Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

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ogo
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Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by ogo »

Here is an excellent article that looks at the history of Ladle

Golden, Gilded, Silver, Still…

Here is the point of this thread - is this our Ladle/Fortress obituary, or the slump before Ladle really took off again?

A lot of talk is going around about how Fort is dying. There's also been discussion of its flaws, and the next logical step is: how do we address these flaws and improve the game? I'd like to start that discussion here so that we can set Ladle and Fortress back on the right path, focusing primarily on changes to the Fortress settings as opposed to other related factors

I'd like to kick the discussion off by looking at the four changes to the settings that blondie suggests in the article:

Remove holes: This would be the most significant change, and would hopefully send us back to the simpler times that existed before holing became the dominant strategy. Cutting, an almost lost art, would come back to the fore
Make tails shorter: This would remove some of the impact centering has without removing it completely from the game. It would also make tunneling easier and consequently cutting as well. It would make defending harder with the current zone sizes, which may or may not be a good thing
Add rim accel: Adds to cut and kill potential, offers another dynamic aspect to the Fortress experience. Is it necessary? Might be a fun addition
Remove kill points: Probably the least popular of the suggestions, but an important one. So much of current Fortress strategy boils down just outsurviving the enemy. This is partly tied to having a player advantage in order to hole - something we're considering removing here - but is also a product of a reluctance to try risky moves due to the fear of giving away points. Removing or at least reducing kill points will help remove an overly passive team mentality

Let's share ideas and see the fruits of this discussion materialise in the shape of a revamped Fortress

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Gonzap »

why not instead of removing the holes, make it so if you use a hole you getpunished with let's say -4(-6?) points? That way holing is still a possibility but it costs more than just one player.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by _Slick »

Gonzap wrote:why not instead of removing the holes, make it so if you use a hole you getpunished with let's say -4(-6?) points? That way holing is still a possibility but it costs more than just one player.
I like this ^

And @ ur last point Ogo, how about make kills worth 1 point instead?

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by sinewav »

I believe the NPH would ignore any changes to the hole score, so this would only cause this tactic to be used more.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Gonzap »

no it wouldn't, because you're punishing passing through the hole not the death

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by sinewav »

Gonzap wrote:no it wouldn't, because you're punishing passing through the hole not the death
But how does Arma determine the hole point? Someone should take a quick look at the code and find out. If a simple trick like the NPH can evade Arma's detection the change won't be worth anything.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Word »

A radical way to get new fort players would be to create an armagetron fork that throws the player in a particular fortress server virtually from the start (well, you can still add the tutorials and all that, I'm not thinking about the details here), and ignores/is much more accessible than all other server types. You'd just have to advertise it as something new and somehow keep it up-to-date. Isn't that something 2020 already suggested? You could make similar clients for CTF and LMS servers - and Armagetron itself keeps functioning as a "Bundle" for these apps. Yes, just like Microsoft Office.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by vov »

Maybe have a spin-off of classic fort that's perhaps a bit smaller, like 4v4? The changes from the OP, added with slightly smaller zone (so that a def with short tails can still somewhat box it, not too small though), a smaller and less wide map to give more focus on the objective (400x300? right now it's 500x500), and maybe a win zone for "i want to waste time" defenses when it's 3v1 or 2v1 without holes (so someone takes a risk; maybe even as 0 point win zone, growing quickly, to just end a stalemate?).

Edit: got a config for this up, go nuts.:

Code: Select all

rinclude games/smallfort_v1(http://www.trontimes.com/repository/files/games/smallfort_v1.cfg)
note to self: patch collapse bug and slap Path

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by kyle »

It's not just Fortress, its the game.

Before I begin on some things that I see that should be worked on, let me start with something I've been trying in the last 2 months, that I feel has helped. Inside of CT I organized CTWF Thursdays where at 19 GMT, we would all go and just play CTWF for fun. we only got 6 or so CTers, however It was enough to get other players to come in and have at least 1 match full of players. Inadvertently it's helped get more players interested in that game mode, making CTWF USA also more popular than it had been.

Organized open play
I feel there are enough players to openly participate in some sort of organized open play, If I could start CTWF nights with just CTers, I'm sure the community can back some other nights/times with other game modes. But we cannot be competing with other things (AKA pickup) or other organized open play, at least not at first.

The main site.
We really need to redo this. It does not really give anyone a scene of what armagetron is. I was actually in a job interview telling a potential employer about some of the work I've done to this game. To my embarrassment he pulled up the main site on his computer and started watching the April fools video that is there currently. We need a team that skilled and devoted to creating a new main site. not just Programmers, but designers too. Seriously just about anything can be better that what we have right now.

The innovation.
Right now the game seams to be lacking of people willing to develop and improve the game. Back in the early years of ladle there were a bunch of developers that had time, now all of us that had time are pretty busy and with the slump of players, no one has come to step up with time to improve the game. Also there is the problem that 0.2.* cannot really be developed any further, I think it's locked to only 1 more release?

0.4 not embraced
Yes there are probably some problems with 0.4, but if 0.2.* was killed off, how many people would switch to 0.4? My guess is not very many, this would in effect kill the game, which is very problematic as a developer. We've become way too picky in the quality of the server also. We used to play CTWF, specifically 6 on 6 in a 32 axes chico arena, where not many would complain. but people have become soo competitive that cannot afford to play with something slightly laggy. But this brings trouble to development as mentioned above. But also just for me, I want 0.4 to takeoff so I can use some new stuff that is in there. Zones V2 can allow for fortress to be holes around the zone, but still have holes in the center.

Conclusion
Anyway something should be done to help with the player base. I suggest the first 2 points for now and hopefully the rest will follow. So grab a few buddy and squat on a time and day just to relax and play in your favorite (non-auth forced) server. and remember to help train the new players.
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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Gonzap »

so you are suggesting a "thursday CTWF" but for everyone. For example, wednesday's fortress starting at 18 gmt. Everyone is welcome, the set server could be kyle's megafort.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by kyle »

Gonzap wrote:so you are suggesting a "thursday CTWF" but for everyone. For example, wednesday's fortress starting at 18 gmt. Everyone is welcome, the set server could be kyle's megafort.
yes, and CTWF Thursday is not limited to just Cters It's just something i started internally in CT in hopes of picking up enough players to get the server started, I did not have to move it here for it to work :), And CTWF Thursdays will probably be 18 GMT once time changes.

But also I am hoping that we can find a group that is willing to recreate the main site.
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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Magi »

I like the idea of setting specific dates for community get-togethers so we can populate public servers that everyone is allowed to play in and get some good, fun games going and help the activity of the game. Hopefully doing that for a couple weeks or months could get more people to play publicly more often instead of limiting ourselves to pickup. I really don't think we need a "competitive" fortress mode like pickup. Most of our current fortress players know how to play and know the tactics so trying to make yourself better at fort by playing pickup doesn't seem like you would gain any more from it than playing public fort. I don't think we should keep pickup around.

We had a shortage of players this past tournament for the SBT but honestly, I still think that has to do with how many tournaments there have been in the past month. Shovel, ladles, sbt, wst, ect... kinda kills the fun and competitiveness when every weekend there's a tournament. "Oh well, there'll be another tournament in a week so I don't really care to sign up for this one." But you look at all those sumo tournaments and TST is the only pickup mode for sumo and it doesn't get played all that much, nowhere near as much as public sumo bar does. There's a lot of newer players in sumo all the time, because it's an easier game mode to grasp and public so no one is getting mad at someone for doing bad. So I think we all need to play more public fort, and cool it back a bit, take it easy and have a relaxing and enjoyable time so the game mode will look appealing for newer players and they'll want to actually play fort again.
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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by blondie »

kyle is on the right track by taking the larger view.

we can't grow the fort/sumo community by staying inside it.

How do we make a track from game download to fort server?
How do we keep new players playing online and how do we get them to join the community?
Start at the beginning, not at the end. If all we get out of this is a 10 page thread about new fort settings, we will have failed.

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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by Soul »

blondie wrote:kyle is on the right track by taking the larger view.
we can't grow the fort/sumo community by staying inside it.
If all we get out of this is a 10 page thread about new fort settings, we will have failed.
This.

I haven't been as active as I have been in the past, but seeing the way the community is now is kinda sad. Pickup needs to end and anyone who still plays should always be playing in public fort/sumo.

Unless you can somehow setup an internal "pickup" that you can access in game, it's too much of a deterrent for newer players.

Messing with the settings isn't going to help anything. The declining amount of players isn't because of how many points a hole is worth.
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Re: Ladle & Fortress (RIP?)

Post by compguygene »

I think that we shouldn't minimize the importance of kyle's point #3, embracing .4. Almost 2 years ago, Z-man identified the clear disconnect between downloads and players that make it online. To remedy that, he created tutorials that help facilitate the process of learning to play the game, including a tutorial on grinding! Also, as Kyle pointed out, there are a lot of possibilities with ZonesV2 that could really improve fortress/sumo.
The question I have for Kyle and any other devs watching this discussion: besides the need to finish integrating sty+ct into the .4 code base, what else needs to be done to transition fully to .4 and still keep .2.8.x users happy, even if they are forced to switch? Will .2.8.x users want the old glancing integrated as an option? Do they need a more familiar looking cockpit?
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