Why would you have left FAF?

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We are going slightly of topic now, the question was why would you leave FAF, the answer for me would be that it is not an easy game to just pick up and play, it takes a lot of time to learn the details.

In my original post the idea was so see if it was possible to create a seperate slightly easier eco balance version of faf that you could toggle between that and regular FAF, making it easier to pick up for new players and for regular players that want a more relaxed game experiance similar to supcom 2 without the crappy research tree.

So if your new you can play on easy mode and if you think your good enough and want to play more seriously you can play with the big boys on the harder mode.

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

the question was why would you leave FAF, the answer for me would be that it is not an easy game to just pick up and play,

Hey, I did a rough poll of the responses in this thread and you are indeed correct. Most of the responses in this thread mention the learning curve of the game as one of the biggest reasons why people leave FAF.

While i'm not going to suggest any massive changes to the game that defy the mission of FAF (to maintain the mutiplayer service of the orIginal game) I would recommend making a second thread to discuss learning-curve ideas seperate from here. I think this thread has served it's purpose.

It is possible to make a balance mod with an "easier" balance. It would be on you to make one though.

I made a guide for doing just that:
https://forum.faforever.com/topic/739/guide-creating-a-basic-balance-mod-with-a-merge-blueprint

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@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).

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@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.

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Training is not as good as the game being intuitive or at least helpful.

As I said early in this thread, in Starcraft 1, if you had insufficient Vespene Gas the game would say in audio "Insufficient Vespene Gas" and display a message:
291efa9f-ed00-426e-b1f4-ac38ba913ddf-image.png

Supreme Commander does absolutely nothing to help a player see what he is doing wrong or subtly correct them.
A UI & sim mod that does not affect the high-level experience, but makes the games complexities more intuitive might be a worthwhile project to undertake.

Example for an intuitive power stall.

  1. UI-only: let the game say (audio) "Power Stall detected", display text "Not enough power... Pause aircraft production and turn off shields."
  2. Sim-too: if a building has too little power let it randomly EMP itself for 30 seconds, now lower rated players experience fewer issues with power stalls as they are self-mitigating, but need to master it to efficiently produce aircraft. High-level play is 90% unaffected.
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@biass thankyou for the response.

I have been playing around with my own mods for some time now and realised just how complicated things can get, i will attempt to create an "easy" eco mod for FAF with some subtle changes that aim to reduce the learning curve but it will take me some time and i will probably need some help with the more complicated parts.

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

  1. Sim-too: if a building has too little power let it randomly EMP itself for 30 seconds, now lower rated players experience fewer issues with power stalls as they are self-mitigating, but need to master it to efficiently produce aircraft. High-level play is 90% unaffected.

I like the other stuff you said, I don’t have an issue with some extra audible and visual prompts that you can turn off in the options regarding low resources, but I don’t like this as much as a built in game feature. Eco manager does this and it’s not great at times. Sometimes it’s worth it to powerstall and I don’t think it should be mitigated as long as it’s obvious things are building slower and that it lowers your mass income as well. Making it self mitigating just feels like dumbing down a core feature of the game too much.

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Hello all.

I have created a thread called FAF Lite, to discuss and ideas you may have for a mod designed to reduce the learning curve for new players, if you have any ideas please feel free to share, thankyou.

https://forum.faforever.com/topic/2049/faf-lite-an-eco-balance-mod

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

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

  1. Sim-too: if a building has too little power let it randomly EMP itself for 30 seconds, now lower rated players experience fewer issues with power stalls as they are self-mitigating, but need to master it to efficiently produce aircraft. High-level play is 90% unaffected.

I like the other stuff you said, I don’t have an issue with some extra audible and visual prompts that you can turn off in the options regarding low resources, but I don’t like this as much as a built in game feature. Eco manager does this and it’s not great at times. Sometimes it’s worth it to powerstall and I don’t think it should be mitigated as long as it’s obvious things are building slower and that it lowers your mass income as well. Making it self mitigating just feels like dumbing down a core feature of the game too much.

You are making the game easier to learn, and the only concession is that instead of powerstalling EZ-mode for 10 seconds building that transport - you need to manually pause and unpause things including the factory for 10 seconds. Ultimately the construction time can be the same whether you stall or micromanage your power grid.

Also it is not dumbing down. You are still punished by woeful air coverage if you rely on self-EMP's to manage the power grid. Lets suppose the average 500 rated player will rely on the self-mitigation, but one 500 player adjusts his playstyle so the self-EMPs trigger 20% less often. His factories are more efficient, he has significantly more air units, and his rating will improve.

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@valki It does dumb it down though, it defeats the point of a streaming economy where the game lets you spend whatever you want to spend regardless of income. It turns it into something closer to supcom 2's economy which no one on FAF wants.

I'm not even sure how this helps learning, the default stall behavior along with better notification of what's going on makes more sense to me for teaching newer players rather than an automatic handhold.

I don't know, perhaps I'm wrong here but I don't think auto pause is good for learning. I used it for a while (at least 100+ games, so a good amount of time) when trying out eco manager and I still feel like I was worse off for it. It really messed up whatever power management skills I had leading up to using it. After turning it off I started improving my eco balance a lot more quickly.

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@zukko I apologize if I came off as aggressive, I wish you luck with the mod, I haven't any experience with modding or I would help

Good luck!

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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

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@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.

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@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!

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@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.

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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.

Ban Anime

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@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.

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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.

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

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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