Once again, Morax, here on the Council of Setons campaign trail.
I want to start by stating what I think the Player Council should be in a few simple statements before I get onto key duties, responsibilities, and plans for current or future issues to address.
If the formatting of the message board post bothers you, please feel free to read on my Google Doc.
What is the Player Councilor?
The player councilor should be the voice of the community who takes every minute they work in the position to express the desires and what makes people in the community happiest. This person should uphold the task of taking all the complex language and technicalities such as TrueSkill rating and explain it in layman terms to those who are interested, all the while providing an optional media (written report, video, etc) that demonstrates all the details for those interested. It should be a person who not only works on the community but as well actively plays with the community to better experience the choices made.
My Previous Experience As M&M Council And How it Applies for Player Councilor
For nearly 2 years I was the maps and modifications community councilor where I spent a majority of the time helping people and creating a learning tool. My best achievements - in my opinion - were creating a series of documents that had a list of all the references and tutorials possible. This was a necessary step in figuring out what the community knows - together - so that we can move forward and improve.
For those interested, you can see the compilation of documents below:
If you look at the #mapping-resources channel in the primary discord, this has been updated from my own list and improved by biass (thanks for doing that! Looks great!).
This is not an application for the Maps & Modifications council, but this style is one example of how I would like to apply my didactic and helpful nature to the player council. There is a lot of need - in my opinion - for things like game strategy, new player tutorials, and other “how to do this in the community” which I believe currently is a bit lacking. The unified Discord is a wonderful step in the right direction, yet there is more detail and direction needed there.
That said, here are my thoughts and hopes for the Player Council role in detail ahead.
Tournaments & The Legend of the Star(s)*
Events and viewership of them is a pinnacle part of the community, encouraging plenty of discussion and fun of the drama as it unfolds. I began running WWPC alongside a player named Lextoc - who quite coincidentally taught me most of what I know - and it was a blast. I looked through this old thread and it made me realize a lot of the “top players” came from this.
As exciting as the top player events are, I kind of want to take a step back and work on some other types of events - AS WELL - that are critical to other features of the game: TMM, learning (lower player stuff and balance, and anything extraordinary like the mapgen. I IN NO WAY intend to lower my dedication to the competitive player scene as it was always something I enjoyed. Those of you who know me well know I for many years have put a lot of time, money, and effort into this.
Some of my favorites were donating to Legend of the Stars, 2v2 Master Cup, 3v3 Trident of Power, and tons of Blitz events or the likes. My loyalty to those who spend the most time becoming the best of the best is true and will always stay, yet I just feel like the Player Council need to celebrate all aspects of levels.
Legend of the Star(s):
This tourney in particular is the year end celebration of FAF in my opinion, and it needs to constantly be made better and better to uphold the kindness and generosity of blind donors like Legend who gives and allows the community to run it the way they see fit. With his permission, and others that play and donate, I would like to propose a new concept for this event: A “majors” and a “minors” that run in parallel.
At the beginning, these events were loaded with players of all levels and slowly the top players picked up seeds through a series of “Qualifiers.” Most of the time, people who play these who are not at the top pretty much pray that they are matched against someone of equal level, even with the seeding introduced by Blodir a couple years ago. Rather than do this, I think similar to sports and other leagues that a major and minor (do not quote me on this) O1900 and U1900 be implemented. The money, FAF Live, and everything will mainly focus on O1900 of course; however, those who feel it interesting to see “up and coming” stars could be free to do so. I think this will make the “Legend of the Stars” true to its name rather than the “Legend of The Star.”
The format otherwise is pretty good as-is, so am not certain of any other types of changes. I realize this concept is and will be a bit controversial, and am eager to hear the community’s reaction. I just think it would be great for up and coming players - or those who cannot achieve the highest level - to have fun and see where they stand. Who knows? Maybe if someone wins the U1900 of the LoTS it will motivate them to graduate on up and be a true “pro.”
It gives people a chance to get tourney experience they might not elsewhere...
If it becomes obvious people do not like this idea, we can scrap it and try other stuff.
Ladder & Team Matchmaker
This is a tough area to cover as subjectivity is VERY HIGH as every and all players really have different preferences of play styles. The map pools are made with a great effort in current, and the one thing I would change is this:
Limit the # of new maps to 1 to 2, have a community feedback thread for new maps to see if people like it BEFOREHAND rather toss it into the pool.
No rating resets, ever again. The global rating system is known to have its flaws, yet it has never been reset, so why do that with another one?
Openness and transparency with map ratings rather discuss the actions and reasonings for why what maps go into the pool behind closed doors
No more numerical-based polling: the community size and motivation to play ladder is really small, for instance, and could likely be personally interviewed, with feedback posted to a thread. This does not need to be complicated and short of dysfunctional maps, it should be easy to discuss matters. I suspect it will have some rules and discussion points much like the “before you post in the balance team” except perhaps a little less strict…
TMM is really critical to help finalize the return of “Galactic War.” It started out as a stepping stone as it requires matchmaking much like TMM does, so it became a reality thanks in hand to interest by the developers and a push by the player council.
My advantages to the handling of map pools:
I know how to make and edit maps so outsourcing checking them will not be necessary, but appreciated
I play ladder fairly frequently and get to experience the maps first-hand
Training of Players and Resources
The training program in FAF for players interested in learning to improve their skills is rather poor in current. After interviewing the trainers it appears very little activity is being kept up on this task. I want to make this a BIG DEAL and find a way to engage with new or desiring players to get it going. Much like the “mapping, modding, unit modeling” resources posted at the beginning of this application, I would like to entertain one for game knowledge.
I would approach this by collecting any and all references such as the following:
This is still a great video albeit a bit dated, yet do you see anything about how to perform reclaim activities listed anywhere? Perhaps I am wrong, but it was not obvious to me when I went looking, spare knowing this particular video existed.
To show how I will make videos myself, you can see one of my tips and tricks here:
[ will update and link once YouTube gets it finalized so the resolution and 60 fps work… ]
It really blows my mind that in the amount of years FAF has existed there is not a concrete knowledge base with easy access. This will be one of my primary focuses early on, should I get elected.
Collaboration with Other Councils
This is a tough one as people are always going off on balance - myself included - and believe the community often feels left out of decision-making on how the game works in terms of balance or style changes. For the most part, I want to keep distant and let them do what they do as a team, but make it heard how people perceive that in a much more constructive manner.
How to do this?
- Regular conversations with people in the balance team on up and coming changes and how to best inform the player base
- Revive “balance testing tourneys”
- Make demo videos if necessary to explain changes
I think for the most part the balance updates are very far and few between, so this should be relatively easy to coordinate and spend time on the tasks listed.
Petric, what do you think of this? Maybe if the “balance testing” tourneys show some real good data, we can make it a requirement to ensure it works outside of internal testing?
Obviously in current the player council and promotion work on quite a bit of overlap. For me, the FAF Live should have been the primary duty of the promo council and the player council to support that. I am unsure of the total reasoning for this, but of course would be happy to help develop promotional content and share information of interest, or vice versa, what others find useful.
This is of course a major responsibility of the player council. Not everyone understands or has the time to understand the complexity in operations within the development channels, and should be given an as easy-to-understand-AS-POSSIBLE reasoning for how they operate.
For example, the ladder and TMM pools show a sheet of “brackets” where a certain rating must be met in order to see those maps. It was discovered recently that it is not really that rating but is instead the “mu” which is often considerably lower than what was listed.
I will uphold the task of putting technical information in layman terms so it is simple and straightforward.
In an effort to keep moderation of the community sound, I will without a doubt support Giebmasse’s ruling and decision-making. I believe the player councilor should interfere with these decisions at a minimal amount, but sometimes it becomes necessary to help facilitate issues.
Administrative, Game Code, Maps & Modifications
I turned the final 3 into 1 category because I do not have much to say about these other than the M&M council! I believe the M&M is working fine as I have seen what biass has done after my departure, would not change much.
There is one thing I must admit: I am in much less of a state where I can play the game or work on the community as much as some other people. It saddens me to admit this, but I think if I play a little less and boost my commitment it will be sufficient. No one is paid in the community for what they do (heck, I lose money because of my donations haha!) so the time given is tough. I would estimate I play anywhere from 12-15 hours a week, so it would be pretty easy to give that up a bit.
That said, I really want to be more whole-encompassing and take on a more community-driven approach. I want to be the guy Aulex wrote about in the final post of this thread.
I spent a lot more time than recent in researching my posts, and see a lot of the concerns given by Petric here as still pertinent to today. I do not agree with everything stated, but he has some great points.
The competitive scene is important and will not be forgotten, but I think it has gotten a little bit too much attention over other matters recently.
I want to be the guy that helps everyone be heard and make FAF about fun again. It seems we may have lost a bit of that.
I pledge wholeheartedly to be the very best I can should I get enough votes to be the next Player Councilor of the Forged Alliance Forever community.