Symmetric maps involve both teams playing as one color for attacking, the other for defending. Thus, both teams will be progressing through the same levels and objectives as an attacker, just as both teams attack as Mason and defend as Agatha in Stoneshill.
Asymmetric maps means that Iron Company and Free Guard each have their own unique objectives and levels to traverse through. Thus, a team plays both attack and defend phases as Iron Company or Free Guard.
Beginning Phase: This is a skirmish in a neutral area with no respawns. First team to wipe out the enemy team or fully capture the skirmish point (cannot be captured so long as even a single enemy is contesting it, even if he is outnumbered - this point functionally exists to combat stalling) wins the initial fight. After this skirmish, the game enters a preparation phase. Beginning phase only applies to asymmetric maps, otherwise the matchmaking system automatically determines who attacks first.
Preparation Phase: A ceasefire of 20 seconds, where players can set up defenses, swap loadouts, move up siege engines, etc. Just like the F1 forward respawn in Chivalry, during the preparation phase, a prompt comes up where players can press their Loadout/Team hotkey to immediately respawn at a position of their choosing (convenient for engineers). The ceasefire is enforced by disabled friendly fire damage, visual indicators (gates, barricades, spikes, etc.), and, if you bypass these, no-go zones (you will be relocated back to your spawn selection screen).
Once the preparation phase ends, all the gates start rising up, ceasefire fortifications break down, and the winners of the beginning skirmish go into attack phase with the losers defending. Attacker starts with 120 tickets that deteriorate at 1 ticket/sec.
TO progress adds tickets.
Deaths do not remove tickets. However, each attacker has 2 lives and an individual 6 second respawn timer. Without lives, he cannot spawn in. Defenders have infinite lives but have 12 second individual respawn timers. This attacking phase ends once tickets expire or all attackers' lives are forfeit.
Completing a checkpoint objective extends the phase by 120 tickets, and each team has their lives reset. Spawns are shifted accordingly. Ticket deterioration is temporarily halted if the objective completion animation takes some time (e.g. Darkforest plague cart dumping, a giant door being falling down to make way for the attackers, etc.). The spawn relocation prompt pops up for both teams upon completion of such a significant objective. Deaths within 15 seconds of completion do not take away from your life counter in order to prevent cheese where someone dies shortly after the reset and plays the new phase with one less life.
After the attacking phase ends, the teams now exchange roles as attackers and defenders. Any remaining alive attackers automatically enter a cowardice/yield emote a la TF2/Chivalry end-of-TO defeat for 7 seconds, where defenders are free to slaughter them as they like (adds more roleplay/BM opportunity and flavor to the game). After this slaughter phase, the game enters a preparation phase again, with players able to choose their spawn and prepare accordingly.
There is a big importance of the preparation phase for asymmetric maps where you don't take turns swapping between Red and Blue but instead stay playing as the same team the entire match. The preparation phase, ceasefire, and being able to choose spawn exist so that the team swapping from defending to attacking doesn't have to make a tremendous trek just to reach the objective. For instance, if blue was defending their final objective and pushed the enemy to their final objective as well, the physical distance would be huge between these two points. Instead, defenders after successfully holding off the enemy's attack phase get to slaughter and celebrate in the victorious slaughter phase, then immediately spawn to the appropriate forward spawn. The preparation ceasefire ensures that the round begins with a neutral start as well, so nothing like mistimed spawns and other unlucky factors favor one team, which was sometimes the unfortunate case in Chivalry and still persists in Frontline. This also serves as downtime for teams wanting to make strategic preparations and for players to mentally recollect themselves, much like buytime in Counter-Strike.
Here are various proposed changes to the game's currents mechanics and items, some specific to the mode, others universal to the game. One big game mechanic change for the game mode would revolve around health regeneration for this gamemode specifically:
What should NOT be used as a tiebreaker is the time it took to reach the objective. Stopwatch is inappropriate for competitive formats that aren't racing imo; we don't penalize the team who took longer to score two goals in a 2 - 2 tie in soccer/football, we don't hand the win to the team who had shorter Terrorist rounds in a 15-15 tie in Counter-Strike. Different teams employ different strategies with different tempos. Instead, we will prevent draws and stalemates with two mechanics: Sudden Death for symmetric maps, and Battle Fatigue for both symmetric and asymmetric maps.
Sudden Death: In a symmetric map, it is possible for both teams to have completed the finale on the same n'th phase. In such a case, we enter sudden death. The map resets, and contestants do a re-do with some different rules. Both teams have one life per player. Comparisons are made after both teams have completed their attack phase to determine a winner rather than after one or both teams end their finale within their respective n'th phases. Any checkpoint objective secured resets both teams to one life per player again rather than rewarding two (in addition to normal ticket gains). If both teams tie in progress % during their attack phases, then the game proceeds onto another phase. Keep repeating this until a winner is determined. In practice, % draws should be incredibly rare considering the "granularity" of many objectives like cart push %, # of health remaining on barricades, # of peasants killed, etc., so it's realistically about who can progress the most with just one squad from the start. The lack of respawns and innate health regen adds a larger Sudden Death and clutch factor intensity to this overtime.
Battle Fatigue: If after 3 rounds neither team has reached the finale, the defenders begin to accumulate disadvantages. The defenders now begin with 3 lives per phase rather than infinite. After 3 more phases, this then drops down to 2 per phase. Attackers and defenders now have equal lives. This can now be considered the "midgame" of the match, much like how Counter-Strike eventually settles into rifle/fullbuy rounds. After another 6 phases, this is then limited to 1 per phase. Finally, after another 3 phases, attackers gain 3 lives per phase. This system is put in check to faciliate a certain type of tempo to the match's progress. At first, the game favors the defenders quite a bit due to the respawn limits. Then after 6 attack phases (so 12 phases in total when factoring both teams), the life counts are equal, and winning by player elimination becomes a much more valid option rather than trying to progress objectives as hard as possible between bouts before the endless horde of defenders eventually eliminates you. Most matches should have a team finish the finale within this phase. If still there is no completion within another grueling 6 attack phases, then the defenders enter a sort of soft sudden death and winning by elimination becomes far more feasible for the attackers. Lorewise, this can be describes as the besieged defenders running short on supplies and manpower after so many days of fighting.
Summary of Defender Lives
Phase 1: Infinite
Phase 4: 3 per phase
Phase 7: 2 per phase
Phase 13: 1 per phase
Phase 16: Attackers now 3 lives
Phases 1-6 have the attackers more concerned with eeking out as much progress on objectives as they can. Phases 7-12 has both teams on equal footing, so winning by elimination is a much more appealing option for the attackers, but they can swap to ratting out objective progress if they find themselves on the backfoot. Phases 13 and beyond really favor the attackers, the game should end pretty soon no matter how "impossible" the objective is.
If after attack phase 20 the game still has not ended (this would be nearing 2 hours of gameplay time - [120 tickets + 7 slaughter phase + 20 preparation phase] times 20 times 2 / 60 = 98 minutes, not including ticket gains from objective completions which would lead to phases longer than 120 seconds), for symmetric maps, the match determines a winner by comparing objective progression. In asymmetric maps, the match is just simply declared a draw. Entering attack phase 16 should already be exceedingly rare in its own right. Entering a draw after phase 20 should practically never be seen without both teams deliberately planning to throw from the start.
Map Design Principles:
In practice, the format is intuitive and simple for the player. Beginning: kill enemies. Attack: play offense TO. Defend: defend objectives. Depending on success, continue doing the same thing, or switch sides. Simple. This is easy enough to understand as someone just watching as well.
The format should be the best for spectatorship. There is significance and excitement in the skirmish determining who goes first. Just like in basketball, the shot clock is on the attackers via tickets, incentivizing them to attack and make plays in a timely manner rather than turtle. Every attempt in gaining progress and additional tickets is exciting due to the race against limited tickets rather than just watching it slowly tick down from 1000. Individual lives matter, so each pick and kill counts and is exciting unlike in Frontline and even Chivalry TO.
The devs already have a lot on their plates and the SDK takes precedence over a main 6v6 competitive game mode. I make this post as a blueprint for community mappers once the SDK is released.
Pretty good post, I advocated for something similar to this. The only thing I do not like is draws being settled by a skirmish. In my opinion, the attacking team should be given way less time than a normal game to complete objectives. After, the defending team switches to attack again and must beat what was set by previous attacking team in order to win. If it draws again, switch teams, give them less time, and repeat the process until there is a winner. Basically restart and give less time. In my opinion, a neutral skirmish is a anticlimactic to end a intense match. It already served its purpose in intensity by deciding who gets to choose attack or defense first, but solving a draw by a skirmish doesn't just feel right. In a game like CSGO or Rainbow Six, if the game draws, both teams will battle it back and forth until a team is ahead by a specific amount of rounds, both sides switching defense and attack every round. Basically, what you're suggesting is that in CSGO where knife fights decide who gets to pick CT or T first, if a game goes 15-15, then solve the draw with a knife fight. That's just my take on solving draws, sorry if I sound like a dick.
Sounds a lot more fun than frontline
Sounds a lot more fun than frontline
Sounds a lot more fun than frontline
Thats not a big feat
Your feedback and prompt for discussion is precisely why I bother making these posts in the first place.
Your comments are indeed something I had in mind. It's very anticlimactic to go through an awesome TO tug-of-war, come to a stalemate, and then go back around to finishing the match with the "knife round", so to speak. The main reason I proposed something so hasty and anticlimactic is because I was thinking of this mode incorporated into matchmaking in mind rather than for league play. Matchmaking systems tend to want their matches to have a finite amount of time while a professional CS:GO match can overtime infinitely theoretically and has gone to a whopping 88 rounds before. Ultimately, I do agree with you; a stalemate to settle a draw is not ideal or fun from a spectator's perspective.
There are other competitive games that have a theoretical infinite time limit, but ideally and often in practice a lot of factors make it so that the match becomes more volatile and likely to end as the game drags on. Starcraft's maps has finite resources and the limited expansions becoming riskier and riskier to take. Stalemates can sometimes be forced under very specific circumstances and unit compositions, but the design of the game makes this a rarity - usually, one or both players are still able to force plays and either slowly siege and make gradual progress or rapidly base trade. This is all done in an organic manner - there isn't any asteroid or sudden death mechanics that forces the match to move along. Games like Dota make 3-hour long stalemates difficult as the buildings maintain the same durability the entire game while both heroes and creeps get stronger and stronger. This makes it tougher to defend and easier to demolish buildings and thus eventually the ancient as time passes.
I mention all this because I would like to avoid both an "artificially enforced" tiebreaker and also a theoretically infinitely long game as well (repeating myself: CSGO has had an 88 round overtime in a pro game - this was one match taking nearly 3 hours out of what could be a Bo# set!).
I've thought deeply about the subject for a few more days and thought of some significant rule changes and even game mechanic changes to accommodate a 6v6 competitive mode with those principles mentioned beforehand in mind.
I will be updating the main post in accordance to these new rules.
The idea of a competitive version of frontline is rather old. Wether they did anything with the idea I’m not sure. There were map files for a small 3v3 map but nothing that I could gather. Chances are the competitive mode will come out before competitive frontline unless they plan to package it all in one which would be cool but highly unlikely. 1v1 competitive will come out first. Even the competitive mode dosen’t have a set date for the near future.
Ranked 1v1 and 3v3 are coming out first, no question. Much easier to design and implement.
No one has been able to brainstorm a remotely satisfying sounding competitive gamemode that wasn't LTS for the entirety of alpha. For some reason, the devs kept us in the dark about how Frontline worked until 2 weeks before release.
Competitive Frontline will never work. An adjusted competitive TO attack and defend however...
Abridged 6v6 Comp TO
First post in this topic is the really in-depth version.
Symmetric map: Both teams progress through same levels and objectives as attackers and defenders. Goes to sudden death if both teams finish finales in the same n'th phase. Probably will be the competitive standard due to symmetry.
Asymmetric map: Iron Company and Free Guard have unique objectives and levels to progress through. First team to finish their finale wins. Beginning skirmish determines who gets to attack first as an advantage.
Prep Phase: (TF2/Rainbow 6 setup time) 20 second ceasefire at the start of new phase to set up defenses and change loadouts.
Attack/Defend phase now starts.
Only attackers have tickets. TO progress adds tickets for attackers, e.g. 10 tickets per peasant killed. Standing on cart halts ticket drain.
Summary of Individual Defender Lives
Phase 1: Infinite lives
Phase 4: 3 per phase
Phase 7: 2 per phase
Phase 13: 1 per phase
Phase 16: Attackers now 3 lives
Completing checkpoint objective (e.g. finishing cart pushing, killing all peasants) adds 120 tickets for attackers, resets lives of both teams to the starting amount.
When tickets or attackers' lives run out, the game enters a 7s Slaughter Phase where any alive attackers enter cowardice emote and can be killed and teabagged. Teams now swap roles.
Respawn F1 prompts occur anytime a checkpoint objective is taken or when teams swap sides, so you don't have to run 1,000 miles if you spawned in the wrong place.
Sudden Death: Re-do of map, but attackers and defenders only have 1 life each. Win condition changes to who has progressed more in their Sudden Death attack phase rather than finishing finale while the other team fails to do so by the same n'th phase. If teams have tied again (very unlikely and rare to tie on progress %), keep repeating.
Mechanic Changes for this gamemode
Read the first post if you would like to see the rationale behind these mechanics.
Example of Match Progression:
Phase 1 - Team 1 attacks, Team 2 defends. Team 2 has infinite spawns.
Team 2 holds by killing all members of Team 1 twice, Team 1 pushed to 30% completion.
Team 2 attacks, Team 1 defends.
Team 1 holds by counting down the clock with Team 2 running out of tickets, Team 2 pushed to 40% completion. Proceed onto Phase 2.
Phase 2 - Team 1 attacks starting from 30%, and Team 2 attacks starting from 40%.
Phase 4 - Team 1 attacks beginning from where they left off at Phase 3, Team 2 defends. Team 2 has three spawns instead of infinite.
Team 2 holds by tickets.
Team 2 attacks beginning from where they left off at Phase 3, Team 1 defends.
Team 2 manages to kill all Team 1 members three times. They are now uncontested. Team 2 completes the major checkpoint objective.
120 tickets rewarded to Team 2 and lives are reset. Team 1 has 3 spawns per player, Team 2 has 2.
Team 1 holds by eliminating Team 2 lives. Proceed onto Phase 5.
Phase 13 - Symmetric Map
Team 1 attacks, finishes the map. Team 2 attacks, does not finish. Team 1 wins.
Team 1 attacks, finishes the map. Team 2 attacks, finishes the map. Enter Sudden Death.
Sudden Death Phase 1 - Team 1 attacks, Team 2 defends. Both teams have 1 spawn.
Team 1 eliminates Team 2, completes checkpoint objective. All slain Team 1 members respawn, Team 2 respawns.
Team 2 eliminates Team 1, Team 1 pushed the 2nd objective cart 80%.
Team 2 ninja's the checkpoint objective into completion. Both teams' slain players can respawn, currently living players can relocate respawn.
Team 1 eliminates Team 2, Team 2 pushed the 2nd objective cart 60%.
Team 1 wins by comparison.
Phase 13 - Asymmetric Map
Team 1 attacks, finishes the map. Team 1 wins, Team 2 does not get an attempt to attack in this phase. Should've won the initial skirmish to attack first.
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