Why Regulating Competition is Bad

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    Saturday-Saint
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    Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Saturday-Saint on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:27 am

    In Playing to Win, David Sirlin outlines what he considers to be the three qualifications for a ban in competitive games.  A ban must be enforceable, meaning you can tell when somebody is using the banned tactic.  A ban must be discrete, meaning it is precisely defined.  And a ban must be warranted, meaning it would damage the game if it is not banned.  These are explained in greater detail in the link if you care to get a more in-depth look at them.

    Sirlin asserts that a ban is only warranted in the most extreme cases.  He gives the example of Akuma from Street Fighter II, a character who is (no doubt in part due to this article) notoriously overpowered, as being something that is worthy of being banned.

    I bring all this up, because I agree with Sirlin's points.  However, he neglects to explain why regulation ought to be left only to the most extreme cases.  In my mind, there are two reasons that only things extremely degrading to a game warrant regulation.  They are:

    1.  Maintaining a competitive standard is easier with fewer rules.
    2.  Bans discourage exploration of the game's mechanics.

    Competitive standards are important.  They give us an objective scale upon which we measure our success in-game, and a standard to practice by.

    For example, let's say that I like playing as a mage, so I usually PvP with one.  Then I go and play in a tournament where sorceries are banned.  All the effort I put into learning how to play as a mage is worthless in this tournament.  Thus, the tournament is not objective with regard to player skill.  Anybody who has invested effort into learning a mage is disadvantaged compared to those who have not.

    If it was very standard to have sorceries banned, if that was something that 100% of tournaments ran, then I am to blame for wasting my time playing a mage.  But when only a fraction of tournaments and FC's ban sorcery, you cannot rightfully blame a player for using them. They become a victim of a weak competitive standard.  The objective measure of player skill is muddied because the playerbase cannot come to agreement over what should be banned.

    This is a real problem in the Dark Souls community.  In any given FC I participate in, oftentimes only a fraction of my builds are usable due to unforeseeable, shifting rules.  Maybe one FC bans BS fishing and I can no longer use my Greatbow build.  Some other FC bans turtling and now it's pointless for me to use my Estoc.  Yet another FC bans weapon buffs, now any hybrid build I may be running is worthless.  It is ridiculous that this should be an issue.

    The more rules the community comes up with, the more diverse rulesets will be among various FC's and tournaments.  Having a strict standard for what warrants regulation means less rules, and more consistent enforcement among the community.

    However, while not trivial, the importance of a competitive standard pales in comparison to how frequent bans and heavy regulation affects the mindset of the playerbase.  Frequent regulation leads to complacency.  Instead of exploring the games strategy and learning how to overcome challenges, people advocate a ban.

    Worse yet, many players defend regulation by claiming that they encourage exploration of the game.  They claim that by banning an effective, commonly used tactic, they are forcing players to learn how to use less-common tactics.  This sounds logical, but it is short-sighted.  By banning something, you are voiding the need to explore the game to find counters to it, and thus severing off a part of the game forever.

    I can think of no better example to demonstrate this with than chainstabs.  Early in the game's life, people used chainstabs a lot and found them incredibly difficult to deal with.  So chainstabs became taboo.  And how many people know how to backstep on wake-up?  Instant-tracking into a parry or an attack?  How many people even know about the two-phase wake-up after a backstab?  All of these can be used to beat chainstabbing, all of them can work consistently, and all of them are obscure knowledge because nobody needs to know how to beat a tactic that nobody uses.

    I find it ridiculous that chainstabs (and many other things) are taboo.  There is a wealth of strategy and gameplay being buried under the knee-jerk reaction and decision to ban something that never needed to be banned.  When I'm playing against somebody who knows how to beat chainstabs, I almost never use them.  Not because I think it would be rude or cheap, but because they suck.

    Anyways, the point is, there are actual real consequences to rampant regulation.  These consequences are, in my opinion, not worth incurring except under extreme cases.  It is the developer's job to balance the game.  Failing that, it is not the players' jobs to balance the game, to encourage diversity, or to fine-tune the viability of different options.  It is merely our job to prevent the game from falling utterly apart. It is the only task of balance we can reliably perform as a community if we want to have any consistency among ourselves.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by AnCapaillMor on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:50 am

    Totally agree, yeah that crap that bugs the hell out of me and there's tactics\items i personally wouldn't use or do but i won't deny it to other people or don't want others denying me.
     
    It's been going on years though, man i remember my mate bannign certain types of goals in FIFA back in the day, BF, COD has servers with rules set up that autokill when a certain weapon or perk was used. Used have great fun getting around the no explosives rule on BF servers.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by wretchedsausage on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:02 am

    @Saint, I totally agree mate. The issue is simply that a worryingly large majority of players would rather disallow something than bother to put in the time to learn how to defend against it or counter it.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Ghadis_God on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:31 am

    I don't see Dark Souls as a competitive game, Saturday, and I have to disagree with you somewhat as a result. It's fairly clear that DkS was designed from the start to not be perfectly balanced for competitive play, and the various patches have done well to level the playing field but are still generally unconcerned with bringing the game up to a level of balance expected of a "competitive" PvP game such as LoL or Street Fighter. 

    Moonpit dueling and Fight Clubs, as seriously as one might take them, are still casual experiences at the most, set up and maintained by interested users. I don't go into them looking for a seriously competitive experience the same way I would join a fighting game tourney. 

    In the end, the game's about having fun. If a FC wants to ban chainstabbing because they agree it results in more fun without it, they are at perfect liberty to do so, or instigate any rule they like, because they are not an official body, they're a group of likeminded players who want to create their own experience. In that case, though having chainstabbing would be more competitive and might contribute to their skill learning its various counters, they can agree that they would prefer to omit them from their experience because they're not training for MLG DkS- such a thing does not exist. 

    In short, being anal about regulating the game is the wrong mindset but so is being too anal about not regulating the game. Forcing people into no restrictions is just as bad as enacting arbitrary restrictions, because the community and players will do what they want and what they feel is in the interest of fun, including regulating itself.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Sentiel on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:40 am

    If there are FCs that ban something you wish to use, just don't go there. You don't have to be at every FC.
    It doesn't really matter if it's shortsighted from the people that create these self made rules. If they enjoy playing like that, I say let them. You can always make a FC of your own.

    In DkS FC, especially in here, lot of the times I see the same rule. "No Hornet". We all know that fighting a Large Club + Hornet bs fisher is boring and people want to have fun in FC, not be subjected to fight the same boring fights they do with randoms. Or, if the FC is held on low SL, the "No Hornet" rule can be justified by saying that on low SL, builds don't have enough HP to survive Hornet bs and thus making the fights too short. While both of these rules make people competeting in the FC to lower their guards against bs fishing and limits players that wish to use this, it also opens the FC to less skilled players. They can use it as a way to join the community, or the world of PvP in general. That is hard to do with randoms, because most of them just focus on killing you as fast and effectively as possible and already have lot of experience with it, so a new player can be frustrated by this to the point of leaving the game and that is real shame, because you never know how good that player could've been, or what he could've done for the community.

    So, while I agree with you and the article, you forget that there are not only the top tier players, but there are also newcommers and less skilled players that want to enjoy the game as well, or learn it in their own pace and their own way. If they make a FC, or somebody makes it for them, I say let them be and move on. As long as nobody tries to enforce these, or other self made rules upon others, or on the the general game mode, or part of the game, it's all alright.

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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Ghadis_God on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:54 am

    wretchedsausage wrote:@Saint, I totally agree mate. The issue is simply that a worryingly large majority of players would rather disallow something than bother to put in the time to learn how to defend against it or counter it.
     And yet, I can count the number of truly great players who fought me without holding back on tactics like chainstabbing, on one hand. Your logic cuts both ways. People support "no restrictions" because it allows them to feel justified in using simple and easy to win with tactics that they use to cover up their lack of skill, when if their crutch tactic was outlawed they have nary a leg to stand on. It's not that I or even others who don't want to deal with such tactics can't counter chainstabs. I know how to counter every tactic that's able to be countered. But countering a chainstab is a matter of rock-paper-scissors, and I'd rather not have rock paper scissors in my Dark Souls. So I play with people who feel the same way about the game, because I play for the sake of fun and not competition.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by billy_bayonet on Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:35 am

    an FC should be fun, I avoid all forms of Competition because it brings out the worst in us and it becomes so important to win that you forget your supposed to be having fun with your Friends, i duel with only a select group of People because i enjoy it, and having built up a friendship with them i can practice against any tactic i like.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Saturday-Saint on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:36 am

    Sentiel wrote:If there are FCs that ban something you wish to use, just don't go there.
    This was my policy for a while. Then I decided I wanted to participate in FC's, and had to settle for stuff with rules I thought were dumb.

    Also I don't mind if some people want to play a heavily regulated game. What bothers me is that among the dueling population they are an overwhelming majority, like 90%+.

    Ghadis_God wrote:People support "no restrictions" because it allows them to feel justified in using simple and easy to win with tactics that they use to cover up their lack of skill
    I just outlined two good reasons to play without restrictions, and neither of them were, "I suck and need to use good stuff to make up for it." That is a nonsensical stance anyways. If such powerful moves are allowed, then presumably my opponent will use them, too, and we'll be on an even playing field.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Laveidem on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:50 am

    No restrictions =  anything that isn't a Fight Club.
    Seems fine to me. silly

     Anyway, any exercise to bring order to the usual chaotic nature of Dark souls PvP is pretty much futile.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Halicarnassis on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:27 am

    When I first read this title I thought you were gonna have a rant about FOREX and the price of DkS2 being released; some sort of Economics lecture. Lol!

    Although I take on board what you are saying, Saint (and agree), I think people stick in bans on FC's to ensure variety and excitement, rather than seeing the same tactics over again. I'm not the best PVPer and have never spent time practising wake-up BS and chainstabs or escaping from them. I play the game to have fun and a good time. As an avid Faith build user my only form of defense against these things are WOG, Force or other similar spells which too are banned in most places.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Acarnatia on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:32 am

    I agree with you for most of this game, SS. There certainly are several combos/tactics that are so much stronger than most others that they are unfair and unbalanced, though. My list is of things I think are cheap or unfair is as follows:
    chainstabbing-this can potentially be a gamebreaker if the defender routinely loses the 'rock-paper-scissors'
    TWoP-combined with nearly any other spell or weapon that inflicts bleed, this spell is absurd. I've found that its fishing can be nullified with a wall to my back-ony with a wall, though.
    Dark Bead+Bellowing+CoD-All three of these together do too much damage. Dark Bead on its own is balanced.
    Gold Tracer-while not flat-out game-breaking, this weapon is definitely not balanced, especially not with the bleed.
    Family Masks-May those who designed and implemented these into this game have their souls snatched by the demons, their humanity drained by the darkwraiths, and be set aflame like Gwyn for a thousand years.
    High Poise+Ultra Greatsword-this is ridiculous.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by jaythibodeau on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:38 am

    While for the most part, I can almost completely agree with what Saint said in his first post. But, that's only when considering competitively balanced games. Which, is not what Dark Souls is.

    Saturday-Saint wrote:
    I just outlined two good reasons to play without restrictions, and neither of them were, "I suck and need to use good stuff to make up for it."  That is a nonsensical stance anyways.  If such powerful moves are allowed, then presumably my opponent will use them, too, and we'll be on an even playing field.
    That's odd, because you already said, "By banning something, you are voiding the need to explore the game to find counters to it, and thus severing off a part of the game forever." So which is it, are people going to be using the same thing to be on an 'even playing field' (which provides no progress, we'll only see the same tactics over and over), or are they going to find counters by exploring other alternatives?

    By not banning something, what possible reason would you have to find other options? After all, it is a 'powerful move'. Which brings me to question this, if something is 'powerful', I'm assuming that means that said tactic/whatever is effective? Which is imbalance, right? It's easy to say to others that they should just go find counters. After all, what is it that makes something effective? Is it that it has a lack of counters (I am NOT saying that it has absolutely no counters)?

    Heck, if you even have to say something such as 'even playing field', doesn't that imply that all things are not equal competitively? And why it shouldn't be considered as such?


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by goober0331 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:59 am

    Its not necessarily regulating that is bad, but over-regulation.

    It also boils down to peoples opinion. Just reading the comments here, and it seems like everyone has a different opinion about what is overpowered and should be banned.

    I personally want to play the game as it is. This is why I mostly do random invasions. I am fully able to experience the game as it currently sits, with all the things that many people would become upset about, without all these needless "regulations" that I view as well, needless, not necessary.

    If someone is spamming magic, well my rolling better be up to snuff. If someone uses a TWoP right as I spawn well, its going to so much sweeter when I kill them. If someone tries to escape and heal, well a backstab is in the near future.

    If someone wants to play in FC's and try to regulate PVP, then let them. But at the same time dont demonize me because I dont want to participate in the charade.

    And if I die, so be it. Thats the point of this game.
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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:54 pm

    I agree with the majority of your points Saturday and they're my personal take for playing "in the wild."  I don't argue against anyone's play style apart from hacking.  If you beat me because you had two buddies and were using cliche builds.....so what?  

    But regarding fight clubs and tournaments like we see a lot of here there's one aspect that I think those points miss:

    They're voluntary.  By participating you are requesting inclusion in a niche that has defined an experience that they feel will enhance their small pocket of players.  If you want PvP without these constraints, the unorganized game experience is more than happy to oblige the concepts outlined in your post by not enforcing rules.  You might see hate mail but someone's displeasure after the fact is hardly a method of enforcing a constructed rule system.  Ignore.  Delete.  

    Similar to this, I can use my Gremlin covenant as an example.  We have delineated the experience in a way that, while we feel is creative, it does add artificial rules to the experience.  While members may be asked to play in a specific manner, it is illogical for me to expect the majority of players to like hammers and Karmic Justice and prism stones and dung pies.  Let alone make entire builds to put these to "good" use.  

    To sum up, since these groups are not (or at least should not) enforce rules on others, they're not actually anything more than what you're arguing for.  A central point of your argument is that limiting things will inhibit creative play and exploration of mechanics. These pockets of fight clubs and restricted tournaments actually enhance this knowledge by structuring fights in a way in which they must become more familiar with certain aspects to function within that environment.  Also, players coming together and participating in voluntary events with agree upon rules is within the parameters of the game mechanics and does not severely damage the game as you mentioned, thereby becoming inclusive of what you're arguing for.  

    Again using the Gremlins as an example, it is our artificial criteria that promotes the exploration of little used mechanics.  We have advocated for the use of hammers, a seldom used weapon; karmic justice, an unpopular miracle; minimum armor on towel day; cosplay events etc.  

    Structure does not inherently limit exploration.  Pockets of structure can enhance it.  The idea that structure would limit is only applicable is the structure is universal.  As fight clubs and tournaments are only a small amount of this game's population, they do little if anything to limit the exploration process.  

    Also, great write up and thoughtful topic.


    Last edited by skarekrow13 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by RANT on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:56 pm

    Why regulating competition is not bad: because everyone is different and some people have fun with certain rules.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:08 pm

    We need more no-rules FC, IE you're golden if you don't cheat (defined as making impossible characters, freezing HP, and lag switching, that type of thing that is impossible without tampering with the console or network).  Obviously ban ganks too just so you can have some 1v1.

    After that, anything goes.  A lot of the "overpowered" stuff here is ridiculous:

    - Chain Stabs:  Addressed by OP.  There is more than one way to deal with them.
    - TWoP:  Aside from simply dodging it outright, vow of silence prevents it being used nearby and you can BS people who are close.  Aside from 2-3 man gank-squads catching on on spawn this is non-issue.
    - Dark Bead:  Take your pick: 1) Greatshield 2) MB 3) GMB 4) Vow of silence 5) Roll BS 6) If they're wearing CoD, they themselves take extra spell damage.  With its slow windup and myriad ways to put bead spammers down, it needs to be powerful.
    - Gold Tracer: Parries, poise-stabs, long range pokes, stunlock type trades, magic.
    - Family Masks: Really?  You need to be high lvl just for these to be that useful, and they're still not optimal on some builds.
    - High Poise UGS: Pokes, magic, bs punishing.  Most non-magic spam builds are on relatively even footing but these tend to be fast fights because either side can be punished badly.
    - Fishing: Here's a question...outside of extreme lag, can anybody BS you if you do nothing but seek to avoid BS?  I hear people claim this is "boring", but that they can counter it.  That is a bogus defense for banning fishing.  What would really be "boring", were this true, is that players who can't use their weapon's full moveset struggle to beat solid players that can BS *and* use their full move set.  Beating up on scrubs won't suddenly get fun because they can't fish...unless of course one actually can't deal with it happy.

    The problem with most FC rules is that they have no objective basis or strict ban criteria to meet.  They then become a fight based on someone's preference, usually one he can't even justify from a logical position other than "I like these rules".

    I'm not the best dueler on this forum, in fact I suspect I'm far from it.  That said, so many of these rules are utterly ridiculous that one does have to suspect things are being banned in a way that favors other certain builds.

    I'd love to see a dark bead spammer ban miracles and greatshields lol ^_^.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by crbngville2 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:37 pm

    The less rules, the better. When you get rid of the rules, then nobody can complain about their losses. Reading this makes me miss Friday Night Fights. That said, I really needed a DkS break. Week in and week out, the best fighters I have faced in this game all prefer to play in a ruleless environment. My attitude is, Hit me with your best shot. I expect and desire nothing less than to face your best attempt to win. Anyone truly trying to become the best DkS fighter they can will eventually come around to this way of thinking.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Saturday-Saint on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:04 am

    jaythibodeau wrote:While for the most part, I can almost completely agree with what Saint said in his first post. But, that's only when considering competitively balanced games. Which, is not what Dark Souls is.
    This is a bunk argument.  Plenty of games that are not competitively balanced still benefit from minimal regulation.  Easiest example is Street Fighter II probably.  The game had terrible balance from all that I've heard of it, but only the ridiculously broken Akuma was ever banned.  And it stands as one of the foremost examples of competitive gaming.

    jaythibodeau wrote:So which is it, are people going to be using the same thing to be on an 'even playing field' (which provides no progress, we'll only see the same tactics over and over), or are they going to find counters by exploring other alternatives?
    False dichotomy.  You can use what you know is effective while experimenting and developing new strategies.

    jaythibodeau wrote:By not banning something, what possible reason would you have to find other options? After all, it is a 'powerful move'. Which brings me to question this, if something is 'powerful', I'm assuming that means that said tactic/whatever is effective? Which is imbalance, right? It's easy to say to others that they should just go find counters. After all, what is it that makes something effective? Is it that it has a lack of counters (I am NOT saying that it has absolutely no counters)?
    Laconically I would say that something is effective which requires relatively little effort to win with.  The less effort I have to put into learning something, the more economic I am with the finite amount of practice time that I have.

    And yes, having some options be better than others is imbalance.  No game is perfectly balanced, there will always be some things that are better than other things.  We don't need to regulate the game into a state of perfect balance.  Lucky for us, because it'd be an impossible task.

    goober0331 wrote:Its not necessarily regulating that is bad, but over-regulation.

    Right.  I probably didn't make it clear in my first post, I should clarify.  I'm making two separate-but-related arguments here.

    Argument 1:  Regulating competition always comes with a cost, thus regulation should only be enacted when the benefit is worth that cost.  I consider this to be an objective argument.
    Argument 2:  The cost of regulation is very high, thus only in the most extreme cases should it be enacted.  This is a subjective argument.  Compared to most other players, I consider the cost of regulation to be extremely high.

    Even if people disagree with my second argument, I think the first one is a valuable thing for PvP'ers of any kind to hear.  Even people who just enjoy PvP as a way to relax after work/school are, on some level, competing with other players.  So understanding that regulation comes at a cost, and knowing what that cost is, is IMO a really good thing to know.

    So I agree with what you said.  Regulation is not necessarily bad (but it DOES necessarily come with a cost), over-regulation is the real problem.  Over-regulation happens when the cost outweighs the benefits.  At what point the costs being to outweigh the benefits is subjective.  IMO it happens very quickly, though.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by reim0027 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:09 am

    I have to agree with Sat here. Things should not be banned because they are powerful. Things should be banned because they are powerful and there is no effective counter. Banning things, as Sat said, stifles competition because there is no impetus to understand and counter the "powerful things".

    Almost Everything has a counter. TWoP? Easy to see, easy to avoid - run. Now, TWoP and a small confined arena deserves to be banned (because there is no counter). BS fish? Counter BS. Chain BS? Wake up parry. No build can have all of the counters available to it, such is the life of Min/Maxing. But, it may force you to thin outside the box if someone's build's strength is your build's weakness.

    Along with that is the seemingly endless supply of very specific "rules of engagement". It was so much simpler in DeS. Bow, buff, spice, don't heal. Now, there are many more complex rules. And, they are not ubiquitous (not by a long shot). I used to like lots of rules. But, the ephemeral "rules of engagement" was very frustrating. The less rules, the more creativity, the more fun, and the less complaining (ironically).

    But, YMMV


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:20 am

    Argument 1:  Regulating competition always comes with a cost, thus regulation should only be enacted when the benefit is worth that cost.  I consider this to be an objective argument.

    You consider it to be objective?  More like it *IS* objective lol.  The only subjective thing is where the costs are too high/benefits too low as you say.

    And yes, IMO the community has suffered for its expectations of how other people "should" play the game, when clearly the game was designed to allow "cheap" tactics (in fact the game itself has Lautrec GANK you, essentially providing a model to players on how to execute one of the more commonly frowned-upon tactics.  The game literally TEACHES ganking lol).

    Is ganking bad fundamentally?  No, in fact it's clearly a part of the game the developers intended.  People consider it bad when they expect a 1v1 fight.  I get that dying to ganks via red soap is frustrating though.  IMO that was a bad design choice (they could have made it like gravelording), but you still subject yourself to the whims of the summoner when you use it.

    This far and I haven't even touched actual 1v1 tactics, but it shouldn't be necessary to do so.  I think the community's expectations being different from the game they're playing have in a lot of cases hurt people's enjoyment of the game, and a lot of these events with massively different rules that shut out builds and lower participation are an example.

    Everything from r1 spam to magic to stunlocking to backstabbing to buffs to parry fishing has all been frowned upon, leaving very little room for valid tactics in some people's eyes.  It makes no sense.

    Now, TWoP and a small confined arena deserves to be banned (because there is no counter).

    That's not true actually.  Vow of Silence would counter it hard, and anything that could block or delay follow-up attack would work as well.  One of the benefits of a small, confined are are the walls that can prevent backstabs, basically forcing your opponent to go into "big spell" or "r1 spam" as attacks lest they "waste" their TWoP.

    INT could trade spells (not to mention *really* pound on someone as they're casting TWoP, possibly killing them or making them think much more about healing than attacking...and healing in a confined room with a CSS inbound is no gimme).  Faith could easily use anti-magic of some variety (any variety really, with a faster cast time to boot).  Dex/Pyro has a harder time, while STR builds can probably just block it.  Still, even dex/pyro can smack mr. TWoP with a great fireball as they cast it and then throw another as follow up.  If you're down over 600 HP as a TWoPer, are you really going to push offensive with another one being charged?  You wanna cast those pursuers as someones lighting up his glove again?  Get a little closer and go for the bead, knowing that eating a 2nd fireball + GC = stun --> death?

    Only pure melee would truly struggle, and only then if they can't shoot their opponent out of TWoP or just backstab before it completes and/or go for a stunlock (If TWoP doesn't have high poise their mobility advantage might become moot even w/o backstabs if they get hit while the casting is finishing).

    No build can have all of the counters available to it, such is the life of Min/Maxing.

    Well of course high level builds can have all counters :p.  Even at low levels vit/end gouge with magic barrier would be pretty close though, and most builds have SOMETHING to answer what other builds can do.

    Less rules is definitely more ideal.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by jaythibodeau on Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:01 am

    Saturday-Saint wrote:
    This is a bunk argument.  Plenty of games that are not competitively balanced still benefit from minimal regulation.  Easiest example is Street Fighter II probably.  The game had terrible balance from all that I've heard of it, but only the ridiculously broken Akuma was ever banned.  And it stands as one of the foremost examples of competitive gaming.

    What are arguing against with this? I only said that I agree almost completely with that only when considering competitively balanced games. Which, obviously, Dark Souls was not designed around that. I didn't state my stance about what I even agree with or not when considering non-competitively balanced games.

    Saturday-Saint wrote:
    False dichotomy.  You can use what you know is effective while experimenting and developing new strategies.

    Example? If you're using what you know is effective, it's still not solving the problem right? Although, I suppose the said weapon/tactic could be used in different ways.

    Saturday-Saint wrote:
    Laconically I would say that something is effective which requires relatively little effort to win with.  The less effort I have to put into learning something, the more economic I am with the finite amount of practice time that I have.

    And yes, having some options be better than others is imbalance.  No game is perfectly balanced, there will always be some things that are better than other things.  We don't need to regulate the game into a state of perfect balance.  Lucky for us, because it'd be an impossible task.

    Alright, makes sense.

    Yep. We're never going to have perfect balance. It sure would be nice though to have a game without effective tactics. Or at the very least, a game with tactics that are close enough to not cause extremely common complaints.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by kazumoshi on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:12 am

    "Worse yet, many players defend regulation by claiming that they encourage exploration of the game."

    Regulation does encourage people to explore the mechanics of the game, just not the people issuing the ban. Contrary to your seeming belief that every player has a perfect grasp on how to use a myriad of skills at once, there are players who will become reliant on a certain aspect of the game. Let's say we have a person who exclusively backstabs. They could have a considerable amount of skill. Hell, they could even have a build masterfully crafted, and devoted to baiting and empowering the backstab. However, this person is repeatedly at a loss of what to do when confronted with someone who can effectively counter their strategy. This is the kind of person that would benefit from having, say repeated backstabs, or backstab fishing removed from a fight club, as it would force them to use a tactic they have not sufficiently explored, which would expand their abilities as a player. Alternatively, they are not obligated to partake in this fight club, and have no valid reason to belittle it for its choice of regulation.

    Your sorcery player example is subject to this same logic. His displeasure in some fight clubs not allowing sorcery is not a valid reason for generalized belittlement of differently regulated tournaments/fight clubs. He can simply choose to either not participate, or as he *usually* plays as a mage, he can still perform with a differently built character.


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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Animaaal on Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:26 am

    The game is severely unbalanced.

    Making rules to balance the game is progression.  Its improving on the product.

    To say the community shouldn't and/or can't is an insult to their/our intellect.

    Dark Souls needs rules for a good fight club...deal with it, or accept the TWoD and whatever else it is in the game that is broke.

    Chainstabs have counters...lol.Look Skyward
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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by TheMeInTeam on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:58 pm

    This is the kind of person that would benefit from having, say repeated backstabs, or backstab fishing removed from a fight club, as it would force them to use a tactic they have not sufficiently explored, which would expand their abilities as a player.

    If this person has been routinely countered as you claim and hasn't developed anything to handle that, there's no rational basis for claiming that the FC will "help" him do so.  Players improve because they make the effort to do so, not because other people tell them how they can't play.

    Alternatively, they are not obligated to partake in this fight club, and have no valid reason to belittle it for its choice of regulation.



    Regulation without a valid reason for regulation is inherently questionable, as regulation is objectively costly.  Therefore belittling such regulation, while possibly not mature, could indeed have a rational basis greater than the regulation itself, depending on the justification of the regulation (IE benefits attempting to offset the costs).

    Making rules to balance the game is progression.  Its improving on the product.

    To say the community shouldn't and/or can't is an insult to their/our intellect.



    It's a rather interesting exercise in human nature in that virtually everyone seems to think that their own ideas improve the product...but almost nobody comes up with objective criteria to showcase why that is.  They're arguing off of strict bias.

    This thread is a great example.  There are things, many things, on this thread alone that assert a given tactic (or tactics) are overpowered, imbalanced, and that removing them makes the game better.  I strongly suspect, however, that zero of said posters making this claim have a statistical analysis of what tactics win a 1v1 the most frequently independently of noise factors such as hacking/lag, or have unusually high win% against their counters.

    And so people claim one thing is overpowered while others aren't (seldom agreeing), and all 100% without basis.  This is not a rational design to creating FC/tournaments and it's divisive to the community.  It also carries an implicit assumption that one person's opinions on balance are better than another's independent of facts/objective criteria, and that is far more insulting to the intelligence of the community than asking for an objective, consistent basis for bans and failing that, not to have bans.

    Chainstabs have counters...lol.

    What is the win percentage of a hornet ring chain stabber, on average, compared to a dexterity with pyromancy build, on average?  3, 2, 1, go!

    Whoops.  No data.  It would therefore be equally valid to assert dex/pyro has no counter, make a gesture,  and assert that FC should ban dex/pyros.  Either argument is logically consistent.  Why not have a FC that allows chainstabs with hornet but not dex/pyro?

    "mass opinion" on a tactic is in no way reflective of the actual efficacy of a tactic.  We've seen THAT much plenty of times throughout multiple games, including those that put far more effort into balancing the game than this one.  Just as an offhand example, take 6pools and photon cannon rushes in starcraft 1 or 2.  You won't beat elite players very often with them, but a large portion of the community dislikes them anyway, and comes up with excuses as to why people shouldn't do an *inferior* tactic that nevertheless beats them.  But here?  We don't have evidence of any kind.  These assertions of overpowered tactics are ridiculous and not constructive.

    Moreover, by enforcing playstyles without objective data, we've lost players and will continue to lose them, to no known benefit.

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    Re: Why Regulating Competition is Bad

    Post by Animaaal on Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:56 pm

    ^TL;DR...at least all of it.  I'm sure I will later though. I just wanted to say briefly that I find it odd a lot of fight clubs don't allow hard humanity heals.  I'm sure as hell not gonna let you do it.

    Then in turn say the less rules the better, soooooo divine blessings and mushrooms for everyone?

    Fight Clubs have rules for a reason, and yes I think they could be greatly expanded on.  Not because I care if I lose, but because I care if the playing field is fair.  And no, competition does not level the playing field.....

    ...clothes lines and face masking in the NFL were made against the rules for a very good reason.

    There is lag too ya know.  You can't do anything about some people with horrible connections, but we all have it, and it does affect the gameplay.

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