View Full Version : USER INTERFACE (Text wall incoming)Two (relatively) small fixes that will solve a lot of complaining

1st Nov 2014, 22:47
Now, as a veteran of a large variety of "competitive multiplayer"-type games, I understand the need for both "quality of life" changes that seem small but add a lot of potential fun to an average players playtime, as well as the need to assist newer/non-english speaking/people-who-don't-read towards options that really shouldn't be optional. I also understand how essential some features are in the competitive landscape of PvP games, as well as the constraints on human resources that seemingly "tiny" changes place on game development companies. I therefore suggest two relatively easy to code changes that would improve the quality of a large number of rounds.

Compulsory Region-Select

The "region select" feature has a huge effect on the quality of players' experiences within the game, as being auto-sorted into a non-optimal region affects the whole game, from loading times, to lagwarping and delayed reactions, causing players to seem worse than they are, decreasing fun and driving players away. Recently I posted in chat in a game that there is a region-select feature, and immediately 5 players out of 8 left and (presumably) used it. This is inadequate exposure for such an essential feature.

I propose a change to mandatory region-selection. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Note that all options should be reset if and when new region choices are added.

1. Region select screen at first login, preference saved

My personal favourite option, have a screen pop up during first login that forces players to choose their preferred region (with no default to avoid people not reading it), and once the choice is made have their preference saved and used as the default region choice (with "default region" as an option in the Options Menu for people who chose wrong, or fly overseas)

2. Utilising Steams built-in location features

Steam already requires a country selection to use its services (chosen upon account creation I believe), which could be utilised if the information is available to the game to auto-select the gameservers closest to that country. This would require a lot more developer effort in my opinion, as not only utilising the data endpoint for location (if it indeed exists at all) as well as determining which gameservers are closest to each and every country in the world. This option also fails to do its job if people lie about their location for Steam.

3. Remembering region choice and using as default

A band-aid for the problem currently, as the players affected by this are the ones who don't know the option exists currently, but would make life easier for everyone who does know about and utilise it.

Manual teamswapping for balance purposes

This change is more of an essential feature that I'm sure will be implemented eventually to combat unbalanced teams due to early game leavers. Whether it is implemented automatically or by manual choice is something for the game design department, and each present their own set of challenges. I, however, warn against common mistakes made by game developers regarding a potential lack of restrictions on when teamswapping is allowed.

DO NOT - allow players to unbalance teams by changing
This sounds obvious, but a team of 3 against a team of 2 should not be allowed to change into a 4v1.

DO NOT - allow teamswapping in the last minute or so of a game
Many many games with timed autobalancing see a large exodus of players bail from the losing team into the winning one during the last minute or so of a game, so they can collect the extra resources from a win.

(Provided that teamswapping is automatic) DO NOT - indiscriminately teamswap the last person to join
This is a judgement call for a developer, between fairness and fun. Either autoswapping is done via the last person to join the larger team (which is fair) or code is put in place to move one of the best players to the smaller team if losing (or worst players if winning) to ensure a funner, more balanced game for everyone.

I look forward to feedback and suggestions on improvements or additions to my ideas.


6th Nov 2014, 21:40
Bump, due to almost 100 views and no replies or Psyonix staff posts. Sorry about doubleposting.