Another game with the guys at Tag Recon.
We had about 16 people turn up today, the biggest turnout I've seen so far. It was awesome, we got to test out some new gamemodes with more people, and I brought more blasters to try out.
Mini HvZ - same as always, 5 second stun for zombies. Because of the large turnout we started with 3 original zombies, that seemed to work ok. It seemed pretty popular among people.
Capture the Bomb - in this game type your team would try to hold the Lanard Scatter Blast for some amount of time (20/30 seconds) uninterrupted, while fending off the other team(s). Tagging rules are one-shot respawn as usual, and drop the bomb (not throw) when tagged. You can throw the bomb to your teammates and continue the countdown (as well as ninja-saving the bomb if the carrier is tagged and drops it), but if the bomb touches the ground then the timer resets.
It's basically Oddball from Halo.
Tag Teams - this is a variant of regular Team Deathmatch. You would have multiple small teams, same old last team standing wins rules. However, when tagged, you would stay where you got tagged and wait for a teammate to high-five/otherwise tap you with their hand to bring you back into the game. If an entire team is downed into this "waiting for revive" mode, then that team is out.
Tanks - not a game type, just an addition to other game types. In this addition there are people who use shields. Obviously this adds all sorts of new strategies to the game.
Strongarms - the usual comparison blaster. We had a few that started to misfire and jam, although some jams seem to be just because of bad darts.
Sweet Revenges - my usual dual wield pistols. Worked great as
always, they really helped fend off multiple zombies at once in HvZ.
They also seem to be more powerful than Strongarms which is great, and
Roughcuts - performed as per usual. They worked well to increase chance of tagging, but more often than not ran out faster than Strongarms.
Single Shots (e.g. NF, Firestrike) - rarely used, but usually taken as a backup blaster, not a primary. The only primary-used single shot I saw was an NF that I modded, and it had superior range to most things.
Blastzooka (AKA the Shamecannon) - the Shamecannon is obviously not a practical blaster in our gametypes, as rockets do not yet have special abilities. However, its use of comically large ammo made it fun and amusing, bestowing eternal shame upon those who got hit by it.
Nitefinder (AR removed, added spring, improved seal) - I didn't see a whole lot of this particular nitefinder getting used, but the main user has said to me that it performed significantly better than stock, so yeah. I modded it so I know it's certainly hitting ranges better than stock, but none of these performance mods really matter unless they make a difference on the field. And in this case they certainly did.
Retaliator - range is on par with Strongarms, however the
capacity advantage is huge. Where a Strongarms has 6 shots before
reloading, an out-of-box Retaliator has 12, as well as the advantage of
fast clip (mag)-switches if you have spare clips (mags). There was only one and I
didn't see it get much use so I can't really say a whole lot.
Elite Alpha Trooper (AR removal, 5kg spring) - the EAT was quickly relegated to bench duty, as it was deemed to be very overpowered. It has far superior range, rate of fire, capacity and reload speed (with spare clips [mags]). Accuracy with kooshes is also pretty good. Simply put, it is totally superior to just about everything else around, so I probably won't bring it again. With a US spring I expect it will be a not-too-overpowered top tier blaster, but the 5kg spring is just too powerful.
Elite Rayven (Barricade motors, 2 IMR 14500s) - as a clip (mag) system blaster, the Rayven has an automatic advantage in capacity. Add on the higher than average range and the ridiculous rate of fire, and the Rayven becomes a seriously effective blaster. Also when loaded with Kooshes, the Rayven was surprisingly accurate. Using it, I managed to be the last survivor in HvZ, and I was able to fend off the whole horde for a short time. In other gametypes, the suppressive fire that the Rayven can put out is ridiculous compared to Strongarms. Because we play one-shot-whatever, you can hose down teams of opponents with ease. Simply put, the Rayven was probably the best not-too-OP blaster there.
Elite Stryfe (2 Trustfire 14500s, GoPro attached, Underbarrel Triad) - I actually didn't see this have much action. All I recall of it in action is being used as a mobile camera, and me tagging its user as a zombie. I assume it would perform similarly to the Elite Rayven.
EDIT: Please don't use Trustfires. Use eFest, AW or Windyfire IMRs instead.
We did run into an issue where someone loaded Whistlers into a clip (mag), but that will disappear when the Koosh order arrives.
One important new feature of these games was that we added some cover in the form of bread trays. Though not quite high enough to crouch behind for full cover, they made decent shields when picked up. They did get in the way of running in a straight line though, which helps to solve the previous "flag run is instant win" issue.
I still think the cover has quite a way to go though, because the only way you would fully protect yourself is by crouching very low, and that isn't practical or easy.
The large number of players also reduced how effective dodging was in midfield combat. In previous games you could easily dodge, because you would usually be faced with just one opponent, and the others would be occupied with your teammates. However, because we had so many more players this time round, if you tried to go out into the open and bait shots, you would get barraged by several opponents looking for an easy tag, and you can only really dodge that volume of fire if you're a ninja or a Force user. This therefore forced the use of proper tactics. You could try rushing your opponents, running in to take out one or two of them then quickly retreating before you get hosed down, or you could try coordinating with your team and pushing up together. Either way, because of the number of players, you really needed good teamwork to make much progress against your opponents.
A lot of the time, we would have people run out of the tambark area for various reasons, such as to escape zombies or to survive when holding the bomb. Though we tried to restrict play to the tambarked area, especially with so many people it did feel a little cramped and hectic. I personally feel that some better cover and a larger play area would greatly help if this turnout is regular.
HvZ was a popular gametype, probably because of how fast paced it is and how easy it is to learn/jump in to. In the past, we would end up with about 7 or so zombies chasing down the last human. It didn't really look like a whole zombie horde chasing down a human, just a small group. However, because of the day's turnout, we ended up with about 15 zombies chasing down one person, which did look more like a horde in our relatively small play area. One player who used the Shamecannon in a HvZ game managed to survive and be one of the last survivors. This shows that you don't necessarily need the best blaster to survive in HvZ, you just need to be able to run. I managed to be the last survivor using the Rayven and dual Sweet Revenges, as the Rayven's capacity and rate of fire allowed me to stun entire groups of zombies with ease. In another HvZ game the last survivor used a single Strongarm, so you can see that it's not just the blaster that determines how long you'll last in HvZ.
Capture the Bomb was probably the gametype that needs the most tweaking.
At first we tried 4 teams of 3 people each, however this didn't go so well. The team that gets a hold of the bomb would be up against 3 times as many players to try and survive, and this made it practically impossible to hold the bomb for more than 10 seconds. This ended in a standoff with everyone just waiting for someone else to touch the bomb. As a result of the game being so ridiculously hectic, it was near impossible for mods to actually see when the bomb carrier was tagged, and also watch the bomb's movement so as to count down.
In an attempt to balance this, we switched to 2 teams of 7ish people each. However, this presented its own problems. Once one person got a hold of the bomb, the rest of their team would form a human shield around the carrier, making it very difficult for people to discern when they got tagged or not. It was also very difficult for mods to watch tags on the bomb carrier.
One fundamental problem with Capture the Bomb is that if the carrier doesn't feel the tag and someone calls it, the carrier will have probably moved a few metres away from the tag point, potentially affecting who next gets possession of the bomb. This also made tags near the 20/30 second mark very difficult to moderate. I personally think that Capture the Bomb has a long way to go before it becomes a "good" gametype like HvZ.
Team Deathmatch is a classic and popular shooter gametype, however it doesn't seem to promote a great deal of teamwork as it's very easy to get lots of tags without the support of teammates.
Tag Teams totally changes this however. Instead of respawning from a common team respawn point, you would have to rely on your teammates to come to you and get you back in the game. Since having teammates downed would leave you at a disadvantage in numbers, you would be forced to stick together so as to make reviving easier.
The team cooperation aspect is amplified when you add in tanks, as cover on the field is still quite sparse, making the tanks highly valuable. With tanks in play, you would usually be forced to cooperate with your teammates to flank and take out the opposing tank(s) while defending your own tank, otherwise you would be down a player and also have less cover.
Tag Teams worked really well with small teams, we had a few 2v2 matches once the bulk of the players had left, and it was quite fun, if a little short. Either one player of one team would get tagged, allowing the other player to get flanked and taken out shortly after, or one player of each team would get tagged, resulting in body camping and using the downed players as human shields.
I wasn't around to see Tag Teams with larger and more teams, but I've been told it works well.
And that's about it. We're still experimenting with new gametypes and rules to get a nice variety of well balanced and fun games.