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Kaptin Krunch

High Initiative, Passive/Easy Double Mods, and 'Aces"- Problems of a Devolving Meta

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1 minute ago, Kieransi said:

yeah idk

I struggle with what the definition of "competitive" is. I like the idea of side-events. like, main tourney hyperspace, and then there's epic, extended, and aces high side events. prize tickets for all. 

the problem with extended being the main focus of any events is mostly product availability. do we want FFG to reprint 1.0 releases once stock of the extended ships runs out? 

Side events are a good thing. Aces Hight at Worlds was a smashing success, from everything I’ve heard. But with some people having to pack light for big tournaments because of travel, I think you just shift the problem of ship availability from the main event to another. And considering that the majority of people going to those big events are going to be knocked out, thus likely to want to farm more tickets in the side events, we have the same problem all over again.

Product availability is a concern. We’ve gotten a decent amount re-released, but still have a lot of ships to go. It’s part of the reason why I advocate for both. Though Hyperspace currently is kind of “lost its way” as it were, it has potential to be a helpful part of growing X-Wing. Though, frankly, I’ll be more interested in it when availability is less or no longer a concern and ship limitations can be cycled.

But, yeah. I don’t have all the answers to this. Just hopes and dreams.

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1 hour ago, Faerie1979 said:

No list, no matter how strong it is considered to be in the meta, is going to make an unskilled player suddenly be able to win even a local tourney.

Someone must not have been around for the degeneracy of TLT Ghost w/ Maul, Ezra and Fenn Sheathipede.

I was an unskilled player and that list was too easy to fly and win with.

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1 hour ago, Faerie1979 said:

When you populate your list with top tier players, all of whom obsessively chase "The Meta" and spend a lot of time practicing with a given list once someone else proves it to be effective... Yeah, way to prove me wrong. Because top tier players who only play what is thought to be "the best" due to it winning tournaments when played by top tier players is so very much evidence that the list it's self is why they did so well. It can't possibly be player skill and hours upon hours of practice with a given list. No, it must be the list's composition.

Which isn't to say such a list it's self isn't effective. But the list is not the real reason the players are doing well with it. It is, as I already mentioned, the skill of the player that makes a difference. No list, no matter how strong it is considered to be in the meta, is going to make an unskilled player suddenly be able to win even a local tourney.

You assume that meta lists are only or at least mainly played by top tier players. Once you have a large amount of different players, it is simply impossible that all are top tier. Think about it this way: if two player were to have the exact same skill but played a different list, would the list make a difference? If yes then you already agree that the list does make a difference. The question is to what degree. And that is where large numbers come into play.

 @theBitterFig can you explain his contention to me because I really don't see it.

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I think what we have in X-Wing is a great way to use our miniatures. The mechanics are quite sound.

That said, the objective of the competitive game is more or less brainless. "Kill more of them while they kill less of you" is about the least interesting, least storytelling objective you can have in a combat game. FFG's dependence on squad points for scoring is a major crutch and will always be something I'll gripe about. Adding objectives to squad points somehow makes it even worse in my mind. I think squad-point-based victory should be removed from the game and competitive scene entirely.

I understand the objectives some have to certain objective formats, but I do think that it's a concept that could work and would make both casual and competitive play more interesting by demanding a wider variety of functions for any given team.

I think the recently-released Marvel: Crisis Protocol has a pretty stellar model for this. Each player brings two objectives (one of each of two different types) and one player chooses whether to use their own of type A or their own of type B. The other must be the opponent's. The two objective types are a "Secure" and an "Extraction" objective. In other words, one of them is "Be in xyz locations" and the other is "accomplish xyz tasks." There are ways to translate that to X-Wing, some of which could involve more extensive use of remotes or scenario-specific obstacles. Either way it's not a simple win/loss on objective choice. It simply requires you to be versatile. More importantly, no points are scored based on kills/deaths, but only on your ability to gain points via method A or method B. Some favor force, some tankiness, some control/maneuverability, some area coverage, some attack value, and so on. Of course, you still don't want your ships getting killed; that stops you from scoring more points, and it goes the same way for your opponent's ships. You'll certainly want to shoot them down at every opportunity. That's just not all the game is anymore. Beyond environments, this could add so much narrative value to the game.

It fixes the non-engagement problem. It fixes the regen/fortressing problem. It fixes the single-archetype-wins problem. It fixes the all-matches-go-to-time problem. It fixes the Swarms-don't-get-enough-rounds problem. It's also just more fun and more interesting than a straight-up points vs points deathmatch. Every game tells a story. You get immersed in the situation and have to make judgements based on what's actually going in your world rather than on arithmetic.

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8 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

Ah, thank you, good to know!  In that case it is:

If you sort that list by Average Swiss Rank (and ignore entries with less than 10 lists), in the top 40 there are:
• x Force-users: Seventh Sister, Inquisitor, Plo Koon, Anakin Skywalker [N-1 Naboo].
• x Initiative 5+ Pilots: Plo Koon, "Blackout", "Null", Ello Asty, Corran Horn.

Right: I think it means the takeaway is nearly everything at this point is thematic!

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51 minutes ago, Brunas said:

Lower is better here - this is a list of the worst performing ships in the game!

 

Avg Swiss Rank is the average swiss rank of a given pilot, normalized to a 100 person event.  So a pilot that only has one appearance of 5th out of 20 would have an avg swiss rank of 25 (out of 100).

I'm strangely not surprised that a person who constantly rails against words on cards didn't bother reading the About tab for AT.C.

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6 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

I'm strangely not surprised that a person who constantly rails against words on cards didn't bother reading the About tab for AT.C.

I think you've mistaken me for the OP.  😉  I did misunderstand that column, but I was challenging their claim; those stats don't seem to support OP's claims about the severity of the situation.

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2 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

I think you've mistaken me for the OP.  😉  I did misunderstand that column, but I was challenging their claim; those stats don't seem to support OP's claims about the severity of the situation.

doesn't read who @Brunas is responding to and makes fun of the wrong person for not reading.

Image result for ironic palpatine

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41 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

You assume that meta lists are only or at least mainly played by top tier players. Once you have a large amount of different players, it is simply impossible that all are top tier. Think about it this way: if two player were to have the exact same skill but played a different list, would the list make a difference? If yes then you already agree that the list does make a difference. The question is to what degree. And that is where large numbers come into play.

 @theBitterFig can you explain his contention to me because I really don't see it.

Well, I don't know if I can explain their point, but I might be able to explain what I took from it...

Mostly, that we should have a bit of modesty and skepticism on the finest details of what's better than what.  Something about the post reminded me of ideas I'd had in my head.

//

To rip off a line out of Plato "Are lists good because good players play them, or do good players play them because they're good?"

There's kind of no concrete answer.  Good players aren't going to fly obvious trash, but even if it's not the absolute best ship or list, they can still do rather well with it.  However, good players will do better with lists than other folks, as can easily be attested to by anyone who's brought one of PhilGC's lists to casual night.

//

I've been thinking about Thane Kyrell lately, off and on.  Is he actually bad, or is it just that bad players are playing him?  Better players probably build lists which include Ten Nunb, for example, because Ten is at least a little better, and the stronger players will take that edge.  But if you had the person who is great with Ten Nunb play Thane instead, my guess is that there probably wouldn't be a huge difference in results, because the list would still be flown by a really good player.

Now, there's a limit.  Like, suppose all ships break down into five tiers, say American-style letter grades A/B/C/D/F.  Great players can probably shift a list or a ship up a tier or two in performance.

If there was a small difference in theoretical power between Thane and Ten, but the best players switched to Ten, and only weaker players flew Thane, the difference between them in results would be exaggerated.  Like if Ten is "B", Thane is "C", but the player skill brings Ten up to "A" performance levels, or drags Thane down to "D", well... we've made a mistake about some player-independent power level.  And then other good players will see "oh, Ten is clearly better than Thane, let's run him instead" and there's a bit of a feedback loop.

Now, maybe Thane really is actual-bad and not "slightly worse but still OK."  But I think the example is still illustrative.

//

I know large enough numbers will probably mitigate that, but do we really have that?  I keep thinking about how many folks in Top 16 Worlds Interviews will say "Oh, I was worried about such-and-such a thing, but never faced it."  Draw-luck clearly matters a tonne, with individual matchups, compared to strength-against-the-field.

And again, we've surely got the broad strokes about what's good, but we probably don't really have as much precision as we'd like. 

//

Might not be what the original poster was saying, but that's what I was thinking.

Edited by theBitterFig

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38 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

Ah, thank you, good to know!  In that case it is:

If you sort that list by Average Swiss Rank (and ignore entries with less than 10 lists), in the top 40 there are:
• 4 Force-users: Seventh Sister, Inquisitor, Plo Koon, Anakin Skywalker [N-1 Naboo].
• 5 Initiative 5+ Pilots: Plo Koon, "Blackout", "Null", Ello Asty, Corran Horn.

As an professional statistician, I would strongly discourage using 10-lists as a threshold, and also against using Average Swiss- Cut rate would be much more relevant

The problem with Average swiss is that it would read someone going 0-4 and then conceding two rounds as significantly different than someone going 4-2, and the wider 'range' of values would cause much swingier data. Cut rate does not have this problem.

For the quantity filter, I would hesitate to use any number of lists that isn't 3 digits long- 10 lists as a threshold, with sone really basic nonparametric testing, would result in clear non-trends of data. Ideally we would use 400, but we don't have that quantity of data.

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37 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

I think you've mistaken me for the OP.  😉  I did misunderstand that column, but I was challenging their claim; those stats don't seem to support OP's claims about the severity of the situation.

 

37 minutes ago, jagsba said:

@Joker Two is famous for railing against words on cards?

/facepalm. Here I am skimming and conflating...

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30 minutes ago, Kaptin Krunch said:

As an professional statistician, I would strongly discourage using 10-lists as a threshold, and also against using Average Swiss- Cut rate would be much more relevant

...

For the quantity filter, I would hesitate to use any number of lists that isn't 3 digits long- 10 lists as a threshold, with sone really basic nonparametric testing, would result in clear non-trends of data. Ideally we would use 400, but we don't have that quantity of data.

Well, if you're only going to even consider ~10% of the total card pool...

<shrug>

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2 minutes ago, Do I need a Username said:

while 100 is probably too small of a pool at this point, 10 is for sure too small a sample size.  I'd look at 30 as the absolute floor, and probably want 50+

 

11 minutes ago, Joker Two said:

Well, if you're only going to even consider ~10% of the total card pool...

<shrug>

So the reason I would want 400 is for standard operating procedure for P value tests- 5% p value, which should then be used as a precedent for another/more tests 20*20 samples. That being said, we don't have 400 samples of most lists.

Also, the statistics shouldn't be utilized blindly, and we can combine that with our prior knowledge to make reasonable decisions. As an example, we probably don't need a sample size of 400 to tell you Joy Rekoff is ******* terrible.

Some nonparametric analysis could be done, but honestly, I don't care enough to do said analysis. I only made the original rant via Speech-to-text.

Sample sizes below 50 should be looked at via a case study of 'go look at the lists that were flown and how they operate' since at that level of usage, the individual player's ability is potentially (likely) incredibly significant.

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On 11/18/2019 at 6:48 PM, Kaptin Krunch said:

Let's talk about non-limited pilots. Non limited pilots, sans a few exceptions, are laughably bad. The top 10 has one non-limited pilot, and it's Trade Federation Drone. 

 

There are plenty of solid selections of generic pilots.

 

The runner up list at worlds had a z95.

Top 4 had 4 Starvipers.

Cartel Marauders were in evidence.

 

Generics are excellent for building efficiency lists.  Nothing I love seeing more when building an efficiency list than an opponent with a 20pt bid

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Something else that muddies these statistical waters... Squad composition is quite important.

For gleaning true facts, X Wing meta analysis is problematic in many ways. Context matters a bit.

Generics can carry game changing aces and vice versa.

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18 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

I'd much rather see any or all of the following:

• Objective-driven victory (like Marvel: Crisis Protocol, not like Legion or Armada – simpler is always better and anything other than full reorientation fails to root out the core issues). This would fix 90% of the issues with Organized Play and would make Casual play more fun as well.

• Rules change to keep half-points from coming back via regen

• Victory and MoV only by points destroyed, rather than both points destroyed and points preserved.

• Astronomical regen pricing that puts it in a category with SR or Gunner Luke: Fringe but acceptable option that's fairly priced. Failing that, pricing like Gonk: AKA trash.

 

 

17 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

I think what we have in X-Wing is a great way to use our miniatures. The mechanics are quite sound.

That said, the objective of the competitive game is more or less brainless. "Kill more of them while they kill less of you" is about the least interesting, least storytelling objective you can have in a combat game. FFG's dependence on squad points for scoring is a major crutch and will always be something I'll gripe about. Adding objectives to squad points somehow makes it even worse in my mind. I think squad-point-based victory should be removed from the game and competitive scene entirely.

I understand the objectives some have to certain objective formats, but I do think that it's a concept that could work and would make both casual and competitive play more interesting by demanding a wider variety of functions for any given team.

I think the recently-released Marvel: Crisis Protocol has a pretty stellar model for this. Each player brings two objectives (one of each of two different types) and one player chooses whether to use their own of type A or their own of type B. The other must be the opponent's. The two objective types are a "Secure" and an "Extraction" objective. In other words, one of them is "Be in xyz locations" and the other is "accomplish xyz tasks." There are ways to translate that to X-Wing, some of which could involve more extensive use of remotes or scenario-specific obstacles. Either way it's not a simple win/loss on objective choice. It simply requires you to be versatile. More importantly, no points are scored based on kills/deaths, but only on your ability to gain points via method A or method B. Some favor force, some tankiness, some control/maneuverability, some area coverage, some attack value, and so on. Of course, you still don't want your ships getting killed; that stops you from scoring more points, and it goes the same way for your opponent's ships. You'll certainly want to shoot them down at every opportunity. That's just not all the game is anymore. Beyond environments, this could add so much narrative value to the game.

It fixes the non-engagement problem. It fixes the regen/fortressing problem. It fixes the single-archetype-wins problem. It fixes the all-matches-go-to-time problem. It fixes the Swarms-don't-get-enough-rounds problem. It's also just more fun and more interesting than a straight-up points vs points deathmatch. Every game tells a story. You get immersed in the situation and have to make judgements based on what's actually going in your world rather than on arithmetic.

Just wanted to get on board with the above, and note that, if the upcoming card packs succeed, we might see more of a focus on objective-driven play. The game is in a much better place to support something like this, now, but I don't want it to become too objective driven.

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9 hours ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

There are plenty of solid selections of generic pilots.

 

The runner up list at worlds had a z95.

Top 4 had 4 Starvipers.

Cartel Marauders were in evidence.

 

Generics are excellent for building efficiency lists.  Nothing I love seeing more when building an efficiency list than an opponent with a 20pt bid

Wow, a whole singular Z95! Surely, that one ship is the centerpoint of DT's list and it was indespensible to him.

As I mentioned above, a top 4 cut in a 400 person tournament is in no way a representative sample, and to imply that it is (as you are doing) is either wrong at best, or intentionally deceptive at worst. If we want to go that way, 100% of 2.0 worlds winning ships have force, i5, and the ability to double mod their dice!

As mentioned in the small sample size, the individual player matters much more at this small of a sample- Oli, DT, etc are good players, you are good at stalling in a corner with your four starvipers, etc. That's assuming you want to use 4 lists as a sample, which it is distinctly not.

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Looked up some of the recent grands and pulled out info on their cut generics and non-meta ships/squads.   To me its pretty enlightening that the meta is indeed fairly diverse!!!

 

https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1322  -- US Grands in STL
Top 32 Cut
13/32 squads had generics in them.
--Gold Squad Troopers
--104th Arcs
--Drones
--Delta Sqd Defender
--Inquisitors
--OGP
--Nu Sqd Gunboat
--Blue Sqd Recruit A-wings
--Zeta Sqd SFs
--Epsilon Sqd Cadet FO
--Omega Sqd FO

Non Meta Uniques
--Vermeil
--Arvel
--Maarek Stele
--Resistance Chewie
--Backdraft
--Rexlar Brath
--Seventh Sister

https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1292 -- Polish Grands
Top 16 Cut
9/16 squads had generics in them
--Zeta Sqd SFs
--Epsilon Sqd Cadet FO
--Stalgasin Hive Nantex
--Drones
--Alpha Sqd Interceptor
--OGP
--Academy Tie FIghter
--Cartel Marauder
--Logistic Division Resistance Transport
--104th Arcs

Non Meta Uniques
--Avenger in FO swarm.
--Dooku with 3 generic nantex
--Capt Feroph in reaper w/ palp onboard
--Capt Kagi w/ palp
--Rose Tico
--Multiple admiral sloane swarms


https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1285 -- Swedish Grands
Top 16 Cut
6/16 squads had generics in them
--Cartel Marauder
--Drones
--Logistic Division Resistance Transport
--Trandoshan Slaver
--Inquisitor

Non Meta Uniques/Interesting squads
--Captain Jostero w/ Torani Kulda
--Double Falcon w/ Han and Lando
--Sunny Bounder
--Serrissu
--Capt Nym
--Sol Sixxa
--5 Generic Inqs w/ Clusters
--Colonel Vessery
--Seventh Sister

https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1324 - Dutch Grands
Top 32 Cut
15/32 squads had generics in them.
--Academy PIlot
--Black SUn assassin
--Black SUn Ace
--Cartel Executioner
--Zeta Sqd SFs
--Inquisitors
--Drones
--Banana Pirates
--Blue Squad Scout U-wing
--Feethan Ottraw Bulbasaur
--OGP
--Cartel Marauder
--Stalgasin Hive Nantex

Non Meta Uniques
--Koshka Frost
--Evaan Verlaine
--Airen Cracken
--Zuckuss
--L337
--Blackout
--Midnight
--Sol Sixxa
--Arvel
--AP5
--Quad Lambdas
--066 in Scimitar with 3 nantex (placed second)

https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1287  - Australian Grands
Top 8 Cut
5/8 had generics
--Drones
--Starkiller Base Pilot

https://listfortress.com/tournaments/1276 -- Spanish Grands
Top 32 Cut
11/32 had generics (with multiple squads missing from listfortress)
--Drones
--Inquisitors
--OGP
--Partisan Renegade U-Wing
--Bandit Z
--Black Sun Assassin
--Imdaar Test Pilot Phantom
--Petranaki Arena Ace Nantex
--Zeta Sqd SFs
--104th Arcs

Non Meta Uniques/Interesting Lists
--Double Falcon Han/Lando
--Torani, Sol Sixxa, Zuckuss, and Seevor
--Corran, Hera, Arvel
--Serissu
--Unkar
--Blackout
--Garven, Kyle Katarn, Esege
 

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4 minutes ago, brownj23 said:

Top 32 Cut
13/32 squads had generics in them.
--Gold Squad Troopers
--104th Arcs
--Drones
--Delta Sqd Defender
--Inquisitors
--OGP
--Nu Sqd Gunboat
--Blue Sqd Recruit A-wings
--Zeta Sqd SFs
--Epsilon Sqd Cadet FO
--Omega Sqd FO

So about 60% were not using a generic? 

Gold Squad Troopers and 104th Arcs hang with the Jedi. 

Drones are the backbone of an entire faction. 

Delta Sqd. Defender -- Surprising but still Imperial so likely hanging out with Vader and the next guys

Inquisitors -- passive force mods

OGP (Lambda shuttle) -- gives actions likely to pilots with passive mods being the same faction as Vader and Inquisitors

Nu Sqd Gunboat -- same as the defender. 

Blue Sqd Recruit A-wings --- faction only has six ships and this ship gets a free action while having two re-position actions.

Zeta Sqd SFs -- token taking action with white rotate so -- free action. Ship is one of only four in the faction and one of those has a force user. 

Epsilon Sqd Cadet FO -- see Zeta above but lacks free action. Only four ships in the faction. 

Omega Sqd FO -- see Zeta above but lacks free action. Only four ships in the faction. 

-----------------------------------------

I doubt any of those generic ships except the Drones and A-wing were in a list without a force user. So they've gussied up passive mods or else in your list-building by implementing them as The Force. 

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X-wing 2.0 didnt fix much and I dont think it was intended to. it was intended to boost sales after they fell off from the power creep and bad game design. instead of solving balance issues they sold players a few quality of life improvements but never adressed the core flaws: the almighty initiative, upgrade spam, the need for to-hit rolls and damage to be seperate, weirdness with the victory conditions and people running away, etc.... just sooo many things. instead theres what, 20 kinds of token now? great.  Ironically turrets were the thing that kept positioning BS in check, and with them nerfed so hard I think we almost need 3.0 already. but once youve spent a grand they know people will stay in. so frustrating

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