Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere

Being in the UK means I almost never win 50-50 situations like Ride Slash jousts or point-blank Nagrants overlaps. The other player's almost invariably lower ping means the server accepts their version of events 95%+ of the time, meaning they kill me while receiving no damage because as far as the server is concerned they killed me before my (simultaneous) attack hit them.

It's often bad enough that I can hit an unsuspecting opponent dead on with Nagrants (the talis light sphere attack) to give them damage and a hit stun, but then they just walk out of the Nagrants instead of receiving the second hit that should kill them. How is this possible? Simple. After the first hit, the server waits for MY client to tell them about the second hit. But before it receives that packet, the opponent's client has told the server they've moved out of its area while they should have been stunned. Ergo they escape what should be certain death!

Here is why this obnoxious amount of unfairness is vitally important: The big SG comes from being LEGEND or S rank. Between the two you get 800 SG just from getting there once, and every month thereafter you get 400 SG for finishing in LEGEND rank, 200 for finishing in S rank or just 100 for finishing in A rank. That's a dramatic difference.

But In S rank it's 20 ARP per win and -15 points per loss. This means you need a win rate of 43% just to increase ARP at all and that win rate would see you gain just 5 of the 800 ARP needed to climb from S5 to LEGEND after 100 games. This means with a 43% win rate you would need 16,000 games to reach LEGEND rank. No, those numbers aren't made up!! It seriously takes that many games; 6,880 wins (+137,600 ARP) and 9,120 losses (-136,800) makes an overall effect of just +800.

Realistically you'd want a 50% win rate, since that would dramatically reduce it to "just" 320 games on average. And with a 55% win rate you'd just need 189 games. The difference is enormous, isn't it? And every month when a LEGEND rank player gets bumped down to S1, it would take 64 games to get back to LEGEND at a 50% win rate, or 214 games with a 45% win rate. Again, an excessive difference in effort.

Being located far from the North America server automatically reduces win rates. This is indisputable. I have tracked my own games since Battle Arena was added and I am extremely blessed to have a 49% win rate (including three Error 630s). But every ten games includes at least one where I know my team would have won if I had been able to either help (or solo) take or maintain control of mid that was only and exclusively lost because my opponent/s had a lower ping. Nothing to do with permanent or momentary skill, just an immutable characteristic players cannot control.

This alone means for me what would conservatively be a 55% win rate if I lived in the US is instead the 49% win rate it is. The impact of this is that instead of taking 189 games on average to get from S5 to LEGEND it would take 373. That's basically twice as many, and to remind playing at a constant disadvantage is not at all fun so these games are not just a chore but an exercise in misery. I do appreciate that at least it's possible for me to get there; the win rate for an average player in my region would probably be 40-45% at which point S rank is the most they can realistically ever achieve. Again, this is extremely and needlessly unfair.

And that's the problem, magnified by the fact that SG from Battle Arena is vastly greater than most other source - Challenge Mode gives none (unless you're in a big tryhard alliance), Casino only gives 40 per week at most which is less than what you can just get from Battle Coins. Buster Medals don't have extreme monthly bonuses. Literally the worst renewable source of SG (though Rankings come close, at least most of those everyone can compete in on level terms) gives more SG than anything else.

I strongly believe the loss penalty for losing in A and S rank should be adjusted down so players with 35-40% win rates can reach LEGEND rank through playing a reasonable number of games. 16,000 games at a 43% win rate that an average player probably has as their baseline thanks to the natural ping discrimination is simply not reasonable. Especially not on Global - we aren't all playing from a comparatively tiny island a stone's throw from the server, and since neither the game's US-exclusive server locations or the map of the world are likely to change anytime soon, our server should seriously give consideration to its differences.

Failing that, the SG should be moved out of Battle Arena to a source that does not punish players as severely as it clearly does for their geographic location. New Genesis offers the perfect chance to do this. We know it will still use SG, and we can be confident it will probably want to introduce its own sources of SG. This means SG needs to be removed from previous sources unless Sega are happy to give players more ways to get it. Battle Arena is the perfect candidate to remove SG from since it already gives the most, and it is objectively the most unfair source of it.

Bump. Not much to say about other than that I agree.

"Stop standing still." That's what I got told a few games ago. But I'm not! The server just always gives preferential treatment to my opponents. You can't see it, but on my screen I died well around the corner where I shouldn't have been able to be hit!

Since then, every time I've re-queued after a game, I've re-queued 1/12. I suspect that person blocklisted me for being a liability when there is nothing I can do about this, so I can't join a game they've queued in. This means I need to wait about 6 minutes between games even while there's comfortably enough people in the Universal Ship lobbies right now to keep one games going.

I just... I don't know what to do. There's too much SG at the mercy of Battle Arena to just ignore it, but it is a painfully and depressingly discriminatory game mode that's causing people I'm playing with to hate my presence. I'm sorry, everyone, but there's literally nothing I can do! Please understand. 😞

It's like... we can't even group up EU players and organise a game where we'd hopefully be one something resembling a level playing field (it'd be horrendously laggy, but at least everyone would hopefully lag just as much). Even if we could get 12 people who can tolerate how painful Battle Arena is to play, we have no way to keep out any US players who'd want to capitalise on how easy it'd be to gatecrash the setup and slaughter us all. Password Match doesn't count for rankings, after all.

Edit: 2½ hours of absolute misery and my ARP went down 50 points overall. Lesson learned, when the 11 LEGEND-rank players who are all familiar with each other start to recognise you as a laggy liability during America's gaming prime time and start specifically targeting you because they know their advantage makes you an incredibly safe kill, it's probably worth stopping ASAP to stop giving them free easy wins. Shame America's gaming prime time is pretty much the only time Battle Arena games happen anymore.

I find what you are saying reasonable and but it sounds like you are saying it out of frustration of feeling its impossible to get anywhere. Having high ping in this mode means you just need to work around the jank even harder and its not all bad.. this game has plenty of client sided hit detection nonsense that can fall in your higher ping favor if it was not a trading blow with the enemy. I feel best results would come from letting your teammates do anything directly confrontational if possible, personally I tried sticking to ranged weaponry or melee weapons with PAs that did instant big damage that would either one shot or two (jet boots I felt was the worst thing for me to try every time) and when selecting an ability I ended up stopping picking anything that you would use in a pinch like the shield or mates because you can use them but still end up dead before it even activates, instead I chose opposite scenario things like the Health for PP very often.

Mind I am saying this as also someone who lives in UK but I have made it to legend since the first month, but I no longer play it and just get the monthly rewards, its still good now even if I deranked a bit from not playing. I stopped playing as any minimal enjoyment I had of it was gone by the end and the queue times were getting bigger, now I can only imagine something worse than trying to queue for matchmaking in Dissidia NT.

Anyway I dont even disagree with moving SG out of there and somewhere nicer for the whole "Global" audience to partake in fairly, but I don't expect that. NGS is very likely going to introduce new methods of gaining SG on top of our current ones, like I've been wondering if the region mag could have prizes for contributors so people have a selfish reason to chime in personally instead of just freeloading....

@Vashzaron said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

I find what you are saying reasonable and but it sounds like you are saying it out of frustration

Particularly the edit at the end of my last post, yes. I hold my hands up to that. I considered simply not making that edit due to the possibility of harming the request, but decided to continue with it for two reasons.

First, it doesn't harm the request. As you describe, the detail of Battle Arena's flaws, recalled examples of how and why it affects players further from the server (and that this is orders of magnitude worse than on JP where the ARP progression rate is balanced), the numbers behind ranking up to and beyond S rank and how unreasonable that becomes with a tangible disadvantage are all still true. No amount of self-confessed whining can really change that.

Second, I don't believe an expression of dismay and despair is inherently out of place. The general unplayability of Battle Arena due to its consistent scale of preferential treatment is not fun, and playing it for two hours only to move backwards makes players hate it and PSO2 just a little bit more. That is feedback, and feedback on how fun a game is to play to an extent needs to be emotive.

What I did do though - many hours before your reply - was reword the original version of that edit. Previously it was far more... let's say "strongly worded". So I have moderated it considerably to try to keep focus on the important detail: Locking vast amounts of a critically limited resource behind a game mode whose flaws are considerably more exacerbated due to natural circumstances than to the original server, to the point of essentially locking some players out of being able to progress beyond a point, is probably something that deserves a bit of consideration.

New Genesis and any SG rebalancing that comes with it seems like an excellent opportunity to do that.

@Vashzaron said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

Having high ping in this mode means you just need to work around the jank even harder and its not all bad.. this game has plenty of client sided hit detection nonsense that can fall in your higher ping favor if it was not a trading blow with the enemy.

I'm afraid I simply cannot agree with this. You are suggesting that just as opponents could hit me long after I have taken cover, I could do the same to them? There are four things that count against this:

First, one drawback of higher ping is enemies sometimes rubber-band. This means I could start to use a ranged PA on an opponent that on my screen wouldn't have enough time to reach cover at normal speed before my attack lands... but then all of a sudden they quick-jump to be behind cover anyway, my PA misses, and I've still lost both the PP it cost and also the time spent essentially shooting the air.

(Can this happen when an opponent attacks me? Yes, but less. All communication goes through the server, right? Suppose my ping is 160ms and an opponent's is 60ms. Both ways (me-server-them or them-server-me) the overall lag is 220ms. But the key communication is between the server and you. I only get to see where the server thought my opponent was 160ms ago - my opponents get to see where the server thinks I was 60ms ago. Combined with the increased volatility of the longer travel time, I am a much more recent and much less teleporty target for them than they are for me.)

Second, this only applies in the situation where I am a ranged attacker that has no fear of repercussion (at least from that opponent). For certain weapons this is obviously impossible, and we don't get to choose our weapons. The likes of jet boots and knuckles are useless to a player with high ping because everything they do is trading blows with enemies at close range. If we are given those, we have to either waste time running to another harvest point or basically give an opponent a free kill. This is particularly troublesome at the start of a matches since everyone only gets one weapon harvest.

Third, since the server gives priority to the most recently-received updates from clients, if a player is moving at their end when I hit them with an attack that should lead into a guaranteed kill combo (Nagrants on what appears to be a standing opponent, Satellite Aim stunlock and so on), they still get to give the server their updated position quickly enough that even though they receive the damage and start a stun animation, it happens outside the reach of the follow-up, thereby cheating death.

(Technical breakdown again, with the same suppositions as before: Imagine I shoot an opponent twice with the second shot meant to kill. I attack them. 60ms later the server receives an updated position which starts being sent to me. 100ms after that, the server receives the report of my attack and damages the opponent. 60ms later, I receive their updated position during their stun animation which is now beyond the reach of the follow-up and I fail to get the kill. Other way around: An opponent attacks me. 60ms after their attack, the server damages me and sends that out. 60ms after that the opponent sees me stunned where I was, still in hit range. 40ms after thatthe server gets to know about where I was when the opponent first attacked me, and it's another 60ms still before I get to know I was attacked at all!)

Lastly, as I discovered to vast detriment yesterday, when you're up against experienced opponents who have you pegged as a high-ping player they can safely kill, they don't even bother running for cover anymore. They just kill you because they know they can get away with it.

I don't deny the possibility that any kill I score in Battle Arena depended on at it's possible I could score a kill on an opponent who hadn't been where I thought they were for longer than a low-ping player could, but that is a rare advantage that on its own is worse than the comparable disadvantage I face from opponents attacking me. It doesn't in any way compensate for the pure disadvantage of all skirmish situations which are - and are designed to be - the primary interaction in Battle Arena.

And that disadvantage cannot be understated. Points three and four above combine in very unpleasant ways. Allow me to list two:

One (Edit: And I see when reading the rest of your post, you mention this one yourself), skill use happens client-side and does not force the server to retrospectively change events. If the server receives a message from RedGuy saying "I hit weakened BlueGuy with enough damage to finish them off", and 50ms later receives a message from BlueGuy saying "I used Cure 1 time and can now survive an attack from RedGuy", even if BlueGuy sent the message first they are still not only dying but also losing one of their Cure uses to a temporal impossibility. Late edit: By the way this works the opposite in reverse. You can get killed by an opponent that should be dead but they popped Cure or Protect after you hit them and the server heard about that first (and you don't get to know about it until after the server is also told they've killed you instead).

Two, this drawback ruins defensive options. Guarding may as well not exist when the server is told you got hit before it hears you were guarding at the time. Sometimes I can't even throw a defensive Nagrants as some enemies can just walk into the sphere and kill me anyway. How is this possible? Because clients don't tell the server when they think they got hit. Only when they think they hit an opponent. This means an opponent can enter my Nagrants safely as long as they hit me with something lethal faster than my client can tell the server they just committed suicide. This morning I had an opponent doing this on purpose. They had their ping advantage figured out and consciously exploited it.

Is that abusive? Maybe. But Battle Arena permits it! What am I supposed to do about it? 🤷

@Vashzaron said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

I feel best results would come from letting your teammates do anything directly confrontational if possible

It's always sensible to tailor your play to minimise the occurrence or impact of any disadvantages you have, whether the cause for them is fair or not.

But what you are talking about here is obeying the constraints caused by that bad situation. Operating under the limitations that come with the way Battle Arena gives preferential treatment to lower pings. Making choices that would not be optimal on a level playing field but are regrettably mandatory at a disadvantage.

This is not a solution. It is a compromise.

When Battle Arena was more populated, and when my friend group hadn't given up on it in what I can accurately describe as agitated disgust, I was able to compete with them with options like the three sword PAs (especially Ride Slash). Last night in particular getting any of those basically forced me to keep harvesting because trying to use any of them was essentially choosing to hand the opponents 10% of my points.

And where is the biggest hot spot for confrontations? It's mid! Where the rainbow emblems are. Rare is the game that we get to ranged support from away from mid to help protect the teammates who are in there collecting the emblems. And if we're doing that, not picking up emblems ourselves, we're generally not in the top 3 which means we're also wasting the chance to be an ambusher. And oh, could I ever tell you stories about having one or two teammates simply refusing to enter mid even with covering fire, leaving uncontested rainbow emblems just sitting there!

@Vashzaron said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

but I have made it to legend since the first month, but I no longer play it and just get the monthly rewards

I believe it's worse than it was in the first month. Not the delay, but the mix of players. My hypothesis is that players more disadvantaged by high pings are more likely to have given up on Battle Arena entirely and forever between then and now.

I base this on common sense, personally knowing people who have done that, and past experience in other games. Random example, StarCraft II league divisions about 10 years ago. Originally the bottom 80% of league divisions for more casual competition were divided evenly at 20% each. But many players in the lowest Bronze league didn't like being categorised among the worst and quit, which meant 20% of the remainder got demoted from Silver to Bronze and many of those would quit too. Because of this the division structure was reworked to dramatically cut the proportion of players assigned to Bronze. If players broadly respond badly to being told "you are bad", I can easily imagine they also respond badly to being told "you've got a permanent unconditional handicap".

The recent lack of a Battle It Out! campaign which encourages everyone to at least play 10 games usually for an emote might not be helping either. After last night I'd consider a temporary increase in low-ranking players (regardless of ping) a blessing over getting constantly beat on by low-ping experts.

@Vashzaron said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

I dont even disagree with moving SG out of there and somewhere nicer for the whole "Global" audience to partake in fairly, but I don't expect that. NGS is very likely going to introduce new methods of gaining SG on top of our current ones

If I had to guess that's what I'd guess too.

But then, we have this suggestions forum. Why not use it? 🙂

I do believe strongly enough that this needs addressing - and on top of that, why the amplification of the issue on Global deserves extra consideration - to dedicate some time to explaining the situation and making recommendations.

If for instance the New Genesis plan is to simply add the Star Gem supply of new sources in NGS to the enduring supply in pre-NGS, this suggestion would be less about "move some of the SG from Battle Arena to NGS" and more about "do something to rework how SG is given by Battle Arena or how ARP is gained and lost". In that situation we could be looking at rebalancing the ARP loss on defeat particularly at A and S rank, or maybe having campaigns that increases ARP or simply having other shops or exchanges (perhaps even NGS ones) provide ARP Tickets so it can be raised without suffering pre-NGS Battle Arena in the first place.

I guess that might make it seem open-ended as a suggestion, but that's kind of my point. There's a ton of viable ways they could address this! The suggestion is just that they make the most of the opportunity presented by the arrival of NGS and do something because the status quo is not in a good place.

PvP in a game that isn't PvP exclusively is a waste of time, money and effort for developers anyway. Besides, they could put 1 million AC for playing just one game of PvP and i would still ignore it. I've tested it in enough games to know that it will be ruined by the PvP playerbase regardless of how it works.

Hi all. This will be brought up to the PSO2 Team. Thank you for sharing!

@GM-Deynger said in Either rework Battle Arena for New Genesis or move its SG elsewhere:

Hi all. This will be brought up to the PSO2 Team. Thank you for sharing!

Only just saw this reply, sorry for the delay.

Thanks for passing this on!

What I want to se is a way to get the costumes and lobby actions by another means or have other collectable currencies be used to get battle coins to buy the costume and outfits. The game mode is so dead now across all 4+ships, that I couldn't even get 12 people tonight ( I got 11 at most) to start farming for these things for use in NGS. No one in alliances or communities on discord I am in wants to do it either. These are items that are now out of my reach as i didn't or couldn't set aside time to do the arena content when it was new.

One solution I can suggest is a unirversal currency exchanging NPC that can exchange photon spheres, photon/ultimate boosters, Excubes, Buster medals, challenge miles, badges, and Medals from ep 6 and divide quests and beyond for other currencies in that shop area and back. This will help in the future as the base PSO2 game ages further and NGS is the game most players will be playing.