BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

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Bean
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BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Bean » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:07 am

I'm not sore if people don't like to play with "me." My opinion is that people gravitate to comfort and familiarity. If I happen to host a familiar map and am in there playing, someone comes in and often several will come in. When I host unusual maps or even ones that are niche favorites (cubes, last king), I get less company. When I just leave a map on without being there, I see a few entries here and there, but clearly they get lonely, get annoyed that they have to use the plugin manager, or shy away from the unfamiliar.

The sad part, for me, is that the dominant trend toward "comfort, routine, and familiarity" does not reflect the dream I had of the game when I bought it and started playing. I was excited for the fact that risk could be played on line with people and I was excited about the selling point of so many different maps and scenarios. I hoped to enter a community of folks playing a challenging ever-changing game, NOT like the slow dull comfort of a bridge club or a poker game where the ever-changing character is sort of vanilla (not that I don't like bridge and poker).

Anyway, I was corrected on my expectations pretty quickly, finding only one or two maps were being played with people with an degree of reliability. To add to the crushing force applied to my dream, those maps had a calcified ad hoc culture that emphasized conformity and correctness and backed that emphasis up with verbal abuse for offenders. I played by myself a lot, experimenting with Expletus with and without bio for like a year. When Expletus developed a human following, I was happier, but the same abusive vibe emerged soon enough (just with slight variations along the same familiar lines as the abusive culture of bioDeux).

Was it bioDeux? I don't think so. It's a human tendency that just happens to coincide with bio deux right now. Since the same thing goes on in Expletus (with maybe a little less venom), and since indications seem to be that there was never any prior golden age where mainstream players played a ton maps and gravitated toward novelty and challenging/unfamiliar game situations (correct me if I'm wrong and Classic wasn't the dominant map for years before), then it seems it's the culture and not the map that cause the problem I have experienced.

Is anyone with me on this? I think there are a good number of skilled people who like diversity in maps and the challenges that come with playing in unfamiliar territory. I have found friends here even among those I have abused and been abused by. Map diversity is a great feature of Lux Delux. There are tons of worthy maps. Did "we" as a community let the drudgery of the familiar and routine shove that key feature aside. I strongly suggest we did. Now we have diddly squat to offer anyone new.

Implications for hosts (IMHO):
a. There should not be overall rankings based total points.
b. Since rankings are fun, they should be map specific and there should be more respected ones that cover a certain minimum of map diversity.
c. Hosts ought not facilitate calcified and abusive monocultures such as have emerged in bio deux and Expletus by supporting the ""community"" in its suicidal fixation on one or two familiar maps.
d. When there is a map of the month or such, that should be the only way to get a ranking. If/when we get bigger, there should be more options.

The community is not big enough and not community-like enough to support current practice. Did it cause the decline; who knows? Is it preventing us from offering an attractive place to play for newcomers; certainly and obviously. There is no way Lux recovers and develops with the current culture to be found in the rooms. It's horrible, abusive, and sort of boring.

Does biodeux deserve whatever it gets in the way of tinkering?

It does.
Last edited by Bean on Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: incessant bio tinkering

Post by nimrod7 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:23 am

Wow. A bit off topic but I'll take a small bite into this.

I have been here since 2007. Classic and Deux were the major maps played. Then it was Classic, Bio, Rome 2 and maybe MOTW. There was some tinkering done with the MOTW bonus (thanks Dustin) so then it got more play on the weekends and, if memory serves, pissed off a bunch of senior players who would take place in the chase and they left. And then there was just Bio. Yippee.

Anywho, when there were multiple maps being played, the chase would take place on whichever map had players with the most raw. That included players jumping maps from time to time. There would also be more chase rooms. Ahhhhh... the glory days.

Yes, it sucks that only one map gets most of the traffic, but penalizing those who enjoy playing there and enjoy the chase is not the way to go. You'll just chase more people away.

∞Nim misses his thread splitting powers∞
**Bean splits the thread for ole nim.**
Last edited by Bean on Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Bean » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:37 am

Do you think an abusive environment generally should be nurtured because some folks enjoy it? I sort of think they can always have a chase of some kind and it's also weird to think very many people would only like lux if they can play in a certain map a certain way. It may be true though. Sadly, it may be true. I wonder who they are and how many and what mental acrobatics they do to keep up the vision in their head.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by nimrod7 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:56 am

The problem with the bio map is that you have to play aggressively in the beginning (for the most part) to have a chance of winning. This means that what would be a "bad" move or "asshattery" on another map are actually "good" or more strategic moves on bio. This leads to anger and frustration (which are paths to the dark side). I know I felt that way the last time I played. I got screwed in a game, got pissed, the game ended, and the next game was a clean slate. Some people can't let it go and that's where the mod squad comes in. Punish the bad apples and let the rest of us play, compete, and have fun.

This is a game, we all payed for it, those that come back enjoy it or the company of others playing. You want more diversity, find a way to make people play a different map. Whirl loves to host winner picks from time to time. Get together with a bunch of your lux buddies and play a little Classic or Deux or Rome2 or whatever. The chase will go to wherever the chase leaders are. If they happen to be on another map, that's where the chase will take place.

∞Nim appreciates the thread splitting∞

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by dustin » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:35 pm

Humans are often slow to accept change. Familiar is comfortable. I've found over the years that maps grow in popularity slowly, and wane the same way. Classic was king at first. Rome had it's days of popularity. Bio is most popular now, with Imperium as well. I could see bio-imperium having a good chance at taking off more from here.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by AquaRegia » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:27 pm

Bean wrote:I wonder who they are and how many and what mental acrobatics they do to keep up the vision in their head.
Allow me to give you a data point. I'm one of those people. I LIKE BioDeux - I'm good at it. I DON'T like playing maps I'm unfamiliar with online, because having zero chance to win is not fun. Classic is no fun for me because my win% is around 5%, and it frustrates me to no end. I play about 10 games of Bio a week, which has been enough to maintain a top-10 seed, and I'm just not interested in spending hours learning new maps. Stress is the OPPOSITE of what I want from Lux.

I disagree with the assertions that being an asshat is the "only" way to win in Bio. I win 25% of my games and I don't think I've been yelled at more than 2 or 3 times in the past year. Are there asshats and yelling? Of course. But if BioDeux were "outlawed", I'd almost certainly stop playing online.

Is my brain acrobatic enough? ;-)

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Owned » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:19 pm

Granted though Aqua, you rarely ever lose your cool and when you do you usually just step away. I myself don't mind playing bio with a group of friends, but I rarely ever enter a bio room when I don't know the players in there or I know the players to be toxic. Bio breeds toxicity, I mean it's in the name :P.

Would lux be a friendlier environment without bio? Would it be more competitive? Who knows...

And I think by "asshating is the only way to win" Bean means that you must pop others income and play more aggressively. If a winning bio playstyle were taken to another map, it would most likely be considered asshatting. This is why I never understood why players in bio call each other asshats. It is part of the play style, disregarding those individuals that just try to ruin games of course.

Now my two cents... When I enter a game of bio I always feel like it is a political game. Friends tend not to hit friends and enemies are quickly made. Albeit this culture happens on every map, but if you lose you income in bio you tend to lose, so it matters more. I don't think that a fair game should have anything to do with relations to the other players. You should play the game you are in and win or lose, leave it and start the next game fresh. Along with the luck factor influencing bio more, yada yada yada.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Bean » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:51 pm

I don't know if you have to asshat to win or not, but anyway I did not assert that. Aqua, I did not mean to imply you are less smart because of your preference for comfort and relaxing routine over challenging games. It just makes me sad and I don't think anyone owes the one-map crowd a host and a ranking system tied into it when so much abuse happens. I don't blame the map; i think it's the one-map preference and the saturated familiarity with a map's dynamics and patterns that creates the propensity for abuse. Some others identify flaws of the deux. For me, apart from the extra abuse you see there, it's just a small map and I don't care for those very much across the board.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Dominator » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:26 pm

I haven't been very active for the past few years and my memory is a little hazy, but I was around during the transition from classic to BIO. I think it actually happened pretty rapidly. Back in 2005-2007 lux was dominated by classic and deux, but classic was undeniably king. During this time was when MOTW started picking up steam and to further push play on these maps, Dustin implemented a 1.5x RAW bonus for MOTW. Most maps didn't affect the rankings due to long/lengthy games. Then along came BIO. During the week of June 24 2007, BIO got its turn as MOTW. This is essentially the moment where it was really introduced to the community. Hosts jacked up continent bonuses and shortened turn timers to expedite games. With the short games and 1.5x RAW bonus for MOTW, that week resulted in the highest RAW since weekly RAW resets were adopted.

That week came and went - classic went back to being the dominant map, however BIO became hosted on a regular basis after that point. It was only a matter of time before players started realizing that RAW trends up (assuming opponents don't have too little) and shorter game times = more RAW. BIO then became an outlet for non-classic players to push up their RAW without having to compete in the classic rooms. Eventually it got to the point where even the best classic players could not keep up in the rankings with BIO because the games were so short. Classic players were then forced to play in BIO rooms in order to compete in the weekly ranks. Less than 8 months after BIO burst on the scene as MOTW, classic was pretty much dead. (Posted by none other than Aqua).

A lot of players (including myself) got frustrated with the culture and starting luck involved in the BIO map. Eventually, RAW increases were lessened first for high continent bonus % increases and then for games with less than 27 seconds maximum turn time. This was an attempt to level the playing field, but the damage was already done. Players had already gravitated towards the BIO map and, as stated, become creatures of habit. Players were not going to suddenly switch maps without major RAW incentives.

The fact of the matter is - Rankings/Awards have always driven human behavior in this game. History proves it. I think the solution was to separate the rankings/RAW for map groupings - maybe offer a combined medal for highest combined RAW to promote diversity. Instead of different bonuses on one system to force RAW chasers to play new maps. All maps are not equal - which IMO is where the ranking system fails and leads us to where we are today. I think diversity can only be built through a more comprehensive ranking system.

There was a time when I would dedicate a lot of time to the game and would play any map to get to the top of the rankings. Whether I liked it or not is another discussion - but I would most definitely follow the RAW. I ended up losing interest in this game when I stopped playing for a rank/seed. I would log in every so often to see if there was a classic game I could join, which started being few and far between. Eventually FH classic pretty much disappeared from the tracker, and so did I. It got to a point where I stopped checking because there was never a classic game I could join.

As for abuse in BIO - I think Owned hits the nail on the head. Its a political and income based game with strategic choke points. It naturally promotes abusive play. Don't get me wrong - when classic was dominant there was abusive play there as well, it wasn't all sunshine and roses. But from what I've seen in bio rooms, it was a lot more tame.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Symbiosis » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:47 pm

Dominates the bio discussion dead horse, too.

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Re: BioDeux Abuse: Is it the Map or the Culture

Post by Bean » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:58 pm

Thanks Dominator. That was packed with info. I share the view that we need a better rankings system, but I'm sorry I don't see you play more. Let's play some big maps together soon.

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