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Leveling contacts in Waterfront can be troublesome, even on peak hours, not even considering that some players have different times and schedules. Some important modifications, weapons, etc etc, are locked behind these contacts. Because you have to level both Financial and Waterfront contacts to even progress towards +195 modifications, weapons, etc etc, a lot of stuff from Waterfront and indirectly Financial is gated like this. Pre-making enforcer & criminal level boosting groups are currently a valid tactic for Waterfront, which isn't fun or possible for just all, or even in the spirit of the game, it's just a player made solution. To be quite honest even for Financial contacts or an APB with overflowing districts the suggestion following below wouldn't be an offensive or counter-productive thing to do; people will still have roles, achievements, farming, threat, designing, etc, as designations to play the game. Premium would still be preferred to progress what isn't skipped (XP), earn APB$ money, customization boosts and extras, activated abilities cooldown, the Armas discount and even Armas trials. In fact being able to skip some of the contacts might make people who want to spend money on your game play and spend more. Play how you like, make more alt re-roll characters, etc. And all of it would just be optional to purchase for customers. So here it is; Please consider adding contact level boosters / contact skippers to Armas. And duh you don't have to introduce these ridiculously cheap, I'd say just make them competitive with buying premium time. Heck, you could even limit the amount you can buy per account. It would be pay to progress contacts, not pay to win and could be a valid new source of income for Armas. Please consider adding something like this. Thanks.
Let's bring some concepts I want to share since I've been thinking of this ideas for a while already. The threat system as it is already have huge flaws that let the portion of the players in both ends of the rating spectrum out of having chances of decent match-making while also enabling every single player out there abuse this system in search of more advantageous matches in detriment of the overall gaming experience for everyone else, aka: dethreat. Here are some reads about what has been done in the past in APB so we can base our discussion with acknowledgment of these previous updates to the rating (threat) system: March 2011: https://apbreloaded.gamersfirst.com/2011/03/missing-skill-ratings-and-thanks-to.html April 2014: https://apbreloaded.gamersfirst.com/2013/04/settling-score-version-11.html I think of a few options that might work to improve matchmaking and ensure encouragement of players to play fair, be more competitive and get rewards accordingly to their effort and skills. Let's get into it: 1. Frequency-Playing-Based Rating. Let's say, as how the system currently works, that your rating is based in your last 50 matches. How is this affected if you were actually performing above the average but then you decide to skip objectives, avoid killing opponents and barely participating in a mission for a couple of days to game the system and get advantageous matches as result? Well, this is not new and it is basically how dethreating works and is being exploited, right? But in such cases, there is plenty of people performing decently who maybe doesn't play too often and stop playing for a couple of days/weeks or more and then they return and get matched against tough players when are still rusty and even worst, since there's a constant flow of new players joining and leaving the game the overall scale of ratings varies causing a need of rebalance threats on such players who might be returning after a while. Usually a player returning after a couple of weeks or months should have his rating measurements reset so maybe they should play at least 5 matches or something like that before the game sets back a proper rating for such player. Potential solution: Monthly (or weekly) Rating System: Every week or month the threat system is restarted in a way that, while keeping the current rating every player has reach folded back, it requires you to play at least 5 matches to determine if you stay in your current threat level or you need a calibration to go up or down your current rating for further match-making. During this neutral period your match-making is based exclusively in your win/lose ratio from the past 10 or 30 days or whatever these time periods are set, along with your K/D ratio from the same period so you fight against players with similar stats. Once you pass the 5 matches threshold it settles your rating and triggers the more complex system where your whole performance is considered to set your threat progression based on your completed tasks, assists, overall performance, such as K/D and W/L ratios, etc. so you start to earn the assigned rewards for your threat/league/rating. _____________________ 2. Weapon-Role-Based Match Making: What happens when a group of experienced snipers who maxed out that role are teamed up against a group of CQC expert players? We are assuming here they are all on the same level regarding the overall performance of each one for any given scenario, but for some specific situations, having no snipers in your side when the other team is holding positions in high spots surrounding an objective with <4mins to finish it makes for a CQC team fall in the need of a very tactical and well coordinated moving to clear the area and reach the target before the time runs out, otherwise, we get very short missions as a result disregarding if you are in the winning or the losing team. Potential solution: Favorite Weapon-Class-Based Match Making: Every time the server searches for players to get them in a match, it could do a quick check on their role ratings and apply this in a very small factor to attempt to at least balance the roles of each member of the team to ensure both sides could cover almost every situation. I know this is mostly impossible and even if it is possible it could be not very accurate given the fact that there are only 40 players of each faction which means you can have as much 10 pre-made teams of 4 players as much which doesn't leave much space for such diversity as the amount of roles we currently have that are a bunch, but at least if you have 2 or 3 free players ready for a mission to pick for a match, it could then add this last check to see which one of them might fit better and be more helpful to balance the teams regarding this. Why not? _____________________ 3. Rewards for going up on a League System instead of only four threat tiers: When it comes to a wide player base the spectrum of skill ratings is way too big to actually have an accurate method to pair every player in a balanced match without risking to have an amount of them in the same pool with players way above or way below their level when there are so few tiers to frame them. Also in this particular situations there's the point where players looking for more rewards will try to game the system or would end up not getting proper rewards accordingly to their effort or skills put on the game leading to discouraging the new players or casual ones since they'll be struggling to get cash and xp or either making the more skilled ones get very few motivation to put an effort on improve and rank up if they could be getting same or better earnings and easier wins by just getting matched with less experienced players. Potential solution: Monthly League Rankings and Rewards Accordingly: If we could have sub-tiers within the current threat levels we could have some sort of a league system where every player gets matched within other players of his same league/threat but subdividing the spectrum into maybe 3 or more tiers within each threat rank. I think there already is something like 10 invisible ranks on each threat? Let's say the weekly rating session starts and past week you ended up as Silver II, then you have to play 5 matches to settle it down and define if you'll stay as Silver II or maybe Silver I or III or even jump to Gold or Bronze depending if you are performing better or worst this time. Then there's a multiplier in your rewards based on the tier you are which means that if you put an effort to go up to higher tiers your rewards will be bigger and also maybe in addition to this you get the chance of having some other rewards such as a set of League JMB with a small factor for bigger rewards and less relevant prizes when you are in a lower threat/league and a higher factor for important rewards and more relevant prizes once you go up through treat levels. This is also a way to discourage dethreating and add more interest for the players who will fight the best they can to get such mentioned rewards. To clarify this, let's say Bronze, Silver, Gold threats grants you better prizes (aka: JMB or JTickets) while the internal tiers (ie. Silver I, II, II, and so on) increases the multiplier for your cash and XP rewards and a chance of getting also a few JTickets if you earn MVP or something like that. _____________________ Now, what I think many of us will agree is that showing up that threat badge above our name tags only thing it did was not only segregate the community, particularly by separating servers, but also increased the amount of toxicity between players and discouraged a lot of newcomers of keep playing because they usually got bullied by other players who just reached a higher tier than them but were facing very stressful matches against higher threat players before so they learned it the wrong way, that's why I think threat badges should've never been there in the first place. If you want to see your ratings, you should be able to check your stats privately and then if decide you want to share them or not is up to you. We could have some sort of ladders or weekly/monthly rankings for these who wants to take part in a separated competitive instance districts ruleset for that too where also prizes might be more interesting. I'm not sure if I'm being accurate with my proposition in regards of what might be actually possible to do and what might be already in the board for future plans but by bringing this suggestion here, although it is a bit sketchy, I just want to contribute with some ideas I had based as well in what I saw around some other games where prizes for reaching higher leagues are a motivation that worked to stop tankers from dethreating and ruining the game. In addition, I'm setting a poll to know what kind of rewards you'd like to have if we could get a Leagues System with prizes for going up the ladder. Waiting for your feedback guys, hope we have a good discussion about this. Regards, Sal.