Case in point: I can't imagine what they were thinking with that "30 seconds to respawn" business. Gee, guys, if I wanted to veg out and watch TV, I'd be in my living room on the couch. In recent games, iD has consciously moved away from time-wasting features like lifts; jump pads were added to Q3 specifically to avoid the interruption in gameplay you experience while waiting on an elevator. And now it takes half a minute to respawn?
Personally, I played the original Tribes for a long, long time. During that, I experienced most of the problems that this system fixes, because they were rampant in Tribes.
One: You kill someone near the enemy base, and they take away half your life during the fight. Literally three seconds later (no exaggeration at all), the guy will have respawned and returned to the scene of his death at full health. Having half life at the time, you die pretty quickly. He continues to defend the base with his full health, while you try to traipse back across the map to get back to the enemy base. That's not fair at all. That gives defense WAY too much of an edge.
Two: No penalty for death AT ALL. In fact, there was an incentive for dying. If you died, there was a chance that your weapon would keep firing until it runs out of ammo while you lay dead on the ground. This, of course, resulted in tons of guys making suicide runs on the flag and dying intentionally while firing a grenade launcher. Whereas the player that is trying to stay alive only gets about three to five shots off from the grenade launcher during the entire fight, the player that intentionally dies while firing his grenade launcher gets a full compliment of fifteen to twenty grenades off, and because they ran in quickly, they get to launch those grenades deep inside the base. That is insane.
Three: No reason to heal. There were ways for you to heal in Tribes... but no one ever used them. Dying restores all of your health instantly, and if you're on defense, you don't even get moved away to an inconvenient area. Committing suicide, effectively CHOOSING to lose, actually has many more benefits than being an ass-kicking veteran player that dies only two or three times during a twenty-five minute game.
Having to wait kinda sucks at first, but I think it actually makes the gameplay more fun. There are rewards for killing players and there are penalties for dying, which is exactly how it should be.
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