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Balancing The Points To Encourage Teamwork in PvZ:GW

July 28, 2014

keep-calm-and-ptfoI play PvZ:GW every chance I get, whether others are on and playing or not.  I haven’t been so enamored with a game since BF:BC2.  As I am currently bound to my desk, I checked out the official EA forums and it would appear that 1) there are very few people commenting which means new posts/comments stick out, 2) Popcap is reading and responding to feedback.  I believe it is not a futile exercise to offer some feedback on the scoring system as regards the Gardens and Graveyards gametype.  Therefore, I am compiling a list of actions and current points awarded for the purpose of suggesting alternate values that would more greatly encourage teamwork, or at the very least, reward those who are PTFO.  When complete, I plan to post it on the forums, and ask someone to link to it on Twitter.  Your help is greatly appreciated.  😀

Special considerations:  The current range of points scored in a given match cannot be greatly altered.  That is, any overall inflation is unacceptable due to coins having real monetary value, sticker packs having a fixed price, and gamer’s “savings” 😉 .

After taking the time to list the actions/points, I realized that there are only three areas that need tweaking.

Action  –  Current Points  –  Suggested Points  (Rational)

  • Vanquish  Streak – 25 +  25, 50, 75 and then 175 per – Cap at 25 bonus points per additional kill (The current scoring is detrimental to Objective gaming because it greatly encourages staying alive and distance killing from outside the deadly garden.)
  • Garden Capture –  10 per 3 seconds? –  10 points per 1 second  (The time necessary to receive points must be shortened because life in the garden is short.  The points must be increased because presence in the Garden, regardless of Plants to Zombies ratio, is essential to winning the game.)
  • Garden Defense When Zombies in Garden  – zero – 10 points per 1 seconds (This must match the Zombies, and is only awarded when defending Plant and attacking Zombies are actually in the garden.  Regardless of Plants to Zombie ratio, if a Plant is in the garden at the same time as a Zombie, defense points must be awarded because it is stopping or slowing the Graveyard progress.)

Zombies tend to score higher per round than the Plants.  Part of that is due to the 250 point awards for special support objectives in the finale rounds (eg., Wall-Nut launcher, Flak Flowers etc.).  To even this disparity, the Plants should receive greater points for actions in finale directly related to the Objective.  The following suggestions might require more programming and not just value tweaks, but the impact would be significant and positive.

  • Defending Golf-Bomb  –  25  for elimination of last Zombies pushing Golf Ball  –  50 per Vanquish of Zombie On Golf-Bomb
  • Defending Mansion Doors/Sunflower/Tactical Cuke  –  any?  –   50 additional points per Vanquish on the front steps or within the pavilions.

  • Vanquish Player  – 25  –  No Change
  • Critical Vanquish – additional 20  –  No Change
  • Vanquish AI  –  5  –  No Change
  • Vanquish  Assist – 25  –  No Change
  • Special Vanquish  Assist (eg. Goop, Smoke) – 25 in addition to 25 for Vanquish  Assist  –  No Change
  • Garden Defense  (kill of Zombie in Garden)  – 100 in addition to Vanquish  points  –  No Change
  • Resurrection/Revive  – 50 –  No Change
  • Suppression  – 10  –  No Change
  • Save an Ally  – 50  – No Change
  • Avenge An Ally  –  50  –  No Change
  • Destroy Potato Mine  – 10  –  No Change
  • Destroy Spike Weed  – 10  –  No Change
  • Build Turret  – 25  –  No Change
  • Build Teleporter  – 100  –  No Change
  • Teleporter Use  –  10  –  No Change
  • Destroy Teleporter   –  25  –  No Change
  • AI Vanquish – 10  –  No Change
  • Vanquish Nemesis  –  50  –  No Change
  • Stopped Enemy Vanquish Streak  – 25  –  No Change
  • Etc.

To the credit of the designers, there are still many more scores awarded for many more actions.  None of them seem to be problematic.

  1. Blankman permalink*
    July 28, 2014 2:09 am

    I think that we all agree that the disparity of points awarded to those defending the garden (within the radius) needs to be adjusted. The points that are awarded to those that manage to take out the opposition within the garden zone should definitely be higher than those that are outside of the radius sniping in the distance at relative safety. There should be a risk and reward element which would encourage more teamwork when on defense. Way too often are we hampered with idiot teammates that refuse to enter the garden zone when the opposition makes their big push. It is frustrating to lose the garden in the last ten seconds due to selfish gameplay. You cannot simply explain that action off as “they’re only young kids playing the game” due to the franchise that’s geared for younger audiences. That would be a cop out if Pop Cap were to use that as an excuse to explain the gaming trends of its game. The fact is that PvG: GW has much depth and rich gameplay that it can compete against any team-based shooter out there.

  2. July 29, 2014 8:04 pm

    OK, I posted it in the forums. Feel free to give it a bump at some point if it doesn’t get read (and responded to) by a Popcap Dev.

    • July 30, 2014 10:24 pm

      As regards the new content being PS4 exclusive, I don’t think we have to worry. Most likely, the exclusive stuff is only the PS4 mascot hats! Whew!

      From my post: GameInformer is reporting “the PlayStation version will be getting new gameplay content. New characters, customization options, maps, and game modes were all mentioned.”

      “I think they are misinterpreting the video.”
      EA PopCap Team EA_Jenni

  3. July 30, 2014 9:39 am

    These point values seem nearly perfect to help balance the points/coins given to both teams. Not sure if Popcap plans on continuing updating the game, but this would be a great way to keep the crowd coming back for more.

    And OT: Looks like Zen and MS came to terms and all tables purchased for Pinball FX2 are transferrable from 360 to One.

    • July 30, 2014 10:18 pm

      Grymmie, thanks for your confirmation on my score change suggestions.

      Played some more last night. Johann and Cornie set the dynamite with 0:00 seconds left on the clock to destroy the tactical Cuke. It was amazing because there is no Overtime on that stage, but they timed the arming perfectly. Cornie in particular, had been on top of the gazebo bringing the pain trying to keep the plants off the zombies. Then, at the last second he jumps down and starts arming. He is going to try to find it in his Twitch stream so I can link it.
      Here it is:

      Also, great news about FX2. You and Kenny have me in mind, always keeping me updated on the Pinball news! WOOT!

  4. July 31, 2014 10:59 am

    Great job collecting/forumulating this. This is really the main critique i have with the game. Hopefully we see more DLC down the road, I am willing to pay $$$.

    Have you guys seen that Xbox One exclusive EA pass? 5$ a month or 30$ a year for unlimited access to EA library games. I believe I saw their sports games included as well (NHL15 etc). I think this is a really interesting model.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 31, 2014 1:13 pm

      The only games that are available on the EA Access pass are FIFA 14, Madden 25, Peggle 2, and BF 4 at the moment. EA’s fine print states that they can change the titles at their discretion. The entire EA library is NOT accessible, only certain titles of their choosing.

    • July 31, 2014 4:25 pm

      EA’s access page shows:

      Need for Speed
      PVZ Garden Warfare
      Dragon Age Inquisition
      NBA Live 14
      FIFA 14
      Madden 25
      Battlefield 4

      But i think this may include games that have 5 day early trials, VS being a part of the vault. FIFA 15, NHL 15, NFL 15 and NBA Live 15 are all confirmed for early access.

      I think it is an interesting idea and attractive price point considering this is EA.

    • July 31, 2014 11:50 pm

      I think it is a very interesting idea, and if we actually get full access to several of their top games for $30 a year, it is a no brainer. The fact is that almost all EA games don’t work once they shut down the servers, so “owning” a disc does nothing for the owner anyway.

      The problem is that they are not being clear about their policy or which games are full-access etc., and their reputation, like Microsoft’s has (at least this gamer) thinking the worst, rather than the best.

      I can see myself subscribing and then getting basically a demo/early access service as opposed to a “Netflix” type service.

      I will be watching very closely what they do, because I buy at least one EA game a year anyway, and if for that price, I can have access to all their games, then it is a great deal, even if it excludes “ownership”.

      By the way, please give my post over at the EA forums a bump. (I am also going to Private message the devs).

    • Blankman permalink*
      August 1, 2014 10:13 am

      I read that yesterday, and it just disgusted me. Like I said, that’s why Pitchford will never see another red cent from me ever again.

  5. August 1, 2014 2:11 pm

    Should be on tonight and tomorrow night (but not too late either night because I have to get up kind of early both mornings this weekend. Hopefully the 4GN and gang are “in the house!” for the PvZ! Played BF4 on the new maps last night. Sweet!! I love new maps!

    • August 1, 2014 3:23 pm

      Kenai, I am not going to be on much this weekend (sister is visiting), and the two older boys have exams next week, so they may be on for a bit, but not all afternoon.

      Next week Tuesday night (EST) .I will start my holidays in earnest. Can’t wait!

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