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Discussion in 'UO Developer Feed' started by UODevTracker, Apr 19, 2010.
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We're working to fix the issues that caused the score system to break down and report scores of -2.1 billion. Once that is fixed, we will be re-opening the Factions test shard. Right now we don't have an ETA but we're working to get it going again early this week.
In the meantime, I'm gonna start this thread to discuss the intentions and some of the details of the new scoring system, so that everyone will have a better understanding of what to expect when the test server is available again.
Basically, what we're after here is a score system that is more meaningful than the old, is more difficult to exploit, provides some kind of measure of participant performance relative to other participants, and encourages participation in larger and more balanced fights.
To accomplish those goals, the new score system works in a fashion that is radically different than before. Kill points are gone. The system still tracks kills and deaths, but those are there just for bragging rights and leaderboard positions.
Rather than tracking kill points, the system instead tracks various battle statistics over time. These stats are tracked per individual and in aggregate all faction players. It works by keeping track of when Faction fighting is in progress. Only when Faction fighting is happening nearby will your stats be tracked and your scores be recomputed.
Instead of presenting a score computed from raw numbers, the system instead compares your average stats over time to the global average. The result is a comparison showing how your average performance compares to the entire server.
For example, if you've done an average of 10 DPS for all the time you've spent in Factions fights and the serer average is 5 DPS, then your average is twice the server average. If we call this ratio a "Rating" then your Damage Rating would be 2.0.
The Ratings are multiplied by 2000 to produce a score. This way, the average score for each of the five ratings is 2000. In the above example, your Damage score would be 2000 * 2.0 = 4000.
Your total score is the sum of your five sub-scores, so the average total score is 10000.
Now, the system modifies the raw numbers tracked as part of a "renown" system. The idea behind it is that the more witnesses there are to deeds done in battle, the more score those deeds are worth. And, the more one-sided a battle is, the more score the deeds are worth to the underdogs and the less they are worth to the larger side.
The idea is that small battles are not particularly notable and a zerg is not heroic.
An overwhelming force is expected to win, so their battle stats tracked for that fight are reduced. On the other hand, the smaller force, being overwhelmed by a larger one, will gain more benefit to their score for that fight because they are fighting long odds.
And, for larger fights, everyone involved will get a buff to their stats tracked for that fight. It's much better all around to fight 10v10, or at least 10v5, than it is to fight 3v3.
So, here are things to keep in mind about the new score system:
Scores are averages over time, meaning your score can go up and down as conditions change.
Since scores are over-time averages, they allow people with small amounts of play time to be compared to people with large amounts of play time, on the same scale.
Scores will tend to fluctuate wildly when the system first goes online, because the global averages will vary a lot, until there is a lot of data in the system. Over time, the scores will stabilize and change more slowly. Note that there is a decay mechanism that will prevent the averages from becoming locked in with so much weight that they eventually won't move much at all.
In order to exploit the system to artificially inflate scores, you need a lot of people making coordinated effort; we hope that it will just be easier to go and fight for real than to go to all the trouble to cheat it. We realize we'll never be able to build a completely un-exploitable system, but the idea here is that the more you work to game the system, the more the result looks like actual PvP.
I think it might be interesting to add some sort of "crystal ball" to faction strongholds that gives out sextant coordinates of locations where faction fighting is taking place along with an indication of the size of the fight. Since the new score system does track where fighting is taking place at any given time, this would be very doable.
Something like that would at the very least make it so if you were busy cheating then it'd be likely that some unwelcome guests would crash your party, or you'd have to keep gating around.
Again, if it's easier to just fight than to game the system, I'd hope people would just have fun fighting.
This is something we intend to do, and if possible it will be added before the next public playtest of the score system.