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HagarTheHorrible

How's your credit score ?

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A forum member, the other day, was bemoaning the problem of players hanging on in there,¬†with little regard for their virtual lives, pressing home an attack, in the hope of a kill, despite they themselves being hammered from behind ( what a gay old time we have ūüėĄ). ¬†It is an age old perennial problem of playing a game where little but personal taste or notions of honor are at risk, safe in the isolation of our own little man caves.

 

I wondered if there was a way to include some sense of jeopardy that might help players consider a greater range of options other than the be all and end all being the destruction of the players aircraft and by extension, themselves.

 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEPERATE THE PLAYER FROM THE AIRCRAFT ?

 

I'm not suggesting what I'm mulling over¬†is fully considered or definitive, it is simply idle musings looking for a sounding board, some thoughts or feedback ( I was going to say wisdom, but then this is an online forum after all ¬†ūüėĄ)

 

I wondered if there might be space for the addition of some form of CREDIT SCORE, server admin administered, for on-line play ?

 

Basically :-. When a player joins an on-line game he/she receives a credit amount, for arguments sake let's say 100 credits ( all values included here are purely notional ).  If a player is killed they lose a set number of credits (10) however if they bail out they lose fewer points 

, let's say 2 credits for bailing out over friendly territory and 4 credits when bailing out over enemy territory.  Obviously this credit system would be pointless if there was no jeopardy included, so penalties would start to be incurred after the players credit score drops below certain levels. These penalties might include restrictions on which airfields players can use, restriction of types of aircraft or mods etc etc.. Obviously it would be a little pointless if the credit scores only went one way, down,  so credit would also be given for downed enemies or objectives accomplished.  An element of judgement as to the risks and rewards would thus be introduced, possibly beneficially affecting player behavior.

 

Looking at it in a bit more depth :-.  I suspect that many, if not most, players see themselves, when playing online, as the aircraft rather than (ironically, given the beautiful pilot models) the soft squidgy thing manipulating the controls and as such what happens to the aircraft, by extension, happens to us.  I always struggled with this concept because I thought it rather made cockpit armor, or additional armor, a bit pointless.  Why incur a weight/ manouver penalty for no appreciable gain.  If your aircraft is shot down and thus by definition your avatar, then it is of little benefit or use.  If the pilot, and his health became the focus the additional armour would make a lot more sense.  The struggle, for combat flight sims, it appears to me, is in trying to seperate the two, pilot and plane, making the former the most important element.

 

A form of credit system might be included, server administered, that can play with or experiment with affecting player behavior.  "Optionality" is obviously the watch word when thinking about new features but also, when experimenting with what might work, a range of possible values for each credit/deficit so that the best balance of outcomes might be found depending on server play style.

 

There are lots of options that could be considered, an on/off switch, what values are ascribed to each event, what penalties and at what score they are implemented and how persistent the credit score lasts before being reset.  The only value that I think is a must would be a "hard ceiling", nobody should be able to get too comfortable that the credit value becomes an irrelevance, indeed the better you are the greater the risk should be.  A multiplier might be included so that a pilot with several kills would stand to lose more, if killed, than a rookie with no kills.  If a death normally only cost 10 credits for a player with only one, or no kills then death for a player with 2 kills would mean double the credit loss, 20 credits, three kills under their belt 30 credits lost etc etc. This multiplier would be reset each time a player died.  The loss of an Ace should be more meaningful, to both the player and the side than that of the average joe. On the other hand if a player shoots down an Ace then they might recieve extra credit for their skill or luck, an extra credit point for each kill the downed opponent had, so if the vanquished pilot had three kills then instead of the victor getting a default 10 cedits they would also recieve an additional three points, one for each of their opponents kills , so 13 in total.  Bailing out of a stricken aircraft would always incur a lower penalty, injured or otherwise, the object of the excercize being to encourage player survivability rather than that of the aircraft obviously with a lower penalty for bailing out over friendly territory.  Things might be additionally spiced up by losing one or two credits less , when you bail out over enemy territory, if your side is winning or losing (completing it's objectives) and thus notionally more likely to free you.

 

With a credit system I would hope to see a change of emphasis from aircraft to pilot when considering ultimate success or failure in online gameplay.  A noticeable increase in pilots abandoning aircraft, or hopeless situations, and taking to their chutes rather than fighting to the grim death, because death, injury or ultimately being shot down is all pretty much the same at the moment.  The added value of cockpit armor and how that affects player outcomes and choices.   Bomber pilots would recieve a boost because they might stand less chance of death even if the aircraft is lost purely because the pilot becomes less the center of focus, or mass, when shooting at another aircraft. If some bomber aircraft become the default fallback for players with low credit scores then it might help encourage a more strategic game as time goes on and objectives are attacked as players who might not otherwise think about flying bombers need to build up their credit score.

 

Sorry, it's a bit of a muddle and a ramble, but hopefully you get some gist of what I'm on about, but duty calls (dog walk) so must fly, as it were, anyway I'm interested to hear your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent.

 

 

Edited by HagarTheHorrible
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Yes - i go on¬†Berloga for training and fun , but miss the server where I'm a pilot and not a plane ..... So good written ūüĎć

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Such systems already exist though, in the form of statistic pages. You're just adding a longer term ingame punishment to that mechanic.

 

You're going to be punishing newer players fairly hard, they'll run out of credits rapidly and be punished for inexperience. I don't think those kind of mechanics are defendable. Realize that this is the vast majority of players there.

 

There's also a slew of problems that this brings. People will always try and game such a system, bailing out as soon as the fight seems lost to risk not getting killed. Flying as safe as possible (this includes not doing objectives/ground attack) and frustrating people who do want to play the mission. People stacking the winning/better team even harder to give themselves a better chance to escape frequent deaths and thus punishment.

 

Also, with stuff like 'people with kills get punished more' you introduce punishment for doing well. Which is kinda awkward. So if I'm in a fight where my engine is already critically damaged or I'm low on fuel (can't make it back) getting a kill will actually make me worse off?

 

I get the intention, but the list of issues with such a system is endless and probably would not achieve anything close to what you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by =RvE=Windmills

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Sorry for delay in responding, I've tried composing an answer a couple of times, but keep running out of time before getting down everything I want to say and then when I start again I'm not neccesarily happy with what I've already written so have to start over.  I'll maybe just reply in smaller chunks, just to get something across.

 

Firstly I'll respond to the possibility that " people with kills get punished more' you introduce punishment for doing well".  Unlike in real life, experience can be accumulated in IL2 without ever having to face the possibility of it all ending in one final chop.  Unlike the real life Aces who were killed in the war virtual Aces can come back time after time, always wiser, honing their skills, or luck, for the next time.  The risks, the potential losses, are the same whether you are a rookie, just starting out, or an Ace with hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours under your belt.  Virtual Aces can fly much closer to the edge, maximizing that experience, safe in the knowledge that they are only a button push away from being able to start again if things, or luck, goes pear shaped.  That stacks the already heavy odds against rookie pilots.  Freedom from risk is very liberating and skews the character of the game, certainly for the rookie but also for the Expert. Paddy Finucane or Hans-Joachim Marseille didn't come back wiser and stronger, they were just dead.  Another point to note is that real pilots had to deal with accumulated nervous stress/strain, combat fatigue that built up as they carried out mission after mission adding to the day to day pressure that they operated under.  Their loss, if and when death finally caught up with them also was more keenly felt by those who where associated with them, their significance wasn't purely about the number of enemy aircraft shot down but the skill and service behind that.

 

So, we ask ourselves, should online virtual combat reflect the above , if at all possible ?  If we take online combat victories, in a match, as a measure of skill and acumulated experience that might be associated with that of a real life expert or Ace then it might be reasonable to say that death , or defeat for them should come at a higher personal price.  Yes, it is a perverse reward but might better reflect what is at stake.  A rookie pilot looses little when they get shot down, if an expert gets shot down, by skill or bad luck and they had to start aquiring skill all over again from scratch they would fly far more considerately and with far less elan,  rookie pilots might have the odds stacked slightly less highly against them.

 

While death, and loss, to whatever degree is always present, as it should be, there is always the option, for rookie or expert alike, and that is to either choose an aircraft or mod that gives the pilot more protection (usually at the loss of some tactical awareness or combat capability) or by hitting the silk.

 

The more I think about it the more I come round to thinking that trying to seperate the life of the pilot from that of the aircraft might be a step forward for combat flight sims such as IL2.  Parachutes might become an essential item, in online play, rather than an option for the sake of correctness but which is of little actual value ( you still get shot down regardless of whether you die or bail out and either way you just hit the refly button, it encourages an all or nothing attitude).

 

 

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Come play the ACG Campaign, where we run a large scale multiplayer campaign and each pilot has a persistent character. Everyone is afraid for their character in that context.

 

 

Edited by ACG_Woop

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2 minutes ago, ACG_Woop said:

Come play the ACG Campaign, where we run a large scale multiplayer campaign and each pilot has a persistent character. Everyone is afraid for their character in that context.

 

That's not viable for everyone though Woop. I was interested in joining the ACG campaign until I was told there was no option to fly bombers apart from the JU-87 Stuka, surprisingly the Peshka squadron was full. I had five extra bomber pilots to come with me but we all cancelled on the thought of being forced in to the 87 and mandatory affiliation to an ACG squadron. As awesome as you guys (and the campaigns) are, they're not very flexible for casual fliers. ūüôĄ

 

Hager, you have some good thoughts but I am not sure how viable they really are for an online environment. Finnish Server had a credit/awards-based system for a while but it was removed on player protest. It's a shame, I do wish that people cared more for their pilot than the plane.

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27 minutes ago, Leifr said:

 

That's not viable for everyone though Woop. I was interested in joining the ACG campaign until I was told there was no option to fly bombers apart from the JU-87 Stuka, surprisingly the Peshka squadron was full. I had five extra bomber pilots to come with me but we all cancelled on the thought of being forced in to the 87 and mandatory affiliation to an ACG squadron. As awesome as you guys (and the campaigns) are, they're not very flexible for casual fliers. ūüôĄ

 

 

Yup, the Peshka squadron has a very dedicated and skilled bunch of guys. Thanks for the feedback though, I think ACG could benefit from being a little more inclusive tbh. That being said, we want pilots that can intergrate into the ACG community as a whole, not just fly on Sundays and not talk to anyone.

 

Anyway, back on topic, sorry for derailing. I have thought quite a lot about getting pilots to care about their pilots more, and the only way I can think of, is what ATAG did/does in Cliffs, where each pilot is on the scoreboard each month, depending on air kills, ground kills, sorties etc devided by deaths = ratio. It's quite a gamey way of doing it, and of course there are reckless pilots who care not for their score, but it was quite a tightknit community where everyone at least took a glance at their score each month, and that at least put a little thought into their flying. On the other hand, the map was also much easier to navigate so it was easy to point your nose at France and hope you get close enough to get picked up by ASR. In BoX it's all a little more complex.

Edited by ACG_Woop

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5 hours ago, =AVG77=Mobile_BBQ said:

People would stop flying bombers completely.  'Nuff said. 

 

I'm not sure that is entirely true, although implementation and nuance is all important with regards to any system.

 

I think however that you are still looking at it from the aircraft is the pilot perspective which I think it would be beneficial to try and get away from.  I wonder, when a bomber is shot down, how often it is because the pilot is killed rather than it being due to the destruction of the aircraft ?  I suspect that pilots of bombers, usually being better protected and armored, are killed far less often than fighter pilots even if the aircraft themselves are more vulnerable.  If bombers or transport aircraft are the only options available towards the bottom of credit pile then they may end up being flown more often by a wider range of players.  If a credit system is nuanced and flexible enough then the hazards of being a bomber pilot can be taken into account, if indeed needed.  While bailing out over friendly territory might I cure the same minimal penalty, a bomber pilot bailing out over enemy territory could incure a smaller credit loss than that of a fighter, again if it was felt to be needed.

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As I see the 'ACG' is Cliff of Dover , and not the sturmovik ' great battles 

 

One way I'm looking for a squadron , but I'm a VR Pilot ...so .......

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13 hours ago, Sire said:

As I see the 'ACG' is Cliff of Dover , and not the sturmovik ' great battles 

 

One way I'm looking for a squadron , but I'm a VR Pilot ...so .......

 

Not Cliffs of Dover anymore. We've moved to BoM. Plus we have many VR pilots. 

Edited by ACG_Woop

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