In my experience playing some other games recently in the RTS vein, I've noticed that something that keeps games alive that would otherwise simmer and die is dedicated lobbies and especially integration of non-competitive game mode statistics.
Win-rates on factions in different custom game modes 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 should be tallied for non-Competitive mode as well as the Competitive. While a Ladder is naturally attractive for anyone competitively minded, and therefore ELO or other metric of player skill is useful there if for nothing else then at least as a bragging right, a similar stats sheet for Custom games is absolutely mandatory.
This isn't of course to say that DoW3 will do poorly, but there is a considerable amount of animus and skepticism in the video market right now. Large projects have come and gone and for every video discussing DoW3 you will find comments sections teeming with negativity. This isn't the fault of the game, the franchise or the developer, it is simply the mood in the industry as a whole.
Some stats to record and present
Thus, it stands to reason that people's in-game profiles should feature Custom and Competitive tabs, as outlined above, with specific metrics and data to measure their overall experience in the game:
of games per faction, per game mode
Wins / Losses per faction, per game mode
Win% per faction, per game mode
Most built unit per faction, perhaps per game mode though a simple overall stat for all Custom / Comp games should do
Average Damage, per faction, per game mode
Average Kills, per faction, per game mode
Average Losses, per faction, per game mode
Accolades and medals, I especially loved the collectible Ribbons and Medals in Company of Heroes 2, though something more in-depth could be done in DoW3. Make War Not Love could also be part of this, where unlocking specific achievements would award some kind of reward.
A pie chart showing overall faction preference.
Some kind of "Faceplate" for Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, automatically displayed for the player depending on their most played faction.
I feel something like this would encourage people to play Custom Games, perhaps Relic is already planning something exactly like this but I felt I wanted to air this need, something that went rather overlooked in Company of Heroes 2.
Dedicated Lobbies are a must and I'm sure they are part of DoW3's initial launch - however, what is less clear is whether or how much control the host has over options and settings.
Do you have any ideas for custom games and unlockable flare? Share them below.