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Thoughts and Solutions on Rift Battles [Devs Please Read]

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KeenFox, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. KeenFox

    KeenFox Active Member

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    Dear Devs, you should have known that you should have taken into account multiple factors that will be explained below as a game based on grinding makes things even more complicated. You might be a small team, but I cannot but express my thoughts here, because in the end the final product is all that matters, both for you and for us. Below are problems and possible solutions for Rift Battles:

    1. Matchmaking: The biggest general problem I would say and that I am facing most of the time. This should consider specific character acquisitions. Maxed out natural or non diamond fighters is a nice example on keeping track on what we have. Also at what node they are being used and what strength that node accumulates. Matchmaking could also work by comparing the three last stronger nodes,which is the case most of the time. You should know that even 10.000 points in difference might turn the tables in a match because that could easily be the difference on a pretty strong Diamond fighter in the boss or the last two nodes. There are no excuses here.

    2. Losing or Winning Points based on Someone's Rank: Another very important issue that is very annoying and I am still wondering how this one is not fixed yet. There are multiple occasions where we lose more points because the enemy happened to be 100 or more points below in rank score but he had way stronger total strength collection or even equal. I don't find a good reason for this. We might win 2 matches and then this situation makes it so we end up losing more points than the 2 fights that have been already won. For example my rank difference with the opponent was 200. Winning was 8 points. Losing was 22 points. And of course he had way stronger team.Why shall we lose more points?

    3. Players with Very Strong Total Strength Collection Stuck in Lower Ranks Facing Higher Rank Players
    : This again goes along with the one I have mentioned above. If we face that player we lose more points so there is a general problem here that needs to be fixed.

    4. Hacker/Cheater Issue: This is a big issue that affects the whole game actually. This goes in tie with post 2. We lose a lot of points because someone ended up using cheats while having a weaker fighter collection from the start. I guess they are also stealing other people's place getting the rewards , both in Rift Battles and Prize fights. We need transparency from the developers on what actually happens here but this is another topic for another post next time.

    5. Reporting Rift Battles: There should be an option to make reports in a Rift Battle that could be sent to you to see if the fight was truly unfair or not or whether there was genuine mistake in the matchmaking. This will be way better to track cheaters too.

    6. Increase The Matchmaking Time
    : We can wait longer for better results.Also a button to cancel Matchmaking time on demand might be a nice choice too. Instead of 10:00 minutes wait make the time indefinite and a notification could be sent to us while not using the app.

    7. Personalized Actions: Considrening the complicated nature of Rift Battles, sometimes a personalized action should be taken into account towards some players.

    8. Fighter balancing: Some character are insanely unbalanced or a lot stronger than others. Now with Rift Battles you should be more careful on how you define their abilities.Nerf some.Buff others.

    9. Levelling Up Issues: A player might have two natural Diamond Fighters that are highly leveled but barely upgraded. The opponent might simply have one natural Diamond Fighter but fully maxed out. Because of how this system works the player who will be in the bad spot is the one who has the two weak Diamond Fighters because he will be matched against situations like these. So the paradoxical scenario here is that leveling up and having multiple highly leveled characters is not endorsed. Even if that player is on the way of just wanting to upgrade his weak fighter collection. In my situation I finally upgraded my General Surgeon Valentine to Diamond. After doing so and for the first time ever after November, the game could not find me an opponent for 5 queue sessions back to back. And the fights became even more difficult for me. My Surgeon Valentine did not even past 9.000 points (where she always was at maximum gold Level) as she was around 6.000 in her current Diamond state. Yet I was in the very bad spot for a reason.

    10. Player Compensations: If things get awry or too unfair for some players they could be compensated. Be it rewards or less or non point loss (in case of hackers at least!). Reverting an unfair and bad situation back is always a good thing.

    11. History Catalog After each Rift Battle Season Ends: We should have easier access to each Rift Battle Match Fights so we could report and expose a cheater or an unfair situation.

    12. Catalysts:
    •Stucking and using the same catalysts in general should be punishable in losing battle points just like using same fighters.

    •There are ingained problems I have noticed within the game regarding catalysts buffs and debuffs in general. For example, Hex Catalyst says "every 20 seconds opponent suffer Hex for 13 seconds" What ends up happening is that we suffer from Hex each 7 seconds after Hex expires. Timer should reset after the debuff has expired. It should not be ongoing all the time, at least for some debuffs and certain fighter's abilities.There is an endless loop that messes up with our strategy.

    •Try not to make the effects of catalysts absolute. Try to add a percentage in order for the effect to be activated. Use luck, make it more RNG.

    12. Why we keep losing points if we don't play a single Rift Battle match? I find this very annoying. I took a break from this mode and now I lost 200 points. Inactivity should not be banned since no rewards are given at all by the end of the season.

    13. Choices For Tweaking the A.I and Make it More Defensive or Agressive on Demand in our Defense: I think this is the next step for Rift Battles that might make the game more interesting and the A.I a bit more unpredictable. If going for attack it could be indicated with a sword (or a shield for defense) near each node. Or you can completely hide that since our strategy should not be revealed. For example we can make sure certain characters do not tag out unill they are defeated since Final Stand and other buffs will be possibly activated. So we want to make best use of them and plan our strategy pretty carefully.


    Final Verdict: Fairness in competitive games is critically important. If you are not doing it right then you have instantly failed. What you could have done is to ask us, the players, the community how competitive should work, making us take part in more Beta Tests until the thing actually worked as fair as it can be for every one of us. It is a difficult task and thus might need more work than you might have imagined. I am seriously thinking in quitting right now but since I have dedicated so much time into this game I want to give my account to someone else instead. I seriously feel that this game hurts my intelligence with all its unfairness I have been suffering since the first days of Rift Battles. I cannot enjoy it anymore. I took a 2 month break from Rift Battles and I lost 200 points by not playing at all. I tried some Rift matches and this mode is still having the issues I have mentioned above and I cannot even win a single match. Also we are stigmatized by our Rift Battle ranks since it is visible to everyone else...

    I don't know what else to say.

    Is it just me who is suffering from all this? Let me know in the comments below.

    May you all have a nice day.
     
  2. evilgordo

    evilgordo Member

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    It's just not fun for me. Before Catalysts, I was seeded around Gold 2. Played 1 rift battle a day (win or lose, just got min points for the match to qualify) to get the rewards. Then catalysts dropped and I quit. Last month I tried Rifts again since I was now a Rookie. Even with only 5 battles to qualify, it is really not worth the effort: Again, matchmaking is terrible. Even at Bronze 3/2 I constantly get paired with Silver 3/2 with gold Catas (I only use 3 bronze) and you have to do a perfect run each time. Miss a super finish or have 1 death, and you're out of the race. Hell, even using a chara twice is crippling.

    I feel that offense should be as limited as defense. Like, the 20 you use as defense are the only cards you can use for offense...I dunno, but I think that the offense having their whole collection to attack someone's top 20 is not fair (and Catas only lockout opponents that don't have the right chara(s) in their collection at that time).

    Since rifts started, those that were seeded high (gold 2 and up) and stayed there, Rifts is worth the grind. But rookies, they got a tough road ahead. I'm there now and that's where I'll stay, cuz I'm done with Rifts for the foreseeable future.
     
    KeenFox likes this.
  3. BallotBoxer

    BallotBoxer Well-Known Member

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    I'd add a point about the empty Gold 1 tier is proof of a flawed system. Top 200 get scooped up into Diamond 4 leave this gilded gap. Given time, with more leaving or sinking, this could erode to Gold 1 and Gold 2 being empty. It is weird. It is like watching the Olympics and the medal ceremony has no one in the silver spot, and the bronze athlete is glaring at the judges with a "you serious?" expression.

    1. Increased specificity may bring you a better match, but it might also exclude potential battles. Imagine having a fighting pool of only three other fighters to fight over and over again.
    2. For me, the lopsided battles (+22/-8) have always been against strong players in higher ranks. Kind of a "you gonna lose, lol" for that round. Never has it been -22/+8 for rank alone. They've always been weak in collection and rank.
    3. Climbing out of Silver is a long, and endless road. I've fought Bronze 1s with a dozen diamonds.
    4. How does one spot a hacker? Do they get perfect 24k scores or something?
    5. I don't know about Rifts, but I'd like to report PF cheaters directly instead of taking a screenshot to a forum thread, but I could see such a feature being abused by liars.
    6. It once took almost an hour to find a fight. How about after 5 failed matchmaking attempts in a row equals a free win? 10min is fine with me.
    7. I don't know what "personalized action" means.
    8. Anybody specifically you want to nerf/buff?
    9. That's the Rift in a nutshell: the stronger you get, the harder it will be.
    10. Sounds difficult to manage, requiring lots of human intervention. Imagine after a month you get a in-game mail from HVS: "Looks like you've been wronged by 20 cheaters this month. They've been summary executed and we award you with 200 theonite and a couple relics."
    11. Personally wouldn't care for a Rift history.
    12. Catalyst variety score should be a thing. (do duplicate catalysts even stack?)
    12. Does Rift Rank Decay (RRD) only effect high ranks? Without RRD, the top players would just install themselves like barnacles.
    13. Inventing new A.I. behavior sounds like a lot of work. I prefer the Rift stays at a standard level of behavior. I'd pull my hair out if I had to fight defense-minded AI turtles that just block all the time.

    My case is the opposite. When Rifts started, I was Gold 1. Now I'm Silver 4. Thankfully, Rifts aren't much a chore after they reduced the required battles from 7 to 5, but every week I feel like I'm making no progress. Either I break around even or I sink a little further.
     
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  4. Robokit

    Robokit Member

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    • Strongly in favor of attacker and catalyst diversity being a thing. Also can we not get matched up with the same player twice in a row, especially when our rift scores are so far apart?

    I got matched up with 猪 肉 肥 (Pork Fat) twice in quick succession yesterday and I'm more than 200 points lower than him. He has 2 nodes with the exact same catas(frost armor + autoimmune) and he used dupe characters to beat my nodes (prolly cuz he knew i was not gonna win, but still..)

    • Perhaps matchmaking should also take into consideration the stats of the defenders' movesets, though admittedly this could be very tricky to implement. Some veteran players have moves with nearly optimally rolled stats that make their defenders formidable even without the help of catalysts
    • One catalyst that comes to mind that warrants un-nerfing is the Big Band-specific Futile Resistance, what with Piercing now being such an op stat!

    In general I agree that rifts are a pretty big stressor as it is, esp. for those of us who don't have a lot of time to play and just want to qualify for the rewards by playing the minimum 5 matches per week.
     
    #4 Robokit, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  5. .Ron

    .Ron New Member

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    #2 Is really annoying and frustrating specially if you're trying to climb the ranks in rift, I played one match the other day and got a (+17/-13), yesterday I played one match and got a (+10/-20), now I got matches with (+9/-21) and (+7/-23). And with all those matches, I'm always playing the underdog!

    #12 I hope they at least consider reducing the penalty for not playing rift within 5 days. Even if it's just 16 points, it is hard getting those points back specially if I only get a +7, +8, +9 every time I won a match.


    I really hope that this year the Devs focus on improving Rift battles.
     
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  6. Disasterrr19

    Disasterrr19 Member

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    I agree and disagree with different points mentioned by KeenFox. Let me go through them one by one.

    1. Matchmaking: partially agree. I am in G2 and on many occasions I get matched against D3 or G3 players. However I have to say that in most cases their collections are comparable to mine or a bit stronger and my losses are due to my own mistakes. IMO, the matchmaking problems arise from the fact that too few people play Rifts (less than 4000 people, that's why we don't have G1), so the algorithm just does not have enough material to work with. It would be good to have better algorithm, but too many things should be taken into account. Let's hope that it's gonna be improved in the future.

    2. Points loss and gain: partially agree. It can be very annoying to lose 20 points to an overpowered G4 with 8 maxed Nat Diamonds who decided to take a break and experienced Rank decay. I still think that defeating a strong opponent should be rewarded by additional points, but not sure if that should be complemented by punishment for the opponent who could lose just because someone distracted them or whatever.

    3. Overpowered players in low Ranks: mostly agree. Many people already complained that it is extremely difficult for a relatively new player to break into Gold Ranks while constantly facing too strong opponents. This results in new players abandoning the Rifts at all, while overpowered monsters stay and haunt lower Ranks.

    4 and 5. Cheaters and reporting: don't know. Possibly I was just lucky, but all my hundreds of Rifts so far looked pretty legit. I've seen the screenshots with obvious cheaters here though. We just have to remember that any kind of reporting system is a double-edged blade that can be abused.

    6. Match search time: disagree. 10 minutes should be enough to find a good opponent if there is one. Simply increasing time is not likely to improve the efficiency of search. Unlimited search time can also result in some troubles: I want to play a Rift while commuting to my workplace (about 1 hour), start search when I leave home, the match is found after 40 minutes, but I can't play anymore - I have to work. Well, a lost Rift for me...

    7. Personalized actions: disagree. How many people are in HVS? It's a small studio and they already provide an enormous amount of content for us at amazing rate. I don't want to distract them from the development process to check hundreds of potentially suspicious accounts manually...

    8. Balance: totally agree. Current meta has been pretty stable for a long time. Introduction of new Natural Diamonds is impactful, but they are not easily obtainable, so even such monsters as Neuromancer can't cause drastic difference. Many fighters from Bronze to Gold should be adjusted to become more viable.

    9. Leveling: honestly, could not completely understand the reasoning here. If your high-level non-invested Diamond is useless and only causes you troubles during matchmaking, then why did you level this fighter at all? It is similar to a mistake done by fresh players who get their first Nat Diamond fighter around lvl 15, spend all their coins on Dia keys in CoC and tree upgrades and then complain that their one half-developed Dia Fighter is less efficient than 5-6 evolved Bronzes and Silvers... My Fly Trap was sitting at lvl 10 until I got enough keys to fully upgrade her and get Grudge because I understood that without it she would not stand a chance.

    10. Compensation: disagree. See my opinion on Paragraph 7. Unless the game becomes paid and HVS get enough money to hire a special person for that stuff.

    11. History: partially agree. Don't know about cheaters, but I would like to have an option to check the results of my last 20 Rifts and see, whom I fought and how efficient I was.

    12a. Catalysts - stacking and diversity: totally agree. Catalyst diversity and attacker diversity should be taken into account when calculating the final score. Armor Rating, Frost Armor, Blockbusted everywhere! I want to face different trials, not plow my way through endless armors again and again. Also, current Catalysts favor "bruiser" fighters like Bella and Parasoul, while Ms.Fortune, Squigly, Robo and Big Band can't really shine with their long combos. Even with Painwheel I have to use Pinion Dash and Hatred Install much more often than Death Crawl or juggle to avoid Armor and Blockbusted activation... Cripple Decker? Never seen.

    12b. Catalysts - messing with strategy: totally disagree. It is the primary function of Catalysts - to add very-hard-to-deal-with conditions and make us think outside the box! Hex is active 13 seconds out of 20? Work on your timing to get what you need in those 7 seconds or use Immunity! If slows from Super Slo-Mo would not overlap, then it would become absolutely useless. AN example: for a long time I used Big Band to deal with Scratching Post by armoring through attacks; however, now I see many people beating my Ms.Fortunes with Parasouls. I guess they use Immunity taunt that I never used myself - ok, next time I'll try it, thanks for the idea!

    12(?). Rift Rank decay: totally disagree. If it were not here, top 200 would be forever occupied by high-level players who stopped playing the game. Get one extremely good Rift streak - be a Legend forever!

    13. AI tweaking: partially agree. It sounds like a very interesting idea, but a pretty difficult one to make it work. I am afraid that AI following very defensive or very offensive strategy would be prone to falling into same patterns again and again. If so, exploiting those patterns would inevitably become a crucial part of competition, making gameplay less diverse. Remember how the best way to beat Motaro in Mortal Kombat 3 was to just sit down and perform uppercuts every two seconds - booooooriiiing...

    I am really sorry that you are so frustrated by current Rift state that it makes you want to quit the game completely. I remember matching against you a couple of times and your Rift base was really good enough to get you into G2. Probably the troubles with matchmaking are much more evident in lower Gold Ranks, I have been balancing in between G2 and D4 for half a year now and it was not that bad...

    Whatever your final decision would be (stay or leave), I just want to thank you for some really good suggestions and remind one more time that it is just a game - don't take it too seriously, it's not the most important thing in the world. Good luck!

    P.S. Oooff, that is the longest post I've ever written (excluding scientific research papers)...
     
    #6 Disasterrr19, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  7. Dusty00

    Dusty00 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much agree with you. Thanks for spinning this thread into a positive and objective discussion.

    Only thing I will add is regarding decay. A tiered decay might work well, one like what they use in Hearthstone where once you’ve advanced beyond a certain rank you can never decay below it. For example, once you’ve made it to Silver 4 then that is the lowest you can decay to. Some suggested threasholds:

    Silver 4
    Gold 4
    Diamond 4

    At the end of the day, people shouldn’t be rifting when they are not ready. The game had been pretty good about providing diamond keys in other ways recently. I think the devs are aware of the problem that the original rewards are too compelling to NOT rift, and they have been slowly working towards balancing things out. Gifts provide a decent amount of rift coins now, making rifting not as essential. In other words, it is now possible to progress in the game without playing rift.

    Personally I’d like to see rift with two modes like PVP - free for all (current) and competitive (new). Competitive would provide a different set of catas and mods (limited to those) each season to ensure that the meta is different each week. It will also allow players to experience and experiment with variants that they don’t have access to or haven’t invested in. It would help them make a better decision on which variants to invest in next. Most importantly, it should be fun!

    This would pose a slew of complexity in terms of rewards, matchmaking, and dilution of people playing in free for all. However, I do think that with two rift modes, perhaps the existing rewards system could be moved to the competitive whereas the current FFA mode can consider providing more cosmetic rewards such as titles, name borders, or something that benefits social/guild aspect such as gold gifts and ways to improve guilds (when those are implemented).

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to hearing about 2020 plans from the dev :)
     
  8. ZeoW

    ZeoW Member

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    Agree with this so much. The ranking system needs to be changed somehow. I personally think climbing up the ladder with points should not start at least until Gold rank.

    Rookie/Bronze should be a rank exclusively for new players that just started out to try the mode and test the waters. No catalysts, no point system, no rewards. Just a free to play thing like Versus.

    Silver could be the rank with a competitive element. Catalysts can start to be introduced here. Rewards could be given based on the number of wins rather than a point-based system. This will encourage people to play but with no pressure on performing extremely well. A no-diamond rule can be implemented in this rank too.

    I imagine that players will be automatically placed onto the Rookie/Bronze/Silver/Gold rank based on somekind of metric (player level? Collection strength?).

    The Gold rank can be unlocked once a certain achievement is unlocked (evolved a Diamond? Total FS threshold for top 20 fighters?). And players will start at Gold 4 and climb up for better and bigger rewards. Eventually, the pool in Gold 4 will get bigger and bigger, since people that don't play rifts at all but have a really good collection should be in G4 minimum. The percentage cut-offs could be within this pool of players instead of the whole playerbase.

    At the end of the day, I don't know if this automatic placement system is something easy to do or not. Just my personal idea.
     
  9. KeenFox

    KeenFox Active Member

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    Thank you for the answers. I made this post mostly from my side of view, what issues I am currently facing. Some of my points might not be feasible at all and I know it but again I wanted to spark some ideas here and there.

    I think we need a totally new structure, a complete rework for Rift Battles.

    Games are an escape for some of us. And if a game is not working properly, well it is not an escape anymore. It is just a bad experience.

    I hope they listen to us.
     
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  10. KelYOY

    KelYOY New Member

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    Hey guys. So, here's a bit of a brain teaser for you all. I'd like you to try and use context clues to guess who won the following Rift Battle. It might not be easy, but I'm sure you can figure it out. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    In all seriousness though. I've come to terms with the idea of Rift Battles being utterly one sides battles to see who can make the most unplayable fights possible, but you know what I think should be a future edition? A concede button. I like the suggestion of Rift Battles ending early when both players are officially finished. That should definitely be a thing so players aren't just locked out of Rift Battles for an hour+ if both players have finished early, but I feel like it'd also save a lot of time if you could take a look at a Rift you know you can't win, go "Nope" and just concede so you can move on to your next fight.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. Brian Ford

    Brian Ford Active Member

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    Maybes a idea could be to make a Rift split into a few tournaments, where certain Catalysts are allowed usage and some not? Bronze, Silver, Gold titles, would probably need a more catchy name to it besides the usual.

    A lot of work on the devs saying the least, idea is still a decent one of Rifts and ways to take advantage. I don't think hackers/cheats are in Rift, if they knew how to hack they'd just hack all the items in and characters it'll been it. Risk is to high versing anyone in Rift, could even be a dev.

    I agree with this though, it's a touch tedious to do.

    Edit: also have to bare in mind Rift is just a extra, it does have the side of terms as a tournament but all it is when working for new fighters.
     
    #11 Brian Ford, Jan 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  12. GreatTiny

    GreatTiny Member

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    I think that the really complicated thing in Rift right now for matchmaking, is that there are two different sets of "stats" that are considererd and that don't necessarily overlap. Those two been "Ranking" and "Collection strenght". This is really the major drawback right now, all the other things seem circumstantial, at most. Also, this affects mostly the low levels. At some point, having one two more good fighters doesn't really affect as much as catalysts and skills.

    A solution to this would be that in the matchmaking, up to a certain level, only Collection strenght could be used. Maybe up to Silver 2. As it was mentioned above, really few people play rift right now. This way, the new players would be more inclined to play as they will get to do it with people of similar strenght (close rifts are the most entertaining thing in the game right now. F"# you, fight me ☺).

    This is just my opinion. I'm currently at Silver 1/Gold 4 depending on the week and don't really see most of this problems. I may have a match up with stronger people. But once you have a certain amount of resources, nothing is really "unwinable".

    One thing I would like, though, is an incentive to use different fighters. Like, for example, rift "events". Something of the like of "On tuesdays, All attacking Beos gain 1 Precision every 5 seconds". Something that's not "Meta definer", but a nice bonus to fighters that you wouldn't usually use.
     
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  13. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, the biggest problem with Rift Battle match making is also the hardest one to solve, and that's that there aren't enough people playing Rift Battles. Go look at the weekly rankings online, there is no Gold 1 tier. If the top 200 players make up more than 5% of the total Rift Battlers, there's less than 4,000 people total participating in this mode. It is a small miracle that any match making happens at all in this mode.

    Not sure what there is to do about that, because it's a bit of a death spiral, where the fewer people that participate, the more dire the matchmaking is going to be on average, and the less attractive the mode becomes.

    Well, I guess they could make some big change that makes everyone want to give the mode a try again.
     
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  14. GreatTiny

    GreatTiny Member

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    I think that's not exactly true. I understand that there are less than 4000 "Ranked" players. The rookies with less than 1050 points aren't included in there, I understand (may be wrong, someone should confirm this).
     
  15. fanghoul

    fanghoul Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of that. I don't know how that would effect it. But if there are a lot more players way below the ranks of the rest of us, that isn't increasing our odds of getting match-ups.

    On the other hand, I also just had an even more grim thought. I'm a diamond 4, but I also have been recently only been playing Rifts maybe 1 week out of 3? And while I don't pull rewards when I don't play, I think I might still be part of the rankings, so 4,000 active players total in the non-rookie Rifts may be a severe overestimate. Yikes.
     
  16. Kurokazeee

    Kurokazeee Member

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    Hi Keenfox,

    Sorry to hear about your frustrations. I myself have had similar frustrations in rift, but as you said it is difficult to make any game perfectly balanced.

    Would like to expand on the declining rift participation and how this causes more problems:

    TL,DR: splitting matchmaking into first 5 games pool and 6+th game pool may protect players disillusioned by rift from rapidly rising strong players, regular rifter (usually strong players) or hackers (who play 20+ rifts for rift coin streak rewards).

    I think people can take the occasional unfair matchup but really chafe at consecutive unfair matchups - I think the core complaint is that "Why am I always matching to hard fights - strong opponents with higher-than-my-rating, or worse, strong opponents with lower-than-my-rating, or worst, a hacker impossible to beat?"
    This doesnt make sense statistically. For example, if I am diamond 4, there are 100 people in dia3 and above, but more than 300 in dia4 and gold2. where are all the just-the-right-difficulty opponents? unless dia4 and gold2 are all dia2 monsters in actuality, I should be meeting strong opponents only 25% of the time and matching to right difficulty 75% of time right?

    Well, the reason for the discrepancy is most possibly players who are winning a lot at rift (regardless of rift rating) will likely play a lot more rifts (perhaps 20+) while players already disgruntled by rifts and ready to quit rift are playing exactly 5 or less. This means regular players are more likely than expected 25% probability to meet in rift (1) a top player playing 20+ rifts, (2) a returning player spamming rifts to climb back to original rank (3) a whale who just spent a lot and is spamming a winstreak with the newfound canopy/ss tier diamonds (4) hackers looking to spam rifts for rift coin streak rewards.

    The idea here is to protect players already at the minimum rift participation by trying to ensure the original pyramid probability that should give a fair match. This idea is to have different matchmaking pools for players who have completed their minimum 5 matchups and those who havent. This makes sense because at-risk-of-quiting players looking for just 5 "fair" matchups should have a higher chance to be matched to each other, while rift spammers (likely to be winning a lot) should be kept into a separate pool after their first 5 games where impact on general player population is minimized. This means first-5 players will experience a high probability of meeting equal or lower rift rating (and actual battle strength hopefully), assuming most regular players are already at bare minimum participation as evidenced by declining rift participation. If nothing else, this would help encourage these regular players to stay. To take this a step farther, players that already lost 2 to 3 in a row should only match to similar lost 2 to 3 in a row players to minimize chance of a "devastating" week.

    I realize this may be unpopular amongst those strong rifters who want to play 14+ rifts per week especially if they want to "farm rating", but I feel this is necessary to protect the players who are already finding it a chore to finish the 5 rifts because of "unfair" matchups and thus an emergency stopgap measure for the declining rift participation vicious cycle. If you are playing extra many rifts, I think it is fair to expect longer wait times or harder opponents. just my opinion, I think rightful strong rifters would be accepting of this because they would like to match to each other and strong players, while only "toxic" strong rifters who want to "farm noobs" or hackers would dislike this change...

    Also, rift rating decay should be abolished since not receiving rift rewards already disincentivizes not participating, and this decay creates more problems from rift rating mismatch to actual battle strength.
     
    #16 Kurokazeee, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  17. Lililira

    Lililira Member

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    This is a very complex issue, and I'm not sure I have any solutions to offer beyond what has been stated here, but I still want to throw in my two cents mostly to vent my frustrations and shed some light on some things I think might be underlying problems.

    Matchmaking: Rank vs Strength, and how the two are not related

    I honestly think that 'Collection Strength' being a factor in matchmaking causes more problems than it solves. I'm sure it was originally intended to help get the basic ranking system going when rift was new, however as a player who joined more recently after the basic rankings were set in stone I think it has been more of a hindrance than a help.

    A single 20k diamond is not equivalent in usefulness to two 10k golds, and definitely not equivalent to a dozen or so ~1.5k evolution fodder golds that many people have sitting around while they figure out which gold they're going to level next. Gold fighters are rare enough that keeping around fodders just in case you need them later is vital for efficiently building your collection. However, rift's current 'collection strength' matchmaking system punishes you for doing so. (I have been informed that this is not how it works, since the system only counts the top 20 fighters when determining collection strength. Still, a fully marqueed Lv50 gold has a similar score to a Lv35 diamond with no upgrades at all, even though the gold is probably far more useful, since it's the abilities that truly make or break a fighter.)

    But, more importantly, it obscures and complicates the actual ranking system. In my own experience joining this game near the end of summer, I rose to Silver 1 - 2 rather rapidly, back before I ever had any evolved diamonds, and my highest fighter was barely above 10k. However, since then I've really struggled to make any further progress, even with 6 fully upgraded dias ranging from 14 to 23k, since no matter how much I upgrade my fighters or my base I always get paired with people whose collections are similar to mine, who seem to be having the same problem I am: Silver 1 is *not* truly representative of top 21-30%. Now that my collection has grown and been upgraded, I'm no longer ~allowed~ by the system to match up against folks with weaker collections, even if they are the same rank as me.

    In fact, no rank is ever truly representative of levels of strength, since collection strength is being treated as an almost completely separate variable from earned rank when it comes to matchmaking. Add in the decay factor, and there are folks with stronger collections all across the ranking system, further breaking the connection between rank and strength. I'm more likely to get paired with a decayed high Gold rank rifter with half a dozen high dia fighters than I am to get paired with another Silver 1 rifter with a collection that's half the strength of mine. As a result, folks with strong collections can get 'stuck' at lower ranks because, since the matchmaking prioritizes collection strength rather than rank, they'll never get paired with the weaker members of their own rank, and will instead get paired with folks who are either several ranks above them or the folks who recently decayed and are at least a few ranks below them.

    While we're talking about decay, now's the time to bring up how the win / lose points mess things up further. Nothing is quite as frustrating as winning a few close battle against folks who are genuinely close in both rank and strength, maybe earning about 30 points total, and losing them all because you got paired up against a recently decayed person who is several ranks below you but has a much stronger collection. Now, I'm sure the variable win/loss system was meant to allow folks who decayed an easy route back to the top, however as I discussed in my last paragraph, that isn't how things usually work out. They're just going to keep getting paired with other folks with similar collections who also decayed and end up stagnating, rather than the newbs in the same rank as them with collections too weak for them to be paired with.

    As a result, the whole system works as a 'race to the top' to see how far you can make it before your inevitably growing collection becomes more of a hindrance than a help, and if you decay too far then you can forget about ever working your way back up to where you were before.

    In my months in Silver 1, during which my collection strength has increased by at least 5000%, I've been paired against players with similar collections anywhere from Gold 3 ~(+23 / -7) to Silver 4 (+7 / - 23), folks who are anywhere between top 16 to 60% in terms of rank, which is an absolutely ridiculous range and shows pretty clearly that Strength and Rank are not correlated. These matchups aren't even outliers either, since it feels like the system just chooses the first person in line with a similar collection rather than weighing multiple options and pairing you with the most 'fair' one in terms of both strength and rank.

    In conclusion: If the system is going to favor collection strength, and decay breaks the connection between strength and rank, then what does rank even represent?



    Whew, that got long, but I hope I made my problem pretty clear. I don't even know what to do about it honestly. Things like attacker and catalyst diversity might shake things up a little and make rifts less repetitive and monotonous, but it won't alter the fact that the current matchmaking algorithm is inherently broken. Removing decay might help things to settle out and restore the connection between rank and strength, but then you've got the problem of folks camping out at high ranks and not earning rewards but still being counted in the ranking system. Changing the system to favor rank more might also help, but during the process of folks settling into their new ranks we'd all probably get matchups with wildly varying levels of strength, and I'm certain we'd see a mountain of salt from the folks who don't like their new placement. Not to mention the fact that having collection strength more clearly dictate rank inevitably leads to the pay-to-win problem...
     
    #17 Lililira, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  18. GreatTiny

    GreatTiny Member

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    Just to be sure. Did you take into account that the system only counts the 20 stronger fighters to measure strength? "Gold fodder" isn't considered, nor anything out of those first 20 fighters.
     
  19. Lililira

    Lililira Member

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    Oh, I didn't know that. That makes it a bit fairer when it comes to finding matchups with somewhat-similar collection strengths. I'll amend my post, but I feel like the rest of it is still stands.

    The fact that the matchup system heavily favors collection strength over rank, and decay causes there to be folks with highly variable collection strengths across all ranks is a big problem. I've seen several folks in chat with multiple Lvl 40+ marqueed diamonds complain about having a hard time getting past Bronze 3 after they decayed down to Rookie from high Silver / low Gold, simply because they're only getting paired with other people with similar collections who also decayed. I can see quite a few folks like that even by just looking through my friends list.
     
  20. GreatTiny

    GreatTiny Member

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    Well, to be honest, I prefer that scenario over them harrasing the low level players. That would really discourage new people to play. And if I happen to decay, I prefer to still play with people of similar strenght over someone who just happens to be starting with a Rerun on its boss node just because or rankings are similar.
     

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