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Author Topic: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance  (Read 7401 times)

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Fichom

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 12:50:49 AM »

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.

Your example is just wrong. In WW2 reason why everyone wasn't fighting for themselves is not because they wanted more chance of winning the war, it is because they had the same cause and same way of achieving that cause...

Small alliances would have the same cause(winning the game), but the way of achieving it is only possible by winning yourself, and not helping others to win(by others, I mean other alliances).

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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.

It is natural for top players to adjust to new situations faster... I mean it is not really an argument, because top people will always adjust faster(if we wen't by sense we shouldn't develop any new technologies in RL until everybody adjusts, than we would still be using oil lamps, and write with ink on paper, and only with ink on paper)

So maybe there will be few big alliances among alliances, but in the end they will all have to separate and fight for themselves to win...

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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.

Yes I'm aware it's a bit more complex. If I went and wrote everything you had to remodel, and ofc I don't know everything, it would probably take 5 A4 pages to analyse and argument every change that would have to be made!

Also, i don't see the problem of testing this...

Oh, and remember one thing: When you play a game, you play it to have fun, win is just a sweet little reward you get! Try thinking of players as of people who want to play(as the word says), not some sociopath people who will burn your family if they don't win! Point of the game is to have great fun! I know many games I have lost, and yet I had a lot of fun. On the other hand, there are games I won, but I didn't really enjoy them!
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adamsky

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 02:05:11 PM »

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Your example is just wrong. In WW2 reason why everyone wasn't fighting for themselves is not because they wanted more chance of winning the war, it is because they had the same cause and same way of achieving that cause...
WW2 was just an example. Personally I can't recall any major conflict in a history with 4 or 5 forces of equall size fighting everyone against everyone.

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Small alliances would have the same cause(winning the game), but the way of achieving it is only possible by winning yourself, and not helping others to win(by others, I mean other alliances).
Lets say you are a leader of an alliance ranked #7. Those at the top are 4-5 times more active and all your alliance Mechs combined are probably weaker than epic armies of most dangerous attackers. You can go for your own Spaceships and have like 0.0004% chance of winning or you can team up with some top alliance and have a 60% chance of being part of a winning team.

In both scenarios you won't see your nicknames on endgame screen.

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Oh, and remember one thing: When you play a game, you play it to have fun, win is just a sweet little reward you get! Try thinking of players as of people who want to play(as the word says), not some sociopath people who will burn your family if they don't win! Point of the game is to have great fun! I know many games I have lost, and yet I had a lot of fun. On the other hand, there are games I won, but I didn't really enjoy them!
Yes, it's correct for 99% of players. If it was 100% correct, there would be no problem with powerblocks.
Few active 'sociopaths' on the server is more than enough to affect server balance.



Ok, we can limit alliances for the next S1 round. Easiest way will be to reduce Planetary Council max level to 2 (10 members) or 3 (25 members).
Still I'm afraid that it will mostly affect small players. It will simply promote top players who can be part of a top alliance - those with lower activity will get marginalized.
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Neo

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 02:42:49 PM »

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Few active 'sociopaths' on the server is more than enough to affect server balance.

Any examples, adam?   ::)

adamsky

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 02:43:47 PM »

 ;D
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Itwasmyidea

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 03:29:10 PM »


Ok, we can limit alliances for the next S1 round. Easiest way will be to reduce Planetary Council max level to 2 (10 members) or 3 (25 members).
Still I'm afraid that it will mostly affect small players. It will simply promote top players who can be part of a top alliance - those with lower activity will get marginalized.

Who cares about the small players? on the speed server you shouldnt be small, its for actives only, I had 5000 pts (5 cities) and I played it casual to test it out while enduring the boredom of my s2 account to grow and I got attacked daily you can build 12 bunkers fast enough on that server. This is an old old argument about alliance sizes adamsky and  in several posts and you still cling on to the idea of the small alliances banding together to take on the winning alliance or they have pacts to help the main alliance. These players deserve to lose (and do) and not have their nicknames on endgame board cos they just sit and build and do nothing else.
I repeat all alliances (all servers) keep to 50 players (ive played with roughly the same guys across servers) make that number to force cooperation. Im not going to have one of the top players on the server recruited into my alliance if he offers nothing TO the alliance.

25 player alliance is to small on endgame for most servers, could be the answer for s1 cos then who would build the mbb's for the moon?
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Bad Squad

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 04:08:08 PM »

sorry for breaking s1, we didn't plan this
the plan was to create a small but dangerous alliance, 30 people who know each other from previous servers and know how to use their mechs
when VP grew to big, we reorganized into CS and declared war to everyone, but we were still to powerfull

limitations wouldn't stop us, because most of us were friends and we wouldn't kill each other no matter what
communication would be a pain in ass, but thats the only problem
our attackers didn't get to much cells from the alliance, everyone wanted to buy, noone wanted to sell

the idea of limiting alliance size seems to be good and bad for me
good because I like to play in smaller alliances
bad because I'm not big enough to have a place among those 30 players who will fight during endgame


acid
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Fichom

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 11:10:13 PM »

Lets say you are a leader of an alliance ranked #7. Those at the top are 4-5 times more active and all your alliance Mechs combined are probably weaker than epic armies of most dangerous attackers. You can go for your own Spaceships and have like 0.0004% chance of winning or you can team up with some top alliance and have a 60% chance of being part of a winning team.

In both scenarios you won't see your nicknames on endgame screen.

Ok, your "optimism" is on again. Wrong! Why do you assume there will be only 2 alliance who will be at the top? Let's take s3(only place i played at)... there were around 150 players that were active near the end(im not saying they are all fighters, but that is not the point anyway) all throughout the game. If you make it so each alliance can have 15 members, you would have around 10 alliances. Why do you think that 2 of them would be stronger than other 8? Because they consist of "best" players from those super huge alliances? That is so wrong way to look at it.

Now if this game got more players, and let's say there would be 300 people active per server... than hey, make alliances have 30-40 members, but "unlimited" is way too much atm... i mean you can currently put all active people in one alliance, which is stupid...

Why will it be fine with smaller alliances?
Reason why it will be hard for starters is, well they are starters. Reason why it will be hard for veterans is because they are used to fact they have 40-50 players that support their asses and can help em. But if you reduce that number to 10-15 players... well that is a very big change.

Also reason why this game isn't getting really popular is because there is nothing fun to do for everyone(no big fights). Reason why there are no fights for everyone there are huge alliances, and when you are a newcomer you get a support position because you don't know anything about fighting. Than you play like a support, and you really don't get any chance to actually learn how to be a fighter. Than on next round, you are again support because you didn't get enough exp or far less exp than fighters, and it goes on and on, and you never get to do what you want. If you do what you want, you are seen as someone who is not helping the alliance, and you get forced to be support again, or are kicked out and your ass get's farmed like it is July.


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Ok, we can limit alliances for the next S1 round. Easiest way will be to reduce Planetary Council max level to 2 (10 members) or 3 (25 members).
Still I'm afraid that it will mostly affect small players. It will simply promote top players who can be part of a top alliance - those with lower activity will get marginalized.

Well that is only thing you need to do. Just try. I'm not the boss here, decide on how big alliances should be yourself, just make em limited from 10-20...
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DonJean

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 11:17:13 PM »

Only one alliance can actually win. It is against nature to help someone else beat you. Sure during mid game a few alliance will create pacts but when it comes to endgame those are going to break up. This was why we talked about a reward for the winners to further encourage this.

You talk about small players but for the most part they don't get into the top alliances anyways so now you've created a bigger chance of that happening for them. More alliance will need more players to fill thus more spaces available.

Just limiting the Planetary Council size alone won't work. We've already pointed out a few other things that would need to come with it to help balance it out. There is no point in testing it in a half assed way since then of course you are going to get a bad result. This is like picking a result you want and then designing an experiment to get you those results not one that tests the theory.

I'm sure most of us are willing to wait a few servers while you put all the measures in place before you test it.
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Enneagon

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2012, 04:40:42 AM »

Let me enter this discussion with little bit different angle of sight. You don't really need to limit alliances in any way if You can make them less stable, crate some tension within.

One way to do so would be to limit the number of people that can actually 'win' regardless of alliance size, and then it will limit out itself. If there only max 25 places on the winning board, for example, then it isn't likely to be many 40+ people groups close to the end. Perhaps I badly wrong... and just didn't know nothing about endgame as such - that's a fact.

The other way may be to make it plain set beneficial (not just socially supported) to be among very few top ranks in the alliance, so that you can really get more by being leader of 12 player team than someone usual mid-ranked citizen in huge 60 people group - and, - with the same level of activity (and perhaps even skill).

Whenever an alliance start to bloat too big, people not satisfied with their position in it (and there must be reason not to be satisfied) have had a good reason to split off and go on their own. So eventually each of super-active 'sociopaths' going to form its own small team of followers - as the most effective way to exploit game mechanics - but make it somewhat hard for several such to live tightly together for long.
 
Of course, those smaller groups will combine together - and it must be easy for them not only to combine, but also to recombine on opportunity. Still finally, an joint effort is necessary to reach the wining conditions and overcome another joint effort - but always being aware that only small part of it will actually go through to 'win'.

Yes, you must create much more reasons for people to fight each other - they will always help each other anyway, perhaps, natural.

And yes, I purportedly wrote this wishfully - I want emphasize goals, not means.
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DonJean

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 05:02:19 AM »

That is taking a very pointless way out. Even if there is only 4 spots on the leader board you are still going to get the massive alliances forcing the smaller new players to feed and support them. But by rights the smaller players are still going to get bragging rights of saying they were in a winning alliance.

In a perfect world you want to remove the option of exploiting the mechanics while still creating healthy competition.

You can't really create intra-alliance forces since as Acid pointed out most of the big alliances are actual close groups of friends working together for the win. What you need to do is create a reason to have those players compete.

If you have a 60 person alliance even with 10 people leaving there is more than enough to pick up the slack. Now in a 10 person alliance losing even 2 people is going to hurt. The same goes for players who are coasting. Even one resource leech is seriously going to hamper a 10 person alliance so it become imperative for the big more active players to make sure the newer players learn the game compared to now where they just make up the numbers.
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adamsky

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2013, 04:26:09 PM »

Don't think that forgot about this one. :)

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Ok, your "optimism" is on again. Wrong! Why do you assume there will be only 2 alliance who will be at the top?
Because of my gaming experience. All games smiliar to MH I played had this tendency to end with 2, max 3 teams towards the end of the server. As I said earlier: it's hard for people to accept that they have only 10% chances to win - they will try to increase their chances by forming pacts.


I started to play a strategy game with endgame and possiblity to destroy buildings and with very small alliances to check it once again. After all I wasn't playing to much since MH S1. Unfortunately I see it happening again. Since alliances are really small, single alliance means nothing. Not being part of some bigger pact makes you absolutely meaningless. You can't win alone (as a single alliance) so the choice is very simple: either you accept half-victory (being part of winning team) or you're not a part of the real game at all.

The worst part is that it's not stopping people from forming powerblocks. All top5 alliances are members of the same pact. Ofcourse many more top alliances are part of this pact and I don't see a chance for anyone to beat them unless they split.

So it's not solving main problems we'd all like to solve and it generates a new one: you can't play without some external forums or communicators and it's hard to force people to use those. Communication with allies sucks.


S2 that just ended is another proof that limits based on number of members or infrastructure points will not work. When endgame was starting Husaria had more members and more infra points. Wolfpack had more off points. Since we can't "calculate" alliance cooperation, off points are the only indicator that allows us to compare which alliance has an advantage. If we want to limit alliances in any way, we have to block recruitment for an alliance that has significantly more off points than other alliances.


I was thinking about something similar to our experience system. When you win the battle by overkill, there is no experience. In this case we could give bigger or smaller credit prizes for winning. In case of obvious powerblock (like TS on S3 or VP on current speed server), there would be no credit prize at all. The more fierce endgame war, the bigger prize for the winners.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 04:28:55 PM by adamsky »
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Itwasmyidea

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2013, 01:29:06 PM »

It depends more on leadership of the alliance, if we have smaller alliances we can be more 'selective' in who was within. Will this not force leadership to be more active , reinforcing targeting a single player etc?
Husaria had nothing more than simmers, doesnt really work if all you do is 'collect' these type of players just to look like a powerfull alliance.
Also off points is always going to be concentrated between the few, I had more myself than a 30 player alliance. Smaller alliance's you dont want, some points I agree others dont, all I know is every server apart from beta and s1r1 the endgame isnt worth playing , its become a procession.
Smaller alliances cant dominate so many moons (or it will be much tougher) thus options for other alliances to be embroiled in some sort of moon/earth war/battles are enhanced. Chances are SS's might be built by more than one alliance (attacking/defending options opened up there), antimatter stealing might come back into play, who knows?
I had one serious attack in 4 months.......not good enough.
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Neo

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2013, 02:02:55 PM »

First s2 also had a decent endgame and both parties were evenly balanced if you can recall. But last s2 was the bottomline, husaria had virtually 0 production of AM and 0 ships.
While last servers i finished #1 defensive, last s2 i did not have one single real attack on my bases for all the duration of the server, even tough i was right in the center and the most attractive target. And we started as 30 versus 100.

Jmar

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2013, 05:52:32 PM »

Neo is right, HUSSARIA was very big, with a lot of players; but the problem was inactivity. There were playing only about 8 players. The rest was most of time red (inactive), and there were a lot of noobs there that didn't know basic things. Hussaria has a lot of cells and weapons... without use. Hussaria really didn't play.

In other hand, there were several experienced and very active players in Wolfpack. Wolfpack players were agressive, cooperative, and ACTIVE.

We also have to consider that several "active" players inside Hussaria were secondary accounts of some Wolfpack players. Spies are part of the game, but multiaccounting is not allowed.

That server was the most boring I ever played.
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furek86

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Re: Next Speed Server - Alliance Limits to improve Game Balance
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2013, 03:55:00 AM »


That server was the most boring I ever played.


LOL dude, you are famous for being reduced to 0 twice. You are a star and will go down in history of MH. That part wasn't borning at all. I just can't understand why after a second attack you wouldn't simply delete the old acc and create a new one somewhere far. Guess you must've liked it or whatever ;)

We also have to consider that several "active" players inside Hussaria were secondary accounts of some Wolfpack players. Spies are part of the game, but multiaccounting is not allowed.
Having a spy doesn't have to mean you have multies dude. Being persuasive and a good strategist does. And having loyal friends from other servers. And since Husaria was willing to accept anyone, it's its own fault.
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