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 STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)

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HAXage
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PostSubject: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Tue May 07, 2013 5:29 pm

for those of you unfamiliar with these topics: every now and then, we like to take a good look at the current playability of the stages in SFA and reconsider their statuses. maybe the metagame has changed, we know more now than we did a few years ago, and it turns out some map is actually pretty broken in the right circumstances, and some people think it needs to be looked at - well, that's what we do here.

basically, we discuss stages' high points and low points, and make coherent arguments for why they are a) more or less fair in all scenarios, b) tilted in a few characters' favour, or c) plain unplayable in most conditions. other things we might toss out there would be stage strategy, how they play in general, and anything else pertaining to stage theory.

i'll edit this post as we get through maps and confirm or change their statuses as green, yellow, or red. we're just going to go in order this time and revisit any maps we couldn't decide on once we get to the end of the list



ALREADY DISCUSSED:
- Simp1
- Simp2
- Simp3**
- Simp5
- Katina
- Inner Sargasso
- Fichina (full)*
- Fichina (center-ban)
- Sauria*
- Corneria (full)
- Aparoid City*
- Zoness
- Titania**

* green in 2v2 and FFAs
** yellow in 2v2 and FFAs


Last edited by HAXage on Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:41 pm; edited 27 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Tue May 07, 2013 5:41 pm

so, first one is simp1

i guess nothing much has changed here except if you're playing a Falc main you're probably a lot less likely to roll Pep unless you're Yosh and can pull off that sort of thing. so i guess the only point of order here would be "can slow players still put up a fight here, and if so, is it still even here to warrant this stage being green".
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 2:52 pm

Green, Though fast characters may have a slight advantage, I think there's enough cover just with the four corners of the center building. In order to be able to hit someone hiding in a corner, you need to expose yourself. The other four buildings offer enough cover as no missiles spawn.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 4:22 pm

yeah as it stands, this game [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is probably the best example we have of slow character vs. fast character on Simp1, and although the fast character won, it was an even game right to the end and Yosh's playing here is more or less a template of how to successfully play a slow character here: lots of mid control, push and chase only when you need to, try and shut down the item runs from a distance.

green gets my vote for 2p and 4p as well. with 4 players it's so small character selection barely makes a blind bit of difference.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 5:00 pm

HAXage wrote:
yeah as it stands, this game [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is probably the best example we have of slow character vs. fast character on Simp1, and although the fast character won, it was an even game right to the end and Yosh's playing here is more or less a template of how to successfully play a slow character here: lots of mid control, push and chase only when you need to, try and shut down the item runs from a distance.

green gets my vote for 2p and 4p as well. with 4 players it's so small character selection barely makes a blind bit of difference.
Agreed, but I think Slip or Krstal have an advantage in 4p matches. Not that it makes a difference, just saying
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 5:44 pm

Shall we move on to Simp 2? Although there isn't a big statistical pool of people, we seem to all agree on Simp 1.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 7:12 pm

yeah i seriously doubt anyone would pitch a fit over not being included in the discussion for simp1 Razz

simp2 it is, then... there's a bit more decision involved in this stage, as it does have a restriction on it to make it green. i would quote the whole argument i had with Cac about unrestricted/restricted Simp2, but it got lost with the old forum...

honestly, though, i'm beginning to think the whole item-running deal is highly overrated and that this stage should probably just be green with no restrictions. then again, we haven't tested this stage unrestricted in a while and i bet Cac would do some serious damage against, say, my Peppy if he were actively trying to play a gimp game.

so basically the question here (to simplify, again) is whether item runs on simp2 are a serious enough issue to make this stage stupid to play, and if they are, to what degree.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 8:04 pm

I've always found this stage to be heavily biased towards fast characters. (My sister can beat me on this stage if she has the right character and I have the wrong one, for crying out loud. Razz ) Therefore, I vote yellow in 1v1, and have no vote for 2v2 or FFA, as I've never played this stage those ways before.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 08, 2013 9:56 pm

our experience with simp2 has always been a lot more balanced. usually i link a game with Yosh to demonstrate how Pep can hold up on a stage (since, let's face it, he's probably the hardest character to play and very few people can make him work on fast-character stages) but he doesn't have one on simp2. this vid [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] does exist but i like to pretend it doesn't... nevertheless it is probably the best example of a (more or less) even-skilled game where the fast player loses.

the thing is that this map isn't like Katina or Corneria where everything is so heavily divided - there are lots of clear lines of sight, a few crucial cover spots and/or chokepoints, and enough high ground and weapon spread for a slow player to build a kind of sphere of influence much like on simp1. i mean, yes, the current metagame is very fast and we probably are about 90% more likely to pick Falc on this map regardless of our opponent's pick, but i don't think this says too much about the map; mobility is always a big deal in SFA with the possible exception of CBFich.

i think it's totally viable for slow vs fast when invis is banned. the question i'd rather be asking is "should item runs be banned, and if so, in what circumstances".
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Thu May 09, 2013 4:14 am

I found Simp2 to be a balanced map unrestricted. Now, I only really played Simp2 Falc vs. Krys. However, I use Pep a lot more now and will at some point try using him on Simp2. I don't really find that slow characters have a large disadvantage on "fast character stages." Slip's and Pep's blasters are better than a lot of the weapons fast characters can pick up. I always play Pep on App instead of Falc (I just find him more effective)

I cast my vote for Green unrestricted. But if there is a strong argument against, I may be swayed.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Thu May 09, 2013 3:25 pm

FalcoXII wrote:
I found Simp2 to be a balanced map unrestricted. Now, I only really played Simp2 Falc vs. Krys. However, I use Pep a lot more now and will at some point try using him on Simp2. I don't really find that slow characters have a large disadvantage on "fast character stages." Slip's and Pep's blasters are better than a lot of the weapons fast characters can pick up. I always play Pep on App instead of Falc (I just find him more effective)

I cast my vote for Green unrestricted. But if there is a strong argument against, I may be swayed.
I personally believe the stealth suit should be banned on all simple maps. With that restriction it should be played as green. I dont think character too much matters on this stage unless its Pep vs Fal
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sat May 11, 2013 1:37 pm

if anyone feels like doing some tests... Razz Cac is out of town right now so i can't do anything until Sunday or so but it'd be good to have some more recent info about this
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sat May 11, 2013 10:17 pm

I can't test anything for at least a month. When my brother returns from college I may be able to convince him to if there is something to test.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sun May 12, 2013 3:43 pm

alright, i'll get Cac on board with this. this really is something that needs to be tested... we tried arguing about this before purely theoretically, it doesn't work : P
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sun May 12, 2013 3:46 pm

In the meanwhile should we move on to Simp3?
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sun May 12, 2013 6:39 pm

FalcoXII wrote:
In the meanwhile should we move on to Simp3?
Stealth should be banned, but green stage
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Sun May 12, 2013 11:30 pm

alright, well, i have a few reasons why i think invis shouldn't be banned, but let's hear why you think it should, first. is it the fact that it often ends up with everyone being invis for the whole game, or do you see some exploitability in it similar to Falco item runs on simp2?
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Mon May 13, 2013 4:43 pm

HAXage wrote:
alright, well, i have a few reasons why i think invis shouldn't be banned, but let's hear why you think it should, first. is it the fact that it often ends up with everyone being invis for the whole game, or do you see some exploitability in it similar to Falco item runs on simp2?
I think invis should be banned because once a player becomes invisible on this stage it's quite hard to stop them,assuming they're at least decent. One can easily camp to prevent others from becoming invisible. Once a player gets stealth nothing is stopping them from getting it upon respawning. And with such easy access to all three levels not even Falco can escape from a invisible, strategic player. The stage is simply too small for stealth to be allowed, especially for Falco; he can get from nearly any point on the stage to another in around 7 seconds.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Mon May 13, 2013 6:23 pm

Jay McCloud wrote:
HAXage wrote:
alright, well, i have a few reasons why i think invis shouldn't be banned, but let's hear why you think it should, first. is it the fact that it often ends up with everyone being invis for the whole game, or do you see some exploitability in it similar to Falco item runs on simp2?
I think invis should be banned because once a player becomes invisible on this stage it's quite hard to stop them,assuming they're at least decent. One can easily camp to prevent others from becoming invisible. Once a player gets stealth nothing is stopping them from getting it upon respawning. And with such easy access to all three levels not even Falco can escape from a invisible, strategic player. The stage is simply too small for stealth to be allowed, especially for Falco; he can get from nearly any point on the stage to another in around 7 seconds.

I'm for legal stealth. While this may be true, if you're camping the stealth, I'm camping the barrier/health on the green floor. When you get stealth, another item must spawn, forcing the barrier/health on green or health on blue to respawn. If you jump down to stop me I'll just go up and get stealth myself, and then we're on even ground.
Because of the item/weapon respawn mechanic in the game, I feel that the stealth is not a big deal, especially because there are 2 on red
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Mon May 13, 2013 8:28 pm

here's the closest thing we have to a blowout game between two even-skilled players [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (although i do have an incredibly brutal match saved on my hard drive of Akp vs Yosh where there's actually a ragequit midway through).

point 1 could have gone either way, STG just missed a few shots that he could have hit, took a few positions he probably shouldn't have (1:20, where he misses and then chases instead of going to green and camping the health or whatever, and the ensuing hits where he takes too much damage instead of retreating with some cover fire). point 2, STG misses the chance to jump down to green and deny the health from Cac, and then Cac is basically given free reign to take all the damage he wants as he has a barrier immediately after the health pickup, which forces STG to pop.

the rest of the game basically continues the same way: it revolves around all the items, not the weapons, and Cac benefits from items that STG picks up because they generally force what he really needs to spawn right in front of him. there's only one kill that's undebatably due to invis, and it could have been avoided, stalled, or at least delayed if STG had run instead of popping two bars against a DS @ 3:40 or so.

so what does this mean? well, frankly, i don't see the same inherent exploitability that a lot of other people see in simp3 and the invis in particular (STG included). the ENTIRE GAME on simp3 revolves around the items: not just the invis, but the bar/health on green in particular and the grouping of the HL and health on blue. getting between the levels and finding ways to shut down your opponent's item runs is the whole point of the map here! yes, it might be hard, but i certainly don't think it's impossible. invis is not a guaranteed nullifier of damage by any means. we've seen plenty of frags on invis players. is it an advantage? absolutely. is it impossible to circumvent, prevent, or counter? definitely not.

however, the whole point of a green stage is that it's one you can pick freely, without fear that your opponent is going to choose the right character and you're going to choose the wrong character. i don't think this map is green any more, and i think its Pep vs Falc matchup is somewhat akin to the matchup on Ap: all but impossible (with some exceptions... F12 Razz ) if the Falc is playing as hard and as fast as he can.

of course, if someone wants to send me a vid of an absolutely exceptional item run/invis exploit in an even-skilled game, i'll take a look at it. and to be clear here, i mean a game where one player is able to get literally no invis pickups and totally unable to counter their opponent's invis runs. until then, i'm going with the evidence we have so far and voting yellow unrestricted.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Mon May 13, 2013 11:11 pm

Jay McCloud wrote:
stealth should be banned, but green stage... Once a player gets stealth nothing is stopping them from getting it upon respawning
f12 wrote:
When you get stealth, another item must spawn
hax wrote:
is it an advantage? absolutely. is it impossible to circumvent, prevent, or counter? definitely not...yellow

Hey, just making sure I know what you all arrived at for Simp3. I'm assuming F12 wants green. Remember that our two stages with controlled pickups - CB Fich and Simp2 - get a lot of complains when their breadbaskets empty in tourney games. I admit, I find it boring too.

I also have a few comments about the game hax linked to. Here's the box score, if you will (all times are game clock, copy it somewhere else to increase the size)


4:42 STG is invisible
3:54 STG -12h (no lock HL)
3:42 STG uncloaks

3:41 STG -12h (no lock HL)
3:37 Cac -16h (RCB)
3:33 STG -12h (HL)
Cac 1-0 (HL -8h) 3:28

3:11 Cac +16h
3:07 Cac +1b
3:06 Cac -1b
3:06 STG -12h (HL)
3:05 STG -1b
2:56 STG -16h (RCB)
Cac 2-0 (RCB -16h) 2:50

2:40 STG is invisible
2:36 Cac +1b
2:31 Cac -16h (airshot RCB)
2:17 Cac is invisible
2:02 Cac 16h
2:01 Cac -16h (RCB)
1:54 Cac 16h
1:50 Cac -16h (RCB)
1:47 STG +1b
STG 1-2 (RCB Fash -16h) 1:40 Cac uncloaks
1:40 STG uncloaks


1:32 Cac is invisible
1:30 STG -1b
1:26 STG -1b
Cac 3-1 (DS -44h) 1:20

1:16 STG -1b
1:14 Cac -16h (RCB)
1:10 Cac -1b
1:10 STG -8h (GCB)
1:03 STG +8h
1:01-0:57 STG -16h (1 UCB, HL)
0:56 STG -12h(HL)
Cac 4-1 0:51 (HL -12h)

0:38 STG -12h (HL)
0:34 STG -12h (HL)
0:33 STG -1b
0:32 Cac uncloaks

STG 2-4 (RCB -16h) 0:18

0:08 Cac -1b


Cac: 184d dealt (.61 damage per second dealt), 112d sustained (.37dps sustained) 3 bars used

STG: 112dd (.37dpsd) 184ds (0.61dpss) 5bu

Not exactly a "blowout" by total damage. There were four cloaks used in this game. With the first one, STG got hit only once, giving him 0dpsd 0.2dpss for the minute, basically avoiding the match. On STG's second cloak 2:40-1:40, he was 1.06-0, just killing it with some skilled shots to boot. Especially since I was invisible at the same time for 37 of those seconds going 0-1.30 and dying! Finally, on my second cloak I get two kills and go 2.07-0.27, lots of damage dealt. I was lucky as STG was very liberal with his B button while I had a DS out.

But what did all these items really do? Health pickups only prolonged my death while STG was outplaying me. Invisibility didn't give either of us the edge - STG hurt me more while I was cloaked (0.66dpss while invisible) than not (0.24 while visible)! As for barriers, STG got his rain jacket sniped three times and I even put one on while cloaked. The HL and DS do pretty well at keeping you from running off with the items, not like the usual wisdom where you get items then run away with the weapons.

I think this game was fair and cloak/bar/health pickups did not affect its outcome very much at all. They're part of the choices we made in the game and weren't too big a deal or game-breakers. I'd need a big example to persuade me otherwise. Right now I'd vote green. (But not tomorrow, british columbia Wink )
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Tue May 14, 2013 3:40 pm

FalcoXII wrote:
Jay McCloud wrote:
HAXage wrote:
alright, well, i have a few reasons why i think invis shouldn't be banned, but let's hear why you think it should, first. is it the fact that it often ends up with everyone being invis for the whole game, or do you see some exploitability in it similar to Falco item runs on simp2?
I think invis should be banned because once a player becomes invisible on this stage it's quite hard to stop them,assuming they're at least decent. One can easily camp to prevent others from becoming invisible. Once a player gets stealth nothing is stopping them from getting it upon respawning. And with such easy access to all three levels not even Falco can escape from a invisible, strategic player. The stage is simply too small for stealth to be allowed, especially for Falco; he can get from nearly any point on the stage to another in around 7 seconds.

I'm for legal stealth. While this may be true, if you're camping the stealth, I'm camping the barrier/health on the green floor. When you get stealth, another item must spawn, forcing the barrier/health on green or health on blue to respawn. If you jump down to stop me I'll just go up and get stealth myself, and then we're on even ground.
Because of the item/weapon respawn mechanic in the game, I feel that the stealth is not a big deal, especially because there are 2 on red
I see your point with the barriers, but I'm still not for stealth. Because if one player drops down to prevent another from getting a barrier, they most likely won't be seen. Plus if a player is Falco they'll probably make it to the top floor firs and/or kill you before you get there. I'm not saying stealth on Simple map 3 is an automatic kill, just a very likely one.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Tue May 14, 2013 3:58 pm

HAXage wrote:
here's the closest thing we have to a blowout game between two even-skilled players [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (although i do have an incredibly brutal match saved on my hard drive of Akp vs Yosh where there's actually a ragequit midway through).

point 1 could have gone either way, STG just missed a few shots that he could have hit, took a few positions he probably shouldn't have (1:20, where he misses and then chases instead of going to green and camping the health or whatever, and the ensuing hits where he takes too much damage instead of retreating with some cover fire). point 2, STG misses the chance to jump down to green and deny the health from Cac, and then Cac is basically given free reign to take all the damage he wants as he has a barrier immediately after the health pickup, which forces STG to pop.

the rest of the game basically continues the same way: it revolves around all the items, not the weapons, and Cac benefits from items that STG picks up because they generally force what he really needs to spawn right in front of him. there's only one kill that's undebatably due to invis, and it could have been avoided, stalled, or at least delayed if STG had run instead of popping two bars against a DS @ 3:40 or so.

so what does this mean? well, frankly, i don't see the same inherent exploitability that a lot of other people see in simp3 and the invis in particular (STG included). the ENTIRE GAME on simp3 revolves around the items: not just the invis, but the bar/health on green in particular and the grouping of the HL and health on blue. getting between the levels and finding ways to shut down your opponent's item runs is the whole point of the map here! yes, it might be hard, but i certainly don't think it's impossible. invis is not a guaranteed nullifier of damage by any means. we've seen plenty of frags on invis players. is it an advantage? absolutely. is it impossible to circumvent, prevent, or counter? definitely not.

however, the whole point of a green stage is that it's one you can pick freely, without fear that your opponent is going to choose the right character and you're going to choose the wrong character. i don't think this map is green any more, and i think its Pep vs Falc matchup is somewhat akin to the matchup on Ap: all but impossible (with some exceptions... F12 Razz ) if the Falc is playing as hard and as fast as he can.

of course, if someone wants to send me a vid of an absolutely exceptional item run/invis exploit in an even-skilled game, i'll take a look at it. and to be clear here, i mean a game where one player is able to get literally no invis pickups and totally unable to counter their opponent's invis runs. until then, i'm going with the evidence we have so far and voting yellow unrestricted.
Seems to me like STG just played this match wrong and lost because of some bad decisions. Though I understand that item runs matter alot, stealth plus sniper basically nullifies a good item run. What I'm saying is that facing a faster invis character on a smaller stage is a slower character's nightmare. If the slower character is invis than that is when item runs are truly crucial.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Tue May 14, 2013 4:03 pm

Understood. I'm still for legal stealth, but I've been convinced that it should be Yellow instead of Green.
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PostSubject: Re: STAGE REVISION THREAD V4: THE CULLING (COMPLETE!!!)   Wed May 15, 2013 12:32 am

Cac wrote:
Invisibility didn't give either of us the edge - STG hurt me more while I was cloaked (0.66dpss while invisible) than not (0.24 while visible)!

this is what really kills it for me... this stage is small, it's boxed in, it's got no cover at all, and it's not unreasonable to get kills or put damage on people while they're invis here. as it is, the invis itself is just a gateway to the other items.

Jay McCloud wrote:
I'm not saying stealth on Simple map 3 is an automatic kill, just a very likely one.

sure, i agree absolutely with this - so is grabbing missiles right out the gate on Katina against a 1* healther, or item running vs a slow char as Falc on Simp1, or locking your opponent out with missiles/HL on Ap after they spawn, but we don't ban all those things.

really, i think the crucial point here is that something has to be pretty game-breaking to actually be overpowered enough to ban. we have a restriction on Sauria not because the cave is a catch-all power position, but because it leads to dumb games; we banned Simp5 and plane-only stages not so much because any one character can win games 100% of the time on them, but because they lead to games that aren't interesting competitively.

that said, the more i discuss this the less sense i think it makes to ban invis on simp2, because from what we've seen (although there hasn't been much to see, we've been kind of short on the vid recording front) invis/item runs are really not as stupid as i used to think they were... but that's a discussion for when we bring back simp2.

i do have more to say on why i think this should be yellow, but i'm tired so i'll save it for later
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