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NA's Low Platinum population and its effect on PvP, also how to improve it

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  • @Chaith.8256
    You have a good starting point/ starting suggestions, but I think you have to look a little broader in scope.

    There are a lot of different issues holding back GW2 PVP right now, making it bad, and low plat population is a result of those compounding effects. To reiterate, low plat population may be the reason GW2 PVP is un-fun for you specifically, but you have to think about the demographics as a whole if you want to increase the player base.

    GW2 pvpers (and more broadly MMOs in general), have huge, diverse types of players, and you have to cater to ALL of them in order to retain a healthy player base. More importantly, you absolutely must build up from the ground up when considering your player base, as if you double/triple your silver/gold populations you will double/triple your platinum population as a side effect. If you made the game only attractive for plat players, you will dwindle the population further, and eventually even skilled players won't have enough mmr points in the system to even get to plat anymore (see how legendary has already become effectively unattainable in NA). Increasing rewards for plat wouldn't go far enough imo, to see any kind of change in gw2 populations or match quality, even for the plat players themselves.

    Not to say there haven't already been good suggestions. For people who like grinding gw2 high end pvp, increasing rewards would incentivize them to play more games. If if it only helps marginally, it still helps. Additionally, adding rewards for playing off hours/ during low population times, is probably the best idea I've seen in this thread.

    However, to substantially increase the player base across the board you have to fix many of the underlying problems. There are some unfixable problems (such as conquest as a format, and dev resource availability), but some others shouldn't be as difficult with intelligent fixes. Some of these issues have been identified already in this thread, either directly or in passing.

    Problems listed in no particular order:
    Problem 1: Class Balance.
    This issue, is a bigger problem than I think you gave it credit for earlier. GW2 is a difficult to learn game. Speaking broadly (as is required), many players only play 1 class. The amount of effort to proficiently play your class is much higher than say, learning a different champion in LoL, overwhelmingly so. You joked before, but I think the current meta is the worst since HoT release. Many players, if they decide they want to try the game after a year break and find their only playable class is horribly un-meta, they don't decide "time to give up on my 7 year old main and learn something else", they just quit.

    • Solutions:
      Balance the game? Simply, they just need to be way faster. Memes aside, anet has always been FAR to slow at updating/balancing pvp. When certain classes are egregiously UP or OP, they should use egregious hotfixes in both directions. Anet has notoriously tapped extremely OP/UP builds so slowly patch after patch that it takes literally 1-2 years to bring broken builds into line. In the meantime, the games are straight up less fun for everyone. HoT bunkers was loathed by virtually everyone. Even if it killed the classes, they should have gutted chrono/tempest/rev in a hotfix. If they overshoot, they buff them somewhere in between afterwards. If a build has literally no representation at all? Buff something about it and see how it plays out.\

      Introduce class based MMR. If you DO want to incentivize people to start learning more classes, you must introduce this. This has been discussed at length many times in the past. It would require class locking to prevent manipulation, but I think its worth the trade off. I have to imagine PVP population would be much healthier if players were trying new classes if their current main was not meta as opposed to quitting altogether.

    Problem 2: Match Manipulation
    This kitten sucks. I've always loathed duo/party queue for these reasons. Especially when all major pvp rewards are tied to end of season ranking. It ruins the game for all parties involved and devalues the leader boards AND the end of season rewards. Near every season I know of, the top 5 players (or more), get their spots with consistent and prevalent manipulation/gaming.

    • Solutions:
      Remove duo/party queue. (Or remove duo/party queue if any player queuing is ranked in the top 250 (by skill rating, not games played)).
      If people are win trading, this should result in like 1-2 week bans at a minimum, and should be near immediate in execution. Unless match manipulation / win trading is controlled, their may as well not be end of season rewards at all.

    Problem 3: Rewards
    There's not enough incentive to pull in new players/ keep players playing. (See problem 2, and previous replies in this thread).

    • Solutions:
      If you improve rewards across the board for all classes, people are going to want to play more. Hell, add rewards for playing multiple classes. Add rewards for off hours. Add rewards for returning players/returning PVP players. Add rewards for low population. Just add rewards. Compared to time spent in pvp vs pve, gold/hr is not even close anyway. What harm is there?

    Problem 4: Accessibility.
    GW2 was/is marketed as an accessible game for any person, regardless of skill. Unranked (imo), is not enough of a bridge to ranked as it needs to be for players to get into pvp. Many casuals never even attempt to get into it because the barrier to entry it so intimidating they get scared away before even trying.

    • Solutions:
      They need to add some kind of introductory/tutorial system to pvp. Simple things like recommended preset PvP builds for your class (like DoTA2/LoL) have. In game links to corresponding PvP tutorials/guides. Possibly a VS ai mode (it doesn't have to be well made, just something to get players feet wet.) I don't think it would be that difficult to program the existing class ais (in heart of the mists) to walk to nodes and use their already existing ai to fight real players.

    Problem 5: End of Season Rewards (And solutions)

    • I want to make a separate point match manipulation, although this could have been under that as well. People have already mentioned that when a player gets their desired ranking, the best thing they can do is stop playing altogether else risk losing their end of season rewards. Anything that exists in this system that incentivizes you not to play the game, should not exist.

      If at any point you reach the #1 spot you get the god of pvp title reward, it should just do that. If that were the case, people wouldn't be so ruthlessly gaming the system/ quitting playing when they get there. You could argue that it devalues end of seasons rewards, but what value is their currently with the existing system which is horrendously abused?

      Instead, they could add some kind of end of season rewards for games played? Obviously this would need to be vetted for bots, but if a player contributes 400 games in a season vs the the 120 games that players ranked 1,2,3 have, which is healthier for the community? IMO, the choice is obvious. Imagine a title for the top 50-100 players for most games played in a season? "S15 True Heart of the Mists" (I'm spitballing). So what you have people playing kitten loads of game for it. This is what we want them doing.

    Kudos to anyone who made it to the end of this. I didn't intend to write a novel, this one got away from me.

  • Instead, they could add some kind of end of season rewards for games played? Obviously this would need to be vetted for bots, but if a player contributes 400 games in a season vs the the 120 games that players ranked 1,2,3 have, which is healthier for the community? IMO, the choice is obvious. Imagine a title for the top 50-100 players for most games played in a season? "S15 True Heart of the Mists" (I'm spitballing). So what you have people playing kitten loads of game for it. This is what we want them doing.

    I think this is a great idea

  • mistsim.2748mistsim.2748 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 19, 2020

    @ukuni.8745 said:
    I think a good place to start in bringing more people to plat would be increasing viable build diversity leading up to the higher levels of game play, if you want more skilled players playing the game mode they first need to get invested into the game mode and giving huge amounts of options that are just as kitten early on as they are in the end game isnt exactly a good way to get people invested and more rewards dosent make people invested it just turns it into another grind just with the added benefit of dealing with the saltiness of pvp

    So this is the misunderstanding. There is plenty of build diversity at least until the end of Plat 1. You can run off meta builds and still do well. Game gets pretty sweaty Plat 2 and above, but even there you can run your favorite build if you play it extremely well. For example, I'm running a duelist condi Soulbeast that eats average prot holos for breakfast, as well as other meta side noders like core ranger. I've also seen well played scepter/focus weavers do well in Plat 2 as +1ers, although the build isn't meta at all. Just a few examples.

    "bUt tHeRe'S nO bUiLd dIvErSiTy" is a fairly popular excuse that is really masking a l2p issue. A lot of top soloq players don't run meta builds, they're just really good and they do well against whatever. I will argue that until at least Plat 2, you can do well with an off-meta build, as long as it's GOOD at something (side node, +1, etc). There's enough build diversity.

    I will also continue to argue that spvp is largely held back by Anet continuously beating the dead horse (Conquest). If anything, build diversity is held back by the game mode more than anything else (I.e. lack of balancing). Everyone hates this game mode. we've played it for 8 years, and although I'm in Plat 2 after not playing for 3 yrs, I'm getting pretty bored already. This isn't like Dota where the map is a sandbox for many different playstyles. So I'm running around WvW instead these days, which is more along those lines.

    Tldr; build diversity is fine. It's the game mode, people just don't wanna play it. Burn Conquest and Stronghold in a fire, make something new or balance around 2v2/3v3.

  • rng.1024rng.1024 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 19, 2020

    I doubt old plat players would come back even for infite gems, because it's a population issue and the matchmaker just can't keep up with the decline.

    Therefore it stands to reason we have to use our remaining playerbase. Since plat players are definitely the minority, there's a huge pool of potential that's untapped in the divisions below. But how do we go about it?

    The key is the plat border. Where gold 3 meets plat 1. We need crossing that to mean something again. The more competition to get into plat, the lower the matchmaker has to draw to find players for a plat game. This not only gives incentive for all in gold division and below to improve, to play, and to climb - but eventually there will be enough plat level players to sustain pure plat queues again. Atleast during prime time.

    This also means the competition to stay in plat needs to be fierce. I'm going to be blunt with this suggestion: Any rating below plat competes in "Challengers League". They get a unified badge, unlike plat and legend tiers. Give them access to the PvP hub. Give them a toned down gizmo with an aura glow only available as long as you stay in plat or above. Give them a temporary title. Give them exclusive skins. Anything to make it attractive to your average gold player.

    Giving people a reason to play would at the same time alleviate off-hour queues. Anet can take it as far as they want. Top 250 can be invited to an exclusive tournament streamed and casted. Top 250 get permanent stars added somewhere. At this point something as simple as adding a new map in rotation for plat + would be a huge draw for alot of players. The imagination is the limit, but it needs to be exclusive - just because the average plat player doesn't care, doesn't mean it's not a carrot for the average gold who will improve in the process.

  • ukuni.8745ukuni.8745 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 19, 2020

    @mistsim.2748 said:

    @ukuni.8745 said:
    I think a good place to start in bringing more people to plat would be increasing viable build diversity leading up to the higher levels of game play, if you want more skilled players playing the game mode they first need to get invested into the game mode and giving huge amounts of options that are just as kitten early on as they are in the end game isnt exactly a good way to get people invested and more rewards dosent make people invested it just turns it into another grind just with the added benefit of dealing with the saltiness of pvp

    So this is the misunderstanding. There is plenty of build diversity at least until the end of Plat 1. You can run off meta builds and still do well. Game gets pretty sweaty Plat 2 and above, but even there you can run your favorite build if you play it extremely well. For example, I'm running a duelist condi Soulbeast that eats average prot holos for breakfast, as well as other meta side noders like core ranger. I've also seen well played scepter/focus weavers do well in Plat 2 as +1ers, although the build isn't meta at all. Just a few examples.

    "bUt tHeRe'S nO bUiLd dIvErSiTy" is a fairly popular excuse that is really masking a l2p issue. A lot of top soloq players don't run meta builds, they're just really good and they do well against whatever. I will argue that until at least Plat 2, you can do well with an off-meta build, as long as it's GOOD at something (side node, +1, etc). There's enough build diversity.

    I will also continue to argue that spvp is largely held back by Anet continuously beating the dead horse (Conquest). If anything, build diversity is held back by the game mode more than anything else (I.e. lack of balancing). Everyone hates this game mode. we've played it for 8 years, and although I'm in Plat 2 after not playing for 3 yrs, I'm getting pretty bored already. This isn't like Dota where the map is a sandbox for many different playstyles. So I'm running around WvW instead these days, which is more along those lines.

    Tldr; build diversity is fine. It's the game mode, people just don't wanna play it. Burn Conquest and Stronghold in a fire, make something new or balance around 2v2/3v3.

    Plenty of build diversity for good players no doubt about that but your talking about a separate solution to the same problem you want a reason for people to go back to spvp im looking at an option to get new people into spvp and both are important to maintaining a strong population.

    There is already alot to learn in spvp of the gameplay alone so there's defiantly a benefit to help new players get invested to become better players by making the bad skills a little less bad even if they still suck for high level PvP so their choices of skills don't discourage them because they can't play what they want

  • Quadox.7834Quadox.7834 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @shadowpass.4236 said:

    @Chaith.8256 said:

    @shadowpass.4236 said:
    Fun > Prestige > Reward

    Imo for incentive to play a game

    True. The idea is rewards = more people grind in plat = more match quality = more fun.

    Which is fine but you have to understand that people have different reasons for playing a game. I like competition and fun fights. You can increase the rewards massively but I care more about the quality of the time I'm spending rather than how many shinies I get out of it. So if the gold per hour was something crazy but I wasn't enjoying ranked conquest, I don't really want to buy anything in particular so it wouldn't make a difference in the amount I que up.

    Hence why I think that having a healthy amount of all 3 would draw people in. Rather than one over the other.

    One of the issues is the constant nerfing making everything feel worse to play. Nerfing cooldowns and damage as much as they did drastically reduced fluidity. skill ceiling and floor, and made many things feel worse to play especially when builds don't die even when outplayed. More competition / guild capes / unique items for ranking = more prestige + better rewards.

    but you must surely agree that some of the nerfs they did were very healthy to the game, for example removing stunbreak on legend swap? there is nothing skilled about being almost unpunishable.

    // Yanim

  • Khalisto.5780Khalisto.5780 Member ✭✭✭✭

    i think you trying to deal with the problem the wrong way

    since i joined this forums season 13 i hear ppl say plat players are 10% of the community

    i think you have to bulk the base of the population not the top

    not sure how to do that, since every tier has it's own problem

    i see gold 1 players complainting they can't play THEIR builds

    if you go a little lower in the ranks you'll see a lot of afkers, in fact the only difference between a gold 1 and a s2 player is their level of toxicity, the ones in gold 1 are the ones not afking after losing the first fight

    I don't know, something have to be done to make this new players stay around, so 10% of them can climb to plat within 2-3 seasons

  • apharma.3741apharma.3741 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Something a lot of people here don't seem to understand about the league mechanic, it's designed to create a normal distribution and the ranks are an overlay on top. This means a certain percentage roughly will always be "platinum" or higher, this is mostly static and even if a sudden spike in player skill/player base was to happen you're still not likely to see a major increase in the percentage (you will see an increase in raw number with pop increase) unless the upper and lower end of the normal distribution extend and the overlay is kept the same. This was demonstrated when the player base shrank leaving few to no legendary players in NA because the normal distribution had less extremes, causing an adjustment to the ranks that are the overlay in order to maintain the legendary and platinum ranks.

    This means you can't simply magic up more people in platinum without getting more people into PvP.
    It also means that if the player base as a whole increases in skill together for whatever reason (say a good tutorial system) this will also not have much of an effect on the numbers in platinum without an increase in raw numbers of players.
    The problem requires more people to be playing (increasing match maker pool), playing distributed throughout the day not just prime and the skills of those players could do with being higher so as to not frustrate veteran players with platinum players who have no idea how to rotate.

  • zoopop.5630zoopop.5630 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 19, 2020

    Really no point in asking them to do this when they haven't done it in the pass few years at all. I made a suggestion like this over a year ago and noting was done.

    This game mode/game itself is just so kitten old and outdated with so much lack of developers really doing anything to improve the game mode in general. The game SEEM like it was doing good after the major nerf but after the removal of diversity builds and Lack of actually keeping up with the "balance" after promising us "quicker" and smaller patches this whole game/population for spvp been dumb down so much that it has become unenjoyable for players to even solo que.

    What this game mode needs is Bug Fixes on certain maps, Removal of the que timer that sits on the screen for over 2mins , quicker balance patches, More info from the devs about kitten going on, Increase of Rewards for players that are ACTUALLY spamming rank on a daily and not ever 3-4 days just to camp the leader boards. On top of probably looking into class stacking in rank or how to fix the match making that revolves with players swapping Off the weakest class possible into the strongest possible class just to get a major advantage over players that have 0 clue how to swap to anything else.

    At this point me taking a nice 3-4 week break from this game has felt great and honestly whenever the next patch does come out i'll make the decision to either log in and play or just continue to stay away till some changes actually happen because just like everything else they continue to "address" it stays in the back burner till they have the "time" to actually implant it.

  • Swagg.9236Swagg.9236 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Chaith.8256 said:

    @Swagg.9236 said:
    Or you could just cull the bloat from GW2 so people aren't drowning in options that are just not viable. You could also make a game that isn't a mismatched mess of free-aim and tab-target combat with effectively zero emphasis on manual movement. The only thing that reward baiting does is drive participation for a hot second before people gather what they want and leave or burn out (see every PvE-focused patch drop and how many "end-game" PvE zones are just utterly dead nowadays). You could also cite how people are still crying about PvP participation despite NOT JUST A MONTH OR SO AGO, PvP was up to its ears in randoms queuing solely for a legendary trinket; not only did people complain about "tourists" during the influx, but the place is super dead again. Rewards don't work if the gameplay isn't good.

    That could be like 4 different threads. Also I think good gameplay is incredibly subjective. I feel like most who plays GW2 thinks the mechanics of it is good, or is it just for the amazing ranked queue system that keeps people playing? Kappa

    It's a single thought for a single thread. Rewards clearly don't generate sustained participation even in PvE: the area in which they are most tailored to bait engagement. They threw a legendary at PvP--possibly the most precious item that anyone could ask from GW2 content engagement outside of more fashion--and it retained a slightly boosted level of participation for all of maybe a month or so. There is probably just one huge difference between communities like GW2 PvP and other, successful game communities like the facets of the FGC, AoE2, TF2 and even little splinter groups like the myriad which comprise speedrunning as a whole: all of those games not only have high skill ceilings but they also allow players to express themselves differently despite providing a universal set of tools for everyone.

    This isn't a matter of game genre. GW2 lacks movement tech and generally doesn't cater to predictive aiming, which oppressively lowers the skill ceiling. It has a minimap in PvP which dumps egregious amounts of information regarding player positioning and profession choice, often making it all too easy to know exactly where to be at any given time; this caps the usefulness of "game sense" which most players have to develop in other games that rely on player communication and timing in order to know where enemy players are. On top of this, due to most skills' very scripted nature, it's very, VERY difficult for players to express themselves with aggressive or mobile playstyles if they don't "take the right skills." By having "playstyles" so closely entwined with build choice, it sort of drains any sort of ability for the player to fully express their own creativity in any given situation. Without creativity, the skill ceiling will always be incredibly low.

    It's rather upsetting that, in 2020, the "competitive" playerbase of a AAA MMO from 2012 could look so pathetic to the one of an RTS from 1999, but that's just the way things are because one of those games can really push the manual and mental limits of players whereas the other only truly iterates when patch notes say that it does. There's your true problem.

  • TeqkOneStylez.8047TeqkOneStylez.8047 Member ✭✭✭

    @Swagg.9236 said:

    This isn't a matter of game genre. GW2 lacks movement tech and generally doesn't cater to predictive aiming, which oppressively lowers the skill ceiling.

    I know you know about that Super Smash Bros Melee.

  • Swagg.9236Swagg.9236 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @TeqkOneStylez.8047 said:

    @Swagg.9236 said:

    This isn't a matter of game genre. GW2 lacks movement tech and generally doesn't cater to predictive aiming, which oppressively lowers the skill ceiling.

    I know you know about that Super Smash Bros Melee.

    The year is 20XX.

  • TeqkOneStylez.8047TeqkOneStylez.8047 Member ✭✭✭

    @Swagg.9236 said:

    @TeqkOneStylez.8047 said:

    @Swagg.9236 said:

    This isn't a matter of game genre. GW2 lacks movement tech and generally doesn't cater to predictive aiming, which oppressively lowers the skill ceiling.

    I know you know about that Super Smash Bros Melee.

    The year is 20XX.

    Thats ma dawg

  • Chaith is 100% correct. Ranked's biggest problem currently is low population. This is an amazingly balanced and fun gamemode that has been overlooked for far too long. Small steps like those outlined above can do a lot to alleviate the problem and provide a better gaming experience for all invloved.