And I thought I was the forum curmudgeon. (Destiny)

by squidnh3, Monday, November 01, 2021, 12:26 (36 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Creating a level playing field would be rubber banding and handicapping the better team. No "competitive" game ever strives for a truly level playing field. They all purposefully exaggerate differences in skill. That's… the whole idea. You get good? You can win.

Well, this is what I mean by differences in vocabulary making this very difficult to discuss. What I mean when I say "level playing field" is that everyone starts with the same items and abilities, or items and abilities that are at least nominally equivalent. This term comes from real life sports, where quite literally a sloped playing field in a soccer game would advantage the team with the high ground. Obviously everyone not everyone playing in the soccer game is exactly the same skill.

The prevention of which is antithetical to a true competitive game, which is to be an objective and correct measure of skill. That sounds more like a more casual multiplayer game, which as I think you've been suggesting, is way more fun. The true competitive games which rely solely on skill are quite boring, and usually warp player incentives.

What I think people mean when they say, I want a "competitive" game, is that they want them to work more like sports in real life. Sports in real life are well understood to have variance - the "better" team does not always win, but sometimes this is because the ball bounced weird, or sometimes it's because the better team played worse/worse team played better that day (e.g., the Any Given Sunday effect). The weird thing about this, is that the "competitive" games we are talking about, like FPSs, have behaviors unlike real sports, such as dying and having to respawn somewhere on the arena, which introduces complex design decisions about how much to punish someone for dying, a huge part of the "slippery slope" problem. So, it's a hard problem: how do we incorporate the ebb and flow of a real life sport, while also introducing more complex game elements that can't be replicated easily in real life, which necessarily require more complex solutions to maintain balance?

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