PDA

View Full Version : Observations of a returning player



HoopleDoople
12th Jan 2015, 22:22
A few months back I went on break from Nosgoth because matchmaking was horrendously broken. I got sidetracked by other games for a while but I recently returned to Nosgoth to give it a try again. Here are my observations:

Matchmaking
Before I went on break I was lucky if 20% of my matches were competitive, which I define as the losing team's points being 66% of the winning team's points or higher (e.g. final score of 40 to 60). Now I'm seeing more like 80% of matches competitive, with half of those highly competitive (final score of 50 to 60 or closer). That said, work remains to be done.

The biggest problem I've seen is how groups of players are handled. A premade team of highly skilled and/or coordinated players will still almost always demolish the competition. My assumption is that familiarity with allies and the increased level of cooperation acts as a skill multiplier, which can cause matchmaking to put together an insufficiently strong team of randoms to oppose them. I propose the following solutions be considered:

1) Use a multiplier on the skill of grouped players so that the opposing team will be more likely to match up equally. This multiplier should be fairly low for a group of 2, higher for a group of 3, and highest for a group of 4.

2) If the grouped players win by a significant margin disband the lobby after the match. With team scrambling inhibited or prevented, there is little chance the next match will have fair teams.

3) If no team can be put together with a high enough rating to have an even match with the grouped players, split the grouped players between two teams to create a balanced match. The grouped players should be warned beforehand and given a choice to opt out and restart their search.

Class Balance
Before I went on break the Humans had a slight edge at my moderately high skill level, and at a couple maps were actually dominant. The Hunter and Reaver stood out as the preeminent classes of their respective factions. Now I've found the overall balance far better, though there is one exception - the Scout. I don't think I've yet seen a human team without a Scout since I returned to Nosgoth and 2 Scouts is about average. Teams of 3 or 4 Scouts are far from uncommon and can be downright terrifying to face.

This isn't very surprising considering that the other Human classes received far more substantial nerfs. The Scout was arguably buffed as he received one extra arrow per clip at the cost of very mild nerfs to the Compound and Swift bow. Not so shockingly, far more Scouts now opt for the buffed Warbow or Stormbow. From what I can tell the Scout is popular for 3 primary reasons:

1) The ability to deliver huge chunks of damage even at extreme range
2) AoE damage abilities that effectively deny the area to vampires while in effect
3) Can both stagger (Knives) and knockdown (Warbow) enemies

All of these combine extremely well to make it difficult for vampires to approach the humans. When Scouts stack on a team the effect is amplified. In theory Scouts are easier to ambush and vulnerable (even moreso than the other humans) at close range. When stacked, anything but a perfectly coordinated assault will result in vampires being locked by chain knockdown/stagger.

I'm not sure the ideal solution, but as a stopgap I would suggest a minor damage nerf to the Stormbow and changing the Warbow so that it cannot knockdown vampires standing on the ground. The Warbow would still be able to knockdown vampires that are flying, jumping, climbing, or standing on roofs.

Maps
I wasn't entirely satisfied with the maps before I went on break and as far as I can tell the maps haven't been altered in that time. My biggest complaint is that most maps have one spot that allows the Humans significantly greater visibility than anywhere else on the map. This is problematic as it causes gameplay to become stale quicker. In theory shrine location and depletion should encourage players to abandon this area, but in practice the reward of superior terrain far outpaces better shrine access.

I also personally find Freeport and Provance to be mildly frustrating to play as vampires, as the sightlines for humans are far too generous and buildings/obscuring terrain lacking in some areas. I would love to see the rooftop height increased at Freeport (or the addition of some obscuring guardrails on top of the buildings) and the grassy area of Provance reworked.

--------------------------------------------------------

Despite these criticisms I am overall quite pleased with the direction Nosgoth has gone in my absence and have been enjoying myself immensely since returning. Please consider my feedback and keep up the good work.

Psyonix_Corey
12th Jan 2015, 22:37
The biggest problem I've seen is how groups of players are handled. A premade team of highly skilled and/or coordinated players will still almost always demolish the competition. My assumption is that familiarity with allies and the increased level of cooperation acts as a skill multiplier, which can cause matchmaking to put together an insufficiently strong team of randoms to oppose them. I propose the following solutions be considered:

1) Use a multiplier on the skill of grouped players so that the opposing team will be more likely to match up equally. This multiplier should be fairly low for a group of 2, higher for a group of 3, and highest for a group of 4.

2) If the grouped players win by a significant margin disband the lobby after the match. With team scrambling inhibited or prevented, there is little chance the next match will have fair teams.

3) If no team can be put together with a high enough rating to have an even match with the grouped players, split the grouped players between two teams to create a balanced match. The grouped players should be warned beforehand and given a choice to opt out and restart their search.


Good feedback!

1) This is on our immediate to-do list already, so I'm glad we agree!
2) We don't have plans to do this in normal queueing, but can consider scrambling teams at that point potentially. Given players can always opt to quit and re-search, we're trying to avoid intentionally "disbanding" public lobbies. When a Ranked mode rolls around, it will function more like a MOBA potentially where you only play one match before the lobby disbands, however.
3) This was enabled before the MMR switch, and will be re-enabled for the next update based on user feedback.


Class Balance
Before I went on break the Humans had a slight edge at my moderately high skill level, and at a couple maps were actually dominant. The Hunter and Reaver stood out as the preeminent classes of their respective factions. Now I've found the overall balance far better, though there is one exception - the Scout. I don't think I've yet seen a human team without a Scout since I returned to Nosgoth and 2 Scouts is about average. Teams of 3 or 4 Scouts are far from uncommon and can be downright terrifying to face.

I'd like to see some other responses on this point, but we are definitely keeping an eye on Scout.


Maps
I wasn't entirely satisfied with the maps before I went on break and as far as I can tell the maps haven't been altered in that time. My biggest complaint is that most maps have one spot that allows the Humans significantly greater visibility than anywhere else on the map. This is problematic as it causes gameplay to become stale quicker. In theory shrine location and depletion should encourage players to abandon this area, but in practice the reward of superior terrain far outpaces better shrine access.

I also personally find Freeport and Provance to be mildly frustrating to play as vampires, as the sightlines for humans are far too generous and buildings/obscuring terrain lacking in some areas. I would love to see the rooftop height increased at Freeport (or the addition of some obscuring guardrails on top of the buildings) and the grassy area of Provance reworked.

This is in progress, though our worst offenders don't line up. The Fane and Sommerdamm both have specific problem areas when skilled humans camp them, and those changes will be going out soon. We can discuss your concerns about Freeport and Provance internally and see if we have any ideas.

Vampmaster
12th Jan 2015, 23:52
I'd like to see some other responses on this point, but we are definitely keeping an eye on Scout.

I'm totally agreed about the scout. They're strong at any distance and skilled scouts seem to be a much bigger threat than other classes. To reitterate what I said about them in the class stacking thread, I think non-reaver vampires need more ways to counter them:


I'm sure I remember the developers saying that Nosgoth wasn't intended to use a rock, paper, scissors class setup where specific classes were especially lethal against othets. If it's ened up that way, then I'm not surprised so many people are making requests like this. Currently, things like smoke bomb and choking haze are crucial for opening using against humans because if any other class tries to go first, they tend to end up with the whole enemy team focusing on them. Other classes should have ways of getting humans to spread out. Scout does a huge amount of damage up close and far away, so much so, that he seems to be the best choice for pros. There needs to be more countermeasures against him at close range. I think the summoners shield will help, but perhaps the sentinel could have a way to slow enemies firing rate as a side effects of echolocation or some new ability. It would be a good way to allow vampires a chance to get close while the human are under this spellbinding effect, without the ability being too similar to the reaver's abilities. Also, I think the scouts could take a little longer before they can fire after being hit. Especially when using the warbow.

snejjjj
13th Jan 2015, 00:08
Matchmaking
Before I went on break I was lucky if 20% of my matches were competitive, which I define as the losing team's points being 66% of the winning team's points or higher (e.g. final score of 40 to 60). Now I'm seeing more like 80% of matches competitive, with half of those highly competitive (final score of 50 to 60 or closer). That said, work remains to be done.


Unfortunately I can not agree with that. 30% of all matches are 4x-60, 5x-60 and 70% are 2x-60. I have the feeling that this 30% is when i am searchin games for my own, and this 70% when i group up with some guys especially when a lvl40 group up with mates <lvl15. Maybe you are lucky, or need to play more games. You will see that. And try to group up with low-lvls

Ysanoire
13th Jan 2015, 01:59
Unfortunately I can not agree with that. 30% of all matches are 4x-60, 5x-60 and 70% are 2x-60. I have the feeling that this 30% is when i am searchin games for my own, and this 70% when i group up with some guys especially when a lvl40 group up with mates <lvl15. Maybe you are lucky, or need to play more games. You will see that. And try to group up with low-lvls

I'm under impression that an average team is very likely to beat a team composed of a mix of very good and very bad players. Perhaps when you play with beginners, technically you get matched with players corresponding to your average, but they are all "good enough" and able to do the job while you can only carry so much. It's just my feelings though.

Your case would suggest that maybe a bonus to MMR just for being in a party isn't such a good idea, or needs to be handled very carefully.

HoopleDoople
13th Jan 2015, 03:33
Good feedback!

1) This is on our immediate to-do list already, so I'm glad we agree!
2) We don't have plans to do this in normal queueing, but can consider scrambling teams at that point potentially. Given players can always opt to quit and re-search, we're trying to avoid intentionally "disbanding" public lobbies. When a Ranked mode rolls around, it will function more like a MOBA potentially where you only play one match before the lobby disbands, however.
3) This was enabled before the MMR switch, and will be re-enabled for the next update based on user feedback.



I'd like to see some other responses on this point, but we are definitely keeping an eye on Scout.



This is in progress, though our worst offenders don't line up. The Fane and Sommerdamm both have specific problem areas when skilled humans camp them, and those changes will be going out soon. We can discuss your concerns about Freeport and Provance internally and see if we have any ideas.

Good to hear. I'm aware of the areas you're referencing on Fane and Sommerdamn and they certainly fall into the category. I've personally had good luck using alternate camp locations as humans on these and attacking the standard camp locations as vampires. That said, I'm sure you have a broader set of data that is more valid than my individual experience.

I'm not sure how others have fared but the docks area on Freeport has been very problematic for me to attack as vampires. This is particularly notable for Sentinels and Deceivers - the buildings are too low to provide cover for Sentinels and there is nowhere for a Deceiver to stealthily uncloak. On Provance the camp locations are more diverse but on the entire grassy half of the map I simply feel there is insufficient safe approaches for vampires. Particularly problematic is the corner on a wooden(?) platform. Even reaching the supposedly safe approaches risks revealing oneself and getting nailed by an alert Scout.

uNborn-
13th Jan 2015, 07:08
There is nothing wrong with scout. You just have to know how to play them. Even a good scout can be overwhelmed pretty easily. I guess More of the ESL people should post here about balance changes more often.

SilentVirtue
13th Jan 2015, 15:30
2) If the grouped players win by a significant margin disband the lobby after the match. With team scrambling inhibited or prevented, there is little chance the next match will have fair teams.

3) If no team can be put together with a high enough rating to have an even match with the grouped players, split the grouped players between two teams to create a balanced match. The grouped players should be warned beforehand and given a choice to opt out and restart their search.



If your going to split parties up, the party is going to leave and re-form.. we opt to play with friends because we want the teamwork and communication.

--Ram--
13th Jan 2015, 15:56
If your going to split parties up, the party is going to leave and re-form.. we opt to play with friends because we want the teamwork and communication.

That would likely be the case most times, but as long as the split provides the option for the party to leave and look for another game it can't do too much harm. For the sake of a game starting some parties may deal with the split. I just don't like the current way the system has you on a team with your friends, and then suddenly AS the game begins the LOL NOPE GOT YAS split occurs

GenFeelGood
17th Jan 2015, 05:27
If you gotta nerf the scout bows across the board, I'd be okay with giving up a round without buffing the attack if you guys would possibly shave a little time off the full draw.

Shutenti
21st Jan 2015, 09:05
I haven't seen any evidence of scout being overpowered in top-level games I've watched. In pub games (~100 hours, level 35) I see more scouts than before the patch but they are definitely not overpowered. They're good for chipping careless vampires with and being more stealthy about approaches is something a lot of players still need to learn (wasn't such as issue at low levels when fewer people played scout before the patch).

With the map changes though, a scout shouldn't be getting off more than 1 charged warbow shot at the start of a fight; there's really no need to nerf the excellent juicy knockdown effect. I'm confident that over time more mid-level players will take the scout seriously (pre-patch I get the feeling they were often simply disregarded) and adapt their playstyle to cope:

1. Don't hop around in plain sight asking to get shot out of the air, approach with suspense-building stealth by communicating about human positions and remaining out of sight.
2. Switch to deceiver when multiple scouts appear in a team. Mid-level scouts are absolute deceiver-fodder and their teams are rarely awake enough to support them sufficiently.
3. More coordinated smoke usage from reavers. A scout can't shoot what he can't see and if you force a warbow-wielder to move as the fight starts he won't have time to redraw it before the attack is underway.

In short I love the scout class now because I feel it's doing exactly what it always needed to - forcing the vampires to cooperate more in order to counter their abilities.

Vampmaster
21st Jan 2015, 10:12
The rock, paper scissors argument again. It's rare for a good enemy team to have less than two scouts, so it's it turn rare that sentinels would be useful against a high level team. There shouldn't be one class that completely owns another.

eXmoRtiZ
21st Jan 2015, 14:37
Well I think the main problem in matchmaking: If someone leave the team before the match ends, his MMR or W/L ratio not changing (lot of players told me they have 70-80% winrate. I think i'm not bad, but i have 54% cause i almost never leave a game what i started). If someone is average player with this mentality, the game match him in higher MMR games and actually his team going to be lose cuz of that. (And if someone joins in the place of the leaver, he find himself in a losing match).

Psyonix_Corey
21st Jan 2015, 14:42
Well I think the main problem in matchmaking: If someone leave the team before the match ends, his MMR or W/L ratio not changing (lot of players told me they have 70-80% winrate. I think i'm not bad, but i have 54% cause i almost never leave a game what i started). If someone is average player with this mentality, the game match him in higher MMR games and actually his team going to be lose cuz of that. (And if someone joins in the place of the leaver, he find himself in a losing match).

This is not accurate.

Khalith
22nd Jan 2015, 09:27
2) We don't have plans to do this in normal queueing, but can consider scrambling teams at that point potentially. Given players can always opt to quit and re-search, we're trying to avoid intentionally "disbanding" public lobbies. When a Ranked mode rolls around, it will function more like a MOBA potentially where you only play one match before the lobby disbands, however.

I actually think team scrambling is something that should happen in the normal lobbies consistently. Assuming 6-7 people stay in the lobby, then at the very least two people should never be on the same team together a second time. But in my experience this generally doesn't happen too often as there are usually 6-7 people that immediately leave the lobby when the game ends. But if that doesn't happen, please consider team scrambling.


I'd like to see some other responses on this point, but we are definitely keeping an eye on Scout.

I don't see an issue with the Scout personally. Granted they do an absurd amount of damage from a very far range but that is part of their intended purpose. I most often get hit by a scout while looking for where the humans are but if I know there is a Scout on the other team (which can be checked very easily by hitting the tab key) I take extra precautions while searching as to not leave myself too vulnerable. Lately I've been playing Deceiver a lot, I find it pretty easy to ambush a scout and force him to drop his charge shot so he can stay alive, while playing Deceiver I tend to go for the scouts first for reasons I'll outline below.

The issue to me comes mostly from vampires that leave themselves too exposed on the approach (along with the aforementioned map issues in certain spots) and don't harass the scout while attacking the humans. I use the swift bow, when the vampires attack and don't focus me I can very easily chain several charged shots in to them uninterrupted and as a result do a very hefty amount of damage in a short time combined with hitting the ones that don't find cover on the approach and using a good vantage point to hit the ones that attempt to get away.

I can't speak to their aoe and area denial, I've been in games with two scouts and while their double volley was very annoying we were still able to kill them pretty easily by focusing them pretty hard so they couldn't get their charged shots off. I actually think scout is in a pretty good place right now and I don't really get the hate on the storm bow, it's the weakest scout weapon.

Fedise
22nd Jan 2015, 18:49
I havent played very long but it is obvious that there a better places on the maps for each respective team and the fighting definitely gravitates to those areas. It really dampens the excitement because you spend 2/3 of the match watching the same spots for vampires or trying to flush humans out of the same areas. From what I can tell so far the humans have a slight edge so maybe adding more cover or things to block line of sight is the way to go. And if you really want to get creative implementing some mechanic that essentially forces players to move. By that I mean something built into the map that maybe clouds an area with more dust as players spend longer there. Something to that effect that would lead to people using more of the map. As it stands a lot of the map is unused and I dont see it ever being used since humans have no need to use small hallways and what not. Its a shame because the artwork is beautiful and underappreciated.

--Ram--
23rd Jan 2015, 04:33
I havent played very long but it is obvious that there a better places on the maps for each respective team and the fighting definitely gravitates to those areas. It really dampens the excitement because you spend 2/3 of the match watching the same spots for vampires or trying to flush humans out of the same areas. From what I can tell so far the humans have a slight edge so maybe adding more cover or things to block line of sight is the way to go. And if you really want to get creative implementing some mechanic that essentially forces players to move. By that I mean something built into the map that maybe clouds an area with more dust as players spend longer there. Something to that effect that would lead to people using more of the map. As it stands a lot of the map is unused and I dont see it ever being used since humans have no need to use small hallways and what not. Its a shame because the artwork is beautiful and underappreciated.

Flashpoint is a thing that exists and will change this.

TendrilSavant
23rd Jan 2015, 06:02
While I don't think Scout needed more shots per clip, I don't think it's as bad a change as I initially thought it'd be. And recently I've come to realize that the Scout's true strength isn't in his long range, but in how you use it.

What I mean is that a players performance with the Scout is in direct relation to his understanding of meta knowledge, particularly spawn points and spawn timers. If you're only reacting to vampires attacks rather than predicting them, then the Scout is a sub par choice for you and you'll do much better with the other classes. But if you learn all the spawn points and predict where vampires are going to approach from (especially at the beginning of a round), you can deal devastating damage before a skirmish starts.

These observations are mainly in pubs of course. When everyone is aware of spawn locations Scout's potential is greatly reduced, and has to play more of a support role.


Suggestion:
What if when the round started, the human spawn location was shown to all players? Insuring that vampires always have the element of surprise, assuming they move accordingly. This could also add a bit more strategy to human spawns; do we hunker down here or move to throw them off?

At the beginning of a match humans always have the advantage of range, but vampires only have the advantage of surprise if everyone on the team knows the spawn locations well. I mostly solo queue and it's not uncommon when playing vampires for at least one of my teammates to go down to 200hp before the first skirmish, effectively leaving the team 3v4 for the first encounter. Also worth noting that it's that initial encounter when rage quits happen the most.