Arcade Workshop Discussion: Factory Ships

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Welcome to our second Arcade Workshop!

Today we are looking at Factory Ships. Please use this thread to leave your awesome and constructive feedback on what you enjoy about the game as well as where you think it can improve. Thanks!
Since 19 hour passed and no one replied, I do a little hijacking here.

I want to point out why no one seems to be interested in this "Arcade Workshop".
People who read starcraft 2 news here are not interested providing feedback on "in progress" maps.
If somebody want give feedback on a map he can always use the reviews of the map (from time to time there are actually good reviews on the maps).
Also those who make Arcade maps can always us the Arcade Game Showcase forum here ( http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/8126759 ) or use sc2mapster to get more technical feedback.( http://www.sc2mapster.com/forums/player-zone/map-feedback )

I see you want to give some fame to less played and less polished maps, but its not succeeding in this way. At least you would pick maps that are not played at all (has very few reviews), both shape wars and Factory ships was played from time to time before highlighting. And Factory Ships was actually played more in the past...

What about making the review system better for maps on the bnet (for example: making options for the map owner to reply on reviews) and just sticking to making nice videos about good maps or highlighting more about community efforts like Skunk's mapnight http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/9499430894

As for Factory ships, Its a nice map, but there is too much information for people to digest when they play for the first time. Some of the upgrades and options should be only available in late game. Loosing upgrades on the hero unit when it dies feels unrewarding for newbies...
Also late game had some "lag" issues when the last time (months ago) I played with my low end pc, I guess there is too much moving units on the map in late game.
What about making the review system better for maps on the bnet (for example: making options for the map owner to reply on reviews) and just sticking to making nice videos about good maps or highlighting more about community efforts like Skunk's mapnight http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/9499430894

I think it might be better to have a separate section for reviews and feedback on Arcade maps, but enabling replies for the feedback section would be great.

I also believe that a prompt for giving a review\rating\feedback should come up after playing Arcade games for the first time.

I think it would be interesting for the community managers to open a line of communication about how to improve the workshop or in general help map makers get feedback. I do think the workshop has some merits, as all of the workshop maps I have never played or heard of whereas most of the regular featured maps I have played or heard of.

However, these feedback threads usually seem pretty dead.

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Played a 4v4 at Arcade Nights last night, since we had exactly 8 people at the time. All but one of our players were in a Skype call. That one odd player out was, coincidentally, the only player who had played the map before -- would have been helpful to have him on-call to give advice.

Nobody looked at game info and all they gathered from the loading screen is "Don't let your command center die" -- needless to say, as soon as we got in-game we had 7 voices screaming in confusion in asking questions. What do I do?? How do I get money? Whats happening? Ahhh!

I have to say, I was confused more then you might think reasonable. I didn't really have time to get my bearings as right at the first 10 seconds of the game my SCV's were under attack from spore crawlers, so I sent my battlecruiser into the fray. I didn't have time to read my ability toolips or look at my base.

Casting abilities randomly from my packed-full command card led to some confusion. I didn't realize Mag Mines did nothing until you autocast the ability. Missile Salvo did little enough damage I thought it didn't effect buildings; only units.

And so on. 2 minutes later I'm getting a good handle on things and I realize I've been in one of my allies lanes for the past minutes. :P

So, skipping over some stuff, the first boss comes. Nice and early, too - 7-8 minute mark? Anyway, 4 players die to this despite being on easy difficulty -- three on the enemy team, one on my team. I was not one of them, I am proud to say. I nearly was, but I discovered my Battlecruisor could heal my command center, which was a nice surprise. (Watched replay -- three died at 7:30-40, another a minute later)

However, to my embarrassment I did not discover defense pads until some time after this. Nor that they could upgrade to the incredibly useful healers.

To make a long story short, half the players died at the 7 minute mark on easy. The half that didn't die survived until our one player who had played before killed the lone player still alive on the enemy team at around the 22 minute mark.

I was finally understanding the game at that point (to some degree) and thought the concept was cool. However, nobody else was interested in playing (particularly the 4 who died and the 1 who lost) and went as far as to say whoever suggested the map shouldn't be allowed to suggest maps again.

Although clearly the map has a steep learning curve, I'm not going to blame it too much on it's cold reception - maps that take a while to pick up on just aren't suited to Arcade Nights, people seem to prefer more simple maps or maps most people have played before.

I do feel it could use some work in that area, though.

For starters, you highlight the defense pads, starports, and command center at the start of the game. Good idea; failed completely -- you throw us into the game with our SCVs under attack so that's what we look at. By the time we stop looking at them, your highlighting of critical units has disappeared as it only lasts 15 seconds or so.

Two issues here: It's very unfriendly to a beginner to start the game with your harvesting units under attack. It'd be fine if they get attacked in the first few minutes, but literally within 15 seconds of getting in to the game your harvesting units are being killed. This induces panic and gives the player no time to get situated and figure out what's going on.

Second issue: Why do they stop being highlighted and the game objectives go away so soon? I think each structure could stand to be highlighted until the player selects and uses them, similarly for the objectives. That's my 2 cents, anyway.

Lastly, your Battlecruisor has a full command card. I think it'd be a little better if you started out with a few essential abilities and bought\learned them later. Additionally, 3 of these icons are passive\unusable buttons that mostly just add to the confusion and overwhelming feeling. Basically, this:

Some of the upgrades and options should be only available in late game. Loosing upgrades on the hero unit when it dies feels unrewarding for newbies...

Although I didn't even know that I lost my BC upgrades when it dies. There is no indication of this. This is actually big news for me, it would change how I play a lot. (I was never too worried about losing my BC when I played)

That being said, I've only played this game once (aside from getting in to it to fact-check a few things for this post) so I don't have too much to say on it yet. Maybe I'll play it again another time and give some more feedback.
So, the first thing I noticed was a distinct lack of in-game instructions, advice, or any sort of tutorial. I was given a batlecruiser and some build pads and was told to get to work. If I hadn't played similar maps before, I would have had no idea what I was trying to do.

Moreover, the battlecruiser UI card was cluttered and unclear. there were many buttons, some were menus, some weren't. But I was unable to take the time to read them due to...

The next thing I noticed was that the game didn't give you a grace period to look over anything, whether it be your turrets or battlecruiser. It threw you right into the game. Your workers were immediately under attack, zerg were spawning left and right. I had no idea where my money was coming from, or what was or was not going to kill me.

Eventually once I got settled in and wasn't in immanent danger of death by spore crawler, I realized the game forgot to answer a very important question: How do I win? Obviously I kill the other players, but how do I do that? I cant get to them, theres a massive pile of zerg in the way, and I only had the one unit to control.

Furthermore I noticed the waves of zerg were getting stronger, but (due to reasons mentioned earlier) I had no idea how to upgrade my battlecruiser, or if it was even possible. Eventually, I died due to lack of resources and knowledge.

The game itself has a lot of potential, however there is a steep learning curve and very little time to get your bearings. Perhaps if you know how to play already its amazingly fun. However as a new player I would not want to play again without an "easy period" at the beginning so I actually have time to look around and see what I have.
Thanks for the feedback guys, I've made a few adjustments to the way the map starts to be more friendly to new players: (changes now live)

  • Spore Crawlers on the first mineral island will now be inactive until Day 1.
  • Initial helper UI will now remain active for much longer than before.
  • Transit Route should now display twice at the start of the game.
  • More Vespene available along the midline of the map now.
  • An excellent game.. Don't listen to the detractors too much Batomy ... I don't think it needs a tonne more changes.. Already great.. The fact that so many ppl are playing it, and hardcore-like is part of that..

    Well done, sir...

    I'm still learning a tonne (lots of depth here), but its a great game and most of us like the challenge!!
    An excellent game.. Don't listen to the detractors too much Batomy ... I don't think it needs a tonne more changes.. Already great.. The fact that so many ppl are playing it, and hardcore-like is part of that..

    Well done, sir...

    I'm still learning a tonne (lots of depth here), but its a great game and most of us like the challenge!!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think he should noobify the game or remove features to make it simpler, I just think changes could be made to make the opening of the game a bit more welcoming to newer players.

    For an example, when I say the command card should be simplified I don't mean these abilities should be removed, I just think they should be things that a more experienced user can unlock/learn/buy when they know how to use them.

    However; its an area where Batomys needs to proceed cautiously because obviously making it easier or simpler can ruin the enjoyment for some of the players.

    Above changes a good start!
    Oh, and there will always be critics :P
    Most of the people who would have given more 'constructive' criticism probably can't be bothered because they're too busy pwning and enjoying playing this game!! Really, your creation is at #8 on the arcade charts right now.. Pretty massive, no waits for games :D

    On the constructive end of things...
    I've played probably 6 or 7 games now and I've finally got the hang of it.. Some advanced upgrades, and great things going on in the centre of the map.. I don't think that's a terribly steep learning curve.
    Then again, I'm a 31 year old gamer who loves/spends most of the rest of his time playing Undead Assault 3, which isn't exactly easy on newbs and young kids either, so, take that as you may...

    Good game, lots of depth for now it seems.. Similar in line to Castle Defence (the Warcraft III mod) or the similar one for SCII, but better, of course,.. much more control, options, ..

    Fun game. I saw it at about 2am last night and (though I'd planned just 1 game), didn't get to bed to about 5am , so .. hahaha. Good stuff man.. I don't think much additional tweaking is necessary.
    I had one crash when I was playing, had selected one of the buttons in the middle of the screen, bottom panel (not sure which one), which caused a crash to desktop, but otherwise stable as hell and fine!

    I should also probably mention my specs though.. Intel 2500K Sandbridge i5, not overclocked. 8 gigs ram, running windows 8. ATI 6950.. Runs great for me.. Despite my machines age it still competes/beats even the latest Intel chips. I can also run Battlefield 4 Demo on Ultra though,. Could see this game causing problems for those with low system specs due to the amount of things going on. Not sure if that deserves a warning in the description or what, probably does as we've had a few laggers in games....
    TheSkunk>>> Sorry, but I don't think your experience is very typical.. At least not in any game I had (4 players dying on first wave?? wow), but I was playing late where its a more 'mature' crowd..
    I like a game with a bit of challenge, and where I have to figure things out..
    Big fan of Undead Assault 3, and other simlar games.. & I like this one lots so far.. I don't see the high lvl of initial difficulty as a bad thing, but rather a 'good' thing , that screens out detractors early and those not dedicated to these types of games (all the micro-types , etc). Just my opinion...

    Your comments on the hilighting though I thought were quite valid.. Keep things highlighted longer from the start.. ,should ease some of the learning curve.. BC's dying and loosing upgrades just adds to the game, keep it in.
    Give this game another go.. It takes a few games to get into it, (like all good games worth your time in arcade, IMHO)... Not nearly as complicated as some of those RPG-type games on here that I never got into (pointless complicated commands, long games :P ugh)

    Just saw your reply now, TheSkunk. Didn't see before I posted, but still stand by my post.,Thumbs up though, yes, if he adds a simple thing or two like the hilighting or more explanation it will be more new-player friendly.. (but again, do we want that?? ahaha)
    Oh, and as may be obvious by my profile.. I don't play SCII for the multiplayer..Way too much micro BS for my taste.. & I have bad carpal tunnel in my wrists so that would just damnwell kill me . I play for the single player and arcade.. But mostly the Arcade. :D Just to give a better idea where I'm coming from. Custom games were the best thing about WCIII too, IMHO..
    Haha, I don't doubt my experience of 4 people dying to be quite unusual. After I found out you could build defenses and heal things I actually found it quite easy. The first part of my post was just me simply stating how things went for my group as a whole and letting the map maker deduce from that what he will; not necessarily stating it needs to be more easy.

    I actually was quite enjoying the game as it was and I'm not bothered by having a rough start my first time around, but beginner impressions was all I could really focus on after playing the map only one time.
    Can't get my SCVs to change harvesting location after the initial setting. I start off setting them to the regular minerals on the side. After changing their order to harvest from any of the other 2 mineral asteroids they don't change. They just continue gathering from whichever mineral patch I set first.
    Thanks for the report Rogue. If anyone has any additional feedback for adjusting late game balance/gameplay or general suggestions please keep them coming!
    (Changes now live:)

  • Harvesting units from the forward base should now immediately change harvesting location when ordered to do so.
  • There is now a Zerg Steeple near the Vespene Asteroids in the corners of the map.
  • Well congrats Batomys looks like you finally got some well deserved notice. A lot of effort went in to your map.

    And Goa, how many times have we been over this territory? Sure Blizzard will never increase the size of the map making community at this rate and will still be losing map makers. But at least they will reduce the loss per year by.... not sure a float hold enough zeros before the non-zero value.
    Tons of fun, but it's insanely difficult. I always die to Space Whale, and often before that point, about 1 or 2 days before that, I start getting smothered by so many waves of flying zerg that my forward base is fully saturated and upgraded and supported by my battleship, but still gets annihilated. Very cool, just insanely hard.
    What an amazement that getting even a little official notice from Blizzard can make all the difference between a map sinking to page 2 and being in the top 3 on tug of war and top 13 overall.

    Who would have thought that the system itself wouldn't be enough to reward a deserving map?

    I do believe Factory Ships is deserving but it took that essential direct support from Blizzard to really take off.

    "Working AS INTended" ("WASINT") I believe I've heard it called.
    I've been playing this a bit and just realized that the game's genre is mislabeled.

    This is not a tug of war, this is a MOBA.

    Tug of Wars by definition have pre-defined and static routes. Hence the "rope" aspect. Also a by definition heroes either do not exist or play a secondary role. In Factory Ships heroes play the primary role.
    I really don't like the importance of gathering vespene and its relation to your BC's power

    the game could be a lot better if it wasn't just about maxing your BC's power and if all the upgrade paths were viable for a team (economy + turtle, upgrading waves, BC upgrading)
    Well, before it got locked down to HoTs only, I was loving this game! It was really well built, and had me wanting to keep playing it over and over :)
    Thank's for this excellent game Batomys.
    There is only one thing that i really dont like... is the exploding mobile 'Bonus Platforms' i see that you already fix that in the inicial one, but the other 2 are exploding after appering...
    I hoppe you can fix that problem :)

    Sorry about my english,

    BlitZ

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