Playtest Review Thread

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
barf_openra
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Post by barf_openra »

Sleipnir wrote:
WhoCares wrote: In the playtest you have the possibility to :

[...]

That kinda offers 4 options over 1, it definitively enhances the gameplay.
This list is missing an important fifth case that everybody seems to be ignoring:
- Destroy the base (defence stance plus commanding your units)
Sleipnir: I don't understand what you mean by this situation.

The main issue with the new stances as they are implemented in the playtest is with the Attack Anything stance.

I want to be able to A-move into a base, destroy buildings, and not have my units chase un-necessarily and get themselves killed. (AKA the Defend stance in the current release)

SoScared's suggested fix to the stances was perfectly fine and solves this problem because I can leave my default stance(Defend) as is, and I can change it if i want to clear a base of units without destroying it.

Any other fix that accomplishes this same result would also be fine, the details of how this is accomplished don't matter as much as the end result. Continuity of play from the current release to the new release with the Default Defend stance and new behavior added to the other stances as desired.

If the current playtest implementation is not adjusted, it is my opinion that the game will be negatively impacted due to the "side effects" of mandated Attack Anything stance use.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

barf_openra wrote:
Sleipnir: I don't understand what you mean by this situation.

The main issue with the new stances as they are implemented in the playtest is with the Attack Anything stance.

I want to be able to A-move into a base, destroy buildings, and not have my units chase un-necessarily and get themselves killed. (AKA the Defend stance in the current release)
There has been a lot of circle discussion regarding this bit of information here. Can you provide a replay of this particular issue?

barf_openra
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Post by barf_openra »

AoAGeneral1 wrote:
barf_openra wrote:
Sleipnir: I don't understand what you mean by this situation.

The main issue with the new stances as they are implemented in the playtest is with the Attack Anything stance.

I want to be able to A-move into a base, destroy buildings, and not have my units chase un-necessarily and get themselves killed. (AKA the Defend stance in the current release)
There has been a lot of circle discussion regarding this bit of information here. Can you provide a replay of this particular issue?
There is no difference in behavior with the Attack Anything stance between the playtest and the current release. This is just what happens when you use the AA stance. There is a reason nobody ever used it before until this new playtest where its use is basically mandated.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty »

I've played several matches on the playtest, and it is hard as heck to switch back to the release after getting used to the new Defense stance. I've been critical of it early, but now that I'm seeing how competitive games will shape up I have to say it is a positive change. The game feels much more open, but not too much so. Base crawling remains an effective strategy, but it's now easier to push out people who set up shop and then move all their units away.

The way I see it, there are three paths to choose with stances. a) Damn the torpedoes, ship it as is, b) change attack everything stance to what defense stance is in the release; units attack everything but do not chase, or c) parse through the various other suggestions and try to come up with something that pleases the most people.

I'm actually in favor of option A. Attack everything is annoying when units get themselves killed, but you really shouldn't be spending too much time in that stance anyways. That said, I also have no problem with option B if you want to address some of the other player's concerns. Don't waste time on option C.
"Do not trust the balance tzars (Smitty, Orb). They are making the changes either for the wrong reasons, for no reason at all, or just because they can and it makes them feel good." - Alex Jones

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

Happy wrote: The problem is this it will require so much attention to kill one expansion with meaning that plays such as two prong or ...
You can shift queue building kill orders. No need to worry about micro managing all 5 of your armies.

I believe the stances are actually a good thing. It hardly changes the way people play. Prior to this release, units still needed the same amount of micromanagement. Sure, if you neglect to give to attention to your army and its in an enemy base, they will just sit there until you give an order and an enemy unit comes into view. Depending of your army, this could be the much better circumstance. if you take out an army as opposed to the buildings, you will have an army advantage and a bounty advantage that adds up the longer you do this.

Prior to this release, armies would sit in bases and attack buildings instead of units (unless told). That's the easiest way to lose units to mismanagement. Base crawl 101: put a building in the way
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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

SoScared wrote: Also somewhere in between the somewhat snarky comments there was raised concerns early on on whether the community players would start hindering the aims of the developers when interests start to conflict. Further there's also more than a few indications that the competitive player base can somehow hinder improvements on the game, does not represent the player base (as opposed to who) and should not legitimately be able to stake out the direction of the game's development.
I'd like to address this point first, since this is clearly aimed at me. Speaking for myself only, the problem isn't with the competitive scene per se, but with the attitude that being a "competitive player" means that they can expect to dictate the direction of the game's development. Because that's not how things have ever worked here.

OpenRA is developed by volunteers in their free time. People do it for their own reasons, and their reasons probably don't match yours or anybody elses. You often talk with surprise with how "devs" like myself make so much progress on code and features, but also with disappointment at how little we interact with the players. These are flip sides of the same coin: we have limited time to contribute and choose to focus on the things that we find interesting and rewarding. Folk like yourself who are active in both the player community and IRC/GitHub are invaluable and absolutely critical for the overall flow of the project due to your interest and ability to engage with the player community and turn fuzzy opinions into actionable tasks and pull requests. Success requires both.

Of course, having an opinion and the ability to file a pull request are necessary but not sufficient conditions for having a change integrated into the default mods. Changes and development need to consider all the groups of people who are interested in OpenRA. Not just the competitive scene, but also casual MP, skirmish, single-player enthusiasts, modders, and the people actively steering the overall project direction (we are not going to stand for or behind a project that we don't like). Sometimes striking this balance is hard, and sometimes it is impossible to please everyone. We have an established process for dealing with this, and that process works well. It is the reason that OpenRA has achieved the level of polish and fun that it has today.

Discussion and planning is done in the open and often asynchronously. This means that anybody who chooses to participate has the tools to educate themselves on a topic, to discuss it logically and reasonably, and to be get involved and implement those changes. I have a well documented dislike of Discord because it breaks these standards - discussions there are not publically logged or searchable, and the impression I have taken from discussions with you, AoAGeneral, abcdefg30, and others is that controversial discussions there often turn into echo chambers that are dominated by one or two voices that try to win arguments by repetition/exhaustion, not by logic. This is certainly true for some forum topics that have exploded here in the last six months. In my opinion this absolutely does hinder improvements to the game.

I'm not saying that people in the discord channel are bad people, unreasonable or don't have valid opinions. I'm saying that having an opinion in discord isn't good enough - they need to be justified and discussed in the open, weighing them up against the other parts of the project before they can be considered to stake out the direction of development. Because we have years of proof showing that this works well, and we have no compelling reasons to abandon this.

I agree with your point that the disconnect between devs and players has grown over the last year or so, but I find it extremely unfair for you to blame that on us. We lost roughly half of our core developers to time constraints or burn out across this same period, and the increase in player popularity did not bring a corresponding increase in player involvement. You said it yourself that most of the "new" community don't appreciate the history or wider goals of the project, but are instead interested in it as being a good free game (i'm not faulting them for that, it just doesn't help our current situation). You've got to be kidding if you expect us to be able to maintain the same level of community interaction that we used to have under these constraints, and i'm sure you know as well as anyone how it feels to be stuck in this position.

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork »

While I understand It is your project. You cannot cast aside the opinions of the people who have spent as much time dedicated to mastering the game as you have coding the game each day. Disregarding the opinions of the competitive players is the mistake Valve do and keep doing in regards to TF2 and CSGO. TF2 will never have a professional scene thanks to valve its development as a game is stunted thanks to Valve producing new cosmetics and adding their own things "because they can" than make the game a better competitive title.

I and everyone else understands that the devs are volunteers and don't have to listen to the moaning of me and many others to get involved, that is undeniable fact. But what we're asking is not for the devs to join us on the discord, have conversations and be friends. What we mean by interacting with the players is just a simple why?Why make this change? What is its purpose? Does it affect the game in a positive or negative way? Now I can say for myself there would not have been such a huge uproar if these points were all explained than thrown at us and to be accepted.

As for considering all the groups that is exactly what I am doing. I have zero issues learning how to use the stances and how to abuse them. The problem is that the competitive players are good enough to raise the skill level to deal with the extra micro. I already shift click my units and target fire as you all on the IRC claim and laugh we don't and we're brainless and we just make our "big blobs" and base push. The problem is how will the casual player base react to now having a new feature which makes the game unnecessarily harder without a good reason. I highly doubt any casual players check the forum or the playtest to even know this is happening, they don't even know who SoScared is. This is why I'm in personal uproar over it. As soon as the new release is out it's gonna be "what the fuck is this!".

But, it has to be realized that casual players use 10-30% of the actual in game units and assets. Competitive players will use 60-90% of all the units and will have tried them all with tactics. The competitive players know more than what the casual players do about the game. The competitive players know more about the game in terms of actual in game things than the dev's. Yes they know the most about the actual numbers than the competitive players that's plain fact but the fact I had to explain the core principle of stop micro 6 times in the IRC shows the divide since it's a skill most competitive players learn first. And we're talking stop micro in Red Alert terms not Brood War terms because this is Red Alert - not Brood War. Hence regarding game play features not the actual engine etc, things like balance and features like the stance changes should be discussed with the competitive players because they are the experts on this field.

As for people in the discord not having justification for their arguments. I would disagree - not including myself I've seen better arguments of why it shouldn't be a thing than kept. All fully justified and with reasoning. Maybe you should check out the discussions than listen to your yes men saying it's an "echo chamber" because it contains valid arguments against the project's goal.However though I've also seen good arguments for as well I push that everyone checks out the discussion channel.

Which leads me to the question. Why is implementing the auto target changes correct? What reasons justify it happening. Other than the "we wanted to do it for ages and now we can" justification. The continued hostility lies with this. There still isn't a justified reason why its happening, just the players being crushed with the burden of truth to prove it's bad. I'm sure if a valid reason was giving everyone would put down our swords.

As for the last paragraph me and many others are not here to look back at the proud glory of OpenRA. We're here to fight each other with 90's graphics and amazing game play which is interest in a good free game. If the project goals do not coincide with us seeing OpenRA as a good free game then there will be problems between the player base and the developers.

But the weird thing is. The last release was amazing. The glaring imbalance between allies and soviets was fixed. Base pushing isn't powerful anymore only a tool in an arsenal than a unstoppable force . It was brilliant and there were no arguments from any competitive players unlike now. As well a lot more people played that play test, right now its just Barf on his own and gets joined by a randomer for a game every once in a while.


While not on this topic it's been a subject of conversation recently that I feel needs some light on. There is no offence meant at all in this but why do the OpenRA developers work so hard to code a game they do not play? Is it just the love of coding and having a hobby, I don't know that's why I'm asking :D

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SoScared
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Post by SoScared »

I honestly don't believe any player really ever expected to dictate the direction of the game development. There's certainly expectations, sometimes loud, to be heard among competitive players and some just do that better than others. I'd certainly go as far as place the responsibility of everyone in the development branch to deal with any disconnect with the player base but wouldn't have myself blaming anyone for the disconnect itself. With a diminished developer team and an inflated competitive scene channeling more of their activity through a voice application I wouldn't presume to know how to deal with it.

I'm not gonna make any allies for saying this but there is a common trait shared by members of both parties and that is to dig their heels in once they arrive at an impass. Often for different reasons but always based on lack of understanding how the developers work and how players think. As a part-time sadist I've found this somewhat amusing in the past but this time I regarded it almost as a threat as I personally envisioned the official playtest to be more of a collaborative experience dealing with how to weed out the pitfalls with the new features. My involvement in the project (narrowed down to the RA mod) was stretched to a point where lack of a cohesive understanding between players and the development branch felt like too great a liability and I couldn't really enjoy the activities anymore and for all I know could have exaggerated my comments on this issue.

edit: wording
Last edited by SoScared on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

r0b0v
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Post by r0b0v »

Smitty wrote: I've played several matches on the playtest, and it is hard as heck to switch back to the release after getting used to the new Defense stance. I've been critical of it early, but now that I'm seeing how competitive games will shape up I have to say it is a positive change. The game feels much more open, but not too much so. ...
Happy, I won't comment all the stuff you wrote as I am new in OpenRA and it is hard to discuss with you, anyway in my opinion you are mistaken in many things.

You are complaining loudly since your first game without giving it a chance or gathering shared feedback from more players I would say. And you always write 'we', though obviously not all competitive players share your opinion. I don't know if it is good change or not, I would like to be good player, but I am just noob forever.

It probably won't change how it is, but I would like to know what players really think - could we have a poll of the most discussed features so then we could say more than x % like it or not than argue 'all hate or like a change'?

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork »

r0b0v wrote:
Smitty wrote: I've played several matches on the playtest, and it is hard as heck to switch back to the release after getting used to the new Defense stance. I've been critical of it early, but now that I'm seeing how competitive games will shape up I have to say it is a positive change. The game feels much more open, but not too much so. ...
Happy, I won't comment all the stuff you wrote as I am new in OpenRA and it is hard to discuss with you, anyway in my opinion you are mistaken in many things.

You are complaining loudly since your first game without giving it a chance or gathering shared feedback from more players I would say. And you always write 'we', though obviously not all competitive players share your opinion. I don't know if it is good change or not, I would like to be good player, but I am just noob forever.

It probably won't change how it is, but I would like to know what players really think - could we have a poll of the most discussed features so then we could say more than x % like it or not than argue 'all hate or like a change'?

I've played many more games and I hold my opinion. I say we because I've heared many opinions from top players and this is the run down. I protect the anonymity. 3 like the changes. 2 Are indifferent. And 3 dislike them. And 3 hate them and think it will ruin the game. I have gave it a chance and I have gathered feedback. Apparently I'm the only one of the 6 not liking it that wants to speak up.

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

Happy wrote: Disregarding the opinions of the competitive players is the mistake Valve do and keep doing in regards to TF2 and CSGO. TF2 will never have a professional scene thanks to valve its development as a game is stunted thanks to Valve producing new cosmetics and adding their own things "because they can" than make the game a better competitive title.
TF2 has never been promoted as "Competitive" by Valve. The gamemode was just chucked on because the community has competitive players. All competitive events are held by third parties with close to no support from Valve and using custom rulesets. CSGO is probably the second most popular esport, behind Dota 2 (another Valve development).
Happy wrote: As for considering all the groups that is exactly what I am doing. I have zero issues learning how to use the stances and how to abuse them. The problem is that the competitive players are good enough to raise the skill level to deal with the extra micro. I already shift click my units and target fire as you all on the IRC claim and laugh we don't and we're brainless and we just make our "big blobs" and base push. The problem is how will the casual player base react to now having a new feature which makes the game unnecessarily harder without a good reason. I highly doubt any casual players check the forum or the playtest to even know this is happening, they don't even know who SoScared is. This is why I'm in personal uproar over it. As soon as the new release is out it's gonna be "what the fuck is this!".

But, it has to be realized that casual players use 10-30% of the actual in game units and assets. Competitive players will use 60-90% of all the units and will have tried them all with tactics. The competitive players know more than what the casual players do about the game.
Is clicking a different stance on the brand new commandbar really such a hard task? I feel after literally one game the casual player will know what to do. And out of all the changes I actually think this one is most likely to go under there radar of "unnecessarily harder things" because of the new mod launching, commandbar and the building changes. These casual players aren't playing for the same reason we are. They are here probably because they can't stand 800x600 4:3 Red Alert.
Happy wrote: The competitive players know more about the game in terms of actual in game things than the dev's. Yes they know the most about the actual numbers than the competitive players that's plain fact but the fact I had to explain the core principle of stop micro 6 times in the IRC shows the divide since it's a skill most competitive players learn first.
This is often the case with most games. There aren't many developers who are also professional eSports players at their own game. I'd say coding the game for people is more time consuming than learning the nuances of how people exploit your games. Also I'd argue that even if some of the devs played, they would only play casually. (obvs not abcdefg30 :D)
Happy wrote: And we're talking stop micro in Red Alert terms not Brood War terms because this is Red Alert - not Brood War. Hence regarding game play features not the actual engine etc, things like balance and features like the stance changes should be discussed with the competitive players because they are the experts on this field.
You can't just appropriate terms from other games and expect everyone to understand you. Its technically not a Red Alert term since (i could be wrong but) these stances were the same in the original RA and TD so it would have never existed until OpenRA. That and its just tank spam
Happy wrote: As for people in the discord not having justification for their arguments. I would disagree - not including myself I've seen better arguments of why it shouldn't be a thing than kept. All fully justified and with reasoning. Maybe you should check out the discussions than listen to your yes men saying it's an "echo chamber" because it contains valid arguments against the project's goal.However though I've also seen good arguments for as well I push that everyone checks out the discussion channel.
Im not directing people away from discord or saying to stop using it but its really naive to expect the devs to read every post in every OpenRA group. It's like saying the developers should be reading the post in the Australian OpenRA facebook group lucian made. The OpenRA Discord was not made by any who represents the developer team of OpenRA. It is not listed on: http://www.openra.net/community/ If those players want their views heard they can post here. If they have enough balls to ruin their anonymity on discord or in game then they can post here or in IRC. You don't even need an account for IRC so there is no excuse tbh.
Happy wrote: Which leads me to the question. Why is implementing the auto target changes correct? What reasons justify it happening. Other than the "we wanted to do it for ages and now we can" justification. The continued hostility lies with this. There still isn't a justified reason why its happening, just the players being crushed with the burden of truth to prove it's bad. I'm sure if a valid reason was giving everyone would put down our swords.
This begs the question. Is your perceived problem with the defense stance or the fact that its default stance? I don't see any issue with making the defense stance only attack stuff that can attack it. That's defensive. I do however see an issue with making it default.. I could be wrong but i believe the default stance was change 3 or so years ago as well. Did it used to be hold gorund? Im not sure but i swear there were a few upset people back then too. I feel the default stance should be able to be set by the player so when units are made, they have this default stance. (or even allowing it in game).
Happy wrote: As well a lot more people played that play test, right now its just Barf on his own and gets joined by a randomer for a game every once in a while.
I swear that was the case with the playtest before as well. RA is rather slack for playtest games. I don't have the stats for last playtest but this playtest, TD games outnumber RA games and it's vastly less popular.
Happy wrote: While not on this topic it's been a subject of conversation recently that I feel needs some light on. There is no offence meant at all in this but why do the OpenRA developers work so hard to code a game they do not play? Is it just the love of coding and having a hobby, I don't know that's why I'm asking :D
I cant speak for their reasoning because it could any number of reasons. Perhaps the developers like to see the fruits of their labour put to good use or towards something they like/liked. It could be just a hobby they do for fun while they work there jobs. Maybe they want to use OpenRA as an example of their experience in software development so possibly gain employment or at the least experience. Or maybe they just like fucking with players. Take your pick, i've already picked mine :p
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3.Lucian
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Post by 3.Lucian »

anjew wrote: I feel the default stance should be able to be set by the player so when units are made, they have this default stance. (or even allowing it in game).
THIS.
x1000

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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul »

Given that this thread somewhat rolls to oblivion of fruitless debates and there were requests to make this a poll on the features, here it is.
https://goo.gl/forms/6isHdWJhuHE5vQ1J2

Will post poll updates later and/or on request.

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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

Stop micro is hitting the S key to stop your units and re-target the closest targets rather then right clicking on enemy units to focus fire. This trick was widely used in CNC95 and RA96 since clicking on fast moving units or infantry can be hard.

In CNC95 stop micro (S) was something I personally abused in lan games because mammoth tanks would swivel their turrets around firing rockets and instantly killing infantry. This made GDI late tech way to strong.

Using stop micro with the AttackAnything stance is a bad idea because units will move forward if provoked. Stop micro is best used on the defense stance so they will target fire quickly rather then move.

-------

As for setting a stance when units are produced I agree with this with Anjew. If the game can be set to allow stance selection via by production building that would fix this. (IE: Select barracks set it to AttackAnything.)

Stance in the past used to be AttackAnything. Units would easily be provoked and start chasing until either pulled back manually by the player or died. Hitting the stance key twice would set them to defend stance but this had to be done everytime a new unit was built. Most frustrating with artillery type units and fast units.

This was fixed by setting every unit to defense stance as the default. ...Which is the same stance that is currently in the playtest. Only difference is they don't auto attack non-combat structures. This alone is where the confusion is coming from.

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Post by 3.Lucian »

AoAGeneral1 wrote: This alone is where the confusion contention is coming from.
edit: :lol:
its a joke.

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