Author Topic: Why GoIO is not for every one  (Read 1849 times)

Offline HamsterIV

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Why GoIO is not for every one
« on: June 19, 2014, 02:34:52 pm »
I have a theory as to why some people quit Guns of Icarus after a few games while others have played it for 1000+ hours:

The game is an incredibly niche product. It underemphasis individual accomplishment and rewards a different set of skills than people expect from this genera of game. There is very little skill transfer from other games to Guns of Icarus.

Regardless of a player's skill level it is next to impossible to carry a game solo. This runs in the face of what most single player games and many multiplayer games on the market do; which is cast the player as the big damn hero. Players who enter this game wanting to lead the server with the highest kill to death ratio are bound for disappointment.

Many gamers have become accustomed to thinking they are "good at video games" because they have a skill set that many games reward. A player can take the snap reflexes and movement techniques they learned in counterstrike and apply them to Call of Duty, Battle field, or Grand Theft Auto.

The ability to pick up a new game and be proficient at it in a very short period of time has been taken for granted by much of the gamer populous. AAA developers are not blind to this which is why most games play very similar to each other. Guns of Icarus looks superficially like the standard game that most gamers are good at, yet the the skills to make a snap head-shot or dodge bullets as an individual are essentially worthless in this game. This leads to further disappointment

These feeling of disappointment are the source of many requests for boarding, personal weapons, and player driven carrier launched planes. They are an attempt to make Guns of Icarus more like what the average gamer is already good at. I am glad Muse has resisted these requests and kept Guns of Icarus a unique if niche product. There are dozens of games released every year that cater to the standard FPS skill set, but only one (technically 2) Guns of Icarus.

We as a community should understand Guns of Icarus will never have the mass appeal of AAA games. The type of person who can get into this game is a very small subcategory of gamer. We should not expect every one to enjoy the game as we do. Anybody who has bought the 4 pack yet is the only active account can attest to this.

Offline Dutch Vanya

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 03:31:51 pm »
'Tis the truth.

Offline RearAdmiralZill

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 04:04:49 pm »
Who you callin' a subcategory gamer?!


I can live with this.

Offline Tanya Phenole

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 04:05:29 pm »
Generally people seek 2 things in multiplayer games. Competitiveness and interaction. Those desires realise themselves in 2 branches of gaming activity - PvP and PvE. Successfull PvP player and PvE player - are completely different gamers, with different desires, online hours and different demands to the game. First ones attached to their own stats and achievements, like win counts, kill/death ratio, etc . Second ones prefer being a part of group with clear role. That is why in classic MMOs we see lot of PvP activities for solo/small groups, and so much PvE realised as raids. Organised PvP raids are rare. PvE solo gamers are very inactive and generally not involved into game's community, as they play MMOs similarily to single.

 Current skrimish mode of GoI is a bit uncomfortable for both types of player. Stereotypical PvP gamer has to give up his interests for team, he is unable just leave the losing group, because he can't win alone. Stereotypical PvE gamer misses redemption from game - idea of fighting for the fight, without loot  and rewards, is pretty weird for him.

Of course, stereotypes are not living people, and people, who are balanced with both sides stayed in GoIO after mess of novice matches, ignoring difficulties of language barriers and social interactions.

Personally, I predict that adventure mode release would attract significantly more people, as it will be more standart  gaming activity - PvE for group of players. Tons of multiplayer games wih different mechanics succeeded on this model, they have high sales rate in steam.


Also, it is great that skirmish mode was released before adventure mode. If adventure mode would be released first, skirmish mode wouldn't have got it's recognition and had no chance to develop into some kind of e-sport we have now.

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 04:34:22 pm »
Tanya's right that GOI sits in a strange space, but I am not sure the diction is between PvP and PvE. As I have read gaming has 4 distinct draws: Social, Exploration, Competition, and Mastery.

Social - Interacting with other people in an interesting context
Exploration - Seeing new things for the first time
Competition - Besting others in fair (pseudo fair) competition
Mastery -  Being in the "Zone". Where a combination of twitch reflexes and muscle memory put you in an almost zen state.

The PvE games tend to be big on Social and Exploration where as PvP games tend to be big on Competition and Mastery. Guns of Icarus Skirmish sits on both the Social and Competition draws while having limited Exploration and Mastery. Adventure mode will probably add to the Exploration and lessen the Competition thus bringing it more in line with what the the PvE players expect.

Offline Argus Finkle-McGraw

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2014, 08:49:38 pm »
This was an interesting read.   I wonder though if your comments may be more applicable to 'why people don't stay more then a few weeks'  as opposed to a few days.

During the last steam sale I came to GoI with 3 friends.  Two of the friends lasted a couple of days, the third lasted a week.  All three of them claim the main reason they quit is because of the non-noob friendl game and toxic player base.  One even claimed 'this community is worse then dota 2'   (whichi on a whole, it clearly isnt')

Now we know you can't judge a community based on a couple of days of playing games, and you can't judge a community that swells to 1000% it's normal size during a steam sale.  But defintiely people should be aware that bad apples are ruining the game for at least some of the population.

Secondary to complaints about  the community (which I firmly believe they had outlier experiences) was the feeling of being 'not ready' for team play.

So that being said I can't help but wonder if we can't keep more of the beginners if we had a better starter experience.   I  think (searching the forums I see I am not nearly alone in this idea) that one solution would be AI pilots in the practice matches (of various skill levels) to give people more practice time outside of the competition.

Perhaps it something they are working on with GoI adventure mode, but a as a new player who loves this game I would love to see a larger community both in and out of the game.

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2014, 09:04:18 pm »
I agree, good point about sacrificing individual glory, but another required skill is radio discipline, being able to give/take orders and feedback.

It's similar to more 'realistic' games like ARMA or EVE that have a bigger emphasis on teamwork and voice comms. Personally I am also excited for arena commander v2, which will introduce multi-person ships.

@tanya speaking of which, I think EVE battles are a good example of pvp raids.

@seranis, generally asking questions and reaching out is good. My perspective is probably skewed though because I read all the forum guides before I started playing, so I (partly) knew what to ask.

Offline NallyNally

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2014, 09:23:21 pm »
Ah, interesting topic. I assume Hamster's referencing the old "Types of players" text that sets us in card suits.

That's Spades dig, (Exploration) Clubs smash, (Confrontation) Diamonds shine, (Achievement) and Hearts care. (Socialization)

I agree that GoIO requires a skillset that's not common to many players nowadays. Hell, some people will actually be amazed if you just time things right without indication.

Another big reason, I would say, is that while it's not impenetrable and it's damn easy to learn the game by playing novice games, reading a guide and asking CAs, is that most people really don't want to be arsed to learn the game. They just want to go in and win without having to learn anything. GoIO has nothing but contempt for you if you run a triple harpoon Squid, and God knows people like to pick shit that looks cool instead of what might actually work.

Also, no random number god matchmaking. While you play your ranked games in whatever mainstream title you play, you'll have to praise the sun as well as every other deity ever to get teammates that can, well, not even carry their weight, but at least be polite and not extremely bad. A fairly common event in your mainstream arena is either a team of 20 year olds with a single 10 year old squawker screaming bloody murder over some strategies, or a team of absolutely clueless tweens harassing a single 20 year old sane man who's then between the choice of ragequitting or just taking a free loss AND a free torture.

For all it's IMMENSE, TERRIBLE flaws, random matchmaking makes sure the community will live long and prosper, because it blends every win rate to about 50%, regardless of skill. GoIO has none of that, and to top it off has a high level community that mostly knows each other already. I wouldn't be surprised if most if not all posters in the forum have win rates over 70%, which would be unthinkable in a matchmade game. That creates frustration in the players who actually lose consistently enough for us to win consistently enough.

And that about sums it up, I think. Then again props to Muse, they've made one of the best designed games I've seen in years... I actually think it's MLG worthy and should be a huge success, but oh well.

@Seranis

I am curious about one thing: Did you guys stick to novice games, or just jumped right in? The game goes to great lengths to make sure that you'll learn the game by playing it in a slightly more controlled environment. Personally. most of my worse experiences with this game do come from novice games where people would just constantly ram for giggles or just grab the wheel and refuse to move, so that our team would lose for sure.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 09:32:51 pm by The Valz »

Offline Tanya Phenole

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 09:47:52 pm »

@tanya speaking of which, I think EVE battles are a good example of pvp raids.


Suprizingly, EVE was underpopulated for a long time, compared to the rivalry MMO-projects. I am not sure how the situation was outside Russia, but I remember a lot of articles about "what a great game, why it is so underestimated". That is why I chose buying WoW distributive instead of EVE's back in days. 
So the situation is pretty simular to GoI.

Still, EVE provides a lot of personal redemtion - after playing for some time, you have your ship, skills and loot with you. It is pretty similar to the luggage of average PvE raider. People still fight for the loot, locked to economics and alliance politics, not for pure competitiveness. We don't have anything like that in GoI.

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 10:06:32 pm »
@The Valz
I tried looking up all sorts of things to get the correct terminology down for the 4 sorts of motivations to play, but at no point did I look for "Types of Players." I was initially introduced to the concept through Extra Creditz, which explained that most successful games engage the player on two or more of these motivations. GOI is a weird combo of Social Killers.

Offline NallyNally

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2014, 10:18:42 pm »
@HamsterIV

Oh, I see. I actually re-looked it up. It's a 1996 article called "Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suit MUDs" by Richard Bartle. Had a lot of influence on MMOs and the like. So maybe the Extra Creditz article (Or thing) is influenced by it as well. Wouldn't know. The principles seem the same, minus mastery.

Well, you got it right. It's Social-Killers, although you could throw in some mastery too. After all, you'll get better at shooting guns by shooting guns. I wouldn't say that being the twitchiest twitch in your arena is mastery per se.

Offline vyew

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2014, 10:25:48 pm »
Disagree on not being able to transfer skills from regular AAA FPS games.

Personally I found my twitch shooting skills from CoD and Halo (I hail from the land of consoles) apply to engineering, and some jumping skills from Halo also transferred.
Grenade throwing/any guns with ballistic arcs transferred pretty well to the projectile weapons of GoIO (although the duration of travel is much longer).
I was a terrible sniper in Battlefield, but since Battlefield has projectile drop and velocity, compensation skills carried over.
Many players do say that Tribes: Ascend's projectile velocity inheritance is pretty good for learning the same concept in GoIO.
General reflexes are certainly useful in GoIO for dodging rams, hydro etc, just less so than FPSs.
In terms of piloting, giving arcs to gunners is not unknown in FPS territory. In Halo, learning to drive the Warthog properly in order to give the turret gunner good constant arcs without also exposing your Warthog to enemy fire for too long is pretty tough, since everyone has the ability to quickly destroy your vehicle.
You can certainly solo (as in, you and your crew) carry your team to victory in GoIO :)

Edit: Forgot to add in Planetside 2, where occasionally there are exhilarating moments where your highly coordinated, communicative and severely outnumbered platoon can delay and even defeat a vastly larger uncoordinated enemy. Also there is an air vehicle called the Liberator which has a dedicated pilot, main gunner and tail gunner which requires very good communication and individual skill between its crew to function at its peak efficiency role of targeted bombing.


Really there are only 2 concepts not transferrable from your typical AAA FPS:

1) Teamwork. Most AAA FPS don't need much teamwork since individual accomplishments are influential for winning the matches. Furthermore communication is not encouraged in pub matches.

2) No gameplay unlockables, thus the game gets boring fast to players expecting to unlock new ammo, ships, tools over time etc.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 10:44:08 pm by vyew »

Offline Argus Finkle-McGraw

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 01:32:02 am »
@The Valz - my friends that quit the game had bad experiences in the novice matches.   They did the tutorials and then had several games of practice where we had loads of fun.   It was shortly into the novice matches where we would occasionally get the bad/obnoxious team mate.   

The point I wanted to make was that it wasn't how niche the game is but rather the new player experience (perhaps more so during a steam sale) that make some players quit.

Offline Imagine

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 02:20:03 am »
@The Valz - my friends that quit the game had bad experiences in the novice matches.   They did the tutorials and then had several games of practice where we had loads of fun.   It was shortly into the novice matches where we would occasionally get the bad/obnoxious team mate.   

The point I wanted to make was that it wasn't how niche the game is but rather the new player experience (perhaps more so during a steam sale) that make some players quit.

The best way to learn the game is to attach yourself to a veteran, and learn.

And I mean really actually pay attention to what they like to do, and at appropriate times, inquire as to why they did what they did. If you have someone approach matches with that notion, this player base is probably one of the most welcoming you'll ever have.

The problem is there are too many of those who don't have the will or patience to actually learn and communicate in a manner which is not hostile, leading to some poor player interactions. It's too bad your friends decided to give up so easy, but that's how it often goes, I'd say that having 10% retention of new players is about the number the game has from every sale.

Offline NallyNally

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Re: Why GoIO is not for every one
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2014, 06:03:21 am »
Hah, we might be on to something here! I'd honestly say GoIO suffers from early game hell until you get the notions down. Imagine makes a good point: The best way to learn the game is to stick to veterans. But I do remember my novice matches being terrible unless I steered myself, and almost MOBA-level toxic.

And if you don't stick to novice games, you'll cause high level people to stack against you, because most high level engineers aren't very keen on wacky builds and pilots. Or just make them annoyed at you, which in turn might take from your experience.

People are just not ready to talk stuff over without taking offense at the smallest things, apparently. Maybe on the next sale Muse should give rewards to CAs for overlooking novice matches, and make their chat match only or something. Just an idea.