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Cross-faction GSF queues would be nice

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
Cross-faction GSF queues would be nice

voltaicbore's Avatar


voltaicbore
06.08.2017 , 04:31 PM | #1
EDIT, AGAIN: I just googled the topic instead of using the forum search box, and found several results covering this exact thing. One example: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=885700. Whoever has the power to do so, feel free to trash this thread. Also, if there's a way I can do it myself, someone tell me how lol.

Apologies if this is retreading old territory; I ran a search for this topic and was shocked to get 0 results.

I think cross-faction queueing might help alleviate two issues: (1) increasing queue pops, and (2) starting to address (just a START, in no way a substantial solution for) the frequent match imbalance.

I think point (1) merits almost no further discussion; if the queue were not hampered by the requirement to either field 1 full team from each faction or 2 full teams from just one faction, it would be easier to get a match going.

Point (2) is frankly what I am more interested in. I realize that group queueing can still be a significant imbalancing factor - just one group of 4 aces can really make a huge difference if the other side does not collectively have the skill to answer those 4. Furthermore, there is no matchmaking algorithm for GSF, and frankly I think it should stay that way. My experience with glicko/elo elsewhere has been largely unhappy, and I cannot imagine a scenario where the swtor dev team could actually get it right.

But if at least solo aces and groups from both factions could be flexibly mixed, I think that would do something meaningful to replace what we as players are already only occasionally doing now (coordinating group queues across servers/factions as well as occasionally voluntarily relogging to the other faction for balance). If nothing else, some imp newcomers that got rolled by a premade group last round may have the chance to get carried the next pop, and that might be enough to salvage the new pilot experience.

I used to say that I prefer to fly terrible losses over not flying at all, but it still stings to fly 7 losses to the weekly on more than one toon. I imagine that new pilots with far less attachment to the game mode would reasonably give up on GSF. GSF is the sole aspect of this game that I still like, and if I'm feeling this salty about it I'm sure we've already lost scores and scores of potential pilots.

Yeah yeah, I can already see Despon typing "git gud, I can do 60K in a t1 scout." To an extent I can't deny that idea - I, too, have flown some of my best matches in totally stock T1s, as have several other regulars I've spoken to. That being said, I think it's also fair to say those experiences are outliers. I just think rather than hoping someone gets good enough to carry, it would make more sense to restructure the queue.

EDIT: On reading this, it seems like I'm taking a shot at Despon near the end. I most certainly am, but it's only because I remember him answering another salty pleb with a more literate version of what I quoted. To be fair to him, few have demonstrated as much dedication to educating new pilots as Despon has. It's just that I think all the video instruction in the world means so little compared to not getting melted out of the gate on a lopsided match.
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caederon's Avatar


caederon
06.08.2017 , 09:29 PM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by voltaicbore View Post
Yeah yeah, I can already see Despon typing "git gud, I can do 60K in a t1 scout."
1...
Quote: Originally Posted by voltaicbore View Post
EDIT: On reading this, it seems like I'm taking a shot at Despon near the end. I most certainly am, but it's only because I remember him answering another salty pleb with a more literate version of what I quoted.
2...
Quote: Originally Posted by voltaicbore View Post
To be fair to him, few have demonstrated as much dedication to educating new pilots as Despon has. It's just that I think all the video instruction in the world means so little compared to not getting melted out of the gate on a lopsided match.
3!
Three mentions of my name; I'm obligated by the eldritch powers beyond to respond.

For the record:
- I'm totally in favor of cross-server queuing, which will likely never happen but would be great if it did.
- I have long advocated for various matchmaking improvements
- I would much rather see pilots of similar skill level pitted against each other.

You can sift through the mountain of words I've assembled stone by stone here on the forum to find examples of all these things. Cross-faction might be a little weird, though if people accepted that they are flying pub and might have to inhabit an Imp ship or something, it could work.

It is notable, though, that even when one side is full enough to make a wargame happen, it is very often the case that the matchmaker spews out the worst possible arrangement of players to make it a balanced match.

The matchmaker does, though, generally do ok at matching pilots who have flown very few matches with a pool of similarly experienced pilots. Of course this is only in terms of matches played on a particular character, and does not account for veterans on new alts... and this only happens if there is a large enough pool of players queuing to satisfy matches at all levels.

The Stock Ship experiment I ran was a 50 game sample size.... not huge, but also not small. And it was on Harb, a very populous server. Out of those 50, I only twice faced a team of real stacked veterans. Coincidentally, one was my very first match on SS, but that again was coincidence. The rest rarely featured veterans... though for a brand new player, it is not easy to distinguish between ace, veteran, competent etc because they all know the game better than you and will probably blow you up.

On a final note, most veteran pilots that I have spoken to at one time were in your position. They did not hatch from an egg fully formed, ready to blast faces off. They got blown up over and over until they figured out how to either not get blown up, or blow up the other guy more.

To summarize:
  • It's not as bad as you think
  • It could definitely be improved a lot
  • do yourself a favor and out-learn the opposition while you practice your flying skills

This is what happens when my name drops over and over...

- Despon

Storm-Cutter's Avatar


Storm-Cutter
06.09.2017 , 12:27 AM | #3
It simply needs a bigger pool of people playing to make the mismatched teams become a rarity.
-But BW dropped any development for GSF many years ago.
- So it's down to the community to nurture new talent, new pilots, to offer advice and generally be friendly.

I hope that in some small way I've helped to build community spirit where I fly mostly. -I rarely criticise, I offer help and advice, and coz I don't pretend to know it all, I refer new players to people who have more specialist knowledge. I greet new pilots, treat them with respect and hopefully a few will stick around- which benefits everyone. - And most of the vets are not too big to switch sides when it's obviously imbalanced.

I get treated like an old friend when I log in. - Which says a lot. - I only ever get that kind of reaction from maybe 2 or 3 people in Ground PvP.

Yes new pilots are easy pickings, but we all started there once upon a time and had to take our lumps. - It took a while for anyone to take me under their wing and let me fly in their squads when I started. It's time for the old-timers to do the same for new recruits.

- Coz sadly the studio sure doesn't care, nor does it have the manpower. - So it's down to us to make the difference.

TLDR; The studio won't make x-server or x-faction anytime soon. - You're better off being pro-active and nurturing new talent to swell the number of pilots, and let the matchmaker do the rest.
-Storm Cutter.
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merovejec's Avatar


merovejec
06.09.2017 , 06:02 AM | #4
I would agree with the cross-faction que as well.

There are nights when I just dont get a GSF pop on my rep toon but then hop over imp side to get nonstop pops imps vs imps.
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WelbyWars's Avatar


WelbyWars
06.09.2017 , 08:51 AM | #5
Other than an RP thing I really don't see an issue with cross-faction GSF.
See a red name? It's the enemy, regardless of ship.
Now,..is there some ship design imbalance that could happen? I dunno.

I am new to GSF and I have only 6-7 matches under my belt but I do love it!
I am sure it may hit diminishing returns but I'll gain Command levels at 2levels per 3 matches. Whether we win or not.

It takes the pressure off of me in terms of 'am I wasting my time' or not as I get good cxp either way.

voltaicbore's Avatar


voltaicbore
06.09.2017 , 11:22 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by caederon View Post

It is notable, though, that even when one side is full enough to make a wargame happen, it is very often the case that the matchmaker spews out the worst possible arrangement of players to make it a balanced match.

The matchmaker does, though, generally do ok at matching pilots who have flown very few matches with a pool of similarly experienced pilots. Of course this is only in terms of matches played on a particular character, and does not account for veterans on new alts... and this only happens if there is a large enough pool of players queuing to satisfy matches at all levels.

The Stock Ship experiment I ran was a 50 game sample size.... not huge, but also not small. And it was on Harb, a very populous server. Out of those 50, I only twice faced a team of real stacked veterans. Coincidentally, one was my very first match on SS, but that again was coincidence. The rest rarely featured veterans... though for a brand new player, it is not easy to distinguish between ace, veteran, competent etc because they all know the game better than you and will probably blow you up.
- Despon
Heh I'm glad the otherwordly powers of repeated name drops drew you out.

No need to preach to the choir, I'd definitely count myself within the low end of the veteran pool. I'm no stranger to the top of the end-of-match scorecard, but will readily admit I am easily overshadowed by some of the bigger names. My primary issue is probably how spread out and sporadic my GSF activity has been. I uninstalled swtor for nearly a year, and will happily uninstall again when my 2-month sub runs out in July and I get my new computer (enabling me to slither back to my game of choice). My aggregate matches flown, KDR, win rate, etc will not stack up well against many of the people I can fly competitively with on a per-match basis. I would honestly not be surprised if my win rate and KDR were both abysmal by veteran standards, as I learned to fly from repeated fiery death, and have not subsequently flown enough matches to normalize those stats. We're talking from the days of when the original Xiao was an absolute terror to new pilots on SL.

Aside from just being a bit rusty at the moment, my other current challenge is playing on a computer I'm not used to. I got used to an even 25-30 fps on my previous machine, and once I lost that (I range from 3 fps on lost shipyards to about 15-20 on kuat for this computer) I found out my fundamentals need some work. I've had a good time coping, falling back on a few low-fps countermeasures that help me at least feel like more of a threat (e.g. plasma rail with evasion debuff).

Your 50-match experiment is something I'll have to watch in a bit, so apologies if you addressed this next question in that vid: I assume you were in GSF chat or the Discord (if it existed at the time) and at least had some awareness of whether or not groups were queuing? I think knowing that you tended to *not* draw veteran opponents when you knew several groups were out there would help make your 50 match sample that much more robust. But if the pattern generally holds, I feel like that makes the case for cross-faction even stronger.

Quote: Originally Posted by Storm-Cutter View Post
It simply needs a bigger pool of people playing to make the mismatched teams become a rarity.
-But BW dropped any development for GSF many years ago.
- So it's down to the community to nurture new talent, new pilots, to offer advice and generally be friendly.
Agreed. I just think that we'd be able to retain a higher proportion of the new pilots that peek into GSF if there was something we could do about poor matchmaking before solving the population issue. A big enough pool of pilots would essentially solve much of the problem, just via probability.

The dev team's abandonment of GSF is something I've long been aware of, and I feel it's a mixed bag. On the one hand, I'm sad that things like the strike fighter overhaul never really had a chance. On the other hand, I have no problems flying the same old maps over and over. Furthermore, aside from strikes, I think GSF represents one of the purest and most balanced forms of pvp out there, period. As I mentioned earlier I've flown some great matches in a totally unupgraded ship. Sure it's nice to have armpen, wingman, and a missile break disto, but the fundamentals of power management, situational awareness, and reading buff bars on your target never lose their value regardless of your upgrade situation. Any form of pvp where an "ungeared" player can more than hold his/her own just through mastery of the game mode is a great one in my book, and I think this aspect of GSF was really saved by abandonment. It's kind of like the awesome nature reserve that has sprung up in the DMZ separating North and South Korea. The root cause for people not going in there is stupid, but one of the nice consequences is that nobody's had the chance to go in there to mess things up further.

I'm lazy so I don't go too far out of my way to help new folks, but will take low-hanging fruit opportunities. So if someone asks in fleet chat "wut iz dis GSF" I'll usually reach out and encourage them to /cjoin gsf, watch some guides, get some advice, and keep flying. I also used to throw out basics (f1-f3 for power modulation, space for boost, x for full stop) in ops chat if I saw a bunch of new names in the roster. I've never really coordinated with a wider effort to balance queues, but I'll never relog to the other faction because we're getting roflstomped and frequently leave for the other side if we're doing the roflstomping. Sadly I think that's the extent of what we can do, other than fragmenting into pairs more often than full groups of 4.

Quote: Originally Posted by WelbyWars View Post
I am new to GSF and I have only 6-7 matches under my belt but I do love it!
Welcome to the fold! Some of us with thousands of matches still love it just as much. Also in terms of CXP, my toons that are nearing/just cracked into tier 2 are still reliably getting 1 command rank per match. Still the best way to do cxp for me, aside from the HM EV I spam for 242 gear during the week lol.
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Ymris's Avatar


Ymris
06.09.2017 , 11:42 AM | #7
Cross-server queues would be awesome!

Cross-faction queues would be okay.... as long as friendly fire was also implemented so I could shoot the Pubs foolish enough to think we were on the same side just because we got put on the same team.
Tensoring straight to hell!

caederon's Avatar


caederon
06.09.2017 , 01:31 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by voltaicbore View Post
Your 50-match experiment is something I'll have to watch in a bit, so apologies if you addressed this next question in that vid: I assume you were in GSF chat or the Discord (if it existed at the time) and at least had some awareness of whether or not groups were queuing?
Nope, Stock Ship didn't even join the /gsf channel. Just logged in, queued up, and took whatever it threw at me. I played at various times of day, usually prime-time, but had a few runs in the afternoon, too. The last thing I wanted was to try to game it so I'd get favorable matchups. I wanted to see if, over a reasonable sample size, people really were getting constantly slotted into unwinnable matches. Nobody was aware I was running the experiment... though people did seem to start recognizing Stock Ship towards the middle and end of his run. I bought zero upgrades and kept the original, slicers-loop-y crew for the whole thing.

I hoped to demonstrate two things with the experiment... that the matchmaker wasn't complete garbage or unfairly harsh on new players, and that even with zero gear, a stock ship can contribute meaningfully in most matches. It was secondarily a test of my stance that player skill and knowledge are far greater weapons than upgrades. I do still hope to produce a few more full breakdown-style videos of Stock Ship matches, and have a number that would be reasonably entertaining and informative even in their raw form.

Quote: Originally Posted by voltaicbore View Post
Agreed. I just think that we'd be able to retain a higher proportion of the new pilots that peek into GSF if there was something we could do about poor matchmaking before solving the population issue. A big enough pool of pilots would essentially solve much of the problem, just via probability.
The problem comes when the veteran pool of pilots, the ones who know what they're doing, does not grow. When people do not graduate from the ranks of the incapable to the capable, you will still have many matches where you get a few veterans or a premade vs. people who cannot or will not deal with them... because there are not enough veterans to match against each other. Theoretically, you should also get a whole bunch of noob v. noob play. The Stock Ship experiment seems to bear this out, though a larger pool of data would be more predictive in any overall assessment. Right now, I don't see a whole lot of people moving past the 'I will park my bomber behind this doorframe and sit in a cloud of my junk the whole match, whatever may come.' Imbalance is perpetuated when people decide they don't care to learn the game.

GSF is dense with rules and minutia, requires the ability to smoothly navigate and orient yourself in 3D space (ie not played on primarily a 2d plane like the ground game), and demands patience and a fair bit of anguish as you learn the ropes. Not everyone is into that, and people who sign up for a very forgiving and accessible f2p MMORPG aren't necessarily the sort you'd expect to also be into a hardcore PvP arcade space shooter. If you thematically divorce it from Star Wars, so that there is no expectation of 'oh these people will all love space combat because it's so Star Wars-y' it would seem pretty dicey to stick a hardcore PvP game inside your casually oriented MMO and expect it to flourish.

When SWTOR's overall population is large enough that the subset of people who like space PvP play is also sufficiently large, you'd find enough players to sustain a robust game... which is really what we had while GSF was still under active development and even up to a year beyond that. At least now, there are places you can reliably get the queue to pop, but the quality of play is significantly diminished because a large part of the veteran populace has left and has not been replaced by people coming up through the ranks.

I know there are those who will argue this, and they may indeed do so in response to this topic (no, I will not say his name three times for fear of what will happen), but GSF needs a large enough pool of veteran die-hards playing so that they can be matched up against each other and the new, inexperienced crew can develop in combat vs. similarly skilled players. It also requires those new players to take seriously the challenge of playing the game, so that their pool is one that is always emptying upward and refilling from the bottom.

Finally, to the new players: when you're stuck in a blowout, ask yourself what the other side is doing that is leading to your team's difficulty. If your answers circle around to 'hax' or 'premades' or 'gear imbalance,' you're only hurting yourself. Imbalanced matches will happen. Learn from them, queue up, and apply your knowledge in the next one.

- Despon

dscount's Avatar


dscount
06.12.2017 , 01:47 AM | #9
I hate the days I have to go against Despon, but it happens.

Not sure when he did the testing, but lately on the Harby I've noticed a lot more "Grouped" players (Same ones every single fight for several in a row). Most of them know each other as well. (I hop between PUB/IMP to get my UC's and Dailies done).

One practice I've noticed is camping spawn points with gunships. I'm against this - especially when you are running mostly 4-5 ship vet's against 80% New Players (3 ship only stock). Maybe the fleet vessels or spawn points should move when this happens?

Couple of the maps I really wish we had a LIMIT on the number of specific ships on the map. Like no you can't have 6 bombers out at a time. Or maybe six gunships camping spawn points. Pick your ship and if too many are picked then you are stuck unless someone changes on next REZ. Just a thought to level the playing field.
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Eldarion_Velator's Avatar


Eldarion_Velator
06.12.2017 , 06:53 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by dscount View Post

One practice I've noticed is camping spawn points with gunships. I'm against this - especially when you are running mostly 4-5 ship vet's against 80% New Players (3 ship only stock). Maybe the fleet vessels or spawn points should move when this happens?
I've discussed this before, though I'm not sure whether or not I did so on the forums here - at some point while GSF was still being developed, the capital ships in TDMs used to fire like they do in DOM (satellite) matches. However, this led to a situation where teams who built up a lead simply hovering over their capital ships to end out a match since no opposing pilots could approach; this is why the capital ships/spawn points in TDMs no longer fire on opposing team pilots.

That said, the elimination of cap ship turrets in TDMs made it very easy for dominant teams to spawn camp the capital ships (as they can do with impunity now). I would propose a sort of "deserter/spawn point debuff" like the deserter debuff in ground PvP that would come into effect over the specific map grids in which capital ships are located in TDMs. The debuff would have no other effect than to boot a player from a match if he/she does not leave the spawn area (whether it is an opposition or own spawn point) within a certain amount of time (say, 30 seconds). To prevent ranged spawn camping by gunships, the debuff would apply only to opposition players in grids immediately adjacent to those housing spawn points.

Even though this is totally off the original topic, that's my two cents on TDM spawn camping.

Regarding cross-faction GSF queueing: I am in favor of this idea. It has been implemented for Odessen Proving Grounds and while my own experiences in that specific map are limited, it seems to me that it works.
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