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samblack

Faction Population Balancing

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Greetings,

There really needs to be a system to keep the populations of each faction balanced.

I'll give you an example of why: After the April 12 reset, the vast majority of people moved over to the Balance faction on US-Ea. Now they have every fort and the keep, so it's impossible to say, craft armor and weapons to fight for those forts if you're in one of the other factions. We can sneak in and take a fort, but large groups of Balance players just come and take it back immediately.

Thanks!
Justin

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There is no real solution to this problem unfortunately, apart from building up a strong faction yourself. You cannot artificially control or restrict who joins what faction.

As for it being impossible to craft, this is not entirely true. While the other Wrath servers would have a higher ping for someone who normally plays on US-East, it would be possible to go to such a server, join the faction that holds the assets, craft the needed items, and export them to your native server using the Spirit Bank. The same is possible using a crafting station in your own EK, and very soon it will be possible to use the crafting stations in the EKs of others. There are solutions to these problems, though they may not be easy ones.

Unfortunately while throughout much of the test the factions were more or less balanced, or at least, each had one active guild representing them, recently this changed. Myself and others in my guild have noticed this and discussed things we can do ourselves to address this, and some of those things are being tested by some of us...perhaps in future campaigns we will see a better distribution of activity between the factions, but I think the most important thing to consider is that if a faction lacks the ability to take forts and craft, then either it lacks the manpower to do so and the problem has minimal impact, or there are large numbers of players who are affected and they need to work together to change their cirumstance. In the near future, the overall campaign territory will be spread over different continents with unique maps and they will function much like the different servers do now, in some cases you may well find yourself owning no assets and will need to travel to another region to gear up before you can consider claiming anything in that area.

Any system that tries to keep the populations of each faction balanced will mortally wound the game's harcore-pvp sandbox nature. That is not acceptable. :)

Edited by Anthrage

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It is too early to raise this question. Lets wait until all systems are built, we have one playable campaign with win condition and we will see what needs to get where.

P.S. Look at GW2, which tried to balance population/average skill over a few years and ruined their WvW with a few unsuccessful tries.

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6 hours ago, AmaranthGaming said:

It is too early to raise this question. Lets wait until all systems are built, we have one playable campaign with win condition and we will see what needs to get where.

You're right. After I posted this, I thought about it more and it is a bit too early.

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7 hours ago, Anthrage said:

There is no real solution to this problem unfortunately, apart from building up a strong faction yourself. You cannot artificially control or restrict who joins what faction.

That's not really true. You could collect statistics on "who's active" in each faction and base a system off of that information that locks out joining a particular faction if it's X% larger than the other factions. That would be a forced approach. 

Another approach would be something similar, but when you join an OP faction,  a popup alert is shown saying (for example) "Chaos and Order really need your help right now! Consider joining one of these!" Why this would work, is that it seems that the reason why folks all piled in to Balance this round on US-Ea is because Order was OP the last round, so lots of folks decided to move to balance it out (thereby ironically creating a new inbalance lol).

There are mathematical and technical solutions to just about any problem. It's just a question of time, resources and will.
 

7 hours ago, Anthrage said:

As for it being impossible to craft, this is not entirely true. While the other Wrath servers would have a higher ping for someone who normally plays on US-East, it would be possible to go to such a server, join the faction that holds the assets, craft the needed items, and export them to your native server using the Spirit Bank. The same is possible using a crafting station in your own EK, and very soon it will be possible to use the crafting stations in the EKs of others. There are solutions to these problems, though they may not be easy ones.

Well, yes, clearly I could use the import/export process, but the cap of 100 im/exports isn't enough to support this method through 2 weeks - let alone months - of gameplay. So I say this solution is a non-solution.

8 hours ago, Anthrage said:

Any system that tries to keep the populations of each faction balanced will mortally would the game's harcore-pvp sandbox nature. That is not acceptable. :)

Actually it's the total opposite. Having one faction being completely OP ruins the pvp experience, let alone the rest of the experience. Wanna craft? Too bad, no forts. Wanna harvest? Too bad, ganked instantly. Wanna pvp? Cool, good luck in a constant 1-v-4 scenario.
 

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Activity levels change. A faction might have more active players one day and then fewer the next.

Also, I checked /who shortly after you posted this thread and 14 of 32 were Order. I’m not sure the server is as overrun with Balance as you think.


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8 minutes ago, Jah said:

Activity levels change. A faction might have more active players one day and then fewer the next.

Also, I checked /who shortly after you posted this thread and 14 of 32 were Order. I’m not sure the server is as overrun with Balance as you think.

Yes, as you said activity changes.

Shortly after I posted, most of balance logged off and we got a few more players logging in on order. However, during the vast majority of the day (I have a cool job that lets me play this game all day) Balance completely dominated the map.

We even utilized the lull in balance players, made a group and grabbed every single fort and keep on the map. Went to bed, woke up, Balance controls 100% again. It's very clearly and obviously unbalanced.

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40 minutes ago, samblack said:

Yes, as you said activity changes.

Shortly after I posted, most of balance logged off and we got a few more players logging in on order. However, during the vast majority of the day (I have a cool job that lets me play this game all day) Balance completely dominated the map.

We even utilized the lull in balance players, made a group and grabbed every single fort and keep on the map. Went to bed, woke up, Balance controls 100% again. It's very clearly and obviously unbalanced.

Literally two players retook the map for balance because there were 8 people on the server, and none of the other six bothered to defend them.

I was one of the two balance players. One of my guildmates was the other. I assure you the flipping of objectives is not due to a given server being "overrun" by a specific faction. It is most often a result of who was the most bored.

Forts and keeps are hilariously easy to flip right now due to teleport exploits and bugged guards, so don't be suprised that they flip any time there is a change in activity levels


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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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43 minutes ago, samblack said:

It's very clearly and obviously unbalanced.

All it takes is a single group of active players logging on to make a campaign seem unbalanced right now.


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Ok guys. This wasn't a venting session on my part. I saw a problem, I offered a suggestion.

You guys are dismissing my observations and I have no idea why. Like I said, I literally play all day, but whatever. There's an unfortunate trend on the forums, which thankfully is in stark contrast to the in-game community, in which folks offer ideas on the forums and the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go NO YOU'RE WRONG instead of really listening to folks.

So I'm out.

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7 hours ago, samblack said:

Ok guys. This wasn't a venting session on my part. I saw a problem, I offered a suggestion.

You guys are dismissing my observations and I have no idea why. Like I said, I literally play all day, but whatever. There's an unfortunate trend on the forums, which thankfully is in stark contrast to the in-game community, in which folks offer ideas on the forums and the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go NO YOU'RE WRONG instead of really listening to folks.

So I'm out.

pre-alpha isn't really a place to add in faction balancing. there are so few people that log on to test. I'm sure ACE noted your suggestion on keeping balance between the factions. They don't always post to confirm they've read and will add it.

I wouldn't be surprised if by soft release that factions (and similar campaigns) have enforced balance mechanics.


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Camaraderie ~ Loyalty ~ Honor ~ Maturity ~ Integrity ~ Duty

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7 hours ago, samblack said:

folks offer ideas on the forums and the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go NO YOU'RE WRONG instead of really listening to folks.

Ignore the grouchy testing veterans and keep posting your feedback :P The developers need to hear from newer players too.


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yea it was just none of the pvpers on our side were not on in or in the mood to do it ALL the time. It really bothers me when new people say things and don't really spend the time to see and  make judgments in a day or two, later that night we had the hole map and a large pvp group

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Real life populations shrink naturally when they exceed the capacity of a given area to support the population.  In non-human animals the resource is usually food and there is a mass death when there isn't enough (or you know, they have an instinct to jump off a cliff like lemmings).  For human animals the resource seems to be jobs and people move (choose a new faction geographically so to speak) when that happens.

That said, one way to naturally keep balance each faction is to have a finite amount available of some desirable resource (respawning of course) that is only available to each faction and cannot be poached by other factions.  The more people in a single faction the more people that have to compete for the finite resource.

Another way would be to add a bit to the back-story and have everyone on a given faction be a mercenary in the Army of some Lord.  The Lord of the faction pays each person in the faction a certain amount of something valuable (gold, resource, any number of things that people want) in order to fight for the given Lord's faction.  That portion each mercenary gets could be a split of a finite pool.  So for example, if each Lord splits 10,000 Gold, then being on the faction with only 10 people puts 1000 Gold in your pocket this week whereas being on the faction with 1000 people puts 10 Gold in your pocket this week.

Yet another way would be to tinker with the economy a bit and state that lower population has driven down prices at NPC  vendors since they are not able to sell enough of their goods due to the lower population.  As such, NPC vendors in less populated factions might start selling things like intermediate weapons at cut rate prices - which benefits new players on that server by giving them a headstart.

Another alternative is around the lore for this game that I recall was about the various Gods trying to determine superiority.  Who says they can't cheat or try to make things "just" (depending on their various attitudes) and put their finger on the scale?  A God could, for example, make it interesting by giving something like a damage multiplier or reduction in durability loss buff to factions that are disproportionately smaller?  "Oh  my - its just not fair how many Crows are fighting for Chaos right now, let's make it a little more interesting by giving everyone playing Order a 2x speed gathering bonus for basic materials."

The most extreme way to do this would be to have the Gods give out training speed enhancements for playing a certain faction if it got really lopsided.  That would get folks to join quick and bonus would not last for long.

Thoughts?

~Sus.

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There needs to be a reward system in place aside from the winning rewards for the winners of a previous campaign to entice them into joining a different faction. A certain amount of gold would be good or maybe a special 'hero' faction banner you could equip for the duration of the campaign to give buffs for faction members. This would give the some of the population a sort of faction rotation and then maybe once a certain faction gets a certain percentage of more players than the lowest populated faction add another gold reward to 'hire' players to join the lowest faction.

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On 4/14/2018 at 12:47 PM, samblack said:

Ok guys. This wasn't a venting session on my part. I saw a problem, I offered a suggestion.

You guys are dismissing my observations and I have no idea why. Like I said, I literally play all day, but whatever. There's an unfortunate trend on the forums, which thankfully is in stark contrast to the in-game community, in which folks offer ideas on the forums and the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately go NO YOU'RE WRONG instead of really listening to folks.

So I'm out.

Most of the feedback you are getting is true. Activity is based on the community and the community has to be the ones to balance each other out. The only real "lock" is to disable a faction when it reaches a limit. Even still your faction could be the highest populated and yet never hold any keeps because the entire population of that faction doesn't defend or take keeps. The issue being there isn't much to do in the way of design that wouldn't infringe on the authenticity of the games politics and community.

It is also too early in development to accept there is an issue. The population is rather small and of that many people are not actively playing. They would need to stress test with many more players to see how, say a week, would play out population wise.


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