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 Post subject: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 1154
The Problem
Under existing code, when an operation requires a minimum skillsum, the Mekwars code is indifferent to which units have levels. So, for example, if an operation requires a minimum skillsum of 8.5 (which is two leveled mechs in a 4 mech army) the mekwars code doesn't care if the leveled units are the heaviest or lightest mechs.

The reason this is an issue is player behavior. Players quickly realize that if they have a HHMM army, it's better to level the mediums than the heavy mechs, because leveling the mediums will increase the army's BV by less than leveling the heavies. As a result, when players have the ability to choose which units they level (which I personally think is good), they tend to level only their lower BV units (which is slightly bad IMO).


Proposed Solution
Something I strongly feel would solve the above problem is if we had a setting that weighted the average skillsum according to base BV (e.g. "UseBVWeightedSkillsum=true").

The way this would work is Mekwars would determine the average base BV of all non-infantry units (maybe ignoring infantry units needs to be it's own setting) and then assign a weight to each unit based on whether it's above or below that average.

For example, let's say you have an army with 4 mechs, with 1500, 1250, 1000, and 750 base BV. Here's how you'd calculate the weights:

    Mech 1: 1500 base BV
    Mech 2: 1250 base BV
    Mech 3: 1000 base BV
    Mech 4: 750 base BV
    Average Base BV = 1125

    Mech 1 Weight = 1500/1125 = 1.333
    Mech 2 Weight = 1250/1125 = 1.111
    Mech 3 Weight = 1000/1125 = 0.888
    Mech 4 Weight = 750/1125 = 0.666


So now lets say you had an operation with a minimum skillsum of 8.75 (like I'm suggesting for Drop Incursions). In the old system you could have have made the 750 BV mech a 4/4 and that would qualify you for the op. But with BV-weighted skillsum that wouldn't work.

Lets do the math with a 4/4 pilot in the 750 base BV unit (Mech 4).

    Mech 1 (4/5 pilot) = 1.333 * 9 = 11.997
    Mech 2 (4/5 pilot) = 1.111 * 9 = 9.999
    Mech 3 (4/5 pilot) = 0.888 * 9 = 7.992
    Mech 4 (4/4 pilot) = 0.666 * 8 = 5.328

    Total Weighted Skillsum = 35.315
    Average Weighted Skillsum = 35.316 ÷ 4 mechs = 8.829 (does NOT qualify for 8.75 minimum skillsum)


By contrast, if you put the 4/4 in the 1250 mech, you get a different result:

    Mech 1 (4/5 pilot) = 1.333 * 9 = 11.997
    Mech 2 (4/5 pilot) = 1.111 * 8 = 8.888
    Mech 3 (4/5 pilot) = 0.888 * 9 = 7.992
    Mech 4 (4/4 pilot) = 0.666 * 9 = 5.994

    Total Weighted Skillsum = 34.871
    Average Weighted Skillsum = 34.871 ÷ 4 mechs = 8.718 (DOES qualify for 8.75 minimum skillsum)


Expected Outcome
If the proposed solution were implemented, I would expect to see different player behavior when making level-up decisions. Whereas the current system dis-incentivizes leveling higher-BV units, if BV-Weighted Average Skillsum were used, players would probably be somewhat more willing to level higher-BV units.

Granted, players would probably still try to find ways to minimize the BV increase due to leveling (by leveling an heavy instead of an assault in a AHHM army, for example), but it would still be a step in the right direction.


Possible Downsides
A possible downside to this proposal is it would require a little more experimentation on the part of players to figure out if a particular army met the minimum skillsum requirement or not.

I think this is a minor issue, however. As we've seen with the Dynamic BV Spread System, the Mekwars interface makes it pretty easy to figure out when an army does or does not qualify through drag-and-drop trial and error.


Honest Disclosure
I'm a strong proponent of player choice in leveling, but I'm also a strong proponent creating incentive structures that will encourage players to level voluntarily. Right now our system provides a pretty strong dis-incentive to level high-BV units. I think this proposal would even things out a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:28 pm 
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Posts: 2349
It's a smart idea, though I hope it may become obsolete if Tigershark's "bv cost revisited" proposal at cbt.com gets through.



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 Post subject: Re: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:05 pm 
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Visiting the thread and posting support for the idea is a good way to get the developers to change their minds. A lot of folks say nothing, then spend endless hours making up house rules and such to deal with bad rules in canon. Well, things don't change if we do nothing. There were a lot of games ruined by stuff like Force Mod, C3 spotter advantages, the loopholes in BV1, the "movement mod for not moving" in Alpha Strike, etc. Feedback helps change those things.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.p ... msg1292803


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 Post subject: Re: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:20 pm 
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EDIT: I posted this to the BattleTech Manual suggestion forum, along with a chart.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.p ... msg1296157

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 Post subject: Re: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:11 am 
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This is the reply from one of the developers:

Quote:
That would be Errata Discussion (well, best fit, anyways: we generally don't want people making rule revision requests in the Errata forum, because this forum is intended for confirmed error reports, oddities like this thread aside). However, there's no real need, as I fully agree with your post and if the opportunity ever comes to revise Piloting BV you can be sure I'll push for that option.

To fruther clarify, there are no BV rules of any kind in the Manual.

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.p ... msg1296552


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 Post subject: Re: BV-Weighted Skillsum
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:16 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 1154
So I would read that as somewhat of a greenlight to use custom BV rules, no?


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