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SFD competitive rules and stage list!

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SFD competitive rules and stage list!

Post by Lunatic » Sun May 22, 2016 2:18 pm

One of the most important things for a competitive community to exist and thrive is the existence of an official ruleset - maybe not officially stated by the creators themselves, but an agreed-upon ruleset the community can use. The most famous example I can think of is Melee's ruleset - 4 stocks, 8 minutes, no items FOX ONLY FINAL DESTINATION. If SFD is going to have any competitive scene at all, it's going to need a strict set of rules to follow to accurately judge games by. I've been playing quite some time, and by adopting some rules from other games, I've come to solid ground on what the rules should be.

Keep in mind, I don't think SFD will ever do well with a 1v1 or FFA type of competitive scene. Everything I've put together should be used in 2v2, 3v3, or even 4v4 fights.(though I don't think those will do well either)

GENERAL RULES
-Four minute time limit.
->In the event of a time-out, the team with the most players still alive wins.
-->In the event of there being the same amount of players alive, the team with the most combined health wins.
--->If there are equal players and health amounts on timeout, the match is void and a rematch on the stage will begin.
-No infinite anything (Health, ammo, stamina, etc)
-Host is not allowed to use commands mid-match.
-Players are not allowed to tamper with their files at all. Any amount of hacking/modding will result in a forfeit.

RECOMMENDED SPECIFIC RULES
-Each Match against a team is best 3/5 to mitigate randomness a little
-Finals / Grand Finals (should be) best 5/9 (this is up to the tournament host themselves, though I'd encourage it)
-Double Elimation
-General stage striking

Preferably, the host will be on neither team so that nobody has the host advantage. Sometimes that's not possible, though.

STAGES

The stage list is pretty large, with 21 total official maps existing! A large handful of them have gimmicks or flaws that, while no problem in FFA or more casual matches, will disrupt or hamper competitive matches. Here are the criteria that I've come up with to judge whether or not a map isn't fit for competitive play:

-(IVP): Invincible Cover that has large map coverage, aka Invincible Vantage Points. If something has no durability and thus can not be broken, you should not be able to take cover behind it and shoot a large portion of the map, especially with few means of beating or approaching it.
-(PoD): No impassable Pits of Death. If sprinting and jumping from one side can not reach a ledge, platform, ladder, or wall cling with some room to spare, then it is an impassable Pit of Death.
-(DE) A location needs two ways to enter and leave it, otherwise it is a Dead End. If you are unable to fire upon the spot while the spot can fire upon you with ease, it is likely a dead end. If you can only access this spot with one entryway, it is guaranteed a dead end.
-(N2P) A competitive map should have no more than 2 portals, or one set of portals. Only players and throwables can go through portals, while bullets and cover can not, offering a quick and cheap means of escape. Camping on portals is an easy way to disrupt gameplay and can go on for a very long time. The only hard counter to portal camping is molotovs, which still doesn't quite cover the issues involved. Due to how polarizing portals can be when tied to camping spots or other unavoidable means of reaching destinations, only one set of portals can be present per map. The less, the better.
-(NML) No Man's Land. While this isn't a true rule that I used to come up with the stage list below, I feel there needs to be some sort of "openness rule" for us to judge maps by. Maps that are hugely guilty of this "rule" are East Warehouse, Fairground, Trainyard, and Tower. They should not be legal maps, but since I can't accurately quantify what makes an area NML, I can't rule these maps out. That said, just by looking at these maps, it's readily apparent that they have huge, wide-open areas that can often shoot anywhere from anywhere or just plain ruin movement options since it's so easy to fire upon people in this NML area.

That said, here are the stages that I believe fit the categories of starter vs counterpick (which I will explain later for stage striking)

STARTERS
Alley, Facility, High Moon, Police Station, Steamship

COUNTERPICKS
Canals, Fairground, Rooftops, Subway, Trainyard, Tower

Tower, Trainyard, Rooftops, and Fairground all suffer heavily from NML, landing them in the counterpicks at least. I hope we can come together to find legitimate reasons and methods of testing how open an area is and thus being able to ban stages if they have large patches of NML.

STAGE STRIKING
Stage striking is the go-to method of deciding a stage to fight on each round. Your stages are divided into starters and counterpicks. Starters are the maps that the first round can be held on, and counterpicks are legal stages that, while available, can not be played on first round. The method of stage striking I'm about to explain is 1-2-1: For the first round, each team is to play rock paper scissors (RPS). If playing online, hopefully we can all be honest and whisper our choice to one player, and let them announce the winner. Afterwards: Whoever won the RPS strikes one stage. Then, the loser strikes two stages. Then, the winner strikes the last stage, limiting the stages left to one stage and thus deciding the first stage to play on. In other words, winner of RPS strikes one, the loser strikes two, then the winner picks. After that, the team that wins the round in-game strikes a few stages and the losing team picks a map from the leftover pool, which now includes counterpicks. The number of stages allowed to be struck by the winner is dependent on the available stages. If you are deciding on your stages based on the legal stagelist I've made above, then the winning team would strike 4 stages, leaving seven stages available for the losing team to pick. The number of strikes available to the winner may be different depending on who your tournament host is; always be sure to read individual rulesets for variations and other factors.

Again, never forget to read individual rulesets! This set is mostly a guideline for other tournaments to base their rules off of. I spent several hours and used all my previous experience playing this game to come up with these rules, and especially the stagelist. Hopefully this will be the go-to in terms of how tournaments are run from here forward.

For now, the rules are solid and all of the stages have been checked and rechecked to be sure they weren't infringing on any of the stated rules. Personal opinion says that Hotel should be a counterpick, though the slight dead end on bottom left technically knocks it out. I think if I edited some of the maps we'd have a larger competitive pool to pull from, but then I'd be making custom maps for this when we already have an entire set of officials to choose from. Even then, it is up to the community to decide what maps should be legal and which ones shouldn't.

If you have any questions about why I said these are the rules we should use, why certain stages are or aren't allowed, or have anything to say, please post it! Any and all discussion is heavily encouraged here. If you think a certain map should or should not be used, open up some discussion and I'll show you why a map is or isn't bad, or maybe you'll change my mind! Either way, this is a community effort; it's up to us to cement the competitive rules and stagelist for a healthier meta.
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Originally posted by Gurt
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Post by Relgap » Sun May 22, 2016 2:24 pm

I can definitely support this kind of work. Keep at it, dude!
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Post by SEM » Sun May 22, 2016 3:56 pm

I understand this post is meant as a general ruleset for competitive SFD. That's nice but, don't you think it would be better to have more general, less specific rules, so they can be flexible enough for any tournament?
For example I would separate your general rules(such as):
1- No Hacking/Modding
2- No infinite ammo/health/stamina/etc
3- Timeouts and limits.
I would suggest separating these general rules from specific ones like double elimination or map choice.
That would allow any tournament maker SIFA or other, to just say that they use Lunatic's general ruleset. Right now I can not say that on SIFA because we don't do the specifics like double elimination.

Last thing I want to say about the maps, you talk about how some maps have an element/gimmick, which could ruin competitive. Personally I think that element actually improves competitive, as map control becomes even more important. An example of a game that used to have a MASSIVE competitive and professional scene is WarCraft 3. It has maps, some maps have items which others don't, some maps have close spawns, some maps have chokepoints, etc. Despite all the variations/gimmicks in maps, that game was played competitively for thousands of dollars.

Other than that, I appreciate your support for a competitive scene in SFD.
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Post by Lunatic » Sun May 22, 2016 11:45 pm

I've tried to cut out maps that reach this criteria for a reason. Pits of Death are an especially big issue as it only takes one kick to end a life, and while this still holds true in vertical maps like Rooftops, it's a lot less likely to happen. Stage control is definitely an issue but with randomized player and item spawns, it's a matter of who gets where first that makes certain stages have a problematic edge. Plant 47's right office is probably the strongest camping and choke point in the game with a fair amount of spawns to boot. Not only do they get free reign to shoot at the entire map, they get it from behind a pool table (unbreakable) while items can still spawn in front of them. Then, they have a portal next to them to camp on, and if they so desire, a pit of death just next to it that forces a slow approach from players that would otherwise NEED to approach quickly just to survive.

Storage has a great dead end camping spot at top left. Shoot down the crate and you get a LOT of room to shoot at the map, with only one difficult way up. Leaving a mine at the ledge makes it impossible for players to get up, as they can't shoot it from below, and shooting it when they get up top will just deal half their health anyways.

I say camp and run until you win if that's what it takes, but when certain maps make these abilities more than polarizing, they need to be looked at with a little more scrutiny. I'm sure we all remember plenty of times we've been knocked off a cliff, or have knocked others down. It kills instantly! That's a big deal. When you have to shoot someone up to 15 times to kill them, being able to hit them once for a kill is pretty serious. A lot of luck goes into it, and allows for some of the weirder bouncing that happens, like landing next to a corner and just bouncing off the cliff to your death. It's all a part of the SFD spirit, but it shouldn't be such an enormous hazard. Camping shouldn't be so easy from invincible cover that allows you to harass over half the map. Dead Ends hinder mobility and make it more difficult to reach certain areas, especially when you can create them. Only having one way to leave or get to an area traps players or makes powerful camping spots that you can't easily flush out.

When maps have issues like large areas of instant death or too safe camping spots, they shouldn't be included in our map list for competitive play. For our starters, I included the most neutral maps with minimal instant death traps, fine mobility, decent but not-too-good camping spots, and a rough "medium size" - not too large (like Hotel), and not too small (like Storage). The counterpicks are the maps that might slightly infringe on that idea, featuring slightly more abundant death traps, or invincible cover that is more easily flushed out/doesn't have much in sight. Maps are fine to have gimmicks, but if they fall into the criteria listed, the gimmicks are probably polarizing to the map and not good for strong competitive play.

I'll take out the specifics I suppose but I'm going to be a little more stubborn about the four minute time limit. I host 3 minute games and I never see time outs, though they do occasionally reach the 30 seconds remaining marker. This is because nobody truly, fully camps. I don't want it to be too hard to time-out, but it shouldn't be too easy either. Having four minutes allows the game to be fast-paced enough, while giving players enough room to try and push/chase someone down in case of heavy camping and running in an attempt to force a time-out.
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Originally posted by Gurt
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Post by SEM » Mon May 23, 2016 8:21 am

Great to see you separated the general rules.

In my opinion, although some certain maps might have flaws that disrupt competitive, unless the flaw is really bad, it shouldn't be a problem. The reason is that the games are played in 3v3( I know you said 2v2 as well) format, which means that it is very unlikely you will get a good spawn without an opposing player nearby. This makes Teamwork more important, as the team has to able to adapt to these maps without disrupting their formation.

Also I have an idea that I am not too sure of. it's that if the time limit finishes, and there are equal players on both teams, it should be a draw. Again I am not sure if this is optimal, but it pressures the team with the advantage to push instead of wait.

Of course all this competitive project will be greatly accelerated if more of the community contributes.
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Post by Lunatic » Mon May 23, 2016 10:40 am

Traditional fighters like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter give the win to the player with the most health after the game ends. Smash bros gives the win to whoever has less damage accrued. This is just a general rule most fighting games have; if they have more health and they camp me out, they'll win, so it's important that we don't let them have more health. If they camp me out til the timer is up, they win, so I better knock off their health or pick up a medkit before it's too late. This is why it's important to make sure that maps don't have super polarizing camping spots.

As a competitive game, I was hoping to take out as much of the "cheese" as I could to make things a lot more fair. Maps with large instant death traps, large pits, etc, are bad for competitive games because at any time a player could instantly die and it wouldn't exactly be in the competitive spirit. There's a reason players have items disabled in smash bros - I just got a pokeball since it spawned right next to me! It had a super legendary in it that killed everyone but me instantly. I win! That isn't exactly fair and hinders the display of skill, which I tried to limit as best I could. Obviously, random spawn locations and item spawns will be a problem, but if I can limit how much jank is present in our stage selection, it allows more tactics and skill to shine in each competitive match.
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Originally posted by Gurt
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Post by StarNord » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:52 pm

 ! Message from: KliPeH
Manually merged a post from the "Small suggestions" thread with this one. A big necrobump, but perhaps a needed one (assuming interest in this topic rises again).
A competitive mode where damage values of every weapon never drops or increases by chance (meaning no crits) and where you don't throw melee weapons spinning (since then it has a chance to hit an enemy by the hilt), or just a mode where you can't feel betrayed by the game mechanics which prefers chaos over skill.

I'm not a tryhard or anything, i'm only suggesting this so that the actual tryhards can stop crying every time the fight doesn't go their way and just switch to a competitive server
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