The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

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MIH-XTC
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The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by MIH-XTC » 23 Aug 2016, 19:45

I started playing WZ multiplayer at age 14 in 1999 and finally stopped in late 2006. There are a few other players from 1999-2000 that still play today (Cowboy and Zepherian) but li33 (from China) is the only player that I know of who consistently played from 1999 - 2006 and I still see him today! By late 2006, weeks would go by without seeing a single player online and I thought for sure at that time I was the last player in the world until I found this website in late 2013. This is the history of WZ multiplayer as I know it, some players will remember the nostalgia...

Games in 1999 - 2000 were hosted by a 3rd party service known as "mplayer" that also hosted chat lobbies for several other games as well. Players from other video games could easily stop in the Warzone gaming lobby and connect with the community. Total Annihilation was the main competing RTS game with WZ. Players had avatars, profiles and could speak through a microphone.

The year 2000 was the peak of WZ with as many as 250 players in the chat lobby at one time although 100 - 150 was more like the average. The community was somewhat small but players' names were known and clans were territorial. RBL, WF, NF, DOW, MOW, WCS, Chem, Dr, GER, SoS and CC were the main clans of the time. Keep in mind, the notion of a "clan" was still relatively new in the world of online gaming.

Most people had dial-up 56k connections. I have no idea how the game didn't lag.


Mplayer staff members hosted KOTH tournaments (King Of The Hill) and were held about once every 2 months for the first year and tournaments were always played on rush map. MOW_Badboy won every tournament (5 total I think) except for the last one in which CC-Vegita won by using the soon to be infamous speed cheat. The speed cheat was a program that made a person's PC run faster (CPU clock I think) and consequently so did WZ including the research, production and power rates. Cheating played a large part in WZ's demise. The most common indicators of cheating was that a player wouldn't be able to tell the correct in-game time since their clocked ticked much faster. The other indicator was that the cheating player's units seemed to teleport small distances and droids/structures would explode before the enemy came near. It was because the cheating players units were moving much faster and their units were in different places than what others viewed them (desynced).

Rush map was the gold standard of maps followed by Ziggurat. Not many other maps were played. Teamwar was the first non-stock map ever made in 2000 and it revolutionized the game play by putting all of the oil in a players base and allowed them to duke it out with their opponent over a flat map. In retrospect, the entire evolution of WZ game play shifted towards Teamwar-like maps simply because the oil derricks do not produce enough power to sustain exciting game play in low oil maps (hence the reason for fixing this in EB mod).

In late 2001 or early 2002, mplayer folded or was bought out by Gamespy and Gamespy Arcade was now the main hosting service for WZ games. A lot of players did not transition to Gamespy and the community was significantly reduced as a result.

1.10 balance and strategy was absolutely terrible but none of us realized it at the time because we enjoyed the game. It was drastically different from what it is now.

In 1.10, from 1999 - 2006, never once did I ever make a single VTOL, cyborg or mobile artillery. Cyborgs were absolutely worthless and the cyborg factory was just like the command center relay, nobody ever built it. There wasn't any way to disable VTOL's or mobile artillery but if a player was caught using them then it was a legit reason to immediately quit and leave the game. The reason being is that they were so overpowered that their usage was the only viable strategy and it was understood by all players that you didn't use mobile artillery or VTOL's for this reason. They were strictly off limits and everyone in the community knew this. Kicking players was not possible at the time.

The common rule set all players adhered by was known as "All No" referring to No VTOL's, No Mob Arty, No decoys and No BT (Build Time). BT was usually specificed to be either 5, 10 or 15 minutes and meant that players were not allowed to cross the midway point between their opponent before the BT was over. Doing so was grounds for disqualification. Game name formats were typically listed as "All no, BT 15"

The usage of decoys evolved around 2002 in which it was realized that buildings received 100% of their hitpoints the moment construction is started and that droids fire at defensive structures before other droids. As a result, this caused a huge unintended consequence. It was discovered that building hundreds of unfinished bunkers and fortresses was the most effective strategy because they acted like decoys and absorbed all enemy fire. Since players were always out of power anyways, it didn't cost them anything to start construction on a building. Therefore the strategy was to build as many decoy structures as close as possible to your opponent and keep your tanks behind them. This essentially ruined any strategy WZ had to offer but it wasn't much at the time anyways because there were only 4 weapons used: Heavy cannon, lancer, scourge and laser.

Once teamwar map was released, all players started playing T3 games because T1 was far too slow. I don't remember the exact details of build order in T1 but I do remember that you wouldn't make contact with your opponent for at least the first 30 minutes due to the slow nature of the tech tree. T1 games could last up to 2 hours that usually ended in a stalemate due to artillery being overpowered. I don't remember arch angel, probably because the tech tree was so long it was rarely obtained.

All weapons were worthless relative to lancer and Heavy Cannon. Lancer was by far the best weapon in T1. All bodies were worthless except for scorpion and mantis. In T3 all players only made hover, mantis, heavy cannon. Rarely did players ever use scourge or laser due to balancing. So basically it was just a contest who could control heavy cannon mantis hover the best while building decoys.

All T3 games typically lasted 15 minutes in which after that time the person with the most heavy cannon hover mantis won was able to outnumber the same army from their opponent.

We did not use cyborgs, MG's, any cannons other than heavy cannon, any rockets other than lancer, no VTOL's and only hellstorm emplacements, no groundshaker. Artillery tanks were strictly forbidden.

The biggest flaw in all of WZ was discovered around 2004 when me and AaD-Knife-Man tested that unit and power production rates varied per player based on the stats of their PC. This essentially meant that some players had huge advantages over others simply because their PC allowed them to produce more power. I could never confirm this to be the case because I always suspected Knife Man of using speed cheat.

Another minor bug was that if you held the tab button while dieing, it would prevent the game from ending although the players knew who won the game by that time.

By 2004 there was only maybe 20 - 25 players online at a time. By 2005 it was about 5 - 15. By the end of 2006, I wouldn't see any players for weeks. During all of this time, I think teamwar and New Teamwar were the only maps available other than the stock maps that came with the game. There wasn't any map editor available to players so we all just played teamwar map.

When I refound WZ in 2013, I saw players making cyborgs and minipods and doing all of these newb things that I had never seen before. I was shocked at how much the game had improved, it was a lot of run relearning WZ all over again in 3.1. It was only until earlier this year that I discovered what the "stats" were. Once I did, it became my mission to improve them.

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Cyp » 24 Aug 2016, 01:23

MIH-XTC wrote:Most people had dial-up 56k connections. I have no idea how the game didn't lag.
The game didn't lag, even if the connection between the players froze for a minute or more. Obviously, this meant that the tanks were doing different things on different screens, fixed in 3.1.
MIH-XTC wrote:… The speed cheat was a program that made a person's PC run faster (CPU clock I think) and consequently so did WZ including the research, production and power rates. Cheating played a large part in WZ's demise. The most common indicators of cheating was that a player wouldn't be able to tell the correct in-game time since their clocked ticked much faster. The other indicator was that the cheating player's units seemed to teleport small distances and droids/structures would explode before the enemy came near. It was because the cheating players units were moving much faster and their units were in different places than what others viewed them (desynced).
Wonder what would have happened if running clocks backwards… How many FPS you got would also affect power/production, not just system clock speed, so even non-cheaters with good GPUs could massively outproduce you (or me). If sending something to attack a base, and another player speed-cheats at that moment, the base might instantly explode. All fixed in 3.1.
MIH-XTC wrote:1.10 balance and strategy was absolutely terrible but none of us realized it at the time because we enjoyed the game. It was drastically different from what it is now.
Doesn't really make sense to talk about balance, when different players are playing in completely different worlds (at least sometimes). The first version where the concept of balance makes sense is 3.1.
MIH-XTC wrote:The biggest flaw in all of WZ was discovered around 2004 when me and AaD-Knife-Man tested that unit and power production rates varied per player based on the stats of their PC. This essentially meant that some players had huge advantages over others simply because their PC allowed them to produce more power. I could never confirm this to be the case because I always suspected Knife Man of using speed cheat.
Ridiculous but true. Also, campaign difficulty level made a difference in multiplayer. Fixed in 3.1.

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by montetank » 24 Aug 2016, 02:35

Great story. Nostalgia at its best :)
would be nice, if someone has the old maps. I would remake the old maps and compile them in wz-format
In case the WZ-game ends in a draw , the game winner will be determined by penalty shoot-out.

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by MIH-XTC » 24 Aug 2016, 03:53

MIH-XTC wrote:Most people had dial-up 56k connections. I have no idea how the game didn't lag.
Cyp wrote: The game didn't lag, even if the connection between the players froze for a minute or more. Obviously, this meant that the tanks were doing different things on different screens, fixed in 3.1.
Ah okay. I didn't ever remember the game freezing for lag in 1.10 and 56k was terribly slow so I wasn't sure how the lag could seemingly become worse 14 years later. Turns out in 1.10 there was no synchronization between games. That explains why some stuff would sometimes explode prematurely :)

MIH-XTC wrote:… The speed cheat was a program that made a person's PC run faster (CPU clock I think) and consequently so did WZ including the research, production and power rates. Cheating played a large part in WZ's demise. The most common indicators of cheating was that a player wouldn't be able to tell the correct in-game time since their clocked ticked much faster. The other indicator was that the cheating player's units seemed to teleport small distances and droids/structures would explode before the enemy came near. It was because the cheating players units were moving much faster and their units were in different places than what others viewed them (desynced).
Cyp wrote: Wonder what would have happened if running clocks backwards… How many FPS you got would also affect power/production, not just system clock speed, so even non-cheaters with good GPUs could massively outproduce you (or me). If sending something to attack a base, and another player speed-cheats at that moment, the base might instantly explode. All fixed in 3.1.
Looking back, it must have been the FPS that made the difference not the CPU because I remember testing with someone who had the same CPU but we still had discrepancies in production times. I didn't really pay attention to FPS until 3.2 because it runs smoother and I noticed it's correlated to higher FPS.
MIH-XTC wrote:1.10 balance and strategy was absolutely terrible but none of us realized it at the time because we enjoyed the game. It was drastically different from what it is now.
Cyp wrote: Doesn't really make sense to talk about balance, when different players are playing in completely different worlds (at least sometimes). The first version where the concept of balance makes sense is 3.1.
You're right about "balance" not existing in 1.10, but I don't know why...

The notion of balance never occurred to me until 2014'ish. I'm not sure what it was about 1.10 that made it so different from what WZ is right now but I do remember the tech tree seemed to take a lot longer, units moved slower I think and everything just seemed slow.

When you say different worlds are you referring to the different Tech starts, T1, T2, T3? Now that you mention that, I think you're right in the sense that the different tech starts were spaced further apart. There was no concept of progressive transitioning from different bodies, weapons or upgrades. There wasn't any "flow" like there is now in the tech tree but I don't know why that was. Instead, it was more like players only needed to know which design was the best and that same design sufficed for the entire game or something to that effect. All I remember is that it was very mundane and slow compared to what it is now.
MIH-XTC wrote:The biggest flaw in all of WZ was discovered around 2004 when me and AaD-Knife-Man tested that unit and power production rates varied per player based on the stats of their PC. This essentially meant that some players had huge advantages over others simply because their PC allowed them to produce more power. I could never confirm this to be the case because I always suspected Knife Man of using speed cheat.
Cyp wrote: Ridiculous but true. Also, campaign difficulty level made a difference in multiplayer. Fixed in 3.1.
Oh yikes I didn't know that. I seem to have been very fortunate to have returned to WZ in November 2013 coincidentally right around the same time 3.1 was released but I didn't know that at the time. I thought 3.1 had been around since 2010'ish or something. I never played anything 2.x so I don't know how much of an improvement 3.1 was but it seems like a lot.

I did play 1.10 when this guy posted a download link for it viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12519 and man the graphics were awful. It was unplayable because the view was so zoomed and I couldn't change it. That also reminded me that players who played in higher resolutions had a huge advantage because they could see more.

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Cyp » 24 Aug 2016, 11:59

MIH-XTC wrote:
Cyp wrote:
You're right about "balance" not existing in 1.10, but I don't know why...

The notion of balance never occurred to me until 2014'ish. I'm not sure what it was about 1.10 that made it so different from what WZ is right now but I do remember the tech tree seemed to take a lot longer, units moved slower I think and everything just seemed slow.

When you say different worlds are you referring to the different Tech starts, T1, T2, T3? Now that you mention that, I think you're right in the sense that the different tech starts were spaced further apart. There was no concept of progressive transitioning from different bodies, weapons or upgrades. There wasn't any "flow" like there is now in the tech tree but I don't know why that was. Instead, it was more like players only needed to know which design was the best and that same design sufficed for the entire game or something to that effect. All I remember is that it was very mundane and slow compared to what it is now.
Actually, I meant due to the game not being synchronised. It couldn't really go out of synch, because it was never in synch to begin with.

I think whether cannons or rockets were better depended on how fast other people's internet connections were, and how fast their computers were. Rockets were good in slow-internet-connection games, since they could quickly kill a tank off, before its health could be synchronised. Kills were synchronised whenever they died on ANY client's screen, but health and location was just synchronised occasionally.

Positions were synchronised less often while looking at the tanks, so even just the act of watching a battle and nothing else could affect balance.

If player A sends some tanks to player B's base, and cancels the order a second later, and player C's client happens to lose connection before the order is cancelled, then player B's base would explode suddenly, once player C's connection came back and the kills that player C observed got synchronised. So even spectators could drastically affect balance.

If a rocket tank R could one-shot kill one enemy tank, and there are 8 players in the game, then each player 1..8 could see the tank R shooting and killing a different enemy tank, so eight enemy tanks could die in one shot. (If the tank R wasn't ordered to attack a specific enemy tank, that is.) If it almost but not quite killed the enemy tanks, then most of the enemy tanks could recover completely once their is synchronised.

When attacking the enemy, it was often important to retreat before your tanks were close enough to fire. Some random other client would see your tanks in range, and report that an enemy tank was killed by your tanks, even though you didn't get near. That applied especially if there was someone in the game using a speed cheat.

It was impossible to figure out if anyone was cheating, since even things that looked like blatant cheats could happen without anyone cheating. Think almost everyone suspected almost everyone of cheating. I mostly stopped being accused of cheating soon after 3.1, once most people started realising that it was now impossible.

Games with VTOLs and artillery were especially confusing, with lots of weird stuff happening (since VTOLs move fast, artillery can shoot random stuff on the map). Maybe that was a reason for not using them, but they should be ok in 3.1+.

Not sure exactly how much applies to 1.10, first version I played was 2.1.3.

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Tzeentch » 29 Aug 2016, 16:35

and I still can never get a microphone to work! 26 years on. Obviously looks like syncing adds quite a bit of overhead.
More or less grey

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Mersaci » 12 Jan 2020, 00:41

What's up anyone still playing this game?

MOW_BadBoy

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Mersaci » 12 Jan 2020, 00:48

MIH-XTC wrote:
23 Aug 2016, 19:45
I started playing WZ multiplayer at age 14 in 1999 and finally stopped in late 2006. There are a few other players from 1999-2000 that still play today (Cowboy and Zepherian) but li33 (from China) is the only player that I know of who consistently played from 1999 - 2006 and I still see him today! By late 2006, weeks would go by without seeing a single player online and I thought for sure at that time I was the last player in the world until I found this website in late 2013. This is the history of WZ multiplayer as I know it, some players will remember the nostalgia...

Games in 1999 - 2000 were hosted by a 3rd party service known as "mplayer" that also hosted chat lobbies for several other games as well. Players from other video games could easily stop in the Warzone gaming lobby and connect with the community. Total Annihilation was the main competing RTS game with WZ. Players had avatars, profiles and could speak through a microphone.

The year 2000 was the peak of WZ with as many as 250 players in the chat lobby at one time although 100 - 150 was more like the average. The community was somewhat small but players' names were known and clans were territorial. RBL, WF, NF, DOW, MOW, WCS, Chem, Dr, GER, SoS and CC were the main clans of the time. Keep in mind, the notion of a "clan" was still relatively new in the world of online gaming.

Most people had dial-up 56k connections. I have no idea how the game didn't lag.


Mplayer staff members hosted KOTH tournaments (King Of The Hill) and were held about once every 2 months for the first year and tournaments were always played on rush map. MOW_Badboy won every tournament (5 total I think) except for the last one in which CC-Vegita won by using the soon to be infamous speed cheat. The speed cheat was a program that made a person's PC run faster (CPU clock I think) and consequently so did WZ including the research, production and power rates. Cheating played a large part in WZ's demise. The most common indicators of cheating was that a player wouldn't be able to tell the correct in-game time since their clocked ticked much faster. The other indicator was that the cheating player's units seemed to teleport small distances and droids/structures would explode before the enemy came near. It was because the cheating players units were moving much faster and their units were in different places than what others viewed them (desynced).

Rush map was the gold standard of maps followed by Ziggurat. Not many other maps were played. Teamwar was the first non-stock map ever made in 2000 and it revolutionized the game play by putting all of the oil in a players base and allowed them to duke it out with their opponent over a flat map. In retrospect, the entire evolution of WZ game play shifted towards Teamwar-like maps simply because the oil derricks do not produce enough power to sustain exciting game play in low oil maps (hence the reason for fixing this in EB mod).

In late 2001 or early 2002, mplayer folded or was bought out by Gamespy and Gamespy Arcade was now the main hosting service for WZ games. A lot of players did not transition to Gamespy and the community was significantly reduced as a result.

1.10 balance and strategy was absolutely terrible but none of us realized it at the time because we enjoyed the game. It was drastically different from what it is now.

In 1.10, from 1999 - 2006, never once did I ever make a single VTOL, cyborg or mobile artillery. Cyborgs were absolutely worthless and the cyborg factory was just like the command center relay, nobody ever built it. There wasn't any way to disable VTOL's or mobile artillery but if a player was caught using them then it was a legit reason to immediately quit and leave the game. The reason being is that they were so overpowered that their usage was the only viable strategy and it was understood by all players that you didn't use mobile artillery or VTOL's for this reason. They were strictly off limits and everyone in the community knew this. Kicking players was not possible at the time.

The common rule set all players adhered by was known as "All No" referring to No VTOL's, No Mob Arty, No decoys and No BT (Build Time). BT was usually specificed to be either 5, 10 or 15 minutes and meant that players were not allowed to cross the midway point between their opponent before the BT was over. Doing so was grounds for disqualification. Game name formats were typically listed as "All no, BT 15"

The usage of decoys evolved around 2002 in which it was realized that buildings received 100% of their hitpoints the moment construction is started and that droids fire at defensive structures before other droids. As a result, this caused a huge unintended consequence. It was discovered that building hundreds of unfinished bunkers and fortresses was the most effective strategy because they acted like decoys and absorbed all enemy fire. Since players were always out of power anyways, it didn't cost them anything to start construction on a building. Therefore the strategy was to build as many decoy structures as close as possible to your opponent and keep your tanks behind them. This essentially ruined any strategy WZ had to offer but it wasn't much at the time anyways because there were only 4 weapons used: Heavy cannon, lancer, scourge and laser.

Once teamwar map was released, all players started playing T3 games because T1 was far too slow. I don't remember the exact details of build order in T1 but I do remember that you wouldn't make contact with your opponent for at least the first 30 minutes due to the slow nature of the tech tree. T1 games could last up to 2 hours that usually ended in a stalemate due to artillery being overpowered. I don't remember arch angel, probably because the tech tree was so long it was rarely obtained.

All weapons were worthless relative to lancer and Heavy Cannon. Lancer was by far the best weapon in T1. All bodies were worthless except for scorpion and mantis. In T3 all players only made hover, mantis, heavy cannon. Rarely did players ever use scourge or laser due to balancing. So basically it was just a contest who could control heavy cannon mantis hover the best while building decoys.

All T3 games typically lasted 15 minutes in which after that time the person with the most heavy cannon hover mantis won was able to outnumber the same army from their opponent.

We did not use cyborgs, MG's, any cannons other than heavy cannon, any rockets other than lancer, no VTOL's and only hellstorm emplacements, no groundshaker. Artillery tanks were strictly forbidden.

The biggest flaw in all of WZ was discovered around 2004 when me and AaD-Knife-Man tested that unit and power production rates varied per player based on the stats of their PC. This essentially meant that some players had huge advantages over others simply because their PC allowed them to produce more power. I could never confirm this to be the case because I always suspected Knife Man of using speed cheat.

Another minor bug was that if you held the tab button while dieing, it would prevent the game from ending although the players knew who won the game by that time.

By 2004 there was only maybe 20 - 25 players online at a time. By 2005 it was about 5 - 15. By the end of 2006, I wouldn't see any players for weeks. During all of this time, I think teamwar and New Teamwar were the only maps available other than the stock maps that came with the game. There wasn't any map editor available to players so we all just played teamwar map.

When I refound WZ in 2013, I saw players making cyborgs and minipods and doing all of these newb things that I had never seen before. I was shocked at how much the game had improved, it was a lot of run relearning WZ all over again in 3.1. It was only until earlier this year that I discovered what the "stats" were. Once I did, it became my mission to improve them.
Don't forget Spice or Slice or whatever his name was. He was a great player

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Vegita » 22 Feb 2020, 17:45

As a counter-point, I played on my stepfather's PC back then and he always bought the newest and shiniest. At least in the CC lobby we knew that I produced tanks faster than everyone else and speculation was that a faster PC would cause your game to run faster.

Anyway how nostalgic to see some names I remember in here. It is so cool to see this game on steam now!

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Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by Forgon » 01 Mar 2020, 20:34

MIH-XTC wrote:
23 Aug 2016, 19:45
[...] The year 2000 was the peak of WZ with as many as 250 players in the chat lobby at one time although 100 - 150 was more like the average. [...] The speed cheat was a program that made a person's PC run faster (CPU clock I think) and consequently so did WZ including the research, production and power rates. Cheating played a large part in WZ's demise. The most common indicators of cheating was that a player wouldn't be able to tell the correct in-game time since their clocked ticked much faster. The other indicator was that the cheating player's units seemed to teleport small distances and droids/structures would explode before the enemy came near. It was because the cheating players units were moving much faster and their units were in different places than what others viewed them (desynced).
I dimly remember talk about that speed cheat when I first played online
in 2009, but dismissed it for lack of evidence. While most accusations
of cheating are without merit (notice how cheaters are apparently only
ever found in enemy teams), this history might explain why some players
doubt that it occurs rarely and hope for greater efforts to prevent it.
MIH-XTC wrote:
23 Aug 2016, 19:45
Rush map was the gold standard of maps followed by Ziggurat. Not many other maps were played. Teamwar was the first non-stock map ever made in 2000 and it revolutionized the game play by putting all of the oil in a players base and allowed them to duke it out with their opponent over a flat map. In retrospect, the entire evolution of WZ game play shifted towards Teamwar-like maps simply because the oil derricks do not produce enough power to sustain exciting game play in low oil maps (hence the reason for fixing this in EB mod).
My guess is that NTW maps started to dominate multiplayer games because
they were more forgiving of mistakes: Their layout favors the defense
since ceding territory does not result in losing oil derricks and the
bases of bad players are usually safe if their allies are supportive.
I might be wrong about that, though.
MIH-XTC wrote:
23 Aug 2016, 19:45
In late 2001 or early 2002, mplayer folded or was bought out by Gamespy and Gamespy Arcade was now the main hosting service for WZ games. A lot of players did not transition to Gamespy and the community was significantly reduced as a result.

1.10 balance and strategy was absolutely terrible but none of us realized it at the time because we enjoyed the game. It was drastically different from what it is now.

In 1.10, from 1999 - 2006, never once did I ever make a single VTOL, cyborg or mobile artillery. Cyborgs were absolutely worthless and the cyborg factory was just like the command center relay, nobody ever built it. There wasn't any way to disable VTOL's or mobile artillery but if a player was caught using them then it was a legit reason to immediately quit and leave the game. The reason being is that they were so overpowered that their usage was the only viable strategy and it was understood by all players that you didn't use mobile artillery or VTOL's for this reason. They were strictly off limits and everyone in the community knew this. Kicking players was not possible at the time.

The common rule set all players adhered by was known as "All No" referring to No VTOL's, No Mob Arty, No decoys and No BT (Build Time). BT was usually specificed to be either 5, 10 or 15 minutes and meant that players were not allowed to cross the midway point between their opponent before the BT was over. Doing so was grounds for disqualification. Game name formats were typically listed as "All no, BT 15"

The usage of decoys evolved around 2002 in which it was realized that buildings received 100% of their hitpoints the moment construction is started and that droids fire at defensive structures before other droids. As a result, this caused a huge unintended consequence. It was discovered that building hundreds of unfinished bunkers and fortresses was the most effective strategy because they acted like decoys and absorbed all enemy fire. Since players were always out of power anyways, it didn't cost them anything to start construction on a building. Therefore the strategy was to build as many decoy structures as close as possible to your opponent and keep your tanks behind them. This essentially ruined any strategy WZ had to offer but it wasn't much at the time anyways because there were only 4 weapons used: Heavy cannon, lancer, scourge and laser.

Once teamwar map was released, all players started playing T3 games because T1 was far too slow. I don't remember the exact details of build order in T1 but I do remember that you wouldn't make contact with your opponent for at least the first 30 minutes due to the slow nature of the tech tree. T1 games could last up to 2 hours that usually ended in a stalemate due to artillery being overpowered. I don't remember arch angel, probably because the tech tree was so long it was rarely obtained.

All weapons were worthless relative to lancer and Heavy Cannon. Lancer was by far the best weapon in T1. All bodies were worthless except for scorpion and mantis. In T3 all players only made hover, mantis, heavy cannon. Rarely did players ever use scourge or laser due to balancing. So basically it was just a contest who could control heavy cannon mantis hover the best while building decoys.

All T3 games typically lasted 15 minutes in which after that time the person with the most heavy cannon hover mantis won was able to outnumber the same army from their opponent.

We did not use cyborgs, MG's, any cannons other than heavy cannon, any rockets other than lancer, no VTOL's and only hellstorm emplacements, no groundshaker. Artillery tanks were strictly forbidden.

The biggest flaw in all of WZ was discovered around 2004 when me and AaD-Knife-Man tested that unit and power production rates varied per player based on the stats of their PC. This essentially meant that some players had huge advantages over others simply because their PC allowed them to produce more power. I could never confirm this to be the case because I always suspected Knife Man of using speed cheat.

Another minor bug was that if you held the tab button while dieing, it would prevent the game from ending although the players knew who won the game by that time.

By 2004 there was only maybe 20 - 25 players online at a time. By 2005 it was about 5 - 15. By the end of 2006, I wouldn't see any players for weeks. During all of this time, I think teamwar and New Teamwar were the only maps available other than the stock maps that came with the game. There wasn't any map editor available to players so we all just played teamwar map. [...]
It's encouraging to hear that things used to be so much worse. Since the
3.3+ versions were released, the game has certainly gotten better.

JoeyCrack83
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Joined: 29 Mar 2020, 16:49

Re: The history of WZ multiplayer and 1.10 balance

Post by JoeyCrack83 » 29 Mar 2020, 16:52

Reading this really took me back. Thank you for reminding me of the great memories. I pretty much remember all the metas as you described them, those bunkers really changed the tank battles and do you remember when people would drop the transport as a decoy?

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