Skilled players don't think the game is too random

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MrGrendel
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Post by MrGrendel »

Just some random (ha ha) thoughts.

Without random numbers, the better player emerges in far fewer matches. As the randomness increases, the ability to determine the better "strategist" approaches zero.

Personally, I like to know that if I'm a better player, I'll win proportionally to my amount of skill in maybe three games, rather than an average out of maybe ten or a hundred. Additionally, the large amount of luck makes it much more difficult to determine from experience which of your strategies were successful because they were good strategies.

As a (shameful) example, there was a time when I used wallhacks on counter-strike. (Please don't kill me.) I was a moderately skilled player at the time, but I was really bored with the game, so I decided to fool around with some hacks. Most of my time was spent doing things such as watching other players, listening to footsteps and toying with them by always staying out of sight, but where they could hear me move, etc.

The result? After I uninstalled all my hacks again some months later, I found that I had become more skilled, especially at playing on those maps, faster than my typical sluggish learning curve. Being able to "lift the curtain" for a while had brought me closer to my potential than simply not seeing. And though the example seems very different, in the same sense, random numbers can be a "haze" of misinformation.

Blah blah blah, /devil's advocate

All that being said, however, I like Wesnoth (mostly) the way it is. Some people want to have the emotional thrill of unexpected victory, at the cost of undeserved defeat. The game is still not so random that I can't enjoy it. When I want something more "strictly strategy" I simply load up another wargame. Wesnoth isn't everything for everyone, try to enjoy it, or get the mod. :P (Or go here.)
Last edited by MrGrendel on August 1st, 2006, 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

IMHO reducing the randomness also reduce the fun on some units like the Dwarvish Thunderer - It's one of the points that make this unit intesting and unique.
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Temuchin Khan
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Post by Temuchin Khan »

MrGrendel wrote:Some people want to have the emotional thrill of unexpected victory, at the cost of undeserved defeat.
Nice point! The chance of an unexpected victory increases the fun of the game, even if it comes at the price of accepting the risk of an undeserved defeat.
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Post by toms »

IIRC, I never lost because of bad luck, just because of strategic mistakes.

Even if there is no luck, you might win a game via luck. e.g. if the other player gets deflected of some reason, and he makes a bad move then. Or if you've set fog/shroud on and you misclick. (that's the main reason why I'm no fogger, btw) etc. There are many possible chances to win via luck, when a game is not about luck.
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Post by Rhuvaen »

MrGrendel wrote:Without random numbers, the better player emerges in far fewer matches.
I'd just throw in that the current system and a deterministic system both encourage a different set of skills. So you'd have a different mindset of player being "better" than you have now.

In a deterministic mode, it would all come down to math - knowing all the numbers and applying them. Currently already good players will probably recruit the same sort of units in a certain factional match-up on a given map every time. The game would become more like chess, with less variation in the moves. Every move would have very specific, calculable consequences - it would just be so hard (or boring) to do those calculations. Already people are coming to the forums and saying how much the game punishes mistakes.

Personally, I see good players taking some time already for their moves and think that in deterministic mode, I'd probably have to wait much, much longer for anyone to finish their turn. So while thinking about less randomness has some appeals, I'm happy just to have some more surprises and faster games, where you can even sympathize with the poor luck of your opponent if it turns out that way.
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Post by Alks »

It's not a challenge to win the battle, when you are the better player. Without randomness, it would be even a bit boring. Randomness forces the player to win not only against the strategy of the other player, but also against indeterminate factors, that are incalculable.

It is possible, that carefully planned movements and attacking end up in losing 3 units and next turn goes with foolish enemy movements that end up luckily for him and you lose next 2 units.

Average player is the person, who can win, when lucky.
Good player is the person, who can win when not unlucky.
Strategist is the person, who can win despite bad luck.
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Post by FleshPeeler »

The main misconception I see going about is that people think that skill is based upon how much damage they can deal. That's not where the skill comes in, that's where the randomness enters. A player's skill is reflected by their positioning of their units. Position determines everything - what units are available to resupply your front line, what's going to cover your injured units, where your best counter for an enemy nuisance is and how many turns it will get to it, defensible terrain, and last but not least, the probability that your unit will actually deal damage.

People like to blame luck for why they are missing all the time, but when they try to attack a Naga in shallow water with a Wose there's bound to be trouble for them ("Egads, why did my awesome tree just fall dead in the water?" Because you shouldn't have planted it there, dummy). Yeah, your Wose might get lucky and hit twice and deal an awesome ~20 damage to that Naga, but it's really, really unlikely.

While luck does factor into the game, positioning can obviously affect the odds in your favor. When you throw a unit that has a 40% chance to hit the enemy in two shots against a unit that has an 80% chance to hit you in 4, you have nothing to blame but yourself if your unit dies in the same turn it attacks.

That said . . . while I haven't tried Sauron's mod yet, I believe his theory holds at least some validity. I'm going to test it out tonight and see how much it affects play.
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Post by halleck »

(Regarding earlier comments posted on this thread...)

:o :shock:

I will say no more on this issue.
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Post by jb »

Wow, I don't think I've ever agreed with Noy as strongly on an issuse as this one. (Except in US the military rule of overwhelming force is 10-1, not 3-1)

1- Luck is fun. It's like playing with fire. It can make your unit a hero or a goat.

2- Removing luck is also like removing terrain. Why stand on a mountain when that river ford offers the same protection?

3- Elusivefoots likely become almost useless if luck is removed. A single grunt will always take them down.



Also...this is for everyone, not just Sauron....It's one thing to say you're a good player in the forums. It's another thing to get on the server and prove it.
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Post by wayfarer »

I think the whole problem is more an issue for campaigns.

Luck is fine well migth be true if you got enough. If you have bad luck in multiplayer well sh..t happens I don't care.
Well in my case the main reason is that I don't play Online. In a campaign bad luck can be the hell if you loose an experienced unit though an suicidal attack of the ai who doesn't care that much about units. This can be frustrating espeacially for beginners.

Same goes for Multiplayer balancing. Some Campaigns were designed after the strengh of certain units but some units get changed stats while the campaign still stays the same. Some games used the trick that the stats were frozen for Single Player units and only the Multiplayer stats got changed.
The truth is that for beginners the only option is: "deal with it" or "save and reload" so the randomness doesn't make it easier.

Just my two cents
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Breaking my promise

Post by Sauron »

I did not want to discuss with ppl, who concentrated on attacking me personally instead of EVEN TRYING the mod and game feeling it gives, but I understand that there is an open-minded part of the community - and these will get confused by the "skilled players"'s offensive offensive :P .

Ok, now look at yourself you, who consider yourselves "skilled players".
1. Subject of this thread implies all who disagree are not skilled - in terms of learning game mechanics/unit abilities/terrain defense I did my homework really well (half year of playing Wesnoth several times a week gives me right to say so) - and so did many players who disagree with "skilled players"'s opinion on luck.
ergo:
:arrow: There exist skilled players, who think game is too random (exclude me, I am obviously a pathetic low skilled moron) :arrow: the title is itself a dirty eristic trick.

2. As initial antidote to the propaganda I suggest Redeth's VERY GOOD post:
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... =30#134076
There are some good remarks of other ppl in the thread (if you are sauron-averse - skip my posts)


Now some remarks summing up this thread:
3. Some reading of your posts:
Dragon Master wrote:a@#h$&%
I will not discuss at the level you attempt, I yell at noone who posts something reasonable, no matter I agree or not, but I will not accept reducing the discussion to my lack of skill - i am fed up with mantra "you do not like random because you did not learn how to manage it" - it might be satisfactory answer to low-mid level player - but how about veterans who see the things same way as I do? We see things like excessive variation of damage, games in which EV is never approached after the damage diverged from it and so on. The elaborate answer of "skilled players"'s is - "wesnoth is like this, we do not want it different". I am playing with some good players, who agree that at the skill level we play - the game is reduced to RNG. I am sorry, chess players see it that way. [so go play chess, stop disturbing our self-content].
Temuchin Khan wrote:
Sauron wrote:Go throwing dices and call it strategy game.
Ah, but many classic games of strategy use dice, such as Risk. Besides, in the real world strategists have to take bad luck into account all the time. Why should a strategy game be any different?
I played dice-rolled strategy games. Damage was usually like 5+2K6 and so on :) . I call strategy a game with some deterministic element. This allows you to make plans, assuming some damage. Wesnoth allows you to hope you do not miss 4x in a row at 50%. Got it? ["we do not want wesnoth to be like all other strategy games"]
Noyga wrote:IMHO reducing the randomness also reduce the fun on some units like the Dwarvish Thunderer - It's one of the points that make this unit intesting and unique.
In fact it only makes this unit one of least-reliable units on battlefield. Throw dice, mabye I will not miss this time. The strategy. Pathetic. Gather 5 of them on one enemy's unit. Try to base strategy on result (BEFORE you see the result).
Temuchin Khan wrote:
MrGrendel wrote:Some people want to have the emotional thrill of unexpected victory, at the cost of undeserved defeat.
Nice point! The chance of an unexpected victory increases the fun of the game, even if it comes at the price of accepting the risk of an undeserved defeat.
IMHO undeserved victory is no reason to pride, same as undeserved loss - still undeserved loss makes ppl a bit .... irritated? Strategic games are about deserved loss and deserved victory. That is why they're strategic.
Boucman wrote:I've observed that very often. Bad players bet on probabilities. Good players take statistics into account where building their stragtegy...
Which means? Nothing at all. Statistics = EV + variance. All derived from probabilities. Might sound clever if you have no idea of statistics, but if you have one - it sounds ...
FleshPeeler wrote:(...)
Thanx 4 support.
Noy wrote:... the game is deterministic already, just with a random element, which you scale. Now there are players who win on a constant basis... not because they are lucky, but because they are skilled at strategy.
I think either I do not understand - or I cannot scale random element in wesnoth (1.0.2). The deterministic character of game lies in not changed from beginning random seed- but it might confuse someone to think there's deterministic element in game. Unless you cheat and know the sequence - nothing is deterministic. All the thread is about how the method of determining damage influences the role of your intelectual input into game. There are games strategy is beaten badly by RNG.
Noy wrote:Luck makes the game more variable. I can lose horribly because of luck and I can also win because of it... it can make my best laid plans go horribly awry at times (especially when I'm not paying attention) or go massively well (when I take advantage of it). For the most part though I think that luck can have an effect, but usually it isn't as decisive as one would think.
Making game more variable is something else than making game totally unpredictable. In almost every game (of players who make no mistakes - I had so far mabye 10 1v1 games with no mistake made by none of sides) there is a moment luck decides.

Rhuvaen wrote:(...)
I totally agree. Thumbs up. Good post.
Alks wrote:It is possible, that carefully planned movements and attacking end up in losing 3 units and next turn goes with foolish enemy movements that end up luckily for him and you lose next 2 units.
WHAT IF NOT?
Alks wrote:Average player is the person, who can win, when lucky.
Good player is the person, who can win when not unlucky.
Strategist is the person, who can win despite bad luck.
Hmmm, who wins if 2 "strategists" are playing?
jb wrote:1- Luck is fun. It's like playing with fire. It can make your unit a hero or a goat.
Single deciding factor in many games is luck. I do not consider getting 6 on my dice a big fun :/ . There are ppl who find planning and resource managing more fun.
jb wrote:2- Removing luck is also like removing terrain. Why stand on a mountain when that river ford offers the same protection?
Who said "let's remove luck"? Deterministic mode might be a good thing to test race balancement (keeping randomness of special non-drain attacks though)
jb wrote:3- Elusivefoots likely become almost useless if luck is removed. A single grunt will always take them down.
NOT IF the deterministic system (which I do not accept either) is well done. Or even as bad as in my mod.
jb wrote:Also...this is for everyone, not just Sauron....It's one thing to say you're a good player in the forums. It's another thing to get on the server and prove it.
Am I to start now, playing with all ppl in the world? Sorry, My life is too short to spend it all playing wesnoth.




OK, now you all "skilled players" can crusify me.

seems this text I added just for fun will make this thread an ever-lasting one :(
P.S. Thanx to all ppl who appreciated my contribution and got moved from my thread here
Last edited by Sauron on August 2nd, 2006, 5:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Sauron
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GET my mod [available as C++ sourcecode and compiled Windows executable] for wesnoth 1.6.4
at http://saurons-mod.zor.org/
Mod thread
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26803
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Re: Breaking my promise

Post by Doc Paterson »

Sauron wrote:I:arrow: There exist skilled players, who think game is too random (exclude me, I am obviously a pathetic low skilled moron) :arrow:
Oh, really?

That's funny, because I've encountered a lot of players who will say that they're very good, but I've actually never encountered an exceptional player who thought that the game was far too random.

So, I'm going to ask you:

Who exactly are these players?

As in, what are their names?

My point in all of this is that this project has its basis not in insightful improvement, but rather, malcontent and bitter egotism.

Sounds like an extreme pronouncement, I know, but Sauron's attitude here has, for me, really only confirmed my initial impressions.

Long live the true Wesnoth.

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Re: Breaking my promise

Post by Sauron »

Doc Paterson wrote:Who exactly are these players?

As in, what are their names?
not to look far- zookeeper
Doc Paterson wrote:My point in all of this is that this project has its basis not in insightful improvement, but rather, malcontent and bitter egotism.

Sounds like an extreme pronouncement, I know, but Sauron's attitude here has, for me, really only confirmed my initial impressions.
Listen guy, I am afraid you are fetching too far. Being admin and so on gives you some priviledges, but you're not one to judge my motives and my character.
I made the mod, because I saw the problem, that was multiple times raised at forums - and nothing was done to EVEN CHECK if anything can be done. I am the explorer. So I did what I did to PROVE if my and other ppl's ideas will improve the gameplay or not. You can't assume, you must PROVE. Otherwise - you will never learn you are wrong. It is better than sitting and doing nothing. I had no malicious, egotic or other motivation for your information.

Now look at yourself - what, besides really not-too-polite remarks towards me (which provoked my not-too-polite replies, I would be sorry for it, but you proved your level once again above, which discourages me from saying "excuse me, I were not polite" 2 u ) did you show in the thread? Can you compare the weight of my contribution to the discussion on randomness with yours?


Now back to the malicious & envy dark hole you came from :!:
Last edited by Sauron on August 2nd, 2006, 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sauron
Customize yourself random factor in game:
GET my mod [available as C++ sourcecode and compiled Windows executable] for wesnoth 1.6.4
at http://saurons-mod.zor.org/
Mod thread
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26803
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Re: Breaking my promise

Post by Big Papi »

Sauron wrote:
Doc Paterson wrote:Who exactly are these players?

As in, what are their names?
not to look far- zookeeper
Doc Paterson wrote:My point in all of this is that this project has its basis not in insightful improvement, but rather, malcontent and bitter egotism.

Sounds like an extreme pronouncement, I know, but Sauron's attitude here has, for me, really only confirmed my initial impressions.
Listen guy, I am afraid you are fetching too far. Being admin and so on gives you some priviledges, but you're not one to judge my motives and my character.
I made the mod, because I saw the problem, that was multiple times raised at forums - and nothing was done to EVEN CHECK if anything can be done. I am the explorer. So I did what I did to PROVE if my and other ppl's ideas will improve the gameplay or not. You can't assume, you must PROVE. Otherwise - you will never learn you are wrong. It is better than sitting and doing nothing. I had no malicious, egotic or other motivation for your information.

Now back to the malicious & envy dark hole you came from :!:
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Post by Zhukov »

:?: Why are people even bickering over this in the first place?

Some of you like the randomness, some do not like it. Simple. If you like the game how it is at the moment, then what's the problem? This Sauron guy isn't making you download his mod. If you don't like the random factor, then download the bloody mod and give it a whirl. If that isn't good enough I think you're on your own.

This Sauron was one who didn't like it (why doesn't matter, he could be a lousy player blaming it on bad luck, or perhaps not, it's irrelenant) so he made his little mod for a more deterministic mode. Well good for him, isn't that one of the beauties of open-source? At least he actually did something about his percieved issue, rather then hanging around whinging about it.

Although I gotta say it isn't just the self-titled skilled players being a collective pain in the backside, Sauron for his part is being something of a blowhard.

[/rant]

Oh, just for the record, I personally don't mind the current level of randomness. Then again, that's probably because I'm a sufficiently lousy player that I don't notice bad luck :P.
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