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Training Mode Queue


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#1 Stealthrider

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:57 AM

Since it's buried in the other thread and I feel it deserves discussion, I'm starting a new thread to discuss the possibility of a Training Mode queue to help ease new players into FP. Original post follows.

There's one thing, it seems, that every single person in this thread (and likely in FP as a whole) agrees on: the initial, new-to-FP experience is awful. Regardless of whose fault it is (I blame certain units' preference for farming damage numbers over actually winning the game. Sportsmanship, right?), that experience is arguably the biggest problem with FP as it is without doubt the reason the FP population has not and does not see any real growth.

However, a strict solo/group queue separation would not solve that problem, as has been stated time and again. And, as someone pointed out, my proposal of units self-limiting their drops in an effort to help ease newer/solo players into coordination would also not work, as the units would not be willing to sacrifice potentially winning against other units for the good of the community because of the unlikelihood of other units doing the same (it's a regular nuclear disarmament situation, isn't it?).

Clearly, if there is any solution then it must lie somewhere in between the two extremes of the current "either you're up to speed already or you should go back to QP" and the proposed "ONLY solo/ONLY group" measure.

Therefore, I propose the following.

Training Mode Queue

For a pilot's first X games in Faction Play, they would be placed into a special "training" queue. This queue would be comprised of solo players and small (4 or fewer players) groups, and could potentially be an 8v8 battle if population does not support full 12v12s. This queue would provide no or lowered contract bonus and have a lower effect on the FP map, and would serve as the proper introduction to how FP works that the game currently lacks.

"But that wouldn't introduce them to FP! They won't learn from just fighting other newbies!" You are correct, which is why experienced pilots would have the option to queue into Training Mode, either solo or in groups of up to 4. In doing so, these players would receive the same lowered rewards but with an additional, guaranteed "Instructor Bonus" that would (hopefully) incentivize them to join the queue and help teach the newbies the ropes.

The hope is that those experienced pilots and units that care about introducing more players to FP would use this queue to do so, while the newer players would not be subject to immediately getting stomped, spawn camped and berated til they quit FP forever. The other hope is that the larger reward, promise of coordination and impact on the map would be enough to incentivize the newer players (and the more competitive units) to join in the real conflict rather than remain in training forever, though there could be potential steps to encourage that if necessary (eg the scaling Cadet Bonus new accounts already get, something similar could be implemented).


Thoughts?

P.S. this type of queue would have the additional benefit for veterans of keeping the hated potatoes out of their matches without removing the option for players to solo queue into normal faction play. Normal play doesn't change, newbies have a better experience learning the mode. It's a win-win.

#2 naterist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:06 AM

you make a good point and i support most of what your saying, however it seems to me that one of the biggest reasons we need one now is because all the loyalist units that used to recruit new guys and train them up just left the mode. mostly because they made being a loyalist an inargueably worse choice than being a merc, and mercs go through a lot more hoops with contracts and the like when their trying to recruit. all those units used to handle the new player experience for pgi, and now that pgi has left them ****** over, theres no one to teach new players anymore.

#3 Stealthrider

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

View Postnaterist, on 12 January 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

you make a good point and i support most of what your saying, however it seems to me that one of the biggest reasons we need one now is because all the loyalist units that used to recruit new guys and train them up just left the mode. mostly because they made being a loyalist an inargueably worse choice than being a merc, and mercs go through a lot more hoops with contracts and the like when their trying to recruit. all those units used to handle the new player experience for pgi, and now that pgi has left them ****** over, theres no one to teach new players anymore.


Perhaps there is a way to incentivize being a Loyalist through this initiative?

Maybe give Loyalists an additional bonus for participating as Instructors. Maybe even make it a scaling bonus that increases week to week (to a cap) as a player remains in their chosen faction. This would provide incentive without disrupting the normal FP gameplay.

If possible, perhaps additional rewards could be made available. Things like a special icon for long-time Instructors, maybe even a unique decal for Loyalist Instructors based on their faction.

Just spitballing ideas here, of course.

#4 naterist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:05 AM

View PostStealthrider, on 12 January 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:


Perhaps there is a way to incentivize being a Loyalist through this initiative?

Maybe give Loyalists an additional bonus for participating as Instructors. Maybe even make it a scaling bonus that increases week to week (to a cap) as a player remains in their chosen faction. This would provide incentive without disrupting the normal FP gameplay.

If possible, perhaps additional rewards could be made available. Things like a special icon for long-time Instructors, maybe even a unique decal for Loyalist Instructors based on their faction.

Just spitballing ideas here, of course.


if i was going to do it, id do sametech conflicts with small teams, say 6 per team, with a limit to small groups. you make half loyalty points in this que, and once you get rank 10 you stop getting loyalty points for that que. people whove reched lvl 20 can solo drop in it and recieve a x2 multiplier for cbill gains. those individuals start off with the commander crown and would be expected to dropcall for the team. in this que, add a few features that make it easier for those lvl 20s to pick up interested individualsfor groups and add the ability to link ts adresses and passwords/ discord servers. have this sametech que be only for loyalists, and each week its 3 factions v 3 factions, which faction is teamed with which should change weekly.

remove scouting as it is a dumb gamemode and seperates the active player base, and the rewards are dumb too.

boom, you have a game mode that people new to the game can drop in with a decent expectation of being able to learn, the guy with the knowledge is easily denoted by an ingame feature, and new players have a place to learn the ropes. it is also filled with just enough incentive to give people the feeling of being a part of fw, AND it is watered down enough that it doesnt incentivise hiding from units forever, just long enough to get your feet under you.

for bonus points, pgi can lock the clan/IS front until you are rank 5, to ensure that the people who are a detriment to their side can not go to the bigboy que until they are ready (re:competent)

it also doubles as a way to implement same tech fights that they have promised, and gives loyalists a gameplay mechanic that only they can use, which is a foil to the gameplay mechanic mercs get(i.e: the ability to choose sides at will)

to increase the available population at any given time for filling this que, limit it so that you may only use 2 out of the 4 mechs in your dropdeck for this que. it will decrease the amount of time it takes to que, fight, and reque. if you get people out of matches and back to queing faster, it will make a smaller population more viable, as more people will be out of game and hitting que at any given time. shorter games=faster que times

Edited by naterist, 12 January 2018 - 11:10 AM.


#5 Q

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:10 AM

In all honesty any community improvements are going to need to come from the community. Unless PGI is asking for ideas/input I would be extremely surprised if we saw *any* effort/coding put in to FW.

We need to work with what we got and help our new players enter the game as softly as possible.

Some folks posted doing pug whispering drops during the last event, funneling new players to units willing to recruit/train new players, and maybe some other ideas?

#6 r4zen

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:13 AM

Where's the Jarl when you need him...

#7 naterist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:15 AM

View PostQ, on 12 January 2018 - 11:10 AM, said:

In all honesty any community improvements are going to need to come from the community. Unless PGI is asking for ideas/input I would be extremely surprised if we saw *any* effort/coding put in to FW.

We need to work with what we got and help our new players enter the game as softly as possible.

Some folks posted doing pug whispering drops during the last event, funneling new players to units willing to recruit/train new players, and maybe some other ideas?


thats the problem. with the way pgi set up fw 4.1, most of the units willing to train new players have dipped. hhod cant train the entire fw population on its own, and im pretty sure their the only ones left, at least IS side. marik is almost gone, rasalhague dissapeared, kurita couldnt even keep its servers up, and liao was never very big. steiner training people is a joke. why is all that?

well lets look at who has historically trained newbs. jonathan tanner claims he once was a marik loyalist who helped train the marik community: hes a merc now

so used to train a lot of people: their channels are ghost town in the frr hub.

nightscorn used to be the face of kurita: mercenaries, and they dont really play much anymore

steiner had pkrl when i started, theyre gone now too.

the problem lies in pgi ******* over loyalists so many times that they just dipped, or they gave up on the loyalist lifestyle and decided to all go merc and farm mechbays. they need to rethink how loyalists work in the game before they can do anything. a few camos that everyone already has in a broken special events system that occurs very rarely is not enough to cut the mustard.

#8 Q

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:20 AM

Well I can't speak to the IS side, but I know of several clan units that are newbie friendly. That doesn't solve the problem you're getting at, but I'm sure in what remains of our playerbase we can find some units interested in helping new players out. I guess that's what I'm trying to encourage...

Instead of spending our energy talking about what PGI screwed up or isn't fixing or the things we don't have let's talk about how we can benefit the community from the inside.

Is this where the motivational speech starts?

#9 naterist

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:36 AM

View PostQ, on 12 January 2018 - 11:20 AM, said:

Well I can't speak to the IS side, but I know of several clan units that are newbie friendly. That doesn't solve the problem you're getting at, but I'm sure in what remains of our playerbase we can find some units interested in helping new players out. I guess that's what I'm trying to encourage...

Instead of spending our energy talking about what PGI screwed up or isn't fixing or the things we don't have let's talk about how we can benefit the community from the inside.

Is this where the motivational speech starts?


good luck, helping new players is a ****** task. often they think their opinion is just as valid as the teachers is, and that makes teaching impossible.

#10 50 50

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:28 PM

View Postnaterist, on 12 January 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

you make a good point and i support most of what your saying, however it seems to me that one of the biggest reasons we need one now is because all the loyalist units that used to recruit new guys and train them up just left the mode. mostly because they made being a loyalist an inargueably worse choice than being a merc, and mercs go through a lot more hoops with contracts and the like when their trying to recruit. all those units used to handle the new player experience for pgi, and now that pgi has left them ****** over, theres no one to teach new players anymore.

And we lost that individual faction identity just becoming Clan or IS 'blobs.

#11 justcallme A S H

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 06:53 PM

View Postr4zen, on 12 January 2018 - 11:13 AM, said:

Where's the Jarl when you need him...


To do what? Organise 2 events, make a video with a hat on and then never be seen again?

Come on...

Anyway Training Queue - A good idea in theory, won't work in practice.

Again, population. You assume there are *that* many new players coming into it and people will care/listen.
Have a look at the other thread - The user clearly does not want to participate in the mode how it is designed.

No amount of training queue will make people bring proper loadouts, want to work as a team and so on.

#12 Deathlike

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 06:57 PM

If you want a real training queue, train people properly in Scouting to win.

You're not going to do it in any mode that requires more than 4 players anyways... realistically.

It's either that or Quick Play, where simulating a failed wave is what it is.

Edited by Deathlike, 12 January 2018 - 07:10 PM.


#13 Alexandra Hekmatyar

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:25 PM

View Postnaterist, on 12 January 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

you make a good point and i support most of what your saying, however it seems to me that one of the biggest reasons we need one now is because all the loyalist units that used to recruit new guys and train them up just left the mode.


Actually my unit Midgard Inc. takes a lot of new folk or peeps returning from a couple year break from the game.
But we don't have a lot of people in the unit that are able to teach them.

#14 Ignatius Audene

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:21 AM

I dont rly know what u are talking about. Yes a lot of loyalist units (and mercs) left cw. But most units are open to everyone and they train people from the ground. In fact for these not willing to join a unit, are even newbie programs (at least we have one at the german forum).
These offers are rarely used. Most people derping around are in fact not new, but not willing to group up.

#15 TWIAFU

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:02 AM

View Postnaterist, on 12 January 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

you make a good point and i support most of what your saying, however it seems to me that one of the biggest reasons we need one now is because all the loyalist units that used to recruit new guys and train them up just left the mode. mostly because they made being a loyalist an inargueably worse choice than being a merc, and mercs go through a lot more hoops with contracts and the like when their trying to recruit. all those units used to handle the new player experience for pgi, and now that pgi has left them ****** over, theres no one to teach new players anymore.


To cost prohibitive for Loyalists to add members.

Being a Loyalist should have a benefit that warrants being a member.

#16 Rustyhammer

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:25 AM

MWO is not a rocket science. You need just ONE basic skills to success in the any MWO game mode: ability to deal more damage than receive. If you kills mechs more often than dies you an asset for you group.

You do not need any special training queue to learn this skill - you already have QP. If a player want to drop solo in FP but cannot shoot enemy mechs he need to go back to QP and learn. FP is an awful place to learn this skill.


If you aim is to teach newbies how to play FP the easiest way is a set of video guides:
- FP 101 (the very basic rules - how to open gates, how to shoot gens/omega, why to regroup and do not reinforce, what mech to drop first)
- basic tutorials for every (?) siege map (what to do and where to go on the map when playing as attackers or defenders). To make it even simple, it can be an in-game recording of one of a T1 FP group matches with comments in background like why this command was called and what are the other possible options in this situation.
That's it. That's all the info new players need to start FP and not being a complete potato. And it can be learnt in a stress-free environment outside of a live match. All other tips/tricks/FP strats can be learned during normal drops.

Ask community to create these tutorials and ask PGI to link them in the FP section of the MWO client. Ask PGI to add a new section in the Academy that will teach players FP 101 and do not allow people to drop without completing it. But please do not propose splitting FP player base even more.

#17 Stealthrider

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:49 AM

View Postjustcallme A S H, on 12 January 2018 - 06:53 PM, said:


To do what? Organise 2 events, make a video with a hat on and then never be seen again?

Come on...

Anyway Training Queue - A good idea in theory, won't work in practice.

Again, population. You assume there are *that* many new players coming into it and people will care/listen.
Have a look at the other thread - The user clearly does not want to participate in the mode how it is designed.

No amount of training queue will make people bring proper loadouts, want to work as a team and so on.



That's part of the issue I believe this type of minimally-overhauled experience would help correct.

At the moment, FP population is largely either stagnant or dropping off. During events, though, FP numbers are considerably higher than when there is no event ongoing--as evidenced by the frequency of pug v pug games, faster queue times and fewer ghost drops. The population uptick doesn't last, though, because many of the players that play during the events are turned away by FP's realities--realities they had no way to truly prepare for beforehand, had they not already been in-the-know.

Players that come from QP have the expectation that their QP builds and strategies will work on FP, and when told otherwise by some random pug or unit they likely have never heard of--who they have no reason to believe--many will inevitably lash out. Lashing out, infighting etc will get a group slaughtered, regardless of who is in command and how incredible some of the players in the group are. As we all know, it's really difficult to win a match 11v12, coordination or none.

By separating newer players for a relatively short period--as few as ten matches could be enough--and clearly designating which players are the knowledgeable ones in the group, the hope is that the majority will be more willing to listen, adjust and improve than if they were thrown into the deep end right off the bat.

In the worst case, there aren't enough new players to support the queue and the removal of newbies from the normal queue increases wait times. In that situation, it would presumably not be too difficult to either disable training (temporarily or permanently) or add a "consent" option that would allow players to skip training and head into the normal queue immediately (an option that likely should exist from the start, to allow for alt accounts to bypass the mode. With proper warning, of course). The alternative could be that after a certain period of waiting time the newbies could be filtered into the normal queue by default, ie if no training match is found in 15 minutes, the waiting players are added to the normal queue. Also, as mentioned, the training mode could also be lowered to an 8v8 conflict.

In every other case, however, population numbers can only increase. An easier path for newbies means fewer turned away. Designated instructors demonstrating proper loadouts and tactics means those newbies are more likely to understand the reasoning behind those loadouts and tactics rather than having to take some random person's word for it, which makes them more likely to bring proper loadouts and coordinate more smoothly in future games.

Even if it results in only a fraction of players continuing with FP rather than abandoning it, that is a positive outcome. And even if it doesn't filter out every potato, it will filter out some number of potatoes at least temporarily--that's fewer potatoes overall, a positive outcome.


View PostRustyhammer, on 13 January 2018 - 04:25 AM, said:

MWO is not a rocket science. You need just ONE basic skills to success in the any MWO game mode: ability to deal more damage than receive. If you kills mechs more often than dies you an asset for you group.

You do not need any special training queue to learn this skill - you already have QP. If a player want to drop solo in FP but cannot shoot enemy mechs he need to go back to QP and learn. FP is an awful place to learn this skill.


If you aim is to teach newbies how to play FP the easiest way is a set of video guides:
- FP 101 (the very basic rules - how to open gates, how to shoot gens/omega, why to regroup and do not reinforce, what mech to drop first)
- basic tutorials for every (?) siege map (what to do and where to go on the map when playing as attackers or defenders). To make it even simple, it can be an in-game recording of one of a T1 FP group matches with comments in background like why this command was called and what are the other possible options in this situation.
That's it. That's all the info new players need to start FP and not being a complete potato. And it can be learnt in a stress-free environment outside of a live match. All other tips/tricks/FP strats can be learned during normal drops.

Ask community to create these tutorials and ask PGI to link them in the FP section of the MWO client. Ask PGI to add a new section in the Academy that will teach players FP 101 and do not allow people to drop without completing it. But please do not propose splitting FP player base even more.



This is clearly not the case, though. FP is a team oriented mode and working as a team is the most important aspect of winning a match. I've had plenty of games where I've performed poorly in a victory, yet if you had asked my team they would likely have told you that I was an invaluable asset because I called targets, directed the team's positioning and prioritized working with them rather than lone-wolfing it. Conversely I've had games where I performed well and lost, as has everyone, because even if your team is twelve strong players there's still the likelihood that the other team is stronger than you, that one or more of your players has an off day, that any number of factors outside your control can end up screwing you. It's not a black-and-white game.

It really isn't as simple as, "see mech, shoot mech." It's easy, as a veteran player, to take for granted how complex positioning, target priority, pushes and firing lines can be for someone that's never had to deal with the concepts. QP doesn't teach you how to deal with a 12 Atlas push, a Linebacker/Assassin rush, or how to get rid of MS's crabs. It doesn't teach you much more than how to shoot and (hopefully) not die. The rest comes from experience and those who are willing to impart that experience on others. What I hope to accomplish here is to make imparting that experience an easier and less stressful process for both instructor and trainee.

#18 Deathlike

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:42 PM

The only way you learn about this stuff is dropping with other units.

If you drop solo and play primarily with solo skittles (teams constructed purely of random people), you'll never learn this.

That's why doing the pre-coordination... the effort of looking to get the information from other units that play the mode well is how you start building your understanding. A specific queue with people that "think they know better" usually results in a bad experience.

#19 Deathlike

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 07:47 PM

There are units that will form multiple teams, with some newer players taking part in this (instead of creating strictly 12-mans of the same unit members) to allow them to experience and learn the ropes.

People think you have sacrifice something (like time or joining their unit or become some sort of super-competitive player), but it's really pride or stubbornness to recognize that there's no shame in asking for help.

#20 Stealthrider

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:08 PM

View PostDeathlike, on 13 January 2018 - 07:47 PM, said:

There are units that will form multiple teams, with some newer players taking part in this (instead of creating strictly 12-mans of the same unit members) to allow them to experience and learn the ropes.

People think you have sacrifice something (like time or joining their unit or become some sort of super-competitive player), but it's really pride or stubbornness to recognize that there's no shame in asking for help.


I think you're misunderstanding the issue I'm trying to solve. The issue isn't that the resources aren't available, it's that they aren't available in game. The vast majority of players in any game never visit official (or unofficial) forums or join public VOIP servers. Even in a game with a smaller population, like MWO, you're looking at maybe ten percent of players overall. The simple explanation isn't pride or stubbornness, it's simply a matter of putting in extra effort out of game. Most people won't bother, even if they do want to improve and even if they do want to coordinate, they might not want to bother with Teamspeak or Discord or whichever additional programs to install (and learn, and mess around with).

It's a lot like the price threshold for attracting customers: a person may be willing to pay $20 for a product, but asking for $25 means that person will never buy. The key is that with a lower price for entry, that same person is likely to be perfectly OK with spending considerably more than $25 total on that product over time.

Another way to think of it is that currently the expectation is if a player wants to get into FP it's his responsibility to come to the veterans, whereas if veterans reached out to players they'd be more likely to listen and get invested. What this proposal would do is provide an easy avenue for that to happen that is convenient for both newbies and those veterans that would want to reach out.





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