Faf accademy for new players?

Hello everyone. Speaking from a perspective of a new player who only few months ago found this game, and started playing.

Been browsing topic, and common problem I`ve found is kinda stagnation of the community, especially on higher level ratings, but such problems can quickly move to other brackets fast.

So, hope my perspective can give you some insight how you can retain new players in greater numbers, and have them be a bit competitive. Best motivator when gaining any new knowledge is confidence you will not be wasting your time, when you finally get it.

First feeling you get when you join custom lobby is, you are not welcome there. No greys etc. makes it hard to get out of grey phase. Ok, lets try ranked than, and get spanked in 10ish mins, just feeling overwhelmed. I can watch the replays and maybe figure out something, but most ppl and players dont have that kind of time and dedication, and will just quit there.

So, having some easy to see ladder or bracket would be great, especialy if you can provide some guidance.

This is just a rough idea, and welcome further discussion on it, but here it is in short version.

Have dedicated volountier instructors, who can guide new players by for exsample playing against them, while being on discord. So you can communicate misstakes he makes. If you are droping him, and see no reaction, tell him that. Hey man, just droped ya there, its 15 mins in the game, expect such things, and you can counter by placing radar there or something along those lines.

And added benefit, those players will have a proper grasp of the game, and its mechanics, not only know how to play 1 map. People like to stay in their confidance zone, so if they learned from custom games to play on 1 or 2 maps, they will only stay there, its scary to get outside. So that is another number of players who can be infused on global population of the game.

Hope this made any sense 🙂

There's a gameplay and training section on discord where people can post replays and get valuable tips on what they did wrong/how to improve. Maybe it just needs greater promotion so more people are aware of it since from your post I'm assuming you're not. There are also a number of guides for people to look through which give valuable tips on some of the basics they should be doing.

Unfortunately the problem of custom game hostility to new players is harder to resolve. I'd suggest creating all welcome games yourself if there aren't any, and reporting people who provide a toxic experience to new players in-game (e.g. insulting/abusing them because they're not playing that well).

Well, as you have stated well, looking at the situation now, we can say for a fact, its not working, or its not enough, or somewhere in between. What I`m proposing is an improvement, witch is different from the current system, since we stated it doesnt give wanted results.

That is why there is coaching in the strategy games, guides or tutorials are not enough. What I`m suggesting is that. First impresion is what really maters if you want to keep new players.

If I simply log in, see on the news page tab with beginers lobby link (or something like that), with a discord link where I can see if any of the coaches are online, (could be set time few hours per x many days on week or something), create a game, and get quality improvement with a person to not only teach you, and with knowledge comes creativity. Those new breed of players could bring some fresh air, for the lack of the better tearm.

Yes, it requires some work put into in, but from what amazing work I`ve seen here done, and love put in this project, I have no doubt that some work isnt an issue for you guys :D. Soz for the butchered English, not my first language

What about the trainers?

Wow ye, pretty much. Maybe give it some promotion love, maybe some polish if needed and think that would be quite good.

Guess I invented hot water, but it would never occur to me to check for it under contribution tab. Should be on general or even have its own banner on luncher home page.

Custom games are about as solved as they’re gonna get, the tint variation was removed but people will still kick players with low games. The point of matchmaker being the first tab in play on top of it giving rating for custom games dependent on certain factors makes it the best place for new players to first get acclimated. There is also an advertisement for the Discord on that tab.

The role you’re talking about is also not really a trainer role. You’re talking about some like community ambassador thing, which some trainers do, but it’s like investing 20 hours on a new person who plays 2 games after and then leaves the community after. It’s incredibly draining for a lot of people and has extremely rare payoffs.

When it comes to getting better at the game 80% of it is having the inner drive to actually play it, whether out of fun or competition. It’s why trainers will ask for replays to help put people on the right track since it’s a small time investment that can naturally build up if the person actually is motivated and comes back for more advice.

Regardless new players are going to be told the same stuff every time, it’s another reason the huge time investment on new players is incredibly unappealing because you’re just reciting a script. It’s why most of the guides were written and why some of the faf new player videos exist.

Trainers are also not a retention tool just purely by the scale of FAF. FAF gets what? 300 new registrations a day? We have maybe 3-4 people any given hour of a day around to help out new players? The improvement would be absolutely marginal and contrary to what you said, it would actually be the guides and tutorials that could make the difference there.

@dzonikv contact me on discord for a training part, i can teach you and show you the ropes on how is the game played.
HintHunter#4462 that is my discord id tho you will notice me on FAF discord in #gameplay-and-training

Good luck and have fun.

Analyze, Adapt, Overcome...

Man don't waste time on learning boring stuff. You came to play then play

We could maybe add some casual matchmaking queues? Something like 2v2 vs. AI or such, restricted to specific rating/number of games?

That's could be an intresing system for trained you go up again an Ai and if you beet it you increase the difficulty of the Ai ?

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" - Spock

Instead of adding a new queue for vs AI games, an alternative could be a section in the tutorials area which gives you an AI challenge mode that's suggested (but not required) for new players wanting to familiarize themselves with FAF mechanics - you have a series of maps where you have to beat certain AI (e.g. each AI dev that wanted their AI included could pick a map for their AI to be fought on), and if it's all done you get an achievement, with that achievement being the first of the 'open' achievements that shows when viewing your profile, to further make people aware of it.

Has the benefit of giving players the option of a less punishing introduction than ladder (where you're likely to get completely crushed while it figures out your rating), and the maps and AI are already in place (although changes would be needed to the client). Also helps increase awareness of the various AI mods out there beyond the default and Sorian AIs, but without forcing anyone to play against AI.

It sounds like a good idea to put a "play with ai" section in the tutorials tab, probably it would be a refinement to have a simplified options panel of sorts (with relevant options as type of ai, players, setup, map, etc..) that would then be auto setup ingame so that new players don't get lost in the lobby and in the options there

AI has never been something a lot of trainers recommend playing against when trying to improve. It does help playing AI when brand new to the game and trying to learn basics, eco, units & buildings, commands etc. but it can be quite detrimental to use to improve. The AI's inherently make stupid moves: terrible unit composition, no real micro and easily exploitable. To counter this, AI have little cheats which they use to be more difficult to play against. These can lead to people developing bad habits, which don't transfer well when playing vs other players. If the idea is to play with ai to then transfer over to traditional ladder, then new players will still see themselves being beaten, and may be more down hearted, as they've now invested X amount of hours into playing AI, whereas the same amount of hours vs human players would teach them a lot more applicable skills.

The academy idea could be worked on, however the biggest shortcoming is the amount of time trainers and volunteers are willing to invest. All trainers dislike holding players hands through the game as they end up investing multiple hours into games when the same replays can be analysed in a quarter of the time. Trainers aren't there to teach core fundamentals of the game, they are there to help people improve once they have that understanding and are willing to improve.

I like the idea's but finding people who are willing to sacrifice multiple hours a week to observe is probably going to be too hard and learning vs AI's results in bad habits and people finding a comfort zone playing said AI's

There was an idea for something like an academy, which would be in the format of: many short custom missions. They would be like campaign missions, except:
-no multiplayer, single-player only
-they are designed to last only a very short time, like 5-10 minutes, not be like traditional campaign missions that can drag out to 2 hours if you want to turtle up and take it slow. If you want to teach them how to hurry up an air factory the "win condition" / "lose condition" could be something like "shoot down the enemy bomber before the 3 minute mark, and then capture the enemy radar by the 4 minute mark" (which would be impossible to do without using a transport, design it so an engineer or ACU can't walk fast enough.
-they are designed to teach specific skills (specific builds, certain kinds of micro) and it's not meant to be a secret. The FA campaign missions do a little bit of this, teaching people how to use new unit types, but this would be the entire focus of the mission and the player would be told: "this is what we want to teach you"
-no real need for a cohesive plot/story at all
-it should keep track of your progress to say which missions you've beaten, or not. This would help players to get a sense of accomplishment by completing the training missions, and help them to see which one they should do next
-avoid using voice acting or in-mission text. Keep most of the text/explanations outside of the mission, that people can read before they launch the mission. this also makes it a lot easier to support multiple languages. It has to be easier to translate a 4-paragraph block of text that's visible in the client than it is to translate a bunch of in-game text messages to the player. Also, the client itself could link to youtube videos showing the mission being completed successfully by a competent player. So if someone can't beat it on their own they can watch how to do it and then copy

We could even make a "rating" based on how many of these missions a player has successfully completed. Basically this would be done to encourage/shame weak players into doing the academy missions so they can learn all this stuff and we don't have to take the time to teach it to them. It would be an alternative way to build up a rating so people can see your skill level. And perhaps this "academy rating" should be hidden for everyone who gets to at least 500 rating points. There's no point in showing the academy rating for people who have managed to get their global rating up high enough.

It's a way to feel accomplishment if they're feeling bad about getting their butt kicked in competitive games against people (whether it's 1v1s or 8v8s), and it would actually teach them what they need to know to get better.

Assuming the "academy" was completed with about 100 short missions, the time investment would eventually pay off in a big way I think.

Every time someone proposes this idea, people like it, but it never gets done. I don't know how to make custom co-op type missions, or I might consider doing some of it.

The people who had the talent and motivation to make missions are now working on their own game.

@thomashiatt But this is still a worthwhile conversation to have and no harm can come from it. If we are fortunate, it may encourage new attempts at such a thing.

Sorry for derping out of conversation, had a good reason for it. That link for trainers, as well as people in the forum there who offered to help out, shows for a fact community shit has passionate people who are willing to help. All my questions have been answered quite well, and my problem solved, so just wanted to say thanks to everyone who took their time to help and join in the conversation here.

What I see here, is a great community and would love to see it grow, and if conversation is going, it can always lead to brainstom ideas for little tweaks here and there, that can greatly improve user experiance when they all stack together.

Maybe don't call it a "community shit" ^^ Good to know you found what you were looking for so just gl & hf