#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I've just completed my first 12 week campaign earlier today (with 45 survivors only), and am almost halfway through a second one. Needless to say, I love it (Survivor Mode) and play it way too hard.

The metagame is brilliant, but broken. 100+ population levels cannot be maintained, if one constantly wins too quickly and clearly. Survivor is played *Best of Seven*, though if a team wins four to nil, there's really only going to be four rounds. Instead of rewarding the clear winners for their skill, compensating them for beating their foes in the minimum amount of rounds, everybody's pockets will be a tad bit light on supplies. The player's population will starve, if the player fares too well - complete lunacy.

And that's not even touching on how poorly disconnects and quitters are handled. I get that the punitive nature is to dissuade rage quiters and exploiters and such, but when legit players get punished for either serverside fuck-ups or asshole contemporaries - it's just not flippin' right. The kind of stuff I've experienced in regards to how the metagame pans out, it's obvious to me that it is broken. Like instead of loading into a new match, ending up in the tally screen - being awarded zero supplies for a game I've never played.

What say you?

P.S. In The Last of Us nothing's more valuable than a evenly matched room. Always ride it out man! It's too precious to quit.

#2 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

I presently have 172 survivors legit, so not particularly sure what you're talking about. Now 200+ that's another thing entirely and the very top of the leaderboard is almost exclusively boosters and most of the people around my level are people with teams that intentionally lose rounds; but for my part I just solo. It's not necessarily particularly difficult to get to 120 which is the highest customization unlock; 85 after 14 weeks takes 2 20% hits within like 12 days so you have to do reasonably well in that timespan. The game can also be played in Supply Raid and "Parts per minute" is dictated more by skill than anything else since winning quickly will net you a better bonus. The alternative to the present system is that groups get way more supplies than people that play solo since their matches are much less competitive, and that's much less preferable than something that benefits everyone. You can score 4000-5000 in a 4 round match as well, which with picked up supplies is more than sufficient to reach 120.

The loading bug (it's probably just you joined a match as it was ending) is an issue; but I've only run into it twice out of 120 matches or so; not really that bad.

#3 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

I presently have 172 survivors legit, so not particularly sure what you're talking about. Now 200+ that's another thing entirely and the very top of the leaderboard is almost exclusively boosters and most of the people around my level are people with teams that intentionally lose rounds; but for my part I just solo. It's not necessarily particularly difficult to get to 120 which is the highest customization unlock; 85 after 14 weeks takes 2 20% hits within like 12 days so you have to do reasonably well in that timespan. The game can also be played in Supply Raid and "Parts per minute" is dictated more by skill than anything else since winning quickly will net you a better bonus. The alternative to the present system is that groups get way more supplies than people that play solo since their matches are much less competitive, and that's much less preferable than something that benefits everyone. You can score 4000-5000 in a 4 round match as well, which with picked up supplies is more than sufficient to reach 120.

The loading bug (it's probably just you joined a match as it was ending) is an issue; but I've only run into it twice out of 120 matches or so; not really that bad.

Even with Crafter 3 and Collector 2, quick games usually don't net enough supplies to keep 100+ people fed and healthy - unless you're the only one who scores on your team. Anyways - which sensible highlevel player doesn't use Crafter 2/3 always? Talk about rotten balancing.

I've had a great room this afternoon, every game won or lost by the skin of my teeth - everybody a sensible player - and everybody got their money's worth, so to speak. Population fed and healthy and growing. That thing kept rolling for several hours. Usually I am topping the board too. Good times.

Of course, after a break I get into a shit room with lots player fluctation and nothing but onesided match-ups, with a bunch non-reactive non-action-taking all-I-do-is-sneak-regardless players making it a rather dull and unrewarding affair. In such a room, half the time there's vacant slots - reducing the prospective supplies even further.

120 population is no problem, if you don't run into a onesided room (and I'm usually on the winning side), or the game craps out on you. So far, it always has. I've played about 18 weeks overall, which should be about the same amount of days like you. I don't know what game you're playing, but I've experienced lots unfair and illogical BS in terms of how the metagame panned out. Krass winning streaks, topping the scoreboard, and still my population goes hungry and sick.

If that's not some bullshit, then I don't know what is. I don't understand how you can defend design, that encourages losing on purpose - in order to do well enough. Nonsensical really.

#4 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

There is no "well enough," the only thing you have to do to get the game's "reward" is 1 population at the end of 12 weeks. The population system is a skill barometer more or less, if you're not running with a group of friends you're not going to win every time out and you don't really have to to succeed; like most skill barometer tests it's not perfect but it is really elegant and interesting if nothing else. Now, winning is more or less meaningless except for the supplies you pick up off of bodies; but that's not insignificant either. You have to run with crafter 3/collector 2 to reliably get above 6500 or so scores, but that's not necessary for any unlock the game has to offer and is completely superfluous; still plenty of good players that run around with a pseudo stealth build and what have you.

Lastly if you're finding the group that you're with between matches too far below your skill level so you effect the outcome too much then just leave and go find another via matchmaking.

Essentially the game rewards you more for having more competitive and interesting matches; "noobcrushing" as it were isn't rewarded or encouraged. Personally I immensely enjoy matches where you lose the first 3 rounds and then win or tie the next 4 or lose 2 win 2 and back and forth (and so on), when my team wins 4-0 it's usually pretty fucking boring and the game is simply telling you "yes that was indeed pointless" or "yes that was an awesome comeback" or "you fought hard and died a hero (via Last Man Standing)"

#5 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

There is no "well enough," the only thing you have to do to get the game's "reward" is 1 population at the end of 12 weeks. The population system is a skill barometer more or less, if you're not running with a group of friends you're not going to win every time out and you don't really have to to succeed; like most skill barometer tests it's not perfect but it is really elegant and interesting if nothing else. Now, winning is more or less meaningless except for the supplies you pick up off of bodies; but that's not insignificant either. You have to run with crafter 3/collector 2 to reliably get above 6500 or so scores, but that's not necessary for any unlock the game has to offer and is completely superfluous; still plenty of good players that run around with a pseudo stealth build and what have you.

Lastly if you're finding the group that you're with between matches too far below your skill level so you effect the outcome too much then just leave and go find another via matchmaking.

Essentially the game rewards you more for having more competitive and interesting matches; "noobcrushing" as it were isn't rewarded or encouraged. Personally I immensely enjoy matches where you lose the first 3 rounds and then win or tie the next 4 or lose 2 win 2 and back and forth (and so on), when my team wins 4-0 it's usually pretty fucking boring and the game is simply telling you "yes that was indeed pointless" or "yes that was an awesome comeback" or "you fought hard and died a hero (via Last Man Standing)"

Sure. I do enjoy it a lot myself. Especially well balanced match-ups. I'm playing it on my own as well, and am plaything to the matchmaking's whims as well. From disconnects to rooms full of quitters to being pitted against a full group of four veteran friends with a team of random beginners acting like headless chicken - all of which does impact the metagame negatively.

Don't kid yourself, the metagame is a lot more than mere skill barometer to me, even if that's what it is at its core. I want to *win* at the metagame. Playing *alone* I have little control about how it all pans out, other than doing my best to win. There's not a single valid reason under the sun why winning too clearly and quickly should be punished by the metagame.

There's so many solutions to the problem. From playing 7 rounds everytime, regardless of how many rounds have been won by which team, to compensating teams appropriately for winning a game in under 7 rounds, like rewarding an extra 500-1000 points for every round less than 7.

Lastly, just because the game is great fun doesn't mean it cannot be broken. I fully agree that its elegant and brilliant for the most parts, but in regards to clear and swift victory, it is completely out whack, because getting punished for such an outcome is lunacy. That and severly punishing me for hosts quitting and other serverside fuck-ups, as well as not accounting for missing teammates and me fighting at a disadvantage, really turns me off.

#6 Edited by HerpDerp (133 posts) -

I know the multiplayer is kinda like CS, but I didn't think people would disect it like that.

It's just so... Woah...

#7 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave:

Got disconnected from host in today's session once, and this time didn't suffer any negative reprecussions. Guess that means Naughty Dog is hard at work to make the whole online experience rounder. Hopefully it's not just a fringe occurrence.

And it really isn't asking too much for wins to feel like wins in the metagame regardless of how many of rounds have been played in a game, at least approximately to the point of how much supply one'd manage to generate in a 7-rounds lasting match. Anything less is plain wrong, and not reflective of a winning player's gameplay.

Winning too hard, so it has to be punished - that's not something that computes in my mind. It's ass-backwards.

@herpderp said:

I know the multiplayer is kinda like CS, but I didn't think people would disect it like that.

It's just so... Woah...

Excuse me? Unless you expect videogame forums to be nothing but snippy or snarky one-liners and animated gifs, your expectations are dead-wrong. It's exactly what you should do. Discuss the games you're into in-depth.

#8 Posted by Humanity (9377 posts) -

I actually enjoy the other mode, the name of which escapes me at present, as it keeps the game a lot more fast paced. I played a ton of Counter Strike in my youth so waiting out turns is nothing new to me but in this game unlike CS people will often camp out a spot and the game drags for a long time.

Also armor is total bullshit but thats a different issue.

#9 Edited by Mustachio (242 posts) -

Started a challenge, went into matchmaking, got matched up. Map voting hadn't even started and the selected host left, booting everyone out of the lobby. Game decided that not only did that count as one day out of three left to do the challenge I'd just accepted, but that having the host leave a lobby of a game that wasn't even close to started meant it should kill off half my survivors. Neat.

#10 Edited by SuperCycle (332 posts) -

I've got a quick question, and it's a little unrelated to the topic. I'm just starting the multiplayer, I'm basically doing it for the trophies. I'm wondering how difficult it is to get the Firefly and Hunter trophies. You finished 12 weeks with 45 people. Did you get one of the trophies? Did you play Survivor or Supply Raid more frequently, and which one will give me the quickest results? How much of my clan needs to survive for the trophy to pop?

#11 Edited by kaos_cracker (601 posts) -

I reached 100 and then I stopped caring. A majority were healthy then my internet went out at the beginning of a match and now most are sick, hungry, or dead so I just stopped caring. Playing the multiplayer as a team is rewarding enough, the metagame is neat but if you ignore the pressure of getting enough supplies every match, it becomes more fun to me.

#12 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I've got a quick question, and it's a little unrelated to the topic. I'm just starting the multiplayer, I'm basically doing it for the trophies. I'm wondering how difficult it is to get the Firefly and Hunter trophies. You finished 12 weeks with 45 people. Did you get one of the trophies? Did you play Survivor or Supply Raid more frequently, and which one will give me the quickest results? How much of my clan needs to survive for the trophy to pop?

First time around I capped out at 111 survivors. I suffered lots of losses to the aforementioned problems. Second time around now my highest survivor count thus far is 127, with only a single instance of some system error due to connection loss - and a bunch of bad rooms dragging me down.

I think we should rather start a '100 Things I learned playing TLOU Multiplayer' thread.

#13 Posted by SuperCycle (332 posts) -

Okay, I was disconnected from a host just now, and your right the metagame is broken. There is no reason my perfectly healthy clan should have all gotten hungry and sick because I was disconnected from the host by no fault of my own.

#14 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave:

P.S. ever thought about the circumstance that if a player might be better than you, in the sense of swaying the success of his team to clear and swift victory more often than you, then that person would have a much harder time getting the supplies to break through to 150+ survivors, because said person would play much fewer rounds over the course of the 12 week campaign than you? Just a mindgame - mind you - but it should quite clearly show what I'm getting at. Why the metagame is so clearly broken.

#15 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Fantasitc. Week 10 with 147 survivors. Get matched into a running game. Two nil for the enemy team, and it's just about to make it three nil. Of course my team loses swiftly thereafter. I already had a bunch of sick folks from winning too hard before, in a really good room, with everybody contributing equal amounts of win - hard fought four nils - which yield 4-5k at best in this circumstance. A marginally insufficient tally, supply-wise - yet after 4-5 such games, the sum of sick is quite numerous.

All said and done, back to 100 healthy folks after the obligatory 20% cut ontop of all this shit. Yep - the metagame, as well as the matchmaking, are rather broken - at least if one choses to take the metagame seriously. Why wouldn't I, it's crazy awesome, outside of being broken! So very frustrating. Hopefully these are growing pains, and will be addressed in some manner, and soon.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

@seppli: Better than me!? Unpossible, unfathomable, deplorable, outrageous, scandalous! I use a revolver and nothing else and went 14-12-2 one match (granted still scored better in a match where I went 1-3-1, but that's neither here nor there). Build is basically going to dictate your supply cap; a good stealth caps out at 135ish, any other combat class non support 125-130ish, a good support caps out anywhere between 150-160ish with various fluctuations. There is no reason to have more than 120 supplies other than epeen so the fact that it's balanced up to that point is fine. I've played like 100 matches as a support and I've been the highest scoring player in maybe 99 of those?

Granted I understand how the game works and know the maps other than Underground since it was dead on arrival despite being a good map and fuck stupid voting systems. Anyway longwinded point is any good player is going to realize that his number of survivors is only significant up to a point depending on the build he's using and won't worry too much about it after a while. For my part I have one guy who plays in a team on my friend's list that is vaguely close to my survivor count and this is unacceptable so I must outdo him and his suspicious methods!

Edit: You were in a team that kept routing the enemy 4-0 and this is boring and tedious at best so the game didn't reward you for it; as I said if you find you're either too good relative to the other people in the group or your group is too good relative to the other team then find a new group.

@humanity: Armor is only bullshit when you join late, but it is basically a null element; once you're decent at the game you will always have armor and so will almost everyone else; thus defeating the purpose of having armor. Granted some of the weapons get really damn good at rank 2 upgrade and armor is the only counterbalance to that. Armor is also meaningless in Counterstrike for similar reasons.

#17 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

Just had an 8k match followed by a 9k match for a grand total of... +8 survivors! Up to 179, hurray. So basically everyone over 180 is almost certainly boosting and almost everyone between 160 and 180 is intentionally losing rounds. Now I don't lose intentionally persay I just let things lie sometimes; also I don't play with a team so my control over winning and losing is limited.

#18 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave:

What I'm getting at is. There's 84 games in a campaign. The minimum amount of rounds played for a win is 4. The highest amount of rounds played per game is 7. So the difference per game is up to 3 rounds. For a grand total maximum discrepancy of 252 rounds per campaign.

Hypothetically, a better player will play more games winning in four rounds. With a maxium discrepancy of 252 rounds (each worth between 500-1500 salvage with a support build) leading up to the estimated maximum unwarranted loss of 378,000 salvage.

Now explain to me how the metagame isn't broken by this? And don't tell me to not take it as seriously as I am, because clearly I am taking it seriously. I'm doing math for Chrissake, and I hate math!

#19 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Just finished my second campaign. Survived with 100 survivors flat after the final 20% reduction. Guess everything's unlocked now. And I got the Hunter achievement. I had over 120 survivors before the final attack, what exactly does prompt the 120 clansize throphy? Guess I'll find out on my second time around with the Fireflies.

My strategy of keeping all the easy objectives for last and horting boosters 'til the final weeks paid off.

Oh - currently ranking 470th out of roughly 500+k ranked players. Is that soley based on my maximum clan-size, which was 147, or do other metrics figure into it too? Regardless - that must be how it feels like to be a One-Percenter.

P.S. Loving the Beret & Skull-Mask combo. Badass commando! So Bro like Army of Two.

#20 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

@seppli: It's just maximum clan size; though parts per minute is probably a better metric. Problem is those boards are broken by a bunch of people with 0-10 minutes played; though if you look hard enough you can see the boosters with their 25000 high scores and stuff, pretty amusing.

No one is so good that they make every game go 4 rounds, unless they purposely stay in an "easy" match with lesser skilled players. Plus as already stipulated you can score 5000+ in 4 rounds which is enough to get 120. The gameplay isn't twitchy enough to allow for super twitch 9000 mctwitchington to be able to calzone everyone, so the best combat players are generally the best flankers, flanking is always a risky prospect if anyone vaguely competent is in the game. There's no trophy for 120 its just the highest cosmetic unlock. 500-1500 is underselling it a bit though, had a 2800 round yesterday and have had various 2k+ rounds in the past; I imagine if I used my First Aid 2 build more I could probably get 3k+ occasionally (usually countersniping matches are best for healing)

The best supports will spend too much time running around with the Sprint boost perk to decisively impact every round; if your team or the other team forces the issue you'll arrive with your 2-3 gifts and only have half a team left sometimes (and then if you kill the other team from that point you get way more than anyone else does, even if you die having only killed one via shiv and LMS that's still another 500 scrap); but crafting/gifting is still worth more than every kill except a shiv and crafting is the best way to get shivs other than dancing around people trying to melee you.

#21 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave:

I find the 500-1500 average score per round range quite accurate. Just tally it up. In a full 7 round game that's 10500 points. I've played exactly two campaigns thus far, that's 168 games (minus a couple of dropped games due to technical hiccups), and I can count on one hand how many times I've actually scored that high. Roughly 12k being the absolute high mark - a fringe occurrence - whilst the average *all-around great games* were somewhere between 7k and 10k. 2000+ points as a high mark average per round would be absolutely preposterous.

Other than that, you're making my point, rather than offering a rebuttal. Good players play up to 252 less rounds per campaign, which puts clear winners at a stark disadvantage supply per day-wise, even more so if the average high mark score per round were as high as you suggested.

The allusion of *just taking the metagame less seriously* is simply not cutting it as an argument. It exists. It is awesome, but also flawed. Putting clear match winners at a disadvantage metagame-wise is systematically broken - there's really no arguing that fact.

#22 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

@seppli: Again it's never going to be anywhere close to your randomly calculated numbers; no one is a majestic murder machine in this game; having done 4 or 5 4v1s personally I can tell you it's not all that likely to occur. If you stick with a group of players that you're clearly superior to for a long period of time that's your own fault and any good player is going to realize this, so keep doing more matchmaking until you find a reasonably competent group of players to play with; you don't have to throw rounds to lose, you will flat out lose some rounds; no one is beyond this and no one is ever going to be. If you play with a team and win easily over and over then its just the game telling you that what you're doing is more or less pointless and this is quite accurate to the point.

Also learn to have a sense of humor, a lot of what I say is in jest or as an amusing twist; it's not to support your "point." I remember when I was 200th in the world at ACB and I thought that was good, then I was 10th best in ACR, and 5th best in AC3 and that sort of changed my perspective a bit; but being good at something doesn't automatically make you an authority on the subject, you should be circumspect and think about what will happen realistically across all games. Winning (or tying) matters, just not winning 4 rounds. And of course in Supply Raid it makes no difference how fast you win or lose, so if "winning" is your ultimate goal then you can play that and have no cognitive dissonance.

As far as the game's progression system goes, the only thing that anyone else sees is the number and dots next to your name; this is entirely dictated by number of matches played and campaigns completed; it is essentially a prestige system from any other game. The population metagame is interesting but ultimately something that you and only you are aware of, except for positions on your friend's leaderboard or a few easily gettable cosmetic unlocks. It doesn't need to be streamlined in any way because it functions the way it is and is more interesting than virtually any other leveling system by its nature, and as already stipulated the top of the leaderboard is boosted to shit so that doesn't really mean anything either; I'm 45th or something now but likely top 5 or so in reality; but all anyone's going to pay attention to is the number and symbols beside my name when I join a match.

#23 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave:

You continue to talk past my point. I fully understand your point, and as an active player that's exactly what I'm doing. I play because I enjoy it, regardless of what I think about the state of its metagame.

However - I'm arguing the point that the metagame is broken, because clear winners are being systematically punished. How's a maximum score discrepancy of up to an estimated total of 400k per campaign, without any systematic compensation of said *lost earning opportunities*, anything but broken?

You said yourself the leaderboards must be populated with lots of semi-legit groups of players losing rounds on purpose to compensate for this circumstance with unnatural behaviour. An obvious symptom of a deeply flawed, downright broken metagame system. That's the point you keep to ignore and keep talking around of, and prefer to rather make allusions how I should be seeing things differently - be a better person. Insulting.

Just admit to the game's flaw, that its metagame is at least conceivably broken. You don't even have to believe it yourself, just admit that you can see my flippin' point. I have a rocksolid case. Your continued willful ignorance baffles my understanding. A game system that encourages losing is unnatrual and assbackwards, in other words - totally and utterly broken.

Just say it!

#24 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5554 posts) -

I mean I can make up completely unsupported numbers too if you want. If this system affected anyone adversely it would be me after all. But you're never going to get the point and that's fine, continue wandering around in your delusional state.

#25 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

I mean I can make up completely unsupported numbers too if you want. If this system affected anyone adversely it would be me after all. But you're never going to get the point and that's fine, continue wandering around in your delusional state.

The numbers are merely to showcase the insane scope of the metagame's potential discrepancy and brokeness over the course of a full 12 week campaign.

Just admit that a game that can last between 4 to 7 rounds, but does not compensate winners for beating the enemy in less than 7 rounds, tieing into a metagame that is all about daily earnings derived from those rounds - is inherently broken. Often - doing better in the game means doing worse in the metagame.

Your point that the player shouldn't mind is utter bollocks, because evidently lots of players do. You yourself have admitted to *not trying too hard to win*, if the situation calls for it or allows it. If the player is pushed by a game's mechanics to question his resolve to win, then that's as broken as a game can be.

You must be a lawyer, because your reluctance of even acknowledging the issue borders on the professionally insane. Absurd really.