Don’t believe everything you read on the internetz.

For instance, here’s what I’ve read:

1.  Playing a game is “experimenting” on those you play the game with.

I still can’t get my head around this one.  I think it’s based on false assumptions regarding the stuff below.

2.  Twixt used exploits/flaws in the game design.

No, no, no.  The strategies Twixt used were CLEARLY examined by the game developers — based on the number of petitions they received regarding Twixt alone — and were ALWAYS considered part of the game and working as intended.  And the devs were right.  Im serious about this.

Think about it for a minute, please.  If tp/tp-foe were really such a one-shot broken uber exploitive power, why didn’t EVERYONE respec into tp/tp-foe?  That, after all, was the pattern Twixt observed in RV.  The moment some seriously broken power showed up in the game, there were a bajillion players in RV using that power.  That night.  Never failed.

During Twixt’s reign in RV there were so many bugged powers coming and going through the zone that I cant remember them all.  Let’s see.  There was the flamethrower bug (was that before or after RV?  I forget), the autofire bug, the uber resistance bug.  There was some bug where brutes were constantly inflicting critical rather than normal damage.   Once Ourobos portals came out, all the vills started using those portals inside RV to escape any and all danger.    And that’s just what I can recall off the top of my head — there were probably many many more exploits that Twixt didn’t know about, since, at some point, he was cut off from the insider channels that discovered and passed along that sort of informaiton.

Could Twixt have used (at least some of) those exploits?  Yes.

Did Twixt use any of those exploits?  No.

Was the tp-foe into npcs strategy an “instant win”?  No.   I’d say it was successful less than ten percent of the time.

Was there really any other option for a solo hero player to pursue against teams of villains?  Not really, certainly direct assault was suicide.  Guile and wit were required.

And note this too:  The REAL exploits — unlike tp/tp-foe — WERE addressed by the dev team.  Those exploits were fairly quickly removed or fixed — and rightfully so.  Tp/tpfoe was never touched, because it was working as intended.  It wasn’t broken; it wasn’t uber; it wasn’t exploitive; it WAS capable of being countered and applied against you.  It was just unpopular.  Hard to believe maybe, but true:  tp/tp-foe was just unpopular.

3. There’s also this notion going around that Twixt quit the game as soon as his uber one-shot broken tp/tp-foe power was nerfed.

No, no, no.

There were indeed some nerfs to the tp movement power, similar to equally unfortunate nerfs to other in-game movement powers (jump, ss, flight, etc.).  Those made the game less fun (in my opinion), but they didn’t significantly affect Twixt-like tactics in pvp.

There was also a change to the tp-foe power specifically in that, previously, you could attack an opponent (almost) immediately after tp-foeing them.  After the changes, that tp-foed opponent was auto-phased (cant attack or be attacked) for a brief moment or two.  That affected the timing of your attack, but not the attack itself.  And, I should note, that particular change protected the tp-foer as much as the tp-foe-ee.

Many times, you might tp-foe someone to you, and that person then gave you more than you’d bargained for.  When Twixt was tp-foed for instance (he had no inherent protection against tp-foe, btw, other characters did), his strategy was to attack the tp-foer as quickly as possible to interrupt any attack queued and ready for him.  You just couldn’t do that in the new system: you were auto-phased and “protected,” no damage going in or out.  Which meant everything was now safer for you, safer for them, safer for everybody.  Much more safe, much less fun.

This, btw, is exactly what I was really interested in and what I was really studying in RV:  how players use and adapt rules of play.  The answer is, of course, they don’t; they complain about those rules of play  and try to get them changed in their favor.

The trend I saw, during my time in RV, was that changes in rules tended to make the game — particularly survival in the game — much easier.  This makes sense, I think, because many more players complain about being killed than doing the killing.  So, you have to figure, over time, the devs must receive all these complaints about the game being too hard, and “there’s no counter to this or that power that killed me” (which there really is), and “there’s a bunch of people in RV using exploits and taking ‘advantage’ of me” (when really there isn’t), and so the devs eventually cave, and they change stuff to make the game easier.  The challenge of the game becomes less challenging, and the fun of the game becomes less fun — except maybe for those who didn’t like the game very much to begin with.  Playing the game becomes, in effect, the pretense of playing the game.  And anyone — like Twixt — who points that out receives precisely the same treatment that Twixt received.

If you need any one specific example, or any one dev decision, inside RV to help convince you of this, look at phase.  Twixt hated phase — and told lots of people about it.  Heck, I hate phase right now, and here’s why:  In CoH/V pvp, every single character can, whenever they wish, phase — and when they are phased, they can’t be attacked.  So phase is, basically, a get out of jail free card.  Let me repeat this:  You NEVER have to be killed if you have phase.  And you can ALWAYS have phase.  (Well, whenever the power is recharged, and it doesn’t take long.)

Now, admittedly, among the more recent nerfings in the game (coming after Twixt was pretty much done), came this:  you could attack a person in phase, but you had to be in phase yourself.  Except that didn’t work right — or at least didn’t while Twixt was playing.  Because sometimes if you were in phase, you could attack another person in phase,  and sometimes you couldnt.  Maybe that was because there were different “types” of phase, or maybe it was a bug.  I don’t know.  That’s about the time I quit.

And, it really doesnt matter anyway, because, once you are in phase, there are few if any who will likewise phase to attack you.  They are all holding back their own get out of jail free card to use it when they need it.  So I will repeat:  Only way you can die, basically, is to hit the phase button too late, and, knowing that, most hit the phase button way too soon.

At the end of Twixt’s play, the situation had become this:  1) ALL characters could resist a sudden and unexpected death (have plenty of time to respond to any attack), 2) ALL characters were prevented from using movement powers as a tactical means of escape/engagement (movement was suppressed by attacks), and 3) ALL characters had access to a phase-like option (one or several) that assured they could never die unless they so desired.  As a result of all this, the “game” in RV was unraveling.  Little tactical movement, little strategy, no risk, no reward, no competition really, and no enforcement of rules to insure that a game was really taking place.  There was nothing but phase, farm, phase, farm, phase, and bs in bcast.  In Twixt’s words:  RV was a farmer ghetto.  It was pvp role-play.

When do you decide to stop playing a game?  When that game goes away.  What else are you going to do?

4.  Twixt broke the “social rules” of play.

Another big misconception, but I dealt with that in part already, and I’ve written far too much for this one post already.  Gotta pace myself.  More later sometime, maybe.

***

Except for this:

Here’s the WoW power “death-grip.”

Here’s the CoH/V power “tp-foe.”

I dunno, but death-grip sounds better to me in that it forces an attack.  In CoH/V, if you kept your jump button pushed down (and everybody did), then you could be tp-foed somewhere, but never stop jumping.  So, in other words, you were GONE, and it was therein fairly trivial to escape the tp-foe.  I really do wish that all these people who seem to know ever so much about griefing play would try to learn a little more about Twixt play.

But wat u gonna do.