Author Topic: State of the Game Address #2  (Read 3772 times)

MSE_Karen

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State of the Game Address #2
on: November 19, 2018, 01:20:52 PM


Hey Spacelords!

Welcome to the second instalment of the State of the Game Address. As with our previous article, we want to shed some light over some of the more candent topics and concerns shared by our community.

We have been following many threads in our official forums, and in our Twitter and Facebook accounts, about Spacelords’ difficulty and MMR systems, two different but closely intertwined concepts. We hope the following post helps shedding some light over this subject.

From the moment they start playing, all Spacelords players have an MMR rating, that takes form as they win or lose matches. Since the MMR rating is not always a perfect indicator, it exists a “K” uncertainty factor that determines how reliable one player’s MMR factor really is. The more the players game, the lower their “K” uncertainty factor is. That’s the reason why games with new users appear to be the more unbalanced ones -they need to play a few games until the system is able to provide them with an appropriate challenge.

So, what’s the MMR exactly?

We could define it as the players’ capacity to win games. It is their effective ability, indicated by the sum of different factors: 

- Their accuracy and positioning over the field of battle. 
- Selecting the Raider best suited for the mission at hand. 
- Their capacity of forging weapons and choosing a good combination of Cards. 



Now, let’s have a look at the difficulty. We will differentiate between games with and without Antagonist.

4 Raiders Coop Game without Antagonist:

On these games, difficulty levels are determined by the players’ average MMR. The resulting figure is a number between 0 and 100 that affects both the AI and the mission on many different parameters:

- Enemy AI parameters: damage (shooting and melee), endurance, speed, intelligence and special abilities in the case of Aleph-charged elites.

- Mission parameters: Time constraints, Aleph charges required to progress, final bosses’ health, and other elements unique to a certain mission (Beholders, mounted guns, Protector’s health, etcetera.)

In summary, the difficulty level in a game without Antagonist is determined by the mission’s own elements, and directly affects the rewards; the higher the difficulty, the better the rewards.



4 Raiders Coop Game against an Antagonist:

First of all, it needs to be said that the percentage of difficulty doesn’t affect a game the same way when there is an Antagonist present. For example, the challenge presented by an AI with a 30% difficulty in a game without Antagonist is not equivalent to that of an AI with a 30% difficulty fighting alongside an Antagonist. On the same vein, the mission design may offer the Antagonists some extra opportunities to achieve their goals, causing that the differences between MMRs become more evident.

Spacelords is a shooter, a genre where the skill breach between a top player and a casual player is very high. The Antagonist mode introduces 3 main variables to the mix: The Raiders’ MMR, the Antagonist’s MMR and the difficulty ratio. This 3-sided matchmaking is a very potent tool that serves a very concrete goal: teaming together people with diverse skills.

Matchmaking Raiders and Antagonists of different skill levels is very important! It speeds up finding new games and benefices the quality of the connection by finding the closest server available. The following would be the win-loss ratio we’d obtain if we leave the AI with an average difficulty in games including an Antagonist with an MMR ranged between 20% and 40%, facing a team of Raiders with a 30% MMR:



Given that win-loss ratio, including an Antagonist with an MMR below 26% or above 34% would result on a highly unbalanced game. This considerably limits the chances of finding a suitable Antagonist for the Raiders.

Well-balanced games are always more fun to play, with players focussing on the mission goals and offering a more unpredictable outcome. By adjusting the difficulty (the AI’s skill) we can expand the number of Antagonists available for a game:



Now the win-loss ratios are acceptable for Antagonists with an MMR between 20% and 40%! We use the AI’s difficulty setting to equalize the fight between raiders and Antagonists, but always bearing in mind that players with better MMR have better chances to win.

Increasing the difficulty is used to smooth out games with an Antagonist, but it is not considered for calculating the rewards. Both Raiders and Antagonists obtain rewards based on their rival’s MMR; the higher that MMR is, the more rewards they obtain.

In short, in games where an Antagonist could appear, the difficulty settings are used to widen the number of Raiders and Antagonists that could play together, always respecting the axiom that states that the more skilled players should win a higher number of games. Thus, the challenge you will be facing will be equivalent to your rival’s skill, and the rewards will be increased accordingly.



We hope you have found this post informative. If you have any questions, let us know in our official forums, and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the team will be happy to give you an answer. Thank you all and see you on the Broken Planet!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 03:49:03 PM by MSE_KarenHB »

feed1

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 02:19:58 PM
OK, so can someone explain to me why should i try to raise my MMR if matches get harder, take longer and i will have worse score as my MMR increases. What are these better rewards? 0.1 - 0.2 to the score ? That's what ... 100 gold ? 200 ? But matches will take twice as much time. I just don't get it.

MSE_Jvela

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 04:48:55 PM
Hi feed1!

We've been working on that. On the upcoming big update, high MMR players will have better rewards.

mindminetv

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 05:41:45 PM
Thanks for putting this together for everyone; we really appreciate the time this took. We know a lot of people have been curious about how MMR really works. We will say though that the issue seems to be MMR difficulty consistency rather than the players understanding the MMR.

We've played for over 200 hours now and we still see constant inconsistencies in difficulty (without an Antag). We've been in groups of veterans who have played since the start and who said that they don't understand why a specific mission felt like it was a 50+ MMR when everyone in the group had anywhere between 25 - 35 MMR. We've felt that constantly and it is hard to actually gauge and grow as a player due to this. This is also something that scares away many new players as we've seen a lot of rage quits due to random extreme spikes of difficulty.

It is incredibly easy to see the spikes as enemy NPCs take more strikes before being downed, looters/engineers have a shorter time of impacting an objective etc. This happens constantly from one game to the next. There have been many groups we were in where the sudden change was so overwhelming we just surrendered (but even after that loss, we went into another game only to be swarmed just as hard if not worse).

Due to the frustrations of the player-base, many have mentioned letting players select their own difficulty over having an MMR system (especially as this game is so heavy on team-based action over individual based actions). We mention this as we don't know if this has been voiced directly to you all and it is something to think about if further frustrations arise over MMR.

Thanks again for all of your work!

Level9Drow

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 05:41:57 PM
Hi feed1!

We've been working on that. On the upcoming big update, high MMR players will have better rewards.

wow, this is actually fantastic!!!

Power Penguin

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 05:43:52 PM
Eh still don't like the system. I prefer to have some measure of consistency between matches and would rather fight more interesting and varied enemy types than a beefed up super Wardog that can 2 shot you from half a mile away because a little number on the right side of my screen said so. I would rather have different selectable difficulties and make antag matches have their own separate difficulty.

Level9Drow

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 06:34:00 PM
Eh still don't like the system. I prefer to have some measure of consistency between matches and would rather fight more interesting and varied enemy types than a beefed up super Wardog that can 2 shot you from half a mile away because a little number on the right side of my screen said so. I would rather have different selectable difficulties and make antag matches have their own separate difficulty.

I would to, even if it meant less rewards. I think developers should look at it this way. If a player finds enjoyment playing 200 games for the same rewards he would get playing 100, it's worth it. In other words, I don't mind grinding more games as long as it's fun and enjoyable then less games that are hard, annoying and not enjoyable.

Hiero_Glyph

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 10:10:02 PM
I want to focus on two statements:

"- Selecting the Raider best suited for the mission at hand. 
- Their capacity of forging weapons and choosing a good combination of Cards."

1) How does selecting the Raider best suited for the mission at hand work for blueprint missions? Especially since duplicate blueprints offer no tangible reward.

2) Why does crafting a new weapon cost the same as upgrading it? I mean you want the players to select the best weapon but them you make it cost prohibitive to maintain that weapon.

Also, the whole faction card system prevents players from simply rolling cards continually as the costs are too higb. So it looks like you want players to specialize with specific Raiders, not to pick the best one with the best gun and cards, as that would be cost prohibitive yet again.
__________

Did I miss something or are these statement contradictory to the in-game mechanics/economy?

Ac3_f4ce

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 10:55:14 PM
Sorry MSE. I read that whole address and didnt understand one bit of it lol. Not your fault, im not a programmer in anyway shape or form. But i did understand "high MMR players will have better rewards". That is what I want to hear.

vigilium

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 09:27:17 AM
I don't understand why antagonist play matchmaking and difficulty doesn't make any consideration of players' level. I am just lv 25. I was playing as antagonist a few games lately against players with levels 200+. They have maxed out passive skills and good weapons forged so all I could do was trying to grapple them, as my weapon and strikes do laughable amount of damage to them. On top of that overall game difficulty was lowered, because an antagonist was there, never mind that I was always the lowest level character in a game, so bots were just a nuisance doing next to nothing, spawning in a rate of 2 or 3 every 30 seconds, dying in a blink of an eye. MMR does not solve that.

Level9Drow

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 07:47:43 PM
I don't understand why antagonist play matchmaking and difficulty doesn't make any consideration of players' level. I am just lv 25. I was playing as antagonist a few games lately against players with levels 200+. They have maxed out passive skills and good weapons forged so all I could do was trying to grapple them, as my weapon and strikes do laughable amount of damage to them. On top of that overall game difficulty was lowered, because an antagonist was there, never mind that I was always the lowest level character in a game, so bots were just a nuisance doing next to nothing, spawning in a rate of 2 or 3 every 30 seconds, dying in a blink of an eye. MMR does not solve that.

I'm so sorry man. I see you guys come in here as antags and I'm over 300 with other players above 150 and I feel horrible. It's even worse when you keep trying to. I wanted you to know that the wins don't feel good on our side, nor does the fact that you are there.

SilenceKeeper

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 11:55:32 AM
"the higher the difficulty, the better the rewards" - its a lie. We get more gold by playing between 0 - 30% MMR and it is done very quickly. After 30% MMR it's a waste of time without an appropriate reward.

Tekato

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 01:25:05 PM
"In short, in games where an Antagonist could appear, the difficulty settings are used to widen the number of Raiders and Antagonists that could play together, always respecting the axiom that states that the more skilled players should win a higher number of games. Thus, the challenge you will be facing will be equivalent to your rival’s skill, and the rewards will be increased accordingly."

Sorry but this is bs everyone knows that antags with low mmr will get insanely over powered AI, thus making the match more challenging then it needs to be. And the rewards are still terrible for both sides.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 01:26:49 PM by Tekato »

B30

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Re: State of the Game Address #2
Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 03:27:16 PM
… On the upcoming big update, high MMR players will have better rewards.

And don't forget about Antag matches!

As mentioned many times, why should I (when playing as a Raider), complicate my mission with an antag, when I can play the same mission without an antag (lesser deaths, faster playthrough) and thus a better result in the end? Only for the challenge, that's too insufficient for me.