Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What is a "fair game"?

You now see two warning pages against EVE Online and World of Tanks. I no longer play World of Warcraft and League of Legends among many games I used to play but stopped, but you see no warning page against them. I posted why I stopped playing them (one being an on-rail quasi-single player game, the other is a zero-depth twitch game), but no way in hell I advise you against them. If you like them, go have fun! The two I'm warning against aren't genres I don't like, I like them both a lot. They are not badly made games, they are pretty high quality. I warn them, because they are unfair games and this isn't obvious on the first look. I mean after a few minutes gameplay you can figure out that you can't expect great battles and grand strategy in League of Legends. But you can play EVE or WoT for years with only a vague "something isn't right" feeling that sucks the life out of your play. If you grab a piece of paper and write pros and cons, the pros are dominating the page and you supposed to enjoy the game, but you can't.

The definitions of a "fair game" are:
  • The game mechanics are clear and well documented.
  • EULA and other game rules are also clear ("don't be a jerk" is clear for a decent person)
  • Both set of rules are universally enforced, there are no exceptions, VIPs, special cases
World of Warcraft fits this description. You can read up every encounter of spell. The GMs are professional and distant, but quick to act against exploiters and harassers. There is a combat log to see what happened in the fight, it's always clear what went wrong (it's never "I got unlucky"). WoW is "what they offer is what you get". It's not for everyone, it's clearly not for me, just like women's clothes are not for me, but it doesn't devalue women's clothes shop.

World of Tanks matchmaking is completely undocumented. There is not even a token promise that it won't put you into unfair situations. After lengthy research I've found that it's totally unfair, rewarding bad performance better than good. There are also no logs to verify that spotting, hitting and penetrating are working as they should. I believe they aren't, but can't prove it. The point is that in WoW I can prove that my crit chance is actually the crit chance from my character page or not by parsing few hours long combat logs.

EVE Online is nepotism paradise. If you are an "important content creator", you can get away with anything from suicide bully to open RMT and you get to influence the development to favorize you. If you are not VIP, you are out of luck and there is no limit how far your enemies can go to attack you in real life with the company doing nothing or even with devs participating.

Please note that pay-to-win isn't an issue here while it's documented. A game selling sword of uberness openly is a fair game. It doesn't mean you have to play it if you don't like this mechanic. Just like you don't have to play a game which allow someone outearn you by "playing" 20 hours a day. But they are clear what they are selling, take it or leave it. You are a grown person not living in the insane asylum, you should be able to figure out if the offer is good or not. In the cases of unfair games you can't until you made some extensive research and found the inconsistencies. For those you can only trust in the experience of those who already got burned.

I'm not sure if I'll like Black Desert Online. But I really hope it won't have hidden tricks and my "don't play" list won't get longer.


Destabilizator said...

Half of the stats in BDO are either hidden (accuracy for example), random (HP/lvl for example, it's random) or obscure (Back Attack Damage Level +1)... You'll have fun :D

Stan vanderVille said...

99% of Eve Players aren't even interested in your Eve-playstyle. Therefore your reason to warn of Eve are not fitting.
If you wan't to be mittens or like you a "someone" without being social, than it might be true. But as you very often elaborated: We all others are just morons, miners, ratters. We don't care about the disputes of like 4 coalition leaders and one goblin...

Gevlon said...

@Stan: explain this to the Imperium ratters and miners who lost their income and got their assets locked in Deklein because of "politics".

Anonymous said...

" explain this to the Imperium ratters and miners who lost their income and got their assets locked in Deklein because of "politics"."

Those ratters will be moving back in under the new sov holders, as will the miners, just as they did after BoB lost sov, after TEST lost sov, after PL lost sov.

You seem to think because some miners lost their easy AFK isk, that they are now following your playstyle.

Stan is right, 85% of eve players are not even in nullsec, so your ego dispute with the leaders of alliances is no more than a passing entertainment between wardecs and ganks

85% are not in null, but, all the narrative (and your time) was spent on null. How many blog hours did you dedicate to your gripe with Goons. You fell into the same trap everyone who reads about Eve does, thinking it is where everything is.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: tell that 85% highsec miners why nullsec mining got a huge boost overnight when CCP believed Mynnna.

Anonymous said...

Ccp have data. They look at it. Mynnna perhaps drew their attention to something but it wasn't a case of him telling them something and they believing. You are incredibly naive if you think that's how ccp run their business.

Anonymous said...

The game mechanics are clear and well documented.
What game in the history of games does this. chess, go, solitair? ... not even minesweeper has a documentation.

BDO click "guide" at the top of the screen. ingame video tutorials.

I guess they just should ship games with all the formulas so people (like me) don't have to reverse those. or did you have 1k armor in skyrim not knowing it hardcaps at 526. and skilled armorbreaker not knowing that every enemy is just a HP sponge (no armor to break). it took a better part of a weekend to get the nececary data.

But I really hope it won't have hidden tricks
"Damage reduction" stat in BDO isn't clear. is it flat ontop of DP or calculated after DP mitigation. Koreans already tested it to a point that the later is the case. Still some sessions need to be done to get the exact value of the stat.
Horse breeding. you will not get the ingame information to level them up and breed at high levels, because a grading system is in place so you have a chance on higher tier horses if you level them up.

BDO is a koran game. they did some heavy changes for the western market. you will still have some RNG but also backup systems. does the game tell you you should switch alts after several failstacks? no! does the failstacks cap at some point per enchant level not increase chance of sucess. yes!
Do we care? for gear and weapons no! for gear and weapons we get simple force enchants that need more mats and therefore no RNG.

I played only vanilla WOW. There where no ingame boss guides. you went in blind and figured it out on your own or hoped that some elitist guild shine some light on some mechanics. That was part of the fun.

figuring stuff out. A rare trait in todays internt+smartphone age.

BDO is korean. the devs live and work in south korea. DAUM west reports weekly or so to the korean devs. so, if goons want to rig the node war system in their favor and get t20 priviliges allday everyday ... they somehow need to influence that chain. Let them try I would love to see them fail.

On guides. has good overall information. sure if you want details you will endup google translating some korean websites. because BDO is relesed there over a year now and most information is already reversed and documented by korean players.

Little SNOOObie said...


Just to keep your EVE-frenzy at a high level, since I know you love me:

CCP released the April economic report showing net ISK loss in the game for the month. If that's what is happening in preperation of the patch, imagine how things will be like with the new fees.

Elizabeth Norn said...

The fact that the majority of miners were in high sec is /the/ reason null sec mining got buffed.

Rob Thompson said...

Gevlon, I think anon has a point about the relevance of Nullsec events, as perceived by the majority of folks in Highsec, for example.

But he/she does fail to take into account the large number of Nullsec players with alts in Highsec. Almost every miner I gank turns out to be an NPC Corp Nullsec alt.

Like it or not, events in Nullsec do have an impact on the game and are the best recruiting tool CCP has, even though the hype is quite misleading. If you want to be among EVE's movers n shakers, you have to keep up with Null affairs.

It's a rather nice example of the tail wagging the dog.

Anonymous said...

Interesting you use the word nepotism, as from every previous CCP employee I have heard talk, nepotism sums up the internal culture of CCP. Not surprising at all it bleeds through into the game itself.

Viacheslav Rostovtsev said...

I don't get what you mean when you say "you can't expect great battles and grand strategy in League of Legends". In my experience after you get to the max level and start playing ranked (aka 'serious') games that is exactly what one finds.

I. Strategy
Personal strategy is abundant in laning phase. All lanes interact with opponents, the minion waves and friendly/enemy junglers. That gives a constant stream of decision points: harass/play passively; push/stay/freeze; extend/hold; ward/not ward; go back to base/remain another wave. One makes these decisions constantly at a rate of 1 per 10-30 seconds.

Your overall strategy for the laning phase playing ranged into melee could be something like 'harass;do not push;make opponent go to base then push into tower then go to base yourself then come back to find his wave naturally pushing you then freeze/harass'. Your opponents behaviour will influence this greatly. Do they play passively? Do they know how to break a freeze? Do they have teleport? Do they buy potions to counteract your harass?

Count items & abilities in and you get another stream of decisions: 'against X I need early boots'; 'Y is reliant on auto-attacks so I level my Q skill first to counteract this'. 'Z bought into health-regen early - either I go glass cannon route or this will be a farm lane'.

Since you don't play one-on-one it gets even more complicated. Is their jungler aggressive. Is yours? If you overextended early while trying to harass, got ganked and when you get back you see your opponent freezing the wave is it safe to try and break the freeze? If you got the upper hand should you roam or should you try to press the advantage? One wont find a **great** deal of team-wide strategy unless he plays with his team (as expected) but even strangers cooperate most of the time in rankeds.

That's just for one phase of the game. When you get out of laning, do you contest dragon? Can you keep control of the buffs? What about the map vision? Do they have Vayne? You need to not let her passively farm, you won't win late game. Do they have 2-3 trinity force champions? Beware of the power spike. Can someone on your team clean the waves effectively or should you build something to help with that? Etc etc. There is more than enough tactics, strategy and 'grand strategy' in every match. Having to have reflexes to execute the tactical minigames does not prevent it. See also: Starcraft.

II. Great battles
Almost every game. That's all I have to say on the point. Unless your definition of 'great' is 'time-dilution'.