View Full Version : Numbers don't lie...but....

11-09-2018, 02:12 AM
They also don't ask critical questions. This is a post about game balance and the "answers" that are not found using data alone.

So it should be common knowledge that the developers use "data" to balance the game over player input. I think that this is smart and more telling than one guys horrible experience against a particularly strong opponent, or latency issues. But the "data" itself is in question. How detailed and particular does the data get? Is everything considered? Does is chronocile more than just the win/loss metric. Does it factor the types of attack used? How many times said attacks were blocked/parried/dodged and if so by which character? Does it record that this player beat that player using these attacks, under this average latency between them. Does it factor environmental kills? Does it record how successful attacks are against certain characters overall? Just how far does the rabbit hole go? To be honest, I don't think it does. I think it just factors win/loss ratios. This can be partially flawed.

Win/Loss Ratio is important, but so is character usage. If a lowly used character has a win/loss ratios of 60% then that value compared to other highly used characters is not conclusive. Highly used characters are bound to have higher/lower wins losses as compared to those rarely used depending on the quality of player that is using them. If I have fought 1000 battles and won 50% and you fought 10 and won 70%, our results cannot be compared on equal footing. Too many factors play into actually winning/losing a match. I think this may be what ranked matches are supposed to determine.

Let's consider all things are equal. 1 player using 2 different characters. Match that player between the same 100 opponents twice. Same battleground...etc. If with one character he has a 65 win% and another he has 45%; what happened? Obviously you can come to the conclusion that character A is superior to character B, but can you determine exactly how using data? At some level, some things can only be determined by taking valuable feedback from the player. The difference of having a specific move, health values, guard-type, options available can be the determining factor of 20%. This feedback should be taken into consideration. Jacking up number values is not always the solution. In fact it's the easiest way to break or make a character.

How do you think we as a community can affect change in the game WITH the developers in a manner that would be beneficial? I would like to spark some thought here. I for one think that we try to talk to the developers, but they don't try to talk to us. They have Facebook's I am sure, Twitter's, warriors den, here, Reddit, you name it. I would actually like to hear from them and their thoughts on the moves they make. I would like to hear WHY they decided to do something and not other options. I am ok, with not having my suggestions made reality, but u would like to have them heard and responded too. It's the same with voting you know. Not to turn this political, but I didn't vote for Trump, but WE have him. I am ok with this, because I voiced my opinion at the booth, not in the streets in wild protest. At least I can always hear and research and figure out what the other party is doing. They always try to explain and present themselves and recruit you to their way of thinking. I even can agree on certain issues with them, but here it is not the same. Can we have more feedback? More conversation?

11-09-2018, 03:11 AM
They can't and shouldn't give a running commentary. My instinct on these things is they are the ones being paid to do this and they are best placed to know how to proceed. By all means listen to players, but at the end of the day they must make changes that *they* feel are right. If they try to implement community ideas they don't believe then it won't work. And it dangerous to imply that the community has the right to impose their views.

Buying the game gives the right to play it. Freedom of expression gives you the right to make your opinion known. But it must always be understood that it their game and they have the only right to change it. But the responsibility is theirs alone too and if we judge them harshly it is because 2 years in, this game is barely fit for purpose.

11-09-2018, 03:13 AM
Pssst. Don't tell anybody I told you this, it's kind of a secret, but...

They don't know how to balance the current roster


11-09-2018, 03:25 AM
I think players are looking for more feedback. If they feel something won't work and they have the data and insight via internal testing and what not to prove it, then I am fine with that. In fact, that is what I want to see most. If on a warriors den; they just talked about coding and balance, and potentially fight changes and the positives and negatives those could bring, I am sure most would tune in and love it. They do have the final say. My whole point is, I want to hear what they have to say, not just see what they do, when they do it. Also, you say that the game should not be community driven, but I disagree. Not in the sense that we make all the decisions, but that all the decisions are made FOR us, not just for us if that makes sense. You, me, defiled, Knight, we don't speak for everybody, but we are apart of the system so to speak. Everyone, not just a select few should be taken into account. I would love to hear how they make decisions with that in mind.

11-09-2018, 03:57 AM
Well, I don't agree. Gamers say a lot of things and most of it is at odds with each other (I mean it'll be a cold day in hell before me and Raime agree about practically anything). Who do you listen to? And if they did listen and implemented it, would those people step up and admit they were wrong if it didn't work out? No, they'd blame Ubi. Its like writing. An author can listen to what his fans want, but if he doesn't agree with them, he would be extremely unwise to try and force himself to write it. They have to make the game that makes sense and feels right to them, accomodating fan's wishes where they feel able to do so.

As to providing feedback... That isn't something you want IMO. The realities of how any business works are pure poison to most of us. Its a business and seeing the inner workings of decision making, especially in entertainment where viwers and gamers like to imagine that their pure passion for the product is replicated in those who make it...

Ignorance is bliss on these matters IMO. The truth is likely so depressingly corporate that we'd never play again.

11-09-2018, 04:38 AM
You didn't fully understand what I meant. I am not asking that they listen to a specific person. I am asking that they take a group consensus view on the matter. Something generally agreed upon, that they ultimately implement. For instance, lawbringer and shugoki. Both would like an opener to initiate combat. In the case of shugoki, getting one. In the case of lawbringer, getting a more consistent/quicker/safer one. On this issue, Ubisoft could say (for instance) "We believe that this is true/untrue and here is WHY and what we plan on doing to make the hero more viable." They would have the final say and people would be happy to even see/hear why. Of course some wouldn't, but you can't please them all so they say. What I am getting at, is I would like to know what the devs consider issues/matters of importance and WHY. They have the platform to reach us, it just feels like they are squandering the opportunity to do so.

11-09-2018, 04:54 AM
While I agree with Marshall that gamers as a whole tend to say a lot of what amounts to more or less just pure nonsense in the grand scheme of things, it's still good business practice to at the very least evaluate consumer feedback. In the case of a video game, the devs don't have to take what we say word for word; they're free thinking adults with their own brains and should be capable of thinking for themselves. What they can do with that feedback however, is use it as a basis for investigation into the game to try to replicate some of what we're talking about to see if it has any merit or is just nonsense. Obviously it will cost them money to do these things, but it will help drive the quality of the product and, by proxy, consumer satisfaction with that product more into the green. Given that the gaming market is largely a "word of mouth" type of market where we place a lot of stock in the reviews of other people as to whether a game is worth the time and money investment or not, there are very few scenarios that even the most stiff corporate suit couldn't view improving the quality of the product as a financial benefit.

With that said, the devs only need to do three things to get on that track.
> Get a general consensus of community feedback.
What I mean by this is simple, and I'll give an example. The community is up in arms over how lackluster Shugoki and Lawbringer are compared to the newer heroes and the reworks. It's a very widely discussed topic to the point that it's become a meme. You can make a reasonable deduction that there is a general consensus among your players that those two heroes need to be looked at. They don't have to take what we say word for word as long as they pay attention to topics that are being widely discussed among the community.
> Play test changes.
So now you have your general consensus and you want to make a change. The very first thing that needs to be done is extensive play testing to make sure that it works and isn't either completely useless or stupidly OP. Whether you do this in house or actually make use of the test server and have players play this new content is a moot point, so long as someone can verify those previously stated conditions. If they go the test server route then this is a revolving door with the first item I listed.
>Be transparent with your intentions.
We don't need a play by play for everything you're doing, but at least let us know what's going on. Keep us at least somewhat in the loop. Something as simple as "The fight team is working on testing a new build for Lawbringer's rework" or "we have a few private testers looking at changes to the art of battle system" would be enough to let people know you still give a flying ****. That is literally all any of us could ask for.

11-09-2018, 07:40 AM
You are right about the data, it all depends on the question you ask. Do they account for differing factors? Ubi isn't good at asking questions.

11-09-2018, 09:25 AM
I never said they should listen to specific people. I only mentioned specific names because you did. And the whole 'generally agreed' thing is very thorny. Up until MF there were plenty of threads arguing that LB *wasn't* a priority (and I agreed as a LB main that the need of others was greater). After MF that has changed but that's very recent, so I'm giving them a chance to see the obvious before I kick off about that.

As for Shug (who I also play), yes I agree as most Shugs do that he needs attention. But there was a recognition I think that he was never going to be Ubi's priority before Headliners like Orochi, Kensei, Warden etc. It was only after Warden got his rework that Shug players started to say 'Okay, we've waited long enough. How about it?' But with MF coming up and the Wu Lin, we knew he'd have to wait at least 1 Season more.

I believe they should listen to gamers but trying to delve into the decision making process of business will bring nothing but sorrow IMO (and they would never cop to such things anyway). I think we should have our say as we always do, let them get on with it and judge them on their results. Any company with the smallest residue of common sense should already be keeping their eye on their customer's opinions. If they tie themselves up explaining their every move and feel they have to justify everything (because every word they say is already picked over) then morale will suffer. Especially as there is no good way they could spin many of the 'good for business' decisions anyway.