I would just like to pop in here and offer some of our perspective on this topic. A lot of good points on both sides have been thrown around here, and extending our current vote kick penalty (or something similar to it) to players who opt to leave the Warzone is definitely something that we discuss. However, at this time we feel like the negative consequences of putting in such a system (such as hurting players who crash out of a Warzone) don't overcome the potential gain.
First off, let me thank you for at least responding.
Personally, as a player who almost exclusively PVPs in this game with my 4 50+ toons and various sub-50s, this Warzone Quitter issue is the most serious issue in this game.
Every time an enemy bombs a door in Voidstar, or caps two nodes in Novare or Civil War, or scores 2 points in Huttball, when I see 2-4 or more players immediately start quitting the warzone, it makes me want to cancel my subscription. And I must say, the urge to cancel gets greater and greater every time it happens.
It needs to be addressed SOMEHOW. Ignoring it is not an option unless you're ready to lose more players.
With healthy Warzone queues, players will backfill into a game relatively quickly (side note: we are receptive to the complaints that you can get back filled into a really terrible position, that is something I want to try to address), and even if we prevented people from requeueing that doesn't necessarily stop them from leaving or going AFK at a point.
This is a mistaken premise. Even with healthy warzone queues, if 2 or 3 people quit at once (as often happens with this overpowered gearing system you have developed and allowed to continue for 15 months) the amount of LOAD TIME necessary to get into these warzones often makes the discrepancy of 8 v 5 far too difficult to overcome. By the time your new players backfill, you could already have lost the caps you had, or watched the other team steamroll to a couple of scores in Huttball, etc.
What's more, when the backfill players show up, see that they're in someone else's broken, abandoned warzone, and THEY quit, then the problem just exacerbates itself.
All of that being said, I do think the Civil War Warzone specifically has some issues that really shines a bright light on reasons people would leave. Inherently, CW is the Warzone that has the hardest time for a team to come from behind and that leads to a higher percentage of players to give up once they feel like the game is lost (and that feeling can occur very early into a game). My team and I are working to try to come with some solutions to this CW issue specifically, to see if we can improve the general Warzone itself and fight some of this problem at the root cause instead of the effect.
Again, your idea that Civil War is the only place this needs help is not very comforting. This quitter problem is pervasive across EVERY WARZONE with the exception of Ancient Hypergates. It seems Hypergates is the only warzone where one team cannot steamroll over another so quickly that it disheartens players. Although it does still happen even in Hypergates on rare occasions, in my experience.
Any warzone that includes an early open "WIN" for the other team, including Civil War, Voidstar (first door bomb), Novare Coast (triple cap), and Huttball (an early leaping or several leaping scores) ALL suffer this problem.
You and your team need to address the quitters. This is not a problem with one warzone. This is a problem with the fact that there is absolutely zero penalty to picking and choosing what warzones you want to be in, and you are leaving all of the rest of us in an unfortunate position at their mercy.
SOMETHING needs to be done across the board, and there are a few serious suggestions I hope you and your team will listen to and consider going forward. If these have been mentioned already, I apologize and give credit to whomever else offered them as well.
A) Get rid of the animations in front of Voidstar and Novare Coast. Get rid of ANY kind of a "Press Any Key to Continue" trap that artificially stops a player from loading directly into the warzone after they say "Yes" to the warzone prompt when your queue pops.
If you honestly think that backfilling is supposed to help the quitter situation, then please optimize the backfills.
B) When players quit on one team, a randomized process needs to select a corresponding member on the other team with a specific set of priorities as follows, and then lock that player into some kind of a "mind trap" or "freeze beam" that immobilizes them until the needed backfilled player has actually entered the warzone:
- Freeze an opposing team member of the same advanced class/mirror and exact spec. Example: If a Republic Sage heal spec quits a warzone, immediately freeze a Sage heal spec or Sorcerer heal spec on the opposing team.
- Freeze the last player to enter the warzone on the opposing team. (This can serve as an incentive to take queue pops as early as possible to insure your continued place in a match. I'm not sure if this goes first or not, but I'm placing it here for now to try to give as much leeway as possible to the original teams entering the match, if they stick with it.)
- Freeze an enemy team member of a different advanced class/mirror that has the same spec. If an Imperial Sorcerer healer quits, and there are no Republic Sage healers on the other side, freeze a Scoundrel heal spec or Commando heal spec.
- Freeze an opposing member of the same advanced class/mirror. If a Repulbic Sage healer quits, and there are no healers on the opposing side, then freeze one of the Imperial Sorcerer DPS specs.
- Freeze an opposing team member of approximately the same expertise or health level or closest to it.
- Avoid freezing any players who are carrying the Huttball, or currently in a casting phase for capturing a node, or are a single defender at a node.
- If at all possible, avoid freezing any teammate who is currently engaged in combat. Instead cycle to another player according to the filters and freeze them instead.
- For any player frozen for purposes of awaiting an opposing backfill, assign some set of medals or comms (perhaps 2 medals or +25 comms in addition to their final tally) each time it happens) to the frozen players so that they are compensated for being frozen and have a reason for remaining through the freeze and continuing the match. If you quit, no additional comms or medals.)
(This should be done in both directions. The examples used are strictly for demonstrating the process. Any team member on any side quitting a warzone should result in a freeze beam locking an opposing team member down, regardless of whether it is an opposing faction match, and regardless of which faction member quit, and even if it is a same-faction match. The overall point is to maintain a 1v1 parity in the match.)
C) Track ratios of how many warzones a player has completed versus how many times they have quit a match over the last 10-20 matches that the player has ENTERED, not completed. If the ratio exceeds a certain threshhold, mark that player with a special title or icon (that the player cannot remove and cannot hide that is visible to other members of their operations team) that denotes that they are a risk of leaving the warzone, so that the other team members can immediately see this in the pre-game holding pen and begin the Kick From Warzone process.
If you aren't going to handle the problem, at least respect your players (who are paying your salaries) enough to give us the tools to handle the problem ourselves. The only reason we cannot handle it at the moment is because you are intentionally allowing these quitters to hide among us.
I think with these options, apart from C, we can eliminate what I consider to be an overly cautious attitude toward people who "disconnect" normally. Yes, some players disconnect because of lag issues or other happenings, but this doesn't change the fact that the quitters are ruining your PVP game. So if we absolutely have to avoid ever possibly affronting any of these people, even though they are also affecting warzone performance, then stick with A and B and be done with it.
But you need to address the QUITTER PROBLEM, please. Do not fall into the trap of thinking it is a Civil War problem. As I said, Voidstar and Novare and Huttball all have the same vulnerabilities in that it is possible to open with a strategy that immediately leads to opposing team members quitting the warzone.
Thank you, and I really hope you listen to these suggestions. I'm hoping the addition of 50+ Bolster in 2.0 will fix some of this, but I have a sinking feeling that it is not going to matter much in regards to quitters...