Needs Help: Competitive Balance

Deadlock Clock: 2nd Mar 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [334]
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Or, we can just use different words.

...can still bite
No, that's only one definition of "speed". Evasion. It can also mean "priority", which means having a faster attack, or "range", which means covering a large distance.

King Zeal, wasn't it yourself who said that speed only referred to movement and reflexes?

  1. rapidity in moving, going, traveling, proceeding, or performing; swiftness; celerity
  2. relative rapidity in moving, going, etc.; rate of motion or progress
  3. full, maximum, or optimum rate of motion

Speed really only refers to rate of motion, or distance divided by time, not anything else. Rate of attack and range have absolutely nothing to do with speed. The problem is not improper diction, but ascribing improper definitions.

Anyway, if you want to go ahead and replace "speed" with "evasion" for the sake of even greater clarity, go right ahead.

edited 25th Sep '12 6:07:55 PM by shiro_okami

Did you seriously just partially-quote a dictionary at me like speed doesn't have multiple meanings? Are you really going to try to argue that speed does not include rate of action as well as movement between distances?

Further, reflexes counts as priority and range counts as velocity. If it takes you longer to run to me than it takes for me to draw an arrow and fire at you, then I have a faster attack than you do.

edited 25th Sep '12 6:15:22 PM by KingZeal

...can still bite
OK, you do have a point, but it really depends on the speed of what you're referring to.

Rapid traveling, which is applied to evasion, is the speed of a whole body. Reflexes, which is applied to either evasion or rate of attack, is the speed of a body part. Range is also related to speed, but only tangentially, because in range generally only the distance covered by a particular weapon matters, not the speed at which it travels.

edited 25th Sep '12 6:53:53 PM by shiro_okami

I can agree with that. But in game terms, reflex is the speed that an action is completed. There might not be individual body parts to consider.

EDIT: Speed is an important component to range, because it has to reach the target in time.

edited 25th Sep '12 6:55:23 PM by KingZeal

...can still bite
Let's not make things too complicated. If it's that confusing, let's just switch to the term 'evasion' instead.

EDIT: True, but that speed refers to the speed of a weapon, not a character or machine. It's characters or machines that populate the examples sections of the Competitive Balance tropes, not weapons. Furthermore, that same type of speed can also be applied to attacks of any range. A spear has speed whether it is thrown or thrust.

edited 25th Sep '12 7:12:08 PM by shiro_okami

But that doesn't cover what a Fragile Speedster is. A Fragile Speedster can be someone who attacks 5 times to the Mighty Glacier's 1 but takes proportionately more damage.

A Fragile Speedster can also be someone who deflects attacks but gets hurt severely if they take one.
...can still bite
[up] The first example you mentioned sounds more like a type of Glass Cannon than a Fragile Speedster. What you said would be like saying a person armed with a submachine gun is a Fragile Speedster compared to a person with a pistol and a bulletproof vest.

The second example you mentioned sounds more like a type of Stone Wall than a Fragile Speedster. What makes the example a speedster?

At any rate, I think we may have some trope description redefining to do.

edited 25th Sep '12 7:16:09 PM by shiro_okami

Looks like we really need a crowner to decide the definition of "speed". That way, we have a gauge for what is agreed with.

So, from my perspective, the options for what speed is are:
  • Movement speed: The ability to cover distance in a given amount of time.
  • Rate of attack: The ability to attack multiple times in a given amount of time.
  • Attack speed: Closely related to the above. The amount of both starting and ending lag on a given move.

Can I make this crowner, please? This seems like a big issue.
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I always cringe when tropers start adding all sorts of caveats to well established tropes, finicking over the definition of "speed" is likely not going to stick in the community use (unless we have an army of curators willing to not only clean up the pages but monitor it continuously). Either an example fits or it doesn't, the reality is that, obviously, the attack/defense/speed angle is just vague enough to be open to wide interpretation.
The first example you mentioned sounds more like a type of Glass Cannon than a Fragile Speedster. What you said would be like saying a person armed with a submachine gun is a Fragile Speedster compared to a person with a pistol and a bulletproof vest.

The second example you mentioned sounds more like a type of Stone Wall than a Fragile Speedster. What makes the example a speedster?

Remember how, just a few pages ago, we mentioned how speed was an arbitrary stat for those tropes? How the very pages say they overlap? You yourself corrected me on this.
112 Tyoria26th Sep 2012 07:14:23 AM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
I don't think "ability to win" and "ability to not lose" are entirely accurate terms. The important thing is the "win condition" and the "lose condition", each of which relate to one stat directly. Since those vary, the relevant stats also vary.

If the win condition is "knock an opponent down to 0 HP", and the lose condition is "get knocked down to 0 HP yourself", then Offense is the direct relative of a win condition and Defense the direct relative of a lose condition. Speed may indirectly help you with either, but you win only because of the condition attached to the Offense variable (which Speed may boost by letting you attack more often per round) and die only because of the condition connected to Defense (which speed may boost by letting you evade).

If the win condition is "get from point A to point B" and the lose condition is "run out of time", then Speed is the direct relative of both. In most racing games, you cannot really be killed because you are attacked. Being attacked may ultimately cause you to lose because you run out of time or get beaten to the finish line, but that is indirect.

Conditions can of course be stacked. The win condition could be "kill everything on screen" and the lose condition "be killed yourself" OR "run out of time". Offense is the direct relative of the win condition and both Speed and Defense are the direct relative of the lose condition.
[up]100% Agreed.

EDIT: Although in terms of a racing game, I wonder if a top speed would be the equivalent of DPS, while acceleration would be equivalent to a speedy rate of attack, and defense would be handling.

In a game with a time-limit, offense would be whatever progresses toward the win condition (getting more points, doing higher damage) while Defense would include both stopping other people from scoring and extending time (for example, in American Football, the Defense prevents scoring, and a classic play by the losing team is to stop the clock).

edited 26th Sep '12 7:25:28 AM by KingZeal

...can still bite
Remember how, just a few pages ago, we mentioned how speed was an arbitrary stat for those tropes? How the very pages say they overlap? You yourself corrected me on this.

Yes, the pages do say they overlap. But I also said that they should not, and that those parts of the trope description needed to be changed.

I really don't see why a high attack rate means a high speed stat. I would think it would be obvious that a high attack rate refers to a high attack stat.

edited 26th Sep '12 7:31:19 AM by shiro_okami

Then we agree. I'm only describing the problem with trying to hold a monopoly on the term "speed" and insisting that everyone knows what "speed" means.

You said before that we should use "evasion" when we mean evasion, "reflexes" when we mean reflexes, "movement" when we mean movement, "range" when we mean range, and "attack rate" when we mean attack rate. And I agree with that. That's all I'm saying.

edited 26th Sep '12 7:32:07 AM by KingZeal

...can still bite
In that case, we just actually define what "speed" means in the trope description. Problem solved.

edited 26th Sep '12 7:33:29 AM by shiro_okami

Well, going back to Page 3, that just means we have an entire new family of subtropes to think about. For example, should Stone Wall refer to high movement/evasion/reflex? It's merely about low attack/high defense, and the page even acknowledges that defense can take the form of speed.

I mentioned two tropes called Agile Wall and Spiked Wall/Barbed Fence, but the argument was made that Stone Wall had it covered.

edited 26th Sep '12 7:42:44 AM by KingZeal

...can still bite
[up] Then simply change it so that it doesn't.

  • Speed should refer only to distance covered over time, which applies to "evasion" and "reflexes", not attack rate. (I took a look at the Fragile Speedster examples and they all seem to refer to "evasion" and "reflexes" anyway).
  • Attack refers to either attack "strength" or attack "rate".
  • Defense should refer only to "toughness", "blocking", or "armor", not "evasion". (I took a look at the Stone Wall examples and they all seem to refer to "toughness" anyway.)

This should remove any and all confusion and crossover between the stats and ultimately clarify what examples belong in what tropes. Any parts of the trope descriptions that contradict the above need to be changed or deleted.

edited 26th Sep '12 8:03:49 AM by shiro_okami

Again, we're running into the same semantic problem. You're contorting words to fit the trope, not contorting the trope to fit the words.

If you want Stone Wall to mean ability to withstand damage, then we need to be clear about it, using those exact terms. You're saying that Stone Wall should not be able to do anything to avoid, prevent or discourage attacks. From what you're saying, a Stone Wall should have the ability to have a high amount of damage inflicted upon it without losing.

That does not mean Stone Wall has a "high defense". It means Stone Wall has a high "resilience". Because we'd also have to create an Agile/Barbed Wall trope and they will ALSO have a high defense, whereupon we suddenly change what "defense" means.

Once more, it's not as easy as saying "Defense means this" and calling it a day.

edited 26th Sep '12 7:59:43 AM by KingZeal

...can still bite
You're contorting words to fit the trope, not contorting the trope to fit the words.

I think you're the one who's doing that, not me.

I was not aware that defense meant anything besides the ability to withstand damage. The basic dictionary definition of defense refers to "resistance against attack; protection, "something that defends, as a fortification," or "resistance against danger, attack, or harm; protection". That sounds more to me like the ability to withstand, but not at all like the ability to avoid.

As for your Agile Wall and Barbed Wall tropes, you defined Agile Wall as "avoids lots of damage", which basically falls under Fragile Speedster, not Stone Wall. Not to mention the name itself doesn't really make sense, because a wall is not agile. As for Barbed Wall, which you defined as "discourages an initial attack or prevents further attacks following one", you would really have to further explain how that works to really figure out if it falls under the defense stat or something else.

edited 26th Sep '12 8:27:03 AM by shiro_okami

So again, you want to selectively target definitions. Okay, fine.

From Wikipedia:

In many team sports, defense or defence (see spelling differences) is the action of preventing an opponent from scoring. Similarly, a defense player is a player who is generally charged with preventing the other team's forwards from being able to bear down directly on their own team's goalkeeper. Such intention exist in association football, ice hockey, water polo and many other sports.

So defense can mean preventing.

Also from Wikipedia:

Since this role often requires them to suffer large amounts of damage, they rely on large amounts of vitality or armor, or alternatively evasiveness and misdirection.

"Tanking" occurs when the unit is intended to be the one taking damage (typically by being dangerous or detrimental, or using a game mechanic that forces it to be targeted), and secondly, to ensure that they can survive this damage through sheer health points or mitigation.

So defense can mean evading or mitigating damage.

Again from Wikipedia

Being aware of and avoiding potentially dangerous situations is an emphasis of self-defense. Attackers are typically larger, stronger, and are often armed or have an accomplice. These factors make fighting to defeat the attacker unlikely to succeed. When avoidance is impossible, one often has a better chance at fighting to escape, such methods maybe referred to as 'break away' techniques.

So defense can mean not beign IN DANGER in the first place or being able to more easily escape from it.

Verbal Self Defense aka 'Verbal Judo' is defined as using one's words to prevent, de-escalate, or end an attempted assault.

So defense can also mean being able to stop a hostile encounter from ever happening in the first place.

Do you see the problem here?

edited 26th Sep '12 8:34:51 AM by KingZeal

...can still bite
OK, I see your point. In that case, we can target only one definition of defense (resistance/protection against attack; or the ability to withstand/block damage), and throw out all others, or we can simply switch from "defense" to a better word, like "toughness".

Or we could simply get rid of the speed stat, but I don't think anybody wants to do that.

[down] I would prefer that "evasion" refers to speed. Actually, let's use the term "dodging" as opposed to "evasion", since "dodging" more obviously refers to movement.

edited 26th Sep '12 9:08:55 AM by shiro_okami

[up]Sounds like a good idea, since it seems that defense is a word with many different meanings.

Now, the problem with "evasiveness" is that it's pretty much a combination of defense and speed. Evasiveness can be interpreted as either a facet of speed or defense, so we need to come to an agreement on that, too.
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Or we could, as Tyoria and I were just saying, stop using speed as a thing unto itself unless speed is the end goal?

In a combat-based game, speed is always going to be tied to either offense or defense. It either lets you attack faster or it lets you defend fast enough. There's never going to be a combat character that is ALL speed, unless they can somehow win if they go fast enough.
...can still bite
Well, do we three want to figure this out among ourselves or put it to a crowner? I prefer just using set definitions, but whatever works.

EDIT: Actually, if it was actually demonstrated that getting rid of speed altogether is both the better option and makes the tropes easier to fix, I'd be open to it.

edited 26th Sep '12 9:21:40 AM by shiro_okami

Single Proposition: Competitive Balance
9th Dec '12 8:36:50 PM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
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Total posts: 334
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