View Full Version : MISC. Party system fix (ideas)

30th Mar 2014, 19:24
The ideas of a party system are pretty much cut and dry. If you look at most models from previous games no matter the genre then its kinda clear cut that teaming up with friends is the best way to play a tactical game, even if it means that the game is going to be a bit one sided. Games that this has come up in:

-Halo (All of them)
-Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 & 2
-League of Legends
-Ghost Recon

and the list goes on for team vs team games where parties are enabled. The Plus side to having parties is that players can enjoy the game to the fullest. Work on team based mechanics and find ways to overcome situations that you just cant do when playing as a random in a PUG group. Using TS3, Steam Chat, Skype, or Vent are ways that you can enhance these things in game and make your team even more effective at taking out the other side with minimal casualties. Now this in itself is a great mechanic that should honestly be in this game from day 1 regardless of team stacking or anything along those lines. Great example of this is Smite or LoL. While most people may dislike both games, think they are crap, or just plain hate that style, the games are extremely popular with thousands of simultaneous players on at any given time. Since their closed betas and I assume Alpha stages, they did have a party system that allowed groups of friends to play with each other against other opponents. While this does give a certain imbalance to the game, it shows to the randoms that teamwork and helping players in game generally leads to victory, which in a lot of cases causes them to create their own groups and make friends in game that they can work with.

Basically a squad orientated game like this (even with the side imbalances right now) you kind of need that extra tactical input from a full team to work together to fight a skilled single or couple opponents. If not then whats the point of players who have all these beta keys to give out to actually give them out if they cant play with the friends they are giving them to? its a much better system to have people be able to work as a unit, because if this game takes off (as a lot of us hope it will) then we are going to need some kind of incentive past that of having shiny tags near our names and different costumes. We need to be able to play with our friends to get the most out of this game, and $ if we paid for it. Along with that blurb of text, i have to also state that during the beta sign ups they are asking if players signing up have been in any kind of gaming league or have been in the circuit of more professional gaming. Whilst i wonder why they put this in (they want this game to go pro *cough*) It irks me even more that there is no party system that works whatsoever right now if they want these obviously tight knit teams to come to the game when they cant even play together.

Now to be fair, there are players who are not in for getting murdered each time they join a game as a random and would probably argue that the system in place right now is fine for them. In my opinion that would probably be a far and few group of people as most games in today's world are based on a certain level of team based combat (granted some 'Lone Wolves' appear and just have the DGAFk attitude) and in having that certain level this at times throws the requirement onto developers that there is a silent status quo that exists for games that people would generally want to see and even expect from games.

However, as always there are two sides to an argument. Players who are for a team based system will always want a team mechanic and not just one that can only be for Team vs Team games, because some people only have 1 or 2 friends that might want to play at the same time as them, so having something that forces teams to be in a separate bracket kinda defeats the purpose. Having one available however is a completely different thing, it gives the players the choice of if they want to face other teams that are looking for Team vs Team fights, or if they just want to join a couple friends and go into combat against other randoms or similarly grouped teams. It gives the player the freedom to choose what they want. There are several ways that this can be fixed to allow these things to happen and yet players have a way out:

-Forced random bracket:
--What that means is that the players who join here cannot be in a group, its all based around random players fighting random players on completely equal grounds. While this can be spoofed a bit, most of the time it will be randoms vs randoms in this bracket. Also in here teamwork evolves based on the flow of the match rather than players already knowing each other and how they are going to work together.

-Standard 4v4 or 8v8 (when released):
--Kinda like the Team Deathmatch bracket in the sense that you are going in here to work more as a team, and that any groups can join in here. Its pretty self explanatory, and can allow for teams to get the most out of the game possibly leading to newer game types (CTF, Domination, King of the Hill, ext...) and in doing that, it makes the game more varied.

-Player vs Environment (PVE or player vs comp)
--Standard for most games these days for there to be a co-op system for new players to either learn the combat system, tactics, or just mindlessly slaughter the computer for the squealing joy of no more than that of their inner psychopath. Generally an 'Easy Mode' of sorts, normally with a severely lowered EXP reward, and next to no gold / currency (to mitigate farming)

There are probably more modes that i could think of however these are your 'Copy and Paste' game modes that you would be hard pressed to find in most games that exist of this type today. So in closing my opinion is that the game along side the idea that it needs to balance the hell out of the combat system, the grouping / matchmaking system is actually an easy fix for the developers to churn out in an upcoming patch, and that grouping should still be enabled regardless for a few reasons:

1. People are in a lot of cases paying real cash for access to this because they love the idea of how the game is and in some cases (like my own) want it to turn out much better than Forge ever did.

2. We love the universe and the lore that is behind it (gives us older players warm fuzzies hearing about a game that we used to play back on the PS1 and PS2)

3. Those of us who have founder packs, have spare keys, spare keys = friends, friends need groups to get the best out of a game. Not just "here's a key bud. See ya later " because for some reason, having friends generally means (in the gaming world) THAT YOU PLAY WITH THEM.

4. While it can be imbalanced there are easy ways to fix that. Namely increase the team caps to 5v5 instead of 4v4 and cap the parties at (4) players so that there can always be a random player who can join to either learn or just be there. Yes in some cases that can lead to power leveling and that such, however most of the time the avg for players on a team to actually be in a group (unless its a clan) is about 2 - 3 people. So with those odds a lot of teams will still have 2 - 3 randoms on them keeping the balance in check.

5. We have these clan name reservation thingies, if you want people to start getting together to be a clan based operation in game then it would make sense for players to start recruiting now from closed beta to make those items actually worth something. While the clan system isn't yet in play, it makes sense for players to have the ability to do that kind of thing (yes we are steam linked which means that players can just change characters in their name to do clan stuffs however that's not the point being made :P)

and finally...

6. People like to play with people they work together well with or meet in game that aren't a**holes to them and just want to have a good time together.

So there's my two cents (and wall of text) about the grouping system. Yes there are things in there that most likely have been covered in other areas of the forums by other players or developers, but its here now because it pertains to the statement that's being made. So either way hopefully this all makes sense, and causes a decent discussion to come of it


31st Mar 2014, 04:56
I wholeheartedly agree with the summary of playing with friends. I got the immortal pack and have 10 keys. I gave away a key to a friend and downloaded the game simultaneously. Picture my amazement when I saw I could not group with him.
I have others who are interested to play and would like some advice and pointers, but.......I can't explain or guide. When we did end up in the same lobby the matchmaker switched us and he ended up on the enemy team.

In closing, I have 9 keys left, give me a reason to give them away.

31st Mar 2014, 18:33
I don't think anybody is actually arguing against a party system, AFAIK the devs merely deactivated it because of bugs and currently are trying to restore it to work properly.

2nd Apr 2014, 09:04
Some good points in here and team / group structures is something I believe is being looked at. The reference to experience of clans / teams / competitions etc during the beta sign-up will enable them to get an idea of the player base make-up and at what point it may be worth attempting to introduce any type of structured activity. Get a percentage of the player base who are used to playing competitively in a structured manner and you increase the potential for tournament signups to actually fill up rather than provide something and everyone looks at it quizically. Appreciate though the party / grouping system needs updating a bit and reactivating before that can happen though.