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Poll: Auto Team Balance Through Restricted Spawns.
This poll is closed.
Brilliant idea!
36.84%
7 36.84%
Wouldn't work.
42.11%
8 42.11%
Don't make me wait! KILL KILL!!
21.05%
4 21.05%
Total 19 vote(s) 100%
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[SUGGESTION] Balancing Team Numbers Automatically & Unobtrusively

#1
I don't know if anyone's thought of this before. It seems kind of obvious, so maybe there's a not so obvious problem I haven't thought of. I'd love to hear all your thoughts on this.

My idea is to address the problem of unbalanced teams without requiring anyone to switch teams. Basically, I think the larger team should be limited to only having the same number of members on the field as the smaller team has. A player who dies would be prevented from respawning if that team already has as many players on the field as the opposing team. If your team has only one player more than the opposing team, then you only have to wait until another member of your team dies, then you respawn, and that player waits. In most games, this delay would be unnoticeable with other players dieing almost as fast as you can click to respawn. With more unbalanced teams, the wait would become noticeable as you have to wait in line. Each time a teammate dies, he goes to the back of the line, and the person at the front of the line respawns. If waiting becomes unbearable, you can always switch teams, but the point is, you don't have to switch, and the other team doesn't become outnumbered as seems to happen in almost every game on public servers.

Yes, I know that if several members of the same team quit at once, the game would temporarily be unfair until some members of the opposing team have died so they can be held back from respawning. I doubt that would be a common occurrence. No system could ever account for all the ways a team could be screwed by the actions of their teammates, the idea is just to solve the problem in public servers where an outnumbered team loses more and more players until the game ends with the winning team outnumbering the losers 2:1 or worse.
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#2
Basically an interesting idea. I'd say there are times when this would hinder balanced gameplay, though - namely when some few better playing people play against a big team of new or unexperienced players.

BUT given my experiences on DCC's public CTF server I can hardly imagine this to happen, since building teams like that while maintaining scoring balance requires a minimum of maturity which, surprisingly, most people seem to lack on public servers. Therefore I would personally say this would be a suitable approach for public servers and I would welcome an autobalancing system like this.

Of course this should only apply to public servers.
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#3
I wouldn't do this if the difference is only 1 person. (like 5 vs 6)
This may also become problematic when your team mates won't die Big Grin (A few camping and 1 hiding whit the flag)
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#4
For a CTF game a good system would be to make the "flag score" value 10 points. Only 5 if one team has %50 less players than the other team, something like that. So if one team has 2 less players, his "score" will be higher.

I don't really like to be forced to change side.

Another system is to mold the whole game around short "sets" and regroup all people every time. Maybe change the "color" system so the enemy is always red, and your side is always green.

This is not a bad system, but force to change the gameplay to short sets.

The best system would probably be around limiting things: you can't move to a team with more people, you can't join the team with more than 1 players than the other (so the unbalance at first could be 1, but not more).

This is not a tecnical problem, but a social problem. If the people want to have a "easy game" and "play with the winners" and ragequit the losing team, or things like that (others games like L4D have this problem), theres not real solution.
Other than.. I don't know. Maybe servers can advertise the number of "I need people to equal teams", and the browser can use this number to order the servers. So a server that need 4 guys shows before a server that need only 1 dude (note: the browser will still be *mostly* sorted by ping, with a small 'buff' for having a big number of guys you need to balance the game). The idea is that people would join more to servers that need rebalance, so people quitting will be replaced by fresh people (maybe people with different skill that will make the losing team into the winning team!).


Often is a bad idea to give tecnical solutions to social problems.
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#5
That's addressing the wrong issue. Games become unbalanced in numbers only after they have already been unbalanced in skill. 5 pros vs 5 newbs is unbalanced, even though it's 5 vs 5!
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#6
I agree with Parasti. Numbers doesn't mean balance. I think theres already a plan to address this issue anyway in some way.
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#7
I wouldn't mind an auto-balancing feature, but not like that. If teams become unbalanced by more than 1 player then check to see which team has fewer players. If the winning team has fewer players, switch the lowest score (on the losing team) to the winning team. However, if the losing team has fewer players, switch the highest score (on the winning team) to the losing team.

That seems like a pretty simple way to balance numbers and skill at the same time without hindering the gameplay experience too much.
This is my laser, this is my gun,
This is for plinking, this is for FUN!

BrFJ: wtf with the jumpad
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#8
Uhhm... I'm not sure if this has occurred to anyone here, but if the teams were always balanced in skill, there would be no point in playing the game!

One team having more skill is perfectly natural, and not a problem in and of itself. The problem I am talking about is that when this perfectly natural situation happens, it starts a chain reaction in which half the players leave the game. The existing system restricts players from playing on the team they want to, while still allowing the team numbers to become uneven AND it maintains the incentive to play on a heavily stacked team! The only way players can fix it is to switch teams, which means not just abandoning all their effort so far, but actually being hurt by it. It's not hard to see why players hesitate to do this, and frankly I don't think they should be asked to.

I'm not talking about creating a utopia where everyone has a perfect game with no retarded teammates. I'm just talking about solving one problem. The chain reaction of more and more players leaving a losing team. This MIGHT reduce the annoyance of having one team more skilled, since it would prevent the chain reaction this causes, but I make no promises there.

...and Vael
Aside from the fact that switching players against their will is bad in general...
Do you realize you're talking about creating an incentive to hurt your own team so you can be switched to the winning team? There are plenty of noobs who think their failures are everyone's fault but their own. I used to be one, and it was everything I could do to resist the urge to teamkill when losing. I don't think it's a good idea to reward such behavior with a ticket to join the winning team. Smile
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#9
(04-08-2010, 08:12 PM)Contrarian Wrote: Uhhm... I'm not sure if this has occurred to anyone here, but if the teams were always balanced in skill, there would be no point in playing the game!

The best games that I have played where the ones with evenly matched teams, These games were intense and hell of a lot of fun!!!! Unbalanced games are boring and/or frustrating. Obviously your not going to get perfect balance but its great when both teams are in the same league.
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#10
(04-08-2010, 08:46 PM)Silica Gel: Do Not Eat Wrote:
(04-08-2010, 08:12 PM)Contrarian Wrote: Uhhm... I'm not sure if this has occurred to anyone here, but if the teams were always balanced in skill, there would be no point in playing the game!

The best games that I have played where the ones with evenly matched teams, These games were intense and hell of a lot of fun!!!! Unbalanced games are boring and/or frustrating. Obviously your not going to get perfect balance but its great when both teams are in the same league.

Perfect balance would mean that the end game score is EXACTLY THE SAME. lol
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#11
(04-08-2010, 10:26 PM)Lee_Stricklin Wrote:
(04-08-2010, 08:46 PM)Silica Gel: Do Not Eat Wrote:
(04-08-2010, 08:12 PM)Contrarian Wrote: Uhhm... I'm not sure if this has occurred to anyone here, but if the teams were always balanced in skill, there would be no point in playing the game!

The best games that I have played where the ones with evenly matched teams, These games were intense and hell of a lot of fun!!!! Unbalanced games are boring and/or frustrating. Obviously your not going to get perfect balance but its great when both teams are in the same league.

Perfect balance would mean that the end game score is EXACTLY THE SAME. lol

Not necessarily , Even if the teams were perfectly balanced other variables would effect the outcome (luck , lag , distractions, unbalanced map, and so on)
If I flip a coin ten times will it always end up in a 5-5 tie between heads and tails?
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#12
Then why play Xonotic? Seems easier to just flip a coin instead. Smile
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#13
Some people don't play to win at any cost. Some people play to do their best for their teams.
chooksta Wrote:640t ought to be enuf for antibody
- microsoft windows
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#14
(04-09-2010, 12:12 AM)Contrarian Wrote: Then why play Xonotic? Seems easier to just flip a coin instead. Smile

I play for enjoyment , I enjoy playing CTF most when then the other team is in the same league as my team. Not as much when my team is destroying the other or when my team is getting annihilated. I don't really care if the number of players are even. If its 5 good players VS 3 really good players and it comes down to a last minute cap that is a good game. If its 5 newbs vs 5 pros and its a blowout thats a bad game. A good balance system would reduce the number of blowouts and make the games more competitive.

What I mean by balance of skill would be like Yankees vs Redsox , NE Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts , Godzilla vs King Kong
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#15
You didn't answer the question. If the best games are the ones where everything is perfectly matched and the game is decided by pure chance, then why isn't flipping a coin a more enjoyable game?

You seem to be missing the point. I am proposing a way to address a certain problem, and you are responding as though what I propose wouldn't work just because it wouldn't solve a completely different problem. This is a fallacy in itself, as I am not proposing a solution to all problems. Never mind the fact that this other problem you speak of, isn't a problem at all but rather the very nature of competition itself. Through simple deduction I can state quite confidently that ANY system which addresses this other problem of yours, would by definition be punishing players for playing the game well and helping their team.
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#16
I agree about 5 newbs vs 5 pros being a badly balanced game and that a 3vs5 game can be very balanced if the skill level is distributed adequately.

However, as I stated before, keeping up a good skill/player count balance in a 3vs5 game requires a minimum of maturity on behalf of the players. I am sorry to say that but unfortunately I hardly see this on public servers. As someone else mentioned before, this is a social problem. But I think the approach of Contrarian could help build up pressure on people that just want to play in the winning team no matter what. Because if they switch, they will then only be allowed to play for a little time and spend a lot of time waiting. This will, quite predictably, be quite frustrating, and eventually be more frustrating than playing in the loosing team.

Additionally, skilled players that are all in one team will suffer from noobs joining the team in order to be on the winning side, because they then can't play all the time, too. So there's also an incentive for those better players to join the loosing team if the player count is less there.

From my experience the worst balanced games on public servers end up with a lot more players in the winning team than in the loosing team. Therefore I think it might be worth a try to technically build up some pressure to switch to the loosing team.
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New to Xonotic? Check out my Newbie Corner!
<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#17
we could just write a list of things we don't want. and try to design algorithm around these "limitations".

Mine:

* I don't like to be moved from one team to other team. Is hard enough to learn red=kill that dude, to be forced to relearn again.
* I don't really like to get steamrolled by a team that is clearly superior in skill AND numbers, with most people in my team with a IQ inferior to 20
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#18
(04-09-2010, 01:37 AM)Contrarian Wrote: I am proposing a way to address a certain problem, and you are responding as though what I propose wouldn't work just because it wouldn't solve a completely different problem.

I wasn't even referring to your post, I was replying to Tei. I thought you had a pretty good idea, until the point where you started pushing it very hard. Tongue
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#19
(04-08-2010, 08:12 PM)Contrarian Wrote: ...and Vael
Aside from the fact that switching players against their will is bad in general...
Do you realize you're talking about creating an incentive to hurt your own team so you can be switched to the winning team? There are plenty of noobs who think their failures are everyone's fault but their own. I used to be one, and it was everything I could do to resist the urge to teamkill when losing. I don't think it's a good idea to reward such behavior with a ticket to join the winning team. Smile

I don't think its a reward personally, more of a punishment. "Oh, I've been trying my damndest for this team and I got stuck over here with the uber-1337-h4x0rz. Now I'll never get better." The teams would have to be uneven by numbers for the switch to take place anyways, its not like the low scorers are always going to be placed on the winning team when they respawn or anything. Besides, we're talking about keeping the teams balanced here, and players don't have the maturity or willpower to even the teams themselves, so something should be done.

If switching players against their will is that bad, then the uneven teams message should be big enough to block out the entire field of view. Players can't play the game if the teams aren't even.
This is my laser, this is my gun,
This is for plinking, this is for FUN!

BrFJ: wtf with the jumpad
BrFJ: rofl
vael: oh, you'll wtf with the... a few more times don't worry

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#20
Vael:
Even if it were interpreted as punishment... If you punished bad players by denying them the opportunity to improve their skills, don't you see a long term problem with that?

Again I must point out, that ANY system which automatically balances the skills of the teams would, by definition be punishing players for playing the game well, and fundamentally undermining that which makes the game a competition.

The only way for players to play against opponents of similar skill, is for them to make arrangements to do so. Obviously in a private game, balancing the number of members of each team shouldn't take precedence over providing a challenge to both teams, but on public servers this kind of arrangement isn't going to happen. Even if it weren't for the maturity issue already mentioned, there's the fact that on a public server, many players are unfamiliar with each other, and will be dropping out, or joining at random. Without prior arrangements, teams will always be less evenly matched.

One would hope this wouldn't be a huge problem if it weren't for the way the game comes unraveled due to the incentive to play on a stacked team. But even if not, that doesn't change the fact that preventing uneven team numbers in public games would be a good thing. It's obviously already been deemed a necessity seeing as how the game already prevents players from switching to the larger team. But these existing measures are completely ineffective as players still leave the smaller team.

In fact, the existing measures may even make matters worse, as on the off chance two skilled players realize they outmatch everyone else on the server and want to play against each other, they will often have difficulty joining the teams of their choice. One ends up having to wait for the team he wants to join to become smaller. Sure it happens soon enough, but by then the game is already unraveling. The team lacking a skilled player is already hemorrhaging players, and the 2nd skilled player must then join a smaller, losing team and try to overcome the lead that has already been built.

I am only proposing replacing these flawed and counterproductive measures with ones that might actually work. And work without undermining the game.


(04-09-2010, 05:29 AM)parasti Wrote: I wasn't even referring to your post, I was replying to Tei. I thought you had a pretty good idea, until the point where you started pushing it very hard. Tongue
And I wasn't referring to yours... well not specifically. Blush I do have a tendency to address the entire room as if it were a single person when many people are discussing something which seems beside the point. Sorry about that.

And for the record, it's not my idea which I'm pushing so hard. It's just logic. When someone says something that doesn't make sense, I protest, and don't budge an inch until I'm given a valid argument. I'm not particularly invested in this idea itself. In fact, just before posting this thread, developments in another thread suggested to me that most people would oppose any suggestion which involved the possibility of ever having to wait even a few seconds to respawn. That's when I added the 3rd option to the poll. I was already thinking 'Sigh... Back to the drawing board' Undecided
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#21
I disagree with Contrarian, but my wireless keyboard has not enrgy can't reply properly.
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