1. [2018/06/22]
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Fights Reducing frustrations with Rifts

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by Ryouhi, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Ryouhi

    Ryouhi Well-Known Member

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    Okay, there's been kind of an uproar of people regarding their frustrations with the state of rift battles as of the last update and especially in the past few days.

    I've been talking with peeps on the discord earlier about this and have collected some ideas i want to present, so here goes.

    -----

    First off, where do the frustrations stem from?

    1. Matchmaking being very inaccurate: People are being matched versus players far, far beyond their own rank/rift rating. The worst i have seen here was a Gold1 being matched against one of the Top 3-Players. In a similar vein...
    2. Being matched versus players with massively stronger bases FS-wise: for example your opponent having twice as many diamond/gold fighters than you, which gives them massive leeway in how hard it is to beat your own base.
    3. Feeling forced to play 7 matches a week, because the rewards are just too good to pass up.
    4. Slipping up on a single node can mean losing the whole match. This can reach from losing a fighter in a match to losing the whole node. This is especially frustrating if you mess up due to something unexpected happening, like a Blockbuster whiffing for no dicernable reason or AI instantly killing you with a blockbuster if you try to use a throw attack
    5. Quality of Life and time investment: basically, it takes a lot of time to focus on a rift match compared to other content in the game. Roughly 30 minutes is what i take every single time for a full clear, give or take 5 minutes. With the addition of Catalysts i can see the time required going up even further, s you need to study the enemy players' base and figure out where to use which fighters due to all the new modifiers. Also, waiting 2 hours for a rift match to end, when both players have long finished playing is frustrating, especially when you already know you lost and are locked from going into a new match.


    -----

    What can we do to aliviate these issues?
    Here's some of my suggestions:


    Matchmaking: the devs intentions were clear with the ranking resets introduced in 3.1. Players at the top had to endure long queuetimes due to the stricter matchmaking. Trying to fix the issue made it much worse for all lower tiers however.

    Ideally, matchmaking would take into account Player Rank, Player Level, total FS of players' bases, amount of high tier fighters (golds/diamonds) and what level those fighters are.

    Obviously that is a lot of things to factor in. Considering the amount of players, this would lead to extremely long queuetimes for all players.
    But what if it was possible to at least take a few of these factors into account? For that to not massively spike queue times we will have to limit other things - this is where my main suggestion comes into play:

    Limit the times when Rift battles are available to play.

    For example: "Rift matches are only available on weekends" or on these particular days etc.

    By shrinking the time window where rifts are available, it would mean more players looking for matches at the same time, resulting in lower queue times overall. This in turn would then allow more leeway in making matchmaking more accurate, i believe.

    If we limit availability, we can also include other factors that increase frustrations.

    For example, since there is now less time to play rifts each week, the required number of matches per season can be lowered to something between 3-4, which feels less restrictive to the players' gametime alotment.

    This could also make premium tickets more attractive, as you with a lower amount of matches required, you will rise less quickly in the ranks. So for those that want to rise quicker premium tickets may become more popular.

    A suggestion that would probably go hand in hand with the reduction of required matches may also lower the frustrations of losing, but i believe this may not be a popular suggestion at all.

    Reducing the amount of rewards.

    Yes, you heard that right, asking for a lower amount of rewards.

    Personally, i get very stressed playing rifts currently, because i desperately try to stay in the Diamond 4 tier. What you get at that tier in rewards is insane: basically a full silver fighter relic, half a gold fighter relic and 10% of a diamond fighter relic. That's not even taking into account the amount of rift coins and keys you get.

    Due to how good the rewards are, it feels like i HAVE to keep playing rifts, or else i may lose the ability to stay in the diamond tier and it'll be harder to catch up again at that point.

    Also, if we reduced the amount of required matches, i think it would be fair to lower rewards somewhat, due to the players' time investment also shrinking.

    Otherwise, another option would be to normalize rewards across tiers further, so the divide between tiees isn't as extreme.

    A third idea is reducing most other rewards, but instead increasing the amount of rift coins players get, they can then use to choose their own rewards the rift shop.

    On the topic of time, rift matches should be sped up somewhat, they shouldn't take upwards of 30 minutes to finish if you are to play them on the go. Maybe a number of nodes could be removed from the base to reduce the number of fights and as such the time needed to clear it.
    This would also reduce the amount of time spent checking the enemies catalysts on each node and assigning the proper counter fighters of your own.
    Losing after investing 30+ minutes of your time will be a lot more frustrating than if you only invested 15-20 minutes instead.
    And it would also allow for a shorter match timer overall. Instead of each match being alotted a whole 2 hours, it could be reduced to half that, or changed to just finish when both players have cleared the base of the other.
    Just speeding up the whole process.

    Other small QoL changes:
    • Reusing a fighter shouldn't make you miss out on 250 points. You already give the enemy a lot of points for losing in the first place and makes it an unattractive option overall.
    • The change to how attempts are updated in your base was unnecessary. It is very unclear whether your opponent failed your node or not, unless you check back multiple times. Before it was simple and clear.
    • Seperate loadouts for fighters in your base. You shouldn't have to change youe fighters' loadouts everytime you queue to give them the optimal loadout for defense when you have to change it back when you want to use them on offense.
    • Notifications when a match has been found and shortly before it ends for forgetful people ( @TasiaChaan )

    ------------------------------

    And that is it. This is what i could come up with to try and lower the amount of frustrating moments players may come across when playing rift battles.
    This, of course, is mainly things that personally frustrate me and what i personally believe could fix things. Others may disagree or have even better ideas, but i wanted to to a write up on the topic nonethess. Because while i do not enjoy rifts battles, i believe they still have potential, if only the frustrating parts can be reduced or removed alltogether.

    Anyways, this is already long enough, considering i typed all this on my phone, so please do excuse my formatting and possible typos. And thank you for reading.

    If you have ideas of your own, feel free to comment too.
     
    #1 Ryouhi, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    Jhosvi, OozyGamer, Luke and 12 others like this.
  2. Ryouhi

    Ryouhi Well-Known Member

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    tl;dr:

    My main suggestions are as follows:

    Basically:

    1. Limit when rifts are available to a few days each week
    2. Reduce amount of required matches a week
    3. Thanks to more players queuing at the same time, more leeway for stricter matchmaking
    4. Shorten rift matches by removing a few nodes on bases
    5. Lower/normalise rewards so it doesnt feel like a necessity to play/win
     
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  3. TasiaChaan

    TasiaChaan Active Member

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    Can I share too?
    I was heard it somewhere in this forum, so I tell you.

    Give us notification after 30min or 1 hour before the match ends.
    Why? Because some people may forget (including me) about the match, and they'll lose instantly.

    Based on my experience, if the developer give that notification, it will help a little to remind us before end.
     
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  4. Ryouhi

    Ryouhi Well-Known Member

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    Good point.
    Notifications when a match has been found and shortly before it ends would be nice. Will add to the OP
     
  5. TasiaChaan

    TasiaChaan Active Member

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    Alarm would help too... (._.) if you remember to set it...
     
  6. FateFTM

    FateFTM Member

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    On mobile so sorry if this gets choppy.

    I have to disagree on limiting the time to play. There is a decent amount of people who work or go to school who don’t have the time to play just on weekends. I like playing whenever I can. Weekends in this game are loaded as it is with character PF finishing, elemental starting, and a Medici that I dont want anymore things locked to the weekend.

    Also lowering rewards will just make people hate rifts more. We don’t want to reach the point that rifts aren’t worth even playing by lowering the rewards more and more.

    The one thing I definitely agree is updating the match making criteria. Just finding someone within your rift range doesn’t work anymore due to the reset each week. As a player who usually places D3/low D2 I would like to match against those ranged people. Whenever I see a D1 or high D2 I usually don’t even bother with the rift. No reason to waste time on a loss for maybe 20 or so tokens on the nodes I can beat. I agree that adding criteria such as the fighters collection rating for say there top 30 fighters should be factored.

    I think they layout of rifts are fine and I am looking forward to catalysts. Matchmaking tho is the biggest issue.
     
  7. educavalcantee

    educavalcantee Active Member

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    Why do we play games? I think most would say to have fun, and this is what games should be: FUN. If we could define the rifts with a word, it would be: STRESSFUL. And something stressful isn't fun. I feel FORCED to play this game mode because if I don't, I'll fall behind. The rift also imprint on me a feeling that I MUST WIN or everything else is ruined, and this is no fun at all. After some difficult nodes (matchmaking problem), my hands start shaking and I have to give a break (maybe this is just me); this don't happens in any other game mode, it's just because the "must win" aspect of the rift.

    So please, remove the mandatory aspect of rift battles, or at least reduce the minimal amount of plays to receive the rewards from 7 to 3. Not everyone has the time to spend 2 PAINFUL hours playing a mode who isn't fun just because we feel obligated to. And add the "finish" button. With only these two changes, I believe the rifts will change to much, much better. :)
     
    #7 educavalcantee, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  8. Blimeylimey

    Blimeylimey Member

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    I feel like there's a problem with doing matchmaking based on anything other than rift score. Rift score is the only factor determining end-of-season rewards so it should be the only thing determining who is fighting for those rewards. If you want matchmaking to take into account other factors, then rewards should consider those as well. The game should encourage players to want to have a large, diverse, high-level collection of fighters and moves.

    Without some data regarding rift battles, it's hard to know how much certain things are really warping matchmaking.
    One problem is encouraging win-streaks. If matchmaking is doing its job properly, players should average out to 50/50 wins/losses. This means win-streaks longer than 2-3 should be very unlikely. If someone wants to get more rift coins, they are encouraged to start the season with a loss streak, then finish with a long win-streak. These players are intentionally seeking to create uneven matches and successfully do so. There is also no penalty for playing this way because they should average out to the same end-of-season rift rating and get the same rewards.

    Another problem is the large drop-off in strength at the top-end. I think it's telling that even a player in D3/low D2 don't feel like they have a chance against D1. Rank 50 player doesn't feel like there's any chance against rank 20. How can there be any matchmaking that feels fair in this type of environment?

    I don't know if the player base wants more fights or fewer fights. More fights makes the game mode grindy. Fewer fights makes the game mode more like lottery (did you get lucky in matchmaking). I've seen posts wanting to avoid both.
     
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  9. educavalcantee

    educavalcantee Active Member

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    I feel like reducing the amount of nodes in rift could create another problem: the meta base. With few nodes to fill, everyone with a decent collection will just put the same fighters, and this don't encourage to invest in a larger collection of defensive fighters. But I do like the idea of reducing the amount of rewards if the mandatory aspect of rift is removed/drastically reduced, it's a fair trade.
     
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  10. Ryouhi

    Ryouhi Well-Known Member

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    Big reply pile incoming!
    Get tagged people!


    Weekends was just an example, could be during the week too.

    They don't have to be nerfed into the ground, but be lowered to a level that fits with the amount of time invested playing if we were to go with my suggestion of lowering required matches. Though, obviously, reward nerfs are not popular with players haha.

    The problem with this is, if we make matchmaking strict again, the topplayers get the shaft with queuetimes.
    That's why the devs went with the weekly resets (presumably) and we can see that didn't work out.
    So if you want to make the matchmaking more strict again, you have to turnm some screws elsewhere to, otherwise, as detailed in my post, queue times for all players would skyrocket.
    That's why i believe limiting availability of the mode to certain days would make this possible in the first place, as players now all queue together in a much smaller window, compared to being spread across the whole week.

    I feel you mate. I have a lot of disdain for PvP modes because they stress me out to no end, but due the great rewards i also feel "forced" to play it nonetheless, which in turn is really starting to burn me out on sgm.

    That is very easily abused - this happened very early on in the lifecycle of rifts.
    People would just purposefully drop a bunch of ranks to completely stomp people with weaker fighters than them and rack up a nice streak on top. That is why we need stricter matchmaking that takes into account more than just ranking.
    Otherwise, in certain matches the game may as well instantly end the match because one player massively outmatches the other by a long shot and save both players the time.

    great points regarding the amount of matches - haven't thought of that!

    Also a great point hmm. Fewer nodes could lead to meta bases, but hopefully catalysts may make things more diverse? :)
     
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  11. educavalcantee

    educavalcantee Active Member

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    Yes, they will. But only in the short term. In my vision, some catalysts already are meta. I think every single player who is able to lay hands on a Sacrosanct catalyst will use it. The same for Inertia, Reactive Armor, 200%hp/atk... RNG blessed bases will look like the same.

    (Sorry, I'm a bit pessimistic today)
     
  12. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of ideas to respond to here, so I may end up coming back to things already in this thread

    Small thing first

    Having a cost to the second use of a fighter is important at the moment, because if it didn't exist I'd use Poultergust / Primed / Parasite Weave for the majority of the nodes. Maybe instead have losing with a fighter not cost energy? I suppose that could lead to someone trying to fight the same node 100 times, but I'm not sure there's a downside to that, other than the game not telling you "please stop".

    ---

    I definitely wouldn't mind if Rift Battles had fewer nodes and was quicker to get through. That might even make things a little more equal between whales and normal players, because having 20 high level diamonds wouldn't be as vital to being in the top 10 then or whatever. It might free up some resources so that all your diamonds don't have to be picked purely for how well they work in Rift Battles. (I'm going through that now where Private Dick is technically the fire element fighter I should raise to diamond, but... I just don't use him outside Rift Battles because I don't find him fun to use.)

    Restricting them to a few days might also work. We already do that with Prize Fights. Having some mandatory downtime from them instead of feeling like you need to do one every day (or a bunch in a row if you take some time off) seems like it would also help decrease the stress people have about them. I mean, one of the thing I like about this game is that (other than Rift Battles) I can just take a couple days off and I might not get the same amount of resources, but it's not like I've really "missed out" on anything huge. But missing out on my week's Rift Battles means missing out on a *lot* of progression.

    I do wonder if better match making would lead to a weird situation where you end up fighting the same 10 people all the time though? There's already one Diamond 3 that I recognize instantly.
     
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  13. Blimeylimey

    Blimeylimey Member

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    I don’t think it’s the matchmaking system’s fault that players tank then climb on purpose. I blame that on the reward for win streaks. No matter what criteria are used for matchmaking, if players are incentivized to build win streaks, they are incentivized to tank and climb as this is how you maximize rewards. Players will find ways to manipulate matchmaking in order to do this. Currently everyone who ends the season over 2000 points has this done for them.

    I think that matchmaking based on things outside of rift rating ends up discouraging players from building stronger collections. Why try to have a stronger map if I can’t raise my rift rating?

    I also think that matchmaking based on things outside of rift rating makes it harder to climb ranks. Currently, the way to climb ranks is to grind outside of rift battles faster than others at your current rating. You win more than half the time because you’re stronger than your group and climb to a new rank where you have 50/50 wins/losses. If matchmaking always keeps my wins/losses at 50/50, there’s no way to climb at all.
     
  14. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    This is the most objective and balanced post in this topic so far. I agree that rift rating should be the only determining match making criterion. The reason why it’s been a mess is the transition from top1% to top 200. It takes time to normalize and I think we should be there by next week. I haven’t been matched with gold 1 at all this week (diamond 1 here) where as the first week I fought 12 gold 1s in a row. The only gold 1s I fought last week were around 1950 rating, which I’m guessing is what would eventually be the high end of gold 1 tier.

    The million dollar question is raised: how can there be any matchmaking that feels fair in this type of environment? My conclusion is that there isn’t a perfect way unless the game supplies even playing field for all players, like chess and traditional fighting games. I wrote about the All Star idea in the general rift discussion thread where it’s a mode that occurs on alternating weeks to change up the pace and mood. Week 1 you play with your own collection - this rewards players who have been committed and have a large collection to do well. Week 2 everyone gets to play with a full collection of maxed level characters. It gives newer players a chance to catch up and juste have lots of fun trying things out. Perhaps there would be a theonite cost to this mode so we won’t have players only playing his mode and don’t care about normal rifts.

    That, or maybe the game lets you “rent” characters from the game or your guild mates (when guild comes out) for offensive mode at a cost of rift coins or some resource. It’ll give you a better shot at winning but you end up gaining less rewards overall. It should even the playing field though, which makes the game more enjoyable and at the right challenge.

    It’s interesting how this game chooses to lock the best rewards behind a PvP mode. Most other games I know has PvP as the optional, fun mode whereas PvE the mode with the best rewards.
     
  15. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    Well, if you only had 30 mins for the entire rift, then that will prevent you from trying the same node 100 times.

    Haven't fought you since the 3.1 I think. The 1st week of 3.1 when Gold 1s were 2000, I was matched with a different player everyday. The 2nd week less so with only a few Gold 1s around 1950. This week I have been fighting the same handful of players in Diamond 1, 2, and 3 only. I'm matched to HeGunz every other day around 7:30pm and he'd be the one breaking my win streak. Before 3.1, I'd get matched to the same handful of players as well.
     
  16. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    Agreed! While I personally benefited from win streaks, I would like to see that go away. It just brings disappointment and separates top players from others even more.

    Rewards for top players should be fame and cosmetic rather than even more currency to make it impossible for anyone else to catch up.
     
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  17. vucaar

    vucaar Active Member

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    I suggested to raise or improve the diamond tier cutoff to 500 because we, as a Gold 1, it's kind of annoying to find a "false" or "overqualified" Gold 1 or find a Diamond 1 or Diamond 3 (any diamond, top 3 rank) and I feel bad but I can't blame them because they will lose a great amount of points if they don't smash me in the ground, but it's becoming common to find that matches today and it's not funny.

    Then, that user is here @Jaz00 and answered to me that maybe we didn't have the enough amount of players to raise the top to that number and I don't like it but it's completely right, but I am sure that there is (and I have seen it), at least, a chance to raise to 250 and, maybe with less chances, to 300 players.

    It's supposed that Gold tier is a rank to prepare you to Diamond tier (not to face all the time people with 8+ diamonds), but if we start to fulfill the tier with map of diamonds, how it's supposed the people it's down to us going to improve, if we don't give them a chance. You can feel that it's easy, yeah, maybe it is for veteran people and experts, but people with limited time and resources? In my case, school limits my time and I have to decide, between Prize Fights or Rift Battles and this is why I agree with people that suggests to reduce the amount of battles to get rewards. I know that if I'm not going to pay for it, I will have to employ time, and even I don't feel that purchases (that I feel it's a luxury in this game) can't give you a real booster but well, let's count that.

    So I decide for Rift Battles to get the rewards that would compensate Prize Fights rewards and my progress is really low because I don't play any other mode (with Diamonds, because everything is around that ¬¬ ).

    So after hearing a part of my frustration, I want to suggest some stuff:

    - Improve or raise diamond rank to top 250 (maybe 300 but it's doubtful).
    - Instead of that "2000 rift reset for all" what about to reduce the amount the score by levels, in example:
    a. If your score are between 2000 and 2050 at the end of season, there's no reset.
    b. Scores between 2051 and 2100 loses 20 points at the end of the season.
    c. Scores between 2101 and 2150 loses 35 points " "
    d. Scores between 2151 and 2200 loses 50 points " "
    e. Above 2201 loses 100 points each week. (Again, just an example)

    - Reduce the battles to get the rewards, instead of doing 7, maybe 5 would be great.
    - Reduce the amount of "normal tickets" you get through the week to 1 (You can still buy the special tickets, I think)
    - Give 2 tickets on weekends (Sat and Sun) and one "special ticket" each week (I don't know the function it has, I still have the 5 devs gave us), that would support @Ryouhi suggestion about to improve the chances to find people in "specifics points of the week", and to make a balance, you can reduce the rewards, again, like Ryouhi said.

    P.S.: I don't speak english, so if something would be confuse or you can't understand it, forgive me ( : l)
     
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  18. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    This isn't correct. Because the change in your rift rating is determined by the relative rating of you and your opponent, if you win/lose at 50/50 with people that on average have a higher rift rating than you, you'll still rise, because you win more points in the 50% you win than you lose the 50% you lose.

    But it will certainly *feel* less like you're actually benefiting from building your roster, which admittedly is still a problem.

    I mean, the 50/50 is really the problem of this mode in a nutshell. With Prize Fights someone might easily win 16 fights in a row before losing. Getting better at the game and building your roster means you get to go longer and longer between losing. Rift Battles are a complete change of gears from that. You have to expect to lose. A lot. And no matter your roster or how good you get at it. The only exception seems to be at the tip-top of the heap where there just aren't many people to punch down at you.

    Shoot, I probably never noticed this since I play at random hours on random days.
     
  19. lothorie

    lothorie Active Member

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    ...okay, i wanna share one small idea. How about one pool of fighters for defense and siege team, I mean the characters used for defense can’t attack enemy base, so waddaya think?
     
    #19 lothorie, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  20. Jaz00

    Jaz00 Active Member

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    That would work if they reduce the number of nodes. Otherwise you’ll need 40 diamond characters to fully compete at the top level!
     

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