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myrrhbear
10.15.2019 , 10:12 PM | #2
Speaking for myself now - not quoting for my friend:

I think that the issues that depeshmood is trying to address here are ones that do really need some attention and I'm grateful that he took the time to present some suggestions and open up this discussion.

GSF is one of my favorite parts of SWTOR. It has a lot of potential but it has some glaring issues at present.

1. The amount of time that queues take to pop is an obvious drawback. During off peak hours it seems like hours can pass without a single queue. Perhaps allowing for smaller matches during those times of day would make it so GSF queues would still be available to enjoy. It seems like something worth trying.

2. Groups of highly ranked pilots queuing as a team is really game breaking. I am personally a quite strong pilot in GSF ending up consistently in the top 2 or 3 on most matches I'm in. However whenever a team of 3 or more strong pilots queue as a group it for all intents and purposes kills GSF until they get bored and quit queing for the night. A group of strong pilots queued as a team totally throws off any semblance of balance, and their team almost invariably will totally decimate the other team to the point to which many pilots will simply stop engaging during the match. After a couple of matches like that people simply stop queuing, since it's really no fun to play GSF at those time, so GSF is not available for anyone for a while until the elite group stops queing for the night. It's really a big problem, and comes up fairly frequently.

I've tried discussing this with the people forming those groups but the response I got was a sense of entitlement to do as they please, since it's fun for them, and a sense of annoyance as the suggestion they please queue individually, since they see this as an unfair imposition upon them. They have said back to me that it's basically my problem if I don't like it, and that I am always free to form my own group. To me this does not seem like a valid solution.

The majority of players are not as strong in GSF as these elite pilots and even if they would want to form a group to try to make it a fair fight, a group of novices simply can't balance out a group of elite pilots.

But even for strong pilots like myself, if I would want to find a group to try to balance the match it's not like I can find several other strong pilots 24/7 whenever I am in the mood for GSF and an elite group happens at that time to decide to start queing. It's just not feasible in any realistic way. Before the elite group starts queing you have a decent chance of the game mechanic for balancing GSF functioning as intended, and the matches are often close and fair and exciting. Then a group of elite pilots comes in, and immediately you get landslide matches one after the other, making it anything but fun to continue.

If those elite pilots would simply queue solo then the game mechanics would be able to try to balance the two teams, and the match would become more fair and fun for everyone. This is really to the benefit of everyone. Fair and balanced matches mean that novice players can enjoy the game without getting steamrolled, while elite players are faced with a proper opponent and challenge to their skills. The only people who lose out are those who were getting their fun specifically out of breaking the balancing mechanic, and therefore massively overpowering whatever pick up group of novices they are against.

Balance in PvP shouldn't really need to be defended as an idea. It's the basic requirement of PvP. That's why a system was introduced to GSF to try to assess pilot skills levels and to divide the teams so each side is equally strong. These elite groups simply break that balancing function.

Therefore my suggestion for a solution would be:

- Implement a change to GSF queing and team balancing mechanics so that if 3 or more people queue as a group, the game automatically places the highest ranked of those 3 on the opposing team, even though they queued as a group. If 4 people queue together, 2 should be placed on each team to balance the teams. If 5 queue together the strongest pilot is placed in a group of 2 on one team, and the other 3 players are placed on the other team, etc... This way you can have regular queues, and people who are grouped with their friends doing other content can queue for GSF, but if they are all strong pilots then they will be split up for the duration of the GSF match, allowing the match to be better balanced.

- As an aside to this perhaps there could be once a month tournament nights on GSF where elite pilots are invited to queue as a group, and the group splitting mechanic will be turned off for the night so that elite groups can go in as a team, and battle against other elite teams. Alternatively there could be ranked GSF queues that are separate from the normal GSF queues. The downside of that though is that it removes pilots from the general GSF queue, and reduces the frequency of queues for everyone. That's why I think we're better off keeping everyone in one GSF queue, but dividing teams so that there is better balance.
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