Proposals to change Ladle settings discussion - state of play

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Shock
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Proposals to change Ladle settings discussion - state of play

Post by Shock »

The main purpose of this thread is to continue and record discussion of potential fortress settings changes. The following proposed changes came about through discussions on the main Discord channel, and I am limiting attention to settings as opposed to match/tournament formatting (Bo1, Bo2, swiss, etc). This post as well as its sister post (Proposals to change Ladle settings discussion - length of matches) will be organized into two main topics: settings changes to affect the length of matches, and settings changes to affect the meta of play. This post summarizes discussion regarding settings changes to influence the way the game is played e.g. tail length etc.

Note that due to recency bias I will likely be forgetting many ideas posted weeks ago. Another caveat is that I am a human and will be representing this discussion from my point of view - so in some places I may not be adequately characterizing other community members' perspectives. Please follow up this post with any thoughts that I did not capture.

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Changes to the meta state of the game have also been brought up. The main reason behind these discussions is the somewhat stale nature of rounds, both in pickup and in ladle itself. Syllabear stated it as "I think there has been a growing consensus that the late-middle and late phases of fortress rounds can become very cagey and thus prolonged, notably when there are fewer players still alive. When you then also associate long rounds with crashes there are multiple reasons people would want to ensure shorter rounds." Here are some of the most discussed options that would impact the state of play:
  1. Shorter tails
  2. Larger zone
  3. Expanding zone
Kronkleberry and I have been championing the campaign to make tails shorter. I will transcribe KB's post(s) on Discord here:
name wrote: shorter tails has my vote. I think a larger/increasing zone size would have some similar effects and might be a more favorable to experienced players, but shorter tails has better widespread implications, especially when trying to mitigate the problem of long rounds. it would make fortress a more offensive game in general.
- the initial stand-off between wingers will be more variable. wingers will be more likely to turn back towards the split resulting in both teams getting a faster attack on zone.
- since the oncoming attack will be faster, defenses will spend less time on the bottle and have to wrap around the zone more quickly. this will create looser bottles and more cut-able straightaways on a def. giving the opposing team ~attackers advantage~ and probably in turn making def a lot less boring.
- sweepers' job will be a lot harder in that if you successfully set up a sweep bracket around your def (sealing center and both rims), even the best sweepers will only be able to hold this for a few rotations. this will be great because a good sweep tandem can hold this for like 20 rotations and that shit is Zzzzzzz...
- centering will be more effective. there will be looser bottles and more follow up from your attackers. more in-zone sumo play --> more fun/quicker rounds.
- sumo def becomes more viable, (and possibly other strategies) making high level fortress more variable and less monotonous.
- there will be more space in general and less emphasis on initial speed on the grind, giving more possibilities for grinds/strategy to arise.
-since centering and cutting will be slightly easier, and sweeping harder, this will cut down on holing. easily everyone's least favorite way to lose. hence making fortress less of a numbers game and more of a skill difference game.
-shrinking would actually be a viable attack too, and much less boring

the default now is 400. I think we should test a few pickups at 375 or 350 just to see how different it is. this would make fortress more of a "we need to get into their zone before they get into ours" game rather than a "ok just dont die" game. which is kind of the driving principle of why some rounds take way too long
Opponents to shorter tails will point out that when very few players are alive it becomes harder for anyone to die, and thus rounds might stall out even more. Raph points out that short tails means attackers would generate less self-propelled speed, and thus cutting might actually be more difficult. Nanu also pointed to a potential resurgence in sweepbox due to the difficulty a single defender would have in protecting the zone. Sine.wav argues that short tails is, at its core, anti-tron. Stated differently, avoiding walls is the major premise of this whole game.

The only thing I'd like to contribute here is to say that the most relevant metric is the ratio of tail length to zone size. Current zone size is 40, meaning to completely surround your zone you only need a tail length of 320. So as the settings currently stand there's a 1.25 ratio of what you have to what you need in order to defend. The proposal is to try a ratio of ~1.12.


Great counterpoints have been made, and they largely fall under support for the alternative solution #2 - larger zone. Desolate can expand on this argument, but the major point seems to be that it achieves the same goal as shorter tails but without making tails shorter. Harder for a defender to defend alone, because effectively what is changing is the ratio of what you have to what you need as a defender. A natural question to investigate would be how different is the experience of KB's proposed settings change of shorter tails to Desolate's (and others) proposal to increase zone size, holding FIXED the ratio at ~1.12 (or at 1.25, the current setting)?

Proposal #3 is a hybrid response to the two topics of this post. An expanding zone will eventually result in a conquer, while also potentially shifting the meta in an interesting direction. That being said, it has probably generated the least amount of discussion so far.

This upcoming weekend, February 20 and February 21 at 17:00 GMT, will be host to a set of experimental matches to test out some of these proposed changes. Further specifics are pending, but I hope many of you can get online for that event!

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