This, my friends, is a victory. Complex game rules are invariably bad. There are times when they are acceptable.
Our game has historically kept the player in the dark about all kinds of things. For some it was the je-ne-sais-quoi of the game. Knowing wtf just happened was a mark of a pro. Everyone else went to Planetside or WoW.
We are a PvP game, we’re about fighting and stuff. Capture – and victory – are bragging mats. Captures are mean’t to be truffles, not tic tacs.
Unfortunately, capture has always been a fairly precise science. If you look at the game’s history you’ll see that has never worked out well.
1.31 is going to have a progress bar for the capture of the facility you are in. That there, and well documented set of contributing factors, should be sufficient to allow for a complex rule set for capture.
So the producers are right to immediately say “No” to complex rules.
Firstly: The most important elements of the rules need to be exposed, and the capture bar can facilitate that. Perhaps some of the most important elements should be annotated on the capture bar so that players don’t get beat down by a complex set of invisible rules (“its on the wiki” is not a great way to learn about such an important mechanism).
But ultimately, we want captures to be seeds for fights.
Consider the current paradigm. I run into a building, I make contact with an object and then I stand there until a timer elapses and I capture the building. If I defend myself, the timer resets. If I die, the timer goes away and we have to start over.
Bob spawns in to a town and spends 2-5 minutes running to a facility. He sneaks into the building past careless defenders and starts his timer. Before it completes, you shoot him.
Context: Bob is no-longer in the capture building; he knows there is an alert defender in or at that building.
There is little incentive for Bob to return to where you are guarding. If you stay and defend, the chances are you will spend a long time thumb-twiddling. Which means there’s also little incentive for you to stay, because you know you wouldn’t hurry back here.
So rather than a fight, there was a shooting.
But if Bob had gotten the building to 95% and it’s going to take a fair amount of time to uncap it; well then there’s a reason for Bob to try again. If Bob can keep you from getting the counter back to 0, there’s value in his return. And while the counter is not zero, there’s value in your guarding.
It might take a little more. If Bob was only at 30%, well it might not be worth going back for the few percent left when he gets back. If you were Bob, wouldn’t you head to another depot first maybe?
Perhaps that should be discouraged with an extra rule that says “each facility that is counting back to enemy ownership (didn’t hit 100% and there’s nobody capping it so the timer is going back down) slows down the capture of any other facilities”.
So that 30% is carrot AND stick.
A little hard to explain – but not actually all that complex?
This is, of course, more theory crafting – and this is an issue where the producers are coming at the issue from their own angle, and we haven’t yet sat down and gotten on the same page as each other; and the producers will be in charge of what ruleset goes live :) So those of you who hate my ideas, don’t sweat it just yet ;-P
If you want to add your own theory crafting comments, please do me one little favor and spend a minute thinking about how it will feel on both shoes. The rules have to try and stop the other guy being a dick, but you’re also going to have to live with them :) And the other guy is probably going to find a way to use them just as fast – if not faster – than you :)