Sightlines.. hnnnnnng..

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by absurdistof, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. absurdistof

    aa absurdistof

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    Alright so I just finished reading through some of the judges reviews (Icarus' specifically), and he made note of how zig used sightlines well, and how many mappers are afraid of them.

    Unfortunately I'm in the afraid of them boat. For whatever reason, if someone can see over ~768-1024 units it makes me nervous.

    So, with that in mind I was wondering how you guys deal and make use of sightlines. I know a lot of maps that I love have massssive sightlines that would make me want to feint in hammer, so I guess what I'm asking is what makes a sightline bad, and how can I use them effectively (and to what end?).
     
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  2. Penguin

    aa Penguin Clinically Diagnosed with Small Mapper's Syndrome

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    non-90 degree angles help with sightlines enormously.
     
  3. RaVaGe

    aa RaVaGe

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    The sightline must always be thinked during the sketching of the map. After it's a bitch to correct because you must modify a lot the layout and the gameplay.

    But if you want to change your map now, I advise you to play with the height , the perfect example would be the middle of Viaduct.
     
  4. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    Sightlines are only a problem if you can't go around them in one way or another. If you're forced through a long narrow passage it could be a problem, but in most cases even that won't be an issue.

    For a typical sniper, the trade-off is; safety vs range.
    A safe sniping position (health, not exposed, several places to appear, hard to reach) should only give limited range and not overlook a major chokepoint.
    A long range/easy targets* position should be very exposed, easy to spam, no/limited health. ex. between goldrush 3-1 and 3-2.

    There's of course the quick scope snipers, and you can't build a map that won't work for them without crippling all other classes in the process. They will find a way to snipe on any map. The problem arises when these guys find a position (or multiple that they can move between) where they can play safe while still keeping an eye on all the interesting parts of the map (chokes/entrances/exits/control points).
    You will notice that range is not an issue here. So the distance of the sniperlines in your map is of secondary concern. If you feel that these snipers are too powerful in your map, work on making it more dangerous for them. Crumpling up your map or littering it with useless cover will probably just decrease the fun for ALL 9 classes.

    *easy targets = enemies on flat ground + Distracted by other targets (sentries).
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  5. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    semi-bad sightlines are those who have

    a) excessive distance
    this makes sniper invincible to every other class
    like in koth_sergis_72, which has 6500 units long sightline along the track, which is way too much (its fixed in latest versions :p))

    b) are unflankable / has no alternative paths / generally cant get close to it
    this lets sniper be safe and just snipe away without ever needing to relocate
    sightline across badlands bridge is a long one, but you can run up to it from the side, so its too dangerous to be a good sniping position. similarly when sniping in zig from behind the rocks to the second point its all well and good until someone runs right up to me
    an example of bad unflankable sightline is cp_wolf where you can get from A to C only through the tunnel and it often becomes a sniperfest and other classes dont even go there
    maps usually have 2-3 ways to anywhere so no alternative part isnt a problem

    c) can control a very wide area
    this makes it so that you cant hide anywhere from the sniper
    this probably isnt really too bad unless coupled with a or b

    if the sightline has two of abovementioned properties, its bad and get rid of it asap. if it has all three, uninstall hammer :p
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  6. REEJ

    REEJ L7: Fancy Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Retroid

    Retroid L5: Dapper Member

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    I love that cap, not playing as Red Sniper - but as Blue Scout/Solly/Demo, just really good fun trying to suprise a Sniper. It's something that I think people worry about too much - obviously long unavoidable corridors are terrible but otherwise I don't think they're much of a problem.

    Take that gravelpit cap for instance - there's still so many options on how to take it. Even a whole team of Snipers and Engies would struggle to cover it.

    4 entrancies for instance - only one is easily covered by Sentry, one entrance can't be seen at the crows nest and the middle is a huge sniper blindspot. The fence panels help as well...
     
  8. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    A sightline shouldn't be feared unless it's close to 3000 units+, 2fort's battlements is 2600 odd units distance and there are 2 major sightlines in badwater that are about 3000/3200. These are excessive and shouldn't be considered normal, but that's not also to say they are bad or OP.

    Determining a sightlines strength is fairly easy:
    A) How great is the FOV. If a sniper can see over a wide space of terrain his power is strong because players are exposed for longer.
    B) Is the area high traffic? If a lot of players pass through this sightline it is strong. More players will die/take high damage and more frequently. The sniper will get a high score.
    c) Is the sightline source exposed? If the source of the sightline (the position the sniper will camp at) is easily assailed it is weak. It will be an undesireable place as snipers enjoy their high K/D.
    D) Is the sightline source near a source of ammo and or health. If it is, it is strong. If there is no ammo snipers will have to retreat to resupply or heal if there is no health, reducing their time spent on the front line racking up points.

    If a sightline is around 2000-3000 this is fine so long as it is balanced towards these variables. You should really choose one of these pro's for a sniper spot and if there are more, then provide more cons.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  9. REEJ

    REEJ L7: Fancy Member

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    For me as a player, a paranoid map without any sightlines is a boring map.
     
  10. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    Suggestion:

    E) Raise the effective ceiling or skybox along the sight-line. This allows explosively-propelled classes to cover a lot of ground quickly, either towards cover or towards the sniper. (Caveat: This doesn't work so well on maps like 2fort, where a two-phase jump is necessary and the stop-over zone is very predictable.)

    Positive examples: Gravelpit points, First phase of Badwater Basin.
    Negative examples: Internal corridors of Turbine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  11. honeymustard

    honeymustard L9: Fashionable Member

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    Best example of a long sightline that works is badlands - the balcony to the corner chokepoint. Snipers don't have a great view due to obstructions (the metal and the boxes) and are always flanked by a scout jumping into the balcony through the resupply drop down window.
     
  12. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

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    this and badwater's sightline at cap2 really make the chokes a lot more fun imo.
     
  13. Terr

    aa Terr Cranky Coder

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    I think another factor is the vertical sloping, combined with the sniper's elevation. Enemies' movement forward and backward movements make them harder to hit than if everybody were standing on a flat plane.
     
  14. h3r1n6

    h3r1n6 L4: Comfortable Member

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    Most things have been said in here, I also covered it in my articles about competitive maps, I'll try to sum up:

    Most important is the amount of alternate routes. If your only chance of getting to the objective/sniper is running directly through the sightline, there is something wrong with it, Fastlane for example.

    Second is the length of it. If it is 3000 units or more, you probably should do something about it.

    Next is the visibility of the sniper and how easy it is to attack/spam him. On Granary last for example, a sniper standing behind the fence, aiming towards 2nd is barely spottable, but will be able to headshot people. Walls behind good sniper positions will enable soldiers to spam rockets at him, if the sniper is standing in a rather tight space, he won't be able to dodge them very well without giving up position (Badlands balcony for example)

    Smaller obstructions and vertical space is another factor. If everything is flat, the sniper just has to aim on one axis, if there is a height difference between him and his targets, and if his targets run up and down, it makes it harder to hit. Beams/rocks/crates or whatever in the field of view where enemies can hide temporarily behind also make it harder to aim. These don't really fix the sightlines though, they have a rather minor effect (see fastlane middle)
     
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  15. Rexy

    aa Rexy The Kwisatz Haderach

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    Where was this thread back when grazr was mad at the zig sightlines?
     
  16. Toomai

    Toomai L3: Member

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    Also remember that sightlines are important for Engineers. The detection range of a sentry is 1024 units; if a sentry is at the end of a sightline longer than that, you can shoot it without getting shot back unless the engie wrangles it. Letting a sentry be outranged isn't too bad a way to weaken a sentry spot.