Quote of the Day

Zubon has a post up on Overwatch matchmaking, which seems to be nearly a carbon copy of GW2 matchmaking issues, from my “limited grasp on the finer issues of PvP” perspective.

I enjoyed the link he provided to Jeff Kaplan’s forum post about Overwatch matchmaking – it’s a good read – and this particular part really tickled me:

For better or for worse, we focused the design of the game on winning or losing as a team. OW is not a game where you ignore the map objectives and then look at your K/D ratio to determine how good you are. We want you to focus on winning or losing and as a result you do focus on winning or losing. We tried to make it so that losing isn’t the end of the world, but to a lot of people they expect to win far much more than they lose. I sometimes wonder if we were able to clone you 11 times and then put you in a match with and against yourself, would you be happy with the outcome? Even if you lost?

I -immediately- knew what would happen if I could clone myself 9 times and put myself in a GW2 sPvP match with and against myself.

First, there would be a little charr and asura conga line / dance-off in the centre of the arena during which a lot of *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* would be exchanged.

Then there would be a frenzy of AP whoring during which we would take turns to die for achievements where deaths were necessary, a whole lot of class-switching and strategic win-trading.

Finally, we would all get banned for match-fixing and collusion.

But we would be laughing ourselves all the way to the bank and congratulating each other on not having a competitive bone in our bodies and what a hilarious time that was.

Yep, sounds about right.

(Well, ok, there might be one or two strategic “let’s play a real match for fun, and also mostly to throw off any data-sniffing algorithms” and the odd “yo, let’s collect some hard data on how much damage one class does to another using X and Y skills” experiments sprinkled in there too.)

See Keen’s post “I’m Not Competitive” for more on different peoples’ take on competition.

One thought on “Quote of the Day

  1. Keen’s series is very interesting. I find myself agreeing with him a lot more often than I expected.

    I think the whole “competition” discussion is leaving out the most significant factor, though. What are you competing for? It matters to me quite a lot whether Yaks bend wins or loses each week’s WvW match because I feel a connection to the server that resembles supporting, or, really, being a member of, a sports team. It’s a purely emotional effect that has quite literally nothing to do with any (virtual) material benefit or reward. I want to win because YB *must* win.

    Sadly, that attitude is shared by fewer and fewer people these days. People care about “good fights” or grudges, not much else. Our few remaining “goal oriented” commanders are becoming frustrated. Many have quit. WvW is becoming a knock-about farce because of the lack of leadership and direction from ANet and, like Keen, fighting other people for the sake of fighting other people doesn’t do it for me.

    At least, it doesn’t in the context where I see myself as a representative of an entity – a persistent, permanent team. When it’s in the setting of ad hoc matchmaking, as in casual sPvp, Dragon Ball or any of the myriad arena or battleground mini-games of the MMOs I’ve played then it’s completely different. Then I only care if we win if winning is a means to an end – a specific, tangible reward, like a title or a piece of gear or currency to spend at a vendor.

    Absent such rewards I am interested and motivated entirely by my own personal performance. In that context I would always take a good personal performance in a losing match over a poor one in a win. Of course a good personal performance on the winning side is best of all.


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