Sign in to follow this  

Against spawn camping

This topic is 4846 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm not really asking a question, just throwing a couple of ideas around, and waiting to see if more can come. Spawn camping is when a player remains for a long enough time near a known spawn point (that is, a location where a monster or another player is known to appear), allowing him to quickly dispatch any spawning enemies, thus increasing his score cheaply and, in the case of a player spawning, at the cost of frustration on the part of his victim. Methods of spawn camping are various, but all imply the near-immediate death of the spawning player: laying mines at the spawn points, spamming grenades in the area, using shotguns/instand-kill weapons. I will only discuss the player - versus - player case here. This problem is especially important when spawn points are close to each other, because although the chance of a player to use a specific spawn location is low, if all spawn locations are grouped together this means the spawn camper will get to kill someone almost every time a player spawns. This happens a lot in team games where spawn locations are conveniently grouped up in a certain location for the team to reunite. Now, what are some methods that are already used by games to combat spawn camping? 1. Temporary invincibility when spawning: this one is a classic, and it works. It turns a player invulnerable for a few moments just after he spawns, so he can get out of the way of impending danger. The problem with this is that it breaks immersion in some cases, and also that it's a classic (for those of you striving for originality). 2. Shoving spawning players around: this one was used in Quake 3 Arena is some areas, where players that teleported using the static teleporters were shoved out of the way when they appeared on the other side. Their initial movement made them harder to hit. However, this has the obvious problem of disorienting the player when he spawns (besides, if the direction of the push is known, the spawn camper will simply choose the correct position to wait in). 3. Putting spawn locations in inaccessible areas: this was employed in Team Fortress by having rooms only accessible to one team (and, in Team Fortress Classic, guarded by an indestructible turret) where players could spawn and replenish their ammo. However, this requires additional level design constraints. 4. Spawning players together: in some games, players respawn in groups, rather than alone, allowing them to defeat lone spawn campers by simply being too many to be spawn killed. However, this will not work when half of the entire team is actually waiting for you to pop out. I'd like to propose an additonal solution: - Dead players that are allowed to respawn can move around in a given area inside their base. - They can also see other dead players and their location, as well as any enemies nearby. - When they choose to, they can spawn in the location they are currently in. This would have several advantages: first, it allows players not to be taken by surprise, as they can observe an area before spawning in it. Also, it allows group spawning in a given area by allowing coordination between dead players. Finally, it allows respawning players to see where spawn campers are, and spawn in a free area. What are your opinions on this method? Do you have other ideas concerning spawn camping?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After palying alot of ET recently there have been alot of games on Railgun where the allies have spawncamped the axis from the cargo yard (where the crane is ) so while they are not dircetly spawncamping (as in shooting the players in the hut as they spawn) All the axis team gets killed when they come out of the hut. also some allies have used air and artillery strikes on the hut. Your methods are good but I cannot think how to apply them toi this situation (which I find to be the worst spawncamping level ever :( )

i think the best course of action would be to have a moderator on each server to deal with complainiants and oversee that people are playing fairly. This of course would be very hard to do because youd need to find all these people to sit on these servers all day overseeing the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with moderating is that sometimes spawnkilling is just par of the game. For instance, in the Half-Life mod Natural Selection, the goal is to destroy the other team's spawn locations, so basically when the main base is overrun by the enemy, players just find themselves spawning between the teeth/pellets of an enemy that was attacking the spawn location. Where does the difference lie between someone who willingly waits for the players to spawn, and someone who just was there when it happened?

Concerning the situation you describe, although I have never played it, it looks like an example of 3. gone bad: the axis have a "private" respawn location, but the configuration of which only makes things worse (I guess that's the main problem with method 3. anyway).

This issue could have been addressed at level design time by:
- Allowing the hut more accesses in separate areas or ways to go to other places without leaving their "private" area.
- Giving the axis more spawning areas, far from each other
- Giving the axis ways to shoot out of the hut without being too exposed.

If there are twenty holes a soldier can shoot at you from, you'd better not be standing there waiting for one to get out of the front door, especially if at least one will be out of your field of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temporary invincibility is simple and Just Works. Its also great for coping with the temporary disorientation (and perhaps the need to hunt for a gun).

An interesting variation would be making spawned players invisible and gradually becomming more visible over the first 10 seconds or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by OrangyTang
Temporary invincibility is simple and Just Works. Its also great for coping with the temporary disorientation (and perhaps the need to hunt for a gun).

An interesting variation would be making spawned players invisible and gradually becomming more visible over the first 10 seconds or so.


I like that alot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Personally, I think simply having a few spawn areas is good enough.

As long as the camper is killed quickly or forced to move on, I like that players are rewarded for making it that far into the enemy base. And as long as the game is a CTF style game where kills don't matter so much there's no great harm in having to respawn a few times getting rid of a camper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember when Unreal-1 was being made, one the the features for muliplayer was romaing spawn points. Basically, it would look at what part of the map had no people around, and spawn you there. Unfotunatly it was never included in the final release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another possible solution (with ET specifically in mind): Automatic team shuffling in the case of excessive spawn camping. In my experience its almost always the case of a team full of inexperienced players or people simply with bad aim (me) that end up getting spawn raped. Calling shuffle votes does bugger all since spawn camping noobs is fun. Damn shame, but true. So what if excessive spawn camping is detected and a shuffle is forced?

The problem then becomes how do you detect it automatically?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
The problem with spawn invincibility is that, depending on the map or gametype, this can work poorly. Hidden & Dangerous 2 had the option of spawn invincibility, but this led to many cases of an Axis player (for example) running into a freshly-spawned Allied player over the natural course of a game (the Allied player had unwittingly wandered into view), putting a couple of bursts into his head, only for the Allied player to turn around a waste the Axis player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could always represent invincible players as such (maybe by having them glow, or another such special effect). However, for some reasons I just don't like temporary invincibility. In some cases it just seriously breaks the ambience and immersion of the game.

Permadeath is a solution, yes, but it's quite a radical one. Some games are designed to see 100-200 deaths happening per round, and this just isn't going to happen with permadeath.

Roaming spawn points is a good solution, especially in deathmatch games. Still, I love spawning in the middle of a deathmatch brawl, with a rocket launcher a few feet from me, and blasting half a dozen heads off before being taken out. Having to "find" the action when you respawn usually slows the game down.

An idea similar to temporary invisibility upon spawning would be having a flash occur whenever a player spawns. Any player looking at the flash when it happens would become blind for a few seconds. So whenever a spawncamper notices a flash is about to happen, he has the choice of looking away (and having to aim for the spawning player afterwards) or become blind and useless (and miss the spawning player). This would also be a good way to keep players out of the enemy respawn room.

As for detecting spawn camping, when a player dies before 5 seconds or shooting his gun (whichever happens first) it's usually because of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Permadeath is never a solution [unless of course your problem is that too many play your game.

Doc also makes note of another solution: Voting. If players are allowed to boot someone doing the camping they can at least deal with the worst offenders. Nobody likes spawn campers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Permadeath has been implemented in some games already (such as the half-life mod, Counter-Strike) and works out well in some cases. The point is simply that players do not respawn: they simply spawn at the beginning of the next game. The real problem with permadeath is that without respawning games are shorter (the average deathmatch game can be anywhere between 2 and 10 counter-strike rounds, even more so for team games with respawn).

Voting can be abused. First, it is not certain that killing a spawning player is spawn camping. Maybe a lost player wandered through there. Maybe the way out of the base was through there, and the flag carrier had to kill that respawning sniper dude. Or maybe the very target location for the enemy is a gunshot away from the spawning location.

Second, usually only one team will be complaining about a given spawn camper. If the entire enemy team votes against the best player on the other team for "spawn camping", even if that player didn't do anything close to it, this is abuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about awarding negative points to anyone who kills a player that has just been spawned? A freshly spawned player might be worth -5, and that increases by 1 point per second until it reaches the usual value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm a fan of temporary invincibility. I'm not sure how a person spawning in out of nowhere isn't a break of immersion as it is, but lets pretend you don't want this immunity, theres always temporary invisibility, where you could give the player a second to get off that spawn panel and then they gradually fade back into existance.

Edit: Whoops, I should have read the whole thread before replying, OrangeyTang already suggested this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
when it comes down to it, if the designer has done his/her job, then you cant spawn kill, i personally always design my levels so that the other team cannot reach each spawn point (unless its a perma death game / such as tac-ops where it works in game-rounds)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To add to number 1, temporary invincibility, you could make it so that the person who has just spawned cannot shoot until the invincibility has worn off. That reduces what the AP was talking about:

Quote:
The problem with spawn invincibility is that, depending on the map or gametype, this can work poorly. Hidden & Dangerous 2 had the option of spawn invincibility, but this led to many cases of an Axis player (for example) running into a freshly-spawned Allied player over the natural course of a game (the Allied player had unwittingly wandered into view), putting a couple of bursts into his head, only for the Allied player to turn around a waste the Axis player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
-easy...multiple spawns, and also have a very defendable spawn area. That way it is hard for enemy players to get to your spawns in the first place.

-you could also make a pain field...this is where enemy players slowly (or a faster speed) take damage when in or near your spawn point/room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could keep track of how many people were killed (just after being spawned) by a certain person over the last few minutes. If this reaches some limit, the newly spawned players cannot be killed by the player that crossed the limit.

So spawn killing is allowed to a certain extent but a spawnkiller cannot ruin the game. This of course depends on the type of game... I imagine this could work in a deathmatch type of game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my only experience with this is in unreal tournament for xbox, CTF with instagib, so keep that in mind...

i enjoy playing that game rambo-style; that is, rushing in and blasting people before they can blast me. i once was convinced to play in a clan match, thinking that a few of my friends and myself were decent enough to stand a chance even against a bunch of people who took the game far too seriously... and we got slaughtered pathetically because they got two guys in one of our spawn rooms and another in the other spawn room, while the last ran the flag during their teammates constant spawn camping. the rounds seriously lasted only a minute or two, and i just quit playing then and there. i was informed by the others that this is how clan matches were played, and never considered it again.

i know for a fact that we could defeat these same guys if they didn't spawn camp us to a point of absurdity (it had happened before, which they attributed to their "not playing seriously", meaning they weren't cheap bastards about it). i still can't believe that anyone even gives a damn about any of these clans, considering their "skillz" are based on who gets to the other's spawn rooms first.

argh. sorry about the ranting, but it ruined the game for me completely, and until then i really enjoyed it.

now for something (possibly) useful:

in a game where spawn rooms are clearly defined and separate from the rest of the level (i.e. a room where you cannot be shot from outside the room, at least not while still standing on the actual spawn points), the spawn campers could/should be punished somehow when they are doing it. i guess it depends on the nature of the game; for a deathmatch type scenario, the kill (and death for the other guy) shouldn't count towards any scores; for CTF, they should either take damage or lose the ability to shoot for a short moment, or their teammate should lose possession of the flag if they do it more than a few times (or just kill them after the third respawned guy they shoot). to account for a couple guys escorting the flag carrier who happens to run through the spawn room, maybe they can safely shoot newly-spawned players only when they are within a certain distance of the flag carrier, so they can help him get through, but can't prevent the other team from ever leaving their base to try and get it back. this would at least prevent the constant-spawn-killing-as-a-strategy "strategy".

just my two disgruntled cents...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
... a CTF style game where kills don't matter so much ...


The thing with almost all CTF or team games where the idea is supposedly about teamwork, players are still rewarded with points for individual kills and placed on a scoreboard by that. Players wouldn't chase scores at all in games with no scoreboard.

In team games its easy to stop spawn camping and things like that, but the problem is that nobody makes team games, they make fps games where half the players fight against the other half.

I do like the idea of ghost players. It lets spawning players sneak up behind any potential campers and take them out before they can do anything. It makes the spawn zone a place for the enemy team to avoid, which is how it should be. Levels where you have to very close or into your enemies spawn area are poorly designed, because either way there is going to be a problem.

Quote:
... two guys in one of our spawn rooms and another in the other spawn room, while the last ran the flag during their teammates constant spawn camping.


That is the lamest thing ever. If that was allowed in any kind of contest I wouldn't take the contest very seriously. But then I dont take FPS games like UT seriously at all any more.

The FPS ethos seems to be that if the game jumps out of the screen and spits on your mother then you just have to sit between her and the screen while playing - that's why I don't play fps games any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey. Moveable spawn points.
If the troops are getting killed too much in a area, deploy them somewhere else.

That's ideal in open-field or huge maps. Read: Battlefield, UT2004 army-mode (don' remember name) and the like.


A crazy one: blasting spawn. First comes a explosion to clear the area, then the player spawns in. It may not be lethal, maybe pushes the camper away, screwing up the aim.


The Bottleneck Problem: if all players must pass trough a door, you could camp the door (like shown by grekster). That's avoided with multiple doors, ways to defend the door, or un-campable doors (player falls / exits from moving vehicles to get into action, per example).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4846 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this