The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

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The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:52 am

I am sure you are familiar with statistics and rankings in games.
That keep track of everything you are doing and rank you appropriately.


Personally, I don't like them. Especially if they are extremely stingy about things.


Now I do like them in games like "Hitman: Blood Money" or "Metal Gear Solid", where they monitor your process and rank you approriately at the end of the mission or the game.
For Hitman, it shows you how effective you are as a stealthy killer.
While in Metal Gear Solid, it simply gives you a rank for your gameplay-style. There pretty much is no ultimate rank there.


But otherwise, I cannot stand them.
Examples are the ranking system in "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance".
Which ranks nearly every battle you fight in the game. And at the end of the mission, the ranks from each individual battle are added and form the rank for the whole mission.

I would rather have done in like the MGS-games, where the game only ranks you at the end of the game. And where it is not so stingy about things.

The game ranks "Time", "Battle Points" (earned by combos and special attacks), "Zandatsu", "Longest Combo" and "Kills".
Then there are bonus points for "No Damage" and "No Kills".
But the "No Kills" bonus is rather absurd and contradicts with the ranking. So if you go for no kills, your ranking will be low, since you don't have the kills for a high ranking then.

So in order to get an S-Rank, you have to finish each battle fast, using as many Zandatsu's as possible, combo as high as possible, kill every enemy and get the No Damage bonus.
And you have to do that for EVERY RANKED BATTLE IN THE GAME!!!

What is even worse: YOU CAN MISS BATTLES!
Some battles are hidden and require backtracking. But they are easily missed and they count towards your ranking at the end of the mission.
So if you do not do them, they will lower your ranking at the end of the mission. Which is BS!
They should rather have implemented them as optional battles, that do not need to be done to get an S-Rank for the mission, but they can be done as additional chance to get an S-Rank, if you didn't do so well with earlier battles.

Plus, and this is the really absurd one, NO ALERTS DO NOT TRIGGER RANKED BATTLES!
That's right, if you do not trigger alerts in certain areas, the battles will not count, since only if an alert is triggered and the resulting reinforcements are being dealt with, the battle is being rank.
Which actually forces you mostly to be aggressive and fighting head-on, instead of being stealthy like MGS is basicly known for.

Tho the "Blade Wolf" DLC-story actually handles this matter so much better, even adding a "No Alert" bonus.

Still, the fact that you have to do every battle in the game with no damage and a certain amount of kills, Zandatsu's and a certain high combo number, even hidden ones, makes getting the highest rank in the game a frustrating task to begin with.
And the ranking system is so blatantly shoved into your face, that you just cannot ignore it.


And then there are statistics like in "Hitman: Absolution" or nearly every other shooter, that list trivial stuff like "Kills", "Deaths", "Times spotted", "Distance travelled", etc. etc.
And the worst thing about them is: YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM!
They are permament and go up or down every time you play anything in the game.

I especially loathe them in online games.


So why do you hate such statistics and rankings so much?
The first thing is: THEY ADD UNNECESSARY PRESSURE TO THE GAME!
Where as "If you don't get the highest rank everywhere and the highest/lowest number in statistic X, you are a failure at this game".
That's why I hate them in many occasions, since they prevent me from just playing the game and having fun, without ever feeling like I am bad player if I dont get rank X or have statistic Y above or below a certain number.

Now like I said, I actually like them if they are vague and don't dictate a certain rank is better than others. Like MGS pretty much.
(Of course, it still has some ultimate ranks, but otherwise it is good.)
Or if you can easily redo them and get better gradually. Like the "Hitman" games before Absolution.
Don't like the ranking? No problem! Just redo the mission and make it better. PERFECT!

But otherwise: YUCK!

2nd: "They are unnecessary"
Especially statistics, like the example of "Hitman Absolution" and other shooters, are.
I mean seriously, "Distance travelled" and stuff? Who actually cares about stuff like that?

And the ranking system in "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" also kinda is.
I daresay that this game would've worked so much better with no ranking system at all!!!
The Battle Points and unlockables are more than enough force, that drives you to keep playing.


And 3rd: "They encourage trolling!"
Which is what I hate so much about online games.
If your rank and statistics are not good enough, you are bound to get hammered for it by some a-holes.

Heck, why do you think there is so much hacking in online games?
I don't think it's just some greedy turds, who just want to win my any means necessary, but also desperate people, who don't want to be treated like trash, just because they aren't good enough.

And it doesn't even have to be online. Just sharing single player and offline multiplayer stuff on YouTube alone, attracts so much bashing...
Seriously, the sheer amount of elitism and inhumanity on this site is just insane.
For instance, there is barely any casual fighting game video out there, that doesn't have at least one elitist commenting how much of a failure at life the player is for being so bad at this game.
IT'S OUTRIGHT DISGUSTING!!!!!

God, please cripple those people! >:O 


But yeah, this is my view on this matter.
What about you?
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Nai255 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:00 pm

I've always had mixed feelings about stats and ranks in games. I like the idea of a ranking system in place of a game that may be otherwise relatively easy if you're just trying to plow through it without meeting some sort of criteria. But nothing's perfect: what testers and gamers may deem as S-rank gameplay will likely vary quite a bit. It's at these times I feel somewhat belittled: Mega Man Zero is hard enough, but the last thing I need is being told my gameplay was E-rank material simply because I took damage more than once. Yes, a high rank should be tough to get and something to be proud of, but not impossible to achieve even after hours of practice.

But again, it's impossible to please everyone. Stats and ranks are just one of those things that have been one of those gamer tropes that have been around for a long time. And with big numbers come big attitudes. But is it really that difficult to view stats as just a rough measure of progress and skill instead of something that will affect you seriously in real life? Well I guess that depends on the game and any possible shiny rewards tied to high ranks Playful Wink 

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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Maetch on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:03 pm

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:While in Metal Gear Solid, it simply gives you a rank for your gameplay-style. There pretty much is no ultimate rank there.
There is an ultimate rank. It's called "Big Boss". Here's a rundown:

*Play on Extreme difficulty (no radar, and all enemies have incredible sight/sound detection)
*Cannot be detected at any point other than when the plot forces you into an Alert.
*Cannot die or continue.
*Have to clear the game in under 3 hours.
*Only allowed to kill 25 enemies in the entire game (bosses DO count)
*Only allowed to consume one Ration
*Cannot save more than 80 times.

Also, every Metal Gear game has a similar ultimate rank that requires you to be practically god-like (or at least very patient and skilled) to earn.

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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:15 pm

Yeah, it was a problem for the earlier MGS-games.

MGS4 made a lot of things easier tho. Like allowing any amount of saves and stuff.
And with enough memorization and caution, anyone can do it in this game.

But yeah, it was a problem in the earlier MGS-games.
But since it isn't so much in the focus of the game, I never found it that bad.


While in Revengeance it is so blatantly shoved into your face with no way to get around it.
And being forced to battle head-on, find the hidden battles and get no damage every time isn't exactly a pleasure.


I prefer the way games like "Hitman" do it (not counting Absolution).
The missions are generally rather short, compared to other games.
And you can easily redo them, to get a better rank.
"Blood Money" has the most stats but ironically is also the most generous when it comes to getting "Silent Assassin".
In fact, it doesn't keep track of alerts. Which is the only flaw in the game IMO.

But yeah, it is fair. Anyone can do it, with enough memorization and immersion to the game mechanics.
It doesn't require you to be a gaming god to earn it.


And personally I would prefer online games to be completely stat-less.
Or at least make them invisible for players and only run them in the shadows for matchmaking purposes.
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by .Luke on Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:33 am

For ego points, stats are kinda purely cosmetic, and ultimately don't segregate the pros from the newbies, (Especially if said pros are on a fresh account.) but there are great ways to use them. I hear Halo 2 did ranks very well, and a lot of fans were displeased with the way later Halo games handled it.

Halo : Reach handled it pretty nicely, though, as you could use your points for more customizable armor pieces, and unlocking a new rank only allowed you to buy more pieces. So, of course, the better you play, the more points you get. Otherwise Reach's ranks meant nothing in game play. As far as I know, everyone had a fair shot at playing; just having a better rank meant your character could have a more unique appearance.

Smash Bros Melee's scoring system is also a good example, as it can be used to teach you to properly play the game. Poor executions can lose you points, (Butterfingers -500 for failed grab attempts. You also lose a lot of points for bullying a specific player, or stale moves for abusing the same moves over and over again.) but you earn points for doing various things to mix up your play style. (Like staying on the ground the whole match, or spending most of it in the air. Eating only vegetables, or using no items at all. Being the crowd favorite by making them chant your name with good moves also earns you points.) There were lots of ways a competitive player could train him or herself to play the game as intended with just the points system alone, and execute mini-challenges of sorts to keep things fresh for more points.

The best part was, none of the scores were designed to be saved, it was just a way to gage how well you played at the end of a match; to help you analyze yourself and see if you were improving. More points means you were doing more to mix things up and keep a match interesting, while less points obviously mean you were being cheap, unfair, or simply stiff at getting around in the game. I'm still amazed how deep the scoring system was, and I never felt it gave me an unreasonable score. I honestly wish more games would do this, because it's the easiest way for me to learn; I kinda missed that feature in Brawl.

So yeah, ranks and statistics can be used properly. I like it when a scoring system encourages good, competitive play, instead of the grinding I see in other games. Soul Caliber IV's online is one of many heavy offenders here, as the amount of time you spend on the game matters more than your skills. You can stack on upgrades on your character to the point nobody else can be beat you, even if the opponent is actually better than you, but your upgrades cut right through his weaker character. Those kinds of stats I honestly hate. A fighting game should be skill based, not stat based, as the latter usually encourages more irritating, non-competitive play than the former.

Now that's just in the fighting game genre; it only gets more insane with first person shooters. There's no way you'll catch me playing any shooter online with RPG stats. I'll always be hundreds of levels behind the "better" players and guaranteed to be squished every time, even if my aim is better than theirs are. That's just not fair or gives anyone the middle ground for a serious death match.
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:33 pm

Too bad that they aren't just cosmetics anymore, especially if they are so blatantly shoved into your face.
I blame the hardcore **** taking this stuff way too seriously and now bashing anyone below their elitism.
It's sick.


I can live with stats and ranks if they are being reasonable and anyone of any level can reach the higher ranks with enough practice.
But most games cater way too much to the hardcore scene (a scene that shouldn't be catered to at all, I might add).

But yeah, these days, if you don't have master skills and don't have the ultimate rank everywhere, you are a failed form of life that doesn't deserve to exist.
Really sick world we are living in... y.y


Last edited by .Luke on Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:15 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Oops, that's one bit of vulgar slang I missed adding some years ago. It's in the word filter now.)
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by .Luke on Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:18 pm

I've actually talked to some guys in the competitive scene, and while they have a vicious play style, (Which you need to have to be competitive, and to be honest, I like fighting dirt too.) they're still good people outside the game, and make more jokes than vile remarks in voice chatter.

So really, I don't care how anyone plays. As long as they're not jerks, I'll welcome the challenge since I enjoy fighting at my best too. I won't deny that there are boneheads in the competitive scene, however, but it would be unfair to label the whole scene as unwelcoming to new players. Some people have an unfortunate brush with the bad side of it and never want to touch online modes again.

However, I still personally avoid playing online games with RPG stats, if only because of the limited accessibility to new players. I think MMO's handle this infinitely better, but shooters that tack on these features for player incentives aren't very appealing to me. Team Fortress 2 and Halo Reach are at least good examples of only doing this for purely aesthetic features. (Unless TF2 has other forms of stats I'm not aware of?)
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:10 am

I am aware that good people still exist within the competitive scene, but they are almost non-existant in there.
Most people are stuck up nutcases, who only want to win and beat casuals to submission and then let them know how they don't deserve to live, if they fail that hard.

Which is why I still think most competitive scenes should disappear.
It's just a huge mass of insanity and inhumanity.
Maybe with a few parts being reasonable. But doesn't change the overly bad nature of it.
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by .Luke on Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:59 am

Every competitive community is different. Players of first person shooters, for instance, tend to form clans and fight only each other in death matches, because they know they're too good for typical online matches. Quake III even implemented handicaps so pro players could lower their default health for fun casual matches, because once again, they know they're better than everyone else and will either ruin the fun for newbies, or impress them. (The former is to be expected, given how many people are poor sports at losing in anything.)

Some online fighting game sceners will do this too, but that's somewhat rare in my experience. Really, more pro players and elitists should form clans, instead of joining random games. It's a great way for tougher players to improve their skills without getting bored and rusty from beating random noobs all day. And in my experience, matchmaking servers never get the ranks right, so that's usually not a reliable option to segregate the better players from the newbies. Clans and arranged matches online are better for that.

So no, suggesting competitive scenes should go away is unnecessarily extreme, and absolutely unfair to people that do play fiercely, but don't flaunt their e-penis while doing it. The number of jerks versus nice guys can also vary dramatically depending on who you ask, as everyone's online experience is different. The people I talk too don't have too many brushes with the opinionated boneheads; mostly elitists who think arcade pads are superior to normal controllers and the like. (Which is ultimately a matter of preference, as I've been told. It's virtually analogous to the keyboard + mouse versus controllers debate.)

The eSports scene is also looking pretty amazing as well. Dota 2 matches that I watch play out very nicely no matter how fierce the competition is, and if somebody enjoys being a toxic troll, they get banned from the team. With the more popular teams, it sometimes makes its way to video game news outlets, for titles like League of Legends or Starcraft II.
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Re: The bad thing about Statistics and Rankings

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:43 pm

.Luke wrote: because once again, they know they're better than everyone else and will either ruin the fun for newbies...

Well sorry, but that is EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT!!!
They want to live out their elitism to its fullest, by brutally crushing the opposition below their levels and let them know they are a failure at life, not worth their birthright, for sucking that hard.


Why else do you think they shoehorn games into the competitive scene, that are clearly not made for it?
Smash Bros anyone?


They would make even Pong competitive, as long as they can continue to crush others to feel like the supreme being of the universe or something.




So no, suggesting competitive scenes should go away is unnecessarily extreme
No denying that. But seeing how outright insane most competitive players are, I would still say it would be suitable action to take.

Like I said, I don't deny that there are good and reasonable people within the competitive scene.
But as far as I have seen, even they had it with the insanity of the majority of the scene.

Plus, if you ask me, video games are for fun and entertainment.
But the competitive scene takes the concept of video games into a completely wrong direction.


The eSports scene is also looking pretty amazing as well. Dota 2 matches that I watch play out very nicely no matter how fierce the competition is, and if somebody enjoys being a toxic troll, they get banned from the team. With the more popular teams, it sometimes makes its way to video game news outlets, for titles like League of Legends or Starcraft II.
Well that's something.
Unfortunately it only seems to be one exception among the generally toxic environments of the scene.
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