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Galactic Starfighter (GSF) Suggestions

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Galactic Starfighter (GSF) Suggestions

myrrhbear's Avatar


myrrhbear
10.15.2019 , 09:09 PM | #1
Quoted from depeshmood from answers.ea.com upon his request

"I am currently not a subscriber to Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR); however, I am hopeful that the developers will see this and might take these suggestions for Galactic Starfighter (GSF) into account.



What I hope to achieve with these suggestions is a shorter queue time for GSF, more balanced matches and match durations that are more on par with the number of players in each match. These suggestions are based on my experience in GSF matches and/or doing Warzones as well.



SCALING MATCHES

There would be 3 different tiered timers for matches. This should make the matches take approximately the same amount of time, based on the number of players in each match, similar to a Warzone deathmatch.

Deathmatch

Currently a deathmatch has a maximum of 50 kills per team and a maximum of 10 minutes for the match.

My suggestion is as follows...

Teams with a maximum of 4 players would have a maximum of 16 kills per team to complete the match and the timer would be a maximum of 4 minutes.

Teams with a maximum of 8 players would have a maximum of 35 kills per team to complete the match and the timer would be a maximum of 8 minutes.

Teams with a maximum of 12 players would have a maximum of 50 kills per team to complete the match and the timer would be a maximum of 10 minutes.

Domination

Teams with a maximum of 4 players would need to reach a score of 350 points to win the match.

Teams with a maximum of 8 players would need to reach a score of 700 points to win the match.

Teams with a maximum of 12 players would need to reach a score of 1,000 points to win the match.

Rewards

The various mission rewards would be adjusted based on the maximum number of players in the match, in three tiers. Basically, a maximum team of 4 would receive around 1/3 of the current mission rewards.



MATCHMAKING

Once a second player has queued for a GSF match there is a maximum of a 5 minute timer. If there are no additional players that queue during that time, then the two players would be put into a deathmatch. If at least 8 players queue during that time, then the match would be either a deathmatch or domination.

As players queue for GSF they would be matched to any in-progress match and the objective, as described above, and/or timer would be adjusted accordingly once they enter. Basically, if there are currently 2 groups of 4 players and two more players queue, then they would be able to join the in-progress match, using the scaling option(s).



QUEUEING or ELITE VS NON-ELITE

This coincides with “matchmaking”, but I feel deserves its own section to help illustrate how this would work.

Non-Grouped Queue

Players that queue individually are placed into one queue and those that queue as a group would be placed into their own queue. This would allow the current in-game matchmaking to better utilize a player’s rank to match groups together. I have seen too many times where a group of players dominate a match and do not give the other team much of a chance to last more than 30 seconds.

Grouped Queue

Players that queue as a group would be paired only with others in a group. If there is a group of 4 that is queued and a group of 2, then the queue would wait until there is second group that queues. I really cannot explain the nuances of how this would work, as it is something that the devs would need to work out on their own. The primary objective of group queueing is to remove those players that completely obliterate new players and/or experienced players that are working on new characters. This would put these more “elite” players into their own matches where they could truly test their piloting abilities against others.



Please note: I tried using the tools to indent this to make it more easy to follow; however, I was given a message that I had invalid HTML and it was removed, so I used spaces in place of the indent."

myrrhbear's Avatar


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.
Who's scruffy looking?

Wildtee's Avatar


Wildtee
10.15.2019 , 11:16 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by myrrhbear View Post

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.
Your entire assertion here is based on faulty logic - namely that there is an effective ranking mechanic for the matchmaker to draw from. The matchmaker looks at matches played across legacy and once that cap is reached, all players are equal. Everything you suggest is ineffective because of this design flaw. It results in the horribly mismatched games you are complaining about, because players reach that max games cap hiding on bombers or finishing games against new players in the top 2-3 and thinking that they are "strong" while learning bad habits in the process. We've tried to make this matchmaker work with offset queues, alternating groups, and many other variations to get "even" results, and it essentially boils down to RNG. The only effective method of creating balanced matches is the custom lobby, because it puts a person in the loop. Anything else that you've experienced that seemed "balanced" was the result of chance or simply no stand-out pilots to offset the match.

cheese_cake's Avatar


cheese_cake
10.16.2019 , 12:03 AM | #4
Would you like to group?
https://imgur.com/jTB2Exc

Verain's Avatar


Verain
10.16.2019 , 12:05 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Wildtee View Post
Your entire assertion here is based on faulty logic - namely that there is an effective ranking mechanic for the matchmaker to draw from.
Sure, he's wrong about that, but that's the bone you're gonna pick? Like man, you got served a hot fudge sundae and really started picking out the sprinkles to eat separately, you know?

Quote: Originally Posted by myrrhbear View Post
GSF is one of my favorite parts of SWTOR
Is it? Every interaction I have had with you has been:
1)- You complaining in ops chat
2)- You complaining in /1 or insulting teams
3)- You complaining in gsf chat
4)- You complaining in the gsf discord

I've never heard you say anything like:
"Hey guys, lets form a team and win!"
"Lets talk about ships!"
"Lets talk about strategy!"
"Here's a thing I like about GSF"

Except for this post, where you claim it's one of your favorite parts of SWTOR. Well, I hope I never have to read about all the other parts of SWTOR that you like less, is all I can say.

Quote:
1. The amount of time that queues take to pop is an obvious drawback.

Queue length and games at a given time are generally a result of total SWTOR population. During prime time, there are usually multiple games going on Star Forge. I bet the expansion repairs queue times for awhile, but, we'll see.

Could the game offer a mode with less players? It could, but it would be a great deal of effort to make it work right, and ship balance would be messed up, and more difficult to balance. With a 5 ship hangar it's possible to have 6s without too much adjustment, but 4s is a different universe. I don't know if the problem during the rest of the day is "the game doesn't pop 4s".

Quote:
Groups of highly ranked pilots queuing as a team is really game breaking
Ah, here we are. "I won't or can't group: therefore, no one else should be able to, because teams working together in a team game have an advantage that I do not.". Dude, maybe I missed it, but I've never even seen you try to pull a team together. Also, lets look at "game breaking". Is that just another way of saying "I can't win if I go against a team in a team game"? Because that's not a broken game.

Quote:
I am personally a quite strong pilot in GSF
You should have no problems pulling together a solid team then. The GSF Discord is ok for that, but I have a groupfinder Discord as well.

Quote:
ending up consistently in the top 2 or 3
The map is not the territory, and the scoreboard is not a ranking system.

Quote:
A group of strong pilots queued as a team totally throws off any semblance of balance
Wait, the game is unbalanced? I mean, the grouped up team in voice tends to win, right? The team with the better pilots tends to win, right? How is that unbalanced? That sounds like balance. That is definitely game balance, right there. Why should you be able to beat four other players working together?

Quote:
After a couple of matches like that people simply stop queuing
This doesn't make the queue stop popping. It does make people go on the forum and claim that it makes the queue stop popping, which has been claimed about GSF since the start, SWTOR warzones since launch, and many other games since the 90s. You would think no one ever queues any game in history, with all these people who simply stop queueing.

Quote:
It's really a big problem, and comes up fairly frequently
The "really big problem" is that you can't win during a time when a team is playing? And of course you can't or won't make your own team and talk in voice even in the era of Discord, so your solution is to ask the devs to stop allowing teams to play a team game because you don't like teams. We should all be punished for playing the game, to the benefit of you. Who, of course speak for everyone, just like every post on every forum about every game. I swear someone is gonna find some heiroglyphs that translate to some guy complaining he can't win at pyramid antigravity spaceball because he can't beat an entire team on his own.

Quote:
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
AKA queue and play the game fairly and as designed, as a team, playing a team game, together. That's entitlement. Not your assumption that we should be barred from playing so that you don't have to worry about teamwork or making a team and learning how your wingmen fly. You exist, so everything should cater to you. I'm glad you are here to tell us about entitlement; otherwise I may have come to a different conclusion!

Quote:
since it's fun for them
Correct. This is correct, playing as a team is fun.

Quote:
and a sense of annoyance as the suggestion they please queue individually
I feel we would win less if we did this. Why should we win less? Why can't you form a team to play the team game?

Quote:
They have said back to me that it's basically my problem if I don't like it
I only said this because it's your problem if you don't like it.

Quote:
and that I am always free to form my own group
I only said this because you are always free to form your own group.

Quote:
To me this does not seem like a valid solution.
I wasn't trying to solve your problems. That's not my job.
But it is a valid solution. It's a team game. The game makes this obvious at every step. Peeling for allies is the core mechanic in a flight game. Teamwork is the core mechanic in ANY team game.

Quote:
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.
A group of novices would do massively better than a bunch of individuals who refuse to hop in voice in any of the well populated Discords available for precisely this purpose. And you wanna know a secret? Even with SWTOR at low population, we still get games versus other premades.

Now, back to Wildtee's statement: the matchmaker actually is partly to blame here, because while matchmaker is pretty ok at putting two groups on opposite sides, it happens less often than you would assume, and it seems to group all pilots into the same bucket, without much idea about skill. It's definitely less sophisticated than the warzone battle maker. It is good at taking actually new pilots and putting them on the team with stronger pilots, often enough that it is actually doing something on this dimension, but most pilots don't count as actually new. You improve a ton in your first hundred games, and anyone who hasn't hit that mark yet tends to land on the team with the veteran pilots a lot. So that part is working as intended.

But if you aren't grouped up, you aren't even helping the matchmaker's limited power.

Quote:
it's not like I can find several other strong pilots 24/7 whenever I am in the mood for GSF
Bro, nobody can do that. That's why we plan times to play GSF ahead of time. Getting a team together isn't some magical thing other people put no effort into. GSF chat, the GSF Discord, and the Groupfinder Discord can all help if you are looking, you know. But you appear to use these as social media sounding boxes or something.

Quote:
f 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 a pvp game. Teaming up, along with being totally radical, also helps you win more. I don't queue up "to balance the two teams", I queue up to shoot red ships into atoms with plasma bolts in all the colors of the rainbow.

Quote:
Therefore my suggestion for a solution would be:
"Stop other people from beating me by deleting their ability to play together and ruining the game for the players who play it as designed to cater to my needs and my desires and my whims, and do it now, and anyone who disagrees with me is mean and should feel bad for trying to win in pvp, when everyone knows I'm the only one that should win in pvp and all strategy, teamwork, and design should be thrown out for my sake immediately"

Or however you have phrased it, that's the gist of it. A familiar refrain indeed.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

Wildtee's Avatar


Wildtee
10.16.2019 , 12:08 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
Sure, he's wrong about that, but that's the bone you're gonna pick? Like man, you got served a hot fudge sundae and really started picking out the sprinkles to eat separately, you know?


I mean not all of us can dedicate the time and expertise to this level of forum pvp, sir

phalczen's Avatar


phalczen
10.16.2019 , 10:39 AM | #7
A few years ago there was a bug that had crept into the live servers, where basically if players were grouped they weren’t getting ground warzone queue pops. It didn’t warrant a hotfix, I guess, because it took a week for it to be fixed. My anecdotal experience during that time was that my win/loss percentage was much closer to 50/50 and 8v8 ground warzones popped much faster and more often.

For the record, I think it’s bad design to prevent players from grouping together, in an MMO.
If you think I've made a good contribution with this post, I kindly ask that you use my Refer a Friend link! Here is more information about the program.

DakhathKilrathi's Avatar


DakhathKilrathi
10.16.2019 , 07:09 PM | #8
I spent two hours talking to you about this already, so I'm not going to waste my time typing out the same points again. You're still saying the same things.

For anyone who wants to read our full conversation, here it is: https://pastebin.com/FyMUWHQ0

Here's a summary of my stance on the issue:

Groups are fine. There is a matchmaking problem where there aren't enough comparable groups or players of similar skill to put against the groups. This could be addressed with better matchmaking, since number of games played is a silly metric that doesn't tell you very much at all about how good a player is. Mastered vs not is even less useful, especially with requisition being so easy to come by.

Playing with your friends in an MMO is never wrong.

I agree that there is a matchmaking problem, but I see it as Bioware's problem to fix; it's not up to the players. Telling people not to group because it's too hard to beat them if they do is just like telling someone not to play because they're so much better than the randoms that it's not fair if they do.

Same argument, different application of it.

Your fun isn't the other team's responsibility. I don't like to solo queue against groups. So I... don't. It's a really easy solution.

Edited to add: There is a reason that matchmaker puts you into a group. It's because the game is intended to be played by a group. You just decide whether or not you want to pick who is part of that group.

myrrhbear's Avatar


myrrhbear
10.19.2019 , 09:48 PM | #9
Honestly the level of ad hominem hostility being directed at me in this discussion is really disturbing.

I simply made the request that people be mindful and respectful of others in GSF. If you know you are strong pilots and you queue as a group, and you wipe the floor with the opposing team repeatedly, it is game breaking for everyone else. GSF, as all PvP, necessitates some approximation of balance. The devs implemented an attempt to create more balanced matches by ranking pilots, and having them automatically separated and sorted to the two teams according to skill. This only seems to function when people queue individually. However when people queue as a group together, all balance is lost. Perhaps this is in part because the current mechanic can't adjust for the significant increase in effectiveness that occurs when people who are skilled work as a team, with voice communication between them. Whether that's part of it or not, the fact remains that GSF becomes basically unplayable during the periods when groups of expert pilots queue together as a team.

My request of my fellow players is some consideration for the balance, and simply to please, if you notice after a couple of matches that you are clearly destroying the balance, to by all means keep queing and enjoying the game, but queue individually so that the game has a chance to balance the two teams.

The suggestion that was aimed at me, that I should just find a group of my own if I don't like it, doesn't seem realistic. On the drop of a hat, at any random time when a group of 4 elite pilots happens to form a team and start queuing, I'm not suddenly going to be able to find an equal number of basically equally skilled pilots to form a second team. I don't have the metrics available that the game's internal mechanic has for sorting pilots according to skill level, and finding several top notch pilots at a moment's notice just because another group has formed, is often not going to be available.

If you enjoy a challenge and respect the need for balanced teams in PvP, as in any fair competition, and if you are sure there are more pilots of equal or comparable skill available and interested in queing at that time... then you could actually form both teams, and make it a proper and fair competition. If you can't however find more people of similar skill who want to do GSF at that time, then telling the other people that it's their fault for not finding and making their own team is obviously ruled out. So if there aren't more people who want to form a second team then instead of wrecking the game for everyone else you could split your current team of 4 , for example, into two teams of 2, still allowing a chance that the GSF teams can be balanced, and fun for everyone.

Refusing to queue in a way that allows for a fair fight, and balanced teams, and good matches that are fun for everyone who is queing, is at best poor sportsmanship. Insisting that it's not your problem but the problem of the other players, and putting the obligation on them to find a second group of comparably strong pilots so the match can return to being balanced is not going to be practically feasible much of the time, even if they would try.

Until such time as our developers find a way to mitigate this imbalance through an internal mechanic, the best I can do is ask my fellow pilots to choose, of their own good will, to be considerate, and to try to be part of the solution for keeping the matches balanced and fun for everyone who is trying to enjoy GSF.
Who's scruffy looking?

myrrhbear's Avatar


myrrhbear
10.19.2019 , 10:50 PM | #10
Quoting from depeshmood from answers.ea.com, upon his personal request that I share his post here for him:

"Since part of my ideas in myrrhbear's original post for this thread pertain to matchmaking, and there is quite a bit of, umm, discussion for grouping, here are my idea for a player's ranking, that could be used for the matchmaking process in GSF.



1. Each player starts out, by default, at rank zero and goes up to 1,000. Each match completed, whether win or lose, adds 1 point to this rank and this number is used for the account.

2. When a player is queued for a match, their highest ranked ship in their hangar is used for the second part of their rank in matchmaking. See "Ship Hangar Ranking" for details.

3. (Optional, based on solo or group queuing) The third, possible, part for their rank is if they are in a group. My suggestion is to add 50 points to each player in a group for each additional player they're grouped with. See "Group Points" for details.



Ship Hangar Ranking

My suggestion for ranking the ships would be to give 100 points maximum per component and it starts at zero, when no upgrades have been applied. If the component has 3 upgrades then 1 upgrade would add 30 points to the player's rank.



Group Points

To elaborate on my suggestion for groups, when 2 players are grouped and queue as a group, then their group as a whole would have 100 additional points, whereas a group with 4 players in the group would have 600 additional points for the entire group, or 150 points additional each.

My reasoning for these additional points applied to the group is to take into account that they have more than likely flown together on a few occasions and have a good synergy. They might also have some form of VoIP that allows them to talk and communicate their current and fluid strategy(ies).



I am hopeful that those of us as a player base can come up with constructive ideas on how to better one aspect of our enjoyment that we derive from SWTOR, which is Galactic Starfighter!"