Author Topic: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities  (Read 1179 times)

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« on: July 02, 2018, 07:32:54 pm »
I'm currently designing a theoretical community game mode using PvE Practice 2v2 as the base line.

Here's what I'm thinking for now: ban Component Disruption and Superbuff from Engies, Cataclysm Rounds and Gigaton Blast from Gunner, maybe leave all the pilot options, since none of them SEEM OP from a glance. Only 1 of each Special Ability (no having multiple Choppies!) can be chosen for your ship, though each player can have a different ability. You cannot use the ability more than once per life (and obviously the cooldowns still apply anyway).

Other than the bans and limitations on Special Abilities, it's basically just 2v2 with the Special Abilities, weapons, and ships from Alliance.

To start this game mode, you simply have to get players into a PvE Practice match set for 2v2.

But, because I'd love to see this actually be a real thing, if any of you active community members who know how to organize this stuff wish to help spread this around and work it into the game in a more active manner (scheduling matches/tourneys/streams/what have you), feel free to step up, as I have no idea what I'd need to do to really make this a community event type of thing.

Offline Rareform K. Rozhkov

  • Member
  • Salutes: 84
    • [SkBo]
    • 43 
    • 45
    • 24 
    • View Profile
    • Skyborne Site
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 08:17:12 pm »
if you havn't already, throw this idea around in the Guns official discord: https://discord.gg/gunsoficarus

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 08:17:49 pm »
Been throwing it around there.

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 01:47:29 am »
So, per a suggestion, ignore the mention of banned abilities. Everything will be allowed at first. If something truly is proven to be a problem with no way for players to counter-play it, then it will be banned at that point.

Offline Nerdhector

  • Community Ambassador
  • Salutes: 2
    • [Nörd]
    • 26 
    • 45
    • 33 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 07:34:17 pm »
A small form to gather some information on when we could start testing this mode:
https://goo.gl/forms/RUAK1BIfjElXg6Q93

Offline Urz

  • Member
  • Salutes: 75
    • [MM]
    • 45 
    • 45
    • 45 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2018, 01:02:13 am »
The balance of this game is already tenuous. Full ship disables and low time-to-kill setups are common. Any ability which increases damage output beyond what it currently is will lead to a degenerate game state where either:

A) Offensive abilities are the strongest. Ships run multiple gunners and pop all their damage abilities in the first volley to get the fastest possible kill.
B) Defensive abilities are better than offensive abilities (either because of numbers or duration). Ships utilize engineer abilities to make themselves unable to be killed, creating a boring period at the start of every fight where nobody can do real damage.

Powerful, single-use (or long cooldown) abilities create perverse gameplay incentives in an environment designed to be slow and tactical. Every single fight will revolve around ships poking at each other to try and bait out the opposing "ultimates", only for them to immediately disengage, hiding, as the ability timer fades away.

Bringing Alliance abilities to PvP is not a new or original suggestion (I would go as far as call it "lazy"), but with even a basic understanding of the balance and tempo of a Guns of Icarus match you would realize it's a bad idea.

(Not that I'm opposed to testing bad ideas if it requires minimal development work.)

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 05:46:55 am »
The balance of this game is already tenuous. Full ship disables and low time-to-kill setups are common. Any ability which increases damage output beyond what it currently is will lead to a degenerate game state where either:

A) Offensive abilities are the strongest. Ships run multiple gunners and pop all their damage abilities in the first volley to get the fastest possible kill.
B) Defensive abilities are better than offensive abilities (either because of numbers or duration). Ships utilize engineer abilities to make themselves unable to be killed, creating a boring period at the start of every fight where nobody can do real damage.

Powerful, single-use (or long cooldown) abilities create perverse gameplay incentives in an environment designed to be slow and tactical. Every single fight will revolve around ships poking at each other to try and bait out the opposing "ultimates", only for them to immediately disengage, hiding, as the ability timer fades away.

Bringing Alliance abilities to PvP is not a new or original suggestion (I would go as far as call it "lazy"), but with even a basic understanding of the balance and tempo of a Guns of Icarus match you would realize it's a bad idea.

(Not that I'm opposed to testing bad ideas if it requires minimal development work.)

it requires no dev work, as we can do this now. People who just blow all their ults, or save all their ults overly, will not find this game mode I'm suggesting fun at all. Cooldowns don't matter until you die, so running to wait for the cooldown is not a valid tactic.  I DO have a basic understanding of the balance and tempo of a match, and with that understanding, I disagree with the entirety of your statement.

Offline Urz

  • Member
  • Salutes: 75
    • [MM]
    • 45 
    • 45
    • 45 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 10:29:39 am »
Cooldowns don't matter until you die, so running to wait for the cooldown is not a valid tactic.

In the hypothetical strategy I suggested: you would be waiting out the duration of the abilities, not the cooldown. If your opponent uses any abilities, but is unable to follow up and actually kill you, your opponent is then at the disadvantage of having less abilities available to them in subsequent fights.

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2018, 12:31:42 pm »
Cooldowns don't matter until you die, so running to wait for the cooldown is not a valid tactic.

In the hypothetical strategy I suggested: you would be waiting out the duration of the abilities, not the cooldown. If your opponent uses any abilities, but is unable to follow up and actually kill you, your opponent is then at the disadvantage of having less abilities available to them in subsequent fights.

In that situation, then the team that used their ability timed it poorly and was outplayed. You shouldn't be using the abilities if you aren't confident that you can capitalize on it.

Offline Urz

  • Member
  • Salutes: 75
    • [MM]
    • 45 
    • 45
    • 45 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2018, 02:41:54 pm »
In the hypothetical strategy I suggested: you would be waiting out the duration of the abilities, not the cooldown. If your opponent uses any abilities, but is unable to follow up and actually kill you, your opponent is then at the disadvantage of having less abilities available to them in subsequent fights.

In that situation, then the team that used their ability timed it poorly and was outplayed. You shouldn't be using the abilities if you aren't confident that you can capitalize on it.

Again, an environment where you gain a large advantage by baiting out abilities with non-committal charges will incentivize endless disengagement. You say "they were outplayed", but if you know that your opponent is playing to bait you, when will you ever be sure that you can get the kill (especially with defensive abilities that will not increase your damage output). A decent pilot in a fast ship can escape from most fights. Are you only going to play Stormbreaker, Shrike, and Goldfish, to improve your ability to chase?

This will create a one-strategy metagame revolving around a specific band of ships effective at executing that strategy (fast ships).

Offline Milevan Faent

  • Member
  • Salutes: 15
    • [Cake]
    • 8
    • 31 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2018, 09:43:42 pm »
In the hypothetical strategy I suggested: you would be waiting out the duration of the abilities, not the cooldown. If your opponent uses any abilities, but is unable to follow up and actually kill you, your opponent is then at the disadvantage of having less abilities available to them in subsequent fights.

In that situation, then the team that used their ability timed it poorly and was outplayed. You shouldn't be using the abilities if you aren't confident that you can capitalize on it.

Again, an environment where you gain a large advantage by baiting out abilities with non-committal charges will incentivize endless disengagement. You say "they were outplayed", but if you know that your opponent is playing to bait you, when will you ever be sure that you can get the kill (especially with defensive abilities that will not increase your damage output). A decent pilot in a fast ship can escape from most fights. Are you only going to play Stormbreaker, Shrike, and Goldfish, to improve your ability to chase?

This will create a one-strategy metagame revolving around a specific band of ships effective at executing that strategy (fast ships).

... Isn't that what happens already? Different strategies obviously, but as far as I know, ANY competitive game will have X builds at high competitive. There WILL be builds/ships that are 100% ignored because they're useless in the meta. I don't play the high competitive stuff, but if they really see more than half the ships actively flown in most competitive matches (mind I'm saying most, because there is always the odd-balls that take something not full-meta but are good enough to make it effective), I'd be shocked. That being said, I really don't expect this to be what will happen, since I don't expect the high competitive people to be the ones playing this the most.

Offline Urz

  • Member
  • Salutes: 75
    • [MM]
    • 45 
    • 45
    • 45 
    • View Profile
Re: PvP 2v2 with Special Abilities
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2018, 01:02:23 am »
... Isn't that what happens already? Different strategies obviously, but as far as I know, ANY competitive game will have X builds at high competitive. There WILL be builds/ships that are 100% ignored because they're useless in the meta. I don't play the high competitive stuff, but if they really see more than half the ships actively flown in most competitive matches (mind I'm saying most, because there is always the odd-balls that take something not full-meta but are good enough to make it effective), I'd be shocked.

You're correct in that there is always an outside bound (X) of how many different builds or strategies can be competitively viable at any given point. The idea, though, is to try and make X a higher number rather than a lower one. Diversity in play is a key indicator of a healthy competitive metagame.

One can look at past game modes that have negatively impacted play diversity as examples:

Skyball was a mode where speed is the only thing that matters. As a result, playing anything other than the fastest ship in the game (Squid at the time) was simply a disadvantage. Perhaps the most disliked game mode of all time. It was eventually broken in an update and removed.

Resource Race heavily emphasized map mobility, requiring teams to move around the map very quickly to obtain points. While not quite as stifling to ship selection as Skyball, you were limited to ships with strong long-distance charging speed and forward facing weapons (mainly Pyramidion and Goldfish, or Squid for non-combat strategy). Resource Race was also heavily disliked and eventually removed from the game.

(Crazy King is similar to Resource Race, but one step farther away from Skyball on the "bad scale".)

King of the Hill approaches the level of "modes that can be fun to play", but the forced close-range nature excludes otherwise viable builds due to every team composition requiring the capability to both contest and defend a single area of the map.


Stock deathmatch has always been the most balanced mode in the game. Pre-Alliance you had four to five viable ships at the competitive level (2014 tier list, 2016 tier list) out of the original seven. Even now, in probably the worst state of strategic diversity of the last three years (a result of bringing over the poorly balanced Alliance ships to PvP) we still have roughly six competitively viable ships out of the available twelve.

Anyways, this is my (arguably solicited) analysis on how the mechanics of different game modes impact the diversity of viable ships.

As you've said: this "mode" can already be set up in the game client. So as a one-off event or perhaps part of the "Chaos Skirmish" rotation, it would probably be fine for the more casual audience who simply wants to experience new mechanics in a non-competitive environment.

We've had a lot of bad modes added to the game over the years. When I see posts for mode suggestions I can get overly vigilant.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 01:04:24 am by Urz »