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Reader Comments (56)

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:14PM Kalex716 said

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I have mixed opinions about these features in MMO's, as I don't like how easily accessible and widely "accepted" specific build schema's become once the data is crunched by the community at large and publisized. It also leads to unique and specialty builds being more shuned, and players reputations cease to matter, all that matters is the math sometimes. I also feel like it ultimately leads to trivialization at the meta level when things become too cookie cutter and exposed. Everything becomes too formulaic.

However, on the individual level, its nice to have detailed feedback from the game about performance, and the "gameification" of this kinda stuff can be fun and worth having. Min-maxers consider this kinda thing a must have, and i can't blame them for it.

Ultimately, I wish MMO's would work data mining and expositions of the math INTO the game, like, an entire special tree where you have specific points or something that you can allocate into particular "specialities" of what you can interpret more clearly than others. This would just add a unique layer to this entire aspect, and it would demand more out of the playerbase (and your guild more specifically) to work together to put the whole picture together. It adds complexity, but I believe the true min-maxers will appreciate it this way whether they can admit it or not.

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:35PM h4ngedm4n said

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@Kalex716
Solution: play with people who aren't minmaxers/don't care, and let the minmaxers do their thing. you play your way, they play their way. everyone wins.
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:12PM Space Cobra said

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@h4ngedm4n

Well, I agree with you, but since it is an MMO, it can be hard to stay with your group or avoid any PUGs of people who want you "Armor Score" ala WoW.

It's one of those "tight-ropes", IMO: if you withold stuff, certain groups of players will complain, if you release such "ease-of-use" things to the player-base, other groups will complain.

You can't please everyone, yet either decision affects all players at large, even if they try to refrain from using the tools.
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 8:05PM (Unverified) said

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That's the beauty (and terror) of math... in the areas where it applies, it is always right, and it does render irrelevant personal opinion.

My take, its better and more fair for all players to have access to what the math says. Otherwise the devs are essentially putting traps in the game that say "if you get this math problem wrong you will always be X% less effective than someone who doesn't"

Of course players who do not need to reach peak performance for the way they play are free to optimize for anything else, whether it be RP, looks, fun, etc. But at least they're doing so with the benefit of informed choice, vs. being faked out because one choice has a cooler sounding name than another or the like.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:49PM jynxycat said

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@Space Cobra Gear score hasn't been in the game for a long time now.

That said, just because you don't know what the best talents are, doesn't make the talent system any better, it just makes it confusing.

If you can't even tell what the good talents are, because it's just 5% this, 2% that... then what is the point really? May as well just randomly click them.

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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:40PM Vgk said

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It's good to see that despite the lack of addons critical tools like damage meters will still be implemented into the game

Posted: Dec 25th 2011 9:12PM Scratches said

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@Vgk
"It's good to see that [...] critical tools like damage meters"
"critical tools like damage meters"
"critical tools"

omg, lol, I haven't laughed that hard in at least a month...

Seriously; you should think about pursuing a career in stand-up.
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:49PM Ehra said

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Hiding the numbers from players has never been a good way of preventing number crunching, the people that enjoy doing this sort of thing will still find a way. Ironically, keeping out features like this (and other measures like Cryptic's old stance on not even giving solid numbers on abilities) that are meant to remove an emphasis on number crunching actually widen the gap between those that are "in the know" and those that aren't.

Tools like damage meters and such aren't the issue, the potential danger is in how the playerbase reacts to the data gained from these tools (or by experimentation, if the tools aren't provided); and that is largely based on how the developers handle their game.

Take WoW. If you have a game that, at max level, is focused almost entirely on doing a few of the same instances over and over again to get loot, and those instances are designed so that the majority of your time in them is spent clearing extremely easy yet tedious "trash," then, yes, you're going to end up fostering a playerbase that wants to blaze through your content as quickly as possible and is hostile towards anything that slows down the run.

The problem is not the fact that players are able to figure out what build is "best," the problem is that the game is designed in such a way that players need to do content that they're tired of doing and probably don't enjoy anymore in order to advance their characters. Once you've done for the 10th time an instance that you got tired of after the 4th, you're going to have a much shorter tolerance of the DPS that makes each trash pull take 15 more seconds because he chose certain talents or gear instead of others.


Meanwhile you look at something like City of Heroes. I'm not sure if damage meters even exist for this game (and if they do they aren't commonly used), but the numbers have still been crunched and it's fairly well accepted which sets do the most damage and which do the best. Yet you've got no problem getting groups even if you take the "worst" powersets. Why? Because the game is designed in such a way (ignoring Incarnate content, which is recent and I'm not too familiar with it) that you don't need to do content you don't enjoy to advance your character.

People aren't already burned out of the content going in, because if you're doing a Task Force then it's generally because you actively want to do that Task Force, not because the game is strong arming you into it. People are much more willing to put up with "bad" builds because their goal is to do some content they enjoy; not to squeeze out the best time/reward ratio.


Anyway, that was long enough. Enjoy the holidays everyone.

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:51PM Ehra said

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@Ehra

"Meanwhile you look at something like City of Heroes. I'm not sure if damage meters even exist for this game (and if they do they aren't commonly used), but the numbers have still been crunched and it's fairly well accepted which sets do the most damage and which do the best. "

Just a quick correction, I meant "which sets to the most damage and which do the worst" :p
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:18PM Space Cobra said

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@Ehra

Ah, but, from what I've seen, players figuring out the Min/Max numbers were put into a special place. Basically, such knowledge was not wide-spread, unless you looked/googled into it, which is fine. Now it is served on "a plate" and easy to see for even greater numbers.

The "old way" let them remain a "sub-group" and anyone who googled can join in. With this current way, now there is more pressure to join in "Min/Maxing" or have others point out your faults.

It's strange, because I thought Bioware had wanted to hide such things, but, IMO, they probably didn't think this through and released it. The reason they wanted to hide such things, IMO, was because of their balanced classes and their stance of wanting people to specialize in particular trees; no hybrids. And, afaik, no "switching trees" or having access to a PvE tree and switching to your PvP tree. I thought Bioware was against that, but maybe they are not? Or maybe they didn't think this through?
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:22PM Kalex716 said

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@Ehra

You raise a good point about how commonly implemented raid content, and gear grinds perpetuate both the pro's and con's of exposed in game telematry in currently existing models.

Like I described above, I'd be interested in an MMO that gamified it entirely in a creative and interesting way with player choice up in the mix, and didn't just hand it over to us so freely.


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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:27PM Ehra said

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@Space Cobra

These days, that sort of stuff makes its way to the official forums or the popular fan sites anyway. No need to do much digging around. Guild Wars doesn't have any damage parsers (that I know of) and no official forums outside of bug reporting, yet there's an entire wiki dedicated to showcasing the "best" builds and the most popular fan site has a good amount of number crunching in its forum. Once this stuff is found out it doesn't stay hidden.
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Posted: Dec 25th 2011 1:16AM Heraclea said

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@Ehra

The real problem is game difficulty. The harder a game is, the more people are forced to specialize to meet its challenge. City of Heroes gets it right by being easier than other MMOs. Generally, any team of any level appropriate characters can find a way to succeed at just about any task the game throws at them. It didn't really have a progressive endgame, just grinding for drops, merits, and inf to construct your characters.

I started losing interest in the game when they tried to shoehorn in "progression" of the kind I knew I didn't want. Always went back to that game because it didn't have it.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 9:06PM Aelon said

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@Ehra

So true :)
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:55PM foofad said

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I kinda wish they're iron out the bugs first, personally.

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:56PM jimr9999us said

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Thank god for a meter! My ocd is going undernourished playing SW:TOR.

Posted: Dec 26th 2011 4:04PM RogueJedi86 said

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@jimr9999us

My OCD is being satisfied by all the datacrons. Isn't yours? Also just filling in all the codex entries for every planet.
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Posted: Dec 24th 2011 5:59PM Apakal said

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It seems like Bioware is just rolling out features with the intent of keeping their name in the news feeds... This isn't necessary days into a launch.

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:00PM smartstep said

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Haha

So damage meters, threat meters, heal meters, enemy cast bar, etc - all this elitist stuff will hit Swtor shores.

I can bet cross-server LFG will follow.

Guess all those haters saying it will be WoW v2 with lightsabers weren't so wrong after all...

Posted: Dec 24th 2011 6:42PM Vgk said

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@smartstep

You do know threat meters, damage meters etc. all existed before WoW right, even if it wasn't implemented within the game this info was parsed out of the game.
Info like this, would appear in TOR one way or another, whether the devs gave the tools to do so or the players made the tools it would happen in some way shape or form.

These meters are nothing more or less than tools, some may use the tools incorrectly but does that mean we shouldn't have said tools?
If someone uses a knife to stab a person does that mean no one should be allowed to have knives in their kitchens anymore?
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