My little gameplay story and why DB is on the right way now.

Everything about Death Ball.

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My little gameplay story and why DB is on the right way now.

Post by DavidM » 28-05-2006 18:26

Why Deathball was in a deadend (0.9-2.3)

The problem started when I built the first goal in the first test map and pinned down the goal size, without really trying around with other sizes. Also stuff like volley, shake etc... they were ideas which were added step by step without being planned out from the begin on.

But nothing was really fitting. It was an untested game with lots of more stuff added to make it cooler.

Just it wasn't playable anymore, and to keep it playable I had to invent lots of limitations.
For example keepers could save any shot. The volley radius covered the whole goal. So we added a volley delay... you cannot hit a ball until it was flying 0.5seconds...you had to dodge to get it.

Horrible idea, you actually hit the ball, but the game says "fuck you, you are not allowed yet".

The other big limitation we came up with is the 2-step catch radius. When the enemy releases the ball, you have a VERY small radius for a short moment...so you basically cannot block a shot.
Or from an attackers view, you can pass pretty much THROUGH the enemies.

This turned out to be totally frustrating and unfair for defenders, because it is nothing but luck if you block a shot or not. Even if you are right in front of the enemy.
This is also the game hitting the player in the face "fuck you....wait 0.5 seconds until you can really catch it".

Also for keepers...who have the same small radius at first, which makes it all worse.

Anyway, I knew a long time ago, that these 2 limitations are the biggest problem Deathball has. I was thinking about ways to get out of this....until I found out, that the goal size is the root of all evil.

With bigger goals all seemed to make sense all of a sudden. The keeper can keep with no limitations, its all up to his skill (and ping). He can dodge, catch, volley whatever he likes, and NEVER gets a reason to complain (except about his defense maybe). And finally the attacker has the advantage in a 1on1, as it should be.

Also frustrating about 2.3 was that you basically had to get into the pbox to score. Keepers are so good, if you shoot from outside the box, they just get all. The high shoot power opens up the game much more.

You have a lot more options to shoot, and you can also play the craziest passes, which couldn't be done before, because of no power.

But the game is no more treating anyone unfairly. Also when you visually block a ball, its blocked. The 2-step radius is basically gone. It's still there for a very short moment (0.05s or so), but that's for other hard to explain reasons.

Also note that 2.4 is not what it should be like, just stating, it's on the right way, but very very good playable. I'm playing it every day since september 2005, and finding out more and more about what needs to be done.
It cannot all be done right now, because it's quite hard to get good, motivated coders with lots of time who work for nothing.

It will all be great one day, just don't expect it for UT2004 (nor for UT2007, since I won't touch any Epic games again I guess). I might offer small fixes for 2.4 for UT2004 though.

The problem is...I change a value...in a range of millimeters, and it takes a week of testing to see if that change was really good, or if it wasnt enough etc.
Also I want to put more emphasize on RMB passes, to spice it all up more. It is not really LMB-ish atm, even though most play like that, but the balance can go a bit towards RMB still.
But the game allows all styles, you just need to discover them. They might not be too visible at first.

One problem 2.4 has is the ignorance of the old school players.
Player A played 2.4 for a few days, and says it sucks. Player B likes to agree. And all of them saying the same, they love to agree...which gives them no reason to doubt what they say. If all think so, it must be right. Innit?

Talking to those people sometimes, I notice nothing but, that they have no clue about the version at all. Totally nonesense being told basically.
I myself started to understand it after playing it every day for about 3 weeks.

Up to that point, I was a bit frustrated about it, because nothing I tried seemed to work...it felt like 2.4 has no options to score. Now I know, it was 2.3 in my vains...and the old tactics didn't work, and I did simply not see the new possibilites. But then I started to understand what can be done. Seeing the other players at this time, it was taking that long for all.

Also all who dislike 2.4, play it with all their 2.3 habbits and moves in mind, and if something about it doesn't work, the game sucks.
You have to get rid of the old habbits and re-adapt. It's all new, but just better. Only it being so different scares people away.

Everytime I hear that 2.3 has more possiblities than 2.4...I just wonder which game they are playing...it cannot be Deathball. I know both versions in detail, and 2.3 is way more limited than the open minded 2.4.

It's always a bit silly, when I see certain people playing 2.4 (and in the game I see they simply don't see the chance they have, and I, at the same time, see about 3-4 possibilites which they could take) and then they complain about the game.
You can't force people to SEE the possibilites. Just need to give them time, and then they will start to see it too. Give it a month.

Sure, with a new big release, this all doesn't matter. Because new players have no habbits about this game and are totally open minded.

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Post by Scorplex » 28-05-2006 19:03

i must agree to this

most players who argue against 2.4 deny the fact that the defense is strengthened now and doesnt have to rely on pure luck deflects or a great keeper
its usual that you will hate the deflects and the new problem that you could lose the ball against 1 enemy
but lets be honest: defending in 2.3 is a joke most time

if youre used to 2.4c you will understand the different gameplay or lets say the evolved gameplay of deathball

ask yourself something:
did you ever like the new version of a game instantly? everything feels different and you miss the possibilites you were using....

the only thing i need to critizise is the lack of an effect way to score against a decent keep 1on1 in 2.4c




others are fair enough of course to say that they wont play a version which is beta
i can understand that

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Post by DavidM » 28-05-2006 19:06

tbh....a good attacker just scores on a good keeper and gives him no chance. lets be honest, you are not exactly the uber-attacker, that might be the problem ;)

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<3

Post by DoMmeh`` » 28-05-2006 19:16

I must agree with Davidm!

it depends mostly on the attitude u have to the game like scorplex said a lil. if u start playin a game with thoughts like "oh lets have a look what gayvid fucking m has fucked up this time" u won't get used to it, in fact u don't even want it. if u like it depends on how far u open urself for the new "adventure" refering to Deathball....sure its easier to say it sux, david sux all his fault etc. than to argue in a proper way. i know u all think im noob etc, but i need to admit I´ve never seen any 2.3 player arguing in a proper way, or an understandable, or realistical way...
there have rico (200 km/h shot on lmb!) and termi (david sux etc kill him etc..) arguments been spammed in irc...wow *thumbs up*

ask urself in how far u wanted to like the new version and in how far u've tested it for urself... in fact u only lie to urself because i ( and i guess many other people) don't care if u dislike 2.4 there are enough players who play/like it and ur moaning won`t bring back any 2.3 community, as u can see...

whatever <3 DavidM (!)

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Post by Messy » 28-05-2006 19:39

I just played a 2.3 pickup; I also spent some part of last night reading old threads when 2.4 was just implemented (like this one: http://forums.gameservers.net/showthrea ... adid=24341)
I'm going to quote some bits from a post by Zonk in that specific thread. If you want to see it in it's full context, click here:
Zonk wrote: [...]

Let's take a look at the main 3 changes:
1) The goals are 3.2 times larger
2) The ball is about twice as fast
3) The boing/deflection radius has drastically increased

[...]

IN CONCLUSION:
- It is now much less of a team game.
- Keeping is now impossible and nobody will EVER wanna do it.
- Attacking is no longer about good shots into the corner, awesome cross volleys, etc. It's about getting open and shooting from absolutely anywhere on the court.

Removing the requirement of skill and teamwork is removing what makes DB so good.

[...]


Though Zonk's words (and that of the other ozzies) were very polemic in nature -- and asking to be ignored for that same reason -, they worded in a lot of ways what would later suddenly be the general concensus among European 2.3-lovers, and almost the whole of the NA-community.

Now let's take a look at what he said, and hopefully you'll see (though not necessarily agree -- I'm not that optimistic ;)) why it fits right in with what David said above.
Zonk wrote: Let's take a look at the main 3 changes:
1) The goals are 3.2 times larger
2) The ball is about twice as fast
3) The boing/deflection radius has drastically increased


1) This is true
2) This is false. I'm not necessarily talking about the exact speed (it could well be exactly twice as fast) but the point is: The ball isn't twice as fast.

It has a maximum speed that's a lot (possibly two times) higher than that of the 2.3's shot. This is a fundamental difference, and it implies added possibility. Of course however, due to the nature of competitive play and the improved position of defenders and keepers in the game (without artificial attempts to balance the game such as added delays etc. that feel unnatural) you will have to eventually use this added ability to get along with the top players.

3) This is also true.

Now let's look at his conclusions regarding the consequences of said changes:
Zonk wrote: IN CONCLUSION:
- It is now much less of a team game.
- Keeping is now impossible and nobody will EVER wanna do it.
- Attacking is no longer about good shots into the corner, awesome cross volleys, etc. It's about getting open and shooting from absolutely anywhere on the court.

Removing the requirement of skill and teamwork is removing what makes DB so good.


I think the first thing I have to address, and something that truly shows in the Euro community, is that keeping as a position has changed as well as become way more fair.

I think I'm a good example of how someone who couldn't keep to save his life in 2.3, changed into a decent keeper in 2.4 (please don't flame me on this ;)). Keeping - to me - (and it's hard to bring on arguments for this) has become way less luck-dependant, and with some insight regarding the attackers' options (which is where defence comes in) as well as his psychology regarding his choice out of those (which is where experience as well as - inevitably - a bit of luck comes in to the mix) it's possible for anybody to get used to the keeping position and do a fair job at it.
I feel it's much less a matter of reflexes and more a matter of skill and tactical insight now.

Due to the added effective radius the attacker has (because of shot power) he can attack from further away. Indeed this does not necessarily mean it takes longer for the ball to get to the goal (more distance is countered by higher speeds) but, as I said before..shot power didn't increase: maximum shot power increased. You'll know when he'll be charging, and in that time you will have to decide what he will do: will he cross to a teammate, or go for your goal (usually one of the corners :) obviously).

Which brings in the decreased skill needed in offense, as Zonk adressed it.
As you might have guessed, I don't agree with Zonk here.

It's grown increasingly important (due to massive volley-radius and total lack of delay for the keeper) to actually aim for the corners - or at least fake doing so. The difference between a 'ding' on the outer edge of the goal and just a few unreal units to the inside of the goal demands quite a lot more effort and timing by the keeper.


What happened at the start of 2.4 was that anyone would just think "sod it, volley's useless" and throw it to the goal. With keepers having no idea of what keeping took - let alone being used to it - then, it was actually a very viable option.
Unfortunately, due to the relatively (relative to 2.3, yes) long loading times of shots from a good distance, good keepers will very likely be able to save it, if their defence doesn't block or intercept it for them in the mean time (remember, huge distances cause for huge radii for the defenders as well!).

Because of the predictability of the long shots, you will most likely have to resort in the first place to slotting huge crosses through small gaps (remember it has become easier for defence as well as keepers to block or even catch or otherwise intercept your ball) making planning more important and timing different.
So eventually, with keepers getting used to 2.4 and attackers getting used to keepers being used to 2.4, lmb crosses became way more important.

Some months later I can say egoing usually comes in third place for most 2.4 attackers, 1st place would be to cross - if possible - and in 2nd place would be passing (usually a backpass, especially in 3v3, or to anoter attacker in a better position for him/her to take the same choices).

My conclusions therefor:
- Keeping and attacking is more naturally balanced (no delays etc. to give an artificial feel to balancing); hence keeping is harder and attacking is harder, but at the same time less confined;
- Aim is therefor very important and a small difference for the attacker can be a huge difference for the keeper (from a keeper's point of view..so maybe I'm exaggerating to make up for my imperfection ;))
- Teamplay is important due to the dominant position of the keeper as well as the improved power of defence as long as it's in place.

ps: All attacking situations described here assume:
1) The keeper is of decent skill and used to 2.4
2) So is -obviously- the attacker and all other relevant players
3) Defence is in it's place :) so it's not a 1on1: 1on1's are again (imo) balanced in the right way --> it's usually an advantage for the attacker ALTHOUGH the keeper has a very good chance at saving!


edit: Holy shit, when I started typing this would have been first post..I'm sorry if this has become too long and/or too chaotic; but I hope you'll take the time to read this.
I truly think 2.4 is an important but justified turning point in DB, and I do hope this [thread] might make a difference.

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Post by Scorplex » 28-05-2006 19:44

DavidM wrote: tbh....a good attacker just scores on a good keeper and gives him no chance. lets be honest, you are not exactly the uber-attacker, that might be the problem ;)

guess you didnt get my point

in a 5v5 for example when you get the ball near the pbox - facing only the keeper you have to charge it up hard before youre really sure that the keep wont get it while for example a rmb shot cant be scored or a low charged one

that has nothing to do with me imo cause even the best attackers out there (for example strafe or rico) cant score such a goal when the keep doesnt make a fatal fault


and btw: im not that bad as attacker anyway...

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Post by DavidM » 28-05-2006 19:53

ah ok, got it.
well if you wanna change something to have a better chance there, it will turn the whole game upside down and unbalance everything. simply get more space to charge or so. thats no real problem imo...

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Post by DavidM » 28-05-2006 19:55

"3) The boing/deflection radius has drastically increased"


1.there is no deflect radius
2.no radius was increased at all

messy is a fool for calling it true :P

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Post by MaXy`` » 28-05-2006 20:20

Since I think David already pointed out the main things, I'll be short... i think david has already mentioned the main differences between 2.3 and 2.4 so u can SEE the difference 2.4 ---> 2.3 written there. And I think there's no need to weigth pros and cons against each other again and again, since david has pointed for the 2.4'lers in an understandable way and since the 2.3'lers haven't got any argument against it which could scratch davids..

and scorplex, i think this is what david already said, u just don't see the possibilities, Me for example would know different ways of scoring against a keep in 5on5 be creativ...

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Post by Scorplex » 28-05-2006 20:28

first: he already understood what i meant which you seem not to understand

second

oh cmon dont say now i dont know to score /o\
im way more creative than a lot players out there without being cocky
as already explained: it should be more effective when someone is near the goal with the ball.... i dont know anyone who could score such goals easily....
usually when i pass to someone whos in front of the pbox or in the pbox i think "well what now?"

it should just be rewarded that a team passed that good or a enemy defended that bad that you even intruded the pbox

for example in the last game against you, eli and dommeh:
i was in front of the keep(eli) and he dodged out - i shot instantly but he deflected it(one of those "i cant believe it was a deflect" deflects) anyway (at the post btw ^^)
in 2.3 it would be a goal BECAUSE he dodged out and i shot before he could kill me
Last edited by Scorplex on 28-05-2006 20:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by The_One » 28-05-2006 22:00

At least you got there eventually David. :)

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Post by Shinobi » 28-05-2006 22:24

I still believe the net is a lil too big (make it 2.5 the size of a 2.3 net could make things better).

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Post by ant » 28-05-2006 22:31

In my opinion there is only one (big) problem with 2.4: the keeper is too important!

It’s almost impossible to play 2.4 seriously without a good keeper in both(!) teams. When you recognize that the other keeper is not really skilled then you can score from everywhere, and on the other hand if the keeper is good he can save perfect shots.

DB is atm almost like that:
- If your keeper has a bad day then you will lose...
- If the red keeper is better than the blue keeper then red will win...
- If your keeper is uber then you will win...
In most cases the team with the better keeper will win and not the better team.

Don’t get me wrong, I love 2.4 I just don’t like the fact that the keeping is now so important/difficult.

That also destroys pubs because without VO every shot would score :/

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Post by DavidM » 28-05-2006 22:31

shinobi: mister. we are playing with it for 8 months. you are not.

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Post by Fooman » 28-05-2006 22:42

The other big limitation we came up with is the 2-step catch radius. When the enemy releases the ball, you have a VERY small radius for a short moment...so you basically cannot block a shot. Or from an attackers view, you can pass pretty much THROUGH the enemies.

This turned out to be totally frustrating and unfair for defenders, because it is nothing but luck if you block a shot or not. Even if you are right in front of the enemy.

I think this premise is false. I find it fairly easy to deflect/alter shots while getting in the face of a shooter in 2.3 once you know where to be.

2.4 was met with great resistance in NA and I don't think we will change from 2.3 without some major effort. 2.4 may very well offer more possibilities, but when people get stuck in their ways it's hard to get them to change. 2.3 is good enough for my tastes in what I'd like to be involved in. It offers good pickup play as well as league play with a heavy emphasis on teamplay being the main factor in whether a team wins or loses. Personally, I like it that players have little chance of scoring from outside the box. I think the offense should have to work for a goal.

Everyone has their opinions on what they want in DB and making a perfect game isn't possible. 2.4 offers things that 2.3 doesn't, but it also works the other way around. The absense of things in 2.3 makes gameplay different too. We all want DB to succeed, but because people have different tastes it isn't possible to have a perfect game. So, thank you for a great game and good luck in the future.

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