Ladies and Gentlenerds,
April Fools is OVER!
Akuchi is my first serious project since Hierarch that reached a playable state. The name is a placeholder, given to my by someone(?) on the chat, and was taken from the random name generator as far as i am informed.
Akuchi started out as an abstract gameplay idea, trying to fix problems that both the 3CP and the KotH gamemode have. RED and BLU both have two ways of winning:
1. Hold the central control point for 3 minutes, like in KotH (Overtime etc included.)
2. Capture the other team's last control point, like in 3CP.
Easy enough to explain and understand, but the question that stays is "why?" And i'll try to answer that both from a public server perspective and a competitive perspective.
KotH maps are fun, but they quite often either completely focus around a single play area around the capture zone, like Viaduct, or everywhere except for the capture zone, like Nucleus. Adding an additional area to fight and push into adds to the longevity of the map. On the other hand, 3CP maps, which already do that, tend to devolve into a sentryfest once a team has established it's dominance at mid.
When combining both modes, you can make sure that the losing team isn't able to just turtle on last until someone competent enough to push back joins the server, because until then, three additional rounds will be over and the teams will have been scrambled (as disfunctional as that mechanic might be.)
Adding an additional CP for each team to a KotH map on the other hand has the positive side effect that rolls won't devolve into 3 minutes of spawn camping, because if one team is rolling the other, the round will be over after 60 seconds when the rolling team takes the last CP, which means that 3 rounds will be over after 3 minutes, triggering a scramble within a reasonable timeframe rather than 10+ minutes of reckless slaughter.
Sideshow recently talked about flaws with 5CP as a spectator sport. You can view the video here.
That video actually made me revisit the idea that became Akuchi, because i think it solves the problems of both 5CP and KotH for spectators in Competitive. Why? This mode gives each team an incentive to push as fast as they are ready. The losing team can't just hold last for minute after minute, because they always have a clock in their back. The winning team on the other hand can always seal the deal as soon as the other teams shows a weakness. This should increase the amount of action over time by a lot.
On the other hand, you give an additional incentive to a team that fell back. If you have 3 minutes on the clock to the opponents 30 seconds, chances are you won't win by holding mid, but you can always attack last in a last-ditch effort and completely negate the pressure they put on you by just winning.
This was the theory that went into creating Akuchi, now i just have to hope that it plays well (and if it doesn't, that the problem is within the map rather than the mode.)
How does Akuchi look? If you look at the screenshots and run around, you can clearly see that mid is inspired by Viaduct, but with some key changes, including not one, but two functional flanking routes (which are still partially coverable on the main route, a bit like on Upward first.)
Last is a new design, partially inspired by Process, with a point that can be easily jumped on and has many angles of attack, but gives the defenders a big height advantage.
I think i had this idea floating in my head for weeks (partially because koth_leveled ate most of my TF2 time,) redesigning it over and over again. I can now say that i'm kinda happy with it and can't wait to try it out during an imp.
3CP / KOTH Hybrid