Proper Scrim Procedure & Etiquette


Having too strong of a snowball effect removes the fun though, did you read the article? If you know you are going to win or know you are going to lose it removes the tension and competitiveness of the game. Allowing a team to get back into the game and flip around the tables is a lot more enjoyable to both play and watch.

"So, we need to add a caveat: snowballing isn't necessarily bad, as long as the game ends once a victor becomes apparent. In other words: a game is no longer fun when a player becomes unable to influence the end result."

Good luck influencing a game stuck in your base with your thumb up your ass whilst 4 goons (attained only from time evos) run rampart outside your turret line.

"This point is vital, not just to "snowballing", but also to general game design. A player should always be able to win. If a player can't win, then the game is over, and forcing people to play out a defeat is punishing and unfun in a serious way."

"Its worth noting, though, that snowballing isn't all bad. For the victor, it can feel great: attaining god-like status, crushing all those beneath you, and generally laying waste to everything in your path. And achieving "perfection" in a game is often a goal of players outside of simply winning. For single player games, this is fine: AIs don't get bored and rage-quit. When playing against humans, though, we need to be more discerning." (EU4)

"Snowballing in Competitive Play: A Look at the Data shows some interesting statistics regarding the percentage of winrates by objective in League of Legends. Note that a simple objective, such as achieving the first kill of the game (first blood), gives the team a 61 to 79% chance of winning the game overall."

"So how do we deal with the problems that come with snowballing? Let's look at some possible fixes.

Fix: Resource Management"

Take note that this was written by a small indie developer 2 years ago, while his word shouldn't be law in this case it definitely adds some perfect examples to a game he's probably never heard about.


I'd say it makes that first encounter all the more thrilling. eg the time you shat your pants when you were first gunned down in dayz.

That's the beauty of gaming. You never know what's gonna come through that door.

Allowing? No. I want to see them work for it because they just lost the opening sequence.


ur question is wrong because it amounts to "what are u supposed to do if u try to win but they win instead?"

i already said as a human ur not supposed to win 50% of the time.


Yeah, right, okay let me clarify. I am asking you how to not lose. What would you do to prevent that in the future?

Is English not your first language?


that's ur question? u r asking me how not to lose at tremulous?

obv. the answer is u can't, u are doomed, u are already playing perfectly and still losing so the game must be rebuilt with new rules


nice article.


Really I doubt only removing timed evos is going to fix all (if any of) the problems of 1.1 vanilla game play. Contrary to popular belief, 1.1 vanilla game play is neither perfect nor near perfect, it has many fundamental flaws and just having the teams statistically balanced for public matches on atcs does not make the game play anywhere close to ideal.

Many tremulous mods have attempted to address the fundamental problems of Tremulous since Trem started, it is not an easy task. But that doesn't mean that we should not continue to persue improvement in the game play. We can learn a lot from those previous attempts.


name them, and i only want to hear gameplay issues, none of that admin commands or gpp/1.1 crossover bullshit


There could be more that I'm not thinking of at the moment, but the top ones that come to mind:

  • Overpowered Rants/Chainsuits
  • Underused classes/weapons
  • Camping (base/corner/spawn/etc)
  • The game gets much easier for the team doing well in a given match and much more difficult for the team not doing well (snowball)
  • The extremely high difficulty in forwarding and moving the base (much more so for humans than aliens)
  • Matches can easily be ruined just by deconning the om/rc at the wrong time.
  • Poor game play with low player counts especially for 1 v 1.


you can't both fix overpowered classes and weapons and also fix camping. If you fix camping that means you give the attacking side more ability to force their way through = op.
If you fix the overpowered classes, camping will become easier.
Underused classes, fair enough although i'd like to hear your ideas first before you implement them like new edge did (which created a terrilbe meta)
Idk why everyone is suddenly against snowballing, although i do think it's a little extreme that losing the first encounter means you lose the game, i don't see anything wrong with building off of an advantage, and therefore always staying ahead of your opponent. I will step on some toes here but i think removing the ability to share evos would do fine, you can afford to lose 1-2 fights as humans without giving the aliens a goon so you can afford a couple of mistakes, but not too many.
Moving the base should be difficult, implement gpp building if you want to see forwards, as i've been saying for well over a year now.
Retards willl decon, big surprise, revert and move on.
What do you mean by poor gameplay? afaik shotgun vs goon is the only reason some people still play the game.


I'm talking about low player counts for the match as a whole, not 1 v 1 encounters in a 4 v 4 plus match. To sum it up, it is extremely difficult to be entirely responsible for building and combat at the same time. I know that in many public low player count matches in 1.1 vanilla many players like to just do combat, pretend trem is purely a first person shooter, and complain if you even attempt to attack their default layout base.

If anything, the op classes/weapons are factors in inducing camping.

It decreases the challenge for the team doing better, and becomes discouraging team doing worse. Snowballing isn't too bad if it occurs in a short time period, like a minute or so, but it gets out of hand if occurring over 20 minutes or even more, and can induce camping where the losing team tries to just not lose by prolonging the inevitable, rather than try to win.

What is more interesting than a single moment that breaks the stability of the game in a way that results in the likely inevitable victory in one team, would rather be the ability to rapidly change the tide multiple times, which does occur occasionally in matches, but not nearly often enough in my opinion.

Why? And why at 1.1 vanilla's current level of extreme difficulty?

If you are referring to gpp vanilla building, the way it implemented bp zones with the repeaters was bleh and introduced many new problems, and the spontaneous combustion was extremely anoying. Not to mention gpp (as well as its popular mods) had all the same fundemental problems I listed above to more or less degress (with the exception perhaps of underutilized classes that you pointed out Edge "addressed").

Yeah making everything op and then counter op things by making opposing things even more op is not the way to go (that is the wrong way to address balancing). I'm not going to go into detail on how to improve various weapons/classes/buildables in this particular topic though so as to not completely derail the conversation.

Just because we are used to such a big game play problem occuring and taking administrative action to undo the major damage, doesn't mean the major game play flaw should not be addressed by improving the game play. Even team killing players and glitch building are not as devastating to a match as a bad decon of the rc/om.

Anyways, my main point here is that to fix any of the fundamental problems of 1.1 vanilla game play would require major changes in the game play where the game play would no longer be considered 1.1 vanilla (even if the game play might be better).


no, non-retards will decon too, which will sometimes turn out to be at WRONG times. if u revert in all such cases, then why not instead making base moving inherently safe ?

in a 1v1, if the human first dies 1–2 times, he is forced to build, needing to wait ~20 seconds per buildable. the alien, anticipating this possibility, is forced to refrain from evolving early, or risk wasting those evolution points, and needs to build as well. booooooring. (also, if there is no armory and no turrets in the beginning, then the human could often start with building.) otherwise, the game may proceed by guideline. except if both players agree to do something non-competitive, like abstaining from destroying bases; but the point of proper game design would be to avoid such necessities.

etc, etc, etc !

WRONG. that is, in general, an applicable way to address balancing, as long as the end result is balanced (the last „even more overpowered” thing isn't overpowered).


The thing is though balance alone does not necessarily make a game play fun. As an example, consider if both teams were equally overpowered where neither team virtually ever makes progress (or at the very least progress is painfully slow). While balancing may be a necessity to consider for good game play, it isn't sufficient.


I don't usually directly debate someone's reply unless initially address at me but I have a few problems with this reply.

At s3 vs s3 gameplay, chainsuits are not overpowered. Using 10v10 pub default maps as a model (Tremor, Niveus, Karith, ATCS, UTCS to name a few) a handful of rants will dispatch a medium sized group of humans with a few chainsuits in almost any neutral/alien biased area of said maps. Only a good deal of luck w/ latency difference will allow chainsuits to out dance a group of rants for a positive economy trade between parties .. that .. OR a skilled lcannon in the h party.

WITH THAT BEING SAID: In the event that humans achieve stage 3 prior to aliens (which happens all too often on ATCS) any kind of suit is overpowered in the hall. Unless the alien team has hyper sensitive cohesion and scrim-level tactics: they will struggle to take down a recurring force of suits and x amount of x weapons w/ helmets. Dragoons and dretches + poison is not enough to consistently achieve positive econ trades with the aforementioned human force.

All in all, in today's meta (which thrives on large s3 vs s3 pubs if you discount scrims because they don't happen enough to define a public meta mentality) suits are not overpowered, rants are. Rants allow people to steamroll a traditional human force without much tactic or teamwork. Suits still rely on human allies w/ helmets to preview their surroundings and assist them in taking down 400 hp battery rams. W/ThatBeingSaid: Suits dominate over understaged aliens w ease.

Agree completely, not enough balance for each a class and h weapon to see similar use rates.

Though camping is frustrating, it is actually the only viable last resort defense in the game. It forces (usually the aliens) the aggressor to really test their offensive prowess and dive head first into a group of (usually the humans) defensive units set up and waiting for their push. When that previously mentioned occurrence actually does happen, it exemplifies the discipline and readiness of the camping party if they succeed in the aggressor's push. In all, it is a viable defensive tactic that is best exemplified in ATCS scrims.

I think this whole snowball phenomena is ridiculous - or maybe I don't fully understand the justification behind it. EVERY pvp video game should have a reward system. If the team/individual in case is doing well they should be rewarded for their efforts (achieving evos/credits and/or stages in the case of Trem). The whole idea of a snowball isn't an issue in itself, it is more of an issue under the umbrella that is "balance" in the game. I think what you lot are saying is that aliens or humans that hit the ground running will stay dominant because of how much they are rewarded economically/stage progression. This happens in everygame, thus, snowballing is not a viable gameplay complaint.

This is not an issue of skill on the building team's part, this is an issue of not having enough BP to viablly defend both a forward and a default in this game. I would hope to see a surge of 40bp or so in 1.3 to expand the viability of forward construction.

The only stop to this is administrative intervention. Any other option would be game ruining, unless we code something into the game that starts EVERY member of the team to be denybuilt and let the team call a vote to have someone designated to build.

As much as I'd like to think that trem can be an individual game, not one person on any given team can carry the victory. 1v1s aren't very fair. Any good human can backpedal and bait the dretch in case (considering there is no time evos) into dying to his stream. If there are time evos, the alien can just wait a few minutes to achieve a higher HP/more dominant alien to defeat any human without a helmet. 1v1s will never be reasonable in 1.1.

Thank you for your thoughts on the gameplay, though.


One very important thing that we can learn from unlimited bp mods is that if a team is given any amount of extra bp, they tend to use that to build a stronger main base (if possible a super fortress) than to use it for building forwards. But also the problem with moving bases is the same problem of the absence of an om/rc having an immediate catastrophic effect on a team. You can't solve these problems by simply changing values.

what would happen to the game play if rants were removed but chainsuits remained?

Sure for short term stratigic camping, but what about camping that occurs for 15 plus minutes?

In many single player games, advancing levels means that the game gets more challenging for the player. What if Trem was like that?

Or what if the absence of the om/rc was not so devastating, or at the very least there was a delay in the devastation to allow for recovery without administrative intervention in most cases?

But again, I can't stress enough, that any change in game play that sufficiently addresses any major flaw in 1.1 vanilla game play would result in a game play that is no longer 1.1 vanilla (that is not necessarily a bad thing though). A lot of old tactics/strategies would no longer be applicable, and a lot of new ones would have to be developed/learned.


Rewarding players for playing well should absolutely be encouraged. The problem is when this becomes so out of hand that by 15 minutes you already may know this round is over and should be thinking on the next game, that is when it becomes like a snowball. (an unstoppable force that continues to grow and all you can do is wait for it to end).

Look at soccer, a team can be behind 4-0 at half time. Changing halves now with a possible advantage due to wind and increased stamina on their players they can still pull out a win. Your chance to score individually is never decreased no matter the overall result (assuming the morale of your players remains intact). In tremulous if someone is just a stage ahead or 4-5 kills ahead the odds of victory are greatly increased.

Now again, that's not to say they didn't earn it and that good play shouldn't be rewarded with a favourable outcome. It's the RATE at which this outcome presented itself. Reducing snowballing is to improve enjoyment for BOTH teams (it's a game after all) but also to build tension for the viewers that any side can still turn the game around.

Many games do feature snowballing and many of them have taken steps to limit it.
Dota 2 - If you die you lose gold you have accumulated
LoL - If you are on a kill streak players will gain more for hunting you down and killing you
CSGO - At half time monetary gains are wiped.
Overwatch - Overtime
Street fighter - Super combo gauge (fill a bar for being hit that you can use on a special move)
Heroes of the storm - XP per level is exponential (at higher levels into the late game xp variance per team is less influential as it only contributes maybe 1 level)
EU4 - Diplomatic options (royal marriages, alliances, collations, and inheritances) even if you have possibly lost a large war and most of your lands. The big super power and power player still has the potential to be taken down, if that isn't the case the game is usually forfeited early because the game is "essentially over" for everyone besides the super power and his allies.
Tremulous - Sit in your base with your thumb up ur ass waiting for enemy to rush you and turn the game around???

Other games add nasty things like crit or RNG methods to try and negate snowball but I think those are even worse of a problem. They reward player for literally nothing besides getting lucky.

Note how a lot of these "anti-snowball" measures still require that the opposing team make a good play (killing the top play or surviving in unfavourable circumstances for a long time) The issue with tremulous is that there are 0 objectives, the only things that matter are getting kills and killing spawns, both of which go hand in hand. If you have a strong presence on their base entrances they have close to no chance to turn the game around.

It can also be argued that reducing snowballing essentially makes it easier for "noob" players and reduces the overall skill cap of the game. I can see how that point can be argued for more skilled players as it can be frustrating when a game is pulled from their grasp by gameplay mechanics after a decisive early start.



Assholes would still spam rants because they're shit at goon, so don't fucking remove chainsuits.

Then that means you're either playing a boring scrim or in a pub, the other team doesn't know how to close out games.

Are you implying you want to give aliens rants at stage 1 and gradually take things away from them?

Hell no, if i hop the rc and it goes down, i deserve the win, simple as that. Abscence of om/rc should be devastating to the team. If it gets deconned you revert, arguing to alter the gameplay because of deconners / cheaters is a terrible way to balance the game.


ROFL. i have no idea what u've just said, but u're trying to make it sound like the viability of camping is a good thing to have.

u're confusing „reward” with „snowballing”. every players-vs-players game should have a reward system, which is: if u did sufficiently better than the opponent, then that's counted as a win.

  • in plain car racing games, especially ones with players mechanically separated, the reward system is linear: if u did better by X, then u will be X ahead of ur opponent, and that is how much u may spare to „relax”; an initial lead does not influence the difficulty of achieving further leads, and vice versa (modulo psychological effects of appearing to win/lose).
  • by contrast, in games like Tremulous, the reward system is exponential: if u did better than ur opponent, then u will gain comparable amount of power to achieve further gains, all-in-all allowing u to relax to the extent that u were ahead, integral with the time (modulo stage delays, modulo the slow automatic income, and modulo the limits on fund capacities); an initial lead can be a significant factor in determining the final outcome.

ofc, otherwise the issue wouldn't have been raised.

no, the issue of difficulty of building forward bases is an issue of difficulty of building forward bases, period. 1 (of infinite) possible ways to remove it is to increase the default buildpoints by 40. however, if u don't somehow make it so that those additional buildpoints could only be used in forward bases, then be prepared to enchanced camping.

what is game ruining under ur definition ?

so u agree by showing an example of what's poor in 1v1s. PS: mind a reasonable counter.

using the best of what's available ! those assholes !

TODO: make games not boring by making game design not boring.

because it can't. (if it were reasonable to assume that the other team knows how to close out games, then it would also be reasonable to assume that the camping team knows how to defend against attempts to close out games.)

yes, for example. another example would be a variation of domination mods where each domination point has a finite amount of funds to be exploited.


I was worried about this as well but if we code something into the game that enables systematic base destruction after sudden death then it would be fine. What I mean is: A team can build a super default fortress and use all of their allotted BP on it. But if after 10 minutes after Sudden Death a certain amount of structures aren't killed, a ret will start to disappear every 5 minutes until the base has it's regular BP set up.

Then clearly suits would be overpowered.. But this isn't even a question since removing rants would be preposterous.

That says more about the aggressor's lack of ability to finish, doesn't it?

But that's why for (in example) things like scrims, we just recently changed to a point victory system over 2 maps. If there is a round where someone snowballed victory then the team who lost can get a fresh start in the next round.

I think if we had absolutely ZERO snowball in this game then that would mean there is no definitive win insurance for either team. The game would be null until one team overpowered the next. It would exemplify a lot more skill than our current system, but would make the game so evenly keeled that for things like scrims only one map should incite a result..

Rant is by no means the best alien available. This statement in itself showcases your lack of actual play time in trem.


stop skipping posts.

congratulations, u've successfully induced double boredom.

rant is the best alien to have in most combat scenarios. this statement itself showcases ur lack of imagination.