Non-Transitive Dice

These are interesting to consider. Rock beats scissors beats paper beats rock, but two rocks beat two papers beat two scissors beat two rocks. That can take a moment to get your head around.

Is this a common or desirable PvP structure? PvP is frequently balanced as some form of rock-paper-scissors, and we often discuss whether it is balanced for group or solo play, but I have never heard discussion of interaction between the two. I have certainly seen it in PvE. A City of Heroes Scrapper solos much better than a Defender, but two Defenders can take out Archvillains handily.

Let’s phrase that differently: two support characters support each other but are very weak alone, while two strong solo builds do not gain much from playing alongside one another. Okay, we knew that one already. And then there’s my friend Adam, who makes dominating solo characters that excel in groups. Bastard.

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Non-Transitive Dice”

  1. The problem is you are taking classes that are designed to work efficiently as a group (PvE), yet when it comes to PvP, players look at the classes on a individual merit, in terms of 1v1. Dominating characters will always excel when the conditions are right, huge burst damage for example tends to trump all in terms of PvP, which makes large burst heals a necessity, or the ability to completely negate burst damage, roots/sleeps/disarm.

    Support classes cannot compete effectively in so far as they do not pocess the high end damage and heals of specialized classes. Debuffing and buffing does not work in most PvP environments as effectively as in PvE for the simple reason the encounters are over in a matter of seconds, not minutes. And if the other side also has the said abilities, or the ability to dispell. Support classes tend to negate each other out of the equation all together leaving specialized classes to duke it out.

    PvP must stop being looked at in terms of 1v1, rock v sissor v paper, or even as groups fitting together like a puzzle to combine skills. Granted the latter can work wonders if designed from the ground up to work that way (Guild Wars).

    What I’d like to see is PvP based on RTS numbers. Take two classes, grunts and archers.

    One grunt will decimate an archer 1v1. One grunt will also be able to solo two, maybe 3, but 1 grunt vs 5-6 archers and the grunt dies. Keep upping the number of archers, and eventually the archers all firing in unison will decimate the grunt in a single hit.

    So, where a single grunt could kill maybe 5 archers, that does not mean 2 could kill 10 and 3 could kill 15. As archers concentrate fire, the 15 will be able to dispatch all 3 grunts possibly without taking a single hit.

    A larger numbers, the archers have the advantage, with 20+ archers decimating 20+ grunts

    So then everyone should just roll archers? Well no, that’s when the support classes come in and make the difference.

    Erm, and that made absolutely no sense and was way off topic, I need more coffee.

  2. Hehehe, I prefer the pure controller to the ability to solo (with any reasonable speed). Defenders are great, and necessary, and all, but if the controller knows what they’re doing, everyone falls in step.

    I do like the RTS comparison, but it’s fairly limited in CoX. It relies on the ability of multiple ranged attackers to get multiple alpha-strikes, and that just doesn’t happen with the speed and maneuvrability available to players in this game, and the hitpoints of the ‘grunts’. Actually….. Hmmmm. I think perhaps the best way of fixing PvP would be to suppress lvl 14 and 20 travel powers in the PvP zones. Ranged can still get in position with hover (at sprint&swift running speed if slotted, which ain’t bad), combat jumping and hurdle, swift and sprint help one get around, and teleport foe/friend would still be in there. This leaves the kinetics buffs, but they’re short-term and originate from a squishy, so there’s incentive for a primary target. It’ll keep people mostly on the ground, and stop the grasshopper effect that has everyone hopping back and forth out of an intersection, occasionally killing an opponent when there happens to be five of you and just the one of them in there. So you’d get some enhanced movement, but without the all-breaking death of any strategy beyond everyone running from what kills them in the rock-paper-scissors circle.

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