Team objetctive balance



  • This was probably discussed to death already, but I think this issue should be seen from a FUN perspective instead of a balance perspective. Most players will never get a chance to play on a server with two evenly matched, well coordinated teams to know how balanced the maps are, so I think the objectives on normal vanilla servers should be balanced with FUN in mind (and let the modders take care of the needs of competitive scene).

    The problem is that in terms of FUN the game is definitely skewed in favor of the defending team. I mean, if you are defending: you spawn right next to the action, you can run straight to the enemy without any worries, you can play as an archer and still help with the objective, and if your team isn’t playing well … it only means the match will end sooner and you will get to play another map.
    On the other hand, if you are attacking, you usually have to cross the entire map to get to an enemy (if you manage to dodge all the arrows), killing enemies along the way doesn’t accomplish anything (if you kill enemies along the way you will only have MORE enemies spawning right next to the objective), and if your team isn’t playing well you often will have to endure 15 to 20 minutes of that torture.

    I feel that the most balanced map is the darkforest one. Both teams actually have a fighting chance in all the 4 parts of the map, and the map is progessively easier to the attacking team, reawarding them for getting through the difficult parts and punishing the defenders for not holding them off when they had the chance.

    The stone hill map: The part where you have to kill the peasants is easy for the attackers, but that gets somewhat compensated by the battering ram part, that is a bit trickier. The battering ram part is easy untill you get to the bridge, but if your team is trying you can often succeed even against a stronger team. It’s not THAT fun to cross the entire map to get to the battering ram cart, but at least you have some good flanking routes and the catapult is somewhat useful so it is not the same torture that is the bombcart. The Kill the King part is boring to both sides: If you are attacking you spend more time walking through some corridors than fighting. If you are defending you spend more time waiting than fighting (specilly if you are the King). Also, there is NO sense of progress. A way to improve that for the attackets would be to give the king more armor, but disable his health regen. But the best way to solve this (for both sides) would be to have a secondary objective on the room before the throneroom, to force the defenders to advance (maybe even the King himself). Something like “Kill the King OR take over the castle”. It would be much more dynamic, with a lot more strategy involved and being a King would be much more rewarding.

    The hillside map is fine until you get to the infamous trebuchet 3. The farthest trebuchet is conveniently the closest to the defender’s spawn. A simple way to improve this map would be to make the trebuchets take longer to fall, but make the progress permanent (or regenerate slowly). The “all or nothing” we have now is too frustrating!

    The battlegrounds map… it is fun if you are on the defender’s side; specially if you are an archer, since you always have the higher ground advantage. But if you are attacking it is a torture. You can get through the first part within seconds, but the bombcart part always drags on forever. I think this map needs some radical changes. A cool way to improve it would be making the cart faster and pushable even with enemies nearby, but also put some barriers along the way that have to be destroyed in the same way as the trebuchets. That way you would utilize the map more throughly, with multiple battles happening at multiple places at the same time.



  • Play smarter. If everyone rushes trebuchet 3 first, they can almost always secure it. After that, the rest is easy. If everyone goes after the easy ones, then the defenders have no choice but to defend the most difficult one, only making it more difficult.

    Except for citadel, the TO maps are balanced and I’ve seen some really close games as either side.

    The objectives themselves need some kind of overtime mechanic though.



  • @c4ndlejack:

    Play smarter. If everyone rushes trebuchet 3 first, they can almost always secure it. After that, the rest is easy. If everyone goes after the easy ones, then the defenders have no choice but to defend the most difficult one, only making it more difficult.

    Except for citadel, the TO maps are balanced and I’ve seen some really close games as either side.

    The objectives themselves need some kind of overtime mechanic though.

    That only works when the defenders are dumb. Usually they just ignore the other trebuchets and clog all the possible ways to the trebuchet 3.



  • @r_:

    @c4ndlejack:

    Play smarter. If everyone rushes trebuchet 3 first, they can almost always secure it. After that, the rest is easy. If everyone goes after the easy ones, then the defenders have no choice but to defend the most difficult one, only making it more difficult.

    Except for citadel, the TO maps are balanced and I’ve seen some really close games as either side.

    The objectives themselves need some kind of overtime mechanic though.

    That only works when the defenders are dumb. Usually they just ignore the other trebuchets and clog all the possible ways to the trebuchet 3.

    That’s not even possible. There are so many ways to get to 3.



  • Good post, agree with most of it. I think there is certainly a lot to map design to make it strategic, different from other maps and balanced. Look at how bad the first cut of Citadel is lol (apparently changed with the next patch).

    Having said that most of the issue is that people don’t wait - they run off in groups of 3 into far larger numbers of defenders. The times we rally and get everyone together you can make the final push on the bomb cart, kill the king, etc quite easily. I liked the idea of differentiating the scoreboard leader e.g. black outfit and have a rally flag or something.



  • @c4ndlejack:

    @r_:

    @c4ndlejack:

    Play smarter. If everyone rushes trebuchet 3 first, they can almost always secure it. After that, the rest is easy. If everyone goes after the easy ones, then the defenders have no choice but to defend the most difficult one, only making it more difficult.

    Except for citadel, the TO maps are balanced and I’ve seen some really close games as either side.

    The objectives themselves need some kind of overtime mechanic though.

    That only works when the defenders are dumb. Usually they just ignore the other trebuchets and clog all the possible ways to the trebuchet 3.

    That’s not even possible. There are so many ways to get to 3.

    With 16 people you can easity block the 3 paths. Also, logic says that it makes 0 difference that the blue team rushes to trebuchet 3 first, if the red team is ignoring all the other ones in the first place.

    @gregcau:

    Good post, agree with most of it. I think there is certainly a lot to map design to make it strategic, different from other maps and balanced. Look at how bad the first cut of Citadel is lol (apparently changed with the next patch).

    Having said that most of the issue is that people don’t wait - they run off in groups of 3 into far larger numbers of defenders. The times we rally and get everyone together you can make the final push on the bomb cart, kill the king, etc quite easily. I liked the idea of differentiating the scoreboard leader e.g. black outfit and have a rally flag or something.

    I’m guilty of rushing alone into the fray. The ideal strategy would be to have many small groups attack at the same time from multiple directions, but that takes a lot of coordination and that is difficult to get on a normal game. Also, if the defending team is also somewhat coordinated they may have a counter strategy that is just as effective… (but I don’t know, you usually don’t see well coordinated teams).



  • My main problem (apart from Citadel) is the Bombcart on Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds is an easy map for the first objective (but can be quite fun as the attacker) and is fine until the bomb-cart is about 75% of the way there. Then it is really hard to get any further if there is any sort of coordinated defence. Even if the attackers group up at the spawn and rush the cart they can still be cut to pieces by archers, ballista bolts, and then the fact that all the people they killed on the way have now respawned by the time they get to the cart.

    Of course I know lots of good tactics that lead to success but on public servers getting people to work together is very hard. One way is to get the archers to move up to the bunker across the bridge closer to their spawn. It has an ammo dump and good cover so the attacker’s archers can counter the defenders archers. Another is to get a handful of knights to continually attack the archers positions whilst the focus on the cart. This again means coordinating your attack which doesn’t usually happen.

    Another big problem is that the catapult is virtually useless for the attackers. Whilst the ballista is useful a lot of the time, the catapult tends to kill as many attackers as defenders. Of course you could get someone to spot for the catapult guy and tell him/her to aim where the archers are camping or tell them when only defenders are around the bomb-cart but that’s a lot of team work for a pub and it’s hard to aim at that distance. If there was a more useful siege weapon in a better spot it would really help the attackers.

    I agree with the OP that some changes like making the bombcart move faster but with more obstacles and/or a new spawn point once you get past those extra defences would really help. Like when you’re pushing the corpse wagon there are actually two sections and when you get through the gate the spawn moves up. If there was a wooden wall half way that you had to hack open but would reset the spawn there and make the spawn for the defenders a bit further away would make the game more fun for everyone.



  • Don’t forget the lower/higher ground problem. Defenders almost always have a higher ground and, therefore, they are disadvantaged.


Log in to reply