Greedy Goblin

Friday, February 3, 2017

"Metagame" instead of "rigging"

Maybe I choose wrong way to introduce and interpret my results on League of Legends. The objective facts I've found are:
  • If there are new champion users in the team, you have very high chance of winning laning phase and have a very fed teammate when teamfights start which leads to won game most cases.
  • If there are no new champion users in the team, you have low chance of winning laning phase, but high chance of winning ganks and early teamfights, so you can win the game if you push to teamfights early.
These are observable facts. I interpreted these as:
  1. New champion user is a buyer
  2. Riot rigs the games for buyers.
  3. League of Legends is a rigged game you shouldn't play.
Now look at this alternative interpretation:
  1. New champion users are eqaual players who are new - therefore clumsy - with their champion.
  2. If you press an attack early with them, they will suck and you will lose. Give them time to familiarize themselves with the champion by elongating laning phase.
  3. If your team is full of experienced players, you are free to engage early. If the enemy has new champion users, you'll win these early teamfights.
The first interpretation fits the facts better. There is no reasonable explanation why New Champion users have above 50% winrate besides rigging. In an unrigged game a team with people using champions with zero experience should be in serious disadvantage. If the second interpretation would be true, then New Champion user team should lose badly with early fights (instead of losing slightly) and lose slightly with late fights (instead of winning easily). However the second interpretation is less controversial and offers rewards. The first one merely saves you from further suffering in ELO Hell by quiting the game. The second offers the believer to:
  • Get out of ELO Hell while keep playing and enjoying the game.
  • Greatly increased winrate.
  • Greatly increased control over the outcome, feeling himself a superior metagamer.
Please note that the actions coming from this interpretation are the same as the exploit I suggested for the rigging: let the designated carriers feed when your team has the buyers and attack early when the enemy team has the buyers.

Probably my whole approach to the situation was wrong. I wanted to catch the devs with a smoking gun, while players don't care (otherwise there wouldn't be any free-to-play games). Instead I should have accepted the game as it is, consider the rigging as just another mechanic needs to be considered while planning the metagame. After all "rigging" is a moral construct, judging the devs. It is possible - though unlikely - that they had the legitimate goal of giving winnable Normal games to new champion users (regardless of their payment) and someone left this subroutine in the Ranked code. Or the whole thing is a simple bug in the complicated matchmaker algorithm. Or legacy code. Or the Tooth Fairy. Sirlin said that players should not criticize the game but utilize its features to the maximum for winning. I'm pretty sure that more players would respond positively to a "how to be better metagamer in LoL" than to a "LoL is rigged and Riot is a bunch of scammers", regardless of the objective truth behind it.

The bonus: if I could convince enough players to just "be better metagamer", the whole rigging would collapse as the new champion user teams would be regularly devastated, forcing Riot to do something about it. Whatever they would do, if it would be unfair, it would be exploitable again. At the end they would be forced to either
  • Give both teams equal amount of buyers and make them face each other (like both tops are buyers), therefore giving 50% winrate to buyers. This is still rigging as a New champion user gets an easier enemy than the experienced players, but much better.
  • Force players to play 5 normal games with a champion before using it on ranked.
I am very interested in this approach and it's possible that I give some more time to League of Legends. But definitely not in the near future. I'll replace my computer some day and then I get a new ISP service so Riot can't link my test account to me.


Doktor Jeep said...

Going on your observations about WoT and LoL, a kind of pattern emerges and it feels like War Thunder is doing the same thing.

Jeff said...

Or new released champions are broken to get people to buy them then they get a nerd once sales drop. Just like tanks.

nightgerbil said...

gevlon, just for a minute pretend you have amnesia. You got hit over the head or something. Now read your 3 "rigged" pages. Pretend it wasn't you who wrote them, just some random you found while browsing the internet. What do you objectively see?

Your world of tanks page is so damning because of how comprehensive it is. You have a control account. You have an easily testable and repeatable experiment. The evidence you present (well I might add, very easily understood) is compelling and your conclusion well founded. The average joe upon reading it comes away with "dam tanks is a waste of my time! its totally rigged and theres no point me even trying with this". I could show that to my mum or my 11 year old niece and she would get it. It was a well done piece of internet journalism.

Compare it to the eve and league pages. Honestly if this wasn't you who wrote them, if it were me or tobold or lucas what would you say? what would you think? what would you write? Detach yourself from your work for a minute. You have both a method and a presentation issue with this last project of yours. Thats why I think it gained no traction. Fix that and your next project will get the visibility your WoT rightly does.

Anonymous said...

"I am very interested in this approach and it's possible that I give some more time to League of Legends. But definitely not in the near future. I'll replace my computer some day and then I get a new ISP service so Riot can't link my test account to me."

You think Riot have flagged your IP and sit there monitoring in case you log on?

Anonymous said...

Seeing your alternative explanation that can at least be explained as "good intentions":
New champions mean the player is weaker than his average so this has to be balanced by either putting stronger team mates with him to keep the average or by putting him into a lower team. Assume the first:
1. one underpowered and 4 overpowered players => win my winning most lanes + jungle. Your best bet is to have a long laning phase to get your bit overpowered players ahead
2. opposite direction: you are in the balanced team: exploit the underpowered player of the other team by early teamfights (strenght of a group grows in square, so having one drop out gives a huge advantage even with the a bit overpowered players in the team).

once you see that, obviously Riot should fix it, e.g. by putting the underpowered one wiht others of his strenght, not by compensating with stronger players.

Cathfaern said...

"After all "rigging" is a moral construct, judging the devs. It is possible - though unlikely - that they had the legitimate goal"
It can have a bit naive but totally legitimate goal: they would want players to have fun with new heroes from the start so they don't feel that they should play only one or two. Of course it's overlap with their profit making device but honestly you can't rule this out. You could if you could tell who is a new skin buyer because old hero + new skin also means sure wins then yes, it's rigged for the profit. But now it could be rigged for helping players (which also means profit on the long run).

"I am very interested in this approach and it's possible that I give some more time to League of Legends. But definitely not in the near future. I'll replace my computer some day and then I get a new ISP service so Riot can't link my test account to me."
Or you could do it in Heroes of the Storm.

Malthan said...

Your research lacked one important experiment - getting new champions and playing with them. According to your theory you should be carried if you keep hopping from new champion to new champion every couple games.

Another thing you haven't addressed is getting champions via ip vs rp Acccording to Riot they get most of the profits from skin buyers, since not many people buy champions with rp.

Gevlon said...

@Jeff: "new champion user" doesn't mean someone who plays a recently released/upgraded champion. It means someone who plays a champion he never played.

@Nightgerbil: my current WoT page is less than a year old and it's of course very sophisticated. My post that got traction and still on front page of Google's "world of tanks is rigged" By today's standard, it's a very clumsy research

@Anonymous: every game company has alt-detection system to find smurfs and returning banned players. Riot didn't have to write something for me or put an operator to watch me. All they had to do is adding me to the list of baddies.

@Next anon: giving any advantage to any player in an e-sport is rigging. The only "good intentions" explanation is honest mistake during coding a fair matchmaker.

@Cathfaern: normal games are the place of "having fun". Old hero + new skin means "using old hero one haven't used for long", who show up as "new champion user" for me, as champion history doesn't go beyond 30 days.

Trying out HotS has nothing to do with LoL. I could prove that it's rigged or find new metagaming if it's not rigged. But LoL remains as it is.

@Malthan: the problem with that is very small sample size with champions and you can't rule out my personal skill. About skins see answer to Cathfaern .

Cathfaern said...

I'm not sure new skin buying is tied to a new (long not played) hero. I think "Oh I play this hero so much, let's buy a new skin for it" is a possible case. The only question is which happens more in reality.

Gevlon said...

@Cathaern: I say that most New Champion users have recent champion or skin buy
I did not say that most buyers are New Champion users.

However I do believe that as one side wins, the other loses, non-new buyers are packed together with new-buyers

Lance said...

Why don't you rewrite and replace your "LoL is Rigged"page with a "How to exploit the LoL metagame" page. See if that way you can reach a wider audience.

Skeddar said...

By the way, you can look up the 'mastery points' of any player on this or similar sites:

Just in case you want to continue your research and want to make sure someone plays a champion for the first time. If he already played it, the mastery points will be > 0.

Tunoi Veil said...

Well if its rigged leave it:) Btw have you tried Planet Calypso? real cash economy sandbox

Tunoi Veil said...

If I double posted, feel free to delete one. Well if it is rigged leave it:). Can I suggest planet Entropia(real cash economy sandbox) for your next project?