What can be done to make 1v1 more popular?

@nomander

I often hear this sentiment that this notification will result in a higher participation in ladder. And while im not against its implementation, im not sure it will actually lead to more ladder games.

I can imagine two 2k ladder players wanting to play ladder, both not queuing since there was no notification of someone else of their rating being in queue. If not for this notification however, they might have tried for a few minutes.

Can the ratings (or approximate ratings) of those queuing be shown beneath each queue?

-3

Here's how:

  1. Delete all 5x5 maps from the pool (maybe 1 is acceptable)

Reason: 95%> of 5x5 map games end within 15minutes, which I bet for most players is not fun. Therefore anything larger, like the customary 10x or 20x maps incentivise longer gameplay. You can rationalise this logic by using an endless amount of analogies. Here's a few.

Analogy 1 - I like to watch TV shows, and find great pleasure in binge watching them. One of my favourite TV shows is Dexter. I recently binge watched the first 5 series (for the second time). When I begin my binge watching, I don't just watch 10 minutes of one episode, or 18 minutes of an episode, what is the point of that, unless you suddenly have to stop watching it for whatever reason. At minimum I watch a full episode, which ranges from 45 - 60 minutes. Often I would watch back to back episodes. By doing this, I see the full arc and plot of the episode, and become engrossed in the story and characters being portrayed.

Analogy 2 - I am partial to a bit of online, and over the board chess. It's a timeless game that millions enjoy. Now imagine a chess game where you're playing bullet chess. Games last <3minutes. Imagine further that every piece on the board is removed for both players, except their king, and 1 or 2 pawns. Each player has 2/3 pieces. Imagine further, instead of the standard 8x8 board of 64 squares, you now have a 3x3 board of 9 squares. Now picture how this hypothetical game looks and feels as a player. It would be very fast, and frankly boring, in which both players gain little to no satisfaction in playing. At least by playing with all your pieces on a full size board you can explore the 10^120 possible moves the game has to offer.

Analogy 3 - As a lover of crisps (potato chip), I can easily devour any size portion of crisps, such as the 30g bag, a 50g bag, 100g or 200g sharing bag, no problem. Let's take the standard serving size bag which is typically around 30g. I open the bag, and I begin eating the contents. I eat the whole bag and finish the contents. The same applies to most bags up to 200g, where I will often save at least half a 200g bag, or a 1/3 if I'm feeling fat that day. I would never open a bag of crisps (30g) eat 1 or 2 crisps and leave the bag to eat later. I will eat the whole bag. There is little point or pleasure in eating a few crisps from the bag, when the bag has so much more to offer, i.e. it's entirety, of which provides a full and satiating serving.

Now,

Similarly, I do not enjoy playing this game for such a short period of time. I want to maximise my fun by playing for not too short a time, but equally not too long a time. Personally, I enjoy games that last a minimum of 40 - 60 minutes irl time. The game has a large scope, with many units, many things to do and actions to execute. This can not be explored to any real degree in such a limited and constrained scenario, of which, a 5x5 1v1 ladder match essentially is.

I understand that many players gain the most satisfaction from playing this game by simply defeating their opponent. Being the victor, the superior player is very satisfying, maybe the most satisfying aspect of any competitive game that requires you to end the virtual existence of your opponent. Defeating them fast can only serve to boost this feeling too right.

But take a step back. In the context of this game. Are you really serving the higher good by beating opponents as fast as humanly possible. Is that encouraging players to want to play more? How sure are you to get another game after you just spend 97 minutes in a queue only to have killed your guy, or being killed by the guy in a mere 9 minutes and 34 seconds? 😕 Is playing the game and winning in 9 minutes and 34 seconds more satisfying, pleasurable and entertaining than playing for 43 minutes and 12 seconds, win or lose?

The game was made to have fun, to remove you temporarily from the absurdity that is real life. Yes part of that fun involves beating an opponent in it's online competitive variant, but it's not the only aspect of it.

@yew You claim that the issue with the 1v1 ladder is the overabundance of 5x5 maps. This statement may or may not be true, however the arguments you provide are not sound. You can use analogies to better explain ideas, but you can’t use it to “rationalize logic”. The obvious issue being that FaF is not actually a bag of chips or a TV show. Any arguments that you make based on this premise are going to be flawed.

I am fine with 5km maps. I don’t like large 20km maps because I feel the games are too long and have too much mass in them. On this issue the matchmaking team and I agree, since most maps are 10km or 5km in size. Perhaps they have some data to back up their decision.

@ganima

The maps you get are dependent on the average rating of the players. See the current mappool in the forum post under "Anouncements". In general, lower rated players get smaller maps and higher rated players get larger maps. This in order to create gameplay that is both comfortable and challenging.

As with all things in life, it requires balance, saying large maps are for these people and small maps are for these people I believe not for the best.

another way of looking at this is that small maps require more micro and therefor suite a higher skill, and larger maps require more macro wich is something most players are familiar with.

lower skilled players can manage eco and these sorts of things but do not understand how to best use those units when they have been made, for instance i often see 1k players make rocket bots but then just suicide them in with t1 ect aswell as undertsanding that flares can beat mech marines but if microed the opposite can be true this is not a low level thing.

small maps mean that the loss of every single unit counts and could mean the differance between winning or losing whereas on larger maps there is more room for error.

I believe a map size that would provide the best experiances would be 10-12km

the only differance i can see in skill required for a map would be how much water there is, having a third factor to manage ontop of air and land would increase the challange, even more so with faction diversity, low players would struggle when their opponent spams zues or aeon t1 tanks on a navy based map when they are uef or cybran.

@lowki

No you are wrong. Individual differences aside, lower rated players in general prefer more 5x5 maps and higher rated players enjoy more 10x10 and 20x20 maps. The only plausible explanation is that map complexity becomes more enjoyable when you become more skilled. These preferences are not only understandeable intuitively, but are also observed. There was some survey done to establish this a few years back.

That said, its true that you need to have some variety at all levels. I know some 2k+ players that enjoy 5x5 a lot and wouldnt mind having half their pool be of that size. Also I know some <700 players that would like to play more 20x20. As always with these things, you cant please everyone. If a specific feedback becomes very frequent, however, I agree that changes need to me made.

It's hard to manage everything on a large map when you are low skilled (like me)

As conclusive as it's going to get.

How relevant is 4 year data?

Interesting, the data looks like almost every rank prefers 10km the most; yet the map pool for lower ranked players is overwhelmingly 5km.
While I understand to some extent the logic (in that playing on 5km lets you get good at basics of t1 tank spam and there is probably less to manage than on a 10km), the problem is that it leads to very repetitive gameplay that can quickly get tiring.

While I'm aware that personal preferences will vary (so there's very limited use in my own experiences), for what it's worth when I started with ladder I quickly got tired and switched to astro crater because of the lack of variety in a 5km tank spam game (yes, astro crater was much more varied and interesting to me! This is the low mex version that used to be played though). It felt like there was little room for alternative tactics and most games played out the same (further compounded by T1 being the stage with the least variety of unit types and other than Aeon, minimal factional differences).

Looking at the map pool, despite 10km being a preference for all ratings except 300-500 (for which it was still 2nd favourite) based on FtX's old survey, we have 100% 5km for <200 and 75% 5km for 200-700. Now I suppose you could argue that if you get good at managing your eco in a 5km and good at building the maximum number of tanks, coupled with a good build order and sensible use of your ACU in combat you should be able to get past 700 rating relatively easy. However, I suspect I won't be the only one who was turned off by what felt like a grind of optimising a single approach (spam t1 tanks).

Has anything been done more recent to see if lower rated players really do prefer 100%/75% 5km maps?

no data is more recent and i do not understand why yew thinks the community has entirely gone about face in preferences

5x5 and 10x10 have always dominated in preferences. Back during the ancient zep pools where 33% of the map pool was the most commonly picked maps and the other two 33% were the map picks of each player, the common map pool was majority 5x5 and had zero 20x20.

Please point out where I say anything of the kind. I am curious if and by how much we can rely on 4 year data. Surely it's not exactly the same.

Preference by and large probably does remain the same.

@maudlin27 said in What can be done to make 1v1 more popular?:

Interesting, the data looks like almost every rank prefers 10km the most; yet the map pool for lower ranked players is overwhelmingly 5km.

Theres your answer.

10k hits the sweet spot that allows for more varied play compared to 5k and in most cases wont leed to 1hr plus games.

@yew It's real data so it's quite valuable. I don't really see that anything large has changed to affect this data. Of course, it would be nice to have more recent data, but the fact the any genuine hard information exists is surprising to me.

Secondly, I will corroborate this data with my own anecdotal experiences. I have, and still do, find larger maps daunting. You usually get way more mass to manage, you need to do a transport build order usually and use transports and you need to defend and get intel on a much larger area. Not to mention that these maps can also include navy so it's so much new things to deal with. Back in the old days when Heaven was still active there was some kind of ice map that was massive and as a new player it was very stressful to get it.

I will concede that my earlier point about smaller maps being for more high level players was flawed as was pointed out by @StormLantern

however the only thing I stand by is that when it comes to maps for particular skill levels is the map complexity that has the largest impact.

So I would put farward this argument, the lower level maps should be as plain and as simple as possible, with no terrain or water or reclaim, and as skill level rises so to should the map complexity slowly adding features like plateaus, water and civilian structures to reclaim or capture

@lowki @maudlin27

Looking at the survey results again, it does indeed seem that 10x10 maps are currently a bit underpresented in the lower rated brackets of the mappool..

Ill take a look if the team will agree with an extra 10x10 map in the lower brackets.

@stormlantern Can mapgen NOT be included into 1v1 ladder please? It generates terrible, turtle-y maps.