New Capture Rules - A Primer

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The capture system changes in 1.31 are really getting people fired up. They are perhaps the biggest changes this release, but the readme doesn't do them justice. A lot of folks see the new one-player timer and, fearing nerfage, skip on to the next section.

Capture is no-longer a personal progress bar but is tied to the facility. Radios and tables are gone. Capture is being in the flag building.

But the really "oh wow!" change is that capture progress is shared and persistent: the rate is based on number of cappers and it doesn't ever just get zeroed out: you are free to move about and defend yourself, just keep your arms and legs in the building...

Persistent progress

If you get a flag to 75% and then die or leave the building, no more reset to 0 progress. Even firing your weapon no-longer affects or even delays it.

So when you run into a depot or armybase and find the progress bar waiting at 98% it's no bug :)

Shared progress

The rate the bar moves is based on the number of you in the building. If there are attackers in the building, the bar moves towards capture.

When the building is captured, all cappers in the building are awarded a capture.

Canceling progress (defense)

Progress does gradually decay, if a building is unoccupied. Defenders can speed that up by occupying the building and keeping enemy troops out of it.

General capture rules

Outside of the per-facility capture system, the rules and times for capture are about the same:

- You need an AO,
- 10 minutes from the AO to the first capturable buildings,
- Must keep the town contested for 10 minutes to capture military facilities.
- 60 second delay after a facility is captured until it is capturable again.

The only new change is that when a capture fails (counts back down to 0%) it is also uncappable for 60 seconds now.

I need help $here!

In the next host update, we will be adding a new chat short-cut: "$here" that will be substituted with either the name of the flag you are in or, if you aren't in a cap building, the name of the town. Great for "/4 need help $here!" (assuming you have channel 4 tuned to squad :)

Questions & Answers

What was the motivation behind this change?

We wanted to change the role of capture in the game. Instead of the climax of gameplay, we wanted to make it a focal point. We wanted to make it about the taking and holding of ground rather than the reaching of it.

Under the old system, capture was something you tried. This is a multiplayer PvP game, and as such players are content. The age old question is "where's the fight". One reason it's been so hard to answer is the rate of movement in the game. When you hop into a map on your favorite 8-on-8 game, you have 10-15 minutes in a fairly small space.

BE rarely provided that sort of duration of awareness of the enemy's focus/presence; facilities changed hands in 60 seconds and everyone moved on, whether it was one guy or 50.

How did you choose the timers?

Before I was hired by CRS, I was a day 1 player too. Capture has been one of my pet topics since I tried the pre-release beta.

We didn't have any numbers ready when I wanted to start testing, so I plugged in numbers that felt right to me as a developer and as a player.

Rather than causing the frenzy of debate in beta I anticipated, we had a hard time finding any adjustments that worked for us given the goals we hoped to achieve.

Why did you make capture so much slower?

That's a matter of perspective. Yes it took one guy 60 seconds to capture a building, but this is not a personal capture bar anymore. So ask yourself: how many attempts did that guy have to make? If you add those up, in most cases, I'd posit that the facility capture time was much longer than it is now...

The exception is, of course, the solo capper taking a depot with no opposition.

Again in a PvP game, players are each others' content. 1 player capping a depot doesn't create a lot of opportunity for content exchange. On the other hand, 10 guys capping a depot does.

So why, then, let those 10 guys cap so much more quickly?

Because 10 guys working together at focal points creates far more potential for content on its own anyway.

Why did you make solo capture so slow?

It allows a really drastic gap between 1 and 2 player captures that you will really like if you ever have to chase lone ei around Ant or Lux: It's going to take them longer to capture than it's going to take you to run between captures.

Could you make it so that defenders in a building slow down or stop capture?

We did discuss that; but we felt the game already has a better mechanism for that that saved us having to work around prospects of clipping etc defenders.

Players have been asking for this since release. Why 1.31?

Some 1.31 technical changes mandated a change to building models. Capture tables were all separate hand-placed objects and they would have been forced to redo capture buildings with the same interior and exterior footprints.

We realized that replacing the capture system would actually be a fairly short turn-around task, so we dragged it up from it's place near in the dark recesses of the wish list and made it so :)

Have you played much since 1.31?

I splurged - and really enjoyed it more than I can remember in the longest time. In order to get my remaining 1.31 work squared away and to get 1.32 a good start, I'll have to restrain myself a little. After all, my boss knows how to check if I'm playing :(

(Technical) What language is it written in?

The framework is written in C++, but the guts and rules are written in Lua. This really helped us buy-down the development time and overheads as well as allowing to interact with it more freely during the development and testing cycle.

Spoilers: The details

For those of you who like things spelled out, I'll briefly cover some of the specifics for you. I will try not to be too spoilerific though.

- Capture and Defense both move the bar at the same %age per player.

- Unattended defense (decay of left over capture) takes about 12 minutes to clear 99.9%.

- 100% progress takes one player about 8 minutes.

- Adding a second player drastically slashes the capture time.

- There is a maximum rate of capture, which would work out to 60 seconds.

- Any defenders in a building do not affect the rate of progress of any cappers in it. That's what your guns are for.
0 #25 Tandel 2010-06-24 21:05
love the new capture mechanic. it was a great step in the right direction.

next objective - find some way to stop armor camping INSIDE an AB. just frustrating.
0 #24 KFS1 2010-06-20 16:46
"a bit weird that 1 capper stepping into the building, setting the capture bar and then getting killed stops the rest of the cappers ... from capturing for 60 secs."

There's really no sensible threshold so chalk it down to chaos/confusion :)
0 #23 KFS1 2010-06-20 16:44
"If a player in the building is injured does that effect the rate of capture or recapture?"

Only if you're fatally wounded (i.e. slowly bleeding out, destined to die shortly). Otherwise, they gotta kill you stony cold dead to stop you capping.
0 #22 audimrfy 2010-06-19 12:34
8 mins wtf thats too long for 1 person.
0 #21 Budgie 2010-06-19 04:59
Finally a solution to get players working together hits the game! Well done!
0 #20 Vulcan 2010-06-18 11:50
Like you I was also an early player, and I like the idea of mulit player capture, good work and good luck.

0 #19 BLOO 2010-06-18 11:28
We're also keeping this info on the wiki: Facility Capture
0 #18 Mazze 2010-06-18 05:38
Keep this new capture system, its much better now that the older 1. Most annoying thing before was when you fired the weapon the cap reseted. This patch and the new capture system is great !!
0 #17 wilko160 2010-06-18 03:03
Great feature.
Gives it more of a controlling and occupying territory feel.
Like a power shift of the area
0 #16 Houpla 2010-06-17 11:00
For me the best improvement of the 1.31. Builds coop work. GJ CRS !
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