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Gorzki

Matchmaking

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From what TeslaNi said BEFORE the update I started having bad feelings but what we got is soo, soooo much worse than even I expected, that it defies any  understanding.

 

I have no idea who is responsible for changes in matchmaking, but he screwed up so badly.....

I understand, that I am an exception, as a guy who likes quietly farm pirates without much challenge. And I understand developers want to put more challenge for players in the game.

I also get that if I will be allowed to farm pirates only, other players who want to fight players not AI will have 1 less opponent they can challenge.

 

Yet still......

1. No, I don't want to wait 2 minutes before fighting pirate when I play at odd hour. So please, let me choose "Fight with pirate" after 30 seconds, not 2 minutes
2. I don't want to be faced against player with crucial units 2 levels above me and rating 800 above. Also I don't like to face someone 800 below, because victory against someone with units 2 levels below is not fullfiling and gives no reward (+3 ranking???). Put a stricter limit on possible range of players we can be match against.

 

And do both things straight away, without waiting or without making comprehensive patch.

JUST

DO IT.



Now, you can think about MM improvements. So the math is simple there - there is no magic solution. If you want more player vs player matches you have to pay for it with mismatched matches and long queue times. And that kills the game.
The only solution to MM problem is bring more players.

There is one optimisation trick I can think of - bending the restriction to suit particular persons taste.
Let players choose how much time they are willing to spend waiting for a game - so I can click fight a pirate after 30 secs while ShahBlitz will be waiting like a spider for 5 minutes till someone will hit the "battle" button.
It still increases number of PVP battles (as shah is waiting in ambush for me instead of playing with pirate) but only the ones who REALLY want to play PVP pay the price of waiting.

You may try similar option with range of ranking player is allowed to play against.

I.E 
for the first 20 seconds player can be matched only against someone 10% above him.
Then the upper limit of the opponent is increased by 1% each second.
So player with ranking 2400 can be matched against up to 2640 for first 20 seconds and then the limit increases by 24 points per second....

I am not a designer so may rough ideas may be far of from optimal or technically viable solution.

 

 

One more thing: by changing percentage of battles against pirates you change the whole ecosystem.
At the moment people are used to reaching 4k rating to get best chest (or some other milestone/reward). It is possible only thanks to rating influx from pirates who keep giving players rating.
PVP battles give net rating increase exactly zero.

So if you will find a way to increse ratio of PVP battles and decrease number of battles with pirates, people will get really annoyed. Those who were comfortably getting 4k, will now struggle to reach 3300.
Others, who were getting 2700 will be pushed below 2000 and some will get disheartened for this game. Others will pound new players climbing toward 2000 ranking, turning some of them away from the game.

 

And that's only first season! With each and every season by resetting ranking to 2k, you will basically remove a lot from ranking points from the economy. 
In the long run people can reach only as much above 2000 points in one season, as many players with 0 ranking will lose a battle and as many pirates will lose the battle .
More PVP = less rewards each season.
You may want that, but will you be able to keep players interested in the game?

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New system is being abused a lot. Today i fought one always active player 3k+ ranking one battle after another. I lost easily due technology difference (lv9 vs lv6-7) and lost 1 rating point. After third battle I decided to stop playing for 30 min maybe latter will be better. But after that time - I get matched with other active player 3k+.

There should be functionality to prevent being matched with the same person for 30min or something like that. 

I understand that you wanted to have more pvp battles. But this should be achieved by promotion of the game not by making system that promote only players who pay a lot and are hyper active. 

I am casual player. I want to spend 30 min a day and have fun. I can support you (and I had) with little money and by some pack not to get better army but just to recognize your work as developers. 

I think I will pass and stop playing this game. There are more better options like 'monsters arena' that provide fun for casual players not only for hardcore ones. 

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I agree with Gorzki: pirate button should appear earlier. There are not many players in the game, so lots of pirates battles are ok. Force players to play bad PvP is not an option. It's still better to play with pirates and not to scare players with lesser units level and force them to quit game.

But state "More PVP = less rewards each season." is ok for this game (and all PvP games). Situation with players climbing rating ladder by abusing easy pirates is not normal fo such games. 4000 league chest is usual in current economy because anyone has a 95%+ winrate by playing with pirates. If there were more players, actual winrate would be 50% for average player. And only skilled players would reach 2300+ rating. 4000+ rating should be a phenomenal result, not an usual one.

And yes, in that case players' ratings are small not because they get 3-5 rating, but because they get 30-40 and than lose 30-40.

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there is simple solution.

Every victory over pirate on a given day is worth less.
So instead of getting 15 points for each pirate you defeat, you will get 15, 14, 13 and so on with 0 rating for victories from 16 on
Or start with 10 points for first victory
Or go with 16, 14, 12 and so on (that gives you 72 points available daily from pirates)

From what I understand devs plan to change the ranking value to get a chest into a ranking place, so the overall level of rewards will be better controlled and less dependant on overall rating farming

Edited by Gorzki
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Brace yourselves, wall of text incoming


Dear Game Developers

I suggest for you following steps in the future:

1. Check how many players plays and how often before your update - how much activity this playerbase can drop and still players would find opponents to play, without the pirates
2. Understand what motivates people to play. Ask them to fill up polls and give them 1 crystal in return or whatever
3. Understand a bit a rank based multiplayer ranking point economy.

 

AD 1. I think there was not enough pvp games before update to believe it will be enough to sustain the matchmaker. Most battles were against pirates. You made those battles practically disappear, and they were never going to convert to pvp matches

AD 2. A lot of people playing BETA will be happy to be asked about their opinion because it makes them feel that they matter and have some influence. I feel, judging by 1.3 patchnotes, that you wanted to address issue of injustice, that sme people abuse the system of rating rewards by trying to play pirates only and getting rewards.
I also think you listened to some vocal members of the elite player core, that wanted challenge, wanted to play against humans, wanted the rating reward chest to go for the most skilled players.
And you never realised that it is not a motivation for most of the players.

The only real motivation to play games is to farm and grind. If you make it too esy, people will reach the end to fast and go someplace else. But if you slow the progress too much people will get bored and resign.
It was fair deal to go into battle, have 90% chance to fight pirate and get 15 points, even if in 10% of battles I will lose 30 rating to a player
But if I have 50% (or less) to win against other player or o lose, then my net gain from playing PVP is 0 (or less) 
So there is no point playing PVP matches! I just play to get chests (and I can open max 7 of them per day) and leave.

And what you need for MM to work is not a number of players. Is a number of battles that are wanted to be played. So 1000 players playing 3 battles per day are worth less then 400 players playing 10 battles per day. Yet you limit ALL incentives to play more.....

AD 3. First thing that set me off is the decision to just limit the rating points required to obtain each chest - without considering it may not be even close to be enough. Why not adopt the percentage based system?
You completely disregarded the fact you have no idea how changes you did will influence the rating points influx from all sources and rating points transfer along the ladder to the top.
And it simply collapsed at the moment. 
If at least top players were able to break through 2300 easilly, then maybe some players would risk playing but what's the point playing against top of the best for someone who is average?

The whole economy in your rating system is based on influx made by bottom players when they play against pirates and sink from top players when ranking resets. But the sink is simple, it takes all rating points gained so the influx of rating points is the main driver of the economy (the other one is a transport of rating points).
And yet you decided to make a change that practically killed the influx, because you wanted to reward top pvpers and to trim down the pirate farmers.

Player structure is like pyramid. The top can go only as far as the base is wide. That's why succesful games usually ignore top player wishes to cater to average Joe the Farmer, because without them, the whole game collapses. Top players will find a way to adjust, but if they can skew system for their benefit, they push out the bottom of the pyramid. Then middle tier becomes bottom and they leave too.


What game needs now is an incentive for playing a lot, even if it is mostly against pirates (because sometimes looking for pirates you will drop into a player) or losing against player. 
And rewards based on place taken (preferably by percentage of active players, not set amount) not numerical value of rating

Maybe give some consolation prize everytime you lose against player with much higher ranking?


I am sorry, my professional training and inclination made me decent in analyzing mechanisms and spotting the trouble (I think, maybe I am wrong), but I am not the best in finding a real, working and technically affordable solution....


 

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I agree with the post above me!

I wanted to add, i never wanted the season chests to go to the higher skilled players i liked to comp stomp with some pvp mixed in. I would have loved some more pvp like 50% of the time against players of similar skill, but not at the cost that it is now.

The first patch was annoying because you got matched up with players way below your skill level, no fun for both sides. 

The hotfix fixed that problem but made another one, i now have pvp queues of 5+ min thats not why i play a mobile game. I want to log in and have a meaningfull battle. That means a battle that gives me something that i want/need. I wanted trofies so the pirates used to be meaningfull, now they dont give anything and im stuck waiting for someone to join. Is it wojo ill prob lose, is it one of the other 5 i win 50% is it someone thats just around the 2k mark ill prob win, so those at 2k stop playing because they dont want to meet the  top 10, wich i understand compleetly!

Now some people will come in saying when we have more players... or maybe we should get chest on your standings instead of fixed trofie points. That could be correct but we dont have them or the players.  And the biggest problem is the top players will still meet lower level players and force them to stop playing because its no fun for them, wich makes longer queues etc. 

I'm guessing if nothing changes almost noone will get to 2500 because the top wil get stuck when we pass the 2300 mark, we will then only have 5 to 10 players to battle and thats not enough.

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