The growing presence of ringers in competitive scrims

TechercizerTechercizer 7th Player Join Date: 2011-06-11 Member: 103832Posts: 1,850Members
It's starting to get rediculous
The presence of ringers in competitive scrims, something that was originally a benign and rare occurrence, has started getting out of control. It seems like every other game we play against the same one or two people, and it's getting to the point that we have more matches against partial teams than full ones.

What's more, the initial purpose of ringers, which was to provide an extra body on the field for teams that would otherwise have to forfeit, has been eclipsed by the impact these players are having. Our two games today had at least a third of the players on the enemy team brought in from outside, to the point they began to carry the entire team. As games dragged on, it was not uncommon to see the ringers having more kills combined than the actual team we came to fight.

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This is getting out of hand. We at -[420]- want to play the teams who schedule matches with us, not half of them and whoever they throw in to one-up us. If a time doesn't work for your team, let us know when you're scheduling a match with us; we'll be happy to look for other times that work. If something comes up and you can't make it, let us know and we'll reschedule or push it back. In real competitive matches, the ones that will start up after release, failing to have enough players will be a forfeit. In the mean time, we would much rather wait a week or two to play with your team than fight the ringers you've brought in.

        Once the infestation reaches the Command Chair, the process begins. One Gorge enters the chair to provide the necessary height. Another climbs on its shoulders to access the controls.

        A Gorge Lab is quickly established, staffed by microscopic Gorges who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of Frontiersman Technology, stopping only to change their lab coats when they become dirtied. Once the research progresses to a certain point, the Gorgecom gives the order. Nanites are called into service.

        The armature forms. A chosen Gorge, tested many times in the field of battle, enters the machine.

        Servos whir; miniguns spin up in diagnostics; an Exogorge is born.

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Comments

  • TinkerTinker Join Date: 2003-03-11 Member: 14395Posts: 275Members
    Isn't the point to get matches to practice? Since they aren't real competitive games anyways?
  • hunterwhunterw Join Date: 2011-04-26 Member: 95828Posts: 9Members
    With the game still in a beta it's expected that rules and scheduling is a bit flexible.

    Still, there's a difference between ringers and ringers

    image

    Those are some really nice ringers to have!


    I'd still rather wait and play a team instead of a team with ringers just for the sake of good games. Most of those were not good games.
  • -[420]-Papageorgio-[420]-Papageorgio Join Date: 2011-09-23 Member: 122961Posts: 59Members
    QUOTE (Tinker @ Apr 15 2012, 05:54 PM) »
    Isn't the point to get matches to practice? Since they aren't real competitive games anyways?


    Unknown Worlds Forums > Natural Selection 2 > NS2 Competitive Play
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  • TechercizerTechercizer 7th Player Join Date: 2011-06-11 Member: 103832Posts: 1,850Members
    QUOTE (Tinker @ Apr 15 2012, 05:54 PM) »
    Isn't the point to get matches to practice? Since they aren't real competitive games anyways?

    Well if we just wanted to shoot random bunches of people, we'd hop in a gather or go pubbing. We want the opportunity to practice, and test, our team against other teams. Not against bits and chunks of other teams supplementing the same handful of people over and over.

            Once the infestation reaches the Command Chair, the process begins. One Gorge enters the chair to provide the necessary height. Another climbs on its shoulders to access the controls.

            A Gorge Lab is quickly established, staffed by microscopic Gorges who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of Frontiersman Technology, stopping only to change their lab coats when they become dirtied. Once the research progresses to a certain point, the Gorgecom gives the order. Nanites are called into service.

            The armature forms. A chosen Gorge, tested many times in the field of battle, enters the machine.

            Servos whir; miniguns spin up in diagnostics; an Exogorge is born.

  • MuYeahMuYeah Join Date: 2006-12-26 Member: 59261Posts: 610Members
    edited April 2012
    I've felt the sting of both sides of this dilemma in the past; Not having my own team around so having to play with (and essentially carry) considerably less experienced teams and skew the game completely but also having been the low experience team playing versus far more experienced players.

    I'd say it's very bad manners for a much more experienced player to jump in like that in a regular competitive community. Saying that, when I've done it I always tried to help the teams I was playing with to develop strategy and game sense... in one case it really came back to bite me seeing as they eventually went on to beat my own team in the ENSL season 1 finals. Cool nonetheless.

    On the other hand, with such a small scene at the moment I think it's probable that without these mercs you wouldn't even be playing a game with them in the first place.

    It's a toughy, but for now I'd say stick with it and hope that the opposing team uses some manners and forces the dude to command. IIRC we used to make mercs perm-gorge back in NS1 so we could actually practice our strategies and teamwork in as real a sense as possible.

    The phenomenon you're highlighting was always done either by the less efficient teams to feel good about beating their kin or by the highly experienced player to get some jollies about dominating some random players.

    edit: Oh yeah, we'd always ask and make sure it was ok to bring in non team-members as well.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ArkantiArkanti pub baddie Join Date: 2011-07-22 Member: 111781Posts: 694Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited April 2012
    A good compromise would perhaps be asking whether or not the other team is ok with the "merc" situation before playing. Also the above suggestion from MuYeah.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • GORGEousGORGEous Join Date: 2012-02-19 Member: 146762Posts: 1,456Members, NS2 Map Tester
    I can understand why it is frustrating to have top players ringing for teams they don't belong to. I think this is something that should be decided before hand. IE the two teams decided NO RINGERS or ONE ringer max. Or the team bringing in a ringer should have to run the ringer by their opponents. And if their opponents say no, then that team can't use that ringer.

    That said, scrims are just scrims. I know if D|S was playing a true match for a tournament then we'd probably be unhappy with both spectators (excluding casters) and ringers, but we don't particularly care for the scrims. Scrims should be about focusing on your own teamwork and strategy. The better your opponents are, the better you get by playing them.
    image
  • TechercizerTechercizer 7th Player Join Date: 2011-06-11 Member: 103832Posts: 1,850Members
    If people want to bring back the concept of ringers as warm bodies, I think the discussion has potential to be reopened. For now though, we at least would appreciate teams just telling us if they can't get the people together; we don't mind rescheduling or postponing if it's needed. If someone has an emergency or turns out to be busy the day of the scrim, we can always do it later on, or at another day entirely. We're extremely flexible towards meeting whatever conditions are needed for a fellow team to bring their players together.

            Once the infestation reaches the Command Chair, the process begins. One Gorge enters the chair to provide the necessary height. Another climbs on its shoulders to access the controls.

            A Gorge Lab is quickly established, staffed by microscopic Gorges who work tirelessly to unlock the secrets of Frontiersman Technology, stopping only to change their lab coats when they become dirtied. Once the research progresses to a certain point, the Gorgecom gives the order. Nanites are called into service.

            The armature forms. A chosen Gorge, tested many times in the field of battle, enters the machine.

            Servos whir; miniguns spin up in diagnostics; an Exogorge is born.

  • MuYeahMuYeah Join Date: 2006-12-26 Member: 59261Posts: 610Members
    I think there's probably an issue of differing organisational styles causing a disconnect between groups of players.

    On the one hand, you get teams and individuals who just want to play whenever they can, as much as they can and see it as a form of continuous (and frequent) iterative improvement at a game.

    On the other, you get teams of good mates who may very well spend a lot of time on strategies together but (I'm guessing) don't play as many practice games and therefore tend to see each one in the more serious manner of formally testing the strength of 'the team'.

    It's just a different way of viewing practice games imo.
  • KoruyoKoruyo Join Date: 2009-06-06 Member: 67724Posts: 1,676Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited April 2012
    You have the option to talk with the other team before matches start or better when you schedule the match what rules you would like to have...
    We should do that from now on - every clan should.


    (we see it as practice, so we dont have a problem with ringers, especially considering the status and balance of the game and thats its just scrims... dunno how many of those dozen or by now hundreds of games we played with ringers involved in one of the teams or even both)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • JuCCiJuCCi Join Date: 2011-08-08 Member: 114961Posts: 524Members, NS2 Map Tester
    I feel the same way. Id rather cancel then use 2 ringers. The win don't feel mine if i used ringers.
  • IronHorseIronHorse CDT Technical Support & QA Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Posts: 6,096Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Community Dev Team admin
    edited April 2012
    I think the defining difference in how one determines whether its a "tournament" or just a "scrim/practice" is when NS2HD is casting for hundreds to see / be recorded for all time.

    This is that line, MuYeah, where you appropriately said "without these mercs you wouldn't have had a game" - where i believe a clan might be less inclined to have their obvious loss broadcasted for all to see as it can hurt a reputation. Nobody remembers player A carrying the team, they remember who won and who lost.

    Edit: Its important to note that i dont believe tech, or anyone here was trying to make anyone look bad. (if anything those screenshots make US look bad! lol) Its hard to bring up a topic like this without offending someone, especially since it comes across as a complaint. But know that its not directed at any singular player or clan. We've been experiencing this a lot lately and i think it was worth bringing up / changing our clan's policy. No hard feelings from this side, promise - and i apologize on the behalf of our clan if this offended anyone - definitely was not the intention of this thread.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • ZeikkoZeikko Join Date: 2007-12-16 Member: 63179Posts: 585Members, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester
    At the moment Archaea has a shortage of players. We are expecting some inactive players to return shortly though. But we want to be able to practice anyway, both because we enjoy the game and we like to practice and gain more experience with the ones that are current active.

    In this match we had Treffnix and Lance, both which are really good players. Yesterday we played two games with less experienced mercs. It is also very hard to find mercs to play in the middle of the night. Usually it’s only the most experienced players who are available for mercing in the midnight.

    We had no intention of upsetting anyone in anyway, we just wanted offer some good games for the community.
  • HughHugh Cameraman San Francisco, CA Join Date: 2010-04-18 Member: 71444Posts: 1,586Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Developer admin
    It should be noted that I very clearly announced the presence of mercs every time they were present. Also, I get the feeling everyone in this thread is understanding and friendly, and that we just need to communicate more in future.

    Today was fantastic for NS2 in general. We sustained 200 viewers, which is completely organic growth. Next weekend I am working to get us frontpaged on Twitch, and viewres will exceed four figures for sure.

    Everyone should be extremely proud of themselves. Every team was utterly professional and helpful. Server snags, missing team members, and other drams were all sorted out very quickly. It is an absolute honour to be able to cast all of you.
    The fastest way to contact me is via @hugh_jeremy on Twitter! Add me on Steam: Strayan. I do not check forum PMs.
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  • MuYeahMuYeah Join Date: 2006-12-26 Member: 59261Posts: 610Members
    edited April 2012
    I can see where the issue of having NS2HD officially shoutcast your practice games comes in for sure, ironhorse. Especially as they seem to be announced a day or so in advance so if a team don't feel like playing it paints them a bit as arseholes.

    I know I have always felt uncomfortable with my practice games being spectated for a number of reasons, not least because I personally have a horrible habit of making terrible snap in-game decisions or dying stupidly.

    Keeping players active is directly tied to ego (whether they pretend to not be egoists is another matter) which in turn is directly intertwined with your group identity and if you're getting a fair crack at a win or not. On the other hand, you also need a base level of activity which mercs help to meet very well and it is a shame to have to cancel a scheduled PR-cast by NS2HD.

    I guess the best response is to talk prior to the match beginning and have both teams agree on 1) the number of mercs and 2) who is merc-ing. If it feels fair to both sides then everything is OK, right?



    edit: It's probably only fair to point out that it has been my experience that for teams who describe themselves as 'less-than-hardcore' every match is essentially a practice match unless explicitly in a tournament or league setting. Mainly because they have better things to be doing with their time than playing games 24/7

    I don't claim to know the ins and outs of the NS2 community (yet), but I do sense a potential friction between that outlook and NS2HD using shoutcasted games as PR-fodder, no matter how non-cynical the situation is.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • KoruyoKoruyo Join Date: 2009-06-06 Member: 67724Posts: 1,676Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited April 2012
    Well if we need to think about rules, we might as well do it right with no room for discussion, and consequences?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    www.teamarchaea.com - arc | Koruyo - Founder, Member, Constructor, Protector and Destroyer of RTs and other stuff - inactive
  • DuskDusk Join Date: 2011-06-24 Member: 106114Posts: 151Members, Constellation
    This game doesn't have a large enough player base to never have ringers. Plus the matches right now are just for fun so i don't see what the problem is.
  • MuYeahMuYeah Join Date: 2006-12-26 Member: 59261Posts: 610Members
    QUOTE (Dusk @ Apr 16 2012, 12:50 AM) »
    This game doesn't have a large enough player base to never have ringers. Plus the matches right now are just for fun so i don't see what the problem is.


    I'd say that playing as a close-knit group with a persistent online identity being broadcast to hundreds forces some kind of emotional investment in how you're perceived, no matter how little it really matters.
  • DuskDusk Join Date: 2011-06-24 Member: 106114Posts: 151Members, Constellation
    The broadcasts don't really change anything. These are for fun scrims in a game that isn't balanced yet. There's not even a tournament teams are preparing for. Back when we were preparing for the ns2hd tournament we would have 6 or more scrims a week and it was all to make us better. We loved when ringers were available for both sides because not everyone can make every scrim. It really sucks having to wait an hour trying to get a player online. Of course there is a point when you have too many ringers basically anything past 2. Of course if you don't want to play against ringers that is fine. It's your team and your time.
  • LV426-ColonistLV426-Colonist Space Jockey Join Date: 2011-08-05 Member: 114269Posts: 678Members, Constellation
    edited April 2012
    QQ more?

    Edit: Apparently my comment above has upset someone. I apologize, but isn't it the truth?

    If your complaining about ringers -- you've obviously never played a competitive esport before.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    LV426-Colonist
  • WilsonWilson Join Date: 2010-07-26 Member: 72867Posts: 1,397Members
    "We got owned and don't want to play against good players." All I read.
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  • elodeaelodea Editlodea Join Date: 2009-06-20 Member: 67877Posts: 1,766Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    luls. Btw, those wern't actually 'ringers'. They are players who have close relationships with those specific clans and would probably be closer to being subs that just also happen to be in a different clan. This isn't a tournament and there are no conflicts of interest...

    Would you see treffnix and lance playing for 156? No probably not. Neither do i think you would see shiv/gorge playing for arc.

    To the OP - If your suggesting that 156 and arc are relatively unexperienced clans that need to get experienced mercs then yeah you really have no idea.
    Gorge bilebomb forever.
  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Posts: 941Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    Guys, you really don't need to derail this thread after one page of civil discussion. Let's not end this like the coin toss discussion last time.

    While I do agree that noone was carrying anyone else, no matter what the kills look like, we do need some discussion about the issue, regardless of whether it was a problem in these particular games or not.
  • -[420]-Papageorgio-[420]-Papageorgio Join Date: 2011-09-23 Member: 122961Posts: 59Members
    All that we are saying is that when a scrim is planned as one team vs the other, that is what we expect. If you can't get all of your players together, we will wait and re-schedule it for another time.

    I am not against ringers but I would like our scheduled games to be a competitive event against teams, not a team and a few of their best buddies. As for playing against better players, that is always a good thing. Not only do they inspire you, but they teach you how to improve on your own skills. Same goes for playing with people who are better than you.

    When it comes down to it, if I'm going to take the time out of my personal life to schedule a competitive team event and make sure that my whole clan is there, I expect the other clan to have the same courtesy. It's ok if you can't get enough people every now and then but please don't schedule events if its a common occurrence.

    Hugh, we really appreciate you casting our games and all of the hard work you put into it. NS2 has came a long way and I know that there is a lot more to look forward to. We have the highest respect for all of the teams and everyone who makes ns2 possible.
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  • xDragonxDragon Join Date: 2012-04-04 Member: 149948Posts: 1,760Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester
    I see only two ringers in those screenshots.. doesnt really seem like a problem to me. IMO at this point NS2 scrims are mainly a competition between peoples computers, the actual skill level of the players is not much of a factor.

    I say just try to have fun and play regardless of what the other team looks like.
  • LV426-ColonistLV426-Colonist Space Jockey Join Date: 2011-08-05 Member: 114269Posts: 678Members, Constellation
    edited April 2012
    QUOTE (Wilson @ Apr 15 2012, 08:52 PM) »
    "We got owned and don't want to play against good players." All I read.


    My thoughts exactly.

    Now if this we're in a actual tournament setting -- I would feel otherwise to agree.

    It being just a scrimmage I see no harm in playing against ringers. In fact, if you don't like them don't agree to start the scrimmage with them present.

    The NS2 competitive community is small. It's as simple as that.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    LV426-Colonist
  • RawrawrawrawrRawrawrawrawr Join Date: 2010-12-19 Member: 75781Posts: 9Members
    I like clan vs clan. I don't like clan vs clan/ringers. It is not as fun. By far the best matches in NS2 and other competitive games I have played have been the ones without ringers.
  • TrCTrC Join Date: 2008-11-30 Member: 65612Posts: 1,024Members
    I can understand if you dont want to play against mixes as they are likely to be less skilled than teams but if a ringer boosts skill of the opposing team they'll only be better training.

    Not every team can yield full team everytime especially if you increase the playercount adding a ringer or two and playing is better for the team than not playing.
    image
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  • YuukiYuuki Join Date: 2010-11-20 Member: 75079Posts: 1,731Members
    edited April 2012
    I don't mind ringers, even high numbers. It allows to have more games going and reinforce the community.

    But if a team want some special rules about this or something else, it's fine, they just need to state them clearly before the game.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ogzogz Join Date: 2002-11-24 Member: 9765Posts: 646Members
    imo, prolly an internal discussion between clans

    next time you are in a game, and you see some players you rather not want to play the match against.. then dont play the match

    or set up rules up front stating who you don't want to play against
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