THE DEEP MIND OF Sash-EX

If you know me, that’s awesome. If not Then allow me to introduce myself. Many hate me yet many Love me (i guess?) now before i go on i would like to point out that i do not wish for a pat on the back. i dont crave your admiration or need to stroke an ego. I am honest to the core, and because most people lie and boast about many things, i must just look arrogant. That is not why im here. Anyways, I am Sash-EX, The most lethal player in Terraria. haha funny right? Now before passing judgement over me i want you to think about how many players you know including yourself, call yourselves OP. Is this not pride, ego and arrogance at its fullest? Im not here to judge. But i ask you also do not judge me today, just hear me out. Please.

Most of you know my thoughts on MOBA, RTS, And of course Terraria. in these recent years I have been rather abrupt, confronting and direct in my explanation regarding such things. The results are in, and guess what.

Its obviously not working.

Now as I jump into 2018 with the mindset of establishing an active competitive environment in the frighteningly low skill pool of Terraria, I realize now, if you wouldn’t listen to me then, why would you now.

So I’m changing tactics, or as the competitive scene itself would say…
Its time to Mixup.

How many play MOBA? Im sure you know of many who play if you do not. I will choose one of the most popular titles of the genre so most readers will directly follow what im saying. My game of choice is none other than League of legends. The game itself is free to play and also to download. You will find it always sits at the top of the stream lists too, which means its one of the most widely viewed. As a matter of fact, it is the most played game on earth as i type this with multiple countries entering into international tournaments. Each with at the very least 10 separate teams. Now the reason i tell you this is simple. I obviously need to convince you that i am worth listening to. Many have asked me to play MOBA over the years. As competitive as i am, you can probably understand why it gets put on the table often. You however may not understand why it is that do not play MOBA and i never will. So, lets unravel why Sash-EX, a solid competitive force, has refused and will continue to deny play in such an obviously competitive scene. Many will come to the conclusion that i am scared of loss, or simply not skilled enough, in fact i hear that consistently, and who knows perhaps i am not good enough. But scared of loss is a joke. Ive lost more times than anyone else i know, and that’s why im a fantastic strategist and actually a very hard player to beat chances are what ever tactic you decide on ill have seen it, and died to it already. I will now swing the judgemental pendulum back towards the origin of those comments and with certainty reply “the game is not good enough to satisfy my needs as a serious competitive gamer.”

Allow me to explain.

First of all in any competition you must know what moves actually exist to truly compete. this can also be labeled as “Knowledge” of the game. You gain knowledge as you play. So time investment equals knowledge. We all take that as given, yet most fail to realize that there are also other ways to improve knowledge. Study is undervalued as is spectating. both of these can improve the way you play in ways that simply non stop playing cannot. it is a false belief that by merely playing a game, you will become a top player. this is so far from the truth that its actually a cause for concern in my eyes. the reason behind this is the fact that i used to think this way. and i was admittedly wrong.  Ok so far so good. Second up is, “Experience” or “EXP”. Now this one is gained exclusively from playing the game. Study all you like, it will not give you the EXP you will need to be of use. Understanding a move down to its very core and all its aspects will not give you execution. Knowing a move, its counters, exotic uses, and its et ceteras is one thing. Using it effectively are 2 different things entirely. Knowledge and EXP go hand in hand, but for the most part are fundamentally different.

Now armed with this more advanced perspective on knowledge and EXP, lets take a look at one of the most bizarre aspects of LOL.

Its staggeringly massive roster of playable Legends.

why are there so many characters? some might jump to the conclusion it adds many more complex situations to the game thus increasing dynamics. and to an extent they would be right. Another really big enticement of such a roster is it also allows the user to express a unique personalisation, along with an unsaid guarantee of long term play-ability due to all of the potential matchups.  Seems fantastic so far right? Yeah! I mean thats why it is so inherently popular. Does this mean the game itself has complex and deep strategy potential? Surely it does, i mean on paper it looks almost flawless right? Right? Unfortunately as most of you probably know by playing the game many times, that sadly, it does not. at the end of the day you see the same Legends in tournaments. some of which then seemingly need a ban to lift the quality of the high end matches back to a desired level. many of the same strategies get rolled over as do tactics. Rinse & Repeat. It is then inescapable in its conclusion. These seemingly awesome attributes can all be attributed or reduced down to one thing.

Money.

When you sell by the character, it’s hard not to make more and more characters forever—way more than would make sense when regarding the core aspect of competitive gaming or dare i even say balance. Such a game would probably only need around 20 to 30 characters at the very most. within those Legends you could cover all necessary archetypes and they in turn could add complex customization to skins, move sets and whatnot. this game could actually balance almost perfectly with the help of the community and consistent input to keep up to date with the ever shifting meta.. Agreed? hmmm.

Im sure you see the logic here. imagine if you played a fighting game with a whopping roster of 150 characters. how difficult would it be just to simply learn what all the useless content actually is? Tier lists are a rough approximation of how useful a character can be in general. Many people tell me that tier lists dont matter when infact they are absolutely essential in the art of winning. why use a hand gun when you can just fire a nuke. if you are truly “playing to win” (a subject ill completely deconstruct in the future), then the choice is obvious and completely diminishes the the qualities we first outlined in the first paragraph essentially making them null and VOiD. Generally speaking, and there are a few exceptions to this fact, competitive games with character selection only have around 10 viable high level options. Generally. so umm yeah this results in what we already see before us. A bandaid system of character bans (red flag). in competition at the top end you see the same faces. and you’re practically guaranteed to have massive stack of unreliable non viable characters. Many refer to these as Chaf.

Mathematics states: More is more.

Meaning you make way more money by selling 100 of something rather than 30 of the same thing. and this is one aspect of my decision to never play MOBA.
having to ban anything in a game whether it be characters, items, moves, or whatever especially routinely is pretty ugly by design. and im dead certain… those who can see it for what it is, just shake their heads over it all as i do.

 

Now with such a complex analysis of a small factor regarding such a competitive game, hopefully you will come to realize that i do see true potential in Terraria as becoming a competitive game. The thoughtless comments thrown my way like ” your just wanting to be the best” or “you only play Terraria because its easy” (which is so far from the truth mind you, its actually the hardest game ive ever played) are starting to lose steam, for time always shows the true intentions or motives. It is the greatest tell of pure intention. I am digressing if i explain, so Terraria and its competitive potentials are for a later date. ill not explain that in this section of this…. um.. book? am i writing a book? i think i am?? im not sure yet. that all depends on the feedback i get from people that matter. Who matters? You do. All of you. Both players and modders are important as well as the Developers. On the modded subject many people have put countless hours into additional content and i am now starting to grasp the true extensiveness of it all. for instance lets just point out 1 single mod of many, Calamity (which is incredible by the way kudos to that dev team. i really underestimated its scope. Yet again i was wrong.) has had such investment. Back to Vanilla.

The skill cap i can lift, and Competitive side i can establish. The game is so close to a near perfect balance its just screaming at me to make it happen. But i need your help. Honestly. At the end of the day i am only one person. It does not matter how factually wrong or right i am. If i don’t have the trust or support from the people who already love and play the game, then i wont complete my task of making my vision a reality.

For those who say that Terraria is not a pvp game, it is worth noting that neither was Pokemon. And what about Smashbrothers? That was a party game. It was never intended to be competitive infact the dev team produced it with competitiveness in mind and tried to prevent it from becoming just that.. true story, yet look at it now.. Its played as an international event at EVO and by all rights considered one of the greatest fighters ever created..

I have been Quizzing the Dev team from T-Shock about having the ability to view the entire map at once in regards to observing live 5v5 PvP’s. they said it could be done, but not easily. They then suggested i learn C++ to some extent before continuing down that path. i shall take their advise, and add a computer language to my ever expanding portfolio of never sleeping. again i digress. back to topic. Imagine watching full pro warfare, how fast, and exiting would that be?? It gives me shivers just thinking about how entertaining it would actually be to watch, and perhaps if im not too obsolete by then, maybe even ill get to participate in a few..

So please let me know what you think in the comments. Much love.

-Sash-EX

A multiplayer game is deep if it is still strategically interesting to play after expert players have studied and practiced it for years, decades, or centuries.
—Sirlin, January 2002

EDITING AND RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM HERE –

For the sake of depth, we also hope that the player has some basis to choose amongst these meaningful options. If the game at hand is a single round of rock, paper, scissors against a single opponent, there is nearly no basis to choose one option over the other so it’s hard to apply any kind of strategy. And yet a game of Street Fighter might be decided by a single moment when you choose to either block, throw, or Dragon Punch, or a game of Magic: the Gathering might be decided by a single Master of Predicaments decision. These examples at first glance look like the rock, paper, scissors example, but the decisions take place inside the context of a match that has many nuances where each player is dripping with cues about their future behavior.

You might be thinking that rock, paper, scissors is shallow and so it means a game that uses it wouldn’t be interesting, but that’s not a fair statement. Just about every competitive game has a form of rock, paper, scissors in it. All that means is that things beat each other and everything has a counter. The alternative would be…some things don’t have a counter? That would be a problem.
In Starcraft, individual units counter each other in a rock, paper, scissors-like way. Also, various strategies such as early rush, heavy econ, and moderate builds counter each other in that same way. In a first-person shooter such as Halo, rifle (rock), grenade (paper), melee (scissors) counter each other. In a fighting game such as Street Fighter or Virtua Fighter, attack (rock), block (paper), and throw (scissors) have a similar relationship.