Extension to prevent novice players as TL/SL causing team defeat

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Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:07 am

By far, this is the largest problem affecting gameplay and team balance short of outright hacking.

Alas, there is very little that can be done in the often repeated case of an incapable player holding a responsibility role. (i.e: TL, SL, Tank) These players frequently don´t speak english and are not even aware of their fault, yet this almost always causes their teams to suffer a massacre.

My recommendation, which I'm sure most players would agree, is to have the balance extension already in place implement measures such as:

Allow that higher level players forcibly replace a less experienced TL/SL/Tank.

It can be readily observed that most players of levels 75+ often intentionally choose roles other than those of responsibility. While this has the effect of further aggravating the problem of "noob leaders" (see: dunning-krueger effect), it also indicates that it is quite unlikely that such a system of forced role replacement would be abused.

If this method, or some similar feature to the same end were to be added, it is quite certain that we would see a massive improvement in the overall gaming experience. It would go a long way in removing the large element of "sheer dumb luck" represented by the likelihood of important roles being seized by novice players on game start, then held up long enough to impart irreparable disaster to the team.

Please do consider adding this much needed feature.

Thanks in advance
Last edited by Moach on Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:19 am

I have already written that UE3 code into the Divided RO2 Extension, which we run on all our RO2 servers.

However, we have decided not to activate that feature. It would be nice to hear more opinions from players.


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Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:31 pm

That is awesome - So you had thought of it just the same as I.

I suppose the very fact that we both thought of the same thing is in itself an indication of how relevant it is. Let's see what others think.

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Endyas’s avatar

Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 pm

We have discussed this internally and my take-away from this topic for now was that the main issue of low level TLs and SLs is not that the low-level players pick the role instantanously and won't let it go, but that high-level/experienced players won't play those roles in the first place.
The TL and SL roles in most cases get picked by low-level players when nobody else takes them. Of course there are the cases of the low-level player who insta-picks TL/SL1 and is a huge issue for the team for multiple rounds, but that doesn't happen as often.

What does this mean now though? If we limit access to the TL/SL roles by honor level or other experience related factors, maybe nobody will pick up these roles at all. Which is also a not uncommon issue.
Then on the other hand if we did limit the access, many times you would still get a "bad" TL or SL, because their level does not reflect their abilities or understanding of the game.

There are a lot of issues in regard of "bad" TLs and SLs and of course newbie players stick out like a sore thumb when they take TL or SL and you will definitely remember how so many times some level 10 player has pretty much ruined the game. But I personally have my doubts that using this sort of limitation would actually improve the situation at this point.
And if you did limit it, where would you put the limits? Is a level 20 player more capable of playing TL than a level 10 player? Or can you only start learning how to play TL when you are level 50, which could turn players away from our already small community.

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Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am

I agree with Endyas.

Locking the key roles might seem like a good idea but I don't think that this will solve the problem, sure we would avoid many frustrating situations, but the real issue is exactly what Endyas said, I used to play in teams full of veterans, players who were tried and good TLs, and still at the beginning of the round TL role was empty. Thing is that being a TL is very boring, you just staying at radio and keep doing nothing, sure you can throw smoke when needed and set your own mark, but 90% of the time you are just sitting behind the lines.

And sure we can complain about steam sales and keep yelling at noobs (which I have done myself :oops: ) but at the end it won't change nothing, noobs gonna be noobs, and as much we hate it steam sales and newbies are keeping this game alive.

Other thing is that lvl 90+ don't make you instantly a good SL or TL, sometimes lower levels can make a nice surprise.

So rather than locking the TL and SL role for low levels, I would like to propose reducing the number of votes it takes to kick a player, so if a noob TL would appear, team will kick him quicker rather than calling others on chat, which always take a big amount of time, it would help with voip spammers too.

And if we are going to lock the SL and TL roles, I would propose to lock only TL role, and lock it for players below lvl 30, because at this point there is a slight chance that this guy will at least know where radio is and how to use it, below that level it is really hard to find someone who will not take TL role just for cool weapon.

Or we can take weapon away from TL and leave him only with pistol, to ensure that he will stay behind fight.

PS. My experience is only RS1 related so maybe guys in Stalingrad don't have those problems :lol:

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Endyas’s avatar

Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:33 am

G_84 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am
Or we can take weapon away from TL and leave him only with pistol, to ensure that he will stay behind fight.
In fact from my experience both in RO2, RS1 and RS2 the commander is an assault class and smoke machine whenever he is not at his radio calling recon and artillery. On most maps there is a cooldown of about 4 minutes on artillery (some have shorter, then you really are sort of a radio camper). Let's say you need a minute to get to the radio from the frontlines and back to the frontlines from the radio, you still have 3 minutes to be an absolute killing machine.

A lot of people seem to misunderstand this role from what I can tell. You have a hugely bigger impact if you as a TL, rack up kills with both artillery, hands-on combat and then even rally and organise the team than if you are constantly camping at the radio. This does not make TL a boring role, but a role with responsibility. And a lot of high level players just know the frustration of a team that won't listen to you when you are commander. Or you are playing so well, but you still can't carry it alone. And the many times the TL is blamed when the team doesn't win. And many times you just want to play and kill some people and not put so much effort into communicating and thinking about arty etcetc.

But TL is not a boring role! I hope people will understand that :) Please don't chain this killing machine to the radio. Who is going to banzai with his team then?

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Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:10 pm

Let me propose an alternative implementation that should be safe against any possible abuse.

That any outranking player may announce his intention to take over
as TL/SL/Tank by asking the team for one single "second opinion" confirmation vote.

This could work similarly to the existing SL order acceptance system: F4 "no" / F5 "yes".

If any one player in the team responds "yes" - then the replacement is carried through by instantly "suiciding" the offender and his replacement for immediate effect.

Time should not be wasted in these critical situations by waiting for the two to die of their own accord.

Both players instantly go back to the respawn queue, the replacer already set in the taken role to prevent a third player jumping the gun on him while on the timer; The replacee is returned to the role selection screen, where he´ll find his old job already occupied. He may then choose anything else that is available.

From long experience in RO2 (well over 1000 hours), I would confidently expect that such a system should prove very effective. Removing the problem in a historically authentic manner, while still being safe against possibly undesirable misuse.

If worry of abuse still persists, this may be extended further so that the "second opinion" may only be provided by players whom also outrank the user about to be replaced.

Moreover, I do not recall from my whole experience, (well over a thousand hours in game) ever suffering from a situation where a truly experienced player (level 90+) carelessly "hogged" a responsibility role. If this ever happens at all, it is surely a sufficiently rare scenario to be safely disregarded.

Even so, If it were to happen once in a blue moon, that would only mean that the same current state of affairs now present remains in effect.

The worst that could result then, for all noticeable effect, is nothing.

Also, I too agree in part with the following remark,
Endyas wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:33 pm
...the main issue of low level TLs and SLs is not that the low-level players pick the role instantanously and won't let it go, but that high-level/experienced players won't play those roles in the first place.
but to that end I say:

-- Whenever the problem is that a bad TL/SL/Tank persists because nobody else volunteers to replace him, the fault then becomes that of those who neglect the situation. Blame then attaches to the team in general, and the matter becomes self-punishing in the brutal massacre that follows.

This, while indeed frequently observed, is not the true object of this proposal.

The suggestion here is specifically targeted to correct situations where the team DOES manifest the intention to replace someone doing a bad job.

It is only then that the problem becomes so aggravating as to detract severely from the game experience as a whole, thus warranting measures to quickly correct the problem.

Therefore, the "nobody volunteers" argument cannot be used against the enabling of Forced Role Replacement; For it describes a different problem than the one that seeks to address.

As to another argument:
G_84 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:54 am
Locking the key roles...
--- It has not been called for at all that these roles be "locked" - on the contrary, they are to remain open to all players as always.

It is only when and if (alas, "when" is much too often) someone remains unresponsive while botching a key role that he should be subject to having the role taken away from him by an outranking player.

At this point, the offender has already well proved himself inept and the issue is certainly serious enough to cause objection.

Therefore, this is also not a valid point against enabling the "Pull Rank" feature. No roles would ever be "locked" and all players remain free to choose as they like -- Unless (or until) they get called out for ineptitude.

An offender will always be allowed to try again, as soon as the role is vacated or a new match begins. He may then be removed yet again as needed.

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Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:56 am

Sorry to bump, but once again we've had a clear case of a non-responsive player hogging the team leader position.

The team ultimately was able to pull together and vote him out, but this took longer than half the time for the entire battle. At that point, the outcome was already irretrievably forfeit. Disaster ensued.

It was noteworthy also that vote kicking was only possible because of repeated step-by-step instructions by both voice and text about the process of kick voting. Such a large number of players are ignorant of how the system works, or cannot be bothered to perform the time-consuming task while in combat, that it becomes almost completely useless to overcome the impact of a bad leader.

This could be addressed perhaps more simply by setting it up such that ONLY TWO VOTES are enough to boot out a player. This would be the accuser, and one second opinion.

This would be the only way in which the problem could be reasonably dealt with by means of vote-kicking the troublesome player. Otherwise, voting is so massively ineffective that it can be all but completely disregarded as a possible solution.

Lowering minimum votes for effect so drastically would of course, open up the entire kick voting system to much readier misuse. A proper role replacement system, which can pull the player out of an important role without to remove him from the server altogether would be much preferable.

Please do address this issue. The frequency at which this problem repeats itself is almost over once for every 2~3 matches. We cannot have every third match compromised by spending half of it teaching the team how to vote-kick someone.

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Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:29 pm

First of all, you say it like it is an extremely easy thing to do. Two clicks here and there and it's done, however coding extensions in this game is not easy at all and I don't even think/know if what you propose can be done technically, programming wise.
Second of all I truly don't think it would be a viable solution. Especially lowering the number of votes to two. It would just open a whole new system for abusers and edgy annoying kids to troll around. Having the votekick system the way it is right now should be enough.

I am not denying what you said in your last post, but I never saw a votekick to be so tedious as you describe it. Sure, some people don't know the mechanics but still, you need 10 votekicks out of 64 players to boot a player.

TLDR: Instead of over complicating things, people should be more persistent with the votekicks. It's literally one key + 2 mouse clicks.

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Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:25 am

Alas, my experience of vote kicks has not been as fortunate as your own. I have not in many thousand hours of game ever seen a case where a team was able to recover from having to vote out someone doing bad in an important role.

I would correct that in case of voting out a bad leader, the requirement in a best case scenario is of 10 votes from 32 players, as the opposing team is ideally not supposed to know just how bad things are going on the other side. That increases the problem to getting one of each three players in the team to cast a vote. And when the server is less than completely full and half the team is AI, well, you see how it goes...

Yet my last post was merely to help illustrate the inefficacy of relying on vote kicks alone to overcome a problem which severely compromises a team in around one of every three or so matches.

This brings us back to the original concept. To enable the apparently already implemented feature that allows players to pull rank and take over responsibility roles.

I would like to suggest doing a trial of it. Enable it only on the campaign servers, where consequences extend beyond the result of each battle alone. Leaving the custom maps server, which is marked "newb friendly", with the current setting.

Do this ideally over a weekend, when more admins can be around to observe what results. Then we can see how players receive it and decide whether it works well enough or if needs some more thought.

Nevertheless, I would still recommend my adapted solution from before as the ideal method to allow role replacement without the liability of abuse: That the replacement volunteer must ask the team for one second opinion before roles are forcibly switched.

That is what I would bet might prove the most effective solution to the problem.

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