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[Developer blog] Crossout development: how balance changes are made


Woodyrojo
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7 minutes ago, Beni_Stingray1 said:

I think they do play but not even close to how much they should. Its the same as when a 3k player want to tell a 15k ps players how to build a scorp hover or whatever. They lack the experience to make a good decision so yes, they dont play much.

Based on what?  How do you know how much they play now?  What power scores they play at?  Is that the whole dev team?  How many devs play how many hours, over the years this game has been in development, and at what power score?  Which devs in particular don't play enough, and haven't for the past 5 years?

It's funny, how you bring up the example of somebody telling a Scorpion player how to do their job.  While you're defending the loony bin telling devs how much they play, as if they don't know.

Where do you get your statistics on the Developers from?  Because it isn't obvious.

Edited by psiberzerker
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29 minutes ago, Beni_Stingray1 said:

If i understoodhim correct then no, all they use is winrate and damage per powerscore.

And then like my battles during morning...I used 2 Whirlwinds and 1 Whirl with 12,7k PS spider. According to crossoutstats, I outdmged the average damage with both. But mostly, these guns are use as duo or triplet (2 or 3 weapons on one build). That leads into average damage which should be hard to get with 2 guns and easier to get with 3.

Are AC overpowered? Or they were just used by a player who knows how to use them? 109070293_773622396714973_41713197881814

There are other things which you should consider for ballancing: overall satistics of weapons, their efficiency, gameplay experience, how often they are in battles, actual skill of players, weapon idea...

Don't forget that battles are 8v8. That means that one player can't win any game alone. Winrate is based more on teamplay, not on weapons of choice...

Edited by Waughan27131
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Let me ask you this:  How many developers are there, on this team, that don't play this game enough?

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10 minutes ago, Waughan27131 said:

  109070293_773622396714973_41713197881814

 

Off topic, but where you get your stats like that?

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Well thanks devs for the explaination. All we want is more information about why you do the things you do.

And as you can see in this few comments it would have been smart to give us those infos earlier.

The topic about the rapier for example. In other games you have classes like a "Tank" or a "Damage dealer" the average damage of the DD is much higher but both classes can still be good balanced.

The rapier have do deal a lot of damage from distance because when enemies get close to you, you die very quickly. So maybe this weapon is like a DD class and it should deal a lot of damage to be well balanced. 

Maybe you share more of your decision making infomation in the earlier stage in the future. Then you will get better feedback from us.

Edited by Dantec2
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20 minutes ago, Steel_Artist said:

Off topic, but where you get your stats like that?

On crossoustats.info. It's based on your combat log.

Edited by Waughan27131
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@Woodyrojo, @Ka1deron and all your team, I wanted to thank you for your patience with us forum users. Some of us are quite rude and pretend they can do your job better, or think they have a better idea of the game because they play their 2-4 builds everyday, while you guys have a much wide and global view of the situation thanks to all the statistics of the game and players. You always have been very patient when answering questions and players concerns and I thank you again for that, as well as the many improvements of the game you made over time.

 

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11 minutes ago, Charlie9204 said:

@Woodyrojo, @Ka1deron and all your team, I wanted to thank you for your patience with us forum users. Some of us are quite rude and pretend they can do your job better, or think they have a better idea of the game because they play their 2-4 builds everyday, while you guys have a much wide and global view of the situation thanks to all the statistics of the game and players. You always have been very patient when answering questions and players concerns and I thank you again for that, as well as the many improvements of the game you made over time.

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Very interesting read. I suspected that you were using data and statistics to help balance such a complex and customizable game. This does leave me with a few questions about your approach:

1) What's the size of your data sample? I imagine this actually might be confidential, due to how it may reflect on the state of the game, but I am curious as to what the confidence interval is for your given sample size. Furthermore, is your sample size divided at all, based on region, platform, etc?

2) Do you segregate/correct your data pools based on potentially skewing factors? In the rapier example shot, it is very likely that experienced players or groups may be bloating the numbers due to certain builds and team compositions (which can very heavily skew certain "all-or-nothing" weapons). As an extension, do you apply any sort of corrective weighting system to your data in order to compensate for said biasing factors?

3) What is the testing/monitoring environment for your super testers? I understand that it would be impossible to watch every match and break it down as if it was a E-Sports game, but how often do you take qualitative data in comparison to quantitative data? I can name several nominal, yet frequent occurrences in gameplay that would heavily skew performance numbers, but can't show up as hard numbers.

4) How are the AI bots factored into your calculations? In bot-heavy matches, the overall results and win rates can be heavily skewed by one or two players "corralling" the bots in their favor, regardless of their builds. In addition, most bot builds are considerably more durable than their usual player counterpart; do you have a method for dealing with these discrepancies and how they may affect your aggregate data?

Aside from the statistical elements of your balancing approach, I do have one final question on your overall stance on balance:

What is your stance on balancing against the top percent of players in a game? In competitive games, there is occasionally one or two strategies that are excruciatingly difficult to execute, but when done properly, will make it almost impossible to win against. Some design teams will nip this option, preferring to bring the "skill ceiling" down to better suit the rest of the playerbase, while other design teams will leave it in as "show-off" option for players to try to achieve. For example, the ISM system in Street Fighter Alpha 3 introduced V-ISM, allowing players to execute incredibly damaging, but extremely hard to execute combos that will swing the match immediately in their favor. What's your stance/opinions on this?

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Reading the development blog was really interesting, seeing how coming up with changes to weapons does take a lot of thought from players and devs alike (also the role of super-tester just sounds cool, ngl)

I can get the confusion from other players about the chords and rapiers being nerfed, however i also remember getting eviscerated by both of them equally in low ps games

However, on the topic of being eviscerated by weapons, i think scorpions do need a change, they punish every single type of build on nearly any ps you can get them, it's at such a point that you need to base your entire build around hovers as not to be killed by them, or have a scorp+hover build yourself to counter them

while i have no idea how hard this could be to code, i have 1 idea that might work:

Scorpions could do a set amount of damage while piercing items, maybe ~350 (or more) per bolt, so if your build is covered with huge layers of steppenwolf plates and scavenger crate doors, it doesn't pierce very deep, but if you're shooting a hover build with thin lunatic armor to be light and evasive, you could shoot all the way through it to the cab!

with this change, it would stop the janky anti-scorp build meta with mammoth balloons and Christmas trees somehow being better at stopping lava-hot bolts then literal tank armor

and maybe once you write the code for health-based-pierce, you could recycle it for other pierce-type weapons or even explosions, allowing even aesthetic builds to be effective in battle!

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This is one of the largest loads of xxxx you guys ever posted lol

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what you balance....dont need statistics for balance the game...you need eyes for balance the game!cannons completly broken...scorpions and lance still op...just see what people want buy for understand what work and what doesn't...look the price..why a tsnunami its like 1000 coins and others are too much...and the game exept for scorpions its pratically all mid/close range...and scorps theorically are a snipe weapon and work better then any mid range weapon...realod faster than any cannon...do damage, have life much then a reaper.idk what it dont have...maybe you can say...you cant compare a legendary vs a relic...are years this game exist and still have 6 relics...anyway gg for promo the cancer with lance with new cab 

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56 minutes ago, Waughan27131 said:

On crossoustats.info. It's based on your combat log.

Thanks man. I was thinking of building me a tool to do that - but nice to see somebody already did =)

BTW: porcs on #1 very often on different PS :D which is meant as joke here atm because i did not take the time to look deeper into that tool !

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Thank you devs for providing more internal information on how you analyze balance for the game.  I believe most that frequent these forums nowadays are your veteran players, and as such will often be passionate in their opinions!  But they are also the ones that know a thing or two, because they've seen a thing or two.  And after reading all of these comments so far, I think there are a few key takeaways.  

  1. Transparency:  I've seen that many players respond well to more internal info/analysis, and you have been making strides as of late.  But don't stop there!  Please, keep giving your best "analysis tools" more info so we can make XO great again! (well, maybe just "very good" would be a start)
  2. Options:  I have noticed that several areas of the game have been getting more options and tweak-ability, such as menu settings and part placement.  So adding more options to booster/hover/leg placement adds more creativity to a game already full of possibilities.  And don't stop there!  More options for the exhibition, such as brief descriptions/suggestions, linked blueprints for fusions, and perhaps a separate section for pure art builds (separate from normal combat ones) would be excellent!
  3. Responses:  It's understandable that y'all have only a few employees responsible for handling most forum Q&As, organization, moderation, etc.  However, I've noticed that many players don't appear to get noticed, or have rather short responses to their often detailed questions.  Perhaps this means it's time to bring on a few more forum admins/spokespeople to help manage, as it often seems to me that you are overwhelmed at times!  And a lot of these players have opinions/questions that dozens more (reading them) would like answered to the best of your abilities.  Remember, teamwork makes the dream work!

Obviously, there are numerous other topics I could condense into more takeaways here, but not including more is part of point number three.  I believe more help is necessary to give your veteran/dedicated playerbase the voice they deserve, and the platform they need to succeed.  More info leads to better balance, which leads to happier players, thus leading to more active players and more profit.  Just don't look too much into the "rules of acquisition", as it lends itself to greedy business practices and narrow minded vision...  ;-)

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This is all well and good, but when you actually play the game, you see some very fundamental problems with the balance. For example one movement part (hovers), that don't follow the same "physical" rules as the others, and makes weapons more unbalanced than when they are used with other movement parts. And devs are continuously trying to balance the weapons, and not the problematic movement part.
Let's set aside the problem with the wedges - devs are doing something about it, we will see how it works in the next update.
But at the moment matches looks close to what they are supposed to be  only in 8k-10k powerscore (at least when there are not too many drone players). In lower PS matches 2/3 of the builds are sealclubbers - scorpions, porcupines, lancelotes, triggers.
In high powerscore, if is not a breaker wedge, is some hover monstrosity looking like International space station.
And I can already see what will happen with the new pack - lance builds in every PS, and total dominance of hover builds with the new cabin in races. You don't need complex equations to see the problem with this.

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when you remove hover from game?

Lower PS with only three hover and team up to take fuel

I Just wait them to leave the battle

Why do they only use hover always?

It's funny to leave this state for three years

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1 hour ago, Raiza1990 said:

what you balance....dont need statistics for balance the game...you need eyes for balance the game!cannons completly broken...scorpions and lance still op...just see what people want buy for understand what work and what doesn't...look the price..why a tsnunami its like 1000 coins and others are too much...and the game exept for scorpions its pratically all mid/close range...and scorps theorically are a snipe weapon and work better then any mid range weapon...realod faster than any cannon...do damage, have life much then a reaper.idk what it dont have...maybe you can say...you cant compare a legendary vs a relic...are years this game exist and still have 6 relics...anyway gg for promo the cancer with lance with new cab 

ok first of all. Cannons are far from broken. Prices are set by players so that’s on us for them being so low. Partly becuase they are bad. Period. And I agree with you. We will see more lance cancer now. Sadly. Devs have never touched the original 3 relics ever. 

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1 hour ago, Philipotel said:

total dominance of hover builds with the new cabin in races

1) Who cares about races

2) Total dominance in which way? Hovers limits top speed to 75 kmph so you need to use boosters to get faster. This is actually more advantage for wheel builds than hovers, they can have higher top speed without boosters.

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Do you Dev's realize that your calculations about the game its not only numbers?
You working on a project that yes its incredible ideologically but you **** your own idea in first place as you change the core concept of the game.
You think that the concept does not count for players when they join into a game & you change it so dramatically that they rage about the time & money spend?
You think when you lie & remove things people love as chase for not any UN-fixible reason & people scream about it & still you make fun of them players will stay?
You think in the way you have made the game to grind so hard or player cannot sell back an upgrade that invest so much to it you think that player is satisfied?
You think items having base counter OP brings balance at such a game? An RPG maybe, but trying make this game RPG its pointless, this way you destroy more the concept.
You think that laser type weapons & hovers, more likely the entire 'dawn children' faction its balanced or collide with the conceptional game type?
You think using so many psychology force methods to control the entire outcome of the game by dmg players activity's & make the gameplay a routine with dislike modes players will increase?
You making more things/items without a core game type right now & its a messed up mix salad that does not have identity.
You scam players with loophole updates to get paid again for the same thing like we have no brain to understand that.
You also say that they game its F2P as you can obtain anything by play, without include 'TIME' that its the source of consuming everyone and in order to gain a relic you need 2 years
(This 2 years includes n00b starting mode that some old players forgot how it was, without cheats or other market manipulations, clear normal gameplay)

Final to me you have to roll the dice: 'mad max' or 'star wars' game & remove the rest.
Split the game in 2 its another option but the community cannot handle such of separation i guess right now.

'95% of current community play crossout has 0 exp for gameplay, & you listen to them & you see the results.
Do not chose players that have money or be youtubers or top clan players because none of those proofs good gameplay in a power core game when money speak more.

Edited by UnknowNSkiLL
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1 hour ago, UnknowNSkiLL said:

Do you Dev's realize that your calculations about the game its not only numbers?
You working on a project that yes its incredible ideologically but you **** your own idea in first place as you change the core concept of the game.
You think that the concept does not count for players when they join into a game & you change it so dramatically that they rage about the time & money spend?
You think when you lie & remove things people love as chase for not any UN-fixible reason & people scream about it & still you make fun of them players will stay?
You think in the way you have made the game to grind so hard or player cannot sell back an upgrade that invest so much to it you think that player is satisfied?
You think items having base counter OP brings balance at such a game? An RPG maybe, but trying make this game RPG its pointless, this way you destroy more the concept.
You think that laser type weapons & hovers, more likely the entire 'dawn children' faction its balanced or collide with the conceptional game type?
You think using so many psychology force methods to control the entire outcome of the game by dmg players activity's & make the gameplay a routine with dislike modes players will increase?
You making more things/items without a core game type right now & its a messed up mix salad that does not have identity.
You scam players with loophole updates to get paid again for the same thing like we have no brain to understand that.
You also say that they game its F2P as you can obtain anything by play, without include 'TIME' that its the source of consuming everyone and in order to gain a relic you need 2 years
(This 2 years includes n00b starting mode that some old players forgot how it was, without cheats or other market manipulations, clear normal gameplay)

Final to me you have to roll the dice: 'mad max' or 'star wars' game & remove the rest.
Split the game in 2 its another option but the community cannot handle such of separation i guess right now.

'95% of current community play crossout has 0 exp for gameplay, & you listen to them & you see the results.
Do not chose players that have money or be youtubers or top clan players because none of those proofs good gameplay in a power core game when money speak more.

FINALLY!!!! Someone agrees with me on the confusing path and aesthetic the game has taken on since Dawns children. In the future when there is nothing left and we are fighting for scraps and water to barely survive, why is there a whole faction that burns thousands of gallons of jet fuel on vertical thrusters? Where did laser weapons come from?  Star Trek? Becuase that’s what this game is turning into. Where’s the logic?  Before, pickup cabins had better tonnage and stats than cabs like the hot rod and bat. Now we have a favorite (vaz) and a torero (Lamborghini) which can haul as much weight and have stupid hp. They outclass options like the bear. Where is this game going?  Is it trying to be Star Trek? Or is it trying to be mad max? There’s no in between here. 

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6 hours ago, psiberzerker said:

No, it isn't.  Seriously, that wasn't the answer to the question.  What auto-maker creates a supercar, only to not drive it?  What arms manufacturer designs a new pistol, only not to shoot it?  What furniture maker works for years to design a new sofa, and never sits in it?

How can you possibly believe in this myth of a game developer, let alone an entire dev team, composed exclusively of people who hate their own game, and never play it?

No, it's specious.  Honestly, it's absurd that you convinced anybody of this "Fact," but here you are, trying to convince the Developers who created this game that they never played it.

That's insane.

Let someone who was part of the dev team for more than 50 games released on various platforms tell you this: No, it is not normal for devs, publishers or any paid staff to play a game like a player does. When they do for testing purposes they look at a very specific aspect, which is hardly ever related to player experience, but technical bugfixing or the attempt to introduce some new mechanic they have been told to introduce. That doesn't mean they hate their work, but that's what it is. A job. You don't work on something all day then go home to spend the rest of your day with it. The days when game devs were single person "groups" turning d&d into 60x46 block games to play with their friends are long gone.

It is also common that the interests of devs, publisher and players do not match very well. For example:

- the player wants to have power, great tools, lots of fun at little cost. Fast progress means no income for the people who made the game possible.
- the developer wants to introduce some kind of personal idea, but that is often very complicated to understand for others, requires too many man-hours to pull off or whatever.
- the publisher wants to see his investment pay off, to do that they have to exploit psychology like every other salesperson. This will lead to pay2win, paywalls, tons of grind, developers being unhappy about their work twisted and so on.

Sounds like publishers are evil, but they are who pays and carries the risk in the first place and they have to fight for their position on a not-so-friendly market swarming of wannabe-EAs (you have no idea how seriously dirty some of these play). In the end the result will be some kind of balance between the forces. The more communication between the sides, the better it becomes usually and everyone profits. One side blindly running through walls based on a wrong assumption on the other hand is a guarantee of failure. It will end in Chords being nerfed, only because a fully upgraded codriver and game experience make this mid range precision weapon more efficient than a shotgun or cannon at low PS. It doesn't take into account that player skill might be a factor.

 

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32 minutes ago, bkgmjo said:

No, it is not normal for devs, publishers or any paid staff to play a game like a player does.

Nobody said "Like a player does."  It would be honestly unfair if they did.

The party line is that the Dev team, the entire Dev Team, doesn't play this game AT ALL.  

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