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*Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby Dukasaur on Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:45 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:My general rule about maps would be:
exclude all maps with one-way doors
exclude all conquest maps
include everything else.


These rules you suggested would, indeed, exclude the very maps I mentioned. Halloween Hallows has some one-ways. Civil War has some one-ways. And, like it or not, Alcatraz on SF is a 1-way.

I used to be in favor of excluding maps. My post maybe makes it sound like I still am. But I'm not, so I'll clarify.

The ONLY reason to exclude maps is to prevent farming of noobs. That, essentially, punishes the victim rather than the perpetrator. Instead of excluding players from any maps, we should take a closer look at near-farmers or as someone called it, "cherry pickers."

Yes, yes, some of the settings and some of the maps can be very complex. Some folks can handle it. Some folks even like it. The only way they'll know is if they try.

Kids these days are a lot more savvy about different things than kids used to be. I highly doubt "the maps are too complex" is why many don't stay. Instead, I think most kids think of "bored games" rather than board games when they see non-moving gameplay like CC. Most want bang-em-up games these days. Those that do enjoy board games can probably handle even the complex maps.

Now, on an opposing argument, f2p newbies may get tired of large maps and default. That's where a default button could come in handy; and let them default with no penalty might actually be an option if we ever get there for a default button. Just keep an eye on how many defaults a single player is making, and if possible, code things so that someone who'se played/won on a given map they're now defaulting on, DOES lose points.

Punish the "criminals" not the "potential victims" and let the potential victims roam central park if they want.

Just to be very, very clear: when I say "exclude" I don't mean "prohibit". I am NOT in favour of prohibiting players from choosing any map or setting that they want to play. Apologies if that was already clear, but I wanted to be very sure not to be misunderstood on this.

We're just talking about what maps to put on which side of a Basic/Advanced toggle. There are dozens of different suggestions about how exactly that should work, but I'm thinking this toggle will be the same for Join a Game and Game Finder, so that people can choose between basic and advanced games to play. So, we're not talking about "punishing" anyone. If someone wants to play advanced maps, one click of the toggle lets him do that.

The main impetus for doing this separating is, as you say, to prevent farming of new players. I'd say thats 70% of the motivation for making the Basic/Advanced toggle. However, I think it can be good for established players.

I cut my teeth playing Avalon Hill games which, in case your're not familiar with them, were very realistic war games in which everything from supply conditions to weather and terrain effects were modeled. Avalon Hill games came with 36-page rule booklets. A turn sometimes took your whole weekend to plan and two hours to execute. You typically had to keep your board game in a separate locked room so your kids wouldn't come in and disturb the pieces on days when you weren't playing. So, to cut a long story short, there's no map on CC too complex for me to understand, but some days I just don't feel like it! When I was young it was all fine and dandy to obsess about one turn on a board game for two days. Nowadays I come home from work tired and half-asleep, and I don't want to try to figure out a move on Stalingrad or Waterloo. I just want something nice and simple that isn't going to tax my last few brain cells too heavily. Maybe not something quite as dumb as Luxembourg, but maybe something along the lines of San Marino.

To cut a long story short, while avoiding noob farming may be our primary motive in creating the Basic/Advanced toggle, I think tired old men like me will appreciate it too. It will also go at least part way to satisfying those that suggest eliminating complex settings.
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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby stahrgazer on Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:39 pm

Dukasaur wrote:Just to be very, very clear: when I say "exclude" I don't mean "prohibit". I am NOT in favour of prohibiting players from choosing any map or setting that they want to play. Apologies if that was already clear, but I wanted to be very sure not to be misunderstood on this.


Okay, that makes it more clear and is a relief because there have been those who propose limiting new players to only certain maps.

I still maintain, however, that if a gameplay option is considered 'advanced' for one map, it should be considered 'non-basic' wherever it appears.

Perhaps have three options like so:
*Basic - all small maps with no extra options or weird-to-spot bonuses

*Mid -Maps that may not be totally basic but aren't too difficult to learn: Larger maps with no special options; mid-size maps with maybe a few harder to spot bonuses; and maps that have some of the special options; (Civil War, AoR, Feudal, Arms Race, World 2.1, etc.)

*Advanced - Complex options and very large maps (Hive, Waterloo, etc.)
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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby JamesKer1 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:24 pm

stahrgazer wrote:I still maintain, however, that if a gameplay option is considered 'advanced' for one map, it should be considered 'non-basic' wherever it appears.


I maintain that I have fixed the list to incorporate this :)

Perhaps have three options like so:
*Basic - all small maps with no extra options or weird-to-spot bonuses

*Mid -Maps that may not be totally basic but aren't too difficult to learn: Larger maps with no special options; mid-size maps with maybe a few harder to spot bonuses; and maps that have some of the special options; (Civil War, AoR, Feudal, Arms Race, World 2.1, etc.)

*Advanced - Complex options and very large maps (Hive, Waterloo, etc.)


Getting a little complicated... If this was implemented, we may as well have a "star rating system" for maps based on difficulty, and have them sortable based on that. Isaiah40 brought an unofficial version of that to the table a while back.


To Jackal: You must have read my mind, I've been feeling the same way for a while. Lots of toxicity in the community.

Now... To put us back on track. The maps and settings in red need to be hashed out and then we can look at sending this to the big guys. I realize that a few voices have been put out in favor/against them, I just need a few more to see what a majority would think instead of one or two people. Only 8 maps, 9 including Random, and 2 settings options :) The light at the end of the tunnel is near, and we will put up a new Discussion soon.
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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby Momo33 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:01 am

Ok I'll give my opinion here because I'm not sure that I am in favor of everything that has been wrote in this subject so far.

For me, the #1 factor that keeps me on CC is the variety of maps. I really like the fact that you have all kind of maps with different types of bonuses, bombardments, winning goals, etc. And I think that it would be a shame for us to take that away for the newcomers, it's the best we have to offer! It's like if someone has never been to McDonalds and they cannot take a Big Mac because "it's not good enough for the health", you have to try something else. It is a stupid move for a business to take out what they have best from the newcomers.

I agree with you for the settings though. I think that in recent years CC has a bit lost itself with the implement of way too much settings and type of games (but I won't get in to that here!) but still, all the different settings makes the beauty of CC.

Having that in mind, I want to bring you back to what a lot of people have said: that taking out complex maps/setting will prevent newcomers to being completely ran over by experienced players. As I am reading the above comments, a lot of people seem to think that it is one of the reason that newcomers don't stick around.

So I am asking you this question: do you think that limiting the maps/setting to newcomers will prevent them of being beaten down by emperiment players? Absolutely not. Even on simple map/setting an experimented player will will in 90% of the time. So, to me, your solution doesn't resolve the problem.

For me, we should absolutely not limit maps/setting to newcomers but we should limit against who those newcomers would play. We could have something like, before you have played x games (maybe 25, 50 or 100) you can only play against people that have played less than y games (maybe 150, 200 or 250) (number of games can be changed, it's just a general idea here). I think that this solution would be a lot better for newcomers, and also for experimented players. Because when an experimented player create a 4 players game (as an example) and a newcomer join it and has no idea how to play it and screw the game, the newcomer doesn't have fun and the experimented player doesn't have fun either.

So think about that, but limiting maps/settings is really not the solution for me!
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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby Robespierre__ on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:40 am

I think the discussion has brought us to the kernel of what would be best. The exact details that come from it should be basically acceptable to all it seems to me.

The first time I played a dubs game with unlimited forts, I played against AAFitz/Big Whiskey on World Map 2.1(6135665) . It was not pretty -- over in 4 rounds. We were definitely farmed as it were. My intuition tells me that people who come to the site are familiar with the game RISK and that the initial games they play should be variations of that game the way it is generally played. After some number of those games (a small number -- enough to get rid of the question mark is my suggestion), they can then choose the advanced game tab and see what's what. I seriously doubt that someone would come and would have stuck around if only we had not limited their vision of what the full site is during those first 5-10 games.

Gameplay and community are the two things that keep people here. You can see that when a clan disintegrates that you lose a whole chunk of people who become disaffected by the loss of clanmates they had hung with for so long.

I don't quite know how the mechanism would work (and tournaments that paired experienced players with relative newbies is an example of how we have tried to do this in the past), but getting newcomers to the site to begin to meet people is probably one way for us to get more "stickiness". I am not writing anything earth-shattering here, but I think that organizing new players into small groups (potentially linked by language (non-English speakers have a tougher go at it I think)) might be a way for to improve retention a bit.

The thing that will keep people playing is if they enjoy the game though. I think the site is tremendous in that respect and only getting better. It is a good product and one that all the various contributors should be very proud of.

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Re: *Community Discussion #1*- "Basic" Game Settings

Postby Frankly, my dear on Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:52 pm

EDIT: To show how much I support what is written here, I am going to run chat on my laptop while I am at home the next few evenings, you can find me there backing up my words with actions. ;)

This entire site is completely confusing and it's been an issue for years IMO. When I first came to this site, I almost walked away as I just wanted to play Classic with a capable human and even after registering I could not get that to happen. It took forever to resolve games and it was not what I expected. The only reason I stayed, was David Hoekstra farming me from chat. Sure, in retrospect his aim in farming me was points and not my development, but he was the only one willing to talk to me and teach me how to use the site. To be perfectly honest, DH made me very good at this game. I have an above average IQ and the patience to figure out how to get what I want out of a system, but it was not even clear that Conquer Club had to offer what I was ISO. Things need to be made more simple from the start. MUCH more simple. The make/join game pages are the focal point of this discussion because they are easily the most confusing. I will outline some problems I see with this site and it's usability and hope for the best.

Chat -- When I first signed up there was always someone in chat. MrMoody, David Hoekstra, #1 Stunna etc. etc. This is literally the only thing that kept me here, and now it is dead. I like games, but I LOVE people. Facebook and Twitter are proof of this concept being a widespread and mutual feeling amongst the population. It also allowed me to rely on what I already know to solve my problems. If I was stuck or lost I just entered chat and started asking questions. People would help seeing I was a noob and would offer games or link me to forum threads to answer my questions in detail. It also gave me a strong sense of belonging to something that was alive and real. Saying g'night to stunna or morning to mrmoody really convinced me to log in on a daily basis. Again, this is dead now and I see it as a major blow to both getting information to new players and creating a sense of community within the website.

Game Menu / Announcements / Interaction Menu /Personal Menu
-- A mess. A chaotic Mess. I have been coming here for years and I still struggle to find the settings to change my avatar, the settings to send a private message to someone on my friends list, the place to change my signature, the place where I can see my performance rankings, the place where I can see others performance rankings etc. etc. It's all a huge mess and it needs to be organized. What people need is simplicity and clear direction. If I want to create a new game, it should only take me a few clicks to do so. The first time I can handle 10-15 clicks due to options, but after that, I expect to be able to create that same game is 2-3 clicks. I expect to be able to go to a "homepage" where my public data and avatar resides. I should have clear links to a message box and have a wall that can be posted on or edited. My control panel should be near by and clearly accessible. The chat room, forums and other community places should be easily accessible, active, and should NEVER be a ghost town.

After these issues are addressed, you will have tons more visitors creating accounts and staying. After this it's just getting them to complete games, and that will be MUCH easier with a larger more attentive audience from which to draw ideas. Without the new blood, you are dead in the water.

One more side-note -- The inventory is a mess as well, I previously thought of trying to get all achievements, there have been so many things added that now it feels impossible to me and I no longer care. Is this how you intended to make people feel with those changes? Did you consider it may make people feel that way? Do you care about returning users feeling this way? Do you care about new users possibly feeling this way? I also used to buy premium, now I don't due to the fact that I can go chat on facebook with people for free. Chat was huge for me, it introduced me to clans, introduced me to new players, veterans, legends... all dust in the wind now.

I feel there are a lot of good things about this site, and a lot of bad things. I see a TON of effort being put into it (I know there are haters that refuse to see it) but I feel a lot of that effort is misguided. There are symptoms of problems and rather than spending time and effort peeling back the symptoms to address that problem, a symptom often gets addressed as a problem and then it's just a matter of time before the same problem re-emerges with all kinds of other symptoms due to new implementations that were brought in to solve the original problem. It's an ugly and viscous cycle and I see this administration being stuck in that cycle.

I likely won't find my way back to this thread because it's tough to navigate this forum from the search feature and I don't know if anyone will be here tomorrow so if you want to talk about any of this stuff go ahead and send me a PM. I will also add that while there are a lot of naysayers in the forums here, there is healthy discussion going on about what to change for the the betterment of the site and that is the root of action - so f*ck the webtards.

Hopefully you learned something from what I had to offer you. You have been a small yet dear part of my life CC.
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