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  • Team Size Imbalances

    This has been going on for months now, and it's driving me insane. It is taking an unbelievable length of time for someone to join the short team after its being called out. And it doesn't seem to make a different if the other team is completely filled with Regulars or if the bottom 4 people on both sides are Question Marks.

    The rule is if someone from the short team calls "Teams" the other side needs to respond immediately. Not goof around until someone else joins the server and fills the spot. There are about a half-dozen people who almost always will switch, frequently without even being asked, but outside of them its like pulling teeth to get this to happen.

    Explaining to a new player that they need to go back to the Ready Room and join the other team should take about 10 seconds. And when the team is filled with regulars you should be able to figure out who is going to switch in even less than that. And if you can't agree and the lowest score player is your Lerk/Fade/Onos/Hive Dropper you need to do without, or collectively decided to send someone else.

  • #2
    Re: Team Size Imbalances

    Well yes, this has been a problem once and a while. Most of the time i've noticed people do switch, the only problem that delays the action is the lowest score hive (as you said) or no one will want to switch because they are wining. I agree it can be a problem, maybe some nice fun plugin or pop-quiz on rules to get people to learn the rule and live it :P.

    NSPlayer: Teams
    NSPlayer(1) switched to aliens

    or even better just kick them to the readyroom... at any rate it is some choice in the matter of who switches and the problem is people have long discussions about who to send, they almost always do thou (unless some one is joining the server then some people ignore the rule) But if no one switches and the ? mark on the end on the other team is refusing to join (after being informed a bit) i think your allowed to boot them, and in the event they rejoin they'd have to go the lower team anyway and then they'll get informed of the rule again.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Team Size Imbalances

      Two things I'd like to throw out there on this topic. First, one solution to be aware of is that there is someone on each team with temp admin (unless no SMs are present), and this person has access to amx_marine and amx_alien. You don't have to kick someone for not fixing the teams, you can instead just switch them yourself (or ask the temp admin to do so).

      The second thing I'd like to mention is that I believe this is partially due to the rule change awhile back where teams are not required to be fixed until someone on the smaller team types 'teams' in chat. This effectively means that discussion doesn't start as soon as the imbalance occurs, but instead has to wait for the request. Obviously the person on the bottom (or someone feeling charitable) can choose to switch voluntarily beforehand, but the person with the temp admin/gb cannot begin the discussion earlier since no rule violation has yet occured. This has actually led me to use amx_marine and amx_alien more often because I no longer feel I have enough time to ask more than once or twice. I don't believe this is the best solution, but it is the only solution that seems compatible with the current rules.

      I'd be all for a plugin that switches the bottom player within a set time of the 'teams' call, though I know that will probably be quite unpopular.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Team Size Imbalances

        Originally posted by Agamemnon View Post
        I'd be all for a plugin that switches the bottom player within a set time of the 'teams' call, though I know that will probably be quite unpopular.
        have to be careful with something like that though. a lot of the time that lowest player on the aliens is saving for a hive. i've been in that position and just had to drop the hive before i switched, but auto switching could potentially completely screw over either team.

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        • #5
          Re: Team Size Imbalances

          Originally posted by Boogalo View Post
          have to be careful with something like that though. a lot of the time that lowest player on the aliens is saving for a hive. i've been in that position and just had to drop the hive before i switched, but auto switching could potentially completely screw over either team.
          if this is the case someone else needs to switch quickly the team needing the player is already at a disadvantage and it needs to be corrected i would also be in favor of this plug in. i thought the voice that started spamming helped what happened to that.

          i do agree with jazz it has been taking longer lately and people dont seem to be willing to switch. I have been on the team needing to give up a player and heard the one on the bottom being fade,hive or whatever, when i heard this i just switched. if i'm on the short team i will amx'em over if they dont come soon.
          ...

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          • #6
            Re: Team Size Imbalances

            The only players who count when considering candidates to fill the need on the smaller team are players on the larger team.

            Players in the readyroom mean nothing.

            Players joining the server mean nothing.

            Players likely about to join the server mean nothing.

            Once the smaller team calls it, get the teams fixed, and do it now.
            Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

            Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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            • #7
              Re: Team Size Imbalances

              Yeah, that can be a big problem. I normally switch if I can, unless it would majorly screw my time over (as in being the one saving for hive, almost there and switching would basically lose it for them) but it can take a while for people to fix it, which is never much fun.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Team Size Imbalances

                You guys are failing to consider lifeforms. I've played MANY games with a VERY affective Lerk where I sat at the bottom of the list for the entire game. Wyz can vouch for how affective my Lerk is against his sieges. He's commed against it.

                I don't know if it's part of the rule, but I don't consider myself being the one needing to switch in this scenario because I am a lifeform. Not only A lifeform (most of the time) but one of few lifeforms. If my entire team has lerked and faded, then I will switch. But otherwise, I won't even consider it. Being the only lerk on the team means I have certain responsibilities. Just because my score isn't high doesn't mean I'm not helping my team, or I'm not affecting the outcome of the game. My gas kills res and my team kills the Marines that I don't.

                Another thing people are mentioning, but failing to grasp completely are resource holders. Things can happen to make other players more important during the game. IE: Late joins. If someone joins late and gets no starting res, the people on the team with res are more important, regardless of the late joins placement on the tab screen.

                Also: I've played very few games where I was at the bottom of the list as the only Lerk, and the 3 players above me had their starting res still, while the other players had no starting res. When you drop a tower, or some chambers, your score goes up, along with your place on the tab list.

                My point is shouldn't we be considering the players on the top of the list rather than the bottom? The people on the top have spent their res, and they probably don't have any. Minus the super fade, or the super lerk, most people will only be on the top of the list because they have kills as a skulk, or Marine for that matter.

                -Mom
                Yer Mom /O>

                To all but me is the look given but never received. My heart sinks faster and faster every time I look into them, yet I do not understand their controling power on my soul. - W11114m W45h1n670n

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Team Size Imbalances

                  Originally posted by Yer Mom View Post
                  You guys are failing to consider lifeforms. I've played MANY games with a VERY affective Lerk where I sat at the bottom of the list for the entire game. Wyz can vouch for how affective my Lerk is against his sieges. He's commed against it.

                  I don't know if it's part of the rule, but I don't consider myself being the one needing to switch in this scenario because I am a lifeform. Not only A lifeform (most of the time) but one of few lifeforms. If my entire team has lerked and faded, then I will switch. But otherwise, I won't even consider it. Being the only lerk on the team means I have certain responsibilities. Just because my score isn't high doesn't mean I'm not helping my team, or I'm not affecting the outcome of the game. My gas kills res and my team kills the Marines that I don't.

                  Another thing people are mentioning, but failing to grasp completely are resource holders. Things can happen to make other players more important during the game. IE: Late joins. If someone joins late and gets no starting res, the people on the team with res are more important, regardless of the late joins placement on the tab screen.

                  Also: I've played very few games where I was at the bottom of the list as the only Lerk, and the 3 players above me had their starting res still, while the other players had no starting res. When you drop a tower, or some chambers, your score goes up, along with your place on the tab list.

                  My point is shouldn't we be considering the players on the top of the list rather than the bottom? The people on the top have spent their res, and they probably don't have any. Minus the super fade, or the super lerk, most people will only be on the top of the list because they have kills as a skulk, or Marine for that matter.

                  -Mom
                  We've been through this over and over again. Yes, there are many things that can (and maybe should) be taken into account when deciding who to send over in the case of a team imbalance.

                  But what matters is that it happens. Take no more than a few seconds to size up the scoreboard, decide who's going, and have them go. If they don't, someone else needs to. That might be the team's fade, or their hive gorge, or the HA/GL/welder... if it is, then that person realizes that the server experience is more important that their one match, and kudos to them. If no one changes despite the calls, then we get a thread like this every few months reminding people that the selfishness is an issue.
                  [volun2]
                  NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                  Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                  <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                  <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                  Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Team Size Imbalances

                    Originally posted by JazzX View Post
                    Explaining to a new player that they need to go back to the Ready Room and join the other team should take about 10 seconds. And when the team is filled with regulars you should be able to figure out who is going to switch in even less than that. And if you can't agree and the lowest score player is your Lerk/Fade/Onos/Hive Dropper you need to do without, or collectively decided to send someone else.
                    I agree that teams need to be fixed, but this isn't as easy as you make it out to be. There are quite frequently rounds where teams are not able to get someone to volunteer to drop chambers within a few minutes. Dropping chambers is something that's actually in their (team's) interest. Getting someone to switch to the losing team (and this is mostly only a problem when the short team is losing--if they're winning, it's shockingly much easier to find someone to switch :)) is going to be inherently harder.

                    Even (relatively) simple decisions like picking which hive to take (when first is middle) or deciding whether to take the far hive if the middle is locked down often take much longer than 10 seconds. 10 seconds is just not long enough to get something approaching consensus from 8 players, if the situation is at all complicated.

                    The only way I can see that this is going to happen in the expected timeframe is by encouraging Agamemnon's solution of just having the admin pick a player and force him to the other team. This puts both the decision and its implementation in the hands of one person who is already expected/trusted to support the server's rules.

                    I have a few related questions:

                    Is team balancing necessary in captain games, or not? Many people say it is not, I've heard a few say it is, and the rules don't list any such exception.

                    If there is a player in the ready room, why does he not count? Can not the admin on the short team force that player onto his team? The policy is that people are not allowed to sit in the ready room, as far as I know.

                    Many teams issues are when the game is 8v8 and one player gets slotted. In this case, the server can see who is joining. If the time it takes that player to connect and join a team is approximately as long as it takes the red rover process, is that not good enough?

                    Doesn't avoiding team-switching when possible make for a better server experience? It can be rather annoying to succeed at something (killing a fade, hive, bunch of RTs), have that cause someone on the other team to leave, and then need to switch teams and deal with the consequences of one's own success. Obviously, this isn't always avoidable, but I (and, I expect, others) could use some convincing that the few seconds of waiting for a joiner is worse for the server than players being forced to switch every time a slot-holder joins, if anyone feels like sparing the time to explain :)

                    If the few seconds of time in the 8v8 slotting scenario is really of the essence, might it be worth adding some sort of delay to the slot plugin that allows the slotting player to be fully connected before the slotted player is kicked? I think this would pretty completely solve one of the most common cases of the problem.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Team Size Imbalances

                      Originally posted by Dirm View Post
                      I agree that teams need to be fixed, but this isn't as easy as you make it out to be. There are quite frequently rounds where teams are not able to get someone to volunteer to drop chambers within a few minutes. Dropping chambers is something that's actually in their (team's) interest. Getting someone to switch to the losing team (and this is mostly only a problem when the short team is losing--if they're winning, it's shockingly much easier to find someone to switch :)) is going to be inherently harder.

                      Even (relatively) simple decisions like picking which hive to take (when first is middle) or deciding whether to take the far hive if the middle is locked down often take much longer than 10 seconds. 10 seconds is just not long enough to get something approaching consensus from 8 players, if the situation is at all complicated.
                      These complications are exactly why we need the convention that the bottom player on the scoreboard switches. Yes, there are times when that is a problem, and in those cases the team can ask someone else to switch, but if nobody is willing the bottom player still needs to go, regardless of what the alien team is losing. Those who stay will know that they had the opportunity to prevent that loss by switching themselves instead.

                      The only way I can see that this is going to happen in the expected timeframe is by encouraging Agamemnon's solution of just having the admin pick a player and force him to the other team. This puts both the decision and its implementation in the hands of one person who is already expected/trusted to support the server's rules.
                      To clarify, I wasn't suggesting just picking a player. I always switch the player on the bottom if nobody volunteers, since that is the convention listed on the rules page.

                      I have a few related questions:

                      Is team balancing necessary in captain games, or not? Many people say it is not, I've heard a few say it is, and the rules don't list any such exception.
                      I'd like to see it done regularly in captain's, as it should be fairly simple for the captain to pick a player to switch (this removes the normal problem of a consensus, as the captain can simply tell someone to switch). I'm not sure where this exception came from, or why it would be the case that numerically uneven teams make more sense in captains. It's not always the team that had the first pick that winds up being short a player...

                      If there is a player in the ready room, why does he not count? Can not the admin on the short team force that player onto his team? The policy is that people are not allowed to sit in the ready room, as far as I know.
                      It is the responsibility of the larger team to make sure that the teams are fixed. One way to do that would be to deal with the player sitting in the readyroom, usually by making him join. I think the idea here is that you can't just wait for him to join while leaving the teams uneven.

                      Many teams issues are when the game is 8v8 and one player gets slotted. In this case, the server can see who is joining. If the time it takes that player to connect and join a team is approximately as long as it takes the red rover process, is that not good enough?
                      One problem is that it's not dependable. Seeing a message that a player is joining is not a guarantee that that player will have joined the short team within 15 seconds. Letting the teams remain uneven for a minute while waiting for someone to finish joining can easily wreck a game.

                      Doesn't avoiding team-switching when possible make for a better server experience? It can be rather annoying to succeed at something (killing a fade, hive, bunch of RTs), have that cause someone on the other team to leave, and then need to switch teams and deal with the consequences of one's own success. Obviously, this isn't always avoidable, but I (and, I expect, others) could use some convincing that the few seconds of waiting for a joiner is worse for the server than players being forced to switch every time a slot-holder joins, if anyone feels like sparing the time to explain :)
                      The reason we send the player on the bottom of the scoreboard is that arguably that player has not contributed as much to his current team, and therefore is not being put in the situation of dealing with his own success. As I mentioned above, the problem with waiting for a joiner is that there is no guarantee that this will immediately fix the problem, and letting the teams remain uneven ruins the game for everyone on the server, rather than just the one person who had to switch.

                      If the few seconds of time in the 8v8 slotting scenario is really of the essence, might it be worth adding some sort of delay to the slot plugin that allows the slotting player to be fully connected before the slotted player is kicked? I think this would pretty completely solve one of the most common cases of the problem.
                      This would be interesting if it's possible, but I have no idea whether it is. I guess it would require adding another slot to the server that would be empty except when it's being used by someone joining the (almost) full server. I expect that change would affect every other plugin that considers the number of players on the server, depending on how it's implemented.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Team Size Imbalances

                        As I understand it, our server actually runs at a size of 32 players almost all of the time, but through clever use of plugins "hides" the extra slots so it appears to cap out at 17. Our current plugins already dynamically change the apparent server size when necessary (usually for a bot game of CO). So I don't imagine that last suggestion would be terribly difficult to implement.

                        At least in theory. There's always unforeseen difficulties when you put it into practice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Team Size Imbalances

                          I'm just skimming this thread (as is my wont when I'm short on both time and intelligence compared to the other participants in the conversation), but I'll mention this:

                          Delaying the bumping of slot logic victims is possible, but memory serves that it creates headaches in code (all over the place?) that assumes immediate removal of slot logic victims.

                          I didn't even catch what it is that you guys are thinking about that for, so understand it's possible technically, and maybe not practically, so we'd need some kind of bad ass desire in order to even begin pursuing it.

                          We've done this before. If you guys come to anything resembling consensus on something you want changed, and Poker gives it his graces, I'm here to serve. In the meantime, or until Evan can entertain himself without supervision (:)), I merely skim and provide information I suspect I'm uniquely qualified to give.
                          Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                          Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Team Size Imbalances

                            You are pretty suspect, Wyz.
                            Former TGNS admin until WoW blinded me with flashy lights.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Team Size Imbalances

                              A likely accusation given your position in all of this, SIR.

                              [media]http://digitalcreations.cc/videos/dramaticlook.avi[/media]
                              Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                              Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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