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Discussion About "What Is Killing Our SPvP Community?" And What Can We Do About It?


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@"Trevor Boyer.6524" said:Most people would just say "Toxicity!" or "Bad Balance!" Let me explain what I believe to be the reason why all of it is happening. I believe it has nothing to do with general toxicity and very little to do with general balance issues. I believe the root and bulk of the problem begins with how the algorithm functions on a core foundational level:

I hate to be a jerk - but you're dead wrong.What killed GW2 PvP is:

  • Power Creep / Balance
  • Inability to play with friends

It all comes down to: Is the game fun to play? And for the past few years, PvP (though some may say GW2 in general) is not fun to play regularly.

Power Creep / BalanceThis is by far the biggest problem for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost is the frustration in the gameplay. Power creep - particularly with elite specs - has made it so that for a significant duration of a combat time, you can't do much to stop your opponents. But when you can finally hit them, oh boy does it hurt hard. The receiving end is the same. I can tank damage for days, but then I melt. That feast or famine experience is a huge turn-off. It's hard to learn what you should and shouldn't do when every instinct just says to spam abilities - eventually a huge amount of damage will go through. If you don't spam your defenses, you'll die quickly. This coincides with the

problem. It doesn't feel like there's any depth as you go along, and trying something different gets you destroyed. You become bored with the skill use repetition and frustrated with "randomly" winning or losing. So you quit or take long breaks.Second, elite spec power creep has also alienated players by forcing them to give up on established characters. Many players started out by picking a profession and a playstyle which suited them. They felt comfortable with that choice and became attached to it over time. Then a new round of elite specs hits, leaving everything before it as non-viable for PvP. You have three choices: re-roll, continuing playing the sub-par spec, or quit. For players who make the second choice, a huge divide in power drives them to quit because they simply can't compete against the immense power differential by substituting greater skill.Third, the power creep has also forced out a lot of the team-play aspect of the game. How often do you cover for stomps or revives? Most revives come from power creeped abilities which revive in the blink of an eye. Support specs are pretty much gone (support as in help the team - not live forever by yourself).

Inability to Play with FriendsSo, you can't play PvP with friends... in a team-based format... in an MMORPG. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? Unranked has effectively next to no matchmaking (the margins are so wide it doesn't matter), so it's pointless to try and team queue there - the games are completely lop-sided. The automated tournaments are so infrequent and times are constantly shifting that it's not worth the hassle to corral a group of friends only to sit around waiting for 10-15minutes and then play 1 or 2 games. So basically, there's no reasonable way to PvP with friends against players of roughly even skill level. That makes it difficult to maintain or grow a circle of friends.

The social aspect of games is strong; people will stick with something a lot longer if their friends are still doing it. When you can't do anything with friends, it's easier to give up, especially in the presence of other detractors (see power creep).

What isn't a big dealThe solo queue arguments are all completely ludicrous. Back in vanilla GW2, we had a solo queue and a team queue. Eventually most players moved to the team queue - as solo players. The solo queue was full of toxic "solo queue heroes" who only cared about besting people in 1v1's and bragging; there was almost no teamwork or coordination. The team queue was full of teamwork and a play to learn and make friends. If you went up against a full team, it was a challenge and learning opportunity. As ANet has said, full teams tended to lose more games than they won; in the big picture, the full teams are friends or guildmates who are PvP'ing for fun.The rating system issues are also completely overblown. The "big loss, small gain" rating adjustments only happen at the extremes of the rating range - around top 100 or so. Less than 5% of the population. Problems with rating differential are also overblown and are due to the power creep more than the rating system. Because of elite specs being relatively skill-less, very few people know map awareness, teamplay, kiting, etc. That huge actual skill differential happens over a relatively small range at the top. If those soft skills were more important, the differential wouldn't be as large in as small a rating range.

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@"Twilight Tempest.7584" said:No system is perfect, but instead of simply saying "no", how about proposing better (realistic) solutions?

Alright, you got me thinking.

! First off, I can see your point. Your suggestions address the premise that the rating system will somehow be improved if some measure of individual skill is added, which I still can't agree with. Some simple examples would include, in the case of existing top stats, players dropping every action to try to revive their teammates to score top revives; players spamming heals off cooldown to get top healing; players damaging downed enemies to get top damage when it's more beneficial to finish them. It's difficult to account for all similar cases that will surely arise.That being said, the suggestion I've come up with is a bit weird, but let's see.Remove ranked duo queue, only leaving ranked solo queue; this solves the duo problem in ranked. Now, every unranked win/match played (whichever makes more sense) rewards you with one "grey pip" if you were premade with somebody. Accumulated "grey pips" are then redeemed in solo ranked: you get +1 pip for every victory in ranked queue. (The actual numbers can be changed to make more sense.)This way players are hypothetically encouraged (though not forced) to play unranked together with their friends and are motivated to play solo ranked to redeem "grey pips". For someone who only plays unranked, nothing really changes. Those who are forced to play ranked to farm pips (and are lamenting the fact) are slightly more likely to spend more time in unranked queue and less time in ranked, which can be seen as a plus. Those who are playing ranked competitively don't have to deal with duos anymore and don't need to avoid their friends.Supposedly, some people will leave ranked at some times (making the queue emptier), but some other people will come to redeem their pips to balance it out.

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@"Twilight Tempest.7584" said:Next, wins versus losses is too simplistic a measure of individual performance in a team-mode. It requires too large a sample of both players and matches (both of which are currently lacking) to work.Other games have tried augments to rating systems, including votes, top stats, role-related stats, etc. Not surprisingly, win vs. loss is still by far the best indication of skill. In all cases, the augments were either removed or heavily de-emphasized leaving win vs. loss as the overwhelming factor.The number of games to have an accurate rating also isn't that huge. Keep in mind that accurate means that your true rating falls within some range of your current rating. I don't have the numbers ANet uses, but once you settle (probably 20-30 games for most of the population; when your rating gain/loss stabilizes around ±15-20), it's likely that your true rating lies within ±100 of your current rating. So while many people complain about going down 100 rating in an evening, that's normal! Glicko2 uses a statistical model and the uncertainty of your true rating is baked in as a rating deviation. It means that your current rating before the "loss streak" was a little too high; though your new rating may be a tad low, it's still within the margin of error from your true rating.

Arguing that the rating system is unfair or doesn't work only demonstrates that you don't understand the math behind it.

The one possible flaw is the soft reset which is done at the beginning of each season. This causes the population to bunch up near the middle (1200 rating based on the range of 0 to 2400) more than it should be. Over time, the population will spread out to normal distribution. But the further you belong from the middle, the longer it will take to reach your prior season rating (assuming unchanged skill), because you need to wait for the inner population to spread out as well. But during that time, your rating relative to the others is still accurate.

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Everyone is saying so much as to what is killing the pvp community. As for me its the lack of game modes. I can only do so many 5v5, 3 capture point circle jerk. After 5 years and almost 5k games. Iv hung up my towel in december 2018. And unless some equivalent or better then its predicsessor gw1 comes into gw2, im gone from this community forever.

As far as what we can do about it is nothing really. Its all on the developers table and only they can maken delicious meals (new game modes) for us.

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I think it is two things:

  1. Powercreep - and general bad/frustrating/boring meta. Ask players who quit, like helseth and sindrener for ex, and they will tell you they did it because what they are playing and playing against simply isn't fun. When I play the game I see people complain about this constantly. Many of my old friends, who really used to lov this game, quit for this reason. There is so much resentment in the community I feel.
  2. DuoQ - the only way (outside ATs) to play the game at a high level is duoq. For many players this just doesn't fit them, they want to compete solo or play with friends in a team. I don't know what the best solution is on this, the simplest one might be split leaderboards. Maybe like battlerite where a certain group of players has its own shared rating.

Maybe you could add a 3rd point about the stale and old pvp gamemode with little variance. Aside from these three points, especially point 1, I think every other issue pales by comparision.

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This proposed solution of yours is not correct at all to the problem you are posing.Duos have not presented any problems that weren't already present. PvP has been in a steady decline for years now.I'm never angry about duos. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are not, and not even remotely related to the problem. You need to be able to compete with your friends without needing to wait 5 hours for an AT, so duos is atleast something. An honest team queue would be better.

There is a number of problems that have lead to the decline of the PvP Community. PvP'ers have this misconception that competitiveness is what makes PvP fun, and good balance can fix everything, but that's just not true for the casual player because their mindset is different.

A. Lack of variety and support for alternative game modes. Seriously, who wants to do the same game mode years on end? ANet needs to start supporting and developing game modes other than Conquest. While they may never be on the same level of competitiveness, they don't really need to be. They just need to be fun, and different to Conquest, and they need a queue. Hotjoins as a platform for matches, other than tournaments and as a practice ground, is a thing of the past.

B. Casualization of professions. It's the little things like shortening movement distance by facing the camera down and other things like this that give interesting nuances to playing the game. They raise the skill cap in ways that have less to do with your class. Removing skill cap things make the game less interesting, not better. Reducing Portal duration made the game less interesting, and I don't even play Mesmer.

C. Skills that have been useless for half a decade now. This ties heavily into balance and diversity obviously. It's about things that should work, like Support Tempest, but don't, and it's about being forced into skills and traitlines to be viable. You are pretty much never surprised by what your opponent brings to a fight, and that's no fun, is it?

D. Rewards and exclusivity. PvP exclusive stuff should not just be aimed for only the absolute best. There should be some skill involved in how fast you gain it(the exclusive area is fine IMO, this is about other things) but PvP should have a much better reward structure, and better things to go for than a backpack that can be assembled in 2 seasons, or an ugly weapon set.

Those are in addition to the obvious one, which is balance.This is mostly about bringing in the casuals. No scene can withstand and stay healthy if there's no new people being infused into it. An in-game event of some kind that brings people to the game mode every now and then, would be really good for this. Like a double/triple rewards weekend for unranked, a little incentive for people to try it out. You bring in 100 new people, out of which 10 will stick around for a while and 1 of those will play PvP until they stop playing the game altogether.

And reserve your toxicness for ranked, people. That shit has no place in unranked.

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@"bluri.2653" said:1700 does a duo with a 1500Algorithm counts them as a 1600 duo "averaged out"

Is not how it works, they changed this seeeeeeeeeasons ago due to abuse of lowrated alts of friends. It takes the highest mmr and only counts as that

If you read my 2nd post, and what Exedore said, I don't think this is true anymore. Duoing with someone 200 rating or lower is most certainly creating easier matches for the higher rated player in the duo, and heavily effecting his gain/loss in terms of the gains being extremely small and the losses being very large. All of the patterns that I've seen and what he confirmed, indicate that it's averaging a duo que rating before setting them in the match making. Why would it do that if it was using only the higher rated player's rating for match making?

Would be great if Arenanet would make a statement on this. At this point we'd really like to know for sure if something was changed.

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@Trevor Boyer.6524 said:

@"bluri.2653" said:1700 does a duo with a 1500Algorithm counts them as a 1600 duo "averaged out"

Is not how it works, they changed this seeeeeeeeeasons ago due to abuse of lowrated alts of friends. It takes the highest mmr and only counts as that

If you read my 2nd post, and what Exedore said, I don't think this is true anymore. Duoing with someone 200 rating or lower is most certainly creating easier matches for the higher rated player in the duo, and heavily effecting his gain/loss in terms of the gains being extremely small and the losses being very large. All of the patterns that I've seen and what he confirmed, indicate that it's averaging a duo que rating before setting them in the match making. Why would it do that if it was using only the higher rated player's rating for match making?

Would be great if Arenanet would make a statement on this. At this point we'd really like to know for sure if something was changed.

Yeah and I believe that 2pac is alive as well.

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I duo with my friend who's also in the 1700(same rating I'm in) and we still get a bunch of plat 1-2 players in our games.

I notice enemy team who usually in the 1800s get's the same skilled rated players from plat2-plat3 . The whole system Needs a rework and reconsider for it's low population aint no one trying to lose -20 points for a game that was completely 1 sided and in favor of an other team.

In LoL if a team is favor to Lose they don't lose a lot of points....IMO it should be the same for Gw2 especially when MOST games are pretty 1 sided now days.

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@zoopop.5630 said:I duo with my friend who's also in the 1700(same rating I'm in) and we still get a bunch of plat 1-2 players in our games.

I notice enemy team who usually in the 1800s get's the same skilled rated players from plat2-plat3 . The whole system Needs a rework and reconsider for it's low population aint no one trying to lose -20 points for a game that was completely 1 sided and in favor of an other team.

In LoL if a team is favor to Lose they don't lose a lot of points....IMO it should be the same for Gw2 especially when MOST games are pretty 1 sided now days.

Anet has already experimented limiting on how far the system can search for a matchup, it ended with them not getting qpop. I have had rating differences in my team with over 500-600 rating

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@bluri.2653 said:

@zoopop.5630 said:I duo with my friend who's also in the 1700(same rating I'm in) and we still get a bunch of plat 1-2 players in our games.

I notice enemy team who usually in the 1800s get's the same skilled rated players from plat2-plat3 . The whole system Needs a rework and reconsider for it's low population aint no one trying to lose -20 points for a game that was completely 1 sided and in favor of an other team.

In LoL if a team is favor to Lose they don't lose a lot of points....IMO it should be the same for Gw2 especially when MOST games are pretty 1 sided now days.

Anet has already experimented limiting on how far the system can search for a matchup, it ended with them not getting qpop. I have had rating differences in my team with over 500-600 rating

which again isn't a good sign lol. That's horrible to even know that your getting players that low.

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Answering the title:the devs, and nothing, it's gone past the point of no return...

The devs mismanaged sPvP since HoT came out, they broke it, were late to create alternatives to their messes, and have yet to deliver a convincing balance patch that matches the time between balance iterations.All this drove people away, to the point that its almost impossible for the game to match people in a desirable way (as in all similar ranks, no stacked builds or premades, in a timely manner), and because this has a snowball effect, the less people, the worse the match making, the worse the match making, the less people want to play, and so on.Right now, it would take something utterly revolutionary to get a decent amount of people to come back to sPvP, and given that they've been working on something as BASIC as Swiss rounds pretty much since PoF launched, you KNOW, it's going to die.

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@zoopop.5630 said:

@zoopop.5630 said:I duo with my friend who's also in the 1700(same rating I'm in) and we still get a bunch of plat 1-2 players in our games.

I notice enemy team who usually in the 1800s get's the same skilled rated players from plat2-plat3 . The whole system Needs a rework and reconsider for it's low population aint no one trying to lose -20 points for a game that was completely 1 sided and in favor of an other team.

In LoL if a team is favor to Lose they don't lose a lot of points....IMO it should be the same for Gw2 especially when MOST games are pretty 1 sided now days.

Anet has already experimented limiting on how far the system can search for a matchup, it ended with them not getting qpop. I have had rating differences in my team with over 500-600 rating

which again isn't a good sign lol. That's horrible to even know that your getting players that low.

Well theres no possible way to fix this unless the playerbase significantly increased which wont happen and people still believe its tied to duoq and not balance/meta/playstyle but hey what do i know

Right now theres no limit on how far the matchmaker search for a matchup, so if im 1900 rated and theres not enough plats it will keep searching until it finds a match.You are right tho, it's not enjoyable for me or the lowrated players.

The only time we had good "balanced" games was S5 when the population was "big" enough to sustain plat/legend, now it just isnt

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I was going to make a long multi paragraph post but rather then be the target of a witch hunt and getting flamed, wouldn't hurt if the community was a bit more helpful and a touch less stingy. I know PvP isn't supposed to be a friendly hugbox but where it is now, wouldn't hurt not to scare off new and returning players. Perhaps even help them.

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Scrap Glicko-2 and use TrueSkill. TrueSkill is a Microsoft rating system that is designed for multiple players.

Update the matchmaker to have a tighter rating variance at the expense of longer queue times. I'd rather have statistically better matches than having a gamble with quicker queues.

Bring back team queuing.

Perform big balance updates during off-season and tweaks throughout the season

Do actual skill splits and not just number tuning across game modes. Compact the skill splits into PvE and WvW/PvP.

Expand the setup time to 2 minutes. If a player is disconnected at the start of the match then scrap it and kick everyone out of the game and back to queue.

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@Exedore.6320 said:

@"Trevor Boyer.6524" said:Most people would just say "Toxicity!" or "Bad Balance!" Let me explain what I believe to be the reason why all of it is happening. I believe it has nothing to do with general toxicity and very little to do with general balance issues. I believe the root and bulk of the problem begins with how the algorithm functions on a core foundational level:

I hate to be a jerk - but you're dead wrong.What killed GW2 PvP is:
  • Power Creep / Balance
  • Inability to play with friends

It all comes down to:
Is the game fun to play?
And for the past few years, PvP (though some may say GW2 in general) is not fun to play regularly.

Power Creep / Balance
This is by far the biggest problem for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost is the frustration in the gameplay. Power creep - particularly with elite specs - has made it so that for a significant duration of a combat time, you can't do much to stop your opponents. But when you can finally hit them, oh boy does it hurt hard. The receiving end is the same. I can tank damage for days, but then I melt. That feast or famine experience is a huge turn-off. It's hard to learn what you should and shouldn't do when every instinct just says to spam abilities - eventually a huge amount of damage will go through. If you don't spam your defenses, you'll die quickly. This coincides with the
problem. It doesn't feel like there's any depth as you go along, and trying something different gets you destroyed. You become bored with the skill use repetition and frustrated with "randomly" winning or losing. So you quit or take long breaks.Second, elite spec power creep has also alienated players by forcing them to give up on established characters. Many players started out by picking a profession and a playstyle which suited them. They felt comfortable with that choice and became attached to it over time. Then a new round of elite specs hits, leaving everything before it as non-viable for PvP. You have three choices: re-roll, continuing playing the sub-par spec, or quit. For players who make the second choice, a huge divide in power drives them to quit because they simply can't compete against the immense power differential by substituting greater skill.Third, the power creep has also forced out a lot of the team-play aspect of the game. How often do you cover for stomps or revives? Most revives come from power creeped abilities which revive in the blink of an eye. Support specs are pretty much gone (support as in help the team - not live forever by yourself).

Inability to Play with Friends
So, you can't play PvP with friends... in a team-based format... in an MMORPG. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? Unranked has effectively next to no matchmaking (the margins are so wide it doesn't matter), so it's pointless to try and team queue there - the games are completely lop-sided. The automated tournaments are so infrequent and times are constantly shifting that it's not worth the hassle to corral a group of friends only to sit around waiting for 10-15minutes and then play 1 or 2 games. So basically, there's no reasonable way to PvP with friends against players of roughly even skill level. That makes it difficult to maintain or grow a circle of friends.

The social aspect of games is strong; people will stick with something a lot longer if their friends are still doing it. When you can't do anything with friends, it's easier to give up, especially in the presence of other detractors (see power creep).

What isn't a big deal
The solo queue arguments are all completely ludicrous. Back in vanilla GW2, we had a solo queue and a team queue. Eventually most players moved to the team queue - as solo players. The solo queue was full of toxic "solo queue heroes" who only cared about besting people in 1v1's and bragging; there was almost no teamwork or coordination. The team queue was full of teamwork and a play to learn and make friends. If you went up against a full team, it was a challenge and learning opportunity. As ANet has said, full teams tended to lose more games than they won; in the big picture, the full teams are friends or guildmates who are PvP'ing
for fun
.The rating system issues are also completely overblown. The "big loss, small gain" rating adjustments only happen at the extremes of the rating range - around top 100 or so. Less than 5% of the population. Problems with rating differential are also overblown and are due to the power creep more than the rating system. Because of elite specs being relatively skill-less, very few people know map awareness, teamplay, kiting, etc. That huge actual skill differential happens over a relatively small range at the top. If those soft skills were more important, the differential wouldn't be as large in as small a rating range.

+1

Well said.

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What if... there was a betting system. Where at the start each player could bet on which team would win. The larger the spread, the larger the potential point gain for winning being the winning team and the less points for losing if you're the losing team. But then the winning team loses way more if they lose. Then of course the losing team also wins way more if they win. It'd have to be balanced well, and maybe be team independent instead of match independent.

Or let each player wager mmr points Infependetly?

Just a random thought. It could probably still be really abused though by making it really easy to climb by knowing the players you're fighting and with

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One issue that's been glaring from my pov is the hindered replay value by the limited types of pvp modes. While catering to conquest for 5+ years, adding in new maps and updating the old ones, other modes such as deathmatch and stronghold are made then neglected to rot with no sign of any new modes for the future.

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In no particular order:

  • There is too much player interference in the matchmaking. (Remove the ratings that are displayed on the leaderboard OR remove the leaderboard while the season is live) AND change the way that the friend/block list works (see bullet below). With the leaderboard related suggestions, people are able to gauge where they stand in the competitive player pool and add/remove themselves from the matchmaking pool. This not only hurts the population and as a result the matchmaking algorithm, but it also allows for people to try to "game" the matchmaking system by "controlling" the other queuing and matchmaking conditions.
  • This is further exasperated by the ability to friend/block anybody and track their online status, location, and whether or not they're in a PvP match. Virtually anybody can keep track of someone appearing in a number of their games at that timezone and then add/block them and try to queue to avoid or be in a game with them based on whether they are in a PvP match, further hurting the population and the matchmaking algorithm. A person's location/activity should only appear if they have also added you as a friend, and in addition to that, the activity for PvP should only display as a generic "Player versus Player" if a person is in a PvP queue, a PvP match, or Heart of the Mists.
  • Separate Solo Queue and Team Queue for ranked queues. Nobody wants to feel as though they can't participate in the game mode without having people online to queue with, and nobody wants to feel like they can't play with their friends if they want to be competitive.
  • In conjunction with the above, remove unranked entirely. Remove the terminology of "ranked" entirely if needed. Solo Queue, Team Queue, if there is a season active then you receive additional rewards.
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