Balancing based on kill/death ration has been suggested but on further thought I realized this also has some fundamental flaws. Take myself and X. We are rather comparible in skill, though I play more offensively then he does, usually resulting in me having more kills, and him having less deaths. Regardless we are always in the top ranks for kills. What this means is, if it autobalanced based on kill/death ratio, the game could mis-stack players it perceives as "worse" players simple because of this ratio. Or players could manipulate the system by ensuring one gets enough deaths to drop in the rating to stack on sides with high-kill/low-death players.
Also, levels can mean very little if it is someone who is prone to log mid-game, or pop in and off constantly. You can easily get stacked with a bunch of people who don't stay the entire game, while the other team has a bunch of loyalists to it under the current model. These people can also end up with great ratios simply by making their one lucky kill and leaving before dying, but not truly be very good.
(A) Average kills per game.
(B) Average assists per game.
(C) % of games finished.
(D) # of upgrades purchased.
(E) # of Ships owned.
(F) % Kill+Assist/Death Ratio per game.
Use the following formula:
(A+B+C) + (D/E) + (F/10) = SKLRANK
In order to use this for balance, the next step is to push all these players into an array sorted by their SKLRANK. Then precede to start at the beginning of the array, and assign the first to one side, the second to the opposing side, and so forth. If a new player logs in, rather then resort, it looks at the shortest of the two new array/lists, and fits that person in based on score.
Sorted Array : (160,160, 160, 148, 139, 122, 102, 68, 44, 44, 23, 23) = (160, 160, 139, 102, 44, 23) vs (160, 148, 122, 44, 23)
New Player with SKLRANK 153 arrives.
Becomes : (160, 160, 139, 102, 44, 23) vs (160, 153, 148, 122, 44, 23)
Some players like to play with certain players, and there is the eventual issues of Squads, Teams, Clans etc that has been discussed. To solve this, the members of a Squadron are taken out of the stack prior to dividing it into the two teams. They are assigned to one side together. From there, it takes an equal number of players with scores as similar as possible to the Squadron from the array, and assigns them to the opposing side. Once that it is done, it totals the SKLRANK of each side and compares the two values. It then looks for a player with a SKLRANK as close as possible to the difference and assigns it to the side that is lesser. The rest of the array is then sorted normally as it is done without Squadron option used.
Squadron : (160,160, 142, 140) TEAM_SKLRANK : 602
Sorted Array : (150, 138, 135, 120, 119, 100, 89, 76, 23, 23, 21) TEAM_SKLRANK 543 (Remember, only use the top players from the array, and only the same number of players as in the Squadron being compared.)
Difference : 59 SKLRANK. Closest is 76.
End result : (160, 160, 142, 140, 119, 89, 23) vs (150, 138, 135, 120, 76, 100, 23, 21)
Result : 7v8 Game. Side 1 has players that singular are slightly better on average as individuals, but the overall balance is offset by the addition of another player to the opposing sides, while keeping the SKLRANKS as close as possible with what is available.
And to clarify, while scores look even now, Government eventually lost by about 2 to 1.
This is really nothing more then a sort of random brainstorming of ideas and concepts to just toss out there and see what ideas it sparks. Enjoy (Or don't!)
I'm inclined to error on the side of suggesting a slight advantage to those players who achieve more levels. While agreeing game balance should not be unbalanced, a fraction of a fraction custimizable difference in things such as top speed, turn rate, gun max heat, recovery rate for gun or thrusters, would be interesting to see. If you were allotted .01% to assign to any one area each level, it would still take 100 levels just to receive a 1% difference in any one category. Minute differences while not being game changing, would still be important and valued, as well as giving a token reward and encouregement to people as they level and allow for some variety in design of fighters, styles, and gameplay. (since it would be 10000 levels dedicated to one stat before seeing it ever actually double, and that would require neglecting other areas entirely)
My idea for this is similair to what we have seen in other game as "Badges" that are awarded for completion of tasks. This would also give more to do to experienced players to occupy their time then merely soaking up kills, and expand a level of gameplay. The general concept would be that each player would have a profile that would display a ribbon and medal bar similiar to that worn by contemporary military members. Not knowing the inner working so rscope of the database structure, data being tracked, etc, here are merely some suggestions to start.
For those familiar with things like the Navy ESWS/ASW (the silver emblem worn above the ribbons) there could be one of those for those who have achieved a selected group of the medals all at the minimum level.
Assign ranks based on levels. While this does not need to add any game play functionally to things, it is more merely adding to the theme by giving everyone a broader sense of reality of the game, by seeing themselves follow an Admiral into battle, while growing up as a young Airman, eventually to a Chief, and on into the Officer ranks as a budding LT, finally making Captain, and eventually becomming that Admiral himself.
CNOHigher Level Player in the Game
FLEET ADMIRALTop %5 of leveled players in the game
VICE ADMIRALNext 10%
REAR ADMIRALNext 10%
LT COMMANDERLevel 500
E1 - E9(Airman - Master Chief) New Rank each 25 levels.