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Why Being Efficient is the Only Thing Left


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#1 El Duderino

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:54 AM

I read the quote below today and it struck a nerve that has been lingering for a while. Why is it that the only real difference in this game between casual and hardcore seems to be efficiency? I know I'm going to have a hard time trying to explain what I'm talking about here, but I feel like there is something from other games that is important for being "good" at the game other than efficiency, but I can't put my finger on it.

I don't disagree with the poster below, but I feel that there should be some limit to how casual you can play the game and still be successful. Efficiency shouldn't be super important - I agree - but it seems to be the only measure of success in the game. Is that because 95% of the game is relatively easy or is there something about the combat that makes this so?


View PostTrei, on 17 February 2014 - 01:59 AM, said:

DPS yes, if you only consider Efficiency.
I do not always equate Efficiency with Fun, however.

I prefer to muck around with different tactics;
So what if it takes an hour more to complete something as long my group's expectations are congruent?

I'm no pro, nor do I prefer to play with pros or those who think they are.
Making it with a ragtag team of random spontaneous players I have never played with before feels far more challenging than simply trying to go for the fastest this or that, day in day out.

Efficiency... is for my day job.


#2 Moharis Frostreign

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:10 AM

I can't speak to really any other side of the game besides PvE, but it is about doing things faster, better, more efficiently. I actually love that bit; it's fun for me, and I'd think for others, to think of new ways to shave off precious seconds. That's really what I fell in love with in GW1 as well.

#3 Featherman

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:55 AM

It depends on largely on what the game requires of the player to be efficient. A large portion of the gameplay in GW1 was the theorycrafting, at least for those who chose to partake in it. This was because the game had a amount of depth and didn't stop its players from experimenting with artificial blocks like gear treadmill. It took reasoning to be efficient.. In GW2 the bulk of the game is built around grinding for gear and cosmetics. Once a player obtains their ascended zerkers and/or the Christmas tree decorations the game likes to call cosmetics there really isn't that much left to the game because of the overall lack of depth. While there is such a thing as builds in GW2, the game is lacking in that requires a significant amount of mechanical input over thought/reasoning input to be efficient. Furthermore the mechanics of the game don't allow players skilled in executing maneuvers to stand out.

When games like GW1 reward the player it's rewarding the player's intelligence (or someone else's intelligence if you used their build). These kinds of games are at their best when the game test the player's reasoning skills in a variety of scenarios and degrees of difficulty. Grind-based games reward the player for their dedication in repeated inputs, but since they don't require the player to be smart (quite the opposite in fact) they can't reward them in that aspect. YMMV, but I think achievements based purely on grinds tend to feel hollow because those repeated inputs akin to mindless spamming. You can most definitely have fun the latter category of games, but it wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with being efficient with the game's mechanics.

#4 FoxBat

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:04 AM

View PostEl Duderino, on 17 February 2014 - 02:54 AM, said:

I know I'm going to have a hard time trying to explain what I'm talking about here, but I feel like there is something from other games that is important for being "good" at the game other than efficiency, but I can't put my finger on it.

Getting one person to read a guide, rope 24 players into following instructions, and rage when 1 person fails their job and no-one gets drops.

View PostFeatherman, on 17 February 2014 - 03:55 AM, said:

When games like GW1 reward the player it's rewarding the player's intelligence (or someone else's intelligence if you used their build).

This I equate with "looking up a guide" rather than intelligence. Moreso when you just needed one hero setup to conquer 99% of hard mode.

GW1 is not really the go-to example here. Organized groups there likewise competed for efficient speedclears, not who could down a new boss first.

#5 Featherman

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:09 AM

View PostFoxBat, on 17 February 2014 - 04:04 AM, said:

This I equate with "looking up a guide" rather than intelligence. Moreso when you just needed one hero setup to conquer 99% of hard mode.

GW1 is not really the go-to example here. Organized groups there likewise competed for efficient speedclears, not who could down a new boss first.
Isn't this in the later years when the developers were transitioning to the GW2 mentality?

Disregarding that, someone had to construct that guide, and the player using it would have to at the very least understand its premises.

Edited by Featherman, 17 February 2014 - 04:11 AM.


#6 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:26 AM

Efficiency is the only thing that separates the HC from the general population. Being good at a game is generally a matter of efficiency in and of itself; whenever we do any form of comparison even if two paths are both successful the more efficient path will be chosen. "Skill", "Attention to Detail", and "Effort" are all noble but meaningless. It is this reason why every game in existence has a meta.

#7 Bryant Again

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 05:38 AM

View PostEl Duderino, on 17 February 2014 - 02:54 AM, said:

I read the quote below today and it struck a nerve that has been lingering for a while. Why is it that the only real difference in this game between casual and hardcore seems to be efficiency? I know I'm going to have a hard time trying to explain what I'm talking about here, but I feel like there is something from other games that is important for being "good" at the game other than efficiency, but I can't put my finger on it.

I don't disagree with the poster below, but I feel that there should be some limit to how casual you can play the game and still be successful. Efficiency shouldn't be super important - I agree - but it seems to be the only measure of success in the game. Is that because 95% of the game is relatively easy or is there something about the combat that makes this so?

I'd lean more to an overall 'easy' game coupled with a lack of depth. It's not to say you need both to have a great game. Super Meat Boy is incredibly basic, yet that does nothing to nudge off it's challenge, and it's a damned fun game. Morrowind is one of my favorite games and the combat is basic to the point of uninvolving, but the fun was in progressing your character, exploring the world, and finding all the nifty treasures within it.

If it's an action-orientated game with content both easy to learn and complete, I'm probably only going to enjoy it for it's presentation, i.e. GW2, Fable, Dragon's Dogma. They all have solid customization and - my favorite! - incredibly satisfying combat animations. Any involvement beyond that, though, and the game's feel a bit sour to me (although Dogma's expansion is loaded with challenges, so yay).

Which brings us back to the question of the OP. I feel that nearly every 'reward' in GW2's PvE puts far more emphasis on the time you're willing to put into it rather than any personal skill level.

Edited by Bryant Again, 17 February 2014 - 07:15 AM.


#8 Lunacy Polish

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:44 AM

Well... as for what's easy/hard... how to put this...

Okay I don't play GW2 for the PvE but the basic idea of what makes a game like that have legs crosses genres.

See there's two basic approaches to challenge and how to play a game "better".

Some people want to beat the Legend of Zelda as fast as possible, faster than anyone has ever done it.  In other words, they want the best possible execution.  This type of player picks the "best" profession, the "best" gear, and doesn't futz about with the orthodoxy.  They just get it done.

Some people want to beat the Legend of Zelda without ever getting the first sword, or whatever arbitrary restriction they set on themselves.  The focus here isn't on the execution, but rather the approach.  This player is more interested in building the different characters than running the dungeon in record time.

And they're not mutually exclusive, it's a spectrum.

The problem with MMOs in general is that the first approach carries over better.  People want phat lewt, they want to kill the most enemies possible, etc.  I also suspect most people's personalities are such that this is how they think.  The thing is, people who think like this work very well together because the basic impulse is the same.

The problem is that the multiplayer environment a lot of games offer doesn't really offer a space for the second approach.  I can't go into a dungeon on my magi geared staff elementalist who never uses the water attunement just to see if I can beat it that way, that will piss people off.  A lot.  That "self imposed challenge" aspect just can't work in a space where your election to challenge yourself hinders the progress of other people.

That's the main reason GW2/MMORPG style PVE doesn't rustle my jimmies. The only way I might ever enjoy it is finding other people who like to screw around like I do and just do silly things like all elementalist runs, and that would be hard.

The second approach is just harder to pull off because the essence of it is individual quirkiness.  Sandboxes like Minecraft are an example of an environment where the approach, the engineering, creativity etc. can all pay off for players who think like that, but they don't inadvertantly punish the first type of player.

Minecraft is also a really good example of how the two styles can actually complement each other.  On the last server I played on, one of the most satisfying things was seeing the more adventure focused players eating the steaks from my cow farm, etc.  And they brought me redstone and horses/saddles and diamonds and all that stuff.  Some of them even asked me to build them things, others traded me things so I would get the resources they wanted for their epic palaces together for them, etc.  How cool is that, to build houses that other players live in and have other people going out there getting you whatever you want?  Or, flipping the perspective, how cool is that, to go on an adventure and come back and trade the treasure for chests upon chests full of loot in your epic house?

Those two styles can certainly work together if the context is wide enough, the thing is you have to provide noncomparable achievements that benefit all involved.  Guild Wars 2 just has limited spaces for the execution focused player and the approach focused player to really coexist all that well, because the context is just so narrow, it's all about that loot chest at the end.  About the only place I see they tend to do well together might be WvW, mostly because a few odd roamers doesn't hurt the chances of the zerg succeeding.  Hell, even if you do follow the zerg, as long as you're not dying and supplying damage, you're a net gain, and the odds that you are displacing someone who would help more are abysmal.

#9 Trei

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:48 AM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 17 February 2014 - 04:26 AM, said:

... Being good at a game is generally a matter of efficiency in and of itself; whenever we do any form of comparison even if two paths are both successful the more efficient path will be chosen. "Skill", "Attention to Detail", and "Effort" are all noble but meaningless....
Efficiency is generally a matter of being skilled, I can agree with that (note the reversal of emphasis in the statement).
We generally do have to have a decent degree of efficiency to be considered skilled in something.

But the definition of Skill?
In the context of MMO content, or even video games in general, is it really only how fast and smooth one can complete something?

If I use the easiest character (or attributes etc), along the most reliable path of progress, and gets to the same ultimate reward a month faster than another who chose the hardest character, along what many consider the most tedious, uncertain and shunned path of progress, am I more skilled than he?

Say I just cleared a dungeon in record time wearing the best of the best, with the most widely acknowledged best build, grouped with regular members boasting the same, after numerous practice runs,
Another guy also cleared the exact same dungeon but without wearing the best of anything, a build anyone knows of, with a randomly built PUG he just met 5 minutes before the run?

Who is more skilled?
Why is time the only factor here?

That other guy may be a day slower than me, but I can't confidently say I have the leadership and/or game knowledge to successfully complete the same run with the randomness he had to deal with.

What is Skill to you?

That being said, I supposed I missed delivering a key part of the message in the original post quoted that prompted this thread.
Of course I would still choose an efficient way of playing at any point, the difference though is this - I try to be efficient in working with what I have, what I like, what I am given, not what is statistically the best.

Hope that made some sense in some way, not sure how to convey it any better for now.

#10 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:36 AM

View PostTrei, on 17 February 2014 - 06:48 AM, said:

Who is more skilled?
Why is time the only factor here?

Taco and the Wurm.


(Or to expand for those that will miss the point:
The game lacks ways through which players would be able to showcase their skill, so we adopted a universal showcase of skill: time. It's not perfect, but it exists outside of the game and can be applied to the game, making it viable as a means of showcasing skill.
And then, instead of increasing the complexity of the game to allow other measurements of skill, A.Net resorted to using "time" also. The game's most hardcore content is hardcore because of a SINGLE reason: it has a timer. A.Net is currently designing a game where "time" separates the good from the bad.)

#11 Kurosov

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:13 PM

As much as i like trying alternate tactics and builds i like to do it efficiently.

The main problem, that impacts efficiency when in a team is bad players. I don't mean those who may not be as skilled or knowledgeable, i mean those with zero skill and knowledge in the game. People joining high lvl fracs with no knowledge of AR, people who can't dodge or don't know what traits are.

Because of this i keep any experimentation within a the same group of people. We get the fun of trying a fresh approach without the headache of incompetency. The single most important part of "fun" in the game is finding a team of like minded players who are at a similar skill level.

Overall though there is only so much you can do. GW1 had so much potential for new builds that were both efficient and fun. You could have a team of glass cannons supported by a varying number of support/control people or if you were skilled enough run full hybrid builds on everyone without taking any dedicated healers and kill things just as fast as the glass cannon/support setup. you could play a dedicated front/mid/backline or any other formation while boring/slow tank/spank worked for those less skilled. Full control builds worked wonders as did team themes, multiples of single professions etc.

#12 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:23 PM

View PostTrei, on 17 February 2014 - 06:48 AM, said:

Efficiency is generally a matter of being skilled, I can agree with that (note the reversal of emphasis in the statement).
We generally do have to have a decent degree of efficiency to be considered skilled in something.

But the definition of Skill?
In the context of MMO content, or even video games in general, is it really only how fast and smooth one can complete something?

If I use the easiest character (or attributes etc), along the most reliable path of progress, and gets to the same ultimate reward a month faster than another who chose the hardest character, along what many consider the most tedious, uncertain and shunned path of progress, am I more skilled than he?

Say I just cleared a dungeon in record time wearing the best of the best, with the most widely acknowledged best build, grouped with regular members boasting the same, after numerous practice runs,
Another guy also cleared the exact same dungeon but without wearing the best of anything, a build anyone knows of, with a randomly built PUG he just met 5 minutes before the run?

Who is more skilled?
Why is time the only factor here?

That other guy may be a day slower than me, but I can't confidently say I have the leadership and/or game knowledge to successfully complete the same run with the randomness he had to deal with.

What is Skill to you?

That being said, I supposed I missed delivering a key part of the message in the original post quoted that prompted this thread.
Of course I would still choose an efficient way of playing at any point, the difference though is this - I try to be efficient in working with what I have, what I like, what I am given, not what is statistically the best.

Hope that made some sense in some way, not sure how to convey it any better for now.

" ... is it really only how fast and smooth one can complete something?"

Yes. Your requirements are two fold, it isn't just how fast you do something but how smoothly you do it as well; in your example you make the mistake of comparing unlike terms to get estranged results. For instance a person does a speed run of a game gathering the most powerful elements he can in a limited amount of time in order to achieve this. Regardless of his build or path it will be directly related to build efficiency and therefore capitalize on whatever the game's main mechanic is, whether it be damage, attrition, resources, or some other factor. If you compare two people simply completing something as an iron-man challenge, which is completely different, they may have the worst weapons in the game and attempt to power through the entire game with those horrible weapons. The latter contest is less about efficiency in one sense and more about energy efficiency in the form of dodge, distance, and/or whatever other mitigating factors are present.

You simply cannot compare the two contests.

Mind you there's nothing wrong with playing a game as you enjoy it. I highly recommend people let go of efficiency models and just find their own niche.

Quote

(Or to expand for those that will miss the point:
The game lacks ways through which players would be able to showcase their skill, so we adopted a universal showcase of skill: time. It's not perfect, but it exists outside of the game and can be applied to the game, making it viable as a means of showcasing skill.
And then, instead of increasing the complexity of the game to allow other measurements of skill, A.Net resorted to using "time" also. The game's most hardcore content is hardcore because of a SINGLE reason: it has a timer. A.Net is currently designing a game where "time" separates the good from the bad.)

I completely disagree. From "No-Dodge" runs to genuine "Play as you want" videos where no one is in metatastic nonsense 100% using cookie-cutter rotations there are many ways to showcase skill in not only this game but any game. Time is actually the worst measurement of skill in linear games, and I mean all linear games, and that means 100% of games based on statistics and that's just about all MMORPGs. The reason isn't that it is meaningless per se but that it just symbolizes either a basic practice or a basic calculable threshold.

Very few of the events are actually timed in the game with the intent to pressure the player; most timers are present to keep events from lapsing into themselves. The only event I am aware of people fail because of the time limit may be Jungle Wurm, all other events including The Shatterer that I've seen failed was just due to player ineptitude. Nothing wrong with it, people do learn, but to say that ANet uses time as a means of tactical measurement rather than as a preventative measure for code crashing up against itself is just unfair. If what you said were true Dungeons, Fractals, and other such would be timed. It obviously is not.

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 17 February 2014 - 12:32 PM.


#13 Ksielvin

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 01:21 PM

Optimizing for efficiency is fun because it requires understanding the subject comprehensively (and not just enough to get by). To me the fun is over when the learning is over, though, and the repetition really sets in. I have little motivation for shaving off minutes from clear times. Instead I'd rather focus on being able to do something at all.

I disagree with the thread's premise since efficiency in narrow PvE roles and situations doesn't occupy my gaming time. Making efficient character builds or gameplay tricks on the other hand is just the same as trying to be good at the game. If there's enough content variety that the character build needs to be efficient for then there is build variety as well.

View PostLunacy Polish, on 17 February 2014 - 06:44 AM, said:

The problem with MMOs in general is that the first approach carries over better.  People want phat lewt, they want to kill the most enemies possible, etc.  I also suspect most people's personalities are such that this is how they think.  The thing is, people who think like this work very well together because the basic impulse is the same.

The problem is that the multiplayer environment a lot of games offer doesn't really offer a space for the second approach.  I can't go into a dungeon on my magi geared staff elementalist who never uses the water attunement just to see if I can beat it that way, that will piss people off.  A lot.  That "self imposed challenge" aspect just can't work in a space where your election to challenge yourself hinders the progress of other people.
I agree that most people are looking to be as strong as possible rather than gimping themselves, and that there's a certain responsibility to not drag others down in group-size limited content. In any inclusive design (like the world content) your presence should be better than having 1 person less though. People still do "projects" like this, generally as a character that levels in a specific way or perhaps never wears armor. But also by intentionally picking unappreciated classes/builds. Being underleveled is fairly rare but being undergeared actually happens a lot in raid progression games - if new content is gated by having to extensively grind gear for it, the hardcore guilds getting server firsts are the ones that manage it with some of the worst gear.

More importantly, there's a whole new way of seeking this challenge in PvE multiplayer games: playing undermanned. Solo or duo completing group content, small grouping large scale content. PvE content has been designed to be beaten but you can change the context into something the designers didn't prepare for you. It's both similar to and different from selecting a higher difficulty game mode.

Edited by Ksielvin, 17 February 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#14 Nikephoros

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:05 PM

A couple things that spring to mind.

1.  Pandora's box.  Once you know the right thing to do, the right build, the right gear, the right tactics, it is very hard to NOT use them.  Every game has a discovery phase and a refinement phase.  Personally, I couldn't enjoy playing an intentionally bad build, and make no mistake it would be intentional, just because it would feel like I was being wasteful.  Once you open pandora's box and get to the refinement phase of a game's life it is almost impossible to return to the discovery phase.

2.  Casual dungeon speed runs (like the type I live stream every weekend) are pretty much just for farming, hanging out with guildies and having a laugh or two while getting a lot of gold.  Speed run records are entirely different animals and require significant theorycraft, practice and execution.  It is incredibly rewarding to break or set a record, because it is a great payoff  for the effort you put in to see your name on the gwscr.com record list.  Records are greatly rewarding since you have to theorycraft the perfect party comp, perfect encounter specific tactics, and then execute them.  It stressed both your creativity AND your execution.  Not to mention, the innovative tactics that record setting guilds come up with for their record runs eventually trickle down to the pug level after long enough.  It is rather gratifying to see a specific tactic that you innovated get used by some random group on a livestream.

3.  Lastly, the goal of a fairly significant portion of the community, both casual and hardcore is acquiring legendaries and frankly if you can shave 30 minutes per day off your daily dungeon crawl it will add up to getting your legendary significantly faster.  This is not a small consideration, especially for casual players who DONT have time to run dungeons 6 hours per day.

#15 Krazzar

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:23 PM

I make a build around what I like to do and then just do it and change when I want.  I don't care if it's meta or not, it's what I like to do and what I'm good at.  I've had plenty of groups try to get me to change to the build of the week only to be more effective with a balanced approach.  That's been going on since 2005. It was particularly bad in GW1 when you had tons of builds possible and only two or three per profession that were accepted. People should be allowed to play how they want regardless of the meta.  If someone only takes the most efficient route something may be wrong, they're probably viewing the game as a chore at that point.  Some people like to work to be the most effective and like theroycrafting, but most just want to grind more efficiently.

So yes, if you've done everything you want to do and now are just grinding being efficient is all that's left to reduce the time grinding.  It was the same story for GW1. It sucked when you wanted to do anything other than grind, like actually wanted to watch a cinematic in a mission or play the mission fully and now it sucks equally in GW2.

Edited by Krazzar, 17 February 2014 - 03:27 PM.


#16 Epixors

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:26 PM

View PostKrazzar, on 17 February 2014 - 03:23 PM, said:

I make a build around what I like to do and then just do it.  I don't care if it's meta or not, it's what I like to do and what I'm good at.  I've had plenty of groups try to get me to change to the build of the week only to be more effective with a balanced approach.  That's been going on since 2005. It was particularly bad in GW1 when you had tons of builds possible and only two or three per profession that were accepted. People should be allowed to play how they want regardless of the meta.  If someone only takes the most efficient route something may be wrong, they're probably viewing the game as a chore at that point.  Some people like to work to be the most effective and like theroycrafting, but most just want to grind more efficiently.

So yes, if you've done everything you want to do and now are just grinding being efficient is all that's left to reduce the time grinding.  It was the same story for GW1. It sucked when you wanted to do anything other than grind, like actually wanted to watch a cinematic in a mission or play the mission fully and now it sucks equally in GW2.

I always feel like taking a less efficient approach is like walking next to a perfectly fine bike on a cycling road during a group competition. I'm not trying my best, I'm being a hindrance just because I want to be a hindrance and as a result of that the group suffers. But I've learnt that a lot of people seem to disagree with me on this ._.

#17 Krazzar

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:30 PM

View PostEpixors, on 17 February 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

I always feel like taking a less efficient approach is like walking next to a perfectly fine bike on a cycling road during a group competition. I'm not trying my best, I'm being a hindrance just because I want to be a hindrance and as a result of that the group suffers. But I've learnt that a lot of people seem to disagree with me on this ._.

In my experience taking the full zerker or speed-clear build and only focusing on the drops is a hinderance to the team.  When I played with a coordinated group that had a balanced team structure things always went more smoothly and effectively, especially since no one rage-quits.  Working together cooperatively and not viewing that game time as a chore or job has also led to far more interesting conversations, online connections, and fond memories as opposed to the myriad of uneventful speed-clears.  I find it unfortunate people want to simplify the game down to static pre-determined roles anyone can fill so they don't actually have to cooperate and communicate and just "work" through things that should be fun. People take the fun out of the game and then blame the game. For some the experience and potential enjoyment isn't the goal at all, though, they're only in it for the in-game money.  At that point their motivations for "playing" should be reevaluated because they're hindering the entire game community.  That's just my experience since 2005.

Edited by Krazzar, 17 February 2014 - 03:40 PM.


#18 Thorfinnr

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

I understand the logic of efficiency, and Nike hits it on the head, for those of us who cannot do dungeons 6 hours per day, efficiency is important...at times. When you are working toward a specific goal, or a limited amount of time to play, efficiency is vital.

I also have an appreciation for what was said in Duderino's original quote. I enjoy helping out people I do not know. I don't care if it takes extra time, as long as I am enjoying what we are doing, and perhaps helping someone out. It also gives me an opportunity to replay some things that I may have done really fast previously and perhaps missed something(cool graphics, lore, or just amusing dialog).

As long as people aren't tools, and start smack-talking the others in the group due to how they are playing or what skills/weapons/traits/utilities they are using. It is VITALLY important to set expectations before you start into, for example, a Dungeon. Constructive advice is one thing, but telling someone, "Can you please drop and go play Bejeweled, so we can get my guildie in here that actually knows how to play." is just a bit out of line. We're all here to have fun. I always try to ask any PUG I join what our goal is, and how long everyone has been playing, just so I know what to expect.

If people would actually communicate like that, before just jumping in, a lot of bad things could be avoided, and the opportunity for the players who are really good at this game to help new players learn and develop good skills(when they have the time) would be great. I have even voluntarily left PUGs once I asked and was answered and found I was not geared out to do what the rest of the group was trying to organize. Those who want to play efficiently wouldn't get so frustrated by the players who are not at that same level if they made their goals clear. Party-Chat is there for a reason, and some of us will use it willingly to try to fit in as best we can with a PUG. I know there are many players like me, but we most definitely are not a majority, unfortunately.

But that's just one guys opinion...YMMV. :)

#19 El Duderino

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:45 PM

View PostKrazzar, on 17 February 2014 - 03:23 PM, said:

I make a build around what I like to do and then just do it and change when I want.  I don't care if it's meta or not, it's what I like to do and what I'm good at.  I've had plenty of groups try to get me to change to the build of the week only to be more effective with a balanced approach.  That's been going on since 2005. It was particularly bad in GW1 when you had tons of builds possible and only two or three per profession that were accepted. People should be allowed to play how they want regardless of the meta.  If someone only takes the most efficient route something may be wrong, they're probably viewing the game as a chore at that point.  Some people like to work to be the most effective and like theroycrafting, but most just want to grind more efficiently.

So yes, if you've done everything you want to do and now are just grinding being efficient is all that's left to reduce the time grinding.  It was the same story for GW1. It sucked when you wanted to do anything other than grind, like actually wanted to watch a cinematic in a mission or play the mission fully and now it sucks equally in GW2.

I feel this way too except that I never felt that way in GW1. Maybe it's because I quit shortly after Nightfall, but I literally never had any problems getting in a group with any skillbar or any class.

I suppose maybe it is just something inherent in MMO's. They have become games that are inherently grindy for new items and because of that, the most efficient way to do something (even if it is just tagged as most efficient) is going to take over and kill any creativity and free-will of those that just don't care.

I don't normally pin things on players, but I think hardcore MMO players killed the MMO genre inasmuch as developers also pandered to them with a grind-like mentality on how to develop content and keep people playing.

#20 Lunacy Polish

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 06:57 PM

View PostKsielvin, on 17 February 2014 - 01:21 PM, said:

I agree that most people are looking to be as strong as possible rather than gimping themselves, and that there's a certain responsibility to not drag others down in group-size limited content. In any inclusive design (like the world content) your presence should be better than having 1 person less though.

Oh I concur all the way around, it's just that theme park MMOs like Guild Wars 2 typically don't offer that inclusive design where it counts.

I mean what do you really have, overworld PvE and World Versus World?

Overworld PvE is too trivial to make too many self imposed challenges out of it though.  Sure there's some but overall, what's already too easy isn't worth messing with.

World Vs. World I elaborated on before, but it is the one context I can think of where things aren't completely trivial (I know the WvW meta isn't particularly exciting at the moment, but even blobs of players provide some tactical challenge in defeating the blob/hammer train) and generally the more the merrier, as long as you don't die too often.  That's probably why it's where I mostly play now.

I do like the idea of your "undermanned" approach though, a friend of mine logs on sometimes and if we're bored we go screw around trying to duo things that aren't supposed to be duoed.  I'd never thought of it that way but that is another "self imposed challenge" way to play.

#21 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:05 PM

View PostEpixors, on 17 February 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

I always feel like taking a less efficient approach is like walking next to a perfectly fine bike on a cycling road during a group competition. I'm not trying my best, I'm being a hindrance just because I want to be a hindrance and as a result of that the group suffers. But I've learnt that a lot of people seem to disagree with me on this ._.
The reason people disagree with you is because you play the game as a form of calculation and they play the game as a form of expression. Neither is wrong. The most efficient means to do something isn't always the most fun way to do it though.

#22 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:12 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 17 February 2014 - 12:23 PM, said:

I completely disagree.

As I said, "time" is being used by players for the same reason as to why rank or UW stones were used in GW1: it's not because it would be perfect, but because it's the best there is. If not time, what should people use as the basis of comparing themselves to other players then: whose outfit is more pink? Or should players simply not compare themselves to others?

As for A.Net pushing timers: the only difference between succeeding non-Wurm/Taco world bosses is in the numbers of player: "Shatterer on the rocks" does not fail if you play poorly, it fails if you don't have enough players present, which means you are not doing enough DPS. Damage per second.
As for other content not having timers: as I said, hardcore content.

#23 Epixors

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 07:25 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 17 February 2014 - 07:05 PM, said:

The reason people disagree with you is because you play the game as a form of calculation and they play the game as a form of expression. Neither is wrong. The most efficient means to do something isn't always the most fun way to do it though.

I don't play it as a form of calculation. I do like theorycrafting but it's not the way I play the game, it's just a way to improve my performance in the game.

Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit more, the reason I find the "fun" argument such a weird one is that I don't get why it'd be fun to wear Cleric's gear over Zerker's gear when that gets the job done faster (I hate taking a terribly long time to do something, not fun in my opinion) and doesn't change playstyle at all.

#24 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:16 PM

View PostEpixors, on 17 February 2014 - 07:25 PM, said:

I don't play it as a form of calculation. I do like theorycrafting but it's not the way I play the game, it's just a way to improve my performance in the game.

Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit more, the reason I find the "fun" argument such a weird one is that I don't get why it'd be fun to wear Cleric's gear over Zerker's gear when that gets the job done faster (I hate taking a terribly long time to do something, not fun in my opinion) and doesn't change playstyle at all.
Have you considered that maybe it does change other people's playstyle, just not yours? A thought.

#25 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:27 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 17 February 2014 - 07:12 PM, said:

As I said, "time" is being used by players for the same reason as to why rank or UW stones were used in GW1: it's not because it would be perfect, but because it's the best there is. If not time, what should people use as the basis of comparing themselves to other players then: whose outfit is more pink? Or should players simply not compare themselves to others?

As for A.Net pushing timers: the only difference between succeeding non-Wurm/Taco world bosses is in the numbers of player: "Shatterer on the rocks" does not fail if you play poorly, it fails if you don't have enough players present, which means you are not doing enough DPS. Damage per second.
As for other content not having timers: as I said, hardcore content.
Instead of time you could use basic data. The ability to kill some enemies like Lupi in seconds is not related to player skill if you have reflect. Nothing wrong with it, no shame in that game, it's just a question of who can do what. Rankings by damage dealt, perhaps damage mitigated, status uptime, status damage over liftime, and all sort of collective data may show more about a player's skills and value than the ability to be present when something is defeated. I say this not as a jeer but in the above scenario if Lupi is killed by 4 guardians and a Necro in whites does that make the Necro "good"? Time doesn't necessarily talk about anyone's skill and definitely doesn't necessarily talk about individual competency.

An arcade shooting gallery comes to mind where at the end you are rewarded for how well your team actually synergized instead of just "being there". How long something takes is less a reflection of skill and more a reflection of how much damage you do, period; this continuously plays out in many genres because if you can 1-hit kill something you may very well end the battle faster than someone with a weaker weapon but may not be A ) more efficient or B ) as accurate. If you only have a 15% hit rate then yeah, you will likely win that race, but man do you suck.

Shatterer is a combination of both. Actually all WBs are. I fought the Golem with 3 other people this morning actually and it died so ridiculously fast because of scaling. Not all events scale, I understand that, and yes there is a certain requirement for a few WBs but it isn't a zerg by a long-shot; beat the Jungle Wurm with 8 people today in the morning, trounced Shaman with 7, etc.

When I do see Shatterer fail there is generally not 10 or less there; it's a good size group of 30 or more and it's just poor gameplay. Maybe your experiences differ.

#26 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:36 PM

And where do you gain information about this "basic data"?

#27 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:44 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 17 February 2014 - 09:36 PM, said:

And where do you gain information about this "basic data"?
The game keeps a lot of this data. There's a battle log. I don't even know if it actually clears until you log out. There's no reason that a simple addition calculation can't be attached to accounts. It's no different than a game with a "journal" expressing all of your statistics.

#28 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 09:54 PM

That's the point: to move away from "time", you'd need to have A.Net implement additional tools that allow us to move away from time. And not only did they not do that, they implemented timers.
As I said, time isn't used because it's perfect: it's used because it's one of the few tools that has a resemblance of working in the game we have.

Edited by Baron von Scrufflebutt, 17 February 2014 - 09:54 PM.


#29 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:11 PM

View PostBaron von Scrufflebutt, on 17 February 2014 - 09:54 PM, said:

That's the point: to move away from "time", you'd need to have A.Net implement additional tools that allow us to move away from time. And not only did they not do that, they implemented timers.
As I said, time isn't used because it's perfect: it's used because it's one of the few tools that has a resemblance of working in the game we have.

Timers were used to prevent events tripping over themselves but there's a lifetime timer attributed to all accounts. All that data is kept, it's just not visible to you; a lot of it can be seen through commands such as /[whateveryourelookingfor] like your total time played ( or rather, logged in ). Anet didn't give those statistics just because not really for any solid reason. It's literally nothing to do with "measurements" since Anet themselves obviously don't keep records of the world's quickest dungeon runs, etc.

It's just so events don't trip over themselves and you don't spawn two Jormag.

Here, you can see how many times you've died, even.

It really is kept.

Edited by gw2guruaccount, 17 February 2014 - 10:13 PM.


#30 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:13 PM

We never spawned two Maws before the timer was added. Never ever.

EDIT:
And the fact that the "basic data" isn't visible to the player is THE WHOLE POINT WHY WE AREN'T USING IT.

Edited by Baron von Scrufflebutt, 17 February 2014 - 10:16 PM.





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