**Mastery Loadouts**
Due to issues related to the release of Mastery Loadouts, the "free swap" period will be extended.
The new end date will be May 1st.

The "Cannot" beats "Always" concept is fundamentally flawed and dangerous

Ultra8529Ultra8529 Posts: 526 ★★★
This sets a dangerous precedent for the game and I would like by this thread for the game team to clarify their intentions going forward. Ideally, this should not be the reasoning employed to explain the recent change to the interaction between guaranteed critical hits and glancing.

By way of background, corvus used to always be able to crit on opponents even if they had the ability to glance. The result was that corvus would register a critical hit, since he has a guaranteed crit when using his glaive, but that hit would have a chance to glance and have reduced damage. The interaction has been changed in the latest update so that corvus will not crit when the opponent procs glance.

The official explanation for this is that the game team made a decision that an ability like glancing, against which you "cannot" crit, will henceforth take precedence over abilities, like corvus' landing critical hits, which are expressed as "always" going to happen.

But if one thinks further about this, this is fundamentally flawed and is simply a matter of semantics. Any ability or mechanic in the game can be expressed in both - "always" or "cannot". For example:

- Corvus' ability to crit on every hit can be expressed as (1) "always" land a crit when using his glaive; or (2) "cannot" land a non-crit when using his glaive
- Iceman's coldsnap can be expressed as (1) "always" prevent enemy from evading when attacking; or (2) enemy "cannot" evade when iceman is attacking
- Spider Gwen's ability to evade unblockable special attacks can be expressed as (1) "always" evade unblockable special attacks; or (2) enemy unblockable special attacks "cannot" hit her
- Even glancing abilities can be expressed both ways: (1) enemy attacks that glance "always" do not crit and suffer ability accuracy reduction; or (2) enemy attacks that glance "cannot" crit and suffer ability accuracy reduction.

The list goes on and on. The distinction between "cannot" and "always" is not a principled way for the game to decide how mechanics interact. My view is that the glancing/guaranteed crit interaction should just be called what it is - the game team made a decision to change the interaction.

If the game team decides to stick to its position that "always" trumps "cannot", then these terms must be made clear in every single champ description.

Thoughts?
«134567

Comments

  • SummonerNRSummonerNR Posts: 10,613 Guardian
    Don't know if this applies to all examples or not (hard to follow some), but...

    “Cannot not do something”, instead of “always does something”. I don't think you can just turn it around like that, as a “double-negative” and say that is viable alternative language to a “positive” wording. That double-negative really wouldn't count as being a true “Cannot” Ability.
  • Mitchell35Mitchell35 Posts: 1,897 ★★★★
    100% agree
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,657 Guardian
    Actually, I think the "always" vs "cannot" decision is the correct one from a game design perspective. There's a number of simple-on-the-surface but actually complex reasons why, but I can take a swing at addressing them.

    First of all, it isn't actually true that "always crit" means the same thing as "never not crit." Those two statements might mean the same thing semantically, even mathematically (if translated appropriately) but they have a different design imperative. The first statement says there's an action possible in the game called "crit" and when the relevant activity occurs and the game must decide whether crit should occur or not, the game should always decide to trigger crit. The second statement says that when the game considers all the things that can prevent crit from occurring, it should assume all of them fail. Maybe these two things seem identical, but having worked on games before I can tell you they aren't.

    Second, and more directly, in general "always" tends to be associated with action, and "cannot" with in-action, or prevention. That's not always true, but it happens often enough to be the default conceptual connection. We don't tend to say that bleed immunity means the champion always doesn't bleed, we tend to say that they never bleed, or cannot bleed. And when you have one effect in the game asserting that something happens and another effect in the game asserting that something doesn't happen, unless they specifically specify directly the default assumption should be that the "doesn't happen" wins.

    That's because outside of self-interest situations, this matches most people's default assumptions. If an ability says it causes bleed and another ability says it prevents bleed, we assume the prevention overrides the action. I believe this is to avoid a ridiculous situation. If you say something takes action and another thing prevents that action, if the "take action" wins by default, then "prevents action" actually is meaningless. "Prevents action" does nothing if the action isn't even attempted in the first place, and if "takes action" overrides it then it also does nothing if the action *is* attempted. Thinking that "takes action" overrides "prevents action" would force all "prevents action" to redundantly specify "...even in cases where the action is said to take place." And that doesn't make sense to most people.

    If "prevents action" overrides "takes action" by default, then it makes more sense to me that "prevents action always" also overrides "takes action always" by default, because in a sense the two "always" balance out, and "prevents action always" is both conceptually and semantically synonymous with "action cannot happen." "Cannot" in this case overrides "always."

    Now, if the descriptions are semantically twisted to try to flip "cannot" and "always" I think that we should trace back to the fundamentals. However the adjectives are used "stops action" should override "takes action" by default, unless there's an obvious explicit behavior described.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,657 Guardian

    It's an interesting point but I think it's really clearer you are making it out to be. Always in this case is a 100% chance for an ability to proc. Cannot is a 0% chance. Corvus has a guaranteed crit... except for times when there is a 0% chance. Glanced hits cannot crit. AA has a 100% chance to stun...except for times in which there is a 0% chance like a stun immune node. So we should read 100% chance as 100% in situations in which the action is possible.

    Actually, I think this not true, and not a safe assumption in games. If we assume that "always" is synonymous with "100%" then we have to ask the question "does critical resistance affect Corvus' "always" chance to crit? And in fact there are games that arbitrarily set things that "always" happen to some ridiculously high percentage, just to make sure another developer doesn't come along later and debuff that percentage. I've seen game effects that have a 10,000% chance to occur, for example.

    I tend to assume (softly, because this isn't done consistently) and if I were writing the description myself I would follow the rule, that when something has a 100% chance to occur, it should state that it has a numerically 100% chance to occur (and this number could theoretically be affected by other things in the game), and when something is said to "always" occur this should mean that the game doesn't even roll the dice.

    I will say that if this were true and we could rely on the devs always obeying the "always = 100%" rule, then this is a simple situation. Probability percentages multiply. When something with a 60% chance to occur runs into something that prevents it from happening 50% of the time, this thing ultimately happens 30% of the time. So the direct assumption to make is when something with a 100% chance to occur runs into something that only allows it to occur 0% of the time, 100% x 0% = 0% and it doesn't occur.

    The independent effect rule of mechanics design would hold the above to happen. In other words, we think of every effect mentioned in the game as happening, so Corvus' 100% crit chance simply means nothing stops him from triggering the critical effect, but then when that critical effect reaches the glanced target the glancing effect "admits" exactly zero percent of those crits. Games with conflicting descriptions would then always behave in a specific way you could deduce. So of course practically no one obeys this rule when they design mechanics.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,657 Guardian
    Actually, this may get really deep in the design weeds, but I'll just state for the record and for the benefit of devs reading that the design principle I actually believe is correct here is: if target of action is not self, then cannot(action) should override always(action). However, if target of action is self, then always(action) should override cannot(action). I think the reason why should be obvious (if not necessarily agreeable) but happy to discuss it offline if anyone wants to.
  • NOOOOOOOOPEEEEENOOOOOOOOPEEEEE Posts: 2,803 ★★★★★
    Are we sure Corvus is actually critting against Antman? It could be a visual error.
  • Theguy_hi_guyTheguy_hi_guy Posts: 6
    Ultra8529 said:

    This sets a dangerous precedent for the game and I would like by this thread for the game team to clarify their intentions going forward. Ideally, this should not be the reasoning employed to explain the recent change to the interaction between guaranteed critical hits and glancing.

    By way of background, corvus used to always be able to crit on opponents even if they had the ability to glance. The result was that corvus would register a critical hit, since he has a guaranteed crit when using his glaive, but that hit would have a chance to glance and have reduced damage. The interaction has been changed in the latest update so that corvus will not crit when the opponent procs glance.

    The official explanation for this is that the game team made a decision that an ability like glancing, against which you "cannot" crit, will henceforth take precedence over abilities, like corvus' landing critical hits, which are expressed as "always" going to happen.

    But if one thinks further about this, this is fundamentally flawed and is simply a matter of semantics. Any ability or mechanic in the game can be expressed in both - "always" or "cannot". For example:

    - Corvus' ability to crit on every hit can be expressed as (1) "always" land a crit when using his glaive; or (2) "cannot" land a non-crit when using his glaive
    - Iceman's coldsnap can be expressed as (1) "always" prevent enemy from evading when attacking; or (2) enemy "cannot" evade when iceman is attacking
    - Spider Gwen's ability to evade unblockable special attacks can be expressed as (1) "always" evade unblockable special attacks; or (2) enemy unblockable special attacks "cannot" hit her
    - Even glancing abilities can be expressed both ways: (1) enemy attacks that glance "always" do not crit and suffer ability accuracy reduction; or (2) enemy attacks that glance "cannot" crit and suffer ability accuracy reduction.

    The list goes on and on. The distinction between "cannot" and "always" is not a principled way for the game to decide how mechanics interact. My view is that the glancing/guaranteed crit interaction should just be called what it is - the game team made a decision to change the interaction.

    If the game team decides to stick to its position that "always" trumps "cannot", then these terms must be made clear in every single champ description.

    Thoughts?

    If you cut someone you are "always" going to make them bleed. However if you cut someone made entirely of metal you "cannot" make them bleed. Now unless your knife warps reality and gives the person made of metal blood then you "cannot" make them bleed. In short unless "always" was made or said to specifically to get around "cannot" then it loses.
  • DjinDjin Posts: 1,962 ★★★★★
    edited June 2019
    Critical hits are those which ignores armour.
    Glancing prevents Hits from being Critical.

    So in short , Hits "cannot" crit if they glance.
    OR
    Glance "always" prevent hits from being critical.

    Above statements have the same meaning.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 36,237 ★★★★★
    Pretty much. I think there's a bit of confusion because of the jargon, but basically no matter how effective a Champ is at something, it can't have an effect on another when said Ability never affects it. So, always doesn't cause never to change. It almost sounds like a double-negative, but it's essentially an Immunity. Corvus can always Crit, but if a Champ has total Immunity (never), then it shouldn't work.
  • winterthurwinterthur Posts: 7,738 ★★★★★

    AA has a 100% chance to stun...except for times in which there is a 0% chance like a stun immune node.

    I was fighting against BW using AA in RttL Chapter 4 Round 3. BW has stun immunity but was still stunned when Neurotoxins expires. Bug?


  • LeNoirFaineantLeNoirFaineant Posts: 8,638 ★★★★★

    AA has a 100% chance to stun...except for times in which there is a 0% chance like a stun immune node.

    I was fighting against BW using AA in RttL Chapter 4 Round 3. BW has stun immunity but was still stunned when Neurotoxins expires. Bug?


    When did you do that? AA used to stun on stun immune and we were even told it was working as intended, but then they "discovered" it was a bug and "fixed" it. If you did this recently it sounds like a bug.
  • winterthurwinterthur Posts: 7,738 ★★★★★

    AA has a 100% chance to stun...except for times in which there is a 0% chance like a stun immune node.

    I was fighting against BW using AA in RttL Chapter 4 Round 3. BW has stun immunity but was still stunned when Neurotoxins expires. Bug?


    When did you do that? AA used to stun on stun immune and we were even told it was working as intended, but then they "discovered" it was a bug and "fixed" it. If you did this recently it sounds like a bug.
    Last few days. Maybe I try another run and record it if it does happens again.
  • Eb0ny-O-M4wEb0ny-O-M4w Posts: 13,760 ★★★★★

    Another giant blow to the playerbase. Sad how the basic laws of the game can be changed any time at the developer feels it's convenient to kill off the old meta and sell a new one.

    This case was a bug fix. The "basic laws of the game" were broken till now.
  • Ultra8529Ultra8529 Posts: 526 ★★★
    It is actually not so clear conceptually if you think about it more deeply. My point is just that we should not be so quick to employ such semantic rules to explain game mechanics. Although I fully accept that game metas need to change, fundamental game mechanics should be clear and should not change on the whim of developers or arbitrarily. They are fundamental rules that have to stay constant to allow for any element of strategising and planning, which is what makes a complex game like MCOC so fun.

    In that interest, we need a clear and principled justification for how an action is defined as "always" or "cannot".

    Arguably the best justification so far is by @DNA3000 - looking at it as "take action" vs "prevent action". But even then I can still see difficulties. The relevant action as far as the game is concerned can still be flipped around depending how you look at it - it could be either a critical hit or a non-critical hit, it could be a hit or an evade. So it really seems to me to be a matter of perspective.
  • PIZZATIMEPIZZATIME Posts: 307
    If u say anything above 100% it means there is a 0% chance of something happening but I actually kind of agree with u if ur talking about crits and glancing
  • Nothing_hereNothing_here Posts: 97
    If an event X have 100% chance to take place, and an event Y have 100% to oppose/stop X from taking place if X takes place.

    THEN UNDERSTAND IT LIKE THIS
    X -> 100% to take place -> X will take place
    If X takes place:
    Y ->100% chance to stop X -> X will not take place.

    So eventually X never happen.

    Now connect it to the game.
    X= Critical Hit chance
    Y= Glancing chance.


    Games work on LOGIC and not on GRAMMAR.
  • Batman05Batman05 Posts: 351 ★★
    Antmans glancing has been brought up before and it was said that between offincive ability accuracy vs defensive ability accuracy, that defensive ability wins out
  • TehsigzorzTehsigzorz Posts: 1,233 ★★★★
    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.
  • LormifLormif Posts: 7,369 ★★★★★
    it works like this in real life as well. X/X is always 1, well except in the case of zero. In fact based on de'morgans law you can rewrite something that is a never has an always.

    You can never bleed a bleed immune champ, even if you have a 100% change to bleed them, the never trumps the always.
    you can never do anything to someone is immune to it.

    What gets me is that all the little changes go against the players and they're starting to add up.

    When was the last time a little change like this was made to help the players? The perfect time would have been when they "fixed" Nick Fury to only remove one debuff. They could have easily changed buffet and masochism to do the same thing, as they're worded the same. But of course those are "working as intended" and Fury wasn't.

    this is not "against the player". This is player neutral unless you ignore half of the equation, the antman side.
  • IKONIKON Posts: 1,334 ★★★★★
    Defense wins Championships.
  • SummonerNRSummonerNR Posts: 10,613 Guardian

    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.

    What would you want added to Hero Descriptions ? Wording like (using Bleed as example instead of Crits)...
    “SP1 has 100% chance to cause Bleed, EXCEPT against Bleed Immune champs or against champs on a Bleed Immune Node or Synergy”.
    And...
    “This champ is Immune to Bleed, EVEN against champs that otherwise would cause guaranteed Bleed and even on nodes that cause Bleed”.

    Extrapolate that to a whole bunch of scenarios, and a Description would be a Harry Potter novel.
  • TehsigzorzTehsigzorz Posts: 1,233 ★★★★

    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.

    What would you want added to Hero Descriptions ? Wording like (using Bleed as example instead of Crits)...
    “SP1 has 100% chance to cause Bleed, EXCEPT against Bleed Immune champs or against champs on a Bleed Immune Node or Synergy”.
    And...
    “This champ is Immune to Bleed, EVEN against champs that otherwise would cause guaranteed Bleed and even on nodes that cause Bleed”.

    Extrapolate that to a whole bunch of scenarios, and a Description would be a Harry Potter novel.
    Yes, include the word immune instead of cannot
  • LormifLormif Posts: 7,369 ★★★★★

    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.

    What would you want added to Hero Descriptions ? Wording like (using Bleed as example instead of Crits)...
    “SP1 has 100% chance to cause Bleed, EXCEPT against Bleed Immune champs or against champs on a Bleed Immune Node or Synergy”.
    And...
    “This champ is Immune to Bleed, EVEN against champs that otherwise would cause guaranteed Bleed and even on nodes that cause Bleed”.

    Extrapolate that to a whole bunch of scenarios, and a Description would be a Harry Potter novel.
    Yes, include the word immune instead of cannot
    Except in this case they are not immune, they only cannot be critied in case of glanced. Doing what you would want would make the statement less clear, not more clear.
  • TehsigzorzTehsigzorz Posts: 1,233 ★★★★
    Lormif said:

    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.

    What would you want added to Hero Descriptions ? Wording like (using Bleed as example instead of Crits)...
    “SP1 has 100% chance to cause Bleed, EXCEPT against Bleed Immune champs or against champs on a Bleed Immune Node or Synergy”.
    And...
    “This champ is Immune to Bleed, EVEN against champs that otherwise would cause guaranteed Bleed and even on nodes that cause Bleed”.

    Extrapolate that to a whole bunch of scenarios, and a Description would be a Harry Potter novel.
    Yes, include the word immune instead of cannot
    Except in this case they are not immune, they only cannot be critied in case of glanced. Doing what you would want would make the statement less clear, not more clear.
    'Glancing attacks are immune to being crit' Simply using the word immune would go a logn way. Personally it would help me understand the mechanics better.
  • LormifLormif Posts: 7,369 ★★★★★

    Lormif said:

    I dont mind this change tbh, just want it to be mentioned in the champions description.

    What would you want added to Hero Descriptions ? Wording like (using Bleed as example instead of Crits)...
    “SP1 has 100% chance to cause Bleed, EXCEPT against Bleed Immune champs or against champs on a Bleed Immune Node or Synergy”.
    And...
    “This champ is Immune to Bleed, EVEN against champs that otherwise would cause guaranteed Bleed and even on nodes that cause Bleed”.

    Extrapolate that to a whole bunch of scenarios, and a Description would be a Harry Potter novel.
    Yes, include the word immune instead of cannot
    Except in this case they are not immune, they only cannot be critied in case of glanced. Doing what you would want would make the statement less clear, not more clear.
    'Glancing attacks are immune to being crit' Simply using the word immune would go a logn way. Personally it would help me understand the mechanics better.
    How are attacks immune to something? attacks are a verb not a noun, so the adjective "immune" does not work. And are we talking about attacks to or from the person with the ability? you just made it vastly more confusing.
Sign In or Register to comment.