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Deterring faction stacking during off peak hours

Ranger209
Ranger209
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Faction stacking during off peak hours has been an issue which has impacted the scoring system in a negative fashion for years. Whether factions have been locked or not, it has endured through it all. I would like to analyze this behavior in depth as to what are its root causes and appeal, and what measures can be taken to deter it. I am definitely looking for any feedback or insight that others may have as well regarding this issue. Anything of merit I will try to incorporate into this OP. The overall goal is to get people during non peak hours to spread out among the factions and fight with each other over objectives and in the open field, as opposed to stacking one faction and rolling the map one color, taking emp, and taking all scrolls virtually unopposed.

So what are the elements, incentives, and motivations that drive people to resort to this style of game play?
1. It is the fastest way to gain AP.
2. Trying to gain Emperor.
3. Desire to paint the map one color.
4. Want to have maximum impact on the score.
5. Want to PvP with the lowest risk of dying.

Disincentives for faction stacking:

1. Give 50% reduction to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from a faction with less population than yours.
2. Give 50% bonus to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from a faction with more population than yours.

Incentives for balancing faction population:
Have the game do a population check every 5 minutes to determine if the factions are of equal bars across the board or not.

1. Only allow gaining Emperor status when factions have been equal for the prior 30 minutes or more.
2. Only allow taking of scrolls from temples when factions have been equal for prior 30 minutes or more.
3. Bring back Arena weapons, or make similar faction specific pvp weapons, and give them to the top 2% AP of each faction as well as randomly giving them to 3% of the remaining 98% for end of campaign rewards, BUT only to be made available when the campaign has been in balance at least 75% of the time.
4. Include into end of campaign rewards a random chance of 2% to all participants of monster helms WHEN the campaign has been in balance at least 75% of the time.

By giving a random chance for all people to receive some of the better end of campaign loot and making it conditional upon a generally balanced populations everyone has a vested interest in population balance. The 75% mark may be too low or too high, or stipulations that the population must be balanced at least once every 20 minutes for the rewards to kick in may be needed. I mean if there is a 2 hour time slot where it is totally unbalanced and and the map is bled one color that doesn't really fix the issue as that is less than 10% of the time. So numbers and methodology may need tweaking. But making everyone have a vested interest in population balance is really the only way to begin to achieve population balance. If people don't care, it won't happen.

I will let the discussion begin here. I am hoping people will think of things that I haven't which motivate everyone piling on one faction as well as incentives or disincentives to not do so.
  • Ahtu
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    Ultimately it's up to players to balance out the factions and until they decide to spread out across all three factions we will continue to see one alliance dominating the map during the night.
    Ahtu, Former Emperor
    Argonian Warden
    CP 810 EP AR 50
  • Stridig
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    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    Not really any different than penalizing the players who aren't playing while the people who are awake PvDoor the hell out of the entire campaign.
    Enemy to many
    Friend to all
  • Aaluvien
    Aaluvien
    Soul Shriven
    With faction lock it's a moot point. But, that being said, I'll play along.

    As for the reasons 1-5...probably a close tie between 1 and 5 with 5 being the predominate reason. Who is going to set themselves up for a month of being zerged down against double digit odds (you've got a touch of masochism in you if you do).

    I like the direction / spirit of the ideas...however...putting in time and population balance formulas are problematic.

    (1) Depending on server alliance "cohesiveness", I could see this being abused even during prime time. A faction is pushing toward Emp and that results in a mass "log off" for a minute or two (however long the pop calculation is refreshed). I could easily see EP on PC/NA/CP doing this...hell, they stack their entire faction on a regular basis anyhow, so we know they're reading and actually following zone chat .

    *Note: With respect to DC...it'd never happen...like never-ever...they'd argue about it and the chat would devolve into window-licking-lunacy until 99% forgot what was originally being discussed and everyone's mother's integrity and honor was thoroughly insulted.


    (2) Ditto (1) above.

    (3) Has merit. I'd use a reward that isn't weapon or gear set piece since its really a one-time reward with respect to utility (who needs two or three since you would want this BoP so it's not ending up on the traders). A very significant gold payout would work.

    (4) Ditto (3) above. If you want people drooling, throw in a scroll to upgrade 1 jewelry item to gold (again BoP and 1 per account).

    Personally, I think we need to solve for faction stacking at any hour of the day. That, imho, is the real problem with PvP...it simply breaks the game at a fundamental level.


    Edited by Aaluvien on July 25, 2019 12:54AM
  • xylena_lazarow
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    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep

    Stacking one faction is what needs to be penalized, along with added incentives such as AP boosts for players on the low pop factions. It happens during NA daytime too. Off-peak players on either underdog are the ones being hurt the most here, as they are being denied any chance at competitive PvP during their free time window.
  • Mr_Walker
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    Well, now, when there's a population imbalance, that's locked in for 30 days. So when the map's painted, no one is swapping toons to do anything, like quite a lot of people used to. They didn't create the problem, but they sure as hell have exacerbated it. As predicted.

    Faction lockers, any of you know the term "pyrrhic victory"...?

    As for the rest of your "suggestions", quit trying to handicap people who play when you're not on would be a start.
  • Ranger209
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    I've been watching this for 2 years it has nothing to do with faction lock and everything to do with people taking the path of least resistance. Same thing happened for the 20 months plus prior to faction locks.

    It penalizes no one at any time of day if they spread out among the factions which is the main focus of the OP. It penalizes everyone at any time of day if they do not spread out and faction stack. Oceanic/Asian play times are the ones most predominantly visible in stacking one faction though I will give you that.
  • idk
    idk
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    Ranger209 wrote: »
    I've been watching this for 2 years it has nothing to do with faction lock and everything to do with people taking the path of least resistance. Same thing happened for the 20 months plus prior to faction locks.

    It penalizes no one at any time of day if they spread out among the factions which is the main focus of the OP. It penalizes everyone at any time of day if they do not spread out and faction stack. Oceanic/Asian play times are the ones most predominantly visible in stacking one faction though I will give you that.

    Considering we do have faction lock now your idea of spreading out among the factions is not possible as we are locked into one faction per campaign. That much is obvious. It also makes sense that many in JPN and other areas of Asian would play together and we know that AUS/NZ have banded together since the game launched.

    Further, your idea that it penalizes regardless of the time of day is not accurate. Yes, the penalties could come into play any time of day but it is clear OP's ideas conveniently do not harm anyone during the prime time hours OP is trying to protect. It is clearly intended to be biased.
    Really, idk
  • Ranger209
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    double post

    Edited by Ranger209 on July 26, 2019 12:20AM
  • Ranger209
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    Ranger209 wrote: »
    Aaluvien wrote: »
    With faction lock it's a moot point. But, that being said, I'll play along.

    As for the reasons 1-5...probably a close tie between 1 and 5 with 5 being the predominate reason. Who is going to set themselves up for a month of being zerged down against double digit odds (you've got a touch of masochism in you if you do).

    I like the direction / spirit of the ideas...however...putting in time and population balance formulas are problematic.

    (1) Depending on server alliance "cohesiveness", I could see this being abused even during prime time. A faction is pushing toward Emp and that results in a mass "log off" for a minute or two (however long the pop calculation is refreshed). I could easily see EP on PC/NA/CP doing this...hell, they stack their entire faction on a regular basis anyhow, so we know they're reading and actually following zone chat .


    (2) Ditto (1) above.



    While I find the idea of mass log offs completely inane they cannot be discounted because, people. So I agree that could be problematic. Perhaps a better way would be to use something similar to what I suggested for end of campaign rewards where populations would have to be balanced for like 75% of the readings taken for the last 30 minutes. This really is only problematic during prime time when all factions are locked. Generally weekdays this is only about a 3 hour window most days and weekends may get to the 8 to 12 hour range of full pop lock or about 20 % of the time for a week. You are right, though it does need consideration, because if population balance were increased as a result of something like this factions would be balanced for a much greater percentage of time each day whether pop locked or not, which is the overall goal.

  • Soul_Demon
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    Aaluvien wrote: »
    With faction lock it's a moot point. But, that being said, I'll play along.

    As for the reasons 1-5...probably a close tie between 1 and 5 with 5 being the predominate reason. Who is going to set themselves up for a month of being zerged down against double digit odds (you've got a touch of masochism in you if you do).

    I like the direction / spirit of the ideas...however...putting in time and population balance formulas are problematic.

    (1) Depending on server alliance "cohesiveness", I could see this being abused even during prime time. A faction is pushing toward Emp and that results in a mass "log off" for a minute or two (however long the pop calculation is refreshed). I could easily see EP on PC/NA/CP doing this...hell, they stack their entire faction on a regular basis anyhow, so we know they're reading and actually following zone chat .

    *Note: With respect to DC...it'd never happen...like never-ever...they'd argue about it and the chat would devolve into window-licking-lunacy until 99% forgot what was originally being discussed and everyone's mother's integrity and honor was thoroughly insulted.


    (2) Ditto (1) above.

    (3) Has merit. I'd use a reward that isn't weapon or gear set piece since its really a one-time reward with respect to utility (who needs two or three since you would want this BoP so it's not ending up on the traders). A very significant gold payout would work.

    (4) Ditto (3) above. If you want people drooling, throw in a scroll to upgrade 1 jewelry item to gold (again BoP and 1 per account).

    Personally, I think we need to solve for faction stacking at any hour of the day. That, imho, is the real problem with PvP...it simply breaks the game at a fundamental level.


    What if each bar of pop represented 33.33% of AP gain. So if one faction had say three bars and was hitting while the other faction has say one bar, you make the total AP they gain two bars less than the full AP amount...or -66% of full AP to include keep takes. When they hit a faction or take keeps or resources against a faction with two bars to their three its -33% of full AP.

    You could make a one bar faction attacking players and keeps for a 3 bar factions AP be +66% more AP and so on. This would make even bars pops give 100% full AP for kills and keep takes to encourage low pops to play hard and reward it and stacked factions gain reflective amount of AP for the effort put out. You could have this apply with exactly the same % drop or gain with current points value system in place for resources, keeps, and scrolls to keep score commensurate with populations when score is earned. This would probably need the low pop bonus to be done away with and score tabulations every 5-10 mins to work, but could be rather effective for points and AP balancing.

    The paradigm for swapping over to a faction would reverse and become people rushing to the low pop faction for AP gains-

    Edited by Soul_Demon on July 26, 2019 1:21AM
  • Ranger209
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    idk wrote: »
    Ranger209 wrote: »
    I've been watching this for 2 years it has nothing to do with faction lock and everything to do with people taking the path of least resistance. Same thing happened for the 20 months plus prior to faction locks.

    It penalizes no one at any time of day if they spread out among the factions which is the main focus of the OP. It penalizes everyone at any time of day if they do not spread out and faction stack. Oceanic/Asian play times are the ones most predominantly visible in stacking one faction though I will give you that.

    Considering we do have faction lock now your idea of spreading out among the factions is not possible as we are locked into one faction per campaign. That much is obvious. It also makes sense that many in JPN and other areas of Asian would play together and we know that AUS/NZ have banded together since the game launched.

    What is just as obvious is that you can change factions once a campaign has concluded, well if it works right.

    Further, your idea that it penalizes regardless of the time of day is not accurate. Yes, the penalties could come into play any time of day but it is clear OP's ideas conveniently do not harm anyone during the prime time hours OP is trying to protect. It is clearly intended to be biased.

    If all factions are pop locked they are in balance which occurs roughly 20% of the time throughout the campaign. The other 80% of the time the population is less than pop locked and is susceptible to imbalance. You understand there is no negative consequence at all if population is balanced out. Spread out and remain unaffected, and maybe even get a little PvP in.

  • Vlad9425
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    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    So you're happy for PvDoor groups to take empty keeps while the scoring ticks as normal? The only people being penalized are those who are actually doing PVP.
  • Ahtu
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    The funny part is how these night cappers get their butts handed to them on the weekends when people are actually defending keeps. We will continue to fight them on the weekends and keep handing their butts to them for as long as they want to night cap. Bring it on you yellow-bellies.
    Ahtu, Former Emperor
    Argonian Warden
    CP 810 EP AR 50
  • Shanehere
    Shanehere
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    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    No, he is coming up with ideas that would balance a particular situation that involves one alliance outnumbering the other two by decreasing their AP gain against alliances with lower population and resources. Part of the argument is if less work and effort is required for the AP then less AP should be rewarded. This keeps one alliance in off peak hours from gaining a lot of points and perhaps a massive lead or comeback in the campaign score for having the entire map for hours on end with no resistance.
  • Ranger209
    Ranger209
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    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    It's not about when you play, it's about how you play. Spread out, balance the population among all the alliances, and there are no negative consequences. Pack together all on one alliance, go with little opposition, and there are negative consequences.
  • Katahdin
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    Ranger209 wrote: »
    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    It's not about when you play, it's about how you play. Spread out, balance the population among all the alliances, and there are no negative consequences. Pack together all on one alliance, go with little opposition, and there are negative consequences.

    How are people supposed to do that when they are faction locked?
    You dont know its unbalanced until you see it happen
    We CANT switch to another campaign to even it out because we are FACTION LOCKED..
    Do you understand that?

    Besides that there are people that are loyal to the faction the are in. They dont want to switch....period.

    There is only one way to stop population imbalance (AP gain based on population bars isnt it) but its wildly unpopular and everyone will hate it.

    .
    Edited by Katahdin on July 26, 2019 9:47PM
    Beta tester November 2013
  • Ranger209
    Ranger209
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    Katahdin wrote: »
    Ranger209 wrote: »
    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    It's not about when you play, it's about how you play. Spread out, balance the population among all the alliances, and there are no negative consequences. Pack together all on one alliance, go with little opposition, and there are negative consequences.

    How are people supposed to do that when they are faction locked?
    You dont know its unbalanced until you see it happen
    We CANT switch to another campaign to even it out because we are FACTION LOCKED..
    Do you understand that?

    Besides that there are people that are loyal to the faction the are in. They dont want to switch....period.

    There is only one way to stop population imbalance (AP gain based on population bars isnt it) but its wildly unpopular and everyone will hate it.

    .

    Faction balance will be determined much more by guilds than individuals. Guilds that switch alliances at the end of a campaign are the people that can balance populations or leave them unbalanced. It is something that will happen over time not in the instant. No one was ever able to balance the factions during certain times of day for the 2 years there were no locks either. A couple people switching here and there doesn't get it done.
  • Katahdin
    Katahdin
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    Ranger209 wrote: »
    Katahdin wrote: »
    Ranger209 wrote: »
    SirAndy wrote: »
    So, you want to penalize players for playing the game while you are asleep. Sounds legit ...
    rolleyes.gif


    It's not about when you play, it's about how you play. Spread out, balance the population among all the alliances, and there are no negative consequences. Pack together all on one alliance, go with little opposition, and there are negative consequences.

    How are people supposed to do that when they are faction locked?
    You dont know its unbalanced until you see it happen
    We CANT switch to another campaign to even it out because we are FACTION LOCKED..
    Do you understand that?

    Besides that there are people that are loyal to the faction the are in. They dont want to switch....period.

    There is only one way to stop population imbalance (AP gain based on population bars isnt it) but its wildly unpopular and everyone will hate it.

    .

    Faction balance will be determined much more by guilds than individuals. Guilds that switch alliances at the end of a campaign are the people that can balance populations or leave them unbalanced. It is something that will happen over time not in the instant. No one was ever able to balance the factions during certain times of day for the 2 years there were no locks either. A couple people switching here and there doesn't get it done.

    I am not talking about faction locks. Faction lock or lack thereof wont balance it either.

    Guilds switching back and forth wont do it either, for everyone that leaves, others go to a particular faction.
    Guilds switching never did and never will balance population.
    Beta tester November 2013
  • ThePedge
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    Unlock factions so I can go to the underdog and defend against the zerg.

    Give me those glorious def ticks
    We may be down but we will never be out.
  • Dojohoda
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    Faction Lock kills the idea that people can spread out among the factions. Once locked into the 30-day, there's no changing for 30 days. It's unfair to want to punish those players.
    Fan of playing magblade since 2015. (PC NA)
  • Ranger209
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    Ranger209 wrote: »

    Disincentives for faction stacking:

    1. Give 50% reduction to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from a faction with less population than yours.
    2. Give 50% bonus to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from a faction with more population than yours.

    This should also convert when all factions are pop locked to be based off the score as follows:

    1. Give 50% reduction to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from the faction in 3rd place.
    2. Give 50% bonus to AP gains when fighting, or taking an objective from the faction in 1st place.

    The idea of the 3 banner war or any 3 faction AvAvA is for the 2 factions not in the lead to impose their collective will upon the faction in the lead and be able to bring more balance to the score by doing so. This would accentuate that idea by rewarding more AP for attacks against the leaders while reducing AP gains on attacks against the faction that seems to be the least threat at the time. Too many times you see the 1st and 2nd place teams ganging up on the 3rd place team, which should seldom be the case barring the moments when the 3rd place team overextends in both directions. By and large the focus of the 2nd and 3rd place teams should be on the team in 1st.
  • InvictusApollo
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    The only really effective way of eliminating this issue is to let the matchmaking system choose a faction for you when you enter Cyrodill. The system would let you set your prefered faction. Upon finding a spot for you that is in another faction than your choice, the system would ask you whether you agree to join another faction with your character. If you decline, you would be put in a queue and be allowed to join your faction only when there are enough people in other factions to let the war be balanced.

    This solution would solve the faction stacking on off hours entirely but it would introduce some new issue like for example inability to play Cyrodill by faction loyalists.
  • Ranger209
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    Pick an under performing alliance in need of your talents next campaign and stay away from the steam rollers.
    Edited by Ranger209 on August 2, 2019 12:29PM
  • Mr_Walker
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    Ranger209 wrote: »
    Pick an under performing alliance in need of your talents next campaign and stay away from the steam rollers.

    Are you going to? I assume you are, with sage advice such as this.
  • KingExecration
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    Oh boy, time to wait 30 days to tell my guild I’m breaking up with them because we have to balance the factions. It felt more uniform without locks. I say let them steam roll. The steam rollers help me get double ap in off peak hours.
  • Mr_Walker
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    Oh boy, time to wait 30 days to tell my guild I’m breaking up with them because we have to balance the factions. It felt more uniform without locks. I say let them steam roll. The steam rollers help me get double ap in off peak hours.

    Yeah, at least the map used to move. Stuff would happen. Fights could be found. Now, typically one/both faction/s gets gated before I log on, and I take a look at the map and go play another game.

    Edited by Mr_Walker on August 7, 2019 2:21AM
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