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Beating the Zerg out of game design.

2

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  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon

    @ Mtibbs

    I dunno what to tell you. It does work, this isn't theory crafting, these are tactics (as I've stated) that I have used repeatedly to win matches against larger numbers. Spearing CAN work, but not against more skilled opponents. Why? Because it relies on catching your opponent off guard with a full on attack. Smarter forces will just flatten you.

    Spearheading typically doesn't work against smarter zergs. I've also beaten RUIN many times (both in WAR and GW2), but I wouldn't say it's the best tactic (unless by 'spearing' you actually mean pushing / charging, which isn't the same thing).

    CC and AoE should be a no-brainer, but I'm not going to fight you on it. There's pleanty of videos out online showing how deadly both can be.

    Guerilla tactics absolutely slow a zerg down. Have you never kept a zerg distracted because they were busy trying to kill your rogue / warg / assassin / thief / etc. instead of doing what they were supposed to be doing? It may not work against the more organized groups, but that kinda goes back to my point of these not meant to be used for every situation.

    Bottlenecking, same thing. Was it more effective w/ body blocking like in WAR? Absolutely, but there are also videos of teams keeping zergings stuck at the front gate w/ static fields, walls of warding, and wells of corruption / null fields.

    Anyway, here's some videos that show some of those tactics in action.

    5 man team roaming, battling zergs

    organized flanking vs. zerg

    example of demoralizing / bottlenecking an enemy (an organized guild of ~20 defending against 2 servers), there's another video of a team of 5 guardians (i think from the same guild) keeping a zerg of 40+ TC occupied by themselves, but it's getting late so I'll have to find it later.

    Again, these are all valid tactics. Whether you choose to use them or not is entirely up to you. Most of the better guilds that play MMOs use these tactics in some form or another. Not wanting to do something, doesn't mean it isn't effective. And it doesn't change the fact that people are finding ways to combat zergs without relying on the game to do all the work for htem. Many are also making videos of it, but again it's getting late, and I dont have time to compile a fullblown video list of all the tactics.

    Keep in mind, even in WAR people complained there was no real way to beat zergs. Same w/ DAoC. It's mostly just excuses.

     

  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member
    One thing is certain: If there is friendly fire in a game there needs to be a really big penalty for it, so you want to avoid it at all cost. Otherwise you will constantly get killed by any idiot who places a aoe over your head.

    The less frustrating way of doing it would be to simply disabling players to place an aoe over their fellow players. This would technically disable all aoe in an zerg because there is always going to be someones standing in the way. If someone runs into a already placed aoe field, then he should get damaged of course.
  • SengiSengi HamburgPosts: 350Member
    Originally posted by Gormogon

    These are games ... you can't forget the fun/effort ratio.  If the mechanics make your game less fun or too much of a hassle compared to alternatives, then players will leave for another game that lets them play how they want.

    The underlying assumption we're making is that players don't like to zerg but do it because it's effective.  If we make it less effective, then players will play differently.  While it is apparent that the type of players that complain on message boards often abhor zerg tactics, in seven years of playing MMOs I have not necessarily seen an indication that the MMORPG player population at large feels the same way.  I might even argue most players just want to feel like they are doing something and being rewarded for it (see GW2). 

    Friendly fire, harsh death costs or penalties to the individual or the team, providing defensive installations with powerful zerg-busting weaponry, even giving offensive or defensive penalties/bonuses based on location and friendly units in proximity, all of those could help discourage zerging, but while you ingratiate yourself with some portion of your potential players, you push a much larger group away.  Not that that's necessarily a bad thing -- being able to find games that fit one's tastes should be one of the advantages of diversity -- but it is a consideration developers have to face.

    If players like zerging or not is another question. Its true that most players don't what their games to be too punishing and just want to experience content. And if you join a zerg you will see big things getting done. And you don't have to do much yourself. So you get to see portions of the game you wouldn't see otherwise without putting much effort into it.

    But I must admit the most time I join a zerg, its because I can get a big reward for just being around. But if I it wouldn't be so profitable I would run In the opposite direction most the time, because zerging does not really provide interesting gameplay. Just activate auto attack and wait until things get done. It does not matter if I'm there or not.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,641Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by waynejr2

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

    Picking up any book on basic war strategy will give you such a list, but to start:

    - Flanking

    - Bombing (AoE)

    - Pincer attacks (hitting a group of enemies from multiple sides at once)

    - Bottlenecking

    - Stalling

    - Back capping

    - Attacking morale

    - Disabling (CC)

    - Guerilla tactics

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

    Expand your reality beyond how World of Warcraft works.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon

    Make the games more realistic.

    In real battles, zerg does not work so well. There is a reason why e.g. Ancient Roman armies, which applied some sort of tactics and strategy, defeated hordes of barbarians, which were using zerg strategy, in the battle.

    I am not a game developer, but if I was, I would be looking into real life situations for inspiration.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by waynejr2

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

    Picking up any book on basic war strategy will give you such a list, but to start:

    - Flanking

    - Bombing (AoE)

    - Pincer attacks (hitting a group of enemies from multiple sides at once)

    - Bottlenecking

    - Stalling

    - Back capping

    - Attacking morale

    - Disabling (CC)

    - Guerilla tactics

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

    Expand your reality beyond how World of Warcraft works.

    No, I think he's right. From the list only bottlenecks and back capping really work. Others are largely ineffective in your generic MMORPGs or could be used by the zerg to their advantage just as well.

    The list is too idealistic. This is not warfare - these are games. And overwhelming majority of the underdog victories people remember cannot be credited to "superior tactics" but the idiocracy of the enemy.

    Are you proud of your superior intellect when you only pretend to throw a ball and your dog falls for it? -Anything works against idiots.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • SaaboSaabo DuisburgPosts: 35Member

    You'd need draconic punishments for players who attack allies, unless you want trolls killing their own people all over the place. But you'll always have people attacking / killing friendys by accident, but those people won't be happy getting heavily punished for something they didn't do on purpose. I don't think many people will play this game in the long run then, except maybe the usual hardcores who just like this kind of game.

    Tbh zergs are fine, as long as the realm pop is somewhat balanced. Zergs are sluggish and can be avoided. Sometimes its fun to play in one, just turning off your brain and mindlessly running around with tons of people steamrolling anything in your path... until the enemy zerg catches you ^^

    Maybe add a vision range/movement speed penality if you run with tons of people. Small groups will be able to see the zerg earlier without them getting detected and can avoid them even easier.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,706Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Saabo

    You'd need draconic punishments for players who attack allies, unless you want trolls killing their own people all over the place. But you'll always have people attacking / killing friendys by accident, but those people won't be happy getting heavily punished for something they didn't do on purpose. I don't think many people will play this game in the long run then, except maybe the usual hardcores who just like this kind of game.

    Eh?  Draconic punishments for team damage strongly prevents trolls from bothering with it and is certainly worthwhile to implement.  Planetside 1's grief system weapons-locked you after enough team damage, preventing you from firing weapons.  PS2's numberless grief system seemed based on the same formula, but I never really liked it as much because they didn't display numbers (so you couldn't tell how bad you screwed up in real accidental team-damage situations, which would allow you to minimize those situations.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member
    Originally posted by Prankster

    I propose that the only way to end Zerg warfare is to enable friendly fire.

    Please discuss.

    oh come on, don't confront kids with consequences, just let them shoot at everything that moves and let the game sort it out for them

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  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,706Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by coretex666

    Make the games more realistic.

    In real battles, zerg does not work so well. There is a reason why e.g. Ancient Roman armies, which applied some sort of tactics and strategy, defeated hordes of barbarians, which were using zerg strategy, in the battle.

    I am not a game developer, but if I was, I would be looking into real life situations for inspiration.

    Real life doesn't necessarily create fun battles though. Winning due to superior organization is winning due to skill, and therefore fun. Winning due to superior equipment is winning due to playtime, which is pretty shallow.

    So real life carries one interesting decision which creates deep gameplay (organization) and one shallow decision which is basically "play longer to win".

    Quite a few people may want shallow PVP initially, but it's the deeper PVP games which tend to last longer.

    Also if winning due to superior organization can be counted as one of the strengths of zerg PVP, one problem is that already exists in non-zerg instanced PVP (avoiding bad-outnumbered fights, and forcing good-outnumbered fights is at the heart of strategy in any good Battleground, and in games like Starcraft or League of Legends.)  In the end, zerg PVP is really just a net-negative form of PVP which doesn't have any particular strength over non-zerg PVP, but reduces the depth of the game in a big way.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,472Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by waynejr2

     I would like to see a list of your "There are also a host of strategies which can be implemented in order to mitigate the effectiveness of crowding."

    Picking up any book on basic war strategy will give you such a list, but to start:

    - Flanking

    - Bombing (AoE)

    - Pincer attacks (hitting a group of enemies from multiple sides at once)

    - Bottlenecking

    - Stalling

    - Back capping

    - Attacking morale

    - Disabling (CC)

    - Guerilla tactics

     In the realm of reality a lot of these tactics won't properly work within a game.

    Expand your reality beyond how World of Warcraft works.

    No, I think he's right. From the list only bottlenecks and back capping really work. Others are largely ineffective in your generic MMORPGs or could be used by the zerg to their advantage just as well.

    The list is too idealistic. This is not warfare - these are games. And overwhelming majority of the underdog victories people remember cannot be credited to "superior tactics" but the idiocracy of the enemy.

    Are you proud of your superior intellect when you only pretend to throw a ball and your dog falls for it? -Anything works against idiots.

     Plus how many of these are specifically anti-zerg rather than general techniques.  For example, you can stall small groups.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by coretex666

    Make the games more realistic.

    In real battles, zerg does not work so well. There is a reason why e.g. Ancient Roman armies, which applied some sort of tactics and strategy, defeated hordes of barbarians, which were using zerg strategy, in the battle.

    I am not a game developer, but if I was, I would be looking into real life situations for inspiration.

    LOL real battles?

    In real life, who has the better technology, more money wins. So essentially it is pay-to-win.

    We "won" the iraq war .. they couldn't really fight back. And you ask ... what tactics and strategies? We have planes with guided missles, and they don't. We probably spend more money on press conference to look at shock-and-awe footage than they spend on their side of the war.

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by coretex666

    Make the games more realistic.

    In real battles, zerg does not work so well. There is a reason why e.g. Ancient Roman armies, which applied some sort of tactics and strategy, defeated hordes of barbarians, which were using zerg strategy, in the battle.

    I am not a game developer, but if I was, I would be looking into real life situations for inspiration.

    LOL real battles?

    In real life, who has the better technology, more money wins. So essentially it is pay-to-win.

    We "won" the iraq war .. they couldn't really fight back. And you ask ... what tactics and strategies? We have planes with guided missles, and they don't. We probably spend more money on press conference to look at shock-and-awe footage than they spend on their side of the war.

    Ok hold on a second.

    Are we talking about sci-fi first person shooters or medieval fantasy MMORPG.

    Did you read my post till the end? I used ancient romans vs barbarians as an example. What does it have to do with with planes and guided missiles.

     

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    Don't bother responding to wildly out of context examples cortex666

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,706Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by coretex666

    Ok hold on a second.

    Are we talking about sci-fi first person shooters or medieval fantasy MMORPG.

    Did you read my post till the end? I used ancient romans vs barbarians as an example. What does it have to do with with planes and guided missiles.

     

    Both examples are clearly the same thing: military tech/organization advantage.  It's been the same throughout warfare.

    The only reason his example is flimsy is that we probably also had the 'zerg' force (numerical superiority).

    Although I think the original comment totally downplays the significant advantage to numerical superiority...

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Why do you want to de-zerg a game?  Is it not, ultimately, the basis of warfare: zerg with various force multipliers?

    As for mechanics that punish large numbers  ... AOE, disease, chain lightning, finite food/resources, wages, bottlenecks, attacking command-and-control and simple denial-of-victory by defenders who refuse to leave a defendable strongpoint.

  • AlberelAlberel LondonPosts: 1,121Member

    Zerging tends to occur because the effort:reward ratio of trying to play tactically just isn't worth it, and most people can't be bothered with the hassle of trying to organise so many players.

    The solution to zerging isn't to restrict it in any way. The solution is to make teamwork and tactical play much more rewarding, to the point that a well coordinated group will always wipe out a zerg.

    GW2 was starting to move in the right direction with their combo system but they chickened out and made the combos pathetically weak and often not worth the hassle. We need to see some kind of spellweaving system that allows casters to combine their attacks, and a combo system that allows melee to open targets up to attacks by their allies.

    A return of damage types/weaknesses (slashing, piercing, crushing, elemental, etc.) and class interdependency would also solve a lot of the problems.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,706Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    Why do you want to de-zerg a game?  Is it not, ultimately, the basis of warfare: zerg with various force multipliers?

    As for mechanics that punish large numbers  ... AOE, disease, chain lightning, finite food/resources, wages, bottlenecks, attacking command-and-control and simple denial-of-victory by defenders who refuse to leave a defendable strongpoint.

    Because games are about fun.

    20 people beating up 5 people isn't really fun for either side.  Predetermined outcomes means your decisions don't matter, and if decisions don't matter, why play the game?

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon

    I said make the games realistic. This interpretation was maybe too absolute.

    What I meant was I would look for certain strategic and tactical elements which were applied in real historical battles and try to figure out their potential implementation in battles in MMOs.

    The OP mentioned friendly fire which definitely is one of the potential solutions inspired by reality. I am not judging whether it is an appropriate one or not.

    I did not necessarily refer to technological advantage. I would not call it a cause or favorable solution to zerging.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • AlberelAlberel LondonPosts: 1,121Member
    Originally posted by coretex666

    I said make the games realistic. This interpretation was maybe too absolute.

    What I meant was I would look for certain strategic and tactical elements which were applied in real historical battles and try to figure out their potential implementation in battles in MMOs.

    The OP mentioned friendly fire which definitely is one of the potential solutions inspired by reality. I am not judging whether it is an appropriate one or not.

    I did not necessarily refer to technological advantage. I would not call it a cause or favorable solution to zerging.

    Well the biggest realistic deterrent to zerging is fear of death... IRL a war is conducted with the aim to win whilst minimising casualties. In MMOs winning is all that matters because any that die will respawn eventually with minimum penalty. The return of some kind of harsh death penalty would make players think twice about charging in blindly all the time...

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    Realistic is fine coretex, don't waiver, realistic and real are not the same thing, in realistic combat, a 3 mages torching 20 foes because the cluster together makes sense, in real combat, mages arn't present...

    Nonsensical talk of technological advantages and resource wars have no bearing on a game which intelligently avoids realistic situations which take away from the gameplay. It's just another troll response trying to misinterpret the discussion for discourse. Focus on dialogue with constructive posters, for me and you.

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BahamutKaiser
    Realistic is fine coretex, don't waiver, realistic and real are not the same thing, in realistic combat, a 3 mages torching 20 foes because the cluster together makes sense, in real combat, mages arn't present...

    Nonsensical talk of technological advantages and resource wars have no bearing on a game which intelligently avoids realistic situations which take away from the gameplay. It's just another troll response trying to misinterpret the discussion for discourse. Focus on dialogue with constructive posters, for me and you.

    The thing is that when I have a feeling that someone responds in such a way that it seems that they did not completely understand the idea I was trying to communicate, I realize that the problem may be on my side as I probably did not express my thoughts clearly enough.

    I usually try to specify or explain myself better as I do not like being misunderstood.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • BahamutKaiserBahamutKaiser Hyattsville, MDPosts: 306Member
    It's kind of you to break out the crayon, but this is the ultimate dungeon, the interwebs, and its burdened with trolls galore. It wasn't your language that was hard to understand, it was his love for disapproval that imagined some nonsensical answer. It's best not to debate it at all, but if you do, do it for those who might be misled by BS.

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, if they get angry, they'll be a mile away... and barefoot.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    20 people beating up 5 people isn't really fun for either side.

    I'm not going to argue with this, just note that this is basically the setup of the final encounter of every Hollywood movie.  I find it interesting that there is such a disconnect between people wanting to watch the Spartans and people wanting to play the Spartans.
  • Cochran1Cochran1 Eden, NCPosts: 456Member
    Planetside 2 has friendly fire you can actually be penalized for harassment if you pk your allies too much. I seems to quell people from line of sighting each other too much, but it hasn't stopped zerging.
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