Counters to Spawn Camping

Water warfare game types, ideas, rules, organization, etc.
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HBWW
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Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:19 pm

This is something I want to address before it really gets exploited. In water warfare, it's less of a problem due to low ranges, but it's still something to consider.

I like to think of spawn rules and locations in different types and classes:

- Static Spawns:
-> Spawn Point/Zone: Your standard spawn point rules. (i.e. Touch this to spawn.)
-> Base/Objective (Such as an Outpost)

- Dynamic Spawns:
-> Specific Player: Spawning on a specific player. Never been used.
-> Deployable Spawn Point: Never been used and as far as I'm concerned, may not be for a long time.
-> Any Player: This is OHS style spawning. "Near a teammate, away from action."

I think having different player boundaries for both teams could be a good way to limit teams' going into each others' spawns, but this is only a good idea in theory and video games. Actual boundaries are difficult to setup, enforce, and play in, so I think we need other ways and rules for this. These are the spawn rules I think are ideal. (Which are pretty much exactly what we do already.)

- Spawn Time: Ranges from instant to several minutes. Most common is 20-30 seconds. I think we should agree on a standard spawn time, which I think 30 seconds is good for.
- Allowed to Spawn: Allowed to Spawn simply means the player meets location and timing criteria to spawn. (i.e. They are in a spawning location and passed the timing requirements.)
- Obligation to Spawn: Just because a player is Allowed to Spawn, doesn't mean they're obligated to. They could technically sit out the rest of the match if they wanted to. This means eliminated players can refill.
- Clearing In: Players are allowed to make shots at nearby opponents when they clear in, provided they're Allowed to Spawn.
- Spawn Protection: Players are invincible when clearing in, so long as they don't leave the spawning area. (Not applicable to Dynamic Spawns. And Base/Objective spawns should probably be considered Dynamic.)

In order for this to work, we need to adjust a few things. For example, on 1 Flag CTF, we need larger spawn zones for both teams. Take 1-Flag CTF played at the foundry at Frozen Fury this year. SEAL complained about marauder sprinting to the attackers' spawn to pick them off. The proper counter would be to shoot him while clearing in, but we only had a spawn point (the concrete surface). What we needed was a spawn zone that goes indefinitely beyond the area, where as long as you're past it, you can spawn in and have Spawn Protection in effect. However, this can complicate the rules a bit too much; we may just need larger and/or more spawn points if we don't use zones.

I know the terminology I'm using is a bit convoluted and potentially confusing, but this is how I think of things and implement solutions, and it allows us to be more specific.

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby DX » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:22 pm

This is a problem in the other direction as well - a player respawns too close to the action without declaring it and instantly shoots someone who had no idea they were in play. Or they just don't count for the full amount of time and then shoot someone who didn't think they were back in yet. Unlike with spawn-camping, there is no defense against this. With spawn-camping, you can simply just hold your respawn for longer than the minimum time. After the min, you can yell "clear" at any moment, which makes it a huge disadvantage to stay in range of you.

Respawn rules should be effective yet very simple. These are the most easily forgotten rules, as they tend to change round-by-round.

I would suggest having a set of 3 respawn times, like "short" "regular" and "long", with times like 10 sec, 30 sec, and 1 min. More options may confuse people, and less do not provide enough round variety.

Likewise, I'd suggest having 2 respawn location types: separate team spawns at fixed points, or spawn near a (living) teammate away from the action. If spawn points are used, enemies should give them a spawning zone of at least water gun range. The actual amount doesn't matter, since "water gun range" would prohibit camping no matter what gun someone uses, and no matter where the wind is blowing or the what the terrain is. It would be applied individually, so some players might be allowed to get closer than others, but no one can get close enough, so the differences would be moot.

I also think we should require everyone to yell "clear" when they are back in play. If no one hears them yell "clear", they're not in and their hits don't count.

Additionally, because of the crap one of Ben's nephews tried to pull (the Gorgon breaking, me letting him out of play to try and fix it, then him shooting me in the back and trying to call that a hit), I may no longer let enemy players out of play without shooting them first. If your gun breaks or you get hurt, I used to be nice and let you get out of play for free. I do not like being taken advantage of in this manner. The nephews are gaining experience and learning the rules, so some level of understanding is there, but that kind of thing must be nipped in the bud while they are still young, because that's what gets people kicked out of wars in a hurry.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:45 am

The general procedure for indicating hits:
- Calling "HIT!"
- Raising hands, making obvious eliminated gesture or just not carrying the blaster like you're ready to shoot
- Calling "CLEAR!"

I neglected step one several times at FF due to exhaustion and irritation from getting hit continuously (OHS Factory and Outpost Northgate) as well as from confusion over whether I was hit (that was one of the largest problems I've had, although it's less of an issue in the summer when I'm not in the rain suit.) However, I've always yelled "CLEAR!" very distinctly. The main problem I have is when refilling, there's no way to indicate that you're out of play other than by constantly saying so. People in airsoft use red bandanas, but we probably want something more streamlined.

Breaking the OHS spawn rules for spawn location is obvious. Breaking the timing rule is not and the only way to enforce that is to force out-loud countings.

As for confusion, the only thing I'm adding on here that we don't already do are the Spawn Protection rules. i.e. If the spawn rule is "touch this wall after 30 seconds or more have passed from your hit", and you meet that requirement to spawn, you are invincible as long as you are touching the wall. You must call "CLEAR" to indicate spawning in.

The zones are annoying to setup. Best way to accommodate larger spawn areas is with distinct objects like buildings (i.e. a large wall on a building which we already do), and/or add more zones/points. What we do now is good; touch so and so wall or object to spawn, but adding more of these spawn points may make things better if we're concerned about spawn camping.

We also need clear rules for players going out of play. We could declare it as a suicide or something. What really matters though, is that you make it clear when you're leaving out of play, when you're actually out of play, and when you're going back in play.

Instant spawn points are easy; the player is simply invincible as long as they're in the spawn zone.

As for Spawn Time (the spawn interval rules I suggested before would fall under this category, but are too much of a mess to setup), I propose the following: Instant, Short (00:30), Long (01:00). Or we can simply declare the duration of the time and actually make sure everyone knows it beforehand. (Or have the team captains take care of this.)

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby DX » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:02 am

30 seconds is not short. A 30 sec respawn is an eternity vs a 10 sec, compare 30 sec rounds vs the original Thunder Gulch rounds that used 10 sec.

When someone wants to go out of play and is still alive, it's not entirely their choice. Whoever they have been fighting in the vicinity has the option to let them go for free or to shoot them out.

We should not need to carry or wear anything that signifies in/out status, that's too much complication. Holding your gun or hand up or something should be enough.

Too many spawn points is also too much complication, unless it's something like Outpost where the bases are the spawns. This needs to be as simple as possible while still working. I don't know how many times I can stress NEEDS TO BE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. If you can't explain the respawn rules out loud to a group of people in less than 10 seconds, then they will be forgotten. Example: "Respawn time is 30 seconds, your spawn point is that tree ->, hold your hand up while out, yell CLEAR when you come back in". 7 seconds of talk time, easy to remember. If there's so many respawn rules that you need to print a whole page for them, then yeah that's not going to work.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:13 am

The additions would add a sentence's worth to explaining the rules at most. "Spawn at that tree, at that wall, or at that other tree. You are invincible until you leave."

We need a list of valid reasons to leave play, but just explaining that is a problem in and of itself. Just shoot them I guess, but then someone will complain that it's unfair because their gun broke.

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby the oncoming storm » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:23 am

When I do urban "hand gun" battles at church our rules give you a set spawn zone and requires all opponents to leave range during spawn.
as for "suicide" you should be considered in play until you are hit (even if this means having to shooting yourself)
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby SEAL » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:40 am

I personally think it's very simple. If you feel enough water, indicate you are hit by holding your hands up as if a cop is pointing a gun at you. If you're carrying a big gun and are lacking in the muscle department, you could just hold one hand up and hold the gun by its carrying handle. Stay like this until your respawn time is up, at which time yell "clear" to indicate that you are back in play. I have rarely ever seen spawn camping be an issue; it is generally discouraged at our wars.

Or we could just play 1HK and avoid such problems altogether. ;)
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby marauder » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:25 pm

My advice to you Sam: Pay attention. I ran out of the building, spent about a minute refilling my blaster, waited another minute to see if you were paying attention, then ran up to you and shot you. That was about 2 minutes right there. It also was not spawn camping because you had actually had your respawn time up before mine, so at that point you were just sitting on the ground fiddling with your gun. Don't just assume that because you're doing that people will not shoot you.

If your blaster goes down then yell time out really loud to everyone like we did when Danny's gun froze. Then everyone will know. I correctly assumed nothing was wrong with your gun and just watched you for about a minute before shooting you.

Also, most people do not yell clear when they re enter the game. I don't have a problem with this, 30 second respawn, or respawning at a particular point has worked well 95% of the time. For what it's worth, I did actually yell clear that time before re entering the game. Was what I did tricky? Oh, completely. But was it legal? 100%. You just have to pay attention.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:09 pm

^ False. I was out of play and my only concern was getting refilled as quickly as possible so I could get back in. (I had no bottles around at the time and had to detach the 150's reservoir and take it to the river to fill up.) The real problem is that I had no way to indicate that I was out of play when you shot me. (Which I knew, but there wasn't much I could do about.)

Also, most people do not yell clear when they re enter the game.


And that needs to be fixed. See "Obligation to Spawn" in the OP. As brief as we need to keep the spawn rules' explanations, this part has actually been ambiguous and we never agreed on whether there is any Obligation to Spawn in the first place. Just as you assumed that you have to spawn, I assumed that you don't, because it doesn't make any sense to. DX has the right idea on choosing to spawn after anyone in the area leaves (i.e. no obligation to spawn), although this won't always work in practice. Anyway, it's clear that we're not in agreement on the spawn rules we're using, judging by how DX and I demand everyone yells "CLEAR" when spawning in, while you don't have a problem with silent spawning.

Now, back to the game we were talking about, it actually would've been legal for me to spawn in and shoot you at the same time, but I didn't because I wanted to stay out of play while refilling. But if it happened, this is where the problem comes in of being able to easily indicate that I'm eliminated; you wouldn't have realized I was out of play, so it wouldn't have been fair if it happened that way. As it stands, you simply fired at someone out of play, which doesn't count for or against anything.

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby SEAL » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:54 pm

Maybe for short games we could say that once you're out of water, you're out of the game? (You can of course bring extra guns and/or water bottles.) It seems to me like that would've prevented this whole argument from starting in the first place.

Duxburian wrote:I also think we should require everyone to yell "clear" when they are back in play. If no one hears them yell "clear", they're not in and their hits don't count.


I would be fine with this, except that I have a really quiet voice, which I feel like would put me at a disadvantage if this rule were put into place. I remember yelling at the top of my lungs to the other team (from a couple hundred feet away) without being heard; I would not have known what the respawn rules were (for whatever game we were playing then) had Scott not yelled out and got their attention. I would think that if a heated battle were taking place, nobody would hear me yelling "clear" after respawning, while others wouldn't have this problem.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:10 pm

^ Not as fair for those who want to fake still having water, or choose to go lighter. We could say no respawning if you're empty, and no refilling from external sources during the game. (Must be from cache or from something you're carrying.) However, this was never declared, and even then, it doesn't solve the problem of indicating when you're out while refilling a blaster with bottles or others. If we start banning stuff you can carry, do we start banning backpacks too? What else?

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby the oncoming storm » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:38 am

CA99

I didn't hear anything about banning equipment in any post. Also being invincible during refills is cheap, I agree with the concept of Obligation to Spawn.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:00 pm

There was suggestion of banning refill activity in game (from field sources), but I misread the post to suggest banning any kind of refilling. Either way, I don't see a really good reason to.

You're not invincible during refills, you're out of play. There's a difference. If you suicide (voluntarily remove yourself from play) to refill, it counts as a kill for the other team.

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby scottthewaterwarrior » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:51 pm

I think we are blowing this out of proportions a little, yes there has been a few problems with spawning and stuff but it effects at most 10% of all games we play. To be honest, the most "unfair" spawn moment of any game in all the community wars was during the naval war at Hydropocolyps. It was 30 second spawn times, but Marauder's cousin kept following me so I simply refused to yell clear until he leaved me alone. I think making standard spawn rules would be a good idea just to limit confusion between games, but it doesn't have to be perfect so long as we are having games just for fun (not for money/prizes).

As far as refilling goes, I think it depends on the round. In a OHS round where you can go just about anywhere, refiling can be done but teammates must cover you. For hold the line or 1 Flag CTF, defender must ether use water they brought with them or, if refilling from other sources is allowed, call themselves out to leave the battle area. Calling yourself out wont count as a kill, but the same rules for spawning back in apply.
Those are my thoughts on it, but like I said, unless we get really serious with battling (more then just the rivalry thing) it is really more to make a standard and limit confusion but doesn't (and probably wont) eliminate it entirely.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:22 pm

This thread is mainly pre-emptive. The low range of water blasters makes this much less likely to be a problem, but it's something that I wanted to discuss anyway. It also doesn't hurt to make sure everything is on the same page with regards to the spawn rules.

I think we've all agreed that arbitrarily removing yourself from the game without counting it as a kill is unacceptable, for reasons discussed previously. Doesn't matter if you're out of water or your only gun breaks, although fortunately...

All rain, rivers, lakes, leaks, and spills.
Will never for us count as kills.

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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby the oncoming storm » Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:11 pm

one word 1HK. :goofy:
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby SEAL » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:45 am

^This guy knows what's up. Unfortunately everyone plays 1HK rounds too cautiously these days. The AP-only 1HK games at the first Downpour were a lot of fun, and it's my gametype of choice when I fight with my brothers, but it hasn't worked well at community wars lately. Oh well.

I don't know if I like the idea of counting it as a death if your gun breaks. It's not exactly something you can do anything about; you can fight conservatively to avoid running out of water and you can avoid getting hurt if you're careful (the reason I fell was because I just jumped to the side while looking at DX instead of where I was going), but you can't stop your gun from breaking. It could happen to anyone at any time. Counting it as a death (assuming we're talking about 1HS or CTF) doesn't sound that fair to me.
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Re: Counters to Spawn Camping

Postby HBWW » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:34 pm

The leak itself doesn't count as a death, nor does the fact that it broke. It only counts as a death if you need to eject yourself from the game because of it. Although if this isn't the case, we need to have these rules written down for the League and all agree on whatever it is.


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