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While there is valid dispute between liberal cubing, API tools, etc and whether it adds or detracts from the game I think we can all agree in many areas globally faction balance (or lack there of) are is generally accepted as a negative.

Rather than just say "ZOMG BBQ FIX PLZ THX BYE!" I decided to write up my views / suggestions...

The problem:

The basic problem is as time marches on areas are becoming more and more one sided in number of active players in one faction over the others. (This problem is not exclusive to any one faction or location.

Why is this a problem:

The short version is it's no fun for either side long term, results in people quitting, and also stops the need/desire to cube which is how QONQR makes money.

Negative for faction in power:

Once the balance tips past a certain point the opposition is no longer able to fight on a real level and are forced to tower or just surrender their zones. Short term grinding away enemy territory can be fun, but long term you find yourself with no challenge. You just knock out zones in what feels like just another day. No strategy needed, you have such numbers you just brute force with no further thought. After that you run out of enemies and are left with nothing to do but nano missile remote targets and stack your zones. Eventually you get bored and probably quit.

Negative for out numbered faction:

When the tipping point is past no level of amazing strategy will be enough to defeat the raw numbers. The enemy can take back in minutes what you spend hours to take, and no level of organized defense will stop you from losing zones. Eventually you WILL be wiped out and you know it. Eventually you stop caring, shortly after you quit because your efforts are meaningless against a so heavily stacked situation.

Why does this stop cubing:

Some cubing will continue but general once cubing becomes unnecessary for the larger force to topple towers they stop doing so. At the same hand while a defender might turn to cubing short term once you pass the tipping point you quickly realize cubing isn't a maintainable strategy and you are doomed to fall. At this point you stop bothering and QONQR's income in your region dries up.

How did we get here?

The primary reason we got here was both game mechanics and human nature encourage stacking. Here are the factors that promote stacking.

  • You generate more credits based on who controls an area, if someone is clearly winning it makes strategic sense to join them.

  • Majority prefer to win. While not all people like to join the winning team generally speaking more people will join those in power than others

  • Recruitment power. More players on a faction is more people capable of recruiting so better return totals

  • Chilling effect. The force in power can easily swat new players in areas they control resulting in low new player retention or causing that player to switch factions perpetuating the problem.

  • Backstories. While a lesser factor different demographics cater more towards different back stories as such areas that have a heavy tendency towards certain ideals tend to favor different factions more.

There Are some factors that work against stacking but not as strong, here are some examples in favor of balance

  • Underdog mentality. There is a minority of players who prefer to play the underdog this helps balance, unfortunately this is directly countered by he prefer to win issue.

  • Boredom, from time to time a larger faction will suffer defection out of boredom. Unfortunately when things reach this point the balance is already so far out of tolerance the new recruit finds themselves incapable of doing anything

What can be done?

The short version is make changes to the game mechanics to encourage or if necessary force balance with in a certain tolerance. (Force would be a last resort)

Some Options and their pros and cons:

  • Remove starting alliance choice and just set the new player to the least active. This has the pro of the preventing the back story from influencing the choice to much, but is won't likely have only a trivial impact.

  • Remove the credit benefit from friendly bases. The pro is now territory control doesn't effect your resources making it less strategic to join the winning team. the con is there's no benefit from holding territory

  • Create a Penalty on disproportionally large faction in an area. (we're not taking 1:2 we're talking in excess of 1:3) The penalty could be credit generation, survivability, defense, offense, heat, combination. The exact penalty amount would have to be proportion to the factions disproportion. Pros, allows the smaller force a little more wiggle room before numbers win, encourages players to switch down. Cons, This could be seen as unfair and could cause excessive faction flipping to dodge penalties while trying to stay with friends.

  • Create a perk on disproportionally small faction in an area. (effectively a reversal of the penalty with the same basic pros and cons)

  • Create a penalty for switching to a larger faction. Temporarily causes the individual a significant penalty such as those mentioned above. Pros a bit more fair than an across the board penalty, but if too short becomes in effective. Cons same basic cons as the across the board, but mitigated slightly.

  • Create a perk for switching to a smaller faction. The reversal of the switching penalty with the same basic pros and cons.

  • Disallow switching to a faction that's disproportionally large. Pros assuming players stay this WILL force balance Cons player retention could still be terrible mitigating it's effectiveness but more importantly it could prevent family and friends from playing together.

There are plenty of other options, all with pros and cons, but ultimately it's do nothing and watch more and more areas become unbalanced and effectively stack offs (or vacant) at a reduced income to QONQR. Or do something knowing it will **** people off but could help improve general activity and closer to even combat in an area (which means more cubing and income to QONQR)

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Yeah I've been thinking about this myself.

Create a Penalty on disproportionally large faction in an area. (we're not taking 1:2 we're talking in excess of 1:3) The penalty could be credit generation, survivability, defense, offense, heat, combination. The exact penalty amount would have to be proportion to the factions disproportion. Pros, allows the smaller force a little more wiggle room before numbers win, encourages players to switch down. Cons, This could be seen as unfair and could cause excessive faction flipping to dodge penalties while trying to stay with friends.

I thought of a similar idea to this, it was along the lines of creating a "faction bot upkeep". If the density of bots (i.e., number of bots per square mile) of a certain faction crosses an arbitrary threshold, an "upkeep" is subtracted from the credit production of the players in that faction. The problem with this approach is that it is overly complicated, and won't really be enough to balance the game. Especially when some factions out number others 10:1.

I've tried to come up with solutions, but always find myself stumped when trying to address multiscoping. Any sort of faction balancing will require that multiscopers "align" all of their scopes to a single faction. Otherwise it would be easy to exploit these balancing attempts by loading up enemy factions with extra scopes. As ridiculous as that sounds, some players definitely have the resources to do that.

I guess the point is that any attempts to balance the game will require a lot of work and planning.

I think that it might be easier to "psychologically" balance the game. For example, if every player had at least one zone where they would be given a "home field advantage" on, I think it might make it less demoralizing when you are vastly out numbered. In the home zone, the player would be given stat bonuses to their bots that will allow them to keep that zone even when heavily out numbered.

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Well since it would be based on active players the multiscoper would need to actively deploy as multiple factions, while this could indeed be gamed. Such as taking two scopes faceless, and two scopes swarm to attack one legion enemy thus having a 2:2:1 split to avoid penalty, it would still be better than all four scopes being faceless. By dividing between factions their ability to defend is limited. Not that it still doesn't give them an edge, but it does mitigate it's impact a little.

Already qonqr updates bot counts, etc. It could be as simple as once per hour, day, week, whatever penalties are adjusted.

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Well keep it mind the fact that there are three factions, not just two. It is actually fairly easy to stack a single zone with two factions without very many issues. I'm not sure if it's a bug, but I've been using seekers to destroy offensive bots in zones held by inactive players and then filling them with deflectors etc. One thing I noticed is that I can deploy bots with 100% survivability so long as the faction in 2nd place (as measured by total bot count) has no offensive bots in the zone. Meaning if I have 1.5 million (some offensive, defensive and support) and an inactive legion player has 1.4 million bots (defensive or support only) I can stack the zone with 100% survivability even if a faceless player had 1 million seekers in the zone.

Off topic I know, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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Most defensive formations are passive. It was part of the major battle mechanics overhaul a year ago or so. Its not a bug.

I switched factions in order to revitalise my game. My area was pretty stagnant for months at a time so it was a case of switch or flip because of boredom. In all honesty its still quite stale due to a couple of accounts that built up in my shadow. But at least my own goals within Qonqr can progress again.

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Yeah, my area is growing stagnant as well it's something like a 6:2:1 split with the 6 and 1 portions allied against the 2 who literally has only 2 zones left. I honestly don't mind losing ground, it's that basically there is nothing I can do at all. If I attack I get swatted asside by the moment it shows on qommnd by like five people. What n they attack it's with upwards of twelve. I have turned to varying targets rapidly to making their defending much harder, but even if I snag something it's gone as soon as word gets out because thirteen attacking with only two in defense range is a simple matter of numbers.

When I started it was typically 4:2 with very little remote participation and i managed to scrape away zones here and there, but as time rolls on the balance has slipped more and more. We do have some areas where my faction out numbers nearby, but again numbers. When I can call on like 4-6 players to nano for me against the 12-18 they can call on. Simple numbers, we're well past the workable threshold. I miss really enjoying this game and fighting against reasonably stacked odds.

I know if things don't change in time my wife and i will quit out of boredom due to being able to effectively do nothing. When that happens there will literally be only one alliance in my area. I also doubt the individuals here have any interest in switching, so likely they'll just stop playing in time. The sheer numbers has prevented any new legion from sticking around, since it's no fun to work your way up to lvl 100 only to realize the decks stacked so heavily against you that even full upgrades isn't enough.

The only "counter" I can think of would be multiscoping and that's still cheating in my eyes so not happening.

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Well keep it mind the fact that there are three factions, not just two.

That may be true in your region, but not raul's where there is legion & CEL, since CEL is more than happy to call in non-cel non-legion players & vice versa if they ever face anything resembling a challenge it leaves any would be stragglers as still being cel with virtually no exceptions in the region.

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I guess what I meant to say, is that it would be possible for someone to use accounts that belong to two separate factions. This would allow them to bypass the restrictions without very much trouble.

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I guess what I meant to say, is that it would be possible for someone to use accounts that belong to two separate factions. This would allow them to bypass the restrictions without very much trouble.

And I think we've seen that done quite effectively by at least two multiscopers in our area who chose to play as both Swarm & Faceless. They're all pretty much Faceless only now, but for a while there they had us going... more to avoid suspicion of multiscoping rather than strategy though, I suspect.

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I understand why someone would multi and regardless of sync I still dont like it. But how do they find the time

Look on Amazon, they sell everything :blink:

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