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Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

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  • Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

    Hello everyone, I'm relatively new to TG.com, but I play BF2 on your servers exclusively because of the squad-joining rule. I enjoy teamplay a lot and I like to think I play fairly 'smart'. Note that I don't use voice much during the day because my girlfriend is working in the same room.

    With BF2, Dice had the chance to really innovate their BF gameplay. Instead they chose to stick with their 'ticket' system and tack on a few desperately needed features (most notably commanders and squads). It's terribly frustrating to play a game with such strategic potential as BF2, only to have it devolve into near-futility 90% of the time. I think explaining these problems is going to be very cathartic.

    I'll start with this: If an enemy helo is more than 20 seconds away from a pad it can repair on, it may be better for your team to damage the helo and chase it off than it would be to destroy it! Since all vehicles take 30 seconds to respawn and cost nothing otherwise, if you destroy the chopper it will be active again in 30 seconds. If you damage it and chase it off, it will have to spend time returning to the base and repairing, which often takes longer than 30 seconds. So you can actually put a helo out of commission longer if you intentionally do not fire the final shots. Ridiculous!

    Of course, this is only true if you consider flag-capturing to be the real war effort. Dice, apparently, wants us to ignore the flags and play team deathmatch. The amount of flags you have has absolutely no impact on your tickets until you are down to one or two flags. This means that the logical winning strategy is to simply defend the minimum number of (vehicle-rich) flags that you can; the fewest flags you can have without ticket-bleeding. The defensive advantage would likely give a strong kill/death ratio and put your team ahead in tickets. Problem is, I don't want to play team deathmatch. I want to win or lose based on how well we accomplished team objectives, not a comparison of frag counts.

    So I tend to ignore tickets and just work on getting/keeping as many flags as possible. Unfortunately, most maps have UCBs making it impossible to win through flag captures alone. Who's idea was that? It encourages spawn camping and helps drag-out lopsided matches. If that wasn't enough, all the non-city maps are wide open, there are no real chokepoints. They all have bridges, but there's never a bridge without a helpful land-bridge 100' to the side. (Why would you build a bridge where there's already a way across?) Which means that even if your team drives the enemy back to their very last flag, while you wait for attrition to slowly erode their tickets away some guy in a jeep will get through your lines and 2 minutes later capture the flag furthest from all your squads. All that work for 2 minutes of domination?

    Now here's the real kicker: Not only is defending uncontested flags terribly boring, it also weakens your front line. A team with one flag or two adjacent flags in a corner is going to have every man on that front line. If the other team has left even one or two squads back to guard flags, their front line will be insufficient and they'll be pushed back. Either way you play it the team with fewer flags will always have an advantage: they can either capture undefended flags, or force the other team to defend flags that aren't on the front line. This creates a ping-pong effect, kind of like that 'feature' on arcade racing games where the further back you are, the faster you go.

    Needless to say, I'm disappointed in the only BF2 gametype we have. I still enjoy playing though, because of the social cooperation of playing with good squadmates and because every once in a great while everything comes together into one big battle with everyone struggling just to advance a few more feet and the whole thing starts making sense... now that's fun. Just wish there was a gametype that was a little more 'strategically sound' and that capturing flags was less futile. Anyone else wish that the big-picture part of BF2 battles made a little more sense?

    Anyway, looking forward to playing with you guys in the future, love what you've done with the servers. They're like breezy, sunlit havens in the raging sea of noobs.

  • #2
    Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

    OMG, you're so right! I hate the whack-a-mole flag-hopping that goes on.

    Last Monday, on the private server, we tried the Domination mod - which only allows flags adjacent to flags you own to be captured. I actually missed the maps on which they had the mod running, but it's the sort of thing that can make sense of the otherwise absurd gameplay where we chase each other around the map waiting for the tickets to drop to 0.
    "You live and learn. Or you don't live long."
    - Lazarus Long

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    • #3
      Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

      Something i think TG might want to look into is the mod called "supply lines". Its completely server side (from my knowledge anyway) and the game mode essentially is that you can only attack a flag if you have one that connects to it. Pretty much connect the dots. Its not completely linear as sometimes one base can attack 2 enemy bases, and theres still 2-3 fronts but none of the base jumping BS. I think TG should definatly look into it ;)

      here is a link http://unisoft-systems.hu/~petko/maps/ that shows the connect to dots on the mini maps for each map

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

        Hi RobotButler :)

        Whereas I do agree with a lot you are saying, in terms of flag captures there is another level. Maps generally fall into 2 sorts of ticket bleed, the 50%+1, and the 100% vs UCB.


        In the 50%+1 flag type game, the rule is (unsurprisingly) that if you have more than half the flags under your control then the enemy suffers ticket bleed. But it important to consider which flags you have under your control. If you have 3 on the right and 1 on the left, then a wise enemy commander would do well to have a token defence against the 3 flags, and then hit the single other flag hard. Because it is isolated you can attack it from many directions, and overwhelm the enemy by numbers. Controlling flags that can support each other is the key. This, for example, is why the centre flag on Daqing Oilfields is so important, as whoever controls that can have squads spawn there to quickly reach any other area of the battlefield.

        Additionally apart from ticket bleed the tickets are still mainly done by kills. Defensive squads generally get more kills than attacking ones, as they can set up traps, mines, bombs etc. Even if the attacker gains the flag it can be a phyrric victory. Thus attacking a flag can be expensive on your tickets, and thus you should do it to gain 50%+1, and then defend. Overall I think it is not this system that is bad, but rather the strategic execution. We were both on server 2 last night, and for my side it was a gruelling few matches, as we had no CO pretty much all night.


        In the 100% vs UCB the guys that start with all the flags have to hold them all to keep the ticket bleed. Note that the team with a UCB can never get ticket bleed. Thus their tactic is to try and hold at least one enemy flag to stop the bleed and try and make up for the rest on kills. Note that generally this first flag is also expensive to get as the defenders trap and funnel you into kill zones. Taking the 8v8 TG vs Hoc match as an example, we went and gained one of their back flags quickly to put a halt to the ticket bleed, but starting at 100 ticket each it was still 80v60 against us before we got a good foothold. Tickets generally fell evenly after that, and we realised that in order to win the game we would have to bottle them up, and if possible take all their flags to stop them spawning. So the team with the UCB suffers heavily from no ability to ticket bleed, but they can win the game outright.


        I think in more structured games, with a competent CO, you will see firefights become very intense.

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        • #5
          Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

          I'm starting to see that it always comes down to kills and deaths. Karkand is always like that because it's easy for the USMC to hold one flag and easy for MEC to hold one flag. When the USMC have pushed the enemy back to one base, it's a killfest and also very difficult to take a base with 30 players defending it. USMC will have less attackers because they still need to defend flags.

          Operation Cleansweep is the same thing. In fact, I had an SL once that instructed to rack up kills instead of taking flags. We were down about 20-50 points and it really didn't make sense to take all the flags to bleed tickets. It would take too long and the team wouldn't be able to defend all the flags. It was easier to look for kills and concentrate on staying alive.

          - It's who you game with.

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          • #6
            Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

            I have to agree with RobotButler on some of his issues, especially that EA has not introduced enough innovation into gameplay. I had hoped for more with the new engine.

            At least they took some good ideas from Enemy Territory, but BF2 is still too much about winning by killing. No objectives, no ticket loss for equipment lost and so on... Well, I got no hope of EA introducing that, but let's see what the mod scene will create.

            Btw, the Dead Men Walking public server is running the AAS mod. I don't know if it is the same as Supply Lines, but you are forced to take the flags in a certain order.

            Check it out at 82.197.65.246.

            [defense]

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            • #7
              Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

              Yes, but reducing the enemy to just a couple flags isn't always a bad thing. If you just try to send your squad up against them all you will get kicked. However if your squads can for a perimeter and stop them escaping then the concentrated infantry can make prime targets for artillery, bombing runs, indirect fire attacks.

              The team with a few flags then has to organise themselves quickly to punch out. It's not a risk free gambit, as you can lose quite a few flags to guys creeping around behind you if you do not organise some defence patrols. But if it works you can rack up a lot of kills alongside the ticket bleed.

              I just think as CO's get better then the game will improve. There is a lot of difference between some of the good ones and the bad ones at present.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                Ticket bleed maps are the answer. Most players (and COs) don't realize that on many maps, teams only need to hold half+1 of the flags. So, no need for flag-hopping or being on constant offense.

                Problem maps like Dragon Valley, Clean Sweep, and Kubra Dam all have no ticket bleed unless ALL flags are held, which is pretty stupid IMO. When the tools come out to modify things like this, I expect to see us running nearly every map under the half+1 rule.

                Until then, just remind your COs that on most maps, it is not important to hold all of the flags.

                BTW: RobotButler, welcome to TG! :)

                3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                  Originally posted by Wulfyn
                  Yes, but reducing the enemy to just a couple flags isn't always a bad thing. If you just try to send your squad up against them all you will get kicked. However if your squads can for a perimeter and stop them escaping then the concentrated infantry can make prime targets for artillery, bombing runs, indirect fire attacks.

                  The team with a few flags then has to organise themselves quickly to punch out. It's not a risk free gambit, as you can lose quite a few flags to guys creeping around behind you if you do not organise some defence patrols. But if it works you can rack up a lot of kills alongside the ticket bleed.

                  I just think as CO's get better then the game will improve. There is a lot of difference between some of the good ones and the bad ones at present.
                  I think this is Robo's point though.

                  +kills = win

                  In the end, the winning team killed the losing team more.

                  However, is it a coincidence that Karkand is everyone's favourite map and it all boils down to kills for the win?

                  - It's who you game with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                    Oh. I thought Robo's point was that flags don't matter. I was trying to demonstrate that not only do flags matter for ticket bleed, but also the choice and number of lfags that you hold can also increase the killing.

                    Simply holding onto one flag because that's all you need to stop the ticket bleed could be the very reason why you are getting killed so often. I think it's the thinking that you have to take every flag that is the reason why people dismiss them. You have to be much cleverer than that.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                      Thanks for your feedback everyone. Wulfyn I understand what you mean about flags having a bigger impact on strategy than it may seem sometimes. I just wish the rules for winning would reward true accomplishments directly. For example, let's say there are two adjacent flags, one held by each team. I think the accomplishment of capturing the enemy flag should be of value, even if it took your squad 3 tries to get it done. You captured their flag, it was all worth it, right? Usually not, because they got 3 times as many kills as you and ate your tickets away. And now you have the same number of players on your team, but one more flag to defend, spreading your forces thinner.

                      When you're near an enemy flag, you know the only way to make them stop spawning every 15 seconds is to get in there and neutralize it. That's the only way to 'win' the battle from a common sense standpoint. But since tickets = kills, the winningest action is not to destroy their defense and capture the flag, it's to destroy their defense and then spawn camp them with stolen vehicles until they get so sick of it they stop spawning there. Most of the time, capturing a flag does nothing but move the battle to a different flag. If you have the spawn-camping advantage you're supposed to milk it as long as possible before capturing the flag, if you want to play strictly to reduce enemy tickets.

                      Absurdities like that really turn me off to the whole Conquest gametype. All it would take is 2 simple changes to fix a lot of the problems: 1) Make kills have no effect on tickets, 2) Make the number of flags you have directly relate to how quickly you lose tickets, ie, with one flag you lose tickets more quickly than with two flags. You would still have problems with defending uncontested flags and the ping-pong effect, but at least the game rules would reward the capture of territory instead of rewarding spawn camping.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                        Absolutely. I definitely agree with the point you make that 'pinning enemy into a single flag' gets dangerously close to 'spawn camping', even to a point of potentially justifying it.

                        Beyond the ticket bleed of 50%+1, and certain flags being of special value (strategic or asset), the majority of ticket reduction does come from kills. And whereas in principle this is kinda common sense, I definitely agree that it does throw up some very unbalanced situations.


                        Any thoughts on a resolution to this? Maybe ticket bleed should be done per map rather than a definite threshold. But I'm worried that things like this will make the game more 'whack-a-mole', and in fact increase your need to weaken the front line as covering that flag is all the more crucial.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                          I disagree.

                          If the present system is changed to a sort of connect the dots, then it would destrroy the dynamics of the entire game. Each point at the very front would then become a vehicle combat fest. Those player without vehicles would be mowed down.

                          Further, the enemy artillery would decimate everything on those targets.

                          In essence you have just regressed "Modern Combat" back into Trench Warfare of WWI.

                          And RObo, if you dont use VOPIP, i can be very frustrating to be under your command.



                          Further, with a head-on system, teamplay would degenerate. The simplest of military operations is the established defense, thus leadership would also suffer as all players progress toward self survival. Hence, it would be reduced to counter-strike.

                          Now here's the real kicker: Not only is defending uncontested flags terribly boring, it also weakens your front line. A team with one flag or two adjacent flags in a corner is going to have every man on that front line. If the other team has left even one or two squads back to guard flags, their front line will be insufficient and they'll be pushed back. Either way you play it the team with fewer flags will always have an advantage: they can either capture undefended flags, or force the other team to defend flags that aren't on the front line. This creates a ping-pong effect, kind of like that 'feature' on arcade racing games where the further back you are, the faster you go.
                          What you described is the loss of initiative. Yes, the team in the corner attains situational numercial superiority, but
                          1) He cannot access his vechicles
                          2) He is subjected to intense indirect bombardment
                          3) His moral is fleeting.

                          The team in the corner has less vehicles, greater pressure, and lacks initative. The defense of the entire operational area is the key reason to teamplay and organization, as well as the flexible and evolving nature of combat.


                          I strongly advise AGAINST changing game play.

                          .
                          Power may grow from the barrel of a gun, but control....... stems from the 1st and the 15th.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                            Yeah I agree that there should be a more proportional link of # of flags you have to ticket bleed by other team. CERTAINLY more than the "all flags=bleed" condition on Kubra, for example, but there should also be more ticket bleed for having 6 of 7 flags than 5 of 7. It just makes sense, and gives you an incentive to keep laying it on the enemy.

                            I'm one of those SLs who is always looking at the number of flags we have vs. the number we need, and it seems that even getting the half +1 isn't THAT big of an advantage. On Omar last nite we had half +1 for the last 10-15 minutes, and were down by about 30 tix (~140-110) when we got control. We still lost by 7. Granted there were 50-55 people playing, but it still should've made more of a difference, IMO.
                            Beatnik

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                            • #15
                              Re: Strategic idiosycracies - Conquest gametype issues

                              hmm very interesting what everybody has said. i think the real problem is that you cant really set up good defenses in the game, also, sometimes there are just plain too many flags. i think every base should be able to be defended by 3 players, an eng for laying mines, a sniper to lay claymores and spot far off enemies, and a spec ops to play c-4. the problem is, yes its boring. but this way you dont have to worry about your back bases being captured.

                              another problem lies in the way bases are made, who makes a base that has multiple openings and such? an engs 5 mines are not enough to protect both entrances from vehicles. and 2 claymores arent enough to fill the gaps where infantry can get it. also there is the fact that if you die, these mines and claymores dissapear within 20-30 seconds i believe.


                              i know i kind of go this way and that, but the real problem is sometimes there are just too many flags too defend and also, no one wants to sit around and defend a base.

                              on a side note, one thing i wish BF would of taken from Enemy Territory is the mortar system they used.

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