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Canada Mitoe
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23 Apr 2018, 07:51

Hi everyone, we've hosted two one-day tournaments so far, with quite a few left to go in the Grand Tour! As was to be expected, there were some hiccups and delays, and we will be working to correct and improve upon these missteps in the future.

We'd like to hear what you guys have thought about the event so far, and especially on--but not limited to--these points:

Players:
- What do you think of the format/rules? How can it be improved?
- How does the length of the event feel? Assuming there were minimal to no delays, would you be happy with the amount of time required, or is it too long/short?

Spectators:
- As some of you may have noticed, yesterday we experimented with having two streams going simultaneously to cover as many games as possible. Do you feel this was valuable to your experience as a viewer, or should we focus more on a single stream in the future?


And of course a special thanks to everyone who helped out with the streams yesterday, and especially @princeofcarthage and @Cometk for putting so much time and effort into organizing and running these events as well!
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Kiribati SirCallen
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23 Apr 2018, 08:08

It was good. I had fun.
and the giving famishes the craving
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Netherlands edeholland
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23 Apr 2018, 08:14

The double streams were very interesting. At first I really liked it. When stream #1 was waiting in lobby, casting a less interesting game or just not exciting, I could switch to stream #2 to watch another game. Because of this, there was very little downtime and I could keep watching stream non-stop all-day (yes, I didn't have a lot to do yesterday).

But then came the downsides. When I was watching stream #1, I found myself checking stream #2 every 30 seconds, because "there might be more interesting stuff over there". Even when I knew probably nothing was happening, I had a 'fear of missing out' experience all the time. So I tried switching streams constantly. That was not a good experience. You have to get used to the new chat and game so you can't really focus on a series.

There is also multitwitch, with allows you to have 2 streams on the same screen. This didn't help me at all, since you need to have one stream muted at all times and you can't really see the games. AoE3 is not interesting to watch when you can't only see what players are doing in general, you have to see every number and every single unit to really get into the game. Which means you need to have it on full-screen. Multitwitch just means I could not enjoy a single stream.

So in the end, along with the fact that having 1 channel is better for our options with Twitch, I think we should stick to the single channel. This also means we burn out our casters slower, which is really important nowadays.
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Australia wardyb1
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23 Apr 2018, 08:35

I could only tune in for a small while but so my feedback may be short sighted. The 2 channels was great for me as I rarely had any down time in the small time frame I had to watch. Fear of burning through casters is legitimate but I think the ESOC2 stream could be used by players wanting to stream their own game if that became an issue. I'd argue ede's FOMO with the 2 streams is perhaps a bit odd considering without the stream you wouldn't have seen any of the extra games at all.

The only real downside I can see to the 2 streams from my perspective of the good old Australian time zone is that to go back and look at VOD's it's a small pain to check 2 streams but this isn't really an issue. It also seemed the 2 streams helped keep the viewer numbers up which was quite good to see, however this could be a combination of the excellent quality games on show. All in all, it seemed like a real improvement and a great showing for our small community. Cheers to all that put in the effort to put it on for us. Hopefully the quality continues both in production and player performances.
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Sweden tabben
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23 Apr 2018, 08:48

Very well organized event. Casters were really on point with finding games to cast (I just recieved a message on ESO and 3 minutes later we were in game) and did a great job overall.

The only downside as a player is the freakin lag in casted games. Up to 1 sec delay isn't uncommon and it can have a huge impact, especially in certain matchups. But more importantly it just ruins the fun of playing imo, in casual games on ESO i would just refuse to play with this kind of lag.

There's of course no easy fix for this (then it would already be fixed), but alot of the lag seems to come from adding more than one caster inside the actual game. I don't see why this is necessary. You could just have one caster join the game and let the other casters watch his/her screen through some screen sharing software (since the stream has delay so they can't watch directly from there). Also this makes casters more coordinated since they will be watching from the exact same point of view. Of course you would pick the caster with the best PC and connection, no offence BUT some casters seem to have some shitty setups xD

MultiTwitch was really good for this format since it can get tiresome watching the same matchup several times in a row. Not sure if it would suit a regular format, potienally dividing the viewers too much and especially if it's early in the tournament. Deserves to be tested though
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Netherlands edeholland
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23 Apr 2018, 09:01

There's of course no easy fix for this (then it would already be fixed), but alot of the lag seems to come from adding more than one caster inside the actual game. I don't see why this is necessary. You could just have one caster join the game and let the other casters watch his/her screen through some screen sharing software (since the stream has delay so they can't watch directly from there). Also this makes casters more coordinated since they will be watching from the exact same point of view. Of course you would pick the caster with the best PC and connection, no offence BUT some casters seem to have some shitty setups xD


We have tried this and it doesn't work. Screencasting software has a delay too and is very low-quality (because otherwise the delays get very long) so you can't make out what is happening. Remember that the guy streaming will have to stream double! It also makes the casting together less coordinated because they always have to see the same things and can divide the tasks. One caster can look at hunts/mines while the other players looks as treasures. One caster can look at military units while the other plays looks at unit upgrades. Having 2 screens is actually important for casting together.

I also think that having four people isn't really the issue, rather that one or more of the four people have a bad connection. You don't solve this by having one less caster.
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Czech Republic EAGLEMUT
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23 Apr 2018, 09:16

tabben wrote:There's of course no easy fix for this (then it would already be fixed), but alot of the lag seems to come from adding more than one caster inside the actual game. I don't see why this is necessary. You could just have one caster join the game and let the other casters watch his/her screen through some screen sharing software (since the stream has delay so they can't watch directly from there). Also this makes casters more coordinated since they will be watching from the exact same point of view. Of course you would pick the caster with the best PC and connection, no offence BUT some casters seem to have some shitty setups xD

As Ede says, there are a lot of negatives to this approach. If you require a streamer who has such powerful PC and internet connection to stream onto two platforms at once, you've already ruled out probably all streamers who were available at all. Even if you miraculously get such a streamer, the co-casting would be arguably more devalued rather than coordinated, since the co-caster can essentially never point out anything that the main streamer may have missed on the map or in UI etc.

These are the same reasons we rarely see recorded games casted at all, because this screensharing way is just extremely awkward all around.
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Sweden tabben
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23 Apr 2018, 09:39

I see, didn't know the gap was so big between streaming onto two platforms instead of one. The screen share quality wouldn't need to be insane (720p is descent and used for many twitch channels) but maybe it doesn't matter. I really don't know since I haven't tried any of these screen sharing softwares, just trying to brainstorm ideas since I think this is a major issue for tournaments. It's possible to have really low delay on Twitch, so I'd be surprised if there wasn't a similar software that also has the option to set up a private channel.

Absolutely fair points about the optimizing of casting since they can spot different things etc., but I don't think this is enough to justify adding 2-3 casters in tournament games. Minimizing the lag for players has to be prioritized imo..

I always considered the correlation between numbers of players and amount of lag to be somewhat of an axiom (and every 3v3 deccan i've played seems to confirm this). I guess it's hard to fix the problem if you can't address the issue
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Kiribati jesus3
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Posts: 1399

23 Apr 2018, 10:01

After I grew pretty bored of the "big" tourneys, I really have to hand it to the "Grand Tour" - Team. There were some awesome matches yesterday and the shorter-than-usual series didn't take away any entertainment - if anything, it has improved and as a spectator you can more easily watch a complete series without investing almost half a day time (slightly exaggerated).

As Ede has already mentioned, the simultaneous streams were a huge help early on as every match was quite short and of maybe not the highest quality gameplay anyways. Giving another option to switch makes sense to me there. However, as matches grew longer, more intense and higher quality gameplay, there was hardly any need for a second stream anymore. So I'd experiment with starting off with two streams at first and switching to one stream as soon as BO3 begins.

Jeez

P.S.: The lag tabben mentioned actually was quite annoying - not that it mattered for our very game as it turned out, but small things like microing treasure guardians already were a huge pain in the butt
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Finland princeofkabul
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23 Apr 2018, 10:01

Well, tabben. you can always demand 1 caster. I do it very often. Games with savorybeef alone was smooth af last time, when he had dror or whatever as cocaster it was hilariously bad.
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No Flag umeu
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23 Apr 2018, 10:28

jesus3 wrote:
As Ede has already mentioned, the simultaneous streams were a huge help early on as every match was quite short and of maybe not the highest quality gameplay anyways. Giving another option to switch makes sense to me there. However, as matches grew longer, more intense and higher quality gameplay, there was hardly any need for a second stream anymore. So I'd experiment with starting off with two streams at first and switching to one stream as soon as BO3 begins.


please don't. really it was already delayed enough, it will only make it less likely the tournament finishes in a day, and players have to stay up late which will definitely affect performance.

people just gotta learn to make choices lol. Imo, only the semi finals and finals ought to be streamed on one stream, and in the case that there are delays like yesterday, even the semi finals should be 2 streams. Yesterday one knusch vs mitoe game wasn't streamed because of that reason. That's worse imo than ppl having fomo and not being able to handle the pressure of having to choose between 2 streams.
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France Kaiserklein
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23 Apr 2018, 10:33

tabben wrote:VThe only downside as a player is the freakin lag in casted games. Up to 1 sec delay isn't uncommon and it can have a huge impact, especially in certain matchups. But more importantly it just ruins the fun of playing imo, in casual games on ESO i would just refuse to play with this kind of lag.

This has nothing to do with the double stream thing though. But yeah, of course it's problematic, especially in bigger tourneys with a big prize pool, and sadly it happens a lot.

tabben wrote:There's of course no easy fix for this (then it would already be fixed), but alot of the lag seems to come from adding more than one caster inside the actual game. I don't see why this is necessary. You could just have one caster join the game and let the other casters watch his/her screen through some screen sharing software (since the stream has delay so they can't watch directly from there).

I doubt going for screen share would be fluent. Maybe it's better for internet lag to have only 1 obs in the game, but it's worse for computer lag to have the guy screenshare. So it would theoretically be a solution if we have a caster with a good computer (can handle streaming + screen share + aoe + discord... Not every comp can do that easily tbh) and a co-caster with bad net. But I'd say in most cases it doesn't work.
Anyway, the lag isn't really due to having 2 obs. It mostly just depends on the net of the obs and the players and on the setup of the streamer. So essentially, the best way to fix lag is to have lagless casters. Maybe we just shouldn't let laggy people cast...

tabben wrote:Also this makes casters more coordinated since they will be watching from the exact same point of view. Of course you would pick the caster with the best PC and connection, no offence BUT some casters seem to have some shitty setups xD

Well, the point of having 2 casters is also to have 2 set of eyes. Even with 2 casters, it happens to miss some actions (especially raids). So with only 1 screen, it's gonna be even worse.
Having the caster with the best net and comp is a no brainer, and yeah it should be applied more. I won't name people but I've seen quite a lot of ESOC caster making the games lag with their shitty net/setup. I think that makes no sense. I understand that ESOC prioritizes the viewers' experience over the players', but it's still stupid to make tourney games lag like shit just because the guy casting has a bad ping/comp.
On top of that, I think the media team should help casters set up their stream. It's not super easy to have good OBS settings so it would be nice if casters could get some help, because too often we see streams we dropped frames, bad quality, or lag.
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Kiribati jesus3
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23 Apr 2018, 10:39

umeu wrote:
jesus3 wrote:
As Ede has already mentioned, the simultaneous streams were a huge help early on as every match was quite short and of maybe not the highest quality gameplay anyways. Giving another option to switch makes sense to me there. However, as matches grew longer, more intense and higher quality gameplay, there was hardly any need for a second stream anymore. So I'd experiment with starting off with two streams at first and switching to one stream as soon as BO3 begins.


please don't. really it was already delayed enough, it will only make it less likely the tournament finishes in a day, and players have to stay up late which will definitely affect performance.

people just gotta learn to make choices lol. Imo, only the semi finals and finals ought to be streamed on one stream, and in the case that there are delays like yesterday, even the semi finals should be 2 streams. Yesterday one knusch vs mitoe game wasn't streamed because of that reason. That's worse imo than ppl having fomo and not being able to handle the pressure of having to choose between 2 streams.


By that I don't mean queueing up matches but leaving some out instead. It's nice to have but harder to provide two sets of casters and coordinating the players without major delays if it doesn't really add that much value (that of course is my highly subjective opinion)
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23 Apr 2018, 10:42

jesus3 wrote:
umeu wrote:
jesus3 wrote:
As Ede has already mentioned, the simultaneous streams were a huge help early on as every match was quite short and of maybe not the highest quality gameplay anyways. Giving another option to switch makes sense to me there. However, as matches grew longer, more intense and higher quality gameplay, there was hardly any need for a second stream anymore. So I'd experiment with starting off with two streams at first and switching to one stream as soon as BO3 begins.


please don't. really it was already delayed enough, it will only make it less likely the tournament finishes in a day, and players have to stay up late which will definitely affect performance.

people just gotta learn to make choices lol. Imo, only the semi finals and finals ought to be streamed on one stream, and in the case that there are delays like yesterday, even the semi finals should be 2 streams. Yesterday one knusch vs mitoe game wasn't streamed because of that reason. That's worse imo than ppl having fomo and not being able to handle the pressure of having to choose between 2 streams.


By that I don't mean queueing up matches but leaving some out instead. It's nice to have but harder to provide two sets of casters and coordinating the players without major delays


why though? I agree, sure two channels shouldn't cause delays, but as long as casters just jump into matches, rather than players jumping into casts, i dont see how more streams would necessarily cause more delay (beyond the lag test or something).
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23 Apr 2018, 10:50

We need Snowww to teach us how to open two instances of aoe3 and then have someone with OP internet cast two games at once.
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Kiribati jesus3
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23 Apr 2018, 10:51

umeu wrote:
jesus3 wrote:
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By that I don't mean queueing up matches but leaving some out instead. It's nice to have but harder to provide two sets of casters and coordinating the players without major delays


why though? I agree, sure two channels shouldn't cause delays, but as long as casters just jump into matches, rather than players jumping into casts, i dont see how more streams would necessarily cause more delay (beyond the lag test or something).


yeah you're right
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Canada Warno
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23 Apr 2018, 10:57

I thought it was a very well done event, thanks to all organizers and players. Congrats Mitoe!

I think the double stream was great for viewers, having ability to switch between games was nice.


Length seemed like it would be a bit long for some of the guys that went deep into the tourney but only you and a few others would know that, I wouldn't be opposed to less games and a faster tournament. As a viewer more games are always welcomed though.
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Italy Garja
ESOC Maps Team
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23 Apr 2018, 13:09

Imo still split it in two days. Even tho it's possible to finish it in one day it still feels like a marathon stream.
Aside from that it was a good event. I personally particularly like this set of rules (mono civ).
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United States of America Cometk
ESOC Media Team
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23 Apr 2018, 14:07

i'll keep it short. there is so, so much to appreciate about everyone's contribution to the event yesterday. a lot of people commit many hours and some even their entire sunday to putting on a great show. no, this is not a dead game. and in fact, it has a great community.

some questions for players:
1) in general, what was the experience like? what could us tour admins do to improve the experience of being a player in the tournament?
2) thoughts on making it a 2 day event, starting saturday with ro4 and finals on sunday. if you were a player, would you still sign up knowing you might have to commit to playing over 2 days?

some questions for everyone:
1) thoughts on 2 stream?
3) any other ideas for improving or adding to the event.
4) also, the 7th event of the grand tour season 1 is sort of a toss-up, we don't have it set in stone yet. what sort of events would you like to see? (koth, cards, other formats?)
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France kami_ryu
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23 Apr 2018, 14:21

I think that the lag in games is by far the thing that needs to be most worked on. Everything else is just details, even if those details do add or detract to the quality of the event. I think that overall it was a great event. Awesome thank you to everyone from players to staff to viewers.

On to the lag, which is the biggest issue, imo. @KINGofOsmane and @risi123 , I really apologize for the lag that took place in your game. Unacceptable. When it happened again in the very next series, we just paused and the casters just straight up left the game. That made the match with Lukas and Risi more fair. I don't think there's any denying that King vs Risi's match was ruined by the lag. Prior to the game I noticed that King had a yellow ping with me and me only. Same with Lukas. I'm not sure why.

My point is that a more formalized approach is needed when dealing with lag in one day events. Since playing and streaming games quickly matters. For yesterday, the worst case scenario took place. The lag ruined the match and the spectators viewed something crappy and unfair live.

If it's bo1, then we need better coordination with stream and matches. It shouldn't be a problem to queue a series of the best looking match ups and have them be put on hold for stream. In fact, if there is a queue, then casters can immediately hop out of a game that is being laggy and head over to the next game. Minimal down time for viewers (which matters) and players get to play in good conditions (most important). So I think something like a ready room would help. Have the players of similar skill level wait together for casters to be ready to stream the match. If matches are going to get delayed or they're laggy or anything else (like you can see that one side of the bracket is getting delayed), then tourney admins give the players the "go" to get their game played. So it would be up to the tourney admins to coordinate all of this.

That's more or less what was already being done, but it wasn't quite done well enough because we did not take into consideration what would happen if the caster (me) and the player (king and lukas) would lag with each other.

Also, a bunch of technical issues made the stream very strange for me. We casted 3 matches with Radix very easily. After that OBS decided to take a shit on me and would no longer play desktop sounds at all (I had this set up correctly) until I restarted the stream. Right after that got fixed, I ended up going into two games where I lagged with one player specifically, back to back. I'd like to apologize for that. Maybe my set up just wasn't finely tuned. Even though it was working quite well prior.

There are some kinks to fix but overall, stuff like this should be a repeat.


Edit: and in consideration of all the things I just brought up, I think that a double stream is actually very relevant. Tourney admins could allocate games to the streams as they see fit. They get two streams to showcase games on, as opposed to just one. In the case of players lagging with streamers (as it happened yesterday), the match could just be stopped before the 2 minute mark and that could be sent to the other stream to be played lag-free. You just need tourney admins to run the show from behind the scene. They look at the bracket, they have both streams up in front of them and they know what's going on and they're talking to the players themselves. Then, as soon as the game on stream is finished, they immediately whisper the caster and tell them what the next streamed match is. "all right I have hazza vs mitoe, both players are there and ready to go, just join the game and get the match started". ideally both players are ready to go and not AFK for a few minutes before the streamed match is finished. have the players be on stand by for when the stream is ready for them. in fact lol this means that the players could just watch matches as they wait for their own game to be ready to play

In other words, players and streamers are both listening to the tourney admin and doing what the admins want done. as a player I won't play until the tourney admin says that I'm good to go. as a streamer, I'm not whispering players asking for matches, the admin tells me exactly which game to hop into as soon as I'm there. the tourney admins are the ones making things happen. since everything goes through two people at most, coordination is on point and very tight.


edeholland wrote:
I also think that having four people isn't really the issue, rather that one or more of the four people have a bad connection. You don't solve this by having one less caster.


Agreed. That's why if you have two streams going, you can just stream the match on the other stream. The odds of there being caster-player lag with BOTH casters is quite low. Even if it comes to that, have the match played off stream.
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No Flag aqwer
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Posts: 158

23 Apr 2018, 15:26

I have been playing "Unknown" map a lot lately. It is very bad on RE but the version by Rikkipu is quite reasonable. What I suggest is a similar weekend tour with only "Unknown" map. Just add one scout treasure in base for extra scouting. It would be fun to "play on board".
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Netherlands edeholland
ESOC Community Team
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23 Apr 2018, 15:32

Yes, unknown sounds cool. There is a fixed version where you at least have decent amount of resources, on standard unknown you can get so little hunts that the game is not really playable anymore.
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Tuvalu gibson
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23 Apr 2018, 16:38

Get casters who don't lag
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Netherlands MCJim
ESOC Media Team
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Location: The Netherlands

23 Apr 2018, 17:51

I want to write a quick message here:

At first, I don't like multi streams because of these reasons:
- We don't need to cover everything, we've tried this in the past and it's an easy way to burn ourselves out and frustrate players and spectators when it goes wrong.
- It leads to a loss of viewers and more possible switches while watching
- Perhaps too much content, meaning that the amount of content we produce isn't in one line with the amount of community. This leads to unwatched streams, videos.
- The past broadcasts are spread out over 2 channels, not ideal. It's harder to find what you are searching for, thus leads to less views.
- No quality options.
- Less growth potential for ESOC because you split up your (potential/possible) audience.

The only pro's I can think of are less downtime because there's always something to watch and you can watch the most interesting series. I don't think this outweighs the pro's.

I think the focus should be on fitting everything on one channel. I also think our community is too small to split viewers into two channels. It also leads to less active Twitch chats, which ruins the experience for a big part.


Furthermore, I do want to say that I'm on the background here for a couple of months. Mitoe temporarily took over my leadership role from the Media Team.
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France kami_ryu
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23 Apr 2018, 18:15

Isn't some coverage better than no coverage? We don't NEED to cover anything, but the more the better. Since it's just a day event. I didn't see the second stream at all but I feel like it was good that they were there. Because of all the crap that went down on the first stream, having the second there to be interesting and still give something people to watch was a good thing.

I think the second stream is obviously only relevant for one day events, where the sheer volume of games being played for the amount of time is higher from when we're doing normal big tournaments.
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