Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

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Reg312
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Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Reg312 » 20 Feb 2013, 17:29

Hello.
Playing warzone multiplayer for long time i found low-oil classic games are unpopular in Multiplayer Lobby.
Most beginners start playing on "flat high-oil maps", and most of them dont like "classic" maps.
Gameplay called "low-oil" is definetely unfriendly to beginners. Unfortunately i do not see any future. i dont see patches and plans to improve "low-oil" gameplay.
My question is developers have any plans to do something to improve popularity of "low-oil" games in future? e.g. improve UI.

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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Rommel » 20 Feb 2013, 18:03

I think a lot of it is about the higher level of management required and the need to defend multiple places (oil resources) and I am not sure that there is anything the devs can do. It's like saying how can we change chess so that the novice will not get owned so much by the master lol. IMO the issue is the sheer quantity of maps, no one really has the time to learn them all - and not everyone has the mad skillz of NoQ to be able to adapt to any map using preview and minimap. What happens is that 90% of the time you play a low oil it will be on a different map than you are used to and then it's floundering around with trucks trying to find oil and then all of a sudden a million enemy units appear at your base just after you have finished to get it outputing some units lol.

My advice to get more peeps playing would be for wz2100.net to officially host a ladder or competition focusing on a handful of maps. Add a hall of fame and you will then get lots playing just for the ego (ego is huge in online multiplayer). Maybe say a high oil and low oil ladder for clans to battle it out.

Also for god sakes post some strategies - what to res, units to build, etc, etc. If good low oil players want more in MP they need to share some of their tactics :)

NTW maps are more the arcade style, with lots of action and little time to get to it, a player gets to try all the technologies and learn very fast some simple strategies by watching what other players do - it allows a new player to learn a somewhat complex game quite quickly.

I feel as time goes by people will slowly drift thru to low oil games for a taste of the strategy, you already have a few clans playing these maps in MP quite regularly so they are coming up in the lobby, just not quite as much as high oil - although the other day there were many.

In the end, maybe NTW is just plain more fun for more people :)
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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Nameless » 21 Feb 2013, 02:06

Personally I think it's just a phase but I'd have to look deeper into the Korean gaming RTS community to really see if similar trends have been followed to really know for sure. Why Korean? Because StarCraft is there lol.
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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Reg312 » 21 Feb 2013, 10:20

Rommel, your words sounds resonable for me.
High amount of maps is one of issues which making low oil worser for beginners.

What to to:
1) Do not force players to memorise oil resources. Yes! make oil visible someway.
2) Automate research selection (e.g. if player want 'heavy cannon' then he just click it and wait until finished)
We have 400 researches. Its very nice, but UI for it written in 1998 :shock:
3) Remove truck races (already did in 3.2 with new 100$ per derrick).
4) Add information about maps in hosting game UI (description, size, oil per player, scavs power)
5) Upgrade game UI
- make selectng what to build easier (e.g. submenu "base","defenses").
- add more notifications and advices (e.g. use tooltipls to make easier to remember keyboard shourtcuts)
- make unit design menu more informative
6) Add random map generator. As i know we already have one in Flame program, just need to put it into warzone (rewrite in c++)
Generate map on starting game
7) Make research and power modules not neccessary. After all i can say: modules very unfreindly to beginners (they forgot to build it and lose many many games just because of lack of modules)
e.g. if you make research module - all your research in selected lab become more expensive.
if you make power module.. dunno, set 1000$ price for modules
....

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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Rommel » 21 Feb 2013, 16:07

Reg312 wrote: 2) Automate research selection (e.g. if player want 'heavy cannon' then he just click it and wait until finished)
We have 400 researches. Its very nice, but UI for it written in 1998 :shock:
I have thought of this as well, but you would need to be able to override at times, or make the res path specific to each lab - ie say one lab on synaptic link stuff, another on primary weapon, another on armour... the list go on and thinking more it could get complicated - ie priorities and such as you sometimes need to use more than one res facility res what you are after.

So maybe you could have like priorities integrated to this, but it seems complicated... WZ being what it is, there is no real surefire path in res and we really can't dumb this down (ie what I said about chess in my previous comment). The whole thing surrounding WZ is the skill of multitasking and being able to adapt to stuff on the fly.

Maybe if you had the ability to "lock" an individual res facility to a research path and leave others open or a VERY concise priorities system. In the end we have to take care not to push WZ to the lowest common denominator in regards to player skill - like many other games have done in the past.
Reg312 wrote: 3) Remove truck races (already did in 3.2 with new 100$ per derrick).
I hope to god this is optional and can be disabled... it will not be cool in NTW games and if not optional it will kill multiplayer...
Reg312 wrote: 7) Make research and power modules not neccessary. After all i can say: modules very unfreindly to beginners (they forgot to build it and lose many many games just because of lack of modules)
I agree that rmod and pmods should be axed, from what I am seeing they stifle defense building with peeps devoting a huge percentage of trucks to getting stuff upgraded fast when at that time of the game building d structures is important. It just seems a trifling thing to have to build something twice - all mods could just be research upgrades like the rest of the res and power upgrades that come later with synapse and turbine upgrades. I would suggest the same for factory module as well - ie when you have finished resing mods the upgrades are automatically applied instead of you have to build them.

This area also causes some negative comments and bullying of new players who might not even know what is going on when someone is screaming at them to rmod, fmod, or pmod
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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by aubergine » 21 Feb 2013, 17:17

Regarding modules...

I like the research/power modules. I think they add to the gameplay, where you have to decide do I create new structure or upgrade existing structure. The problem here is that the game doesn't alert you if you forget to build them, so this "problem" with them being complex could be fixed by game giving you gentle reminder if you've not build a module say 2 minutes after researching it.

Same applies to factories as well, there are still players who only ever use light bodies because they don't realise factory needs more modules to produce medium/heavy bodies.

And same sort of thing applies to power gens, with newbies not realising they need 1 pgen per 4 derricks.

All these things can be easily handled by improved situation reporting. Try Contingency mod or Enhanced SItRep mod and you will find that both have new audio prompt letting you know when you need more power gens. A similar prompt could be added to remind you to build modules.

To remove modules from Warzone would make it no longer Warzone.

Regarding research...

I think the main thing that makes research confusing for newbies is the total lack of info about a) where you are in the tree and b) what a tech does (in laymans terms) prior to researching it.

Nothing can be done about these issues until we get ability to script user interface in JS API. We need the ability to experiment (trial and error style) with different UI concepts without the high barrier to C++ coding.
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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by NoQ » 22 Feb 2013, 18:42

mad skillz of NoQ to be able to adapt to any map using preview and minimap.
I want to repeat again, these "skillz" can be acquired after three or four real matches on three or four different maps. That's the very first trivial lesson every RTS player (not even warzone player) learns.

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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Originway » 22 Feb 2013, 19:56

Reg312 wrote:My question is developers have any plans to do something to improve popularity of "low-oil" games in future? e.g. improve UI.
how would you improve the UI? there is no way to fit the tech tree anyplace!

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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by aubergine » 22 Feb 2013, 19:59

Reg312 wrote: 1) Do not force players to memorise oil resources. Yes! make oil visible someway.
Realised recently that somehow the Contingency Mod makes oil resources visible across whole map. I assume it's a setting in the stats files or something. Certainly makes finding them much easier and didn't detract from gameplay like I imagined it might have prior to trying it.
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Re: Low popularity of low-oil games (in multiplayer lobby)

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 22 Feb 2013, 20:18

aubergine wrote:
Reg312 wrote: 1) Do not force players to memorise oil resources. Yes! make oil visible someway.
Realised recently that somehow the Contingency Mod makes oil resources visible across whole map. I assume it's a setting in the stats files or something. Certainly makes finding them much easier and didn't detract from gameplay like I imagined it might have prior to trying it.
It was as simple as switching their "Start Visible" property from 0 to 1 in features.txt, though this does bring up another issue (that affects all structures or features, including those that were previously seen, but are now beyond the player's units' sight). See ticket #3959.
Creator of Warzone 2100: Contingency!
Founder of Wikizone 2100: http://wikizone2100.wikia.com/wiki/Wikizone_2100

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