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.
This is the best way of fixing the progressive developers' game abandonment during the last years.
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.
So let's save the idea for those better causes.