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Spawning Out Of Sight

One of the more interesting issues forgers face is laying Respawn Points down on their maps such that a spawning player is never in a direct line of sight of an enemy. This problem is actually simplified by the fact that the Enemy Proximity is the uber influencer on the map.  But it is also complicated by the fact that the Enemy Proximity has a large area of influence.

This article will discuss the Enemy Proximity Influencer, how it shapes the spawning behavior on a map, and how the forger can leverage that knowledge to create ideal and safe spawning. And as we will see, if a map is small for its team size, then it may prove difficult or even impossible to apply these concepts successfully.

In general the concepts put forth in this article are interesting and a goal to strive for. In practice for most maps, it can seem to approach the impossible. So don’t get worked up of you cannot achieve the design pattern I present here. Just keep it in the back of your mind as you forge. Like all my articles, I am trying to teach how the system works so that you the forger have a better understanding of the spawning mechanics as you go about designing your forge works.

The Play Zone

From the article Spawning: Discovering The Weights, we know that the Enemy Proximity Influencer is the greatest influencer that we need to plan for, and that its weight is capable of pushing a spawning player to a Respawn Point outside of a 9 unit radius of his location [1]. Additionally, CertainAffinity has stated that this was the intended behavior – to ensure a player never spawns near an enemy. For the purposes of this article, I am referring to this zone as the “Play Zone”.

The picture above presents a single Spawn Point and a 9 unit radius size region around it – the Play Zone. If an enemy is within the Play Zone, we assume that the spawning player will spawn somewhere else – the enemy has effectively negated the Respawn Point from being used by the spawning player.

For the rest of this discussion, I will make the assertion that an enemy being in the Play Zone around the Respawn Point will prevent a player from spawning at that Respawn Point. This assumption is valid only if there are other Respawn Points available that do not have an enemy near by them. This is the premise of this article in explaining how to forge for safe spawning.

What you need to take away from the picture above is (a) that it doesn’t matter if an enemy can see the Respawn Point (position C) so long as they are inside the Play Zone, because their presence in the Play Zone will mean that the Spawning Player will not spawn there anyways; and (b) that the Respawn Point must not be viewable from anywhere beyond the Play Zone. To ensure the latter, you need to find locations where the LOS is already blocked beyond the Play Zone, or where you can create such locations by tweaking the map with simple obstacles like rocks, add additional walls, create new elevations, etc. – anything to create the necessary LOS blockers.

In the picture above, an enemy at positions A, B, or C will negate the Respawn Point, so it doesn’t matter if any of them can directly look at the Respawn Point. On the other hand, positions D, E, F, and G are all blocked from any LOS upon the Respawn Point.  It doesn’t matter that D, F, and G can all look into the base, so long as they cannot see the area of the base that the Respawn Point is located at.

Spawn Hives

Since blocking the LOS to each and every Respawn Point beyond its Play Zone is not something that you want to massively alter a map to achieve, you want to minimize the number of Respawn Points and group them tightly together into places that achieve such protection. I will refer to such a group as a Spawn Hive. I want to stress that a Spawn Hive can be made up of one or more Respawn Points, and a typical base interior can have more than one Spawn Hive (e.g., one at each end of the base).

hives

In the picture above, we see two Spawn Hives in two different buildings on the map. Consider the following:

1) An enemy at positions A or D will see the Respawn Point in the lower building, but will drive the spawning player to the Spawn Hive in the upper building where they cannot see the upper Spawn Hive.

2) An enemy at positions B or C will not drive the spawning player away from the lower Spawn Hive necessarily, but cannot see the Spawn Hive.

3) An enemy inside the upper building at position E actually is too close to the lower Spawn Hive and negates it, forcing the spawning player to spawn at the upper Spawn Hive. But position E cannot see the upper Spawn Hive, maintaining the rule that a Spawn Hive can only be visible within its Play Zone.

4) An enemy at positions F or G will not prevent a player from spawning at the upper Spawn Hive, but will not be able to see the Spawn Hive either.

You should be able to see how Spawn Hives should be spread out across a map so that the enemy team cannot negate them all, leaving at least one or two available to spawn at. The picture below shows a simple concept layout where a team of four can only control four of the six Spawn Hives.

This means that any combination of two Hives must yield at least four Respawn Points for a whole team to spawn at if necessary – this is the worse case scenario.

Addressing Spawn Control

You can eliminate spawn killing by using the techniques described above to eliminate direct LOS to a Respawn Point that a spawning player might use. But alone it does not address spawn traps – where leaving the spawn area makes the spawning player vulnerable. Nor does it address spawn control – where one team controls where the other team spawns at, leaving them to spawn in the least desirable locations on a map. For objective games like Odd Ball and KOTH, spawn control can lead to extremely lopsided game play, where the spawning team must trek the entire map to contend for the ball or the current hill, giving the other team the benefit of uncontested time on objective.

If you have just one or two Spawn Hives more than the size of a team, then you open the door for a good team to control the spawning of their enemy by strategically positioning themselves to negate the ideal Spawn Hives. To address this issue, you need to add more Spawn Hives around the map.  It is okay if their Play Zones overlap, since negating more than one Spawn Hive can be problematic for any player.

If you have two dozen Spawn Hives covering your map, even if each player on a team can negate two Spawn Hives each, in most cases they cannot control enough of them to make it worth their effort. But what forgers have working against them is the map geometry – given the structures and landscape they want to develop, it is usually very difficult to forge numerous Spawn Hives. In fact, to just have a few more than the size of a team can require additional obstacles and tweaking to achieve without severely altering the character of the map itself.

Maximum Benefit

Games that use dynamic spawning maximize the potential of using every Respawn Point on the map. Non objective games (e.g., Slayer) are the typical games that actually help a team by spawning away from the action for maximum safety. Forging dynamic spawning for Slayer games is where the concept of using just a handful of protected Spawn Hives really shines, and can offer the best spawning experience of any game type.

Avoiding The Trap

I talked about how you should have at least a couple of Spawn Hives more than team size to ensure a safe place to spawn. But there is more to it than just having a safe place to spawn. You need to also have a safe path from the spawn.

If the only safe place to spawn is overlooked by several enemies, then it becomes a Spawn Trap. In that case, a coordinated team could work to induce the trap, leaving the spawning team no choice but to stay in the spawn area or expose themselves to cross fire as they exit.

Summary

Don’t worry if an enemy can see a Spawn Hive if they are within 9 units, but don’t allow them to see it when they get further than 9 units away.

Have at least a couple more Spawn Hives than team size, and a few Respawn Points per Spawn Hive.

Analyze your map and ensure that no matter where the enemy chooses to position themselves, a spawning player will always spawn safely out of sight – and never in a trap condition.

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[1] The forge canvases each demonstrate a PE Primary radii of 9.5 units, and are the only canvases I am focusing on in this article.