Is there a Discord for people to learn? Where higher level players could coach newbies to learn and chat? Because our only option is watching Gyle's casts which just covers the first two factories built by COMS and then hops round the map watching fights. There's barely any info out there on eco, base setup or unit composition that isn't being played or run through by someone at Heaven's level of speed and modded UI, which is almost impossible to follow.
That's a good question! this discord channel of the official FAF server serves this exact purpose : https://discord.gg/eUQdmppkMp
this guide is also quite useful : https://docs.google.com/document/d/13S4nBDfcBK4WmFtykXGKNmvIPe9L2nbiriISpHNgE4U/edit
The "Tutorials" Tab of FAF is utterly amazing.
playing through the four missions (and trying each mission's many choices) is absolutely vital.
And yeah Heaven is great once you actually start understanding what he's talking about.
but before you get to him :
The Dualist is a recently 1100 rated (so pretty low-to-average) player and his videos are quite educational : https://youtu.be/NK-LvGL9HKc
Decent is 500 and (so really much much more educational for newer players) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWWRgX6BCIM&list=PLF2T-nFgLhNAcMlujh4oqKsTqhTTpLhd3
Recently Brnk started making tutorials as well and they're top-notch IMO : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvMnSDvHV-U&list=PL8njGw0L9GCMmWuVXUix1t_0rQ5phYRU1
Gyle does a series where he learns to play the game with pros : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NHG6xs7DuA&list=PLghkifCs4DHOOSdrpE6yNjCcYLkh-gixM
and Medicraze really high production-values tutorials : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZymQ--z-lzo&list=PLfoxTfv2F6On8zyb7IvN-_xEQTjHmXvoj
Speed made and excellent tutorial playlist of his own : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uPjOxCTEng&list=PLTEDjzjPnGIoh43j6c2jNIYINPxgJnzoh&index=2
Somewhat outdated in terms of balance but most thorough and great for noobs TheForgedAllianceColonel's tutorials : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QhM7oC-t7U&list=PLWe0mYs3ObwL36zemynMh5G4b-3s5vol0
I personally find Jagged Appliance highly educational to watch, his commentary is a bit higher level but honestly not the technical level Heaven is on, he's really clear and I feel like he's easy to understand and it really helps that he really really knows what he's talking about : https://www.youtube.com/c/JaggedAppliance/videos
On another note I have an idea to maybe help combat the effect of players feeling outmatched. I posted about it before :
The idea is that Starcraft 2 allows players to gradually ease themselves into ladder by having a vs AI mode that functions like a ladder.
where loosing a couple matches will place you against an AI that doesn't leave it's base as much and that is worse in economy and build order but the more you win the tougher (and more resemblent to a human) the AI gets. sometimes going as far as employing cheese strat rushes.
Doing something like this in for FAF would really help cushion the giant pit of spikes of doom that is switching from playing Forged Alliance/SupCom AI-Bash or FAF survival maps / co-op campaign to trying out PVP in any form on FAF.
Most people don't know what they're doing and a lot of that comes from forming terrible habits of "waiting while I build up" with the frankly not revolutionary SsupCom & FA campaigns. (although on the plus side apparently the Seraphim Campaign and the Nomads campaign took a turn for the better in that regard.)
But even the AI in FA specifically encourages turtling for newer players.
Now I'm not saying that skill gap is the only problem, but I certainly believe that helping bridging the gap will help newer players face less animosity.
As for the lobby antics (greys, pings, rating, game count) these sort of things just don't matter when you just click queue for TMM (Team Match Maker).
you play, you win or you loose, who cares it's gg's all round anyways. and it's then the FAF matchmaking bot's job to balance you so you don't have to worry about how good or bad you are, it'll eventually place you with players like you and you'll be able to progress.
Which is why I humbly believe that if we sorted AIs by difficulty and created an "AI competitive ladder" that could serve as a stepping stone for getting to TMM, this would remove a lot of the fear.
Also we need to make nomads campaign native. it shouldn't have to be installed separately.
So yeah newer players, head on to here: https://forum.faforever.com/topic/309/ai-megathread and rate the AI. yes, we want your appreciation of them. it would really help. (the AI mods not the vanilla AI.)