Well I know that the game is supposed to be a mercenary experience but then devs have made a terrible job since you can’t buy ships outside your faction without switching nor can you build the reputation with multiple factions at the same time, you have that faction win ratio statistics etc… so there much to be done to make it a mercenary pilot experience. you actually shouldn’t choose your faction but your class (style) at the beginning etc… for now it feels like it should have been a faction based game that couldn’t be delivered by the devs because of problems with match-making so the concept was changed at the last moment. anyway making it a fully mercenary based game is just one way to go since perhaps after all it could be made into a functional faction vs faction based game…
So what are the problems?
No1 is match-making since it would be hard to compute all the factors and system isn’t perfect even now. So how to avoid this - don’t try to do matchmaking based on individual players but based on teams (squadrons) - it’s an MMO after all.
How to do it?
Add a new game type called battle. In effect it’s similar to regular fights but it’s match-making would be based on SQUADRONS.
What is a squadron?
Group of 16 player from a same faction and similar levels of ships. There would be 3 classes of squadrons - class I (t1&t2 ships), class 2 (t1&t3 ships) and class 3 (t3&t4 ships).
How to form a squadron?
Easy the same way one forms a squad now. Squadron could be closed - invites by friends only or open accepting players that meet the requirement (same faction and that have ship of appropriate tiers).
_How to do match-making?/_How to avoid situation of unequal squadrons clashing?
Simple just take two squadrons of the same class and roughly the same values into a match - after all they are formed by players.
Make a descriptor number for this purpose- squadron value. We can’t evaluate actual skill of the players but we can evaluate tiers of their ships as a good estimate of their fighting potential. So squadron value would be the sum of tiers of active ships of each player in that squadron. So for squadron comprised of all t1 ships it would be 16x(1+1+1)=48 and for a squad only comprised from t4 ships it would be 16x(4+4+4)=192. never allow battle from teams that have difference larger than let’s say 16 to compete (this number should be tested and determined empirically).
What would players get for fighting in squadrons like this?
50% more faction points than in regular fights and perhaps even some galactic standards for the winning squadron (like 1-2 per player).
How to eliminate the potential for gold farming this way by player with too much time?
Limit the number of battles player can participate in. Let’s say 5 battles per 24 hour period. You start with 5/5 and it lowers as you play… after 1st battle it’s 4/5 also it starts recovering at the moment you finished that first battle.
How to display overall success of faction in battles?
A pie chart showing faction’s dominance! Each faction would start of with 33% or 1/3. Each battle’s outcome would change that dominance by certain percentage (either in positive or negative direction) by the formula similar to this one:
OUTCOME EFFECT= +(win) or -(loss) x
“squadron level”(1-3) x 0,1%
What would be the effects of dominance on overall game?
The dominance of the faction would determine the market prices for that faction. Let’s say 0-25% dominance = +10% to prices, 25-50% = +0% or regular prices, 50-75% dominance = -10% to prices, and 75-100% dominance = -20% to prices. So it’s like real world- winners get it cheaper.
How to prevent defection of players to winning side to get better prices?
Offer the alternative to losers - faster gain of reputation in their ranks. It’s easier to scale ranks in a losing army that’s a fact of life. So all factions with less than 25% dominance would get +10% to faction reputation gain from every battle.
Major problems with an this concept?
Well a big factor here would be overall number of players in the game. So this should be tried until game gets considerable and stable number of players to allow battles to take place on a regular time base.
I know this is all wishful thinking but I think it is doable.