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 Post subject: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Yo! It's been a while since I did anything related to Awesomenauts due to life kicking it into high gear, but in light of a recent severe back injury, I'm stuck at home with nothing to do for a while, so I decided to see what 4.4 is about. I feel like the game is simultaneously making good steps forward and bad steps back with this one. Here's my feedback.


About Brawls

I admit I'm really into the idea of brawls. So far, I've had a great deal of fun playing in these quirky game modes and I think this might just be what the game needs to help pull more attention towards it. However, as it currently stands, it causes a lot of major problems that I really think can be avoided and should be addressed. I'll go over some pros and cons of brawls here.

The Good

I think brawls are incredibly fun. This new queue has actually solved a lot of the game's largest issues for me. Instead of being forced to play my best nauts with my best nauts friends in order to make it anywhere in the online mode, now I can play whatever naut I want, with whomever I want, whenever I want. Brawls give me the ability to play the game, however, I want to against real players while still gaining XP and AP.

Prior to 4.4, this game sucked so bad when it came to solo/duo queue. It was so bad, I personally deemed it "the worst multiplayer game not to premade I've ever played." Just too many matches go down hill due to a lack of a dedicated player base. This made playing the game in any setting but a full premade terribly unfun. Now that brawls are a thing, I can play by my own rules without needing other people. And it's actually really fun. Brawls give people the avenue to enjoy the game in a more casual sense without the hassle of setting up a custom match themselves.

There are drawbacks to this though.

The Bad

While solo/duo queueing can actually be fun now, it comes at the cost of never being fun in standard online matches anymore. Brawls have segregated the matchmaking even more. Now that the player base is split between two completely different game modes, the MMS has few acurate options from which it can pull players.

I have never had worse matches when trying to duo/solo online. Two matches in a row, I got hit with a third who hadn't played more than 10 hours and ran Leon without buying any damage upgrades until 12 minutes in. I also got hit with a third coco who bank rushed into blind, kuri mammoth, and pills. These kinds of matches didn't matter in brawls themselves, but they killed my online matches and basically reinforced my will to never play in online vs player without two good teammates to back me up.

In short, because of brawls, online mode (the main content of the game) sucks more than it ever has.

Additionally, I don't know how long brawls are going to keep people going. Sure, you can keep releasing different brawls, but over time, people are going to move away from them entirely for the main game. Boosts in AP and XP still don't mean too much in the long run. In the end, I don't want this to turn into "Max focus the game mode" where people play it for a few weeks and then no one beyond a dozen people ever touches it again.

Pros and cons of brawls

Pros :glasses:

- Fun and casual game mode that allows people to play the game and take it easy.
- Allows people to play on their own terms.
- Grants people the opportunity to play with their worst nauts and gain some AP/XP and play experience with them.

Cons :shrug:

- Splits the player base reducing MM quality.
- Mediocre rewards. AP/XP still don't do too much.
- Potential lack of longevity.

I like the idea of brawls. I think they could do the game a fair bit of good. However, I think they could be executed a bit differently in order to maximise their benefit. I'll be making another topic later about how these issues might easily be resolved. In the mean time, I want to hear what other people think about brawls. What do you think about brawls? What do you like about them? What do you not like about them? What could be improved?

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:22 pm 
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I am slightly confused as to how the previous stance of "we simply do not have enough players to have separate queues" has morphed into "we can split the queues, not a problem."

Is there something I am missing?

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:29 pm 
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The Lord Protector wrote:
I am slightly confused as to how the previous stance of "we simply do not have enough players to have separate queues" has morphed into "we can split the queues, not a problem."

Is there something I am missing?


Was it Ronimo that said that? I recall several players making that argument against draft mode but I don't remember Ronimo saying it personally.

If you can find them saying that, please post it here.

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:31 pm 
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draft mode?
nah, let's put another casual mode

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Diz Hydron wrote:
Was it Ronimo that said that? I recall several players making that argument against draft mode but I don't remember Ronimo saying it personally.

If you can find them saying that, please post it here.

I know that there have been indications against splitting the queue in the past:

This is a response to splitting the queue for premades which, while not strictly the same context as a draft, is the same principle nonetheless.

This is also the same principle as above, but with reference to Galactron. Again, not strictly regarding draft modes but an insight at any rate.

This is not an official statement from Ronimo, but it does detail why Awesomenauts has (had, at time of writing) only one core queue.

See specifically the seventh paragraph, here copied:

"...For exactly this reason [the implications of splitting the playerbase] Awesomenauts has only one core game mode. There is a custom game option where users can set up all kinds of weird game modes, but these aren't part of the core matchmaking and thus only playable through friend invites. This way there are extra options for players who want them, but there is only one core mode and it has plenty of players to matchmake with..."

I did actually think there was a quote about the specific draft mode issue from someone at Ronimo, but I cannot seem to find it. I will keep looking. Perhaps someone from Ronimo could now respond to this specific issue hint hint?

Obviously, these statements were made in the past, but the playerbase has not grown substantially enough to make them any less relevant—in fact, I would say they were more so now than ever.

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Fair enough. I would also like to hear Ronimo's response on this topic.

Additionally, I think in its current state with a bit of tweaking, brawls may not even cause this issue at all if it's changed to something more akin to a special event rather than a permanent fixture. Add stuff like more prizes, faction competition, special achievements, etc, on top of making brawls a special event, and it would maintain hype for longer than the game currently does with its patches.

Currently, hype in this game works like this.

Patch>hype>hype dies down>patch>hype

With brawls, I think it could work something like this

Patch>hype>brawl>hype>hype dies down>brawl>hype>Hype dies down>patch>hype

All brawls as a permanent fixture is going to do is just give players one more thing to get burnt out on. If it were only available every X days, the playerbase's attention would keep returning. The split MM issue would decrease given A. People's attention would be focused on the current brawl and B. the entirety of the player base would engage in the standard online mode when brawls were not available.

So yeah, split MM is an issue, but we don't need to get rid of brawls to resolve it. We just need to tweak brawls a little bit.

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:33 pm 
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Brawl feedback:
  • Fun, but also not fun because MM doesn't take part in it. It doesn't matter how goofy the ruleset is, 4k hour players vs. 10 hour players is not fun. Leagues should have some impact in it.
  • Tell us when the brawl period actually is with a countdown timer on the "play" screen.
  • Tell us the ruleset of the brawl ingame by hovering over it in the play screen. There are still people not understanding that piggy bank is free in this.
  • PUSH CUSTOM MAPS INTO THE GAME. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO IT. Map editor is basically a game in itself, it's amazing what you can do in it but we're all just circlejerking off to our own stuff. Put maps you guys think are really good into brawl rotation, let us vote on them at the end of it and see if you can polish up+introduce them to the main rota.

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Indeed Ronimo have many times over stated splitting matchmaking just isn't realistic with the difficulties the game already faces, and Joost made entire blogs on how important it is for matchmaking to have a huge amount of players to draw from in a game where player skill is so darn important (In other games, let's say Town of Salem, they can get away with it because the game already depends on random and highly variable human interactions, so player skill differences actually makes very little effect on the game quality)

So why they chose to do this?
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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:26 pm 
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I *think* I understand the reasoning behind adding Brawl. Yes, the Awesomenauts playerbase probably isn’t large enough to support multiple game modes and matchmaking queues. Yes, adding Brawl splits said playerbase and negatively impacts standard ranked matchmaking. However, aside from bug fixes and balance changes, Awesomenauts has reached a stage in its development where pretty much everything that the community has requested has made it into the game in some form. The only big feature I can think of off the top of my head (other than adding a single-player campaign) that hasn’t been implemented is additional game modes.

Brawl could be considered as the answer to this long-running request. Instead of splitting the playerbase multiple times to incorporate a variety of game modes, Brawl allows for a potentially infinite number of rules and gimmicks to be featured in a matchmade game whilst only dividing said playerbase once. People who prefer more serious competitive ranked play can still continue to do that. But others, like myself, who prefer to just have fun and goof around with the game’s settings can play Brawl. And hopefully Brawl will never feel like its gotten old because the rules in place are constantly changing, perhaps with more popular combinations making a return more often.

We can only see how this affects matchmaking on a whole with time, but I view Brawl as Ronimo’s way of giving players something they have requested since the game launched, and bringing the fun of custom game settings into the mainstream, whilst not dividing the playerbase so much that finding a match becomes impossible.

I’m having fun with Brawl. It’s nice not having to worry about a leaderboard.

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 Post subject: Re: 4.4 Feedback on Brawls
 Post Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm 
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I like the brawl mode. Would be interesting to see more potential gamemodes added to it in future.

Problem is that the playerbase isn't exactly big enough to support two different queues at once, so in that case, I'll have to agree with Fish's suggestion of picking a specific day for Brawl, locking online queue to Brawl, and if people don't want to play brawl they can just.. not play on that day. Would be fun to have it like, every Friday or something (weekends would be good, so people can have time to play it).

Also, I personally haven't seen any difference in regular queue since Brawl was added, but I play in Aus region, so what do I know.

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