Competetive multiplayer

Discussion of all aspects of multiplayer development: unit balancing, map development, server development, and so forth.

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BasiC
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Competetive multiplayer

Post by BasiC »

First of all Since i haven't played Wesnoth in a while before about a week ago I want to say the game looks great and is a lot of fun to play, kudos to the devs.
Now for the tirade...XD

What I want to address is the competitive multiplayer side of Wesnoth.
I have played many RTS games, both real time and turn based, competitively and casually.
I, and many others think that for a competetive strategy to be truly balanced and worthwhile a few conditions must be met.

1)The factions must be balanced.
If the factions are not all balanced one against the other and if that is not the goal(as I understand it is not the goal in Wesnoth and that's fine) than all competitive games must be played with everyone playing a random side the game decided on.
This must be forced on everyone playing competitively in all competitive games to preserve fairness in the elo system and to prevent abuse of newer players who do not know the factions and the different faction counters and the game's balance in general).
If the above mentioned is not implemented we will always have faction selection wars as one opponent wants to start with a faction that counters the faction of his opponent.
We cannot put our trust on good intentions and morals in a competitive environment.

2)A pool of random, approved maps
There must be a closed forced set of maps.
You must have x maps that are authorized and deemed competitive and suitable, in a random pool that is used whenever a ladder game is initiated.
Players must not be able to choose their own maps when they start a game since some maps might favor a certain faction, again contributing to possible abuses, arguments amongst players and in general a bad atmosphere.
Maps are a part of balance.
If all maps are huge the faster factions will always have an advantage and vise verse(many other different examples exist of course).

3)a game's balance must without any doubt revolve around 1v1 games.
This is the only possible way to test unit and faction balance as accurately as possible.
Even in smaller team games other parameters come into play that are not related to balance(like coordination the lack of it and an unreachable ideal of perfect coordination) that make it impossible to balance the game.
I am not saying that as Wesnoth's balance is patched we must ignore everything else except 1v1s but 1v1s should be the top priority when considering balance changes.
When One can change the balance to improve 2v2 gameplay but not hurt 1v1 balance than of course this change must be done but only if it does not hurt the 1v1 balance.

When I started playing Wesnoth again a week ago I decided I would like to play it more competitively but after speaking about it with several top players I became a bit discouraged and here is why.
It appears that none of the above conditions are met.

I want to say that this post is not meant to discourage anyone or hurt anyone's feelings but EDITED: since Wesnoth already has a ladder(as it should) than lets work to make it truly competitively viable but in a way, of course, that will not hurt team games.

I understand this is an open source project and it's development is done by people who enjoy writing certain code in different times but Perhaps If we talk about this issue more and raise awareness of these necessities someone amongst us with the right skills will be interested in doing the needed changes.

Thx for reading this post and Please reply with your opinions and thoughts.
Last edited by BasiC on March 12th, 2012, 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SlowThinker
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by SlowThinker »

BasiC wrote: if Wesnoth already has a ladder(as it should)
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... start=1170
http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/
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BasiC
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by BasiC »

Sorry, I meant "Since".
My bad.

Caphriel
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Caphriel »

I have played many RTS games, both real time and turn based, competitively and casually.
RTS stands for Real-Time Strategy. So you've played real-time Real-Time Strategy games and turn-based Real-Time Strategy games? :wink:

1) Wesnoth factions are pretty well balanced, and balance work continues. Loyalists are considered slightly overpowered, and were just nerfed a little in the most recent release. So were footpads, to help the Knalgan-Undead matchup.

2) Ladder games are played using one of two random map choosers that choose from maps developed and selected for competitive balance. Perhaps you've seen the RMP or RBY acronyms floating around?

3) I disagree with you that all competitive games must be balanced around 1v1 gameplay, but that's neither here nor there, and is a topic for a separate thread. Wesonth balance definitely takes into account 1v1, but must also take into account other game modes and the single-player campaigns, to some extent. That's not likely to change.

Please provide evidence that none of the above conditions are met, as you claimed, nor being worked toward. Also talk to Doc Paterson about balancing maps for competitive play :)

Huumy
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Huumy »

Basic, you don't just stumble in a somebody's home and tell him/her how to run their [censored].

How about first of all you say who were these "top players" because there are lot of players who claim to be "top players" and they really think they are, but they don't have anything to show for it. (Yes you scrubs in the lobby who make games with names like "no noobs plz").

I only read the caption of your 3 conditions, because if you would have taken some time to found out things before opening your mouth and telling that the [censored] is run all wrong, you would have found in fact all these condition are met in the ladder.

Also this is an open source game and the ladder is unofficial. So if you want to make things how you want them to be do something about instead of just saying "These conditions must be met and so on".

So yeah if you want to see [censored] run in a certain way you must do it with example not with threats or demands.

I hope you have a good playing experience.
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SlowThinker
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by SlowThinker »

I think BasiC should tell us concrete examples why he thinks 1) 2) and 3) is not fulfilled.
Huumy wrote:Basic, you don't just stumble in a somebody's home and tell him/her how to run their [censored].
:) Why not? If somebody creates a website and publishes all the videos from his bedroom and adds a public forum ... Wesnoth is fully open and public.
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BasiC
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by BasiC »

Huumy wrote:Basic, you don't just stumble in a somebody's home and tell him/her how to run their [censored].

How about first of all you say who were these "top players" because there are lot of players who claim to be "top players" and they really think they are, but they don't have anything to show for it. (Yes you scrubs in the lobby who make games with names like "no noobs plz").

I only read the caption of your 3 conditions, because if you would have taken some time to found out things before opening your mouth and telling that the [censored] is run all wrong, you would have found in fact all these condition are met in the ladder.

Also this is an open source game and the ladder is unofficial. So if you want to make things how you want them to be do something about instead of just saying "These conditions must be met and so on".

So yeah if you want to see [censored] run in a certain way you must do it with example not with threats or demands.

I hope you have a good playing experience.
First of all there is no need to be so aggressive, second of all I meant players who are in the top spots in the ladder.
I didnt make any threats This is just from observation in other maps and common sense.
If factions are not balanced against each other and that is not even the goal than tha battlefield must be balanced by making ladder games be played with random factions and random maps taken out of a ladder map pool.
This will mathematically insure fairness.
As for balance, It is not my opinion it is the opinion of many startegy game designers and balances. Startegy games, whether real time or turn based must be balanced based mostly on 1v1 game experience if there is any desire to have a competent competitively viable balance.
This is how its done in the industry it would be arrogant and rude of me to assume i know of a better way.
I jsut wanted to point out the lessons the genre has learned since its creation..
I have the utmost respect of this game and its devs and i dont know why you decided to attack me and some minor appendices in my post that arent really relevant to the bigger point im trying to talk about.

Caphriel
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Caphriel »

People are responding negatively to you because you are a new member who just joined and made a bunch of broad negative generalizations about Wesnoth based on assumptions without any actual supporting evidence. This happens regularly. It may not be fair, but that's how it is.

To be specific, you're assuming factions are poorly balanced, you're assuming maps are poorly balanced, and you're assuming that the developers are community need to be educated on very basic principles of balancing strategy games for fair competition. It comes across as insulting and condescending.

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artisticdude
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by artisticdude »

I'm somewhat confused as to the intent of the OP. Is this about standards for the ladder, or is it about mainline Wesnoth?
BasiC wrote:If the factions are not all balanced one against the other and if that is not the goal(as I understand it is not the goal in Wesnoth and that's fine) than all competitive games must be played with everyone playing a random side the game decided on.
But that is precisely the goal in Wesnoth. Units are not balanced against units, factions are balanced against factions. The more balanced the factions, the better the playing experience. Naturally achieving a "perfect" balance is all but impossible, but it's gotten darn close.

There have been a number of attempts to achieve such a "perfect" balance by means of mathematical formulas, but so far none of those attempts have in any way convinced me that such a thing is possible. Rather the opposite, in fact.
"I'm never wrong. One time I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."

SlowThinker
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by SlowThinker »

artisticdude wrote:There have been a number of attempts to achieve such a "perfect" balance by means of mathematical formulas ...
Could you send links?
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artisticdude
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by artisticdude »

The most recent/notable:

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=36209

There was another attempt before that by the same person, in a separate thread. Or it might have been the same attempt continued, although I got the impression that they were separate efforts.
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Cackfiend
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Cackfiend »

ITT:

OP posts complaining about 3 things being false

...

the 3 things all turn out to be true
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Sapient
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Sapient »

artisticdude wrote:The most recent/notable:

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=36209

There was another attempt before that by the same person, in a separate thread. Or it might have been the same attempt continued, although I got the impression that they were separate efforts.
Don't forget this one:
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=26558
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

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artisticdude
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by artisticdude »

And also this one, which provides an excellent discussion of why the entire idea of mathematically balanced factions is not feasible: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=31789

Note that I'm not against mathematically balanced factions. Quite the opposite, in fact; I think it would be interesting (although perhaps not entirely beneficial) if such a thing could be achieved. However, I have absolutely no interest in attempting such a thing myself, since I believe that the entire idea is entirely impossible and would therefore be a futile waste of time and effort on my part. And considering how all previous attempts at mathematical balancing have ultimately led nowhere, I'm even more skeptical of the plausibility of the entire effort.
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Doc Paterson
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Re: Competetive multiplayer

Post by Doc Paterson »

Caphriel wrote:People are responding negatively to you because you are a new member who just joined and made a bunch of broad negative generalizations about Wesnoth based on assumptions without any actual supporting evidence. This happens regularly.
So tempted to make this my new signature..... 8)
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because I don't want your hostile disease / to spread all over the world.
I prefer that corner to remain hidden /
without your noses.
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