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Health/ammo balance
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Barry
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:31 am
   Subject: Health/ammo balance
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This can make or break a map. You want to get the right balance so the map is a challenge for more skilled players yet is still fun for less skilled players. If there is too much health/ammo, skilled players will get bored and if there is too little, less skilled players will get frustrated and stop playing.

So what is your strategy for making sure you have the right balance of health/ammo?

First of all, overdoing health is a lot more detrimental to a map than overdoing ammo. You don't want every map to have huge mines of health (especially in the open) because then the player can just blast carelessly through the map without worrying because they have easy access to all the health they need. Secondly, a different standard should be applied for secrets vs out in the open. Secrets should be a reward for the player and should make the map easier by providing health/ammo, but there should still be enough outside secrets for the player to be able to complete the level with what is there.

I am thinking this for secrets. No more than 150-200% health in all secrets combined and no more than 75% per secret. The exception would be boss levels where I would want to provide a mine of health/ammo to help the player beat the boss. Now out in the open is something I am a little unsure of. I've always used id's maps as a reference point but they are very generous with health/ammo even outside secrets. You also need to account for people who prefer the chaingun vs people who prefer the pistol/machine gun. Chaingun players chew through far more ammo. I have always been a chaingun player myself so I've always had the tendency to overdo ammo, especially for those who play with the machine gun or the pistol.

So what are your thoughts?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:56 am
   Subject: Re: Health/ammo balance
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Personally, I simply do my best to provide the player with enough ammo to have some fun. Some health starvation isn't always bad, in fact it can be a very nice, tense challenge, putting a lot of pressure on the player. Not having enough ammo, on the other hand, just turns the game into a boring stabbingfest where you block the enemy by the doorway and stab, stab, stab. If you seek to provide a decent challenge in terms of ammunition, perhaps a different approach is in order: change the knife to a long range, infinite ammo weapon with a long loading time, make certain types of ammo ineffective on certain enemies, something along these lines.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:11 pm
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For me, the amount of health provided in the map depends on the level of difficulty in general. A map with a lot of small rooms with one or two guards won't require as much health as a large area with lots of enemies to vanquish. As for the ammo provided in the map, that relates to two things - one, how many enemies you can touch when you've killed them, and how much ammo it takes to bring them down.

I usually end up taking away or adding such items as I design the map. There's going to be overcompensation and under-compensation every now and then, especially if you're taking your map a different route than you usually do. So as cynical as it might sound, I think it's most practical to *assume* you will add the wrong amount of something in your maps, and you won't find out what that something is (or where) until you actually play it yourself. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:26 pm
   Subject: Re: Health/ammo balance
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Tricob wrote:
For me, the amount of health provided in the map depends on the level of difficulty in general. A map with a lot of small rooms with one or two guards won't require as much health as a large area with lots of enemies to vanquish. As for the ammo provided in the map, that relates to two things - one, how many enemies you can touch when you've killed them, and how much ammo it takes to bring them down.

I usually end up taking away or adding such items as I design the map. There's going to be overcompensation and under-compensation every now and then, especially if you're taking your map a different route than you usually do. So as cynical as it might sound, I think it's most practical to *assume* you will add the wrong amount of something in your maps, and you won't find out what that something is (or where) until you actually play it yourself. Smile


Good points. Thing is, I've always been a chaingun, blast into a room kind of player that chews through the ammo, and I have made my maps primarily for this play style. That playstyle worked alright on id's levels since they were very generous with ammo/health, but I am working on finding the right balance so that its enjoyable for those who prefer the pistol/machine gun as well and that they aren't walking around with full or nearly full ammo all the time.

In this mod, for the most part I have done health balance pretty well. I still have a few tweaks to do, but so far there is enough health yet not so much that it makes the game trivial.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:52 pm
   Subject: Re: Health/ammo balance
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I tend to have a similar outlook as serpens on this - ammo shouldn't be overflowing, but it shouldn't be a bottleneck to player performance because having no ammo is not fun. Health should be the thing that the player is low on (if anything); I also tend to build my maps around the idea that the player should (almost) always have a way out of a situation that doesn't involve just shooting everything and tanking damage, so that when they have low health the map allows them to use movement and cover to their advantage.
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