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Meta Breaking Strategy Proves Matchmaker Is Destroying Faction Warfare


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#1 High Xoltage

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:40 AM

The 'Too Good to be True' sales event of the year begins the moment a new strategy to combat the IS's dominance in Faction Warfare's 'Scouting' play mode is discovered.

Ice Ferrets for EVERYONE!

PGI has done an amazing job making the weight classes of mechs all very relevant. I would say that PGI has done a better job balancing 20ton mechs with 100ton mechs than even the original pen and paper, meaning any mech in game has a chance.

Where PGI has constantly failed, however, is 'balance' between the factions, and so long as PGI is unwilling to explore some solutions to breaking up PUG stomps, they never will.
It will be impossible to control for game rules and quirking until PGI finds a way to control for skill level of their players and units.

If you talk to players about Faction Warfare, as it stands - IS players will say the reason for their dominance is because several KEY 'units' have moved to IS and are exerting their dominance in faction warfare - Clan will say that IS dominance is because Scouting so heavily favors the IS.

Basically, this can be distilled down to the IS saying, 'We have skillz, yo!' and the Clans saying, 'You have quirks, yo!'

But disrupting the meta has shown that, yeah, as a matter of fact, IS Faction Warface dominance does depend, at least for the most part, on the Bushwackers and the Assassins having 2.25 and 1.53 tons of extra armor, respectively. Armor ON TOP OF an otherwise important hard limit to total armor.

But let's ignore that. I want to focus on why the 'science' of this is impossible to conduct while we have two HUGE floating matrixes to reconcile, relative rule balance and relative skill levels.
Russ has stated time and time again that the point of Faction Warfare is to be a refuge for organized units of players but that Faction Warfare cannot survive without PUG filler players.
So...spoilers...this leads to pug stomps...and PGI's answer to PUG stomps has always been "MOAR QUIRKS!"

When the large, organized units favored the Clan factions, PGI responded by quirking the hell out of the IS. This moved the meta to the IS and the organized units followed.
Some say "to get more matches"...but that, I feel, only strengthens the arguement that the matchmaker is broken.

So here we are, again, with a meta and an imbalance in the fundimental game mode which carries the game forward.

What's the ONE THING that PGI hasn't changed?

The FW match maker.

Why won't PGI fix it?

PGI doesn't want to create more buckets.

But when people suggest a solution which would PREVENT PUG stomps and DECREASE the number of buckets, PGI claims it will upset their core players.

What is this solution?

Break up organized units in to lances.

Russ will say that this will upset their core group. We'll say it makes the game unfun for anyone who isn't the core group. We'll say that we outnumber this mythical 'core group'. Russ will plug his ears and run away screaming 'la la la la la, I can't hear you' as we also remind him that Faction Warfare can't function without PUGs.

So how do we make large groups and PUGs happy without making more buckets?

*** The proposal to fix this once and for all!!!! ***

Are you ready?

*** here it comes!!! ***

The answer is…. BREAK THE GROUPS IN TO LANCES…. And tell the units, "It's not permanent, we're just changing the rules for a season. If you don't like it, we'll change it back."
See what I did there? I took a proposal that Russ is afraid is too drastic to adopt....and sugar coated it with the caveat, "If you don't like it, we'll change it back."

Just give it a try….

Just give it a try….

Is that too much to ask? Is 3 months of a several years old suggestion too much to ask? Set maximum group size to 4 and call it done for one season.

Then, set up match maker to try and build 8 man or 12 man teams out of unit players if there is an equally matched group on the other faction.

Just...f'n...try it...

#2 The Basilisk

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:49 AM

Most Units I know stopped playing FP in regular manner outside of the events when it was clear that no Faction content for faction warfare or no further game content than weapons and mechs would be forthcomming with Civil war.
I think the last realy FP flare up was in jan last year...wait till the winter giveaway events are over and you'll see FP will again become a non issue cuz nobody plays it.

Edited by The Basilisk, 02 January 2018 - 02:50 AM.


#3 anonymous223

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:50 AM

Point 1
About the IS being a bit OP in faction, i totally agree.



Point 2

I remember you that premades would just sync drop and gg, problem dodged

#4 Appogee

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:01 AM

OP conflates a wide disparity of balance problems and symptoms and comes to one ill-considered recommendation about one particular game mode.

Pass.

#5 ApexSun

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:02 AM

Meh. Drop into lances won't change a thing. My unit will strongly object to this "solution" but could easily get around it by sych dropping multiple lances and then coordinating any of these lances, ours or from other units, into comms and it is business as usual. We often invite other players that are from other units but in our faction to play with us as it is. I do like the idea of units dropping lances into the public groups to try to help organize them and give them a taste of how fun FP can be, if only those individual players would listen.

#6 TWIAFU

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:01 AM

View PostHigh Xoltage, on 02 January 2018 - 02:40 AM, said:


*** here it comes!!! ***

The answer is…. BREAK THE GROUPS IN TO LANCES…. And tell the units, "It's not permanent, we're just changing the rules for a season. If you don't like it, we'll change it back."
See what I did there? I took a proposal that Russ is afraid is too drastic to adopt....and sugar coated it with the caveat, "If you don't like it, we'll change it back."



Just...f'n...try it...


And at the same time no longer allow for solo drops in CW.

FORCE them into lance groups.

#7 xX PUG Xx

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:19 AM

A Lance of IDI dropped all day yesterday, from around 13.30 until 23.30 bar a break for dinner and lost only 3 games. In each drop we drop called, offered advice and generally rolled over every enemy team bar those 3. Even at that, two of the losses were to objective wins (losing Omega and being out capped) but what it highlighted to me was a severe lack of coordination, skill and willingness to comit to teamwork. **edit just to add, we are not an Elite unit but we do know how to play the mode and give a good accounting of ourselves. At the very least we go down swinging **

Your solution of breaking up or more accurately, limiting the size of drops a unit can commit will not accomplish anything by itself.

Except perhaps drive even more of the teams and units away from the game: the main reason there are STILL units in this game, even after all the vitriol and blame laid at our feet for ruining everyones fun, is that we enjoy the teamwork, the camraderie and the feeling of being part of something. If it wasn't for my unit and those friends I have outside of it, I would have uninstalled this game long ago. There is no depth, no immersion bar what we create ourselves and that has been curbstomped by the P.C. brigade, no "space nerd politics" and the Factions have so little meaning PGI may as well just call it ComStar vs Clan mode.

I agree something needs to be done, I have written out solutions or at least partial ones in the past but if I'm honest the full Faction Play mode needs to torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. Something I imagine PGI will be unwilling to do, due to the amount of resources they have already invested. I have ideas that MAY be useful but I am not sure how well they would be received OR if anyone would be willing to pay attention. Your notion of limiting group sizes is indead part of them butvnot in the hard capped way you suggest.

Edited by xX PUG Xx, 02 January 2018 - 05:46 AM.


#8 Dajegas

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 05:25 AM

To get a few people online at the same time is not easy in small or medium sized units already. Why take the fun away from those units that manage to get 5+ people online at the same time?

You want access to FW to be forbidden to groups of 5+ players? Well then, add a group-only matchmaking. Minimum 5 players, # of players shown and must be matched by opponents (i.e. I see a group of 8 clanners queuing, I group up 7 more IS players and off we go against them). Whether groups should be capped at 8 or 12 could be open to debate.

Edited by Dajegas, 02 January 2018 - 05:30 AM.


#9 Marquis De Lafayette

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:46 AM

Organized groups effectively running Ferrets (while a minority) have been around for months in Scouting.....if you think it was just discovered, it’s just that you weren’t aware of it....which is ok...it’s just not new. There is no PGI sale conspiracy here...

Also, it seems like a massive leap to say Ferrets in scouting prove that the matchmaker (which only does the basics of putting 12 guys to a side) is destroying FW.., I get that you think lance sized groups are better....but we already have exactly that in scouting (for those who like lance sized groups) and (as others have mentioned) people would just sync drop. So, no...lance sized groups isn’t a magical solution to Invasion.




#10 MischiefSC

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 09:43 AM

Remove pugs from FW.

There you go, then unit size isn't an issue.

Trying to force me to play with terribad players isn't balance, it's saying that we all have an obligation to carry bad players so they don't have to change but can win more often.

That's a terrible, terrible idea. All it would do is remove the bulk of units who still play in FW to stop, significantly removing another chunk of the modes population.

Just put FW maps/modes in QP and let people play it there with the QP matchmaker. Then remove pugging from FW, require people to be in a premade to drop in FW. That was its original design plan anyway. We talked PGI into letting us pug in FW back when we were not a bunch of mewling special snowflake little ******* who understood it was going to be harder and require us to put in extra effort. Clearly the population dynamic has changed, we no longer have the microscopic shred of character required to recognize that the teamwork focused segment of the game has a higher requirement for teamwork to do well in so cut the pugging out.

#11 Q

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:12 AM

I love the discussion and passion of this community. I love the rage-hate we all spit at each other when we have conflicting ideas/opinions...

But the real question is how do we get the decision makers at PGI to pay attention and engage the community in coming up with a solution? That doesn't have to be a round table, doesn't have to be taking a poll, or some other think tank where ideas get lost in a brown sea...

If we can't get PGI to acknowledge a portion of the community is taking time to voice their concerns and agree to take the time to at least respond we're just wasting our energy.

How do we, as a vocal majority, come together to get their attention?

#12 r4zen

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:17 AM

View PostHigh Xoltage, on 02 January 2018 - 02:40 AM, said:


If you talk to players about Faction Warfare, as it stands - IS players will say the reason for their dominance is because several KEY 'units' have moved to IS and are exerting their dominance in faction warfare - Clan will say that IS dominance is because Scouting so heavily favors the IS.



Which hurrdurr players are you talking to?

--

We're all just screaming into the void. If your solution or proposals can't be done via the Event system (i.e. via Matt), then it's just not going to happen. Best case, we get some changes after Solaris launches. Not holding my breath.

View PostQ, on 02 January 2018 - 10:12 AM, said:


How do we, as a vocal majority, come together to get their attention?


Stop spending money.

#13 Throe

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:34 AM

Why not link the strength of built-in quirks to PSR?

Admittedly, PSR needs some improvements before this can be a meaningful change, but we've known PSR is broken since the day it was released.

Although, I'm not sure Faction Play matches result in changes to PSR.... do they? If they don't, they should.

This means the worst players in the game will have the best quirks, which is basically what they've been after, from what you're describing. A built-in handicap, if you will, for players who have the skill to not need any quirks.

It sounds like what is really breaking the game is simply allowing highly skilled players access to strong built-in quirks at all, since you can count on them to min/max and go for the win, every time. Who wouldn't?

So:
Tier 5: 100% positive quirk strength / 0% negative quirk strength
Tier 4: 75% PQS / 25% NQS
Tier 3: 50% PQS / 50% NQS
Tier 2: 25% PQS / 75% NQS
Tier 1: 0% PQS / 100% NQS

Now, I think this would have to come with the caveat that such a system might preclude the necessity of negative quirks anyway, so our beloved TimberWolf could have some of it's worst quirks removed or reduced significantly. I'm not aware of any other 'Mech which has been so badly nerfed...

#14 Spheroid

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 10:54 AM

So many bad assumptions here.
  • Scouting matters (It does not)
  • Ice Ferrets are somehow are meta based on the builds used on both sides to achieve 250.
  • Kiting is time efficient. It is not on top of an already time inefficient mode
Forget scouting. Money, loyalty and territorial gain are in the other mode. Even if the mode is grossly imbalanced(it s not) it doesn't even matter. Scouting is just a trap that pulls people who are needed to fill the invasion queue. The sooner you realize this the better. People only drop scouting for swag.

Edited by Spheroid, 02 January 2018 - 10:55 AM.


#15 Q

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 11:17 AM

View Postr4zen, on 02 January 2018 - 10:17 AM, said:

Stop spending money.


Too simple. When the community tied their requested refunds to a balance change a few months ago it got the quickest response I've seen. PGI was able to see tangible gains suddenly vanish vs. just an unmotivated playerbase to spend money in the first place.

#16 DevlinCognito

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 11:42 AM

So many flaws in this argument, some of which have been pointed out to you instantly by players who actually play the game mode regularly. Instead of refusing to play the team based game mode in a team and demand it be changed to suit you playing it solo, how about you actually give the advice that has been offered umpteen times a try? There is nothing super secret squirrel about people who group up, they are just players the same as you, however they play as a team following calls made my one person and using Mechs that they have found to be effective. Why cant you do this?

It isn't hard to use TeamSpeak to group up, not being able to talk is not an issue at all, we have plenty of 'plink'ers in the groups I join regularly and some I have never ever heard speaking.

Despite it being trialed at the wrong time, they DID try having a solo queue, and it failed. Many reasons why, up to and including the players who were solo DIDNT WANT to play solo and made one person units so they wouldn't be forced to play in the solo queue. However it didn't work. So now its your turn to try the other suggestion. Try using a TeamSpeak hub, try asking folks to join them and you'll be amazed at how much the game changes. Its fun. Not because of your passive aggressive statements that 'Teams just want to Pug Smash' herp a derp, but playing as a team is a completely different game, when you go against other teams its a good fight, plus you get to chat with folks while watching that spinning wheel try to find you a game.

How can I say all this? I pug-ed in FW for ages, enjoyed it and did reasonable, but wanted more. I joined a unit and learnt loads, however they weren't focused on FW so left and found a team that was. Learnt more but didn't like the way they played, so left and found another that I liked. Joining a unit isn't a life commitment, but it will improve your time in FW. Try it for 3 months and if it doesn't work, come back and tell us again how there should be a solo queue and why.

Oh and as for the Scouting Meta changing to Ferrets, Good. The game mode is a rock paper scissor choice, and the more that players mix it up the less stale it gets.

#17 r4zen

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

View PostQ, on 02 January 2018 - 11:17 AM, said:


Too simple. When the community tied their requested refunds to a balance change a few months ago it got the quickest response I've seen. PGI was able to see tangible gains suddenly vanish vs. just an unmotivated playerbase to spend money in the first place.


Fair point. But aside from blasting Russ on Twitter, preordering then cancelling whilst saying "not enough quality FP development" as a reason doesn't seem like it would have the same effect. The hardcore (non-event) FP playerbase is small, tiny even. Based on the last reset (pre-Tuk), there's ~4-5k who drop at least 10 matches in a month and ~1k who drop regularly (multiple drops a week).

We just don't have the numbers to drive meaningful wallet-based change, I think.

#18 tker 669

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:20 PM

The correct answer is never make groups break up because solo players want the game made for only solo players. There is already quick play for that.

#19 justcallme A S H

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:26 PM

View PostAppogee, on 02 January 2018 - 03:01 AM, said:

OP conflates a wide disparity of balance problems and symptoms and comes to one ill-considered recommendation about one particular game mode.

Pass.



Yep ain't gonna find no love for that in the FP section of the forums.

Try Gen Disc where a bunch of people who never play the game like to suggest all manner of dumb ideas.

#20 TKSax

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:29 PM

After playing faction plan both scouting and invasion modes during the event. What seems to hurt as much as large groups are players who have no desire to bring successful builds and use even the most basic tactics to try and win.

I had 2 matches where people can't even stay alive. Was defending on Boral with an 8man of 228, after the Enemies first wave which was not a brawl rush the score was 12-6. We had one guy on his last mech and one guy on his 3rd mech so these 2 players account for 5 of enemies 6 kills. No amount of split the queue is going to help that. Because in another match that was a pugs no groups which was a domination match after the first 5 mins the score was 15-10 with 1 perma dead on my team and 2 perma dead on the clan team. In the first 5 mins of the match.





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