PvP - Defensive Stratagems

PiMacleod
PiMacleod Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
Problem/Issue -- Not every character is ideal/balanced in straight-up non-powered PvP.  Not only are some characters glaringly better than others in the same #* category (and I'm not even talking about Bag-Man compared to his 2* brethren, that's an obvious thing), but the computer doesn't play with characters correctly.  It has the same logic no matter who it's playing for, making it easy for others to abuse.

Suggestion -- Allow the players to devise a Defensive Strategy assigned to each character.  If there are no strategies assigned to a character, then nothing is changed.  These strategies only take place when the computer is running your team on defense, not when you (the player) are playing against another team (the defender).

The strategies should be moldable and multiple per character.  Each character has (usually) 3 abilities, and yes, I'm including passives.  That's 9 powers per team (again, usually).  The player might have played that team because of a certain strategy when using abilities A, D, and F, in the same turn, or in a certain order, or both... but the computer will never do that with it's current logic.  

So, how does it work?  Here's the idea.  Set logic 'if/then' statements that the players can fill in the blanks for.  For example, for X23, you might say 'only use Holding Back (green ability) if Red AP is equal or greater than 9'.  This way, Holding Back is never used until the Red AP count makes it worth it.  You might program Medusa with a logic statement saying 'if no enemy strike/attack/defense tiles exist, do not use Hair Meddle'.

Basically, to make it user friendly, you make it a set of lines with drop down menus filled with options.

IF
 --menu containing each color of AP, Health, each type of tile on the board, other options(?)--,
 --menu containing trigger phrases like "is greater than, less than, equal to, contains, etc"--,
 THEN
--menu containing the options "use, and, do not use"--  
 --menu containing each of that character's powers, other options(?)--.

Then, when you've assembled your team of 3 characters, the game combines the list of defensive stratagems together into a master list for that team when played on the defense.  The opponent is not allowed to see this list at all.  If two or more commands overlap (like, waiting for 9 Red AP for this, but then waiting on 12 Red AP for this), then the command with the greater numerical value takes precedence, overruling the lower numerical value.

If you've played Final Fantasy 12 before, think of the 'gambits' you could program into each character, but then reorganize them for this game's logic.

This would allow more characters to be viable in versus play, because quite frankly, the only thing holding back a lot of characters is how the computer plays them.  No one wants to play certain characters in PvP because we all know that the computer doesn't play them correctly.

This would be an extra menu item within each character in the Roster, so that you can set each character individually at your own leisure, and of course, the player doesn't have to set up anything if they don't want to.  The logic of the game remains the same as it is now, and only adds these IF/THEN statements (or 'Defensive Stratagems') into play if the player has assigned any to any/all of the characters in the team.

Of course, I'm not sure how viable all of this is, but I know game balance is an issue, and sometimes it's not that the character is bad.... it's just the game doesn't play that character correctly, and other characters play right into the computer's logic very easily.
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Comments

  • Dormammu
    Dormammu Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    I like the dumb AI.
  • PiMacleod
    PiMacleod Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    ....really?  you like that the AI makes it so that certain characters just throw out powers at random?

    I mean, I like that I can easily get Loki's Trickery to fire off, or that it's easy to get the CPU to match something else by setting up something...  but the point is that certain characters just suck because when the CPU plays them, they don't do what is needed.  Thus, it makes a large part of the roster unusable.

    Like, what player throws out Vulture's One Fell Swoop without the 6 Black AP needed to start Circling Prey directly after?  No one, that's who.  But the CPU, they'll throw it out whenever they can.  It's a waste.  ... BUT, since Circling Prey is SOOOO good, everyone uses him anyways, just to get that sweet AP.  Most other characters don't have that sort of attraction.

    I hope I'm not alone in this.  I want every character (at least 90% of them) to be viable... you know, unlike most VS games, where we only pick the top tier roster.  In a game like this, I feel like it would be a lot more possible to make the roster better, with just a AI tweak directed by the player themselves.
  • Dormammu
    Dormammu Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    PiMacleod said:
    ....really?
    Yeah. One of the things I've come to appreciate about MPQ is that there is no such thing as defense. Sure, there are in-game defensive strategies to win a match, but I'm not at all concerned about defensive wins and losses in PvP, which is the only place stronger AI would benefit the player.

    I certainly don't need a tougher slog through PvE against an AI that behaves as intelligently as a player, I spend enough time on that half of the game already. My PvP experience would not be improved by more losses, and thus more matches needed to get to <insert desired score here>.

    I don't need the game to improve while I'm not playing. I'd like the game to be improved in ways that I do play.
  • PiMacleod
    PiMacleod Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think the point that I was stating is getting lost somewhere...

    I'm not saying that the AI needs to improve.  I'm saying that the player should be able to add a rule, a gambit, a stratagem, whatever-you-want-to-call-it to the character, in order to make the game behave as intended for that character.

    The game would still play exactly the same in PVE.  Nothing would change.  In PvP however, people could actually set their characters to save AP until a certain number is reached, or only fire a power at a certain moment.  Which, is the entire reason certain characters are not good in PVP... The AI doesn't play them correctly.

    And, much as I originally stated, no one would HAVE to use it... It is merely a set of options within each character.  Each character would have, say, 3 slots for example, to be used on these (just throwing out a number for examples).  If the player doesnt want the cpu to do anything different, then don't change a thing!  But if you want your X23 to not fire off Holding Back until your red AP is 9+, you can set that command.  The game still plays as normal, but now the computer isn't incorrectly playing the character (because we all know, if we are using x23, you wait until you have 9 red AP!)

    Its not changing the AI.  Its adding stipulations that need to be met before the AI does something with your teams AP, or something similar.  And it would only be set to THAT character.  So, if you have X23 set with that rule, for example, but next battle, you're not using her, then that rule wouldn't be in play for THAT team's defense, since the rule is attached to the character, not the entire game.

    This would make more characters viable in PvP.  Because no one likes playing a team, knowing that the CPU won't do it correctly for them on defense.
  • Dormammu
    Dormammu Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    No, I get what you're saying. It would become really complex to implement and I doubt they have the code framing to do so.
    PiMacleod said:
    This would make more characters viable in PvP.  Because no one likes playing a team, knowing that the CPU won't do it correctly for them on defense.
    Honestly? I don't care what my team looks like, or how they behave, on defense. PvP is all about the climb. Once I get the progression reward I want I really don't care what my final placement is, so attack away. If I am worried about placement, I just shield.
  • PiMacleod
    PiMacleod Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited May 2018
    Eh, I guess I'm not worried about placement either... But everyone plays a certain few teams because they're not only effective, but they also can scare away some players from even challenging them in the first place.  

    Take everyone's favorite 4* team... Medusa/Gamora/Rocket.  The computer plays it with ease.  Theres almost nothing to do.  The computer CANT screw it up.  Its so good, that unless you have a roster ready with counter-picks, you either don't stand a chance, or have to use healing packs at the end of the fight.  Its very solid.

    Imagine if you had that sort of power to scare away players, or even make them think twice, with other teams.  Something like Lockjaw/Wasp/Peggy.  Put in a stratagem on Lockjaw and on Peggy that states "do not use blue ability until blue AP is greater or equal to 20".
    Now Wasp is actually doing what she's supposed to do, and Lockjaw and Peggy won't ruin it for her, all the while still protecting the tiles that are made, and making everything cost more.  Best of all worlds.  

    If you were to play that team, you know you wouldn't spend Blue AP until you could do it and still keep enough in reserve for Wasp... But computer ruins it.  And thus, no one is scared to tackle that team.

    I'd like to think that there are plenty of team ups out there that could be plenty frightening, but we don't see them, because the CPU just makes it an easy win for the rest of us.

    Kinda like Xavier/SW/3*BW... Everyone knows it works on offense, but no one is scared to smack it down when its on defense... Cpu can't make a match 5 correctly!  ;D

    Edit:  and I almost forgot.... Yeah, I agree itd probably be a pain to implement.  Probably.  I dont know enough to say one way or the other.  But I still gotta suggest it.  So many good points to the game, however I'd love to see more balance.
  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,583 Chairperson of the Boards
    PiMacleod said:
    Eh, I guess I'm not worried about placement either... But everyone plays a certain few teams because they're not only effective, but they also can scare away some players from even challenging them in the first place.  

    Take everyone's favorite 4* team... Medusa/Gamora/Rocket.  The computer plays it with ease.  Theres almost nothing to do.  The computer CANT screw it up.  Its so good, that unless you have a roster ready with counter-picks, you either don't stand a chance, or have to use healing packs at the end of the fight.  Its very solid.

    Imagine if you had that sort of power to scare away players, or even make them think twice, with other teams.  Something like Lockjaw/Wasp/Peggy.  Put in a stratagem on Lockjaw and on Peggy that states "do not use blue ability until blue AP is greater or equal to 20".
    Now Wasp is actually doing what she's supposed to do, and Lockjaw and Peggy won't ruin it for her, all the while still protecting the tiles that are made, and making everything cost more.  Best of all worlds.  

    If you were to play that team, you know you wouldn't spend Blue AP until you could do it and still keep enough in reserve for Wasp... But computer ruins it.  And thus, no one is scared to tackle that team.

    I'd like to think that there are plenty of team ups out there that could be plenty frightening, but we don't see them, because the CPU just makes it an easy win for the rest of us.

    Kinda like Xavier/SW/3*BW... Everyone knows it works on offense, but no one is scared to smack it down when its on defense... Cpu can't make a match 5 correctly!  ;D

    Edit:  and I almost forgot.... Yeah, I agree itd probably be a pain to implement.  Probably.  I dont know enough to say one way or the other.  But I still gotta suggest it.  So many good points to the game, however I'd love to see more balance.
    There is no defense, and nothing will scare anyone away.
    Gambit is idiot proof on defense, you will still get hit.

    Shield if you want to avoid hits.
  • PiMacleod
    PiMacleod Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    Hmm...  Ive done some thinking on this.  

    Two different posters seem to think its about avoiding hits or ranking.... But really at the end of the day, I just want more characters to be viable than the same ones we see in versus all the time.

    As of playing this morning a bit, I came to realize that as much as I think this would help, at the same time, I always find myself playing the usual teams of my own, with the only variance being when I'm counter-picking (I.e. 4* Luke Cage does not fair well against Brock).

    So, I guess my suggestion is moot.  The characters themselves aren't balanced enough to make such a change.  The AI playing one way or another could help, but at the end of the day, we pick who we pick based on how relatively useful and (frankly) over-powered they are.

    Thanks for listening and experiencing my own introspective.