Since sudden death seemed to encourage camping, it’s logical that the opposite would discourage it. The basic idea is this: instead of the bases getting less and less powerful due to the structures being killed without the possibility to build more, what about applying the same to the players? Humans should get poor-quality weapons that jam and misfire, and, minutes before the time limit, their arsenal should be reduced to table legs and frying pans, while aliens should get progressively more sick or get civilian versions instead of combat forms. Structures should stay the same though and it should be possible to rebuild everything, albeit at a slower rate than usual.
This isn’t real life simulator.
The point of sudden death, which is literally to stop you from building, should be kept that way, the last thing players want to do is be stuck with table legs and sick aliens, something more innovative would seem better, catching a fun game-play even at the end of your rope, instead of scenario where both teams are rendered useless for real suspicious reasons.
In a nutshell, perhaps we should re-name sudden death, something like: dis-allowing building or something more practical, then we should re-add sudden death, but as an actual thing near the end game. Let’s keep it as killing off both bases completely and leaving each team to fight for themselves or giving both teams a health debilitation issue which slowly drains their HP.
Not only that but if you are stuck in a long game, and not even due to camping, this sudden death would completely ruin the fun game-play of that match.
Sudden Death is a more general concept than the implemented instance of no longer building. Not only does it exist in many other video games very different from Tremulous, but its origin is in sports, long before video games even existed. In sports it is typically a scenario where one competitor gaining any lead past another competitor automatically wins the game. I think the main purpose of Sudden Death is best summed up in this quote from the Wikipedia article:
Sudden death is typically used as a tiebreaker when a contest is tied at the end of the normal playing time or the completion of the normal playing task.
We might get some good inspiration from that article for Trem:
KoRx was one of the Tremulous mods that had an “Extreme Sudden Death”. Quoting from KoRx’s help.txt file, Extreme Sudden Death behaved there as follows:
Extreme Sudden Death has been changed, extensively, in KoRx. Now, instead of your spawns just dying and you receiving 2000 credits, your base also dies after 30 seconds, and you take constant damage.
The constant damage changes depending on your health. For example, a dretch would take 1 damage every 3.6 seconds while a tyrant might take 1 damage every 0.15 seconds, and a human every 0.9 seconds, and so on. The health you gain is directly related to the amount of damage you deal. If you deal 100 damage to a human, as a rant, you would gain 600 health, if you did 600 damage to a rant as a human, you would get 100 HP, and so on. Also, in ESD the construction kit now does damage instead of healing… damage like a pain saw, so be careful!
This reminded me of an idea I had that “time” could be a major factor of play- for instance “old” human structures could start to rust, move slower, etc. but this lead me to think of a different way to use time- supposing that either team normally moves “ahead” through time, whatif there were structures that could be built that would alter a team’s local-temporal time- like something to “bring them into the future” (which would make more advanced weaponry / classes available), or put them “back” into the past- where weapons and classes are more “primitive”. So, the local “time period” of either team would alter which type (time period) of classes, weapons, and structures are available. Going “back” or “ahead” would have it’s own advantages (along with some disadvantage). I call this mod idea “Timeulous”.