The game is slowly dying, what do you think is the reason?

SjNSjN Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2003-01-07 Member: 11983Posts: 839
Been playing NS since 1.03 in the early 2000's. Currently I have 700+ hours on NS2.
The player number keeps on dropping, it is no secret. It's becoming harder and harder to find a server to play on. The game used to have 7k players, then we stuck with 5k players for a good while, then 4k, 3k, etc...
These days it normally doesn't go over 1k players.

I hope we all agree that the more players the game has, the bigger the community is, the more mods, the more maps, more money for UWE, faster and bigger updates for the game and so on.


I love NS2, they can make 10000 changes to NS2, and I will still love it. The only thing I really hate about the game and what I think is really hurting the game are the frustrating games caused by imbalance. UWE can spend a life time adjusting the numbers in NS2 (flamethrower's damage, exo's armor, etc... -- like what they did in build 250 which I think was a MAJOR waste of time) and the game will still not be balanced. What causes the unbalanced rounds are the players. Put most of the skilled players on the same team and you got the recipe for a frustrating round which will ruin the gameplay and cause players to quit and uninstall NS2. It's those rounds when 1 team has a kill:death ratio of 5:1 and the other team has a 1:2.

I think UWE needs to put all of their energy to come up with a solution to this problem. Why bother create a Linux version of a game that almost nobody plays? Why bother bring a female marine to the game that almost nobody plays? Fix the major flaw of the game before working on everything else.

85% of the games I play are unbalanced due to "stacked teams". But I keep playing just for the 15% of the rounds that are extremely fun and exciting. Bad news though... most people aren't willing to stick around for the 15%, which I believe explains the low player count.

Solution? there should be a global database that will keep track of player's K:D ratio. And server admins should have the option to enable an "balanced teams" on their server which will ensure that both teams have an equal average K:D ratio. I believe this is the best way to keep the teams balanced.

Anyway, I think that's the reason NS2 is slowly dying and hopefully UWE will come up with something to fix the flaw.

What do you think is the reason, and what does UWE have to do in order to restore the game and bring more players to the game?


Love and play!
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Comments

  • MrPinkMrPink Members Join Date: 2002-05-28 Member: 678Posts: 1,635 Fully active user
    There isn't any fundamental flaw, there are a few issues that keep the game from being a 10/10, but the real issue is just that player counts just drop for pretty much any game over a long enough time period
    Get off my plane.
    Regnareb
  • SjNSjN Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2003-01-07 Member: 11983Posts: 839
    If the game is good, especially if it gets constant updates, the numbers might even go up, and it will not experience such radical drops in player count as NS2. Something is obviously wrong. You must be in denial to think otherwise.
    Love and play!
    BestProfileNameSolidSpiderpiratedave
  • shriikeshriike Members Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184461Posts: 191 Fully active user
    What if I want to play with my friend? Does he get moved over to the other team?
    "Let's get him shrike." - Hugh (Strayan).
    /watch?list=UU0olBsiE9mI2Wf1xdyS1x3A&feature=player_detailpage&v=shD3_ArPL04#t=210s

    "This skulk is very good. He was moving around a lot." "Damn he's just moving around so well." "I'm not actually gonna stay here or else he'll kill me." - Hugh (Strayan).
    /watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=UU0olBsiE9mI2Wf1xdyS1x3A&v=WtBF-O1qrQY#t=53s
  • SjNSjN Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2003-01-07 Member: 11983Posts: 839
    edited July 2013
    shriike wrote: »
    What if I want to play with my friend? Does he get moved over to the other team?

    You and your friend will not always get to play on the same team. Before the "auto team balance" is executed, all the players will select their team of preference, and the auto team balance will attempt to place everybody on their chosen team while balancing the game. Let's say there are 2 players with similar skill, one picks Marine, the other one picks Alien, in this case each one of them will get a desired team.
    Love and play!
  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    You would not even have to force the matchmaking, just show it on the scoreboard that one team is outranking the other. Good people will try balance out the teams.

    Optionally distribute XP or ranking points based on matches played and won. No Xp for imbalanced rounds so there is an incentive to make the fight fair. Was tried and tested in NS1 as server mod. Worked as it was one of the last running servers in europe.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    MrPink wrote: »
    There isn't any fundamental flaw, there are a few issues that keep the game from being a 10/10, but the real issue is just that player counts just drop for pretty much any game over a long enough time period

    Except that most games still manage to hold more people for longer. Two weeks after a sale and we are back down to less then we had before that sale.

    steep learning curve, stacked teams and complete lack of progression between games. Those are your reasons.
  • MrPinkMrPink Members Join Date: 2002-05-28 Member: 678Posts: 1,635 Fully active user
    sotanaht wrote: »
    MrPink wrote: »
    There isn't any fundamental flaw, there are a few issues that keep the game from being a 10/10, but the real issue is just that player counts just drop for pretty much any game over a long enough time period

    Except that most games still manage to hold more people for longer. Two weeks after a sale and we are back down to less then we had before that sale.

    steep learning curve, stacked teams and complete lack of progression between games. Those are your reasons.

    Yes those are the things keeping the game from being a 10/10, they aren't really fundamental flaws
    Get off my plane.
    hakenspit
  • male_fatalitiesmale_fatalities ausns2.org Members, Constellation Join Date: 2004-03-06 Member: 27185Posts: 673 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    Lol, balance by KD. Are you fresh off the console refugee boat?

    I don't like match making in any game. Additionally, it only works marginally well with massive massive player bases (50k+). The game is in a niche genre, there is 1 million other games out there all demanding peoples attention. Games will continually bleed players after release, its part of a games life cycle.

    You have a massive surplus at the start, x% keep playing, z% keep playing longer and are your core/established players and you only keep the core/established players with content/updates.

    Atleast in Australia, most of the playerbase is the same playerbase from alpha/beta.
    NS1: Boost|. mf
    NS2: asc . mf-
    AurOn2
  • Ghosthree3Ghosthree3 Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2010-02-13 Member: 70557Posts: 3,432 Advanced user
    Well, I don't play it much anymore unless I'm asked to scrim. Just a bit bored of it I guess.
    76561197996992409.png
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    edited July 2013
    MrPink wrote: »
    sotanaht wrote: »
    MrPink wrote: »
    There isn't any fundamental flaw, there are a few issues that keep the game from being a 10/10, but the real issue is just that player counts just drop for pretty much any game over a long enough time period

    Except that most games still manage to hold more people for longer. Two weeks after a sale and we are back down to less then we had before that sale.

    steep learning curve, stacked teams and complete lack of progression between games. Those are your reasons.

    Yes those are the things keeping the game from being a 10/10, they aren't really fundamental flaws

    They aren't even flaws. The game is fine for those of us who put 500 hours into it but it can't hold new people because of those things. Those are the three things that are strangling it and WILL kill it very soon.
    AurOn2
  • HeatSurgeHeatSurge Some Guy Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2012-09-15 Member: 159438Posts: 1,188 Advanced user
    edited July 2013
    SjN wrote: »
    I think UWE needs to put all of their energy to come up with a solution to this problem. Why bother create a Linux version of a game that almost nobody plays? Why bother bring a female marine to the game that almost nobody plays? Fix the major flaw of the game before working on everything else.

    Why? Because of the 15 people who will play on linux and the 5 females that play the game right now. It also looks good on the studio for supporting and multiplatforming their game, so maybe it'll be easier to get investors for future game projects.
    SjN wrote: »
    85% of the games I play are unbalanced due to "stacked teams". But I keep playing just for the 15% of the rounds that are extremely fun and exciting. Bad news though... most people aren't willing to stick around for the 15%, which I believe explains the low player count.

    15%? That's pretty decent, 3/17 games. I'd say it's closer to 5% or lower these days.

    Overall, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the game. It's a really hardcore, niche game. It's just slowly getting old. 6 months is a long time for games these days. Most "regular" people play for a couple of months and they're on to the yearly refresh of their "AAA" franchise. Take for instance supcom2 or even an indie like plain sight. There's plenty of depth in them, plenty of fun gameplay, but they just got old and died after a few months.

    Every game has problems, even very established "AAA" franchises. The punishing nature of NS2, and especially getting personally punished for another person's mistakes, is just another reason why it hasn't done as well as some other games where your teammates don't matter as much.
  • IronsoulIronsoul Members Join Date: 2011-03-12 Member: 86048Posts: 869 Advanced user
    One reason is the game isn't set up for easy modding. Almost every build mods break and the mod developers have to spend time fixing things that UWE broke.

    Another reason is modding is difficult due to any reasonable documentation on how the spark engine functions.
  • RockyMarcRockyMarc Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-11-24 Member: 69519Posts: 474 Fully active user
    Yeah I just think because there are so many games out there now, it's easy to put one down and start another up.
    Sure NS2 is still enjoyable, but I play other games and try and sneak in an hour or two on the weekends to see how it's doing.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    Ironsoul wrote: »
    One reason is the game isn't set up for easy modding. Almost every build mods break and the mod developers have to spend time fixing things that UWE broke.

    Another reason is modding is difficult due to any reasonable documentation on how the spark engine functions.

    More modding won't help keep players though. If anything, it will just kill the game even faster. More playerbase splits, more unacceptable servers.
  • ExoskelettExoskelett Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2012-12-18 Member: 175509Posts: 136
    edited July 2013
    Well people want to stack their teams up - its just cause you do not really want to play with unexperienced people. otherwise i mostly do not play public anymore cause it doesnt make any sense at all and it is no fun (for me at least). i rather play PCW or NSL matches and i try to avoid every single public game most part of it.

    Even playing with mixed teams ... it can be fun for some of us and it can not cause you actually want to play with people wich are on YOUR LEVEL instead of having a team where the half is not able to open the map or does not know what to do or how to fight fades and so on.

    on one side the playeramount just goes down due to none to zero gamechanges - balancechanges are a waste of time and def. should be figured out by the best players and they should call them up to UWE so they just change what's called.

    on the other side its still the performance... people like big action and big actions causes alot of performance hit like you cannot really play some 20 slot public well.

    even those 6v6 matches get a huge hit at the performance after a longer match and thats just ridiculous because most of the gamingvolks just still have some bad processors and for NS2 90% of cpus are bad at all just cause of the optimization.

    Also i think this game suffers alot by the "Win-Effect" i mean - if you win a public match its nearly like you lost it theres almost no difference, no reason to play better cause the game will reset and everything goes from the beginning on again.

    thats what i like at playing NSL matches and even if its just one per week - the game becomes casted its about "who is the best" and so on that just does not exist in publicplays at all.

    playing ns2 in the very early could be very exciting but also boring just in fact that you'll need about 100 hours just to get a "good" mapknowledge and another 300 hours to become a stable player with skills.

    There's just no way to get into the game faster like the people of today wants it and the competitive is really strong compared to ns2 - geting new people up for this game might be good but also for old established players bad to be honest like i said early on you want to play with people on your level and not losing every single game cuz the commander dropped 5 whips @ early game or 5 armorys n stuff like that.

    and the last part wich just destroys the community is this LUA stuff. every change in NS2 Vanilla makes the Mods unbalanced or either destroys them and make'sm unusable and Modders definetily do not want to optimize everything after a balancechange or something else everytime.

    Even modding for the sourceengine never went that much successful - some mods are fine and running well even still today but its source with alot of players and NS2 + Spark got almost no players anymore.


    Anyways there are alot of other serious issues wich wanted to be fixed over about !30 Builds! ago and still havent done yet and so on but i already explained them ages ago and still not fixed *hue hue*



    Todays people just expect a working game with a good engine thats it and i think NS2 will die during to Xbone + PS4 cause there are alot of new games coming out wich totaly differs from the oldgen such as "Titanfall" "The Devision" and so on ...

    the only thing keeping me at this game is the ENSL + Competitve Play cause i like to mess up with other players and try my skills against them - but thats it, its not the fact that you can fly around with some jetpacks in lategame or hiting aliens/marines - its just the Competitive + Skilldifficulty in all its extensive

    UWE should start to think about the future of this game and how to stop the bad one wich is coming up sooner or later
    Post edited by Exoskelett on
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  • bERt0rbERt0r Members Join Date: 2005-03-23 Member: 46181Posts: 611 Fully active user
    Day of Defeat Source, another HL 1 Mode gone retail, which was updated last in 2007 has more active players than NS2.
    Lots of the old guys have criticised NS2 for losing some of the appeal NS1 had in order to be more mainstream. We were not heard.

    NS has a very high potential for frustration: lose an expensive lifeform, get dominated by superior tech, etc. To compensate for that, NS1 rewarded people with a unpredecended teamplay experience. You cannot have that with a casual player population.
    RobearIII
  • HivelordHivelord Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2003-06-21 Member: 17567Posts: 140 Fully active user
    One thing that has become apparent for me atleast in b250 is the ridiculous game times. From faded memory NS1 had average game times of 10-15 minutes, with a 40+ minute game being rare. Every time I jump onto pub these days I find myself in a 50 minute game. These long games, which are usually decided in the first 20 minutes, are completely boring. I had one 55 minute game a day or so ago on mineshaft, and literally half the players who began the game had quit by the end because it was just going too slow.
    E t e r n o . n z
    MontypFaulty
  • RadmanRadman Members Join Date: 2013-04-05 Member: 184656Posts: 126
    This game is much more fun with friends. Was just playing with a few friends who have the game but never really wanted to play it. It was much more fun having everyone on voice chat and playing together.

    Imo, there are a lot of problems with ns2 (lack of polish etc.) but the biggest problem is that its not a pub game (where people join and leave), but you have to play on pubs. what makes the game shine is strategy and teamwork, and when you get onto a pub you just dont want to do any of that.

    even non-skill based matchmaking would be better than the pubs system imo.
  • LústLúst Members Join Date: 2013-01-08 Member: 178186Posts: 45
    What If I told you playing a game 12v12 when its balanced for 6v6 is a stupid idea. This game will never survive unless the idea of balancing for the competitive play is followed in public games. Nobody plays League of Legends 10v10 with people randomly leaving, the game is balanced for 5v5, people play 5v5 in public. We don't even need a ranking system, just a way to play public matchmade games.
    FaultyRobearIII
  • m0rningw00dm0rningw00d Members Join Date: 2013-07-15 Member: 186111Posts: 1
    Let me precede this by saying I stopped playing Natural Selection 2 about 2 months ago. I occasionally dropped by the forums when I played the game, and even when I left, just to keep tabs on a game I really wanted to see become a success story. Alas, I stumble upon this thread today which discusses the sad state of affairs I find being discussed. This is my first and will probably be my last post on these forums, but I believe I owe some feedback to the people who made this game possible as well as the community at large (or small, heh.)

    Being in the Australasia region, it was already pretty bare for populated servers with reasonable ping, there were (is?) maybe about 2-3 servers which were populated. As much as Natural Selection 2 was a breath of fresh air in gameplay innovation, it's hard to contribute to the games survival when all two/three of those servers are full everytime you boot up the game. That was one of the factors that led me to leave initially.

    The second of course, is what the original poster has put the spotlight on, which I believe absolutely hits the nail on the head. Games are horrifically unbalanced. I'm either being stomped on or doing the stomping (when there was an available server of course.) Even when stomping others, I am not enjoying myself. In a game where there is a very high skill ceiling, measures must be put into place so that no disparity exists between the casual and hardcore gamer. There is currently no system that addresses this. It may be too late, but I believe matchmaking needs to urgently be implemented before the game completely dies. I'm not ashamed to say I am a less than impressive player, in the confines of this game at least. To put it bluntly, I suck. Yet I enjoyed much of my time playing Natural Selection 2, the hour long games, the last stands, the extraordinary comebacks, all of it. I could contribute in other ways if my marksmanship wasn't up to scratch. But the innovative/unique gameplay starts to wear off once balance becomes a problem. In fact, unbalanced teams can nullify many of the mechanics that make this game good. Teamplay is pretty useless when the cards are stacked heavily against or even in favour of you. On the losing team? Maybe, just maybe you'll make a comeback to the extent you win, but that is very rare. On the winning team? Sure, you may be winning, but the scales are tipped so much in your favour it doesn't matter if you actively search and kill aliens or dick around for the rest of the game, the end result remains the same. The sense of contribution and a hard fought game was not evident for me at least in the finals weeks of playing NS2. I felt like my actions carried no weight in the outcome of the game. Theres only so much difference the individual can make in a team game. It is incredibly frustrating but an issue that must be addressed before I would even consider coming back, let alone many others I'm sure. Get fair teams you get fair games, get fair games you get an enjoyable experience, get an enjoyable experience and you've got yourself a new/returning NS2 player.

    Players need to be either randomized, or sorted by skill into appropriate teams by the game itself, because the community is not going to come to the rescue on this one. Servers need to go, or at least not be the focus for finding an online game.

    Well, I've said my bit. Good luck to you all, and thank you for all your hard work UnknownWorlds. I dont regret my purchase in the slightest.
    Farewelltoarms
  • ZaggyZaggy NullPointerException The NetherlandsForum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos, Subnautica Playtester Join Date: 2003-12-10 Member: 24214Posts: 3,656 mod
    Too much people playing other games with the current Steam sale I guess.
    As for the player balance thing, I concur and hope that they will put this into the game soon: http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/organised-play-systems/
    imageProud Dutchman image
    Join the Natural Selection IRC channel: #naturalselection on irc.gamesurge.net!
  • IronsoulIronsoul Members Join Date: 2011-03-12 Member: 86048Posts: 869 Advanced user
    Oh, another big gripe I have that I think may indeed be hurting the player base: The devs don't seem to check ideas and suggestions, at all. I put an idea in about a "did you enjoy that round" vote system to log games whether they were enjoyable or not by the majority of players. It got ignored after about a month of me keeping it on the first page.

    Another huge problem is the player numbers in a round, 24 player servers are too big, the game is designed for 6v6 or 7v7, 12 v 12 is too many, even 8v8 is too many. The reason is the lower skilled players jam up the works in the big games, prevent skilled players from making a significant impact. Which in turn makes the lower skilled players frustrated as they are not only not good themselves, but they're also pulling their team down. It's not a good feeling to be causing your team to fail.
  • peregrinusperegrinus Members Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72445Posts: 2,432 Fully active user
    Why do you say NS2 is designed for 6v6 or 7v7?
    RobearIIIellnic
  • PimpToadPimpToad Members Join Date: 2012-11-02 Member: 166005Posts: 155
    Ironsoul wrote: »
    O
    Another huge problem is the player numbers in a round, 24 player servers are too big, the game is designed for 6v6 or 7v7, 12 v 12 is too many, even 8v8 is too many. The reason is the lower skilled players jam up the works in the big games, prevent skilled players from making a significant impact. Which in turn makes the lower skilled players frustrated as they are not only not good themselves, but they're also pulling their team down. It's not a good feeling to be causing your team to fail.

    Well then the devs can take out 24p servers and force 12p max. But that would be dumb as 24p servers are rather popular. You know why they are popular? People like big games, "lower skilled players" have less of a detrimental impact, and "skilled players" are somewhat mitigated through sheer numbers.

    So you want "skilled players" to have an even bigger impact in games? The same idiots who troll servers and rack up massive k/d's to feed their own ego? The same people who more often than not completely frustrate the other team and cause nothing but resentment for their presence in the server? You want those same people having an even bigger impact on the outcome of a game? Am I reading this right?

    This is such a horrible and elitist statement, but somehow I can't help but feel that this is the kind of thing to expect from these forums.
    RobearIII
  • dePARAdePARA Members, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2011-04-29 Member: 96321Posts: 1,351 Advanced user
    We have an ranking system since ages called ns2stats and serveradmins can use this and other mods to balance teams in different ways (by score, by KDR, by ELO-Score) Its all there.
    It help a little bit but its not a guarantee for an descent game.

    Think about this:
    If you the only alien with positive stats and it feels like you playing alone vs a whole marineteam and this happen again and again and again, thats the reason why people losing the interest.
    And people getting tired of explaining the gamemechanism like an mantra. "Only one stay in base and build" in EVERY game.
    Believe me, after a while you get bored of this.

    This and summertime are poison for an indie game like ns2.
    image
  • HamletHamlet Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2008-08-17 Member: 64837Posts: 373 Advanced user
    24p = sheep herding.
    I only join those servers if there is absolutely no alternative.

    KwisatzHaderach
  • UncleCrunchUncleCrunch Mayonnaise landMembers, Reinforced - Onos Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41365Posts: 1,543 Advanced user
    Hivelord wrote: »
    One thing that has become apparent for me atleast in b250 is the ridiculous game times. From faded memory NS1 had average game times of 10-15 minutes, with a 40+ minute game being rare. Every time I jump onto pub these days I find myself in a 50 minute game. These long games, which are usually decided in the first 20 minutes, are completely boring. I had one 55 minute game a day or so ago on mineshaft, and literally half the players who began the game had quit by the end because it was just going too slow.

    The games you describe are the usual "unorganized" teams. It's quite the opposite on my side of the world. Stacking yes, but no game is longer than 15~20 minutes.

    It's just uncovering the massive balance problem. Nothing more. Once the game is balanced properly; i mean by that not in the NS2 way, but "having something to fight for" (it's all about motivation), we'll have a game that will make people interested.

    Plus the Pseudo-BH is now an issue with key-bindings (i change my key-bindings depending on side i am, kind of boring). Dev do not realize that the success of Half-life wasn't only about the game itself. Key-bindings configuration was the sh**t. If you're not feeling comfortable you just end up leaving. I do believe that ppl just get bored as they can't achieve anything because of these issues.

    ChubbChubbs ???

    Reach me on NS2 forums in :
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  • nezznezz Members Join Date: 2012-12-11 Member: 174712Posts: 291
    edited July 2013
    +1 to scatters post, It's the little things time and time again that go unchanged throughout patches such as the close spawns in summit. People think, well thats not a issue.

    It is a major issue, Majority of servers as 18-24 player count.
    RobearIII
  • turtsmcgurtturtsmcgurt Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165456Posts: 581 Advanced user
    edited July 2013
    the game is too difficult and not worth the time to learn to the average player.

    performance is awful, gameplay isn't great, both of which deter good competitive players.

    summed it up i think.

    edit: gorges need to be useful. my suggestion is to drop cysts/alien commander, but that isn't going to happen. coincidentally, those would help knock out both of the competitive issues.
    Soylent_greenMinimum
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