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The (PH) Jump Pack
#1
Star 
Since TTT was talking about the jump pack a little bit ago, I figured I could prompt some discussion about it here. Note that I'm not explicitly suggesting anything in this thread, I have no major gripes about the jump pack, but I just wanted to finally talk about something I've been wanting to talk about since I joined prophunt.

Specifically, I will be talking about the expense of the jump pack in the pointshop in contrast to a cheaper option/a global jump boost. The jump pack, the last time I saw it, costed 100,000 points, and I'm assuming it's the same price today. It's no small expense for a newer player, and has always taken at least 15 hours of competent gameplay without buying anything else to get it. Personally, I attribute this fact as a large part of prophunt's success in times where it wasn't as popular, along with the prop menu: they were utilities meant to capture the players interest and keep them working towards a goal during the initial retention period players go through when finding a server. However, what consequences does holding a jump boost item up on a high pole have for the newer players that can't get it?

A jump boost of any kind affects two major things: how many places you can get to on a map, and how easy it is to get to them. When the server jump height is higher (by the gravity being lower), you can get to more places on the map, and the places that you can already get to are easier to access. In contrast, a lower jump height restricts the number of places you can get to, and makes it more difficult to get to places you were already able to access. For an experienced player, these facts are hopefully obvious.

The problem the jump pack presents is that instead of having a fixed "map access level" for everyone on the server in the form of a universal server gravity, the server is divided into two groups with two levels of map access: people that have either donated to the server for points / gotten lucky in a crate drop, or played enough hours to afford the pack. This isn't a massive problem in a game like TTT, but in a game like prophunt where your success is very closely related to the places you have access to, you start to take notice as a new player.

In case that wasn't clear in the last paragraph, this is what I'm saying: If you, as a new player to the server without a jump pack, will DEFINITIVELY NOT be able to perform as well as someone with the same / worse skill level that has a jump pack.

Now prophunt isn't a serious game by any degree, and people mostly play it to have fun rather than be competitive, but having fun relies heavily on actually being alive to play the game. You as a new player, as previously stated, will definitively not be able to hide and survive as effectively as someone who does have it. Someone with a jump pack is able to at least play on the same playing field as the high tier regulars that also have jump packs, while someone with, again, the same or higher skill level without a jump pack is at a definitive disadvantage. If prophunt was somehow turned into a competitive gamemode, this argument right here would be an immediate dealbreaker.

Except it's not competitive. Switching side here to defend the jump pack from this killer argument against it, the jump pack, along with the prop menu, provides a goal for the player to work towards in an otherwise completely linear gamemode, and thus retains the player to the server. Providing a universal jump boost would solve the problem of the huge divide between people with and without jump packs, but since the player already has the ability to jump higher, it could no longer offer a captivating goal to work towards. I wholeheartedly disagree that you should put someone on a massively lower playing field than the rest of the player base just so the player will stay on your server, but on prophunt, there's not exactly much more you can do other than the prop menu. I'm not leaving my explicit opinion on the argument here, this is a discussion thread, after all.

Now instead of considering a complete removal of the jump pack to solve the new player disadvantage problem, let's consider lowering the power of the jump pack back to what it was during the Pointshop 1 days. Me and an old co-owner, SluttyCrowofCainhurst, discussed doing this after the jump pack was unintentionally buffed as a result of the switch to PS2, but the idea was dropped due to Dink being MIA as usual during that time period. In case you're unaware, the PS1 jump pack was nothing like what it is now; the first time I equipped it, I thought it was broken. The jump boost was rather minimal, as opposed to the massive buff it gives you nowadays, and as a result, it actually created a very interesting gameplay experience.

The difference between current and PS1 jump pack is substantial, with the current PS2 jump pack allowing you to jump significantly higher and float around a lot more. The PS1 jump pack did that as well, but it was a significantly smaller change from the normal server gravity. A smaller change between normal server gravity and jump pack jumping height reduces the severity of the new player disadvantage problem, while still providing a tangible and advantageous goal for new players to pursue. In addition, map exploits on certain maps removed in the past would not be present with a less powerful pack, and those maps could be added back.

In my personal experience, gameplay with the lower powered jump pack was much more interesting than the current one. The difference, while small, made spots that were already accessible a little bit easier for players of all skill levels to access, and thus made the spot a more reliable and effective option to hide in as opposed to just completely walling the spot off via a jump height restriction. That wasn't to say the change was that tiny, there were definitely spots accessible that weren't before as a result of the jump pack, such as the cliff spot on restaurant. Skilled players even could utilize advanced techniques such as prop boosting and strafe jumping to stretch the pack to the limit and access spots like the islandhouse windows or the gas station cigarette box (is gas station still even in rotation?)

A concluding point I would like to make about the old jump pack is that it implemented breakable limitations. You had to innovate and find new ways to get places in order to survive and break new grounds, and it establishes a greater sense of impossibility on maps that resulted in people more being more surprised when the boundary was broken. With a high powered jump pack, the boundaries of the map are broken by default; you can already access to just about everything.

Take this example of the palm tree left of the islandhouse balcony. With the old jump pack, the procedure was very specific: climb to the balcony railing and turn into a boat, strafe crouch jump to the edge of the tree, locate the center of the tree, and turn into a more suitable prop (or just stay as a boat and be funny.) To perform the same action with the new jump pack, you climb to the balcony railing, hold forward, and press the space bar. That's not interesting. It doesn't take any creativity to discover how to get up there, it isn't remotely difficult, and it's boring.

I've been hard on the PS2 jump pack in this thread, so I have to be fair for it: the new jump pack feels really good to use. You have a very open feeling of movement, and it feels good to float and strafe around the map and blast props. Movement in a game is make or break for me, and if the server I play makes the gravity feel like I'm on Jupiter, I get bored either because most creative map spots are physically inaccessible or I get annoyed because literally just moving around the map is exhausting either due to fall damage as a prop or lack of movement options as a hunter. What the higher power jump pack lacks in gameplay complexity, it makes up for in good feeling movement and generally being a fun accessory to equip.

As a reminder, I'm not explicitly suggesting anything, though you probably already know which way I swing just because of the way I structured this post. Let me know what you think about what I discussed!

~RussEfarmer
Server's Official Backseat Admin
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#2
Though I appreciate the thought put into this Novel (literally this is really long), I have to disagree with you on the creativity aspect. I have witnessed MANY other players getting creative with the Jump pack. I do not think it needs to be reduced for creativity purposes. Yes those who do not have a jump pack are at a disadvantage and that's kind of the idea behind striving to get the jump pack. 

I will say that the price of 100K points is fairly expensive to acquire, and would not be apposed to the price of it dropping down to 75k points. Yes that's not much of a drop but it seems less outlandish to me personally. 

The Jump pack is a fun addition to the server, I don't think we need to modify it on the PH side for creativity purposes. 


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#3
That was a book that I just read......
But I love the jump pack and what you can do with it. And I agree with Voss in lowering the cost of the jump pack, in fact I've said it before to some people as an idea but never formally suggested it (I probably should've). 75k would be considerably easier to get as a new player rather than 100k.
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Ex PH Mod April 14, 2019-January 20, 2020

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#4
I like the idea of a alternative to the jump pack mainly because of the jump packs inconsistency. Though the way the jump pack allows players to fall at both a normal rate and a feathered rate is something I prefer over other jump height modifications such as lowered gravity. The height of the current jump pack I think is perfect over all and personally would not like to see that changed.


"Specifically, I will be talking about the expense of the jump pack in the pointshop in contrast to a cheaper option/a global jump boost. The jump pack, the last time I saw it, costed 100,000 points, and I'm assuming it's the same price today. It's no small expense for a newer player, and has always taken at least 15 hours of competent gameplay without buying anything else to get it."

Personally I don't think the price is much of a problem. Being able to bet 10k each round, all a player needs is 1 or 2 hunter maps in order to get all the points they need. Of course they need some understanding of the game to know when and who to bet on, but if the player does not have this understanding it is likely that they are newer to the game and would not be able to find the spots that require the jump pack anyway. Though me saying that they wont be able to find the spot is also not a fair reason to limit the jump pack.
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#5
(12-20-2019, 11:42 PM)Mantis Wrote: Being able to bet 10k each round, all a player needs is 1 or 2 hunter maps in order to get all the points they need. Of course they need some understanding of the game to know when and who to bet on, but if the player does not have this understanding it is likely that they are newer to the game and would not be able to find the spots that require the jump pack anyway. Though me saying that they wont be able to find the spot is also not a fair reason to limit the jump pack.

Yeah, like I said it's definitely POSSIBLE to get the pack earlier through donating, getting good crate drops, and all that (I wasn't even aware of a betting system), but I'm sure a lot of people, including myself, don't like focusing on things like betting and the economy to get something that's basically necessary. In the words of (out of context) Star: too much work. I like killing props better, that's just me though.

Every "solution" has its ups and downs, and realistically, if there was a definitively better option out there, it probably would have already been suggested. This thread was completely for fun on my part, I like writing stuff like this. If I had a legitimate suggestion, I would say it.
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#6
If I remember correctly, we did look into a few alternatives to the jump pack at one point.  The problem we ran into was when players became a prop, the game would become glitchy.  This specifically applied to testing out the wing type of jump assist. 
I've bounced around a few servers in the past to investigate what they use for a jump assist, and these are my findings:

- Having a lower gravitational pull with and without a jump assist was annoying,  as you ultimately don't have control of your descent. Meaning jumping off a ledge to chase props or as a prop, it takes significantly longer to reach the ground. It was annoying and frustrating, however, it made dying by gravity nearly impossible. 

- The wing feature looks really cool as a hunter; however the auto trails attached make finding props significantly easier, as the trail is still active when you're a prop. The wings don't allow gliding down as a prop (from what I experienced)

- Purchasable jump assist, this was basically the jump pack without a visable equipped item in your inventory.  

- Double Jump, though it sounds cool and helpful... it lead to a lot of lost health from fall damage as a hunter; and even more death by gravity as a prop due to missing jumps/inability to glide down to safety. 


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#7
(12-21-2019, 02:07 AM)Mr Voss Wrote:
If I remember correctly, we did look into a few alternatives to the jump pack at one point.  The problem we ran into was when players became a prop, the game would become glitchy.  This specifically applied to testing out the wing type of jump assist. 
I've bounced around a few servers in the past to investigate what they use for a jump assist, and these are my findings:

- Having a lower gravitational pull with and without a jump assist was annoying,  as you ultimately don't have control of your descent. Meaning jumping off a ledge to chase props or as a prop, it takes significantly longer to reach the ground. It was annoying and frustrating, however, it made dying by gravity nearly impossible. 

- The wing feature looks really cool as a hunter; however the auto trails attached make finding props significantly easier, as the trail is still active when you're a prop. The wings don't allow gliding down as a prop (from what I experienced)

- Purchasable jump assist, this was basically the jump pack without a visable equipped item in your inventory.  

- Double Jump, though it sounds cool and helpful... it lead to a lot of lost health from fall damage as a hunter; and even more death by gravity as a prop due to missing jumps/inability to glide down to safety. 

I completely agree on everything except the server gravity. I'm not sure if you did your own testing at all or experienced a few other servers, but in my experience running other servers, any value no lower than three hundred and no higher than five hundred works excellent. Below 300 you get the floaty behavior you talked about, above 500 you start to stick to the floor. At a sv_gravity value of 300, I recall you stayed in the air for exactly one second after pressing space, which isn't long enough to become a problem in my experience. Even if the gravity is floaty, users can still take advantage of aerial strafing for highly precise movement around the map, although newer players don't know how to do this.

I speak from personal experience though, I've played this game for a long time. I can imagine at a certain point the feeling of losing control of your player when jumping due to an inability to strafe is very frustrating. In other games it would be clear cut not to have floaty controls, but this game has yet another exception in the form of strafing. Another reason why I love doing this!

P.S. PS2 has an integrated jump boost "powerup", but when I tried it a while back it did nothing. Prophunt sure is something.
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#8
Personally I don’t think anything needs changed with this. Yes when I first joined and was learning to play my spots were awful and I had no jump pack, but this made me determined to work to get it so I could get better. I got the jump pack pretty quickly by having good game time and also some bets I think. Also if people join the discord they get a reward of 50k so then they are half way. Gettting member also gets you reward points and betting is easy to get points on if some of our regular players are on. 

You need incentive to keep new players playing or they can get bored. They need something to work towards and keep good competition. Once they see you do something and they ask how you did it they are usually determined to get the points for the pack so they can copy the good players.


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#9
I honestly wouldn't mind potentially lowering the jump pack height just because I think it'd make it a more accurate jump assist tool rather than going off 50 meters too high(exaggeration). I can see why people would say keep it as it but that's just my opinion. The jump pack is truly an awesome part of PH and does provide incentive to play but I think most of the actual incentive comes from the players that are on server itself. I don't think people play prop hunt to play prop hunt alone. They come to this server because it's got players, entertainment, and a decent staff. New players might be trying to explore the game mode and may stay cause they wanna see how the hell some people get to spots but ultimately it's the environment created that keeps players around for the most part.
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#10
I let this sit, to gather some more opinions, most of you seem to be in favor of lowering the price of the jetpack, so I will talk to dink about doing so. I'm sure that will happen.

As for the lowering the power on it, a lot of people really seem to like it. On top of this, with it being as high as it is, it does keep people around to want to get the points made to earn it.
When you first join you get 20k in regular points, so maybe something like 50k might even be a good price for it. But as for lowering the height I'll gather some more thoughts and maybe post a survey on that.
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