Well. Glad to know that the majority of my Guide Sessions are worthless then, despite getting almost none this entire month because of this Festival.
The system needs to be automated, you cannot have people manually select their guides and expect a fair distribution due to the way Spectrum orders guides. This will also prevent people from boosting their friends if you get matched with a random guide. If you have selected more than one topic, you are moved further down the list. People will NOT scroll down the list to find the “best” Guide, they will simply select the first one they see. This screws over anyone who wants to help in multiple topics. I’ve been guiding since V1, with every topic selected I would get 1 to 2 sessions a day while being active for less than 4 hours. Now I’m able to be active for 12 hours a day and receive nothing. I had to drop to three topics to even start seeing sessions and only got maybe 7 this entire month. Not to mention with all the boosting going on for the Festival rewards, how are you going to have a fair competition for the top 10 prolific guides where you give out SHIPS if 90% of the Guides are screwed out of a session because their name is too far down the list or dont use friends / orgmates to boost their numbers?
And for the few sessions I did see, only one lasted over 30 minutes because they wanted to play in game. The majority of my guiding sessions, even before V2, did not last 30 minutes. Are all these guiding sessions “worthless” as a result for future competitions? If they want tech support, help with a bug, or just ask for the best places to go mining, how am I supposed to do these in game and for over 30 minutes? I help them fix it, link the appropriate website for trading or mining, and the session is done in 10 minutes. Despite them being happy with the results, it’s not a “successful guide”? Also, REQUIRING that the player has to answer a questionnaire to actually count as a successful guide? People hate answering surveys, even simple questions. They might just end the session by closing Spectrum. What then?
What triggers “AFK” too? Is it being active on Spectrum or being in the game? If I do an in-game session, we move to Discord to communicate because no one is going to tab out and communicate over Spectrum. This leads to instances where on Spectrum we do not have activity for over an hour. Is that considered an AFK exploit?
Speaking of all the guiding sessions I did before V2, do those count for anything? You guys said you keep track of hours; just because I was unable to get guiding sessions this entire month because the system was flooded with newcomers means I’m screwed out of a badge I would have liked to have? I’ve started Guiding in V1 because I wanted to, not for rewards, but if you’re giving out rewards for recognition I would like to partake.
You want more people to use the Guide Session? Make it extremely visible on the launcher, right next to the play button. And make it obvious that it’s more than just for help, that people can call upon Guides if they want to play with other people, which will get more in-game sessions occurring.
I want to see this system succeed but this Festival is going to make a boom-bust cycle, alienating everyone who couldn’t get it to work and result in the number of Guides dropping off once people realize there are no more rewards until the next Festival. There are also no improvements to the infrastructure to support the number of increase Guides or any attempt to make the Guide System more visible. Hell, even having an automated message in chat in game saying “Need Help? Use the Guide System!” would get more people aware of this system. Spectrum is a minority of players, and if you don’t follow SC Youtubers I bet a significant portion of the active player base has no clue the Guide System even exists.
Hey @Plazmataz – Totally agree that additions are needed for the system – and we’re looking forward to expanding on what we have. I very much share your enthusiasm for better automation, discoverability, and tracking. We are indeed tracking total time spent as a guide, specifically so that we have multiple metrics to use when identifying “prolific guides”, so I would not feel like your efforts have been lost at all – I was merely sharing an explanation for what triggers a “succesful guide” merit, which will evolve and change over time as we get close the system becoming more robust and automated. If we find that a majority of sessions are similar to yours, we may simply adjust what we consider a “succesful guide”. Ultimately, we want those putting in the time to be awesome to be rewarded for their efforts and we’re okay with being dynamic in achieving that. Longer term, we’ll have something much more static and easier to track so that guides can set personal goals and chase rewards.
I wouldn’t worry about being counted out for being AFK. We fully understand that many folks take it to a third party platform to continue discussion. Without going into detail that reveals protections (because that just helps folks exploit them) – I’ll assure you that these are in place to help us identify folks specifically teaming up with a friend/orgmate to fraudulently use the guide system for quick merits. You won’t get caught up in the mix with that.
The guide sessions you did before V2 are also not lost – our long term plan is a robust system that awards merits that can be spent on a number of rewards. We’ve mentioned in the past that we will retroactively reward those merits when the full system comes online, dating back to the initial launch of the Guide System.
Agree with the Guide System being in the launcher, but we won’t stop there – we’d like to integrate the entirety of the Welcome Hub into the Launcher, alongside with elements of the Guide System even being in-game.
Lastly, ideally we would have released Alpha 3.10 earlier during the Foundation Festival, which would have helped guides due to the influx of new players. For this reason, we’re currently discussion options, whether it’s an extension of the contest, or additional prizes.