Why would you have left FAF?

1

Close the thread, we are not getting any valuable info anymore, we are just deep diving into another layer of stupidity.

Analyze, Adapt, Overcome...

1

@FlyBoyBoom I've never seen that, what have you experienced?

0

@kokoryba The campaign introduces you to races and units already so the point is kinda moot... though the idea of introducing new multiplayer elements to take into account is great.

0

@Yoseikanx About resources, there was a thread about keyser's UI mod soup and by installing FAF on a new computer I needed to hunt down this thread to make sure I didn't miss anything.

And I only knew that because I was there before, but it's not apparent anywhere, even though it's an excellent thread that deserves more visibility.

0

Had written a long reply but as a new player i cant post for some reason; testing to see if fixed yet

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v12-devlog

1

Summary of points I'd written before since I don't want to retype:
I joined a few months ago, some of the things that almost made me quit and things that could be done to improve things:
-Toxic players - not much you can do, every multiplayer game has them
-Specific map expectations - having a high level summary/guide of expectations for some of the most popular maps and expectations of what you do if you start somewhere could help
-1v1 - initial matchups were horrible, start new players out against low rank players instead of high rank players
-Being kicked for being grey - Rank/game quality should be based on the displayed rank, not the 'trueskill' value. E.g. a rank 0 with 4 games in multiplayer is seen as similar quality to a rank 1000 with 200 games. Maybe if it was based on the displayed rank (e.g. rank 0 is treated as rank 0 not 1000 or so) then people would be less likely to kick newer players

M27AI developer; Devlog and more general AI development guide:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2373/ai-development-guide-and-m27ai-v12-devlog

1

Toxicity has driven me away from the game a few times (but there's nothing better out there so i keep coming back...so far).
I'd love an inbuilt system that goes a step further than the add foe system. If you could rate other players negatively for lagging, quitting, abuse etc and then (and this is the key part) all other players could see everyones feedback while in the lobby then negative players would find it hard to get games. If you were hosting and saw a player with a few warning icons beside their name representing a large number (not just a few) of negative reports then you'd be confident everyone would have a better game if that player was kicked. The incentive would then exist for people to clean up their acts or leave faf.

Kill the acu, nothing else matters

2

I would be very happy to see anybody who is rude get an automatic month ban.

1

As a newcomer to Supcom I have a couple things that probably repeats but repeats over a thread could shed some light on problem areas. I came upon FAF from casts, Gyle, Brink, and Jagged. As a fan of the ol rts games, Stronghold, AoE, Starcraft and Netstorm I could honesty not believe I never heard of Supcom. Other than castle building which is a personal fave of mine it has so much more variation of play than the others. A legit navy... are you kidding me summit battleships good god. Part of it for me is just not enough vs AI stuff. The AI is way better than most of or all the games I listed but FA is pretty complex. All those games have campaigns that really put you through the motions which I think FAF can benefit from. Have a bootcamp campaign in FAF client made by some folks that know what they are doing. Have scenarios where you are getting tag teamed by two armies, not a full game but just a quick skirmish of a few dozen units from two plus locations to tax your multitasking. Timed eco maps, timed eco maps while defending against AI tech transition timings basically rts puzzle maps. I guess one of the more daunting things with FAF is being plunked down at 0 and trying to decide what to do. Starcraft you have only a couple starting units, zerg alright im making some lings right away. Stronghold alright some archers and spearmen. Supcom, alright I have my com, pd, a half dozen land, sea and air units depending on what tier your at. FPS games are a bit different than rts games where you can play one and pretty much have the basic skills to play most fps games. RTS games vary quite a bit from one to the other and is way more complex for actually brand new folks vs fps as a noob where the logic is aim crosshairs and shoot gun at enemy. Also reclaim is sucha weird mechanic, its cool, no it shouldnt be removed but maybe it has a bit too much impact for people just starting out that already have a hard time multitasking.

3

I'm still really interested in hearing from more newer players about their own experiences with FAF and why they think people might leave our community. We did some data analysis last year that showed that we have a steady stream of new players but that 90% leave over 2 years. Thanks everyone who has given feedback so far - I guess I will give it another week before I really look into the replies and look for common themes.

Edit: FAF is actually growing overall. I don't mean to give the impression that we are declining in numbers overall. Eg:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/287/is-faf-growing

I just mean that we are losing lots of our new players, and I want to keep a much higher % of them.

2

Seen it mentioned above but being kicked because my rank "doesn't look right" has been my issue returning to FAF. I last played in this community about eight years ago on one of the earlier/est versions of the platform. I'd only played LAN with friends up to this point, got my ass handed to me, because I can't click at at thousands miles an hour, so I played a few Phantom matches.

My rank, such as it was, has carried over from then. I'm hovering in the grey at about 800-900 while I learn to play this game properly, but I am constantly kicked after sitting in a lobby for ten minutes, because (I guess) of how those Phantom matches look.

I guess those innocents wins, against a very low number of games, makes people think I'm on an alt account, if I'm not being kicked for the score being grey in the first place.

Even more frustrating is seeing people with a thousand or more games at the same score literally screaming at players like myself with only twenty actual matches, like we're supposed to understand the obsessive compulsive meta of every map (barring Seton's).

The game is intimidating enough already, without people probably more angry at themselves for a thousand games with no progress, just lobbing insults and childish pings all over the map at new players who are trying to learn a very deep and complex RTS.

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.

I don't plan on quitting, and it's only due to Covid-19 lockdown that I currently have the time to spend being kicked from four out of every five matches I join, only to get insulted and mostly steamrolled in the matches I do get.

I know FAF can't do much about it's WORST players, but maybe it's BEST could reach out?

3

There was a tool/webside for gpgnet (official client from 2006 - 2012) called "player tracker". There you saw how many players voted for or against a player. You could say he played bad / normal / good / great and mark him as a toxic player or quitter. The tool wasn't working with FAF, so it is offline now.

My friends aren't playing FAF anymore for a simple reason. The time is too long before a game starts. These endless balance discussions are the worst. So TMM is a great thing. Koecher and Freshy are playing 2vs2 with me again as it is so simple to start a game.

2

@DrWrongpipes

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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAMIaYfSEBg

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 :

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/309/ai-megathread

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.)

1

I am a newer player, I think you should encourage the community to engage as much as possible. Specifically I refer to the chat tab with #newbie. I have asked questions and seen other ask questions and no one replies. Look I know sometimes people will ask dumb ass questions that could have been found with 1 search or something super obvious, but nothing turns people off of the game quicker then if they think its a dead community

1

@obydog002 good point. I'm going to try to make a point of saying that I'm available for noob questions when I log on.

3

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

There was a tool/webside for gpgnet (official client from 2006 - 2012) called "player tracker". There you saw how many players voted for or against a player. You could say he played bad / normal / good / great and mark him as a toxic player or quitter. The tool wasn't working with FAF, so it is offline now.

My friends aren't playing FAF anymore for a simple reason. The time is too long before a game starts. These endless balance discussions are the worst. So TMM is a great thing. Koecher and Freshy are playing 2vs2 with me again as it is so simple to start a game.

Yeah I’m really happy with TMM, hoping we get 3v3 and 4v4 sooner rather later.

I quit making maps because general, custom team game players don’t want to learn anything new other then “rush middle mass, fall back, eco and tech” types. Now that there’s a competitive team game scene growing, interesting content can be made again!

TMM is reducing the time to play games and see what all the content in the game has to offer.

1

Keep the feedback coming in guys

5

I am a brand new player coming from AOE 2. I think i started in early January and mostly play seton's clutch land position. Before I complain I want you guys to know that the game is really fun and I am kinda addicted. Watching other people's replays is really accessible and I have been learning a lot by watching 1k+ Setons games.

Imo, there are no accessible build orders. There are some from Heaven on youtube but those are more general concepts and don't contain builds for every map. If the client had just some basic generic build orders for setons + other popular maps that work 80% of the time that would be great. Nothing fancy, just something to get people started.

AOE 2 takes it even further. There is a mod that walks you through step by step with voice direction each of about 11 different build orders. Then at the end, it gives you a grade of A-F based on how fast you could preform the build. There are builds for fast castle into knights, fast castle into Unique Unit, scouts, scouts into skirms, scouts into archers, archers, ect. If something like that existed for FAF then learning the game would be much faster.

Learning hotkeys and build orders are really the boring, initial investment into an RTS that a lot of people just fail to overcome. After you are over that hurdle and know several build orders and are comfortable with your hotkeys then it is smooth sailing.

1

@arma473 Heh. "You obviously aren't interested". I find that judgements make a bad conversation, you know? Have you tried being more collaborative?

Retention and competition are inextricably linked in this game. It's fun to win, and no-one plays for long if they keep losing, even against the AI. But there are levels of competition, and I totally agree that people will stay if they have a good time even if they occasionally lose - that's why I stay 🙂

So you're right in that I'm not interested in beating Jagged or Zlo or whoever. But you're wrong in that I'm still interested in winning ladder games and team games 🙂 I'm not afraid to be told what that is, but "you should know what you did wrong" isn't telling me what that is, it's being ineffable and superior.

I am totally interested in your lessons! I think small bites are good, lesson plans are good, and giving people rewards for progress is great. I hope I can contribute to this!

And the more plans and activity we have to train and retain people, the better. They'll reach more people and will apply to more people.

Have fun,

Paul

faf.mabula.net maintainer.

0

Random thought but what is the average retention rate of other RTS games? If its not higher than 15% its probably just people finding new games to play for variety.