Game Theory in MMOs

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - 4 Comments »

Game theory is a field of mathematics that “attempts to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations, in which an individual’s success in making choices depends on the choices of others” (Wikipedia). It’s a relatively simple model for making optimal decisions and predicting the behavior of others. A lot of times while playing, I often wonder why players behave the way they do and whether they make the best decisions. For example, I hear all the time in Arathi Basin that if we currently control 3 nodes, we should just defend them, as we only need 3 to win. However, in Warsong, once we cap the flag once, I don’t hear any suggestions that we should just defend until time runs out. These seem like very similar strategies, and I’m curious if they are truly similar and good strategies. As such, I’ve decided to explore how game theory can be applied to World of Warcraft, beginning with battlegrounds.

First, lets get some game theory basics out of the way. In game theory, the principle object we are dealing with is games. The “game” we are talking about here is not World of Warcraft, but rather a meta-game, such as deciding which node to attack in Eye of the Storm. Anything that we consider a “game” needs three components:

  • Players“, which is an decision-making entity. It could be all 80 players in a full Alterac Valley, or it could be the 2 teams in Warsong Gulch.
  • Strategies“, which are choices for each player to make. Each player must have the ability to make decisions, even if they are bad decisions. Decisions could be sending 11 players to the flag in Eye of the Storm if our player is a team, or walking into the enemy’s flag room is our player is a single person.
  • Payoffs“, or the ultimate rewards (or repercussions) for your strategies subject to all other player’s strategies. For example, heading to the center of Eye of the Storm and attempting to capture the flag could have several payoffs: earning a flag capture worth perhaps 100 points if enough players decide to help you, having no net effect if enough players from each faction are in the center, or wasting your time and possibly losing a node if the enemy attacks your bases.

That last description is a little vague, so lets jump into how we actually analyse something and get into examples.
Read more…

Guild Wars: 5 Year Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - No Comments »

Guild Wars is celebrating its fifth anniversary and ArenaNet is throwing a massive party for its players, along with special in-game birthday presents and festival rewards to commemorate this special event. Characters that have been registered for five years will receive an exclusive miniature from this year’s birthday series in their inventory. Characters turning one, two, three and four will also be rewarded with a wrapped miniature from the corresponding set of past Guild Wars birthday presents.

The celebration runs until Noon Pacific on Thursday, April 29.

5 Year Anniversary Event Calendar

Thursday, April 22

  • Indulge your sweet tooth when Birthday Cupcakes start dropping from creatures across Tyria, Cantha, and Elona.
  • Oooh and aaah at the awesome hourly fireworks displays over Lion’s Arch, Shing Jea Monastery, Kamadan, and the Great Temple of Balthazar.

Friday, April 23

  • Test your luck and skill at the Shing Jea Boardwalk! Starting at Noon Pacific, this popular venue will once again open to the public in the Shing Jea Monastery.
  • Challenge yourself and others in Rollerbeetle Races and the Dragon Arena. Starting at Noon, these mini-games will be accessible from Lion’s Arch, Shing Jea Monastery, Kamadan, and the Great Temple of Balthazar.

Friday, April 23

Starting at 12:01 AM Pacific on Friday, April 23, those characters turning five will find a gift in their inventories that contains a new miniature from this year’s birthday series. Characters turning one, two, three, or four years old will receive a wrapped miniature from the corresponding set of past Guild Wars birthday presents. We give birthday presents year round, so each of your characters will receive gifts on their personal birthdays (creation dates).

For more information, head on over to official website.

Jade Dynasty: Double Exp Tuesdays

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - No Comments »

Jade Dynasty will be offering double exp Tuesdays in preparation for upcoming updates. The first double exp event will be next Tuesday, April 25th. From there on every next Tuesday will have its experience rate doubled for 24 hours. The activation times will be:

Doom Bog: 12:01 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time
Billows/Wildlands: 3:01 a.m. – 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time
Shura: 9:01 a.m. – 8:59 a.m. Amsterdam Local

Veteran Jade Dynasty fans will also be glad to hear that the game now also offers Treasure Chests for them as well. More information on the double exp event here and the veteran treasure chests here.

Bethesda Drops Fallout Lawsuit?

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - No Comments »

Bethesda has finally decided to drop the lawsuit against Interplay over the Fallout MMO. It seems there was an out of court settlement between the two companies. This came out from Interplay investor Frymuchan. But wait, there’s more. A few hours after this was reported, Bethesda denied that the lawsuit was dropped and insists that it’s still on-going. According to Pete Hines from Bethesda, there is absolutely no way that they will let this play off out of the court room. Greedy Bethesda, greedy.

Seafight Adds New Map

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - No Comments »

Seafight, the popular browser-based pirate MMO from Bigpoint, adds a special new map for experienced pirates only. The new “yellow scroll” is made of 101 scroll pieces and when brought together unlocks the new map – Coronis. It is a challenging quest meant for experienced pirates only. The area will add new weapons, loot, and ship modifications – if players can stand the challenge against waves of enemies. If you are interested at taking a look at the new Seafight map, visit the game here.

Land of Chaos Online Closed Beta Registration Live

Posted by on April 24, 2010 - No Comments »

Closed Beta registration for the upcoming strategy-based MMO, Land of Chaos Online has began. For those interested, registration closes on May 17th, 2010.

Land of Chaos Online is attempting to merge elements from the MMO, RTS and Third-Person Shooter genre’s to create one unique gaming experience.

The Closed Beta Test will feature 12 heroes from LOCO’s 30-character roster, including Octavian, Atin, Foxlady, RandyRozz, and more. Three maps will be available for use in both the Annihilation and Battle Modes: the “Forest of Chaos,” the “Crimson Plains,” and the “Lair of the Ancient Dragons.” The CBT will also feature a first look at LOCO’s Guild and Enchantment systems.

For more information on Land of Chaos Online, head on over to official Closed Beta page.

The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: Stormrage Review

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 3 Comments »

This review of World of Warcraft: Stormage is of the spoiler-free variety.  We’ll discuss the deeper meaning of the book in a follow-up post(s).

It’s no secret that Richard A. Knaak is not my favorite writer in the extended universe of Warcraft.  The man has penned numerous books for Blizzard, across all their franchises, and has had characters he created become integral parts of World of Warcraft.  I’ve enjoyed his story arcs, but balked at his dialog, characters and — here’s the clincher — his lack of understanding the universe he’s contributing to.

When I found out that he’d be tackling World of Warcraft: Stormrage, a book about Malfurion Stormrage (the most famous druid in the universe), I was excited and terrified.  On the one hand, it’d be difficult for Knaak to bring in his pet characters to a book about Malfurion Stormrage.  But on the other, he could turn Malfurion into an annoying twit just as easily.  With much trepidation, I cracked open the second hardcover WoW novelization and dove in.

Hit the jump to see how my swim went. Read more…

Lore Hound WoWcast: Episode 4

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 1 Comment »


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Check out this week’s episode of our WoWcast! This week we’re chatting about the Arena Tournament Realm opening for registration, the Twitter Dev Chat, and even more heroic Lich King kills.

Also, check out Paragon’s how to kill Heroic Lich King guide.

Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, subscribe via RSS or iTunes

Also, we want to get you listeners involved! E-mail us at podcast@lorehound.comor leave us a voicemail using the button below or simply call us at (304) 884-LORE. We look forward to hearing from you guys.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a Celestial Steed mount!