Capture the Flag Thoughts.

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Aki, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Aki

    Aki L4: Comfortable Member

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    I like Capture the Flag - but it isn't popular. Thoughts to shake it up, most aimed at creating more objectives to cover, preventing engies from bearing down on one critical point.

    First idea depends on if the engine support multiple flags? Specifically 3 / side, total 6. Each team would then be tasked with stealing all three flags. I seem to remember a prototype map here on this principle - I don't remember if all three flags where available at the same time.

    The next two variants are "football" approaches, where you take the intel to the target. Before anyone points out this is not unlike Payload I want to point out that Payload has only a single end objective, both of the mode ideas described below have multiple objectives.

    Another idea would be multiple drop zones using a football approach, and likely the bomb flag from MvM instead of a briefcase. In this approach each teams base has a room where their bomb spawns and then they take it to one of 3 (maybe 4 or 5) capture zones in the enemy base. There would be one primary capture zone that, if the bomb is delivered there, you win. The other capture zones damage the enemy base - opening new routes, closing spawn rooms and increasing spawn times. (Say, +5 seconds to respawn for each capture room lost, -5 seconds for each spawn room captured, minimum 10 seconds)? Each room is captured only once.

    Another variant - multiple capture zones as above, but each one has a different point value. The easiest one to capture earns you 1 point. The next one is harder to cap and worth 2 points. The hardest to cap (easiest to defend) is worth 4 points. First team to 8 points wins.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    the first one you said is CSF (capture some flags, google it). i made a billion maps of this type and they were mostly bad. The mode is somewhat confusing and takes a bit to learn, but I think it's way more fun than vanilla ctf.

    Invade works pretty well too, I don't know why valve doesn't pursue it more, it's clearly better than their attempts (although RD is a step up).

    I like the idea of what is essentially steel with intels? (the 3rd idea). if more than one bomb location was open, it might be too difficult to defend.
     
  3. Amidio

    Amidio L2: Junior Member

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    The biggest problem with CTF in my opinion is that intel rooms are all ridiculously easy to defend. The normal gamemode is fine, but the maps all encourage massive camping.
     
  4. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I think the biggest issue with CTF is how it only really rewards one person for making the push in and bringing it back, and one primarily intelligence room is super easy to turtle.

    I think Valves new Robot Destruction mode kind of helps that out with the cores concept. The map itself is holding it back a bit at the moment, but I'm keeping an eye on it to see how they solve it's issues.
     
  5. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    I tried to make a CTF map that avoided some basic flaws that TF2 map design lends to CTF maps, and it worked pretty well. It caused other problems, though.


    I had an intel "room" where the intel was in a very large space with very spacious, sightliney openings. This reduces chokepoint spam dramatically, which is a HUGE detriment to CTF in general. You want to fight people away, not zone them away; that's boring.

    This reduced the number of viable sentry spots to ones that are predictable, far enough away to not get automatic targeting, and in geometrically disadvantaged positions. Basically, two players can 2v1 an engie, rather than not.

    To make up for this, I gave the defending team a highground advantage across the board -- literally one team's side of the map is a literal downhill battle away from the intel, until you get outside of the base. Having geometric advantages for PLAYERS in both directions really helps with a lot of the flow problems. On 2fort, this is *reversed*. It's an uphill battle away from the intel, then a sudden downhill to the middle of the map.

    It should be the other way around: A sudden downhill away from the intel, and a slow uphill away, or something. This makes chasing the flag carrier, even a scout, more viable as several classes.

    ----------------------------

    The biggest remaining problem with TF2 CTF is how field defenses work. It's well-known that field defense is harder and more dangerous than base defense. There's a good reason for it, too; the attacking team should be rewarded for their push if they got the intel significantly far away from the base, because it's so much harder than in CTF-oriented games. This is why TF2 doesn't have a flag pickup system; it has a reset timer instead. This is important.

    The problem is that it can compound into other advantages. Specifically, you get the full advantage all over again even if you briefly tag the intel for a single frame. Tagging is overpowered in TF2. If you simply touch the intel for the briefest of seconds, even if you're instantly killed after doing so, and even if the timer is nearly empty when you do so, the intel's timer is completely reset. You get the same advantage of having pushing and dragging the intel away all over again. There needs to be a limit on this.

    In Gang Garrison 2, the intel timer charges up over the rate of 100% timer charge in three seconds. This way, you can kill someone after they pick up the intel (even at the base) and if enough time hasn't passed the timer won't be full again. Valve should really really adopt this, even if it's a map option. It would make currently slightly-less-defensible maps much more balanced and interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  6. re1wind

    aa re1wind

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    That's just a symptom, imo. The problem as i see it is the frequent inability to stop the flag carrier once they're outside the flag room. the easiest way to stop the flag from leaving the flag room? put down some sentries by the intel.

    Not having any viable locations for default sentries just pushes the problem over to minisentry spam, which is arguably worse.

    using wareya's terminology, the reason why 2fort has an uphil struggle within the enemy's base is simple: it gives the defending team an advantage. it also means that getting to the intel room is much easier than getting it out.

    Having an uphill fight to the intel room will actually cause the reverse: hard to get to the intel, easy to bring it out of the base, and even easier to defend. I remember a CSF map with a lighthouse in the middle that had a layout along those lines.
     
  7. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    You're making the assumption that the defending team is situated on the middle side of the intel. That means you're making some kind of fort map (terminology from TF2 referring to maps where the spawn is closer to mid than its own intel). You already have to go through the base in the first place. That's a challenge itself. Adding an uphill chokepointy battle onto it like 2fort causes a lot of problems for TF2.


    We don't have touch return, and tagging the flag is very effective, so every moment of defense until the flag is completely indefensible needs to have other things stacked in the defense's advantage.

    Let's assume we're *not* making a fort map, because fort maps are BAD. This means that you need the flag to be slowed down/stopped by the people hanging around spawn Even After Getting Closer To Mid Than The Spawn Is.


    Turbine's awkward answer is a terrible hallway that you need to camp (meaning that for balance reasons it's designed to be campable) because it's so disconnected from the other routes (including the spawn's route).


    A much better way to do things is make it so that the spawn's little area (and the intel's side of any routes that bypass the spawn) have tactical advantages over tactical advantages towards mid, so that if you're chasing a flag carrier, you always have an advantage.

    Things like ledges that give height advantage. Things that slow down the flag carrier while they're being shot help too. Things like Z stairs on the way up to mid (don't do this), or awkward tight corners to turn. Actually, one of TF2's problem is that it's hard to slow down the flag carrier if they're a soldier/demo/scout. That's why wide sightlines are a working substitute. Non-mobile classes slow themselves down by virtue of not being mobile, but the mobile ones need to be easy to chase as such or snipe.


    Something that helps a lot with keeping the flag back without having chained chokepointy bullshit is having a very accessible mid so that people can easily fight in it. You want it so that each team can at least slightly control their own side of mid without serious problems.. You don't want it so that it's accessible because the spawn is close. You want it accessible for any other reason that doesn't force you to have a fort map. Heck, you can have an "accessible" mid even if the spawn is downright behind the intel, like on ctf_novelty. As long as people can get to mid easily without dying and are given multiple simple routes there you can consider it accessible.


    That all said, CTF SHOULD NOT be about letting no enemy caps go through. CTF should be about leaking caps slower than the enemy team. The 3 cap limit is way too low for good CTF. Gang Garrison comp uses 4 at LEAST for SHORT games, sometimes 5.
     
  8. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    That's why they introduced crits, so the team would be rewarded with additional firepower; and the rule is players want that to increase their score. Not that i think it really worked.

    The primary reason why people dislike CTF is how both teams get split into an attack and defence role, splitting the focus of combat that you would otherwise see on a KoTH or Payload map. The game itself has slowed down from its original father game and running an objective from point A to B translated into something more laborious.

    This can be rectified by seperating the capture area from the flag home as seen in the original 2fort where the capture zone was actually on the battlements. Changing these objective point positions also allows you to experiment with spawn positions as fighting past a spawn room on your way in and out the base is something of an unrewarding uphill struggle. Just try to avoid making it too easy to steam roll captures successively.
     
  9. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    AND THEN THEY DISABLED CAP CRITS ON VALVE CTF SERVERS

    Can't you say the very same thing about 5CP? But people LOVE 5CP.
     
  10. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    i dont find intels behind spawns to be bad design

    spawns being close to frontlines means you can get behind them easier and from there you wont be running into random defenders that just spawned and are running to the frontlines. you are running from the spawning defenders not towards them for most of the time, which makes getting to intel easier.

    then when you have the intel it gets harder but thats how it should be. boring ass aspect of ctf comes from flags being untouched, from flags being difficult to take in the first place. once a flag is picked up shit is happening and theres action. however once flag is taken across middle its pretty much capped and finishing the run is usually a formality. therefore the period where the flag is picked up but still in its base should be extended.

    hence spawns before intels make flags easier to take but harder to cap which i believe is how ctf should be. 2fort however is both hard to take and hard to cap due to attack always going thru the same area roughly in front in enemy spawn, layout making the flag hard to take and spawnrooms making it hard to cap.

    added bonus of spawns close to frontllines is that you dont have to wade thru the whole base just to get to the shooting part.
     
  11. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    That's why I think Turbine does it right. The spawn is still a slightly closer walk to mid than the intel room is, but you're not expected to go past it to get there. If you rerouted 2fort's spiral to the lower floor, removed the existing spawn rooms, and put one where the spiral used to come out, it would probably be dramatically improved.
     
  12. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    Tubine's screwed in that the routes aren't inter-connected enough. The vent should connect to hallway like turbine2 makes it.
    Mid is also a single huge sightline, but that's a different issue.
     
  13. puxorb

    aa puxorb

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    I've had an idea for a ctf map where each team has 3 different intel rooms, and one vault( the capture zone). Only one flag is active at a time, forcing people to pack up and move their defenses once one intel has been capped. Also, the first intel will be easiest to capture and the most forward inside the base, while the third one will be set all the way back inside the base and a lot harder to capture.

    In fact, I like this idea a lot so I might give it a go. The only problem is making it obvious to the player which flagroom is active at the time, and making it obvious that they need to bring back captured intels to their main vault.

    Although I always thought it was fun, the problem with csf is that maps had 3 flags all active at once and it was too hard to defend all 3 flags, and too easy to capture the enemy's. The rounds were basically just races instead of attack/defend types.
     
  14. henke37

    aa henke37

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    But the csf maps that I have seen all had the flags ordered, they have to be captured in order, outermost to innermost.
     
  15. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    imaging criticizing csf without getting anything right about it and then suggesting what csf actually is as your own idea :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Especially when his incorrect idea might actually be better, if the HUD could be set up correctly for it.
     
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