Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

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deathride58
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Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by deathride58 »

Sprinting! The controversial thing that you either love or hate the concept and/or execution of. This thread is a discussion thread for the current state of sprinting as of 3/9/2020. I shall start things off with a 10k+ character essay on why sprinting exists and what has contributed to my recent decisions regarding sprinting balance changes.

So sprinting was originally implemented as a way to bring the baseline spaceman speed down one single tick in an attempt to alleviate the LRP behavior that was rampant at the time, particularly revolving around combat revolving around who can avoid being clicked the most rather than revolving around who is either more clever or better-equipped, this concept will be referred to as "WASD spam" from this point on. The idea behind sprinting was to keep the original TG speed in a form where it costed a lot to use, so that it could be used for getting from point A to point B fast without vehicular transport, with the cost coming primarily in the form of staminaloss (This was before the stamina buffer was a thing). The idea was to make people very hesitant to sprint unless their life depended on it, as sprinting everywhere was supposed to make you easy pickings for antags due to the massive stamina cost that was supposed to be associated with it (After one lap around boxstation's central hall, you had 40 stamloss if you had combat mode disabled). Basically, making it exclusively the "flight" part of "fight or flight". During the initial implementation of the combat rework, this accomplished it's goal, as people were actually hesitant to sprint, making combat encounters feel a lot more goon-esque (it was more about your knowledge of the game and your equipment rather than your ability to spam WASD).

However, one by one, several features were added to alleviate the common complaints surrounding stamina as a whole, the first of which being the stamina buffer. Personally, I think the state of sprint where it was tied to your stamina buffer worked the best if my own observations both ingame and in the community were anything to go off of. This actually turned out to work fairly well in general; a common complaint was that attacking and sprinting made you way too vulnerable to disablers and other forms of stamloss, and the stamina buffer tackled that issue head-on by giving you an extra stamina meter on top of your existing stamina, one that's affected only by your own actions, and has a much cheaper cost to use than if you let it drain and used your raw stamina instead. This resulted in players that knew about the mechanic being simultaneously more aggressive and more cautious in combat, leading to a general playstyle vaguely feeling similar to Dark Souls, buuut still in an extremely clunky state that boiled down to whoever could click the most amount of times with a higher damaging weapon (And yes, that was and still is a major issue considering the target RP level, the fact that I feel the need to say this at all speaks miles about the state of the community). Meanwhile, players that didn't know about the mechanic ended up completely ignoring their stamina buffer, leading to frequent complaints about some of the mechanics in place (an important thing to note is that, when developers were present to explain the mechanics as verbosely as possible, those players still continued doing the exact same actions the developers advised against doing, and continued complaining regardless. But I digress; this post is primarily to address the state of sprinting, and that pet peeve of mine isn't entirely relevant). Sprinting was still expensive when it came to prolonged use, but that was fine, as it meant players were hesitant to sprint, but due to the stamina buffer, sprinting was still the "flight" part of "fight vs flight". For the case of antags in particular, adrenals meant that sprinting was both fight and flight, but this was also fine, as antags can have a little fun if they have the TC/DNA/etc to fund it.

So time went on. People still felt that attacking and sprinting were too punishing, leading to people actively avoiding their sprint key outside of extreme circumstances, and complaints still continued rolling in. As a way to appease some of these repeated complaints, the sprint buffer was implemented. This is where things started going downhill and turned into a balancing nightmare. The sprint buffer accomplished it's goal of appeasing common complaints regarding the cost of sprinting, and for the first few months or so after it was implemented, all was well and good. But then people started realizing that the sprint buffer being entirely separate from your stamina buffer and stamina bar meant that sprinting was a much cheaper action than it once was. As a matter of fact, sprinting was essentially free. This lead to the old-TG-style WASD spam playstyle becoming a lot more prevalent as time ticked on by. As the playerbase cycled out and more migrants from other servers flooded in, the issue ended up reaching critical mass; sprinting was simply overpowered since it was essentially a free action. Remember the mention of adrenals in the previous section? Yeah, suddenly sprinting became both fight and flight, except this applied for everyone since the sprint buffer was entirely cut off from stamina, had a fairly large supply, and regenerated fairly fast. Due to the way the sprint buffer is coded, the regeneration rate also directly affects the cost of prolonged sprinting, meaning that having a fast-regenerating sprint buffer vastly reduces the cost of prolonged sprinting (The act of simply reducing the sprint buffer's regen rate made it cost an absurd amount due to how high the stamina cost had to be to make it actually deplete at a meaningful rate). So this basically means that combat ended up going back to the former state of WASD spam. This is the reason why I got as much hatemail as I did when I originally doubled the cost of sprinting post-sprintbuffer, as even though it turned out to not affect the WASD spam meta at all after the initial complaints settled, the lack of actual defensive options in the game meant that players felt as though their ability to survive combat encounters was being directly targetted, as even though WASD spam is fairly LRP behavior, it's one of the few things players are able to do to actually survive combat in the current sandbox. This is also the reason why I'm doubling down on nerfing the sprint buffer values in an attempt to make it cost effectively as much as it did during the stambuffer sprint cost days, to encourage developers to actually address the core issues with the combat systems in the game to make them less reliant on clickspam and WASD spam while still allowing sprinting to at the very least exist, while also directly discouraging WASD spam ingame.

So what are some of the short term options we can take right now at this current moment to alleviate current issues? Let's go down the list.
  • Revert the current config changes on live (0.4 > 0.1 sprint buffer regen, 1.4 > 1 stamina cost per sprinted tile): This would do nothing but go right back to square one. WASD spam would be prevalent again. Nothing would change.
  • Keep the current config changes on live: This currently alleviates some of the issues with sprinting specifically, but does nothing else, and causes a lot of complaints due to the underlying flaws with the rest of the game's mechanics. But for how long will it continue alleviating the issues?
  • Revert the sprint buffer and go back to having sprint be tied to the stamina buffer: This would cause a lot more headaches than it's worth, but would at the very least resolve the issues inherent to the sprint buffer.
  • Make large objects be capable of knocking down anyone that's sprinting: When I proposed this change, it was very positively received amongst the community. However, the PR for this was closed without proper notification following merge conflicts, and has not been reopened at all despite my pings to the maintainer who closed it. Also, this does nothing to address the core mechanical issues with combat as a whole, namely the lack of defensive options that aren't movement. That's not to say that it wouldn't alleviate the issues with sprinting specifically, though.
  • Make attacks cause a temporary stagger effect, preventing sprinting at full speed: This is also a fairly positively received proposal. However, the PR for this is still nowhere in sight. This also does nothing to address the core mechanical issues with combat, but like the above it'd still help alleviate the issues with sprinting specifically.
  • Add a goon-esque melee attack mechanic where you swing at whatever's on a turf instead of clicking on mobs directly: This, too, is a positively received idea. It also directly alleviates issues regarding higher movement speeds, but does nothing to address the lack of defensive options for crew members.
  • Grab rework: This is a long term thing, rushing it solely to resolve a single short-term problem would be a horrid idea.
  • Reduce movement speed as a whole (Sprint speed physically cannot be reduced on it's own, as server ticks are an integer value, and sprinting has a value of 1 tick): This would do a lot more harm than good. Traversing large maps would become a tedious slog without easily-accessible vehicles, projectiles and other things balanced around current jog speed would suddenly become a lot stronger than they otherwise would be, and more. This option would be extremely detrimental to gameplay in the long-term, as it is a bandaid to cover up the flaws made prevalent by higher movement speeds without actually addressing those flaws directly.
  • Remove sprinting: No. This would also cause more harm than good, as it'd mean that chases go on indefinitely among other issues, which would do nothing but add further fuel for LRP behaviour. This also shares some of the issues with the above, and would be fairly detrimental to the game's health in the long term.
So I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this matter. I'm putting this post on the forums to allow everyone to view, comment, and share their thoughts. Nonconstructive posts will be removed.

Cameron Lancaster
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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by Cameron Lancaster »

Can you describe why you feel that removing sprinting would make chases "go on indefinitely?" Currently, chases invariably favor the one being chased, as the one chasing needs to use combat mode if they want to end the chase (by shooting or hitting the person they're chasing) while the one being chased does not. Removing the need to use stamina to keep up means that the methods we have to actually end a chase can be used, rather than it being a bland "hope they run out first" race to the bottom.

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Putnam
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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by Putnam »

I'm gonna debate WASD spam being LRP. It's bad gameplay in the context of SS13, sure, but not exactly LRP; it's basic footsies/footwork, a pretty standard thing in fighting games/boxing.

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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by Nik707 »

I think they mean chases would go on indefinitely in melee situations. Can't use sprint to catch the other guy, you both just move at the same speed forever.

deathride58
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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by deathride58 »

Cameron Lancaster wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:49 pm
Can you describe why you feel that removing sprinting would make chases "go on indefinitely?"
If you've played on any other server that lacks a sprint system and has frequent combat encounters, you know exactly what I mean by that. With sprinting, chases naturally end when one party or the other gets too exhausted to continue, as the cost associated with sprinting simply prevents moving at a faster speed forever. Without sprinting, chases only end if one party or the other has the tools to immobilize the other, which means chases require sec tools to actually end, which leads to LRP behavior during chases since the only two people who can end the chase are security and the person being chased.
Putnam wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:02 pm
I'm gonna debate WASD spam being LRP. It's bad gameplay in the context of SS13, sure, but not exactly LRP; it's basic footsies/footwork, a pretty standard thing in fighting games/boxing.
SS13 isn't a fighting game. WASD spam throws out most of the variables of combat encounters and instead reduces them to a very basic "Who can avoid being clicked the most?", which means advantages from stronger equipment suddenly means a lot less, especially if you're playing with a smaller resolution (I actually force my GPU to render my desktop at 4k while I'm playing SS13, as screen resolution is a hilariously huge advantage due to the prevalence of WASD spam). On an LRP server, WASD spam wouldn't really be too big a deal since I'd be able to wholeheartedly say "git gud" when people complain about it, but on an MRP server, WASD spam does nothing but contributes to an environment where standard crew members are able to bumrush antags and have a decent chance of coming out on top if that antag is relying on melee. However, as I've stated in the OP, WASD spam is currently the only way crew members have to actually defend themselves, and nerfing WASD spam highlights that issue since players know no other way to avoid dying during melee encounters. Kevinz is working on a parry system, which will resolve the lack of defensive options, and will also make other options for addressing the current state of sprinting more feasible, but won't inherently get rid of WASD spam overnight.

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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by Nayser »

I'd like to say that i'm really dissapointed with recent sprint/stamina changes...
Sprinting was in a very good spot. You couldn't sprint too much in combat but instead you sprinted for short bursts in order to land an attack and back off before you receive punishment which is in my opinion how it was played correctly. And it was very fun even though i was still upset that stamina really limited melee combat and now it just got worse...
It feels like you can't run longer than an obese old man now and in combat thats just gonna be horrid with those using stamina chems having a huge advantage over you, this means that antags with adrenals are going to be far more dangerous with said wasd combat. What you're basicly trying to do is make combat more realistic and equipment reliant and it's bad because:

The point of those changes is to make outsmarting people more viable than straight forward clickerfest right? It is already a game where you can defeat your foes by outsmarting very, very easily. I am playing sec a lot and arguably good at said wasd clicker fest and it has never stopped smart antags from /easily/ dealing with me just by outsmarting me. Another example is xenomorphs they are the pinnacle of wasd combat, capable of moving at incredibly fast speed and winning fights in one click, yet crew often manages to overcome them by outsmarting.

The fact that you can outrobust some one who is better geared than you is not bad, it's good, it means learning how to fight and getting better at it feels satisfying. Sure ss13 isn't fighting game, but fighting is a big part of it and a fun one. Do not separate combat from other skillsets. Just like learning how to become a good doctor you can learn how to become a good fighter and it's great. This is what roleplaying is.

Combat is combat... it's only lrp if the cause for combat is lrp, no matter how much some one sprints around or walks slowly when fighting it's still gonna remain same thing, a fight. And if it's lrp or hrp, thats gonna depend on cause of fight.

It's gonna be painful, it's better to keep it fun rather than realistic because no matter how hard you try it won't be realistic due to limitations of being a 2d game. Even if you succeed, combat will still remain same from roleplaying standpoint.

The latest stamina changes basicly just nerfed melee combat and buffed ranged because now you can't dodge for long which is sad.

If you trully want to decrease wasd combat, decrease sprinting speed and speed of running buff items/chems. Even that i think will hurt without changes to all mobs and weapons. But dear god... do not make it so we can't sprint for more than a minute before running out of stamina completely, it's horrible and i imagine poor shaft miner mains are having hard time right now.

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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by kevinz000 »

deathride58 wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:17 pm
  • Revert the current config changes on live (0.4 > 0.1 sprint buffer regen, 1.4 > 1 stamina cost per sprinted tile): This would do nothing but go right back to square one. WASD spam would be prevalent again. Nothing would change.
  • Keep the current config changes on live: This currently alleviates some of the issues with sprinting specifically, but does nothing else, and causes a lot of complaints due to the underlying flaws with the rest of the game's mechanics. But for how long will it continue alleviating the issues?
  • Revert the sprint buffer and go back to having sprint be tied to the stamina buffer: This would cause a lot more headaches than it's worth, but would at the very least resolve the issues inherent to the sprint buffer.
  • Make large objects be capable of knocking down anyone that's sprinting: When I proposed this change, it was very positively received amongst the community. However, the PR for this was closed without proper notification following merge conflicts, and has not been reopened at all despite my pings to the maintainer who closed it. Also, this does nothing to address the core mechanical issues with combat as a whole, namely the lack of defensive options that aren't movement. That's not to say that it wouldn't alleviate the issues with sprinting specifically, though.
  • Make attacks cause a temporary stagger effect, preventing sprinting at full speed: This is also a fairly positively received proposal. However, the PR for this is still nowhere in sight. This also does nothing to address the core mechanical issues with combat, but like the above it'd still help alleviate the issues with sprinting specifically.
  • Add a goon-esque melee attack mechanic where you swing at whatever's on a turf instead of clicking on mobs directly: This, too, is a positively received idea. It also directly alleviates issues regarding higher movement speeds, but does nothing to address the lack of defensive options for crew members.
  • Grab rework: This is a long term thing, rushing it solely to resolve a single short-term problem would be a horrid idea.
  • Reduce movement speed as a whole (Sprint speed physically cannot be reduced on it's own, as server ticks are an integer value, and sprinting has a value of 1 tick): This would do a lot more harm than good. Traversing large maps would become a tedious slog without easily-accessible vehicles, projectiles and other things balanced around current jog speed would suddenly become a lot stronger than they otherwise would be, and more. This option would be extremely detrimental to gameplay in the long-term, as it is a bandaid to cover up the flaws made prevalent by higher movement speeds without actually addressing those flaws directly.
  • Remove sprinting: No. This would also cause more harm than good, as it'd mean that chases go on indefinitely among other issues, which would do nothing but add further fuel for LRP behaviour. This also shares some of the issues with the above, and would be fairly detrimental to the game's health in the long term.
1. shrug, to me sprint was always a meme and i'm more and more believing that tg did the right thing after all but .. shrug. some people including me will always have an appeal to high speed combat i guess.
2. to me it's going to just cause brand new issues even if it solves some others.
3. shrug. the point of why i made it was to make it not as punishing to chase people at all because sprinting depleted so much buffer you wouldn't be able to attack without taking stamina "health" damage. imo this is worse than just keeping it at the lower values because at least at lower values you have a guarunteed amount of sprint that wont' hit your primary stamina pool.
4. reopen it lol no one said you can't wtf
5. working on it, soon as combat flags are merged :^) that said this is going to be a fair bit of balancing required but whatever, shrug.
6. makes melee too easy to me but then again i'm one of the players with high reflex speed (which i can safely say is fine to keep at a high skill gradient, because it's something you can "get good at") and low ping (this is not something that should be kept at a super high necessity, because this is out of people's control depending on where they physically live and it sucks to have high ping and just about nothing you can do about it but suffer and i've experienced this before.)
7. grab rework imo is not going to be something that solves the sprint problem unless the first grab shuts down sprint or can't be broken out of easily or something which is going to be its own issues.
8. yes it can if we really want, we can adjust the code to support non integers with rounding and such, i do believe tg has somewhat of an implementation for this but i'd need to double check, but uh yeah i'm 95% sure we can do this if we really wanted to, as in lowering sprint speed. lowering all base speeds entirely is a horrid idea though.
9. :thonk: gamer i'm someone who doesn't hate sprint but it's not something that is going to make or break anything being lrp.

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moltoretardo
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Re: Current State of Sprinting - Discussion thread

Post by moltoretardo »

Spamming WASD in combat being LRP sounds so much like a joke it becomes even less funny. We should also ban people that ERP during teamwork antags like nuke ops or cult because it’s not very MRP to have sex while your station gets destroyed. SS13 not being a fighting game doesn’t mean it’s a useless chatroom either, you have fighting components that takes a very high place in every round. I kinda get why Cit wannabe servers get more pops than us when you get changes that nearly all the community disagree with and it still gets pushed.
:woozy_face:

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