[TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

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sinewav
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[TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by sinewav »

When I predicted a leveling-off in Armagetron's player base I did not expect it to happen quite so fast. But here we are, the hardest of the hardcore Tronners. I have always viewed this community from the perspective of competitive TRON. Competition is essential — but so is variety. I want to talk briefly about organized events and the community at large.

A couple years ago I wrote a Tron Times article that analyzed Ladle results for any given time-frame. Not surprisingly, Ladle wins followed something called the Pareto principal, that is, 80% of all wins came from 20% of the players. (In reality it was closer to 90/10.) Obviously, today there are barely enough players available for two Fortress teams. The community is no longer large enough to support a truly competitive team environment. Today, achievements will be made on an individual basis, or at best, very small teams of 2-3 max.

What does this mean for Ladle Fortress? Well, nothing really. As we can see, 2020's vision of TRONIC has come full circle, from ad hoc teams to a highly detailed tournament structure back down to a fully randomized Ladle 108. Several players have said to me "we should stop calling it Ladle." My initial response was usually "who cares what it's called?" But thinking further, the name Ladle has held a certain meaning for players. It has symbolized growth, achievement, and stability. This isn't to say Armagetron is now void of these things, but the character of our game has changed significantly. Today I am Ok with abandoning Ladle Fortress and replacing it with something new. In fact I think it is imperative we do it.

So, if not Ladle, what then? I don't know, but a single Fortress competition is not enough to sustain such a small, creative community. We need variety. Our creativity has spawned numerous games and everyone has their favorite. The downside of this diversity is that your interest will wane if you never get to play the games you like. I've fantasized about a general purpose tournament server, but if this idea is never realized we should still focus on the variety a server like that could provide. It would require all of us to step a little outside our comfort zones for the benefit of all. We can fill the hole left by Ladle.

The decision to meet on the first Sunday of every month at 1800 GMT was not chosen arbitrarily. For years this has been the best time for an international community to come together. The community has changed, but is there really a better time? Are there more times? Or fewer times? We should think about this. We should maximize this. Personally, I have very little time to play the game but I still look forward to that first Sunday (though these days Saturday is just as convenient). What about everyone else? Let's talk about it. Let's ask others about it. And while you are asking when, ask them "what?"

I think it is time for a full community audit. Even with our small size there are still schisms between game modes, notably the divide between high and low rubber, zone-based versus regular play. We should work on bridging the divide. What games can we play that might bring players together? If nothing exists, let's make it. The perfect people to provide input on this matter Are current players who enjoy both Sumo and Submarine, Fast Track and Fortress. What do you have to say?

Finally, our audit should include gathering these scattered communities into a central communication hub. The official Armagetron site used to have active links to clan pages and other Arma forums. Where are people socializing outside of servers? Can we link them together in one place? Is this possible with Discord? Maybe a page on Lightron.org? The Arma wiki? Where we put it isn't as important as having it.

Let me take just another few seconds of your time to put in your brain my Utopian vision of Arma in 2017. It is a place where players meet a couple times a month at a predetermined time to join a rare or new server with physics they aren't used to and a map they haven't seen in ages (or have never seen before) to have fun with people they've come to know, and meet others for the first time. It could happen.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by Lucifer »

Honestly, I'm in favor of replacing Ladle/Bowl with an Olympic style competition where we get to fold in all the various game modes people enjoy, and encourage people to try games they haven't played. A monthly competition could support a yearly Grand competition by providing various events monthly, and then we'd all vote on the yearly events to be included. That might be a bit big for the size of the community, but it also might provide growth to the community, so it could (hypothetically) become self-supporting.

Obvious events to run monthly:

* Racing (both get-to-the-end-first and obstacle-based)
* Sumo and Team Sumo
* Fortress, of course
* LMS, again, of course
* partner LMS (basically team LMS, but with 2-person teams)
* Maybe a scaled-down 2v2 styball?

For larger team-based competitions, like a Fortress where there *is* only two teams, medals would be handed out based on analysis of the recordings. Obviously being on the winning team is worth points, but there'd be other criteria to assess the "ideal" fortress players, and it would be possible to win the gold and be on the losing team. For free-for-all, simply awarding the medals in order of score should be fine.
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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by vov »

I agree with Lucifer on having tourneys for more stuff. Maybe put diferent events on different days of the month like Ladle or CTF Brawl did it?


About the differing game modes, my approach to that was a server with game modes changing after every match. It didn't work and people nearly always left immediately for their favourite servers.
My new approach for a server right now is based on near instant respawns. Chaos sumo seems to be popular every now and then because of that. On that note, I really liked trench - specifically my alternate map for it. It has fortress based gameplay AND deathmatch. Right now I'm testing around with the idea of a team-deathmatch arena that includes control zones spawning periodically which award an objective score. Not sure about the physics yet - something between sub and sumo? I could also change them mid-round if so desired.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by Word »

I've come to regard participating in tournaments as a nice bonus since I spend most of my time writing stuff now - I'd rather have one big tournament at the end of the year (during winter when more people tend to play anyway) or no tournament at all until the regular games and Arma itself are back on track unless you still enjoy organizing those despite the decreasing number of people who show up. If I had a simple solution for that, I'd post it...

I doubt that simply having the game accessible on steam/discord will be enough. Maybe some people with time on their hands can put themselves on youtube and talk about the game and their experience in such a relatable/emotionally resonant way that people only install the game because they want to meet these guys/kick their asses? :-P You could also intercut it with gameplay footage/the player using his keyboard (split-screen? Speaking of which, local mode with multiple players can be advertised that way too...you can show a top view of a keyboard with 8 hands playing and the four screens with different bikes above that) and talk about the opensource idea. One thing that makes arma so special is how fast your decisions affect what happens on screen. Perhaps all you have to do is draw attention to that. Have old/young/handicapped people play it...I could go on but you get the idea. This is something that most videogame advertisements seem to lack, they don't show real people while they play the game - because it's uninteresring. In a third person shooter one uses mostly the mouse and arrow keys/wasd, and occasionally some crouch/jump/interaction key. If you'd film Xyron sumoimg he'd probably look like some famous pianist. Speaking of Xyron, I'm in Hungary next week, so I won't be on the grid.:-P

Hey guys, if you want you can already upload footage of yourself and talk about your passion You don't need to show your face. Use whatever language you want. Video quality needs to be acceptable though.
Last edited by Word on Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by sinewav »

vov wrote:...my alternate map for it.
Looks good. Before we have a TRON Olympics we must get organized. I'm not 100% sure how to go about this, but perhaps we could:
  1. Collect a list of active forums/sites that Tronners visit
  2. Learn what time is best for tournaments
  3. Start a conversation about which games we should have (or make new ones)
  4. Organize the event structure, probably on the wiki
Which players organized DF/HR events in the past? Are any scheduled for the future?

Is it possible to get activity data from the master servers? Perhaps we can write a script that polls the master servers and collects the number of players/servers over a couple weeks so we can see when people are playing?

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by kyle »

Top 25 most active servers of the last 5 to 6 days

Code: Select all

The CLASSIC Submarine	28090
{OMG}High Rubber	11998
>>> FASTTRACK <<<	4952
.dBd|High Rubber	4236
The CLASSIC Submarine	2498
The Tanning Salon	2130
teams go	1871
Phoenix	1869
Rx ~ Loose Insomnia Clan Dogfight East NA ~ Rx	1793
Nelg's High Rubber Shooting *testing new settings*	1664
Taci's Capture The Flag Shooting with bouncing	1514
Auto Acceleration Racing USA	1490
The YELLOW Submarine USA	953
>>> FASTTRACK 1v1 <<<	900
WILDCAT IS BACK! (Lagless Eu Sexy Time) (New IP)	897
..D.o.g.F.i.g.h.t..	891
LS's Love Shack	456
The Emperor	398
MegaSumo Pro Lagless EU Sumo Bar Sexy Time <3	396
Oasis  -Team Sumo-	357
Alpha Project - High Rubber	334
The YELLOW Submarine	293
Einherjer Europe [linuxiuvat.de]	270
underboob(highRubber);	249
|FA| Hold and Capture the Flag!	249
(the number is the count of the players that were there for the time frame when my server queries them every approx 2 minutes)
(This is by the distinct colour of the server name)

Edit: Corrected the list, was using count instead of sum
Last edited by kyle on Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by D33P »

EDIT: list was fixed

Kyle, the activity list you posted doesn't seem like its accurate.

The difference between the 4th ranked server (|FA| Fortress!) and the last server on the list is only 10, which seems highly unlikely since the first 3 servers were separated by thousands of player counts and then suddenly the next 20 servers were only separated by 10 total player counts.

Also, there are several servers on the list that I've never seen before, and would highly doubt were in the top 25 most active servers. While this could theoretically just be me not getting on when these servers are in use, I am almost certain that regular Fasttrack (>>> FASTTRACK <<<) has been more active than Fasttrack 1v1 (>>> FASTTRACK 1v1 <<<), yet FT 1v1 makes the list but regular FT does not.

Just something I noticed when I was browsing this thread. Maybe your counter needs to be fixed.
Last edited by D33P on Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by kyle »

D33P wrote:Kyle, the activity list you posted doesn't seem like its accurate.
...
Just something I noticed when I was browsing this thread. Maybe your counter needs to be fixed.
It was, I used count instead of sum, fixed

Edit had another idea:

This is the times the server showed up, where there was more than 1 player in it (2 or more players)

Code: Select all

The CLASSIC Submarine	3461
{OMG}High Rubber	2367
>>> FASTTRACK <<<	1214
.dBd|High Rubber	1021
The CLASSIC Submarine	582
Phoenix	794
teams go	803
The Tanning Salon	561
Rx ~ Loose Insomnia Clan Dogfight East NA ~ Rx	427
The CLASSIC Submarine	386
Nelg's High Rubber Shooting *testing new settings*	430
Taci's Capture The Flag Shooting with bouncing	284
Auto Acceleration Racing USA	454
>>> FASTTRACK 1v1 <<<	270
The YELLOW Submarine USA	242
..D.o.g.F.i.g.h.t..	216
LS's Love Shack	124
The Emperor	123
WILDCAT IS BACK! (Lagless Eu Sexy Time) (New IP)	120
MegaSumo Pro Lagless EU Sumo Bar Sexy Time <3	77
Oasis  -Team Sumo-	99
.dBd|Second-Chance Sumo! (US)	62
underboob(highRubber);	56
Einherjer Europe [linuxiuvat.de]	76
!Sh EU Sumo Bar! (Toulouse, France)	71
for 1 or more

Code: Select all

The CLASSIC Submarine	3668
{OMG}High Rubber	2400
>>> FASTTRACK <<<	1794
.dBd|High Rubber	1973
The CLASSIC Submarine	883
The Tanning Salon	995
teams go	965
Phoenix	937
The CLASSIC Submarine	666
Rx ~ Loose Insomnia Clan Dogfight East NA ~ Rx	587
Nelg's High Rubber Shooting *testing new settings*	751
Taci's Capture The Flag Shooting with bouncing	538
Auto Acceleration Racing USA	840
The YELLOW Submarine USA	373
>>> FASTTRACK 1v1 <<<	331
WILDCAT IS BACK! (Lagless Eu Sexy Time) (New IP)	688
..D.o.g.F.i.g.h.t..	486
LS's Love Shack	140
The Emperor	144
MegaSumo Pro Lagless EU Sumo Bar Sexy Time <3	145
Oasis  -Team Sumo-	185
Alpha Project - High Rubber	231
The YELLOW Submarine	166
Einherjer Europe [linuxiuvat.de]	125
underboob(highRubber);	77

and 8 or more players have been seen in this

Code: Select all

The CLASSIC Submarine	1785
{OMG}High Rubber	395
Taci's Capture The Flag Shooting with bouncing	29
>>> FASTTRACK <<<	28
The CLASSIC Submarine	26
Rx ~ Loose Insomnia Clan Dogfight East NA ~ Rx	16
The CLASSIC Submarine	12
.dBd|High Rubber	7
MegaSumo Pro Lagless EU Sumo Bar Sexy Time <3	3
.dBd|Second-Chance Sumo! (US)	2
The Tanning Salon	1

(all data based on the last 5-6 days, each count is for about a 2 minute period )
Last edited by kyle on Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by D33P »

Thanks. Looks accurate now.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by sinewav »

Alright, we have established "where" but I think knowing "when" would be more helpful. The biggest hurdle in maintaining a small community is finding times to play together. Some players can only log on at certain times of day. If they never see anyone on, Arma looks "dead" but in fact there might be a lot of activity at other times. If we can find a couple key time frames each week/month that have high activity we can target those times for community building.


Also, let me stress this point: the number of people who are interested in regular competition might be incredibly small. At this point I'm simply interested in reaching out to people.

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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by Lucifer »

sinewav wrote: Also, let me stress this point: the number of people who are interested in regular competition might be incredibly small. At this point I'm simply interested in reaching out to people.
I think the number might be bigger than you could be expecting. As anecdotal evidence, I offer myself. I haven't had the time to practice enough to play fortress competitively enough that I would be willing to compete in Ladle, which is why I've never had a Ladle team or been on one. But something like this, I could show up unpracticed and just have fun. No monthly commitment, no need to defend a title, just show up when I can (which is more often than I am available to practice), and if I *do* make the big yearly event, THAT I can make time for. I suspect there are others like me. Actually, I know there are, I just don't know if the ones I know about are still active enough that they'd show up.

Edit: The Gunning Fog index on this post is 10.12
http://gunning-fog-index.com/
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Re: [TT] Tron Times: Community Outreach

Post by kyle »

Time (GMT) number of players

Code: Select all

2016-08-17 16:10:56 	34
2016-08-17 15:26:18 	34
2016-08-17 16:14:59 	33
2016-08-17 16:13:38 	33
2016-08-17 15:34:25 	33
2016-08-18 17:54:53 	32
2016-08-17 16:12:17 	32
2016-08-17 15:35:45 	32
2016-08-17 15:31:40 	32
2016-08-17 15:24:58 	32
2016-08-19 16:08:09 	31
2016-08-18 18:03:51 	31
2016-08-18 18:01:14 	31
2016-08-18 17:58:41 	31
2016-08-18 17:41:41 	31
2016-08-17 15:32:59 	31
2016-08-17 15:30:18 	31
2016-08-17 15:27:38 	31
2016-08-17 13:58:15 	31
2016-08-18 17:57:24 	30
2016-08-18 17:43:03 	30
2016-08-18 17:39:08 	30
2016-08-17 16:34:10 	30
2016-08-17 16:31:28 	30
2016-08-17 16:17:44 	30
2016-08-17 15:37:05 	30
2016-08-17 15:28:59 	30
2016-08-17 15:19:34 	30
2016-08-17 15:16:54 	30
2016-08-19 15:54:22 	29
2016-08-18 17:56:09 	29
2016-08-18 17:52:21 	29
2016-08-18 17:50:59 	29
2016-08-18 17:44:18 	29
2016-08-18 17:40:25 	29
2016-08-17 16:58:40 	29
2016-08-17 16:36:52 	29
2016-08-17 16:35:30 	29
2016-08-17 16:32:48 	29
2016-08-17 16:30:05 	29
2016-08-17 15:46:35 	29
2016-08-19 16:06:54 	28
2016-08-19 15:55:39 	28
2016-08-19 15:51:46 	28
2016-08-18 18:02:29 	28
2016-08-18 17:49:41 	28
2016-08-18 17:45:38 	28
2016-08-18 17:37:49 	28
2016-08-18 17:28:43 	28
2016-08-17 16:57:20 	28
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