How should the "Shuffle Sides" feature work?

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What should be the basic outcome of enabling "Shuffle Sides"? (please read post first)

It should only shuffle players within their teams.
2
12%
It should shuffle players within their teams, and also shuffle the teams.
3
18%
It should shuffle all players indiscriminately; players who chose to be on the same team stay on the same team regardless of where they end up on the map.
2
12%
It should shuffle all players indiscriminately; players are assigned teams based on where they end up on the map.
10
59%
 
Total votes: 17

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Celtic_Minstrel
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How should the "Shuffle Sides" feature work?

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » March 17th, 2017, 11:00 pm

The "Shuffle Sides" feature has been historically buggy, and part of the problem is that no-one quite knows exactly how it should work in all situations. This makes it difficult to fix the bugs, because the correct behaviour is uncertain. It's come to the point where removing it after the 1.13.7 release has been proposed, so that it can be redesigned and built up anew.

The thread's poll question asks what the basic outcome of the feature should be, but there are a number of other questions in addition to this, which are outlined below. If anyone has opinions on how these questions should be answered, or has additional concerns not covered here, please post.
  1. Should the shuffled result be shown to the players before the game begins, or is "Shuffle Sides" intended to increase the level of mystery about your opponents?
  2. Some scenarios have sides that are not allowed to choose a faction (called faction-locked sides). Should these sides be shuffled or left alone?
  3. If faction-locked sides are shuffled, should they be shuffled together with non-faction-locked sides, or separately? In the first case, a faction-locked and a non-faction-locked side might switch places. In the second case, faction-locked sides would only ever be swapped with faction-locked sides.
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gfgtdf
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Re: How should the "Shuffle Sides" feature work?

Post by gfgtdf » March 17th, 2017, 11:13 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Should the shuffled result be shown to the players before the game begins, or is "Shuffle Sides" intended to increase the level of mystery about your opponents?
I don't really care here, but note that the code currently first does the random faction resolve and then the shuffle sides resolve, and if i understood the comments in that code correctly we don't want players to know the results of random faction sides.
Some scenarios have sides that are not allowed to choose a faction (called faction-locked sides). Should these sides be shuffled or left alone?
If faction-locked sides are shuffled, should they be shuffled together with non-faction-locked sides, or separately? In the first case, a faction-locked and a non-faction-locked side might switch places. In the second case, faction-locked sides would only ever be swapped with faction-locked sides.
Hard to say without having an example of a existent scenario with both faction-locked and non-locked sides, but i'd say shuffle player independly on faction lock but only change the chosen faction along with the player if both involved sides are non-locked.

for the poll: i'd accept everything except option (1). Option (4) has the advantage over 2,3 that it wouldn't break on 'inbalanced' maps like 1 vs 2 with a hughe map advantage for the loneley side.
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Re: How should the "Shuffle Sides" feature work?

Post by Ravana » March 17th, 2017, 11:22 pm

1. Since status window already reveals players names, colors, and relative side numbering; showing result would not affect mystery.
2. I find it likely that such sides are designed for specific map location, so rather leave it alone.

I would see shuffle sides as randomly assigning players to sides(preserving faction selection, so not put into position where certain faction would be forbidden), keeping all side(and team) and scenario configuration unchanged. (Unsure if shuffle sides changing factions is fixed yet).

Preserving teams would be nice to have, but does not seem doable with my idea of shuffle sides(which is to not break scenarios nor faction selections).

Vote 4.

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Re: How should the "Shuffle Sides" feature work?

Post by enclave » December 20th, 2017, 12:52 am

Hi,
As a player who very often plays shuffle sides I voted 4,
as it seems that the only main main main reason anyone plays shuffle is to make sure that teams AND starting positions are random..

However..
Some people playing shuffled sides only to make sure that they start in random place, they don't care about teams or anything else.
I'm sure for that reason there would always exist players who want to shuffle their starting position but keep the teams!
Same there would always be a person who wants to shuffle the teams (so that nobody complained that he took better player) but keep his starting position.

So ideally.. you could make 3 different types of shuffle..
1) Shuffles everything
2) Shuffles just starting position but keeps the teams
3) Shuffles the teams but keeps the positions
Also you could add the shuffle types you mentioned before and spend some time on shuffling locked players too in different configurations as above.
And add the shuffle type which will reveal the results.. create different lobby icons for all these shuffles...

But.. really.. how much does it all matter? Most of these shuffles can be done via a modification.. Just fix the existing shuffle (The only bug I could think of is that if player is choosing a faction and leader, he ends up with different leader, but maybe it's a feature? Not happen to see other bugs, I guess it depends very much on what type of maps and eras you are playing: would not even try shuffle on ANL default map.. for me result would obviously be a mess, in this case keeping locked factions unshuffled would really be great.)

Modifications can do the rest of the job.. if it really was extremely important to anyone!
I have coded a modification that keeps red,blue,green,purple colors order because I personally get distracted when red moves after blue or green after purple.. Some people however seem to feel the opposite and really enjoy messing with colors.

The only thing that modification can not do is to swap the order of sides.. So for example I can not code a modification where I would be able to secretly swap sides with other player if we both decided that he is better with drakes and i'm better with undead. Via modification if I done it it would make the order of sides go wrong, p3 would move before p2.. and everybody would know that we swapped sides.
So really.. most things can be done with modifications, specially if you leave some hidden shortcut or function to make it easier.

So... If I were you I would try to create some basic lua or WML functions so that all the work would be done by coders for you and save you some valuable time. Unless it's actually harder :) Thanks for reading.

PS. for the questions you stated:
1) Should be secret, most things already shown in status table, the only thing to reveal is the faction of players which would be very bad if revealed.
2) Locked sides should not be shuffled.
3) N/A

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