BADGER

Ideas for Fixing Balance

231 posts in this topic

On 2017-10-29 at 6:42 PM, fidd said:

Here it is:

1. Give all personas an individual score derived from:

time spent playing that persona whilst under-popped (modified by severity of imbalance) , time spent playing without switching sides in a given campaign, being squadded.

2. At any given time, server determines a mean value of all players for a side on a rolling basis, and shows higher tiered kit available only to those players above the mean value.

So, if one routinely plays during an over-pop, your access to higher tiered kit is going to be poor, even if it's  available in the spawnlist to others. The system outlined above also takes care of those who only play once "their ride"  becomes available, if they want to have access to it, then they need to put the time in with inferior kit when their side is losing the RDP battle. If they wish to play only when the higher tiered kit comes in, then they can still do so, by playing for the underpopped side, provided that they are doing so on a basis that is routine enough to put their score above the mean. If the score was persistant from one campaign to another, then this would also help combat the numeric collapse in player numbers after a series of losses, as playing for the underpopped side, regardless of when you play, would be beneficial to individual players. It would also  apply a persistent pressure to squads who routinely play  in overpop conditions to consider changing sides en masse. Because being squadded is a positive modifier for the overall score of a players persona, there is also an advantage to being squaded, provided that that modifier is not overcome by the time spent playing in overpop.

In order to circumvent the obvious dodge of someone logging in a rifleman and then going off to work, or whatever, the scoring value should be derived from each mission the persona joins, and kills or deaths achieved  - ie things you cannot do by logging onto the mission screen and then going on holidays for a week!

This. Was thinking the same.

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I don't know, this is something we've been talking about with my squadmates recently. I enjoy playing on the underdog side, but one of my guys told me that a developer-related person mentioned that the population difference was 5 to 1 between the Germans and the Allies this campaign. That's a little much. I think there should indeed be side-locking. In fact, I think that unless you're playing in a squad, the server should automatically assign you to the side that needs players. By "playing in a squad," I mean you need to have a special invitation from the leader of that squad with some sort of code--proof that you're actually participating and not just clicking a prompt that asks you "which squad would you like to join?" There are too many people running around in "squads" that don't even know how to use the F3 chat.

Once you've been assigned, you stay there until the campaign is over. This would encourage people to play in active squads if they want to choose a specific side. If they don't care, the server will just do the work for them.

WW2OL isn't like other games in this respect. It has a campaign which can last several months. It's not a simple battle like Verdun or Heroes and Generals, where having an imbalance is a temporary thing. Imbalances in this game last months, and it gets tiring when despite well-organized efforts by your team, you just get rolled and rolled and rolled, and four to five Panzer IVs are just driving nonchalantly into your army bases, every time. There's a problem there.

The customer argument is a valid one, but I should add that customers should find the game enjoyable, too. If letting certain customers choose their side makes other customers unhappy, what is the benefit? I think it's better to have players know how the game actually works, how it is a long-term process and simulator, and how important balance is to having that simulator do its job of recreating the war. This could be part of WW2OL's branding, since it would be one of the only games where choosing a side actually matters in the long-term scheme of things. There are loyalty and friendship factors involved in the squads.

Also, it may be fun to just continually win as the Germans, but eventually, after you do 10 campaigns and the outcome is the same--you win every time--it will get boring. That will draw customers away as well. It won't be WW2OL anymore, but rather "German Victory Simulator."

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Augetout's method of having players pay more to play both sides sounds like a good choice, too. Or even better: measure the amount of paying players on each side and make sure THAT it as even as possible. After all, free-to-play players don't really stay unless they're tutored, and they don't have a great effect on the campaign in the long-term.

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On 10/29/2017 at 1:42 PM, fidd said:

Here it is:

1. Give all personas an individual score derived from:

time spent playing that persona whilst under-popped (modified by severity of imbalance) , time spent playing without switching sides in a given campaign, being squadded.

2. At any given time, server determines a mean value of all players for a side on a rolling basis, and shows higher tiered kit available only to those players above the mean value.

So, if one routinely plays during an over-pop, your access to higher tiered kit is going to be poor, even if it's  available in the spawnlist to others. The system outlined above also takes care of those who only play once "their ride"  becomes available, if they want to have access to it, then they need to put the time in with inferior kit when their side is losing the RDP battle. If they wish to play only when the higher tiered kit comes in, then they can still do so, by playing for the underpopped side, provided that they are doing so on a basis that is routine enough to put their score above the mean. If the score was persistant from one campaign to another, then this would also help combat the numeric collapse in player numbers after a series of losses, as playing for the underpopped side, regardless of when you play, would be beneficial to individual players. It would also  apply a persistent pressure to squads who routinely play  in overpop conditions to consider changing sides en masse. Because being squadded is a positive modifier for the overall score of a players persona, there is also an advantage to being squaded, provided that that modifier is not overcome by the time spent playing in overpop.

In order to circumvent the obvious dodge of someone logging in a rifleman and then going off to work, or whatever, the scoring value should be derived from each mission the persona joins, and kills or deaths achieved  - ie things you cannot do by logging onto the mission screen and then going on holidays for a week!

The most assured way for a side to win in the current game is to have a preponderance of skilled, highly coordinated infantrymen armed with rifles, SMGs, hand grenades and LMGs...and all of these are T0 weapons.

 

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IMO unbalance isn't a bad experience as long as 
1. Action is centered on areas where underpoped side gathered
2. (Defense) low pop manage to set up defensive positions or (attack) low pop keep its ability to quickly reach the target area
3. A battle loss doesn’t impact the global victory conditions as hard as it might be in a balanced situation

The more unbalance, the more concentrate the action area should be.

Our gameplay design should just somehow guarantee a balance of unbalances.

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2 hours ago, Zebbeee said:

IMO unbalance isn't a bad experience as long as 
1. Action is centered on areas where underpoped side gathered
2. (Defense) low pop manage to set up defensive positions or (attack) low pop keep its ability to quickly reach the target area
3. A battle loss doesn’t impact the global victory conditions as hard as it might be in a balanced situation

The more unbalance, the more concentrate the action area should be.

Our gameplay design should just somehow guarantee a balance of unbalances.

Right, the fix will be worse then the problem, as it would either bar entry to a battle area, create barriers that break illusion, and/or put the game on rails moreso then the spawn castle node capture paradigm already does.

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@Kilemall I am stating principles in opposition to a situation where you would let overpop walk through the map without resistance. Or maybe we don’t have the same definition of fun but I would definitely prefer a temporary stronger funnelling of the game when heavy unbalance happens, but make it even less restricted when balance conditions are met in order to take full benefits of a large open map. 

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5 hours ago, Kilemall said:

Right, the fix will be worse then the problem, as it would either bar entry to a battle area, create barriers that break illusion, and/or put the game on rails moreso then the spawn castle node capture paradigm already does.

I see continuing allowed imbalance as a mortal threat to CRS's subscriber numbers and therefore business survival.

How would the three mechanics-approaches you list, or another of the more or less drastic solutions put forth so far, be worse than CRS going out of business?

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On 10/2/2018 at 9:50 PM, jwilly said:

I see continuing allowed imbalance as a mortal threat to CRS's subscriber numbers and therefore business survival.

How would the three mechanics-approaches you list, or another of the more or less drastic solutions put forth so far, be worse than CRS going out of business?

Is it like you haven't read a damn thing I've written over the past 10 years?

Zeb I understand, but I would expect you know better then that.

 

I was agreeing with his principles, but stating additional principles that whatever the fix is cannot use 'action defined on rails' and destroy player agency even more then it already has been.

 

Part of why my fixes concentrate on a proper mix of AOs and timers that may annoy but not destroy cohesion or ability to spawn and maneuver, and why I step back and look at fundamentals of the game as evolved such as Nodal Spawn Castle and attrition and player preferences that are diametrically opposed and try to figure a fair meeting ground to continue to create the combat biome we all want.

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37 minutes ago, Kilemall said:

I was agreeing with his principles, but stating additional principles that whatever the fix is cannot use 'action defined on rails' and destroy player agency even more then it already has been.

A fix... any fix... could not be worse than the problem.

Quote

I see continuing allowed imbalance as a mortal threat to CRS's subscriber numbers and therefore business survival.

Any change that keeps CRS in business...even one that uses "action defined on rails"...would be better than having CRS go out of business.

The salient characteristic of a successful fix will not be that it provides a degree of "player agency" that any of us like. It will be that CRS sees increased revenue and subscriber numbers.

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25 minutes ago, jwilly said:

A fix... any fix... could not be worse than the problem.

Any change that keeps CRS in business...even one that uses "action defined on rails"...would be better than having CRS go out of business.

The salient characteristic of a successful fix will not be that it provides a degree of "player agency" that any of us like. It will be that CRS sees increased revenue and subscriber numbers.

I disagree.

 

You don't have player agency, you throw away CRS' defining market differentiation.

 

Going hardcore to the point of losing customers over what I call the 'lizard' approach rather then the 'mammal' approach (drop eggs then walk away letting new players fend for themselves vs. nurturing new players for higher retention rates) is definitely an area I have been on about for a long time.  That's a business approach that borders on suicidal that needs changing.

 

But lack of freedom on where to spawn and travel, more restrictive capture/spawn mechanisms- that throws away the 'your war' and all that wonderful contiguous terrain that is a unique feature set of this game.  I would seek to expand on the strengths, not make it another arena clone of other companies that won that WWII shooter market share a long time ago and not giving it up to a no-PR buck operation on the margins.

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On ‎05‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 9:58 PM, Kilemall said:

I disagree.

 

You don't have player agency, you throw away CRS' defining market differentiation.

 

Going hardcore to the point of losing customers over what I call the 'lizard' approach rather then the 'mammal' approach (drop eggs then walk away letting new players fend for themselves vs. nurturing new players for higher retention rates) is definitely an area I have been on about for a long time.  That's a business approach that borders on suicidal that needs changing.

 

But lack of freedom on where to spawn and travel, more restrictive capture/spawn mechanisms- that throws away the 'your war' and all that wonderful contiguous terrain that is a unique feature set of this game.  I would seek to expand on the strengths, not make it another arena clone of other companies that won that WWII shooter market share a long time ago and not giving it up to a no-PR buck operation on the margins.

Yep!

Obviously we wish CRS to survive, but we want this game to survive as well. 

 

S! Ian 

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So. From what I've seen one problem with imbalance is that when the overpopulated side caps a spaneable, usually the numbers make the rest and the defenders are done.

My idea:

Substituting or added to spawn delay

Why don't we limitante the amount of pool, the overpopulated side can spawn at an spaneable?

90%, 80% etc of the full brigade pool depending on the amount of imbalance (like SD)

Overpopulated side They can still place new MS making use of the momentum while defenders are busy fighting to recover the CP

 

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On 10/1/2018 at 5:44 PM, jwilly said:

The most assured way for a side to win in the current game is to have a preponderance of skilled, highly coordinated infantrymen armed with rifles, SMGs, hand grenades and LMGs...and all of these are T0 weapons.

What a prescient response in relation to the TOE for C159.  In the absence of tank supply, the Axis played infantry even more than they usually do, and it was a bloodbath for the Allies.  

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31 minutes ago, Capco said:

What a prescient response in relation to the TOE for C159.  In the absence of tank supply, the Axis played infantry even more than they usually do, and it was a bloodbath for the Allies.  

+1

 

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On 10/5/2018 at 4:58 PM, Kilemall said:

You don't have player agency, you throw away CRS' defining market differentiation.

(...) lack of freedom on where to spawn and travel, more restrictive capture/spawn mechanisms- that throws away the 'your war' (...)

Is "your war" another way of saying "Ramboing encouraged" ?

Is Ramboing in fact CRS's market differentiation ?

For sure, limiting Ramboing would lose some of the existing Rambo players. But, as a Rambo game, maybe WWIIOL is topped out...and we know from CRS that at the current economic level, CRS isn't a long-term-viable business.

Maybe WWIIOL as a small-unit-operations game would achieve higher player numbers and enough more revenue, even if those current players that are Rambo-oriented decided to leave...?

One business fallacy that's built into many discussions here is that any game improvement must keep the current playerbase to succeed. Not true...the aggregate revenue numbers just have to go up. 

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One big and unrealistic factor in imbalance, is the lack of friendly fire.

I'm guarding a CP and an enemy comes in and I die, not to that enemy, but the bomb dropped by an aircraft which kills me, yet leaves the enemy unscathed. Or, that bomb could be replaced with constant HE shelling from a tank or ATG, or AAA which once again kills me, but not the enemy.

My solution would be turn on  friendly fire for everything but infantry. This would make it easier for an under popped side to complete task due to unrealistic conditions which kill them, but not the enemy who also should be dead.

I have been on an overwhelmed under popped side before. The EI are standing all around your spawn point killing you inside or as you exit, while tanks are using machine guns and HE on you, leaving you pretty much unable to do a thing, while the infantry are oblivious to the same carnage some also should be taking. But if those tanks, aircraft and artillery aren't used wiser with friendly fire on, it could be a game changer.

It is possible to turn on controlled infantry friendly fire too.

You want to grab an LMG or SMG and grief players on your own side? You take the same damage you give. This would put an end to griefers.

Basically said: Everything will be able to kill infantry, but to cut down on wasted armor, aircraft and artillery those unit would not be able to kill each other, accidentally, or intentionally.

People will die to unintended friendly fire, however If you have a positive griefer other than infantry, give the mission leader or HC the ability to de-spawn and warn them.

We have tags. Aircraft can see our tag most times before releasing a bomb. I say most because I have released on a CP before only to have a friendlies tag show up after I release the bomb killing them. If tag ranges could be increased a little that would help.

I am thinking outside the box here for a partial fix to imbalance and a game changer.

And before saying it is a bad idea, intermission would be a great time to test friendly fire and see what the player base thinks.

 

Edited by shiloh17
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37 minutes ago, shiloh17 said:

You take the same damage you give. This would put an end to griefers.

There are multiple ways to grief.  One of course is to shoot or grenade friendlies. Another is to run into the bullet stream or grenade blast of a same-side player.

So, I want to grief you. Using a FTP account of no importance, I track you down, wait until you're focused on firing on the enemy, and arrange for you to kill me. You then are auto-killed by the game engine.  That's easy for me, and a total surprise for you...and it's hard for a GM to assuredly determine that you, rather than me, was the griefer.

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Since most squads generally do not like their members playing on the other side, when the low pop triggers, how about a "Special Forces" persona triggering for the low pop side?


Their name would not carry over so as to be identifiable, and the tag would read "Special Forces 1" Special Forces 2" etc.. so communications could continue.                                                                                                                                                             

Free to play players would be the target of this persona, but if a dedicated squad member wants to play the Special Forces side, they should do so with anonymity.


They would have access to special forces weaponry and ammo capacities which are generally greater than those of regular soldiers.


They would keep that gear even when the sides are balanced, until death, or de spawning.


The CSR stat page would not record any kills from these Special Forces players, nor would they link back to the real players Identification.


One big problem is not just balancing game play, it is the end result of which side wins.
Why should a dedicated squad switch sides to balance the game play when they might inadvertently turn the tide against their own side, as well as drag the campaign on?

Edited by shiloh17

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On 3/16/2019 at 7:37 PM, jwilly said:

There are multiple ways to grief.  One of course is to shoot or grenade friendlies. Another is to run into the bullet stream or grenade blast of a same-side player.

So, I want to grief you. Using a FTP account of no importance, I track you down, wait until you're focused on firing on the enemy, and arrange for you to kill me. You then are auto-killed by the game engine.  That's easy for me, and a total surprise for you...and it's hard for a GM to assuredly determine that you, rather than me, was the griefer.

:(  there was an arsehat in WB that used to do this
He'd take a zero or other cheap plane, and go around getting in front of friendlies when they were engaging
making them persona non gratis themselves (meaning they could not play anymore for a while)
Took what seemed for ever to get him booted

Still to this day do not understand how it equated to fun for him?

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Who dat? (all planes in WB were cheap and infinitely supplied)

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5 hours ago, BMBM said:

Who dat? (all planes in WB were cheap and infinitely supplied)

No, not in all arenas.
I mostly played in the arenas where you needed perk points to spawn certain planes, not that i ever earned many perks myself.

So a guy spends his points to spawn an upper tier ride, and along comes idiot, diving right into the bullet stream on purpose.

I can not remember the guys name anymore, that's been ages and ages ago, i havent played WB since like 1999/2000
 

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How about when an overpopulation occurs, a CP can be captured , but not spawned in until the overpopulation situation is at an acceptable balance? Also exclude the placement of closer FMS's next to a captured building, until a balance occurs.

This would possibly help keep the under populated side from being overwhelmed with waves of enemy spawning from a CP as they attempt to recapture.

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There is only one way and one way only to fix this side balance problem. You wont like it and CRS wont do it. That's let the system decide which side you play for.  Then the sides will always be pretty much balanced.

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On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 1:16 PM, Merlin51 said:

:(  there was an arsehat in WB that used to do this
He'd take a zero or other cheap plane, and go around getting in front of friendlies when they were engaging
making them persona non gratis themselves (meaning they could not play anymore for a while)
Took what seemed for ever to get him booted

Still to this day do not understand how it equated to fun for him?

so many ways to grief and you missed a lot of them. How about killing off all the engineers by just setting charges and let the charge kill you or grenade your self or jump off the church tower. seriously cant believe you are even discussing this.

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