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Old 1 Week Ago Original Post  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 15

Why Toribash has not been a successful game? A detailed analysis.
If you think it’s TLTR, then you can only read text in bold.

Hello community. I was playing Toribash for like 100 hours throughout these years with a few long breaks, and because in 2011 indie games genre was new to me and of game's uniqueness, I was playing this game with joy despite its flaws. Now, however, when I see this modest ~60 of people playing I wonder if these people really love this game, or they aren't able to find something better. This is really a bad score for a game focused on multiplayer aspect, even though it's an indie game, and I think I know why it's bad, and I know why I liked this game less and less with each comeback.

I barely explored the social aspects of this game and I eventually quitted, probably in 5.1, so some of my claims might be a bit outdated or invalid. I'm aware of the facts that this an old game, the Toribash Next was announced, and Hampa wasn't trying to make this game being played by millions, still, he gets some cash from microtransactions, so he should try to develop it better. I’m also aware of the fact that recent updates introduced some interface overhaul and some quality-of-life updates, but you might still catch me referring to the past state of the game, because I think that it’s not enough and too late and it will ultimately not make this Toribash great again.

In this thread I'm going to point out all Toribash flaws which I know about with possibly detailed explanation. I hope that this is a good place to post it, and I'll be grateful if you spread this word if you like my thoughts.

Enough burbling, here are the issues I see with this game. I tried to enlist them from the most to the least serious:

  • The vast majority of multiplayer gameplay is being wasted on waiting. If you don't want half of the players to bounce out of this game after their first few hours, then you need to make sure that they won't spend 90% of their time waiting in the lobby. This game (or rather the next game) must allow for at least 4-8 combatants playing on the server at the same time, and/or provide more fun ways to pass the time in the lobby. Period. I think everyone knows this problem and its effects. Servers empty quickly, and less patient players immediately go to play something more dynamic. I'm not sure why it has been so limited in the first place. I guess it's because of hardware limitations back in 2006, and then it was impossible to add more players without making the game anew (please tell me if I'm right). Thankfully, the problem of two players only is already being addressed in Toribash Next, and I can only suggest to implement the option for the player to practice offline the gamemode which os played on the server without kicking the player. Combining business with pleasure and seems easy to implement.
  • The game is heavily embedded in forum structure. IMHO, forums suck. Let me tell you why. They are not convenient to search for information, as you usually need to search through lots of threads, the 'search' option usually doesn't work well (in this case there is no even such an option), the web search engines usually don't show the results from forums even if there is an anwser to the problem, and Wikia for some reason is almost empty. Thus, instead for searching thorugh some well-kept wikia you'll likely need to create a new thread, possibly wait for anwsers for a few hours, deal with big unrealiability of advice as there is no professionals (As you can't rate replies, you can only guess reliability by looking at the info under the avatar), and sometimes a flame war may erupt or a troll emerges and you can't unsee them. What is more, most forums, especially this one, have terrible, difficult to comprehend user interface. There is too many of everything. When I first went here, I was like 'oh boy, what am I looking at?' Last but not least, some senior community member not far ago said that the staff is really incompetent: I can't judge this one, but methinks we can trust his words.
If a forum structure has so many flaws, then why bother about it? The answer is simple: because you can't manage your equipment (During writing of this analysis I found out that this was added just about now, after 12 years of development, WOW!), get to know about upcoming features, events, contests, check your achievements (non- Steam version) and find help at all.. Not everybody wants to deal with forums who look bad, are unreliable and have bad staff, so the game must provide information about events, news, achievements, and inv management within itself, or at least on the main website in a blog-like form. This should really be implemented in Toribash Next and the community should provide wikia with high-quality content. BTW, the only forum I respect is Reddit, because of its intelligible and intuitive interface, high reliability of information thanks to the rating system, and not so bad moderation. Should Toribash have any forum, then only there and with strong involvement of dev team.
  • The game doesn't have a decent tutorial/training system when it comes to controlling a character. This might be tricky to improve, because of sandbox nature of the game, and lack of any AI; for now a novice can just complete the 'tutorial', play around with Uke and hope for the best if he/she goes online. I'd like to propose a bold solution for training players practice online: developing AI via machine reinforcement learning, just like OpenAI did with Dota 2: ( Although the cost of setting up a hardware there excelled a few million dollars, I suppose that the cost of developing AI with this method for Toribash would only cost as much as one decent GPU designed for this kind of calculations and a few weeks of work. After all, the AI would need to make only a few hundreds decisions per duel, not a few hundreds per second, cause it's a turn-game and mechanics are much less advanced, so this should be attainable. I don't see any other efficient measure for training offline. The only other option I can propose is to add some button to ask for guidance of an experienced player who is online and willing to help (just like in Team Fortress 2), and then connect with him/her on a private server, but this might not work because of the low player count.
  • No possibility to cater the needs of players who wished for more realistic and serious fighting game simulator experience (like me). Instead, we have only rough models, no mod can transform the game into more realistic game, and the default gravity is from wuxia films. I’ll understand if such group of players is a minority, but I’m pretty sure that it’s still a decent number, and most of the players who looked for a serious fighting game has been disappointed by Toribash.The game advertises itself as “violence perfected”. However, I see its violence as far from perfected if I can only dismember androids consisting of rough balls, cuboids, and cylinders. The lack of realistic human model also hampers the physics of motion (If not, tell me why nobody, even pros, cannot run like real humans in Toribash). This is how I’d like players to look like:


Sadly, everything consists of those basic figures, and it’s disappointing to see not a single realistically looking katana or spear in the game where you almost constantly fight. I wish the game engine allowed for creating any models. Although the default ‘lunar’ (Which for some reason has the value of real Earth’s acceleration — 9.80 Sic!) gravity helps with acrobatics, it also encourages to not care about what limbs one use to move. There is also no possibility to turn off controlling of joints which were dismembered or interpenetration of player’s own body parts, which of course gives a big wackiness penalty. As I said, a minority only might complain about lack of these features, but it shouldn’t hurt anyone if Next allowed to play in a seriously more serious tone. I think the lack of serious tone and graphical/physical roughness makes this game less appealing for e-sport too.
  • Long-prevailing bugs/inconveniences. Since 2011 I met a few nasty things which I consider bugs and which a few months ago still haven’t been dealt with; this of course might lead to thinking that the developers are lazy and incompetent. I’m just going to enlist all whom I remember: in freeplay mode the game doesn’t reset its rules to the values corresponding to the mod A, if mod B or a few different mods have been played recently (Idk, after which specific conditions it was happening, but it occurred quite often and change the rules manually or restarting the game was really annoying.); the replays aren’t saved correctly if the player wasn’t present on the server throughout the whole fight or there were connection problems or the player clicked “save” when the next duel has already started (I can only judge it as pathetic that a tiny replay file isn’t stored on a server for even a minute); there are small body parts who always start rotating after dismemberment without external forces (as well as couple more weird things resulting from the physics engine), ⅓ of the achievements present on forum is broken, there are shaders changing on their own after entering their menu; and also this weird thing:


(What are these weird letters? For some reason this weird thing, which shows up sometimes when spectating an ongoing fight or on the beginning of the fight, was present in the game since ages, yet nobody explained why it’s there!)

  • Few people can enjoy events. One of the most important things maintain the loyalty of gamers who play games focused on multiplayer aspect are events, both recurring and referring to the game’s lore. In order to make them enjoyable, they must be easily visible, available for everyone, and provide some profit for every player participating in them. This game has none of them, as opposed to such titles like Fortnite or Team Fortress 2. When you are playing these games and there is an ongoing event, you can immediately see it, you read the description for less than minute, bang! You can already join, and enjoy quickly new content and rewards regardless if you are a noob or a pro. Although since the game was launched on Steam and seasons mechanics has been introduced, the situation got a little better. Still, beside the Seasons (who are available only for half-veterans who fought 500 times), there is no information about, and enlisting option within the game for the ongoing events, both official and unofficial, which with low player count might lead to conclusion that this game is a bit dead (nobody wants to play such games). Should then new player find any events on the forums, he or she will quickly realize that they are intended for artist or players who already spent hundreds hours in the game, because they often consists of parkours, clan battles tournaments (not everyone wants to be active in a clan to participate in events), this kind of demanding stuff for experienced players, and the rewards are usually only accessible to less than ten people. Not cool, Toribash.
  • Most of the advanced game adjustments cannot be accessed without commands. So you want to send some fancy shouts, fight for money, manage your chat window, load someone’s else texture into your own tori, search for other users online, use your own music in-game, edit the server you created use the voice chat, refresh server list, or adjust the camera movement? No problem at all! I mean, there is a big problem, because none of these things you can do without using commands, the game provides scarce description on what they do, and if someone is young and doesn’t know English well, then for him/her they are some incomprehensible black magic. Without commands the player loses the ability to configure significant part of their gameplay, which might cause casual players to feel a bit excluded. The only benefit of commands is that the interface can be less obstructed by lots of buttons. Nevertheless, it’s rather an unnecessary impediment which could be quite easily avoided by adding a few more expandable options menus. The commands feature leads me to another flaw of Toribash which is…
  • I don’t want to see technicalities every time I play! A.K.A no separate console. I know that Minecraft also uses chat windows as a console, but at least there you don’t need to see commands at all unless you are cheating or setting up your own server. Moreover, the vanilla Minecraft doesn’t use chat window as a dumpfor errors or informations useless for an average player, what Toribash does, and Toribash also doesn’t allow to filter those messages. Sometimes I was having replays which were showing on the chat message every time I played like “Mod by XYZ team” “parse_mod_command no op found”. ‘Jeez, I know that the author is proud of himself but I don’t want to care everytime I watch this replay, and I don’t know why you (game) tell me something I have no chance to understand, and also you are reminding me that this game is buggy. Also, please don’t tell me that the the replay was just autosaved when I’m telling others what noobs they are.’ This is what anyone might think of when one sees those kind of messages. Add in the requirement of using commands in order to access a broad spectrum of advanced options and voila! We achieved something that constantly harms readability of the chat and prevents from immersing the game. Sigh… and this could be so easily avoided by moving some of the messages into separate console or a discrete place on the screen.
  • Poor in-game explanation of interface, tools and certain gameplay elements/no refining of existing game features in order to make them easier to use. I think that this is quite self explanatory. There is completely no in-game explanation (or in a readme/manual installed with the game) on how to use Modmaker, Flameforge, how the official scripts work, and what all the game rules do. In such instance, the tools are a bit… useless, unless I spend a couple of dozens of minutes looking for a player-made tutorial, which might only be very basic. So far the only option to understand everything which hadn’t been mentioned in the tutorial or readme is to look up at the crappy forum or meticulously experiment. Oh, and BTW, when I last checked the manual it was outdated like hell. Let me give you a few more examples of things which are not explained in offline resources and they should be, because they are unclear/unknown and quite useful. For about 40 hours I had no idea what are keyframes, that you can right-click on the enlisted player in order to access a handful of commands, or to conveniently switch replays with a hotkey, or how the bets work or what is the duel mode, or that I need to manually use a command in order to play again in a new round of a tournament. I didn’t find out about any of these from any offline source (except by accident). By now, unfortunately, the only quality-of-life update I’ve witnessed is in-game item management. Please, Toribash, the game is hard on its own, you don’t need to make it harder with not-so-intuitive interface or leaving certain features without explaining how to use them. Maybe it’s good that the game look minimalistic, but you wouldn’t want to play a game where you have ⅓ of the features you don’t know how to use or never hear about? Something as simple as the description of each of the official game mode shown before or just after connecting to the server would be nice, because I forgot how to read the rules and there is not always time to check them after the fight has already started. Put a few question mark buttons with quick start info here and there, in each tool; or create a whole compedia/tutorial committed to the interface and advanced features and the game will be much easier to use.
  • Quantity over quality of mods/game modes and lack of information about each of them. We have like 500 mods in the game. I wonder if the devs accepted any mod which didn't look broken immediately because I can't explain why there is so many of them, and most of them are either too similar to the official mods, very roughly made, or completely goofy (like a mod which attaches genitals to the characters).Who was satisfied with their quality and tried out more than ⅕ of them? Very few players I guess. Oh, and it would be very nice if the game allowed for showing description of the mod, because if I’ll ever try to play random mod, I rarely know what I’m supposed to do in it, if it’s a good mod, or even what I should expect to see. Tell me, what do the names “st3”, “konybeta”, “testfball7”, “acrojoust”, or “-00pifiul-sparr” mean to you. Also, someone clearly typed a hyphen before the name of the mod to boost the visibility; this also shouldn’t be allowed. Why would I bother using mods when I have little chance of finding what I want to find? The game needs some quality checking before putting a mod in the list, and something which would tell me what I can expect from this mod before playing. This could be something as simple as a description which shows up when highlighting a mod and/or adding filters of rating and categories chosen by author.
  • Lack of the option to punish unpleasant players on the official servers/no in-game moderation. Although the game rules are too complex to be easily cheated and there is no need for anticheat moderation, I've met a lot of players who were raging or spamming the same OP attack over and over again, or constantly running away after gaining a score advantage. While in the first case I can always mute someone, I wish I could use a votekick option when at least 4 players are playing on an official server, or I wish I could have a reputation system which would allow me to punish players behave offensively or in unsportsmanlike manner. The players with high reputation could receive additional periodical rewards or earn more TC during fights. This isn’t a major issue, but nevertheless it should still be dealt with.
  • Inefficient and outdated advertising. Well, what we have here? The last promo of the game was launched in 2014 when the game got selected to be on Steam, the game lacks naturally appealing graphics (sorry Hampa, but I firmly believe that fights featuring more realistic models would look much more spectacular at the cost of ‘childrenfriendliness’ [I doubt that pre-teens are persistent and mentally developed enough to delve deeply into the mechanics, so it's not a big deal]), or large tournaments which could attract solo players playing for competitivity aspects, no mainstream youtuber is playing this game, and I haven't heard that Nabi studios have ever cooperated with any other indie games studio in terms of promoting, nor asked any streamer to play this game. You don’t need to be that pushy to ask broadcasters, but you should definitely update your website, because it looks outdated: the layout is not fitting to 16:9 ratio screens, the blog button is not working which suggests poor webmaking or that the dev stopped updating the game with features worth seeing, all the trailers and screenshots are basically from the last decade, and two trailers are player-made and one of them doesn’t exist anymore. If you are a dev and have a website, then it needs to show you that you are actually doing something new, and in that case it’s not visible. Thankfully, the Facebook page is updated regularly. I think the game would gain a large surge of players if as few as 3 youtubers (preferably those playing fighting games) with 50k subs recorded recently any let’s play or one of them made a series of this game, and if Nabi Studios agreed to promote mutually some other indie studio game. Nevertheless, Toribash needs to advertise itself a bit more.
  • Pay-to-customize if you wish to have more than basic items. I think that this is quite a self-explanatory con as well. If most of the cosmetic items cost more than 1000 TC or real money, the events are beneficial only to a few percent of players; the tournaments… well, they are a difficult way to win mediocre amounts; and the basic win reward is 10 TC, then I conclude this game is a bit unfriendly when it comes to economy. Thankfully it's not pay-to-win or pay-to-play, but most of f2p players are probably using only 1-3 tier items. The sole idea of creating elite tier items seems to me a bit wrong because it is against Toribash feature - the freedom of customisation and I know that the main developer wants to keep this freedom. I find a Team Fortress 2 a game with a good example of satisfying item economy. Although there are ultra-rare paid ‘unusuals’, I just need to buy once a very cheap item (or trade premium upgrade item with someone) and now I can craft, trade, or receive 95 % of the cosmetic items I'll probably ever want without spending a buck; I just need to grind a little. That system rewards patience while here I have very little chance to receive high-tier items in any way and so I have less motivation to play a lot. The micropayments options are not cheap as well; by also keeping in mind that a significant part of income goes to Hampa, I was hoping that he would shirtsleeve a bit more or check occasionally how the forum staff is doing their job (remember about good work-life balance though, man). Of course, if you don't mind playing with default everything then you have no problem, but I'm pretty sure that you are a minority. This drawback also partially alludes to the last one, which is...
  • Fights between players lack communication. Because the prices of sound items are quite high, there is few of them, it’s hard to type while playing,and the game doesn't have any ‘radio’ with ready-to-use text any voice messages present in the game, the fights lack some story, uniqueness and customizability aspect. It would be interesting to see slight role-playing between these pretty mute characters. Finding interesting quotes from various works and sound editing is something beyond the skills of average players, so most custom sounds I hear is only some crappy dubstep/metal or dank memes, which I'm a bit sick of at times. The game also lacks quickly accessible voice chat option. I can’t imagine efficient cooperation in the upcoming duels consisting of 4 players without these communication options being adjusted. On the other hand, the results would be funny sometimes.

Whew, this took me about 6 hours to write! Hopefully, it was worthwhile. Why did I write this in the first place? Idk, maybe because I care for this game, and want to cater it to my needs, and because I see a lot of wasted potential.
"Be polite. Be efficient. Have plan to kill everyone you need."

Last edited by Icky; 1 Week Ago at 02:26 AM.. Reason: Still fixing images
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Originally Posted by LiquidChap View Post
this is honestly a pretty stupid post, obviously it’s going to be subjective (said like it’s objective because that’s how arguments work) and you really had no reason to say he had 20iq when you (barely) argued on only one point that he had without even mentioning any of the 12 other points

and honestly most of the major points are objective anyways so idk what you’re trying to say there

I said 20 IQ because of his reasons and I mentioned only one point because of my time... I basically disagree with these points this is all
Oh and yeah I promise that 20 IQ thing was stupid from me

Quantity over quality of mods/game modes and lack of information about each of them. - Yes I agree with this one because searching for mods is really a big trouble
Team Lenshu|Anime United

Last edited by Sora; 1 Week Ago at 05:27 AM..
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