Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Why hosting games in Spring sucks

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el_matarife
Posts: 933
Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 02:04

Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by el_matarife »

The average starting time of a Spring game is an outrage. We should be able to host and get a game started in under five minutes, easily. Instead, it can take 20 or even 30 minutes to get started. This is totally unacceptable given games usually last an hour. Is it any surprise people would prefer to play SupCom or C&C3 if they've only got two hours to play and they can't get a game together in Spring fast enough to make it worth playing?

These are the issues as I see them:

1. Map downloads: There's no way to see if people have a map, or prohibit people from joining without it. Everyone always joins and takes their good sweet time to get a map. The Spring client needs to have a checkbox beside the sync to tell you whether someone has the map or not. It should also be possible to prohibit people without the map from joining. This way, we can give slots in our games to people with the map rather than folks who will slow us down.

2. Rank / Balance obsession: Guess what folks, low ranks matter very little. I would estimate 2/3rds of one bar players are smurfs. It is amazingly easy to make smurf accounts, and it is actually a smart idea to do so considering how many people join a game and start whining about balance. Would you rather play a game that's imbalanced, or go sit in chat for another ten minutes trying to get another game started. If you join a game with teams in place, it is the height of arrogance to think we should rearrange our whole game and take even more time just to placate you, one whiny person. Instead, you should just leave.

3. Flakiness: If you join a game, you should have time to play. If not, join as spectator instead. A good guideline is one hour. If you believe there's a good chance of having to quit or do something else in an hour, don't play or take up a slot in the starting screen. Far far too often people come, take up a slot until the game fills up and the host locks it, then someone quits because they changed their mind.

4. Whining: This ties into the previous two issues. If you join a game with people in it and start whining or complaining or asking for changes, it is amazingly self centered and rude. You can't expect a bunch of people already in game to drop everything they have already setup to make you happy. It is the host's game, what he says goes. If you are unhappy with how the game is setup: 1. Why on earth would you join in the first place 2. Go host your own game so you can get it the way you like it Joining games and whining has a negative effect on the people already in game, so I would recommend kicking the squeaky wheels to preserve what you already have going. I would also really love a ban feature being added to the client so folks can be ejected from the game permanently. It would be great if we could log these bans too so we could figure out who the bad apples are, and ban them from all subsequent games too.

Feature suggestions to clean the mess:
1. More map options and information. We need to know if people have the map, and the option to stop people without the map from joining. It'd also be nice to get map links in the client automatically somehow.
2. Bans from games, rather than kicks. If we eject some one from a game, they shouldn't just be able to rejoin.
3. Permanent bans- all of us should be able to blacklist people from our games permanently. Ideally, you could share your banlists with your friends and keep bad eggs out of more and more games until they're force to make a new account to clean up their act. This mean we could setup blacklists of team killers and people who act in other terrible ways in game as well.
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Boirunner
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 05 Feb 2007, 14:24

Post by Boirunner »

I agree with what you said.

My personal pet peeve is remaking. After a tedious half hour the game finally starts, but has to stop again after a minute or so for some reason (crash, host forgot boxes, two players readied at the same spot, someone can't connect, whatever). You'd think everyone would click their ready button and the remake could start in less than thirty seconds, right? I mean, everyone wanted to play before, is sitting at the computer, was happy with the settings, readied up right? BUT NO! THOSE ADDITIONAL 30 SECONDS ARE JUST TOO MUCH FOR SOME PLAYERS. One guy decides he's not happy with the balance after all, two guys decided they'd rather play Speedmetal, and some guy is inexplicably afk even though he should basically be playing right now. So you're back to square one, have to unlock the game and hope for more players. That tends to make the other players who have been waiting with you for a half hour leave, and you close the game with only two players left in frustration, having wasted half an hour.

IF YOU WERE READY TO PLAY ONE MINUTE AGO, YOU ARE READY TO PLAY NOW TOO! JUST READY UP, DIMWHIT! I HATE YOU!
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tombom
Posts: 1933
Joined: 18 Dec 2005, 20:21

Post by tombom »

The last two on your feature list have been in unofficial clients. I know 2) is in Satirik's client http://spring.unknown-files.net/file/30 ... y_Satirik/ which is pretty good anyway.
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drolito
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Joined: 06 Feb 2007, 09:44

Post by drolito »

mmmh ...

1)Maybe the host can ask if all have the map ... its sure u spend more time when hosting a not classic map ...

2) I hate smurfs cause they desiquilibrate battle my only obsession is to let noobs play without smurfs ...

3) Host bigger battles ? in 8v8 altored there is no probleme if one have to leave :D

4) Host can kick the whining players, i hate those who say : "change map ... limit dgun ... com end ... too many players : game will crash ..." and sometimes i kick them ...

5) u have forget : "if u come in a battle and host give u rules u have to play with them."

But for your information ... in general i wait 15 min for beginning my altored divide 8v8 ... so i dont think it is too much time !
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Post by AF »

Sync should include map hash +hostmap put together but for some reason betalord reverted it back to mod hash only, so whereas before a person without the correct map would show as unsynced, now they show as synced if they have the mdo regardless of wether they have the map or not.

The other lobby makers and autohosters can change this but that would mean tasclient would be incompatible and since tasclient is the main lobby, we cant change it.
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Ishach
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Post by Ishach »

If I have to choose between having a 1chev ally and a 4chev its not because im arrogant about my skill, more often than not the 1chev will be someone's smurf and play better than the 4chev.

I also play 50% or more of my games on my 2chev account 8)
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KDR_11k
Game Developer
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006, 08:44

Post by KDR_11k »

I check rank 1 people for smurfs but usually don't care much about rank, especially since I don't play BA and most people made their ranks in that so a star ranker could still be someone who's playing the mod for the first time.
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el_matarife
Posts: 933
Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 02:04

Post by el_matarife »

Right now, there's every incentive NOT to play with your real account and play with a smurf instead. You get the surprise factor of some people assuming you are a newbie but playing really really well and you don't get people whining about balance. No wonder there's so many smurf accounts.
Boirunner wrote: My personal pet peeve is remaking. After a tedious half hour the game finally starts, but has to stop again after a minute or so for some reason (crash, host forgot boxes, two players readied at the same spot, someone can't connect, whatever). You'd think everyone would click their ready button and the remake could start in less than thirty seconds, right? I mean, everyone wanted to play before, is sitting at the computer, was happy with the settings, readied up right? BUT NO! THOSE ADDITIONAL 30 SECONDS ARE JUST TOO MUCH FOR SOME PLAYERS.
This is a good point as well. Look folks, sometimes the first load up doesn't always work. Occasionally people crash, sometimes people take forever to path and don't connect, sometimes people's routers don't work right. The proper response isn't to quit and go spend another 10 minutes in another game waiting for it to start, it is to click ready and get back in. Flaking out is terrible for the game since you've been sitting there taking up that spot for several minutes, which means now the host has to get people to fill your spot, and then they have to get the map etc. Way to make the game collapse people, all because you're too impatient to spend one more minute waiting for it to start.
drolito wrote: 1)Maybe the host can ask if all have the map ... its sure u spend more time when hosting a not classic map ...

3) Host bigger battles ? in 8v8 altored there is no probleme if one have to leave :D

4) Host can kick the whining players, i hate those who say : "change map ... limit dgun ... com end ... too many players : game will crash ..." and sometimes i kick them ...

5) u have forget : "if u come in a battle and host give u rules u have to play with them."

But for your information ... in general i wait 15 min for beginning my altored divide 8v8 ... so i dont think it is too much time !
1: Asking people if they have the map isn't the best solution. For starters, some folks may not respond or will outright lie to you, especially if they know they could get kicked for not having it. I guess you could force people to click ready within 20 seconds of joining or threaten to kick them, but checking ready in some cases won't be a guarantee they have the map. (There's at least one issue with the ready checkmark. If people check ready then you change the map it will not uncheck them if they don't have the new map) You need to be able to see it at a glance so that you can let a spectator who just joined take a slot since he has a map, or similar things. The idea is to grab people who already have the map so you can just go without downloads, or at least reduce the amount of folks who will have to download in your game.

3: Bigger battles just increase the time it takes to start since you need more people to join, which also increases the chances of whiners and similar things. Additionally, it doesn't matter how big the battle is, if someone drops in the first minute or two people will want a restart.

4,5: Personally I am planning on moving to a no warning kick policy. If the word "balance" comes off of anyone's keyboard I will probably kick them. If they refuse to ready up because of balance or any other issue you should just kick them period. Refusing to ready up is just not acceptable, you are taking someone else's game hostage when you do that and wasting everyone's time.

End note: You are waiting 15 minutes to start a game that lasts between one and two hours, or maybe less that that and you consider it "acceptable"? If your games last an hour on average, you are basically throwing away a game every four games you play to time spent in the lobby not doing anything. If you only have 3 hours of time, spending 15 minutes in the lobby to start a game means you could probably one play one game instead of two. Compare this to almost any other game where you can get started in 5 minutes maximum and usually more like two or three minutes. What would you play if you didn't have too much time?
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manored
Posts: 3179
Joined: 15 Nov 2006, 00:37

Post by manored »

I think the trouble its worse now since we got a lot less people playing in the moment (I hope its because of the exams and not because people quited). At least smaller mods have a chance now winhout all that BA/AA games being hosted...
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ZellSF
Posts: 1187
Joined: 08 Jul 2006, 19:07

Re: Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by ZellSF »

el_matarife wrote:The average starting time of a Spring game is an outrage. We should be able to host and get a game started in under five minutes, easily.
You do realize that the reason hosting Spring games is difficult is because of people who only have 5 minutes of patience?

15 minutes really is acceptable to wait for a somewhat large game, it's not like TASClient is preventing you from doing anything else while waiting.
2. Rank / Balance obsession: Guess what folks, low ranks matter very little. I would estimate 2/3rds of one bar players are smurfs.
I kick smurfs like that on sight and ask them to rejoin with their proper rank. That some people like trying to screw up the rank system doesn't mean it's useless. As for balance issues, imbalanced games really suck, and it shouldn't take more than three minutes for the host to fix.
2. Bans from games, rather than kicks. If we eject some one from a game, they shouldn't just be able to rejoin
This really, really is needed. I had some guy who kept rejoining my game once and no lobby moderators were around to help me.
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Cabbage
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Post by Cabbage »

This is totally unacceptable given games usually last an hour.
Don't play Greenfields.
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el_matarife
Posts: 933
Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 02:04

Re: Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by el_matarife »

ZellSF wrote: I kick smurfs like that on sight and ask them to rejoin with their proper rank. That some people like trying to screw up the rank system doesn't mean it's useless. As for balance issues, imbalanced games really suck, and it shouldn't take more than three minutes for the host to fix.
Frankly, I think the ranking system doesn't mean anything even without the smurf issue. All a star certifies is that you have 100 hours of playtime, not that you are a good player. There are stars that suck, and there's people off all the lower ranks that are amazing players. It is easy enough to make your smurf account less obvious:
1. Host new game
2. Add empty AI or add multiple AIs and spectate, or even start a game and leave it on the end screen. Basically anything that reports you as ingame to the lobby.
3. Go to sleep, or get a sandwich or whatever for a few hours.
4. Boom, you've just added a few hours of playtime onto your new account. I can't find out how many hours it takes to get to the second rank, but it can't be that difficult.
Cabbage wrote:Don't play Greenfields.
I don't, but I think an hour to an hour and a half is a good average for how long a Spring game usually takes as long as it doesn't go to a super insane multiple Krogoths and several Buzzaw level.
Last edited by el_matarife on 20 Jun 2007, 19:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie »

Cabbage wrote:
This is totally unacceptable given games usually last an hour.
Don't play Greenfields.
I personally prefer five hour games which neither involve Greenfields nor Speedmetal nor Duck nor Speedball.
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ZellSF
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Joined: 08 Jul 2006, 19:07

Re: Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by ZellSF »

el_matarife wrote:
ZellSF wrote: I kick smurfs like that on sight and ask them to rejoin with their proper rank. That some people like trying to screw up the rank system doesn't mean it's useless. As for balance issues, imbalanced games really suck, and it shouldn't take more than three minutes for the host to fix.
Frankly, I think the ranking system doesn't mean anything even without the smurf issue. All a star certifies is that you have 100 hours of playtime, not that you are a good player. There are stars that suck, and there's people off all the lower ranks that are amazing players.
It's still a pretty good indicator of how good they understand the game itself. Though it's no indicator of how good they understand the strategy of the game, it's still means a lot for balancing.

And while there are stars that sucks and people of lower ranks who are amazing, stars are more likely to be good and people of lower ranks are more likely to be bad. In a large enough game, that can be more than enough to help a lot in balancing the game.
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Boirunner
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Post by Boirunner »

Ranks only mean nothing because everybody is smurfing.
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Neddie
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Post by Neddie »

Ranks never really meant anything to me - like age in the real world, they are used as a time-based approximation of ability, which tends to be inaccurate no matter how you frame it. Not that any ranking system would please me, I'm just putting that out there for the community to chew on.
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el_matarife
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Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 02:04

Re: Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by el_matarife »

ZellSF wrote: It's still a pretty good indicator of how good they understand the game itself. Though it's no indicator of how good they understand the strategy of the game, it's still means a lot for balancing.
Yes, a star or higher rank guarantees that they at least know how to use the Spring engine. It may even guarantee they know a bit about units. Of course, you can earn your star playing any mod in Spring, so I'd think someone who earned a star playing Nanoblobz, Gundam, E&E, and Kernel Panic might just suck at BA. Also, the rank gaining technique I posted would be just as easy for a newbie to use. They may want to use it to avoid being called a smurf, or because they have obsessive power gaming issues like people who collect point in Xbox Live, or to let them into rank limited games, or just for plain bragging rights. The ranking system may not be 100% totally worthless, but it might as well be. If all it can guarantee is a few bare minimums, why bother caring about it?
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Dragon45
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Post by Dragon45 »

Ive actually noticed that the autohosts have streamlined the hosting / playing process A LOT. Humans fail the Turing Test for hosting, apparently.
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el_matarife
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Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 02:04

Post by el_matarife »

Dragon45 wrote:I've actually noticed that the autohosts have streamlined the hosting / playing process A LOT. Humans fail the Turing Test for hosting, apparently.
Not a big surprise, the autohost does more stuff automatically than the real client. For instance, it can fix the "two players join and get the same team number" bug much more quickly than a human. It also automatically links you to the map, fixes team colors, and does perfect boxes. If the official client did this it would be GREAT, but I'd prefer some of the other features I mentioned first.
Last edited by el_matarife on 20 Jun 2007, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.
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ZellSF
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Re: Why hosting games in Spring sucks

Post by ZellSF »

el_matarife wrote:
ZellSF wrote: It's still a pretty good indicator of how good they understand the game itself. Though it's no indicator of how good they understand the strategy of the game, it's still means a lot for balancing.
Yes, a star or higher rank guarantees that they at least know how to use the Spring engine. It may even guarantee they know a bit about units. Of course, you can earn your star playing any mod in Spring, so I'd think someone who earned a star playing Nanoblobz, Gundam, E&E, and Kernel Panic might just suck at BA. Also, the rank gaining technique I posted would be just as easy for a newbie to use. They may want to use it to avoid being called a smurf, or because they have obsessive power gaming issues like people who collect point in Xbox Live, or to let them into rank limited games, or just for plain bragging rights. The ranking system may not be 100% totally worthless, but it might as well be. If all it can guarantee is a few bare minimums, why bother caring about it?
Because the rank is only inaccurate in about 1/20 cases. Which isn't really all that much. Rank is pretty accurate and should really not be ignored. It's certainly very far from worthless.
Also, the rank gaining technique I posted would be just as easy for a newbie to use.
How easy it is to use doesn't matter until people actually start doing it, which they haven't yet.
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