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The Evolution of the Scrub Mentality: The Fun Police

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+ACP+    34068

Most, when reading the title of this thread, likely immedately thought of the classic "Play to Win" series by David Sirlin. Although the term scrub has been used since virtually the dawn of gaming, Sirlin was one of the first to explicitly describe the nature of the scrub.

 

"In Street Fighter, the scrub labels a wide variety of tactics and situations “cheap.” This “cheapness” is truly the mantra of the scrub. Performing a throw on someone is often called cheap. A throw is a special kind of move that grabs an opponent and damages him, even when the opponent is defending against all other kinds of attacks. The entire purpose of the throw is to be able to damage an opponent who sits and blocks and doesn’t attack. As far as the game is concerned, throwing is an integral part of the design—it’s meant to be there—yet the scrub has constructed his own set of principles in his mind that state he should be totally impervious to all attacks while blocking. The scrub thinks of blocking as a kind of magic shield that will protect him indefinitely. Why? Exploring the reasoning is futile since the notion is ridiculous from the start."

 

So what is a scrub? Stating simply, it's someone who lets their own subjective interpretation of "fun" get in the way of winning, pretty simple. So what do I have to say that David Sirlin didn't? Am I just trying to reinvent the wheel? Not exactly. Yugioh is a very unique game, and it has one of the most unique competitive communities in particular. I am not writing today to talk about the people who unironically say phrases like "meta noob" and criticize people for not being original enough.

 

There are new scrubs in Yugioh that people are not talking about. Some of them are very good. A few even have YCS tops. Some can talk about the game at great length while sounding somewhat intelligent. They likely conduct a lot of playtesting, travel to far away events, and check out winning decklists regularly. Doesn't sound like a scrub? I don't blame you for thinking that. Unfortunately, being a scrub has nothing to do with the amount of effort put into winning. It has to do with putting artificial barriers on your growth as a player due to refusing to adopt certain strategies or tactics that increase your ability to win.

 

In The Signal and the Noise, world-renowned statistician Nate Silver says, "We focus on those signals that tell a story about the world as we would like it to be, not how it really is." I believe that this mentality is the #1 thing holding back the competitive Yugioh player of the modern era. I've seen it happen time and time again.

 

What do all of these decks have in common?

- Stein in 2006

- Explosion in 2008

- Lightsworn in 2009

- Frog FTK in 2010

- Gravekeeper's in 2010

- Dark World in 2011

- Dino Rabbit in 2012

- Gishkill in 2013

- Domain Monarch in 2016

- Most recently, Drazo Zoodiac in 2017

 

These were all viable decks that were largely written off by the "Fun Police", people who masquerade as competitive players but are largely focused on convincing people to not play decks that are unfun to play against. This is the modern-day scrub. They try their hardest to convince the rest of the community that these decks aren't viable solely because they would hate to live in a universe where these decks are viable. The more unfun the deck is, the more vehement they are in their insistence that it's totally unplayable.

 

Wouldn't the game be boring if the optimal strategy for 2016 nats was to activate Domain and lock up the game? Yes. Wouldn't it be boring if the optimal strategy for 2017 nats was to use the Zoodiac engine to pump out a bunch of Draco nonsense on t1 and lock up the game? Yes. But that doesn't affect the truth of whether those strategies are in fact optimal. Not only will The Fun Police try to convince you that these strategies aren't optimal, they'll tell you that they are completely unviable and that you're a bad player for even considering them. One of the players that I was talking to before 2017 nats explained to me how I could be right, that Draco Zoo was in fact a good meta call for that event, but that winning all of his matches by jamming a bunch of Draco cards would not "showcase his skill as well as winning Pure Zoo mirrors would." He of course scrubbed the tournament. This the consequence of a world populated by Fun Police. People are more interested in winning the approval of their peers than winning actual Yugioh tournaments.

 

Thoughts on how to prevent this herd mentality from perpetuating in the future? Or do you guys just think I'm just full of shit? Discuss. I was thinking of fleshing this out into a full article, but I'd rather just let you guys contribute your opinions and continue to develop my cynical perspective on Yugioh history.

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+mmf    23266
Quote

-Thunder Dragon Chaos** in 2017

 

ftfy

 

>:)))))))

 

other examples: Reversal Quiz FTK in late 2009, Dragon Exodia Turbo in early 2010 (so powerful/hated that it was actually BKSS'ed out of the game in the middle of SJC Edison because Jerome McHale thought it would be too lame if the deck made day 2 so he told someone they didn't get to search off White Stone of Legend if it was discarded as part of the hand limit discard at the end of the end phase)

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+mark    3103

Hey when jazz ran his goat warring league there were literally pages of discussion where people suggested to make a match invalid cause allen won with empty jar (when there were no honory bans or gentlemans agreements in the format) which wasn't "fun". How far we've come as a community! 

 

I guess I'll say in the end we play the game for fun so if people want to play decks they enjoy more (without the part where they'd convince themselves and others that it's actually optimal) that's a perfectly viable decision to make. But then they shouldn't complain about losses. 

 

I'm also not sure how true draco zoodiac is in this list because it was literally as much if not more fun than zoodiac and draco. Sure the matches weren't as grindy as zoodiac mirrors but idk if I'd call those "fun". 

 

Anyway as far as I'm concerned, I've tried to adapt a mentality where I don't try to judge formats or hope for things to get banned / released etc, but rather, I focus on my own play and how to make decisions within the formats I'm given. Sure I could stop playing the game if I didnt enjoy any of the formats, but I see it as a challenge to become good at formats despite them being "aids", so with that mindset I literally couldn't care less which format we're in.

 

 

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+ACP+    34068

The thread was more about current format more so than past formats. With past formats, the people who are playing already find the metagame to be pretty fun, or they wouldn't be playing. You might think that the same applies to current as well, but most Yugioh players are pussies so they'll just continue to play current Yugioh no matter how unfun it gets. They'll just do whatever they can to salvage their remaining scraps of fun left by trying to convince everyone to buy into the "skillful mirror" delusion.

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+mmf    23266
59 minutes ago, mark said:

Hey when jazz ran his goat warring league there were literally pages of discussion where people suggested to make a match invalid cause allen won with empty jar (when there were no honory bans or gentlemans agreements in the format) which wasn't "fun". How far we've come as a community! 

 

 

HOOOOLY SHIT I FORGOT ALL ABOUT THIS

 

Quote

Ok after re-reading the past page or so, I have come to the conclusion that we should ban all OTKs and make Ryuu and Pennington replay each other. I didn't anticipate people abusing the format by playing OTK in only a handful of matches, but I guess I should have.

jazz is now banned from making fun of war council

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+ACP+    34068

My team was literally called No Combo, Goats Only, Final Destination to poke fun at Jazz's ridiculous logic. How could you forget?

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+mmf    23266

man that was an amazing trip down memory lane

 

the next gem i had forgotten all about: allen's ill-fated quest to get a DN admin into his game

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Jazz    4764
3 hours ago, ACP said:

Thoughts on how to prevent this herd mentality from perpetuating in the future? Or do you guys just think I'm just full of shit? Discuss. I was thinking of fleshing this out into a full article, but I'd rather just let you guys contribute your opinions and continue to develop my cynical perspective on Yugioh history.

 

Isn't the best way to prevent this type of herd mentality to determine for yourself what 'the best deck' is for an event, show up to a tournament, and smash it? I think that's the only way people will learn, or at least be made more aware of the phenomenon.

 

I don't think you're crazy. And I also do think this is somewhat applicable to past formats, despite what you said in the above comments. I think that the evolution of past formats might even 'prove' that this theory has some merit, i.e. the ideal metagame composition should have less goat, more non-goat, or something along those lines.

 

If you were going to flesh this into a full article it would be interesting if you could use some sort of logical analysis and/or data to justify why the 8-10 odd decks you listed in the OP were better than they were given credit for.

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+Digbick    7376

IF IM LOSING, ITS NOT FUN SO YOU SHOULD NOT USE THAT DECK SO I WONT LOSE

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+Satchmo    3226

the major solution to this is out argue/out theory people who think things like this. I don't even think half the decks on that list were even unfun to play against in their respective formats.

 

The largest incentive to even do shit like this to begin with is to try and convince other's it's bad to strategically avoid playing those unwinnable match-ups at your next event, like Dark World, Explosion FTK etc. There's zero incentive to do this with shit like Draco Zoo, Domain Monarch etc, because those match-ups weren't as unwinnable for the other viable decks in those formats. I actually think it's easier to argue that those detractors were just bad as opposed to them trying to be muh fun police.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836

I disagree that the solution is to outargue or out-theory.

I say this as the nigga who waited until 2017 for DM to get some support worth a damn:

the true merit of a format's existence as a product of game design hinges upon embracing its darkest portents, including those portents that through entirely legal means can render gameplay less fun at the highest echelons of play.
 

a format that is enjoyable only by deliberate avoidance of those decklists with the highest possible winrate is a format that honestly isn't designed to be as fun as the imaginary conception of a single player might believe that format to be.


the question is, is one going to go to an event to prioritize personal performance, or to prioritize other forms of satisfying one's pursuit of enjoyment? there are multiple ways to enjoy one's self, not all of which are optimized in terms of winrate.



if I can come to peace with the fact that my own choices made to optimize my enjoyment of a given event require de-optimizing my winrate, then others need to recognize that their own choices and attitudes might require their own de-optimization of winrate in order to pursue other less tangible ways of securing enjoyment, or I will drag them through the cold rain and mud until they come to terms.

I came to terms: so shall all of you. or else.

it's not a matter of out-argue or out-theory, it's a matter of coming to terms. a matter of growing up.

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+mark    3103

That would only be valid if said people didn't complain when they lose, or when others play good decks.

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DukeLukewarm    121

I mean, it all just comes down to "don't hate the player, hate the game", doesn't it? You can't really blame someone for making use of what the game's ruleset offers them. 

Like, if you're convinced that a game is shit to play at a competitive level, then just... don't. If you even have to make a choice between playing to win or enjoying yourself in a game, you should probably reevaluate why you're playing the game to begin with, and find a different game that you'll be happier with. Sunk cost fallacy is a hell of a drug I guess.

I'm just stating the obvious, but that's kind of why I could never really grasp this mentality. 

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836
14 hours ago, mark said:

That would only be valid if said people didn't complain when they lose, or when others play good decks.

upon their growing up, they would not complain about either of those factors.

I am unsure about whether or not I was unclear in what I was saying.

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836
3 hours ago, DukeLukewarm said:

I mean, it all just comes down to "don't hate the player, hate the game", doesn't it? You can't really blame someone for making use of what the game's ruleset offers them. 

Like, if you're convinced that a game is shit to play at a competitive level, then just... don't. If you even have to make a choice between playing to win or enjoying yourself in a game, you should probably reevaluate why you're playing the game to begin with, and find a different game that you'll be happier with. Sunk cost fallacy is a hell of a drug I guess.

I'm just stating the obvious, but that's kind of why I could never really grasp this mentality. 

games are vehicles by which multiple means of securing enjoyment are employed; it isn't necessarily sunk cost fallacy as much as it could very well be appreciation for what makes a franchise "itself" in spite of recognizable design flaws.

take my post earlier - while I was typing it, the format where repeat SDB utilization was optimizable to force match wins in EOM exclusively was at the front of my mind. it, to me, makes for an example of a format where flaws in design were something players were very good at ignoring.

I propose that, to most players, a "format" isn't the combination of the entire cardpool and that cardpool's ruleset, but a combination of "rules they like to pay attention to" and "cards they like to pay attention to."

To those players, the anomalous SDB instance wasn't part of the "format", but just something meant to ruin someone's day.

I reject that framing of it, and insist:
"the SDB thing is part of the format, and the format is worse for it."

There is a strong urge in people for "what is good" and "what I prefer" to match up. This urge is not necessarily logical. One common idiom is "there is no accounting for taste": the meaning of this would be that it is entirely possible, and perhaps reasonable to openly admit, that people may like things that are not objectively good.

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DukeLukewarm    121
1 hour ago, Pharaoh Atem said:

games are vehicles by which multiple means of securing enjoyment are employed; it isn't necessarily sunk cost fallacy as much as it could very well be appreciation for what makes a franchise "itself" in spite of recognizable design flaws.

take my post earlier - while I was typing it, the format where repeat SDB utilization was optimizable to force match wins in EOM exclusively was at the front of my mind. it, to me, makes for an example of a format where flaws in design were something players were very good at ignoring.

I propose that, to most players, a "format" isn't the combination of the entire cardpool and that cardpool's ruleset, but a combination of "rules they like to pay attention to" and "cards they like to pay attention to."

To those players, the anomalous SDB instance wasn't part of the "format", but just something meant to ruin someone's day.

I reject that framing of it, and insist:
"the SDB thing is part of the format, and the format is worse for it."

There is a strong urge in people for "what is good" and "what I prefer" to match up. This urge is not necessarily logical. One common idiom is "there is no accounting for taste": the meaning of this would be that it is entirely possible, and perhaps reasonable to openly admit, that people may like things that are not objectively good.

Right, I get the point about personal preferences and preconceptions warping one's judgment and wanting to dismiss unwanted elements in favor of what matches up with your preferences. As far as I understand, this is about players failing to pick up on something as a viable option simply because of their own preconceptions on what they like, and what the game should be like, leading to denial, right? I suppose I misunderstood the original point a little at first. Nevermind then. Apparently my reading comprehension isn't quite on point today. 

For some reason I went over the OP multiple times and yet somehow my brain picked it up as being about active discouragement, rather than outright self-delusion. 

Edited by DukeLukewarm

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I see this mentality as a spectrum. There are people who "get gud" and think like this but at the same time there are people who will purposely build a mental barrier to playing a certain level because "it's not fun" and therefore will dumb down the game to be at whatever point they judge to be "fun" including using "creative cards" that are completely unnecessary to make a deck more "fun" 

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+rei+    35453

don't get mad get better

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836
On 11/3/2017 at 5:43 PM, TheGoldenTyranno said:

I see this mentality as a spectrum. There are people who "get gud" and think like this but at the same time there are people who will purposely build a mental barrier to playing a certain level because "it's not fun" and therefore will dumb down the game to be at whatever point they judge to be "fun" including using "creative cards" that are completely unnecessary to make a deck more "fun" 

there's also something to be said for how certain things taken for granted at the highest levels of competitive play as facts-of-life can in and of themselves lead to simplified gamestates, albeit simplified differently from how lower levels of competitive play can lead to simplified gamestates

in this capacity, the under-competitive perspective of what is "fun" can be viewed at times as an understandable, incomplete, flawed attempt to escape specific forms of simplified gamestate, that stumbles either accidentally or on-purpose into other forms of simplified gamestate.

Disliking the sort of way games can end in competitive play, and/or how we get to that end, is not fun-police in and of itself: what leads to fun-police status is "you didn't think this shit through, so ultimately your preferred changes make the game no better in an objective sense."

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836

(this shit is something I've been observing since 2005 nyukka)

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+Urthor    10239

The problem isn't setting barriers to create fun honestly, the problem is the mentality of condemning the people who want to go for self improvement.  Like I love a good Koaki Meiru vs Gigaplant goodstuff matchup any day of the week, the game drags on and the setup isn't that intensive.  Or playing Yugioh pauper.  Or no effect monsters.  That's an okay barrier to fun, and it's temporary, but when you get the sort of people who get in someone's face for entering locals with a certain type of deck at locals, it's just a different level of obnoxious and it's pretty common.  

 

Most of the attitude from the supposedly "pro fun people" is straight up anti-learning, anti-intellectualism used to drag down points of view that aren't theirs.  Self improvement and pursuing the meta is ultimately a tool to educate yourself about the game in many ways, winning is just a byproduct for getting better and understanding more about Yugioh as time goes on, and most of the scrub mentality is people railing against others undergoing that process because it ultimately puts you above them.  Suddenly you are a "meta player" or some shit, when you're actually fine to play them with a pretty awesome Rekindling Flamvell deck whenever, but really when you get down to it they just don't want to interact with you because you have become more knowledgeable than them and that damages their social standing. 

 

Which is way more important to them than their actually having fun at card games.  

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+Urthor    10239

Also re the OP, there has always been a tendancy to undervalue the potential to outperform of a deck, vs the average win rate.

 

The potential win rate of a deck in a swiss tournament is not a bell curve, not a long shot, you have a number of potential win rates that are likely to occur, and they don't all fall equally.  Generally speaking FTK decks have had the MOST equal bell curves for performance at a swiss tournament out of all decks IMO, and that's a significant penalty to hold against them.  Whereas in warring, fuck you should play those decks every day, FTK decks are an amazing tool in YGO warring.  

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»Pharaoh Atem    15836
10 hours ago, Urthor said:

The problem isn't setting barriers to create fun honestly, the problem is the mentality of condemning the people who want to go for self improvement.  Like I love a good Koaki Meiru vs Gigaplant goodstuff matchup any day of the week, the game drags on and the setup isn't that intensive.  Or playing Yugioh pauper.  Or no effect monsters.  That's an okay barrier to fun, and it's temporary, but when you get the sort of people who get in someone's face for entering locals with a certain type of deck at locals, it's just a different level of obnoxious and it's pretty common.  

 

Most of the attitude from the supposedly "pro fun people" is straight up anti-learning, anti-intellectualism used to drag down points of view that aren't theirs.  Self improvement and pursuing the meta is ultimately a tool to educate yourself about the game in many ways, winning is just a byproduct for getting better and understanding more about Yugioh as time goes on, and most of the scrub mentality is people railing against others undergoing that process because it ultimately puts you above them.  Suddenly you are a "meta player" or some shit, when you're actually fine to play them with a pretty awesome Rekindling Flamvell deck whenever, but really when you get down to it they just don't want to interact with you because you have become more knowledgeable than them and that damages their social standing. 

 

Which is way more important to them than their actually having fun at card games.  

and yet note what happens when you become like me

you know, unconcerned w/ matter of social standing

 

you can play bad decks w/o begrudging others for playing less bad ones, knowing circumstances do not favor you, because "the closest thing to Super Poly in Shaddoll right now is Curse of the Shadow Prison, and god damn it, I am going to eat your goddamn cards, and I choose to lose more often to make that happen, because it's fucking hilarious."

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+ACP+    34068
12 hours ago, Urthor said:

Also re the OP, there has always been a tendancy to undervalue the potential to outperform of a deck, vs the average win rate.

 

The potential win rate of a deck in a swiss tournament is not a bell curve, not a long shot, you have a number of potential win rates that are likely to occur, and they don't all fall equally.  Generally speaking FTK decks have had the MOST equal bell curves for performance at a swiss tournament out of all decks IMO, and that's a significant penalty to hold against them.  Whereas in warring, fuck you should play those decks every day, FTK decks are an amazing tool in YGO warring.  

Classic Urthor post. It's because of terrible mentalities like this that people don't play FTK. You're doing what everyone else does, coming up with bullshit reasons to not play the best decks.

 

There are no "potential win rates." There isn't a "bell curve." I don't think you understand what the word "win rate" means. "Average win rate" is redundant. Combo decks don't have a "lower ceiling" or whatever you're thinking. Combo decks do better in tournament settings than individual matches. It can be proved mathematically. Combo decks are much less viable in warring because there is more metagame awareness and people have the ability to prepare. Take for example, me playing Gishki in 2013. My opponents don't magically start sidedecking Droll and Lock Birds after I'm 4-0 in the tournament. But in a warring environment, once you start winning with combo, people will just start siding against you more. A tournament is a static environment whereas warring is a dynamic environment. 

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+Paraliel+    8123
On 11/3/2017 at 8:56 PM, rei said:

don't get mad get better

Don't get bitter, get better*

 

my work mantra actually :)

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