Tag Archive for Devil

Logic is cold

Thanks to Scott for the original link.

One of the problems I find, not just in games but also in life, is that people have an unwillingness to accept logical truth. There is a basic dichotomy to any competative game: if someone wins, someone else has to lose.

Look at something non-MMO, like Baseball… the teams with the most wins last season still lost just over 40% of their games. The Mets and Yankees finished with .599 records. 97 wins and 65 losses. And its considered a pretty good season. Yet somehow, in PvP games, lots of folks find that ratio, dying 4 out of 10 times you enter a fight, to be completely and utterly unacceptable. On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had a .377 season, 61 wins and 101 losses. More than 6 out of 10 times, they lost… if people can’t accept a 40% death rate, a 60+% rate would drive them completely off the “unfair” deep end. If you are winning 6 out of 10 fights… someone out there is only winning 4 out of 10.

There seems to be, among players of computer games, a feeling that somehow them being human playing against a computer (even if its actually another person controlling the enemy on their screen) gives them an edge, that the game will be “more fair”. Of course, the idea of “more fair” is a total waste of time. There is fair and there is not fair. Something cannot be more or less fair, once it stops being fair it is not fair. What they mean by “more fair” is that they will win more often. Against computer AI in most games this is true simply because the game doesn’t learn. It may kick the crap out of you all the time when you first play, but as you play more you will (should) get better, and the computer will not. Eventually, you’ll win all the time because you will have learned all the moves it is programmed to use. Computer games are old dogs, and they don’t learn new tricks.

But when a player takes control of the enemy, now you are playing against… you. When he loses, just like you, he’ll learn. The both of you will learn, and keep challenging each other, and over time what will show is that one of you is better at learning than the other and therefore stays ahead better, winning more often. One of you will be the Yankees, and the other one will be the Devil Rays. And there is nothing wrong with this. Its true. Its logical. And from the point of view of the Devil Rays, totally and completely unfair.

So, what’s the answer? There isn’t one. Like I said, its not fair, and that’s just the way it is. But I will leave you with a thought…

It comes from the movie Rudy, about Daniel Ruettiger. Rudy doesn’t make the real team, but he makes the practice team. In practice, one of the real team guys yells at Rudy for trying too hard. Rudy fires back with this great line (which of course I can’t find right now) about how he has to do his best in order to keep the real team at their best. When you PvP, keep in mind that you may not win all the time, or even most of the time, but by God you can make them work for it.

The Devil Wears Prada

Yes. I did indeed go and see a sneak preview of this decidedly chicky chick flick of chick-normous proportions. Allison’s job at a movie PR firm gets us invites to all the local sneaks. So, the wife wanted to go, and the price was right, so again, yes, I went to see The Devil Wears Prada.

It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was fairly funny, and I liked pretty much everyone in it. Afterwards I was told that it deviated from the book alot, to the point that I am absolutely sure that I will not read the book because it sounds worse than the film. But the movie was good. I laughed, I didn’t cry, and I felt odd being one of about seven men in a theater packed with women. So, if you like chick movies, go see this, its worth it. Of course, on June 30th when this opens, all the guys will be seeing Superman Returns.

23 February 2001

The Devil’s Advocate
In this world, there lies a place for the devil and his advocate.
In my own life I have often played the part of the devil’s advocate in discussions. Sometimes it is done to point someone at a flaw that they do not see. Other times it is done just to force the person to show that they have actually thought of everything.
There are people who are good at being the devil’s advocate. They know when their job is done, or when they simply just aren’t getting through and further arguing is pointless.
Some, however, are not good at it. They turn simple flaw exposing into nay-saying. They extend the argument and drag it out if only to say “It’s not going to work. Can’t you see that?”, even when they no longer can show exactly why.
My patience for nay-sayers is thin.
I admit that sometimes I can be blinded when someone is telling me, and more importantly showing me where my ideas won’t work. But when someone who doesn’t know me at all, and has not bothered to speak to me about the issue goes out in public shouting at the top of his lungs that I am going to fail, it hurts. And when they refuse to listen to me and keep shouting that I will fail, not that I might fail but that failure is a forgone conclusion, I get angry. And as Dr. Banner said to Mr. McGee, “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
The specific case here is with EverQuest, game that I love. I am finally stepping up and leading a raid of one of the Alternate Planes, The Plane of Air (or Sky). I have spoken to a great many people about this zone, and of all the ways to do it. But in the end I decided that while I would keep their advice in mind, I wanted to actually try the zone from front to back and maybe incorporate a little winging it. See, the major thing is, Verant, the game designers, intended this zone to be done with a team of 24 people. this is evident by the fact that when you clear any part of the zone, you get 24 keys to the next part. Now, people have found ways around this, and it is how most people do their raids. I decided that the first rule of my raids would be to limit it to 24 people. One thing I did require was that I wanted 4 clerics, one for each group. Beyond that, I didn’t care who came, I would just build the groups as best I could and we would give it a wack.
One of the people who signed up then proceeded to tell me that we should cancel it, or kick people out and get other people (people who couldn’t be bothered to volunteer and sign up). I told him no, explained my goals with the raid and invited him not to come should he have problems with those goals.
At this point, I would have expected him to either shut up and come along, or shut up and walk away. Instead he continued to explain to me how I would fail if I didn’t listen to him, all the while neither saying if he was still coming, or leaving. He hinted with a “Maybe I won’t go” kind of line but didn’t say he wouldn’t go.
I’ll be the first to admit, my first responce to him was harsh, but only because instead of talking to me in private, he posted all of his doubts in public (I find this to be a cowardly tactic). But the continued nay-saying, insisting that we would fail pushed.
I hate losing my cool.
In the end, all I can say is that people play this game for many reasons. And there are hundreds of ways to achieve even very similar goals. I acknowledge that in others, and I take offence when they refuse to acknowledge that in me.
sigh
As for EQ in general. Comments from a good friend today coupled with some feelings of my own have lead me to a long awaited decision…
No, I’m not quitting. As long as its fun, I won’t quit. But the time has come to focus both my time inside EQ and without. I’ll pick a few days a week that will be EQ days, and everything else will be up for grabs.
I leave you with this… This Time of Year by Better Than Ezra.
Well, there’s a feeling in the air
Just like a Friday afternoon.
Yeah, you can go there if you want
Though it fades too soon.
So go on, let it be.
If there’s a feeling coming over me,
Seems like it’s always understood this time of year.
Well, I know there’s a reason to change.
Well, I know there’s a time for us.
You think about the good times
And you live with all the bad.
You can feel it in the air,
Feeling right this time of year.
Well, there’s a football in the air,
Across a leaf blown field.
Yeah, and there’s your first car on the road,
And the girl you’d steal.
So go on with yourself
If there’s a feeling that there’s something else.
Seems like it’s always understood
This time of year.
Well, I know there’s a reason to change.
Well, I know there’s a time for us.
You think about the good times
And you live with all the bad.
You can feel it in the air,
Feeling right this time of year.
Well, there’s a feeling in the air
Just like a Friday afternoon.
Yeah, you can go there if you want
Though it fades too soon.
So go on, let it be.
If there’s a feeling coming over me,
Seems like it’s always understood this time of year.
Well, I know there’s a reason to change.
Well, I know there’s a time for us.
You think about the good times
And you live with all the bad.
You can feel it in the air,
Feeling right this time of year.