VICTARUS

Population Imbalance & Goals

111 posts in this topic

A game's population has a huge impact on how it's designed. The balance between sides doesn't necessarily have to be even for a given game, but for a design to work that balance does need to be consistent. That doesn't mean you can't deal with differing player numbers within the same game, but conceptually you're kind of talking about two separate games at that point (or modes, if you will): The rules and feel of a 1v1 game work are very different than those of a 1v2 game.

Really, balancing the game for a skewed population isn't that hard. Let's focus on a battle scenario where Side A has twice as many players as Side B as an example. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to handle this:

  • Option #1: Change the mechanics so the underpopulated side can fight on even ground. [Side A has just bolt-actions and Side B has SMGs; Side A captures slower; Side B gets alerts when something's being captured; etc.]
  • Option #2: Give each side different goals. [An attacking Side B immediately wins if they hold more than one building; a defending Side B wins if they still hold any facility after an hour, etc.]

The problem I have is "balancing" discussions always focus on the overall campaign goal — taking enemy towns while defending your own — and in a campaign that's made with a roughly balanced population in mind, a side that's outnumbered 2-1 simply should not achieve that goal. Again, 1v1 and 1v2 games just feel drastically different, and without changing the side's goals you need to transition between "Evenly Matched Armies" and "Small Elite Force vs The Horde"; making that change is really clunky and jarring mechanically, feels unfair to the people on the overpopulated side, and likely requires sacrificing the quality of 1v1 gameplay to achieve.

 

So I'm looking for player feedback to help figure out what our "Imbalanced Mode" should look like: In a battle that's even except for a massive numbers imbalance, what should each side be aiming to accomplish to keep the game challenging to the overpopulated side and worthwhile for the underpopulated one? I'm definitely not saying mechanic changes should be off the table (especially to achieve that "otherwise even battle"), but first we need to figure out the kind of game we should even be aiming for in that situation.

Should the underpop side be focused on guerrilla-style defense and raiding while the attacker attempts to hunt them down? Should the overpop side feel pressured to press their advantage while the underpop side desperately holds out for reinforcements? Should the underpop make every inch as hard-fought as possible while the overpop side tries to win the quickest victory with the lowest number of lives lost? What kind of gameplay would make 2v1 "work" for you? :)

Edited by VICTARUS
Rephrased question

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42 minutes ago, VICTARUS said:

So I'm looking for player feedback to help figure out what our "Imbalanced Mode" should look like: With an otherwise even 2v1 battle, what should each side be aiming to accomplish to keep the game challenging to the overpopulated side and worthwhile for the underpopulated one? I'm definitely not saying mechanic changes should be off the table (especially to achieve that "otherwise even battle"), but first we need to figure out the kind of game we should even be aiming for in that situation.

In real war, attackers always attempt to have a 3:1 power advantage. That's not soldier counts because it considers weaponry differentials and lots of other factors, and it certainly takes into account the power multiplier of the defender's preparation of the battlefield (detailed terrain knowledge, mines, barriers, fortifications, camouflage, etc.), but still it's a useful evaluative starting point. Generally, all real warfare is the 2v1 scenario, with one side attacking and the other defending from (usually) prepared positions, to one extent or another.

There is no realistic 1v1 both-sides-just-arriving-at-the-battlefield construct, or at least it's not historically frequent enough to be the basis for a game like this that claims to model reality.

CRS got this wrong in the first place, probably because they couldn't figure out a way to provide the defending side with enough defensive preparations, and how to restrict the attackers from jumping off before the defenders were in place, and (the biggie) how to locally restrict the defender to half the force population of the attacker.

So that's the problem to solve. Make all fights 2v1, with the attacker restrained from attacking until the defender is in place and defensive preparations are ready.

Then the realistic goal of the attacker is usually to occupy the defender's positions, and at least push back the defense, if not routing it or obliterating it.

This might be easier to model if the strat mesh was denser so that a pushback wasn't so drastic, and force coherence (or not) on the retreat or advance could be modeled. I'm not convinced that a strat mesh fix would be essential, though. The key is to mandate a force imbalance, and offset that with defensive preparations and pre-population of the defenses.

Edited by jwilly

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...it invites a lot of concerns with player distribution, but that actually would improve a lot of things, wouldn't it? :-/

I rephrased the question to continue the original topic, but I'm actually going to ponder what can be done with that in the short-to-medium term.

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Why don't we just side lock when it becomes unbalanced to an extent on one side, or side lock for the duration of the campaign? If you aren't a premium player, you have to play on the unbalanced side.

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First, I think it is good for pop to vary some, enforced 1 to 1 might actually cause the map to stall.  What I dislike, is the extreme overpop that is allowed to happen.

What about always plan on no greater than 2 to 1 odds (or 3 to 1 if tolerable by under pop side)?  This isn't that hard, restrict the over pop side from spawning into game world (not joining side) if they already have a 2 to 1 advantage, in the game world.  Soon as a player died, spawned out, etc. you could spawn into game.  Underpop side getting more players or over pop side logging out would also change odds allow players to log in faster.

I just don't think with all the deaths that happen (and the 20 seconds it takes to spawn out), it would detract that much to have to wait a few seconds until you could spawn in.  This way, the underpop side may stay in game, because they know it won't get worse.

My other great idea, is give the way under pop (not just some under) flamethrowers, unlimited... that'll keep em playing for a while :)

 

That is worth trying to, if you are FPA, and odds are say more than 2 to 1, you must log to the under pop side.  Want to log other side, subscribe starter or premium (or wait till odds change).

Edited by delems

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I'm not asking how to balance the population, and there's a reason for that. Temporary imbalances are simply going to happen: The side that loses a battle generally has a few more players log off than the side that won, certain timezones naturally favor one side or the other, holidays can have an uneven effect on population, etc. Occasionally, from a few hours to a few days at a time, one side is simply going to have more players. All trying to "fix" this accomplishes is dragging down the numbers of the overpopulated side, and in general discouraging people from playing the game is a Bad Thing™.

The actual problem here is how do we make it so the game still "works" when the population is imbalanced for those temporary stretches, improving the game and avoiding the death-spiral where players aren't having fun because their side is underpopulated so they log out, making the problem even worse?

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Mole ops, diversionary AOs, FB assaults and even some aggressive softcapping were all viable strategies when a side was underpop. You could compete even when outpopped if you had your [censored] together, of course a lot of people don't want to admit this and pretend that it's all numbers. It didn't matter if you lost those small fights because you pulled 2-8x your population, sometimes you would get lucky and cap the armybase. In the air flying together and intercepting behind lines was routine strategy for the underpop and was a lot more effective when there wasn't magic GPS and radar. Now that the game has been slowed down so much that even with a tight group of guys you almost can't be faster than the other team, and the overpop team has all kinds of crutches to find and fix the underpop guys in one place.

 

What makes me log off is when you're not allowed to do anything else on the map except spawn in to some town and have no choice but to get camped. You have no supply because of brigades, you have no fresh AO because of HC, even if you did you'd have to wait several minutes to set it, 10 minutes until radios hot, little alarm bells going off when you get near their town and then like 8 minute capture timers for a depot so the overpop team can be half-asleep and still counter whatever you throw together. All of that was put in so retards wouldn't get outmaneuvered by people that actually know how to play a team FPS and what do you know, it's easier than ever for a team to crush the other simply by weight of numbers.

 

The underpop team doesn't even need to win all the time either. I remember when axis was getting crushed and late night instead of defending towns we just set some troll AOs and went along on some ridiculous softcaps, like 25 guys running through an empty town joking on chat, it was a victory for us because we kept our pop online and weren't miserable. Of course the usual fun-haters complained in the forums about us not playing the game the proper way, and since the addition of towns surrendering shenanigans like that aren't possible.

51 minutes ago, VICTARUS said:

The actual problem here is how do we make it so the game still "works" when the population is imbalanced for those temporary stretches, improving the game and avoiding the death-spiral where players aren't having fun because their side is underpopulated so they log out, making the problem even worse?

Let them be able to spawn where they want and go do what they want. If all they can do is spawn in the preordained battle area where the deck is hopelessly stacked against them then they're logging off. People can go play WoT or War Thunder and be in an arena where both population and units are balanced, so either create an arena better than those games or don't create one at all. It's supposed to be an open world game anyway. At the very least you can have inter-town FBs always on so people can spawn 2km behind town instead of in the AB.

Edited by david01

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My answer to this is simple and consistent.

 

24x7, either side can successfully defend and attack, no matter the pop imbalance.

 

That's what I mean when I use the phrase pop neutrality.

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One of the biggest reasons I won't always bother with towns when under popped is not being able to get out and fight. Town fighting in this game (for me) is awful even 1v1, 1v2 just amplifies this, worse when the town is camped. 

I like the idea of unlocking all supply for everyone on the under pop side, whether FTP or just not ranked up yet.

Just a few other ideas popping into my head whilst typing:

Turn off death stats for the under pop side, it makes me feel like I'm wasting supply if I'm constantly dieing just trying to get out of a spawn, players might feel a bit better if there isn't a public record of that. Ok, I'll feel better ;-)

Tell both sides, in game, not just before spawn, that they're over pop / under pop and that units have been unlocked (or what ever's gets done to mitigate this). 

Open the rear FB to the town, or better still maybe enable a FMS placed x km behind the town to spawn armour, spread the load away from the town so players have the chance to counter attack and the enemy can't just concentrate on a small amount of CP's.

Make grenades actually kill or seriously injure anyone in the room where it's thrown...

Timers arent really the issue here imo, if you increase for the over pop side all you're doing is increasing the pain of not being able get out of a spawn half the time, then even if you get to a CP, you're faced with 1v2/3/4. I don't know what the answer is with CP's, it's an awful mechanic that has always needed serious attention and thought.

Make attacking possible as well, nothing worse than spending days constantly defending. Maybe turn off EWS for the under popped side on their AO's.

It's a tricky issue, what ever you do will end up pissing someone off somewhere.

Most of all, don't punish the over popped side, reward the under popped side.

Edited by samson

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I may have some ideas later, but here are some thoughts.

I believe that what is needed when there can be a disparity in population is a way for those who are outmanned and outgunned to still have a chance to at least slow the horde. Maybe they can't stop the enemy, but if they feel that their efforts aren't useless, they will still try to achieve those aims.
 

Two possibilities come to mind. Choke Points and Strategic Targets:

I. Choke Points: Change towns in such a way that there are specific targets that an attacker must capture and hold before they can win a battle. Examples:

   A. Make an attacker have to capture and hold their linking  spawn CP in order to capture anything else. Defenders can focus a small force guarding one point instead of having to protect several.

   B. Make it necessary for an attacker to control every CP before a bunker timer starts for final capture. If defenders recap anything, the CP must be recapped and the timers start again. This means the Overpopped side has to split up to capture and hold multiple CPs, while the underpopped defenders really only have to cap one at a time to hold a town.

II. Strategic targets: These are targets that the underpopped side could attack that would cause problems for the overpopped side, and would slow down their efforts. Examples:

    A. Radar Towers: Destroyable radar towers would cause gaps in the aerial Radar for the enemy, allowing for successful paradrops or bombing runs.

    B. Radio Tower: Make EWS linked to radio towers in towns. They can be destroyed. Once destroyed, EWS still shows for that town, but fails to show what kind of units or how many. An underpopped side could blow them up, to keep the overpopped side guessing. Two or three towers down and the overpopped side would have to guess how many are attacking them. They could not afford to ignore any EWS signal, because there would be no way to know how many of the enemy were attacking. This could allow the underpopped side to cause the enemy to split their forces between towns.

   C: FB linked units: Link missions spawned from an FB to the spawn in that FB. Armor and ATGs to the vehicle spawn and Infantry to the Infantry spawn tents. Change it so that if one spawn is destroyed, that it can't spawn anything until it's at least 50% repaired. This would allow the lowpopped side to attack a FB and priortize targets. Maybe they can't kill the FB, but if they get the vehicle spawn, the enemy has to drive tanks forward until it repairs. The same with the Infantry tents. FMSs are unaffected as long as the FB is up. This makes the FB a more viable target to lowpopped defenders.

Unfortunately, these same solutions can cause problems. One of the best tactical solutions for an underpopped side has been to blow FBs when they are attacked. It was often effective at slowing if not killing an attack. But many people hated it. In the end, it was determined that it was necessary to make Fbs much harder to kill, and therefore it made it extremely hard, indeed for a lowpopped side to kill them. The switch to FMSs from FRUs had a similar effect, even as it made it harder for an overpopped side to just run a bunch of FRUs into  a town and start spawning in droves inside a defended town.

Make the underpopped folks feel like there is something that they can do besides pad the stats of overpopped players. Too many times it has reached a point where folks on the overpopped side get angry at the underpopped side for no longer logging in; even though it is perfectly reasonable for someone who feels that they have no chance to achieve anything, to just  do something else.

This is an army game where capturing and defending towns is the main point of battles. People are going to care about how these battles turn out, and they log in to help win them. Anything that the underpopped players do should make them feel that they have helped their side in some way.

S!

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The best solution is the one that doesn't force the hand of the player or restrict as it were. While it should be automatic that the underpop side be defense oriented when that imbalance starts to swing to triggering spawn delay some mechanisms may need to kick in.

Option A

For instance unlocking F2P for larger infantry lists if they are the underpop side. (probably no practical dealing with 2 separate systems)

Increase XP gain based on the opposing force so that those who choose the underpop side rise faster for fancier toys.

Option B

Flexible HP pools for FBs and FRUs

Scaling capture times

Flexible reuse for PPOs

A large part of the problem is momentum in the map which may be stabilized with the return of town supply. Also the influx from WBS has numbers swinging rather wildly from what I can tell. We can probably expect the same when Steam kicks off.

But most of all it's a matter of the player base. There have been some major improvements in performance that were a problem in the past that cause people to turn away. A campaign to seek out the players of old post supply change and pre-steam might be a course of interest. I say post supply because of the possible effects it would have on TO&E. At full pop the entire front could be wiped out well before any hope of resupply. Invite them to come see the progress made. Honestly I didn't know it had been done and I came back to see all the new gadgets thinking I might be able to get away with 10fps on my laptop and low and behold im getting 30-50. Not earth shattering but it's not even close to my gaming rig. Had I known this then I probably would have returned much sooner. Maybe a campaign on this front before climbing under the hood? But a mailer to all the inactive accounts could be worthwhile. And ya gotta title it something more than BE: Newsletter. BE: Revamped reforged and ready for more or something to that effect outside of standard boilerplate or it gets missed. Just my personal experience on the matter and what was holding me back.

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in offline training there are alerts for cloned units, how about adding that to the underpop side?

speed up FMS build & recap time, instant respawn (no 10 sec death screen), more stamina and/or a bit faster inf.

unlock limited higher tier stuff.

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 What kind of gameplay would make 2v1 "work" for you?

Exactly what David said

Quote

Let them be able to spawn where they want and go do what they want. If all they can do is spawn in the preordained battle area where the deck is hopelessly stacked against them then they're logging off. 

 

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I think one of the worst things in game (especially with imbalance) is the ninja capping. CPs and ABs should go neutral before switching sides. I also think there should be a redesign of the capture system. We should get away from depot capturing and move to a sector/zone capture system (area capture as some have suggested). There should be many sectors/zones not only in towns/cities, but there should also be sectors/zones inbetween all the towns/cities trying to control things like farm houses, high ground, railways, etc, etc... With Brigade Flags leaving the game, it will bring back a strategic component to the game with smaller consequences at the full map level. You will give defenders an ability to see an enemy coming towards a target and give them a chance to prepare defensive positions for an attack. Would make for a very fluid front like it should be. Losing ground is not as consequential as it is now when losing towns. Many times they would fallback to try and get a good defensive position, gives time to plan a counter attack. Flanks and Supply lines will be more important with a capturing system like this. Obviously there are more mechanics to this type of system I could talk about but it would make this post way too long. If you want to hear more I will post more on it.

 

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My apologies VICTARUS, but threads like this are simply an invitation to "neat idea fairies," many of whom are responsible for "neat ideas" which have directly led to the current state of the game.  The major "neat idea fairies" are easily identifiable and should be completely ignored.

VR

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- As SAmson said ->

Quote

 Most of all, don't punish the over popped side, reward the under popped side.

- Get the FTP moving to the underpop side, not by locking sides (that would be a constriction) but encouraging them -> If one side is underpop more than XX%, then the ftp players' accounts that join this underpop side are "upgraded" to "Early access"

- In the defensive game: worst thing about been underpop is when you don't have enough numbers to even defend your only Def AO. Problem is not been underpop but been under pop + too low numbers. in a 1/4 ratio, 3 deffefenders have nothing to do against 12 but 30 have a chance, or at least will have fun facing 120. solutions  -> I agree with Quincannon post above

Quote

Choke Points and Strategic Targets:


I. Choke Points: Change towns in such a way that there are specific targets that an attacker must capture and hold before they can win a battle. Examples:

   A. Make an attacker have to capture and hold their linking  spawn CP in order to capture anything else. Defenders can focus a small force guarding one point instead of having to protect several.

   B. Make it necessary for an attacker to control every CP before a bunker timer starts for final capture. If defenders recap anything, the CP must be recapped and the timers start again. This means the Overpopped side has to split up to capture and hold multiple CPs, while the underpopped defenders really only have to cap one at a time to hold a town.

- In the offensive game: Add different Kind of Aos appart from towns that could be achieved by small numbers. Again Quincannon went one step ahead.

Quote

. Strategic targets: These are targets that the underpopped side could attack that would cause problems for the overpopped side, and would slow down their efforts. Examples:

    A. Radar Towers: Destroyable radar towers would cause gaps in the aerial Radar for the enemy, allowing for successful paradrops or bombing runs.

    B. Radio Tower: Make EWS linked to radio towers in towns. They can be destroyed. Once destroyed, EWS still shows for that town, but fails to show what kind of units or how many. An underpopped side could blow them up, to keep the overpopped side guessing. Two or three towers down and the overpopped side would have to guess how many are attacking them. They could not afford to ignore any EWS signal, because there would be no way to know how many of the enemy were attacking. This could allow the underpopped side to cause the enemy to split their forces between towns.

C. Make Afs independent from Towns. 

D. divide Huge towns with more than one  Ab into several neighbourhoods so different Abs or neighbourhoods could we hold by different nations (think about Stalingrado). Try to imagine a battle like this in Antwerp...... this way you avoid moll situations and the underpop side may  focus on keeping just one Ab, the more strategic for them to maintain one "leg in town" waiting for a time when they have more numbers.

E At Crossroads out from Towns, place facilities with bunkers and trenchs. Nice small battles could take place there and those would be easily defensible by small amount of players. Do you remember the old bunker? those "high valute strategic points" would act as bottle necks.

bunker1.png

 

Adding different Aos appart from Towns helps in more ways:

- It adds a new layer to the HC strategic. now that we are falling back to Town based Pools. I mean, the Hcs should have data regarding present number of players and select Aos accordingly.

- More realistic. during war, wining a campaign was not only about holding towns but bridges, cross roads, Railway stations, etc.

 

 

More to come soon :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by piska250

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*** At full pop the entire front could be wiped out well before any hope of resupply

This will never happen, and if it does; great, use HQ, navy and air units to fight while the army resupplies.  Way too much supply on the map imo.

 

 

*** I'm not asking how to balance the population

Note the title of this thread....  I'm confused, you state the problem is population, then immediately exclude solving that problem by stating that is not what you're trying to do.  Then why this thread?

The population is the problem, don't you get it?  Ratios of 5 to1, or 4 to 1 should never be allowed, ever, ever, ever.  One more time, never.  In fact, probably should never be allowed to be greater than 3 to 1.  Everyone knows what the problem is, it's population imbalance.  So fix the extreme ends.  I don't understand why we won't fix the root problem.

Once the extreme end is fixed, we can work on small perks for the underpop side, capture timers, EWS, MS distance restrictions, etc.  But, nothing will fix a 4 to 1 or 5 to1 population imbalance imo. (and if you do find a way to restrict it, you'll just lose all your over pop players)

Edited by delems
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Victarus isnt asking for ideas on how to balance.

He's asking what would you like to be able to still do while being outnumbered or overpop.:huh:

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1 hour ago, Pittpete said:

Victarus isnt asking for ideas on how to balance.

He's asking what would you like to be able to still do while being outnumbered or overpop

 

In that case hit and run defense. Torpedo attacks on towns. Mole mole mole. Not many options except hold the line and that in itself can be fun as hell when done right. In a way this is balanced in that it happens on both sides. Nothing like a knock down drag out fight to defend a town and watch the ao get pulled with 5 rifles left in inventory and think "whew we did it!"

Edited by nh3rd
Glitchy on Android.

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It depends, do you want to the overpopulated side to do things that go towards winning or do you want to give them things to do that do not count to winning that much?

What if you get the overpopulated side to do RDP for example.

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To date, CRS has added defensive works and similar world objects because they're perceived to have game interest.

I think that's the wrong philosphy. Defensive world objects should be added because they're combat-power multipliers. Certainly that's why defenders implement them in real life.

In a 2v1-battle-population concept, there has to be a way to analyze the two sides as to combat power balance. The goal should be 2v1 battle population, 1v1 battle combat power. The way to get there is to provide the defenders with an array of defensive combat-power multipliers that average out to 2x, or whatever population ratio CRS decides is desirable for the game structure so that both sides can have attacks and defenses.

Such a change of viewpoints would move the game away from pretty-looking but dysfunctional objects such as pillboxes that are super-prominent with no camo, and have illuminated interiors that simplify rifle fire against defenders. Instead, such objects would be modeled to actually work, in terms of combat effect. No nerfing during design to avoid throwing off the desired 1v1 battle idea.

Historically, CRS has used game stats to evaluate the combat effectiveness of unit types. My surmise would be that CRS has the experience to figure out what combat power multiplier should be assigned to the best case application of each defensive combat-power-multiplier type. Different types may have different factors. The allowed population ratio for a given battle might be dynamic depending on what force multipliers the defender (and sometimes the attacker) has deployed. If the defending side had fifteen players in a given locale, and had deployed force multipliers with a net averaged effect of 2:1, then the attacker dynamically would be allowed to have thirty players spawned into that battle.

Quote

In a battle that's even except for a massive numbers imbalance, what should each side be aiming to accomplish to keep the game challenging to the overpopulated side and worthwhile for the underpopulated one?

The goal for the defending side in a 2v1 concept should be to win the battle. Conveniently for CRS, that's the most marketable goal for each side.

Edited by jwilly

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3 hours ago, delems said:

*** I'm not asking how to balance the population

The population is the problem, don't you get it?  Ratios of 5 to1, or 4 to 1 should never be allowed, ever, ever, ever.  One more time, never.  In fact, probably should never be allowed to be greater than 3 to 1.  Everyone knows what the problem is, it's population imbalance.  So fix the extreme ends.  I don't understand why we won't fix the root problem.

Once the extreme end is fixed, we can work on small perks for the underpop side, capture timers, EWS, MS distance restrictions, etc.  But, nothing will fix a 4 to 1 or 5 to1 population imbalance imo. (and if you do find a way to restrict it, you'll just lose all your over pop players)

Delems. I wonder if it's you who doesn't get it. After playing WWII games since they came out, I have seen one thing, over and over again; game after game, and ours is no different. For reasons that I have never personally understood, every time there is a PVP WWII game, a significant majority of players choose to play Axis. It may be the historical view that Axis tanks are superior. It may be that most Axis equipment was considered superior. Maybe players are tired of playing Allies in single player games. No matter the reason, most folks seem to want to play Axis.

Now, if most players want to pay Axis, then you are naturally going to have a significant population imbalance that can only be solved by either an attitude switch among players, or artificial balance factors. That's one reason so many WWII games use a match system with a limited amount of players allowed on each side.

The basic fact is, that unless artificial balancing mechanisms are used, or some players switch  and play their non-preferred side, then we will NEVER really fix the population imbalance problem. The only workable balancing factor I have seen in previous games is the use of AI bots, and that is something that most WWIIOL players definitely do not want.

So I think that CRS has a good idea by looking at ways to help improve the experience for players, even if they are significantly outnumbered. I think that understand that the population imbalance might never be solvable, and are trying to figure out how best to work that factor into the game. I think it's a viable alternative to some of the Nuclear optionds that have been suggested in other threads.                                                                                                                                                                                      

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No need to touch equipment to the Overpopulated side.

As I mention in my posts here:(Where I gave a bunch of viable ideas without taking content from paying customers no matter if they are UP or OP)z

What did nations do to be able to stand in the same ground has more numerous forces they build fortifications and better equipped their troops.

So when one side is unbalanced when he is defending, prebuild Obstacles Would appear making harder for tanks and infantry to get into AB and offer more protection to the underpop defenders, you could increase the hitpoints on FB's and add extra spawn points to make it less campable, giving riflemen a HEAT Stachel or a pistol would do wonders as well.

Basically making the game more fun for UP and less player intensive releasing troops to counter-attacks while increasing the skill and teamwork to overcome the UP. If similar mechanics where not enough there would still be left the option to change timers to slow down the OP side.

Edited by pbveteran

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27 minutes ago, Quincannon said:

Delems. I wonder if it's you who doesn't get it. After playing WWII games since they came out, I have seen one thing, over and over again; game after game, and ours is no different. For reasons that I have never personally understood, every time there is a PVP WWII game, a significant majority of players choose to play Axis. It may be the historical view that Axis tanks are superior. It may be that most Axis equipment was considered superior. Maybe players are tired of playing Allies in single player games. No matter the reason, most folks seem to want to play Axis.

This isn't just true in WWII games.  It's true in any game with any semblance of good vs evil.  My opinion is that most people are good, or at least taught to be good, so that when they get a virtual chance to be the bad guy, many take it.  

This was true in EQ PVP.  This was true in Star Wars Galaxies.  This was true with the Horde and the Alliance in WoW PVP, until the Alliance was perceived to be the real bad guys and the population levels swapped (or at least so I'm told; never played WoW but have many friends who do).  This was true in Planetside 2 (the "good guy" Blue team was always the most underpopulated).  Hell, even when I did Civil War reenacting, the South had so many more reenacters than the North that they had to give a company of rifelmen to the North to make the show somewhat realistic.

And yet some people here want to claim that the sides are both relatively balanced pop-wise when game history doesn't show that.

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29 minutes ago, Quincannon said:

I think that understand that the population imbalance might never be solvable, and are trying to figure out how best to work that factor into the game. I think it's a viable alternative to some of the Nuclear optionds that have been suggested in other threads.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Actually, the real issue here isn't an imbalanced population. The issue is an inconsistent population.

Whether you believe it or not, player numbers tend to be fairly balanced overall: Both sides will occasionally have a few hours where they have a slight-but-not-massive edge, but that advantage tends to fluctuate between sides from day-to-day and it tends to not be that large. The issue is when severe imbalances start — usually one side having a sudden downward spike in population mid-day while the other side's numbers are still growing normally — and the ensuing death spiral that can cause to the losing side because our underpop gameplay simply isn't fun.

The population balance not being 1-1 isn't an issue: If one side was outnumbered 2-1 every campaign we could design with that in mind, problem solved. The population balance not being absolutely fixed also isn't a problem either since these imbalances tend to be temporary, fairly minor, and regularly go both ways. The problem is when that minor temporary imbalance turns into a massive long-term one because being on the underpop side sucks so much that players stop playing.

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