Duel Matchmaking Suggestion - We can have our cake and eat it, too!
I understand the new system is to avoid resulting in a bad experience for new players. And I get that population is low right now because the media blitz has not yet begun. But, I do have a concern about the system itself that I'd like to give feedback on which is irrespective of the current player population (though it is exacerbated by it).
From what I can tell, it appears that the current matchmaking system relies on two players in the same tier both being in search of a match at the same time. This means that two players in the same tier need to both be pressing the duel button within 60 seconds of each other so that there's at least some overlap. I may want to duel, but if I am not spamming the matchmaking button nonstop then I have very little chance of actually getting a duel even though I want one.
Sixty seconds is a very short window to expect two players to both be looking for a duel simultaneously, even once the game gets more popular. I liked the old system where duel icons would show up on my map and I could click them to accept a duel. Making people who want to duel visible to players who are not actively looking is a great way to avoid the need to spam the button. And I'll say it again, this is important because there are players who want to duel who are not actively spamming the "Duel" button.
My suggestion would be to have a hybrid of the old system. Let people who want to duel enter the queue indefinitely, and if no one else is currently waiting, periodically show a duel notification to a few random players that someone is in queue waiting to duel. This feedback is currently for Ranked but it likely applies to Hardcore as well, if it will use a similar matchmaking system without the Tier restrictions.
The uses cases would be a follows:
Case 1 (How it works currently, I think?):
- Player A (Tier 1) enters queue and gets the 60 second timer.
- Player B (Tier 1) enters queue while Player A is still in the first 60 seconds, Players A and B are immediately matched and enter a duel.
- Player A (Tier 1) enters queue and gets the 60 second timer.
- No Tier 1 players enter the queue within 60 seconds, Player A is then advertised to other Tier 1 players via the "Duel" icon glowing or receiving and exclamation (like the Inventory icon does when a piece of gear is done upgrading).
- If players have the lower menu hidden, when a Duel is advertised to that player, the Maguss icon which opens the menu changes to a Duel icon, to indicate a Duel is available if the player would like one. (The important thing here is to avoid repeated, annoying alerts, sounds, etc, but to make it clear a Duel is available if wanted.)
- Players A (Tier 1) and B (Tier 2) are both in the 60 second timer phase but are not matched because they're different tiers.
- Both Player A and Player B will either end up in Case 1 or Case 2 depending on if/when another player decides to Duel.
@peter-larkin Hello Peter, thanks for the suggestion. As you know, we used this glowing icon on map system before. The problem is, players who are not even remotely interested in PvP were bothered by it. They just wanted to collect ingredients or defeat monsters and there were 50 glowing icons around them. Therefore I don't think advertising PvP to players who clearly dont want to participate is a good idea. On the other hand, yes, there might be players who want to participate but simply are bored with pressing Duel button over and over again.
The current matchmaking criteria are definitely a block for PvP but if we let all players match with each other then that is a terrible UX for new players.
A lot of MMORPGs use a system in which in PvP, all players are max levels with max gear. I dont think this is optimal either since what is the point then in grinding for all that sweet gear.
We really believe higher player count will result in many more matches but it also is true that higher level players will always have more problems finding a match since we decreased XP gain since the release of open beta therefore it will take more time for new players to level up.
This is a serious issue and we are looking into it. We must find an optimal solution though.
That's a very good point about the PvP map icons. What about an alert on the PvP icon in the menu? Just the little red exclamation like you get when an inventory item is done upgrading on the inventory icon. That's far less intrusive/distracting and people with the menu closed wouldn't even see it.
@peter-larkin or even a number showing how many peeps are online in your league
I have been thinking about this. I think we could do this:
If Player A and Player B, both from different tiers, are in the dueling queue and don't find a match within X seconds we show a pop-up to Player A (lower tier player) asking him if he wants to duel with Player B (higher tier player).
If Player A accepts (within X seconds), the duel starts.
We were also thinking about some kind of "Ready for duel" status triggered by player which means it would automatically consider this player in duel queue until player turns off this status. This way you wouldnt have to keep pressing Duel button and you would go to duel automtically after some other player, with the correct criteria, pressed Duel.
It is not optimal but it simply won't ever be without getting rid of matchmaking criteria.
@maguss I would love a "ready for duel" toggle/status.
@maguss I completely agree with you here. I started playing early on, with all the indiegogo backers. I was able to Duel as much as I liked. My only idea is this :
Show the Duel invite button to everyone. If a player is not interested in dueling, they can hit the button, and back out of the invite. And as soon as the player backs out of the invite, he gets removed from the possible Duel pool. He won't see another invite for 5 minutes or so. Ft 5
What do you think about "penalty" system in PvP?
We would remove same tier criterium and simply the bigger the difference between you and your opponent the bigger the penalty the higher tier player gets.
Now, HP penalty would probably be the easiest to implement BUT if level 15 battles level 40 it really won't make any difference - you are getting one-shotted probably. We were thinking about Empower or Defense too but balancing this would be quite a challenge. But if we simply penalize higher tier player with minus % of his Empower or Defense that could work - at least for now.
If your only going to penalize the higher players base stats then I don't think it will make a huge difference as equipment bonus for high tier will off set most of the penalty. If you apply the penalty across the whole stat then lower player that get a bigger % increase to upgraded lower tier will then have the advantage. One possibility is to give the lower player a buff to there base EMP and Def by 2% for every level of difference. So a lvl 10 Vs 50 would get a 80% buff to base EMP and DEF.
I have an alternate suggestion.
The problem seems to be that the people who want to duel are not always online and playing together at the same time.
So what if you just limit dueling to the first 15 or 20 minutes of each hour?
Then that would make people who are wanting to duel 3 or 4 times more likely to be online while other duelists are.
Maybe you could just implement this for a short period of time until the number of active players increase. Or until the game comes out of beta. Or maybe just during the later half of the dueling season when participation slacks off.