Why would you have left FAF?

4

Hi, I'm very new to FAF, having only joined 2 days ago. I did however have some experience with SC1 and SC2 before

I have to say I am already considering quitting for one specific reason: Bad UI

The biggest problem I see is with the manual reclaim "feature" - it is absolutely necessary to use manual reclaim to be competitive on a decent level, especially since you get punished by the game for using the attack-move order to reclaim. There's two problems with that:

  1. Clicking on rocks and trees is not very interesting
  2. This makes the game require much more APM for no good reason. Instead of managing your armies you have to focus on battling the outdated UI.

I've seen the forums and I know it's been argued over to death but I'm fairly certain small things like this scare away new players regularly

2

@optymistyk Try hard manual reclaim is only a necessity at the highest levels of play. Anyone telling you that you have to click on all the rocks and trees is making things up. Sure there are a few maps where that's not true, but those are the exception and not the norm. Even then with those maps as long as you're reclaiming some you can get to a decently high level.

I dislike it how some people - not you, the people who made you feel like you have to do this - make it a black and white thing, because then new players like yourself are worried and feel like you have to click on all the rocks and trees.

I mean yeah if you want to start playing in high level tournaments then you gotta click rocks if the map calls for it, but outside of that? If you don't want to, it's not going to limit you that much.

2

@exselsior Yeah I do realise it's not actually that big a deal, still it leads to a tangible disadvantage and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. In my opinion it's as if every chess match began with a juggling competition, and the better juggler gets a bonus pawn at the start. It might not be that much at low-to-medium level chess, but I sure as hell am not into juggling. I'd rather be playing some other game where there is no juggling involved

But hey, that's just my opinion!

1

@Optymistyk You're not wrong I suppose. I still think you have to be quite high rated for this to really be the reason you lose though. It's one of many areas you can improve on, but you can completely and utterly ignore this if you wish and still get well over 1k global and ladder by focusing on getting better at other areas of the game and only using attack move or patrol for reclaim.

3

If you read my guide, you will see how low manual reclaim is prioritized (https://forum.faforever.com/topic/1222/how-to-improve-forever-6-laws?_=1625729785733). The difference between manual reclaim and attack move is probably in favor of the attack-moving player at levels below ~2000, due the manual reclaiming guy fucking up more important things. Then, after 2000ish, the difference will probably be like 30 points or something. Its always a tradeoff thats only worth it in specific scenarios, and its usually max 1 min spent in game, and requires no skill - only apm to spare which comes naturally at later stages. Just no need to worry about it.

1

@exselsior Yeah you know what, I slept on it and I decided I can live with this for now. Still, it's just a small thing that really annoys me. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that I get regularly matched with 1000-1500 elo players and I suspect that not only do they have the experience and the APM advantage, but they might also have a starting advantage due to using manual reclaim. I might want to watch some replays to confirm this, tho.

But besides the reclaim problem there's a bunch of other annoying problems with the UI. For example I find using split-attack very annoying and needlessly APM-consuming as well, but if I just use normal attack then my bombers will overkill the shit out of one unlucky Striker. Using attack-move doesn't solve the problem either because then some of my bombers might target a nearby land factory or some MEX they see on their way instead of carpet bombing the enemy units.

There's a lot of small UI and control issues I can come up with that needlessly consume APM and I don't think most of them will ever be tackled. People here seem not to like SC2 very much, but one thing I really liked about that game is that it trimmed a lot of fat, provided an intuitive UI and removed a lot of the redundant APM-sinks.

0

You will discover more small things, as you get better. For example, if you have better micro on your t1 bombers, you can get more damage from them. (And I don't just mean split attack, I mean getting them to slow down so you can get faster attacks on enemy engineers, and try to avoid making big looping passes every time they drop a bomb). There are many, many ways you can micro units to try to get an advantage. Manual reclaim is just one of a thousand things competing for your attention. You can try to hide tanks behind factories to soak damage for them, get LABs into range of engineers to shoot them but move out of range of being reclaimed, try to dodge tank shots while your LAB is killing the tank, if you're trying to shoot down a transport, you might want your interceptors to not "overshoot" it (fly past it), etc. etc.

Also, you should only get matched to people with much higher rating during approximately your first 5-10 ladder matches. Once the system has confidence in your ladder rating, it will try to pair you up only with people near your rating. So you shouldn't run into 800s any more on the ladder unless of course you get your rating up by winning a lot.

Where manual reclaim has the most impact is (1) as part of a starting build, which is also when you have a lot more spare APM because you only have like 1 factory and 3 units to micro, and (2) when there is a single big piece of reclaim, like a strat bomber dies and leaves 1300 mass on the ground and you don't want your engineers getting distracted by small stuff around it. You can practice build orders (which is something that everyone who wants to play competitively needs to do) and the other situation doesn't happen enough to be a problem.

You can also learn how to use "factory attack-move." An engineer on FAM will scoop more quickly than an engineer on regular attack-move or on a regular patrol order. It moves around less, scoops at further distance, so it has less time wasted between scoops. It's kind of a silly thing, but good players will use it to reclaim things more efficiently and it doesn't cost much APM.

0

I got to 600 rating never building enough tanks purely on Aeon micro. Things balance out.

0

I think I just got bored of lobby sim + sim speed + Cancerous in game player like Foley or feather that ctrlk there base for a any reasons.
Now when I have 2 hours to play, I play 2 hours. Not 25 min

0

@optymistyk I actually know the command for this! Queue up the order in which you want units attaacked and then while holding shift press G, this changes the targeting to only deal enough damage to kill the first target and the next few bomber, tanks etc, will target the next target and so on

It dramatically improved my play

0

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

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

@hurtmuch If people were trying to learn how to play this niche game then wouldn't people help each other more? But no its completely the opposite, a gatekeeping community. Plus everything is hard to learn and there's a very low amount of guides (it gets better but still).

It seems like we have more trainers than students. Or at least, we have more training capacity than there is demand for training (because obviously a trainer can teach more than 1 person at a time).

If you're willing to accept training from people under 1500 rating, there's essentially an unlimited amount of 1-on-1 training available to basically everyone. I know I have no backlog in terms of replays people have asked me to review. Literally you can ask me to review a replay and I can go into voice with you and talk about what I'm seeing, or I can just watch it, take notes, and send you 5-10 sentences of my analysis of what you could do better. It takes people like 3 minutes to submit a request AND read my feedback once I send it, and I do that for free, and I only get about 0-1 people per month asking me to review a few of their replays.

I don't think we're even talking about higher-rated people (like 1200+ at ladder or 1400+ at global) but my impression is that those people can always find some instruction from higher-rated players whenever they want it. (And of course people at any rating can pay Jagged for lessons)

A lot of what people perceive as "gatekeeping" is unwanted advice, which is basically unwanted training.

Training really does work as a good way to grow in skill. But the community over-estimates how much people actually want to participate in training.

This is a good point. I've submitted one replay or two and gotten advice from it. The issue is that it's an active way of learning. Most players want to play the game passively and improve at least on the basics. But basics aren't taught in game, only out of the game and you have to spent effort to do it so. I had to got out of my way to find those guides.

The gatekeeping is due to in game players flaming you, calling beginners noobs, which yes, they are beginners... The game is just not beginner friendly and many others have pointed it out so in so many ways.

In other strategy games the campaign serves as a good cushion for getting your basics off. We all know the campaign is cool but doesn't look like a standard game at all which is fine.
The idea of individual challenge maps centered around a theme sounds like a brilliant idea and should severs to fill that niche and custom campaigns have already being done plenty, so it's entirely feasible.
Tutorials are different because they're watch and copy, and there's so few of them, it doesn't make you interact with the game in a simulated manner (and it's mostly about build orders). As some have pointed out, besides the early game, there's a lack of tutorials for the mid game and late game. The transitions between phases are also important too, and some team game tutorials would be great (2v2, 4v4...).

New players are mostly solo players that want to enjoy the game passively, challenges would be a good way to play the game while improving while having fun.

I realize that after such a long time, finally the written guides are given mention on the front page. Still putting them in the tutorials tab would also make it easier to access them.

1

Tbh in any RTS game I've played, I can breeze through the campaign on hardest difficulty, then try a multiplayer match and get absolutely crushed (and I also expect to be). I don't think FAF is anything different in this regards - there's an established meta (since it's not a brand new game) and that meta is different to how you can win in the campaign.

Challenge maps/improved tutorials would still help, but it requires someone to do it (although improving the tutorials section of the client to include links to the various guides I'd like to think would be an 'easy win').

1

@mylaur

The idea of challenges has been mentioned quite a few times in this topic. If you're able to program or not - be the first to make one. You can ask for help in the Discord.

0

Challenges would be an awsome idea if someone with the skill set was willing to put the time in, it could start off with some simple things like the fastest time to build 100 tanks or fastest time to claim every mex on a 40k map to funny things like who can best place a nuke on a moving target/acu from 20km away and to hard stuff like taking down a large heavily fortified base.

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@maudlin27 I don't know, playing through the campaign in Wings of Liberty Starcraft 2 got me gold I in Starcraft 2 which isn't bad by any means (not bronze level). I just had some working macro and a basic build order strategy, which is already more than what I'm doing in FAF.

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I would say its the community itself that is somewhat unfriendly to new players, that would cause them to leave.

0

When does one stop being new and start being "older"?

I have left for a year. Just completely had it with the simspeed lag, quitters, disconnects and FAF's appeasement to laggers.

Also, when starting out this game is really a pain. You get kicked for too low rating, too few games, 'being gray', 'you are smurf' etc. etc. The few games that remain tend to be modded and full of noobs... playing a modded game while not even understanding the base game. And the horrible lag. I can't remember any other multiplayer game that tolerates this amount of lag.

I've had friends that used to be 1100 rated that now dropped below 1k. Every game we play they complain they can't get in 'any nice game' because '1k+' is also a thing.

Oh, and the lobby SIM. It takes forever to fill up a lobby. This results in self-reinforcing circle with a few maps being played more and more because everything else 'will take too long'. The same problem exists with older shooter games too btw.

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

it's called "All Welcome (Noobs and Grays too)!...

Yeah, and laggers too probably?

2

Other than that FAF is very difficult to learn and tutoring will definitely help.

I would say that new players run into the below issues.

1- Specific map dominant strategies/dominant groups of players.
regular players in FAF usually stick to specific maps and continue to play them over and over again versus the same players which means that this group of players will be aware of tactics that help dominate the game and crush the opponent instantly. But this is not the issue.
The issue lies in the fact that these players will be extremely underrated in these maps. a player who plays Gap of Rohan over and over again and is rated 800 would definitely crush an unfamiliar with the map player who is 1100. Imagine what is the situation for a new player, he/she would continue to get crushed by players equal to them or lower which will drain their energy and drive them away.

2-Broken rating system:
I don't think that FAF rating system reflects players' true level. I remember some players who were 1600 and then the next week suddenly they are 1100. which means the game gets balanced accordingly and they usually crush their opponent quickly.

3- FAF balancing units towards favoring pros' play style.
AIR is OP, rushing com upgrades is OP. early raids is OP.
I used to play supcom the original version and after moving to faf, I noticed that the way things are balanced is forcing you to play with a certain style.

4- Smurfing Culture. XD
I play FAF like four times a month and I don't know any group to play with and I must say that when you log in to random games you keep getting baited into games with smurfs. although this is not a big issue.

5- Lack of low-ranking players to play with. if you are below 1000, good luck finding a game. with people who are similar to your level.

all of the above leads to frustrating the new players and driving them away and I personally would have left FAF if not for some pros who helped me.

I think solving these issues would be quite the challenge. so good luck.

Also, I would like to share some suggestions that might help per issue. please take them with a grain of salt as I have a limited point of view since I don't play that often.

1 & 2-tweak the rating system.
3- make rushing things harder.
4- the gray ranking system is enough for this issue to be solved.
5- engaging new players and telling them how to find similar ranking opponents & teammates.

1

@KhaldounN
it's weird that you get that impression that the majority is over 1000 ...well weird but understandable.

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/36

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/27

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/21

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/16

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/8

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/7

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/705/faf-statistics-megathread/6

as you can see the majority of players are in the < 1000 range

I would advise perseverance, though, as more often then not it just seems like you can't get a game but shoving the door open without asking reveals that you totally can. And dont let a certain map's preference influence what you want to play.

we've also found that persisting in hosting new maps, (even randomly generated ones that have literally never been played before) yields results. It's only by multiplying this behavior of being willing to host and join "less frequent" maps among lower-rated players that lower rated players will be able to free themselves from the shackles of those over-prominent maps.

I do agree with what you've said in the big lines.

1

The vast majority (80%) of everything wrong with FAF as a social multiplayer experience is bad map culture and lobby sim. The other 19% has to do with teammates who don't communicate, speak in another language, or are toxic. The final 1% is disconnects, lag, and performance issues in the late game but there's not much you can do about that.

I find myself enjoying ladder far more than team games recently, but the latter is often dead...