Coop campaigns order

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Someone said that the campaigns have troubles teaching new players the game. I believe the FA campaigns should go after the original campaigns in the coop mission list, as new players jump into Black Day and are overwhelmed, and the original campaigns are more introductory.

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The coop value of the original campaign is very low, your units are massively restricted etc.
If people start into coop with that they will probably lose interest in it.

"Nerds have a really complicated relationship with change: Change is awesome when WE'RE the ones doing it. As soon as change is coming from outside of us it becomes untrustworthy and it threatens what we think of is the familiar."
ā€“ Benno Rice

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FAF is based around FA, so it make sense to have FA campaign first.
While the vanilla missions do introduce units slower, they were meant to show you the basics of Supreme Commander, not Forged Alliance. Even though thee games are very similar, the balance and pace of units changed a lot. So the vanilla campaigns are OK-ish for introducing the units, they are not good tutorials.

While I've reworked the Aeon campaign to fit more of the new style, UEF and Cybran campaigns are still quite similar to what they used to be. They would require a similar treatment. Maybe even the Aeon campaign after my changes could use a lot of tweaks.

So to sum it up, what we have is not perfect, but it's probably the best with the resources we have.

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if you mean what units you can build (not unit capacity), when I started supreme commander the original campaign was easiest to learn how the game works and what unit does what exactly because units were restricted, instead of having overwhelming number of options that idk what any does of FA campaign

but then again players that come to FAF probably aren't that new to the game

bigger problem to me is that original campaign wasn't balanced around FAF or even FA balance (everyone "teaching" you to build 3 mex and 3 pgen at start instead of factory, units having different ranges/hp/damage)

it would at least be chronological, and separating them into groups (original, FA, custom) would help tell what any of them are, ordering and possibly adding cutscenes between them that you can't otherwise see (such as faction intros, and between mission cutscenes) would also help something other than gameplay that everyone is forgetting - story, idk how many even know supcom has one

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Btw. with the next game patch, missions briefings will be available for FA campaign.
Vanilla campaigns briefings are almost ready, but there are some problems with delivering the updated video files, so it's not sure if that's gonna be ready when the game patch is released.

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@brutus5000 Not necessarily, while it's only anecdotal my own personal experience was that I did the UEF original supcom campaign in co-op when starting off playing with someone I knew (who was new to the game), primarily for the reason noted above - it helps teach the game, and trying to start on the first FAF mission would have turned them off the game due to the complexity, assumed knowledge, and difficulty.

If people are new to supcom then they're more likely to lose interest if thrown in the deep end than if introduced gradually; by contrast if they're already familiar with supcom they've likely already done the original campaign and so would be more likely to look for the more challenging missions (since it's reasonable to assume they'd know about both the original supcom and the FAF missions and go scrolling down for the FAF ones, whereas someone new to FA altogether wouldn't).

That said, based purely on what games I've seen hosted, the FAF missions are far more popular than original supcom missions (although how much of that is down to the order theyre presented in I dont know)

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@brutus5000 said in Coop campaigns order:

The coop value of the original campaign is very low, your units are massively restricted etc.
If people start into coop with that they will probably lose interest in it.

Looks like you have never played games.

Have you seen any game that throws at new players everything all at once?

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The real problem is that the UI for selecting the missions is bad. Campaign missions should be grouped properly, so that you can easily distinguish between Vanilla, FA and FAF custom (in worst case it should just be hardcoded into client imo). Then you can display them in whatever order you want. I'll try to make a suggestion for this in the mockup im working on currently.

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@melanol said in Coop campaigns order:

@brutus5000 said in Coop campaigns order:

The coop value of the original campaign is very low, your units are massively restricted etc.
If people start into coop with that they will probably lose interest in it.

Looks like you have never played games.

Have you seen any game that throws at new players everything all at once?

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an insult? Anyway.

We are talking about coop. Yes it is pretty annoying if you can barely build anything at the beginning and then do it with 2-4 players. If you want to bore yourself through the campaign you can do it in single player, you don't need FAF for that.

For coop players who know the game the original campaign just sucks.

"Nerds have a really complicated relationship with change: Change is awesome when WE'RE the ones doing it. As soon as change is coming from outside of us it becomes untrustworthy and it threatens what we think of is the familiar."
ā€“ Benno Rice

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@Brutus5000 could you get us numbers of plays per missions from the db? versions combined
To see the favourite missions are

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Here is my current mockup (you can try it for yourself). It's still missing mission descriptions and faction logos and some other stuff (like the actual create game dialog).

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@brutus5000 said in Coop campaigns order:

The coop value of the original campaign is very low, your units are massively restricted etc.
If people start into coop with that they will probably lose interest in it.

@speed2 said in Coop campaigns order:

FAF is based around FA, so it make sense to have FA campaign first.

Then make the first co-op mission on the list the SECOND FA campaign mission. That one is super easy/chill.

"Black Day" was adjusted to boost the difficulty. It's ridiculous to put that as people's first experience in co-op if they don't know any better.

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Here's the mockup I made when I made a GitHub issue about this last month.
ec72fe8a-ab7a-40f0-b5d5-b6176f74b0ed-image.png

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@arma473 said in Coop campaigns order:

@brutus5000 said in Coop campaigns order:

The coop value of the original campaign is very low, your units are massively restricted etc.
If people start into coop with that they will probably lose interest in it.

@speed2 said in Coop campaigns order:

FAF is based around FA, so it make sense to have FA campaign first.

Then make the first co-op mission on the list the SECOND FA campaign mission. That one is super easy/chill.

"Black Day" was adjusted to boost the difficulty. It's ridiculous to put that as people's first experience in co-op if they don't know any better.

First of all s the start if the Black day is much easier than start of the Dawn, especially if you play in coop.

Changing the order of the campaign missions is a bad solution, double that with the fact that the briefings are gonna be available soon, so there will be more of the story to enjoy for the players.

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@arma473

The problem is not the difficulty of the first mission, as speed sad, the start of the second mission is not easy at all for new players.

The problem is, AGAIN, the UI. What makes the first mission difficult for people new to FAF, is that the "Timed expansions" option added by FAF makes the main way to cheese the missions impossible (cheese: waiting and building up before comleting objectives).

This option is on by default and hidden somewhere in the lobby settings and not found by new players because they don't know it exists. It should be, together with difficulty selection, an option tht is put into the center of attention of the player, directly in the client in the "Create game" dialog if technically feasable. My mockup will included that when i make the game creation section.

@Deribus
Anything that groups the missions is already better than we already have, so that is nice in your mockup.

However, i think the ideal UI should present a clear hierarchy and selection order to the player:

  • First, select the base game (Vanilla, FA, or FAF Fan-made?)
  • Then, select subgroup (only for Vanillar: UEF, Aeon or Cybran)
  • Then, select the mission

I tried to display all of these things in exactly that order, and without any nested dropdowns. But your mockup is of course much closer to what we currently have, so potentially easier to do and and would already be a substantial improvement.

And i think the small campaign descriptions i added are really important to allow new players to orient themselves and choose a campaign that suits them best.

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@Katharsas one more thing to think about in your mockup is that we have the coop leaderboards. In order for the replay to count for the leaderboard you need to play with default settings. That includes Hard difficulty and Timed expansion enabled.
Those two options arent exactly new players friendly. But they are set as default, because there is currently no way of telling the players if the replay would count towards the leaderboards.

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@speed2 Ill try to come up with a good solution, thanks for the reminder, i didnt know that!

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I don't think timed expansions are a bad thing, the story missions are originally flawed in that not completing objectives and instead safely building up to dozes of experimentals and then stomping everything is always the best course of action in every situation, rather than playing the mission, making every mission basically the same

with timed expansions this is neutralized and imo only thing needed is some kind of indicator ingame when timed expansions happen so it isn't an unwelcome surprise (such as "15 minutes until seraphim attack"), of course players would still wait until timer runs out before completing objectives, but at least they can't wait literal hours nor be taken by surprise they didn't know about

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@Mach
Nobody thinks timed expansions is a bad thing.

What is bad, is that the players don't know that FAF changed the most-used strategy of noobs for how to beat any missions. We can do a better job of telling players about it. See below.

@speed2

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