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Your thoughts on Theorycrafting (analysing game mechanics). (Poll)

I'm interested to see where people stand with Theorycrafting - a term that is usually attributed to WoW but could be applied to any game.

A definition taken from WoWiki:

"Theorycraft is the attempt to mathematically analyze game mechanics in order to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of the game."

If you are an ardent Theorycrafter, explain why you enjoy it. Or perhaps you feel it is too close to Metagaming, and detracts from what games should be about.

It's something I've never managed to get my head around, and am interested to see other peoples opinions.

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Comments

  • WaterlilyWaterlily Member UncommonPosts: 3,105

    I'm a bit split on this.

    I liked to analyse which strategy, which weapons, which augments and which combination of classes was the best in EQ.  I started to parse fight and analyse different weapons, I started to use parse mobs and compared different group make-ups, comparing buff effectiveness etc.

    But I think many players went too far in this, depending on the game this parsing can give you a good deal more DPS and tank power if you know which buff combination and discipline does exactly what.

    I think it's fine to analyse data a bit, but usually it goes too far and that takes away the casual feel of a game.

     

  • CydmabCydmab Member Posts: 35

    For what its worth, I always felt theorycrafting connoted a bit of analyzing the game in the absence of actual play experience. All theorycrafting is metagaming, but not all metagaming is theorycrafting.  For example, a new feature is announced in an upcoming patch, and you do "theorycraft" to predict what the impact will be on gameplay or how it will change optimal builds. As a kind of Godwin's Law, eventually someone would say "This discussion is just Theorycraft. We should wait for the feature to be released, play it, and then see how it impacts gameplay."

    Parsing was a bit of a gray area, but I still felt there was a connotation of parsing in one environment and generating claims for actual play. Something like "Fighting a stationary, unresponsive monster using technique X generated an awesome DPS of Y! Therefore X is awesome!" with a response of "Yeah but in a real fight against a real opponent, startegy X will fail for reason Z" is a theorycraft discussion. Then if someone says "I actually tried X in real situations and it performed blah blah" that's something slightly different.

  • nomadiannomadian Member Posts: 3,490

    it's great for the nerds. (not that I'm not playing mmos..)

  • TatumTatum Member Posts: 1,153
    Originally posted by Waterlily


    I'm a bit split on this.
    I liked to analyse which strategy, which weapons, which augments and which combination of classes was the best in EQ.  I started to parse fight and analyse different weapons, I started to use parse mobs and compared different group make-ups, comparing buff effectiveness etc.
    But I think many players went too far in this, depending on the game this parsing can give you a good deal more DPS and tank power if you know which buff combination and discipline does exactly what.
    I think it's fine to analyse data a bit, but usually it goes too far and that takes away the casual feel of a game.
     



     

    My thoughts exactly. 

    I've never really dug into the number crunching like a lot of players do, but then again, I've always been guilty of excessive studying and analysing.  Is it entertaining and challenging?  Yes.  Does it detract from the over all experience?  Probably.

    There's always debate when it comes to "hiding the numbers".  At this point though, I'd love to see an MMO really take this to the extreme and stick to it.  Hide the numbers...all of them, and make the players actually play the game and feel their way through it.  Don't give them anything to analyse.  Leave some mystery in the game.

  • KnightblastKnightblast Member UncommonPosts: 1,787

    I don't do it myself, but I do like to read things written by people who have cracked the numbers code.

    Ultimately these are games about numbers, and to succeed at the highest levels in them you need a good working knowledge of the numbers' game, I think.  It doesn't really detract from the experience for me, because I see playing the numbers as a part of that experience.

  • SomniferousSomniferous Member Posts: 153

    If you are talking about mathmatically working out the best DPS systems, gear, and character builds, then I don't like to do it.

    However, I like for other people to do it, then post it on a website so I can benefit from it.

    Do I want to play with the math and see what the best build is for a DPS Mage, and what's the best gear? No, that's horribly boring. But do I want to read the results of someone else that did it, and then use them? Sure, I appreciate that so I don't have to do it myself.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775

    I read TC on elitistjerks and i sometimes run RAWR and the occasional spreadsheet. I am a bit lazy so I did not do my own programming though.

    Although generally I like high DPS and would work towards that goal, i don't always optimize 100%. I would optimize on gear (and since i don't have time to raid .. i optimize within my constraints and go first for craft/BOE items, then badge ones), but I do not optimize 100% on talent. I do trade-off some utility for farming than pure boss raid dps.

    I think TC adds great fun to a MMO and makes one feel powerful. It is comforting to know that I am not gimping by DPS by specing wrong.

    Throwing out those big numbers and topping charts are fun.

     

     

  • SomniferousSomniferous Member Posts: 153
    Originally posted by Tatum





     

    There's always debate when it comes to "hiding the numbers".  At this point though, I'd love to see an MMO really take this to the extreme and stick to it.  Hide the numbers...all of them, and make the players actually play the game and feel their way through it.  Don't give them anything to analyse.  Leave some mystery in the game.

     

    YOu can't hide the numbers. how are you going to do that?

    People make WoW emulators. They don't just get the numbers, they get the whole game and copy it.

    You're never going to be able to hide the numbers.

    You could put in an option to turn off any information on the numbers, so someone like you wouldn't have to look at them, but that's about it.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by Tatum



    There's always debate when it comes to "hiding the numbers".  At this point though, I'd love to see an MMO really take this to the extreme and stick to it.  Hide the numbers...all of them, and make the players actually play the game and feel their way through it.  Don't give them anything to analyse.  Leave some mystery in the game.

     

    It won't work. It will just increase the demand of the TC experts. People will take a record, and experimentally figuring out the numbers.

    For example, if you hide the hp, and dmg to a mob, people will just count how many times you have to hit it before it dies. If you do it right (the statistical inference is a bit more difficult because of less info), you can infer its hp up to a scaling factor, and you can use that to benchmark hp of all other mobs and DPS abilities (melee, spells, ....)

    And because of the lack of solid feedback from the game, i predict TC sites will become even MORE popular because people want to optimize.

     

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Member UncommonPosts: 2,077


    Originally posted by Waterlily
    I think it's fine to analyse data a bit, but usually it goes too far and that takes away the casual feel of a game.

    When even in PuGs folks are copying and pasting DPS stats in group chat. Raid guilds yelling, "STAY WITH THE SCRIPT!!", yep, it's gotten out of hand.

    One of the last posts I remember from the SoE forum is how some don't want to know the stats on hate transfers (a hidden stat so far), as it's getting too crazy with the stats available, and it's one more stat to discriminate a class over.

    Only thing missing now is an auto-raid script, as it become that crazy.

    Analyzing some stats to tweak your toon, that's one thing. When it's used to measure and discriminate other players, it'll take the fun out of grouping, and turning it into a boot camp experience.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Member LegendaryPosts: 9,453

            Alot of this comes up in games like Guild Wars and games like that where certain builds are supposed to be the best......regardless of what game i am playing, I jsut like ot play...i dont really care if my build is the best or the worst....if Im having a good time playing then that is what matters......I dont have to be the best or have to impress others.

  • Zayne3145Zayne3145 Member Posts: 1,448
    Originally posted by Theocritus


            Alot of this comes up in games like Guild Wars and games like that where certain builds are supposed to be the best......regardless of what game i am playing, I jsut like ot play...i dont really care if my build is the best or the worst....if Im having a good time playing then that is what matters......I dont have to be the best or have to impress others.

     

    I agree with you totally. I have no problem with people who like to analyse and optimise, but when they start telling me how to play or that my build and gear combination sucks, then it becomes annoying.

    Sometimes I try builds not because they're optimised, but because they're FUN, or different from the normal coventions. In some people's eyes, if you're not maxing out yout DPS or topping charts, you might as well not bother playing.

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  • TrissaTrissa Member Posts: 251

    Voted other because when i was playing Diablo II before i jumped in MMORPGs at some time i was doing more maths than really playing the game.

    At the end i got tired of it. Right now i try to not to do silly things with my equipment and my heals when I'm playing healers but thats all. Anyway i would prefer others doing the maths for me. Getting lazy. 

    To me it kills the immersion in the virtual world to some extend. 

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