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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:29 pm 
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Tough Nut
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Just my two cents.
Of my wins since starting multiplayer MA half have been with the FNU and most of these were on Antarcticus or Emerald.
Starting first is not as important as the luck of the draw in SAs. If you have a good starting position, the order you declare your Allies is more important to your overall strategy than losing a couple of units in the first volley. Declaring and then having an SA invaded can be a setback, but if you have a second SA close by it is not difficult to "turn the tables" on your opponent.
The reverse of this is that if you have no co-supporting SAs, you will be fighting an uphill battle from the start and an experieced player will be most difficult to defeat.
The only way I could see for "fixing" this would be to weight the SA assignments; however this would also probably limit the diversity of games. Not good for the longevity of the game IMHO.
Hopefully we can end this recurring debate.

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 Post subject: Re: who goes first
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:54 am 
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Developer

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Guest wrote:
Just a quick comment, if the person who goes first is random, then there is a possibility that the same person will go first several times in a series of games, giving them, (assuming going first is an advantage) a huge advantage. If the first person is not random but decided, the way the game is right now, based upon the choice of Phantom League or FNU, then people can play couplets of games with opponents alternating team/race/government to even out any possible advantage the person going first has. These couplets could not be played if the first player was always random.


Absolutely true!

As you might know, we have another game DBA Online - where people are fighting Ancient Battles against each other. Yes, it's a game about skills and strategic thinking, BUT it uses DICE for the combat outcome and the Initial Movement Points in the beginning of the turn.
And you know what? We all the time hear people complaining and whining that his opponent was having 6's while he was all the time having 1's or 2's. And though we've thorougly studied the statistics of our Random Generator and it clearly demonstrated that the dice distribution was even (in statistical sense), the people kept complaining.

The same would be in MA: If somebody accidentally gets 4 battles as the FNU, he would most probably be very upset and go complaining about the bad Radnom generator, etc. and how unfair the whole life is...
:-)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:40 pm 
As far as the "someone has to be first" argument - I can see two solutions. One is to do what the obscure boardgame "Conquest" did a few years ago. In Conquest, each player got 20 movement points per turn to move their units, but the first turn of the game only gave you 10 points. That way, the player taking their turn always had a 10 point advantage over the previous player. Like someone proposed above, this could be implemented in MA by giving the first player a few less $ for deployement, but I think it would be harder to balance than Conquest's simple 10 point deficit.

A second method could be similar to another scheme proposed above (where the player who goes second gets to see the first players deployment). Seeing deployment is probably too much of an advantage (although, really, nothing compared to the advantage that comes from getting to deploy and attack second). However, what about this strategy:

PL - disclose 2 allies
PL - secret army recruitment
FNU - disclose 2 allies (without getting to see any of the above)
FNU - secret army recruitment (but getting to see PLs disclosed territories, without armies).

At that point the game begins normally, with PL going first.

In this way, FNU at least gets to see what countries are going to be attacking him, even if he doesn't get to see exactly what units will be doing it or what hexes they'll be in. It doesn't make things exactly even, but it certainly reduces the screw factor that occurs with putting your units on the map first


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:52 pm 
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I still don't see what's wrong with the current system. . .

When you issue the challenge you can choose to issue the challenge as playing FNU or PL, and when a challenge comes in you can choose to reject it if you don't like the side you're on.

So you get to DECIDE whether you go first or not, what's the problem?

Me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:59 pm 
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2 Asmodeus -
lol actually there is nothing wrong with current system but people who are constantly losing just need to find excuse for themselves :D if they played FNU they will say that they lost because of first turn.if they play PL they will say that they were getting bad secret ally depoyment (10 times in a row :o )....and so on.But the "first turn" is a most popular excuse so far. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:08 pm 
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Then they need to stop being such whiny.. errr... jerkfaces..

I mean, I'm getting trounced in just about every game I'm playing, (FNU in all of them except for the one with Tiger, I think, and I'm getting the snot beat out of me HARDER against Tiger than the others, and I got a pretty good layour for SAs, too, hehehehe)... and I think it's perfect. ;)

I just suck. :D

Me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:10 pm 
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Going first doesn't effect big skill differences...you'll still get your hat handed to you if the other guy is better. With even players it does make a small difference, possibly enough to decide the game. As an aside, when I challenge I always offer red to the opponent. If they beat me, I challenge same map with me as red. If they beat me again, they're clearly a better player. Distribution of SA's has a much bigger impact on a player of lesser skill being able to "upset" a better player. First turn is very minor and if you blame it on your loss play again and see what happens. You'll probably get beat again. I know I usually do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 11:30 am 
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i agree the pl going first as things stand does give then the advanage
i see two solutions firstly the main one being used here randomize who goes first
or keep with the chess idea and make it so that both sides can't be in adjacent square meaning that you have to go though atleast one nuetral befor eyou can gett at a player

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 12:58 pm 
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2 hellsweapon
there is already random ally distribution - and it is quite fine to play the normal games this way..but
there are also such things as clanwars and tournaments...suppose there are very good players there of comparable skill and there a skill only should decide and this way the even small random difference may cause loss


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 9:14 pm 
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Well, we can argue about this til the cows come home, but the truth is in how you play. You should naturally assume a different play style depeding on which faction you are and where your SAs are, this along with where your enemies SAs are will influence the outcome of the game.

And since results speak louder than words, here are my stats:
W L D
FNU 58 16 0
PL 63 5 1

For me, the PL does give a slight advantage because I often try to choke off enemy med or high resource SAs in the first move (sometimes this backfires terribly, and then I'm screwed). I can remember exactly how I lost all of my games where I was PL, and most where I was FNU. In both cases, it wasn't the faction so much as having a bad SA placement/disclosure, or the opponent having particularly good SA position.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 3:16 am 
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LOL! So every loss you've ever had has been due to SA placement? I'm sure that's not what you meant.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 7:11 am 
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Mrakobes wrote:
2 hellsweapon
there is already random ally distribution - and it is quite fine to play the normal games this way..but
there are also such things as clanwars and tournaments...suppose there are very good players there of comparable skill and there a skill only should decide and this way the even small random difference may cause loss


i fail to see what the bulk of this has to do with anything i said, i can't if it's just me being dense, bad explaining on your part or if you are acturaly talking about something different to me.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 10:54 pm 
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Quitch wrote:
LOL! So every loss you've ever had has been due to SA placement? I'm sure that's not what you meant.


Well, I've made my share of play errors too, but I've found that most often I can recover as long as I have SAs in the right place (ask Artanis about our 24 round game on Crateus :P ). On the other hand, it's almost impossible to recover a game where you have really bad SA position/disclosures (i.e. no adjacent allies, or your high resource is surrounded by enemies with no adjacent allies, etc).


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 4:36 am 
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Oh I don't know, I've certainly given you breathing room in our game after my, ahem, unique approach to transporting :)

Perhaps we there should be a feature, or option, where each player must have at least two adjoining territories in their initial setup on any small world? Not sure I'm so keen on that though, it would make for some very predictable deployment. I rather enjoy seeing how players recover, or take advantage of what seems like a poor position. After all, what better test of skill than to try and come back from that? Sure, often you'll lose, but then the game averages out the random element in the end.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 10:05 am 
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I presented several alternatives of SA placement, as that is the random factor that contributes most to the outcome of the game.

http://massiveassault.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=390

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 11:08 am 
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The question is: how much do the random factors together contribute?

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 12:45 pm 
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redfox wrote:
(ask Artanis about our 24 round game on Crateus :P )

*mutters something impolite about you and your damn bombers* :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 10:38 pm 
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I would have to agree with him. Specially since I am currently a non-subscriber and just play on a map where I really do believe it could matter. I just go random team though...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 11:33 pm 
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Quitch wrote:
The question is: how much do the random factors together contribute?


I think this may well be impossible to quantify. Also, SA position is something you can't control, however one of the most strategic elements of this game is: given a certain SA spread, what units do you deploy, and in what order do you disclose your SAs. You need to create multiple scenarios in your mind, depending on where your opponent's SAs are/could be, and adjust these scenarios after each new enemy disclosure.

I like Maelstrom's suggestions about semi-random SA positions, this would help normalize the ease/difficulty of certain games.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:27 am 
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i'll admit i'm a newbie but against the comp i struggle like hell to win as FNU as i don't know where the PL and then they get to delpoy and attack before i've even seen where they are let alone done anythig about blocking the correct border (more so if the sea isn't protecting a border), where as if i play as PL there's little challenge as i hit them and they (just like me when i'm FNU) can't get me out there terratory long enough to earn the cash needed to replace there losses while i end up with more cash than i need

i've attached a replay that shows what i mean


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