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caederon's Avatar

08.19.2017 , 09:26 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by SeCKSEgai View Post
If you don't want to read all of that above - How would you feel about players starting out with a fully upgraded Starfighter (Rycer/Pike)? That way even newer players could be more competitive while leveling other ships without starting out "too strong".
I actually did read the whole thing, so my thoughts are reflective of that post.

Starting people out with a fully upgraded Whatever would help only in a minimal sort of way. The reason for this is that a large number of new players these days do not care about learning or playing GSF. They care about gaining CXP. GSF is a means to an end, and they have no intention of competing meaningfully.

In an ideal world where everyone who queues into a GSF match intends to participate fully, I still think handing out mastered ships from the start is a bad idea. There are better ways to put new players into competitive situations that are in line with their skill level. You don't give a beginning carpenter a decked-out workshop full of power tools.

Novices need an environment where they can learn complex skills at a rate suitable to their experience level, without being bogged down by systems too complex for them to immediately grasp. Gradually introducing complexity and meaningful choice via specialization is a good way to bring novices along a learning curve.

I have now run two Stock Ship experiments, where I played 50 roughly consecutive games in nothing but stock ships. In my initial run, early this year (pre CXP) I actually found that 95% of the time I was sorted into matches with one veteran or less. Most of them were noobs v. noobs, or at the very least noobs v. novices. In other words, they were appropriate for beginning players. My second run, conducted about two weeks ago (in the CXP era) was worse, in that most teams had two or three veterans on them and a bunch of people who made no effort to participate in the match. I still ended up with around a 50% win rate, but the match results were more of a /\/\/\/\ shape than a ------- consistency.

The matchmaker works, when there is a sufficient player pool. The problem GSF faces is there are usually not enough veterans to sort them all against each other, and often not enough new people to get them all into matches against each other. The reasons for this condition are many, but can be boiled down to veterans bleeding away over the years of non-development and nobody rising up from the ranks of new players to replace them. The middle (full of competent if not great pilots) disappeared. A modest influx of new players came from the Conquest system, then a larger influx came from the CXP system integrating with GSF, but those players largely had no interest in GSF except as a vehicle to efficiently grind their non-GSF points.

Speaking of grind, I wholly disagree that it is difficult to build up a ship these days. The Req gains went up, the component costs went down, the Intro quest grants an enormous amount of Fleet Req. If you spend that 25k on one ship, it can be immediately competitive after just one game played. You can make meaningful purchases with the Req from the Daily and Weekly quests. This is a non-issue, if people put in a little effort to learn what is worth upgrading.

GSF needs players who want to play 'a tactically deep arcade space shooter' to show up, and definitely needs to help them to learn the game system better. A more balanced game environment would help but even as-is, the game can be learned and a player's performance can go from noob to consistent contributor and beyond without any herculean efforts. GSF needs more people filling queues that care about experiencing the game that exists.

- Despon