Kicking Noobs ok?

Discussions about AI types, units, tactics & strategy.
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NoQ
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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by NoQ » 08 May 2013, 19:13

There is no "your way" and "my way". There is "the right way" (everything within a few well-known balanced options) and everything else.

By a "noob" we mean a player that deviates into options that are not just known to be underpowered from a large amount of experience, but obviously bad, as can be seen via a single line of thought.

Such as, for example, "starting the game with a command center" ("power generator").

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Per » 10 May 2013, 10:33

I think we need a ladder system, like in Starcraft 2, so that we can automatically match up players and balance teams according to skill.

However, I have a feeling (which I cannot properly elucidate) that there is something in the balance, too, that makes this hostility to noobs on the team a much worse problem in Warzone than in eg Starcraft.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Deus Siddis » 10 May 2013, 18:56

Per wrote: However, I have a feeling (which I cannot properly elucidate) that there is something in the balance, too, that makes this hostility to noobs on the team a much worse problem in Warzone than in eg Starcraft.
Probably it is the vastness of the research options in warzone. It is something straight out of a 4x game that other modern RTS players probably don't have much of any prior experience with.

And I guess it has to be harder for a veteran player to watch over a rookie teammate's research choices than stuff he does in the "physical" battle space, like what units he is building and where they are being deployed.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Zepherian » 14 May 2013, 01:10

Per wrote:I think we need a ladder system, like in Starcraft 2, so that we can automatically match up players and balance teams according to skill.

However, I have a feeling (which I cannot properly elucidate) that there is something in the balance, too, that makes this hostility to noobs on the team a much worse problem in Warzone than in eg Starcraft.
It is quite simply this: either a player has enough experience and knowledge to be minimally competitive or the game is lost. WZ has a very high workload, mainly because of research and some other quirps, and it takes an experienced player to juggle the research and unit logistics with the rock-paper-scissor weopons balance. A newbie that cannot issue ctrl-xyz keyboard commands, that does not know his techtree minimally and that trys to turtle on his ignorance quite simply can't keep up with the pace. If its a high oil game he will be underpowered, slow and without focus, if it is a low oil traditional map he will be stuck at base, trying to research up to gauss with 2 oils. Ok, I exagerate but thats the situation. Only part of the community really knows how to play WZ on a competitive level with other players. It was this way for me 10 years ago. I played the campaign, joined the internet thinking I was a strategic hero and yelled the noob battlecry: "You have to be cheating!".

Also, I find this whole idea of "banning hosts" as suggested by someone rather sinister in its implications. A host should have the right to chose the players he wants to play with, and as players evolve they should be integrated into the, for lack of a better word, better games, because they are ready for them. Ban abusive people. Ban cheaters. Let hosts host the game they want to play.

I think the problem comes to tutorials, identification and matchmaking: The tutorial should teach how to play mp (which can also mean pushing up to unit cap quickly on high oil maps, not just playing campaign style, among other things). Matchmaking should allow noobs to find other noobs or to play handicap games vrs more experienced players. 5v2 maps sorted by rank for example. The ranking system itself should be thought up so as to more accurately show a players ability (artillary medals? vtol medals? speed building medals?).

In short: there is a very steep step in WZ between competent and incompetent at WZ. Getting noobs over it and playing this game requires getting their head on straight and their expectations sorted about what they will find. This game has some very noob unfriendly featers, like for example unit transfer. They have to be aware and ready for what will come and they have to be taught how to fit strategy in the warzone world. If they are not up to speed the opposition won't care...

Besides, you can't force people to play with each other. The right to play is the right not to play. The game can only happen when people that want to play EACHOTHER, find themselves. If someone is kicked they have to go to another game. Simple really. But they should be ready for what online WZ is, which I think is where the problem is. That step from campaign and/or skirmish to multiplayer. It's a big un.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 14 May 2013, 06:19

I believe that Nullbot, an AI that NoQ created, was originally designed to provide players with an AI opponent that at least attempts to mimic online multiplayer to a degree (especially on HARD difficulty). It's not perfect, but I do believe that it at least gives newbies an idea of what online multiplayer is like.
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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Zepherian » 14 May 2013, 11:06

The AI in its current (3.1) iterations is not an accurate representation of the varied playstyles and speeds of online players, but its a start, yes. If the AI follows the same power resources and makes unit and weopons choice based on them it will start to mimic players in a more believeable manner. If the AI played different with 40 oils than it does with 4... Make it cyborg spam on small maps for example, make it do quick switches to vtols mid game, make it mortar rush, things like that and we will be getting to a point where it will have training and entertainment value. Make them unit transfer between themselves for another example. I am sure it's a matter of tweaking AI implementation (does it follow oil and research and sensor rules?) and scripting (more flexible scripts based on map circumstances).

Naming it is important too: Instead of Nullbot it could be called Multiplayersimulator.

The AI could be an important tool in getting more people to play at higher levels in multiplayer, it's much better than it once was already...

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Perseus » 14 May 2013, 18:18

Zepherian wrote: Also, I find this whole idea of "banning hosts" as suggested by someone rather sinister in its implications. A host should have the right to chose the players he wants to play with, and as players evolve they should be integrated into the, for lack of a better word, better games, because they are ready for them. Ban abusive people. Ban cheaters. Let hosts host the game they want to play.
You may not like the idea but it's because of the manner in which some hosts kick players, kicking known players who play well and aren't abusive isn't a good thing. A couple of players have been banned for similar reasons in the past - if you are hosting just be respectful of players who enter your game.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by NoQ » 14 May 2013, 18:50

Per wrote:I think we need a ladder system.
We did a ELO rating calculation a few years ago, even slightly automated. Probably i did something wrong in rating calculations though, as it was giving weird results and eventually got abandoned. We played at least 100 rated games, as far as i remember.
Shadow Wolf TJC wrote:an AI opponent that at least attempts to mimic online multiplayer to a degree
That's the only way to make the AI play well (if there is a way to play well, a hardcore mp player will use it; so it's sort of a tautology, and a necessary part of game design to make sure there are no other ways of winning the game than the ones that a human (only different from an AI in his lower APS) can do).

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Zepherian » 15 May 2013, 12:41

Perseus wrote:You may not like the idea but it's because of the manner in which some hosts kick players, kicking known players who play well and aren't abusive isn't a good thing. A couple of players have been banned for similar reasons in the past - if you are hosting just be respectful of players who enter your game.
It's not the right solution, once you go down that path things become opressive quickly and we end up with a sort of gulag multiplayer climate that people start running away from. I agree with the problem, I just don't aprove of the method. I've been kicked by abusive hosts many a time, sometimes out of simple revenge from losing games. It's just part of the experience, if a negative part. Try and combat this in the negative and you get a more negative climate. Instead think on how to encourage and manifest good games and good hosting practices, so that they become the norm.

Trust me, a quick ban attitude hurts online communities. Do you want warzone online to be a country club or do you want it to be democratic?

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by themac » 15 May 2013, 16:51

Have a look at StarCraft II: Often people call the others noobs. The one who cries loud leaves early telling he won´t play with noobs. After that the "noobs" win that match alone. Isn´t it funny?! =P

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Perseus » 15 May 2013, 21:02

Zepherian wrote:Try and combat this in the negative and you get a more negative climate.
This isn't true.
Zepherian wrote:Trust me, a quick ban attitude hurts online communities.
No, it doesn't hurt the community. As I said, it does happen whether you like it or not.
If some fool abuses this forum you wouldn't expect them to be banned? They would be warned beforehand.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by NoQ » 15 May 2013, 21:21

themac wrote:Isn´t it funny?! =P
No :roll:

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Per » 15 May 2013, 21:48

themac wrote:Have a look at StarCraft II: Often people call the others noobs. The one who cries loud leaves early telling he won´t play with noobs. After that the "noobs" win that match alone. Isn´t it funny?! =P
Can't say I remember a match where that has happened, and I've played ... many ... team matches of Starcraft II.

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Zepherian » 16 May 2013, 13:06

Per: the size of the community dwindles when moderation is heavy handed. I've been online for more than 15 years and seen it happen quite a few times. Yes, spammers and insulting abusive people need to be banned, but set the net two tight and people will start going away. Warzone deserves a big online community as it has nice game mechanics and lots of potential for strategic and tactical creativity. This requires a mass of players. Banning hosts for using an ingame feature is not the way to go. Instead of the authoritarian viewpoint, rethink the matchmaking, the ping data is there, only allow the game to launch if minimum criterias are met... it does the same thing with a positive implementation. A sort of autokick. Allow gamerules to filter players on rank for example. A sort of player limit menu that would flash an information box saying sorry to the players not ranked for the game...

This is a bit like the oil derrick thing: The game has derricks at 0 cost. The derrick cap is too high. Full generatros require 40 oil derricks. The cap is way higher (90? 100?) Solution: put a cost on derricks. Wrong. Solution would have been to put derrick cap in line with generator cap, at 40 or whatever the structure limit is set at. But this requires a bit more effort. No player I have ever talked to has said "this game needs derricks to cost more". They say "we can build too many of them".

I respect the guys that give us the game, they do things I cannot do, I am not a programmer. But do THINK about WHAT you guys at wz2100.net are doing beyond the implementation. The game will play worse on high oil maps with the new oil derrick idea. The game will start slower, and it already is a fairly slow start, on low oil maps. Likewise, the idea of banning hosts because they are using a feature you give them in a way you don't aprove is backwards logic. Don't look at the people, look at the feature and fix the problem there, wouldn't that be a better MO? Imho...

A quick question: what is easier to program, the game or the players? :p

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Re: Kicking Noobs ok?

Post by Per » 16 May 2013, 13:39

I don't see where I advocate banning or kicking anyone for using in-game features.

The game does have a slow start when people start with no bases, which I think is the best way to start, and anecdotally most players seem to agree with that. However, there is no way to fix the slow start without making major modifications to the game, one way or another. I've tried some approaches already, but more ideas and suggestions would be welcome.

I think from my experience playing Starcraft that the first two minutes should be designed to be chat- and team-coordination friendly. That's when you want to coordinate within the team what to do, and do not want a lot of intensive things going on. For this reason, it is an extremely bad idea that the mini-map is not shown during these two minutes, since you need it for coordination. (No, you cannot build it before your factory and lab, you'd lose the game.) After these two minutes, the game should speed up and intensify. But in my experience no interesting interaction happens until after the six minute mark, at the earliest. Ten minutes for a big map.

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