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VICTARUS

Population Imbalance & Goals

111 posts in this topic

Ok, I'm going try to explain where I'm coming from here in the hope that it will encourage people to actually participate in the discussion I tried to start.

 

The Big Problem™ is that being on the underpopulated side sucks. Yes, the fact that they're underpopulated in the first place is a part of that, but that particular issue is both something that's been discussed to death and is extremely difficult to fully address without causing a whole slew of undesirable side effects (most ideas boil down to "Pick this side or get punished/kicked"). That doesn't mean it isn't worth exploring, but for the sake of this thread I'd like to focus on the relatively unexplored idea of actually making imbalanced gameplay work.

That phrasing is deliberate: I didn't say "Make the game work when imbalanced" because when you think of it that way you get ideas that revolve around the way things already are: Rather than trying to make the imbalanced game fun, we're trying to force the imbalanced game to act like the balanced one. By conceptually splitting the imbalanced game into its own thing, I'm aiming for a game that works on its own, not a watered-down attempt at recreating "Normal" gameplay with different player numbers.

Aside: I suggest players take a similar approach with lowpop discussions as well, in fact. This obviously doesn't mean having a lowpop period is ideal, but if you want the lowpop and non-lowpop games to be the best they can be then you shouldn't try to force lowpop to play the same as normal gameplay and/or sacrifice normal gameplay for the sake lowpop.

 

The way I handle this sort of thing, the first step is to figure out what the two sides should be doing. Both sides should have a goal that is challenging but achievable, and success or failure should feel earned. Once we have a list of potential goals in mind we can start to explore various mechanics that support that and consider how things would play out. To give some purely hypothetical examples of this thought process:

  • The goal is fully capture an underpop town in just one hour > Put a one hour time limit on AOs against an underpopulated side.
  • The goal is to keep an overpop town contested for fifteen full minutes > Reward an underpopulated side with supply for every fifteen minutes they contest a town.

Yes, a lot of these ideas won't work, and some goals will just end up being dead ends, but if they're never put out there then they're never explored. A lot of the best ideas end up coming about because there was this one really neat idea that just wouldn't work in practice, but then some other dumb idea comes around and the two combine into something that would actually work really well. :)

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Being on the underpop side is even less fun when the overpop side camps you so you don't even get to fully play, or uses PPOs in "clever" ways to prevent you from playing, or otherwise wins by keeping you from playing.

I assume the original CRS chose to make spawn points at fixed campable locations because that was the traditional approach to ground wargame design, and it was the easiest to develop and code. It unfortunately has the disadvantage of being hugely anti-marketing when the population ratio isn't 1:1. 

A shift away from fixed spawn points to all-dynamic spawning, with "capture" of spawnpoints replaced with capture of territory segments via local population ratio resulting in pushback of the opponent's spawning capabilities, would help. 

Yeah, that'd be major surgery for the game engine. Nonetheless, it'd address the thread's question. Both sides need to be able to get into combat. Camping as the best tactical victory mechanism is very bad game design.

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14 hours ago, B2K said:

I've not seen anyone mention being unable to attack. - this thread is looking for ideas to facilitate underpop sides (which would by extension imply an ability to conduct offensive operations)

Technically they can, realistically they cannot as overpop has enough to quickly roll any town they are attacking, defend against the underpop attack AND blow the underpop FBs since the underpop does not have anyone left to watch them and the threshold to kill them quickly again favors overpop people- particularly the high FB destruct settings AND the engineer/rifle supply mechanism.

 

The current fast cap settings for underpop are too low IMO, and have some other weaknesses in the approach.  Good initial coded feature, not doing enough IMO.

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Well Victarus, it's really tough to contribute in the direction you describe because we players keep getting told option A/B/C that we come up with is not feasible, even though many 'neat ideas' have been floated over the years to address this sort of thing.  A lot of that sort of 'black box no' business was before your time, but still an issue for these sort of conversations.  Would help knowing what the range of coding options are.

As to the point of making lowpop play like highpop or 2:1 play like 1:1- you can't, not without imposing obnoxious powerups/limits/disables. 

The firepower/maneuver question alone means a higher pop crew can always afford to drive more tanks/planes/guns into the battlespace independent of any spawning/cap mechanics may be coded- not to mention differentiating combat potentials imposed by F2P/limited/premier account equipment access.

My point with PN is to let 1:2 be able to attack and defend fast and light and force the same hard manpower time resource decisions on the overpop as the underpop naturally has.  Not equal style battles, but equal opportunity for a win.

Now your example discussion does spark an additional thought.  For capping a town, underpop could have a victory condition capping facilities to whatever percentage the underpop is compared to the overpop.

So if there were 40 overpop and 20 underpop on, the 40 have to capture a whole town, the underpop just has to cap 50% of a town to capture it.

Don't think settling for a consolation prize for underpop is going to cut it. 

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3 hours ago, VICTARUS said:

Both sides should have a goal that is challenging but achievable, and success or failure should feel earned. Once we have a list of potential goals in mind we can start to explore various mechanics that support that and consider how things would play out. To give some purely hypothetical examples of this thought process:

  • The goal is fully capture an underpop town in just one hour > Put a one hour time limit on AOs against an underpopulated side.
  • The goal is to keep an overpop town contested for fifteen full minutes > Reward an underpopulated side with supply for every fifteen minutes they contest a town.

Yes, a lot of these ideas won't work, and some goals will just end up being dead ends, but if they're never put out there then they're never explored. A lot of the best ideas end up coming about because there was this one really neat idea that just wouldn't work in practice, but then some other dumb idea comes around and the two combine into something that would actually work really well. :)

The goal for each side should be to get as many people to log on with friends and foster as big of a community as possible. If they're able to then groups of players will make their own fun in spite of the game situation just like they did in the past. They will enjoy their time on the server even when things aren't totally balanced. Enjoyment is incredibly subjective, there is never going to be a consensus on what victory is "earned" and so arbitrary ingame goals are going to fail just as badly as the arbitrary command structure did. If you have a decent squad then you don't need some stale system message to encourage you or provide artificial mini-victories.

 

The game remains a MMO and it's not a coincidence that as the guilds went away players stopped logging on as consistently and the population swings got worse. If a person plays with their friends they tend to log on whenever they have free time and especially on squad nights(the overall map state and population ratios aren't the primary factors). If a person is totally disassociated from everyone else on their team and they need some sort of pat on the head to justify their game time then they're not going to log on or stay logged on when the gameplay becomes difficult, that's a reason why other games have to toss out XP, badges, and ingame currency to the losers after every session. WW2online can't offer rewards like that, so there's no way to keep players logged on except to start rebuilding communities and get players to play based on their online social group and more independent of the map situation. Another new rule or condition to help the underpop team is going to either be exploited or stagnate the map, it will not increase population because it doesn't address the main problem.

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You are asking for weird ideas so here is one I had many years ago before TOES,probably rubbish but anyway....

When population goes below its critical mass to only be able to place AOs in the Zees.   All special Zees navy units, lots of boats, no tanks so less camping and navy rank.  I like the Zees and we very seldom play there now and if one side loses badly it does not ruin the map for the rest of the player base.    Combined with reduced capture timers for underpop it might be fun.   Overall re the map it does make a difference but the damage is limited.

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There you have it Rats- more important for many people to have big squads sign on and hit the IWin button then have a game.

Which by the way I am not against big squads in terms of winning through superior play or organization, that should always be rewarded, just against the pernicious aspects of overpop autowin.

I agree that social groups are a major game content plus and retention factor, I disagree that the whole game should be structured to reward them and punish others, or that a laissez-faire too bad so sad attitude towards mismatches retains player hour generation better.

Map state sure as hell DOES affect squads showing up.

Sorry Victarus, I know you want coding solution options, but you can't extricate or isolate that problem set from the nature or goals of players with differing play agendas and styles.  It has to ALL be looked at, especially since you are IMO really talking about emotional appeal feeding content creation.

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44 minutes ago, Kilemall said:

Sorry Victarus, I know you want coding solution options, but you can't extricate or isolate that problem set from the nature or goals of players with differing play agendas and styles.  It has to ALL be looked at, especially since you are IMO really talking about emotional appeal feeding content creation.

Actually, I very explicitly and unambiguously asked for realistic-yet-challenging goals for underpop and overpop players to aim for, not standalone "implement this feature/change" ideas.

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Assuming the largely under population side is defending would indicate a rearguard action would it be possible to have a correlation to the longer you are able to defend a town while under populated the longer it would take the over populated side to place another AO? As a overwhelmed defender you know you are going to lose but can you stall the other side long enough to slow them down. 

I had thought about rewarding players with more mission points too but that doesn't help the ftp or the veteran players who maxed out their rank.  

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I think you need to redefine victory. Simple solution. Time limit AOs and prevent replacing on the same town. For example - 1 vs 1.5 : AO is unlimited. 1 vs 2 : AO limited to 2 hours. 1 vs 3 : 1 hour, 1 vs 4+ 45 minutes. Make the counter known to all and update it every 10 minutes to allow for average population shifts.

Something like this would give defenders a goal, IMO that is what we are missing when trying to hold off endless ei with only a handful of helpers. Attackers also gain as they no longer have auto win which gets boring after a while.

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Which by the way I am not against big squads in terms of winning through superior play or organization, that should always be rewarded, just against the pernicious aspects of overpop autowin.

 

There is no reason that players in TZ 3 from either side cant recruit and organize themselves into a squad that could grow into a force to be reckoned with and counter population imbalances. Why do you think large squads like 3pzg and KGW were so successful? It was because players looked forward to logging in and finding their squads' leaders providing organized gameplay. Squad nights were something people looked forward to.

Quote

There you have it Rats- more important for many people to have big squads sign on and hit the IWin button then have a game

 

Its unfortunate that you want to punish and limit groups that choose to organize and grow. Not only are big squads great for the playerbase, but they are great for CRS' bottom line. I cant wait for the day that i can become part of a large well organized squad again with leaders i respect. Possibly i can stay logged in longer than my current 20 minutes here and there, rather than logging off from boredom or frustration.

I know you always default back to the OJ days, but in all actuality EWS eliminates a lot of what was done. Imagine you were part of a large squad that you could direct to counter an OJ precamp? 

 

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let massive underpop click-cap CP radios? 33% clicks every min

this way they can fight or cut instead of wasting their time in the CP

 

system cap callouts, so if say the AB is getting capped system says so.

a lot of the low-pop-underpop wastes their time on empty cp's, enough time for the overpop to cap

 

squad supply, squads ATM are just names under people's ID's...

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Is it difficult/possible to extend EWS range for a severely underpop side in the near future? 

If the underpop side is able to get defense out as soon as EWS is triggered it would probably help.

 

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A few statements here.

1 - Figure out a way to stop camping in the game.

     A. The most achievable way of doing this would be add a Random Range Spawn counter in a radius around the AB, CPs and FMS. That way, there isn't the "that is the spot they will spawn" so we can all focus there mentality. Give it a 25m radius.

 

 

2 - Break down Attack Objectives & Defense Objectives into pre-determined goals.

    A. Assign specific targets (FBs or CPs) with each AO. Once those Objectives are taken, then another AO is available to be placed for the next section of town. The Attackers must be able to hold what they have taken as well as wait for the next AO ( some smaller time) to come active to continue the attack.

        1A. CP count per town determines how many CPs are able to be targeted at any AO. Larger towns such as Antwerp may have 4-5 CPs listed at a time, where the smallest towns with 2-3 CPs total would only be allowed 1 CP per AO.

    B. Likewise Defensive Orders are automatically placed  to counter AOs.

    C.  If, at any time, the Defender is able to "win" a DO before the Attackers are able to "win" their next AO in the town capture process, then the town automatically resets to Defenders Occupation of all CPs, and the Attackers would need to start over from the beginning. (Generally, Attackers are usually the Overpopulated  side, so this will give the underpopulated side a considerable stall goal if they are able to pull it off).

    D. Which leads to the question, would we want HC to have the ability to choose what CPs to attack with the placement of AOs, or would it be "system" determined.

 

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At  what level of inbalance are you trying  to give goals to the underpop.

To me as an underpop player inextremis with 3 -4 others on. Having the map moved by 15 - 30  guys on the opposition side is annoying at best. What can you possibly achieve in these circumstances? 

I can take some pleasure in killing the odd arrogant tosser who has attacked :) . I can try to delay the inevitable. But at some point the camp is just too much. It is no coincidence that the highest LMG killers are all in the OP TZ. 

With those numbers is it fair to the vast majority of players who have worked hard in other time zones to have their gains so easily wiped.

Ways to make it slightly less painfull....

Make the kills count more for underpop ?   If I know each kill depletes supply more , I'm more likely to try. Even though the numbers are so low it isn't really affecting supply...and obviously wont when Town supply returns.

Set Time to  accomplish attack , I like this gives us something to work for, but with the extremes in pop smallish town will go in the least time possible anyway (1/2 hour) ?  This still might work  just depends how tight the timings are, makes attackers need to be very organised , the 1 hour suggested is way too long in extreme low pop. Whats a fair time the defenders  have to delay to gain a victory ? This seems really feasible and should be tested. Regardless of numbers both sides can achieve something.

Force attackers to guard captured cp's otherwise they auto reset, This may reduce available numbers, unfortunately 2nd account dummies may negate this.

Give defenders death immunity for x seconds so they can clear spawn.  Wont work cause I can then run straight to cp/ab and get in.

New fru are making it a lot harder to frustrate an attack in low pop, might change when allies get a 75mm tank gun.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/30/2016 at 9:17 PM, goreblimey said:

At  what level of inbalance are you trying  to give goals to the underpop.

To me as an underpop player inextremis with 3 -4 others on. Having the map moved by 15 - 30  guys on the opposition side is annoying at best. What can you possibly achieve in these circumstances? 

I can take some pleasure in killing the odd arrogant tosser who has attacked :) . I can try to delay the inevitable. But at some point the camp is just too much. It is no coincidence that the highest LMG killers are all in the OP TZ. 

With those numbers is it fair to the vast majority of players who have worked hard in other time zones to have their gains so easily wiped.

Ways to make it slightly less painfull....

Make the kills count more for underpop ?   If I know each kill depletes supply more , I'm more likely to try. Even though the numbers are so low it isn't really affecting supply...and obviously wont when Town supply returns.

Set Time to  accomplish attack , I like this gives us something to work for, but with the extremes in pop smallish town will go in the least time possible anyway (1/2 hour) ?  This still might work  just depends how tight the timings are, makes attackers need to be very organised , the 1 hour suggested is way too long in extreme low pop. Whats a fair time the defenders  have to delay to gain a victory ? This seems really feasible and should be tested. Regardless of numbers both sides can achieve something.

Force attackers to guard captured cp's otherwise they auto reset, This may reduce available numbers, unfortunately 2nd account dummies may negate this.

Give defenders death immunity for x seconds so they can clear spawn.  Wont work cause I can then run straight to cp/ab and get in.

New fru are making it a lot harder to frustrate an attack in low pop, might change when allies get a 75mm tank gun.

I don't know that I would back any or all of these, but if I were you Victarus I would give serious weight to any suggestions from that crew- and more importantly, what motivates/demotivates them.

 

Not surprised about GB's take on FMS either.  It's an overpop advantage, and Allies cash in on it when overpop just as much as Axis.  Features like that really need a good look before they go in for that context of how things play between 'normal' and zeropop.

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On 12/28/2016 at 2:41 PM, major0noob said:

let massive underpop click-cap CP radios? 33% clicks every min

this way they can fight or cut instead of wasting their time in the CP

 

system cap callouts, so if say the AB is getting capped system says so.

a lot of the low-pop-underpop wastes their time on empty cp's, enough time for the overpop to cap

 

squad supply, squads ATM are just names under people's ID's...

With fast cap, that's the sort of timing I always envisioned with the really bad discrepancies.  I would argue it needs to go long for the overpop to cap too, or requires more people to initiate cap (so if it takes two to start/cap at normal one person speeds, the underpop can kill one and stop the cap).

 

Emotionally I don't like the cap callout thing, as this should be a game that has arena battle game mechanics with neon signs saying kill here.  My take is slower overpop caps so underpop has time to cycle through them or get a chance to stop it, but getting 'extra intel' certainly would reduce the time well problem.

 

I fail to see how squad supply is going to help underpop very much.  Assuming Victarus is  looking to code for post-Town Supply, each town will have a new fresh supply for the underpop to go through, likely never using even all the premium units.

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On 12/28/2016 at 9:56 AM, VICTARUS said:

Actually, I very explicitly and unambiguously asked for realistic-yet-challenging goals for underpop and overpop players to aim for, not standalone "implement this feature/change" ideas.

Hmm, well my reaction is to the sort of goals you are showing as examples, most of which seem to go off-tangent to the game goals of 'taking town to take map/Europe' and generating meaningful tactical battles for both sides in the process.

As Goreblimey's post aptly demonstrates, underpop guys want to affect the map.  Shiny badges or extra supplies are nothing, what is being sold here is a WAR that players matter in, and that's the core design problem for resolving all the different player agendas. 

The other part that concerns me is that this is already a very complex game, I tend to shy away from mechanics that seriously alter the basic play too much.

 

 

Some of my other statements went unanswered, so maybe I should explain why I'd like to hear from you about them.

 

Quote

Well Victarus, it's really tough to contribute in the direction you describe because we players keep getting told option A/B/C that we come up with is not feasible, even though many 'neat ideas' have been floated over the years to address this sort of thing.  A lot of that sort of 'black box no' business was before your time, but still an issue for these sort of conversations.  Would help knowing what the range of coding options are.

The reason I am asking about this is that I can see a lot of ways to resolve these issues. 

 

One of them for instance is the fact that the town spawn castle capture mechanic creates a somewhat code-manageable by spawn/distance mechanics battlespace, That breaks down however when an overpop side can lay down 2 FMS before the underpop can even show up, each FMS taking at least 3 people to take down plus all the losses making the approach (as another poster noted, effectively all the advantages of a defensive position), and in that time to respond by attacking the FB or taking down the FMS, the town is taken.  Same thing with FRUs, FMS just accentuates it.

 

We could monkey with the FMS overpop/underpop settings I suppose, but I would be thinking undoing the spawn castle and making it more about destroying the enemy and capturing logistical advantage as a side effect to be a much better solution long term, then gear overpop/underpop rules to that reality.  In that situation, underpop really could use firepower supply advantage as they wouldn't be camped 'in the castle' as the inevitable conclusion to victory.

 

A big one to do of course and not something I think is in scope for your discussion except as a mental/clarification exercise, but some parameters along 'what is doable' would be helpful.

Quote

The firepower/maneuver question alone means a higher pop crew can always afford to drive more tanks/planes/guns into the battlespace independent of any spawning/cap mechanics may be coded- not to mention differentiating combat potentials imposed by F2P/limited/premier account equipment access.

My point with PN is to let 1:2 be able to attack and defend fast and light and force the same hard manpower time resource decisions on the overpop as the underpop naturally has.  Not equal style battles, but equal opportunity for a win.

While I didn't ask a specific question here, I expected some sort of a response to the underlying ethos of not limiting overpop to exercise their manpower/firepower advantage, while making it a game for the underpop.

 

Careful attention to the time well aspects of transport and capture are key IMO to avoiding highly painful mechanics like excessive SD.

 

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On 12/28/2016 at 2:32 PM, Pittpete said:

 

There is no reason that players in TZ 3 from either side cant recruit and organize themselves into a squad that could grow into a force to be reckoned with and counter population imbalances. Why do you think large squads like 3pzg and KGW were so successful? It was because players looked forward to logging in and finding their squads' leaders providing organized gameplay. Squad nights were something people looked forward to.

Uh huh.

If it were so readily doable, it would already be happening.

 

I darn well know what happened TZ3- Karellean and Zack, through heroic effort, kept that TZ alive for the Allies for years, and by extension the game as a whole. 

 

When SD was reduced or seemed to be non-existent when it should have been kicking in, K screamed for help and a looksee and the Original Rat crew insisted it wasn't a code problem nor came up with alternative population mechanics, when clearly it was a 3:1 at the point of contact and the game was/is unplayable and unbearable for the underpop at that point.  K left AHC and to my knowledge only plays occasionally and for shooter fun.

 

Other Allied people that are certainly competent have led that TZ since but not consistently or available enough to make it a competitive situation to get more people to coalesce.

 

So I KNOW the TZ would be fine with leaders on and playing, but you only get X leaders at a ratio of Y population, once you drop that population off the cliff you aren't GETTING leaders that just 'show up' and make happen what you are talking about.  As noted, ANZACs long gone and that was the major TZ3 base squad for the Allies.  ANZACs are interested in the map game and way outsmarting the Axis generals, that game is going away too, I don't know what would lure them back with the current or near future changes.

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On 12/24/2016 at 9:09 PM, jwilly said:

or at least it's not historically frequent enough to be the basis for a game like this that claims to model reality.

I don't think this .... I think you're putting your desire/design in here. CRS, any of the teams, have never claimed to want to recreate reality. France allowed to exist trumps reality from the jump. The only thing this game and it's creators have ever attempted to model realistically is a weapon's performance. 

Further, attempting to recreate realistic fighting and wars in general is a recipe for a disastrously un-fun game - IMO.

 

You make good points on the prepared defenses though I'd point out that dug in defenses, the maginot, the russian defenses  at kursk, the many prepared defensive positions in italy, the atlantic wall etc ... all these were the exception not the rule ... at least that is my contention. without exhaustive research its really anyone's guess however i'd wager a decent sum that the average 'prepared' defense involved some fighting holes, sand bags, pre-deployed ammo, mixed with some make shift hard cover is all that would be expected. oh and some barbed wire.

 

you could argue that spawn distance from target for the defenders goes a long ways towards simulating some of what you're talking about though. 

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1 hour ago, madrebel said:

The only thing this game and it's creators have ever attempted to model realistically is a weapon's performance. 

I get your point, which is valid. I should have chosen words that more clearly focused on historical and technical possibility and plausibility. Some what-if scenarios and constructs make sense, and could have happened with only possible/plausible changes to actual history,. Others would have been impossible without massive historical changes. Sometimes in trying to justify the latter, historical changes that would require irrational decisions by national leaders and mid level personnel and/or technically impossible action-timelines are proposed. What I usually mean by "realism" is the former, and not the latter.

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On 12/25/2016 at 0:59 AM, VICTARUS said:

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?

The game already "works" as any war sim should -dependent on participation.  War requires people to show up and fight. Sometimes countries have enough troops; sometimes not. 

While nobody likes being outnumbered two, three or four to one, but that's just the way she goes sometimes.

 

I think it's fine with the short spawn delay we have now and the focus should be on implementing 1.36.

Until we know how that limited supply will work and impact fighting odds, we shouldn't be trying to change game mechanics to effect some "balance".

 

Unless, of course you mean that you're just exploring ideas prior to and for 1.36 and I missed a detail.

 

 

 

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Option 2 scenarios have been discussed over the years - and some of those ideas are in this thread - about establishing alternative gameplay goals (e.g. Sabotage etc) that are achievable by an underpopped side - and, therefore, assist to mitigate morale failure etc.  However, I think a key issue is ensuring that the tactical goal has sufficient strategic significance so as to have the intended morale and player engagement effect (i.e. Sabotage which has material RDP consequences may do the trick, but unlocking extra supply won't matter - supply is rarely an issue for the underpopped team).

 

A random - and not particularly well thought through suggestion for an option 2 approach (assumes 1.36 is implemented) - but just throwing ideas out as Vicatarus asked:

1.  Overpop side  caps a town.  

2. As is currently the case, the FBs pop up for the side that lost the town.  The underpopulated side will - presumably - have supply at each FB immediately - given town based supply in 1.36. This allows the underpopped side to immediately spawn at the FBs (which is important later on).

3. The overpop side receives a garrison supply in the town it just capped.  Nothing special - enough for a barebones defence, not much more.

4. In order to increase the supply level in the town from garrison supply to 100% supply, the overpop side must manually resupply the town. Now, this does not involve manual resupply of a whole spawn list. Rather, create a new representative unit - each of which reflects X% of a town's supply (or a fixed number of units, to account for attrition). Let's call it a supply unit. The overpop side must drive the supply unit from a backline town to the town that was just capped.  Each supply unit that is successfully driven backline to the new town increases the town's spawn list by X% (or set number of units). 

5. The overpop side cannot set a new AO until the town that has been capped has been manually resupplied (i.e. By driving supply units from backline towns) to a certain threshold) or until XX minutes passes.  This avoids simply jumping AOs around the map to avoid the need to manually resupply towns.

6. The underpopped side CAN set an AO on the town it just lost (which will only have garrison supply until manually resupplied).  In addition, the underpopped side can use the supply that is available at the FBs to interdict the enemy supply units (i.e. Destroy the unit before it reaches the town, then no supply contribution from that unit) that are driving backline to frontline.  This means that the overpopped side will be encouraged to form defensive convoys to accompany supply units, to combat supply interdiction ambushes. The underpopped side can use its distance advantage to set up ambushes.

 

Intended outcomes:

A.  Content generation for both the underpopped and overpopped sides (i.e. Supply interdiction and supply defence). The 'no AO' rule in 5 above ensures this occurs, but does allow the overpop side to set a new AO after a certain period.

B. Creates a new tactical scenario where the underpopped side is able to secure a tactical ''win' by successfully interdicting supply units. The distance advantage (due to the FBs)  allows them to set ambushes, and take the initiative rather than being forced onto static defence (i.e. CPs and bunkers).

C. The scenario also allows a potential strategic 'win' because if the underpopped side can destroy enough supply units the town supply is weakened for a counterattack in a later time period when the underpopped side becomes overpop. That said, I would expect normal RDP resupply to kick in after X period - so the town is not permanently weakened.

 

 

Sure that there are 100s of unintended consequences, but some outside the box thinking - the sort of 'game within a game' that the OP was asking us to suggest.

 

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LOL so many Ideas but most of you guys just don't get it....there has to be a winner and a loser! One side is always going to have the numbers or there will never be anything achieved. I have seen numerous things tried to make balance in this game and all it has achieved is running people off or making them mad. The main problem in this game is magic supply and how fast it can move. Every town should have its own supply and a chance at stopping attacks. When in underpop situation don't attack hold your ground set up defenses overstock from back towns for counter attack when your side has the numbers. These are things that need to come back that cant be done right now. It seems right now everyone wants to attack and very few even when they know they are underpop will defend. Now there is a problem timezone we all know its TZ3 but if everytown has supply and it takes 30 to fully capture a town and then you have to defend what you cap because supply trickles in over 15 min say would slow pace of the game down some for the overpop side. At least it use to. Right now supply is hardly ever an issue and its easy to cut off underpop side and make even more log because they have no supply now.

Anyways that my take on things after many many years of playing this game but all in all you gotta remember there has to be a winner and a loser but we can still make it fun for the defenders also and give them hope =)

Malvoc out...

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12 hours ago, malvoc said:

there has to be a winner and a loser! One side is always going to have the numbers or there will never be anything achieved.

So the overpop side almost always should win every battle? Nah. Much better to make winning a given battle a 50/50 thing for each side in a 2:1 pop ratio environment.

The game is much less marketable when one side can only defend...and because psychologically many potential customers prefer attacking and prefer winning battles, that's a positive feedback loop i.e. the underpop side has to defend, loses battles, derives less aggregate game-enjoyment, loses more population. Rinse and repeat.

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