Leavers ruin big room games. Someone is going to get a massive unfair advantage. Any solutions to this?

Leavers ruin the game for big room games and I can’t think of a solid solution, so just brainstorming ideas.

It seems half the players leave when the game randomly starts after waiting for the last person to fill the spots. I get that the game is RTS but it should at least have a ready set go at lobby. This would cut down the amount of leavers immediately. It would be unfair if the last person to start or someone super refreshing the game to see when it starts, starts making first moves for hours and gaining a strategic advantage. If I was a late person I would very likely leave the game to as it is a waste of time, not a challenge of strategy and skill, just straight up unfair.

More people further leave later on in the game because it becomes apparent how pointless playing an unfair uphill game.

Beyond that, how do we actually balance an leavers is the hard part:

  • Should tech level up cheat as described here Extremely frustrating playing as leader when 2nd place abuse AI tech level up cheat - #2 by Golden_Ace be disabled?
  • Leavers just have their fleet in place but no AI, base race, but even that is unfair as neighboring players get a free random advantage, that is unfair to those further away.
  • Should the stars of leavers just disappear as in value go to zero and unclaimable? That way fleet can still move through the map but there is no resources gained. That would suck if leavers took strategic resources then erased them essentially.

Idk what are your opinions?

This basically ruins the game for me. The AI tech cheat level up wouldn’t even be a problem if this was somehow cleverly solved.

The AI tech level is not a cheat for one thing. It’s part of the game and everyone has the same chance at manipulating it. It’s even less of an issue in a 64 player game because only one person has this disadvantage. If you are worried about being able to trade with the AI, just keep your star count down… complaints about having the most stars are likely to fall on deaf ears anyway.

In all games, you can make moves before game start within your scan range. So you have a window of at least 10 hrs where you wont be set back severely. If you can’t check in on a real time game every 10 hrs, you likely wont be competitive in any case.

Increasing starting scan would widen the window of time you have from game start to stagnant carriers. That is a customizable option if you host your own game.

Cooperation with real players is more important than you are giving credit in the big games. Tech research is more important than early growth. Also, hanging in there and working diplomacy magic when the cards are stacked against you is an enormous part of the game and not something to overlook.

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Also, what’s unfair about someone checking in on the game more often than I do? They are putting the work in, I’m hoping to get some sleep…lol… not unfair.

If that aspect of the game is a major factor for you, i recommend turn based games.

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If I was the leader of a galaxy where other frustrated participants are either quitting or AFK, my job is to :Find some other remaining live player to buddy up with.

I would not help them to knock myself off,
I would help nurture them towards a 2nd place buddy finish.
We could find some common border AI player(s) to wipe out in succession.
The trick is to manage my star count to stall off the victory condition before the new ally can reach 2nd place over all other empires.
If the nominal bribe of 2nd place rank is not enough, then additional bribes can include tech trades, cash, and renown. I would also ask for renown from the ally since the galaxy was already mine to claim, but my generosity kept me in the joint galaxy for a week or more before starting my next galactic NP2 conquest… to help them.

This offer will not always get accepted, but each galaxy is a chance to develop your teamwork abilities, and challenge yourself to strategic and social growth.

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