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Old December 21st, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Aecatta vs Gnome

Ming said:Great design, Hiro.
Thank you! It means a lot when a customer says that. =)

Ming said:
P.S. I still suspect the player moving second does not get sufficient compensation. Would I be proven wrong again?
Well, of course the problem is that in a complicated game like this, it's hard to prove either way. If it were completely straightfoward, I certainly would have done it the obvious way -- whatever that might have been. So the best I can really offer are my philosophies and experiences that led to the decision I made.

I suppose the biggest point I have is that LOL is a game of 'thresholds', which means that with all sorts of things in the game, the game doesn't really change substantially as values (damage, money, etc.) go up, until a threshold is reached that changes things rather dramatically. For example, if you deal 7 damage to an 8 HP unit, things aren't really different than if you'd dealt 6 damage. But once you deal 8 damage to that unit, it dies and that changes the situation radically. Likewise, accumulating an extra $100 here or there doesn't affect things until it crosses a threshold where you can buy a stronger or additional unit.

Where I'm going with that is that while the Gnomes have a very obvious 1st-turn use for that extra money because the threshold is crossed on Turn 1, it's not like it's lost on the units of other races. It just means that it'll be a turn or two down the road before a player's money pool crosses the threshold for another/better unit. In my experience, an experienced player will tend to make purchasing and/or tactical decisions in the first few turns to take advantage of that extra money to bring out an upper-tier unit before they could have otherwise. For some races, (and even on some maps -- for gold mines,) it makes sense to have a different build order as Player 2 than it does as Player 1.

Of course, we did an awful lot of playtesting, really scrutinizing the rules to make sure things were as balanced as possible.

So does that mean that things really are perfectly balanced? Not necessarily. But I can say we put a lot of thought into it, found the best and cleanest solution we could, and from my observation seems to have worked fairly well.

But if you still think that going first or second yields an advantage, make sure you select your preference on the setup screen in internet/skirmish matches! Both players have have the right to choose, and the game will randomly determine who goes first or second in the event both players choose the same. Even if one choice emerges as the clearly correct one, (which I doubt will happen,) over time all players will be granted their preference roughly 1/2 of the time, factoring into everyone's records (roughly) equally.
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