December 20, 2005

Another ES Flaw - Resign Design

In a comment from my ESO2's Poor Design article,
Van- said:
I just checked out ESO2 for the first time and I was baffled. Good god it's no Bnet. Anyway how do you play a ladder game? Or are all games considered ladder games? I played a three minute game where my opponent quit out, but I didn't get a win. Is that intended functionality?
Well, to answer this, there are two ways for a player to play a ladder game:
  1. Game Browser - Host or Join a Game Browser game. As long as there's no Computer player or the Handicap or Cheat is enabled, the game will count as a Ladder game.
  2. Quick Search - Play a Quick Search game, and it will be counted as a Ladder game.
I'm not sure on the exact time, but if a player resigns early enough, the game will not count. This comes as a disappointment for me as 3-5 Quick Search games a day, people cancel as soon as they see that they're playing me. I guess I can take that as a compliment of sorts, but it sure is annoying. As annoying as people who cancel a Matchmaking session when they see that they're getting matched up with a certain civ.

Anyways, the good thing about this feature is that if you get map screwed, you can quit out. However, that's another issue entirely... map generation flaws. But, there are instances of a bug where my vils get stuck on ruins. Again, that's another different issue... fixing known bugs.

As far as I can muster, the reasoning behind the early resign design (wow, I like the ring of that) was likely to prevent "point trading". Point trading was used back in the day when there was a thing called "Ratings". Two people would make new accounts and lose games to get their friend's main account to get it's rating up, and vice versa. However, with AoE3 allowing only 1 account per CD key, that won't happen. And if a person does buy 2 games to get 2 CD keys for 2 accounts to point trade for a rating that doesn't officially exist with another player that does the same thing, then ES just sold 2 extra copies and made more money. Alas, ES didn't think things through because there's no point for 2 people to do that because of this resign design... they just lost money on people with time to burn.

As for Game Browser games being able to be counted as ladder, I don't mind so much. If a person wants to use a civ on a map that favors that civ, then so be it. They still need a victim to fall for it (and there are a plenty). But would I let those type of games count as ladder game? No.


Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

It does appear so regarding the early resignation of games.

I have victories that were not registered. However, I have resigned early after being 'rushed' too thus, inadvertently not allowing my opponent to register a victory.

Do you know the cut-off time for this?

6:08 PM  
Blogger Beertender said...

You just got losses then unless you resigned after being dogrushed or something =/

Dont know the exact cut of time but it sure as hell isnt longer than 3-5 mins

7:08 AM  
Blogger JinX said...

It takes 2mins for a game to class as a win/lost

8:30 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

also if the game is set as a free for all, it doesn't add up to the ladder...

10:53 AM  
Blogger Beertender said...


11:45 AM  
Blogger El_Capitan (a.k.a. Scrubs) said...

Bah! Humbug.

11:46 AM  
Blogger vAN- said...

As for Game Browser games being able to be counted as ladder, I don't mind so much. If a person wants to use a civ on a map that favors that civ, then so be it. They still need a victim to fall for it (and there are a plenty). But would I let those type of games count as ladder game? No.

Hey it's me again. I'm a little confused by this statement, that's the thumbs down for Game Browser games counting towards ladder, right? It seemed insane to me that players could basically choose their opponents and have that game count towards the ladder. But I guess the question is, does AoE3 have enough players and is the quick match system robust enough to be the sole arbiter of ladder games? Would the ladder be less populated, or even empty if Game Browser games weren't allowed?

As for the resign design, this also seems to cause more problems than it solves. The fact that players can duck better players seems to be a flaw, and as you mention the only real "benefit" of allowing resignations to not count seems to be that it can get you out of imba map spots (which is obviously a seperate problem that needs its own solution). I mean, if Game Browser games are still allowed to count towards ladder then not counting early resignations doesn't really solve the problem of win-trading either, it just makes it take slightly longer.

Likewise, only allowing one account per CD key is only sort of a solution.. it still won't stop people who don't mind spending an extra 50$ from abusing their way to the top (it also punishes families with more than one player, siblings have to share accounts?). Though it would stop the smurfing problem that's endemic to Bnet..

1:23 PM  
Blogger Nelos said...

The 1 user per CD key basically raises the bar on point trading / ladder exploiting / smurfing by $50. So it is what it is. Its not a 100% solution but I would bet that in practice it is well north of 75%.

I used to play AOM and now with AOE3 I really miss ratings. I like to know how good other people are and I like to know how good I am. If I beat someone with a higher rate than me, my rate should go up more than if I beat someone with the same rate as me. Similarly, if I lose to someone with a higher rate, my rate should not go down as far as if I lose to someone my rate or lower. Neither XP or win% tell you that. Win% (along with the total games played) is probably the closest indicator of a person's skill though, so that is what I use.

I think it is totally justified for people to resign quickly in a quick setup game if they can see that the opponent they were given is considerably higher or lower in skill. Because there are no ratings, there doesn't seem to be any basis on which to match players up. If they would get a rating system, quick setups would not have this problem.

I have a 52% win rate over 150 games. As a general rule of thumb, I play people that are plus or minus 10-15% of my win rate. It is generally a waste of time for me to play someone that is 85%. It is an equal waste of time to play someone that is 35%. So I host games in the game browser so I can pick my opponents.

In the past, when I played quick setup games, I would play 5 games and maybe get one that is "good" in the sense that we are equally matched and it is a challenging contest. To me, having to play 5 games to get one that is good is not a very fun night. So, anyway, that's why I use the browser and pick my opponents manually instead of quick setup.

8:14 AM  
Blogger ueadian said...

GET BACK ON AoE3 you HOBO! Where are you?

11:23 PM  
Blogger ueadian said...

The way the system is set up now Game Browser is by far the most popular means for anyone with any skill to find a game. The reason being is I have a 45 russian and 47 french, and I can sit in quickmatch for 1vs1 for 20+ minutes and not find a match, in fact ive never found a match at that high of a level. The reason is most people who are at my skill level have a clan and do team matches. So that leaves everyone without a clan who wants to be good at the game to doing game browser games. And any non clan members who want to play with friends. Another reason is look at anyone with 50% or above ratio and most of them have 8 or 9 cities that are bellow 20, and they just recycle them after they hit a certain level because no one wants to wait 20+ mins for a one on one match, so they just make a new city and level it up from the begining. Problem with that is obviously the ladder is now skewed. Just because you win 80% of the time against someone 3,000,000 exp lower then you or w/e does not make you a good player. It makes you a good noob basher. Thats why if the game was set up to go by win % or rating it would be a hell of a lot more competitive and fun. But as it is now its a mixed bag for people who want serious games, its almost impossible to find a good competitor at your skill level with quickmatch for one on one, you almost always have to join a clan and play 2vs2 against another clan. I'm getting really bored of the game because there is no competition. I either have to start a new city and quickmatch and play against newbs 70% of the time or more, or I have to join team games that are tvb and then i have to try my luck with teamates i dont know anything about, and that can be fun or horribly annoying. Nothin worse then playing a team game and getting a guy who's got a decent win ratio and a high level city, but ends up sucking insanely bad because he's either 1) noob bashed his was up or 2) played clan / friend matches to pad his ratio. I find it funny when people look at a HC level or a win % and automaticaly assume they are going to lose if they arent the same or higher. I've beat many many people with twice my HC level and 20%+ my win ratio with ease. And the reason is that ESO doesnt have any rating system.

11:31 PM  
Blogger PeNiCiLLinE said...

hey cap.. this is offtopic, but i am doing a web site about RoNs best players of all time, and u are included, of course. It would be nice if we could have a chat on msn or something, i would like to put ur photo and some other personal details to the page so if u are able to have a chat with me my msn is

thanks :)

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jeremiah said...

Cap, if you liked Total Annihilation, you should stop by the Supreme Commander forums. Not too many people there, just maybe 10 regulars and the designers. It's going to be a while before the game comes out so it's a great opportunity to influence the direction the game's going in. You don't know me from boo, I just like your blog and O4B's material... since it appears that Ensemble has been destroyed by the committee, perhaps you need a new crackpipe and maybe SupCom could be it...

10:38 PM  

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