#Challenge on ETG.
#Challenge on Quakenet.
Thursday, 07 December 2000 -
Many players would argue that the element of imbalance is one of the best things about the game. Others say that the more balance there is, the more skill is required to dominate. I think there is merit in both arguments, and that they are two essential ingredients in gameplay. It's important for the game to have an edge, so that you play the game knowing that if you make a mistake, the consequences can be severe. And it's equally important that you have to work hard to stay ahead.
If we did want to give the respawning player even more of a fighting chance we might give them more health, a more powerful weapon, and some armour. Maybe we could limit the ability of the victor to get around the map, except by running. We could narrow the blast radius of the RL even more. Sound familiar?
We could do this, but I think it would make it too easy to win the point back. If we give too much help to the respawned player, we run the risk of producing the "see-saw effect". This is *too* balanced in my opinion. Changes like this reduce the importance of strategy and map control. Players might find that they can rely on tactics and aim to win back the point after respawning, and this can change the character of the game.
Maybe we should just adopt dmm4 rules, where the respawned player has 5 seconds of "invulnerability" protection. But this also goes too far in removing the advantage that comes from winning the point. With invulnerability, the respawned player has a huge advantage, albeit momentarily. It can be too easy to win the point back, or if not, force the player in control to play very defensively.
Why not go the whole hog and make both players completely equal? Couldn't we adopt some sort of "Rocket Arena" system? In Rocket Arena, both players spawn into a small map with exactly the same health, weapons and armour. There are no items to control, no health, and no armor. Everything is designed to focus the game purely on skill, with other factors being equalised. As soon as a point is scored, the winner and a new challenger respawn with equal weapons and armor/health.
Could this be translated somehow to 1on1? Well, if a fragged player respawned with 200/200 plus all weapons this would suddenly give them a very powerful advantage, so the fragger would have to get the same treatment. But doing this would again negate the point of controlling resources in a map and "earning" your advantage. So the Rocket Arena model is incompatible with 1on1 gameplay as we know it. If you want that sort of equality, perhaps you should just play Rocket Arena.
Is there any other way?