Update 317 Live on Steam! - Natural Selection 2

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  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    edited August 2017
    I did the thinking, I do game deving myself, so its not hard to guessimate why something was done a certain way.

    Basically they likely wanted to create a fine line in the sand as to rather or not you're in player slots that starts at connection. This is to keep people joining when there is a player slot open, only to have it go away by the time they get in. Once that player hits connection, they use the player slot. (this matches observed behavior of the spec system)

    Once you do that, you have to deal with the issue of specs who f4 when a slot opens up, only to have it go away from a connection before they could walk to the team join room for what ever team they wanted.

    Making them start using the player slot the moment they f4 seems like the best way to do that.

    From here you get into some interesting muddy ness. if you let somebody f4 and not use a player slot, but some other people f4 and use a player slot, depending on if one was available at the time, the system starts to get confusing and you'll have people not understanding why they can't join a team.

    It's at this point you see where their entire system breaks down. The slot you use is determined at connection, with very few ways to switch after that, and they prioritize potential new players connecting over people already connected

    I'm not sure it's worth creating this muddyness just to prevent the edge case of a slot going away by the time the player connects.

    Every bad thing about this system stems from them trying to achieve this goal, the steam friends list issue, the f4 issue. Even the fact that admins and scripts can't force spectators to player slots is because of their desire to keep players from connecting to a server only to have the slot go away before they finished connecting.

    They have decided to dedicate so much energy to this very minor goal that they are locking serverops out of the ability to control their own server just to achieve it

    I've helped designed such a system for /tg/station. Rather than do segregated caps, we did layered caps. Servers set the total allowed to be connected, and how many are allowed to be "playing" as a seperate cap. It has none of these issues, players can see easily before connection if there are playing slots available and the only downside is the edge case that the slot might be used up before they finish connecting.

  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    edited August 2017
    So, my feedback is that the entire system is flawed because it's trying to do something it shouldn't.

    Holding up a player slot because somebody is connecting when there are 8 people spectating that could take over the slot just so somebody connecting doesn't have the very minor inconvenience of joining a server to have it be full by the time they get in.

    The system is trying to do something at connection time that should be happening at join time.

    Every downside of the system stems from this, and no solution can perfectly resolve these issues, only bandaid around them.

    You are locking server ops out of control of their slots because of this assine goal.

    You are locking scripts out of the ability to redefine how these slots operate because of this assine goal.

    You have to choose. All of the issues this has, or players having a very minor inconvenience of joining a server to have it be full by the time they get in.

    Those are the options.

    You have chosen wrong.

    You are continuing to choose wrong.

    Please stop choosing wrong.

    Your playerbase begs you.

    Post edited by MrStonedOne on
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    Spec slots seem like a tragedy of the commons. They make a given server less likely to die if a few players drop, but they make the overall server pool worse since there are fewer viable games. It would be much better overall if everyone spectating on various servers just started a new game together. I understand why they exist, but they're a bummer.

    Maybe Play Now/browser ranking could be tweaked to prioritize servers without anyone currently spectating? That would prevent the case of joining a briefly open slot that someone spectating was waiting for.

    If @McGlaspie 's lobbying goes in, would spectators be candidates for it?
    BeigeAlert
  • WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 920 mod
    [Choose a]ll of the issues this has, or players having a very minor inconvenience of joining a server to have it be full by the time they get in.
    This feels accurate. Choose which of your two distinct queues you want to misinform. The dilemma is arguably solved by disassociating spectator slots as a queueing technique for a specific game server (this acts against the social spirit of community game servers).
    moultano wrote: »
    Spec slots seem like a tragedy of the commons.
    Tragedy of the Commons misuses some quantity of a given single resource, but of course we're dealing with effectively distinct resources (plural, nevermind their respective quantities). Spectators, in significant numbers on any given game server, have surely decided that other game servers are not particularly substitutable -- they've found the specific excellence they want. If spec slots are a tragedy, it is of excellences more than of commons. If spec slots are a tragedy, that tragedy makes a strong argument against community game servers each being allowed to customize their own offering.
    TGNS Portal | NS2 side-by-side game viewer
    IronHorse wrote: »
    TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Posts: 2,831 admin
    edited September 2017
    Okay I'm kinda late to the party but it's important to understand the spectator slots have only one purpose: To allow users to spectate at a server without taking up a player slot and causing the teams to be uneven etc. by doing so.

    The slot type switch mechanism was only added for convenience so users don't have to reconnect to switch the slot type like they would have to with a classic spectator slot system.

    What some here request is nothing else than to make the spectator slots function as a server join queue which is neither what they are designed for nor intended to be.

    A server join queue is actually one of the most requested features (see https://feedback.userreport.com/19e981d4-394e-46de-997e-8913cc04aff2/#idea/75732) and would be possible to implement utilizing the steam lobby system. However spectator slots shouldn't be used as join queue because they have a totally different purpose by design. The reserved slots are better for temporarily blocking player slots in that regard.

    Also initially spectator slot users could access the ready room but that caused confusion in the play test as everybody became unable to tell if they were using a spectator or player slot after a short time without checking the score board. So it would be possible to allow spectator slots clients back to the ready room after making sure players are able to know their type of slot via a single look at their HUD.

    Last but not least I don't really understand @MrStonedOne statement that we are locking down some kind of scripts. Anything modders could do before they can still do with the new system. For the sake of the general good I would just ask every modder to make sure players don't get "trapped" by their mods.

    Post edited by GhoulofGSG9 on
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 920 mod
    What some here request is nothing else than to make the spectator slots function as a server join queue which is neither what they are designed for nor intended to be.
    Insofar as this is accurate, you have for years provided tacit consent while server operators used spectator slots for precisely that; you would ideally take some responsibility for that usage, even as you assert your prerogative to revoke it. "Guys, we know spec slots have been great for queueing, but we've got to change things now." maybe draws me to you, while "Your objections lack credibility given your historical misuse of spec slots." creates distance between us.
    Anything modders could do before they can still do with the new system.
    Modders have for years allowed queuers to observe the gameplay and fraternize with the players of the specific game server where they're queueing. It has created a lot of joy -- a LOT of joy, and it's gone now.
    TGNS Portal | NS2 side-by-side game viewer
    IronHorse wrote: »
    TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.
    TriggerHappyBroWob
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    Except people like to watch a game while waiting for a slot, it is more entertaining.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    jrgn
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 728 Advanced user
    I still don't really get what the "problem" they're trying to avoid is?

    Like you can't join a sever that's full at 20/20 with 0/4 spec slots, so why does it matter whether or not a spec player hits f4 to join a team?

    If anything maybe a 2-5 sec cool down after leaving spec before they can join.. wouldnt that also do the trick?


    I dunno just seems like such an extremely miniscule thing they're trying to "fix".. Kind of like trying to fix a squeaky doorknob by replacing the entire door.
  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    edited September 2017
    >Also initially spectator slot users could access the ready room but that caused confusion in the play test as everybody became unable to tell if they were using a spectator or player slot after a short time without checking the score board. So it would be possible to allow spectator slots clients back to the ready room after making sure players are able to know their type of slot via a single look at their HUD.

    This is what I'm talking about..... This is an issue where every fix to the issue only creates a new one because it's a symptom of a flaw in the design of the entire system.

    There is no reason to do two seperated slot systems.

    Do layered slot systems.

    When a player connects, have them use a "total connected players" slot. (this would include "connecting" players because connected here would refer to the tcp meaning of connected, not any higher layer's meaning) When they join a team, make them start to use a "Playing slot" while still using the "total connected players". Spectate slots would merely be the difference between the two numbers.

    If you worry about slots being reported as too low because of connecting players, you can have connecting players and people in the readyroom hold a soft slot for the "playing slot" system for the first 60 seconds of connecting or being in the readyroom, but don't lock out joining a team or the ready room because of the soft holds, the soft hold is just reported to the server browser, only somebody actually joining a team uses a player slot for real.

    edit: I'm in the discord if any UWE staff wants more details on this proposed system, but it meets your goals mostly without having anywhere near the amount of issues. Mention me and we can talk.

  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Posts: 2,831 admin
    edited September 2017
    Yes because joining a server under the assumption of being able to play yet be told that you can't join the game since the teams were full was a great system.
    I have never joined a server with the expectation I'd be able to play. And most servers stated what their limitation is in the text, it was easy to see what ones were specs only and what ones likely had playing slots.

    Above quotes kinda sums up the different point of views on this matter. Most players based on the numerous complaints we received over the last half year do not join a server just for the sake of connecting to given server but because they want to play on it. So players connecting to a server with 19/20 player slots should be able to play on it not matter what happens while they are connecting.

    That's why we added the spectator slots. To allow server operators to offer dedicated spectator slots without "messing" with the average player's experience.

    If server ops want to favor spectators to be able to get a player slot just as it becomes available they should mod it so that player slots are reserved for those spectators to take for a short time frame. It's not that hard to write a mod for that and i might write it myself if i have some free time during this weekend.
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
    moultano
  • WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 920 mod
    You weren't receiving complaints from players who were queuing for a given server because that wasn't broken.

    Thank you in advance for any mod you can release which restores that option to server operators.
    TGNS Portal | NS2 side-by-side game viewer
    IronHorse wrote: »
    TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.
    cooliticMrStonedOne
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 686 Advanced user
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    I still don't really get what the "problem" they're trying to avoid is?

    Like you can't join a server that's full at 20/20 with 0/4 spec slots, so why does it matter whether or not a spec player hits f4 to join a team?

    Yes you can... thats entirely the point... if there is 20/20 with 0/4 spec slots... up to 4 people can join with the sole purpose of spectating.

    If you join to spectate, you take up a spectator slot. so it would then look like - 20/20 with 1/4 spec slots. (leaving room for a further 3 people to join as spectators)

    If you have joined a server as a spectator, and a player leaves the server reducing the count to 19/20 with 1/4 spectator slots, the current system will not (I believe.. I could be wrong here) allow you to join the ready room for X amount of time, and the moment you are able and do leave spectate and join the ready room, you will no longer take up a spectator slot, you will be an active player.

    Put simply, 20/20 doesn't mean your server is full, it means you have no available space for more players... spectator slots are exactly that, additional slots available for the sole purpose of spectating.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 728 Advanced user
    Oh, ok well all I know is right after the update I clicked on a server that was 20/20 with 0/4 spec and I got the sever queue window... hence my confusion.

    Though I still think a timer of 2-5 secs (10 at the absolute most after they f4 would give the joining players plenty of time to join a team first...


    Locking down and restricting players in any way will always be bad.

    Choices and options ALWAYS make for a better gameplay experience.
    Kasharic
  • KatzenfleischKatzenfleisch Join Date: 2014-03-21 Member: 194881Members, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 182 Advanced user
    Why not keeping the same system as before but only allow a spectator to join RR iff noone is connecting ? this would soften the restriction while allowing seeders.
    Faded mod ( Forum Thread - Steam Workshop - Mod Repository - Mod Guide )
    Defense mod ( Forum Thread - Steam Workshop - Mod Repository - [url=""]Mod Guide (comming soon)[/url] )
    FlameSentry mod ( Forum Thread - Steam Workshop )
    moultano
  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    Yes because joining a server under the assumption of being able to play yet be told that you can't join the game since the teams were full was a great system.
    I have never joined a server with the expectation I'd be able to play. And most servers stated what their limitation is in the text, it was easy to see what ones were specs only and what ones likely had playing slots.

    Above quotes kinda sums up the different point of views on this matter. Most players based on the numerous complaints we received over the last half year do not join a server just for the sake of connecting to given server but because they want to play on it. So players connecting to a server with 19/20 player slots should be able to play on it not matter what happens while they are connecting.

    And now i'm going to repeat what i said because you clearly aren't listening:

    So, my feedback is that the entire system is flawed because it's trying to do something it shouldn't.

    Holding up a player slot because somebody is connecting when there are 8 people spectating that could take over the slot just so somebody connecting doesn't have the very minor inconvenience of joining a server to have it be full by the time they get in.

    The system is trying to do something at connection time that should be happening at join time.

    Every downside of the system stems from this, and no solution can perfectly resolve these issues, only bandaid around them.

    You are locking server ops out of control of their slots because of this assine goal.

    You are locking scripts out of the ability to redefine how these slots operate because of this assine goal.

    You have to choose. All of the issues this has, or players having a very minor inconvenience of joining a server to have it be full by the time they get in.

    Those are the options.

    You have chosen wrong.
  • jrgnjrgn Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58289Members Posts: 142 Advanced user
    Or simply put a button in the connect dialogue "play/queue" that either connects you to rr or in the line (and speccing) and a pure spec button...but that is worse handling than before this 317 implementation. Now spectators just get confused and that is not a good thing.
  • NordicNordic Long term camping in Kodiak Join Date: 2012-05-13 Member: 151995Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4,771 Advanced user
    The system could use improvements. I do not think anyone is saying that.

    @MrStonedOne you are speaking as if your opinion is fact. You say that people joining a server and not being able to play is a minor problem. It may be minor to you, but it is not to me. It was oftentimes incredibly frustrating to join a server and then not be able to play for me.
    From my perspective UWE has been trying to both with what little resources they have given to the game. They don't have an AAA budget, let alone an indie game budget. They have the budget of a game that has been out 6 years. I want to say, don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing. I just don't think they have the resources to do it. Unlike many of the people on the forums, I guess I am just happy they are at least trying even though I may not like what they end up doing.
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 686 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    The system could use improvements. I do not think anyone is saying that.

    @MrStonedOne you are speaking as if your opinion is fact. You say that people joining a server and not being able to play is a minor problem. It may be minor to you, but it is not to me. It was oftentimes incredibly frustrating to join a server and then not be able to play for me.

    And the Plethora of newbies that were confused as to why they couldn't join.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
    antou
  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    edited September 2017
    Nordic wrote: »
    The system could use improvements. I do not think anyone is saying that.

    @MrStonedOne you are speaking as if your opinion is fact. You say that people joining a server and not being able to play is a minor problem. It may be minor to you, but it is not to me. It was oftentimes incredibly frustrating to join a server and then not be able to play for me.

    No, What I'm saying is all of the issues with the system are required in order to solve the connecting but not being able to play issue. You can't have one without the other, and in that context, joining but not being able to play on occasion is extremely minor compared to all the issues that fixing it causes.

    I would love for UWE to prove me wrong, I really would. But that's not going to happen. Whats going to happen is 318 is going to come out, its going to "address" these issues, but in no meaningful way, and we'll be back where we started, with me repeating the same points.
    Post edited by MrStonedOne on
  • jrgnjrgn Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58289Members Posts: 142 Advanced user
    So in short: the new spec system prevents players from joining. Since most active ns2 servers are full, this is an serious issue. Looking at the playercounts it could also be devastating to the small playerbase we have.
    Handschuhantou
  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 686 Advanced user
    No, what spectator slots do is allow for people to spectate... if they want to play, don't pick a spectator slot... if you want to queue, don't use the spectator slots... this isn't rocket science, the clue is in the name "SPECTATOR SLOT"... when you try to join the server is states that the server is full, but you can spectate instead if you want.

    What you guys want instead is a system where you can watch the match while also queuing, which is a fair request, but thats not what this system was intended for (IMO)

    Rather than condemning a system that works because it doesn't suit your own desires, how about requesting a feature for it instead? I don't know... seems to me "YOU'VE DOING YOUR JOBS WRONG!" comes across as incredibly dickish... where as "Any chance you could tweak to allow the spectate slot system to be used as a queue as well?" comes across better in so many ways.
    Meph isn't an NSL admin anymore!

    #blameHefty
  • WyzcrakWyzcrak Pot Pie Aficionado Join Date: 2002-12-04 Member: 10447Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 920 mod
    Kasharic wrote: »
    "YOU'VE DOING YOUR JOBS WRONG!"
    This is precisely the message UWE wants to avoid projecting when serverops want to continue using spectator slots in exactly the fashion UWE has tacitly endorsed for years -- the very feature you propose someone request. We've had it for years.
    Wyzcrak wrote: »
    "Guys, we know spec slots have been great for queueing, but we've got to change things now." [is better community management than] "Your objections lack credibility given your historical misuse of spec slots."

    "condemning a system that works because it doesn't suit your own desires" is precisely what serverops are on the receiving end of with spec slots' current implementation. Queuing from spec has worked for years, and it doesn't suit UWE's own desires.

    None of that vilifies UWE, per se. I'm just providing perspective.
    TGNS Portal | NS2 side-by-side game viewer
    IronHorse wrote: »
    TG's win or lose mod that replaces the concede function is the best of both worlds and should be official.
    jrgnNousWandererTriggerHappyBroHandschuh
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 622 Advanced user
    edited September 2017
    I'm getting a prompt when joining a server off steam friends. Is this from the patch or just the server I'm joining?

    Edit - Its asking if I want to join a server with these settings or something.
  • develdevel Join Date: 2014-09-13 Member: 198444Members Posts: 352 Advanced user
    Or just stop changing the wrong things.
    NousWanderer
  • cooliticcoolitic Right behind you Join Date: 2013-04-02 Member: 184609Members Posts: 1,684 Advanced user
    edited September 2017
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    Choices and options ALWAYS make for a better gameplay experience.

    Separately from the discussion, and to argue as a matter of principal, this is not necessarily true. Creep/bloat is a very irritating thing.
    When life gives you lemons, throw it back and demand chocolate.


    VetinariNordic
  • IronHorseIronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71669Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Subnautica Playtester, Subnautica PT Lead, Pistachionauts Posts: 8,191 admin
    edited September 2017
    No, What I'm saying is all of the issues with the system are required in order to solve the connecting but not being able to play issue.
    Did you not take a look at the google doc I posted?

    Because there's many solutions (ones not even mentioned in that doc too) that disprove that said byproducts or issues are "required".
    They can be alleviated while maintaining the goals mentioned in the changelog.



    @Aeglos
    If you get a popup mentioning modified network rates, it can occur sometimes if you immediately join a server that was just started.
    It should not occur after around 30 sec or so.
    QUOTE (Techercizer @ Feb 3 2012, 10:47 AM) »
    Every time you ask for troubleshooting without providing system info, ATI adds a rendering bug for an upcoming game.

    When you feel you need to be rude or angry about a game, just read these links and remember what role you are playing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    http://www.eldergame.com/2008/06/taming-the-forum-tiger/
  • MrStonedOneMrStonedOne Seattle Join Date: 2013-12-19 Member: 190297Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    edited September 2017
    IronHorse wrote: »
    No, What I'm saying is all of the issues with the system are required in order to solve the connecting but not being able to play issue.
    Did you not take a look at the google doc I posted?

    Because there's many solutions (ones not even mentioned in that doc too) that disprove that said byproducts or issues are "required".
    They can be alleviated while maintaining the goals mentioned in the changelog.

    None of those solutions fully solve all the issues. They alleviate the issues in certain snowflaked cases, but the issues remain. Adding code snowflake to band-aid what is a fundamentally flawed system.

    The system UWE put out uses two seperated slots. There is a wall of separation between player slots and spectator slots. You are put in one slot at connection time, with very few ways to change from that.

    This is what is flawed about the same.

    As long as this fact remains, the system will still be flawed, and will still have issues.

    The system should use layered slots.

    Once you connect, you are added to the connected players slots.

    Once you join a team, you are added to the alien players or the marine players slots

    Anything else is flawed.
  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 387 Advanced user
    Currently I still wonder about the hiveskill 2 website... Looking on trello it still is just in the "Potential Projects" Phase... I think these are the things which make player retention real, if done well, because people want to visible see their improvements, their stats...

    For now, it would be useful even if the hiveskill website is just a plain site with few information from the old website, just to show that it isn't gone forever
    The_Welsh_Wizard
  • antouantou France Join Date: 2016-07-24 Member: 220615Members Posts: 68 Advanced user
    For reference, @morrolan made this as substitute for the hive2 website: https://observatory.morrolan.ch/
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