Armored core 4 teams

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 game thoery: game balence

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Exo-Gen
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PostSubject: game thoery: game balence   Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:02 am

Ok it seams to me there are a few ideas floating around about how the game or how games should be in regards to competitive games. First an example. Some of you may or may not be familiar with the game of pong. Pong was the first video game if my history is correct, basically it was simulated tennis. You could play a friend and there was no difference between, the advantages and disadvantages that both of your possessed. The side of the screen you controlled was identical to the side that your opponent controlled. This is equivalent to two people playing as the same character in a fighting game. On the same map so that no one has the advantage as far as the laws of the game are concerned. The only deciding factor will be the skill of the players involved. But inevitably games were created where there was choices in what you could pick. You had a choice in different advantage types. An example would be in fighting games where you could chose from two or more characters. Once the game starts to give option in what type of abilities one can use for that game three possibilities of how the game can be structured emerges. As far as I am aware there are only 3 possibilities and I am going to argue that only one of them leads to a game that truly lends it self to the competitive player.

Tier games. Something is tier when it is the game is structured so that the options that can be chooses are stratified. An example of this would be if we had a fighting game where you had a character that was the fastest and strongest when compared to all other characters. In other words that character was the most effective to use because it possessed the greatest advantages when compared to all other characters. Then you could rank the next character down in terms of its advantages. This character would have less of an advantage, say it might be as powerful as the top ranker but be slower. Then the next character down from that would have even less of an advantage. This process of ranking can go on down the list till all characters have been ranked. Some times you might find that some characters were even with each other. They might have equal stats for example. If the game was a perfect tier system then the rank would follow numerically and would have no characters on par with each other.

Here is the problem with a tier game. A tier game perfect or not results in only one logical outcome when the players are aware of the tier system. Players that know the game is tiered can pick the top tier option in order to maximize their chances of winning. Of course choosing the tier option does not guarantee a win because as long as skill is a factor then skill can prevail. It is just that if skill is equal then the determining factor will be the one who possesses the tier option. And more importantly the reason the tier option will prevail will be because it has the advantage. As you can see tier limits fair competition and forces you to pick that which is tier. In a tier game there is no room for fair play or variety. So while you may have the illusion of variety all you have in the end is tier for the players that are smart. Again this is not to say skill does not play a major roll, but only that tier makes a big difference. So when some one wins with a tier option it is fair to say that that person had the advantage unless the other person also possessed tier.

Revolving tier. A revolving tier game is when you have a number of options that are not equal with one another in terms are abilities but some options can counter others while those options are counterable by yet other options. A perfect example of this is rock paper scissors. In rock paper scissors paper always smothers rock, but scissors always cuts paper yet rock breaks scissors. So notice the advantages of each option are not all equal with one another yet revolved around and around in a perfect circle. In that sense the game is balanced but not in the sense I am going to be speaking about next. In a revolving tier game again skill can matter just as in a tier game but that the one who chooses the dominant tier in that case has the advantage. In rock paper scissors it matters only how well I can predict what you are going to pick if I know you well enough. But playing against a truly random computer playing rock paper scissors that is programmed not to repeat patters and is very mathematically complex then there is not way to beat the computer with certainty, it is just luck of the draw. If armored core was revolving tier then it comes down to having the top tier builds and hoping to pick the right one. In ranked you would be screwed if you picked something that was not dominant against a player of equal skill. Revolving tiers are not good because as ďbalancedĒ as they may appear still skill is not the ultimate deciding factor but what build will give you at advantage that particular round. Perhaps if people chose the same tier that round the game will be equal but unless people agree on this the game can never be truly fair but will always be tipped in one direction or another in terms of player advantages that have nothing to do with skill.

Balanced games. In a balanced game no such tiers exist. There is a variety of different options with different advantages yet those advantages have the right trade offís as compared to others. A case in point is in fighting games when you have characters that can take a lot of damage in one hit but are slower and require more timing as compared to characters that are faster but each hit they inflict is less powerful. The more powerful slow character may only be able to pull a 2 hit combo max while the faster weaker character may be able to pull of a 16 hit combo max yet both characters will have equivalent damage. The skill in the fast character is in the execution of the combo while the slower character is in timing of each move. Both require skill in different ways but notice their damage potential is still the same. There in lies the balance. It may seam that one takes more skill then the other but only in different types of skills. So a none tier game can appear to the ignorant person as being tier when it is not. This is why is some one is making an accusation that something is tier they need to make their case in exact and precise arguments that do not fuddle around with vague and subjective terms like ďthis is unfairĒ or ďtoo strongĒ. In ac4 when I tried to make the argument that the rail gun was unfair I did so by arguing that it had unbalanced stats that defied the balancing laws of the game, which meant that either the laws needed to be changed to fix the inconsistency or that the weapon was unbalanced.

Ultimately a balanced game is the best option because it is the only option where skill is the ultimate deciding factor. As in real life things are not always fair and people and even societies have overcome great obstacles and surmounted near impossible odds when other people those otherwise. But why should we not have a fair game where all of our options are fair and yet we have a variety. Only in a balanced game can our options truly matter because we like those options yet when we will it was only because we played better then our opponent. In either of the above mentioned types of games skill is NOT the only factor. In a balanced game it is the ONLY factor. Now some people may want a tier game or a revolving tier game but I saw why? A balanced game offers variety and the greatest possible games to me.
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GunerX



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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:19 pm

Dude what it really boils down to is people that want the game to be played their way so that they can win. People need to get the fuck over it. Its a game. There is going to be a way to win that is always better or best.

In regard to the people bitching a fit like little girls about missles:

SHUT UP!

Missles are good. End of story. Dont like it find another game to play instead of complaining about it.

I myself dont really like ACFA because, yes, missles are cheap. Thus making the game not much fun. I personally prefer using a rifle and machine gun. But guess what, machine guns suck. Then people started bitching about dual rifles...jeezus christ do you people ever stop bitching. You dont want missles. You dont want dual rifles. But everything els Sucks. So what the fuck do you want to do? Just shut up and play the game or dont.

In regard to regulations updates:

Everyone said "oh em gee there going to fix missles in the next update! oh em gee machine guns will be good again"....guess what...they didnt do shit...so stop crying..use missles...or dont...
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:05 am

actually gunner your idea that something will always be more powerful or dominant is completely without any evidence. chess is a balanced game. nothing tier there. plenty of fighting games have been for the most part without tiers. even older armored core games have been pretty much tireless for the most part. in fact FA is very balanced in more important regards then ac4 was. under weighting for example is not a problem any more. if they fix the broken things they brought back for reasons I will never understand, and tune some other shit the game will be perfect. shit ac4 1.6 was almost flawless except for a few things. if you ask me the game designers are on crack some times. but what ever.

I would draw a strict line between bitching and intellectual discussion. the above synopsis of mine about tiers is meant to educate those that are not aware. and as for people getting "their" way well as I said above in a balanced game the only people who will complain are those that donít understand that game. so when some one says to me that this or that is cheap I must ask them why. if they donít give a reason and if they are not ready to debate then they are either ignorant or intellectually ill equipped to deal with the discussion and should therefore in that case shut up. but if they can think about the game and its rules then they are in a position to analyze it objectively. and as for MG's yeah they still suck but not as bad. its just their range is trash, but they strip PA and kill fast. I think they are planning to cut the inertia in the game which will help CQC and also help dodging and accuracy.

in regards to balancing the game. the tools are already in place in older games. the solution to dual rifles is very simple. from for what ever reason is just ignoring that option. donít as me why. in fact the solution to all these things are VERY simple and mathematically precise. thatís right no gray areas strict logic. I donít know why they donít just do it.

and gunner in regards to Mg rifle. I know how you fight with MG rifle. Your style is been raped in this one. Back and forth QB in the air. You avoid fire and retaliate in close with Mg rifle. Now you have to use it correctly. Using Mg rifle is neither supposed to be about back and forth juking nor about mad rushing either. You have to learn angles and flanking and overall close quarters tactics. Them increasing the EN recharge but upping the QB EN drain was the best thing they could do because if you Spam QB your done, forcing people use it in close efficiently . no insult but your style is neither efficient nor is it high up on the level of skill. Iím not trying to down you but it is the truth. I encourage you not to get frustrated but try to actually learn real CQC and not back and forth juking. That tactic should be a last resort if even used at all. Unfortunately CQC is much more difficult in FA because of the excessive inertia. If they fixed that it would be good again. Give it time.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:18 am

actually chess has a tier...its called the Queen. I play chess quit often. Every game has a tier. And guess what..missles are the tier for ACFA...dont bother trying to argue this point. Missles are just insanly stupid tier in ACFA. And until people learn to quit bitching about it I dont think I will be playing the game.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:53 am

Look GunerX guess what...life is tier too, so what, you just going to give up on that too. COME ON!!! give me a break on that quiting shit just cause its not balanced. If everything was balanced we would be living in Utopia. Believe it or not everything in life even games are unfair. Wether its games that have hardly no tier or games that have major tier. At the end of the day it comes down to skills and patience. Patience that some day it will get fixed or patience that one day you could get good enough to overcome the cheapness of that tier. If you dont want to play cause the game is unbalanced then so be it, i actually think you are a good player but hey i bet you have a better game to play or whatever so by all means have fun and stay safe. One the other hand, pretty much every game i played have its advantage characters, cheap characters, and pro characters that dont have alot of cheap shit but are very hard to play with. Same thing with racing games, fighting, FPS(guns), Airplane games(certain jets), ARMORED CORE, board games(tricks of the game by playing it too long). i'll give you a great exp how patience could lead to victory. Take that new movie that came out as an exp...21. you have a game that has no tier, its suppost to be fair and skills and good judgement will win you the game. Now like everything in life the game has a loop hole. Some smart geek (i wish i could do the same thing) MOtha%$#Ker found a way to count the cards and pretty much garantee his way to win all the time. Bro its all about skills and patience, eventually one will win you the game. let everyone complain about missiles, if you feel that you have to use them to win then thats you. Now if you feel like you could win without them then welcome to skills. It all depends how you using missiles. if you know certain missiles are tier and you use it on purpose then yes people will be complaining. either way do what you have to do.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:49 am

yeah and missles in general are not really that tier in FA now after the update. they still need some tweaking but to me its not even the missles that is the main concern as it is the inertia and lag issues. if you fix those two things weapon acuracy and dodging missles would improve. but in the mean time, just use some diferent shit.

and chess is not a tier game. the queen may be more powerfull but there is only one of them per team. see you have to look at the game as a whole. that is how you understand balence. it is everything taken into concideration with everything else.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:55 am

My anger on this issue has nothing to do with the game itself. I said its the people constantly bitching about the way other people play the game. People need to shut the fuck up and deal with it. Dont like my fighting style then get the fuck outa the room Im in. But for the love of god STOP BITCHING
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:34 am

what does this have to do with your fighting style? the whole point of this thread was to get clear about game balance and the concept of tier since often discussions that revolve around part design and such ultimately boil down to the idea of tier. and there is a difference between intellectual discourse about game balance and bitching. and even if you donít see it there is a big difference between bitching/debating about balance issues and other peoples methods. and why are you acting as though these things donít matter. try this on for size

suppose they removed close combat all together and made this a complete flying game. all it would be is fly by shootings and "dog" fights that take place from way far away. suppose they left the missiles like they were on 1.00 or made it worse but took out OB completely and gave you AA that would reach like 900 meters. would that still be cool with you? if they did those things then this game would no longer be interesting to me. so these things do matter. if because of some imbalance the game is being steered in a direction that takes it out of wack. i.e. snipers hitting you only at close range when Mg's donít do shit, then something is wrong and needs to be fixed. it helps to identify these things and discuss them. some one might have a counter strat and perhaps we might be wrong about just how imbalanced things seam. either way talking about these things makes a difference. just "shutting up" and what not does not help. I could care less what fighting style you use. if you do some cheesy shit donít get mad when I do something even worse back and show you no mercy, but thatís cool. my philosophy is it is the parts that make the design which enables broken tactics. fix the parts and the tactic becomes impossible making the game more skill.

and there are MAJOR differences between some tactics. case in point is backpedaling. constant running is easy as hell once one knows how to do it. it takes very little skill. an average player can rock experts with that tactic. why does it even exist. because side thrust is dominant. that is to say you can travel longer going to the side then going forward. secondly it lines you sight up as some one chases you. now this type of move does belong in the game but it should not be dominant. meaning it should not be so easy yet the one who is being offensive has to be so much better and is wasting EN fast trying to catch them. thatís gay. if defense is dominant then if two people play the meta game which is defense then the game is a stale mate logically. that is retarted. by making offence dominant it leaves counter attacks untouched and puts everything in there rightful place. everything should be viable. long rangers should be runners, close rangers should be rushers, mid rangers should be a little of both. that is not the case here. defensive players have the advantage as they did in ac4. and just so you know it was not always like that in AC. it started around the time of LR. I personally just want to see the game boil down to who has the most skill. And donít give me that it canít be done. It has been done in the past and there are plenty of games that are very well balanced.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:17 pm

Yes but missles are Tier in ACFA right now. People need to realize this and shut the fuck up about it. Machine guns suck. Missles rock. Welcome to the real world where shit aint fair. Everyone needs to understand this and stop complaining about it. And as far as I can tell they didnt fix a damn thing in the new update. Missles still rock. Machine Guns still suck. Lag is still a bitch. But who the hell cares. Play the game or dont. Its that simple.

Oh and AA kicks ass too.
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PostSubject: Re: game thoery: game balence   Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:09 pm

missiles can be dodged now almost in all cases. before VTF's would follow you anywhere and now you can dodge them almost in all cases. high acts although still overpowered do to the fact that they still fire 8 are none the less not as powerful and donít rape PA and AP like before. salineís are actually avoidable now. once again they could still use a reduction in the fight time of the missile after it explodes into little bits but thatís ok cause you can just boost right into it and dodge it. they also reduced it's power so now if it hits you full force it will only take off 1000 AP on a LW instead of 4000 AP. maybe your just not used to the inertia so dodging for you is harder/ it will take some practice but its possible. that missiles that fires from the shoulders is still crazy though. but it only fires 4 times/ really high acts and that shoulder thing are the only missiles you must run from and even that shoulder thing can be continuously dodged in close but its just not worth it if you do start to get hit. overall though the missiles are not bad. I would say reduced certain missiles even more to only to cut down on Spam factor but no more.

machine guns work way better. before they could not strip PA for shit. now they can. they can do great damage now also. i took a guy down the other day from full AP to like 17,000 in like 2 seconds. thatís great damage potential. the only real problem with the weapon is that MG's have such horrible range that you have to work your ASS off just get to that range. I would increase the range slightly to say 310 at max and improve the melee ability on the gun so you can get much closer and still hold a consistent lock. the reason you think they still such is because unlike BEFORE you could blaze with MG out of its effective range and the bullets would hit you and put consistent damage and strip PA even with a gray lock. now if you lock is gray you wont hit crap. the way it should be. see now you have to maintain your range. MG is all about CQC tactics. thatís its intent. I would agree its range and melee need adjustment and maybe even ammo but thatís about it. its damage is fine.

the lag has improved but not to the extent it needs to. I agree there.

AA is no where near as bad as before. I would still like to see a reduction in AA cause I donít really think it even belongs in the game. in my opinion if you put AA you should have to choose between OB or AA. regular OB can be unchanged but AA OB's should have such low stats that your better off with QB cause you would drain PA, EN and be so slow that its not even worth it basically leaving you with AA. also the contamination field should be only within that green bubble it makes. not outside of it stretching into mid range. but AA to me is more of an annoyance then a real threat. there are not to many people that have CQC skill and really know when to use it right.

all in all the game takes way more skill now. I am not happy with it either but 1.1 on ac4 with dual rifle stun lock was such a load of crap it had me ready to stop playing so I know they will fix this stuff. probobly by 1.3 the game will start to take shape as being more balenced.
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