vasduten1

Balancing Populations

17 posts in this topic

I went to play a few  Allied sorties the other night after the first day of the campaign began the same way that MOST of campaign 129 went; Being a speed bump for the Allied advance. I've asked that my Axis secure be removed; not because I'd cheat or spy, but on principle. I like to try different equipment, and I like to go be on a killer advance from time to time -we all do. I don't want to spend the next three weeks defending towns again; I'm burnt on it. I'll probably fly Axis more though; I like flying Axis.

 

The sheer numbers of players on the Allied side is unbelievable compared to the Axis side. In Aarschott, they had multiple bombers and CAS fighters overhead, while all manner of tank rolled to town. Multiple frus to town as well... and the whole time all you could hear were new trucks driving in the keep frus up. As I stood there flabbergasted, a load of ten paras dropped in right on the spawnable.  Sure, there are tactics involved, but really it's just the numbers. There were awesome defenses being kept up, too. Sadly, those defenses when underpopped resort inevitably to sniping, as EI come to you in wave upon wave and give lots of meaty targets to try and stop.

 

They have massive numbers. The Axis don't currently. I know, numbers fluctuate. That's the nature of the game.

 

Side note regarding comms:

I heard complaints from a former Axis player that he had set up a mission on an AO earlier and had taken the time to provide a clear set of orders and waypoints in order to direct infantry around town and to a northern CP, but while most all of the players that came in helped with those goals, one player, (an HC member, no less,) just walked right into town and to the AB before tables were even hot and camped the AB alerting EI to the whole thing. After being asked repeatedly to not go right into the AB and being ignored completely by this player, he finally started PM-ing him. He was told he didn't know what he was doing and to "stop bothering me". Well, the initial assault failed, and here was the HC player boasting of having killed several EI in the AB while camping the spawn on target chat. 

I'm not gonna name names, and I'm not disparaging HC here. All I'm saying is that just because someone is HC doesn't mean they'e going to help provide comms and tactics. They simply have the luxury of LOTS of players and can afford to disregard a lot of the common sense that is required when you are either underpop or close to it. It's certainly not comms in the global sense. Maybe within squads... but not so much outside of that. There is nothing like having ten or more players on a TS channel coordinating attacks. The above mentioned incident is relatively isolated, though it reflects very poorly on that particular HC player.

 

Back to the numbers:

How does a side get players to WANT to play on that side? I got a chance to run with the Chasseurs, a newly formed squad of fellows made up of greentags. Their leader, sublimesw is a great guy. He actively goes around chatting with greentags and recruiting. He coordinates his teams into cap groups... they all lump together and repeatedly rush CP. It was refreshing to play alongside them, as they are new players and get SO excited to play. I think the Axis needs to devote a squad to the same ideal and work actively to retain new players.

Honestly though, one of the players in the Chasseurs made a comment that he'd love to try flying, but that he'd go Allied because it was "easier". He said that he'd rather learn on Allied planes because they had more guns, better handling and he'd be able to rank up faster. He's not far off base, really. I told him that flying Axis wasn't "harder" so much but it was different. 

 

 

This is one of the reasons I don't stay with an "Axis only" squad, though I have a lot of friends that play on them. I like to go out and have some fun. If that means switching whenever I feel like I'm being burnt out; so be it. Let's face it; it's no fun to constantly defend.

How do we provide incentives for players to play on an underpop side? I mean, without degrading into a conversation about imbalance or equipment advantages, how can we as a community promote more balanced numbers?

Should the number of AOs be restricted so that the underpop side doesn't have to put three defenders in three different AOs and lose two towns in the process? Seems to me that this is a recurring theme -one side has numbers and can manage two or three AOs while the other side simply doesn't have the resources to defend all of them effectively.

Maybe it's a combination of things, maybe it has a lot to do with multiple AOs and trying to put out fires constantly. We've all seen it; logging in and having to defend towns over and over again against constant waves of enemy tanks, planes and infantry. It's frustrating when it goes on for so long.

 

 

CRS has already come right out and said they wouldn't look at side locks and I quite agree.

Paying customers shouldn't be forced to play on a side they don't want to. There has to be something else we can do though.

Edited by vasduten1

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I agree for paying customers.. but f2p account on the other hand... why not force them to play on underpop side... and if they dont want to..  get a payed account ;) 

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i'd say on of the biggest issues With overpop is the waiting time, when you first log in for the day you only have to wait a minute or so to join an overpoped team, if the waiting time for overpoped teams were like 5 min on the other hand it might make more players go axis

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On 10/24/2016 at 1:28 PM, rakes said:

i'd say on of the biggest issues With overpop is the waiting time, when you first log in for the day you only have to wait a minute or so to join an overpoped team, if the waiting time for overpoped teams were like 5 min on the other hand it might make more players go axis

...but it doesn't make people spawn on the other side. 

F2P should have to spawn on the underpop side I think.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 10:43 AM, leanderj said:

I agree for paying customers.. but f2p account on the other hand... why not force them to play on underpop side... and if they dont want to..  get a payed account ;) 

Made this argument.  Lost it a long time ago.  The rats are not interested in having long term F2P pushed to the under pop side.

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5 minutes ago, saronin said:

 

Made this argument.  Lost it a long time ago.  The rats are not interested in having long term F2P pushed to the under pop side.

Ugh, there shoul dbe no "long term" F2P

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The only solution is to have dynamic PPOs on towns that favor the defenders or attackers depending on the population and extra perks to influence the capability of those units.

 

For example an underpop side defending a town the AB murderholes could all be blocked and AB could have only one entrance.. Atgs could spawn on multiple spawn points, a sort of trench/cover that went from the barracks to the bunker could be spawn so there would be more cover to get back inside, more smoke grenades could be given to all units or more RPATs round for ATS, blocking road entrances to town with Anti-Tank Obstacles and sandbags, make overpopulated side to have longer capture times while UP side shorter, etc...

This way you are not forcing anyone to play a side or unit and only give those players better odds and better gameplay, they would still need skill and play to take advantage of it and the overpopulate side would need greater teamwork to overcome it, think everyone would win this way.. Although extensive testing had to be made to make sure the underpop does not have an unfair advantage, 

Edited by pbveteran

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1 hour ago, pbveteran said:

The only solution is to have dynamic PPOs on towns that favor the defenders or attackers depending on the population and extra perks to influence the capability of those units.

 

For example an underpop side defending a town the AB murderholes could all be blocked and AB could have only one entrance.. Atgs could spawn on multiple spawn points, a sort of trench/cover that went from the barracks to the bunker could be spawn so there would be more cover to get back inside, more smoke grenades could be given to all units or more RPATs round for ATS, blocking road entrances to town with Anti-Tank Obstacles and sandbags, make overpopulated side to have longer capture times while UP side shorter, etc...

This way you are not forcing anyone to play a side or unit and only give those players better odds and better gameplay, they would still need skill and play to take advantage of it and the overpopulate side would need greater teamwork to overcome it, think everyone would win this way.. Although extensive testing had to be made to make sure the underpop does not have an unfair advantage, 

Maybe not the only solution, and I don't think they should only be relegate to the underpop side.

 

We need more PPOs, like the ones you describe, and that will stick around for more than ten minutes.

The gun emplacements are good, but come on... engineers can't even shut up a murder hole in an AB wall? The only thing they can build are gun emplacements that are so big they need a lot of room to deploy them?

 

We need tank traps, smaller sandbag walls, barbed wire, mines...

We need more to protect spawn points. If a tanker wants to set up 200M away and camp as a pillbox, fine. Rolling up to the vehicle spawn and sitting there where they can spawn kill and not being able to stop them when sappers/zooks are gone is just an unfair advantage.

Sure, defensive ZoCs are made, but I'm talking after that... well after that, or even before the heavy defensive lines are broken. 

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Vas,

I know what you're talking about (in fact, I had the pleasure of playing with you on the Allied side the other day). To be honest, I joined the Allied side out of sheer chance. In fact, I thought most people in this game would be playing the Germans. The Germans seem to be the "cool" side in almost every other World War II-themed game. 

Anyways, I think the best solution to the population problem is actually to let the free-to-play accounts have the overpopulated side. The reason for this is because we want to ensure that any new players to the game have an enjoyable experience. Put them into a raging battle with guns blazing all over, and they'll be applauding you. Stick them into a forest where all they can hear is a periodic bird chirping, and good luck retaining them. This is just a fact of life, like market-based economies are.

Another part of the fix would be to make the waiting time to join the overpopulated side much longer. Personally, if I had to wait 10 or 20 minutes to join the Allied side, I would just go play with the Germans. I've done it before just to see what the German side is like, how their players cooperate, and so on. Since the wait time wasn't so long, I could always jump back Allied after I was done.

Just my input!

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Pushing F2P to the underpop team would saddle them with a bunch of gimped players that can't perform essential functions (due to equipment restrictions), it might make the numerical balance better but the gameplay would be even more lopsided. I logged on axis earlier and Tman was asking for help to blow FBs and set FRUs and there were maybe a dozen players online. F2P players can't help with that so they'll just give the overpop team something to shoot at while the losing team won't be able to get out of the fetal position. By all means try it, I really don't care that much but it will be a disaster.

On 10/21/2016 at 11:22 AM, vasduten1 said:

How do we provide incentives for players to play on an underpop side? I mean, without degrading into a conversation about imbalance or equipment advantages, how can we as a community promote more balanced numbers?

People logging in during lowpop and turning the map around was actually the "problem" that was solved awhile ago, and you might want lowpop to be able to fight back but you're going to run in to the same dilemma of US prime time allies getting upset if TZ3 pushes the map west or even just recaptures some towns. The current system of AOs, FBs, and FRUs makes it extremely difficult for the underpop team to accomplish anything and a lot of people like it that way. Of course now there is the issue of players not logging on since losing is a foregone conclusion.

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And all of this coming after the new game balancing features were put in place. so I agree that it does seem like nothing has changed (even though I'm on the allied side) because what comes around goes around and these towns are still getting the same type of attacks mostly in TZ3 that go like this, "hurry up and camp the ab" since everyone they have is defending one AO. Lame, and still needs fixed.

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Instead of forcing F2P to the underpop side, why not offer incentives? Like say, being able to use Starter Account equipment if an F2P logs onto a severely underpopped side.

 

 

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1 hour ago, rodsantos said:

Instead of forcing F2P to the underpop side, why not offer incentives? Like say, being able to use Starter Account equipment if an F2P logs onto a severely underpopped side.

 

 

I like this idea. Alleviates the issue of F2P not being able to use good equipment or help blow FBs, and provides incentive to go low pop.

 

Sublime, you weren't here when spawn delay was up to 4 min... it sucks so bad.

In fact, even when it was capped to three min, people just went to play something else.

 

People raged about it and eventually left the game and stopped paying subs. That hurt, so CRS changed it for the better I think.

I don't like the idea of increasing SD to anything over what it is now, and like the carrot over the stick any day.

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On 10/21/2016 at 8:22 AM, vasduten1 said:

Should the number of AOs be restricted so that the underpop side doesn't have to put three defenders in three different AOs and lose two towns in the process? Seems to me that this is a recurring theme -one side has numbers and can manage two or three AOs while the other side simply doesn't have the resources to defend all of them effectively.

Maybe it's a combination of things, maybe it has a lot to do with multiple AOs and trying to put out fires constantly. We've all seen it; logging in and having to defend towns over and over again against constant waves of enemy tanks, planes and infantry. It's frustrating when it goes on for so long.

I just wanted to point out, that in our last game update (1.35.5) that was recently distributed, AO availability is based purely on the underpopulated sides population, not the global population anymore. For the most part this has worked, and well.

I am banking on 1.36 to stabilize the Campaign. The real issue is, people want to be apart of that really epic cut off / pincer, but on the receiving end it is hell... hell that players if unwilling or unmotivated to play have no reason to play it. The conditions usually mean they do not have a fighting chance at present. This could be due to lack of supply, or volunteer HC officers not being present to help with strategy.

This all changes dramatically with the roll out of 1.36. HC will be there to provide much needed leadership strategically and on the field, to help facilitate game play. Supply will no longer be a concern of just an individual for everyone else, and the player base will be able to determine the outcome much more so. 

Almost every new battle, a fresh start will be available with supply. I'm actually really ecstatic about its implementation, I wish we could already be on it. But, this has taken some necessary time, and thoughts / considerations have come back from the players to help us mold it into the correct way. In the not so distant future it will be entering testing and we'll have our community management team and eventually high command officers in there having a swing at it to see what it's all about.

The real test as always, will be when it hits the live Campaign. And once it is there, we will monitor it very closely and make necessary changes to fine tune it. We are absolutely committed to doing that.

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5 hours ago, rodsantos said:

Instead of forcing F2P to the underpop side, why not offer incentives? Like say, being able to use Starter Account equipment if an F2P logs onto a severely underpopped side.

This sounds like a great idea on paper, but technically it's quite a bit to achieve. I'd consider that as not do-able, sorry :-/. 

4 hours ago, vasduten1 said:

I don't like the idea of increasing SD to anything over what it is now, and like the carrot over the stick any day.

There is no plan to increase spawn delay, carrot has been the order of the day for considerations to improving balancing. For a side to reach a 30 second spawn delay, it's a pretty significant overpop.

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On 10/24/2016 at 10:28 AM, rakes said:

i'd say on of the biggest issues With overpop is the waiting time, when you first log in for the day you only have to wait a minute or so to join an overpoped team, if the waiting time for overpoped teams were like 5 min on the other hand it might make more players go axis

Some folks want to play a certain side regardless of the wait time. Making that wait time to about 5 minutes (which I have done before) resulted into some negative feedback. If it could be made, free player users must wait 5 minutes, and not our paying customers, I'd be more willing to entertain that.

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12 hours ago, XOOM said:

Some folks want to play a certain side regardless of the wait time. Making that wait time to about 5 minutes (which I have done before) resulted into some negative feedback. If it could be made, free player users must wait 5 minutes, and not our paying customers, I'd be more willing to entertain that.

TBH I wouldn't bother making anyone wait, people choose the side they wish to play, the timer will have very little to do with it, other than [censored] people off who have to wait for it

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