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Sowelu

Balancing sides

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25 minutes ago, APE said:

Guess so. I'm not a fan of trying to artificially control numbers regardless, but if they were to, would look much different depending if the maps could handle 100-500-1000+ players.

I don't think it is possible to avoid "artificially controlling numbers" in an mmo. A successful mmo will have tens of thousands players, or hundreds of thousands, or more if they are lucky. They can't all be in the same place at once. They have to be spread out somehow.

But if Crowfall could handle 1000+ players in a zone, how would that impact the topic being discussed in this thread--- the balancing of sides?


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39 minutes ago, APE said:

Once the core game is ready, I can't see individual roles taking a tremendous amount of time to pump out (even 3 at a time). Even with the delay of several roles, I believe launch will still have more options then Crowfall.

I enjoyed DAoC and WAR (as much as I could) along with RvR so factions work for me. It solves or removes several issues that happen with GvG formats. On paper and what they've shown so far looks a lot more promising then what ACE has focused on. Time will tell though as both have a ways to go before launching.

Dregs/GvG sounds fun but with the lack of full loot, small zone/populations, lackluster siege/combat/character building, not likely I'll play at all if CU pulls off half of what it is planned.

CU is only releasing 6/10 classes for its factions and that’s a huge problem for me.  They are releasing a PvP MMO without stealth classes?  Da soft-shelled turtle...

 

 


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

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1 hour ago, mandalore said:

CU is only releasing 6/10 classes for its factions and that’s a huge problem for me.  They are releasing a PvP MMO without stealth classes?  Da soft-shelled turtle...

6 per side, but 18 total. That's still a good amount to choose from if you are open to any side. Obviously guild choice decreases these. Still the roles/classes seem more diverse and unique compared to the majority of what Crowfall has. Along with the spell crafting system, banes/boons and all the other things planned. I'd take 6 high quality choices over 10+ meh options. Lacking stealth is an issue, but the plans which go beyond regular stealth seen in every other game hopefully make up for the wait. Sadly none of these games nail it all one way or another.

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1 hour ago, Jah said:

I don't think it is possible to avoid "artificially controlling numbers" in an mmo. A successful mmo will have tens of thousands players, or hundreds of thousands, or more if they are lucky. They can't all be in the same place at once. They have to be spread out somehow.

But if Crowfall could handle 1000+ players in a zone, how would that impact the topic being discussed in this thread--- the balancing of sides?

Technical limitations control things, but typically there isn't issues beyond game/server opening when there are lines and overloaded areas. PVP in such games usually doesn't bring about massive enough numbers to cause an issue. Some games use whatever term for making duplicates of a zone to deal with overload until the pop thins out. Albion is one of the few I recall having limits put to the test as it actually sees larger numbers trying to stuff themselves into the same area. A large enough game world and spread out objectives should decrease the need for mass numbers to be in the same place. Structured times and limited siege events however invite such issues.

As far as balancing populations, is it based on population itself, who is winning, or some other factors? Lots to look at when brainstorming. Believe the OP and some other suggestions don't look at the full picture.

Ex: 200/300/500 split. The 500 could be focusing on harvesting/crafting/PVE and not PVP or victory conditions. I wouldn't want to see them given PVP buffs despite them technically losing the campaign at the moment. Nor would I want the 200/300 sides (one of which is winning) receiving PVP buffs to combat people not focused on PVP.

This issue applies to any zone/campaign limit. Also with numbers that large, 50-100 here and there spread across a large map or entire campaign aren't likely to be as much of an issue as a population <100 split three ways. Which goes back to the same problem, people want a fix for issues that will change come launch. They'll exist in some form, but will have to see many more things in place to know what needs to happen.

1000 limit would make it difficult to do any hard caps on a faction, while something much smaller would allow devs to set limits easier. I'd rather have technical limitations and lag be the factor here, not something in place to try and make losers have a better chance.

The assumption that numbers = winning might be true sometimes, but not always obviously. Trying to make gamey mechanics to swing things one way or another, especially not earned, isn't what I would want.

I'm fine with 998 from the same faction rolling into one campaign or single map and slaying the poor random 2 players not with them. However the victory conditions and rewards should keep this from going on for extended time or be worth it beyond the short term giggle. Not sure ACE has this figured out though. Next milestone hopefully brings more to the experience and makes this something worth playing long term. If they can't even get 1k to show up during beta then I doubt there will be much of a future for this thing.

Edited by APE

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Numbers is not always everything.

We've seen this on both NA and EU, time and time again people win outnumbered fights, because there's almost always a way to win outnumbered fights, even when it comes to over double your numbers.

What this thread is ultimately trying to do, is punish those who actually put in the work to figure out what they can do in their current situation.

My guild has been there, we used to fight 5 vs 20, later 10 vs 40 etc. but we kept our goals realistic, kept working and kept practicing.
Now we suddenly have the numbers to compete with any current guild in the game, and now our enemies have given up and are taking a break or hiding.

The 'imbalance' have always been that it's casuals vs hardcore minded people - and when the hardcore minded people put in a lot of extra work with practicing, theorycrafting, min/maxing etc. it starts to show.
If those hardcore people then start to have even numbers with the casuals, they will almost always win, because the casuals just haven't practiced as much - they just don't try as hard.

But as mentioned it's not always about numbers, it also come down to other factors such as leadership, experience, tactics and just outperforming your enemies in a fight.

When you start asking for a buff so you can eventually one shot your opponents, then you do not really want to win.
You just think it's too hard to put in the time and work to figure out what you can actually do, and how you will get there.

Start doing your homework, start practicing.

Setting a realistic goal for what you want to achieve in your current situation, is a great way to start out.
You might not win the current campaign you are in, but luckily campaigns start anew after a month.

Edited by Yumx

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14 minutes ago, Sowelu said:

This

Actually..

Quote

When you start asking for a buff so you can eventually one shot your opponents, then you do not really want to win.
You just think it's too hard to put in the time and work to figure out what you can actually do, and how you will get there.

This..

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20 hours ago, APE said:

This assumes much at this point. 

Is tethering export allowances to campaign success no longer part of the ultimate design?  Once upon a time (a year ago when I was paying closer attention on a regular basis), this was clearly part of the plan and I haven't seen anything to contradict that, though I admit I have missed a LOT of the monthly updates in the past year and so may have missed that detail in the summaries I've read...

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36 minutes ago, starrshipcs said:

Is tethering export allowances to campaign success no longer part of the ultimate design?  Once upon a time (a year ago when I was paying closer attention on a regular basis), this was clearly part of the plan and I haven't seen anything to contradict that, though I admit I have missed a LOT of the monthly updates in the past year and so may have missed that detail in the summaries I've read...

There has been no comment but it’s clear the winning team doesn’t need an in game advantage from winning, especially if that advantage will push them towards winning again. 


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

wiDfyPp.png

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1 minute ago, mandalore said:

There has been no comment but it’s clear the winning team doesn’t need an in game advantage from winning, especially if that advantage will push them towards winning again. 

To me, what you just said was "the winning team doesn't deserve to win anything"...

If exports are flat and not affected by the campaign victory status then PvP is, itself, the primary incentive to PvP in a campaign (with the only other incentive I can think of being the Keep crafting bonus).  That is fine for short term, for some people, but seems like a seriously short-sighted move as an MMO business model, particularly for this game.  It provides very little incentive to stay with a campaign to the end for a lot of players, as the collector-minded players will export out once winter begins and the loot starts to get scarce and all that is left to do is PvP for the sake of PvP.  It also does not align with their credo of "big risk, big reward" in any way, because the only ultimate campaign reward will essentially be an imaginary participation award.  Where is the fun in that?

I apologize if I have misinterpreted, and please correct me if I have, but talking about not rewarding winning teams on a thread about giving boosts to losing teams all sounds sounds a lot like preemptive sour grapes.

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6 hours ago, Yumx said:


Now we suddenly have the numbers to compete with any current guild in the game, and now our enemies have given up and are taking a break or hiding. 

 

 


When you start asking for a buff so you can eventually one shot your opponents, then you do not really want to win.
You just think it's too hard to put in the time and work to figure out what you can actually do, and how you will get there

On the first part. More likely WoWC and AAU have soaked up players from all games. Theme park games have ruined the ability for your average player to make up their own content. So they are constantly chasing the next DLC. 

 

On the second part. Getting punished for winning is asinine, agreed. To me doing such a thing would mean confirming the system in place is poorly designed. Considering how low population numbers have been the last year, you can’t really determine if the system is flawed or not. The game with a 100 players is vastly different from one with 1000 or even 10000. I hope 5.110 brings some healthy numbers into the game. 

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4 minutes ago, oneply said:

Considering how low population numbers have been the last year, you can’t really determine if the system is flawed or not. The game with a 100 players is vastly different from one with 1000 or even 10000. I hope 5.110 brings some healthy numbers into the game. 

It should bring in a lot of players initially, every big patch ever has had a big spike in population, and then it slowly dwindles down - what we should hope for is that they stick around after the initial hype.

But the patch has a lot of great stuff to keep people around, dregs, frostweaver, full wipe etc.

 

Crossing fingers and preparing 😁


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1 hour ago, starrshipcs said:

To me, what you just said was "the winning team doesn't deserve to win anything"...

If exports are flat and not affected by the campaign victory status then PvP is, itself, the primary incentive to PvP in a campaign (with the only other incentive I can think of being the Keep crafting bonus).  That is fine for short term, for some people, but seems like a seriously short-sighted move as an MMO business model, particularly for this game.  It provides very little incentive to stay with a campaign to the end for a lot of players, as the collector-minded players will export out once winter begins and the loot starts to get scarce and all that is left to do is PvP for the sake of PvP.  It also does not align with their credo of "big risk, big reward" in any way, because the only ultimate campaign reward will essentially be an imaginary participation award.  Where is the fun in that?

I apologize if I have misinterpreted, and please correct me if I have, but talking about not rewarding winning teams on a thread about giving boosts to losing teams all sounds sounds a lot like preemptive sour grapes.

The same alliance on NA has won every campaign or trial for the past year and half (it’s like 12 or 13 consecutive wins).  Some of them close, some of them snowballs.  You’re arguing that with every win we should have gotten more of an advantage over the players we already beat Bc since we won we deserve a prize?  There should be no in game advantage for winning.  A cosmetic reward: titles, weapon skins, mounts, badges, armor dyes, banners, eq stuff are all appropriate for winning but an advantage that helps the team that just won continue to win is the very definition of Uncle Bob and is bad. 


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

wiDfyPp.png

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3 hours ago, mandalore said:

The same alliance on NA has won every campaign or trial for the past year and half (it’s like 12 or 13 consecutive wins).  Some of them close, some of them snowballs.  You’re arguing that with every win we should have gotten more of an advantage over the players we already beat Bc since we won we deserve a prize?  There should be no in game advantage for winning.  A cosmetic reward: titles, weapon skins, mounts, badges, armor dyes, banners, eq stuff are all appropriate for winning but an advantage that helps the team that just won continue to win is the very definition of Uncle Bob and is bad. 

I feel your frustration at the seeming one-sidedness of the wins in the current test environment as that is very much an accurate observation at the macro level (see @Yumx's vid above for counter-example of a specific battle, I've heard others make similar claims), but a few notes there:

1) There are, seemingly, only a few active guilds at any time doing a majority of the recruiting, and those guilds mostly have gone Chaos which results in Chaos heavy numbers.  I learned this for myself recently when I went guild shopping.  Unless Crowfall goes down in flames shortly after launch I doubt this will remain the case for long after launch regardless of what any outstanding mechanics may do to alleviate the situation.

2) For loners, such as our vast group of "4G_" friends, joining the obviously larger faction also makes sense because they can't have an organized guild to get their back and so it makes it a lot less likely for them to get ganked, which exacerbates the one-sidedness.  They will eventually get a server more suitable for them and will not likely have any effect on the imbalance come go-live.

3) The ONLY advantage the winning team was ever purported to get was a slight advantage on campaign exports.  Obviously the amount of loot ultimately allowed to be imported/exported is yet to determined, but I sincerely doubt that the exporting was ever to be so restricted for losers as to make it so that you can't export your absolute best loot.  Even at that, the import rules in the next campaign are ultimately what will determine just how much of that "advantage" can be put to use in the future, which is a control they already have in place and which is applied without favor to any previous winners.

It is totally possible that this will still be an issue at launch for some campaigns, and that should totally be discussed in detail once the pieces are in place and we can see how it actually works instead of how this limited test version works, but I really just don't see how completely removing the only small boon for winning a campaign really fixes anything but hurt feelings.  It amounts to punishing the winner, especially if any of these proposed balancing mechanisms simultaneously give advantages to the loser, however minor they may be.

Very curious what ACE's most recent stated intentions are here, and also very much looking forward to next version.

 

 

Edited by starrshipcs

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6 minutes ago, starrshipcs said:

3) The ONLY advantage the winning team was ever purported to get was a slight advantage on campaign exports.

In addition to better exports, there was also talk of winning Relics that could grant buffs. And the exports difference wasn't described as slight. In the example given for Shadow campaigns, the winner gets 80% and the loser gets 20%. I wouldn't describe that as a slight advantage.


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1 minute ago, Jah said:

In addition to better exports, there was also talk of winning Relics that could grant buffs. And the exports difference wasn't described as slight. In the example given for Shadow campaigns, the winner gets 80% and the loser gets 20%. I wouldn't describe that as a slight advantage.

That is news to me, and I'd agree that those percentages are not slight.  What type of campaign was Shadow again (faction, guild, free for all)?  Awarding something like that to a faction could be catastrophic to balancing, but awarding something like that to a few individual much less so...  It think it would very much depend on the rules (how many uses, can it be imported to campaign or must be used in EK, can the relic boosts stack, etc.) built around that as to whether that could end up creating a standing imbalance.  

I'd still say lets see how the campaigns ultimately play out before making any judgments there, but I concede that this could potentially create a problematic rolling advantage.  I'm not looking to eliminate ALL rewards for winning but also don't want to see a group truly become unassailable because of campaign rewards.

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However export/import limits are applied they could always be a gating mechanic at the import level. There just can't be too many different campaigns if it splits the playerbase beyond playability, and import limitations as a trend would dictate the value of exports as a reward.

I would prefer to see rewards that focus on EKs rather than cosmetics. IMO gating cosmetics in any way is wasting the resources of the art team or applying a demand to their contributions that might ultimately create conflicts within the game's aesthetic. Badges and mugs are fine, just not sure it is the best reward structure in the long term.

I know Apex leaves a bad taste in a lot of folks mouths but I loved the design of the player cards (or I guess they are called banners) but it would be cool to see aesthetics added to the game in a sort of "end of campaign", "start of campaign" highlight of VIP (not the sub) players or guilds.

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49 minutes ago, Lightsig said:

I would prefer to see rewards that focus on EKs rather than cosmetics. IMO gating cosmetics in any way is wasting the resources of the art team or applying a demand to their contributions that might ultimately create conflicts within the game's aesthetic. 

ACE has mentioned cash shop cosmetics multiple times, chances are they wont be awarding those types of items. I know there is pressure to monetize EK's so I would bet that category of rewards is also off limits.

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11 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

ACE has mentioned cash shop cosmetics multiple times, chances are they wont be awarding those types of items. I know there is pressure to monetize EK's so I would bet that category of rewards is also off limits.

I'm purely speaking from my desires as a consumer. I like to look at a product's overall integrity, and I do feel it is immersion breaking to offer cosmetics. As well, I find the incentives created by the success of such sales as problematic, often pushing the envelope to add more skins further and further as time goes on. That genie will definitely not go back in the bottle.

Overall I think developers could enact more creative and meaningful monetization and while maybe that isn't the market trend now, I'd prefer to see trend leaders, not followers.

Edited by Lightsig

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27 minutes ago, Lightsig said:

I'm purely speaking from my desires as a consumer. I like to look at a product's overall integrity, and I do feel it is immersion breaking to offer cosmetics. As well, I find the incentives created by the success of such sales as problematic, often pushing the envelope to add more skins further and further as time goes on. That genie will definitely not go back in the bottle.

Overall I think developers could enact more creative and meaningful monetization and while maybe that isn't the market trend now, I'd prefer to see trend leaders, not followers.

Monetized EK’s means a instant capitalist baron status for those who can shell out rl money.  That sounds like pay to win to anybody not in the esoteric backer circles.


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

wiDfyPp.png

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