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caraMel

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Aug 7, 2022
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1703690541273.png


Hellooooo!! ♫
So, it's been a (very long) while since my last suggestion, but I'm back! Today's suggestion is about mid-game queueing in blockwars (specifically CTF and Bridge 5v5s).

I think it’s fair to say that being able to join games in progress has been controversial and not all too well received by the inner Blockwars community on the whole. I thought I'd make a post to give my opinion on some factors relating to this in detail. I'd love it if you reply to this thread with any other factors that may not be considered in this thread / your thoughts on this! Here are a few past, informative posts which relate to this (and to some level also inspired me to create this thread!):
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/347318/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/356766/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/321108/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/343158/
(Note: these are old posts so pls no necroposting)
There are also plenty of other relevant threads you can search up if you’re interested, of course, but these seemed like those with the most productive discussions and clearly presented ideas.

Note: Everything I mention below relates to CTF and Bridge 5v5s!

And finally, before we get into the details, I’d like to give a massive thank you to @JustNathie and @hFurb4ll who helped a lot with the making of this thread!

1703690816986.png


Even for those who were a fan of mid-game queuing before, the addition of winstreaks (what should be a cool new feature) directly conflicts with mid-game queuing. Leaving a game, even immediately without moving, counts as a loss and causes the player to lose their winstreak, however in some situations (e.g. being put into a game with only 5 seconds left) there are no other options for ‘saving’ said winstreak. Also, for anyone interested, currently losses count as losses and wins count as wins, regardless of how long is spent in that game. This leads to it feeling objectively unfair as the player is put into situations where they are forced to have their stats ruined while simultaneously not being able to enjoy a fair game. This could be solved by simply fixing the way stats are updated, as this feels more like a bug than an intentional feature. Some examples of fixes I’ve come up with include, if joining a game in progress have it not count towards stats if you leave within a minute (or just have it not count if you leave a game you were thrown into part-way through), not count if the player is in the game for less than a set amount of time (say, 3-5 minutes?), but count for more than that set amount of time. Another idea is to just not count stats from games joined part-way through at all, but imo the previous idea would work better as otherwise exp could become too much harder to earn in blockwars.

1703690848720.png


However, there are also some further issues with mid-game queuing. Paired with the separate factor of being automatically queued into a new game after game end, this creates issues such as:
1) rank-holders not really being able to select maps after games
2) parties being split extremely often
Now, to briefly expand on these points. At the end of the game for other gamemodes, there is a ui that pops up asking users if they want to ‘play again’, ‘enable auto mode’, ‘select map’, or ‘leave’. This is not a feature in Blockwars, instead users are (intentionally) automatically sent to a new game. There is a high chance that this new game is already in progress or/and parties become split up. A feature of the Blockwars rank is the ability to choose maps. In other gamemodes, this would mean being able to select it as soon as the game ends. For blockwars you would have to leave the game and then select your map of choice. Additionally, you would have to go through the same process to guarantee avoiding your party be split. However, this greatly increases queuing times to 2+ minutes of waiting for other players to join the game.

1703690934357.png


Why is it that this change has stayed for so long, unchanged, if it was so bad you ask? Well good question! I obviously haven't done a survey with every Cube player to answer this question, but my best guess would be shorter waiting times and the majority of the player-base being comprised of people who don't particularly mind losing unfairly or fully understand how the game works yet. This isn't a bad thing in any way, just a fact. Every day there are plenty of players who log onto Cube for the first time and try out blockwars for the first time. From the perspective of a player who doesn't even know how the game works, joining mid-way-through is really not a big deal. However, my worry is that this would still negatively affect player retention as it is (pls don't kill me for putting what could be seen as an opinion here) less enjoyable with mid-game queuing.

Next question: why does this work in other games? You'll probably know that other games, like Overwatch, successfully implement mid-game queuing. Well, not quite. This is only in 'unranked' games, which shows they acknowledge that it has an unfair effect on the outcome of the game for the player joining part way through. There is no option to play Blockwars 'unranked' or have it not count towards stats, soooo....

Finally, you would think that the main positive effect of implementing mid-game queuing would be shorter wait times, right? With some help gathering data, I’ve compiled some stats on this very topic. Turns out, it’s not! I’ll put all the details in a spoiler just below, but to summarise, for Bridges the average queuing time is 18% of the average time spent in-game, for CTF this is 38%, while for SG duos this is 15%. The fact that these are higher for Bridges and CTF is worrying as these gamemodes both have a similar number or more players than SG, and SG has a waiting lobby with parkour to make waiting entertaining. Also, as a note, the absolute average waiting times for Bridges and CTF are also higher, being 36s, 62s, and 32s respectively.

The statistics were gathered by myself and @hFurb4ll. For Bridges, I played 38 solo games where every time I re-queued via the portal and 12 in a party with 2 other people. I also played 12 games of SG duos (not in a party). CTF stats are by the amazing @hFurb4ll, who also looked at some older recordings which help to communicate the issue: in 2020 the average queuing time was 7% of the average time spent in game and in 2021 it was 15%, which are both much more reasonable than current times.
In this table, this 'wait time' is the time from joining the game to the game officially starting (being released from cages / podium) and the 'game time' is, well, the time spent playing the game...
Some additional stats: The average wait time for bridge, excluding games joined mid-way through, is 52s and for CTF this is 70s.
Bridges wait time (s)
Bridges game time (s)
CTF wait time (s)
CTF game time (s)
SG wait time (s)
SG game time (s)
Average
36
196
62
166
32
215
Game 1
60
315
1
333
42
206
Game 2
86
245
117
140
19
269
Game 3
14
292
47
138
28
157
Game 4
25
285
57
246
27
231
Game 5
1
63
120
162
21
135
Game 6
1
126
52
120
35
258
Game 7
20
315
1
126
45
269
Game 8
1
304
175
135
28
172
Game 9
73
315
1
292
36
204
Game 10
1
90
54
450
52
220
Game 11
1
101
86
160
37
230
Game 12
1
116
46
184
13
223
Game 13
21
315
66
206
Game 14
1
18
49
251
Game 15
1
163
51
115
Game 16
36
315
31
108
Game 17
26
197
11
97
Game 18
1
86
38
104
Game 19
1
126
13
142
Game 20
33
315
13
86
Game 21
1
185
77
100
Game 22
1
61
45
295
Game 23
68
115
62
163
Game 24
29
315
1
388
Game 25
74
315
15
132
Game 26
24
296
98
151
Game 27
1
11
77
99
Game 28
1
18
92
173
Game 29
29
315
82
95
Game 30
1
3
37
129
Game 31
58
315
13
133
Game 32
71
315
59
95
Game 33
24
310
31
122
Game 34
33
315
100
166
Game 35
253
253
39
122
Game 36
32
314
1
435
Game 37
33
234
40
135
Game 38
51
266
60
170
Game 39
22
131
136
159
Game 40
6
122
47
126
Game 41
85
168
149
118
Game 42
51
189
45
147
Game 43
208
113
94
167
Game 44
10
233
32
167
Game 45
90
98
84
100
Game 46
6
139
217
151
Game 47
11
89
104
109
Game 48
8
80
64
118
Game 49
95
182
84
131
Game 50
8
175
99
98



1703690988773.png


Now, for the section you’ve all been waiting for (yeah, maybe not but just pretend): how to solve these issues? I think the best way to solve this, bar completely removing mid-game queuing, is to add a toggle to enable or disable it in settings.

1703693978609.png


> Longer queue times. As demonstrated above, this isn’t great anyways and it wouldn’t really be an issue as anyone choosing to toggle off mid-game queuing would be aware of this effect. However, if looking for a solution to this, perhaps prioritise filling up newer games more than older part-way through games (or just shift the balance of what is prioritised a bit as I often see games waiting to start, with 9/10 players for an unreasonable amount of time).

> Newer players finding this confusing. This could be toggled to on by default, so nothing is changed unless a player actively chooses to go into settings and change it Another idea is to add helpful tips, like in SG (ya know, those things that tell you if you’re low on hunger to try walking-).

1703694041473.png


This is a topic which has been discussed in countless threads and I’ve also seen in mentioned many times within the CubeCraft discord, so this is in no way a particularly original idea from me. I just like discussing things in way too much detail and overthinking them to an absurd degree :)

Now feels like a great time to see suggestions implemented. During the period these many queuing suggestions were made, there was the infamous 1.19 update which I can only imagine most likely led to these being overlooked. Additionally, with the new community update, now there is even more interaction between the admin team and the community than before! That doesn’t mean this is sure to be added now, simply that I think now is a better time for this sort of suggestion to be considered and this is a topic that felt worth bringing up again.

Tldr; Add a toggle to enable/disable mid-game queuing because yes.

Thank you for reading my essay and, again, I’d love it if you reply with any thoughts and react with :agree::unsure::disagree:
 

Hoshi

Speedy Wing Rush Gonzales
Aug 4, 2017
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I don't have much to say on this aside from I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm not a regular BlockWars player. However, I do play the couple modes every now and then and joining mid-game (or even a few seconds before the end of the game) happens often. It's annoying to say the least. I hadn't even considered the win streak issues this could also have as a result. Having this as a toggleable feature honestly seems like the best solution for this.
 

hFurb4ll

Member
Jul 6, 2021
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30
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View attachment 225801

Hellooooo!! ♫
So, it's been a (very long) wmy last suggestion, but I'm back! Today's suggestion is about mid-game queueing in blockwars (specifically CTF and Bridge 5v5s).

I think it’s fair to say that being able to join games in progress has been controversial and not all too well received by the inner Blockwars community on the whole. I thought I'd make a post to give my opinion on some factors relating to this in detail. I'd love it if you reply to this thread with any other factors that may not be considered in this thread / your thoughts on this! Here are a few past, informative posts which relate to this (and to some level also inspired me to create this thread!):
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/347318/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/356766/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/321108/
> https://www.cubecraft.net/threads/343158/
(Note: these are old posts so pls no necroposting)
There are also plenty of other relevant threads you can search up if you’re interested, of course, but these seemed like those with the most productive discussions and clearly presented ideas.

Note: Everything I mention below relates to CTF and Bridge 5v5s!

And finally, before we get into the details, I’d like to give a massive thank you to @JustNathie and @hFurb4ll who helped a lot with the making of this thread!

View attachment 225802

Even for those who were a fan of mid-game queuing before, the addition of winstreaks (what should be a cool new feature) directly conflicts with mid-game queuing. Leaving a game, even immediately without moving, counts as a loss and causes the player to lose their winstreak, however in some situations (e.g. being put into a game with only 5 seconds left) there are no other options for ‘saving’ said winstreak. Also, for anyone interested, currently losses count as losses and wins count as wins, regardless of how long is spent in that game. This leads to it feeling objectively unfair as the player is put into situations where they are forced to have their stats ruined while simultaneously not being able to enjoy a fair game. This could be solved by simply fixing the way stats are updated, as this feels more like a bug than an intentional feature. Some examples of fixes I’ve come up with include, if joining a game in progress have it not count towards stats if you leave within a minute (or just have it not count if you leave a game you were thrown into part-way through), not count if the player is in the game for less than a set amount of time (say, 3-5 minutes?), but count for more than that set amount of time. Another idea is to just not count stats from games joined part-way through at all, but imo the previous idea would work better as otherwise exp could become too much harder to earn in blockwars.

View attachment 225803

However, there are also some further issues with mid-game queuing. Paired with the separate factor of being automatically queued into a new game after game end, this creates issues such as:
1) rank-holders not really being able to select maps after games
2) parties being split extremely often
Now, to briefly expand on these points. At the end of the game for other gamemodes, there is a ui that pops up asking users if they want to ‘play again’, ‘enable auto mode’, ‘select map’, or ‘leave’. This is not a feature in Blockwars, instead users are (intentionally) automatically sent to a new game. There is a high chance that this new game is already in progress or/and parties become split up. A feature of the Blockwars rank is the ability to choose maps. In other gamemodes, this would mean being able to select it as soon as the game ends. For blockwars you would have to leave the game and then select your map of choice. Additionally, you would have to go through the same process to guarantee avoiding your party be split. However, this greatly increases queuing times to 2+ minutes of waiting for other players to join the game.

View attachment 225804

Why is it that this change has stayed for so long, unchanged, if it was so bad you ask? Well good question! I obviously haven't done a survey with every Cube player to answer this question, but my best guess would be shorter waiting times and the majority of the player-base being comprised of people who don't particularly mind losing unfairly or fully understand how the game works yet. This isn't a bad thing in any way, just a fact. Every day there are plenty of players who log onto Cube for the first time and try out blockwars for the first time. From the perspective of a player who doesn't even know how the game works, joining mid-way-through is really not a big deal. However, my worry is that this would still negatively affect player retention as it is (pls don't kill me for putting what could be seen as an opinion here) less enjoyable with mid-game queuing.

Next question: why does this work in other games? You'll probably know that other games, like Overwatch, successfully implement mid-game queuing. Well, not quite. This is only in 'unranked' games, which shows they acknowledge that it has an unfair effect on the outcome of the game for the player joining part way through. There is no option to play Blockwars 'unranked' or have it not count towards stats, soooo....

Finally, you would think that the main positive effect of implementing mid-game queuing would be shorter wait times, right? With some help gathering data, I’ve compiled some stats on this very topic. Turns out, it’s not! I’ll put all the details in a spoiler just below, but to summarise, for Bridges the average queuing time is 18% of the average time spent in-game, for CTF this is 38%, while for SG duos this is 15%. The fact that these are higher for Bridges and CTF is worrying as these gamemodes both have a similar number or more players than SG, and SG has a waiting lobby with parkour to make waiting entertaining. Also, as a note, the absolute average waiting times for Bridges and CTF are also higher, being 36s, 62s, and 32s respectively.

The statistics were gathered by myself and @hFurb4ll. For Bridges, I played 38 solo games where every time I re-queued via the portal and 12 in a party with 2 other people. I also played 12 games of SG duos (not in a party). CTF stats are by the amazing @hFurb4ll, who also looked at some older recordings which help to communicate the issue: in 2020 the average queuing time was 7% of the average time spent in game and in 2021 it was 15%, which are both much more reasonable than current times.

In this table, this 'wait time' is the time from joining the game to the game officially starting (being released from cages / podium) and the 'game time' is, well, the time spent playing the game...

Some additional stats: The average wait time for bridge, excluding games joined mid-way through, is 52s and for CTF this is 70s.



Bridges wait time (s)
Bridges game time (s)
CTF wait time (s)
CTF game time (s)
SG wait time (s)
SG game time (s)
Average
36
196
62
166
32
215
Game 1
60
315
1
333
42
206
Game 2
86
245
117
140
19
269
Game 3
14
292
47
138
28
157
Game 4
25
285
57
246
27
231
Game 5
1
63
120
162
21
135
Game 6
1
126
52
120
35
258
Game 7
20
315
1
126
45
269
Game 8
1
304
175
135
28
172
Game 9
73
315
1
292
36
204
Game 10
1
90
54
450
52
220
Game 11
1
101
86
160
37
230
Game 12
1
116
46
184
13
223
Game 13
21
315
66
206
Game 14
1
18
49
251
Game 15
1
163
51
115
Game 16
36
315
31
108
Game 17
26
197
11
97
Game 18
1
86
38
104
Game 19
1
126
13
142
Game 20
33
315
13
86
Game 21
1
185
77
100
Game 22
1
61
45
295
Game 23
68
115
62
163
Game 24
29
315
1
388
Game 25
74
315
15
132
Game 26
24
296
98
151
Game 27
1
11
77
99
Game 28
1
18
92
173
Game 29
29
315
82
95
Game 30
1
3
37
129
Game 31
58
315
13
133
Game 32
71
315
59
95
Game 33
24
310
31
122
Game 34
33
315
100
166
Game 35
253
253
39
122
Game 36
32
314
1
435
Game 37
33
234
40
135
Game 38
51
266
60
170
Game 39
22
131
136
159
Game 40
6
122
47
126
Game 41
85
168
149
118
Game 42
51
189
45
147
Game 43
208
113
94
167
Game 44
10
233
32
167
Game 45
90
98
84
100
Game 46
6
139
217
151
Game 47
11
89
104
109
Game 48
8
80
64
118
Game 49
95
182
84
131
Game 50
8
175
99
98





View attachment 225805

Now, for the section you’ve all been waiting for (yeah, maybe not but just pretend): how to solve these issues? I think the best way to solve this, bar completely removing mid-game queuing, is to add a toggle to enable or disable it in settings.

View attachment 225806

> Longer queue times. As demonstrated above, this isn’t great anyways and it wouldn’t really be an issue as anyone choosing to toggle off mid-game queuing would be aware of this effect. However, if looking for a solution to this, perhaps prioritise filling up newer games more than older part-way through games (or just shift the balance of what is prioritised a bit as I often see games waiting to start, with 9/10 players for an unreasonable amount of time).

> Newer players finding this confusing. This could be toggled to on by default, so nothing is changed unless a player actively chooses to go into settings and change it Another idea is to add helpful tips, like in SG (ya know, those things that tell you if you’re low on hunger to try walking-).

View attachment 225807

This is a topic which has been discussed in countless threads and I’ve also seen in mentioned many times within the CubeCraft discord, so this is in no way a particularly original idea from me. I just like discussing things in way too much detail and overthinking them to an absurd degree :)

Now feels like a great time to see suggestions implemented. During the period these many queuing suggestions were made, there was the infamous 1.19 update which I can only imagine most likely led to these being overlooked. Additionally, with the new community update, now there is even more interaction between the admin team and the community than before! That doesn’t mean this is sure to be added now, simply that I think now is a better time for this sort of suggestion to be considered and this is a topic that felt worth bringing up again.

Tldr; Add a toggle to enable/disable mid-game queuing because yes.

Thank you for reading my essay and, again, I’d love it if you reply with any thoughts and react with :agree::unsure::disagree:
S t a t i s t i c s !
 

Cube Nerd

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2021
449
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You forgot the other positive mod mid game queing, it makes the teams more ballanced. It really hurts when a lot of people leave on your team
 
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caraMel

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Aug 7, 2022
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You forgot the other positive mod mid game queing, it makes the teams more ballanced. It really hurts when a lot of people leave on your team

Good point! It does suck having less people on a team, which is one of the reasons I don't think the feature should be entirely removed. Totally forgot to mention this in the post though, mb!

To expand on this, while this is a positive, it doesn't mean mid-game queueing should be kept exactly as it is. I still think it is more important to prioritise filling up new games rather than older games. I have seen a game start with only 4 players (a 1v3) which really surprised me. Preventing this from happening seems like a better strategy than prioritising older games and hence worsening the issue in future games as players are sent to old games, so new games start with less players, hence propagating the issue.

Additionally, you could argue that being sent to a game mid-way through is just more likely to result in that player leaving, which defeats the whole point of it being intended to reduce the effects of it if it is one of the factors causing it .-.
 

JustNathie

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Jul 15, 2022
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Thank you so much for making this. Your essays are amazing, always!! 🫶

Adding a toggle for this is a better solution than removing it completely. For team balancing purposes. It's even better than what we had before it was added. Players would receive resistance 4 if there are only 1 or 2 people left in a team, making it almost impossible to win the game, especially for newer players - so i do get why they decided to keep it. But I agree to making it togglable.

I was completely burnt-out from making another suggestion for this & the gamemode as a whole after over a year of having it as a thing, so it's great to see someone taking interest in it.
 

Desiderata

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the level of thought and effort put into this is just *chef's kiss*

mid queueing brought more problems opposed to how it should be intended as and i'm glad you addressed this issue along with real statistics

mel u are very pro, we as a community love u sm
 
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