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One way to encourage participation in Battlegrounds (without messing with the competition)

2

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    VaniteliaVanitelia Posts: 386 ★★★
    I like some of the fresh perspectives and suggestions. We need more of this. With that said, there are a few persistent problems with BG;s.

    - I agree that the alliance component of BG's need to be removed. It forces people to play which isn't a good thing. We see minimums and the constant messaging about it in LINE/Discord chats. If someone doesn't want to play a solo competitive mode, it shouldn't impact their place in their alliance. Leave alliance stuff to AQ and AW.

    - Victory Track needs an overhaul, specifically the medal system. Do away with that and make a system that is based on number of wins in each level. They could even make a points a system where wins are 5 points and playing the mode gives you 1 and you need x number of points to reach the next level. That way, when a lower level account comes up against a bigger one, it becomes more of a learning experience than it does a punishment.

    - With the last point in mind, they could also value wins against stronger opposition more than wins against lower tiers. Have a point multiplier based on battleground rating. This rating could be based on where you've finished in previous seasons. We have something like this in AW already. Additional points can be earned for GC wins to encourage progression from VT to GC.

    - We need to have 2 BG's. One for accounts through TB and then another for Paragon and up. The gap in rosters is only going to widen when 8.4 drops. With every other solo game mode operating on progression tiers, BG's should be doing the same. Rewards can be centered around roster mats to get those lower accounts stronger. It can be an alternative to story content.

    - I have said this in previous posts but having one meta for 4 weeks is a bummer. I hope they go back to the 2 meta system for the season.

    - We need to have some sort of whitelist. What's the point of having the newer champs when they are always banned? Even when the opponent have them, they still ban them. We end up playing the same matches with the same matchups which makes for a not-so-fun experience.

    I'll try to think of more but there's so much potential with BG's. I have gotten into the cycle of only playing when objectives reset. I do make it to GC every season (got there with 12 days remaining in the season this go round) and I was in Arcane I at the get go which isn't a good sign for participation this season.
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    Drago_von_DragoDrago_von_Drago Posts: 781 ★★★★
    I think quarterly or semi-annual reward updates should be standard and would help keep participation up.

    I also think the fun factor is the issue for everyone outside the top tier of players.

    In theory, everyone should naturally fall into the bracket they deserve to be in based on their roster/skill. In reality, with a limited pool of players, you can get lucky or unlucky with a string of matchmaking and move up a tier or two or get stuck for an extended period of time.

    For BG purposes “stronger” means a combination of skill and roster.

    In theory, stronger players will rise to the highest ranks and GC and that will allow reasonable competition in the lower brackets. In reality, people start grinding at different points in the season and the seeding system helps but still leads to strong accounts in lower brackets.

    I’d like to see a casual mode with a solid matchmaking system. I know that’s what lower VT is but once you’re out of that, the fun can disappear after the 5th match in a row against a stacked roster.

    We could have the competitive track for those that want to compete and be the best of the best and a casual track that people can play and expect a 50%ish win ratio all season long.

    I don’t know how you keep casual/club league/amateur players interested when they could have to compete with olympians/world champions 5-10 matches in a row. That just isn’t fun in a game mode like this.

    A casual mode with some reasonable participation rewards would let people fall back on something when they cap out in the competitive track and hit the point they are losing constantly. It would let them keep practicing and enjoying the mode to build their skills for the next season and maintain interest instead of them giving up on the mode all together.
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    StatureStature Posts: 426 ★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    Suppose we split up the solo leaderboard, making rank rewards for each progression tier. Uncollected and lower (because sometimes lower tier players get a pass into BG), Cav, TB, Paragon and higher (because at the moment there aren't all that many Valiants: giving them their own leaderboard doesn't make sense when essentially everyone would place highly). Each progression tier would be competing for those rewards separately. The #1 UC would get the #1 rank rewards for UC, completely independent of the #1 Paragon and higher player getting the #1 reward for that separate leaderboard.

    A simpler way would be to have a common store for BG instead of a progression gated one. The main reason lower progression players don't care for the mode is that they get practically nothing even if they win against bigger accounts. BG does very little for progression of UC - Paragon accounts relative to the time investment required. Personally, it doesn't make sense that rewards of winning a fight depends on status of the competitors outside the competition while matchmaking doesn't. You can claim everyone wins the same tokens, but that's not how most people view rewards. It is a very obvious way to limit rewards and discriminate between the player base while maintaining a thin facade of competition.

    If you are ok handing out 15K 7-star shares, 6-star AG and other things to UC players as rank rewards, then the economy argument doesn't hold in terms of giving the same players a few hundred shards a season. Rank rewards are not going to incentivise more play from lower progression players beyond a season or two. It will end up being dominated by modders and bots and real players will quickly realise it is one more futile effort where they are just treated as fodder to hand rewards to top end spenders.
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    Webby72Webby72 Posts: 254 ★★
    edited March 26
    Honestly, one thing I think could be a way to improve turn out of lower-progression players without impacting the difficulty or structure of bgs at all could be the introduction of revives, potions, aq energy refills and similar (or other materials for story/EQ/incursions etc) in the store. This encourages players who otherwise wouldn’t to play bgs for easier/quicker access to things like potions or boosts.

    This could also lead players who already play bgs to perhaps spend a little on the new materials, making roster progression slow slightly and make it easier to ‘punch up’ as a high tb against an average para, assuming the para spends on these mats and the tb does not. Any kind of tightening of the gap between accounts I feel would also help entice players into bgs.

    Feel like you’re struggling? Don’t buy boosts (or similar) while others ahead of you do buy them and you will progress faster than you otherwise would relative to those around you.
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    SirGamesBondSirGamesBond Posts: 4,515 ★★★★★
    As a player with same set of goals for every single season.
    I do not hoard EMs for future season, I'm left with ~3k marks at the end.
    Solo Score have been consistent forever.
    Stays in Mysterium.

    Whatever the changes may be.
    I don't see myself pushing much more than what I normally do. I don't get burnt out, I don't push much, I don't underscore either.
    I get my required solo score during week 3 early week4. And I keep to energy after that.

    Stay sane. The changes to milestones will only make me use EMs instead of energy.
    I can guarantee that I probably play the same I do every season. I'm comfortably numbly satisfied where I'm at vs the sweaty pushers
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    Rayven5220Rayven5220 Posts: 2,020 ★★★★★
    Stature said:

    DNA3000 said:

    Suppose we split up the solo leaderboard, making rank rewards for each progression tier. Uncollected and lower (because sometimes lower tier players get a pass into BG), Cav, TB, Paragon and higher (because at the moment there aren't all that many Valiants: giving them their own leaderboard doesn't make sense when essentially everyone would place highly). Each progression tier would be competing for those rewards separately. The #1 UC would get the #1 rank rewards for UC, completely independent of the #1 Paragon and higher player getting the #1 reward for that separate leaderboard.

    A simpler way would be to have a common store for BG instead of a progression gated one. The main reason lower progression players don't care for the mode is that they get practically nothing even if they win against bigger accounts. BG does very little for progression of UC - Paragon accounts relative to the time investment required. Personally, it doesn't make sense that rewards of winning a fight depends on status of the competitors outside the competition while matchmaking doesn't. You can claim everyone wins the same tokens, but that's not how most people view rewards. It is a very obvious way to limit rewards and discriminate between the player base while maintaining a thin facade of competition.

    If you are ok handing out 15K 7-star shares, 6-star AG and other things to UC players as rank rewards, then the economy argument doesn't hold in terms of giving the same players a few hundred shards a season. Rank rewards are not going to incentivise more play from lower progression players beyond a season or two. It will end up being dominated by modders and bots and real players will quickly realise it is one more futile effort where they are just treated as fodder to hand rewards to top end spenders.
    A common store? I don't think that's anywhere near a good idea, lol

    So we all get the same tokens every 2 days, token based on our progression up the ladder, but a cav/TB player should get the same store as me, being Valiant?

    Good way to completely shatter the game economy, and make the whole game way too easy for lower tier players is all that succeeds in doing.

    Here Mr TB, here's some t6cc, t6b and t3a pretty cheap to r5 a bunch of champs to make it 150x easier to become paragon and Valiant.
    Lmao
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    Double_HelixDouble_Helix Posts: 50
    I don't think this proposal is a viable solution in the current VT structure, @DNA3000, even though I like the motivation behind it. Because of the matchmaking parameters in upper-VT, there's simply a point at which accounts below Paragon will struggle to win at all. This will badly compress any leaderboard for, say, Cavalier accounts, because most people will take about the same amount of wins to climb to Platinum, and then the leaderboard will simply count who stuck around to take them most lopsided losses.

    This is why I proposed nixing VT entirely in the other thread, and sticking with fairer ELO-based matchmaking mixed with a point system that rewards stronger players for facing stronger opponents, and included appropriate participation milestones along the way (some of which would be unreachable at low ELO ratings).
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    Ironman3000Ironman3000 Posts: 1,922 ★★★★★
    I think you're overcomplicating the issue. It all comes down to a simple Business 101 cost/benefit analysis. Does the time/stress cost of playing BGs properly justify the rewards? In almost all cases the answer is "no".

    Because of how the rewards are currently set, Valiants can play every 48 hours and get all the wins needed to get into the GC, while hitting the objectives. The benefit of playing more matches, after getting all 4 objectives, does not outweigh the cost of playing. The most obvious solution would be to increase the solo/ally points earned in the GC as well as add additional GC-only objectives. That would give players a reason to push into the GC, opening up the top levels of the VT to lower players.

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    ItsClobberinTimeItsClobberinTime Posts: 4,272 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    I don't think it's a bad idea and I do like it but I don't think it would encourage Valiants to grind harder which is the main issue right now.

    Lower tier players should not be seeing those Valuants at all until they get to Platinum 2 or 1. They are seeing them now probably because there are fewer low tier players looking for match. It is not enough to encourage the Valiants to promote faster, if there aren’t enough lower tier players looking for match.

    If more lower tier players are encouraged to jump in, that will also reduce the strength of the average player in every tier, which will encourage higher Paragons and lower Valiants to compete more because they will get less stuck.
    Yeah but that would still mean Valiants would be climbing up at the rest of the progressions' expenses when really we should be trying to get Valiants to climb up before the rest of the progression titles even get there. Maybe not all of them but most of them, and from what I've been reading in other threads most Valiants just don't have a reason to continue playing after getting the two day objectives done.
    If anything this is only going to cause more complaints from lower progression titles, not to mention it won't really encourage Valiants to get to GC. I can guarantee you most of them would stay in the VT farming for points for the ranked rewards, it's already happened before it would probably happen again.
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    edricedric Posts: 62
    DNA3000 said:

    I'm sure it is obvious to everyone playing BGs that participation is down, especially for lower progress players. This has made the competition skew higher, making progress more difficult for most players, and especially for lower progress players, even at lower VT tiers. And the more those players decide to opt out, the harder it becomes for those who remain, creating a positive reinforcement loop: the more players opt out, the more difficult and grindy it becomes, the more players are encouraged to opt out.

    We need an opposite force pushing in the opposite direction. We need a way to encourage players to participate, and the fewer the number that do, the more incentive there is to return. People have suggested all sorts of changes to BG, most of which (I believe) are unworkable. For example, mandating "fair match ups" where lower progress players never have to face higher ones. We've already done that, we know it is totally broken, we shouldn't try it a second time. Another suggestion is to completely split up BG, give the lower progress players their own mode, and the higher players their own mode, so they never interact at all. This seems equally unworkable, not only because it has all the problems of equal roster match ups, but it adds an additional wrinkle that it punishes lower progress players who are exceptionally good. Where ever you draw the line, there will be players who fall into the lower bracket by virtue of their progression tier or roster strength but *could* compete in the higher bracket due to skill. This would punish such players.

    One idea that might work is to use the mechanism that already exists to encourage participation: the objectives and non-competitive events, in particular the solo event. These systems reward players primarily for participation, but they can only give out so many rewards before they become unbalancing and detract from the point of the mode, which is to reward the strongest competitors with the best rewards.

    But there actually is a competitive element to the solo event: besides milestone rewards, it also has ranked rewards. And they are pretty good rewards, especially at the top. The problem is that those rewards generally require enormous activity to get higher ranks for, and you're competing against everyone, including highly active very strong players. So what if you were not?

    Suppose we split up the solo leaderboard, making rank rewards for each progression tier. Uncollected and lower (because sometimes lower tier players get a pass into BG), Cav, TB, Paragon and higher (because at the moment there aren't all that many Valiants: giving them their own leaderboard doesn't make sense when essentially everyone would place highly). Each progression tier would be competing for those rewards separately. The #1 UC would get the #1 rank rewards for UC, completely independent of the #1 Paragon and higher player getting the #1 reward for that separate leaderboard.

    The idea here is that when there are a lot of players in a particular progression tier participating, the incentive for participating is relatively low, because you have a lot of players competing for those rank rewards. But when participation drops, and there are fewer players playing, the incentive to participate increases, because now there are fewer players chasing those rewards. The odds of placing higher grows, and the return on investment for time spent is also higher.

    This has the opposite effect that the mode is currently facing where the more players opt out, the more hostile the mode becomes. Here, the more players opt out, the more rewarding the mode becomes for who's left. But only if they participate, because the solo event leaderboard rewards activity. If you're willing to compete, if you're willing to queue up and take your chances, that''s how you get those rewards.

    This encourages participation without directly bribing players to play. And it still encourages players to win, because you score more points when you win. The system already exists, and it already exists to do exactly what I'm suggesting it do: it tries to encourage participation, whether you actually advance in VT or not. By making each progression tier independent, that encouragement gets focused on where it needs to go: towards the progression tiers that are being most turned away from the mode.


    The biggest objection I can anticipate here is: it is not appropriate to give the #1 (active) UC player those huge rank rewards. Except they already have a shot at them now. We're all in the same leaderboard all shooting for the same rank rewards now. Everyone has a shot at those rewards, and apparently that's fine now. The difference here would be that a) Kabam would be giving out collectively more of them (by virtue of having multiple leaderboards) and b) lower participation equals more rewards concentrated into who's left still playing, which is intentional. I think this is a valid but not fatal objection. We're increasing reward flow into the game, but not by an unmanageable amount.

    You are assuming a) Kabam WANTS more participation in battlegrounds and
    b) Kabam is absolutely HAPPY to dish out rewards. The question you should be asking is does less participation in battlegrounds affect the revenue Kabam gets from competitive players? Please allow me to quote your first paragraph because it is really eloquently put:

    "I'm sure it is obvious to everyone playing BGs that participation is down, especially for lower progress players. This has made the competition skew higher, making progress more difficult for most players, and especially for lower progress players, even at lower VT tiers. And the more those players decide to opt out, the harder it becomes for those who remain, creating a positive reinforcement loop: the more players opt out, the more difficult and grindy it becomes, the more players are encouraged to opt out"

    Now, what if the players who remain are the competitive monsters who have no problem spending cash on tokens, victory shields and shuffle signets? I'm sure you have already seen a piggy bank deal on these above items right now in the store. Mere coincidence? Lol
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    DeaconDeacon Posts: 4,169 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    Deacon said:

    There's really nothing that should trump trying to get a proper balance of matchmaking going ... my roster is no slouch by any stretch but the kind of rosters I face make even mine seem inadequate.

    There is one thing, and that is what the mode is supposed to emphasize. The mode is about fair competition, not fair matches. If people have less skill, it is not a fair match up for them to face higher killed players in the sense that they will be at a severe disadvantage, but that's the point. We want more knowledgeable players to have an advantage. We want more skilled players to have an advantage. And like it or not, we want players with stronger rosters to have an advantage. Neutralizing that advantage runs contrary to the fundamentals of the game.

    We want the strongest players to come out on top. Strongest. Not strongest among their age group, or strongest among people of their height, and not strongest among all the players who happened to not have completed Act 6 yet. None of those things matter, or should matter. We want the strongest players to move up, and the weakest to move downward.

    If you don't want that, there are other parts of the game that don't have that. But Battlegrounds is for the players that do. It is not about excluding players who don't want that, it is about accepting that there are players who do, and the mode is for them. Just like Alliance war is for players who want that sort of thing, and the arena is for players who want that sort of thing. We can try to make Battlegrounds as palatable and admitting as we can, but not at the expense of defying its original purpose. If we make lower progress players happy by handing them easy (yes, easy) matches all the time at the expense of making the higher progress players angry that lower progress players are overtaking them without ever having to face them, that's not an equal trade off. That's a complete failure.

    That's what I mean when I say this is an attempt to encourage participation without tampering with the competition. Nothing I'm suggesting disadvantages higher progress players. Noting I'm suggesting is handing lower progress players any special treatment in the Victory Track specifically. What I'm suggesting acknowledges that lower participation makes things arbitrarily harder for everyone, and lower progress players more than anyone, and attacking the participation levels in a competition-neutral way benefits everyone playing the mode without altering the fundamentals of the competitive elements of the mode. Players will still end up where their competitive potential dictates. They might just be more willing to push harder to reach that potential.
    i'm in sync with what you're suggesting ... i agree with where you're aiming.
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    BringPopcornBringPopcorn Posts: 3,637 ★★★★★
    There is one concept that is impossible to apply and trying to apply it brought us here, with no real way to resolve it other than trying to patch holes.
    There is absolutely NO WAY, to make everyone happy on a PvP mode in a gacha game.
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    Jaycray81Jaycray81 Posts: 370 ★★
    What if they gave a weekly reward to GC accounts. Say, 1.5k 7* shards rewarded to accounts every week they are in GC. This may push accounts that can easily push to GC to do it earlier.
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    StatureStature Posts: 426 ★★★
    edited March 26

    Stature said:

    DNA3000 said:

    Suppose we split up the solo leaderboard, making rank rewards for each progression tier. Uncollected and lower (because sometimes lower tier players get a pass into BG), Cav, TB, Paragon and higher (because at the moment there aren't all that many Valiants: giving them their own leaderboard doesn't make sense when essentially everyone would place highly). Each progression tier would be competing for those rewards separately. The #1 UC would get the #1 rank rewards for UC, completely independent of the #1 Paragon and higher player getting the #1 reward for that separate leaderboard.

    A simpler way would be to have a common store for BG instead of a progression gated one. The main reason lower progression players don't care for the mode is that they get practically nothing even if they win against bigger accounts. BG does very little for progression of UC - Paragon accounts relative to the time investment required. Personally, it doesn't make sense that rewards of winning a fight depends on status of the competitors outside the competition while matchmaking doesn't. You can claim everyone wins the same tokens, but that's not how most people view rewards. It is a very obvious way to limit rewards and discriminate between the player base while maintaining a thin facade of competition.

    If you are ok handing out 15K 7-star shares, 6-star AG and other things to UC players as rank rewards, then the economy argument doesn't hold in terms of giving the same players a few hundred shards a season. Rank rewards are not going to incentivise more play from lower progression players beyond a season or two. It will end up being dominated by modders and bots and real players will quickly realise it is one more futile effort where they are just treated as fodder to hand rewards to top end spenders.
    A common store? I don't think that's anywhere near a good idea, lol

    So we all get the same tokens every 2 days, token based on our progression up the ladder, but a cav/TB player should get the same store as me, being Valiant?

    Good way to completely shatter the game economy, and make the whole game way too easy for lower tier players is all that succeeds in doing.

    Here Mr TB, here's some t6cc, t6b and t3a pretty cheap to r5 a bunch of champs to make it 150x easier to become paragon and Valiant.
    Lmao
    It's a competition, no? Which competition treats competitors differentially? You beat a Cav and you get T6CC, if they beat you, they get T4B. Then you are surprised they aren't interested in the game mode. There are many other game modes to get those materials without the ridiculousness of BG.

    The thread is about how to improve BG participation. Mainly from smaller accounts. I'm telling you why they don't play the mode. Even OP agrees they aren't incentivised enough to play the mode. You can either chose to increase incentives or be comfortable with status quo (which is continued decline in participation).

    None of this is a surprise, many of us predicted that BG participation from smaller accounts will go down in the current structure. Only times it improved were the two seasons where solo rewards were improved significantly.

    There are only 2 ways to realistically drive participation up in a sustainable manner. Buff solo rewards a lot or reduce the gap between stores. Currently for smaller accounts, there is no progression to be had and the rewards are not worth it. Unattainable rank rewards are not going to change anything.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    BigBlueOx said:

    DNA3000 said:

    jdschw said:

    Wozzle007 said:

    There definitely needs to be something to encourage more players at lower tiers. In the last 2 seasons I only lost 2 fights total on the road to gladiator circuit (although didn’t really push until the last week). This season, not quite a straight forward so much. Everyone's Valiant roster is huge and it’s becoming a 50/50 win rate in Vibranium for me. If it wasn’t for the Deathless King Groot piece I wouldn’t play any more this season. I’ll push again over the weekend.

    Wait...what? There's no DKG piece in this season's BG rewards. Unless I'm missing something?

    To the OP: if the goal is simply to increase participation, why is this any more complicated than improving the solo BG milestone rewards and/or the BG store for lower tiers?
    I think they meant to refer to the Nightcrawler tokens.

    As to why not just increase rewards. What’s the correct level to raise them to? We know what’s going to happen for any reasonable boost to rewards. Everyone is going to praise them for a couple months, then get used to them and start bemoaning them being outdated and not worth pursuing.

    Giving each “progression” its own rank rewards means there is no uniform buff to the rewards. Instead, the less people who play, the bigger the rewards are on average for everyone who does play. If the players get numb to the rewards and start expecting more, the act of dropping out makes the rewards juicier for those left. If a lot of people drop out, the rank rewards will automatically become better incentives for players to jump in.
    Just to be clear this wouldn’t just be rank rewards but also solo milestones being progression based, right?

    I ask because currently, one of the flaws in the solo milestones is that they account for 5 progression tiers with an insane gap between the lowest and the highest accounts. There’s no way to balance rewards that are enticing for high end accounts with the fact that they’d be far too rich for lower accounts outside of completely scraping the current systems in favor of trophy tokens for the store, but even that addresses the need for progression segregated milestones as the stores are progression based.

    If the proposal is only for rank rewards to change and people have to wait the full season… I doubt things would change as daily participation is more likely to be influenced by the immediate rewards or tiered chase journey along the way to the season end payout.
    That's an interesting perspective. Doesn't that also simultaneously argue that any boost to Gladiator Circuit rewards to encourage Valiants to push harder will also very likely fail, because those are also end of season rewards?
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian

    I don't think this proposal is a viable solution in the current VT structure, @DNA3000, even though I like the motivation behind it. Because of the matchmaking parameters in upper-VT, there's simply a point at which accounts below Paragon will struggle to win at all. This will badly compress any leaderboard for, say, Cavalier accounts, because most people will take about the same amount of wins to climb to Platinum, and then the leaderboard will simply count who stuck around to take them most lopsided losses.

    This is why I proposed nixing VT entirely in the other thread, and sticking with fairer ELO-based matchmaking mixed with a point system that rewards stronger players for facing stronger opponents, and included appropriate participation milestones along the way (some of which would be unreachable at low ELO ratings).

    This would be far more punishing. Unless you believe that Kabam would in effect put everyone into GC right from the start and keep Uru rewards (and the rest of the ladder) where they are.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian

    I think you're overcomplicating the issue. It all comes down to a simple Business 101 cost/benefit analysis. Does the time/stress cost of playing BGs properly justify the rewards? In almost all cases the answer is "no".

    Because of how the rewards are currently set, Valiants can play every 48 hours and get all the wins needed to get into the GC, while hitting the objectives. The benefit of playing more matches, after getting all 4 objectives, does not outweigh the cost of playing. The most obvious solution would be to increase the solo/ally points earned in the GC as well as add additional GC-only objectives. That would give players a reason to push into the GC, opening up the top levels of the VT to lower players.

    To be blunt, that type of analysis oversimplifies the situation to the point of not leading to viable solutions. Battlegrounds is not a job. It is not the responsibility of Kabam to keep increasing the rewards until enough players play it. That ignores the fact that the rewards you're handing out are constrained by all sorts of other factors, factors the local cost/benefit analysis ignores.

    Heck, even real world businesses do not operate in that fashion. They do not simply directly alter the cost/benefit equation until they are equal in all cases, because they also do not operate in an world of infinite resources.

    In the real world, and in game economy design, you have a resource budget. That budget is a bit more abstract and complex in game economy design than it is in most real world situations where the primary constraint is cold hard cash, but that's just a small detail. I don't know what that reward budget is specifically, but I can infer it from the game itself, which is generally operating at or near that budget. Whenever I propose a suggestion that uses rewards in any fashion, I try to do so with the minimum amount of reward increase possible, because every reward I include in a suggestion increases the probability that it will be seen as exceeding the reward budget of the game and be rejected instantly on that basis.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    edric said:

    DNA3000 said:

    I'm sure it is obvious to everyone playing BGs that participation is down, especially for lower progress players. This has made the competition skew higher, making progress more difficult for most players, and especially for lower progress players, even at lower VT tiers. And the more those players decide to opt out, the harder it becomes for those who remain, creating a positive reinforcement loop: the more players opt out, the more difficult and grindy it becomes, the more players are encouraged to opt out.

    We need an opposite force pushing in the opposite direction. We need a way to encourage players to participate, and the fewer the number that do, the more incentive there is to return. People have suggested all sorts of changes to BG, most of which (I believe) are unworkable. For example, mandating "fair match ups" where lower progress players never have to face higher ones. We've already done that, we know it is totally broken, we shouldn't try it a second time. Another suggestion is to completely split up BG, give the lower progress players their own mode, and the higher players their own mode, so they never interact at all. This seems equally unworkable, not only because it has all the problems of equal roster match ups, but it adds an additional wrinkle that it punishes lower progress players who are exceptionally good. Where ever you draw the line, there will be players who fall into the lower bracket by virtue of their progression tier or roster strength but *could* compete in the higher bracket due to skill. This would punish such players.

    One idea that might work is to use the mechanism that already exists to encourage participation: the objectives and non-competitive events, in particular the solo event. These systems reward players primarily for participation, but they can only give out so many rewards before they become unbalancing and detract from the point of the mode, which is to reward the strongest competitors with the best rewards.

    But there actually is a competitive element to the solo event: besides milestone rewards, it also has ranked rewards. And they are pretty good rewards, especially at the top. The problem is that those rewards generally require enormous activity to get higher ranks for, and you're competing against everyone, including highly active very strong players. So what if you were not?

    Suppose we split up the solo leaderboard, making rank rewards for each progression tier. Uncollected and lower (because sometimes lower tier players get a pass into BG), Cav, TB, Paragon and higher (because at the moment there aren't all that many Valiants: giving them their own leaderboard doesn't make sense when essentially everyone would place highly). Each progression tier would be competing for those rewards separately. The #1 UC would get the #1 rank rewards for UC, completely independent of the #1 Paragon and higher player getting the #1 reward for that separate leaderboard.

    The idea here is that when there are a lot of players in a particular progression tier participating, the incentive for participating is relatively low, because you have a lot of players competing for those rank rewards. But when participation drops, and there are fewer players playing, the incentive to participate increases, because now there are fewer players chasing those rewards. The odds of placing higher grows, and the return on investment for time spent is also higher.

    This has the opposite effect that the mode is currently facing where the more players opt out, the more hostile the mode becomes. Here, the more players opt out, the more rewarding the mode becomes for who's left. But only if they participate, because the solo event leaderboard rewards activity. If you're willing to compete, if you're willing to queue up and take your chances, that''s how you get those rewards.

    This encourages participation without directly bribing players to play. And it still encourages players to win, because you score more points when you win. The system already exists, and it already exists to do exactly what I'm suggesting it do: it tries to encourage participation, whether you actually advance in VT or not. By making each progression tier independent, that encouragement gets focused on where it needs to go: towards the progression tiers that are being most turned away from the mode.


    The biggest objection I can anticipate here is: it is not appropriate to give the #1 (active) UC player those huge rank rewards. Except they already have a shot at them now. We're all in the same leaderboard all shooting for the same rank rewards now. Everyone has a shot at those rewards, and apparently that's fine now. The difference here would be that a) Kabam would be giving out collectively more of them (by virtue of having multiple leaderboards) and b) lower participation equals more rewards concentrated into who's left still playing, which is intentional. I think this is a valid but not fatal objection. We're increasing reward flow into the game, but not by an unmanageable amount.

    You are assuming a) Kabam WANTS more participation in battlegrounds and
    b) Kabam is absolutely HAPPY to dish out rewards. The question you should be asking is does less participation in battlegrounds affect the revenue Kabam gets from competitive players? Please allow me to quote your first paragraph because it is really eloquently put:

    "I'm sure it is obvious to everyone playing BGs that participation is down, especially for lower progress players. This has made the competition skew higher, making progress more difficult for most players, and especially for lower progress players, even at lower VT tiers. And the more those players decide to opt out, the harder it becomes for those who remain, creating a positive reinforcement loop: the more players opt out, the more difficult and grindy it becomes, the more players are encouraged to opt out"

    Now, what if the players who remain are the competitive monsters who have no problem spending cash on tokens, victory shields and shuffle signets? I'm sure you have already seen a piggy bank deal on these above items right now in the store. Mere coincidence? Lol
    That''s a good point, or rather two of them. To address them individually:

    a) Do I think Kabam wants more participation? Actually, I don't know. I am hypothesizing that the problems many (but not all) players are facing are participation related, and increased participation would help alleviate them (I touch on that in the OP). I don't know that Kabam wants more participation directly, but I am reasonably certain that Kabam would like to address some of the problems players have been expressing in their own ways. Almost certainly any solution anyone comes up with will likely directly or indirectly act to increase overall participation.

    [Incidentally, I should define "participation" here to refer to number of matches played per day, across all tiers, and across all eligible player populations. For reasons.]

    b) Kabam is absolutely not happy to dish out rewards without good reason. See my previous post. In my opinion, my suggestion adds a relatively small amount of rewards to the system, compared to most other suggestions that propose adding rewards. Rank rewards are progressive, and thus are concentrated into a smaller subset of the players that qualify for them. They are therefore self-moderating, as I mention in the OP. Whether that is still too much or not is a judgment call, and one I am betting isn't budget-breaking. But I could be wrong, and I haven't specifically asked an economy designer that specific question.
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    GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 36,386 ★★★★★

    There is one concept that is impossible to apply and trying to apply it brought us here, with no real way to resolve it other than trying to patch holes.
    There is absolutely NO WAY, to make everyone happy on a PvP mode in a gacha game.

    I would agree with this. Happiness isn't really a goal in these discussions for me. At least not in the overall sense. For me, it's about an optimal experience. Which means the effort lands somewhere in the vicinity of the reward. That reward also needs to be in balance to where a Player is at in the game. If a Player is unhappy because that reward is less due to where they are in the game, then I usually stay silent. If a Player is unhappy because their efforts leave them spinning their wheels and getting nowhere, or that effort isn't matching the progress they're making, then I'm usually vocal. Which seems to be the case all too often.
    It's also not just on the side of lower Players, although those are the ones who are dismissed more often. If Players higher up are trying and trying and getting nowhere, that's an issue just the same.
    My concern right now is that Players have fallen into a habit of minimal effort, and that's affected everyone else. They put minimal effort in because it's worth more to do the Daily Objectives, accumulate Trophies, push at the last minute, and call it a day in Uru or higher.
    Everyone else trying to advance is inevitably stopped up by this, and the system suffers. Which is why I think incentive for Players to make an effort to advance is the best approach.
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    Double_HelixDouble_Helix Posts: 50
    This would be far more punishing. Unless you believe that Kabam would in effect put everyone into GC right from the start and keep Uru rewards (and the rest of the ladder) where they are.
    No, I'm assuming a complete overhaul of the rewards ladder here. But, yes, start everyone in GC, with some continuity of ELO rank (even if it halved between seasons or something). I think the structure of VT is killing participation and will eventually kill the game mode.
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    altavistaaltavista Posts: 1,344 ★★★★
    edited March 26
    Interesting proposals, but ultimately I don't think they will encourage significantly much more participation. Once a player has been burned by a mode, I think they generally don't engage with that mode even if it gets some small changes (not large changes).

    Have any of Kabam's QOL changes or Rewards once participation has dropped, led to sustained increased participation in AW / AQ / Incursions? It will be interesting to see if the increased number of Valiants playing BGs due to the additions to the store, actually lead to significant sustained increases over seasons.

    As an example, I have been out on AW for years, regardless of what changes Kabam makes. To begin with, I am not really aware of what 'new' rewards are available, or what changes Kabam has made. Kabam can announce what it is doing in in-game mail or forum posts regarding AW, and my eyes instantly glaze over and I just ignore it.

    The separate but related issue is Kabam has now philosophically made the game a "this or that" game, instead of a 'do everything' game. Before, players could do everything, without drastically increasing the amount of time they spend on this game. In recent months, players now choose to do this or that, as there is an overabundance of content where your average player can't really do it all. As an example, I've dropped Incursions from my regular playtime so I can 'participate' in the avalanche of objectives in my queue. Kabam could choose to make BGs more enticing to increase participation there, but a lot of players will likely decrease their participation in another realm. [Of course, ultimately it depends if that is beneficial to Kabam if that is where more $$$ is made].

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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    edited March 26

    No, I'm assuming a complete overhaul of the rewards ladder here. But, yes, start everyone in GC, with some continuity of ELO rank (even if it halved between seasons or something). I think the structure of VT is killing participation and will eventually kill the game mode.

    VT has many flaws, but before you jettison it you need to consider some features that absolutely cannot under any circumstances be ported into GC, but serve to make BG palatable at all for many lower strength players:

    1. Ratcheting. Once you promote a tier, you cannot fall back down if you fall into a losing streak.
    2. Acceleration. You get more medals for a win than you lose for a loss in early tiers. This is an advantage lower strength players get, but higher strength players almost never get (and do not deserve) because they start above the tier where this happens.
    3. Strength matching. While it seems to be less effective in recent seasons, I tested with both a Cav alt and a UC alt, and there is still very strong protections for early low progress players in VT. You still match mostly with equal roster strength players. This encourages participation from the early to mid tiers of VT and shields *most* players from *most* wildly unbalanced match ups, allowing them to learn the mode without getting immediately killed.

    None of these features can be placed in any conceivable iteration of the Gladiator Circuit.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    altavista said:

    Have any of Kabam's QOL changes or Rewards once participation has dropped, led to sustained increased participation in AW / AQ / Incursions? It will be interesting to see if the increased number of Valiants playing BGs due to the additions to the store, actually lead to significant sustained increases over seasons.

    That's difficult to say. I suspect the answer for Incursions is yes, but I don't know about the other two modes. I will say that there are two obvious examples of calculated reward increases improving participation. Arena is one. And Battlegrounds itself is the other. Participation was never higher than when Kabam tested boosted milestone rewards. You could argue that the current lower participation we're experiencing is in part an extended hang over from those two boosted BG seasons. More players pushed harder, and got a bit burned out doing so. And the rewards are now lower than they were when those players were pushing. So the psychological delta is magnified quite a bit. Players would be playing less even if the milestones were kept high, because as we saw from Dungeons players can only push so long. And then on top of that players are comparing the rewards today with the rewards then and deciding to sit out until they return to previous levels.
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    BigBlueOxBigBlueOx Posts: 1,671 ★★★★★
    edited March 26
    DNA3000 said:

    BigBlueOx said:

    DNA3000 said:

    jdschw said:

    Wozzle007 said:

    There definitely needs to be something to encourage more players at lower tiers. In the last 2 seasons I only lost 2 fights total on the road to gladiator circuit (although didn’t really push until the last week). This season, not quite a straight forward so much. Everyone's Valiant roster is huge and it’s becoming a 50/50 win rate in Vibranium for me. If it wasn’t for the Deathless King Groot piece I wouldn’t play any more this season. I’ll push again over the weekend.

    Wait...what? There's no DKG piece in this season's BG rewards. Unless I'm missing something?

    To the OP: if the goal is simply to increase participation, why is this any more complicated than improving the solo BG milestone rewards and/or the BG store for lower tiers?
    I think they meant to refer to the Nightcrawler tokens.

    As to why not just increase rewards. What’s the correct level to raise them to? We know what’s going to happen for any reasonable boost to rewards. Everyone is going to praise them for a couple months, then get used to them and start bemoaning them being outdated and not worth pursuing.

    Giving each “progression” its own rank rewards means there is no uniform buff to the rewards. Instead, the less people who play, the bigger the rewards are on average for everyone who does play. If the players get numb to the rewards and start expecting more, the act of dropping out makes the rewards juicier for those left. If a lot of people drop out, the rank rewards will automatically become better incentives for players to jump in.
    Just to be clear this wouldn’t just be rank rewards but also solo milestones being progression based, right?

    I ask because currently, one of the flaws in the solo milestones is that they account for 5 progression tiers with an insane gap between the lowest and the highest accounts. There’s no way to balance rewards that are enticing for high end accounts with the fact that they’d be far too rich for lower accounts outside of completely scraping the current systems in favor of trophy tokens for the store, but even that addresses the need for progression segregated milestones as the stores are progression based.

    If the proposal is only for rank rewards to change and people have to wait the full season… I doubt things would change as daily participation is more likely to be influenced by the immediate rewards or tiered chase journey along the way to the season end payout.
    That's an interesting perspective. Doesn't that also simultaneously argue that any boost to Gladiator Circuit rewards to encourage Valiants to push harder will also very likely fail, because those are also end of season rewards?
    I don’t believe so, as Gladiator circuit rewards are a season long skill based chase, most of these players are there for the competition to begin with. These are mostly the players there for the chase. Especially Mysterium and above, but there definitely are players that settle for scores in the final week not to risk their placement. But at that point they paid their dues and participated plenty, and might be tired out from the grind it’s more a strategic choice at this point.

    Participation needs constant incentive as you are trying to encourage people to take the lumps… these are the players who are there for the rewards first and simply tolerate the competition. If the reward payout is infrequent you’ll likely lose their tolerance and attention.
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    Double_HelixDouble_Helix Posts: 50
    Yes, but I think that much of that could be retained.

    1 & 2. If participation rewards were based on earning season points instead of graduating tiers, moving down wouldn't be so problematic.

    3. With ELO based matchmaking, low accounts would have an even better chance at having matches at their own roster/skill level, and would generally always have a chance at winning. No more hitting a wall and having no fun / no motivation to continue.

    The key is to make the point system incentivize facing larger accounts to earn more points, so that there's no advantage to artificially losing to lower your rating and get easy matchups. If playing against hard opponents earns you more points, then solo rewards can be structured in a way that Valients progress through them quickly and earn the best stuff, Cavs can't reach the top no matter how many matches they play, more talented players at each progression level earn more, etc.
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    ErrangErrang Posts: 75
    @DNA3000 I do agree that something has to change with BGs to encourage participation; but I think it’s a fundamental problem with the system itself compared to the game that was developed for about 8 years before it.

    People came in expecting A and now it’s À — similar, but not quite what people were expecting. I remember tossing my Torch on defense when my opponent had a Doom and Diablo as his only choices; that certainly isn’t a pleasant experience.

    Between the horrible matchups people have to face (by design), wonky AIs that don’t always cooperate leading to even favorable matchups going sideways, and running into roadblock accounts that basically just win, and the odd match where it’s decided by horrible drafts… there isn’t one thing that’s really the problem IMO.

    People were used to taking their time and planning their counters, they now have ~20 seconds to decide that now — add to this that each champ has varying animations that need to be memorized and a wall of text that needs to be looked through.. it does get challenging. A couple times I popped open aunts.ai on my tablet to look up a character’s immunities to double check. It’s like a new breed of genre — First Person RPG… all the stress and excitement of a first person shooter with the lengthy back stories of an RPG.

    I wonder how the game would fare if you were able to collect 7* shards at uncollected; what incentive do you have to progress through story content? I already see a bunch of posts asking for Act 6 to be nerfed.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    Errang said:

    Between the horrible matchups people have to face (by design), wonky AIs that don’t always cooperate leading to even favorable matchups going sideways, and running into roadblock accounts that basically just win, and the odd match where it’s decided by horrible drafts… there isn’t one thing that’s really the problem IMO.

    That's true, nor will one thing solve everything. But I don't claim to be attempting to perfect the game mode in one fell swoop either. I'm contributing a suggestion, intended to address or mitigate one specific part of a web of interconnected problems.

    It is a drop in the bucket, but it is a drop that will (or rather could) ripple outward and touch a lot of parts of the mode. That doesn't mean it will then make all the problems in those parts of the mode go away. Rather, it will/would contribute to a set of solutions to those problems collectively.
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    ErrangErrang Posts: 75
    edited March 26
    That's true, nor will one thing solve everything. But I don't claim to be attempting to perfect the game mode in one fell swoop either. I'm contributing a suggestion, intended to address or mitigate one specific part of a web of interconnected problems.

    It is a drop in the bucket, but it is a drop that will (or rather could) ripple outward and touch a lot of parts of the mode. That doesn't mean it will then make all the problems in those parts of the mode go away. Rather, it will/would contribute to a set of solutions to those problems collectively.
    Fair enough, it is an improvement for BGs — just trying to see if it would undercut story progression. Cuz the rewards are arguably on par with Act 7; if UC/Cav players can get those rewards at their tier, worried they wouldn’t bother progressing.
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    DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 19,066 Guardian
    Errang said:

    That's true, nor will one thing solve everything. But I don't claim to be attempting to perfect the game mode in one fell swoop either. I'm contributing a suggestion, intended to address or mitigate one specific part of a web of interconnected problems.

    It is a drop in the bucket, but it is a drop that will (or rather could) ripple outward and touch a lot of parts of the mode. That doesn't mean it will then make all the problems in those parts of the mode go away. Rather, it will/would contribute to a set of solutions to those problems collectively.
    Fair enough, it is an improvement for BGs — just trying to see if it would undercut story progression. Cuz the rewards are arguably on par with Act 7; if UC/Cav players can get those rewards at their tier, worried they wouldn’t bother progressing.

    They can get them now. My suggestion would simply limit the pool of players they would be competing against from everyone (now) to players at the same progression. But if a UC decides to go bananas and grind BG like there's no tomorrow now, they can get those rewards today.

    Because the devs already allow everyone to get those rewards, I felt it would not be a deal breaker if those rewards were somewhat more achievable for a small number of players. That is, of course, a guess.
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