Improvements before the next WC

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dnielsen
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Improvements before the next WC

Postby dnielsen » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:38 am

I was reading an old thread (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12608) where Gianluca was making a "by the way" suggestion. So I was inspired to get on with something that has been on my mind.

A few preliminary remarks:

1) I gave some criticism of the vote on the unintended slides fix because I thought the KOA had not had enough time to dissect the feature and discuss it to a sufficient depth. Point being, we should take some time for stuff like this and not just throw it out for what could be perceived as a rushed vote. So, in this spirit and to somehow keep my word, I find it reasonable to begin a discussion now of what we imagine could (or could not) be improvements to the KO2CV as well as the general tournament features for the next WC. This could really be everything, from slide fixes to a "best goal competition".

2) With regard to improving the KO2CV, I know everything depends on Steve Camber actually taking time out of his schedule to do so. At the same time, and everything else being equal, I think Steve would only be interested in implementing ideas that the KOA community is enthusiastic about (as opposed to implementing ideas that the community would not like). So I would consider active discussions fruitful, even if nothing would come out of them. The idea is to benefit from the creativity of the whole of KOA so as to improve the experience that we are spending time on.

3) I quote Alkis' wise words from the aforementioned thread:
And what about newbies? If I joined the KOA today and found out that the game had been altered, I doubt I would bother to join a tournament.
This is the main reason for which we try to keep the world cup rules as close to the default ones the average players are used to. I'm all for trying new things in smaller or even big local tournaments, of course.

I certainly don't want to use this as a definitive argument against (WC) changes of one kind of another. I just think it is wise to keep this in mind in the sense that, if we make changes, they should be simple so that you can immediately understand their description and get used to them in about one practice session. For example, don't change the keeper behavior, since this is something that is deeply ingrained in KO2 players, but don't worry about changing the kit colors. Somebody else put it like this, recently: To practice for the WC, the old disks from 1990 should always be sufficient. I am not sure I agree 100%, but this point is good to keep in mind philosophically. Also, some people love KO2, but don't have time for long discussions where they can let their opinions be known at the right moment. So, it might be a good idea not to alienate such people by making large changes that they feel defenseless against.

4) I know there is already a KO2CV thread. I put this idea and thread here, since I would like to invite to a discussion that is more broadly related to WC features and rules and general ideas about how we can improve the KO2 tournament experience (as opposed to a technical feedback thread for Steve Camber (not saying that the KO2CV thread is such a thread, but pointing out a contrast)). While saying this, I refer to point 1 and 2 above.

5) Keep it civil! And on topic! And whatever else you like...

OK, so with THAT out of the way, now for something much, much simpler:

A) The Gianluca idea: "If for example tapping the button the keeper will make a short throw, who will complain?"

coupled with:

B) Preventing time-draining abuse: IF the keeper throws the ball in play, and IF the opponent team has not touched the ball (indicated by the player color at the bottom of the screen), then keeper/ball collision is turned off (that is, until the opponent touches the ball).

I like A because it will allow more control when the keeper has the ball. There is a little problem now if you want to make a throw: IF the keeper shoots anyway, you want a good kick, so you would (often) go to the forward directions with your joysticks. But then IF the keeper does make the throw, you will have your defender run away from the ball and the risk of an opponent attacker intercepting is increased. Ideally, you want to know if the keeper will kick or throw so you can prepare accordingly. With more control, you make the option of a throw more appealing, and this will give more variety in the play from when the keeper has the ball.

I like B because it will prevent abuse. At the same time, it will not take away the option of running or passing the ball back to the keeper during normal play, as everybody is used to already.

So, as you see, this is something quite obscure, but still, a potential (and probably easy to implement) improvement and maybe inspiration for even better ideas. I personally don't feel strongly for or against the idea, but I am interested in potential improvements to the idea or related ideas. I also find this idea a good test balloon for the whole concept of having discussions like this in the first place :lol:
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby alkis21 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:48 am

dnielsen wrote:I was reading an old thread (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12608) where Gianluca was making a "by the way" suggestion.


Excellent thread, I was really on form those days.

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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby gdh82 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:51 pm

This discussion may be coming a little too soon after Athens but nonetheless your post is thoughtful, moderate and strives to be inclusive. That said, there are some who would have no hesitation in bursting your test balloon and opposing this thread's very existence! Still, just as Alkis pointed out with regarding to the WC tournament room's temperature/lighting etc, you can never please everyone.

Anyhow, for what it's worth, like you and Gianluca, I've also thought it'd be good to have greater control over a goalie's 'throw outs'. Imho this small change would be a natural extension of KO2's outfield short passing.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby JamesHBeard » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:03 pm

dnielsen wrote: Somebody else put it like this, recently: To practice for the WC, the old disks from 1990 should always be sufficient.


I could not disagree with people who have signed up for this concept strongly enough.

You can practice to your hearts content with the original discs, but it will not help you much at major KOA events..

The moment the KOA adopted TEAM A==TEAM B as the basic setting for KO2, the original discs became obsolete.. add to that the 1.4 and Oracle versions that a person with "original" discs has only one of.... they may well not even be aware of oracle/1.4 ball control...

A new KOAer simply has to download the freely available competition version and practice with that instead... its a 5 minute job... not much effort by anyone wanting to compete in the KOAs tournaments. Plus you get an unprecidented amount of support from the techy KOA members if you are having problems with the procedure.. so no excuses really.

Maybe we could even have someone selling KO2 Competition Version Amiga discs.. proceeds going to the KO2 world cup fund.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby Torchiador » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:28 pm

Nice post, Dagh, I think that we'll have time to talk about this matter since It will be a long and cold winter this year...
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby dnielsen » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:30 pm

Just took a look at my suggestion with a fresh mind, and there is an obvious simplification of the idea:

Suggestion: If the player does not hit the fire button, the keeper will always make a throw.

So if you want to kick, you hit fire button, if you want to throw, you don't.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby Rodolfo » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:41 pm

dnielsen wrote:B) Preventing time-draining abuse: IF the keeper throws the ball in play, and IF the opponent team has not touched the ball (indicated by the player color at the bottom of the screen), then keeper/ball collision is turned off (that is, until the opponent touches the ball).

(...)

I like B because it will prevent abuse. At the same time, it will not take away the option of running or passing the ball back to the keeper during normal play, as everybody is used to already.



This kind of alteration does not aim to the better control of the game, but towards the ethics subject. I would rather not legislate about ethics. But, on the other hand, if ethics debate is open, I will defend my interests, of course.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby dnielsen » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:27 pm

Good point, Rodolfo.

I couple the two suggestions here because I would certainly not want A without B. A gives more control, so it is natural to consider how that extra control might be abused (or used to do "bad things"), and then see if there is a solution to that.

If people are not willing to give up the option of throwing the ball in play and then run directly back to the keeper, then we can do without a change.

With regard to legislating about ethics, I don't think you can avoid having to do that from time to time. We just have to keep in mind that there are many layers of ethics, also in connection with something as simple as KO2. For example, disliking KOlobbing or diving or intentional fooling is "weak ethics" and just a dislike for some kinds of behavior that are already an established part of gameplay. It's similar to, for instance, being rude in real life. Many people don't like it, but we will not legislate about it. Other people may consider rudeness a fair attitude, but may dislike other kinds of behavior that we also couldn't dream of legislating against.

While disliking features that KILL gameplay (like time-draining loops that can't be blocked, or, for instance, an exploit that will always give you back players who were sent off) are "strong ethics". I would want to get rid of such features because they make the game absurd. It's part of keeping a game balanced and enjoyable. Let's say we made 1 custom tactic that was much stronger than the 8 we already have. Then I would oppose the adoption of this single tactic not because I want to legislate about ethical behavior ("choosing that tactic is lame!"), but because the game would be more enjoyable if people simply could not use this tactic (you got one tactic, but you killed 6-8 others). Similarly, I am in favor of preventing the "run the ball back to the keeper loop", since this is something that kills gameplay in a very fundamental way (while other features, good or bad, do expand gameplay, like KOlobs, diving, and fooling).

We can also consider line-up changes for an example. We don't use them, and the arguments are 2: For practical reasons (takes time), and to make KO2 tournaments easily accessible (you don't have to spend time learning the ins and outs of the full line-up in order to compete on an equal level). So, legislating against line-up changes is not ethical legislation ("changing your line-up is lame!"), but part of trying to make the game more enjoyable.

Sorry to be so clumsy and long-winded. I just don't agree that my suggestion is rooted in a wish to legislate about ethics.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby dnielsen » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:41 pm

Here's another way to look at it:

When playing a game, I consider the optimal behavior the one that optimizes your chances of getting a good score. If the optimal strategy for a good score means that you have to do silly and boring things, then the game is bad. If the optimal strategy means that you have to do something funny and challenging, then the game is good.

The same with Kick Off 2. I find it natural to try and adopt whatever strategy that will optimize my competitive chances. Ethics just don't cross my mind here. However, if that optimal strategy depends on silly stuff (like running the ball back to the keeper in a loop), then the game is less enjoyable.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby Steve1977 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:25 pm

1) I gave some criticism of the vote on the unintended slides fix because I thought the KOA had not had enough time to dissect the feature and discuss it to a sufficient depth. Point being, we should take some time for stuff like this and not just throw it out for what could be perceived as a rushed vote. So, in this spirit and to somehow keep my word, I find it reasonable to begin a discussion now of what we imagine could (or could not) be improvements to the KO2CV as well as the general tournament features for the next WC. This could really be everything, from slide fixes to a "best goal competition".


Dagh, you should have been at the UK Champs earlier in the year. It was most successful in that it introduced the autoslide fix and removed the autoslide bug. Quite a few of the attendee's were either active members of the KOA or had been welcomed back after a long hiatus and the general impression was Autoslide what?

It seemed that no-one realised they had been removed. But when you go back to the game? It's quite jarring and takes a bit of getting used to. I'll admit that having autoslides fixed and the bug removed does improve my game because I can defend a whole lot better but this shouldn't be about if it improves anyones individual game or not, this should be about KO2 as a whole. (Although when playing Gianni I was 6 down and Cox did an autoheader...definetly favours the better player!)

With Autoslides and the Autoslide bug fixed it enhances the game and makes it more enjoyable...that's not to say it wasnt enjoyable to begin with, but I'll ask this...when the big enterprise that's EA Sports host the Fifa World Championships or even when a humble PS3 user plays Fifa, do they play the game 'out of the box' or do they use the latest patch?

But of course everyone is different and others will dislike elements which I love (I think lobs take skill to do and I love it when the opposing keeper runs behind the goal :). Thereby, a few members of the UK looked into bridging the divide which affected the number of tournies in the UK this year. Their proposal? The visiting team chooses whether to have Autoslides on or off but unfortunatly this discussion didn't really get off the ground...maybe with the benefit of some long quiet Winter months this thread could be used to enable us all to gain a better understanding.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby Troglos » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:53 pm

dnielsen wrote:Just took a look at my suggestion with a fresh mind, and there is an obvious simplification of the idea:

Suggestion: If the player does not hit the fire button, the keeper will always make a throw.

So if you want to kick, you hit fire button, if you want to throw, you don't.


I have to finish to read all this topic, but for this suggestion I'm thinking something about my have to say .

When I play and my keeper got the ball I have always the button pushed because of my method of control. With my metod I'm am for trapping the ball if I will control it after the keeper shoot or if my opponent got it. The button pushed is important because I need to switch the first player that will slide or wil be blocked, the with the next player I can control the ball (probably I'm not clear :( ). What in theory happens with this new feature?
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby Steve Camber » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:41 am

I'd like to implement this goalie feature as JFF option. On paper it seems a great game design improvement, so the sooner we try it out, the better.
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Re: Improvements before the next WC

Postby dnielsen » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:51 am

Troglos wrote:
dnielsen wrote:Just took a look at my suggestion with a fresh mind, and there is an obvious simplification of the idea:

Suggestion: If the player does not hit the fire button, the keeper will always make a throw.

So if you want to kick, you hit fire button, if you want to throw, you don't.


I have to finish to read all this topic, but for this suggestion I'm thinking something about my have to say .

When I play and my keeper got the ball I have always the button pushed because of my method of control. With my metod I'm am for trapping the ball if I will control it after the keeper shoot or if my opponent got it. The button pushed is important because I need to switch the first player that will slide or wil be blocked, the with the next player I can control the ball (probably I'm not clear :( ). What in theory happens with this new feature?


I think I understand what you mean. I don't think there would be any change for you compared to now. You can also now try a throw, even if you keep the button pushed before the keeper gets the ball. There seems to be a short period after the keeper receives the ball where you cannot yet order a kick (so you have time to release the fire-button). The difference in the suggestion is that instead of the keeper only throwing the ball in play N% of the time, he will now do it 100% of the time (if the player does not push the fire-button and thus makes a kick with the keeper).

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