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The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 13:40:24

Level 58
I know some people have talked about this problem in the past, but now it's gotten so bad, that it's gotten to the point where I want to make a thread about it. The real-time scene is dying, and has been on an insidious decline for a while now. For a while, it would be ridiculously difficult to fill real-time games at night my time. That was fine, because in the morning, games would fill easier. I remember a couple of years ago when RoR games would fill in 5 minutes, even with moderate prerequisites. This is far from the reality of what we see today.

So I took a look at open games, very few of which have filled at all over the past 20 minutes. Almost all of the hosts of these games are waiting a very long time for their games to even fill ONE seat. https://i.gyazo.com/03d9871512a5a209e34814913d8d9e4e.png https://i.gyazo.com/f7cc74e0ff88d060eca6604a1d6d6087.png Most of these games are on RoR with random starts and Romanum Imperium. But a few are on Europe and Westeros. Currently, a 4-way FFA on Romanum Imperium has started. FFAs tend to start quicker than team games, especially when they are auto-dist and with light prereqs. The majority of hosts nowadays struggle to fill their games throughout literally any time of the day.

I have never seen so many players have to delete their games before. I opened up a standard 3v3 RoR game with manual picks at 9:05 to experiment. I am using my typical light prerequisites - You have to be level 10 or higher, win at least 30% of your 3v3 games, and can't have a boot rate above 30%. It has been 25 minutes, and only two people joined throughout this time, with one having left because the game wasn't filling. A few years ago, this game would have filled in 5-10 minutes. Try to start a real-time game on any uncommon map, and your game will probably never fill unless it's a 1v1 and you get lucky enough to find that one inquisitive player who wants a quick game.

So what is causing this decline? Is WL just gaining less traction? Where did all of the players go? As a real-time player since 2014 it really has only been getting worse and worse, and it's time to really have a discussion about this. This issue has dragged down the quality of games, because the only way to ever get games to fill in a timely fashion is soon to completely due away with all prerequisites entirely, which then deprives the game of all competitive value. It has been 34 minutes now and it's just myself and one random in my RoR game.

Do we just have to accept this decline or is there any way to change it?

Edited 8/8/2018 13:46:16
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 13:49:40

Sakata Gintoki
Level 58
QM>Open games.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 13:50:40

Level 63
You got very lucky with 2 joining the 3v3 game in 20 mins. Usually takes 40-60 mins for my 1v1 games to start (using level > 30, boot rate <= 15% and 1v1 win rate > 20%). This is the main reason why I started to organise RT games. Strangely, if the map is RoR or Imperial Rome, the game only takes a few mins to start. 1v1 auto games start in just a couple of mins.

I’ve accepted the decline and found ways to deal with it.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 14:03:51

Level 58
To Maayan, I view QM more as an alternative to RTL, but not RT games.

To Dan, Yup, part of the reason anyone joins my games is because it's RoR, and then there's also the fact many players know me and hop on my team when I make games. However, even now getting games is becoming a legitimate challenge for me, and I have to basically remove all of my prerequisites to fill games in under 30 minutes now.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 14:06:15

Level 61
There's 2 reasons in my opinion:

1) Quickmatch. Way faster to get a 1v1 going and 1v1 seems to be the most played format. Now that you can choose the templates you want to play and can get an opponent within a minute or two, there's no reason to host or join an open game.

2) The revamp of singleplayer. Imagine being a new player. Instead of the six levels there used to be, now you've got a long ways to complete the entire singleplayer. The gap to hitting the multiplayer button is way bigger. There's also Caesar's Challenge which filters a lot of people out i think, since it's the first 'hard' level. When a new player finally hits the multiplayer button, he's most likely in unity and sees a big quickmatch button. If i was new, I'd just click that. And it works, so I'd keep clicking it. If a player is really interested in the game, he might go and see what else there is to click on. If he joins an open game and it's an FFA or a teamgame filled with people who are rude or are bad teammates (which you get a lot in open games these days), then it's back to the holy quickmatch button.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 16:00:42

Level 59
I’ve got to agree with Farah,
WZ doesn’t advise open games to new players.
If you remember on Unity,
When you have no games currently running a big Arrow appears and points you to the QM button.

Things like the RTL and Open games have been untouched by Fizzer for a while now.
Never changed or replaced just phased out by other play methods.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 17:51:30

Master Cowboy 
Level 60
Maybe people finally realized RoR is trash and don't want to play it anymore. Probably not, but I can hope. :)
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 17:54:46

Level 58
This is not just about RoR
- downvoted post by Karl donitz
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/8/2018 23:45:06

Level 21
It is a bit of a shame. And the decline started a while before QM games happened. I think it's just natural decay of WZ.

Maybe people finally realized RoR is trash and don't want to play it anymore. Probably not, but I can hope. :)

I wish...but truth is you can always fill up a boring RoR or bad Europe game in like 5 min, but do anything else and you'll get 1 player every 10 minutes or so.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 01:02:50

Level 59
I've said before on stream and on here as well.

Couple of reasons/theories that might combine to the overall decline of open games and or users in general:

Warzone draws a very specific audience (free to play, strategy lovers)
Some of the long time users are either just chilling in QM or moving on to other risk-like games
The mobile version of the game IMO doesn't draw the average person in
Flash vs Unity might have detered people (idk as i have the standalone)
Lack of moderation of the community
Summer so all the kids are working, out of school, or going outside

The list goes on. We all can be wrong though. Fizzer says it's summer so there is less people on. But I sadly feel like there ain't many people who are playing BOTH open games and Quickmatch. That's just me.

Edited 8/9/2018 01:03:36
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 01:15:32

Level 63

Warzone Creator
My stats show that more real-time games are being played than ever before. So the subject line is wrong -- real time games are increasing.

Now I understand that you feel open real-time games may be declining (as opposed to private and quickmatch games). I haven't looked at stats on this, so I'm not sure if that's true. But I have some theories:

1. Your prereqs could be too strict.
2. Your blacklist could be too large.
3. Make sure not to use fixed teams in open games, as this really turns away people. If you are, try switching to random teams and I bet you'll see a dramatic increase in traffic.
4. Use more interesting maps / settings / game name.
5. Warzone traffic always dips a bit in the summer, and always picks up again once school starts. You might just be experiencing the summer dip.
6. Quickmatch could be taking some of that traffic away from Open Games. This is probably due to the fact that games start quicker, and they're also matched based on skill so you're more likely to get a fair match than open games.
7. While iOS / Android use is growing fast, desktop use isn't growing as fast since new players are turned off by Unity's slow loading speed. I'm very close to fixing this issue.

Edited 8/9/2018 01:16:12
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 01:51:55

Aura Guardian 
Level 62
My stats show that more real-time games are being played than ever before. So the subject line is wrong -- real time games are increasing.

You know fizzer, It would be really cool to see warzone stats over time.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 02:00:33

Level 59
Hi Great Cobra,
Fixed teams are a problem specially if your stats are very good.
It's easier to fill your team, but dificult to find opponents...
In your opened game, your team has 1v1 of 67%, 72% and 85% winning rate...
Maybe random teams will help.
- downvoted post by Yandere-chan
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 02:22:59

Level 56
^ top kek
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 02:27:38

Nate Kenobi
Level 41
I think the desktop unity app is great.
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 03:48:08

Level 63
imagine trying to get a diplo game going like this.

i remember when you could easily get a rt diplo going
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 11:49:07

Level 58
Fizzer your post was really helpful, thanks. I did not know about the summer dip. One thing I noticed myself however is that there are a few hours throughout each day where traffic is better, and these hours appear to be somewhere between around noon my time (EST), and the few hours ahead, which would be somewhere around for the 5 PM and some hours proceeding that for most europeans, so I'm assuming that many Europeans hop on after school or work. The QM thing is another great point that many of you mentioned, but someone else also mentioned that this decline started to happen before QM was a thing, so I'm not sure how much blame QM would really deserve honestly.

Edited 8/9/2018 13:46:10
The Decline of Real Time Games: 8/9/2018 14:20:29

Rogue NK
Level 59
"My stats show that more real-time games are being played than ever before."

I think this number includes QM. So the open games tab is being replaced by something superior.
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