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Dragonheart

SC Community is dying

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I noticed that in the past days more players were leaving than new players joined. In these days it´s getting more and more difficult to find opponents as many players are burnt out.

Seems the SC-Community is damned to die. :(

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It is becoming disheartning isn't it. I've noticed it too. I'm trying to think of something to spark conversation that won't get me banned and won't get locked up because it doesn't pertain to SC. :(

Death.jpg

[ October 01, 2003, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: Jordy ]

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Yes your right, but this has been happening since May (?). With Terif, Rambo and Zapp retiring or taking on less player you will find it harder to get a game started. These three really played the game to the hilt - every day, every night. I have close to 200 game played (AI and HvsH) but come no where near the numbers these guys have put in. They lived, breathed and slept SC all spring and summer.

What I'm saying is these three carried a huge % of the games that were played IP (PBEM is another story) and with thier leaving the already difficalt job of finding a game here will become even harder.

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I will counter, that the SC community is NOT dying, maybe some of the lunacy has died off, but that has nothing to do with the SC community nor it's interest in the game.

I am currently playing a PBEM game with a person who is "into" the game. I have two others I need to get more active with admittedly.

But SC's as done as dinner from a design perspective though, so rambling on about SC "need to improve" issues is really not accomplishing much.

I am sure Hubert will notice any notions for any evolution of the game that actually state something useful, but then so many people package their request with a layer of urgency that is assuming Hubert has nothing better to do.

I hear you on the problem of how does two SC playing fans of the game, carry on a pro SC player discussion, without leaving out several paragraphs devoted to dissecting the game in some way that hasn't already been stated to death.

SC is a finite game though. Once it becomes clear it is done, not about to be modified tweaked or altered any further, the only thing left is to post comments on your most recent game, and what you thought of your tactics.

But AARs only hold so much value.

The SC forums might fizzle out if they only allow postings drippign with SC commentary, but the SC community will still be out there playing the game. I know I will be out here playing the game. It's not like the game is suddenly going to stop being a good game.

I also still play games I bought decades ago. And I also still discuss them online too.

But I won't be mentioning any of them (I was told not to, and them's the rules).

About all I can do to contribute to THIS forums health, is to constantly remind people, it's not this forum that defines the game, its you players that define the game.

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Dying? No, just going through a normal cycle while we wait for SC2. A few ramblings and suggestions to keep SC interesting until then:

- Try something other than the 1939 scenario. The bidding system attempts to achieve some play balance, but not quite. There should be an agreed upon standard scenario by now, either the Campaign mod I worked on long ago or some variation of it, but you still have the problem of opening move gambits. 1940 offers a better competition start point in my opinion, and 1941 gets you into action for a challenging shorter game. And then there are the later year scenarios and other mods which could (and should) be tried. Have fun with this game.

- Research can skew a game if too many advances occur too quickly. Putting 4-5 chits into a single tech area can do this, especially jets and long-range. Try playing with a 1 or 2 chit max limit per tech area as a house rule. Semi-historical advances make the game more interesting.

- Find a gaming partner you're compatible with, and agree upon some reasonable house rules. Some games should allow players to experiment with different strategies, without worrying about losing or dropping in league rank. Continuously focusing on winning and using only the "hot" strategies stops being fun after a while.

- Have fun with the AI. It has it's limitations and some folks refuse to play it, but with various tweaks any scenario can be made to be challenging and interesting. Try different games on Intermediate/Expert, +1/+2 experience, various options on/off. Customize scenarios for Axis or Allies by giving the AI side more units, more research points, more tech, whatever. This all requires some time and effort, but that's half the fun. The Campaign Editor is easy to use; try it.

- Just take a break for a while, then come back to the game. Everyone gets burned out. I hit a low after completing the Strategy Guide, then peaked again this past month working on the new 1941 Winter Counter-Offensive, and now I'm playing some other games for a change. But stay in touch with the community and help some of the newbies get going. That's why we're all here, right? smile.gif

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I may very well get banned for saying this, but at this point, it really doesn't matter to me anymore. So here it goes....

In my opinion, it is the moderators that are responsible for the downfall that we are going thru on the forum. They have been slowly driving this forum into the ground since last June with their absolute enforcement of the rules that are too strict to begin with.

I believe that I would have completely lost interest in SC and this forum a long time ago, if it weren’t for the members on this forum.

I consider a lot of you guys friends, especially the "veteran" members who have been here with me for about a year now. The Mods don't understand that. Considering most of us post on this forum at least once a day, I don't see why that’s so hard to understand.

For the past 3 months, we have been losing a lot of our "veteran"/"core" members and I think its because the way this forum is being run. I was talking to JerseyJohn and CC Baxter (both have been here for since the beginning) the night Kuniworth was banned and I think we came to this conclucion (don't quote me on that because it not my place to speak for them).

To show what I'm talking about I'm gonna quote some of the posts from that conversation the other night.

Posted by CC Baxter: Terif and Rambo no longer play in the Z-League, people seem to prefer to play non-competitive games against each other, Kuniworth has been banned, and the number of locked threads is rocketing, the moderators seem to be "padlock happy" (I know there are clearly laid out Forum Rules but they seem to be working against the forum itself). We seem to be treading water, waiting for SC2 to be released. The forum appears to be stagnating. I sincerely hope this isn't the case.
Posted by CC Baxter: I'm not advocating a free-for-all where anything goes. The Lucky Elephant thing or whatever the hell his name was was completely unacceptable on any level.

But surely there must be some middle ground between spam anarchy and absolute enforcement of forum rules without regard to the contribution the poster may have made to the forum and, perhaps more importantly, the glaring fact that just about everything that can be said about SC has been said. We know there are to to be no further improvements and so all avenues of advancing the game through community feedback are now closed off.

We should be allowed some form of social interaction other than that prescribed by the forum rules i.e. that all posts must concern SC to a greater or lesser degree.

Posted by JerseyJohn: The people who have a committment here, who post a lot and express ideas are the customers.

It's good to attract new people but not at the expense of your core members. And for better or worse Kuniworth is / was a core member.

We had lots of what should have been core members posting here last October but I don't see many of them posting here now. As a matter of fact I can probably count them on one hand.

-- Macon.

-- Immer, who hasn't posted lately.

-- Sarge.

-- Myself.

-- CvM, who used to post regularly.

-- SeaMonkey

-- Panzer39

-- and slightly later Rambo, Terif, Comrade Trapp and Jim Boggs.

If I listed those who have dropped out and have rarely, if ever posted since, it would run to the dozens, maybe the hundreds. I can think of two dozen without looking at any past Threads.

Cramp people and they'll go elsewhere.

Comrade Trapp

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When I dicovered SC a few months ago and played some matches vs the AI I was quite enthusiastic.

I convinced some friends to buy the game and started some PBEM as well as a couple of TCP/IP games.

All these guys were new to the game as I was.

Still I liked the game, but was a bit less enthusiastic because I realized how time consuming it is to play an human opponent, so that time for IP games is hard to find.

Moreover I encountered the "reload problem" with PBEM.

Its a basic fact that every strategy game needs some sort of sound competion to motivate for a longer time.

So I was glad when I found the community here and started some games against more experienced opponents.

I had another unpleasant surprise. You cannot win a game even with the best strategy when you dont know all these gamey tactics. The worst thing is this super carrier bug. Carriers can gain experience when shooting at land units while they never take damage themselves, though the land units has a good air defense.

Well, with some house rules you could overcome the worst bugs, so I was still willing to go on with SC, but after reading the dispute between Zapp and Terif I surely dont want to join Zappleague.

At this point Im quite frustrated and not sure if I should go on with SC or look for another game...

:(

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Bill

Ok let´s say it´s a cycle..but a cycle consists of up and downs and now it´s down with expierenced players leaving and atticted players loosing their attiction. tongue.gif

But you are rite when you say that´s normal. So now it´s time for the new generation to keep things running.

Your suggestions concerning gameplay are good.

I on myself tried meanwhile out all things you mentioned additonal i never use more than 2 chits per category in my MPgames.

At the point when you have played all AI variations +1,+2 more units and so on your final destiny is Multiplayer....and when this sucks too...then ... "game over". But these are only my 2cents.

Comrade Trap

Loosing core members is another reason for a dying SC Community...i agree with you...whatever the reason is ;)

[ October 01, 2003, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: Dragonheart ]

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The game came out over a year ago and if you go back to that point in the forum (around page 89) and scan forward, you will sse that this forum follows the same progression (or regression if that's your take) as many other forums...there is only so much one can discuss about a game and SC has enjoyed a much better shelf life than many other games...there have been a few threads that annnoyed me and I don't hesitate to say so, much to the chagrin of others, but overall this forum has at least kept me here lurking about...the new Winter Offensive scenarios that Bill Macon brought to our attention is reason enough to keep coming back... I presume there is a fine line that the moderators attempt to balance on...on one side there are the vets who are getting a bit antsy about SCII details and at times digress, and on the other side is the hope that new potential buyers of the game will still come to the board...I'm sure the moderators feel potential sales, can be influenced by what a new buyer see's on the forum page...in a way the forum is a form of advertising for Battlefront, and if the first page is cluttered with non SC material, they may believe they might lose a potential sale...anyway the ebb and flow of this forum will continue until some concrete news about SCII is made available....

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DragonFlame

I suggest you stay with SC, I know it can be frustrating as hell when you play human players for the first time, we've all been there, you just gotta stick with it. I said the same thing back in my newbie days about the gamey tactics that are sometimes used, trust me, you will learn to accept and counter them, just takes some time. SC is by far, one of the best war games I've ever played.

As for Z-League, don't let the dispute between Zapp and Terif stop you from playing competitively. Z-League isn't perfect, but we're working to improve it everyday.

Hope to play you in a game sometime.

Dragonheart

So now it´s time for the new generation to keep things running.
The old generation isn't gone yet; we just seem to be dropping like flies at the moment. ;)

Comrade Trapp

[ October 01, 2003, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: Comrade Trapp ]

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Here's a thought to keep things in perspective: What keeps the chess community from dying? Chess is a very simple game, about as perfectly balanced as possible, no rules errata, no graphics mods, no new patch to look forward to. Yet, people continue to play this game!

Perhaps because chess is so simple that a player's expectations remain reasonable. Just play the game. Focus on strategy. Accept the fact that every game will end as a win, loss, or draw. Enjoy the social interaction with your opponents and make new friends. Don't try to make the game something that it is not.

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The community is not dying, but has taken a step backward. It should rebound back. Should...

This forum has become a small group community. And perhaps the owners of the board do not want that. The Terif-Zapp fight was disheartening for the community. I think the banning of Kunni will also have a short term negative affect.

I’m not sure the TCIP community will rebound very quickly. As someone said in another post Terif, Zapp and Rambo were the backbone of that group. However, I am hoping that the PBEM community will grow. I firmly believe that is the way to play SC.

Small group’s have a life cycle of their own. They are always losing people and always need new people. But when a large part of the small group leaves at the same time it causes trauma to the community. That is what we have here. But it can and should rebound over time.

The problem I see is the moderators only want SC, SC, SC, SC, SC, SC, and nothing BUT SC ….. Well first off just about everything that has been said about SC can be found in past posts. New people will come and will ask those questions again. Older players will bring up new aspects but its all been said before. SC will be discussed but there has to be more than SC to be a community. Many of us here are not here just for SC but because we have formed friendships and have a sense of community here.

Moderating a board is hard. I think they needed to do something because the silliness did seem to get out of hand. Myself included. HOWEVER , if they moderate so tight then the SC community will die away. Who wants to come to a forum board when they know all it has is questions and answers that have already been asked a hundred times. Perhaps that is what they want. I hope not.

I have seen this happen before. I got to know and become friends with a group of people on a stock board several years ago. (when I use to make money on stocks before the crash). The same thing happened there. One leader of the group had the idea to form our own board. So he just went and formed a private group on Yahoo and we took most of the board with us. Then we would invite new people too from old board. It worked well. Perhaps an idea for one of the old hands reading this…..

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Curry

New people will come and will ask those questions again. Older players will bring up new aspects but its all been said before. SC will be discussed but there has to be more than SC to be a community. Many of us here are not here just for SC but because we have formed friendships and have a sense of community here.
Exactly, that’s what I'm talking about. The SC Forum is by far the best I've ever been on. Like I said in my earlier post, I have made a lot of good friends over the year that I've been here and I would hate to see it all fall apart because of this. But unfortunately, if things don't change, that may very well happen.

The same thing happened there. One leader of the group had the idea to form our own board. So he just went and formed a private group on Yahoo and we took most of the board with us. Then we would invite new people too from old board. It worked well. Perhaps an idea for one of the old hands reading this…..
Personally, I have thought about that, would it work out, who knows. But regardless, that would be an absolute last resort. I personally would not want to see it come to that, but at the same time, we might have to if things don't change.

Comrade Trapp

[ October 01, 2003, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: Comrade Trapp ]

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Comrade Trapp

Thanks for your answer.

You misunderstood me. Im not frustrated because Ive lost against my first games against human opponents. (Indeed I did not lose a game until now :D )

Im frustrated because I dont know if and how to continue.

I would prefer PBEM games. Like Curry said this is the right way to play SC because it is a long game. There are not many people who have 20+ hours per week for a game.

But now we have the Oak PBEM league and we have the Curry league. Both are very vague regarding rules and laws.

What happened in Z-League should not happen. The Admin of the league changed the rules for challenges without asking his members and even against their wishes.

What is needed for a long time motivating competition is some kind of democratic struture like a club where the members have well-defined rights before it comes to any changes.

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I didn´t play HvsH becouse my experience with other strategic games i played HvsH was that an experienced player playes stategies based on the weaknesses of the game itself. And that is not the way i want to play a great strategic game.

[ October 01, 2003, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: DSEDS ]

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The Admin of the league changed the rules for challenges without asking his members and even against their wishes.
I didn't agree with it either, but still, Zapps a good guy. Hopefully we'll get this all sorted out soon.

As for PBEM over TCP/IP, there are ups and downs for both. I like PBEM because you can take your time without wasting your opponent's time, but I like TCP/IP because I like to keep the game going. Personally, I like enjoying a long game of SC (when I have the time), so I usually stick to TCP/IP.

DSEDS

Playing against the AI is ok for practice, but it is my opinion and the opinion of a lot of others, that you haven't played SC until you've played human vs human.

The AI doesn't count because:

1) It will never Sealion as the Axis.

2) For the most part, it does the same thing.

3) It doesn't know the meaning of the word "defend".

4) It doesn't stop attacking, even if its in it's best to do so.

5) Its too easy to beat.

Like DragonFlame said, he never lost a game until he played a human player. ;)

Comrade Trapp

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This thread has been well contributed to I must say.

I need to add some remarks, some might be a bit dangerous, but it's a risk I am willing to take.

First dangerous remark.

SC is discussed in many places far removed from Battlefront and Battlefront's rules.

Second remark that might annoy. If the rules kill the forum, the rules will be to blame. No one needs to panic though, see remark number one.

Another good point is this, the game is getting old as computer games go.

It is not that the game loses worth over time, but this is the age of the computer experience. Or at least a lot of people think that wargaming only occurs on computers.

It has been my notice, that outside of board games, electronic forms of entertainment often only keep their audience as long as it takes the next bloke to make the next game.

Are you going to dump Sc the moment joe game designer creates the "next thing"?, or will you still be playing SC a year from now (like I will).

I have contributed on other forums, for other games. Sometimes the forums with specific games, sees that point where it has all been already said where key issues are concerned.

All that is left is the community. And most of the posts revolve around general comraderie and shared mutual interest.

Dangerous remark number three, maybe Battlefront should decide if their site is more about sales, and less about community. Is there a reason for these forums to exist at all? A valid question.

That is not what I would like to see, but this site belongs to it's owners. My number one favourite wargame's home site is basically an electronic storefront, it has no interactive forum at all.

To get babble on the game, you have to seek out either a mailing list, or find a site that sponsors a forum devoted to the game.

If these forums suddenly shut down, would it hurt my ability to enjoy Battlefront games? Not one bit actually. I found the SC demo in their downloads. I gave it a try, I liked it. There was no forum activity that pre dated my approval of the design. It was not a major factor in my accepting the game. In short, this forum had nothing to do with my liking the game in those key critical moments.

I might yet take the plunge with Combat Mission. Yet I have never once visited the CM forums, and likely will never bother. I just don't require them. That is not a slag, just an indication they are not "vital" to whether I want the game.

And further to that, I know of several sites, complete with CM dedicated forums that would suit me if I did need them, and the Battlefront options vanished.

Dangerous remark number 4. Quite frankly, none of us "needs" these forums to be specifically at Battlefront.

It is just assumed, you would expect a game's producers to have them handy.

But that is just that, one would assume they would be here.

I might be posting a great many more posts amongst my fellow players of SC in general banter and occasionally not 100% about SC.

But that is not allowed. Thou shalt not use Battlefront to advertise anyone else nor their products.

A fair request, it ain't my site, and I ain't paying for the expense of total strangers to post comments not entirely supportive of Battlefront.

But that will never stop it from seeming unfriendly when it seems to be the norm on so many other forums.

Their choice to make, but they will have to accept any repercutions from their choices too.

If all of a sudden post traffic in here slowed to the point the last post showed a date stamp measured in days weeks months, and not in hours or minutes, you can bet it would signal to anyone entering it, that the subject matter had fizzled and no one cared to contribute any longer.

At that point, its mere existence would be actually harmful to sales.

I was greeeeeeeeeeeatly concerned over whether my returning was well advised. But I had it more or less made evident elsewhere, that I really should be here expressing these thoughts.

Therefore that is why I am saying what I am saying. This is the place to say them.

As such I do not live in fear of being Banned for any of this posts comments.

This has been a rational and calm post about real and serious issues and concerns connected to our mutual enjoyment of the SC game.

To ban me for any of this post would be pure folly. I would only lose out on posting here.

I would not be prevented from playing the game, nor talking about it on the internet smile.gif .

Hopefully some measure of success will be achieved for the Battlefront SC crowd in all of this. It would be a shame if everyone drifted off. We could always meet elsewhere, but people would logically be looking at Battlefront first.

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Regarding moderation of forums in general, as a co-administrator of a fairly busy one myself, I have noticed something key about it.

Generally forums have a boundary past which the owners do not want discussions to go. However, the boundary tends to be 'fuzzy', and enforcement (for obvious reasons) tends to be lenient. But that tends to result in members gradually pushing farther and farther into the 'fuzzy' area; and finally, they cross it. At some point the admins need to call a halt to that. Essentially, those members are abusing the leniency of the adimns. When a halt is called, some members will NOT like it, and tend to be extremely vocal about it (I know from personal experience- having called halts to such things on more than one occasion). Thus the admins are vigilant for a while; the boundary is reset; things settle down; and the process starts over.

Now, I understand what you fellas are saying. The owners want this forum to be strictly about SC the game; but it has become a community, as forums have a tendency to do. You want to discuss related interests between other members of the SC community, and not be drowned out by other members of the Battlefront forums. But such discussions in the SC forum will tend to drown out genuine game discussions.

There are two good solutions, as I see it. One, Battlefront could create a dedicated SC community general discussion forum. Two, a member could create their own dedicated SC general discussion forum, which could be used for the same purpose. The first option would I think be preferable for both Battlefront and the SC community, as would result in making SC more attractive if done well; but failing that, the other is always an option.

EZBoard is a decent option for a free forum. Check out JP's Panzers for an example (also, it separates general discussions from the game forums, which mostly involve the Panzer General series). SC community general dicussions would be welcome, incidentally! smile.gif

[ October 01, 2003, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Reepicheep ]

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Wow nice posts guys, great to hear I have the same problems/interests as some of the other players.

At this point Im quite frustrated and not sure if I should go on with SC or look for another game...

I would hope that nobody leaves out of frustration but I understand when it happens. On the Carrier 'bug' its due to the Carrier being considered a Naval (not air) unit. Its attacks are navel and units attacking/defend it use thier NA/ND value. I think this was done because the allies have NO chance against even a fair axis player if techs stay even after france falls. I think the problem most new players run into is while the game seam simple and fun, in fact it can be very deap and complex, it all depends on how much researh you do into each minor detail. As far as joining Z-league, if your simply looking for a fun/enjoinable game don't, if you want heavy win/lose compition do join. Due realise that compitive situations means each player will try and use every edge to WIN, since that the only important issue in such games.

However, I am hoping that the PBEM community will grow.
I think it is growing and Curry and Oak are the main reasons. Good work guys and keep going!

True but don't play in the competive leagues. You could also try and develope House Rules to limit the 'twisting' of program windows. I tried to start a thread with all the 'tricks' listed, and was then going to try and develop a 'host' of House Rules for 'historical' play. But it died during the Lucky Idiot attack and I have lost my passion for the project/game. I still play but much less now.

Les you said a mouthfull, very good and true.

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Iron Ranger:

I understand your point of view. You feel that people abuse every gamey flaw to win. I found that most of my games regardless of Z-league, ladder games, or just fun games when I started people used whatever possible to beat me. I'm so out of it, lately, cause I haven't played hardcore in a few months that I walked in a few games and boom, there's a whole new group of strategies. You can't blame people for it, the fact the versatility of the game engine is being tested. If things didn't change how could you play the same game engine over and over... what's interesting for you may not be for another. The fact is the game does need an upgrade by now. It's not designed to be stretched beyond a certian point. We need new releases tongue.gif

We want more. We want meat & Potatoes. tongue.gif

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Originally posted by Les the Sarge 9-1:

I found the SC demo in their downloads. I gave it a try, I liked it. There was no forum activity that pre dated my approval of the design. It was not a major factor in my accepting the game. In short, this forum had nothing to do with my liking the game in those key critical moments.

Well said Les. Ditto here.

I haven't played SC in months. Only drop by to see if anything new is going on and then split when it isn't. Occassionally a post will catch my eye and I'll check it out. Like this one.

Too bad, cause back in the "good old days" we use to have some killer discussions about history and it's relationship to the game.

The game offers a lot for those of us historically minded folks and those that want a game. Double bonus for SC.

Funny thing about those "good old days" is they weren't that long ago. :D

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As originally posted by Konstatin V Kotelnikov:

Funny thing about those "good old days" is they weren't that long ago.

No, no, that they weren't.

But, you know what?

Like the stone that gathers no moss, they'll be rock-rolling 'round again! :cool:

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Reepicheep

But such discussions in the SC forum will tend to drown out genuine game discussions.

I see what your saying but the thing is; before the moderators started cracking down there were threads that were not really related to SC.

But even with the off-topic threads, genuine game discussions were still discussed often. I'd say before the moderators started cracking down, 75% of the threads were SC related while only 25% were off-topic.

And when I say, "before the moderators started cracking down" I mean that they gave us some leeway as far as off-topic discussions, they didn't lock threads nearly as often as they do now.

Comrade Trapp

[ October 01, 2003, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Comrade Trapp ]

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Originally posted by Immer Etwas:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> As originally posted by Konstatin V Kotelnikov:

Funny thing about those "good old days" is they weren't that long ago.

No, no, that they weren't.

But, you know what?

Like the stone that gathers no moss, they'll be rock-rolling 'round again! :cool: </font>

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As a long time lurker here, there is one thing that I just do not understand. Perhaps you guys can clear it up for me.

There seems to be a general reluctance by the SC Community to post on the General Forum. Why is that?

I have seen Jersey John, Hueristic, Bill Macon, and a few others over there, but that's about all. What Kuniworth was banned for would have been perfectly acceptable Threads on the General Forum.

I think if more of the SC crowd would venture there it would do two things:

1) The class and consideration that is shown to all serious posters here would go a long way to maybe making the GF a better venue.

2) It would remove a lot of the pressure on the SC administrators, who wish to keep this Forum for matters specifically related to SC.

I especially like the way that posters respond to each other within the threads here. The courtesy and pure desire to provide illustrative information has always been the hallmark of this Forum.

Try an SC General Forum Thread or something. There are others on the GF whom I think you will enjoy discussing things with. Michael Emrys, Andreas, JasonC, and some others have a really excellent knowledge of the WW2 timeframe.

There are others on the GF who are not so pleasant, but they can be ignored.

I realize this is a very tight-knit community, I saw that when a certain unnamed poster started a thread slamming the goodly Jersey John. The uprising of the Community in support was a pleasure to see.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if more of you guys would post on the GF, it would only make it better. At the same time it would provide an outlet for the close-knit friendships that have been bonded here.

And Immer can post all the poetry he wants!! ;)

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