Hello everyone, GoodVibesGamer here (for the q3 veterans, you may know me as dyno/dynom|te). Had a viewer tell me about the thread with my twitch clip and wanted to expand/address the AFPS developer's comments on tutorials (link to the thread is https://www.reddit.com/QuakeChampions/comments/b0dsun/good_vibes_gamer_playing_quake_champions_twitch/
if you haven't seen it).
For those that didn't watch, the TLDR of his thoughts were that he doesn't feel QC's issues stem from a lack of tutorial - it stems from AFPS's not being popular in 2019.
I won't argue that nothing is garnering the attention of Battle Royale's - but from the last 15 months of being in the QC community, I simply can't accept the idea that people simply hate AFPS. I've seen the same situation play out time and time again - and it goes like this:
Yesterday I'm streaming, and someone stumbles into my channel to watch. They think the game looks fun. They literally download the game as my stream goes on. And 2 hours later, the person comes back and says the following:
Viewer:seriously f*ck this game, im have to play against players with 17 times my skill level
Viewer: not fun is not the word, the right way to describe is horrible and painful, i feel like im playing against cheaters all the time
Some people are going to respond saying that's the way arena FPS is. They're going to say that if people can't handle the learning curve in Quake, then they aren't 'made' for it.
I will again respectfully disagree, and here's why.
I've taken friends I know in person and gone into the empty maps. I've been able to teach the basics of strafe jumping to them within about 10-15 minutes - they aren't flying, but they have a good understanding of the starting process. I also make it a point to show them a map, where the important items are, and explain how item timing works. I talk to them about not rushing the first opponent they see when all they have equipped is a machine gun. These are things that are second nature to the veterans - and unless a new player has someone like me as a friend who's going above and beyond to make sure this is their first experience, they're going to experience the same thing yesterday's viewer (and many before them) have, and you don't get a second chance at a first impression.
Look at the thread titled 'noob guy here, one week in', and see this quote from them: "I'm happy to report that in the past week I've played 21 hours and met a few really patient, really helpful people that taught me about mega spawns/timing, strafe jumping, rocket jumping, good starter champions to pick and stuff like when to take fights and when to run and just helping with map familiarity in general."
The community helping is huge - but with the current environment, anyone that comes to the game and doesn't run into those 'really patient, really helpful people' are going to leave as fast as they came. The developers HAVE to recognize this, and I'm willing to bet the data shows a lot of people playing 2 hours or less and never logging back in.
Arena FPS still has a place in gaming in my opinion. A lot of people make the valid point that back in the day, there were only 3-4 other games to play, and now there are countless options (I'd argue this is the 'Golden Era' of gaming in regards to the variety of choices people have). So: developers have a choice: Are we going to do things exactly as we've done them, so that the common gamer is alienated (or to be more blunt, destroyed) in their first games? Or are we going to go the extra mile and start putting more of an emphasis on making it a bit easier to narrow the gap for new players, so that they don't decide to leave and go to one of the other games that have softened the blow of being a new player?
I'm not saying water the game down - keep the ceiling where it's at. New players are GOING to lose. But at the same time, they shouldn't feel completely helpless. They shouldn't have the feeling that they're playing cheaters - they should KNOW why they're losing - If the opponent is controlling certain points better, they should know that's happening. They should understand the weapon leverage. We can make it so that they can improve quicker and objectively realize what the difference is between them and their opponent, not just get absolutely obliterated.
If the playerbase is so small that they're going to have people like me going against people that don't strafe jump, and the developers want this game to have a chance, they better spoon feed the new players on how to start strafe jumping faster.
To expand on my ideas:
1) 3 Defrag-esque maps - one for vq3 character movement, one for promode, one for slash. Have times saved, and give people a ghost so they can race their personal best time. If you wanted to go above and beyond, add a leaderboard to stroke the egos of the veterans to see who's the fastest with each character.
2) If this is too complicated, then add what we had in Quake 3: Let us run on citadel/other 'ctf' maps, and allow us to run routes / see times when we capture the flag (keep personal bests per character). I learned to strafe jump by sitting on dueling keeps and running routes over and over, and every time I capped it gave me a time to the millisecond on how fast I capped. It was exciting every time I got a new fast cap, and it gave me something to chase - it made learning strafe jumping a lot more fun.
3) For map knowledge, have elite players do small videos/tutorials of each map - where the items are, what their strategy is, different things to consider depending where you spawn. Anything that helps put a method behind the madness for new players so they at least have an objective behind what they're doing. If we can watch live streams in-game (which is an underrated think they built in), I have to believe they have the ability to do this.
I agree that creating a popular AFPS has unique challenges in 2019 - we have to adapt to the environment to survive, and while I respect the dev's opinion, it simply doesn't align with what I've seen every time my stream gets the interest of new players, only to quit a few matches in due to the degree of difficulty of going against top-tier players - and while it was a nice idea, some people simply won't play bots to start their gaming experience.
I think the new patch is going to be great for the current playerbase. But with the goal of seeing this game survive, I'd rather see things being put in place to generate new players, not just please the ones already playing. If we want to see Quake Champions stick around, we need to get the participation numbers up. The spectator numbers of big duel tournaments (20k or so) and the fact that many people come to my stream and think the game looks cool shows that there's still a place for QC - we just need to adapt a bit to the times.
Just my two cents - I've watched from the shadows enough to know some people will disagree, and that's okay. At the end of the day, I think we all want to see the same thing: An awesome game w/ a strong community to populate it.