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I'm carrying this conversation in 2 unrelated threads and I'm tired of it, so I'm going to put my thoughts here for discussion. In PUGs and third party tournament play, obviously people aren't going to abandon a match, so for this purpose I will be ignoring these things. This is solely focused on Stopwatch as it relates to Server Browser/Quick Join, and Ranked public queuing, the two by far most popular and most likely methods people will play.
Current Stopwatch is too slow. In both casual and ranked, there is little incentive to continue a game which is clearly one sided. If your team is on defense and getting run over by the attackers, it's more enticing to leave and find a more balanced match. If your team is on offense and absolutely cannot get past the defense, it stands to reason the defense will run over you on their attack, so it's more enticing to leave and find a more balanced match.
Objective mode is/was the most popular mode before it moved to CMM. The main reason, by far, is that it's fast. Stomps don't get past the first objective, meaning you only need to wait 7 minutes before a new map and new teams are made.
So it stands to reason: Remove stopwatch as it is currently, and rework it.
The new Stopwatch would function just like Objective mode: 7 minutes to complete the first objective, +5 minutes (on most maps) to complete the second, +3 minutes to complete the third. Obviously, maps with 2 objectives, like Underground, would be a simple +8 minutes after the first objective. This is the standard amount of time for each phase of the game, and each team gets the same amount of time to complete the same objectives.
There is a caveat, though; if the first team completes the entire map in less than the full 15 minutes, then the second team cannot possibly gain more time than that. So in a case where the entire map is completed in 9 minutes, the second team will get 7 minutes to complete the first objective as normal, but will only get +2 for the second objective, and +0 for the third.
Cases: On the map Bridge
Team 1 completes Obj 1, and fails Obj 2
In this case, team 2 will get 7 minutes to repair the EV, then +5 minutes to push the EV further than Team 1 did
Team 1 completes Obj 1, Obj 2, returns 1 final obj
Team 2 will get 7 minutes, +5, +3, and wins if they return both objectives, but draws if they return only 1
Team 1 completes the map in 13 minutes
Team 2 will get 7 minutes, +5, +1, and wins if they complete the map before the timer ends
*Team 1 completes the map in 6 minutes
Team 2 will get 6 minutes, +0, +0, and wins if they complete the map before the timer ends
Cases: On the map Underground
Team 1 completes Obj 1, fails Obj 2
Team 2 gets 7 minutes, +8, and wins if they destroy the final Obj (EDIT: Or if they destroy the first obj faster than the first team)
Team 1 completes the map in 5 minutes
Team 2 gets 5 minutes, +0, and wins if they complete the map before the timer ends
Team 1 fails Obj 1
Team 2 gets 7 minutes to have C4 planted on the main objective for a longer combined time than team 1.
For example, if Team 1 planted C4 5 times:
First plant: Lasted 20 seconds before defuse
Second Plant: Lasted 40 seconds before defuse
Third Plant: Lasted 10 seconds before defuse
Fourth Plant: Lasted 5 seconds before defuse
Fifth Plant: Lasted 5 seconds before defuse
That's 80 seconds of total planted time
Then Team 2 wins when their combined plant time on the main objective exceeds 80 seconds, or if Obj 1 is destroyed.
If, for some reason, neither team ever repairs a smidgen of the EV, and never gets a C4 plant down.. then I don't know. Maybe run a sudden death mode; first team to lose all players loses? I haven't thought of what to do in this case. As far as I'm concerned, make it a draw.
In the end, both teams get the same amount of time to do the same amount of work. They fail under the same conditions; they both get a chance to be attacker/defender which means both get to be on the map-biased side; stomps only last 7 minutes per side, meaning the total game time will be less than one game of a stopwatch round; the timers are much more intense and will lead to more clutch games; strategies change depending on map conditions (like prioritizing repair/plant/defuse in cases where team 1 fails Obj 1); and in general the pace of play will speed up.
There are concerns of excessive draws; I think my added win conditions for Obj 1 will alleviate 99.9% of draw possibilities
There are concerns of team 1 having a strong bias for completing Obj 1; I don't think this is true. If a map is defender biased and Team 1 can punch through Obj 1 in under 7 minutes but Team 2 can't, Team 2 should lose regardless of how far Team 1 made it after Obj 1. This is especially true considering Team 1 does have an inherent incentive to complete Obj 1, as they have a harsh losing condition if they don't. And if Team 1 can't repair half the EV in Obj 1 but Team 2 can, then Team 2 deserves to win.
Post your thoughts below. I hate stopwatch as it stands and I'm really tired of the long drawn out games. I can't think of a single stopwatch game that I played in the past 5 or 6 months that ended with half of the same starting players. If defenders are losing at the start, the entire team bails out and the first team completes the map in 3 minutes. If the attackers are losing at the start, half the team bails after half the round, and we get an infinitely cycling loop of people joining, seeing how bad the balance is, and then leaving. And no, fixing match balance is not the answer so don't suggest it. The match is too long, that's why people leave.