Terminal Rework Details

VilhamVilham Posts: 6Developer
edited October 12 in General Chat

Hey guys

As mentioned in the video there's currently an imbalance in Terminal's first objective completion rate. The goal with all Dirty Bomb maps is to have the first objective be completed nearly every time, as we feel what keeps the maps enjoyable to play is the sense of progression rather than being stuck on the first objective all game. We believe this is a large part of what causes it's low selection rate in community tournaments.

There are three separate issues that contribute to this imbalance: the primary objective which has a few separate issues, the travel time to the objective for attackers which is effected by the secondary gas tunnel, and the layout contributing to defenders having superior positions while leaving attackers without enough options.

Primary Objective

The location and position of the primary objective on Terminal has several issues:

  • There is no cover protecting attackers attempting to plant, and as the defenders must come from above or behind, it leaves attackers with too many angles to watch and they're very exposed overall.
  • If the forward spawn has not been captured, it can mean attackers get a rush plant on the second objective as there are no defenders between attackers and objective two. This is a general principle we want to avoid on all maps as attackers should need to contest as a team to complete an objective.
  • If the forward spawn has been captured the only approach defenders have is to drop down from above, this gives you maximum spread on landing and it requires you to do a full 360 degree check. As a general level design principle, it's good to avoid this.
    • The goal here is to remove that barrier and create a plant site that provides cover and doesn't require defenders to come over the top to approach.

Travel Time & the Secondary Objective

The gas tunnel on objective one has long been a complaint of the community. Terminal objective one has the longest travel times from spawn to objective in the game. While in theory the gas tunnel reduces this travel time when open, in practice this often works against attackers as it's a secondary in favour of the defenders and is therefore rarely open. The capturable spawn acts partially as a band-aid to this issue by moving the spawns forward, but that can quickly be reversed, putting the attackers back to the initial spawn and at a great disadvantage.
This travel time issue will be solved by moving the spawns to the forward spawn location making it a consistent distance from the objective. The gas tunnel is no longer necessary as travel time can't be reduced further, and equally the capturable spawn is no longer required to bring attackers to the forward spawn.

Layout

The layout will be effected by any changes to the primary objective and travel times as they require specific well thought out spaces to create fun and replayable encounters. However these layout changes won't effect the themes and locations in the map. Apartments will still be on the attackers left flank, but the attackers approach will be different due to their new spawn point. The distinct tube station building will also still be there with a modified layout that works for the new C4 plant site. Attackers spawn will remain much the same, although it will have new routes to the objective.

We hope that changes to these elements (the primary objective, the travel times and the layout) will resolve the defender bias on Terminal's first objective. We look forward to sharing more with you in future!

Vilham

Post edited by stayfreshshoe on

Comments

  • 23OO2323OO23 Posts: 27

    To be honest, gas tunnel was fun, even if only as a side stuff - it was a nice, unique stuff about this map. Forward station was unnecessary though - it both gave advantages and disadvantages, being more situational, instead of being more useful overall for the side that had control over it.

    Alas I like changes - so it's nice to see reworks.

  • I think most of us expected Terminal to be reworked but it's nice to finally see some of the changes being done! The new layout is looking good so far but the C4 zone and the general area around it looks quite close quarters. That's not inherently a bad thing though.

    I do hope that defender routes aren't limited to that main stairwell though, otherwise attackers will most likely dominate defenders once they take control over the area. Then again I'm sure the testers will do a good job making sure the layout feels balanced.

    Anyways, these are nice news. Keep up the good work!

  • MelinderMelinder Posts: 698
    edited October 12

    Or you could have just removed Aura from the game.

    SD Office = Chimp Enclosure

  • Drac0rionDrac0rion Posts: 456

    I'd really like to get a top down map layout just like with the Dome before and after pictures.

    At the moment I don't find this post really giving us any "details" other than the map is receiving a rework, which I do appreciate since I've been avoiding this map for a while for plenty of reasons.

    What will be the new secondary objective?
    Will the new attackers spawn for first objective be before or after the forward spawn was captured, compared to the current version?
    Will the new defenders spawn for first objective be before or after the forward spawn was captured, compared to the current version?
    From the first picture, it looks like post forward spawn where defenders had a left side balcony doesn't exist anymore. Won't the stairs instead of the wall become a meatgrinder chokepoint?

    I found Dome rework to be a success, even though I didn't really consider it that bad before the rework.
    It became a much more enjoyable map in general, but the rework really just applied to the first objective. While the rework did fix many problems with the map, plenty of them still got overlooked in my opinion.

    Overall I'm glad to see SD working on balancing older maps even while Castle is still in the works. Hopefully Underground will receive a rework next, so that older fire supports before Stoker and Javelin have more use of their abilities in that map.

  • TheStrangerousTheStrangerous Posts: 1,767

    Words cannot express how much I loathe Terminal.

    Fletcher gettin' Sledgehammer melee supporter.
    More arcadey, less grounded gameplay supporter.

  • One of the main things that need to be changed for Terminal is defenders spawn on second objective (since it sounds like you're already taking care of how easily spawn camped attackers can get on 1st.) Currently, Once the attackers take hold and get their plants down, defenders have two narrow hallways to travel down (one being the balcony) and another choke point with an MG nest facing it. Second obj was more problematic than the first in my opinion. Terminal currently demonstrates the massive skill curve present in the game, and as much as I dislike how easily spawncamped you can be, I'd prefer it to how the designers retouched dome.

  • I've always been fond-ish of Terminal, but agree it needs changes; it's not one I ever find myself voting for. I love the second stage, but while the first stage has great individual parts: they haven't really seemed to work well as a whole.

    • The forward spawn point is a fun point of contention for both sides; I hope that gets retained in some form, though as noted: it does need some adjustments.

    • The MG-nest overlooking Forward Spawn is rarely useful for either side; I'd love for that to be better situated somehow... either keeping its limited use but improving cover, or improving its use but keeping its very exposed & blind flank.

    • If Defense overwhelms Offense it is exceedingly difficult to push out of Offense Spawn. The MG nest presumably intended to counter such aggressive Defenders is almost never useful; that room is more often a trap than aid, with the flank from the gas tunnel generator making the MG difficult to wield in an already-losing game.

    • The upper balconies above the bomb point offer nearly zero utility, but they're kind of a neat layout & I'd love if they had more use. As y'all noted: when Defenders lose Forward Spawn these become the only real ingress route... but there's just no pushing back from them. Could they physically morph into more defensible positions if Fwd Spawn is captured by Offense, perhaps by spawning an MG nest, opening a murder hole down into the yellow-tunnel room, etc.?

    • The gas tunnel is too tough to hold on offense and offers too little benefit to be worth it. A fair amount of the time I see Offense lose is because they focused so much on keeping the gas tunnel open & not on the objective.

    • I delight in Aura'ing in the yellow-tunnel beside the bomb point while on Defense, but not many Offense teams are able to smash that. I have a love/hate relationship with that tunnel-room based entirely on what side I'm on.

    • I've wondered if the easiest tweak might be to somehow connect the gas tunnel into the yellow-tunnel. That'd make the gas tunnel far more important, and would open the yellow-tunnel to greater crossfire.

    • Please don't touch the 2nd Stage: I love that part on both offense as well as defense!

  • Let's see how this changes will impact the map, and tbh I never expected you to rework terminal... But will see.

  • STARRYSOCKSTARRYSOCK Posts: 1,232

    Honestly I liked terminal. I didn't mind if the first objective wasn't always completed, because in Stopwatch it's equal for everyone. Sure being stuck at the first obj for 12 minuted is boring, but that's a problem with Stopwatch itself.
    It may not have been the most balanced map, but it was definitely fun, especially the fights that happened around the gas tunnel and forward spawn. Don't get me wrong, it definitely needed tweaking, but I think this might be a bit extreme. And it seems like all this fix is doing is removing what made the map unique. Of course it's still in the works, but I'm not super optimistic, especially after SD kicked out a lot of their private testers.

    Imo, I think dockyard needed attention more than terminal. It gets picked a lot less than terminal now from what I've seen, and there's a lot of horrifically defender sided areas in it, especially the second corner of the EV escort.

  • DemolamaDemolama Posts: 102
    edited October 12

    You all put the damn generator on the defense side, where in w:et it was on the attacker side. You all made it harder to use and harder to hold the flag. Map design wasn't the problem, level designer changes were the problem. Welp I guess this is just one more step this game has taken to show they are moving away from w:et.

    Post edited by Demolama on
  • "the travel time to the objective for attackers which is effected"; "layout will be effected by any changes to the primary objective"; Not to be a jerk but you mean "affected"

  • azz_abdrazz_abdr Posts: 82

    Can you also open the roof above MG on balcony on last objective?

  • GatoCommodoreGatoCommodore Posts: 3,628

    @Drac0rion said:
    From the first picture, it looks like post forward spawn where defenders had a left side balcony doesn't exist anymore. Won't the stairs instead of the wall become a meatgrinder chokepoint?

    this
    pls stop creating meatgrinder chokepoints
    Nu Dome 1st stage is cancer because of high defender bias and chokepoint

    please dont change anymore map with chokepoint kind of map
    its stupid, pls dont do this

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  • VilhamVilham Posts: 6Developer

    @PeterComputer said:
    I think most of us expected Terminal to be reworked but it's nice to finally see some of the changes being done! The new layout is looking good so far but the C4 zone and the general area around it looks quite close quarters. That's not inherently a bad thing though.

    I do hope that defender routes aren't limited to that main stairwell though, otherwise attackers will most likely dominate defenders once they take control over the area. Then again I'm sure the testers will do a good job making sure the layout feels balanced.

    Anyways, these are nice news. Keep up the good work!

    There are several routes into the main plaza space not just the stairwell visible in the images, the building to the left that used to have a drop down window has a route that comes out to the left, we are performing extensive playtesting to ensure it doesn't get too attacker sided.

  • VilhamVilham Posts: 6Developer

    @Drac0rion said:
    I'd really like to get a top down map layout just like with the Dome before and after pictures.

    At the moment I don't find this post really giving us any "details" other than the map is receiving a rework, which I do appreciate since I've been avoiding this map for a while for plenty of reasons.

    What will be the new secondary objective?
    Will the new attackers spawn for first objective be before or after the forward spawn was captured, compared to the current version?
    Will the new defenders spawn for first objective be before or after the forward spawn was captured, compared to the current version?
    From the first picture, it looks like post forward spawn where defenders had a left side balcony doesn't exist anymore. Won't the stairs instead of the wall become a meatgrinder chokepoint?

    I found Dome rework to be a success, even though I didn't really consider it that bad before the rework.
    It became a much more enjoyable map in general, but the rework really just applied to the first objective. While the rework did fix many problems with the map, plenty of them still got overlooked in my opinion.

    Overall I'm glad to see SD working on balancing older maps even while Castle is still in the works. Hopefully Underground will receive a rework next, so that older fire supports before Stoker and Javelin have more use of their abilities in that map.

    Hey thanks for the comment and questions, glad you enjoyed the Dome rework. To answer your questions:

    I haven't gone into too much detail because the design isn't locked and it is possible it will change given more playtesting. But to give you some info on the current version there is a secondary that attackers can repair, this aids attackers by closing a route to defenders, effectively the opposite of what previously happened. This helps balance the first objective towards attackers advantage.

    The attackers spawn will be close to where the attackers forward spawn currently is, that entire area is being redesigned to work with the new design.

    The defenders spawn will be close to where the current defenders spawn inside the tube station over the wall is.

    As mentioned in a comment above, there is still an entry point to the left there, its just not in frame in the images, this provides cover from anyone observing the stairs.

    The layout is currently being playtested so any of these things may change based on those tests.

  • Well... you actually destroyed Dome and now you are going to destroy one of my favourite maps... Gus tunnel is cool and usefull. Forward spawn in unique - there isn't any map with this. New first objective looks really bad and i guess that Skyhammer or Arty are useless there.

  • teflonloveteflonlove Posts: 398

    Thanks for removing the generator room.

    I stopped counting how often I typed in chat on Terminal:

    "Pro tip: the team that can hold the generator room the longest wins."

    It was awful how many players spent most of their time their, fiercely defending the generator without ever getting out of the room to take the forward spawn or plant.

  • auwiauwi Posts: 23

    Very cool work so far! Hopefully you'll be able to push out further updates to make comp love it.

    Here are some of my current issues with the first obj area:

    • Lots of hallways with low ceilings make areas feel cramp and spammy, makes some areas harder to push through (apartment hallways, hallways by the first obj, attacker's right side route)
    • Sightlines you can't move around, Especially from attacker's window and the alleyway
    • Planters are frustrating to move around, having to always jump across each one, makes a huge difference in the heat of combat (jumping reduces accuracy a lot).
    • Feels like there was no good flank to reach the objective, many times i felt stuck in place cause defenders were camping on the apartment balcony, or in various corners.

    With that being said, here's some feedback from the images

    As i've said before, the planters are frustrating to move around since they make you jump, causing you to lose accuracy in combat
    The wall there seems to solve an issue of a sightline, but causes another one since it gets in the way and creates a corridor, which can be camped and spammed into, I think there should be another route along the side to solve that:

    Finally some attention towards the objective area; the objective area feels cramp as well, as it doesn't feel like it should be a high focus area. The first objective should really draw the player's eyes towards it, and funnel players towards the area. To do this, I suggest removing the pillar that is there and raising the doorway and ceiling height. By doing this, you make the area feel much more significant.

    Hopefully these suggestions can help improve it more? I'd like to know what other people also think.

  • Drac0rionDrac0rion Posts: 456

    Are you kidding me?
    I find it actually funny that you're here to point out to avoid chokepoints, while suggesting to balance around one of the worst default W:ET maps.

    Seawall Battery was the worst meatgrind out of the 6 maps.

    Siwa Oasis essentially had 3 routes between both objectives, two of those were always just two floors on top of eachother.

    Gold Rush, while it did have areas you could hold as a chokepoint, it had too many routes to flank around without allowing the defense to really bunker down and hold their selected chokepoint. (Probably my favorite map due to the pacing set by double escort.)

    Rail Gun was a fun and open map. Due to how open it was and also providing multiple routes, the defense didn't really have any points to hold down heavily as chokepoints.

    Würzburg Radar, the forward spawn was just a silly meatgrind until it was captured. You'd usually capture it right before the spawn timer and then actually fight out which side gets to hold it.
    After that the only chokepoints were the first objective wall route and command center route. While the main route was wide, it simply didn't provide any cover for the attackers when breaking through, so with a big cover advantage for the defenders I consider it bad chokepoint overall.

    Fuel Dump was another very open map, a sniper paradise compared with the default maps. This was the only map that actually needed more obstacles since it barely had any chokepoints and up until the final objective none of them were really usable.

    Oasis was garbage with nothing but tunnels of chokepoints up until you grabbed the forward spawn. Once you breached the first objective on Oasis it was back into 3 horrible chokepoints. Past the first objective, you were only able to eventually get through those chokepoint cause the defenders didn't really have any decent cover to hold them.

    Since nearly all conflicts in Dirty Bomb take place within cities, the best example to balance around is Gold Rush.
    Gold Rush was a square type of map, the current version of Bridge really isn't a successor to it simply cause it's not designed to be a square type of map anymore and therefore we've gotten a more linear version which includes a few bad routes and some horrible chokepoints.

    Chokepoints can be balanced by opening up new routes or with cover. The cover for holding a chokepoint vs the cover when breaching a chokepoint. The pacing of the map could be balanced around spawn locations.

    The first objective for the new Dome is a great example (the right side at least).
    Defenders can currently really bunker down in the warehouse while also keeping a few players across the main road for the lookout for left side doorway and crossfire. This way the defenders can really hold down the main route. But as soon as the generator is destroyed and the new paths open up, the defenders must fall back all the way under the MG to have any decent cover on that side while also having to worry about the opened window overlooking that position.

  • Drac0rionDrac0rion Posts: 456

    The forward spawn system isn't a bad concept, but it's badly executed.
    This is just for the pacing of the map to drag it out a little longer, so the attackers can't just rush the objective and move to the end part of the map while also not allowing defense to really hold up the attackers that well until the first objective.
    Instead there could be an additional "mini objective" for the attackers to complete to progress and earn themselves a new spawn.

    The way for these "mini objectives" to work is to have the defenders first spawn to be closer to it, while all the spawns after it to be where they'd be for the first actual objective. So after the first spawn, the spawn locations would favor the attackers for the "mini objective".
    This would ensure that the defense can set themselves up and be prepared for the first encounter. Depending on the cover, this could already add a few minutes to the attackers time, while also utilizing a section of the map that otherwise might not see any action at all.

    Since it is a "mini objective", it shouldn't require engineer advantage to complete it. In that case the same capturing method could be applied, but the defenders shouldn't be able to recapture it. The best system for it in my opinion would be the Overwatch capture system (attackers can capture the area while being inside it, but the progress will be stopped when the enemy is also within the area).
    If the attackers should have more at a disadvantage on capturing, interaction with the "mini objective" could be added. For example the capturing would require hacking, which would require one player to interact with it, turning what would otherwise be a 5vs5 firefight into a 4vs5.

    This is why I love the escort maps as escorting as a system already sets a certain pacing while also adjusting the spawns accordingly. Every section of the map for the whole escorting path will be used and see action.
    These maps literally can't be rushed through, especially when compared to Underground where the whole map is possible to be completed in less than 2-3 minutes? Terminal really isn't much better either, it just has one more C4 to plant at the last objective. Trainyard at least has 3 objectives as well as double delivery.

  • DemolamaDemolama Posts: 102
    edited October 14

    I'm not saying the basic w:et maps were great, most of them were @$!# as you pointed out. In fact bridge is just like the community revised mp_goldrush, showing that for comp the basic w:et maps were not great. Still, Oasis and Goldrush were better than their db port. I mean I would loved to have told them to boot up rtcw and look at the standard maps in that game but sd didn't make those, gray matter did. While sd did make some game of the year maps for rtcw, those were not very good. The only exception was mp_marketgarden, but that was a dual objective map.

  • OutblastOutblast Posts: 37

    @Drac0rion said:
    Are you kidding me?
    I find it actually funny that you're here to point out to avoid chokepoints, while suggesting to balance around one of the worst default W:ET maps.

    I can't agree with you there. I'm an admin on a W:ET server and Oasis has always been our 2nd most popular map right after Goldrush of course. What I think I really like about that map is that there is access behind the AT Guns which opened everything up and gave different opportunities to attack. Sadly i know this wont work because of the spawn point on defense in Terminal but that was my biggest disappointment when I first played terminal. Maybe instead of that gas tunnel that I always repair as engi and never use, another way directly opposite to the main entrance would be more beneficial.

    As for the OP, I always welcome changes and I'm looking forward to trying it. If it fails, they can always go back. I think the change with Vault was a good one and it always seemed like it needed to be done.

  • DemolamaDemolama Posts: 102
    edited October 16

    Oasis's first phase also had water pumps to go under the wall so you could bypass it. It also had team doors that you could sneak through. So the hardest part of that first phase was always capturing and holding the flag because blowing the wall almost always came after control of the flag. Capturing and holding the flag was ultimately biggest problem of that first phase and that was mainly due to the insta-spawning in the same room as the flag.

    Yet the flag in DB is less important. In fact I would argue it is easier to spawn camp defenders coming out of the first spawn than behind the wall.

  • @teflonlove said:
    Thanks for removing the generator room.

    I stopped counting how often I typed in chat on Terminal:

    "Pro tip: the team that can hold the generator room the longest wins."

    It was awful how many players spent most of their time their, fiercely defending the generator without ever getting out of the room to take the forward spawn or plant.

    Who holds MG room win imo, but will see those changes hoe thru effect the map

  • Mc1412013Mc1412013 Posts: 1,801
    edited October 18

    You know, i remember it being said that original maps are in its final design and wouldnt get reworks only tweaks. So im guessing it was nexon that made that decision originaly.

    Also are block out test maps no longer a thing in db.there No vault test map, im assuming there will be no castle test map.

    Hey look i finaly got a sig , and nothing to put here

  • nokiIInokiII Posts: 534

    @Mc1412013 said:
    You know, i remember it being said that original maps are in its final design and wouldnt get reworks only tweaks. So im guessing it was nexon that made that decision originaly.

    Also are block out test maps no longer a thing in db.there No vault test map, im assuming there will be no castle test map.

    Or maybe it's because they now have a team 10 times the size they had in the nexon days?

    nerf snippers.
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