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Proposal To Improve Solaris Variety

Solaris Maps Improvement

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#1 Zirconium

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 10:10 AM

Please read this very carefully - I will do my best to explain the concept clearly.

As you'll all be aware if you're reading the Solaris forums, our beloved Solaris seasons have become repetitive with regards to both mech and map selection. The majority of divisions are dominated by 1-3 mechs, with matches either being played the same way time and time again, or rock-paper-scissors relationships occasionally occuring.

I believe that one of the key constraints with the current system is the limited map selection and its banning system. My opinion is that maps are in practice almost solely selected based on range, with obstacles for kiting, pop-tarting or cooling off a secondary factor. Heat seems to be largely irrelevant due to the limited maps.

What inevitably happens with the current 5 map system (pictured below), is that you seem the same patterns repeatedly. Pilots work from longest to shortest or vice-versa, and the compromise map mostly ends up as Liao Jungle unless a pilot bans it and therefore gives their opponent the chance to force a slightly longer or shorter range map.

Posted Image

The other key trait from the map constraints is that players can use very specific builds knowing that in some divisions they can force the use of only 1-2 maps. If the breadth of situations that mechs need to be used in were to increase, I believe that builds would need to be slightly more generic and adaptable, and that as a result this would make matches closer. I believe that this would also increase the variety of gameplay, and also increase the challenge for those attempting to run very niche builds.

The proposed concept that I put forward can be summarised as increasing the number of Solaris maps from 5 to 9, and changing the way in which they are selected. It would work as follows.

Firstly, the 9 maps would be set up as follows, to provide the complete breath of range and heat scenarios that we currently do not have:

Posted Image

I would apply the existing 5 maps into this structure as per the below, and new maps would need to be created for the remaining 4. I have written in brackets the style of map from other parts of the game that could be used to create a new map with the range and heat criteria.

Posted Image

With the 9 maps in place, the map selection / banning system would then be changed. Instead of retaining the current system, which could still result in linear range based banning, I propose a two stage selection system.

The 9 maps would randomly be placed into 3 groups of 3. The first player (Player A) chooses a group of 3 that they wish to ban, and then the second player (Player B) chooses a group of 3 that they wish to ban.

Posted Image

After the group of 3 maps is chosen, the individual map banning / selection takes place. As it was the second player (Player B) that made the final decision on the group of 3 maps, they then go first in choosing an individual map to ban. The first player (Player A) then has the final choice of 2 maps to select from.

Posted Image

I believe that these changes would increase the variety of mech and map combinations in Solaris, whilst they simultaneously do not place any particular style (i.e long or short range) at a huge disadvantage or in a position where they are not viable. They would also increase the relevance of heat in map decision making.

To show this with a few examples, using annotation L = Long, M = Medium, S = Short, H = hot, N = Neutral and C = Cold.

Example 1:

Player A takes a short range mech. Player B takes a long range mech. The random map grouping comes up 1) LH-LC-SH. 2) MC-MN-SN. 3) LN-MH-SC. Player A decides to eliminate group 1 because it has 2 long range maps in it. Player B has then got two options.

Player B could eliminate group 2, hoping for range. As Player B then has to ban an individual map before Player A, they would choose to ban the SC map of the remaining group 3. Player A would then ban the LN map, resulting the game being played on the MH map.

Alternatively, Player B could eliminate group 3, suspecting that Player A is hoping for range and perhaps knowing they've got a hot build themselves. As Player B then has to ban an individual map before Player A, they would choose to ban the SN map of the remaining group 2. Player A would then have the choice of the MC or MN maps based on heat or map preference.

Example 2:

Player A takes a cool ballistics brawler. Player B takes a hot jumping pulse laser brawler. The random map grouping comes up 1) MH-MN-SH. 2) LN-MC-SC. 3) LH-LC-SN. Player A decides to eliminate group 3 because it has 2 long range maps in it. Player B decides to eliminate group 1 seeing the opportunity for a cooler map in group 2, and then bans the LN map, leaving Player A to choose between the MC and SC maps.

Example 3:

Player A takes a mid-range ballistics and laser mech Player B takes an SRM brawler. The random map grouping comes up very unfavourably for Player B, as 1) SH-SN-SC. 2) LH-MN-MC. 3) LN-LC-MH. Player A bans group 1, eliminating all of the short range maps. Player B bans group 3 due to the 2 long range maps and then bans map LH from the remaining group 2, leaving Player A to choose between the MN and MC maps.

Example 4:

Player A takes a MRM build. Player B takes a cool long range ballistics build. The random map grouping comes up 1) LH-MH-SC. 2) LN-MN-MC. 3) LC-SN-SH. Player A bans group 3 to avoid the 2 short range maps. Player B bans group 2 and then map SC from the remaining group 1 to leave only hot maps, giving Player A the choice between the LH and MH maps.

In summary of the examples, it can be seen how the selections force pilots to compromise when their opponent selects unfavourably against them, however they simultaneously cannot be forced into an overly compromised situation (for example a pilot with a long range mech cannot be forced to only choose from 3 short range maps).

Heat is also introduced as a meaningful variable, as well as personal preference between maps that are similar but not identical in either range or heat characteristics, without there being a single map that defaults to the mutual compromise when mechs have opposing styles (as Liao Jungle currently is).

Thoughts?

Zirconium

#2 Ghost Paladin117

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 10:19 AM

If you are advocating for more Solaris content I would love to see it. If you are for PGI adding ANYTHING to mwo to improve it, also a good thing.

#3 Extra Guac

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 09:25 PM

I think your analysis is primarily focused on D1, where all the builds are based on ballistics, and therefore range is a more important factor than heat, since all the competitive builds have a very high damage/heat ratio.

In D5-D7, the range of the map hardly matters at all, since all the competitive builds are short range. So in these divs, you choose your map bans based on heat moreso than range.

Boreal is clearly the most long-range map, and Caves is the most short-range map. After that it becomes less cut & dry.

You are assuming that Steiner is more long range, and Jungle is more of a mid-range map. That's not necessarily the case. On Jungle a long range mech can get some early shots on you from 600m+ (from the spawn points, basically). On Steiner you can force the first engagement to take place at roughly 500m rather than 600m. Movement is critical on both maps, and I'm still learning.

Mech Factory is a dynamic map with opportunities for short & mid range situations, and even a bit of long range. It might be the 2nd best map for a D1 AC2 boat, but don't quote me on that. In the middle & lower divisions, I believe Mech Factory primarily favors mechs with jump jets, and this might even be a more important factor than range or heat.

"The majority of divisions are dominated by 1-3 mech"

D1 is all Annis. D5 has a lot of Shadowhawks & Wolverines, but other mechs can win there as well. D4 has a lot of Catapults. The other Divs have pretty good diversity imo.

#4 Ghost Paladin117

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 06:52 AM

View PostFryDeeper, on 14 June 2020 - 09:25 PM, said:

I think your analysis is primarily focused on D1, where all the builds are based on ballistics, and therefore range is a more important factor than heat, since all the competitive builds have a very high damage/heat ratio.

In D5-D7, the range of the map hardly matters at all, since all the competitive builds are short range. So in these divs, you choose your map bans based on heat moreso than range.

Boreal is clearly the most long-range map, and Caves is the most short-range map. After that it becomes less cut & dry.

You are assuming that Steiner is more long range, and Jungle is more of a mid-range map. That's not necessarily the case. On Jungle a long range mech can get some early shots on you from 600m+ (from the spawn points, basically). On Steiner you can force the first engagement to take place at roughly 500m rather than 600m. Movement is critical on both maps, and I'm still learning.

Mech Factory is a dynamic map with opportunities for short & mid range situations, and even a bit of long range. It might be the 2nd best map for a D1 AC2 boat, but don't quote me on that. In the middle & lower divisions, I believe Mech Factory primarily favors mechs with jump jets, and this might even be a more important factor than range or heat.

"The majority of divisions are dominated by 1-3 mech"

D1 is all Annis. D5 has a lot of Shadowhawks & Wolverines, but other mechs can win there as well. D4 has a lot of Catapults. The other Divs have pretty good diversity imo.


If you bring range on jungle and someone can get on you fast your range is meaningless. Div 2 also sees ac2 boating. Steiner typically is a long range map comparatively. Every div for the most part has its meta mechs.
Honestly adding more diversity in map selection would be good. But that's also like saying PGI adding content would be good. It would.... but will it actually happen?

#5 StrikerX22

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 03:23 PM

This is an interesting idea that I like fairly well. In the case where only 1 "medium range" map is placed in each randomized group, it will still end up with the situation we have now (ban any groupings that may have more Long range if you're short, enemy does the opposite, left with a group with Med as a choice, choose that), outside of unique features that the maps bring that one wants to exploit. That said, having more medium range maps would be very nice. Also, if you forced the groupings to be by range, they might ban the longs, ban the shorts, and then solely decide over which medium they want to play. Similarly, if you group 1 of each range in a group, except they're making that medium map decision first.

The main issue I have with this whole system though is that it takes a significantly longer amount of time for the average player to process the choices, particularly if it's randomized. If it was separated into range groups, then it would become very easy to get used to, at least. another issue is stated in another post, how maps can vary based on how they're played. Having someone else decide what they think is a long range map for you is not so great.

I have had an idea for a bit that is a little simpler. Simply have 5 more maps, mirroring the range ideas of the current 5. The game could randomly pick a set of 5 (all old vs all new) and then you're guaranteed to play on at least 2 different maps. Another idea: again this falls into someone else deciding ranges, but you could also try to randomize individual maps from each pool based on their range, to have 5 different range scenarios in each pool (including short/medium/long). Would probably boil down the same as the above, but would also require more time to think (unexpected maps appearing). As such, I would stick to 2 groups of maps that don't intermix, designed by themselves to be banned around.

PGI has literally created new content recently (Polar, Canyon), whatever your opinion is on them, so I wouldn't be too negative about it. [Edit: The main thing I'd worry about in that regard is getting more Duncan quotes for the new maps. Also, I'd like to plug my Solaris 7 End-of-Season event idea in the Events forum: https://mwomercs.com...event-detailed/ ]

Edited by StrikerX22, 01 August 2021 - 08:22 PM.


#6 Mochyn Pupur

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 12:49 AM

You've provided a form of analysis - well played.

Best way to improve S7 is to delete it, put it out of your memory and focus on the majority of the game people actually play :)

#7 StrikerX22

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 12:20 PM

View PostPeppaPig, on 02 August 2021 - 12:49 AM, said:

You've provided a form of analysis - well played.

Best way to improve S7 is to delete it, put it out of your memory and focus on the majority of the game people actually play Posted Image


Yeah no. It's a unique, interesting mode that needs tweaks to be sure, but really has just been treated awkwardly. No combined queue, faulty disappearing spectate match issues, and no display of the great rewards in-game (blows my mind). Fix the 1st and 3rd and suddenly the mode is far more likely to succeed, with little effort (other than a little GUI work). Add in a low key event at the end of season (as I posted) and things could actually start happening.

#8 Mochyn Pupur

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 04:37 AM

View PostStrikerX22, on 02 August 2021 - 12:20 PM, said:

Yeah no. It's a unique, interesting mode that needs tweaks to be sure, but really has just been treated awkwardly. No combined queue, faulty disappearing spectate match issues, and no display of the great rewards in-game (blows my mind). Fix the 1st and 3rd and suddenly the mode is far more likely to succeed, with little effort (other than a little GUI work). Add in a low key event at the end of season (as I posted) and things could actually start happening.


S7 is an abstract to the MWO offer. It was not requested by the majority, it was created for PGI to dip its toes into e-sports which inevitably blew resources and money on a vanity project that PGI has already said hasn't worked and there is no intention to continue putting any effort into it.

The only way left to improve it, is to remove it and focus on producing a better experience in QP and FW, something that had been requested so many times before, but S7 was what we ended up with. If you had played from the beginning of MWO, you would realise that you are wasting your time and sadly, have never seen the game when it really rocked - S7 is and never has been the focal point of MWO.

#9 StrikerX22

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 02:40 PM

A lot of bad arguments of convenience there. "It was not requested by the majority" means nothing. Even after having been treated terribly, it still does have a small following, which could easily grow if it were fixed decently with minimal effort. Whatever they have "already said" can obviously change (since you know your history of the game, right?).

"The only way to improve it, is to remove it". Wow, what an argument. They're already attempting to give the rest of the game some focus after a long period, and indeed should continue to do so. I was not asking for a large amount of focus here [Edit: Needed to add that I wasn't intentionally pushing for more maps; I apologize for not making that clear. It would be nice, if the playerbase for Solaris grew. I agree now is not necessarily the best time for that]. Two things can happen close together for greater benefit. "If you had played from the beginning of MWO"? Again, nothing to do with anything. I have heard plenty of things, but that has nothing to do with now. I've never asked for S7 to be the "focal point" of MWO [can see the suggestions I posted in my link above, at the end of the OP]. Giving good ideas to fix things is not "wasting" my time, whether they end up choosing to use them or not. That's up to me to decide. And I'm certainly not the first to request a combined queue for each division, though as I demonstrated at the end of my post that I linked, it could easily include QP, FP, and S7. That would be a focus on QP+FP as well, btw. But I'm sure one can find a potential negative in everything, no?

[Edit: Needed to add that I wasn't intentionally pushing for more maps; I apologize for not making that clear. It would be nice, if the playerbase for Solaris grew. I agree now is not necessarily the best time for that.]

Edited by StrikerX22, 03 August 2021 - 03:29 PM.


#10 NocturnalBeast

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 12:25 AM

View PostPeppaPig, on 03 August 2021 - 04:37 AM, said:


S7 is an abstract to the MWO offer. It was not requested by the majority, it was created for PGI to dip its toes into e-sports which inevitably blew resources and money on a vanity project that PGI has already said hasn't worked and there is no intention to continue putting any effort into it.

The only way left to improve it, is to remove it and focus on producing a better experience in QP and FW, something that had been requested so many times before, but S7 was what we ended up with. If you had played from the beginning of MWO, you would realise that you are wasting your time and sadly, have never seen the game when it really rocked - S7 is and never has been the focal point of MWO.



S7 would be far better if PGI could implement melee combat, so the axe on my Centurtion was more than just a decoration.

#11 Lepestok

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 12:42 AM

Just make fights on stock furs and that's it. And it will be fun. And meta builds won't kill interest in duels

#12 Horseman

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 10:20 AM

View PostLepestok, on 13 August 2021 - 12:42 AM, said:

Just make fights on stock furs and that's it. And it will be fun. And meta builds won't kill interest in duels

Incorrect. You'll just end with a different meta - and a far more static one, at that.





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