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      Hells Gate   03/24/2019

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potthead

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

97 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, knucks said:

Those are whales...  You see all these games with hundreds apon hundreds of little items to buy, it's because they sell well not only to the average person, but to people who really want to stick out from the  crowd with all the coolest, latest gear.

I pay for and support the game and my latest coolest gear is always an opel, a rifle and a satchel charge.  Too cool. 

Image result for military whales

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12 minutes ago, sorella said:

I pay for and support the game and my latest coolest gear is always an opel, a rifle and a satchel charge.  Too cool. 

Yeah but then 1000 people start playing and you're no longer THE soldier, just a soldier among many, then you want to most because you can no longer run around with a pistol reking tanks.
When more people start playing, MG's laying down suppression, explosions everywhere, planes strafing like crazy, you're going to find a use for all that equipment you ignore at the moment.
Or some noobs buy all the cool camo's and uniform varients and you're sitting there in your dull grey panzer looking like the real noob. Then you'll want to use what you buy.
But of course rifle's will always be relevant, no argument there.

Edited by knucks

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11 hours ago, knucks said:


When more people start playing, MG's laying down suppression, explosions everywhere, planes strafing like crazy, you're going to find a use for all that equipment you ignore at the moment.
 

I agree with y'alls in this thread including pott, asimov and (even) david01/06: the difficulties arise because of game pop - there were dumbass "player sits in a big honking stick-out-of-a-bush truck to be MS' way-back times but the pop was big so it was lots of fun - now with lower pop:  fms truck noise/build time, faster caps, longer bunker timers etc are all good suggestions. 

Just that the designers/owners  and players need to accept that the game needs to constantly adapt and change and test and evolve to population and who that population is and style of population so there would never be static one thing at a time dev - what's good for low pop vets isn't (and wasn't back when) necessarily good for high pop newbs (as in the beginning, as at steam launch)  and so on. 

And so we run through no AOs/ AOs; player truck ms, ms, inf fru, back to truck ms;  no fbs, easy fbs to kill, harder fbs to kill; perma-garrisons; toes; mix of both... and ever onwards. Behind it all, its basic FPS capture the flag, everything else is chrome.

I applaud and thank CRS2 and the current positive suggestion players for trying to adapt and overcome with an 18 year old historic relic. 

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chewing on chopsticks is awesome...

 

guys, this is a good thread. its been fun reading what you guys have to say

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Now that figures are out for a couple of campaign.. very interesting to see.. Thanks and S! to @choad for taking the time out of his own day to make this tool! 

The Absolute number who have logged into a side has been more or less the same... (indeed in the last 2 maps, the winning side had less numbers ... but WAY more TOM from each player) 47% vs 53% and 48% vs %52 ... 

I am sure there are many reasons that can be made, i.e green tags logging in to losing side and logging out maybe? or perhaps veterans logging in and are not motivated enough to follow through .. or lack of HC to place AOs and hence numbers not staying.. none of that is the subject of what I have been talking about in this theory however..

still very limited data with 2 maps so far but be interesting to see what comes out after say 10-20 maps.

S!

 

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Very rarely have I read every post on a topic. I have on this one. Good comments and work all around! S!

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On 05/03/2019 at 6:41 PM, potthead said:

Now that figures are out for a couple of campaign.. very interesting to see.. Thanks and S! to @choad for taking the time out of his own day to make this tool! 

The Absolute number who have logged into a side has been more or less the same... (indeed in the last 2 maps, the winning side had less numbers ... but WAY more TOM from each player) 47% vs 53% and 48% vs %52 ... 

I am sure there are many reasons that can be made, i.e green tags logging in to losing side and logging out maybe? or perhaps veterans logging in and are not motivated enough to follow through .. or lack of HC to place AOs and hence numbers not staying.. none of that is the subject of what I have been talking about in this theory however..

still very limited data with 2 maps so far but be interesting to see what comes out after say 10-20 maps.

S!

 

Sup Folks, I still pass by once in a while.

Pott:  I did the overall players count thing way back in the C60's & C70's era, when trying to confirm the "axis bench" theory.  I also did it over maybe as many as a dozen campaigns...

I have no direct idea about breakdowns now... But from what I have read in this thread... the pattern appears to be similar to my findings back then.

Boring: I did this by scraping the killed/killedby stats of the top 100 sortie players, and merging all the data into a spread sheet.. and yes it took a LONG time to compile without a formal tool.

I went looking for the sheets, I did.. cant find them, lost in the ghosts of hard drive's past, however I recollect the following:


-- Axis did have a significantly higher number of total players, compared to Allied,  It was about a 55%/45% Split roughly across the duration.

-- Total pop was over 2000 players (Both sides added together)  over the course of a campaign back in the early 60's, it tapered off consistently throughout the 60's, taking a more significant plunge in the early 70's when TZ3 started to fall apart in earnest.

-- Never did Allied have more total players than Axis
-- In allied wins the number narrowed, closer to 52%/48%, but always in Axis Majority

-- Allied wins were usually driven by a core of 30-40 players pulling insanely LUDACRIOUS amounts of sorties and TOM, if they were not active, it ended up an Axis win

-- BOTH SIDES - required some key leaders to be quite active to see a win.  Leadership being required is a constant on either side.
-- Axis wins often saw the unique players per side imbalance up to almost 60%/40%.

-- Essentially for an Allied win, it took a real concerted effort from Leadership and its vet playerbase... Axis just needed the leaders in place more than anything, the extra depth of player numbers, meant not so much effort was placed on a few.


I also looked at the side switcher factor, given I had a series of rolling campaign stats... and was absolutely stunned when I found so few people actually swapped sides. Between campaigns.... (Less than 4-5% of people swapping across) and nearly nobody, during a campaign...    However what was of note was those swapping were often "known" tags... the players you recognise, and groan, when they kill you... which is why the issue appeared perhaps larger then it actually was.

From experience of leading both sides at some point or another, I always found it easier to lead Axis, mainly due to the numbers depth...  But the way the map links fall in the middle of the map were easier to drive as well, with the Liege Pivot, and things like the Wellin-Boullion link... As well as a steady number of choke points to obtain as you move westwards... You could grind it out as Axis...  Allies, mostly needed to snatch n grab a swag of towns in reasonably quick succession, to be able to form a defendable line, before consolidating for period.   

As far as TZ3 goes... I perservered for a long time in the face of falling numbers....  Once it got down to about 30 a side, simply couldn't really do anything... 4 decent guys could snuff out an attack setup in around 5-10 minutes...  And given at that level of pop your lucky if you find 2 people willing to set anything up... It ends up in a constant state of setting up attacks, and players just logging out during the 20-30 minute windows that constantly occurred during objective shifts...   I compensated for a while by having about 4-5 accounts of my own (Pott does this as well)... and driving multiple trucks at once... and whilst FRU's could be rebuilt by ML's that helped maintain spawn points... (That mechanic had its own issues of course, no argument for it being gone, but it did prop up TZ3) ..  Eventually though ... even that was not enough...  

Anyhoo, Im heading off the topic...
So stay south of Antwerp and have fun...

S!

Kare

Edited by karellean

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Howdee K!

 

Folks, K is effectively the Allied counterpart to Potthead, and along with a part-time acolyte in Z held up the Allied end of TZ3 for years during the post-Anzacs period.   He singlehandedly kept the TZ3 lights on and the boogie man away for CRS Rats 1.0, who IMO did not give him proper due for his efforts and value to the community and company for the simple fixes he asked for.

Listen carefully to EVERYTHING he says, just like Potthead.

When I have been pushing Pop Neutrality, I have been thinking largely of K's quixotic fight against the inevitable. 

 

K, Rats 2.0 have actually instituted pop neutrality of a sort, cap timers driven by population mostly.  They monkey with it because as you might imagine, crutching on one primary timer tool creates too much frustration for the overpopped.  Please look into that and we can take it up in a separate thread, I don't want to taint Potthead's excellent thread with the likely poisonous posts that would follow doing it here.

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6 hours ago, karellean said:

However what was of note was those swapping were often "known" tags... the players you recognise

we use side chat and target more often, substituting it for squad chat...

 

that 5% is surprising. forgot just how prevalent side bias is.

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On 14/03/2019 at 2:58 PM, Kilemall said:

K, Rats 2.0 have actually instituted pop neutrality of a sort, cap timers driven by population mostly.  They monkey with it because as you might imagine, crutching on one primary timer tool creates too much frustration for the overpopped.  Please look into that and we can take it up in a separate thread, I don't want to taint Potthead's excellent thread with the likely poisonous posts that would follow doing it here.

S! Kile,

Yeah I am aware  of the mechanics change. Not that I have played with it much...  And yep... Potthead's population thread deserves better then having a mechanics discussion in it...
If I get a chance Ill do a couple of days research...

Kare

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I just want to say I was really disappointed in the sunday event, I hopped on around 9am to play some and see how many people were in game for the event, I was dismayed to find out that the event hadn't even started, and wouldn't start for another 5 hours. I didn't check how long it was going to last but I came home around 10pm and logged in again only to discover no new units were unlocked for me, and that the event must've ended some time inbetween. As much as I wanted to join the party and play with everyone who showed up, I was unable to due to the time window. I hope for future events this lasts for at the very least the full day, as not every one of your players will be able to fit such a time into their already busy day.

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3 hours ago, karellean said:

S! Kile,

Yeah I am aware  of the mechanics change. Not that I have played with it much...  And yep... Potthead's population thread deserves better then having a mechanics discussion in it...
 

Since the breakup of Antwerp and Brussels into sectors there have been multi-day ongoing battles back and forth, this recent campaign. All that was really required was for either - or in a few cases BOTH - HCs to drop the AOs.  At one point there were 2 Axis and 1 Allied AOs up on 3 of the 4 sectors in Brux at the same time. 

No set up, no fbs required, no fms really needed (though helpful). Just a simple big city mostly inf and light tank battle lasting for hours and eventually 2-3 days overall in Brux. 

Understand that some people dislike the sectors, other people dislike fighting in big cities - but for some of the newer players I spoke with, they liked it. Just pick a cp/mission, spawn in and there was the fight. Some of them just liked wandering around the city and finding weird places to hide/snipe from. Whatever, there was continuous action. 

I'm not sure if its good or bad or if anything can be learned from this quite different 'spawn in and fight' example of these two cities, compared with the somewhat more lugubrious current requirements for a 'normal' AO: discussion of AO, driving of trucks, setting of FMS, staking out a ZOC, grouping up to cap, calling for armour, etc.  (or in lowpop, driving a truck and dying before setting fms, or setting fms and its camped in 30secs). 

But these recent big city sector fights felt different to me than the last 15 years and were somewhat reminiscent of the old highpop squad-controlled map sector days, even without big numbers. 

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Just Checked in... and Out -- Details will be in PM for you Kile (if that still works)

 

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TZ3 has caused disdain for many allies over the course of the past few years. with them able too take lots of key towns during their Time zone, towns like Antwerp and Brussles.  These towns were probably fought over during the other TZs and battles lasted i remember one was 12 hours. Log in the next day and find out it fell in 30 minutes. It is that disparity in ability too dictate the map wins really as that what these captures do.. they end up creating shortage of #s for allies and the map rolls swiftly west.  I almost quit the game a year ago over this very thing. I saw no hope of allies ever winning another campaign without serious help from the axis side. (Whips has been key parts of  any allied wins over the past 2 years)  This fear has born out in reality as nothing has really changed with capture timers being tied too population. What is still the same is the ability of the OP Side during One TZ Too control the map. It is still happening too this very day.  Correct me if i am wrong.    anyone!

 

 

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2 hours ago, rebel357 said:

TZ3 has caused disdain for many allies over the course of the past few years. with them able too take lots of key towns during their Time zone, towns like Antwerp and Brussles.  These towns were probably fought over during the other TZs and battles lasted i remember one was 12 hours. Log in the next day and find out it fell in 30 minutes. It is that disparity in ability too dictate the map wins really as that what these captures do.. they end up creating shortage of #s for allies and the map rolls swiftly west.  I almost quit the game a year ago over this very thing. I saw no hope of allies ever winning another campaign without serious help from the axis side. (Whips has been key parts of  any allied wins over the past 2 years)  This fear has born out in reality as nothing has really changed with capture timers being tied too population. What is still the same is the ability of the OP Side during One TZ Too control the map. It is still happening too this very day.  Correct me if i am wrong.    anyone!

CRS keeps backing off the cap timers and not fixing the SD bugs and not spreading the PN pain so no one thing is Too Much.  The FMS move up close is going to be another overpop godsend, already saw that in play. 

And cap timers were NEVER supposed to hand underpopped sides victory to balance campaign outcomes, only to provide an opportunity to attack equally even if underpop.  Smart play wins.

Now if all the vets are driven off, then smart play is not likely to happen, it starts with the sort of thing Potthead is talking about.  But if there is no PN, there is no chance for that to occur with any regularity.

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On 3/18/2019 at 7:59 AM, karellean said:

Just Checked in... and Out -- Details will be in PM for you Kile (if that still works)

 

Wassup yo been long time man 

Edited by Jsilec

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5 hours ago, rebel357 said:

TZ3 has caused disdain for many allies over the course of the past few years.

yeah, loosing 10+ towns and 3 divs was BS

i'm not as invested in campaigns anymore, but when i was it was like all our gameplay in tz1&2 didn't have any value

 

also, the guys from tz1 get too much flakk for their map moving (in either direction). they were simply better players than the rest of the time zones. they got caught in the tz3 cull hard.

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On 23/03/2019 at 6:04 AM, Jsilec said:

Wassup yo been long time man 

Busy building a career n stuff Jsil...

Had an interest.. so looked in...

Observational Notes (Factors in TZ3 pop levels, there was some other stuff not pop related Ill leave out):

1. Spawn Delay Bug
Underpop getting SD, sighted again inside 30 mins of logging in...  Same old problem I flagged maybe 4 years back... That was the last straw for many TZ3 players...  Occurs when Pop level reaches around 15-20...  SD Algorithm doesn't handle sharp swings in numbers that can occur that time of night...  

2. Netcode 3 and TZ3
Also first time Ive  had to use Netcode 3, and found for my ~240-260ms latency (West Coast Australia)
I could not even get cleanly out of the CP without constantly clipping into things, was a struggle to walk out in itself... let alone shoot anything...
I am sure NC3 fixes the laggy warping inf for those on low ping, so understand why it is in there... So to be clear, I understand fully, that  I am a victim of circumstances with that, not any Devs fault...

NC3 likely has less of an impact on TZ3 East Coast Australian who can get 190-220ms  and probably fall under the threshold for a number of lag protection mechanisms Netcode applies, so they don't feel it as much...
Backing this statement:  I game for about 2 weeks of the year on connections over there, and don't feel as much pain... Haven't tried WWIIOL under NC3 there yet though, it probably ok in the cities, but anyone regionally will be as bad off as I am...


My NC3/ Geographic Context:
I am probably the only WWIIOL player in West Australia, and arguably the furthermost from anyone to the server...
I have a similar experience in almost every other game in recent times though... Network coding everywhere has changed, expecting people to have better connections and punishing those with bad ping...
Netcode cant fix the  Laws of physics (distance/speed of light) which dictate I wont get much better than 230ms even with a ping optimizer... Older versions of Networking Code often used to be more tolerant then what they are today of higher pings, So I could get by...   Some games/servers even refuse me access straight up these days, as I can't get under 200ms... 

 

Regardless of the above not being anyone's fault., and most won't have an experience as bad as mine, Netcode 3  probably hasn't helped any TZ3 players either, and therefore should be considered as a factor affecting TZ3 population.


 Stay South of Antwerp and Have Fun...

S!

Kare

Edited by karellean

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due to a variety of factors the TZ3 rolls have been magnified

I don't want to rustle too many jimmies here, but there is the way people in the forums and CRS think that the game should be played, then there is the real way to play the game, and this disconnect has resulted in almost the direct opposite effect of what the people have intended with their game changes:

  • the population penalties buff the side with more experienced players, more organized players, and better supplied players...so a struggling team with no vets, no squads and a bad flag movement or two will find itself penalized, hence the "underpop" side getting slammed and alleging that something has been miscalculated when it's really not
  • the penalty is determined by players spawned in to the game world, so the goal is to stay spawned in as little as possible
  • the cap timer penalty/buff cannot help the underpop side if they can't get inside the depots
  • teaming up and capturing a depot is the most retarded way to capture and is at low pop is actually penalized, don't ever team up if you do it had better be 2-3 cutters and one capper
  • the best way to capture is to put one person in each depot and just go AFK
  • frequently the number of depots that have to be defended exceeds the number of available defenders, so unless 80% of the TZ3 allied team is sitting inside literally staring at gray walls (and contributing to population count) then there will be open depots
  • with the new armybase bunker one SMG can easily hold against several people trying to cap (or recap), this means that if the underpop side during TZ3 leaves a bunker open or the one HC guarding is looking at map then they are not retaking that bunker
  • defense has been made easier, so fewer towns are captured during US prime
  • setting a FMS is so hard that the underpop team cannot get off its back and change momentum
  • FBs now have a massive amount of health, so the underpop team cannot even get to the point where they have attack options
  • defense has been made easier, cutoff towns surrender automatically, AO limits are lower, and there are special AO prohibitions on soft captures, so there is an extreme payoff now for cutting off towns, I mean prime time is 2 AOs but with a cutoff you can capture 15+ towns at once
  • cutoff mechanics don't care about population, so you can burst population and make a move, then turtle for eight hours while the other team is technically overpop, can't attack and just watches their towns surrender

so yeah just about everything made to address the TZ3 problem has made it worse

not that it matters too much though, because the same people complaining about lowpop rolls during TZ3 were complaining about the huge combined-arms attacks that euro prime axis players would put on, it was never about balance or quality of gameplay it was about losing and the complaints should have been held in that context rather than elevated to some pedestal

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