Stacking and how Auto-Random should be permanent in every pub server.

2

Comments

  • CalegoCalego Members, NS2 Map Tester Join Date: 2013-01-24 Member: 181848Posts: 763 Advanced user
    I love amazingly balanced games. Those are the ones that are never dull and always going back and forth. If its a challenge for both teams to do everything, it's a good game.

    I play on some servers that I know the regulars of, sometimes the teams get stacked. I personally find it just as easy to enjoy playing with the regulars of a server when you play against some of them as when you play with them. But that's mainly because I don't know them in person.

    The friends I know in person that play with me, I prefer to keep them on the same team as me. Primarily because they're not quite as experienced as me and I want to help them out.

    In short, I'm a fan of having a vote scramble feature, but I don't think forced random is a good idea all the time.
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    Every player should get an "effective players" rating, and then the join team gates decide whether to let you join a team based on the number of "effective players" rather than the number of actual players. If you are awesome, you might be worth 2 of the average player. If you are brand new you might be worth half of the average player.

    This would let people stack and stomp some noobs if they want, but they will be fighting all the noobs on the server, because the counts of effective players will determine this to be balanced.

    I don't think the statistics to compute this would be too difficult. You'd make your unit of measurement the average winrate when one team has one additional player, then just do stochastic gradient descent on the outcome of every round.
    _Necro_AurOn2CowMeat
  • CrazyEddieCrazyEddie Members Join Date: 2013-01-08 Member: 178196Posts: 657
    @moultano: I don't have stats to back this up, but my intuition is that the effect of an additional player is pretty big in NS2, so much so that having extra players very quickly makes up for a deficit in skill. If true, then this means that the "effective player rating" for most players would be much closer to one than to two or one-half.

    @savant proposed something similar here, albeit in the context of balancing the factions rather than balancing individual games and players.

    My own view is that unmatched numbers of players will be seen as "unfair" by the playerbase, no matter what the statistics show and no matter how well the games play out in practice.

    I'd still love to see what the statistics show.
  • Apreche2Apreche2 Members Join Date: 2012-08-06 Member: 154849Posts: 79
    Here's an idea that for he NS2 stats mod. If they have a stats API to allow the game servers to check how good the players are, the server can intelligently randomize the teams to be somewhat equally skilled.
    CrazyEddie
  • CommunistWithAGunCommunistWithAGun Local Propaganda Guy Members Join Date: 2003-04-30 Member: 15953Posts: 7,651 Advanced user
    PoNeH wrote: »
    90% of the games I've played (which usually take place in the 5 most popular servers) are heavily stacked one way or another. I know there's is not much that the game can do about such lame players, but there is one feature that can tackle the problem quite efficiently. Auto-Random.

    I know, I know, people want to choose what side they play for, but what if, we were able to select this upon joining the server and then change it during the game for the next round? Or maybe upon map-switch. Wouldn't take much coding to implement such a feature. This would remove the lame ass players who wait for the proficient players to join a team and then follow them.

    Stacking is the worst thing to happen to a game, especially a novelty game such as NS2. Not only does it completely taint the statistics for the game, but also prevents newcomers from really getting a feel of the gameplay and gauging which abilities and/or behaviors are more beneficial to their experience. Whether you're on the stacked team, or on the crappy end of it, you're not getting a true sense of what the devs spent countless hours trying to perfect.

    Absolutely no.
    Play on better servers. This isn't a game issue, it's a server issue, take it up with those popular servers admins or don't play there. What happens when the game decides to random and stack the teams one game all rookie vs good players.

    PS: Why are you spamming the forums with terrible suggestions that would actually ruin the game?
    user posted image

    #BATTERY
  • Metal HandkerchiefMetal Handkerchief Members Join Date: 2012-11-09 Member: 168697Posts: 106
    edited March 2013
    All you would accomplish with that is have people leaving the server when they don't get the team they want. Believe it or not, many people join a team exclusively because that's all they like to play. Sure, some are stacking, but most are just going to where they enjoy the game. For me it's Aliens and Lerk 24/7. Even when patch balance is as bad as it is now. I've played NS2 maybe 250 hours and 75% of that is Lerking, maybe 1% Fade and Onos, 2% Gorge, 20% skulk and 2% Marine. I just don't care about playing Marines. ESPECIALLY when the balance is bad in favor of Marines, then it's my damn duty as a good player to join Aliens.

    I AM L O F T Y , HEAR ME SOAR
    Oh wait, you can't hear me, oh, and you're dead.


    Sometimes I use 'taunt' as I approach a marine just to give them a fighting chance.
    CrazyEddieVonGerstenberg
  • SopsSops Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-07-03 Member: 17894Posts: 1,490 Advanced user
    One team stomping the other seemed to have been less of an issue in 239 then it is in 240, the problem isn't people trying to stack the teams the real issue, I think, is the game tends to snow ball much more easily in 241. Whoever wins the first few minutes wins the game, there is less chance at a come back now then then there was before.
  • gnoarchgnoarch Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2012-08-29 Member: 156802Posts: 259 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    Well, stacking is terrible in NS2, especially as loosing is so painful which again encourages people to actively stack.

    And please this "people want to play with their friends" argument is utter BS. Sure, there are people who want to play with their buddies but I bet you 100$ that 9 our of 10 stackers dont join after a friend but after the random guy who went 22:1 last round.

    Random teams on the other hand are no real solution as they just random stack.

    Best solution would be to give every player a point for each win and take one for each win(most basic solution, this system of course can be refined indefinitely), kind of like SC2.
    When creating teams from RR, the balance system would simply deny joining a team that has or would get a 10% higher overall "score" than the other team.
    This way the 5 people who really play with their friends can still play together.

    Of course this could not completely prevent stacking, but it would deny the most brutal abuse when 5 good players with a 3:2 win ration join after one very good player with a 3:1 win ration, leaving all the 1:1 ration players for the other team....
  • VonGerstenbergVonGerstenberg Members Join Date: 2013-02-15 Member: 183076Posts: 6
    gnoarch wrote: »
    And please this "people want to play with their friends" argument is utter BS. Sure, there are people who want to play with their buddies but I bet you 100$ that 9 our of 10 stackers dont join after a friend but after the random guy who went 22:1 last round.

    I honestly play this game largely just to play with a group of 3 other friends each week. We win together, but we also massively lose together at times. We may be the minority, but I don't really want to be auto balanced to another team. I would rather go where I've chosen to go and lose.

    People don't get better at games by being balanced to the winning team. If people want to be good at the game, they will practice and get good. This game is in a pretty sweet spot and I'm really enjoying it. If it becomes another CoD where everyone gets a gold star and free kills so they don't get their feelings hurt, I'm out.
  • gnoarchgnoarch Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2012-08-29 Member: 156802Posts: 259 Advanced user
    gnoarch wrote: »
    And please this "people want to play with their friends" argument is utter BS. Sure, there are people who want to play with their buddies but I bet you 100$ that 9 our of 10 stackers dont join after a friend but after the random guy who went 22:1 last round.

    I honestly play this game largely just to play with a group of 3 other friends each week. We win together, but we also massively lose together at times. We may be the minority, but I don't really want to be auto balanced to another team. I would rather go where I've chosen to go and lose.

    People don't get better at games by being balanced to the winning team. If people want to be good at the game, they will practice and get good. This game is in a pretty sweet spot and I'm really enjoying it. If it becomes another CoD where everyone gets a gold star and free kills so they don't get their feelings hurt, I'm out.

    Yes, I agreed there are people that play together. That why I suggested not to autobalance/random teams every round?
    So with the basic Balance system I suggested you would have no problem to play together. Probably as a group aou'd have to join the team with the lesser "team points" but I think thats the merit of such a system: Good players/coordinated groups joining the weaker team and thereby restore the balance.
  • ChrisAUSChrisAUS Members Join Date: 2012-11-17 Member: 172108Posts: 168
    I think alot of that comes down to community size/mindset and server availability.

    If you are in the US/EU you should have a fair few servers to choose from. When I filter to 300 Ping from AUS I get at least 15 US servers regularly popping up and my internet is bad compared to most of AUS. Try playing different servers for a week at a time and see how you go.

    In AUS servers get horribly stacked every night to the point where it's not even worth playing the game. By the one minute mark the top 4/5 players on marine are 5-0 and Aliens might have 2 kills between the whole team. There are maybe one or two servers that don't get stacked every night but it still happens.

    The second stupid thing about stacking is how when people are known to join up a server as a group of 3 or 4 and stack one team for hours on end until it empties, they just change their in-game name and keep doing it the next night.

    Auto-random isn't the answer, sometimes 2 people who are friends like to play together and in an ideal situation people of the same skill level will realise that and go on opposing teams. Server admins need to take a stronger hand in regards to this situation occuring. I'm guessing a big problem they have is it's hard to keep track of everyone's in game names in relation to their steam ID's or separating a deliberate stack to an accidental one.

    To me team stacking is the biggest down-side to this awesome game but it's not UWE's problem it's a players community problem.
    Ghosthree3Xao
  • turtsmcgurtturtsmcgurt Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165456Posts: 581 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    The problem is that all it takes is two good players to completely sway the teams due to the higher than normal skill ceiling for the game.

    Whenever I do get to play with my friends, betta believe that we're going to play together. edit: but when we notice another stack going on on the server, we make sure to join the opposite team to try our best to have a good game.
  • draktokdraktok Members Join Date: 2013-02-18 Member: 183156Posts: 253 Fully active user
    I would not even play this game if i couldn't choose my team (which is always marines, regardless of 60/40 alien favor)
    Also more recently known as Water Horse
  • SavantSavant Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Join Date: 2002-11-30 Member: 10289Posts: 2,073
    The only other alternative to deal with stacked games would be to handicap the teams. Simple example (numbers are arbitrary - change them to whatever) perhaps the clearly weaker team gets a 10% boost in health/armor/damage if the opposing team is outkilling them by a factor of say more than 1.5:1 or more.

    Matchmaking doesn't work if you still have people who want to "play with their friends". If you can't stop the stax, then alter the game so the stack doesn't imbalance the outcome of the game. That's really the only option left.
  • FrankerZFrankerZ Members Join Date: 2012-05-06 Member: 151627Posts: 163 Advanced user
    Savant wrote: »
    The only other alternative to deal with stacked games would be to handicap the teams. Simple example (numbers are arbitrary - change them to whatever) perhaps the clearly weaker team gets a 10% boost in health/armor/damage if the opposing team is outkilling them by a factor of say more than 1.5:1 or more.

    Matchmaking doesn't work if you still have people who want to "play with their friends". If you can't stop the stax, then alter the game so the stack doesn't imbalance the outcome of the game. That's really the only option left.

    you make a group, you get on the queue for match making for a 6v6 match, your team mmr is average, if you dont have 6, fillin players or another incomplete team will be added to your team, same goes for the opposing team you are put aggainst once you finally find a match.

    comms get int he chairs, game starts, switch sides automatically after round, if a team wins 2-0 their mmr goes up and other team goes down if its 1-1 nothing moves and then its time to either queue again or do a rematch fro 2 other rounds.

    if they are leavers, you can put sanctions on the leavers (temporary bans, double loss to their mmr) if a player is griefing and everyone on the team votes to kick him, or something like that.

    if a player leaves or disconnects during a match a 'fillin' player can come in to help finish the match, this player wouldnt put his mmr at stake and would be most likely unknown from others. That is if the missing player fails to come back.

    Match making is the way to go for a game that require a lot of knowledge and where you need everyone to try really hard to win in order to experience everything this game has to offer.

    DOTA is a pretty damn hard game to pickup when you are new to MOBAs but the match making makes it so that you face people as clueless as you are most of the time and as you learn you face opponent that are less and less clueless until you know everything and then only your skill will make you progress.
  • chibimikechibimike Members Join Date: 2007-09-09 Member: 62232Posts: 36
    This sounds like a mod people could add to there servers but not a game option.

    I have 1 RL friend who plays NS2 with me and we don't always play together. But if there was only randomize team picking servers looks like we would be doing a lot of server hopping until we got "stacked" together.
  • pearlykpearlyk Members Join Date: 2013-01-19 Member: 180732Posts: 88 Advanced user
    I like to play with my friends and I don't like being forced to play on either teams for the sake of server balance.

    it does more harm than good.
    call me arnaldo
  • Marshall_DrumminMarshall_Drummin Members Join Date: 2012-12-04 Member: 174115Posts: 81
    While I agree stacking teams is rather lame, there is an underlying problem. The new patch has nerfed aliens twice, in big ways with skulks and lerks. Please beat 4:45 exos, going guiness.
  • Kei-chanKei-chan Members Join Date: 2013-01-20 Member: 180898Posts: 60 Fully active user
    Woah, all those disagrees.

    Guess a lot of people here are those selfsame team stackers~
    KalabalanaUTeightohfiveCowMeat
  • KalabalanaKalabalana Members Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Posts: 1,049 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    People want to play with their friends. Friends who play together tend to be be better at the game because they communicate better and know what to expect from their team. This causes a sort of natural stacking that you can't eliminate without taking away a huge selling point of the game.

    This is besides the op, his issue is not with friends playing together, but team stacking.
    Amazing how incorrect assumptions reveal (by likes, awesomes, etc) others who are of a like mind.

    Back to topic, stacking is an issue, a possible solution is to not show player names before game start. Friends can still play together, while eliminating pre-game scoreboard watching for purpose of stacking.
    Post edited by Kalabalana on
    UTeightohfive
  • SoundFXSoundFX Members Join Date: 2003-08-21 Member: 20048Posts: 234 Fully active user
    PoNeH wrote: »
    90% of the games I've played (which usually take place in the 5 most popular servers) are heavily stacked one way or another. I know there's is not much that the game can do about such lame players, but there is one feature that can tackle the problem quite efficiently. Auto-Random.

    I know, I know, people want to choose what side they play for, but what if, we were able to select this upon joining the server and then change it during the game for the next round? Or maybe upon map-switch. Wouldn't take much coding to implement such a feature. This would remove the lame ass players who wait for the proficient players to join a team and then follow them.

    Stacking is the worst thing to happen to a game, especially a novelty game such as NS2. Not only does it completely taint the statistics for the game, but also prevents newcomers from really getting a feel of the gameplay and gauging which abilities and/or behaviors are more beneficial to their experience. Whether you're on the stacked team, or on the crappy end of it, you're not getting a true sense of what the devs spent countless hours trying to perfect.


    Why not just hide the teams until you get into the game; Sure people will F4 but if they are too slow they won't be able to join regardless.
    UTeightohfive
  • KalabalanaKalabalana Members Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Posts: 1,049 Advanced user
    SoundFX wrote: »
    PoNeH wrote: »
    90% of the games I've played (which usually take place in the 5 most popular servers) are heavily stacked one way or another. I know there's is not much that the game can do about such lame players, but there is one feature that can tackle the problem quite efficiently. Auto-Random.

    I know, I know, people want to choose what side they play for, but what if, we were able to select this upon joining the server and then change it during the game for the next round? Or maybe upon map-switch. Wouldn't take much coding to implement such a feature. This would remove the lame ass players who wait for the proficient players to join a team and then follow them.

    Stacking is the worst thing to happen to a game, especially a novelty game such as NS2. Not only does it completely taint the statistics for the game, but also prevents newcomers from really getting a feel of the gameplay and gauging which abilities and/or behaviors are more beneficial to their experience. Whether you're on the stacked team, or on the crappy end of it, you're not getting a true sense of what the devs spent countless hours trying to perfect.


    Why not just hide the teams until you get into the game; Sure people will F4 but if they are too slow they won't be able to join regardless.

    Exactly, hide player names until game start, this will reduce steam stacking.
    UTeightohfiveCowMeat
  • OhnojojoOhnojojo Members Join Date: 2011-08-01 Member: 113400Posts: 365 Advanced user
    Why not just make the vote-random feature permanent for all servers?
    And lower the vote-random number to like.. 25%-50% of the server population.
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2002-11-03 Member: 6146Posts: 412
    I've been in servers where it seems like more than half the players try to join marines every round. It doesn't usually result in unfair games, but it does make it take forever for games to get started. Okay now it's 2 aliens/3 marines. Lots of waiting, then 3 aliens/4 marines. I don't like starting when half the people haven't joined and starting the game would mean 2-on-3 fights, so it just drags. And the longer it drags before a new game starts the more people leave. Plus this means that like 3/4 of my games are as aliens, which gets a bit old.

    I guess what I'm saying is don't be that person that tries to join the same team every round.

    Though I don't know that anything can be really done about it. I like playing with friends when they join my game.
    your != you're
  • BentRingBentRing Members Join Date: 2003-03-04 Member: 14318Posts: 397
    As mentioned, servers with active admins can force random to prevent intentional stacking...


    I think a very unobtrusive soft 'ranking' system could be useful though, to get at least an idea of how much a given person has played so you can get a better idea of how to balance the teams. Time played and number of victories isn't indicative of raw skill...


    The goal is getting teams which are relatively balanced for more enjoyable matches. If a given group of friends aren't so far ahead of the curve that it's not possible to counterbalance, then it's not a problem.


    Edit to add: We also cap our servers at 16-18 players, so our team sizes are 8-9 at most, not 12.



    Combined your posts and culled quite a bit for clarity on what I'm responding to, but I'll make sure to add your server to my favs because these are the kind of games I enjoy playing. I assume its listed as DFA something or other?

    Also, you may want to look into adapting this plugin for your use. It basically tracks wins and losses from players with > # games played on the server and balances by that method.
    a.k.a. Roland tHTG
  • UTeightohfiveUTeightohfive Members Join Date: 2013-03-13 Member: 183918Posts: 3
    I agree that stacking really needs to be looked into...Although I don't agree with autorandom since there still needs to be an option to be on the same side as your friends. It's a teamwork game and if I couldn't guarantee that I would be playing with my buddies then there would be no point to play for me.

    That said, after most matches, whichever side won usually has their lobby room entrance crowded more than half the server lol
  • PoNeHPoNeH Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester Join Date: 2006-12-01 Member: 58801Posts: 184 Advanced user
    Kalabalana wrote: »
    SoundFX wrote: »
    PoNeH wrote: »
    90% of the games I've played (which usually take place in the 5 most popular servers) are heavily stacked one way or another. I know there's is not much that the game can do about such lame players, but there is one feature that can tackle the problem quite efficiently. Auto-Random.

    I know, I know, people want to choose what side they play for, but what if, we were able to select this upon joining the server and then change it during the game for the next round? Or maybe upon map-switch. Wouldn't take much coding to implement such a feature. This would remove the lame ass players who wait for the proficient players to join a team and then follow them.

    Stacking is the worst thing to happen to a game, especially a novelty game such as NS2. Not only does it completely taint the statistics for the game, but also prevents newcomers from really getting a feel of the gameplay and gauging which abilities and/or behaviors are more beneficial to their experience. Whether you're on the stacked team, or on the crappy end of it, you're not getting a true sense of what the devs spent countless hours trying to perfect.


    Why not just hide the teams until you get into the game; Sure people will F4 but if they are too slow they won't be able to join regardless.

    Exactly, hide player names until game start, this will reduce steam stacking.

    I like this idea! Keep players hidden until game starts and/or player has joined a team! Simple and efficient.

    Your friends will let you know which team they've joined (via Steam, other clients).
    UTeightohfiveCowMeat
  • Madd0gMadd0g Members Join Date: 2012-12-24 Member: 176116Posts: 91 Fully active user
    1)The main reason for imbalanced games is the flow of the game itself.The first 5 mins completely determine the rest of the round.Having a bad/troll commander just for a few seconds turns the game into a long loss.
    2)That would completely ruin the game for those of us who play this game mainly with their friends.
    3)Random teams doesnt guarantee sh*t.I played on a random teams server today and had some really imbalanced game.The only real benefit i had from it,was that we didnt waste 5 mins to have all the players in the w8ting room battle to get spot on marines side.

    Now,an active AB system that acts during rounds,does it's autobalancing based on player stats(skills would be inacurate word to use)and trys to keep friends together when ever it can,that would be nice yea.
    Ingame nickname:Delta34
  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    Yeah, I enjoy pushing down enemy territory just to be swapped teams and have to take it back because I'm too good as well.
    76561197996992409.png
  • UTeightohfiveUTeightohfive Members Join Date: 2013-03-13 Member: 183918Posts: 3
    edited March 2013


    Why not just hide the teams until you get into the game; Sure people will F4 but if they are too slow they won't be able to join regardless.
    Exactly, hide player names until game start, this will reduce steam stacking.
    I like this idea! Keep players hidden until game starts and/or player has joined a team! Simple and efficient.

    Your friends will let you know which team they've joined (via Steam, other clients).

    Definitely a good idea. Not perfect, but simple and easy to do, so it's at least a start. It'll cut down somewhat on stacking while still letting friends play together.

    MyLilPwnyCowMeat
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