Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WoT & LoL: rigged or just demo mode before the game?

Once upon a time I believed that proving that a game is rigged equals to the death of that game, or at least a huge firing wave at the company and big promises that all the bad eggs are gone and the company is now clean and really won't do it again.

Instead, neither League of Legends, nor World of Tanks went down after I've found them rigging the games. OK, the LoL research is probably not the best (I'll redo it once with proper blind testing and everything), so it didn't catch up enough buzz, people simply don't know about it. But the WoT page is my highest visited and there are other high traffic sites claiming the same. We can assume that "everyone" who cares to know that WoT is rigged, knows.

Instead of crying how the World is unjust, I'm always thinking about rational explanations. What if players don't care because it's not "the game" what is rigged, just a demo mode? Let me explain. Both games are team vs team battle games with high synergies between team members. While the WoT clan wars seems convoluted and needlessly complex, probably to cover up something, the LoL tournaments are likely clear e-sports. But either way, it's clear that a random group has no chance against a coordinated and somewhat competent team. So the actual participants of the "real game" are teams, while individual, teamless players cannot participate.

In this framework the random battles between matchmade teams (regardless of tier/ranking) are irrelevant and can be considered a demo mode. It's needed only to lure new players to the game who can test and learn the game in a casual schedule. Since a solo queue LoL player is not playing the "real game", it's irrelevant if this is rigged or not. The team being artificially stacked is irrelevant compared to the fact that they are uncoordinated and random.

My point is that a "real" Lol/WoT player (someone who participates in organized team battles) rightfully dismisses everything that happens with matchmade teams, including rigging as non-related. From that standpoint the experiences of a "bronze noob" or a "platinum pro" are equally not relevant for the team game experiences.

Of course these do not make my findings invalid, as most players are not participating in the team games and they are openly lied to and cheated by the developers. But they are "cheated anyway" since what they do is pointless within the game World: someone who runs only random battles will make no effect on the clan wars, therefore indistinguishable from a non-player, despite he puts thousands of hours and dollars into the game. They are cheated when they were made to believe that their individual kill/death or rating matters and not when these were modified to cater to the whales.


maxim said...

I struggle to think of any activity which doesn't have something which can be interpreted as cheating of this form.
This is just a sign of the current age where everything needs to be actively sold to the audience.

Gevlon said...

I see no cheating in WoW. Shallow gameplay yes, but you get exactly what you expect (while in WoT and LoL you expect a random battle and get a set-up team)

The Standing Dragon said...

Because -fun- Gev.

People are having fun. Who cares if the game is rigged if you don't care about your w/l ratio and just want to do the tank thing or play the MOBA or shoot the mans or whatever else?

That's the one thing you miss, often, in your analysis. People do things for the fun of doing them, in their way, and what matters to you may have nothing to do with why they pick up a controller.

As an analogy, we all know carnival games of all stripes are rigged. Why do people play them? It certainly isn't to win stuffed animals (though it's fun when it happens). It's the fun of doing the thing. That's all.

Carnival games are a fantastic study for this effect, and there's a lot of literature on why. Casinos too- everyone knows the house always wins, yet they play anyway on games no more rigged than Lol or Wot. Because -fun-.

No matter how alien that may seem, it cuts to player motivation. You like to 'win' and others like to explore, or tell stories, or grief, or just watch pretty explosions. Every one of those choices is valid.

I like reading about your theories, but this is the part you miss sometimes. The simple idea of having fun is more powerful than you realize# I think.

maxim said...

"I expected actual faction war with stakes, insted i got a theme park".

Anonymous said...

How can he miss "it was fun"? It's not something that can be quantified and changes from person to person, and so is irrelevant. Person A finds something enjoyable, person B finds that same thing unenjoyable, so the net difference over a large audience is 0. It makes no difference.

Anonymous said...

"Fun" is a very subjective thing. As has already been pointed out, it can mean very different things for different people. Please don't see this as a counter point, but more as an additional view point.

I have the feeling that Gevlon's idea of fun might not be too far from my own, in which winning itself is not even as important as competing (sry, Gevlon in case I'm wrongfully assuming here). But for it to be a competition the competitor should be allowed to win or lose due to his or her own actions. Which means that losing will be his or her own fault, and while that might temporarily hurt the self worth for a fraction, in this context only "winning" becomes meaningful. Because only if you won by your own accord, you can certainly feel it to be your accomplishment. Contrarily being handed pity wins (or bought wins) by algorythms won't have that effect on people who play to compete - a target group that, I feel, is being less and less catered to by the gaming industry.

Alrenous said...

They obviously do care. They don't say, "So what if it's rigged?" They get very upset.

nightgerbil said...

Whats wrong with your commenters? I like to win. I can stand losing, but I want to learn from it, so I can win next time. I don't NEED a level playing field, but I insist on a fighting chance or I'm not playing. Theres nothing "fun" about being crushed or one shotted when it takes you 12 hits to kill your opponent.

Anonymous said...

@Anon after Maxim: Your statement breaks when groupsize A does not equal B. Thus, your statement breaks quite often.

Gevlon said...

@Nightgerbil: "for fun" players cannot win a fair game. In WoT, sometimes you need 12 hits to kill, but sometimes you are the one who needs 12 hits to die. In the latter case, the "for fun" people finally can have fun.

maxim said...

The most fun i had with a game in years was playing Dark Souls NG+1 on a lowest possible vitality character (so, lowest HP), while permanently wearing a Calamity Ring (x2 damage taken). This basically results in everything 1-shotting you, while some bosses can take significantly more than 12 hits to beat.
I think i'd have fun PvPing with that setup, too, if it was at all possible in Dark Souls to really base your PvP tactic around avoiding damage :(

Conrad The Crazed said...

I agree with nightgerbil. I play WoT for fun, or at least that's how I started out. Once reaching a certain level, the game becomes anything BUT fun, as your user account gets heavily nerfed. You do a fraction of the damage, retain a fraction of the armor, and are given a fraction of the viewing/spotting range, to go with a fraction of the aimed-shot accuracy. As he noted, you must inflict MANY more hits to destroy the very same tank you're using, which somehow is one or two-shotted within the first 90 seconds of a match....many times by LESSER tanks.

Why this occurs is likely nothing more than simply rewarding players who are committed to spending actual money on a continual basis. The proverbial 'pay-to-win' model that has become all the rage with online gaming these days.

I'd rather WGN just manufacture a game disc and charge up front, as opposed to offering WoT as a 'free to play' game, and then continually deny they're using the pay-to-win model.