and having zero information will leading to the opposite... imagine having a heavy infantry strike force as your standard and the enemy is totally gear toward anti infantry... It's the difference between blind pick and draft in League of Legends. I like the idea of being able to actually counter and coordinate with people that aren't already my friends. One other thought I had was in regards to the idea of life getting in the way... Basically that will depend on the demographics of the community once it gets going (older folks like me having jobs and other responsibilities and teenagers being pretty immune to that sort of thing).
I remember reading somewhere that battles could possibly last for hours, if not days. If that's the case, the penalty system would be unfair. You can't expect players staying in the same battle for 3 hours.
Maybe give a bonus to those who can stay in battle the longest?
I haven't read that anywhere, mind you I already play match's that can last for about 1-2 weeks, although you can save the game and quit..then wait a week. A week or 2 later come back with everyone that was in the game previously and load the game, and continue playing. (Sins of a Solar Empire RTS)
On a side note: It would be nice to give penalties to people that drop out. I mean, I have seen and played with people that drop out of a game for 1 of 5 reasons:
1. Oh crap, gotta go do something, brb 30 sec - 5min *is gone for 30 min and is removed by auto-kick*
2. My parents are telling me to get off, I gotta go. *leaves and enters a new game due to idiots in first*
3. Damn, I'm losing everything, oh well, cya team! *leaves before he/she is even defeated*
4. Lost Base, unable to rebuild, eh I don't need to watch team lose. *leaves, 30min-1hr later, team wins.*
5. Curses at admin/owner/moderator of a game so he/she gets kicked on purpose so he doesn't get penalties for leaving before match ends.
Shame but it happens. Mind you that's not ALL the reason's I've seen, just the most prominent.
As per reason 3, I have been there many times, but what's funny is, out of a near defeat of my forces in a few other game's, I actually turned the battle around by hiding a single unit in a weird location, then sent him back to my base to rebuild, and suddenly. Ta-da! I win the match with my teammates. Funny how that works.
What you can do for the bonus is to multiply their end resulting score so that if they were afk the whole time, their score multiplied is still zero. As for leavers, you might be able to calculate the penalty based on point difference between the two teams so a large point difference means you are a quitter so therefore a large penalty. Just some ideas, since RTS games do NOT fare well with leavers/quitters.
I think maybe have it confirm if you want to leave a match and if you choose yes then you get penalized, and when you disconnect from the game via internet unplug/crash it ask if you want to rejoin your last session when you reconnect to the game/internet, once again if you click no then the penalty comes in, this way it doesn't penalize people who are just plain having a bad internet day like I often do.
As for AFKs I think an Auto-boot system would come in handy since I am sure most games will last a little while, maybe after 30minutes of no activity a message window pops up just asking if you are at keys. Naturally if you click anything you are. Should you not click anything after 5minutes or so it kicks you from the match and penalizes you.
As for what the penalty should be? I think I liked the moral points system, but it should be the less moral you have the slower your Exp gain is(or whatever will be used in this game). This would also work with rewarding players for finishing games, the higher your moral you get a small boost. Say for the lowest possible moral you gain 50% less Exp(?), and for max moral you gain an additional 20% making it a 70% difference in gains total. Which let's be real here, everyone loves boost and hates having penalties so this would hopefully increase the players want to keep their boost. Even if it means sticking around in a losing match.
Defence of the ancients 2 (dota) has a system we might be able to get some ideas from.
Basically if you leave a match and dont come back within 5 minutes you get flagged as abandoning the game. If you abandon a few games you get put into a low priority pool where you can only play with other low priority people for an hour or longer if you keep doing it.
Obviously a different system might work for us but maybe some sort of system that lets you know someone abandons or leaves 50% of their games so you know not to team with them.
Well, you should only have penalties if one leaves matches too often imo. I mean, what if your connection is lost, what if like you have to go somewhere urgently or something? So, no rewards from matches but no penalty(unless you leave, for example 3+ matches in a week)should be applied either.
What about the miss-match? I can see why it should have happened in testing, I can even see the value on the extreme conditions once you go live, but what is the point in staying in a miss-match that is soo extreme there literally is no ability to fight back?
I don't think leaving such a match should be penalized. but obviously no rewards either.