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Scout and Stalemates

Discussion in 'Ideas' started by Dragoarg, Jun 7, 2019.

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  1. Dragoarg

    Dragoarg Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, I just wanted to make this thread to tell people what I think, what I think should be done, and to spark discussion on it all.

    So basically every PPM i have recently played on, and there has been a stalemate (and the hosts unlock scout but that's for another time), I've tried to play scout and play around with its abilities during stalemates. So far it's been fantastic, but I don't think it's enough. Here's why:

    Scout can swap a flag carrier to an isolated position, and into the scouts teammates for an easy recovery, or the scout can run back and try to burst them down with death tag. This is really a good strategy if you have good coordination, or if the enemy team isn't watching out for scouts. It doesn't work at all if they're in a position where it's hard to swap or a swap would be pointless, like a stalemate on OCV.

    Scouts can swap a supporting medic out, and have ninjas waiting with it, death tag it, and try to burst it down before a medic gets back. This is really good, unless the flag carrier can run away, or it has other support. If they're drowning in players, or if the medic doesn't get swapped away enough, it's useless.

    Another option i have found is swapping someone off the map, or into spawn. But that's such a low chance, that I'm not really considering it as an option.

    In all, this has been really effective in handling stalemates, whether it's ending the stalemate on its own, or drawing pressure away from a different recovery. However it's not enough. Once people learn how to counter what scout can do for stalemates, scout will be very hard to recover. It's not like a pyro or an archer where even if you know of it's existence it can still hurt you, it's much to squishy, and it's skill shot it very hard to hit, and one mistake can be fatal to you.

    What I think should happen:
    Something else needs to be added to help end stalemates in tankier maps. If a medic holds the flag on a map thats not super archer friendly, there's one or two solid recovery options. And they're circumstantially solid. My idea earlier (buffs after time) be a little too much with scout doing what it can. But with people asking for a nerf on death tag, it may be needed. Even something minor, all classes gain a small amount of resistance when near their own stolen flag.

    However, another thing scout absolutely needs is survivability after a snowball. If you want to nerf death tag, thats fine, but you need to do this. The first time a scout hits someone with a snowball every 20 seconds, they gain resistance 3 (i believe 60% reduction) for 4 seconds (numbers can be smudged around). This would provide scout with ample time to give a death tag to a flag carrier, do it's damage without having to worry about getting one shot and only getting 2 or 3 hits off. It would also not make scout capping too op, with the 20 second cool down when it swaps to steal.


    Anyways, that's what I've seen and what I believe, but anyone can have their own opinions, you may agree or disagree, but definitely jot your thoughts down so we can get some of this stuff fixed.
     
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  2. SoCool21

    SoCool21 7 Year McPvPer

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    Agreed, scout is easier to counter than pyro or archer. It's not going to do much for stalemates.

    Honestly, I'm not a fan of having just 1 class designed to stop stalemates. Archer is so good at stopping stalemates because it is hugely overpowered and can deal damage more effectively than any other class - no other class can instakill once every 3 seconds, from the safety of dozens of blocks away. Pyro is so good because, in order to counter archer, you need to camp inside where you've got limited space to move around and avoid the pyro. That's the only reason why pyro is any good at recovery - flag carriers can't camp outside where they have space to move around. Pyro is very powerful if it has it's frenzy and is fighting inside.

    The problem with this change is it would make scout very powerful in non-stalemate situations. This is a problem with pretty much any anti-stalemate change to any class I've ever seen suggested, and I don't think it can be avoided unless we hard-code a mechanic that only works in stalemates. If a flag carrier is running across the map and a scout switches with their medic and death tags the flag carrier, there's almost nothing they can do about that.

    There's already no good way of avoiding death tags other than comboing the scout and killing them before they get a single hit on you, and this change would make this even more of an unviable strategy. In a stalemate situation this would be completely fine, because you'd have more people around you and you wouldn't have to fight the scout on your own, but in any other situation it's far too powerful.

    At the moment, I'm pretty convinced the only way we can counter stalemates is by changing the stalemate mechanic altogether. We already implemented a good mechanic before (reduction in max health) which just needed some tweaking, I have no idea why it was dropped entirely. Flag poison is still counter-intuitive, as it only negatively effects players in stalemates if they don't have a medic, which'll make them an easy target by recover anyway. The actual stalemate mechanic needs to be changed for stalemates to be fixed.
     
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  3. Dragoarg

    Dragoarg Well-Known Member

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    That actually is a really good point about the damage reduction, but I think it’s kinda necessary. If the damage reduction is added then the death tag needs to be reduced a little to balance it out. This would provide a solid recovery class that can impact the game without being too broken.

    If you have read my thread about my stalemate idea, which is similar to health reduction but instead of reducing health over time a recovery force is buffed near it’s flag, I think it sums up why the health reduction failed. The health reduction was a bad idea because it hurt the flag carrier instead of helped the recovery. It provided no skill curve, if you’re a soldier missing 4 hearts a ninja can two tap you and a pyro won’t really even need frenzy. It would be way too easy to recover without doing anything, the flag carrier would be helpless a lot of the time, especially if they stole the flag a good minute before the other team did.

    With buffs to the recovery team, that would provide them with a chance to kill off support, and the flag carrier with different strategies then a simple archer or pyro one tap. But it would still provide the defending team a chance to counter the buffs in a stalemate, balancing it a lot more

    Edit: I reread that and realized that in matches its not that often where it’s just a medic and a soldier (or capping class) running and are in a position where scout can reliably hit. I don’t think it’s that powerful and scout can only get so many hits off in 4 seconds it would have a reduction. Not to mention it you’re soldier you can fly up, or if you’re chemist if you can pot it and run away, and if you’re something like heavy well you kinda need to have trouble with something like that since really only instakills can reliably kill you. That’s not all the capping classes but for sure there are other options.
     
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    #3 Dragoarg, Jun 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  4. SoCool21

    SoCool21 7 Year McPvPer

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    I agree that death tag needs to be reduced anyway, but it would still be a pretty poor mechanic due to how difficult it is to counter. Also, when I'm thinking of CTF changes I exclusively think about how it would effect casual gameplay - competitive matches aren't important to CTF at all IMO.

    A way to balance out your suggestion could be to give a level of resistance per enemy in a ~5 block radius from where you switch to, capped at 3 levels. So if you switch with someone and it's just the flag carrier nearby you only get resistance I, but if you're switching with someone and the flag carrier has strong support, you'll have strong resistance to balance it out.

    Personally, I was fine with the anti-stalemate feature punishing flag carriers. I was playing soldier so perhaps it's harder to survive as other classes, but I found it possible to survive indefinitely while there was a decent recovery team, as long as I made no mistakes. If I was too slow to react with steaking or wasn't able to see a pyro/chemist trying to recover, I'd be screwed. It made stalemates really intense and it was some of the most fun I've had on CTF in years.

    That being said, my standards for an anti-stalemate mechanic are fairly low, since I've almost completely quit playing CTF partly due to stalemates being boring. I think buffing enemy players within a certain distance from the flag would definitely be worth testing in-game.
     
  5. TheDCSportsGirl

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    Jotting down ideas, like you said:

    Scout's ability to recover during stalemate, from what I've seen, and also from the two strategies you mentioned above, seem to rely directly on swapping with a key target.
    To that end, what if swap was changed (and not necessarily buffed) so that it was more reliable and consistent, and less dependent on aim, projectile placement, line of sight, and getting a clear (i.e. not body-blocked) shot of the target?
    I don't have any specific of in-depth ideas for this, but maybe someone can spin off this idea?

    As far as survivability on swap goes, it might be possible to code in mechanics similar to assassin's in that you could prevent damage for the first hit you take after a swap. A set percentage reduction on the first instance of damage you take would be very good but would still allow scout to be susceptible to PvP in general while also giving it a window of opportunity to tag a carrier.

    While I'm thinking about it, just a quick idea for a change to death tag:
    Give death tag the ability to tie scout's health pool to the tagged target's. In other words, a set percent of damage the scout takes is taken by the target instead.
    In return, reduce the damage amplification effect of death tag.
    This allows for increased survivability, and makes killing scout dangerous if you try to kill it in a panic or without caution.
    I know @SoCool21 mentioned that extra survivability against a lone carrier might be too powerful.
    So in exchange for the ability to directly reduce damage and deal extra damage to the carrier, reduce scout's armor level and remove thorns entirely (as its effect is already mirrored here).
    This results in what can possibly be a buff to survivability (depending on the numbers involved) and a strict buff to the thorns on scout's armor.
    Ideally, this is balanced because just about any class can use better armor and a higher health pool to have an advantage; and at the same time, scouts with better PvP can still deal a lot of damage.

    I always like to see map variation (as opposed to a tenth version of Blackout), but some maps are just poorly designed with regards to stalemate, and that needs to be acknowledged.
    You brought up OCV, and that's a really really excellent (awful?) example of this.
    The map is incredibly powerful with regards to defense. The flag room is very difficult to push through. And at the same time, once you do get a clean steal, or if you get a clean backup steal or ninja steal, you almost always end up getting out for free. And then you abuse the same questionable map design that prevented you from stealing to keep the flag.
    The best idea I can come up with the reduce this is to give carriers an incentive to moving around. This could take the form of a penalty for sitting still, or a buff that comes when you keep moving around. This would have to be hard coded with stalemates, and you'd have to account for carriers moving in circles within the same space, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

    That's all for now. I get really burned out when I end up thinking too analytically about CTF. If I come up with any more ideas, I'll post them, too.
    And if I end up developing anything I mentioned here into a bigger idea, I might just make a thread about it.

    Best.
     
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  6. Dragoarg

    Dragoarg Well-Known Member

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    Yeah and when I think, I think in comp so we're coming at it from different views. For sure tho most of the recurring players in CTF, play in at least ppms and the comp scene is why 2/3 of the player base is still here so i think saying it's not important is wrong.

    However that change is really good, it allows scout to be able to fight a flag carrier while there's support without having it be impossible to 1v1 against.

    And what Im saying is not to never punish a flag carrier, or not to never make it harder to be a flag carrier, but that change can leave most flag carriers super invulnerable. I know the health thing sounds like a good idea, but i just deleted like two paragraphs explaining as to why it's a bad one, because i was spewing the same sentence over and over. Basically, health reduction turns a good soldier (or capper) into a sitting duck, even if you're at 6 hearts and have a ton of support you can still get focused out by other players, like a buffed ninja can 1v1 you in the middle of your support and you'd die and there's nothing they can do. But instead with buffs, the enemy team can send in a couple of heavies or soldiers or medics and have them have to use strategy and teamwork to kill you off.
    Now instead of making the flag carrier worse against everyone else, you're making everyone else a little bit better than everyone else, which is more fair, rewards good gameplay from both sides.

    I'm sorry if you don't totally get what I'm trying to say, I'll figure out how to better put it into words.
     
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  7. Keelb00

    Keelb00 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with any of these changes being implemented, but I think the problem goes much deeper than certain recov classes being weak. Imo, the main problem is ninja (and to a lesser extent pyro) being too strong. At the moment, the strongest recovery tactics imo is to either run a bunch of near-instakills including scout or run full pvp. The problem is that with flag carriers standing so close to spawn it makes it difficult to even get close to the flag carrier as they can just run a team of ninjas to take out any squishies and have a pyro and assassin to take out tankier classes.

    Honestly I don't think there's any problem with scout as is, but its not going to fix the stalemate problem when it can be twoshot by a class which has invisibility, pearls, and speed 2.
     
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