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MajorJuggler

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

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We have never met but I still feel inclined to respond..

let me start off by saying that I have enjoyed your contributions to the game and the community. 

Reading through these posts I get the feeling that you are pursuing monetary compensation for your mathematical contributions towards the meta, which is fine. FFG on the other hand looks to own your works for the princely sum of 0$. 

I would step away. That gap will not be closed. 

Respectfully,

FE

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Here is a bit of advice from the ancient wisdom of my people: Say "F---- You, pay me".

 

I mean. Maybe you have fun doing this work and publishing it and that's enough payment for you. But. As much as _I_ appreciate your work. I'm not sure you can get enough psychic satisfaction out of letting a private company profit from it. 

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Now let´s see...

"I have 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"

As someone here pointed out earlier, nothing has been released yet, still you claim to do it better than them? Besides Brobots just won the Worlds, according to your data they could not have won.

  • I "invented" Commonwealth Defenders as soon as the Imperial Veterans preview came out. Upon release it immediately won multiple nationals.
    -You did not "invent" it. Everyone who had eyes could see that Imperial Veterans would be very good and had used similiar lists. Stating the obvious doesn´t make you a very good oracle.
     
  • I predicted that PS11 Rebel Fenn + Hotshot co-pilot was an absurdly strong piece. (Again, >100% efficiency on PS11 leads to easy conclusions). 
    -Same thing here, as you admit, easy conclusions.

    Talking about your Fairship rebels miscalculations.. When that was pointed out in this thread, you hid behind your scientific method and refused to answer. Sure, it´s easier to calculate things when there are clear results. But that´s just tinkering afterwards, not predicting or a perfect calculation method you claim to have.

    Anyway, even if FFG doesn´t get everything right at the launch of 2.0, they can now easily modify the point costs and a lot of other stuff as well. So yeah, an app will be a lot better than just your jousting value.

I too value your work to some extent, but man you did come off so ego-centric and narsissistic about this, "being the only one who can do this". Did it ever occur to you that no one with mathematical education here just did not want to use their time on calculating jousting values to plastic ships?

It´s FFG´s job and they did not know how big the game was going to be. And now the mistakes they have made with the point costs are being fixed with an app, so good times are coming.

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3 hours ago, Pretty Green said:

Now let´s see...

 

Thank you for replying, but again, the purpose of this thread was not to debate the veracity of the model, it was to see if there would be interest in a 2.0 balance mod. Clearly there is not much interest, as expected. Please see your PMs.

 

 

For the many that have called me out as an egotistical maniac, I apologize as that was certainly not the intent. There's a lot of people that I'm sure could develop a similar model, or even better models. I just don't know anyone else that's crazy enough to have spent the prerequisite time to actually sit down and do it. It's largely a labor of love.

 

For further conversation about the validity of the model, feel free to PM me directly and I will be happy to discuss. Otherwise this thread has served its purpose. Let the past die. :-)

 

Related, I have decided not to make any analysis of X-wing 2.0 public.

Edited by MajorJuggler

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Always a better use of your time to do work on your own game, something you control 100%, or even better, under an open source model. Community efforts like the kind you are proposing have a sad track record... you spend a great deal of your own time developing something you love and then at the last moment the company comes out with something like a 2.0, invalidating a lot of the work that's been done and often directly taking from community efforts without giving the credit. 

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It is clear neither you or FFG will risk partnering. I do agree that maths or data should be intrinsic to design and FFG will have to eventually fill that position, but it should be them realizing that and not you offering them to risk IP. Also know that if there is a job, employees have to give IP rights. I think what you are looking for is more akin of a consulting service for game balancing. If you love 2.0, just publish your own numbers (not the methods). After all, you have already invested the time and even if only one other person has the interest, why not. Whether it should be ongoing, that is up to you.

With changes to 2.0 it is even harder, since the game should just self balance now and there is actually zero need for playtesters. Why? Even if something is broken, make it so costly it isn't worth it or as much as 201 points, for an effective ban. This approach is different and will take popularity into account, not only raw power.

And this change also means that what you offer is redundant, sadly.

Edited by falveryn

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36 minutes ago, falveryn said:

 

With changes to 2.0 it is even harder, since the game should just self balance now and there is actually zero need for playtesters. Why? Even if something is broken, make it so costly it isn't worth it or as much as 201 points, for an effective ban. This approach is different and will take popularity into account, not only raw power.

And this change also means that what you offer is redundant, sadly.

I highly doubt that, if FFGs 'balancing by app' will devolve into a circle of: great list gets discovered > great list gets popular > FFG nerfs list over and over, people will be OK with it. I'm pretty sure that a drop in quality because 'we can just fix it later' will make many customers very unhappy. 

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Wow.  Just, wow.

 

MJ has put in who knows how many hours of free time to do an insane amount of analysis on a game, and gets all kinds of crap every time he posts.  As stated before, it is just toy space ships, it’s not to be taken any more seriously than what it is, but if MJ wants to go as deep as he can down the rabbit hole then let him, and applaud the work if you want.  Or ignore it.  Whatever.

 

And yeah, Large egos are irritating, but it comes with higher level college degrees I think.  My wife certainly has an ego to go with her multiple degrees, but it’s justified in that she is very qualified for her job.  It doesn’t make living with her any easier tho.

 

but at this point it just seems...redundant...to attempt a 2.0 community mod since we have not seen how 2.0 with app will be implemented.  From all I’ve read it seems that the new edition is not only the 1.0 community mod (in essence) but it will also act as its own mod.  Now, will any of the inevitable changes be grounded in any math whatsoever?  No.  FFG staff have gone on record to state how prices are arrived upon by intuition and general ‘feel’ as much as play testing, with no appearant analysis at all.  Face it MJ, if FFG really thought it would boost sales significantly they would have hired you or paid you off for your work long ago.  As it is, this game sells very very well despite all the screw ups through the years, seemingly immune to any bad game design.  And in the end it’s the money that determines business decisions.

 

and...I suspect that famous ego may have played a factor in the failed attempts to sell Mathwing to FFG.  But that’s just a feeling.

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9 hours ago, LordBlades said:

I highly doubt that, if FFGs 'balancing by app' will devolve into a circle of: great list gets discovered > great list gets popular > FFG nerfs list over and over, people will be OK with it. I'm pretty sure that a drop in quality because 'we can just fix it later' will make many customers very unhappy. 

You have literally described the metagame evolution of every collectible game. People are used with that. 1.0 was the same, and we always had complaints for nerf this or why did you nerf that. Don't expect 2.0 to not have those problems, because even the most heavily playtested games (and games with far more logical tools to prevent broken stuff) have those cycles and complaints.

I am not saying FFG should get rid of playtesters, but it would be more fair, because we won't have insiders having competitive advantage, and this new tool alleviates that.

I maintain, like MJ, that an a priori solution is better for the game, but FFG has chosen to do an a posteriori one, and makes other solutions more redundant and less needed.

In fact, with the app, more complaints about having playtesters with insider's advantage will surface, precisely because they are no longer essential.

7 hours ago, GrimmyV said:

As it is, this game sells very very well despite all the screw ups through the years, seemingly immune to any bad game design.  And in the end it’s the money that determines business decisions.

2.0 I'm ambivalent on, but will upgrade. It has some neat stuff but at the same time a few details they could have done much better. It suits them that they choose an after the fact balance solution, because they really have a blind eye for some common sense stuff.

Edited by falveryn

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1 hour ago, falveryn said:

You have literally described the metagame evolution of every collectible game. People are used with that. 1.0 was the same, and we always had complaints for nerf this or why did you nerf that.

Thing is, 1.0 had pretty long lead times before nerfs so there was plenty of time to enjoy and get their money's worth from a top meta list before nerfs. The app cuts that time drastically to the point people might start feeling it's a GW-like cash grab (wait untill people buy something, then nerf it). 

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Just now, LordBlades said:

Thing is, 1.0 had pretty long lead times before nerfs so there was plenty of time to enjoy and get their money's worth from a top meta list before nerfs. The app cuts that time drastically to the point people might start feeling it's a GW-like cash grab (wait untill people buy something, then nerf it). 

Digital games give like a 2-4 weeks (definitely a cash grab). I guess it is hard because you have people complaining it was a scam on one side and people crying for nerfs on the other, impossible to keep everyone happy. From what they have said, they don't want people to be constantly checking if something is legal or not, so it will not be very frequent and most likely used in place of FAQ's.

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On 5/3/2018 at 2:27 AM, MajorJuggler said:

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

Let's wait and see. If X-Wing 2.0 turns out to be as "well" balanced as 1.0, then I am definitely interested in a balance mod. But from the way 2.0 is being presented it looks like the game developers have learned some valuable lessons from how 1.0 went, so a balance mod might not be needed. We should know for sure by the end of the year.

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I have a suspicion that the new update-capable points system will result in a balance paradigm closer to the earlier Wave 7 etc, with the model I proposed all along:

1) Release shiny new ship, very exciting surprise etc
2) Whoops, ship sucks a bit
3) Work out via community just how much it sucks, tweak cost accordingly

It was obvious that later in the waves (Jumpmaster onwards, essentially) their frustration at so many ships being DOA due to cautious pricing left them with a "Screw it, let's make it fun" attitude... and that's what gave us so much heartache all round. One hopes they can now go back to making StarVipers, Scyks, and G1As... and then just dock their price tags by a couple points when it's needed later.

We'll see, of course, but one can but hope.

Assuming they do this, though, your analyses will be as valuable as ever in respect to "This is what we've seen, how good is it really?", but I'm not sure how much an "X-wing 2.0 MJ edition" can benefit the community, unless the second-pass balancing is either painfully slow, or hilariously off target.

Edited by Reiver

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On 5/2/2018 at 7:27 PM, 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:

[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.

First off, what you've said is a statement of fact. You are right to take pride in your abilities. I, for one, appreciate what you can do. If people get upset or take offense, here's a line from one of my favorite songs: **** the naysayers, they don't mean a thing. 

FWIW, you are unique in what you do. In my opinion, it IS a questionable use of your time given how you've framed your argument, an argument with which I agree. Therefore, IMHO, I think you should keep it close to the vest. They don't deserve what you can do for them, especially if they're not going to/interested in compensating you for it. 

Thanks for all you do for this community. Thanks for all of the help you've given me. 

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