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Topics - Velvet

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Community Events / Events targeted at new players
« on: October 31, 2013, 03:09:39 pm »
I'm sure I'm not the first person to consider or suggest something like this, but I may as well bring it up...

I think it's a pretty well known issue that GoIO has some difficulty holding onto new players despite pretty decent exposure. Now,  I think we all agree this game is awesome. The problem is that people have difficulty learning it, finding people to play it with, and that the game really only comes into its own in highly competitive matches between closely matched, experienced players. The clans and casters who make up this competitive system also fill important roles in the community; it probably wouldn't be wrong to say the majority of the game's most active players are in clans and have some current or former connection with high-level competitive play. All that said, it seems a reasonable conclusion that expansion and strengthening of the game's competitive scene will lead to a stronger, bigger community and generally be a good thing.

So, anything that brings new people into this scene is a good thing, right? I think one way to do this would be a competitive event, or series of events, specifically targeted at new and probably non clan-affiliated players, the people who probably don't yet appreciate the game's depth or have a proper grasp of how to play it; although I feel that involving the experienced tournament vets in such an initiative as much as possible could be highly beneficial.
There'd be a fairly broad set of challenges and goals for such an event, and it would almost certainly require design, structure and management pretty different from how most previous stuff has been handled. Note that this is more of an idea than a proposal. If something like this gets off the ground I would be happy to do the organisational work but a lot more thought needs to go into it, and anything like casting is beyond me. ^^

Now for a badly organised collection of my thoughts on how to run such an event and what it would consist of. If you don't like them, come up with better ones - I'd appreciate it. ;)

Target Audience: New players, primarily those who aren't affiliated with established, competitive clans and not yet really integrated or strongly aware of the GoIO community. Experienced players could also be involved to help newcomers prepare for and learn from the tournament, probably should have some in the crews to raise the standard of play high enough to be interesting.

  • Give new players a taste of how awesome Guns of Icarus Online can be when played at a high level
  • Give inexperienced players and startup clans who are intimidated by or don't feel ready for the "real" tournaments an opportunity to get into competitive play against teams that won't badly outclass them
  • Get more people interested in (and aware of) the competitive scene and by extension clans, the forums, etc.
How to get a supply of interested new players: This is a more difficult one. It's the people who aren't involved in the community we need to get to, which makes relying on advertising through forum a pretty weak option. Advertising in game and directing people to the forums might help but would probably require quite a lot of community assistance to gather enough players. We could just open the lobby to the first people to appear in general chat, but that has all kinds of problems, particularly that it doesn't really give the "tournament" experience necessary for the event to fulfil its goals. Suggestions would be very welcome here.

Involving experienced players: The idea I've been toying around with is that teams would consist of 8 players, with a half and half split between interested new players and experienced players from the clans - with at least one non-experienced captain required and a mix of skill levels on both ships. The teams would be finalised well in advance of the event, allowing the experienced guys the time to rapidly forge their team-mates into a competent force. This makes it something of a competition between the veterans, although all participants should be aware that the focus is on the new players and community growth rather than another mashup between the clans.

Format: My initial thought is a one shot event with several teams and lots of matches. A weekly format does have some advantages; it could function with significantly less people involved, yet still potentially involve more people than a oneshot event if it ran for a long time period. Assuming it was a one shot-thing it would probably be a pretty standard single-elimination tournament to minimise the number of games involved. (not sure here though, it would be pretty discouraging to a prospective competitive player to be knocked out from a bad start in their first match)

Entry Restrictions: The "inexperienced" entrants cannot be members or former members of any clan that is signed up for the new competitive system or has previously participated in any acknowledged tournament or competitive events. At the time of application they should have played less than 500 matches and be below level 6 in all classes, although if they void these requirements between their acceptance into the tournament and the time of the competition they will not be disqualified. Seem reasonable?

Well, that's about everything I have to contribute right now. I realise this is not a proper plan to build a whole event from - it's a collection of thoughts. Would anyone be interested in participating in such an initiative or helping it get off the ground? Anyone got any useful suggestions? (my ideas aren't great, it could be hardly difficult to come up with better ones)
I think the biggest issue with this is getting hold of a load of people who are both inexperienced at the game and not involved in real competitive play, yet interested enough to make the commitment. That alone may be a killer, I would particularly like thoughts on this issue.

Feedback and Suggestions / Pure-Utility Weaponry
« on: July 07, 2013, 08:00:58 am »
That is to say, weapons that do something useful that doesn't involve damage. The majority of the game's weapons focus on damage over utility, or utility through damage. I think a few completely non-damaging utility weapons could make flying a little more interesting and add more variety to loadouts, if done correctly.

To that end, I am posting a few ideas for utility weapons, in the hopes of creating some kind of productive discussion.

Types of Utility:

What end effect would you want from a utility weapon? I have a few ideas, but I'm interested to see what more experienced or imaginative people could come up with.
  • Disabling of weapons. Most disabling in GoI is done through destroying components, but I can imagine some ways that wouldn't require this.
  • Escape. Anything that could let you go faster, disable enemy weapons, slow down your enemy, hide you from your enemy or deter them from attacking you.
  • Cover, stealth or distraction could help when trying to approach a sniper line.
  • When sniping, weaponry that mitigates cover (flares), slows down enemies, deters them (mines are a damaging example, hard to think of a pure-utility deterrent).

Charybdis Smokebomb Sling: (or "Mammoth Tar Launcher")
A light gun that shoots smoke bombs. These would fly in a ballistic arc then deploy, much like mines - although they'd start releasing smoke instantly rather than using proximity detonation. The smoke would be non-damaging, but release in quite a large radius. Imagined usage would be to create "artificial cover" to get close to sniping teams. I'm sure it could be used more inventively, though.
The clipsize would be only 1, and the reload would be Flare-slow, or worse; it should need 2 of these guns to maintain constant smoke coverage.

Archimedian Distractor (Swizy's idea, although he didn't come up with the silly name...)
From the receiving end, it would look like this. The gun would fire a wide beam of light that can illuminate an entire enemy ship in super-bright light
There would again be no damaging effect, but the target ship would not be able to see to snipe components and would have trouble landing hits with any weapon. To help the idea of "blinding" ship, it'd be nice for targets to lose Line of Sight and be unable to spot enemies; so they will lose spots if they don't have an unblinded ally to maintain LoS. Another interesting bonus could be the ability to illuminate clouds, flare-style - although clouds should provide protection against the blinding effect. I don't think it would be seriously invading flare territory as it is not fire-and-forget; you need to keep the weapon trained on the enemy constantly to maintain a spot through a cloud.
If it uses ammunition at all, I'd argue for quite a large clip with another fairly long reload time. With no damage, it would only really suit a light mount.

This thing could hopefully be used both offensively or defensively to create some interesting battles.

The Docks / Able-bodied Celestial Dragons Needed! [TCD]
« on: July 03, 2013, 04:39:20 pm »
Hail traveller!

I am here on behalf of The Celestial Dragons, a multi-game spanning guild-clan-organisation. I'm posting as an assistant leader; the real boss is Fade Dragontear. (known in-game simply as Fade)

Our friendly (unhappy? I dunno) mascot, an as-yet unnamed Celestial Dragon

We're friendly, active, relaxed and sometimes dangerous. At the present we have only a few members, however we have a core of experienced players who are ready and willing to help newer players get up to fighting standard. We tend to fly the tag TCD on our ships.

Currently we're just too small to consider fielding a competitive team, but the prospect of future involvement in the Cogs and other competitive events is under vague consideration, sometimes. We'll see.

We have a steam-group although we tend to rely on Skype for out-of-game communications. Other options, such as Mumble, are being considered and may be put in use at a later date.

If you have an interest in joining, or you want to fight us for insulting your cousin's neighbour's wife in a dark alley one drunken Tuesday, or something, just add our leader Fade on Skype, and get in touch! (ID: fadedragontear) If you want to join, he'll probably add you to the TCD Skype group and we'll talk to you and get you involved in our games. :)
If Skype is a no-go for you for whatever reason, just drop a post here and we'll work something out; I can't really see why you'd hate Skype, but I feel I should cover my bases.

With our regards,

~Velvet, on behalf of The Celestial Dragons

Feedback and Suggestions / 4v4 Deathmatch map
« on: June 30, 2013, 01:52:45 pm »
Don't know if this has been brought up before or is secretly planned by the devs, but a deathmatch version of Flayed Hills could be really, really fun. Not serious or particularly viable for competitive play, but the sheer carnage would be spectacular. Fleet battles would bring a whole new level to the game. Right now you get some occasional huge, entertaining battles in Flayed Hills but the Crazy King format means there are rarely full on engagements, and matches are often quite long and a fairly large commitment to jump into. The deathmatch mode would have more frequent engagements that involve a larger proportion of the teams, and allow more casual, faster games that would hopefully fill up a little more quickly. And did I already say "sheer carnage"?

Right now 4v4 isn't getting enough love. Put the "fun" back in "lag"!

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