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The Current State of Renegade X Balance: With Statistics


Tytonium
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Team balance is a tricky thing to get right, and even a manual shuffle fails to perfect it at times. The fault, I believe is how the game is designed. In a nut shell: a bad team is more likely to lose a key building, further and permanently handicaping the already bad team. The shuffler has a high chance of re-applying the same awful team thus mimicing the potential problem for upwards of 3 games in a row. 64 players is also not helping adding to the 'bottle neck' effect we feel on maps such as field / under where one team holds the field / tunnels / everything -- because it can. Add to that the buff AOE and VP ranking system and you can have (potentially) 32 heroic rocket men melting your entire base before you can blink. Having units wail on a building for 2 hours on AFK mode isn't something we should be rewarding. To counter this I believe VP should be awarded to buildings, increaseing armour / health the more damage they take over time to encourage more tactical takedowns.

So how do we perfect the team balance system? We need it to shuffle people based on their last game and score up both teams based on that data. This, naturally poses a threat to the whole 'play with friends' commity so we need a system in place that rewards people for moving to the losing team by either making them spawn with a special unit / credits, or allows them to move over with friends.

Make no mistake here, 'good players' are one thing, but good commanders are another. Almost all matches are defined by the strength and tactical prowess of the commander, not the skillful players - this naturally becomes a problem when one side focuses on K/D while the other focuses on winning.

 

 

 

 

Edited by TomUjain
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IMHO this whole stacking/balancing issue discussion is just a waste of time and energy.

However, as mentioned by op, relatively early in the game it is pretty clear which team is going to loose. I don't see a problem in that. The problem is that the match might still take 60 minutes and people get bored and leave the server.

So basically the game needs to be over faster! Make the crates more powerful, make the harv faster and stuff like that ...

Accept that having lots of cool tactical fair matches on pub servers is an impossible goal or a "Luftschloss" as we Germans would call it 🙂

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Interesting read, although the results do not surprise me.

1 hour ago, Tytonium said:

In Renegade X doing bad as a team results in severe map control loss (being locked in), and potentially losing buildings which completely cut off player choice in a severe way for the entirety of the rest of the match (like no infantry or vehicles. That is major!).

Just to add to that a little:

When you're losing, you lose map control, which includes tib fields (if present in center of map), tech buildings, crates, etc. Attackers gain bonus points for killing people in their base. Winning means more VP which results in more veterancy. If the teams get stacked intentionally the impact goes up even further.

Losing means you have less money, your soldier deals less damage and has less armor on average (due to veterancy AND money advantage), you're locked in a base where the defenders are at a disadvantage when they try to break out...... Once you lose a building everything just spirals downwards even further. Losing bar/hon usually effectively ends the game.

All in all, the game has some massive snowballing mechanics. Combined with an utter lack of teambalancing and a rich history of rampant and pretty hardcore teamstacking, the results Tytonium showed really aren't shocking. In fact, I expected the amount of *balanced* games to be lower. The amount of snowballing needs to be toned down significantly. Veterancy just has a habit of screwing over the losing team and new players. The impact of losing a building certainly could be toned down a notch. Bases in general should be a little easier to defend (and by that I mean, make the attacker have less of a stranglehold on the vehicle exits). I understand a lot of these mechanics were implemented to avoid stalemates, but man, I'd love some stalemates over one team stomping the other repeatedly. 

And to be honest, I think repairs are an underlying issue in this game in general. Repairs are so effective that a team can siege the enemy base for 60 min straight. (And repairing isn't exactly fun gameplay in general from the perspective of the engineer/hotwire, just think of how many games have AFK repairs in them).

tl;dr: teambalance is badly needed, but tweaking/changing game mechanics would certainly go a long way in decreasing the detrimental effects losing has on your odds of winning. A combination of the two has the best chance of making the average game less one-sided. 

 

3 minutes ago, Killertomate said:

IMHO this whole stacking/balancing issue discussion is just a waste of time and energy.

A lot of people care very strongly about it. The only thing I'll agree with on you is that games that are a clear loss that still last 60 min are a waste of time. However, I do feel that that can be changed with better balance and/or tweaking some game mechanics. A small percentage of shitty games that are sort of a time waste are unavoidable and acceptable, however it feels like currently only a small percentage of games is interesting, balanced and truly worth playing.

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kek.jpg.7f2e4a2fa6efd118eec6c598affcc679.jpg

I needed more godforsaken rum to get through that post, I agree with your points mostly but I think map design is something overlooked. Getting pinned down on field is completely different than having it done to you on field X, but aside from that I'd agree. 

Edited by euan-missile
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But yes, having played Renegade / RenX for many years, and really seeing the same problems, I think it does come down to the nature of the gameplay. One of its strengths is also its faults.

The reward of a team coming together and taking down an enemy building is ALWAYS so satisfying that honestly even after nearly 15 years of playing "command and conquer" mode, it never gets old when it all comes together.

But sadly, yes, the same building as a loss to the other team is extremely detrimental and since all buildings have an immense amount of sway to one team or the other (some effects more immediate than others [if not a loss actual gameplay options, the player's ability to experience the whole gamut of options is greatly reduced]).

 

It's like how the stats show, there's always a chance the other team could come back... and its those few times that I've seen it happen that make it worth coming back for. in fact, one thing the numbers don't show is how gratifying those "23%" or "12%" matches are when they come together. 

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1 hour ago, roweboat said:

I think it does come down to the nature of the gameplay. One of its strengths is also its faults.

 

8 hours ago, Rups said:

Once you lose a building everything just spirals downwards even further. Losing bar/hon usually effectively ends the game.

 

8 hours ago, TomUjain said:

Team balance is a tricky thing to get right, and even a manual shuffle fails to perfect it at times. The fault, I believe is how the game is designed. In a nut shell: a bad team is more likely to lose a key building, further and permanently handicaping the already bad team.

I suppose I spent a bit too much time on that topic.

You are all absolutely correct. There is a snowballing effect in this game, but it typically happens during the mid-game. The early game though is really just a sort of all out anarchy type of situation for both teams. Maybe kill the harv, or take a silo or course, but in the early game players will get the majority of their points from just killing other people. That essentially stops at about 5 minutes and the mid-game starts, and that is where the snowballing begins.

My stats deal with the early game pretty much entirely and allow for you to predict the chances of success. So in essence, I can figure out if the teams are notably unbalanced due to one team being higher on the scoreboard (indicating one team is overwhelmingly better than the other by sheer skill in infantry combat, and usually this will mean all forms of combat and better game sense).

Now this issue CAN be resolved if a proper balancing method is found and implemented.

I absolutely understand that this game helps the winning team along during the mid-game and can lead to an easier time achieving victory, and I am fine with that. The mid-game is often times my favorite part of a match. What I do have a problem with is the fact that a game is essentially over in about 3-5 minutes just by looking at the scoreboard.

"Oh look at that, NOD is overwhelmingly at the top of the scoreboard and it has been 4 minutes! Looks like I have roughly a 7% of winning this game, very nic- GDI INFANTRY BARRACK DESTROYED"

I dunno, I just feel like something can be done to make matches more balanced for a bit longer if the teams are balanced properly. Eventually one team will always get the upper hand, but having one team be inherently advantaged (having better players) at beginning of the match is a bit saddening.

 

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@Tytonium Like we see with Thanos, balance requires stability and stable this game is not.  It's important to remember,

The inherent design of Ren X is deliberately unbalanced, this goes from everything down from weapons, vehicles and to map design. Like i've described before how GDI is a hammer and Nod is a knife.
So no one team is designed to have an equal hand, so from the start no one team is designed to have the upper hand, always just different one.

Which is where this game is different from others,  power can shift in a blink of an eye all because one person failed to uphold their task. That's the nature of this game and that's why it's different to others. - Many other multiplayer games care incredibly little for the action of one person, unless you're the last alive in S&D in CoD. The term "one man army" has never been more applicable to an online game than Ren-X, and in some multiplayer games is considered an offence to your team, but in here it's a style.

 

But people treat Ren-X like a standard FPS game, either they'll get infantry characters and play it like CoD, dying in seconds after charging aimlessly at the enemy, or they'll play it like Battlefield and get a vehicle and do the exact same thing. 
No one stops to consider, how their actions will affect their buddy next to them and then subsequently the whole damn game. 

How many times have you been on a rocket rush, been late, missed your shot(s) and the building is on that mystical 0 hp? then your team loses.

 

Everything single damn thing has a domino effect, whether you lose your $1000 character/vehicle to an enemy's $500, be late for a rush, repair the wrong vehicle, miss that one damn shot, or vote roweboat to be commander. You too can cause the entire demise of your 32 player team. 

 

Here, I updated the recommended specifications to play Ren X.

 

  • Windows 7
  • 2.7+ GHz multi-core processor 
  • 8 GB system RAM
  • NVIDIA 200 series or higher graphics card
  • 15 GB free space 
  • Brain 

 

Which is funny, because when people use their brains and start coordinating together, people call it Stacking because they're frustrated how OP it is, even though that's exactly how this game is supposed to be played (which is why it's powerful) even when just two-three people coordinate together versus a whole team of headless chickens, they're gonna get the cuck, and i dont mean the rooster kind either. 

 

Anyway, long story short, my take away is this,

Chinese. It's my favourite food.  

 

 

 

Edited by euan-missile
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Very good points @euan-missile ... well almost...

 

Erm but yes that's the glorious nature of the game being a REAL TIME STRATEGY FIRST PERSON SHOOTER.

 

Strategy is key.

 

Even though half the time I'll randomly charge the enemy because what's scarier than some dude randomly charging at your for no hope or reason. 

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JFYI playerstrenght for Teambalancing is currently calculated like this: ln(lastroundscore) + ln(lastroundkills - lastrounddeaths)/2   (with ln meaning natural logarithm and lastroundkills  are only taken into account if > lastrounddeaths)

That its just lastround score leads to players that just connected dont having a score for the balancer to take into account etc. So a first step to improve this could be to persist like the average score from the last three matches for every player so the balancer always has something to go by.

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1 hour ago, RypeL said:

 

That its just lastround score leads to players that just connected dont having a score for the balancer to take into account etc. So a first step to improve this could be to persist like the average score from the last three matches for every player so the balancer always has something to go by.

That is a very intriguing idea, and I like it. It would certainly be interesting to see how matches play out with a system in place like this.

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I don't really understand where you're going with this in relation to team balancing? You say your data and conclusion shows that the winning team based on score at the 5 minute mark, becomes the final winning team at game end; that's useful stuff to see in statistics and it suggests that early game is really important (most experienced players know this already) and that almost 9 times out of 10 if your team occupies more top score leader board positions (has lots of kills) your team is highly likely to win when past this point.

Maybe you could popup a Surrender vote at the 5 minute mark. The probability of winning is 7%; would you like to surrender? :)

Usually which ever team manages to destroy the opposing team's first harvester and save their own are going to quickly power up and win the match, so long as they capitalise on the opportunity and don't just waste their economy by being killed/vehicles destroyed too easily. It would be good to have some sort of in-game accessible statistic for commander wins/losses as this makes a huge difference and can often turn a game around entirely. 

I don't think I agree that just because score is balanced it's an enjoyable game - could be an awful stalemate.

The better team doesn't always necessarily mean they have the better players, although it helps, especially if there's a competent commander.

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biggest flaw where you could actually balance the game out is the way exp are contributed to the players.

 

whenever a team loses in a fight and is under siege, the other team gets lots of exp by e.g. destroying the harvy multiple times, getting lots of exp attacking buildings and getting HUGE amounts of exp when destroying a building. this in turn makes it even more difficult for the losing team to strike back. not only did they lose a building, the enemy is often one rank higher due to the amount of exp they got when destroying a building. this system really favors the stronger ones and not the weaker ones. since the introduction of this system we face a lot more stomping matches than before.

 

next up are the ratings of a player. the system doesn't recognize who plays e.g. a hottie or a sniper a lot. more often than not you might have one team with lots of hottie / tech players and on the other team a lot of lone wolf snipers or tank drivers that don't have any hottie / tech players at all. a K/d, tank and repair score would help out a lot to determine what the players strong abilities are.

Edited by Daxter
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hi :) 

hmm.. the problem about balance is known, but i think it's impossible to balance it in PUB

i.e., my case:

my skill depends of my mood and my concentration, i sometimes play like a newb and sometimes.. i feel better cuz it's the Kane's will :) 
i'm more focused on KD now (yea, it's one of reasons who explain why i've changed my name ;)  ) because teamwork is rly interesting, but i've often been alone to try teamwork stuffs, so.. now i try to play alone, headshot all these little gunners who try to strike my holy Hand of Nod, hunt these little candies - i mean, SBHs -, crush these littles rabbits under my wheels - i mean, engineers - or just doing my shitty stuffs

noooow about balance

i think i'm not alone to focus only one part of the entire gameplay possibilities on RenX. after all, focus a part is fun, because you'll become good, and when you're good you can find new challenge by trying something else like AT inf or tanks ;) 


but sometimes, players will just chilling around instead of playing seriously. and sometimes they will play other stuffs than usually.
it's why i think you can't really balance a game by picking players or just using their stats like KD, mine disarming, nukes/ions uses, tank kills counts, bldng shoots, etc.. :) 

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