Compared to blockbuster games like Call of Duty or Gears of War, Culdcept Saga has a small player base, and new players might have some difficulty finding online matches if they don't know how to look. In light of that, this guide offers a few suggestions that should help finding online competition easier.
Finding a match: Don't bother searching for player matches unless someone specifically tells you they're creating one. Pretty much everyone plays ranked, standard matches. (A few of us like to play blind and alliance matches and will play them if asked, but very few people just set up games in these formats and hope others will join.)
To search for matches, you'll want to set your custom search to "2 to 4 players" rather than the default of "3 to 4 players." With relatively few folks playing this game, most of us who host games regularly set the number of players at 2 to 4 so we're not stuck waiting an hour for Player No. 3 to show up.
Hosting a match: Bear in mind that online matches tend to last 30 to 70 minutes. This means that even when folks are online and playing, you could spend half an hour just blindly searching for matches. If a few custom searches fail to find a match, don't hesitate to host a match in hopes of hooking up with some of those other players as their games finish. In general, try to keep the TG limit relatively low, around 6K-8K, a bit higher for an alliance match. Online matches can take a while, and some players won't join if you set the TG limit higher. Various folks who play online have their distinct preferences. There are quite a few of us who don't like playing with E cards, so you'll see a lot of "no E cards" matchups online. Most, but not all, people play with random land. Remember when setting up to change the number of players to "2 to 4 players."
It's also worth noting that you cannot send invites for ranked matches. So if you're looking to set up a match and want to invite folks from your friends list, it'll need to be a player or private match. (Also, if someone is setting up a ranked match, don't expect them to send you an invite to the match. Just find it via a custom search.) Another way to assemble a group of people to play is just to assemble a party and invite some folks.
Conduct: The player base for this game is small, so behave yourself online. If you develop a reputation for quitting every time you're losing, offering other Cepters unsolicited advice or whining every time someone targets you with a spell or effect, you'll probably have a tougher time finding people to play with. In general, don't be a jerk, don't quit early and don't showboat needlessly when you're up by 5K. (If your opponent has 600TG and you've got 6,000, you probably don't need to hit his Jade Idol with Magic Bolt.) If you want to offer advice on how to play, wait until the match is over if you're playing with more than one opponent.
Maintain an active friends list: If you play a match or two with someone and you like their play style, add them to your friends list. If you've got 20 or 30 or even more regular Culdcept players on your friends list, it's way easier to find a match than if you're just flying blind. Many of us will even back out of other games we're playing if the possibility of a match presents itself.
Add CuldceptCentral to your friends list: This friends list is comprised of gamertags to help unify the Culdcept community a bit. All the folks on it are regular players, and the list is cleaned up every few months or so to cull inactive players. It's a great way to see who's on Live and available for a match.
Time of day: I have the most luck finding matches between about 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. Pacific time, later on Friday and Saturday nights. There is, however, a decent sized pool of players who can be tracked down late at night, including myself. If you're interested in late night matches but are frustrated because you can never find any, shoot a note to me (Dirk Dorkelson) on Xbox Live. I'll try to keep you in mind.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 20:43