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Alpha 13 Survey Review

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Hey squaddies,

 

Starting with the test of Alpha 13, we put out a survey, and then followed it up as Alpha 13 went into broader distribution. We’ve been reviewing the data and wanted to share some of the things we’ve learned. A note before we begin: due to our development schedule, there’s likely to be about (roughly) a patch delay between surveys and any changes implemented based on their results. We want to make sure we’re doing due diligence on analysis and planning. Without further ado, let’s look at some numbers!

WHO’S PARTICIPATING?

It should come as no surprise that veteran squaddies put on a strong showing — nearly 90% of about 1200 respondents in the first survey had played over 100 hours, with about 33% having played more than 1000 hours. The second survey had over 4000 responses with about 75% of them having played more than 100 hours. With that in mind, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of experience going into the feedback and we appreciate the experts and newcomers alike!

IS THIS A GOOD PATCH?

While we’d love to think so, it’s probably better to go directly to the data before we start patting ourselves on the back. Fortunately, it looks like most of you are enjoying Alpha 13. While it’s not without its flaws, both surveys show about the same, generally positive ratings. A response of 8 out of 10 is the most common for both surveys, 36.9% and 35.6% respectively. If we look at only scores of 7 or better, 91.6% of the people responding to the first survey are represented; 89.3% of respondents rated Alpha 13 the same way in the second survey.

01_goodpatch_mean.png

 

We’ve also seen this reflected in player counts, especially in successive weekend highs. It may be a matter of having fresh content, so we’re going to continue to monitor those trends as well. And keep releasing new content, of course.

 

Just in case you were curious, a total of 34 people across both surveys felt this was the WORST PATCH EVER. We’re sorry you’re not having a good time right now, but we are extremely grateful to you for providing your candid response. We’ll continue to work hard to bring the best possible experience for Squaddies.

BUDDY RALLY

rally-250x250.png

 

A focus for vocal debate across all points of the community, we were extremely interested to see how people were feeling about the implementation of the buddy rally system. As an experimental feature, we really appreciate all of your thoughts and feedback. Even those of you that dislike it were by and large willing to suggest alternatives or tweaks in a constructive way. Let’s dig into the numbers again.

 

The first survey asked players to rate their satisfaction with the system and ended up with a pretty balanced split: 27.2% rated it a one, while 23.5% of responses gave it a five. Put another 19.4% smack dab in the middle. If you consider a 3 or better a “passing grade,” about 60% of players were okay with the system, especially with some tweaks.

 

02_buddyrallye_survey1.png

Fast forward to the wider release, we rephrased the question a bit to ask, “Do you want this feature to stay in Squad?” The results came in with 45.8% voting Yes, I want it to stay, 20.7% Yes, but with modifications, and another 12.6% that voted from the Neutral Planet. While it’s not necessarily a direct comparison, these results put the buddy rally at about 79% at the “passing grade” level.

Here’s some sample feedback:

 

“No, I think it should be removed. With Helicopters coming, I prefer to make them the most efficient way of means of transportation rather relying on another squads rally. The rally should be a backup spawn. HABs are the main spawn points. If you lose the HAB and rally you should be punished by spawning on main.”

 

“I think the concept is great and has improved PUB games and even COMP games. The times you can place it is too much. I think the changes should be that it has a cooldown timer on the buddy rally system and a squad leader cannot pop it every time he dies. (E.g., a 5-minute timer before you can buddy rally.)”

 

“Buddy rally should be a comeback mechanic tied into commander.”

WHAT ABOUT THE 60-SECOND INSTADEATH PENALTY?

Alpha 13 introduced the removal of the penalty for being revived, meaning that players are no longer instantly dead when harmed after being revived. We wanted to know if players preferred being able to revive their squadmates from incapacitation, or if they preferred the previous “dead dead” scenario. (“Dead dead” is a technical term. Trust us.)

 

03_instadeath_survey2.png

For the first survey, it seems folks weren’t especially enamored of it, but it was more of a mixed bag than anything. 45.4% didn’t like this change, 36.4% do, and those pesky neutrals clocked in at 13.3% again. Sounds like more than a few of you really want to see your squadmates down for good. What did they ever do to you?!

 

We did a little rewording again for the second survey because we hadn’t yet pioneered the neologism of dead dead. It may have made some difference: 57.8% decided that it was something to keep, though that includes the 21.6% that would like to see some changes. Some of the fence-sitters fell off, dropping indifferent responses to 11.5%.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG

Another hotly debated aspect of Alpha 13 is the increase to movement speed. Initially, it caused a lot of hubbub, but after some animation tweaks, we felt like most people were getting comfortable with the changes. Does the data agree?

 

04_speed_survey2.png

The initial survey asked players to rate the changes to speed on a 1-10 scale, with 5 being “just right,” 1 hoping for a slower speed, and 10 looking for faster movement speed. The results turned out not too dissimilar from your standard bell curve with 36.4% of folks thinking it was just right. About 34% would like to see soldiers moving faster while, you guessed it, about 30% wanted it slower. Maybe it wasn’t the best wording, so let’s see how it went in the second survey.

 

The question was rephrased as, “Soldier moment speed has been increased in A13, what is your preference? 66.6% of you little devils prefer the speed as Alpha 13 introduced it, though only 4% wanted to see it faster. 20% of people responding wanted to see movement seen decreased to something in between Alpha 12 and Alpha 13. Less than 150 of you were indifferent, so we seem to have shaken off some of the neutral invaders from previous questions.

MOMENTUM

Speed wasn’t the only change; momentum was tweaked as well. These two systems together play a fairly important role in how soldier movement feels, so asking one without the other wouldn’t provide an accurate picture. Let’s see if the numbers clear anything up a bit.

 

In the first survey, the results were some of the most evenly divided so far: About 37% of people responding liked the change, another 31% were indifferent, with the last 28%ish being against the changes. Players were often voicing concerns about “zig-zag” spam and a cartoony feel. On the positive side, some players felt it was performing better on their machines.

 

Skipping ahead a few weeks to the results of the second survey, some better wording in the question may have helped elucidate the answers. About 49% of responses preferred less momentum as offered by Alpha 13, with an additional (mere) 3.6% wanting even less. Players that prefer less momentum and players that are indifferent square off at 23.3% and 24.4% respectively, oddly enough!

STAMINA

One more component to movement is, of course, player stamina. Managing your stamina pool is pretty key to getting around the battlefield, especially if you want to do so alive. In Alpha 13, stamina regenerates faster but is also consumed more quickly. We were extremely curious about how this change faired. Both surveys turned up the same results, with the only distinct difference being a drop in people who outright did not like it. About 57% of people were content with stamina in Alpha 13, and only 12-15% disliked it outright.

As you might guess, the folks that want changes want both regeneration and consumption to be faster… and slower. Interestingly, most people only suggested one or the other, not both!

SPEAKING OF STAMINA…

If we’re being honest, the results on this one were a bit of a surprise — we expected a lot more controversy. Adjusting the user interface is not taken lightly, as people come to rely on it. Still, we’re constantly looking for ways to make it more useful, make the game a little less stressful, and get the right information front and center. In this case, Alpha 13 moved the stamina bar to the center of the screen. Moving into the second survey, “Yes” votes gained an additional 20%, putting the total at 51.8%. Another 22.3% of people remained neutral — down from 23.9% in the first survey.

SIGNOFF

A huge thank you to all of you who took the time to fill out either survey! We’re going to continue to try to improve our polling techniques, analysis, and reporting on them. We hope you’ll continue to participate as we really appreciate your help in shaping the future of Squad.

 

We know you’re going to have some feedback, so be sure to hit up the comments!

OFFWORLD OUT.

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People will generally applaud performance, content and UI polish. a13 plays basically the same as a12, the biggest design change was probably vehicle balance, which wasn't even included in the poll. I don't think you can pull anything substantial out of this, mostly because the designs themselves really aren't that substantial. From what I've seen I think a lot of people uspet by these changes are more upset about what they represent rather than what they actually are. People are all different though.

 

It would be better for providing feedback if we knew 1. what this is trying to solve and 2. how this fits into larger overarching design goals. It's difficult to talk about Buddy Rallies because it feels like the continuation of a long line of small tweaks and compromises, reducing it to "this patch" vs "last patch" seems myopic. I hope putting the microscope on tweaks like this doesn't reflect some kind of design paralysis going on behind the scenes, because I do think the Buddy Rally concept is attempting to solve something substantial, even if I'm not 100% sure what exactly.

 

For example, if the issue for buddy rallies is lack of spawns and new players spawning main and walking for 10 minutes (just guessing?) then maybe Rallies aren't the right tool to address that. In PR, FOBs were the only necessary respawn points outside of main - if that's not good enough for Squad, then maybe it's worth supplementing FOBs with new spawn features like global spawns or some form of mobile spawn points (one of the suggestions by an early PR dev, pro click. Early PR would be a good influence for Squad, a faster PR but still tactical). Squad's tweaks leading to FOBs and Rallies blurring so much that the two basically serve the same purpose, I don't think that's good for overarching design, at least in the PR sense of design, because you're retooling a major feature for squad cohesion into basically another teamwide respawn. It's not great.

 

And let's be real, Project Reality's ruleset will always be weird, complicated and generally difficult for new players to grasp. Can't "tweak" your way out of that one. If there's going to be these big community-wide dustups over design changes it would be nice if they were more bold than this Buddy Rally thing and some movement changes.

 

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I am not surprised, as most players are not Squad or PR vets

 

unless you want to make your game more and more like Battlfield or even CoD, you should stop trying to base your game on surveys

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After 2100 hours I got my money worth of play, but 13 and 14 ruined it for me. Thanks for the good times but im out. 

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Tortured statistics, like men, will tell you whatever you want them to.


Including neutral response or "yes with modification" responses in passing grade stats is disingenuous. The new direction you're taking is at odds with what was kickstarted, and at odds with the original core design philosophy of the game. You will take that direction irrespective of the desires of your original audience, fans and funders because you believe there's a bigger audience segment for a more mainstream title. You may well be right, but don't insult our intelligence by misusing a survey to justify that you were right in doing so.

 

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Interesting feedback on the survey, although I can't say I'm surprised.

 

I keep saying this.  Most players don't post on forums, or aren't as verbal.  Believe it or not, the concurrent player count has literally tripled almost since the patch was launched, and consistently.  I don't think that would be the case if everyone hated the patch.  Hell, I hardly play anymore, but I love seeing updates!

 

Why does it matter if players who voted are Squad or PR vets?  Seriously, it's a game.  Everyone enjoys it differently.

 

My 2 cents.

 

 

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Although I want to see the buddy rally, movement and revive system that was brought in by V13 changed quite a bit I'm not going to pretend it's destroyed the game and turned it into a BF clone. V13 and V14 are huge improvements to the game and I've enjoyed playing them a lot.

 

My only hope is that there's more experiments to refine these fundamental systems in the game because while I love Squad there's a lot of core elements that can still be significantly improved prior to the 1.0 release.

 

Game design is all about taking restrictions, like the survey results, and trying to create the most interesting and engaging systems possible. That's all I'm hoping comes from this.

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Posted (edited)

I just wanna know why the RU faction seems to get screwed every patch? Their optic pattern is stil awful and in V14 their sharpshooter would be so further outclassed, not to mention the fact that the US infantry would have vastly superior anti-tank capacity. The only comfort they got from V13 was that at least now the UK optic machinegunners were even worse.

Edited by Noobgamer

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Unfortunately, expected results.

 

If you "speed up" the game in many aspects (movements, spawns, etc.), the majority (used to jumping from one fps to another) no longer wants to go back.
I am sure that if the Devs returned to the old recoil and v9 laser gun, they would double the players ...

 

Sin. And to think that the world is full of "generic" fps

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Think Gatsby looking to run for Trudeau next presidential run, way to play with data. Losing percentages from data always looks like your stacking the deck. Lol

 

Thanks for the update:)

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7 hours ago, EA_SUCKS said:

I am not surprised, as most players are not Squad or PR vets

 

unless you want to make your game more and more like Battlfield or even CoD, you should stop trying to base your game on surveys

+1

 

7 hours ago, Saber4 said:

After 2100 hours I got my money worth of play, but 13 and 14 ruined it for me. Thanks for the good times but im out. 

I´m gonna keep playing. I think. But for some reason I´ve been playing warthunder SIMULATOR and PR for the last 3 weeks whenever I have some free time for videogams. Squad isn´t borken now,...but it does feel less special.

 

6 hours ago, Vewt said:

Tortured statistics, like men, will tell you whatever you want them to.


Including neutral response or "yes with modification" responses in passing grade stats is disingenuous. The new direction you're taking is at odds with what was kickstarted, and at odds with the original core design philosophy of the game. You will take that direction irrespective of the desires of your original audience, fans and funders because you believe there's a bigger audience segment for a more mainstream title. You may well be right, but don't insult our intelligence by misusing a survey to justify that you were right in doing so.

 

+1

 

6 hours ago, Soulzz said:

 Believe it or not, the concurrent player count has literally tripled almost 

I´m looking at Steam charts right now and I can´t se tripled population. It has 100 more players than May 2018. It had a high peak (not the highest) when v13 was released...but hype is gone. isn´t it?

 

1 hour ago, Tmac said:

Unfortunately, expected results.

 

If you "speed up" the game in many aspects (movements, spawns, etc.), the majority (used to jumping from one fps to another) no longer wants to go back.

+1

 

I do feel SQUAD is approaching a crossroad. I´d like to know that the final goal of the game is. BEcause some of us have certainly misinterpreted the backer claim of "PR Successor" and so on...

So can u just tell us in detail of what kind of gameplay you want to provide with your final product???

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Gatzby said:

BUDDY RALLY

The first survey asked players to rate their satisfaction with the system and ended up with a pretty balanced split: 27.2% rated it a one, while 23.5% of responses gave it a five. Put another 19.4% smack dab in the middle. If you consider a 3 or better a “passing grade,” about 60% of players were okay with the system, especially with some tweaks.

 

This one is a verry funny one.

 

 Out of a 5 point ranking, your "passing grade" is 60% of the ranking (3+)

So if someone wanted to rate it "neutral" and voted 3, you assume it´s a YES. ?!?!?!?!??!

 

On top of that... More people hated it than people that loved it!!!! 27% vs 23%....

 

And you make no interpetation of this?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

 

Finally,....how many people gave it a "2" and a "4"???....no detail there???

 

Somebody said that you can make numbers say whatever you want....

 

WWWWEEEEIIIIIRRRRDDDD conclusions...

Edited by Nightingale87

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4 minutes ago, Nightingale87 said:

I´m gonna keep playing. I think. But for some reason I´ve been playing warthunder SIMULATOR and PR for the last 3 weeks whenever I have some free time for videogams. Squad isn´t broken now,...but it does feel less special.

 

V13 did break the hit reg. It's absolute rubbish now.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Vewt said:

Tortured statistics, like men, will tell you whatever you want them to.


Including neutral response or "yes with modification" responses in passing grade stats is disingenuous.

 

Absolutely this ^

 

"Yes with modification" should mean "No, not unless modified" - NOT "Yes even if you ignore my requirements"

 

For instance, I am 100% against the Infinite Revive system (as it currently stands), but I would accept it ONLY IF it was modified away from its current state. My answer and feedback on the survey was "Yes with modification" E.g. give 2 chances to revive (first one is a freebie in case it bugs out / you revive around a corner and get shot straight away / fall off a roof etc, then you become dead dead after a 2nd revive within X seconds).

 

IF you have chosen to interpret that answer as a "Yes and I'm perfectly fine with Infinite Revives as they are now" I will be aghast.

 

EDIT: to some of us, it looks as if you are deliberately choosing to misinterpret data in order to support your gameplay changes whether or not they are truly supported by the community.

Edited by abe

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it seems we need a hardecore ganemode/ Squad Project Reality mod. After we get something like this, the developers can ruin ther own game the way they want.

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Hire a data scientist. If you can't do that, hire someone who knows what they're actually doing with surveys. You're out of your depth.

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1 hour ago, Locke said:

it seems we need a hardecore ganemode/ Squad Project Reality mod. After we get something like this, the developers can ruin ther own game the way they want.

I was thinking the same, after I played Sandstorm's new gamemode: hardcore, it`s pretty cool

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11 hours ago, EA_SUCKS said:

I am not surprised, as most players are not Squad or PR vets

 

unless you want to make your game more and more like Battlfield or even CoD, you should stop trying to base your game on surveys

Exactly, please keep in mind other indie game failed because they heard too much on their community about changes.

 

These results are concerning to some degrees.

 

First of playtime hasn't much to do with experience, even with my 971h squad record probably over 1000 with the closed alpha, I can't SL and would rate myself D- in squad leading.

 

Secondly, just because someone said they have 1000 hours on record in the survey that doesn't need to remain true. Most people will lie if they get an advantage by doing so or at least thinking so even if they don't.

 

The third one would be the mainstream/casual player will always outnumber the core/dedicated fans, but that's normal human nature.

 

 

 

A survey is always interesting but do not get fooled by statistics.

 

I would prefer a survey where you need to express yourself in words instead of clicking on numbers and if you want to know their playtime just ask for their steam id.  

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26 minutes ago, Phoenixstorm said:

First of playtime hasn't much to do with experience, even with my 971h squad record probably over 1000 with the closed alpha, I can't SL and would rate myself D- in squad leading.

A valid point. Though I would argue that the playtime could be useful in splitting the data between the dedicated fans e.g. those who have followed the game for a long time, and the casual "just picked it up last week" type (who honestly still deserve a say, but IMO their feedback should have lower weighting). 

30 minutes ago, Phoenixstorm said:

I would prefer a survey where you need to express yourself in words instead of clicking on numbers and if you want to know their playtime just ask for their steam id.  

Qualitative vs Quantitative data... Both types of data have their place, yet both types can be misrepresented by a flawed survey or biased editor.

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You guys can express your thoughts and opinions without attacking others with derogatory remarks, or expressing your disappointment in an immature manner.  This will be the only warning.

I have cleaned this thread up a little.
 

5 hours ago, oTec said:

 

V13 did break the hit reg. It's absolute rubbish now.

V14 hit reg seems to be in a better place, quite a noticeable improvement over V13.

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I'd say the buddy rally was meant to help more coordinate team efforts in pushing when a FOB was not practical to set-up. They tend to stick out like sore thumbs versus being able to discreetly place a RP and mobilize from there. I would request rallies be given a very finite amount of ammo to resupply from though. I haven't seen the system abused as some claim and many assumed it would be. On the other hand, I do understand those who do not view it favorably because it operates against encouraging squads to set their own rallies and punishing them for not doing so or the enemy discovering it and neutralizing it. I'm rather indifferent on it at the end of the day.

The infinite revivability currently in game has been a point of bother for me because it does keep too many players in the action and does not effectively punish them for making unsound decisions. When you get picked up, it should be a moment to regroup and restrategize versus continue flooding the same way until you're out of bandages. I would see the "dead dead" system return to help break near never-ending firefights.


I will agree that this data, as with most surveys, is easily manipulated to affirm the bias of those conducting it.

Those of you who are, for lack of a better term, crying over the entire debacle, what specifically in the game's direction bothers you? I'm genuinely curious because this still doesn't seem to be as bad as some of you try to make it sound. I say this as somebody who thoroughly enjoyed PR for years and think this is a fair continuation/update of that concept.

 

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Only had the stomach for a few hours in v13 and v14 - for what its worth I am one of those 1000+ hours guys. Real shame too, as now you have added Skorpo and the Chally 2 it LOOKS fantastic. But all the great work, the engine overhaul, the performance increase, the assets, the game modes, everything is overshadowed by the awful dead dead and buddy rally changes. 

 

Someone on your team needs to do some statistics courses as those numbers show the majority want both either CHANGED or removed entirely - but nice spin on the facts, the EU have nothing on you guys for spinning a narrative! :D

 

Its a really bad idea to base a game on a survey like this - particularly when these changes were implemented by a minority in the dev team to begin with. Then the community was told they were for testing only, and would be removed, now the changes are permanent. You are seemingly bleeding your core base of SLs and experienced players, in the pursuit of new blood. But what you have done is actually UPPED the frustration rate amongst all players. 

 

There is a way to keep your core players and bring in new blood - you have such a niche product here and could do great things. 

 

Seems like we wait for modding 2.0 and then make PR for squad at this rate to remove the unpopular, arcade style changes. 

 

Thats my 2 cents - I wrote a lot in the survey but I guess that newbies with zero explanation on their views count for more than those of us who had more thought out answers and suggestions. 

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Transparency is cool. On the other hand, wordiness... well its simply too hard to even understand. Maybe somebody can translate to me in a single sentence what actually stays and what goes regarding buddy rally, run speed and instagib?

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I would say that while im no fan of Buddy rallies etc i dont agree that it has changed the gameplay so much as some people are saying. The main reason for the shift in gameplay imo is a large influx of new players with v13. I have no data to support it but the feeling is that there are a lot of newbies in the game now. Im pretty sure that once the player base have "matured" the gameplay will improve. You can run around and kill people if you are a good FPS player. But as soon as a squad starts to play like a unit you are in trouble, and even more so if the entire team starts to coordinates its moves. That in itself will force the lone wolfers to adapt or find another game. It doesnt matter if you are Shroud. If you face a coordinated squad using vehicles as support you are going to lose..



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