Game Queue



  • I want the opportunity to choose from a list of games. Right now you have us choosing but no list of what others want to play. I prefer the four player regular game. As long as the site defaults to 3 player that is what everyone will be in.

    Give a list of games available and players waiting in each game and people will jump in. I am tired of the log saying "1 of 3 found, 2 of 3 found, 1 of three found 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2" before finally getting in a game.



  • Exactly. Lobby system is best for Catan. Also global chat with players who have not entered a game yet.



  • @Stroom
    Stroom here you are again hijacking threads with your lobby discussion. Please start your own thread and keep it there.



  • @PersonAD I think this topic was describing the lobby so I mentioned that. Lobby is what gives you "the opportunity to choose from a list of games" as it was said. Lobby is essentially a visible game queue. My reply was not a hijack.



  • Given current setup of the game I guess the above stated issue is due to match-makers way of working in combination with your ELO, available player, blacklist...

    I have seen this happening and my guess would be that match-maker works by getting games to as many people as possible as fast as possible.

    Meaning that if you share a pool of players with other gamers they might be "snatched" off you in case other player has "weaker" / more favorable criteria.

    This is why I have brought up in ELO topic the fact that people with higher ELO / longer blacklist actually should be put above other players (smaller ELO / people who are featured in blacklists etc.) otherwise matchmaker actually peanalizes you for having a lot of players in blacklist or too high ELO.

    Same goes with 4 player games (actually on that topic join 4 player games guild if you want some 4 player games going) never happen here as if you choose to wait for 4 player game (never happened with me in C&K mode actually no matter how long I waited) you spend there forever and players eventually choose 3 OR 4 player game which again matchmaker spoils as soon as 3 players are found...1 2 3 and we are done waiting for the 4th here goes 3 player game...

    So yeah this system is not perfect but again neither would be lobby.

    Its like two worlds of total automation and decision making where people cheat the system to gain ELO and eventually f**** up matchups.

    Or total freedom which creates a total mishmash unless you lock your games and set them up with particular players (like custom game option available now) which again is too much trouble.

    So yeah @Administrator maybe you can fine-tune match-maker and put an end to Stroom's era of lobby topics - everyone's happy ;) (except Stroom)



  • You will never get matchmaker to consistently create good games with equal ELO players. There are about 20 people looking for a game at any time. If the ELO range is about +-500 then matching these 20 players into 5 games would quite often place people in the same game with different ELOs. You can not fix matchmaker with such a low player count. So rather create games based on player reliability. There weren't many big "bad player" problems when I played regularly on PlayCatan.

    Matchmaker is just a lazy way to create games and it hides all the useful info from players who want to choose from available pending games. Why do you think they can fine-tune matchmaker algorithm which has to change constantly based on how many players are online looking for games and having block lists etc... if they can not even make the turn timer work at a consistent level?

    With a lobby you have so much more freedom. But you can also limit the games if you want. You are saying that there will always be mismatches. This has not been the case in PlayCatan. You can set the parameters which the player has to have in order to join. And since all players can potentially see the game there is a higher chance that a player who would not be waiting in a matchmaker queue would see that someone wants to play a game with those settings and he will join the game. Freedom is good. I don't know why USM doesn't like freedom :)



  • Partly what you said links to my logic but I would rather say that given the course of development of this game they could fine-tune match-maker.

    Already mentioned priorities 3 or 4 player games is a priority?
    Players with higher or lower ELO gets matched first?
    What to do with people who are reported?
    What should be the ELO match interval?
    Maybe introduce adaptable match-maker rules: if there are players within +/- 20 ELO match if not increase ELO range to +/- 50 etc.

    Lobby is totally different concept so I am not quite sure developers will just scrap match-maker and go with the lobby even though if they work according to agile principles it could be done ;)



  • The topic we are in about choosing what game you want to play based on what other people want to play. You can not do that if you only "fine-tune the matchmaker". Not everyone will want to get into the games which the matchmaker finds for them.

    "Give a list of games available and players waiting in each game and people will jump in."

    Either create a matchmaker so that you can select from a list of options sets which are pending. Then the players can choose from existing options sets and join these queues... But if you already have a list why not make a lobby? A half-half from both is just a bad compromise.

    The developers should scrap a lot of things and start over. They are already making a new menu for instance. The early access will still last at least another year at this pace.



  • I just dont get that point...

    Given your banlist and on the other hand friends list is up to date, given you have set match-maker options accordingly what would be the issue joining any given game? (assuming ELO system works and is not cheated)

    If you want super specific game -> there goes custom match.

    And other side of a coin - why would you "rob" someone of a chance to play vs you? For example a case - you are a very good player I am as good to match you but I can't do that if you always play some "custom" or as in PlayCatan lobby often seen locked games?

    There is a risk of division / polarization of community - bad players stick together making all bad but they cant learn as good players stick apart...

    I really see that match-maker in this view is better for majority as admins wrote, the only thing needed is faster fine-tuning rather than waiting for community to go berserk on the topic and reach "i dont give a f***" state.



  • With the matchmaker you set your settings and you only get that type of game:

    1. I want a 4 player game with friendly robber option.
    2. Matchmaker puts me in the queue to wait for players who want to play 4-player game with friendly robber option.
    3. Some other player wants to play a normal 4 player game. I would be OK to play without friendly robber too if I know that other players are in a queue waiting for that game. Maybe the game options I would like to play could be more extreme - I would play a seafarers + C&K game with 3 players. But I would NEVER play a base game with 3 players.
    4. Matchmaker will never place me in the other game and I will never even know that I have the option to quickly jump into the other game.
      The result is that all players are still waiting longer than they would if a lobby was used.

    You can not join a game you can not see. This is the biggest problem with matchmaker. Also when you open Catan Universe you have NO idea how many people are online. With a lobby you will see the activity of other players.

    Locked games are made by people who want to play with friends, not strangers. This will happen in Catan Universe too, you just do not see the games because there is no lobby to show it.

    I don't see how the lobby would polarize the community. Mostly if you join a game you do not really research the players. You just join when you see that the game options and "karma level" are OK for you. Blocked players can not play with each other - the only limit for joining a game.

    Would you really force everyone to play with random people just because you want everyone to play everyone? You are always complaining that you are placed in the same game with nubs and quitters.

    If something is good for the majority you should not take away the possibilities from the minority either. Matchmaker removes the chance to play with different game options. The developers are planning to add more expansions in the future. The amount of players will relatively stay the same. So it is going to be really hard to actually play the expansions because too few people know that anyone is willing to play with the expansion at that moment. As I have mentioned in other posts, you can not fine-tune matchmaker if there are not enough concurrent players. If you make the matchmaker faster, you get different skilled players in the game or instead of 4 player games the matchmaker will create 3 player games all the time.

    Do you have any idea how fine-tuning of the matchmaker should work? You always have about 20 people waiting for a game. 50% of them want a 3-player game, 30% of them want a 3 player game, 10% C&K, 10% Seafarers. Each minute you get 5 more players. A game should be created every 2.5 minutes. How do you create the games? There is no fine-tuning. You just wait 2 minutes and create the game with all the people in the queue as soon as you have enough players..



  • You are getting into contradictions here:

    a ) first you say that you want to play customized / highly customized game, then you add that actually any other option would still do IF you get that game going vs waiting.

    So my question here would be: why would you choose going highly custom if you want to have a game ASAP?
    Also as an alternative you can put your custom game up for a min or two (nowadays I actually rarely wait longer before game starts - 3 player that is). If people "bite on" you will see that there is a chance to get a game or you will even get it going. If nothing happens=> noone wants to play that version, recreate a game with less custom options/no custom options.

    And all that will take you less time than read this post :)

    b ) You say that CU community is too small at the same time you state that there are many expansions and it is hard to get games going due to lack of players.

    So question here: why would you over-complicate the matter by setting up a custom game given getting ANY game is already hard enough?

    Usually if there will be a custom game preference more people will choose it and you will eventually have a situation like now (at least with C&K expansion) where people just play any random 3 player game, nobody really cares about map, robber or any other custom option.

    c ) As for minority - you have a custom game option + friends/guilds list. Go wild! :)

    Finally regarding my comments: my only concern is the match-maker's options and I have stated multiple suggestions about fine-tuning them, will not repeat myself. I really think that it would do the trick.

    As for quality of games - well that's mainly quitter problem.



  • I think you don't understand what I want to say...

    a ) Yes, I want a customized game. But I am also OK with SOME other customizations if I see that other players are ready to play it. Using the Custom match is slow as hell due to the fact that matchmaker hides all the info about what queues actually have players in them. So if you want to play with option set A or option set B or option set C but definitely not option set D and E... You can only register for option set A, wait, nothing, option set B, wait, nothing, option set C, wait, nothing, back to option set A... But what if someone else at the same time is trying option set C, then A, then B... You will never meet with the matchmaker.

    The fact that you have to actively search for a game BLINDLY is stupid. A lobby gives you all the information and you are smart enough to choose a game you like OR create a game yourself and wait for other players. Seriously, there will not be more than 20 games waiting for players at a time. Pretty much the same as matchmaker but it will be clear to the players.

    As a side note, I am still waiting @Administrator to give us information on how many players are playing on Catan Universe daily.

    b ) Catan Universe Community IS too small. I also state that there are expansions. How are these related? The game is big, the player base is small. If you want a lot of customizations - base game or expansion A or expansion B or expansion C (and not expansion D)... you will have a hard time to find players to play with you.

    The fact that you are OK to play anything at all is just lazy way to look at things. "It is broken but I don't care if they fix it or not." PlayCatan is offering all customization, lobby and people can join games with customizations they did not initially want to play just because they can see that the game already has some players.

    c ) The fact that you have to manually go find players, create guilds and organize a day and time to play a game ONLINE... is stupid. If you have a lobby, EVERYONE can find a game with their customizations at any time of day. You can play in the middle of the night when your guild mates and other friends are normally sleeping.

    Again... Please explain how you think fine-tuning works. In the other posts you also contradict yourself, I think. And as I already said, there are not enough players in the matchmaker queue at the same time. You get 20 players and no matter how long you wait, the same 20 players will be in the pre-defined game 1 minute later because new people do not join the queue fast enough to change anything.



  • I totally get your point (and I did it before :)).

    What I am saying is in reality what would be really those options you would like / definitely would not like to play?!

    Multiple choice in custom match would be nice I have stated that before at the same time really how many preference do you have?!

    Either I am not really picky or I dont know something but only preference for me is:

    1. which game expansion I want to play
    2. how much time do i have - so I can decide can it be 3 or 4 player game, do I have enough time to play for example The great catan map given that usually takes at least an hour.

    That's pretty much it. And you can easily modify that using current options. Fast and easy.

    Also against the lobby factor - I am lazy and so are majority of people. Now lobby forces me to review all the pending games, act fast enough to actually join one AND the most importantly if I screw this up (same as happens with widely discussed first placement and time pressure factor) I miss some game setup due to crammed interface / quickly changing lobby info and join a game with some setting I really dislike.
    Match-maker does it for you and eliminates that "human" factor.

    As admins just said actually we have 4000-7000 users. Well I say that enough for me. I would live with 100 of them actually. So your point about waiting time and not enough players are hardly valid.
    I have played online games before and some of the communities managed to survived over 3-5 years with actually sub 100 players. As long as game setup is clear, people are active and all invest at least by reading rules/chat or any other minor but basic input.

    Adding to above said the fact that we are not getting 4 player games again indicates the fact or at least really high possibility that players in CU community are probably lazy to change default of match-maker from 3 to at least 3 or 4 player games.
    I am 100% sure that as soon as admins implement today mentioned default setting and match-maker looking for 4 player game first this will change on that exact date.

    When it does will see how community will be able to adjust as I personally predict many people shifting back to 3 player games (especially ones with low skill / prediction ability) given 4 player games will be so much more crammed, competitive and I mean extra person means extra issues - not liking other playing style / chat language or limited room on the map given they have not played much 4 player games before.

    As for fine-tuning:

    1. set default to 4 or as admins now will 3 or 4 player game so there is higher chance to get 4 player games first;
    2. set elo range to lower figure but make it active (eg. start with +/- 20 ELO, after 30 sec lets say shift to +/- 50 etc. until game is matched). I have been matches before with people of almost 100 ELO difference which of course affected the game but if I have to choose no game or game vs lower skilled players I guess I will go with the second;
    3. set priority to people who are not in the banlist over the ones who are - again not to promote quitters;
    4. multiple choice option in custom match - as you said to for example untick just few out of many maps or game options which you are really not ok with.

    That's it 8-)



  • OK...

    I would be OK to play a 4 player game with or without friendly robber (Friendly robber is super popular in PlayCatan so once people migrate from there most of the games will be friendly robber or the people would complain until you make it easier to create friendly robber games). I would play a 3 player game only without friendly robber. But I would do that only when I can't find a 4 player game in a reasonable time and there is one spot left for a 3 player game. I do not really want the matchmaker to decide to put me in a 3 player game because it could not find a 4 player game itself. The whole reason it can't find a game is because other players do not know what other people want to play so they do not allow 4 player games.

    PlayCatan lobby: http://imgur.com/XSbzD62

    Seriously, in a lobby, finding a game is super easy. If you are lazy it does not mean other people should suffer with the matchmaker for it. Have you tried PlayCatan at all? Seems like not. I don't see any of the problems you are describing in PlayCatan. The lobby works there. The lobby games still take 2-3 minutes to fill up and there are about 10-15 games to choose from.
    Are you really that slow that you can't read 10 lines and join the first game you like? The info is not crammed up that much. Once you learn to read it, you just look for friendly robber, number of players and stars.
    You have to hit start in order to actually agree that the game can start. So you can join a game, read what the options are and if you don't like, you can quit the game before it starts. How the hell can you join a game with settings you dislike? You can always see the game you are in and before you hit the start button you can recheck the ONE line of text. How often does it really happen that you make a "human factor" mistake when joining a game? Do you really have to eliminate lobby because you got into the wrong game once in 100 games? Exchanging freedom for an AI to make decisions for you...
    If you are too slow, you can create your own game and wait for other players to join it - still fills up as quickly as matchmaker, you just see other games which are being created too. More choices is better.

    Matchmaker removes the human factor and becomes stupid. As I said before: You can not see what games other people like to play so you can not join a queue you did not initially want to play. Maybe I do not want to play a C&K game but I see 2 friends in a C&K game. I will join it and play with them.

    My waiting time and not enough players points are valid. Let's do math on the Admin numbers. We have 7k-9k users - about 8000 per day (24 hours). 350 players are online each hour. About 4000 games are created each day. Let's say that a started game has an average of 3.3 players (more 3 player games than 4 player games). This means that the games host 4000 x 3.3 = 13200 players each day (this also includes that a player plays several games each day). Overall, each player plays an average of 13200/8000 = 1.65 games each day. About 35 minutes per game means a player spends 1.65 x 35 / 60 = 0.96 hours on average in Catan Universe. Does not seem very much. Probably most of the players who log in either play custom games, play with AI or just log off without playing.

    Next, let's see how it converts to matchmaker. 13200 players are in games each day. 13200/24/60 = 9.17 players join the matchmaker queue every minute. So, on average you have 27-28 players in a queue at any time (Almost exactly what I predicted in another post). The matchmaker waits 2-3 minutes to create a game. So, as I said before in another post - 30 people is not enough for a matchmaker to create a balanced game for the players. No matter how much you tweak the matchmaker logic, choosing 3-4 players out of 30 is not enough. You have players with block lists, you have players with different game options/expansions selected. Only the majority of games can benefit from the matchmaker. Everyone else suffer. Instead it would be better to not make less popular options suffer by hiding them from the players and use lobby. The amount of games started would still be the same in my experience.

    Yes, some games have less players but they mostly work because of the tight-knit community. Catan Universe does not offer that. In order to play, you need at least 3 players online agreeing to play with the given customization. And you do not have a lobby to chat with other online players so you don't have much community here. Only guilds which are essentially private groups for players. Seeing how on average players do not really spend much on the game, you can not say that the players are invested in the game. Probably most people play the 3 player games because they are lazy and not invested in the game. Because of that, most players apparently will just play the "quick game" option and won't even try to find a 4 player game.

    Fine-tuning:

    1. Default 4 would be OK but I guess the players would still be divided between those wanting 3 and those wanting 4. So it will be changed back to 3. The majority (55-60%) still wants 3 player but this means that more experienced players would have to suffer. So what is the point of creating tournaments on this platform when it does not promote professional playing? A lobby at least does not hide neither 3 nor 4 player games from the players spectating the lobby so there is equal chance to create a game with any settings.
    2. As I said before - not enough players to divide people by ELO. 30 players on average to create a game with. A game is found in 2-3 minutes. By this time your ELO match is already at +-200. I would also rather just have a game and just play than hope that all players are equal somehow. ELO ranking is not a good way to show skill anyway.
    3. How do you really think this would happen? All players have a banlist. If you play long enough you will be in some peoples banlist. Either because you talked too much, stole from them with the robber or won the game and they do not want to play with you for that reason. The more you play the more people would have you in their banlist. Also if you have to choose from 30 players, you can not really make many priorities. How much can you sort 30 players based on the different numbers (ELO, karma, banlist)? What does this priority even do? How do you determine that a player has to be prioritizes or not? You need either a flag (yes/no - is the player in someones banlist or not) or a number (0-x - how many people banned the player or some other metric to determine the quitter percentage). The banned players have to wait one extra minute? Well, then people would just create new accounts once they notice that matchmaker takes 1 extra minute to find a game.
    4. Yeah, this could work on theory. There is a UI issue because you would want to add 2-10 different customizations of what kind of games you want. The UI developer is apparently not good here so it won't work. When you join the matchmaker queue you don't always know what kind of games you want to play. It's very similar to going to a supermarket to buy food for the evening and you pass the ice cream section... Now that you see the ice cream you also buy that. With the matchmaker you do not have that chance because you do not see the other customizations. With a lobby you do. Also there are other kinds of problems with this - the same player is sitting in multiple different queues at the same time. If 2 different queues are planning to place that player in a game at the same time, what happens? One queue will take the player first and start the game. The other queue gets an error - it has to find another player because the one it had chosen to place in the game suddenly quit. At this point it might make more sense to completely throw all players out and re-match the players who are in that queue - it makes the matchmaker slower.


  • Yes I get what you say in your posts.

    And yes I have played PC before. The image of the lobby is exactly what I saw, it kept updating every second (during evenings = busy time) and I really either just randomly clicked on the most complete game or did fail to read the game settings before other players actually just joined the game I was reading about.

    That annoyed hell out of me. Only chance was to start reading a game with like 1 or 2 people pending and then join and wait for the remaining ones.

    And in any way if machine can do it for you why would I do it?!

    As for your requirements - I say you have way to many demands in comparison to "regular player". This might be explained by the fact that you are one of few people actually actively rooting for lobby here (at least as much as I have noticed).

    Regarding your calculations (I actually read all that - geeeez): a lot what you mentioned depends on average figures which of course is base of statistics.

    At the same time from practice I can tell that I hardly wait 2 min any time I come online and want to play a game. I dont know how many options do I have, I dont know how many people are online. All I care is that I want to play and I want to do it now. I go online get a game going and if I dont get matched I go do other things.

    I really couldn't care less if I saw the same via lobby just a few seconds faster (as I would wait a game to match for tops 2 min before leaving the game) vs. a need to input so much above mentioned manual work on any other occasion when actually cummunity would have 30+ players or even games going at the same time.

    Regarding improvements:

    1. lets stick with the topic and not go into further developments - I will be happy if I will be able to just play 4 player game (havent done it yet - not a one 4 player game).

    2. As I said before - works for me :) Plus if ELO adjusts say every X seconds or as soon as new player joins the queue process will be still fast. While even with lobby game match would depend on available players - you can't create a good game out of no good players. If good players are not online neither matchmaker nor lobby will help.

    3. Match-maker could use "confirmed" blacklist (where admins actually record reviewed cases and banned people - not sure if this has happened yet as promised @Administrator ) as priority rule. So players from this list are moved to the lowest priority in queue - meaning match-maker take them into account and actually put in game ONLY when ALL other players in queue have their games OR are pending for players which DO NOT overlap with a potential game for the blacklisted person.
      What I dont like now is that potential quitter who has been banned still can actually not only f*** up my game but even "steal" players from my game queue.

    4. I dont shop like that :) I have my list and always stick with it unless I have forgotten to put something down in it :p
      Getting back to your high demands - I doubt many players actually use custom game option / have a need to do so.
      I would suggest opening a new topic about it and see how many actually needs it / are against playing totally random game.



  • I guess you didn't uncheck the options "interrupted" and "in progress" - without these games the games list does not really move around as much. Maybe once every 10 seconds but then you can still visually see which way the games moved and you can easily continue from where you left off. Maybe it just needs a more precise filter to filter out a bit more games for people like you. For me I like the ability to see all the possible games I can join. Matchmaker does not offer that. With 10 games the list does not update that often. Not annoying at all to me.

    If machine could do it for me yes, I would be happy. With the current system I will never be happy if I can not see the games like in a lobby. It can not be fixed. The reasons I already explained in the previous posts.

    I have seen 2-3 other people asking for lobby. Of the other players... All players with PlayCatan accounts still play there and they do not really come to the CU forums. Since PlayCatan works so well they have no interest in playing in CU. But if PlayCatan is closed I assure you that there will be a lot of complaints about the absurdity of the matchmaker.

    Average figures... Well, what else can I say... If you play in hours when there are less than average players then your gaming experience will be horrible. If you play in peak hours... How much different can it be? 2x? This would mean 60 players in a queue. Even then if you divide 3 player, 4 player games, expansions and maybe friendly robber halves all these games... 20 players to create 3 player games, 20 players for 3 player friendly robber. 10 to 4 player games. There is no real use to the custom game options, everyone picks the quick match and goes back to 3 player normal game. Yes, the matchmaker will manage to create a game quickly but as you already mentioned in other posts, you are matched with "nubs" and quitters anyway. Not enough good players to play with, matchmaker can not find you a good player if there aren't enough of them. The matchmaker created games have a lower quality of game.

    You probably play any type of game. (Yeah, you mentioned not playing ONE 4 player game here... proves my point) Yes, then you get a game fast. 3 player normal game, no special rules. This is boring to me. And it will be boring to a lot of players and it drives people away from this game. The game will only appeal to less experienced players and it only works for them. There will be no point in developing the expansions because the matchmaker queues will be too long for anyone to even bother playing them. Everyone will only play the 3 player base game.

    Starting a game in PlayCatan takes roughly the same time for me than CatanUniverse. So matchmaker is just as fast but at the cost of missing a lot of features of the lobby. The fact that you are lazy does not mean that others are too. If you are lazy with the lobby, just create your own game with your settings and just wait for other 2-3 players to join your game. You don't have to think at all and it is just as fast.

    1. OK
    2. PlayCatan does not use ELO and everything is OK. ELO just does not work for Catan. The only mettric is stars - similar to karma in CU. Just limiting players based on that should be enough IMO. Only players with 5 karma are placed together. If it takes too long, players with lower karma are placed together etc... With a lobby, you just would have a karma limit on each game and you can only join the game if your karma is higher. Yeah, you will need players with good metrics online in both. In a lobby at least you have a potential that a player who would not usually play with your settings would still join your game. In matchmaker he would never know so you wait longer.
    3. I do not think this would work. The admin is really slow to answer a lot of questions. I guess managing the player interactions would also take quite a long time. Remember that it is a company with a lot of different games. So a quitter can still do a lot of damage, maybe for a month until he is banned. In games like League of Legends people could troll for months until there is any response. 8000 players a day. If 1% are quitters you have to deal with 80 people.Let's say this is unique reports for 2 weeks. Looking through the games of that player would probably take 10 minutes each - only one game does not really count. I guess at least 3 games should be seen in order to determine if blacklisting the player is OK. So someone has to waste 13 hours every 2 weeks to blacklist people. I don't think there will be that much admin support on this game.
    4. Why does the game have a frigging custom game option if it does not frigging work?! What the hell?! I thought you were talking about the matchmaker in general, not only about the quick game option. Quick game is pointless since you will have all the new players in it too - all the players without an actual registered user. A lot of trash will be in there.
      About not playing a random game? Based on PlayCatan experience I would guess about 25% want a normal 3-player game. 30% want 3-player game with friendly robber, 20% want a normal 4-player game, 15% want 4-player game with friendly robber. The rest 10% want an expansion. Out of the players, 40% would play any type of game and 60% would stick to the specific customization. If the players from PlayCatan are forced to play here they will probably start complaining much more than me. I just want this game to not suck for the old players.
      Even in this forum you have posts of people wanting to use a card stack. Can't do that with quick match option.

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