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 Post subject: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:35 am
Posts: 2710
Firstly I'm just going to say this to get it out of the way: this post is probably going to come off as harsh and/or rude because quite honestly I've never felt so frustrated at you guys in all my time playing, and I know for a fact I'm not alone. Please understand that I'm * off because I love the game and I know it can be great, but so many wrong turns are being made and I think you guys actually feel it's all sunshine and rainbows when the veterans of the community have lost so much faith this past month.

There's a lot of problems going on right now so let's get on with it, and this has mostly happened since the F2P update. Nothing is wrong with the game going F2P itself, but a lot of stuff has taken a nose dive since then. I've been a supporter of this game for 5 years, waded through some bad times in nauts and dealt with it, but I really want to speak up about the past month.

We've had to endure about 3 weeks of matches where league 1s are matched with league 7+s, leading to player decrease from new players getting stomped and veterans finding the game very stressful. And we only got a response about it 1 week before it was addressed. For 2 weeks we were in the dark about a critical issue that direly affected player retention even though there were constant complaints about it all over the forums. I don't understand how matchmaking, one of the most important things in this game, could be ignored for so long. I'm also going to bring up that we haven't had a leaderboard reset in 7 months despite constant threads popping up about it and the need for regular resets. This isn't even accounting for the fact that leaderboards themselves are flawed and the rating system sucks for multiple reasons. (I'll go into more details if someone asks but I think the flaws are obvious)

Feedback isn't being listened to at all. This goes back a bit further than the F2P launch but it's really become more apparent recently. To clarify I'm not talking about a "listen to all the threads people make in the balance subforum", I'm talking about when you guys launch betas and balance docs and ask for our feedback, we give it, and unanimously agreed upon problems are just ignored. Case in point: in the dizzy beta, funnynin brought up multiple times that genji's damage is bugged and it's only just now being addressed in the next beta? When we constantly told you that starstorm was an abomination of a map when you asked us for feedback, no changes were made whatsoever until we had to suffer through months and months of derpl ruining the game for everyone. And it's still terrible. And don't even get me started on the negative feedback you got on the XP system, yet for some reason it's still in the game.

In the dizzy beta when you tried to change yuri as a character, the overwhelming community response was a sea of hate. You felt like he was a flawed character due the different way he controls and plays, but in reality I actually think what's happening is that people in the office have difficulty playing the character because they are not good players or didn't try learning him rather than gathering information from their playerbase about what they think of yuri, so they think something needs to change rather than thinking logically about why they died to 3 mines in the same place.

Experimental yuri bombed hard with overwhelming negativity, lesson learnt... but then you do it again. It's like our opinion doesn't even matter anymore when jasper's stubborn vision of yuri is the only one that matters. "Yuri just HAS to change because mine stacking is such a problem in lower leagues" - guess what, you learn, you get better, and you realise the easy counterplay to such a tactic which is what getting better at a moba is all about. Hate to say it but stop changing a character that has been mechanically fine for 5 years just because you're bad at the game.

For some reason ted gets drastically changed when he's a character nobody had mechanical issues with, and I think that reason is again some inexperienced office guy playing him, thinks he's tedious, gets annoyed at playing him, leans over to his metrics and sees that not many people play him, and suddenly proclaims he needs a rework "for smoother gameplay" or some other dumb comment. What you should have done at this point is ask your playerbase if you think there's something wrong with him instead of wasting hours of development on something that won't get through beta because your playerbase's reaction is "is this a joke?" (spoiler: ted rework changes nothing about the accessibility of the character).

If you would actually listen to your community, you'd know that there are far more important characters to look at design wise such as the broken mess that is yoolip - how come yoolip dominates the lower leagues, had a stupidly high success rate in a rookie tournament, yet is considered gutter tier and a frustration of a character in higher league play? Why would you choose to change a mechanically sound character instead of yoolip? There's only a few answers to this and they're all negative. Either: a) you're out of touch with the community and what it wants, or b) you think the character doesn't need change because yoolip is stupidly simple to play, and the inability of an inexperienced player decides if a character should need a rework in ronimos eyes.

I think whenever ronimo is doing their own thing balance wise it ends out terrible 80% of the time because they don't actually understand the game themselves. 15% amp on dizzy as a new item, how the hell could anyone actually think this is balance who realises how powerful penny is? Who thought up the idea of a faster teleport utility item where you can teleport in people's face and get out for free? Did you actually think that something like this would be good for the game? The only source you take suggestions from is an open forum for all leagues and a balance discord with people in there that (imo) I don't think are experienced enough to dictate balance to clueless devs (exception: davey) who just take any information thrown at them.

Speaking of davey, I felt like davey was the only guy assigned to balance that actually cared about it, but it's a role that just gets thrown around onto everyone like "it's your turn to have the pity role". davey understood that the game is 5 years old and it's now the players game because they know what's best, he processed and thought about suggestions rather than picking one out of a hat because one random guy said so, not some hidden agenda. I felt like he was the only one that invested time into gaining a solid understanding of what was needed to be done. You could actually see it on streamisho, davey started talking in depth about some recent balance changes and then whoever he's with doesn't hate balance or hate talking about it, but they really didn't seem to care. Again really sorry if I'm coming off harsh here but this I'm just typing what I feel here. The game is 5 years old, you've showed (especially recently) that you're not that good at balance, can you please form something again like the closed group of experienced betanauts who knew what they were actually talking about and let them deal with. (the discord is not good)

Another issue I want to bring up is the incredible amount of laziness and incompetency in the recent month with these piles of steaming betas being thrown at us where only half the stuff works. You give us change notes where teds shotgun gets reduced by 42% damage and ayla's health was increased yet it's exactly the same as in live. How can you even excuse this? You need to spend 5 seconds firing a shotgun at something to realise your change didn't work, and then we get given a beta where stupidly simple number changes aren't even tested ONCE by the guy who changed the numbers. Don't come crying to us that "it's a beta this is what testing is for!" when you can't be bothered to spend 5 seconds confirming if your change actually works in game and we tell you "we couldn't beta test anything because nothing works".

This post has no real flow or anything, I was just writing some stuff I feel like I needed to say for a while, and I really am not alone in this. Plenty of my veteran friends who I play with are just losing faith so fast but there's only a minority who post on the forums because most of them realise posting on the forums gets nothing done anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:16 am 

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:33 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:07 am
Posts: 1178
I really wish I wouldn't be so jaded, but with all the disappointments it's hard for me not to.

All the charm that drew me into the game is gone. The art/tone are getting increasingly confused, with ugly old sprites put against fancy new sprites with all sorts of ridiculous flourish. Menus are a lot more sterile and "generic cold futuristic" instead of the relatively unique style we had originally. New character designs feel increasingly contrived and don't mesh well with the characters' playstyles like the old ones did. I already had a problem with the intro, splash arts, and in-game graphics all looking totally different, but the problem seemingly gets worse as time goes. What happened to the cute vending machine aesthetic for the shop? Why is everything the same slick blue rectangles and hexagons that I see in every futuristic game? Why does Max inexplicably shoot giant logos that slow time, why does Dizzy place clones that for some reason explode, and why does Scoop's moveset feel like it has nothing to do with his character design?
Every new character has to have some annoying personality gimmick and never wants to shut up. Pirate Ted and 8-bit Yoolip are some of the most offensively annoying, noisy characters I've ever had to put up with. It's not clever that characters replace "defend our turret" with "defend our <random object related to naut's design>" and not everyone line needs to be an animal-based pun.

If I even try playing I just get an incredibly long stall with two Raelynns that takes forever because my league 7 teammates don't know what to do to help me and the one league 1 player on the enemy team is stalling for dear life.

There's a lot more people streaming on twitch which is nice, but the combined total of viewers hovers around a pathetic 45 average.
It's disappointing that we didn't get a big tournament like the Alienware tournament for the F2P launch. No offense to the little guys streaming tournaments, but the high stakes and prestige of something like an Alienware tournament is unmatched.

The lack of response to the community is really disappointing, too. What happened with that big push to maintain a presence on the forums? Devs barely respond to anything besides just giving us lip-service "thanks for reporting!" comments on the tech board. The devs barely explain why anything is changed and they seemingly ignore community suggestions. I recently talked to Jasper directly about this but nothing seems to have changed.

Patch after patch of disappointing balance changes, needless overhauls, and a lack of changes I actually want make it hard for me to remain optimistic for the future. The F2P launch was plagued with the same issues that hurt every single F2P weekend. The occasional game-breaking bug continues to be added and the response time from the devs is unforgivably slow. I can't believe that the confusing, cluttered scoreboard from F2P's launch even existed, especially with a ton of player icons also being cropped splash art (I can't believe they didn't think of how confusing it could be).

At this point, though, I'm not sure what Ronimo could do to bring someone like me back into the game. besides adding valentina and keeping her true to my vision

 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:57 am 
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Sad but true. The response time from Ronimo is astonishingly low. I'd like to assume the best and think that for critical situations like the matchmaking, Ronimo was addressing the situation internally from early on and just failed to communicate this to the forums, but in cases like the Starstorm map where they ask for feedback and it's completely ignored, there's just no excuse.

I can't speak about the recent beta changes like Yuri or Ted, though, myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:15 am
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Hate to agree

 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:07 am 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 2:35 pm
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Gonna have to agree with this.

The F2P relaunch with 4.0 seemed like a breath of fresh life, a chance for Nauts to enter a renaissance of sorts, and at first it seemed to work well but now it seems like the initial hype and excitement of F2P has died down and it feels like Ronimo failed to capitalize on it, and all these changes that seem to accomplish nothing but tick off The Old Guard™ are certainly not helping either.

I get that we're literally talking about a game that's approaching its 5th year of existence, but I really feel like early Nauts (1.x, maybe midway into 2.x) was a much different game from what it is now - like the charm of that game is now gone to the ether (save for the original console versions, I suppose), with the old shop and UIs that actually stood out and felt reasonably cartoonish.
Now the game just kind of feels like its aesthetic is at best vaguely inspired by old cartoons rather than being a big-time homage to them.

Sure, I could be nostalgic here, but Nauts was supposed to be a bit of a nostalgic game, was it not?

I really hate to come off as a doomsayer again because I was hopeful the game might be on the way out of its weird limbo but now I feel like the playerbase is once again on the decline (most of my friends who gave the game a shot during the F2P launch seem to have stopped by now) and now I feel that there's little saving it now that it's already gone free-to-play.

On one hand I applaud Ronimo for taking such a risk but on the other hand I really feel like they kinda squandered it in some regards which may further contribute to the game's now-even-more-impending death.

My post probably has even less logical flow than Sam's opening remark, but I'm also just kinda frustrated...

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:20 am 
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kathy wrote:
The lack of response to the community is really disappointing, too. What happened with that big push to maintain a presence on the forums? Devs barely respond to anything besides just giving us lip-service "thanks for reporting!" comments on the tech board.

We do actually have full length, regular discussions with Kewn and Dennis on a daily basis about issues, and the occasional response from Ralph; I could go on and on about just how dedicated these guys really are honestly, they're ALWAYS here for us when we need them or have any questions, and respond either the same or next day depending on time zones and whatnot. Other than that, I only hear from Jasper maybe once every week or two, and from anyone else in the staff extremely infrequently.

Although I'd prefer not to be as cynical about this situation as Sam might be seeming, I do agree with everything he's said; things really have to change if this game is going to be a success as F2P, and the extreme lack of quality control and communication are the first things that are a must.

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:24 am 
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Ok, so I'll not repeat what the other said myself, and I'll try to keep it short.

I think there's two problems currently:

1. Lack of communication.
Like, yes, communication is so important, especially for the balance of the game.
You guys have your own agenda for what you want to do, that's completely fine.
But talk about your ideas to the community, gather feedback (even if it's backlash).
Tending your community is not a waste of time.
But I think this bit is caused by...

2. You guys are trying to do way too much in a way too small period of time.
Don't trample over yourselves, chill out, dizzy just came out and BAM
Ted changes, new character, second go at Yuri, second go at Derpl (and still not understood the reference thread).

Someone mentioned Davey in this thread, and I'll agree. It feels like the was the one who understood balance. You guys also need someone dedicated to balance, who also does community tending.

1 hour/week of talking with he community per week is not enough.

I hope you understand. Great things can come out of the future patches, but not if it goes like this. Please reconsider what you guys are doing atm, slow down a bit and digest what you're currently doing, before taking another bite.

Thanks for biting of the top of the iceberg, Sam!, I was considering making a thread like this.

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:12 am 
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You realize they are a team of like 20 people, right?

For how small a team they are, Awesomenauts is still a huge accomplishment. Perhaps they need to hire new staff in order to keep up with community demands but give them a break. Being on the tech support team, I've been able to see that they have a lot on their plate they need to deal with and are constantly working to meet quota for both maintaining the current game and bringing in new content. Most of the F2P bugs have certainly taken a good chunk of their time away from addressing issues like this but they are being resolved in the end. Their solution for the 0:00 bug was to have the server do a certain "reset" every 30-45 minutes, therefore fixing the problem every 30-45 minutes. Why? Because resolving the actual issue causing the bug would require a massive amount of their time and attention when they have a new naut that just launched and have 3 more coming in the near future. Focusing on that issue would delay that progress substantially so instead, they resolve it with a temporary fix that at worst causes a 30-minute wait once in a blue moon (if it even happens at all) so that you can enjoy new content.

Also, why on Earth is everyone complaining about beta testing new things for characters? They don't make it into the live game and are in no way reducing the quality of the game at all. For the most part, they've been striving to make improvements where they can. I completely agree that some of the changes don't really work. Heck, Ted's been my lifeblood in this game since his release and I don't agree with any of the changes in this beta but I can completely understand why they were made and encourage Ronimo to keep looking for solutions for the problem they are trying to address.

Let's be honest here, Yuri is a problem. You ever notice how the only people who play Yuri are the people who've basically mastered him? I haven't seen a mediocre Yuri player online since way before the HMS was a thing. He is certainly the least intuitive control scheme in the game, which in a F2P game is very dangerous. Characters need to be approachable since they are behind in-game pay walls. No one likes to unlock a character with their hard earned AP and find they are unapproachable. The only people complaining about Yuri changes are people who don't experience these issues because they know how to play him. You've forgotten how it feel to pick him up for the first time because I know I'm not the only person who holds this position when I say this, but it feels like you can't tell which direction is up when learning Yuri and that's a problem regardless of the fact that he's a rewarding character to put time into and learn.

Concerning the other nauts, I can also understand why they are open to trying new things. Lux easily has the least consistent knockback push in the game and missiles are easy to avoid unless you are close enough to the enemy to AA them, at which point, using them is inferior to just fighting them down anyways with AA and danger pins. Ted's stim pack is one of the worst specials in the game in terms of viability. The only things people pick up on it is stun (which in use, has nothing to do with the functionality of stimpack) and attack speed (Which only a few immensely good Ted players pick up mid game to increase their DPS on machine gun after literally every other damage option is bought) Everything else on that row is picked up last and again, that's a problem. While I don't agree that that's how stimpack should be fixed, it still should be fixed somehow.

Heck Derpl's grid trap rework was Edster's recommendation if my memory properly recalls (showing that they DO listen) and served to make the special something that required skill to use. That change is being talked about by religious Derpl mains like Skip to attempt and find a good compromise. Point is, these changes never ruined nauts, nor have they put it at risk. I swear you all sound like someone who sees their friend take one bite of a food they never tried before, proceed to not enjoy that one bite, and then mock them saying "You're so dumb for even trying something new in the first place" Trying new things isn't a bad thing. Heck, I haven't seen one person thus far complain about the Skoldir butt slam change.

I feel like people are ignoring the progress they've been making. Rocco really needed a bit more oomph in terms of pushing power, Scoop was falling off the deep end in terms of team fighting power until 4.1. Clunk was too slow to get away from anything after attacking before his speed buff. Rae can't make an instant stalling/anti-initiation wall every 9 seconds anymore. Rae is also being encouraged to use AA more with the reduction on AA slowdown. And that's not even mentioning other issues resolved before the most recent patch. Ronimo does make progress.

The way people have been reacting to these changes is just dumbfounding. Sure, they may not work in their initial phases but for the most part, the tone of the community's response hasn't been one to attempt to resolve the issues they were attempting to fix, but rather is a tone that resembles a grade school bully. Immature, accusatory and in the long run of things about something completely unnecessary. This isn't to say that your concerns are inaccurate or invalidated, nor that the people in this thread are offenders in this sense but the general tone of the forums lately has been aweful.

I've seen first hand that they are doing everything they can to meet the needs of the game with the amount of manpower they have and they are making progress. Just because it's not the progress that veteran league 1 players want doesn't mean that they don't listen and that the changes being made aren't making the quality of the game better. Heck I'd love to see you manage even the same level of quality with the same resources. Are they getting everything perfect? Phht, no. But it can hardly be said that they are doing a bad job about the work their doing. Your concerns may be valid, but can we please reduce the negativity a bit?

Read this seperately

My apologies for the rant but hearing people say that all hope is lost due to a lack of specific solutions really does bother me. Especially after joining the tech support team and seeing just how much they actually fight for the game. I know what it's like to need to administer large amounts of work and not having time to do everything, nor the resources to ensure that he needs of everyone are met.

I believe the 2 biggest problems this game is suffering from is (As people have said) a lack of communication and a lack of manpower. These are issues that are going to need to be solved FAST if this game wants to stay afloat. They are dumping all their time into working on the game, yet that alone is keeping them from focusing on advertising and looking into player retention.

Allow me to do some meditation on these issues while at work tomorrow. We as a community can help. I'm convinced that these issues are caused by the sheer weight of the project. Ronimo really needs people to lighten the load in any way they can. I'll post some thoughts about this tomorow.

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 Post subject: Re: Real lack of faith recently
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:45 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:58 pm
Posts: 761
I've definitely noticed a decline in game quality since f2p.

I guess I can make an alt and have 95% winrate for 100 games, but that ruins a lot of games..

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