Tier Access and Matchmaking

Posted: //
April 30, 2017, 10:41 p.m.

So unbalanced matchmaking continues.

I'm not going to speculate on what is causing me to show up in Veteran matches with my Recruit fleet. It's annoying and I feel bad for my teammates. I'm not going to quit playing (usually will grab my little Orcus Tac Cruiser and try to keep others in the battle). But I will offer up a possible solution.

Do away with the Recruit, Veteran, and Legendary fleets. Hear me out...

What if all players had access to a fleet of 15 VERY BASIC ships that came with the game. Think of these as the Generic Brand Fleet (as opposed to the name-brand manufacturers). One ship in each category and for each ship a Tier 1, Tier 3, and Tier 5 variation (I'll get to why odd numbers in a second). The names would be very plain: Destroyer Mark 3, Tactical Cruiser Grade 1, etc...

When a match starts, all players have a resource pool. The starting pool is enough to buy ANY ship in their fleet but Tier 5 consumes all resources. Tier 1 would always be available (costs 0 resources). Intermediate levels priced accordingly. Resources build up slowly in a match (and can be affected by kills, ribbons, etc...)

The name-brand ships are better than the generic ones (although not by a huge margin), mainly because their weapons and modules can be upgraded and adjusted (like we are doing now with the tech tree). Generic ships can not be upgraded nor modified. Name brand ships can also exist at the even number Tiers (2, 4, and 6-- yes, this one goes up to 6...) Name brand ships could also cost slightly less resources as the match is in sessions (a Tier 3 name-brand costs less resources than a Tier 3 Generic). Name-brand ships would also earn more experience.

A player that is killed early won't have enough resources to jump right back into a Tier 5+ ship and will almost certainly need to grab a Tier 1 or 2 ship. There would even be tactical advantages to take a low Tier ship first to guarantee a high Tier ship in the late game. Mid-Tier ships would also have a role. If done well, this should encourage players to develop a versatile fleet.

AND when you hit a resource level and want to move up a Tier, you don't have to kamikaze. Just jump into hyperspace, grab that ship, and respawn. Maybe you could even have a choice: respawn at the same location or at the team spawn point. (Only works for moving UP a tier. You can't avoid death by moving down.)

The main point, is for all players to have a fair shake and those who have earned upgraded ships will always be able to use them (but not spam them). Experience counts for a lot and earns you more choices, upgrades, and just cooler ships. There are still good reasons to upgrade lower Tier ships. This also mitigates the rather low player count. It won't matter so much if there are not enough Veteran players for an all Veteran match. We wouldn't need the Recruit, Veteran, and Legendary levels. Matchmaking would be based on your Rank and the value of name-brand ships in your fleet.

All the best.

Posted: //
April 30, 2017, 11:08 p.m.

NO NO NO. Because what this does is set good players up to slaughter the enemy High tiers. And then the map becomes a seal-club fest with absolutely no contest.

I LIKE the idea of everyone having access to a high tier (this is actually what we had with the old trader ships and it was awesome). But the idea that you'll get locked out of your high tier. Just no, because suddenly you can no longer impact the game. Suddenly the game's always going to be decided by whichever team has the last TV standing.

-Citizen Soldier -"Do not bring forth an argument that can be disproved with a 10 minute google search."

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 10:09 a.m.

I think that can be mitigated by the resource gain mechanic.

If we want to keep the tiered system (I've argued against that too...) then we need a reason to develop and keep low tier ships. Right now we have a game where low tier ships are forced to play against high tier ships with NO WAY to equalize the situation. What I am suggesting does not remove imbalances in a match (seal clubbing could still occur for a time) but does allow for a team to recover from a period of seal clubbing.

For the sake of argument, let's say one team utterly dominates the other in the earliest moments of the match. Tier 5 vs Tier 5 and the losing team is wiped out. The losing team would (and should be) at a disadvantage-- they come back in lower Tier ships. They are still gaining resources and would be able to earn back up to Tier 5 ships in that match, even if they get clubbed for a bit. They will have a couple of strategic questions: do I stand or run when I come back. Do I grab the Tier 3 ship when I have the resources or wait until my Tier 5 becomes available.

The resource recovery mechanic could also favor low tier ships that kill ships of greater than or equal to tiers.

And maybe my suggestion isn't the way, but as it stands, there are too many times that a match is decided because of a disparity in the ships rather than a disparity in skill. Certainly the perception of that disparity has been enough to drive folks away.

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 10:41 a.m.

It's beta. There's a very low population, you cannot expect a MM to function properly yet, or you will have to put up with insanely long queue times.

Any conversation having to do with a MM in a beta is usually completely pointless and premature, as no MM can do much when it's only working with a 500 player pool or even less for a given time. You get what you get, that's why this is beta.

If people are driven away by MM imbalances in a beta, then they must not realize what a beta is, nor what it's intended to accomplish.

"I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you."

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 11:32 a.m.

I don't expect things to work perfectly and I also don't expect that the procedures in Beta will endure to the final product.

My suggestion might only apply to the beta. You are right that the player community is low and this is part of what is contributing to the MM problem. Not enough players to fill a Veteran match so you pull folks up from the Recruit matches. If the population exists to support all three levels of matches (recruit, Veteran, and Legendary) then super.

But that is not the case now. There are already long wait times and then matches in which lower tier ships cannot do much to contribute.

Given that the developers want the game played in Beta and want feedback (or at least have provided a way for feedback), I think it's important to address an issue that has a serious impact on game-play. With a small playing community, you want a system that encourages the most players to play a wide variety of ships and get into a match as quickly as possible.

Think about this: if/when the game goes live, is it the kind of game that will attract a large enough population to fill these three levels of combat? Especially early when new players are deciding if they want to stick with it?

I have my doubts. I think this game is great and "has legs" but not in that blockbuster way that you get with a Star Wars Battlefront or Titanfall or some of the other games that will get a huge draw of players based on the name alone. I think new players will come to Dreadnought much more slowly-- more by word of mouth-- and will stick with it if they feel they are being given reasonable opportunities to advance (and if the community is welcoming and fun).

Matchmaking will be crucial. And if matchmaking is an issue now, I think there is a legitimate concern that it will not get better when the game goes live. I can hope it does, but hope is a rather weak argument...

All the best.

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 12:16 p.m.

The System punished you? Punish the System!

Next time youre a in Veteran Match with T1-T2

ESC >> Retur to Outpost
No penalty for you.

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 12:35 p.m.

I get what you're saying Maj, no worries, and apologies if I came off a bit harsh. I had just replied in 2-3 different threads all basically complaining of the same MM issues, and I think my patience was starting to get a little shot.

I can tell you're not having a "sky-is-falling" reaction to the MM, after further reading your responses, so I guess my comment was tailored more for those who don't understand how game populations impact MM balance, and consistently just expect miracles.

"I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you."

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 1:06 p.m.

No worries, Sardekar.

In my opinion the matchmaking conversation is really about the ship tiers. I'm concerned from a game design standpoint that lower tier ships only seem to exist in order to reach higher tier ships. I would like for there to be compelling reasons to play lower tier ships, even when I have access to the big dogs. Maybe even good reasons to take a lower tier ship when my opponent has a higher tier ship.

I have had fun, competitive matches with Tier 1 & 2 ships. There is a lot of good gameplay to be had with skilled players and low tier ships. That speaks to the strong game elements, good map design, and balanced lower tier ships. Good bones. My worry is that in our very human rush for bigger and better in the short term, we don't consider the impact on the long term.

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 1:46 p.m.

I get you there, and certainly have my own concerns over the Tier system in general.

I've played countless hours and almost 10k matches in MWO, which uses no tiers for individual mechs, but does have player tiers, which turned into a horribly failed system, and I've also spent some time on World of Warships, which has different, yet also-troubling tier issues.

In MWO's case, the player-based tiering has failed due to the low population, so low-tiered players are often lumped in with higher-tiered, and much fun does not ensue. In WoWS' case, I feel like the tiers are a detriment because every match, there's always the top-tiered ship that basically cannot be touched by ships of a lower tier due to the way armor and guns work in the game, and in every tier there's a clear "best" ship, so there's not much promotion of player choice or variety.

I have no idea what the future holds for DN's tier system, but I certainly hope they can avoid the pitfalls that have plagued other, similar PvP titles.

"I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you."

Posted: //
May 1, 2017, 5:07 p.m.

I'm glad you mentioned MechWarrior Online. I think the pacing and play-style of MWO is very similar to Dreadnought if DN were all elimination all the time. I think DN has done many things better than MWO but I think your point is well made about the matchmaking.

This forum is restricted, posts cannot be made.