Community Forums > General > Suggestions & New Game Support > The New Player Lobby needs a rework.

The New Player Lobby needs a rework.

 Blood_Drainer


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 2:20 pm
also to your plan of banning people from playing any other maps in NPL lobby, what you fail to realize is that NPL players will play anything in NPL lobby itself, nothing outside it, i used to try to get them in CS lobby so that others who are banned in NPL get to play as well but NPL players never linger a lot there so mark my words, if you do that then that would result in ALL building yet Non BF, Arabia, Nomad maps will literally just die, nobody will EVER play them again and the damage would be too much instead why cant you just allow everyone and add a tag like 'pro: do not play with him' or just dont 'pro' players to play rated games
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 +[email protected]


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 6:19 pm
also to your plan of banning people from playing any other maps in NPL lobby, what you fail to realize is that NPL players will play anything in NPL lobby itself, nothing outside it, i used to try to get them in CS lobby so that others who are banned in NPL get to play as well but NPL players never linger a lot there so mark my words, if you do that then that would result in ALL building yet Non BF, Arabia, Nomad maps will literally just die, nobody will EVER play them again and the damage would be too much instead why cant you just allow everyone and add a tag like 'pro: do not play with him' or just dont 'pro' players to play rated games

Did you even read my direct response to the OP's suggestion? You are suggesting something, that has already been explained, why it's not possible to do that.

Why should something be played in the NPL, if it could be played in any other lobby on Voobly. And since you want to play unrated games, you could also play them in MS or CS. Once people are forced to play non-RM games outside of the NPL, they will do that.

Why breaking something, that works perfectly for the target group it was designed for (which are new players coming from Steam)?
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Edited 12 February 2019 - 6:29 pm by +[email protected]
I think you shouldn't immediately get banned when playing certain amount of games in MS Ladders. You should get banned if you would reach the criteria of having enough games in MS ladder AND then play 1 more rated game in NPL. I got banned even tho I didn't played there for months, which is nonsense. You can't host NPL tournaments, spectate friends who are new to the game, host unrated games for noobs etc.
Everyone should be allowed to host unrated rooms in NPL
Once you have played a certain amount of games in MS or reached a certain rating you cannot play in the NPL anymore. It is technically not possible to write a proper detection, whether someone has played in the NPL before, even though he is actively playing in the MS lobby, as long as people can create multiple accounts. We also made a design decision not so long ago, people using the same internet connection won't ban each another if one of them is no longer allowed to play in the NPL, as long as they do not share accounts with each another.

As explained in my direct response to the OP's suggestion, we cannot allow people to spectate games or play unrated games in the NPL, since ladder banned players would then start tricking new players into unrated games, by selecting RM-Beginners as ladder, then advertising their game, and a few seconds before they launch, they quickly switch to unrated. This was the reason, why we had to add a lobby ban as well, in addition to the original ladder ban concept. We tried this for a few months, and after hundreds of complaints we decided to deny access to the NPL, for people who are not supposed to play there.

I am not sure whether you remember the times, where we had 1600+ players in the NPL and only 800 players in MS during peak. This has led to even more complaints, since most players were suddenly playing unrated games in the NPL, and even more complaints by new players, who could not play any games anymore, since they were either kicked for being "noobs" or "first timers" or bashed in their games (feudal rush etc.).
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 MsNyara


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Edited 12 February 2019 - 6:53 pm by MsNyara
Actually if you merged both lobbies into a single one rather "forcing newbies to start at MS and getting crushed" what are you doing is to change the baseline entrance skill level of MS and relevantly downgrading the initial skill level required to stay in starting elo, since first, NPL is roughly 33%-40% the player base, and second, through just letting ELO does it is work you are doing a lot more for intermediate players than making a hard social segregation with two lobbies. The only drawback from merging both lobbies is that pro players constantly smurfing will crush weaker player than they are crushing now at MS, but smurfing like that shouldn't be allowed anyway.

Plus, it is kinda fake that NPL is actually succesfully targetting Steam users since it is doing the inverse, newbies prefer Steam even after trying Voobly since they can't play with their friends due to the NPL ban thing segregating them, it is by far the main complaint I heard from a lot of my friends playing at Steam. It is usually high-end Steam players who moves up to Voobly because they have a hard time finding games after a given skill level, since most seriously competitive players are at Voobly's MS. This is when people begins to care for the improvements of Userpatch, leaderboards, etc. NPL is full of your good ol' folks who just have an old copy of the game and cameback out of nostalgia, hence why so many old version games as well.
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 Pavel_Korchagin


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 7:33 pm
Chris & James,

I think you Voobly staff are making the exact same mistakes when making the changes with the CS ladders. You tried too hard to FIX the problems that can't be fixed. There are no perfect fixes for all the human defects that of human nature. Players want to look good and they use all means to achieve it.

The end results of all your NPL fixes is that, Voobly prevents players from playing games. When players can't play the game they want, they leave. This will be the end of Voobly. I think this is what Voobly should care the most. The goal is to get people come to Voobly to play, worry less about your perfect rating systems. There is no such thing. Learn something from the demise of the CS lobby!

Chris and James, go to RM MS lobby and see how many low to mid level games are being hosted, and not WK games. It is very hard to get some games going there. Even 14xx level RM MS players are god in NPL lobby. The game will be entirely out of balance if you get one or two 16xx (average) level players dropping in. There is a huge gap between NPL and RM lobbies. The only way to fix it is to get more players come to play and let all find their comfort levels. Then bridge the gap of the playing levels. What happens if you get 5,000 players playing AoC, not just 1,000 players??

I think Voobly should give up on finding the perfect rating system, like what you did with the CS ladders. Most of the players care less about ratings. Look back to the MSN-Zone days. How much we care about the ratings? No, we did not care. We dropped in to find some of the old friends and played one or two games. We had fun. The MSN-Zone mods were not very active and they were not preventing players from playing like what Voobly is doing. I do not remember there was any auto banning of players playing in certain lobbies.

My last recommendation is that, Voobly staff please listen to what players want, not just what you staff are thinking and inventing in your ivy tower.
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 +[email protected]


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 7:43 pm
I'd like to address the elephant in the room. We're not going to be merging lobbies or changing how our banning system works apart from making slight tweaks. For example, we're working on a way to completely remove the option to play unrated - solves the CS problem.

This system has worked thus far with a record numbers of players. It is also less work for moderators - we don't have to deal with many complaints when it comes to noob bashing. We have reduced complaints in this lobby by over 80%.
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 +[email protected]


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 7:45 pm
Suggestions are appreciated, but suggestions that include merging lobbies or removing the banning system will simply be ignored.
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 +[email protected]


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 8:40 pm
I think you Voobly staff are making the exact same mistakes when making the changes with the CS ladders. You tried too hard to FIX the problems that can't be fixed.

You have to realize that ideas to change things don't come out of thin air. They are usually pushed by players. For the CS situation, I don't know the entire situation. But, I know that a large portion of the players wanted the ladder changes and resets. So, the CS department gave them what they wanted. It probably was not the right call but hindsight is 20-20.
The end results of all your NPL fixes is that, Voobly prevents players from playing games. When players can't play the game they want, they leave. This will be the end of Voobly. I think this is what Voobly should care the most. The goal is to get people come to Voobly to play, worry less about your perfect rating systems. There is no such thing. Learn something from the demise of the CS lobby!

You're right, it does prevent players from bashing new players. If they choose to leave because of that, then that's their prerogative. We obviously want them to stay, but it's their choice.

We do not claim to have a perfect system, but we're trying to get close to it. But, the idea is to have the healthiness of the lobby as a whole rather than focusing on each individual player. We can't please everyone, but we can try to please most.
Chris and James, go to RM MS lobby and see how many low to mid level games are being hosted, and not WK games. It is very hard to get some games going there.

As I said previously, we can't control who hosts what. We also can't separate each individual expansion into different lobbies. It simply doesn't work from precedence. The solution is to host your own games, or buy the expansion.
I think Voobly should give up on finding the perfect rating system, like what you did with the CS ladders. Most of the players care less about ratings. Look back to the MSN-Zone days. How much we care about the ratings? No, we did not care. We dropped in to find some of the old friends and played one or two games. We had fun. The MSN-Zone mods were not very active and they were not preventing players from playing like what Voobly is doing. I do not remember there was any auto banning of players playing in certain lobbies.

As said previously, we do not think we have a perfect system. We're trying our best to figure out the best system, but as it stands, this is the best we can achieve currently.

I really don't like self-made statistics. You need to speak for yourself rather than what YOU think most people care about. It is exactly the opposite. Most people do care about the rating system. We have the statistics to back it up - our player base. The rating system is our focal point and our differentiating factor from other clients. If players did not like the rating system, they would not be playing here.

I can't speak about Zone since I was not part of the community during that time. But, the announcement to close came in 2004, 15 years ago. Times are different now. We have to deal with the now rather than what happened in the past.
My last recommendation is that, Voobly staff please listen to what players want, not just what you staff are thinking and inventing in your ivy tower.

I think you need to look in the mirror to see who's inventing what. I've been the head of NPL for nearly 5 years now. I know what I'm talking about as I've played in the lobby during its inception, and been involved with it as staff during its evolution. This lobby has never been this healthy and big, and is continuously growing.
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 +[email protected]


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Edited 12 February 2019 - 9:29 pm by +[email protected]
MsNyara wrote:
Actually if you merged both lobbies into a single one rather "forcing newbies to start at MS and getting crushed" what are you doing is to change the baseline entrance skill level of MS and relevantly downgrading the initial skill level required to stay in starting elo, since first, NPL is roughly 33%-40% the player base, and second, through just letting ELO does it is work you are doing a lot more for intermediate players than making a hard social segregation with two lobbies. The only drawback from merging both lobbies is that pro players constantly smurfing will crush weaker player than they are crushing now at MS, but smurfing like that shouldn't be allowed anyway.

Plus, it is kinda fake that NPL is actually succesfully targetting Steam users since it is doing the inverse, newbies prefer Steam even after trying Voobly since they can't play with their friends due to the NPL ban thing segregating them, it is by far the main complaint I heard from a lot of my friends playing at Steam. It is usually high-end Steam players who moves up to Voobly because they have a hard time finding games after a given skill level, since most seriously competitive players are at Voobly's MS. This is when people begins to care for the improvements of Userpatch, leaderboards, etc. NPL is full of your good ol' folks who just have an old copy of the game and cameback out of nostalgia, hence why so many old version games as well.
The answer lies in the difference between theory and practice. No offense, but what what you wrote above all looks better in theory than it would work in practice:
  • We cannot manage lobbies with more than 2000 players, as the server load for this single lobby process would be simply too high. The client would become sluggish and people would have issues loading the user list properly. Additionally, the lobby chat could cause the client to freeze from time to time and the hand shake for NAT-T on game rooms would take ages. At that point we would have to maintain at least two lobbies anyway, which would lead to the problems we had on Zone, were a lobby was restricted to 300 players / 310 for sysop and people used to join multiple lobbies.
  • It's technically impossible to stop people from creating new accounts, sharing their accounts, using VPN/TOR/Proxy nodes or using public places to smurf. Counteracting that is like trying to make water not wet; it just doesn't work.
  • We would need access to the source code in order to have a better protection for rated VS unrated games, to make sure, that new players, that are new to Voobly and still have no idea how the client works, cannot be tricked into unrated games, by quickly switching from their expected ladder back to unrated, before the host launches the game.
  • In NPL we plan to introduce something we call "team wins together" with the intention, that you still win rating points, if you resigned before the game is over or were defeated before the end of the game. The idea behind this, that people who resign won games in order to keep their rating low, could no longer manipulate their ratings. In a merged lobby between NPL and MS, these two options would be in conflict. This is also a huge problem in MS, and is punished as rating manipulation according to our CofC.
  • Players of MS are afraid of being smurfed, which is why they do not want to let players from the NPL playing their games, because they would either ruin the game for their team and make them even more likely to lose the game, in case a smurf has made it in once again. This is almost impossible and unlikely to happen in NPL, while in MS, you are the perfect victim, if you don't know how to use AKA-rate -- something new players don't know, when they are new to Voobly.
  • The skill of the average Age2HD player on Steam cannot be compared with the average skill of a player on Voobly. Without the NPL, those Steam players would quit playing on Voobly after a short time, since they would not find the chance to get familiar with the different environment (Voobly client) and game play. Today we know, that the numbers in NPL have grown and grown over the past years, since we introduced that level of protection for players in the NPL, and given the number of complaints we had to deal with, before and after the migration, we are sure to have done the right thing.
  • Let's talk about facts. Above you stated, that most of our good ol' folks in NPL are players, who have just an old copy of the game (no idea where you got that information, but who knows). The ironic part is just, that we must detect the game properly, in order to get the compatibility patch working on Voobly, which means that we have statistics, which game version is being used by which player. As explained above, it is difficult to tell, which player got multiple accounts and which players are unique, but more than 95% of our players in NPL are using a copy of Age2HD. Of course this could also mean, that many old players started playing on Steam first and then returned to Voobly. But once again you see the difference between theory and practice.



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 Pavel_Korchagin


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 9:29 pm
You have to realize that ideas to change things don't come out of thin air. They are usually pushed by players. For the CS situation, I don't know the entire situation. But, I know that a large portion of the players wanted the ladder changes and resets. So, the CS department gave them what they wanted. It probably was not the right call but hindsight is 20-20.

What happened to CS was that, years ago, some old players (like Masta, Marvel etc), were not happy with other players who worked really hard to run up the ratings. We had RCB ladder, Blood ladder, Alternative ladder etc. and overall CS ladder. Since there were many CS maps (like 25 to 50 of those, commonly played like 12 or so), some players specialized in certain maps, like RCB, Europe, Dodgeball, Tower Defense etc. They were the experts in certain maps. Certain players and Voobly staff were not happy with others having high rates and they say they were "fake rates". So they decided to complete overhaul the CS rating systems.

First, they removed certain maps out of the CS rating system. They claim players can still play their favorite maps, but just un-rated. For the players who specialized certain maps, they left since their favorite maps were removed out of rating system.

Then, they moved the approved maps around. With that, the old rating systems were not meaningful. So they removed the Alternative ladder, RCB ladder and CS overall ladder. They reset all the CS ladders. For the players who worked hard for many years, they lost all the ratings. The only active maps being played were CBA and CBA hero. So the core CS players left. This destroyed the old CS clans. You can name a few.

The lesson to learn from CS is that, if Voobly give points to players, then allow players to keep these points. Do not try to find the perfect rating system and trying to be 100% fair. This world is not perfect. If certain players and Voobly staffer do not play certain maps and do not have the skills to get high ratings, then do not be jealous of the players who specialized in those maps and getting higher ratings. Why you want to take the maps and ratings away from the better players than the Voobly staffer? It was outright wrong in doing so.

With the decline of the CS system, it became a pure noob lobby. It is just CBA and CBA hero. Also even the CBA and CBA hero rating systems were reset couple of times. This further alienated the remaining players. What after that, I do not know. I already left AoC all together with my friends.

Hope Voobly learn something from it.
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 Pavel_Korchagin


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 9:36 pm
You're right, it does prevent players from bashing new players. If they choose to leave because of that, then that's their prerogative. We obviously want them to stay, but it's their choice.

We do not claim to have a perfect system, but we're trying to get close to it. But, the idea is to have the healthiness of the lobby as a whole rather than focusing on each individual player. We can't please everyone, but we can try to please most.

The attitude of Voobly staffer is just arrogant. You do what you think is right, and not what most players want. This was exactly the mind think they did with the CS system. Voobly claimed to do what "most players" wanted. It was actually not true. Most players wanted to keep CS as-is. Do not change.

No matter how hard Voobly staffer is trying to do, you never get closer to your prefect system. You only make it worse.

Most players are perfect fine with the imperfect system. If certain smurfs come in my game room and bashed me, I know this player and won't play him again next time. It just happens. When you try to fix it, you create other problems. Your NPL auto-ban is the exact result of it.
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 Pavel_Korchagin


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Edited 12 February 2019 - 9:54 pm by Pavel_Korchagin
I care less about your prefect system to make NPL the best. The results is that I've not be able to play any meaningful games recently in RM MS lobby.

I do not have WK set up. It is not just $10 or $20. The HD does not do me any good. I do not care about the extra Civs. HD requires more CPU power and more network bandwidth. Some people play games on wireless, it makes games less reliable.

I do not know what to say now. Before, there were so many games getting hosted at the same time what we can play, BF, Arabia, Island, Nomad, Archipelago, Migration, LN and LN nothing, Baltic, etc. Now with the split of WK, I see few and fewer games are hosted and can be playable. Some games require minimum 100 or 200 games to start. Where and how those new players get the 100 or 200 games???

I figure probably Voobly does not care. They do whatever they think is right, just like what they have been doing for years.....

If this does not get resolved any time soon, I'll consider to play elsewhere. I just like to play some games, and I can't find it in RM MS lobby.
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 Pavel_Korchagin


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Posts:67
Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:01 pm
Let's talk about facts. Above you stated, that most of our good ol' folks in NPL are players, who have just an old copy of the game (no idea where you got that information, but who knows). The ironic part is just, that we must detect the game properly, in order to get the compatibility patch working on Voobly, which means that we have statistics, which game version is being used by which player. As explained above, it is difficult to tell, which player got multiple accounts and which players are unique, but more than 95% of our players in NPL are using a copy of Age2HD. Of course this could also mean, that many old players started playing on Steam first and then returned to Voobly. But once again you see the difference between theory and practice.

This is exactly what I'm doing now. I get two real AoK/AOC CD sets sitting around. And I got zillions of old saved games that I can play back. And now I can't play any meaningful games at Voobly….
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 +[email protected]


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Edited 13 February 2019 - 8:57 am by +[email protected]
What happened to CS was that, years ago, some old players (like Masta, Marvel etc), were not happy with other players who worked really hard to run up the ratings. We had RCB ladder, Blood ladder, Alternative ladder etc. and overall CS ladder. Since there were many CS maps (like 25 to 50 of those, commonly played like 12 or so), some players specialized in certain maps, like RCB, Europe, Dodgeball, Tower Defense etc. They were the experts in certain maps. Certain players and Voobly staff were not happy with others having high rates and they say they were "fake rates". So they decided to complete overhaul the CS rating systems.

First, they removed certain maps out of the CS rating system. They claim players can still play their favorite maps, but just un-rated. For the players who specialized certain maps, they left since their favorite maps were removed out of rating system.

Then, they moved the approved maps around. With that, the old rating systems were not meaningful. So they removed the Alternative ladder, RCB ladder and CS overall ladder. They reset all the CS ladders. For the players who worked hard for many years, they lost all the ratings. The only active maps being played were CBA and CBA hero. So the core CS players left. This destroyed the old CS clans. You can name a few.

The lesson to learn from CS is that, if Voobly give points to players, then allow players to keep these points. Do not try to find the perfect rating system and trying to be 100% fair. This world is not perfect. If certain players and Voobly staffer do not play certain maps and do not have the skills to get high ratings, then do not be jealous of the players who specialized in those maps and getting higher ratings. Why you want to take the maps and ratings away from the better players than the Voobly staffer? It was outright wrong in doing so.

With the decline of the CS system, it became a pure noob lobby. It is just CBA and CBA hero. Also even the CBA and CBA hero rating systems were reset couple of times. This further alienated the remaining players. What after that, I do not know. I already left AoC all together with my friends.

Hope Voobly learn something from it.

I have no idea why you blame this on Voobly staff in general. Neither James, nor I were involved in those changes in CS. Players and members of the CS community were staff at that time and have made all those changes. How are staffers of the RM lobby now responsible for this? And second question, when those changes were made, was the CS community not involved in that process?

If you want our help, then please kindly make a new thread and post your CS concept, which we can understand first and then we discuss it with the rest of the community. I have stopped playing in CS back in 2012, mainly because of the rated CBA crap.
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 +[email protected]


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Posted 13 February 2019 - 8:55 am
The attitude of Voobly staffer is just arrogant. You do what you think is right, and not what most players want. This was exactly the mind think they did with the CS system. Voobly claimed to do what "most players" wanted. It was actually not true. Most players wanted to keep CS as-is. Do not change.

No matter how hard Voobly staffer is trying to do, you never get closer to your prefect system. You only make it worse.

Most players are perfect fine with the imperfect system. If certain smurfs come in my game room and bashed me, I know this player and won't play him again next time. It just happens. When you try to fix it, you create other problems. Your NPL auto-ban is the exact result of it.
NPL was a RM lobby from beginning, it was never supposed to become a lobby to play CS outside of the actual CS Lobby. Even if you keep repeating this over and over, it will not change the fact, that NPL is a RM lobby. Also, the majority players of NPL are RM players, so again, stop repeating over and over again, that we only do, what we want, because it's simply not true.

Players and members of the CS community were staff members in charge of CS and those people have made those changes. Not "us", not James, not I. We have voluntary staff on Voobly, and we had tons of them over the past years. Stop blaming everything on "us", even though other/former staff were doing in the past. Instead step up and get involved as well, perhaps you can do it better. Or at least provide a (working) concept to us, so we can also solve the problems of CS. Just moaning about it, won't solve anyone's problem.


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