July 01, 2022, 03:13:29 AM

Author Topic: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness  (Read 7746 times)

Preacher

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2013, 02:05:21 PM »
Quote from: "sIKE" post=12004
Yes, I have seen things just level out. My last game the dice gods were in my favor. The previous game were in his. We also played a game of Eclipse last Wednesday. On the last round of the game we ended up fighting for a zone with a single Interceptor each and each had to roll d6 with a result of 6 for him to win and I have to roll 6 two times to win the battle. I have to tell you after 6-7 rolls the thrill of rolling to see who would win that little battle, kept increasing he eventually won but man let me tell you have much fun those roles were and it was one of the highlights of that game day. Just who would win, when that six would appear! Pure randomness, pure joy!


Hehe  :)  sounds like a game of Spartacus! Yep, I've got Eclipse too and even though I've only played it a few times I can see randomness being pretty frustrating there too sometimes.

I'm generally not a fan of that type of dice rolling in games unless the *rest* of the game is truly excellent which to be fair is the case for both MW and Eclipse so.....

Preacher

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 02:08:31 PM »
Quote from: "Sausageman" post=12005

Like I said, I'm not saying randomness in a game is bad, far from it - but I like to be able to mitigate randmoness where possible...


I think this is why things work much more than they should in MW, you can mitigate that randomness to quite a large degree with extra dice on attack, armour and a hundred other effects.

My issue really is that despite this, you can and do still get completely hobbled by dice rolls through no tactical or strategic fault of your own. Hate that.

reddawn

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 03:03:00 PM »
Quote from: "Sausageman" post=12005
Quote from: "piousflea" post=12002
Luck plays a much smaller factor in winning games compared to a typical "CCG" where your hand is randomly drawn.

I don't agree - it plays at least as much in my experience. Obviously, as Mage Wars is still in it's infacy, it's difficult to tell whether the same players consistantly win their games, but there's a reason the same ccg players won theirs....
Fact is, I have both won and lost games (lost more than won too) purely because of terrible dice on my behalf or amazing on my opponents (often both at the same time, which makes a massive difference....).

Like I said, I'm not saying randomness in a game is bad, far from it - but I like to be able to mitigate randmoness where possible...


If the CCG in mention is MTG (which I bet it is, because that's the only ccg with a relevant pro tour scene wherein you can actually follow individual players), what you're saying is definitely not correct.  Players that consistently win pro circuits do so because of their ability to master and predict the metagame as well as their ability to pilot the deck they are using for that purpose.  It really has very little to do with MTG being less "luck-based."  

Furthermore, it's not that MTG has less luck; it's that MTG is a infinitely more explored game than MW and its players, especially at pro levels, are very skilled at mitigating luck.  There is also a large assortment of online tools that are specifically designed to tell you your chances of drawing particular cards, particular lands, even down to the amount of sources that are present in your deck of certain color.  And even then, playtesting is still the most important thing in terms of seeing how good your deck actually is.  And a lot of pro players are on specific teams too, so they can get together, study the metagame, and collectively help each other out and achieve a better result than a single person.  

It's all very complicated, honestly.

But basically, it's not fair to compare MW and MTG in this way because MW in no way has a pro tour scene, whereas MTG has a huge one, and thus comparing the skills of "the best MTG players" and the skills of "the best MW players" doesn't mean much.  No one right now is making "pro" level plays or books; we're all still learning.  What seems like luck in one sense is often just inexperience in another.  Sure, you could completely wiff on your rolls, but that's not much different than getting bad hand after bad hand in MTG (and less of a dire situation, I would argue).  There are plenty of times I've watch pro MTG players mulligan down to 4-5 cards in hand (a severe disadvantage) only to pull out ahead against an opponent, not because they had lucky draws, but because they knew that matchup intimately and had the experience to make such a risky decision yet still come out on top.

Let the MW competitive scene develop and you'll see what I'm saying.  We already have a lot of players laying the groundwork for competitive play, so we just need to keep that up.  The great thing is that unlike pretty much every other game I've played, MW appears to be impeccably balanced, so we don't have to trudge through bannings or erratas to get to the meat of the gameplay.

This is also why I'm extremely eager to see the rules for competitive play.  Mage Wars is structured like a miniatures game with its point system, but the introduction of Mages and channeling and all that leaves a lot of interesting choices up for grabs in terms of rules.  Hopefully AW will give us some info about it soon.
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Sausageman

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »
Actually, I was talking about Vampire: the Eternal Struggle ccg, which I played competitively for an extremely long time, and ALWAYS saw the same people do well. It's random draw, just like M:tG, but there are numerous things you can do to manipulate that - drawing more cards being one of those.

sdougla2

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 04:50:10 PM »
Quote from: "Preacher" post=12006
Quote from: "piousflea" post=12002


Luck certainly plays a role in MW, but skill plays a much larger role. When we're sitting around dissecting our moves in a post-game analysis, we usually find that positioning and spell selection count for much more than any lucky or unlucky roll. Luck plays a much smaller factor in winning games compared to a typical "CCG" where your hand is randomly drawn.


Guess I'm not comparing to CCGs here, perhaps MW is more of a boardgame or at least somewhere between LCG, CCG and BG for me and I certainly value less randomness is boardgames.

As I say, I think my experience is different from yours, does player skill come into it at all? New players etc? I've played a fair few games now where there's not been too many mistakes at all and then it really does come down to luck more often than not.

Another (slightly disturbing) aspect to the luck thing we've not mentioned is the surprise (for me anyway) post on here from one of the designers saying that the direction was very much the stone/paper/scissors school of design, at least in part. ie. X mage type counters Y mage type more often than not.


Player skill definitely comes into my experience. I have no idea if I'm any good compared to the other posters on here, but I'm pretty clearly the best player in my group by a wide margin. I'm undefeated in the organized play in my area, and some of those games were pretty one sided. I attribute this to spending a lot more time thinking about the game than the other local players. I'm one of the more experienced players in the area, but I keep winning even as my opponent's gain experience. I've also had close games, but I always feel like the decisions we make are more important than the dice rolls.

There are some strategies more reliant on dice rolls than others (daze/stun lock comes to mind, since the effect die is higher variance), but overall I tend to see the luck even out over the course of a single game unless my opponent makes a big enough mistake that I kill them before they have a chance for the luck to even out. Sometimes it doesn't, but it definitely does over multiple games.

I'm firmly of the opinion that superior play is the deciding factor in the game most of the time. Certainly the dice can decide an extremely close game, but if you look at any game between 2 perfectly matched opponents, the random factor/matchup will determine the winner. That's always true. More interesting questions are how small a difference in player skill will result in a 1% difference in win percentage, and what the limit on player skill actually is.

As for rock-paper-scissors strategy, as long as the matchups are all 60-40 or closer, I'm not too concerned. If a bad matchup is 55-45, it's not really an issue. If the matchups are worse than that, it could be a problem. 70-30 matchups are too one sided, and would really bother me if they were inherent to the mages. Due to the level of freedom in spell book construction, I don't see that happening though.
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RARodger

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2013, 09:40:12 PM »
You know, I find it interesting that in the post-game discussion we find ourselves talking both about the big dice rolls that missed (there are always some), along with the tactical decisions made. Almost like it has the perfect balance of strategy and luck for us. Or even like it's one of the reasons this has quickly become my favorite game of some time.

sIKE

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Re: Learning curve, analysis paralysis and randomness
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2013, 10:18:27 PM »
Despite the dice, from my experience the superior strategy almost always wins. If it is vastly superior, then the dice though random have little effect on the outcome. Only when the strategies are close to parity do the randomness of the dice come into play. Much like getting a bad taxi driver on the Amazing Race, which can screw your favorite team over, the dice in this situation can make you a hero or a zero...
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