Why would you have left FAF?

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

Karma system hardly impacts new player experience. For one, new players are hardly going to be doing anything with it unless you obnoxiously put it in their face at the end of a game. Then, most aren't going to know how to check for it in the first place since the way you're describing it sounds like I need to go through every dude's user info tab in order to get any information about it. Then, it's going to take several shit games in order for the system to have any impact at which point the low karma is only really going to influence experienced players that already know what it means.

Well, if you are talking about the possibility to have no "real" rewards/punishments and just a score in the users profile, then yes, the karma score itself wouldn't effect the new player experience all that much directly, but the behavior that it influences might.

We don't want to just ban people after all. Preferably, we can nudge people into behaving better and the "numbers going up" incentive a karma score provides might do that.

Of course, this behavior change could only start to work after getting rated yourself enough, which means after at least a couple dozen games. That too is not a problem though as we don't need to adjust the behavior of new players directly.
Due to the FAF community being relatively small, new players come into contact with experienced players very quickly, and it's their behavior we want to change first and foremost.

I personally could name a couple of <600 ranked players with hundreds or thousands of games that regularly exhibit unwelcoming/bad behavior. It's these people that new players meet first and therefore these people's behavior we want to change.

New players don't even need to be the ones rating them, other experienced players can do that too.
 

This is besides the point that such systems are going to be easily exploitable by dudes marking people just because of their nationality, inability to speak English, inability to speak Russian, "host stacked game", and any other bogus reason. All the garbage reports the mod team used to get when reporting was more automated would now just be translated into karma downgrades by people that don't understand how the game works ie cloak Cybran laser ACU is an exploit to make an ML invisible.

It is true that most (all?) automated systems are exploitable to some degree, so a karma system would be no exception. A full discussion of countermeasures is outside of the scope of this thread, but here are some quick ideas:

Scale the karma rating given by how much a player uses the system. Somebody that downvotes everyone he sees, should have a much less of impact on the karma of others, than someone that only votes once every dozen games.

Include only automated rewards for good karma (like an emoji or some other swag) and no punishments for a bad score. Then it doesn't negatively impact anyone if the system gets abused.

Maybe even make the karma score positive only, like the upvotes in this forum, so that you can still reward good behavior, without many of the pitfalls of a full karma system.

There are many ways to implement such a system, I'm just spitballing here, but I'm not the first one with the idea for a karma system. Solutions, or at least workarounds, for exploitability do exist out there.
 

Not to mention this system is going to create absurd alienation in a community with already far too much alienation within its various subcommunities. Why would I as a dual gap player ever want to go into some wonder game? When I go, I will play terribly and likely lose the game. Now my allies are going to take it out on me by lowering my karma rating to turn me into a black sheep and potentially ruin my chance of playing other games. So instead, I will stay in the area of FAF I know well.

This scenario is exactly the type of toxicity players experience regularly, the only thing different is your fear that a karma system would be yet another way such bad behavior could manifest, maybe even be legitimized due to its officiality.

Besides some of the ideas I gave above to counter abuse of the karma system, my hope would be that the opposite happens:

Lets say you move from gaps to setons and immediately get flamed by three guys for "playing like shit". There is also one guy that defends you and tries to give you constructive feedback, but three to one is not a good ratio, so you go back to gaps and never try anything new ever again.

Now with the karma system, instead of just getting flamed by three guys for stepping outside your comfort zone, the one guy that defends you, now has a "trusted community member" (or something) symbol next to his name. So now you know that you should take his opinion more seriously than the opinion of the guys flaming you and wont get as discouraged as you otherwise would, hopefully resulting in you leaving your comfort zone again.

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Frankly I disagree with the notion this is going to create any sort of cultural impact. At higher levels, there is no room to curate players based on behavior. You basically play with the dudes you get and barring absurd toxicity that gets you banned, that's what it comes down to. Then the people slightly below the top level that regularly watch streams are going to see the high level players disregard the karma system or consider it a joke and mimic the exact same behavior.

Continue on down the daisy chain and there's no real reason for some culture to manifest where anyone cares about the impact of it. I sure wouldn't look at it. If I want to curate a player, I look at their replay vault for what kind of games they play. As far as I know, this is how everyone else does it other than some teamgame dudes which keep their Bad Attitude (tm) list while ironically being people that get called out for their own Bad Attitudes. The major users of such a system are probably going to be these half a dozen guys that keep their death excel sheets for their 6v6 games because someone said they played like garbage and then a passive aggressive war ensued.

If there's no negative "warning this guy is mad toxic don't join this game" then what's the point of the system for new players. They join this 600 with 10,000 games that's toxic, are unaware that karma is a thing, and go play the game. Then a dozen games down the line when they complain about the toxicity of FAF they are told that this karma system is a thing and then get upset it doesn't do anything so what's the point in caring about it?

As far as I know karma systems in other games are deeply integrated into the matchmaking service of games. You get terrible karma, you get put in lobbies with others with terrible karma. Problem is FAF is self selecting so it's entirely up to the community to proactively create a culture around caring about karma rating, and we aren't big enough at higher levels of play to ever care about it. Best case scenario you have some "elo hell" where karma matters at <1000 or whatever rating and then suddenly no one ever gives a single care in the world about it.

Another thing I just recalled, I really enjoy seeing Gyle casts where a guy quits because the game is over and then I go into the comment section and see a bunch of dudes mad because a guy didn't play a game to conclusion and consider it "poor sportsmanship in FAF." If we allow "experienced players" to go and rate players, I'm assuming it's possible to adjust karma without being in a game. In which case, I eagerly await the Gyle Audience Good Behavior (tm) witchhunts.

All in all, if the entrenched FAF playerbase is so toxic it drives away players, I fail to see how creating a system which in turn allows this toxic playerbase to go and rate players is the solution.

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

Frankly I disagree with the notion this is going to create any sort of cultural impact. At higher levels, there is no room to curate players based on behavior. You basically play with the dudes you get and barring absurd toxicity that gets you banned, that's what it comes down to. Then the people slightly below the top level that regularly watch streams are going to see the high level players disregard the karma system or consider it a joke and mimic the exact same behavior.

Some people will always ape what the pros are doing, for sure, but I don't think that can be generalized.
Especially for the FAF playerbase, where a lot of people are fully grown adults with fully developed personalities, it seems unlikely to me that people would change their entire behavior just because "a pro did it" during a stream

I sure wouldn't look at it. If I want to curate a player, I look at their replay vault for what kind of games they play.

That is what I would have expected. A karma system just doesn't make sense at your level.

If there's no negative "warning this guy is mad toxic don't join this game" then what's the point of the system for new players.

I tried to explain that in my reply above.
The small stuff does matter, both the negative, as well as the positive. Culture change can be influenced by methods less extreme than the banhammer, and a karma system is such a proposed method.

Problem is FAF is self selecting so it's entirely up to the community to proactively create a culture around caring about karma rating, and we aren't big enough at higher levels of play to ever care about it.

Again, I'm not sure why all culture change has to come from the top. The Pros are essentially ambassadors for FAF, so they certainly have more of an impact on the culture than the average player, but even non pros are part of and can influence the culture.
And yes, it is up to the community to create a culture that cares about being more welcoming. In fact, that is what I am trying to do right now 😛

Best case scenario you have some "elo hell" where karma matters at <1000 or whatever rating and then suddenly no one ever gives a single care in the world about it.

That would be great! If karma mattered below 1k, and the system actually works as intended, that would be a huge success. Once somebody has a rank of 1k or above, he is already invested enough, that a couple bad experiences wont immediately turn him off the game altogether.

Another thing I just recalled, I really enjoy seeing Gyle casts where a guy quits because the game is over and then I go into the comment section and see a bunch of dudes mad because a guy didn't play a game to conclusion and consider it "poor sportsmanship in FAF." If we allow "experienced players" to go and rate players, I'm assuming it's possible to adjust karma without being in a game. In which case, I eagerly await the Gyle Audience Good Behavior (tm) witchhunts.

II would only allow the rating of a player after a game you yourself just took part in, just like it is implemented in most other games.

All in all, if the entrenched FAF playerbase is so toxic it drives away players, I fail to see how creating a system which in turn allows this toxic playerbase to go and rate players is the solution.

I don't think the entire FAF playerbase is toxic. It seems to me, we mostly have problems at the lower levels, and there it's only a problem because that's where people quit before becoming invested.
But even at those lower levels, it's mostly a couple of bad apples that cause the majority of problems. In extreme cases, a single player can ruin the game for 11 others, but most of those 11 are polite, or at least neutral, people.

If the entire playerbase were so toxic that a karma system could effectively be "inverted" i.e. the toxic players rank themselves positively and downrank everyone else, it would of course stand no chance.
If that were the case though, I would have left a long time ago.

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New players will feel personally attacked when their karma goes down. If I got some negative karma points for some reason I didn't really understand, I wouldn't know what it meant, how to avoid it, or whether it was fair, whether I should feel personally attacked, or how hard it would be to get rid of. It would have been a very unpleasant experience for a new player. Since this is a thread about making new players feel welcome in our community we should always keep their experience in mind.

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When did it start getting toxic? Back in the GPG days and early FAF there wasn't any toxic behaviour to speak of.

Is it just the wider "gamer culture" seeping into FAF or is it something else? As mentioned above the player base for FAF has got to be a lot older than most online games, so what the hell are a bunch of 40-year-olds doing acting like Rocket League players?

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Did it start getting toxic? I have literally never been part of a less toxic gaming community. I'm probably in the 90th percentile for toxicity on FAF.

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@FtXCommando it is less toxic than any other gaming community today.

It is substantially more toxic than it was in 2012. What changed?

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2012 players are built different

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@Wainan is it actually substantially more toxic now or are we just being nostalgic for the past? If it's more toxic I'd say it's because we're bigger now if I'm not mistaken, but even then I'd hardly consider the community as a whole toxic especially relative to other gaming communities. Sure there are outliers and people who are toxic or rage easily, but imo it's the exception and not the norm.

The most toxic thing I see in FAF usually is people spouting their ignorant political bullshit which I can see having gotten significantly worse since 2012 but that's also par the course for any online community.

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@Exselsior I don't recall people getting angry about losing in the same way they do today.

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Then what's different? Maybe you are just older and not able to take as much after coming back home after work? So you tend to take words harder than you used to?

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@RandomWheelchair You've made an awful lot of assumptions to back up what you want to believe.

There's absolutely no reason for players of this game to be obnoxious to each other, and back in the more innocent days before social media weaponised trolling and used it to effect worldwide political upheaval, FA players were nice to each other, and were interested in helping each other get better, and did want to share the experience of this most marvellous of games together.

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Don't get what you mean. When I played gap in 2014 I probably had every 2nd game end in salt and every 5th one end in stuff closer to death threats. Granted it takes two to tumble and it wasn't like I was fully innocent of causing the atmosphere back then.

People forget how pervasive smurf accusations were prior to steamlink. There was a time where like 5 of the top 25 on the leaderboard were just various smurfs of other people. No action was taken against them anyway since you would only get banned for it when you intentionally played like shit AND the account was linked back to you.

In fact one of the largest things about "why do new people leave FAF" back during those days were those precise smurf accusations by people that were stuck at a plateau at 600 and couldn't fathom someone watching a few sup com vids and being able to outperform them.

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What indication do you have that RandomWheelchair is wrong and your memory is right? There is strong scientific evidence that our memory of things is more positive than it actually was.

And yes, there are reasons. People can shield themselves from the realisation that they made a mistake and the following feeling of inadeqacy by focusing all their attention on their teammates' mistakes and raging at them to vent their emotions.

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@ftxcommando

And the reason I didn't come back for so long was because I didn't want to get banned for making a second account!

@blackyps RandomWheelchair is in no position to say what I do when I come home from work or what state of mind I might be in.

I have a very good memory for people being obnoxious.

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@ftxcommando

I left to play Planetary Annihilation, around the time engie mod was introduced. That predates the examples you're giving

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So you've debunked me because my thread is from 2015 and not 2013? The user growth was marginal between 2013 and 2015; it went from like 5k monthly users to 7.5k monthly users.

People were toxic in the past my man, your nirvana FAF never existed except maybe back in 2012 when FAF was a dozen dudes with a specific closed beta invite from ZeP.

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You remember obnoxious people for a decade? I would be glad if I forgot them quick. Anyway this discussion is leading nowhere.

You: The communitiy was less toxic earlier.
Someone else: No
You: Yes

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