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[SUGGESTION] Casual vanilla balance

Lyberta Wrote:Nope, if i come to the game and can instantly frag someone, I will most likely stay longer. I barely played such shit games as Call of Duty, Counter-strike and Dota 2 because they are too hard for newbies. Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead, on the other hand, are much easier.
You do realize some of those "shit games that are too hard for newbies" are also immensely popular with thriving playerbases, top in concurrent players on Steam? They have also existed prior to lootbox mechanisms and some of them had humble beginnings as mods. Many people who play a game competitive in nature appreciate a skill journey and play to get better. Its that some games, the path is more clear and others may try to give a visual representation of it.

If there's no way to get better, or the game is designed toward some kind of frag communism, it invites a kind of stagnation that will bore players eventually. If the appeal is the +1's on-screen and whatever aesthetic feedbacks from kills, then it's recognizably a shallow experience.

And to add.
North America is very low in population right now. And SPLAT, the evil notorious pubstomping duelist, quit playing the game for sometime by now. Must be some kind of newbie haven? It's arguably deader than it was before whenever I check the server browser.

[Image: latest?cb=20160525181720] monkey

(08-31-2017, 06:19 PM)Lyberta Wrote: I do realize that those games are popular with intellectually disabled people who will happily run malware in order to get their fix. I may be mentally disabled but not intellectually disabled.

Anyway, I see that the word vanilla draws strong opinions. I guess I will stop arguing about vanilla stuff.

Intellectually dishonestly is worse than inability.  Your posts hurt to read and I don't even disagree with you on all points.  It's not abrasive tone or the points you support, just how you dance around and deflect opposing viewpoints.

Insanely high skill ceiling and an obvious skill progression is the appeal of AFPS for many.  Additional game modes are fine but talk of casualizing Xonotic is such a common topic that it deserves to be addressed.  You talk about motivation being key to your contributions in another thread.  You have to apply that same mindset to games like this, and even the relatively easy games you mentioned itt, to really enjoy them.  You won't know what the sun looks like until you step out of the cave. 

I don't think vanilla players are opposed to new modes but we are opposed to being thrown under the bus to improve player retention rates.  Shallow games are a dime a dozen.  No need to take cues from games designed to be replaced in a year.

(08-31-2017, 06:19 PM)Lyberta Wrote: Xonotic is the only game that I know of that has this feature. It is extremely obscure and gives a lot of advantage to skilled players. As a result, it is used to crush newbies and should be restricted for their sake.
How am I given an advantage by being told the position of weapons I already know the position of? That doesn't even make sense. It's clearly there to help new players become acclimated to the map. The fact that you are talking about the "correct" direction for the game for the sake of new players and dont seem to understand this is deeply concerning


It is the hardest. Players move very fast, it's extremely hard to hit them. Therefore, I use shotgun and explosive weapons since they don't have this requirement.
It is significantly easier than hitting someone directly with a projectile of nearly any speed. It also doesn't require tracking the player. Komier likes to "tripwire" aim, in that he places his crosshair where he expects his target to be, and then clicks when they pass by his crosshair.


If it's FOSS, it would totally become my most played game.
Would you be willing to accept that this is somewhat detached from the priorities of the average user? Again, most people don't care if a game is FOSS or not


I have played it for about 2 hours and couldn't frag anyone. I've quit and have never returned.
Sounds like a personal issue. The game is designed to hand you frags on the proverbial silver platter


It has coop mode with easy and normal settings which are accessible.
As I stated before, that's not an accurate comparison to make. Easy and normal Xonotic bots are also accessible, but you're comparing your output vs bots to your output vs dedicated duel players. Not only is that nonsensical, but it's entirely dishonest


Ah I see, you stick to the word "vanilla". I guess I'm gonna make another thread without that word.

Ultimately the issue of bringing in new players and having them play the game is going to involve dealing with the base game, AKA Vanilla. Cvars dont help newbies. There are a handful of NA servers right now, and if one of them ran the aforementioned cvars, then people would be even more lost when they swapped to other servers. This leads to all their enjoyment being dependent on the output and community of just one server. It's quite easy for a single server to get toppled, either due to mismanagement or players deciding to move elsewhere. Outside of people who understand what the cvars are doing the work for them, new players will likely never even recognize that such options exist


Only OpenArena replaced the assets and it's not very good. If replacing assets was easy, we would see a lot of FOSS Quake-based games.
MFArena, OpenArena, Warsow, Nex/Xonotic, Trem/Unvanquished, Smokin' Guns off a quick search. How many FOSS, MP FPS' do you expect to see exactly? And how are they mean to survive without any of them having any real visibility?


The main issue with Red Eclipse is that the main developer is extremely retarded and malicious. He banned source code mods in his master server and demands that server owners give privileges higher than administrator to people who lick that main developer's ass. I actually contacted Richard Stallman regarding that issue and he replies that "it is going too far". Also the engine is horrible and does everything client-side. You can fly around the map, kill players through the whole map and server will happily trust you.
I dont think your average player cares about what Stallman thinks. Client side issues are something they'd find out about later, and I rarely if ever see people even bring it up in the first place.
So in the end, you didnt really address my point. The average user is not a server owner, modder, or a Stallman diehard, and yet they still dont play Red Eclipse


I do realize that those games are popular with intellectually disabled people who will happily run malware in order to get their fix. I may be mentally disabled but not intellectually disabled.
So how did you play those games online without touching any closed environments? Just curious

(09-02-2017, 06:55 AM)Lyberta Wrote: Never in the thread anyone suggested changing anything in default settings. Nobody throws you under a bus. I even campaigned for the right of akimbo servers to exist. Personally, I think those servers have poor gameplay and due to the bugs of Xonotic break the client a bit. I don't play on those servers but I want them to exist and be visible if the bugs will be fixed. Even if default settings of Xonotic suck in my opinion, I would never vote for them to be removed completely.
The thread is about baseline Xonotic. The baseline of a game is meant to prepare people for what the main gamemodes are or just be the base gamemode. The main gamemodes are not mods, they are not special niche modes, they are the primary intended gameplay experience. Xonotic is not designed around Akimbo, Insta, Vehicle or Overkill, it is designed around Vanilla. Even the new proposed "default" is basically Vanilla, but dumbed down, and the argument is that it is dumbed down in a way that doesn't actually help people move on to the "main" modes, but rather just encourages the formation of yet another faction in an already split playerbase. You don't teach people how to use things with cvars they dont know about and by removing  or crippling the very mechanics they don't know.

If you're keen on helping newbies get into the game, there are 3 things that basically every modern game does:
1. Tutorials: New users need to be taken through a tutorial flow (that they can leave) that will teach them the primary mechanics of the game: movement, shooting and items.
2. Social integration features: Basically every game now either shunts you into a matchmaker, or has a lobby chat, or both. There are very few games nowadays that force a new player to enter a community without assistance, and enforce the use of 3rd party applications for those tasks. There are multiple ways to do this, and I'm not sure of the feasibility of all of them, but a lot of players from our thread (the one that shunted vanilla from least played to most for a little while in NA last year, and drastically improved NA's numbers overall for some time after) just ended up lurking dpmaster or would hop on at random times and then leave. Most of them will not use IRC, and we had next to no success with Discord (which I'm not a tremendously huge fan of anyway).
3. Initial settings that make sense: Some examples would be- Bindings for weapons should be shown in the UI by default. Weapon binds shouldn't force someone to be a solid piano player to get any use out of them (I know there's been debate about priorities and preferences, but honestly any binding that has keys around WASD get used instead of 1-0 is going to be a massive QOL improvement for the majority of new players. It doesn't have to work 100%. It just has to be functional beyond the range of the current binds, which are efficient for closer to 0% of players). The expectation can still be that they will edit keys, but the expectation from a new player is that the default binds work for human hands, and pressing 9 for a weapon on a default WASD bind is stupid.
There's also an emphasis on newer games having "unlockable" content. Some of them tie that stuff behind MTX, for sure, but I think there's definitely room to meter out some optional cosmetic content, and attach it to some accomplishment (beat SP/finish tutorials, complete duels, cap flags, get x score in tdm/ctf/what have you). This way newer players get a reward that isn't winning against experienced players on their first day. They can feel a sense of accomplishment because the game has informed them that they've passed a particular milestone, and then they can show off that accomplishment to other players. Most games use stuff like that to get people to spend more money, or to lock them in a leveling skinner box, but I definitely think we can use it in a healthier way to promote growth and more playtime.


Oh, you mean Jeff server? If we put copyright infringement aside, Jeff has the best gameplay that is now available on the player list. Vanilla servers are empty while Akimbo, Instagib and Jeff frequently have players.
So based on the existence of those servers, why isn't xonotic a success? They're even some of the first servers new players find
Could it be that *gasp* simplifying gameplay and adding gimmicks does not magically summon a playerbase overnight, and that my previous statements regarding onboarding and visibility are the main issue?


Let's see:
  • MFArena - can't download it from Mega. No repository link.
  • OpenArena - yes, free.
  • Warsow - proprietary assets.
  • Tremulous - I think it was free. Dead, official site doesn't respond.
  • Unvanquished - proprietary shaders from ShaderLab. Potential copyright infringement.
  • Smokin's Guns - proprietary assets.
100% of those assets don't come from the Quake game they're based on. The point isnt that all assets are replaced, just that many were. Further, the current population of a game is irrelevant when considering the possibility of asset replacement. We're talking about developing games, not who plays them


I was a total slave of Valve. 
Let's not move into hysterics here. You engaged in a shitty contract that you were free to leave at any point in time. This is not the same thing as being an actual slave

Further, referring to other people as inferior or deficient because they (primarily a non-coding crowd) do not value software modification as much as you do comes across as ridiculously smug. It's fine that you have your priorities, but you seem to be extending those priorities to everyone else. That is not a sound decision to make regarding the success of Xonotic. You don't get to use player population as a success metric (insta vs Vanilla), and then discount games that are popular on the basis of them not being FOSS (CoD, DotA, CS, etc.) which, if you'll recall, is the central point behind this particular branch of the discussion

It would also be nice if you didn't just drop arguments you've lost, and instead modified your core statements to address the fact that you were incorrect. When I pointed out that co-op to competitive multiplayer is an apples to oranges comparison for difficulty, that point was simply forgotten in the next post. When I pointed out that there are quite a few GPL licensed Quake-based games, it became a purity test of how many assets they have that are or are not proprietary (where 1 = impure and unworkable), and/or how many players the game has. When I point out that the thread is about replacing vanilla as the default mode for new players, that point gets forgotten until you can make it against mini. Either there's a severe misunderstanding here, or you're not being especially honest

For the record, the standard "vanilla" gameplay has at many points in time been just as popular (if not more so) than any of the custom mods (including instagib), even in the history of Xonotic (let alone Nexuiz, which had servers like HoCTF full almost 24/7).
The American community even jumps between the instagib and vanilla servers quite frequently, it all depends on which server populates first, which brings me to the reason servers like Jeff appear to be successful;

Servers only become active if one person joins to begin with, and Jeff himself is always on his server tweaking things or just playing around. This provides a constant marker in the server list showing that his server is active, bringing in more players. They know that's where to go to find a crowd, so it stays popular.
This used to be the case for most popular servers, but over time, the key players and the server admins have stopped caring for their servers (who knows, maybe they don't enjoy playing there anymore, or feel like they can't make any more changes to their server without heavy criticism?).
Whatever the case, these servers no longer show up as active (and in most cases, don't even show up in the list at all if hidden servers are unchecked), so they die.

Combine that with the lack of a stream of players (still no volunteers for PR), and that's how we got to where we are now; A ghost town outside of servers like Jeff's, where the ability to keep modifying his servers whenever he wants has kept him interested enough to stay active.

TL;DR: Other servers are getting stale because the admins feel like they can't change anything, or have reached a state where they believe the server is "finished" (or have simply lost the time to be able to keep it going).
[Image: 230.png]

There's also ping Nazis. Some people will just not play or complain non stop on a sever with say has 70-90+ ping > so they congregate on the closest low ping server.  With the EU base being so much bigger and the servers having way shorter distance to players VS North America they'll always be more populated. The ping is huge as when I moved my CRA server from OVH Paris to OVH Montreal the ping for most EU players went up about 20ms to say 90 but that was enough to make them revolt and here I am still playing 120ms on my own server from in the same country.

As for Vanilla, when I started in late 2012 I believe Vanilla was the most popular at the time besides ESK minsta, Mon Vehicles (which was vanilla wapons) and Die Tunichtguten (minsta with weird player models) and was it the  Regulars  DCC too I think.

With out a bigger player base you can't get more players split up between servers/game modes, with out players on those servers you can't get a bigger player base from those that come in and see empty server list.
[MoFo] Servers - North America - Hosted in Montreal Canada - Admin DeadDred [MoFo]

Like Mario said, vanilla used to be quite popular.

When I started to play in 2011 / 2012, the DCC vanilla servers were always active, even the CTF server. I spent countless hours playing Xonotic on these servers. There also used to be a DCC server for beginners, where high-skilled players were forced to spectate (I don't remember if it was automated, or if an admin did it manually).
DCC servers still exist but are less active nowadays.

However, the [WTWRP]Deathmatch vanilla server is very active, right now it's even more popular than Jeff's servers according to XonStats:

Vanilla has the potential to gain some popularity again, it may need some adjustments but I don't think a "casual vanilla balance" is the solution. Actually, it may even kill "pure" vanilla if casual players get too accustomed to a dumbed-down balance, then become too afraid to play with default settings. The gap between casual and experimented players may become even larger.

(09-02-2017, 05:01 PM)Lyberta Wrote: Yes, vanilla is there for a long time and it's not popular and will never be popular. I want to create formation of casual players that I'm already a part of.
Oddly, the more casual modes aren't especially popular either. Maybe that's because Xonotic is not a particularly popular game


The problem with matchmaking as it will need to introduce the server rating which is not a trivial task.
Which is why I'm primarily arguing for social features, and not a matchmaker. Matchmakers are there to supplant social features. A new player doesnt have to make friends because the matchmaker will find stand-ins for friends. What the game needs is a lobby and a list of current/upcoming events, if such a thing is feasible


If it's not a tutorial content, I'm totally against this.
I'm not especially concerned about what you've written on your FOSS purity blog. What I am concerned about is what works best for new players coming into Xonotic.

Sure, legally I wasn't a slave, but roughly 30% of my life was sitting in Source SDK with dedicated server open and coding something. A lot of my life depended on Valve.
By any reaosnable definition you were not a slave. Your willingness to contribute to the total content of a product does not make you a slave


Well, as my experience with life goes...
I'm going to leave the political shit out of this, because it's tremendously off-topic, and I'm going to assume this is you doubling down on pointless elitisim


I didn't discount them, some of those games may be more accessible. I just don't know what stuff Xonotic can borrow from them (aside from selecting the weapons you spawn with).
I would call the suggestion that anyone who plays those games is an idiot (when it's pointed out that despite their "difficulty" they're some of the most popular games available) is remarkably dismissive of the games in question. What's more, I dont get the sense that you're really trying to zero in on a common denominator here. DotA features hefty amounts of map control and power accumulation. CS features power accumulation. Neither is suffering as a result. What they do have, however, is better onboarding. They are better at bringing people in and keeping them there than Xonotic is. There is more stuff for a new player to work towards, with a visible result. They are not dumped into a server browser with the option of playing a botmatch single player off first boot


The only proof will be when vanilla will become popular. I don't think this will ever happen.
Is it bothersome for you to not simply speak in non-sequitur?


Co-op is a competitive multiplayer against bots. It can be harder than against humans but usually have an option to set it to lower difficulty.
Bots cannot do what people do in real time games. Co-op is inherently (as the name suggests) co-operative, rather than competitive. Comparing easy/normal difficulty to random matches against humans is completely ridiculous. You know it's ridiculous, I know it's ridiculous, everyone in the thread knows its ridiculous. Dont double down on this. You're only going to make yourself look foolish

Because a game with free code and proprietary assets is of no use for developers. We need freedom to mod freely. This discussion started because I've said that Xonotic is the best game when it comes to mods.
Again, assets can be replaced, thats why they have been in the cases I mentioned, even if not all of them are non-proprietary


I went back and re-read the first post. It doesn't say that. Please don't invent words out of thin air.
If it isnt arguing for changing the default, then it is as relevant to new players as insta is for introducing them to the game. The point behind a newbie friendly mode is that it is easy and obvious for a new player to setup and get into. I boot Xonotic, I get the mode that works, I play that. If I need 20 cvars to play the newbie mode, it isnt a newbie mode. If I need to download a mod to play the newbie mode, it isnt a newbie mode. A newbie mode only works if a new player can come in blind, hop into a match, and get it, because most newbies will do just that. 
With that in mind, the idea that introducing players to the game by crippling portions of the core designed experience is nonsensical. There is nothing wrong with setting cvars to turn off particular mechanics you don't like, but when you say "I want this to be for new players" then you either do want those to be defaults or you do not understand the initial User Experience. There are only a handful of active servers in NA right now, and yet another separate and exclusive ruleset is only going to make the problem worse, not better

(09-03-2017, 07:58 PM)Lyberta Wrote: This config would be in the first levels of campaign and it will be in Create tab of Multiplayer along with Overkill, XPM and other.
Why would you rewrite the campaign for a casual mode in a game that already has too many modes and too few players for them?
Why would you rewrite the campaign for a mode that would not teach people how the main game is played?
How many new players go to the create tab?
They're going to go to existing servers, and NA can barely support 3. At best you might have a LAN somewhere or someone like Ant who decides to host a new server, but now you're counting on them picking your new special mode, and depending on that making an excellent first impression (possibly to the same sort of crowd that primarily bounces off this game because they think it's casual trash)

You're still going to have shit onboarding (worse now, because you're introducing separate games in the SP), and you're still going to have people who jump into some of the only servers with players on them in the region and not know what's going on. Is the next step to try to convince us to stop playing Vanilla so that we don't turn new players away and give them a place to play yet another casual mode? How many iterations of this does another AFPS need to go through before we accept that more separate variants (that split the already small playerbase) isn't a functional solution?

There are already modes where people do not have to worry about pickups, where they don't have to worry about stack, where they don't worry about timers. It hasn't saved the game yet, and making another one wont do it either. It's fine if you want to play off in the corner with your own rules on your own server, but don't do this shit where you imply it's better for new/casual players to have 4-6 different modes that all cut out some degree of movement or map control with a tiny playerbase for each

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