Responding to Binary Stars feedback

Thanks to all of you, both players and viewers, who took the time to leave us feedback regarding Binary Stars. While it was mostly positive, we wanted to take the time to address some of the points raised. If you have a point which wasn’t tackled then please leave a comment below.

The chat was subject to spam and was poorly moderated

We would agree that chat could be better moderated. We’re working on this.

The tournament should have started earlier

We have to balance the ability of Europe, the Americas and Australasia to partake in a tournament. Rather than change the time I think we’d do better to focus on keeping the running time down, perhaps splitting larger tournaments across two weekends.

The commentators should probably play the game more if they don’t know T1 pelicans can’t carry vanguards

Planetary Annihilation Pelican transporting Vanguard


You should use multi-planet systems

There were two reasons why we used single planet systems, and they’re related to one another. Firstly, multi-planet systems are much harder to balance, leading to stalemates leading to tournament delays. Anyone remember Realm vs. PA Gods? Secondly, the fact is there are almost no multi-planet systems in the community map packs, and very little competitive play takes place on them. Because of this there aren’t really any community systems of a known good quality which would be suitable for use, and those that we do know of were before symmetrical planets and manual metal placement and have been broken by changes to planet generation.

Planetary Annihilation Clanwars Showdown

Gosh, is that the time?

We’d love to use multi-planet systems, but good ones need to emerge and survive the trial by fire that is community play. Clan Wars Showdown showed us the danger in rolling our own and we’re not keen to go down a route which requires so much work and carries such high risks.

Use more teams or larger teams

Well, more teams becomes a free-for-all which generally isn’t a tournament friendly format and leads to some very passive play. As for larger teams, we’ve found that it becomes very difficult to get enough teams when they’re big. Even with this tournament which was only a 2v2 there were numerous players who signed up without a partner and never proceeded to get one. We’d have seen a lot less teams with a 4v4, and it may not have even been a viable tournament at that point.

I’d love to see automated tournaments

So would we, and it’s something we’ve discussed. Unfortunately it’s also a lot of work and isn’t something we’ll be doing any time soon. Our web developer is already incredibly busy as it is.

The rules could have been clearer

Some people marked that they didn’t find the rules clear, but unfortunately no one said what they found unclear about them. Following the Evil Twins feedback we looked to simplify the rules but didn’t find much we felt comfortable culling. Perhaps they could be better organised?

We’d very much appreciate more feedback here from people who found them confusing.

The rules don’t say why you have colour restrictions

Simply because the darker the colours the harder it is to discern the icons, especially if your game is cast on a stream which is in turn being downscaled. We also want to avoid colour combinations which some players find difficult, such as red and pink, orange and yellow, blue and slightly darker blue, etc.

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Responding to Evil Twins feedback

As part of any tournament we collect feedback both from the players who took part and from the viewers who watch live. We received quite a lot of comments for the Evil Twins Qualifiers and Finals and thought it might be helpful if we responded directly to some of the points raised.

Why didn’t you postpone once the patch was released?

We had agreed a date and time in advance with eight players, two casters, one moderator and one member of staff. That’s twelve people who blocked out their Saturday for this event, not to mention all the viewers who marked it in their calendar.

We feel that changing the date at the last second would be unprofessional and disrespectful to those who made themselves available. It might mean we couldn’t run the event or get full turnout, and it doesn’t guarantee that another patch won’t be released before the next event.

Patches are a fact of life outside of our control and we’re afraid we’re just going to have to roll with them.

What happened to Sunday tournaments?

We ran a poll on the Uber forums and Saturday evenings were overwhelmingly more popular than any other option.

The rules seemed very dense and it was easy to get disqualified

We agree that for new players they can be quite overwhelming. They’ve grown as new edge cases have been identified and rules created to handle them. We’re discussing internally how we can slim them down. We do try to highlight key items in the e-mail reminders we send out to players.

Are colour restrictions still enforced?

Yes. We don’t actively monitor this rule outside of cast games, but if your opponent is using colours which the rules don’t permit then you should request that they change them. Failure to use approved colours could lead to a rehost or automatic disqualification if raised with tournament staff.

Why was the name so complicated and obscure?

We wanted something we could cosplay during the event. The photos have since been destroyed.

Use pole lock

Ladder maps feature spawns very near the pole regions, which is where pole lock can cause navigation issues. While we understand that some viewers will prefer a pole lock view, we allow casters to use whichever they’re more comfortable to ensure the best experience they can provide.

Players should have longer breaks between rounds

We would love to be able to do this. Our limiting factor currently is staffing, we’re never going to turn off the stream for half an hour or play a please wait video mid-tournament. This means that player breaks require content to fill the space, and that requires staff to do it. In addition it means the tournaments run longer and would need to start earlier. We’re still looking at our options, a tournament of this length is new to us.

The casters could do with improving their game knowledge

This was a comment received for the Evil Twins Finals. The comment didn’t go into more detail so we presume it’s due to a couple of mistaken comments Quitch made around changes by the patch. Unfortunately with a patch launching so close to the tournament mistakes will be made, though he admits he forgot to re-read the patch notes just before the tournament.

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