Noob matchmaker queue

1

Would like a game mode very friendly for new players while hopefully not making it a crutch. I was thinking matchmaker with very simple 5x5 maps with obvious terrain and you start with a pre build base of 4 mexes, 3 land facs, 1 air, radar, and 10 pgens

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@veteranashe A matchmaker queue is planned for some more casual games:
https://forum.faforever.com/post/11601
https://forum.faforever.com/post/11428

Soon™ as usual.

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Yeah I know, I'm apart of both those threads, I'm looking for a specific type of game where it's eliminates several parts of the game to make learning easier, such as build order and map terrain here

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I could imagine a more sophisticated zone control to be fun

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@harzer99 said in Noob matchmaker queue:

I could imagine a more sophisticated zone control to be fun

I mean there is a map called 'Arena micro skill' which is similar.

You get a type of unit, and have to kill an enemy t2 pd while defending your own. More units spawn in the same way zone control works.
Leveling up (by kills or killing the pd) gives you different units, losing your pd causes you to level back down.

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what's the point?
TMM has already proven there's no interest in different types of queues

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How so? 2v2 is basically the least played game mode and the matchmaker doubled the amount of 2v2 games.

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Tmm and interest in different types of queues is like comparing apples to steaks

Any discussion that furthers the topic?

3

I actually kinda hate the style of matchmaker maps and they are indeed very noob unfriendly.
The issue with them isn't the start though, it's that they're micro-heavy: Mexes all over the place and with almost no terrain obstruction to unit movement meaning that you can have as many lines of attack as you're capable of managing and your opponent has to be able to keep up with defence.
Making FAF micro-heavy is kind of like blitz chess: On the one hand, it's a great challenge for pros. On the other hand it completely ruins the experience for a lot of people.
Ever noticed how the most popular noob maps are ones that force the game to be played in such a way that you can play with really low APM and still win by virtue of strategy alone, by severely limiting the lines of attack and assigning many players to manage them? Though they often do this to too extreme an extent and players don't step out their comfort zone.

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Matchmaker has very different maps wich get randomly picked.
You also have maps like the traditional fields of isis.
U just need to grab a friend and play together.
Currently maps are picked for 2v2 games.
Depending on your Rating the pool gets bigger and more complicatet the more points u have.
But 3v3 and 4v4 are planed and testet aswell.

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I am fine, I want the game to be easier for new players

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@bellatrix said in Noob matchmaker queue:

I actually kinda hate the style of matchmaker maps and they are indeed very noob unfriendly.
The issue with them isn't the start though, it's that they're micro-heavy: Mexes all over the place and with almost no terrain obstruction to unit movement meaning that you can have as many lines of attack as you're capable of managing and your opponent has to be able to keep up with defence.
Making FAF micro-heavy is kind of like blitz chess: On the one hand, it's a great challenge for pros. On the other hand it completely ruins the experience for a lot of people.
Ever noticed how the most popular noob maps are ones that force the game to be played in such a way that you can play with really low APM and still win by virtue of strategy alone, by severely limiting the lines of attack and assigning many players to manage them? Though they often do this to too extreme an extent and players don't step out their comfort zone.

I liked your explanation for why you dislike the current style of matchmaker maps.

A lot of the competitive ladder players like their apm-heavy blitz chess style of gameplay and don't want to see it removed by changing the maps in their map pools to be more apm-light and noob-friendly.

There is an argument to be made for changing the map pools for the lower rating brackets to be more apm-light/noob-friendly, but then people argue that those map types won't teach the lower-rated players the 'right way' to play the game according to their perspective...

Frankly, the reality is that that results in a heck of a lot of people just not playing ladder/TMM with the current map pools. So, I think a much better solution would be adding different map pools as TMM options so that there could be both a 'competitive apm-heavy blitz chess type map pool option' and a more 'casual/noob-friendly map pool option', as well as other options for casual games/etc.

3

I disagree. First of all, faf is already very low micro compared to other games. Secondly, I find raiding to be my favorite part of it, and even though I’m a noob (like 700 on ladder) having lots of stuff going on is what makes it fun. If you win it’s because you succeeded in overcoming a mental challenge more effectively than your opponent, and that’s cool. If you lose it just means that there is potential for you to improve in the future. And IMO the biggest source of pleasure to be gained from games is from that progressive improvement.

So I totally disagree that in order for noobs/low tier players to have fun, the game needs to be dumbed down. Doing that just has the opposite effect by suppressing the potential to improve and therefore removing the fun from the game.

2

I made a game mode that is more friendly for new players. It is the mod (in the mod vault) called "Stone Age." It takes away everything above t1. This takes away a lot of complexity. You don't have worry about TMLs or making SMD or building flak to counter gunships. It also strips away your ability to eco in place by upgrading mexes, which means you don't have to worry about balancing between unit production and growing your economy. Pretty much all you can do is spam land (or air) and expand, take reclaim, raid your opponent, pick fights where you can win (to get unit advantage or to take reclaim) and eventually try to kill the enemy ACU or destroy their base.

The idea is that new players can practice the fundamentals (balancing power with mass income, spending mass, scouting, raiding, fighting, reclaiming) without being led astray by temptation: the temptation to make t2 mexes, the temptation to get high-tech "toys" to play with. Learning how to spend all of your mass on t1 production is a skill that players need to learn if they want to get good at ladder.

A lot of low-rated people make too many t2 mexes. It's a crutch. "Oh, I have too much mass, I guess I'll make a mex." Take that away and they're forced to learn how to spend their mass. A lot of low-rated players can barely even IMAGINE making 10 t1 factories in a game. It's like their brain doesn't even think it's possible. Give them no other option, and they'll learn to do it. So it's both a teaching tool as well as a more comfy environment.

I suggested making a matchmaking queue where every map is a 5x5 or small 10x10 with not much water, with the stone age mod, and people don't get to pick their factions. Red will be Cybran, blue will be UEF. That's my idea of a simple noob-friendly matchmaking queue.

I wouldn't say this makes the game "dumbed down," you can have some pretty intense competition with T1 only. I have to agree with @Askaholic that making a "dumbed down" version of the game would be a bad thing.

The problem with trying to learn the game when everything is on the table is that too much is going on for people to learn anything. I think a lot of noobs try the ladder, lose horribly, and even if they keep going back, they draw the wrong conclusions about what they need to do better. E.g. they worry about whether they went t2 too soon when their problem is they didn't expand and raid enough. They want to be the "Supreme Commander" "Master General" "Brilliant Tactician" so they're more focused on strategic-level decisions (do I get t2 air or should I get t2 land) instead of mastering the logistical side of things (just making sure you're spending your mass, have the right amount of pgens, your units aren't idle, you expand where you can, you scout, you raid, you use what you got in an effective way). That's why they would benefit from taking away everything above T1 and just drilling the fundamentals first.

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I like that above, I don't want dumbed down and believe you get crutches from it, removing aspects of the game that can be reintroduced later is a good idea

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@emperor_penguin said in Noob matchmaker queue:

There is an argument to be made for changing the map pools for the lower rating brackets to be more apm-light/noob-friendly, but then people argue that those map types won't teach the lower-rated players the 'right way' to play the game according to their perspective...

Well, it's a competitive queue, so it makes sense that it has more difficult to play maps; this it not elitism, it's just the nature of a competitive environment.
People shouldn't play ladder games if they don't like the difficulty of the maps, the whole point of it is to proof yourself in a competitive environment (Askaholic expanded on this here already).
Btw, lower bracket maps are already chosen to be a bit less difficult, they get more smaller maps for example, though they aren't as easy as Astro.

Back to the topic, a casual queue without shown rating would make a lot of sense imo, though as you can see in this thread it seems everybody has a different opinion about what maps it should have and even about how much of the game should be enabled in them...
I don't think we have the playerbase to make as many queues to please everyone and being able to queue for multiple at once doesn't solve that.

1

@askaholic
FAF might be low micro by your standards and in comparison to certain types of other games, but it can still be very high micro to a lot of peoples' standards, as different people can have very different comfort levels for apm/micro/etc.

If you read this thread, you can see that a lot of people do have trouble keeping track of and handling things on maps like those generally put in the ladder/TMM pools nowadays. As bellatrix explained, it can be stressful and not fun for a lot of people to play those sorts of maps. I get that it can be fun for a lot of people as well, but there are obviously a lot of people who don't like that sort of gameplay and who don't play TMM/ladder as a result.

If you don't believe that a lot of FAF players (the majority?) prefer easier more apm-light maps in general, I'd like to refer you to the popularity of astro and gap (among others).

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They are free to stay in the custom lobbies if they want totally stress free environment.
Ladder is supposed to be competitive one that showcases what the game is about.

That's why you never see such bad maps like gap or astro in the ladder. No game that values itself even allows for such maps to be part of competitive 1v1 ladder. There is a reason why only SR is allowed to be ranked in LoL and Aram + other game modes have their ratings hidden.

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@RandomWheelchair
Marginalizing people out of TMM is not the right approach.
Making additional TMM option(s) for them would be much better.
There are benefits to having the convenience/functionality of TMM for players who want regular games that go beyond the blitz chess style of current ladder play.

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Use 1 rating for all these baby queues: you have now converted tmm rating into as useless of a metric as global

Use a variety of ratings: you have now brought over the predisposition of one map players into matchmakers where players will refuse to move on to another queue because that means they lose their identity of “2k god” in the noob queue and will continue to be averse to jumping into a new queue until they feel they are “totally ready”

now you force people into new queues: congrats, you found your way into an over-complicated way of what we currently do.

Matchmakers operate by “proof of induction” because if it doesn’t work for the top players, it’s already dead conceptually.