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Disable Squading in PUG games

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I really dislike squading in pug games, I got no idea why this practice is being continued for years.

It literally unbalance the game by a huge margin, it is completely different level from sending individual builders to assist someone; you can just pool resource across the map wirelessly as long that part of the map has enough builders which made possible by pooling resources to build them (the builders)

In a pug game, as the name imply, is a PUG game, I totally can't fathom the amount of disadvantage allowed against pug players.

Last and not least, it totally disturb the elo allocations as these squading are usually in micro managed by one or two experienced players, effectively artificially boosting the weaker members's elo which in turn unbalance the teams.
+4 / -4
i can see your point =) you make a good point.. but the balancer should still help you win 50% of games? idk.. i think team-share gets a few advantages.. mostly micro related.. but the reason the end graph looks so good is it adds the scores together.

there must be a way we can all work this out so nobody has to fear loosing enjoyment
+0 / -0
37 days ago
Teamwork is OP, you can reproduce most of the effects of squaring by giving stuff, including instantaneous resource transmission.

If I want to assist a teammate across the map, I can ask them to give me a few builders there. Or even just one builder and build a few nanos.

And if the resource transfer interface was better than it currently is, you could just give the metal directly. Metal giving is allowed by the rules, the interface just doesn't currently allow fine enough control to automate continuous resource sharing.
+3 / -0


37 days ago
secret casual elo farming technique: give all your res to the best player on team.
+2 / -0
36 days ago
quote:
secret casual elo farming technique: give all your res to the best player on team.


That doesn't work if you are the one with the highest elo
+3 / -0
36 days ago
Its not the squading so much as the team work unless 1 pro controls all the units and everyone else sits back.
+1 / -0
More then two people squad is very hard to manage and low level player can cause numerous problems in it. I don't see big problem in only two player squads.
Problems start when there is two advanced players in squad and low level players/added who just not doing anything but sharing resources to lead players. But this strategy is not commonly used as @_Shaman is playing mainly in squad with FIrankterve886. Larger squad is more mess and start loosing more game then playing in two.
Also i cant see problem with instant resource transfer if you can just press 'tab' and send unlimited resources to any allied player in any map corner. Also playing with no squad you can just share caretaker or con for allied player managing things through voice chat. And as same clan players 99% plays in same side then its not problem.
Its not squad thing which is OP but clan communications. If 6 ADVENT players sit in discord and communicate then they will be better then enemy which don't communicate. Same with MC. In first rounds MC beat ADVENT even with all merging.
If you want true PUG game then no clan allowed, no party and no voice communications. All these factors is giving much privileges against other players.


Most annoying squad thing is that all damage calculation is only for squad leader and he is getting all awards.
+1 / -0


36 days ago
Some issues around the related phenomena of clanstack were discussed about three weeks ago. To get up to speed on some ideas relevant to this thread I'd suggest you read the discussion: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WxoUBqPs_pMWtVTv8IQwhAHt9zV3boD-Kv-kfhQm_BY/edit?usp=sharing

Clanstacks seem worth analysing because most squads occur in clanstacks. It may turn out that there is no problem with squading itself, it could just be that the behaviour of clans that tend to squad leads to other people having less fun.

Here are some points that were raised in the discussion:
  • The issue is not necessarily one of balance. Clans can be correctly rated and still make the game less fun for others.
  • Part of this is the reduced agency of everyone else in the game.
  • Clans are likely to be a big presence in a string of games on the same host.

A few mechanisms we proposed based on the following factors:
  • A large clan controls a lot of resources, say, half the resources of a team.
  • A clan with its own communication channel (such as voice) pays a too high of a price for coordination with the non-clan members of its team.

I came up with a model of teamgames in which the team as a whole splits its resources between staying in the game (maintenance actions) and making a win condition (strategic actions). Some portion of the team's income must be spent on maintenance actions such as doing the bare minimum required of expansion and defense on each front, otherwise they will quickly lose. These tasks are required if the team is to have any chance of winning, so someone has to do them. The rest of the team's income is spent on 'strategy', or how the team is going to win the game - perhaps they push particularly hard on one front, build up a big economy, snipe something, or do one of the many fancier options available.

It can be hard to spot the difference between maintenance and strategic actions on an uncoordinated team because nobody controls enough resources to make the team spend a lot of resources on any particular win condition. Really good solo teamplayers probably use their limited resources to efficiently shore up areas with maintenance actions, and then use their remaining resources to assist or initiate a relatively cheap overall strategy.

Strategic and maintenance actions offer a good explanation of how RUrankFirepluk trolls. It seems like a significant portion of players prefer to be taking strategic actions than maintenance actions. This makes sense because a player that is just maintaining the game is depending on the rest of their team to pick a good win condition. The maintenance actions are less flashy, less exciting, and give the player less agency in the game. I think most players find maintenance sufficiently fun to do their share, but they don't want to be paying the price every game while someone else does the flashy move that determines the outcome. RUrankFirepluk is an extreme example who would rather leave the game than support his teammates in their desire to have someone else do the maintenance actions from time to time.

Going back to clans and squading, my theory is that clans can inherently behave in such a way as to take all the strategic actions for themselves and force the rest of the team into maintenance. Every expensive project becomes more viable when the team spends half its income on it, so the clan members have a lot of power to determine which strategic actions are good and which are bad. Strategic coordination is enhanced by communication, such as voice chat, while maintenance is not, so the team naturally falls into those with the fastest communication doing the strategy.

None of this is to say that clans or squads win games, just that they determine the outcomes of games. A clan could tilt or otherwise screw around as a unit, losing the game. Or perhaps their choice of win condition happens to be countered. Even if they win, the rest of their team was relegated to a support role and has a reduced effect on that victory.
+0 / -0
Communication wins game not clans. Without proper communication there is no order and without order there is no victory. You cant disable it so there must be other ways how to limit it.
Matchmaking system should be reworked to solve issues like that and i doubt anybody will try do it. Two things must be removed already before these issues - two commander thing (its unbalanced game in any way) and stupid thing when in one team there is two purple games + two lobstars + mediocre players vs at least four blue players and plus medicare stuff. These two things would solve so much unbalanced game problems.
Matchmaking is around also that it put same clan members in same team. If devs change it then problem will be partialy solved. Example like splitting two best clan players. However it will lead situation where they would not want fight each other and one or even both will spec.
Infinite clan size is one factor which leads to problems because there is only three/four big clans in ZK now which actively playing. They amassed most advanced players Clan should be limited size if we want diversity (like it was before). Already there is games where clan stack fight vs clan stack. Already there is games where is only MC vs ADVENT. In some cases GBC also present with three players.
+0 / -2

36 days ago
Noticed dat discussion link only after i posted my comment.

quote:
<Aquanim> i ragequit zk for a while once after running into a secret sigero godde party


Damn its so evil. How could they had soul to do such evil thing.

quote:
<Sprung> the main problem with clanstacks is that their elo isn't as reflected as it should because from time to time they play alone


I agree with this one. And it can't be fixed.


quote:
<GoogleFrog> I think this is where the feeling of not having much impact comes from. There are actions in the game that sort of just "maintain" it, and there are actions that that move it towards victory or loss
this is why Firepluk was such a problem. He wanted to do the win/loss actions all the time without chipping in the cost of playing the maintenance game


If RUrankFirepluk would play serious maintenance game combined with his trolling skill then Zk would be fucked. You can't even imagine what can happen when RUrankFirepluk starts cooperating. Then even MC will fade and AUrankAdminAquanim will never play in room where he and his clanstack will appear. In some cases RUrankFirepluk trolling even sometimes balance game if he join in clanstack side.

quote:
<esainane> I feel a little uncomfortable raising this example again, but TinySpider made for a rather good foil of someone who is individual very good and impactful while, if anything, having a negative impact on teamwork


Yes SKrankTinySpider was very interesting lone wolf. Interesting that he used simple brute strategy nothing special. ROrankSigero is another. And another one was DErankKlon (maybe most interesting of them all). DErankKlon and ROrankSigero seems similar in playstyple. Also FIrankKapy (unique trollcom startegy remind me @raar but even PTrankraaar didnt use such unit combos), @Softwarebug (regular front player like SKrankTinySpider) ,@izirayd (good use of locusts un nuke silos). Firepluk is also in this side. He could easy gain 2800 elo starting play seriosly.


Discussion is worth of reading it. Yes.

+1 / -0


36 days ago
quote:
And another one was DErankKlon (maybe most interesting of them all).

I disagree. Klon did quite a lot of ally coordination and often assumed a leadership role iirc. It's just that quite often the game board was itself the language of this coordination.

Wordless coordination of this kind was - and to an extent still is - also the principle behind GBC being a "mindset" clan. If you have a bunch of like-minded people working on a common goal, often they will be able to coordinate by knowing how others think.
+0 / -0
ADVENT scolds and fights within the group sometimes.. i wonder if thats normal but i also secretly hold out hope they will become more positive and relaxed.. i joined because i thought it might be fun. and it is fun.. but ADVENT's harmony is a wip

im not taking about skills.. they are skillful.. i dont dislike them i do serve them loyally.. but morale is sometimes low
just waiting on 'samsung go' mic ~ hope its an ok mic
+0 / -0
I'm not convinced that clans/parties make games less balanced or less fun, but I do agree that squading (aka commshare) gives an edge in teamwork, and that it's only properly usable by people who are in voice communication with each other. Thus, squading gives an edge to clans/parties using voice communication.
+2 / -0


36 days ago
But those players are at the same time accepting the disadvantage that they have to play without music and the epic flow it conveys.

+2 / -0
USranknop
36 days ago
Here's an analogy to illustrate a "worst case" of commshare.

If a low-mid ranked player commshares with the highest ranked player then goes AFK, it is much like the lower-ranked player instantly resigning, except instead of sharing their forfeit income with the entire team it is only shared with the highest ranked player. AFAIK there's no way to detect this case (maybe the mouse cursor reports?) Anyway even if they don't go AFK they can contribute without spending metal by calling things out or tunnel micro-ing.
+0 / -0
I think there should be a line drawn. I can understand and accept people needing to play with their friends and clans. However....not beyond that.

The thing about squading is it eliminate a lot of conscious efforts to cooperate. You can easily skip the part to call out for resources, the part to make conscious effort to assist, the part where resources could be not available at that very moment you requested as other members are doing their things.

Squading allow people to simply set high prirority to direct resources to one, could simply build more builders to obtain bigger share of the resources, could leverage resources from the low APM members and we should all know that many low APM players can easily end up not spending their resources because they are so distracted in doing some other things. Likewise, experienced squad member could every now and then micro the units of these low apm member which eventually avoided their "rightful" deaths. The last two points, resources from less capable member and control of units, already bring unimaginable advantage. Old players should remember the reason why top player with 2 comms no longer receive 2 set of starting metals, metal that fall into people who know how to use them can be become a major turning point for the game; squading however prevent excess resource to go evenly to the team and fall into the hand of perhaps experience players. Last and not least, winning the game with all these advantages would also means the elo system would allocate undeserving elo, messing up the balance further.

Squading is nothing but a insult to actual cooperation, all at the cost of further unbalancing of the game.
+0 / -0
I would dispute commshare is the killer app for teams. Case in point: last clanwars. Advent tried to do it with one big merged team. We stepped on each others' toes, leading to chaos and defeat because we hadn't worked out how to coordinate ourselves (and with that many players I have doubts we should or even could). If only one or two in a team of 10 are sharing, what is the actual percentage resource advantage accruing to say, the blue squadded with a yellow vs the basic communism everyone else is part of?

It is worth noting that in the mostly successful set of games I played today, the Advent stack never fully shared.

I have however protested in the past the presence of squads in matchmaker in particular and I can sympathise with the concern that a large stack (like for instance the 4-6 Adventstack rocking around this evening) inevitably limits the choices for team building. That means less chance of salvation by reshuffled teams if the last game was a farce and the problem does get worse the bigger the stack becomes. The ideal solution is more players for more rooms so that if the stack does reach an oppressive level, others can decamp forcing the stack to either break up or play by itself. That though is the magic bullet solution and there are no wizards.

That said, I found the remarks in the conversation log posted regarding lack of individual utility when the clanstack is in play rather odd and contrary to my own experience. One of the reasons I finally joined the dark side was frustration over how crap pots felt lately (with or without significant clanstacks present). Why did I think they were crap? Because I lacked utility. No matter how well I played, my impact on the game felt minimal. Too much effort is expended in random directions, diluting its impact. At least with a clanstack on hand playing to win I could be more confident that even if I didn't lead the glorious charge, what actions I could take served a purpose. In the best case, I might pin down enough assets that nothing could be diverted to deal with the clan push. In the next base case, I lose, but do so slowly enough that the clan can overcome its opposition and win before I'm completely KOed.

On the other hand, if there is no coordinated clan stack, then the odds of a breakthrough occurring anywhere are diminished because the teamwork advantage can't be readily exercised. It's just pot luck that some confluence of circumstances occurs which is so significant even unherdable cats can utilise it (or both teams have been wasting so much effort and resources that someone has time to build a super).

The observations regarding maintenance and strategic actions are interesting albeit they are really a variation on the straightforward truth that victory in a team game is about finding a winning balance of offence and defence (or perhaps finding the least bad balance). However, I feel the overall thrust of the analysis is flawed, particularly when it comes to larger stacks. The moment the stack makes a considerable portion of the team, it has to take responsibility for a large portion of the battlefield. In all the Advent games I participated in this evening, we assigned ourselves a territorial objective and in some cases discussed specific tactics, though most of the time we simply tried to pick complementary factories. For instance in Multiplayer B904732 25 on Tabula-v6.1 USrankShaman thought it was likely that the other team would push mid with comms and wanted to cook them with Scorchers. This prompted me to offer spider fac to add widows to the mix so comms would be helpless (though the first one ended up walking into an Ogre while I wasn't looking so nothing came of it).

Interestingly, the one game out of 5 I played that we lost ( Multiplayer B904702 23 on FolsomDamDeluxeV4 ) was one where we over-concentrated to push mid, leaving sea and south too weak. Frantically trying to repivot our resources to support north and south simply delayed the end.

In other words, all we did was play the game the way it's meant to be played: work as a team to take and hold ground. No gimmicks. We could just talk to each other more easily while doing so and concentrate resources where needed more easily.

There is scope for a clanstack to coordinate more with team and it should be incumbent on the stack to do it since we're already the coordinated ones. In the last of the games I played this evening, I communicated it was Advent's intention to seize the east which gave the rest of the team the opportunity to direct their resources elsewhere. If the other team can't muster up enough coordination to contest the clan stack, well, I can't help that save by choosing to accept an inferior personal experience (by leaving the stack and becoming just another freelance lobster). I've had no choice but to accept an inferior offering to what I want to play most of the time I have been playing (at least a lobsterpot is still better than most of the alternatives on the market).
+1 / -0
SGrankLu5ck you make this entire thing sound like squadding is ridiculously op, even though the similar things to assist are available even without squad.

One day there was a squad only room and I decided to join.
My thoughts were the same as yours (help microing stuff and try to get more out of the team).

First game resulted in an insane stomp against my team because I was fighting control with multiple players which were doing so much bad stuff that I could not solve all problems at the same time.
Especially bad was that players were regularly suiciding units I produced, they still build aspis and striderhub from beginning of the game and they sometimes stopped my factory queue.
I was actually sabotaged more than I could help on all sides.

Next game we decided to go all voice com for better coordination...
Still the same shit as in the first game happend and I had to resist the regular urge to self-d coms which build frontline fusions and other builders which did stupid stuff.
This game made me ragequit which is seriously hard work to get me there.
Even with voice com it is absurdly hard to use and in my opinion even harder to cooperate than without it, unless people of the same skill level/mindset play together.

tl:dr

quote:
Squading is nothing but a insult to actual cooperation, all at the cost of further unbalancing of the game.
Squading is nothing but a insult to higher elo players and is only recommended for masochists which like mental and physical pain.


I can play minimum 200% better without squad than with squad.
+2 / -0

36 days ago
quote:
The thing about squading is it eliminate a lot of conscious efforts to cooperate. You can easily skip the part to call out for resources, the part to make conscious effort to assist, the part where resources could be not available at that very moment you requested as other members are doing their things.


You've very clearly never experienced being in an organized squad. Typically members have functions and duties within a squad. High Priority is extremely stigmatized and you better have a good reason for using it. Resource allocation may be streamlined, but you in turn trade that for attention demands and organization.

Most people micro a few units here and there as it is easier to micromanage a small segment of a massive monolithic army than control the entire thing. As the member count increases, most people start microing smaller portions of it to streamline attention demands.

quote:
Squading allow people to simply set high prirority to direct resources to one, could simply build more builders to obtain bigger share of the resources, could leverage resources from the low APM members and we should all know that many low APM players can easily end up not spending their resources because they are so distracted in doing some other things.


Again, high priority is stigmatized in organized squads. And you cannot obtain a bigger share of resources through bp without causing some social problem should the other members within that organized squad disagree with your allocations. People are not distracted either within an organized squad. Most people have dedicated roles within the squad itself and focus their attention solely on that task which increases efficiency of the units being used. This means that gaining afk units is also easier to deal with as a member can be devoted to managing an entire front with some apm assistance if necessary.

In addition to this, APM is not the same as attention. You can have 120 APM and purely dedicating it to micro and excess and you can have 5 APM and not excess.

quote:
squading however prevent excess resource to go evenly to the team and fall into the hand of perhaps experience players.


This is technically false. Each squad receives n/teamsize shares where n is the member count. 3 people squad in a team of 9, they get 1/3rd of the resources as they represent 1/3rd of the team. There is no unfair income unbalance just because a third of your team is in a squad. This scales linearly with the squad size. 1 person, 1 share. How is this unfair?

quote:
fall into the hand of perhaps experience players


There are inexperienced players who squad too. A common example of this is with mediocre players such as CYrankGamekeeper and CYrankMedlazer.

quote:
Likewise, experienced squad member could every now and then micro the units of these low apm member which eventually avoided their "rightful" deaths


There are no member units. All units belong to all players in a squad. When I make a dante it does not belong to me, it belongs to the group. Who wields that dante is irrelevant as it belongs to all of us and thus you must convince n-1 other people that your plans for that dante and your capability with that dante is in their best interest to let you have exclusive control.

quote:
Squading is nothing but a insult to actual cooperation, all at the cost of further unbalancing of the game.


Your post is nothing more than a bunch of hyperbole built around a bunch of theoretical abuse cases that in reality do not happen in any social construct and is based purely on a RUrankFirepluk-like abuse model.

quote:
Squading is nothing but a insult to actual cooperation, all at the cost of further unbalancing of the game.


Cooperation is not just "Give me resources, I need it for X" or "take my resources I'm busy with X" or "here's an area cloaker". Just because you don't have to call out for resources doesn't mean it's some travesty to your idea of "cooperation". Many tasks in squads require two or more people to come together: frontline formation, assaults, pushing, and other stuff. There is never one person controlling all units or calling all the shots. There's someone leading the charge, sure, and there are times when members disagree with what should be done, but it is no different than having 3 people give units between each other or resources. The only difference is it is streamlined.

I would suggest trying out an actual coordinated squad before making further assumptions. There's a LOT of fun to be had in these squads because there's closer coordination and some socialization behind the charge. If you want an example of what coordinated squads are like, I'll post a video here tomorrow of ADVENT's newest model.
+2 / -0

35 days ago
quote:
That said, I found the remarks in the conversation log posted regarding lack of individual utility when the clanstack is in play rather odd and contrary to my own experience. One of the reasons I finally joined the dark side was frustration over how crap pots felt lately (with or without significant clanstacks present). Why did I think they were crap? Because I lacked utility. No matter how well I played, my impact on the game felt minimal. Too much effort is expended in random directions, diluting its impact. At least with a clanstack on hand playing to win I could be more confident that even if I didn't lead the glorious charge, what actions I could take served a purpose. In the best case, I might pin down enough assets that nothing could be diverted to deal with the clan push. In the next base case, I lose, but do so slowly enough that the clan can overcome its opposition and win before I'm completely KOed.

I think you have misunderstood the conversation log then (at least the things that I said), since nothing you have said here actually contradicts what I said. Your observation that you have less control over the game as a player on your own than in a stack is pretty much what I said, except I made one further addition - that if I am playing on my own, my control over the game is *even less* if there is a stack in the game, compared to games where there is not such a stack.
+0 / -0
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