What do you think a 6v6 payload map would look like?

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  • People have been complaining about the 6s meta for years, that it’s stale and never changes. Some have suggested that new game modes could promote better class diversity and generally shake things up, but payload has flaws in a 6s environment.

    I’ve always wondered if it were possible to make a payload map specifically to make it friendly to 6s. What would it look like?

    That’s the idea for this post, I wanna hear what people think.

  • Replying to myself to separate my thoughts from the forum header.

    I don’t know anything about the hammer editor, so I don’t know if this could be implemented.
    I think fast respawn timers and a longer track could help make a map accommodate a smaller playercount. Perhaps checkpoints that pause the cart for a few seconds (like barnblitz) could help pace the map.

  • Could work if the cart is constantly moving at like a 1x speed and the defense has to be on top of the cart to stop it.

  • I’ll bite.

    From an analytical perspective, 6s and HL have developed into two distinct dichotomies, and I believe looking deeper into this difference should form the basis of what differs map-wise (and thus what differs design wise) between the two game modes.

    To save out on some time I’ll outright say the simple conclusion: 6s focus on mobility emphasizes the push/pull, in 6s your team switches from defending to attacking on a dime while in HL one team often is (inherently by the gamemode) the aggressor, and one the defender. Often this change of aggression is something that necessitates callers have at least some understanding of the game mode on a basic level of either recognizing advantages or understanding risks.

    What this means physically is that in payload: the defending team often has no incentive to push/move/advance off successfully winning a teamfight - and as there is no need for mobility this would result in a 6s format with no reason to not run the defensive offclasses for basically every point (Engie, Heavy, etc).

    What does payload add to 6s? When I spoke to fossil he indicated to me (I might be misquoting him here, but I think the general idea is sound) that he thought to add the ferocious excitement of stopwatch to 6s, but I knew with him saying that he’s never seen (or rather never played) 6s where a won mid fight can turn into a scramble for last, or a full advantage is desperately pushed on - 6s where someone calling that they are dying seconds before they do makes the difference in decision making to save a situation - or where teams use as soon as they get Uber because they already are on a much shorter more aggressive timer - the enemy medic’s Uber. Simply put, payload for 6s would add a more visible timer, but would remove many aspects of decision making complexity that is essential to the “feel” of 6s.

    I’m assuming Austin has interacted with fossil, and that may be the premise of the line of inquiry, but for those not in the loop he is the mapmaker for pl_drylands - a payload map explicitly designed for 6s. My interaction with fossil has been limited, but I will share that while organizing playtests for cp_sultry I had reached out to him in the hopes that more mappers could benefit from my improvised pugs. Ultimately I found that players I talked to simply were not interested in playtesting drylands - and I reached the conclusion on payload in 6s above from talking to them and collecting their “obvious” thoughts.

    I have a lot more general comments on mapping and the line between HL and 6s which I’ll hold my tongue on, but as a final remark in terms of potential for a new game mode in 6s, I had my eye on Zeus’s seige_grove based on the paladin’s game mode (capture point for one point, push cart to end on timer to score potential additional point).

    Drylands: https://tf2maps.net/downloads/drylands.11068/

  • @Austin said in What do you think a 6v6 payload map would look like?:

    I think fast respawn timers and a longer track could help make a map accommodate a smaller playercount. Perhaps checkpoints that pause the cart for a few seconds (like barnblitz) could help pace the map.

    I think you should elaborate on your ideas more - specifically how you think they would positively benefit your view of the format. Yes these are changes, but I can’t see the connection between how it helps ease the transition.

    Fast respawn timers - is this for both teams? Simply put faster respawns for the attacker (who already has better spawns) means faster and sooner sac waves - and on that note less punishment for feeding (smaller window to push advantages on) I don’t really think this fits with 6s because short respawn timers means it’s very difficult to capitalize on picks. In the way of helping the attacking team eventually win - I suppose a larger difference between the spawn waves of both teams could be considered - but this opens up the possibility of koth 4mans for picks, then simply pushing of the resulting spawnwave player advantage.

    Longer track - how would a long track benefit smaller player numbers? If your cart is automatic then it just increases the delay between when a team actually has control of a point/area and when it is counted as taken by the game? The idea itself somewhat confuses me, how does expanding something make it more suitable to smaller player numbers?

    Pausing checkpoints - I stand by the point that this is just generally a bad idea in any competitive, let alone 6s. In HL the cart shouldn’t really determine where/when a push is happening - if you wipe a team holding first your team should explode into the second point with the minimal token dedication to keeping the cart progressing, this is the distinction between a casual game and a competitive one.

    In casual the cart being slow often matters, as players may gravitate toward the objective after finding no enemies and essentially stack it - but this should never be the case in HL, where wiping a team should result in trying to take space and positioning over the next point - and the team that wiped should have recognized when the situation was bad enough to retreat to defend that next point.

    The question to ask is really probably why are you encouraging feeding/wiping over clever recognition of the situation/tactical retreating with a forced stopgap. This is often used in casual design (see pier) to force combat over a point (no free point theory) - but in competitive you exercise the same practice you create degenerate gameplay. (IE: Why wouldn’t we all feed onto the cart if when it’s capped we all get force respawn?)

  • do a two-way single cart that each team wants to push like in fistful of frags

  • @dlphn This is 5CP with more steps (also known as tug-o-war) - the cart has the same mechanic of being when the game “assigns” you a capture versus the actual control of a zone. What does this realistically add onto the gamemode for what it takes away?

  • a payload cart

  • @dlphn let me be more specific:

    A payload cart forces map design to allow for clearance around it, sandbags pushes requiring babysitting, would limit play options (as someone always has to meet the cart), and would certainly prevent any ability to have something like a coast to coast.

    What benefit does the addition of a payload cart add into 5CP? Could you elaborate on what the fistful of frags cart is and why it might be suitable for competitive?

  • I don’t reall the map name off the top of my head, but the one testco map pug I did had a 6s payload map where once the cart was touched it would constantly roll forward until the defense touched it to stop it and roll it back. conceptually it was so that way no one had to sit there and bitch the cart, but in practice your whole team now had to stay around it otherwise some random flank scout would tap it and ruin your whole push

    and no the map was not 5cp + cart, it was a proper A/D map with this mechanic

  • @Pain-Seer drylands - see first post

  • @FlipFTW

    ngl, td:dr

  • to sorta clarify what i think is the most important part of what @FlipFTW said -

    in 6s, defending team, bc they don’t have to switch to offense, is automatically incentivized to run what for defense is a way stronger, team fight winnington team comp that offense now auto loses team fights to, and if offense runs pick classes to break a hold, they lose even more team fight power.

    unlike in hl where team comps are enforced, meaning any two teams are, map design permitting, theoretically well balanced, and spawn timers being faster means the offense team is evenly matched with a defense that doesn’t need to be mobile.

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