Should ants be temporary?

General discussion about Game Play

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Nimbus
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Postby Nimbus » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:36 pm

Chris wrote:We are strongly considering nerfing the ants nests. Right now they spawn ants indefinately and require quite a lot of explosives to destroy, which means they often remain for the whole game, and Darwinians are terrible at dealing with them.

We've made an experimental change whereby ants nests take damage when they are "empty" of ants, ie all ants are outside or dead. Ants nests left on their own gradually accumulate darwinians and souls and grow their population. Ants nests that are attacked directly suffer heavy population losses and eventually run short of ants, then they start "dying off". So you can focus your Darwinians on an ant infestation and destroy it if you wish to. This makes the ants nests more like the Egg powerup - it can be a big problem if allowed to grow and spread, but it can be dealt with if done quickly.

Thoughts?


That sounds great. It solves the problem of requiring a random element to destroy the ants nest. It would need to be very finely tuned so that you need to order the multiwinians to form up on the nest to take the ants down, otherwise they would take it out autonomouly, and this would make it next-to-useless. I have seen many games turn the most over-powerful unit to a completely useless (and therefore unused) unit, or vise-versa, because they rushed the balance testing.
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deeCee.
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Postby deeCee. » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:38 pm

Ive seen a cpu player stick a formation right in between the ants nest and actually destroy it just with multiwinians shooting at it in formation.
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Postby Phelanpt » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:40 am

deeCee, that seems very unlikely to me, from all I've seen.

Chris, I like your ideas, but think what Nimbus says makes sense: You should still have to use formations to get rid of an ant nest, or throw a lot of loose mws towards it.

I'd prefer it if they just threw more grenades near an ant nest, but don't know how feasible this would be.

As for TGF's ideas on reducing the 3 ants to 1 soul ratio, I somewhat agree, but I think that if a nest gets overlooked that long, it probably isn't in an interesting location for any player to attack it. The only problem I see with it is an anthill near a magical forest.
The main reason I support it, though is that ant nests seem to really make the game lag. :?
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Postby Puzzlemaker » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

A simple solution is a finite amount of ants, and once they are all gone the nest dies.
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Postby Kuth » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:16 am

Too easy. Then the MWs will kill off the ants without even focusing on it.

I like Chris' idea. How many ants are there usually in a nest though? I think that, if a player concentrates his attention on the nest, it should be destroyed. Like triffid eggs or evilwinians/futurewinians.
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Postby allen » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:00 am

I like Chris's idea as well but I think it would be better to A) have a time limit on the nest's life or B) a finite amount of ants but unlike puzzlemaker the ants "respawn" after a certain amount of time

any single one of these ideas, if implemented, would be a very welcome change to that ants nest in the spawn annoyance/game breaker
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Postby Donat » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:41 am

At least we all agree that it should be changed some how.

I do Kuth makes a great point, if you just limit the number of ants a nest can have, the MWs will just blow them apart quickly and move on. If you don't they get overwhelmed. There needs to be a way of managed a nests amount while not removing ants from the equation completely.

The nests in Darwinia use to explode with a lot of souls (as a reward for more darwinians i assume) perhaps there is a way to have the ants have a population cap and once they break that cap start 'storing' souls in the hive. If a worker dies, it respawns using up the soul. Once it runs out of souls it stops working and start withering and dying unless provided more souls (by either the player who planted it as a strategy or accidentally by the victim). That way, the ants would still be very potent and numerous but not unbeatable, while still being restockable.
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Postby Bas » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:50 am

Yeah, Chris's solution sounds pretty effective. As long as it takes away DG's from the front lines to somewhere else, it's still a penalty for the guy with ants in his pants.
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Postby fredthedeadhead » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:41 am

At the least, only placing one nest would make them much easy to destroy.
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Postby bert_the_turtle » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:12 am

Kuth wrote:Bert, can you and others tell us how you deal with an ant nest in the first part of the game, then?
Well, apart from the usual ways of destroying/harming them (Turrets, Airstrikes, suicide Armours), I just ignore them. Go somewhere else if possible. As long as you are able to refill your spawnpoint controlling guys, they're not actually eating that many. The main harmful effect is the panic they cause, which can be avoided with formations and sending your people elsewhere.

A timer, IMHO, would make the nests almost completely useless as placable powerups. They'd just get much easier to ignore. Chris' suggestion to kill the nest by killing the ants sounds sensible, though.
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Postby Greeba » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:55 pm

I agree with the practical nerf suggested by Chris, definitely better than just timing out which seems a bit lame.
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Postby PegasusJF » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:27 pm

Yes, because if the only way to deal with it is to hope you get a airstrike powerup that makes things quite unbalanced. There should be a timer, enough to be a issue, but not too long to cripple the affected player.
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Postby Duckmeister » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:44 pm

I really don't think ant nests should be nerfed, I just think they should have a lifespan of 60 seconds. I also think that virii do not need to be limited time-wise, as the only real problems with taking out virii are the small spiders. However, I do think that Soul Destroyers should have a lifespan of 3 minutes.

I also noticed that whenever an ant nest comes upon me, I never am able to get an airstrike. Most of the time I'm waiting for my eliminated teammate to get a retribution airstrike which happens quite often.

I have no idea as to why putting a timer on the ants would be "lame".

So please don't nerf ants altogether, they are a challenge and are fun to use and to deal with.


Here's another suggestion since we are on the topic of game balance. I noticed that the last couple of games I've played when I was the underdog, struggling to survive, I of course got a ton of crates. Sadly, they were all bad things, like dark forest, plague, infection, eggs, etc. It contributed greatly to my many losses. I think not only should crate placement be weighted, but crate item be weighted also. I mean, good things for the low guy, normal things (mix of good and bad) for the others.
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Postby Nimbus » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:37 pm

Duckmeister wrote:I really don't think ant nests should be nerfed, I just think they should have a lifespan of 60 seconds. I also think that virii do not need to be limited time-wise, as the only real problems with taking out virii are the small spiders. However, I do think that Soul Destroyers should have a lifespan of 3 minutes.

I also noticed that whenever an ant nest comes upon me, I never am able to get an airstrike. Most of the time I'm waiting for my eliminated teammate to get a retribution airstrike which happens quite often.

I have no idea as to why putting a timer on the ants would be "lame".

So please don't nerf ants altogether, they are a challenge and are fun to use and to deal with.


Here's another suggestion since we are on the topic of game balance. I noticed that the last couple of games I've played when I was the underdog, struggling to survive, I of course got a ton of crates. Sadly, they were all bad things, like dark forest, plague, infection, eggs, etc. It contributed greatly to my many losses. I think not only should crate placement be weighted, but crate item be weighted also. I mean, good things for the low guy, normal things (mix of good and bad) for the others.


The biggest nerf IV could give the ants would be to put a time limit on them... Do you even know what "nerf" means?

In computer gaming, a nerf is a change to a game that reduces the desirability or effectiveness of a particular game element. The term is also used as a verb for the act of making such a change.


Thank you wikipedia... By your post I judge that you thought nerf meant to reduce the damage dealt by ants, or something of that nature. Otherwise you are just being contradictory...
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Postby Duckmeister » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:22 pm

Nimbus wrote:
Duckmeister wrote:I really don't think ant nests should be nerfed, I just think they should have a lifespan of 60 seconds. I also think that virii do not need to be limited time-wise, as the only real problems with taking out virii are the small spiders. However, I do think that Soul Destroyers should have a lifespan of 3 minutes.

I also noticed that whenever an ant nest comes upon me, I never am able to get an airstrike. Most of the time I'm waiting for my eliminated teammate to get a retribution airstrike which happens quite often.

I have no idea as to why putting a timer on the ants would be "lame".

So please don't nerf ants altogether, they are a challenge and are fun to use and to deal with.


Here's another suggestion since we are on the topic of game balance. I noticed that the last couple of games I've played when I was the underdog, struggling to survive, I of course got a ton of crates. Sadly, they were all bad things, like dark forest, plague, infection, eggs, etc. It contributed greatly to my many losses. I think not only should crate placement be weighted, but crate item be weighted also. I mean, good things for the low guy, normal things (mix of good and bad) for the others.


The biggest nerf IV could give the ants would be to put a time limit on them... Do you even know what "nerf" means?

In computer gaming, a nerf is a change to a game that reduces the desirability or effectiveness of a particular game element. The term is also used as a verb for the act of making such a change.


Thank you wikipedia... By your post I judge that you thought nerf meant to reduce the damage dealt by ants, or something of that nature. Otherwise you are just being contradictory...


If you read my post in full, I asked that ants be not nerfed ALTOGETHER, as in a total nerf (taking the feature completely out of the game) which is usually commonly abreviated to the term "nerf" (ever heard WoWers complaining about the paladin shield? They say "NERF NERF NERF"). I understand that putting a timer on ants is a "nerf" as in reducing the effectiveness etc. I just thought I would be more concise and clear by using the term that most people recognize as taking the feature completely out of the game. I didn't know I would be caught up in the beginnings of a dictionary war.

Also, after thinking about it, I think the ant timer could be prolonged to more like 4 or 5 minutes, so that's it's not the whole game, but it's not something you can just ignore and then it's over. The ant timer itself could be weighted, so that a big player can't put ants in the little guys base to just hasten his inevitable demise.
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