Ladders in 1.0

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by neutrino, July 23, 2014.

  1. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    What kind of data would you need?

    Just to be on the same page : What is important for me is not queue size VS population, but :
    - 1v1 games vs custom ratio.
    - Average waiting time between games during peak and low hours.

    Queue size are irrelevant : FAF barely has any queue size, because of a button stating that someone your rank is searching for a game : The first guy wait (that time matters), the second one doesn't. It's rare having two people the same rank at the same time in the queue because of that.
    websterx01 likes this.
  2. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    I know who is playing the campaign in coop (yes, FAF has the solo compaign available in coop), and against bots in FAF.

    FAF is also played offline a lot, and I don't have these numbers. But it doesn't really matter, we are talking of the viability of a matchmaker (something FAF has) and the playerbase needed to make it work (something I have access to).

    Steam is irrelevant to this discussion.
  3. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    And by the way, I did the opposite of PA once :
    Closing the matchmaker for maintenance for a week.

    The amount of custom games didn't increased by the usual amount of matchmaker games.
    I can assure that people who wants to play fair 1v1 (or team games) through a matchmaker won't play custom with random people or friends (because PA is a niche game, none of my friend is playing it, I don't think I'm alone in this case - And no chat means not making any new friends playing PA -).
  4. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    The question I will ask, is how old FAF is?

    I ask because, we have a lot of brand new RTS players in PA. I can believe only that FAF is old enough to have a lot of players simply by how solid it is compared to poorly balanced supcom and supcom 2, and by how old it is to have had a lot of people spend multiple years adding little quality of life features (like a global chat).

    So, FAF has 1/5th a ranked games to total games, because that game isn't advertized, isn't new, but the surge of people seek FAF out, it is sought out by people particularly looking for a balanced multiplayer rts that isn't Starcraft.

    Now, PA shouldn't shy away from that stat, but the singleplayer segment will be larger if the brand new rts players are the majority. They will play singleplayer at the very least until they are confortable beating an AI. I am guessing that is where the 1/10 ranked to non-serious matches comes from.

    The thing they should focus on, is making the game balanceable over time, sort of like how FAF derives from supcom, and players could even do it. Because, if people are seeking out FAF, they will seek out community balance patch and PAStats. Because one day, newbie rts players will play so much AI, they will get bored and stumble into multiplayer, and thankfully, the high ranks will have high numbers so they know to play with only high numbers, and fresh-out-of-AI players will have a LARGE pool of themselves to have fun with.

    Hopefully.
    This ultimately targets the larger audience. If they can make galactic war kick more *** it would be a better bang for the buck. It kicks *** right now, but I could only imagine it if they added more gameplay to the gw map meta and/or smoothed over units more. The actual balance helps both MP and GW but actually GW plays pretty well just because of the cards and the AI can be played against no hard feelings.

    Or, if they made loadable games against huge AI you can coop with your friends. Those act more like loadable scenarios, a classic campaign if you will. Those if easily made can keep being submitted and people can keep playing as they come out.
  5. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    Three years old now.

    And the chat was the first feature inside the lobby, even before hosting game was working correctly. (two days after implementing login, to give you an idea).
    That's how important -and fast & easy to implement- it is for a lot of people.
    By the way, the third feature I've did was a matchmaker (and most of my time - a week working only on evening-) was spend coding a trueskill algo.

    The matchmaker itself took a day or two.
  6. Abaddon1

    Abaddon1 Active Member

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    FAF also has a relatively tiny community size that is almost exclusively focused on multiplayer. You can get away with a lot more kludgy solutions when you're working on such a small and isolated scale.
    Raevn likes this.
  7. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    How much revenue does FAF bring it to keep the team going?
  8. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    You asked for numbers of matchmaking, not on revenue. pilot is trying to offer you data and you are asking that?
    Why?
  9. Abaddon1

    Abaddon1 Active Member

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    If you had read neutrino's post, he didn't ask for numbers of matchmaking for FAF, he asked for people to do the math on the number of people needed to maintain a viable matchmaker.
  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    And FAF is a perfect example of a working matchmaker for a "small" game community. No theoerycrafting on numbers is needed, we have a real world example.
  11. Abaddon1

    Abaddon1 Active Member

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    Honestly I don't see how a donation-based lobby for a small niche-subcommunity of a preexisting game is exactly relevant or applicable to PA. Yes they are both for games of the same genre, but there's not a lot you can compare beyond that.
  12. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I don't even know how to respond to that. How is PA any different to FA? We don't have millions players as far as I know.
  13. liquius

    liquius Well-Known Member

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    There are concerns that PA won't always have enough player for matchmaking to do its job. This is an example of an rts with a small player base and a working matchmaking system. What else do I need to say?
    stuart98 and Clopse like this.
  14. Abaddon1

    Abaddon1 Active Member

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    From what I can tell FAF has ~10k unique players currently, total probably between 15-20k, almost all of which actively sought out MP. PA is at least in the roughly hundred thousand range I'd assume, most will not seek out MP. Further, I would assume that the amount of time it takes to build a matchmaking system onto an already completed game that had its own matchmaking system before is almost certainly considerably less than building it from the ground up for a game.
    However I'm going to stop arguing about this, because all this insanity about FAF is just further derailing the thread.
  15. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    Trust me, I can list matchmakers that don't work when the game has too few players as well.

    SMNC worked with the numbers you are talking about, but when it wouldn't work with less numbers, it went downhill. First it was the dead hours like US midnight to morning. Then it was long queues even during daytime. Then EU was completely unable to matchmake given it's playerbase. Then it was US unable to matchmake. You can still create custom game and just hand out invites. For supercross, that is suicide, any person a league above anyone else is just a shutout, and the game doesn't balance teams. For turbocross, it is balanced for imbalance, where anyone mildly efficient can still land kills and hold off bots, and then matchmaking is just made where anyone matches with anyone, and it is still stable. The LACK OF MATCHMAKING works better than matchmaking...

    Then there is Age of Empires. They had enough people I think. So it's harder than it looks.
  16. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    not at any time. on a European evening. you're boosting your numbers. at that time FAF must've had somewhere around 900, like I said. Steam has less people, that's a guarentee.
    why is that the important stat?

    ranked doesn't mean ladder. for example : I don't play ladder, but I play ranked.
    you assume wrong. most of the new players we get on faf are only VS. AI-ers, sometimes they gradually try out multiplayer but what really brings people to FAF is it's mod-friendlyness and the fact all of the most popular mods are pre-packed and pre-configured. especially the better graphics which I really don't know how to get outside of faf.

    the co-op campaign and galactic war are two other really potent arguments for casuals who play with their friends but I'd say in the end the mod-management is what sways most people.

    but to answer your question it wasn't really the years that made FAF's selling point since FAF was in development during the time GPGnet was still up and could be run side by side. and before GPGnet ever crashed FAF was already a better service mods-wise. I think the global chat was also already in by then.

    Stuff like the current balance, Galactic War and the co-op campaign, however, did take the multiple years. And of course that plays a part as well. but in the end it's not a multiplayer nest nor is it a place that took alot of time to have the best of these wonderful features.
    Last edited: July 24, 2014
  17. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    I want you guys to work it out, which is why I threw it out there. If nobody wants to that's fine. We have our own internal experience as well as some thoughts about how the math works out.

    I've already explained our position in great detail.
  18. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    You think PA has 100.000 active players?

    If that's the case, even if 10% play MP, it's still enough to make a ladder viable.

    And a matchmaker has NOTHING to do with the game.
    The whole FAF lobby is actually independent to FA. The game being finished is independent to the time it takes to make the matchmaker.
    I could plug PA into it and it would work the exact same way.
  19. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    !?

    When I state that I've worked it out, all you have to answer is what does it cost/bring me.
    I fail to see how is that relevant.

    I know how many time it took me to code it, you can translate that to man-hour of work in your society if you want to. That would be quite straightforward.

    If it's a question of time/cost, how much time did it take to make the micro-transaction/cosmetic store?
    Just to have an idea of what can be spend into something that wasn't promised when asking us for money...
  20. thepilot

    thepilot Well-Known Member

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    And I don't think you are asking yourself the right questions when doing some maths about the viability of a matchmaker. And I'm saying with my own internal experience of a working matchmaker of a game similar to PA with the relatively the same amount of (MP) players.

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