Author Topic: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion  (Read 355 times)

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Offline cest73

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Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« on: October 04, 2017, 08:30:23 AM »
Howdy,
myth goes that, while sinking, Titanic had his orchestra playing all the time...

... so be it, here too  ;)

1.
 Imagine, for a brief moment, You get to an arcade machine and put your coin in.
And You start to play...
after first initial swarms of enemies the 1st emperor emerges and You manage to kill it somehow,...
then the next wave comes,...
...,but wait, it is easier than the one before?
The next also?
The further You go, You get ever more weapons and armor, all the while the enemies stay as weak and emperors even the more so.
And I know some of the readers won't find this picture disturbing, read on...
The best of the arcade games there was IMO was R-Type (Katakis was its "twin" clone on C=64). No way does the above description apply to that title.
Quite the opposite, as the player progresses the game gets increasingly demanding to both the wits and reflexes...
The normal state of affairs.
Case closed.

2.
While modern culture allows many to call them selves "gamer", nothing is further from fact.
It is mere wishful thinking that became commonplace.
In the old day, the term was reserved only for those few in the top ranks of the arcade machine score board.
Other than those, where non existent.

And a true gamer, knows a rotten tomato from the start: bad skill rewarding, wrong game flow, glitches.

The gamer in pretense, however, imagines a game being good only if he or she can win it. Unconditionally. And being unable to win some. declares the game "boring" or "non relevant".

No true gamer ever stops trying to be better, ever stops trying to improve upon it self, ever stops learning, practicing, competing.

It is left as an exercise to the reader to find the group he or she belongs in...  ;)

3.
Our MW:LL has broken "balance".
Whatever that "balance" might mean.
I think it is the "hierarchy" of game elements that is skewed not broken:
- True gamer cant enjoy the game because the absence of increasing difficulty arising from progress
- Moreover the game is full of options to circumvent skill for gain of victory -"OP assets", out of LOS tactics (air assets) etc
- The engine this game is bound to, is close to the limit this game is enjoyable at all (CTD, lag-shiled, ping spikes, lockup on massive brawls, swallowing of key-press-events...)
Any of the above renders certain death to any game community, the difference being only the time frame.
The true problem is, we can't address some of them at all, tickle maybe, but remedy - probably only to an extent.
What bother me the most, is that we don't address those within our reach:

1. As game progresses, the difficulty should also increase with rank - hands down.
2. The amount of tickets an asset is "coined with" should suggest the chances to win in a 1v1 (1BA vs 1Atlas? 1v7?) - hands down.
3. No "out of LOS" unit should be impossible to kill trivially (VTOL <-- ~30x LRM = :death-skull: ) so they should seek lone targets, or learn to fly proper (move in 3D space)
4. I cant for the life of me be persuaded that all game data has one and the same priority, it is just ridiculous.
5. The out f order of packet arrival makes some really "nerve tight" moments of the game leave a bitter taste to some players.
6. What's wrong with key auto repeat in the game? i hold [w] for the whole sequence of an attack and the throttle stays "cemented" as if no key was pressed? only on 2nd or 3rd press it comes back from "hibernation"?

Now don't understand me wrong here, I'm not bashing, or dismissing any of all the efforts put in lately.
I merely decipher what game stats tell You:
Code: [Select]
players are leaving
and
Code: [Select]
Players are not coming back

Judge it for Your self...

Offline DeimosEvotec

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 10:43:05 AM »
4-6 are very difficult with our limited resources.
3 next patch will see anti air buffs maybe reevaluate then?
1 and 2? So what would you suggest? Which gear would you try to adjust?
Sell value will be reduced from 70% to 50% next patch maybe that will help even the income field between dying and selling?
Increase the ticket difference to increase the responsibility for keeping heavier assets alive?
Introduce an new balance mechanic?

Offline cest73

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 09:42:16 PM »
Well, I would rather have an community session on TS3 about any of the issues, but can propose some ideas to be developed upon?

1. We might re-evaluate all assets and give per asset based ticket bill foreach-
No Atlas is on par with BloodAsp let alone Awesome to Daishi

We could do that

And re-introduce back somp OP assets with higher ticket tag on them:
Cougar 2xDSSRM6 could carry tickets of an Bushwacker B?

2.
The instance an BA buys an weapon its ticked tag should go up:
uPPC -- 2tick
uHL --3tick
BA-AC2 --3tick
C8 grenade --1tick for each pair purchased
This would help some, but right now I have concerns regarding aerial pool vs groundbased too:

The changes to one pool affect the balance vs the other, and no one seems to be concerned with the overall picture vs individual satisfaction?

Right now I could literally VTROLL anyone to death with most the assets unable to fend off an vtol, and those able to, nerfed beyond any AA role.

To be AA worthy at all, an asset's presence alone shoud instigate concern if not fear to the flyers on the battle field. Right now it only instigates ridicule ?
The "patriot" has 4 tonnes of ammo, with 50% hit rate it should endanger even the mighty Xerxes, yet it can't down an Hawkmoth - the "lame" Hollander Prime outperforms it?

How about an dual Gauss Rifleman?

Lets try make the Rifleman the LT of flying assets?



Offline DeimosEvotec

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 12:24:56 AM »
I"m not sure why you are making it sound like those mechs have the same ticket value when the wiki clearly states that the Awesome is 11 tickets, the Atlas 13, Bloodasp 15 and Daishi 17.
Reworking tickets and cbill modifier tier into a per variant battle value is an interesting idea but also connected to a lot of work since most assets have 8 variants.
10 tickets for a fully equipped ba seems a bit overkill, that's the same as a medium tier heavy. Unless everything else is also going up in ticket cost.
About anti air, I already told you that it's getting a buff. VTOLs are made to kill lone non aa assets, flying over a team or an aa asset will get you killed unless they ignore you or can't aim and again aa is getting buffed next patch.

Offline Xesle

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 05:03:22 AM »
i too like to post borderline unintelligible walls of text whining about anything and everything while offering no actually feedback or suggestions on how to fix the percieved issues with said complaints.

Prodigal son my ass.

Offline cest73

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 08:02:14 AM »
@Xesle,
budy, either increase Your inteligability, respecting that mos of us write in non native language, or when adding 'pepper to the soup', at least try to contribute in value not mere amount?
@others
How woulud I know whats sceduled in next patch?
Should I use a crydtal ball?
Certainly the leaving players should telepatically perceive that we plan to improve?
The fact that the game hits the open in its state is telling.
Its a clear sign we lack on QA sa well as on coders.

Not each Awesome is worth 11 tickets, the same applies to most every variant.
An asset capable to bring down an lone 100% MADCAT is certainly worth more than 2tickests, yet pinning to the suite like 5 woul be plain ticked feeding?
But yes my numers are quite off, - my excuse is: whole numbers per weapon to avoid half tickets and round ups?

Maybe BA wasnt accounted for in the time of ticket inception?
To make them finer we could make them be half the value?
Otherwise, we better be making them externally to the game. This would make them instantly tunable, and offload that burden from the devs altogether?
This alone would decrease quite some of the overal salt production?

Offline DeimosEvotec

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 01:41:06 PM »
This is not a problem with your ability to use English but the content in your posts, which is confusing, contradictory or lacking in logic a lot of the time or maybe they are just lacking some information that would make them easier to understand but you neglected to write it down.

How should you know what's scheduled for next patch? Well I told you in my first response that anti air is getting a buff and that you should reevaluate its position when the patch is out.

That we lack resources is a known problem, we are modding a mod of a 10 year old game, in our free time, coders for such a project are hard to come by and usually we don't have enough testers for full game playtests. We don't need people that apply for tester but then never show up.

Variant based tickets, I agree they could improve balance but it's also a lot of work, instead of evaluating each asset you have to evaluate each variant which is 8 times the work.

It takes time for a ba or vtol to chew through all the armor of an assault mech, it can call for help and move towards teammates, if they don't react or arrive to late don't blame the vtol/ba for doing their job.
While a well played ba can be strong the average ba is not, losing the equivalent of a medium mech each time a combat ba dies would be extremely punishing for the average Joe.
Skill is a factor for the strength of any asset, a vet in a light can be more of a threat then a newbie in a heavy.

If you really want to push the idea of variant based tickets then make a list of all assets with all variants, assign them the amount of tickets you think they should have and then post that for the devs to consider. The more detailed your ideas, listing pros and cons, thinking about possible problems that could arise will make it more likely for the devs to look at it and consider it.

Offline cest73

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 02:51:37 PM »
Point taken,
I admit i am a bit out of the line when trying to express my self.

external ticket file
The list of the asset-tickets, could be updated as time permits if kept accessible from a server side config file, outside of the packaged game files.

All devs would have to do is to make the internal values be parsed from that (coded to only one single location) file?

Let that file, for start, hold the present values, in csv format:
Quote
"BloodAsp", "Prime", 15
"BloodAsp", "B", 16
"BloodAsp", "C", 14
sorted in such an order, to best match easy game side parsing.

And as we progress in knowledge and experience of the assets, we can tweak it and update outside the development cycle?


what to tag with tickets
I would also tag BA weapons with tickets, from 0 (Flamer, HB_MG, Small laser) to 2 (the dreaded uHL for the start) maybe even 3?
the grenades are left to be reconsidered, but maybe buff them and then tax them too?

Offline Silvercraft

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 03:30:15 PM »
Variant based tickets, I agree they could improve balance but it's also a lot of work, instead of evaluating each asset you have to evaluate each variant which is 8 times the work.
This idea has been talked about and it has some support but like you said it would need huge resources to be implemented.

what to tag with tickets
I would also tag BA weapons with tickets, from 0 (Flamer, HB_MG, Small laser) to 2 (the dreaded uHL for the start) maybe even 3?
This is good idea but could it really be done?
Also would this lead to strange situations like BA dropping weapons before dying to cost less tickets?

Offline cest73

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 08:55:57 PM »
Variant based tickets, I agree they could improve balance but it's also a lot of work, instead of evaluating each asset you have to evaluate each variant which is 8 times the work.
This idea has been talked about and it has some support but like you said it would need huge resources to be implemented.

what to tag with tickets
I would also tag BA weapons with tickets, from 0 (Flamer, HB_MG, Small laser) to 2 (the dreaded uHL for the start) maybe even 3?
This is good idea but could it really be done?
Also would this lead to strange situations like BA dropping weapons before dying to cost less tickets?
1. where the ticket list external to the packet game (ie added as server config)
2. if we start from current values
there would be very little effort involved:
make the list be read from that file instead from that (internal) table?

Offline Silvercraft

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 10:20:59 PM »
1. where the ticket list external to the packet game (ie added as server config)
2. if we start from current values
there would be very little effort involved:
make the list be read from that file instead from that (internal) table?
MWLL now has some 400 variants? Big part of this problem is that some devs would have to devote precious time and resources to re-evaluate each one. Also after every patch, buff and nerf those values would have to be re-checked. Great idea but near impossible to to do with limited resources currently available.

Offline cest73

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Re: Game balance, gamers, playerbase erosion
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 08:47:56 AM »
It has 407 vehicles excluding Karnov, and 194 weapons including Enh.Optics, Std.Optics, Smoke and Piranha, according to:
Spooky's online database  8)

That's 254 mech variants each differing from any other (so special ticket value)
And not to mention the many vars of the cry-engine that can be dumped to a file (console: dumpvars)
Quite a burden for a release, yes.

All I was proposing the variants to have an external csv (csv is trivial to implement afaik) ticket lookup?

Maybe not in the first following release, but somewhere down the road?

In the time before this development cycle begun, we would be more than lucky if we had values external to a release?
That is the point of the concept alone - run-time (re)configuration.

How about an cfg file (as game already uses) - tickets.cfg?