Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
 
Pathetic

I find people who wish that other players have a worse experience in a game than they do pathetic.
Comments:
So...should PvP just not exist?
 
@Samus You can PVP without having an explicit goal of making someone else's experience worse. It may be a side effect, but that doesn't mean you're PVPing for that reason.
 
In a competitive PVP environment, some win conditions or tactics results in the other player not having fun and therefore having a worse experience. Usually when that happens, if the losing player is aware of the fact that he lost, he will usually surrender to prevent an overdrawn situation.
 
Do you really PvP to make others have a bad time? Or do you do it because you enjoy it on your end? I like playing against players because they make unexpected decisions and are far more dynamic than NPCs.
 
Really, Tobold? Relatively speaking, that's the same as wishing they have a better experience than other players. Given how much many players gripe about the games they play, that's not an unreasonable wish.
 
Why would that not be an unreasonable wish? Why must people wish for their experience to be "better", and not just "good"?

I wish that everybody in the games I play has as much fun as I do. And you *can* have fun even if you lose in PvP, as long as that PvP is balanced. Case in point: I'm having a lot of fun in World of Tanks.
 
Is there really a difference between wishing someone a worse experience, and simply giving them a worse experience as a "side-effect?"

For example: healers in PvP. Your actions directly prevent the enemy from killing your team. Have you ever attacked a dude and fail because there was a healer hiding in the bushes? It's an awful feeling. You can spin it as a healer that you are helping your teammates have a better time, but if the question comes down to pure subjectivity and semantics, well, any answer becomes pointless.

Personally, I have great fun kiting DPS attacking me on my healer and basically being immortal - I find it fun imagining the rage going on behind the monitor, even if they do eventually kill me once I go OOM. If that's "pathetic," Hello Kitty Fun Land is that way. ---->

Zero-sum PvP games are zero-sum.
 
So you have bad tactics in PvP which are easily countered, and as a consequence you want the counter-move to be banned?

So...should PvP just not exist?

As Nathan said: PvP should exist as a battle of wits, the ability to fight a dynamic human opponent instead of a scripted NPC one. If you PvP only so you can inflict maximum hurt on others then yes, you are pathetic too.
 
I'm fine with griefers and hardcore elitists having a worse game experience than I do.
 
Not pathetic...

Just selfish, the people who have self segregated themselves in any particular community WANT to maintain that specialness. They WANT and NEED to maintain the illusion of exclusivity above all rational thought.

AND they want to have this ephemeral superiority within a game that they pay the same price as all the lower skilled plebeians. Thus all player fees subsidize their excellence ego trip.

Welcome to "games" becoming "sports"... there have to be winners and losers... and the EJs will tell you which category you fit in.... pst it's not the one with the W in it...

The ultimate pathetic part of this is really the expectation that PvP paradigms in game design should come to the fore. I'm not sure that most people who have played MMO for 10 years and have the expectation of cooperative communities. Want the Halo-like "one head shot kill" "haha pwned weaksauce" MMOs that are around the corner.

There will be obvious losers in some of these future games and perhaps a subtle reward structure to make sure you know to be a winner is make other players "losers".

The strong prey on the weak? welcome to Lord of the Flies island folks.
 
I recognize that scarcity is what makes things valueable for humans.
 
Tobold, I am 100% behind you, and this problem is something that drives me out of so many games.

People that see a conflict between 'I want to succeed' and 'I want other people to succeed' are sad, twisted individuals. Games that try to force that viewpoint are simply promoting misery, and a zero-sum world view that's harmful both to society as a whole and to the people who espouse it.

If you want to be happy in life, make it so that other people's happiness promotes your own. :)
 
Nils, scarcity merely determines price. It is utility that determines value.

If an object or experience has great utility, then the scarcity of it simply determines access. A really good thing in abundance doesn't make it less of a good thing.
 
Michael, how to you explain luxuary goods then? Why is gold as expensive as it is?
 
There is only a limited amount of gold on earth. No such natural limit exists on the amount of raid instances. You can't make something really valuable by creating artificial scarcity.
 
Why do many companies sell limited editions? Wouldn't it make more sense to sel more stamps, pictures, books?
Because limiting the edition, creates artificial scarcity, that increases utility for potential buyers. Thus, they are willing to pay more. If done right, revenue can be higher, because you sell less.

Economically speaking, scarcity, artificial or not, can increase utility. And this very utility can, in fact, increase scarcitym which then can increase utility and so on. This is one of the reasons you require differential equitions in econimics.

A good that is bought more often if you increase the price is called a veblen good

I remember a funny story about an economist who was unable to sell a real estate in central London no matter how much he lowered the price. Then, one day a real estate agent told him to triple the price instead. He sold within the next week. Unfortunately I cannot find a link right now.
 
The essential feeling of achievement in human behavior comes from there being some kind of challenge, often measured against others.

While there are griefers who seek only to make others miserable, I think most people are interested in the achievement, not denying it to others. But sometimes keeping the challenge will by its very nature deny that achievement to others.

Really, do people play football because they want to win the game or because they want to spite the other team? Would football be particularly interesting if you stopped keeping score? (They do that here in America for some recreational youth games.)
 
"There is only a limited amount of gold on earth. No such natural limit exists on the amount of raid instances. You can't make something really valuable by creating artificial scarcity."


Which is WHY the EJs want to introduce an artificial scarcity by their behavior.

The are the moral equivalent of OPEC.
 
Nils,

Somehow, I don't think Tobold considers limited edition games as "really valuable" ;)
 
If you play a game, any game, with the intent of ruining someone else’s fun then you have a social disorder. (I hate analogies but here goes) In nearly every professional sport… no in nearly every organized sport, professional or recreational, they have this thing called good sportsmanship. Sportsmanship applies to whether you win or lose; you should always be a good sportsman.

After a Soccer game, baseball game, and nearly every other organized sporting event the two teams shake hands. Hell in Football I’ve seen a lot of people on opposite teams hug, in mixed martial arts and some boxing matches I see the combatants hug. The VAST majority of the time they are playing to win, not to hurt the other player or to ensure the other team has a bad time.

This could be a direct comparison to player versus player combat in video games. You are playing to win. If you are intent on playing to make another person’s experience un-enjoyable then that is considered bad sportsmanship. Again if your GOAL is to make the other people not have fun then you have a social disorder and are a bad sportsman.

Some of the most fun I’ve had in sports was actually a loss. In high school I raced trucks off road and my most memorable race was one I didn’t win, I took 3rd place. It was the closest race we ever had and we change positions numerous times.

Ironically the most memorable soccer game I ever played was also a loss. I was playing intramural soccer in Iraq with a team of people from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, soldiers from the Air Force and Army. We lost in a shoot out in the Championship game.

(I’ve won plenty of soccer games and races so it’s not like I only have losses to pick from)

PS: I know that professional fighters and some pro athletes talk smack prior to a game or fight. A lot of this is meant to build up the publicity for the fight; they typically still hug/shake afterwards.
 
A soccer player will hug you after you lose to him. A video game player will teabag you. Spot the difference!
 
Nils nailed it. Scarcity is a real component in how people value and choose their game activities. Everyone's 'utility' is derived differently, and some people will have more of their utility derived from scarcity value than others. The point, though, is that no one's utility valuation is the correct or universal one.

So if someone gets the majority of their utility from scarcity, pvp is a natural draw as the scarcity is implicit in the fact that not everyone can be a winner.

Perhaps they are jerks for their actions, but they are not jerks for how they value their game time.
 
Mmh. Actually, Tobold, I agree with your blogged sentence. It's just that I disagree with the assumption that e.g. players who want to show off their epic wish other players "a worse experience". I think they want scarce epics so that they are more valuable for them.

And I recognize that this is so central to human behaviour that it is really, really hard to condemn it without actually condemning 99.9% of humanity.

Moreover, the way most players critizie this behaviour is quite self-revelatory. With their jealousy they actually prove the one they critizse right: Scarce goods are more valueable. That's why they are so angry in the first place.
 
@Tobold:
It is pathetic for them to insist that because they are better, the other players should be excluded from certain content, because if somebody else had access to that content, it would "cheapen their achievement".

Continuing on from your previous post: I already made the point that an easy mode would do the trick (and so have several others). The lesser-skilled players get to experience the content, while the better skilled players would have their achievements acknowledged. Are you saying now that even an easy mode clearly labelled as such is not enough for people to experience the content? Or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing at this point?

"Cheapen their achievement"? Ridiculous! That achievement wasn't worth anything to start with!

It's been said before, and I'll say it again. Worth is determined by oneself. Just like how an Olympic gold medal is worthless to an African tribal hunter who has no concept of the Olympics, raiding achievements can be worth everything to hardcore raiders. You have no right to determine the worth of anything for another person, and to think that your valuation of the worth of something overrides everyone else's is just as bad as the people you despise.
 
Are you saying now that even an easy mode clearly labelled as such is not enough for people to experience the content?

Huh? I never said anything against easy modes. I'd love to have them. I was just proposing one alternative which scales better.

I think they want scarce epics so that they are more valuable for them.

Is a ride in a themepark worth more just because there is a sign in front saying "you must be this leet to ride this"? I don't think so. The worth of an "epic" derives from the "heroic" deeds you had to do to get it, not from the fact that you somehow managed to prevent the guy next door to get one too.
 
The worth of an "epic" derives from the "heroic" deeds you had to do to get it, not from the fact that you somehow managed to prevent the guy next door to get one too.

But how do you judge whether a deed is heroic? Can something that everybody else can do as well be heroic? I don't think so.

Why did people pay money for crops in farmville? Certainly not because the virtual crops themselves were valueable to them.
 
Huh? I never said anything against easy modes. I'd love to have them. I was just proposing one alternative which scales better.

The only problem people have I think against the "let people zerg bosses" alternative is that there's no clear definition whether the zerging is the intended strategy, or just the easy mode allowed by developers. That's why it was suggested in the previous thread that there be an easy mode which allowed zerging, but then in normal/hardmodes, zerging would be restricted. I think that's a fair solution that addresses concerns on both sides.

Is a ride in a themepark worth more just because there is a sign in front saying "you must be this leet to ride this"? I don't think so. The worth of an "epic" derives from the "heroic" deeds you had to do to get it, not from the fact that you somehow managed to prevent the guy next door to get one too.

But if the heroic deeds required to do something epic are dumbed down and all you need to do is gather warm bodies to do something epic, wouldn't you agree that the worth of an "epic" is diminished?
 
Tobold, I'm really curious now if you think that your definition of worth is the only correct one.

Personally, I do find epic gear more valuable to me if it's something relatively rare. In fact, it's even a less subjective measure, as "heroic deeds" may vary from person to person. Rare doesn't mean you have to be a jerk about it, of course. Someone proud of their rare noncombat pet is of equal consideration in this.

In the end, I think you may be conflating "enjoys rarity" with "flaunts rarity," where the former is not at all bad.
 
"If you PvP only so you can inflict maximum hurt on others then yes, you are pathetic too."

What does that mean?

What kind of "hurt" are you talking about? Hurting their feelings?

I play to win every time, is that pathetic? I should let others win occasionally to not be pathetic?

What's the difference between "winning" and "inflicting maximum hurt" in the context of virtual PvP? Is it the motivation behind the winning? As long as I don't dance on their corpse it's OK? As long as I don't truly enjoy their death yell? Spend my honor only for good?

I don't get it.

BTW "Maximum Hurt" would be a great name for a PvP guild.
 
Ganking, corpse camping, teabagging, aimbotting, wall-hacking, there is a lot of un-sportsmanlike behavior which can make PvP pathetic. Playing to win isn't pathetic, both sides should do it, and both sides should have fun, even if one necessarily loses.
 
Ganking, corpse camping, teabagging, aimbotting, wall-hacking, there is a lot of un-sportsmanlike behavior which can make PvP pathetic.

Made me think of cycling ;)
 
Easy. I don't play MMOs so I have as much fun if not more fun than all of you x 0.01
 
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." - Gore Vidal
 
I just played through portal 2. It was really fun and I hope everyone who wants to gets to play it and experience that. I also just killed heroic omnitron and heroic valiona last week, it was really fun and I hope everyone who wants to do it also gets to see those fights.

Why is there so much controversy over the second of those two ideas and not the first? Why does simply being in a multiplayer environment make it so people define their own success by others' failures?

It makes me feel physically ill when I read someone say that they find it fun and enjoyable not just from winning over their opponents but from imagining the rage and frustration he's causing, how happy he is to upset the other player. That's not something to be proudly proclaimed in a forum post! That means you probably need psychiatric counseling, that you have some sort of serious issues/problems. It's one thing to want to defeat your opponent, caring little about how he takes it, focusing only on your goal. It's quite another to sadistically enjoy causing him to become upset.

Certainly people have different values and find enjoyment from different activities. The issue is about the mindset, the choice of how to succeed. If you're the kind of person who primarily seeks to be better than others, instead of simply being excellent; who seeks to make others lose, instead of trying to win yourself, then you're an unpleasant person and I don't want to have to deal with you.
 
Absolutely agree. And as far as PvP, I think that there is a sizable PvP community out there with no real desire to make things personal at all. I have been a part of a pvp guild that actively communicated with the players of an opposing faction guild, and that kept things pretty civil. Equating PvP with wishing a bad playing experience on someone is a little bit of a stretch, IMO.
 
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