The future of Annihilation.

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1 Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:11 pm

While Sevnn and I have been very busy with the Starsiege 2845 project, I haven't forgotten about Annihilation.
The newest version of Annihilation is up at my server 'Blue Sex'.
Please take a look, and read more here about balancing ideas.
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Last edited by Plasmatic on Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Plasmatic
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2 Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:12 pm

I've been mulling over how to balance some things for a while now.

OS and Titan:
The Neuro turret was supposed to do some of that -it will hunt OS missiles when the firing player is on the sensor net -but it only made things worse by hindering enemy movement. 2.3 and 3.0 servers get 4 neuro bashers, but the <!> server allows 6. Sunken blast wall protection makes them nearly impossible to kill.
Titan armor also caries the baby nuke, Pbeam and Phase, and has decent defenses.
A couple ideas I have to balance things out..
1) Reduce OS range or damage. -The easy way out.
2) Code rocket turrets to shoot at OS. May be tricky and fugly.
3) Base damage turned off until 3vs3 or admin set able. This would allow a team to get defenses up and defend themselves before getting obliterated. I'll probably do this either way because some maps with exposed bases just don't play well in Annihilation.
4) Push the player firing the OS onto the enemy's sensor net. This would make them vulnerable while controlling it, and would make any neuro bashers hunt the os missile.
5) Remove the space bar to explode feature. This would make angels harder to bring down, and would seriously hamper the os's functionality. The controlling player would either jump to disconnect, or have to impact it on something. Forcing them to impact to disconnect would make it nearly useless, so I would make jump disconnect.
6) Jammer pack or deployable jammers interfering with enemy OSing. At least through a smaller radius may also help.

Right now I'm leaning towards removing base damage until a server gets populated and putting osers on the sensor net. This would give bases some protection from what I call 'Bear attacks', and make OSers more vulnerable. I like to think Annihilation is a thinking players mod, and this would encourage that.

Pitchfork:
Blast walls covering turrets moved into terrain or walls to create 'sunken blast wall' defense needs to go away. In maps like Snowblind it's possible to set blastwalls where they cannot be damaged by normal projectiles, grenades or bullets. The only way to kill D in some cases is the Pbeam, which is impossible without inventory. It is however a way to balance Titan and OSing so the pitchfork has been reduced to moving players and force field doors in 3.0 and my version at Blue Sex. In build mode all functionality is back. I may add a setup toggle for admins that MUST have unkillable blastwalls.

Angels:
The Neuro Basher was designed to take angels down. Not to kill them but reduce mobility. Some servers have also removed their flag carrying ability, but I'm not convinced that needs to happen. Servers that add non energy based weapons completely throw balance off kilter. There's a reason why angels use energy based weapons, and it needs to stay that way.

Builder and Cham:
In older versions Builder armor was THE armor to use. Everyone was using Builder as an offensive armor. The large head shot area, and massive ammo carrying ability (inventory and ammo pack) made it unstoppable. Energy usage, projectile damage and speed changes were meant to tune it. The Chameleons sniper rifle is now more powerful than the Rail, while the Rails projectile is back to earlier (1.31) speed and reload times. If some of the other issues get balanced these 2 armors should be ok. Jailing will always be annoying, and I may add a toggle to it.

Teleporter, Necro Phase and Ghost pack.
I'm unsure if the Ghost pack should be left in or not. I think players should be able to hide in walls, but not be able to fire while in them. This is a fairly easy fix, I just haven't gotten to it yet.
The teleporter has been tweaked so users cannot use it to get places they shouldn't be able to. In new versions, it can't be deployed where a player cannot fit on the pad. I've seen some pretty ingenious things with the Tele, but the exploits needed to go. Phase shifting another player to my location (swapping positions) always puts a smile on my face.

Troll:
Still a decent armor, but under used in my opinion. Troll and Necro are hard armors to master, but seem to reward skilled players, which is a good thing.

Tank:
Should I increase the locking function on the Tank Rocketgun or leave Tank alone. The user now needs a line of sight on the target, I could increase the weapons 'sweet spot' to make it more deadly, or add a control feature to unlocked rockets much like the Pod Launcher in my T1 Vengeance mod. Mobility with Tank has always been it's weak point, even though it was designed to be a defensive armor.


Annihilation has always been a complicated mod. Removing or adding things always created problems, which is why 2.3 was encrypted. I generally look for solutions that encourage game play and fun. I don't like adding weapon or item toggles, but it looks like I'll have to go that direction to keep the mod similar across different servers.
Annihilation 3.0 beta was released some time ago (available here http://www.annihilation.info/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2436 ) and I've since removed the stupid 3 at the end (Annihilation3) that shows un in the server list. I have given newer versions out to some people to run.

If you want to see the latest version, drop by the Blue Sex server.
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Plasmatic
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3 Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:33 am

i think you got some great balencing ideas there plas . ill have too go into blue sex and take it for a spin :) .
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qpan
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4 Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:26 am

I'm diggin this plas, and its awesome to know you havent forgotten us.
xboxmaster56
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5 Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:42 pm

Plas, after playing with you two days ago, I'm impressed that you pulled out such a comprehensive list so quickly. I didn't play Anni for the past year, and I was rather disappointed when I joined a server a few days ago. Three out of the five people on the opposing team used NOTHING but OS. It was clear that these people were unskilled newbies, but it was still annoying.

The neuro basher thing was just plain wrong. They best the rocket turrets at virtually everything and having a build limit of 6 (or even 4) is way too many. Two should be max. Defense should be a strategic endeavor, not a spamming one.

I think that the titan needs some balancing. It currently seems to be the most powerful armor in the game, even at the hands of relative newbies. It has long range power (Pbeam), remote control killing (OS), area of destruction (phase distruptor), and raping ability (nuke). These are the five most powerful weapons in Anni. All on the same armor?... that's crazy.

I suggest limiting the OS functionality. First, eliminate the space to explode. Second, give builder an automatic OS jam ability. That will encourage builders to travel with groups. Also bring up the sensor thing... that's a good move.

Tank sucks. I've never used this armor except in Raindance and there is no good reason to use it. However, every newbie and his brother think that tank is somehow cool. It would be cool if it had guided missiles, so add that. Also add an emergency booster that sacrifices 10% health for 6 seconds of quickness.

I'm missing the old medium/light sniper. I think that one of the light or medium armors needs a moderately powerful sniper weapon. That's what made 1.x sooo addictive.
Force
The Banninator
 
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6 Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:27 pm

Particle Beam = 1.
OS = 2.
Phase Disruptor = 3.
Mini Nuke = 4.
Which 5 best weapons?

PS: Don't underestimate the light armors.
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The weak but training Tim
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7 Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:49 pm

my thoughts
-Reduce power and range of OS but leave the spacebar detonation because it kills angels. Give it to tanks and not titans.
-Leave pitchfork as is. There are 3 very easy ways to get past sunken blast walls. When i play 1.3 it takes one run in titan to destroy the other teams whole defense. Right now the only thing that balances defense with offense.
-Make sniper rifle less damaging
-make cats enable turrets to shoot chems (not sure if u have this already)
-Dont let necro's shoot from inside walls
-Dont disable base damage automatically. Think of it from the other point of view. You just spent 15 minutes killing defense and you cant even kill a station once you get in.
-Deystroyable airbase?
Think
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8 Mon Nov 07, 2005 5:22 pm

glad to hear of a new version Plas.

i see you commented on some of the AU server changes and agree on some of your comments.

i for one dont think angels should be able to cap. ghosts i just find wrong unless you create a ghost killer. nothing is worse than a ghost capping except maybe angel.

you know how we want the AU server mod, i am very interested in your new version and would like to know if it could be altered our way and could we please have pernission to use it if it can be adapted to our way we like to play.

i think titan is about perfect as it is now except the nukes do get alittle crazy with nuke spamming.

the AU clan is a big user of troll armor. most of my members use troll not only alot but to great effect.

builder is a great armor but its not a assault armor and before i turned down the rail reload speed it was used way to much as assault armor and now i think its about perfect as well.

what can i say about Necro. necro is the most powerfull armor in tribes. i use it to great effect.

tank is in my mind a very good armor as well. we did add a few more weapons it can use butits still really the same. the only prob i see with tank is the tank defensive bomb doesnt work well at all and its soooooooooooooo bloody slow otherwise with teleports its a great inside assault armor. a warrion sets 2 teles and poof tanks inside your base....... nasty

i wont comment on OS or droids since im sure most players know what i think about them.

as for jails my server took a tribes open poll and by a vote of the players on the AU server we removed it by a winning majority vote of over 90 percent.
Grog
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9 Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:31 pm

I don't agree with tweaking balance by slowing weapon reload. The released builds are different enough without adding more confusion. Reload times in the staple weapons should be similar. The AU server isn't the only one making this change.

I think the best change for the OS will be:
7) The OS will use up fuel and thus reduce its explosion power over time. This change will allow it to be used for reconisance work, along with the close range fighting it was designed for.

Neuro's are down to 2 Force.

Offensive jailing is still annoying. Probably why AU removed it. Anyone have ideas how to encourage defensive jailing?

More info is over at the Orb forums:
http://www.clanorb.com/forums/viewtopic ... sc&start=0
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Plasmatic
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10 Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:12 pm

Only give the jial gun to builder.
if you dont want builder going O you need to remove the rocket launcher
dont give another inv station at a beacon. Maybe Motion sensor or something. or a bulder repair gun as the beacon.

OS lass damage slow flight.

HAvoc had a rocket control station to shoot the OS and it had about 8 differant rounders that didnt do as much damage as one OS from a titan.

If you remove the pitchfork you should remove the Particle beam from titan. "i know you guys dont like this. But heavys were ment to attack a base not stand back and kill a turret in one shot.

the chem assn is way to strong an armor. he can run threw any Def. the cats should give a 50% Detection to set of turrets to kill him.

tank is almost a waste of time. tank should have the os then it could be used for Def more. Also make the OS only go so far from your flag. Even if its on the back of a capper. let it chase him.

add the grappling hook like my server.
add the EMP to personal weapons
add the laser rifle to teh chem armor.

add a Jammer pack for titan, warroir troll.

destroyable air pads
SAND
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11 Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:14 pm

Plasmatic wrote:Offensive jailing is still annoying. Probably why AU removed it. Anyone have ideas how to encourage defensive jailing?


The best defense is a good offense! I've never (in recent months) seen jailing to be some big problem. The exception of course is when one person makes that their entire game like I remember one guy would do back in the glory days of Annihilation NJ.
But since jailing's so frowned upon, perhaps you can add a function to the cats that make jailguns not work in their sensor range. It wouldn't turn it to a defensive weapon, but it would impede people from sitting in the enemy base jailing everyone.
Treshnell
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12 Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:43 am

SAND wrote:the chem assn is way to strong an armor.

SAND wrote:add the laser rifle to teh chem armor.

:evil: Laser rifle hasn't been in Annihilation. Ever.

Pitchfork's not going anywhere, just not moving blastwalls anymore.

I'm not going to limit or slow down the OS, right now I think the best way is reduce its explosion power the further it flies. This actually makes sense as it would be burning fuel.

I'm not going to completely nerf Builder to keep it on defense, it's fairly balanced now.

Tank will most likely be getting fly by wire rockets when they don't lock. Much like the way the rocket pod works in Vengeance mod.
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Plasmatic
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13 Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:28 am

From the thread at www.clanorb.com
xboxmaster56 wrote:In my opinion, the game right now is excellent, because it takes a lot more of your head to play. For almost everything, there is some random, obscure thing you can do to counteract it, so the trick is to be versitile.
Hopefully not obscure or random, but everything in the mod can be countered if you use your head.

Bongwater wrote:the mod doesnt need to be devestated with changes.. just tweaked..
Exactly.

I'm not interested in reinventing Annihilation into a different mod. By shuffling weapons around, adding new weapons, or making radical changes to the way Annihilation is played. Period.

There are some items and tactics that unbalance the game, and those will be adjusted. I especially like changes that make sense, are intuitive to use and well designed. My adjustments aren't always simple and easy, but I like to think they fit the mod better.
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Plasmatic
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14 Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:18 am

the problem with jails isnt that they are annoying {even tho they are} the issue with jails are people who place them in a far corner of the map so they are half out of bounds and then place turrets around the jails so you not only are out of bounds in jail but as soon as the jail releases you you die.

they use it to attempt to cheat.
Grog
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15 Tue Nov 08, 2005 1:10 pm

at least make the blast wall move left and right.
SAND
Commander
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16 Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:07 pm

I agree with Grog about the jails, that does seem to be the most common complaint. When someone deploys it at least relatively close to one of the bases people don't seem to let it get to them as much. Maybe when the jail gun malfunctions on someone it should hold them in jail two times as long as normal.

Left and right blast walls would be nice.
Death666
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Posts: 475

17 Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:16 pm

The OS is probably the most controversal weapon in Anni. Why not just make it a shockwave effect with little damage (ie: Troll nade) with a little more umph, rather than having the "need" for another turret to counter the current effect. I really believe this would balance out on a broad scale, and still retain it's usfullness (knock flag runners down/stop them, slow down assults, to name a few.)

I couldn't agree more with the base damage off until 3v3. Too many players just don't have a sense of fairness nowadays. Even Base players have an "unwritten code", no rape until 8v8, 6v6 or 5v5 on smaller servers.

Sunken Blastwalls.. Well, I could live without them, I like the way Anni3 only allows ffdoors and players. Perhaps a only allowing the owner of the ffdoor movement of it would be a nice add on. Since there are new players from time to time that end up getting kicked by some disgruntled admins because they have just discovered with the Pfork can do.

Perhaps increase CPB 100% strength where it will take out a blast wall in 1 shot, or lower the blastwall so that it can be taken out with a 100% CPB. The second may be better, since even if you do eliminate fork movment of blastwalls, there is still many ways to get an object as large as the blastwall to clip through walls to give the same effect. At least by lowering thier strength, direct shots from shotguns, snipe weapons have a greater chance of taking them down.

Jails.. Blah.. were always annoying. Once they were given "warden watch", they became unbearable. It's annoying enough to get ripped out of your base, but now you must wait 30 seconds out in no mans land somewhere? Cmon, give us the dignity of killing ourselves with a Japanese word LoL. Also, allow us to take out the evil structures with a few nukes like the bunkers.

I can think of many other tweaks without adding/removing things, just not tonight.
<!>Jaffe^
Ensign
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Posts: 40

18 Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:16 pm

Plasmatic wrote:Offensive jailing is still annoying. Probably why AU removed it. Anyone have ideas how to encourage defensive jailing?


What if you made it so that the jailgun will only work within a certain radius of your own flag. Like you could use it at a max of 100 ft from your flag, but once you go past 100 ft, it wouldn't work, or it would send you to jail instead.
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Krogoth
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19 Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:22 am

From the thread at www.clanorb.com
xboxmaster56 wrote:In my opinion, the game right now is excellent, because it takes a lot more of your head to play. For almost everything, there is some random, obscure thing you can do to counteract it, so the trick is to be versitile.
Hopefully not obscure or random, but everything in the mod can be countered if you use your head.

Bongwater wrote:the mod doesnt need to be devestated with changes.. just tweaked..
Exactly.

I'm not interested in reinventing Annihilation into a different mod. By shuffling weapons around, adding new weapons, or making radical changes to the way Annihilation is played. Period.

There are some items and tactics that unbalance the game, and those will be adjusted. I especially like changes that make sense, are intuitive to use and well designed. My adjustments aren't always simple and easy, but I like to think they fit the mod better.
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Plasmatic
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20 Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:36 am

the changes you said, plas, are great. the only thing i would like to say is that tank armor definately needs something. i dont think it needs mobility tho. really, it needs to be able to heal itself like the troll. its too easy to kill to be effective except in very inclosed spaces or while sniping with the machine guns. if it healed itself, it would still be prone to ammo shortages but atleast it wouldnt be so easy to kill. it gets decimated by anything more powerful than a warrior.
Floater Eater
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