Why everyone hates Zap


#1

Zap is probably the most hated module in the game in this post I will explain why.

I have played some speed zap in the past and I did notice something interesting. Zap is the only module where the game gets worse the more zap players there are. Here is why:

Imagine u are the only zap player in the lobby and you are minding your own business. Then suddenly someone else picks zap because you have been destroying the past 10 games with zap. Now there are 2 zap players in the lobby. Those 2 zap players cant zap each other because they would just get zapped back, with is pointless. Instead, they will focus on the other 4 players because they cant zap them back. This is coordinated teaming, which hurts the game, but it’s just the best strategy to play for zappers in such lobbies. The more zap players there are in a game the lower the game quality will be.

But why is that? Well, the problem lays in the design of Zap.
zap
Zap has a circular hitbox around the ship. This hitbox has the consequence that if two zap players meet there will be a moment where they can both zap each other. This is probably the biggest design flaw in the game at the moment. The consequence of this is that zap players have no reason to go for each other. Zap ironically is its own counter.

There are 2 ways to fix this:

  • The first fix is obvious and easy. Just change it so that the hitbox is not a perfect circle around the ship anymore. The idea of zap is great, a close-range shock that steals a lot of points, but players should not be able to hit each other symmetrically.
  • Additional rules like “if u hit zap you get a shield for 1 sec” could work.

I will give you a worse example. Imagine if zap would steal points over time and had the range of timebomb around the ship. Now 2 players would just stay close and trade points infinitely with no one getting any advantage. Zap current form has the exact same flaw but it’s just not as obvious because it’s not overtime.

How i would do it:
I would suggest moving zap’s hitbox circle in front of the ship. Or making it a triangle. If that is insufficient try the shield rule.

I don’t think that zap is a bad power at all. It’s powerful for newer and experienced players, but it’s current hitbox hurts the game. I’m pretty sure that if you would change the hitbox the complaints about zap would drastically decrease and it would just be another power like scattershot.

I need to mention that this only occurs when zap is used as primary power. It also makes room for some interesting stuff. For example, zap is its own counter. If there are 3 zap players in the lobby you can pick zap and maybe laser and always trade with the other zappers while also having the ability to laser them. But shield is still a better counter to zap ^^

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely day.
Riomo


#2

If 2 players have zap and one has a lower amount of points than the other zapper, it does make sense to try to zap them because you will gain more points than you lose.


#3

Yea points like this did appear on discord too. You need to understand that I don’t talk about specific situations, but about the general mechanics.

Yea, it does. but only one time because if you would do that more often you guys would just end up with the same amount of points unable to gain anything from the trade.

My general assumption is that every player should behave like the opponent plays the situation to his best ability(always behave like your opponent is playing perfectly in the next situation). I do speak about the perfect world here. Why do I do that? Because the imperfect world doesn’t matter for balance changes. This is tough to understand.

The reasoning behind it is this. If you assume the best action from your opponent you will only go for trades and situations that are objectively valuable for you.

Maybe an example can explain this better. This idea is not only found in gaming but also in economics.
We make a challenge like this: A 1v1 between you and any player I choose as your opponent. We bot put 1000€ in the prize pool and the winner gets all 2000€. Should you take this challenge? No, because you need to assume that I play it to the best of my ability. I could simply choose the best 1v1 player to beat your ass and get the money.

I will explain it more technically here. If you assume the best move from your opponent and he doesn’t do it, you are still prepared in the best possible way. The probability for a good move raises with skill. Bad players do a good play occasionally and good players do them often. If you assume your enemy is good, he cant surprise you with a good play and outplay you.

In other words. It’s never bad to assume that your enemy is good but it is sometimes bad to assume your enemy is bad.

The reason this needs to be a premise when balancing the game is that the players stabilize themselves around the best moves. Let the 2 zappers zap each other 3 times before they will get that this move is useless and they need to save zap until the other zapper comes. Therefore you need to assume that they know what they are doing and neglect situational mistakes.

This may be hard to understand for casual players that didn’t read books about such stuff but I think it should be clear now.


#4

This assumes the player using these modules is very skilled (So ignore the fact that zap serves as a scatter shot that requires less skill to use effectively).

I absolutely agree with all the points made in this, however, I don’t think the solutions solve the problem.

I am glad that CFP didn’t fall into the trap of having a billion different modules that do the almost the same thing. In terms of close range, they only have 2 unique powers, which is good. I think some of your suggestions make zap too similar to scatter shot.

If zap’s hitbox was moved forward or turned into a cone it mostly removes zap’s only strength, being able to hit behind you. The arc that zap would hit would be the same as the area you can cover while turning with scatter shot.
Also, if zap was turned into an arc, it would need to get another buff. The only buffs that I can think of (Increased range and decreased CD) just make it even closer to scatter shot.
Random other comment that doesn’t matter: I can’t imagine zap looking good in front of your player without a different animation which takes time to make.

The shield also wouldn’t help, because it would instead be a competition of who hits the other person first. If both players start their zap before they get into range, then the problem of both people hitting one another persists.

To be honest, I don’t know how to solve this problem. I agree that this is a problem, but there certainly are bigger priorities that should be fixed first.