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BG Points farming is the new Sandbagging

G-Hun-GearG-Hun-Gear Posts: 1,182 ★★★
We‘ve had his discussion a while ago, haven‘t we?

Like with sandbagging then, the community is now split on the points farming thing… Some say it should be a bannable offense, some say it’s unsportsmanlike, some have no issues with it.

Personally, I am in camp 3: I have no issue with points farming. If Inhad elders marks left, I would consider it myself… everybody should do it… Farmers lose an equal amount of matches as they win, so I see no harm to other players. If you encounter a farmer that intentionally loses a match, guess what: Easy win for you…

There is one thing different from the sandbagging situation: Kabam have actually stated in the forums that points farming is an offense…

BUT: It was Kabam that have implemented a system that incentivizes points farming, by introducing elders marks that get more points than energy… and why was that again? In order to get people to buy elders marks… yeah right…

How about players that are not in the forums? They see the way the game mode is implemented, and make their own conclusions… Heck, I even remember Brian Grant’s stream where he initially looked into the game mode. Reading about the points-system his initial reaction was something along the lines of “Hm, seems like the best course of action is to lose the fights with energy and win the fights with elders marks” because this is the natural reaction of the players if you introduce such a system…

So Kabam: If you are against points farming, then just remove the discrepancy of points between fights with elders marks and fights with energy.

As long as that’s not the case, I see no issue with people that do it… And it definitely should not be a bannable offense…

Comments

  • BringPopcornBringPopcorn Posts: 1,973 ★★★★★
    flapjax said:

    I still maintain that the real problem is the structure of the mode that promotes win farming in the first place.

    Rather than punish players for trying to optimize their time vs reward in a game that already requires a monumental amount of time investment, find a way to make win farming an obsolete way to reach these rewards.

    There's been a lot of good suggestions on the forums, from awarding more solo event score for wins higher in the VT and in GC, to changing the point scoring to make losing less punishing.

    I understand this as a bandaid solution until a more permanent one can be found, but I don't agree with punishing players for playing within the rules of the game they set.

    Adding more points to solo or alliance as well.. defeats the purpose of raising the milestones due to a "Special Event".
  • flapjax said:

    I still maintain that the real problem is the structure of the mode that promotes win farming in the first place.

    Rather than punish players for trying to optimize their time vs reward in a game that already requires a monumental amount of time investment, find a way to make win farming an obsolete way to reach these rewards.

    There's been a lot of good suggestions on the forums, from awarding more solo event score for wins higher in the VT and in GC, to changing the point scoring to make losing less punishing.

    The problem with all of those suggestions is that they presume the only thing that matters is players not manipulate the match system. So most of them ultimately end up saying we can eliminate point manipulation by simply not requiring players to earn a lot of points. But unfortunately, that only works if you forget for a moment you're a game designer.

    You can't fix the problem of point farming by eliminating the need to earn as many points because the design intent is for players to have to earn that many points with as much activity as currently required. If players don't want to put in that much effort they can earn fewer rewards or they can try to get around the requirements and maybe get permanently banned.

    All cheating can be described as "optimizing time vs reward." Some things you just aren't allowed to optimize. This is true in every game, sport, and competition that exists.
  • Loki_Poki1280Loki_Poki1280 Posts: 439 ★★★
    @MCOCRoob wait, intentionally losing a round is against the rules? I thought it was just a strategy. Like, once both players have their hands, they duke it out. For example, I win round one. And I see that their one of their offensive champs absolutely crush my defenders (something like that). I put out my weakest most easy looking kill defender (that is still has some defensive capabilities) and I put out a meh attacker. I still fight, I just don't expect to win the round. Then if I win, I win. If I don't then on to the next round. If the opposite player played into the bait, I have class advantage or just some unique interactions that they didn't see coming.

    It's not manipulating the system or the matchmaking (like sandbagging). It's a strategy that could work or not. If the other player sees the bluff or is just too good, it ain't gonna work. It's a player player interaction. The more experienced player wins.
  • MCOCRoobMCOCRoob Posts: 18
    @Loki_Poki1280 No, throwing a match is definitely not against the rules. I agree, it's a valid strategy to try to win the match overall.

    I was just equating throwing a round to throwing a match. In my opinion, they are both smart, calculated plays to gain a desired outcome, and they both should be allowed.
  • G-Hun-GearG-Hun-Gear Posts: 1,182 ★★★
    DNA3000 said:


    All cheating can be described as "optimizing time vs reward." Some things you just aren't allowed to optimize. This is true in every game, sport, and competition that exists.

    That’s just not correct. “Cheating” and “Optimizing” simply aren’t the same thing… Just think about all that “Tax Optimization” of big corp…
  • startropicsstartropics Posts: 372 ★★★
    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.
  • WinterFieldsWinterFields Posts: 570 ★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
  • Bugmat78Bugmat78 Posts: 2,077 ★★★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior

    Right now it makes little sense to go into GC early if you have a ton of milestones to aim for especially if you start high up in the Victory trck due to seeding. The seeding doesnt give you any milestones and you therefore have it twice a shard as unseeded players in achieving them. I didn't farm but I reached GC with only half of the points I have now (250k at the time) - that was almost half as many points as I needed for milestones.

    If you decide to throw a match I dont see aproblem unless people are betting on you. It's between you and your opponent in this mode. Some people hate this mode and like AW or AQ only play it for the rewards that are locked behind it. Not everyone plays a sport with an absolute need to win every match in mind either. I dont consider throwing a round different from throwing a match - it's a different level of the same strategy to win (a match or points).


    If Kabam wants it to change they need to incentivise change - carrot not stick. Give more points for winning with any currency in what is supposed to be the pinnacle arena in the mode - Gladiator circuit.

    When you play in the NBA you earn more in basic wages than playing in the CBA (PL vs EFL for the British lads).*


    *I love sports analogies
  • Colinwhitworth69Colinwhitworth69 Posts: 7,113 ★★★★★

    We‘ve had his discussion a while ago, haven‘t we?

    Like with sandbagging then, the community is now split on the points farming thing… Some say it should be a bannable offense, some say it’s unsportsmanlike, some have no issues with it.

    Personally, I am in camp 3: I have no issue with points farming. If Inhad elders marks left, I would consider it myself… everybody should do it… Farmers lose an equal amount of matches as they win, so I see no harm to other players. If you encounter a farmer that intentionally loses a match, guess what: Easy win for you…

    There is one thing different from the sandbagging situation: Kabam have actually stated in the forums that points farming is an offense…

    BUT: It was Kabam that have implemented a system that incentivizes points farming, by introducing elders marks that get more points than energy… and why was that again? In order to get people to buy elders marks… yeah right…

    How about players that are not in the forums? They see the way the game mode is implemented, and make their own conclusions… Heck, I even remember Brian Grant’s stream where he initially looked into the game mode. Reading about the points-system his initial reaction was something along the lines of “Hm, seems like the best course of action is to lose the fights with energy and win the fights with elders marks” because this is the natural reaction of the players if you introduce such a system…

    So Kabam: If you are against points farming, then just remove the discrepancy of points between fights with elders marks and fights with energy.

    As long as that’s not the case, I see no issue with people that do it… And it definitely should not be a bannable offense…

    Just wanted to point out that when you write “the community is now split”, you’re referring to the handful of vocal posters on this forum, which may or may not represent the feelings of players at large. Angry people tend to be the most vocal.

    I suspect that the vast vast majority of BG players have no idea what point farming even is and just play the game.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 36,094 ★★★★★
    edited November 2023

    DNA3000 said:


    All cheating can be described as "optimizing time vs reward." Some things you just aren't allowed to optimize. This is true in every game, sport, and competition that exists.

    That’s just not correct. “Cheating” and “Optimizing” simply aren’t the same thing… Just think about all that “Tax Optimization” of big corp…
    Cheating the system is not optimization. It's manipulation of the system, and it has effects on other Players and the system as a whole. It's not the same as taking a 7* into RTTL for Hero Use. There are other Players fighting in an interconnected, ranked PVP competition who deal with the effects.
  • CorkscrewCorkscrew Posts: 516 ★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    I don't see them as mutually exclusive; I would even suggest that most competitors participate in unsportsmanlike behavior as a means to get a strategic advantage, not just because they feel like it.

    The problem is that you have two "competitions":
    1) ascending as high as you can in Gladiator's circuit
    2) accumulating as many points as you can for milestones and rank rewards

    There is no strategy in GC where losing matches (not rounds) benefits you. But there is for accumulating points for milestones and rank rewards. This is why there are divergent opinions, because some players view those competitions holistically and others view them independently i.e., it doesn't matter my W/L ratio or placement in GC if I just get a ton of points for rank rewards.
  • WinterFieldsWinterFields Posts: 570 ★★★
    Corkscrew said:

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    I don't see them as mutually exclusive; I would even suggest that most competitors participate in unsportsmanlike behavior as a means to get a strategic advantage, not just because they feel like it.

    The problem is that you have two "competitions":
    1) ascending as high as you can in Gladiator's circuit
    2) accumulating as many points as you can for milestones and rank rewards

    There is no strategy in GC where losing matches (not rounds) benefits you. But there is for accumulating points for milestones and rank rewards. This is why there are divergent opinions, because some players view those competitions holistically and others view them independently i.e., it doesn't matter my W/L ratio or placement in GC if I just get a ton of points for rank rewards.
    It really comes down to asking, "Do ends justify the means?" People who answer yes are more likely to view point farming as no big deal and a great strategy. Those who answer no are more likely to be against it
  • Bugmat78Bugmat78 Posts: 2,077 ★★★★★
    Corkscrew said:

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    I don't see them as mutually exclusive; I would even suggest that most competitors participate in unsportsmanlike behavior as a means to get a strategic advantage, not just because they feel like it.

    The problem is that you have two "competitions":
    1) ascending as high as you can in Gladiator's circuit
    2) accumulating as many points as you can for milestones and rank rewards

    There is no strategy in GC where losing matches (not rounds) benefits you. But there is for accumulating points for milestones and rank rewards. This is why there are divergent opinions, because some players view those competitions holistically and others view them independently i.e., it doesn't matter my W/L ratio or placement in GC if I just get a ton of points for rank rewards.
    Correct.
  • startropicsstartropics Posts: 372 ★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    the system incentivizes farming because marks give more points and players want to maximize their solo points while not impacting their placement in the gladiator circuit at the same time. seeding players a step away from GC incentivizes this even more.

    the solution is carrot, not stick. change the rules, seeding, and point structure to incentivize pushing in GC. it's their game of course, but banning for common sense optimization is overkill. this is not like win-trading (literally playing against yourself) or shelling in AW (although some will argue it's similar).
  • StatureStature Posts: 416 ★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    the system incentivizes farming because marks give more points and players want to maximize their solo points while not impacting their placement in the gladiator circuit at the same time. seeding players a step away from GC incentivizes this even more.

    the solution is carrot, not stick. change the rules, seeding, and point structure to incentivize pushing in GC. it's their game of course, but banning for common sense optimization is overkill. this is not like win-trading (literally playing against yourself) or shelling in AW (although some will argue it's similar).
    There is no need to farm to hit any milestones. Normal play is sufficient.
  • WinterFieldsWinterFields Posts: 570 ★★★

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    the system incentivizes farming because marks give more points and players want to maximize their solo points while not impacting their placement in the gladiator circuit at the same time. seeding players a step away from GC incentivizes this even more.

    the solution is carrot, not stick. change the rules, seeding, and point structure to incentivize pushing in GC. it's their game of course, but banning for common sense optimization is overkill. this is not like win-trading (literally playing against yourself) or shelling in AW (although some will argue it's similar).
    We will just have to agree to disagree. Sometimes the "most efficient" way to do something isn't the way it should be done. It is Kabam's game, so it is ultimately up to them to define the boundaries of the mode
  • startropicsstartropics Posts: 372 ★★★
    Stature said:

    1. bannable
    2. unsportsmanlike
    3. strategic advantage

    it falls into category #3.

    there are degrees of strategic advantage that go from acceptable (nick fury second life trick) to bad (aw shelling, declining in bgs) to really bad (win trading, modding, botting).

    farming is lame but it's within the "normal" range of strategy. you can farm sidequest objectives in RTL, potions, revives, energy refills, and in other games farm extra lives and other things.

    of course it's kabam's game and they can set whatever rules they like but this intrudes on player strategy a little too much.

    How would farming not fall into category 2? You're cherry picking your matches to intentionally face weaker opponents and avoiding the harder ones. Maybe we define unsportsmanlike differently, but I don't consider throwing matches proper behavior
    the system incentivizes farming because marks give more points and players want to maximize their solo points while not impacting their placement in the gladiator circuit at the same time. seeding players a step away from GC incentivizes this even more.

    the solution is carrot, not stick. change the rules, seeding, and point structure to incentivize pushing in GC. it's their game of course, but banning for common sense optimization is overkill. this is not like win-trading (literally playing against yourself) or shelling in AW (although some will argue it's similar).
    There is no need to farm to hit any milestones. Normal play is sufficient.
    technically there's no need to heal or use boosts in alliance war, but players do it anyway because it's optimizes their chances of winning.

    players, especially those seeded right before the gladiator circuit are having to decide between solo milestones and their rank in the GC and farming is the most common sense strategy to achieve the best of both worlds.

    the incentives needs to change, and i don't think punishment is the best choice. maybe it's just me, but gaining a competitive edge in a competitive mode with a common sense strategy shouldn't be ban-worthy. it's not like modding, arena botting, or win trading. but that's just me and you're free to disagree.
  • StatureStature Posts: 416 ★★★

    technically there's no need to heal or use boosts in alliance war, but players do it anyway because it's optimizes their chances of winning.

    players, especially those seeded right before the gladiator circuit are having to decide between solo milestones and their rank in the GC and farming is the most common sense strategy to achieve the best of both worlds.

    the incentives needs to change, and i don't think punishment is the best choice. maybe it's just me, but gaining a competitive edge in a competitive mode with a common sense strategy shouldn't be ban-worthy. it's not like modding, arena botting, or win trading. but that's just me and you're free to disagree.

    Farming has negative externalities. Each match has two players and both have to spend energy/elder marks for it. People farming are effectively socialising their excess losses by camping in lower tiers. At an individual level it might be the most optimal, but someone else is paying for it. So it's only fair that such a behaviour is punished.
  • SnizzbarSnizzbar Posts: 2,138 ★★★★★
    What is points farming again? Is it just entering a BG and losing on purpose to get the completion points? Or am I missing something somewhere?
  • DNA3000 said:


    All cheating can be described as "optimizing time vs reward." Some things you just aren't allowed to optimize. This is true in every game, sport, and competition that exists.

    That’s just not correct. “Cheating” and “Optimizing” simply aren’t the same thing… Just think about all that “Tax Optimization” of big corp…
    Of course it is not correct. But I didn't say it was true, I said all cheating can be described in that way. Usually by cheaters, or people thinking of cheating.
  • Snizzbar said:

    What is points farming again? Is it just entering a BG and losing on purpose to get the completion points? Or am I missing something somewhere?

    Well, point farming is when you farm points, and everyone does that. But when we talk about point farming in the context of anti-competitive behavior, we're talking specifically about using a strategy of trying to always win when you use marks, because you get a lot more points when you use marks. If you just use marks and play normally, sometimes you will win and sometimes you will lose. If you could win every time, that would generate more points. But it isn't easy to win all the time if you play normally, even for very strong players.

    However, a reasonably strong player can dramatically increase their probability of winning by seeking out a VT tier in which they happen to be much stronger than the average players in that tier. If they only play there, they can increase their win percentage by a lot. The problem is if they win a lot, they will promote to a higher tier where their win percentage might be lower.

    So the trick is to win a few with marks, then deliberately lose a few to stay in that VT tier. When you decide to deliberately lose, you don't waste marks on those matches, you use energy. So you end up losing with energy, then winning with marks (most or all of the time) while hovering in a VT tier. This can significantly increase the amount of points you earn per match on average.

    The problem is that because you aren't really competing normally anymore, you are behaving almost like a bot that is winning and losing at about a 50% rate, almost randomly. This can have side effects: two in particular. Firstly, you are distorting the competition and promotion ladder. By handing out wins and losses at about a 50% rate, you are obviously reducing the win rate of stronger than average players in that tier, while increasing the win rate of weaker players in that tier. A player who would ordinarily have a 65% win rate against the competition that would normally be in that tier will have a 50/50 win rate when they randomly run into the farmer. Meanwhile a player stuck in that tier with a 30% win rate will also have a 50% win rate when they run into the farmer. The presence of farmers thus distorts the competition by causing more weaker players to promote than if they didn't exist, while slowing down the promotion rate of the stronger players in that tier (unless they are stronger than the farmer).

    And secondly, the farmer creates a psychological perception problem. Strong players are supposed to promote, which means over time they leave lower VT tiers and enter higher ones, and eventually (if they are strong enough) they promote into GC. Weaker players should see VT tiers slowly deplete themselves of stronger players, giving them an easier time to promote over time. That's intentional. But farmers linger in lower tiers longer than they should, and as a result that tier appears to contain much stronger players than it should. This can increase the perception that progress is hopeless, or severely blocked, when players run into the farmers, even if they happen to get lucky and win (because the farmer is currently trying to lose). Their mere presence reinforces a narrative that BG is dominated by mega accounts at all tiers, reducing the incentive to participate.

    For those reasons among others, farming by deliberately losing to maintain a VT tier and gain points by match/cost manipulation is considered anti-competitive behavior, and thus a bannable offense.
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