Frozen Synapse

Frozen Synapse

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James  [developer] Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:39am
[FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment
Hi,
We're looking for any suggestions that the community may have on how to fix the problem of people abandoning games when it looks like they might lose.
Just to be clear these suggestions will probably only be used for Frozen Synapse 2 as that game is early enough in development that we can make substantial changes to how multiplayer works.
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Showing 1-15 of 32 comments
BlaXpirit Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:48am 
Don't allow starting new games if there's a game where the player hasn't responded for over a day
ihavenoname Mar 11, 2016 @ 4:46am 
Give them a cooldown like in csgo
Tabush Mar 11, 2016 @ 5:10am 
After both players submitted their first turn in the match, it would count as a loss if you don't submit a turn in 2 weeks (or whatever the turn timer will be)
That way we could invite players the same way as in FS1 (that they don't need to accept your invite, and you can jump straight into the match) and if they don't want to play, they can just ignore the game. But if they made their first turn, they will have to finish the whole match.
Well, that wouldn't really solve the issue, but at least you'll still get a win if your opponnent leaves. Cooldowns though, while harsh, it would stop people from just leaving the game so much.
Last edited by Tabush; Mar 11, 2016 @ 5:14am
ondras Mar 12, 2016 @ 2:16am 
I don't see this as a big problem. Keep it like it is. Make sure to lose more elo points by abandoning than by any form of losing.

Just add some button to let know your opponent, that you are not going to submit first turn.
Uncle Zeb Mar 15, 2016 @ 1:01am 
I think the main reason people abandon is not to ruin their win/lose ratio. One drastic solution could be to only show the total wins in the player's profile. No total loses, no total games played. Only total wins. You can try and show / not show full stats for a period if time and see if the abandons change.
Youthful Idealism Mar 15, 2016 @ 12:29pm 
People abandon because they don't want to lose.

From an emotional standpoint: losing feels bad, abandoning feels less bad.
From a logical standpoint: there's no benefeit to further investing in a futile combat.

To fix abandonment, you have to reward losing.
Last edited by Youthful Idealism; Mar 15, 2016 @ 12:29pm
Soxxox Smox Mar 16, 2016 @ 7:43pm 
Originally posted by Youthful Idealism:
People abandon because they don't want to lose.

From an emotional standpoint: losing feels bad, abandoning feels less bad.
From a logical standpoint: there's no benefeit to further investing in a futile combat.

To fix abandonment, you have to reward losing.
Really the key is just making losing the more desireable of the two options. You could also punish abandonment more severely than losing, but maybe that'd make players come away with a more negative feeling.


You know how FS1 had a level system? Maybe make players earn XP after each game - visible XP, in the sense that you can actually see like "X points for victory, Y point for keeping Z units alive to the end." And then make sure that even if they lose, they can still see that they're getting XP.

Even if experience and levels don't have an impact on the gameplay, letting players know that even losing advances their level slightly will provide a bigger incentive to play it out than abandon.



Of course, not everyone abandons because they're stat-focused. Some leave just because it isn't fun to put the work into committing a turn when you already know you've lost. So we have to keep the game fun even for players who aren't doing well and encourage good sportsmanship.

In that direction, here's what I feel might be a neat idea; In addition to a skill rating in the form of an elo score, give players an integrity rating. After games, players can give their opponents little notes for good sportsmanship. or friendly/helpful gameplay. This integrity rating is publicly visible, and abandonment and other toxic behavior will have a negative impact on it. (You would only be able to give people positive ratings, to keep vindictive players from sabotaging integrity scores of players who defeat them)

Players who are nice and friendly will also get the positive reinforcement of getting their little gold star stickers. Players who are rude, toxic, etc. will slowly become more ostracized from the community, particularly if skill level and integrity score are displayed alongside their name when they challenge other players. (If you wanted to be really cruel, you could match toxic players with each other more often, but I feel like that would only make a cycle of toxic behavior)

To prevent players from being permanently stuck once they get a poor integrity rating, marks would slowly fade over time.

System has its flaws, but it could definitely be adjusted into something workable.

Thoughts?
desrtfox071 Mar 17, 2016 @ 12:47pm 
Keep track of losses and abondonments seperately. List abondonments on any dialog that contains win/loss, and call abondonments something terrible sounding like "dishonorable defeats" or something like that. This way, other players will see the stat, and act accordingly.

Naturally, some form of time out will need to be met in order for the abondonment to trigger.
Last edited by desrtfox071; Apr 14, 2016 @ 9:09am
Spectator6 Mar 17, 2016 @ 3:41pm 
What if abandoning a game...

* counted as a loss against the abandoning player?

* added to a stat that tracked the number of abandoned games? Crossing a certain threshold would cause a cool-down timer to activate before the player could join an mp game again?

* handicapped the player in future mp games in some way?

* added the player to an "abandoned games" roster of some sort. Other players would have to allow match-making to that roster list, otherwise it would select from the standard player pool? A similar thing could be to have ranked and non-ranked servers and only those in good-standing would be able to play on ranked servers.

* notified the partner, then allowed him to either take a win outright or play the remainder of the match against AI

* ???

One of the aspects to balance is that abandoning games should be discouraged in some way while at the same time, not so much so that the player gives up on the game altogether.
Soxxox Smox Mar 18, 2016 @ 2:56pm 
Originally posted by Spectator6:

* notified the partner, then allowed him to either take a win outright or play the remainder of the match against AI

Ooh, I like this idea. Just telling the player "your opponent left, so you win by default" is kind of anticlimactic. This way, they still get to finish up the game.
I'm down with the ideas of giving Abandonments their own stat line. Wins. Losses. Silent Withdrawls. As for giving a free Win to the other player? I like the thought of giving it over to the AI, so they can finish out the game at least and score a legit win.

But if that's the case, there might be ways for people to game the system. Just pile up 'Silent Withdrawls' to let a friend (or a second account) do AI matches to bump their wins up.

I mean, it's only worth imaginary internet points... but...
Dreaded Walrus Mar 19, 2016 @ 7:01am 
Originally posted by James:
Hi

Just as an aside, I like that the dev has a Mr. T profile pic.
ShadowPhoen1x Mar 22, 2016 @ 5:56pm 
Keep it simple. If one player abandons an online game for 24hrs, and it's their turn to move and they haven't, they automatically lose that tournament. No excuses.

This rule should be implemented for FS1 too.
Maetco Mar 23, 2016 @ 2:02am 
Originally posted by Uncle Zeb:
I think the main reason people abandon is not to ruin their win/lose ratio. One drastic solution could be to only show the total wins in the player's profile. No total loses, no total games played. Only total wins. You can try and show / not show full stats for a period if time and see if the abandons change.

I don't really see the point here. If you abandon the match, in the end the match will end and you lose anyway. How is abandoning the match changing anything?

My suggestions:

1. Make it possible to concede. When the match has lost its value (it's not fun to procede) to the player they can concede and move on instead of forcing the opponent to live on his/her tiptoes for the next 2 weeks for the chance that the opponent migth come back after not commiting a turn for a long time.

2. Timed turnes on by default and all together the option to put it on before the match begins (vs after like in FS). This way both (or all if we'll have 3 + player matches in FS2) players know what kind of schedule they are accepting for the match before the match even starts. Add to this the ability to refuce matches, we would end up having similarly minded people playing against similarly minded people. Now the other player might want to finish the match on one sitting where the other player just had 15 minutes of time and started a match because of how easy it is to play something like FS 10 - 15 minutes at a time.

3. Make FS 2 more tournament / league oriented and remove ELO and W/L numbers altogether. Both "stats" are very easily manipulated (if one gains satisfaction from that sort of thing) and fail to take into consideration (properly) "how" the matches are played. Great players might end up having fairly poor W/L ratio and only mediocre ELO if they eg. focuse on playing in tournaments / leagues against other great players. So neither really tells anything about the player anyway.
Dunkel Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:46pm 
Originally posted by Maetco:
1. Make it possible to concede. When the match has lost its value (it's not fun to procede) to the player they can concede...

I think surrender or concede would be a great option. It gives a win to the player that wants to continue, and an obvious way to end the match for the player that does not want to continue. The purpose of games is to have fun. If a player has lost and doesn't want to play any more, there should be a way to leave that closes the match.

Additionally, a way to stop players from never checking matches and default abandoning them could be a warning system. A game where a player hasn't sent a move in 1 week gets flagged as a possible concession if no move was submitted in an additional week. If time is truly needed, a timeout or snooze button could be used, but each side only has a limited number. Or, the ability to ask for a longer turn timer from the other player.

It seems making mandatory turn timers might be the final answer. The timer could have a default setting, but then voted on after the first move if a longer timer is wanted.
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