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Loyalists In Faction Play - Design Discussion


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#21 MischiefSC

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:31 AM

Foundation of a good idea. I really appreciate this being taken seriously.

Honestly I'd recommend two tiers of loyalist. One is a permanent one. Another a sort of temp alliance thing. 5his allows new players to farm those mech bay rewards for every faction while still having their loyalty thing.

I would also say limit the "permanent faction loyalty" choice to factions you've already got rank 5+ in. This avoids accidents.

So you can farm LP rewards (which is a good impetus to play and gives people something to grind) but then have a permanent faction loyalty that has a slower but bigger faction reward cycle.

This allows for permanent faction loyalty without removing the player from the option of a reward grind for LP and removes the problem of mistakes in permanent choices.

All in all this topic will take a bit of time as there's a lot of people with a vested interest who don't view the forums much. This post will take a bit to disseminate out. That it's even a conversation being had is awesome and much appreciated.

#22 LTC Kilgore

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:57 AM

View PostPaul Inouye, on 25 May 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

Faction Loyalty

<snip>

-Paul

Appreciate the effort, but why were Loyalists cast aside to begin with? It kind of shows a lack of understanding of the playerbase. But, at least you are trying to fix the problem you created.

Edited by LTC Kilgore, 26 May 2019 - 08:01 AM.


#23 Remover of Obstacles

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 08:38 AM

View Postnullanulla, on 25 May 2019 - 07:49 PM, said:

Thnx for the update, much appreciated.


Don't waste resources until you have significant buy-in from the community.

#24 -Spectre

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 09:55 AM

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! This shows that you have actually listened to us, and gives me hope for Faction Play again. I am more than happy to provide feedback on this, and will be back later to do so, but for now, THANK YOU FOR LISTENING. Obviously the points listed aren't perfect, but they show that you have definitely listened, and they can be refined. THANK YOU.

#25 BaronDeath

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:37 AM

Paul, get some rest. After dropping a number of times there are some good aspects to the changes made. I know some complained about the same kind of mode over and over within a mission, but this lets Units pull together good strats and mechs they can employee over and over and find out where their weaknesses are. These suggested "tweaks" you offer will tighten up the intent you and the stakeholders had and be closely structured to the Lore without needing to accommodate all of the temporal aspects of the Lore, like Wardens vs. Crusaders and temporary alliances between various Factions that were not permanent and would be very difficult to program around.

The Loyalty shown here to Loyalists will not be forgotten and we will Bear this out.

Edited by BaronDeath, 26 May 2019 - 10:43 AM.


#26 MischiefSC

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:53 AM

Yeah. That we're having this discussion is awesome. If there's a willingness to make loyalty a thing and we can set those concerns aside there's good stuff in the changes given the population. If we can keep this level of engagement up for a bit I think this can turn into net gain for FW.

Maybe a longer discussion so everyone gets their piece out and more incremental changes so there's no risk of drastic stuff is a great way to handle it. For all the complaints about balance it's actually in a good place now - range, brawl, push, trade, the IS/Clan balance is best it's ever been. Sure there's room to improve but not on the scale it's been.

Honestly the fact that this thread exists and Paul created it makes me way happier with FW update in general. The bulk of people who I know that we're about to peace out have decided to chill for a month or two and play some FW and see where it goes. Loyalists and loyalty is part of the "why do you play" piece for a chunk of people. Getting that nailed down I to something people are happy with helps secure that population dropping and filling queues - which helps serve the needs of the other population segments.

Is good stuff.

So what do dedicated loyalists feel about this idea?

#27 R79TCom1 Night Lanner

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:44 AM

I really like this plan and appreciate you guys working on this. Most of it looks really good and as a Falcon and someone who really likes the Lore of BattleTech, I'm okay being teamed up as "Allies" with the Jaguars and Ghost Bears. They are the two Clan factions the Falcons hate the least. And I really like the idea fighting for allies under the banner of my chosen faction.

A modest suggestion that might help with problem 4.2:
- Set fighting for own Faction to 1.0 LP
- Set fighting for your Allies to .75 LP
- Set Fighting for outside your Allies but within your overall side (IS or Clan) to .5
- Set fighting for outside your Allies and your overall side (Clan Loyalist fighting for IS or IS Loyalist fighting for Clan) to .25 LP. This would allow Loyalists to participate in all FW events they want to. It can be explained as "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" and would allow Loyalist players decide who their "enemies" and "friends" are.

For example: if the event is Steiner vs Kurita, as a Falcon I would have to decide who I want to support. Maybe it is because of the story you guys write, maybe because the people who play on one side or the other are more fun to drop with. Whatever the reasons I will pick one side or the other and fight for even though it wouldn't benefit me or my faction.

Permitting players to do this also allows Loyalist players to roleplay a little bit, which is a lot of the reason for why people have stuck with being a Loyalist For example: in the most recent story where it was FRR vs Clan Wolf, as a Falcon I may want to fight for FRR to stall Wolf's advance to Terra.

It also makes buying 'Mechs and MechBays outside one's overall side more tempting because occasionally I might have to throw together a IS or Clan DropDeck to participate in an event on a side you wouldn't normally fight for.

#28 tee5

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:00 PM

[Redacted]

Example everyone told you to get rid of the counter beeping every 10 seconds, And permanent flashing MWO Icon. It should only flash when you get a match. You did not listen, you did nothing, but give us this borked CW.

[Redacted]

Edited by Tina Benoit, 27 May 2019 - 03:14 PM.
nonconstructive


#29 -Spectre

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:08 PM

TLDR for the incoming info dump:

Thank you for listening and coming up with a reasonable, workable solution that doesn't stiff us loyalists.

Alliance idea is great, but who is allied with who could be tweaked.

Being able to fight in every fight without changing loyalty, and always earning loyalty points for your chosen faction, is essential, thank you for realizing that.

Mercs are supposed to be the queue balancers, not loyalists, and loyalty should be permanent. That said, it shouldn't be forced to be permanent, but rather incentivized to be. Detailed plan for that in the following post.

Your idea for letting Clanners fight in IS conflicts and IS fight in Clan conflicts is acceptable, but there are better ways to do that. Detailed in the following post.

Thank you for listening and coming up with a reasonable, workable solution that doesn't stiff us loyalists.


Now, for PGI and the fans that are willing to read the whole thing and discuss it, I spent about 3 hours writing the following post, and I think it is very reasonable, workable, and could almost be a pick-up drop-in replacement for the current loyalty system, that doesn't stiff any member of the community, but retains the aspects that PGI and good game design say are important for the game to function well. PGI, please read it, because I worked hard on it to make your (and our) game better, and fellow MechWarriors, I welcome feedback from you, as well. Let's make FP even better than it was before this patch.

Edited by -Spectre, 26 May 2019 - 02:20 PM.


#30 -Spectre

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:19 PM

Prepare for info dump:
Before I start, a couple of premises I am going off of for this:
First, I am only addressing the proposed changes for Loyalty. There were other problems with the patch, but those can be addressed elsewhere, and this thread sounds like it is intended specifically to discuss loyalty, so I will limit my feedback here to that topic.
Second, the base idea that I am getting is that with this system, a unit (or player) will pledge loyalty to a given faction, and then fight under that faction’s banner in all conflicts. When there is a Wolf vs. Rasalhague conflict, I as a Ghost Bear would be fighting as a Ghost Bear, but in my capacity as an ally to Wolf as a fellow Clanner. So even though I would be fighting in Wolf’s conflict, I would still retain my Ghost Bear tag and be earning Ghost Bear loyalty points. Is this a correct understanding? I really like that as a solution (and it is one I have suggested multiple times), but I want to make sure I am on the same page here.
Now, let’s begin, point by point.

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1) Choosing a Faction for Loyalty.

1.1) If a player chooses to be a Loyalist to a Faction, this selection should be persistent to the player's profile.
- This ensures that no matter which subsequent role a player chooses, it will not affect the overall profile Loyalist selection.
- Essentially this allows a player to always fight under the banner of their selected faction without ever needing to switch or display a 'temporary' faction alignment.

Obtuse vocabulary obfuscates objectives. This means I will show up as Ghost Bear even when I’m fighting for Wolf, right? If so, I like it.

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1.2) The selection of Faction will be done on the Faction Details (will need to rename this tab) pages which display information about all the factions available.
- A button will appear on each faction's detailed information page which will allow the player to pledge loyalty to said faction.
- The player must be warned that the selection is permanent.

As is addressed later, complete permanency is a bad idea, because mistakes will be made, etc., and new players may not realize what they are doing and make a mistake. The warning should be exactly what the penalty for breaking is.
Aside from that, this is just a functionality thing, and not much to give feedback on, except that this should probably be after the “choose career” area, so that people can choose whether to temporarily fight for a faction or pledge their undying loyalty to the faction.

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2) Earning Loyalty Points (LP) After Pledging Loyalty

2.1) Faction players will earn LP in the same manner as previously with additional bonuses.
- When a player plays a match with their Faction in a Conflict, they will earn maximum LP for their in-game actions.

Thumbs up.

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- Participation in war obligations while the Faction is in Conflict.

Um wut. I don’t know what this means. Are you referring to fighting in aid of allies as “war obligations”? I don’t know if this is what you meant already, but it would be great to allow players to earn maybe like 120% of current base LP payout when fighting directly for their faction, and 80% current base LP payout to chosen faction and 40% current base LP payout to directly involved faction when fighting as an ally to the involved faction. If that makes sense. I can try to clarify if anyone doesn’t understand what I’m saying.

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3) Expanding LP Gains Outside of the Player's Faction's Conflicts
- Players should be able to gain LP even when their Faction isn't directly related to the current Conflict.
- The broad term "Alliance" will govern these gains using specialized tables of rewards depending on which Factions are part of a given Conflict.

As mentioned above, make it so that when fighting as an ally, you get part of the base payout to your chosen faction and part to the allied faction, so you are getting credit for both your loyalty and your alliance. I personally don’t care about my Loyalty points with other Clans, but it would be a great mechanic in many ways, both allowing people that do care about their loyalty points with multiple factions to grow those, and allowing people that max out their chosen faction’s rank to still gather the rewards from fighting for different factions without breaking loyalty. If you go with truly permanent loyalty then this mechanic is a must to satisfy the players that are concerned about maxing out and not getting any more rewards.

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3.1) The Alliances
- The Inner Sphere Factions will be split into two Alliances.
- While alliances are not strictly lore, for game purposes and keeping queue buckets to a minimum, they serve a major role in allowing players to remain loyal to their faction and still gain LP

Thank you for clarifying that you are prioritizing functionality over lore here. I am a lore nut, but I can appreciate the focus on functionality here. I want things to be as lore accurate as possible, but it also needs to function as a game.

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- There needs to be 2 Alliances in both the IS Factions and the Clan Factions

3.1.1) IS Alliance 1
- There is a somewhat natural alliance between Steiner and Davion. Adding to this, is a more neutral association with FRR.

FRR would make a bit more sense to me to be with Kurita, since they were originally together, but as you said it is a more neutral association either way, so this is fine.

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- This Alliance (Steiner/Davion/FRR) will always provide LP to their respective partners.


With this bit, are you saying that even if I was, say, a Davion loyalist fighting in a conflict that was Davion vs Liao, I would still be earning LP for Steiner and FRR, even though I am neither directly aligned with them nor directly fighting for them? If so, that is an interesting thought. I’m not sure I would suggest this, but neither do I think you will hear any/many complaints about it. Any complaints would come from people who are even harder core loyalists than me, and I’m pretty hard core. Enough that I could understand a gripe people might have (positively wanting to not have any LP with any other faction), but not enough to actually have said gripe myself.

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3.1.2) IS Alliance 2
- While not as strong of a bond between Steiner and Davion, there is a loose affiliation between the Factions of Kurita, Liao and Marik.

If FRR is switched to being allied with Kurita, then Marik would join the first alliance, because of their shaky-but-overall-more-friendly-than-not relationship with Steiner. But again, not a big deal, this is fine.
Also Liao vs the world would be hilarious Posted Image Give everyone a chance to wail on them >Posted Image

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- This Alliance (Kurita/Liao/Marik) will always provide LP to their respective partners.

3.1.3) Clan Alliance 1
- While Clan Factions were never really 'friendly' toward each other, there was a slight resemblance of tolerance between some of the key Factions involved.
- Clan Jade Falcon/Clan Ghost Bear/Clan Smoke Jaguar had the strongest sense of tolerance among the main invasion force.

Um, did you just use BOTH Jade Falcon AND Smoke Jaguar in the same sentence as Tolerance?!?!? Those two were the least tolerant of any of them, aside from Steel Viper (who got annihilated by the homeworld clans for their views). Ghost Bear, Wolf, Nova Cat, and Diamond Shark were the most tolerant, though the Diamond Sharks just did it for the money, and Wolf just did it as political maneuvering when it came to other Clans.

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3.1.4) Clan Alliance 2
- Wolf was always the lone wolf (no pun intended) when it came to Clan pride over being a good neighbor and this was shared by the secondary Clans that entered the battle later.
- Clan Wolf/Clan Nova Cat/Clan Steel Viper/Clan Diamond Shark would work best as the second Clan Alliance.

Um, this means that Wolf is the only territory holder in this alliance. That could cause some serious problems, especially with the idea of SJ ever being included directly in a Clan v Clan conflict

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NOTE: Yes, there were the Wardens and Crusaders but the volatility in those alliances was so fragile that using that division would mean Jade Falcon would NEVER fight with Wolf. See section 3.2

Jade Falcon never fighting with Wolf…it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that is precisely what you were trying to illustrate, I guess, so that’s fine. They were more competitors than enemies, especially depending on which leadership you look at (*ahem* Vlad Ward *ahem*).
Also, one big problem that seems to have been overlooked here (that I touched on briefly earlier) is that three of the Clans currently in the game do not hold any territory on the map. This could be fixed by lumping the Clans without territory into the same position as the Clan whose territory they share (SV/JF, DS/GB, NC/SJ). I would highly recommend that approach to the Clans, outlined more functionally in a couple paragraphs.
Back to the idea of Clan alliance functionality, why not go by the Clans that shared space during the reinforcement wave? JF/SV shared space, GB/DS shared space, and SJ/NC shared space. That would put you with alliances as either JF/SV/Wolf vs BG/DS/SJ/NC, or JF/SV/SJ/NC vs GB/DS/Wolf (my personal preference, and what makes the most sense to me lore-wise), to make sure everyone has a border to fight on during Clan vs Clan conflicts.
I think this is the best solution for Clan vs Clan events, combined with the idea that you can use SJ territory as NC territory, etc. The way that would work is you would announce, say, Nova Cat vs Ghost Bear, and the highlighted zones would be SJ territory and GB territory, since the Nova Cats inhabited the SJ territory. It would still be a Nova Cat event, so 100% of Nova Cat loyalists’ LP go to their Nova Cat loyalty, but it would be in SJ space, since that is where they were in the Inner Sphere. This can be reflected on the map by showing both Clans’ emblems in their region of space on the map. What is currently listed as Jade Falcon territory would now have both the JF emblem and the Steel Viper emblem, what is currently listed as Ghost Bear territory would have both the Ghost Bear emblem and the Diamond Shark emblem, and what is currently listed as Smoke Jaguar territory would have both the SJ emblem and the Nova Cat emblem. To further help this territory layout work functionally it would have to be either the inner two territories against the outer two territories (Wolf/GB/DS vs SV/JF/SJ/NC) or alternate territories vs each other (SV/JF/GB/DS vs Wolf/SJ/NC). I think inner vs outer makes more sense lore wise, but both layouts give everyone a border to fight on.

The other alliance that makes sense to me would be looking at their overall philosophical focuses, which would put it as Wolf/GB/NC vs JF/SV/SJ, with DS more likely belonging to the first group, just because their views could make them more money Posted Image But this is mostly looking at overall Warden vs Crusader mentalities, which you said you had already addressed.
I mostly just don’t quite understand the thought behind the alliances you propose, either from a lore perspective or a gameplay perspective, since every Clan v Clan engagement under this alliance system would have to be Wolf vs someone else.

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3.2) How LP is rewarded when a Conflict is in play that does not include the player's pledged Faction.
- The Alliances outlined above will never be in a Conflict within themselves. (e.g. Steiner will never be in a Conflict with FRR)

Makes sense

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- This allows all Factions to have an alliance member involved with all Conflicts.

Except IS vs IS and Clan vs Clan, if you still do those.

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- In the following tables, all indicated LP gains are for the Faction Player's pledged Faction only. (If you are a Ghost Bear Loyalist, all tables are indicating LP gains from Ghost Bear.)

Good. And good choice of example faction Posted Image

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3.2.1) Case 1 - Steiner vs Marik
- In this scenario, all loyalist players in alliance with Steiner (either Davion or FRR Loyalists) will be able to fight on behalf of Steiner while still earning LP for their pledged Faction.

Good.

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- The amount of LP would be reduced but still significant enough to participate.

Jumping the gun a little bit, but this seems the best place to put this. Why not make the remaining 40% of max payout go to the allied faction directly involved in the conflict? E.g. if you are Davion fighting for Steiner against Marik, you get 60% of max LP payout as Davion LP, and 40% as Steiner LP.

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Table 1

In Table 1, you can see how this plays out in terms of which Factions will still generate LP when backed by Allied Faction Loyalists. The green squares represent a Loyalist Player playing for their pledged Faction. That player will earn 100% LP while playing during that time. The yellow squares represent LP gains when fighting during a conflict that an ally is involved in at a 60% rate. The orange squares represent Factions the player would not fight for as they are part of the opposing alliance. (Remember, allied Factions will never war with each other. This means there's never a case in this scenario of not being able to accumulate LP)

“This means there’s never a case in this scenario of not being able to accumulate LP”—Very important point to enact. Thank you for that.

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Table 2
Table 2 extrapolates this further to show the Clan side of things.


3.2.2) Case 2 - Kurita vs Clan Ghost Bear
- When it comes to a Clan vs IS Conflict, things need to change. The IS knows that an invasion of any type from the Clans is a bad thing. The leaders of all Factions know that a fight on that front is a fight for the greater good.
- Clan vs IS conflicts will treat all Factions on opposing sides as allies. This means Kurita Loyalists will earn 100% LP gains from Kurita. A Davion Loyalist who comes to the aid of Kurita during this Conflict will earn 60% Davion LP.

This system will inherently stiff Davion, Liao, and Marik, as well as all Clans without territory. The problem of the Clans without territory could be fixed by my earlier suggestion in that regard, but that still leaves the problem of the IS houses that don’t border the Clans (incidentally, that is exactly why Marik was very hard to convince to help fight the Clans, and why Liao didn’t help at all—they didn’t have a dog in the fight). One easy solution would be to implement my earlier suggestion of still earning the max LP payout, but in a 60/40 split between the pledged faction and the allied faction. I don’t think this is necessarily the best solution for THIS problem, but is an easy solution, and a functional one. Just might step on a few toes, since it still means that Davion, Liao, and Marik will never get a chance to earn 100% LP for their faction in a Clan vs IS conflict.

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Table 3
Table 3 shows how the IS side of things change when the Conflict is a Clan vs IS Conflict. And again, the same is reflected on the Clan side as in Table 4 below:

Table 4

Tables are good. They make things easy to understand. Thumbs up for having tables.

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4) The Big Problem Areas


- The following are the biggest glaring holes in this system and while there are some heavy handed solutions to them, it's not what's intended to happen here.
- You the community will have the biggest voices here so please share your thoughts.

4.1) The Faction Selection for Loyalist is currently permanent in this proposed system.
- Should a Loyalist be able to switch Factions? (Remember, the major feedback so far in this area is that a Loyalist would never switch.)

- When would a Loyalist be allowed to switch?
- Would there be penalties of some sort involved in doing so?

I am one of the people that thinks a Loyalist should never switch. I never intend to switch, and never switching is what loyalist means. However, from a functionality perspective, I do not think it should be impossible to switch, just steeply punished. I have seen two potential ways to work this out that I will reiterate here:
The first was suggested by Nightbird, and is to impose a 25 million cbill penalty for switching. This is simple and effective, to an extent. The problem that this fixes is the fact that some people will max out their loyalty points for their faction but want to continue earning loyalty points. It works, because someone who has just aligned with a faction and wants to hop around farming will not have 25 million cbills to spend, especially with frequent changes, whereas to someone who has maxed out, 25 million cbills is most likely just a drop in the bucket. The problem with this is that people will still accidentally pledge loyalty and be severely penalized for their honest mistake, and the problem that it solves can also be solved by the 60/40 (example value) LP split that I mentioned earlier.
The second solution I have seen was suggested by VonBruinwald, and he did a great job of explaining it, so I will quote it here:
“…A nice way of doing this is to add a +5% LP gain when a conflict finishes, regardless of who's participating. If you switch factions this multiplier resets. Cap it at +100% so things don't go crazy.

This means a Hardcore loyalists who plays (or not) through 20 conflicts under their banner earns double LP. Enough to offset what they would miss out on in conflicts they're excluded from.

This rewards loyalists rather than punishing them with lower LP payouts if they remain exclusive, and indirectly punishes softcore loyalists who continuously switch factions.”
The problem with this is that is makes it very easy to still faction hop if they want, using the Loyalist position as Merc
Of the two of these, I much prefer the second one, and think it will be much better received in general, but I think a synthesis of the two would be best overall. Before I lay out the synthesis, though, I want to address one relevant misconception I see in the community here. The biggest gripe I see from the community about absolute permanent loyalist status is queue balancing. The thing is, we already have a solution for that: the Mercenary career path. If you prioritize getting games (and the rewards that come with them) over staying loyal to a faction, then you are a mercenary in actuality (even by definition if you look at the parenthetical part). Mercenaries have always been the way to hop around factions, both for loyalty point farming purposes and for queue balancing purposes. If you want to bounce around to balance queues, then you are not a loyalist, and shouldn’t claim to be. If you want the ability to hop around, but still prefer a specific faction, there are plenty of loyal mercenaries, but you (and they) are still mercenaries. The Gray Death Legion fought almost exclusively for Steiner during their existence, and they were highly respected mercenaries. Similar story for the Eridani Light Horse, and many other mercenary companies, large and small. For loyalty point farming purposes, add a version of the 60/40 split that I have outlined (between mercenary LP and contracted faction LP), but tailored to making mercenaries happy. I don’t have a dog in that fight, so I will leave it to mercenaries to voice their opinions as to how that should be tailored to their wants/needs.
Now, to lay out the synthesis I recommend. Have loyalty point creation scale as was suggested by VonBruinwald, though on a smaller scale, and also add a penalty for switching, though a much smaller one. Say, instead of starting with LP as the current base, have it start as 50% of the current base and scale to 150% of the current base. Then add a 5-10 million cbill penalty for switching. That is still a smack on the hand for new players, but especially if you go the 5mil route, it is very doable, and not account-crashing. You could even have a wait period of x number of matches or x number of hours or days before the penalty kicks in, to accommodate honest mistakes. A delay like that would still leave some room for gaming the system, depending on how it is implemented, but it would significantly limit it, while still being forgiving for people who make honest mistakes, and new players who don’t understand everything yet. For entire units pledging loyalty, this fee can be payed from unit coffers, and the total deducted would be the total that each member would have had to pay if they did it on their own. Maybe even make it a steeper cost for units, since units should be even more loyal than individuals, but that’s not really necessary. The fact that not every member of a given unit is always active can be compensated for by having it only deduct the amount from unit coffers when a unit member accepts the loyalty change. This introduces the problem of switching for the unit when there is not enough in the coffers, leaving the last to accept unable to accept, but this can be compensated for by either not allowing switching without enough in the coffers (my recommendation, and the easiest to implement), or deducting the penalty from the player’s account if there is not enough in the unit coffers (probably harder to code, and a less optimal solution, but it would still do the job). I would recommend a modified version of this system for mercenaries, too, using the merc-modified 60/40 split idea for Merc LP/Contracted LP as a base. Mercenary LP would remain at a fixed rate, while the loyalty points gained for the faction they are contracted to could receive some sort of bonus for continued loyalty. I think this would make more sense to rise on a per-game basis rather than a per-conflict basis, but that can be decided by people who are affected by it. Then, do not impose any penalty for switching sides, except the loss of the bonus. The base Merc LP payout could be higher than loyalist LP or lower or the same, that’s up to people who have a dog in that fight to figure out. Just make it so that it doesn’t over incentivize either one, and make everyone go merc or everyone go loyalist. We need both. This idea could also be adapted to the contract system we have used in the past (penalty for breaking a contract, with the LP boost dependent on successive contracts and the size of said contracts, rather than conflicts or match count), but I think that would go against the idea of mercenaries being a balancing factor, to make sure both sides have people in the queue.

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4.2) When it comes to Section 3 above, there's a big blocker in place.
- If the Conflict is an IS vs IS Conflict, there is NO way that Clan Loyalists can earn LP.
- If the Conflict is Clan vs Clan, the same thing happens on the other side, meaning IS Loyalists cannot earn LP.
- One suggestion made internally was to just provide a base LP payout when these situations arise. For example, if the Conflict is IS vs IS and a Clan Loyalist plays in the Conflict, they will still earn a 25% LP gain from their Faction for doing so even though it contradicts the idea of a hard core Loyalist.

These are good points and a good, working potential solution, and I (as one of the hardest core Loyalists out there—not the hardest, but one of them) would not be upset by this solution. That said, it could be done better.
I saw someone suggest using future lore alliances between Clan and Inner Sphere to fix that problem. For example, Ghost Bear merges with Rasalhague in 3103, becoming the Rasalhague Dominion, with calculated efforts in that direction beginning as early as the Jihad era. Thus, in an IS vs IS conflict, Ghost Bear would be allied with the FRR/Steiner/Davion alliance. This would provide the added benefit of potentially letting Clanners fight their erstwhile allies during IS vs IS conflicts, and Spheroids fight their erstwhile allies during Clan vs Clan conflicts, depending on how the IS/Clan alliances play out (though I have a feeling that if you really looked at it, the people that would make sense to be allied with each other on each specific side would still end up allied to each other in cross-alliances—of course, you could always pick alliances arbitrarily to achieve this effect, even on a conflict-by-conflict basis, and it wouldn’t be any worse than the system you have already suggested, which is already functional and not [very] offensive).
Another suggestion, that could potentially also apply to the Clan-Clan and IS-IS alliances, is to allow the players to negotiate the alliances. Voting power could be given either to the players, weighted by faction rank, or to unit members, weighted on unit size/total LP/etc., and each faction could decide for itself who to ally with. You could even allow players/units to elect representatives, so that you could actually have a player that is the Khan of a Clan, which would be stinking cool. I don’t have that potential system all figured out, and it would likely take a lot of extra coding work, but it is still a possibility that I wanted to present.

Quote

5) Let's Do This
The main takeaways from this post are as follows:
- We want to make sure that Loyalists do not have to switch Factions to participate in FP

THANK YOU!!!!

Quote

- We want to make LP gains consistent for all Factions.

I hope my suggestions have been helpful for fixing some holes in the proposed system on this point.

Quote

- This design spec has NOT been through a tech review so there's no guarantees that everything is technically possible.
- This is a big change and will require quite a bit of development time to implement.
- This is not a straight up "this is happening and it's the only way", but it's the strongest candidate that some of you have already touched on in previous comments/suggestions as well. Strongest doesn't mean best/only plan.. it means it fits the majority of criteria with a give/take approach.

This is the FIRST post of a discussion that will be followed just like the other discussions we've had previously. I want to take the same tone as last time and keep it a discussion and not a corporate refined response system.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this spec and trying to finalize something soon so development can start on it ASAP.

-Paul


I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Thank you so much for listening to our protests and coming up with a reasonable, workable solution, and then ASKING OUR FEEDBACK ON IT! I am more than happy to do in-depth breakdown suggestions like this if I know it will be listened to. This is how you generate customer goodwill, and I, for one, highly appreciate the gesture. Let’s get this fixed, and make FP even better than it was before. Together.
Seyla.

Edited by -Spectre, 27 May 2019 - 09:48 AM.


#31 xX PUG Xx

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 03:11 PM

View PostPaul Inouye, on 25 May 2019 - 07:32 PM, said:

Sorry for any spelling/grammar errors but I'm completely exhausted here and my vision has gone completely blurry. Will be back Monday to join in on the discussion. Thanks for your patience waiting for this post.



(But) Paul, personally I appreciate the post and I REALLY appreciate that you have taken time out of a holiday weekend to work out some thoughts and post them for us.

Since I am emotionally and mentally incapable of a sensible or coherent thought, I will just say thank you and continue to observe the thread.

Edited by xX PUG Xx, 26 May 2019 - 04:48 PM.


#32 Appogee

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 05:12 PM

Please DO NOT lock loyalty to one faction permanently.

I realise that you are trying to appease the vocal half dozen loretards who have whined incessantly about loyalist rewards for the past three years. However, there are a far greater number of FP players who DO NOT want to play for only one faction, and who actively CHANGE FACTIONS TO BALANCE THE QUEUE.

You can reward Loyalists by giving them extra rewards when they fight for their faction or alliance.

The STORYTELLING IDEA you had for the current iteration of FP is GREAT. But you need to shorten the phases to just one hour each, and FEATURE THE STORY MORE. Don't bury it in a tab. Add a big inspirational graphic like you do with events. Feature the outcome of the story and the mechwarriors who most heroically performed in the battle on an intro screen. Give the victorious side a few more cookies for winning.

#33 shaytalis

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

I'm going to break this post up into some tl;dr bullet points:
  • Loyalty is dynamic and determined based upon which factions you choose to play for. Can increase or decrease based upon player choices. Interface clearly displays what the impact will be for a given conflict before you make a choice on who to fight for.
  • Unit Leader can restrict choices, with Mercenary being the least restrictive and True Loyalist being the most restrictive. These choices give bonuses to C-Bill /andor LP earnings of the Unit, and include grey areas rather than just "Merc" or "Loyalist."
  • This system defaults to giving players choices, not limiting their ability to play whenever they want. Limits should be self-imposed or imposed by the Unit Leader.
  • Alliances should be dynamic and change with the storyline, given the tenuous nature of most alliances in lore (especially among the Clans). This allows for better storytelling options.
  • Being Loyal to a Faction should have some benefit which cannot be achieved simply by grinding multiple Factions. Example: A higher cap on rank you can achieve within the Faction.
Full post follows:



View PostAppogee, on 26 May 2019 - 05:12 PM, said:

However, there are a far greater number of FP players who DO NOT want to play for only one faction, and who actively CHANGE FACTIONS TO BALANCE THE QUEUE.


What if faction loyalty only determines your reward for the mission rather than whether or not you are allowed to play?

* Declaring Loyalty to a faction allows you to build LP when fighting for your chosen faction or its allies.
* If you are not fighting for a chosen faction or allies, you earn C-BIll rewards as a Mercenary but lose LP for your faction.
* If you don't declare Loyalty, you earn C-Bill rewards as a mercenary regardless of who you fight for--no LP gained or lost.


Basically, everyone is a mercenary by default. You can declare Loyalty to a faction and build LP for that faction by choosing to fight exclusively for that side. If you choose to fight for another side, you can, but you lose LP. In this way LP means something based upon your choices as a player--Are you loyal or not?

For those who would say: "But a Loyal Clan Wolf member would *never* fight with the Ghost Bears!" then simply don't do that, make the choice as a player not to and you'll earn LP far faster. Perhaps if your LP gets too low then you lose your Loyalty entirely and have to remain a merc. LP represents your choices as a player over time rather than being an XP bar etc.

We could even separate it in terms of:

Faction (+100% LP, 0% C-Bill) [You fight for your faction as a Loyalist]
Allied Faction (+50% LP, 50% C-Bill) [You fight for an ally as a Merc, get some money and some loyalty]
Neutral Faction (100% C-Bill) [You fight for a faction who is not involved in a conflict with your own Allies. Normal C-Bill reward for a merc.]
Enemy Faction (-50% LP, 150% C-Bill) [You fight for a faction *against* your allies. Lose LP, but you get an even bigger C-Bill reward. Can cause you to lose your Loyalty entirely if you go too low in LP.]

A merc with no Loyalty declared would simply earn 100% C-Bill reward.

If we did it this way, the choices available would allow someone to play regardless of what's going on in the queue. You could even ensure that there is always an option to play for a non-enemy faction, since two allied factions should never be in conflict with each other. This means that there would never be a day where you'd be forced to fight for an enemy faction, but you *could* if you wanted to.

Things I would add is to have the alliances be dynamic:

* Alliances could change over time based upon storyline. Your Loyalty remains the same, but who you are allied with may vary from conflict to conflict.
* The interface should make it clear what your rewards / penalties would be for choosing a side based upon your loyalty, given that alliances could change.


What about Units that want to require their members to be True Loyalists?

We could allow a Unit Leader to set additional restrictions on their Unit. Following options:

1) Mercenary (no added restrictions. +15% C-Bill boost.)
2) IS or Clan Loyal (you are restricted by the Unit to only fight for IS or Clan in conflicts. +5% LP when you earn LP. +10% C-Bill boost when you earn C-Bills.)
3) Faction Loyal w/ Allies (you are restricted by the Unit to only fight for your Faction and its Allies. +10% LP when you earn LP. +5% C-Bill boost when you earn C-Bills.)
4) True Loyalist (you are restricted by the Unit to only fight for your Faction. +15% LP when you earn LP.)

Having a restricted unit means that the interface will prevent you from joining a conflict for a disallowed Faction. This way a Unit could require, for instance, that all members only fight for Jade Falcon. If you don't want to be restricted, don't join that Unit (or the Unit needs to lower its restrictions). Being more Merc as a Unit means you earn more C-Bills because your Unit has more negotiating power. Being more Loyal as a Unit means you earn more LP because your Unit is more trusted.


Why be a Loyalist at all?

Being a member of a True Loyalist Unit may also be a requirement for something cool, like Galaxy Commander. Currently you can be a Galaxy Commander III in both Jade Falcon and Wolf, for instance. Having something more meaningful attached to those ranks might be cool, and restricting how high up you can go based upon how Loyal you are would be cool. [Maybe if you're the most Loyal member of your Faction for the year, you get a free admission to MechCon that year? XD]

Edited by shaytalis, 26 May 2019 - 08:48 PM.


#34 J a y

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 05:44 PM

My suggestion would be to make loyalty a UNIT thing and not a player thing.


If loyalty is going to be something that you should be locked into, why not make the unit handle it? Don't want to be in a Kurita loyalist unit? You're free to leave and spend some time in a Jade Falcon loyalist unit, or a Wolf unit, or a *shudders* mercenary unit.


With Loyalty rewards being beefed up, I think that there could be a penalty that comes with it to keep units committed.


In regards to BREAKING loyalty, put those coffers to use and make the UNIT pay a cbill fine of sorts. This will at least give an actual reason to encourage space-tithing.






Also, join ismo.

#35 Kamikaze Viking

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 06:03 PM

I have no concerns about loyalty. As a filthy merc all I care about is the ability to get a game.

There is nothing more frustrating that seeing 24+ players in the queue unable to get a game because the distribution is wrong (eg 11 vs 13.)

The ability for players to swap sides is essential for kicking off matches in times of lower population (eg oceanic). Also the removal of the timestamps on the war logs in the recent patch makes it hard to know how long a wait there will be until the next game has potential to kick off (in combination with the queue population info).
Unnecessary long wait periods make me want to do something other than play your game.

Please allow Mercs to swap sides during a conflict in order to balance the queues.

#36 Trashtier

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 06:11 PM

View PostPaul Inouye, on 25 May 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

Faction Loyalty

Faction Play was always meant to be the playground of dedicated units of experienced MechWarriors who play in organized and communication heavy groups. Internal structure of who does what within a unit is completely in the hands of the players and unit leaders/officers. This isn't the problem area in Faction Play, the problem stems from the various roleplaying aspects when it comes to lore and the BattleTech Universe. Any number of methodologies and systems can be designed to create battles that integrate into Faction Play but there will always be various blockers that will be discovered when it comes to the mixture of technical implementation and needs/wants of players. The reason I'm bringing this up is, in order to move forward there will have to be give and take on both sides of the equation here. Similar to the discussions that took place previously. There is still a mountain of features that were requested by the community that is still on radar but the need to get the first step of a Faction Play update was to get the key components of a new system in place in order to facilitate the new era of Faction Play.

So let's dive right into this. The writing method used in this post will be a generic design spec and numbered in a manner in which feedback can be directed at key components of the design.


[color=orange]1) Choosing a Faction for Loyalty.[/color]

1.1) If a player chooses to be a Loyalist to a Faction, this selection should be persistent to the player's profile.
- This ensures that no matter which subsequent role a player chooses, it will not affect the overall profile Loyalist selection.
- Essentially this allows a player to always fight under the banner of their selected faction without ever needing to switch or display a 'temporary' faction alignment.

1.2) The selection of Faction will be done on the Faction Details (will need to rename this tab) pages which display information about all the factions available.
- A button will appear on each faction's detailed information page which will allow the player to pledge loyalty to said faction.
- The player must be warned that the selection is permanent.

[color=orange]2) Earning Loyalty Points (LP) After Pledging Loyalty[/color]

2.1) Faction players will earn LP in the same manner as previously with additional bonuses.
- When a player plays a match with their Faction in a Conflict, they will earn maximum LP for their in-game actions.
- Participation in war obligations while the Faction is in Conflict.

[color=orange]3) Expanding LP Gains Outside of the Player's Faction's Conflicts[/color]
- Players should be able to gain LP even when their Faction isn't directly related to the current Conflict.
- The broad term &quot;Alliance&quot; will govern these gains using specialized tables of rewards depending on which Factions are part of a given Conflict.

3.1) The Alliances
- The Inner Sphere Factions will be split into two Alliances.
- While alliances are not strictly lore, for game purposes and keeping queue buckets to a minimum, they serve a major role in allowing players to remain loyal to their faction and still gain LP
- There needs to be 2 Alliances in both the IS Factions and the Clan Factions

3.1.1) IS Alliance 1
- There is a somewhat natural alliance between Steiner and Davion. Adding to this, is a more neutral association with FRR.
- This Alliance (Steiner/Davion/FRR) will always provide LP to their respective partners.

3.1.2) IS Alliance 2
- While not as strong of a bond between Steiner and Davion, there is a loose affiliation between the Factions of Kurita, Liao and Marik.
- This Alliance (Kurita/Liao/Marik) will always provide LP to their respective partners.

3.1.3) Clan Alliance 1
- While Clan Factions were never really 'friendly' toward each other, there was a slight resemblance of tolerance between some of the key Factions involved.
- Clan Jade Falcon/Clan Ghost Bear/Clan Smoke Jaguar had the strongest sense of tolerance among the main invasion force.

3.1.4) Clan Alliance 2
- Wolf was always the lone wolf (no pun intended) when it came to Clan pride over being a good neighbor and this was shared by the secondary Clans that entered the battle later.
- Clan Wolf/Clan Nova Cat/Clan Steel Viper/Clan Diamond Shark would work best as the second Clan Alliance.

NOTE: Yes, there were the Wardens and Crusaders but the volatility in those alliances was so fragile that using that division would mean Jade Falcon would NEVER fight with Wolf. See section 3.2

3.2) How LP is rewarded when a Conflict is in play that does not include the player's pledged Faction.
- The Alliances outlined above will never be in a Conflict within themselves. (e.g. Steiner will never be in a Conflict with FRR)
- This allows all Factions to have an alliance member involved with all Conflicts.
- [color=orange]In the following tables, all indicated LP gains are for the Faction Player's pledged Faction only. (If you are a Ghost Bear Loyalist, all tables are indicating LP gains from Ghost Bear.)[/color]

3.2.1) Case 1 - Steiner vs Marik
- In this scenario, all loyalist players in alliance with Steiner (either Davion or FRR Loyalists) will be able to fight on behalf of Steiner while still earning LP for their pledged Faction.
- The amount of LP would be reduced but still significant enough to participate.

Posted Image

Table 1


In Table 1, you can see how this plays out in terms of which Factions will still generate LP when backed by Allied Faction Loyalists. The green squares represent a Loyalist Player playing for their pledged Faction. That player will earn 100% LP while playing during that time. The yellow squares represent LP gains when fighting during a conflict that an ally is involved in at a 60% rate. The orange squares represent Factions the player would not fight for as they are part of the opposing alliance. (Remember, allied Factions will never war with each other. This means there's never a case in this scenario of not being able to accumulate LP)

Posted Image

Table 2

Table 2 extrapolates this further to show the Clan side of things.




3.2.2) Case 2 - Kurita vs Clan Ghost Bear
- When it comes to a Clan vs IS Conflict, things need to change. The IS knows that an invasion of any type from the Clans is a bad thing. The leaders of all Factions know that a fight on that front is a fight for the greater good.
- Clan vs IS conflicts will treat all Factions on opposing sides as allies. This means Kurita Loyalists will earn 100% LP gains from Kurita. A Davion Loyalist who comes to the aid of Kurita during this Conflict will earn 60% Davion LP.

Posted Image

Table 3

Table 3 shows how the IS side of things change when the Conflict is a Clan vs IS Conflict. And again, the same is reflected on the Clan side as in Table 4 below:

Posted Image

Table 4

[color=orange]4) The Big Problem Areas[/color]


- The following are the biggest glaring holes in this system and while there are some heavy handed solutions to them, it's not what's intended to happen here.
- You the community will have the biggest voices here so please share your thoughts.

4.1) The Faction Selection for Loyalist is currently permanent in this proposed system.
- Should a Loyalist be able to switch Factions? (Remember, the major feedback so far in this area is that a Loyalist would never switch.)
- When would a Loyalist be allowed to switch?
- Would there be penalties of some sort involved in doing so?

4.2) When it comes to Section 3 above, there's a big blocker in place.
- If the Conflict is an IS vs IS Conflict, there is NO way that Clan Loyalists can earn LP.
- If the Conflict is Clan vs Clan, the same thing happens on the other side, meaning IS Loyalists cannot earn LP.
- One suggestion made internally was to just provide a base LP payout when these situations arise. For example, if the Conflict is IS vs IS and a Clan Loyalist plays in the Conflict, they will still earn a 25% LP gain from their Faction for doing so even though it contradicts the idea of a hard core Loyalist.

[color=orange]5) Let's Do This[/color]
The main takeaways from this post are as follows:
- We want to make sure that Loyalists do not have to switch Factions to participate in FP
- We want to make LP gains consistent for all Factions.
- This design spec has NOT been through a tech review so there's no guarantees that everything is technically possible.
- This is a big change and will require quite a bit of development time to implement.
- This is not a straight up &quot;this is happening and it's the only way&quot;, but it's the strongest candidate that some of you have already touched on in previous comments/suggestions as well. Strongest doesn't mean best/only plan.. it means it fits the majority of criteria with a give/take approach.

This is the FIRST post of a discussion that will be followed just like the other discussions we've had previously. I want to take the same tone as last time and keep it a discussion and not a corporate refined response system.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this spec and trying to finalize something soon so development can start on it ASAP.

-Paul


Hey Paul thanks for the response,

The idea has merit but the most important feature that must be preserved is the ability to self govern population by faction switching. That being said extra rewards for people who wish to remain loyalists more than fine to me. It’s paramount that we be able to faction switch in order to balance population this providing everyone with more matches.

#37 MischiefSC

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 06:11 PM

Make loyalty a two part thing. Let people switch factions to farm LP rewards and such. However have the option to go permanently loyal to a faction after rank 5. Different sort of LP rewards that never "cap out". Just every X lp you get Y reward. So every 10k LP you get a mech bay, every 3k you get some cbills, etc. With bigger rewards spaced out at large milestones.

You want to have the loyalist 4 lyfe option there but not at the expense of other facets of the game.

Having permanent loyalty unit related is also a strong option.

#38 MechTech Dragoon

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:18 PM

So! biggest issue i see is switching loyalties.
Players will run into issues joining units ect.

Institute a large penalty (removal of lp for faction or cbill cost/time) to switching loyalties.

#39 Hellfire666

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:47 PM

If you listen closely you can hear the next train coming full speed at the current train wreck in progress!

Locking people into a faction?

THAT is a great idea. How could that EVER go wrong! No one will ever complain about not being able to do an event because they are locked into the wrong faction.

oh wait, this sounds familiar somehow...

#40 Panthros

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:47 PM

There is no consistency in faction play so why play it! MWO has no story so faction means nothing. There is no company vs binary battles or IS company vs company. If you tied factions to mechs, at least things could get interesting but you refuse to do that. You want to drop in particular mech, join that faction. Not every mech but every tier 1 and 2 mechsGet rid of the quickplay maps. Less people play faction play now than before. Create additional good faction play maps. Create a queue for faction play that actually drops people based on skill. Because the faction play game is longer, you need to make sure that the drop is not a waste of people's time. Dropping in a group you have two options, 12 man or 4 man and let the 12 mans battle it out on their own. It is very easy to fix faction play Paul but you refuse to listen.

Edited by Panthros, 26 May 2019 - 07:59 PM.






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