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Handicap system for GSF


krfsm's Avatar


krfsm
07.25.2017 , 04:13 PM | #1
As the range of skill in GSF is very large there are lots of cases where the matchmaker cannot compensate for a premade group of four skilled pilots. Even if teamed up with four random unskilled players, the skilled pilots will easily chew through most average teams.

Thus, to increase the chance of having even matchups, I suggest a handicap system. Skilled pilots would be gimped (do less damage) and unskilled pilots would be buffed (added damage reduction, do more damage).

How to do this? You'd combine roughly the following information:
  1. Pilot skill on the account level. I.e. if you're good in GSF, you're good regardless of the toon you're currently logged on.
  2. Character related info - since ship gear is on toon level, this reflects the gearing. Either this could be tracked per character, or it could reflect the state of the ships you bring into battle.
  3. The group you're in, if you're currently grouped. This is, of course, more short lived and reflects the synergy effects of grouping up with other skilled players. (As the matchmaker can't break your group up.) This should be on the account level, so alting doesn't clear this component. Possibly this could be tracked for all pilots, regardless of grouping. That would mean it handled quirks such as queue syncing.

At least the pilot component should be pervasive, i.e. logging out doesn't reset you to standard damage. Possibly this pilot score could be visible to everyone, for some kind of bragging rights.

(This info, if it not already is, should be fed to the matchmaker as well.)

Greezt's Avatar


Greezt
07.25.2017 , 04:20 PM | #2
No. Matchmaker should create balanced matches, and that is an issue, but reducing skill artificially or increasing it is not fair to anyone.

People who are better (and as you say, they are better regardless of what alt they're on) have worked for that. You're suggesting that work be thrown away... then what's the point of improving in the first place?

Wanting to have matches against players of similar skill is understandable, even bolstering players with less upgrades (similar to ground PvP) so everyone would be on equal footing gear-wise. Reducing skill is not.

krfsm's Avatar


krfsm
07.25.2017 , 04:36 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Greezt View Post
No. Matchmaker should create balanced matches, and that is an issue, but reducing skill artificially or increasing it is not fair to anyone.

People who are better (and as you say, they are better regardless of what alt they're on) have worked for that. You're suggesting that work be thrown away... then what's the point of improving in the first place?

Wanting to have matches against players of similar skill is understandable, even bolstering players with less upgrades (similar to ground PvP) so everyone would be on equal footing gear-wise. Reducing skill is not.
The big question is - what do you do when the matchmaker cannot reasonably create a balanced match? Currently it selects to have a roflstomp, and it's a pretty common sight. The other alternative is to let the matchmaker prioritize even games over fast pops and groups, and let the group sit in the queue until a reasonably balanced match could be made.

caederon's Avatar


caederon
07.25.2017 , 07:06 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by krfsm View Post
The big question is - what do you do when the matchmaker cannot reasonably create a balanced match? Currently it selects to have a roflstomp, and it's a pretty common sight. The other alternative is to let the matchmaker prioritize even games over fast pops and groups, and let the group sit in the queue until a reasonably balanced match could be made.
The answers you seek are not short-term fixes.

To increase the overall health of the player pool and improve the quality of matches, more people must...
  • Learn the game. Develop an understanding of tactics and which ships counter others.
  • Learn the game. Improve their awareness of where to be and when they're needed there.
  • Learn the game. Explore the benefits of making their own premade and flying as a team.
  • Persevere. The best pilots flying all came up facing the same difficulties pilots now do, or worse.
  • Persevere. Self-improvement in any competitive game or sport is not easy, but is rewarding.
  • Persevere. Through practice, you will improve and grow if you focus your efforts.
_
A handicap, bolster, whatever you call it won't help in the long run. If the people who are getting routinely beaten take it upon themselves to learn, to ask veteran pilots for advice or groups, they will develop the skills to compete regularly. Too many just turn off, throw around accusations of cheating, or look for someone else to solve their problems. It is not impossible to learn to play GSF well, and does not require cheating. It just takes effort and a dedication to fight through the frustrating matches until your skills are up to the task.

Here's a place to start learning.

- Despon

krfsm's Avatar


krfsm
07.26.2017 , 03:42 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by caederon View Post
The answers you seek are not short-term fixes.

To increase the overall health of the player pool and improve the quality of matches, more people must...
  • Learn the game. Develop an understanding of tactics and which ships counter others.
  • Learn the game. Improve their awareness of where to be and when they're needed there.
  • Learn the game. Explore the benefits of making their own premade and flying as a team.
  • Persevere. The best pilots flying all came up facing the same difficulties pilots now do, or worse.
  • Persevere. Self-improvement in any competitive game or sport is not easy, but is rewarding.
  • Persevere. Through practice, you will improve and grow if you focus your efforts.
_
A handicap, bolster, whatever you call it won't help in the long run. If the people who are getting routinely beaten take it upon themselves to learn, to ask veteran pilots for advice or groups, they will develop the skills to compete regularly. Too many just turn off, throw around accusations of cheating, or look for someone else to solve their problems. It is not impossible to learn to play GSF well, and does not require cheating. It just takes effort and a dedication to fight through the frustrating matches until your skills are up to the task.

Here's a place to start learning.

- Despon
That is indeed the desired long term fix, and your efforts to spread knowledge about GSF is commendable. The problem is that "It just takes effort and a dedication to fight through the frustrating matches until your skills are up to the task." currently is the equivalent of a new tennis player learning the game by trying to return serves from an ATP pro.

Now, I've done pretty much all of the above, and it does work - you do get better with information, time, and practice. I've gone from "so bad my team literally would be better off if I didn't leave the hangar" to a bit below average in about 250 games. It's probably about the pace one can expect. Still, expecting enough people to go that way so that we eventually get a healthier player pool makes it seem like unbalanced games are here to stay indefinitely.

However, it might be that an actual handicap system isn't needed, but retuning how matchmaker works would have enough effect by incentivizing good players to split up. One good player, while having a large impact on the match, is probably not enough to reliably turn a game into a roflstomp. Three or four good players is a whole different matter, especially in eight player games.

As it seems right now, the matchmaker prioritizes in roughly this order:
  • Get a game to pop.
  • Prioritize getting groups in over single players.
  • Try to make the game as balanced as possible.

If the matchmaker was changed to make balanced games a higher priority - even over getting a pop, it might be enough. Especially if they make sure to account for the large span in skills. The price would be longer pops, in particular for groups of highly skilled players (since they would more or less have to wait until a comparable collection of highly skilled players materialized on the other side).

In theory, the matchmaker could do other shenanigans as well, such as uneven pops (at least in domination).

merovejec's Avatar


merovejec
07.26.2017 , 07:53 AM | #6
I had always admired the matchmaking compared to regular PVP, the pops are totaly instant, where the PVP que litteraly takes 10 minutes to match if only 16 ppl are quing!

I like the quing system in GSF, just dont like the premades that que and wreck the opposite team of solo quers.
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Storm-Cutter's Avatar


Storm-Cutter
07.26.2017 , 08:34 AM | #7
I see where you are coming from, OP, but not all matches are purely about damage. I'm sure there are GS pilots who'll not welcome a damage debuff, but fast-capping scouts who can race to a sat and evade like crazy to keep it capped won't be unduly affected.

Damage isn't everything in this game. You ( and BW) are better off encouraging more players to Queue up, and let the matchmaker do its job.

OFC X- server or server merge or better rewards, or Legacy hangars, improved tutorial, or other things would be a better alternative.
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krfsm's Avatar


krfsm
07.26.2017 , 11:20 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by merovejec View Post
I had always admired the matchmaking compared to regular PVP, the pops are totaly instant, where the PVP que litteraly takes 10 minutes to match if only 16 ppl are quing!

I like the quing system in GSF, just dont like the premades that que and wreck the opposite team of solo quers.
Well, you can't really have both instant pops and not the premade problem. If wrecked by the premade is the only game available at a certain instant, you either run the match or not. And if you don't, then you get longer queue times.

Currently, wrecking is incentivised - more CXP and UCs and the match ends faster. You could possibly alter this by rewarding solo queueing more. (As in "so much better it's worth not grouping up".)

Quote: Originally Posted by Storm-Cutter View Post
I see where you are coming from, OP, but not all matches are purely about damage. I'm sure there are GS pilots who'll not welcome a damage debuff, but fast-capping scouts who can race to a sat and evade like crazy to keep it capped won't be unduly affected.
Damage sure isn't the only important thing, but it's one of the easiest things to tweak if you want a handicap system.

Quote:
Damage isn't everything in this game. You ( and BW) are better off encouraging more players to Queue up, and let the matchmaker do its job.
It would sure be nice to get more people to queue up, but to get good effects you need them to stay in the queue too. People who are soundly stomped a couple of times tend to take their daily and leave.

Quote:
OFC X- server or server merge or better rewards, or Legacy hangars, improved tutorial, or other things would be a better alternative.
Those would all be lovely things. I don't really see them as alternatives to fixing matchmaking.

Also, I'm not sure you can fix this by better rewards. GSF has decent rewards if you do well. If you don't do well, then not so much. It's hard to increase rewards in a way that doesn't encourage premadestomping or afking.

caederon's Avatar


caederon
07.26.2017 , 11:55 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by krfsm View Post
Currently, wrecking is incentivised - more CXP and UCs and the match ends faster. You could possibly alter this by rewarding solo queueing more. (As in "so much better it's worth not grouping up".)
There are very few groups of highly skilled pilots running right now. It is rare to see more than one such group at any time on any server. This is bad. There should be more. In a game that incentivized learning and improving your performance, it might happen. Currently people can AFK and get a pretty substantial amount of CXP for doing nothing at all. This, too, is bad.

Even if those four skilled pilots are not grouped, in a situation where there are so few players queuing that you regularly see the same lineups match after match, you will still see those players queuing and wrecking the people who do not know what they are doing. In fact the likelihood is strong that people will shuffle to the strong side, regardless of whether the skilled players are grouped or solo queuing. This is a long-observed and well documented phenomenon.

The answer, again, is to give people a reason to want to perform better. Now, I did not need any reason beyond 'I want to beat these people who are blowing me up.' I think that should be sufficient reason for anyone who actually has an interest in the game. A lot of people playing have no interest in GSF, but rather have an interest in easy CXP they can obtain while AFK or doing as little as humanly possible to participate in a match.

If four players are dominating on a server, go gather up three people to fly with you. Get better. Push back. Then gather a few more. Push back harder. Matches will be more competitive. Encourage people to get better and to learn the game, not just farm CXP or throw up their hands and assume nothing can be done.

I have spent a great deal of time observing the performance of the 'average' GSF player. It is common these days for over half of all people in a match to do no more than 30 DPS... to shoot under 15% ... to do less than 10k damage. This is not due to premades. This is due to a lack of effort in learning the game and building up solid skills. If people focus on correcting their own performance issues, the overall skill level and quality of play in matches rises.

Don't count on the good players getting worse or going away.

- Despon

Magira's Avatar


Magira
07.26.2017 , 01:52 PM | #10
Very good idea. Has my full support.
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