Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

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Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby OsoMako on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:43 am

Some people will point to the lack of success of Rocket Labs as a reason non-standard arenas shouldn't stay around. But it's very clear to me why Rocket Labs wasn't a success.

  1. Lack of variety.
    There were never enough maps in the Labs playlist when it was first introduced. 3 maps is not good enough, and although it was eventually expanded, it was too late by then. If Psyonix cannot or will not add more maps, then the community should be allowed to vote in new maps for the rotation via Steam Workshop created maps.

  2. Lack of maintenance.
    Of the few maps on the playlist, none were ever given real attention after their release. Psyonix could spend time reskinning the same box twenty times, but never to remodel or address issues with any of their Labs maps.

  3. Negative feedback loop with lack of popularity due to the previous two problems.
    When fewer people are on a playlist, fewer people want to get onto that playlist. It takes longer to find matches. It takes longer to fill in players when a game isn't full. The skill gaps are wider for games that do come into being. It's a vicious cycle that spells death for a game mode.

  4. Casual's continuing problem of starting games without enough players.
    Casual does not need to be starting matches without all the players in the game. Ever. Starting a game with AI is unacceptable. Playing an entire game with an AI is completely ludicrous. But the game also shouldn't be cancelling matches and forcing players to load the same map or a different map when it can't find a player. It needs to put the players into free play at the very least. Psyonix could also invent a new waiting mode that ISN'T free play. SARPBC was filled with mini-games -- this is the PERFECT place to put them in on a rotating basis. Then you can actually be EXCITED when a match doesn't have enough players to start.

  5. EDIT: Lack of Competitive Incentives / Endgame
    If you want somebody to care about something in a video game, give them something to show off. Whether it be a rank, a skin, or a title. Labs and the other casual modes need a ranked mode for people to want to play and improve on them. As long as those ranks reported to the API rank systems, then people can show them off wherever via their profiles. Is there any reason to not give them a ranked mode? Splitting the community? That doesn't seem to be an issue with any of the other modes.

The solution to all of these problems should be fairly clear. Give Labs and the other modes ranked. Put Labs maps in a different casual playlist -- probably one that includes standard arenas and the Snow Day arena. Start addressing the actual issues on those maps (Pillars blocking goal scoring views, standard walls on Cosmic, etc). Involve the community in creating maps for everyone else to enjoy. And make waiting for players actually enjoyable rather than an endurance test.

EDITS:
9/10/2017 - Added 5th bullet with ranked mode suggestion given by others in thread.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Volodesi on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:48 am

OsoMako wrote:Casual does not need to be starting matches without all the players in the game. Ever. Starting a game with AI is unacceptable. Playing an entire game with an AI is completely ludicrous. But the game also shouldn't be cancelling matches and forcing players to load the same map or a different map when it can't find a player.


..or make the BOT's as good as they claimed during Alpha/Beta. :roll:


Give the pro's a run for their money, my butt.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby OsoMako on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:49 am

Volodesi wrote:
OsoMako wrote:Casual does not need to be starting matches without all the players in the game. Ever. Starting a game with AI is unacceptable. Playing an entire game with an AI is completely ludicrous. But the game also shouldn't be cancelling matches and forcing players to load the same map or a different map when it can't find a player.


..or make the BOT's as good as they claimed during Alpha/Beta. :roll:


Give the pro's a run for their money, my butt.

Yeah, maybe for about the first 24 hours. After that ... :lol:
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby littlebigleg on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:03 am

put a rank on any map and people will play them
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby littlebigleg on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:08 am

or even try out new types of ranking systems on them,its labs after all
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby xkoeckiiej on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:15 am

I dont know about the lower ranks, but theres near nobody from grandchamp that actually plays 3s solo and it has insanely long queue times.
Switching this around with a ranked rocketlabs playlist would be reall nice imho.
As long as they add in all custom maps.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby OsoMako on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:16 am

littlebigleg wrote:put a rank on any map and people will play them

I believe that too. As I said in another post, pros never adopted non-standard arenas because they were never forced to play on them for competition. Why would you bother learning all the nuances of a non-standard map if you didn't have to? It only serves as a liability then. Psyonix never even tried to make their non-standard arenas really work. By being afraid to be too heavy-handed with non-standard adoption, they instead ensured their death.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby littlebigleg on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:43 am

and more communication between players and devs in labs. So instead of just playing different maps for fun ,the chance to sign up to having more involvement in the likes of beta testing and giving feedback etc,i think there are a large amount of players that would have an interest in this kind of thing
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Doomstrike on Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:27 am

Yup, give it a ranked mode and a seperate reward from the main rank stuff and people will flock to it. People need incentives to play. The second you say reward for X or you provide a new rank for non-standard people will want the rewards and so will play the modes. It's all about that carrot
Last edited by Doomstrike on Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby JacobThePigeon on Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:45 pm

Doomstrike wrote:Yup, give it a ranked mode and a seperate reward from the main rank stuff and people will flock to it. People need intensives to play. The second you say reward for X or you provide a new rank for non-standard people will want the rewards and so will play the modes. It's all about that carrot

Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby littlebigleg on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:07 pm

what i would really like to see in labs is things like the season mode that can be filled with players instead of bots.Solo standard tournaments where theres 3 winners in the end,and ranks are not involved,There are hundreds of possibility's that thousands would love to try out,just to see if it works,i would happily sign up to be a Guinea Pig for that kind of thing
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Desirsar on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:34 pm

Doomstrike wrote:People need intensives to play.


Doubly so when it's not something in their skill set...
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Doomstrike on Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:22 pm

lol guess when you edit your post to fix typo's it doesn't up date the quotes. Incentives not intensives
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby OsoMako on Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Doomstrike wrote:lol guess when you edit your post to fix typo's it doesn't up date the quotes. Incentives not intensives

I typically edit my posts about 10x right after I post them. I don't take well to previews. :roll:
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby JacobThePigeon on Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:55 pm

OsoMako wrote:I typically edit my posts about 10x right after I post them. I don't take well to previews. :roll:

I thought I was the only one. :cheesygrin:
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Hayaweh on Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:30 am

Doomstrike wrote:Yup, give it a ranked mode and a seperate reward from the main rank stuff and people will flock to it. People need incentives to play. The second you say reward for X or you provide a new rank for non-standard people will want the rewards and so will play the modes. It's all about that carrot


I could hardly agree more... And would be one of those people XD
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby N7Mith on Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:44 am

Osomako covered pretty much everything in his first post. The only thing I can add is; It would be a shame to put the alternative maps to waste because lots of people hated the ones in the normal playlist. There's nothing to lose by giving them their seperate playlist in ranked. Should the devs be so kind to at least give the people this option, please don't limit it to 3 maps, but put all alternate maps in there.
Give them a fair chance to compete with the standard maps and I have full confidence it will redeem the reputation of non-standards. And even if it doesn't, it will have had a decent try.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby N7Mith on Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:22 pm

JacobThePigeon wrote:
OsoMako wrote:I typically edit my posts about 10x right after I post them. I don't take well to previews. :roll:

I thought I was the only one. :cheesygrin:

No, I'm exactly the same :laugh:
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Tentacles on Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:39 pm

All non standard maps/modes should be in one ranked queue. I would love hoops, hockey, rumble, dropshot, & the weird maps in one.
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Re: Why Labs is Unpopular and How to Fix It

Postby Desirsar on Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:52 am

Tentacles wrote:All non standard maps/modes should be in one ranked queue. I would love hoops, hockey, rumble, dropshot, & the weird maps in one.


Unlike non-standard maps in the regular queues, hoops, hockey, and dropshot take a different skill set and tactics and would not do well together. A ranked queue for each, absolutely. Heck, make each "casual ranked", where the rank is visible but you can still leave matches without a ranked ban (you'd just eat a maximum rank loss, visibly.)
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