Switching to another team


What / who are you referring to ? I’m pretty confused by your reply.


Implying switching will cause toxicity and paranoia. ie you spy, switch teams and then kill your previous team.

I partly agree that too much switching will lead to a sense of frustration where the playing field changes too rapidly.


Sure, but what is this “if that’s the gameplay you guys are aiming for I don’t want to play” comment for ?

The whole point of this thread is to figure out solutions to avoid abusing team switching mechanics. The very OP is stating that it’s a problem. How do you jump to “devs want to let people cheat and grief like in Eve” from that ? That’s why I’m confused. At no point have we suggested that we wanted to let everybody switch teams freely with no consequence.


Well, maybe not most of them. cough

As for the question at hand, the easiest thing to me is to allow players to select their team at the start, and not allow switching at all, and build in win conditions around it. Then, if players push for team switching after launch, revisit the issue.


If I understand correctly you’re creating a mechanic that encourages players to stab each other in the back. I am really in to pvp, but not in to getting shot in the back or otherwise have to worry about betrayal from my team mates. That creates a toxic unfriendly environment/culture. It will certainly discourage new players as they will thought to be spys.

I have zero interest in that kind of game play, which is why I never picked up Eve.


I’m even more confused. Which mechanic are you talking about ? Team switching ? You can already freely switch to any other team. This topic is about adding restrictions to it. Isn’t that a good thing ?

If I understand you correctly you do not want team switching at all, period ? You could have simply stated that instead of implying it. In any case, I do not think forbidding team switching entirely is possible. People will want to play with their friends / clans and considering the duration of a match there’s no guarantee that the same group of friends will always be on the same team.

Consider this: a match starts, you play in red team for a while then disconnect. Meanwhile, your group of friends joins the green team. Later in the day, you connect back, see them online, but now you’re stuck on red team until the match ends ( which could take hours if not days ) and cannot play with your friends. Is that really what you want ?

Also, if you cannot play with your friends when you want to, wouldn’t that incentivize you on sabotaging the match so that it is as short as possible ? People are going to hang on discord, we have no way on controlling that, and they could easily exchange information about the match / objectives because they’re not allowed to play together… this would result in exactly what you wanted to avoid in the first place.

Weekly Update #109

He just read the post title, triggered and replied. The only useful response is “Read the base post”.

For that, tell players which of their friends are in the match. They can then join the side of a given player, whatever side that turns out to be. They don’t need to know anything about the team.

I’m registered in the game. When my friends show up, they’ll say “Oh, JB is playing. Let’s join his team.”

People will spy through external means regardless of whether they’re in the game with friends.


In thinking more about this, I would like to take a step back and state the following.

Until we actually have a large player base that can give us adequate data on whether or not team-switching is an actual problem, I’d put out for your consideration simply waiting on implementing barriers to team switching. It may turn out that, in the course of time, team switching isn’t actually an issue, and players are more than happy being on whatever team they’re on, regardless of winning or losing (which should be ideal, anyways).

In regards to spying, I’d suggest that to counter this, it would be better to offer gameplay that caters to spying, I.E. cloaked interceptor. So while somebody could switch teams and report over Discord/TS, they’re not actually doing anything fun other than sitting in one spot, innocuously looking around at their ‘team-mates’.

The same philosophy could apply to any other form of exploit. Replace the exploit with gameplay that’s more fun and maybe just as effective than the exploit.

Until we have large player base, I’d almost say that thinking of having an elaborate, exploit-killing plan with extensive algorithms and/or timers is like counting the chickens before they’ve hatched.

I say let’s wait and see if it’s an actual problem. Then if it’s a problem, we can come up with a plan.

Now in PS2, where there was a huge population shift towards the end of an alert, this was indicative of the fact that there was a large reward for winning an alert vs losing, that affected the play-time afterwards, with the players having a big point influx to be able to upgrade stuff.

So those of us who played the game to have fun, even though we were losing, lost the ability to make a comeback in the last 10 minutes of the alert, being overwhelmed by the number of enemy troops.

So in regards to the future potential of having this scenario play on in IB, I’d recommend having a rewards based system that isn’t tied to winning or losing. You know you’ve done well if there isn’t a huge population shift to the ‘winning’ team.


I would even go so far as to add that the current gameplay doesn’t really make team switching helpful in any way. This is what we want.

Therefore, not a huge problem.

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I think that once a match starts the teams should be locked or rather I don’t think team switching should be allowed at all for the duration of a match. Obviously you can’t control what happens outside the game, but by formalizing the mechanic you are encouraging the behaviour. You are essentially saying underhanded meta play is “good”.

As devs you are setting the “culture” of your community by the mechanics and EULA.

“Shrug” I run a largish player organization/alliance in another gaming community and I really stomp hard on anything that could negatively impact the open friendly community we have developed. I see your team switching as a huge negative through that lens

It is your game and vision so you should do exactly what your vision tells you too. I am simply pointing out your decisions have impacts on more than just the game.

So the question to answer is what kind of community do you envision and do your in game mechanics support that or not?

I am not very active here so I probably should not have commented so I will let you have the last word sir


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Dude. Your experience with an “open/friendly community” for a PVE org for a planned PVE event in an unreleased game where the only PVE is killing individual pirates that glitch out and freeze in place every few fights is not going to be relevant to a match based PVP game. Neither is your forum posting career for that matter.


Thanks for your reply. If you believe that team switching shouldn’t be a thing at all, then how do you propose to address the problem of people that want to group with their friends ? Again, it’s not a game where a match will last 10 mins, or even 60 mins for the matter. It’s going to be much, much longer, and people are going to be pretty pissed if they cannot join their friends in a timely manner.


Red team is best team.
You’ll never see me adorned in Green or Blue, they are swine!

Personally, I’ve only ever switched teams to improve my gameplay experience. Thinking of Planetside, or Battlefield games. I’ll switch to the losing side, it’s more of a challenge and can feel more rewarding to push back against a strong attacking force.


Out-of-match squad mechanics might work and would require minimal preparation beforehand. Let’s say a group of friends want to join a match together. They’d share their usernames and some sort of private code and get put into a chat room (but that’s not even necessary). The squad leader would initiate joining a match and they’d all get put in there as one entity.

If a player wants to join a friend in an ongoing match, I guess some sort of invite system from people already in matches could work, provided the match balancing algorithm (if there is going to be one) determines that it won’t skew the balance. If two friends find themselves on opposite sides of a match, they could just leave the match and form a squad.

Or make it possible for a person to be involved in multiple matches at once with a limit. After all, nobody is going to play a match in just one session, so there need to be inactive player slots anyway. Why not let a player switch between ongoing matches?

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But people will know this and plan ahead or just communicate via discord, or some other means, before and during matches. Check discord, see what team your friends are on, launch with that team.

I think the reward system (preferably a good balance between kill rewards and objective based rewards) should cancel out the “joining the winning team” thing.


Thanks for pointing out that in what timescales. in this case it is reasonable to think about this problem somewhat as it does behave much differently than many other online games.
One additional thing I keep in mind is that the game probably won’t have as many servers or concurrent running matches/instances as other, lower player number per match games.

I don’t think a lobby system will help with the problem, it’s most effective with games that have very short match times. It’s very unlikely that friends will group up for hours. They may join a match together but requiring that to play together isn’t helping the game or isn’t making the problem go away in my opinion. A friend system might somewhat but there are situation that may be exploitable like when you have friends in multiple different teams on the same match.

I’m surprised that Planetside has this problem because you have to create a whole new player Character to play on another team on the same server … with totally separated progression system.
Same with EVE:Online really. There you even need an additional subscription … although CCP did embrace the problem there somewhat instead of trying to fight it till eternity.

The Idea of combating spying by adding spy gameplay is a good one in my opinion. I think that might be somewhat effective … I don’t know what spies really like about the activity though. With a multi hour game it might be attractive to them to exploit team switching …

Still … friends trying to play together, anytime they want to play together has a much higher priority in my opinion than fear of exploitable freedom.

My first intuition would be to make all of this don’t matter. Winning won’t net you any additional progress, unbalanced matches get compensated by bots hard. Scouting isn’t global but a “per player” thing and isn’t shared, not even with your own team. You only see your immediate surroundings + Natural Formations (Planets, Moons) + Your Orders (Get to Station Name at planet name).
But that would result in exactly that … it not mattering if you win or loose. You may win or loose a battle but bot compensation might make every battle too balanced and scouting might get you xp and help the npc commander but no other players directly.

On a more practical note though. What if scouting itself wouldn’t benefit from the information someone could gather by spying?
It’s already very difficult to find a location without a marker … even if you know that there should be a location near a certain region it might still take you minutes to find each and every location and make it usable to your team.

I think with a somewhat “randomized” star system players will learn pretty quickly how the algorithm for station, bases etc. placement and/or team allocation works and will be able to guess pretty well in which team resides in what region of the solar system.
People will know even more if there are curated star system configurations … people are used to “learn the maps”.

So there might not even be use in spying.


As has been said several times already, if bases are always visible to everyone (as they are in all non-mmo multiplayer games I can think of) then that mitigates the use of team-switch spying.

However, that assumes ships will move around a lot making intel on ship positions out of date by the time the spy has switched back to their preferred team. In the case of the carrier however, it would probably be desirable to hide it somewhere to be used as a respawn point rather than taking it into battle, so it’s position wouldn’t be constantly changing.

The answer to this is a team switch cooldown, as discussed, and resetting credits and ‘experience points’ to 0 when you switch, as discussed.

You join a match and friends are on another team - you’ve just joined so have no credits or points to lose so no reason not to simply switch to play with your friends.


It doesn’t sound like that all bases and stations will be visible to anyone ingame. I wouldn’t also throw away the possibility of fun game-play made possible trough procedural tech due to potential exploits.

As I argumented, even with a full blown map showing the exact position of all your installations and not your enemies, that may not be such a problem, because space and planets are so stupidly big that without in-game aids the spy won’t be able to transfer that information to the enemy efficiently anyway.

Other than that I agree with your post. I think a time-limit is acceptable.
I may also suggest triggering the cool-down on first team-join as well, providing additional incentive to first check in what team your friends are before joining as well as additional discouragement to use that initial join for exploit reasons … but that’s not much of a difference.


Spying could be fun, if taken into consideration as a gameplay mechanic. How it could work:
-at the beginning of the match, someone decides to play the role of a spy and joins the enemy team
-spying consists of personally flying to a station/convoy and then ‘meet’ with someone from the other team to exchange data
-if found out the spy will be forced to go into the team he had been spying for
-meeting could be cloaked as fighting (firing lasers/rockets that dont deal a lot ofdamage but instead transmit data)
-double agents provide wrong data, lure people into traps

Apart from that I would prefer if people couldn’t just change teams.


Not saying friends should not join mid game. It is simply they should not be able switch sides once a match starts