So I just started playing MP recently. I am doing OK, probably 50-50 record so far after about 50 games.
I just had a thought about using supply/demand mechanics for costing units in MP (Quick Battles).
IF YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE READING THE LONG WALL OF TEXT THAT FOLLOWS, THE GIST OF THE IDEA IS TO INCREASE / DECREASE COST OF ALL CHOICES IN MP, BASED ON HOW OFTEN IT GETS SELECTED AND HOW WELL IT DOES.
CONTINUE READING FOR DETAILS IF INTERESTED:
Could CA not implement an algorithm that looks at army compositions for each faction and periodically (daily, weekly?) adjusts the cost of each unit, spell, item and ability depending on how often it gets (not) included in an army.
This would mean that over time, just like in the free market, all costs should balance out. Auto-include lords, heroes, units, items, abilities etc. would slowly increase in cost to a point where players take it less and less. Never used things would slowly decrease in cost until people begin figuring it out that these previously useless things are now pretty good.
In terms of implementing this, it would literally take one person from CA's side. As a programmer/mathematician myself, I can already envision how I would do it. I could create a model that takes into account many different factors such as how often the unit is used, how often it losses/draws/wins battle, the rating of the player taking it, how many are included (if as a single entity or in pairs etc.). Then I would have an algorithm that takes into account all these factors in some way and then reduces / increases costs periodically.
So, the above proposition would have some valid counterpoints. Here they are and my answers to them:
1) This would be too cumbersome/expensive for CA to implement:
I can say with confidence that based on my own experience/education, I can do this as a full time job. I am sure CA has more talented people than myself so it might be even easier for them than me
2) Not everyone composes their army based on utility, but also based on what they like. So people who play casually would cause units to be over costed, just because they keep including them in their army. This would make the unit a bad pick for competitive players, thus making the most fun/popular units not cost efficient. The reverse is also true, if the large mass of casual players don't take a cost efficient unit because they don't like it, it's cost will keep going down, thus making them more and more OP:
The above problem would not actually exist because the algorithm I am considering would take into account the win/loss stats of each unit/ability/magic item as well as the rank of the player using it.
So if the top 100 players (who are often winning, that is why they are top 100 duh), keep using Karl Franz on Death Claw, his cost will keep steadily increasing, even if casuals don't really use him because the top 100 players winning units will have a larger effect on the increase/decrease path of said unit. Of course getting the "weighting" right will take a lot of planning before hand as well as adjustments based on what is happening and community feedback, but it can be done. So it's not like the top 100 would effect everything, just that they would have a larger effect than a random hundred of players.
3) If costs keep fluctuating, then saved army compositions will have to be re-adjusted every time a "cost update" is made. This will be both annoying and a waste of time:
This is true to a certain degree. However, if you take a typical saved army with say 15 units, it is not likely that ALL 15 units go up in price or down in price. Some will go up, some will stay the same, some will go down. The most likely result will be that the cost of your army might be under/over by say -25 to +25 gold after each update. So it's not a terribly tough fix to make. Of course the longer this algorithm is implemented, the smaller the fluctuations will be.
4) What if the algorithm is bugged and starts doing wonky things:
Not a problem! the state of the costs would be "manually" reviewed at some time intervals to make sure this does not happen. Also, community feedback will be taken into account in these "manual" review periods, so any "bugs" can be quickly fixed.
5) Wouldn't this make popular factions more and more costly and factions that are not taken cheaper and cheaper?:
True to a certain extent, but the effect would be very, very small (or non-existent) because of the way the algorithm would be implemented.
6) Finally, isn't this a huge, unnecessary complication for little benefit?:
I think this one is pure opinion. It is my opinion that this would not cost CA a lot (one full-time salary at most). I don't think this has ever been tried, so could be a big success for CA. Worst case scenario this could be scrapped if players don't like it.
If you got to this point you read everything (assuming you did not just skip to the last sentence to get to the conclusion), so you probably have an opinion. Please share
So what does everyone think?