Pet Battle Accuracy Changes in Patch 5.3

47 Undead Monk
8955
This is very similar to the system Pokemon has been using for decades. I approve and applaud. Very smart move.

For those that say a predictable battle isn't fun, I advise you to take up gambling. I'd like to play a game where I know my chances of winning, not something where all my work and time can be undone with a coin flip.
Edited by Malles on 4/9/2013 11:02 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
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14295
04/09/2013 11:01 AMPosted by Malles
For those that say a predictable battle isn't fun, I advise you to take up gambling.


You talking to blizz or just not actually read the blog?
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100 Blood Elf Rogue
21480
Miss/dodge in a very short (usually max 25 round) turn-based strategy game is about the worst idea imaginable. I don't want to gamble that my strategic combination of pets and 3-4 round build up to a kill shot will simply miss because I happened to roll the dice poorly.

This is the exact reason why some non-determinism is essential. Pet battles aren't that complex, in a strictly deterministic system (no dodges, no misses, no crits, etc) you have a branching factor of at most 6 per turn (3 abilities, 2 pet swaps, 1 pass) and a pretty short game as well at 40-50 moves total. In a deterministic game it probably wouldn't be beyond the computational power of modern computers to compute a decent chunk of the possible move space. In fact with a well written program utilizing some fancier AI techniques it might be possible to "solve" pet battles, that is determine the optimal move by computing the entire game space, within the pvp turn clock.

Non-determinism makes that harder because the branching factor increases substantially (at least a factor of 2 for misses) it makes that much less viable. Certainly there are other complications, creating a set of semantics to represent pet battles and dealing with unknown move sets but it would be way too doable with a strictly deterministic system.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
16875
But this analysis ignores that much of the strategy comes before you even start the battle, in the form of which pets to take and what abilities to slot. In this respect, the game is already highly deterministic, and the game does nothing to dissuade the player in playing that way precisely because once the battle is joined his choices are circumscribed so strongly. There are tactical considerations, but a player has only so many ways to respond to it in a meaningful way so you see a lot of effort expended in the setup-phase of trying to outwit a theoretical opponent.

RNG won't solve what you're saying is a problem; you just run it like Simcraft does and perform Monte Carlo simulations to give a statistical treatment of the outcomes. It doesn't matter if you can't solve it perfectly, and all you've done is shown a particular strategy against a particular composition will win 95% of the time, versus absolute certainty. The existence of arbitrary failure doesn't somehow make the game non-deterministic -- just that it requires confidence intervals.

If you want depth in the game, then you should be angling to make more choices the player can make during a battle, to expand the number of branches where a player's active intervention makes a difference. Flipping a coin is the poorest and shallowest way of simulating variance.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
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14295
People who don't think the superior team already wins most the time and will continue to win most the time are pretty impressive. A very small chance to lose when you 'should' win promotes more game health than people with inferior teams never having a chance to win at all. Try some tucks medicated pads to get over your butt sore.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
16875
People who don't think the superior team already wins most the time and will continue to win most the time are pretty impressive. A very small chance to lose when you 'should' win promotes more game health than people with inferior teams never having a chance to win at all. Try some tucks medicated pads to get over your butt sore.
You keep trying to say "u mad bro" but that only highlights the emptiness of your argument. Let's forget outcomes for a moment, because it's a pointless measurement, and look at player agency. At which point is the player on the backfoot is supposed to be empowered to win under the current system? None. He has no say in the outcome, because he cannot dictate when his pet dodges the blow that would kill him. It's through the practical equivalent of divine intervention that wins him the match. If we replay it, then he loses, even if he does all that he can right. That doesn't promote anything, least of all "game health" when it teaches nothing to the inferior player and doesn't address the true nature of the game.

If you want a healthier game, then it needs to be expanded beyond a few tactical choices, or even a game where tactical choices actually matter when strong statistical weights obscure entirely player decisions. Few people expect a mechanical to win against the elemental and the game makes very clear this would be a foolish matchup. But to hear you talk, if a player wins with one anyway on a straight one-to-one match, this is "healthier" for...reasons. Despite the fact that the match would be decided in the favor of the elemental 98% of the time it's good that the mechanical wins occassionally, despite the player making an obvious strategic error...because.

This doesn't solve anything. This forum is filled with threads that focus on team builds because that's the greatest amount of player freedom. Once in the battle proper, it does play out like a script and RNG doesn't change the script because we don't have the tools to alter an outcome that goes poorly, nor do we have the time to average out the outcomes. If Choice A wins the game 95% of the time, you will always pick Choice A despite the fact that it loses 5% of the time, because there are no valid other choices. If Pet Battles become stale, it's because the foundational activities once you're in a battle are stale.

Adding arbitrary failures doesn't alter that.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
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14295
04/09/2013 04:10 PMPosted by Protagonist
because it's a pointless measurement,


It is the only measurement.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
16875
04/09/2013 04:13 PMPosted by Hearus
because it's a pointless measurement,


It is the only measurement.
Then the game is stale, and no amount of RNG changes it because you're saying that arbitrarily deciding one player wins is better for the game than increasing the amount of impactful decisionmaking granted the player.

That's the problem with the quote from the blog. It ignores that players want to make decisions that have an impact on the outcome, while also ignoring that its root the game devolves into a completely scripted encounter depending on who you brought to the fight.

What the next rebuttal, should I prep up the "u mad bro" response?
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90 Blood Elf Priest
BnB
14295
It ignores that players want to make decisions that have an impact on the outcome


I think you are mistaking your opinion as the opinion as everyone/anyone else. Lots of people are enjoying pet battles as they are. People will enjoy them after the new changes come in. Also the reverse will be true as well.

In the end it comes down to what the devs think. The devs made a concious effort to keep some rng in the game and explained why. They have also explained they have no interest in adding more moves to pets beyond the system we have. Odds are real good that any changes that do come will not make pet battles into what you want. The good news is that there is a whole lot more to WoW than just pet battles.

Edit: Also, yes, u mad bro.
Edited by Hearus on 4/9/2013 4:30 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Hunter
16875
And you're terrible at discerning emotion. I am saying, in fact, that the dev's reasoning is self-defeating and contradictory because their goals in RNG won't work like that. This isn't some sort of preference thing, this is a complete failure of logic because the devs have deliberately set up a system that railroads the encounter based on the pets and skills you bring to the table. RNG changes nothing except player avoidance of it when constructing teams, and then they'll stick with a script because they don't have the power to do much else.

So if their justification is that this "freshens" a "stale" system, then I'm pointing out that logically, no, that doesn't fly in the face of the basic system they themselves chose to implement. The discussion on the forums won't suddenly switch to the importance of tactical decisions over theoretical constructions of teams and abilities to counter hypothetical other compositions. We're all still going to pick our teams, draft elaborate strategies and synergizing movesets, with scant attention paid to how the battle itself might work because if we do it right it's a foregone conclusion.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
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14295
This isn't some sort of preference thing


Actually that is exactly what it is. Otherwise we would agree.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
16875
04/09/2013 05:17 PMPosted by Hearus
This isn't some sort of preference thing


Actually that is exactly what it is. Otherwise we would agree.
You don't really understand the thrust of my argument do you? If you are agreeing with me that people are gonna look at the changes, shrug, and pick out their teams with the aim of stomping a particular composition, then RNG is window dressing and doesn't do what is being advertised. If you disagree, then you're somehow saying that RNG is going to make people take more tactical decisions -- but this is impossible under the current setup.

At the end of the day, people are still gonna go through the motions with every battle with a particular team. The idea that RNG keeps things fresh doesn't work because, rightly, people will not alter their behavior. How can they, given the limitations within the system itself?
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90 Blood Elf Priest
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14295
04/09/2013 05:53 PMPosted by Protagonist
saying that RNG is going to make people take more tactical decisions


Find anywhere I have said this. It gives the underdog a small chance to win, that is all.
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100 Orc Rogue
UE
11220
This is very similar to the system Pokemon has been using for decades. I approve and applaud. Very smart move.

For those that say a predictable battle isn't fun, I advise you to take up gambling. I'd like to play a game where I know my chances of winning, not something where all my work and time can be undone with a coin flip.


This isn't Pokemon - and Pokemon didn't even invent the turn based battle formula - it goes way back to the Commodore 64. There is no reason this entire meta game has to copy it, and luckily it doesn't (I think - I've never played Pokemon).

And your reasoning for wanting a predictable game is the exact opposite of what gaming is supposed to be. This isn't financing - it's a game. How many times have you had close to zero health in a scrolling shooter game you should've died in but were lucky with some dodges?
Edited by Seventizz on 4/9/2013 10:03 PM PDT
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100 Night Elf Druid
6070
04/09/2013 05:53 PMPosted by Protagonist
You don't really understand the thrust of my argument do you?


Clearly, that is the only possible explanation for someone disagreeing with you.

04/09/2013 05:53 PMPosted by Protagonist
If you are agreeing with me that people are gonna look at the changes, shrug, and pick out their teams with the aim of stomping a particular composition, then RNG is window dressing and doesn't do what is being advertised.


Give a noob a (small) chance of getting an upset so that he can be not completely discouraged and turned off from the system before he even starts learning it? How does RNG not do that?

Or maybe you mean making a match between high skill level players not completely determined as soon as the match starts. How does RNG not do that too?

RNG isn't actually being removed, and in practical terms, can't be. A substantial proportion of all the moves in the game couldn't exist at all without some form of RNG. Crits don't have to exist (and only a few moves would have to go away if they didn't), but if they do, they have to not happen all the time.

Even if you got rid of all of that, exact ties in speed would have to be broken somehow.
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Community Manager
We received an update today that the damage percentage increase has been adjusted from 5-15% to 10-30%, which has also been updated in the blog.
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100 Worgen Mage
7920
This is very similar to the system Pokemon has been using for decades. I approve and applaud. Very smart move.

For those that say a predictable battle isn't fun, I advise you to take up gambling. I'd like to play a game where I know my chances of winning, not something where all my work and time can be undone with a coin flip.


This isn't Pokemon - and Pokemon didn't even invent the turn based battle formula - it goes way back to the Commodore 64. There is no reason this entire meta game has to copy it, and luckily it doesn't (I think - I've never played Pokemon).

And your reasoning for wanting a predictable game is the exact opposite of what gaming is supposed to be. This isn't financing - it's a game. How many times have you had close to zero health in a scrolling shooter game you should've died in but were lucky with some dodges?


Yeah it's almost exactly like pokemon except there's fewer limitations on ability usage and less customization in abilities (they can't learn/unlearn moves).
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27 Pandaren Warrior
6835
People who don't think the superior team already wins most the time and will continue to win most the time are pretty impressive. A very small chance to lose when you 'should' win promotes more game health than people with inferior teams never having a chance to win at all. Try some tucks medicated pads to get over your butt sore.


I completely disagree that it's either a "fun mechanic" or necessary to have misses / dodges solely so that an "inferior team" can sometimes win through nothing but pure RNG.

I'm not saying that some moves shouldn't have less than 100% chance to hit, but your argument seems to be entirely that "winning through complete luck makes it more fun for people who would have no chance of winning otherwise".

Shouldn't we be promoting crafting a better team and not praying to the dice gods that people who actually DID craft a synergistic team simply get screwed over by RNG?

W/ all that said, I like what Blizz is trying to do in the next patch by listing the actual accuracy of each move, and tossing the base chance to miss/dodge on every single attack out the window. At least when you know the odds going in, you can't be too sore if it does miss.

But when everything has a chance to be missed/dodged, and you get those strings of 3-4 misses in a row, it's just not fun. Only the most base kind of person could even really have "fun" knowing that they eeked out a victory through absolutely no skill of their own, and will most likely be losing against that same team should they face them again, imo.
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100 Tauren Druid
17175
Only the most base kind of person could even really have "fun" knowing that they eeked out a victory through absolutely no skill of their own, and will most likely be losing against that same team should they face them again, imo.


But that doesn't happen. A bit of variance isn't going to make someone who is very very bad through team selection, ability picks, strategic decisions, etc suddenly beat someone who far outclasses them in those respects. It makes it possible that someone who is doing fairly well has a shot against someone who might be a bit more skilled than them in those various aspects. This is common in game design, and it is a good thing. In this case, they know they at least stand a chance of not losing against the same team should they face them again.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
BnB
14295
I completely disagree that it's either a "fun mechanic" or necessary to have misses / dodges solely so that an "inferior team" can sometimes win through nothing but pure RNG.


It is like you didn't read what I quoted at all.

Superior teams win the majority of the time and will continue to do so.

For a truly bad team to win I can't imagine what kind of luck it would take, I am sure it has happened but it has to be extremely rare.
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