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Author Topic: EiR:R on Steam: A Plan of Action  (Read 1700 times)
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TheVolskinator Offline
Administrator / Lead Developer
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Posts: 3048



« on: April 19, 2020, 11:36:57 am »

I've dropped the ball when it comes to presenting a clear plan for EiR's future. I'd like to correct that mistake, so here's a post outlining the checklist of what we want and what we need. It will likely, eventually, contain links to other, more specialized posts regarding the wishlist for launcher features, to-do lists, balance gripes, and so on.

I encourage every member of the community to post in response to this. Your input may not directly influence the decision-making process, but it will let us know what you guys would like, in general. Who knows, down the road, your input now may be taken into direct consideration, and may be implemented.

Launcher stuff/"stuff that we can't really directly control"
 - New launcher: Our current one is out and outdated. When launched via Steam, it will crash once all players have readied up and the user hits the big red "to battle" button. It will send the battlefile, but it will NOT launch the game, no matter how many times they try. They will have to manually launch the mod via Steam, and this is an unacceptable and extra step. Until it's ironed out, I'm not comfortable with hard launching us on Steam.
   - Having talked a bit with our new launcher guy on the night of 18 April, he's more confident in his ability to manipulate the launcher.
---------------------------
Launcher Wishlist: http://forums.europeinruins.com/index.php?topic=29535.0

NOTE: Photoshopped screenshots that display what exactly I mean in each instance will eventually be included.

 - Pre-set company builds for new companies: a total of three; two "pre-built", "optimal" companies for each doctrine (such as Riflerush or a TR ATG wall for Infantry), with a third "open" doctrine.
   - Builds with doctrine upgrades and units might be too much complication for our coder, and too stressful on the server (keeping track of 3x the normal load of companies, doctrine selections, etc.).
   - All three builds would be editable; the first two would simply come "pre-built".
 - Refill Company function: refills lost units to a company based on the last battlefile; will not return vet units.
   - Will not be "on" by default; requires player interaction in order to use.
 - Division of "common" (i.e. Sherman) and "technical" (i.e. Medium Tank, M4A1) names, as seen in the example screenshot.
 - Ability to limit the number of a given upgrade in a company (i.e. limit of 30 Fausts, 20 BARs, or 3 Panzer 4 skirts).
 - Adjustable "soft cap" system; after a certain number of units of any type (i.e. Volks) are put into a company, the price for every subsequent squad of that same time will increase by a set, adjustable amount, be it by a percentage or by a flat addition (+5 MP).
 - Edited Company screen that would include company win/loss.
 - Sort-of matchmaking system: clearly displays the combined winrates of each team in a given battle, with winrate being drawn from every company in a player's profile, not just the company that's in a lobby. This would give a very, very clear indication of whether a stack was being formed or not.
 - Votekick option.
 - Removal of the Warmap, entirely.
---------------------------
Doctrine Design
 - My vision for EiR doctrines was one of thematics: melding the old vCoH/EiR flavors of doctrine with historical information that included orders of battle and what vehicles and equipment were used by a certain, real-life division. Each doctrine would be "based on" one or more of these real-life divisions, and whatever information that I could draw up for them would serve to inspire what the doctrine would offer in terms of unlocks and buffs.

I want to make that, very, VERY clear: my historical geekery serves as *INSPIRATION*, not as a direct influence on balance or design. I could fiddle with weapon stats, health, armor, and so on to push the mod toward realism, but I haven't, nor do I plan to. Below, I will post a link to an updated spread of what I envision each doctrine to be. These may change over time.

LINK:
---------------------------
PR:
 - Presentable, standardized mod description that can be copy-pasted into various forums. Should be a summary of the mod with a chosen 1-3 screenshots and a link to our forum and Discord.
 - Finalized preview screenshots; these would display our in-game assets.
---------------------------
SQL/general present ability:
 - Unit text to be "sanitized"; all names to be reverted to vCoH. Shermans are Shermans, Riflemen are Riflemen, King Tigers are King Tigers. Variants (like the M4A1 Sherman in Infantry and Airborne) should have their differences noted in the small unit description.
   - Alternatively, reverse the current formatting (formal historical name, our in-mod lingo, and the unit type) to the following: In-mod lingo/vCoH name, IRLish name, and the unit type. Example: Up-gun Sherman (M4A3(76)W; Med. Tank).
   - Having unit types/classification that players can reference is vital as far as I am concerned. The M8 Scott might be implemented into 10 different mods in 10 entirely different ways. A quick and dirty classification that lets players know that "it only kills tanks" or "it's basically artillery" would go a long way in easing new players into the mod. Even if we call it a Scott instead of 75-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, M8, that doesn't help the new guy if he doesn't know what *our* Scott DOES.
   - Note that separated names are on the launcher wishlist.
 - Launcher text needs to be edited and formatted properly. Sloppy editing and text simply looks bad, and gives off a mediocre impression to any visitors. I, personally, insist on a high standard in this regard. It's not difficult to do, and it adds a lot of polish to the mod.
---------------------------
Balance (to be deliberated on before being passed on to the RGD section):
 - Schedule a meeting on Discord between as many of us as possible, and log everyone's grievances. Even if we can't address all of them, I'd like to know exactly what people take issue with in EiR. Posts from the community are also more than welcome.
---------------------------
RGD (raw coding) and patches in general: http://forums.europeinruins.com/index.php?topic=29534.0
 - Finish R046. Notes to be posted.
---------------------------
Current priority list (in Volsky's head):
1 - Finish R046
2 - Presentable mod desc. to be distributed to various forums.
3 - Finalized preview screenshots, esp. for Steam
4 - Edit and format all launcher text (units, descriptions, unlocks).
5 - Proper launcher icons where possible.
6 - Remaining housekeeping items (TBD).
7 - Soft launch on Steam.
8 - Hard launch on Steam.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 11:55:58 am by TheVolskinator » Logged

Quote from: tank130
I want to ensure we have a 100% decision on the process before we do the wipe.
If not, then I wipe, then someone gets something they shouldn't, then it gets abused, then the shit hits the fan and then I ban shab.

Getting EiR:R Released on Steam

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aeroblade56 Offline
Development
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Posts: 3912



« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2020, 11:55:56 am »

Sounds pretty good a clear set plan for everyone to get on board with.

I suggest for the descriptions having mysth look at the hard numbers and crunching then down into %.

If your coming from steam or vcoh you don't know what 0.1 0.5 long range acc is. But if you put something like -5% cooldown

Accuracy at all ranges is increase 10% everyone knows percentages without having to open up corsix. It would have the descriptions not being bloated with huge lines of wind talk.

I would suggest to appoint either mysth or unknown as a weekly coordinator on things to be looked that can be fixed in a small amount of time. Mysth should be able to code those in relatively easy without making you do more work.

Maybe enact a balance team. Your forums are the greatest connection to players abroad and it helps if just regular community members are heard without yelling in discord or the rage of in-game nonesense.

Overall it's a very good plan and it's great to see the simplification of our most presentable assets in the launcher.

+1
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You are welcome to your opinion.

You are also welcome to be wrong.
TheVolskinator Offline
Administrator / Lead Developer
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Posts: 3048



« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2020, 12:01:25 pm »

If it's possible to allow users to swap their displays from a decimal to a percent, then we can try that route. Otherwise, I'd like to retain the use of decimals. A common complaint in CoH2 in the early days was that it wasn't clear whether bonuses were additive (+0.1 accuracy) or multiplicative (1.1 accuracy). As buffs stack on top of one another, they can begin to snowball if they're multiplicative--which is the system we use--and so users were coming up with incorrect calculations when trying to make balance arguments against vet or how powerful a given buff was.
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Unkn0wn Offline
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Posts: 18376


« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2020, 02:03:49 pm »

This is great indeed, well done. Fully supportive of everything you've laid out, though I do have a few additions to add.

1. The first and central one is that if we're indeed serious about taking this to steam and giving the mod proper exposure in hopes of bringing in new players (which we direly need), we need to have accessibility at the front of every design decision that is made. This needs to be applied not just to updated/new launcher but also to how every system (resource bonuses, doctrines, company builder, ...) functions as well as to more banal questions like how information is presented. The mod's complex enough as it is even if stripped down to the basics so every layer we add on top of that poses another risk of losing players along the way. That's why I think you're ultimately right to revert unit names, rework launcher descriptions, etc. Pre-set company builds are a great addition with this in mind as well, as is an "automatic refill" (auto-repurchase) button.

It's also why we would prob do well to streamline the doctrine screen - cut down the amount of abilities/units/upgrades per unlock. 1 "unlock" giving you 4 different units or 5 different upgrades is quite frankly a little bit overwhelming and in most cases just unnecessary. The more new units and upgrades we add to the game from vcoh the steeper the learning curve and the harder it becomes to balance the game. New units and upgrades are great but they should be clearly thought out and serve to fill a function, not just be added because "history" or "looks cool". With that in mind, it's worth thinking through whether we want some units like rangers or AB to become "core units" of each doctrine rather than requiring an unlock. Unlocks can then be kept for some real choices between a smaller pool of units. Probably no more than 1-2 units or upgrades per unlock.

I don't know whether we want to keep the distinction between top and bottom table doctrines or just move to a grid based unlock system that mixes it up. To some extent the two largely overlap already, with some top tables granting new abilities and weapons already anyway. Or entirely new units like 6 man volk squads, etc. Either way, we may want to re-think how we present the choices and how many we offer, focusing only on the more interesting stuff. (and thus cutting out small T1-T2 era clutter like "+2,5 sight when moving".  I would also like to advocate that ALL smaller buffs are generally made free/incur an automatic cost rather than having a system that clutters  the company page with tens of new unlocks that you then have to individually purchase on all your units. Smaller bonuses that are interesting enough can probably just be free, larger bonuses should still incur a resource cost and probably leave players the choice.

Mind you I'm not advocating for a full doctrine rework here, certainly not at this stage or before steam but we may want to think through whether there's already something we can do to simplify the current doctrines. I believe just a hotfix patch to rework a few abilities and unlocks (as well as make some cuts) across the different factions would go a very long way in addressing the issues with the current doctrine system. And ideally we can get rid of the tier requirements while we're at it and allow free deselection.

2. On balance, community meetings sound like a good idea, but we should also move to a system where indeed mysth or I can collect/make recommendations for smaller patches and ideally have someone like bolt code those in, so they don't have to go through you other than for server upload. (though ideally we should have a back-up person appointed for that as well). I think the current state of balance isn't too bad, and most issues stem from reward units or some of the newer doctrines which havent been as extensively tested. These should be relatively easy to flesh out but its important we are able to do so quickly and flexibly (with hotfixes when needed). Pricing something out should be an option of last resort only when a relatively quick patch (1-2 weeks max isnt an option.

3. On launcher, those are all great suggestions. Templates and refill button should be high priority for launcher improvements beyond the immediate fixes and stuff like warmap removal. I also think an availability system is a good addition, but lets also keep the hardcap option (for both units and upgrades) in the system just in case.

I would also add the following:
- simple first time in-launcher tutorial. When first launched prompt people if they want to receive a quick tutorial. Then through some text boxes run them through the different tabs and how the pages work.
- Many more tooltips (for upgrades, factions explaining main differences from vcoh, ...) + option extended tooltips
- Sound when game fills and you're being prompted to ready up. Get rid of extra RTL step.
- Upgrade/unit bar sliders (so the icons dont start overcrowding the screen, though fewer units/upg should be first approach Wink
- Expanded intel/company stat page. (people like data)
- Allow us to set gamemode or let players choose
- Reworked reward unit system -  also make reward units more rare.

That's just off the top of my head, I'll post some other thoughts in the launcher wishlist thread.
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Tachibana Offline
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Posts: 1282


« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2020, 02:58:26 pm »

re: Balance

Community meeting are bad. We've had dozens in the past, and nothing comes out of them other than hurt feelings and insults. Just take 2-3 people you actively trust and let them make decisions based off of community input they see, matches, replays, broadcasts and other such things. Community posts and input is good, but full on 10-20 person meeting never accomplish anything useful.

Same rule for the balance team really. The bigger the balance team becomes, the worse the output often is.
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tank130 Offline
Sugar Daddy
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Posts: 8967


« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2020, 03:44:57 pm »

re: Balance

Community meeting are bad. We've had dozens in the past, and nothing comes out of them other than hurt feelings and insults. Just take 2-3 people you actively trust and let them make decisions based off of community input they see, matches, replays, broadcasts and other such things. Community posts and input is good, but full on 10-20 person meeting never accomplish anything useful.

Same rule for the balance team really. The bigger the balance team becomes, the worse the output often is.

I tend to agree. Those on the team may not always make the right decision, but 20 people won't make the right decision every time either.
Probably best to have the "game design" methodology clearly laid out for the balance team to ensure their decisions are consistent with it.
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Illegal_Carrot Offline
Global Moderator
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Posts: 1037


« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2020, 01:56:10 pm »

This is all great to hear, good work! I really appreciate all of it, but had a few comments:
Quote
- Pre-set company builds for new companies: a total of three; two "pre-built", "optimal" companies for each doctrine (such as Riflerush or a TR ATG wall for Infantry), with a third "open" doctrine.
   - Builds with doctrine upgrades and units might be too much complication for our coder, and too stressful on the server (keeping track of 3x the normal load of companies, doctrine selections, etc.).
I'm not sure I quite understand this, but it also doesn't strike me as the best use of our resources. Advice and guidance should always be available on Discord and the forums. Perhaps we should update our player tutorials, they're all mostly linked on the News tab already.

Quote
- Removal of the Warmap, entirely.
As useless as the warmap is right now, does it really need to be removed once it's disabled? It could still be used for fun, or even for future community events.

Quote
PR:
 - Presentable, standardized mod description that can be copy-pasted into various forums. Should be a summary of the mod with a chosen 1-3 screenshots and a link to our forum and Discord.
 - Finalized preview screenshots; these would display our in-game assets.
This stuff doesn't seem too difficult. The post can be written in a day, I'm sure we can find the perfect screenshots to show off.

Quote
- Having unit types/classification that players can reference is vital as far as I am concerned. The M8 Scott might be implemented into 10 different mods in 10 entirely different ways. A quick and dirty classification that lets players know that "it only kills tanks" or "it's basically artillery" would go a long way in easing new players into the mod. Even if we call it a Scott instead of 75-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage, M8, that doesn't help the new guy if he doesn't know what *our* Scott DOES.
I'm going to share a completely different perspective here, which is that absolutely no part of the design of EiR should be based around other CoH mods, or on new players having certain expectations from playing other mods, or anything like that. If a player knows what an "M8 Scott" or a "75mm Howitzer" is, then they shouldn't have too much trouble figuring out what an 'M8 Scott, 75mm Howitzer' is. If they don't know what those things are, then it's really, really not that hard to find out a bunch of different ways. Ultimately, that's what a unit's combat rating  But adding descriptors like "(Ant.-Inf. Lght. Tnk.)" to every unit's name just makes everything messier.

Quote
SQL/general present ability:
 - Unit text to be "sanitized"; all names to be reverted to vCoH. Shermans are Shermans, Riflemen are Riflemen, King Tigers are King Tigers. Variants (like the M4A1 Sherman in Infantry and Airborne) should have their differences noted in the small unit description.
   - Alternatively, reverse the current formatting (formal historical name, our in-mod lingo, and the unit type) to the following: In-mod lingo/vCoH name, IRLish name, and the unit type. Example: Up-gun Sherman (M4A3(76)W; Med. Tank).
I'm not sure what all this naming stuff means, but I'll agree it all needs to be cleaned up. The current naming convention is pretty silly, especially in the Company screen. A lot of it is very cluttered and completely unnecessary, like 'Engineer Minesweeper (Anti-Mine)' and 'Riflemen; Hickory (Light Inf.)' and 'Fusiliers Marins "Marines" (Hvy. Inf.)'. If anything, new players are most likely to be confused by the fact that our Riflemens are now apparently Hickory smoked?
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Mysthalin Offline
Tired King of Stats
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Posts: 9048


« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2020, 04:09:48 am »

This is great indeed, well done. Fully supportive of everything you've laid out, though I do have a few additions to add.

2. On balance, community meetings sound like a good idea, but we should also move to a system where indeed mysth or I can collect/make recommendations for smaller patches and ideally have someone like bolt code those in, so they don't have to go through you other than for server upload. (though ideally we should have a back-up person appointed for that as well). I think the current state of balance isn't too bad, and most issues stem from reward units or some of the newer doctrines which havent been as extensively tested. These should be relatively easy to flesh out but its important we are able to do so quickly and flexibly (with hotfixes when needed). Pricing something out should be an option of last resort only when a relatively quick patch (1-2 weeks max isnt an option.


I tend to agree with Dire that community meetings are a bit of a faff. I think community members should just raise their concerns via balance chat/forums for discussion, rather than having meetings with too many people where few will be able to say much.

I also agree that devolving balance decision making for smaller stuff away from Volsky is a good idea. My preferred approach would actually be one based on consensus between me and Unknown. As we typically differ in our approaches to balance, we'd probably be more likely to get it "right" if any change that we make is based on both us agreeing to a change. Very simple process:

Step 1: Identify a unit that needs changing (either of us or community proposes).
Step 2: Agree direction of change (nerf or buff).
Step 2a: If agreement not made on direction of change, then no change happens. If agreement made, proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Agree type and size of change.
Step 3a: If agreement not made, then no change happens. If agreement made, implement change.

Really quick and efficient, with a built-in hard-stop mechanism to prevent either one of us going full Akranadas, while encouraging getting to consensus if something does need fixing (as otherwise no change happens).
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aeroblade56 Offline
Development
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Posts: 3912



« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2020, 05:16:53 pm »

be one based on consensus between me and Unknown. /quote]
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tank130 Offline
Sugar Daddy
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Posts: 8967


« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2020, 07:55:53 pm »

I would encourage a group of three for balance team.
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Unkn0wn Offline
No longer retired
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Posts: 18376


« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2020, 07:03:20 am »

Well volsky is generally the third person but we may want to move beyond having to involve him in balance discussions so that he can focus on other things. (provided he trusts me and myst and whoever else to make the calls). 

Point taken on not having to take decisions with a larger group as that slows the process, as long as there is indeed a way people can feed in and flag up concerns.
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TheVolskinator Offline
Administrator / Lead Developer
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Posts: 3048



« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2020, 10:02:32 am »

I'd still like to retain the ability to make the final call. You guys know how soft I am, so it's not like I'm handing out hard no's on everything.
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aeroblade56 Offline
Development
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Posts: 3912



« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2020, 02:55:31 pm »

I'd still like to retain the ability to make the final call. You guys know how soft I am, so it's not like I'm handing out hard no's on everything.

Bro your the only who can upload. Pretty sure no matter what you will always get the final say :l
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 03:25:34 pm by aeroblade56 » Logged
Mysthalin Offline
Tired King of Stats
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Posts: 9048


« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2020, 04:12:33 pm »

I'd still like to retain the ability to make the final call. You guys know how soft I am, so it's not like I'm handing out hard no's on everything.

Pretty much what aero said. And yeah, if it's a hard veto from you then it doesn't happen.
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tank130 Offline
Sugar Daddy
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Posts: 8967


« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2020, 09:19:44 am »

Bro your the only who can upload. Pretty sure no matter what you will always get the final say :l

Well, technically I can still upload - but your point is well made  Cool
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Shabtajus Offline
EIR Veteran
Posts: 2590


The very best player of one of the four factions.

« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2020, 08:25:34 am »

Finally u put ur shit together Steven, well done
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I feel like if Smokaz and Shab met up it would be a 50/50 tossup to see which one of them robbed the other first.
Tries to convince people he's a good guy,says things like this. Scumbag Shab.
tank130 Offline
Sugar Daddy
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Posts: 8967


« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 09:03:58 am »

Finally u put ur shit together Steven, well done

Dear Shab,

I say this with honesty and importantly, some respect.

You have a tiresome negative attitude. Your attitude is detrimental to this community and not conducive to its goal of future growth on steam. I think we all recognize you are speaking mostly in jest and you are attempting humor. However, as we move towards creating an influx of new community members, we simply can't tolerate the negative environment you often create on the forums, in Discord, and in game.

Eir is attempting to turn a corner and we won't be successful if we allow the same hostile and negative community of the past. You have an opportunity to be part of the next steps, but you will need to change your manner.

Personally, I would love to see a long time player such as yourself continue in this community. For that reason, I sincerely encourage you to take this opportunity to change your attitude towards this community and the development team.
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Shabtajus Offline
EIR Veteran
Posts: 2590


The very best player of one of the four factions.

« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2020, 10:36:28 am »

Dear tank130,


Let me start with saying that nobody was talking to you in the first place, so i am not sure where from you got this urgent feeling to reply to my comment.

I do appreciate you opinion and honestly i do not really care about it lol

As for new players coming to the mod, i hope we will get them soon and as always i will be one of the few who will actually try and play with them having them on my team. 

So i would like to see you, an old EIRR player/dev coning back to this mod with a less negative attitude threatening other players to be banned and instead helping mod grow by actually playing it and helping new guys whom are about to join us.

You are a big guy and no hurt feelings here I assume? Much of stuff has changed in EIRR while you was gone so stop doing judgement based on old facts.


Sincerely,
Shab 
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tank130 Offline
Sugar Daddy
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Posts: 8967


« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2020, 12:46:51 pm »

...............I do appreciate you opinion and honestly i do not really care about it lol........................


If you didn't care, you wouldn't respond.

Great to hear you intend to move forward with a positive outlook and assisting new players. I look forward to the refreshing new beginning.
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Unkn0wn Offline
No longer retired
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Posts: 18376


« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2020, 01:14:58 pm »

Don't worry, volsky forgot step 9

Quote
1 - Finish R046
2 - Presentable mod desc. to be distributed to various forums.
3 - Finalized preview screenshots, esp. for Steam
4 - Edit and format all launcher text (units, descriptions, unlocks).
5 - Proper launcher icons where possible.
6 - Remaining housekeeping items (TBD).
7 - Soft launch on Steam.
8 - Hard launch on Steam.
9 - perma ban shab
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