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Rework for Champions (or other games) team distribution

Discussion in 'Game Alterations' started by Naytin, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. Good morning!

    The purpose of this thread is twofold:

    1) To address the fundamental system governing how players in a lobby are distributed across the Red and Blue teams in a Champions lobby (either DOM or CTF), and

    2) To propose a comprehensive overhaul that should theoretically make gameplay inherently fairer

    Currently, players are moved onto Red and Blue according to a random distribution. There is no consideration for player skill or experience, which causes the likelihood that teams will be inherently biased to increase even given the absence of parties and given that nobody actively queues for one team.

    I would like to quickly mention that this can potentially be applied to other games. However, I am neither knowledgeable enough nor do I have the requisite experience to intelligently comment on the applicability of this system other games.

    **!!! Please Note !!!** I am not saying that teams are inherently unfair; I am saying that they are more likely to be unfair now than they would be under my proposal

    **!!! Please Note Also !!!** Unless stated otherwise, I am referring to a hypothetical lobby where parties are not present and where no individual specifically queues for either Red or Blue. Additionally, I am referring to a lobby where 80% - 90% of the people are experienced players (ExpP) and we have just a few new players (NewP), as I feel that this accurately represents the composition of the wider Champions community.

    **!!! Please Note Also !!!** While I have worked through much of this idea in the GI Discord and am making this post with the support of many people within the GI team, I am by no means a spokesperson for the GI team and anything I say should not be taken as a public stance directly from GI.

    **!!! Let me be absolutely clear !!!** This thread is not about randomizing parties. It is not about disbanding parties. It is not about limiting party size. I am proposing a solution that will work independently of parties and will still accommodate the presence of a party, regardless of size. However, I do mention parties as they are likely the first problem people will consider.

    As stated above, our current system fails to account for player experience and skill value when determining who is on which team. Let’s take a lobby with 8 ExpP and 2 NewP as our example. In a system based on random distribution, it is quite likely that the 2 NewP will be placed together on the same team, rather than being placed against each other. Not to discount their value, but that game is suddenly an effective 5v3. A significantly better way to distribute the teams is to split up the 2 NewP and the 8 ExpP evenly across both teams. Enter my proposal:

    Mineplex already tracks a player’s experience in the form of, well…exp. We can use this data as an approximate metric for how skilled individuals are because exp accounts for players’ skill in fights (kill/assists) as well as their ability to play the objective (capture score and emerald powerups). To ensure that this system considers players’ skill on a running, fluid basis, the exp gained from each players’ last full game is used when splitting people each round. Their experience is represented with a “score” when considered as an input in the code. The distribution system should then equalize the average score of each team to approximate even teams. Under this system, teams are split evenly with the 2 NewP likely being separated to avoid a 5v3 situation like we saw with current randomization.

    NOTE: As it stands, exp gained during a game favors objective score far too highly and doesn’t weight people’s skill in fights with enough value. In the newly posted Champions Update Proposal from the GI team (linked here) there is a rework suggested for rewards, which balances the consideration of fight performance with playing the objective. (If you weren’t aware, gems – and by extension, game performance – are a key factor in determining how much exp players receive from their game.) I know these changes are suggested for a ***ulative Champions Update, intended to be rolled out as one whole package. However, I propose that this general change to the rewards tables be implemented quickly and independently of the rest of our update as that is the best way to ensure fair distribution of teams in the present tense.

    Let me preface this next point with the caveat that I am unsure if it is even possible. The reason for this alternative proposal is that experience gained each game is not solely based on personal performance, it’s also based on whether or not your team wins. Therefore, I am concerned that winning or losing will play too much into how players are “ranked”, which leads the next tentative proposal. In the event that it is possible to separate winning/losing from the exp calculation, in order to directly consider personal gameplay, I think it is preferable for people’s scores to be derived from this value, rather than the actual exp value. I don’t believe winning or losing as a team should play a large role in determining a someone’s value.

    Now, one question may arise regarding how parties will interact with this distribution. My answer is that parties will be maintained and respected when considering how to best equalize team score. I recognize that a 5-stack in DOM and an 8-stack in CTF will override any balancing attempts and I still believe it is best to respect the integrity of said parties for the time being. Here’s why:

    Parties are an integral part of Mineplex and they’ve always been a key manner in which many people play games across the entire network. I think it is important to recognize and respect this history and the obvious popularity of parties among experienced players in the Champions community, specifically. Having spoken at length in the GI Discord about this topic, many of us agree that proposals pertaining to altering how parties work in Champions (or any other game) should be tabled as a last-resort option. I, and others, feel that such a drastic move has the potential to alienate a large percentage of the player-base and it is not in the best interests of Mineplex or the Champions mode, specifically, to risk such a change until literally every other option fails. As such, my proposal respects all parties, maintains their queue on a team together, and does its best to equalize teams despite their presence. I recognize that a 5-stack in DOM and an 8-stack in CTF will override any balancing attempts and I still believe it is best to respect the integrity of said parties for the time being.

    In the meantime, updates like the recent proposal are constantly being discussed and solutions like mine have the potential to improve the quality of life universally in the Champions community. Hopefully this proposal, the potential update coming, and other proposals like a community-made tutorial and showcase of Champions can all work in tandem to boost the popularity and enjoyability of both DOM and CTF.

    Finally, I don’t doubt the certainty of flaws and I’m sure there are ways people can exploit the system (although I don’t know why someone would go to that effort). Despite this, it is undeniable that a system to distribute players evenly between teams according to their skill is certainly better than a system that randomly makes teams, leaving the high possibility for an inherent imbalance of skill.

    Feel free to post your thoughts down below.

    - Naytin
    Posted Aug 14, 2020
  2. Ok first I have to say thanks, for putting in the time to really learn and know everything about your proposal.
    I completely support your idea. There have been many time when I have been placed with many NewP and the round is easily won by the other team. I think separating the teams by xp would be very beneficial to everyone, ExpP and NewP. There is one things I have to add. Will it take the overall xp of the player, or just the xp earned from playing DOM to separate the players.

    good luck!
    Posted Aug 14, 2020
    Naytin likes this.
  3. Of course! I thought this was a really important topic to address and that it deserves the effort.

    That's a good question. I think it is best to use the xp players receive from their last full game so that your placement is dependent on how well you've done immediately beforehand. This ensures that people are scrambled every game based on who wins/loses and it also makes sure that people are scored based on how well they are playing in the moment.

    Thank you for the support :D
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Aug 14, 2020
    Rqckin likes this.
  4. While this is a prevalent issue, I believe pub stomping should be focused on first. For this problem where you are assuming there are no parties, there is a chance that the game will be unbalanced, but if there are parties made up of high-level players, the game will be unbalanced. In addition, in almost every Champions game, there is a party full of high-level players, so this system wouldn't be used that often (within Champions). This is why I proposed randomizing parties, and hopefully that idea can be taken account first, and yours can help aid that solution.

    Overall, I think this is a great thread and I give this idea a +1.
    Posted Aug 14, 2020
  5. I agree that 4-5 stacks stomping is a prevalent issue, but given the push back on that from the general champions community I think this idea is a decent first attempt.

    Having discussed this at length in the GI discord, the general consensus was we should try this and promote tutorials before touching the party system. If we still fail to generate player draw after that and the balancing of skills and pubstomping persists, we should then take another look at the party system.
    Posted Aug 14, 2020
  6. I understand your concerns and I recognize why you're so passionate to have parties be randomized. However, as I briefly mentioned in my post, and as SpitefulNick also pointed out, a significant portion of the Champions GI discord has come to the consensus that parties are a delicate topic and should therefore be left alone for the time being.

    Many people agree with you and have even pushed for similar solutions in the past but as conversations surrounding parties have heated up recently, we've come to a pretty wide agreement that there are other measures we can take before attempting something as severe as playing with party functionality in gameplay. I hope we can agree on that.

    I will say that I, and the majority of the Champions GI discord members, are not opposed to the idea of randomizing parties at some point, it's just such a drastic measure that it should be left well alone until other proposals that interfere less with the fundamental community are attempted.

    I do appreciate your support, thank you.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Aug 14, 2020
    SpitefulNick and Paladise like this.
  7. we should just remove the party system.
    Posted Aug 15, 2020

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