[FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

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[FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by Jimmeh » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:37 am

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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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by WombatDeath » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:54 pm

I think that you should budget for a hired goon in each country to track down the perpetrators and punch them in the throat.

If that's not practical, my second suggestion is to have a Concede button (in the actual match UI, and in the list of in-progress games) coupled with a configurable cut-off period defaulting at a week. So if there's no activity for a week, the inactive player concedes automatically. It would probably be necessary to have maximum and minimum limits on the cut-off to stop people being silly.

But really, I've yet to encounter many problems that can't be solved with hired goons. And it would be thematically appropriate, too.
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by agothar » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:00 pm

If the losing player hasn't submitted their turn by the end of the deadline, they'll have a much harsher score penalty compared to losing after completing the game. (the punishment could be stronger if the player keeps doing this)

Another way would be to cut down the losing player's turn time by a few days or so for their next matches (I always thought it'd be cool to see how much time you had left to complete a turn while looking at the active matches list)
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by no_0ne » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:47 am

A concede button as WombatDeath suggests, and preventing the player from starting a new match until they've made their turns for all of their active matches.
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by M1N1M3 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:46 pm

Echo the need for a concede button, but it wouldn't solve players abandoning games.

The two week timeout has worked well previously, I don't see why you'd change it.

That said, I'd like to see the addition of a chess clock for added competitiveness:
Give each a player a timer starting at some time, say two weeks for a normal game or maybe an hour for a 'quick' game.
Let both players submit the first turn. This allows both players to decide whether the map and spawns are fair.
At the begining of Turn 2, both players timers begin counting down.
When a player submits a turn, their timer stops.
When the next turn begins, both timers begin again.
If a players timer reaches 0, that player loses.
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by frostedflak » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:30 am

Forfeit option is critical. Abandoned games in a lot of cases are really just conceded. It would be great to honorably close those out when I'm losing. Also taking final score more significantly and transparently into account when determining elo/ladder/lp position gives incentive to play out lost causes. Then you can have a game that is scored in different positions from clear win - narrow win - draw - narrow loss - clear loss/forfeit - abandonment.

You can't just force people to play out losing games - it's a terrible game experience to get zoned out for 5 turns while the other guy is picking up red boxes because you made a mistake in turn 1. In a game where the best experience is to have a bunch of games running actively simultaneously, clicking Prime mindlessly waiting for a lost game to end is just a chore.

To get people to actually click the forfeit button, I might add a poke - if you have a game that's been unplayed for more than one session, when you log in the game can intercept with "you haven't played these for a while, do you want to honorably concede them?" and have a yes/no response. You also probably want to have the impact on elo/ladder/LP clearly visible (if i get 2 boxes how much elo do i lose?) so players can see the difference between closing the gap in a losing effort, conceding, and abandoning a game.

I'd also go with some positive reinforcement - when someone concedes the winner gets a "GG" chat button to press or something of the like (and always calling conceding honorable). I also might have for positive reinforcement if you're still going to do featured games 'featured comeback' which might even have someone moving from clear loss to narrow loss if you manage your ladder with that level of precision.

For behavior in general, you can also have the maximum number of games a person can be in grow with experience and behavior. People who abandon or are jerks in chat (if you have some) have their max games limited and maybe have to wait for a while to be matchmade for a week. People with lots of experience and play with honor get 35 simultaneous games at the same time.
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by Gandalf8 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:30 pm

Hi mode7 team, hi guys,

first of all, it's really nice to hear that there seem to be tangible plans for a successor to this great game. :D This is the best way of fixing the progressive developers' game abandonment during the last years. :lol: Actually, this was my first association when I read the subject.

As far as the "problem" at hand is concerned, many good ideas have already been presented by you guys. The most obvious one also from my perspective is the introduction of a "concede" (or "forfeit") option. I believe that the majority of the abandoned games is abandoned only due to the lack of this option, and we probably wouldn't be discussing the matter here if it existed from the start.

Of course, without further consequence, there still will be a lot of abandoned games by people who simply don't care for whatever reasons. As in education, there are two possibilities to counter those: Incentives (or "positive reinforcement", as they were called already :)) and penalties. As usual, some people respond to neither of the two, but usually, you'd expect better results with incentives than with penalties. Actually, in our case, it works both ways: (Score) penalties for the abandoners could be converted into score bonuses for those who stay until the end, even if this end means defeat. This idea also has been sketched out already in the replys.

In real life, one of the best ways to enforce desired behaviour is by hurting people's purses. Fortunately, we don't have this option here. :) However, another thing most people do care about even in the virtual world is their reputation. So following up on another of the ideas that already have been presented here, I would recommend the introduction of some kind of reputation classification which might be fed, among others, by the frequency with which players abandon games. As in other forums, any user's reputation should always be plainly visible to all the others.

In the following, I'd briefly like to take the next step and think about what this means for the match making options. Indeed, there are some other concepts from Chess that might be beneficial also for FS. The idea of a "chess clock", for instance, is quite good and might be extended into a match making option: Like in chess, there should be various standard game durations, ranging from "Blitz" to (almost) endless. That would make it much easier for most people to assess which response times they will encounter most likely. If there's no answer from either player within the previously agreed response time, the game is automatically lost.

Finally, let me summarize what we have so far:
  • Concede (or Forfeit) option ("honorable" way of giving up and ending the games immediately without penalty)
  • Score penalty (resp. score bonus) for abandoners (resp. for players who stay until the end)
  • Reputation system (maybe also as filtering option during match making)
  • Configurable timeout (preferably again as part of the match making system)
Ah, and by the way: I also like the "hired goons" idea to some part, though there are probably many occasions where those are much more appropriate than here. :lol: So let's save the idea for those better causes.

CU, Gandalf8
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Re: [FS2] Fixing Game Abandonment

Post by artless » Wed May 25, 2016 7:09 am

the 2 week buffer currently in place seems fine. the score loss should be maximum though. my opponent abandoned a game of charge. had he stayed i would have gotten 100+ points for my bid. but instead the forfeit defaulted to only 99 points. as a result my ELO went down. happened in secure as well. opponent forfeited the match and i got only 99 points resulting in minus 3 ELO. which raises another topic. ELO shouldn't be score dependent. its too easy to force a draw by camping in extermination. and too hard to bid 3/4ths the map in charge or 1/2 the map in secure every game. a lot of games aren't worth playing based on the opponents rank. a 1700 rating player vs a 1100 rating player, that gets a perfect 50 score in an extermination 3 on 3 match, will lose 0.86 ELO points. the higher rated played would need a 1558 rating in order to break even for his flawless win. but even that means 0 points.

also if there is a 2 week buffer, you should let us know in the game lobby when that is. right now we can see when a game starts but not when the last move was made.
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