The Art of Pausing

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
DvD
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The Art of Pausing

Post by DvD » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:04 pm

In a RA 3v3 match I paused moments before a nuke hit our base -- just the time for me to IC one of our nuke silos present in the direction where the nuke was probably falling (it didn't work, by the way: it was directed to a conyard south of it).

That was enough for one player on the opposing team to switch his rage mode ON and call me all sorts of names for my most dishonorable "cheating". I had even informed my allies of my intent, so they should've taken defense and share the "guilt", but decided to remain silent. Hah!

Enough with the anecdote. This just leads me to ask; what is your stance on this matter? Personally I think pausing is there to be used. RTSes where speed defines 90% of your winning chance don't deserve the "S" in their name, IMO. I understand being good at microing fast is and will be an essential part in any RTS, but you've also got to give slower players a chance and not be penalized only because they don't have fast reflexes.

If somebody took a few secs to pause, micro his rockets against air, artillery away from an incoming threat, tanks somewhere else, in the middle of a heated battle, I wouldn't mind at all. Actually, I even welcome the occasional lag that allows me to breathe a little and give me a break from all the stress of dealing with multiple issues at once at a slightly lower pace. I fear, however, that this is an isolated opinion and that pausing is generally frowned upon.

For the record, I usually achieve an APM of 35-45 which is, while not stellar, not too shabby either, so I'm not arguing because I'm on the short end of this stick. Just curious to know where people stand on this "issue".

Christian
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Post by Christian » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:20 pm

Pausing should absolutely not be used for something like that. It´s just completely unreasonable. It´s a real time strategy game after all.

Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:33 pm

Personally i wouldn't like it if you did that in a game, IMO pauses are there to be used if something happens irl such as a phone going off etc. Not so that you can get around your inability to do something quick enough during a game, hotkeys are there so that you can do things like Iron Curtain a structure quickly.

Everybody would be on a level playing field if pauses were to become usual in games but would also make OpenRA a very boring game to play IMO: pausing just as a structure is completed, pausing constantly while flying a scout into someone's base so that it doesn't get taken down, pausing as a new defence comes up on the enemy front so that i can move units out of the way, pausing whenever i hear a chrono sound so that i can send scouts to appropriate locations; thats how i would use pauses and it would boring as hell as speed has no part of it.

Perhaps pausing should be limited, like in Starcraft, so that people cant spam it whenever they want. If pausing were to become the norm in RTS then it should just be called "S" as it wouldn't be in real time.

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r34ch
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Post by r34ch » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:12 pm

What if other players had to 'vote' to accept the pause? If at least one person from the enemy team agreed, then you could pause the match.

Otherwise I agree with the others. It seems to be more of an exploit used like that.

DvD
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Post by DvD » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:32 pm

IMO pauses are there to be used if something happens irl such as a phone going off etc
Eh, that'd be great in principle, but I bet people will unpause as soon as you leave because people are jerks, usually.
Not so that you can get around your inability to do something quick enough during a game, hotkeys are there so that you can do things like Iron Curtain a structure quickly.
Reaching the Pause key takes time too D:

I understand your point of view, but I don't know, it feels kinda cheap to win because you were one tenth of a second late from preventing a catastrophe. A nuke can easily be a game-changer. I'm not even sure what target you want to hit -- you only know the vertical coordinate. You might argue though (and I'd agree) that if you want to outsmart your opponent you can always IC BEFORE the nuke falls down, without any need of pausing.
Phoenix wrote: Everybody would be on a level playing field if pauses were to become usual in games but would also make OpenRA a very boring game to play IMO: pausing just as a structure is completed, pausing constantly while flying a scout into someone's base so that it doesn't get taken down, pausing as a new defence comes up on the enemy front so that i can move units out of the way, pausing whenever i hear a chrono sound so that i can send scouts to appropriate locations; thats how i would use pauses and it would boring as hell as speed has no part of it.
I'm not advocating the indiscriminate use of pausing. That'd be a turn-based game as you point out later on. Even worse than that, actually, since in TBSes you do pay the cost of reckless decisions, while pausing constantly means being able to constantly assess and correct the "direction" the game is evolving towards to.

Now that is cheap and boring. "My" idea of pausing is to give you a chance to survive game-changing events that happen in a split second. That thing was going to destroy your base. You could thwart that threat by protecting your most valuable assets, but you missclick the IC button/hotkey and so you lose shortly thereafter. That feels... undeserved.
Perhaps pausing should be limited, like in Starcraft, so that people cant spam it whenever they want. If pausing were to become the norm in RTS then it should just be called "S" as it wouldn't be in real time.
There could be a server setting defining the limit of pauses for each player. 0 = no pauses ever (which is kinda the norm).

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:15 am

Disrespectful to others as it disrupts their experience. Simple as that.
DvD wrote: Eh, that'd be great in principle, but I bet people will unpause as soon as you leave because people are jerks, usually.
I've never experienced anyone unpause the game after someone gave a legit reason for the pause. People are usually decent and well behaved. Sure it can happen but you don't follow the example of the lowest common denominator.

DvD
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Post by DvD » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:51 am

Disrespectful to others as it disrupts their experience. Simple as that.
In what way does it disrupt their experience?
Sure it can happen but you don't follow the example of the lowest common denominator.
People are usually decent and well behaved.
Neither mine nor your assertion can be proved, of course, although my bias leads me to think contrarily. Maybe I just had far different experiences.

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:55 am

DvD wrote: In what way does it disrupt their experience?
Game stops.
Neither mine nor your assertion can be proved, of course, although my bias leads me to think contrarily. Maybe I just had far different experiences.
"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." -Raylan Givens, Justified

DvD
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Post by DvD » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:04 am

Game stops.
But so does pausing for a short phone call; yet you wouldn't consider it disrespectful and rightly so. What is then the issue that disrupts their experience? Not saying I'm going to pull the same trick in the future (far from it, actually; I just wanted to give it a go once), but I'd like to know what's so wrong in that to call it disrespectful. If it actually is, eh, sorry then.
"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." -Raylan Givens, Justified
Har har. This passive-aggressive comment was quite uncalled for but I'll be sporty and say touché.

Fine, sometimes people are jerks. Maybe a little social experiment where I have a phone call mid-game...

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:58 am

Using pauses this way doesnt give slower players a chance or stop them from being penalized, it's actually penalizing the faster player. He can't play to his potential

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:27 am

Game pauses in a 1v1 against a player whom is learning is fine. Its a coaching lesson. If you are doing this in a 2v2 ask the other players before the game starts: "Hey, you guys want to do some pauses to allow some of the new guys a chance?" If everyone agrees, awesome.

But doing so without consent of the other players disrupts the game suddenly and disrespectful in various ways.

IE of a TD game:

A player calls me an asshole because I rushed and he says no rush. My response is: "Then announce that to me in the lobby before we start our 1v1 match and I wont rush. Don't just say that to me AFTER the game has started. You lose all credibility."

TD, RA, and TS are all meant to be low APM gameplays. OpenRA has upgraded itself to be slightly faster. IE: Buggies move faster, light tanks move faster, bikes are faster, air units are much faster and more responsive. Smart AI control for aircraft via airplanes circling in place. Flak trucks added to give Soviet players something to run back and forth with.

Best to discuss the idea to players in the lobby before the game starts. But me personally I like a fluent game. Mainly because its a balanced game play speed. One reason I think the speed bar was removed. But I used to play on 28.8k modem/lan games on 486 to pentium 1 systems. So the lag doesn't bother me.

hotze
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Post by hotze » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:18 am

I consider pausing like that bad etiquette.
You get a warning when a nuke's been launched which gives you more than enough time to move your units around and IC whatever structures its going to hit.
It's up to you to pay attention and react accordingly. If you don't, then too bad.
There's no "no player left behind"-policy here.

If you can't keep up with the speed of your opponents, then maybe you have to accept that you're only an average or good player and not a top player.

APM is a useless statistic anyway, especially considering this: https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/9303

ddd
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Post by ddd » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:39 am

It's RTS, no pauses during game. Pauses are only for urgent calls or when the game has lasted 2 hours and you wanna visit a toilet or 5 minute break. :)

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:09 am

AoAGeneral1 wrote: But me personally I like a fluent game. Mainly because its a balanced game play speed. One reason I think the speed bar was removed.
A speed selector had never been added for various technical reasons that we've now fixed. It's going to be included as a lobby option in the next playtest/release.

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JOo
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Post by JOo » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:22 am

It's RTS ... if you need a pause during the game ... then try Civilization or Heroes of Might and Magic ... Battle Isle ...

but please dont interrupt the game to get a really lame advantage over the other players

that being said , this sounds like we should remove the pause-key from multiplayer and have it only available for singleplayer

and btw. APM in OpenRA doesnt mean anything ... you can raise your APM with all sorts of random clicks ... without making any sense , or showing any skill ...
some of the best players win their games with a constant 30 Apm ...
chamberlain , nukembro for example ...

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