Rejected Flags

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Rejected Flags

Post by guitargeek42 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:32 am

I saw a wiki page with a list of all the rejected flag ideas; it also had the reason why it will not be made. Ihome of the reasons were kind of ridiculous, but most were fine. My point is, a lot of the flags on the list are very good ideas.

Here is the URL of the page: http://wiki.bzflag.org/Flag_ideas/Rejected

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by JeffM » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:30 am

Do you have any specific comments?
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by guitargeek42 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:23 pm

Not at the present. I will pick put some of the flags I find useful and post them here.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by guitargeek42 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:52 pm

Here are some of them.

Snake Shots (SN)
Description: Makes your shots move in a S shape once fired.

AirStrike (AS)
Description: Lock onto a player using right click; firing drops a bullet from the sky onto target. Similar to GM, but useful against people who camp on towers and can't be hit by normal means..

Teleport Shot(TS)
Description: You can only shoot one shot with this flag. When your shot expires, you appear where it expired. Shots don't kill.

Charge Beam (CB)
Description: Hold mouse button to charge. Releasing shoots a laser that keeps firing for as long as you charged the beam for. (Maybe a limit on charge time, so there's a limit on how long you fire a laser for?)

Fourwayshot (FT)
Description: Your tank fires shots in four directions with a + formation. Long reload time. Watch out for teamkills!

Handheld Teleporter (HT)
Description: Hit jump key to use. This teleports you to a random teleporter on the map.

Sniper (SN)
Description: Tank is Stealthed and Camouflaged(i.e. the tank has the same color/texture as the nearest object within a specified range, if there isn't an object within that range then it has the same color/texture as the ground). It has 4 times the range and speed of a normal shot. Reload time takes 4 times longer than a normal shot. SN has a shot # limit of 1 before requiring reload. SN can be killed by a laser. Binoculars are magnified twice as much as usual. SN is not too practical for short range use.


Maybe you can pick out some more that you like from the list.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by Mopar Madness » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:41 pm

What's the purpose of posting flags you like that have already been rejected? They were rejected with good reason on the wiki, reasons that haven't changed since they were posted. Yeah, they'd be cool to use, but they are either not possible to implement in the game, would take the project in a direction the devs don't want it to go, or are outright unbalanced and bad ideas.

Ever been to the Mofo server? Mofo takes all the balancing limits imposed on flags and removes most of them, and when you have one of the overpowered flags, its the best feeling in the world, but then you die, and you spawn with a horrible flag or no flag at all and end up dieing 10 times in a minute and it sucks. I love playing at Mofo, but I can only take so much of it, overpowered flags are fun for a few minutes when you have the flag, but just plain suck for the people without them.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by JeffM » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:39 pm

What you have there is a list of flags that were rejected for mostly design choices. Flags that are too similar to other flags don't offer enough differentiation and don't add anything to the game. The others are basic rules we don't break. We don't do flags that only work with a specific shot limit or require specific game features to be on. We don't do flags that hijack other controls ( such as jump). We don't do flags that require a flag drop. We don't do flags that are overly complex.

The main design goal for bzflag is that it is supposed to be simple and easy to learn. The game is also supposed to be fun. Flags like sniper are just mean and not fun for both sides. When you get hit by a special shot, there should have been some way for you to dodge it and you should say "Ok.. you got me". Sadly we have geno that breaks this rule and I'm trying to get it removed from the game and converted to a custom plugin for that reason.

Also remember that the ideas that are moved to the list not because they are all horrible ideas, but because they are ideas that we don't want to have a developer implement right now. This may be a design choice, or a technical limitation. If technical issues are solved some of the ideas may be revisited if they were not bad design choices. Also we have Custom flags that can implement a lot of things with out going into the game a default flag. This is a good solution for flags that are tied to specific modes or actions that would not work well in every game.

I'll run down the specifics for the set you defined so you can hopefully understand our choices.

Snake Shots (SN)
Not technically possible with the current simulation system. Some work is being done with custom flags to make this possible in a later release.

AirStrike (AS)
This was too similar to GM, we don't need 2 GMs.

Teleport Shot(TS)
All shots should kill or do something to who they hit.

Charge Beam (CB)
Too similar to laser, we don't need 2 lasers.

Fourwayshot (FT)
Similar technical reasons to snake shot

Handheld Teleporter (HT)
Overrides an existing control.

Sniper (SN)
This one has many problems. It has a very complex set of rules, it is mean, it makes a player unfindable. This is ONLY fun for the jerk shooting others, never fun for those going against it. This is what I call a "revenge" flag idea. People submit them when they just want to "punish" others that have made them mad. We won't add these kinds of flags, they don't add anything positive to gameplay.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by guitargeek42 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:37 pm

Thanks. These are all legit and satisfying reasons and I appreciate your responses.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dartman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:09 am

I was actually looking though the list recently too, and while agreed with a lot of the reasons chosen to reject many of the flags, some of them didn't make much sense because they contradicted some of the flags already in the game. For example, shots kill, right? Then what's Thief? Flags can't be heavily inspired by movies, TV, novels, etc.--then what's Oscillation Overthruster? Flags can't be mean, and if you die it should only be because someone shot you directly--then what about Genocide? Some flags were rejected for being too specific to a certain game mode, like flags that give you radar on non-radar maps, and things like that--then what about Jumping and Ricochet, which only appear on maps with specific settings and work flawlessly?

I think the criteria for judging flag ideas ought to be improved, or at least implemented with a little more consistency. There are flags currently in the game that break the criteria, but work completely well and add to the gameplay regardless.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by ryanfesta » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:37 pm

True. This is exactly what I thought when I read through the list. Most of them were unrealistic and rejected for good reason, but some did kind of go against existing flags. That is the reason I started this topic.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by JeffM » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:46 pm

There are several special cases to the guidelines we have now. You have to understand bzflag's development history and the fact that we didn't HAVE guidelines at the start.

Thief affects a tank when it hits. It also is droped on it's first hit. This makes it so that after that first hit, the shooter starts killing tanks on subsequent hits. So it is on the edge of the "tanks kill" rule.

The "not based on movies" isn't a hard rule. The idea is that IF the flag is based on a movie it probably is not a great flag idea. OO was put in by the original author before the game was open source. It's effects hold out on it's own so it's a good flag since it has strategic value. The flags that the rule was made for was for silly flags like "Make flag that puts batman armor around your tank". These ideas are usually just for some graphical effect, not gameplay.

Geno is the reason we have these rules. It is the worst flag in the entire game. It has no drawback, it is mean, and seems very petty. It was added before open source as well, so it's hard to remove. If not properly configured or used it can unbalance a game and make a lot of new players confused and angry. I am trying to get the flag removed from the standard game and turned into a plugin.

The general idea for the rules is to prevent people from just putting whatever they want into the game and turning it into an unbalanced mess.

At this point new flag ideas are pointless since the project is incapable of making even minor updates or packages in a timely manner.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by ryanfesta » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:40 am

JeffM wrote:When you get hit by a special shot, there should have been some way for you to dodge it and you should say "Ok.. you got me".

Sorry I didn't post this earlier, but it just caught my eye: this isn't right. Laser and Guided Missiles are impossible to dodge at most maps. It recently started bugging me because I die from the same flags every time; it's unfair.

So now, based in what you're saying, Geno, Laser, and GMs should be converted into custom plugins? Help me here, oh wise one.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dartman » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:13 am

There are ways to dodge laser and GMs, you can get behind a building, for example. Plus there are special skills you can lean to dodge GMs, like moving at a right-angle to the shot and making a specific circling motion that can throw off the lock. The only time you can't dodge them is when someone is camping with one of those flags and kills you immediately after you spawn, before you have time to prepare for them. That would be better fixed by allowing players a few seconds of invulnerability after they spawn, not by simply getting rid of the flags. But in geno's case, if any of your teammates (not even necessarily you, which is the important distinction) gets hit, then you die no matter how good your dodging skills are. The only way to prevent that is by being lucky enough to happen across a shield flag.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by SkillDude » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:15 am

Lasers can be dodged using some common sense. See where they are aiming, if they're not aiming at you, shoot and pray. If they face you, jump, hopefully onto a block. Sometimes lag can help you survive and get an extra shot in.

Guided Missiles can be avoided by facing perpendicular to the shooting direction of the missile and circling the opponent. Guided missiles have a turn rate and thus can only turn so fast.

Genocide was placed in before these flag guidelines were established, as been mentioned before.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dereliction of duty » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:18 am

cl flag for avoiding laser and st flag for avoiding gm.

There isn't anything to offset geno.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dartman » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:28 pm

In the context of flags, there actually is an offset to Geno--SH. If a teammate gets hit with geno while you have shield, instead of dying you'll just drop the flag. But that's entirely dependent on whether you were lucky enough to stumble across the flag.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by joevano » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:35 pm

dartman wrote:In the context of flags, there actually is an offset to Geno--SH. If a teammate gets hit with geno while you have shield, instead of dying you'll just drop the flag. But that's entirely dependent on whether you were lucky enough to stumble across the flag.

That is not specifically an offset to geno... just a side effect of the flag.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by ryanfesta » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:03 pm

sigonasr2 wrote:Lasers can be dodged using some common sense. See where they are aiming, if they're not aiming at you, shoot and pray. If they face you, jump, hopefully onto a block. Sometimes lag can help you survive and get an extra shot in.
This can't be done if there is someone camping across the map and you don't know if they have Laser or if they are even there. Also, because of the infinite speed, you can't always see where the shot came from (it usually takes up the whole radar when there's reco).
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by blast » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:38 pm

cdogg9200 wrote:Laser and Guided Missiles are impossible to dodge at most maps.
A tank with the Cloaking flag cannot be killed by a laser. Laser also has a long reload time.

With default settings, Guided Missiles move/turn slow enough that moving perpendicular to the missile will cause it to miss you. Servers owners (or map authors) can tweak this so that GMs are unavoidable in open areas. Also, ST prevents a lock on a tank. Guided Missiles also are not lethal (by default) for half a second, so they are useless at close range.

So, both of these have a counter flag, and they have limitations, unlike Geno.
cdogg9200 wrote:Also, because of the infinite speed, you can't always see where the shot came from (it usually takes up the whole radar when there's reco).
If it takes up the whole radar, then that map is not designed for Laser (not enough pyramids to deflect the laser up and out of the map).
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by ryanfesta » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:10 pm

Most people wouldn't settle for CL if there are better flags, and stealth is hard to find. Even though there are counter flags, that doesn't mean that they are in our possession 90% of the time.

Also, you missed my point (excuse the part where I said it takes up the radar): It is still hard to tell where Laser comes from because it doesn't travel across the radar, it "flashes" (for lack of a better word).
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dartman » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:34 pm

You don't always have the counterflags, true enough, but when you see that someone on the other team is a significant threat, that's when you look for the counterflags to take them down. Also, whether the SH-geno effect is specifically designed as a counter or not, it still works and might as well be considered one. But that's still not enough to make geno fair, certainly not as fair as GM and L, which can be difficult to dodge but certainly not impossible, and when a GM or L kills you, it's because the shot hit you, not anyone else.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by L4m3r » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:05 pm

Unless the game mechanics changed for 2.4 and I hadn't noticed, a Shield flag will not save you if a teammate is killed by a "stock" genocide shot. Shield blocking geno is a balance feature that was coded into the team flag Geno on Apocalypse in Action (and potentially other servers). This goes along with the geno scoring modification at Apocalypse- players who get hit by Genocide lose points for their whole team. Their teammates still die, but don't lose any points. It's still frustrating to die over and over, but it's not as bad because your score isn't getting ruined. It's worth noting, though, that Apocalypse does not use any "real" genocide flags, it emulates that game mechanic with team flags.

It is pretty widely accepted that regular Genocide is quite overpowered and lacking significant countermeasures. This is why it is almost always appears with a low shot limit or some other balancing feature.
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by dartman » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:29 pm

Ah, you're probably right. I was playing on Apocalypse when I noticed the effect.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by gnu-sense » Sat May 19, 2012 2:37 pm

JeffM wrote:Geno is the reason we have these rules. It is the worst flag in the entire game. It has no drawback, it is mean, and seems very petty. It was added before open source as well, so it's hard to remove. If not properly configured or used it can unbalance a game and make a lot of new players confused and angry. I am trying to get the flag removed from the standard game and turned into a plugin.
That is the most excellent suggestion I have heard about geno in a long time. Geno is mostly intolerable, because a mapper has to really think about it carefully to provide a sufficient counter-balance, and prevent it from being too strong, and most mappers do not do that adequately. Team-flag geno on Planet Mofo's "Apocalypse in Action" is mostly tolerable, because it is mediated by a plugin (actually an ensemble of plugins), it restores team flags to gameplay, and the map style doesn't overly protect its user. There are still times when it can be oppressive, but all in all, the design seems to work. Making geno a plugin would allow it to be directly modified in other ways that could further limit, both in its strength and to purposes that are truly strategic. Making it non-default (so a server owner has to install it, load it, etc.) would encourage map-makers to employ other game features with more strategic value.

I really, really like that idea.

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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by yosef » Tue May 22, 2012 6:29 pm

Interesting bit about GM activation time, blast, thank you very much for that. Is that based on the clock tick inside the game?
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Re: Rejected Flags

Post by blast » Tue May 22, 2012 7:19 pm

It's based on real time. Not sure what you mean by "clock tick".
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