Sirlin.net: "The Anti-Progress Attitude"


#1

Put your personal feelings for the dude and HDR aside and you’ll find some good points in this article. I’d be interested to see what “don’t like it, don’t play it” Keits would say to this. You can find the article and some follow-up comments (including Haunts’ response) on sirlin.net

[LEFT][SIZE=30px][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#e13636]The Anti-Progress Attitude[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE][/LEFT]

[LEFT]MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2011 AT 2:21PM[/LEFT]

[LEFT]This review of SF3:3rd Strike Online at 1up.com should be considered shameful. It casually embraces an attitude that’s damaging to the quality of games we get to play. What’s so wrong with what’s said there? This (emphasis added):[/LEFT]

[INDENT=2][LEFT]Do the developers make adjustments to characters like Chun-Li and Yun – who are leaps and bounds more powerful than the rest of the cast – rebalancing them as to give characters like Q, Sean, and Hugo a fighting chance? Some argue this would allow newer players to ease into the game and even provide a fresh take on the series, possibly revitalizing the competitive scene.[/LEFT][/INDENT]

[INDENT=2][LEFT]At the same time, if they make changes to the game, even the slightest rebalance, players such as myself who have literally been playing the game for 10 years now, might feel it’s an inferior port and not play it at all – opting to continue to fight it out at the arcades or even on the PlayStation 2.[/LEFT][/INDENT]

It’s great that Capcom made such an effort to translate the game to a modern console. It’s great they used the only reasonable kind of networking for a fighting game (GGPO). Well, strike that. It would be shameful and embarrassing for any fighting game to not use it, so it’s more of a “phew, they did an obvious thing right there.” It’s great they did an obvious thing right with the way the button configuration screen works. There’s really a whole lot of positive stuff to say here, and I agree with those saying those positive things. BUT…

[LEFT]There’s a problem: 3s is one of the worst balanced fighting games around. I mean that literally. It’s hard to even come up with worse balanced fighting game than it, yet if you throw a stick at a pile of fighting games, you’ll hit a better balanced game. James Chen had this to say in 2008 about the Evolution tournament results:[/LEFT]

[INDENT=2][LEFT]Street Fighter III: Third Strike - This year [2008], in the Top 8, we had Chun, Chun, Chun, Chun, Chun, and Yun. In 2007, we had Chun, Chun, Chun, and Chun. In 2006, we had Yun, Yun, Yun, Yun, Chun, Chun, and Chun. In 2005, we had Chun, Chun, Chun, Chun, Chun, Yun, and Yun. I don’t think there’s anything left to say about this game.[/LEFT][/INDENT]

Yeah it’s pretty appalling. It’s laughable to think addressing this might make it an “inferior port.” I think parrying making projectiles and zoning hardly matter is an even bigger problem, as is the shallow hit-confirm-into-super gameplay in general, but let’s not even go there. Let’s just imagine that stuff is all great. A game where two characters totally dominate is a problem. (Yes I know about Japan, but balance is clearly disastrous anyway.)

[LEFT]So what’s the problem here? Is it that Capcom didn’t make any effort to fix this problem? Well, sort of. I do think that’s a problem, but if you follow my subtle point it’s not actually the biggest problem. Maybe they did some business analysis on how much that would cost, how much testing it would take, and how much money the game would make, and they didn’t like the result. (Though maybe they asked Floe what he thought and he said he’d rather play a brokeny game.)[/LEFT]

[LEFT]Anyway, there’s a much bigger problem than Capcom’s decision here, and that problem is the reaction to it as exemplified in the 1up review. It’s damaging to gaming to profess the anti-progress ideal that problems should be kept broken. Somehow this reviewer and many players think that it’s a good thing that two characters dominate and other characters are comparatively worthless. Well, that’s not ok. That should be fixed and you should demand it be fixed. It’s exasperating to even have to say that because it’s so obvious in any other context. Imagine if Blizzard discovered that Protoss vs. Zerg was an 8-2 match, but hey, the game’s been around for a while so we’re going to leave it! After all, it is possible for Koreans to win it sometimes. It’s just so deep to have a wildly imbalanced matchups like that, and for the game to be dominated by it. Seriously though, it isn’t. It’s ridiculous to even say all that about Starcraft, as it would be for any other type of asymmetric game. But somehow a segment of the fighting game community has begun to cling to the idea that problems shouldn’t be fixed.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]Let’s dispel the strawman response before it happens. “If you keep fixing things, players don’t have to learn.” Yes, there’s truth in that and Blizzard is very conscious of it. They want to fix actual real problems with their games, but not fix every claimed problem. Fixing every claimed problem would mean flavor-of-the-month fixes, constant change for no real reason, and if any tactic becomes even slightly ok, bad players demand it be “fixed.” Players would have trouble even developing strategies because constant changes would be happening under their feet all the time. I think that’s bad, Blizzard thinks it’s bad, and you think it’s bad. So we can file this away as “it’s not what we’re talking about.” What we are talking about is actual real problems, the ones that might make Protoss vs. Zerg a tragically problematic 8-2 matchup. You can bet they’d fix that and rightly so. Anyone “defending” keeping it 8-2 would look silly. And if anyone did make that defense, we’d wonder about their attitude if Blizzard announced that Protoss vs. Zerg was actually 5-5, but Blizzard plans to make it much more unfair in the future, slanting it to 8-2 in Zerg’s favor to make the game more manly. Better game right?[/LEFT]

[LEFT]I hope we can fight against this bad mindset and create a community where we expect major problems to be fixed in games, at least when those problems are as huge as 3s’s problems. I’m certainly glad Blizzard lives in that world, but over in fighting game land, we get reviewers congratulating a company for NOT fixing the balance in nearly the worst balanced game in the genre. This issue directly affects my own games as well. Yomi, luckily, remains better balanced than any fighting game I know of, so even though it’s not perfect (nothing is), it’s in great shape. Puzzle Strike, on the other hand, has shown itself to have less-than-desirable balance in a tournament setting. Still better than 3s, but not really good enough. I suppose it might help me financially if I were to take the attitude that these problems are great to have, and that it makes a game deep to have 1 or 2 playable characters and a bunch of trash characters. But I just can’t do it because it makes no sense. So at great cost of time and money, I’ve worked with my playtesters to develop the “Puzzle Strike Upgrade Pack” that adds several non-gameplay-affecting components to the game, as well as a bit of new gameplay…and…balance fixes put all the characters on equal footing. More details and pictures of it will come soon. I really hope Puzzle Strike players are going to be happy about improving and progressing the game, even though 1up’s reviewer “might feel it’s an inferior port and not play it at all.”[/LEFT]


Playstation 2 is better
SRK Lounge Ver. 19. Why doesn't my watermelon airhead taste anything like real watermelon?
#2

This will lead to intelligent discussion and not butt-anger.


#3

Duck guys immense, copious amounts of shots fired


#4

If they want to rebalance, go ahead, just don’t call it Third Strike because it wouldn’t be Third Strike.

I suggest SF3: Fourth Down


#5

Ad hominems and insults out the ass… piece of trash argument…

Put on blast? Hardly… I thought you were better than this Sirlin…


#6

Everyone I know who takes 3S seriously does not complain about Yun or Chun, so in my community we couldn’t give two shits about what Sirlin says. The game is still fun, maybe not the best due to the Imbalance BS but what freaking ever. I never heard complaints when we used to run 3S prior to SFIV (Back then it was a small community, maybe 20 players)


#7

lol at sourlin paying any attention and reading reviews about a game he hates so much. i guess he loves wasting his time. oh wait, it’s just a way to get his loyal sf2, angry graybeards angrier and plug his own “fighting” games. nice. now we have to give this asshole’s site some hits so we can read Haunt’s response.

EDIT
Haunts’ response so you don’t waste bandwith on a shitty site (ironic isn’t it?)

"It’s a review. I was giving the reader two different perspectives to see why or why not Capcom would balance the game. While I’m happy they kept it the same, this wasn’t an essay advocating that developers should not balance new games or even older games. I’m just happy to know that the community at large got the game they were hoping for. Sure, there are a few out there that play with the idea of tinkering around with the balance of the game, but most of us just want to be able to play the same game we’ve been playing for years on modern consoles over GGPO.
Is that so bad?
You really have had no involvement with the 3s community so I am not even sure why you give a shit. You obviously hate the game anyway, I’m surprised you’re not jumping for joy that it’s still unbalanced, praising Capcom for not giving the overpowered characters the retuning they “need”."
August 22, 2011 | haunts

"Oh and I wanted to add, that you know, I try to keep it pretty brief for these reviews considering the audience is average gamers, not game designers as yourself. One thing I wish I would have touched on, something I have before, is at this point, YES keep 3s the same. but…
They should release a new version if they are going to make changes. To me it seems a little silly to mess around with 3s in any capacity after all these years. Instead they just need to release a new 2d sprite based game. Hell, id love it if it was based on SF3s mechanics as well, that would be awesome.
To me the easy, lazy answer is “rebalance it and see what happens” when we all know what we really want is real progress which is a new sprite based 2d game that is made from the ground up to bring in new players and receive balance changes.
Anyhow, dont mean to spam your comments section here, just wanted to add in that last bit. :)"
August 22, 2011 | haunts


#8

pretty sure this entire rant was just about plugging his shitty games.


#9

It’s so good because the pun hurts so much.


#10

My store sells Yomi actually and its a decent game. Sadly I feel the tense dislike of 3S in this article more so than general concern for the community as a whole.


#11

I’m an ST fan and all(best game of all time) but this is just a terrible rant concealed as an argument…

Fucking made my head hurt on one read through…

Folks got to see his design philosophy on HDR, I’m sure ST players don’t agree with them at all… no hate on the dude, but this is just a shitty argument… all he’s doing is tossing insults at people…


#12

What? Where are the ad hominems and insults? I counted one possible Floe potshot, and that’s it.


#13

"Well, strike that. It would be shameful and embarrassing for any fighting game to not use it, so it’s more of a “phew, they did an obvious thing right there.” It’s great they did an obvious thing right with the way the button configuration screen works. There’s really a whole lot of positive stuff to say here, and I agree with those saying those positive things. BUT…

[LEFT]There’s a problem: 3s is one of the worst balanced fighting games around. I mean that literally. It’s hard to even come up with worse balanced fighting game than it, yet if you throw a stick at a pile of fighting games, you’ll hit a better balanced game."[/LEFT]

[LEFT]The article is named “The Anti-Progress Attitude” but this is the premise of his so called argument… it’s just misleading and poorly written… basically just a hate-fest article…[/LEFT]

Like real talk, he would’ve been better naming this shit “I hate third Strike”… I thought he would’ve been discussing the “purists” attitude towards fighting games in general, while I might not have agreed with it, would’ve been a better topic of discussion…


#14

He has a bit of a point in that perhaps there is a lot of resistance to improvement purely because of nostalgic or other less than logical reasons.

Any meaningful argument he was trying to make though is kind of lost in his blatant vitriol for third strike and his less-than-subtle marketing plugs.


#15

I’d just like to point that his comparison to Starcraft is very poor. SC:BW last patch was in 2005. During a huge part of the game’s lifespan, Protoss and Zerg were considered dominant and Terran useless, until Boxer showed up and revolutionized it’s gamestyle with drops and intensive micro/agression. The balance then shifted towards Terran utterly destroying Zergs, to the point that, if you looked at the tournament results, one would call it a “10-0 matchup” vs Zerg, because during about 2 years no Terran pro player lost a set to a Zerg pro. The metagame was then rocked when saviOr showed up and again revolutionized the matchup, winning pretty much everything.

I realize the room for change in a RTS is much bigger than in a fighting game, but what would happen if they buffed Terran during it’s dark age, when later, unchanged, he came to dominate? And what if Zerg was buffed, whereas now he stands toe to toe in Jaedong vs Flash?


#16

If they rebalanced 3s, I wouldn’t have bought it. I didn’t buy HD remix for that reason.


#17

This coming from the guy who made every character he plays better in HDR.

lol wut.

Agree 100% with the “it wouldn’t be 3rd Strike”. If they wanna release a balance patch DLC option later on, fine. I’ll probably even buy it. But the fact of the matter is that I paid 15 bucks for 3rd Strike. If I didn’t get it exactly as it should be, shitty balance and all (fuck I play TWELVE for Christ’s sake), I’d feel ripped off.


#18

Stating the truth about the (im)balance of a game is insulting? To whom? Sirlin doesn’t like 3S, but that’s not the point of the article. Like, at all.


#19

some dude posted this on his site as well:

Your comparison to Star Craft is flawed. Star Craft 2 is an actively supported game and regularly receives updates, which makes it more comparable to Street Fight IV. Brood War, on the other hand, hasn’t received a patch in over 10 years and it’s still the most popular game/sport in Korea. The balance of races in the game has changed constantly over the years as new strategies and metagame shifts are discovered. If Blizzard decided to rerelase Brood War do you think they would rebalance the game and undo 10 years of theory and risk alienating their entire fan base? No, they would not and that is why they made Star Craft 2.
Let’s look at Chess. It’s generally accepted in Chess that White has an advantage over Black and it’s theorized that if Chess were ever solved then the best that Black could ever do is force a draw. Every time a new strategy is discovered that gives Black an advantage within a few years White will have developed ways to neutralize that advantage. Because of this many people have attempted to create new versions of chess with altered rules, altered pieces, and altered boards. Be it 3-D Chess, 4 player Chess, or even Bughouse Chess none has ever been accepted as more than a brief diversion to explore when temporarily bored with Chess.
3rd Strike is, essentially a dead game. The only people that still play it are the hardcore fans and they’re the ones that are going to still be playing 3sOE once the casuals give up on it and move on to other, newer games. If Capcom were to rebalance the game then they would risk alienating all the hardcore fans and then who would they be left with to play the game?
August 22, 2011 | 名無し


#20

Agreed. There are no ad hominems to be found in the article.

That, however, IS one. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anywho, Haunts’ responses were interesting:

"It’s a review. I was giving the reader two different perspectives to see why or why not Capcom would balance the game. While I’m happy they kept it the same, this wasn’t an essay advocating that developers should not balance new games or even older games. I’m just happy to know that the community at large got the game they were hoping for. Sure, there are a few out there that play with the idea of tinkering around with the balance of the game, but most of us just want to be able to play the same game we’ve been playing for years on modern consoles over GGPO.

Is that so bad?
You really have had no involvement with the 3s community so I am not even sure why you give a shit. You obviously hate the game anyway, I’m surprised you’re not jumping for joy that it’s still unbalanced, praising Capcom for not giving the overpowered characters the retuning they “need”."

And later:

"Oh and I wanted to add, that you know, I try to keep it pretty brief for these reviews considering the audience is average gamers, not game designers as yourself. One thing I wish I would have touched on, something I have before, is at this point, YES keep 3s the same. but…

They should release a new version if they are going to make changes. To me it seems a little silly to mess around with 3s in any capacity after all these years. Instead they just need to release a new 2d sprite based game. Hell, id love it if it was based on SF3s mechanics as well, that would be awesome.
To me the easy, lazy answer is “rebalance it and see what happens” when we all know what we really want is real progress which is a new sprite based 2d game that is made from the ground up to bring in new players and receive balance changes.
Anyhow, dont mean to spam your comments section here, just wanted to add in that last bit. :)"

What’s amusing to me is that Sirlin didn’t respond directly to Haunts, only even acknowledging that he rebutted his arguments when another poster directly asked why he hadn’t responded, to which Sirlin replied:

“What was there to say? He asked if it’s bad to say that playing a game for 10 years is a reason to not want that game’s horrible balance to be addressed. Yeah I think that’s bad reasoning that causes us all to lose. I get nostalgia, but it’s just sending the wrong message and/or not wanting to spend any effort learning the nuances of chun li’s super doing less damage, or whatever. I thought I covered all this in several posts so far already though.”

This drama amuses me.