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?
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.
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.
@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.
This game Like real life, you winner or you loser. If you cant take this, its you self problem, not anymore.
And the sky is blue do you have a point?
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.
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.
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"
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.
@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.
@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.
What do you guys think of racism that develops showing country flags?
Close the thread, we are not getting any valuable info anymore, we are just deep diving into another layer of stupidity.
@FlyBoyBoom I've never seen that, what have you experienced?
@kokoryba The campaign introduces you to races and units already so the point is kinda moot... though the idea of introducing new multiplayer elements to take into account is great.
@Yoseikanx About resources, there was a thread about keyser's UI mod soup and by installing FAF on a new computer I needed to hunt down this thread to make sure I didn't miss anything.
And I only knew that because I was there before, but it's not apparent anywhere, even though it's an excellent thread that deserves more visibility.
Had written a long reply but as a new player i cant post for some reason; testing to see if fixed yet
Summary of points I'd written before since I don't want to retype:
I joined a few months ago, some of the things that almost made me quit and things that could be done to improve things:
-Toxic players - not much you can do, every multiplayer game has them
-Specific map expectations - having a high level summary/guide of expectations for some of the most popular maps and expectations of what you do if you start somewhere could help
-1v1 - initial matchups were horrible, start new players out against low rank players instead of high rank players
-Being kicked for being grey - Rank/game quality should be based on the displayed rank, not the 'trueskill' value. E.g. a rank 0 with 4 games in multiplayer is seen as similar quality to a rank 1000 with 200 games. Maybe if it was based on the displayed rank (e.g. rank 0 is treated as rank 0 not 1000 or so) then people would be less likely to kick newer players
Toxicity has driven me away from the game a few times (but there's nothing better out there so i keep coming back...so far).
I'd love an inbuilt system that goes a step further than the add foe system. If you could rate other players negatively for lagging, quitting, abuse etc and then (and this is the key part) all other players could see everyones feedback while in the lobby then negative players would find it hard to get games. If you were hosting and saw a player with a few warning icons beside their name representing a large number (not just a few) of negative reports then you'd be confident everyone would have a better game if that player was kicked. The incentive would then exist for people to clean up their acts or leave faf.
I would be very happy to see anybody who is rude get an automatic month ban.
As a newcomer to Supcom I have a couple things that probably repeats but repeats over a thread could shed some light on problem areas. I came upon FAF from casts, Gyle, Brink, and Jagged. As a fan of the ol rts games, Stronghold, AoE, Starcraft and Netstorm I could honesty not believe I never heard of Supcom. Other than castle building which is a personal fave of mine it has so much more variation of play than the others. A legit navy... are you kidding me summit battleships good god. Part of it for me is just not enough vs AI stuff. The AI is way better than most of or all the games I listed but FA is pretty complex. All those games have campaigns that really put you through the motions which I think FAF can benefit from. Have a bootcamp campaign in FAF client made by some folks that know what they are doing. Have scenarios where you are getting tag teamed by two armies, not a full game but just a quick skirmish of a few dozen units from two plus locations to tax your multitasking. Timed eco maps, timed eco maps while defending against AI tech transition timings basically rts puzzle maps. I guess one of the more daunting things with FAF is being plunked down at 0 and trying to decide what to do. Starcraft you have only a couple starting units, zerg alright im making some lings right away. Stronghold alright some archers and spearmen. Supcom, alright I have my com, pd, a half dozen land, sea and air units depending on what tier your at. FPS games are a bit different than rts games where you can play one and pretty much have the basic skills to play most fps games. RTS games vary quite a bit from one to the other and is way more complex for actually brand new folks vs fps as a noob where the logic is aim crosshairs and shoot gun at enemy. Also reclaim is sucha weird mechanic, its cool, no it shouldnt be removed but maybe it has a bit too much impact for people just starting out that already have a hard time multitasking.
I'm still really interested in hearing from more newer players about their own experiences with FAF and why they think people might leave our community. We did some data analysis last year that showed that we have a steady stream of new players but that 90% leave over 2 years. Thanks everyone who has given feedback so far - I guess I will give it another week before I really look into the replies and look for common themes.
Edit: FAF is actually growing overall. I don't mean to give the impression that we are declining in numbers overall. Eg:
I just mean that we are losing lots of our new players, and I want to keep a much higher % of them.