Author Topic: I disagree with a statement by Josh  (Read 42715 times)

Offline Vasja

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #160 on: December 16, 2011, 11:56:44 AM »
I'd disagree with the premise on two points:

1. Playing a separate game does not (necessarily) make you a better player in general.

Playing a game casually and approaching a game with a desire to learn and improve are wholly different things. Not only do some people learn differently than others, some facets of games are inherently different, and applying knowledge from one will not in any way guarantee you gains in the other.

As a stupid example: I've taken to playing blackjack with my friends on Sunday nights. I have not gotten better at playing blackjack over the several months we've been doing this, but I've also not improved in poker or craps - two related games that we also play. 'Broadening my horizons' has, if anything, deteriorated my play in multiple ways.

2. There is no clear measure of a 'good' player.

Does excelling in one aspect mean you are worse than a 'jack of all trades'? If you're speaking strictly about ability to optimize, it's hard to say. Someone might be the best damn E6 optimizer of all time, but where does that rate in 'skill of optimization'. If he's not very good at making 10 or 20 builds, does that mean he is inferior to someone who can, despite the fact that his other skills are much greater? Working without limits is an important skill, but working to a set of conditions is as well. Both are useful and demonstrate creativity, but it's tough to say that one is 'more important'.

If we're not talking about optimization, the measure is even more fluid. Good players may be those who can optimize best, or those who make the best jokes at the table. It's pretty 'up in the air'.

Offline BG_Josh

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #161 on: December 16, 2011, 02:37:21 PM »
Vasja,

1) again it is unstated  that you are going to learn the new game, not just execute it.  Similarly we assumeyou are going to try and apply the knowledge.

Here is a clear example: if you want to be better at judo, learn aikido.

2) there not being a clear measure is unimportant.

Offline Vasja

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #162 on: December 16, 2011, 03:17:24 PM »
True. Certainly, learning and application of gained knowledge is the only way it could work at all.

[Warning:  :blah]

However, I'd argue that there's often much less overlap in gaming then there are in physical pursuits. For example, consider two fairly disparate martial arts: jujitsu and muay thai. Would training muay thai make you better at jujitsu? Not at all in technique, but your endurance, hand-eye coordination, and strength would all most likely increase, thus improving your jujitsu.

Even here, however, there is less overlap that first seen. First, the important part of jujitsu is not strength but technique, which is completely ignored by trying the other art. In addition, some techniques learned in muay thai may actually hinder you in jujitsu, as you will have to rebuild your muscle memory.

These technical aspects I see as being most akin to the games we play. When two games share a common ground you could certainly gain skill by practicing both instead of one - take Pathfinder and 3.5 for example. The two systems are similar enough that if you spent time optimizing one it's pretty clear you'd have a good sense of what the other offers as well. I see that as akin to your judo/aikido example - the similarity in techniques gives you a greater benefit.

On the other hand, even in similar 'fields' you can often have very little overlap. Sure, I learned a lot in that aikido class - but my time would have much been better spent practicing judo for the same amount of effort. Perhaps if you've completely exhausted your knowledge and creativity with regard to a specific subject (which is quite unlikely to happen), then time spent on a different system could benefit you - but it might not. It related heavily to your own creative process and how best you can come up with ideas - which might be best spending gaining experience in the very system you feel you've exhausted.



I think a somewhat clear measure of what a good player is is also important. On what basis do you say 'you would be a better player if...' without being able to, at least in a general sense', quantify what a 'better player' is? Optimization is subjective in almost every case, because games are subject to the whims of the players. You have subjective limits set on you in every scenario, whether that be social rules or simply the limits of the game system itself.

I guess a reasonable definition would be - 'A good optimizer is a player who, given a system and a set of guidelines on building a character, is able to build an effective character within that system that follows the given guidelines as closely as possible.' I don't think this is something that is necessarily improved by learning other systems, though it can sometimes be.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 03:19:23 PM by Vasja »

Offline BG_Josh

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #163 on: December 16, 2011, 04:22:09 PM »
1) we are wander afield here.  I brought up sports, ma in specific because in that area the topic is not even controversial.  It is an established thing.

Also, similar is actually not as helpfull.  Football players learn ballet, not rugby.

2) I generally reserve the specifics of criteria to the case at hand.  Until a catagorical system is invented.

Offline Vasja

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #164 on: December 16, 2011, 04:40:29 PM »
Yes, but there are very specific reasons football players take ballet. Foot coordination/health and flexibility, triggered in a different way. Ballet, won't improve the soccer player's knowledge of field positioning, passing lanes, or overall strategy. I argue that these are the things that are most alike to optimization in DnD, and thus are things that you are unlikely to learn by exploring other systems.

What would dX or Vampire teach me about optimization in 3.5?

Offline BG_Josh

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #165 on: December 16, 2011, 06:47:09 PM »
Yes, but there are very specific reasons football players take ballet. Foot coordination/health and flexibility, triggered in a different way. Ballet, won't improve the soccer player's knowledge of field positioning, passing lanes, or overall strategy. I argue that these are the things that are most alike to optimization in DnD, and thus are things that you are unlikely to learn by exploring other systems.

What would dX or Vampire teach me about optimization in 3.5?

Shitty games teach nothing, that is correct.

Offline Vasja

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #166 on: December 16, 2011, 06:55:31 PM »
Why do you consider them to be 'shitty'? dX has little material but is designed to be much more free-form. I've got less experience with Vampire, but it's fun and has some depth. I don't consider them to be 'shitty' at all.

What games do you consider to be good?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 06:59:09 PM by Vasja »

Offline BG_Josh

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #167 on: December 16, 2011, 07:57:27 PM »
Why do you consider them to be 'shitty'? dX has little material but is designed to be much more free-form. I've got less experience with Vampire, but it's fun and has some depth. I don't consider them to be 'shitty' at all.

What games do you consider to be good?

That's a whole giant topic.  That I will have to get later

Offline veekie

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #168 on: December 17, 2011, 12:05:27 AM »
Shitty games teach nothing, that is correct.
That is not wholly true. Even bad games can have good concepts to learn from, or simply highlight flaws to an extent that they become apparent.
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Offline BG_Josh

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #169 on: December 17, 2011, 03:05:42 PM »
Shitty games teach nothing, that is correct.
That is not wholly true. Even bad games can have good concepts to learn from, or simply highlight flaws to an extent that they become apparent.

They can teach you about games, if you want to be a designer but only fractionally.  And really only in context.  If you are teaching engineering, for example, you teach successes and when you show failures you want to show the context of how they failed.

Without that context it's not useful to beginners. 

Offline SneeR

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #170 on: December 17, 2011, 03:21:07 PM »
Shitty games teach nothing, that is correct.
That is not wholly true. Even bad games can have good concepts to learn from, or simply highlight flaws to an extent that they become apparent.

They can teach you about games, if you want to be a designer but only fractionally.  And really only in context.  If you are teaching engineering, for example, you teach successes and when you show failures you want to show the context of how they failed.

Without that context it's not useful to beginners.
I agree with this statement!

If I had not been so masterful in my understanding of D&D, I would have been unable to grasp the weak points of games like GURPS or Burning Wheel. When I look at a system, I can think about the exploits because of these very boards, understanding wording and concepts much better.

Though, of course, that lends support to the idea that playing a single game does not make me a worse gamer than one who plays multiple games...
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Offline Soundwave

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #171 on: December 19, 2011, 03:45:40 AM »
Quote
If I had not been so masterful in my understanding of D&D, I would have been unable to grasp the weak points of games like GURPS or Burning Wheel.

When I look at a system, I can think about the exploits because of these very boards, understanding wording and concepts much better.

Quote
Though, of course, that lends support to the idea that playing a single game does not make me a worse gamer than one who plays multiple games...

I think the phrasing of this should not be : "the idea that playing a single game does not make me a worse gamer" but rather "one who plays multiple games will likely have a better understanding of mechanics in a given system due to a larger pool of experience to pull from."

Offline Tshern

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #172 on: December 19, 2011, 04:30:54 PM »
I only saw this thread today and gave it a thorough read. To me it seems like the arguments about the opinions and methods of different posters are taken out of proportion. Within any community, regardless of the size, there are going to be people who disagree with one another, even fiercely so. But what is the problem there? Don't read their posts. It's not like some entity was forcing anyone to go through every single thing written here.

You disagree with someone, sure, post and explain why you feel differently. The other might shoot back another argument and you can write down another rebuttal. In case you feel too annoyed or that you are not getting through to the poster, just fucking leave the thread.

Jesus, I am even getting along with Hallack without any trouble.

A small off-topic stroll here:
He DOES need to improve, I'm not excusing it (that last post to BB WAS baiting to be clear), but you all aren't exactly Prince Charming either. Except for Tshern. I love me some Scandinavian dudes.
Finland is not actually a part of Scandinavia, but Fennoscandia. There is a lot of Scandinavians who do not know that either though, so I don't really care if someone makes that tiny mistake. But I have tried to improved my manners and I hope that has been showing. Perhaps life is finally forcing me to become a civilised person?
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Vasja: Your avatar looks awfully lot like Shang Tsung. Would that be a correct guess?
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Ja nahkapeitto ja syyllisyys
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Offline Vasja

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #173 on: December 20, 2011, 08:28:08 AM »
Yup, Shang Tsung it is :)

Offline Marco0042

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Re: I disagree with a statement by Josh
« Reply #174 on: December 30, 2011, 10:16:22 PM »
First off, I started this topic with an inflammatory statement. I was trying to "poke the bear" so Josh would notice and reply. This was a bad choice clearly. Secondly, as I stated somewhere back in the murk Josh answered my question to my satisfaction. Thank you, this was appreciated. I also appreciate the effort and hard work the mods put in keeping this site up and running. When I saw the old boards go down I was sad and made happy again when this one opened. So I am going to start a new thread that I hope stays on topic and positive. Happy New Year gamers!
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