Why so few players on TD & especially D2k??

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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avalach21
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Why so few players on TD & especially D2k??

Post by avalach21 »

Hi all, just wondering why it is that TD & especially D2k seem to always have no one playing. There's obviously a dedicated crew of TD players I've noticed from time to time but even still, the majority of the time the TD & D2k servers are completely emptyyyy.

Don't get me wrong.. I love RA a lot. Out of all the C&Cs RA1 is probably the one I played the most (if not RA2). It is definitely the most iconic in the series IMO and the one I personally have the most memories with, but anyways.. what do you suppose is the reason that the other mods are basically never played while RA always seems to have games going?

Is it just a preference for the RA arsenal of land sea and air units in RA? Is it because RA is the most balanced and/or developed mod? I never really played D2k back in the day as much as the C&C games but it seems like maybe some of the functions still haven't been fully developed? Do people just have a deeper nostalgia for Red Alert than TD or D2k?

Just curious what some peoples thoughts are on this topic and perhaps maybe some ideas on how to get more players across the other mods? Or perhaps the TD and D2k fans prefer keeping it as more of an exclusive club ;-)

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FiveAces
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Post by FiveAces »

TD is an amazing game and I tried getting into playing it more in the past. The one problem I had with it is that even if there was a populated server, most of the strong TD players would prefer hanging out in the lobby for hours on end, leading to a 40 minute buildup for a 10 minute game, which was too time-consuming for me.

As for D2k, however, it just feels like an unrefined game. Every single game I played so far consisted of either trike rushes or endless blobs of units fighting each other with little to no strategy involved. There are some great attempts at balancing it out, such as Marn's mod or SirCakealot's D2k overhaul. But unless a great deal of balancing is done, I don't see D2k picking up any popularity soon.

RA has the biggest nostalgia bonus plus a lot of exposure from different streams. That's one of the biggest factors imo.

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MustaphaTR
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Post by MustaphaTR »

D2K is still incomplete (not much left tbh, Starport, Destructible/Buildable Are Giving Concrete/ Original Death Hand and Ornithopter Behaviour are some i can list) and is not further rebalanced to create better gameplay, unlike TD and RA. Original D2K balance is meh. So i guess this has a big effect on not being played.

Hopefully when the remaining features are added, rebalancing the D2K mod will start, and i'll happily help with that.

It has a good Russian playerbase afaik tho.

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

FiveAces wrote: even if there was a populated server, most of the strong TD players would prefer hanging out in the lobby for hours on end, leading to a 40 minute buildup for a 10 minute game, which was too time-consuming for me.
If this is the true barrier to TD, I completely sympathise. This is frustrating, even as a TD player. We joke about lobby being the real early game of TD but I can completely understand people leaving. No one else seems to though. They would rather sit in spec doing: their job, housework, modding or playing other games. I try to avoid the teamgames because they have the problem of getting perpetually bigger until someone leaves and everyone is back to square one.
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eskimo
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Post by eskimo »

I think if we had a TD night it would soon rally up people to play

Irnub
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Post by Irnub »

Red Alert was the breakout multiplayer game in the C&C series - I believe that when Tiberian Dawn (then just called Command & Conquer) was first released in 1995, there was only support for LAN multiplayer. Online mutliplayer was included in the 'Gold' release in 1997, whereas RA included it right from its initial release in 1996. With RA being the more modern game and available to play online from an earlier time, it outstripped TD for popularity.

So Red Alert has the much greater historic player base and reputation for online play. I think that this has carried over to the Openra version. This isn't limited just to Openra - other modern incarnations of C&C also see far more RA than TD players; see cncnet which currently shows 172 online RA players to just 17 TD players. This also more or less applies to Dune, I believe. C&C was a smash hit, however Dune is lesser known outside of more particular fans. As far as I know, Dune II never included multiplayer in any official release?

I also agree that lobby times can be frustrating in TD. It's become something of a convention now - players will just chill in the lobby to chat while working on other things or even eating. There's kind of a nice social aspect to this, but I can see how it'd turn players away who actually want to jump right into a game. With active player numbers often less than a dozen or so, it can be difficult to just hop into another server to get a game going quicker - especially when most players prefer larger team games.

While it is cool to have a smaller community where the core players know one another and can easily group onto one or two servers, I think most would agree that it'd be good to see more players. As to actually increasing player numbers - apart from general expansion of Openra, if TD was featured more often in streams, a tournament or more regularly on YouTube casts it would create an uptick in players I think.

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avalach21
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Post by avalach21 »

Irnub wrote: Red Alert was the breakout multiplayer game in the C&C series - I believe that when Tiberian Dawn (then just called Command & Conquer) was first released in 1995, there was only support for LAN multiplayer. Online mutliplayer was included in the 'Gold' release in 1997, whereas RA included it right from its initial release in 1996. With RA being the more modern game and available to play online from an earlier time, it outstripped TD for popularity.

So Red Alert has the much greater historic player base and reputation for online play. I think that this has carried over to the Openra version. This isn't limited just to Openra - other modern incarnations of C&C also see far more RA than TD players; see cncnet which currently shows 172 online RA players to just 17 TD players. This also more or less applies to Dune, I believe. C&C was a smash hit, however Dune is lesser known outside of more particular fans. As far as I know, Dune II never included multiplayer in any official release?

I also agree that lobby times can be frustrating in TD. It's become something of a convention now - players will just chill in the lobby to chat while working on other things or even eating. There's kind of a nice social aspect to this, but I can see how it'd turn players away who actually want to jump right into a game. With active player numbers often less than a dozen or so, it can be difficult to just hop into another server to get a game going quicker - especially when most players prefer larger team games.

While it is cool to have a smaller community where the core players know one another and can easily group onto one or two servers, I think most would agree that it'd be good to see more players. As to actually increasing player numbers - apart from general expansion of Openra, if TD was featured more often in streams, a tournament or more regularly on YouTube casts it would create an uptick in players I think.
Very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing the info on the early days of C&C as I was an example of first being exposed to C&C series via Red Alert 1 (at age 7). It wasn't until after getting hooked to RA that my brother and I discovered the C&C gold pack with Covert Operations, so I didn't realize that C&C never shipped with internet multiplayer. Interesting to know that you couldn't play via Westwood chat until 1997's Gold edition. I am curious if you know also did the games original release only run in DOS ? RA original release could run both DOS and SVGA Win95.. So you had to rebuy C&C95 (Gold) to get the SVGA version?

Anyways, yes the lobby times seem a bit absurd haha I will see 4/6 5/6 games and hop in the lobby... 40 min later we are all still casually chatting about random stuff.. lol
FiveAces wrote: TD is an amazing game and I tried getting into playing it more in the past. The one problem I had with it is that even if there was a populated server, most of the strong TD players would prefer hanging out in the lobby for hours on end, leading to a 40 minute buildup for a 10 minute game, which was too time-consuming for me.

As for D2k, however, it just feels like an unrefined game. Every single game I played so far consisted of either trike rushes or endless blobs of units fighting each other with little to no strategy involved. There are some great attempts at balancing it out, such as Marn's mod or SirCakealot's D2k overhaul. But unless a great deal of balancing is done, I don't see D2k picking up any popularity soon.

RA has the biggest nostalgia bonus plus a lot of exposure from different streams. That's one of the biggest factors imo.
TD truly is an amazing game.. I really do love the 4 original Westwood C&Cs a lot but the first 2 are stunning masterpieces in style and presentation. TD does an excellent job of making a believable modern warfare setting with just enough sci fi flare for good measure. Epic soundtrack, charming clean graphics, straightforward gameplay.. I'd love to see it get some more attention & activity.

One thing I always found interesting is, why exactly does TD mod have multi-build (i.e. build 2 barracks/WF/etc. get 2 simultaneous build queues.) This could be a topic/discussion all unto itself I imagine, but this is a pretty significant departure from the original TD, from the RA mod, and from every classic C&C game's mechanics. Dont get me wrong, I think it's an interesting new element and was always something I wished you could do playing C&C games growing up, but maybe people find it to be too big of a departure from the C&C style they are used to.

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netnazgul
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Post by netnazgul »

It's become something of a convention now - players will just chill in the lobby to chat while working on other things or even eating.
It's not a thing with RA players, because they mostly use discord for this kind of stuff :P

Irnub
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Post by Irnub »

avalach21 wrote: Very thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing the info on the early days of C&C as I was an example of first being exposed to C&C series via Red Alert 1 (at age 7). It wasn't until after getting hooked to RA that my brother and I discovered the C&C gold pack with Covert Operations, so I didn't realize that C&C never shipped with internet multiplayer. Interesting to know that you couldn't play via Westwood chat until 1997's Gold edition. I am curious if you know also did the games original release only run in DOS ? RA original release could run both DOS and SVGA Win95.. So you had to rebuy C&C95 (Gold) to get the SVGA version?
Yep, the very first release of C&C was DOS only and was not available for Windows. So yeah, as far as I am aware you'd have to buy the Gold edition to get that super-modern online, Windows 95, SVGA experience .. The first time that I played C&C was probably the DOS edition on a friend's computer. I bought myself the PlayStation version later. Nostalgia!

Quite amazing that C&C Gold was released in the same year as Total Annihilation, which featured full 3D units. Way ahead of its time and a great game that also featured a killer soundtrack. Quite different to C&C, but I'd certainly recommend checking it out if you haven't.
Anyways, yes the lobby times seem a bit absurd haha I will see 4/6 5/6 games and hop in the lobby... 40 min later we are all still casually chatting about random stuff.. lol

TD truly is an amazing game.. I really do love the 4 original Westwood C&Cs a lot but the first 2 are stunning masterpieces in style and presentation. TD does an excellent job of making a believable modern warfare setting with just enough sci fi flare for good measure. Epic soundtrack, charming clean graphics, straightforward gameplay.. I'd love to see it get some more attention & activity.

One thing I always found interesting is, why exactly does TD mod have multi-build (i.e. build 2 barracks/WF/etc. get 2 simultaneous build queues.) This could be a topic/discussion all unto itself I imagine, but this is a pretty significant departure from the original TD, from the RA mod, and from every classic C&C game's mechanics. Dont get me wrong, I think it's an interesting new element and was always something I wished you could do playing C&C games growing up, but maybe people find it to be too big of a departure from the C&C style they are used to.
Yeah, I also love the first C&C games. I never really played Tiberian Sun very much but I played a lot of TD, RA and RA2. The simple graphics, style and music are a big part of what makes them great. I also love the alt-modern settings, with the perfect dash of sci-fi mixed in.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

C&C95 DOS did support multiplayer but only on a modem connection. You had to setup the net through DOS configurations in most cases and in the game had to know which slot the modem was plugged into along with what speed modem type you had.

It was a little on the complex side if you didn't know much about DOS or computers. But I remember playing against my friends in modem games. (Using at first the 28kb and then upgrading to 56k.)

I remember also having some fun base build up games where we took turns on some days. Connect via modem, build up a massive base, then disconnect and let the AI take control. The AI in modem games knew how to build units and also replace the destroyed structures. But it could never build a base off on its own.

Otherwise, LAN games was only used for team game matches and more.

As for the multi queue style I can't say much on this as I had jumped into ORA when this was already there. But it solved a few problems putting this in here. More in terms of a mass economy issue and unit worth as it allowed you to replace units a bit more quickly. (While of course not throwing them away recklessly.)

On the other hand if it was single queued you would have a money growth and be capped much longer which means extra harvesters in some builds would be a bad idea. Granted, you could get extra airstrips and barracks for faster production but it still came out from one queue.

This also helps for MCV productions. (All be it still a bit of work.) Which allows you to have two airstrips/weapon factories and have one produce an MCV while the other made units.

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anjew
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Post by anjew »

netnazgul wrote:
It's become something of a convention now - players will just chill in the lobby to chat while working on other things or even eating.
It's not a thing with RA players, because they mostly use discord for this kind of stuff :P
Some of these guys have discord but they just prefer gettin friendly while waiting for a teamgame.

It's not all bad news for TD. Back when I started the TD community wasn't even this big. I just remember it being Norman, AoA, Persian and Sinfonia as the consistent players, AgentAAA and a few others popped up as well. I also vividly remember waiting the same amount of time in lobby except I had no one to chat to back then. Now I actually have to use my toes to keep counting how many there are and I usually know there will be at least 1 game open during European peak time
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Mesacer
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Post by Mesacer »

I also think this pre game lobbying is a big problem for the TD community, I have seen a couple of times when new players join our lobby and stay for a few minutes and then they leave because nothing happened. It will prevent the community to grow.

It doesn't help either when you don't have much time left to play and you just want to play a game fast, when more than half the time spent in the lobby.

Also I never played a game where so many people prefer to spectate than play, why is that?

Irnub
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Post by Irnub »

AoAGeneral1 wrote: C&C95 DOS did support multiplayer but only on a modem connection. You had to setup the net through DOS configurations in most cases and in the game had to know which slot the modem was plugged into along with what speed modem type you had.

It was a little on the complex side if you didn't know much about DOS or computers. But I remember playing against my friends in modem games. (Using at first the 28kb and then upgrading to 56k.)

I remember also having some fun base build up games where we took turns on some days. Connect via modem, build up a massive base, then disconnect and let the AI take control. The AI in modem games knew how to build units and also replace the destroyed structures. But it could never build a base off on its own.

Otherwise, LAN games was only used for team game matches and more.
Ooh, interesting! Thanks for the info. Still, seems that just for ease of use and accessibility the scene would not explode until RA and Westwood Online.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

@Irnub:

This is true. RA exploded once its release came out with the Westwood Online client. LAN was a bit popular too but they started to drop off in the public scene after months with the Westwood Online. I however, didn't play it avidly against other people due to its balance issues with the make 20 factories to make 2 second V2 Rockets. So ended up staying on CNC95 for competitive and RA for skirmishes.

@Mesacer:

People like to watch the games. Battles happen right from the get go if you have light support on. If its disabled, then battles can happen between 0:30 or 1:40 depending on builds. Its a faster paced game and more often then not in 1v1 games last for about 7 minutes. A long game is considered 15 minutes.

It also allows people to formulate ideas, interact with spectators, and discuss what the players are doing wrong/right.

My games tend to happen during much later in the day due to my work schedule. (Making me work mornings on and off).

Mesacer
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Post by Mesacer »

AoAGeneral1 wrote:
@Mesacer:

People like to watch the games. Battles happen right from the get go if you have light support on. If its disabled, then battles can happen between 0:30 or 1:40 depending on builds. Its a faster paced game and more often then not in 1v1 games last for about 7 minutes. A long game is considered 15 minutes.

It also allows people to formulate ideas, interact with spectators, and discuss what the players are doing wrong/right.

My games tend to happen during much later in the day due to my work schedule. (Making me work mornings on and off).
Of course people like to spectate but I have never experience in any rts game that I have played online that a majority of the players joining a game prefer to spectate than play themselves.

And I have played rts online since the early days, started playing tiberium dawn around 96 online.

My point is that I think this will prevent the community from growing because:
* less game being played simultaneously
* new players getting bored of waiting for the game to start. A new player joins the server and wants to play, instead he has to wait for at least 20 minutes.

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