Alliance Wars... Match making - limited to those interested in taking part

First off… I know this is early… perhaps premature.
But having read the boards quite widely on this subject, I have spotted what I feel could be a potentially divisive issue, and have a potential solution (which happily also addresses another reported problem with match making).

The core idea should really be credited to @Azure from this post:

The (potential) problem:
Alliance wars could be divisive for alliances. Not everyone ‘get it’ or have the same appetite… but many alliances have grown organically and may hang together simply because the players like to be together. Now if it comes to some needing to push more aggressively for participation to stay competitive in AW while others in the Alliance just don’t like the concept, this will lead to friction and probably ultimately breaking up of the alliance. The root of this? The way that match-making is done. It’s based on the alliance as a whole, and not just those who have an interest in taking part.

The other problem:
It’s been oft reported in these forums of the weakness in the current match-making methodology. I’m not going to repeat them all here… but suffice to say the current system needs to be addressed.

A potential solution to address both:

  • People in the alliance who want to take part in Alliance Wars register their interest by posting a defence team. Those who would prefer to skip it (for whatever reason… absence, or lack of interest or whatever) would pass and not set a defense.
  • Once the registration period is closed, matchmaking occurs. This works by examining the heroes of the registered participants only. Generate a score based on the power of the top 30 best heroes of the registered players. An average is then determined. (The idea of considering top 30 best heroes originated from @Revelate and championed by @Dante2377 in other threads. See here for my idea of a practical implementation.)
  • The alliance is then matched with another that has a similar average in power for registered players. The matching is weighted to other alliances that have the closest average and the closest number of registered players.
  • Where it’s necessary to match alliances with differing numbers of registered players, it works as it currently does and divide the total points that can be won over the players taking part… so teams with fewer players have a higher concentration of points per player.
  • Maybe limit to a minimum number of players in an alliance that need to be registered in order to take part (say 10, or 15).

So this means an alliance can take part with only the people who WANT to play this aspect without it obligating the rest. Everyone still has fun… but don’t need to pressure those who prefer not. The match making is more fair. Everyone is a winner.

No doubt many holes to be shot in this idea, but bring it on. All ideas are worth considering.

21 Likes

Great suggestion!
I definitely like it!

Yes, it is a new feature.
And yes, at this moment, people may be excited about it.
But give it time … say, six months… and I know that many people will say “I am getting tired of this crap”. (Why do I know? Been there, done that. Got very tired of it. Finally left the other game)

Thus, I think this suggestion is great.
A possibility to opt out without letting your alliance down sounds like a perfect solution.

3 Likes

It’s not a bad idea @Little_Infinity! Something would have to be done to equalize the number of attacks per team when the roster numbers are offset, but you did put a good bit of thought towards a solution to all the angst.

Cheers mate!

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Thanks Havok.
They currently have an approach to deal with different numbers of players taking part. This aspect may well need tweaking still, but it’s not a problem that is introduced by my suggestion… this is a problem that already exists.

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Yeah, just the points spreading out might not be enough if a team of 28-30 takes on a team of say 10-15. But the averaging out of team true strength might fix it when alliances are paired.

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You hit the nail on the head, stating AW could be divisive for alliances. Which it does not have to be. After all, to me one of the aspects Alliance Wars is supposed to foster, is creating a means to better the cooperation of players within an alliance, not pull it apart.

Imho, l believe if you introduce a method of giving the individual player the choice of whether or not to participate, without causing any potential negative effect for their alliance, would be most effective towards the goal of establishing unity and cooperation between alliance members. Which in the long run is good for business.

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It’s a fine idea, I like it in general.

One potential issue here I could see would be alliances prohibiting their weaker members from joining the wars so that they can get harder opponents and compete at the top.

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It’s a possibility, yes, but such abuses can also be committed without the idea. E.g.) Alliance members being kicked for not being deemed to be worthy to contribute to the war. Or alliance members being drummed in to participating if they don’t want to, etc.

The various abuses that alliances can possibly commit on their own members is a background fact of life and may or may not occur regardless. I guess the only counter to it is to leave and join a different alliance.

This idea is more tailored to taking away the obligation of members to have to contribute, or to have to live with the fact that they are a definite weight on their alliance’s chances if they do not.

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@Little_Infinity
Thank you for your well thought out solution. Here’s hoping the Developers take it to heart and implement it soon. Credit should also be given to @Xorana for our original discussion of this topic.

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I think it’s a useful idea.

I was hanging out in the Line chat of the newbie alliance (not so newbie anymore having killed several 8*'s but I digress) that my alt was in originally and they definitely qualify as an organically grown alliance since literally 23/30 members where there when my alt was six months ago (which is impressive as hell) and there was some chatter about exactly this issue.

There’s a list of changes I’d make at this point to try to address some of the imbalances in matching:

  • Your idea of having an opt-out flag, it’s basically one extra column in the database and I’m dubious that their data model is tight as it is.

  • Matching done either at the end of prep phase, or lock down the roster at the beginning of prep phase; people wandering in and out of the alliance after prep is a non-trivial issue when people are matching at 22/30 and then fighting at 30/30. I’m absolutely confident this is what happened in my alt’s alliance and I suspect this war is going to be a massacre: not fun for anyone. Failing that SG you likely need to kill mercing altogether and that’s an anti-community move.

  • Fix the cup dropping issue: since the matchups are apparently by alliance score currently (sigh) in order for there to be any hope of competitive balance in alliance matching you have to really incentivize people to play for rank and that means addressing the ham / iron issue from raiding. Otherwise it 80% works in the top 5 and it doesn’t really work anywhere else.

  • Or if unwilling to address the cup dropping issue, match based on aggregate hero power or aggregate hero HP for the top 30 heroes in everyone’s roster. Alliance score is such an asinine metric currently, please please please either fix the alliance score (which means address the cup dropping more than you’ve already done with the raid arenas) or match on some other metric.

I really like AW but without competitive balance it’s not going to be fun, and this is going to be a pretty wide spread issue; there’s already an AW Merc channel in Line: this doesn’t end well for the community if there are going to be constant uneven fights.

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Wouldn’t even a simple switch to titan score only versus alliance score be helpful? That seems like a pretty easy tweak if so. Not perfect, but better.

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My two cents

Do either of these

  • Match alliances and lock participants at “War Starts”
  • Match alliances and lock participants on “Prepararions begin”

And these

  • Match teams on the aggregated power of the 30x strongest heros of each locked in participant
  • Provide a better countdown to when “Preparations…” start
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It would absolutely be better and that actually was my first idea in the long-running beta thread. Many kudos for bringing it back up!

Was pointed out to me it’s still suboptimal as there are alliances that skip titans they could kill to merc; admittedly that’s a far less of a problem than what exists today on the presumed alliance score matching.

Even Spicy which today has the title of biggest “AW mismatch” in the top 20 has only skipped two titans in the past several months, so their titan score is pretty darned close to the top 5 which is where they belong from a matching perspective.

Mixed Nuts Deluxe and Seven Days Hunting are more problematic examples: Deluxe passes on more titans at least from my experience there, and 7DH is just comparatively new and their titan score hasn’t caught up with their actual alliance power yet with the way the scoring works… that second issue will get fixed naturally over time though.

Ultimately it does alleviate all of the cup dropping issues, and actually many of the merc issues; as such it would be an absolute upgrade over what appears to exist today.

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It’s the lesser of two evils, probably by a wide margin as it at least ‘penalizes’ the whole alliance in missed loot (better loot at least) and the titan chest if they choose to drop by missing titans. That and it probably take a fair amount of skipped titans to drop it meaningfully if looking to sandbag.

And what’s the end game anyways? An a$$ pat for a victory in AW? It’s not like the loot has been so earth shattering that there’s that much of a game incentive to win :slight_smile:

End game is to create competitive matchups.

To be compelling we need to have balanced matchups, and when we get issues with one team slaughtering another which has been happening for some of the alliances I mentioned earlier, it’s not going to be an enjoyable experience for anyone.

Ideally what we want is more like the Departed vs. Aggressive matchup where we were in a dead tie after an hour and change… ideally I want literally everyone in game to experience a close fight on a regular basis on AW; that’s why I think this is an important issue.

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I have a member of my alliance that cant get into war set up her defense team but when fight started got this screen saying next will start soon

My concern with using Titan score for match-ups is that it still doesn’t really protect the integrity of the match-up from mercing. It’s certainly a step in the right direction in that it doesn’t have the added complication of cup dropping in the mix, but it’s quite possible / likely that you match a good fit in terms of alliance score only to have a couple of big hitters join them a bit before the wars begin and still throw off the balance.

To me the only real workable counter is to match on opted in players, and match only just before the war begins.
Register period. Registration closed for as long as they need to run the matching job… and no new joiners then. Then war begins.

If SG think this is too much effort (and really I don’t think it’s all that much) then matching on Titan score would be better than the current system.

The mercing problem has to be solved in a different fashion: namely changing the time the matchmaking is done (late or at the end of the prep phase) or to fix the available combatants at the beginning of prep.

Switching to Titan score from the overarching alliance score (which sucks to be blunt) helps fix matchmaking but it doesn’t address some of the other issues in AW of which there are several.

To be fair this will have some impact on the merc community: namely those alliances who rely on mercs which boost their Titan score would be at a disadvantage compared to those that don’t; however, this is a fraction of the population.

SG could also do something smarter for matchmaking but ultimately Titan score is a better measurement than alliance score but it isn’t perfect… it is simple though.

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I would prefer that combatants are locked at the start of prep, so that people who join after that cannot place a def team. This would also require a “War prep starts”-clock, but that should not cause too much problems :smiley:

Preferably this should be done ASAP, cause I also think that mercing is big problem when it comes to AW

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Something that hasn’t been addressed in this suggestion is new alliances being created which inevitably lowers a teams Titan score. I know Freekshow, Eye of the Storm and a few other alliances completely dismantled (thousand + point victories) their opponents due to the fact that they were recently created and haven’t had a significant amount of time to boost their titan score.

In my opinion the best route (I don’t know how feasible it would be to implement) is to create some sort of game metric that rates characters from t1 lvl 1 to fully maxed. Similar to Anchors hero rating guide. Give a player who wants to partake in war the chance to pick up to 30 heroes during the prep period - or the devs could rate the top 30 heroes on a persons roster. Once these heroes are selected provide an overall team grade for each member participating in the war. Combine the alliance members team grades together and select an opponent that is closely matched. This will ensure that the matchups are fair regardless of trophy dropping, mercing, and Titan score.

The only issue I could see occurring is people mass leveling heroes after the war starts. But with the lack of ascension materials most members have I don’t know how big of an exploit could actually occur.

1 Like

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