10/07/2019

Less Huttball, Please

When the new Huttball map on Vandin was released in October last year, the PvP queue was tweaked to temporarily give it priority over other maps. This usually happens when a new PvP mode or map is released and makes sense, as people want to see what's new and need every chance to practice the new mechanics.

However, when the queue was supposed to return to normal, it... didn't really. Vandin popped slightly less often, yes, but Huttball was a whole still seemed to come up insanely frequently. People commented on this on the forums, even me! There was some questioning whether it was a bug, but eventually, in March, Eric Musco came right out and clarified that it was not a bug but working as intended because all maps get equal priority, which just leads to Huttball popping more often now as it has three different maps whereas most other (non-arena) game modes only have one (though he did encourage people to give feedback about this).


The thing that immediately struck me about this was that while Eric talked about the whole thing as if it had always been this way, in my own experience this hasn't been the case. I've compiled sets of warzone statistics twice on this blog, once to figure out whether Republic really loses all the time (the answer at the time seemed to be yes) and the other to find out how often arenas were popping compared to regular warzones.

When I collected data for the latter there were already two Huttball maps in the game, the Pit and Quesh, and my numbers clearly showed that in terms of priority, they were not being treated as full game modes. "Generic" Huttball had an equal chance of popping as other types of warzones, and those Huttball pops would then be split half and half between Nar Shaddaa and Quesh. As it should be in my opinion!

These days though, it's all Huttball, all the time. I'm currently collecting some data on my warzone matches again, and out of 45 games played so far, 15 have been Huttball, which means that every third match is a Huttball game, while Civil War, Voidstar, Novare Coast, Ancient Hypergates, arena, Proving Grounds and Yavin Ruins have to split the remaining two slots among the six/seven of them. (I'm actually not sure how arenas are handled now as they are supposed to pop less often if there are enough people in the queue, but I still see them relatively frequently even at max level.)

I like Huttball well enough but that still feels highly unbalanced to me. And it's been going on for nine months!

In my opinion the queue should be an even split between:

  • Arena (rotating between the six different maps)
  • Ancient Hypergates
  • Civil War / Yavin Ruins (I could technically see treating those as separate game modes, but I think they are similar enough to justify lumping them together and letting them alternate)
  • Huttball (rotating between the three different maps)
  • Novare Coast (as it's totally different from Civil War/Yavin other than also featuring three bases)
  • Proving Grounds
  • Voidstar

So in an even six/seven-way split, Huttball would only come up half as much as it does now, if not less. Meaning that it's been popping at double the "normal" frequency for more than half a year! (I forget when exactly the official "new warzone" grace period for Vandin was supposed to have ended.)

I imagine that anyone who really hates Huttball (and it was pretty much the most divisive game mode until Odessen Proving Grounds was released) must surely have taken a break from PvP by now... and that's not a good thing! Huttball is fun and all, but only in moderate doses. Please fix those queues, Bioware.

2 comments :

  1. Huh, I never noticed Huttball is treated as a separate game mode from arenas and the rest of the WZs. I still experience a fair mix between all the WZs and arenas (with arenas popping less, which is okay as they're also less fun). Or maybe it's because I don't really make a distinction between Huttball and the other non-arena WZs. I'd be happy to get a Quesh, vanilla huttball, and Vandin pop-up and still consider having played 3 different WZs, regardless of it having been huttball. I usually start complaining when it's the exact same WZ 3 times in a row, or if it's 3 times an arena in a row.

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    Replies
    1. Well, then I'm kind of envious of you to be honest! :P For me Huttball is Huttball, the same way an arena is an arena, regardless of which planet it's set on.

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