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  • players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

    After considering player feedback, both from the forums and gameplay we've been a part of, the admins have slightly modified the wording of the Team Balance rule so as to give the players a bit more discretion regarding the timing involved with team balancing.

    The change is highlighted in the rules thread, where no discussion takes place. Your reading that thread is not optional. Your reading the long-winded explanation below is.

    The point of this thread is to help players understand the change and to promote awareness of it, as, despite it being very simple, and despite it arguably being the status quo already, we'll still all have to train ourselves moving forward, including those players who don't check the forums often enough.

    As you'll see in the rules thread, the rule now reads as follows. I've bolded key text:
    Originally posted by The Rules
    Team Balancing: It is expected that the teams be kept in balance (even numbers, or with the marines getting the extra person). The rule of thumb is that the person lowest on the scoreboard will be the one to switch, but the team is welcome to choose any player it wishes based on the impact to the team at that moment. The larger team should have the switcher determined and prepared to go before the smaller team calls for balance. If the teams are not balanced within seconds of a registered player on the smaller team announcing the request for balance, the administration reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary to enforce team balance.
    This approach allows the aliens to keep their team intact if the marines recognize that, for whatever reason (slotkick, etc, etc), the teams are expected to be balanced very quickly without any action from the alien team. If the marines want someone NOW, they call for teams immediately. If not, they let it wait a moment while the joiner fixes things. With this new approach, the smaller team's discretion reigns.

    So, for this to work, we have to retrain ourselves, both aliens and marines. The following assumes the most common scenario: marines are down a man. But the same goes in the other direction when the scenario calls for it.

    When the teams become off by ONE:

    MARINES: don't call for teams unless you want them fixed immediately. This seems intuitive, but we've got to train marines to consider the urgency of the balance need as well as the likelihood that the need will be sufficiently met by any joining player(s). If it can wait a moment, for whatever reason, consider letting it wait a moment. If not, call for action.

    ALIENS: always immediately determine who will switch, but don't feel obligated to switch unless the marines call for teams (yes, 2+ player difference unconditionally means immediate action).

    When aliens look at the scoreboard, it's usually apparent who the best switch candidates are. I'd like to offer the following (you've heard it from me before) as a template for anyone who sees himself as a switch candidate, regardless of where he falls on the scoreboard, immediately upon the alien team noticing the imbalance:

    "Does anyone want marines before I take it?"

    That is selfless and consumes voicecomm as little as possible. The conversation is either over at that point or immediately thereafter, when someone responds ("Yes. Let me go instead."). If the alien team really needs to discuss it more than that, keep it short and sweet. Be ready to move if the marines call.

    Just as is the case today, the default choice is last on the scoreboard, which may or not be the admin's choice if it comes to that.

    If the player count difference between the two teams is GREATER THAN ONE, nothing changes: fix it as soon as possible, proactively.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

  • #2
    Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

    "...within seconds" is pretty non-specific and will purposefully remain that way?
    Former TGNS admin until WoW blinded me with flashy lights.

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    • #3
      Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

      Yeah. At that point, you're left to get it done within the expectations of any admin present, who will otherwise move the alien of his choice.
      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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      • #4
        Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

        Figured as much - just making it plain to all.
        Former TGNS admin until WoW blinded me with flashy lights.

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        • #5
          Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

          Hrmm so I'm not sure what to do in one of the most common situations. So I'm on aliens, who currently have the extra player. Marines have not said 'teams', and probably have not noticed it yet (the plugin, when it works, tells only the larger team of the imbalance).

          Before this change I would have asked the bottom player to switch, unless that player was fade/hive/etc in which case I would ask if anyone was willing to switch to save the fade/hive. If nobody switched after about 20-30 sec, amx_marine lastplayer ends the problem.

          Now I'm not sure what to do, as doing nothing and letting the teams just stay imbalanced usually does not lead to a good game. I suppose the best thing might be to ask rines if they want the extra, which will hopefully lead to a reply without too much delay, at which point I can start the 30 second timer for someone to switch voluntarily. I'm just not really sure how to handle this, especially given that the team that is required to act is now the team that ISN'T getting the message from the plugin. I realize that 30 seconds probably doesn't fit the 'within seconds' requirement, but I don't see any way around that.

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          • #6
            Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

            Actually, this has brought up a question I had in teh back of my mind for a bit now, reguarding the switching of teams.


            Condition: Marine player leaves due to SM/Points player joining, Marine team NOT in desperate need of player.

            At this point, I'm curious if the player who is joining would be better placed on marines (the short wait being for the player to load) or if someone from aliens should switch, to have his spot on the alien team taken by teh new joiner.

            It's been brought up a few times

            now:
            I understand that if hte marines call for the extra, and alien switches teams. No buts.
            If the marines can wait the 10-30seconds for teh player, is that ok that the alien player doesn't switch?
            Ambriento for comm! Vote today!

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            • #7
              Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

              Yes, Dark... the aliens don't have to fix the problem until the marines ask them to.

              Regarding Ag's point: we might want to show both teams something less intrusive.
              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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              • #8
                Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

                Ok, so I'm still not exactly sure what this means. Here's my current interpretation, please correct me if I'm wrong. Until the smaller team requests a player, the options of a player on the larger team are either to switch yourself or do nothing. Once this request has been made, then we revert to the way things used to be where if nobody switches, it is acceptable (I think) to switch the lowest player with amx_marine.

                So here are the two vital questions. First, is there a third option for a player on the larger team, or do we just sit and wait if we're not willing to switch every time? Second, may a temp admin forcefully switch the player at the bottom of the list AFTER a request has been made by the smaller team, and AFTER a sufficient period of time has been given for players to switch voluntarily, and AFTER first asking that player to switch?

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                • #9
                  Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

                  You've got the first paragraph right, Ag.

                  I don't understand your second paragraph's first question.

                  The answer to your second paragraph's second question is "yes" (temp admins can switch players?), with the last bit being optional. That is, if the smaller team has failed, given the considerations of time you've mentioned, the admin may proceed without consulting them. Doing so is merely a luxury he can offer to the smaller team.
                  Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                  Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

                    Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
                    You've got the first paragraph right, Ag.

                    I don't understand your second paragraph's first question.

                    The answer to your second paragraph's second question is "yes" (temp admins can switch players?), with the last bit being optional. That is, if the smaller team has failed, given the considerations of time you've mentioned, the admin may proceed without consulting them. Doing so is merely a luxury he can offer to the smaller team.
                    Which part is optional? Did you mean larger team here?

                    To rephrase the first question, I wanted to know if there was anything that a player on the larger team can do if the smaller team has not requested a player.

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                    • #11
                      Re: players given more discretion regarding "extra man" rule timing

                      Originally posted by Agamemnon View Post
                      Which part is optional? Did you mean larger team here?

                      To rephrase the first question, I wanted to know if there was anything that a player on the larger team can do if the smaller team has not requested a player.
                      Certainly... there's nothing keeping a player from the larger team from balancing the teams at his own discretion.

                      The point of the change is (primarily) to allow more leeway in instances of SM kicks while still maintaining speed when necessary. If a player from the larger team wishes to change, unbidden by the other team, they are certainly free to do so.
                      [volun2]
                      NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                      Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                      <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                      <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                      Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

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                      • #12
                        Re: players given more discretion regarding &quot;extra man&quot; rule timing

                        Originally posted by Pokerface View Post
                        If a player from the larger team wishes to change, unbidden by the other team, they are certainly free to do so.
                        If the other team hasn't called for it, take care not to upset your own team in your efforts to accomodate the other (silent) one. I've seen aliens switch before, when the marines didn't even want them to, at considerable harm to the alien team (had hive res, or something).

                        Just something to keep in mind when you're acting before the request.
                        Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                        Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: players given more discretion regarding &quot;extra man&quot; rule timing

                          Just wanted to compliment everyone regarding team switching/balance lately.

                          This is the sort of thing that will go all to hell as soon as we start getting complacent (and there have definitely been some cases lately when I had to force switch folks), so we've got to stay on it, but.....

                          The response times overall have been really good in my observation, lately. Equally important, we're trained as a group, now, on what to do.... so it's often quite transparent to our gameplay.

                          Please continue to do your best to keep teams balanced as quickly as is reasonable. It really does make the gaming experience better for all of us.
                          Last edited by Wyzcrak; 09-13-2007, 08:29 AM.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: players given more discretion regarding &quot;extra man&quot; rule timing

                            And it only took a year! YAY!
                            Former TGNS admin until WoW blinded me with flashy lights.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: players given more discretion regarding &quot;extra man&quot; rule timing

                              So I actually thought this was a new thread until I reached a post from me and realized I probably couldn't have posted without knowing about it. I did spend awhile on that first post trying to figure out what the new change was, since I couldn't find anything different than the status quo (obviously, as that post created the status quo way back when). Yay for not reading dates.

                              In any case, the only confusion I see with our current method of enforcing team balance is the way we deal with ?'s being on the bottom of the list. I've seen several different ways of handling this, none of which are really a good reliable approach. I don't have any ideas, I'm just throwing this out there to see if anyone has useful thoughts on the matter. With a regular we can assume they know the rule and understand why they're being asked to switch, but explaining the convention to a ? can often take longer than we can reasonably leave the teams uneven. Of course when someone chooses to voluntarily switch (or leave) to avoid the confusion, that solves the problem in that case, but this doesn't always occur.

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