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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Oct 12th 2011 10:51PM DarkWalker said

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Want to see a game where the math behind is not quite solid? WoW.

Ever noticed how stats do strange things as players cross the old level caps for Vanilla or the early expansions? How, some times, character power can actually decrease when gaining a level if the player does not get new equipment?

Blizzard is not one to plan the math beforehand, instead they tweak the math as they go, changing formulas and curves as they see fit.

The end result is not really bad, though, because Blizzard is really good with their tweaks. It makes life quite harder for theoricrafters, and some nerdy players like me might find the change in rules to be quite jarring, though.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 2:59AM bobfish said

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@DarkWalker

Everquest 1's math is messed up too. I think in both cases it is because the company didn't plan for level increases, so the maths they did only went up to the original cap.

The game being more successful than anticipated can change a lot of things.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 4:30AM Space Cobra said

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@DarkWalker

She did bring up WoW in the article as an example of inconsistent math.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:36AM DarkWalker said

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@bobfish
WoW actually manages to do that within an expansion.
Guess what Sunwell Radiance and Chill of the Throne ("Icecrown Radiance") were? Attempts to fix broken combat math inside one expansion. Blizzard shipped both expansions knowing that the math would break just after the last planned tier of content, then proceeded to either add one more content tier (Sunwell, in BC) or make the power increases between tiers larger (WotLK, due to them adding the half tiers after the math was done).

@Space Cobra
My bad, I only read the article, I didn't watch the presentation; couldn't find a link to it.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:57AM oddshrub said

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@Space Cobra no, she says there is an inconsistency between player expectation and the result they actually get. It's a tad surprising that she doesn't get into how this inconsistency is usually tied with a lack of understanding of how exponential progression work.

MMOs don't feature things like inconsistent math.
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Posted: Oct 12th 2011 11:00PM (Unverified) said

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pretty sure champions online your damage would go down if you were not upgrading equipment as you leveled up, i forget exactly why but it was something to do with superstats+capped bonuses for each level.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:34AM Kaoy said

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As much as I love the game, DDO is one of the worst examples of things going wrong somewhere. For instance, if you want to be tank like in late game, you REALLY need to stack AC to an unreasonable level. There is actually a wall that, if you can not pass, means you will be getting hit by every attack that comes at you regardless of how much AC you have beneath it. It works alright, but it is a little annoying that no one but your parties designated tank could stand up mono e mono with even slightly-better-than-trash mobs for more than a few seconds with out desperately needing heals.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 3:05AM reaktorblock said

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@Kaoy
well this is both a fine and a bad example. the problem with DDO: at its core it uses lots of stats that are based on the PnP RPG D&D which was based on the idea that players met once a week play 3-4 hours and have about 2-3 fights per session which defines their XP for their leveling curve. it is also based at a random generator (dice) that generates only numbers from 1-20 (D20 game). DDO is a much faster game where you fight at least ten time more in a comperable timeframe. part of this reflects in the fact that you get XP only for completed dungeons - not single mobs. the AC problem is based on the d20 core of the game and the different time frame. the only thing that could have saved the balance of he endgame in DDO would have been to abandon the numerical basics of PnP D&D from the start. that would mean for example to measure amorclass not in ranges from 1-20 but in ranges from1-100. turbine decided against this to keep true to PnP D&D which in my view is great. if you need a tank in ddo, build a hitpoint-meat-burger with 600+ HP and good damage reduction. and since DDO is action based you get a far better chance to doge and avoid attacks via moving which i think is way cooler than standing face to face and eat the blows.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 4:19AM Space Cobra said

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@Kaoy

I am foggy on my DnD 3.0, but I remember in a certain Living Campaign, some players of certain classes would add/buff their AC levels to rather high levels and also make them very invulnerable. To counter this, DMs tended to start using attacks that bypassed this type of armor. So you had to counter for that (I think Natural Armor was one way).

To me, this sounds like what's going on in DDO. They are just following the "fuzzy math" and trying using systems that seem sorta like "one-upsmanship" in dealing with uber-powered players.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 8:48AM DarkWalker said

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@Space Cobra

D&D and AD&D worked because there was a living, breathing DM to find and fix the inconsistencies. Those game system's math break badly when players are given full customization options without oversight, as can be seen by the plethora invincible "combos" available.

The DnD rules base, and how they work better with a human DM, is the main reason I couldn't continue playing DDO.

D&D4 would be better in this regard, but mostly because it's rules, as written, are closer to a MMORPG than to traditional RPG rules. It was the first pen and paper RPG I've ever seen where the typical MMO roles are present (DPS, Tank, Healer), with role-specific common skills (Tanks have "taunts", DPSers have ways to focus on a target and increase their damage against it, etc).
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:53AM Brianna Royce said

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Hi folks -- Please refrain from posting your opinion on the IRL appearance of game developers shown in photos. It's completely irrelevant, rude, and in the case of the deleted comments, against our code of conduct. Thank you.

-Bree

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 4:49AM Utakata said

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@Brianna Royce

I don't remember that ever been in the code of conduct. Must of missed that one....

...though I would point out irrelevant perhaps. But rude...I don't think it was anyones' intention of being rude. Maybe silly, with a twinge of ignorance.

(That reminds me, I think I may have to take those less than flattering opinions back I've made about Jacobs and Barnett a few articles down if this is going to an issue. :( )
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:33AM aaradun said

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@Utakata i can understand where she's coming from, and i'm one of those that got their post removed (Even though what i had posted wasn't that bad really, just an honest mistake).

Nowhere was i trying to insult the actual person, but you have to admit that the picture doesn't help.

I would have edited my own post if i could, but we cant' do that on massively so ya.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 6:36AM Space Cobra said

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@Utakata

If you question ideology or their ability to make a game or someone's opinion (in a respectful manner), you are fine.

But to go into looks or a handicap, that's not really relevant to game play? Tsk! "Tsk!", I say! :P

It depends where you are on the net, but not this site (and other news sites).
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 10:05AM Sabbatai said

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@Brianna Royce It's too bad.. I was going to comment positively on this matter. I totally get why the rule is in place though and so I'll refrain.

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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 12:08PM Brianna Royce said

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@Utakata Just so you know, I didn't mean you -- I meant the dude you were responding to, and some of the other posts that are now gone. And you're right, no where in the Code of Conduct does it explicitly say "this is a blog about MMOs, not Hot or Not: The MMO Dev Edition." :D That falls under trolling, personal attacks, etc. I guess we could spell it out, but you know how it goes -- the only people who read the rules already know how to behave in public anyway. And not all the recent rash were sexist, either -- the posts that I had to yoink from the WoT thread were outright ethnic slurs. It's embarrassing that some of our commenters even THINK these things, let alone post these things. :(

Sabbatai -- Much appreciated!
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 1:28PM Utakata said

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@Brianna Royce

Ahh okays. I have noticed a few times where commenters have remarked on the dev's looks pictured in the past...and I now can see why this is an issue: It distracts from the article at hand. And it gets into the fallacy if judging the person by it's cover instead of the person itself - a rather repugnant ad hominem when get's out of hand. But like Sabbatai...it was my intention to put a positive and hopefully a progressive spin on the comment of contention. So my apologies if I was adding to it, rather than difusing it. :(

But either way, thanks for for you and everyone else taking the time to explain that to me. I will conitnue to bash devs respectufully for what they do when the go off the rails, instead fo what they look like when pictured. (...accept for maybe with Barnett's hideous sunglasses.)
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 9:58PM Kaoy said

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You have a point, and that is why I said 'It works alright...', but it is still a pain in the ass to be a Great Sword wielding juggernaut with all that HP and armour and not be able to avoid even one blow with out the aid of magic, to save his life. Keep in mind, one of my all time favorite characters was a falchion-wielding Human Fighter with the Dragon Mark of the Sentinel. I stacked up DR, Fortifications, and saves how ever I could, would buff my self with the needed magic protections, and lay down a GoI when needed and could clear out an entire large room solo with out taking more than 50 damage(note, I was only about a 400-450 hp build). The only real flaw with that character was that I did in fact take some Dex, thinking I could be an 'off tank'. Since this was the first character I ever took to end game, I had no idea that there were only two type of characters at that point: Untouchables and Squishies.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2011 4:27AM Space Cobra said

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Also on-topic.

I am not too into math, but I know it can be pretty artisitc (DaVinci, Galileo) and Miss Jensen-Schubert seems to have the right aesthetic down for games ("It needs to feel right."). That can get fuzzy, but math can be an Art as well as a Science.

I am no great Min/Maxxer and know my numbers, but so far, what she's said seems very much on the money. She seems to have the right attitude and perception and, admittedly, even for the best of us, it can be easy to lose perception when one is involved deeply in a particular game.

Posted: Oct 13th 2011 5:10AM FrostPaw said

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I think all the best formulas in the world can't predict anything if you don't take into account the combinations available to the players at launch and as you continue to expand itemisation.

The number of times I have seen dual wielding one handed weapons or main/offhand tools be excessively powerful compared to two handed weapons due to the math not factoring in two of the same weapon balanced against one weapon in two hands is shocking. The issue only gets worse when you start adding in expanded content increasing the number of combinations they never bothered to consider.

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