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MajorJuggler

PSA: no public MathWing / ship evaluation for X-wing 2.0

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52 minutes ago, justaslug said:

Sure, but then why is he coming here to moan about it to us as if we can do anything? What is the purpose of his post outside of just ranting about how FFG won't give him the attention he feels he deserves? 

To let everyone know why he is no longer posting his findings. A lot of people seem interested in what he discovers and he doesn’t want an endless stream of requests in the coming years. This way he lets everyone know the information isn’t going to be published and why and then in the future whenever someone asks there will be dozens of people who can explain why instead of he, himself having to do it. 

 

While I have never read MJs stuff in depth myself, and have disagreed with him on a couple points in the past, he has been a mainstay of the community for years and his sudden absence would deserve an explaination, especially since he has been getting a lot of inquiries about what he was going to do with 2.0. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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12 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

In the nicest possible way, this is completely delusional.

A.  Perfection is impossible.

B.  The required use of the Tweek-o-Matic X-Wing App just proves that even the devs know that nothing will ever be well-balanced.

"Delusion is the highest form of grandure." - Thomas Jefferson

I agree with your whole post, and was avoiding using the WAAC term myself. But wouldn't it be nice if that delusion were a reality. 

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23 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

And, IMHO, this is exactly what wrecks the game.  Everyone will one play the subset of cards that have been "scientifically proven" to be worthwhile.  This has 2 long-term effects:

1.  No one will experiment.  The game quickly becomes a limited collection of math-whizzed choices to the exclusion of all other options.

2.  It puts the game in the 99th percentile.  If a large segment of the population was NOT hyper-optimized, a lot more people could play the upper 5-10% of the game (thus having far more options) and have a chance at winning because people were playing what they wanted, not what they were told to play to WAAC.

I think most of this is incorrect, for multiple reasons. 

 

1.Top players experiment all the time. Just look at stuff like Dengaroo or Parattani. They just experiment in an informed way, as they try to unlock certain synergies or follow some ideas. Math has no bearing on that apart from excluding bad ideas (like Expose) from the get go. Not knowing that boiling water is hot doesn't make sticking your hand in it a good idea. It just makes finding out it's a bad idea painful. 

 

2. I don't think the majority of the population is hyper-optimized because they understand what's good (the math), but simply because they see what's good (tournament results). Hiding tournament results is obviously impossible. 

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1 hour ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

For all of it's trumpet-blaring, MathWing never even predicted anything like Dengaroo (or the double-droid Fat Han, or that Control-Bots would win Worlds this year, or that... ). 

MathWing predicted TLTs, OG Defenders, Fixed Defenders, Crack Shot Swarms and was able to explain (for the first time) just how "Arc Dodgy Aces" were actually the best jousters in the game.

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21 hours ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

Exact value is going to take time, but it’ll be ironed out eventually . I’m worried about the pinch points where a certain ship can be too good to field 5, but never worth it with only 4.

Man, I sure hope every ship in the game is like this. Spamming a single type is my least favorite list archetype. I much prefer a little variety, even if it's 2-3 of one, 3 of the other.

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6 minutes ago, Q10fanatic said:

MathWing predicted TLTs, OG Defenders, Fixed Defenders, Crack Shot Swarms and was able to explain (for the first time) just how "Arc Dodgy Aces" were actually the best jousters in the game.

I know I needed calculus to tell me free evades were good.  

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51 minutes ago, ViscerothSWG said:

and was avoiding using the WAAC term myself.

Well, you've gotta call a spade a spade.  People are not going to tournaments for frivolous fun; they want to walk home with prizes.  Sadly, FFG only looks at design and development from the standpoint of tournament play, and. . .

44 minutes ago, LordBlades said:

 Hiding tournament results is obviously impossible. 

So, we wind up with the upper 1% of the game distorting the view of all of it.  Unfortunately, MathWing helps get you there. 

If FFG were a bunch of ecologists, they would spend all their time studying Earth's deserts, and then declare the planet uninhabitable.

The game looks a lot different on most kitchen tables.

The thing of it is, there is always going to be a best tool.  Regardless of skill.  A rapier is a stupid choice for a cavalry charge, and a pike is a stupid weapon for a duel.  So, until XWM has more than 1 format, there will always be the best tool for the job, and every saavy player is going to use it.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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42 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

And, IMHO, this is exactly what wrecks the game.  Everyone will one play the subset of cards that have been "scientifically proven" to be worthwhile.  This has 2 long-term effects:

1.  No one will experiment.  The game quickly becomes a limited collection of math-whizzed choices to the exclusion of all other options.

2.  It puts the game in the 99th percentile.  If a large segment of the population was NOT hyper-optimized, a lot more people could play the upper 5-10% of the game (thus having far more options) and have a chance at winning because people were playing what they wanted, not what they were told to play to WAAC.

Are you saying that "Ignorance is bliss"? Because it sounds very much like that.
Like if it was pretty to see a majority of newbies gimping themselves taking absurdly inefficient upgrades and ships and blaming the opponent's luck or their dice when they lose.
We still have plenty of that in the player base, people that blame their dice because of their ignorance of how basic probability works.

If you think the majority will reflect over their loses until they get an epiphany about how to optimize their chances, you are being unrealistic. They will blame the game, the randomness, or how fickle their dice are. Very few will be willing to reinvent the mathematical wheel of calculating if a ship chasis or an upgrade is worth the ink it's printed with or not.
Why having to reinvent the wheel when people like MajorJugger does it for free?

The devs releasing Expose, a 4 point card whose action use is worse than Focus tells, precisely, that not even the devs know what they are doing.

Geez, the entire existence of totally worthless ship chasis in 1.0, like the TIE Punisher, the G1-A, and so on and on, the presence of overpowered stuff that came undercosted, or underpowered stuff that came totally overcosted to the point beyond fixing, that ultimately led to the very Second Edition is a testament of the destination that "The game is better without math" philosophy leads us to.

"Gut feeling" is synonym of "I don't have the tools to know what I am doing, neither I want to acquire them or ask someone that has them. So I will just dismiss them as worthless."
The volatile point costs in the app is the declaration of surrender of the dev team.
"We have no idea how much this ship or upgrade is worth in points, or even which upgrades this ship should not be able to equip to keep the game balance.
So instead of trying to figure it out, let the player base playtest it for us."

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5 minutes ago, Azrapse said:

 

The devs releasing Expose, a 4 point card whose action use is worse than Focus tells, precisely, that not even the devs know what they are doing.

 

bad example.

1) Different dev behind the wheel vs what we have now

2) Wave 2 upgrade card - back then it was still in its infancy and trying to figure out what to do

 

you can't compare the duds in wave 1-3 with what the designers are doing now. the game was so unexplored that they had to make it up as they went along because they truly didn't know. It sounds like fun, rolling more dice = more fun right? that was the idea. 

Edited by Wiredin

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1 minute ago, Wiredin said:

bad example.

1) Different dev behind the wheel vs what we have now

2) Wave 2 upgrade card - back then it was still in its infancy and trying to figure out what to do

 

Not that it changes the argument at all.
It's not like Davy and Brooks stopped making numbers when they took over. The original X-Wing dev team never did. That is why we go the dreadful TIE Advanced, overcosted Y-wings and HWKs, etc.

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2 hours ago, Freeptop said:

Thing is, it should be possible to re-negotiate the terms of that agreement. See if you can strike that paragraph, or at least strictly narrow the language so that they get a for-pay license with a limited duration. You produced this IP prior to any work with them, so this should be eminently reasonable.

If they aren't willing to accept those terms, then walk away.

 

This is exactly how it went down. As I think I stated earlier upthread, I actually offered them much better terms - they would get unlimited and royalty free use. They wouldn't budge, at all.

 

2 hours ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:


But I mean, he hasn't yet, right?  Five years of 1.0, and MathWing's staunchest experts didn't have a terribly impressive competitive pedigree, despite claiming to have unlocked the power-level curve of the games components on a fundamentally objective level.

It's not like, for all the bravado of MathWing's crystal ball, did MajorJuggler discover Dengaroo or anything comparable.  For all of it's trumpet-blaring, MathWing never even predicted anything like Dengaroo (or the double-droid Fat Han, or that Control-Bots would win Worlds this year, or that... ).  MathWing can sometimes use its modeling to explain why a list did well, but usually only after the fact.  It can fit reality to fit its explanations, but it usually wasn't great at using its analytic power to make predictions.  ****, Creationism can explain everything and anything after the fact (and that doesn't make it a powerful theory, that makes it a problematic theory, in part, because it can't ever be falsified or submitted to rigorous tests)... but real analytic power comes in making bold predictions about the future.

It has always seemed like competitive X-Wing is/was far too complex of a game to be reduced down to an abstracted brute jousting value.

MathWing is neat, and in some regards it's pretty impressive.  But I think its value and utility have been greatly exaggerated. 

 

As stated earlier, my application of MathWing is much more useful for designers than players. It can help you list build, but that's about it. To get useful tactical information, you need to start really drilling into specifics (which I do occasionally for myself) to determine things like optimal target priority, etc. At this level it's also not trying to predict outcomes of specific games.

 

Others have already jumped in about predictions that it's made (like Commonwealth defenders), but there's a lot more, if you're curious. X-wing vs B-wing, 35 Fel, Dash, scum Fenn, rebel Fenn, K-fighters, Starvipers, x1 Vader, and plenty more others that I can't rattle off the top of my head. This is more of an FYI, if you're not looking to be convinced that's fine too, I haven't been particularly vocal about predictions the last couple of years.

 

I'm happy enough with my competitive pedigree. I have only gone to 4 regionals, won one, top 4'ed in another, was 4-2 in the other 2 with suboptimal squads. In my entire X-wing "career" I have only missed the cut 4 times:

1) first Regional w/ suboptimal list, went 4-2

2) Worlds 2015, 6-2 #20 overall so missed Top 16 by MoV.

3) One random store [edit: store kit, not SC] where I went undefeated in swiss, beating multiple top 4 players in the process, but missed the cut because of the weird 5/3/1/0 scoring system.

4) Last regionals I went to, intentionally took a subpar list because I didn't care, and went 4-2.

 

Everyone has different goals. Ultimately from a player's perspective, blowing up spaceships and making pew pew noises is #1. ?

 

 

2 hours ago, justaslug said:

Sure, but then why is he coming here to moan about it to us as if we can do anything? What is the purpose of his post outside of just ranting about how FFG won't give him the attention he feels he deserves? 

I frequently get asked my opinion on new and upcoming stuff. Since I'll be declining to answer most requests it's easier to have the rationale in one place than re-typing it many times.

 

1 hour ago, Biophysical said:

I know I needed calculus to tell me free evades were good.  

The original 4K was "good" too, but it was not cost effective. Named TIE Defenders in the hands of one particular individual notwithstanding. ?

Edited by MajorJuggler

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1 minute ago, Azrapse said:

Not that it changes the argument at all.
It's not like Davy and Brooks stopped making numbers when they took over. The original X-Wing dev team never did. That is why we go the dreadful TIE Advanced, overcosted Y-wings and HWKs, etc.

the best examples are Nym, jump master, rebel Fenn... the crowning achievements of "oh wtf did we do now"

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58 minutes ago, Azrapse said:

Are you saying that "Ignorance is bliss"? Because it sounds very much like that.

Yeah, pretty much.

Because I think this is a game, and a game should be about playing, not winning.

Ignorance leads to the bliss of figuring it out.  Along with everyone else.  IMHO, the experience should be a series of field tests pitting your list against another, making judgement calls, revising, and repeating.   But then MathWing (or netlisting, or whatever) comes along and just cuts to the chase and you have only the best of best being fielded immediately.

Which is fine if you always want to win.  But then don't complain your toolbox is too small. 

If the only gig in town is carpentry, and you went online to find the best hammer, you're done.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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43 minutes ago, MajorJuggler said:

 

This is exactly how it went down. As I think I stated earlier upthread, I actually offered them much better terms - they would get unlimited and royalty free use. They wouldn't budge, at all.

 

Sorry to hear that. I mentioned it because I know from experience that most people don't realize they even can try to renegotiate those portions of the contracts. Of course, it does require both sides agreeing.

Understandable how you're going about this. If they're not valuing your product because it was previously free, no point in continuing to justify that valuation. It also makes sense to let people know why you're suddenly no longer providing this service.

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16 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

Yeah, pretty much.

Because I think this is a game, and a game should be about playing, not winning.

Ignorance leads to the bliss of figuring it out.  Along with everyone else.  IMHO, the experience should be a series of field tests pitting your list against another, making judgement calls, revising, and repeating.   But then MathWing (or netlisting, or whatever) comes along and just cuts to the chase and you have only the best of best being fielded immediately.

Which is fine if you always want to win.  But then don't complain your toolbox is too small. 

If the only gig in town is carpentry, and you went online to find the best hammer, you're done.

So, people who don't have time to go through the elimination process and will get more enjoyment out of the game by "cutting to the chase" are out of luck?

You don't have to always want to win to get something of value out of mathwing or using a netlist. That's not how you play, good for you. But people who do aren't doing it wrong. Just different.

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37 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

Yeah, pretty much.

Because I think this is a game, and a game should be about playing, not winning.

Ignorance leads to the bliss of figuring it out.  Along with everyone else.  IMHO, the experience should be a series of field tests pitting your list against another, making judgement calls, revising, and repeating.   But then MathWing (or netlisting, or whatever) comes along and just cuts to the chase and you have only the best of best being fielded immediately.

Which is fine if you always want to win.  But then don't complain your toolbox is too small. 

If the only gig in town is carpentry, and you went online to find the best hammer, you're done. 

I actually find the game good, so understanding it improved my appreciation of it, rather than detracted from it.

That's how good games work- you learn more about them, how to win, and it makes the game feel better.

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2 hours ago, Q10fanatic said:

MathWing predicted TLTs, OG Defenders, Fixed Defenders, Crack Shot Swarms and was able to explain (for the first time) just how "Arc Dodgy Aces" were actually the best jousters in the game.


I mean, no offense but lots of people were able to tell that TLTs, X7s, Crack Shot, Torpedo Scouts, and the like were going to be amazingly influential in the meta-game without needing MathWing's models to tell them such.

Can MathWing's models reveal that certain upgrades or ships are more cost-effective than others in certain circumstances?  Sure, but so can plenty of other means of analyzing and evaluating those upgrades/ships.

That MathWing is sometimes as effective as other means of theory-crafting and evaluating options is hardly a strong argument in defending Juggler's claims about it's privileged insights into the game.  It'd have been more impressive if MathWing's approaches revealed unexpected things, things that weren't commonly held by the community or derivable from other means of evaluation. 

Is Mathwing sufficient for understanding the cost effectiveness of certain options?  Sure, sometimes.  Is Mathwing necessary for understanding the cost effectiveness of certain options?  Nope.

So when MJ goes around acting like he's cracked some sacred code, the only code out there for unlocking THE ONE TRUE BALANCE of the game, forgive those of us that just see it as what a freshly unfrozen Han would call "delusions of grandeur."

Edited by AllWingsStandyingBy

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3 hours ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

 ****, Creationism can explain everything and anything after the fact (and that doesn't make it a powerful theory, that makes it a problematic theory, in part, because it can't ever be falsified or submitted to rigorous tests)...
 

 

That's humorously ironic because the exact same thing can be said about the religion of Darwinism (except there are plenty of glaring scientific problems with it).

 

Regardless, every time The Juggler comes on here and talks about how great he is half the people agree with him and the other half throw tomatoes.  Every. Single. Time.

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