Why would you have left FAF?

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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.

4

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

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That's where I was coming for, SC2 has it and when I started playing it last year it was very useful

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

@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

So since we all agree, time to head on over here and help me out! 😉 :
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/309/ai-megathread

For reference I posted about this idea here : https://forum.faforever.com/topic/1100/why-would-you-have-left-faf/173

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All this talk about how AI trains you wrong... can't you prioritize making a (bad) AI that nonetheless plays the right way?

I think that merely setting the AI to execute a standard build order that cover the first 5 minutes would improve it a lot right? - Even if it then continues stupid behavior, it is mitigated. The AI will probably handle whatever "standard" units it produces better than a totally new player.

6

Hello everyone,

I first joined FAF like many people at the beginning of the first lockdown in March, but really started playing just a couple of months ago so my new player experience is still relatively fresh.
That being said, I am at a 1.3k global ranking now and do intend to stick around for a while, so I guess this is the opinion of someone who got over the "new player hump".

First and foremost, I agree with many of the posts here: The game is indeed very hard, unintuitive and complex. More casual game modes that can bridge the gap between the (coop) campaign and multiplayer would also be greatly appreciated to onboard new players.

But really, what got me closest to quitting was the toxic community at ranks below ~800. At those ranks, every game is a complete clusterfuck, and sometimes (often) one side just straight up gets destroyed by the other, even if both sides were of the same skill level. Imo there is nothing much that can be done about that. The game's economy of unrestricted exponential growth means that even a 20% difference in skill, can result in you having 10 times the number of units than your opponent just a couple minutes later. So new players will regularly get destroyed at lower ranks and there is nothing we can do about it.

But what we can change is how they FEEL about getting destroyed! Every such game that ended with people starting to flame and then ctrl+k-ing their entire base left a sour taste in my mouth while games where I got equally murdered that ended with friendly advice on what I could have done better, made me want to play again right away!

It's not even about people like me I am concerned about. I have thousands of hours of competitive multiplayer games under my belt by now, so I am (sadly) very used to online toxicity by now. But, the toxicity at lower ranks does prevent me personally from introducing some of my more casual, less abuse proof friends to the multiplayer side of FAF. Because who wants to introduce their friend to the multiplayer experience of a game they adore, just for them to be called slurs for minutes on end?

Playing 2v2 with them is only a partial solution as the scale that many casual players love is found much easier in 4v4 or larger multiplayer matches. There are many other good things to be said about larger team games too:
On many noob-friendly maps, the initial minutes are conflict free, which just feels much more relaxed than the "action from second 1" that smaller maps have.
Larger team games usually have dedicated roles for each spot. While suboptimal for learning FAF the most "efficient" way, one single role like "you are the air player, just have more planes than your opponent" is conceptually much easier to understand than the myriad of stuff you have to do in 1v1 and 2v2 games.
Larger team sizes also make it easier to write off losses as not entirely your fault. It's not that I'm preaching unaccountability here, but loosing 5 times in a row, and knowing for certain it's your fault, can be a much harsher experience than just knowing you could have done a bit more.

None of this is new information of course. I mean, there is a reason that lower ranked players get drawn to 6v6 dualgap and not 2v2 Fields of Isis.

So the most natural place to onboard new players is in large team games - at least half of which end in flaming at lower ranks...

My suggestions therefore would be a Karma system of sorts, fully built into the client.
Make flaming, griefing, ctrl+k-ing your base reportable and start restricting people's functionality once peoples karma score drops too low.
Maybe start by restricting all-chat during games, so they at least can't flame the other side for "being smurfs" or whatever, maybe even disable team-chat too if they drop too low. Put a skull picture next to their name in the lobby so people know right away not to take them seriously, ban them for a day or a week, stuff like that.

You could reward positive behavior too, although I don't know what those rewards could be yet.

tl;dr: Have been playing FAF for about 5 months, the toxic community at lower ranks is imo the biggest hindrance to introducing new players to the multiplayer. My solution would be a Karma system to punish bad behavior.

1

Serious question, is there any support among the Council of Seton's for making toxic behaviour immediately punishable?

In the early days of Supcom (GPG, early FAF), there was next to no obnoxious behaviour. There's still a lot less than in other online games, but I feel that if management took a strong stand against it then the culture could be changed.

As I've said above, we all underestimate how hard the game is and how skilled we are. Do we really want people who have so little self awareness that they abuse anybody who doesn't know the game as well as them?

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Community -thats your answer. When you cant find a game coz "no grey +100500 games +800r" for 2-3 hours - its not so inspiring. And this without standart flaming whine like "you played only 10 games, but cant hold frontline vs +100games player". I think i shall play day - maybe two and uninstall too. Just not worth it.

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

Serious question, is there any support among the Council of Seton's for making toxic behaviour immediately punishable?

In the early days of Supcom (GPG, early FAF), there was next to no obnoxious behaviour. There's still a lot less than in other online games, but I feel that if management took a strong stand against it then the culture could be changed.

As I've said above, we all underestimate how hard the game is and how skilled we are. Do we really want people who have so little self awareness that they abuse anybody who doesn't know the game as well as them?

Maybe use the report function? Nobody is gonna make safe spaces just for you if you ain't gonna even report the offenders.

4

If more people hosted "nice players only" lobbies that would suggest there is more demand for good behavior. I think there is a lot of willingness to tolerate toxicity and trying to force everyone to be nice would also have serious downsides.

For example, "Gentleman Seton's" has specific rules about being polite, not ctrl-k your base, that sort of thing. The vast majority of Seton's games are not "Gentleman" games.

If someone hosts a "Be Polite 500+" lobby, I'm guessing there would be 90% less toxicity in that game.

I always advocate people to host the games that they want to play. It doesn't matter if you have 2 games or 2000.

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

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

Serious question, is there any support among the Council of Seton's for making toxic behaviour immediately punishable?

In the early days of Supcom (GPG, early FAF), there was next to no obnoxious behaviour. There's still a lot less than in other online games, but I feel that if management took a strong stand against it then the culture could be changed.

As I've said above, we all underestimate how hard the game is and how skilled we are. Do we really want people who have so little self awareness that they abuse anybody who doesn't know the game as well as them?

Maybe use the report function? Nobody is gonna make safe spaces just for you if you ain't gonna even report the offenders.

I'll happily do that if it's wanted.

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Well do you want it? Being toxic is already forbidden behaviour, but you need to actually report the people or nothing will happen.

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

Well do you want it? Being toxic is already forbidden behaviour, but you need to actually report the people or nothing will happen.

Cool, I wasn't sure how seriously it was taken. I will report it from now on.

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@arma473 said in Why would you have left FAF?:

If more people hosted "nice players only" lobbies that would suggest there is more demand for good behavior. I think there is a lot of willingness to tolerate toxicity and trying to force everyone to be nice would also have serious downsides.

For example, "Gentleman Seton's" has specific rules about being polite, not ctrl-k your base, that sort of thing. The vast majority of Seton's games are not "Gentleman" games.

If someone hosts a "Be Polite 500+" lobby, I'm guessing there would be 90% less toxicity in that game.

I always advocate people to host the games that they want to play. It doesn't matter if you have 2 games or 2000.

Your suggestion is indeed a workaround if you are already invested in the game and just fed up with the toxicity. I see a couple problems with relying on this approach though:

New players don't know the game, the maps or the implicit rules about hosting (initially, most of them don't even know what "being grey" means), so new players don't host games. I'm fairly certain this is true in basically all server lobby based games, so the experience new players will have is the one we give them, for better or worse.

Even if new players were to host games though, it would put the responsibility and work of curating a good game experience on them, which is not what we want. If we want to retain as many new people as possible, they should be able to just play the game and have fun, without worrying about all that stuff.
Therefore, I would strongly argue that curating an enjoyable new player experience is on us, the invested people, and not the new players themselves.

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

Well do you want it? Being toxic is already forbidden behaviour, but you need to actually report the people or nothing will happen.

I think nice people will generally feel it is inappropriate to report people for "not being nice".

If this actually needs to be reported then say so:

  • Put a thin banner above the custom games list stating for example:
  • "Please report players for verbal harassment and toxic behavior to help us keep the community a friendly place for everyone."
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@CheeseBerry said in Why would you have left FAF?:

Make flaming, griefing, ctrl+k-ing your base reportable

that is already the case.

there's even an in-game prompt asking you whether you want report a user if the game thinks he attempted to grief you.

(dunno if that's still in)

@arma473 said in Why would you have left FAF?:

"Be Polite 500+" lobby

this is actually a practice I've witnessed. probably could bear to be a little more frequent.

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I left FAF a long time ago, and when I came back, I saw the game with many changes (exp aeon plane with shield, wtf?). I feel noob and I see too good players.

I played SC/SCFA during long time and if I see the game hard, a noob.... it can see it too hard. Anyeay, I think players left is normal, too many games and the time is limited.

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

Serious question, is there any support among the Council of Seton's for making toxic behaviour immediately punishable?

No other councilor bothered to reply to this so I will,
(Keep in mind we're not a unified entity)

As people have stated, the report functions are already in place.

The only reason you might feel that this is not the case is the same reason that:

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

My suggestions therefore would be a Karma system of sorts, fully built into the client.

Isn't viable.
The manpower of FAF will always be a major weakness,
Dealing with watching players 50 minute long gap games to find the moment where a player reclaimed your pgen is already a timesink, so trying to arbitrate a karma system to make sure people are not abusing it, is an unfeasble use of resources.

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

Put a thin banner above the custom games list stating for example:

A UI element such as this will only provoke a negative reaction and rightfully so, it makes FAF appear like it cannot handle it's community properly. You may not believe we do, but admitting to it is opening another can of worms. It's both overly draconian and overly weak. Also - If people are going to modify elements in said client UI, I rather they be doing something about fixing this garbage fire, than further complicating it.

The best thing to do is properly embed the report form link into the client UI instead of the bandaid methods we're using now (on the chat topic bar, and with a bot) so you can find it easier.

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If the current system of reporting worked, there wouldn't be toxic behavior nearly every game.