Multiplayer matching

stephenkchan
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Multiplayer matching

Postby stephenkchan » Mon 29 Apr 2019 18:26

I'm regretting spending so much on this game now.

Game issues have been covered in other messages such as the large amount of click fest micro but what I can't stand in SD44 is present in SD 2.

Multiplayer is rubbish. Play SD 44 now and all you see is the experienced players sticking together. Players with win rates of 60%, 70%, 80%. It's pointless. These guys have got issues and hunt around for games where they can stick together, willy holding.

SD 2 from what I can remember is seriously flawed too. You should be able to see the win rate of players and if they refuse to change teams to balance it out, then as host, you can kick them. I and others, when I point it out in custom games soon leave (I get booted).

SD 2, if you want the MP experience - don't bother buying it because it will eventually transform into a game where the good players team up, stick together, and go around for easy games.

I never played much MP before SD 44 and what I see is lots of strange people, masquerading as normal people, searching for easy games against new or average players, and refuse to balance the teams when it's pointed out that it will be a mismatch game, over very quickly.

If this is you, then you have a strange psychological issue. Play balanced. Have a challenge. Make the game interesting.

Eugen - sort this big weakness out in your game.

To anyone looking to buy it - wait. Don't bother until this sort this out.

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varis
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby varis » Sat 11 May 2019 16:50

Matchmaking has been proposed from at least the Red Dragon era by the community. Not sure why such a system has not been implemented.

One issue I think is that you would need to have a fairly large queue for it to work effectively. If you have a very varied game like the ones from Eugen, you would need several queues to allow people filter for settings - the same issue is evident already in Overwatch (with reportedly 60 million owners or so), and queuing for a Quick Play match can take several minutes. A smaller player base would make the problem much more difficult.

Could there just be a player rank that's distinctively displayed to the other players? Obviously wouldn't solve the psychological problems that much but you could at least have a checkbox like "filter for games with similar to my rank" or something. Eg. to illustrate the idea

Empty = new account, smurf
Sergeant = a newbie with a number of games but no distinctive skill (low or average victory rate) -> ranked to this skill
Captain = a newbie with a number of games but very high skill -> ranked to this skill (probably a smurf)
General = a very highly skilled player with many many games

Ranking could be based on ELO, the number of games played and other info combined.

Another approach to the problem would be to provide appropriate challenges for the stacked players. Ranked mode tried to do that, but it never really took off besides the 1v1 format.
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Destraex
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby Destraex » Sun 12 May 2019 10:06

I think the Steel Division multiplayer population will always be too low for anything but custom games and official servers.
When Steel Division 1 was very new it was a different story. Same with Red Dragon... Red Dragon used to have massive 10 v 10 games and everybody was into it. Because it offered something special. A cold war battle where both sides smashed into each other with crazy amounts of tech and force.

I think Steel Division 2 will shine in multiplayer if modders are given access to make maps. Don't worry about side stacking. That would go away with a successful multiplayer population. Men of War 2 squad assault and company of heroes still have that. After all this time. But as with any game. If the population aint there then the only level left is l33t players who exclusively practice the game or people like me who play vs the casual AI coop with mates because we know that a fair game at our level is not possible. I do find though that some people are fair minded. Sometimes all it takes is fair minded top tier players to call the gankers out and get them to even the sides. I had this happen on deserts of kharak the other day. Why? Because that community is tiny and they need new players to stick around. They are desperate for a game.
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varis
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby varis » Sun 12 May 2019 13:51

A lot depends on where the big mass of players goes or is guided to. One idea could be to reroll Ranked as Quick Play and have it as the top button in the main menu. If the population is large enough it's enjoyable for the casual players too. Ranked in WG (d)evolved into an arena for 1v1 elite/tryhard players only.

You could start with 1v1 and 2v2 formats to not split the teams and gradually expand to 3v3 and beyond. If you want team multiplayer to succeed you could even disable access to matched 1v1 at launch.
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Coletrain
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby Coletrain » Thu 16 May 2019 10:25

So if you like playing 1v1 and 2v2 you are suddenly an "elite tryhard" :?. Quite frankly anyone who says "people who play game mode X should be forced to play game mode Y" is being incredibly childish. Yeah I realize it splits the playerbase, but the fact is people simply wouldn't play the game at all if you tried to force them to play a game mode they didn't enjoy.

As for the topic at hand, I know CoH2 is based entirely on matchmaking but they have an active playerbase of around 4000 players daily, which is about 4-4.5x the size of Red Dragon. But I still don't really think you need that big of a playerbase to have matchmaking, as long as the players aren't expecting absolute perfection. Even with the incredibly small 1v1 playerbase for Red Dragon, around 50% of my games feel fairly well matched when I'm playing at peak times. Maybe not enough for most people, but I'm ok with it. I actually hate getting matched against noobies more than getting matched against top players. Getting matched against a top player is really only super painful if you are a noob, because you can sneak a win here and there off better players if you're at least decent at the game.

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Tactii
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby Tactii » Fri 17 May 2019 18:28

Team stacking is very real in Wargame and Steel Division games. I'm spoiled by Zero-K, where the norm is for 16v16 lobby battles to be automatically balanced by casual ELO. That game is less complicated because it doesn't have the thematic Axis v. Allies thing, but auto-matching is working for series like Company of Heroes.

The experience of joining a queue for 10v10 is not much different from joining a 10v10 lobby. There are some positive things about joining a lobby which should be preserved and some negative things which can be discarded.

Good things about a lobby:
  • Playing on a team with your friends. Queueing with a party allows this.
  • Selecting your deck to synergize with other players. This is still possible when queueing with a party and/or a deck selection phase before the game starts.
  • Selecting your deck based on the map. This is still possible with map search preferences and/or a deck selection phase before the game starts.

Neutral things about a lobby:
  • Lobby chat. Is this useful?

Bad things about a lobby:
  • Team stacking by win rate. This is dark UX in practice, because casual players won't even think to look at everybody else's profile.

Automatch is worth at least an experiment. It may greatly improve player retention.
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praslovan
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby praslovan » Sat 18 May 2019 14:00

I have no idea why they don't take the CoH approach to the MP matches.
It is already there actually. It is called ranked and because of that scary name people think that if they play it and loose they will I dunno... have to give their kidney.

It is simple really. Rename ranked to "multy-player" remove any publicly visible leader-boards (because some people can't stand the idea of tanking spots) and that is it.
Retain custom lobbies as invite only, so that community can organize tournaments. Have those 10v10 and PvAI servers in their own sub-menus and that is it.

But nooo people will be against that. In the same breath they will demand so that player levels are made public... dude if you play auto-matched MP you will be paired with same skill-level players anyway. Effortlessly at that since it will be automatic.

The fact that they just leave things as it is is killing anything they release. Wargame would have more players if it wasn't for the MP system as it is and SD would have the same.

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praslovan
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby praslovan » Sat 18 May 2019 14:03

varis wrote:A lot depends on where the big mass of players goes or is guided to. One idea could be to reroll Ranked as Quick Play and have it as the top button in the main menu. If the population is large enough it's enjoyable for the casual players too. Ranked in WG (d)evolved into an arena for 1v1 elite/tryhard players only.

You could start with 1v1 and 2v2 formats to not split the teams and gradually expand to 3v3 and beyond. If you want team multiplayer to succeed you could even disable access to matched 1v1 at launch.

No top buttons in the menu. That thing was already there and it didn't work.

Remove lobbies. "BB..But the... the tryhards! Muh immersion and fun play". Well ... you will get that anyway because all of those will be above you anyway after first two weeks of release.

Copy paste CoH2 MP infrastructure and be done with it. It is simple. It works. A

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asaphx
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby asaphx » Sun 26 May 2019 00:10

A lot could be done about this, but Eugen actually never bothered.
Still I think it's not as bad in SD as in WG:RD, where you can see stats (which doesn't always give you a correct picture), but there's very little you can do about it, unless you really know how to host and balance a game, and it will still be not great because it's just too staged.

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asaphx
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Re: Multiplayer matching

Postby asaphx » Sun 26 May 2019 00:12

praslovan wrote:I have no idea why they don't take the CoH approach to the MP matches.
It is already there actually. It is called ranked and because of that scary name people think that if they play it and loose they will I dunno... have to give their kidney.

It is simple really. Rename ranked to "multy-player" remove any publicly visible leader-boards (because some people can't stand the idea of tanking spots) and that is it.
Retain custom lobbies as invite only, so that community can organize tournaments. Have those 10v10 and PvAI servers in their own sub-menus and that is it.

But nooo people will be against that. In the same breath they will demand so that player levels are made public... dude if you play auto-matched MP you will be paired with same skill-level players anyway. Effortlessly at that since it will be automatic.

The fact that they just leave things as it is is killing anything they release. Wargame would have more players if it wasn't for the MP system as it is and SD would have the same.


The problem with ranked is that, also due to the low amount of players but also due to limitation, it can only be played 1v1 or 2v2, and is almost always played 1v1, which is not how most people want to play.

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