hello i'm qwuiblington i have much experience in destroy the core & a supremely vast intellect
you may remember me for making that one rfv2 shitpost map, that one conquest shitpost map, & for never receiving any official credit for doing the majority of the work in ocn's sky wars
i will never forgive them for that & i will never forgive them for not seeing the potential in what could be the greatest gamemode of all time
ok shitpost over let's talk about the gamemode
water walls need to not nullfy cannons so much, icaruses need to not be able to shoot anywhere on the map, cores need to be easier to attack, supplies need to not all be destroyed in 1 blow, ctw isn't dtc, boombox is underrated, key sucks, & any creative idea for a gamemode can avoid getting stale as long as it follows the principle of forcing many difficult choices each game
anything that can be protected by water walls can be protected by cannons but it's harder
back in the day, everyone loved cannoning. it was skillful & exciting & everyone wanted to do it. whenever you saw an enemy pointing a cannon at your side, your first reaction was to build another cannon to take out that cannon. when it failed, you thought "oh well, not much i could do". when you succeeded & blew their cannon to smithereens, it was hype as fuck. you completely dominated that kid. it was fun. everyone loved to do this, but it turned out it wasn't even close to the ideal play. if you wanted to the highest chance of ensuring victory, you'd put your pride aside & build a water wall, simply nullifying their cannon without effort. as time went on, reactive water walling become preventative water walling at the start of a round, & not a cannon was fired again. thanks, impact
start of round cannon duels used to be the ultimate proving ground. two people tried their hardest, & one ended up a winner, the other a loser. but with water walls, nobody has to be a loser. mathematically, even a better-than-perfect tas cannoner will fire slower than any water wall less than 16 blocks tall purely because of tnt's fuse time. this is before you factor in supply gathering, inventory management, & the sheer amount of skill required to come even close to perfection while building a cannon, compared to creating a water wall, which can only involve jumping up. winning the cannon duel is generally more rewarding than placing a water wall, but water walls have no risk of losing. because there is always at least one team that believes they can lose, there will always be at least one water wall. the result of one water wall & one cannon is the same as both water walls: nothing gets destroyed. it's the optimal play, so nobody even tries
not only does it easier to create a water wall, it's infinitely easier to maintain one. whenever you're guarding anything with a cannon to counter any attempts to take it down, the threat disappears the moment you leave the area. water walls don't disappear or expire. not only this, but the cannon vulnerable to being outplayed by any faster cannoner even while you're still operating it. water walls have a 100% resistance to explosions, so you either have to delete the water at the source, or shoot around them. but because water walls are permanent, nothing can stop a team from making everything a water wall, so there is no around them. you can't defend everything with cannons, there's always a gap. exploiting that gap is an important skill but water walls don't allow it to shine. a water wall is just directly better than a cannon, but so much less interesting
but how could a map play without water? not only is that what lets cannons work without exploding on you, but it's what lets anything get defended from explosions at all. without water, monuments can be destroyed instantly, supplies get ravaged with no remorse, & the entire map becomes a crater. there has to be at least some protection. there used to be a middle ground where only the most important & backline objects got protected by water, but it was self-imposed. people just didn't understand that water was both powerful & quick enough to be deployed to counter a cannon even as it was being fired. surely something could be done to just reduce the relative power of protection vs destruction
limited tnt, no water?
perhaps the water walling meta came as a natural response to the increasingly dominant skills of cannoners. & perhaps truly going back to the golden age of cannoning doesn't just require cannons to be effective, but to be special. a rare & powerful attack that lands a devastating blow while also immediately self-destructing (unless you do the per-side explosion immunity thing). although this means probably no explodable monuments, or it'd be too easy to rush them. losing the cannon war still hurts, but not enough to cleave your entire side in half while you beg for poseidon to offer his protection. only a handful of cannon shots each match, but each will have an effect as opposed to the blind spam into indestructable terrain we see today. or perhaps not because the more cannons the more fun
nerfed tnt, no water?
roughly the same idea as above, but cannon fire is much more constant, as it has to be to compensate for the decreased blast potency. now normal walls can take the place of water walls, still being protective but not invincible. because more cannon shots are needed to accomplish anything, it's not really compatible with the "self desctructive cannon" concept. this way, you'll get much closer to the excessive cannon formations of breaking core era without spending so much time on a skeleton of a map. monuments still aren't a thing because while rushers are less effective, cannoners can now carve through the map directly to them. this idea involves changing the vanilla mechanics, as the old administration was weirdly opposed to. i don't understand their puritanism when spawning on a handmade map with a hotbar full of tools with the goal of making lava come out of an object already has fuck-all to do with minecraft as a concept
flawed blast resistance water?
another step closer to current map concepts, this involves water losing its ability to completely nullify an explosion with 500 blast resistance, & instead only reduce them. if you just modify the blast resistance values without changing vanilla destruction mechanics, this means the water itself can be destroyed. but it's also possible to mod out this part while still keeping the partial blast reduction. it's worth tinkering with the idea of giving water sources a higher blast resistance than flowing water, so quick water walls in particular are weakened more than proper defences made entirely out of sources
this can also be combined with the above concept, if the goal is to reduce the extreme between the durability of watered & non-watered blocks. still needs a way to prevent self-destructing cannons though. tnt-destructable monuments become a possibility again as the amount of effort needed to defend them isn't as excessive. they might need to be bigger &/or made of end stone to compensate. also notably, with this mechanic, tnt inside of water will be less destructive than tnt right next to water, similar to the slab effect. maybe fix that i dunno
if what we really hate is water walls & we want the least possible collateral, we can just kill the mathematical advantage they have over cannons by making them much slower to create. if water spends enough time spreading downwards, a fast cannoner can outpace a water waller. it's still a bit too close even though cannoning is difficult & cool while water walling is boring & stupid. this is the effect i tried to achieve in a map i made that uses lava, which flows every 30 ticks instead of water's 5. this ended up not working because of the existance of fire arrows & that lava visuals are generally annoying. note that a flow time over 40 ticks will have cannons occasionally self-destructing but remember that we're targeting downward spread, which can be made seperate from sideways flow. the main problem with this is that it only targets the initial setup time of water walls, but does nothing for how indestructible they are once they're up. also, despite having the smallest effect on the game out of any of these solutions, it's probably the least intuitive mechanic
you can't shoot sponges out of a cannon, dummy. may kinda make teamwork plays where an offender exposes a hole in the enemy's defence more viable. that still wouldn't bring back the old days when cannons were completely self-sufficient. also they'd be busted against monuments
a relic of an ancient screwup, many maps were accidentally put into snowy biomes that let water sources exposed to sunlight freeze over. before it was removed, i considered it a nice mechanic to make water walls vulnerable by cannoning out their sun shield. this didn't actually happen because of the bit where ice only freezes next to solid blocks, so it pretty much just fucked up cannons, but that rule could be flipped (except ignoring other ice now) to target water walls instead. the remaining problem is the randomness, so it should be a predictable pattern instead
after some consideration, the only pattern i could come up with that didn't either reduce it to an annoyance (only freezes small sections with a warning timer; just means someone has to replace the water the moment it freezes), act pseudo-random & still be as bad as actual randomness (only freezes every third block at a time; who could keep track of that?), or just break the game (freezes every block at once; self explanatory) was to have a line of ice sweep across the horizontal axis slowly, freezing everything in its path at a constant rate while still giving due warning to plan around. it might still be kinda stupid, hard to say
a skybridge is a big ol' bridge in the sky. you put a line of blocks to let you walk onto the enemy side. you put it in the sky because, as barrhouse so eloquently put it, you can fall onto them, but they can't fall onto you. ideally your team has a way up to the skybridge while the enemy does not. this is generally a staircase or ladder protected by a water wall, so if those get nerfed, you have to consider their impact on skybridges too
a backline icarus is a player launcher so powerful it can work from anywhere on the map, meaning it never has to be in the line of fire. in contrast with older icarus designs that were weaker & required having at least something resembling a line of sight with the enemy side, backline icaruses can be completely hidden by map geometry & 3 layers of water walls. originally created by our good friend the custom lego animation factory, similar designs have survived the repeater ban meant to kill this mechanic, & will certainly survive any block ban short of redstone itself (jc alone made like 8 firing mechanisms, you fuckers don't stand a chance)
you can counter a skybridge by cannoning it. because of their shape, they're one of the few things that can't be watered. in my experience, this interaction is fairly balanced. destroying a section will temporarily stop people from crossing it, but they can rebuild if left unattended. destroying the entire skybridge takes many shots, all with seperate aiming. if the skybridge is wide, it takes multiple cannons to hit all of it. putting more people on skybridge expansion makes it more difficult to shoot down fast enough, especially if they know how to spread out. directly hitting & killing an enemy as they're bridging takes a very skilled shot. doing any of these things leaves you open to being counter-cannoned, so you have to try to win that duel. overall a very interesting & dynamic interaction that should be encouraged
you cannot counter an icarus by cannoning it. you used to be able to, back when players launched by it had roughly the same travel path as a cannon shot back at it. nowadays icarus designs work by taking a detour through the exosphere & slamming back into the earth like master chief, with water dropping acting as armour lock. the only opening necessary for their function is a snorkel-like 1x1 tube for people be coughed out of. every other part can be covered by any combination of blocks & water, though with varying amounts of difficulty depending on the map's shape & supplies. overall dumb
you can counter a skybridge by going up to it & placing tnt all over it, then blowing it up. because tnt can be placed instantly, a lot of people do this while charging aggressively forward. this is called tnt running. if the team holding the skybridge ever gives up enough space to let you initiate this, they risk losing massive amounts of progress. once upon a time people would put the skybridge at the very height limit of the map to prevent you from placing tnt while running over it, forcing you to build a second bridge under the skybridge to place any tnt. during this time, skybridging was fairly oppressive & very powerful. teams would build entire sky sheets covering the entire map because that's what happens when countering something is that much harder than doing it. nowadays tnt can be placed above height limit, so we went back to standard skybridges. overall works good in its current state
you cannot counter an icarus by going up to it because you cannot go up to it except by another icarus. they can be placed anywhere. that generally means so far deep in the backline that it means going way out of your way to avoid the objective. if you can get there without being swarmed, yea, you can blow it up. but then they can build another one, also in the extreme backlines, also behind the cover of 3 water walls, & the only thing you can do to stop them is rush there again. overall fuckin dumb
honestly, i'm not at all against icarusing as a concept, it could add a lot of variety to offence & therefore the defence countering it. it's just that they're so comically powerful that there is no countering it. if they can be brought back down closer to the level of those goofy looking u shaped gizmoes that had to be right on the frontlines, then icaruses will have a perfectly fine place within the gamemode. not any weaker though, that would just be boring
remove redstone torches?
i already explained that the repeater ban didn't work & this wouldn't either. not only are there very obscure delay methods, & not only are there manual activation methods, there are also icarus designs that don't need delay at all. redstone has come a long way since those weird u shaped thingies
a staple of that last wave of dtc maps before it gave its final breath was just a ceiling of barriers to confine you strictly to the troposphere. it certainly worked, but it was pretty janky & seemed really unnatural. also depending on the height, they could still allow some hybrid 45 degree icaruses that get waterwalled from further ahead & are still somewhat hard to cannon. the barrier can't be less than 4 blocks above the build limit because of melee knockback, so nerfing icaruses might also mean nerfing skybridges more
cap tnt knockback?
the mechanic responsible for these icaruses existing is that tnt knockback scales unboundedly with every single explosion (divided by distance), while tnt damage is only based on the one explosion closest to you within a 0.5 second period. the solution would be to reduce the knockback curve so it's impossible to get the extreme height possible now. lots of care would have to be taken with the exact numbers so icarusing as a concept is still viable, & good redstone engineering is still rewarded. or you could just uncap damage so it kills you instantly
undo tnt above height limit?
a long time ago, teams found out you could bridge at height limit to prevent tnt running. then every map add the mechanic of being able to place tnt 1 block above the height limit to allow tnt running again. without any need to stay at the height limit, teams switched to taking advantage of the space under it. this lead to walls for archer duels, & sometimes inter-skybridge cannon duels. nobody would do these things from height limit because lowering yourself with water was too time consuming to be worth it. the consequence of removing tnt running is that archer walls & cannons are gone too. i think it's fine as it is. my beef isn't with skybridges being weak, it's with icaruses completely overshadowing them
shorter void gaps?
well i just said we probably don't need to buff skybridging, maybe it'll be map dependant or something. if we did, we could do it in a more standard way. needing shorter skybridges makes skybridges better, needing less icarus distance does nothing. maybe will be balanced. the problem is that if they're too close, they'll be much easier to cannon right at the base. skybridges stop being worth the effort, & people may spam straight bridges instead. this happened with airship battle, which was only slightly helped by the rotor propping skybridges up. cannoning also becomes a lot easier without difficult snipe shots. both of these things lower the skill cap of the game. i talk about void gaps more below in the "radical ideas" section
more durable bridges?
seems unnecessary but ok, if we must. end stone is the only block more resistant to explosions than the multitude of standard stone blocks, so you could give players that, accepting the consequences of whatever else they might use the for. also means preventing them from repairing the monument if it's also made of end stone. you could also just do the general "nerf all tnt destruction" idea from above. that would make skybridges better. again, i don't see much need for this
(sorry, 30k character limit. fun fact, this writeup was originally broken up into 2 posts of 29953 & 29987 characters respectively & i have no idea why that didn't work)
cores are the most egregious example of this. because of how trivial touching it is, how difficult leaking it is, that there are no states in between, cores spend most of the game being completely ignored by offence. the short amount of times cores spend not being encased in water source blocks is covered, with several minutes of buffer time, by the extremely forgiving obsidian core mode, which has an offender stand still for a full 10 seconds to have a chance at leaking. even then, they have a chance to be stopped, with the only thing to show for it being a core touch that could be gotten in just 1 second during later core modes
in the theoretical case that a lone offender tries to go for a full leak after early game, they must create at minimum place 4 blocks & clear an airspace for every block lava travels down. meanwhile the defender just has to break 1 block of the outside tube, then maybe place a plug block if the water defence was flawed, not that it takes time anyways. because of this imbalance of work effort, the offender now has to use direct pvp to clear out any defenders before working on the tube. this probably doesn't happen because any other member of the defending team can collapse onto them. optimal play will always end in the offender dying before a leak. a dead offender has probably given up valuable armour supplies, & the only progress they've left is some minor blockspam that can be undone (in contrast with monument destruction progress)
because people know what happens, nobody ever tries to solo push cores. they'll instead go for monuments that give them a higher chance of making permanent progress. but that's only true if there's a defender at the core. this essentially means there must be 1 person every game staying alert enough to catch an offender, while being completely stationary otherwise, just to act as deterrence. this position shouldn't exist in this state if the game is made for having fun
anyways, that's solo pushes. nobody does solo pushes anymore. if you want the core, you send a team. one person makes the tube to leak the core. the rest of the team either fights off the defenders or reinforces the tube to protect the leaker. the defending team all tries to open a path through the players & blocks into the tube to plug it. the problem here is numbers advantage. there's still the fact that plugging leaks is much easier than leaking, although this is slightly soften by the proportion of attacking players doing that being smaller (1/1 vs 1/7). however we still have the more persistent problem of spawn advantage. trading deaths will always favour the defensive side because they can run back to the core much quicker. add on to that the fact that defenders don't even need to get armour to defend properly. taking 10 seconds off your runback time forgoing armour is much more worth it if your runback time is 15 seconds rather than 45. because of this, attackers must invest armour while defenders don't have to. this means sometimes attacking core is not only pointless, but detrimental
the problem with the above scenario isn't that it exists at all. if it didn't, there would be nothing stopping teams from rushing core at the start of a round with no advantage & not be punished for being so brash. the problem with that scenario is the incredible sheer amount of advantage a team needs to have before it stops happening. getting the core before time limit at all signifies either a huge mistake, or a blowout. when really, it should be the standard map completion. time should only ever come into play for the most extreme of slow matches & even then it should act as a tiebreaker. instead we see any moderately close game come down to 4 completed monuments & 2 core toucches, unless it was slow enough for monuments to be intact, in which case those will more likely break the tie
speaking of monuments, they're better, but aren't perfect either. while they are more likely to break ties, the fact that there are many games where most objectives stay at least partially intact at all is a monument to how incredibly defence-heavy the gamemode is. while they're largely balanced around being defended by a single person, there are situations where it's viable to slam 7 defenders onto a single monument & lock it down like bedrock. then the rest are on core because that's probably unleakable anyways, but that plays out the same if the core is completed by both teams. imagine. it's possible this isn't a flaw with monuments themselves, but the other defence favouring aspects of the gamemodes, & this will go away naturally once they're solved. but still keep your eye on them
move cores forward?
because of the lore of "cores" being the main power artifact for whatever roleplay setting the map was, cores were always placed at a central point of the layout & visible from spawn, making them a sort of "final challenge" for the map. this decision had absolutely nothing to do with competitive gameplay, but developed into tradition regardless. there's no good reason for cores to be more difficult than monuments in both breaking mechanics & positioning. just equalize them by moving cores to less defensible places. doesn't really apply to core maps without monuments, but those shouldn't exist anyways
i did say part of the problem was that there were no completion states between touched & leaked. tracking lava's flow distance from a core would encourage more varied offence, make a core defender's job more tense, & severely reduce the chance of ties. but as we've learned from ctw, sometimes tiebreaker methods feel like they add an element of unpredictability to a game's result, making a win unearned. that depends entirely on how well they relate to the true victory condition. number of core blocks broken would be an example of a worse tiebreaker mechanic, because that's not how cores get completed. being a tiebreaker, lava proximity doesn't do anything to speed up games where a team is clearly winning but can't close it out. it also barely does anything for maps like spaceship battles, which has a tiny leak distance, or iris, which doesn't require tubing to leak. speaking of,
this map had an unusual core mechanic. it would always stay obsidian, & prevent any water from existing with a column around it, essentially trapping it in an early game state, sort of. the map's meta was, of course, shitloads of water walls. practically speaking, the permanent obsidian was much more of a benefit than lack of water was a drawback as far as ease of defending, making it even more of a bitch job. instead, that time gets spent exploding a hole around the core, then building the wall that completely nullifies cannons from ever touching the defence ever. then an extra 5 minutes of pure sitting at the core doing nothing
as far as offence goes, the dynamic doesn't change much. cover yourself up & spend 10 seconds mining. you can be interrupted by dying or getting knocked out of your self-made pit, but most likely but someone just walking into you. this resets the breaking progress immediately, leaving only your pit. the biggest upside is that a core touch is much closer to halfway between untouched & leaked, given leaking is just breaking 2 obsidian, then clearing a path through air. hard to tell how well it plays because it was only ever on 1 disaster of a map
i know i said this was about fixing dtc, but cores haven't been the core of the destroy the core gamemode for a while now. not much about the gameplay would change if they weren't there. since the problems associated are so bad, just toss them aside & make the it all about monuments
there's a sliding scale of size vs ease of destruction when it comes to monuments from 2 blocks of obsidian to 819 blocks of ice. most dtc monuments are near the middle of the scale, but maybe we should ease up in the 16 end stone types & do more of the 30 gold block types. blast resistance & pickaxe breaking time aside, it's much easier to encase a smaller monument without giving attackers a free hiding spot. even if in isolation it seems like it would be just as easy to break, this is what allows teams to do last minute turtling. maybe this is their biggest problem. maybe they should get destroyed in bigger intervals so people wouldn't be able to desperately cling onto 4 end stone blocks for 10 minutes without a chance of anyone touching them. maybe i'm just still mad about the weakeners match. who knows
dtc is largely a supply game. both conservation & protection of all the various items in your team's chests are a huge part of dtc strategy. at least you'd think that given the map design. it applies somewhat at the start of the map but is quickly made irrelevant by the mad rush to icarus into the other's supply chest & cripple them before slowly draining them of all firepower before going for the kill, after just 40 short minutes. yes, one of the few things still interesting about playing solo offence is the ability to sneak into a supply room & explode every chest, item, & soul the enemy team still has. the problem here is that because it isn't viable to give every chest a defence (i don't think?), the opportunity to get to these chests is largely luck based. while nobody guards chests, they do guard their side, & will hunt down any enemy offender they see. but if they go unspotted for just a few seconds near a chest cluster, it's gone
chests are exceptionally easy to destroy for how important they are. a blast resistance & mining time comparable to a single plank is all that's needed for a chest to drop all 27 slots of its inventory onto the ground. then a single block of tnt can be ignited anywhere within 5 blocks of all these items, which destroys all of them instantly. but this is good because it encourages aggression, right? well, i suppose we're lucky the gamemode isn't so defensively favoured that giving every chest a dedicated defender isn't a viable strategy (hopefully?), but no, it's not good for the game. the problem is that the line between a successful supply defence & a failed one is too thin. while yes, there's a significant skill element, it's still mostly a matter of chance whether there's even an opportunity to attack supplies without someone finding & stopping you
it's fun in the moment, but its implications on the rest of the match are awful. thanks to problems with objectives i talked about earlier, it's possible to defend with minimal gear, like swords & wood, while launching an actual offence requires more proper armaments, like diamond armour & tnt. because teams aren't afraid of an attack from a lesser supplied team, but are afraid of losing ground to a successful defence, teams have no incentive to end a game they're already winning until at a very extreme advantage. what we thought would liven up the game's pace by adding an offensive wildcard would end up just unnecessarily slowing the game to an absolute crawl
so yes, our issue here is that supplies, & therefore intact chests, are required to play offensively. obviously because this involves offending with armour, making cannons with tnt, icarusing with tnt, tnt running with tnt, & so on. after the chests are gone, each player has one life to do these things with. avoiding death to preserve supplies means more playing defensively, just for the opportunity to play offensively (even if chests weren't destructible, there would still be a limit on deaths, just much higher). without the ability to do these things, a team loses a whole lot of their ability to win the game. what they don't lose is their ability to avoid losing the game, for reasons i went over in the section about cores. in short, at low enough distances, rushing without gear has the same (or greater) value over time as taking a minute to armour up first
spawn with less gear?
there are very few maps that have spawn kits in the first place, so this isn't a universal solution. for those that do, this means taking that spawn kit & moving it to chests somewhere, where they can also be destroyed. this theoretically prevents the absurd core stall, but makes the problem of supply destruction being too impactful even worse. games can be decided in a matter of minutes by a particularly strong offence, even though it doesn't trigger the game over. this may actually bring about the dedicated chest defender strategy, for how stupidly important they would now be. look at that, we've made the game even more defensive
as for the other maps, it's hard to give spawning players anything less than the absolutely nothing they get on a lot of maps. but let's say the chests right next to spawn, closely guarded & difficult to penetrate by the nature of their placement, can be considered part of a spawn kit. just move them forward, i guess? hard to believe this is what would singlehandedly fix the game
spawn with more gear?
this should be one half of a two-part solution involving changes to objectives, as it otherwise leads to even more stalemates with spawn-trickling defences becoming nearly impossible to break. however, combined with less horrendous objectives, teams spawning with partial armour & tnt now always have a real chance to take back control & make a new offensive effort if the advantaged team doesn't act decisively. because teams can never truly be choked out of a chance to win the cannon & pvp battles, there's a new sense of tension that comes from victory never being assured
the problem is that this is just a flat cap to how much advantage a team can have over another. dtc was always a gamemode involving brutal punishment for a series of mistakes (rather than just one), & this mechanic seems like a cushion to soften the blow. in fact, it almost rewards death. sure, you can fix death farming by making items soulbound, but that doesn't change that they're replenished every death. nothing here is really earned
instead of giving items on death, give them on kill. this has the complete opposite effect to the last idea. it squashes out spawn tricklers & rewards players for consistency over the course of a match. the rewards shouldn't just be traditional immediately usable items like arrows & gapples, but more long term things like 4 tnt or a single diamond that play into the supply game. no longer is a single defending mistake so unrecoverably costly. the main problem with this is that the comeback factor isn't really there. yes, it can technically let a team make a comeback, but more likely it'll just let the other team snowball even harder. maybe you could combine it with the last idea for a supply filled fun fest, but then you run the risk of deemphasizing chests too much & letting teams just ignore them for not being worth the hassle. maybe it's worth it, but i'd miss the dimension the classic supply war adds
timed supply drops?
instead of all gear existing at the start of the match, it gets dropped down into some contested area on with a massive countdown timer. this is something that was tried in nextgen, then nearly immedialtey removed because the actual supplies contained were god damn comical. knockback resistance. jump potions. why? after this, the concept was never attempted again so nobody could ever realize the solution was to just make these full of normal supplies. diamonds, water, tnt, wood. allow people to ration, plan, & lose their supplies for a specific period of time at the start of the map, then let them fight to get it back. as it stands, supplies on a map only ever go down. this leaves no opportunity for crazy comebacks & hype shutdowns, only slow bleeds. hell, experiment with some basic supplies not showing up until later in the match. go wild
blast resistant items?
items would no longer be possible to destroy with a followup tnt after breaking a chest. super easy to code because of the wither star nbt tag by the way. this makes an unattended offender next to a supply chest much less of a threat, because all they can permanently get rid of is what they pick up or funnel to the void. everything else can be put back into chests within 5 minutes. this means the offender either has to destroy every item manually or settle for wasting some of their time. the consequence of not being everywhere at once for a few seconds is now much more reasonable than being potentially crippled for the rest of the game
less interesting alternatives include making chests blast resistant, making chests only vulnerable to blasts, or making chests indestructable to all attack & forcing offenders to spam ctrl q on every single item in the chest. these add some resistance to the action of breaking chests but do nothing for the fact that once they're broken, everything in them can be gone at once. there's also the idea of making all supplies fully indestructible, which i think is lazy & removes too much of the gameplay
spread out chests?
the number of distinct places tnt chests can be varied between 1, like fractal descent, & 6, like spaceship battles (which had 8 before edits). most tend to fall around 4. after the offender get to all 4, the game is practically over. what i propose is that we raise that number to something like 30. make supply destruction a continuous rampage that can be stopped at any point rather than a single pivotal moment. this much closer matches the pace of supply usage over time. teams can choose to gather these supplies & lock them down while putting all eggs in one basket like before, or risk leaving most chests vulnerable & unattended. many more positional options are opened up by new supply routes that still have to be thought out because they only work once a map. this is already how a lot of maps do diamond blocks, so why not make everything else more similar? in fact,
resources as blocks?
towards the later end of the dtc meta, people started protecting collected diamond blocks by placing them & watering them rather than stuffing them all in a chest. this offered a pretty clear advantage by spreading the resource between several more durable blocks. it wasn't possible with any other resource, either because it was too many blocks to place, too vulnerable to water effectively, or just plain didn't have a block form. what if you could though? say every stack of tnt was represented by a gold block, & a stack of logs represented by a lapis block. there's a very clear visual representation of the state of supplies without having to go into every chest inventory, & another clear representation of how much damage is done when they get destroyed. most importantly, they're spread out over massive spaces so it's impossible to destroy all at once
(now i have to make 3 posts, of a respective 17837, 19193, & 23559 in length. how inefficient)
most of my previous solutions were just attempts at bandage fixes to bring dtc closer to my idea of how it used to play. but maybe we don't need to go backwards, we need redical new direction! to define a brand new game type with perhaps the potential to be greater than dtc ever could have been! almost undoubtably not but here's my ideas
really long maps?
traditionally, dtc maps were much wider than deep, having nearly the entire map be a frontline. eventually they transitioned to duel of the squares & stayed there since. what if we keep going, for the full noodle? well, this is closer to ctw's layout, & i don't think it's compatible with the dtc design. ctw has more difficult to traverse map layouts as a tradeoff for the permanence of skybridges & the safety of wool rooms. it would be extremely unforgiving to offend, not to mention the effect it has on cannon duels. cannon control is largely a game of width. the wider your area, the better. generally, if you have a cannon, you control an entire slice of the map, going very up & very forward. this is because cannons don't really have a defined "maximum effective range". rather, a cannon's range is just based on the effort you put into upgrading it. this means the concept of pushing up or losing ground lengthwise is nearly meaningless to a cannon. you can just shoot farther, to a very severe extent. you don't even need redstone for cannon designs that force a map's length to an unreasonable walking distance
the reason this doesn't apply horizontally is because of tnt's interactions with blocks heavily favouring axis aligned shots. it takes a lot more effort to adjust a cannon's horizontal aim, generally meaning it's easier to just build another cannon in front of where you want to shoot, although not always. the horizontal model of map control also means that your total control is just the sum of all seperate & independant battles you've won, rather than a directional chain of forwards & backwards like most gamemodes. this uniqueness should be preserved at least to some degree, in my opinion. if your idea is just "port over this ctw map layout concept", it probably won't work. this goes for rfv2 style centre splits, gd3 style archipelagos, & anything in between. all inseperable from their length-width ratio & therefore won't mesh with dtc
really wide maps?
i liked interitus quite a bit actually. it had a lot of flaws in layout, but also a nice sense of constant ebb & flow, at least until people figured it out. i think a lot of that is due to its exceptional broadness. it was impossible to cover everything at once. there was always a gap & rotations were risky. this lead to a natural lopsidedness that every team tried to push in their favour. at least until they realized there wasn't actually that much on the map worth covering. & then thanks to water walls, the ability to cover it all anyways. with some more balanced focal point placement, & the absolute obliteration of water walls off the face of this earth, wider maps could be the way to go
really tall maps?
when i say really tall, i'm not thinking a massive tower. i can't imagine that working. just tall relative to current maps, which tend to be very flat. imagine instead of the frontline being a line or 2, it's an entire square of lines. this was something that showed up a lot in primed maps, for braindead cannon maximization, but can it work competitively? well, it would certainly change up cannon duels. a lot more aim would be required to hit everything that might be necessary. there would be a lot more opportunity to make a counter before someone's noticed, or maybe have two people do it at once. focal points like supplies & objectives would have to be spread out between the layers to make cannoners have to choose. there might need to be some sort of elevator to prevent climbing from being such a big deal, unless that's an intentional mechanic. should players spawn at the top, middle, or bottom? should height limits still be way above the top, or is the existing elevation enough? bridging would be very different as it becomes a lot more difficult to spot everything because of all the ceilings & floors in the way. overall no idea, maybe try it
a slightly more reasonable attempt at the traditional back & forth mid control, by dividing it into smaller sections. i've playtested quite a few dtc maps that never made it, & i've never seen any of them even attempt a mid island. ctw maps used to be split at the middle the same way, but now they're all archipelagic. can we apply the same solution? well, there's quite a few interpretations of the concept of "mid island(s)", especially now that we know we want to seperate the concept from the lengthy design of ctw, & merge them more with the girthy design of dtc. i can't possibly mentally playtest every possible iteration of this inside my head by pretending to be every player from both teams at once trying every possible strategy, but here's how i think it would roughly play out:
people bridge into mid & sword each other in a big team fight, while moving as much as possible to dodge the 1 cannoner's attempt at smiting them all with the hand of god. whoever wins, either by fair victory or heavenly intervention, now controls middle & can place any number of cannons there. while cannons can be used at any range, it's much easier to shoot close things. the team with mid has a better chance at doing actual damage to a team's supplies, infrastructure, cannons, & objectives all in one place. the team without mid has to choose between making a big snipe for those same things, or countering the much closer cannons threatening to do the same thing. the team controlling mid can create a skybridge with very little risk, as it can't be used against them if taken over. they can also much more easily create an icarus, as they are omnipotent, & so benefit from being placed on the opposite end of the known universe. this isn't even considering the possibility of supplies on the island. seems kinda busted. maybe there's ways to mitigate it. having multiple mid islands next to each other might make them harder to lock down all at once. hard to say from here. no real idea how anything would go down. just playtest it
i know i said radical but this is in like half the maps nowadays. there's two seperate models of side islands: the team specific, & the neutral contested. i'll go over both
because they're not axis aligned with the enemy side for cannoning, & too far out of the way to start a skybridge from, team specific islands tend to be just about useless for map control (except hiding icaruses but that's just because they're icaruses). instead, they're generally just filled with supplies, & the early game becomes a race for wool style bridging & denial game, where you maybe might maybe be able to cannon theirs if you get there faster enough, but most likely both teams will get them because water walls. for the rest of the match after supplies are collected or destroyed, these islands are only useful for an unorthodox surprise attack strategy. most of the time i think this concept plays a bit too one-dimensional, but that may just be due to water walls & icaruses
neutral side islands are the hot new thing. their value is a nice cross between overbearing & impassible mid islands & the ethereal & out of the way sided side islands. they're not axis aligned, so they still can't be used for much cannoning (or be cannoned against). but because going to them still gets you closer to the enemy side, they can actually be used for a reasonable offensive effort. now because there's only one island, any supplies on it are now always mutually exclusive. the disconnected bridge delaying now becomes an all-out brawl. because of its continued value as an offensive foothold, it has a distinct role regardless of the game state. although some care should be taken with these supplies so side island control isn't too overstated. also this goes very well with the timed supply drop idea from earlier. good step forward & could become a dtc staple in my opinion
a straight up 45 degree turned standard map just plays as if without cannons. nobody can hit anything, water walls aren't needed, nothing can happen. it's boring. diagonal cannons are all garbage unless they're compensated by the busted-ass dispenser designs & trust me if i can't make them work, nobody can
but when you make things more diamond shaped, something interesting happens. offensive cannoning becomes viable only with control of the side islands, far out of the way. these side islands would be quite a bit less powerful than standard mid islands, but also quite a bit less powerful the standard side islands. offence happens with the inherently non-cannonable diagonal skybridge, of which both teams will inevitably clash in the middle of. this now becomes an inverted setup to the standard neutral side islands from just above. giving more cannon power, but less pushing power. meanwhile the diagonal standard island setup gives relatively more pushing power & less cannoning power. it seems backwards, as generally cannons are used as a low risk poke, while offensive pushes are pivotal & must be earned. it's certainly an unusual mixup but it was used to great effect in boombox & absolutely no other maps since. maybe it only worked because of its asymmetrical setup (& dispenser cannons honestly), & is fundamentally incompatible with 2 sided maps, or maybe people just haven't tried hard enough to make it work otherwise
the dividing line between 2 distinct sides. how long should they be? how far should you have to go? i can't answer in block numbers because i never really memorized that but i can give a general description
if they're really short, basically the entire frontline becomes a vector for straight bridge sneak attacks by default. this is generally pretty annoying, but is sometimes the only option for a team with no other supplies to work with. straight bridge pushing can be somewhat mitigated by map design, like in fractal descent, which is close to the void, has absolutely no cover, & are overshadowed by the further back high ground that can see down onto it & is a much better starting place for skybridges. i remember that airship battles did none of these things except 1 ladder & was garbage
if they're roughly whiskey shot length, they tend to have a fairly nice balance for the effectiveness of skybridges & simple cannons which can be reduced for bridges over void & extended for back of map snipes. of course this assumes fairly simple map design otherwise. i think slightly less than spaceship battles' void gap is ideal for maps with a solidly defined flat frontline & some straight/underbridge potential. anything that makes flat bridging more viable (height variation near front, cover at frontline, lower height limit, side islands) should come with a suitable void gap extension, anything that makes it harder (close to void, low ground frontline, non-wide maps) should come with a reduction
if they're really long it's just gonna be an icarus meta, regardless of how badly they get nerfed. bows won't do shit. skybridges won't get anywhere. cannons will work, but only to shoot down skybridges. spawn advantage becomes unbearable. maybe something new & interesting would happen if you filled the void gap with all sorts of supplies & make it about that, but that's basically an entirely different gamemode & way outside the scope of this one paragraph of this one suggestion. avoid this much void
if it's nothing you just have all the problems of a short void gap & probably all the problems of a really long map but without any good ways to solve them. good luck with this one
destroy the everything?
there is absolutely such a thing as too cannon heavy & that is this gamemode. afraid people will defend the objective you're cannoning? they can't, everything is the objective. dte was created for public primed matches so people could experience raw cannon battles without the constraints of complicated concepts like "supply conservation" or "target selection" or "map control" or "teamwork" or "direct combat". because of how disconnected everything is, trying to finish off the massive monument first feels more like a race than a direct competition. there is a good reason nobody even considered this for competitive
really big monuments?
one step closer to our current monuments, boombox & ender blast style monuments are big, but not stupidly big. there's no really standard map with this type of objective, so maybe it's worth testing. they're still on the opposite end of the spectrum to cores, in that they're very easy to make some amount of progress onto, & require much more effort to make a complete defence. these maps both have something in common, & that's that they each have a mechanic preventing the map being overwhelmed by an onslaught of cannoning (also that there's only 1 monument to prevent weird block count rules from showing up) on ender blast, the monument gets followed up by a wool objective that someone has to properly offend to get. while it's still a very cannon heavy map, it feels like a step back into the realm of reasonability compared to the absurdity of dte, & that's probably why it's outlasted them. boombox had a more unique approach. attackers can't make any serious attempts at the monument until they've made a lot of bridging progress, by which point the defending team has already set up a respectable defence for the big thingy. a defence dominated map goes the full time & the asymetrical dynamic makes for much more engaging gameplay. hmm, this has potential...
boombox is the only attack/defence map to have ever been properly tested competitively. the attack/defence winrate is balanced for public but it barely matters in competitive because you play both sides. if defence wins, it's about the blocks they left standing. if attack wins, it's about the time it took. every other map was either a failed gimmick map, a straight up arcade map, or both. there's some very important things that make this map work so much better than the other a/ds. everything starts off stacked for the defenders: better spawns, actual ranged weapons, & more map control. but everything is set up so the attackers can gain quickly momentum while the defenders can't: the closer checkpoint spawns, higher damage melee, & the ability to actually end the map. imagine the defenders are tamers must keep the beasts at bay or else be quickly mauled. this is how attack/defence is supposed to play out (glares at overwatch's 2cp)
as a secondary objective, the checkpoints stand in for supply chests, which run the risk of having a defensive snowball to practically win immediately but still last 20 minutes. checkpoint control starts at nothing for the attackers, & can be somewhat back-and-forth, but even a single block is enough of a foothold for attackers to dig into the defence, because placing blocks is easier than breaking them. 2 paths times 2 tiers of checkpoints are good numbers to keep it dynamic but not overcomplicated. the map's dimensions being slightly beyond max range combined with the checkpoints constantly changing range means cannoners have to know every range
side island control is given to the defenders by permanent bridges, while attackers have to build destructable bridges there. this lets defenders build cannons aimed right at the heart of attacker base, but this doesn't do anything permanent. only drains time. if they ever let attackers get in the same position though, they have a shot at the main objective & can win the game nearly instantly. besides that, nothing is a better representation of the tamer/beast dichotomy than the weapons themselves. defenders can easily dispatch attackers at range with bows, but if they don't, they're fucked by double melee damage (an extreme version of ak47/m4a4 differences in cs:go by the way)
just bring back boombox. i honestly can't think of any ways to improve this formula. it seems like such a masterclass in gamemode design that last_username looks like a genius savant until you remember he thought dispenser cannons could be balanced
i've already touched on this but i don't think the capture the wool gamemode has much in common with dtc. wool rooms are very closed off & act as a safehouse for whoever gets into them. because they're so rewarding to get into, they're proportionally more difficult to get to. essentially the opposite of dtc's easy to get to but hard to complete objectives. this means very long & narrow map design which requires a lengthy skybridge to get into. the counterbalance to the difficulty of building these is that there's no tnt, which makes these skybridges are very hard to remove. so if you add any meaningful amount of tnt, what happens to that? how many things do you have to change before these concepts fit together? the 2 gamemodes seem like they couldn't possibly be less compatible
despite ctw & ctf having a very similar base concept, they play out very differently. capture the flag has much less structure permanence than capture the wool. not because blocks can be destroyed, but because they can't be created in the first place. map control ends the moment most people holding it are killed. logically following this is the concept that flag positions are risky but rewarding, rather than difficult but safe. despite the block rules at first like the polar opposite of dtc, i think it makes their fundamental gameplay much more compatible. structure presence in dtc acts much more like player presence in ctf than structure presence in ctw. for that reason i'd recommend jamming the more vulnerable flag podiums, rather than wool room safehouses, into the place of blank tnt maps. might have potential, but the maps will have to look pretty different to dtc to allow for 2 way trips without making either direction too difficult or trivial
cos(tnt) did it but that was a 3 team imbalanced block regenerating infinite gear dispenser cannoning mess so i'm going to ignore it
koth obviously needs a middle hill or it's going to stalemate. would recommend a neutral side island or 2 for the reasons i mentioned above, but a standard mid could also work. then maybe another 2 that are favoured by a team but far away from spawn so the retake isn't too easy. so right on frontlines or really far to the side. then a shorter void gap so offence isn't prohibitively difficult. supplies will have to be thought of in a different way, as now you can have a tradeoff between a quick point rush for some guaranteed tangible objective progress with a defensive advantage or gearing up for a retake & longer term advantage. the balance between these two options is a very delicate line that can be swayed by the bridging distance, height, cover, cap time, & point rate of each point vs the ease of access, strength, delicacy, & raw number of supplies spread across the map. it can work, but it needs a lot of refinement because this is an entirely (entirely) untested idea. the only fundamental problem i see with it is that the main objective doesn't really involve destroying anything, so tnt might take a back seat. less solo cannoning or tnt running plays to be made, except for directly killing people & destroying supplies, which there should be a lot of for this reason. overall a solid "potentially"
5v5 but without stupid map sizes because why the fuck did they do that?
during that 5v5... thing that happened, rather than making use of the more spread out gameplay that could work in this format, map makers instead decided to... have even less block area per player? this is absolutely nonsensical. the best chance people had to fix the gamemode & they made it worse. i blame key
this one map did it, so every other map after felt the need to make the same mistake. by its nature, a smaller map exaggerates all 4 of the problems i mentioned. less area to water wall, less cannons to shut down, therefore always better. sky bridges have less room to spread out so are more vulnerable to the 1 cannon that isn't blocked by water to everything, not to mention the void gap is still huge. players are closer together & can therefore collapse on a defence easier. smaller map obviously means closer supplies. the only thing key did well was have its core in a kinda vulnerable position, without which it probably would have been considered the worst attempt at a competitive dtc map ever. but of course because it did one thing right, everyone assumed it did everything right, & copied it from there with only minor iteration
fuck's sake, make people spread out. make them have to choose, make them think about their supply gathering routes, make them always a gap in their defences. that's the entire point of lower team sizes. in fact, that's the entire point of every map
i know haven't come up with every possible idea that could work. i haven't playtested most things here. i haven't even practiced cannoning in nearly 3 years. maybe there's some weird combination of an idea i dismissed here with some obscure arcade mechanic & convoluted map design that somehow singlehandedly elevates itself to twice the quality of classic dtc. hard to say because you can't put an idea to the test without having that idea. you can't have that idea in the first place if you're working in such a cookie cutter mindset
please stop copying maps blindly & judging their quality by whether they competently follow design trends. then, when you finally decide to be original, please stop applying gimmicks blindly & judging their originality by how outloundish they are. just think about how the map actually plays. really think about what every individual position could do, then what an entire coordnated team could do. identify any problems you can, like imbalances, unfun mechanics, just anything that could be better. then come up with solutions to those problems by brainstorming as many ludicrous ideas as possible, then deciding which will work by following logical cause & effect. that's the process, i'm aware that it's difficult but please try
the universal quality
no matter what mechanics, layout, pacing, or theme, any competitive game should always do one thing: force choices. not allow choices, force them. don't allow anyone to do everything, no matter how good they are. make them give something up. never allow the possibility of a "best choice" that can never be countered or never be the unoptimal choice. choices can be anything, from decided whether to be offensive or defensive, skybridge or icarus, cannon or water wall, grab diamonds or power bows, spread out or focus an area, protect iron or tnt supplies. absolutely anything. by any means. every popular esport has this down to a science. the more choices, & the harder they are, the better. that is what makes any game good
i'm not gonna help implement any of these ideas because quite frankly i have other things i'd rather do. i already spent like 18 hours on this 10488 word post. i'm done now. i'll come back when dtc is playable. you're on your own. good luck, bye
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