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MajorJuggler

[STRAW POLL] Who would be interested in an "X-wing 2.0 Balance Mod"?

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The goal would be to better fix balance and cost issues out of the gate. It would likely be supported by FFG's own squad builder (they're allowing community mods to some extent), or failing that a third party builder.

 


1) Yes, that sounds like fun for casual play

2) No, I only care about official formats

3) I don't care, but you should do it anyway so FFG can use your results for free

 

 

Further background: now that FFG can change points dynamically, they can directly take any analysis that I put in the public domain and immediately use it for themselves. This may be great for everyone else, but it leaves something of a sour taste in my mouth. I am not a playtester or paid by FFG, but I have the demonstrated capability (at present seemingly uniquely) to predict relevant point costs far better than FFG's development and playtesting process. I can do things that nobody in their entire company seems to be anywhere close to doing, and to essentially do unpaid work for them as an ad-hoc Technical Balance Director seems... a questionable use of my time. So I have a few options:

[edit: it has been correctly been pointed out by many that "being able to do things that nobody else seems to be doing" comes across as egotistical. That was certainly not the intent, the intent was more like "nobody else has been crazy enough to put in the prerequisite amount of time to do the original research and many hours of resulting coding"]

  1. Inquire about consulting for them, since they still have a clear need to polish balance before launch. (This will almost certainly result in them politely saying they don't need me, and then they will turn around and just use my ideas anyway.)
  2. Continue to do the analysis on my own, but go completely radio silent on the public front about it.
  3. Launch my own "X-wing 2.0 Balance Mod", expecting all the work from it to get stolen without credit. This would likely also involve eventually publishing some related academic papers. I don't exactly need 'Tabletop Games Technical Balance Director' on my resume, but the publications would make for an entertaining addition to the resume.

I am undecided on which route to go, but am interested in the community's interest in a balance mod.

Edited by MajorJuggler

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Wait -- so you are proposing yet a different squad cost structure for 2.0 than what is coming in 2.0? How do you do that without knowing what 2.0 proposes?

Yeah, they should hire you to run their official numbers.

But otherwise, no, I don't see the need for a completely different product right as the new edition releases. Don't split the market further.

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13 minutes ago, Hawkstrike said:

Wait -- so you are proposing yet a different squad cost structure for 2.0 than what is coming in 2.0? How do you do that without knowing what 2.0 proposes?

Yeah, they should hire you to run their official numbers.

But otherwise, no, I don't see the need for a completely different product right as the new edition releases. Don't split the market further.

 

I would certainly need to see all the pilot and upgrade card text first. At latest this would happen at the Gencon limited release, which would provide enough runway to run my own analysis in time for the full September release.

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I think your skillset is not needed in FFG. That's sad. 

I wouldn't work for free, if I were you. But it can't hurt to ask. If they refuse you, you can just stop it, knowing you tried. If they don't great. 

If they steal your ideas... well, at least it gets used. 

 

You are not the hero we deserve

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At risk of it being a slightly contrary point, whatever we post here we give full ownership away. The relevant terms of use requires us to agree that the work we publish on this forum is the property of FFG for them to do as they see fit. It's basically the tradeoff for having a large community to disseminate work within. 

Now obviously the merits of this are up for debate, but if you're looking to do analysis and run it by the community, but not have it be accessible for the use of FFG upon publishing, you'd be better off restricting it to reddit or facebook groups. I mean, I'm not clear to what extent the developers even read these forums for ideas, but we do sign away that right by using these forums.

Especially when it comes to general analysis for changes, I expect the wealth of data from tournaments will provide ample resources to mine for balance adjustments, especially via the required app. On this basis they may feel that this diminishes the need for that last minute fine-tuning by statistical modelling, and they may well be right. 

If your work is good and you wish to draw compensation for it, posting it here will only ever get you praise from the community. If that's enough, then by all means go ahead, the side effect being if it's good enough it may just percolate its way into the game. How you feel about that is going to be up to you I guess.

 

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4 minutes ago, citruscannon said:

At risk of it being a slightly contrary point, whatever we post here we give full ownership away. The relevant terms of use requires us to agree that the work we publish on this forum is the property of FFG for them to do as they see fit. It's basically the tradeoff for having a large community to disseminate work within. 

 

Hence why I have not published the details of my latest methodology here. :-)

 

4 minutes ago, citruscannon said:

Especially when it comes to general analysis for changes, I expect the wealth of data from tournaments will provide ample resources to mine for balance adjustments, especially via the required app. On this basis they may feel that this diminishes the need for that last minute fine-tuning by statistical modelling, and they may well be right. 
 

 

Yes, but that is still after the fact. Even with the ability to change costs dynamically, it will likely take FFG a month+ to put out any sort of cost update. FFG is well known to add powercreep unintentionally, so tournaments will still be won by the most broken overpowered lists. It is just a matter of who will find these lists first and abuse them before they can get nerfed. Contrast that to: a wave gets released and is already pretty well balanced, so the same squad doesn't end up showing up everywhere in 3 weeks. If I end up doing the work for them pre-release, you can 100% guarantee they will use it. Worst case, they will know what to keep an eye out for, and then they will get confirmation from the empirical data.

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6 minutes ago, MajorJuggler said:

 

Hence why I have not published the details of my latest methodology here. ?

Yes, but that is still after the fact. Even with the ability to change costs dynamically, it will likely take FFG a month+ to put out any sort of cost update. FFG is well known to add powercreep unintentionally, so tournaments will still be won by the most broken overpowered lists. It is just a matter of who will find these lists first and abuse them before they can get nerfed. Contrast that to: a wave gets released and is already pretty well balanced, so the same squad doesn't end up showing up everywhere in 3 weeks. If I end up doing the work for them pre-release, you can 100% guarantee they will use it. Worst case, they will know what to keep an eye out for, and then they will get confirmation from the empirical data.

True, but taking a comparable example, DOTA, no statistical evidence was needed to make it such that each 'patch' brings them closer to true balance. They just had to patch often enough with enough data to analyze that they could hiball or lowball things until they found true average. Re: FFG, they may introduce something out of whack, and it upsets the cart for a tournament, but that gets washed out by trial and error before the next. So yes, the first iteration may be rough, but the 4th or 5th won't be as significant I expect, especially if they rebalance multiple times between releases. A 'Brute force' approach may work pretty well after the major rough patches are smoothed over, if the brute force is applied often enough.

You raise the point of identifying problem areas, and yes, maybe a brute force approach doesn't solve this regarding underlying problems, but problems with text or points, statistically it should bear out in the tournament results, eventually, I would think?

I asked this question (regarding if text would ever be changed) of Alex on the live cast, and the answer was pretty much this, that point costs will fluctuate in direct response to (paraphrased) "the bigger playtest community", referring to us. Points will be tinkered with first and foremost, so I think they're pretty much okay with getting things wrong by a point or two ahead of time and hoping it evens out in the wash. 

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26 minutes ago, period3 said:

I think it'd be more interesting to continue the community mod on X-wing 1.0.  Lots of people aren't going to be upgrading to 2.0 right away.

 

 

I also wonder if the game could be balanced just by moving point costs and upgrade slots into an app like 2.0 does.  The thing I hated most about 1.0 was the FAQ/errata.  My dream would be to be able to sit down and play x-wing with my 1.0 components *as they are printed*, and still have a reasonably balanced game.  I feel like this should be possible with appropriate costing. 

Even fundamental rule changes (e.g. changing how turrets work) would be fine.  I just don't want to have to cross reference cards with a giant FAQ. 

Edited by period3

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2 hours ago, MajorJuggler said:

The goal would be to better fix balance and cost issues out of the gate. It would likely be supported by FFG's own squad builder (they're allowing community mods to some extent), or failing that a third party builder.

 


1) Yes, that sounds like fun for casual play

2) No, I only care about official formats

3) I don't care, but you should do it anyway so FFG can use your results for free

 

 

Further background: now that FFG can change points dynamically, they can directly take any analysis that I put in the public domain and immediately use it for themselves. This may be great for everyone else, but it leaves something of a sour taste in my mouth. I am not a playtester or paid by FFG, but I have the demonstrated capability (at present seemingly uniquely) to predict relevant point costs far better than FFG's development and playtesting process. I can do things that nobody in their entire company seems to be anywhere close to doing, and to essentially do unpaid work for them as an ad-hoc Technical Balance Director seems... a questionable use of my time. So I have a few options:

 

  1. Inquire about consulting for them, since they still have a clear need to polish balance before launch. (This will almost certainly result in them politely saying they don't need me, and then they will turn around and just use my ideas anyway.)
  2. Continue to do the analysis on my own, but go completely radio silent on the public front about it.
  3. Launch my own "X-wing 2.0 Balance Mod", expecting all the work from it to get stolen without credit. This would likely also involve eventually publishing some related academic papers. I don't exactly need 'Tabletop Games Technical Balance Director' on my resume, but the publications would make for an entertaining addition to the resume.

I am undecided on which route to go, but am interested in the community's interest in a balance mod.

The sheer amount of hubris in this post is staggering. 

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1 hour ago, citruscannon said:

At risk of it being a slightly contrary point, whatever we post here we give full ownership away.

I really think that 2.0 is VERY MUCH a reflection of people's sentiments on these boards.

On one hand, it's cool they listen.

OTOH, it's disconcerting they haven't the gumption to stand by their decisions/make their own game.

1 hour ago, citruscannon said:

, so I think they're pretty much okay with getting things wrong by a point or two ahead of time and hoping it evens out in the wash. 

A point of view in 2.0 I find very disturbing.

17 minutes ago, period3 said:

I just don't want to have to cross reference cards with a giant FAQ. 

Well, now you just have to cross reference cards with the actual rules.  Not sure that's an improvement.

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2 hours ago, MajorJuggler said:

The goal would be to better fix balance and cost issues out of the gate. It would likely be supported by FFG's own squad builder (they're allowing community mods to some extent), or failing that a third party builder.

 


1) Yes, that sounds like fun for casual play

2) No, I only care about official formats

3) I don't care, but you should do it anyway so FFG can use your results for free

 

 

Further background: now that FFG can change points dynamically, they can directly take any analysis that I put in the public domain and immediately use it for themselves. This may be great for everyone else, but it leaves something of a sour taste in my mouth. I am not a playtester or paid by FFG, but I have the demonstrated capability (at present seemingly uniquely) to predict relevant point costs far better than FFG's development and playtesting process. I can do things that nobody in their entire company seems to be anywhere close to doing, and to essentially do unpaid work for them as an ad-hoc Technical Balance Director seems... a questionable use of my time. So I have a few options:

 

  1. Inquire about consulting for them, since they still have a clear need to polish balance before launch. (This will almost certainly result in them politely saying they don't need me, and then they will turn around and just use my ideas anyway.)
  2. Continue to do the analysis on my own, but go completely radio silent on the public front about it.
  3. Launch my own "X-wing 2.0 Balance Mod", expecting all the work from it to get stolen without credit. This would likely also involve eventually publishing some related academic papers. I don't exactly need 'Tabletop Games Technical Balance Director' on my resume, but the publications would make for an entertaining addition to the resume.

I am undecided on which route to go, but am interested in the community's interest in a balance mod.

I am following all your work on Facebook and can only say that it is huge, not to mention extremely well done.

You indeed have more than a point to back you up. 

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31 minutes ago, Arma Quattro said:

I am following all your work on Facebook and can only say that it is huge, not to mention extremely well done.

You indeed have more than a point to back you up. 

Sadly I'm not sure how much attention Community Mod will get now that 2.0 has been announced, even if we had a squad builder ready for it now.

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1 hour ago, MajorJuggler said:

Sadly I'm not sure how much attention Community Mod will get now that 2.0 has been announced, even if we had a squad builder ready for it now.

I agree that the com mod is sadly dead from this point and you should not invest your time in it.  Players will already be split for a few months finishing this season of v1 in tourneys etc and learning v2.

would your pre release analasys be valuable, of course it would, would ffg pay you for it, that’s another question!

you could discuss it with ffg to be an adhoc consultant.  When August/September comes around you could do your work and provide them with the data and then we have a couple months play to prove your work.  Thereafter they see the value and provide you with prerelease details of each wave for them to set costs and reduce the need for dynamic patches.

This is a long shot and it’s sort of a bummer for you that upon release is a huge amount of work due to the conversion kits.  Maybe for the release package you could try to agree to get paid if tourney data supports you analasys, but in any case it’s going to be tough.

I would certainly approach ffg and try to get a deal though, it’s a long shot but would be a real boost to releases to have pre release balance.

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They do need someone like you to run numbers for their game... sadly I bet that your time-cost is probably very far over what they want to pay for this. @MajorJuggler

. Is that how the conversation went last time? Because yes, it is utter folly to believe that they had to overhaul the system but did not need someone with better mathematical skills to give them the info needed. I hope, though if you do keep it private, you would come on the forums to let people know that certain combos are truly overpowered from a mathematical perspective.

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6 hours ago, MajorJuggler said:
  • Inquire about consulting for them, since they still have a clear need to polish balance before launch. (This will almost certainly result in them politely saying they don't need me, and then they will turn around and just use my ideas anyway.)

You ought to at least take your best shot at this, IMO. Yeah, we all know that FFG would be crazy not to hire you, but they probably won't anyway, but who knows? If X-WIng 2.0 tells us anything it's that FFG is capable of doing smart things when they are presented to them (EDIT: Read: "when they are beat over the head with them often enough"). And you know that if you were to put some sort of petition up on the forums asking for people's support to get you hired by FFG then you would have the support of nearly everyone on the forums. 

Edited by Herowannabe

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I did not think majorjuggler could possibly get any more arogent, man this thread sure proved me wrong. I am glad 2.0 is putting an end to your self aggrandizing attempts to split the community.

Allready claims he knows more then everyone and can fix things before a single useable data point is available. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Icelom said:

I did not think majorjuggler could possibly get any more arogent, man this thread sure proved me wrong. I am glad 2.0 is putting an end to your self aggrandizing attempts to split the community.

Allready claims he knows more then everyone and can fix things before a single useable data point is available. 

 

He does have a point though. He is very good at crunching numbers and FFG designers aren't and based on some statements they've made, don't really want to be either. 

 

2nd edition looks very promising, but it is designed by the same guys who thought Lowhrick, Harpoon, PS11 Coordinate etc were good ideas. 

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23 minutes ago, LordBlades said:

2nd edition looks very promising, but it is designed by the same guys who thought Lowhrick, Harpoon, PS11 Coordinate etc were good ideas. 

Actually after the ITW video about 2.0, I wonder if these last waves were not just throwing in 1.0 some design ideas to have some input about it before deciding if they were good for the new version.

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