1 (edited by choscura 2020-02-10 07:14:18)

Topic: On Fairness

So,  I want to preface this by saying that I think Teeworlds is actually a fantastic game and I am delighted to have recently discovered it, and it's extremely clear why this game has lasted apparently over a decade now.

However, I think the fairness in this game is fundamentally broken, and badly in need of fixing.  As evidence of this, I invite everybody to look at the current active server list: an average of 10-30 active servers, with maybe 1-4 hosting vanilla gameplay and the rest hosting mods- because the physics of the gameplay itself, the actual grappling-hook-and-rocket-jumps part, is so fun that despite the broken gameplay in vanilla, people are still happy to play that.

What's this you say? What does this broken vanilla gameplay look like, maybe you've been playing for years and insist it's not broken?  Well, I invite you to Chiller Dragon's CTF5 server- probably the only vanilla gameplay server you'll be able to find with active players at the time of this feb 2020 writing.  Watch for a little while and you'll see a pattern: most players can navigate just fine, hit the things they're shooting at some of the time, and manage to get armor and health and a few kills or scores in a game; all well and good, as intended.  You'll probably see a few noobs, who never aim around the map as they run around, and who mostly miss their shots with both guns and grappling hooks, and consequently have trouble with basic map navigation. And then an advanced player joins, who has honed their reflexes in this game literally for over a decade, and who can hop across the map with rockets and grappling swings at a speed that can't practically be played against; they'll dance around the noobs, frequently switching to less powerful weapons to nerf themselves down, gleefully dodge everybody's rockets, lasers, and shotgun blasts, and then kill everybody with a hammer before hopping across the map in 3 rocket jumps to score before hopping back for more, in ctf5, or running off to check all the spawn points to keep playing in a deathmatch.

If these advanced players are nice, they'll switch down to pistols or hammers for the rest of the match; if they aren't, or even if they are nice but are tired of bending over backwards, they won't.  This will drive the less advanced players, who basically stop being able to play because they die before they can reasonably respond to anything, to ragequit, or the advanced players who aren't being challenged to do another thing I call a "borequit", and seek out something more challenging.

I contend that this game is of sufficient quality that we should expect better than this of its' developers.

And, I have a proposal to modestly change the gameplay with a balancing mechanism to change the max HP and armor values, based on in-game score streaks and perhaps a few other data points that can be gotten live from the in-game information without needing registration or accounts or anything of that sort. I think the most practical way to do this is with kill streak average, the average number of kills per life being the number of max hearts that the default is reduced by- so if you are averaging 2 kills per life, that would be 8/8 as your max- and in a 1 v 1 match, that guy who just died twice without a kill? he's coming for you with 12/12 when he gears up- so you better be ready to bring it a third time.  The intent is to make as few adjustments of this sort as possible, so maybe some minimum threshold of "the scores have spreadover X threshold" is the way to bring this up.  At the bottom of the range, for a player on an un-ending kill streak? their health and armor can max out at 5/5.  for a noob? to completely armor them up, I think they start being a bit tank-like at 15/15, but have thought seriously about suggesting 20/20 values for somebody that just keeps dying.

In terms of game math, I think a single variable per player/tee, a "average killstreak" or "average score streak" variable calculated at every kill and score as a triggered event is the way to do this. Pretty light mathematically. For CTF, this can be adjusted to score streaks- I'm not sure how this should be coded but the player scoring should have each score treated like their kill streak average going up by 1, is my basic thought here, mostly because the sort of player that can cross the ctf5 map in 8 seconds or less, does not need to have advantages beyond that over players that can't- myself included.

Ideally? this should be invisible or only minimally visible, it should not change the interaction of the players with the world, etc. I've suggested a range of health that still allows a serious number of rocket jumps in succession, so it's not robbing this gameplay mechanic from the advanced players actually capable of using it. I don't think there's a real way to stop the really advanced players from winning in spite of this- but I don't want to. I want this to be a more-evenly-challenging system so that it's more fun to play, for myself and for new people and for old timers alike.  My ideal use-case of this, even trying to break it, would be to be able to set up a lan party with my kids and some adult friends all playing, and for all of us to be able to physically switch computers and have the game balance itself from that. and I
think my score-based proposal here is a way to do that.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  TLDR, "I think the fairness in teeworlds is broken and needs to be fixed, and adjusting the HP of players based on their in-game scores is the most fair and sensible approach to this".


Re: On Fairness

Technically speaking, Teeworlds is already an incredibly fair game which is why I think calling the "fairness fundamentally broken" is pretty damn unfair. Many games give you perks for playing the game for a long time like better stats or items. In Teeworlds on the other hand someone who has played the game for over a decade and someone who just started have exactly the same conditions.
That being said, I see your point nonetheless. However, I think actually implementing a handicap system for casual servers which actually doesn't break the game and can't be easily worked around is near impossible in my opinion. Especially in CTF would a system based on kills never work since your amount of kills is heavily dependent on your position. A good player could just rush for the flag and win the game easily with hardly killing anybody. A beginner who tries to defend his flag meanwhile normally gets quite a lot of kills and a relatively high score. That way you would punish the beginner more than the advanced player with your system.

3 (edited by jxsl13 2020-02-12 20:30:47)

Re: On Fairness

That's off topic and should go either into the server's discord channel or you ask, where that discord channel is.
Nobody hires anybody, this is a free game where everyone can host and create their own servers and mods.
You would have to tell your problems to the people who host the specific server, not in the general teeworlds forums.
Usually those servers should or could contain links in their "message of the day" aka server info, which leads you to their discord or whatever platform they use.
As a starting point for your search, I would currently suggest using Teeworlds Discord and ask there for further information and not contribute irrelevant stuff to topics.

Teeworlds [ friends ] clan
Some YouTube Stuff about Teeworlds


Re: On Fairness

The easier and faster solution is to make your own mod and enjoy your ideas in lan party with whatever rules you need


Re: On Fairness


The current most popular way to play this game is : DDRace.  Mods have beaten the actual game, because the balancing sucks. It should be fixed, even if the parameters of that fixing can be fiddled with by the server admins, to different thresholds and so on.  The intent is to make this a better game for more people, not at the expense of better players but in a way that lets them be better and treats them as responsible for playing like they are once they establish themselves so in a game.

What, you say? yes, look at the server list, every day this week if you like. 95-99% DDRace servers, *MAYBE* as many as 3-4 vanilla servers on a high-traffic time, such as friday night.   THIS IS YOUR PLAYERS VOTING. Apparently, the vanilla game isn't playable even by people that like uncomfortably difficult games like DDRace, because the advanced players are able to move literally faster than in-game bullets, and in response to them the servers empty.  This is an accomplishment of skill, but it makes the game unplayable, and even of people who have not simply moved on to less un-balanced games, ALMOST ALL are in DDRace, to not have to deal with this mess.

So saying "this is an incredibly fair game" is just not correct. This game WOULD BE fair if player skill is equal: since that isn't *EVER* equal, it's not fair- but it can be more fair than this.  Which is why I talked about this in the first place, including things like CTF as part of the thought process- scrolling up, apparently I actually spent a paragraph on it in the original post. The TLDR version is: if you're not shooting and simply trying to capture the flag, you'll get beefed up as you fail at the attempts or nerfed down if you're one of the advanced players that out-maneuvers bullets to capture it- as I've literally just seen for the third time today in Chiller Dragon's lone surviving populated vanilla server.

The players that are so advanced that they play only with hammers and only try to evade the grenades of other players, can play this way without full health, and are ALREADY TRYING to nerf themselves down so that not only is the game playable for others, but so it is still challenging for themselves. I think that both this skill and these instincts should be respected.


Re: On Fairness

I'd agree with a topic-starter on that a newcomer doesn't have any chances to get a pleasant experience while playing with those who are playing this game for 10 years.

But this is not a problem with fairness, it is a fundamental community problem which never was managed to get nicer atmosphere. Most players which play for 10 years are playing for that feel of advantage and this is the main retention factor — the more you play, the more skillful you get. But this very retention mechanics make the learning curve steeper. This is a pvp game and there are no fair means of balancing that. Even removing all weapons from a "pro" gamer and giving him 1 hp will not make it less frustrating for a newcomer as about ~10-20% of "pro" players are not thinking in terms of "being nice" to newcomers, they just kill (or even grief) on reflexes.

What is worse is the whole mindset of "pro" players. Even being a decent-skillful is still not a guarantee that you will get accepted or respected at all. Being an oldie who enjoyed playing CTF for ages I've got banned in CTF recently for the sole reason of "he wasn't there for 6 months, no point in him being there" by those players which I've though are my arm brothers (hi, starlord). And that wasn't even some kind of a "closed" clan server, but a chiller's one which most consider a "general". Banning for ridiculous reasons is outrageous, but it just an illustration of a mindset and current vanilla atmosphere.

Those are mostly problems of an aging community which never was focused on what you're talking about — on a shallow learning curve and being nice towards newcomers. Nowadays godlike skill and a shitlike mindset of old players are the most common reason newcomers are not staying in the game. It's basically frustrating for a person who doesn't know how to move to be constantly blamed as "blockers". And this is spiralling downwards as more frustrating the game is for newcomers, more the ratio of "pro" players and less reasons for newcomers to join. Now we have so little vanilla players that even making "noob" servers would not help and there are basically not very much newcomers for matchmaking. Not to say that a "pro" will most certainly join that server for the sole enjoyment of griefing and showing how skillful he is.

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