Then came the pandemic, and with it a relatively large amount of returning players who would check the server list and since the servers weren't all empty for once, some of them stuck around. We started having sumo tournaments and tst pickup games, and eventually we even brought back the ladle and 6v6 fortress pickup became a common thing. Amazing! This game was a thing again. We even got a plethora of dynamically sized sumo bars and a sumo bar league with 4 organized sessions per week! Take a minute to let that sink in. I think we can all agree that this was a very improbable fluke.
Now, just as most people have been getting back to their jobs, the game is finally on steam. Like we wanted so badly for so long. And players are flowing in. Not by the dozen like some might have hoped, but we're getting new players checking out the game every day. Some of them quit immediately, some stay for a while, and some are even joining the discord and trying to learn fort. If we're really lucky, we'll keep getting a few new players every day for a little while longer.
And for the first time in a long, long, long time ... like 7-9 years or something, I don't know ... we had a public fort game going on with a mix of experienced players and almost more newbies than we could handle, sometimes 3 at once and definitely more than 5 in the whole session. I'm talking about 7v7(+) fortress, not some 3v2 "winners attack" situation. And what do I see some of you guys saying? "This is boring," "they suck," "add pickup so we can play for real," "your team doesn't even have a def". Seriously? How short-sighted are you?! We finally have the opportunity to welcome a new generation of players into our community and you're whining because you didn't get to play a 2nd back-to-back pickup that night? Get your shit together, and do your best to think more than half an hour ahead ... if you're capable of it.
I've seen the argument that "nobody was nice to me when I started, but I kept going". Yeah, maybe you did. Many of us here today did. But obviously that general strategy didn't work out too great, now did it? There were multiple factors behind the fort community dying (or going into a deep coma), but scaring away new players was definitely one of them. Let's learn from our mistakes, please.
We can't be wasting this opportunity. We have to be smarter. We need to think about what's best for the future of this game.
We'll still have our pickup games and the other competitions, and we'll still have dynamic sumo bars where only experienced players can win matches no matter how many times we tell the noobs to stay in the zone. But we can be smart about it and sometimes set aside the immediate fun to instead invest our time into the future of the game. The skill gap is huge as it is, and we're unlikely to get another world crisis helping us out — right? So let's make the best of this chance — it might be our last one.
I just want to make it clear that most of you have been behaving brilliantly and many of you have made sacrifices for the good of the community. You know who you are. And those of us who have been acting poorly in regard to accomodating new players have probably been doing so due to a lack of attention, or simply by treating others how you were treated when you were new. What I'm saying is I'm not holding anything against you, I just ask that you think about our situation and act in the best way you possibly can, now that you're aware.
We don't need to be the bestest friends foreverest to be able to share a common goal and work together to achieve it regardless of our differences.
Finally, to those of you who think I'm overreacting and grasping at straws, here's a steam review we got recently. I was half-considering making this post before, too, but reading this made me go through with it.
Let's make sure that that's the last review of its kind, OK?Negative Steam Review wrote:Veteran players can be mean and demeaning to others. No helpful practice servers or guidance. In this game you are pretty much on your own. Be sure not to try and ask too many questions about how to play or they might silence or kick you from their server. Client is buggy and crashes a lot. Not even playable in windowed mode. Tried the client from their website which was a little better. Overall not recommended. If you look at the positive reviews, they are all from players who have been around for a long time.