The Daily Grind: What’s the weirdest gameplay myth that persists in your favorite MMO?

    
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My husband is an avid Overwatch player, and the other day he pointed out to me that Blizzard has, in spite of its foibles, absolutely nailed the matchmaking algorithm: For him, with almost 9000 (!) matches played, it’s within 1% of 50:50 wins to losses. But, he noted, there’s apparently a persistent myth among Overwatch players that the algorithm goes funky over time, leading them to roll new accounts in the hopes of achieving a better rating. “What they’re really seeing is statistical anomalies,” he told me. (He’s an astrophysicist.) “You’re more likely to get excursions in a small dataset” – which is what a new account will generate – “but in the long run, the algorithm is going to find you.”

These kinds of myths always seem to revolve around math. Ultima Online players 24 years ago were convinced that eating a lot of food led to better skill-ups. They didn’t, mathematically, but that didn’t stop people from endlessly summoning ham to eat anyway, no matter how many times the developers patiently explained that the effect players thought they saw just wasn’t in the code. I’ve seen similar crafting-related math myths floating around Star Wars Galaxies’ emulator Discords. The devs will come in and shoot them down… but they persist anyway.

So let’s talk about myths. What’s the weirdest gameplay myth that persists in your favorite MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Beef Bologna

Your husband might want to reexamine his data set in Overwatch. Showing the wins/losses wasn’t meant to prove that match making works as much as it was meant to gaslight people who aren’t paying attention to what is being tallied.

I have a similar amount of games as your hubby(I’m around 46% in qp). I do my best every game and have never left a match before it’s conclusion(sans a handful of isp or power issues). So, even 46% is okay and close enough to 50% to say “it works” – until you realize losses in any circumstance other than a 100% complete match aren’t counted.

If every 1 in 5 or 6 games is a drop in and drop ins have a far greater chance of loss, suddenly it’s numbers trickery not the matchmaking that’s giving you 50%. From what I noticed, every win is counted regardless of the circumstances it is obtained.

I would wager any amount of cash that Blizzard knows the MMR system isn’t great, but they coded themselves in a corner with the OW1 engine. The OW1 engine limitations for a lot of things(cheat detection is a glaring example) are contributing to a new OW2 engine more than wanting PvE aspects. You, however, lose all credibility if you tell people “Hey remember that game that we sold you was a fair multi-billion dollar e-sport? Yeah our piggy-backed code on the failed Titan engine wasn’t that great”.

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Hikari Kenzaki

People see patterns where there are none all the time. I see this a lot in our game (and every other game). People will talk about their luck or the table must be off or the calculations are wrong, but repetitive tests show RNG is just RNG.

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NeoWolf

Actually In relation to computerized RNG, those people are correct.

Programmed RNG Generators are deterministic by nature, it is unavoidable as all programs follow a set of rules in order to determine an outcome. They can imitate random number generation but it is not actually random, and as such they cannot allow for true randomness.

We can’t program true chaos :)

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Hikari Kenzaki

That’s not really true, not in the way people mean it. It’s just something we nerds have been tossing around for the last 50 years. :) In truth, a programmed RNG is more fair/balanced than a dice throw or coin toss because physical objects interject flaws and imperfections. You’re more likely to get even results of 1-6 from a computer than from a die.

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NeoWolf

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one :)

Fair/balanced in relation to something that is supposed to be random… the horror. Chaos isn’t balanced it’s unpredictable and random as it should be and as noted is not something we can program, only attempt to imitate. :)

miol
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miol

GW2’s Renown Hearts (in vanilla maps):

They’re not the main PvE “quest” content in those, but rather filler content in form of static tasks for in between dynamic events in that part of the map!

They were only added at the last phases of development as orientation aids for players, who struggle to just go out and explore the world/maps!

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Bryan Correll

almost 9000 (!) matches played

You should know by now that the internet is only impressed by numbers that are over 9,000.

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Stormwaltz

Anything related to Erebrandir’s Horseshoe in LotRO.

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NeoWolf

That ENDGAME is worth the rush to reach it. It’s a Myth in every game, and one that has yet to bare fruit :)

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Does not check email

I never understood the concept of endgame. As a mmo, virtual world should the experience be ongoing to keep the player engaged?

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Harbinger_Kyleran

Long ago when Lineage 1 the Blood pledge launched in the US there was tell of a secret “Luck” attribute for every character.

This supposedly influenced how many health, spell power and mana points a player would receive after gaining a level, and it wasn’t uncommon to see players de-level to try again if they weren’t happy with their previous roll.

It also supposedly influenced whether or not leveling up gear was successful, or exploded, killing the crafter which could cost them hard won experience or de-level even.

I recall someone going to great lengths to prove it by creating dozens of characters, leveling each to like 30, recording the amount of attribute points in each category they received after level.

In the end if the report was to be believed it clearly showed some characters had significantly more attribute points than average, with some quite a bit below average even, seemingly “proving” the luck theory.

NCSoft West strongly denied such an attribute existed yet still, some players had phenomenal success enchanting gear, sometimes into the stratosphere with +14 stats while any time I tried I blew the item up around +5 or +6.

Was it real? Who can say, looking back I now strongly suspect those extremely “lucky” gear enchanters were hacking in some fashion, but I never read anything that confirmed such was going on.

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Phubarrh

Does anyone still carry a rabbit’s foot in WoW?

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Bruno Brito

Remembered one i saw in the GW2 forums or reddit, and well, i believe it so i just say it everywhere until it reach the legend status.

Basically, it’s that while GW2 performance is dogshit because it’s a GW1-derived engine and it’s a DX9 game yet, there is this rumor that the entire game is built above the ocean. Which means your game renders all the water below the surface and that contributes to being intensive.

Don’t know if that’s true but i’m always looking for ways to point fingers so i just assume it is uwu

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psytic
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Bruno Brito

Thanks, i hate it.

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K8 D

Ive broken out of most maps and its pretty true. Even instances such as fractals.

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Bereman99

So this might be a stretch to call it a gameplay myth, but it’s technically connected to gameplay and it is persistent, so here goes:

In FFXIV, various elements of “jankiness” or performance issues found in gameplay are occasionally attributed to the game engine either still being Crystal Tools (used in 1.0) or because “they are using the Luminous Engine.”

While the second myth is quite a bit more common, I’ve seen both statements multiple times as recently as earlier this year, despite Yoshi-P’s clarifying statements about the game engine being neither Crystal Tools nor Luminous being almost a decade old a this point.

It’s just this weird little persistent myth that ultimately doesn’t matter in the end, since whatever issue is present is still a thing regardless of game engine, but’s still pretty amusing to see.

An older one that I haven’t seen in quite a few years but was persistent for a while and is kinda related is that ARR was “just a patch to 1.0’s version” but I don’t recall seeing that one nearly as often as the above.

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BlazeVortex4231

Naoki Yoshida *did* say in a 2012 interview, “It is a completely different engine, yet because the same people working on the Luminous Engine (Hashimoto-san included) helped create FF14’s engine, there are some similarities. You could say the two engines are siblings.”

What we do know is, given that the the new dev team had to develop a multi-platform Triple-A MMO in only 32 months, atop the bones of a failed game, while also still working on and updating said failed game at the same time, it’s clear that corners were cut in more than a few places (sparse features at launch, poor raid design, spaghetti code that haunts the game to this day, et cetera).

It’s still a different graphical engine, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely free from the specter of the old engine.

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Utakata

Better gear makes you a better player?

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Oleg Chebeneev

Well, noone thinks so. But gear allows bad players to beat good players in many games. Sometimes difference in power is so big, that its almost impossible to overcome it unless you invest thousands of $$ also.

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Dobablo

Better gear makes you a better person?