Why would you have left FAF?

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@olp-O-mat said in Why would you have left FAF?:

But to my knowledge there is no usable TA version around anymore so FAF it is.

Total Annihilation Universe discord server:
https://discord.gg/QpaRbek9

@kokoryba said in Why would you have left FAF?:

think about how much time does a new player need to be properly prepared, to know all the races, maps and tech thats in ladder?

Feel the need to step in here.
For you to jump in and start playing ladder, you require NO prep whatsoever.
Don't say any dumbass dismissals like "you're not a new player so you wouldn't know" because I've been training new players for mutiple years.

Ladder is not like the final Darkest Dungeon levels where you cannot reenter the level if you lose, all the system does is give you a point score. You do not need to know anything in order to play ladder on a constant basis. Not needing to do so is the point of ladder.

No matter how bad you are, you will always find someone as bad as you on the ladder. The only time you will find yourself constantly losing is if you're either A: Entirely overrated or B: You're new and the system is trying to figure out an accurate rating score for you. The game will inevitably start giving you close to a 50% winrate no matter your skill level.

New players sneer at the concept, but I am and forever will be stalwart in my opinion that you don't need to learn a build order until you're 800/900. This is because new/bad players are so slow to punish you that if you focus on learning the fundamentals of the game, players who don't know them will lose anyway.

(Even when you do "learn a build order" you're only learning a cripple build order that normally loses out to others later on.. anyway..)

Teching is a vital part of the fundamentals of the game. You're not going to teach anyone properly using the baby ladder, you're just making people play the way you want. Not only do you cripple your retention as people who like to play tech rush styles essentially cannot play, you segregate a small playerbase into two ranked queues for the same thing, and you don't even train people correctly.

A casual queue was already a stretch, I don't think a "baby ladder" is an idea that should be entertained in any capacity.

Anyway.

@FtXCommando said in Why would you have left FAF?:

I removed it because I dominate the discussion and kill any input from new players. So instead I will act like a proper Councillor and not respond to anything to encourage greater discussion.

Extreme cringe

I think the whole training thing is a moot point and doesn't lead into any actual viable data on retention rates. Most other games do the same thing and frankly, have harder learning curves than FAF does. If you're too weak of mind to play the game, I don't think we can actually do anything to keep you here. I think it's better to focus on the persona who "does" brave it out and then gets fustrated and leaves due to a sticking point in the FAF UX. Not because of "game too hard"

There are plenty of people around who are still in the community but don't really play anymore. Which is fine.
You should ask yourself not "what made me stop playing FA" and ask yourself "what made me leave FAF" as the op asked.

Also, if you have a skill:
The primary goal for a lot of veterans here is to convert you, a user, into an active contributor for the community's various systems. If something is stopping you from doing this, you should also explain why here too.

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I have only played a few games. It is incredibly confusing what to do and very daunting playing your first match. I stopped playing and just watched casts, this one caster called Willows Duality and TheDuelist both intrigued me and needed replays. I though I might try and lost a bit. I lost and won some games. I'm not good but being pitted against rank 1000's wasn't very fun. I couldn't do for me to re-watch and learn. these two casters helped me learn and feel comfortable queueing up. It sounds very cheesy but if I did not find these two youtubers I would not know what I was doing and wouldn't have wanted to learn.

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Not sure if I fall under the older players or the newbs who leave within 2 years.

I started on PvP on FAF over 4 years ago (was living at my old house), I played for a year or two regularly and then was playing other games for a time. I had played SC since release, discovering FAF and gradually getting into the PvP after a couple of years of just getting maps & mods. I did ok, could hold my own against most players of similar rank.

Came back and played some more the last year or so (the last 4 years my schedule also fucked my gaming as it didn't give me much time to actually play). Have only played a couple of PvP games, did ok, actually the last one I probably did really well - I got trash talked by another 1000 ranked player that I flat out punked on Gap of Rohan (we were Air on opposite sides, I hit him early with a LAB squad, followed almost at the same time by some bombers to screw his power, later on Mercy sniped him - asked a team mate afterward and he was ecstatic with what I'd done as I had that particular player locked down all game playing catchup from the early damage and removed him before he ever made a meaningful contribution). Thing is, 2/3 of the games I've joined you spend 15-20 minutes getting it together, and 3/4 of the time someone DC or leaves the game early because they screwed their build order and don't have the balls to just play it thru. Then everyone quits and you wasted what is now a half hour... To play a PvP game I generally have to figure I have over an hour I can spare with no interruptions.

Thus, I play against AI a lot, because I can pause, I can save, and I can complete the game. very frustrating to start a game to have to pull out early. Similar issues if you start up with the wife and are done in 5 minutes...

For newbs I think that it is a steep learning curve, I got beat, I watched replays of most games I was in to see what I did vs what everyone else was doing, and what worked and what didn't. Had a guy punk me once playing Rock on Setons, he was on the island from Beach before I even got a transport off. Replay told the story, after that I shaved 2 minutes off my launch time thanks for watching how someone else did it. The problem is, many people don't have that patience.

Second problem as I mentioned above, disconnecting players. It is extremely rare in my experience for someone to lose connection and get back in. In most cases a player disconnects it screws the team - though someone might inherit the units and economy, they also now have far more to task than before and for many players they can't suddenly take that on without dropping the ball in some fashion.

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I'm not a noob anymore but I did play FAF intermittently in 2016 and then I quit and came back a year later. Back then I only played dualgap because it's what was most welcoming for >100G >500R noobs. I had a very hard time finding games outside of dualgap/astro that would let me play at 600 rating and there was almost no chance that I could get into a wonder/1k+ random map team game. Eventually I gave up on improving to an acceptable rank and stopped playing altogether. Only did i manage to come back and git gud was when I found some friends to play with that would vouch for me in 1k+ lobbies.

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Well by reading this thread it's good to know I'm not the only one who can't take any more astro/gap.

So for the moment, if I summarize, the most common reasons mentioned are :

  • Lack of map diversity in lobby games/can't play other maps if you don't want to spend 20min in a lobby.
    --> This is starting to get solved with 2vs2 TMM (that really lacks communication towards it for the functionnality that it is) and planned 4vs4 TMM. 4vs4 TMM will allow more maps, that will still be more forgiving for individual mistakes (so new players can hide) and attractive for new players because you can often build the "big stuff" in those games. If you tell people they can get in a 4vs4 match quickly, with people with similar level, I think they will naturally leave their beloved Astro to save 10mins spend in the lobby. So the matchmaking instead of custom lobby could solve both maps diversity and time spent in a lobby problems.
  • The learning curve/community aspect
    **-->**By reading this thread, the ressources are there. They are just unknown from the average new guy. It should be the easiest to fix. You're 100% sure that the guy will end up on the landing page after launching the client so might as well use it to it's fullest. Currently there's 8 differents news on the landing page + the various links on the right. It's just my opinion but I would divide it in 3 or 4 big windows instead :

    -One BIG ass discord icon with a catching phrase like "need help to get better, join the FAF discord to meet experienced players blabla". The discord icon is on the top right (away from the rest of the menus that are on the left) I think a lot of people are missing it. Could also link the forum there.

    -One big news related window like, "download the new client and play TMM now".

    -And a third for the streaming/youtube content community aspect. Who even knows Nexus has a youtube channel with POV commentary ? And he's the number one player in FAF. If you say to a new guy that keeps losing "here watch #1 ranked player Nexus POV in the last tourney", he will click to see how the man plays. It just has to be catchy. Even a link to the replays section auto-filtered on top players could work.
    It's just another example but when I finally downloaded the last client, I can see that there's a BO tutorials from Heaven in the tutorial section that could be useful to any new players. Why not put it in the landing page ? You're 100% sure they will at least see that it's available, you don't even know if 10% of them will click on the tutorials tab.

Well those are just ideas out of my head but you get the point. Ressources are already there to help new players to get better. I know it may sound dumb but a big part is just a matter of using big shining windows and catch phrases on the landing page (that currently seems overloaded to me) to improve the chance they click on it and see that help is available.

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Way to delete FTX posts when it is his job as player councilor to engage with the "players" and give/receive feedback.

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FtXCommando said in Why would you have left FAF?:

I removed it because I dominate the discussion and kill any input from new players. So instead I will act like a proper Councillor and not respond to anything to encourage greater discussion.

@Morax, think he removed them bud

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I can help teach new players and create games with low rate players or newbies and play only as teacher but not for rase self rating.

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As one of the newest community members of totally reputable rep, and otherwise. I want to mention from my personal experience, before I went head first in SCTA Project early April, why would I had left FAF?

  1. Ranking Fear. Or more precisely, once I got to 800-1k bracket and was able to join not shit (i.e. beside DG/Astro/Gap) maps, I became semi-paralyzed. And I have said this elsewhere, but TMM would at the time made a MASSIVE difference for me. I am really not competitive, and don't really desire to be. I play Supcom so that I can, in one sense turn my brain off, and play games with my friends. And before folks "well why not DG/Astro/Gap". Those maps can up take a long time to play and nothing happens. Seton's has a similar problem tbf but things happen. Naval Fight. Com Dueling Mid, T2 Pushes, and Drops. So on and so forth.

Ladder is LADDER, specifically its a tournament-esque environment meant to promote competitive play. Or atleast that impression, I got. Its not a 'matchmatching' service you go into for a quick game against folks of reasonable similar ability. (Okay that is a lie it 100% is). But calling it ladder gives to that vibe. Some online card games have non-ranked/casual ques while having ranked ques, coming into FAF that was my context. So admittedly I had a bias here.

TMM: is well TMM, first not calling it ladder, but a team matchmaking service, gives it a different kind of vibe or association at least for me. Its a "I want to play with a clanmate lets que and play". And win or lose, I always get a map I could reasonably finish in 20-30 minutes. And its not sitting on 8 mex in base snore fest. Sense you can always que, you can always play regardless of what your rating is.

  1. Recently, I did almost leave FAF. To beat this poor dead horse, but Aeolus. I live in DC area, I know folks in the Capitol Building, and some of my coworkers from my place of work are sometimes stationed there. Aeolus making utter mockery every day with non sense, and bull. Like admittedly just not reading Aeolus, but seeing that.

And knowing it existed, infuriated me. And how many folks avoid Aeolus because quote 'its a cesspool'? But it did at times, I'll be honest seeing that in Aeolus made me genuinely uncomfortable (call me thin skinned or 'safe space lib' or whatever). Seeing folks promote, revolution or otherwise, or calling folks fascist (or 'communist'), and supporting the siege on my home? I basically stopped all SCTA work and played another video game/took up online YGO actively again. And yeah this is true for all online communities, anywhere, so it is not really that surprising. But if I had not really sunked cost fallacy in SCTA tbf, I would have left the community.

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project

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@Dragun101 Its very hardcore game, without real players with real skill`s you arnt feeling real victory and rise you skills. This game changing you take solutions in real life, fast and efficient.

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This game Like real life, you winner or you loser. If you cant take this, its you self problem, not anymore.

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And the sky is blue do you have a point?

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project

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Hi! I am a newer player (grey) and wanted to add my feelings about this game. I can't play often (games I can't pause are hard with toddlers) but I love this game and loved TA when I was a kid. Here's the challenges you face as a new player. I'm sure this has all been mentioned but these are my two cents.

A.) This game is terrifying. Most the players see this game on Gyle and wow, it's amazing. And then you click ladder and it can be really intense. Even Gyle, who isn't really a retained player, says how much he panics when playing. Point is watching is way more fun than playing, at least when playing is terrifying.
-I think recognizing to new players the game will be hard but encouraging them (on the client say, or in your personal communications) would do a lot to help them give it another go.

B.) This is one salty meatball, you all can't deny! Ok, its like what, one out of 10 people? And yeah, the internet is salty, but still. If you screw up the stupid Astro build cause you don't just farm Astro games - well getting called out doesn't feel good. Even Aeolus can be quite salty, which makes sense when you are all friends, but it's interesting as the face of the community.

C.) Eco is really hard to get a hang of, and screwing up your eco in this game is worse than making a tactical error. The eco feels so intensive you can hardly do anything else. Eventually it becomes second nature (I hope) so you can focus on the fun stuff of blowing things up.
-The hardest part of eco is the transfer from T1 to T2, it's not as intuitive as building up factories. It does look like there are some campaign-style tutorials, which is a great idea. Like someone else mentioned the campaigns are all about screwing you for playing normal so good to have a less-intense method of learning.

D.) It's hard to find a game, or especially a game that's fun. I'm sure the issues with team games have been beat to death so I'll leave them be. But the new team matchmaker is a great idea. Because sometimes Faf and chill on Dualgap is fun but when that's the only thing to play without waiting forever...well, yeah.

E.) It's hard to connect with people. I could do better at this myself, but is there a way to add people to friends or foe based on recent replay (so I can keep track of the ragequit Alt-F4 crowd) or add someone who was really cool? I know friend requests are stupid but one benefit is that both people know there is a connection there. The only other idea for building community is giving a reason for it, like bringing back Galactic War. That would help with D and E, build a community and make interesting games on interesting maps. As an aside I'd love to get that going, but I don't write computer programs.

Anyways I know lots of these problems simply come with the territory, but that was the question we wanted to address.

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I've introduced several people to this game and only one has stuck it out. I think he kept playing because the first time he played we did campaign missions and vs AI where I was able to do all the work and explain what I was doing and why while he figured it out.

New players also seem to want to tech up immediately without understanding the eco requirements or how easily T1 can overwhelm them or what their eco should be at before upgrading a mex, the acu, or building a T2 pgen.

My suggestion is infographics.

  • Did you know that you could build x amount of T1 tanks with the resources it takes to upgrade and build a single T2 tank?
  • Did you know that it only takes x T1 tanks to kill a T2 tank?
  • Did you know that it takes x minutes to upgrade to a T2 factory with 4 T1 mexes but y minutes with 2 T1 mexes and 2 T2 mexes?
  • Did you know that a assisting a T3 factory with x T1 engineers will double the build rate (but also resource usage)
  • Did you know that if you aren't generating enough power your mexes only generate x% of what they should?
  • If you are having resource issues you can press ctrl-R (or whatever it is) to see how much each engineer is spending
  • Did you know that 1 T1 engineer reclaiming a forest or just trees will pay itself off in x seconds and make y mass profit after 5 mins? Thats enough for z amount of T1 tanks!
  • Unit breakdown:
    T2 arty- Pro: long range, high damage
    Con: Cost lots of mass, slow fire rate (can be improved with pgen adjacency. 4 T1 Pgens increases fire rate by x%)
    Common usage: Defending forward bases and attacking enemy forward bases early on
    Faction differences: Uef is slower, sera is stronger or whatever

Other topics could be like how long it takes to pay off upgrading to T2 or T3 mexes and how long it takes to pay off build a T3 mass fab, the concept of build power and how focusing on 1 thing at a time (like upgrading mexes) affects things, how many frigates can overwhelm a destroyer, how many T2 or T3 units (or PD or arty) to kill a monkeylord vs how many of those things you could build for the cost of a monkeylord. How long it takes to build a monkey with 4 T2 mexes vs 4 T3 mexes. How ranking and game ratings work is another one that 500+ games in I am still unsure of.

You could also make a flowchart/checklist of an example (or a couple examples like combat acu vs early T2 vs T1 spam) on how to do land, air, and navy on common maps like setons and dual gap. That way new people can follow it and at least not get stomped.

I think a few infographics would be a good start and I definitely agree with the guy that said its frustrating seeing "Noobs only 1000 and under"

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Also a spirit rating system might be a good idea, though I'm sure it will be abused. Maybe after the scoreboard screen you could give a thumbs up or thumbs down to people (only on your team maybe) on 1-3 categories like 'helpful', 'friendly', and 'teamplayer'. Or even just one category that is 'Would you play with this person again?' but you can only answer this question about someone once per month (or something) to prevent clans and friends from boosting each other.

The would probably need to be a system that weights how much someone's vote is worth based on their own score. Like if someone is a total lonewolf jerk and just always votes down peoples 'teamplayer' rating then if their own rating is really low, their vote wont count for much against other people.

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@Saxxon I totally agree with what you said about watching replays and I agree that most people don't have the patience for it. Maybe a simple message at the scoreboard that says something like "You got beat. Want to see how they did it? Watch the replay in the Vault!" would get a few people to try and get better that way.

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@arma473 This is a good idea. When I try and introduce new people and they are interested enough to play again after their first firehose of information I go easy on them 1v1 with T1 units only so that they get used to keeping track of many things.

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What do you guys think of racism that develops showing country flags?

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Close the thread, we are not getting any valuable info anymore, we are just deep diving into another layer of stupidity.

Analyze, Adapt, Overcome...