Add the "Shahrazad " experimental which, when completed, restarts the entire game
Best posts made by CheeseBerry
I first joined FAF like many people at the beginning of the first lockdown in March, but really started playing just a couple of months ago so my new player experience is still relatively fresh.
That being said, I am at a 1.3k global ranking now and do intend to stick around for a while, so I guess this is the opinion of someone who got over the "new player hump".
First and foremost, I agree with many of the posts here: The game is indeed very hard, unintuitive and complex. More casual game modes that can bridge the gap between the (coop) campaign and multiplayer would also be greatly appreciated to onboard new players.
But really, what got me closest to quitting was the toxic community at ranks below ~800. At those ranks, every game is a complete clusterfuck, and sometimes (often) one side just straight up gets destroyed by the other, even if both sides were of the same skill level. Imo there is nothing much that can be done about that. The game's economy of unrestricted exponential growth means that even a 20% difference in skill, can result in you having 10 times the number of units than your opponent just a couple minutes later. So new players will regularly get destroyed at lower ranks and there is nothing we can do about it.
But what we can change is how they FEEL about getting destroyed! Every such game that ended with people starting to flame and then ctrl+k-ing their entire base left a sour taste in my mouth while games where I got equally murdered that ended with friendly advice on what I could have done better, made me want to play again right away!
It's not even about people like me I am concerned about. I have thousands of hours of competitive multiplayer games under my belt by now, so I am (sadly) very used to online toxicity by now. But, the toxicity at lower ranks does prevent me personally from introducing some of my more casual, less abuse proof friends to the multiplayer side of FAF. Because who wants to introduce their friend to the multiplayer experience of a game they adore, just for them to be called slurs for minutes on end?
Playing 2v2 with them is only a partial solution as the scale that many casual players love is found much easier in 4v4 or larger multiplayer matches. There are many other good things to be said about larger team games too:
On many noob-friendly maps, the initial minutes are conflict free, which just feels much more relaxed than the "action from second 1" that smaller maps have.
Larger team games usually have dedicated roles for each spot. While suboptimal for learning FAF the most "efficient" way, one single role like "you are the air player, just have more planes than your opponent" is conceptually much easier to understand than the myriad of stuff you have to do in 1v1 and 2v2 games.
Larger team sizes also make it easier to write off losses as not entirely your fault. It's not that I'm preaching unaccountability here, but loosing 5 times in a row, and knowing for certain it's your fault, can be a much harsher experience than just knowing you could have done a bit more.
None of this is new information of course. I mean, there is a reason that lower ranked players get drawn to 6v6 dualgap and not 2v2 Fields of Isis.
So the most natural place to onboard new players is in large team games - at least half of which end in flaming at lower ranks...
My suggestions therefore would be a Karma system of sorts, fully built into the client.
Make flaming, griefing, ctrl+k-ing your base reportable and start restricting people's functionality once peoples karma score drops too low.
Maybe start by restricting all-chat during games, so they at least can't flame the other side for "being smurfs" or whatever, maybe even disable team-chat too if they drop too low. Put a skull picture next to their name in the lobby so people know right away not to take them seriously, ban them for a day or a week, stuff like that.
You could reward positive behavior too, although I don't know what those rewards could be yet.
tl;dr: Have been playing FAF for about 5 months, the toxic community at lower ranks is imo the biggest hindrance to introducing new players to the multiplayer. My solution would be a Karma system to punish bad behavior.
In the vault there is a mod called "chat beep lite" which plays you a small "beep" whenever your allies write something in chat. At least for me, it hugely helps to actually read chat and coordinate with allies in hectic games.
As I'm seemingly not the only one that sometimes has trouble reading chat, integrating that into the main game options would be great
My brain is too smooth to keep the openings and general game plan in my head for the 50 or so maps that are rotated in the 1v1 pool.
Combining that with me valuing mastery over actually winning the game, I dont even wanna play when I know I will already start off suboptimal.
Is this pretty dumb? Yes.
Could this be solved by either just caring less or by going through all the maps in like a weekend? Yes.
Am I gonna do that? Probably not.
A lobby option allowing premade teams to play together in an opti lobby would be great!
Example: Two people want to play together in a custom 4v4 with opti enabled. The host enables this new "opti with premades" option, and then puts those two players on the same "opti team". The opti algorithm then takes this into account and tries to find the most balanced teams, with the condition of those two players always ending up on the same one.
UI wise you could even use the already existing "Team" selection interface, as it's literally useless in opti lobbies.
I'm not sure how small of a suggestion this actually is (I guess a similar algorithm already exists for tmm?) but if implemented it would certainly find some use.
The #gameplay-and-training channel consensus seems to be that you can get to ~1.8k by just executing the basic strategy for each map very efficiently.
I.e. if you are just very good at spamming tanks on ladder or really efficient with your eco/build in defensive team games, you'll reach 1.8k in them.
Beyond that it seems to be a combination of a lot of things:
- Map awareness and gamesense allowing you to accurately know how the game is going and make the correct decision based on that.
- Adaptability seems to be a huge one, allowing you to not only choose the correct strategy based on the situation but also be able to execute it well.
- "APM", so that you can micro a bomber, sent a raid and macro on the back end, all pretty much perfectly. This also allows you to either deal a lot of damage with little mass investment, or trade your apm for your opponent's, which is a good trade because you presumably have more. Apm probably matters a lot more on 20x20 ladder, but as a certified Setoner(TM) I wouldn't know
- "Teamsense": being able to judge what your allies are good/bad at, adjusting your strategy accordingly.
- Being comfortable in unconventional situations: Ever got a 2nd or 3rd base in a fullshare game, didn't know what to do and suddenly had a full mass bar? Yeah, that shouldn't happen.
- Being even more efficient: While a 1.8k is decent at whatever they do, there are still huge improvements possible. The 2.5ks we have can talk to their stream, while also shitposting on the ingame chat and still have better eco and micro than I do in my tryhard sandbox games. Also even a couple percent improvement in whatever you do actually matters quite a lot due to the exponential nature of the game.
- Being even better prepared: Many of the "serious" BOs go to straight up absurd lengths of optimizations, e.g. delaying a single pgen by 10 seconds at min 5.
In short: It doesn't seem to be one big thing but many small things to improve from 1.8k onward.
Would be interesting to hear what our resident >2.2k players think though.
Sadly I don't think there is an easy way to make T3 air more engaging/less oppressive.
Slightly delaying T3 air (by like a minute) and/or increasing its cost wont change the meta really, it will just delay ASFs a bit and make both side's ASF clouds a bit smaller, but you are still heavily incentivized to rush them as the only counter to your opponents ASF are your own.
Heavily delaying air (by more than like a minute) and/or increasing its cost will change the meta, but only to the much more toxic T2 bomber all-in strategy described by FTX, now being forced in every game.
(Honestly, my gut instinct is that if you had two decently competent, coordinating, try harding teams on both sides of every match with the current balance, T2 bomber strategies already should be pretty oppressive on many if not most maps. Imo the only reason that they aren't is due to the missing coordination/try-harding.)
I think the new player experience would be greatly improved by linking to external Youtube/written tutorials in its Tutorial section.
I know that's not what it was meant to be, but I think it would be a pretty big improvement over what's currently there, i.e. not much.
Finding good educational content for FAF is hard enough as it is, even searching the Forums for it is not super straightforward, so having an "official", easily found place to get started would be great for new players.
If more people hosted "nice players only" lobbies that would suggest there is more demand for good behavior. I think there is a lot of willingness to tolerate toxicity and trying to force everyone to be nice would also have serious downsides.
For example, "Gentleman Seton's" has specific rules about being polite, not ctrl-k your base, that sort of thing. The vast majority of Seton's games are not "Gentleman" games.
If someone hosts a "Be Polite 500+" lobby, I'm guessing there would be 90% less toxicity in that game.
I always advocate people to host the games that they want to play. It doesn't matter if you have 2 games or 2000.
Your suggestion is indeed a workaround if you are already invested in the game and just fed up with the toxicity. I see a couple problems with relying on this approach though:
New players don't know the game, the maps or the implicit rules about hosting (initially, most of them don't even know what "being grey" means), so new players don't host games. I'm fairly certain this is true in basically all server lobby based games, so the experience new players will have is the one we give them, for better or worse.
Even if new players were to host games though, it would put the responsibility and work of curating a good game experience on them, which is not what we want. If we want to retain as many new people as possible, they should be able to just play the game and have fun, without worrying about all that stuff.
Therefore, I would strongly argue that curating an enjoyable new player experience is on us, the invested people, and not the new players themselves.
Latest posts made by CheeseBerry
I looove the proposed tele range nerfs!
Now tele actually requires correct execution and interaction with the rest of the map, while still being super strong when it works as it should be
As an idea, I'd propose to change the tele range from 350 to 410, for no other reason than 410 is the nuke sub range and having standardized ranges where possible is nice.
@syndicus Isn't the team rating cap and minimum rating enough to achieve that? I mean the 2.3k rating cap only excludes like 5 relevant people, so you may as well allow them to sign up.
Stacking isn't really possible with the 6.7k team rating cap anyway. You need at least two 1ks leaving you with one 2.5k and one 2.2k, a team composition that's imo less desirable than a more balanced setup.
@syndicus said in Seton's Clutch Tournament Best team of 2023:
@cheeseberry Correct, players 2300 rating and below will be allowed to sign up.
Sry I'm still confused. Can e.g. farms with his 2.6k sign up for the tournament or not?
@cortana said in Seton's Clutch Tournament Best team of 2023:
In my opinion, as 2000 global, there is quite a lot of difference between 1900-2100/(some 2.2ks) and players that are 2300+.
Seconding this. Most of the >2.3k players are just significantly better than me at my 2k.
Check out this post on the discord for probably the easiest solution: https://discord.com/channels/197033481883222026/1164661950970613841/1164943577797886082
Note that you need to restart the game twice for any icon mod changes to go into effect.