Rewarding the Losing Side

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Posts: 31

Rewarding the Losing Side

Post#1 » Mon May 16, 2022 7:33 pm

This is going to be a rather long-winded post, but I'll try to format it so that it is an easy read and gets the points and suggestions across in a clear manner. I had considered making this post for the past few weeks and according to the official Discord, this is the place to make suggestions to get the attention of the development team.

One of the major focal points from the dev's from what I've seen over the past few months is a focus on encouraging balanced play between the two factions - an admirable cause to take up and one I applaud them for. Unfortunately, my personal view, and that of those with whom I play, is that the method of negative reinforcement is not having the positive outcome that was aimed for. It seemed to start within LotD with the zerg debuff mechanic, which got relatively positive review in-game once the lag associated with its calculation was resolved. From there, we saw Harambe / Ape Together Less RR debuff make its way into the lakes to try and dissuade massive faction population imbalance and encourage people to log over to the other side for those sweet RR gains as the low population defenders / harassers. Ultimately, in the time since the implementation of this debuff, I've not seen any improvement in one-sided population swings depending on the winning side. We can debate whether people cross-realm to the other side once their side is losing, afk in their hub city until things change (or a defense, especially fort, happens), or straight up log off. Regardless of what those individuals choose to do, the net outcome is there is a dominant side that keeps pushing regardless of how beaten down Harambe is. This is most apparent at NA times, where faction imbalance can reach as high as 260% AAO, and renown gains are nerfed 75% for the high pop side. For EU times, depending on the day, there is more population play, with larger numbers, so the AAO isn't quite as drastic. Guilds that are dedicated to one faction will field what they can on their days of play, and the swinging is primarily the pug warbands. Some other guilds will play the low population faction to benefit from the renown gain boost, at both NA and EU times. This type of play has more influence at lower pop times such as NA, where some organization can completely flip momentum and also literally flip the population / AAO. It's been done several times before, and also within one night. As negative reinforcement of Harambe debuff is not having the affect that was hoped for, I would offer another path to take for the server, positive reinforcement.

I propose to remove the Harambe debuff for the high pop side, but keep the AAO bolster on the low population side, as well as changing how the low population or losing side is rewarded. When a zone is taken, give the losing side the same number of crest by contribution opportunity as the winning side. By this I mean, if a healer is on the winning side or losing side, they can get the same number of crests and bag rolls from a keep take, fort completion, or zone flip regardless of which side they are on. In the grand scheme, the winning faction does not come down to the play of a single player, but rather the whole of the faction, so the individual who contributes the same amount of effort, win or lose, to either side, should have the same opportunity for reward. Bag distribution would be by population, so if you have 100 on the winning side and they get 5 gold bags, 5 purple, 10 blue, 10 green, and 10 white, the losing side with population of 20 would get 1 gold bag, 1 purple, 2 green, and 2 white. If, however, there was 100 / 100 for population, they both would get the same quantity of bag roll opportunities. The winning side still gets the bonus of the higher crests and renown from kills in the zone. Ultimately, barring a PvDoor experience, the winning side will have more kills and reap those additional benefits. Everything else should be even on reward.

Similarly, for scenario and city play, the reward should be the same win or lose for crests, experience, and renown gained at the end of the scenario from the match itself. Regardless of whether the final score is 500 to 496 or 500 to 0, both sides gets 6 crests after the match and both sides gets the same xp and rr reward. No 50k experience and 6k renown for the winning side and 500 experience and 20 renown for the losing side. Again, the winning side will get the extra crests, renown, and xp from kills within the match. Players should not be punished for choosing to queue solo. Yes, this game is built around team play, but the reality is, even during the heyday of the server, much of the playerbase chooses to queue solo or don't have their guild mates on to queue with them (or reroll alts to help level as many people have filled character rosters or don't want to play mid-tier / tier 1). From levelling several characters through to 40 over the past months, and even at level 40, here is the order of precedence in wins - pugs < lfg pick-up group < lfg pick-up group in Discord << guild group in Discord. There are guilds that only queue scenarios when a full 6, both in mid tier and t4. Their decision to queue into scenarios should not mean that the team they play against should get 0/0 for getting smashed for the duration of the match. Guilds will play for hours at a time, meaning that whomever queues into them gets to enjoy being farmed for those hours, getting hardly any crests, renown, or xp or, they log off. No one wants to be farmed, especially when at the end of the match they see crap rewards for trying. Do I think group queuing should be disabled? No, but I do think that the losing side should not get screwed over for their time.

Same thing in a city. In the past 6 months that I've been back, and the cities I've participated in, I've seen 1 that was close and a good fight. 1 out of probably 2 dozen cities. Every other city was a one-sided bludgeoning fest. Yes, there are close cities out there, my claim is not that none exist, but the overarching issue is that for the side that spends upwards of 60 minutes getting smashed (depending on how much the losing side wants to try, and / or if the winning side wants to troll by delaying stages to farm) they get a pittance of rewards. Best bag rolls on the losing side are blue bags, so you're missing out on gold and purple. Crests rewarded for stages are markedly lower. Kill count, I've seen single digit for the losing side and a few hundred for the winning side. What encouragement is this for the smaller guilds, pugs to queue city? The answer, there isn't one. Its far better to go out into the lakes during city queues if you know that your warband won't win. That's exactly what we're seeing now, low city pops compared to the number of active players at that time. Give people incentive to queue city, win or lose, by giving them the same bag rolls and the same stage wins. If you've got the grit to tough out a loss, then you should be rewarded for it stage to stage. The winning side will always still get the bonus of crests and renown from kills.

I've played both sides. With the stomp groups that level characters through mid-tier several hours at a time, with my characters having unlocked conq and enough crests for half of vanq by the time I hit 40; to struggling the whole way through as a solo q, not being able to get the tier 1 set until level 14 (when set requires level 8) because I couldn't get crests from scenarios as it was loss after loss. Progressing to mid tier to find similar, trying the PQ route and realizing most classes can't solo the final stage of PQ's, so no loot is available, and /5 groups don't really form for PQ's any longer. Its being dead in the water. You reach 40 and instead of being somewhat competitive, you sit in Merc / Anni gear knowing you have to get through the slog for Conq to reach a competent end game set like Vanq. Sure, you can go the PvE route and grab Redeye / Sent / Bloodlord / Onslaught / Vale Walker, but the grind to end game gear is still waiting for you in PvP and that mountain to climb gets no shorter. On this path, you basically make the sets you'll climb through to get to Invader+ useless since what you're sporting is already competitive to the sets you have to get to keep moving. This whole setup is repeatable, both sides, as I've done it on both Destro and Order, in all cases, its not exclusive to faction or time zone. Either way, you're faced with the only path that promises crests, the side that's winning that night, and if your side isn't winning, well log over to the other one or log off and play something else. I've also played on the low pop side and enjoyed the huge rr gains from kills, but this post isn't necessarily about me or my experience, its about the experience I know a large swathe of people are having that aren't in organized groups and guilds. Those shouldn't be the options on a private server for people who play this game because they enjoy it. That's why we're all hear, because we love Warhammer or we love this game as no other really offers it.

Finally, at the end of the day, this is a game. People log on to play to relax and have fun (whether its competitive or not). No one wants to feel like their character is not progressing each time they log in. The gear grind is real, and there is no detriment to the server to see people on both sides gearing more equally. On the contrary, if people login and don't see progress, or feel stuck, they lose motivation to login and stop playing, or they choose the winning side when they do play instead of the side or character they may want to play. I realize that people will say "get better" or "try harder". Everyone has a finite capacity for their play level, and no one can control your faction's population, only what you personally choose to do. There are a decent number of people who play this game several hours a day who have no capacity for understanding why people aren't able to gear as quickly as them. Most adults don't have the free time to invest that many hours. What that means, is for the few hours they may have each day, or maybe even each week, they are stuck with whatever the server and queues have to offer and can't choose to log off for a couple hours and come back later to try and queue dodge. These people, who aren't putting a workday's time into the game, make up the majority population of this server. Most adults, who might potentially play this type of game, are going to be restricted on time. The game needs to be setup so these people can also succeed, or the lifer's aren't going to have people to fight. There are other options to people out there and the server should be focused on trying to grow this server and bring people back. Changing how rewards are given is one great step in that direction. I'd say renown gains should be increased to where they were before the nerfs too, especially with the reduction in population, but hey, one win at a time. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully it gets attention of the right people.


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