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potthead

Numbers / Overpop / Time on Mission / Player engagement : A Potthead Theory

98 posts in this topic

7 minutes ago, Capco said:

Damn it, I thought that link might not work for some people.  Here you go:

 

330zibk.jpg

 

 

While that split may be acceptable to you, it is entirely unacceptable for any FPS game in gaming history.  

 

It's impossible to have a balanced game with one side having 50% more players that call that side home.  Impossible.  No amount of leadership on the Allied side will get players from the Axis side if they are already playing Axis.  

Also the poll doesn't even have an option to say Both? ... I know you would consider me Axis and I do too and would have voted Axis, but I play Allied a good amount of time, more than many of the players that would have even voted as Allied....

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3 minutes ago, potthead said:

I was referring to see if there is any data to show how many unique players log in to a side during a map ... my theory (i am high again, and awake somehow.. had to defend a bunker JUST as was logging off (this game is more addictive than crack cocaine sometimes) is that both sides get about the same usually but for various reasons the winning side ends up with more ToM most of the time if not nearly all the time...   

I'm really not trying to argue the points you made after the theory of "both sides have the same amount of players".  I think it's pretty evident that engagement and leadership and FUN keeps people playing.  

 

I'm just trying to let people know that the idea that "both sides have the same amount of players" is a complete fallacy.  The Axis have a lot more players overall that call the Axis side "home" than the Allies have who call the Allied side "home".

 

S!

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7 minutes ago, Capco said:

I'm really not trying to argue the points you made after the theory of "both sides have the same amount of players".  I think it's pretty evident that engagement and leadership and FUN keeps people playing.  

 

I'm just trying to let people know that the idea that "both sides have the same amount of players" is a complete fallacy.  The Axis have a lot more players overall that call the Axis side "home" than the Allies have who call the Allied side "home".

 

S!

I said it is a theory that some data may disprove or validate, that during most campaign, both sides have to the same number of unique players and I thought overpop is created by what i tried described as momentum through immersion which makes them play longer.. I never claimed both sides have same level of loyal players (call home) .. (I am not saying they don't either yet just saying was not at all purpose of the data mining I was hoping someone with wiretap skills Maybe able to do)

I am a super optimist! I think Allied and Axis BOTH can prevail! I believe that!

 

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Hey @potthead

I updated the charts site to track what you were wondering about. If you group the population chart by '1 day' time intervals - and set the 'Measure' to 'Individual Players' - it will look only at individual names and not take into consideration the time spent playing at all. It is just giving you a percentage (not raw numbers). 

http://www.campaigncharts.com

 

A little early to draw any conclusions this campaign - but you can look at a few days from the last campaign where I was tracking population data. It does show that - during the last day of the last day of the campaign for instance, the Allies had more individuals login, but if you factor in time spent playing - then it is lop-sided more towards the Axis. Other days I really don't see that type of trend - but again it will be interesting to look back in a few weeks and see how it goes........

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1 hour ago, choad said:

Hey @potthead

I updated the charts site to track what you were wondering about. If you group the population chart by '1 day' time intervals - and set the 'Measure' to 'Individual Players' - it will look only at individual names and not take into consideration the time spent playing at all. It is just giving you a percentage (not raw numbers). 

http://www.campaigncharts.com

 

A little early to draw any conclusions this campaign - but you can look at a few days from the last campaign where I was tracking population data. It does show that - during the last day of the last day of the campaign for instance, the Allies had more individuals login, but if you factor in time spent playing - then it is lop-sided more towards the Axis. Other days I really don't see that type of trend - but again it will be interesting to look back in a few weeks and see how it goes........

Thanks @choad ! 

can only open this my phone for some reason not sure what is wrong with my PC browser. It gets stuck on loading.

Yes would be great to see at the end of full maps and a total tally of absolute number of unique players during course of map aggregated. I think what you mentioned from last few days of map is type of limited observation I have had that gives me the hypothesis. I.e. mostly equal numbers log in but TOM is skewed due to engagement when side is not having momentum. 

Really appreciate you spending time on this sir!

S!

potthead/bongohed

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4 minutes ago, ozsheila said:

Thanks @choad ! 

can only open this my phone for some reason not sure what is wrong with my PC browser. It gets stuck on loading.

Yes would be great to see at the end of full maps and a total tally of absolute number of unique players during course of map aggregated. I think what you mentioned from last few days of map is type of limited observation I have had that gives me the hypothesis. I.e. mostly equal numbers log in but TOM is skewed due to engagement when side is not having momentum. 

Really appreciate you spending time on this sir!

S!

potthead/bongohed

Huh. I will pm u on the pc issue...  

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Just a question......what criterion are you using to calculate population numbers?

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when you treat all your squads outside of US prime like garbage so you never develop euro or pacific players, then your US prime squads bail on the game then yeah you're not going to have numbers

 

edit: Didn't the allies kill off their one attempt at a squad liason program because of toxic leadership?

 

some HC were upset that liasons got the HC label and weren't taking map

Edited by david06

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2 hours ago, bmw said:

Just a question......what criterion are you using to calculate population numbers?

I will try to add a little addendum, which kind of outlines it in more detail. To be brief - I basically monitor the captures feed. From here I get player names. I log the time of activity and player name. I then look at player sortie information every 30 minutes for a queue of players. If after 2 hours I detect no more activity - I stop checking on the player until they are detected again. When I look at their sortie - i grab all of the names I can of the players who they have killed and who they were killed by. I take these names and throw them in the queue (checking on their sortie detail every 30 minutes for a couple hours until i detect no new activity). So - eventually, through 5 degrees of separation I should be able to find most players assuming that they capped a cp, killed someone, or got killed.

 I am not really noting their TOM. Rather - I break everything down into 15 minute checkpoints. So - if you login an play one mission that lasts 2 minutes, you are counted in 1 checkpoint. Similarly - if you login and play for one sortie that lasts 18 minutes, you are now counted in 2 checkpoints. I am then able to add up what I find and average it out.

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8 hours ago, choad said:

 during the last day of the last day of the campaign for instance, the Allies had more individuals login, but if you factor in time spent playing - then it is lop-sided more towards the Axis. 

I also had made some basic estimations based on TOM before joining the team and getting access to all game data. I compared with the reality and I was not relevant with the absolute values. The trend was good tough. So I would suggest to remove the % valaues on the vertical graph line, and just show the lines.

Also, as I already publicly stated, from ingame figures I saw that there are no more players playing axis than those playing allied. The only difference is the mean session duration.

My personal interpretation is that it is only related to the lack/presence of leadership and actual team play. Squad switchers of course influence a campaign but also mostly because the play as the game should be played.

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22 hours ago, choad said:

 during the last day of the last day of the campaign for instance, the Allies had more individuals login, but if you factor in time spent playing - then it is lop-sided more towards the Axis. 

I also had made some basic estimations based on TOM before joining the team and getting access to all game data. I compared with the reality and I was not relevant with the absolute values. The trend was good tough. So I would suggest to remove the % values on the vertical graph line, and just show the lines. And call it « relative forces engagement » or such.

Also, as I already publicly stated, from ingame figures I saw that there are no more individuals dedicated to axis than those to allies.The only difference is how much they play.

My personal interpretation is that it is only related to the lack/presence of leadership and actual team play. Squad switchers of course influence a campaign but also mostly because they play as the game should be played.

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45 minutes ago, ZEBBEEE said:

My personal interpretation is that it is only related to the lack/presence of leadership and actual team play.

they get bored and log...

make the game fun then let teamwork and leadership happen naturally

 

my squad XO (leadership) and a bunch of squadmates (teamwork) quit, from simple boredom. why is this soo hard for the rats and volunteers to comprehend?

was his leadership and their teamwork garbage?

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11 hours ago, david06 said:

edit: Didn't the allies kill off their one attempt at a squad liason program because of toxic leadership?

 

some HC were upset that liasons got the HC label and weren't taking map

What happened was the squad liaisons were told they wouldn't have to do HC duties, but at some point they would occasionally be the only HC online.  The playerbase would do a .hc, see a name in the list, and give them hell for not doing their "HC duties".  They didn't sign up as a liaison to be crucified for not doing something they were told they wouldn't have to do, so they left.  It had nothing to do with HC being upset at the liaisons lol.  

 

Ideally, the liaisons should have had access to HC blue chat without showing up in the list or having the ability to move flags / set AOs.  

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15 hours ago, choad said:

It does show that - during the last day of the last day of the campaign for instance, the Allies had more individuals login, but if you factor in time spent playing - then it is lop-sided more towards the Axis. Other days I really don't see that type of trend - but again it will be interesting to look back in a few weeks and see how it goes........

This is probably because of side lock on the persona screen for the overpop side, which makes it more likely that a green tag will spawn into the Allies, get curb stomped, and log out.  

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8 hours ago, ZEBBEEE said:

I also had made some basic estimations based on TOM before joining the team and getting access to all game data. I compared with the reality and I was not relevant with the absolute values. The trend was good tough. So I would suggest to remove the % valaues on the vertical graph line, and just show the lines. And call it « relative forces engagement » or such.

Also, as I already publicly stated, from ingame figures I saw that there are no more individuals dedicated to axis than those to allies.The only difference is how much they play.

My personal interpretation is that it is only related to the lack/presence of leadership and actual team play. Squad switchers of course influence a campaign but also mostly because the play as the game should be played.

Fair points. I will add a detailed description of how this data is collected and under what circumstances you may elude being factored in. Just so there isn't any question about that - and the question has come up a number of times now (for good reason). No doubt my numbers will not match what CRS sees 1:1. Here are a few scenarios where you would not be included in the numbers I am collecting vs. what CRS is able to see....

1) If you are logged into a game, selected a persona - but are sitting on the mission screen. Whether that be b/c you got distracted or for more nefarious reasons.

2) If you have an account that you leave AFK in the game world - just as a canary - guarding some fb, cp or something - and you never encounter an enemy.

3) If you have a tow account - and are lucky enough to not get killed by the enemy.

4) If you are playing - and then go afk for 15+ minutes, there would be gaps.

 

Lastly - I think i'll add the ability to enter in a a game-name so that you players can kind of test the accuracy for themselves. Then you could look at how much you've played over the course of a campaign and during what times, etc. At least then individuals could test it based on empirical evidence and report back any issues if the mood catches them right.

 

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4 minutes ago, choad said:

1) If you are logged into a game, selected a persona - but are sitting on the mission screen. Whether that be b/c you got distracted or for more nefarious reasons.

2) If you have an account that you leave AFK in the game world - just as a canary - guarding some fb, cp or something - and you never encounter an enemy.

3) If you have a tow account - and are lucky enough to not get killed by the enemy.

4) If you are playing - and then go afk for 15+ minutes, there would be gaps.

This almost makes your data more useful since it only looks at people who are actively doing something (although guarding without contact is also something that unfortunately needs to be done at times) versus two lists of total players on each side.  

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2 hours ago, Capco said:

What happened was the squad liaisons were told they wouldn't have to do HC duties, but at some point they would occasionally be the only HC online.  The playerbase would do a .hc, see a name in the list, and give them hell for not doing their "HC duties".  They didn't sign up as a liaison to be crucified for not doing something they were told they wouldn't have to do, so they left.  It had nothing to do with HC being upset at the liaisons lol.  

 

Ideally, the liaisons should have had access to HC blue chat without showing up in the list or having the ability to move flags / set AOs.  

As the guy who pushed the squad liaison project, I can confirm this is largely it with the addendum that players were complaining to CRS about 'those slacker HC' when they were SLs.  Any toxic leadership would be attributable to the Allied CinC who, being pressed to solve the above complaints (CRS is going to lean on HC leadership for 'officer actions', quite right in most cases) decided to end the program rather then work the problem.

While I am not a fan of that particular CinC (and he is not a fan of mine), it wasn't necessarily his 'fault'.  The problem IMO is that it wasn't coded the way it was originally conceived, with either SLs invisible to the HClist or having at least an SL tag next to them indicating they aren't regular HC.  There was no coding done for this at all, the only option was to put SLs in as regular officers.  My understanding is that both sides have to agree when it comes to HC coding and apparently the Axis HC at the time wasn't on board with this.

The AHC CinCs that pushed for and supported the program showed real interest in integrating willing squads into the action, and it was very successful for everyone when in operation.

 

Your organization is your comms is your relationship with players.   Whether HC and squads/players or even if you have Tribal Raiders of France 1940, this has been and will remain so.

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Now then to respond to the OP's hypothesis, this is my understanding of the situation-

  • In terms of absolute unique side dedicated players, the Axis historically had more then the Allies.  This was confirmed, in the forum, by Rats 1.0, but any discerning Allied leader or player already knew it.  Just seems to be a surprise to Axis guys, I guess because they never lived it and didn't see it go on for years and assumed it was always Allied sucky organization.  I don't know and would not assume it is still true, but I also have no reason to particularly believe it has changed, other then the Axis side has had a lot of losses over the years and was always squadcentric so squads leaving may have hit that side harder.
  • The core of the hypothesis is correct IMO, superior leadership drives greater player hours.  There can be surges driven by new rules, new objects, new toys, but the most reliable creation of 'more pop' are HC/squad/player leaders.
  • It takes 1-3 weeks for leadership consistently showing up for the effect to start happening as more players have signed on, get the message that the leaders and other players are playing longer and smarter and see that their efforts will not be wasted.  You can get a small surge immediately of people staying on, but to really affect a campaign it takes consistent effort.  One leader can turn things around (but with a lot of sacrifice), it's usually better when a group of both HC and squads put in multi-TZ effort.
  • Conversely it only takes a week for a side to decide it's not worth effort to 'play to win'.  Whether that extends to campaign end depends again on whether you have HC, squads and player leaders showing up to build the surge again.
  • Squads will show up irregardless of HC state, they are pegged more to the squad leader then HC.  The squad leader can decide it's too much hassle to keep their guys interested and the squad will log, and this can happen whether that squad's side is overpop or underpop, it's then the squad leader's relationship/respect for the HC on that counts.

 

To quote HG, 'this is a game of relationships'.  The weapons of this and that are ultimately immaterial except as regards to player affinities and being able to influence battle- what keeps em coming back and working as a team is the relationship the player has to squad, side, and leadership, leaders between themselves, and the perception of 'meaningful battle'.

The ultimate supply is NOT X tanks Y planes and Z inf, it's player-time and cohesion.  Act like it.

 

One other bit I will relay as part of a response to the OP- when ToEs was finally coming in the full brigade form, we AHC that were left after an utterly brutal series of leadership and trust losses knew it was the last straw, last chance to get a full team going.  So we had a LOT of effort that went into the organizational side including how to handle maps, internal org/reporting, squad relations, etc.  Most of this work was done by others, but I had three goals that I think I got impressed onto our planning.

#1 Get all AHC to know, 'no really it's our responsibility to get players to play' and therefore competence in both technical map matters AND player relations was our job

#2 Align proper interests in map and battle leadership so people skilled at doing whatever are incentivized to do their thing, and

#3 Get back one specific leader.

That last one was one I didn't publicize, he was one of the French generals that quit after Tiger Sunday when no pop mitigation effort was coming to deal with that kind of surge where weeks of effort were destroyed in one day through sheer overpop (again, meaningful battle).  While he occupied a very key TZ position and was therefore a very key officer, I looked at getting him to come back more as a bellweather indicating we had done the right things to get the best team back.

 

So Potthead, you got a look at the backend result of a lot of that during your time over on the Allied side.  It wasn't an accident or 'luck' or 'CRS coding for one side', but a concerted effort based largely on your hypothesis.

You saw it, so other then this equal players thing you already know the answer.

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1 hour ago, Kilemall said:
  • To quote HG, 'this is a game of relationships'.  The weapons of this and that are ultimately immaterial except as regards to player affinities and being able to influence battle- what keeps em coming back and working as a team is the relationship the player has to squad, side, and leadership, leaders between themselves, and the perception of 'meaningful battle'.

The ultimate supply is NOT X tanks Y planes and Z inf, it's player-time and cohesion.  Act like it.

I think this was very very well said. S! 

WWIIOL is fundamentally a game is nerves, morale, and psychology. Like you said it's not the number of tanks but the dedication to simply persevere through the mission. Outside of pure attrition or being completely overrun, winning and losing is really a function of one side simply giving up and not respawning in, usually because they think all has been lost.

I think the really important lesson to take away from this game is how consequences and permanent from the entire campaign and how much effort and energy effective leadership takes. For those of us who have been in HC or run squads you know this can be a full time job. Tactical command either offense or defense can completely drain you and it's amazing how just a few people taking the lead in a city can completely change the dynamic from a disorganized mob low on morale without focus and a palpable sense of the wheels falling off to a coordinated force with a feeling if wind in its sails.

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2 hours ago, Kilemall said:

 

  • The core of the hypothesis is correct IMO, superior leadership drives greater player hours.  There can be surges driven by new rules, new objects, new toys, but the most reliable creation of 'more pop' are HC/squad/player leaders.

 

+10 /why the game is like no other - not ww2, not toys, not giant map, not lousy graphics  << its player created content - all day, every day, 24 hours. nothing like it. 

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10 minutes ago, aismov said:

I think this was very very well said. S! 

WWIIOL is fundamentally a game is nerves, morale, and psychology. Like you said it's not the number of tanks but the dedication to simply persevere through the mission. Outside of pure attrition or being completely overrun, winning and losing is really a function of one side simply giving up and not respawning in, usually because they think all has been lost.

I think the really important lesson to take away from this game is how consequences and permanent from the entire campaign and how much effort and energy effective leadership takes. For those of us who have been in HC or run squads you know this can be a full time job. Tactical command either offense or defense can completely drain you and it's amazing how just a few people taking the lead in a city can completely change the dynamic from a disorganized mob low on morale without focus and a palpable sense of the wheels falling off to a coordinated force with a feeling if wind in its sails.

And yet CRS has put the least amount of development time into tools that support tactical leaders. Despite the fact, as you highlight here, they are essentially the life blood of the game. 

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34 minutes ago, minky said:

And yet CRS has put the least amount of development time into tools that support tactical leaders. Despite the fact, as you highlight here, they are essentially the life blood of the game. 

while true, this is the fault of old CRS. you can't really blame new CRS for this since everything they inherited has to be prioritized for fixing. 

while tools are critical, hybrid supply is more critical. further, because hybrid supply changes so much, its best to wait to write tools for the new system once its been delivered and tested.

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49 minutes ago, madrebel said:

while true, this is the fault of old CRS. you can't really blame new CRS for this since everything they inherited has to be prioritized for fixing. 

while tools are critical, hybrid supply is more critical. further, because hybrid supply changes so much, its best to wait to write tools for the new system once its been delivered and tested.

Completely agree. The gameplay changes that are coming down the road are going to be completely different with TBS. with supply and attrition we are going to have to learn/re-learn a completely different way to fight.

No more rolling a tank right into the middle of town because hey we can just warp a new brigade in.

No more lemming rush into the AB bunker since supply is effectively infinite.

RDP bombing will become more real of a thing.

We will need different tools, but on the flip side we already have a lot of tools. And to play devils advocate old CRS actually gave us a lot of them. Map/contact marking, waypoints, EWS/AWS, .orders, HC signaling tools. Yes a lot more can be added and improved. But let's not forget that initially we had nothing. Even the original map would barely show you where you were (and the alpha version map was literally a hardcore map)

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1 hour ago, madrebel said:

while true, this is the fault of old CRS. you can't really blame new CRS for this since everything they inherited has to be prioritized for fixing. 

while tools are critical, hybrid supply is more critical. further, because hybrid supply changes so much, its best to wait to write tools for the new system once its been delivered and tested.

We have to agree to disagree here. While CRS has made some positive changes they have also thrown the game into disarray. The 109 change was positive. You’re welcome by the way. It took vasduten and I explaining on channel with Xoom exactly how bad the 109 was to get it looked at. 

Their other changes though?  The FMS was put in with little to no regard about how it would effect gameplay. Even when it became apparent the IV G wouldn’t hold up as the Axis main stay CRS waited until Axis HC unsubscribed and people who were brand new HC had to become CINC before they would do something about it. I had previously mentioned putting heavy ATGs in the depots in defensive AOs to even things up a bit. The CRS reaction?  Panic and throw 100 tigers at it. Replace one imbalance with another one. Stupid. 

Meanwhile the infantry play was utterly obliterated by the FMS mechanics with no real plan on how to bring that game play back. There are times now with two dead AOs on the map on US prime time. 

All the while they have left the LW so overmatched that it’s now basically dead. It seems to have taken the air war with it. The last campaign saw pilots in the “Top Fighters” with K/Ds under 1. 

On top of that they were pulling tools from the few leaders they have left in game. Like the ability to run trucks with second F2P accounts. Again, little to no thought on how it would effect gameplay. Your welcome on that one one too by the way. 

Nope, all in all this team is at a net negative in game changes. They’ve managed to kill action and player numbers while leaving one of the oldest imbalances in game. I put that on them not old CRS. 

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@minky speaks a lot of truth in that post.  The IVG was not up to snuff like the S75 or C3 for the frontal town assault paradigm that truck based FRUs encourage.  GHC took a big hit as the Axis needed to reinvent themselves and adapt away from the FRU.  Axis side got an exclusive Rat Chat (and it was needed at that point).  But adding a dozen Tigers per division and slashing the early Allied tank numbers to fatigue the Allies into abandoning ship was similar to using a broadsword for surgery over a scalpel.  

 

I made a big fuss about removing the truck from F2P too.  Couldn't believe it.  I stopped playing altogether when that happened.  

 

Idk if it's yet fair to say that new CRS is a net negative.  But time will tell.  There's still some core issues that, if left unaddressed before 1.36, will haunt this game to its demise.  

 

I'm still extremely optimistic, and new CRS has my support nonetheless.  

Edited by Capco

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