SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:27 pm

windigo wrote:Or maybe all games period.
I named seven representatives of what's not.

windigo wrote:And of course we can probably go further and just say everything we do is pointless and a waste of time.
I named three categories of what's not.

windigo wrote:I think if you follow your argument to its end you'll end up with every real time adversarial game ever made is trash.
windigo wrote:That's why it's kind of a pointless argument in the first place unless you're providing come concrete alternatives.
You are too hung up on the trash comment. To reduce it to its aggressive punchline does not make it pointless, it makes you miss the point.


You can read it as a particular player for a protective retreat into "How can I justify what's there?", or you can read it as a creator for an offensive "Where do I go from here?".
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:54 pm

Everything you named was basically single player. Is all adversarial multiplayer not good?

If I understand you - chess, starcraft, settlers of catan, call of duty, etc. are all 'trash'. I keep using trash since I'm not sure of a better term. The point is you think they have a lot less value than something like Planescape.

I totally disagree of course. I generally don't care about single player games.

The part of games that I love is the defining a small 'universe' of objects, rules, and goals. The art, and appreciation, and all that come from how someone decides to interact with those objects and rules to achieve a goal - probably against another person.

In a lot of cases an AI will perform at these games better. I don't think that matters though. A machine can surely hit a baseball better than a human.

Plus any game that has some way of hiding information from your opponent tends to turn into a psychological game at its heart. Poker for example (and fog of war in RTS). So sure a computer will always be able to out-micro you with stalkers but that's only a function of it's ability to execute commands magnitudes faster. It can't predict human behavior and doesn't understand or appreciate the essence of the competition itself.

I think that puts these games in an entirely different category than the ones you compare to. And I think they are designed with entirely different goals mind and really have nothing to do with one another. So to say it's trash on that basis is like saying apples are trash because they don't taste citrusy.

Anyway - I'll leave it with:

What's an alternative to Starcraft that's better?
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:16 pm

windigo wrote:Everything you named was basically single player. Is all adversarial multiplayer not good?

If I understand you - chess, starcraft, settlers of catan, call of duty, etc. are all 'trash'. I keep using trash since I'm not sure of a better term. The point is you think they have a lot less value than something like Planescape.
Frankly yes.
windigo wrote:I totally disagree of course. I generally don't care about single player games.
Who says it has to be single-player? You could coop a campaign. That starcraft2 went so out on the adversarial multi-player, warming up an old concept of it, yet failed to innovate in offering a co-operative campaign play-through, is one of the greatest disappointments I've ever had. What amazing innovation could and should they have done there, instead of all those damned cinematic interruptions, and selling this as innovative. How in this day and age most given game cannot be designed in its single-player with coop play already in mind, is beyond me. Other than coop, there are many other forms how online features and other interpretations of multi-player have pushed design forward. What Spore does with its online feature, an indirect multi-player in which your single-player campaign is auto-seeded with the worlds and creatures that other people created in their single-player campaigns, is in my view one of the most intriguing innovations ever made. Another game, a dungeon-crawl, I forgot its name, made it so that if players died in their single-player, they could leave a bloody message on wall or ground, out of a certain pool of messages, in which they could warn other players coming to that point. Imagine how cool that is, traveling down that dark hallway, and reading on that wall in desperate blood "Do not go in there first", and knowing this was from a dying predecessor. It even makes it sometimes so that you see a ghostly animation of how a player died at that point, so as to that his soul cannot find peace and which serves as warning what not to do there, how incredibly cool is that? And did you know that most people play Minecraft in fact multi-player? We could go on and on and on, there are so many creative opportunities and examples in recent years of what can be done better than an old and fixed "I beat you or you beat me" design driven to a sad pointe. I didn't even say that a game must not offer adversarial play at all, it is but one option out of many, and in practice I even imagine it to not be an announced mode feature, but a fluid behavioral shift of the players as they play. The meaning of a session's current moment could emerge from natural forms of conversation and negotiation in-midst the play. So called 4x games like Alpha Centauri offer something like that already in single-player, why not research how this could be transported into multi, instead of trotting down the same given genre path the millionth time and defending it with taste?

windigo wrote:The part of games that I love is the defining a small 'universe' of objects, rules, and goals. The art, and appreciation, and all that come from how someone decides to interact with those objects and rules to achieve a goal - probably against another person.
Many Starcraft players defend playing it with "I love strategy most, I love spending most my time figuring out new strategies". But why then are they playing starcraft for that? If strategy is your first priority, starcraft is one of the last games on your list; yes it has some of it, but is it its most dominating aspect?

Likewise, if "defining a small 'universe' of objects, rules, and goals. The art, and appreciation, and all that come from how someone decides to interact with those objects and rules to achieve a goal" is what you love most, why seeking it in an adversarial multi-player game, where it can have a part, but has the smallest part.

windigo wrote:In a lot of cases an AI will perform at these games better. I don't think that matters though. A machine can surely hit a baseball better than a human.
I didn't say that it matters to the players that some AI may or may not play it better. I even made a case proving that it doesn't. I talk about the meaning of AI in games, and what a given case of AI says about the game, and consequences of these considerations to more human design of games.

windigo wrote:Plus any game that has some way of hiding information from your opponent tends to turn into a psychological game at its heart. Poker for example (and fog of war in RTS). So sure a computer will always be able to out-micro you with stalkers but that's only a function of it's ability to execute commands magnitudes faster. It can't predict human behavior and doesn't understand or appreciate the essence of the competition itself.
If we take the article that started all this, it shows that it can predict pretty well. And that it had significant success without intricate consideration. It doesn't have to understand the game the same way you do to beat you. And its view on the game reconciles with yours in the formal result of the game. My question at core now is about what makes AI so strong in a given game. What if such game has not been mainly designed with human needs in mind. What if games have been for too long been shaped mainly by mathematical considerations? Is there another frame for creating games that is based on other values? What role does AI play in that then?

windigo wrote:I think that puts these games in an entirely different category than the ones you compare to. And I think they are designed with entirely different goals mind and really have nothing to do with one another. So to say it's trash on that basis is like saying apples are trash because they don't taste citrusy.
There are people that like the taste of shit. Actually eating it is not healthy even for them, but they like it for some reason. So do you think our restaurant should offer the option of having shit for dinner? Should a cook, upon setting out to design a new kind of meal, think "Well, I should consider that there are some people that like the taste of shit?".

Not every taste is to be serviced. Not every genre or sub-genre has a good average of quality output. Setting out to do a game of certain genre to begin with, is already being half-way at creating genre trash, a problem many other disciplines share. Away with genre-thinking.

windigo wrote:What's an alternative to Starcraft that's better?
Something that's not like Starcraft.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:43 pm

Something that's not like Starcraft.


I didn't read the rest. I read something about coop and was like omfg he can't be serious and skipped to the bottom.

Post links to Amazon pls.

I want a game that's based on competing with other people.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Kaz » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:57 pm

Demon's Souls is the game you can leave ghostly messages to other players. Also there's a boss battle that will summon a random player to control the boss.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:06 pm

Ah yes, Demon's Souls, thanks Kaz. That game has some very interesting ideas.
windigo wrote:I want a game that's based on competing with other people.

And I want to figure out what else this can mean, instead of what this means in Starcraft.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:31 pm

Demon's Souls is pretty cool.

Other than SC2 it's the only game I've paid full price for in many, many years.

If it had a lot more viable build paths it'd be a lot more interesting long term.

All your usual complaints still apply to everything about that game though. It doesn't really offer any different experience than anything else, fundamentally.


Still waiting for a competitive game that's not trash.

Please use this format, btw:

THE COMPETITIVE GAME IS ____________ .

On a line by itself surrounded by line breaks on both the top and bottom so it's obvious. The blank is where the name of the game will go. If you want it can link to amazon or wikipedia or some other webiste.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby RageAgainstVoid » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:38 pm

We cannot communicate. You and I said to this what we wanted to say. Have a good time doing what you do.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:52 pm

...hey Win what's your character code? Mines Ryzel.137. I wouldn't mind playing with you, I'm not too bad either =P
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Kaz » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:16 am

Ryzzipoo you're not on enough
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Zeuter » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:43 am

And so, things returned to normal.
simply
it is enough to
your task is simple;
just
all you need is to
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby gandalf37 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:33 am

Well now that that is done. http://techland.time.com/2011/01/21/blizzard-responds-to-the-world-of-starcraft-mmo-issue/
I see Blizzard as a four year old going "No that's mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!"
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby theboogleman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:48 pm

Please, that might be the only case they are right. They might be developing a startcraft MMO and they can't have someone else popularising the name "Startcraft MMO"; I know it's just a custom map but being first is very important.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Zeuter » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:01 pm

Well, if they wanted to be first then evidently they are too late now. :P
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Kaz » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:04 am

So Ryz I was wondering if you could repeat what you told me about ZvP in post format.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Sure thing.

So the prevailing zerg winning strategy is the idea of a very passive macro style; stay at least 1 base ahead of the protoss (preferably 2), get a maxed 200/200 army as quickly as possible, then save up resources and larva so that when you attack the protoss army with it and it dies, you can instantly queue up another 100-150 worth of food, preferably of units that hard counter whatever army he currently has. Then, you steamroll his weakened army with your fresh one and take the game.

Now there's a couple of aspects of this that I notice that will eventually become problems. First off, you'll notice there's no point in the zerg strategy where the zerg harasses the protoss. If the protoss gets a 2nd, get a 3rd or 4th; if the protoss gets a 3rd, well then damnit get a 5th, etc. The idea is that it shouldn't matter what the protoss is doing, because no matter what he does he can't beat the late game 1.5Xmax army that zerg has.

...In theory. What ends up happening in most games, is that the zerg will be hesitant to attack because, of course, the longer he waits the more resources and larva he has saved up. This means that protoss can take his sweet time getting maxed upgrades/maxed army and march out with it. The problem is that when the 200/200 protoss deathball ends up meeting the 200/200 zerg army, the zerg food suddenly drops to about 100 whereas the protoss army drops to about 150-160. Also, at this point, the protoss is in your base, which means that extra 100 food worth of army you're making is coming in 20 food at a time, depending on the distance of your hatcheries. This allows the protoss to wipe your extra army out with ease, and in addition be able to reinforce from their undoubtedly 7 warp gate/3 robotics/2 stargate or whatever you let them make, as they're killing your natural expo. Hence, as a zerg you're fucked.

An alternative scenario is that you actually move out with your 200/200 zerg army earlier. You slam headfirst into the protoss army, which at this point maybe 160-170. Again, your food drops to 100, whereas the protoss army drops to about 120-130. 30 seconds later your army is back at 200/200, but keep in mind the protoss has been reinforcing his own army and is probably back at around 150-160 or so. Basically, you're right back where you started except you've lost all your resources you've been stockpiling and the army of protoss is maybe 10 food less. Not a good trade.

The fact of the matter is, this strategy focuses on going army vs. army directly, and regardless of food count (unless it's overwhelming like 70+ in your favor), protoss is going to win that battle. It's like you're making a giant sledgehammer to smash the protoss, but while protoss's sledgehammer maybe smaller, it's also made of titanium, whereas yours is made from granite.

In order for a zerg army to beat a protoss army, it needs to use strategies like flanking and mass surrounds. Most zerg units are very good at making this happen. What people don't seem to realize is that the larger both your armies get, the harder it is to get this flank/mass surround that zerg needs to win an army vs. army battle. A 200/200 zerg army (in order to be most effective) needs way more space than most maps allow, and even if they do the protoss ball is so huge that it might not even matter.

The opposite is true, however. The smaller both armies are, the easier it is to get a flank/mass surround. 20 food worth of stalkers (10) vs. 40 zerglings, means if they get surrounded theres going to be 6 or 7 stalkers being pounded with only 3 being safe. 40 food worth of stalkers (20) vs. 80 zerglings, means if they get surrounded theres gonna be like 11-12 being hit (by less zerglings at a time I might add, since the circle's tighter they cover each other's area better) with 8 being safe. And these are blinkless, unmicroed stalkers I'm talking about, which would never happen unless you're playing a bronze.

The point I'm getting at, if you couldn't tell already, is that zerg is most effective if they can find a way to split the protoss army, then attack it piecemeal. 100 food of zerg vs. 75 food of protoss has a much better chance I think than 200 food of zerg vs. 150 food of protoss. In addition, limit their army as much as possible.

Denying expos are a perfect time to do this. If the protoss wants to set up an expansion, force him to bring his army to defend it. If he does, sweep into the main with your army and deal damage. If he splits his army, try and surround the expo to kill his half of the army with your whole army, and when he brings his other half you can sweep in a trifling amount (14 or so) zerglings to deal damage in the unprotected main. You might end up sacrificing your army, but his is own army is very damaged and your zerglings should be doing a lot of economic damage. As far as your economy goes, try and limit your drones to having like 10 or so more than what you think the protoss has, and keep making army units.

What will end up happening are a couple of things. 1) The toss will always be afraid to move out of his base, and 2) his resources will be very crippled, while you'll be 1 base over him constantly streaming units. The toss will end up turtling in his 1 or 2 base, but you have to keep trying to break him by splitting his attention with either nydus worm, overlord drops, or mutalisks/speedlings. Force him to make a ton of cannons, and punish his base if he moves out for any reason. Eventually, if you've done your job right, you'll force him to all-in with whatever army he has left. This might be a little scary, but generally it'll only be around a 100 food army, which is a lot easier to flank/mass surround. In addition, you can prepare for this moment by throwing up spine crawlers, and your chances of winning are a lot higher.

Image
EDIT - OK I lied, after reviewing this replay it actually has exactly what I'm talking about in the entire post. The harass, the punishing of protoss for not being in 2 places at once, the denying of expo, and even a demonstration of his 150 food army beating back my 200 army effectively.

Image
This one illustrates most effectively exactly what I'm talking about. I punish his greedy fast expo with mass speedling, and continue ladling on the pressure (along with a diversion attack) to force him to move out.
Last edited by Ryzel on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:47 pm

I think when you have 2 really highly skilled players it just comes down to the problem of the zerg being able to do those split attacks or harassment and coming out ahead.

I can only guess and go by what interviews with the pros say because I'm terrible myself.

I think everything you said makes perfect sense but it boils down to high level execution.

Very cool though - I'll download the replays when I get home.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:26 pm

I agree Win. My entire post assumes that both players have equal skill in execution. If one is more skilled in execution than the other, that player will most likely win, since the other player will most likely fuck up on something major.

What the strategy I outlined does actually makes the game more execution intensive. It forces both players to be able to micro AND macro effectively whereas the more passive mode of play kinda' focuses on macro alone. If you're confident that you're better than the other player (which, lets face it, we like to believe we are), then this strategy would be preferred since it provides MUCH more opportunities for players to fuck up royally.

I believe my first replay demonstrates this effectively :twisted:

By the way, if you guys are interested I can post more of my replays up here. Just let me know.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:45 pm

Yeah, I'd be interested. I might start playing some 1v1 and post some just to get feedback on how to improve. I have so much to fundamentally work on that it's probably not worth looking at yet.

What I was saying above though was if the two players are equal skill I think the Protoss comes out ahead. Take it with a grain of salt though - I'm basing this on my experiences which are moot and just watching tournaments and comments from the pros.

I think most high level Protoss know how to effectively defend their base even with split armies. Drops/Nydus is high risk. Ling rushes to the main or natural can be often shut down with a sentry or 2.

In other words, I think you outline the exact way to play Zerg against Protoss for maximum effectiveness - I just still think Protoss is favored.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:51 pm

Ah. Yeah I'm not nearly good enough to be commenting on the balance of the game, so if the pros say it I'll believe it.

But yeah, like I said earlier, my character code is 137, name Ryzel. Feel free to add me and message me if you see me on and I'd be glad to try and teach you if you want. You play zerg?
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:01 pm

No, I play Protoss.

I pretty much play 2v2's exclusively and with the same guy.

I'd actually be interested in learning some Zerg basics though. I think at heart I'm a Zerg player. I'm definitely more macro oriented.

My partner (his name is "FAIL") is more of the pressure player. We're about 1800 Platinum (again 2v2 so I have no idea what that means) and we've kinda plateaued.

I think I posted my ID in this thread somewhere... Also I remember being messaged by someone in the past but I didn't get a friend request. That might have been you?
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:29 pm

Possibly? I don't remember. Do you think you could repost your character ID? I really don't want to sift through 36 pages to find it :?
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:33 pm

Windigo / 773

I just watched the second game.

That guy lost when he underestimated your attack early on.

Overall though I don't think that game showed much strength of your strategy. You were at like 26 workers by the end of the game and on 3 base!

If after your first attack you just droned hard to ~36 you would have left him in the dust. Also with that worker count, you should have just put your 3rd hatch next to your natural and called it a 2 base all in. Also banelings would have help you out quite a bit since you had plenty of gas.

Basically if that first attack doesn't succeed so well, it's game over. Losing your natural was one thing but I think a better toss saves a lot of the workers and doesn't let up the ramp to the main.

Still though - nice replay. Fun to watch.
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby Ryzel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:08 pm

It may seem that my intention the entire game was an all-in, but I was actually quite ready to cease the aggression if the first attack didn't go so well. To be honest, that's the first time I responded in such a way to a forge fast expand, and it ended up working much better than I anticipated. Since the attack worked so well, I decided to change up my strategy to a more all-in-ish thing since I knew I was so far ahead anyway.

I agree though, if I had slipped a couple drones into my larva spawn cycles instead of going pure speedling/roach I probably would have been able to win more convincingly in the later stages of the game. Keep in mind though, that at that point in the game all I wanted was to be able to produce speedling/roach constantly from 2 hatcheries with queens. I felt that that was all I needed to win the game (since he was only on one base, and 4gate < 2hatch w/ queens), so all I needed was enough drones to make that happen. If I made more drones, I would have ended up with spare minerals. The only time I was strapped for minerals was near the end when he was at my base, and if I had just taken some drones off gas and put them on minerals earlier I probably would have been fine for that.

It's related to a recent revelation I had regarding this game. You only need enough drones to fund your production capacities, and your production capacity should be only be just higher than your opponent. Once you feel comfortable that you can outproduce your opponent, why bother with more production capacity when you can instead start outproducing your opponent and win right there?

Normally it's more of a balance between making your army and staying a step ahead of your opponent with production, but since at that point in the game I had stopped his expo, contained him in his base, and I already had 2 hatches with queens, I knew I could devote the rest of my resources to outmassing him and succeed.

You're right about putting the third hatch at my natural. If I just did that and droned up a little harder, it probably would have been a good way to progress from that point if I ended up not being able to kill his nexus the second time.

Unfortunately I am just diamond, not master =P
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Re: SPACE COWBOYS ARE AWESOME (UPDATED B.NET IDs IN OP)

Postby windigo » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:47 pm

Good playing with you Ryzel. I have a new respect for Zerg after trying them that first game. :P

We should get some more ToB crew games going.
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