The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby pip » 10 Feb 2013, 15:12

As everyone knows, the Nomads are in open beta now. The intent is to balance them well so that they are as viable as the other factions, with strong weapons but also weaknesses, and ready to become official once all models are finished and textured (currently, 95% of models are done, 90 % are properly textured).

However, it is not currently used as a beta for a new faction, but simply as a featured mod. Players using them are mostly players wanting something new to toy with (and I assume we get many new players on FAF because they want to test the Nomads), as if it were simply a mod like Black Ops. Because it's not official (and not in ranked), many serious players don't bother to play with them at all.

All the good players I talked too are at least moderately interested by the Nomads, but only if it becomes official. We know that there are still unfinished models, especially untextured ones, so it's maybe not ready for official release yet. We also know that not everyone likes the faction, but it's normal : not everyone loves all the default factions either, some hate Sera looks, others can't stand Aeon, etc.

The problem is the same that Zep encountered with the "Balance patch" that almost nobody plays: if the Nomads are not integrated in ranked or available in FAF standard games when you host, players will just continue to ignore the faction altogether, no matter if reported issues are fixed or not. It is a paradox : now that all known issues (or almost) are fixed, that all features are working properly, that the popular UI mods are supported, etc, players don't play the faction more, on the contrary. This is a shame, because FAF is precisely the kind of platform where it's possible to make this custom faction "official", unlike Steam, which cannot offer this kind of support. It could also bring new players from Steam to FAF because a fifth "official" faction is something really new (Nomads will be available for Steam users later too, but for now it's a FAF exclusive).

So here is my question : should the Nomads become official soon, before all models are 100% finished to make sure it is tested, and push it as the real fifth faction, or should we wait for all models to be textured and finished even if it takes some month and meanwhile it's not tested seriously by the competitive players?

Version 3622 is in sight, so it could be a good time to integrate Nomads when it's released. Or should they be integrated only in the version after? At least, the question has to be asked.
Also, I don't know if there are technical issues concerning this integration in FAF.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby Ze_PilOt » 10 Feb 2013, 15:16

There is not technical issues.

Maybe we can integrate it in the game, but not in ranked yet. At least players can test it as a normal faction in custom to begin with.

But I have some requests before doing that :
- Alter it so it there is a "no nomads" in unit restrictions.
- Make sure they are behaving properly to all other build restrictions (no air, no nuke, ...)
- Find a way to put the loading movie properly.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby tatsu » 10 Feb 2013, 15:29

I completely agree with this, there is no reason not to merge "forged alliance forever" and "nomads" in the cutom games hosts. This is the same as when Zep wanted the free ACU upgrade exploit fixed, he just said go ahead! nothing will get done if people aren't exposed to it, and you know what he was right. And the same is true for nomads, they are in need of some serious balance work and this balance is very subtle. If they are currently correctly balanced on 1 v 1, I can assure you they are not on games such as setons.

Plus who would really say no to a fith faction in faf? This not happening or happening too slow is just people sitting on their asses and hoping the fairy gets the job done. The fairy is you, guys, you gotta participate, if you want to keep nomads seperate, it's as good as saying "no" to it, and it'll remain an incomplete mod that is even less used then Black Ops, we have the chance to make Chris Taylor well up with pride here guys, lets make nomads the official fith race!
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby pip » 10 Feb 2013, 15:56

Ze_PilOt wrote:There is not technical issues.

Maybe we can integrate it in the game, but not in ranked yet. At least players can test it as a normal faction in custom to begin with.

But I have some requests before doing that :
- Alter it so it there is a "no nomads" in unit restrictions.
- Make sure they are behaving properly to all other build restrictions (no air, no nuke, ...)
- Find a way to put the loading movie properly.



These are good considerations.
- There is currently no "no nomads" unit restriction, but I believe it's easy to add.
- Other units restrictions seem to work fine (like "no air" > nomads have no air options like any other factions, no nukes, no game enders, no experimentals : all these work already).
- the loading movie is a tricky part. It can maybe be added in FAF installation process or FAF autodownload process, providing it's possible to add the file to the default "movie" folder of the game installation (it might not be straightforward, I have no idea if the FAF the installation system can allow this).

Also, it was made by Sheppard, it looks great but it is 24 mb big = almost the same size as FAF itself. Maybe the length can be reduced (and "cycling animation" starts sooner) to reduce the size of the download to something under 10 mb.

As for making Nomads available in custom games only first (not rank), it is probably the wiser choice. The important point is to make Nomad games standard in custom games and thus integrated in the stats, with points counting for the Nomads players as they count for other factions, etc, as a first step to make sure there are no real issues with them.

The players exclusively playing custom and not ranked would then have to really test the faction, especially the Seton players.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby Ze_PilOt » 10 Feb 2013, 15:59

Try to alter your FAF ProgramData installation in order to make the movie works.
Once done, it's easy to integrate the change to the updater.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby Wakke » 10 Feb 2013, 16:01

I would welcome the Nomads to be integrated. It would also be an other good selling point to get people to play FAF.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby Ze_PilOt » 10 Feb 2013, 16:06

But you also have to realize that means that the changes for nomads in the future won't be as easy as it is now :

- Only every 3 months.
- Through the FAF repository only.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby pip » 10 Feb 2013, 16:53

Ze_PilOt wrote:But you also have to realize that means that the changes for nomads in the future won't be as easy as it is now :

- Only every 3 months.
- Through the FAF repository only.


Ah, that is not a problem for balance but it is for updating models, textures and fx. Maybe we will wait for the next season patch because of this reason.
But if so, I have to think of a way to make players play Nomads in competitive games (especially 1v1, but also 2v2 and 4v4 Seton), in order to prepare the full integration in FAF.
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby tatsu » 10 Feb 2013, 16:53

Ze_PilOt wrote:But you also have to realize that means that the changes for nomads in the future won't be as easy as it is now :

- Only every 3 months.
- Through the FAF repository only.

worth it. :P
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Re: The Nomads : the fifth official FAF faction?

Postby Ze_PilOt » 10 Feb 2013, 16:54

pip wrote:
Ze_PilOt wrote:But you also have to realize that means that the changes for nomads in the future won't be as easy as it is now :

- Only every 3 months.
- Through the FAF repository only.


Ah, that is not a problem for balance but it is for updating models, textures and fx. Maybe we will wait for the next season patch because of this reason.
But if so, I have to think of a way to make players play Nomads in competitive games (especially 1v1, but also 2v2 and 4v4 Seton), in order to prepare the full integration in FAF.


If changing the models/fx/textures doesn't break replays, it's possible to push some semi-patches during a season.

But you will have to rely on me and my limited time to do it.
And of course works with the FAF repository.
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