Age vs Skill


@noundedelkwoob as i said when we played earlier i suffer from the motivation as it seems getting good at 1v1 is complicated and slightly unrewarding compared to more chill games such as phantom or internal modded games. I love the feeling of brutally crushing a bunch of people in those games and hate the feeling of being brutally crushed in 1v1. Rn im trying to play games with very good players as to improve from seeing what they do right and i do wrong. Its better than fighting 1ks and winning half the time. It is hard to find high rated people to play though.


@tex said in Age vs Skill:

In regards to the conversation for skill changing over time, the other day I took a look at my POV replays from 2012. No hotkeys, no UI mods... I was either +200E or -200E for the first 10 minutes of the game. No eco skills or any sort of plan/direction visible in my gameplay. Reclaim was hardly prioritized. Efficiency wasnt discovered yet. Micro was poor. Multitasking/prioritizing was out of balance. Builds were non-existent. All I knew how to do was drag a line of factories down the map and win at t1 stage. And somehow that was good enough for 2k 1v1 ladder. Times have changed for sure. 2021 Tex could play a BO99 with 2012 Tex and do a clean sweep in 50 games. Overall average FAF skill is much higher now then it was in the old days.

If you play your BO99 on random maps, the result will probably be somewhat even.

Whenever people go on about how the level nowadays is "much higher", they dont understand that this is driven by repetition of maps and BO specification, and potentially better UI mods. Those improvements can be easily learned (and as easily forgotten during a break).

The decision making, the efficiency, the game understanding et al has not increased whatsoever (at the highest lvl this game has to offer). This is plainly illustrated by fully inactive briefly returning players. When I look at my POVs from 2013, I see a superior player, faster, more efficient, more aware. Its nice that you have gotten better, I havent. I dont even know how to cloak a selen anymore because it got changed and I'm too old and soft to adapt to it.

You especially, as evidenced from your comments on streams, seem to think that the old players are some kind of inferior species. While I do share this arrogance (just the other way around), it is not correct. The level of a game generally is set by a few select of driving individuals defining the meta and the quality of play. Others will catch up and try to match them, but as long as no incredibly dominant new force emerges, the level of play does not significantly rise.

FAF still has the oldass circuit of pros. There is no player that has played less than 2 years and is good, and the "absolute top" is still composed of the same people from 5-10 years ago. Do you think they have gotten much better? I dont think so.

Ban Anime


Blackheart to toot my own horn here. Not make a statement here either way:
But two SCTA Showmatches-
TAG_Rock vs Boom-
Natas Vs Zlo and Banana

Rock was my understanding considered a high quality player back in GPG and he prepped for the event by practicing the mods and several maps. Now factional balance and my clearly amazing understanding of this game all have an effect on this.

Rock lost 4 of 5 games vs Yeed. Now Rock didn’t do poorly in those games. In all fairness. But its not like he came back a week earlier and did zero prep.

Natas vs Zlo and Banani was also fascinating. Natas did some prepping, but he wasn’t as adaptable. And still put a good name for himself.

Both of these players, Rock espacially was a classic FA GPG/FAF pro. And I don’t honestly see the massive difference of skill level. On some level while by extension.

You could argue both of them being able to take games off Boom and Banana whom are not l33t by average joe standards are definetely high quality/strong players as evidence as old pros raw skills. It to me personally says if those had prepped more or prepped better, or factions were equal. The matches would be closer to an even split. Player quality hasn’t gone up in raw sense player ability to do quality gameplay has gone up. Which I know makes no sense

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

Project Head and current Owner/Manager of SCTA Project


@Blackheart - I said 2k ladder not 2300 ladder. There is a world of difference between the two as you well know 🙂

You are saying skill when it comes to the very top of the ladder. I was saying skill as a general statement. I mean, look at Zock, the dude is a beast. Has been and always will be. Zock could beat me 10-0 then and 10-0 now, after a brief unrusting. His gameplay analysis videos still hold up today as hands down the best 'how to play faf' in terms of decision making. Its just really hard to compare top level skill in a game that only ever has 1-5 players at a time being truly dominant.

I am just stating that on average, most of your players these days do much better then their counterparts from the early days of faf. I don't really care how much of that is due to game sense/decision-making skill or how much of it is due to better builds/meta/UI/hotkeys/eco balance, I stand by the fact that for all but the top 0.1% of faf, the players are much improved. The fact that back then I could be as high rated as I was with such a limited skill set illustrates as much. But to your point, that is also why I was never at the top level of faf.

Maybe instead of using the term skill I should be saying gameplay or relative strength. 1800's still make stupid decisions for sure, but they are now doing so with more units, higher eco efficiency, and better micro.


I agree that mid and high level players have gotten better for the same rating. Look at old casts of mid level games and compare them to now. Maybe decision making isn't better for the rating, but the micro, eco balance, amount of cheese, and the number of units seems to have improved. There are mid level players who I've seen play consistently and their gameplay looks pretty much the same to me but they've dropped in rating because the people around them have improved slightly. At the absolute highest level it seems like there hasn't been as much clear improvement outside of maybe better builds, but that's at a level of play out of reach by the vast majority of us.

This is hardly unique to FAF, I've seen this in practically every old enough game with enough of a player base. The more competitive the game, the more dramatic the change is over the years. Hell even at the highest level I'm sure it's not a stretch to say there's some improvement, but it's hidden by the fact that when these old pros come back and derust they're derusting vs people who improved slightly and they themselves quickly pick up some of those subtle improvements building off of their already fantastic fundamentals.

More on the topic at hand, I am 26. I'd be much better at this game if I took it more seriously in high school/parts of college instead of just chilling with super casual play and lots of survival style games. I had more time and far more energy. It's harder for me to improve now, not so much because of age, but because I've got life to deal with. I've got a tech job that saps my brain's energy and I'm constantly torn between putting energy into getting better at this game and just wanting to play a few games to chill and destress.


So I watched some nexy replays today and maybe I'm wrong but it did not seem like he played better than he did in like 2019. I think when it comes to top dogs it would just take a lot of effort to start pushing into much higher tier gameplay and most of the guys are pretty inactive and unmotivated.

Also I don't understand how some people seem invulnerable to rust. Maybe it's just because I've played so many different rts, but I generalize super hard between rts games. Like I've played aoe recently and i keep pressing my idle villager hotkey while playing supcom. Also i mess up ctrl groups, try to click stuff on bottom bar, try to edge scroll, click the wrong buttons for attack move etc and various other things. Transition from sc2 to aoe2 was terrible too... had to learn to edge scroll instead of drag, inverted bottom bar controls (at least they work unlike supcom lol), cant ctrl click to select all onscreen (this is fucked in supcom too) etc. Then a million other minor mental things that are hard to describe. On top of that also need to be in right mental state to care enough to think about bo and shit... What I'm trying to say here is that u (or at least I) kinda need a singular focus on a game to improve instead of just a couple of disparate chill unrusting sessions.

Oh ye I'm 25 btw. Probably played best in Q1 2019 or smth but I dont think that has much to do with consistent improvement since 2013, I just decided to tryhard for a couple of weeks on the ladder. Normally just been chill teamgames for me B) and yea I'm gone 90% of the year so not much time to improve since then. Age not really playing into the equation here.


@blodir said in Age vs Skill:

Age not really playing into the equation here.

say that again when u get 40


This is faf, not Counterstrike nor League of legends. The amount of automation that this game is capable already covers for your reflexes getting weaker. Unless we are gonna go on how getting older impairs your brain functions then yeah feel free to do that.
Cuz the main reason people get worse in this case is just not putting as much time into the game as before.


Not only reflexes are getting slower. The capability to recognise the developing changes in a running game (and the UI) are worsening, while being focused on one activity. It's some kind of mental tunnel vision. Decisions need more time. I'm in my 50s and the most important limits to my gameplay are age related.


I am 27. I was playing since early 20's atleast. Been playing with the same account the entire time. Over 2500+ games. I've always been stuck at the 1100-1200 rating.

My skill level takes a nose dive down to 900-100 when I stop playing for a few months. But it can go as high as 1300-1400 when I really go hard at practicing and watching replays. Sometimes I love this game, other times I yell at the screen.

I do hope FAF truly is forever because I will play this game till the day I die or another game comes out to succeed it. After this many years playing, this is the only old game that I play.


I am 33 and I'm too slow for this game now. My best time was 2010 until 2012 when I reached a 2700 rating. Also I started with a 2300 rating when FAF launched but I'm down to around 1800 at the moment. My click per minute are just too low. Also there are so many new maps and improvements that I can't follow. So my age goes up and my skill goes down but that isn't the only reason for sure. I also had more time in the past.


Maybe this should be renamed as experience vs skill. They are not the same but they have common elements. Skill is not only related to your training hours but also physical condition. An experienced player would be rather rusty at responding but has accumulated many automated habits some useful , some not. Point is , the experienced player would win against a more fit but still learning player. Or at least until the new player has accumulated enough training hours to overcome the handicap of a lack of years of experience.

For this reason , not all 2000, 1000 and 500 players are the same. This can have a negative effect on the mood of players , that have just begun playing and see ratings with an absolute and rather naive way.
This maybe one of the main reasons newcomers get quickly disappointed. If a young and promising player, say 700 with lightning fast responses but crude skills, got matched with an old rusty player , say 600,but with countless hours of playing could lose a game like that. Erroneously assuming about smurfs and so on.


I'm 20 so far with the 2000 global / 1600 ladder peak.
I've been playing FAF for a little over a year. at all this, I used to play only dual gap (in the period from February to August 2020) after I started streaming and a month later the audience demanded a ladder game. six months later, I reached 1600. now I've taken a break for myself, because I don't enjoy the game as much as I used to. Every mistake brings me to the tilt.
On top of everything else, I need to finish the FAF History project, which has been frozen for the duration of my graduation. If you understand the game, you will play well regardless of whether you have a bad team or not.


@prodromos the point of the thread was to see if there was a correlation between age and skill. But i agree what i found is that age means little. Or at least a higher age means that u have had the potential to practice more.


Just in case anyone was curious, I plotted all the responses in this thread, plus a few other data points not in the thread, on a chart.

Rating vs Age with worsttrendline.png

You can and probably should ignore the line of best fit, but to me there does seem to be a general correlation between skill and age. You can see here the top players are all in their teens or twenties. In my experience, players tend to get good in their late teens/early twenties. If they've gotten good then, they can carry it through to their late twenties, probably because this game is very slow compared to some other competitive games.


I'm 48. My rating has hovered between 1000 and 1100 since 2014. I feel like in my 20's I had the time and the mental energy to do well at various games. In my 30's I had the mental energy but not the time. Now I have the time but not the mental energy.


age: 47
playing since: 2007 (since SC came out, before forged alliance)
1v1 rating: 1100 - 1300 (last years, depends on rust)
global rating: 1300 - 1400 (with HEL clan mostly, I did boost my rating playing lots of custom 1v1 to 1700 in 2018 "map awareness training" )
I have less apm that 10 years ago, but use more hotkeys now to compensate 🙂
Also play less games than 10 years ago, slower to compensate for balance changes


@archsimkat thanks for the graph, its very interesting to see. I would be interested to see how the 2 new posts would change that line of fit, I think the 50 yo might be a bit of an outlier.


I am 23,
I play since about 7/8 years.
I have more then 5000 games if u look at everything together.
Since a longer time i am 1700 rated.
I feel like getting worse bc of very busy irl stuff.
If I get more time again I feel like I am ready to improve a lot.