1. Lesson 19: Threat Zones

      written by Ray Benefield
      Alright so there is common talk about line of sight amongst designers. Personally I think the name "line of sight" is slightly misleading. I prefer to refer to such topics as Threat Zones. Threat zones allow me to go even deeper and study the effectiveness of deterrents at certain ranges and adjusting accordingly. Just remember to imagine the threat zone always surrounding a deterrent as it moves. It will help trust me. Anyways, this lesson won't truly be fully complete until I cover Threat Blockers... I may come up with a new name for that topic. Basically it covers cover and anything else that nullifies threat zones or parts of threat zones in some way or another. Lesson 20 is coming up this Friday. Be here and enjoy peepz. ;) See yall tomorrow.




      When playing a map if you see a set of explosives you tend not to worry too much about them until you are in their proximity. If you see a player with a shotgun you tend not to be too worried until he gets up close and personal. If you see someone on a turret from sniper distance they tend to not bug you due to the turret’s spread of fire. All deterrents have a set area where they are most effective and where they aren’t very scary. I call these areas around a deterrent a Threat Zone.


      Threat weighting


      Understanding the threat zone of a deterrent is important to placing them effectively throughout your map and controlling their effectiveness. A threat zone is more than just an area that a deterrent affects. Imagine the zone being cover by a very opaque color where it is most effective and the zone getting more transparent in areas where it is most ineffective. For example a shotgun has a very opaque center at point blank range, but as you observe the zone farther out it gets more and more transparent until it is completely ineffective. Sniper type weapons tend to have an opposite style for their threat zones. Typically the closer you are to the origin of a sniper the more difficult it is for the sniper to kill you. So in this scenario the area around the sniper would be very transparent but as you get farther the zone would get more opaque up to its max range and the get more transparent to represent the more difficult longer shots.


      Static vs dynamic


      Static zones are typically the easiest to manipulate and control. They typically don’t move from where you place them. Good examples of these static zones are explosives, turrets, poisonous areas, etc. The real difficulty is learning to control dynamic threat zones. All players are threat zones as long as they hold the ability to disturb you in your pursuit of a goal. The problem with players is that they are technically uncontrollable and unpredictable. The best way to control a player is to use path manipulation and path maps in order to best observe how they will move. Keep in mind where you place weapons or anything that may change the player’s threat zone. If you place a sniper rifle on the top of the base it is a good chance that a player up there will pick up the sniper rifle and have their current threat zone be weighted more towards long range. If a shotgun is in a hallway it is probably safe to assume that any player that is down there may have the shotgun and has a very heavily close range weighted threat zone.


      Assumption of threat zone


      Players will make decisions based on assumed threat zones. If players see a person in the shotgun tunnel there is a certain distance away from that area that they feel safe traversing by assumption. The reverse is true if a player sees someone around or near the sniper spawn. He assumes that the player has the sniper and is more cautious at long range but more aggressive at close range. Use this knowledge to help adjust certain areas of your map. If you know a certain area is vulnerable to the sniper’s threat zone that originates where the sniper spawns then add things accordingly. Understanding what sort of threat zones a player may have in certain areas will help you make decisions on how and where you want to push players on the map. 


      13 comments:

      BadCompany Brik said...

      So this is (among other things) a form of path manipulation? That's good, because I was waiting for you to go into the specifics of the concepts you discussed in the first few lessons.

      Not that I have any problem with the style, but you're going broadly over everything, and the going into the specifics, instead of exploring all the possibilities of one concept and moving on to the next. I guess it makes sense since you wanted to have a general guide out before Reach.

      Fluffysushi said...

      Im wondering how threat zones could be implied into other things besides weapons, vehicles come to mind when I think of specific situations. also maps seem to create natural threat zones all on their own with or without power weapons in there. A classic example of this is the Rockets hallway in The Pit

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      I remember you talking about this yesterday. Thought this might show up soon.

      Good Job, Godly.

      Neo Arkitect said...

      I think I'm following you on like 5 different forums right now Godly :P

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol sorry Brik, but I am trying to make these short enough so that people will actually take the time to read them. I am restricting myself behind the scenes with a special tool and if I go past a certain point I have to adjust it to shrink it to my restriction. It helps me keep it not too long. Don't worry I am just introducing topics to the community. They will get fully introduced when we start doing Map Analysis homework... lol. ;)

      And good point fluffy, enjoy exploring the topic cuz I do end up using this quite a bit.

      And that is hilarious Neo... glad you are that much of a loyal reader :). rofl.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Lol, Nice Neo. Btw the way, I've been following you since I found out you were Godly Perfection now... Lol Like starting at lesson 1 or 2...

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Wow I am quite redundant. "By the way the way"... lol

      GodlyPerfection said...

      lol that's hilarious Flashpoint. And I'm glad to have all of you reading these regularly. :)

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      GodlyPerfection said...

      Testing new comment system...

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