This has been raised before, but I think the time is ripe. I used to be a Pokemon Go player, and watched the impossible become possible over the course of the last few years.
It was Player vs gyms (not sure if that’s done local CPU or server-based)
Then it was Players (multiple) vs server (raids)
Then they finally introduced real-time PvP
On the people side, there were detractors from every change.
On the technical side, yes there were many challenges with rubber-banding raid damage to consistent player attempts to hack PvP.
After numerous teething issues, PvP got to a stage where there is a core of players discussing it, holding live tournaments, improving knowledge of game mechanics etc.
Now with the scene set, yes, the feature I’m requesting is real time PvP, between players. I know it’s been raised several times before, but I’m necro-ing the request all the same. It will give a pocket of players something to do - to chase individual glory on a leaderboard with real rankings that rise and fall with each win/loss and not the current “PvP” that is all about how much time you spend.
How about stats disparity? Use the Arena model - remove all stat bonuses! Or keep them as a nod to the number of hours you’ve invested in the game, but scale them with diminishing returns. Just a random suggestion - square root your total bonus, so
+1 => +1
+4 => +2
+25 => +5
Sure, veterans will be stronger, but you could scale the rating (some games use a derivative of ELO rating system) so that the expected outcome is not only based on rating difference between two players, but also takes into consideration difference in bonus. i.e. winning consistently with no bonus moves you up faster. You could even make it so that one could choose whether to activate stat bonuses before match-making.
How about troop disparity? There must be many ways to address this, and a group of dedicated thinkers will surely think of better ways, but for the sake of discussion, another random suggestion. In Magic the Gathering (MtG), there are banned cards, limited cards (1 only) and other restrictions. In Pokemon Go, they have 3 different leagues (different power levels) and TheSilphRoad (3rd party) used to run tournaments based on specific traits. So my suggestion is for GoW:
- put OP weapons and troops into tiers - and allow only 1 S-tier weapon/troop per team
- allow only 1 of each troop
- set seasonal restrictions to make things fresh, but keep enough variability e.g. never less than 50 troop choices. examples are
“must use any of these 2 colours”
“must NOT use any of these 2 colours”
“must be an Elf or Orc”
“must be from Merlantis or be a Merfolk”
On thing about PvP in any game is balance - it’s always fluctuating, but League of Legends has a team dedicated to tuning. Street Fighter has a team dedicated to tuning.
Players will complain all the time - but I feel this will be a good addition to the game for something to do. If it becomes a real game mode, you can see how troops are performing and start tuning using this information by adjusting multipliers, mana costs, base damage etc.
Guild Wars doesn’t quite cut it - it’s once every 4 weeks and P v CPU can only be so challenging. Last B1 winner lost under 10 total battles across 900 GW battles?
PvP leaderboard is simply a measure of who has the most time to grind.
Give us real player-vs-player skill based leaderboards! You say it’s all RNG? So are scrabble, MtG (starting hand), and so many other games, but that hasn’t stopped them.
You say lag will kill it?
I also used to play Yahoo Chess maybe 12 years ago? Managing two players online wasn’t hard then, especially given GoW PvP would be turn-based as well. People made 60 moves in under a minute. 12 years ago.
You say nobody will play a 10 minute match?
Chess games go for different time controls - but there are plenty of players all round. We could use a dual time limit, one per turn and one for the entire game. There could be “fast” and “slow” time controls offered, each with a different ladder?
- fast: 20 seconds max per turn (move or lose it), 3 minutes total (per player)
- slow: 40 seconds per turn, 10 minutes total (per player)
I used “match” above, because I see a fair match as 2 (or 4, 6?) battles between players, taking turns starting first.
What about draws (each player winning one battle)? - several ideas
- Leave it as a draw. Chess games end in draws, but draws count slightly against players with higher troops/teams/stats, since they are expected to win more. It’s statistical, I won’t go into details
- Blitz chess tie-breaks use an Armageddon system. The advantage of the White player is amplified (5 minutes on top of starting first, vs 4 minutes), but if you can’t win it, a draw becomes a loss. I don’t know what would make an exciting Armageddon game to settle drawn matches, maybe 1 tiebreak game with starting player randomly selected (wild suggestion), 2nd-to-move gets 30% mana start & 1 random barrier & 1 random freeze-opponent? Even the bonus for this tiebreak game can be 3 things drawn from a pool of 10.
No matter how unbalanced things are, just remember RNG applies to everyone equally. If you do well on aggregate over many games despite RNG, it’s your turn to shine whether by luck or skill. Over a long period of several monthly seasons, those consistently on the top must be doing something right.
I am not pushing a particular implementation even though I have put forward some suggestions. I offer them only as a starting point to visualize what is possible. There are probably critical flaws in some of my thinking, and you may have an idea 10 times better than mine how to implement it. Please do share!