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Faction Play - A New Hope (Pgi Taking Input)


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#21 Joshua McEvedy

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 02:48 AM

It's dead, Jim. Not going to waste my time with this....definition of insanity and all that.

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New Player Experience - We all know it isn't great. PGI has a big warning screen for new players but they don't listen. New Players should be gated from Faction Play as a result. Understand this is controversial but it is not the new place for anyone fresh to the game. Lets gate FP by making new accounts spend 50-100 games in QP first to 'qualify'. While it won't stop all the issues, it will alleviate some (basic gameplay, map awareness etc).


Instant losing proposition. Even though my unit has mostly moved on to other games (but stayed together as a gaming community in Discord), we still do occasional quick drops and bring aboard new guys on a regular basis (especially after the Solaris expansion and marketing campaign). The first thing they usually want to do is Faction Warfare, because they are looking for that immersed lore experience we all were back in 2013 that came and went with Phases 1 and 2. When we tell them they can't for the reasons you outline above, the disappointment is palpable. They then play a few QP matches, get frustrated with the skill tree, and then quietly leave never to be heard from again. So drastically limiting the player base for Faction to 'veterans only' will only create another death spiral since so many of the old players are gone for good and the incentives for new guys to grind out their XP and skills in QP are poor.

Edited by Joshua McEvedy, 02 August 2018 - 03:08 AM.


#22 fenomeno

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:20 AM

On the assumption that all game modes will remain, I'd like to see something along the lines of:
  • Double the health of Incursion bases, double the number of turrets, give the turrets ERLL.
  • Increase conquest score required to 2000.
  • Remove or rework Boreal Vault, Caustic Valley, Polar Highlands, Alpine Peaks.
  • Marginal tonnage limit adjustment, either -5 for IS or +5 for Clan.
  • End of season rewards (more a 'participation' reward, rather than just for top players).
  • Enable units to gift c-bills to members, based on that unit's FP results.
I think the worst thing about faction play just now is going to all the effort of getting a team together, sorting drop decks, sitting in queue, sitting in lobby, waiting to load...................... and then the game is over in less time than it took to queue for.

The other problem with FP is how hard it is for new players - it's a Catch 22 where faction play is BY FAR the best thing MWO has to offer..... but only once you've played 100+ matches, and understand the maps and drop decks. It's not fair to expect newer players to put 100's of hours into the mode, getting constantly stomped by premades.

End of season rewards would encourage players to stick with the mode, and allowing units to gift c-bills to members, would encourage people to seek a community to play with, and stop them losing the game in the mechlab as often.

Edited by fenomeno, 02 August 2018 - 03:31 AM.


#23 Johnathan Tanner

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:04 AM

View PostSpheroid, on 01 August 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

Do you not remember phase 1 and 2? Why return to that?

I remember. I remember it was glorious and the CW community had more players than the current population of the game. Revert to phase 2. = winning

#24 TWIAFU

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:16 AM

* Make Faction Loyalty MEAN something. Dunno how, but maybe add in Faction specific camo, warhorns, even faction specific mech and bay.

* Move low end mechbays rewards higher in the reward tree.

* Make in game VOIP active when your lobby is made. Allow player to talk and plan as soon as possible! QOL change.

* Add one extra minute to launch countdown. Make it two minutes instead of one. JUST to help alleviate not hitting save or choosing the wrong deck. QOL change.

* Allow Lances to choose dropzone after first wave. Add map marker where A,B,C lance drop zone is at.

* Maybe make it so Mercs are auto assigned a faction to balance population.

* Fill the dropship with a full lance before it drops them. No more 1-2 mech drops, make it all four but would have to have selectable dropzones in conjunction.

#25 Johnathan Tanner

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:20 AM

View PostTWIAFU, on 02 August 2018 - 04:16 AM, said:

* Make Faction Loyalty MEAN something. Dunno how,

I do. Revert to phase 2. Also we know this can be done with only a 99.9997% chance of PGI screwing it up. In MWO. Those are good odds.

#26 UnKnownPlayer

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:33 AM

View Post50 50, on 02 August 2018 - 02:31 AM, said:


To go further than this would be to talk about redesigning the map and simplifying it down to a handful of planetary systems.
Create simple attack lanes that represent base values for the sides which the planetary systems act as smodifiers for.
eg: Each faction has a trade lane that represents c-bill earnings. Capturing systems from other sides adds them to your attack lane, each one modifying the base value up for loyalists and down for mercenaries.
Consider having more lanes and different base values along with new features to build depth into the mode.
Personally I believe it is worth delving into further because if you don't put the idea out to be evaluated, it will never be considered.


I actually really like this idea, even if this is not with all the economy etc if you had a small sector of planets which replaced the main map and you could fight for them as a faction over the course of a week or something similar. At the end of the week there could be rewards for the most active players / units on the winning side (already kind of in place for units at the moment). Merc contracts would be set for the duration of the conflict to prevent flip-flopping on to the winning side to farm rewards but units / players could select which they WILL change to at the end of the conflict in advance so there isn't a "I must log on during this day to change contract" dilemma.

The short duration of the conflict would allow it to be relevant and prevent having a hopelessly one sided conflict for months at a time.

Possibly look at a limit of contract changes during a time period e.g. 4 in a 3 month period to try and get recognisable enemies again as even with a more relevant smaller conflict it will still feel meaningless after a while if you are just fighting nameless baddies.

#27 justcallme A S H

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:39 AM

View PostJoshua McEvedy, on 02 August 2018 - 02:48 AM, said:

It's dead, Jim. Not going to waste my time with this....definition of insanity and all that.



Instant losing proposition. Even though my unit has mostly moved on to other games (but stayed together as a gaming community in Discord), we still do occasional quick drops and bring aboard new guys on a regular basis (especially after the Solaris expansion and marketing campaign). The first thing they usually want to do is Faction Warfare, because they are looking for that immersed lore experience we all were back in 2013 that came and went with Phases 1 and 2. When we tell them they can't for the reasons you outline above, the disappointment is palpable. They then play a few QP matches, get frustrated with the skill tree, and then quietly leave never to be heard from again. So drastically limiting the player base for Faction to 'veterans only' will only create another death spiral since so many of the old players are gone for good and the incentives for new guys to grind out their XP and skills in QP are poor.


They will get frustrated in FP, QP, Solaris with Skill Tree and its exorbitant costs/grind regardless of the mode so I'm not sure that is really relevant point of argument.

50 QP matches is not 'veterans' only. It is simply letting people start to achieve exactly what the warning screen warns you about - Skill / optimise some mechs, get organised, get ready for a higher level of competition.

Anyway it is just an idea, the amount of people carrying on about stomps and people doing sub 500 damage, that is just a basic fix. If you are only doing 500damage in 4 mechs in 25mins, you are earning way, way less per match than Quick Play by a sizeable margin.

Edited by justcallme A S H, 02 August 2018 - 04:40 AM.


#28 Alexandra Hekmatyar

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 05:06 AM

I made some small suggestions quite a while back.
Seems not to be so popular but they are very small changes WHICH AND I REPEAT MYSELF TO NOT GET MORE THEN 1 BUCKET! :P
my suggestions are more focused on winning conditions and giving also incentive for the smaller houses/clan or units and the map where the IS/ clan blob just get perma pulled from each other instead from seeing it once and then changing to the blob again.

https://mwomercs.com...27#entry6093727

Since quick play modes are most likely staying give us Solaris city it's not like PGI are dumping new maps every quarter or just add other maps to the rotation.

#29 Horseman

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 05:25 AM

View Postjustcallme A S H, on 01 August 2018 - 08:48 PM, said:

Loyalist / Merc Tree - Max Rank 20 Loyalist / Rank 10 for Merc. Many users achieved this 2 years ago, there is no motivation. From a LORE/Roleplay perspective some people do not WANT to pledge allegiance to another Clan, in fact most people in FP loyalist camp won't. Tree reset needs to occur once you max it out, it is an absolute neccesity at this point.
Let me offer an alternative view: From the perspective of a player who hasn't maxed it out, the existing system is both grindy and extremely unrewarding.
Buuut... there's something that can be done without redesigning it: Supply caches,
Right now FP just rewards same caches as QP, and is terribly inefficient at it. Introduce a new cache flavor for FP, with each faction having their own variant (with the difference being which cosmetic items are rewarded). Since most pilots never see the MC rewards granted to units, having FP caches drop a small amount of MC would instantly create an incentive to play FP.

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Tug-O-War bar is BROKEN - You can win all games, get the bar to 97% full and in the last 30mins the opposing side can get 2 wins and claw the back back to under 95% and stop a planet capture. Matt Neuman knows this is an issue, thus PGI does, even a TUK win result was altered (from Clan to IS) because of this poor calculation. It needs to be resolved.
There are two ways to resolve this, and they're not mutually exclusive.
First is to make the TOW progress change the number of planets that are captured.(progress 20% on your side, one planet, progress 100%, four planets). This ensures that any reasonable TOW progress captures at least one planet.
Second is to split the progress into IS Attack and Clan Attack. Siege games you play as attacker would contribute to your side's Attack progress - the problem is I have no idea how to handle the QP modes in that scenario - perhaps designate a random side as Attacker?

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Incursion - Is often just a pointless base rush. Increase base points hitpoints by 30% so it cannot be taken out as a means of instant victory but still leaves it open to those who just want to throw 48 mechs at an objective without actually shooting the enemy mechs (which often makes games boring/frustrating).
Increase base building HP several times, but not tower HP. This makes defending the towers more important.

Quote

New Player Experience - We all know it isn't great. PGI has a big warning screen for new players but they don't listen. New Players should be gated from Faction Play as a result. Understand this is controversial but it is not the new place for anyone fresh to the game. Lets gate FP by making new accounts spend 50-100 games in QP first to 'qualify'. While it won't stop all the issues, it will alleviate some (basic gameplay, map awareness etc).
This isn't controversial at all. I've seen players leave upon losing their first mech, bringing trial mechs which they had no clue how to operate and trying to play FP with voice comms disabled (because they don't want to coordinate).
Not allowing trial mechs in FP drop decks would be the first thing to do. Gates every new player out of Invasion matches for a while.
Second thing might be a little controversial - require enabling voice chat unless the player has been flagged as Hearing Impaired.

#30 Jon McFuzzy

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 05:37 AM

Let's think not just for try-hards and pugs, but also folks in-between.

QUICK WINS:

- Do NOT allow Trial mechs to be used in FP drop decks, or alternatively re-build trial mechs. FP is serious business
- Re-enable IS vs IS / Clan vs Clan
- Significantly improve CBills and Loyalty point rewards for performance, even for a loss, discouraging gen rush
- Provide rewards/incentive for group drop as compared to solo drop
- Rewards rank-20 players
- Re-enable the ability to see who's in queue and how many
- Remove incursion - not fun
- Sales on Drop decks and add more than four (I got four already)
- Change the lobby wait time from 60 seconds to 90 or 120 seconds

LONGER TERM:
- (Slightly) alter Siege map design. Too many choke points, huge disadvantage for attackers
- More Content - Give players reason why win is important, why planets are important, background stories for events
- More maps, more game mode

WISHFUL THINKING:
- Repair bays!
- Why can't we have "form up on me" command option

#31 slide

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 05:42 AM

I typed something up a page ago and then deleted it as pointless hot air, then I noticed Chris Lowery was looking in. So in the hope he checks back I am going to add my 2 cents worth.

IMO the biggest reason people avoid FP is because there is no point to playing.
-Factions mean nothing except as a choice of tech base
-Planetary Tug of War is an exercise in frustration, coupled with time zones makes it worse.
-match result are too binary (win or lose)
-players are either sharks or food, the food often give up even trying thus ensuring a loss
-QP match rewards are on par or better than a moderate win in FP (relative to the effort/time involved)

We can combat the above by using loyalty points to do a whole lot more than just give us more stuff.

LP is an existing way to track what we do in game, some values might need to be tweaked but they can be used to help our faction no matter how good or bad we do in a match. Obviously the better you do the more you help. Here's how.


Planetary Conquest.
Do away with the ToW and Time Zones, Make it a race instead. Each Factions borders have an Attack Planet and a Defend Planet (same as in phase 1 and 2 or faction votes on planets will work too). Each planet has a LP attack and defend value (call this Conquest Points), these values vary between planets based on lore population size. No two planetary battles will be for quite the same amount. Capital worlds will obviously take much longer to conquer/defend, days perhaps weeks whilst smaller planets will change on a regular basis. As matches are played the totals of all the players LP are added and then that total is subtracted from the appropriate attack or defend totals. The first side to get to zero wins the planet. The planet is then locked out of the queue for a period of time and a new planet is selected. Depending on the result the planet changes sides or not. There is no time limit on how long this takes.

Galactic Conquest - Help your faction help you.
Each result in a planetary battle liberates MC for every player who played a role in that planets assault/defense. Winners get 2MC, losers get 1. But they must be players from the appropriate faction. Non Faction specific players (ie mercs/free lancers) do not get MC.
Additionally as factions gain planets from their enemies Faction members get a percent increase in Cbill earnings for their matches.

Victims of your own Success
Inevitably one faction will become dominant. Too slow down the juggernaut and to introduce an small element of logistics to the game I suggest that the attack value for planets goes up relative to the number of planet a faction holds above their starting level. This could be say 1% per planet. This means that if a faction holds 25 new planets then the next planet requires 25% more Conquest Points than the defenders. This makes it progressively harder to continue taking planets and should act as a balancing measure. In game this represents the attacker supply lines being stretched and the Defenders having shorter supply lines and less territory to defend.

Player Roles - Loyalist, Merc and Freelancer.
We need to redefine what players do and how it affects them.
Loyalist - permanent faction member, earns LP and Faction based rewards such as cbill bonus and MC from planetary capture. Bonus for length of service and a Cbill penalty (ie 10m Cbills) for leaving a faction.
Merc - Earns a flat 20% cbill bonus in all matches. Conquest points accrue for contracted faction at half the loyalist rate. Takes contracts 1 week or month at a time with bonus for going to underpopulated faction. Do not earn MC for participation.
Free Lancer - Basic match rewards only. Why would you want to?

Alliances
To keep the number of buckets down we need to split the factions up into Wardens and Crusaders for the Clans and Fedcom (+Rasalhague) and the Kapteyn Accord realms. This allows Clan v Clan, IS v IS and Is V Clan matches. Conquest Points only accrue for factions involved on a specific planet but any ally can help to attack or defend a planet.

Thanks for reading, probably 4 cents worth now.

Edited by slide, 02 August 2018 - 05:46 AM.


#32 justcallme A S H

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:07 AM

Keep it coming. I'll collate and trim down stuff as we go over the next week or so in preparation.

Some stuff I'm reading, if I'm honest, is definitely pie-in-sky. You guys gotta remember that it's essential things be reasonably small/simple or we'll end up with something like Long Tom because somewhere along the lines it was confused, misinterpreted etc.

The quick/basic wins and large scale items is a good theme going here. Like a 2-part process type thing

#33 Marquis De Lafayette

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 06:39 AM

Ash, Feno & Xavier (and others) all have some really solid ideas here.

A few thoughts on modes:

-incursion: Should be a mode that thrives in FW, but is a joke because the base is way too soft and impossible to defend on most maps vs. determined base rushers. I think you need to go up a minimum of double on the HP for the base structures. I do like the win condition of base damage, but like most objectives it really should be used as leverage to help control enemy positioning. Rushes (meant to kill the entire base) should be super risky vs. an entrenched (defending the base) opponent. However, being ahead on base damage should still be an advantage as it makes a base camping opponent have to push your base in later waves.

-siege: as many have mentioned Boreal needs a rework as attacking is too punitive. Maybe look at other siege maps as well to not make it so easy to just form a firing line to execute attackers as they walk in. Open up lane options for attackers to potentially outmaneuver slow (or stupid) defenders. You could go up on gen health (maybe defenses even) as well if you did this to prevent easy, pure base rushes.

-assault: just take it out. In FW, it’s skirmish but worse.

Domination: actually seems to work mostly fine. Can reward aggression and brawling. Maybe take Polar out of the rotation as it’s just too long a walk to get back into the circle. Particularly disadvantageous for slower IS mechs

-Conquest: I like it just as it is....as it rewards bringing some lights wave 1 and the pressure the objectives provide is a nice change of pace. But maybe we could go up 250 cap points (I think it’s fine as is though). One of the few modes that is fun without killing 48.

-Escort: do not consider bringing it in

Skirmish: maps like Alpine (and sometimes polar) often make for super boring games. If it’s two teams and everyone brings range it can end up 24-24 (had that happen last week) or something close to that after 30 mins. It’s hard for the IS (particularly) to get away from long range, as they lack speed to close the gap on those long sightline maps. Alpine is the worst for this and more cover for approach is needed to encourage other options for play. Or just remove it for skirmish and assault....

Other thoughts: make it meaningful. Season rewards, some element of “story”....maybe like season goal to hold a majority of a region of space (not one planet that could get flipped at the end), but a campaign to secure most of an area. Let the players (certainly not me) with a vision for this write something up for PGI to use (less work for them) and PGI can pick what story they want to “tell” in a particular season. Idk...just something to give more flavor to the seasons conflict.

Edited by Marquis De Lafayette, 02 August 2018 - 06:44 AM.


#34 Paul Inouye

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for starting this justcallme A S H.

The only reason I mentioned that we'd be taking input after the FP podcast is because there are quite a few restraints that we have to work under. Saying "turn MWO:FP into WOW in 'Mechs" isn't going to happen. However, there are still things we can do and ideas that you guys come up with that we can investigate.

Here's my personal thoughts as to what we can do with what is currently in FP:
- A while ago, we removed all the penalties for switching factions. Personally I think this is a good thing. My main thought on this is to move forward with this notion where ANYONE wanting to play Faction Play can choose their path of participation on a per match level.
- Adding lore and decisions to your participation in any given conflict. For example, if the conflict is between Clan and IS, when I select a planet that is in contention, I will choose at that point whether I want to play as Clan or IS. If the conflict is between IS and IS, I can choose the faction I want to back. Even as a Kurita Loyalist, I can choose to fight in a conflict between Steiner and Merik and not have to be penalized for doing so. I also want a story or story arch to tell me WHY I'm going to be fighting.
- I'd like to see the MM put everyone into a singular bucket and fill teams according to group size first, followed by solo players filling the gaps.
- We will be investigating large scale events like Tukayyid for smaller conflicts which pull everyone into the fight. An example of this, would be something like a 3 day event over Planet XYZ with rewards and notoriety at stake.
- I'd like your thoughts on unit coffer use in general. I'm not sure if we will be able to create something like a unit inventory where you buy 'Mechs that unit members can 'borrow' 'Mechs from, but what are some other possibilities of c-bill use in general?

This is just off the top of my head at the moment but should give you an idea of what I'm working with.

When it comes to new maps/modes, this is a resource issue we have to deal with here and would have to be something monumental in reception before it would gain traction.

I'll continue to monitor this thread as we prep the FP podcast and will pop in to address suggestions about what can and cannot be done.

Thanks again for the thread.

-Paul

#35 QueenBlade

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:45 AM

And once again, I'll put in my document of ideas for Faction Play.

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

To add to this, I feel like Faction Play is missing features that would separate it from the other game modes.

You are in a battle across the entire Inner Sphere, taking part in a fictional story where the Great Houses are trying to establish themselves at First Lord of the Star League, while also fending off an Invasion against the Clans who are also trying to become the ilClan.
Yet Faction Play doesn't do anything to promote this.
We are fighting for planets, that currently have no value. There is no reason to even care about the planet you just took or going to take. There is no impact.
The Reward/Rank system could use an overhaul. Every rank is the same, there is no increase in pay/bonus for players that have put forth the time. I feel like a rank 20 pilot should be paid like a rank 20 pilot. Instead rank 1 pilots make the same as rank 20.

These are just quick ideas, the document covers much more.

Edited by QueenBlade, 02 August 2018 - 10:50 AM.


#36 Eisenhorne

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:49 AM

View PostQueenBlade, on 02 August 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

And once again, I'll put in my document of ideas for Faction Play.

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing


I skimmed through that real quick, and I think my favorite (most easily implemented too) part would be variable tonnage based on planets, to help them feel unique. Maybe a remote world you only have access to 165 tons in your drop deck instead of 265... forcing a lot more light and medium focus. Maybe on a core world you have 300 tons available, and can just go all superheavy. That should be fairly easy to implement, and would make everything play out vastly differently.

#37 Spheroid

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:00 AM

@Paul: No version of FP will be acceptable unless you bring back the concept of distinct fronts. Your all or nothing tug of war is what is causing the current malaise. Winning in a way that does not elevate your faction relative your peers is not a form of competition in any way.

Instead of manually choosing specific planet conflicts perhaps consider my concept of a "rotating front" which would function automatically with out any need for a player to actively monitor which conflict which is being currently fought.

https://mwomercs.com...63#entry6118563

Your current setup was dictated by low population levels. If you rotate proportionally through the various factions you eliminate the need to concentrate into one super faction as was done with Jade Falcon in phase 3. Just get rid of the cease fire reset every eight hours.

Edited by Spheroid, 02 August 2018 - 01:46 PM.


#38 RustyBolts

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:09 AM

You want to fix faction play? deliver what was originally promised. That will fix FP.

Edited by RustyBolts, 02 August 2018 - 11:10 AM.


#39 Will9761

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:32 AM

I am going to put my google doc for FP here:
https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

#40 Bud Crue

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 11:42 AM

View PostPaul Inouye, on 02 August 2018 - 10:19 AM, said:

Thanks for starting this justcallme A S H.

Here's my personal thoughts as to what we can do with what is currently in FP:
...
-Paul


Can you give some more guidance here? Your post with its commentary regarding restraints and doing things with “what is currently in FP” suggests that you are not willing or capable of looking beyond the confines of FP as it currently exists. The examples you provide seem to reinforce that. So are you really just looking at proposed changes that don’t actually change the way the mode is currently presented but rather just looking at tangential aspects like how teams are formed within a given match, or use of funds, etc.? If that is the case, I think this “effort” is a non starter.

I’m not trying to be provacative here or hating on this, but I really think folks are looking for a hell of a lot more than what is being implied by your post above.

Edited by Bud Crue, 02 August 2018 - 11:42 AM.






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