Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

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varis
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Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby varis » Thu 22 Mar 2018 19:58

Some ideas people have hinted at and I've been thinking occasionally. This is not yet the best analysis as 1) it confuses a little bit the player decision making and game features to establish the flow (although it's not just software features but also how the community is organized, what Eugen puts in marketing materials etc) 2) it's made quickly with MSPaint + GIMP without much thought.

This is based on the ideas that:
1) First user experiences are important (players make quick decisions)
2) The players need to find the most fun easily
3) There is a multi-step discovery process
4) Player interest has a lifespan - what's needed on Day 1 is different from 3 months later on

Only if players can be naturally directed to the best experiences the game has to offer, will they stick around and the community starts mushrooming initially. If there is longevity in the game and veteran players can be entertained with appropriate challenges, they will keep coming back week to week and month to month, and a healthy multiplayer community will survive long into the franchise.

Basically it's what people have been asking with matchmaking, but here I take a bit broader view to the discovery experience. In terms of the software, features that are important are like matchmakers, the server browser/lobby system, any possible clan/team support and how the different game modes are presented and how the player discovers them.

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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby Steamfunk » Fri 23 Mar 2018 02:46

Maybe I enjoy being bashed in the head too much, but I think playing on public servers is fine as long as there isn't a major disparity between the teams. I don't really have time to play more than a few hours a week but I can still jump on discord from time to time, depends on my schedule. We could do with a few new game modes, maybe something that people can play for 20 minutes or so (if that's possible).

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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby high_melanin » Fri 23 Mar 2018 13:44

Steamfunk wrote: on discord


Which discord for wargame?

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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby varis » Fri 23 Mar 2018 23:23

Steamfunk wrote:Maybe I enjoy being bashed in the head too much,


The thing is that the above graph is an iterative learning process and many of us still writing on the forums have been through each of the boxes. (BTW anybody looking for one more player to play CS:GO-Competitive?) We might have a thick skin when it comes to these things. The average player starting the graph at Step1 for the first time is a very different population and from the point of view of the ongoing community and the developer of the game what happens to that guy is quite interesting.

Steamfunk wrote:but I think playing on public servers is fine


Often the experience is way too random. You can run into professional seal clubbers or the opposite team can lose morale 10 minutes into the match and just fold at the time you have warmed up and are preparing for the greatest fun. It seems very hard for teams to stick around in WG so often you end up playing with randoms - making the experience random WRT both of the teams involved.

Part of the problem is not just random results, but also the lack of information. OK we do have the stats, if somebody doesn't hit start before you have a chance to review them, but many people probably do not use them properly to assess the opponents, plus there is an issue with smurfs and so. The risk of getting frustratingly seal clubbed in your next game, but nobody tells you in advance, may be worse than the actual experience (if it doesn't happen too often).

Unmanaged fragmentation into different playstyles might make these problems worse.

Steamfunk wrote:as long as there isn't a major disparity between the teams.


Which seems to often be the case, with Wargame's long and hard learning curve. It's one of the problems people have proposed to solve with a matchmaking system, but there would be alternatives such as working out different incentives for players or redesigning the lobby system.

It's a lot about what kind of siphons you can create into your match creation process to land players with similar skill levels and tastes into the same game. One idea could be codifying different styles into separated game modes similar to CS:GO or a few other games with multiple game modes.

We could have at least:
-(Total) Destruction
-Conquest
-Tactical
-Escalation (rapidly increasing deployment points, a bit of a mix between SD and Ikalugin's high-point playstyle)
-Classic conquest (from EE) / Tug of war
-Minor nations, era
-10v10

With perhaps some modes combined.

There should also be siphons that push you towards team formation, and pathways in match creation which make sense for already organized teams. Persistent teams are essential for WG multiplayer as being able to actually coordinate with someone in the complex Wargame context is what brings the best out of the game.
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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby James-Bond » Sat 24 Mar 2018 00:05

I like the flow chart

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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby Shika » Sun 25 Mar 2018 04:52

The stacked lobbies are a pretty big issue, as 10v10s are basically unplayable. In ALB 10v10s were super fun and I don't remember almost any being stacked but maybe I just didn't notice. New players really like 10v10s because it's fun but doesn't require super tryharding, but now that 10v10s are basically exclusively tryharding meta cheese zergers with 30 pieces of tube artillery it definitely drives players off. However moreso why 10v10s are so bad now has a lot to do with the buffing of artillery.

The stats system also really hurts bad players, honestly I don't care if I have mediocre or bad players if it's destruction and the map is well-designed, because you can carry these matches. I do like the stat system too though for spotting premades who have ~70% winrates, it's fine to see someone with a high winrate on their own but if I see a group then the banning starts. On the flip side I see players with low winrates getting kicked for their stats. I never see players with too high of a winrate kicked, always too low.

I don't know if the lack of instant matches is really a deterrent, I like the lobby system especially with how many settings there are in this game to tweak. I would like it somewhat implemented to help new players get in in a game that, for the first in its series, I would say has a real focus on winning and doing what's meta with your buddies to boost your stats as if this is a MOBA or something. Simply choosing conquest or destruction should be ample, and the size/map is random with say 30 seconds to choose a deck after a reveal. Wargame is never going to be on the level of braindead shit like PUBG, nor is it ever going to be on the level of moderately popular games for the masses. It has enough of a niche market to simply be fine-tuned and given some new life and units and sold. As much as I hate stackers they keep the game alive to some extent, but they also drive off new players a lot because if you just join the most filled lobby, you're going to be clubbed even if you're a great player. It's distasteful and stacks need to realize there is a point where having fun has turned into tryharding with rigged lobbies. as a long-time player I know to avoid these, but new players do not, and on the weekdays? Good luck finding a match within 20-30 minutes without joining these bad lobbies
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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby Fade2Gray » Sun 25 Mar 2018 07:01

Stats needs a revamp. Hiding stats is the wrong answer. When the EUGEN servers got borked and the stats could not be viewed? It was a pubstomper's dream. Out of the few dozen games I played before I gave up until EUGEN fixed it, there was only 1 game that was balanced and enjoyable. The rest were massively stacked, and after a couple weeks the exodus was real. Regulars figured out what was up, and either stacked with teams themselves or bailed. Eventually it was just a bunch of lobbies with pubstomp teams hoping for enough victims to join, waiting an hour, then giving up and leaving. Steel Division only makes this worse, and the pubstomp crews are rampant and it helped drive off a lot of people. Now you see SDN with far less players than WGRD, and that speaks volumes.

Stats needs to be more openness to begin with. There needs to be something that shows in lobby the relative balance of skill. If a newbie joins, there should be something to tell him that he is way out of his league. On top of that, stats needs to include a way to sort the stats. Maybe up top show "win ratio over past week" and "past month." If someone joins who is a 30% overall, but their recent stats is 50%, that would help a lot. Making stats more transparent and out in the open instead of hiding them behind a button that isn't really explained would help out a lot.

Shika wrote:New players really like 10v10s because it's fun but doesn't require super tryharding, but now that 10v10s are basically exclusively tryharding meta cheese zergers with 30 pieces of tube artillery it definitely drives players off. However moreso why 10v10s are so bad now has a lot to do with the buffing of artillery.

30 tube arty pieces is "tryharding" in 10v10 now? Either the skill level has dropped big time for 10v10 it seems, or the good players are just screwing around a lot.

Also, you and molni should get together, the 2 of you would get along well it seems.
Last edited by Fade2Gray on Sun 25 Mar 2018 18:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby XanderTuron » Sun 25 Mar 2018 08:35

Shika wrote:New players really like 10v10s because it's fun but doesn't require super tryharding, but now that 10v10s are basically exclusively tryharding meta cheese zergers with 30 pieces of tube artillery it definitely drives players off. However moreso why 10v10s are so bad now has a lot to do with the buffing of artillery.

People tryhard in 10v10s? :lol:
Fade2Gray wrote:Also, you and molni should get together, the 2 of you would get along well it seems.


How do you know they are not the same person?
My mouth is moving, but nothing relevant is coming out. Also I cannot guarantee that my research is perfect or even remotely accurate.

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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby Fade2Gray » Sun 25 Mar 2018 16:14

XanderTuron wrote:
Fade2Gray wrote:Also, you and molni should get together, the 2 of you would get along well it seems.


How do you know they are not the same person?

I would have felt a disturbance in The Force if they were.
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Re: Player flow - how to design a succesful Wargame

Postby Steamfunk » Sun 25 Mar 2018 19:58

People tryhard in 10v10s?


What usually happens is that a few players rush one side of the map so it's usually over before you can make a cup of coffee (which is what I need to stay awake during those matches).

Stats needs to be more openness to begin with. There needs to be something that shows in lobby the relative balance of skill. If a newbie joins, there should be something to tell him that he is way out of his league.


EE showed XP and Elo rating of all players in the lobby, ALB rejigged that so you could only see ranks. Only a handful of people played ranked and it only went up to 2v2, anything above that was a gamble.
Last edited by Steamfunk on Mon 26 Mar 2018 18:37, edited 1 time in total.

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