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How do you like to lose?

maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

It is a common belief that there can be no victory without the threat of defeat.  Do you agree?  If that threat of defeat is needed, does it need to be more than an illusion?  If so, then do you have a prefered way of losing?

When visiting message boards of particular games I will often see rage threads about X, Y or Z (not great for community).  Ragequits happen (not great for business). There even grow whole subcultures of players with permanent grudges - about RNG, about over/under-powered classes, about developers just hating players.  Is rage and resentment simply an inevitable consequence of human nature in a game where you don't always win?  Or are there good and bad ways to handle a player failing at some task that make them happier in the long run?

Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,641Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    It is a common belief that there can be no victory without the threat of defeat.  Do you agree?  If that threat of defeat is needed, does it need to be more than an illusion?  If so, then do you have a prefered way of losing?

    It depends on the game. In UO, Puzzle Pirates, AC and EVE, I can mitigate my risk through preparation and awareness. When I lose a battle or encounter in those games, I have no problems with what I lost or how I lost it because I determined the risk level and I determined what was going to be on the line.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
        Im a pretty shitty World of Tanks Player, though Im one of the oldest players on teh NA server, my skills dont reflect this as I never really worried about getting better.  I feel the same for my wins as I do for my losses.  Im just there coz I have time to waste and Im not gonna treat my gaming like its a 2nd job.

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member

    I can't understand the attraction of only ever winning. Candidly, I think that some people just can't face the truth that they're not a special uber-snowflake, and that other people are better than them at something (like a video game). So they take care to keep themselves in situations where they never risk having to admit that.

    More power to them, I say. If they enjoy only ever winning, then have at it and good luck. All I ask is that they don't join games which do allow you to lose and then whine endlessly for them to be changed.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Malcanis

    I can't understand the attraction of only ever winning.

    I know that this is a topic that can provoke knee-jerk judgements of other people, but I'd like to try to avoid that  - I'm asking people for their own experience with losing and how it enhances or harms their long-term game experience.

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,906Member Uncommon

    I'm not much of a risk taker, so I seldom lose.  Also not one to ragequit over losing.  In SP RPGs I'm a game saver.  Save at the door, save halfway in, and save before the boss fight.

     

    How I prefer to lose in an MMORPG is having checkpoints along the way that I can trigger as a respawn location.  No gear saves or it becomes a huge exploit.  Just a respawn point far enough from harm that I can heal up, shake off the rez sickness and get back on my way.

     

    I'm not even sure if I'm answering the question.  *sigh*  I hope so.  If not, blame it on exhausted and medicated.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,641Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by apocoluster
        Im a pretty shitty World of Tanks Player, though Im one of the oldest players on teh NA server, my skills dont reflect this as I never really worried about getting better.  I feel the same for my wins as I do for my losses.  Im just there coz I have time to waste and Im not gonna treat my gaming like its a 2nd job.

    Players like you are some of the most fun to team up in WoT with. image 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ScottgunScottgun Williamsville, NYPosts: 356Member
    Originally posted by Malcanis

    I can't understand the attraction of only ever winning. Candidly, I think that some people just can't face the truth that they're not a special uber-snowflake, and that other people are better than them at something (like a video game). So they take care to keep themselves in situations where they never risk having to admit that.

    Hence, there is not only low-success of games with permadeath (or at best success as a niche of a niche market), people actually get offended if it is merely suggested. :)

    Now we're calling prostitutes "sex workers". What's next? Calling hit men "end-of-life technicians"?

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon

    I don't last long in games where losing is inconsequential.  There's no fun in always winning.

    Sore losers are present in all competitive sports and games at all levels of experience.  You can't get away from them but you don't have to cater to them.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    The worse way to lose, is to be killed off by a cheater/botter, etc.  This happened to me and I notified admin, the cheater account was suspended termporarily, but I lost too much.  That was it for me.  1.5 years down the tube!

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,608Member Uncommon

    Having a realistic chance of winning is the only thiing that makes losing tolerable, but no one "likes" losing in any way shape or form. What turns people off is losing due to bad design, cheating or anything else that tips the scales and creates an unfair situation.

    Then there is the "degree of difficulty" issue. That is a very personal thing. Take something as simple as Spyder Solitaire: You have the option to play it with just one suit, two suits or 4. If you use just one, you'll win about 90% of the time, with 2 suits that's about 33% and with 4 about 10%. I know people who always play it with 1 suit and some always with 4. Neither one of those feels right to me so I always play it with 2. That feels about right... but that's just me :)

  • DragonantisDragonantis DublinPosts: 974Member
    Losing to your fellow gamer is fine by me, everyone loses sometime, but losing to hackers is something I really hate, its such a kick in the gut to be killed at the hands of a hacker and ruins the game for you.
  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    I think there are very valid ways for a game to present a challenge that feels good to overcome even though there is no threat of losing. In fact, I might even say that the best kinds of challenges are the ones where losing is synonymous with "haven't won yet."

    Probably the best way I can explain this would be to point to the adventure games made by LucasArts and Sierra back in the day. Both were basically the same type of game. You walk around picking up items and using them on other items or on objects in various locations. But in Sierra games, you could die (forcing you to reload from a save) or even worse, you could make a mistake that resulted in an unwinnable game. LucasArts games didn't have either of those. You couldn't accidently miss or misuse a vital item, and trying to do something fatal resulted in a funny message instead.

    If a game's meant to test your puzzle-solving ability, games from both of these publishers did that adequately. But Sierra games were also testing your frustration levels, making you replay from a save or start over from the beginning when you (inevitably) screwed up. I don't think that going through that test makes for a better victory. If you find out the answer to the puzzles, that's where the sense of victory should come from.

    Where MMOs are concerned, the question of whether you should be beaten often and whether it should sting COMPLETELY hinges upon what kind of core gameplay experience the game is trying to deliver. And wanting to give players a "challenge" is NOT the only prerequisite for invoking frequent defeats with harsh death penalties. You don't need to be defeated to be challenged.

    image
  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by dave6660

    I don't last long in games where losing is inconsequential.  There's no fun in always winning.

    Sore losers are present in all competitive sports and games at all levels of experience.  You can't get away from them but you don't have to cater to them.

    There is a big difference between losing not having severe consequences and 'always winning'.  Plenty of games are very hard to beat but have no real punishments for losing.  Heck,  in a game as simple as Minesweeper, you usually have a less than 50% chance of winning. 

    For competive people the mere fact that they did not win is enough punishment to motivate them to do better next time.   I guess people who need harsh penalties for losing are simply not motivated enough to try and win.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    Yeah .. you don't have to have things to lose to have risks and challenge.

    For example, players work very hard, and find new builds to make running low MP levels faster in D3.

    So the game is not overcoming a difficult boss in those case, but to make farming efficient.

    (Not that it is the only game .. there are those who are working on how to do high MP levels too).

     

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    It is a common belief that there can be no victory without the threat of defeat.  Do you agree?  If that threat of defeat is needed, does it need to be more than an illusion?  If so, then do you have a prefered way of losing?

    When visiting message boards of particular games I will often see rage threads about X, Y or Z (not great for community).  Ragequits happen (not great for business). There even grow whole subcultures of players with permanent grudges - about RNG, about over/under-powered classes, about developers just hating players.  Is rage and resentment simply an inevitable consequence of human nature in a game where you don't always win?  Or are there good and bad ways to handle a player failing at some task that make them happier in the long run?

    1, people with issues are going to be people with issues. whether they play video games, football, golf, their favorite team failing, etc.

    2, I don't require a tangible result of failure to "feel" failure. If I failed then that already has a great impact on me.

  • paulythebpaulytheb Wauwatosa, WIPosts: 261Member Uncommon

    While I hated getting caught in UO or EVE, because getting caught usually meant dying and losing several hours of work.

    I must admit it was much more thrilling being chased through space or across the continent in those games than it ever was in WoW or its children. (EQ's system was much more punitive than WoW, but not perfect either.)

    When dying simply means you have to wait 30 seconds before running right back into the fight, well then you have nothing to lose. Having nothing to lose eliminates the thrill.

    I don't really have a prefered way of losing. I think no game has gotten it quite right yet.I would like to see death be a more meaningful event than going to jail in a MMO.I think you should be very very afraid of dying and it would certainly not be an event you would want to repeat twice in the same week.

     

    Here is a stab at a better system-

    Lets say players below a certain level or skill plateau have a spell/tech ability/whatever of protection that returns them to their home city instead of absorbing fatal damage. This protects the newbies.

    Once a player has reached a certain plateau they must pick a diety/organization/clan and maintain the tenets and beliefs of that group or risk being cast out.The player would then be protected under the umbrella of that groups death protection. Depending on the disposition of the group lawful/chaotic/whatever the player may need to make payments, or do daily quests, or make sacrifices or run a grand difficult quest, or lots of other ways to go with that depending on the group. Only after making the proper gestures to the group would the player then be protected from dying in the field.(after the first time) The more advanced the character the steeper the price of such protection.Dying should be a big deal.The idea of working with peasants or in the fields for a week to regain the dieties good graces would certainly keep me from being overly reckless.

    Character cast out would risk the Void if they did not latch on to a new group fast enough.Which of course would be a lot of work to prove yourself to the new group. This would make the sudden turn of heart from good to evil a tricky proposition indeed if a permadeath was possible due to your treachery.

    A few abilities to protect groups from dungeon wipes and maybe a few more rules and kinks to work out of course.

    This is just off the top of my head, but it sounds more interesting to me than just a respawn and,"Ok lets go try to kill the Giant again!"

    ( Note to self-Don't say anything bad about Drizzt.)

    An acerbic sense of humor is NOT allowed here.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by paulytheb

    I don't really have a prefered way of losing. I think no game has gotten it quite right yet.I would like to see death be a more meaningful event than going to jail in a MMO.I think you should be very very afraid of dying and it would certainly not be an event you would want to repeat twice in the same week.

    That is because different people have different preference of what is the righ tevel of risk to make it fun.

    The best system is D3 system .. with CHOICES.

    YOu can do hard-core ... perma-death. You can't get more harsh than that.

    And you can choose MP levels. At high MPs, you will die a lot, and lose time & gold more often.

    That is the only way .. give people choices. I am not going to play PD penalty .. but there are those who will.

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by dave6660

    I don't last long in games where losing is inconsequential.  There's no fun in always winning.

    Sore losers are present in all competitive sports and games at all levels of experience.  You can't get away from them but you don't have to cater to them.

    There is a big difference between losing not having severe consequences and 'always winning'.  Plenty of games are very hard to beat but have no real punishments for losing.  Heck,  in a game as simple as Minesweeper, you usually have a less than 50% chance of winning. 

    For competive people the mere fact that they did not win is enough punishment to motivate them to do better next time.   I guess people who need harsh penalties for losing are simply not motivated enough to try and win.

    There's no punishment in Minesweeper?  You click a bomb, the game is over.  That''s about as harsh as you can get.

    Let's compare that to an mmorpg.  You get unlimited lives and have no consequences for death.  How is it possible to lose?

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • AIMonsterAIMonster Apopka, FLPosts: 2,059Member

    There are a few ways I like to lose:

    • When a player is fairly equal to skill level on me or slightly higher, particularly when there is a matchmaking system, because I know the system worked and the player genuinely won and I can learn best from the situation because the player is at or near my skill level.  I find the fastest way to learn on a competitive level (being at that at one point) is by playing players slightly above your skill level.
    • When an opponent or opponents can provide constructive criticism on what you did wrong without being insulting.  Ex:  "You did well, but you keep using X whenever Y happens and being a bit too predictable."
    • When it's clear the win was due to skill of the other player, ie not gear like in many MMOs or imbalances due to classes or counterpicks (MOBAs, fighting games).
    • When your opponent or opponents doesn't excessively taunt you.  I don't mind a little bit, especially when done using in game mechanics like /taunt, but doing it excessively and with profanity is just poor sportsmanship.  It's funny doing it in game (playing Dan in Street Fighter for example almost requires the player to use taunts), but it's not funny when you take it too far.
    • When your opponent complements you on good play, even if they still in the end beat you.
    • When you play a lot of matches with one particular opponent or opponents and they finally manage to beat you after you going on a massive win streak or just crushing them repeatly in other matches they don't rub the victory in your face.  At the same time, you should acknowledge their accomplishment of finally dethroning you.
    Also losing ocassionally is way more fun than winning all the time.

    image

    Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:
    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Magnum2103

    There are a few ways I like to lose:

    • When a player is fairly equal to skill level on me or slightly higher, particularly when there is a matchmaking system, because I know the system worked and the player genuinely won and I can learn best from the situation because the player is at or near my skill level.  I find the fastest way to learn on a competitive level (being at that at one point) is by playing players slightly above your skill level.

    This is already done by the ELO system in many games. I think WOW use it (or a variation) for arena and LOL also uses it.

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