Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 11
01-31-2013, 07:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mancom View Post
Snip
Take for example chess. Nearly perfectly balanced 1v1, but how exactly would you implement a 2v2 chess match that is not just two parallel and independently played 1v1s? (I concede that chess is not a particularly good example.)
Snip
I knew it as Siamese chess, but fyi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bughouse_chess

To the OP, I'd rather ships and their builds be designed around filling various roles, some of which would excell at some PvP ascepts while be left lacking at others, or have jack-of-all-trade options that excell at nothing.

Quite frankly, I'd like Sci ships which have little use in PvP, but excell at various PvE tasks not currently in the game. I'd also like logistic freighter ships have a need to move stuff around and be defended etc.

In otherwords I'd rather they'd expand the environment to encourage various ship roles both combat and non-combat, rather than design all ships around a narrow scope of 1v1s.
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# 12
01-31-2013, 07:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
I am not sure what you mean by that.

What I mean is that, if both captains have equally competently selected their abilities and gear, and use the resulting ship build equally competently, then the fight should be balanced, that is, both should, all in all, have an equal chance to win the battle. Of course, the way they might win it will differ from ship class to ship class.
The problem with this ideal is that it is for all practical purposes impossible to implement in the real world. You are never going to have two players of exactly equal skill, and you are never going to have different builds of exactly equal 'power'. The FAR more likely outcomes are that you end up with a 'draw' between two generalized ships, where neither ship can defeat the other, or you end up with a match between two specialized ships such that one is the 'hard counter' to the other, and the fight only ever can go one way. Neither of those situations are particularly 'fun' to me.

Now, I know that 1v1 right now has these same problems - what I am saying is that I don't think it is possible to fix them - at least not without totally destroying team play, which is certainly also an undesirable outcome. For example - let's say you balance damage and healing so that even the tankiest cruiser build in the game can eventually be overcome in a 1v1 setting. You seem to think there's no problem scaling that up to a 5v5, and you would be right, IF all ships targeted different opponents.

But we know that's not going to happen. People will coordinate, and as soon as focused targeting happens, the healing that was sufficient in 1v1 simply isn't enough anymore, and ships pop in seconds, with no practical way to respond. This is simply due to the way the math works.

Imagine that in 1v1 a cruiser can tank an escort such that the escort is only actually doing 20% of the cruisers health a minute. The cruiser will probably win, because it's highly likely that the escort can't hang with it for 5 minutes to get the kill. But who knows? Maybe the escort gets a lucky crit, or maybe the cruiser captain screws up. Either way, the sense of progressive damage over time, as well as the chance for a dramatic turn around probably makes that a fun match for both parties. Okay, yay. Pvp rocks. Now I want to get my friends involved.

There's the rub - now that it's a 5v5, the damage dealers have a HUGE advantage, assuming they focus their fire. Lets say that the total healing/dmg ratios stay the same - each escort can do about 20% of a cruiser's hull in damage per minute, after heals. Oops - that now means that the first cruiser goes down in 1 minute, not 5, and once it does, the remaining ships on that team are now facing the same firepower will less available healing. The next ship goes down in 40 seconds, the next in 25, and the remaining ships are down in the next 15 seconds or so, probably. The match goes from being fun in a 1v1 to totally unbalanced towards damage at 5v5.

I would argue, in fact, that this is how the game launched - ships were balanced for 1v1, and the result was that in team settings, dps and focus fire was king - hence the 'Escorts Online' moniker.

Moreover, 1v1 I think has a far, far higher potential barrier to entry than 5v5 does. Consider the brand-new pvper - in a 1v1, he's going to be mercilessly stomped over and over by the more skilled player, and there's really nothing he can do about it. He can't try to find a different target to fight (there aren't any), he can't get support from a friendly to help keep him alive/deliver damage (there are no friends) and he isn't going to 'get better' with no role-models to watch and emulate. In a team setting, a player can 'win' a match because he had other players around to pick up the slack and show him the ropes. Not so in 1v1, which makes it much harder to learn from.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
That. at least, is the option that most people seem to prefer here on the forums. Another option would be to have them be best for fighting a given class of targets, but I was told that this was not popular at all (I am not sure why, though).

So what is there to convince anyone that 5v5 or any other team setup would be better to balance the game?

I asked for arguments for balancing for any team size >1, and for not balancing around 1v1 in the first place.

There don't seem to be any?
Actually, every single reason why NOT balancing for 1v1 is functionally an argument in favor of 5v5, because they are zero-sum. You really can't do one without hurting the other, so they are mutually exclusive. At that point, the answer to your question of why balance one way or the other really comes down to preference - would you rather pvp be fun 1v1 but suck in a team, or be fun in a team and suck 1v1. I think many people prefer to play with friends, so team play is the superior option.

As for why people don't want to do something like "Escorts beat sci, sci beat cruisers, cruisers beat escorts"... I'm really not sure why that confusing to you, especially if you want a 1v1 setting - that kind of holy trinity balancing works in 5v5 because there is a reasonable expectation of having all ship types in some mix. In a 1v1, that set up just means that matches are decided by the match-up you get - if you are scissors, and the other guy brings paper, congrats! 1v1 rules! If the other guy brings rock, however, it's going to be a long day.
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# 13
01-31-2013, 07:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
Balancing around 5v5 means that a 4-player team is just not "80% of a full team", because in such a balancing situation, it entirely depends on which player is missing.

If it actually was 80% in any case, then it would be balanced 1v1, too, because then, of course, 20% of a 5-player-team is one player.
You managed to completely fail at grasping the point I was trying to make.

The idea is that balance should scale somewhat continuously, i.e. small changes in the start values give small changes in the result. So let's take an extreme example: If you balance for 1000v1000, your ruleset should work with basically no alterations for 999v999, but it might break down in a 10v10 situation.

This is why 5v5 should scale comparatively well to 4v4 (80%) or 6v6 (120%) (special UI issues with STO's team list aside), but it probably doesn't scale all that well down to 1v1 (20%).

On the other hand it takes a certain leap of faith to believe that increasing everything by a factor of 5 (going from 1v1 to 5v5) will work without any problems. Especially since there are mechanics in team situations (2v2 and higher) that are completely non-existent in 1v1: cross-healing, focus fire, target switches.
So not only are you applying a huge change in available raw power (500%), you are simultaneously introducing concepts that inherently cannot be balanced by testing in a 1v1 because they simply don't exist in that situation.
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# 14
01-31-2013, 08:18 AM
I could agree with balancing around 1v1 duels. However, that would only apply to specific classes of ships. Do we really want to make all ships equal? Although duels are fun too, and a que for 1v1 ships might be fun, I like the idea that a science ship can only do so much vs a cruiser and would need help in destroying one. I like the idea of escorts either ganging up vs a cruiser or facing almost certain death if the cruiser is a good pilot. I do not want 'cruisers online' but I would prefer something other than 'escorts online' as well.

I think that fighters and shuttles fill the 1v1 role in this game very nicely, where is the shuttle PvP que?

In the real world, there is a need for various ship types in a fleet. A Carrier needs the support of smaller, faster ships. By making each class more specialized and less self sufficient, variety is encouraged and no one ship is OP. This would require a lobby to pre arrange teams, or a que system that automatically set up teams to have a mix of ship types.

I have thought about the idea of making all captains the same profession (no TAC, SCI, ENG) and let kits on ground and ships in space define our roles more specifically.

Last edited by buccaneerdtb; 01-31-2013 at 08:22 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,015
# 15
01-31-2013, 09:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
[list][*] 1v1 situations occur a lot in the game. In any PvP mode, you will have situations where 1v1 just happens. Having balanced the game around something else than 1v1 will essentially make some players feel like they are in an inferior ship. That is not a good feeling, and would thus be bad game marketing.
Two generally true statements to get the reader's brain to start agreeing with you. Then a statement that should build on the first two, but does not successfully follow them with any measure of logic. The loser of the impromptu duel in the middle of an arena will feel like they are in an inferior ship? How can this possibly be known? How can game design change what some players attribute their loss to? Further, how can we know what action they will take? Maybe the feeling of having an inferior ship will send them to the Z-Store to buy something better. This would be good marketing.

Overall I find this argument to be lacking any cohesion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
[*] In fiction, 1v1 fights are exceptionally common, because they are attractive. It all depends on the hero and the villain, with no outside interference. "Who is the better man" is just an interesting question... in fiction. (In reality, it is a bit silly, of course, but that makes it no less attractive in fiction.)
These statements stand alone as true. However you have failed to make any connection to balancing this game around duels. As is your habit to infer that respondents have missed your implied points, I will do you the favor of taking the mental leap of tying your unrelated statements to the argument at hand.

This entire point is irrelevant because fiction is for spectators. In the example you gave of the duel to the death there is a hero and a villain, true, but there is an audience which gives the entire episode purpose. If you apply this to STO then you force one person to be the villain. "We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story." Hero, not villain, is the oft-misquoted sentiment on human nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
[*] It is much easier to test a combat system in 1v1 with multiple pairings than to organize a "test match" with a dozen or so people. It just requires less time, fewer people and less analysis to find out what is going on in 1v1.
By this logic college freshman orientation should be done 1 on 1 instead of in an auditorium. Each person should make an appointment and ask their questions one at a time, because it will require less time and be easier to organize than having everybody come to the same place at the same time. Can you see what is wrong with this?

More specific to STO, what need does this address? Has Cryptic issued repeated calls for test match players which have gone unanswered? Further, is what is easiest for the developers to implement necessarily the best choice for the players or the overall success of the game?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
[*] It is easier to set up a system that is balanced for 1v1 which then scales well for higher numbers then to select a certain team size, balance everything around that team size, and then have it scale up and down properly so that people might enjoy anything else but matches of teams of exactly that size, because if one ship is a self-contained combat unit, bigger team sizes are just multiples of self-contained combat units, while when, say 4 ships are balanced as a self-contained combat unit, you have to find additional ways to have that half combat unit be useful in a 10v10 match, for example.
It is better to buy a car that is a bright color because red is brighter than blue, and if you had a black car it would be darker than red.
You have stated your preference in general terms, then used the word "because," then re-stated your preference in specific terms. The only argument against your preference you seem to be able to find is a vague need "to find additional ways" to balance the game. Nowhere did you actually back up the assertion that it is easier to create a self-contained unit.

Further, you seem to imply that enjoyment is a constant among players. You slipped a point in there that forcing players into a specific team size limits enjoyment. You cannot know what people enjoy.

You are trying to say that if the game is first balanced at the 1v1 level that it will then be balanced with any number of players when the teams have equal players. I cannot for the life of me think of concrete examples of games which allow teams to take the field in varying numbers. You must know of some, please provide them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophlogimo View Post
I would ask those who think that there are good arguments for balancing around a certain team size to list the arguments for it?
No. Here's why: You are arguing for the change. To argue in favor of a specific team size would be to acknowledge that your preference is as valid as any other. This is not a question of choosing how to balance a game that will be made in the future, this is a question of changing the status quo. You have a burden; since you seem willfully oblivious to it I will decline your request for a certain type of argument and make one of my own.

Your argument in favor of balancing STO for 1v1 must:

1. Identify problems with STO which are caused primarily or peripherally by the current 5 man team mechanic.

2. Explain how switching to a 1v1 would fix the problems. This will require specific examples, simply stating "it will be easier" is not sufficient.

3. Justify this change when measured against the problems created by such a balance change to a live game. This is not beta, this is not the drawing board. You are proposing to switch horses midstream.
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# 16
01-31-2013, 09:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mancom View Post
You managed to completely fail at grasping the point I was trying to make.

The idea is that balance should scale somewhat continuously, i.e. small changes in the start values give small changes in the result. So let's take an extreme example: If you balance for 1000v1000, your ruleset should work with basically no alterations for 999v999, but it might break down in a 10v10 situation.

This is why 5v5 should scale comparatively well to 4v4 (80%) or 6v6 (120%) (special UI issues with STO's team list aside), but it probably doesn't scale all that well down to 1v1 (20%).

On the other hand it takes a certain leap of faith to believe that increasing everything by a factor of 5 (going from 1v1 to 5v5) will work without any problems. Especially since there are mechanics in team situations (2v2 and higher) that are completely non-existent in 1v1: cross-healing, focus fire, target switches.
So not only are you applying a huge change in available raw power (500%), you are simultaneously introducing concepts that inherently cannot be balanced by testing in a 1v1 because they simply don't exist in that situation.

Essentially correct. This in part is because balance doesn't mean equal. If it did well of course it would scale. But it doesn't so there isn't much to discuss here. If you're unsure of this you're welcome to go do some research on the subject. The information is out there, the work has already been done. By game designers. There is a spot where given a certain number of variables you need to balance a certain minimum number of players will satisfy that, and then you can increase that number of players by any amount you wish. But you can't decrease it. Not without decreasing the variables. And that would mean decreasing the type of players.


My suggestion to YOU Sophie is that if you wish to have a balanced 1 v 1 you both agree to fly ships that are exactly equal. 2 escorts of the exact same loadout for example.

This will be great as you try to refute countless man hours of game designers work on this very subject. Likely you'll just say "I'm right and they're wrong" but whatever. Actually I won't be here to watch that show. Seen it before!

Cheers!

EDIT: Why it gets done this way. It gets done this way by being effective and by also being very efficient. If the model is balanced correctly you only ever need to do it once. Anything 'new' that comes along is expected to have all the same buttons and knobs and settings that everything previously did. You crank them all about until they spit out the same value as the rest and you can be pretty sure it's balanced. This is why a nice predictable model is a joy to game designers. And not having that is why STO is currently unbalanced and will remain so until the day that the underlying cause is fixed. Anything added to a broken model is inherently broken itself.

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Last edited by thissler; 01-31-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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# 17
01-31-2013, 09:41 AM
Guys, Its obvious that as the game stands balancing for PvE (Which is what makes money so its what they currently do) unbalances PvP and while it would take time to change that and balance pvp at a 1v1v1 level and then doing a (much needed) complete rebuild of PvE content is the key to achieving real game balance.

That way you can run a balance where each and every ship is capable of doing the same damage, the same healing, the same CC but in different ways while losing the HUGE end damage gap between DHCs and Beam weapons for example as well as having cruisers with 6 beams causing the same base damage as an escort running 3 DHCs and 2 turrets while unbuffed and having the buffs make the difference on that score. Also having defensive buffs set up based on percentages rather than fixed figures would keep defence balanced (Taking hold immunity out of AP:O and replacing it with a hold resistance would also help facilitate this) meaning that escorts would have to dodge-scort while cruisers sit and take the pounding.

Now I know there are two ways on looking at the above paragraph,
1: Lets make cruisers primary damage dealers and make them tank everything!
Yes it would be taking DPS away from escorts by means of removing their ability to tank while giving cruisers the ability to do more damage

2: Lets give cruisers a more useful and solid role in a combat group
Due to the games lacking the need of a tank the actions suggested above would give cruisers the ability to hang in a fight as well as dealing meaningful damage that would still be outdone by a good escort pilot on his/her damage run, it would also bring them in pvp from a healer that isn't worth trying to kill to something that should be given some attention.

Escorts in that situation would be able to take some fire, albeit less than current, but would rely on their speed to keep them alive while cruisers actually keep things from healing rather than being brushed off by EPtS1 and TT1 along with AtS if they're really good as well as escorts becoming more reliant on burst weaponry to kill their targets as opposed to sitting taking what there is to offer and giving it back with not much more than a yo-yo manoeuvre to keep from getting hurt.

I know I haven't mentioned science yet, the idea here would be to give them exotic damage on all their abilities as well as a buff across the board allowing them to use their powers to deal with their targets and thus (like the others) become more independent, the other thing here would be that attack patterns Alpha and Omega would have to be tweaked to only buff weapon damage rather than all damage in order to facilitate said science buff.

On top of this skills like flow capacitors and power insulators need to be properly balanced against eachother, 6 points of insulators should not negate 9 points of flow caps, Sensors should be balanced against stealth such that a science ship with full sensors skill would see a cloaked ship with full stealth skill by merit of its sensors combined with high aux power but escorts wouldn't get that due to their lower aux and more targeting based sensors and cruisers would need a few sensor probes consoles to pull off such tricks. Cloaking would still give a nice boost to defence though so the chances of getting hit by weapons would be low but high level sci powers would do the trick.

The primary advantages of this are:
1: Each ship and profession would be balanced against one another, as well as skills being balanced against one another
2: If any new consoles or ships are added they only need to be balanced for pvp as that will automatically balance them for pve
3: Science gets its kick back
4: Cruiser pilots stop complaining

Disadvantages:
Well I personally can't think of any right now
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# 18
01-31-2013, 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkafei View Post
Snip....


That way you can run a balance where each and every ship is capable of doing the same damage, the same healing, the same CC Snip....

Well I personally can't think of any right now
That's not balance. That's homogenization. Most of the other bits didn't even make much sense. Even the ones that did make some sort of sense were at odds with the above statement. You can't have everyone the same and then give certain groups certain roles and special abilities. See how that works? You need it one way or the other.

Oh and I know you put...."in different ways" into that statement. Meaningless as it was you did include it. It's meaningless because it makes no sense. And how exactly will a cruiser do the same burst damage as an escort? Or will we reduce the burst damage of an escort down to the level of what a cruiser can do? How exactly do we make an escort heals equal to a cruisers? And then make it percentage based as well? And suppose they use that heal on a different ship?

So there was a lot of stuff in your post but there's a lot of conflict.

And 1 v 1 does not ever scale upwards unless off course we're talking identical ships and/or they are the only two ship/player types in the game. So there is that little bit you need to account for.

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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,394
# 19
01-31-2013, 10:29 AM
This thread is really amusing....lol

This thread reads along the line of "I cant get a team to play with me, so please can you change the PVP to suit my Captain Kirk style so I can enjoy it".

C'mon, get real - the whole point of MMO's is to play as a collective. Why have fleets if this game was designed for solo play?

Why have end game orientated around team play?
aka NazHuggyBear2

"No, there is no real problem with P2W in STO. Obviously, if you fight against someone with an equal level of skill in the game, better equipment will give you an edge. But usually, it is the skill level that determines the outcome, not the P2W." - Sprinkles

Last edited by naz4; 01-31-2013 at 10:32 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,427
# 20
01-31-2013, 10:47 AM
When I played League, you'd find that "1 v. 1" scenarios were very common, in a sense: there are three lanes on the map and you're (typically) assigned one of them to "guard", with the opposing team doing likewise.

However, the game was balanced completely around the team effort (which is why the spectator mode tracks total team gold accumulated), and particularly at high levels of play people would make decisions for the best of the team rather than trying to single-handedly act the hero.

That said, there is a duelling system of sorts in such a heavily team-oriented game... but that's the catch. Your champ choice (equivalent to a ship in STO) was not arbitrary and it wasn't "balanced"; you intentionally wanted to cripple your opponent by choosing whatever directly countered him. So for example, if you see they've chosen a melee hero, you go ranged and kite them to death. As a general rule of thumb, the 1 v. 1 lanes are decided at champ selection but a game can be turned around by a strong team effort.

I think Hilbert's original response is possibly the most insightful so far. In SC, you are duelling in a sense, but it's wildly different to the STO experience because you're not locked into your "ship type" at the start of the game, meaning you have much more room to adjust your tactics on the go. Players are also given the full range of equipment to use because each race is (at least Blizzard hopes) more or less equivalent. With a class-based MMO that's really just not possible.

As an aside, I do think it's feasible to make a duel-oriented MMO if that's what's desired. You'd likely end up with everyone fielding the exact same tanky-DPS min-maxed hybrid builds, but it could be done. However I don't believe it would scale well with team play at all.

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