[Reserved for logging purposes, unless someone takes the lead in that department]
WIP: (btw, if you plan on commenting, and you already did in discord, you could be patient and wait for me to add it here eventually, so you can just say "I support §17.34." or whatever - but be my guest to write it down again, just know I'm following the stuff I have in my head right now, and it might be a while for me to start integrating new views from the forum posts)
Note that I'm only writing down what I've seen people write. I'm not gonna go into who said what (yet), and I'm not saying these are reflective of my opinion.
In general, the approach I've seen in the discord to the "What" can be split into these 4 broad categories (note they all consider both 1v1 and TMM). Note that I will add details as they come to light (be it pro and con arguments, or the approaches that could be taken, etc.):
§1. Absolutely no AI ladder.
This is quite self-explanatory. There are those who believe that AI should not be integrated into the ladder. Some of the arguments are:
- players don't want to play vs AI, that's why they are playing ladder
- it could have bad impact on player rating (e.g. players could learn patterns vs AI and get some free juicy rating)
§2. Yes to AI in existing ladder, but with restrictions.
This group argues that AI could be an ok solution, but only in particular use-cases. People aren't necessarily against AI, but are either concerned with players being stuck playing vs AI in times of smaller player base activity, or with how an AI could even function in a ladder matchup (in regards to "player" skill, rating, etc.).
Another point that in a sense covers all of the following is, regardless of the particular implementation, players would like to see number of games played vs AI capped in some way (e.g., 1 in 5 can be vs AI, or only 3 a day). There are two general reasonings for this:
- prevent players from being stuck in an unfortunate loop of playing a lot of AI games (say 2 players are active, but the length and offset of their games causes them to both be playing vs AI, instead of each other).
- prevents players from "boosting" their rating by intentionally playing vs AI only, assuming there is a way to exploit an AI
Given all of the above, here are the approaches to this general category of view:
§2.1. Allow players to opt-in to play AI.
There are those who believe that each player should be able to decide if he will be matched up against AIs. There are 2 general solutions proposed as to how it might work:
- have a setting somewhere that allows the player to opt in or out of AI matching: this approach would mean players don't have to play
- have a button that is always there, and if a player is not willing to wait to get matched with another player, they could just press it at any time (no need to opt-in as in previous approach)
The general notion is that not all would be happy with an AI opponent, and might find it a waste of time, so this is a middle ground - allowing for those that would like it to have the ability to use it, without forcing it one those that wouldn't.
§2.2. Restrict AI's impact on rating.
Some consider games played vs AI should not contribute to the score above a certain threshold. Another more particular note was, winning vs AI should not allow for league promotion (if you want to go from silver to gold, you must win vs a player). Some of the arguments for this approach:
- most arguments for this idea are very similar to §1.
- there are suggestions rating should only be lost vs AI in higher-rated matches
-- some point out that would effectively result in players being hostages in AI games - assuming a player doesn't want to lose rating, they have to waste their time on a game, since they can't gain nothing
§2.3. Restrict AI's matching to only newer/lower rated players.
Some argue that AI should only appear in ladder matches against new or very low rated players. The reasoning behind it is it could be a good approach to facilitate early progress and engagement of newer players, but because of the points raised in §1., it could have negative effects on the mid and high-rated ladder.
§3. Yes to AI in existing ladder, it goes through it just like a player would.
This one is self-explanatory in essence as well. The problem is a lot of people are worried on how this could even work.
§4. Create a separate ladder for "vs AI" games.
This one is also quite self-explanatory. The idea is to leave the existing 1v1 and TMM ladders alone, and create a dedicated PvE ladder that only features player vs AI games. Some of the arguments for it:
- there is a population of players that enjoy PvE situations
- all the different AIs available in FAF could be confusing and dissuading for players that want to partake in PvE
- custom games have a hard time being filled up if they are PvE
- given the points above, a dedicated PvE queue could entice players who prefer PvE games to join in on the ladder, and be in general more welcoming to new members of the community
- additionally, some of those that do join in the PvE could in theory transfer over to the PvP once they get more confident in their skills and experience (but it's not a given)
-- some point out the opposite could happen, and already relatively small PvP ladder user base could be diluted with addition of PvE ladder