Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The End of Spawn Camping


Recently we covered some of the outdated, poorer aspects of FPS but we neglected one that many of our writers believed deserved its own blog post, altogether. Spawn Camping. We've all heard of it, experienced it or subjected others to it at one time or another in FPS. Its essentially the practice where an overmatched opponent is pushed back on their position so far that they cannot advance past the spawn point. The enemy is literally on top of them and as they spawn they are mowed down or forced to huddle together for fear of being killed instantly. Easily one of the worst aspects of modern-day shooters, it dilutes the experience for those being ''camped" and those pushing the enemy back to their spawn as well. With the depth we anticipate in Dust 514, we hope that the days of spawn camping are long gone.


One of Spawn Camping's root causes are the smaller and redundant maps many shooters are famous for, not to mention a limited amount of areas your forces can launch or spawn from. If Dust gives commanders the ability to configure the battlefield like what is being hinted at, we could at long last have a truly fluid experience where every match is different and spawn campers will be forced to rediscover the locations of spawns every time a battle is waged. Several games have implemented features that neutralize the practice of spawn camping, here are just a few of the things we'd like to see:

1 Spawn on Teammate - A great addition to FPS that is balanced as long as it stays restricted to squadmates. This allows a squad to quickly form up on an area as long as one teammate gets to that location.

2. Multiple, Selectable and Floating Spawns - While a savvy enemy will spread his forces towards all available spawns as the enemy is forced back, one aspect that could help eliminate spawn camping is the ability select from a group of available spawns. Also, possibly the greatest threat to spawn camping are "floating" spawns that can be moved during a battle to guarantee that our forces wont spawn with the enemy on top of them.

3. Spawn Beacons - BF3 introduced us to this great feature. It functions like a mobile spawn for your squad that can be planted in an enemy area. Its wonderfully balanced with an audible indicator that makes its presence obvious to the enemy and it is easily destroyed if found.

4. True Flanking Routes - Few things will negate spawn camping like maps that simply include enough real estate that extends far outside the direct, straight-on approach. The rumored size of maps in Dust may finally make accessible areas far outside, behind and beyond the beaten path a reality.

5. Mobile Spawns - Whether this be an MCC, APC or HAV the mobile spawn is another mechanic that combats spawn camping. Giving a squad the ability to spawn in a vehicle as long as isn't destroyed.

All of these features (and hopefully more) will work wonders eliminating one of the most dated aspects of gaming in FPS. DICE prompted the transformation of stealth kills with their display of knives in BF3. We can only hope that CCP will also do their part to push the envelope in FPS as well.

9 comments:

  1. 100% agree. death 2 spawn camping.

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  2. All great ideas, but with the Beta a few weeks away we are mostly just speculating on what we are going to see and if it is going to be fun to play.

    Remember that from the commander's point of view, Dust is a strategy game. You place your installations, select your spawn points, and choose your vehicle classes. Now imagine trying to defeat an enemy that can spawn almost anywhere. It simply doesn't make sense.

    I think we are certainly going to see multiple spawn points that you can choose at the start and a map large enough to take advantage of that flexibility. Obviously some way of selecting which spawn point will be used by each player is important, and hopefully it can be changed mid-battle as the situation warrants.

    Personally I doubt we will see any mobile spawn points unless you have a vehicle that supports a cloning facility. According to the latest dev blog, dropships will have that functionality. I wouldn't be surprised of some of the other nine vehicle classes had cloning facilities, but it seems hard to beat the mobility of a dropship so you would have to wonder how useful something like an armored personnel carrier would be if it was stuck on the ground.

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    1. Hi.
      You are absolutely right: dropships will definitely be the only "mobile spawn points" in Dust 514.
      I also believe that we won't see mechanics like "spawn on teammates" since Dust 514 wants to be a believable experience set within a believable universe, with believable mechanics and rules: appearing magically on you teammates, teleportation one might say, is something EVE doesn't do.

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    2. Ever hear of a jump portal?

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  3. Yeah I think you're right about most things; Dust certainly seems to have a lot of different things going for it which could eliminate spawn camping. Some of the suggestions you mentioned, I think, are maybe too good for a game like Dust. BF3, sure, spawning on your teammate is fine - it's a skirmish without persistency, let us just get back into the fight quickly! But for a game like dust, where keeping an impenetrable front as a defender can be paramount to your success, having this feature is simply too "good". I guess you can compare this with Magicka, where the developers spent so much time promoting clever, complex use of different magic spells and combinations, then introduced machine guns and made all those spells redundant.

    I think mainly floating vehicles, manned dropships capable of landing and beacons deployed by infantry can be used to solve the spawn camping issue. I imagine things like the beacon however to have some tradeoffs like cooldowns and also forces you drop in from the sky (meaning it cannot be placed inside) beacause an insta-spawn feature would be too powerful for a small inconspicuous device. :P As far as I'm aware (and as Claire mentioned) cloning aka insta-spawning can only happen in larger vehicles, where it would be realistically possible to mount a cloning device.

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  4. battlefield 3 didn't invent spawn beacons. The first I've seen were spawn grenades in killzone 2.

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