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  #73  
Old September 21st, 2019, 01:11 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

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  #74  
Old September 22nd, 2019, 02:55 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

I post my report here because, unfortunaly, playtested units weren't really used in this game.
When we choose army, we were agreed to use raptorians at 4 life and gas grenade at -1 dice

Map: Valledon Fortress (Valda, Wannok)

Maklar - Army: Venoc Warlord, Venoc Vipers x5, Clawfoot Interceptor x3
Agent Ward - Army: 12th Caucasus Rifles x2, Roman Legion x3, Marcus Gallus, Me-Burq-Sa, Patrick Ferguson, Isamu

Which units survived?
6 Romans, MDG, MBS, Pat, and Isamu all with full life

General Battle Report/Flow of game (be as detailed or general as you like)

I go first with Romans while Malkar put everything on Vipers, they go fast and target my 12th. MBS start to shoot Vipers and romans to move and kill a couple of them. Vipers kill one 12th, some romans, took Valda and defend Wannock. I finish the round with 12th but only one can reach a viper and kill it easily.

The next round is full of romans vs vipers, vipers try to reach 12th while romans kill a lot of them with MBS, I also took Wannock. Vipers finish the 4 12th but it took a lot of attacks.

Once (almsot) all vipers died, I won initiative and start attacking Raptorians, MBS did 3 paralizing thing while raptorians did only 1 skull with 5 attack dice two times. With romans, MBS and some good dices I kill easily the 3 raptorians (without any luck on defense dice).


How useful were playtesting units' powers and how often did they come into play?
12th only took one turn, no grenades and only one attack of 5 (height + MDG) against a viper

Any additional comments (theme, balance, fun factor with and against)?
I didn't expect too much from 12th against vipers, I think tey have more interest against Raptorians.
The fact that Maklar keep the Raptorians for late game but focus 12th with vipers was really good for me, they were less usefull than rommans against vipers. They have also a better defense so each attack against them was good for me, it was more romans to kill them.

I thinked that at every moment a raptorian could use a bomb attack to my heroes. With 10 of move I was affraid for MBS but he kept height and was safe

Moreover after the first two rounds the all the luck was on my side and nothing left for Malkar.
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  #75  
Old September 22nd, 2019, 10:31 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

PTI

There are three reasons why I believe this tournament’s structure is inherently flawed and leads to weak or unreliable data.

1: Take Two seems like a flawed format for testing figures. With take two many times one batch of armies will be stronger then the other. This leads to one persons armies being played at a higher rate then other possible army combinations. The armies were also designed to be balanced against each other. The results is a format that encourages the same balanced matchup over and over again. That meta simply doesn’t produce a lot of good date. Not to mention you’re not gonna see matchup archetypes that are all but required for testing a unit properly. There’s too much outside influence before the game even starts creating a balanced matchup. This comes at the cost of the figures being playtested. A focus on creating balanced matchups is not the philosophy that we should be encouraging. We want to see how units do in verity of settings.

2: Both armies contain units that are being play tested. This a cardinal sin of play testing. It’s really science 101. We want to control variables, not introduce more. If a match is a blow out is it becomes one unit was too strong, the other unit too weak, or a combination of both? There’s no way to tell. If you play against established armies you don’t have this problem. We’re trying to answer question here, not cause more.

3: Take a moment to look at the armies in this tournament. It doesn’t look a thing like any tournament that’s been played in scapes 15 year history. Y’all created an artificial meta that is not representative of reality. I’m at a loss who thought it was a good idea to test units it this bizarro meta.

This tournament tells you so little. It’s a real shame that we’re getting so little date out of so many games. It’s also troubling that skewed date is being used to informs design decisions.
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  #76  
Old September 22nd, 2019, 10:36 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

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Originally Posted by infectedsloth View Post
PTI

There are three reasons why I believe this tournamentís structure is inherently flawed and leads to weak or unreliable data.

1: Take Two seems like a flawed format for testing figures. With take two many times one batch of armies will be stronger then the other. This leads to one persons armies being played at a higher rate then other possible army combinations. The armies were also designed to be balanced against each other. The results is a format that encourages the same balanced matchup over and over again. That meta simply doesnít produce a lot of good date. Not to mention youíre not gonna see matchup archetypes that are all but required for testing a unit properly. Thereís too much outside influence before the game even starts creating a balanced matchup. This comes at the cost of the figures being playtested. A focus on creating balanced matchups is not the philosophy that we should be encouraging. We want to see how units do in verity of settings.

2: Both armies contain units that are being play tested. This a cardinal sin of play testing. Itís really science 101. We want to control variables, not introduce more. If a match is a blow out is it becomes one unit was too strong, the other unit too weak, or a combination of both? Thereís no way to tell. If you play against established armies you donít have this problem. Weíre trying to answer question here, not cause more.

3: Take a moment to look at the armies in this tournament. It doesnít look a thing like any tournament thatís been played in scapes 15 year history. Yíall created an artificial meta that is not representative of reality. Iím at a loss who thought it was a good idea to test units it this bizarro meta.

This tournament tells you so little. Itís a real shame that weíre getting so little date out of so many games. Itís also troubling that skewed date is being used to informs design decisions.

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  #77  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 01:38 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

So, I didn't have any hand in organizing this event, and I don't speak for the playtesting department, but I disagree with you on a pretty fundamental level, @infectedsloth . And I think this disagreement boils down to a pretty basic idea - playtesting is ultimately about a qualitative analysis of results.

This isn't an absolute - of course, the playtesters look at collected results of many games and if one unit keeps winning and winning (or losing and losing), that's a red flag. But the idea that we get enough results to make this a matter of statistics, where we can look at results of a bunch of games against a wide range of known armies of a given power level and parse out level of the unit in question by its results, is just an absolute fantasy. And FWIW I've been involved in playtesting for commercial products (with Plaid Hat) and I'm here to tell you that it's a fantasy in commercial game production, too. It's too many games, too hard to parse out, way too much effort for too little return.

Rather, at the most fundamental level, we rely on the impressions of our testers. We're not just collecting W/L data, we're collecting impressions. And we're in luck, because most of our testers are experienced folks who know what a strong unit or a weak unit feels like. Again, going back to my experience with commercial game development - most of the biggest mistakes I've seen in overshooting or undershooting power level have happened not because too little independent data was collected, but because the data was predominantly less experienced players deploying the tested figures in ways that didn't push them.

So... yeah, we're testing units against other testing units. And if we were trying to compile meaningful win/loss percentages over dozens of games against a range of armies at a specific power levelt, that would be a big no-no. But we're not. We don't have the resources to do that, and frankly, even if we did there would be better things to do with them.

The one area where I kinda agree with you is that bring 2 has some limitations here. Namely, as people figure out the power levels of these armies, we're seeing some armies get a lot more play than others. So in the end we're getting a lot of data but maybe not as broad a data set as we'd like.

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  #78  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 03:00 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

Pretty much everything in your response that you asserted was my view point actually isn’t.

First off, you base your entire response on a perceived fundamental disagreement that’s simply not there. You made the statement that “playtesting is ultimately about a qualitative analysis of results.” I agree with you, heck I think pretty much everyone agrees. That’s how we’ve been doing it for years. I didn’t think this was up for debate. As an illustration, if a unit through the course of its play testing kills an average of 83.5 points. I’m not gonna push for the unit to be priced at 83.5 points. I’m not a slave to the data. I know how to make subjective conclusion based of the date and other factors. Everyone on this site does too.

Multiple times you act has if I take win/lose records as gospel, when I never even mentioned win/lose records. Look at part two again. I use terms like too weak or two strong. Those are subjective terms. I want the testers impressions just like you.

I’m pointing out that the system has been set up in such a way that it’s not producing good date. This makes qualitative analysis more difficult and less reliable.

Last edited by infectedsloth; September 23rd, 2019 at 05:23 AM.
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  #79  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

Thanks for your input, IS. I’m hopeful that, notwithstanding your concerns, we’ll do a good job anyway. When the units are released, the proof will be in the pudding.

Like dok, I’m not in Playtesting. I just watch. This is the best group of playtesters we’ve had in a long time, and the most active the community has been volunteering with us for a long time, and we are finding the data from this event very helpful. I don’t know what you think you know, but suffice it to say we don’t agree.

You’ve said your piece. To the extent we care to discuss it internally, we can. You know that we aren’t a public workshop.

Thank you for your input. That is all.

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  #80  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 10:40 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

@dok and I are on tonight at 7:00pm MDT.

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  #81  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 11:50 AM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)


Well met!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
Rather, at the most fundamental level, we rely on the impressions of our testers. We're not just collecting W/L data, we're collecting impressions. And we're in luck, because most of our testers are experienced folks who know what a strong unit or a weak unit feels like.

When we were playtesting Kha for the SoV, we did not record much in the way of raw data, just our impressions about what transpired. When I write Battle Reports, I state that they are impressionistic, as opposed to eidetic. [Fortunately, I take lots of pictures, which help refresh my memory.] When I create customs, I have an impression of how they'll play. I'm in the ballpark more often than not, and I'm not nearly as experienced/knowledgeable as those doing the testing here. This tournament is only a part of the total testing that goes into the release of a unit. The track record for this process is awfully good, I think most of us would agree. As Dad_Scaper says, "the proof will be in the pudding."





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  #82  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 01:10 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

In response to Infected Sloth’s good posting...

1. All tournement formats will be somewhat flawed for testing. It has been determined already that the Bowhunter and the Interceptor basically stunk. If this were a traditional bring 1 army event, the weaker builds will still be at the bottom of the win-loss records. At least in a Take 2, the players have a chance to stray from those weaker armies or to deliberately use the weaker armies to see what needs fixing.

2. I figured that the tournement was more for fun that for seriousness of getting units tested. Any games that are played are still valid as well. If a unit sucks, one of the experienced players will call it out right away. They’ll also mention if they would bother to put OM’s on them. Heck, any experienced competitive player would have immediately know that Demons were strong. Who has won a lot of games? Demons.

3. Its a bizzarro meta for sure, so I actually agree with you here. But, I accepted this and the last tournement as is because they were fun. That’s the whole point man.

I don’t think you’re wrong at all, but I think you aren’t giving the community the credit they deserve.

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  #83  
Old September 23rd, 2019, 03:08 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

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Originally Posted by infectedsloth View Post
You made the statement that “playtesting is ultimately about a qualitative analysis of results.” I agree with you, heck I think pretty much everyone agrees.
FWIW I assure you that not everyone who does playtesting for game development agrees with this. But anyway:

If you accept that we work from qualitative reactions to the games, then your objections seem very overblown to me. I realize you never act as though win/loss percentage or points killed is gospel, but your overall approach seems to suggest that we need to sanitize our data by running test units against known released army archetypes at all times, rather than mixing test against test. In short, the bulk of your argument seems to be that any time you're testing new/different armies against each other, that's bad data.

I disagree with that, precisely because our testers are capable of evaluating multiple units independently. Sometimes it's important to try to isolate a unit in testing - it's most important (and most challenging!) when designing units that work together in the same army. However it's not particularly hard to evaluate how effective a unit was just because the units you played against were also in testing.

Again, I've been on both sides of this in commercial game development as well. I've been in testing cycles where we only tested new stuff against released stuff for 90% of a cycle, and only tested new vs. new at the very end. In my experience this was basically a waste of time - not that the data was bad, but we were getting it at not much more than half the rate we would otherwise. These cycles often had more testing but (in retrospect) were less effective at spotting overpowered or underpowered cards.

The critical thing to realize is that either a design will essentially spike the test with its obvious strength or weakness, or it won't. If it does, then the nature of the opposing army doesn't really matter (so it's the same speed of testing as if we only had 1 unit being tested). If it doesn't, then a tester is going to be able to get a feel for the design that's largely independent of the strength of the opponent's forces (so we're going at double speed). I've never seen a tester struggle to evaluate the strength of the units they were playing just because of the opponent's army, unless that army was either broken good or broken bad.

Incidentally, this is why I find some of your criticism of using take 2 invalid. Yes, players will intentionally try to make balanced armies. But this is a feature, not a bug, because it means we get to see the units perform in well-matched games where their relative strength or weakness should have plenty of opportunity to present itself. Again, the presence of customs in the opposing army doesn't significantly hurt this.

(Again, I do agree that the repetitive nature of matchups in take 2 is a problem. One thing you want to avoid in testing is repeatedly running your units into the same sorts of matchups, and take 2 does obviously encourage that. I can't speak for the playtest team myself but I imagine this was, in part, an effort to balance creating a fun/competitive event that people would want to participate in, with the goal of getting the most meaningful data.)

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Clerics in D&D are not adept at fighting.

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Last edited by dok; September 23rd, 2019 at 06:26 PM.
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  #84  
Old September 24th, 2019, 12:31 PM
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Re: 2019 C3V Playtest Tournament (Round 3 until 9/29)

Returning to our regular programming:

I played Flash last night. I took my Acolyte build and he took his Roman/12th build.

After grabbing both glyphs (Valda/Wannok), I went for a Corvor rush. I didn't quite move into the startzone but I flew in behind Marcus after he had advanced a bit, blocking the gap to separate him from potential reinforcements. Corruption rolls were quite hot, and my Acolytes survived a couple key attacks from flanking Romans that allowed me to eliminate Flash's presence in the middle of the map. Flash desperately tried to take down the big demon, and got him down to 2 life, but he was throwing lots of Romans into corruption range to pull it off.

Once the Romans were eliminated the remaining 12th couldn't stand up to Corvor, the Acolytes, and the Skull Demon that moved in for the final kill on Siiv. In the end, I lost 4 Acolytes... three to demon summoning, and one to a self-hit with corruption. That was... all the figures I lost. Yup.

So... yeah, that happened. It was kind of a perfect storm, but still, Acolytes and Corvor are pretty good.

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