To All Players,

Trench Wars Staff is excited to get your constructive thoughts, responses, and feedback to regarding the potential implementation of a “new” public arena, a project that will hopefully have positive zone-wide effects. At your convenience, please take the time to read through the proposed changes and comment on any and all of the issues, problems, and benefits that you see coming from this plan. Please know that while this initial idea and a lot of the substance of it comes from me, it has been run through upper staff and they are interested in the community response to this idea.

For the public arena in SSCU Trench Wars, we have truly hit a point of stagnation. Furthermore, we have hit a point of stagnation in the zone itself. The addition of dueling into the public arena has brought a new, diverse angle to the arena, keeping competitive players in the arena and not dispersing the dwindling population to multiple sub-arenas, which may further an appearance of low population, low activity, and low interest. Unfortunately, our population has hit a point of rock bottom and now, we are forced to explore the possibility of integrating further sub-arenas into the public arena in order to keep population together and hopefully foster the inclusion of new or pub-focused players into the more competitive aspects of the zone.

Similar to the addition of dueling into the public arena, we are proposing the inclusion of a ?go base game and basing “mini-game” that can be played in the public arena, but outside of the normal pub map. It has been too long that ?go base and TWBD have been virtually dead. We simply cannot support ?go base being a separate arena with the population in its current state. It is true that ?go base does run sometimes, but it’s only during peak populations and the games are often sporadic.

This full size, normal basing game will be a virtual replica of a regular ?go base game, with teams ranging from 6 to 8, and a 10 minute time-race. 5v5, which is allowed in the current ?go base, could either be included in the normal base game, or the mini-base style game, it would be something the community would have to discuss. My feeling is that 5v5 is too small and too few of people to maintain interest and activity.

The basing “mini-game” will be a mini version of a ?go base game, with teams ranging from 3 to 5. There will need to be a new miniature map developed for this, as the classic base map is too large for a mini-game. This could also be a 10 minute time race, though we could also explore lowering the time to five minutes, or even making it a point race of some sort, which would be a welcome change from the usual.

The public arena needs to be transformed to be THE only place to be, outside of playing TWD or other leagues. There is little to no reason not to also clone the javduel and wbduel maps and place them in the public arena as well. We can also include a 2v2 option for javduel and wbduel, so that when population is low, there is still a chance to get 4 players together for a quick match.

This will give us the highest participation. It will LOOK like Trench Wars is thriving, because it will be. Imagine having a pub game going on where LTs are being hunted because of their high kill streaks, while at the same time, a few competitive javs have a 3v3 javduel going on in the javduel map, which is also placed into a spot in the public arena. Population increases as the day goes on and we see a mini base game start in the new mini-base map. A few warbirds come online and start a 3v3 wbduel in the public arena. This will LOOK and FEEL like a zone that is alive, thriving, and competitive. THIS is what we want new players to see when they login to the zone. THIS is what we need players from the Steam launches to see, so that we can adequately hook these new players and assimilate them as habitual players.

There are times when the public arena has nearly 60 people in it in the middle of a weekday. Largely, people are in spectator mode. Call it what you will -- competitive “veterans” are not interested in playing pub, people are AFK, people are bored, etc. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that we have people online, but they aren’t playing. There’s only so long that people can sit idle in pub before being moved to the AFK arena, so we know they are around and at their computer, but they aren’t playing.

Therefore, bringing in more sub-games as part of the public arena will assist in getting those players out of spec and into the game. Furthermore, it will introduce new players or habitual pub-only players to a different, more competitive aspect of the zone, which will hopefully translate to higher participation levels in TWD, TWDT, and TWL.

The bottom line is that we have a true divide between two cultures in this zone: the pub and the competitive. There is not enough being done to bridge the gap. When the population was 600 players on any given day, both cultures could survive and thrive on their own. With our current population, we must bridge the gap and find ways to integrate both cultures into one.

If all goes well and according to plan, we can end this constant struggle of players being in spec, not interested, not playing, and logging off because of the lack of activity. We are far too dispersed right now. We have 3 players trying to make elim work, while there’s 5 players trying to fight to get a sixth to start javduel, while pub has uneven teams due to players getting frustrated and leaving. ?go base is not even played much at all anymore, and when it does, pub suffers at a historic rate, simply because of the lack of people in the arena.

We need the public arena to be the zone. At this point, with our population, scattering ourselves over several arenas and none of them being particularly successful is only adding to the death of this zone, and the dead of this game. League games (TWD, TWDT, TWL) should be the ONLY reason that someone should be outside of public arena, except for events, of course. The public arena should be the one-stop arena for non-competitive traditional pubbing, LTing, competitive basing and mini-basing, wbduel. Javduel, and dueling. The wide-array of options will re-invigorate players and GET THEM OUT OF SPEC, AND INTO THE GAME.

Here are some of the key limitations and barriers that we see to this system being successful. We are sure that there are more problems and issues that we haven’t yet forseen, and are asking for your help on identifying those problems. Also, please give your thoughts and ideas on how we can work through these already identified limitations in order to make this work properrly.

1. Bot Coding: this is going to be a tremendous undertaking for the bot developers. It will take a lot of time, effort, and energy to implement a program like this. Furthermore, bug fixes will take time and we will need the cooperation and understanding of the community in order to get it “right.”

2. Arena Messages: this is an interesting issue. As it is now, the public arena has “a lot going on” in green arena messages, what with the pub system running the pub-basing, dueling, in addition to other sporadic messages. So how do we integrate three or four other sub-games into the pub arena without making it a huge overload and extremely confusing? The most obvious idea I’ve come up with is to tag each message at the beginning in order to identify which sub-game the message is pertaining to. It would look like this: [DUEL] too fresh challenges anyone to Javelin duel for 50000. [BASE] Freq 1 defeats Freq 0, 10:00 - 8:15. It could still become quite a bit, even with the tags. Another idea to help supplement this would be to add commands to allow players to “ignore” messages from certain sub-games that they are not interested in, including the pub-basing spam for those of you who never play it and don’t care about it.

3. Mapping: dropping current base, wbduel, javduel maps inside the existing pub arena is not a tough thing to do, but if mini-basing should come to fruition, we will need a map created for it. Not a huge deal, but I’d be lying if I said I had any sort of ability to create a map.

As stated before, we have not fully vetted all the possible issues with this system. We are hoping to hear feedback from all of you in order to fully determine the feasibility and probability of success of a program such as this.

This is a fairly drastic change to the zone as we know it. All of the games that you’re used to seeing and being able to play will still be available, but will be integrated into the public arena. Think of it just as the current duel situation is in pub, but we will be adding base, mini-base, wbduel, and javduel. This should foster more activity in pub and these sub-games and the hope is that we can assimilate more new and/or pub-only players into these more competitive aspects of the zone so that we can help our leagues flourish and grow, rather than flounder.

This is not a simple undertaking. It will require a great deal of bot coding, map making, and support from staff and players to make this get off the ground and work properly. It will take a ton of man hours for the bot coding alone, but our programmers are willing to undertake such a project in order to help the zone if there is enough public interest in giving this a real chance.

Finally, don’t be afraid of change. If you have serious issues with this idea, we would love to hear them. Don’t simply oppose it because it’s different than what we are currently doing. What we have and what we are doing right now isn’t working, and I think we can all agree on that. Let’s discuss and have an open dialogue about this proposal and determine if this is a direction the zone should go in order to halt the stagnation and setbacks that we are currently facing.