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UGC Halo League Show - Week 3 [Special Guest chaosTheoryy]

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In the event of a tie, the first team to cap sets the time for the other team; so if red caps the flag in 45 seconds, blue team has that much time when the next round starts to capture.

I was thinking kills=1 point, flag caps=100 points. That should be a good way to resolve ties.

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I was thinking kills=1 point, flag caps=100 points. That should be a good way to resolve ties.

That's doable, but I'd rather have capturing the flag be the focus of CTF, not slaying.

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Accidental neg, sorry.

 

There really should be an option to change rep ratings you give on this site, for mobile users at least.

 

no worries. cool avy btw, my first event was NY 2006

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I don't know who linked this earlier, but thank you for doing so:

http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2010/3/11/gdc-2010-day-1.html

 


He listed a few types of playtesters he sees. One is the Optimizer. (This role played by Alhazard of sirlin.net forums.) The Optimizer plays whatever makes him win, nothing else, and can somehow find the most powerful things very fast. Then there's the Role-Player. (Possibly played by Thelo of sirlin.net.) The Role-Player wants to play a certain style no matter what. If it's strong or weak, they'll play it. He says he likes these players because it means even if sniping is overpowered, there will be non-sniper player-testers simply because they prefer whatever role it is they always go for. He can then see how badly they die, if it's close or not. There's also the Pro-Player (waterd of sirlin.net). The Pro-player has things in common with the Optimizer, but is specifically interested the game as a form of competition and he is the first to request the removal of all randomness. He will use tricks and lesser known stuff to win if it works, though an Optimizer only uses the most broken thing period and nothing else. (You could say I was an Optimizer player in some games, though if you really commit to that, be careful, because you aren't learning much else in the game. Better hope nothing can come along to beat you or you have nothing else.)

He said he observed that Optimizers were using the sniper rifle 100%. Even at close range. They didn't even us a scope, just jump around and sniper shot pile in melee range. Even a body shot did lots of damage and you couldn't really get away in time because the 0.5 seconds between shots was so fast.  He said the sniper rifle was an especially bad offender not JUST because it was overpowered, but because it was going outside its role. It's not supposed to effective at close range, so that is a major problem even beyond the balance.

He considered many possible solutions, and I won't go through them all, but many of them just "didn't feel like a sniper rifle should feel" even if they were balanced. The one change that didn't violate any "feel" requirements was the extra time between shots. In fact, he said it improved the feel. The rhythm between shots while sniping from a distance (with scope zoomed in) felt more like, well, sniping when it was made longer.

 

Would you look at that? It's insane... he actually recognized that there was a balance problem(something we pointed out as early as Halo 2, and proceeded to point out in Halo 3 and even Halo Reach). He even took a step toward fixing the problem....

 

But he just didn't get the whole picture. The sniper still got used well outside of its role, not because it was too strong, but because everything else was too weak. We even suggested the fix he implemented, increasing the delay between shots on the sniper... but we also suggested making the weapon more difficult to hit shit in general, and increasing damage/rof/consistency/SOMETHING MY GOD of the BR/DMR to contest it at mid range, and even increasing the damage of the AR for close range, and re-adding the mother fucking slow of the PP/PR for close range, increasing the travel speed and splash radius of the rockets, etc.

 

Instead, he only increased the time between shots, meaning you could still get off FOUR sniper shots before a BR, AR or whatever could kill you, and follow it up with a melee for an easy kill most of the time. That's why that shit was broken- you couldn't be punished for having a sniper out at close range, because you could no scope and melee and at THE VERY LEAST tie the situation 50% of the time, even if the opposing player had a weapon/positional advantage on you. You also couldn't be punished at long range because everything else was absolute SHIT at long range. It makes this bit almost infuriating to read:

 

 

This leads us to what is really one of his main points. Balance is done via intuition, not mathematical modeling. If anyone's keeping score, that's the third time this point has been made in a GDC lecture. Rob Pardo (Blizzard), me (Sirlin), and Griesemer (Bungie) have all said that exact point. And while we're on that, all three of us made another somewhat related point, too. Pardo and I both said that you have to be careful of mathy people who want to balance the fun out of everything. Like we could bring the power level down to be boring and make things balanced, but that fails at our goal of making things FUN and also making different weapons/characters/whatever extremely DIFFERENT from each other. Griesemer's version of this same idea was the concept of making everything crazy powerful, and balancing that. Don't make everything really weak, and balance that, it's boring. If everything is overpowered, then nothing is overpowered. He WANTS each weapon to seem overpowered when its fully in its role.

wetfiyWGEUIGHwefHWEIFHuoqehGOQ242389AWHRQQU WRG19354Y0834Q13 

 

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU SAY THE RIGHT THING AND THEN COMPLETELY BOTCH THE IMPLEMENTATION. YOU DID EXACTLY WHAT YOU DIDN'T WANT TO DO, YOU BALANCED AROUND EVERYTHING SHOOTING FUCKING MARSHMELLOWS.

 

 

The irony man. "Halo 1 was terribly imbalanced, the pistol was way too strong" THE FUCK? NO, IT WAS BALANCED JUST LIKE YOU WANTED IT TO BE, EVERYTHING WAS OP, SO NOTHING WAS OP IE DOTA.

 

 

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

 

/rant

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I'm about 7 minutes in and I was going to play some H3 to end the night but I'm going to listen to this instead.

 

 

Also, I'd love to see an episode with just some die hard fans of MLG, Halo and the forums to talk about things from there perspective.

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Very insightful interview, it got me thinking about Halo and gaming in general and why the same type of RNG/progression mechanics that have clearly succeeded in making series like CoD MW a more "fun" experience to gamers, have failed to do the same with HR/H4 MP.

 

Another reason why designing a game like Halo around RNG elements/adding a ton of variables that noone can predict or counter is that in games like Halo you are quite literally locked into a chess-like mind battle with an opponent that only one of you most times is going to win. At the end of the fight if you're staring at the re-spawn screen you KNOW why you died most times in your head in classic Halo.

 

Arguably the smartest Halo pros the Ogres described classic Halo as "like speed chess" in an interview, Halo battles are a process of ebbs and flow not overpowered by one element like positioning. All Halo players have experienced this, and if my mistake/mistakes was that "I got out-shot" "I challenged when I shouldn't have" "I threw a grenade when I should of stayed in the gun battle" "I didn't push my advantage and his teammate cleaned me up" "I pushed the camo spawn without checking for enemies" "I pushed too far into the enemy's base with sniper without my teammates", ect... or any combination of mistakes EVERY gamer is able to learn and improve from mistakes like these no matter how skilled or unskilled they are.

 

In games like CoD everything is insta-kill, people may have kill-streaks in their back-pocket, people may have better guns than you because they are a higher lvl, a camper could be in any building and if you walk into that building your dead, the point is because of the instant kill times the game is very impersonal in comparison and you are expected to die without being able to counter in many situations. its very position-based and reflex based and in turn more random. That same philosophy simply  does not work in games like Halo.

 

When I die because of mistakes me or my teammates committed within my control than I can LEARN from it and more importantly accept it without getting frustrated. However, when I die in MP games with lots of randomness and a ton of variables with no effective counters, than I very quickly lose interest in that game as there is nothing to learn from my deaths and no intuitive way to improve my play.

 

A game with a ton of RNG elements and variables that cannot be effectively accounted for CAN and WILL be mistaken for game depth at first, even from the most experienced players. This is what devs who makes those type of games are counting on for players to enjoy that unpredictably long-term.

 

However, once the smoke clears and they realize they cannot learn from their deaths and there is no counter for an action or strategy they will naturally become frustrated with that game and quickly lose interest(IE:H4's huge drop-off in population after 3-4 weeks). The sort of counter-culture to this type of "lottery gameplay" has been e-sports, and I am so glad e-sports emerged bigger and badder than they ever were before and are sort of starting to change the discussion and mentality of developers back to the traditional way of thinking, because it could of got a whole lot worse than it was in 2010.

 

Only thing I really disagree with is that "Halo CE was the last predictable shooter" surely you must know there are many shooters like UT2004, RS3, ect... that were very competitive and predictable games. There is just less of them in the AAA market than before.

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The irony man. "Halo 1 was terribly imbalanced, the pistol was way too strong" THE FUCK? NO, IT WAS BALANCED JUST LIKE YOU WANTED IT TO BE, EVERYTHING WAS OP, SO NOTHING WAS OP IE DOTA.

But the Pistol was the most used and you never ever hit Y except off spawn.

 

For all the things 343 got wrong, I can't hate how they could make even Halo 4's sandbox filled with strong weapons. For some reason, Bungie's guns just kept getting slower an easier.

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What I'm about to say refers only to competitive FPS games:

 

The issue with game design these days is that unless the game is built from the ground up as a competitive balanced title, by nature it will fail and become boring.

 

I use Titanfall as an example. It's a recent popular FPS that was being marketed as the next best pvp FPS, but competitively speaking, it's a horrible game. The game isn't built from the ground up to be a competitive pvp title, it's purely a casual title at best.

 

The AI in the game act intentionally as fodder to support casual players to give them a psychological stimulation that they're doing good in the game. Just like CT referenced in his interview, COD makes you feel super strong. Well, TF does the same thing. A casual doesn't care about killing actual players, they care only about total kill count, so killing AI left and right with such ease gives the notion of power.

 

Respawn themselves have been quoted saying the AI is there to provide fun. There's a fine line to walk when you start thinking about making things intentionally stupid for fun's sake, that's not proper game design. I can't imagine if when chess was being designed, they said...well the game is just too hard, this isn't going to be fun, lets make the game more like checkers.

 

John Carmack, formerly of id software, was quoted saying this about competitive Quake 3:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenge_ProMode_Arena

 

The Challenge ProMode project was created by Richard "Hoony" Sandlant in May 1999, following the release of Q3Test, the beta version of Quake III Arena. Its goals were to make a more exciting and challenging game in the hope that this would help advance Q3A as a professional sport.[5]John Carmack, lead programmer of Q3A, suggested a more challenging version of the game might be better for professional gamers:

 

If there were a small set of professional rules that I agree with in theory but have chosen not to pursue because they conflict with more common play, then an official "pro mode" might make sense.

—John Carmack, October 2, 1999

 

Read that, and read it again. Look at what Carmack said, "because they conflict with more common play." Now granted, you can easily play Quake 3 without playing Pro Mode and still have a damn good competitive game in my opinion, but besides that point, Carmack basically did not go into Quake 3 with the notion of creating a super balanced competitive game, it was simply a fun pvp multiplayer deathmatch game.

 

Only recently we've seen a few developers actually designing games in general that from the very start, their game's core is competitive balance, ie., Riot Game's League of Legends; Blizzard's Starcraft II; Valve's Counter-strike, etc.

 

On the consoles, we have yet to have a game built purely on competitive balance, I'm not sure that will ever end either because the publishers are too per-occupied with generating sales that rival COD4 Modern Warfare.

 

In my opinion, 343i has a real chance here to recognize there's a legitimate audience for competitive balanced games, i.e., look at DOTA 2 and LOL. They have the chance to create a truly competitively balanced FPS that can attract everyone to come play the game and allow professionals to compete at a very advanced level for money, and at the end of the day, the game would still be fun and entertaining for everyone, pro or scrub.

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I was thinking kills=1 point, flag caps=100 points. That should be a good way to resolve ties.

 

The problem is that this promotes shell defense; if there IS a tie and it's late in the game, nobody is going to go for the flag. 

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Only thing I really disagree with is that "Halo CE was the last predictable shooter" surely you must know there are many shooters like UT2004, RS3, ect... that were very competitive and predictable games. There is just less of them in the AAA market than before.

 

Hell even I disagree with that. I've posted it in this very thread. What I said came out very wrong. Wording it "I think that Halo CE was the most fun yet extremely balanced console shooter" is worlds better.

 

@@TTUVAPOR

 

Well yeah. And now with LoL and DOTA being so god damn huge maybe studios will start to realize that they've been missing out on a huge market for a long time now. Money is the only thing that matters to them. Free to play with micro-transactions is coming to consoles. It may not be mainstream yet, but it's coming.

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Good show, but all that talk of "reading a bunch of textbooks on game design" was nonsense.

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Good show, but all that talk of "reading a bunch of textbooks on game design" was nonsense.

Why?

 

I read these:

 

Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design, Rules of play: Game Design Fundamentals, The Art of Game Design, a Book of Lenses, Casual Game Design: Designing Play for the Gamer in All of Us and Chris Crawford on Game Design

 

And a few others that I couldn't find at the moment. They were very insightful, especially the Art of Game Design, a Book of Lenses.

 

and it wasn't a game design book but I read this because the author wanted competition removed from all areas of life, including sports.

 

No Contest: The Case Against Competition

 

You think I made it up? You think I didn't actually gain any perspective from it? I have no reason to lie about this stuff.

 

Here's some fun quotes by a game textbook author, an atari dev and an industry leader, people who get to make decisions:

 

In principle, any game should be replayable. If you went down to the toy store, bought a board game in a box for twenty or thirty dollars, and then came home to discover that you could only play it once, you would be rightfully wrathful. Yet, this happens fairly frequently with computer games, and our customers are more or less resigned to it. Replayability, however, is no accident: it's something we as designers can build in on purpose … if we want to.

  • Ernest Adams from the article Replayability, Part One: Narrative

Pinball is a good example of what makes a great game—a mixture of luck and skill. That's a very critical aspect. In the long run a more-skilled player will do better, but in the short run anyone should be able to win. There should be some randomness, which offer challenges over the game. When you get to games like Pac-Man or Mortal Kombat where there's a documentable sequence that you can execute to succeed, to me that's totally antithetical to what a game should be.

  • Howard Scott Warshaw, former Game Designer for Atari

One of my best tricks is to make every damn possible thing random. If something repeats (for example if your character looks left and right) don't make it ping-pong in perfect timing like a metronome. Always slip in randomness so that something that does repeat never looks the same twice. Nothing in your game should move to a "beat."

  • Dave Perry, founder of Shiny Entertainment

 

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Why?

 

Apologies, my comment did seem rude so I should have elaborated. I'm not doubting that you read the books you mentioned, it's just that "game design" as a broad term isn't something taught from a textbook. You could read about the history of competition in games or learn the proper tools to make games, but there's not some instruction manual for "this is how a game should be made" from a philosophical level.

 

A developer on a forum asking for yes/no feedback and turning down any in-depth analysis speaks to the larger problem of how we communicate. Even if you have years of knowledge and experience playing the game under your belt and what you're saying is correct (I agree with your points on Halo's decline), it's difficult to avoid a tone that sounds like, "I've played x number of hours of Halo therefore I'm qualified to determine what's best for the game."

 

It's easy to forget that games do not have unlimited resources or time to make them and that there are always compromises. It's easy to become a backseat developer. So even when you come across something that makes you think, "how did they not notice/fix this?" chances are the developer did know about it but whatever circumstances the game was developed under did not allow them to address it.

 

Anyway like I said good show, apart from that one bit that stood out to me.

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This wouldn't exactly be possible with the given tools, but Call of Duty CTF would be great.

 

Give it 2 5 or 6 minute rounds. In the event of a tie, the first team to cap sets the time for the other team; so if red caps the flag in 45 seconds, blue team has that much time when the next round starts to capture.

I've been saying this very thing for years. It works extremely well in other competitive games and is exciting to watch. Watching a team beat the time set by the previous team in the previous round by 1 second is as good as it gets IMO.

 

The 1 flag = 100 points, 1 kill = 1 point takes the focus away from the flag, and the solution of unlimited caps for 15 minutes sounds quite boring.

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Fair enough. I was just trying to find a new perspective. And I really do think I found what I was looking for by finding so many references to the vital importance of randomness in games and so many designers who detest the idea of games strictly as a measure of skill. I'll try and keep the additional pedantic self-accreditation to a minimum  but I also helped my buddy insidi0us design some new halo maps and did the majority of the testing on them at some of my lans. That said I've never built a game from scratch but I think I'd be a good tester for one. I'm not saying let me design the damn thing, I just want another Halo game that operates on the same principles that made the first one so incredible. I realize some of what I said may have come off really arrogant and I apologize for that, I'm just confident in what I believe in.

 

No worries. It wasn't really a major part of the overall discussion and I realize you're put on the spot to give concise answers during the live show format.

 

And I agree, in a perfect world the people that truly understand the game ought to be making high-level decisions. Clearly you've demonstrated your Halo knowledge so it would be wise for 343 to listen to your perspective.

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Just bought a T shirt. We back.

 

Can't wait for mine to come in the mail. I went to their site today and saw they have already raised $745 for the event. That's not bad considering the event is in February. 

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Can't wait for mine to come in the mail. I went to their site today and saw they have already raised $745 for the event. That's not bad considering the event is in February. 

 

Bit worried about the American sizings. Whenever I buy anything from America I have to buy a size down because apparently the standard sizes are bigger.

 

 

Blue master race checking in.

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I'm interested in this 60+ page report thing he's writing about where Halo went wrong.

 

Edit: When are you going to release this? @chaosTheory

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I'm interested in this 60+ page report thing he's writing about where Halo went wrong.

 

Edit: When are you going to release this? @chaosTheory

 

goal is to have it done and released before MCC which gives it plenty of time to make the rounds before H5 is anywhere near finalized. I've missed deadlines before but I'm gonna do my very best to not miss this one. It's kind of the last chance and at least due to the failure that was Halo 4's matchmaking population, maybe someone might be interested in a different perspective.

 

edit: er, I forgot the beta is in December of this year. Jeez well maybe they won't have much time after all. Reach and Halo 3 betas were pretty much the final game with almost no changes. Welp. Oh well.

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That's doable, but I'd rather have capturing the flag be the focus of CTF, not slaying.

 

I think 100 pts is plenty to demand focus, but if it's not then make it 1000 pts, lol, the idea is that kills only act as a tie breaker in the final score and is easily understand by all players at all times.

 

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