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Joined: Apr 29, 2007

Post   Posted: Dec 27, 2017 - 23:02 Reply with quote Back to top


I've been on and off this site a lot over the past 10 odd years. Often checking whats new if nothing else. Maybe watch a game.
I've now been in the commercial work working in process improvement for while. As the new box meta started I gave it a shot.
After only a handful of games i'm going to stop. I wanted to share why; and my thoughts on what could be done; as I think it is user experience that is holding this amazing website back.

-Christer if you think this info is better suited to the private domain; you have my full permission to delete this post and consider it in that space.

A quick note, I'm talking about the user experience here. Not about the matching box algorithm, Not about the rules or versions or the return of talents.

Problems with user experience:

1) - Outside game effort:
It's turn 3, I'm getting a good start with nuffle love on the cas dice. Then my opponent sais "bye" and walks off.
Suddenly I need to follow the disconnect rules that are long and painful. I've done nothing wrong and he took all his frustration out on me. I can't play my team and my fun is over i'm now doing admin.

2) - Getting a game:
I've activated in the box many times but due to luck (9 people odd one out etc..) and living in a bad timezone I can't get a game. My window to play is small; so i often have to move on if it can't get started quick.

3) - New user experience:
The gap between wanting to setup an account and getting a game started is huge. In the business they are called exit points. Each thing that someone has to do to make a sale (in this case have a game).
-Register with Fumbbl
-Select a race (research and understanding required)
-Select a team name
-Build a team (Huge research and understanding required)
-Name your team member (Unless you are good with names, this is painful)

Then what is your first game like? Does it leave you with a positive feeling? Or did you get crushed/timed out because you had no idea what is going on?
(This is why I think a lot of people don't like chess - however fumbbl isn't chess)

Possible solutions:

1) - Outside game effort:
a) Enable the client more; is there a way that if someone drops or doesn't respond for 45min it gives the opponent the option to wait or force them to concede?
b) Why is it that we don't hold people directly accountable for finishing a game? The internet has improved over the last 10 years? Do you have data on how often disconnects are real vs other? Can we make this decision to empower the above?
c) Admins should be dealing with issues on an exception basis. Someone dropping a game should be able to be dealt with in the client; if the people involved are unhappy with this then it goes to the admin to fix; it must chew a lot of admin time dealing with no-shows and drops.
d) Where else do we expect people to do things other then play the game they love? How could we remove them?

2) - Getting a game:
a) The box match every 15min was gold back in the day. Matchmaking has come a long way since then. The industry standard is:
1- Enter matchmaking (user)
2- Potential matches are found (system)
3- Confirm play game (user) (any no and you go back to 2-)
4- Matches are given out (system)
What this means is that matchmaking in the box could be real time. Just activate and when there are enough people you get a match. This would be a huge help in off peak. considering the nature of the box it might not apply during peak times.
b) consider the data of no. people activated vs no. games play (x2 as 2 people per game); that might show a lot of growth potential, maybe.
c) Will this change be worth it? Don't know. It would remove a lot of frustration for the user.

3) - New user experience:
a) Reduce user effort by setting up default options for any of the exit points possible.
- Have a random pre-existing default team name
- Have a default team setup (or they can pick custom build)
- Build in a random player name generator
With the above it would take 10s to setup a new team. Over the 30min-1h it takes at the moment.
b) Is it worth having a tutorial - a quick how to interact with the client. what all the dice mean & basic skills explained? What does it look like to score?
It could be a nonrandom game, forcing you to move player 1 from X to Y. Just to show the flow and the feel.
c) Who are we putting a new players against? Who are we putting a existing players against? In almost every game players are matched based on skill. Yet here they are not. Some have taken this into their own hands - hence the 145 club.
Can we limit the shock of the first 5 games in some way? Let injuries for the first 5 games not count? As having a player die is pretty impactful when you first start. Free skill after the first 2 games?

Other suggestions:

- Non pay to win micro transactions - Maybe limited per year or whatnot.
The best idea I've had here is an SPP potion. Give say 10 SPP to a player. Do you want to go there? Dunno. Would it help support the financial costs of running this place? Can it be done without impacting the fairness of the game?

Change is hard, alot of this isn't in the standard change space that FUMBBL usually works in. It isn't fast either don't expect anything tomorrow if at all.

Again Christer please delete if you don't want this in the forum.

I'll be watching the news with hopeful eyes; as if this got cleaned up I'd be back.

Good luck[/b]

Joined: Dec 11, 2004

Post   Posted: Dec 27, 2017 - 23:14
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We have rules, and we enforce them. It's why a lot of people don't come here (any more). Twisted Evil

We are also a niche community of an already niche game. We could do with a new scalable client, but people generally find FUMBBL just not enjoyable.

Joined: Mar 06, 2004

Post   Posted: Dec 27, 2017 - 23:20 Reply with quote Back to top

All things related to charging money would certainly be impossible.


Joined: Sep 27, 2005

Post   Posted: Dec 27, 2017 - 23:29 Reply with quote Back to top

Is the number of registrations known, who never played a game or did not come back after playing a maximum of 10 games?

I well remember, that i stumbled over fumbbl at some point and did not recognize the full potential of it. Just after a 2nd try i slowly started to learn about all the possibilities here.

Maybe every new coach could get 1 or several standard teams, with wich he could start a game instantly. AND a guided tour would be helpful imho.

Joined: Jul 14, 2008

Post   Posted: Dec 27, 2017 - 23:52 Reply with quote Back to top

Issues you raised that are settled...

don't know how to a Name a Team
don't know how to Name Players
don't know how to Pick a Race
don't know how to Build a Team
don't know how best to Pick Opponents
don't know how to Move Players
don't know what the Skills do
don't know know how to use Strategy
don't know all kinds of things

Well... the solution is they can have as many teams as they want.
So when their team name and player names are crap they can just get a new team... OR they can CHANGE THE NAMES easily when they get good ideas. So if too many players RIP... they can start again NO PROBLEM.

The other solution is they have to find the Rules somewhere and Look up up the various Strategies in our Forums and other places... and they have to keep playing... and they have to FIND the 145 League... THAT is what everyone else here had to do.

This GAME has a TON of RULES and a TONS of MECHANICS that make it somewhat of an ACQUIRED SKILL to play it. That is a huge part of why Blood Bowl isn't more popular that it is. It takes TIME and EFFORT and DESIRE to be AVERAGE at this game. NOTHING CAN CHANGE THAT. GW has TRIED to simplify BB and improve BB for decades. THIS IS WHAT WE"VE GOT.

Either a NOOB is interested... nay OBSESSED enough to play this game or they aren't. It takes PERSONAL DRIVE to learn this game. No other way really exists.

Joined: Sep 14, 2015

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 00:04 Reply with quote Back to top

"It's what everyone else had to do" isn't really much of an argument.

And good nuffle, your capslock abuse is hellish to read.


Joined: Sep 27, 2006

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 00:16 Reply with quote Back to top

Fumbbl is an ancient web site. You should have seen it with the old client, which you had to download off site and then open some sort of dialogue and change some settings to even make it work. Until like two years ago we used IRC as the official chat, for Pete's sake. Christer has been working to improve the user interface on an ongoing basis, but it's been small changes. The architecture of the site is fundamentally still what it was in 2005 when I joined. The FFB client has been the biggest leap by far but even that requires Java to run.

So yes, by the standards of modern browser games we're a dinosaur. It's a valid point. Turning Fumbbl into a state of the art browser game would certainly make it more attractive. I don't really know what's normally behind that but I'm guessing, what, a team of professionals, and a six or seven digit amount of money?

Joined: Feb 06, 2011

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 00:29 Reply with quote Back to top

Some of those items could be resolved pretty easily. For example
1. Naming recommendation for positionals. Loner name database exits. So whenever a player is hired that could be used with a random generator.
2. Autobuilds, or at least links to the recommended strategy wiki page.
So a lot can be done with the current site. It takes effort though, even though the solution is like above.

But i am not sure this would make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. A bbowl game is way too long to suck through for a noob. I used smaller pitch and 7 vs 7 to bring people along as that game is usually quick.

'Best thing on FUMBBL'(Seventyone),
'AWESOME'(Kummo), 'Last league i would leave'(SpecialOne), 'Far far the BEST thing i played online'(Grunth)

Joined: Mar 30, 2005

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 00:48 Reply with quote Back to top

Preset team builds with generated player names would help newcomers and oldies alike.

As for the matching, Box is about as good as you'll get. Cyanide stinks with a bigger user base. Box is the way it is for a reason.
There's no point trying to copy them. They'll still beat Fumbbl on graphics.

Being able to play on tablet would be good. There are probably more people around who can crank out javascript than java these days.

I also like the idea of mid/high TV pre-built teams.

[SL] Rumble - 16 brand new teams - 100+ Races - Always recruiting

Joined: Jun 14, 2015

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 01:37 Reply with quote Back to top

Resources are undoubtedly an issue. The interface is aging, labor isn't free, and since the inception of FUMBBL, there are newer BB options that are more complete and still being updated. Crister is one man and if people want to do a big overhaul of FUMBBL, they are going to have to have some serious skills and invest some of their own time, no doubt. FUMBBL does a great service, but reality undoubtedly intrudes...

Anyone know a programmer that works for free and might wind up having their creation shutdown by GW?

Using derivative humor since 2005.

Joined: Dec 19, 2005

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 02:07 Reply with quote Back to top


You make some interesting points. Neat to hear the issues a lot of us recognize labelled in your business vocabulary. I think correcting some of these issues would be like creating the BB PC game 2.0 free edition. The site learning curve is much steeper than the PC game because I think it assumes some basic BB knowhow. Some effort will always be needed on the user end but maybe, as you say, it could be an easier experience in the early stages of joining the site.

Joined: Jun 23, 2017

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 03:24 Reply with quote Back to top

I guess I came to the site from the other side. I was looking for strategy and hints for Blood Bowl to help with a table top league at a local shop, and Google kept bringing me here. After reading a lot of the guides and strategy help I discovered that y'all had an online client to facilitate playing between people all over the world. So, I see FUMBBL less as a computer game, but more of an interface to allow people to play the tabletop game electronically. (Kinda like folks used to play chess thru the post... only much faster. Smile ) *shrug* And since I started in [R]anked and am shy -- the box is better 'cause I don't need someone's explicit approval to face them across the table. (I kinda like tournaments and leagues for a similar reason.)

And none of that is, in any way to disparage the original post. I can understand coming up with names can be challenging, but I find that part of the fun now... but then it's something I can do when I only have fifteen or thirty minutes free, not the ninety I need for a game. The 'getting a game' suggestion does sound a little like the gamefinder for [R]anked or open [L]eague play to me. (And Box or gamefinder are both much better than asking around on an open IRC or Discord channel... for me.)

And the OLD WORLD ROOKIE RUMBLE is always recruiting new Secret League teams.

Joined: Jan 18, 2013

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 03:51 Reply with quote Back to top

One thing that stops me playing is the need to dedicate an hour or so to a game. It is a very long time and I really cannot do it.

I was excited when Kerunnnch came to android then bitterly disappointed. Naturally I can't pause a live game and come back 5 hours later. Yet I would like to be able to do so somehow.

With the shift to mobile devices we need a mobile version of Bloodbowl, it would be different but lead people back to the game we love.

Joined: Jul 14, 2008

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 05:21 Reply with quote Back to top

ArrestedDevelopment wrote:
"It's what everyone else had to do" isn't really much of an argument.

And good nuffle, your capslock abuse is hellish to read.

You're right. It isn't an argument. It is just REALITY.

Prove me wrong. Solve the problems that exist in making this game more accessible. Moreover solve those problems for FREE because that is the budget required to change REALITY.

Joined: Sep 30, 2003

Post   Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 05:38 Reply with quote Back to top

Great constructive post Igvy! A name generator for example would be welcome. I also think less complexity in the divisions -> e.g. merge Ranked and Box to have 1 competitive division, would be good (but I know that is flogging a dead horse).

But personally this following quote sums it up for me:
delusional wrote:
One thing that stops me playing is the need to dedicate an hour or so to a game. It is a very long time and I really cannot do it.

Surely part of it is that Blood Bowl is a game that doesn't pull in new, younger participants. So you are left with an ageing user base, many with kids, that can find less time to dedicate a 2-2.5 hr block to play each game.

One thing they have on Cyanide (yes boo, hiss all that) is a game mode which features 2 minute turns, with turnovers enforced automatically. Something like this would help me, because I would know at the outset the game will be a quick one.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

Oscar Wilde
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