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Messages - Basis

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Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: January 10, 2016, 12:43:39 am »
Hey everyone, Sheep Tag Rivals is a finalist in blizzard's arcade contest, we would definitely appreciate your support if you don't mind voting (for us ;)).

Link is here: http://us.battle.net/arcade/en/blog/20003896/top-ten-revealed-play-vote-win-1-8-2016
I've heard it doesn't work in Chrome but works in Firefox.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: January 01, 2016, 02:11:41 am »
by the worst part is not being able to build on top of a previous build order to correct a misbuild.

This is a good catch, thanks. I'll play around and see if this is fixable for the next update.

This has now been fixed with the most recent patch.

  • When wolves cast Mirror pathing detection is applied and the wolf + mirror image are jumped to the nearest pathable location after the offset is applied.
  • Wolf range has also been increased a little so it's possible for them to hit a diagonal farm.
  • Hard farm has been added (considering switching it with Frost Farm in the command card tech tree)
  • If you tried Sapper in the patch before it has been removed and a new ability "Landmine" has been added in its place.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 19, 2015, 09:21:33 pm »
Jumping isn't perfect
If you're interested, I've investigated most ST mechanics along with Drew to figure out exactly how things work, such as complex mirroring behaviors, jumping, missing, etc. Obviously the map doesn't have to be the exact same, though.

Sure, if only for the quantification of how different it is from wc3. Mechanics aren't necessarily going to be the same but they still need to have a similar depth in skill and yet can't be so close it's frustrating when it doesn't meet expectations.

For example, the new wolf attack system that Necromoni worked on. I'm sure it's different from wc3 but there are situations the wolf misses that I don't understand completely yet. Wolf movement acceleration is fairly high but the wolf seems to consistently miss a sheep if the wolf isn't moving and their facing angles are fairly close.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 18, 2015, 09:39:15 am »
The game has been patched as a first step to improve handling for both wolves and sheep as well as some changes to all the sight abilities. Jumping isn't perfect and I was trying to get diagonal movement to work but it wasn't working correctly so it's been omitted for now. The stack farm can also now be built on wolves.

Other things are in the works as mentioned above but I haven't had the time, the next couple steps will be dynamically changing the hits required to kill totems and adding that kamikaze ability I mentioned for wolves.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 17, 2015, 07:49:19 pm »
I played semi-competitively on US-West, but mainly only with the goal to stomp the pub stompers. Been playing sheep tag itself since ROC (?). I got out of the scene probably around 2006-7 when I started getting kicked for being decent and outside the immediate clans and I started modding in the editor around then. Still played it on and off but never really competitively. Bulldog was after my time but I went back and checked it out when I heard about it.

I didn't remember the miss system because it's been almost a decade and playing the map by myself for research doesn't really do it justice :P. Never wanted to make a replica, wanted to fix the issues I saw with the design of the classic game while also making it more inviting for newer players, but mechanics are still important. When they're carried over, improved upon, or replaced with a better system they need to be consistent or it's frustrating.

The (unpatched) current wolf attack was an attempt to replicate the weird stuttering wolves get in wc3 sheep tag when they're following right behind a sheep but can't quite get on top of it.The current system isn't random but it's frustrating and that's reason enough to change it.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 17, 2015, 10:00:57 am »
Maybe instead of forcing a swap, you could disable joining the sheep/wolf team if they had more than X players, so the last few people to select a team might not be able to choose sheep, or at least have some sort of cancel command for the first 10-15 seconds... spending an entire round with only one wolf is pretty miserable.
It does already do this with the caveat that the leaver occurred before the team pick started, not ideal I know but more complete solutions are messy. The nice thing about the bots is you can control them: clicking a bot gives you complete control, although them remembering your commands after you click away is something I still need to work on.

Could you elaborate? By removing the pen you've taken away a lot of fundamental strategies and goals. You've also made defending dead sheep impossible for wolves.
Yes and no, some of them have just been repurposed. Balance aside, I don't see an unmanageable problem with the design of the system but time will tell. This is a huge topic but perhaps at the crux of it wolves were disproportionately rewarded for preventing both themselves and the spirits they're guarding from playing (the fun parts of) the game.

As far as other suggestions, I have some below. Please don't take these as criticisms. They are merely suggestions. I am not trying to say that you've done a poor job. I think the work you've done is far better than what I could have accomplished. I just am providing my thoughts, and if you think any of them could help, great. If not, that's fine too.
The only reason I'd consider them criticisms is if I believe the game is in perfect balance, which it has never been. You guys found it pretty early in the balancing process (the map is only a couple months old) so things are still being felt out. Likewise please don't take my responses as ultimatums (unless I explicitly say it's not changing), I can be reasoned with and dissent is typically for fostering discussion. My co-creator and I also run things by each other so we're on the same page and the resulting discussion can also change the opinions of either of us.

Regarding your suggestions:
  • Good idea, not sure if links in that section are clickable though, I'll try it out
  • Was planning to do this when we move off the [Beta] version, no point in doing it on a temporary map
  • But they do stack :)
  • I need to think about this more
    • This sort of plays into the below unless you're talking about outside of the ability system, which is likely not to happen
    • I could see an ability that is cast on Totems that has some sort of camping behavior whether it's a minion or something else. There's another map control ability I'm going to look into first: a stationary minion until a sheep nears it and then it kamikazes towards the sheep (explodes when it comes into radius of a farm or a sheep, providing counter play). This ability worked out very well in the previous sheep tag I made.
    • Yes, but their mana cost will likely increase. Will require tuning.
    • The totems can be attacked to save sheep because we noticed a significant number of new players try to attack it to save and then typically got confused when they couldn't target it. I've toyed with the idea of adding a hit number to the totem itself (proportional to the number of spirits) and I agree that currently mass-saving is too easy. I personally don't like spirits being two-hits to save but that change is not out of the picture down the road.
    • This might work
    • This breaks (sheep) map control. It becomes more plausible if it requires sight (which buffs far sight) or if it's a one-way ticket to a totem or ally.
  • Far sight is better than you make it out to be: instant awareness anywhere on the map you choose. The area is so large that you can use it to zone out sheep trying to position themselves around the map, check the locations of saving farms for quick cutting to them, and is a catch-all for sheep that are trying to be sneaky. But yes, what levels abilities are on and their power in relation to each other is not very balanced.
  • You actually only get 1/4 of a gold for killing a tiny farm (1 gold every 4 tiny farm kills).
    The sheep kill bounty is an interesting situation: there actually was supposed to be a bounty when you kill the sheep that summed the bounties of the farms that died because you killed that sheep, there just isn't a base bounty to start with like xp has (30 + sum). I did some digging and unfortunately this sum is not being calculated and therefore each sheep kill didn't have a gold bounty ever. The idea is if you kill a sheep that doesn't own any farms of value, the bounty should be small if anything. And we want gameplay to *require* farms of value if the sheep hope to win. Basic farms should be replaced by massing upgraded farms and so on as the wolves scale in power; you have to feed the beast if you hope to have a chance.
    I'm going to fix the bug first and see where it leaves it before making any other change. The bounty based on the number of sheep surviving is interesting but would likely still make situtations where a rapid succession of kills due to an attempted save puts them too far ahead. You also can't look at gold in isolation from xp as both are resources. Wolves do have that base xp bounty from sheep kills so they're guaranteed a baseline of experience that will help them level up for more abilities, they just aren't currently getting both that *and* guaranteed gold for better items. It's also worth noting that the more spirits that are dead the higher the (gold and xp) income is for wolves.
  • I don't personally like this kind of balancing, giving arbitrary rewards for not having an ally. Other things can be done here that I'd rather explore first but I haven't had the time: funneling their income & bounties to the remaining players, better bots, better managing of bots, etc

About the shade, sure its easy to avoid if you can run infinitely in one direction, or have a large mass already, but using something like that in on an isolated sheep, or a sheep in a corner, or god forbid, using two of them at once, pretty much assures a kill.
It depends, it just forces you to skip a farm ever other placement or two. You can still mass around you just can't do it on every step or it will catch up. Two shades tend to stack up on top of each other and follow the same path, and you can also use tiny farms to reroute the shade's path.

I'm not going to get into a discussion of what removing the pen accomplished (as I don't know), but I'd like to ask how decentralizing the spirit locations fixed that issue. If the pen was an issue, is decentralizing the answer? What about not being able to save sheep at all? What if spirits could not be saved, but instead can move around and locate wolves, or generate money for allies, or slowly repair hurt farms, etc.
Regarding removing saving, I know you were just spitballing but I don't think this would be the way to go. Saving forces the sheep to interact with the wolves which provides interesting gameplay. Bulldog succeeds in this because it forces sheep to do the same thing but for a different reason.

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 16, 2015, 09:08:52 am »
Thanks for the feedback. However, you appear to be under the false assumption that the sc2 engine is not malleable: turn rates are just a variable, the location of where the sheep jumps is controlled via trigger, etc. An engine update was already underway with changes to, among other things, how jumping works to make it more predictable & prioritize diagonal jumps where applicable and a rework of how the wolf attack functions. This update should begin to address most of your concerns around attack, jump, movement, and turn mechanics. But regarding your other points:
  • Teams: I had a system like that in place in another sheep tag game I made on sc2 (likely the other one you played), the bottom line is forcing a team switch is even more damaging than putting in a bot, it doesn't feel good as a player to be swapped and the leave rate of those swapped players is very high
  • Saving System: the design of the classic sheep tag pen is fundamentally flawed, we will be moving forward and explore this new design and if it happens that it's unable to balanced around then we will consider other solutions. The problem here is likely more about wolf map control, and the spirits tend to aggregate anyway.
  • Shade chase ability (Creeper): I'd disagree on the current state of this ability's balance, if it becomes a problem then it can be dealt with but it's not a problem at the moment
  • Images: yes, this a known issue
  • Sheep damage: 1 hit kills on your own farms is coming next patch, jury's still out whether that will be allowed on allied farms
  • Destroy hotkey: other people have also asked about this, will consider it
  • Leaderboard: the tabbed leaderboard is staying, but I've thought about adding some sort of score (probably kills/saves) to on-screen team display top left
  • Hills: It's easier to jump using the wide farm in the other sheep tag you played than in Rivals, but it's still possible at some angles. This does bug me as well.
  • Wolf gold/items: items are supposed to be an upgrade system and not an all-you-can-eat buffet, more slots is likely not going to happen but we do plan more (powerful) items to sink gold into. The price of the items has also not been calibrated all that much.
  • Selection: this is an issue with Blizzard's implementation of the wc3 models, a workaround here will be needed although in sheep tag you shouldn't be mass selecting farms all that often... This isn't explicitly called out but you can press spacebar to return to & select your hero. clicking the unit portrait and it not panning to the selected unit is a known issue

Community Discussion / Re: Sheep Tag Rivals on Starcraft II
« on: December 16, 2015, 04:52:44 am »
by the worst part is not being able to build on top of a previous build order to correct a misbuild.

This is a good catch, thanks. I'll play around and see if this is fixable for the next update.

Well, the biggest improvement would be autoing working.

I assume this is auto attacking? The lack of range slop was an intentional effort to get the attack mechanic a little more in line with wc3's but it obviously didn't do the job correctly. We're playing around with a different solution that is more forgiving from different angles & doesn't feel like a bug to the player.

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