MechHero Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance  (Read 8173 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Elby

  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« on: December 04, 2012, 09:23:06 PM »

Dear Developers. Two ideas for you. Please read:

1) In this game you have worked very hard at creating balance to promote healthy competition which is what makes games in general more challenging and more fun. You stopped short, however with alliances. A game of football wouldn't be much fun to play if it was 18 players vs 4. Similarly, the game of Chess would not have lasted very long if one side was all queens. In S1, 90% of the top players all banded together, and now that alliance is full of queens ...so to speak   ;)

Credit where credit is due; SC played a hell of a game.

S1 however, like servers often do, is coming to a very predictable and anticlimactic ending as a result of this huge imbalance. I'd like to see a limit on alliance size when the server restarts. Not on the number of players, but on total infrastructure. I think the end game would be far more interesting if there were 9 or 10 equally matched alliances all going for the win. It might also create some new challenges in terms of strategic choices about optimal infrastructure size

2) With the abundance of resources in the speed server, I think the number of MBBs you need to build next city should be double the number it was for last city. This would help players who start a little late to catch up more easily, it would help shift the focus of the game from building to fighting for more developed players, and might also help to limit army size a little - which is another objective of yours I believe, to help relieve the strain on your servers.

Current MBBs needed:
2nd city - 1
3rd city - 4
4th city - 9
5th city - 16
6th city - 25
7th city - 36
8th city - 49
9th city - 64
10th city - 81
11th city - 100

Proposed MBBs needed:
2nd city - 1
3rd city - 2
4th city - 4
5th city - 8
6th city - 16
7th city - 32
8th city - 64
9th city - 128
10th city - 256
11th city - 512

I believe these two simple changes would create a more balanced competitive game environment, would limit the ability of a just a few players to dominate all other players, and would make it more fun for everyone.
Logged

Dani

  • translations_ro
  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 10:02:40 PM »

Its a REALY a good ideea.
I hope they will think about it.
I would love to see 5-10 alliance going for the win
It would be a hell of a war  :)
I hope some one consider your ideea.
A good ideea would be to consider the numbers of players on a alliance...at least on speed servers
Logged

Elby

  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 10:23:35 AM »

Thanks. I hope they do too
Logged

adamsky

  • Nova
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 03:17:59 PM »

I was watching S1 closely as it was the first speed server.

Reducing number of players wouldn't change anything. As far as I remember when D.O.A. merged with Husaria, they had more players than SC.

9-10 small alliances fighting for victory is a really cool, but I have no idea how to implement it. If we limit alliances to 10 players, there are 2 possible scenarios:
1) Alliances will be signing pacts. Selected group will be having a real game and the rest will only support their fighters.
2) There will be still 2 - 3 alliances having a real endgame, but they will all consist of top50 players. Alliance that wants to win will simply not take any player below certain level of activity.
In fact 1) and 2) is more or less the same scenario - the only question is what will those alliances that can't win anyway do. Will they help one of the top alliances or will they just focus on simming and NPCs?

To have a war between 9-10 groups, we'd have to convince all players that it's a good idea to fight a war where your chances are ~10%. I don't think it's possible - people will simply search for a way to increase their chances. 10%? Why not kick half of our players, invite top players from another alliance and increase chance of winning to 30%?

Quote
I'd like to see a limit on alliance size when the server restarts. Not on the number of players, but on total infrastructure.
I think it should be rather about off points, not infrastructure points.
Off points show player's activity, resource income, amount of weapons he gets from NPCs, etc. Thats more important during the war than ammount of cities.

The problem is that most of those top alliances are formed during early weeks. Perhaps not whole alliances, but the core players usually start to cooperate in the first phase of the server. What then? Kick players from their alliances, because they are doing to many NPCs?


When I analyze this problem (and I'm doing it since beta), I see one regularity: it's harder to unbalance the game when there are more players on the server. S1 is a good example here. We didn't have many players there and 50-player alliance could dominate the game. If we had 3 or 4 times more players, I doubt they woule be able to do the same.

Building a team of 30-40 players who cooprate is not a very hard task, but I think there is some natural limit on how many players alliance admins can effectively control. Thats one of the reasons why we want to spend next months increasing ammount of players. The more players required to dominate the server, the smaller chance that someone will be able to gather such group and keep them in one piece for few months.

Quote
Proposed MBBs needed:
2nd city - 1
3rd city - 2
4th city - 4
5th city - 8
6th city - 16
7th city - 32
8th city - 64
9th city - 128
10th city - 256
11th city - 512
I was rather thinking about leaving the old formula and putting limitation to 12 cities.
Game is ready for this - such feature was prepared for S4. It's set to 99 on all servers (except S4), but we could modify this to 12 for speed servers.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 03:20:19 PM by adamsky »
Logged

Dani

  • translations_ro
  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 05:44:18 PM »

well those alliances that have a hard time im sure they will ally with some other alliance that are in the same situation and try to eliminate the threat..
thats what i would do.
Its realy a nice ideea to limit alliances to 10 players
And when the end game scenarion starts the war will be more instristing because when multiple alliances will start to atack the same alliance no one will be safe like SC its now..
Because when 18 of 20 players from top 20 are in the same alliance nothink can pose a threat to them
Logged

adamsky

  • Nova
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 03:36:21 PM »

Quote
And when the end game scenarion starts the war will be more instristing because when multiple alliances will start to atack the same alliance no one will be safe like SC its now..
I seriously doubt that. As far as I know SC was a team before we even launched the server. They simply knew each other from previous servers.

What I would do in their situation if I wanted to win, would be to start 'SC main' alliance with top players and 'SC wing1', 'SC wing2', ... They all sign pacts. Main alliance fights for most important artifacts and builds Spaceships and wing alliances provide them with support.
Logged

DonJean

  • Wolverine
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 08:35:23 PM »

Elby wasn't saying to set a hard limit on how many players you can have in an alliance but that you limit how large an alliance can be by infrastructure.

If you set a cap of 25000 you could end up with something like this.

1. One large player of 14000 and a number of smaller players supporting him.

2. 3 Players of 8000 each.

3. 8 Players of 3000 each.

4. Any combination of players that have less than 25000.

This way you still limit how big an alliance can be but in a much less direct way. You could try the infrastructure limit to cell usage, or a specific building or an average of a building size, Age of server. There are so many ways to have it grow, but there would eventually need to be a Hard Cap which you would have to base on current server populations and large endgame players.



Point 2

Your remark about pacts and the above won't entirely eliminate it but then that is the same situation you have currently in game. I would go a step further and have a resource cost for those pacts and each one beyond the first would have a larger cost to maintain. Tie this into how large the alliances are and it would quickly become prohibitively expensive to maintain more than one or two of them forcing the alliances into opposition.

Beyond that you need to institute a penalty for actually breaking pacts since currently they are pretty meaningless.
Logged

adamsky

  • Nova
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 10:45:28 AM »

Quote
Elby wasn't saying to set a hard limit on how many players you can have in an alliance but that you limit how large an alliance can be by infrastructure.
I'm trying to answer all ideas.

Quote
If you set a cap of 25000 you could end up with something like this.

1. One large player of 14000 and a number of smaller players supporting him.

2. 3 Players of 8000 each.

3. 8 Players of 3000 each.

4. Any combination of players that have less than 25000.

This way you still limit how big an alliance can be but in a much less direct way. You could try the infrastructure limit to cell usage, or a specific building or an average of a building size, Age of server. There are so many ways to have it grow, but there would eventually need to be a Hard Cap which you would have to base on current server populations and large endgame players.
The only reasonable way to do it is to bind it with the situation on the server. For example: if #1 alliance has more points than #2 + #3, it can't recruit new members.

I still think that infrastructure points don't mean that much here - it's all about off points.

Quote
Your remark about pacts and the above won't entirely eliminate it but then that is the same situation you have currently in game. I would go a step further and have a resource cost for those pacts and each one beyond the first would have a larger cost to maintain. Tie this into how large the alliances are and it would quickly become prohibitively expensive to maintain more than one or two of them forcing the alliances into opposition.
Basic problem is that if people WANT to coopearte and DON'T WANT to attack each other, we can't force them to change their mind. It doesn't matter if we limit alliance sizes or remove pacts from the game. Diplomats of alliance A make a deal with diplomats of alliance B, both alliances recieve a broadcast about who is a friend and that's it - you have a big alliance created despite any limitations. Not to mention that top alliances have tons of resources towards the end of the game.

Strong limitation on alliance size is a problem for smaller players (less experienced or less active), because they have much smaller chance to get an invitation to some good alliance with experienced people who can teach them how to play and show everything (incl. artfacts, portals, Moon takeover oprations, etc.). We'd also have to simplify whole endgame. Keeping multiple Portals, Moon takeovers&defence, building and destroying Spaceships - that's a bit to much for a 10-players team. Thats why I don't want to implement it if I'm not 100% sure it will have some positive impact on reducing powerblocks.

Quote
Beyond that you need to institute a penalty for actually breaking pacts since currently they are pretty meaningless.
You sign pacts with humans leading the other alliance, not with game engine.
Logged

Shadovar

  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 11:31:45 AM »

If you limit it to 10 players for example and have a limit on size (be that infrustructure of offense or whatever) then there may be pacts between those alliances during building time but also garanteed will be more people than that want to win come end game and much more likely to have more than one group controlling different moons and competing rather than one snowballing giant alliance steamrolling all moons control and game being over without any endgame really existing.

There will always be the people cheating with second accounts or with friends feeding them, however there are some limits you can create.
Currently there's very very weak limits for recieving or sending resources to a player during a time frame, far beyond what they could generate themselves, which isn't even tied to alliances at all.
I'd be interested in how the "weekly merchant" works, since I can't see some of the weekly winners were doing any actual real buying and selling, the numbers for a couple of people were astronomical some weeks early on(and one of those got banned).


This was my first server other than some limited play on very boring slow server beforehand.  I played offensive, annoyed a bunch of vodka party, fell in with a good bunch of guys on the far side of the map that taught me a bunch about the game(D.O.A).  Got pretty much killed off by SC retaliating but had a lot of fun. 
Would have been nice if any end game existed, vodka party split in 2 then came back together as SC, server could have been very interesting if they'd stayed as multiple factions and tried to compete for moons end game.

The speed i felt could have gone around 3x or 4x speed instead of 5 and felt as action packed without quite the same pressure on activity 24/7.
Logged

Isotope

  • Puma
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 05:51:23 AM »

Current MBBs needed:
2nd city - 1
3rd city - 4
4th city - 9
5th city - 16
6th city - 25
7th city - 36
8th city - 49
9th city - 64
10th city - 81
11th city - 100

Proposed MBBs needed:
2nd city - 1
3rd city - 2
4th city - 4
5th city - 8
6th city - 16
7th city - 32
8th city - 64
9th city - 128
10th city - 256
11th city - 512


The city limit is the only way to do this. I started on week 4, and had a second city while still under protection. I had gobs of resources and could have easily, just by clearing NPC's constantly, made a couple more cities while we were collecting anti-matter. I only ended up making 2 on galatea, but when we were at +4k, there really wasn't a reason to go for city 9/10/11, though I certainly had enough mortars and IPC's to recycle (on 6 level 10 recyclers) to do so.

Really, the way to encourage strong alliances to separate, is to have a public shoutbox. Perhaps on the right side of the screen that is available to all, even unaligned players, so that trash talkers can provoke war. I'm sure Neo would be able to get 7-10 alliances all against him :D


Logged

Fichom

  • Athlas
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 07:18:32 PM »

I also recommended having an server with small alliances...

NOTE: Read the whole thing, because if you don't, you will missunderstand something, and start writing comments that are not connected with what i wrote

Alliances would be limited to 10-15 players... Reason why this would work is that players that would support the "Leading alliance" (by leading i mean alliance they are helping, not winning alliance) wouldn't get the victory, nor credits... truth is, reason why there are huge alliances is because it is easiest way to win is to join an alliance that is currently 1st, and when people notice that it is an easy win, they all go for the 1st ranked alliance.

This gives the 1st alliance to pick best players out of those who requested entrance, with a condition they have to support "Fighters" (members of alliance who amass armies, and without support would starve in 2-3 hours).

If you make it so each alliance can have 15 members, 1 alliance will only be able to have 4-5 "big" fighters, and those big armies they would have would be significantly weaker than the current ones because supports/fighters ratio would be way too low to support those SUPER ULTRA MEGA armies we currently have...

Currently you have an alliance with 80 member, of which let's say 10%, or 8, are fighters. This means there are around 30 supports(considering there are low activity players, and those who have mid self sustaining aries)... that makes it 30:8, or "3.75" supports per big fighter(almost 4)...

If you had 4 fighters, and only 11 supports, you would already lower that ratio to "2,75" (approximately 3) supports per big fighter, which is 1 support less, which is around 250k cells/day less(in week 25) (NOTE i guessed every support has 4 cities, 3 1/1/8 and 1 3/3/4, with small armies, that would make 10k cell production per hour) for each fighter there is in the alliance(which kind of makes alliance loose 1M cell production effectiveness per day).

Now if you consider that there would be 1:1:1 ratio of fighters:supports:normal (by normal i mean players who have self sustaining armies) fighters could each only have 250k extra cells per day(because on 1 fighter comes 1 support), they could have only 10k cells bigger armies...

_________________________________________________________________________________

Maths:

Alliances with current max players:
Let's say there are 80 players in alliance

Fighters per alliance: 8
Supports per alliance: 30
Supports per Fighter: 3,75
Extra cells production/hour: 300k (considering each support is able to produce 10k cells/hour)
Extra cells per fighter/hour: 37,5k

______________

Alliances with 15 max players:

Fighters per alliance: 4
Supports per alliance: 4
Supports per Fighter: 1
Extra cells production/hour: 40k (considering each support is able to produce 10k cells/hour)
Extra cells per fighter/hour: 10k

NOTE: these numbers are roughly correct (im not a player with supper long experience)


Even if i miss calculated how much cells each support can produce cells per hour in week 15, ratios will always stay the same, meaning as time passes by(week 25, week 30) fighters in current alliances will benefit even more from their supports....


Also, fighter/support ratio in current alliances is also taken roughly(if im correct, there should be 3-4 fighters, those that amass huge armies), and around 30 supports, which makes them get 2 times more cells per hour than in my calculations...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 05:08:58 PM by Fichom »
Logged

Shadovar

  • Raptor
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 08:45:21 PM »

Numbers(and weeks) are way off because topic is about speed server where things happen fast and needs to be competition for end game or it happens too fast and whole facet is completely removed from game.
Every single city will produce 10k+ cells just from having 100% transform for example.
Logged

DonJean

  • Wolverine
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2012, 11:33:16 PM »

The numbers are off for a speed server yes but You pretty much summed up exactly what we've been trying to get across to the developers Fic.

By creating a limited size alliance you still have 40 people who want to win but now they can't all be in the same alliance so so will have to compete to do it. That combined with less support means that the armies are smaller and more people will be able to compete in PvP.

So to build on Fics system of capped alliance size at 10 I would also recommend that resources cannot be traded by non alliance members other than through the exchange post. This means that if you have players with secondary accounts to feed themselves you will quickly see it since they would
A) have to take up space in your alliance

or

B) Make a series of obvious one sided exchanges which the Developers could very easily track and thus close down.

Logged

Fichom

  • Athlas
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 05:08:03 PM »

The numbers are off for a speed server yes but You pretty much summed up exactly what we've been trying to get across to the developers Fic.

Yeah i know, idk why i was doing numbers for normal speed server... but ratios are kept the same...it totally went off my mind it is speed server we are talking about here(this post was written for around 4 hours, so i forgot some things like it is about speed server... i was at work)

But i want to see a normal speed server with this function as well anyway...!

By creating a limited size alliance you still have 40 people who want to win but now they can't all be in the same alliance so so will have to compete to do it. That combined with less support means that the armies are smaller and more people will be able to compete in PvP.

So to build on Fics system of capped alliance size at 10 I would also recommend that resources cannot be traded by non alliance members other than through the exchange post. This means that if you have players with secondary accounts to feed themselves you will quickly see it since they would
A) have to take up space in your alliance

or

B) Make a series of obvious one sided exchanges which the Developers could very easily track and thus close down.

I'm glad someone saw the point in my post (+ respect for reading the whole thing and not just first sentence! :D)

Basically yes, smaller alliances means more strong alliances, which means more competition, which also mean smaller armies, which also mean more players can actually join in fight of becoming victorious, which means more competition and even smaller armies(destroyed in fights), which means more players can actually join in fight for victory...(if you see what im getting at)

There would ofc be 2 problems and those are the portal guards and starship...

Well to deal with Portal armies(which are pretty strong as they are), you shouldn't make em weaker, just make it so there are rewards even when army is not defeated
so basically every attack that hits, and some transport platforms come out of it alive, attacking army gets some loot. This will bring in even more planning, because you should balance between nice loot, loosing part of your army, and the fact that alliance that clears out the portal will get the control of it(i am taking in consideration it will take 5-15 attempts to take down portal guards with mid armies)

Spaceship problem? make it so an alliance only need 1 or 2 spaceships lvl 10
and if you will have several alliances building up spaceships, it will make players do better strategies(should they defend, or should they try to take down enemy spaceship, or both at a time...)
Logged

adamsky

  • Nova
  • *****
  • Posts: 3781
    • Email
Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 03:31:02 PM »

You keep assuming that if we increase number of alliances, those alliances will be working independently.

Whenever we have a serious conflict, people tend to make 2-3 groups. It works like this both in computer games and in real wars. See WW2 for instance. It wasn't UK vs France vs Germany vs Italy vs USA vs Japan vs Poland vs Russia vs ... We had many countries that formed two military alliances.

The same thing is happening in Mech Hero. We usually start with few separate alliances that form bigger ones to increase their chances during the endgame.

Quote
Reason why this would work is that players that would support the "Leading alliance" (by leading i mean alliance they are helping, not winning alliance) wouldn't get the victory, nor credits
Those smaller alliances don't have any chance to win on their own. Just like #3 or #4 alliances didn't have any chance on S1. They can either support one of the leading alliance or give up the endgame.

Quote
If you make it so each alliance can have 15 members, 1 alliance will only be able to have 4-5 "big" fighters, and those big armies they would have would be significantly weaker than the current ones because supports/fighters ratio would be way too low to support those SUPER ULTRA MEGA armies we currently have...
I'm afraid that top players will adjust to the new situation faster then the rest. They can buy cells from their wing alliances.

On the other hand we will have many alliances with no fighters at all. There will be more alliances that don't give you any protection or any knowledge about the game.



Lets say we have 10 alliances of equal firepower. When 2 alliances notice that each of them has 10% chance to win when separated and together they are leaders, the chain reaction starts. The rest can either accept that their chances just dropped or do the same. Sooner or later we have 2 major forces. To change that, we have to start with convincing players that it's cool to have 10% chances to win and they shouldn't look for allies to increase their chances.


Quote
Spaceship problem? make it so an alliance only need 1 or 2 spaceships lvl 10
and if you will have several alliances building up spaceships, it will make players do better strategies(should they defend, or should they try to take down enemy spaceship, or both at a time...)
It's a bit more complex. Endgame was designed for more people. There are many tasks during endgame. Some of those tasks require hi-activity fighters, others can be handled by smaller players. Reducing alliances to 15 players will force us to rebuild the endgame.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3