Activision has been looking into new methodologies that can track players on various performance metrics and display the sorted data in real time.
According to a patent (US20190105567A1) granted to the publisher by the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the start of the year, the idea is to have a system that continuously monitors in-game sessions to obtain and arrange vital information through fairly detailed (and helpful) heatmaps.
Activision notes that leaderboards these days have severe limitations. Many online games only offer statistics from particular in-game sessions and that too for a few particular actions. With the rise of esports, players want as much data as possible in order to not only compare themselves with others but to also know about their habits and shortcomings.
Unfortunately, the present or conventional leaderboards only measure a certain level of activities that are considered standard. Activision takes the example of how knowing about high scores has more or less become obsolete. Players may want to know about who has the highest score with a particular weapon or accessory or a combination of both.
By generating heatmaps for different performance metrics, Activision wants to ensure that all kinds of in-game actions are recorded and presented visually for ease through an evolved leaderboard in real time.
However, that doesn’t mean Activision is any less interested in the standard performance metrics like number of kills, deaths, scores, levels, and such. In fact, the publisher wants to improve those same metrics by displaying them over a geographical map and highlighting specific engagement areas, lanes, choke points, vantage points, and such. The same patented methodologies will be applied here as well, using colored overlays to manage heatmaps in dynamic fashion.
There is a need for a method and system that provides performance data in real time to the players and also presents the data in a simplified and easy to understand manner, such as in the form of a heatmap. There is also a need for presenting performance data in a manner that accurately represents barriers inaccessible to players, such as walls and objects, which may occur in complex game maps. It is also desired that the system provides historical measure of a player’s performance, thus processing to accumulate data over a number of matches, rather than providing just a single metric over the last match played.
In summary, the leaderboards of today are inadequate of processing real-time and detailed data. They depend on a lot of factors that online games these days are unable to account. Through the patented method, Activision wants to provide players with data that they previously had to obtain from third-party or after extended durations.
Call of Duty, for example, is an excellent game that could make great use of such a system. Imagine being able to know in real time where the greatest number of engagements happen in a map, what weapons are most effective in a specific section, where players have the greatest chance of survival, favorable camping and sniping points, and the like.
Activision has been patenting some fairly interesting trademarks. The company also acquired rights to a system that analyzes online profiles of players to create clones of those very players. It starts with monitoring player-activity such as in-game handles, sportsmanship, playstyles, choice of weapons and items, choice of modes and companions, and spending habits. The mining methods also cover demographic information such as gender, location, income levels, and such.
Once all of the necessary details have been stacked, the patented system will then begin creating non-playable characters (NPCs) that behave in similar fashion. Hence, populating online games with clones that will be difficult to distinguish from real players.