Tom Chilton and his righteous game design

When I first read about this issue I misunderstood it and thought was related to arenas items requiring a certain rating to be used and not just to be earned, which was discussed months ago. Then the second time I got it right: they were putting arena rating requirements EVEN on battlegrounds/honor items.

It was so utterly stupid that I thought right away that it was some unintended beta transition. No way it could make into release.

Instead it’s deliberate.

What a fucking rambling idiot. He was always, but he’s now surpassing every record and even PRETENSE of plausibility. Who the fuck runs Blizzard to allow that this jerk is still around AND a senior designer who continues to fuck and ruin the PvP in every way possible? How it’s possible that most of the rest of the design is so brilliant while this guy can still do as he pleases? Where is the rest of the team? Why no one says anything?

The reason behind the retarded change is summarized this way:

However for now, we don’t have a way to measure “skill” in a battleground in a way that getting the “best” items in the game through battlegrounds would feel equitable when compared to what is required as far as co-ordination and success in pve to get items of equivalent power.

it’s more of a natural consequence of the fact that because we have a way to measure success that feels reasonably balanced against pve, we’re able to put high-end items there, which on its own creates the focus of importance.

They want a “morally right” game where rewards come for “skill” and not for sinking time.

Since in PvE endgame the rewards only come if you “win” the l33t raid game, and if you keep failing you get nothing, they wanted this even on PvP and thought that rewards should only come from “winning” and not for trying, or participating. They don’t want to reward persistence, they want to reward success. You have to be worthy.

Now, as a principle, the idea is even plausible even if unacceptable for a *game*, since players are supposed to have fun no matter of their limits. You know, the best game is the one that makes you think you are very good, not the game that slaps you in the face and laughs every time you fail and makes you feel like you are the very bottom of the food chain.

But let’s put this concern aside for a second. Rewarding “skill” as opposed to time sinks and grinds. Sounds palatable. And maybe it is, if it wasn’t for the fact that the principle of rewarding “skill” through “power-ups” is one HUGE CONTRADICTION. It’s just plain stupid. Unmotivated.

What if for next Olympiads Usain Bolt starts 20m ahead of everyone else since he won this past edition? But, oh, Kalgan replied to that argument:

Of course, I realize that the subject of “skill” is another topic of debate on its own, with many players citing gear quality and team comps as factors in determining the outcome (some seem to go as far as to imply that it’s all that matters). Clearly, those factors do influence the outcome, but not in a way that makes skill irrelevant. If that were the case, it wouldn’t be very hard to step onto the stage with some of the pro-gamers in the tournament and take them down in a match of even gear and comps. However, I can assure you that while I consider myself (for example) a pretty respectable player when it comes to arenas, I and a pair of similarly skilled teammates probably wouldn’t win more than 1 in every 100 games against the top players despite using identical gear and comps. Like it or not, that’s skill.

First. The case of competing with identical gear is not a playable case. It doesn’t happen. And what happens isn’t that players who wear crap are “bolstered” to the item quality of “top-players”. What happens is that those top-players HAVE A FUCKING ADVANTAGE OVER PLAYERS WITH LESS SKILL *AND* LESS POWERFUL.

It’s not equal footing and it’s not even weaker players brought to the level of stronger ones. It’s just giving advantages to who is already ahead, so that this relative situation is preserved.

Second. The implication that there’s skill in the game doesn’t justify in ANY way that those who have the skill must have artificial advantages added on top of that skill. QUITE THE CONTRARY.

Sure there’s skill. Usain Bolt may as well win even if *I* start 20m ahead of him. But this doesn’t fucking justify the fact that HE has the right start 20m ahead *of me* simply because he has that skill. QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

So it’s really a matter of plausibility, not game design. We are far away from any possible game consideration. This is plain obvious: you just CAN’T justify an irritating change in the game as a moral principle. Because the premises of that principle are, as demonstrated, completely wrong and unacceptable. So that justification doesn’t work.

The true reasons why this is happening are twofold. The first well explained on Q23:

A lot of players have simply given up on the arena due to the fact that they don’t find it fun getting pounded 10 times for a meager amount of points. Unfortunately, those lower-tier players are needed to keep the arena ladder functioning properly, since somebody has to have a shitty rating in an ELO system. Instead of finding a creative or rewarding way of luring players back into the arena, Blizzard is simply requiring them to come back in because they can’t get battleground PvP gear otherwise.

The other reason is Tom Chilton and his e-peen.

It’s all about the rewards, and these rules are made SOLELY so that these rewards stay “secured” in the hands of a selected few.

And then I thought it was genius.

Politically it’s the metaphor of capitalism. The concentrated power and wealth in the hands of some limited few and wasted mindlessly, while the rest of humanity has nothing and is treated like garbage. And the “righteousness” of it all.

The game is the celebration of that. The self-preservation of power through rules made by those who exercise that power and self-made morals to justify it. Selfish and blind.

You can’t learn anything more useful than that.

Feedback starts from here.

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