Build 327 Balance Patch Notes - Natural Selection 2

124

Comments

  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 850 Advanced user
    Kasharic wrote: »
    .trixX. wrote: »
    Kasharic wrote: »
    First up, the reason 12 vs 12 is more popular is imo, 100% due to seeding and that is it, nothing more, nothing less, people have more fun on lower player count servers...

    Please dont generalize by your subjective taste.
    I for one prefer 12v12 over 6v6 or even 8v8. And i know alot of other players too.
    High-skilled players MAY prefer 6on6, due to balancing reasons, but I see many purple and sanji players on 12v12 pub.
    They have an option, and they also choose 12v12.

    As @MoFo1 said, it would be perfectly reasonable to rank 6v6-8v8 (or whatever player count seems balanced to UWE), and unrank the rest.
    The caveat is that i would play on unranked servers 100% of the times, and my skill changes (if any after all these years) would not be reflected in hive.

    Feel free to take a look at where I wrote "imo" and tell me again how i'm generalizing.

    You stated that people have more fun™ on lower player count servers, while your opinion concerned the REASON.
    I'm having problems with the statement part, not the opinion :]
    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 724 Advanced user
    Well I'm not seeing any more populated servers than usual...

    There are more people waiting for a player slot though (especially in spec slots!)

    Servers go from full to dead SO much easier now :(

    I just joined a full server and played 4 games, and after every round it was back to seeding (under 5v5)

    After the first game it dropped to 5v4, slowly filled back up. (hive not counted since under 5v5 start)
    After the second it dropped to 4v4, slowly filled back up. (again not counted)
    After the third it dropped to 5v4, once more slowly filled back up (still not counting - no wonder players in-game are complaining about their hiveskill not updating)
    After the fourth it dropped to 3v3... then to 2v2, then dead completely.


    It really really REALLY sucks having to seed literally every single round.
  • HandschuhHandschuh Join Date: 2005-03-08 Member: 44338Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Community Developer Posts: 387 Advanced user
    Well it is EU Morning, when the playcount is the lowest...and did you check other servers during that time?
  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 850 Advanced user
    Gorge Selection (my regular srv) is notably getting less rounds.
    Yesterday, it was only active from 19-22 CET... while before the patch, it has had an active timeframe of 18-24 CET.

    It's only been 2 days since the patch, so it's not necessarily the result of it... but if the experience is the same on other servers, that may be a problem...
    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
  • MoFo1MoFo1 United States Join Date: 2014-07-25 Member: 197612Members Posts: 724 Advanced user
    edited April 25
    Handschuh wrote: »
    Well it is EU Morning, when the playcount is the lowest...and did you check other servers during that time?

    It was primetime for the servers I usually join. Should've been 2-3 servers up, but there was only 1. (in my region)


    ZEROibis wrote: »
    What would really help the community more than lower player slots is adding server side demo recording so that it is easier to administer a server. With server side demo recording it would be possible to go back and see exactly what a player accused of cheating, trolling or messing up the game for other payers was doing/saying.

    ^^ This is needed SO DESPERATELY!!

    Join a server that's at 4 players to seed it > see a player throwing up nonstop votekicks and trying to eject without giving any reason > ask him why but get no answer so you just play > after 30-40 min the server fills up > You say "we should end this and get a new game going" > said player starts calling votekicks on YOU, telling blatant lies about you "trolling" in an effort to get you kicked > you contact server admin to put an end to it, but they have to see it happening so they join the server > troll immediately stops throwing up votes and starts behaving upon sight of an admin > nothing the admin can do if they don't see it, so after a time they leave > troll resumes trolling.

    Honestly I'm a little surprised to find out that NS2 doesn't already have such a basic admin tool.
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Members, Constellation Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    MoFo1 wrote: »
    From everything I've seen and been told by admins it takes 5 players in a server before quick play starts sending people there.

    Which means the majority of servers are not seeded by rookies, they are seeded by veterans who join servers with 0-5 people to get them going.
    Server admins do seed servers, which is what often gets quickplay to target their server. I have spent so much time trying to seed with and without quick play. Without quickplay I can sometimes get a server seeded in 3 hours or more, but not always, while also begging people to join on steam and discord. With quickplay at worst I have had it take an hour to seed.
    .trixX. wrote: »
    High-skilled players MAY prefer 6on6, due to balancing reasons, but I see many purple and sanji players on 12v12 pub.
    As I stated earlier, people want to play on full servers. I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to seed 8v8 servers. People tell me they prefer 8v8 but they still won't join because they don't want to seed. Most people I talk to, even those who prefer 8v8, would rather play on a full server than play in an 8v8 game. 12v12 servers have created a tragedy of the comments phenomena where people mostly play on 12v12 servers.


    Edit: @ZEROibis where were you when UWE had shared this months ago with the server ops? Where were your complaints then?

    I complained as soon as I found out which was right now. They just had a meeting apparently last month about it with a day before notice.

    Unfortunately for me in March my father suffered a major heart attack and I spent much of the month back and forth to the hospital on the other side of the state. The free time I did have I sent just playing a quick game or two and drinking but not sitting in on discord thinking that if I did not baby sit the channel someone would start reverting servers back to the days the game launched.
    image
    Server IP: NS2.IBISGaming.com
    Server IP: NS2CO.IBISGaming.com
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Members, Constellation Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    Vetinari wrote: »
    Having only skimmed the discussion about servers here - I think you're all willfully ignoring spectator slots here. It seems that for some ungodly reason, having six spectator slots has become the norm. On the one hand, these will help keep a server alive, as spectators can jump in when people leave, which is a good thing. On the other hand, If there's three servers with six spectators each, those could fill a whole 9v9 server just by themselves. (Yes, I know, many of those are afk and stuff, but still).

    What we need is a mentality shift away from hanging around in spec slots and towards using the quickplay button. But unfortunately it is almost impossible to actually guide changes in mindset.

    So, in the meantime... does your server really need 6 spec slots?

    I honestly never liked the spectator slots and share your feelings there. With the old 24 player count servers I felt they were not needed and I never used them.

    However, with the reduced slot count I have turned on spectator slots right away in hopes they will keep the server populated.

    So I can say for me if I had to chose between spectator slots and having actual player slots I would choose player slots all day.
    image
    Server IP: NS2.IBISGaming.com
    Server IP: NS2CO.IBISGaming.com
  • 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
    moultano wrote: »
    I'm a bit worried about the 10v10 change. I think a likely outcome is that we'll have the same number of active games, but with fewer players in them, and so a lower active player count overall.

    Sadly, I think I was right. We may have the same number of players in servers, but they're watching instead of playing. I don't think this is an improvement.
    fsdzpzl42ue3.png
    .trixX.
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    We should have gone full 8v8
    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.
    NintendowsNousWandererSquishpokePOOPFACE
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    It'd be amusing to have 14 people watch 16 people play.
  • NousWandererNousWanderer Join Date: 2010-05-07 Member: 71646Members Posts: 258 Advanced user
    edited April 27
    re: the perceived issue w/ the player slot population vs. the spectator population---

    You get bad results when you have bad systems. Stop having bad systems.
    .trixX.
  • ezekelezekel Join Date: 2012-11-29 Member: 173589Members, NS2 Map Tester Posts: 1,384 Advanced user
    Interesting patch! Amazed to see the game still getting so much love from all the devs and testers.
    NordicKasharic
  • SquishpokePOOPFACESquishpokePOOPFACE -21,248 posts (ignore below) Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165262Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,611 Advanced user
    @moultano this picture pleases me. Instead of exclusively 12v12, which I refuse to play, we have some 10v10s and below. @Nordic is right, all we need next is to implement 8v8 only.
    To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to play Natural Selection 2. The gameplay is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of military strategy and advanced mathematics you won't even win a single game. Theres also the game's nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into the game. The maps and artwork draw heavily from Riddley Scott's Alien franchise, for instance. The players understand this stuff, they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depth of the game, to realise that it's not just great, that it also says something about LIFE. As a consequence people who dislike Natural Selection 2 truly ARE idiots. of course they wouldn't appreciate, for instance, the humour in the Marines' existential catchphrase "how do I get to be so good", which itself is a cryptic reference to the high degree of intelligence required to play the game as intended. I'm smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion when spectating a game. What fools... how I pity them. And, yes, by the way, i DO have a Fade tatoo. And no, you cannot see it. it's for the ladies' eyes only, and even then they have to demonstrate that they are within 50 hive skill points of my own (preferable lower) beforehand. Nothin personnel kid.
  • SquishpokePOOPFACESquishpokePOOPFACE -21,248 posts (ignore below) Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165262Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,611 Advanced user
    To clarify, my valuation of 12v12 servers is zero. They are absolutely worthless. Having the same number of servers with less max players on each is a massive gain on valuable servers to play on.
    To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to play Natural Selection 2. The gameplay is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of military strategy and advanced mathematics you won't even win a single game. Theres also the game's nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into the game. The maps and artwork draw heavily from Riddley Scott's Alien franchise, for instance. The players understand this stuff, they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depth of the game, to realise that it's not just great, that it also says something about LIFE. As a consequence people who dislike Natural Selection 2 truly ARE idiots. of course they wouldn't appreciate, for instance, the humour in the Marines' existential catchphrase "how do I get to be so good", which itself is a cryptic reference to the high degree of intelligence required to play the game as intended. I'm smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion when spectating a game. What fools... how I pity them. And, yes, by the way, i DO have a Fade tatoo. And no, you cannot see it. it's for the ladies' eyes only, and even then they have to demonstrate that they are within 50 hive skill points of my own (preferable lower) beforehand. Nothin personnel kid.
  • AtokuAtoku Switzerland(VS) Join Date: 2012-11-16 Member: 171815Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 4 Fully active user
    Playing a Gorge with Shade will not hide the babblers. This need to be fix. Ty.
  • VetinariVetinari Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Posts: 3,461 Advanced user
    moultano wrote: »
    moultano wrote: »
    I'm a bit worried about the 10v10 change. I think a likely outcome is that we'll have the same number of active games, but with fewer players in them, and so a lower active player count overall.

    Sadly, I think I was right. We may have the same number of players in servers, but they're watching instead of playing. I don't think this is an improvement.
    fsdzpzl42ue3.png

    I blame the server operators for putting that many spec slots on their servers.
    formerly known as F0rdPrefect

    I am good Onos
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    Yeah, sure, blame the server operators for trying to keep their server active. Keep putting the cart before the horse and let the horse push it instead of pull it. Way to go!
    .trixX.
  • TheJeffTheJeff Join Date: 2019-04-26 Member: 252579Members Posts: 4 Fully active user
    Enjoying the patch so far, I really like the removal of the typical gorge tunnel rushes.
    Nordic.trixX.
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    In my opinion, lame duck scenarios are one of the worst things in NS2. A lame duck scenario is when one team has won, but the game isn't over yet. The playerbase seems to have a last stand mentality where they refuse to concede if a comeback is even slightly possible which compounds issues already inherent in the game design. In my opinion, lame duck scenarios are one of the least fun things about NS2.

    I like to concede early and concede often because playing a new game will likely be more fun than the potential of having a comeback this game. My opinion on this seems to amount of a very small minority within the playerbase. The ability to come back is a popular one. Players seem to relish at the potential to win and enjoy the thrill when it sometimes happens.

    There are two problems with comeback mechanics in NS2.
    1. They are often frustrating. I am thinking of secret gorge tunnel base rushes. This is very effective and very frustrating. This is like the blue shell in mario kart.
    2. Comeback mechanics in NS2 often increase the length of the lame duck scenario. That is that comeback mechanics often delay the inevitable loss rather than get both teams on even footing. As I mentioned earlier, I think lame duck scenarios in NS2 are one of the least fun things in NS2.

    The other solution is to increase the slippery slope within NS2. That is to make it so that the winning team wins faster. T3 abilities are supposed to be this. Exo's sometimes serve this role, or at least used to when they were stronger. Onos used to serve this role too. Contaminate is an incredibly blunt version of this function. "Oh they have X, GG -> concede."

    There are three problems with increasing the slippery slope within NS2.
    1. The tools each team have to end the game often don't end the game soon enough. "Oh they have X, GG -> concede." Even though the other team has "X", they won't be able to end the game very quickly with it. The game isn't fun to play with "X" abilities such as stomp or xenocide. It isn't even fun being spawn killed by onos or exo's for 2+ minutes until they can finally make it to your base to win. This problem is at its worst at the lower skill levels because they do not have the game knowledge to end the game quick enough, which further draws out the lame duck scenario.
    2. The tools each team has to end the game quickly are not strong enough. They don't actually end the game, they force the other team to concede because these tools are so unfun to play against. If the other team doesn't concede, it makes for a very bad game.
    3. The third and final problem is that players hate strong slippery slope mechanics. The playerbase wants comeback mechanics. People seem to relish at the potential to win and enjoy the thrill when it sometimes happens.
      • If players don't concede, they will slog through the unfun gameplay with hopes that they might win.
      • If the slippery slope mechanics are made strong enough to end the game quickly, then players will complain. The players will complain vehemently because the slippery slope mechanics are too strong and don't allow comebacks. There are many examples of this happening. Contaminate is a great example. Contaminate is a blunt game mechanics that is meant to end the game rather than allow a lame duck scenario. Contaminate was nerfed several times because players, like myself, complained.

    I don't think comeback mechanics are inherently a bad thing. I think they tend to bring out the worst aspects of NS2 gameplay. I think the solution is to make better lategame abilities, that are more fun and strong enough to end the game very quickly. This is my opinion, albeit and unpopular one.

    Apologize for quoting one of my walls of text. I would love to see the next thing UWE works on is preventing lame duck scenarios from happening.
    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.
    SquishpokePOOPFACE
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    edited April 29
    Vetinari wrote: »
    moultano wrote: »
    moultano wrote: »
    I'm a bit worried about the 10v10 change. I think a likely outcome is that we'll have the same number of active games, but with fewer players in them, and so a lower active player count overall.

    Sadly, I think I was right. We may have the same number of players in servers, but they're watching instead of playing. I don't think this is an improvement.

    I blame the server operators for putting that many spec slots on their servers.

    Server operators are trying to keep their servers alive, understandably, by having high enough player and or spectator counts. Collectively this creates that tragedy of the commons phenomena. 12v12 and too high spectator counts are create a tragedy of the commons and the best solution we have is to restrict player counts and spectator slot counts.

    Put anything above 8v8 with 2 spectators into the arcade tab paired with better seeding and we could see a serious improvement to NS2 as a whole. Improve game quality and good results will follow.



    @NousWanderer Is there anything you would add to about the post below? Agree, disagree, discuss?
    Nordic wrote: »
    Aeglos wrote: »
    This is incredibly optimistic to the point of being dishonest. The reality would be barely another full server and an even greater amount of people queuing the full servers or deciding to do something else. Seeding is difficult. Nothing will change until this is solved. This is very evident from the success of the spectator slots. People would rather sit in a full server and get a chance in half an hour than seed an empty one and wait three hours for nothing. They should be able to start a new server with the amount of people queuing but should is not would and they amount of people likely to chance it on a could falls after every failure.

    I don't like large servers any more than you do, but I think that this will kill servers after long games more frequently.
    moultano wrote: »
    I'm a bit worried about the 10v10 change. I think a likely outcome is that we'll have the same number of active games, but with fewer players in them, and so a lower active player count overall.

    It is optimistic, but I don't think it is unreasonable. Let me walk you through my thoughts.

    1) The majority of servers are seeded by rookies being sent there because of the quick play feature. Veterans then slowly filter in after rookies have seeded the server. It is INCREDIBLY difficult to seed a server already, 12v12, or anything without quick play. To be absolutely clear, quickplay is absolutely crucial in seeding servers right now.

    2) In my experience as an 8v8 fanatic, trying to seed 8v8 servers, asking people to come play with me on an 8v8 server. Most people I talk to, even those who prefer 8v8, would rather play on a full server than play in an 8v8 game. 12v12 servers have created a tragedy of the comments phenomena where people mostly play on 12v12 servers. Rookies seed where quickplay sends them, veterans only want to play on full servers, and the only servers full are 12v12. They key detail here is that the vast majority of players only want to play on full servers.

    I will use a hypothetical example group of 192 players of mixed skill. These 192 players would fill 8 servers right now with 12v12 being common. Switching to 10v10 would fill a hypothetical 9.6 servers, but we would be lucky to really get that many. So in affect we are likely to still fill 8 servers with more people queuing for a server. Switching to 8v8 servers would evenly put those 192 players across a hypothetical 12 servers. We would be lucky to get all 12 servers full, but we would fill more than 8 servers in this group.

    I believe quickplay will be more likely to spread rookies out across more than 8 servers. Veterans will then slowly filter into those different servers as they do now but resulting in more active servers. 8v8 servers are genuinely harder to keep seeded than 12v12 servers, so people will move around between different servers more frequently. I believe people will move around more frequently because of skill disparity in server, slowly emergently creating more skill differentiation between servers.

    The following is based on old stats, but I believe current NS2 to be similar in demographics today but maybe smaller numbers. NS2 has a very small playerbase. If you pay attention to the NS2 steamcharts you will know that NS2 has about 200 average daily players, and about 450 peak players in any given month. Based on the old data I have, it was not uncommon to have 25,000 unique players in a 45 day period. Based on those same old stats, ~5000 to ~6000 of those unique players are not rookies. Those ~5000 players are our veterans. The vast majority of players are rookies. If even half of them stuck around NS2 wouldn't have the concurrent playerbase problem anymore.

    Do you know what makes them leave? Most rookies stick around until they are kicked out of rookie only servers. Then they leave. They are deterred by the sheer skill difference. If NS2 could somehow group players of similar skill into separate servers, it could improve gameplay quality and dramatically improve player retention.

    Imagine the same circumstances NS2 has in basketball (or any sport). Imagine there are 192 basketball players. That is enough for 8 courts, each with large 12 versus 12 games of basketball. 12 players are professional NBA players. 72 players are high school varsity players. 108 players young children. How NS2 currently works is that each of the 8 courts is going to have a random set of players. Any given court might have 2 NBA players, 8 high school varsity players, and 14 young children. How the hell are you supposed to balance games with players like these? NS2 uses the hive skill system to try and make the teams even. NS2 would make two teams of 1 NBA players, 4 high school varsity players, and 7 young children. Sure, teams are "balanced" but the game won't play well, and nobody is really going to enjoy themselves as much as they could.

    This is exactly what NS2 is like. Hive can not make games with 2 NBA players, 8 high school varsity players, and 14 young children work out much better than it already does. That is not the purpose of hive. Hive is not meant to group similar skilled players into different servers. It only tries to make the best teams out of the players it is given. Hive does pretty well at it's purpose, that is making even skilled teams. Hive does not make near skilled teams.

    Imagine if instead the players were put into servers with near skill players. That would be servers with:
    12 high skill players and 12 high skill veterans, split evenly among the teams.
    24 veterans.
    24 veterans.
    12 veterans and 12 low skill veterans, split evenly among the teams.
    24 rookies.
    24 rookies.
    24 rookies.
    24 rookies.

    UWE once had some plans to do some sort of player grouping system but I don't know the details more than the trello says.
    https://trello.com/c/Zk5778Qu/28-match-seeding-system
    https://trello.com/c/s7ONC9b7/21-matchmaking-system

    8v8 could create more skill differentiation between getting us closer to more near skilled games. We are never going to have such an ideal split of players for near skilled games. I am not that optimistic. 8v8 servers could allow for greater skill differentiation to occur because of people leaving servers for other servers more often across a greater number of active servers than we have now. Lowering playercounts improves both server and client performance. Lower player counts creates a more consistent balance experience.

    No, 8v8 is not going to fix every problem. It is not the magic pill we need. 8v8 will improve a number of things that synergize together to create a far greater experience overall.
    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.
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    Ya, I am going to make 3 posts in a row.

    Don't be fooled. Aliens can still get sneaky tunnels. I have done it.

    The map is summit. I am alien commander. We have atrium and flight locked down nice and tight. Crossroads is clear but contested. I keep trying to cyst in. Marines keep trying and failing to build a phasegate there. Marines have a scary phasegate in reactor core. My skulks are doing great work hitting the marine back res. Marines are too busy defending their lanes to push into atrium. Marines decide to do a big push into atrium with grenade launchers and jetpacks. Marines get my atrium hive to ~30% before being slaughtered by fades. During the marine atrium rush I cyst through cross roads and into maintenance near the marines south base. I got a tunnel, shade, crag there. Marines tried another atrium rush. In response my alien s go through the secret tunnel and rush their base. We didn't do much in their base, but marines lost their reactor phasegate in the process. Marines pushed back into datacore and got another phasegate up. Marines then push into cross roads and get a phasegate up there. They still haven't found my secret tunnel. At this point I am trying to keep the cysts alive, but it is hard. The crag is really saving us. Marines tried to rush flight this time from summit. We rushed their base again through the secret tunnel this time destroying lots of things. Marines wised up and scanned around and found the tunnel. It was too late though. Aliens had too much of an advantage and we ultimately won.
    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.
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    Put anything above 8v8 with 2 spectators into the arcade tab paired with better seeding and we could see a serious improvement to NS2 as a whole. Improve game quality and good results will follow.

    Yeah, the bolded is the problem. Its easier said than done. It's been a problem since NS1 before Steam where people queued with an external client and only had the log to "spectate", if they were so inclined. I don't know if combat was introduced to help solve the seeding problem by making seeding more enjoyable, but it created a new problem where some people only wanted to play combat and would not play NS maps.

    I'm not Nous but so far what I've seen from you is
    1. Reduce server size
    2. Improved game quality
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

    There is a significant leap of logic that I cannot comprehend.
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    edited April 29
    Aeglos wrote: »
    I'm not Nous but so far what I've seen from you is
    1. Reduce server size
    2. Improved game quality
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

    There is a significant leap of logic that I cannot comprehend.

    Fact ) Rookies do most of the seeding via quick play.
    Fact ) Almost no veterans will not seed if given a choice.
    Assumption ) Veteran player server preference is second to playing on a full server regardless of size.
    Conclusion ) Rookies will seed whichever server quickplay sends them to, and veterans will follow.

    I could go further but I think this is the bit of my logic you are getting hung up on. I may be wrong. I certainly don't think I am, but that doesn't mean that I am not.
    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.
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    I think I get it now. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Rookies seed.
    2. Smaller server size = less rookies in servers = more rookies to seed = more active servers
    3. Profit

    I think the above is misguided, but I'm not going to waste my time if this isn't what you mean.
  • 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: 4,726 Advanced user
    edited April 29
    Aeglos wrote: »
    2. Smaller server size = less rookies in servers = more rookies to seed = more active servers
    I think we are almost there. It might be reasonable to call this just semantics, but I would word it a little differently. I would say quickplay spreads rookies around a greater number of servers = profit. Rookies seed is a bit simplistic because they don't do it because they want to, they do it because they use quickplay.

    Quickplay is used almost exclusively by quickplay. Rookies are new and returning players who try the game out and then quit playing after less than 20 hours of gameplay, or upto about 70 games. This cohort of playres makes up about 50-60% of the total active playerbase in a given week.

    One thing I was missing from my other comments is that I didn't account for spectator slot count not also being proportionally reduced with server count. I assumed that would happen, but without that we would end up with 14 veterans spectating the most in demand servers.

    I think it is very reasonable to expect "profit" from lowering playercounts to 8v8 and proportionally reducing spectator counts. If UWE somehow also made seeding easier somehow, we could see big "profit" from these combined in the long run.

    Our seeding currently relies primarily upon a transient group of players. I am suggesting lets look at them as a resource and use them to improve the game as a whole.

    Please tell me how I am misguided. Lets discuss.
    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.
  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 850 Advanced user
    edited April 29
    To clarify, my valuation of 12v12 servers is zero. They are absolutely worthless. Having the same number of servers with less max players on each is a massive gain on valuable servers to play on.

    Care to actually reason why you loathe 12v12?
    From my experience on pubs, 10v10 is the MINIMUM viable player count. Otherwise, the fluctuation of players kills most of the rounds.
    Not to mention that player count in a question of preference. I _LIKE_ to command and play with more players, because it's simply more exciting, since more things are happening.

    Currently, the only EU server which is properly populated even on weekdays is Thirsty Onos, and that's most probably because of the spect slots.


    The game was designed for 6on6, but half the playerbase LIKE to play on larger servers.
    For years, the server ops could choose the player limit, in accordance with their hardware and preferences.

    UWE changed that for... what exactly? Someone care to explain please?
    - To have a greater N of populated servers? The playercount would not change.
    - For performance reasons? A 40$/month dedicated server can handle a 24slot server easily, and it's not THAT expensive. And if anyone tells me that it's because of CLIENT performance, then he should probably upgrade his 10yo PC, since it's not just NS2 he will have problems with.
    - For balance reasons? 10v10 is closer to 12v12 than 6v6 from a balance perspective.
    - For better seeding? My regular server is getting half the rounds than before the update.

    I just dont understand the logic behind taking away the fun and freedom of half the playerbase.

    You remember the drama of ns2large? And the srv is still running and popular, despite the best efforts of UWE to kill it at the time.

    EDIT:
    Nordic wrote: »
    We should have gone full 8v8

    @Nordic if anything, they should've gone 6v6, since the game is balance around that player count.
    Other than that, it's just an arbitrary and harmful change.
    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
    jrgn
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    Nordic wrote: »
    Aeglos wrote: »
    2. Smaller server size = less rookies in servers = more rookies to seed = more active servers
    I think we are almost there. It might be reasonable to call this just semantics, but I would word it a little differently. I would say quickplay spreads rookies around a greater number of servers = profit. Rookies seed is a bit simplistic because they don't do it because they want to, they do it because they use quickplay.

    Quickplay is used almost exclusively by quickplay. Rookies are new and returning players who try the game out and then quit playing after less than 20 hours of gameplay, or upto about 70 games. This cohort of playres makes up about 50-60% of the total active playerbase in a given week.

    One thing I was missing from my other comments is that I didn't account for spectator slot count not also being proportionally reduced with server count. I assumed that would happen, but without that we would end up with 14 veterans spectating the most in demand servers.

    I think it is very reasonable to expect "profit" from lowering playercounts to 8v8 and proportionally reducing spectator counts. If UWE somehow also made seeding easier somehow, we could see big "profit" from these combined in the long run.

    Please tell me how I am misguided. Lets discuss.

    See, I think this is being too optimistic. You are basically asking for the best case scenario every time.

    Let's take quick play. You spread them around too few servers, you end up in the same situation except that you have fewer vets. You spread them around too many servers, you end up with nothing. I think that the former is what would be the most likely to happen and the latter extremely unlikely, but that is just to demonstrate a hypothetical. You need a minimum number of players to successfully seed a server and that wouldn't change no matter if the maximum is 16 or 24. Your scenario requires veterans to pick up the slack, which is not likely to happen at a high enough rate.

    Seeding is really difficult. You need enough players engaged in the same server at the same time. You bleed players all the time. But that is mostly for unestablished servers. Some servers can be reliably seeded by their regular community at peak times and that is where the newer server loses players to usually. It becomes exponentially harder to seed a new server. Its not a linear thing.

    We have less players in servers so technically we have more players available. But guess what? We already have these players available. We have players in the server browser, we have players starting up the game, opening the server browser and quitting, we have players looking from the steam browser, but they aren't joining. The veterans aren't seeding and there are only so many rookies. It is likely that you are only going to reduce the number of veterans playing while keeping rookie levels the same. Veterans shouldn't be taken for granted either. The less they get to play, the more likely the game will sink in their priority of games to play and they will eventually leave.

    And that is just for seeding. You still need willing commanders. You can't start a game without commanders and the number of commanders even amongst veterans is surprisingly low. And you need either a tolerant team or a capable commander. Otherwise, players start to leave and you're right back where you started. Unfortunately, we have a limited supply of commanders so unless something changes, even if we have players in more servers it might not amount to anything.

    Then, there is still the spectre of servers dying after a longish game. It's rather easy for servers to fill back up after players leave, but it becomes really hard after servers empty out. This is where spectator slots help, because even 12v12 servers died after hour long games. Players that haven't played are more likely to stay and that could be the difference between a server surviving or not. Its the difference between a server being active for 5 or 3 hours.


    Let's talk about something else. Veteran server preference. Contrary to popular belief, veterans do not enjoy stomping rookies and even if they did, it is incredibly frustrating having to carry your own team of rookies either. Just having a seeded server is not sufficient. If they can't get quality games, they are unlikely to stay. You are unlikely to get quality games from servers with a majority of rookies, so they might just queue the higher skilled servers anyway if they do not just quit the game. Or they might just stay and kill the server by stomping playing normally. Or get kicked from hackusations.

    Maybe my perspective is different from the average veteran, but

    Quality game > queuing for a quality game > doing something else > playing a boring game.

    It really is not a given that "veterans will follow". You need veterans to cycle into a server quickly to raise the average skill level if you hope to keep them in.
    Nordic wrote: »
    If UWE somehow also made seeding easier somehow,

    Somehow. Yep.
    .trixX. wrote: »
    if anything, they should've gone 6v6, since the game is balance around that player count.

    Hahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahahaa.
    .trixX.
  • .trixX..trixX. Budapest Join Date: 2007-10-11 Member: 62605Members Posts: 850 Advanced user
    @Aeglos i fully agree with your assessment.
    Aeglos wrote: »
    .trixX. wrote: »
    if anything, they should've gone 6v6, since the game is balance around that player count.
    Hahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahahaa.

    I would hate it if they limited it to 6v6, but that is just my personal preference.
    If the whole game and matchmaking system was engineered around that player-count, we might all benefit.
    If the game improves overall, I could get behind it even if my personal preference suffers.
    Im only arguing that this 10v10 compromise benefits noone.
    NO Cyril, when they're dead they're just hookers!
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members Posts: 615 Advanced user
    .trixX. wrote: »
    @Aeglos i fully agree with your assessment.
    Aeglos wrote: »
    .trixX. wrote: »
    if anything, they should've gone 6v6, since the game is balance around that player count.
    Hahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahahaa.

    I would hate it if they limited it to 6v6, but that is just my personal preference.
    If the whole game and matchmaking system was engineered around that player-count, we might all benefit.
    If the game improves overall, I could get behind it even if my personal preference suffers.
    Im only arguing that this 10v10 compromise benefits noone.

    Well this is awkward. You missed what I was laughing at.

    No. UWE has never balanced for 6v6 nor the competitive community. There is a competitive mod for a reason. UWE official servers were 8v8 on release although I'm not sure how much of that was due to how much the server was able to handle. They certainly didn't manage 8v8 anyway.
    Nordic
  • skav2skav2 Join Date: 2007-05-28 Member: 61037Members, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 190 Advanced user
    edited April 29
    This weekend we had a ton of players come in and play. When I hopped on on Saturday there were almost 600! Woo! Super happy about that.

    Hope it lasts!

    also the lowered player count per server did lead to an increase in total # of servers. I actually had to scroll down when searching for one.
    Nordic wrote: »

    They still haven't found my secret tunnel. At this point I am trying to keep the cysts alive, but it is hard. The crag is really saving us. Marines tried to rush flight this time from summit. We rushed their base again through the secret tunnel this time destroying lots of things. Marines wised up and scanned around and found the tunnel. It was too late though. Aliens had too much of an advantage and we ultimately won.

    Yup. If marines dont do their due diligence and actively survey their territory then that is on them. The tunnel change was meant to stop ceaseless tunnel droppers, not completely curb tunnel rushes. At least I hope your point was to say that it can still happen but it is not an issue. Rushes need to happen.


    Aeglos wrote: »
    Nordic wrote: »
    Put anything above 8v8 with 2 spectators into the arcade tab paired with better seeding and we could see a serious improvement to NS2 as a whole. Improve game quality and good results will follow.

    Yeah, the bolded is the problem. Its easier said than done. It's been a problem since NS1 before Steam where people queued with an external client and only had the log to "spectate", if they were so inclined. I don't know if combat was introduced to help solve the seeding problem by making seeding more enjoyable, but it created a new problem where some people only wanted to play combat and would not play NS maps.

    I'm not Nous but so far what I've seen from you is
    1. Reduce server size
    2. Improved game quality
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

    There is a significant leap of logic that I cannot comprehend.

    Aeglos if you step back and look at bloated server sizes you will realize it makes a mockery of how the game plays. I am not great at writing so i will make a list of reasons why lower player counts work better

    1.) Makes use of individual skill over balling up

    2.) it is harder to lane so you have to make choices

    3.) Attrition gameplay is costly at lower counts so you have to be active in order to win. Higher counts you can goof off and still win.

    4.) Since individual play is better viewed in lesser player counts, we get a more accurate model on skill level. Thus things like ranking works better in the long run. Versus winning because of constant tunnel rushes or things you can not control or were not part of. In large servers sometimes a game can turn into multiple games being played at the same time with no communication. It can just end and you wouldnt know why until after it happens.

    5.) Structures do not scale well at all with added players. Both teams I see this. I would like to see more eHP for at least cc and hive with each 2 added players. But that is my opinion. Basically 12v12 to 24v24 shit just dies all the time and it sucks.

    Not saying #4 happens a lot but even as a rank 6 player it happens to me. Im playing, not paying attention just going around killing people and stragglers and then i see a gorge rush on marine start and we win with no communication of that happening. I did not contribute. Why should I get points for not helping? Sometimes it just happens and cannot be helped. However tighter gameplay is much more of a necessity with less players so things like getting a win for not assisting the team is less likely to happen. This will also help normalize skill levels and people will have better games because of more even odds. Currently I feel like many players skill levels and actual level of skill is so far off. The only real 2 real skill levels I see that are fairly accurate are Rank 5 and 7.



    @Nordic if anything, they should've gone 6v6, since the game is balance around that player count.
    Other than that, it's just an arbitrary and harmful change.

    No please no. 6v6 are so boring. 8v8 to 10v10 is fine for allowing the accumulation of rank. The game is actually not balanced around 6v6. Thats just what the super competetive scene set it as and they use their own mods to make it that way. 8v8 plays about the same but is much more fun.


    Also did vamp get buffed for skulks? I keep encountering early game skulks and get them down to low hp then they bite me and suddenly they have almost full hp no gorge? This guy also had 100+ ping so it could have been lag. Just feels early game skulks are stronger somehow.
    Post edited by skav2 on
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