I joined FAF in october, used to play on the original FA 10 years ago (mostly with friends vs AI). I've got around 50-60 games and around 1000 global rating. I apologize for my english as I'm not native.
What would lead me to quit FAF is the lack of variety in maps that are hosted. I would say 90% of the games available are Astro/Dual Gap/Setons. If you try to host any other game you will have to wait at least 10min a lobby. I'm playing with a friend and we ended up hosting mostly Field of Isis 2 vs 2 games, as we figured people would join (a little bit more action than the previous maps mentionned but still really turtle heavy).
The eco and firebase meta are really boring and as a new player I find it difficult to stop (T2MMls are basically useless vs shields+TMD+t2 arty) and you're often forced to eco up and spend more time in an already boring match.
So I know this problem is only on specifics maps that are sadly really popular so I will not talk about balance here. Ultimately you learn bad habits, get inflated elo on this specifics playstyle that leads you to get destroyed when you try something new, and most of the people will then chose to get back in their comfort zone and the cycle continues.
To solve this issue I thought the 2vs2 matchmaking was a great idea to introduce players to new maps and playstyle. I heard about it watching Jagged stream which led me to download the latest version of the client. When doing it I realized I was on v1.2.0 and spent 2 months on an outdated version of the client. For me it's highlight a little communication issue :
The fact that the matchmaking now pops up first before custom game is a great idea, as mentionned the only thing I'm afraid is that half the playerbase would be on the wrong version of the client, so people won't find much games in TMM and stop caring.
On the training material, I think the most common problem among new players is to be really conservative factory and units wise (that is further teached in astro/gaps that will 90% of the time be the first multiplayer game they will ever play). Just by ending on a youtube recommandation of Jagged and watching Tagada on Twitch I could instantly see that I was building way too less factories and units.
This leads me to think that more communication towards streamers could be done (again it's a really small icon on the landing page) as it's a tool to build a community which will ultimately retains players, and you can easily copy paste some of their way of playing (so a less ressource-heavy alternative than the tutoring while still being able to pick the most obvious things you're doing wrong in your gameplay).
In general I think a redesign of the landing page putting the emphasis on new features, streamers currently online ( and youtubers wih POV content) and the forum (I don't even know if 5% of the playerbase actually end up here) would be useful.
The tutoring idea post from Archimskat is also cool but then again it's on the forum where maybe 5% of new players will see it. Is there a way to have it as an header on Aeolus (nobody even goes on #Newbies) or have a bot send it automatically every X minutes ?
A little communication push could also be done towards AI mods like Uveso or Swarm AI, as a good amount of the new playerbase will spend a lot of time vs AI in the beginning because of anxiety. I don't know if it's possible to make them one of the sandards AI or have a dedicated AI filter in the mods section but those AI at least make a lot of units and could teach news players about standard mass t1 on small maps. Uveso also generate AI markers so they can play on more maps. Hopefully the new tournament can make newbies aware of those alternatives.
So yeah, for me it would be mostly the boredoms from the most populars maps that people who would rather play teamgames than 1vs1 have to face. As mentionned the 2VS2 TMM is a great idea to face this but I think some improvements are definitely needed on the way of communicating about it and making sure it becomes a success.
Well by reading this thread it's good to know I'm not the only one who can't take any more astro/gap.
So for the moment, if I summarize, the most common reasons mentioned are :
The learning curve/community aspect
**-->**By reading this thread, the ressources are there. They are just unknown from the average new guy. It should be the easiest to fix. You're 100% sure that the guy will end up on the landing page after launching the client so might as well use it to it's fullest. Currently there's 8 differents news on the landing page + the various links on the right. It's just my opinion but I would divide it in 3 or 4 big windows instead :
-One BIG ass discord icon with a catching phrase like "need help to get better, join the FAF discord to meet experienced players blabla". The discord icon is on the top right (away from the rest of the menus that are on the left) I think a lot of people are missing it. Could also link the forum there.
-One big news related window like, "download the new client and play TMM now".
-And a third for the streaming/youtube content community aspect. Who even knows Nexus has a youtube channel with POV commentary ? And he's the number one player in FAF. If you say to a new guy that keeps losing "here watch #1 ranked player Nexus POV in the last tourney", he will click to see how the man plays. It just has to be catchy. Even a link to the replays section auto-filtered on top players could work.
It's just another example but when I finally downloaded the last client, I can see that there's a BO tutorials from Heaven in the tutorial section that could be useful to any new players. Why not put it in the landing page ? You're 100% sure they will at least see that it's available, you don't even know if 10% of them will click on the tutorials tab.
Well those are just ideas out of my head but you get the point. Ressources are already there to help new players to get better. I know it may sound dumb but a big part is just a matter of using big shining windows and catch phrases on the landing page (that currently seems overloaded to me) to improve the chance they click on it and see that help is available.
I second this, I spent 3 months on an outdated client. I think it's the same notification icon that pops up after you finish a game to rate it, so people don't bother even checking it.
I wouldn't be surprised if half the playerbase was not on the last client's version.