Author Topic: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do  (Read 3540 times)

Johnny Reb

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Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
on: January 27, 2019, 04:02:39 PM
Spacelords is an epic game, period. Regardless of its cons, the entire team behind its creation deserve nothing but love from the community for developing such an immersive experience, from an unravelling story and connected characters, to a diverse gameplay and increasing challenge - all for FREE (in uppercase for enphasizing purposes, since it shows absolutely no sign of the widely spread expression 'pay to win'). That being said, why isn't Spacelords leading the charts of free online games?

From the often overlooked point of view of a player, the answer lies on one single feature: the Match-Making Rating system, or MMR for short. 'And here we go again', right? Wrong. Although it may be the reason behind most negative feedback, all actions taken to attack the problem failed to solve it. Complaints surrounding the MMR function consist on a prolonged waiting time, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes - or no match at all, depending on the mission, time of the day, or day of the week. The measure taken by the team, put into effect in the last major update, was to make the MMR completely transparent, showing the expanding filters of the system. Now players can know why it takes so long to find a match, but the fact it takes too long remains.

I may have a few suggestions to help improve Spacelords and perhaps someday see it in the top charts, where it belongs, but I have only one regarding the MMR system: finish it. Like a wounded, last standing raider on sudden death. With a charging sucker punch. Followed by an air guitar. Put a definitive end to it, before players abandon the game simply because they cannot play it. 'But what then?', you may ponder. Well, all you have to do is look around, and you don't have to look far. New games can resort to old ways. Why not let players select their level of difficulty? Allow users to choose between easy, medium, hard, or insane in both solo and cooperative campaigns, match-making accordingly, while earning rewards equal to the challenge. Set difficulty to be the only defining filter, giving players the freedom over their preferences, such as crossing platforms or connecting nations. The current MMR system takes the choice away from the player, compromising the purpose of the game: to have fun and, well, to play it.

Sleep on it and feel free to leave your thoughts below.
Peace! But not while playing, please.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 07:18:49 PM by Johnny Reb »

Oxnardo

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Re: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 07:09:20 PM
Nice thread; imo the game is not up in the top charts because of its learning curve; rather than the MMR. I don't like blaming the matchmaking because i think that'd be rather abstract; I like game, but I quit because of its matchmaking is slow? then i'm part of the problem.

Instead i think newcomers quit because it feels like a burden being new in this game. I myself was one of the infame lvl 1 quitters; the gameplay is just too hardcore to take in when you are new, eventually i kept playing for curiosity and because i love challenging games, and the more i understood the more i grew love for it.

What i think would be the solution is re-building a tutorial mission, developing a training room, making character builder's interface easier to understand (its layout is very neat and polished, but confusing when you are new), also developing private matches where you can go into a mission with an incomplete team filled with Cortez's brothers will be very appealing to many players.

Now there's also a con for veterans who are in the end game; which is the game starts to feel repetitive when you are halfway through it. But MSE will eventually keep expanding it when they decide to continue the story, and i'm pretty sure they already have ideas to create new playable content with a higher variety of activities, missions and progression mechanics, as it's natural when a game continues to grow.

Although I do think it's good to point out that a balanced PvP is a good solution for games with limited content; if not, look at the most popular games, they are main PvP experiences with repetitive levels, but fun PvP action.

Johnny Reb

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Re: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 07:50:15 PM
Nice thread; imo the game is not up in the top charts because of its learning curve; rather than the MMR. I don't like blaming the matchmaking because i think that'd be rather abstract; I like game, but I quit because of its matchmaking is slow? then i'm part of the problem.
Thank you, mate! I agree with you, but these points - MMR and learning curve - have one thing in common. They consume a valuable resource, common to us all: time. Not all of us have it, nor the will to spend it. If the game fails to provide a sense of accomplishment, time seems wasted, and quitting becomes inevitable. Both contribute to it.

What i think would be the solution is re-building a tutorial mission, developing a training room, making character builder's interface easier to understand (its layout is very neat and polished, but confusing when you are new), also developing private matches where you can go into a mission with an incomplete team filled with Cortez's brothers will be very appealing to many players.
Once again, agreed! I believe encouraging new players to train solo before venturing into coop could help decrease the number of unsuccessful missions, and thus, the consequent frustration. Now your idea about the twins sounds great! Entering a match with at least two players and filling the remaining spots with AI. Think of its potential for mentoring sessions! Love it. :D

Poetpix

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Re: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 11:10:45 PM
You guys aren't wrong, the player count is small and yeah I just started playing like last wed. And yeah the first thing I felt on the first level was confusion. The game does not do a good job at being a tutorial, I even made the mistake of picking haric on my first run. But I think even these fourms are barren with people. I assume they are all over on the steam fourms but who knows.

LoganMaze

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Re: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 01:56:57 AM
couldnt agree more with finishing the mmr system, everytime i see someone getting mad is because of annoying artificial difficulty, almost every problem i find in this game is because of the mmr system, it wouldnt be so much of a problem if the game rewarded a decent amount of gold even if you loose but its not like that, it screws you over if you lose.

Johnny Reb

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Re: Why Spacelords isn't in the top charts and what to do
Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 12:57:52 AM
couldnt agree more with finishing the mmr system, everytime i see someone getting mad is because of annoying artificial difficulty, almost every problem i find in this game is because of the mmr system, it wouldnt be so much of a problem if the game rewarded a decent amount of gold even if you loose but its not like that, it screws you over if you lose.
True, but I think losing isn't the main issue with MMR. In my opinion, the system itself doesn't work. Its filters cross geolocation and MMR, but are too narrow and not too expansive. It takes time for filters to reach their limit because they start off at their minimum (region and low MMR difference) and expand to their maximum (worldwide and high MMR difference), which always extends the search. Even when you encounter a suitable session, it fails to deliver suitable teammates or a suitable match. It needs a desperate simplification. Giving players freedom of choice over their level of difficulty and match-making preferences would skip the time consuming process of expanding filters from minimum to maximum, always searching for sessions at maximum filters that fit the player's settings. It inverts the engine in order to make expanding a last resort, and not a part of the process.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 01:00:55 AM by Johnny Reb »