BzFlag is dying

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
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ChMetal
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BzFlag is dying

Post by ChMetal » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:48 pm

No one plays that used to be on every day. I think i speak for everyone when i say making friends with bznoobs isn't exactly the greatest. BzFlag was a part of me while i was growing up, and it's sad to see that it's slowly dying. Opinions, comments, let's talk about it.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Mark_IV » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:29 pm

I honestly think it needs to be spread more. No one knows about it. And I did too notice many players who were on a lot are thinning out, but making friends with bznoobs is gonna have to be a must. As i said before, no one knows about it. BZFlag on Facebook has 149 likes.....other games have hundreds of thousands to millions of likes. If it were spread around more I think BZ would be much better off.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by blast » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:20 pm

ChMetal, which version are you using? BZFlag 2.4 was recently released and many players have moved to that version now. BZFlag 2.0 is not compatible with BZFlag 2.4, so only 2.4 clients can join 2.4 servers (and the same is true for 2.0 clients/servers).
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by 888link » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:46 pm

i think a big problem is not many people really take the time to try to teach people. what i see happening is noobs come on, die a lot, and quit because they think they cant play very well. i think that if we could just help some ppl we would have a lot more players who enjoy the game.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by JeffM » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:34 pm

The game does not do a good job of helping new players get into it.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by 888link » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:16 am

maybe if we could get a tutorial map for new players (like something that explains the rules, teaches how to shoot, jump, dodge, ect.)
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by JeffM » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:23 am

that would be one part of the project, yes, but there is also a lot more that needs to be done to clean up the end user experience.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by 888link » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:38 am

hopefully that can be something incorporated into 3.0 (when/if that happens)
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by JeffM » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:01 am

There is an entire release dedicated to end user experience on the roadmap (3.0.2)
http://wiki.bzflag.org/Development_RoadMap

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by mahem1 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:15 pm

I think this has been asked before, but I think it would be good to put links to the wiki in the game client for newbies. This would really help to teach people.
I think these are some good links.
http://wiki.bzflag.org/Getting_Started
http://wiki.bzflag.org/Category:Tactics
Also I have never seen anything in the wiki concerning becoming NR, I know when started playing BZFlag I didn't know what was happening when all the players started driving in circles in little black balls.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by 888link » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:25 pm

thats a great idea :)
also is there an estimated time window for the release of 2.6?
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by JeffM » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:03 pm

nope

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by snick » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:30 pm

I think server owners can do a lot to help make their maps beginner friendly.

For example, the geno flag, if too readily available, can ruin the experience
for newcomers. I have in mind one particular map, where veteran players will
pick off newcomers with the geno flag. The new players often appear to not
understand what is happening and sometimes their teammates turn on them
with angry comments, which is not nice and can't be encouraging.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by blast » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:05 am

Server owners are not usually the map authors.

It should not be the map author's nor the server owner's job to teach a player how to play. The game itself should do that.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by range-target » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:31 am

Yes, there appears to be considerably fewer players here lately. As blast pointed out, it must be the new version being needed for what used to be the more popular servers. For Windows systems, get the upgrade is pretty simple. But for linux, upgrading can be a bit more challenging until the new release gets put up on the various repositories.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Gerbil » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:30 am

I noticed the new version did leave people split between two worlds--the "would you like to update now?" option at log on should help.

My first "contribution" when I began playing was to make a website with playing tips and help--at that time there really weren't any. I had tons of new players over time email saying that helped them a lot--no reason a good help site couldn't be developed by anyone again and I know some are still about. Maybe time for a more visible BZFlag wiki page?

In the old days, players were also very helpful to the point of not only helping you with the game but helping you learn programs and tools that you could use with it as well. They also were good sports and would help you learn in game before later crushing you without mercy..."Sportsmanship".

I think possibly submitting maps/plug-ins and tools to the ModDB site, regularly posting videos to Youtube and creating Wiki/Weebly type pages and even Pastebin resource links would help a lot.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Duane Dibbley » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:41 pm

One word: Genocide. It is a nasty, selfish, childish flag which spoils gameplay and discourages noobs. Without noobs the game dies. It makes a mockery of points being related to skill. I have messaged against it in games and I never use it - I do fine without it thank you.

That does not make me immune to its effects of course. It grates to be engaged in a hard-fought dog-fight and suddenly die or have one's opponent die for no good reason. Noobs are unlikely to continue playing long when they die without being shot. Also as mentioned by Snick noobs are seen as "geno bait" which has the double whammy of being targeted, and being blamed by their team - hardly welcoming is it?

And what exactly are the arguments for it? The whole enemy team dying? Capturing the flag does that in a logical and readily understandable way. Getting multiple points for a single kill? See "selfish", "childish", and "points related to skill". Yes Shockwave can do that too, but has limited radius, obvious effects, and requires skill in getting in close. Why have genocide?

I was told recently (by Sky King I think) that geno violates the terms under which Chris Schoeneman agreed to release his code, and I can see why. Getting philosophical, BZFlag is a community, Genocide is individualistic. Individualism is ok within limits - I usually play rogue. But now there is the rogue geno plug-in! Ffs, what, then, is the point in being rogue? This is taken to extreme in Overdoze where a rogue can get big rewards for pointing his muzzle at a wall and firing. Skill indeed.

Trawling these forums I turned up a poll: "Who wants a Kill-All-Rogues flag?" ( http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=972 ) where 40 votes were cast, 8 for and 32 against. And yet we have it.

Of course there are perhaps other reasons for BZFlag declining in popularity. Running two versions in tandem can't help. An obvious link to a comprehensive help and gameplay tutorial would be a good idea. But for my money, gameplay is where it matters. Who likes dying without being shot? With geno a large proportion of noobs who try the game get fed up and don't come back. Get rid of geno so that at least when you do die, there's a good, clear, logical reason that you can hopefully learn to avoid. You can't learn to avoid someone else getting shot.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by netochka nezvanova » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:02 pm

Geno adds to the team building . Its like a sudden thunderstorm coming and everyone is a victim. When the red team has geno the blues warn each other . If someone got hit people complain about it to each other. Thats is part of teambuilding. But u usually play rogue thats not about teams at all. in fact if u say bzflag is a community then get rid off the rogue option.

"noobs are unlikely to continue playing long when they die without being shot" . a real noob plays without looking on radar. so being shot in the back could be discourage . or shot in face by CL ...
if you 're interrested in playing a game you try to rtfm or chat with other players.

If we ( the old players) want the noobs to stay we have to guide them and learn all the tip and tricks (even how to make a geno kill him/her self)

if bzflag would be dying ( cant tell cause i cant play , bzflag wont run in osx10.7) a thing that would help is a sort of playerlevel thing noob/junior/senior/dino level just like the score here in the forum
so its easy to pick out the noobs and help them .

the problem is not the game itself but the experienced players are .
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Duane Dibbley » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:41 pm

I'm sorry netochka I think that's a pretty half-baked response. The team building you refer to in your first paragraph is already fully covered by the team flag. The point in your second paragraph is dealt with by the fact that in those scenarios the noob actually gets shot, with geno he doesn't get shot - unless he is genoed himself when he has the embarrassment of getting his whole team killed.

It's a lovely idea that the experienced players take noobs by the hand and guide them through the game, and it sometimes actually happens. But I don't think it can be relied upon.

And anyway, it isn't just noobs that get fed up of being genoed. Just watch the player count fall on a team that is getting genoed repeatedly.

I asked in my previous post "what exactly are the arguments for [genocide flag]?" and referred to my own:
a) killing the whole enemy team - which is catered for by the team flag (as is "team building") and
b) getting a high score. I suspect that is the main attraction for most habitual geno-users although they would be reluctant to state it explicitly. Why reluctant? Because at heart everyone knows that high scores achieved through geno are essentially unfair and unearned. 1 shot, 7? 8? 15? points? How is that defensible?
There is one other argument that occurs to me:
c) geno is a way of killing campers. Well, like it or not, camping is part of the game and there is significant skill in getting into a camping position. There is always a way to get rid of them, and if not then it is a fault with the map. In fact, some of the most frustrating geno kills I've had are when I have carefully got to a position to get rid of a camper when wham! Someone got genoed. Camper stays.

I used to use geno. It was a good feeling to shoot some dithering fool and watch my score jump. But I hated to die because of some other dithering fool. And I knew that my score didn't reflect my handful of kills. So I stopped using it, went rogue more often, and I'm happy that my points reflect my skill. However I still suffer its effects and often leave a map or the whole game because of it, and I know I'm not alone. It breaks the terms under which the code was released; 80% of votes polled were against rogue geno; it disproportionally favours the experienced over the novice; it makes the game less attractive. There may be many reasons the game is less popular but for me personally this is Number One. By its nature this board will be frequented more by experienced geno-users than those against, but in the face of falling numbers of players I don't think that greed for a high score stands up. Get rid of Genocide flag, let your score reflect your skill.

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by blast » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:33 am

Duane Dibbley wrote:Trawling these forums I turned up a poll: "Who wants a Kill-All-Rogues flag?" ( http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=972 ) where 40 votes were cast, 8 for and 32 against. And yet we have it.
There isn't a "kill all rogues" flag. There is a plugin that makes the Genocide flag also work against rogue tanks. This is not the default behavior, and requires that the server owner actually choose to load the plugin. The plugin can also control if a self kill by a rogue will trigger the genocide functionality. So, again, up to the server owner.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Duane Dibbley » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:56 am

Well yes ok thanks for clarifying that detail blast but as the effect is the same I can't help feeling it's somewhat peripheral, and it wasn't exactly the main thrust of my argument. Any thoughts re the topic?

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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Gerbil » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:57 pm

This is where quality server maps with balanced options need to be in place. Specifying shot limits, placing flags and altering ranges and the like based on the map conditions are as important as "eliminating" things that can be abused. Most servers just throw up a map taken from the archive and rarely alter the default settings or add their own--or do so with no thought at all to the effects.

Playing on single shot, no jump servers also improves skill--if there is ever such a server up.

Personally, I hate being whined at not to use a flag the server provides unless its just a flat out unbalanced map--i.e., corner parking with laser and mass killing, etc. The "I never use this flag so you shouldn't either" irks me.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by Bambino » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:54 pm

Mw2 has a good handle on genocide because of the 2(?) other bad flags placed on the center tower reducing the chance of grabbing the flag the first time. If anyone is paying attention to the center it is quite easy to kill the geno flag holder before your team gets wiped out.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by ACEofSpace » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:17 am

I agree with Gerbil on the point that shot limits and the like should be in place when the geno flag is in play. If geno is just a random flag with multiple shots on a team based server, that's obviously a little careless, but on maps like ziggurat and missile war where it takes a level of skill just to get the flag, there is a low shot limit (1 on zig, maybe 2 on missile war?), and the map layout is not conducive to easily killing a player with one shot, geno can be a very appropriate and rewarding tool to have.
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Re: BzFlag is dying

Post by blast » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:59 am

MW2.3 on BZExcess has a geno shot limit of 3, and I've been running the genoonce plugin (it drops the geno flag when you hit someone). People still manage to dominate with it. Also, I don't agree that it takes much skill to get up there.

Geno users do seem to target inexperienced players and even complain loudly when people kill their "bait". It's one of the few flags in the game that is not balanced, and I'm not sure how you would balance it exactly. There's the riskygeno plugin that makes your team die if you die while holding (or shortly after dropping) the genocide flag. With 2.4, there's the possibility of making a plugin that affects the score handling of the genocide flag (such as subtracting 1 point per kill or giving 0 points.. or giving a single point, which is a bit more complicated).
Duane Dibbley wrote:I was told recently (by Sky King I think) that geno violates the terms under which Chris Schoeneman agreed to release his code, and I can see why.
The Genocide flag was in BZFlag 1.7c, which is the first version of the code that was put into CVS eleven years ago. So that statement you're passing on is questionable.
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