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Old 04-15-2017, 03:42 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
This is not at all what I'm suggesting, unfortunately. Either I'm not articulating myself properly, or communication is breaking down somewhere.
Originally Posted by Thurbo View Post
Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
Originally Posted by Thurbo View Post
Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
The discussion of teamwork and class dynamics, as best as I can surmise, is something of a tangent that doesn't actually address the point of player agency (i.e, having passive versus active influence over given situations).
Yes, what I'm trying to get at is the question whether that actually matters and if it should be defined as such.
Well, yes, it does matter. People naturally prefer having direct involvement and control.

This isn't a matter of balance, it's a matter of design.
The point is that this isn't like other situations simply by virtue of the distinction that your chief and primary methods of counterplay are passive in nature, as a consequence of how damage and combat in the game are designed. "Too" passive was never the point.
You're basically arguing that while you're not actively attacking a player on the field, you're not in control and not playing against them.
I fail to interpret this in any other way. You might be able to help out.

Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
Everything leads to something. Contributing to a goal is not a distinguishing factor that defines whether or not a decision or action is being taken in a way that directly hinges on the player themselves. I can turn on autobattle when running into the nth Moh Shuvuu in Strange Journey, but I would be hardpressed to claim what ensues required much engagement on my part, even if the ultimate result is in accordance with what I want to do.

Forgive me if I can't figure out how to properly describe this in a way doesn't involve tautologies, but maybe try thinking of active play as courses of action that impose responsibility on the player; passive play, on the other hand, is that which abdicates, avoids, or otherwise bypasses responsibility beyond the initial black and white decision to do so.

We can get pedantic about this, of course, because you can't easily quantify this in concrete and tangible terms. Arguably, few things can be once you start discussing abstractions in these sorts of contexts.
Your example actually is one major reason I was against the mini-sentry in its original form, because after an Engineer did his button press to build the thing, Scouts and Pyros had no other option to get out of the area and tell their team to deal with them, then wait until it's dealt with to access the area again. On top of it being a bland, one-dimensional encounter for anyone involved.

On the other hand, I do not think this applies to the Sniper. He can be flanked by anyone and - through peeking/getting info on his position from peeking teammates - needs to be avoided dynamically. Even though you can't attack him effectively in a large area, avoiding his attacks is a sufficiently active engagement in my eyes. Flanking, moving unpredictably, taking cover, peeking and providing info to your team is leagues above mere decision-making.
Mind you, killing players isn't the objective, it only helps towards completing it. So there are active measures you can take to try and keep the Sniper as harmless as possible; a Sniper who can't properly snipe because of smart positioning might as well be dead.

Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
And I certainly never implied this.
Neither did I imply that you implied you think that. It's directed towards the type of players we're arguing about who dislike the Sniper.

Originally Posted by Jay Dorris View Post
I'm guessing this is where we'll simply have to agree to disagree.
If you disagree you might want to explain why. Of course it is an illusion that you have control over a situation that is not in your favour; how could it be any other way?

Something that wasn't very clear to me before I tried competitive is how crucial and punishing it is to be off-position, and it does teach smarter positioning and movement in pubs as well. If you are caught off-guard or in the wrong spot, you die, because in competitive, people hit shots.

Situation A: An encounter with a Heavy-Medic combo as a Soldier within the Heavy's optimal range ends up deadly for you. You have no safe spot and path to rocket jump away.

Situation B: An encounter with a Sniper as a Scout within the Sniper's optimal range ends up deadly for you. You have no cover to take before he shoots you.

Situation A: Your mistake was to approach the combo directly within their optimal range. A Heavy will shred you with or without a Medic unless you have corners to peek. A Heavy needs to be ambushed if you are solo or you and your team need to either focus fire the Medic and Heavy or pick off members of their team for numbers advantage in order to defeat them.

Situation B: Your mistake was to run out in the open without checking for Snipers and notice him too late. A Sniper needs to be flanked to be dealt with effectively, which is often a team effort as the enemy Sniper is protected by his own team and you and your team should take alternate paths to the objective to avoid unnecessary deaths.

Both situations are equal in their premise: Incorrect positioning leads to more and more certain death, with room for error via mistakes from your opponents. With incorrect positioning comes lack of control over the situation. The Sniper is on a more extreme end due to much larger effective and weak areas, but their size doesn't technically matter beyond game balance.

Thus, the only difference I can see is the nature of player perception. A player might get frustrated over getting shot from far away without necessarily realizing their mistake of walking around in the Sniper's line of sight. The same player also might commit a similar mistake of approaching a Heavy-Medic combo directly and head-on.
In both cases the player was caught in the wrong position to deal with their enemy, yet - just for the fact that the Heavy and Medic are in relative close range as opposed to the Sniper - they might feel that they're in control because they can fire their weapons and observe dealing some damage, no matter how irrelevant that damage and how hopeless their situation is.
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