I am back in town and trying to get to the bottom of the spawning issues.
Let me explain how spawning generally works. The spawn system is trying to pick the best spawn from all the available spots. Each spawn has a "score" or "rating" that is constantly being modified based on what is going on around that spawn. Many things can impact the rating of a spawn.
For example, a teammate who recently died would temporarily lower the value of a spawn. Spawns in the path of a Napalm strike should have their values lowered significantly. Etc., all. The complete list of things that modify the value of a spawn is large.
No spawn can ever by 100% eliminated as a choice, because we have to spawn you even if it is less than ideal. It's unfortunate when you spawn directly in front of someone like this video shows ( ). That shouldn't happen.
During development, we had the spawns running with a low error rate. 98 to 99% of the time for most maps (small maps like Nuketown are an exception) when you spawned you were not killed or injured or able to injure someone within 3 seconds of spawning. The game was instrumented and we were logging this. Our spawn debug tools are the best they have ever been, so I'm disappointed and want to see if we can sort this out.
Please don't bother linking in Nuketown videos. That map is too small to use as the basis for evaluating what is wrong. Use Summit, Launch or Radiation.
The videos are helpful but they just show one bad spawn. They don't help us understand why that spawn point was chosen by the game over another. In order to get to the bottom of that, I need to see "the big picture" of what is going on in the entirety of the map. Please make your video as detailed as possible. Freeze time. Show us the entire map. Were killstreaks in the sky? Where are they aiming. Show me all the players from both teams and any skull (recently deceased friendly) icons.
Hopefully, that makes sense.
For our part, we have re-enabled the spawn logging (this is only something we can do in development, not on the live servers, unfortunately) and are now building up a match library so we can evaluate further.
Please remember what I said before. If we can find and reproduce the steps that causes the error we can fix it.
Thanks for making the thread, hopefully the issue can be sorted out. Prepare for a long post. I'm going to kind of jump from different subjects regarding my thoughts on spawns.
It'll be a little bit before I can get a detailed video up that shows the area of the map during that video I sent you. For what it was worth however, it was during a TDM match. There for, theoretically, spawns should've been available over the entire map, and not limited to objective control. This brings me to my first thought, which is what I'll just call "Spawn Priority":
Buddy System and Objective Control
Without knowing the ins and outs of the spawn system, I assume it operates on a priority system. Spawns near Teammates or Team-Controlled Objectives would obviously be the "Favored" spawns, and would be the ones given priority. I don't know which of the 2 get more over the other (Are you more likely to spawn on a teammate, or near an objective your team controls?), bu I do think that that much is part of the problem.
One thing I've noticed is that spawning creates a Chain-effect on your teammates. When you respawn, a teammate tends to respawn near you. And because there is 2 of you, another respawns, and so on and so on. The same also happens for enemies. Because of this, it creates a situation where the 2 teams, despite massive map size, spawn in relatively close proximity to one another. This is the crux of the problem IMO.
One way this can be solved, is have spawn points get an ever increasing value through-out the match. In this way, un-used spawn points become the priority spawns since their values end up really high. So instead of 2 teams constantly spawning next to each other on a map such as Array, the spawn points away from the action will get higher values through-out added to them since they aren't being used. This should lead them to gaining priority and splitting the action up a little bit.
In objective based game modes, give more priority to objective-based spawns which aren't being captured by an enemy. Not only will this make area control more important in domination, but it should help limit some of the issues of teammates spawning on each other right next to the enemies.
Line of Sight/Focused Line of Sight
Another thing that I thing should be checked out, is "line of sight" spawning. When you are spawning on a point, check to determine if it is within an enemies visible line of sight. If it is, in my opinion, its value should significantly drop. That's almost a death sentence itself (see my video for reference). Because lines of sight are constantly changing however, this won't be the best solution. Values would constantly be changing. So maybe instead of changing the spawn value as soon as someone looks in that direction, you can instead change the value if someone "Focuses" on that line of sight for a period of say, 3-5 seconds.
To give players a little more control over the spawn system, I think "Force Spawn" should be an option, and not required on playlists. Allow us to choose WHEN to respawn. Not WHERE, but when (within reason, not waiting 5 minutes). For instance, if we could wait an extra 3-4 seconds before respawning, any number of potential spawn points could open up. This idea sounds good in theory, but in practicality, I really have no idea how it would work.
Tac Insert is another thing that needs some changing. The glow is just too big. You can see it from a mile away, and if its close to a wall, even through it. Its also breakable by Flash and Stun Grenades. Make them resistant to those, and dial down the flashing a little bit. They'll be more practical and useable like that.
Anyway, without having an actual video to demonstrate my principles or to showcase my spawns (and the area around), going through text makes it hard to convey my thoughts and ideas. Maybe all of these things are taken into account already, and I'm simply telling you what you know, I'm not sure.
- The Bad Spawn
- Overview At the time of the bad spawn
Here is a video giving an overview of the map during the time I spawned. This video shows what was happening at the exact moment I spawned. Keep in mind, this is only 30 seconds long. Theater doesn't allow for much, so its hard to get everything in. A few details:
Sorry, cant really help you too much here. I play mostly SnD so spawning doesnt really affect me too much. I will keep my eyes open for videos. Would love an explanation like this one to explain in game connections, how the host system works as I noticed even the host loses bars now, and what the bandwith means in the options menu. Thanks.
All I can offer for this is: Don't EVER have split spawns in team deathmatch for one team. In other words, don't have 3 enemies on one side, and then spawn the other three on the opposite side. This is very unfair and unpredictable. Spawns should be simple in TD. One team spawns on one side, the other team spawns on the opposite side. If at any time a majority of one team makes it to the other teams spawn, then the spawns should flip. I play hardcore so I only know about TD and SnD and we all know SnD wouldn't have any issues.