special place the negative score people should spawn, like the inside of the cave? Or some other safe spot? Or maybe they spawn with a PZ flag?

Alternatively, there could be a punishment for players who become negative after being positive. These could be designed to also add some balance to the game(*). Something like: unable to pick up flags, (*) being born with a bad-flag version of MB or PZ that can't be dropped until they shoot someone, restriction on movement to some special part of the base, or some similar thing.

Thoughts?
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