Why would you have left FAF?

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"The industry standard retention rates for F2P games are 40%, 20%, and 10% for the aforementioned time periods."

https://gamingshift.com/game-retention/#:~:text=Game retention is typically measured,for the aforementioned time periods.

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A kind of an olde Total Annihilation "BATTLE TACTICS" similar, as missions, or scenaries to help the learn courbe, would be interesting.
The missions in Battle Tactics are segregated into four campaigns: Very Short, Short, Medium, and Long. The Very Short missions tend to cover very basic tactics, while the long missions are meant for more experienced players with more complicated tactics and some surprises. Overall, the basic features come down to 100 new missions, 4 new units, new keyboard shortcuts (also part of the 3.1 patch for the main game), and 6 new multiplayer maps.

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

"The industry standard retention rates for F2P games are 40%, 20%, and 10% for the aforementioned time periods."

https://gamingshift.com/game-retention/#:~:text=Game retention is typically measured,for the aforementioned time periods.

If those retention rates are at 40%, 20% and 10% for 1 day, 1 week and 1 month respectively, then having 10% retention after 2 years would suggest that retention is already above average.

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@F-Odin said in Why would you have left FAF?:

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

"The industry standard retention rates for F2P games are 40%, 20%, and 10% for the aforementioned time periods."

https://gamingshift.com/game-retention/#:~:text=Game retention is typically measured,for the aforementioned time periods.

If those retention rates are at 40%, 20% and 10% for 1 day, 1 week and 1 month respectively, then having 10% retention after 2 years would suggest that retention is already above average.

Yes, however those are for free, mobile games.

While the rate of conversion (non players -> players) would be lower here, the retention rate would be higher due to factors such as buyers remorse, etc.

Personally I think this whole thing is a wash. All we can do is improve the product we're delivering. The only way promotion can really increase the retention rate is making sure to set user expectations correctly. This means not blowing up the list of features so high that FAF itself cannot actually deliver. Sure, the conversion rate might increase, but the retention rate will lower further.

We're also avoiding the harder topics, like the client ux being pretty lackluster (guys: please let me know what you think about the new TMM UI) and the backend functions also are a bit touchy too. We also have some people who feel the need to go into sister communities like the supcom 2 servers and spam them about how shit their game is on comparison to ours. While people from those games are some of the people most likely to be retained if they ever came here, bad impressions don't actually give us a chance to convert. It's something that imo should be stamped out immediately.

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I think it's pretty common to tell new or less skilled players that they are stupid and should uninstall the game rather than help them improve. True teamwork is very hard to find around here. I have played with certain people game after game and winning like crazy and playing solid but when I make one mistake and now we lose one game then all a sudden those same mates who were great during wins are telling me I am an idiot and hating on me because we lose one. Watch any replay and read the chat and more often than not it is people yelling at each other telling each other horrible things....people don't know how to lose as a team....this is the greatest team game ever and most people can't understand that. People don't understand that we are lucky to have such a community and such support....there is no love here....everybody hates everyone.

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I started playing again a few months ago so while I'm not new anymore I certainly was then and remember the experience.

I think there are a few factors contributing to low player retention but the most important is FAF's very steep learning curve. It's often said that the best games are those easy to learn but impossible to master. Imo FAF is very hard to learn to the point that it's almost overwhelming.

In terms of team games, players come to FAF having seen replays of GCs dueling it out with chickens and com drops and close tactical games and that's what they want to replicate. What they are then faced with is noob gap games where there is usually lag, nothing happening for 20+ minutes and suddenly one team completely winning.

I took the route of ladder and it was frankly terrifying and stressful up until about 600. Getting past the first few games of ladder is incredibly daunting as you have no idea what to really do and can get matched against high rated players.

Tl;dr FAF looks really cool on youtube and then people join and find it very hard to get good enough to have interesting games. They then also have to deal with "no greys" "no au/no ru/no eu/" lobbies, endless boring gap games and often a not particularly nice player base.

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Honestly FAF being a separate client and has to be downloaded sperate and outside of just buying it on steam is kind of weird. I remember watching a cast and was like, oh man this is amazing. I went and purchased it on steam and was like wtf. Is that a fixable problem or what yall are talking about? Probably not but it was quite a few days before I found out. I think it was zombies or something and was like oh man that sounds like fun then couldnt find out to get to it, eventually it lead me to FAF.

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I just read through this entire thread and I mustve been the luckiest player on this client. The worst experience I've had was getting kicked out of a lobby with a "sorry" message because I'm a grey player. I have been playing on the steam version for years and finally came here because well... steam is dead. I have had awesome games and yes the occasional troll, DC and lag games but overall my time has been positive. I am relearning the game which is nice since FAF is way different than steam and I am becoming a better player for it.
Now I just need to figure out what happened to galactic War since that sounded THE MOST FUN! And we will be good to go. Thank you devs for keeping this game alive.

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After reading through this thread daily I see two main problems that have 2 possible fixes straight forward fixes.

  1. The game is hard and the learning curve is steep as fuck, in order to be able to have some fun you need to put in a lot of time and effort ( talking about PvP here), to make it easier for players we could:
    1 a) Make a vs AI tab in Play tab (along Custom games and Matchmaking) where you will be automatched (solo) vs AI of chosen difficulty, this could use a seperate pool or just the ladder one. I know people can host their custom games etc. but this would make it very straight forward to get games on curated types of maps where you can learn the basics.
    2 b) Make short tutorial style missions where you learn the basics. eg. a series of missions focused on: Basic Eco, basic BO, Expansion, unit usage etc. I know Ftx created a written guide but let's face it, people that look long enough to find the discord, the guide etc. are the ones that already want to get better and stayed with the game, we need tutorials and learning materials to be in the face of new player.
    On this note maybe we should incorporate the written guide into the Tutorial Tab? Right now it's really hidden away, you need to either have someone link it to you or go into gameplay and training chat in discord and look through pinned messages.

  2. The community in the lower ratings is pretty toxic and unwelcoming, you have players that play specific type of maps and then expect everyone to know the meta etc. You also have the 0 games, grey rating problems.
    The fix to that is 4vs4 TMM which is being worked on and hopefully will fix those issues.

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@Tagada playing verses AI is nearly the worst thing you can do if you want to improve your game vs other players. For people who do want to play against AI, and there are many, you can host a game on any map vs a number of AI difficulties. I can't see the benefit of developing a matchmaker only to save some people from learning how to host a custom game.

As for 1b) I agree, for the tutorials tab to be so empty when there is content to fill it is harsh on those who are totally new. If you saw a tab dedicated to learning, would you be annoyed if you saw it starts with four map specific build orders and with the remainder of content being a link to heavens tutorials.

Tutorial Tab.png

Even then if these maps are in and out the pool, these tutorials are useless as people who use them will have to wait a month at least until they are back in the pool.

Would it be hard to port the blank slate tutorial from FA over? (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I mean the one below.)

Tutorial.png

It's not your golden coated tutorial with Gyle voice acting, but it was designed with the intention to give players with 0 experience, somewhere to start, which beats them trying to learn the game through skirmish.

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I've taken on a new cadet and because I'm also learning how best to teach I think I'm going to work towards creating semi-structured lessons.

I reckon that all offline RTS players tend to like base building and fortifications for example, so I'm working on ways to explain why that's actually counter productive. We'll see how it goes but I think we're making progress.

I'm going to try setting tasks to help bed in the knowledge with experience. I'm going to ask him to make as many T1 tanks as possible in 10 minutes and then use the replay to suggest ways to improve it. There's a very clear score there as well so it will be easy to see improvements over time.

Hopefully as we go on, it will be clear how to introduce new tasks and the best way to structure advice.

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Some things that I've found to be very helpful in feeling more confident in pvp and boosting my rating from <-100 to 200+ in 2 days were, in my opinion, rather fundamental in being able to have the apm to balance eco, production and attacking in FAF. They were:
-setting up the basic hot building keys for units and structures by hitting F1 in game
-turning on build templates in options (should default to "on") for both structures and units, and then taking the time to setup those basic structure templates (t1 turret surrounded by walls) and unit build queues (t1 tank/arty/scout & t1 air opening) in game for future matches
-learning to have multiple factories to assist a main one so that you can focus on eco, expanding, def/attacking.
-learning that building forward bases (ie. 3-4 factories around a mex) helps establish map control and constant unit production

These concepts should be implemented in some form of basic tutorial/initial client setup.

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The original idea of the BO tutorials was to have one for each map that will be in the pool for new players.
I made the framework and guide on how to make new ones, so almost anyone can make them now. There's very little code required to make it, its 95% copy paste of existing one and renaming groups to build.
The promlem as with everything on FAF is, there's no one who would do them.

About any other tutorials, explaining basics, and what not. I needed someone to write down structure for those so I could make them. But again no one did.
A lot if good suggestions everywhere, but almost no one does things.

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@speed2 where is the framework for this would like to talk alook

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" - Spock

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There was a clan ladder in gpgnet and at least the top 10 clans have done training seasons each weeks. The trainers were motivated as they wanted to see their clan rising and the new clan members were motivated as they wanted to support their clan.

Today we have a trainer team. So let's say each thursday e.g. from 07:00 pm to 08:00 pm they would be online in the #newbies channel and you can ask them everything. They could review replays and so on. It would be only one hour per week and if the team is large enough you don't have to do it every week.

I will try this today and be active in the #newbie channel from 7 to 8 pm gmt+1 and make some advertise before it.

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

Make a vs AI tab in Play tab (along Custom games and Matchmaking) where you will be automatched (solo) vs AI of chosen difficulty, this could use a seperate pool or just the ladder one. I know people can host their custom games etc. but this would make it very straight forward to get games on curated types of maps where you can learn the basics.

This would also be a nice way to introduce new players to some of the nice custom maps they may not have seen before, and this pool can be way less picky than any ladder pool and need changing less often

@F-Odin playing vs AI in a non-pvp setting is a large proportion of all faf games played, making it more convenient would be beneficial to those people. It's not about training the next ladder god.
And besides, playing vs ai should still be a useful learning experience if you are totally new and e.g. don't even know what tmd is or how anything works

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@boom For players that are totally new, automatching vs AI won't help as much as a tutorial which teaches from scratch. While, yes playing vs Ai is a proportion of games, which I've stated before, many of these involve an individual or a group of mates playing vs Ai because: A) they're either all not confident enough to play vs other players or B) they prefer playing a relaxed game

Now if they aren't confident in playing PvP then in my mind, it's better to focus on prompting PvP through Ladder, Tmm, training, etc. otherwise some players never make the bridge over to PvP. If they want to play a more chilled out game then they probably would pick a setup where they can decide the map, difficulty, mods etc. over being auto matched against an Ai.

My last point would be how many people would actually use it? I write this at 12:30 GMT on a Saturday and there are no unmodded custom games vs Ai hosted. A realistic rate for this maybe what, 3 games an hour?

The intentions are good, but I can't be blindly optimistic about this idea and it's because of these reasons that I don't think it's worth the time to create a new automatching system, especially when there are other large projects in the works.

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I disagree with fodin. My preferred way to learn a new rts is to jump into skirmish with an AI and try everything. I imagine it will be like this for many other people.

AI "matchmaker" could be very useful. Sc2 has this btw