Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

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Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby marauder » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:11 pm

The other topic made me think about how teams could be set up to encourage more dynamic fighting. First, while we definitely want teams to be equal enough overall so that one side doesn't get destroyed this is not the same thing as dynamic teams. For sake of discussion I'll define dynamic here as forcing a fight, causing battle lines to shift instead of accepting "mexican standoffs," and encouraging maneuver warfare. There are numerous factors that can play a role in whether or not teams are dynamically mixed, from experience levels to personalities and especially playing style. We want teams to have different strengths as it causes teams to try new things rather than to simply meet head on and do the predictable. At the same time, we don't want one team to be stacked with defensive players and the other to be more aggressive because the aggressive team will be playing hide and seek every single battle.

The most dynamic of games occur when Rob and I are on different teams with the caveat being in 1hs games on battlefields with defined limits and high visibility as the complete opposite will occur and the other team will use Rob to block me essentially taking both of us out of the fight all together. Those types of battlefields should be avoided unless there is something really awesome about it (maybe some buildings or water features) and in that case Rob and I should be on the same team.

Agressive players: Drenchenator, Chief, Scott, Marauder, Baily
Balanced: Belisaurius, Wetmonkey, HBWW, Danny
Defensive: SEAL, Duxburian, Ambush, Tony, Atvan
??Alphatrooper, Chives the Chimp, Ben, Bela, oncoming storm (can't really tell in 1 v 1)
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby SEAL » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:59 pm

Ambush, a defensive player? I think you've got my brothers switched around, though I'd probably put chief in the balanced category. He fights a lot like I do, but probably overall less defensive. A lot of it is situational too; there are times when I'm more aggressive than a white-tailed hornet, but others where I prefer to just hold the enemy back rather than try to hit them.

Alfatrooper seemed to be more on the defensive side, but I haven't really fought him much. I'm not sure about Ben either. I think Bela's kinda defensive, but I have seen him go on the offense. Chivesthechimp is probably the most aggressive player I've ever faced, haha. Reminded me of Drenchenator, but much more so.

I'd say that equal teams are the most likely to get stuck in a stand off, but I feel like a lot of that is dependent on the battlefield as well. Like you said, open areas with constrained boundaries tend to wind up with little action. On the contrary, fighting in a low-visibility area (or at night) without boundaries gives each team more options. It is rare that a head-on fight between two veteran teams will produce much action, at least in my experience. It's just hard to hit someone who knows what they're doing in water wars.

Here's another thought. Teams with good chemistry where the players fight well together might keep the fighting interesting, because they can perform more complex moves and fight harder. But in community warfare this is rare, because it's not like we have fixed teams that fight and train together all the time.

But with what we have now, I'm not really sure how to arrange people so that things would be more dynamic. I would just say a mix of defensive and offensive players on each team. I know with me, the fighting is the most dynamic when I'm up against someone aggressive. They charge me, I dodge their shots, then hit them, haha. But I've found for some reason that whenever I come up against Scott, we get stuck. Not sure why this is, but lately I've rarely hit him, and he's rarely hit me. This always happens when I'm up against more defensive players, but usually not with offensive people except for Scott.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby marauder » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:44 pm

SEAL wrote:It is rare that a head-on fight between two veteran teams will produce much action, at least in my experience. It's just hard to hit someone who knows what they're doing in water wars.

This is true, but what it really shows is that we need more new players, not that they have to be evenly distributed or not.

I am wondering, however if imbalances of some sort make for more interesting battles. For example, would this not result in a lot of action?

Tony (Colossus 2), Danny (Colossus 2), Chives (2500), Baily (2500), Duxburian (2000), Atvan (2700), Ben (2100), Drenchenator (2100), HBWW (1500), OncomingStorm (300)
vs
Marauder (Gorgon), SEAL (MD 6000), Chief (Vanquisher), Wetmonkey (2100), Ambush (1200), Belisarius (Monster X), Scott (Vindicator)

granted, we would never have this many people any time soon, but you have a 10 v 7 game with most of the experience on the side of 7 and most of the firepower on the side of 10. The side of 10 does not have a single weapon that can shoot further than 40 feet, while the side of 10 has 2 that can shoot 50. This is a variation of the vets vs n00bs game at MOAB but with some experience on the n00bs side to balance things out. On a smaller, more likely to happen scale it'd look like this-

Tony (Colossus 2), Danny (Colossus 2), Chives (2500), Baily (2500), Duxburian (2000), HBWW (1500)
vs
Marauder (Gorgon), SEAL (MD 6000), Chief (Vanquisher), Ambush (1200), Scott (Vindicator)

Of course, I really like these types of battles, if you were Rob or Sam and got stuck on the n00b team how would you feel? I would be ok so long as I thought we had enough firepower and people to win; but actually my favorite, more than balanced teams, is actually being outnumbered but with superior firepower and or talent.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby HBWW » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:56 pm

For being stuck on an outnumbered or n00by team, it has to be for a game where we have a chance to not get completely slaughtered. Night wars are acceptable for this, or places with sufficient cover and plenty of good ambush points. (And I mean a shit ton of them, spaced closely.) At Pandemonium last year, we had me, Scott, and Jon vs. DX, the rest of the SEAL bros, and Bailey. We really didn't do much other than minimize the number of hits we'd take, and ended up hopping in the car since we didn't really feel like bothering to fight. Had it been a night war, or had the field had more concealment/cover, we would've taken more chances, but there's no use trying to sit still for 20 minutes at a time trying to wait for a team that won't walk into any ambushes, but even if said team did walk into any ambush, we'd easily get outrun when trying to escape from our raids.

When lacking athletic ability and energy, there needs to be factors in the gameplay that can offset that. Water wars are at least 80% physical and with teams stacked like that, games with such predictable outcomes just become pointless and exhausting.

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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby the oncoming storm » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:25 pm

I have not much Idea how to play defensively, speed and endurance are quality's I have in abundance and I use them liberally in combat to strike quickly when an opportunity presents itself and then to run away when faced with superior opposition. Skill wise 1 Vs 1 I can avoid getting hit on open ground easily but struggle to land hits against a foe that isn't running away.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby DX » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:56 am

It is very important to take the recent Brooklyn war into account when analyzing team balance. I will put up the footage as soon as possible, but the gist of it is that non-vet team with heavy blasters vs vet team with lighter blasters does not work, even at a 2:1 advantage. Experience and patience demolish firepower. The middle 2 rounds of Brooklyn and the vets vs noobs round in Hydropoc strongly support this conclusion.

I think a more workable form of imbalance is to really mix up the soakers among teams that are otherwise even in numbers and experience. When we all go for the best soakers in a given size class, that's when battles stagnate, as everything has similar strengths and weaknesses. If certain people have to play with medium guns or light guns, while others can use anything, it creates odd battles, and odd is interesting. My performance barely changed when using a 2500 vs using a WW Outlaw, but using the Outlaw was more of a challenge, and therefore more fun. However, I wouldn't impose handicaps on anyone if they don't want - it's voluntary. Perhaps we could incentivize handicap-taking, like having deaths count at 1/2, or giving them extra lives in objective rounds. The only reason I initially used the Outlaw was to replace my 1200, which broke just minutes into the first round. But, it ended up being fun in a sea of CPS.

I would consider Alfatrooper more defensive, Chives the Chimp more aggressive, Ben more aggressive, Bela more defensive. I would also move Danny and HBWW to more aggressive. To really be balanced, you need to excel at both ends. Both of the above have pretty porous defense at times... :p I would leave Chief at aggressive even though he can defend pretty well. You can tell that he loves stalking and hunting prey, defending from it...not as much. Chief also likes to operate alone, which is a strongly aggressive trait. I would leave Ambush at defensive. You guys get to battle each other more, so you probably get to see things that the rest of us don't. From what I've seen, he tends to physically hang back more in an engagement and is more dangerous with the 1021 on defense. However, those are all just my personal observations.

I get "stuck" while fighting quite a lot of different people, usually because they won't drop their guard at all, so I can't just shoot them when they stop paying attention. They're always paying attention! Personal match-ups are most dynamic when I am fighting someone aggressive, and most stagnant when fighting someone defensive or multiple opponents. Since I specialize in fighting multiple opponents, many match-ups are probably pretty boring for the other team, but that's kind of the point - to hold them harmlessly and keep them out of the fight. Hitting them might even be a bad tactical decision at times. I also love counter-attacks, and will patiently wait as an opponent wastes water and effort, then strike back hard.

The "hunting rule" could help at least get teams fighting instead of feeling each other out, then running away in search of better field position. The hunting rule requires teams to find the enemy and bring them to battle at all times, when able. The hunting rule permits setting ambushes and occupying strong defensive positions *only* if you can see, hear, or are in water gun range of, the enemy. If you find the enemy and they are in a strong position, you may then withdraw, and they must leave the position to go follow you. You are allowed to run away from any engagement at any time, but only one team may run at a time, the other must follow and try to attack. The hunting rule can be tweaked if necessary.

I also agree that DX vs M4 rounds create some serious fireworks. Designated rivalry rounds fail to reach that level of intensity, unless it's night. When the opposing captain is SEAL, Chief, or Scott, it's a shooting/strategy game. When the opposing captain is Marauder, it's straight-up WAR. When we clash in CTF, it produces his first tie. When we clash in OHK, literally no one gets out alive. But, definitely, we need to be on the same team for pretty much any kind of short round or smaller field round. Long OHS also works better with the DX+M4 vs SEAL+Chief team cores, as these sets work together well naturally.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby marauder » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:19 am

The odds were 4 vs 2 and it sounds like you were playing in an area where ambushing was impossible. If you throw a few veterans on the other team or have an even greater mismatch in numbers I think you'd see quite the difference. Especially if the battlefield was different. There needs to be more cover and concealment as this facilitates ambushing and less squaring off.

In retrospect my example wasn't as good as I was trying. Here's a better one:

Marauder (CPS 2000), Chief (CPS 2500), Tony (Colossus 2), Danny (Colossus 2), Baily (CPS 2500), HBWW (CPS 1500), Drenchenator (CPS 2100), Atvan (CPS 2700)
vs
Duxburian (XP 250), SEAL (MD 6000), Scott (Vindicator), Ambush (1200), Belisarius (Monster X)

I give you 2 CPS guns of decent ability, a MD 6000 with similar range but lower output, and an interesting 5th option in the XP 250 with a high rate of fire, decent output, good capacity, but the lowest range on the battlefield. I garauntee you would be running for your life.

Duxburian wrote:\I think a more workable form of imbalance is to really mix up the soakers among teams that are otherwise even in numbers and experience. When we all go for the best soakers in a given size class, that's when battles stagnate, as everything has similar strengths and weaknesses. If certain people have to play with medium guns or light guns, while others can use anything, it creates odd battles, and odd is interesting. My performance barely changed when using a 2500 vs using a WW Outlaw, but using the Outlaw was more of a challenge, and therefore more fun. However, I wouldn't impose handicaps on anyone if they don't want - it's voluntary. Perhaps we could incentivize handicap-taking, like having deaths count at 1/2, or giving them extra lives in objective rounds. The only reason I initially used the Outlaw was to replace my 1200, which broke just minutes into the first round. But, it ended up being fun in a sea of CPS.


Definitely agree with this, and this is actually what I was trying to do with the chaos round at MOAB. Whether or not it worked, I don't know, but I think there were some lol and wtf moments that were more similar to the chaos experienced in real war and less like a sporting event.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby SEAL » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:37 pm

You know, I'm thinking just having uneven numbers would do it. The smaller team would be forced to fight hard for their lives, while the bigger team has to use tactics to try and surround/trap them. Even if it's balanced skill-wise and gun-wise, I feel like it would still be more action packed than the standard setup. This could be like a new gametype. I'm all in favor for doing this during some 1HK or 1HS rounds. For example, if we have 10 total, we'd do something like 6v4 or maybe even 7v3 instead of 5v5.

Duxburian wrote:I would leave Chief at aggressive even though he can defend pretty well. You can tell that he loves stalking and hunting prey, defending from it...not as much. Chief also likes to operate alone, which is a strongly aggressive trait. I would leave Ambush at defensive. You guys get to battle each other more, so you probably get to see things that the rest of us don't. From what I've seen, he tends to physically hang back more in an engagement and is more dangerous with the 1021 on defense. However, those are all just my personal observations.


Yeah, in my experience Ambush is pretty aggressive, though that's usually one-on-one. I remember always telling him to take it easy with the shooting 'cause he'd usually go through water pretty fast. Chief is in more of a gray area though; when I fight him one-on-one it's almost like shooting at my reflection. It's pretty crazy. But when not in a straight-up fight, he does prefer to work alone or with someone trustworthy to pull off ambushes and stuff. I guess it all depends on the situation.
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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby Cochise » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:06 am

We like to have a flag at each team's base and then battles automatically commense. If you use a mix of 1 hit scores and ctf or 1 hit kills and ctf you'll really mix it up as there are different ways to win. At least one team, typically both teams go on the attack. You really need a heavily forrested battlefield, a night time battle, or lots of bushes and buildings and high grass for this to work. You also need at least 4 players on each team and a large enough battlefield so you can't see the other team at the beginning, but not so large as to get lost.

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Re: Team Choices for More Dynamic Battling

Postby the oncoming storm » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:09 pm

Here is an Idea to create weapons mismatches using coin flipping. Teams would have already been selected prior to flipping, and it could work something like this. (first flip) heads, second tails = Light primary. tails first then heads Medium primary, same side both times = Heavy weapon.

Using this would likely result in a very unusual match-ups between primary's that people wouldn't normally use in that game.
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