Fellow forum-mates, I know that this is a very delicate subject, and by no means I want to start a 'flame-war' of sorts by trying to discuss it. Keep this topic clean and let's try to understand why Luck should be in, or out of this game.
Understand that by Luck, I don't mean things like using Devourer's Hook to catch someone inside the FoG, without really knowing where they were. Thats not the Luck I will be talking about. I will call this, healthy-luck, or situational-luck.
The Luck that I will be talking about is the one that is implemented into the game on purpose, written into the game-code. For example, Legionnaire's Whirling Blade, which is purposefully created to have a chance of working every time the Hero is attacked. I will call this by Luck, with capital L.
Comming from DotA, HoN is, I believe, aimed to be a very competitive game, with entire clans training to get better with every hero, studying opposing strategies and maximizing their own abilities, much like a soccer team, or a basketball team.
Players will play many hours just to reach that state fo "uncounscious though", were you play by instinct, reflexivelly knowing what to do in each moment of a match.
And here is were Luck, with capital L, may ruin the competitive aspect of the game.
You can't train your Luck. You can't control it, and neither your opponent's Luck. You just play and pray for it to work in your favor.
Sometimes, you get Lucky, and those % work brilliantly for you, allowing you for almost impossible Double Taps, or very, very close escapes. Right, those may result in "fun" moments, but and when the inverse happens? When you lose games because that 20% didn't really worked 1 time out of 4? When you trusted your skills and they failed you, not because you lacked training, but because "dices" just didn't went well for you on that match?
Things like these break the competitive aspect of the game, basically because your ability as player can't be trusted anymore, neither by yourself.
If we analise other competitive games (not really eletronic games, but games in general) searching for Luck Properties, we won't find any, really.
For example, imagine if the basket, on a basketball game, had a 20% chance of exploding the ball before it went through it, effectivelly denying a point that would be made, for sure, if the Luck wan't purposefully added to that basket.
Another example would be a soccer game were the ball had 25% chance of evasion. Even in very easy defenses, goal-keepers would miss it and a point would be made.
Ok, getting back to eletronic games. People might say that since we can't fully simulate real sittuations in eletronic games, we need to add Luck to it, for example, to simulate a hero that is very nimble and hard to hit.
That's not true. There are several sollutions that could be implemented that doesn't add artificial Luck to the game.
For example, for Starcraft 2, developers are removing the 30% miss chance for elevated terrain. Instead of it, they are simply letting units on higher ground fire without being revealed by the FoG.
See, we still have an advantage from being at higher ground, but without any artificially generated Luck involved. Players won't need to pray for their opponents to miss, or pray for a hit when in lower ground.
There are several other examples, even in HoN, of what could be made to avoid artificial Luck.
We all know a hero that's called Puppet Master. His third skill, called Whiplash, makes him release more damage in every fifth attack he makes. That's a skill that adds ZERO artificial Luck to the game. It could easilly be made as a chance of 20% to release a powerful attack, but it wasn't, and it is more reliable the way they made it.
Now, look at Scout, for example. He has a skill, Improve Dexterity, that gives him a chance (I don't really remember the exact numbers, but I think it is something like 15% or 20%) to deliver critical damage. This skill adds artificially generated Luck to the game, which is bad for competitive game-play. Why not make it like Puppet Master's Whiplash? Improved Dexterity could easilly be done as a skill that let's Scout deliver more damage every fifth attack he makes. More reliable, less frustrating.
Another example would be Legionnarie's Whirling Blade. If I'm not mistaken, it has a 20% chance of going of. Why not make it go of every fifth attack? It would make it more reliable, more predictable. You would be able to think about strategies that didn't count on a chance to really work.
I've already seen people state that abilities like Whirling Blade would be overpowered if they went of every fifth attack for sure. That's a wrong way of thinking.
Right, every fifth might be too strong, but then make it go every 6, or even every 8 attacks. It doesn't matter, it could be balanced without allowing Luck to interfere with competitive gameplay.
Even evasion can be balanced this way. Wingbow could make you avoid every third attack, instead of giving you a 30% chance.
Now I want to read what you guys think about it.
Also, I would really like, if possible, to read what S2 things about this subject. If they support artificial Luck, or if they would want to remove it.
Thanks for reading through all of this.
I am always in favor of removing uncontrollable luck from competitive games. Games being decided because Lina/Pyro's ult did or did not get canceled by Void/Chrono's Backtrack is not fun, nor does it improve the competitive aspect of the game. Similarly, Ogre Mage/Blacksmith has infuriated players on both sides for years.
Note: An alternative to "Avoid every nth attack" and other "exploitable" variants is "Avoid x% of incoming damage".
Making those skills predictable makes it far too powerful and they would have to re-balance everything downwards.
I agree with you, luck should be "removed" from competitive games, but all competitive games do have a bit of luck. For example in Warcraft III, there's luck in the items you get from creeps. Sometimes you'll get a good item, sometimes you won't. In Starcraft and other games that utilize "terrain ramps," shooting up ramps results in a 30% evasion. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you don't. Even in sports games, there are tons of "luck." It's just shown in a different way. Sometimes in basketball, you have a 3-point shooter with 25% chance to score, and he'll make 4 baskets in a row from 3-point range--that's statistics "luck." In soccer, sometimes you'll score from mid-field, even though it is a low%. That is statistics "luck" too. All games have this.
These types of things are OK in the competitive environment, because over time, the luck "balances out." If you have a competitive game where 1 lucky event completely changes the game and turns losers into winners, or winners into losers, then that's a problem.
luck's part of the game, every game mechanic is based around fuzzy values ... be it min -> max damage, be it missing shots from lower terrain, be it 20ms difference in ping
except for blacksmith (which you could just see as a gimmick class, because if he's not on a lucky streak, he's pretty sucky), "luck" doesn't create that many game-breaking "spikes" (be it damage, dodge, etc.)
as mentionned: "every 6th" attack basically means you can just hit the enemy hero with every 6th attack, like a well played puppetmaster does and that'll end up in endless "back and forth" thumbwrestling-like-gameplay
Not quite, Lyte. The basket player missing the hoop is the equivalent of the PotM missing that crucial Arrow, or that Zeus failing to juke a deadly nuke - he failed a skill-based attempt. Void backtracking a Pyro is completely independent of skill.
For things to balance out, you also need to have a large enough number of observations for the sample mean to approach the expected value. There are a number of luck-based things in DotA that occur so few times that you can get very skewed results.
Yes, that's a good sintetization of how artificial Luck may break competitive games.I am always in favor of removing uncontrollable luck from competitive games. Games being decided because Lina/Pyro's ult did or did not get canceled by Void/Chrono's Backtrack is not fun, nor does it improve the competitive aspect of the game. Similarly, Ogre Mage/Blacksmith has infuriated players on both sides for years.
For sure, my suggestions weren't written as the better ones. Agility already reduces damage instead of giving evasion chance, which is pretty good in my opinion.Note: An alternative to "Avoid every nth attack" and other "exploitable" variants is "Avoid x% of incoming damage".
So, in your oppinion it isn't worth the effort? S2 is already rebalancing and recreating the game from scratch, it might be easy for them to test new changes.Making those skills predictable makes it far too powerful and they would have to re-balance everything downwards.
That's what I called healthy-luck, or situational-luck. Notice that that kind of luck isn't artificially generated.Even in sports games, there are tons of "luck." It's just shown in a different way. Sometimes in basketball, you have a 3-point shooter with 25% chance to score, and he'll make 4 baskets in a row from 3-point range--that's statistics "luck." In soccer, sometimes you'll score from mid-field, even though it is a low%. That is statistics "luck" too. All games have this.
- You may train to hit the basket all the times. I already knew players that could hit for sure.
- You may train to hit the goal from mid field.
Your examples equate to my Devourer example: Throwing the Hook at the FoG without really knowing where your opponent is. That's fair-luck, healthy luck, and they involved conscious though of the players.
- Again, you may train to predict the way your opponents move, and hit them in the FoG with Mind-Games.
I ask you to try to separate healthy-luck from artificial-luck. Competitive playing is not about Gambling, it is about training and skill.
Like I stated, that's already being changed for Starcraft 2, which is a game that is being made for high-competitive play, while Starcraft 1 wasn't really made with that in mind.In Starcraft and other games that utilize "terrain ramps," shooting up ramps results in a 30% evasion.
nah sorry, i think this is pure crap
the game is how it is, DotA is a huge succes because THIS IS THE WAY IT IS, if you change it then it's not DotA and you dont know if it's gonna be a succes
Take LoL, HoN and DemiGod, which one will succed the most? HoN, why? because is doing things they way they are ment to be done
first: i think it'll end up in weird, ugly, UNFUNNY hit'n'run
also it against every roleplaying convention ... imagine yourself being a skilled ninja, sneaking up unto your enemy ... you stab him with your dagger multiple times. one of those strikes pierces his heart .... you're lucky, Hitler's dead!!
you can't just slash 5 nazi officers and then be guaranteed to stab the heart on Adolf :P
it's just unrealistic to be able to control "critical" hits like that ...
luck / chance is a part of life aswell as of games
For example, even in DotA, IceFrog added (because competitive players were asking) a sure-hard-counter to evasion, which is now, Monkey King Bar. it gives users True-Strike, which totally negates evasion-chances, banishing luck from the game.
Just look at the heroes that are being added, less and less of them work on chance-skills. Artificial Luck kills competition, because you can't compete against what you can't control.
We can't have Artificial Luck at competitive games, in the long run it ends up working against them.
Obs: Why exactly it would end in Hit-and-Running only?
many great competitive games involve luck. in that way they reflect life, where most challenges are of a stochastic nature
to clarify, poker is a wonderful game, that to an uninitiated outsider would seem dominated by luck. the same is true of backgammon. Even in "high-skill" competitive online gaming (say fps's), weapons have spread, and some spawn locations are random. In slow TBS or war games, battles results are heavily influenced by luck.
it's simply naieve to assert that competitive cannot have important random elements, since there are many examples of them doing so. A game is not interesting if a game is primarily determined by luck, but some smaller random elements are totally fine.
Last edited by BLUEPOWERVAN; 07-28-2009 at 03:38 PM.
Poker has been one of the most competitive games in the past years.If we analise other competitive games (not really eletronic games, but games in general) searching for Luck Properties, we won't find any, really.
But I halfly (wut) agree with you, despite the fact that "Luck" has been part of video games especially RTS for a long time (Warcraft/Starcraft also had crits, evasion and all that stuff buddy :>)
Related to picture, poker sharks know that luck is their worst enemy as they can lose big money on unlucky pots, but also their best friend as amateurs wouldn't play if there was no luck.
Think about it, why are there so many more poker players than chess players ? :>
Crits, helixes, and other randomness are a big part of what makes the game exciting, thus more accessible to players. Randomness made poker successful, and makes esports successful too.
Actually, losing a hand to misfortune in poker is far more devastating than getting multicast procced !
Last edited by akitoes; 07-28-2009 at 03:37 PM.
I agree that extreme examples should be removed, but things like puppet masters whiplash are 'abusable' and it simply becomes another mechanic. I'd like a small amount of chance (like critical hits) to be gin.
That's a good point. For example, Counter-Strike has 'spread' on most rifles. However, in my view, the 'spread' is a nerf to the weapon, and no a buff. It is there just to force players to use burst-fire instead of holding their finger on the mouse.Even in "high-skill" competitive online gaming (say fps's), weapons have spread, and some spawn locations are random.
There aren't weapons that get better by Luck, they only get worse.
Oh, man. It was very faulty from my part to forget about Poker. Face-Palm to me.Poker has been one of the most competitive games in the past years.
But, in my view, Poker isn't really about Luck, it is about bluffing. It is a psicological game, more than a card-game. Anyway, that's a good example of how luck may create good-gameplay.
By, 'abusable', you mean, you can get better at it by training?I agree that extreme examples should be removed, but things like puppet masters whiplash are 'abusable' and it simply becomes another mechanic. I'd like a small amount of chance (like critical hits) to be gin.
I'm asking most of those questions because I'm working on an MMO, and we are in the middle of designing abilities and skills. I'm in favor of not allowing luck to interfere in competitive gaming, but I want to understand what exactly is good about it.
I don't think that there are problems on letting artificial Luck influence on game-play, as long as your training allows you to minimize it's influence.
there is always the option of making the skill less luck based. 20% chance for +100% damage might be made to 50% chance for +40% damage. gives the same +dps in the long run, but less luck involved.
I think luck adds a little flavor to competitive and non-competitive games (critical hits, etc.). But, luck canīt act like a decision point in the game. Players must have a chance to minimize the effect of luck. For example; Poker, Magic: The Gathering. These two games have luck involved, but the same players are world champions every year. Why?
Its simple, with strategy they can minimize the luck factor of the game.
Resuming: Luck is important for fun, but strategy and training must minimize the luck factor.
Last edited by mucergo; 07-28-2009 at 04:19 PM.