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Reader Comments (60)

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 1:17PM (Unverified) said

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@Furdinand

Thanks
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 1:19PM (Unverified) said

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@Mad Dog

Used to, don't have enough 'individual play session' time though. Only have max of an hour at a time to play, so getting geared up and prepping / travel didn't really work. I love the game though.
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 11:46AM Saker said

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I don't consider "twitch" a skill. Reflexes aren't skill.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 12:56PM Apakal said

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@Saker

Tell that to anyone who competitively drag races. Then go look up how much they train those twitch reflexes and how much better they are at it than the average person. Its a learned ability and it definitely falls under the banner of "skill".
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 2:34PM Dirame said

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@Saker

Quick reflexes is a skill. Good timing is a skill. A swordsman who is quick enough to dodge arrows is skillful.
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 11:52AM Nucleon said

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In highschool when we would say something is "nice" our English teacher would always respond, "Toilet paper is nice, but what the heck are you ACTUALLY trying to say".

Skill is another word in that category. It's so broad and ambiguous it has no place in intelligent discussion for precisely the reasons the author mentioned. So instead of trying to define it, why don't we stop using it and use words with actual contextual meaning: like twitchy, reactionary, memory-based etc.

Oh who am I kidding, why communicate when you can obfuscate.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 11:58AM CistaCista said

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I agree with those that mention dexterity.

And to try to make a more specific definition, we can use the way of eliminating what should NOT be regarded as player skill.

I will stick my head out and wager that button mashing is the opposite of player skill. 1-9 combos of accumulated moves and spells etc.

That leads to the following definition:
Player skill is the excellence in ANALOGUE use of character, opposed to advantage in DIGITAL superiority . In other words, player skill is the advantage the player gets from use of the AWSD buttons in combination with mouse movements.

Thank you.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 12:06PM CistaCista said

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PS

Sorry I forgot to mention in my definition, that consequently means aim-and-shoot games are skill based games while point-and-click gameplay is devoid of player skill.

This actually follows from my highligting of WASD+mouse as the essence of player skill. Your attack succeeds if your aim is good, in contrast to games where your success depends on how you have arranged your combos before the encounter.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 12:10PM redsolar said

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Speaking of skill, does anyone know which current games actually support physically dodging someones attack? I heard that Guild Wars 2 is supporting the ability. I think it's pretty boring when you just stand there with your +dodge stats watching the on-screen "Dodged"s float up.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 12:14PM redsolar said

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@redsolar Sorry, I meant current, as in, officially released games.
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 2:25PM Dirame said

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@redsolar

DCUO.
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Posted: Aug 24th 2011 12:13PM Mad Dog said

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Playing Darkfall PVP on a vet char and owning other vets is pure skill.

Combine loads of button to press aiming and knowing what your opponents play style is and being totally aware of your surroundings = amazing play skill.

NOTHING ELSE COMES CLOSE.

There is no other MMORPG that does PVP like Darkfall, not an opinion... this is a fact.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 2:13PM Poordevil said

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The most basic requirement for skillful PC gaming is to be an excellent typist. You need to have the keyboard memorized and know how to type like a pro. This is probably obvious, but without this basic foundation a player will never become very skilled in PC games.

The other requirement is to understand the game you are playing inside and out. Nothing about the game play should be a question.

There is just time and practice to put in after that and the next thing you know you're playing skillfully!

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 3:16PM Silverangel said

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Player skill is owning a Razer Naga and a G13.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 3:29PM godot9 said

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Twitch/reflexes for most MMOPGs is not as big a deal as knowledge - both combine to express the player's skill. Cooldowns prevent the game from being purely twitch-based - like the person that wins Street Fighter by randomly thrashing the joystick and buttons around, "Hey, I got off a combo!"

Examples of skill:
-WoW hunter keeping a target freeze-trapped and still contributing to party dps.
-WoW druid shifting out of cat form to spot/off-heal when needed.
-Knowing how to manage aggro and pull adds off the healer - as a non-tank.
-EQ1 necro knowing how to FD pull, pet pull, kite, fear-kite, twitch for mana and when switch activities on a raid.

Examples of poor skills:
-Not playing your group/raid role - once had a WoW holy priest who refused to heal other party members, "I'll rez you after I've killed this mob..."

-Using soloing skills that endanger the group/raid. Hunter trying to "solo" an elite mob and not letting the tank get aggro - resulting in wipes.

-Buffing class that doesn't/refuses to buff.

-Leeeeeerrrrroooooy Jenkiiiiiinnnnnnnnsssssss!

Note that most of my examples have to do with grouping/raiding. This is where I believe most people demonstrate skill in an MMOPG. So many can be solo'd by an idiot that I don't count soloing as a good venue to demonstrate skill.

-Godot

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 6:28PM kgptzac said

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RE: The Daily Grind: What is player skill, anyway?

Twiching, planning, and cooperating

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 7:05PM hereafter said

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Being skilled at a particular game's combat requires being skilled with whatever features it has. If that means dodging or real aiming, then that's part of the skill. If it's possible to be better than another equally-leveled player at the game, there's skill involved. WoW takes skill; GW2 will take skill.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 7:42PM Bramen said

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Eliminate the variables and you will test the last one you have left. If you want to test a player's skill give everyone the exact same obstacle/task and the one who completes it "best" by the predetermined parameters has the most skill. But, do that and you will quickly have the most boring MMO ever. Which will appeal only too the most skillful players. Creating a tiny player base. Resulting in a fail MMO. Better add more variables. And a race that flips as it jumps.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 7:48PM Bramen said

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Another way to view skill is psychologically.
If I kill you it was skill. Clearly.
If you kill me it was an unfair fight. You had superior gear/levels/class/gank whatever, anything but skill.

I think point of view determines skill more than anything science can measure.

Posted: Aug 24th 2011 10:34PM Lumin said

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In the MMORPG context...

imo twitch reflexes aren't skill. Getting good at twitch gaming is a combination of your natural reflex speed and conditioning (playing the game frequently enough).

Of course, for most modern traditional MMOs some level of twitch is required to make a convincing combat system. Otherwise you might as well be playing a turn based game.

I consider skill a roughly 50/50 combination of knowledge (of class, mechanics, etc) and being able to retrieve and process that knowledge quickly in real time (ie, while in combat.)

Obviously the second part of my definition of skill is also time sensitive, like twitch reflexes. The difference: you're not the winner because you were able to hit a predetermined button faster - it was because you were able to figure out which button to use to make the best out of a situation quick enough before the advantage was lost. Twitch is about reacting, knowledge is about planning ahead and always being in control.

I agree with Nucleon a few posts down. Skill is a very ambiguous word that can have different meanings depending on what type of game you're playing, for example. Aim (could be classified under twitch) is definitely a factor in shooters and I would consider it skill in those games, but it doesn't apply to the traditional MMO. (I consider games like TERA and DN non-traditional)

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