You are referring to the case of the "altruistic" flagger who artificially extends the game for the sake of not ending the game. The game becomes bland and noncompetitive because the unofficial etiquette is that it is more acceptable to pass flags back and forth than to win the game. There is nothing exciting about this.
But we all remember people used to play the game the way it should be played. The competition to win was not always contrived.
The question to ask is why they stopped playing, and why they stopped putting flags in bases.
- The map would be unchanged for 6 months+ and it didn't matter how excellent the map was, it was just too boring when you've played in the same map for that long.
- The map does eventually get changed but some maps were just not as good as others. For example, the black and white one, the
one with the very thick walls.
The decrease in population was used as justification for changes.
- The change to private frequencies. It has been private frequencies for a very long time now.
- The change of antiwarp role to ships that cannot effectively antiwarp, and the reduction of antiwarp range. These changes have made it easier for enemies to base hop. Also some of the later maps we've had had bases that were so large it was very easy to get out of antiwarp range. You don't have a good game when you can't antiwarp a couple of reds that are in a base with reasonable resources (e.g. one antiwarper).
It was neglect that brought the population down, then changes that hurt the zone some more. We have excellent settings buried beneath all these changes that have hurt the zone (e.g. priv freq, antiwarp role).
But now some more settings have been introduced: 1 flag carry limit, low timer settings.
I think these new settings give the games a watered-down feel:
1) There is nothing exciting about getting into an enemy flagroom that has many flags. This is because you can only pick up one flag.
There used to be strategy. You used to make a decision based on split-second evaluations:
- I wonder if they have antiwarp on?
- what are the odds I can get out with flags?
- Should I pick up flags? All of them or diversify?
- Should I attempt to double kill?
Now, when there are many flags to be picked up, it is a bland process of everyone picking up flags and half-heartedly trying to survive. A flagholder's survival used to be more important than it is now. Whole teams used to help a flagholder get out, thor guard, or help him survive after warping out.
2) It is uninteresting to hold a flag when fighting in a flagroom.
It is as if once you pick up a flag, it becomes debateable whether you are actually helping your team out when you kill a red. After all, if you kill that enemy that flag will yellow to the center.
You and your team should receive a direct benefit from killing the enemy, not a questionable one.
3) There is little hope of overturning a flag game once one team has all the flags. This is because timer cannot be reset and flag time is so low. This leaves attackers who put in an effort feeling cheated. No doubt they will adapt to these negative feelings and learn not to try anymore.
That being said, the new settings have a couple of things going for it. One is its introduction was accompanied by a sorely needed map change. The other is it negates some of the effects of these antiwarp settings because base hopping is not really a problem anymore.
I have no problem trying things out. In fact, I think it takes too long to try things out sometimes. It takes too long for a change (such as a map change, or switch between public and private freqs) to happen. Then when something is finally "tried out", there is the tendency for it to be just "left in"- the same kind of tendency to just leave the same map in for months and months, or leave it private frequencies for months and months (.. over a year??) and ignore that it hurts the population or it is not fair to not take turns and at least have public frequency days.
I am not saying a new map has to be made every month, but we have several that can be rotated in and out. Or promise the public that submitted maps that were custom made for the zone and look like there was effort put in them will be put in for at least a week.
Back to my point. We already have excellent settings that work for the zone. It is wrong to implement some settings that hurt the zone, then use that as justification for arbitrary changes that make the game bland and will only hurt the zone some more if left in.