Descent: Underground and the future of our game

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Martin
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby Martin » 28 Mar 2015, 20:41

LotharBot
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby LotharBot » 28 Mar 2015, 21:12

You get better by playing a mix of opponents, not just stronger ones. Stronger opponents expose your weaknesses, show you new tactics, and force you to innovate -- but they also incentivize you to be overly risky, to take a lot of damage in order to deal a little, because that's a better trade than taking a lot of damage and dealing none (especially MUCH stronger opponents who you might not be able to kill except through ridiculous gambits). Weaker opponents force you to solidify your basic tactics, to do the little things right, to avoid damage while dealing out some of your own. Both play a role in making you better.

A good matchmaking system will try to put you in both scenarios, within reason. You learn very little by playing pilots more than 3 or 4 tiers* away from your skill level; the less skilled pilot doesn't have the tools to comprehend why they're dying and the more skilled pilot doesn't have any reason to stretch themselves. But playing pilots who are a solid tier or two ahead, and other pilots who are a tier or two behind, helps you improve your game dramatically.


* on DCL pilots within the same tier (gold, silver, or bronze) are expected (statistically) to average 20-13 or closer in games with each other. Pilots 3+ tiers apart should expect scores of 20-3 or worse.
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homeyduh
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby homeyduh » 28 Mar 2015, 21:38

I understand the matchmaking system well Since I've played many games with one. And yeah I agree with you that playing people too far above or below you yield little to no experience. I believe in all that, but I still don't think the crazy-8-ships mode will really help players do this. They could at least make mining more fun or something. not stare at a wall with a laser. Blow up the wall and gather the pieces or something. Make it more interactive and dynamic than that because you're literally never supposed to stop moving in true anarchy and if you do, you die.

I supposed that if this game wasn't a Descent game, and was another 6Dof game with a different name, I wouldn't mind all these features and new things as much.

But above all, don't get me wrong. I'm happy about the new Descent and I would back if I had money to do so. They seem like nice people. I'm just saying my personal opinion About things I dislike or don't agree with since this is an official Descent brand game. That doesn't mean I'll smack talk the game or I won't buy this game when it's out because I love 6DoF to death, which it's why I've been keeping up with so many other 6DoF games.
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby Sylvester_Ink » 28 Mar 2015, 23:17

I agree that matchmaking is often quite key in helping improve a player, but it only works if the player pool is large enough to accommodate it. Also, the success of a matchmaking algorithm depends on the games being played in a common environment. Matchmaking ranks for the TvT mode of DU is not equivalent to the ranks for Anarchy, because the playstyle and skills are very different.

This just goes back to a previous post I made about dividing the community. Someone who is an absolute beast in TvT mode would be just as discouraged coming to Anarchy as they would if they jumped into Anarchy right at the start. From what I've seen described by the DU devs, the styles are just too different.

(On an aside, what does mining do to improve player skills? What game mechanic does it provide that's actually fun? I'm really curious about this, and I haven't really seen an explanation from the DU end. Can anyone more familiar with it explain?)
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Poxy
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby Poxy » 29 Mar 2015, 07:07

I thought that the "mining" was the just ability to blow up sections of rock, like red faction, or even miner wars.
Would be fun to be barreling down a tight mine shaft on the tail of your prey, blasting rocks and debris with your main drilling cannon as your lasers target and begin to melt and liquify the wings of the enemy ship through holes you've blown out of the rock. But that sort of thing is pretty technically advanced, so I doubt it'd work in practice very well, which is why Miner Wars and Red Faction are mostly dead, as far as player base goes.
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby 1DVD4D2UDK » 29 Mar 2015, 08:05

All this talk of learning skills & matchmaking makes me think of a
'Tao Of Descent'
I reposted awhile back, originally done by a Charles Featherer! :D
After closing your browser, it'll be with you - in back of your mind
waiting to inspire you, by what you've seen, heard, or read today
1DVD, 1DVD4D2UDK, 1DVD-DCLXVI, 1DeViLiShDuDe, @uToPLaY
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Earthshaker
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby Earthshaker » 29 Mar 2015, 08:47

homeyduh wrote:Drakona is actually a she.

My apologies. I did wonder - should've tried to check before posting.

1DVD4D2UDK wrote:But we're the minority. And that's the point of that comment -- those of us who "made it" have a huge blind spot toward those who didn't, so we don't really comprehend why Descent training sucked for the masses.

Aye, I guess this is the point that everything boils down to. I can surely understand the frustration someone would feel at getting continually pulverised - I felt it myself after my first few matches in the new Unreal Tournament. Oh boy am I rusty in that game. :)

Like Sylvester said, matchmaking is great as you have the playerbase to support it, and a reasonably accurate skill rating system to base it on. Hopefully by using the Descent name the D:U team will be able to attract a wide audience to support such a feature, but I also hope that they'll include a plain server browser that can be used as a fallback (or for folks who just want a bit more control).
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Re: Descent: Underground and the future of our game

Postby 1DVD4D2UDK » 29 Mar 2015, 18:18

I would have loved to have posted that, but lack the experience of the old online Kali system and most all that went with it - so LotharBot was the one that posted that statement EarthShaker:
LotharBot wrote:But we're the minority. And that's the point of that comment -- those of us who "made it" have a huge blind spot toward those who didn't, so we don't really comprehend why Descent training sucked for the masses.
Most of my experience is based on the SP Descent series, and what few lan games I've played with friends - while the rest is mostly with Unreal Tournament 2004 and the multitude of mods that were made for it, all of of which was basically an ongoing learning experience with new mods. But the parts I remember the most are when other players would pickup on my willingness to learn new tactics with whatever server mods were installed, and stop to give a few pointers - so we could commence with blowing stuff up, along with the many team play modes also being helped along the way to gain experience.

Very similar in respect to the 'Let's play Descent' series of youtube vids I've seen before! :D

So, with that said - my take on the whole learning thing depends a lot on the community and it's players to work through the obstacles that prevent fun gameplay! :)
After closing your browser, it'll be with you - in back of your mind
waiting to inspire you, by what you've seen, heard, or read today
1DVD, 1DVD4D2UDK, 1DVD-DCLXVI, 1DeViLiShDuDe, @uToPLaY
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Found interesting quote by Descent vet on topic of DU

Postby jr2 » 29 Mar 2015, 23:45

I saw this referenced in the DU topic on the forum I usually frequent (Hard Light Productions):

Big long post, be sure to read it all, he brings up his thoughts on this after talking with Wingman. I put a relevant excerpt here (no don't go skipping the actual topic; it's only to encourage you to actually read it if you were on the fence):

Topic: To Kali Skeptics: Why I'm A Believer

I'm talking about the fact that Descent is a brutally difficult game to get into. Even single player only helps so much. But if you throw a new pilot into an anarchy game, they are going to die, badly, horribly, painfully, and there is nothing they can do about it without years of training.

We've all seen that. We've all had that conversation with a friend we're trying to get into Descent, or with someone we're trying to get back into the modern game. They spawn, they die, a lot, and they're depressed. "I suck at this game," they say. And you say, "It's okay, everyone does for the first year or two." And the light goes out of their eyes. Two years until it's fun? I've got better things to do than be target practice for you and your buddies, man!

Of course, if they'd stick with it for a couple years, they'd find out . . . well, the line that was given to me back in the day is, "Descent anarchy on Kali is the most fun you can have with your pants on". Not really an overstatement from where I sit. But they never find that out. It's too hard, and it takes too long, and other things are shinier.

And so the Descent community has always been small. It's always been niche. The people who persevered are the ones who, like me, spawned in the mines the first time, rolled the ship 360, and fell in love so hard that it didn't matter that the whole thing was a ball of thorns dipped in pain. It was worth it. It would always be worth it. We would have done anything to fly that ship.

We're the ones who made it. A lot of pilots . . . didn't.

For all these years, we've been thinking that the Descent community is small because flying is just, well, hard, and so it isn't for everyone. On some level that might be true, and that might always be true. But there's also a practical problem. Something we're so used to that we never even realized it's something that was broken.

There have been many, many gamers who might have fallen in love with our game. Pilots who might have some day learned to see the magic, but who didn't, who fell away after the first few tries, because . . .

Because the training SUCKED.

That's what the Crazy Ships Mode is about. It's about fixing that.

See, you and I, we look at these specialized ships and we see a poorer game. We see a mining ship that's highly maneuverable but which basically slides around and looks for mineral deposits all day, and think, "that's it?" We see an assault ship that fires missiles all day, and we think it's just one piece of the larger tactical puzzle we love. And TvT matchups isn't going to fix that. We look at what they've proposed and we see a simpler game, an easier game, a less interesting game than the one we love.

We're right! How could we not be? What we're missing is that that's the POINT.

That game is not for US. It's for someone who has never, ever touched a pyro. What's that new player going to see? A game too simple to be interesting? No, they are going to see a game mode that teaches you how to fly your ship. Nothing fancy. Just getting from point A to point B.

They have to unlock the ship that lets them fire missiles because they don't know how to fire missiles yet.

Remember back when flying alone was enough to get you to fall in love with Descent? That's what that mode is about. That's what they're capturing. They're taking those little things and making serious flight styles out of them, making them friendly, making them fun, making it so you can just do that without constantly dying.

The Crazy Ships Mode is not a replacement for anarchy. It's a replacement for single player! It's a replacement for co-op! It's more than that, it's better than that, it's the pilot training simulater we never had!

And sure, in designing it, they haven't forgotten about us hardcore pyro jockeys. They're making it so we can get good at that game, too. We might even like it. They're going to make it so that good pilots find fighting in those ships interesting, so that I will enjoy taking the crappiest ship on my team against the strongest one on the opposing team and showing just what a badass pilot I am because I can take it down. That's being designed in. I've heard 'em talk about it, it's interesting stuff, that's the goal, and believe me, they're smart enough to do it right. But that mining game, ultimately? For me? For us? Is not the point.

The dream is that a new pilot has learned to move from point A to point B, once they've learned to fire missiles and dodge missiles, once they've spent some time hiding and they've spent some time stalking and they've spent some time in some basic dogfights . . .

. . . they're going to look at anarchy and think, "Hey. Let's see what I got."

Anarchy will be there. Anarchy will rock. Anarchy is what they're building, what they remember loving so much on LAN that they wanted to build THIS game. How could they NOT make it rock? They're guiding pilots to anarchy. And maybe from anarchy a new pilot will graduate to 1v1. Or true teams. Or flag. Or whatever the heck the modders cook up and by the way I'm so TOTALLY going to BE one.




EDIT: Eh, just to be clear, I still support you guys -- I will fund your Kickstarter once you guys put one up. Just wanted to put you more at ease with DU is all.
FreeSpace fan? FreeSpace Source Code Project on Hard Light Productions (check out the Installer after buying FS2 (via retail disk, Steam, or GOG.com (recommended)
Descent fan? Of course you are, you're here; be sure you also know of these projects: D2X-XL | DXX-Rebirth
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homeyduh
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Re: Found interesting quote by Descent vet on topic of DU

Postby homeyduh » 30 Mar 2015, 00:32

Don't worry, this post has been brought up before. As I mentioned then, Drakona is actually a girl lol we are not anti-DU. We're just sore against Interplay for what happened. I personally don't like some of the features that they want to add into it though.
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