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USrankyanom
8 months ago
So yeah, Zero-K is a great game but I feel like the community is not as big as it could be. Often there's no one online to play with. We need more new players.

However I think there are some major obstacles in the way to getting more new players.


Niche Appeal: Zero-K is a fundamentally very niche game. It is by design very hard, very complicated, and has a steeeeep learning curve. Pure RTS (as opposed to MOBA/RTS hybrid) games are already a very small part of the PC gaming world, and Zero-K is even more high-concept and niche. This isn't so much a "problem" such as it is the nature of Zero-K as a game.


Community Toxicity: I've certainly seen much more toxic online communities than ZK, but let's face it - we are sometimes very hostile to new (and therefore incompetent) players. This makes climbing the aforementioned steep learning curve very hard. This problem is completely in our hands - let's be nicer to low-ranked players and try to help them out. Don't assume every rank 1 player who's playing terribly is a troll/smurf.


Outreach: Is there any ongoing advertising campaign to attract more players that I could help with?

Entry ramp: I've haven't been new to Zero-K in 5 years, so I wouldn't know - if a person totally unaware of Zero-K finds themselves on zero-k.info, is it possible and intuitive for them to learn about the game and start playing? Are there good instructions/tutorial pages?





+4 / -0

GBrankWonkey
8 months ago
I agree with your 1st statement completely.

I'm not someone who will shy away from complexity but understand there are plenty of people who might, however there are plenty of things that people can do that aren't that complicated, it's often better to do a simple thing well, than a complicated thing badly. I'm in no way new to the game however I do not play frequently enough to get enough practice in using some of the more complicated strategies. This means I often pick something simple I can do well, even if it's building eco, holding a chokepoint high up the map, harassing a defensive line with tanks. Zero-k has a lot of the same stuff that any other RTS game does so experience should be transferable, even if you don't quite know the best composition of units for a shield ball, or sometimes get caught out by a well timed enemy terraformation.

There can be a paranoid obsessive compulsion to cause maximum drama that's completely disproportionate to the effect whatever it is has on the actual reason we are here, to play the game.






+0 / -0


unknownrankSnuggleBass
8 months ago
Hostility to noobs is a catch 22.
If noobs stuck around, the community would grow, and there would be no need to match good players with or against noobs.

But noobs don't stick around, partially because of hostility towards noobs.

As for the learning curve? Yeah it's pretty dense initially, but it dips a lot once you're past the raw 'synthesise all of the information' phase. This game is not hard to play well once you:
a) know all of the stuff you're playing against
b) have grown out of all the bad habits that you developed during ignorance

I believe it would help if the main point of entry wasn't the big teams room, where so much stuff is happening it's difficult to take it all in. It's hard to get the basics down when you're having to consider the actions of 20 other players.
+3 / -0

PLrankFailer
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

quote:
Community Toxicity: (blah blah)

Omfg, quit spreading this overused phrase already. Find me a single multiplayer game where a noob wasn't called a noob and a sucker wasn't called a sucker.
Youre in the internet. Being told to "stop suicide nub" is not a reason to cry in a corner.
If u want the "toxicity" to be fixed, implement a proper pre-game tutorial, either yourself or convince devs to do so.
+5 / -1


AUrankSortale
8 months ago
PLrankFailer

this is a multiplayer game online where players are not being called noob nor sucker:

https://elgea.illyriad.co.uk/

and they enjoy a steady influx of new player with high retention rate despite the limited advertising capacity and horrible game play
+1 / -0



CHrankAdminDeinFreund
8 months ago
Regarding community toxicity I agree that there are some problems, but they are negligible compared to what I see/saw in other games. I've already been bombarded with multiple pages of "stfu noob" on other game forums, and the ingame attitude is usually even worse.

We used to have a "Newbies only" host that I used to play on from time to time(A few more losses and I qualify for that again). There's no guarantee that it will actually be used, but it'd still be nice to have it back. Besides that we should encourage 1v1 play, because it's the only game mode where Zenith rush is punished properly. Yesterday I saw CHrankbruno1990 improve from screamer rush to glaive spam within two 1v1 games against DErankjuletz (then he declared DErankjuletz a hacker and quit).
+3 / -0

DErankkatastrophe
8 months ago
(edited 8 months ago)

Toxicity: Just because there are worse places doesn´t mean it is good as it is now.

Complexity: Also consider there is not that much motivation to spend a lot of time to get good in a game that doesnt have many (and by that i mean compared to other competitive Games) very good players and has a very low chance of getting rewarded for the serious amount of time to put in, like paid tournaments etc. The last point with the tournaments is naturally related to it beiing a non-profit game, so it is in the very nature of it. That doesn´t mean i would like to change it, but it is something i think we have to accept.
+5 / -0

USrank_Shaman
8 months ago
quote:
Omfg, quit spreading this overused phrase already. Find me a single multiplayer game where a noob wasn't called a noob and a sucker wasn't called a sucker.
Youre in the internet. Being told to "stop suicide nub" is not a reason to cry in a corner.
If u want the "toxicity" to be fixed, implement a proper pre-game tutorial, either yourself or convince devs to do so.


Being called a noob isn't the problem. It's making fun of others trying to play the game that's the issue with toxicity. Even then it's not limited to noobs. This is one of the most abusive environments I have seen in this regard. Not because of severity but because of occurrence and the fact that almost everyone will jump in to maul you for a simple mistake. We were both newbies at one point, and I remember how awful it was feeling making a mistake. Who seriously wants to be yelled at because they make a small mistake in an online game? I don't blame them for leaving.

Tutorials aren't going to solve it, it's just going to appease the abusers for 5 minutes then they'll find something else to complain about.
+5 / -3

GBrankWonkey
8 months ago
The player base just needs to increase then we can have different rooms for different ability levels. That's the usual way players organise things.

We're trying to use the cart before we've bought the horse.

It's also worth noting having spectators doesn't seem like a common trend, i wonder if this gives people a license to comment on the game with whatever they want like a sports pundit.
+0 / -0


AUrankAquanim
8 months ago
There are certainly good reasons why next-to-no other games of this genre (or similar genres) allow spectators to talk to the players during the game.
+3 / -0

PLrankOrfelius
8 months ago
The good old "I wont play this game because it has too few players" and the result is of just that it has too few players.

I never experienced being yelled at when I was a newb. That's the luxury of playing 1v1s: the only person that can get mad at you for playing bad is you.
+0 / -0


PLrankSprung
8 months ago
quote:
There are certainly good reasons why next-to-no other games of this genre (or similar genres) allow spectators to talk to the players during the game.

Another important facet of this is that there is no way to watch random people's games. Usually you can only watch games your friends are in.
+1 / -0

DErank[2up]knorke
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

quote:
This problem is completely in our hands - let's be nicer to low-ranked players and try to help them out.
It is not in our hands how other players behave.
Admins have the tools to handle trolls, however they have not been effective or behaved indistinguishable from trolls.

quote:
Outreach: Is there any ongoing advertising campaign to attract more players that I could help with?
The ongoing advertising campaign plan of the last years is steam greenlight.
So far it is has brought no new players, but gets used to justify hastly untested buggy updates, wasting donation money, fragmenting spring players&devs, result is less players than before.

quote:
Are there good instructions/tutorial pages?
In the to-do-list-spreadsheet the manual and its content are listed as 100% ready.
Imo that is false.

quote:
The good old "I wont play this game because it has too few players" and the result is of just that it has too few players.
I never like this arguement because it feels like putting blame on the players. (As if they are too lazy or something.)
Normal players just want to play, if they see an empty lobby they can not be blamed for not staying. Someone who idles for hours in a lobby or plays tourneys at midnight is already on the hardcore spectrum and probally invested in the game beyond just wanting to play.
This game costs no money but you still pay to play: The currency is nerves and time.
+1 / -0


NLrankShyrka
7 months ago
I'm newbie in ZK... And my English is poor. But the people always try to help me, commanding me in battles, giving advice and being kind... Although I really suck and are a pain in the ass for my team.
IMHO the ZK community is really nice towards begginers. Its my experience at least.
+11 / -0

USrank_Shaman
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

quote:
I'm newbie in ZK... And my English is poor. But the people always try to help me, commanding me in battles, giving advice and being kind... Although I really suck and are a pain in the ass for my team.
IMHO the ZK community is really nice towards begginers. Its my experience at least.




+8 / -3


CHrankConnetable
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

PLrankFailer This is a perfect example. Why say "don't suicide nub" instead of "don't suicide"

Because you want to show how better and older to the game your are?

As USrank_Shaman said, this annoying, bullying behavior is not affecting only noobs. It is directed by a few players to any other player that is not a pluk like them.



+5 / -0


NLrankShyrka
7 months ago
Sorry USrank_Shaman, I don't understand what that screenshot means
+2 / -0


unknownrankSnuggleBass
7 months ago
It means that, while this is some feedback that is favourable and much appreciated, you have had a lucky run thus far. There are people lining up to berate you as we speak.

Most of the community is civil, but it's the loudest voices that define us to any new player.
+4 / -0


AUrankAquanim
7 months ago
To be blunt, his point is that you have a good opinion of this community because you haven't run into AErankFirepluk yet.
+5 / -0

USrank_Shaman
7 months ago
(edited 7 months ago)

This post has been downvoted below -5 and collapsed, click here to expand
A good size of this community is fairly civil as long as the core toxicity players (EG: AErankFirepluk and co) aren't around. Otherwise some start to join in and berate you in secret (it's a seceret because newbies don't know the terms/etc) with their 'lobsterish' language, and stale memes (EG: 'your mom/face [x]') -- all for their personal amusement. Although it's nothing new really. Just learn to ignore these players and/or report them if they're abusive (by clicking on their name then clicking 'report user').

Your multiplayer game count consists of 10 games: mostly between the sizes of 1v1 (expected output) and 4v5 though. It is my hope that this opinion does not change over time. Otherwise you have about 50 games of coop / private games. This opinion isn't very informed (as of yet) and thus isn't a very accurate measurement of newbie experience. Your miles may vary.

Good luck with keeping that opinion. You'll see the dark side eventually.

PS: Do not forget to report abusive (EG: idiot,etc) language and heckling from spectators.

+0 / -6
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