New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements

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@randomwheelchair said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

Cuz' as happy as I'm with the removal of Feather from running for the position I would still like to hear better more through explanations on what is going on behind our backs.

I found biass' post quite explanatory about the process, it even contained an apology on behalf of the council for not being preemptive and transparent enough.

We deliberated in the council and this can take a while because of time zone differences and the simple fact that we can't all be around constantly to respond to everything momentarily. Even if there's an election.

I agree we can improve on this and I'm sorry about the lack of communication. Some of us on the council thought — and this is not the first time we've made this mistake — that certain things are to be taken for granted. For instance that a person who has been permanently banned from the community cannot be elected to represent the community.

The matter on whether a person who simply has a "shady" history is a grey area to me though and I would like to hear what you think could be done to improve in this area. Should we disallow any prior moderation history or allow anyone who simply isn't permanently banned?

@randomwheelchair said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

Even more as the rumors and bits that are reaching the public opinion are not making us hopeful, if anything they just undermine the position of council and make contributors reluctant to even consider helping faf make better place as we did.

I agree and I do not hope that you or anyone else base your intentions on helping out the community at large on rumours.

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@Auricocorico from the other post you wrote:

I'm afraid the idea N°4 of Morax (interviewing the player to have their opinion) will >not be very practical for balancing the map pool, but hey it's just nice to have a PC who talks with the player base ...
On that account, francias and suzuji application feel very troll to me : i've been around for a year, and i've rarely seen any of them engaging discussions with the players .. can someone be Player Councillor if he has no interest in talking with other players ??

I think this is a bit my bad for wording it poorly:

No more numerical-based polling: the community size and motivation to play ladder is really small, for instance, and could likely be personally interviewed, with feedback posted to a thread. This does not need to be complicated and short of dysfunctional maps, it should be easy to discuss matters. I suspect it will have some rules and discussion points much like the “before you post in the balance team” except perhaps a little less strict…

I want to stress that I said likely be personally interviewed meaning that it is possible, but not the only solution. Of course open message board discussions, written polls and other methods are fair game and welcome in my book. I just don't like trying to assign a number to something like "aesthetics" as it is quite difficult. I want to focus on things like "can most be people read the map and see where units can travel without impedance; are resources and reclaim clearly visible; are sea shores understood; ramps are well displayed," and score based on that kind of discussion.

Here is a sample of the map rating the "ladder team" uses:

alt text

As you can see, there is much more to the numerical rating that you see them use to discuss on the message boards. That kind of information is quite helpful in understanding the methodology of the team and how they think.

There was some thread Bennis started (probably got deleted) where you asked about why things are "behind closed doors." My platform as PC is to combat that and make map ratings more transparent so that people who make maps or ladder players can figure out the real situation.

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I worry that with the TMM rating reset first, and this election screw-up now, you are taking 2 steps back for every step forward.

@ftxcommando (and @Morax) I'll say I am not qualified to debate high level gameplay. I am qualified to discuss priorities.

It seems to come down that you (FAF council) know for a fact it is better in terms of gameplay to do X. People at the bottom want to do what is most fun now and are probably not concerned with the long term.

Every single 2v2 custom game I played, as host or joiner, was Share Until Death. No hard feelings ever. By imposing Full Share players are robbed from seeing half the opponents stuff explode as a reward for killing an ACU. It is really anticlimactic which was my first and main point on Discord.

I think the PC and FAF council should give the people what they want. I don't know what that is, it might be Share Until Death, might not, it might be 2 parallel 1v1's, it might not. Optimizing for people experience might lead to more games played by more people, in result in more experienced people than the current approach.

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And how many of these custom 2v2s are share until death because:
A) It is the default share condition
B) "That's just how you play teamgames"
C) Gyle said full share was bad

Why do I ask high rated players? Because I can trust that they have an informed opinion across both share conditions and generally understand the gameplay results from changing said share condition. A 600 does not.

My job is providing a consistent and intuitive experience. It does not benefit FAF to have a matchmaker for full share, a matchmaker for share until death, a matchmaker for no water maps maps, and a matchmaker for 20x20s. Now we add 3v3 matchmaker queues. Now 4v4. Now we add some fun casual ones. Suddenly there are 30 matchmakers all fighting for 12 or so concurrent players.

If I gave people what they want, I would have removed the ladder queue for a Seton's queue and the 2v2 queue for a Dual Gap queue. Once again, if you want to operate off of simple referendum then abolish the position and just set this stuff up as a FAF poll. Part of the job of PC is deciding what subset of people best define FAF's interests depending on the qualitative aspects of a question. If I am doing that poorly, then you need to find another guy.

The majority holding an opinion is not immediate justification for it to be the right opinion. It is an element of credence to an opinion. Ironic to say when I'm pushing to be elected by a majority, I think.

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hello, if still possible (probably not, but cba to read) i want to be a candidate for PC, time for big auto to become the leader B)

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@ftxcommando said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

If I gave people what they want, I would have removed the ladder queue for a Seton's queue and the 2v2 queue for a Dual Gap queue. Once again, if you want to operate off of simple referendum then abolish the position and just set this stuff up as a FAF poll.

These are actually really good ideas.
The part about a Setons queue and a Dual Gap queue at least. Joining that is so tedious compared to just laddering.

If people, notably greys, can click their way into automatch setons and gap games who knows how full those queues will be? While in it, some might also be tempted to multi-queue into other queues as well.

This could massively boost FAF popularity and the number of high ranked competitive players as a portion of total player base.

Part of the job of PC is deciding what subset of people best define FAF's interests depending on the qualitative aspects of a question. If I am doing that poorly, then you need to find another guy.

While I genuinely appreciate your efforts for FAF, and your contributions to competitive development... I think you have not chosen the right subgroup of people to focus on.

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Dual gap queue isn’t happening off of the sheer facts of connection instability and it only taking 1 bad cpu to ruin everything.

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@ftxcommando Let the problems come to you.

  1. Dual gap queue
  2. Monitor situation
  3. Implement solutions if needed, like poor CPU players into front slots.
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the poor CPU players on front slot won't solve the problem,as well as there're going to be too many resources invested into making a queue for a designed map,isn't it a bit of a waste?

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

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Why are we talking about queues and fullshare on this thread?

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We literally made TMM for the COUNTLESS people making COUNTLESS posts complaining they want to play regular maps but cannot find a game because dual gap infested the entire global game section. There is NO reason they or any other single map category should need/get a queue.

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@yung-96noob said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

hello, if still possible (probably not, but cba to read) i want to be a candidate for PC, time for big auto to become the leader B)

Please try to be more productive. A troll post like this does not serve the community well.

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@veteranashe said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

Why are we talking about queues and fullshare on this thread?

The main point that was raised, was whether or not the focus of FAF should be:

A. Best gameplay in the eyes of experienced players and the training of new players.
B. What low-rated players think they like to play the most.

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I have only one phrase for this election


Old players, or experienced ones, will never look at things from a new perspective.


@Morax i hope you will get luck in that election

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Isn't that kind of a useless statement? Old and/or experienced players are the only ones who are willing to run in an election like this.

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Are people who decided to rip through the applications and credibility of Morax, and the now removed applications of you know who, going to do the same for FTX? From reading through some previous comments, from an outsider it almost comes off a bit biased in this 'discussion/debate' and i am sure there are many people out there and who have participated in these threads already who know and have followed FTX's ruling so should be in a wonderful position to pick his application or credibility to continue.

TMM was a great thing but its effectively dead right now unless you want to wait a long time and possibly be matched with a grey or low rated player. For the 'top players' they do not touch it and havent for a while, and the 'active competitive' group which could class as 1300-1800 have mainly moved back to custom games. The multiple resets, and the timing of these killed the momentum it had in my opinion. Possibly there are 'stats' that say other wise but i would be surprised if they were specific to 1300+ rating.

Sure it is nice to see and hear of possible 2v2 tournaments (no idea why these havent been more of a thing) but once again mentioning 'selecting top players' to take part to promote it means essentially fuck all to players that are far more active but just miss out on this 'top elite bracket'. Oh great we get a twitch stream of a tournament that will either be poorly casted with a range of streamers who didn't seem to confident on how to even stream or set it up for good viewing... but most likely these top players, some of which only show up for tournaments will get a potential financial reward.

last point/suggestion- Since this has now become a two horse race - would there be the possibility of a live stream discussion? Both applicants are in the same timezone or at the worst not too different (not sure FTX where you are situated). I don't see the point in explaining potential benefits of such a thing, either people are willing to do it or not. But curious what others think of the idea.

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I think FtX should put his opinions about Brazilians and others in his application.
This way people can make an informed decision about the thought process and motivations of the applicants as see who represents the whole community better.

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Emperor_Penguin’s Player Councilor Application
https://docs.google.com/document/d/135dn1Xzr0xCGcKpvbgRT7Oa5S9b58yKMBsEs7P_OFhc/edit?usp=sharing

Introduction:
Hello everyone,
I’m applying for Player Councilor, as I would like to give more value/weight/focus to the desires of the majority of FAF players, improve the TMM experience a lot, increase transparency, and reduce toxicity in FAF. In preparation for this application, I have spoken to members of many different FAF communities to get their perspectives so that I could better understand the desires of the communities that make up FAF and act in their best interests. I have been trying to learn more about what everyone wants, like I think the player councilor should.

Some background on me:

I have been part of the FAF community for 7+ years.

I helped with and coded many of the improvements in the random map generator within the last year, and worked on many other FAF-related projects.

I have personally made over 50 maps for FAF.

I have recurrently helped to train new FAF players and answer FAF-related questions.

I’m nice. I actually listen to feedback from ‘regular’ FAF players and normally respond in a relatively friendly and informative way.

Some differences to the other candidates:

I aim to make FAF more inclusive and to better-serve many underrepresented parts of FAF.

I am to make FAF significantly more transparent, with more community involvement for the things within my power as PC.

I am the only candidate with a solid history of reliably being relatively nice to players when they ask questions or suggest ideas rather than berating or dismissing them.

A lot of my opponents’ platforms/stances/activities seem to cater to the 1800+ and 1500+ crowds while giving a disproportionately small focus to the wants/needs of the large majority of FAF players. I intend to keep the 1500+/1800+ crowd happy while also making the majority of FAF players happier as well. (How? – Giving each bracket more of what they desire and improving TMM options and community involvement.)

I didn’t initially want to run for PC as it takes a lot of time and energy to do well, but I have a great vision for TMM, and I would like there to be a Player Councilor who accomplishes that and actually gives more value/weight/focus to the desires of the majority of FAF players.

Some perspective:
The current focus for things like ladder/TMM map pools, forum attitudes/rhetoric, tournament funding/attention, etc, seems to cater primarily to high-level gameplay for the top 1%-5% of FAF players, while giving much less weight to the 77.1% of players with less than 1000 rating. AFAIK, most FAF players play FAF to have a good time, which generally involves playing a fun game with people in a friendly environment.

Giving a lot more weight to the desires of the lower and mid-level players will create a better experience for the thousands of noobs and mid-level players rather than catering to the <1% of players who are 1800+ players or even the top 5.2% of 1500+ global FAF players. Having a PC who is focused more on improving the experience of the ‘normal’ FAF player would help FAF to grow more and retain more players.

Some current statistics from recent leaderboards (using unrounded ratings for players with 10+ rated games):

For 1v1 Ladder:
1221 players with 10+ games = 100%
26 players with 1800+ rating = 2.1%
63 players with 1500+ rating = 5.2%
~941 players with <1000 rating = 77.1%

For Global:
8782 players with 10+ games = 100%
83 players with 1800+ rating = 0.9%
342 players with 1500+ rating = 3.9%
~6,053 players with <1000 rating = 68.9%

I think the numbers speak for themselves.

Things like ladder/TMM map pools for lower-rated players should be changed to be a lot more like what the bulk of those players would actually like to play, or an additional matchmaker queue option should be added for them. (Currently, the lower-rated players’ map pools seem more like they’re designed as feeder-pools to weed out everyone who doesn’t like the basics of the types of gameplay enjoyed by high-level FAF ladder players and to get them experience with that sort of gameplay. While this isn’t the worst thing that could be done, it’s far from the best, and it doesn’t prioritize regular player preference, fun, playerbase growth, and new player retention anywhere near as much as it should.)

To address many of these challenges and several others, I believe that TMM should get a major overhaul from a user-perspective. I have already talked with developers and have a feasible vision for TMM, presented below:

TMM/Matchmaking
TMM should appear to have one universal queue with a checklist of different game options/types that players can select/deselect to be queued for greater/fewer potential games and game types. Players get matched with other players who have compatible game preferences. With this system, players could have one overall TMM rating and or several different ratings for different individual queue options/categories. Sample TMM options list below:

Select game types to queue for:
(the more game types you select, the faster you will find a game)
[Select All Button]
o 1v1
o 2v2
o 3v3
o 4v4
o share until death
o full share
o new players only (only grays/players with low game counts could select this option)
o simple ladder map pool (easy maps that are noob-friendly)
o moderate ladder map pool (map pool intended primarily for mid-ranked players)
o advanced ladder map pool (more interesting maps for pro players)
o randomly generated maps
o rotating map pool decided by a different FAF community each cycle
o player's choice poll map pool
o popular map pool
o casual party-games (unrated)
o short casual party-games (unrated, games last 30 minutes or less)

These sample TMM options are open to changes based on community feedback, and additional options could be added if there is a strong desire for them and a willing developer. Certain things, like options to queue for games larger than 4v4, and things like a queue option for co-op games against AI or a map veto system, are things that I am in favor of adding to the matchmaker as well, but would require significant additional coding/problem-solving to be incorporated, and would only be added if there is a willing developer (strong community support for something often makes developers more willing). Other things, like making one or more queue options affect global rating, could be done more quickly. So, if there is strong community support for having one or more TMM options use/affect global rating, I would want to add that feature, as that could help noobs/grays/etc to get good games and proper global ratings more easily.

Improving the community experience:
I plan to act as a liaison between the playerbase and other FAF officials. Specifically, I plan to voice the wills of the playerbase and work with the relevant FAF officials to try to get popular changes that would be good for FAF implemented. So, for example, this might include talking with the moderation team about implementing a better system for requiring ‘official’ FAF streamers to adhere to certain non-toxic standards.

I plan to make substantial efforts to reduce toxicity in the community, and that will be a major focus for me. I plan to bring FAF into better repute and aim to work with the FAF association and the board to bring about important changes to the FAF leadership structure that will improve the situation tremendously. I’ve already spoken with the president of the board (among others) to that effect.

Furthermore, I plan to increase transparency on FAF dramatically. This incudes:

  • Creating a new channel on the FAF Discord specifically for community discussion of ladder/TMM map pools, the maps in them (and their gameplay), and the processes used to determine what maps are put in the pools

  • Making ladder/TMM team map pool discussions publicly visible on the FAF Discord

  • Posting potential ladder/TMM map pools in advance on the FAF Discord (where they can be discussed for potential changes before being implemented)

  • Actively giving more (useful) feedback to map authors when they submit a map for ladder/TMM and it doesn’t make the cut (oftentimes, people submit maps for ladder/TMM and get basically no response from the PC or his team, even after several months… this is obnoxious/frustrating to the mapper and it lowers the odds of the mapper creating good maps for ladder/TMM in the future)

  • Working with other teams (such as the balance team) to make more explanations and easily accessible community involvement for improving FAF via things like new Discord channels for suggesting and discussing balance changes as well as things like suggestion channels for improving the random map generator and map pools.

Tournaments:
I would continue PC support for the Legend of the Star(s) and intend to support the high-level competitive FAF scene as it has a solid format that has many positives. I would also encourage and support additional tournaments and event creation, including for things like ‘Average Joes’ tournaments and “Map Gen’ tournaments, etc.

I would continue the tradition of working with potential donors to properly distribute funds and create appealing tournament formats. I would continue to help make tournaments fun and competitive experiences for players with proper scheduling, avatar rewards, prize money, etc.

I would work with both established casters and up-and-coming casters to provide them with good live castable tournament content. I would work with the promotions team to ensure the promotion of FAF tournaments and various casts and streams.
However, while I am ready and willing to support tournaments and events in all the ways reasonably expected of the PC, including as outlined above, I feel that the PC position has grown too extensive and would be better-served by an additional elected position, which I’ve tentatively dubbed ‘Tournaments Leader’.

So, if I am elected PC, I would promptly hold an election for the ‘Tournaments Leader’ position and would accept applications from any reasonable candidates that are in line with FAF’s standards and would do a respectable job. The accepted applicants would then be put to a vote by the overall FAF community, and the winner would become the new ‘Tournaments Leader’.

The ‘Tournaments Leader’ would be part of the PC team and would handle almost all tournament-related responsibilities of the PC and could bring additional visions and ideas for better-serving the tournaments side of FAF. However, if for whatever reason, the ‘Tournaments Leader’ fails in his duties, I would take over and handle things properly.

Pledge:
If elected, I will:

  • Collaborate with the FAF Board to work towards our objectives.

  • Communicate professionally and avoid bringing FAF into disrepute.

  • Spend an average of at least 4 hours per week working on these responsibilities.

  • Be available at least 2 hours every other week for a voice call to discuss these responsibilities and the responsibilities of other FAF Councilors.

  • Attempt to help other Councilors perform their responsibilities.

  • Understand that if I am unable to perform these duties, I may resign or be replaced.

TL;DR
If elected, I plan to:

  • Have substantial positive impact on the FAF community and community growth, not only by making changes that benefit more of the players, but also by helping to change the atmosphere on FAF (in Discord, forums, etc) to be more friendly and less dismissive/toxic to noobs and to new ideas

  • Massively improve the TMM experience with lots of user-choice and new options with community-driven map pools (including the option to queue for just randomly generated maps)

  • Survey and poll a lot more and take greater efforts to reach regular FAF players

  • Create a publicly visible section on the FAF Discord specifically for discussing ladder/TMM map pools, the maps in them (and their gameplay), and the processes used to determine what maps are put in the pools

  • Create systems for more community engagement and transparency with things like map pool selection, balancing, a reaction-based polls channel in the FAF Discord, etc

  • Create a new elected position specifically for tournaments (tentatively dubbed ‘Tournaments Leader’)

  • Act as a liaison between the playerbase and other FAF officials
    Work with the FAF association and the board to bring about important changes to the FAF leadership structure that will improve FAF’s atmosphere and situation tremendously

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@emperor_penguin said in New Player Councilor Discussion + Removal Announcements:

Emperor_Penguin’s Player Councilor Application
I have already talked with developers and have a feasible vision for TMM

Who exactly are these people? Because I certainly was not included in any such discussion and it would be me who is in the position of having to implement a large part of your idea, or ultimately, spend a lot of time reviewing and maintaining the code.

I would also not consider this:

lots of user-choice

to imply this:

Massively improve the TMM experience

The point of matchmakers is not to give people every possible option they might want (that's the point of custom games), it's actually to reduce barrier to entry by making many of the choices for them. Especially when you want to focus on the new player experience and new player retention, you want to make getting into a game as intuitive as possible. It's much better for that to be 1-click "Play Now" and have few choices over what the game settings are than to have 10-clicks for "Maybe play a game at some point if enough other people click the same stuff as you".

I am more inclined to agree with FTX on this issue. Letting the players decide everything is a fallacy in video games. If you always do what the majority of players says they want you end up with a hunk of junk, because the problem is, often times people don't actually know what they want (they think they know, but they don't). It is up to the PC to figure out what players want even though they don't know they want it, and then give it to them.

Finally, many further improvements to the matchmaker will be coming (eventually) regardless of who the PC is, because in fact, the driving force behind its development is --surprise-- the developers, not the PC. I'm honestly a little surprised that overhauling TMM (which we just recently built in the first place) is such a major part of so many candidates' platforms, since those promises are things that will almost certainly not be fulfilled.

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@Askaholic i do believe all I said in my post was to stop rating resets. Short of the move of going to a league system, would you simply reset ratings again even if the majority of the community does not want it?