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Author Topic: HZ Modern Settings History  (Read 8190 times)

Arnk Kilo Dylie

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HZ Modern Settings History
« on: June 03, 2013, 01:05:35 AM »

I've been involved with HZ settings for 9 years now and I figured I'd give people a summary of what's happened in that time. I refer to season 11 as the beginning of the modern era because a) it was the first season I had exposure to seeing the settings b) it was effectively the settings used in blue's first year as sysop c) there have been very few major balance or design changes between the ships since then (for example javelin and weasel guns were heavily modified for and before this season.)

Obviously my methods for balancing things has annoyed people because of the relative lack of exposure and lack of input. AFAIK there were zero threads about settings this year though and most of the feedback I've gotten in the last 2 suggests things are in a relatively good spot. However there are always complaints of the game being too passive and passive strategies giving too much reward for too little risk, so that among many other things is some of the things we have tried to promote in the game. So anyway since I'm thinking of it and it's a new season I will give you the rundown of how things have gone.

Season 11
I wasn't involved with these but I have a few memories of what changed from 10.
  • Weasel shot power was improved and its guns were modified from a single yellow to a double red.
  • Leviathan prox was nerfed severely.

Season 12
  • In the first season with asss, we attempted an "anti-ballkill" mechanism to discourage use of that tactic. It acted by nullifying bullets shot within .35 seconds after a puck was fired, similar to how bullets are nullified in football at certain times.
  • No specific changes were made to other ships.


Season 13
  • The anti-ballkill mechanism was removed. It's been so long but I believe the idea was that it was supposed to hurt passive defense but it ended up being too abusable.
  • The lancaster was overhauled. Its high speed/low acceleration archetype was changed to a lower top speed/better acceleration with the idea of it being more manageable.
  • Warbird was looking a bit too weak. Even though it is and is supposed to be the hardest skater ship, it was not having much success and most pilots went for terrier or spider instead to get the checking power and sufficient maneuverability. Its top speed was improved very significantly to make its gap over terrier even higher.
  • Weasel had an issue where it could shoot several bullets while holding down the gun key without running out of energy--most ships can do 3-5 at most. The gun was also considered slightly strong because even as a level 1 gun its delay was about as good as warbird's, and the cost was similar, but weasel had twice as much energy. The delay was increased to be slightly worse than terrier's (3rd best overall) and its cost was increased by 35%.
  • The speed penalty for carrying the puck on all ships was reduced significantly (halved).
  • Levi was considered overnerfed and its prox was increased very significantly, while still being the worst.

Season 14
  • Spider was considered too similar to terrier, except better in a lot of areas by significant amounts. Spider bullet cost was increased by 10, and puck carry time reduced from 13.5 to 11.
  • Terrier's puck timer was reduced from 8 to 7.5, partly to make the everyman ship less able to do "everything" but also to keep some of the gap with spider.
  • Levi's puck timer was reduced from 7 to 6.5
  • Lancaster's puck timer reduced from 2.5 to 2.25
  • Shark's puck timer increased from 2 to 2.25

Season 15
  • Skater prox was decreased by 3 overall (very significant, except 2 for levi)
  • Skater accelerations were increased both with and without afterburners. Putting all ships about 1 "class" above where they were before, with about 3 classes overall.
  • Pass delay was reduced from .2 to .1 to account for prox reduction making pass delay less necessary.

Season 16
  • Slapshots introduced to provide a powerful offensive option. Press bomb, get a small engine shutdown and have energy drained (bombs cost large % of energy to begin with), get a puck shot at about 166% normal speed.
  • One-timers as a side feature of slapshots introduced, use slapshot when off-puck, have a small warm-up delay, after that warmup there is a window where you will do an auto slapshot when you catch the puck (after pressing bomb the window is .56-1.89 seconds)
  • Drop passes are introduced by firing a mine. (sometime later the ?droppass macro option is invented so you can use a drop pass even when over a fly-over tile)
  • Bullet damage prior to now used the standard Subspace formula which had a wide distribution with a square-root curve, minimum bullet damage was 0! Instead of overhauling balance to try to make fixed damage work, this system was introduced to keep the gambit-like nature of bullets and also to give more control on the damage curve. Long story short, internally bullet damage IS fixed, but asss with a special module changes the bullet level to 1-4 based on a custom distribution per ship. 1=non-fatal 2=fatal to warbird 3=fatal to terr/spid/weasel 4=fatal to all except goalie.
  • Bullet delays and costs are increased universally to make missed checks pay a lot more.
  • To account for the new bullet system, energy levels and cost values were modified to allow the RBL system to work, especially on goalies which had energy reduced a lot (but bullets could do less damage than before.)
  • Levi multifire is removed but its singlefire delay is improved. The multifire was seen as problematic for balancing it around being anything other than a crease turret, a role which was seen as undesirable for the game.
  • Weasel bullet speed/length decreased slightly to make it more in line with not being a primarily defensive ship, promote more warbird play
  • Tweaks to accelerations and speeds to make things more consistent and clearly define which ships are better than others
  • Ship top speeds were universally a tiny bit to improve the pace of the game (not a bigger change because we knew more speed = more lag, so this change was done gradually over a few seasons)
  • The goal posts were moved apart by 2 more tiles to open up the game.
  • Goalies speeds (and lanc's prox) was improved significantly to respond to the above change, so that playing defense was harder but ideally playing goalie was the same difficulty

Season 17
  • Velocity random bullet level damage was implemented to reward active-checkers (people who don't sit in place to make a check.) As an enhancement to random bullet level, your "roll" is improved depending on your velocity, and your opponent's velocity relative to you. So two players going straight at each other will get a higher roll than two players sitting in place.
  • As part of VRBL, redgunned ships (warbird/weasel) have a small chance to kill terriers, weasels, and spiders at full energy if they get a big velocity hit. This was done as part of an effort to help the viability of having a redgun ship on the field without sacrificing too much defensive ability.
  • Damage levels, energy levels were tweaked to make things a bit more natural looking and cleaner (200 energy warbird, 400 energy terrier again), as well as improving the distributions of RBL to account for velocity damage.
  • Gun delays and costs are again increased for skaters, except leviathan which is improved instead.
  • Drop pass "thrust" is increased to make drop passes a bit easier to utilize.
  • Warbird carry time is increased to 8.7 seconds.
  • Levi carry time increased to 8.7 seconds and top speed and recharge rate improved somewhat to make it less of a liability.
  • Shot speeds were increased for all skaters by a significant amount to increase offense potential and the pace of the game
  • Goalie carry times decreased by .1 seconds to increase the pace slightly. Goalie speeds were improved significantly to counteract the increased shot speeds of players so skilled goalies can still make saves. Shark bullet speed ("length") reduced slightly to make its awesome speed not too overpowering for lunging.
  • Slapshot stats refined and three "classes" of slapshots are assigned through the 6 ships with A having the lowest delay/highest multiplier. C is given to WB and Spider, B to Javelin and Terrier, A to Levi and Weasel. C class has the same delay as last season, B and A have faster releases.
  • Pass delay increased by .02 to counteract perceived "ass-proxing"
  • Goalies can now drop pass.

Season 18
  • Warbird non-afterburner speed improved and its carry time increased to 9 seconds. Slapshot grade increased to B
  • Proxes were tweaked slightly. Javelin and terrier got -1, making javelin 2nd best and terrier tied with warbird for 4th best.
  • Bullet fire delays were tweaked slightly.
  • Terrier slap downgraded to C grade.
  • The costs of firing a slapshot are adjusted to be a bit more consistent but a bit costlier to allow for making slaps more powerful.
  • Slapshot release time decreased by a fraction of a second (.54 to .52 for class B)
  • Levi non-afterburner top speed improved but shot power reduced slightly.
  • Drop-passes were given a bit more "thrust" again
  • Lancaster was given slightly more afterburner speed. Small changes to this ship are made to make sure the more passive of the two goalies does not suddenly become way better than shark.
  • Shark prox increased by 1 pixel as it felt like after all of the major offensive buffs it wasn't quite getting enough.
  • Levi prox increased by 1 while still having it be the worst in that area.
  • Ship speeds are tweaked for balance very very minorly.

Season 19
  • Pass delay increased by .01
  • When making a check, you are subject to much less pass delay when picking up the puck after a kill, the idea being to make it harder to fly over a puck after making a kill, thus making it less risky to do an "active check"
  • Goalies now perceive pass delay as less (.1 instead of .13) to effectively nerf "prox cutting shots" and give goalies more comfort while still forcing them to have good positioning.
  • The rink is shrunk approximately 10% in length
  • Prox is again reduced significantly for all skaters, -2 all around
  • Afterburner top speeds are increased by a small margin on all skaters
  • Drop pass thrust is again improved
  • Bomb costs are reduced to make slaps easier to use. It's around 70% of a ship's energy to fire.
  • Shot speeds are again improved very slightly to increase offensive edge and pacing.
  • Engine shutdown time is reduced to help with slap flexibility.
  • Slapshot multipliers are modified to be somewhat improved for all classes.
  • Slapshot delays are reduced.
  • Very small adjustments to the bullet fire delays while keeping the relative strengths equal
  • Warbird given another minor speed boost.
  • Levi given another minor speed boost, recharge boost, and bullet fire delay improvement.
  • Goalie top speeds with and without afterburners improved slightly.

Season 20
  • Self-passes are blocked
  • Offensive ships are given a boost overall: warbird, terrier, and weasel get top speed boosts. Javelin gets a tiny shot power boost while weasel gets fairly significant one.
  • Warbird prox is reduced by 1 to make sure its speed boost is more helpful for offense than defense
  • Levi prox is reduced by 1 to keep it as the worst ship in this area
  • Drop pass thrust is AGAIN improved
  • Slapshot delays are improved on B class ships by .01 seconds (WB & Jav)
  • One-timer delays are improved on all ships to make them equal to the slap delay
  • *edit* Lancaster afterburner speed increased slightly.

Overall many of the changes that weren't extremely overt like introducing slapshots or introducing new bullet systems were designed to be subtle but effective. Most of these "tweaks" are designed to make sure everyone feels HZ is the same game as always, but in reality the small changes will promote higher skill, more active play, better risk/reward balance, and a generally more fun AND competitive experience.

Anyway it is what it is.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 01:25:02 AM by Arnk Kilo Dylie »
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WhiteIrishRebel

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 01:13:06 AM »

thx irnk
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t$z

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 09:39:51 AM »

fuckin guys is a nerd, but appreciated for the work done by this jerk
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The Boogieman

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 11:11:58 AM »

Quote from: Arnk Dylie
•Goalies now perceive pass delay as less (.1 instead of .13) to effectively nerf "prox cutting shots" and give goalies more comfort while still forcing them to have good positioning.

We should think about trying this closer to 33% or even 40 than just 23%. With all the increased offense options we should be encouraging them to take shots where the puck clears the goalie, not the 50/50 sweeps we'd see before where it'd phase (or cut depending on who you ask) the corner of your prox closest to the goal tiles.

If I'm not mistaken, this would also help with anti-cluster gameplay as the goalie would be more likely to pick up the pass if he tries to meet the cluster head on discouraging the kind of vortex we see now (that gets tighter as it gets closer to the crease before breaking for top/bot post). Right now, the current delay is less reliable than you'd like at this and shielding is already very effective in the cluster which makes this a bad choice more often than not. Nothing else to do but wait the cluster out / hope for the forced TO, but this is more or less effective depending on the goalie ship you've chosen.

Or, we could give goalies level 4's so they can actually have some counterplay with their bullets (is it worth it to spend 25% of my energy to do level 4 offball damage to these 3 ships trying to cluster) and avoid the currently skill-irrelevant gameplay the current bullet level provides (levi/jav sweep forces the 50/50, better press bullet and cross my fingers for no dud!)
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Acido

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 11:37:22 AM »

Patch notes from now on please.
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BluckaBlucka

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 11:42:41 AM »

imagine if you could add screening into this game all the things it could open up
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t$z

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 11:45:39 AM »

imagine if you could add screening into this game all the things it could open up

so like, the ships can't overlap each other? now you'd have to actually go around the player??
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BluckaBlucka

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 11:55:53 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_%28ice_hockey%29
basically make hockeyzones defense have to leave openings so the goalie can see the play
rather than them just sit wherever they want because its rewarded not punished in hockey zone
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 11:58:07 AM by J.Jagr »
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The Boogieman

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 11:59:48 AM »

more or less modeled by people waiting in front of the crease for an open one timer

goalie is "distracted" by the extra threat and a defender has to "push the forward away" or risk the easy "deflection" or goal
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t$z

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 12:00:28 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_%28ice_hockey%29
basically make hockeyzones defense have to leave openings so the goalie can see the play
rather than them just sit wherever they want because its rewarded not punished in hockey zone

really don't see how that can happen
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BluckaBlucka

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 12:02:32 PM »

... thats why i said imagine if

there is no downside to cr sitting its just reward
this zone desperately needs something like screening to make cr sitting have a downside to it
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The Boogieman

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 12:10:30 PM »

i said like 3 years ago we should do defender-energy-drain zone maybe 5 or 6 tiles extended from the CR

defenses can still back up to the CR in emergency situations if they so choose

offense can wait out the defenders energy and then go in and let the offball forwards clean up

the only difficulty would be balancing the drain rate so it
1)didn't take unreasonably long for the defenders energy to reach an abusable level from max
2)wasn't so fast that accidentally backing up to the CR line seemed like a "im essentially own goaling if i do this" ala running into the net with the puck kind of option and turned defense into blueline lunge city
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jalrix

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 12:15:01 PM »

i said like 3 years ago we should do defender-energy-drain zone maybe 5 or 6 tiles extended from the CR

defenses can still back up to the CR in emergency situations if they so choose

offense can wait out the defenders energy and then go in and let the offball forwards clean up

the only difficulty would be balancing the drain rate so it
1)didn't take unreasonably long for the defenders energy to reach an abusable level from max
2)wasn't so fast that accidentally backing up to the CR line seemed like a "im essentially own goaling if i do this" ala running into the net with the puck kind of option and turned defense into blueline lunge city

was about to say something like this. energy drain or just straight up energy nuke for defenders if on the cr for 2+ secs
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Abvolt

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 12:25:14 PM »

maybe should sticky this or put on main page so people returning to game can see settings changes
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Kula

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 01:11:40 PM »

No matter what you do you're going to encounter a defensive system that will piss you off. The idea that you should be free to score at will is pretty basketballarded.
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BluckaBlucka

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 01:21:36 PM »

No matter what you do you're going to encounter a defensive system that will piss you off. The idea that you should be free to score at will is pretty basketballarded.
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
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Thrill HZ

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 01:35:50 PM »

problem isnt rly that ppl play defense its that because its a 2d game and the way the game is setup its heavily skewed in the favor of the defense if the player isnt retarded. You can make super great plays offensive and still be shutdown by extremely average defensive play. This shouldnt be the case, playing with greater skill than the opposition should be rewarded, if the game isnt set up this way then players will alter their style to prevent higher skilled players than themselves from steamrolling them by playing a dumb style. Its like oh it doesnt matter that im not that skilled I can compensate for it by abusing the settings and 2d nature of the game in order 2 not get blown away
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t$z

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »

are we all suggesting to recode this game so it's 3d?!!!!

i will donate $20 for this project !!! lol
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Kula

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 02:09:59 PM »

If the game was 3d and you couldn't run through people you would be complaining about a 1-3-1, trapping, and left wing locks.

the only problem is a lack of skill across the board but if everyone had more talent and skill it wouldn't make it easier to score as opponents would be even better.

as it stands right now offense seems pretty easy, if you play a mistake free game on both side the score will be low and tight whereas teams that make mistakes get hammered big time. Just look at what happened to BA after opening up their already open playstyle when down a few goals in the third. They got clobbered.

can I ask why it took so long for exe to sub lorn out last night down by 1? Was like 30 secs left when they finally did it.
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The Boogieman

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Re: HZ Modern Settings History
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 02:36:58 PM »

If the game was 3d and you couldn't run through people you would be complaining about a 1-3-1, trapping, and left wing locks.

Complaining about different strategies and means of attack is fine. The problem is that right now there is only one optimal strategy for defense: back the fuck up. This is compounded by the logical only optimal reponse by the offense: get there before the defense backs up or wait for the defense to open up. The whole problem is that there is no reason for the defense to perform the latter. This forces the offense to run into the cluster and try to make a play (which some teams have actually decided to practice getting better at...) which is the worst kind of "skill" to encourage in this game.

the only problem is a lack of skill across the board but if everyone had more talent and skill it wouldn't make it easier to score as opponents would be even better.

You can't just say that and make it true. Skill does not apply equally to various aspects of the game. This is where the concept of skill caps and skill floors comes from. We want to reach a point where both offensive and defensive skills (a lot of which are overlapping) are rewarded with additional options. This does not necessarily mean that it suddenly becomes more or less difficult to score overall. That is always situationally dependant.

as it stands right now offense seems pretty easy, if you play a mistake free game on both side the score will be low and tight whereas teams that make mistakes get hammered big time. Just look at what happened to BA after opening up their already open playstyle when down a few goals in the third. They got clobbered.

Ironic to say offense seems pretty easy as one of the most offensively challenged players in the zone with a 5+ year career on one of the more offensive challenged teams in the RSHL but I digress. You do realize that due to the way HZ mechanics have evolved over time, "playing a mistake free game" as you describe is essentially impossible. Phases, drop passes (you can't just block the rotation tick anymore), velocity damage, all of these mechanics add a distinct level of 'random' that invalidates this assumption of a "low and tight game". Furthermore, I'm not really sure what the score has to do with the kind of gameplay being displayed? Aren't we trying to encourage more opportunities for both the defense and offense to make plays - rather than waiting for the other side to unnecessarily make a mistake?

can I ask why it took so long for exe to sub lorn out last night down by 1? Was like 30 secs left when they finally did it.

Cause lorn was MVP.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 02:41:04 PM by The Boogieman »
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Nerf the prox, Buff accel or make afterburner high risk/high reward, give lanc a slapshot or increase it's shotpwer, fix nrg.
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