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Cross Server 3v3 PvP Matchmaking

By Barinade - MEMBER - September 06, 2018, 05:25:40

I know that battlefields was our official PvP revamp and that I should probably not expect any kind of further elaboration on our PvP scene but I can't help but make a post about it.

The thing is that battlefields don't really seem to do PvP justice. They were designed as fun little minigames that you can attack other players in, and given a large enough player population I'm sure they work as intended. The problem is that on smaller servers (at least on Nox) battlefields don't really seem to be working that well.

At first when they launched there was a lot of excitement for battlefields and I remember having over 30 people in each one and even though there was some design flaws, it was still fun to play. Ever since then though battlefields have sort of just become this alternative way to grind XP to level 200. People have stopped showing up with the intent to PvP, and will actually complain if you attack them. Inexperienced players enter a battlefield one time, get killed by a much more experienced player, and then never go back. All the top guilds in Nox flocked to Brakmar once they released it was futile to attempt winning battlefields from the largest nation in our server... which then became even larger. Now PvP in Wakfu mostly boils down to dueling for fun in astrub or the occasional serious PvP in battlefield.

I guarantee the Wakfu team considered implementing a pvp matchmaking system similar to what Dofus has but opted for a more "roleplay" based minigame approach instead. I think that this game would benefit greatly from a matchmaking system though, and whats more, I think it should be cross-server compatible to allow the maximum possible PvP activity. If anybody doesn't know what I'm talking about when I mention matchmaking, let me explain how I imagine it.

The way it works is that you open some kind of an interface in the game which will allow you to enter the queue with a team of 3 characters. You must be at least level 150 to join in the matchmaking system. There should be a limit to 1 character per player by using an IP address limitation, and there can only be 1 of each class per team. There could also be the option to enter the queue with only 2 players or simply by yourself, where you would then be put into a party of other players around your skill level. Obviously the most competitive method is to enter the queue with 2 players you trust, but allowing players to be matched with others would allow them to play more casually even when they don't have a team ready.

The players that you are matched up with (whether on your own team or as your opponents) will be matched to your skill level with a reasonable margin to make sure you aren't waiting all day for a perfect match. The amount of points you can win or lose will range from 1 to 40. Everyone will start at 0 points and work their way up the ladder. Your team's points will be summed up and you will be matched against a team with a point sum within a range of -20% to +20%. For example:

Player 1: 450 points
Player 2: 320 points
Player 3: 500 points
Team Total: 1270 points

This team would be matched up against opponents who have a point sum ranging from 1016 to 1524. The % difference will also determine the number of points you earn or lose based on the outcome of the match. The default number of points to win/lose is 20 which is determined if the two teams are less than 1% apart in point sums. For every 1% difference between the teams' points, this amount will increase by 1. So if the earlier stated team was matched up against a team with 1450 points total (14% difference), and they lost, the winning team's players would win 6 points and the losers would all lose 6 points. Lets say we flip it though, and the 1270 point team won instead. They would each receive 34 points, and the losers would be penalized 34 points each.

As you earn more points you will cross certain thresholds where your rank will increase. These are the point values where you reach those tiers:

Rank ------ Points
Topaz          0
Sapphire     500
Ruby            1000
Emerald       1500
Diamond      2000
Master         2500
Heroic          Top 100 players above 2500 points worldwide

The rank you hold will determine which kind of border you have around character name/guild name when players hover over your character. The border will start thin and less spectacular, with small topaz gems in the corners. But as you climb the ranks, the borders and gems will change colors appropriately with the border itself becoming more thick and pronounced. Maybe at the end of the year, rewards like new auras, costumes and titles would be handed out to players who reach (and stayed at) specific ranks, and then the points would be reset for a new competitive season (although resetting points could be more harmful than helpful in the long run). There would also be a leaderboard similar to the merit leaderboard we have in game at the moment where you can visualize your position in the rankings and view the top players in the world.

Also, there will be a point decay so that you can't just simply reach a high rank and then stop playing. Starting from 2000 (Diamond tier) points, you will be expected to play at least 1 match (win or lose) each week. If you don't, you will be penalized by a rapid point decay of 2% of your total points every week unless you continue playing matches again. This duration is lowered further to 5 days for players with at least 2500 points (Master tier) and lowered even further to 3 days for players above 2500 points and are also in the top 100 worldwide (Heroic tier).

Anyway this is just an idea I had when playing League of Legends, which is probably why it sounds familiar to you if it does. This kind of cross server matchmaking system would be the end-game content staple that I think Wakfu desperately needs. This kind of much needed competition between players and servers would be incredibly fun to experience. I think this would also require frequent PvP rebalancing. Not just like once a year, but more like 3 month period between small balancing changes that would hopefully keep the meta evolving to allow more options to succeed (and I think that stalling could be a problem as well, so PvP oriented changes to prevent this would be necessary).

I'm also not saying that this would replace battlefields either. I think battlefields have their own place in Wakfu and will probably be more interesting with future updates, but it doesn't quite quench the top level of competitive PvP that I know exists in the community. What do you guys think?

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Yes! This is an incredible idea. I have wondered forever why this isn't already a very integrated part of the game. It gives everyone a very clear cut goal to build towards for end-game play. The PvP interactions are some of the most appealing, skill-testing features of any game, it is a wonder why their hasn't been more emphasis around developing something that is more attractive and sustainable. Especially in a tactics style MMO (Essentially the only real one) there is no better test of skill  than another player sitting opposite you and matching up head to head.

This being said there are a few ideas I would like to tag on to Your main thought. The first is to keep the servers separate. The big reason for inter-server play I'm sure is to increase the number of players in the pool for competitive play, and while I agree with you whole-heartedly (you need a big pool to have something like this work) there are a few reasons it might be better to keep things separate. The first reason is that coding something like this might be an absolute nightmare, having them stay separate yet interacting with each-other directly in-game does not sound like an easy feat and if it becomes too much of a hassle we might never see such a feature come alive. It is also important to note I think, if there were such a system for good quality, easily-accessible PvP it would not surprise me at all to see the player base grow naturally due to the appeal of the system. And the big drive to keep separate servers is for the potential growth of the competitive aspect, later on if real Wakfu PvP exists, then real E-sports level inter-server PvP tournaments would be an actual viable option.

Another thing that I feel should be noted is that it would be nice to have access to the system much earlier.
Maybe have a few different pools of levels: (just rough ideas)
Level 50 - 110
Level 111 - 155
Level 156 - 199
Level 200
The big reason for this is to give people a taste of what the competitive PvP aspect is like nice and early before they hit the real grind of mid-game. It gives them a very real drive to push through and develop their characters for late-game PvP and other end-game content. 

I know the 3v3 tourney's have been a very fun, fast-paced setup that has been doing well for the last while but I think the big reason for it's appeal is due to the imbalance in classes and the ability to stall out battles. I think opening the doors to a real 6v6 option would be ideal, now of course, there would be need for balancing and options for counter-play to penetrate some of the powerful meta choices currently happening. Once upon a time I remember a system that rewarded taking fast turns. I think you just reached your "third-turn" bonus faster. I can't remember specifically what it was but adopting a system with a similar goal might be helpful. This paired with some real options for counter-play and proper balancing would make it so that you shouldn't end up with 6v6 matches taking longer than an hour. I wouldn't suggest only 6v6 battles, just as an additional option. 

Another things to throw out there that might help with the player pool issue is the multi-boxing aspect. I feel like the big reason it is limited in battlefields is due to the ability to exploit the system for personal growth. I think there should definitely be systems in place to ensure you are not battling yourself for exploitation purposes but I think you should be able to queue with other characters at your IP. Yes for siblings and friends, but also for multi-boxers, we are already opting into a much longer, more confusing journey juggling so many different boxes, and when boosting it is a lot less cost effective to have multiple accounts on the go. That being said there are many pros and cons to both setups, but I don't think either has more right to access the "fun" features of the game. 

Multiples of the same class. Something I have been saying for a long time is I would love to see more intentional class interactions with each other. Example: Flaming, there are some classes that produce it, some give it to others, some scald enemies to increase the damage potential, this is an example of a great idea for inter-class synergies and I think it is very cool to have these interactions. This being said, multiples of the same class tends to be some of the only chances you get to have party members playing off each other in the current model. I think it should be encouraged to have other mechanics (besides flaming) where multiple classes are able to apply, get bonuses from, or use up similar status effects for additional effects. (ie. poison, frozen, stunned, tripped, off-balance etc.) If things like this existed than the effects of having multiples of the same class wouldn't seem as imbalanced. Of course stuff like this would require constant balancing, but you don't have the option of balancing properly without a bounty of statistics to draw conclusions from. And this PvP system would provide exactly that, an opportunity to just have an absurd amount of battles providing details of what is too powerful and what is not powerful enough.

I would imagine when you queue into a PvP battle you would be sent to Ecaflipus. (Maybe you have to be in Eca lobby just to queue) But it would be very cool to be able to go in as a spectator and enter one of the arenas and have a number of battles going on (with the current crossed-sword system) and be able to sit in and watch some. If not this way then it would be nice to have a different way to spectate other PvP matches. This is obviously not as important as the system itself and could come at a later date.

One of the big things I loved about League of Legends (I have been playing off and on since it's birth) is the accessibility and the feel that F2P players still have a fighting chance with a little extra effort. It comes down more to your knowledge and skill rather than who has more money/time to sink into the game. Of course there will always be great appeal for putting money into the game, both through boosters (speeding up the leveling, looting process)  and through cosmetics, but I don't feel there should be a whole chapter that is locked behind a pay-wall. Especially when you consider that's where all the best end-game gear is. People should have access to the stronger equipment without having to pay. Some ideas are having a monthly Zinit weekend, providing some means of earning OG's in-game, or opening Zinit entirely. This way yes it will take a lot longer than someone who is boosted, but someone who maybe doesn't have the same resources can still play at the competitive level. 

This is just my 2 cen.... er, a, 25 cents to tag onto your idea. Putting more emphasis into the PvP aspect of the game I think would have a much bigger draw to help build and more importantly, keep, the player base. Thanks for listening if you lasted through it, sorry for being so verbose, I just think this is a really good idea, but if it isn't executed properly it could be another flop. 

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you want a new system in game that can matchmaking for 3v3 pvp and it's cross server?

I think Dy7 said Kolos in dofus took 2 years to finish so I doubt they'll add it in wakfu

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Oh wow I didn't realize Dofus had implemented a cross-server arena, that's neat. Well then I will have to retract my point about it being a nightmare to code, it must be feasible if it has been done.

To be honest I don't know why they don't just somehow combine the 2 games. I know I know, what a mess, and oh No we'll lose all our progress, there would have to be some kind of compensation for sure and yes it would be a long, messy, complicated process, but The rewards would far out-weigh the issues that would have to be overcome, larger player base, able to keep separate servers functional but most of all, faster progress. Having both dev teams working towards the same goal would increase productivity exponentially.One of the biggest issues with Wakfu is the rate at which old bugs are fixed and the rate at which new features/content is released. (including balancing) It seems silly to me to keep both player bases separate, as it is kind of a niche genre of game, and no one else is really doing it. That being said I really like the graphics style and fluidity of Wakfu a lot better than Dofus, and if it turns completely P2P like Dofus I feel a lot of people (Myself included) will not be able to justify outputting a regular subscription fee to take part.

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The problem with making matchmaking PvP not inter-server playable is that I'm pretty sure it would become dead content with the lack of PvP interest in smaller servers. Maybe this matchmaking system could use the beta server in some way.

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Yes the Beta environment is a viable route but then there is the issue of not being able to use the actual character you have built and developed. It would level the playing field between newer and more established players which would be neat but then it would become like 2 separate games: Beta PvP and Wakfu PvM, where I think ideally the PvP model should tie into the PvM aspect and each experience should build the other. Also consider we are taking a small sample size of interest from recent PvP experiences, where we might be looking over Legacy players who might return to the game to feel the PvP experience, players who play on Rem only because of population issues, and players who may have got into the game but after a short try or reading/hearing about late game content/lack of PvP/other issues may have not got as into the game as they might have otherwise.

All that considered it might still be true that player base is not deep enough in which case inter-server matchmaking might be a better if not the only viable option. I'm merely suggesting that "ideally" we would have separate server PvP with the hopes that down the line, the strongest players from each individual server would be able to clash in Epic tournaments.

Either way, whatever the format, however it is pulled off, there should for sure be a more accessible and more exciting PvP system. One also that is inclusive for newer/lower level players as it takes quite a commitment to even end up near late game with decent gear and I think if people had a taste of the cool things that might come later on they would be more inclined to make the journey through the game.

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wandererAGw|2018-09-06 20:47:57
you want a new system in game that can matchmaking for 3v3 pvp and it's cross server?

I think Dy7 said Kolos in dofus took 2 years to finish so I doubt they'll add it in wakfu

Wouldn't that imply Wakfu is not worth investing for the long term? That's just bad PR and the opposite of promoting a game.

As KingTyrion12 put it, "The PvP interactions are some of the most appealing, skill-testing features of any game", any MMORPG in context of the topic.

Being end game in PvM is one thing, but end game in PvP is entirely a different experience, as players are required to have a new perspective when it comes to building their characters. Knowing that they will be going against living breathing human irrational and unpredictable behaviours, opposed to pre-programmed intelligent agent. That's what make PvP so interesting.

 Simply put, it entertains end gamers while waiting for new PvM content.
 If I really wanted to play a tactical turn based RPG games without PvP elements, there's plenty of good titles out there, such as Fire Emblem, FF Tactics, Advance War, Disgaea and more.

That said, PvP in Beta Server is only a temporarly solution.
1. Not everyone uses Beta Client
2. Free Gear completely omit the RPG elements from a MMORPG. (There's a reason why Dofus persisted, and Dofus Arena was shut down).

As someone who enjoys Role Playing Game, the player interaction is what made me enjoy MMORPG so much, specially when it's similar to all the turn based games I've played growing up. In fact, that's how I discovered Dofus, while browsing for FF Tactics Walkthough on the internet.

PS: I get jelly every time dofus receives more quality PvP / Kolossium updates, especially when Kolossium became inter-server few years after I joined Wakfu. xD

I know this may sound off topic, but match making system could learn something from Sumo ranking system: , while it's 1v1, I'm sure it can be work around to work with team pvp as well.
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Hey Reg, saw ur vid on Youtube, what u've said pretty much sums up the current state of pvp in wakfu.

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Its been 4 days. The devs are to scared to comment on this post  lol

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