These ideas for changing the scoring sound fantastic. I’m particularly excited about the notion of skirmishes and the Victory Point system. These will go a long way from preventing runaway and skewed matches.
The only part I’m concerned with is the potential solution to “night capping”. I think it falls short of where it needs to be and would remain out of balance.
- It’s not okay that the time periods with the smallest number of active players have the largest impact on the score
I don’t see this as an entirely accurate assessment of the situation at hand. There are basically two “night time” scenarios that need addressing:
1. mis-matched prime times: periods when one or more of the worlds has their majority of players on the maps, seriously outnumbering the other world(s), because of time zone or work and sleep schedules, and they sweep the maps, uncontested for many hours, thus generating tons of extra world score
2. time periods when a small number of players can sweep the maps, uncontested for many hours, thus generating tons of extra world score
As a member of GoM who plays NA prime, as well as many other time periods, I have seen both of these scenarios in play, and they’re not necessarily just at “night time”. However, I believe that #1 is the more common imbalance.
I feel that defining a data center “night” is unfair to those players and guilds who’s primary play time does not match a data center based definition. Time of play/time zone is something that we, both players and developers, cannot change. It’s a fixed variable that should not be designed around. Any plans around a set time will most definitely alienate a portion of the player base and the game will remain imbalanced.
The real issue is not time, but map population. And it is a variable that can and should be designed around, and that is where I see the multiplier having the greatest and most fair impact toward balance.
I am advocating for this because it’s quite often, even during NA prime, that a server can be seriously outnumbered. Even after the linking with SoS I am still frequently seeing our side being outnumbered. And I would prefer that a world wins by smarts and strategy rather than pure brute force. Of course, the 5min tic will help with this since zerging/blobbing will become even less score efficient than it already is.
A few possible examples:
1. red team has a 70 man zerg on green’s BL. green is defending with 20 people and continues to get wiped by the larger group, simply because of the size differential. The PPK red team gets from an imbalanced fight should be greatly reduced compared to the PPK green team defenders get. And if green happens to overcome the outnumbered scenario and wipes the red team, they should get far more PPK because that accomplishment is so much more remarkable and valuable to their team.
2. If that red team zerg takes an objective while outnumbering the defenders, red should earn less points for that keep than they would if the contest was not outnumbered — irregardless of upgrade level.
Now, the trick with this is to balance not just around single map population, but across ALL 4 maps. Because it’s quite common to have 1 BL outnumbered while the other 3 maps have balanced populations. But the severity of the situation increases if ALL 4 maps are imbalanced during a time period. That right there is the source of the runaway PPT and the source of the frustration around “night capping”.
TLDR: it’s not a “night time” issue. it’s a population balance issue. designing around a set time period that does not reflect the play time of all or some players is unfair and will only server to further the imbalance and alienate more players.
balancing point multipliers around single and all 4 map populations DURING skirmish periods, will be a much more effective, fluid and adaptable design that will serve the needs of those outnumbered much better.
not sure exactly how to do this, but I’m convinced it’s the way to go!