I want to start a noob support community, what do? Also, does anyone want to participate?

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I'm looking for ways to make life easier for new players, in the hope that this will prolong this game's life in the long run.

@Deribus said in the Q&A Thread that noobs are often confronted with the following problems:

  • Getting kicked from custom lobbies
  • Long queue times in matchmaking, and very imbalanced matches for the first 10 or so
  • Few similarly ranked players willing to play anything but dual gap and astro
  • Very steep learning curve

The #gameplay-and-training discord channel is focused on helping with that last bullet point, and I commend everyone there for their effort and success, but upon talking to the members, I got the feeling that the other issues are not really part of their mandate (which, upon reflection, is reasonable)

So could a similar community effort help make those critical first few games more straightforward to get, and also a pleasant experience? How did #gameplay-and-training get started? How were the trainers recruited and how are trainees finding their way there? How do big clans like ANZ or CpC organize so well to fill lobbies so fast? Does anyone have any thoughts on what such a community might do to help? Are you interested in taking part?

I'm thinking a good starting point would be finding people willing to host around the clock, build enough reputation to fill lobbies reasonably fast, and compete with the endless gap/astro lobbies for noob attention, with a focus on making a good first impression, but I'm kind of lost when it comes to the organizational part.

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Right now there are the <300 and <800 meetup channels on Discord, which are meant to be a place for noobs to find games and have discussion, but are "locked" behind reacting to a role, which most noobs probably won't do. As a result those channels are pretty dead. I think a simple change would be adding a new channel on Discord for noobs to find games and have discussion, so if there aren't any objections I could do that at some point.

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@archsimkat Might also serve as a place for hosts to discuss appropriate maps, call players to fill a lobby, general thoughts on how to balance, how to increase visibility, etc

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Getting kicked from custom lobbies

Sheikah had some auto-hosting lobbies at some point. That, along side your own lobbies (of you, Phong) and other actual all welcome games are a solution here. We could even make auto-hosting lobbies with specific rating ranges, to guarantee that people of the same rating are in that game.

Long queue times in matchmaking, and very imbalanced matches for the first 10 or so

I don't think there is much we can do against this - it is how the rating system works.

Few similarly ranked players willing to play anything but dual gap and astro

Same as before - auto hosting lobbies.

Very steep learning curve

Inherent to the game: an RTS in general is difficult. Supreme Commander made it exponentially more difficult, just look at the initial reviews of the game. There are some solutions, some pre-existing and some being worked on:

  • The original campaign missions are a great introduction to the mechanics of the game
  • @HintHunter is working spearheading the work on tutorial-like missions and videos, we just need more people and in particular someone that is willing to learn the scripting side of it. It isn't too in-depth scripting, but it still needs to be done by someone.

Are you interested in taking part?

I'd love to, but I have other things to do 🙂 .

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@jip I think help with the learning curve is already well handled by tutorial content creators and the #gameplay-and-training community. Giving those efforts more visibility is one of my goals, although I'm not sufficiently familiar yet with the landscape of existing tutorial content, especially in russian, and would appreciate help in compiling a relevant list.

I'm happy the programmers are doing what they can to increase player retention. I still think a more focused community can help where scripts cannot. For instance, a human host has the opportunity to be nice, gets friended more, then their lobbies fill faster. They have the ability to pick good random maps from all the mediocre ones. They can adapt their lobby size to timezone-related wax and wanes in the player count. They and their friends can direct new players willing to get better to those very useful resources I mentioned earlier, tutorials and the discord channel for training, and doing such would be easier if we were more familiar with these resources. They can moderate lobby chat and do their part to change the culture around kicking noobs from all welcome games. But most importantly, robots suck at making good first impressions and don't make friends. This is crucial to having new players return to our game rather than going and playing whatever the latest steam release is.

But there is one coding-related feature I'd love to see, maybe you know who could help me: lots of people don't mind playing with noobs among them, but there's no equivalent to the !setons rallying cry in #aeolus to summon them. Could a bot be put together for this purpose? Who do I bribe?

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@phong it would be better to make a certain number of initial games for the rating not count, given that the players do not know any builds or timings, they do not have banal mods, constantly walking back and forth to build mexes in the range. I personally have not seen anyone particularly trying to teach someone from 2k+ players except for Resistance, the problem here is that there will essentially be no new players if everyone plays king of the hill. I can lose 1900 100 times, I don’t know if he will become 2000 from this))

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You’re not doing anything helpful by ignoring the first few games of players, rating is relativist. You also don’t need a 2k rated player to teach you how to not e stall minute 3, if a 2k rated player is interested in training it’s generally a waste of their time.

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@archsimkat said in I want to start a noob support community, what do? Also, does anyone want to participate?:

Right now there are the <300 and <800 meetup channels on Discord, which are meant to be a place for noobs to find games and have discussion, but are "locked" behind reacting to a role, which most noobs probably won't do. As a result those channels are pretty dead. I think a simple change would be adding a new channel on Discord for noobs to find games and have discussion, so if there aren't any objections I could do that at some point.

No the issue is that there aren’t enough new players at any given point on the Discord to organize said games. The point of these channels being locked by rating is that you can’t ping roles for 1v1, 2v2, big teamgames, modded games, etc without pinging all 18,000 players on the Discord that put those roles. I don’t think Tagada wants to be pinged by an American 200 to play a 1v1 at 2 am.

Better solution is to actually make the react channel mandatory to go through prior to entering the rest of the Discord same as other communities do. Can also loosen the rating brackets so that there are more people in each category. Currently it is 5, could make it 3.

I’d also say this thread is mixing up a few things. @Jip says the campaign is a great introduction to the tools of the game but it isn’t. The feedback loops of the campaign very specifically encourage you to play in a 20 minute no rush style and is probably the reason why that sort of gameplay is so prevalent in lower rated lobbies. I know when I finished the campaign all my skirmishes against AI were with no rush because it’s just how the campaign taught me the pace of the game.

In terms of actually grabbing players the campaign is fine since people with no experience like the stress free style of pve but this thread is already written under the presumption of using pvp as an introduction for new players.

FAF made missions also don’t really improve on this beyond the point of making missions auto expand at some intervals. Many times they make even heavier attacks happen at expansions which encourage you to abuse the time for free development as much as possible. Several others induce difficulty by making you do things like fight monkeylords when the strongest unit you can make is a pillar.

There really does need to be less of a giant gap in user experience between pvp and pve on FAF.

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The biggest problem is:

People want to get good at team games by playing team games

But the way to get good is through playing 1v1s with conscious effort directed towards analyzing replays and taking feedback from better players, especially (if you can get it) feedback from top players

How do we create a team game environment that teaches people how to get good at team games? Probably, we can't. Maybe we need Rimworld-style tutorials that assess what is going on in the player's game in order to offer targeted advice as the game goes on. So the game would point out basically "hey dude, your economy is grossly unbalanced" or "bro, you're power stalling and you're not taking this reclaim in front of you" or "don't put storages on t1 mexes" or "you shouldn't put pgens around more than 2 of your t1 mexes" "this e storage thing you're doing is abominated" etc.

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@arma473 easy: host mixed rating game, coach the noob on your team taking time to type, die early due to typing all the time, then coach full time

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@phong u do this great, we have won games just because of your coaching. I think if more people played like that we could have a much better new player environment

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What? You need to play 1v1 to be good at teamgames? Somebody should tell Yudi, BH, and Farm who all got 2k in teamgames before even beginning to care about ladder.

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@spikeynoob I'm willing to share my secret die-fast techniques if you're willing to consider hosting all welcome every now and then haha

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I would like to point out that this is actually a vital post.^^

There're a bunch of newbies out there that could use any kind of help,maybe some short eco videos or some examples of situations to make it interactive, i know that the trainer team is working on developing any means of helping as well, could also suggest to get some short tutorials up and perhaps integrate them in the launcher.

good to know there is progress in this direction 🙂

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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As I said, there are plenty of people already doing good work training noobs, and more tutorial videos would be nice. What I wanted to focus on was making sure that new players have a higher chance of naturally interacting with a helpful veteran as fast as possible, before they potentially sour on the faf experience, without jumping through any discord or forum hoops. Until the matchmaker becomes the clear default, I think more of a presence of such helpful veterans on the custom lobby list could do this, since, as Deribus said, the noobs themselves are saying that finding games is difficult, in spite of the fact they can host themselves, and in spite of the fact that the matchmaker's available 24/7, but only populated half the time.

Some people don't mind having noobs in their lobbies or they wouldn't join my games. Some of them host themselves, but maybe the noobs that know me don't know them so they are less likely to join. But then there might be other people I haven't even met or barely interacted with, playing in a different timezone or not fluent in English. I was hoping we could organize into a community and maybe sway other people to give "noobs welcome" a try with this goal in mind.

Maybe there's something I could do to get more noobs to join my lobbies I haven't even thought of and one of you suggests it. Many noobs are under the false impression that joining a game with any veterans in it will be a bad experience, when in fact, it can be quite fun. What could I do to change that perception?

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How about: a game mode where the match is unrated for the single highest rated player on each side but not the others, so they could just concentrate on helping and instructing and not worry too much about their own performance or rating hit.

This would help new players get their rating established and learn the game, could limit it to players below certain number of players / games except for the coaches

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You can already accomplish that by having high rated players be observers in a game.

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@black_wriggler hey that sounds interesting i'll give it a try
Edit: tried it in 1v1 format, was quite fun, if i get a chance i want to try 2v2 as well. we called it Minions & Masters after the tournament

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isn't it a bit broken if masters can see the whole map as observers?

Remember: Losing is Fun!