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Fix the pop, fix the game?

35 posts in this topic

17 minutes ago, OLDZEKE said:

I don't play other games, don't realy have the time. My grandson plays about every ww2 themed game available. Now what I've noticed with him is he waits a queue until he can spawn. Seems to me he waits way more than we do with SD. So I guess a option might be setup a queue system where you could only spawn the underpop or wait until sides balanced to within x%. To me that would suck but maybe I'm just old and out of the loop?

 

Queued spawning has been recommended in the past by me if not by others as well.  I think it's a natural match for what WWIIOL tries to accomplish.  

 

There's certainly some finer points that need some thinking about, but that'd be my choice forward.  Anything else in terms of forced spawning is hard to sell while the game is subscription-based.  

 

Can you imagine WoW PvP servers telling Horde players that they couldn't log into their Horde toons and/or only play PvP with their alt-Alliance toons (if they even have any) until the PvP situation becomes more balanced?  WoW would go from MMO to MMR: Massively Multiplayer Riot.  

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1 hour ago, OLDZEKE said:

To me that would suck but maybe I'm just old and out of the loop?

Nope not old.  Some or a lot of those games are either B2P or P2W games.  For a subscription based game like this that wouldnt fly.  You would see a wave of rage here in the forums

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Could not squads coordinate with CRS what side they intend to play in a campaign and advise how many players they will, on average, bring. This way a call can be made "we need more players on side-x for the campaign please". Indies sign up for a side too.

Currently I try to pick the side that lost the last campaign and play for that side. I used to login under either side during campaigns but you get the "side-switcher" remarks. I recently tried going to underpop side but its not fun getting hammered all the time and the differences in overpop vs under seem to be substantial anymore. There is also the option just to not login and that's been a option chosen a little more here lately despite subscribing to a starter account (via steam since that's where I have some DLCs).    

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2 hours ago, Capco said:

Queued spawning has been recommended in the past by me if not by others as well.  I think it's a natural match for what WWIIOL tries to accomplish.  

 

There's certainly some finer points that need some thinking about, but that'd be my choice forward.  Anything else in terms of forced spawning is hard to sell while the game is subscription-based.  

 

Can you imagine WoW PvP servers telling Horde players that they couldn't log into their Horde toons and/or only play PvP with their alt-Alliance toons (if they even have any) until the PvP situation becomes more balanced?  WoW would go from MMO to MMR: Massively Multiplayer Riot.  

I think CRS brings Queued spawning in , I would quit. Staring at a hold screen is not my kind of fun. The SD we have is a minor nuisance, then a Queued spawn option.

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 There are a few problems that are really hard to overcome. #1 is nigh impossible...

1. For reasons that I can't fathom, most gamers who play WWII games prefer to play Axis. It has been this way for years. I have seen it in other games. There was even a forum poll done on the Armchair Generals forums a few years back, asking folks which side they would want to play in a WWII game. The result was overwhelmingly Axis. Some reasons given were the belief that the German weapons were better, and that many people were tired of WWII games that only offered an Allied perspective.

2. Sidelocks rarely work. There are a lot of other things to do out there. If people go to log into a game and they can't get in to play with their friends, they are going to go find another game to play with those friends. Very few people are willing to sit around hoping for someone else to die to get in game. And if they spend 10 minutes waiting, then play for 5 minutes, die and get dumped into a queue again? They're probably out of there.

3. Statistics. This is a BIG one. Our current gaming culture in most games says.." If you don't make the top of the leaderboards... you SUCK LOSER". People are so used to it, that they bring that outlook to our game... Many just want to win... they don't care about which side wins... so long as they are on that side. It ups their statistics... the numbers are bigger when you're winning. And I'm not talking about side swappers per se. Just folks that care more about the leaderboards/ stats than anything else. One example we have seen of this is when a campaign is lopsided and almost over, and those on the losing side stop logging  in, and people from the winning side make posts about how upset they are that they don't have anyone to fight.

4. Friends. If all your buddies play on one side... you want to play with them. It's more fun to play with friends. Since most gamers prefer Axis...their friends who join are more likely to play Axis. Most of the long term veteran players seem to be dedicate Axis in part because of this.

5.  Recruitment... I'm not sure why this is... but the Axis squads recruit incredibly hard in comparison to Allied squads. I've even seen some post inside an Allied squad;s recruiting thread to try to entice away a prospective Allied player. More Allied squads recruiting and growing might help.


The ONLY way we will ever get the population to even out is if we start getting a substantial rise in the number of dedicated Allied players WITHOUT a similar rise in the number of Axis players, and KEEP them playing as Allied. We've already seen that an overall pop rise in the game just maintains or exacerbates the issue. I do not believe that any artificial side rule will really make things change. The only exception I have seen was in small side matched games that would not start unless both sides had a minimum number of players. When given a choice of play evenly or no one plays, then and only then, it has worked. But in such games there was no real effect afterwards, so sides didn't matter beyond the current match.

You just can't make people play on a side they don't want to play on...no matter what you do.

 

 

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Variable AI. What if extra AI were deployed for the underpop side?

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43 minutes ago, gavalink said:

Variable AI. What if extra AI were deployed for the underpop side?

I like that idea. I personally love the concept. Many of the other players would HATE it. They want a pure PVP game, regardless of the offsidedness.

Unfortunately, I honestly do not believe that it's possible for this game. WWII Online has too many variables.

Consider that in games that DO have AI to even sides... the maps are small and contained, deathmatch style. Consider that the servers have to control each and every one of them. That is pretty resource intensive. Now consider the CRS servers trying to control AI in every garrison town on their map. Think about the memory needed.

Programming: CRS has enough to keep updating the game. Now consider what it would take to program AI to do everything that we do. How will it decide to do para drops? WILL it do para drops? Will AI know to set FMSs, and where will it try to do so?  What happens if an AI sets an FMS and dies? Will it drop the mission? What supply will AI use up? This last is pretty important. This is one of the only games that truly relies on attrition and supply levels. If AIs grab all the tanks and roll out and get killed in the first 10 minutes... what then?

Some folks have even asked for AI Navy convoys and Bomber raids on factories. (I kind of like this last)

Now it could be argued that a small number of AI could be set to help defend underpopped towns and cities. They could be relatively static. And it might help. Some have asked for placeable AI PPOs for defense. (Again I kind of like this if it were an option only allowed to an underpopped side.)

But I truly doubt that CRS would ever try any of these, because too many of its core supporters hate the idea. Most players only want pure PVP (They despise the little AI we do have), regardless of the population issues.

S!S!S!

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30 minutes ago, Quincannon said:

I like that idea. I personally love the concept. Many of the other players would HATE it. They want a pure PVP game, regardless of the offsidedness.

Which is hilarious, since in any given town there is frequently more "AI" than people, it's just so useless as to be ignored (literally ei sniping at you from inside your own emplaced (AI) guns.

32 minutes ago, Quincannon said:

Consider that in games that DO have AI to even sides... the maps are small and contained, deathmatch style. Consider that the servers have to control each and every one of them. That is pretty resource intensive. Now consider the CRS servers trying to control AI in every garrison town on their map. Think about the memory needed.

I'm unsure what the overhead would be, but the current "huge" WW2OL map ends up being a series of vignettes in tiny, identical areas, and literally all the most important gameplay happens inside a handful of different rooms (mostly the CPs).

Honestly, the only possible solution that results in a game like ww2ol being a "persistent battlefield" is loads of computer controlled units. They could in fact be fixed, and players either take them over (inf, etc, along the front), or a few AI in watch their fronts, and players spawn in along a line next to them.

1 hour ago, Quincannon said:

Now it could be argued that a small number of AI could be set to help defend underpopped towns and cities. They could be relatively static. And it might help. Some have asked for placeable AI PPOs for defense. (Again I kind of like this if it were an option only allowed to an underpopped side.)

I think everyone should have it, but the specifics could be a side balance thing---the detection range, engagement range, accuracy, and fields of fire could all be tied to pop status.

As I have said in many thread, I think what actually matters is LOCAL pop imbalance, as weighted by the meta units involved (ie: 2 Brigades attack 1 Brigade, so ideally there should be something like 2X as many attackers as defenders in that AO). Tie this AI adjustments to those calculations.

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3 hours ago, gavalink said:

Variable AI. What if extra AI were deployed for the underpop side?

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