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Does a "fear" of experienced (or pro) players keep you from playing Sins online?

By on November 23, 2008 8:08:00 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

DirtySanchezz

Join Date 03/2008
+96

 

I've come across this sentiment in a couple threads so I thought it might be time for a separate discussion.  Does a fear of experienced players and/or pro players keep you from coming online?

My advice is to accept that you have to take your lumps and pay your dues in order to become experienced and also to look over the player records before a game is about to start and politely request that the teams be balanced and mention that you're new to the online game.  In my experience if you say that you're new to the online game players will try to balance out the teams.

Also, you guys can play the game online as humans v. computer until you feel a little more comfortable playing online.  You might even try to set up some human v. human games with other people who are willing to play human v. computer.  You could also title games, "New Players Only".

Another thing to remember in a team game is that you personally don't need to be winning in order for your team to be winning and you don't have to be elite to help your team.  Even if you lose, try to enjoy being as annoying and as big of a pain in the arse as you can--delaying the fall of your empire and distracting your team's opponents helps your team.  So, even if you get beaten when you're first starting out--try to enjoy the challenge of being a pain in the butt--enjoy the game as a team game and enjoy doing what you can to help your team.

 

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November 23, 2008 9:28:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have avoided online play until now because i get absolutely destroyed within 30 minutes by multiple fleets.  I was playing a 3v3 with two very seasoned teammates and the enemy bypassed their planets/fleets to take out mine specifically.  Plus i had about 50,000 bounty placed on my head in the first opening 10 minutes somehow.  After that i stopped playing online.

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November 23, 2008 9:43:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I should hope it wouldn't. Mainly, because most of the better players would help you with any questions and pointers to be a better player.

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November 23, 2008 9:55:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I play with other friends who own the game online through ICO since it's efficient.  I haven't played against random opponents after bad experiences with Zerg rushes in StarCraft many many years ago.  Hacks and mods are also very relevent so you can never be sure if everyone is playing fair.  It's not worth trying.

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November 23, 2008 10:22:27 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The flipside of the coin: I'm an experienced player and I want to fight other experienced players. It gets extremely boring to just bash wave after wave of beginners.

Even if I for example label the game "2 vs 2 skilled", still tons of totally unskilled players join.

 

 

One particular problem is the general lack of players on ICO. Sometimes it takes ages to start a game. People join a game, see my stats and then leave. "No thanks, I stand no chance".

Unfortunately this leads to smurfing, which means deliberately creating new accounts in order to pose as a beginner. If some skilled players are unable to host a game for some amount of time because people do not want to fight them, they just make a new, fresh account with null stats. This makes them appear far less threatening, people join their games and once ingame they get totally humiliated after a few minutes by a huge fleet.

The reason is that it is not possible to distinguish a legitimate new player and a smurf, their player stats look exactly the same.

The result is that skilled players get bored and eventually leave the game due to lack of challenge, while new players on the other hand leave because they get run over every game.

My advice: Don't smurf if your skilled.

 

 

If you're a new player, don't fear the pros. It's like this in almost every game, as the new guy you are at the bottom of the food chain, that's just the way it is.

If you get defeated, try to find out what you did do wrong or did not do the best way possible. Watch the replays, try to understand and imitate what the skilled player is doing.

Last but not least, communicate! Most skilled players will eagerly tell you what you did do wrong after the game. You just need to ask them.

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November 23, 2008 11:18:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

not just in sins, but in any game. I never was an intense mp player and never will be. and usually I dont play nearly often enough to keep track and improve enough. but I don't mind. I don't intend to be a pro, I just want to have some fun and playing larger team games is just so much different with all the team work and coordination, you just dont have that in sp.

seriously, I saw a player in ico with 300 games. I don't even have 300 mp games over all the games I ever played in my life. not online at least. but it's fine.

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November 23, 2008 1:56:33 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I totaly agree with Raknor. Some "pro" players might be a jack@$$, but there are jack@$$es in every game don't let that ruin your online experience and decide not to play MP anymore. The only way to get better on MP is to keep playing and learn new strats from other people. There are plenty of people out there that are willing to give you tips and help you out. So people come on and get out there and play MP!

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November 23, 2008 2:10:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think online play is highly overated and a great deal of the dev time is wasted dealing with online stuff(which is numerous). To the detrament of what is obviously a preferred single player experience. The game sold half a million copies, but yet online players say they have no opponents.

That means most time (dev) should be use to flesh out the single player game.

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November 23, 2008 2:16:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I haven't played online against random people, no.  Friends, yes. 

Its not "fear" that stops me, its just that I've found most people don't play casually, and they seem to like eliminating parts of the game that I really enjoy.

Example, in HomeWorld2, when playing online (the few times I tried) everyone wants to set starting resources to *Highest* and ResourceRate to *Highest*.  Why?  They don't want to deal with deciding how to spend their resources.  They just want to build a big fleet and fight another big fleet.

Admitedly, I havent' tried, but I expect Sins will be the same.  I imagine most people will set the resources as high as possible...  probably disable Pirates and ignore diplomacy.  Oh, theres another one...  the *few* games I've played online that have a Diplomatic componant...  well, lets say most people don't seem to honour it.

Maybe I should start a Clan but the Clan isn't a team that plays together against other Clans...  its a group of people that know they can play together online because other members are not jack@$$es.  Hmmmmm...

Snazzed

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November 23, 2008 2:53:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I agree with people here.  I don't have time or desire to play the game 80 hours a week in order to be competitive online.  Which is why the lack of a campaign is such a disappointment.  And I'm sure there's some formulistic way to win, and if you don't do it exactly right you'll never do well.  Online play takes away the thinking aspect of games, you just have to spam whtever the games' most broken unit is. 

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November 23, 2008 3:12:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

 

Personally it's all about the speed, I'm sorta cursed in that department. I enjoy huge games with long durations, not too big fleetsizes or too fast resourcegathering either, wich means every cap is a true investment and seeing it blow up is truly painfull. But many hour long games don't make for good online experiences, I assume more people want faster games online, and even with the save feature I assume it'd be hard to reassemble the players to continue the game at a later time for a huge and slow game. Ontop of that, I'd like to see some real diplomacy going on, as much of a "Roleplaygeek" thing it is, Alliances shouldn't be taken lightly

 

Anyways, I'd be willing to throw myself out there and test it out, but I do have a few questions though, how about 2v1 etc.? Are truly skilled players able to take on 2 lesser ones and make for an interesting match? Would a 6man freeforall with diplomacy make for some "intergalactic politics" going on, or aren't people that interested in these game modes? That could be fun with the right people

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November 23, 2008 3:17:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Too bad online isn't as big in this game as others.  Wish it was.  I haven't played online in a while b/c my school's internet sucks...but I'd like to...

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November 23, 2008 3:35:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

A fear of playing online?  No, I've played many other games competitively.  Sins just doesn't feel like a competitive RTS.  In a 1v1 2/3 of the tech trees do not come into play, and above that games will take over an hour to finish.  That's totally fine when I'm playing single player at my own pace, or a co-op game with friends.  But with strangers I will likely not be able to save and continue later with?  No deal.

 

While selfish, I concur with wbino that most updates should be aimed at single player and co-op players.  The fact that I see so many threads on 'nobody online' should make it fairly obvious to all that most people play this for the same reasons.  The focus of the first expansion makes it clear that Ironclad is aware of this (stronger defences = longer games) and is not catering to the competitive online crowd.

 

As for Raknor's discussion on smurfing, this happens in every single online RTS.  It's just worse in Sins; because it doesn't have an automatch ladder system, people have 100% control over the oppenent's they play.  Few people will willingly play someone who is 150-15, so those players are forced to smurf to find games...then run over casual players, who often get disgusted and leave online play for good.  It's an unfortunate little death spiral, and there's no solution.  I refuse to do it, but most of friends have done this at some point in other RTS' because they just want to play; but can't because the custom game players keep booting them.  I can totally understand the arguements from both sides, but what can you do?  Pros need to accept that not everyone wants to play someone well beyond their skill level, while some less skilled players do need to 'man up' and take their lumps if they ever want to improve.  I suspect I have better odds at learning telepathy than people have at coming to this understanding though...

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November 24, 2008 5:35:41 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Fear? Not really. Sins is a long game. I don't want to have to endure dealing with one or more asshats for a long game. So, I play with friends, or solo.

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November 24, 2008 6:05:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Does a "fear" of experienced (or pro) players keep you from playing Sins online?

NO!

Its fear of wasting 2 or 3 or more hours of my life just to find someone disconnects or indeed that i need to spend 5 hours more just to finish single game...

Sins simply MUST introduce number of smaller / shorter competitive game modes together with proper clan support if it is to see remotely serious presence on line...

Something I have been saying since day 1 pretty much - but instead of getting something like this we are getting 3 mini expansion that will most likely make games even longer... Not that this is bad for skirmish - in fact - I will be buying all of them coz I love the game however online aspect will never properly come to life without what I said above... It is as simple as that really... 

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November 24, 2008 6:58:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

No, but my horrible Internet connection does...

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November 24, 2008 7:05:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

What the online game really needs is an "advanced start". Start with a higher pop cap, a small fleet and 2-3 close together worlds, and advance the pirate npc's accordingly.

I agree that the lack of use of diplomacy absolutely sucks, basically it's a trust issue. A ceasefire will buy you time, but unless there are locked teams, noone signs a peace treaty or shared vision, though trade is common because of the credits. With an advanced start you can cut out an hour or two of play so that slower strats like proper resource managemnet on normal or low resources is effective and culture can be more effective than fleet wars (although sly culture is a great offence in fast games when you have more or less equal fleets but cannot yet risk them in confrontation).

The point is, this is just too long a game for random players, and multiplayer is the best part of ths game but it is better suited to scheduled matches inside clans or LAN fests. Online multiplayer saves need to be able to replace human players who cannot resume with AI players, who can then be replaced by the human player if they become available later in the game (especially as part of multiple saves). Although the AI difficulty might be a bit of a problem, a custom AI scheme created as part of a profile would go a long way towards balancing this, though to prevent broken configurations being used by unscrupulous players, there should be a lockout of players who play less than 50% of a game's running time (stops them basically having a better player farm for them then coming back to clean up). I don't know if these suggestions can be implemented or if they are feasible as far as net traffic is concerened, but we need something to keep the game alive online (though this is truly an aewsome game at LANs, everyone needs to try it!)

Maybe scenario maps are the answer. A set of well-known, incredibly tough scenario maps would give smurfs the chance to really bend some muscle against unfairly boosted Ai or N00bs and see how good they are. The whole scenarios thing would also reduce the learning curve, which has been stated many times (no need for a story, just a few objective based maps so people can get a feel for the game that tutorials simply cannot impart)

I am hoping that we, the community, can prevent the death of SoaSE online so that everyone can enjoy the agon y of seeing your entire empire being eaten by some high level Advent DPS freak, or feel the exhilaration of leading a beefed up Vasari force through phase space to strike faster than the enemy can respond, or of creating a TEC commercial juggernaut and coordinating your strike with a pirate attack for devastating effect. Sins is the bomb!

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November 24, 2008 7:38:35 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Sins is indeed a bomb! One of the best games i played in my entire gaming life (which is more than 25 years long now!) but there is nothing that can save it online but serious rethink on strategy regarding the future of this wonderful product...

Expansion packs?

Yes!

But like this:

 

1st expansion - Entrenchment - leave it as is since it will introduce much needed defensive depth into games strat...

2nd expansion - Call it whatever - focussing on number of different shorter, smaller and competitive game modes together with proper clan support and various leaderboards... This one will reanimate online scene as well as provide some extra fun for SP and skirmish guys since new game modes would naturally be playable off line too...

3rd expansion - Call it whatever - full blown SP campaign (perhaps together with an editor)

 

This strat would ensure one juicy LONG LIVE THE SINS and pave the way for number of future sequals...

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November 24, 2008 8:21:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Why is it that everyone who hasn't played online assume an online game takes so long? Big tip. Online is quicker as allies work together - SP takes ages as AI ignores your requests/advice most of the time, and wimps out of fights which make it hard to smash a fleet. Two humans who commit to a fight can knock another down quicker. Therefore quicker game.

And yes, if you are new, I probably would beat you one on one. But you can also learn as you go. And if you are in a larger game (4v4,5v5), you may end up winning due to allies etc... Just come and have fun...

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November 24, 2008 8:49:26 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I played online when I first got this game, and think I was a "pro" at the time- at least, my win-loss record was something like 10 and 1. I stopped playing simply because I couldn't afford to, for the sake of my schoolwork.

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November 24, 2008 10:16:14 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I do not play online simply because I haven't got the time to do so.

I should reserve over an hour to play a game of Soase online, but I simply have too much REALLY important 'real life' stuff to do to sacrifice myself completely over a piece of entertainment programming.
As a comparison, during a typical medium 2v2 skirmish game which takes me ~1,5 hours to the point of the game is won/lost (usually won ) I pause the game about 50 times and save/leave/reload later about 3 times, because there is something requiring me to close the game.

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November 24, 2008 10:26:09 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

i have been DEATHLY afraid of almost all competitive online play.  Whether it be in an FPS/RTS or on xbox live, taking a game online takes a lot of courage for me to muster up.  the only exception to this is TF2, i never have a problem playing that online.

i always look forward to playing a new game online and i tell myself, "oh this is going to be a great game. i'll play online day 1 and become really good, etc."  but when the game finally comes out, all that excitement i've built up becomes useless.  i find myself treating the 'multiplayer' button like a person with leprosy.  it's because i'm always so worried about all the incredibly skilled players, hackers, griefers and assholes in general that plague the multiplayer world.

sins is a game i really think would be a lot of fun to play online (i've played a few skirmishes), but RTS games for me have always been very hard to learn and excel at.  i enjoy playing RTS, but am absolutely dreadful at it.  i'm always afraid that i'll be matched up with some bully opponent who uses every cheap unit/tactic to take me out and then treat me like the bad guy when i get sick of getting my ass handed to me and leave.  am i supposed to stay a fight an obviously lost battle?  it's a waste of time.  i'd rather leave and start an offline skirmish.  but let's say i get the balls to go online again, people would see that i left before the end of the game and boot me from their game!

and with all this talk of "smurfing?"  yeah, thanks for the heads up.  now i know i won't be going online.  not unless i can find some nice people who are willing to play a extremely green newcomer fairly and be willing to help him out with his laughable skills.

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November 24, 2008 10:59:21 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Hey guys, I've played about 6 mp games of Sins, my friend who just got Sins, well, it was his very first computer game EVER (not counting WoW) and he's never in his life played a RTS game vs another human so far.  So he and I are looking for another 2 players who want to play a game for fun some time in the future.  We know we may not win, and that's fine with us, but we just don't want to be slaghtered by someone calling us "gay" while we try to learn (that's another topic completly, but we are really shocked how much that word is used given that it's like 2008, not 1958).

 Oh, and we can beat a team of 2 AI on Hard now, but we know that humans are much more of a challenge.

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November 24, 2008 11:03:38 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

i definatly don't game online for this reason. i rarely play competativly against human players, because i much prefer the feeling of jeopedy, when you both face a hard opponant, and band together, and then smash them apart. this is particularly true of large scale games like SINS and Supreme Commander.

on the occasions where i have been against humans, they were friends, and we intended to make as big fleets (armies in SupCom) and smash them together for the lulz

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November 24, 2008 11:12:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Two sides of this coin: 

- New players - need to play 10-20 games against good players and actually study the replays from the other guy's perspective.  Yes you will get crushed going up against better players, but you will never get better if you are looking for an evenly matched "5 games played" set of teams.  Put your ego on hold for a little while, ignore your stats, and learn the game.  Then if you want to you can start a new nick when you actually have the ropes down.  

Replays are key!  For example, I watched a replay last week where the opposing team was talking about how to use a giant resource exploit (since removed), and how everyone in their well-respected clan could do it.  Very instructive :/

Read HuntingX's old threads on build orders.  They don't really apply in full any more, but the formulas were helpful in getting everyone up to a certain level of play.  (Someone should update these for 1.1)

- Experienced players - need to make sure everyone knows what they are getting into before the game starts.  Yes you are going to win this game if your team has a combined 1000 games and the other team has 100.  But a) the weak team will be less likely to play you again or get better the game will be less fun c) you will quickly run out of people to play against. 

Be good sports, don't use exploits, make evenly-matched teams even if it splits up your little group of buds, and spend some of your time teaching the nubs how to play.  In the longterm it will really pay off by raising the level of the community.    

Peace

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November 24, 2008 11:13:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I sure am afraid of experienced online players, and not just in Sins.  Like a lot of other folks who have posted here, I'm just not what you might call a "dedicated" or "competitive" gamer.  I love videogames and probably play them a great deal more than is healthy for my body or social life... but aside from the occasional friendly game of super smash brothers or Mario Kart 64, I just don't have that competitive edge.  I think I've played one multiplayer game of Sins ever, and that was with a group of friends.

I never really get competitively good at most games, especially strategy games, because I get caught up in the atmosphere of the game... what the units look like, what I name my planets and cap ships, etc.  I get involved in the fantasy because that's the reason that I play... to get away from reality as much as possible (a friend of mine calls it the "imaginary universe").

I also have the logistical issues of shoddy internet connections (firewalls and locked ports at school, extremely amateur and unreliable ISP at home) and feel really bad about burdening strangers with my connectivity issues.  It's frustrating enough to my friends =P

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