Note: This post contains traces of opinion
Lately there has been discussion amongst the FFA community about changing the Health Boost mechanic. With the current mechanic, it is possible and even common to have games decided by the 5 minute mark due to insurmountable health boost leads. This was the case in the deciding map of last month’s Sauer Duels final, as well as countless other tournaments throughout the years. In addition, because the pickup requires nothing more than for you to touch it and die, and because of its open position on many maps, there is a significant amount of luck that goes into collecting it. The health boost on tumwalk, where you can quickly rush it off of any spawn, is a good example. These two factors seem to many to be anti competitive, as they stifle the potential for comebacks, overweight the significance of the first few minutes, and lead to results being too easily influenced by random chance.
The proposed solution is as follows: HB grants you an immediate +100 hp – the same as picking up 4 normal health pickups – up to your maxhealth. Simultaneously, your max health is increased by 50. However, this only lasts until you die – at that point it resets to the default 100. If you are able to pick up two health boosts in a row without dying, you will have a max health of 200, but any further consecutive health boosts will only grant the +100 hp, with your max health remaining capped at 200 until you are killed.
Here are what some of the players who tested or endorsed this mode said:
<Lokio> currently the HB is more of a frustrating annoyance, and has no relevance to the outcome of the game unless 1 player gets all of them, in which case it almost entirely determines the outcome of the game. with frosty’s changes, players are always incentivized to go for the HB, it actually makes a difference when you do get it, and overall makes the mode more balanced, fun, and skillful
<raffael> after many games on HB test server, I think the HB change would greatly improve the playing experience. Definitely a huge balance to the mode
<Honzik1> It worked good. Game didnt disbalance after any minute. There was still chance to take a lead back. By this way FFA is more about picking and aim than luck.
<Redon> i like that it shifts the focus of the game away from the early game and gives players a chance to come back into the game, it’s just a change that fixes a mechanic that is currently broken in many ways
<Rexus> I would be willing to forego my ffa abstinance if this happened. I quit trying to improve because I would still lose big time to some bad moments always involving HB.And it enrages me more than anything else on this game :p
<lagout> i like this hb so much more than the regular one. it just piss me off so much when some guys spawn and nade jumps on the hb
<notas> The current HB is an infuriating mechanic. There is no reason that your success bum rushing a particular item off the spawn should have such a massive bearing on the outcome of the game 5 minutes later. In the rare instances that a player truly earns their HBs, it only serves to rule out comebacks and make the second half of the game a complete waste of time. The best possible outcome with the current HB is when both players collect an equal amount of them and it ends up completely not mattering.
sauerduels.me to playtest this mode. If you would like to weigh in on this new proposal for a better HB, you can add a comment or submit your vote on our latest poll.
Sauertracker link for games using tested HB: Link