I'm going to save this for last.
I can't disagree, but I think flavor has nothing to do with if they are healthy for competitive play.
Why should the 1% - or even less than 1% - probability of a match being decided purely on luck not scare a competitive player?
Take this example I used in another thread. In Warcraft III, which is already mostly deterministic, and where usually things like damage ranges and crit procs/bash procs etc don't usually matter that much because it normalizes over many, many trials, there exists games - worldwide tournament games - where they can ruin games. I can think of one offhand - a Undead vs Orc match - this was the finals of some tournament, WCG or something, I don't remember- that went well into the late game. The match was very well played by both sides, the Undead player using a very unorthodox starting strategy (Crypt Lord first) and the Orc player somehow being able to keep on with an equal footing into the late game.
The game was decided when the Orc's Blademaster (equipped with damage items) decided to triple crit the Undead's Death Knight second hero - dealing 4 times normal damage on 3 attacks, 15% chance on each attack. The chances of getting that triple crit was around 0.3~%.
Should the Undead have lost the game because the Orc player got lucky and procced a crit 3 times?
These things do happen.
Skill is quite a fluid thing, but at some level, you can say two players have about 50-50 chance of winning. We see this at a lot of tournaments.
However, the ideal of "equal skill" isn't even something that's relevant, so wat?
Chances are your opponents were not mashing, you were just ludicrously bad at the game. This is my genuine observation. Fighting games is a good example - oftentimes you have a casual ask offhand "well can't I just mash and beat the top player like that?" - when it's so clearly obvious to anybody familiar to the scene that that's ludicrous - I find it really hard to believe, especially as your first statement (which I will deal with, as it is the same as "it doesn't matter if he got swiftness randomly", only of a different magnitude) suggests a complete ignorance of things like leveling (also called yomi) and mindgames.
I provided earlier an example where three crits from a BM killed a DK and decided purely by chance an otherwise really close game. I'd hate that to happen again, it kinda ruined the tournament for me - and I know it ruined it for a lot of other people, too.
Whether this is true or not, this is an assertion describing something that would be a truth statement, yes? We can apply the same to randomness.
It's like saying "If we want to protect the environment, cars should ideally produce no harmful emissions, so we should ensure they produce as little harmful emissions as possible". Is that an opinion?
Compare this: "If we want to create a good competitive game, ideally luck should have no effect on the outcome and skill should be the only determinant in the outcome of games, so we should ensure that it is as unlikely as possible that a game is thrown by luck".
This is not a good defense, as this merely suggests the game doesn't provide enough choices (I said earlier that the hallmark of a good game is - there are multiple 'styles' of play that are not obviously (or even upon close inspection) superior from one another. This is a good article that speaks about the issue: Day9 on marginal advantage
All it suggests is that we need to rework the whole system if we want combat to be interesting enough. I don't disagree with this sentiment.
Now. Oh boy.
I'm going to have to balk at how shockingly naive and ludicrous this statement is.
Let me start by stating what is true: if I am in state A, and someone in state B gained a swiftness boon, and we start the game in this scenario, then it does not matter how the someone in state B gained that swiftness boon.
You are, however, disregarding everything that happened before that.
Say, someone (Let’s call him “A”) in state A_null is against someone (“B”) in state B_null on a cap point.. Let us suppose, first, that “B” has a skill (S) that gives him Might consistently, and that if he uses this skill (let us call the state after he used the skill B_might) the tide of the fight goes from 60% in “A”’s favor (if he doesn’t use it) to 60% in “B”’s favor.
We now have “A”, who may or may not be currently cognizant of that “B” is able to use this skill S to go from B_null to B_might. If “A” is currently cognizant of this, “A” can attempt to proactively counterplay against this skill, so that “A” shifts to a state A_countermight that he can hold for a short time before when he thinks the skill will activate; let us say that the tide of the fight, if B uses might, goes instead to 50/50, even between “A” and “B”; but since this is a more defensive state, he loses an edge which means if “B” doesn’t activate S, “A”’s edge lessens to 55% in “A”’s favor. Now, let’s say “B” is able to wait this A_countermight state out without suffering too large of a consequence. Thus, if “B” reads “A” correctly, he can ba....snip ...
I guess I am too noob to understand this apparent deep level of understanding for competitive play, since these all read as chance to me.
If A this... if B that... ?And if not?
These are different from "If elixir give X" or "if elixir gives Y" how?
Educated guesses and anticipations are still guesswork at its core.
You are still literally taking a gamble trying to read your opponent.
What I am reading here is the description of a player A trying to anticipate or read a player B with S when B actually has X
That's all you did, sub out S for X.
Now, whose fault would it be if A failed to react or pre-empt accordingly?