What the game really needs is a sort of quick match making option.
A way for people to just queue up for a game and be matched based on their elo on a random ladder map.
Main issue for new players is to get games going simple as that, no one wants to wait in a lobby or in war2bne channel forever without knowing if they even will be able to play.
To better understand that problem try making a smurf and do not tell anyone who you are and try getting a game going see how long it takes if you are not at a peak hour.
I think more than anything else this is the main reason we struggle to make players stay.
See the good thing about an automatic match making is you can tell people roughly how long they may wait before they actually get a game and also they are "kinda" guaranteed to get one at somepoint.
Also an automatic match making based on elo would make elo more reliable since teams and players you face are not decided by the players themselves that would be an additional bonus.
As for the MPQ shortcuts and all this is raw data client side there is absolutely no way of "protecting" client side data, that is why most games today are server-side when they can afford to.
That said no one ever cared that much about this than you I never saw a new player complain about hacks ever. It is not like hacks are the one reason people loose their games.
In all the time I played on war2 on ru I encountered only one time a real hack and it made me laugh I wont say who it was but that was in free castle and man that bot was way over 2000 apm and he didnt need a fortress to make dragon lairs etc XD.
Most new players would loose even if they had infinite resources... I mean sure an addon to set shortcuts for everyone to use easily would be nice but I would not say it is a priority for new players at all...
Most of us haven't have edited our shortcuts and are still playing the game quite happily
Yeah automatic match making would be the best solution. I'm not sure if we can patch something like that into pvpgn/bnet though, If we would get rid of pvpgn and don't use any kind of bnet emulation and create our own interface with our own protocol then it would solve all these problems, but it would take a lot of game patches to pull that off. I will think about a possible solution though, maybe there is a way to get it done (won't be as nice as in newer games, but maybe it's good enough for us...)
Right now a more realistic solution is what I suggested above. Motivate new players to host their own games, give the games proper names to ensure other new players find the game. Make sure new players know they can press Alt+Enter to switch to windowed mode so they can watch a youtube video while waiting... I was already trying hard to make the waiting time less annoying with the Alt+Enter hotkey and the PlaySound plugin
In the same vein to try and minimize the time new players waste doing nothing when connecting to the game I wanted to have a look at war2 insight source code if we still have that somewhere to try and implement a real spectating mode for war2 see topic I posted in the Development section for more infos on that.
Having a more modern spectating mode would thus minimize idle time in the game for new players allowing them to watch games without being directly connected to the playing players and thus not impacting the lag etc... For this to work at least one player in the game would have to be running the program so it's not like they would be able to watch each and every single game so players that do not want to be watched can always just not run the program ofc.
So yeah anything we could do to try and minimize the waste of time for new comers would be imo a nbr1 priority since I do strongly believe this is the one thing war2 is suffering from.
il updated insight so he should have the code.
I never tried insight, isn't it very complicated to use? Like, you need to log in manually, you need to host a game manually and then you need to add computer players manually etc...? If it's as complicated as I think it is then no new player will use that... If there would be a replay file and you can just double click it to get booted straight into the replay with zero-config then I guess it would be a nice option for new players. There could be a launcher that lists all the live games and also allows you to browse old games as well.